Proposal: Resource Trade gated by Active Trade Routes

Tekamthi

King
Joined
Aug 12, 2016
Messages
613
Integrate caravan/cargo-ship trade routes with resource trading on the diplomacy screen.

This would be a good fit as a toggle-able option via "advanced setup" screen.

Proposed Implementation:
  • resources only appear as available for trade in diplomacy screen if an active trade route (either incoming/outgoing; every TR is 2-way for resource access purposes) exists between both civs
  • if last remaining TR between two civs is severed, any existing diplomacy screen resource deal is terminated
  • discovery of globalization overrides TR requirement, allowing diplomacy-screen trade access to all resources
  • research agreements, if enabled, are gated as per above, though can be completed even if all TRs are severed after agreement begins
Optional Implementation Features:
Spoiler :

  1. Open borders agreement & trade route enable civs to access each others trade networks (ie civ A & B have OB & TR; civ B & C have TR; civ A & C no TR: A can trade resources with C via OB & TR w/ B)
  2. Any civs w/ TR's w/ same destination city are allowed to trade resources with one another (ie city X is owned by civ A, civ B & C send TRs to City X but do not have TR's between one another, B & C can still trade resources as long as they both have TRs connecting to same city)
  3. AI adjustments for TR prioritization
  4. UI adjustments to indicate resource opportunities on TR selection screen
  5. CanTradeResourcesWith LUA hook, allowing modder to override resource trading gating mechanism with custom criteria
  6. If last remaining TR between two civs is terminated while resource deal is in place, players are offered opportunity to reassign another route to trading civ and save the deal
  7. Open Borders agreement also requires TR as prereq before being proposed in diplomacy screen

Intended effect(s):
Primary
  • improve thematic experience from inter-civ trade, linking what's seen on the map to diplomacy choices
  • add additional strategic dynamic to war in which one or both sides are being supplied with external resources
Secondary
  • add depth to prioritization of TR destinations
  • Reduce trade diplomacy spam from ai
  • Increase value of open borders (via optional features)
Identified Limitation(s) & Balance Issue(s)
Spoiler :

General ConcernSpecific Issue(s)Possible Solution(s)
WLTKD more difficult to achieve
  1. Theocratic Rule (& other?) WLTKD-reliant strategies less effective
1. See discussion re: WLTKD beginning around post 53 of this thread
Skews relative value of TRs & related features
  1. Decreases relative value of internal TR
  2. Decreases relative value of TR to CS
  3. Increases relative value of wonders, policies, etc. that buff TRs (eg. petra)
1., 2. & 3. buff/nerf yields & other bonuses of affected features and/or their competing choices via modmod
Increased difficulty obtaining strategic resources
  1. UU's requiring strategic resource may be less-available or altogether unavailable in some instances; early UU's particularly affected
1. See "optional implementation features" 1. & 2., above.
current AI not optimized for proposed change
  1. adds complexity to decisions about prioritization of TR destinations
  2. existing tendency for hostility towards proximate neighbors may unintentionally limit access to desirable resources
1. See "optional implementation features" 3., above.
increased importance of defending too-vulnerable TRs
  1. TR in early game often impossible to defend
  2. TR throughout game too difficult to defend
1. & 2. See thread re: improving TR defensibility
Decreased incentive to explore
  1. Why seek out distant civs outside the range of TRs if trading resources is impossible?

Suggested Alternative(s):
Spoiler :

DescriptionProsCons
1. Resource trade gated by potential for trade route to trade partner (can trade resources with all civs to which a TR could be established). Possible additional criteria on whether route is available without passing through unfriendly territory.
  • achieves primary objective of linking resource trade to the map
  • simpler functionality, easier for AI to use optimally
  • does not achieve primary objective of enabling player to affect opponent's resource imports in war, nor most secondary objectives
  • code to check potential trade routes may be more complex than mostly binary checks on existing trade routes or OB agreements required in proposal
2. Diplomacy resource trade deal spawns a no-yield water/land hybrid caravan unit moving between the trade partners' capitals; pillaging this pseudo-TR breaks the diplomacy trade deal and imposes x turn cooldown on new resource deal between former trade partners
  • achieves primary objectives of linking resource trade to the map & enables resource imports to be affected via war
  • simpler functionality, easier for AI to use optimally
  • adds more TRs to defend, an already-impossible task
  • does not achieve secondary objectives
  • muted thematic effects relative to proposal
  • is a no-yield TR, separate from standard TRs achievable in current dll etc?
3. Implement features as-proposed, but for human players only (ie AI can still trade resources unrestricted, human must have TR to trade partner)
  • achieves one-directional version of several proposal objectives
  • simpler functionality, easier for AI to use optimally
  • human-only features generally not within spirit of VP, and not well-liked by community
4. Implement features as-proposed, but only affecting strategic resources, and not luxuries (or vice versa)
  • simpler functionality, easier for AI to use optimally
  • muted thematic effects relative to proposal

Github feature request link: https://github.com/LoneGazebo/Community-Patch-DLL/issues/8993

Spoiler Old, pre-congress OP content :
Has vp ever explored creating a link between trade routes and the trade available via diplomacy screen?

Returning to the game after several years spent on other hobbies, it strikes me that these should be connected somehow.

ie strategic and/or luxury resources should only be tradeable with civs with whom active trade route exists. Having them linked may add some strategic depth to vp's wars and geopolitics. In my current game I just worked out a trade deal satisfying my capital's demanded resource for furs with land locked civ on another continent. Meanwhile my caravans can barely make it 10 tiles from their starting point without being captured by one belligerent force or another...

Does anyone know off hand if there are Lua hooks to mod available trading resources in diplo screen?
 
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CppMaster

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Cool idea! In Humankind, trade routes are only made when you are actually trading sth and the trade route is connected to that resource on the map.
 

Tekamthi

King
Joined
Aug 12, 2016
Messages
613
Cool idea! In Humankind, trade routes are only made when you are actually trading sth and the trade route is connected to that resource on the map.

Haven't played that one yet, but i am certain that I've played some other 4x that requires some kind of trade route on the map to exchange resources, just can't recall which one. It almost seems like civ 5's trade routes were intended to be more integrated in this sense, but devs did not complete the implementation for whatever reason.

In a civ5/vp context, in addition to idea I outlined in OP, an ideal implementation might also include a diplomatic option for "free trade agreement", allowing two civs connected by trade route(s) to agree to use each other's trade route networks to access resources in other civs, not reachable via their own routes.

As secondary benefit to having tradeable resources limited to trade routes, there'd likely be less trade proposal spam from AI, which can be a bit of a nuisance in larger games

Anyway, I'll take a look at what might be do-able in a lua mod for this at some point, just not sure if tradeable items in diplo screen can be affected the way i hope
 

Delvemor

Warlord
Joined
Feb 8, 2020
Messages
163
I like it both in terms of realism and gameplay. I almost always found a religion with Theocratic Rule which relies on WLTKD triggered by luxuries. In the current meta, maintaining WLTKD might be too easy, although I don't know if it is a problem or not. So that change would nerf Theocratic Rule a bit but could make generating Great Merchants a much bigger priority.
 

Recursive

Already Looping
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Messages
3,126
Has vp ever explored creating a link between trade routes and the trade available via diplomacy screen?

Returning to the game after several years spent on other hobbies, it strikes me that these should be connected somehow.

ie strategic and/or luxury resources should only be tradeable with civs with whom active trade route exists. Having them linked may add some strategic depth to vp's wars and geopolitics. In my current game I just worked out a trade deal satisfying my capital's demanded resource for furs with land locked civ on another continent. Meanwhile my caravans can barely make it 10 tiles from their starting point without being captured by one belligerent force or another...

Does anyone know off hand if there are Lua hooks to mod available trading resources in diplo screen?

This is an interesting idea. Would not be hard to implement.
 

pineappledan

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usadefcon1

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I love this idea, one thing to consider though is that it would be a big nerf to Internal Trade Routes.
 

Tekamthi

King
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Agreed, it might have some subtle (or not so subtle) balance implications. Off the top, WLKD would be more difficult to achieve, UUs requiring strategics might be more rare, especially in early game. AI would need to adjust how to it prioritizes TR destinations.

Anyway appeciate the feedback; after taking a preliminary look, unfortunately the lua hooks listed at https://civ-5-cbp.fandom.com/wiki/Modder's_Tools don't seem to include any way to get at this stuff via lua modding.
 

nekokon

Warlord
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Aug 9, 2017
Messages
149
I think if you directly affect the option to make trade deal then there would be a lot of AI works that has to be done behind the scene to make sure AI won't cripple themselves being hostile with its neighbor (which happens a lot, plus saving/picking trade route to use (because trade routes are limited).

Another way to implement this would be to create a non-profit trade route to the civ whom you made the trade deal with, which only symbolize the trade being done and doesn't actually benefits from normal trade route perks. This is so that the AI can be mindful of it going through hostile territory (and risk getting pillaged), thus having the same implication of what you're trying to do without the need to change a lot of AI current behavior.
 

Zanteogo

King
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Nov 13, 2015
Messages
936
Integrate caravan/cargo-ship trade routes with resource trading on the diplomacy screen.

This would be a good fit as a toggle-able option via "advanced setup" screen.
I REALLY like this idea. It would add a level of realism and strategy to trading and trade routes. I agree it should probably be an advanced option because it's a massive change to how the game currently works.
 

nekokon

Warlord
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Aug 9, 2017
Messages
149
Another idea would be that you cannot trade resources until a trade route is possible between the Civs.
This won't do much, as late game trade route range is enough to cover the whole map. The point to this proposal is to limit them to friendly zone not being cut off from hostile zone in between.
 

Tekamthi

King
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613
Some good feedback, thanks. I'll summarize the important points raised in the top post shortly, but just a few comments here while they're top of mind.

There will be some AI concerns, however, these lie more with them optimizing their use of this feature, and probably not so much with things they altogether can't use. AI knows how to make trade routes, diplomacy deals, look for resources it needs, attack trade routes, etc. Here we're just tying these existing things together. Adjusting difficult upwards and/or adding more civs to compete against may suffice to offset any advantage conferred to human via this feature.

One of the biggest drawbacks I see, is the vulnerability of trade routes, and the increased importance of protecting them this proposal implies. There are player-available choices to manage this, such as choice of safer routes over others, doubling up trade routes to resource trade partners etc., but it's still probably too difficult to defend tr's effectively. This issue is out of scope here, though, and best dealt with through another proposal.

Another way to implement this would be to create a non-profit trade route to the civ whom you made the trade deal with, which only symbolize the trade being done and doesn't actually benefits from normal trade route perks. This is so that the AI can be mindful of it going through hostile territory (and risk getting pillaged), thus having the same implication of what you're trying to do without the need to change a lot of AI current behavior.

On one hand I like this as a simplified version of the proposal that achieves one of its primary objectives: tying resource trade to the map. It would also require little if any AI adaptation. The drawback, and deal breaker possibly, is what would prevent trade partners from just recreating the deal next turn? Proposal would require new trade unit built, competing with military production, and thus a strategic consideration, but here it would be reduced to an annoyance, requiring just another diplomacy screen interaction to work around any disruption to the route. Maybe a cooldown on a new deal between the disrupted trade partners? Could work. Not as much thematic depth to this option as proposal imo but still a step towards good gameplay.
 

nekokon

Warlord
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Aug 9, 2017
Messages
149
It is indeed an inferior option meant to be a lighter alternative in case the AI rework for the proposal turns out to be too much (have to mix AI resource consideration with trade route consideration with OB and hostile in-between, aka a lot of aspects, together to make it work smoothly). If any dev can take care of this then there's no need for a worse alternative.
 

Zanteogo

King
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Nov 13, 2015
Messages
936
As an option, I'm for it. If its hard coded into it....no thank you:)

This brings in a question that @Recursive can maybe answer.

The VP congress / proposal system was made to allow the community to come up with changes and let the community vote on them.

However, when a change will only affect people if they opt into it, either by the advanced menu or my changing a value in a file, what is the point of voting on it? At this point it only changes things for people who want the change in the first place.

If a team member is willing to make the change, can't they just skip the voting phase and say, "I'm doing it anyways"?
 

Stalker0

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Dec 31, 2005
Messages
8,802
This brings in a question that @Recursive can maybe answer.

The VP congress / proposal system was made to allow the community to come up with changes and let the community vote on them.

However, when a change will only affect people if they opt into it, either by the advanced menu or my changing a value in a file, what is the point of voting on it? At this point it only changes things for people who want the change in the first place.

If a team member is willing to make the change, can't they just skip the voting phase and say, "I'm doing it anyways"?
I could see a softer voting requirement, but I do think you still want some level of approval. I mean if just 1 person wants something, that's a lot of coder time (and permanent maintenance) for something that is a bare fraction of the community.
 

Tekamthi

King
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I could see a softer voting requirement, but I do think you still want some level of approval. I mean if just 1 person wants something, that's a lot of coder time (and permanent maintenance) for something that is a bare fraction of the community.
I intend to use the proposed change without additional AI optimization -- 43 civs game should allow a good number of AI civs to stumble their way to near-optimal resource access, even if left unaware of the new TR gating mechanism. In this regard, this current proposal, if implemented as an advanced setup option, should be able to co-exist with the existing VP outside of this setup option.

If the AI or other aspects of the code base had to be forked to implement a proposal as a setup option rather than for the entire main branch, I'd suggest the VP congress consider it as main branch change only. That said, we already have core VP features implemented as advanced setup options -- allowing proposals to be implemented this way shouldn't be off-limits necessarily imo.

edit to top post: updated to summarize key discussion so far (no change to proposal)
 
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