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Tech tree brainstorming

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - We The People' started by Nightinggale, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. lyciummusic

    lyciummusic Chieftain

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    Well, though Civ style tree would be the simplest to implement I'm going to fantasize here a bit: among loads of strategy games, I would say a mixture of Hears of Iron 3 and Stellaris would be best. In HoI3, along with research points "produced", there was an experience in relevant area as well, namely if you specialized in infantry you would do that techs faster- this is both historical and logical. Stellaris on the other hand has research buildings, but research costs are scaling how big your interstellar empire is, enabling you to play "tall". This is important as largest nation may not be always the most developed. Compare Luxemburg and India. This would let you play tall, and benefical for AI too. Also research takes simultaneously in three seperated fields, namely physics, sociological and engineering. Research costs of course should also be scaling with difficulty as well.

    So what I fantasize is a mixture of experience and research points. You cannot straight out make a fur factory if you have never produced fur before, but you general development and technological level still helps. While general techs can be researched, specific techs are unlocked by having relevant tech level and doing it.

     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  2. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    I'm not sure I like the idea of making big players research slower. If you have two colonies and use one to research, then you shouldn't research faster than the player with 5 colonies where research is done in a single colony.

    We could do something else though. Add diminishing returns from research each turn. In Imperialism if you have a tech you can research in 10 turns at $100/turn, then spending $200/turn will research the tech in 7 turns. The result would then be that big players could research faster, but the difference between the big and small players isn't as great as their research budget, be it money or yields. Maybe make a list of research contributions from each colony, sort it and then the further down the list you get, the higher the research penalty for distributing the research instead of keeping all the researcher in a single location.

    The question is: will that be too complex for the players to understand? The BTS approach to research is simple and strait forward to understand for humans. It just adds the contributions from each city and no "scaling math" takes place in the background.

    Another Imperialism 2 part to research: bonus to researching something already known to other players. You can research something in 10 turns using the standard budget, but setting it to $0 will not research it, except in the case where somebody else already invented it, in which case it will take 20 turns. The more players knowing it, the greater this effect is. Placing spies at in the players knowing this tech will further increase this bonus.

    A research bonus towards techs already known by other players would be another way to grant a bonus to players, who fall behind in research, hence balance.

    Game difficulty, game speed and player specific (trait granting +5% research in a certain category or something).
     
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  3. orlanth

    orlanth Storm God. Yarr!

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    Sounds awesome :) I read through some of our past threads on this and gathered some good ideas from there (but the threads were mostly bad jokes made by me). :lol:I added some further comments to the posts from Nightingale and Ray below with an * based on past discussions and experiences with MC and 2071 etc.

    * Considering the existing Allows tag system you wrote about below, might it be simpler to implement unlocking Tech research requirements in this way as well? I.e. Civeffects XML could have an AllowTech tag working in the way you detailed in your post section "What techs can do once gained" below. This analogous system could give lots of flexibility and avoid the need for lots of new boolean <requiresand> / <requiresor> tags etc.
    * I had not thought of this but it does sound like an interesting option (for example enabling Military techs and Economic techs to both be researched separately). This could be achieved by allowing modding of intangible Yield types (instead of one YIELD_IDEAS like in Medieval Conquest could allow modders to create several research yields, such as YIELD_TECH_MILITARY, YIELD_TECH_ECONOMIC). Using the existing XML it would then become possible to mod Professions/Buildings/Units that had any advantage you want at the different types of research (or to just mod one type for simplicity if you prefer).
    Even just a cosmetic option to show Techs in multiple tabs like the FF screen would be a good advance.
    I have to say I really love this feature, because it unlocks a lot more strategic depth for mods with a lot of generic Yield types. When all Yields are just something you get and sell for x gold they can start to seem bland/interchangeable, but when you can make certain Yields useful for researching certain useful Techs/abilities they become a lot more strategically interesting. Motivating players to seek out certain types of rare Yields that could be useful for a certain research interest that they strategically need. This can be implemented as in M:C by allowing each Tech to have one or more Yield inputs (or none if desired) and perhaps an int for modding how many units of that Yield is consumed per techpoint when researching it. Specifying no required Yields would allow research points without consuming anything (like Bells/Crosses are produced currently).
    I do like the idea of allowing some techs to be not always identically present every game. However some techs might be important to let be more consistent (e.g. if unlocking an important building/Yield etc). The idea of investing to gradually unlock more possibilities for further research in a specific area is interesting. However I can also understand that going to a lot of effort to actually invest in doing research, and then get a random result that you may not really want or need at all at that time could be too frustrating/unexpected for some players.

    Perhaps something like this could be a good compromise solution:
    Make it not mandatory to assign techs to one of these Categories (or simply allow modders to make Basic Research categories with no special unlock requirements)
    Once for each player at the start of the game, sort Techs within each Category into a random ordered array. This represents the order in which they can become visible/unlocked for research for that player, so that progress of research is not always the same for all players or all games.
    Grant Civeffects XML a <TechCategoryUnlocks> tag; the sum of civeffects values is how many Techs in this list are currently visible/unlocked for research by that player (starting from the first in the randomly ordered list). For example in a Metallurgy category you could start out with only one or two options accessible for research, then you can gradually unlock more and more options from making progress in various ways that add +1 to that Civeffect tag (such as researching a physical science / natural philosphy tech, or investing in advanced metalsmithing buildings that gradually expand your research opportunities in that area. This would work in the aspect of relevant overall experiences contributing to research opportunities as mentioned by lyciummusic. Sounds cool to me :)

    Agreed. A good way to make the Civeffects system flexibly useful for balancing AI difficulty is to allow Civ4handicapinfos.xml to apply Civeffects to AI players or human players. Modders can then be able to adjust various AI player requirement exemptions by difficulty level as desired. IIRC in M:C and 2071 AI players used the same tech system but were exempted from Yields being used for research; this seemed to be effective in making sure they can remain a good challenge.
     
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  4. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    All I figured out regarding requirements is that it should rely on CivEffects rather than tags because then it's up to the xml modder to mix techs, civics, traits, eras etc as it would require no extra code. It keeps the dll simple and hopefully bug free.
    Other than that I haven't really figured out how I want it to be written. The issue is that I want to be able to set up complex setups like "requires 2 techs out of this group of 5, but it also requires 1 out of this group of 1 and it's not allowed if the player has more than 0 of this group of 1". Some system like that, which should be very flexible, but at the same time it should be simple for the player to understand. Something like "can't research this tech. You don't have the expressionistic trait" (which would actually check for the CivEffect provided by that trait). I'm not sure we should add techs like that, but I want the dll to support it because once made I don't want to change the system more than absolutely needed. Worst case a future update means redoing the xml files.

    This makes me wonder if we should even have YIELD_RESEARCH in the dll. Maybe each tech should have a list of yield requirements. I have done some work to avoid yield hardcoding and I think you can use it to add a virtual yield (as in can't be loaded into a transport) from xml alone. This could be useful for setting up which yield each tech requires while at the same time will work just fine in a setup with just one research yield. The question is if we should support a tech needing 10 research A and 10 research B.

    Yes this can be made way too complex for the player, but so can a whole lot of other stuff. The "keep it simple" part should be xml as the dll shouldn't place artificial limitations on what can be done in xml based on "they will likely not need it". The question which is the most interesting at this point is how will it affect the code? Will it make it harder to program bug free? Will it show down the game? I'm more concerned with issues like that than I am regarding unlocking the possibility of xml modders making the game too complex.

    One thing I'm concerned with is if each tech has different requirements, wouldn't it make sense to make a research queue? If we have a queue, wouldn't it hurt the ability to have multiple trees? How hard will it be to make a queue where the player can research 3 techs at the same time because they require 3 different research yields? I don't know the answer to either of those questions. Right now I'm not entirely sure what I want in this regard either.

    I won't code something like that as I don't think there should be AI cheats in the DLL. However we could add a research cost modifier to CivEffect (one for each yield?) and then assign -100% to the CivEffect automatically granted to all AI players. That will result in cleaner DLL code and it will provide another CivEffect tag, which human players can use.

    Imagine a random event providing a CivEffect, which provides -50% research cost of a certain yield for a number of turns. The whole idea with CivEffects is to make it do as much as possible because it unlocks so many possibilities for later additions, which then won't require new programing+testing of modified code.
     
  5. orlanth

    orlanth Storm God. Yarr!

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    Ok sounds good! Also I put some additional ideas in my post #23 above in the comments box from your post "What techs can do once gained", using an asterisk * to add to your list of Civeffects ideas. :borg::king:

    In M:C I think everything used YIELD_IDEAS, and TechInfos.xml allowed each tech to have a list of yield requirements used to research each unit of YIELD_IDEAS for that tech (this could also be none to allow Techs not requiring a Yield to research). This seemed to be quite flexible and work fine. If you'd like to enable more than one area/type of research by using an additional abstract yield that could be cool too.

    For the thoughts about how best to enable some possible strategic tradeoffs from "wide" vs "tall" civs as in the posts above, an interesting thought would be to recreate or modify some of the civ4civicinfos.xml mechanics from base Civ4BTS that allow modding of empire-wide effects from number of cities and distance from capitol. I think some of these tags are actually still in CivicInfos.xml, maybe Firaxis left these in the DLL but just did not use them in vanilla C4Col.

    I'd agree it's probably best to avoid changing the actual cost of Techs or other assets based on # of cities (could encourage gaming the system by disbanding or delaying city formation until right after getting a big batch of whatever the cost modifier applies to). But the possibility of modding absolute and percentage modifiers for specific Yields by # of cities and distance from capitol could be interesting (both for Civic options in general and for use in balancing game difficulty levels in handicapinfos.xml).

    I think modding integer and % modifiers for a Yield production applying to each city should be possible using the civeffects already proposed by Nightingale. For distance from capitol, you could use a civeffect tag <DistanceFromCapitol> that then lets you apply % or int modifier to a certain yield multiplied by a city's distance from capitol. To let players invest in mitigating administrative difficulty in a wide empire, could use the Forbidden Palace mechanic from Civ4bts (a Building tag letting players invest in an administrative building that acts an an additional capitol/Palace city for purposes of "distance from capitol" modifiers.)

    CivEffects that are able to apply subtle cumulative modifiers to research or other Yield production would be good for balancing (e.g the idea of enhancing research rate by +10% for each known civ that already has that tech). However for any modifiers that aren't individually huge or absolute (+100%) it's important to allow fractional Yield production not to be lost as a rounding error and cause micromanagement (constantly checking if you have enough tiles producing exactly 4 or more of a yield so your %25 production bonus won't get rounded into oblivion). I think we'd discussed before that it could be possible to increase precision of prices and yield production to 1 significant digit without affecting performance, could that be worked in to enable civeffect modifiers with a more subtle effect than 100%?

    Lastly, I'd think creating a queue system wouldn't be strictly necessary/essential, it might be simpler just to trigger a popup on completion like in Civ4 letting you select the next thing you want to research. (Especially if you incorporate some MOO-like feature like mentioned by Ray and above, where you could eventually unlock new research possibilities that might not all be present/visible from the start).
     
  6. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    I have been thinking about how to automatically draw a tech tree. It might not be as complex as it sounds. We just introduce the concept of tech tiers. Tier 1 has no requirements. Tier 2 requires tier 1. Tier 3 requires tier 2, but can also require below tier 2. We only look at the top tier for this. Each tier has a column where they are drawn. Add some code to make the arrows between the boxes be horizontal. If if Tech A requires B, then draw next to B. If that space is already in use by tech C, draw below C. If requirements are too complex to be drawn, draw what is simple and add an icon, which you can mouse over to read what is "requirements without arrows".

    Those rules seems simple enough to do on the fly. If we do that, then we can filter what to draw, like only draw farming techs or exclude navy techs. We can also have an entire tech tree internally, but limit how far you can look ahead. If we need more than one tech tree, we essentially need one tree, but different filters.

    Tech categories would be needed anyway if we are to provide modifiers to specific groups. We can then use those xml entries we have anyway to assign filter button, color and what else we could use.

    While the drawing approach might seem simple, the results are clearly usable. The rimworld mod "research pal" does it like that and it must be autogenerating because it supports techs added by mods without those two mods knowing about each other.

    Research pal screenshot
    Spoiler :




    I wrote about that concept here. I wrote it as something colonies should do, but nothing is stopping us from letting CvPlayer do the same, which would then make it store 1/100 of research points, making +5% actually count.

    I'm thinking in terms like researching Tech A, which requires silver and Tech B, which requires tools. Any colony with no silver would then try to research the tools one instead. Making all colonies get silver to search the first and then switch to all colonies getting tools for the second seems logistically tricky. If you can't get the research yields around, working on multiple techs in parallel will greatly reduce the amount of researchers, who are standing there and doing nothing.

    Perhaps the goal at first is (like a bunch of other stuff) is to plan for it, but don't actually code it. We can then add it later. Say the tech screen can have the drawing code written in a way where we can just make the drawable area more narrow and then we can have a column on the side, which becomes the queue. It's a very minor change to the screen code, but it will make it easier if we add a queue later.

    I think the same goes for yield requirements. It would be a nice addition, but the first generation tech system should just handle one research yield and it can be produced without any yield requirements. I don't want to make it so complex that it takes 10 years to before we have anything, which can actually be used. Instead we should have milestones where it's fully functional at each milestone.
     
  7. Drunk-Monk

    Drunk-Monk Chieftain

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    There are some very interesting ideas and proposals in this thread.

    I think most on the team are aware of this danger, and agree that we don't want to just mimic the civ games in terms of the implementation of technology.

    I have not played these games but this implementation sounds interesting. I think it would be good to have multiple simultaneous paths to knowledge and a 'learning by doing' style implementation. As targeted research and research teams did not exist in the time period, nor what we would would now recognize as the scientific method. Also Hearts of Iron has a very interesting concept of doctrines which would add variety.

    This would be excellent for military techs, to avoid the spearman vs tank scenario. It would also reflect whilst having very different social structures and politics, European armies fielded units armed with equivalent weapons.

    This example was interesting and this mod could have something similar. For example a native knowledge pathway which boosts relations with natives. You would boost it by dealing with the natives, however if you don't have much contact with natives it would be ok, it wouldn't jeopardise your research pathway towards mining or sailing.
     
  8. lyciummusic

    lyciummusic Chieftain

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    Technology also does spread. Small bonus to research if others have the same tech.
     
  9. Benjocaron

    Benjocaron Chieftain

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    My idea in terms of techs would be the implantation of a tech tree clearly separated in sections matching professions in game. For example, you would have a farming branch, political, etc. You would get specific kinds of science by putting experts in your university and be able to research certains techs. By the way, the tech tree needs to be pretty small. There is no point of creating another beyond the sword.
     
  10. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Deity

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    Col gameplay is a combination of strategy and tactics, planning and reacting. I know what my civ bonuses are from the start, but when I reveal a new part of the map or I get a different selection of immigrants, I might adapt my strategy or just make a temporary change to tactics. Having to balance the long-term impacts of decisions with the current situation is what makes the game interesting.

    The Founding Fathers system is already a strategic "accumulate points to unlock new stuff" system. I really don't think the game needs 2 of that. But a tactical one could have use! As in one that you don't have control over and cannot plan around, but can react to. Historically, most of the research in this period occurred in Europe and then spread to the colonies (Philosophy advanced in both though, which is what the Founding Fathers represent). This seems like a good opportunity to use that flavor as a gameplay mechanic.

    What if the European countries had techs (accumulated in some manner, though I suggest randomly over time), and the colonies then receive the benefits after a certain number of turns have passed, which can be rushed through expensive purchase? This could take longer/be more expensive per city and per citizen, with ratios to make concentrated cities easier to acquire tech than dispersed cities, and more important than number of citizens?
     
  11. Your_ardent_admirer

    Your_ardent_admirer Chieftain

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    Just an idea about ways to implement research mechanic:

    1) Scientific research becomes possible when you build your first university.
    2) Already existing “education” yield serves as a base for scientific progress, but you need to pour money into “the system” to generate scientific points.

    Example: a colony produces 5 education points this turn, which can add 25 research points to the pool IF 250 gold are paid from the treasury. Player can toggle research funding on/off.

    3) Scientific advances are purchased in a dedicated screen using research points.

    I’d prefer a new fancy building and/or a new profession of course, but that might be more difficult to do.

    Btw, a VARIANT:
    Education buildings can be used for new profession, a scientist (or maybe scholar), who generates research points while working in it.
    (This is like blacksmiths house, which can produce both tools and blades).
    It’d still be nice if you should still pay from treasury each turn to fund research.

    This would strain player’s resources, make them choose what to invest in, practical education or “blue sky” research. Hard choices are always good in my book.

    Another point of view is that it may become a new interesting toy to play) We are talking about a game here, after all.

    About Founding Fathers, they function like leaders of the colony, helping to develop it. This is represented by flat bonuses to production or new units.
    While scientific research may lead to new things a player can build, or maybe new civics.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents. I know how careful you are guys about implementing new features. That’s why the mod feels so balanced and well thought-out!
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
  12. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    The main problem with the feature is not the technical implementation concept of the core system (XML and DLL).
    (Of course that also means putting in effort for implementation and testing.)

    It is relatively easy to implement a new Yield "Research" and have it produced in a Building by a Profession.
    (Either a completely new Building or a new Profession in School Buildings.)

    Reusing Civ4BTS code to build our own Tech System is possible as well.
    Even a nice Tech Screen (with Python) should be solvable.

    ------

    The most difficult / most challenging aspect however is to make a good and detailled game play concept.
    List of "Techs" with their corresponding detailled effects being
    • balanced / not overpowered
    • interesteing / fun for hardcore players
    • not being tedious for casual players
    • realistic / historically correct
    • not too complex / not ruining AI
    • not ruining performance / realistic implemenation effort
    Until now nobody has come up with such a game play concept ...

    ------

    And even if we have the core system ready:

    - who is going to configure and balance the Techs
    - who is going to write all the Colopedia texts for the Techs
    - who is going to create all Buttons for Colopedia entries

    The real work is not the coding here.
    It is all the details that follow to actually turn the system in a real game feature.

    Currently nobody (in the team) seems to be voluntaring to realize all these details for the final feature or at least support. :dunno:
    (Programmers for the core system could most likely be found though.)

    ------

    Summary:

    We know how to implement it technicaly.
    If that was our problem, the system would most likely already exist.

    But we do not know what to implement specifically - meaning which capabilities the system needs - because we do not know which Techs and effects we want to have.
    And we also do not know who is going to implement the details (e.g. configuration, balancing, buttons and texts) then - because this will be much more work than the core system.

    So we need to solve it in the following order:
    1. What (game concept - detailed List of all Techs and their effects)
    2. Who (feature responsible and supporters)
    3. How (technical concept - made by the feature responsible)
    4. Actual Implementation (massive efforts in the details to produce good quality)
    ------

    A technical system that is not transformed into a real feature (with all the details to it) is simply useless dead code. :c5unhappy:
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
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  13. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    So generally:

    If anybody is interested and wants to make a full tech tree game concept, please do so. :thumbsup:
    Then we would have a base to discuss.

    Feel free to be creative. :)

    Comment:
    • Please try to use existing WTP game features as base of the effects as much as possible.
    • New feature concepts already discussed and approved (e.g. Civics or Upkeep) may be used as well.
    • Please do try to not just duplicate FF-System. It should be something new and fresh.
    As first ideas, see here:
    (But again, feel free to create your own.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
  14. Your_ardent_admirer

    Your_ardent_admirer Chieftain

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    Here’s a suggestion

    Tech tree concept (+tentative ideas on civics and new features)

    General points

    1. Based on ideas from this thread plus a few of my own suggestions.

    2. 7 fields of research, equal number of techs (5) in each field, the fields are not connected (meaning a tech from one field requires only a previous tech in the same field). This is what Nightingale was talking about in the original post (among other great ideas), rather than having 1 tech tree like Civilization and M:C, we’ll have 7.

    3. Distinction between new Innovation/Inventions/Scientific system (whatever it should be called) with existing Founding Fathers mechanic. I think that FF function like leaders of the colony, helping to develop it. This is represented by flat bonuses to production or new units.
    While scientific research may lead to new things a player can build, or maybe new civics.

    4. Something to keep in mind: Scientific method was introduced as a term in 19th century, but it can be said that its origins lie in 17th century. However the game starts in 16th century.

    5. I barely understand how hard it may be to implement various features, trying to stick to what has been already proposed.

    6. I would like to suggest to allow only such research fields which add something interesting/new, and drop those which only give (already present) modifier types. I think at least there shouldn’t be too many of such techs.

    Shipbuilding and sea exploration

    1. Establishing maritime pilots and charting our home waters +1 movement (really needed IMO, especially for big maps with lots of water)
    Ships could really be a bit faster, especially for large maps with lots of water. This is a convenience.

    2. Triangle trade (Africa enabled)

    3. Far East markets (if it’s possible, they can be accessible only from Pacific, and possibly only by Galleons or higher). Variant: make it accessible only from Pacific and only with specific ships (Galleons, or even make a new, the gigantic Manila Galleon/China Ship/Galeon de Manila). M:C has similar mechanic, I think (I haven’t played it yet though)

    Far East: Tea (was discussed), Cheaper Luxury Goods, Cheaper Colored cloth, Spices, More expensive silver
    Historically, the Spanish hauled New World silver from Pacific South/Central American coast to China via Philippines. The Chinese sold a variety of great goods which Europeans really wanted, Chinaware, Silk, Tea and other things, while they wouldn’t buy almost anything Europeans offered them, except silver.

    4. West Indies Treasure fleet (Flota de Indias) Admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles was responsible for creating this convoy system, which worked great for several centuries. The King now requests only 30% of Treasure value for transportation. Historically this option should be earlier than no 3 (need to double-check). This could be moved to FF system though.

    5. Ships-of-the-line
    I’m pretty sure they should be researched, no ships of this class existed in 16th century, when game starts!

    ****
    Idea: two branches of research, picking one disables another: the first is aimed at “tall” play, and one-city-challenges, the second helps “wide” colonies.

    I am personally a bit of megalomaniac and actually resented nerf to % from expert workers, though I totally agree this was good balancing measure. I am sure there are many people “in my camp”, so here will be a hopefully reasonable way to facilitate tall building at the expense of wide expansion.

    Tall vs Wide branches should be balanced and equally worth researching into, otherwise they both should be available for researching.
    ****

    Tall play, Citybuilding, City on Shining Hill
    It would be nice if picking this option would limit number of colonies you can have, if it is technically possible. Maybe set number of possible settler units which can be created or just disable settlers for this player when he has researched certain tech in this field. AIs don’t get their settlers disabled. Disabling settlers is the only thing that can really balance these fields, otherwise they both should be available for research.

    1. +1 yield at colony plot

    2. +25% storage space

    3. Adequate city lighting, +3 to happiness (mostly a filler to delay the very powerful techs ahead, though I read here on forum that somebody had complained of low happiness. Also suitable fit for tall play, because tall cities will generate lots of unhappiness due population size)

    4. Extra yield from plot if it produces 6 already

    5. Urbanization - Extra jobs

    Expansion, our Manifest Destiny. (Wide play)
    This should be cheaper than previous field, I think.

    1. Pioneer work speed
    2. Immigration cross modifier
    3. Buy in Europe price modifier
    4. -20% points needed for FF

    5. Our hardy American folk
    Life on our vast and wild frontiers is not for the faint of heart. The weak and the timid have no place here. Our generation is as tough as nails.
    +10% (or even +20%) to all military units.
    It’d be better to create some unique promotion though. I’d always go for something unique and interesting over bland +% modifiers.

    The advances in Manufacturing

    -Is it possible to lock this field until turn 100?

    -I don’t really like locking 2nd tier of improvements, it just feels wrong, could be annoying (for those who have already played with the mod a lot). However if you guys decide to lock it, the corresponding unlocking tech belongs to this field.

    1. Innovativeness - less rp needed for research - this should be the first in this field if it can be disabled for the first 100 or so turns.

    2. Whaling industry (unlocks whale blubber and oil, whale hunting ships, whale oil manufactory.

    3. Improvement upgrade modifier 50->40 turns

    4-5. Various techs for unlocking factory buildings.

    Natives, our brothers

    1. Gold from natives modifier
    2. Modify natives land prices
    3. Natives have more goods available for trade (possible?)
    4. Learn time in native settlement modifier
    5. Allied natives receive regular shipments of guns (probably too hard to implement)

    Into the Great Unknown (Exploration)

    People here agree that Exploration currently feels a bit boring and too easy. Someone commented that Scouts are too fast, so they probably shouldn’t be given further +movement modifiers.
    Anyway this field of research/inventions should probably be connected with any improvements to be made to Exploration system.

    1. Forts and Monasteries (this can be moved to Natives field)

    2. Frontiersmen
    “The men who built America”
    Pioneers can start working after spending all movement points.

    3. Helpful Medicines
    IF exploration will be made more dangerous via events (like sudden death in the marsh or debilitating disease while passing the jungle) - make them occur less often.
    OR if units will be damaged while ending their turn in Jungle/swamp/tundra, negate or reduce such damage if this tech is researched.
    Maybe AI shouldn’t be affected by dangerous terrain anyway.
    Also +2 health in colonies maybe?

    4. Missing

    5. Shrewd traders
    We have traded with natives for so long that we know plenty of tricks to buy everything valuable they have for a handful of worthless glittering baubles. We had even set up a manufactory to mass-produce these trinkets.
    +3 (or even +5) Trade Goods production in capital via event
    Natives sell their goods for cheaper prices.
    (This can help to create more native traders and trade with the tribes remains worthwhile longer)

    Military

    Need to research this more, I haven’t played for about 3 years)) Really I don’t have enough knowledge of possible promotions and their combos.

    1. Expand Colonial Militia
    Our colony grew large and needs proper protection from outside threats.

    Allows all military units, at start only town guards, light artillery and colonial militia were available.

    2. Regular military training
    To be better prepared to fend off savages and bandits, we need to assemble colonists for military exercises more often

    Gives 10xp to every new unit

    3,4 - missing

    5. Funding our Liberation Army!
    We cannot tax our people, we don’t have an authority to do so, and we are not some evil Kings to unjustly extort money from the people.
    But we need to pay the soldiers!
    In these trying times, it’s best to turn to radical measures, to loan money from our friends abroad and print some more.
    Unit upkeep lowered
    The goods are sold with a %malus in Europe (representing hyperinflation, if it’s possible to implement).

    Politics and Economics

    This should probably activate various civics - i.e. sets of policies. A player can choose to run only one policy in each field.
    A problem with civics as I see it - when you declare independence and write constitution, you basically choose civics too, so the system kind of doubles.

    1. Development of foreign trade
    Historically, Great Britain pursued mercantilistic policies. It forbade the colonies to trade with foreign powers, and trade regulations between colonies and mother country were unfair.
    Possible civics, our stance on foreign trade:
    a) Loyal and poor (comply with mercantilism)
    We are loyal subject of the Crown and we should pay our dues.
    -Trade as per standard rules
    -Trade with other Europeans is impossible (if it can be implemented, otherwise it’s just default civic without bonuses or penalties)
    b) Defy mercantilism - we strongly and openly oppose our Mother Country unfair trade regulations!
    -Worsening relations with King, cumulative
    -Goods are being sold at higher prices in Europe.
    c) Smugglers’s heaven
    -Can trade with Europeans
    -You can sometimes get caught and the King fines you and gets a bit angry.

    2. Colonial lobby
    The King unfortunately thinks we’re just a bunch of dirty thugs. His corrupted officials who just want to exploit West Indies and fill their pockets make him think so, no doubt. We need to establish contact with more forward-thinking members of Parliament to counter the most outrageous tax initiatives.
    Effect: Max tax decrease (maybe by 10%?)

    3. Our Exemplary Society

    I think switching between civics should be difficult, otherwise they would be exploited to get the best of “both worlds”.

    Our society is young and our cultural memory is not yet burdened by tragic mistakes, like that of old European states. We have a unique opportunity to model our future, to avoid the fate of sufferers of the Old World.

    Who shall we be?

    a) Oppressive and Narrow-minded (or rather Steadfast & Disciplined. Bonus points if the displayed text can be changed depending on civic currently used lol)

    Small boost to happiness
    Spy unit (if possible. Reveals what’s going on in other player’s cities)
    Maybe less equipment necessary for settlers, faster Pioneers.
    Maybe more happiness from religion

    b) Libertarian and Open (or rather Confused & Unfaithful)
    Large hit to happiness
    +to research points

    4 missing

    5. No taxation without representation!
    (Don’t know yet, maybe -20% PP needed for FF, though it feels bland.)

    Add later maybe: Religion&Political Philosophy
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
  15. Tugboatspotter

    Tugboatspotter Warlord

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    I like some of your ideas Your_ardent_admirer.

    I can see this working if it is kept simple (like TW shogun 2 style)

    I don't like ships being researched (specifically -"I’m pretty sure they should be researched, no ships of this class existed in 16th century, when game starts") - there is no way colonies could compete here. Researching better ships is a step too far into ahistorical fantasy.
     
  16. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    General Comments:

    We basically "turn in circles" here. :undecide:

    Everything that was posted so far is just "I have a general rough vision" / "I have a few unstructured ideas".
    And most of our posts have been so long that they were incredibly hard to read and follow.

    This is not what I mean with a "game concept" - it needs to be really detailed but it also needs to be structured - so it can properly be understood / discussed / evaluated / improved.
    Otherwise there is no chance to clarify technical implementation and efforts. (Which we modders would do though.)

    Thus please really take the time to structure it by e.g. headings, marking as bold, bulltet lists, spoilers, underlining, colors ... whatever is needed so it is easier to read.
    (General rule of thumb: The longer a post gets, the more structure it needs.)

    ---------

    In the end we still need a full "Tech Tree / Tech List" with each single Tech listed with its name and specific effects.
    (Splitting the list in Categories is completely fine, like we e.g. have FF-categories.)

    Then we can discuss and improve it together. :thumbsup:

    ---------

    So what is the goal?

    Basically this is game design / feature design - which needs to be discribed in a structured way to others so they can understand and follow. :)
    This time we simply give it in the hands of community to come up with a (first) concept.

    Try to come up with something that is:
    • structured / easy to read and understand
    • immersive / historically correct
    • balanced / not overpowered
    • fun to play / not overly complicated
    Then we modders will consider the following:
    • AI / side effects to other features
    • performance / stability
    • technical implementation / effort
    ---------

    By the way:

    Please for now do not mix this concept with Civics or other feature concepts that are not implemented yet. :dunno:
    Please only use game features as effects (e.g. by unlocking or modifying) which WTP already has.

    I know that I first wrote otherwise but currently nobody is working on e.g. Upkeep or Civics. :sad:
    (So there is no way of telling if or when they will be implemented. And it is also really hard to discuss about effects of features that do not exist yet.)

    We need to design and implement one concept after the other. :thumbsup:
    Otherwise we get a mess of dozen concepts of features that all simply do not exist and nobody will ever start implementing ...

    Once Civics, Upkeep or other new features are implemented, new Techs can be added for them.
    Until we have such features, this concept should however ignore them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
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  17. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Changing "Tech Tree" to "Royal Permission Tree"
    (As suggestion for a more immersive concept - also not conflicting with Founding Fathers or a potential Civics feature)

    About Technology in the Colonies

    I was thinking a bit about our "Tech Tree"-concept - using Yield "Research".
    Specifically about it being immersive.

    The main problems are, that "Technological Advancements" in this time (15th to 18th century) were:
    • very limited, thus not interesting to model
    • dominated by the Old World (e.g. Europe, Arabia, Japan and China) and not the Americas
    The Colonies were heavily dependent on their mother countries.
    They were a hardly developed place that focussed on mass production of simple goods with cheap labor.
    Basically a bit similar to the cheap labor countries in the Third World today (e.g. in Africa and Asia).

    I believe it is not possible to come up with a very good immersive game concept using "Techs" (as "Research") for WTP with this restriction.
    It would always feel artifical and cluncky.

    ------

    The Alternative Concept "Royal Permissions" (with Yield "Loyalty")
    (not detailed yet)

    However we could simply reinterpret the concept into "Royal Permissions Tree"-concept using another Yield, e.g. "Loyalty".
    Basically instead of "Researching a Tech" you would convince your King to grant a "Royal Permission" by "Loyalty".

    For simplification I will just group them into Permission Rights to e.g. be allowed to:
    (In this list there are at least 50+ single "Royal Permissions" hidden.)
    • Produce Coats / Cloth / Cigars / Rum / ... (Unlocking Building, Unlocking Immigration of Specialist, Unlocking Buying of Specialist)
    • Upgrade from Basic Production of Coats / Cloth / Cigars / Rum / ... to Intermediate / Advanced Production (Unlocking Upgrades of the Buildings)
    • Buy strong Units like Great Statesmen / Preacher / Expert Traders / Expert Missionaries / ... (might potentially still immigrate though)
    • Build higher levels of Education Buildings and Educate higher Level Experts yourself
    • Build Taverns / Markets and later Upgrades to them
    • Build a Customs Office to sell goods automatically
    • Upgrade your Roads to better Types of Roads
    • Upgrade Improvements to their large versions
    • Build Missions and Forts
    • Build Docks to be able to build your first Coastal Ships
    • Upgrade Docks to Shipyard to build other Ships
    • Produce Weapons / Guns / Cannons (Unlocking Building, Unlocking Immigration of Specialist, Unlocking Buying of Specialist)
    • Upgrade from Basic Production of Weapons / Guns / Cannons to Intermediate / Advanced Production (Unlocking Upgrades of the Buildings)
    • Possess Professional Soldiers (Unlocking Immigration and Buying of specific Military Experts)
    • Possess specific types of advanced Ships (Unlocking Production and Buying of these Ships)
    • ...
    Game Play Effect

    Basically before you have these "Royal Permissions" you can only produce basic Raw Yields, build basic Buildings and hire basic Colonists.
    Step by step you would acquire the rights from your King to produce and improve your production of Produced Yields.
    Step by step you would get better Specialists for your new Production Lines.
    Then step by stept you would acuqire the rights to possess stronger Military and Ships.

    ------

    Technical Core System and its Functions
    (combinations of effects per "Royal Permission" being possible)

    It is basically almost all centered around these core functions:
    • Unlocking Constructing of Buildings (or their Upgrades)
    • Unlocking Construction of Ships / Wagon Trains
    • Unlocking Buying Units in Europe
    • Unlocking Immigration of Units in Europe
    • Unlocking Improvements (Pioneer Actions)
    • Unlocking Upgrading Improvements (Pioneer Actions - potentially new ones)
    • Unlocking Road Types (Pioneer Actions)
    Possible "Royal Permission" Requirements (for being unlockable)
    (combinations of requirements per "Royal Permission" being possible)

    Additional to having a certain amount of "Loyalty" produced to be spent, "Royal Permissions" could also require:
    • Other "Royal Permissions" already acquired
    • Amout of a specific Units already being owned
    • Amount of specific Buildings already built
    • Amount of specific Improvements already built
    • Amount of specific Yield being produced per turn
    • Amount of specific Yields already sold in Europe
    • Amount of specific Yields already bought from Europe
    • Number of Cities
    • Size of Population of largest City
    • Size of Total Population
    ------

    Additionally we could unlock features or modify features that way, again the King giving you "Royal Permissions".
    (But I would not overexagerate it with this - only where it makes sense for game play and immersion.)
    • Sail to Africa / Port Royal
    • Diplomacy with other Europeans: Trade Maps / Make Open Borders Contracts / Declare War
    • Unlocking Diplomacy Events: Slaves, Criminals, Noble, Ranger, ...
    • Tax modifiers / Buy in Europe Gold modifiers
    • ...
    ------

    Also we could nicely tie into Attitude of the King again.
    So e.g. an %-Attitude Modifier (of King) for the Loyalty needed to unlock a "Royal Permission".

    Maybe we might even find a way to "Trade Royal Permissions" between Colonial Nations. :think:
    Then we could also have more interaction with other Colonial Nations.
    It needs to be immersive again though.

    ------

    To produce Loyalty (or whatever we call it) we would simply have a new Yield / Profession / Expert.
    The Building could be the Liberty Bells Buildings - so you would need to strategically decide for "Liberty Bells" or "Loyalty".

    In the early to mid game you might focus on "Loyalty".
    In late game you might completely focus on "Liberty Bells".

    ------

    Summary:

    It is basically the same "technical concept" but simply completely reinterpreted to fit the Colonial Scenario.
    It is also heavily designed around the aspect of "Unlocking" more options and features of the game step by step.

    ------

    Maybe this makes it a bit easier to come up with an immersive game concept. :dunno:
    It should give us a little bit more creative freedom at least.

    ------

    The big question to answer:

    Would it be fun to have to unlock all these Buildings, Units, Improvements, ... step by step? :think:
    I can imagine it would, because it would be more challenging and you would have to make more strategic choices.

    But it would also slow down early game to midgame a lot.
    Only in late game would the full feature potential unfold to players.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
  18. Mr. ZorG

    Mr. ZorG Prince

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    in such a case, the increase in the tax rate and the increase in the Royal Expeditionary Force will also need to be reviewed.
     
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  19. Schmiddie

    Schmiddie Emperor

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    Please let us postpone any discussion about this....
     
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  20. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Fully agree. :thumbsup:
    We need to first finish all the things we already started.
     
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