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Thread: Terraforming

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    Cranberry
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    Terraforming

    What I'd really like is Terraforming that works in Civ4. The is a Terraform mod on the web but I absolutely fail to get it to work. Terraforming in Alpha Centauri was a big part of my pleasure.
    Any comments ?

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    mkorin
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    I was just thinking on the train this morning how much I miss engineers from CivII. The upgraded worker that allowed you to do basic Terraforming. Of course the Alpha Centeuri was even better. I'd like to see engineers back in the game.

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    Kuciwalker
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    Terraforming was silly and is thankfully gone.

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    I like terraforming quite a bit. And I certainly wouldn't mind seeing workers able to eventually undergo expansive projects like turning desert into plains and plains into grassland. As, say, a means of countering globa warming. Perhaps then some players won't be as afraid of throwing nukes around.

    Maybe a Terraforming tech could require Ecology and... something else. Like Robotics or Fusion?

    Suppose we have a unit that can plant forests at their own expense, and cost more than it would to chop the forest. It'd give a means of replanting forests where necessary without having it more worthwhile to plant and chop all the time instead. It may also add use to the tundra regions.
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    Willem
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    Originally posted by Kuciwalker
    Terraforming was silly and is thankfully gone.
    Not only was it silly, it was also unbalancing. There's no way the AI is going to be able to make the same kinds of decisions as to how to go about it that the human can. It will end up changing things that don't really need changing, and vice versa. It would give the human a big advantage in the game.

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    mkorin
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    No, what is silly is that according to the game at no time in human history can mankind irrigate a desert or change a flood plan to habitable or at least make trails through mountions, let alone using explosives to reduce them to farmland. Mankind has done all of these things. Why does Firaxis force us to live with bad terrain. Sure, make it take longer, to balance the game. However, don't give me that sad excuse of the AIs not being able to make use of terraforming. They already upgrade their areas foolishly, it couldn't be much worse with limited terraforming.

    Mike

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    Lord Avalon
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    And digging canals!
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    Kuciwalker
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    Terraforming results in everything being the same.

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    Six Thousand Year Old Man
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    I'd love it if you could do SOMETHING with those crappy desert tiles. Even if it took 30 turns of terraforming to get one food (or 1 hammer), it'd be better than nothing. You can't really call that an exploit - based on results/time, that's a poor use of a worker compared to just about anything else.

    I agree that being able to swap hills into plains, or desert into grassland, is unrealistic and probably gives the human player an advantage.
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    Xorbon
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    The only kind of terraforming I'd ilke to see is tree-planting to create forests. Perhaps with the caveat that new forests don't produce extra shields for the first while to mimic the fact that it takes a while for a forest to mature.

    Civ 2 terraforming was just silly.
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    I want bridges/tunnels that can span coast tiles... Creating one should cause any "all cities on this continent" bonuses to spread through the tunnel too.

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    I'd be happy if you could just turn the stupid global warming off. It's such a pain if you're playing a game where you switch off the Time win and play far into the modern era.
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    Kuciwalker
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    Originally posted by Xorbon
    The only kind of terraforming I'd ilke to see is tree-planting to create forests. Perhaps with the caveat that new forests don't produce extra shields for the first while to mimic the fact that it takes a while for a forest to mature.
    That completely destroys a major early-game strategic decision.

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    Xorbon
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    Yes. It does.

    But you'd still have to deal with the production hit until you get the tech that allows you to plant trees.

    Besides, it's annoying when I capture AI cities and they've clearcut everything.
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    On irrigating deserts: How about with Civil Service (which is required to let you irrigate away from rivers anyway), Deserts give +2 food when irrigated instead of +1?

    Forests: Replanting a forest should take twice as long as chopping it, and you should only get the bonus hammers from it ONCE (so no IFE). Maybe Civil Service should be required to replant forests, to represent the large coordinated effort of deliberate reforestration?
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    Kuciwalker
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    On irrigating deserts: How about with Civil Service (which is required to let you irrigate away from rivers anyway), Deserts give +2 food when irrigated instead of +1?


    They'd still be completely useless...

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    Xorbon
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    I was picturing a later tech than Civil Service. Something in the industrial or even modern age.

    But whatever the case is, there should be some pain involved to keep the "strategic decision" that Kuciwalker mentioned. Maybe during the time that you have to wait for the forest to mature (which could be 5, 10, or more turns), you can't use the tile at all, or build improvements on it. Newly planted forests are somewhat fragile after all.
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    joncnunn
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    Flood Plains are very habitable in the game. They start with 3 food and can have a cottage added early on which will grow into towns. Alternatively they can have a farm added early to feed a specalist.

    Desert on hills are also useful, they are in fact just like Plains + Hills with one less hammer.

    Originally posted by mkorin
    No, what is silly is that according to the game at no time in human history can mankind irrigate a desert or change a flood plan to habitable or at least make trails through mountions, let alone using explosives to reduce them to farmland. Mankind has done all of these things. Why does Firaxis force us to live with bad terrain. Sure, make it take longer, to balance the game. However, don't give me that sad excuse of the AIs not being able to make use of terraforming. They already upgrade their areas foolishly, it couldn't be much worse with limited terraforming.

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    Brutus66
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    I would like to see them have the ability to dig a canal like Suez or Panama, but how do you simulate in-game the cost and work that goes into a project like that?

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    Kuciwalker
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    Originally posted by Xorbon
    But whatever the case is, there should be some pain involved to keep the "strategic decision" that Kuciwalker mentioned.
    Whatever you do, it really kills so much of the early-game strategy. By late game you already have a ton of free workers, so you can then get the nice health bonus that would else be forever denied to you.

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    Willem
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    Originally posted by Xorbon
    Besides, it's annoying when I capture AI cities and they've clearcut everything.
    Which is why there shouldn't be any tree planting in the game. The AI only knows how to chop, it would never be smart enough to actually plant a forest. It would just become another exploit for the human player.

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    Brutus66
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    In real life, forest planting occurs all the time, there's nothing absurd or unrealistic about the idea.
    I would rather see the AI be fixed to use the concept of planting than see the idea be scrapped. That's a cop-out.

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    Six Thousand Year Old Man
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    Originally posted by Brutus66
    In real life, forest planting occurs all the time, there's nothing absurd or unrealistic about the idea.
    I would rather see the AI be fixed to use the concept of planting than see the idea be scrapped. That's a cop-out.
    In real life, forest planting does happen all the time, but it barely happened at all as recently as 50 years ago.

    I can see allowing replanting with Ecology (which basically would eliminate the desirability of replanting for the health bonus) or some other modern tech. Chopping would be made obsolete/unavailable with the same tech.

    And I still like the idea of a long, drawn out terraform of limited utility for (generic) desert tiles... say a +1 food or +1 hammer. So that they aren't completely valueless.
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    A desert tile at +1 food would be completely valueless

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    Six Thousand Year Old Man
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    Almost completely useless, yes. But nice to have the option, especially when you put a city down in a desert to exploit that isolated iron tile, and there's nothing to eat
    "I'm a guy - I take everything seriously except other people's emotions"

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    Kuciwalker
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    A tile that, after farms, produces 2f0h0g is pointless. It only feeds the citizen working it.

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    Six Thousand Year Old Man
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    Originally posted by Kuciwalker
    A tile that, after farms, produces 2f0h0g is pointless. It only feeds the citizen working it.
    Usually pointless, yes. But there are situations where you might want to be able to run a food shortage. If you have a city with only 4 food available - 2 from the city square and 2 from a farmed plains tile, for example - it can only grow to size 2. But with a desert tile worth 1 food, you can grow the city up towards size 3, and with food in the bank, run a food deficit, alternate between the plains tile and any 0-food mines, and/or create a specialist. Having the leeway to run a food deficit is also useful when tiles are shared between cities, or an AI is culturally encroaching on one of my cities.

    I understand that you've already made up your mind here, but I don't see how having desert tiles improvable to yield 1 or 2 food would "break" the game.
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    Xorbon
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    Originally posted by Kuciwalker
    Whatever you do, it really kills so much of the early-game strategy. By late game you already have a ton of free workers, so you can then get the nice health bonus that would else be forever denied to you.
    We both agree that the strategy of whether to chop or save a forest would be affected by tree planting. Where we seem to disagree is how important this strategy is for the overall game. To me, it's not a big deal if the loss of a forest isn't permanent. As long as tree planting is only in the latter part of the game, you still have to go through a large part of the game without the forest.
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    Kuciwalker
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    Originally posted by Six Thousand Year Old Man
    I understand that you've already made up your mind here, but I don't see how having desert tiles improvable to yield 1 or 2 food would "break" the game.
    It wouldn't. That was about replanting forests.

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    Willem
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    Originally posted by Brutus66
    In real life, forest planting occurs all the time, there's nothing absurd or unrealistic about the idea.
    I would rather see the AI be fixed to use the concept of planting than see the idea be scrapped. That's a cop-out.
    It has nothing to do with the AI being fixed. Those kinds of decisions are just beyond the ability of today's computers to perform well. At least if you expect it to be on an even field with a human. Deciding to forgo a farm or cottage in order to plant a forest is a judgement call and no AI right now is very good at those sorts of choices. Maybe when our personal computers have the same processing power as Big Blue, but certainly not right now.

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