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Making Cradle 3+ fully compatible with the Apolyton Edition

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  • Kull
    replied
    Feats Concept:

    One of the important features in CtP2 is the presence of Feats, which essentially facilitate the use of SLIC events to reward the Player for performing a variety of different actions. Examples include being the first civ to circumnavigate the globe, discover a particular Advance, or build a certain number of City Improvements. Cradle takes this even further by using the Feat System to award a set of unique traits to every Civilization, thus ensuring that each one offers the player a different gameplay experience.

    Although the Manual talks about Feats to some degree, there was nothing in the Great Library. But now there is - a new Concept entry for "Feats of Wonder" has been added to the Cradle 5 GL (the 2D art seen in the attachment was borrowed from AOM)

    Files changed: uniticon.txt, concept.txt, gl_str.txt, & GL.txt

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  • Kull
    replied
    "Embassies Everywhere" Gap in availability:

    After the Cyrus Cylinder expires with Age of Reason, there is a gap in the benefit provided by this Wonder, since the only other EmbassiesEverywhereEvenAtWar Wonder is the late game "World Peace Center".

    Rather than add this ability to a mid-game wonder (the Eiffel Tower was a tempting option), a different idea was to add the lesser powered (and completely unused) EmbassiesEverywhere attribute to the "Book" Wonders associated with the three "world religions" (Christianity, Islam & Buddhism) on the basis that these religions have so many adherents worldwide that some of them are present in every nation. This provides the religion's "Home Country" a sustained level of insight into the workings of the various foreign governments. However, this access would be disrupted during war-time since the information isn't being provided by intelligence agents or traitors but rather by normal citizens.

    To clarify, the information thus obtained is identical to that visible through an Embassy, but it saves the player (or AI) from going through the trouble of dispatching Diplomats around the world. In particular, it avoids the time-consuming process of sending another Diplomat to re-open an Embassy that was closed during time of War.

    Files changed: Wonders.txt & GL.txt

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Religion Embassy.jpg Views:	10 Size:	119.9 KB ID:	9472862
    Last edited by Kull; July 11, 2024, 23:54.

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  • Kull
    replied
    Praetorians:

    During the ongoing playtest, I realized that you could build Praetorians even when the gov-type is Republic. That's a problem, but associating them exclusively with the Dictatorship Gov leaves a very narrow window of time before the Tribunal Empire Gov is enacted, and then this unit can't be built at all.

    Even so, it seems very weird to have them available to Republics, so the best solution is to remove "GovernmentType GOVERNMENT_REPUBLIC" and change the "ObsoleteAdvance" from "Tribunal Empire" to "Dark Ages". That extends the "buildability" throughout the Empire period (which is at least partly historical), but keeps the unit from appearing too early in the historical timeline.

    Files changed: Units.txt & GL.txt​

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  • Kull
    replied
    Troop Unload issue:

    When unit-carrying Naval units are grouped with Naval attack units (no cargo capacity), the TF will not disembark units unless the warships are removed from the group. In the attached example, the top image shows a group of 3 ships led by a Trireme. The "cargo box" tells you that some of the ships are carrying units, and you can even drag the cursor onto a land hex (where the "green asterisk" implies that troops will be unloaded). However, nothing actually happens - all the units remain aboard their ships.

    Instead, you have to click on the Task Force and then remove all the warships from the group and only THEN is it possible for the remaining vessels to unload their cargo. A very tedious exercise indeed, especially as the game progresses and you have large numbers of escorted task forces to deal with.

    The solution is to add four lines of "Cargo Data" code to every surface warship in Units.txt (see 2nd image) AND to change the "MaxCargo" setting to Zero. You can see the result in the 3rd Image. It's the same Task Force led by the same Trireme, but now it has an "Unload" button. Clicking that will unload all units in the Task Force without having to go through all the gyrations required by the previous system. To be clear, this does NOT allow warships to carry units, it simply gives them an Unload button.

    Files changed: Units.txt

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  • Kull
    replied
    Slave & Citizen Distribution code:

    The Source Code team rewrote the "Slave Distribution" code and added two features. Rather than piling up in the city nearest to the Enslavement location, Slaves are now distributed across nearby cities. In addition, once a city reaches the building-imposed population limit (f/e population is capped at 12 until the Apothecary is built) the code won't send any more Slaves there. There is an exception however. If ALL your cities are at the population limit, then any new Slaves will ALWAYS go to the NEAREST city. In essence, the code reverts back to the old "Slave Distribution" system (i.e. there is no attempt at dispersion when all cities are at the limit). Worth noting that when a city's population increases beyond the building-imposed limit, it will immediately begin to starve. Farming Specialists and Food-providing buildings cannot alleviate the problem and the only solution is to construct the building which sets the new limit....or wait until starvation brings the population back down.

    The Free Slaves attack (available to Abolitionists, Patriarchs and the Spartacus Wonder Unit) is similar to Enslavement, except it creates a Citizen in one of your cities. However, this code was NOT modified, and they too will always go to the nearest city. There is no distribution and the code ignores building-imposed population limits. Basically, it's the Citizen version of the old "Slave Distribution" code.

    Cradle can't alter any of this as it's part of the executable, but the information is presented here since there are obvious gameplay ramifications.​

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  • Kull
    replied
    "MaxWorkers" data element in "citysize*.txt" files:

    Post # 5 talked about how the six citysize*.txt files set the population limits which extend the City Influence perimeter. Interestingly, even though AE, Cradle, and other mods make changes to the original CtP2 files, one correlation always remains the same: The "Population" number is always the same value as the one for "MaxWorkers". At every level.

    But what was really interesting is the "MaxWorker" values are also identical to those which control access to Trade Goods within the city perimeter (as discussed in Post # 272 above). Which led to the question - can this value be reduced so that Trade Good access doesn't require quite as many non-specialist citizens? And the answer is...Yes! As a test, the "MaxWorkers" value for Level 3 cities (those with populations between 21 and 32) was reduced from 20 to 15 and sure enough, the Trade Goods in the extended perimeter were now available with 15 citizens instead of 20. However...

    The HUGE downside was that 15 or more non-specialist citizens IMMEDIATELY caused a gigantic increase in Production Pollution. In my test city, that number rose from Zero to 376, resulting in -9 to city happiness! But if you assigned just one of those 15 citizens to a Specialist task, the pollution completely disappeared. Looking through the many CtP2 text files, I could not find any variable that correlates non-specialist citizen counts with production pollution, so what's causing this is a complete mystery. Possibly a bug of some sort.

    Accordingly, this idea will be filed away as "unworkable", and the 1-for-1 correlation between "Population" and "MaxWorkers" has been restored in Cradle 5.​

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    Last edited by Kull; July 3, 2024, 11:12. Reason: Added attachment

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  • Kull
    replied
    Citizen Concept entry in the GL:

    The Great Library has concept entries for Population, Workers and Slaves, but nothing for Citizens. However - as noted above - they are a VERY important component of the game, and accordingly a new Citizen Concept Entry has been added to the GL.

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  • Kull
    replied
    The Case of the Missing Trade Goods - Solved:

    That's right, Enkomi's Horses have not only appeared in the Trade Manager (attached), but it's now possible to build the Horseman unit (see Abdera at bottom right).

    So here's the key. Goods in the Level 1 "City Influence" perimeter (the 8 hexes immediately surrounding every city) are always available for Trade. However, once the Area of Influence expands to Level 2 (the additional 12 hexes gained at population levels 9 thru 20), the rules change. Trade Goods in the expanded area are only available if EIGHT citizens are available as Non-Specialists. And something similar is true when the perimeter expands again at Level 3 (20 non-specialist Citizens for pop sizes 21-32), Level 4 (32 non-specialist Citizens at pop sizes 33-46), and finally Level 5 (46 non-specialist Citizens for all population levels in excess of 47).

    Once I realized what was happening, the mechanism suddenly made sense and actually improves overall game play because it means there's a real penalty in place for players who go "all-in" on enslavement as a population expansion strategy. Sure, your cities will grow faster, but there's a catch. If you don't ensure that there are enough Citizens present, those large perimeters are not going to help when it comes to expanding your Trade Networks, which is THE primary method for building up your Gold Reserves.

    And it makes sense in a real-world way as well. Slaves might be good for mining and farming, but Trade Networks are the realm of Entrepreneurs (as historical records prove, even in the most ancient of societies), and for those you need true Citizens, not a populace in which most are held in bondage.

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  • Kull
    replied
    The Case of the Missing Trade Goods (con):

    I'll spare you the torturous testing and all the dead-end theories and take you right to the heart of things: Non-Specialist Citizens (see attached). Enkomi had a total population of 16, including 9 Citizens and 7 Slaves. Two of the Citizens were assigned as Labor Specialists in order to speed up Production. But what happens if we re-assign just one of those Citizens back to the non-Specialist Worker pool?

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  • Kull
    replied
    The Case of the Missing Trade Goods:

    For as long as I can remember, one aspect of CtP2 gameplay defied explanation - invariably some Goods located within the City Area of Influence were simply not available for trade. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason since oftentimes the same Good could be traded from a different city, and individual cities themselves could trade some Goods but not others.

    More an annoyance than anything, it wasn't something I pursued until the current playtest when the chickens really came home to roost. In Cradle 5 you need access to a Horse Good in order to build the more advanced Cavalry Units, and that need was met because Rome was trading Horses with my civ (Phoenicians). The rude awakening came when Rome canceled the Trade Route and suddenly Cav units were (literally) no longer on the menu.

    But the truly frustrating part was that my city of Enkomi had a Horse Good within its Area of Influence, yet that Good was NOT available for Trade (see attached), nor - apparently - able to meet the Horse Requirement for the building of Cav Units. What in name of all that's holy could possibly cause this???

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  • Kull
    replied
    City Population: Workers-Citizens-Slaves:

    The Great Library entries are somewhat confusing when it comes to defining the difference between Slaves, Workers, and Citizens. Even the "City Manager" screen incorrectly implies (or at least it did - now fixed - see attached) that Slaves are Citizens by showing "Citizens" as the sum of Slaves + Workers. While the GL does have entries for Workers and Slaves, it says nothing directly about "Citizens", and thus a new concept entry has been created to fill that gap.

    The game clearly intends that Citizens and Slaves be handled as a single "Worker" entity when you look at the sliders on the "Domestic Policy" tab since it does not differentiate between the two in the context of global work hours, wages, and food (although the Slave entry in the GL says they only eat half the food allowance)

    However, they are definitely NOT the same thing, since Citizens have a number of abilities which Slaves do not, thus making them much more valuable:

    - Only Citizens can be assigned as Specialists.
    - Building a Unit with the "Settle" ability (such as the Nomad) requires (and expends) one Citizen from the city's Population.
    - Once a City expands its Area of Influence, a certain number of non-Specialist Citizens are required in order for a city to access Trade Goods located within the expanded area.

    The third point is not intuitive (nor explained in the manual), but it's critically important that the player understand exactly what that means. We'll discuss it next.

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  • Kull
    replied
    City "Area of Influence:

    Neither the Great Library nor the Manual talk about the difference between population growth limits (controlled by buildings) and the population levels needed to expand a city's Area of Influence (the hexes within the dotted white line perimeter which are available to be "worked" by the city residents - see attached example). For example city populations are locked at 12 until you can build an Apothecary, but the area of influence expands when the population goes from 8 to 9.

    Accordingly, there's going to be a new concept entry for "City Influence" so the player realizes that Level 1 (8 hexes surrounding the city) is for pop sizes 1-8, Level 2 (an additional 12 hexes) is for pop sizes 9-20, Level 3 (an additional 24 hexes) is for pop sizes 21-32, Level 4 (an additional 12 hexes) is for pop sizes 33-46, and Level 5 (an additional 12 hexes) is for all population levels in excess of 47.

    That of course is helpful information, but there's a lot more to this than meets the eye, as we'll discuss in a subsequent post. But first we'll have to clarify some associated language.

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  • Kull
    replied
    String File edits and Message Corruption:

    While discussing the "Swap File Solution" back in Post # 146, I commented that "you can swap almost any file and see the changes immediately simply by loading your Save game", but that string files were an exception because "even a ONE WORD change to a SINGLE MESSAGE results in the corruption of EVERY MESSAGE!" However, despite the capitalizations, that is not true.

    During the ongoing playtest I made a number of message changes (planning to implement them later), but accidentally left a few in place and soon realized there was no message corruption whatsoever. Further testing showed that you can make any number of changes to EXISTING messages, and that message corruption will only occur if you add NEW ones.

    The attachment shows an example of each - the upper screenshot shows the Messages you get when adding a single line to info_str.txt, while the one below shows the messages after editing an existing line. You'll notice that the "messageicons" are identical in each example, and that's because they are reporting the SAME events, except - obviously - the text on top is corrupt.

    Looking back, I was editing AND adding, and thus didn't realize there was a difference. Anyway, this means that "Message Editing" is back on the menu as part of the Swap File changes. As just one example, the Infobar text was recently changed to "Disrupted", that being a generic message which could apply to cities that were "Sabotaged" (Ancient Era) or "Injoined" (Modern Era) (see post # 263).
    But now we can have both, simply by including different versions of ldl_str.txt in each Swap File.

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  • Kull
    replied
    IncreaseScientists Attribute for Wonders (con):

    Here's the key - as the next attachment shows, the increase in Science only occurs when Science Specialists are assigned. Before the arrival of the Great Library, Specialists increased the Science Points from 11 to 22, but AFTER the Wonder is built, the Specialists increase the number to 26. Keep in mind that Science Points are affected by a large number of things, including Gov types, Feats, Improvements, and other Wonders, so the quantity of "point increase" is variable and will constantly change as your game progresses.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	One Science Specialist.jpg Views:	1 Size:	375.7 KB ID:	9470994

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  • Kull
    replied
    IncreaseScientists Attribute for Wonders:

    The promised release is going to be delayed for a while because the current playtest has revealed the actual workings of a number of game mechanisms that I previously assumed were bugged. The first of these is the "IncreaseScientists" attribute used by several Wonders. The GL variously reports this capability as either "Increasing Science in the Host City" or "Increasing Science Specialists in the Host City". As it turns out, NEITHER of these is strictly true.

    As you can see in the attachment below, the Science Points in Ashur are "11" both before and after completion of the new Great Library Wonder. Nor were there any additional Science Specialists. So what's going on?​

    Click image for larger version  Name:	No Science Specialists.jpg Views:	1 Size:	353.7 KB ID:	9470992
    Last edited by Kull; May 31, 2024, 12:35.

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