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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: Sun, 25 Nov 2001 04:00:47 -0500
Reply-to: mike_jing@xxxxxxxxx

Reinier Post <rp@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

same magnitude.  So the real problem is that the per-city intermediate
values, such as 'number of content citizens', 'trade points', etcetera,
should have more precision.  The lower precision causes the need for
cutoff values.  This means the user will need to remember a whole list
of cutoffs, e.g. the fact that the distance cutoff is 12, or the fact
that the first citizen in a city is no longer in exactly the 15th city
under democracy, or exactly the 12th under Monarchy (if I looked that
up correctly - the computation is more complicated).

So for a more playable game you'd want 5 or 6 bits more precision
and the more continuous effect of variables that this allows.

More precision alone won't cure the cutoff blues. The underlying mechanism would have to be drastically different. I must have been too accustomed to how things work now that on top of my head I can't think of how it would work "smoothly", without annoying cutoffs. May be you could elaborate a little bit on that?

For 'realistic' simulation you need more.  A size 1 city is supposed
to have 10,000 inhabitants, so 'the first citizen' really stands for
5,000 people.  In order to be consistent with the listed population
numbers of cities, effects related to unhappiness should have about
16 bits of precision.

I don't see how counting individual people would help. For one thing, you can't put 0.5 citizen to work, and make the other 0.5 specialist. As for happiness, you will have to change the rules, e.g. for civil disorder, otherwise you gain nothing from the added precision. Maybe we should just implement the auto-elvis feature and banish civil disorder once and for all. Or maybe we should just get rid of unhappiness altogether. I know that would make a LOT of people VERY happy. ;-)

2) It simplifies the user interface.

This is questionable.  It is not much harder to visualise 22.45% content
citizens than it is to visualise 2 out of 5 citizens being content.

Probably not. However, as I said above, citizens can't really be split. Until that is changed, precision doesn't help anything. The change from peace to civil disorder will still be a discontinous jump, whether it is from 2 unhappy citizens to 3 or from 44.499% to 44.500%.

It doesn't make the data harder to understand.  Making effects such as
distance continuous will make the game easier to understand.

But distance itself is discontinuous, and can be calculated in different ways (see below). If you mean the roundoff problem, then it should be easily fixed, as you have pointed out.

Currently under Despotism, the 100% corruption distance is 12 (this is
map_distance, which is the sum of the distances in x and y direction, i.e.
diagnal is counted as 2).

Is this a bug?  Units can move diagonally, after all.

Well, then you can use real_map_distance, if you prefer, where diagnal is counted as 1. It is counted as 1.5 in Civ2. Maybe we can just add a civ2_map_distance function.

As long as city stays within this distance from
the capital, it is guaranteed at least 1 trade (thus science), thus
corruption is never a problem for smallpox since the cities are rarely far
from each other, at least at the start.  Once you reach the Republic,
corruption is even less of a problem for smallpox, where the maximum is
capped at 53.7% (=36/67).

I don't want to know any of this when playing Freeciv.
Actually, I am a veteran player, and I didn't know.

I didn't know it either until I looked at the code again last night. But you don't really have to since corruption is relatively mild in Freeciv and there is no waste. I don't know how you can make it more intuitively obvious since it is a mathematicall function after all (with a cutoff, darn).

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.

Well what i like about it is the word "proportional", but what I don't
like is the introduction of a new factor.  I'm sure it would already
help to make the existing factors, such as distance, more proportional,
as that is where the problem seems to be.

Again, it can't be really "proportional" until you can count fractional science points. I can see here more precision would really help, especially during the early game. The roundoff really makes it tricky when you are trying to balance 1 or 2 trade per city.

For the record, in Civ3 unhappiness no longer depends on the number of cities, but corruption does. I think it is an improvement since civil disorder is far more devastating and annoying than corruption and waste, at least until you realize how devastating corruption and waste can be in Civ3. :-)


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