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Social Engineering - Culture and Virtue Revamp

Discussion in 'CivBE - Released Mods' started by lilgamefreek, May 30, 2015.

  1. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    You bring up good points and I'll revisit the aversions and preferences of several of the sponsors at a later time. Pretty tired at the moment and just wanted to get an all right fleshing out of things released. You can tell my mind is kinda mushy atm due to missing Pirates favoring wealth. That's just embarassing.
     
  2. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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  3. MasterEcabob

    MasterEcabob Chieftain

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    Noticed something that might be a bug, although I kind of like it as is. I took the Security State virtue from Police State and not only did I get a % science and production bonus in my Capital, but also in the capitals that I had conquered! Just thought I'd let you know. Actually scratch that. I checked, and it turns out this is a bonus for all cities, whoops! That will teach me to read the tooltips more carefully next time.

    I'm also starting to notice that this mod actually makes Franco-Iberia a bit of a powerhouse. In the main game, those extra virtues are never really enough to be a big deal, especially sense it doesn't count the various free virtues you get from synergies. Here, every extra virtue you get can go a long way. Granted, I am playing with the Awesome Sponsors mod, which boosts the bonus to every seven virtues, but they have on the order of 19 virtues already while everyone else has around 14. I was shaking my head wondering why they were doing so well this game, and that pretty much spelled it out for me-they already have most of their virtue trees filled out! Just a neat side effect of your mod.
     
  4. gunnergoz

    gunnergoz Cat Herder

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    This is a SUPER mod and kudos to you, lilgamefreek for a great job. The game plays and feels like it was intended to be this way. I'm really happy with it.
     
  5. Inei

    Inei Chieftain

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    Sorry, I am being somewhat curious, if you managed to fix that bug with city strike range with your mod? Cause in vanilla, if you change city strike range, will it be either with Mass Driver wonder, or you'll add some customization to buildings - it only good for increasing range for AI, as they have no problems with that, while player's city strike button just not appears until at least one enemy will get to the city strike range stated in "GlobalDefines.xml" even though it will be able to shoot at targets that farther than that default range after the button will appear.
     
  6. MasterEcabob

    MasterEcabob Chieftain

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    So I've been brainstorming policy options again, particularly the Dominance/Progress/Wealth trio.

    I really like the way you set up Progress, as I've mentioned before. The bonuses feel worth taking and the shortcoming, whether you or the AI take it, has a big effect on gameplay. It also is a great foil to Fundamentalism, with both having some nice culture bonuses. In my most recent game, I was easily able to convince Lord's Believers to declare war on the University, which feels very satisfying. It was also great to see Miriam ranking low on the literacy and total techs, despite her tendency to settle cities like mad.

    On to Dominance. Given the various worker speed bonuses one can get from quests and techs, their penalty doesn't seem like much of a big deal. An interesting way to "punish" Dominance players would be to give them a growth or food penalty when not building military units.

    This plays to the inherent Social Darwinism of a system based upon the rule of the strong as opposed to the wise or the wealthy. I envision children being raised from a young age to become soldiers, while those who are not fit for military duty are removed from the society, ergo taking longer to increase population when not focusing on training units. Of course, this would require quite a bit of coding to bring into function, so I understand if you prefer to keep the shortcoming you have as is.

    I'll leave you with an easier to code idea. Wealth's shortcoming should check when other players complete a Wonder, but rather than giving a bonus like the Cooperation virtue, it should give some negative modifier instead. Societies based solely around material goods and possessions pride themselves on their expensive Wonders, and learning than someone else built this great thing and that now you can't have one would drive them nuts.
     
  7. HorseshoeHermit

    HorseshoeHermit 20% accurate as usual, Morty

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    Part of the genius of Smac's power value was the industry penalty. Power made soldiers stronger and it was easier to have them, but still a little tough to produce them - so you were encouraged to maintain a standing army, not merely be industrial enough to field one on a whim.

    Dominance is a different concept, but then it may run very close to the diplomatic branches.
     
  8. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    Oh yes, having no aversions was very intentional and I like that part about them in Alpha Centauri. The extra flexibility was a small bonus I always thought was neat.

    Do you mean the Police State Opener (It's a little confusing since it lacks a production bonus, but it is restricted to the capital). Security Program gives a science bonus per pop in your capital, and if it extends to captured capitals as well, than that's just a consequence of the game engine I'm afraid. I can test it out and reword it appropriately. If you mean Surveillance State, it is intended to give bonus production and science in all your cities for each unassigned spy.

    I failed to playtest as Elodie strangely enough, and it does sound like she would be very powerful, probably because of how much easier it is to reach the third level virtues. It takes far fewer virtues to reach the ones that can seriously impact the game due to the shorter nature of the trees, so 1-2 free virtues can go a long way I imagine.

    I have not fixed the bug with this game. I suppose I can look into fixing it myself if it's possible. It sounds like a potential lua bug that was left uncaught, but it's hard to tell.

    Thanks for the input on these. I'm glad you like how Progress and Fundamentalism turned out. I didn't try too hard to develop them as responses to each other thematically, but it's cool to hear your interpretations with that regard nonetheless. It's a big part of why I like video games as a medium.

    I'll look into making Dominance's shortcomings more punishing. I was at a loss for a while coming up with a shortcoming that showcases the tree properly but at the same time doesn't debilitate the Spartan faction to the point they are unwilling to take the tree. I felt worker speed was a good one (though a max -15% is probably too little), but it kind of conflicts with Cha Dawn's weakness as well, making it not as ideal.

    While I'm looking into better distinguishing Wealth and Free Market, I'm relatively happy with both their shortcomings at the moment. I need to put more development time into better differentiating their bonuses instead.
     
  9. MasterEcabob

    MasterEcabob Chieftain

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    Played another game, this time as Peacekeepers focusing on Cooperation. Early to mid game, I was friends with most of the AI, and figured I was strong enough to take out my closest neighbor, the Gaians. Imagine my surprise when she started sinking my boats and embarked troops from 3 tiles away and then just straight tanking my attacks with her city defense. Obviously, I realized too late that she had invested pretty heavily in the Defensive tree.

    I eventually took the city, with a little help from the Cult of Planet, but this playthrough really gave me an appreciation of how you balanced the Diplomacy based virtue trees. On previous domination runs, I took Aggression and didn't really run into any difficulties taking cities from Cooperation or Defensive players. But that's what its designed to do! Cooperative really struggles with conquering Defensive, yet Cooperation is the best tree to take if you are at peace. It basically becomes a rock-paper-scissors type scenario, where Aggressive beats Defensive, but "looses" to Cooperative which in turn "looses" to Defensive.

    Now if only there was a way to know what tree an AI took before invading...
     
  10. HorseshoeHermit

    HorseshoeHermit 20% accurate as usual, Morty

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    Intransitive mechanics don't work without hidden information. It's amazing they work without real-time gameplay.
    I wish there was a way to get dossiers on all the other virtue trees, just depth of investment like the Civ V feedback, but definitely not the diplomacy tracks.
     
  11. MasterEcabob

    MasterEcabob Chieftain

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    So with the new sponsors out I've been brainstorming what their preferences/aversions would be.

    Arsha Kish seems like she'd prefer fundamentalism, and be averse to wealth, as they have a very unique cultural identity and dislike the decadence of the "sleepers"

    Lena would prefer Green, and be averse to Police States, as her background mentions her group is a bunch of environmentalists, and is not a fan of the more restrictive Franco-Iberians.

    Hughes I think fits as a Pluralist, and maybe averse to Dominance? Not so sure on him, but he seems to be a man of the people type, so that could work.

    As for Space Korea, they are obviously Police State, with an aversion to Defensive, since he seems to be a dick all around ingame.
     
  12. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    I quietly updated the mod for RT a few days ago, but have finally gotten around to re-releasing the vanilla version on steam as well as updating the civfanatics cownload with both RT and Vanilla versions. Changes for RT include Aversions and Preferences affecting Respect levels, the ability to see other faction's choices through the diplomacy screen, and changes+rebalances to many of the virtues.

    All changes can be seen in the imgur album of the OP.
     
  13. SwordOfJustice

    SwordOfJustice Chieftain

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    This is a fantastic mod. I like it much better than the default virtue system.
     
  14. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    Small update to v5.

    - Fixed Green tree shortcoming to be enabled.
    - Leaders now check for preferences/aversions upon first meeting.
    - Added leader preference/aversions to virtue category tooltip.
     
  15. NPcomplete

    NPcomplete Chieftain

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    I love your mod, great job! :)

    For my own consumption, I'd like to introduce a small change. When you switch from a social engineering choice to another one in the same category (e.g. from Free Market to Planned), I'd like to make the player immediately gain a number of free virtues equal to the number of virtues it had in the old choice. For instance, if I already have 5 virtues in the Free Market tree and I switch to Planned, then I'd lose all my five Free Market's virtues, but I'd be granted 5 free virtues to immediately be assigned to the Planned tree.

    This way, players would cheaply switch between social engineering choices from time to time depending on the necessities of the current historical situation, as the degree of development of the new choice would match the degree of the old one. Also, you could change the civs you are friends with just by switching from a choice to another. The only real cost would be the number of turns in martial law or anarchy... exactly as it happened in older Civ games! :) (well, in SMAC you paid some credits instead. I prefer anarchy turns.)

    All in all, I think BE would be more interesting if you feel that revolutions are necessary from time to time, depending on the situation. It'd add a more interesting historic flavour. Unfortunately, currently there is no incentive to switch choices from time to time: facing a completely empty tree in the new choice is too inconvenient. In fact, some days ago I created a Civ 5 mod to let player cheaply switch their ideology in BNW (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=562859), and I'd like to implement something similar here too, based on your mod.

    I think the key for making the change I'm proposing is function ClearDisabledVirtueCategories in your SocEng_ClearDisabledBranches.lua file. There you count the number of virtues of the old social engineering category to be disabled. How could I immediately trigger there an event granting the player with a number of free virtues? This way, a free virtues notification would be triggered, and then the player could press at it and assign the free virtues to the new choice.
     
  16. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    My original intention was to have switching refund a smaller amount of tenets, similar to civ5. This is honestly still ideal. The problem is slightly multifaceted

    1.) Removing virtues completely results in some sort of double penalty. I currently I disable and reenable trees to achieve the desired effect, the player never actually loses the virtues they select. This is piggybacking off old code from Civ5's old culture system, where the same logic was used to make piety and rationalism mutually exclusive. Removing the policies completely after the tree gets disabled causes a double penalty in some virtues, causing players to not just lose their virtue bonus, but go another step in the other direction.

    2.) The virtues do not use the same system as the ideology tenets of BNW, so I can't restrict the new virtues to the newly selected tree, at least not easily. It would complicate the Lua code to restrict the new virtues to the new tree.

    I might revisit the system and go through the efforts to code around these two issues. I haven't had much luck, sadly, with finding the free time and energy to continue modding. You have my permission to tinker and release anything you like based off my work if you would like to try. Those are the two main obstacles I had when I originally tried to implement the system you're describing.
     
  17. NPcomplete

    NPcomplete Chieftain

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    So, I see three choices for making the mod's change.

    1.- Forcing new free virtues to be assigned to another social choice in the SAME category requires a lot of work with lua files.

    2.- If new free virtues can be assigned to choices in ANY category AND virtues in the abandoned category are not lost but just disabled, then players could use the following exploit. Let's suppose you have 5 Planned virtues. You switch from Planned to Free Market to disable Planned and get 5 free virtues, next you assign them to Pluralism, and next you readopt Planned to reenable your old 5 virtues. Now you have 5 new free virtues in Pluralism!

    3.- The number of virtues should be constant: You lose some virtues somewhere, you gain the same number of virtues elsewhere. Even if you gain them in a DIFFERENT category, it would be fine for me: the anarchy turns would be the price you have to pay for reassigning your virtues (similar to older Civ games). However, the double penalty you mention puzzles me. You mean that, if you LOSE a virtue giving you +1 production, then you get -1 production (rather than a 0 modifier)?

    If it is so, then I'm afraid that the only solution is (1)... the long one!
     

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