This is long term thinking (it impacts many areas of the game and will require major changes to a lot of the code), but I do agree that improvements in this area are definitely in order. I also agree the Civ3 system is a good starting point, though there is indeed a lot of room for improvement.
That doesn't work: you can get production from all over the map, while Iron (presumably) is rare. So that's a non-decision: everyone would always build an Iron Mine everywhere to maximize the output of the rare resource. That isn't a choice, that's a chore.Originally posted by Solver
About the strategical resource system. Civ 3 had this idea implemented, but I think that there are ways how it could be improved upon. Suppose you have found a source of Iron and connected it to your cities. In Civ 3 this means, you have Iron. I think that it could mean, for instance, that you have 10 units of Iron. This could be enhanced. If you build a standard mine, say, you get 12 units of Iron from that source – and the standard Mine production increase for the tile. Or, you can build an Iron Mine there, and get 15 units of Iron, but no production increase. This will add the necessity of deciding between higher production and higher amounts of strategic resources.
I agree with this. Rather that just having Iron, you should indeed have a certain amount of it (and possibly different sources might produce different amounts of mines, but that might complicate things too much). Or rather, your Iron source(s) should have a certain output (so 20 means 20 per turn, as Solver already implied). But not just that: at least for some resources, there should be a maximum amount you can gather, it should have a certain stock. For example, an Iron resource might contains 4000 units of Iron. If you harvest 20 units per turn, the stock would decrease to 0 in 200 turns, after which it's depleted and simply disappears. That is much better than Civ3's random depletion of resources. New technologies however could not only be used to increase the output of a resource, but also it's total amount (i.e. you'd become more effective at extracting the resource, loosing less to waste and stuff).With that Iron now, you can’t just go ahead and build Pikemen. To build a Pikeman, you need no less than 20 units of Iron, overall – whereas for 15 units, you can build Swordsmen. This will require you to connect more than one source of something.
Also, even the late game units should require resources. For instance, require 100 iron for a Battleship, in addition to whatever Oil or other costs it has. Through the ages, though, there should be upgrades to those terrain improvements like Iron Mines, that increase the output of a strategic resource.
You might or might not want to introduce Iron Mines (or similar) to the game which would increase this output of a resource (not sure about that), but if you do and a player decides to use them, this would of course also increase the rate of depletion of the resource. That creates a strategic choice: more Iron now and nothing later, or a little Iron now and a little Iron later.
Instead or on top of that, I would certainly want to introduce something similar to rush-buying: a way to forcefully increase this output of the resource (temporarily) when you urgently need more of it, but at the cost of having an exponentional effect on the depletion rate. So through such a mechanism, you could for example (temporarily) extract 40 units of Iron per turn instead of the usual 20, but this would also deplete the stock of Iron resource at a rate of 80 units per turn. This way you would be able to choose between getting more Iron over a longer period of time, or getting less quicker.
This does create a risk of unbalanced gameplay though: someone who happens to have a major Iron supply could quickly pump out a huge army of Iron-clad units and overwhelm and try to destroy his Iron-less enemies with it before the stock depletes. There should be some checks in place to prevent this (a time limit for how long you can rush, a happiness penalty for rushing that increases with time, and of course a major increase in the rate of depletion, maybe also time-dependent?).
For some resources (e.g. for food or animal resources), the stock may increase again if you leave it alone for a while, or at least cut back on production. For others, such as metal and minerals, the resource won't grow back, but new source may from time to time be discovered (as in Civ3).
Basically I think I like this idea, but there's a huge risk that things become way to complicated. We want to avoid that. IIRC it was MoO3 that was critized for playing like a spreadsheet rather than a game. We want to avoid that here. But if it can be implemented properly, I'd like to see it.A more radical idea would be to require support costs for units in strategic resources. For instance, have each Pikemen unit require 0.5 Iron to support. All your existing resources go to support first, and building next. So, with 30 Iron units income, and 20 Pikemen, you are spending 10 Iron for support, and have 20 remaining – you can build more Pikemen. But with 21 Pikemen out there, you only have 19.5 iron units remaining, and can build no more Pikemen till you get more Iron or disband existing ones. Currently, though, I’m not exactly sure that I would like this idea. Maybe yes, maybe not.
It's silly a single resource could make an entire civ happy. For all resources, I'd like to see that every city has it's own resource box that requires a certain amount of resources to be dedicated to it. Being connected to a road network alone shouldn't automatically fill the box.Luxury resources were another good Civ 3 concept, increasing the happiness in your empire. This, I think, could be implemented in a way more similar to Civ 3, where there are, for instance, 8 different luxury resources, and each one increases happiness in every city of the host empire by 1, for a maximum of +8. Extra sources of each luxury resource can be traded away.
My idea: if you produce 20 units of Ivory in your empire, you could create +20 happiness with it, but at a rate of +1 happiness per pop. So if the Ivory is harvested by a city of size 10, that would increase the happiness of the entire city with +2, without affecting any other cities in the game. However, you could also decide to set up 2 trade routes with two size 5 cities and export 5 units to each (keeping 10 units for the original city). This way all three cities would see an increase in happiness of +1. The same should go for production resources as well: if you produce 20 Iron, you can use it to build lots of Iron units/buildings in the city where the Iron is made, or you could export some/all of it to other cities and use it to produce Iron stuff there as well.
Note that I would use trade routes here rather than a road network, in more or less the same form in which they already exist in CtP2 now, with routes that can be set up and pirated and everything. Of course, you would now also have to specify how much you want to trade, and the AI would need a thorough overhaul to deal with the changes. Also, it would be nice to have some control over the trade routes themselves, or at least to make them more intelligent and avoid enemy territory and other dangerous areas (e.g. water, if you have a weak navy). Perhaps at the cost of effeciency (if you take a detour to get a safer route, a certain amount of the units traded is lost to corruption?)
One downside of Civ3's system is that it's incredibly powerful: if you happen to be stuck on a continent without Oil and you're at war with someone from a different continent in the Modern Age, you're pretty much doomed. Unless you can find an ally willing to spare you some Oil, your Industrial Age armies and cities are sitting ducks for your Modern Age opponents, even if you're 200 years ahead in scientific research. I'd like to tone this down a little, as it can kill a game really quickly. Even if you have 0 Oil resources, you should IMHO still be able to build units that ordinairily require Oil, only they should be a lot more expensive in terms of regular shields (and maybe have slightly inferior stats or something). Also, it would probably be a good idea to ensure there are basically enough resources on the map for everyone (I've played Civ3 games where there were like 2 Coal sources on the entire map -- that's just not enough when you're with 8 civs).
All in all, my proposals would make trade *far* more important and most cities would probably end up with several trade routes (in rare cases perhaps even dozens). This is a good thing as trade was of HUGE importance in real history and is IMO being seriously underestimated in all existing Civ games.
Not just unbalancing, it makes things just too complex.Proceeding with the “special resources” can be risky, IMO. Those could include things like bonus HP for units, extra production or whatever, if you control the resources, but I think it can, in some cases, be unbalancing.
Because (too much of) that would turn it into a spreadsheet game.Another idea for economy would be to allow for more detailed control of numbers. For instance, why not allow the PW allocation to be changed by 2 or even 1 percent, instead of by 10 percent?