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[Freeciv-Dev] Re: non-smallpox idea

[Freeciv-Dev] Re: non-smallpox idea

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To: freeciv-dev@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: non-smallpox idea
From: "Mike Jing" <miky40@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2001 17:11:13 -0500
Reply-to: mike_jing@xxxxxxxxx

Jacky Mallett <warlock@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I've been looking into the game balance largepox vs smallpox issue, and
there is certainly one issue which heavily favours smallpoxes and should
probably be fixed.

The simple one is the corruption distance fall off of city science under
despotism. In effect this means that whilst a smallpox player is
guaranteed at least one science point from all their first 8 cities, (the
third wave of cities normally coincides with republic under that
strategy), and normally at  least one or two will have 2 or more. The
largepox player on the other  hand will be lucky to get 4-5 cities with 1
point, before the distance fall off hits them. This is also a problem in
largepox games - since island topology hits largepox much harder.

The effect is that there are dramatic differences in when republic
becomes available, with a commensurate knock on effect throughout the game
on  city growth, expansion, and technical development.

The easiest way i can think of to fix that is to also make the corruption
fall off proportional to the number of cities in the empire. This would even
things up between the two strategies, at least at the beginning of the
game. If science output (under despotism), became 1 after 2 cities, and 0
after 8 cities, this would effectively maintain the current status quo.

You hit the nail on the head. This is argurably the single most important advantage for smallpox in the very early game. It is just way too crucial to get to the Republic as soon as possible, and the fastest way to do it is to smallpox. So to balance it out corruption (and waste -- yet to be implemented) should rise less quickly with distance (since cities tend to be farther away from each other under a non-smallpox strategy) and increase more with the number of cities.

Closely related is the tech tree and research cost. It's way too easy to get to the Republic. Currently it costs a total of 150 (=10+20+30+40+50) science points to research from scratch if you make a beeline for it. Suppose a smallpox player can found a new city every 15 turns, taking into account the time to build it and move it to the nearest possible city site, and the capital produces 2 science per turn while every other city produces 1 per turn. Starting with 2 settlers, it should take about 33 turns to research the Republic, barely after having 8 cities.

I think it is interesting how reseach works in Civ3, where the spread of knowledge is modelled by decreasing the research cost of a tech as more Civs get it. Every tech has a fixed base research cost, which doesn't depend on how many techs you already have. This is then multiplied by the number of Civs that do NOT have the tech and devided by the total number of Civs in the game. This makes it a bit harder to maintain a insurmountable tech lead, and IMHO a good thing.

So the Republic should cost more to research, and you wouldn't be penalized too heavily for not going after it first. At least the first person to reach republic would not have such a huge lead over everyone else. Good for game balance.


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