Summary: City with more than max trade routes can't change
                 Project: Freeciv
            Submitted by: jtn
            Submitted on: Sat 28 Jun 2014 22:16:11 BST
                Category: None
                Severity: 2 - Minor
                Priority: 5 - Normal
                  Status: None
             Assigned to: None
        Originator Email: 
             Open/Closed: Open
         Discussion Lock: Any
        Operating System: Any
         Planned Release: 2.5.0, 2.6.0



After the fix for bug #21141 (as modified by bug #21152), if a city ends up
with more trade routes than the current maximum, I think the routes become
frozen; it's impossible for the player to influence them by establishing new
routes, and if they try they'll get a potentially inaccurate message "The city
of Linz already has <current max> better trade routes!", even if the new route
would have had better trade than any of the existing ones. (Not tested this.)

The reduction in max traderoutes might not be something they can easily
reverse (wonder loss, tech loss, ...). Depending on the ruleset, players might
be forced to resort to giving away their city and retaking it (causing routes
to be cancelled) to regain control of its trade routes.
This may limit the practical use of the Max_Trade_Routes effects in rulesets
to requirements likely to survive indefinitely.

I think a sensible solution would be to allow establishing a new route in this
case iff the new one would yield more than the *sum* of the weakest N routes
where N = excess+1, and have the new route cancel *all* of those routes,
bringing the total within the current max.
(This will be slightly fiddly to implement since it involves sorting/ranking
the routes.)
* (If we're going to add the ability to sort the routes, I wonder about an
alternative behaviour for excess traderoutes where the routes that would yield
least in a given turn become inactive, yielding nothing. Establishing a new
route in this case would have the same behaviour, bringing the number of
routes down to the current max, treating the excess routes as having value

Alternatively, the minimal code change would be to disable the "N better trade
routes" message, leaving just the bare infuriating "Sorry, your Caravan cannot
establish a trade route here!" (but that doesn't improve gameplay, of course).


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