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SMAN's The Ancient World at War (AWAW)

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Modpacks' started by sman1975, Nov 26, 2020.

  1. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    There will be a compatibility script for the main WAW mod. It gets a little tricky, however, due to the possibility of game-breaking tech costs when adding new technologies. The way the game engine calculates final tech costs has many things in the equation. If not careful, it's possible to cause an overflow in the variable holding the cost for a specific (late game) tech. When this happens, the game engine - instead of forcing the cost to be the highest (positive) cost that variable can hold, allows the number to overflow, meaning it becomes a negative number, which the game then interprets as 1 beaker. Meaning all of those late game, complicated techs can be researched in 1 turn. It's something I'll have to test a few games with both major mods on Marathon on Huge Maps with 22 civs, etc. Ultimately, with so many new techs in the game, I may have to lower the cost of all of them if both AWAW and WAW are enabled. Problem for another day...

    There have been several changes to that original spreadsheet as I've added the improvements into the game. But on the point of gold maintenance, the intent is to have those specific improvements to cost X gold per turn in maintenance, but there are places where you can place them that will also generate gold, thereby offsetting their cost. Sometimes, adding a road to the tile will generate enough gold to offset the maintenance. This means, with proper placement, the improvement is revenue-neutral, with improper placement, it costs you money. I actually like this criterion for all improvements, but that's a discussion for another day. And in the final version, Castrum doesn't generate any gold.

    As far as I know, the AI only uses Yields (Food, Gold, Culture, Science, Production, Faith) when determining if and what it wants to build, and doesn't consider other factors like improvement flavors or maintenance costs.
    If AI decides it's time for city X to build an improvement, then it looks at what yield it most needs. It looks around the tiles of city X, and finds the tile that can generate the most of that Yield based on all the improvements that are legal for that area. It really doesn't consider any other factor. I've seen conflicting posts about Improvement Flavors (an available, but empty database), but at best those are a "tie-breaker" if the AI decides to build an improvement, and two candidates have the same Yields. Most modded improvements I've researched don't bother to even use Improvement Flavors.

    This is the main reason some defensive structures will have a small yield, usually something like Faith. From what I've seen in the past, if a new improvement doesn't have any yields, the AI will never, ever build it. It's one of the things I'll be looking at during testing - what improvements does AI build, what does it ignore. Those improvements it ignores will need to be addressed somehow, as they represent a human player advantage. From my experience in adding improvements in the past, it's complicated to get it right: the AI either ignores the new improvement or spams it.

    It's something I'll be watching closely in test. It's possible many of these improvements could drop out, or be "magically" added to AI Civs' cities via LUA in-game.

    Yields are impossible to (directly) change in game. Those database values are loaded/cached when you press the NEXT button in the MODS menu and cannot be changed during the game. It's possible to do things in-game via LUA scripting, but not adjusting database values that the AI might understand. It would be easier (and is my fail-safe plan) to use LUA to randomly, periodically, add improvements to AI cities, so they get at least some benefits of the new improvements.

    I'll know more after a few test games. Appreciate the comments/suggestions!
     
  2. DauntlessGuy

    DauntlessGuy Chieftain

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    Thanks for the response! Sounds like it will be hard to balance carefully, spamming improvements or not placing them at all would both suck. Best of luck with it :)
     
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  3. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Post #11 has been updated with the current information about the new AWAW improvements. Screen shots included. Still testing them, but so far I think they look pretty good and will add a lot of immersive qualities to the mod.
     
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  4. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Some good news: I managed (with the inimitable @whoward69 's help) to find a way to allow some improvements to "expire," meaning no new versions of those improvements can be constructed. This prevents the odd situation where a Civ can build a Ziggurat in the Information Era - something that should never happen outside of Vegas... The downside is that AWAW will now be incompatible with any mod that replaces the Unit Panel UI, which I believe there are more than a couple of fairly popular that do. Oh well, gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet...

    I've updated the spreadsheet in Post #11 with the Obsolete Techs.

    Now, I'm wondering if there are any normal game improvements that should also expire, e.g. Feitoria? Kasbah? Moai? Anyone have any thoughts?

    OK, I'm off to a date with Wikipedia. Got about 10,000 Civilopedia entries to populate. Oh joy... :crazyeye:
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2021
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  5. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Greetings - I'm still working on the mod. All the Civilopedia entries have been made, and numerous other changes/additions made. I updated the tech tree in Post #3 - changing several tech names, since they had the same name in other areas of Civ5 (e.g. most of the changes were made because the new tech had the same name as an existing social policy). Didn't want any confusion, so I corrected the duplication.

    Also, added some new promotions in Post #8 and updated the improvements slide in Post #11.

    What I've been working on most the last day or so is adding new civilian units (3 new Military Engineers - in Ancient/Medieval/Industrial Eras, and a new Slave unit). Screen shots below:

    upload_2021-2-9_11-10-14.jpeg upload_2021-2-9_11-10-35.jpeg

    Not sure if it's apparent or not, but in the second pic above, you might be able to see the slave driver with a whip in the rear of the unit. Thought it looked cool...



    Slaves have certain characteristics. One of which is they periodically rebel, especially if your civ is unhappy. When they do, you see notifications like these:

    upload_2021-2-9_11-12-46.jpeg upload_2021-2-9_11-13-2.jpeg



    Once your civ discovers Scientific Theory, all slave units are emancipated. You'll see notifications like these:

    upload_2021-2-9_11-14-15.jpeg upload_2021-2-9_11-14-31.jpeg


    Here are the Civilopedia entries for the new civilian units:

    upload_2021-2-9_11-15-4.jpeg upload_2021-2-9_11-15-20.jpeg upload_2021-2-9_11-15-33.jpeg upload_2021-2-9_11-15-49.jpeg


    I'm currently working on the LUA script to manage Mercenary units. The script will warn a human player when the Merc is about to expire (in 5 turns), and also removes expired Merc units at the end of their contract. The contract length is based on game speed, where Marathon is 80 turns, Epic is 35, Standard is 20, and Quick is 15. It's also possible for Mercs to desert (simply disappear without warning), and even join the Barbarians...

    Will have Mercs done in a few, then I'll add back in all the Resources I took out earlier. After that, I'll add a few Resource requirements to units (mostly hardwood for big ships and siege units, perhaps a few more).

    None of that will take very long, so after that I'll relook over my notes and add anything I've missed up to now. After that, testing...

    Almost done! :thumbsup:


    EDIT for typos...
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2021
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  6. arievillo

    arievillo Chieftain

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    Amazing progress... so much details and rich ideas/descriptions. Idk but i think maybe this is become a top 5 mod:greatwork: for Civ, at least for me.

    ~all aboard the hype train~
     
  7. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Thanks, @arievillo. I've been trying quite hard to make the mod beautiful. But, primarily, I'm trying to make the mod fun. This is where I'll need help from anyone testing the mod to help me get it to that place.

    Here are some screen shots of the Mercenary management. Basically, you purchase Mercenary units in your city. There are 3 different units for each Era, mostly land units, but a couple ships as well. They have a "contract" of varying length, based on game speed. For Marathon games, it's 80 turns, 35 in Epic, 20 in Standard, and 15 in Quick. When the contract expires, the unit disappears. When you get 5 turns before the contract expires, you'll see this notification:

    upload_2021-2-9_14-36-33.jpeg upload_2021-2-9_14-36-48.jpeg


    When the contract expires, you'll see this notification:

    upload_2021-2-9_14-37-24.jpeg upload_2021-2-9_14-37-39.jpeg


    Mercs might be fairly cheap to hire, they come with baggage. Towards the end of their contracts, it's possible they will simply desert (i.e. disappear) without warning:

    upload_2021-2-9_14-40-23.jpeg


    Other times, they will desert to the Barbarians, which could make life complicated for you...

    upload_2021-2-9_14-38-47.jpeg


    Mercs are done. Am off to work on Resources now.

    Question for anyone who has an opinion: I'm thinking of adding a simple "unit naming" function, similar to the one that the main World at War mod uses. For example, if you have a Swordsman (Classical Era) unit, it might be named "XX1 Legion" - with the number increasing sequentially for each new Swordsman unit you train. Once the unit upgrades to Longswordsman, it would keep the same name, but then after the Longswordsman unit upgrade to the Musketeer, I'd need a different name to call it.

    The question revolves about what to call the basic unit types, and how far to extend it to the other, non-melee units (e.g. archers, cavalry, etc.)?

    Appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!
     
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  8. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    I updated Post #11 with a slide showing how the Trading Post improvement has been changed in the mod.
     
  9. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    OK, have reviewed all my notes, and made all changes to the mod I'd originally planned. Added the Resources back in, and rebuilt the mod. It loads successfully (meaning all of the tens of thousands of database changes have been entered correctly), and I've been able to start a practice game. Still in the early turns, but I'm quite happy with how it's performing and also how it looks. I'll test over the next day or so, then let you know when the mod will be released. Won't be long now! :)


    Edited to add some quick screen shots, to give you an idea what the mod looks like. More to follow...
     

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    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
  10. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    In testing, one annoying error I'm seeing is involved with the Strategic View. Basically, there is a limit to the number of "new things" that will need an SV icon.

    If you add any SV references above that limit, it corrupts the Strategic View, populating the entire SV map with ghost units, rending it unusable.

    On the flip-side, however, if you add Resources and omit an SV reference, the game crashes as soon as you try to enter the Strategic View (F10).

    Obviously, a corrupt SV map is preferable to a crash, but unfortunately, I don't see a way around it...

    I guess these are the kinds of issues you run into when you try to add more than a few things to the game... :undecide:


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Another thing I'm seeing in testing: the map generates a lot of extra resources. I need to start looking for ways to "consume" them. Usually for strategic resources, this is done by making them required for some unit types.

    However, there are a lot of "bonus" resources (mostly foodstuffs) that while tradeable, don't generate much interest. I'm looking for suggestions, but I'm thinking that some might be used to building prerequisites.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2021
  11. arievillo

    arievillo Chieftain

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    I read some reports on this in a mod that adds several resources to VP. It seems that there is no solution, due to a limitation of the game. Maybe if you look at the VP forum, you'll find more details, but i don't remember the mod.
     
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  12. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Thanks, @arievillo - I've researched quite a bit (between turns in my test game), but so far have found mostly reporting of the problem. Haven't seen a practicable solution offered other than "don't add too many SV's..."

    Still looking, but am starting to thing that playing on the SV map might be impossible for this mod, unless I cut out more than half the new resources. I might have to do this anyways, if the game bogs down too much in the latter Eras. I still haven't tested this yet (which needs to be on a huge map, marathon speed). Will take some time to get to that point.
     
  13. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Still testing, but am starting to look at ways to "consume" excess resources. Here are some new uses for resources for buildings:
    - Flax: Cloth Mill
    - Furniture: Inn, Manor
    - Glass: Inn, Greenhouse
    - Hardwood: Carpenter, Woodwright, Dry Dock
    - Iron: Dry Dock
    - Lead: Campus Martius, Cloaca, Sewerage, Waterworks, Artillery Foundry, Commissariat, Fletchery
    - Leather: Workhouses
    - Linen: Millnery
    - Manuscripts: Akademia, Temple Library, Treasury Archives, Royal Archives, Civil Archives, Royal Chancery
    - Paintings: Lyceum, Royal Academy
    - Pottery: Ancient Well, Cistern, Thermopolium, Tavern
    - Saltpeter: Gunpowder Mill
    - Statues: Musaeum, Salon
    - Sulfur: Tool Smithy, Vineyard, Vintner, Gunpowder Mill
    - Tin: City Gates, Storage Houses, Warehouses

    These buildings will require 1 one of the resource in order to be constructed. This will make for some interesting choices as the game progresses. I may have to write an LUA script that demolishes obsolete buildings for the AI to free up resources. Can't rely on them to manage competing priorities very well.

    Still working on the units, but so far, most of the requirements for resources will be in the "Late" versions of the units. This will make it a bit harder to upgrade if resources are scarce, so the "main" units will have to wait until the next Era's "early" units become available. However, an exception to this is that all of the ocean-going ships will require Hardwood, and the Great Frigate, Ship of the Line, First Rate SotL, and the Sloop of War may require 2 (or a combination of 1 Hardwood, 1 Iron).
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2021
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  14. arievillo

    arievillo Chieftain

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    Yeah latter eras can be a problem with many resources. But his solution to "consume them" was very good.
    Maybe some food to support the troops when they are exploring or just passing through a plantation/hacienda ... The gold/gems mines plundered by unpaid militias, jewels to bribe a CS through the spy ... Consume resources to generate some advantages. Just ideas ... I don't even know if that's possible.
     
  15. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Thanks. I've just started to think about the problem of making resources good for more than just happiness. I originally wanted to add a lot of resources to the game to give it more of an historical feeling, but to also beautify the map. But, I didn't put too much thought into actually finding a worthy use for those new resources in ways that don't create human player advantages.

    Here is a list of how many things the mod adds to the game:
    * Buildings: 126
    * Eras: 1 (The Enlightenment Era)
    * Improvements: 19, plus an enhanced Trading Post (with 3 new improvements representing TP evolution)
    * Resources: 34 map-based, and 21 building-generated
    * Technologies: 62
    * Units: 101
    * Wonders: 31, 25 World, 6 National

    The improvements, resources, and units add an entry into the ArtDefine_StrategicView (107 to be exact). If there are only about 50-70 new entries that this table can handle before the Strategic View map corrupts, then I'm afraid there's not going to be much hope the SV will ever work. Just too many things to cut. I even tried a test version this morning with half the new resources removed, and the SV map still corrupted.

    So, since I'm (by default) deciding to not care about the SV map, why not add more....? :lol:

    I'm thinking about one of the largest strategic resources of all in the mid-game: gunpowder. I purposely decided early on to leave it out, as I figured there would never be enough so the Renaissance and Enlightenment Eras would be a mess, especially for the AI.

    But, right now, here's what I'm thinking about adding in: a map-based resource (Civ6 called it Niter, I could go with that or call it Saltpeter - since that sounds much more historical). A player would need a source of Sulphur and Saltpeter to build the "Gunpowder Mill" or something to that effect. This mill would create 1 to 5 (probably 3) sources of a new Gunpowder resource. All the Renaissance and Enlightenment units that use gunpowder (but not ships that require Hardwood) would require one of this resource to be built. Getting the number of Gunpowder resources generated by the mill would be one of the more important question for testers. We don't want too much where solving the gunpowder supply problem is trivial. However, we also don't want to little, that all you're seeing in the Enlightenment Era are a bunch of Tercio units running across the map.

    So, in the initial design, Gunpowder is created by the Gunpowder Mill, which requires both Saltpeter and Sulphur to build. It creates 3 Gunpowder resources. However, if a Civ has neither of the prereq resources, it can create 1 Gunpowder if it builds the Renaissance Era Commissariat (which is turning out to be an almost OP building), or the Enlightenment Era Artillery Foundry. Both of these later buildings require Lead to build. And since prereq resources are required, it leads me to this next point...

    The big problem with adding Gunpowder as a consumable resource for so many units is that human players can properly strategize to obtain the 2 different prereq resources in a way the AI simply can't - representing a massive advantage to human players. To counter this, I'd periodically, randomly add Sulphur and Saltpeter to AI civs at the appropriate time. Maybe even a few free Gunpowder Mills as well. It's not hard to look at how much Gunpowder a human player has, how many Gunpowder units, then determine how much to add to an AI civ, especially if the human player's score his higher than the AI civ. If the AI civ has a higher score, it would get less free help.


    BTW: I wouldn't add too many units requiring Gunpowder in the Industrial Era, if any. You could safely make the assumption that by this point in history, Civs has "solved" the gunpowder supply problem. But another modder could definitely use Gunpowder in latter Eras if they wanted to. Maybe adding a fireworks factory to consume the resource and add a bunch of happiness, if not an occasional explosion in a city lowering the population a bit...
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2021
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  16. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Morning, everyone!

    Am still testing, and fixing/adding things. Have played a few standard games to about turn 200 (into the Medieval Era), but have stopped those games to make fixes/changes, then started a new game to test the changes. Kind of a common thing.

    I've updated several of the Posts on page 1, with the latest mod info: Post #4 (Wonders), #5 (Buildings), #7 (Units), and #10 (Resources). The information on P1 should represent the final design of the mod, baring any thing popping up in testing.

    I've also added the AI gunpowder management functions, which every 10 turns or so determines if the AI civ is in the bottom half of the score table, and if so, then determine if that civ has less gunpowder than the average gunpowder amount for all human civs. If they are holding less, then award a random amount from 2 to the actual delta in holdings. Also, about 25% of these 10-turn award turns, a random AI civ city will get a free Gunpowder Mill if it doesn't already have one. This should also bump up the gunpowder count. These awards should help poorly-performing AI civs by ensuring they have enough gunpowder to train many of the Renaissance Era units. Once the civ discovers Industrialization, this bonus stops. I may need to do this bonus for other resources, depending on how the AI builds units in your test games.

    Have also adjusted the AI mercenary management functions, so that AI civs will spawn more Merc units during the game. We should see a lot more Mercs in the game. Even City States and Barbs can spawn a few of these Mercs.

    Fixed the unit build actions, so that all improvements can only be built according to the slide in Post #11. About the only change you'll see in Workers is they can no longer build Forts, Feitoria, and Kasbahs. Slaves can't build these either. Only Mil Engineers can.

    Resources have been nerfed a bit in how many appear on the map. They're a bit better dispersed and you won't see massive numbers of tiles with only resources and no empty terrain. I've also added a strategic resource amount randomizer - which changes the numbers of the game's normal strategic resources (Aluminum, Coal, Horses, Iron, Oil, and Uranium) on the map. You won't always see a quantity of 7 for every Oil on land or 4 at sea. These numbers will now vary, and you'll find some interesting "clumps" of terrain that are definitely lucrative for different resources. Makes the game more challenging I think.

    I've added all the unit resource requirements, so many units that previously didn't require strategic resources now will. The mod now supports 2 units per tile, just like the main World at War mod does. Required rewriting a few UI's from the game, which honestly is a true PITA...

    Many, many others, but no time/need to document them all. Just things in the background that make the game play more intelligently/QoL features.
     
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  17. arievillo

    arievillo Chieftain

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    Hey, great progress man and nice solution for resources concerns.
    I wonder how the icons shown on the top panel (from the "Screen Grabs with Resources Shown" #10), will work at low resolution when you have many of them. Like 900w down.
     
  18. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Ancient Era is pretty well tested, moving into the Classical Era. Some screenshots:

    upload_2021-2-13_17-35-58.jpeg upload_2021-2-13_17-36-17.jpeg upload_2021-2-13_17-36-34.jpeg



    Some slave capture screenshots:

    upload_2021-2-13_17-37-7.jpeg upload_2021-2-13_17-37-21.jpeg



    Slave model at work - if you look closely enough, you can see the driver at the back cracking the whip...

    upload_2021-2-13_17-37-50.jpeg


    More testing tomorrow, if my heat is still on... :crazyeye:
     
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  19. YINGCHENG

    YINGCHENG Warlord

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    Can’t wait for its release.
     
  20. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    Thanks, @YINGCHENG. The mod is pretty stable, and IMHO it's beautiful! Unfortunately, it is not balanced very well. For example, in all 3 or my test games so far, about half of the time there was not a single Ancient Era building I could build in any of my cities. I was forced to build Settlers then delete them for cash when they finished. And this is with 25 new buildings and 6 wonders during the Ancient Era! :wallbash:

    The problem centers on not enough gold being generated, and with more than a handful of units, gold goes into minus, and science stops. If you haven't noticed, there are almost NO science bonuses in all the new buildings, improvements, etc. This is intentional, based on my expedience in the main World at War mod. It adds more than a little Science to its buildings, etc., and often during Marathon games on Huge maps, we'll hit the "tech cost overflow" bug, which means all techs in the last Era of the game (Future War) will cost -1, meaning the most complicated techs in the game will be researched in only 1 turn, no matter how much Science your Civ is generating. But, even when the cost calculation didn't overflow, Civs are generating soooooo much Science, these quite difficult techs were still only taking a couple of turns to discover - even on Marathon games! I figured that trying to lower Science impact in AWAW was a good thing, to help lower the chances it breaks late game if WAW is enabled.

    Happiness is also unbalanced at the moment. I added so many new luxuries (34 to be precise), that I had to lower Happiness for each luxury from 4 to 2. Once the game gets to rolling, say Classical Era, Happiness isn't really a problem, but early on, it's quite hard to keep it above 0 - not many of the new stuff in AWAW add Happiness. As you can see from the screenshot below, there are a lot of Resources on just about every tile, but only a few of them are Luxuries, most are Bonus (which don't add Happiness). Looks like I need to nerf them some more... You'll also notice, in a Standard game on a Small map, it took 193 turns to hit the Classical Era - almost twice the time it should. Again, the mod's not balanced...

    My current plan is to move the Research and Wealth Process (the "buildings" that convert 25% of a city's production into Science/Gold, currently available at Education and Currency) to earlier techs, such as Barter (Wealth) and Writing (Research), and/or add a new Process called, "Growth" - available at Agriculture - which convert's Production into Food. I've never added a thing like this, so hopefully I can get it working. At least, even with the early balance problem, I won't be forced to build units destined for destruction... May also lower the cost of all techs by about 33% to speed up the game a bit. I did lower the building/unit costs for all game speeds, so even if it takes time to research tech, you can still produce buildings/units more quickly. Seems appropriate for a mod called "Ancient World at War..."

    I'm adding all this detail so you can understand why I haven't released the mod yet. Currently, the Ancient Era is broken. I need to make some changes to at least let it look like it was intelligently designed. And I have no idea what other "things" are broken in the Classical and later Eras yet. I really don't mind all y'all helping me BETA test the mod - in fact, I think it's a godsend. However, I refuse to let good people be my ALPHA testers! I have a little too much pride to punish you with that! :lol:
     

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  21. sman1975

    sman1975 Emperor

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    I'm thinking about throwing a few historical religions into the mod - to better support scenarios in the future (e.g. Second Punic Wars). Am thinking about keeping it fairly simple:
    1. Dodekatheism (Traditional Greek)
    2. Numenism (Early Roman)
    3. Imperial Cult (Imperial Roman)
    4. Mysteries (Greek Mystery Cults)
    5. Mithraism (Roman Mystery Cult)
    6. Chaldaenism (Babylon)
    7. Ashurism (Assyria)
    Will probably add a few beliefs (about 20 or so) from this mod: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=243693178

    Seems like it could add quite a lot of immersion with just a few minutes of work.



    EDIT: Now, for some good news... I've completed work on the "World at War" compatibility script. Both mods load successfully and the Tech Tree/Eras tables load and look like they're supposed to. The Tech Tree is stunning, if I say so myself... :king:

    It all needs testing, of course, and who knows how these mods will play together at the end of slow games on huge maps. Still it's a start.

    I'll try to work up a consolidated picture and post it here sometime tomorrow. Sorry, but Valentine's Day is slowing me down... :lol:
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
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