The effect of map size?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by LionQ, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. LionQ

    LionQ Noble

    Jun 25, 2002
    Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    I'm used to playing on the Huge map size, and Marathon game speed, too. I'd usually gank a neighbour early, then settle down and go for a Space Race victory, with having Diplomatic Victory as a second option.

    As this began to get kind of boring, I changed some settings around. I played on a Standard map instead with six opponents, and to my surprise this had a tremendous effect on the gameplay experience.

    The AI was much more aggressive, and had no problems with keeping the technological pace up either. It felt like playing versus a way better AI, to be honest. It was performing well better than on a Huge map.

    So this led me to wonder what the influence of the map size (and number of civilizations) actually is. What factors are influenced by this setting? Is the AI struggling to efficiently organize its empire on larger maps? Any information would be welcome.

    Also, is it possible to set a random number of opponents somewhere when setting up a custom game?
  2. mnf

    mnf King

    Jan 31, 2006
    From the WorldInfo.xml file, one can see the following parameters for each map size:

    iDefaultPlayers, iUnitNameModifier, iTargetNumCities, iNumFreeBuildingBonuses, iBuildingClassPrereqModifier, iMaxConscriptModifier, iWarWearinessModifier, iGridWidth, iGridHeight, iTerrainGrainChange, iFeatureGrainChange, iResearchPercent, iTradeProfitPercent, iDistanceMaintenancePercent, iNumCitiesMaintenancePercent, iColonyMaintenancePercent, iCorporationMaintenancePercent, iNumCitiesAnarchyPercent, iAdvancedStartPointsMod.

    It's the same as how the game gets scaled when played at different speeds. I suppose the out-lying speeds and sizes aren't scaled that perfectly---though one should feel the game to be different, after all, it's a different size.

    Smaller maps mean earlier conflict, earlier contact and hence earlier trade. Bigger maps means more slack both in terms of space and time.

    Though I've read a lot of people say Small is easier than Standard. I mostly play Small, having a little out-dated computer.
  3. AlessioCerci

    AlessioCerci Prince

    Jul 17, 2007
    Well smaller maps sizes mean less people to beat, but thats the only difference in difficulty. Of course theres the question of whether you need 6,78 etc forges for and ironworks but that doesnt seem to matter in my games.
  4. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

    Apr 20, 2007
    Dancing in the Dark
    ... Also, concerning barbs, huge means more spawns as there is more territory that is unexplored.
  5. Kennigit

    Kennigit proud 2 boxer

    Apr 29, 2007
    gatech alum
    One large effect is tech speed-at least in the early game. Techs cost more on larger maps; by the late game you have a larger empire so the effect is compensated for, but early on you have the same number of cities you would have on any map and tech is slower. For example, try researching some tech at the very start- the time to research may change by a couple of turns depending on map size.
  6. Weird Piggy

    Weird Piggy Chieftain

    Feb 6, 2006
    I think the effect of the poor city placement and bad city improvement is multiplied because they are more cities on large maps.
  7. Underdawg

    Underdawg King

    Oct 10, 2005
    Wet Coast... er... West Coast, CAN
    Could try moving up a level... :crazyeye:

    Unless you are on Deity already and therefore I would bow to you.

    Also, IMO, 12 Civs (the default number for Huge Maps) is way way too low.... I think at least 14 is optimal.

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