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tleilaxu mechanics

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Dune Wars' started by davidlallen, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

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    To be more clear, I do not think the cloned units should show up in the homeworld screen. That implies the spacer guild is involved with delivering them, which is wrong. My only point was that the AI which decides to buy units off the homeworld screen can also decide whether to buy cloned units.

    We need to decide how and when the selection of cloned units happens, since it will be somewhere else. In FFH, world spells appear as an action button on any unit; spells which can only be cast on a city show up as an action button on any unit in that city. So perhaps the ghola action shows up as an action button on any unit, in a city with an axlotl tank? Clicking that button gives you some popup, where you can select the unit to work on.
     
  2. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    We also need to think about where this shows up in the tech tree. The logical tech that I had reserved for lots of biological stuff is Genetic Manipulation, but this comes fairly late in the tech tree.

    Certainly I intended this as a tech for the Facedancer UU.
     
  3. Anathema

    Anathema Chieftain

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    Yeah, if you go with the "homeworld screen" approach you wouldn't want the unit actually showing up on the homeworld screen, you'd instead have an "Axlotl tank" screen, functionally the same thing just with different lore explaining it. Positioning in the tech tree should depend on other Tleilaxu unique features, such as Face Dancers - generally you want these things spread out, so that at any given point in the game, a Tleilaxu player has something unique to use/look forward to. I know one of the things I hate in FFH2 is when a certain civ is "only" good at the late game because all their unique units/buildings/heroes are way up the tech tree, or "only" good at the early game because all their UUs/UBs/etc are available right from the start.

    Personally I'd prefer Axlotl tanks to be relatively early in the game, since it's an ability that - unlike a specific UU - continues to be useful throughout the game, so the earlier you start using it the more mileage you get out of it. Especially if you're going through the trouble to have an entirely separate interface for it, an "Axlotl tank screen", it'd be a shame if it was something so late in the tech tree that you didn't even use it every game.
     
  4. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Maybe this should be a *replacement* mecahnic for the offworld trade?

    The Guild doesn't really like the Bene Tl any more than anyone else does.

    So maybe instead of being able to import troops through the Guild, BTl get to buy gholas from a Gene Bank screen that functions similarly to a Guild Transport screen but has different graphics.

    So put an axolotl tank at offworld trade tech.
     
  5. Anathema

    Anathema Chieftain

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    Makes sense, so the Tleilaxu can start buying units at the same point any other civ can, they just have more experienced units to pick from - gives them an edge in that area without giving them an entirely new mechanic that other civs can't access. Removing the whole offworld trade option for the Tleilaxu should also simplify the AI work greatly, since the AI won't have to choose whether to buy a ghola or buy a new unit from offworld trade, I imagine the experienced ghola will generally be the better choice anyway even if it's a little more expensive. Although - you may as well not make it more expensive, this is supposed to be an advantage for the Tleilaxu after all, presumably other civs will have their own unique units/buildings that are better than the Tleilaxu equivalent.
     
  6. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

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    This is working. When you build a unit in a city with a tank, the python code searches for the best living unit (most XP) of the same type. It applies all that unit's promotions and current level and XP number to the new unit. There is a high percent chance of losing one promotion. If the best living unit has fewer XP than the unit would get normally due to barracks, etc, then no promotions are transferred.

    However, the last 20 posts or so have suggested applying the promotions of the best *dead* unit, so that only one copy of a unit is ever active at a time. I can do this by storing the best dead unit of each type and using that, instead of searching the map for a living unit. That should be a relatively easy change.

    It opens up an interesting possibility. Suppose a Tleilaxu unit kills a veteran unit of another player. Shouldn't it be possible to get a DNA sample from the dead commander, and use that DNA for future Tleilax units? Maybe there is less than a 100% chance of this.

    EDIT: Keeping one best unit of each type will not quite work. Since the goal is to have only one copy at a time, the dead unit must be deleted from the DNA Bank when a new unit is built from it. Suppose for a given unit type, one is killed and then two in a row are built. The second one will never have a clone available. So the composition of the units in the bank needs a little more thought. Perhaps a fixed number can be kept, of the highest XP unit regardless of unit type. Then if you have two senior units of one type, they would both be kept. Perhaps the fixed number could be, two for every tank which is built.
     
  7. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Hmm. I'm unsure about tying this to units constructed in the city, rather than specifically buying gholas.

    I worry that the connection between the dead unit and the new one is too weak. I think it could easily just seem like you happened to get some random promotions on a new unit, and not that this was occurring because the commander of the new unit was a ghola clone of an older unit.

    The mechanic does not seem very transparent without an explicit "Gene Bank" that you can look at to see what units are there.

    It also seems complex with unit obsolesence; if you have a really high level of one type that dies, and then you research the tech that makes it obsolete, you can never get it back again. Whereas with the purchase-from-gene-bank mechanic you could still buy the older unit and then upgrade it.

    I understand that linking it to units built in the city can help the AI's decision of choosing which unit to get, but there will already have to be some kind of AI script to determine AI purchase decisions with the offworld trade screen.
    I'm not saying you shouldn't do it that way, merely highlighting some potential problems.
     
  8. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    Redirecting from UU thread:

    I don't think anyone is suggestion it should apply to vehicles and thopters anyway. Equipment is a small investment compared to the well trained and experience soldier to wield it.

    I would be in favour of this ability being given to only a few units. If we create a selection of Single Units as you suggested elsewhere, Ginaz Swordmaster, Infiltrator, new Facedancer unit, some others - then these can be the units eligible for being ghola-ed back to life.

    I know what you're trying to represent, but I still think it's too abstract. It doesn't make me feel - "this unit is a ghola" or "this unit has a ghola commander", so it doesn't really give the Tleilaxu flavour. If we had single powerful units differentiated then their rebirth would be something you'd care more about.
     
  9. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

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    I can add a promotion "ghola" to these units, and give a popup the first time one appears, and move the axlotl tank earlier in the tech tree. Would that help?
     
  10. idahopotato

    idahopotato Chieftain

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    Gholas and clones are not the same thing. A clone is a recreation of someone or something based on copies of the DNA. A ghola is the actual body with regrown tissue and reanimated. There can only be one ghola at a time because there is only one person at a time, whereas you can make clones as fast as the technology allows you to "grow" them. I suppose you could make a ghola of a clone, but again you would only be able to make one.

    Are facedancers in this game? I just started a Tleilaxu game and can't find them on the tech tree or the Dune-o-pedia.
     
  11. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

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    I am not sure I understand the distinction you are making. It is not "canon", but there is a scene in the new book "Paul of Dune" in which there are a roomful of gholas of the same person.

    Not yet. It has been suggested that they should have an ability like the "mimic" of FFH. If it wins a combat, it can copy one promotion from the loser. Does this seem reasonable? One challenge is where to fit it into the tech tree, and what its base strength should be. What do you think?
     
  12. idahopotato

    idahopotato Chieftain

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    That is a big part of the problem with the new books. The authors apparently either failed to read the originals, or else just decided to do whatever they wanted anyway. I honestly think they just aren't smart enough to understand what they read.

    I haven't played FFH yet, so I don't know what a mimic would be. I figure the facedancer would be akin to a spy unit, that appeared to the opposing faction as one of their units, save for perhaps a reverend mother. So more difficult to detect, but really not all that powerful.
     
  13. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    The Mimic in FFH2 is a unit that steals a random promotion from any enemy unit they defeat. For a Facedancer unit this would represent taking on the guise/abilities of someone they have just killed.
     
  14. idahopotato

    idahopotato Chieftain

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    I don't know anything about development, so I just throw ideas out there let you guys decide if it can be done or not. Is there anyway that a face dancer could kill a unit without the other faction knowing, and then appear like that unit? Say if you have a guard or vehicle unit stationed somewhere and the face dancer uses his special abilities to kill that unit, but you wouldn't know it happened until you tried to use that unit, but nothing happens when you click on it? My reasoning is just that when a face dancer kills someone and takes their place, no one knows the person is dead or missing. In the final Frank book, he alluded to the new enemy being an army of face dancers (not some weird machines like the new authors created). Imagine getting ready to defend you land from an oncoming army, only to realize too late that your units are actually their units.
     
  15. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

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    That sounds cool! It would definitely be creepy for other players to know that some of their units might turn against them. I have no idea how to implement it. The owning player would have to keep control of the unit; but somehow the tleilaxu player would need to be able to "override" the owning player's actions during their turn. It is definitely worthwhile to think about, but I have never heard of another mod doing something like this. Does anybody have any cool ideas about how it could be implemented?
     
  16. Slvynn

    Slvynn Duke Vector fon Pixel

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    thats a great idea and direction, but I dont think its implementable as it proposed.
    1st in SP player and AI turn at different times. that reveal bunch of problems.
    2nd in simultaneous moves games its better but still have problems with goto directives.

    It can be simplier.
    Facedancer can be promotion. The unit should be able to transform at will (as action) itself to any other melee unit. (ranged ability, lets say 2 square range), copying his promotions and all things alike. As option it can bear copied unit's flag, but i think thats hard. And it may be invisible unit. Sure, with hight cost and strict limit to quantity.

    So mechanics will be simple - those national units infiltrators sneak to enemy lands, and then copying best nemy units and attack from any place.
     
  17. idahopotato

    idahopotato Chieftain

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    I kind of figured it wouldn't be possible to do, but it sure would be cool. I like the idea of the player still being able to control it until the face dancer "activates" the unit. I suppose it would work better in simultaneous play as opposed to turn based. Still is fun to imagine though. Just for the record, this game is incredible as it is.
     
  18. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I think it would be incredibly frustrating and un-fun for your own units to start attacking you.

    I think we might have more luck with making Facedancers a moderate strength Mimic + Marksmen.
     
  19. Psychic_Llamas

    Psychic_Llamas Wizard in the Making

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    im with Ahri here. it would be irritating if you were figthing T. id stick with mimic+marksman.

    EDIT: possibly add in invisibility and can eneter rival borders.
     
  20. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    Agree, having Facedancers as dual use scouts and combatants seems like a good way to go.
     

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