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The Cold War: Playtest Thread

Discussion in 'Civ2 - Scenario League' started by JPetroski, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    Hi all,

    Attached please find my "coronavirus project," The Cold War. I thought it would be good to get it out to folks ahead of the long weekend in case you're still isolating and bored.

    I'd greatly appreciate it if some of you would download this and take it for a spin. I'm hoping that in a few weeks we can get a multiplayer match going, but it would seem to make sense to delay this a short while so people can try out the game in single player to get used to it, and I can squish any bugs that remain. Please provide any feedback you have in this thread.

    I've done pretty extensive bug hunting and play testing over the past several weeks and feel that I have caught most bugs, but you never know. Please report any issues you find in this thread. The text from the pop up box including the lines that are throwing the problem would be very helpful. I would suggest that you enable auto save so that you don't have to redo much in the case that there is an error, but I've played several games through the 1960s and fixed what I encountered.

    There is a batch file included that allows you to swap events between SP and MP games. You all should be using the SP events at this time. If you play as the Soviets or United States, you can play a hotseat game with yourself also controlling your proxy (Pro-East or Pro-West), but you should still use the SP events. YOU SHOULD NOT PLAY AS 3 OR MORE CIVS BY YOURSELF WITH THE SP EVENTS. If you want to play as 3 or more civs, load the multiplayer events.

    Some specific questions I have:

    1. Are the arms sales (keys 5 and 6) and gifting options (2) intuitive enough? How about the rebel spawn mechanism (backspace)?

    2. How long did China take to unify, if ever?

    3. How well did the AI do with their proxy wars? I'm considering if I need to substantially up how many units they get or not, but they seem to do fairly well in my games.

    4. Any obvious bugs?

    5. There are probably 2 unit slots available at this time (terrorist and pirates) as I've reworked how the neutrals work (the major civs can't attack them)... What would you use these slots for?

    6. Were the dialogue events interesting? Are there others that should be included?

    7. What civ did you play with and what annoyed you about the experience vs. what did you enjoy?

    Thanks all! Looking forward to hearing from you.

    EDIT--adding a hotfix for the events file that corrects an issue when trying to align Norway.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
  2. Wiw

    Wiw Chieftain

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    I've already run into a bug, one which brings the Lua console up - whether I check that option in the main menu or not.

    Screenshot (44).png
     
  3. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    What unit did you activate when this happened? I need a little more info to figure out what is going on.
     
  4. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    Is the movement multipliers patch disabled? That's the patch that allows railroads to not be free movement, and rivers/alpine to be different from roads, but causes roads/rivers to give unlimited movement if some lines aren't in the rules.txt. If it is disabled, try enabling it.
     
  5. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    A quick test shows that failing to enable the movement multipliers patch will immediately cause an error when starting the game, and when another unit is activated.

    I would suggest adding an onScenarioLoaded event that checks if totpp.movementMultipliers is nil, and if so, warns the player to turn the movementMultipliers patch on via a text box. We could probably use that for OTR also.
     
  6. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    How would you go about checking that though? Is there a function that can see what boxes are checked in ToTPP?

    I can add this to the readme to enable these in the meanwhile, but hopefully @Wiw can correct the issue with this check box and get started enjoying this!

    Quick fixes are good fixes!
     
  7. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    We can't directly check what patches are enabled, but the error is caused because without the patch, totpp.movementMultiplers is nil, and we can check for that. I added this code to the events.lua file, and it gives the warning if necessary.

    Code:
    civ.scen.onScenarioLoaded(function ()
    if totpp.movementMultipliers == nil then
    civ.ui.text("It appears that you have disabled the movement multipliers patch for TOTPP.  You must enable it to play this scenario.")
    end
    end)
    
     
  8. Wiw

    Wiw Chieftain

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    Yes, it was. I've re-enabled it and it works now.
     
  9. typhoon353

    typhoon353 Chieftain

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    Hi John, just wanted to share some of my preliminary feedback. I've been playing as the Europeans, and have so far played up to around April 1957. Needless to say I think what you've created here will set a new standard for Lua-driven empire building scenarios, and I look forward to seeing how this will inspire other designers when taking on other favorite time periods like the age of imperialism or WW2. I particularly appreciate the attention to detail evident in the events and the flavour text, which are not only just well-written and really give a feel of the era, but also being randomised and responsive to player actions, offers huge replayability value. Gameplay is immensely fun and challenging, and as the Europeans it has been a real struggle against the Pro-East and especially Non-Aligned civs - the whole of Indochina was lost to communism almost within the first few turns, with myself only barely hanging on to a small foothold in Hanoi. A similar story is taking place in North and Subsaharan Africa where only the prodigious use of naval and air power is keeping coastal enclaves in European hands. Rebuilding a continent that is on the verge of starvation was also a challenge within itself, and having to balance researching techs to get better units against those giving economic and political benefits is a real dilemma - it cost me to fall far behind the other AI civs in the arms race. All of this reflects accurately the real-world situation facing postwar Europe and makes for an interesting challenge.

    A few general impressions:

    1. The Non-Aligned has turned out to be an irresistible beast (a situation for which I feel partially responsible :mischief:). As of the current turn, they control 26 cities including Algeria which they successfully aligned out of my hands, as well as Angola, Somalia, Kenya, Congo, parts of Nigeria and Syria. They are currently in the process of wresting Indochina from the Pro-East. Much of this expansion has been fuelled by their event-generated RPGs which have proven nigh-unstoppable and have easily destroyed many colonial garrisons and even higher rated units like tanks, ships and aircraft. The Pro-East and West, which are also receiving copious amounts of these wonder weapons, enjoy similar success. Gun trucks and insurgents are much more easily dealt with. Fortunately I have been able to hold on to Egypt, Malaya and Indonesia so far, but I don't know how long it will last.

    2. China seems to be faring less well. They control only 13 cities including Pyongyang, following a rather volatile Korean War which saw the Pro-Western South successfully invade the North, to be promptly ejected by the Soviets who were in turn finally evicted by the Chinese. China south of the Yangtze remains firmly in Nationalist hands, as well as Shanghai, Nanking and Chongqing. For some reason, the Chinese were at war with the Soviets for a good part of this time (I think the Soviet AI player might have attacked them), which left the Civil War in China stalled. Things seem to be picking up speed as the Soviet-Chinese war is over and the Communists are advancing south again, with much of their captures of cities taking place in the last few turns, including Chengdu and Tibet.

    3. The Align Country mechanic is immensely powerful in SP - I've already grabbed Turkey and Spain which have been integrated into my economy and are being used to churn out freight and military units for my reconquista of Africa and the Middle East. The European player has a large number of options which they can pick and choose at their leisure. In MP, it might be interesting to give the Soviets the options of Aligning certain strategic countries like Finland, Austria and Iran as well as Turkey, to make it more of a race against the European player to establish a strong position in the early game. Perhaps also introduce an element of random chance or weightage so that it gets harder if you have successfully influenced more countries already to acquire more. For example, if the Soviet player manages to coerce the Finns into the Pro-East camp, it gives the Europeans a higher chance to acquire Sweden, while reducing the Soviet chance to do the same.

    On to your more specific questions. 2, 3 and 7 I think I've addressed somewhat in the previous comments.

    No problems here- its fairly easy to get the hang of, though I haven't played far enough to see whether the AI progresses beyond offering just the WW2 generation of equipment. I see the Pro-West and East fielding units from the Jet Fighters II and MBT II tiers so it seems to be working on their end?

    There appeared to be an error that caused the debug screen to appear when I tried to Align Norway, but no problems with the other countries (Sweden, Spain and Turkey).

    More domestic units for the Indians/Chinese would be nice. For the Chinese, I'd suggest Tu-16/H-6 in Strategic Bombers I or the Nanchang Q-5 in Attack Aircraft I and JH-7 in Attack Aircraft II. The Indians could have the Ajeet/Folland Gnat as a predecessor to the HF-24 Marut or Vijayanta before the Arjun, or they could get the SEPECAT Jaguar in Attack Aircraft II.

    Alternatively, you could use the additional slots to further flesh out the US, Soviet and European lines (such as putting previously cut units like the P-51, P-80 and M4 Sherman back in) or give them a unique special unit. One possibility could be to add F-117 as a late game unit for the US, or Eurofighter for the Europeans. Another could be to add early helicopters such as the UH-1 Huey for the US, Mi-4/Mi-8 for the Soviets, or Alouette/Gazelle for the Europeans, or advanced ones (AH-64 for the US, Mi-28/Ka-50 for the Soviets, and Eurocopter Tiger/Mangusta for the Europeans.)

    In addition to new units, I'd also make the following additional suggestion to the existing roster:

    1. For Strategic Bombers I, I'd replace Canberra with Vulcan in the same category as B-52 and Tu-95, and replace Vulcan with Mirage IV alongside B-1 and Tu-160 in Strategic Bombers II. This would align the European bombers more closely with their contemporaries as well as in terms of relative performance (Vulcan was closer to the preceding B-47 and Tu-16, and Mirage IV entered service in the 1960s compared to the 1980s for B-1 and Tu-160, but would be a better fit than Vulcan as it is supersonic like the other two.) Its not a perfect solution but would be better than the current configuration.

    2. Harrier is greatly overmatched by the MiG-25 and F-14 in Jet Fighters V- it was designed foremost as a subsonic ground attack aircraft while the other two are high-performance Mach 2+ capable air to air interceptors. A better fit here would be Mirage F1. Harrier might similarly make more sense than Tornado in Attack Aircraft II as the equivalent to A-10 and Su-25.

    3. If you'd prefer an entirely European tank line without the M47, one option could be to put Comet in Centurion's place and Centurion in M47's place in MBT I.

    I enjoyed the dialogue events for domestic US developments, as well as the ones for leadership changes in the US, USSR and UK. Additional ones that spring to mind in the time period I've played so far:

    - Some text on the end of the Western Allied occupation of Germany leading up to the creation of the FRG in 1949;
    - on the other end, developments taking place in Eastern Europe, including the formation of the communist satellite states and incidents of local opposition towards Soviet rule (e.g. Budapest in 1956 and East Germany in 1953, the latter of which was used as pretext to remove Beria);
    - the end of the war in the Pacific with the Treaty of San Francisco in 1952.

    There's already a ton of writing that's been done for the events for which I am more than content with, I'm sure others can suggest more. I think what's already in makes for quite substantial reading without being bogged down. A good place to look for ideas would be the event card descriptions for the board game Twilight Struggle, which cover the entire period.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
  10. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    Thanks for the feedback! I'll have a more substantive response later, but here is a patch with the following bug fixes:

    --I accidentally left a testing mechanism in there and had this absolutely fire on turn 1 rather than have a 20% chance to fire any turn, so it's not a huge deal that it happened on turn 1 in your playthrough (as it can) but it will happen on turn 1 every time if I didn't fix this!

    Sorry about that... I had cOslo.owner.location.z as a copy/paste issue. The hotfix patches that. You'll need to run the Cold War batch file again to load up the corrected events but it shouldn't have any impact on your game and you'll be able to fix Norway next time.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    I'm glad you are having a good time as the Europeans. I worried a bit about them as they have so many challenges to overcome, but I suppose that could be what makes it fun. I do think I probably need to add a keypress "arms sale" mechanism for SP only for Europe as you don't really have any way to sell weapons to others like the other tribes do with their proxy in SP.

    If you find the RPGs to be too much you can tinker with how many show up in the line "specialNumbers.rpgAIrebellion = 3" (currently line 295 of the EventsSP file). I found that when I gave the AI the same number of RPGs that the humans get per large revolt (1), they weren't conquering very much (I guess what I'm saying is the lowest I'd suggest lowering it to might be trying 2). At least the unit is poor on defense and is destroyed after attacking.

    I'm going to have to explore what I did to allow the Soviets to fight the Chinese as they shouldn't be able to do that until China researches a certain technology. Thanks for the heads up. I too haven't seen China unify until the mid-1950s or so. It would be possible to add "if turn == 1 and not object.tChina.isHuman" as an event that boosts their starting units if they aren't a human player in the SP game if others also report that it takes the civ too long to get going (I'm not necessarily unhappy with mid 1950s for the AI, but speeding it up might not be bad either).

    The Soviets and Americans can also align the European neutrals in SP and MP - whether or not the AI will research the techs to do so is another story, as they prioritize others at this point. I think in MP, it will make an interesting choice though because you have to remember that when Turkey for example is Neutral, none of the big three will be able to attack it, but once it turns European, Pro-West or Pro-East, it's fair game for the other side to attack (by proxy if owned by Europe).

    This is a possibility - another might be to make there always be a chance for the human player that it simply won't work out and they've just wasted 4-6 turns worth of tech research.

    I'm glad to hear that - the way I have the AI "complete arms sales" is simply to give these units to their proxy on random turns, depending on what techs they have. Right now I have it set up so that they won't give their best stuff but if playtesting suggests that doesn't work well for the game, I could make changes.

    This works for me. I just need to wade through the art archives to find a Mirage IV.

    OK, I can change that as well.

    That works for me.

    Awesome resource - thank you!
     
  12. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    Mirage IV, Mirage F1, and Comet all added. This is save game compatable. I also noticed that I never provided any batch file for swapping out the units files to make them look more modern over time, but I'll have to get to that later.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 King

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    Hi John,

    I just started taking a quick look at the scenario, which appears to be pretty incredible. It will be a while before I get to play a full scenario but I just wanted to point out a couple of simple observations:

    I noticed not all the units seem to be displaying in the Military Units Civilopedia. I don't know if that was intentional but I did notice that the @UNIT_DESCRIPTIONS section of the descibe.txt file doesn't go beyond 81 units.

    Also, this is probably related but when you click on either the M-47 or M48 Patton links of the Main Battle Tank I advance...

    upload_2020-9-5_13-37-6.png

    they take you to the Gun Truck screen.
    upload_2020-9-5_13-39-20.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
  14. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 King

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    Also, I just download your latest fix and placed them in my scenario folder but now it is generating a console error when you start the scenario, which I've attached
     

    Attached Files:

  15. techumseh

    techumseh Emperor

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    I notice that there's quite a bit of tweaking happening. Should I wait a bit to get started, or just dig in now?
     
  16. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    Ah crud I must have missed one of the tornado names... well thats just an art and rules fix that doesnt do anything of substance. Ill fix it when I get home...

    @techumseh the only tweaks are paint on a pig but don't DL the latest update due to the error. You can dig in. Superficial changes only (name changes etc.)
     
  17. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    @tootall_2012 did you run the Cold War batch file again after downloading that? I can't find any reference to "uTornado" in the files I uploaded. If you run the batch file and select the SP events, does that correct the issue? I'm not uploading a file called "events" - only "eventsSP" and "eventsMP" as I don't know what file anyone who happens to be playing is using, so if I make a change you'll all need to run the batch file again.

    I believe the events are probably working unless you advise that running the batch file does not correct your issue.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
  18. tootall_2012

    tootall_2012 King

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    Hi John,

    Sorry, you are correct. I just re-ran the batch file and restarted the scenario and the error is no longer there.

    Thanks
     
  19. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    If you want, you can use the buyEquipment function to make the AI buy equipment rather than simply receive it. I can give you a 'get offered price' function so you can tell how much the equipment is being offered for, and perhaps have an if statement that chooses the cheapest equipment in a given class.
     
  20. JPetroski

    JPetroski Deity

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    I think the Soviets are fairly well balanced and make for a fun SP game but I think the USA and Pro-West have much too much money in SP. I won't be making any changes just yet but I'm considering if maybe it makes sense to only give the 25 gold per city boost to the USA and not both the USA and Pro-West. The Pro-West is a pretty rich tribe in and of itself which I think is contributing to this. Since the U.S. would play in hotseat mode, they'd get to start first in a SP game even though they shouldn't (China should first), so I might do a movespent event for the Pro-West units on turn 1 as well, so they can't preemptive strike the Chinese and obliterate them.

    In MP, I'm not sure how it will play out. The US will be fabulously wealthy at the start but on the other hand they'll have many eggs to fry against multiple human players who will all have their own agendas. Many Pro-West cities are in China, which should get knocked out, especially with a Soviet player aggressively helping the Chinese. That, coupled with the early expiration of the U.S. player's best wonders, and the descent into the chaos of the 50's and 60's, might balance, but let's face it - the early part of this scenario was America's golden age. It's going to be strong.

    How would you envision this working? Some event where if the AI has >= a certain gold threshold and owns a city with an international port/coastal flag they may purchase a unit that's for sale and have it shipped there?
     

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