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Zeppelins -> Special Forces?? (Disclaimer: complaining/rant)

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by kenneth1221, Mar 11, 2020.

?

What do you think?

  1. I would like to play with this idea

    19 vote(s)
    63.3%
  2. I do not think this idea would be a good addition to the mod

    2 vote(s)
    6.7%
  3. I both agree and disagree with things you have said

    4 vote(s)
    13.3%
  4. I have no strong opinion on zeppelins

    5 vote(s)
    16.7%
  1. kenneth1221

    kenneth1221 Warlord

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    EDIT: For anyone interested in playing with this idea, @amateurgamer88 has kindly made a modmod incorporating many similar ideas: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/zeppelin-scouting-line-upgrade-path.656061/

    Consider this an airing of a minor grievance, and that I don't want to force any change to the mod. Just a personal opinion here.
    I'm not a fan of the current scout upgrade chain.
    Right now, it goes Pathfinder -> Scout -> Explorer -> Zeppelin -> Special Forces -> XComs
    Of all of these, Zeppelin is the odd one out. It is hovering and capable of ranged attacks. The chain can roughly be divided into a scouting chain and an infiltration warfare chain. The zeppelin occupies an odd place in between the two where it's not particularly good at pillaging and can't paradrop, serves a very similar role to the recon units, but also can go onto mountains and water. I personally find myself perching Zeppelins on top of mountains to keep an eye on things more than using them as combat units, especially in the late game. They're useful for getting vision in places where you don't have planes.

    However, when you upgrade them to Special Forces, all of that goes away. They're just a very mobile effective pillaging force after that, but their niche becomes distinctly different from the early explorers and the Zeppelin. I often find myself not upgrading my super-promoted Zeppelins, because a unit that gives ~5 vision, can sit on top of mountains, and that has 4 movement and double speed on a large amount of terrain is honestly too good to give up, and you can only get them roughly once or twice a game depending on map size because as the later the game runs, the less able your zeppelins will be able to survive.


    Now, my proposed solution, which likely falls within modmod territory:
    Replace Zeppelins with a unit called "Partisan" or "Soldier of Fortune", to represent state-funded private citizens given the right to do military things on foreign soil. They would be like privateers but on land or other unsavory types, which I think is about as much an acceptable break from reality as Zeppelins.
    Am example promotion (not a finalized suggestion) would be that the unit gets more movement in foreign lands and can pillage without using a turn, but cannot paradrop.


    Zeppelins get their own unit line, and instead upgrade to a "Discrete Spyplane" unit in the Atomic Era, and then possibly to an Unmanned Drone by Information Era. (I think Future Worlds has models that would fit for these.) These units will preserve the vision capabilities of the Zeppelin but give up offensive ability in exchange for the ability to survive in later eras.

    Of course, I could also understand the balance consideration to have a need to actually put your scouting units in danger, but in many cases you can already do that with Zeppelins by perching them on a mountain.

    TLDR: Zeppelins are fun. Let us play with them (or their equivalents) a little longer. But not really, this isn't a request, this is just to spark discussion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
  2. General_Drax

    General_Drax Warlord

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    I'm with you about adding a late scout unit as upgrade to Zeppelin. Paratroopers --> Xcom are mainly sappers and assault troopers. Those ones should not be tied to the Zeppelin.
     
    vyyt likes this.
  3. kenneth1221

    kenneth1221 Warlord

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    Personally, this is what I would want more. Pathfinder -> Scout -> Explorer -> Zeppelin -> "Cold-War Spy Satellite" -> UAV
    Then (Landschnekt)->"Soldier of Fortune" -> Paratrooper -> XCom.

    But again, these additions would be better for flavor and not gameplay, and frankly I haven't the faintest idea what kinds of useful scouting unit could fit in the massive historical gap between the Hindenburg and the unmanned drone. A spy satellite that isn't actually in orbit and that can be shot down by artillery may be too much of a break from reality.

    The Mercenary is already a modern-ish era unit, right?
     
    JamesNinelives likes this.
  4. Tugboatspotter

    Tugboatspotter Warlord

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    I agree Zeppelin has no place in this upgrade chain.

    I can't see why Zeppelins should really be a factor in the game at all. It is hard to imagine anything being less stealthy than a zeppelin, and early planes were already being used for surveillance.

    Zeppelins have very little obvious value and trying to shoehorn them between explorers and special forces doesn't make any sense.
     
    Bromar1, Bascule2000 and vyyt like this.
  5. Asterix Rage

    Asterix Rage Warlord

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    The Pathfinder that becomes a "steampunk" Zeppelin that becomes a paratrooper is probably weird. But it seems AI is currently dealing with that properly.

    Don't you think the very first priority now is to release, at last, a stable, playable and moddable final version ? Instead of changing things again and again.
     
    bigcat88 likes this.
  6. Tugboatspotter

    Tugboatspotter Warlord

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    If that question is addressed to me, the answer is no. As long as the developers and community are active, there is no reason not to continue to consider changes, both large and small.
     
  7. Asterix Rage

    Asterix Rage Warlord

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    Not only you
    Vox Populi version 1.0 doesn't mean that everything stop after that!
     
    bigcat88 likes this.
  8. kenneth1221

    kenneth1221 Warlord

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    That isn't a concern for me because I don't expect Gazebo to respond to my incoherent complaining. I thought I was fairly clear about that? If it makes you feel better, consider this brainstorming for a modmod.
    My guess is that the model already existed in-game because of Empire of the Smoky Skies, and there is a niche historical precedent for balloons in warfare. And personally I think Zeppelins/balloons are fun. They're just in a weird place because they are where a transition unit between explorers and special forces should be, except they go all in on surveillance and exploration.
     
    JamesNinelives likes this.
  9. Tugboatspotter

    Tugboatspotter Warlord

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    It is organic and already strives to be friendly to modders. So what would be the point of labeling a release 1.0 if work continues?
     
  10. Asterix Rage

    Asterix Rage Warlord

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  11. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

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    Not having a stable release has been a major issue for the modding community. When mods require constant maintenance to keep up with the latest version, that puts a big strain on the modders and limits the ability to put out new mods.
     
    JamesNinelives and Tekamthi like this.
  12. Tekamthi

    Tekamthi Prince

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  13. kenneth1221

    kenneth1221 Warlord

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    You know, when I started this thread I wanted people to tell me why my idea was terrible, not why we should or shouldn't make suggestions at all because a gold version would be a goal VP should shoot for... but at this point I think I've come to expect some thread derailment as an inevitability.

    Glad to see I'm far from the first one to think the state of the Zeppelin is slightly wonky, and given the leaps and bounds the mod has made in 2 years it's understandable that no one's looked at the Zeppelin. I think some of the AI concerns in that thread have been taken care of by vision changes. That said, I think it's interesting that there's a convergence of idea towards a "secondary" recon role, though mine is more focused on the "perch on mountains" idea while yours was more "naval chain" idea. As far as I can tell, Zeppelins also get movement bonuses in terrain these days (while poor helicopters still suffer, but I digress).

    I really do think the zeppelin is in the game because it's legitimately cool as a hovering unit so much earlier than the next hovering unit. I would prefer to see it as an "all-terrain spotter" over a naval spotter, but I can't quite say what logically follows.
     
    JamesNinelives likes this.
  14. Tekamthi

    Tekamthi Prince

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    That'd suit my tastes just fine really.. I think the naval take on things back then was somewhat historically inspired, though the problem you've identified was the prime concern really: zep just doesn't fit in an otherwise melee recon line

    There is a WW1 Zeppelin model on these forums that looks pretty good if this were broken off into a new line, and is probably best fit as the logical successor.. make the smokey skies a 'dirigeable' and then that one the true Zeppelin.. beyond that I have no strong feelings.. spy planes or helicopters or UAVs or whatever, the models are all out there at this point.

    Theres also a whole unitcombat_helicopter available in the SQL/XML tables (gunship in vp had been assigned to same group it upgrades from iirc)... The unitcombat groups are all important for animations to work for any new units, and for setting up a promo path etc... And they're hard coded, ie can't add new ones.. Vanilla used the helicopter one but it's just sitting there untouched in vp, waiting for a modder

    I had promised to break this off into a mod mod in that old thread, or to incorporate it into another mod I had going... Still mean to, but VP still shifts significantly often enough and I can't spare the time to rework it over and over.

    That old thread holds all my ideas and some links to the models I was gonna use though, if anyone's feeling ambitious.. solving the old zep concerns is a very marketable mod mod I think... Maybe with a few tweaks for the paratrooper cheese too (I find range on it too far, but that's another discussion)
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2020
    Arthur Jama likes this.
  15. Ragic

    Ragic Chieftain

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    If this is a brainstorming thread then I’ll toss out an idea. I feel like I never have enough spies. And of the spies I do get, I need them for things other than diplomat more. But then I’m missing out on all of the intrigue. Maybe the zeppelin can serve the role of a diplomat while in the opponents capital city area.
     
  16. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Emperor

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    I like the Zeppelin in the recon line. It sort of exemplified the exitement about taking to the skies!

    Aeroplanes become the go-to for scouting IRL and a scout plane might suit as an upgrade. Does anyone actually use the existing planes for scouting? I use them almost exclusively for bombardment because it's a unique role they fill. AA guns are cheap interceptors that require no strategics. I also find planes being tied to cities or carriers a bit annoying and a limit on where they can provide vision.

    That said, this does take me back the idea of adding more promotions to the recon tree. It only has 12 total at the moment which seems low of variety, particularly as they are the only units I tend to have at levels that high.
     
    Asterix Rage likes this.
  17. MIS

    MIS Prince

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    Yeah, I think the Zeppelins need a Whole Lotta Love.
     
    JamesNinelives and Ragic like this.
  18. ryanmusante

    ryanmusante Regular Supporter

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    My only opinion on zeppelins is that barbarians should not have them, thus disabled on my games. Also, they should be allowed to enter zones freely along with other recon units.
    Code:
    INSERT INTO Civilization_UnitClassOverrides (CivilizationType, UnitClassType, UnitType)
    VALUES ('CIVILIZATION_BARBARIAN', 'UNITCLASS_ZEPPELIN', NULL); 
    
    UPDATE Units SET RivalTerritory = '1' WHERE Type = 'UNIT_ZEPPELIN';  
     
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  19. vyyt

    vyyt Deity

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    @JamesNinelives , I do use fighters for recon a lot, but I am using the Improved Air Recon mod (or whatever it's called), which let's you click an area you want to have scouted.
     
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  20. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Emperor

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    I like flying them over the Houses of Byzantium and India in particular :).
     

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