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Why don't you like Orbis

Discussion in 'Orbis Modmod' started by Ahwaric, Feb 15, 2010.

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Why don't you like Orbis?

Poll closed Apr 1, 2010.
  1. It is just too weird (changed FfH basics too much)

    13 vote(s)
    16.5%
  2. Not unique enough

    2 vote(s)
    2.5%
  3. Not enough features

    4 vote(s)
    5.1%
  4. Too many crashes

    14 vote(s)
    17.7%
  5. The economy is not balanced

    15 vote(s)
    19.0%
  6. AI is weak

    26 vote(s)
    32.9%
  7. The guilds are too powerful

    12 vote(s)
    15.2%
  8. OOS and other issues that break multiplayer

    13 vote(s)
    16.5%
  9. Ahwaric, take this pie and a break from modding...

    2 vote(s)
    2.5%
  10. Other (explained below)

    17 vote(s)
    21.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Afforess

    Afforess The White Wizard

    Joined:
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    A complete redesign may be what is needed. After all, at this point, What does Orbis have that Wildmana and Rife don't? What are your selling points, unique features? I know all 3 big modmod steal from one another, but they all have variations. Strive to be unique. Peruse the mod comp forum and take a few of the ideas from there, design a few of your own. It's easier than you think to make a game changing feature out of 100 lines of SDK code or less.

    Steal the BUG mod's in game option panel then, and start using that. It's a pretty good base for that.

    This is not true. There is no feature too interesting or "engaging" that it safe from the cutting board. Making a good AI is critical, especially when the FFH AI is already well below the BTS AI. Handicaps in favor of the AI is just poor design.

    Yeah, I do. Added together, I guess that makes us even with both having ~10k downloads. ;)
     
  2. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

    Joined:
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    16,368
    The Palatine and the Dao are unique
     
  3. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

    Joined:
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    Orbis has a completely redesigned tech tree; Reintroduces the Renaissance era; Reintroduces Espionage; Expands on some civs, and adds new ones; Increases the base food cost for each population point; And far, far more.

    Feel odd pointing out Orbis' unique features, but what the hell. :p Orbis has introduced many features to FfH, many of which are later stolen by myself. :mischief: Though I always ask first. :goodjob:

    That one the RifE team is considering, actually. My main point still stands, however; Quite often, new features in FfH or it's modmods are tied intimately into one civilization or another. It is extremely difficult to separate features out and toggle them on/off as a result... Even Wild Mana, which uses almost exclusively Modules for the XML side of the mod, can not separate them well enough that you can take any individual module into another mod; LemonJelly discovered that the hard way. ;)

    I'm not saying it's the best way to design, just that it's the way FfH is designed. Civs are extremely unique, unlike the rather generic civs in Civ4. As a result, toggleable options would need to be limited to those features which are truly universal, and not emphasized in one civilization or another. Game options could disable individual civilizations, but that's already in RifE thanks to Xienwolf. :lol: Which may be a good thing to merge, Ahwaric. Allows the players to toggle what civs they want available, and what they want available for the AI. ;)

    I completely disagree with you here. Some features (Magic system, again) simply cannot be removed; They make FfH what it is, and are one of the few constants among the modmods. Again, the AI should be taught, but there are some features which simply cannot be removed and still be FfH; Magic, Hell, Specialized Religions, etc. To do otherwise would be to lose the playerbase, as it is still a modmod. ;)

    That said... There's a certain new feature in the next version of RifE, developed by Grey Fox, which will also be released as a BtS modcomp; All features will be completely toggleable, and (IMO) are amazing. You should keep an eye out for it, though it won't be released until the new RifE version is out. Can't have the feature in a different FfH modmod first, after all. :p

    Honestly, I actually checked on that one; Didn't want to make an ass of myself. :lol:

    Until today, I had no idea RifE was ranked 4 on WePlayCiv. That's just awesome. :goodjob:
     
  4. Afforess

    Afforess The White Wizard

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    Sure, okay. But are those features or just content? There is a big big difference. Espionage sounds interesting, but is it exactly the same as BTS, or reworked in a FFH style?

    (Remember, I've never played Orbis before. Or FFH for that matter. Feel free to tell me it's a travesty. I do, however, have the latest version of most of FFH & it's modmods. Good to steal ideas from. :mischief:)


    I know. ;)

    Just because it can be difficult and time consuming doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile.


    If you think that a particular feature must stay, then you will have to spend a lot of time making the AI work with it.


    Lol, don't worry. I crunched the numbers a while back, and BUG & FFH2 were the most popular mods to date, with each having download counts past 500k. A long ways to go...:mischief:
     
  5. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

    Joined:
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    Seeing as most FfH mods share much of their content, I would consider what I listed to be features. Particularly as most people playing it would be coming from FfH, and would therefore be looking for the differences it has from FfH.

    I personally would far rather work on new content (Or fixing existing content) than allow content I've added be toggled on and off. Though that's largely influenced by the fact that RifE began (and is still) simply FfH the way I'd like it to be; Number of players doesn't matter, I'd still be working on it. Though it IS a big boost. :p

    I never set out to create a large modmod; It just sort of... happened. :lol:

    I can't speak for Ahwaric here, of course, but I'm of the opinion that focusing on configurable content would be a good thing to follow if starting from the ground up, but otherwise is simply not worth the limited time I have to mod. Though it will actually be done for RifE (Kinda sorta), it is only as the result of a as-yet-unannounced feature we have planned. ;)

    Again, I agree with you. And I have several ideas there; Just not implemented as they all require Xienwolf's Aspect system, which he sadly hasn't finished. :lol:

    Yeah.... That's never gonna happen, sadly. :lol:
     
  6. Afforess

    Afforess The White Wizard

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    True. I...er.. absorbed all of my competition. Victory by default? ;)

    However though, even when taking a feature from another FFH modmod, you should always try to make it better. Play around with it, find out what doesn't work quite right, and correct it, and it will make your mod look much better.

    I agree. It's very difficult to go back and rework old code to make it more customizable. At the very least, going forward from this point on, Orbis could strive to be more customizable with new features.

    Ditto. Very few modders here set out to make big mods, and fewer still succeeded. I think starting small has its advantages.

    Ah Xienwolf... he's the god of code... :lol:

    Civ5. I can dream, can't I? ;)
     
  7. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    I've never done that... Honest. :mischief:

    ....FF used to have several different modmods. They've all disappeared in completely unrelated circumstances to RifE's increase in size. :mischief:

    And the person who's helped me learn the most; Biggest benefit to starting as an FF mod, in fact, was that he was available to answer questions. :lol:

    Or start planning now, as some of us are. Think we have... 4 different ideas at various stages of development atm?



    Though it might be time to give Ahwaric his thread back.... :p
     
  8. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    :assimilate: resistance is futile, prepare to be assimilated

    a modular Orbis would come out roughly the same time as Duke Nukem forever
    :cool:
     
  9. Kalina

    Kalina Just lurking...

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Łódź, Poland
    From what I know Rise of Mankind: a New Dawn is modmod that is much more similar to BtS, isn't it ? FfH has many features BtS AI just can't understand. For example terraforming spells, you can change virtually any tile into any other tile given enough time and tech so not only AI has to know which tiles should be changed but also if it should tech to Spring spell to change its desert tiles into plains or maybe rather down the melee line to get better units. And that's just 5 spells out of 60+ !

    Rise of Mankind has more similarities to BtS and as this much wider base of modders who work on improving AI. I guess you can use generic AI improvement component in your modmod, but this component would be almost useless in FfH and it's modmods.
    I'm not saying that AI shouldn't be improved because we all know it should.. but I understand why it is so complicated.
     
  10. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    In Orbis, marsh (wetland) is a different thing, the closest you have in Rife is flood plains I think. So, it is treated as aclimatic (azonal) terrain (just as it is in our world... BTW it is interesting that both me and Jean Elcard are biologists, or at least dabble in biology ;) )
    I do not see why Tlacatl (Mazatl/Cualli, =reptiles) are associated with water. So, in Orbis they have no association with marsh, but with hot climate & jungles.
    Adding tropical terrain and making Tlacatl change terrain to it, let me to achieve several things:
    • they turn everything to grassland (but for that I could just use temperate terrain)
    • on climate change foprests turn to jungles (and for that I need separate climate, so that i.e. reverting from malakim deserts to temperate terrain would not create jungles that never were there...)
    • it gets nice label "tropical"
    • The settings of tropical make it longer to go from grassland to desert or tundra
    this coupled with new tag "prereq civ" on feature allowed me to copletly get rid of python for tlacatl. And that can only be a good thing.
    I know, I thought of adding a special warning. After playing a bit, I quite like the change. First, you have more control on if the city should grow. You can still use these great food tiles, but city will still be below pop cap. Also, in time of need it is easier to create that warrior. Plus a second scout early is a nice thing.
    I think that it encourages to build some buildings in cities as well.
    I know it can also limit your choices (do I grow the city or build army?)
    But first, I think it fits the flavour of both the civic and the begginings of mankind/recovering from ice age.
    Also, the population boom civic (agrarianism) is available as a second tech - you just have to get agriculture and then calendar.
    Well, yes and no.
    I think that options on main features are a good thing. If I am asked several times for an option, I try to add it. But there is no point in adding options no one will use. Or that change mod balance i.e disabling ranged attacks is a big hit for archers/siege units. In fact, siege machines are used only for bringing down city defenses then.
    Yes, AI. It is I think the part that is hardest to improve. In fact, even in unmodded civ AI is not too good. But in mods, it becomes worse. Plus I do not want to force AI to do things, I prefer making it weight its options better. I think I improved it in that matter (basic economy teching, early defenses, religion founding), but there is still much to be done.
    Regarding things AI can’t use – FfH is full of them and yet, it is the most popular mod. Spell system was never really used by the AI. Wildmana improved that a lot, but the AI is still ********. Some options were intentionally disabled for AI – i.e. crusade civic, waning of Sidar, so that AI would not hurt itself using it when it shouldn’t.
    Valkrionn already pointed out that you are wrong here. I have just 3800 downloads on last version (released in june of 2009), but still :)
    It is actually superspies by Trojan Sheep and others, but further expanded. Plus I linked it to several FfH features, especially council of esus & empyrean religions. But it still need better integration to make me satisfied.

    Felle free to take anything you like, just credit me sometimes :)
    Valkrionn forgot one thing (well, more than one, but I want this post to end somewhere). Orbis has the only really working and meaningfull system of guilds in FfH universe. And this system is expanded and better integrated into game than it was in BtS. AI & balance regarding guilds probably could use some work, but what couldn’t? Plus I am working on it.
    Do not expect that Orbis will do the same! Also, I think our target groups might be a bit different, so I will always have a small niche somewhere...
    Same here. I learned coding by trial, error & Xienwolf’s advice. It is enough to check patch 1.0a changelog to see his influence. ;)
    Kael was a lot of help, too. There is a thread where he explained to me how to change unit art (I mean, modify nifs). You can see the units I made using this technique all over Orbis.
    Don’t worry, I mostly got the information I wanted already. Plus this discussion is on topic, so I do not mind.
    Much later... ;) In fact, I think Rife is as much suited to be module of Orbis as the other way around. Rife has all FF code, plus some of the recent additions. But I have merged a lot of code from different mods & mod components, plus recently developed a lot of code myself. Not mentioning a lot of fixes, including even a few to Xienwolf’s code. That is why Orbis is more stable and has less bugs (I have introduced some of my own though). A lot of work has been done behind the stage...
     
  11. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Ah, forgot you added the prereq civ tag. And thought about the difference in Marsh, just didn't realize the 'Tlacatl' had no ties to it. :p

    Honestly, main reason I'm preserving that link is to set up the Bezeri; Swamp dwelling race transitions to being fully aquatic, not hard to see. Grassland dwelling race? Rather more difficult. ;)

    Well, it's not so much that I forgot about them, it's just that Sephi has a different system in place (Thought not finished) and RifE will have a unique system of it's own in place. But yes, Orbis has the only completed system of guilds. ;)

    Never. If that happened, you'd stop making content for me to borrow. :p (Joking, obviously... :mischief:)

    I'll have to check out some of your fixes, then. ;)
     
  12. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    Yes Ahwaric you occupy a niche, some of us prefer a bottle of fine wine to a gallon of Gallo
     
  13. Afforess

    Afforess The White Wizard

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    Said like a person who has never touched RoM before. :lol:

    If that's your honest opinion, you've been grossly misinformed. :p

    Mod balance is important; but you will always have users that want to adjust the settings to cater to more absurd gameplay. If it's a simple matter of a few extra global defines, you should add them.

    I have a similar experience. I turned off the ability to hurry buildings with population because the AI would suicide their city populations when faced with any threat, to hurry walls.

    One of the best ways to test the AI would be to add Jdog's AI Autoplay mechanic. It makes it easy for you to observe AI behavior, and I've used it many times to catch AI stupidities, and make adjustments to fix them.

    And I happily admitted as much. :p


    I think that, overall, Orbis has a lot of great features, but they could be a bit more in-depth. For example, your guilds system; have you tied it in any way into diplomacy? A New diplomacy mechanic or trading option could be useful, and make it much more interesting. It's easier than you think to add new trade mechanics, or to revise existing ones.

    That is important, as is in game documentation. Do you have civilopedia articles on the bigger changes you've made? If not, write them.
     
  14. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    Magic was a new system built entirely for FfH2, with almost entirely new code and lots of it... what component of AND or RoM is like that?
     
  15. Kalina

    Kalina Just lurking...

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    I have touched (base, 2.6 maybe ? I don't really remember) RoM before, in fact I played quite a few hours. I had a lot of fun, but I also remember it was very unbalanced, especially in future era and very unstable. It added a lot, but it was rather adding new buildings, techs, units and so on rather then completely new mechanics like FfH magic or heroes. I didn't play your mod (but will try it soon, as I read it's more stable than RoM) but read feature section from your sig and didn't see anything the scope of changes from FfH.
    Don't get me wrong, you certainly did excellent work as we can see from number of downloads but RoM and your mod is rather an expansion to BtS while FfH is almost a completely new game.
     
  16. Afforess

    Afforess The White Wizard

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  17. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    more like a game with the same game engine and a similar idea
     
  18. Pohlmann

    Pohlmann Chieftain

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    download 1.0 -> start game with palatinate -> get adventurer in turn 3 -> quit -> try game with kurios. -> get seastart 10 times in a row -> quit orbis

    this is some basic stuff. why kurios and seastarts? i dont get it. this is like lanun starting between 24 tundrahills.
     
  19. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    What you describe here, is just pure luck. Palatinate has no bonus to lair exploration.

    Also, Kurios have negative flavour for ocean tiles in their workable area (the big one). So, if there is better place, they should get it. But certain mapscripts make it hard (a lot of water starts), plus to redistribute starting locations there need to be several of them.
    In general, the bigger the map the more appropiate starting location you get.

    The above is a problem in all FfH mods - in second case it is even worse in base FfH than in Orbis and other mods that use Jean Elcard's FlavourMod.
     
  20. Pohlmann

    Pohlmann Chieftain

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    i mean i quit the first game because having a 6/6 hunter in turn 100 was a won game.

    but i tried it 10 times on standard size fractal with low sea level and got 9 seastarts and 1 desert+mountain start.

    and a criteria to dislike the mod is unlimited sages that early. why bother building elder councils then? or markets?

    i'll give it another try now.
     

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