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  • Playtesting - Issues & Findings:

    After resolving the "too many Wonders & Buildings" issue, Cradle 5 is now approaching a "final state", so it was time for a new series of extended playtests. This identified a number of problems, and I'll briefly review them, roughly in the order in which they presented and were resolved:

    1) Full Civ Revolt CTD: Initially, all games failed to progress beyond 1200 BC before an unrecoverable CTD brought them to an end. Eventually I traced that back to instances of "full civ revolts" in which EVERY city switches over to a new civ, and apparently that is not something the code can handle. Digging deeper, the unhappiness levels causing these revolts were directly tied to a pair of issues:
    - First, there were improperly high "War Discontent" values in "govern.txt" (see post # 198 for a discussion on this mechanism). In particular I foolishly set the threshold to "zero" for Anarchy, which meant that every time a civ switched governments - especially if there were a lot of units in the field - the unhappiness levels spiked beyond the civ's ability to offset it with sliders.
    - The second factor involved the original (as yet unmodified) Cradle 3 settings in DiffDB.txt, specifically those which reduced the cost of everything for the AI - in particular at the higher difficulty settings. The in-game effect was something like MAD (mutually assured destruction) since AI civs could see that their opponents were fielding huge armies, so all sides kept building more and more units until eventually the "War Discontent" values caused a civ-wide revolt and brought everything crashing to the ground.
    - The solution involved fixes to the War Discontent values in govern.txt and replacing the Cradle 3 entries with most of the AE cost, research, and production values in DiffDB. With those two changes, games can now play through to 2025 AD (see attached) and beyond.

    2) Single-City Civ Revolt CTD: Even after the fixes noted above, it is quite common for single cities to revolt and become a new civ. This is fine, and the game has no problem with it. However, if one of these single-city-civs revolts into a new civ (f/e Nubia revolts and becomes the Inca), that can result in a CTD as well. I couldn't find a fix for that, but you can simply reload the game from the last auto-save and it will continue without a problem. Disconcerting, but not an issue.

    3) Dynastic House Issue & Great King improvement: As described way back in Post # 3, the Dynasty Advance allows all players to construct the Dynastic House building and receive the "Great King" unit. However, if a civ loses their capital, they can build a new Dynastic House and receive another Great King. Not really a problem in the early game, but potentially this could happen long after the era of Great Kings was over. So now this structure has been given the "ObsoleteAdvance ADVANCE_CITY_STATE" attribute, so it can longer be constructed after the discovery of City State. In a related change, the Great King now has the same movement (from 2 to 3) and vision (1 to 2) attributes as Sargon, and building the Dynastic House also grants the player a free chariot unit.

    4) Quinquireme Sprite: Unlike every other unit, the rebuilt Quinquireme sprite had the shield in the center of the ship as it moved around. Not sure how I missed that, but the sprite has now been fixed.

    5) Wonder Unit Upgrades: As each civ gained the "Age of Reason" Advance, their Wonder Units upgraded to the Field Marshall/Brigadier replacements, so the new system is working properly.

    6) Emancipation Proclamation: Although this Wonder eliminated all Slavers and freed all slaves in all cities, it did not stop civs from building new Slavers. Fortunately the SC team added a new Wonder attribute (ProhibitSlavers) and once that was applied to the Emancipation Proclamation Wonder, no further slaver-type units (or abolitionists) could be constructed.

    7) Pollution: Several of the test games used unmodded AE, primarily to gauge differences with Cradle in terms of speed and AI aggressiveness. One notable finding is that pollution was a serious problem in all AE games, including numerous Dead Tiles appearing in the Middle Ages and even a Global Warming event prior to 2000 AD. By contrast, in Cradle the effect of pollution is gradual and even by 2000 AD there were no dead tiles (although the "pollution meter" was rising steadily - see attached). That's good, because it means no changes are needed to the Cradle pollution settings and buildings.

    8) "CanBeExpelled" Attribute: The AI does not understand the true use for Plunder units (disbanding them in cities to gain shields or population), so it uses them to explore. At least that's something, but it's annoying to have them clogging up space inside your territory. A similar but more dangerous problem is when otherwise peaceful civs send Hired Thugs or Assassins to perform their nefarious acts against you, and they too aren't easily removed. All six units now have the "CanBeExpelled" Attribute", which allows them to be evicted at low diplomatic cost.

    9) War Elephant size: Elephants are the only "Large" land unit (besides the late-game "Leviathon"), and that means they can't be loaded onto ANY troop carrying vessels. Even tanks are "Medium"! War Elephants now changed to Medium.

    10) Wonder TIMP fixes: Several issues cropped up during these playtests.
    - The Wonder TIMP code only allowed them to be built on Grassland, Plains or Desert, but frequently those are not available or have been used by other Wonder TIMPs. When that happens, the new Wonder destroys the old by being built on top of it. The solution was to expand the number of acceptable terrain types to Forest, Jungle and Hills.
    - Once the AI is able to Terraform, it does not factor in whether a Wonder TIMP is sitting on a terrain type that it wants to transform, destroying the Wonder TIMP in the process. The solution was to add code from the Natural Wonders slic file, so the AI can't do ANYTHING to a tile which contains a Wonder TIMP.
    - A few times, one AI civ would gain technological ascendancy over the others, and start building all the Wonders before any other civ could get them, and would usually do so in the best production city. So a single city would begin to acquire ALL the visible wonders, and usually wouldn't have enough room to place them, so all the older wonders would be wiped off the map. The solution was to add a limit of 5 Wonders per city (in Const.txt, MAX_CITY_WONDERS setting changed from 1000 to 5), so it keeps the AI (and the human) from building up a powerful production city and assigning all the Wonders to that one location.​

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    To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

    From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

    Comment


    • As the season turns from Winter to Spring, my "modding time" has been greatly reduced as outdoor requirements multiply at the Ranch. That doesn't mean we're at a standstill - rather a lot has been done, just not written up. Anyway, excuses aside there are quite a few interesting developments to report and I'll begin with one that in hindsight seems pretty obvious:

      Advances - Move "Domestication" to Level 1:

      Historically, the Domestication of plants and animals occurred long before the development of Agriculture, yet in Cradle we find that Agriculture is actually a pre-requisite for Domestication! That doesn't make sense, so in Cradle 5 the Domestication Advance is moved from Level 2 to Level 1 (see attachment), the Agriculture pre-req has been removed, and the research cost reduced from 320 to 180 (same as "Exploration"). Files changed: Advance.txt, GL.txt, Tech Tree​

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      To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

      From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

      Comment


      • The various "problem solving" changes reported back at the end of February (see post #241 above) all involved "Barbarian-Human" playtesting. The primary goal of that activity is for turns to fly by as quickly as possible while searching for CTDs and evaluating AI performance. Once it was clear that all the dangerous CTDs had been eliminated (i.e. those which can't be resolved by restarting from the last auto-save, typically the sort of "system resource" problems that afflict older games), and that the AI was at least moderately competent at defending itself, it was time for a "Normal Civ Human" playtest. That takes a LOT longer, but is absolutely essential in order to identify the multitude of things which can make a game "un-fun". Things like the working of the "Domestication" Advance as reported above. Anyway, there is a LOT of stuff that's been done in that vein, and it's the sort of thing you'll see in the next series of reports. Some of it REALLY simple, others.....well....complicated. For example here's one annoyance that was really easy to alter, but has a surprisingly nice effect in-game:

        Elephant Walk sound:

        When the "War Elephant" unit moves across the map, it made a "footstep" sound that didn't fit with an animal of this size. Turns out that it was sharing the same movement sound file as the Infantryman. Accordingly I borrowed the elephant_footstep_02.wav file from my previous mod work in support of Europa Barbarorum 2, modified the number of "footfalls per second" to make it work better in CtP2, renamed it to "Ele_walk.wav", then added a new entry in sounds.txt which references that file (SOUND_MOVE_ELEPHANT) and then assigned it to both Hannibal and the War Elephant. The result is a sound which is exactly what you would expect to hear when seeing an elephant walking across your screen in Cradle 5. Files changed: sounds.txt & units.txt​
        To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

        From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

        Comment


        • Militia Unit Systems:

          Cradle has a system which uses SLIC code to create "militia" units in newly founded cities. The code is extensive and complex, because the units upgrade over time (from Spearman to Hoplite to Legion, etc) AND they are immobile (and forced to remain so). The code is complex primarily because these are unbuildable units which have statistics that are different from their "Standard" unit equivalents. For example, the Militia Spearman has much better defense than the regular Spearman, and the same is true for the other six Militia types. That kind of functionality comes at a price, however, as the files which control it contain over 1500 lines of slic code dedicated purely to this purpose, and it runs in the background, every turn.

          By contrast, AE has a new feature which places a cheap unit in every newly constructed city, and it does not use ANY slic code. It becomes active simply by changing "AIMilitiaUnit=No" to "Yes" in userprofile.txt. Implementing this in Cradle 5 resulted in two immediate improvements: First, the number of city captures by the AI increased noticeably (albeit primarily in the early game) and secondly it reduced turn-processing time by a full third. Unfortunately, this new Militia code was apparently never tested thoroughly, because it makes no distinction between "cheap" land & naval units. So pretty soon, Coracles and Biremes started to show up as garrison units for inland cities!

          There was no obvious way to fix that (other than by inflating naval unit prices to an excessive degree), so instead I replaced the AE Militia system with a simple 9-line slic script which gives a standard Spearman unit to every newly founded city (human and AI) for the first 300 turns (until 1 AD). That was tested and works perfectly (although the units can move, the AI does not leave cities without garrison units), and personally I like the reduced complexity. That said, the release version of Cradle 5 will still feature the Cradle 3/4 Militia unit system. However, I will include the simpler 9-line system as an alternate which the player can opt to utilize instead.

          To do so, simply open the "Script.slc" file (in the Cradle5/gamedata folder) and remove the "// " in front of "Updater4.slc" and ADD "// " in front of the "Updater3.slc" and "Homeguard.slc" lines (see attachment, which shows the "as-delivered" lines)

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          To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

          From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

          Comment


          • Infantry Unit Gap:

            When a Civ transitions from Oligarchy to Republic, there are ZERO buildable infantry units available to carry the player through during this transition. Spearmen become unbuildable with "Barracks" (the immediate pre-req for Oligarchy) while both Hoplites and Hypaspists disband at Republic. Meanwhile the next disbanding Infantry unit (Legion) isn't available until "Iron Working", so the player has to rely entirely on "Specials" (see post # 34), and there's only one of those (War Elephant).

            A related problem involves the "plunder" script which grants free units after battle (as discussed back in post # 37). Much of this file was altered earlier, but playtesting has uncovered a problem with the unmodified section. From "Barracks" until "Iron Working" the script provides Hoplites, but at that point in the game they are only one Advance away from disbanding!

            Looking closer at the five Disbanding Infantry units, it seems that two of them (Legion and Man-at-Arms) can exist during THREE govs, while for Swordsman, Hoplite and Hypaspist it is only TWO. It turns out that if we are consistent and extend availability of the latter three to a THIRD Gov, that solves all the problems:
            * Swordsman is still obsolete (unbuildable) with City State but does not disband until Oligarchy
            * Hoplite is still obsolete with Republic but does not disband until Dictatorship
            * Hypaspist is still obsolete with Republic but does not disband until Dictatorship

            Files changed: Units.txt and GL.txt (unit and concept entries)
            Last edited by Kull; March 31, 2024, 10:50.
            To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

            From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

            Comment


            • "Food Imports" replace the "Silo" Building:

              The Silo is a problem for several reasons, in particular since it appears to be shoehorned into the Tech Tree as some sort of intermediate Granary (using almost identical 2D graphics), while the text refers to its benefits as being available after the "Agricultural Revolution", which actually is a different building, the Food Silo.

              In addition, it's VERY redundant with the benefits granted by the Aqueduct, a building which can be constructed at almost exactly the same time. The attributes of each structure are:
              - Silo: 1700 Cost, 4 Gold Upkeep, 15% Food, 5 turn Starvation protection
              - Aqueduct: 1200 Cost, 3 Gold Upkeep, 5% Food, 5 turn Starvation prevention

              Clearly there's a high level of redundancy there, all of which contributes to City Size growth, which is not something we want to be fostering anyway. Looking at this historical era (late Roman Republic, early Empire), the Romans had developed a food import system without which the people of Rome would starve. And in fact, Greek City States used similar methods throughout their history.

              Breaking that down, it's a system which provides food for coastal cities since it's only economical to transport large amounts of food by sea. So that suggests a "building" which can only be constructed in port cities, provides a regular supply of food, no starvation protection (the people eat what comes in, it isn't stored) and lastly it should be expensive to build and maintain, since we are replicating the entire system, not just a single structure. Those parameters suggest a revised building with the following attributes:
              - Food Imports (new building name - see attached): Coastal cities only, 2000 Cost, 5 Gold Upkeep, 10% Food, 0 turn Starvation protection. And given the total reliance on the Sea, and the current position on the Tech Tree, the granting Advance will be "Hullmaking". Another option would be to create a new "Sea" Advance located between Map Making (L5) and Hullmaking (L7), but at least for now that's an unnecessary complication.

              Lastly, since this isn't really a building it will not have (or be) a PrerequisiteBuilding for any other structures. For example, Granary is currently a pre-req for Silo which in turn is a pre-req for Food Silo. With this change, there won't be a PrerequisiteBuilding for Food Imports, while Granary becomes the pre-req for Food Silo.

              Files changed: uniticon.txt, buildings.txt, BuildingBuildLists.txt, gl_str.txt, GL.txt & Tech Tree plus new 2D art

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              To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

              From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

              Comment


              • The path from Oligarchy to Republic to Dictatorship to Tribunal Empire:

                The extended human playtest identified some issues involving all the mid-to-late Ancient-era Govs. Linkages between the Ancient-era govs were identified as a problem back in Post # 35, and while that solution was beneficial, the issue wasn't fully resolved.

                1) The first problem is there's no Advance between Oligarchy & Republic:
                Which means that immediately after discovering Oligarchy, the player has the option to skip it altogether and simply wait a few more turns to research and choose Republic. The least intrusive solution involves changing the "Compound Bow" pre-req from "Barracks" to Oligarchy (which already has the "Barracks" pre-req). The "Ballistics" Advance requires "Compound Bow" and currently leads to "Ballista Towers" (which is fine). But now we'll make "Ballistics" the pre-req for Republic instead of Oligarchy and that creates linkage and space between the two gov-types.

                2) The second problem is there's no Advance between Republic & Dictatorship:
                Fortunately there's an easy fix for this. Simply change the "Bureaucracy" pre-req from Oligarchy to Republic and then make "Bureaucracy" the pre-req for Dictatorship instead of Tribunal Empire.

                3) The third problem is there's no link between Dictatorship & Tribunal Empire, and in fact you can get either one before the other:
                The Great Library tells us that Dictatorship is the period between the Roman Republic and the Empire, so it's clear that we need to establish a path which leads from Republic to Dictatorship to Tribunal Empire. Here again there's a simple solution. "Ethics" is already a pre-req for Tribunal Empire, but now we change the "Ethics" pre-req from Republic to Dictatorship and that provides both the link from Dictatorship to Tribunal Empire and puts an Advance in between.

                Files changed: Advance.txt, GL.txt & Tech Tree (see attached)

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                Last edited by Kull; April 3, 2024, 13:39. Reason: Edit: Revised attachment
                To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                Comment


                • Eco-Religion Advance:

                  Inevitably, my work on the chain of Advances leading from Oligarchy to Tribunal Empire (see above) suggested that it would be a good idea to look for similar issues affecting the rest of the governments. Fortunately, in most cases there are no direct links leading from one to another, but there is one exception - Virtual Democracy is the pre-req for Ecotopia. Both are late-game CtP2 govs, and this linkage has always been part of the base game. However, reading through the descriptions and history, there's really no connection whatsoever between the two, and in fact they are polar opposites in almost every way. Accordingly, I've added a new Advance in the "Social" series called Eco-Religion, and it describes the process by which the Environmental movement becomes radicalized, ultimately leading to the extremist Ecotopian Government. This new Advance has the AI Surveillance and Neural Reprogramming pre-reqs, and replaces Virtual Democracy as the pre-req for Ecotopia.

                  Files changed: uniticon.txt, Advance.txt, advancelists.txt, gl_str.txt, GL.txt & Tech Tree plus new 2D art

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                  To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                  From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                  Comment


                  • New "Organizer" Unit:

                    As some of you may have noticed, the Eco-Religion Advance block in the Tech Tree attachment (above) includes a new unit, the Organizer. The rationale is that we have a new quasi-religious Advance which talks about using conversions to gain adherents, so the idea is to add a unit which "paves the way" for the Ecotopia by converting enemy cities to the "new religion".

                    The Ctp1 Forever Future mod has already provided two new female sprites for Cradle5 (Assassin and the Plunder II "captive"), and in this case we'll use one more (see attached). The sprite had a slight issue with the Idle animation (only worked in one direction) so it was deconstructed and rebuilt (130 images) and now serves as the new Organizer.

                    This unit will be fairly cheap for the late-game era, and has the ability to "Convert Cities" (low probability of success and death) and "Raise Money" (Sale of Indulgences). As with some other civilian units, the Organizer has Stealth but cannot see other Stealth units and has limited vision range (in other words, you can't use her as a "spy"). She is also gov-specific, and can only exist under the final three gov-types (Technocracy, Virtual Democracy and Ecotopia).

                    Files changed: newsprite.txt, uniticon.txt, sounds.txt (plus 4 new sound files), Units.txt, UnitBuildLists.txt, gl_str.txt, GL.txt, Tech Tree, new Sprite and 2D art.

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                    To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                    From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                    Comment


                    • "Birth of an Empire" victory (Part 1):

                      As noted earlier, Cradle has replaced the late-game CtP2 "Science Victory" with the ancient-era "Birth of an Empire", which essentially means a player has been able to duplicate the Roman Empire at its height. All of the pieces required for the Science Victory have been renamed to better fit this new incarnation, and that includes the enabling Advances, various Costs, and everything else. This turned out to be a much more complicated system than I first realized, plus several changes have been made for Cradle 5. Accordingly, let's review all the main features:

                      1) Once a player discovers the "Tribunal Empire" Advance, they can build the Pax Romana Wonder (the CtP2 Solaris Project). That Wonder is the first element in the Birth of an Empire Victory option, and it must be completed before any of the other requirements can be constructed. What I did NOT realize is that "Wonder completion" allows EVERY PLAYER - not just the Wonder owner - to pursue this victory! Very important to remember that.

                      2) The second required element is that a player has to construct an Arch building in 25 cities (the CtP2 Gaia Computer). The building can only be constructed following completion of Pax Romana AND if the player has discovered the "Concrete" Advance (changed from "Bureaucracy" in Cradle 3/4). In addition, a city can only build an Arch if it already has a Shrine, a Granary, a Bazaar, a Ziggurat and a Work Camp in the City Inventory. Arches are very expensive to build (Production Cost = 2000) and maintain (Upkeep = 15)

                      3) The third required element is for the player to construct a minimum of 25 Magistrates (see attached). This was called the Power Satellite in CtP2, and the Monument in Cradle 3/4. These have the "Bureaucracy" Advance pre-req, and again, can only be built after a Civ has completed Pax Romana. Technically these are buildings, but they do NOT appear in the City Inventory, meaning they operate in every way just like a building that is listed after # 64 in buildings.txt (see description of that particular problem in Post # 223). It would have been nice if this "building" could have moved to the end of that list (thus freeing a slot for something else), but alas it didn't work, despite tons of tweaking and testing. Importantly, there is NO LIMIT to the number which can be built by any single city, so long as that city already has Conscripted Labor, an Arena, a Forum and a Physician in the City Inventory. Unlike the Arch, there is also a "maximum" value associated with Magistrates: If the player constructs 50 or more, that doubles the "cultural coverage" provided by each Colony (more on that next).

                      4) The fourth requirement is for the player to construct at least 10 Colonies (the CtP2 Processing Tower). These are Tile Improvements, have the "Civic Engineering" Advance pre-req, and as with the others, can only be built after somebody has completed Pax Romana (also see post # 156 for a different way to create Colonies). Each Colony projects a 10-hex "cultural radius", and this can double to 20 hexes if a player constructs 50 or more Magistrates. In addition to the count of colonies, this victory element requires that 50% of the map be covered by the cultural radius.

                      That's all well and good, but since Magistrates are not listed in the City Inventory, how can you keep track of how many were built? Even worse, the "cultural radius" does not appear on the game map! How then is it possible to monitor progress toward this victory, much less attain it? Fortunately that's not a problem, as we'll see in the next post.

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                      To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                      From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                      Comment


                      • "Birth of an Empire" victory (Part 2):

                        The player can easily track the progress of this Victory by clicking the "Empire" button on the top left of the screen (see top image on the attachment) and then clicking the "Birth of an Empire" selection (or use the ctrl+g hotkeys).

                        The original screen (see 2nd image) was very "techy" in appearance (as befits a late game Science Victory) and Hexagonian modified it for Cradle 3 (see 3rd image). That was better, but it's been improved even further for Cradle 5 (see 4th image). We now have a better mix of colors and thinner frames which keep the text from bleeding into them.

                        Looking closer at the last image, you'll see a large yellow circle in the bottom right of the game map window. This is the 10-hex "cultural radius" surrounding the one colony, and covers 6% of the map (see the "Cultural Coverage" value in the box just above the top right corner of the map). As additional colonies are built, new areas of yellow appear on the map. For example, the third image shows a map in which 94 colonies were built, and the "Cultural Coverage" comprises 81% of the map. Please note that "coverage" is the total amount of "yellow" on the map (not a sum of individual radii), so that two adjacent colonies will project a nearly identical radius. Separating your colonies will provide coverage to a much greater area.

                        When all elements of the Victory have been satisfied, the color of the "Declare Empire" button at the top of the tracking screen will change to Gold (same color as the "Build Manager" button on the bottom). Clicking the button will start a countdown and so long as all elements of the Victory remain intact, you will win the game in 5 turns.

                        Lastly, a new "Victory Movie" has been created for "Birth of an Empire". This was made by editing the opening sequence of the CtP1 intro movie, which features a trireme approaching an unknown shore and culminates with a centurion planting a staff bearing the CTP symbol.

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                        To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                        From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                        Comment


                        • So you can't have a futuristic science victory any more?

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Cyberguy00 View Post
                            So you can't have a futuristic science victory any more?
                            It was changed in Cradle a long time ago, I'm just making some adjustments to that system. It's important to recognize that Hexagonian never intended for Cradle games to extend into the modern era. Under Cradle 5 I've made a HUGE number of improvements in order to make that a possibility.

                            In fact, that's one of the main reasons for changing the "Arch" requirement. So long as the human player ensures that no AI civ has 25 or more cities, they cannot achieve the "Birth of an Empire" Victory, thus allowing the game to continue into the Modern Era and beyond.
                            Last edited by Kull; April 19, 2024, 10:49.
                            To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                            From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                            Comment


                            • The CtP2 Science Victory:

                              Since the subject came up, let's take a closer look at the original CtP2 Science Victory. It requires a Wonder, 2 Buildings, and a Tile Improvement. Exactly the same as Birth of an Empire, just fewer quantities of each. So which Advances make them available?

                              1) Solaris Project Wonder (1): Requires the Gaia Controller Advance

                              2) Gaia Computer Building (10): Requires the Gaia Controller Advance

                              3) Power Satellite Building (10): Requires the Gaia Controller Advance

                              4) Processing Tower Tile Improvement (5): Requires the Gaia Controller Advance

                              All of them are unlocked after a single Advance. The question is, when does that Advance appear in the Tech Tree? The attachment answers the question. It is the final Advance in the standard CtP2 Tech Tree.

                              At that point there is literally nothing left to build or discover, so now and only now is it possible to win a Science Victory. By contrast, the Cradle version can be achieved roughly 1/3 of the way through the game, or it can be delayed and implemented at a later time, or bypassed altogether. In other words, the player does not have to run through the entire 5500-year game period in order to achieve a "non-conquest" win, but can "opt out" much earlier and still gain an official victory. As opposed to just getting bored and walking away. Given the two options - for me anyway - the Cradle system seems like a much better approach.​

                              Click image for larger version  Name:	Final CtP2 Advance.jpg Views:	7 Size:	97.1 KB ID:	9470060
                              Last edited by Kull; April 23, 2024, 12:43.
                              To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                              From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                              Comment


                              • Adjustments to three Advances: Shifting Domestication from L2 to L1 and moving the Alexander Wonder from Republic to City State made a lot of sense but the extended playtest caused me to look closer at the Tech Tree positioning of several other Advances and Wonders (and thus their location in the historical timeline). Several stood out as an issue, and we'll start with a few of the Advances:

                                1) Slave Labor Advance: It seems odd that this would be a "Society" Advance, especially since historically the first instances on record are associated with Warfare. Instead we'll shift it over to the poorly populated "Energy" series (see attached), since that's what Slave Labor was really all about - "free" energy. Also, we'll remove the Stoneworking pre-req but keep Religion (a Level 1 Advance should not have two pre-reqs).

                                2) Jurisprudence Advance pre-req: In the earlier versions of Cradle the pre-req was changed from Monotheism to Judaism, but it's not clear why. Realistically, primitive Judaism is sort of assumed as the original form of Monotheism (hence the Temple of Solomon Wonder), but not the formalized version which appears after the Babylonian Captivity (as represented by the Torah). Will revert the pre-req back to Monotheism.

                                3) Christianity Advance pre-req: One of two pre-reqs is Monotheism, but that is already part of the sequence which leads to the other pre-req, Ethics. However, with its removal as a pre-req to Jurisprudence, Judaism is now a "dead-end" Advance, although historically it was the true precursor to Christianity. Will make Judaism the pre-req in place of Monotheism.

                                Click image for larger version

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                                To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                                From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                                Comment

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