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Vokarya's Workshop: Wonders

Discussion in 'Rise of Mankind: A New Dawn' started by Vokarya, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. Vokarya

    Vokarya Chieftain

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    So time for the third thread: Wonders. Wonders are the reason I got into modding in the first place, and they are definitely my very favorite thing to work with.

    My Wonder design principles are different from my building design principles; I feel buildings have to be carefully chosen so as not to clutter the building list of every single city, but Wonders remove themselves from the list as soon as one civilization builds them, so there isn't as much pile-up. I will look for Wonders that might flesh out a "one-trick-pony" technology, as anything that beefs those techs up is a good thing to me.

    Here's the things that I try to accomplish with a new Wonder:
    • Mechanical hook: What is this Wonder going to do that is different? Wonders should have big effects, but preferably not effects that encroach on another Wonder; I don't really care for "counts as a Palace" wonders because that is Versailles's schtick. When possible, World Wonders should have global effects; I think this was part of Civ4's main Wonder design philosophy in that National Wonders give effects confined to one city, while World Wonders affect everything.
    • Story hook: What makes this Wonder wondrous? This is especially where I look for structures in different time periods and areas of the world. Is this Wonder still inspiring today? (Things that have been Wonders in other Civilization games are prime targets.) This does rely on a lot of feeling more than thought.
    One thing that I'm really against is piling a lot of requirements on Wonders in the name of "realism". I'm especially against trying to do more religion-specific wonders. I can accept the current set, but I wouldn't want to do more in order to keep both balance between religions and competition for each Wonder. It's easy to not spread a religion, and if you do that, then a religion-specific Wonder doesn't have nearly the opportunity cost that it should have. If a Wonder NEEDS a religion, I can put State Religion required in city without specifying a particular religion.
     
  2. Vokarya

    Vokarya Chieftain

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    Starting with some Ancient Era wonders. Lascaux Caves is one of the most famous prehistoric cave painting sites. I tried to look for a unique effect and the effect I came up with is that the owner gets the strength of killed barbarians as :culture: in all cities. Since it really focuses on animals and animals are low strength to begin with, I doubled the bonus for animals. The tech requirements are Hunting and Ritualism; we can't do OR requirements or I would have done Ritualism OR Storytelling, and I think Ritualism fits better. There's no Dye interaction because you can't get Dye until Calendar in the Classical Era, but I like the increased production with particular resources so I picked a few different animals to give +50% speed with -- the ones that I think would make the best stories of hunting.

    Lascaux also provides +1 free Specialist per Camp in city radius. I did this for a couple of different reasons. First of all, while I try to make Wonders have unique effects, I also like to use mechanics that aren't used very much, and the +1 Specialist per improvement is only used on the National Park, so I decided to give that mechanic a little more use. I expect you would be lucky to get more than one free specialist, and you could only use them as Citizens until you got some buildings that gave you specialist slots. Second, the culture bonus is a Python mechanic, and Python mechanics are invisible to the AI, so this gives the AI another reason to go after this. In my experience, AI's will build any World Wonder, regardless of its actual effects -- I put some "skeleton" wonders into C2C with no effects other than Culture and GPP and AI's still built them.

    View attachment 364176 View attachment 364174 View attachment 364175
     
  3. Sgtslick

    Sgtslick Chieftain

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    Lauscaux - culture for all cities? That seems way too strong imo, i think just the city its built in is fine (still strong). If its all cities, i'd say it quickly becomes one of the strongest wonders in the game.
     
  4. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    It's culture per barbarian unit killed; that way it shouldn't be too strong, provided that this bonus isn't being accumulated each turn. If it works how I think it works (you kill a unit, you get a culture boost for that turn), then I think it's fine having it for all cities; besides, animals don't spawn after classical era, so I guess it's ok.
     
  5. JosEPh_II

    JosEPh_II TBS WarLord

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    Culture has been weak in AND and C2C for a long long time. Every effort to boost it is good in my book.

    +1

    JosEPh
     
  6. Rezca

    Rezca The Greatest Jaggi

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    Looking forward to this one too~
    Don't think I'll flip any cities with it, but hey - I love playing with cultural borders in my games :D
     
  7. platyping

    platyping Sleeping Dragon

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    Just add a bigger amount to just the nearest city rather than all cities and it is simpler.
    Codewise you don't have to loop through all cities.
    Sensibility wise, doesn't make sense for a city on the other side of the globe to benefit from the death of one clown
     
  8. Sgtslick

    Sgtslick Chieftain

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    I read it as being accumulative all the way up to literature, and retroactive, so that newly built cities get this huge boost in culture right from the get go. Maybe I didn't read description properly. If its only a one time boost in all cities for the turn that you killed the barbarian(s), that sounds fine.
     
  9. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    Well, then let's Vokarya clarify this one.
     
  10. Vokarya

    Vokarya Chieftain

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    Lascaux Caves directly adds to all cities' total culture points once on the death of each barbarian unit. Kill a barbarian warrior - all cities get 2 culture points. Kill a bear (Str 3) - all cities get 6 culture points.
    The bonuses do not carry over turn to turn. I agree that an accumulated effect would be way too strong.

    As I said, with World Wonders, I prefer global effects to local effects. That's why it gives culture to all cities. I want to give new cities just a bit of a push towards their first expansion. Plus, Lascaux only lasts from the Ancient Era to the mid-Classical, so it's only going to affect a small number of cities that are probably close together, and it only triggers on battles involving the units of the Caves' owner -- it's not going to trigger for every single barbarian killed in the world. I'm wondering if I am low-balling the effect. It's going to take some testing.
     
  11. Vokarya

    Vokarya Chieftain

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    Labyrinth of Knossos is another Wonder that I feel needs to be included. I couldn't think of a good global effect to give to the Labyrinth, so I decided to use the Castle Gatehouse mechanic, which makes the city immune to attack until the defenses drop below 5%, basically making the city that builds the Labyrinth invincible without siege weaponry. I like trying to use a mechanic in more than one place, and think that an early Wonder version of a later building is at least worth a try.

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  12. Sgtslick

    Sgtslick Chieftain

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    Sounds great, sorry for doubting your wisdom :)

    A bit off topic, but I rarely use the expanded castles option just coz I found that most of those buildings go obsolete too quickly. From what I recall, you don't get them till like engineering but then once you get like gunpowder weapons, in particular gunpowder siege weapons - they are kinda useless. I also didn't like that the AI would focus on getting most of them, in most of their cities (a huge investment). Just seemed like a big handicap for the AI.

    Has this changed, let me rephrase this, do you think that they go obsolete or fall off in usefulness at a fair time - considering their cost?
     
  13. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    I think I can answer this one; I'm balancing the game so that medieval era is a bit longer so there are chances to use explanded castles; I always play with expanded castles and lately I think this option works pretty good.
     
  14. Vokarya

    Vokarya Chieftain

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    I too find that expanded castles are often not worth building because the window for their use is small relative to the length of the game. Generally by that point I'm spending more time building field armies and taking the fight to the AI. I really like the mechanics and I'd like to use them more, but the actual buildings are very low on my priority list.
     
  15. Vokarya

    Vokarya Chieftain

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    Abu Simbel is another Wonder that has always been on my list of Wonders to include, but I didn't like the current ones that I have seen floating around. I got inspired by this:
    I saw three problems with this as stated.

    First, if "Spreads your state religion" was supposed to be equivalent to the Temple/Monastery/Cathedral ability, that can't be done without specifying a particular religion. As I said, I don't want to make religion-specific wonders, and I don't want a Wonder to spread all religions unless it's much farther down the tech tree.

    Second, there isn't a way in the current XML to grant a hammer bonus from a religion, unless I'm really missing something. The Apostolic Palace ability (+2 :hammers: from buildings of the AP religion) is tied to the AP vote, and extends to every member of the AP.

    Third, Abu Simbel dates to the 13th century BCE, which is the Ancient Era. Aesthetics is a Classical Era tech. Good Ancient Era wonders are hard to come by, so I'm not giving this one up, but that's a simple matter of picking an appropriate tech to key this to.

    However, I realized that Missionaries don't show up until the very late-Ancient/early-Classical era. You need either Meditation to build Monasteries and then Missionaries, or Scriptures to adopt State Church and then build Missionaries without Monasteries. So, if Abu Simbel came before either of those and spread your state religion to all your cities on building, I thought that would be a good ability.

    This is the result.
    View attachment 364393 View attachment 364394 View attachment 364395
     
  16. Vokarya

    Vokarya Chieftain

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    The Ishtar Gate is another Wonder that I feel needs to be included. I wanted to include the original ability of making contact with every other civilization on the map (I know this version was in earlier versions of C2C, and I think it may have been used in some other mods) but I did feel that making contact across oceans in the Classical Era was too powerful. I chose to tone it down to only making contact with every civilization on the builder's continent. So I gave it a second ability of providing the builder with 100 :gold: per civilization on the same continent. This only occurs when the Gate is built. The 100 number is an absolute stab in the dark; I want it to be a substantial but not overwhelming bonus.

    I chose to assign Ishtar Gate to Glass Blowing for four reasons. First, the Gate used glazed brick and I thought that would develop out of glass blowing. Second, Glass Blowing is a one-trick-pony tech (the Glass Blower) and I wanted to give it a second something. Third, it fits the time period; the Gate was historically constructed around 575 BCE, which is right at the beginning of the Classical Era. Fourth, Construction is a really easy technology to overload with Wonders and I don't want it to go there.

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  17. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    Hippocratic Oath doesn't show anything when built. Can you check it Vokarya?

    Edit: Same for Greek Fire.
     
  18. Vokarya

    Vokarya Chieftain

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    Something is wrong with what happens when the game tries to look for the movie file. All of my movie files are in my FPK, but the game doesn't seem to be pulling them correctly. The odd thing is that it's acting odd only with my FPK -- the Hellenism founding movie file is also in an FPK, but the game doesn't have any problems finding and playing that movie file. (Could there be a difference between religion movies and Wonder movies?)

    So I agree there is a problem, but I don't know how to go about fixing it. What can work is removing the movie files from the FPK and placing them in the mod folders separately, but if there is a way to make the movie files work while in the FPK, I'd prefer that.
     
  19. Vokarya

    Vokarya Chieftain

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    Shaolin Monastery is another wonder that I feel deserves to be included just because of how legendary it is and we don't really have any other martial arts locations. I'm also a fan of having more non-European wonders. It's somewhat nebulous as to where it can be placed on the Tech Tree; I put it at Philosophy.

    View attachment 364664 View attachment 364665 View attachment 364666

    Shaolin Monastery's first ability is that it grants the Martial Arts promotion to all your Melee and Recon units. Normally, this promotion requires you to be running Taoism as a state religion, but I tested it and Shaolin Monastery can grant this promotion without needing any state religion. As I don't think that religion is absolutely essential to the Monastery, I didn't put any religion requirements on this wonder.

    Its second ability is to train Shaolin Monks. These are cheap but reasonably high-quality defenders with Strength 10 and both the Martial Arts and Medic I promotions for free. They last until Rifling.

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  20. Vokarya

    Vokarya Chieftain

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    Machu Picchu is another Wonder that I like primarily to flesh out an under-used tech; in this case, Mountaineering (which only has the Peak passing ability at this point). This is a conversion of a previous version of tsentom1's Machu Picchu. It uses a Python routine to grant +1 food, +2 hammers, and +1 commerce to all Peak tiles you own and an additional +1 commerce to all Peak tiles in the radius of the building city.

    View attachment 364792 View attachment 364791 View attachment 364789

    View attachment 364788 View attachment 364787

    The other benefit to Machu Picchu is that it places a Machu Picchu improvement on a random peak in the city radius. The MP improvement grants +1 food and +6 commerce to that tile, and this stacks with the regular MP bonus.

    View attachment 364790
     

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