<URL: http://bugs.freeciv.org/Ticket/Display.html?id=37592 >

"Peter Schaefer" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
><URL: http://bugs.freeciv.org/Ticket/Display.html?id=37592 >
>On 3/5/07, (Eddie_Anderson) <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> >    Freeciv games scalable.  E.g. if you want a short game, play to
>>    500 points; if you want a longer game, play 2000 points; etc.
>It is an interesting idea, but using a lower number would make
>many games end before any contact is made,

    If that is a problem for players, then they could choose a
larger total.  The implementation could be similar to "endyear" -
the players specify whatever value that they want at the beginning
of the game.

    Personally, I think a no contact game might be interesting.  It
would be purely a race to see who could build enough WoWs, etc. to
reach the target total.

>so the point limit
>would have to be around the equivalent of two islands with
>fully built up cities plus 80 technologies.

    I don't remember the current point values for techs (5?) and
WoWs (20?) so I can't comment on your calculation.  As I said
elsewhere, the point values for things (as well as the victory
threshhold) can easily be tweaked to balance the game to one's

   That said, I think that the per turn points awards will add up
quickly enough so that reaching the lower threshholds won't be a
problem.  Consider this:  With an average of only two happy citizens
you would accumulate 200 points by 1AD.  Add some techs, a WoW,
and maybe a few tier bonuses, and getting to 500 points won't take
much longer.

>> 2) Award points for things besides WoWs and techs.

>This sounds like rules for a boardgame, not a computer game. You
> already receive points for your population. Players already hate
> the discrete advantages gained by players who complete wonders,
> they would surely hate this too.

    The purpose is to provide alternative paths to a goal.  Going
for "per turn" points (happy citizens, largest city) is the "slow
and steady" approach.  Buildings WoWs or going for tier bonuses is
the "big score" approach.

    The player can choose whichever approach suits him/her.  But if
the game is balanced right, then the characteristics of your cities
will determine which approach is the best fit for a given game.

>>    a) Reduce the government corruption penalty for Despotism and
>>       Anarchy to 10%.
>>       Both Despotism and Anarchy impose penalties at the tile level.
>>       For tiles like fish, that represents a 33% penalty of its food
>>       production.  I don't understand why there is an additional 37%
>>       penalty (plus a distance penalty) on top of that.

>Despotism is not meant to be a preferred government, just

    Agreed.  And there are severe penalties ( > 50% for shields
and trade in many cases) for operating under it.

>research the Republic. Despotism reduces upkeep for units, so it also
>offers an advantage over the republic in exchange.

    IME Despotism's advantages are preferable to Republic's
advantages only in a very limited set of circumstances.

    Are you saying that changing one's type of government should be
the *only* way to escape the penalties of Despotism?  If so, then
we'll have to disagree.

    My problem with relying on the "changing government type" path
is that it depends exclusively on research.  Consequently, in the
early stages of the game, everyone is doing the same thing
(maximizing science output) to get to the same goal (Republic).

    Why not just start the game with everyone having Republic as
their government type?  Do you see what I mean?

>>    c) Eliminate Rapture growth
>     You can use the server settings "rapturedelay" to change that.

    Indeed.  I already do.  But I've noticed that the AI civs seem
to spend a lot on luxuries.  So I wonder if the AI is still trying
to induce rapture growth despite the rapturedelay being set to 99.

>>    e) Normalize the effect of most happiness buildings and effects
>>       (all except martial law?).
>        This takes the edge off the Hanging Gardens and makes that
>wonder even less usefull in comparision.

    OK.  How about if we adjust their build costs to make their
costs more consistently proportional to their benefits?

>>    f) For each civ, only its top 3 cities count.
>        This would make it useless for the player to conquer opponents.

    Do you mean conquering cities or entire civs?  I can see how
conquering an opponent's smaller cities would be pointless.  But
taking a city away from another civ that was a big points earner for
him could help your cause a lot.

>        Players already prefer sitting on cozy islands on their own,
>        this rule would make it worse.

    Isn't this a starting position/mapgen problem?  (i.e. some
players get an island to themselves while others have to share/fight
over one.)  Or do you mean something else?

>>    g) Use PF distances for calculating the distance-based corruption
>>       and waste penalties.
>>       I've experimented with this and it works.  The code was copied
>>       from Per's "Wonder City" code and I don't understand all of
>>       it.  But when you build roads, it *does* reduce the losses due
>>       to distance from the capital.
>        Very interesting idea, but how does it affect server load if
>        you have 20+ cities on one continent or 100+ cities in the game?

    I don't remember the city totals.  But in the games where I tried
it, I don't remember noticing any unusual delays.  FWIW, I usually play
on a relatively small map (size < 10) so maybe there were ~50 total

>>    i) Eliminate trade routes established by caravan.
>>       Caravans will still be used for building WoWs.  But the entire
>>       trade route system (3 routes per city, caravan has to find a
>>       path to the target city, then both cities get a permanent
>>       benefit, etc.) should be scrapped, IMO.
>        IMHO, you got it backwards, using caravans to build wonders to
>        me feels feels awkward even if unavoidable, not the other way
>        around.

    OK.  That issue doesn't bother me.  I think of caravans as being
like the International Space Station - each participating country
builds part of it and then ships that part to another city.

>Considering that different rules for traderoutes are
>        currently popular that promote rapture growth, I would wish
>        for more parameters to tune traderoute revenue till parameters are
>        found that again encourage the sending of caravans to other countries.

    I can't comment.  I've yet to read the rules for trade routes.
>From what I've read on this list, I gather that those changes
arrived in the 2.0.x versions.  Is that correct?   The last rules
that I remember were similar to those in Civ2 (immediate science
bonus and a per turn increase in the city's trade output).

>>       In its place, trade bonuses should be awarded to every city.
>>       The amount of the bonus should be based on city size, the PF
>>       distance to surrounding cities, etc.
>        Distance to surrounding cities means an operation of about
>        O(x*x*log x) effort and would slow things down on continents
>        with x>20 cities.

    Yes, I think I know what you mean.  I was thinking that there
would be two factors that would reduce the load:

1) Set a maximum radius for finding PF distances to surrounding
   cities.  E.g. assume that cities A, B, C are in an west to east
   line, like this:


   Set the PF search radius for A to 7.  PF for city A finds city B
   at distance 5.  It does not find city C (because city C is 10
   tiles away).  But the PF distance from A to C can be found by
   adding the PF distance between A and B to the PF distance between
   B and C.

2) The PF distances would have already been calculated during the
   waste/corruption loss (due to PF distance from the capital)

    Add to that the cycles saved by stopping the AI from sending
caravans all over the map (at least those caravans that were being
used to establish trade routes).

>>     I hope that one of the effects of these changes will be to make
>> alternate strategies viable in the early stages of the game.  IIRC,
>> as Freeciv is now, the only viable strategy is researching another
>> form of government as quickly as possible.  That's because the waste
>> and corruption (and distance) penalties of Despotism are dispropor-
>> tionately large.
>       Researching a different government ASAP is only possible when
>       you are not sharing a continent with another hostile civ. I miss this
>       kind of game where one was glad to have a phalanx sittting on a
>       mountain to block passage of enemies.

    I know what you mean.  The trouble for me is that I don't find
Freeciv's combat model interesting.  And the primitive units that
are available in the early game exacerbate that.  Combine that with
the fact that I'm not able to do much research and its like I'm
playing Empire again.  No thanks.  :-)

    You might be interested in an AI mod that I wrote that causes
the AI to come to your home continent early in the game.  IIRC, it
works by preventing the AI from founding cities on any continent but
yours after 3500BC.  So the AI civs start building triremes by
around 3000BC.  Then they use them to carry their Settlers and other
units to your shores.

    The main problem that I've found with that mod is that it
sometimes doesn't help the AIs get to me.  That's because sometimes
my home continent stretches all the way around one of the poles and
then 2/3 of the way across the rest of the world.  So, while the
AI's new cities and units *do* land on the same continent with me,
they are still dozens and dozens of tiles away.

    Another problem with that mod is that it assumes that there is
only one human player - so one continent will get all the action.
I assume that the mod could be adapted for multiple human players
but I never bothered trying to do so.

>>     But with the changes proposed above, it should be possible to
>> pursue a strategy of rapid city growth (by picking city sites with
>> high food production potential), researching pottery, and building a
>> granary.  Then you can collect points on every turn for having the
>> largest city (or cities) in the game.
>        Which is only fun if you think about freeciv as a game of
>        one versus the AI. It wouldn't be fun for the second-placed
>        non-AI player to not collect points.

    That's just one method of earning points per turn.  There are
other methods of earning points.  E.g. the player with the second
largest city(s) can still earn points per turn for happy citizens.
In addition, s/he can earn bonus points for being the first to one
of the tiers (described earlier).

    Consider the following 3 cities - A, B, and C.  They are owned
by 3 different players Players A, B, and C respectively.  Each city
is the first city for that player.  All 3 cities contain 3 specials.
They are:

City A    City B    City C
------    ------    ------
Oasis     Spice     Wheat
Peat      Fruit     Game
Whale     Gold      Fish

    In the race for Republic, Player B will win.  He can grow his
city to size 2 quickly and then start cranking out ~6 science points
per turn.  Meanwhile the other 2 players will be earning ~2 science
points per turn.  By itself that difference may be enough to decide
the game.  If so, then players A and C may as well concede now.

    But in a game decided by victory points, players A and C have
other options (besides trying to research a new government type).
Player A can build units and WoWs faster than the other two players.
Player C can grow his city faster than the other two players.

    So while Player B can pursue a research strategy, Player C can
go for largest city per turn points (as well as tier bonuses), and
Player A can build WoWs (for points) or Workers, Settlers, Archers,
etc. (for development or conquest).

>You are right that the early wonders are useless as it is now with
>fast rapture growth, but the only other ways to get a quick online
>game going without republic and rapture would be to reduce the size
>of the foodbox or to reduce the cost of granaries, and probably also
>to make the republic harder to research.

    It sounds like you find those methods less than satisfactory.  :-)

>Here is an idea I got after looking at
>You could simple remove rapture growth from Republic, so that the
>Democracy was the first and only government to allow rapture growth.

    IMO that would be a step in the right direction.  In my games, I
just set rapturedelay to 99.  But I wonder if the AI is still
spending cycles and wasting spending on luxury by trying to grow its
cities that way (e.g. the AI might be thinking "OK, everything is
set.  Only 98 more turns to go and then we'll start growing." :-) ).

>>     Connecting cities with roads will be very important for
>> increasing trade bonuses and decreasing corruption losses.  Wars
>> will be even more disruptive to your economy and they may disrupt
>> your neighbors' economies as well.

>Connecting cities already is important for movement of settlers
>and caravans.

    True, but the AI doesn't seem to know that.  I can't remember
the last time that I saw the AI build a road on a tile that is *not*
inside the border of one of its cities.


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