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Probably my main issue with the game

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - We The People' started by Vorpal+5, May 5, 2020.

  1. Vorpal+5

    Vorpal+5 Venturing in Erebus

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    Yes, OP is probably a better word than cheating. And I can use House Rules also. So to each its own...

    A trick I rediscovered is that the instant buy price of people waiting for the dock (when you have emptied your crosses but want to buy out the guys waiting) is the current price of buying a specialist. Fair enough, right? Except that this don't raise the price of the specialist in the [$] menu ... That's quite handy to put your greedy hands, if you have a lot of gold, on many people ...
     
  2. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder Supporter

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    Yes, that is also one "Trick" in RaR / WTP.

    If you do not buy Units via "Buy Menu" - the "max. Hurry Price of Immigrants" does not increase.
    (It will always stay the "Buy Price" - but if you buy a lot, the "Buy Price" and thus also the "max. Hurry Price of Immigrants" increase.)

    So there is an incentive to only use the "Immigration" option - to keep the price for hurrying Immigration low.
    (It is one of the many many small changes and features I had implemented.)

    It is supposed to "convince" the Player to mainly use Immigration and thus live with the "imperfect options" you get for Immigration.
     
    ConjurerDragon likes this.
  3. Swarbs

    Swarbs Emperor

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    True, but the problem you describe was the same in the original Col. Once you captured a couple of colonies from a rival European nation you could dominate the whole New World. The bonus from artillery on attack was enough to make wars with other Europeans easy to win against the AI.

    I remember games at the top difficulty level where I was the only remaining power by around 1700, with all FFs and a massive military, so the WoI was a joke, with the pitiful six units that landed per turn being wiped out as soon as they arrived, particularly with the crazy ambush bonus you got.

    Civ4Col has its problems, but with mods like RaR and WtP it is a much stronger challenge than the 1994 Col, particularly when it comes to war.
     
  4. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder Supporter

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    Hi guys,

    a few comments on this. :)

    Yes, the biggest issue Civ4Col has is:
    • There is no scaling of challenge considering game progress - which most other games have. (Levels and enemies get more difficult.)
    • AI is no real challenge (unless it cheats) and once you steam-roll the AIs and take over their cities you basically won the game.
    --> Thus early game is still a lot of fun (because challenging), mid game gets boring (because too simple) and end-game is only about WOI.
    --> This game is designed as a "empire builder sim" for casual play. The game concept is not about "exitement" and "action".

    The only reason AI can keep up with Human Player at high Difficulties / Handicaps is because it gets massive "AI cheats" as modifiers.
    So yes, playing at high Difficulties increases the challenge for early game a bit - meaning that steam rolling AIs will start later.

    But:

    A) that is basically true for all Civ games.
    B) we tried to improve that in RaR and WTP (by balancing and new features like e.g. Health, Domestic Market or Happiness)
    C) we also tried to improve the "mid-game boredom" by e.g. new events
    D) further features like e.g. "Upkeep" might improve this even more

    The problem simply is:

    The game design of Civ4Col itself is flawed - it does not properly scale challenge to game progress ... It even completely turns it around. :sad:
    All it does is scale challenge by Game Difficulty giving AI lots of cheats ... which stays constant.

    We could have tried to solve this by the following approaches:

    A) Having mid-game crisises that introduce a lot of challenge --> casual players would have hated it
    B) Scaling AI cheats with game progress --> most team members hated that idea
    C) Unlocking more compley features with game progress --> AI could not handle that

    Summary:

    This game is what it is. :dunno:
    Mods improved it but could not completely fix the flawed game design of Vanilla.

    Comment:

    Even for myself - after so many years of playing and modding it - the only time I really like to play the game is when fresh new features were added.
    Then the game is fun again for me for about a month but then it gets boring for me again and I turn to other games again.
    Then I usually completely stop playing (and modding it) for months or years until I get motivated again to implement new features ...
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
  5. lethiel

    lethiel Streaming Col at https://www.twitch.tv/lethiel01

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    This post is a bit depressing and I kind of disagrees with it. :)
    the mod has an active community with people that spend a lot of time discussing it. It means people are entertained at the current state of the mod. The game is exciting. As a tbs nobody would demand that it is supposed to be 'action packed'.


    This is true for a lot of very popular strategy games including civ IV, Age of Empires or Warcraft 3. When you crack the code of how to beat the AI consistently you start playing multiplayer games.



    Seems like a good idea. Could you elaborate on the arguments for not doing this?


    I'm pretty sure multiplayer can work great competitively on a small map - kind of a mix between Catan and Civilization (with cols unique features of course)
     
  6. Vorpal+5

    Vorpal+5 Venturing in Erebus

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    Yes I'm with Lethiel on scaling cheats with progress . That's called dynamic difficulty in Civ 4 (or was it only an option in Fall from Heaven?). Many games have dynamic difficulties, well some. And it is not only restricted to strategy games, look at Skyrim and such like, where -- within a certain limit, to keep plausibility -- monsters level up as you do. At first I was very against the idea, but then I came to understand it made for a better game.

    I would favor dynamic difficulty in Col4, if only to test how it works. There are others options, strategy games do "late game crisis", like Stellaris or Galactic Civilization, or even Crusader Kings with Mongols invading the map. Here we have indeed the Kings coming at you, but perhaps it should have been made less predictable. i.e. not based on independence level but simply on your power curve, with some good randomness. After all, perhaps the Kings want to affirm his right and garrison the colonies, because he feels they are not obedient enough.
     
  7. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder Supporter

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    About "TAC, RaR and WTP being great mods":

    See guys, I absolutely love Civ4Col and especially the mods I was involved: TAC, RaR and now WTP. :)
    I am extremely proud of our achievements and the quality and fun we succeeded to deliver to community.

    Otherwise I would not have consistently been around for so long and invested so much time in modding them. ;)
    There is no other game I ever played or modded as much as Civ4Col. Other games are not even close to the time I spent with Civ4Col.

    However, it is with any other game for me - I play it a while, it gets boring again, I play other games again and then I eventually at some point in time turn back to it. :dunno:
    But when I turn back to Civ4Col I want to have new features - I do not want to play the exact same old same old another time.

    --------

    And as I said:

    Early game is great, because it is challenging.
    The game simply suffers from boring mid game.

    The only 2 solutions I seed for that:

    A) Having mid-game crisises that introduce a lot of challenge
    (Lots of effort because that would be huge new features.)

    B) Scaling AI cheats with game progress
    (Very little effort, see below.)

    --------

    About "Scaling AI cheates with game progress":

    AI cheats have always been heavily discussed in the modding community.
    Many players and modders outright hate them.

    Every time I suggested something like that, there were heavy outbursts of outrage:
    "And another AI cheat again because you guys simply can not program good AI! You are unskilled!"
    (Ok, I am overexagerrating, but that was a bit of the tone.)

    In fact "Scaling AI cheats with game progress" would be extremely easy to do.
    (Little effort, little risk, almost no impact on performance.)

    All you need to do is ramp up bonus percentage modifiers (e.g. Crosses or Hammers or Gold for Sales or ...) depending on game progress (turns / time).
    So AI would not get things completely for free, but it would get increasing modifiers over time so it could keep up with the progress of the player.
    • In fact, this could even easily be made a Game Option "Scaling Game Difficulty and AI cheats".
    • The scaling of the "bonus percentage for progress modifiers" would of course also consider Game Speed setting.
    • The max "bonus percentage for progress modifiers" could be dependent on Handicaps / Difficulties as well.
    • We could even have additional modifiers to help the weakest AIs to recover (by game score)
    2 factors are important for good balancing and game play of this this concept:
    (I would need a longer explanation for this, but it is related to "User Experience" and "game rules".)
    • It needs to be "hidden for the player" - meaning it should be nothing the player can directly notice easily.
    • It should only affect "Gold / Crosses / Culture / Hammers / Health / Satisfaction" and not "Diplomacy / Military / Movement / Liberty Bells / Production Modifiers on Cash Yields ..."
    So in the end it mainly affects the development of AI colonies. <-- They are supposed to keep up with the progress of Human players.
    (Amount of Colonists, Buildings, Ships, ...)
    • It will not magically make his Combat Units stronger or let his Ships move faster.
    • It will not let him have much more Founding Fathers.
    • It will not make AIs more aggressive or anything like that.
    • ...
    So the result would be:

    In the beginning of the game, it would feel like now on every game difficulty.
    But while the game progresses AI would get help by cheats to keep up with the progress of players in terms of colony development.
    Weak AIs would get a bit of help to recover again.
    However, there would be a "upper limit" for theses scaling AI cheats - depending on Game Difficulty.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
  8. Vorpal+5

    Vorpal+5 Venturing in Erebus

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    I'm all for it. Because I'm a pragmatic and a developer myself: it's easy for people to say "why don't you do that", but they ignore generally that it might takes hundred of hours ... So scaling up difficulty is perhaps not the ultimate solution, but at least it can be done, and this is a big quality!

    As an old friend of mine says: "perfection is an obstacle to progress". If you can only consider the bestest of best way of doing something, in the end you might ... do nothing!
     
  9. lethiel

    lethiel Streaming Col at https://www.twitch.tv/lethiel01

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    I don't know anything about the dynamics of how prestige in the modder's internal community is determined. :lol: But yes in terms of game play I see no real downside to it. Cheats are already there for the better, so why not let i depend on game progress. In Warcraft 3 AI gets a big gold bonus per turn on hard difficulty so if Blizzard Entertainment can have AI cheat then so can we.
    I'm not quite sure about the recovery bonus though. It would seem like you can not really beat another European nation and force them to 'withdraw from the new world' (which is very pleasing when it happen since you can get their FF).
    The cheat should definitely be difficulty level dependent.

    Edit: by the way I think it can be compared to When World of Warcraft changed monsters to match character level. I sounds very weird at first but when you try it out its probably a better game experience than being killed by monsters 50 times in a row trying to retrieve your corps or walking around godlike in a level 10 zone as a level 80 character.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  10. Ramstormp

    Ramstormp Warlord

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    The amazing part of this mod for me is that I cannot get bored (at least not of the first 6 hours of every game). My cup is actually only 0.05 increments empty and shrinking. The happiness feature is absolutely awesome! Thanks to this mod I have now survived my midlife crisis (or whatever that was) and no-one died except for a few thousand 3D savages, Danes and Dutchmen. I am eternally grateful for that!

    Neither do I have any problems with the handicaps AI needs to have as long as I don't have to share in them. The scaling concept sounds interesting, though I can't visualize it. I am all for it too.

    Also, I dove like a neckless, blind goose into the C++ code and came up with something rough that seems to kill one 1/3 of the population, clear the expertise or slave state of another 1/3 and keep 1/3 at whatever state they were. Feel free to look try it, or look at CvPlayer.cpp to see how it could be done more correctly. I am willing to barter and carry some XML water to learn how to do things the right way. Sorry beforehand for any offense caused to world wide modding conventions.
     

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