#1 07.09.2017 13:41:33

wieder
Administrator
Posts: 1,046

About the theme for LT40

I posted this on the GT forum as a response to corbeau about what kind of game LT40 could be. I'm now posting it also here since it's a summary of the concept we are preparing for this new game.


About LT40.

We can make it anything that's fun to play. I was actually thinking that there will not be allied victory after all. LT39 will have that and since LT40 is going to be a game with lots of new stuff and kind of experimental settings, there is no reason why not make it also a game about space race or something different than just winning the wars and the race about production.

With just one "winner" there is really no reason to form alliances wiping out everyone else. At least that's what should happen. I was thinking that the players would be ranked with the in-game score and even the space race winner needs to take care that he/she will have enough score if he/she wants to be number one score-wise.

The current settings for the map include 900 land tiles / player and with citymindist 6 there should be space for about 30-40 cities /player. That's because you can also build on the coastal areas utilizing the oceanic tiles. With few idlers that number should be even higher. With empire sizes 25-35 cities it should (should:) become really hard to create an empire with 50+ cities. Shakespeare's will allow you to exceed the empire size limit but even with that there should be a serious hit to production if you don't build city improvements. In any case there shouldn't be that big race for land. Maybe a race for better locations and some special resources but everyone should have enough room to build a reasonable size empire. This is super different compared to regular games where you practically need to conquer someone in order to get enough resources for winning.

Killing other players for ensuring top positions on the score list is of course possible but it should be a slow process since the attacking player needs to disband the conquered cities because of the city limits. We can create settings to make this harder but preventing it from happening is probably not possible. As usual, some players will even keep some of the cities completely empty or poorly defended and that makes it easy for the enemy. The limited vision for empty cities is one thing we have for encouraging people to keep the cities occupied.

I see the wars on LT40 as a tool to distract other nations. Someone might want to conquer some specific cities in order to cripple the economy or the research from someone else but that should be it. Using nukes will probably make it possible to really hurt others, but that's kind of the point with nukes. It was suggested that the palace city could be protected from nukes before the actual SDI is introduced but this has not yet been added to the game. Do you think it would make sense for improving the game play even while it's not 100% realistic? Then again 100% nuke proof SDI is also not that realistic.

The chances for civil war are also greatly limited. Even with the "worst" governments you only have a 45% chance for that and with demo the chance us just 10%. LT40 also includes a small wonder (Underground Tunnels small wonder) people can use to double the defenses of the capital. And since the capital can be built on a mountain with a river, it will be a super fortress. Hopefully not only defended by a single green warrior big_smile

If you have additional ideas about how to make LT40 a game about civilizations and not just a war game, please let me know. The introduction of new units is greatly limited by the available sprites there are for the vanilla client, but we can add buildings or adjust the values for current units/buildings/stuff.

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#2 07.09.2017 13:50:24

wieder
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Posts: 1,046

Re: About the theme for LT40

Updated the description for LT40:

"A game with a limited empire size. Lots of new city improvements and some new units. Tech trading is possible with diplomats and spies. City trading and gold trading are available. Allied victory is NOT possible. Single player space race victory is the most probable way of ending the game. Conquest victory is possible but extremely unlikely with 1 winner. All surviving players will be ranked with in-game score."

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#3 07.09.2017 18:29:55

Corbeau
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Posts: 357

Re: About the theme for LT40

Hm, it seems I mixed up 39 and 40 regarding some settings. Will need to reread everything...

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#4 07.09.2017 20:21:06

wieder
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Re: About the theme for LT40

You can think LT39 as more similar to LT games before it. LT40 is something different.

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#5 10.09.2017 13:47:54

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 357

Re: About the theme for LT40

A few thoughts.


The more I think about it, the more idea about tech-trading through diplomat thefts sounds neat (still want to try the normal tech trade with penalties, though, but that's a discussion for another game). However, usually a diplomat can't steal a tech twice from the same city. is this a ruleset thing or is it coded? if the former, can it be removed? If coded, is there a way around it?


It would be nice to give defensive diplomats a lot advantage when trying to prevent tech theft. At lčeast 50% bonus when in a city would be cool, preferably even more. It doesn't prevent theft completely because an attacker can come in with more diplomats. Especially if he can steal tech more times from the same city.


Maybe make diplomats and spies non-cheap? I don't know what was the idea, but 30 may be too little. I'd say 40-60 would be a good optimum?


No losing tech if you get robbed, please?


I hope you are not going to impose tax on money exchange. In a non-alliance-victory setting, there will be very little abuse. And besides, the idea of money is that, when someone gets it, someone else loses it so all trades should be fine. MAYBE, just MAYBE have 5-10% tax for "manipulation costs". Or, is it possible to tie the tax amount to government? 30% in Despotism to 5% in Democracy?


I never liked the idea of corruption+waste being constant across governments and I understand it's been around for a long time, but have never seen a proper discussion about it. I have a feeling it has been inherited for ages without giving it much thought.

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#6 10.09.2017 15:01:42

wieder
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Re: About the theme for LT40

Good to hear you think diplo/spy tech trading might work. It's at least something different and since submarines can now transport diplos/spies there is a new way to trade in the late game.

I think it's hard coded that diplomats can't steal twice from the same city. Here are the flags we have for giving diplo/spy abilities for units:

Diplomat - Can establish embassies, steal random technologies, bribe enemy units, start revolution in enemy city, sabotage production, investigate cities. If unit does not have also Spy flag, it is always destroyed after mission.

Spy - This flag works correctly only if unit has also Diplomat flag. Can poison water, select what technology to steal, select what to sabotage, sabotage enemy units. This unit might survive mission.

Units are defined (partillay) with the flags.

http://freeciv.wikia.com/wiki/Editing_rulesets

For diplomatic abilities there doesn't seem to be any more options.

I haven't found an option to give bonus to the defending diplomat. Not without making it veteran. And since those could also be used for attacking it doesn't make really sense. Would be nice to have that, yeah.

What about if we keep diplomats relatively cheap as they are and make the spies more expensive? In the early game it makes no sense to trade techs with diplomats anyway. The techs will be cheap and and the success rate is only 25% with 50% base chance and 50% cance for tech transfer. On average the cost is 120 shields and that kind of equals 240 bulbs/gold. With tech leakage it will take some time before it will become cost effective. Also, maybe a good idea to let the less advanced players to have cheaper units for stealing if someone already has spies. With spies equalling 480 bulbs/gold (60 shields)... Might be the correct value, hard to say?

We can set no tech loss when stealing. Sure.

For gold trading it was planned to have a 10% tax to avoid moving gold to allies if someone is in danger to get robbed = a city getting conquered. Not more.

Yeah, not too much has been taked about corruption+waste. The same idea is applied to Nationalism.

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#7 10.09.2017 15:42:09

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 357

Re: About the theme for LT40

Check the Spy_Resistant effect.

About chances, yes, if they are not 100%, then diplomats should be cheaper. But I think that chance to steal tech in that case should still be 100% because, if not, it would mean it's easier to sabotage and incite vs. enemy than get tech from a friend (and still have to pay for it).

And just checking, stealing isn't considered a hostile action, right? Can you do this without actually being at war?

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#8 10.09.2017 16:01:25

wieder
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Posts: 1,046

Re: About the theme for LT40

Right! That might do the trick! Nice!

Maybe we could add a really cheap building with that effect. Currently it's applied to the capital city and also to 2nd palace and it gives 50% bonus for the city. Maybe the cost could be 20 shields and no upkeep. This would let the players to decide where to defend against stealing and let the trade partners to move into inner cities for better chances.

Probably not possible to make the spies/diplomats to always succeed. There is the base chance and in the past the max value for that was 60%. The base chance is linked for all the action. Stealing, sabotage, ... all of them.

Stealing has been possible while in peace. I think. At least with alliance. Might not be that bad actually if you would need to be allied or in a war for stealing. This needs to be tested.

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#9 10.09.2017 16:07:06

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 357

Re: About the theme for LT40

Yeah, that's what I meant. Can't set it to be easier than other hostile actions, but don't make it harder.

As for a building, I'd give that flag to courthouse. It actually works only if there is a defending diplomat. If there isn't, 50% (or more, personally, I'd go for 100) of 0 is still 0 wink So, when there is trade incoming, just inform a friend which city is clear and, when the trade is done, get defence back in.

Also, I'd go with roughly 20% bulb loss (for the receiver) when getting tech that way. It may not amount to much if you're playing chess, but it does make sense in the big picture.

And I would be VERY MUCH in favour in editing the tech tree so that ALL techs get root_reqs.

Edit: maybe give spy resistance like, 50 to courthouse and 50 to police station?


On a slightly unrelated topic, I'm playing with the idea of making Democracy a bit stronger, with less waste/corruption, but removing Womens Suffrage completely. It would make sense. Think about it.

Last edited by Corbeau (10.09.2017 16:14:03)

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#10 10.09.2017 16:46:18

wieder
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Posts: 1,046

Re: About the theme for LT40

I have a feeling that the resistant flag will aply even if there are no defending diplomats. It's the same flag you have at the capital city and I'm fairly sure (not 100% but maybe 90%) sure that the diplomatic actions are always harder on the capital city. If it's so, then it might make sense to have the flag for a separate building. Of course if it only applies with a defending unit then it might be better to use it with courthouse.

20% bulb loss can be done, but it will introduce losing a random tech if the balance goes and remains negative at the tc.

In the recent games Democracy was made less appealing by making some of the other governments more tempting. The biggest problem with it has been the corrpution/waste on far away cities. However I'm not sure why you would remove WS? It's a relatively expensive wonder and doesn't affect waste/corruption. What kind of corruption/waste values were you thinking about?

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#11 11.09.2017 11:21:35

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 357

Re: About the theme for LT40

"Spy_Resistant"  - if a spy specifies a target for sabotage,
                   then she  has an AMOUNT percent chance to fail.  Also in
                   diplomatic combat defending diplomatic units in cities will
                   get an AMOUNT percent bonus.

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#12 11.09.2017 11:23:12

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 357

Re: About the theme for LT40

Wait, I wrote a longish reply yesterday and I don't see it here... is it possible that I didn't click "Submit"? Oh hell...

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#13 11.09.2017 11:29:43

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 357

Re: About the theme for LT40

Anyway, about Democracy, yes, it is too little appealing compared to others. This is why I would like to drop constant corruption+waste, but then it may become too strong, which is why I was considering also dropping WS. it's not a drastic nerf because you can always build Police stations. WS is only a shortcut inherited from Civ 1.

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#14 11.09.2017 13:37:31

wieder
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Posts: 1,046

Re: About the theme for LT40

What's more appealing than Democracy? Demo has 90% limit and +1 trade bonus for each tile already producing trade. Together with Marco Polo that's huge.

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#15 11.09.2017 17:12:20

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 357

Re: About the theme for LT40

It is difficult to wage war and 30% waste can be very expensive.

Anyway, about spy_resistant, final proposal: Barracks, Courthouse and Police Station give 30% each.

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#16 12.09.2017 10:40:41

wieder
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Posts: 1,046

Re: About the theme for LT40

I'll have to think about this. Stealing techs can't become too hard but it's true that defending diplomat should have an advantage.

Maybe we could decrease waste a bit. Maybe to 25% or something like that. I never had real unhappiness issues when fighting in demo. It only needs some careful planning when deploying troops and with bigger cities having the Shakespeare's really helps. 

Instead of removing WS it could be more expensive maybe? Then again we could remove it since zeus and mausoleum of mausolos were also removed.

Any idea how the current governments have worked for LT38? I'm really interested to hear if Fundamentalism has been useful with the new trade bonus. If someone is willing to reveal secrets, you can do that in a private mail. Mail can be sent through the forum. This would really help with designing the new settings for governments. There is a new one, Nationalism, that's kind of mix of tribalism, communism and democracy.

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#17 12.09.2017 11:50:12

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 357

Re: About the theme for LT40

Well, removing WS was only a conceptual idea. Thinking about it, WS is exactly what I said: a shortcut and, depending on playstyle, a necessity, therefore no need to make a decision, you either build it or fail. And Civ should be about decisions. Or you can make a decision to *not* go into playsyle where you'd need WS so... Huh, it's getting complicated. But, all things considered, you can still build a police station.

...

About stealing techs, even with 50% base chance and 100% defence bonus, this only means you need two diplomats vs. undefended city two more per defending diplomat, so I wouldn't call it too hard, only "having a price"

Keep in mind that defending also has a price, but also that, in the end, they won't be TOO expensive and also that diplomats do not require upkeep. So you can pile them up over a longer period.

...

About governments, it would really be nice to have some feeling of historic progress. I'd make corruption+waste 20% with Democracy, 25% with Republic, Monarchy and Communism. Actually, *I* would make an ever bigger discount, but you wouldn't accept that big_smile Anyway, keep in mind that Democracy in original Civ has no waste and corruption wink

Last edited by Corbeau (12.09.2017 11:50:45)

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#18 12.09.2017 12:05:48

wieder
Administrator
Posts: 1,046

Re: About the theme for LT40

Maybe removing WS and making the police stations less expensive to build but more expensive to maintain would work.

Currently spies have upkeep but it's no that high anyway.

Yeah, 30% flat for waste+corruption is kind of strange when you think about it. Could be less for some govs. I will need to think about it. Some people really like the current setup and I wouldn't want to break that for them. Then again nothing (except the hard coded stuff : ) is carved on stone. We have had too little talks about the govs anyway. The base idea for civ2civ3 is that all the govs should be usable in every stage of the game. It's maybe not how it should be and definitely not something that is really true. As an example I can't think of any reason to switch to tribalism in the late game.

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#19 12.09.2017 12:22:40

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 357

Re: About the theme for LT40

wieder wrote:

As an example I can't think of any reason to switch to tribalism in the late game.

Well, there could be a reason if it's justified game-mechanically, but that is contrary to what I think game of Civilization should be about wink And I have a feeling that constant c+w=30 is more about game mechanics than about the nature of the game.

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#20 13.09.2017 12:56:13

wieder
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Posts: 1,046

Re: About the theme for LT40

Yeah. There is now Nationalism for those who wish to switch to a government similar to Tribalism. It's kind of upgraded version of it even while there are elements from other govs.

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#21 13.09.2017 13:16:44

Corbeau
Player
Posts: 357

Re: About the theme for LT40

I think there are too many governments as it is. It would be better if there were fewer types of governments, but more social effects that can be combined, like in Alpha Centauri. There there were four sets with four effects each and you could choose one from each set and combine them. They all gave some + and some - and, in the end, you had 256 combinations. Also, you needed to discover tech to unlock an effect.

This probably cuoldn't be done here without heavy coding, but social effects can be manipulated with wonders that can be used like thise effects.


Anyway, this is a different topic so I continued and expanded it here:
http://forum.freeciv.org/f/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=86875

Last edited by Corbeau (13.09.2017 14:15:48)

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#22 14.09.2017 08:31:20

wieder
Administrator
Posts: 1,046

Re: About the theme for LT40

Too many? Yes and no. There was too few really good governments in the past. Basically only Democracy and Communism for the late game. Hopefully this has changed and people can pick from different govs also in the late game.

Marduk proposed a new gove focused on economy. I don't really understand this because democracy should already be something like that. Then again we could make something that would have a heavy penalty for having any units but would boost economy even more. Not sure really.

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