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[freeciv-data] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Alternative nation dialog

[freeciv-data] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Alternative nation dialog

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To: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [freeciv-data] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: Alternative nation dialog
From: Mark Metson <markm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2002 06:56:10 -0400 (AST)
Reply-to: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx

On Fri, 1 Mar 2002, Per I. Mathisen wrote:

> On Thu, 28 Feb 2002, Mark Metson wrote:
> > Wow yes it may be the cure for smallpox: set pop_cost of settlers to 2 and
> > the whole magickal ability to work two squares using one population unit
> > that is the biggest cause of the advantage of smallpox will go away.
> This is what civ3 did. I am not so sure it is a good solution. It slows
> down the game in the beginning too much for my tastes. Maybe it works
> better in freeciv, where you start with two settlers and an explorer,
> though.
> It is not the biggest advantage of smallpox, either. Remember that as
> cities grow, the food required to grow one extra population grows
> disproportionately larger as well. So while a size 1 city requires X
> food to grow to size 2, a size X city requires something like X(X) food to
> grow one more population, which means that small cities are a lot more
> food efficient.

I think the population number is not linear either. It dont think its
quite like "Traveller" in which the population number (of planets in their
case) is the number of digits (the exponent) but I do seem to recall its
not being linear either. So if we make settlers require a fairly constant
number of actual people cities will eventually reach a size at which that
number of people barely makes a dent in their population at all, much like
other units barely affect the population of small cities. How many people
are assumed to be in a typical unit? 100? 300? 500? 1000? Whereas a
Settler is presently explicitly stated to be 10,000?

> My own idea on how to limit smallpox is to severely limit the amount of
> gold, luxuries and science you can get without buildings, elvises, taxmen
> and scientists. That, and make units upkeep into gold instead of shields,
> since shield upkeep favours smallpox and punishes non-smallpox players.
> But perhaps we should take this discussion to freeciv-data, and let the
> others participate in this too :)

Actually I dont like the whole "gold" concept very much. Like too many
games it arbitrarily assumes currency even before currency has been
developed. I suspect that the value of such things as gold in particular
is really that it is a luxury. It is unlikely to be of much value to
people who do not have the basics of survival. Only once they have their
basic survival and are looking for mating ritual advantages and cosmetics
/ jewelry (mating rituals again) is gold likely to become of much use. It
is disappointing that a game that purports to be looking into the
development of the elements of civilisation glosses over the whole money
thing that way. In the Thy Kingdom Come game that we used to run
hereabouts we eliminated "money" in favour of "metal disks" on the basis
of the fact that "metal disks" could be turned into weapons and armour.
But gold is a particularly poor metal for such uses. Bronze disks would be
much more useful. Especially to players, and in TKC we basically
eliminated Non-Player characters; all units/people were played by players
so none of them would have much interest in any form of "currency" that
could not be turned into hit points (food for example) or armour or
weaponry (metal disks) or used as fuel (wood) for a smelter to make the
metal disks out of ore. What use would tokens from some other player
claiming that player would redeem them for "real" goods be unless you
trust that other player to actually redeem the stuff? If you do thus trust
them, why need tokens in the game to represent their promise? There is
something deeply suspicious about gold as currency. I seriously think that
in reality it is a luxury. Like silk stockings, chocolate, tobacco and
other black market goods during wartime. It happens to be a fairly durable
luxury but that doesnt mean its not a luxury.


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