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What's going on with Creation, Force and Dimensional mana?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by Verily, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. Verdian

    Verdian King

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    So I was just reading Kael's and MC's description of Force over in the Lore Forum, and thought of a new idea for a new spell.

    Force III - Geas
    Can only be cast by an Archmage once. Grants the player one technology any one opponent has (assuming the player has the prerequisites).

    Basically, it would force a geas on a rival leader to share his or her secrets with you. It also fits thematically with balance and Dagda helping the underdog.
     
  2. Verily

    Verily Prince

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    Okay. We now have some input on flavor from Kael, which may help us narrow down what sort of ideas we should be looking at.

    Creation, being spontaneous, should prefer resource generation to resource mutation. The problem with generating resources is that it feels unbalanced; it would need to be kept under rather strict control. As a Tier III spell requiring the sacrifice of an Archmage, it seems difficult enough to attain to be unbreakable, but has it then become so weak as to be useless? Perhaps, but remember, too, that the Kuriotates, being Adaptive, and other Adaptive or Arcane leaders, have relatively easy access to many, many Archmages sequentially provided they plan sufficiently in advance. Can the cost of creating resources really just be the cost of upgrading a bunch of Adepts to Archmages? But is the late-game boost of flooding your territory with resources really worth all of the extra planning and cost that would go into it? Perhaps a better way to limit it would be to have the caster of Creation III lose the Creation sphere entirely (or just Creation III?); that would keep the Archmage around but require a lot more experience.

    Ultimately, I come down in favor of this spell at Tier III and requiring Archmage sacrifice, however. (As someone else suggested, it’s a good use of a Spirit III Archmage if nothing else.)

    As for other suggestions, Kael rather explicitly shot down the worker boost by stating that Creation does not augment things. And I'm not a fan of the hammer-buildings; that's really just shuffling the hammers from building the Adept to somewhere else. Which Priests kind of do, and Soldiers of Kilmorph already do. It's a used mechanic.

    Here’s a series of suggestions:

    Creation I: Ingenuity
    Maybe creates some sort of new type of golem, a weak summon that might be only for defense. Or maybe it could be a type of worker golem like a Mud Golem; maybe the caster is transformed into a Mud Golem? That might be too powerful, though. Just brainstorming here, would like some input. The Creation II spell below is definitely too strong to be at Tier I, though.

    Creation II: Birth
    -Increases a city’s population by one
    -Takes two turns to cast (to limit abuse which would allow the creation and sustaining of starving cities)
    -In-game purpose: For the Kuriotates particularly, allows them to reach their large city size faster and more rapidly make use of the third ring; true for everyone else as well to a lesser extent

    Creation III: Abundance
    -Creates a resource (At random? From a list? Require pre-req tech? TBD)
    -Caster loses Creation III
    -In-game purpose: For the Kuriotates particularly, makes it easier to acquire resources without having to found vulnerable distant Settlements. For everyone, makes their cities slightly more productive and provides strategic resources for game balance


    Dimensional I also think needs a lot of work, and I will post about it soon. Force I think we have a pretty good handle on and have produced some strong suggestions that I hope Kael likes as well. (It would be good to see some of his input on these suggestions, or on other ones that have been posted.)
     
  3. orangelex44

    orangelex44 Partisan

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    What about a Force spell that turned one temporary summon into a permanent summon? You'd limit it to a single summon from the caster, and maybe even give it a chance to fail and lose the promotion like Dominate. The point is, you'd be able to get that Earth Elemental and upgrade him with Combat and such, creating a really, really cool beastie.

    Another idea for Force is a spell that simply pushed a single enemy unit away from the caster. Useful when Hyborem or Auric is knocking at your door, but not so much when there's a megastack on the way.

    I don't really have a good idea for a third Force spell... I'd rather it not be a simple damage spell, since that actually seems like it's the exact opposite of what Force is intended to be. Although... perhaps a Force mage could cast a spell that prevented all damage to a unit, but had a per-turn chance of death via exhaustion. That would be kind of neat.



    Dimensional spells are just tough to think of. They're all just movement spells, and really, with Escape, Haste, and Obsidian Gates movement spells aren't all that special anymore. I'd prefer to have a Dimensional spell that opened a gate to the heaven/hell of a sphere the mage had the promotion of. Forr instance, if you have Fire and Dimension, you can create a gate to the hell of Fire - which randomly releases barb and/or friendly Azers/Fire Elementals, creates fires, etc. With Death, you get Skellies. Entropy, Hell terrain and Demons. With Air, enemies get pushed back from the tile and you spawn Air Elementals. Yadda yadda yadda. Obviously, you would have to deal with a bit of randomness and chaos depending on what other spheres your mage had, but that's the beauty of it: the effects change depending on what other promotions the mage has. A Law gate, for instance, would be perfectly safe for the caster, but it would be much less destructive and weaker than the riskier Fire, Death, or Entropy.

    The promotion tree for Dimensional would look a little different than the rest. Escape would be the first spell, but then Dim II wouldn't actually provide anything other than access to the cross-sphere promotions that gave the various Gate spells. These would probably require at least the second level in the non-Dimensional magic sphere, meaning that it's tough to get a bunch of them - but any one is probably more powerful than Wonder.



    The hardest sphere to work with is Creation, in my opinion. Really, it seems like a weak mix of Enchantment, Life, and Nature - any spells people think of would generally work better in one of those other spheres. I say ditch spells for Creation entirely: just give it a good enough mana bonus that it forces people to decide whether they want to give up other spells in exchange for more Creation mana. A hefty production bonus, a culture boost, Happiness and Health, some combination of all three - whatever seems most balanced.



    (Yeah, I realize that some of these may have been suggested already at one point or another, but I'm too lazy to read back through the entire thread, so I just skimmed it a little. Still, I tried to stay off the beaten path that most people seem to be on, and consider whether these uses were simple patterns or didn't really add anything to gameplay.)
     
  4. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Dimensional I does not need work, as Kael has already determined that it will be Teleport again if reimplemented.


    Having a spell that boosts workers would fit very well in the Earth sphere (I might have such a spell replace Stoneskin, and make Stoneskin an Earth/Body cross sphere spell), and certainly not in Creation.

    Golem's, even those fabricated all at once, do not belong in the Creation sphere. Only Enchantment (or Enchantment cross sphere spells if said golems of made of other elements) spells making golems would make sense.

    Honestly, I tend to think moving the Mind I spell to Creation would make a lot of sense. I'm not sue what to put in Mind I though, and the Mind sphere as it is probably needs less tampering than almost any sphere.

    I'm not a huge fan of birth. For one thing, it seems really overpowered for the Calabim (vampires feasting feasting), Sheaim (Eaters of Dreams' Consuming Souls), and fallow trait civs. Setting arbitrary limits like the 8 population limit in FF seem really arbitrary, and wouldn't make it rather weak in the late game, but having no limits would make it too strong early on.

    Creating a resource could be fine. I've long been saying that turning one resource into another doesn't fit, but making new resources is fine. Creation is inefficient and unreliable, so a high chance for failure or a significant delay would be appropriate balancing factors.

    I still think that a spell that creates a random Great Person in a Random city belonging to a Random civ would be quite nice. How does "Auspicious Birth" sound? A significant delay would be appropriate of course, as causing a child destined for greatness to be born would not make him/her grow up and achieve greatness instantly.


    I see absolutely no reason to have force be associated with summons. Also, Earth Elementals have no unitcombat, so they can't get promotions.

    Pushing only 1 unit away seems too weak, especially since you would probably be unable to pick which one. However, Kael has stated that he likes the idea of a Force spell that repels units like the old Air II Sorcery spell did, so a less limited Repulsion spell seems appropriate for Force II (if resistible) or Force III (if not resistible and/or it also deals damage). I still think that moving Peace from Corindale-only to Force III would be appropriate. It would also be nice to have a spell that creates a Ring of Carcer-like defensive wall (perhaps stooping any unit of a lower level than the caster from moving), but it would be hard to make sure the caster must maintain it and to make sure it is reversed when the unit moves or dies. If it actually relies on an improvement (which technically isn't necessary, but it would be confusing otherwise) then it could be cause problems when you cast it on tiles that already have improvements, especially unique improvements. I still haven't come up with a particularly good idea for Force I, so I'm sticking with suggesting a "Moderation" spell that gives a promotion to units in the stack that grants some Holy and Unholy resistance. It may be nice for Force mana to passively boost diplomacy.


    There is no hell of fire. Bhall's Vault was a heaven of holy flame. She now dwells in a fiery region of Agares hell, but that is mostly a realm of despair and decay. Of course, there is also the infinite plane of fire that could be accessed by a Gem of Creation, and Ceridwen does allow mages access to at least one fiery pocket dimension.

    The idea of opening up those different gates via cross sphere spells may be kinds cool, but it would be really complicated and Kael has already ruled out implementing any cross sphere spells. I'm thinking that Dimensional promotions really need to have SummonPerks, which could justify not having any actual spells if the perks are good enough. I know I'd certainly still want Dimensional II if all it did was give my summons Blitz. I still think that summoning an ICBM-type transport unit for Dimensional III is really cool, as it lest you drop a small stack to essentially any tile on the entire map.
     
  5. Verdian

    Verdian King

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    Linking up a Dimension spell to mana nodes, in which you could summon an empowered unit based on the node you were standing on(for example, an Air node would summon an Air Elemental with +2 str/def) could make for some interesting game play, as well as encourage people to protect and chose node placement more carefully.
     
  6. Err0l

    Err0l Chieftain

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    So... if I didn't misunderstand MC/Kaels lore posts, you could fit in a voodoo spell in dimension?
     
  7. Skitters

    Skitters Prince

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    For Force....what if there was a spell that like Stoneskin would be a caster promotion only, that would flatten combat odds to 50:50 if they would normally be in the attackers favour.

    Perhaps unlike Stoneskin the promotion would have a 50% chance of wearing off after each attack.
     
  8. the_fish

    the_fish Warlord

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    EDIT: obsolete ideas. see post #113
    Spoiler :

    Wow, this thread took off :)

    Ideas so far, based on the new info in the Lore thread:

    Force (+1 diplo mod per mana)
    1) Dispel (remove all spell effects from units in tile, buff & nerf. change MetaII name to 'Flux')
    2) *no name* (passive: 50% chance of countering adjacent enemy spell if not have 'casted' promo. gain casted promo.)
    3) Balance (destroy all adjacent summons. adjacent enemy arcane units gain 'powerless' promotion, which stops them casting until it wears off (25% chance a turn))

    Creation (+5% GPP per mana, fits better here than at Spirit)
    1) Inspiration (temp building: +2 research. 'Mind I' gets +2 culture building instead)
    2) Muse (temp building: +1 free specialist, any type. This creates free stuff and GPP!)
    3) Create Resource (delay, remove CrIII: create terrain appropriate resource of your choice on tile)

    Dimensional (Death-like diplo penalty*. some kind of leeching per mana per civ you have open borders with - research steal? Ideally would hurt them while helping you)
    1) Escape
    2) Leech (creates 'gypsy wagon'-like temp building in city, takes 5% commerce and 5% production and gives it to your capital. Can be cast in rival cities)
    3) Gate (passive: caster can be targeted for airlifts)
    + *some actual spell*

    *@Err0l: Dimensional is actually a really evil sphere. It'd make sense for it to be condemned by other civs, especially if it implements leeching mechanics. In addition, creation really isn't a 'jack of all trades' sphere, just its signature mechanics have already been cannibalized by other spheres.
     
  9. Err0l

    Err0l Chieftain

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    Dimension should, imo, not give out a diplo penalty. Inspiration is more fitting for mind really. The passive boost of creation is already done (spirit mana,duh) and better than spirit... which just doesn't fit considering creaton is kind of a jack of all trades sphere.

    Do we really need a level 3 telprot spell?
     
  10. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    well, since Force seems to be the opposite of Dimensional, I guess Banish would fit in.

    I had a nice idea about dimensional right now btw: what about a spell that you cast in a city ( requires the caster to stay in the city to stay active ) that lets you build units you otherwise wouldn't have the required building for? maybe requiring that you have that building SOMEWHERE, so basically you're training troops in a city and teleporting them to the caster city. similar to the Protoss in StarCraft :lol:
     
  11. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    My own take on Force after reading Kael's description of it goes something like this.

    Force I: Oath of Service
    Unit swears a magical oath to uphold his nation and protect its people.
    Permanent +25% vs. Barbarians, improved (less dangerous) results from searching lairs.

    Intended effect: Grigori go adventuring early.


    Force II: Warding
    Creates a Ring of Warding in a city as long as the caster remains in it. Has a chance (~35%) to reflect spells back on enemy casters attacking the city. Has a chance (~50%) to instantly banish summons. I'd like it if it had an effect against Demons/Angels as well, but can't figure out a good one.

    Intended effect: To make taking cities with huge magic use more difficult, but not impossible. Do you want to gamble that your Ring of Flames will back fire on you even at a 1 in 3 chance?


    Force III: Stark Reality
    Drawing upon the collective perceived reality of the inhabitants of Erebus, a stricter interpretation of the laws governing the world are enforced. Mankinds link to the divine, infernal, extra-planar or supernatural is severed. Local aberrations to the consensus reality such as mages and priests are overridden.

    All units, friendly and enemy within 2 tiles are unable to cast for 3 turns.
     
  12. Lance of Llanwy

    Lance of Llanwy King

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    Hmmm...I two suggestions.
    Dimensional: Scatter
    Basically, what this spell does is "scatter" a stack into the surrounding tiles by basically sending into various dimensions which then eject them. Or something. Perhaps it could also cause some random mutations? It sounded better before I typed it...

    Force: Detente
    This spell prevents the casting of all spells in the surrounding tiles. But it also disables casting in the caster's tile. Perhaps, to prevent work-arounds, it could apply some sort of silence promotion that wears off after a turn, to prevent people from doing all their casting and THEN casting Detente and getting the benefits without suffering the consequences.
     
  13. the_fish

    the_fish Warlord

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    (EDITs in bold)

    FORCE +1 diplo per mana
    1) Duty (buff, +30% str inside borders OR or +10% str and exert "zone of control" inside borders)
    2) Repel (push each adjacent enemy unit back one tile, if they're inside your borders and if possible)
    3) Shield (delay +2, removes FrIII - temp building - city cannot be attacked for 10 turns)

    Spoiler :

    Essentially, enforcing borders is perfect for the Force sphere. The diplomacy bonus is also appropriate, as it helps you make mutual agreements with other civs.

    1) is possibly too similar to Homeland, but it fills a niche of better repelling early barb attacks and defending workers. I originally had it as -30% str if in rival borders for better balance, but that would unnecessarily befuddle the AI and players. It's essentially a geas put on a unit by the caster to defend the land.

    Could possibly instead remove the promotion if the unit ever leaves cultural borders.

    (EDIT: if "zones of control" are possible (adjacent enemies cannot move to other adjacent unoccupied tiles), this would be a good place for them.)

    2) forcibly (heh) ejects interlopers from your land, if you're positioned right. It might need a resist chance, but this way stacks stay together and it only defeats low movement units.

    3) EDIT: had a brainwave - mini-sanctuary! Clean implementation, and numbers can be tweaked. What's more defensive than this?


    CREATION +5% :gp: per mana (spirit needs something else)
    1) Fertility (temp building, +50% food surplus)
    2) Inspiration (temp building, +1 free specialist)
    3) Create Resource (delay n, remove CrIII, create terrain appropriate resource of your choice on tile)

    Spoiler :

    The :gp: bonus fits much, much better here than for Spirit mana. (EDIT: Spirit could reduce war weariness instead?)

    1) Surplus only, so even if you were generating 50 :food: and eating 48 :food:, you'd only get +1 :food:. Essentially is a continuous way to grow your cities quickly, without having to worry about starvation if the caster leaves.

    2) I'd rename 'Mind I' to "Stimulation", or similar. This simultaneously provides whatever extra 'stuff' you need (hammers, research, culture, gold) while giving you :gp:. The only problem with the idea is that you can't easily balance it as there are no parameters to tweak.

    3) Not much to say, really. The delay would depend on testing, and the loss of promotion is less harsh than losing the caster.


    DIMENSIONAL -1 diplo, open bordered civs get +1 :( per mana ("We don't like our neighbours")
    1) Escape (teleport to capital)
    2i) Leech (temp building, steals 5% :commerce: and adds it to your capital, can be cast in rival cities if building not present)
    2ii) Unbound (passive: can explore rival territory)
    3) Gate (passive: unit can be targeted for one 'airlift' per turn...ie can 'summon' units)

    Spoiler :

    Dimensional is the (evil) sphere of unnatural connections, hence the diplo penalty. I thought it'd be interesting to have a mana bonus that affects your neighbours instead of you, and this fits.

    1) Kael likes it. End of.

    2i) I liked the Gypsy Wagon idea from older versions of FFH, and this uses a similar mechanic. It takes advantage of your 'friends' to channel commerce back to you, or could be used in your own cities to boost your capital (tax!). IMO, not enough mechanics take advantage of your allies.

    2ii) EDIT: Err0l suggested this, below. It empowers 'Leech' slightly, but not too significantly, as your units are more at risk (I'm assuming they don't get moved on war declaration). Makes 'escape' more useful, as well.

    3) I've been pushing 'gate' for a while, though this could easily be any other teleportation spell. I just figured my way was simple and easier to code/AI.

    EDIT: Combined with the passive 'unbound' effect, above, this gets pumped a lot (unless you still get evicted on war declaration)

    EDIT2: "Once per turn" restriction can be coded easily with the 'casted' promo - cannot airlift to tile unless there is a caster (with DIII) who hasn't casted, and once airlift complete a random unit in tile with DIII and without 'casted' gains 'casted'. Add in some exemptions for being in a city, and it's done.
     
  14. Err0l

    Err0l Chieftain

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    I am quite liking these proposals overall. Perhaps Dimension II should grant the ability to explore rival territory?

    Repel seems a bit weak... but when looking at force overall, this probably fits, as the sphere is quite strong already.
     
  15. Grand Seeker

    Grand Seeker Warlord

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    I also enjoy many of these proposals :)

    When it comes to creation, I'm starting to enjoy the one.

    Fertality spell which gives +50% food surplus is exelent. It helps cities grow faster, but the max size is still the same :) Create a resourse is also a great spell,
    and I dont think it would be to overpowering either.


    When it comes it dimension, I think that allowing units to be airlifted to caster is way to powerfull. If you have an invisible mage, (does casting a spell make you visible??) you can walk your mage where you want and summon a great grand army anyware you want. Airlifting is allready powerfull as it is.

    A spell that teleports the caster only would be more than powerfull enough. Maybe you can make it so that teleport can be cast in addition to one other spell. That would make it a perfect level 3 spell. Having an archmage be anyware you want is a perfect spell :)

    When it comes to force, does a spell to counter assasins fit thematicly?
     
  16. Err0l

    Err0l Chieftain

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    A spell to counter assassins is perhaps better in Sun.

    An unit limit per turn for these airlifts may be a nice option. Or allow only units in the stack of a dimII mage to get airlifted...

    Your new Shield spell also sounds neat =)

    Casting spells reveals the caster, iirc.
     
  17. the_fish

    the_fish Warlord

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    Thanks guys! (I've edited my previous post with refinements)

    I agree an anti-assassin spell is more Sun than Force.

    In BtS, each city with an airport can lift one unit per turn, but any city can receive any number of airlifts. In this implementation, you'd get as many units in one turn as there are on your obsidian gate cities, which apart from an initial burst typically wouldn't be more than 2-3 a turn.

    It still could be too good, though. A one unit limit might make more sense, as casters can usually only summon one unit a turn - and these are permanent, good summons, albeit ones you have to build. An easy way to do this would be to allow the airlift only if the caster hasn't casted, and lifting to the tile causes him to gain the 'casted' promo (spellstaff then allows two gates in a turn). Multiple archmages allow stacks to fill up quickly. (I'll edit it in)

    All "Repel" does is buy you time, in a similar way to "Shield". Time allows you to build more defence and shift more defence into position, strain your opponent's war weariness more, and allow you to soften up opponents at range. So although they don't do anything directly, they still give you an advantage. Repel is also pretty strong against low-movement troops or in slow terrain - making it offensive would be too strong and out of flavour.
     
  18. WarKirby

    WarKirby Arty person

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    I think it would be good to have a creation spell that just adds some hammers to the current build project.

    Fabrication
    Creates a building in the city that gives +x:hammers: per turn as long as the caster stays there.

    What level it should be, and the value of x, can be discussed.
     
  19. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Hmm...that could be nice.

    How about these:
    Creation I: Fabrication- adds as many :hammers: to the current build project as the caster has XP (which means it starts really weak, but can be very strong later on)

    Creation II: Inspiration - Gives a GPP boost and a free specialist slot for every type of specialist.

    Creation III: Auspicious Birth - creates a random great person in a random city of a random civ. Has a significant delay and/or chance of failure.

    (Creation IIIb: Vitalize-I think this fits this sphere better, and that Nature III should be Summon Guardian Vines)


    Mind I: Avarice - I was thinking it would give a building that gave extra commerce and merchant slots in exchange for unhappiness, but since that would boos the Dwarves so much and they are against Mammon how about giving a promotion that makes units stronger but costs gold whenever they win a battle?


    Force I: Moderation- grants stack a promotion that gives resistance to holy and unholy damage

    Force II: Repel

    Force III: Confirm Confines (maybe needs a better name) - does what Sanctuary now does, kills the caster.

    (Force IIIb: Renew/Revoke Contracts - changes the length of all deals in the world)


    Dimensional I: Escape

    Dimensional II: possibly no spell here, but a strong SummonPerk. Maybe Blitz?

    Dimensional III: Summon Tesseract - creates an ICBM-like transport unit that can carry a small stack to any tile on the map (except those too close to non-enemy units/territory)

    (Dimensional IIIb: Dimensional Gate- makes a requires Caster Obsidian Gate Type Building

    Dimensional IIIc: Open/Close Portal - creates a portal on the tile and in the capital and links them together/destroys said portal)
     
  20. the_fish

    the_fish Warlord

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    Would a spell that prevents pillaging be useful for Force I?

    I think it fits thematically, and should help stave off annoying barb attacks etc.

    Trouble is, I'm not sure how it could be implemented:
    • Making it a nerf ("this unit can't pillage") is probably the most efficient way, but it doesn't fit with the flavour of Force, as it imposes a restriction against the will of the recipient.
    • Making tiles have an "unpillageable" flag would also be efficient, and could be used in two different ways.
      # Firstly, the spell could permanently make the tile unpillageable - however, this would add lots of annoying micro.
      # Secondly, the spell could make all adjacent tiles temporarily unpillageable (for a turn) - the flag would then have to be the "CivID" instead of a bit, and remove itself at the start of that civs next turn. This unfortunately requires a scan of the entire map every turn (using a separate array storing which civs cast this spell in their previous turn, can optimise and only scan when necessary)
    • If pillaging is a sufficiently rare event, the spell could grant the caster a one-turn promotion that blocks pillaging in adjacent tiles. Whenever a unit wants to pillage, it scans the adjacent tiles for a unit that could block it. This is efficient as long as there's a quick way of accessing units in a particular tile without checking every unit in the game.
    • Finally, the spell could create a temp building in a city that stops all pillaging of tiles worked by the city. This is efficient if there is a way of mapping from tiles to the cities that work them (or at least are closest), else it requires a scan of all cities.

    The AI might be a pain for the 'adjacent tile' blocking, as you'd need to determine whether blocking adjacent pillaging is better than casting a more offensive spell - to simplify matters, it could simply be "cast this (when appropriate) if caster won't attack or cast another offensive spell". (I'm just guessing how the AI is structured, so the preceding logic is deliberately vague)

    -----

    Anyway, it's an interesting idea that I wanted to share. I'm aware that the effort to implement it is considerably greater than most alternatives (especially considering the feature-lock), so something simple like a "homeland+" buff might be better.
     

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