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Realism Invictus

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Modpacks' started by Walter Hawkwood, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Walter Hawkwood

    Walter Hawkwood RI Court Painter

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    All right guys, last revisions pushed some fairly big changes that we need feedback on.

    1) We changed unit role calculation (to what was intended from the start); now when a unit has several roles, their effect is not additive, but averaged. In effect, when a unit has several roles, you will now see much less cost increment. This is especially true for gunpowder regular infantry and later tanks, since they have 3 roles. Also, now you can actually see unit roles and associated increments!

    2) A very experimental change that, after some playtesting, I like a lot so far. Every city a civ has raises its research costs. Currently the increase is set at 10%. It is designed for (and is actually quite good at) combating a major design flaw in how research is handled in Civ 4, that is, a smaller civ generally can't keep up in research with a bigger one - therefore, staying small intentionally is very rarely a viable strategy. This has a rather major impact on preventing "runaway civ" syndrome and generally makes the game more dynamic - if a civ gets too much ahead in the number of cities, expect it to lag behind in tech somewhat. Particular numbers, of course, require more testing.

    Thank you very much for that input! There are still some wrinkles to figure out with the inner workings of renaming, so for now I don't add any new lists - but as soon as those are fixed, yours are going right in!

    And yeah, I think city names are handled by Civ 4 engine in a different way from all other text. I usually try to avoid special symbols in city names, therefore, as one can't predict how they work out exactly.

    Yeah, that definitely has to do with Gandhi. I once made an experiment on AI behavior and made a world populated by 12 Gandhis. There were no wars. At all.

    I hesitate to remove him from the scenario, though, because Gandhi is such an iconic part of Civ gaming experience...

    They are not in the game because the were (don't laugh) also not present IRL. In case of both tanks you mention, there was never a single unit of those fielded in history - if we realistically consider a Civ 4 unit to be a division. More generally speaking, there was never a heavy tank division ever fielded by any country in history. Therefore, there is no "heavy tank" unit in RI.

    I think that's actually the main reason why Civ 4 (and many other games in general) has difficulty levels. Because people want to go to different lengths to play the game: more or less effort, more or less micromanagement etc... And instead of forcing them all along the same path, we give them the choice of difficulty level.

    I don't think anyone obsessively micromanaging or even using exploits should feel guilty about it - they play for fun, and that is their definition of fun - but these people can just choose harsher penalties to play against. Likewise, those who want to play more casually can lower their difficulty level. For instance, I, as the developer of the mod, know more or less its every nook and cranny, and if I wanted, I could squeeze so much from micromanaging my every move - but I choose not to, instead adopting a more laissez-faire approach to playing.

    Anyway, the point of that rant is that we try to accommodate to various kinds of players, and therefore even if I personally would never use an exploit like this with full knowledge that it exists, I can see that it upsets others, and we will probably do something to close it.

    A simple balancing reason - if we allow it for ALL crops that people historically distilled alcohol from, every civ will likely drown in it. But the renewed discussion you had here gave me another idea - perhaps we can provide civilizations with the ability to distill from the crop they used most historically, instead of just wheat. Let Russians still have vodka, but let Japanese get their sake from rice, and Vikings their brännvin from potatoes. How does that sound (every civ would still retain the ability to distill high-sugar substrates: grapes and sugar cane)?

    One thing that makes me feel that current implementation of Great Works is about right is the fact that there is so much discussion and so little consensus about it. That, to me, is usually a good sign. Anyway, we have some stuff planned for them, but I must say that I don't like obsolescence for GW. To me, Great Works of Science are about slowly building up your scientific legacy, and thus should be the building bricks that you retain indefinitely, rather than interchangeable parts to be discarded.
     
  2. Pepo

    Pepo Prince

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    I don't think that cities should raise tech cost. It is a very bad idea as it isn't historical nor intuitive. The USSR and the US both were on the top of technological world during the cold war and both had big sprawling empires (and in the case of the USSR, with a very low density). An increase due population would make more sens
     
  3. Walter Hawkwood

    Walter Hawkwood RI Court Painter

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    It is both historical and intuitive. In Civ 4 Switzerland or Belgium would still be in medieval era compared to USA, while IRL they, and many other smaller countries, keep up nicely with progress. What isn't historical or intuitive is the basic concept within Civ 4 that techs cost a fixed amount, yet research is produced by population - hence if you have more population you always research better. If real life functioned the same, we'd see India as the world's scientific leader, along with China and Indonesia, followed closely by Pakistan and Nigeria.

    Research costs should definitely scale with civ size, because non-scaling tech costs are both unrealistic and bad for gameplay - the question is only how. The exact numbers and even mechanics aren't settled yet; for instance, we will most likely tie the exact tech cost increase number to world size. It makes sense to have one city be more costly on a tiny map than a giant one.
     
  4. cfeyyaz

    cfeyyaz Chieftain

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    I'll test it, but I'm a bit sceptical about it.

    First of all, I want to say that I like your philosophy: Staying small should also be a viable option. What you have implemented also makes sense to me: The larger the civ has expanded, the more difficult it becomes to coordinate the scientists in the whole empire. Therefore your overall :science: output should be less than the sum of :science: outputs in all of your cities.

    But in my games, the largest civilization is always the one who is the most advanced. Most of the time it is the 3rd large or so. Especially if they have the Great Lighthouse or so. Still, I think it is ok to punish a civilization that has expanded so excessively.

    Maybe you could support this new feature with the destabilizing effect of revolutions, or a civic like Bureaucracy in vanilla Civ, which gave +50% :commerce: and :hammers: in the capital city. Or maybe, optimizing the upkeep system should be the way to go.


    I also like your argument that you should build up a scientific culture slowly throughout history. But I still don't like that the science bonus of a classical scientific work is too weak when it is built, but get stronger as the game proceeds. +15% :science: only means 1 or 2 extra :science: in the beginning. Maybe it is sensible to give a bonus like +3 :science: for early works, which is strong at the time, but becomes insignificant as your empire gets bigger. Of course, that would also require some testing.
     
  5. Walter Hawkwood

    Walter Hawkwood RI Court Painter

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    I don't really consider it as "punishment for expansion", merely an adjustment of cost to a more adequate level. I feel that equally developed civs of, say, 3 and 15 cities should progress roughly at the same rate. Being large carries a lot of other positive effects, including the ability to tap more resources and therefore grow your cities more, and also more "strategic depths" where you have more territories enemies and barbarians won't ever reach.

    In practice, what I've seen so far is that big civs don't lag behind in research, but rather some smaller countries may take lead. It definitely doesn't automatically make smaller countries better at research (again, too many other factors in favor of bigger ones).

    Yes, I see your point. We're still discussing the effects internally. But a fixed payout vs a percentage is already a decision you're making when you choose between a GW or settling a GS in a city. Won't turning early GW into fixed payout just make them weaker versions of settled specialist?
     
  6. cfeyyaz

    cfeyyaz Chieftain

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    Yes, actually you are right. But I think settling a specialist should be the last resort anyways. The great works should be there to be grabbed! Also, wouldn't it be -for instance- more exciting that if you have a great merchant to travel across the whole world and establish a trade route with a large city instead of just settling the merchant in your capital? But the long term benefits of settling the specialist is currently better than other options most of the time. Therefore I suggested earlier to make the great specialists weaker.
     
  7. Walter Hawkwood

    Walter Hawkwood RI Court Painter

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    I was thinking of a system that's based on diminishing returns - this way, GWs start out stronger than they are now, but each new one added to the same city has a reduced effect. This way not only do you want to grab at least some, but at some point instead of hoarding them all into one city, you want to disperse them to other cities as well.
     
  8. Civilai Khan

    Civilai Khan Chieftain

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    I understand Heavy Tanks will not be in RI, but German and Russian tanks should be stronger than any other countries. (In RI Germany tanks little stronger than that of other countries.)
    And I think Pz.5=panther is not Heavy tank, but I think you don't think so.
    So, I think these tanks should start with Ambush, these countries tanks are good at fighting against enemy tanks.

    Idea about alcohol is so good, and I am looking forward to next RI.

    Thank you for your reply!
     
  9. [Y]

    [Y] Warlord

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    For what it's worth, I also think the implementation could be better.

    It makes sense to me that scientific GW become obsolete with time; they are only an advantage until the rest of the world catches up and/or they become commonplace.

    What I would consider a good compromise is switching go the large-but-short-term strategy, but once a GW goes obsolete, it contributes +1 point to Great Scientist production. In this way, flavor-wise, they only provide a short term benefit, but even after that's gone the legacy of the work inspires others to continue the tradition. This also means more great scientists, which means better chance at getting Great Works in the future. Which makes sense to me: Being a scientific leader means always chasing the next discovery, not dwelling on past accomplishments.
     
  10. cfeyyaz

    cfeyyaz Chieftain

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    What is the justification for this? I wouldn't compromise on realism just to make sure that people play the game in a way you desire, i.e. in this case distributing specialists among your cities.

    For the same reason, I am not a fan of increased unit cost per unit on field thing. It feels like an artificial way to encourage people to use combined arms, although using combined arms itself should be rewarding enough. (But it is a fine feature nonetheless)
     
  11. PatriceLumumba

    PatriceLumumba Chieftain

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    No offense but on this second point, the concept that unit costs increase as more are built is actually a brilliant way of simulating the fact that for all of history, fielding massive armies has been very costly. Now it costs your production.

    The absurd and inaccurate normal Civ style of hordes of swordsmen/whatever is bad for both gameplay and historicity. As it allows factions to make and keep ahistorically large armies, harms any attempt at strategic balance among units and makes wars basically unfun. I think this solution by RI is both brilliant and to my understanding accurate.

    Basically the increasing cost per type of unit simulates the difficulty of raising large forces from within the same resource base of an empire (for example the nobility). Smaller less trained units have much lower cost increases reflecting the historical situation and also allowing both the player and the ai to build more historically accurate and gameplay positive armies.
     
  12. Pepo

    Pepo Prince

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    It's due to trade with other nations (something that can't be represented well enough) and due to a highly educated population. That's why I'm suggesting instead to be based on population. But I don't think that increasing tech cost for each new city is the way to go. That's what happens in Civ V: it destroys balance by hurting research too much once you have more than 4-5 cities.
     
  13. Routalempi

    Routalempi Chieftain

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    Certainly a welcome change. Costs were getting completely ridiculous for modern units with two or more roles.

    This is a really fundamental change of game mechanics, curious to see how it plays out. I see what you're trying to achieve and agree with your points, but the actual numbers indeed need to be carefully balanced. Nobody wants to see this mod turn into Civ5, where expansion is punished too severely.

    Anyways, I really like that you guys made a game option for both of these features. :goodjob:
     
  14. Shoobs

    Shoobs Prince

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    You said all civilizations have their time and their place...what about the mesoamerican civilizations?

    They all seem to be fairly weak compared to the primary European and Asian civilizations, even in their supposed 'era of choice' which is Ancient / Classical.
     
  15. Shuikkanen

    Shuikkanen Warlord

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    I keep getting error messages like blah blah error with cityAcquired event handler. BugEventmanager.BugEventmanager instance at 0x049D4C88, whenever I hear of a city changing ownership.

    Also, the button for mechanical mining is a purple square.

    And something completely unrelated: How about making silver boost the production of solar plants?

    @Shoobs: ... Have you played with Maya? Hornet throwers are in my opinion, hands-down the best national unit in the game.
     
  16. Shoobs

    Shoobs Prince

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    I'm currently using Inca. Their distinctive units barely seem to have any advantages and even some major negatives. I am fairly certain 'Hornet Throwers' are an ancient or classical unit, though...which is where I'm coming from. Those eras tend to end fairly fast with little bloodshed due to an inability to handle too many cities.
     
  17. cfeyyaz

    cfeyyaz Chieftain

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    Yes, you have some good point, and I agree with your reasoning. Those are more or less the reasons why I didn't protest the cost increase system so far :) (As I've said: It is fine, but I am not a fan of it.")

    However, I don't like the fact that the game forces you to build 5 swordsmen and 5 horsemen and you can't efficiently build 10 swordsmen or 10 horsemen. So, I forces you to use combined arms and doesn't even allow you to make bad decisions. :)

    @Shoobs: You didn't like the Chasquis Scouts? I think they are great! :)
     
  18. Shoobs

    Shoobs Prince

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    It isn't that, it's that they're a small number and that they are recon units. Very specialized, very specific to a certain era, only buildable in the capital and little later use. Unless I'm missing something.

    Whats shocking isn't so much the civilization I'm playing right now ... its how overly developed the Barbarians are. They've actually got a holy city ... THAT WAS NOT a holy city prior. They researched Calendar BEFORE everyone else did. They have cataphracts ( noble raiders ). I dread to know what they can achieve this game... *sometimelater* Oh look! Local Levies! I just researched that.....

    Also didn't we used to have a border patrol function and a "hunt enemy units" function?
     
  19. Routalempi

    Routalempi Chieftain

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    I've also noticed some weird stuff going on with the barbarians lately. At my last game I conquered two barb cities, and they had -3 or -2 happiness for "we yearn to join our motherland" for hundreds of turns. Barbarians were the only ones that had culture in those cities when I got them. My culture% was going up really slowly regardless of what I tried and strangely enough the unhappiness penalty was changing every turn between 2 and 3, and sometimes when it seemed that the city had extra happiness, it actually went unhappy when I let it grow. Am I missing something? :confused:

    There seemed to be also a bug with tile yield icons, they sometimes showed numbers different from the tooltip.

    This was on the SVN 5009, not sure if things have been fixed in the newer revisions.

    One other thing, that I've actually seen happen for quite a long time, is that the AI seems to really like sacrificing their population while running slavery. While I was testing those other bugs with AIAutoPlay, I noticed that the AI quickly dropped my city populations by a third, which isn't really a good strategy at all.

    E: Barbarians are not building workers like they used to do before, is this intended?
     
  20. cfeyyaz

    cfeyyaz Chieftain

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    I have tested this once: I had also not been happy AI sacrificing its population, so I disabled population sacrifice. I was pleased with the results since AI cities were growing big and prosperous. Anyways, I changed it back at some point and I realized that AI wasn't doing that bad at all. In fact, as far as I believe, AI tends to sacrifice population in cities which are under pressure in order to strengthen its defenses, i.e. building new units. But I don't know much about how often AI sacrifices population in other occasions.
     

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