General tech (trading, leak, upkeep, loss) topic

Planning and discussing Freeciv Longturn gaming
wieder
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Re: General tech (trading, leak, upkeep, loss) topic

Postby wieder » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:05 pm

"Has there ever been a game with significant tech upkeep, root_reqs, tech leak, giving-penalty and receiving-penalty all at the same time? My guess is, no it hasn't."

I'm not aware of that kind of game. What we have tried to avoid in longturn.org has been getting tech for free. This has been compensated with tech leakage to help those who have not been that fast with the research. This approach tries to give the players the techs they can get by developing their nation. Not all games have and will be like that but it's currently what we thought was best for a competitive game. Now of course a different type of competitive game can have tech trading. All that is simply what we chose for a competitive setup and because of the reasons I told you.

The bigger the penalties are, the more randomness you will probably see in the gameplay. It may not be a bad thing or it is that if you don't like it. It's just a matter of taste.

Another view on the tech sharing is comparing to a military alliance wiping out everyone else. Just a different approach for a team of players doing it together. Now a military alliance + tech staring makes the alliances even more powerful. It depends on if someone likes that or not. Realistic, yes, but for a game setup once more a matter of taste.

We had some players who said they wouldn't play another game with tech sharing, but I'm fairly sure this is not the mainstream opinion.

Unfortunately disabling tech sharing has not been effective as the only setting because techs can also be stolen with a reasonably low cost. This is why heavy penalties have been planned to those games with tech trade enabled.

And of course, this is just how we saw it. It's probably best to enable it if that's what most of the players want. I'm simply telling you how and why we decided to take it away from the ruleset.

Then again the super competitive games we have enjoyed in longturn.org may not be for the mainstream. That said it's better to have less competitive games for more casual players. With or without tech trading. It's just one aspect of the game, after all.

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AndreasR
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Re: General tech (trading, leak, upkeep, loss) topic

Postby AndreasR » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:49 am

I have added a poll about tech trading to https://play.freeciv.org. Please vote!

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Caedo
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Re: General tech (trading, leak, upkeep, loss) topic

Postby Caedo » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:16 pm

wieder wrote:That said it's better to have less competitive games for more casual players.

This. Thank you for bringing that up. Now, I'm certain that with the leaderboard accumulating data over many games, most Longturn.org players are playing Freeciv as an e-sport with the goal of winning.
I however joined the fcweb-longturn games just to have some fun, not necessarily to win all of them as quickly as possible. The web client just isn't quite as finished as the desktop client yet, so – with no offense to Andreas (and anyone working on fcweb in the background) – it's too much of a hassle for me to play it as more than a casual game. If I wanted to play competitively, I'd join Longturn.org.
Certainly, plenty of people won't share this mindset, but I'd be surprised if there aren't more people like me. With three hundred players, if even half of them are active, you can't expect all of them to play like it's a competition. So I'm quite content just building my empire right now, knowing that I have not only military backup from my allies if things go south, but also scientific backup.
If tech trading is disabled, anyone who doesn't plan on becoming society's sewers has to think strategically about everything from defense to rapid growth to technological advancement, which probably puts quite some stress on people.

So yes, plenty of those points against tech trading are somewhat sensible if you're playing competitively, but plenty of us will want to play casually instead.
~S.C. L.

wieder
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Re: General tech (trading, leak, upkeep, loss) topic

Postby wieder » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:34 pm

While competitive, the longturn.org games can be quite casual until the late game. There is also gold trade and while not totally free, it usually only has a very small penalty. The penalty there is to prevent front players from giving all the gold to those who can't be attacked. It's still possible but with 10% cost not that popular.

The issues with too competitive games usually rise at the end of the game when few players have managed to become too powerful for the rest. I'm not sure how this is with the 300 player games. Maybe I'll try out those when I'll have more time for playing the games once the summer is over.

We are also trying a new approach for casual gaming later this year when LT40 is launched. There we will allow tech trading and limit the empire sizes to discourage huge empires eating up everyone else while smallpoxing the entire map. To make things easier for the casual players, there is also a new government, probably some for of authoritarian system that could be called the modern version of tribalism. New stuff like that changes the game and the veteran players need to learn new tricks just like the newcomers. This is also one of the reasons for making ruleset changes between the games.

Our games have also been smaller with just 20-40 players including maybe 3-5 idlers. The idlers have been a problem there because bribing and capturing the start units gives the neighbors a great advantage. Would be interesting to know how the idlers affect 300 player games?

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Re: General tech (trading, leak, upkeep, loss) topic

Postby accomplishednoob » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:03 pm

This is how I experienced it:
Tech trading leads to faster game, but unbalanced development: Though fast is fun, it's so fast that I can't even build new buildings available to my civ. However removing tech trade may lead to 360-turn games, I don't know how devs are going to cope with this last issue.

Tech trade may increase tensions and disappointments: People with no friends will soon realise they have no chance, the online game is for those people who know each other; co-ordinate and trade map outside game environment. This will persuade many to leave before they really experienced the game. Also, within an alliance, people start to think that they are contributing more than taking, and this leads to distrust. Allowing teams and team victory is the way to increase co-operations within alliances. In one of our long-turn games one ally just reduced science production to 50%, maybe to punish lazy teammates. Another just does not produce tech and prefers to save gold for his civ and receive techs from others; everyone is angry with the guy, guess soon we will have to erase him ;)

Thanks for poll and fast development of our beloved game.
(PS: i am still waiting for the day we can withdraw shared vision in web application)

wieder
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Re: General tech (trading, leak, upkeep, loss) topic

Postby wieder » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:47 pm

The problem with game speed without tech trading can be solved with sciencebox settings. In longturn.org games the sciencebox and the city improvements have been adjusted so that the best players are able to get the full tech tree around T120-T150. In some games even faster and with some games it has taken more than 200 turns. The libraries and universities give you 50% bonus instead of the standard 25% on civ2civ3 ruleset. The same goes for markets and banks. For those not focusing on science there is tech leakage at 100%. This speeds up the game and the final variable is the sciencebox. This has been usually at 70% or maybe 80% and it's changed between the games to suit the number of tiles/player and specials.

It's not that hard to adjust the settings for preferred game length. However you need to play few games to understand how everything works and what can be done with different strategies.

With tech leakage it's easy to take risks, go to max tax and improve your cities. Because allied victory is possible, your teammates can send you troops and protect you while you are producing gold. After a while you may switch to max sci and get lots of cheap techs really fast. The downside of this strategy, without tech trading, is that your enemy monitoring you may figure out what you are doing when you switch to max tax and attack.

With tech leakage most players will be able to reach gunpowder era without major problems and they get to experience the early and mid game. Only in late mid game there will be serious issues if you have mismanaged your country or focused too much on the war without getting enough liberated cities as a reward. Highly competitive from late mid game.

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Re: General tech (trading, leak, upkeep, loss) topic

Postby Canik » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:20 pm

Corbeau wrote:Besides, there are several people who said they are not playing game 5 because there is no tech trade. I didn't hear anyone say that he isn't playing some game because ther *is* tech trade.


This is the tie breaker for me and resulted in me voting pro-tech trade. I think more people right now want tech trade than not. And those who want it feel more strongly about it than those who don't. It feels like the healthier option for the community. And once we find the proper tech leakage/upkeep settings lone wolves should have about as good of a chance as they would with tech trade disabled.

wieder
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Re: General tech (trading, leak, upkeep, loss) topic

Postby wieder » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:07 pm

Just curious. Where could I see the current server settings? Might be interesting to look at the ruleset(s) and the servers settings for the current games.

Also, if tech trade didn't prove to be a problem, there may not be reason to remove it. Removing tech trade on longturn.org games is probably a different story because the players (or many of them) there know how to really use that for beating the others :)

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AndreasR
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Re: General tech (trading, leak, upkeep, loss) topic

Postby AndreasR » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:18 pm

wieder wrote:Just curious. Where could I see the current server settings? Might be interesting to look at the ruleset(s) and the servers settings for the current games.


https://github.com/freeciv/freeciv-web/tree/develop/publite2
https://github.com/freeciv/freeciv-web/blob/develop/publite2/pubscript_longturn_6008.serv
https://github.com/freeciv/freeciv-web/blob/develop/freeciv/patches/multiplayer_movement_rates.patch
https://github.com/freeciv/freeciv-web/blob/develop/freeciv/patches/longturn.patch

Wieder, I welcome more cooperation between Freeciv-web and LongTurn.org on improving the technical implementation of LongTurn games.

Sharing your Longturn changes to Freeciv as patches on Github instead of a source code dump of the server would also be welcome.

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Re: General tech (trading, leak, upkeep, loss) topic

Postby drdogbot7 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:19 pm

It seems like most people want at least some degree of tech trading, but the game might benefit if we were to rein it in a little.

Here's a couple ideas that I haven't seen mentioned on this forum…

limit how much tech can be given at one time:
e.g. you can only give 1 tech every XX turns. That way you could still have productive, long term alliances, but you couldn't (for instance) befriend a bronze age civilization and give them stealth bombers overnight. It also might make it more impractical to share tech in an alliance with more than 2-3 players.

This isn't perfect, but it's easy to understand, and not totally unrealistic… e.g. the information itself doesn't cost me anything, but it takes time to teach other people.

Make giving a tech cost a diplomat
This would make giving tech work more like stealing a tech does now—you'd have to send them a diplomat and then that unit is usually spent in the process. If you've got a long standing alliance with a neighbor, this could still work out quite well for you, but there would be a significant, built-in cost. It would be much harder to share tech with a distant neighbor, and a massive tech dump would be quite expensive.

Again, not perfect, but simple to understand and there's some basis in reality… e.g. I have to send over my expert to show you how to set up a nuclear reactor.