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Things to fix/Things that are weird/Building Bloat

Discussion in 'Civilization NiGHTS' started by Lord Chambers, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Lord Chambers

    Lord Chambers Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2001
    Messages:
    1,004
    Apparently feedback goes here: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=11232502

    I will move my post there since it 1)better fits there, 2)was three days out-of-date with the new version.

    Here's what it did say, in case you're really curious.
    Spoiler :
    Here's some feedback. It's not comprehensively what I think of of the mod, it's just the notes I was making in my head while playing tonight that I figure I should proffer in case someone cares.

    Things to fix:
    One diplomatic modifier reads, "We're they're main rival" which should be "We're their main rival."

    I built Chitzen Itza in a coastal city.

    The tech tree doesn't have any scroll bar along the bottom. I have to use the mouse wheel. I wonder if this is a feature, or a bug for my resolution.

    Sometimes the default city management focus (read: not hammer focus) leaves specialists as unemployed, which is conspicuous when there are a wealth of open specialist positions.

    Work boats can't go in ocean even after Astronomy.

    I can't embark land units into city which has a naval unit already in it. The reverse case, a land unit in the city when a naval unit tries to enter, works.

    Things that are weird
    Coliseums require Barracks to be built. I don't understand why either in terms of theme or gameplay.

    I don't understand how Theatres work. "+1 happiness for every policy discovered." Is the number of policies discovered assessed when I complete the building and permanently fixed, or is it reassessed each turn? If it's the latter, it's way over-powered. If it's the former its still way over-powered--stronger than any wonder. But thankfully it doesn't seem to work either way, instead about 7 happiness.

    The policies seem to be distributed about the trees almost at random, thematically. But more importantly, as a gameplay element, the distribution is nonsensical. Some of the strongest are at the start and some of the weakest are the hardest to get. I get the same obviously strongest ones in the same order every game, and never feel like I'm making a trade off. Surprisingly, overpowered policies like Rationality's +2 science specialist boost or Piety's 50% settler production were buffed in the latest version. I can't understand why.

    I generally have thousands of gold on hand at any given moment. I like that it means rush buying is feasible, but not that no attempt has been made to balance this with the unchanged vanilla City State influence model. It's almost impossible not to be friends with every CS, unless you've learned that doing so might result in war with the one AI who, instead of being permanently broke, has thousands of gold like you.

    I don't want three different buildings to build three different types of knights. This is a roleplaying flavor option, not a realistic strategic decision.

    Infinite City Sprawl is the optimal option given that 1)cities can now be founded three tiles away, 2)the first three Commerce policies are overpowered and no-brainers on anything but a Pangaea, 3)two of the first three Rationality policies (+2 science to specialists and Libraries provide +1 happiness) are overpowered and no-brainers, 4) three of the obligatory and redundant ancient buildings (Apothecary, Storehouse, and Workshop) provide a total of three super specialists. Patronage is also a no-brainer, but mercifully it puts the +2 happiness policy in the latter half of the tree so it almost feels like you have to work for it.

    Building Bloat
    If there are going to be 5-10 buildings which add bonuses to specific resource tiles, it would be nice if you could redesign the construction interface. It is inadequate at the moment even using the queue to build just the obligatory buildings, let along scrolling past the extremely specialized buildings that are almost never worth building. I keep wishing I had a template I could click once which would build the same 7 buildings at the start, and then a governor who would have the mindless job of building the grain boosting buildings if it's a grainy city, or the furs and sheep building if it's a furry and sheepy city, or the ____ and ____ building if it's a _____ and _____ city.

    In many ways the mod feels much more like Civ4, where tiles are more powerful, expansion is constricted but not wholly disincentivized, and cities can be specialized to a greater degree due to the greater number of buildings and wonders; all is good. Unfortunately on that last point, there are so many building options, with so many of those options being worthless, that the building aspect of the game is a chore. It seems like for about 25% of the buildings, their the availability depends on what terrain you settle the city on or "near" (whatever that means). Remembering what buildings you're enabling or disabling and where on the vast tech tree that building comes along would be a mess to consider while city settling, if any of those buildings were actually worth building. Thankfully strongest buildings can be built anywhere, so availability is really just a flavor option.

    Similarly, the roughly 25% of buildings which have obsolescence dates seem to offer players some strategic tradeoffs, although the few times I've dug into the tech tree to try and analyze the cost-benefit I've found that none of those buildings are worth building anyway. The important point is that I don't want to unearth the tech tree and figure it out. Obsolescence and terrain-based availability in Nights Mod is neither a)a fun thing to think about, nor b) does it matter if I bother. At least one of those elements needs to be present in a strategy game, preferably both.

    I don't want to have four buildings for making my ocean tiles better, 5-10 buildings which add +1 food to specific pairs of resources, or a wealth of specialist positions in every building so that I'm always in Caste System. This many buildings reduces the number of truly strategic decisions to make for city building, and introduces a bunch of details to keep track of/ignore, like the heap of of national/worldwide wonders that require you to search your empire for the city with the most luxuries in its radius, the most strategic resources, the most bonus resources, or the most sea resources.

    Keep up the work though. The main screen interface provides a lot more useful information than vanilla Civ5. I've had fun exploring this mod and like that it attempts a new happiness model. In a few months, as the tech tree is refined; the policies, unique abilities and buildings, and governments are balanced; and the building bloat is reduced or tweaked to make them meaningful, I could definitely see myself recommending NiGHTS Mod to others.
     
  2. Chibiabos

    Chibiabos Prince

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Messages:
    424
    Ugh ... 148 pages on that thread, seriously!? How is anyone new to the mod supposed to catch up to know whether the bug they are encountering has already been encountered? :( If anyone is actually able to read through 148 pages of replies to a thread and keep track of what's already been reported, my hat is definitely off to them ... it is well beyond my intellectual capacity, however. :(
     
  3. markusbeutel

    markusbeutel NiGHTS

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,976
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    If you follow the manual installation instructions, that'll clear up 95% of any bugs encountered. Any other bugs are usually fixed by deleting old versions of the mod, (manually, through your MODS folder), and disabling other mods. Those instructions can be found on p.1 of the General Discussions thread, where you'll also find an intro to the various systems/mechanics of the mod.

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=399510

    There's also a Bugs thread - and it's only 22 pages. ;) If you post any problems there I usually post a response pretty quick.

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=437588&page=22
     
  4. markusbeutel

    markusbeutel NiGHTS

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,976
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada

    Lots to get at here. :)

    1) Surprised that diplomacy tool-tip misspelling lasted this long. Will be fixed in the next update.

    2) This was fixed/changed in v11.7, (Chichen Itza requires plains now, and is working properly).

    3) The scroll bar disappearing is a resolution issue - not a bug, and no fix for this yet other than buying a larger monitor. :crazyeye: ( I designed the tree on a widescreen monitor - realized that after the fact).

    4) A vanilla issue, (the City governor's build choices), which they're horrible at making.

    5) The work boat bug is a strange one. The correct XML's are in place, so I'm not sure why this isn't triggering - something I need to look into.

    6) This is also a vanilla issue, with no fix as far as I know.

    7) Colosseum's requiring barracks is more or less implemented to help balance expansion. If it weren't in place, it's not that difficult to beeline Colosseums and go on an early mass expansion/warmongering spree. The AI is fairly awful at picking techs, and tends to scattershot it's choices, (despite heavy flavor leanings) - and this extra requirement helps them out more than anything else. Now that Colosseums unlock Gladiators, I think the prereq isn't quite as far-fetched as it was previously.

    8) Theatres give +1 Happiness for every policy branch that you've unlocked - so the most you'll get is +7 per Theatre. If you build a Theatre and only have 3 branches unlocked, you'll get +3 happiness, which'll then automatically go up to 4/5/6/7 when you unlock the remaining policy branches.

    9) It's true, stronger policies are at the tops of trees. The AI doesn't initially go deep into branches anymore, as I've programmed them to cherry-pick from multiple branches to help them diversify their stats. Stronger initial policies also make your early choices very meaningful and difficult to make. Later, perceived weaker policies will end up being fairly strong by the time they're unlocked, as they generally require work on your part to be improved. (The particular rationalism policy you mention has been halved, with the other half coming further down the tree). Policy connections have also been tweaked in v11.7, so the +100% settler bonus, while strong, is no longer as attractive, considering it's a dead end policy. With a plains hill starting city and some forests, you could probably chop a settler out just as fast as if you chose that particular policy.

    Thematically, a mechanic like the policy branches in CIV V will never truly work. IMO, they'll always feel like arbitrary bonuses because they're permanent, with no downsides. Combined with Governments, I've tried to make them a little bit more palatable in v11.7 as far as realism goes and what they're named, but you'll still end up getting something like universal suffrage in 300AD.

    10) ICS is strong in CIV V, and it always will be as long as population = science. There's no way to combat this, and increasing the spacing between cities only helps on larger maps sizes, while crippling small/dual maps. If it were up to me, I'd have city-spacing scale depending on map size.

    Commerce is also strong, although you need coastal cities to make it really work early on. This has been mitigated to some extent by having 2 of the first 3 policies dead-end, (and the rationalism +2 per specialist policy has been nerfed as well to +1). The Settler production policy was buffed because at 50%, I found it wasn't worth it. I could chop a settler out just as fast and spend that policy on something more worthwhile. While it's been boosted to 100%, it now dead-ends. It's still a strong choice, but I'd put the free worker policies above it on the policy food chain.

    11) You mention building bloat - you should've tried the mod 6 months ago... ;) The terrain restrictions actually help minimize this bloat, as terrain restrictions cause buildings to not show up in the build queue. Interesting suggestion about tweaking the queue - I'll look into this to help minimize the onslaught of options that can come up in newer cities. I also think that more of the early buildings could probably stand to become obsolete, as future policy choices usually give new cities after turn 100 a solid boost to begin with.

    As for the amount of building options, what they give bonuses for, etc - I think this is just a matter of taste. It's probably too much for some people, and not enough for others. I've tried to find a balance number-wise that works within the context of the mod - and more techs generally require there to be more buildings. What I can do is try and make each building feel more unique, (which I've already attempted to do through nearby bonuses - ie workable resources within the city). "Nearby" in the case of terrain requirements, means that a city needs to be built on, or directly adjacent, to the specified terrain. I use "nearby" because it's what vanilla CIV V uses, and I assumed this would make for the easiest transition for new players.

    Thanks for the feedback - the mods only going to get better from here on in. :)
     
  5. Victorzza

    Victorzza Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Russia
    Why Russian special building is some "Katholikon"? I'm from Russia, I know history quite well, but I've never even heard such word before. There's no such word in dictionaries - I checked.

    Russian Wikipedia says that it is the main temple of a monastery in modern Greece. The name was also used for main part of a temple in late Antiquity. But it was never used even in Byzantium (except for Greece as its colony, of course), not speaking of Russia. I'm very surprised that English wiki is wrong.

    Krepost from vanilla is historically correct and ok for any Russian, but that katholicon feels like an imagined thing.
     
  6. NicTeos

    NicTeos Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
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    Gender:
    Male
    played this mod after some month again, and it feels better.

    There are too many buildings, and the expensive curve of buildings is too strong. There are especially too many buildings which improve hammer production and it takes ages until all buildings ( except in the capital ) are built.

    And there are some inconsistences, like that not every building can be bought, but some national wonders. Or the guild hall needs an inn, but inn becomes obsolete with military science.

    Some wonders can be active for only some turns - like ishtar gate, which becomes obsolete with gunpowder.

    If you do it right, the capital becomes hyper productive. Take slavery, some production increasing wonders, + 10 culture per wonder, and so on. And in the end by 1900 my capital had 60 pops, ~ 5000 hammers and ~ 4500 culture.

    Some UB's are actually weak - like the egyptian one. It replaces granery but doesn't give +30% pop growth - and other are too strong like the american one. It replaces the 40% pop growth building, with only 20% but can be built together with granery.

    In warfare it's too hard to capture cities before artillery/air / too easy to defend before. And imho another classical melee between swordmen and longswordmen would be good. I'm not really happy with gladiator and the other 10 + ranged def unit.
     

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