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Too easy to discover the whole world; and urban sprawl

Discussion in 'Orbis Modmod' started by Pazyryk, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    Many of us have never finished a game of Civ (in any of its forms), or almost never. There are a two inevitable things that end my interest in a game. One is when all of the world is filled up with urban sprawl (sort of like the LA area) and there is no wilderness left, not a spot of undeveloped land. The barb and animal boosts in Orbis have gone some way in addressing the urban sprawl problem. At least it is a little bit of a struggle to cover every square inch with strip malls and Walmarts. However, I’d be much happier if this never happened, since it seems unfitting in a fantasy setting.

    A bigger problem for me is discovering and mapping the whole world much much too early. Surely there should be large patches unknown even in late game (as there are even today in the Amazon). In early game, my knowledge of the world should be really limited (like what the ancient Greeks knew about China). Instead, I pretty much have full NASA satellite coverage of the whole world soon after Tracking. Yes, I really hate those birds, or at least their ability to do round-the-globe city tours like some ultra-rich college kid. That and map trading at Cartography, where you don’t even need to go anywhere. I also think it should be much more rare (rather than common) for a little sailing boat (let alone a fishing boat) to circumnavigate a whole continent.
     
  2. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    You should try out the Hinterlands game option in Rise of Darkness.... Limits movement into unowned territory to most units until you have a promotion/tech enabling it.
     
  3. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    It looks pretty cool. I didn't read through the whole thread... how does it play out?

    I wouldn't mind if more tile types were almost impassible: ice, desert, ancient forest and deep jungle. I'm not sure I like the hard limits on movement through any tile type away from your cultural border. And in any case, it seems like the restrictions would have little long-term game play effect if they just go away so early (forest with hunting). I wonder if there is something similar without the hard limits. Like, units are prone to becoming lost (immobile) on desert, forest, etc., without the right techs or race. But that would just be annoying and the AI wouldn't understand. I would prefer to just have a lot of hungry monsters, but I know the AI does poorly with this too. It seems like a very tough problem to solve.
     
  4. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    A few ideas and comments on existing features below. Other ideas are welcome. Some of these have been implemented in the context of larger modmods, but I really wish someone had a modmod focused on slowing exploration and/or preventing total urbanization of the entire world surface. (Maybe I'll try but no promises right now.)

    1. Kill map trading, or put it very late like printing press. Really, Columbus didn’t have an instant map of the entire New World the instant he encountered the first native American. But this is how it happens for me in Civ (and FFH and Orbis).
    2. Make settlers rare. Ether very expensive or some other mechanism (that "some other mechanism" is bound to annoy people though).
    3. Hunter (with hawk) should be the first land unit that stands much chance at exploration, but I would limit the hawks as follows:
      • No city hopping; can only re-base to one’s own city or to hunter (ranger, etc.), not to other civ’s cities
      • Lower visual range a lot
      • Can’t recon to unseen tiles
      • Can’t recon to mountains
      • Can’t see over mountains (if you want to see it, you have to get your explorer over there somehow)
    4. Choke points work very well with goblin forts and haunted ruins – I like current Orbis implementation very much.
    5. More monsters. Ahwaric is doing a good job at this with animals and barbs. I think I had the most fun in that out of control version a few months back – stacks of wraiths and such wondering around wreaking havoc. But seriously, a little of this havoc is OK out in the wilderness.
    6. Sea monsters. Sometimes I can’t get my ship past some area where a sea serpent is hanging out. More of this please.
    7. Boss monsters guarding certain regions or patches of tiles. I don’t mean stationary guardians that sit on a tile and can be bypassed. I’m thinking something more like a patch of forest, a range of hills, an expanse of desert, or a particular cove or bay, where something really nasty hangs out. Spiders work like this a little, but invisibility gets old after a while. It’s visible. You know it’s there. You know you better not go in that particular patch of forest or that valley until you have a very powerful hero or stack of untis. (AI might need some special help with this. These tiles could be made impassible to AI until some tech level is gained or the boss monster killed.)
    8. A few more tile/feature types that remain impassible without proper race or some tech prereq: ice; desert; ancient forest; deep jungle. Any of these (and mountain too) should be passable with road. Some might have to be made passable under some circumstances. So you could enter ancient forest after DoW on the owning civ, for example. I'm not sure if I like Rise of Darkness Hinterland functions (not having played it), but something along these lines...
    9. Some tile types like ancient forest and deep jungle should stay unmapped (unless you are elf or lizardman or own the tile). These should return to fog of war after your unit passes. --(edit) Or better, returns to featureless ancient forest or deep jungle.
     
  5. Opera

    Opera Deity

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    You could also limit Fishing Boats and/or Galleys and Triremes to stay in your borders at least until you get some tech.

    Anyway, I like the idea overall. I feel that exploring is too easy sometimes. Even though my scouts still get killed everytime... And, well, I don't use Fishing Boats to explore as it's boring; same for Hawks, I never use them, so I've no real problem with this ;)

    Edit: As of urban sprawl, you should perhaps take away the bonus to Settler production for Expansive leaders. It's quite broken in fact. And you can either make each civ bound to have x cities until y techs (would require a bit of DLL coding though).
     
  6. Schwarzbart

    Schwarzbart Prince

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    I like the idea of ROM that Fishing Boats cant reveal unexplored Terain outside your border.
     
  7. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    I don't really mind if someone tries to explore with fishing boat. I just don't want it to be successful for the most part.

    Building on one idea, I'd like to see a "Hidden Country" mechanism. It would apply to ancient forest, deep jungle, and maybe other features or terrain types. First, there should be some restriction on entry. If you do enter, visibility is 0 (can only see tile you are on). When you leave a tile, it returns to featureless ancient forest or deep jungle. (Would be specific exceptions for elves, followers of FoL, etc.)

    Btw, does anyone know what happens if I set <iVisibilityChange> to -1 (and remove any sentry promos)? Would this restrict vision to only the tile a unit is on?
     
  8. Opera

    Opera Deity

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    What do you mean by "featureless"?
     
  9. Psychic_Llamas

    Psychic_Llamas Wizard in the Making

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    i think he means that the fog of war hids improvements, resources and cities, cultural borders and such. so only the forest appears.
     
  10. readercolin

    readercolin King

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    I think you need to play on bigger maps...

    Secondly, about the whole settler thing. Settlers already cost 2x what they do in base Civ 4, so civ expansion has been drastically reduced already. Increasing settler build cost even more (or altering it in some other way) is probably going to make people give up on it or restart more often if they receive a bad start.

    Third - good luck on writing the hidden country features...

    Fourth, spiders and other animals already make exploring very dangerous, and spiders are without a doubt the worst offenders - you can actually see and bypass the other ones. Many games where you end up with a bad start that is exasperated by animals eating all your exploration/settling parties can easily ruin a game for someone, especially when you have a couple of giant spiders sitting right outside your borders... This is almost as bad as starting near the guardian of the pristine pass.

    -Colin
     
  11. Fluesterwitz

    Fluesterwitz Chieftain

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    One way to avoid sprawl is to play with "No Settlers" and "BarbWorld". In combination with "Aggr.AI", "Raging Barbs" and "Wildlands", exploration becomes quite interesting. :scared:

    As for boats, I seem to remember that in vanilla Civ my (early) ships had the tendency to get lost at sea rather regularly, can this feature be (re-)implemented?

    Making map-trading available with a later tech sounds good too.
     
  12. Schwarzbart

    Schwarzbart Prince

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    YOu mean that Earlyer Ships could enter Ocean but have the tendency to sink there?
    Orbis have this Implemented with der Promotion Daring
     
  13. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    Maybe my Hidden Country is just a passing idea. It's really mostly cosmetic. I just think it would be cool to see only a big expanse of Ancient Forest (if you are not elf) or Deep Jungle (if you are not lizard). Anyway, it's a brainstorming idea that's only barely related to the thread topic.

    But really, am I the only one who thinks this? I should be clear that Orbis (and FFH before that) is a big improvement in both concerns, slowing exploration and slowing total world urbanization. I do play on large maps (huge are too slow for me). I also typically add too many AI players (~14 for large). I like more players mostly because I get close civs early to interact with, but this might add to my problem with over urbanization.

    Still, I typically have most of the map known by turn 100 - 120 or so. I hate to compare to real world (because there is nothing realistic about FFH) but turn 100 feels like real-world 1850 (in terms of world exploration) and turn 200 feels like some futuristic post-2100 time (assuming all of the current wilderness in Brazil, Canada and Russia is fully developed by that time).

    But I guess the real world is a lot tougher place than Erebus...
     
  14. abqaiq93

    abqaiq93 Chieftain

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    I made a list of ideas from above and added some of my own. If anyone can point me in the direction of where to make these changes to code, I would be interested in playing around with some of the concepts

    1. Limit fishing boats to moving within your cultural boundary.
    2. Adding/Increasing the frequency of the event of losing ships to a see storm. This event would only apply to those ships that can use based on the Sailing Tech. Once you get Compass and upgrade your ships, this event would no longer would apply.
    3. Get rid of Map Trading until later. Printing Press sounds great
    4. Tech required to enter certain terrain. (This was a great idea Pazyryk)

    This last one please humor me, I am not suggesting this change for this mod at all. I am just interested in trying a game like this out.

    5. Here are the changes I want to make

    • Inside cultural border the unit keeps their normal movement rate.
    • Outside cultural border everyone has a movement of one square per turn.
    • The line of sight is reduced to one square ahead of you. In other words you explore tile at a time. (Yes, I know very tedious)
    • When standing on a hill you see one tile further in the direction you are traveling. No more revealing the whole surrounding area.
    • I have no idea about hawks, maybe like suggested above, they are a promotion instead of an actual unit.
    If anyone can tell me where I can start making these changes, especially for the first 4 I would appreciate it.
     
  15. Opera

    Opera Deity

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    Instead, you could make them unable to reveal unknown territory. For this, just go in Assets/XML/Units/CIV4UnitInfos.xml, search the WORK_BOAT and then search for bNoRevealMap and change it to 1.
    You'll need to find the event in EventTriggers and tweak accordingly. Hmmm. For the last part, you would have to add a new option; when your ship sees a storm, instead of only having the "you lose your unit" option available, you have a second one, only available if you have Compass, that allows you to not lose the ship.
    This is easy. In the CIV4TechInfos file, search for Cartography and then bMapTrading and change it to 0. Do the same for Printing Press but change it to 1 instead; I'd put it to Education rather than Printing Press though.
    This would require some DLL work.

    This would be somehow hard to do. Especially the part I bolded. I think it's possible, but I'm not sure.

    I'm pretty sure you could find a way to reduce movement outside cultural borders but I don't know how yet (apart in the DLL).

    For hawks, why not just removing them? Useless birds!
     
  16. abqaiq93

    abqaiq93 Chieftain

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    Thank you Opera, you're awesome.
     
  17. Elyssaen

    Elyssaen Chieftain

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    A good place to look for inspiration for this is Afterworld, which comes with Beyond the Sword.
     
  18. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    Opera, how does that bNoRevealMap work? Is the unit surrounded by Fog of War on all sides, but can still move (or attack?) into the unknown? (This gives me some ideas but it would have to be changeable through promotions so I could make it dynamic.)

    abqaiq93, I think the tech requirement to enter certain feature/tile types originates from Rise of Darkness. I have mixed feelings about such a hard limit. Or maybe it would be OK if the limits were designed properly. For example, to enter forest, must meet any of the conditions:
    1. in your cultural border
    2. has road or adjacent river,
    3. elf,
    4. have Feral Bond (needs to be high level or has no real effect),
    5. level 3 or higher recon unit (or such a unit is in stack or already on target tile),
    6. in cultural border of someone you are at war with.

    For jungle change elf to lizard and bump up recon level. Then harder for Ancient Forest, etc. However, you can't make a civ totally inaccessible (hence my #6 condition).
     
  19. Opera

    Opera Deity

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    @bNoRevealMap: the unit can't move on a tile where it would reveal veiled tiles (veiled meaning even "shady gray" veiled, tiles you already visited but don't see yet... I think it can't move there).

    @TechPrereq:

    1. It's like this in RoD;
    2. I don't think RoD has this;
    3. Yeah, promotions can affect which tile you can go to;
    4. Techs, of course, even though RoD's ones aren't as late;
    5. I'm not sure it has this;
    6. Not sure either;
     
  20. Caradoc

    Caradoc Emperor

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    I like large archipelago maps, which help contain the sprawl. To effectively explore the world, you need a navy -- and the Orbis seas are fraught with peril. Most times it's not till turn 300 or so that I even know who all the opponents are, much less where they live.
     

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