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Survey regarding the change of raw materials and goods

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - Religion and Revolution' started by Schmiddie, May 25, 2017.

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Which raw materials and goods could you waive?

Poll closed Jun 8, 2017.
  1. valuable wood and furniture

    2 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. red pepper and spices

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. wool and wool cloth

    1 vote(s)
    16.7%
  4. rock salt and salt

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. grapes and wine

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. luxury goods

    5 vote(s)
    83.3%
  7. nothing, since I like them all and cannot live without them.

    1 vote(s)
    16.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Schmiddie

    Schmiddie Emperor

    Joined:
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    Hi Folks,

    I'm currently thinking about the change of some raw materials and goods. Based on my own experience I never use valuable wood/furniture, red pepper/spices, wool/wool cloth, rock salt/salt, grapes/wine and luxury goods.

    Since I'm currently thinking of a re-balance of the available raw materials and goods and maybe the implementation of some new goods in future (e.g. coal, ammunition, tree trunks, herbs) which wood change the gameplay, We would need to remove some of the currently existing raw materials and goods in order to create space for the new ones.

    Furthermore removing some goods could simplify the gameplay without reducing fun when playing the mod.

    However, each player has different preferences so that I'd like to understand which goods would not be missed.

    I'm happy to see your votes.

    Best regards

    Schmiddie
     
  2. Sarin

    Sarin Warlord

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    Luxury goods are pretty much useless. They're not worth bringing in from Europe.

    Rock salt should stay. It provides something to do with desert. For same reason, I don't think removing any of the hill resources would be good.

    Valuable wood is most superfluous resource here. You can hunt rare furs in boreal forests, and plant cocoa in jungle. Another resource for these terrains is least useful.

    Wool cloth needs a change rather than a straight cut. Sheep are great for hilly colonies, without sheep they wouldn't have food output. But wool shares processing plant with cotton, which makes it inferior choice for colonies compared to cattle. I'd either separate the plant for processing wool into new building, or perhaps merge wool cloth and regular cloth...so weavers can process either material into cloth which can then be dyed.

    Speaking of the materials...another thing that bothers me is how rare furs are processed in same buildings as regular ones. For me, it makes rare furs something I only process in one colony, because far superior choice is to go for regular hunters that also produce food.
     
  3. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Warlord Supporter

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    Valuable Wood is a source that is historically interesting and important. Even if we dismiss Mammoth trees as a natural wonder to europeans first standing in awe before them and teak wood for furniture we have to remember that BRAZIL as one of the largest colonial nations is named after the wood that was found there
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_of_Brazil

    Salt is the source of life. Without salt animals die. Salt is one of the most basic and wideused ways to preserve fish in the time of the game. I would add that salt was the source of wealth for the Hanse and several Free Cities in the HRE but that would be unimportant for a game about colonizing the Americas
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salted_fish

    Spices like pepper once have been so precious that they were weighed up in gold. Sure the Dutch Indies in nowadays Indonesia are the bestknown place for spices in the games timeframe, but they did grow in the Americas too.
    Cayenne pepper is named after the capital of French Guayana so has some importance beyond just being a spice
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cayenne_pepper

    More generally speaking all goods have a natural place to be which means that on a map every place has it’s specific good so that colonizers don’t have to go all for the same resources.

    Regarding new goods. I don’t have anything against introducing new goods.
    However some of the goods you listed as examples seem less important than the existing one to me:
    Coal was an important resource with the start of the industrial revolution and the invention of steam engines and locomotives for railroads - but for most of the games timeframe coal was less important than wood or charcoal. So for a game that continues in time and has railroads and missisippi steam boats adding coal would be great - but for the game of colonization in the heyday of the age of sail? Not so.
    Ammunition if you mean bullets would be created by everyone using them simply by melting lead into balls. Real cartriges that need a factory to produce (e.g. the Minié bullet) only became important in the Crimean war or American Civil War. Cannon balls are well abstracted into the production of cannons. If the intention is to limit players from fielding huge armies and waging continentwide wars then the simpler method would be to require an upkeep in food for having more military units than colonies.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
  4. Marla_Singer

    Marla_Singer United in diversity

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    Location:
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    I like to give me as an objective to supply all my colonies according to their domestic market demand. Actually this is a real challenge on a gigantic map considering the diversity of climates involved. So I produce just all yields for that very reason. Now that I think about it, supplying all the demand in all colonies could make a nice new "commercial victory", but that's not the point of this thread.

    Here are some ideas about yields:
    - As told by Sarin, rock salt should stay because that's the only commercial ressource to be produced in the desert. If you need to reduce the list of current yields, maybe an idea would be to directly produce salt from miners without needing to transform it. That's just an idea.
    - Coca is currently the most useless ressource, but I like the idea to keep it on savanna hills otherwise we would have nothing. As I've already proposed somewhere else, an idea to make the ressource more attractive could be to increase its value when sold to natives or on the domestic market. It could bring a bit of diversity as well on the way we use ressources. Alternatively, coca could be replaced with spice on savanna hills, but I think RayStuttgart dislikes this idea.
    - I like a lot Sarin's idea to produce normal clothes from sheep wool rather than wool cloth. It fully makes sense and would be smart gameplaywise.
    - I agree as well with ConjurerDragon. It would be really sad to see valuable wood or spice disappearing considering their historical importance in the Americas.

    So all in all, if we would need to sacrifice some ressources, I would go for wool cloth (replaced by cloth) and rock salt (with salt being directly produced from miners). This way the game wouldn't really be depleted from its current features.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
  5. eXPonent_123

    eXPonent_123 Warlord

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    I would like to have a highlight of the import / export goods including taxes
    For example, almost always at the beginning of the game you can buy horses in Europe and sell them in Africa, and in Africa you can buy up Cocoa and sell it in Europe (a difference of 1-3 gold)
    Those. For one move, you can earn up to 1800 gold, if you haul on the Galleon
    The truth is not long so you can earn, firstly there are pirates, which is really dangerous, in the second taxes are growing.

    And I also wanted to go directly from Europe to Africa, if possible
    In history, pirates and other colonies have always done this
    So to say the triangle: Europe-Africa-Caribbean
     
  6. devolution

    devolution Prince

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    Valuable wood / furniture suffer from 2 serious problems from the AI perspective:

    1)
    VW competes with lumber with respect to the lumberjack profession. Since VW is generally more valuable, it may mislead the AI into producing VW when it would be better off with plain ol' boring lumber.
    The player is generally better off producing timber with all their lumberjacks instead since it allows the production of buildings that increase future producitivty and thus profit.
    (The real reason is that lumber is severely underprized, the european sell price DOES NOT REFLECT the correct price of lumber at all! If you want to help the AI, simply increase the sell value of timber to 3)


    2)
    Furniture production competes with hammers production due to the cabinet maker being almost as good a a carpenter (+2 vs. +100%).
    Cabinet makers get +2 hammer production and are better employed as carpenters, in fact they are only slightly worse than master carpenters, and this fact alone makes furniture production costly relative to the buildings you could otherwise have produced. Furniture is, after all, "just another yield", but high tier buildings are what will win you the game eventually. (Hammers are also undervalued, but I will go through in another thread how we can estimate their value and encourage their production)

    In general the AI has problems with economic calculation since it almost exclusively tends to go for whatever yield is the most profitable (now, this is actually correct, BUT we need to account for opportunity costs and other factors since making yet more of a yield has likely less value than increasing the production of a yield from 0 to >0) .A cabinet maker is better of producing 5 hammers in the only occupied slot of a carpenter's shop than making 5 extra cotton units in a city filled with cotton planters. To convince yourself, ask the quesiton "Would you rather have 5 more units of almost worthless cotton or would you like 5 extra hammers from the cabinet maker" ? The AI fails to compute this at all, since it gets confused when evaluation the value of yields.
    Another related problem is that the AI does not currently understand that cabinet makes should generally work as carpenters since it fails to consider professions that are not the "exact matching" expert for the building. Interested readers are encourage to review CvCityAI::AI_assignWorkingPlots() / CvCityAI::AI_professionValue() to better understand the issues.


    Summary:

    I appreciate the variety of yields in Rar, but I consider these yields as they currently stand, a fairly big AI trap and removing them is a tempting option if only to help the AI in its present state.
    If we do remove them, consider leaving the cabinetmaker (maybe call him "journeyman carpenter" or something) to encourage more prouduction. (Or we could increase the likelyhood of master carpenters immigrating)
    Maybe jungles should they get some kind of consolation yield if VW is removed ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  7. devolution

    devolution Prince

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    Sorry to hijack the thread further, but I'd like more discussion on tweaking the yields.

    I was recently invited to to the RaR slackchat channel, and when reviewing the older messages I came across the following proposal from the very insightful modder @AbsintheRed :
    I completely agree with this, wool cloth and (cotton) cloth should be able to be dyed. We could perhaps rename "dyed cloth" to either "dyed fabric" or "dyed textiles"
    However, wool cloth and (cotton) cloth should not be merged becase we should also consider allowing cloth to be used instead of sailcloth (like in TAC). On the other hand, I don't want wooly sails though :p
    This should benefit the AI as well since it is already having a hard time trying to satisfy all the non-hammer requirements for builds. (Yes, I am aware of the AI cheat in CvPlayer::getYieldProductionNeeded which makes it so that it does not need any resources but hammers when producing wagons!. Maybe we could remove this cheat...)
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  8. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

    Joined:
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    I want to remove all AI cheats as I have always hated AI cheats. I implemented the transport feeder feature where you can set a city to maintain X yields. It will then stop importing if it has more and start if it has less than 75% of the wanted value. What might be less obvious is that it will ensure that it will contain at least the amount of yields needed for anything in the construction queue, meaning if you set it to 50 (or 0) tools and you need 100 for a building, it will import until it has 100. Furthermore it will keep yields needed like that meaning wagon trains will not pick up to reduce the number below 100.

    While this is useful to avoid micro management since you can just set all your colonies to import and export tools to maintain 0 and they will get what they need (provided you have a source somewhere), the plan is actually to use this feature with the AI. Currently the AI ignores it other than failing to pick up yields needed for construction.

    That's actually not a bad idea. Once in a while I end up with terrain, which can't produce hemp. It would be nice if cloth could be needed instead, perhaps with an "inferior rigging" promotion. This would allow stuff like fishing boats without needing hemp production while you would likely really want the best materials for warships or ocean going ships.

    Perhaps inferior rigging would cause the ship to take a bit of damage each turn unless in a port (Europe or colony). This means fishing boats would stay in the colony for repairs for a few turns before going out to fish again. The automation should be able to handle this.

    Land based transports should be able to use either without any issues. People used what they could get, meaning the scenario where you only have one wagon train because you lack resources for more is both annoying and unrealistic.

    Perhaps the peddler profession from M:C could be interesting. It basically turns a colonist into a one slot wagon train with one movement point. I have proposed lowering the slot size to say 30. It's inferior transports, but it would really make a difference in early game.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
  9. devolution

    devolution Prince

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    I am completely with you when it comes to the AI cheating and I am compiling a list of known cheats while I've been analyzing the internals of the AI decision making
    Expect a significant writeup in the future on what I think we need do to get the AI to "do the right thing" as well as an analysis of a recent autoplay session.
    It all hinges on this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_calculation_problem :crazyeye: ( I have a nerdy side interest in economic theory and history, hehe )
    We cannot, of course, remove any cheats at this time since it would completely impair the AI.

    I have an idea that would help with testing and documentation:

    Wrap all the cheater functions in conditional defines so that we can compile the DLL with and without cheats. This will be useful in seeing exactly what is the weakest spot of the AI (probably all of them :lol:, hehe)
     
  10. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    Actually it wouldn't be that hard to set up. Just write a bunch of lines in Makefile.settings, each adding one flag to CFLAGS. Turning flags on and off will then be a matter of commenting out lines. Default behavior should be when all lines are commented out. Makefile.settings is (or is at least supposed to) be ignored by git/svn and is as such a personal file for each person.

    An alternative approach is to do the same thing in a header file. That might actually be better because it tells MSVC which flags are in use, hence it works better with the tools like goto definition, visual changes regarding if lines are compiled or not etc.

    Many people look down on using ifdefs in code. I don't have a problem if they are used correctly. That is, easily readable, not lots of nested precompiler logics and no chains of else if. I have occasionally made code, which is only included when asserts are enabled. The reason is that it allows code like looping a list and add assert checks on each element while at the same time avoid slowing down the release build.
     
  11. mwyeoh

    mwyeoh Chieftain

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    I use most of the goods if I settle in the right areas. However, as with some of the above posters, I never use luxury goods or coca. I also rarely use Whale Fat and Train Oil (Although I appreciate its historical impact).

    I would have to say that I quite like the list of goods as they are now (With the exception of luxury goods & coca). If ammunition was needed for soldiers, I worry that it would add another layer of micromanagement to the game which already has quite a bit of micro in it
     
  12. Ognepoklonnik

    Ognepoklonnik Chieftain

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    1) valuable wood and furniture: rarely used - in my opinion for the forest enough fur, furniture can leave, to do something out of plain wood is interesting, it is often unnecessary
    2) for the hills you can leave that one thing or сoca or pepper, but Coca , IMHO, a very strange resource
    3) wool : nooo, I love the sheep, very useful for the hills in terms of food and in terms of money
    4) rock salt and salt: a useful resource for deserts with a great demand, but maybe it's enough just salt?
    5) grapes and wine: I use rare, low demand ( preferably sheep or pepper)
    6) luxury goods: interesting mechanics , a great demand, a stable income (no tax!! :) ), but occupies a slot in the ship from Europe, I use this resource often

    valuable wood, coca, grapes- excess goods that do not fit into the logic of the game and add nothing new

    I would add here the ropes - what are they for? (I don't like ropes, extra micro-management ,the individual specialist, you either use the two settlers or switch work of one settler, it is so boring ), and I would have combined wool with a cotton cloth, but wouldn't remove the wool and sheep. Or removed the hemp and sails and ropes (i hate ropes:) ) and use cotton cloth for ships
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  13. TheIanOakley

    TheIanOakley Bugged

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    Balls to it I'll throw in some ideas:

    1) Valuable wood isn't particularly necessary as a separate thing (IIRC there's no terrain features which only increase VW without also upping Lumber) but would be nice to make Furniture direct from Lumber.
    2) Sailcloth, Cloth, and Wool Cloth can be consolidated into a single Cloth TBH, perhaps with diff. production rates depending on source to account for that idk.
    3) Rock Salt can go direct to Salt without needing to pass Go; frankly, how often do you settle in a desert anyway?

    And a separate one; a Mint building. Turn Silver or Gold directly into cold hard cash. Available only at Town Hall or above; possibly a further rung up if need be. Would the code allow it though?
     
  14. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    This post is a reply and evaluation on the feedback. It should not be read as any mod planning announcement, though it's not impossible that it might get added eventually.

    This would be hit by the forced 1:1 exchange rate. Might need to split the yields produced into yields consumed and produced, with the option to not set consumed, in which case it will copy produced. That would allow adding this without having to go through all the current xml setup.

    Using one plot radius, it's not farfetched to have one or two plots of desert. It could allow having an additional colony. Also do not forget that it could be a good idea to have a colony in a hostile environment if it can produce something you have problems getting elsewhere, like silver, gold or in some cases ore.

    Adding building A, which can only be build if building B is present is possible. Turning yields into gold is currently not possible. Well in theory it's plausible that it can do that on forced 1:1 exchange rate. What would be needed would be a profession with no output yield and then add code that with no output yield it will be sold at Europe price, but without tax, perhaps with a modifier, say -20% fixed for not being entitled to stamp the coins with the crown or something. Maybe it would upset the king as well.
     
  15. Edward2017

    Edward2017 Chieftain

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    Good morning, everyone.
    May I ask if there will be a new version of RaR based on the comments and answers to the survey?
    Thank you for the 2.6 one, but yes, I would very much appreciate if the valuable wood is cut out, so the AI hopefully learns to build faster. Textiles should cover all kinds of cloth and salt could be used unprocessed.

    Have a beautiful end of the week!
    Edward.
     
  16. Schmiddie

    Schmiddie Emperor

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    I'm currently not working on a new version, but one should never say never...maybe in a few months
     
  17. devolution

    devolution Prince

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    Slightly off topic, but I heard through the grape vine that there's someone working on a new RaR modmod ;)
     
    AbsintheRed likes this.
  18. Schmiddie

    Schmiddie Emperor

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    Lol, happy to know more about that. Maybe it makes sense to implement it in the main mod - if possible.
     
  19. Schmiddie

    Schmiddie Emperor

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    Thank you all for participating in this survey. I'll have the results in mind. I hope that we'll find the time to pick them up when considering new features.
     
  20. Randomsheep

    Randomsheep Warlord

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    I have been enjoying this mod for many years and since this is my first post, I would like to send a massive thanks to Schmiddie, Nightinggale and everyone else who has contributed to what is the finest mod I have ever played.

    With regards to the survey, I tend towards leaving everything as it is with perhaps the exception of removing rock salt to leave only one salt product.

    Cheers.
     

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