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Pop-based improvement costs (this is big IMO).

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  • Pop-based improvement costs (this is big IMO).

    Some of you may remember that when we were first putting together the Medpack II, I tried out the concept of setting the Television's gold-per-pop flag to a negative number, and using it as a way of making city improvement costs dependent upon a city's population. It turned out that you had to use integers in the flag, and that this one gold per pop minimum was too high. The only solution would be to increase the gold in the game, and I wrote that off as too difficult to implement, especially with all the other stuff we had to do at the time. The end result was the fairly awkward current system of staggered obsolescence for improvements as a way of forcing you to build more expensive buildings as your cities grew.

    A little background on my reasoning...
    Fixed costs for city improvements has been the standard for every civ game, going back to civ 1. I think that this is one of those things that everyone has grown used to, and no one really thinks about the fact that this system is completely unrealistic for improvements whose effects increase along with city size, like marketplaces, factories; most anything that increases the gold, science or production brought in by the citizens.
    Under the current system, it costs no more to maintain the New York City public library system than it does to maintain that of a small town. With the implementation of the unit heal code, this may be the only remaining major part of the game that is unrealistic.
    Therefore, I believe that a successful implementation of a pop-based cost system will be a major improvement to the game, and is something that all mods should incorporate.

    Now to the news...
    I was laying in bed a couple nights ago, and it occurred to me that the biggest items that deal with gold can all be controlled with a few settings in the government, construct and terrain texts. I then went through the rest of the texts, and found that everything can be changed in less than 30 minutes, maybe less than 15, of work. I have listed the individual changes I that came up with below. What I ask of the community here is to check them out, and let me know if they find any others settings that need to be changed.

    From my tests last year, I know that costs done this way do not show up as expenses on the F2 screen, but the profit per turn does show up correctly. I do not know if this would affect AI decisions.
    Also, I think that increasing the gold in the game by a factor of 10 makes the most sense. This makes changing the files easier, gives us some leeway in our settings, and players will see the same numbers as usual, except with the extra zero which they will easily learn to ignore.
    Play-balancing to find the exact costs may be difficult, but most improvement types have three versions, like the Library, University and Computer Center. I would recommend a cost structure of 2, 3 and 3 gold per pop for the versions as a guideline. 2 gold per pop with the new system would equal one gold for a size 5 city under the old system.

    Now, the text list...

    const- base wages, indulgence amounts, gold from piracy, incite revolutions and uprising, max party cost, min/max good value.
    govern- max incoming and outgoing trade, tech modifier, and unit, improvement and wonder rush modifiers.
    risks- ruins gold
    terrain- gold values
    diffDB- start gold
    orders- most orders cost gold
    wonder- Hollywood
    buildings- Television
    tileimp- BonusGold settings

    SLIC files (I only checked the Medpack for these)

    unit updater- upgrade costs, pw cheat- gold per turn, city capture- amount per pop.

    So, what do you think about the concept, as well as any missed flags?

  • #2
    If I understand you correctly and without having had a chance to think about details, this is a really excellent idea.


    • #3
      Aargh! You people are stealing all my HotW ideas!
      Great idea though When I have the time I'll check the files though...
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