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[Freeciv-Dev] (PR#11610) Two fairness issues with techlevel>0 and techco

[Freeciv-Dev] (PR#11610) Two fairness issues with techlevel>0 and techco

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Subject: [Freeciv-Dev] (PR#11610) Two fairness issues with techlevel>0 and techcoststyle=1
From: "(Eddie Anderson)" <saywhat@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2004 15:14:44 -0800
Reply-to: bugs@xxxxxxxxxxx

<URL: >

Problem 1:

    The free techs given by the techlevel option may have different
beaker costs under techcoststyle=1.  This could create a significant
advantage for some players at the expense of others.

    E.g. assume techlevel=3.  Player1 gets Horseback Riding,
Masonry, and Ceremonial Burial.  Player 2 gets Alphabet, Writing,
and Code of Laws.

    With these techs, Player 2 is way ahead in race to get Republic.
What's more, the techs that Player 2 has received are much more
valuable (in beaker cost) than those received by Player 1.  I.e. it
will cost Player 2 much less to research Horseback Riding, Masonry,
and Ceremonial Burial than it will cost Player 1 to research
Alphabet, Code of Laws, and Writing.

    Under the old techcoststyle=1, Player 2 would still be ahead (in
the race for Republic) but the beaker value difference would be
less.  Under techcoststyle=0, there is no difference in beaker value.

    Further, under techcoststyle=0, Player 2's advantage in the
race for Republic may be dismissed as being due to "the luck of the

    Does this mean that techcoststyle=0 is better.  No.  I think
techcoststyle=0 is best left buried.  But the fairness of the
techlevel parameter is a bigger issue in its absence.  Making
the techlevel option fair again (based on beaker value) may be
difficult under techcoststyle=1 (even more difficult than it would
have been under the old techcoststyle=1).

    What's the solution?  I don't know.  I would like to see the
sum of the beaker values of each player's free techs equal the sums
of the other players.

    Adding up the beaker values is probably straightforward.  But
what do you do if the sums are different?  Re-roll?

    What if the sums different the next time too?  Re-roll again?
How many times should you re-roll in hopes of getting equal sums?

    Then there's the issue of the number of players.  With two or
three players finding a combination where each beaker value sum is
equal may be relatively easy.  What about games with 5 players?  8
players?  or more?  Getting 8 equal sums through random re-rolls
might take a long time.

    One alternative method would be to subdivide the techs into
levels by their beaker costs.  Then the allocation of free techs
could be segmented by level (e.g. 5 techs from level 1, 3 from level
2, 1 from level 3).  I hope this makes sense.

    What do you think?

Problem 2:

    The second fairness problem with techlevel relates to teams.
Here's an example:  assume techlevel=1.  I play against four teamed
AIs.  I get Bronze Working as my free tech.  AI1 gets Warrior Code.
AI2 gets Alphabet.  AI3 gets Masonry.  AI4 gets Bronze Working.

    Since AI1 through AI4 are all on the same team, they all share
their free techs.  So effectively, they start the game with 4 free
techs each while I only get 1.

    In human vs. AI games, this isn't a big deal.  It's just an
another (albeit undocumented?) handicap for the human player.   But
in team play amongst human players, it could provide a significant
advantage for one side or another.

    The solution I would suggest is to create an option to allocate
free techs to teams rather than to individual players.

    What do you think?


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