Follow-up Comment #8, bug #15092 (project freeciv):

In 2.1, it is already difficult to rapture on your own island. I think that
distance should be a major factor in the revenue of a given trade route. It
already is for the initial payout, isn't it?

Anyway, from what I've seen, the goal of this change wasn't to decrease the
power of Caravans: it looks like this reduction is the unintended side-effect
of a change that intended to simplify trade computations and savegame
complexity, breaking the circularity of having trade depend on trade routes
and trade routes depend on trade.

So, the challenge is to come up with a formula that doesn't use trade as an
input, and gets a similar result to the old one. The old formula is basically
(Trade1+Trade2+4)/16. This is doubled if cities are in different continents,
and/or if cities belong to different players.

Pepeto's proposal could be seen as an approximation of the old formula, if we
think that trade is twice the size of the city. Then (Trade1+Trade2)/16 ~
2*(Size1+Size2)/16 = (size1+size2)/8.

The big difference is that other trade routes don't influence the final
result, so they don't multiply. To compensate for that, we add the
distance_between_cities parameter.

I think it's good enough. Sure, at the beginning of the game on a single
island, trade routes won't amount to much, but as game progresses, if you get
a good railroad and transport network, the distance parameter may shoot up,
resulting in astronomic revenues.

Since we are in a beta, we might as well try it, and keep an eye on it,
listen to feedback, and perhaps change it again before the final release
(perhaps the distance_between_cities parameter should be divided by 16
instead of 8, I don't know).

We should always check that the revenue is at least 1, to prevent short trade
routes from giving 0 revenue.


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