#1 20.11.2014 14:35:34

wieder
Administrator
Posts: 811

How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

The biggest issue with LT33 seems to be that 75% of the players are not really trying to win but only to survive. In the end this is not a very good strategy since it's inevitable that the big players will grow so big that they will conquer everyone at some point.

This is why I'm asking you this.

What would make you attacking more in the early game and conquering nations instead of living in peace?

What would you like to become easier on the next game? I don't mean giving more x abilities for unit y but in general, what kind of playing should be easier or harder? Would it be good if the unhappiness wasn't that hard to manage? Would you like to make it easier/harder to get gold? Would it be good if defending/attacking would be easier/harder?

Please comment on this because your opinion matters big_smile

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#2 20.11.2014 22:33:22

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 244

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

wieder wrote:

The biggest issue with LT33 seems to be that 75% of the players are not really trying to win but only to survive. In the end this is not a very good strategy since it's inevitable that the big players will grow so big that they will conquer everyone at some point.

Erm... Sorry, but I don't see a causal connection between those two sentences. Could you clarify a bit?

To my knowledge, in LT33 there were three big blocks with varying levels of aggression and the one coming on top is actually the *medium* one.

What would make you attacking more in the early game and conquering nations instead of living in peace?

Absolutely nothing. I have no desire to wipe out my neighbours; possibly to get into a better position by grabbing a city or two, but I'm not interested in a total war, at least not at the early stages of the game.

However - and this may be the answer to your question - this is possibly because a war is very expensive resource-wise and waging one without major and decisive gains will throw you back very much. One of the reasons of my stagnation in this game was the war with Bamskamp and Maho because of which I had to redirect a huge amount of my resources to keep them at bay, do the occasional attack and/or reconquer what I have lost. And today, after two months of fighting, I am one town ahead (and two of mine reduced to minimum).

One of the problems is game mechanics: it takes a few turns to build an average military unit; for example, instead of ONE unit, you could build a marketplace, which would give you extra money until the end of the game. Same goes for bank. So, the tradeoff: if you build a marketplace and a bank, you have permanent benefits. If, instead, you build two or three units, they may be destroyed in the blink of an eye and three units are really not enough to wage a successfull war anyway.

So, I'm assuming that the other part of your question is: what is to be done about it.

First of all, the sub-question is, should anything be done about it. Well, some people may be surprised, but I would say: yes. For me, Civilization is a historical simulation and it is obvious that in previous eras of humankind there have been many more wars than in the FreeCiv games that I've been playing so far. Which means that FreeCiv is lacking a significant aspect of realism and for me, personally, that is a downside.

So how to repair it? Well, a part of the answer is in what I already said: unless you get something significant from the war, you have actually lost; not completely lost, but you have suffered a non-neglectable loss. So, unlike reality, where wars can end up in a draw with neither side losing much, in FreeCiv, a draw means that both sides actually *lost*, if nothing else, resources they could have used to build many city improvements that would have helped them advance in the long run. Which means you better be WELL prepared before starting a war, because if you are not, the chance of losing are very high.

So, basically, what would have to be done is make wars *cheaper*. As it is now, the only way to wage a war is go full frontal, all or nothing, because if you don't win, you may as well retire because it will be very difficult to recover. To prevent this, you have to make units cheaper, maybe not powerful attackers, but defensive units definitely. To balance things out, those cheap units should have very low defensive power, but should be able to plug the holes in your defences in case of emergency.

Apart from making the war cheaper, you would have extra manoeuverability. As it is now, you only make gains if you capture an enemy city. If you don't capture, then you don't gain anything an all units you had have
gone towaste.

Having cheap units would enable you to occupy territory, block resources and, if the units get killed in the process, who cares? They are cheap. But they fulfilled their role.

Also,make both attack and defence less expensive. Make city walls less user-friendly; easy to build, but more expensive to maintain. Also, cities without them shouldn't automatically lose population when unit inside defeated. As it is now, attacking a city is a loss no matter how you look at it: defender loses population and the attacker doesn't gain anything if he destroys a city. Losses all around, not many gains. And you wonder why nobody is attacking?

I'm actually surprised how in 20 years of existence there haven't been more significant changes to basic Civ ruleset. Because everything in the original Civ is set to conform to a single-player game. When you play against the computer, you are the centre of the universe and it makes sense to balance building a marketplace and building a single unit, there is no need for realism. However, multi-player environment is much more dynamic, with less stereotypical playing and much more options.

I've been toying with the idea of a different ruleset for a while now, but many other things get in the way so I simply fail to sit down and finish it. Also, my lack of coding knowledge and full understanding of how the effects.ruleset works is also a big barrier (and roughly half the questions I asked in various forums were left unanswered). I have the basic concept written somewhere, but we can discuss it somewhere else.

What would you like to become easier on the next game? I don't mean giving more x abilities for unit y but in general, what kind of playing should be easier or harder? Would it be good if the unhappiness wasn't that hard to manage? Would you like to make it easier/harder to get gold? Would it be good if defending/attacking would be easier/harder?

Gold is good. Restrictinfra should be on, else you play a game of Risk. Triple movement is definitely too much. I'd like no tech exchange, but also much more reduced cost for technologies already discovered by many players (so that an alliance can coordinate research so that people in the back of the row can gain techs more easily). No penalty for exchanging gold, much more difficult inciting revolt, allow exchange of cities (simply because it's realistic; imagine WW2 without this possibility; abuses can be dealt with in many ways).

And DEFINITELY make civil war less likely. What is happening now in LT33 is beyond rediculous.

Last edited by Corbeau (20.11.2014 22:59:23)

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#3 20.11.2014 23:18:25

sandain
Player
Posts: 16

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

Tech trading has been both a savior from my defeat and the reason that I was forced to go into "turtle" mode early in the game.  I resisted the urge to try joining an alliance (I am still not in one) in the early game with the belief that it would be better to wait before choosing a side.  However, with tech trading, I quickly found myself falling behind the tech curve even though I was in the top 10 for research speed and was forced to end any idea of going on the aggresive.

My decision to avoid joining an alliance was my downfall, but it was only a downfall because of tech trading.  I'd suggest doing away with tech trading entirely, and force people to research a tech themselves, steal it with a diplomat/spy or by taking territory.

Last edited by sandain (20.11.2014 23:21:20)

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#4 21.11.2014 17:56:25

chomwitt
Player
Posts: 38

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

LT  could be seing from a digitalcultural perspective as a game-centered e-community in which 'winning' is  honor-tille to the most of its promiments members. In that respect that thread's intro seems overemphasizing an aspect (winning strategies) that maybe in the context i opened seems cotroversial. For eg could a newbie in this community aquire  that title devising or following  'winning strategy' ? If yes then my hypothesis would be wrong.

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#5 21.11.2014 18:05:26

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 244

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

chomwitt wrote:

LT  could be seing from a digitalcultural perspective as a game-centered e-community in which 'winning' is  honor-tille to the most of its promiments members. In that respect that thread's intro seems overemphasizing an aspect (winning strategies) that maybe in the context i opened seems cotroversial. For eg could a newbie in this community aquire  that title devising or following  'winning strategy' ? If yes then my hypothesis would be wrong.

I'm afraid I understood only the first sentence. Could you clarify the rest a bit, please?

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#6 23.11.2014 22:20:12

vidlius
Player
Posts: 23

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

That's a biased question if I ever heard one.

You assume that everyone who plays civilization is playing with the singular goal of world conquest and genocide. I think that single-minded thinking may be a part of the problem here.

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#7 24.11.2014 03:26:51

evan
Player
Posts: 70

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

I agree with Sandain about tech-trading,
and i think it's a good example of a rule that could be put to a poll without any danger of people not knowing what they are voting for.
Although it's important that we don't end up with rule changes that conflict with each other, or compound to make effects that are too strong together, no tech-trading is straightforward, we have it LW2, for example.
If we have a majority of players wanting a tech-trading free game, then we can build other rules around that.
The best way to find out is to have a poll. And it doesn't have to be open for just a week, the starting date for LT34 is still some time off. And so people know that we're talking about and voting about LT34 it would be much better if it had a separate listing in the main index, that way people who drop in to the site to have a quick look will see it. I think this is very important for players who are RIP.

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#8 24.11.2014 09:36:28

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 244

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

On the other hand, we had 50 people in LT33. We could even have 2 or 3 simultaneous games with different rules so that people can take their pick. If you get 20 people strongly disliking an option, they lose the vote, why not have them play a different game? 20 is still quite enough.

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#9 24.11.2014 12:06:58

wieder
Administrator
Posts: 811

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

"That's a biased question if I ever heard one."

Maybe, but the games are planned to be won at some point of time and in LT33 the only way to do that is either conquering everyone else or making them to surrender or giving up the possibility to become a winner. There is a plan to introduce the option for a scare race victory but we are not there yet.

"You assume that everyone who plays civilization is playing with the singular goal of world conquest and genocide. I think that single-minded thinking may be a part of the problem here."

I assume that people want to end the game at some day and this can happen when the game is won. How would you like to solve this issue?

I've seen lots of players doing pretty well with the sim city style of playing but in the end they fall because they basically waited for the others to conquer them and not the other way around. It would be great if those players would be able to try winning the game.

How many people here are not trying to win but just to survive as long as possible? If that's fun for them, I have no problem with it, but if they would like to try winning without a conquest victory, I'm open for suggestions. What we need to remember is that we can only add stuff not requiring coding because coding takes lots of work and also testing. The ruleset is quite flexible and you don't have to know what's possible with it and not. We can check all that. What I'm trying to say is that some things that would very obviously need coding, like having a Civ4 style victory conditions with culture, can't be done.

Would you be willing to explain your goals for this or the future games? That might help us to improve the game for everyone.

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#10 24.11.2014 12:32:20

wieder
Administrator
Posts: 811

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

Having or not having tech trading may be a straight forward decision if it's simply enabled or disabled. However we can have some shades of grey for it. I'll list some possible alternatives here.

1) No tech trading, no tech leakage

2) No tech trading, tech leakage on and with a 50 player game techs would become 2% cheaper every time someone gets a new tech

3) LT31/LT32 style tech trading when the giving party can lose the tech and the receiver is not really getting it every time even if the tech is stolen successfully. With this approach techs can be lost and you can't really advance faster if you trade techs because losing techs will compensate on this. Some people said the game felt more like a lottery

4) LT33 style -25% penalty for the receiver and a possibility to lose techs if you go negative on bulbs

5) With Freeciv 2.5 it's possible not to just reset the negative bulbs to zero but only remove half of the negatives at the tc. With -25% penalty for the receiver and maybe -10% penalty for the giving party it would make tech trading more expensive but still not as easy as it is with LT33. This is my favorite at the moment because giving away techs wouldn't be free

6) Allowing all tech trading without limits. This would definitely make it more tempting to form huge tech trading alliances

Another option would be lowering the base chance for the diplos/spies to succeed. This would also make the civil wars less likely to happen. It has been too easy to split nations with civil wars. Part of this is due to having no restrictinfra and a too complete rails network for the enemy to utilize. Some of the civil wars may have been avoided if the players had more units in the capitals but this is very easy to forget and sometimes too tempting to have the risk if it looks like the enemy shouldn't be able to infiltrate deep into homeland.

The base chance to spies and diplomats to succeed is now 50%. How would it feel if this was 25% instead of 50%? It would make it twice as hard to steal, sabotage or incite cities.

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#11 24.11.2014 16:04:54

sandain
Player
Posts: 16

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

I have no idea what you mean by tech leakage.

Assuming tech trading is disallowed, I think it should still be possible to gain tech by stealing with a spy/diplomat, or by taking over a city.  Stealing tech via one these two methods should have _no_ affect on your current research (unless you steal the tech you were working on, obviously), although I think that is how stealing tech currently works anyway.  Stealing tech can be made difficult by a) making the probability of success of stealing low, and b) making the probability of transferring the tech back home low (like in LT32).

The current situation where you can trade tech through your embassy greatly advantages the players that join forces early in a game.  It is my own fault that I did not realize this early this game, however I think that a lone-wolf strategy should be viable (at least as far as tech is concerned, obviously it is helpful to have allies when it comes to military units).

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#12 24.11.2014 21:11:00

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 244

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

Wieder, you seem like the person who runs around asking questions, and when you're buried in answers, you seem as if you didn't even notice them.

Endgame: for the record, I gave about a dozen ideas here and made some clarifications further down the thread.

wieder wrote:

1) No tech trading, no tech leakage

As a consequence, the moment you stay behind, the difference will increase. No way to catch up.

2) No tech trading, tech leakage on and with a 50 player game techs would become 2% cheaper every time someone gets a new tech

I'm in favour of this simply on the account of all other options being worse.

What I'd like, however, is that the cheapening rate isn't linear. For example, in a 50-player game, maybe to make the tech 4% cheaper once it is discovered by one player, then 3.5% when discovered by two, 3% when discovered by three and so on. Make a neat exponential function. However, that would need dipping into the code, right?

3) LT31/LT32 style tech trading when the giving party can lose the tech and the receiver is not really getting it every time even if the tech is stolen successfully. With this approach techs can be lost and you can't really advance faster if you trade techs because losing techs will compensate on this. Some people said the game felt more like a lottery

Exactly.

4) LT33 style -25% penalty for the receiver and a possibility to lose techs if you go negative on bulbs

A small penalty, basically, the more friends and bigger alliance you have, better chance of winning. A popularity contest, not a strategy game.

5) With Freeciv 2.5 it's possible not to just reset the negative bulbs to zero but only remove half of the negatives at the tc. With -25% penalty for the receiver and maybe -10% penalty for the giving party it would make tech trading more expensive but still not as easy as it is with LT33. This is my favorite at the moment because giving away techs wouldn't be free

A large complication. Cumbersome, non-intuitive, complicated, unrealistic, doesn't contribute to the game.

6) Allowing all tech trading without limits. This would definitely make it more tempting to form huge tech trading alliances

Correct. See under 4.

The base chance to spies and diplomats to succeed is now 50%. How would it feel if this was 25% instead of 50%? It would make it twice as hard to steal, sabotage or incite cities.

I have no problem with this. I think the diplomats and spies are too powerful when it comes to the material effects. Their main benefit should be gathering information, not replacing whole armies. (And when we're at that, any way to make the diplomat return home after investigating a city?)

And, again, I think restrictinfra is essential. In LT33 we have (had) a game where the major players have been preparing for moths and then *wham*, if you blinked in the wrong moment, you didn't even notice what was going on.

Also, I'd be in favour of completely removing the civil war option. This is effectively making one single wrong move a game loser. Nations should be able to regroup after a defeat.

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#13 25.11.2014 08:28:29

wieder
Administrator
Posts: 811

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

I can't really comment on every comment or answer posted here. Or maybe I could but would t server any purpose? The most important thing is getting feedback and opinions about what's good and what should be changed.

By tech leakage I mean techs becoming cheaper either when anyone researches them or when someone you have an embassy with researches them. LW2 uses the first approach. For example in a 10 player game when the wheel is invented by 2 players it will cost you only 48 bulbs instead of the original 60. Assuming it was originally 60, not sure now smile

I'm also tempted to have the lw2 style tech system where stealing is disabled and techs become cheaper when anyone invents them.

Realism is not always that great for games. For example while tech trading can be a popularity contest, that's also how it's sometimes in the real life. North Korea is highly unpopular and it's not getting techs that easily. I would pick good game mechanics and logical rules over complete realism any day.

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#14 25.11.2014 09:40:47

edrim
Ganoes Paran
Posts: 478

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

Tech trade disabled + tech leakage simply reduce power of alliances - you dont need allies because they canno provied you any goods you cannot support by yourself.
I am against it in LT big FFA games, it is good for non diplomacy game where only one winner is avaible to win (we have had such radicioulus games before but they didnt end nicely).

I have had another idea of playing game, wars etc. but it wasn't get good feelings.

It could be sticky to points ingame, big player with hudge amount of points are not able to declare war with small player with less then 50% (or any other number) of his points (ingame score).
Deafault state between new meet players could be a peace (it is disadventage of democracy, but in demo maybe you could make a war with someone but with a chance to civil war or went to anarchy). So when big player will meet small player he will be in peace state without any chance to start war with him (or maybe high percentage civil war when break treaty?).
In peace you can go to any other border even if you are in peace.
Smaller player can break treaty with bigger one.

Winning a game could be set by some circumstances, like:
-everybody in alliance are not able to declare war with everybody else on a board because of score (need to have embassies with everyone, or be sure that you have at least 200% higest score left on board).
-win by space ship

Possible strategied:
-you break treaty ASAP when you are not so powerfull but your enemy wuill know that you will attack him soon.
-you can go and devastate all enemy infrastructure but enemy need to stay calm because he would not set a war with you
-help to sticky to rules player to invade smaller one

I dont know if this goes in good way but it could be still fun for players who wants only to simcity in peace.


I have another idea compare with points:) Maybe we could change an attack module and add some bonus to def when being attacked by top players in %. Eg. i have a score 1000, i am attacking a player with score 200, so my attack strength is reduced by 1000/200=5.

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#15 25.11.2014 09:42:33

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 244

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

wieder wrote:

By tech leakage I mean techs becoming cheaper either when anyone researches them or when someone you have an embassy with researches them.

Wait, how exactly does this work? Suppose there are 50 players, you have embassy with 5 and all of them have researched this. Does it mean that the tech is now free for you or that you get a 10% discount and can't get more unless you establish more embassies?

Realism is not always that great for games. For example while tech trading can be a popularity contest, that's also how it's sometimes in the real life.

We had some exhausting discussions about this in the GT forum. Realism is not always good and shouldn't be followed blindly, but in most cases it really helps to see how exactly it works in reality.

For example, tech trading doesn't work like that in real life (and even if it did, this would be exactly the case where realism isn't great for the game). Namely, sure, you can get the blueprints for armour even of your nation is still in middle ages. But it's completely another thing to be able to build them and use them. For this you need infrastructure that simply isn't developed if you haven't researched mass production, industrialisation, chemistry, if you don't have factories and so on.

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#16 25.11.2014 09:52:54

edrim
Ganoes Paran
Posts: 478

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

Corbeau wrote:

Wait, how exactly does this work? Suppose there are 50 players, you have embassy with 5 and all of them have researched this. Does it mean that the tech is now free for you or that you get a 10% discount and can't get more unless you establish more embassies?

"10% discount and can't get more unless you establish more embassies" is a correct answer

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#17 26.11.2014 16:20:04

vidlius
Player
Posts: 23

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

After reading my comment, it looks like I came off a little aggressive with what I said. Wasn't the intent.

Anywho, yes the game should end at some point, my issue is largely that only one end game scenario is available and also that it is pushed, or seems to be pushed on everyone as the way to play when there needs to be acknowledged that there are peaceful players who don't focus on conquest.

enable the space race
Add a time limit to the game

Will I ever win by space ship? Not bloody likely, but the option is there. A time limit can force a wrap up of the game, but it needs to be random or unknown to players to prevent abuse or tricks or something. Can't remember who mentioned that.

Trade needs to be fixed (caravans) and then enabled.

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#18 26.11.2014 18:51:55

wieder
Administrator
Posts: 811

Re: How to change the ruleset or something for the next game?

There has been talks about enabling the space race but it's not yet there. It should be more expensive as it it by default.

Time limits haven't been working that well and a random time limit would make the game unpredictable and might even end it one turn before the natural end by a space ship or by conquest.

We currently have Marco Polo for compensating the loss of the trade routes. It's expensive but also really powerful. Should it be slightly cheaper or not? That's another issue.

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