At the moment Lakes are just a less good version of Ocean (no whales).
In the real world, access to fresh water is important, and I idly wonder
whether the game could reflect this.
The best tweak I've thought of is that Lakes get the effect of Harbour
for free (+1 food) -- the benefits of fresh water are mainly on the
population, after all. Building a Harbour wouldn't increase this further
for Lake tiles.
Perhaps that's too powerful, especially early in the game; it could be
balanced by reducing the trade (lakes aren't conduits to trade as the
ocean is). So Lakes would be 2/0/1, like grassland-with-river, except
that it couldn't be increased by irrigation/roads or Harbour.
The effects of the Fish special might need tweaking too. Not sure
whether Offshore Platform should still work -- probably it should.
I got to thinking about this because it's currently possible to have an
Ocean tile next to a Lake tile with a sharp boundary (by transforming a
suitably placed Swamp). The obvious fix would be to flood any connected
Lake with (shallow) Ocean as soon as it's linked to the ocean; this
isn't too different in principle from the current river-extension
behaviour when raising Swamp from the ocean. Currently, such a change
would be more or less cosmetic, but if Lakes had actual gameplay value,
it could become strategic; if you control a tile that could link a lake
to the sea, and your enemy is at the other end of the lake, suddenly you
can make life difficult for them.
I realise it's a bit late to be proposing such a potentially balance-
upsetting change for 2.2. Also, please say if you'd rather I engaged in
random speculation on forum.freeciv.org rather than here.
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