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Dale/Snoopy PatchMod (Bug-fixes and more)

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  • I've been working on the AI today, specifically it's ability to buy an army from Europe, and to decide it's defenses. I've been able to tie it deeper into difficulty levels as well as significantly improve the army that the AI purchases from Europe.

    Screenshot attached shows an AI France at revolutionary level, with it's forming army. Not too shabby eh? Note the caravel is bringing a soldier and tools from Europe.

    Now here's the shock, it's turn 50!
    Attached Files

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    • Originally posted by Djboomingranny
      Hi, great work on your patch. I miss the days of the original Colonization game, and your patch has allowed me to relive them

      anyway, you said "Unit Cycling Bug
      - Find and Fix this
      - NEED SAVES WHERE IT IS HAPPENING, please."

      so i can reproduce at least one of these unit cycling bugs (present in both the original game, and when using your patch)

      to replicate: Goto europe, get a guy, then double right click on him and hold the mouse. then left click on say dragoon or something. (then release both mouse buttons) now when you go back to your game you will see it no longer cycles. if you save and load your game you will see the "pioneer/soldier/dragoon etc..." windows back. so i suspect the code that closes this window doesn't finish when you hold the right mouse button or something.
      AWESOME! Replicated and found the bug. Definitely there as stated (definitely a code error).

      Now fixed, will be in the next version.

      Comment


      • It's not in the EXE? Excellent!!!
        <Reverend> IRC is just multiplayer notepad.
        I like your SNOOPY POSTER! - While you Wait quote.

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        • You guys do some exceptionally good work. Two !

          I've been giving the game concept of Colonization some thought; what would make it even more interesting. I guess the need for resource micromanagement and the straightforward/linear approach to winning the game are the two dealbreakers for me. A particular strategy I use is a sure-fire bet for winning the game on most AI difficulty settings. I would however prefer to lose the game by being dynamically outsmarted rather than out-resource-bonused.

          It would be more fun and more difficult for me if every inch of land would have to be conquered or bought except the first one or two spots. I.o.w. if Natives would be everywhere and dynamic in their settlement. Perhaps they could even fight each other and attempt to win the game from their own paradigm (Unite the tribes to kick out the white invaders, if the frog is boiled too quickly?).

          Also perhaps making land more homogeneous in its yield, decreasing the amount of resource goodies, and making specialization much more difficult to come by. In particular if raw material elaboration would be only possible after building a building. That would lead to specialization and would make trade and diplomacy more meaningful. Did Spain just declare war on your Dutch motherland? King pops up, and urges you to attack their colonies - or else. Also, there goes that traded resource you liked!

          For some reason I seem to like this era of discovery in games. Other good games which touched upon it were 1602 and Conquest of the New World. Each has its own take on going from pioneering to self-sufficiency and its own particular charms. I just wish I still had as much time to play as back in the 90's

          Comment


          • Originally posted by snoopy369
            Dale 'changed' it to match what Firaxis intended (the XML always indicated it took 6 slots, but the code to allow any unit to take any number of slots other than 1 was broken); he was fixing a bug, not making a balance change.
            If that was what Firaxis "intended," that's what it would have been. It's fairly clear that they tested the 6 value and decided it was a Bad Idea. You think no one noticed that you could ship 6 treasures back at a time? How stupid do you think their QA department is?

            If you set the value in the XML to 1, you can pick up treasures in any transport, not just a Galleon. Apparently the XML value is also used to check whether it's legal to pick it up. Sure, you can force yourself to ignore this, but the AI won't.

            The logical conclusion to draw is that the hard-coded value of "1" was an intentional quick-and-dirty fix to a serious balance problem, and you've undone it. It is a significant balance change, because it renders most treasures neigh worthless, and makes constructing or buying a Galleon an iffy proposition.

            In declaring it "unimportant," you're glossing over most of the common cases. I mentioned the $2000 treasure as an extreme. Most of the time, the treasures are $800 or less. Sometimes as little as $100.

            It's actually quite common to get 3-4 $100 treasures from wiping out a tribe of Indians. This change makes this marginal reward worth 50% less, because it will never, ever make sense to tie up a Galleon for a 6-7 turn round trip just to get $100. Not even once, let alone 3-4 times.

            Regular treasures are often worth $800. From a short term perspective, if you have at least $800 worth of goods to send - 200 units of most raw materials in the early game, or 80 units of a finished good - it makes more sense to ship that than a treasure.

            Granted, you can take a significant opportunity cost hit, and ship the treasure instead. The other goods might be able to sit if you have enough storage space, i.e. if they aren't all of one type.

            Truth is, waiting to purchase a Galleon is often iffy. The opportunity cost for gathering $3000 in the early game is very high, because a few Expert Fishermen or Expert Farmers can make a huge difference in your economy's efficiency. A $1000 Caravel or $2000 Merchantman usually makes more sense if you need more shipping capacity.

            Until you get the +1 movement bonus, Merchantmen are more cost-effective than Galleons, because they're faster than Caravels or Galleons, and keep the same $500 per cargo space ratio.

            The main reason to push for a Galleon is the effective discount you get on the first one, to avoid the 50% tax on treasures. And you removed most of the reason for doing so.

            - Gus

            Comment


            • I agree with all that, Zoet. There's way too much open space. Also, if you had to have excellent relations with the native AIs before they will agree to train you, that would improve gameplay as well as make it more realistic (don't just add the stricture, though, have the AI respond with a "We don't like you enough" or something).

              Comment


              • gus: If they'd intended it to be 1, they'd have changed it in the XML, as appropriate. Changing it so that an XML tag no longer works is a very poor way to change something like this - and thus, both Dale and I believe, accidental (probably something they had set temporarily hardcoded to test something and forgot to revert). Thus Dale fixed the bug (xml tag for 'size' not working). I don't agree with your reasoning for it being a balance issue (as noted earlier), and thus decline to address it in the balance patch at this time; it's certainly not high on the list even if I did agree, as treasures are frankly one of the more imbalancing things from a strategic standpoint, and I'm fine with them being not strategically beneficial. They're there for people who want the atmospheric element... and for those with really lousy starts, but by the time you have a significant amount of resources, they're not beneficial anymore. I'm fine with that.

                In any event, if it matters to you, just change it in the XML, as noted earlier. It's a very simple change.
                <Reverend> IRC is just multiplayer notepad.
                I like your SNOOPY POSTER! - While you Wait quote.

                Comment


                • I did change it in the XML. That's how I found out that if you change it to 1, you can transport treasures in Merchantmen and Caravels.

                  By breaking this, you've effectively cut the value of all treasures in the game by 50%. Thus transforming this into the "unbalancing" mod, along with AoD II. Which is unfortunate, since it fixes some other things that aren't fixed elsewhere, like the random-start for ships.

                  There are some treasures where the King pick-up isn't even an option. Such as ones where you get it from a small island that you never intend to colonize, and which would be a strategic blunder to colonize.

                  Your earlier argument doesn't hold water, for reasons I've already outlined. You don't need to keep your Galleons filled with 600 units all the time for this change to screw treasures. All you need is 200 units, which is pretty common.

                  But you've already stated that you're fine with hosing this element of the game, and relegating them to "color," so I guess there's no point in further discussion.

                  - Gus

                  Comment


                  • gus you're obviously not playing the latest version because if you were you would notice there is now two XML tags for this issue. iRequiredTransportSize regulates how big the ship must be for that unit (6 in the case of treasure) and iBerthSize which regulates how many cargo holds the unit fills.

                    You can stop whineing now.

                    BTW, don't assume anything about the QA dept or how that tag was treated during the test phase. Because you are wrong.

                    Comment


                    • Honestly, so many people overestimate the ablity of Firaxis to the extent it does get quite annoying after a while...
                      You just wasted six ... no, seven ... seconds of your life reading this sentence.

                      Comment


                      • The version I was using had only iRequiredTransportSize, and no iBerthSize. I suppose I could add one at this point to see if it works, but I just realized I'm pretty much burned out on Colonization. Starting another game isn't very interesting. I was hoping the Patchmod would help, but it hasn't much.

                        I understand the temptation to make design decisions purely for flavor reasons. Unfortunately, that way often leads to balance issues. A cost-benefit analysis of any design decision is vital to a good game.

                        I'm sure you're aware that there are significant holes in the game's balance, even as "intended" by Firaxis. Otherwise you wouldn't have tripled the cost of horses. At $2-$3 to purchase, they render any colonial production of horses a waste of time. At $5-$7, Master Ranchers produce $20-$40 of horses a turn, which is still substandard compared to other professions. Of course, that neglects the value of the consumed food, which can reasonably be said to be as much as $3 per horse, so they're still iffy.

                        Also obvious is how counterproductive it is to manufacture your own tools so long as you can trade with Europe, since ore is often par or more valuable than tools. Unfortunately fixing that would require re-evaluating the tool cost of pioneers and buildings, and the cost of guns as well.

                        I think it's interesting that instead of trying to address the perfectly legitimate points I've brought up, you're being defensive and resorting to ad hominem attacks. I know that's typical for the Internet, but somehow I expected more.

                        BTW, don't assume anything about the QA dept
                        Since the assumption I made was that the Firaxis department was not stupid, what you're saying is that they were. Right?

                        - Gus

                        Comment


                        • Actually gus, what you said:

                          If that was what Firaxis "intended," that's what it would have been. It's fairly clear that they tested the 6 value and decided it was a Bad Idea. You think no one noticed that you could ship 6 treasures back at a time? How stupid do you think their QA department is?
                          Is implying they ARE stupid. You also adamantly declare that they tested and decided it was a bad idea. Don't assume that it WAS tested at those values.

                          Comment


                          • It would have been good to have found a way to create a cargo size for treasure, depending on the size of the treasure.

                            I would think a good balance size might be irequiredtransportsize=6 and irequiredberthsize=3. So you can carry two treasures in a galleon.
                            Avoid COLONY RUSH on Galactic Civlizations II (both DL & DA) with my Slow Start Mod.
                            Finding Civ 4: Colonization too easy? Try my Ten Colonies challenge.

                            Comment


                            • Honestly that's not a bad idea, and simple to implement ... I think the main issue is treasure just isn't that important for us to spend our (very limited, in my case) time on. Sure, small treasures are effectively worthless right now, but they're not that important anyway - if the value of the treasure is less than a single shipload, why do you care so much if you get it anyway?

                              There are much more important balance issues we should be discussing, like the sending of the REF, education scaling, indian gold levels, etc. etc. ...
                              <Reverend> IRC is just multiplayer notepad.
                              I like your SNOOPY POSTER! - While you Wait quote.

                              Comment


                              • Did you know that when you build a dry dock and a shipyard that each of them is supposed to add another two fish to the sea squares (which, including a standard dock, should be +6) but it doesn't! It just sticks to the initial +2 from the dock.
                                Avoid COLONY RUSH on Galactic Civlizations II (both DL & DA) with my Slow Start Mod.
                                Finding Civ 4: Colonization too easy? Try my Ten Colonies challenge.

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