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Version 4.1 Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Civ4 - MongooseMod' started by LunarMongoose, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. LunarMongoose

    LunarMongoose Chieftain

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    This is not out yet, obviously, but it's getting far enough along I now feel comfortable saying it's definitely happening. ;)

    Had to stop development AGAIN for most of November due to real-life stuff flaring up again (though I knew this was coming - Michaels' best custom framing sale of the year, final hardware for my new PC build resulting in final SSD/HDD configuration resulting in massive transfer of stuff off my retiring Mac resulting in big organization push and needing to find/choose a lot of new software to be able to do everything in Windows that I used to do on OS X).

    Then I found I accidentally deleted the XML and Python folders with all my work from Sept and Oct when I reformatted the drives in my new PC one last time to incorporate the new SSDs I FINALLY got. BUT, I've now mostly finished restoring all that stuff manually, from memory and from my patch notes that I always make as I go along (which were a lifesaver here, hehe). (My SDK work did survive though, since that's stored in a much more obvious place on the drive... Which is good, b/c that would've been even more annoying to redo.)

    The last couple days I've been busy on the graphical side of things: I significantly improved the titleplate graphic (as well as making a second version that won't be missing lots of text on 16x9 resolutions (sorry, wasn't aware of this issue til recently)), I made a new white skin for deep-water coral (the shallow version stays pink), I made the dark gray skin for the new Reef feature that I knew it needed, and I did a whole MAJOR update I wasn't even planning to ever try, but C2C got me thinking about it when I first looked at that a month ago, and the results are AMAZING (waaaay better than C2C's version imo):

    MM 4.1 now has 4 temperature zones (Tropical, Subtropical, Temperate, Polar) and 3 depth zones (Coast, Sea, Ocean) for water. (This doesn't affect rivers, obviously.) The former is mostly aesthetic (though the aesthetic difference is HUGE), but the latter will have significant gameplay ramifications in the mid-game. I worked my arse off on this, trying dozens of different color and brightness settings and combinations, as well as multiple colors vs one single color for deep ocean, and I really feel like this is some of the best work I've ever done. Just saying. :)

    Still got all the AI code integration to do though, and a lot of other small and medium things. I should be able to keep working on this full-time now though, so hopefully it'll be ready in a couple more weeks. (My estimates, while always horribly inaccurate, DO become more reliable the further along things get, hehe.)
     
  2. Rakete4

    Rakete4 Chieftain

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    Great to know that MM 4.0.1 is making progress. I am back from Africa meanwhile, and ready to comment your ongoing work.

    However my comments will be very short like this as long as you do not delete the old version of my Africa map from the download-section.
    I might also ask the moderators to remove the file, just saying.:nono:
     
  3. LunarMongoose

    LunarMongoose Chieftain

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    It's deleted now. Umm, by me I mean, not the moderators lol. I took a screenshot of the download page first though, for historical purposes. ;)

    I also switched the main MM download link over to the FreeFileHosting.net version I had you test a while back. However (and I put this in a comment on there too), just now I googled random files on the internet that were hosted on FileFactory, and tried downloading one while not logged in to FileFactory at all. I pressed the red/slow/free download button, typed in the captcha, waited 30 seconds, and there it was...

    So I STILL don't understand why people say it forces you to sign up and/or pay them money to be able to download things. I honestly don't understand. For me it works fine, even as an anonymous user. But I switched it anyway, since this link was faster for you.

    Everyone, please let me know if the FreeFileHosting.net link gives you any problems.

    ---

    (I WAS going to do all that, and put my small files on MediaFire which I still need to do, later when I was at a stopping point... I have been in 24/7 development mode since Nov 30 when my parents left, trying to make up for the last year of not getting much Civ4 work done. So I hope you appreciate the mental effort it took for me to break my brain-stalemate and do things out-of-order... It may mean nothing to normal people, but if you have ADHD and Asperger's it makes sense that doing things out-of-order is a big deal. Just saying. ;))

    ---

    As for the mod, I spent the last 4 days relentlessly pounding away at one item... First I tried writing my own river generator, then I tried several variations on Cephalo's PerfectWorld river generator, then I made some major additions to the vanilla SDK's river generator to support accurate RiverIDs and a memory value for pathfinding, then when that clearly wasn't going to work I rewrote it again to block pathfinding on multi-river tiles. (Then I went back to the memory system when I thought I found the problem with it, then that turned out to be an unrelated problem so I went back to the blocking system again.)

    Anyway, I finally have my twin goals achieved: awesome rivers on PerfectMongoose that I'd been missing since the really-old old days, and very-close-but-not-touching rivers NOT allowing trade route connections to jump between them like they normally do (unless there's a road or something present, obviously).

    (The latter has one minor problem that results from the way I had to do it, but it's so rare it should almost never come up, and it's easily fixed with a few roads if it does: The pathfinder can normally go around the other side of a river if it hits a blockage, but if there are 1-tile-away different rivers on BOTH sides in the same exact place, a river won't be able to perform the trade link until roads are placed in the multi-river "blocked" tiles. But it DOES guarantee there will never be ANY unauthorized river-hopping by the pathfinder, and this always bugged me a lot, heh.)

    ---

    I'm gonna go ahead and update the Patch Notes sticky in a minute, so b/c of the big secret idea contained therein, and the contents of that sticky not being permanent, I need to make another Historical Document post here to prove it was my idea first (sorry again to the haters, but as C2C recently proved again unfortunately, other people suck at giving accurate/detailed/specific credit (no offense C2C, hehe)):

    I'm adding early build processes in this version. The idea to tie them into the tech tree is NOT mine (that honor goes to C2C as far as I know), but what IS my idea (as far as I know) is to make hybrid processes. The first one unlocked is called Build Mastery (20% gold/science/culture/espionage), then a bit later but still before the main ones you'll get Build Integrity (40% gold/culture) and Build Cunning (40% science/espionage). I also moved Build Culture down to Literature, which someone (maybe Rakete) requested a long time ago (it does need to be with its friends now).

    The gold values in these are actually slightly lower, but you get the point. :)

    ---

    Then, if I'm in a good mood later after I take my river-system-related diagnostic code out and can generate normal-looking maps again, I'll post a few screenshots of my new water types...

    You are going to be SERIOUSLY impressed. :)
     
  4. LunarMongoose

    LunarMongoose Chieftain

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    TRIUMPH. ELATION. EGG-XHAUSTION.

    I decided I wasn't satisfied with the mostly-kinda-sorta "solution" I had arrived at earlier. It took a whole 'nother week of 24/7 work (ON TOP of the first week), banging my head against one simple minor little thing - trade links jumping between nearby rivers.

    It took me 2 full major rewrites of significant amounts of SDK code (which, I might add, followed 2 failed river generator rewrites and several failed attempts at designing new water graphics). But.

    I now have the river system working 100% correctly, in all possible situations. Rivers that come within one tile-width of each other but don't touch, will no longer act like the same connected river for sharing resources and trade route links.

    It works for multiple rivers flowing in parallel. It works for river corners. It connects them with Roads the way it's supposed to. It links them up with Coast the way it's supposed to. It disconnects them correctly when tile control is lost, or Roads are pillaged, or Forts are destroyed (Forts can link two rivers by extending Coast inland, you know ;)). It doesn't crash, or get stuck in infinite loops, like it did many infuriating times during the last week. It even has some significant speed optimizations over the vanilla code.

    (Plus, as a free bonus, I now know more about how the CvPlot and CvPlotGroup files work than I honestly ever wanted to.)

    And I dare anyone to replicate my results. As far as programming goes, this was EASILY the most difficult thing I've ever tackled in Civ4's SDK. And I REALLY hope I never have to do anything like it again, b/c I am freakin' WORN OUT.

    However, it IS finally done and tested, so to celebrate, here are a few screenshots of my new (and totally awesome) water graphics. :) Enjoy.
     

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  5. LunarMongoose

    LunarMongoose Chieftain

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    Check out This Thread for info, and a screenshot, about my latest breakthrough, btw. It may seem like no big deal, but I'm excited. :)

    Plus it'll matter a lot more with Bamboo in the mod now as a relatively-widespread feature.
     
  6. Rakete4

    Rakete4 Chieftain

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    Great to know that you finished the river-trade code.
    The new climate zones for oceans look very neat!
    The new 3-fold ocean/sea/coast system reminds me of Civilization 3. Will there be any ships that can move on sea tiles but not ocean tiles?

    And to use scrub and burnt forest on hills will much improve the appearence of my Africa map.:)

    And thank you for removing my old Africa map version.

    I already toddle off now, because I am in the christmas/family mode. I will write more in 1-2 weeks. I still have quite some workload from my absence in November.
     
  7. LunarMongoose

    LunarMongoose Chieftain

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    Oh my gosh, you have no idea. I went through several lengthy failed attempts before fully understanding the situation, and even then, the really RIGHT way to do it was sooooo complicated. I have, like, literally half a dozen pages of custom tile-analysis code JUST FOR RIVERS, in addition to the small mountain of vanilla code that had to be rewritten.

    THEN I had to update all the BonusCount code to support the new system so it'd distribute resources properly, now that it understood rivers correctly.

    Not to mention thorough testing at the end to make sure everything was working right.

    I can't believe I'm not getting paid for this work, lol.

    They're even better in-game. The screenshots really don't do them justice... I particularly love how the sand color changes along with the water. Granted, neon-lime and pale-magenta-red are probably not realistic sand colors, but it does set them off from the others really well, and the White Subtropical Sand and Yellow Temperate Sand are just PERFECT imo. :D

    Oh HECK yes. This is all in the posted patch notes already, but the Kogge and Galleas are Sea-going. (The Kogge requires Optics for this ability, whereas the Galleas is already IN Optics.)

    The Vikings get both a Galley (obviously called the Longboat) and Kogge that are Sea-going automatically. (Technically they require Bronze Working, but that's a lot earlier than Optics.) This is in addition to their standard unique unit, the Berserker.

    Then there's some restrictions on Polar Ocean. (I wanted to restrict Polar Coast and Polar Sea as well, but I ultimately decided not to mess with them - it made things too complicated.) Wooden Ships can't enter Polar Ocean at all, and Early Metal Ships (Cruiser) can't use it until you get Steel. (The Dreadnaught already has Steel as a secondary requirement, so it's unaffected.)

    Lastly, Sea Trading is unlocked in Astronomy. (Coast Trading remains in Sailing, and Ocean Trading remains in Compass.)

    I'm still not sure if Scrub on Hills is necessary. It gives the same 0-1-0 yield as normal Desert Hills, and I'm having trouble picturing it mentally in real-life. (Plus this new Hill-conversion process I've learned how to do takes, like, a whole day for each single feature, hehe.)

    But if you really think Scrub Hills should be supported, I can certainly do it. :) I suppose it would help to have the grass in the center slide down into the ground when there's a Windmill present... But it will also make the big cactus sway in the wind a little, and I'm not sure if there's a way to disable that, lol.

    Totally understandable. :) For me, being unemployed, holidays are the same as any other days of the year except for all the stores being closed... But that's just me, hehe.
     
  8. Danwood

    Danwood Chieftain

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    can't wait to check this out!
     
  9. LunarMongoose

    LunarMongoose Chieftain

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    Alright, I am FINALLY done with Blender and Nifskope for a while. Be sure to read the "Dec 20-31" section of the patch notes next time I update them, it's hilarious. :p

    For some reason the game engine renders models with a different lighting system (and shrinks them a little) when they're in Tree Mode, which is very annoying. As a result I had to learn how to do Brightness Gradients in Photoshop this morning, but I finally have Burnt Forest looking almost the same as it did before. It's definitely less "prominent" when zoomed out now, but there's nothing more I can do about that (it's a side effect of the lighting). Plus I think it actually looks better up close, so I'm calling it a win. :)

    Here are some screenshots of the final results so you can see what I've been working on the last 10 days. These features don't normally spawn on Peaks, but I put one in to better demonstrate the "not sitting properly" problem. Also note the tree-hiding around rivers and tile improvements, the improved shadows, and the improved centering within each tile. (They sway in the wind now, too.)

    Original Versions (Made by Unknown Authors, NOT by Me):

    Original Burnt Forest
    Original Bamboo

    My Versions:

    My Burnt Forest
    My Bamboo (Green)
    My Bamboo (White)

    Parting Words of Wisdom:

    Nu 'Boo.

    Bamboozled.

    Hong Kong Bambooey.

    Lol, I see you read my rant. ;) Well, thanks for posting, Danwood!
     
  10. LunarMongoose

    LunarMongoose Chieftain

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    Okay, I updated the Change Log sticky again. 4.1 completion status is now 75%, but most of what's left should go pretty quickly, and I'm still expecting to be done by the end of January.

    Here's a screenshot of my cattails-and-grass reskin, which I'm using as Swamp (the original version was solid light green). It also demonstrates the vanilla SDK river generator on PerfectMongoose, and gives you an idea what the Green Bamboo and Savanna features look like on a real map. (The Fossil resource suppresses surrounding trees now, but I took this before I added that, heh.)

    My Swamp (Dark Green / Blue)

    Note that these are all 2560x1600 jpgs; if you click on the scaled image in the MediaFire tab, it'll load the full version.
     
  11. indrek_k

    indrek_k Chieftain

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    Looks great!
    What are the stats on Savanna and Swamp, btw?
     
  12. LunarMongoose

    LunarMongoose Chieftain

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    Darn tootin'... *ahem*

    Savanna is similar to Forest but with movement cost 1. The defense and chop yield are a bit lower. It can have Forest Preserves, but NOT Lumberyards/mills.

    Swamp (1-1-0) and Bog (0-2-1) both sit on the new Marsh terrain (1-0-1). They appear in the upper half of Marsh tiles by rainfall, where Marsh tiles themselves are already the super-high-rainfall tiles of the map (usually replacing Jungle). Bog uses the flat red "Marsh feature" graphic from previous versions (which sat on Grassland), and is used instead of Swamp when it's a cold tile (specifically Tundra that was converted to Marsh b/c it had enough rainfall). They also have different defense and minor/secondary stats, of course.

    I had Bamboo as a super-Forest (0-2-0), but I recently realized that that interfered with the Workshop/Mine balance too much, so I nerfed it to 0-1-1 (so it would still be superior to Forest). Note that Bamboo and Savanna have been set to only spawn on the Old World landmasses, regardless of the player starting location setting. This mimics them being mainly found in Africa and Asia in real life, and gives players on the biggest continent a slight bonus for being in a high-risk area (due to the large number of other players present). Well, unless you're using an Old World start, heh.

    Outcrops spawn on the steepest (or highest) flat terrain of various types. They have no stats, movement cost 2, and block city placement, but still allow any improvements you could normally build on that terrain.

    Lush terrain is basically super-Grassland (3-0-0). It has a very small chance to spawn in high-temperature tiles, which gets it off the Marsh/Jungle rainfall ladder. (For reference, Jungle has always required both high temperature AND high rainfall.) It is intended as an extra bonus for players who start in thick Jungle/Marsh areas, though a few of them usually spawn further north.

    Rocky terrain has the stats of the vanilla game's Desert (0-1-0). It is placed in the small percent of Flat tiles that were ALMOST steep (or high) enough to be Hills, and in the small percent of Hill tiles that were ALMOST steep (or high) enough to be Peaks. It can have Mines (even on Flat Rocky), but very little else.

    Dry Lake terrain (0-0-1) is placed in the lowest-rainfall Desert tiles. It allows unrestricted Well placement, and has been changed to be the only place Salt can spawn.

    Dunes terrain is the steepest (or highest) chunk of flat Desert (it doesn't look very good on Hills so I disallowed it there). It has high defense, high tile damage, 2 movement cost, and no city founding.

    Permafrost terrain is an intermediate temperature zone between Tundra and Ice. It is similar to Ice but with 1 movement cost (Ice is now 2), less tile damage, and restricted city founding (Ice now blocks cities entirely). Ice is used more than Tundra to place it, so Tundra remains a relatively thick zone.

    As far as water goes, the 4 latitude zones all have the same stats (which are the same as before). Sea Grass (1-0-0) spawns in Coast, Kelp (1-1-0) spawns in Sea, and Coral has been split into Shallow (purple) and Deep (white) versions with the same stats as before. Reef (0-1-0) spawns in the steepest (or highest) Coast tiles; it has high defense, high tile damage, and movement cost 3. (Jungle, Swamp, and Bog also have movement cost 3 now.)

    ---

    Btw, the reason I kept saying "(or highest)" is that I added a new "Absolute Height" option to PM for Hill/Peak placement. It's not the default b/c it makes for more difficult gameplay, but it's definitely much more realistic, hehe. You'll probably be intrigued when you see it. :)

    I'm making pretty good progress now that the small handful of takes-forever items are done. I made some additional trait changes today: Prolific is now 3 food on a tile to trigger the bonus, Charismatic gets 4 happiness and -100% elite unit upkeep, Expansive gets -100% improvement gold cost, I tentatively buffed Philosophical to 50% wonder production and -50% unit upgrade costs (don't kill me Rakete!), Imperial steals the starting-pop-boost that I had moved to Prolific earlier, Prolific also gets +1 free food per city now, Industrial is tentatively going with +2 free hammers per city instead of 1, and Seafaring gets +1 trade routes in ALL cities (not just coastal) b/c I don't want to pressure players into using specific city locations or tech paths (any more than I already do with the ship buffs).

    ALSO! Additional military trait buff: I stole C2C's awesome idea to have Tile Damage Mitigation as a promotion stat, and went ahead and implemented that. Leadership (Great General) and Aggression get it at -50%, and Tenacity and Seafaring now get -100%, ie Tile Damage Immunity. (Though this is only for the unit types that get the trait promotions, of course.)

    ... I also updated the trait text a bit, and added some icons. It looks much snazzier now. :)
     
  13. indrek_k

    indrek_k Chieftain

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    The new terrain stats sound good. That's a lot of variety.
    Balancing the early-game jungle areas with Lush is great.

    Some potential balance issues I can think of (disclaimer: I may be completely wrong):

    Prolific is very terrain-dependent. Compared to old Industrious, it seems to me that getting a tile to 3 production is a much more common scenario than getting it to 3 food.
    However, for smaller cities on not-so-good terrain getting the extra +1 food from a resource (in addition to +1 per city) can make a huge difference in terms of early growth.
    But then again, imagine getting a city on flood plains. In that situation, prolific sounds potentially a bit overpowered to me. I realize that city growth is going to be heavily restricted by health or happiness issues, but +4 food/tile on multiple tiles around the city still means either potentially super-high production or a very large number of specialists, once you hit the growth limit.
    The way I see it, food is the most important resource, as it allows the most flexibility for your city. Typically, you can easily trade it with production (using mines, workshops, slavery) and a bit later in the game with commerce (using cottages), or various bonuses and great persons (using specialists).

    I'm not 100% convinced it's overpowered though, and I'm also not sure what might be a better idea. I considered an extra fixed percentage of food, but then realized it could be even more overpowered late game..


    While Charismatic gets a good bonus throughout the game, happiness has rarely been a big obstacle to growth for me (but maybe that's just me). +4 basically means you get to build less +happy buildings, as growth will be limited by health and food anyway.
    I suppose it's also helpful with Slavery, though I don't use that strategy very often.

    +2 hammers early game is very strong. It's going to be extremely difficult to compete with Industrial civs in getting the early wonders or fighting them in early wars. As an example, for size 2 cities that's between +50% to +100% production, depending on terrain.

    If we talk about single traits, I personally feel that Charismatic and Tenacious (maybe also Imperial, but with the extra starting population in 4.1 it might be different now) are not very useful compared to the other traits - both in 4.0 and 4.1 so far. But I guess in the end it really depends on the combinations of traits and different leaders. There are too many combinations for my brain to handle, so it's very difficult to form an opinion on this..

    How did you come up with the combinations, by the way?

    This is a great idea!
    Does it also affect storms?
     
  14. LunarMongoose

    LunarMongoose Chieftain

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    They also get the new benefit of Sea Grass, but higher latitudes get Kelp (which is better), so that's not a Jungle-specific buff. :)

    Tundra-esque areas get new buffs too. There's Kelp as I just said, and Bogs are pretty strong, but I also cranked up the Walrus and Whale densities. (Whales especially, b/c they were set WAY too low - historically they used to be VERY abundant. I'm honestly not sure why I had it set that low.)

    Btw, this is in the posted patch notes, but I also added Lush to the Luxury category of the Control-R icon overlay so you can find them easily (it's very hard otherwise when they're under a huge pile of Jungle ;)). This is slightly noteworthy b/c that overlay normally only shows resource icons. I had modified it in the past to show Coral (which is a feature), but this is my first time adding a terrain type to it. :)

    I DID consider Floodplains. In fact that was PRECISELY why it had always been set to "4 food to trigger the tile bonus" in the past. However, consider my new counter-argument: Say you had the trigger at 4 and start with a bunch of FP. You build Outposts on the FPs, and boom, SuperPhood™!

    But in the more common case where you DON'T have any (Desert) Floodplains, the best you can USUALLY do is either open Grassland, Plains-FPs, or Swamps. (You may have a few Lush tiles floating around, but those usually have Forest or Jungle on them, meaning no Outposts or Farms until a bit later.) Or maybe you started in a Tundra-esque area. Well, then Prolific is mostly-useless until Biology, b/c no matter what other effects I add to the trait, food-related ones have to be the focus by definition. (I could increase the growth threshold reduction and leave the trigger at 4, but that would make it even MORE powerful mid- and late-game, which is bad.)

    It's an "early-only" buff to the trait to have the trigger at 3, and "early" is EXACTLY where the trait was lacking in desirability before. And Floodplains trigger the bonus immediately either way thanks to Outposts, so it's just a question of whether you want to include Lush, Grassland, Plains-FPs, and Swamps in the food-induced merriment.

    On the other hand, consider Native Americans (Logan = Prolific Creative) starting in a deep expanse of Tundra. The free +1 food per city and 25% faster growth rate are all they get, so they seem like desperately-needed things in that case. That's why THOSE effects are also there. :)

    Yes it's world-location-dependent, but that's unavoidable with an expanded trait system; Seafaring is the same. The happiness/health limits are actually pretty restrictive early on (at least on the higher normal difficulty levels and all the custom ones), so I'm not TOO worried about rapid growth. That IS what the trait does afterall, and it does nothing else; even its double-production building list is pretty short.

    I even moved the -50% improvement gold cost thing away (it's now -100% improvement gold cost on Expansive), to pare Prolific down to JUST its "most important resource" effects. :)

    I know. ;) That's why +Food% is only on the Haramat Yusuf (which only applies it in a single city), and the Coop/Android workforce civics (which don't unlock until near the end of the tech tree, and have some severe penalties on them).

    Please don't forget the +2 diplomacy points (which are a big deal for avoiding unwanted wars), and the -25% experience thresholds (which are just plain awesome).

    Yes, but that's very, VERY early on, lol. In my one partially-played version 4.0.1 game, I was Holy Rome (Charlemagne = Industrial Imperial). I put my capital in an out-of-the-way place (with the intent to move it later) just so it would have a River Forest-Plains-Hill in its starting borders. I immediately put a Lumberyard on it, and proceeded to work that 0-5-1 tile from almost the beginning of the game all the way through Prehistoric. (I got commerce from all the OTHER cities I then founded using very-rapidly-built Tribes. ;) Though I was still a bit behind on research due to the large-early-empire city maintenance costs, hehe.)

    It's just an example, but in THAT case, +2 free hammers would be about the right amount of intended extra trait oomph. Alternatively, if you work a Grassland or Floodplains tile initially, YES you're doubling your production from 2 to 4, BUT an early production total of 4 is still pretty normal (I had 7 in that example), and again, that's what the Industrial trait DOES.

    That being said, I'm still considering +1 free hammer on it (hence the "tentatively" in my original post ;)).

    I'm also planning to increase Imperial's Tribe/Settler production bonus to 100%, heh.

    Iterative application of the following process: "do the best I could". :p

    My roster originally started with just the vanilla leaders. It was augmented slowly and gradually over time as new LH graphics were released, as I discovered LH graphics I had missed, and as I became more tolerant of slight graphical glitches (Hitler and Mussolini, for example, have a big issue with their right hand/arm). I always tried to stick exclusively to the highest-quality, best-looking custom-made ones, though.

    As for trait assignment, I've always had only one rule (which is a rule that a lot of other mods tend to gleefully ignore): absolutely no duplicates under any circumstances. As such, there's an upper limit on the number of leaders I can have (specifically 78, which mathematically is 13-choose-2 (13 being the number of traits)). I finally hit that "full roster" status in version 3.6. :)

    Beyond that, I pretty much tried to use the most relevant traits for each leader's real-life history and accomplishments, though I also substituted his civilization's defining characteristics when necessary or, imo, appropriate (Incas being the kings of ancient research is a good example).

    Fortunately, after taking that approach (and combining it with my leader cycling idea) I was pleasantly surprised with the results, gameplay-wise. There was a lot of fighting over certain combinations (for example Hitler wanted Aggressive pretty badly, but I needed Char/Aggr and Sci/Aggr elsewhere), and there were a few cases where it came down to the best possible fits for the last few unassigned slots (Charles V in particular doesn't have a very accurate trait pair for his historical profile - I had no choice), but it basically worked out really well.

    That being said, I am open to suggestions for making trait assignment changes! Your ideas must consist entirely of swaps though, b/c all possible trait pairs are in use now, and I still refuse to have any duplicates. :D

    Well, other than the new Reef feature, that's about the only way ships can TAKE tile damage, so there wouldn't be much point otherwise... ;)

    But yes. Tile damage has 3 possible sources: Features if present, else the tile being a Peak, else Terrain. (In that order, ie they don't stack. It was set up that way originally to allow Forests to zero out the terrain damage normally found on Tundra.) Mitigation affects all of them, and storms are features.

    ---

    Don't forget about the "large stack bug" btw; I still need more information if I'm going to do anything about it, b/c I didn't really understand what you said before. ;)
     
  15. LunarMongoose

    LunarMongoose Chieftain

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    Alright, after wandering around my condo thinking about it for the last hour (wherein I came up with at least half a dozen other ideas that ultimately proved stupid)... I have the answer!

    I preface this by saying that: normally I hate this solution as a solution to ANYTHING. It reeks of desperation and lack of imagination.

    But in this ONE PARTICULAR CASE, it happens to be the RIGHT solution, lol.

    <drumroll...>

    Hardcoded exceptions. ;)

    Prolific triggers an extra food on tiles with at least 3 food in them, EXCEPT Plains and Tundra tiles where it triggers with 2 food, and Lush and Floodplain tiles where it triggers with 4 food.

    BOOM. BIRDSHOT. FLAPPED UP.

    I haven't actually implemented that yet, but it should be pretty easy. This way the trait stays fully balanced, and the Arctic Native Americans won't starve to death. As a result I will probably also remove the "+1 free food" and "-25% growth threshold" effects, as they will no longer be needed.
     
  16. JosEPh_II

    JosEPh_II TBS WarLord

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    This looks intriguing. Still on schedule for a late Jan. Release?

    Don't know why I never spotted this mod before. Are you hiding on purpose? ;)

    Oh one last thing does your mod use REV as it's core? (please say no :please: )

    JosEPh :)

    Edit: In this upcoming version will you be able to do Research, Culture, or Wealth early game. In 4.0.1 not having those build options and getting a Tundra start means that you must continually build units and then delete units. So your treasury and research slider %s drop till you start deleting units. Building settlers and then deleting settlers because I'm overran with other units and not having an "automatic" Culture, Research, Wealth build available detracts from the mod. :)

    Edit2: This should probably be in your Bug thread. Screen shot shows Tribal Law has a TEXT_KEY_.... problem.
     
  17. LunarMongoose

    LunarMongoose Chieftain

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    Yup. :)

    Well, this mod has been in existence since early 2006, and publically available for around half that time (including the last 2 years)...

    This subforum has been here since mid-2010, and while I'm not a super-active forum dweller, I do post in other threads and subforums from time to time...

    Soooo, not sure what to tell ya, hehe. :p

    If you mean RevDCM, then no.

    This was already complained about by other people in the past, and has already been added in version 4.1. Please see the bottom of post #3 (Dec 11) for details.

    There are a LOT of missing text keys, mostly due to me always being too busy working on more important parts of the mod to add them, heh. I'm trying to fill more of them in in 4.1, but it's not a high priority.
     
  18. LunarMongoose

    LunarMongoose Chieftain

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    Okay, I updated the Change Log sticky again. PLEASE read it, guys; there's always a TON of neat stuff in there, and I really don't have time to keep summarizing all the important bits here. ... Just saying. ;)

    I came up with some new effects to further strengthen Charismatic and Creative, implemented a more robust version of the Prolific system, added free buildings when you found cities in later eras, tweaked lake density for the new river system, and buffed Theocracy, Organized Religion, Fascism, and the Healthcare civics. (Plus a dozen other things.)

    I fixed the hurry cost bug, and found not one but SEVEN animal/barb/Sandworm-related bugs while going over that stuff, all of which have been fixed. (Animals will finally behave properly now, among other things.)

    Not to mention some stuff from a little earlier you probably missed: Paved Roads require Stone now, Railroads require Iron now, and you get free research towards the primary build techs of non-Barb units you kill. See what you miss by not reading my notes? :)

    I do wish there was a better way to get people's attention, but I can't just go posting "Hey guys, please try my mod!!!" everywhere... the moderators would get mad. ;)
     
  19. indrek_k

    indrek_k Chieftain

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    I took a look at the changelog. Really looking forward to 4.1! :)
    Some feedback:

    I like this. After certain points in the tech tree, both of these resources were useless. This makes them worth something again. Also makes me wonder what the AI generally thinks about trading these two after their most useful period is over?

    Very interesting idea. The 25% cap makes it a not-so-big but still useful bonus.

    This makes me wonder - what are the conditions for an AI to switch their current religion to a new one? Thinking about situations where I spread my early religion to a neighbor or two with a missionary - what would it take for them to switch to another religion later on? What about situations where the AI is the founder of their religion?

    Are you sure the additional wonder production bonus is not too much? In my experience, building wonders after the 2nd era is generally not too difficult anyway as the AI is usually somewhat behind with tech. Philosophical already gets a +50% great person birth rate..
    Maybe it's just my playstyle though, i.e. not expanding enough.

    What does that mean? Is it possible to look up from somewhere what these values do?

    This is very powerful. I can see the other Religion civics still having their purposes, but Free Religion now seems too weak compared to this.

    This made me wonder what's your reason behind not giving a health boost to NanoMedicine?

    So basically this means Prolific gets +1 food per farm, fishing boats on fish/clam/crab and some natural resources like mushroom/grassland - correct?
    The way I see it, this means
    - a lot faster growth/couple more specialists in big cities after Agriculture
    - possibility to happily expand in tundra if fresh water is present
    - possibility to happily expand almost everywhere after Civil Service

    Sounds ok to me.


    One more thing I noticed is that Serfdom is pretty much useless right now. Tribalism is, in my opinion, better in almost every situation where you don't want to use Slavery / Caste system.


    I mentioned some AI behavior problems earlier. I figured out what I don't like about AI research paths. They don't really take into account the relatively big additional research costs which come from rushing into the next era.
    For example, I notice the AI researching Boating before a lot of other stuff quite often. Imo this is sub-optimal because:
    1) If there's a decent chance of being the first to discover Sedentary, it makes sense to go for it - it's a great bonus for two next-era techs you NEED anyway.
    2) Rushing Boating before researching various important techs like Herbalism, Stone Building, etc doesn't really give you any big advantages. Going straight for the lighthouses is too expensive, both in terms of research and production. It makes sense to get the other stuff first.

    There are probably more examples like these. While it can make sense to rush some techs (Sedentary, Masonry, Bronze Working + more later), I've found that the most optimal way to go through the research tree is get 60-90% of the current era techs before going to the next. The AI doesn't really seem to do that.

    Also, some of the AIs really build too many boats.

    An interesting idea Tauri came up with - theoretically, is it possible to have the AIs play a large number of games without human intervention and see which AIs are more successful than others?


    The massive trait changes made me think about balance issues again. Ideally, I'd really like if we could play with Random civilizations and not be disappointed with certain traits or trait combos. Improving Seafaring removes most of the issues so far :D but after the updates there are certain traits which, to me, seem quite a bit more powerful than others. I'm going to have to think about this more, though.

    Also, a request: could you please add the civic and leader trait descriptions to Feature List? It's somewhat difficult to get a good picture from the changelog :mischief:
     
  20. LunarMongoose

    LunarMongoose Chieftain

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    So am I! Will be great to finally play again. :)

    I'm not sure, I'd have to look. I tend to make assumptions about these sorts of things being handled well enough at this point though, given all the AI improvements BBAI made. Plus there are apparently a lot more AI improvements in my big upcoming code merge...

    Much as I hate to admit it, that particular idea came from the friend I always play with. He's contributed a handful of great ideas in the past too, but MOST of what he brainstorms up, while sounding amazing at first, tends to prove completely impractical once you stop and think about it, lol.

    For example, his OTHER big idea for version 4.1, was to have your cities automatically move one tile every few turns in semi-random directions until you get Sedentary Lifestyle, to simulate nomadic lifestyle. While I LOVE the concept, the problems this would end up causing are pretty much insurmountable, unfortunately.

    Again, I'd have to check. Going from memory however, I believe this particular block of AI code - like most of them - is very complicated. They take a large number of factors into consideration for most of the decisions they make, and re-evaluate them pretty frequently.

    If you're REALLY interested, you can grab the Better BTS AI (BBAI), K-Mod, and Caveman 2 Cosmos SDKs and look at their AI files (Unit, City, Player, Team, Game). I myself have the unenviable task of merging EXACTLY those 3 versions of those 5 files with my own codebase pretty soon, heh.

    No, I am not AT ALL sure that it's not too much, lol. :p I just know that +25% production on ANYTHING never seems to really feel very significant in practice.

    The systemic structural problem is that all such bonuses simply get added in with the Forge/Factory/etc ones. So when you're at 200% production (100 base + 25 forge + 75 powered factory), a +25% bonus is REALLY only worth +12.5%.

    The ideal solution would be to have building, trait, and civic yield bonuses all added up separately and then the totals multiplied, but that's beyond the scope of this particular update, heh.

    Don't worry about it, I'm just tweaking PM's control settings a little. (Though since you asked, I maintained Cephalo's original format, which has them all at the top of the PM file. Just open it in any text editor and go down past the version history. The values are commented and everything, so end users can tweak them. I've chosen my values pretty carefully and with lots of testing though, so I don't generally recommend people mess with them. ;))

    When I hooked up the vanilla SDK river generator (the one most "normal" maps use) to PM (b/c I didn't like PM's custom river generator at all), I felt that, due to the jagged, non-uniform landmass shapes PM has (with less contiguous blob-shaped land on average), I needed to increase the density of the vanilla river generator. Well, after more testing I changed my mind. ;)

    It also turns out that lake placement in PM is HIGHLY dependent on how many rivers were placed (and how long they are). The vanilla rivers are significantly different from the custom ones, and this ended up causing vastly different quantities of lakes to be created. I had previously balanced the lake control values for the original environment, so the note was about me making a separate lake value for when vanilla rivers are used.

    Lake MinElevation, on the other hand, is just a personal preference thing. Cephalo installed it with an extremely-high value originally, and while I toned it down a long time ago, I never really tried zeroing it until now.

    I was mostly going off your comment about Very High Upkeep being prohibitively expensive early on. :)

    And keep in mind that, even just with Forges in your cities, +50% is only REALLY a 1.75 / 1.25 = 40% increase.

    If you go through the entire list of normal buildings, you'll find that, by the end of the techtree, a city will end up with 8 unhealth from buildings, and 9 if it's coastal. (And that's not even counting certain National Wonders and Great Wonders that have local unhealth effects.)

    The exact list (since I just re-checked it myself the other day and still remember it, lol) is:
    Forge, Factory, Industrial Park, Market, Laboratory, Airport, Virtual Reality Center, Cloning Facility, Drydock.

    This gives NanoMedicine the EXQUISITE ability, without me having to add any custom functionality to the game at all, to be useless early on (pretty much worth 2 health for Forge and Market), strong by Industrial (everything except Laboratory, VR, and Cloning), very strong by Modern (Lab checks in), and amazing by Future (worth 8-9 health at that point).

    This balances out Free Care, at the same upkeep cost, perfectly imo; the Unhappiness Inflictor&#8482; keeps it relevant against NM's rising health potency. (I considered a lot of other options too btw, like Very High Upkeep on one of them, or an Inflictor on BOTH of them, but I'm pretty sure it's best the way it is.)

    Yep, I'm thrilled with the new system. :) The flat 3-yield trigger works fine for Industrial and Financial, but as you rightly reminded me, it caused major headaches here, and it's ALSO a lot better off balance-wise without the extra effects I put in in the past SOLELY to have Prolific do SOMETHING in Plains and Tundra regions.

    Again though, you're forgetting Outposts! There's nothing Farms can do that those can't do as well, right from the beginning... They just expire and have to be rebuilt as Farms, hehe.

    I had to delete the earlier entries in the Change Log sticky in my last update, b/c it went over the character limit for what one post can hold. That being said, here's an entry from Oct 26:

    "added +1 Commerce on Farm and -1 Commerce on Town to Serfdom (thanks Karadoc!)"

    That was one of the things I did early in 4.1 development. It was a no-brainer to steal that from K-Mod as soon as I read about it in his description, b/c it's SHEER BRILLIANCE. :D

    Also, Low Upkeep is great, and you might have a different opinion after you've played on Huge maps a few times... I always make a point of building at least 12 Workers in Ancient/Classical, and expanding it to 24 as soon as I can possibly afford to. And it STILL takes me forever to build all my tile improvements! :p

    Well, you ARE correct about that. My Era-based Tech cost doubling system was only added in version 4.0, which was quite recently. I didn't opt to write any custom AI code for it at the time (b/c 4.0 was my biggest update EVER and I was completely exhausted), hoping-slash-assuming the AIs would be okay with the new system on their own.

    While I probably SHOULD work on that, I would also point out that there are a growing number of OTHER effects from changing eras in the mod as well: your free empire-level research bonus also doubles, Settlers found bigger cities, new cities can start with certain free buildings, Creative civs now get larger starting borders (though it doesn't actually add any culture, so a rival civ can kill those expanded borders in one turn with an already-established city nearby), and there's the possibility of your leader changing (which ALSO got no custom AI support, btw, when it was added back in version 3.4, heh).

    There's no such thing as too many boats!!! :p

    They actually build a ton of LAND units too on higher difficulties, you just don't seem them as much (unless you're at war with them). So I would sorta guess that's why you're thinking that...

    Yes, BBAI has an AutoPlay feature that does exactly that. I've never used it though, and if I remember correctly I never merged in the code for it, b/c it was a lot of code and I never saw a need for the feature, heh.

    Well yes, that's always been my goal as well. :)

    I'm actually pretty darn happy with them at this point, balance-wise...

    Not easily, heh. Plus the civics really haven't changed much. They were in massive turmoil for years though, until I FINALLY came up with my current system in version 4.0. (The 3 small bonus categories were the key to everything. :)) Think of all the fun you missed out on, with the civics being repeatedly overhauled like the traits are now?! :p

    And the traits just GOT a massive overhaul in 4.0, too; I honestly thought I was done with them at that point. ... Silly me. ;)

    Anyway, I would say "trust me on this for now." You'll see the final results pretty soon, and if any significant balance changes need to be made, I'll release a 4.1a update (which would've formerly been known as 4.1.1, hehe).
     

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