Middle-Earth multiplayer scenario

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petroglyph
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Middle-Earth multiplayer scenario

Postby petroglyph » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:17 am

Another post from me (seems I'm the squeaky wheel). I've gathered that some time ago there was a Europe scenario for multiplayer and that people had great fun with it. Would anyone be interested in a Middle-Earth scenario from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings?

There actually already is a Middle-Earth map (http://files.freeciv.org/contrib/maps/), but I've tried it and it would be much too small for a proper multiplayer of, say, 20 players.

I think such a scenario should be more than just about a map, but should also have some unique features. I'm an archeologist and historian by training, so I would really enjoy some Classical or Medieval warfare and geopoliticking. My ideas:

middle-earth.jpg


1. The map should not be wrapped and only include the classic Tolkien conception. No Simarillion-style expansions. Therefore, the Sea of Rhun in the east, Forodwaith in the north, Haradwaith in the south and nothing but the Sundering Seas in the west.

2. The tech tree is capped at the fifth column (Chivalry for Knights), no more than the sixth column (Gunpowder for Musketeers) if we're in the mood for more Powder Mage than Lord of the Rings.

3. The science is slowed down immensely, but to compensate players can start with: the first column of tech and 200 gold. (In the event we want the game to go much faster, we can keep the normal science rate. However, the tech cap really should remain.)

4. There are two aggressive AIs in the locations of Angmar and Mordor, basically the Witch-king and Sauron of the scenario. They should start already allied to each other and with a thousand gold ("the rings of power"). They should also have diplomacy with human players enabled, in order to amass their armies of evil (and to give those sorry human players who end up next to them a chance to survive and thrive).

5. Barbarians are enabled: raging hordes that onset as early as turn 10 (basically, the "orcs" of the game). Their presence hopefully would shape the geopolitics of the game in interesting and unexpected ways.

6. King units exist. So, victory is in principle simple: kill the enemy's king. (I've been playing a PBEM game with Fuzzydunlop that has king units. King units raise the stakes incredibly, but killing them is much easier said than done if your opponent is smart.)

Who's on board?


PS -- For those of you who like the idea and are players of the main Sid Meier line of games, Tolkien-themed mods for Civ 6 exist: https://steamcommunity.com/workshop/fil ... 1125835491

PPS -- I don't have the knowledge to actually implement this myself. So, whoever will be the gamemaster/designer, don't forget to include the Lonely Mountain as well! That will be a sweet spot for a lucky player.

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Corbeau
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Re: Middle-Earth multiplayer scenario

Postby Corbeau » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:48 am

You may want to reduce the science completely. The right feel of LOTR is a scientific swamp. It's static and basically nothing changes in that regard.

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XYZ
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Re: Middle-Earth multiplayer scenario

Postby XYZ » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:56 pm

Another post from me (seems I'm the squeaky wheel). I've gathered that some time ago there was a Europe scenario for multiplayer and that people had great fun with it. Would anyone be interested in a Middle-Earth scenario from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings?


There were 3 "animated" and 2 simple scenarios played at Greatturn and one semi-animated German States scenario played at Longturn I can remember of.
I created most of the above mentioned scenarios and I also created more that were never played in a longturn-style environment. You can find them here: http://forum.freeciv.org/f/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=809

I had lots of fun with the Europe and Colonial Africa scenario. There is direct action from the very beginning and a lot of players have the chance to even see the advent of the tank age which they often dont see in a Freeciv game.

However, scenarios are really difficult to organize. Just a few points:

1. You need the right amount of players to fill every spot otherwise its skewed in the game dynamics.
2. Teams must be evened out carefully otherwise the game is rigged from the first round and ppl will be reluctant to play and drop out.
3. Ruleset and map have to be tested carefully because scenarios are prone to glitches and every scenario component multiplies a problem that which leads to restarts and restarts lead to drop outs.
4. People have to obey house rules due to scenario dynamics but that is difficult to impose with newbies and players who refuse to check in.

Conclusion:

1. Make a small scenario to keep it simple
2. Test the scenario more than a usual map
3. Only play it with veteran players who are dedicated and that can obey house rules


As for the map:

Maybe you can find a program that can give you a template for the map. There used to be years ago some programs but I only got maps upon request and Davide who used to provide me with map is not around anymore.
Anyhow, you still have to edit every tile yourself even with template and that takes time!


Btw, have you tested the Game of Thrones map called "Games of Freeciv"?

Edit: As for new units: Im working on many new units and though most of them are modern there should be some extra ancient and medieval ones that are interesting: http://forum.freeciv.org/f/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=90244&start=20

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petroglyph
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Re: Middle-Earth multiplayer scenario

Postby petroglyph » Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:18 am

Corbeau wrote:You may want to reduce the science completely. The right feel of LOTR is a scientific swamp. It's static and basically nothing changes in that regard.


You're right. We could simply have all players start on the fifth column of tech and immediately cap it. Also, we might want to consider making a shorter deadline for the game, instead of 5000 turns maybe 250 turns. Get some war going!

XYZ wrote:There were 3 "animated" and 2 simple scenarios played at Greatturn and one semi-animated German States scenario played at Longturn I can remember of. I created most of the above mentioned scenarios and I also created more that were never played in a longturn-style environment. You can find them here: http://forum.freeciv.org/f/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=809


Very cool, thank you!

XYZ wrote:1. You need the right amount of players to fill every spot otherwise its skewed in the game dynamics.


If we make it a small multiplayer of 10-20 players + the two AI that should be easy to do, right?

XYZ wrote:2. Teams must be evened out carefully otherwise the game is rigged from the first round and ppl will be reluctant to play and drop out.


The only teams that will exist at the start would be between the Witch-king and Sauron AIs. Everyone else starts just as a player with settlers, workers, maybe some crusaders and diplomats.

XYZ wrote:3. Ruleset and map have to be tested carefully because scenarios are prone to glitches and every scenario component multiplies a problem that which leads to restarts and restarts lead to drop outs.


Regular multiplayer ruleset wouldn't work? I'm essentially proposing just a map and a series of tweaks to existing multiplayers.

XYZ wrote:4. People have to obey house rules due to scenario dynamics but that is difficult to impose with newbies and players who refuse to check in.


No house rules per se in this, just a setting. For example, if someone is successful in killing one of the two AIs early on, oh well.

XYZ wrote:1. Make a small scenario to keep it simple
2. Test the scenario more than a usual map
3. Only play it with veteran players who are dedicated and that can obey house rules


Who wants to test it out with me? :D

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petroglyph
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Re: Middle-Earth multiplayer scenario

Postby petroglyph » Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:19 am

(Making this a separate thread within the thread...)

XYZ wrote:As for the map: Maybe you can find a program that can give you a template for the map.


I'll look!

XYZ wrote:Btw, have you tested the Game of Thrones map called "Games of Freeciv"?


No, where is this map hiding? Googling "Games of Freeciv" doesn't turn it up.

XYZ wrote:Edit: As for new units: Im working on many new units and though most of them are modern there should be some extra ancient and medieval ones that are interesting: http://forum.freeciv.org/f/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=90244&start=20


Also worth a look. Thank you for all the feedback, XYZ. :ugeek:

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XYZ
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Re: Middle-Earth multiplayer scenario

Postby XYZ » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:37 am

No, where is this map hiding? Googling "Games of Freeciv" doesn't turn it up.


Its actually in the Scenario Collection link above. Its the third: http://forum.freeciv.org/f/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=809#p4670


If its just a map I actually see few problems but bare in mind that the Ai does his inter-round moves that some players may find unfair.

There is also this "new" thing in the Ai behaviour in scenarios that might be interesting to control it:

Scenario creators also have a few new features available. (Scenarios created with previous versions should continue to work in 2.6.)

Scenario property "Prevent New Cities"; players cannot build cities in such scenarios. Ruleset authors can give certain units a flag 'NewCityGamesOnly', which prevents those units from being built in such scenarios, if that wouldn't make sense. (However, none of the supplied rulesets set this flag; in principle Settlers can be used for other things, although they cannot build cities in these scenarios.) GNAPATCH#5678 GNAPATCH#6424


As for the graphics. I might pitch in for a special unit if you think you really need it but my time is very limited lately.

As for tech I would at least leave the option for super-slow tech developement to brake the tie if a player decides to camp and you want to end the game without needing to wait until the end.

madmax
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Re: Middle-Earth multiplayer scenario

Postby madmax » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:58 am

XYZ wrote:As for the map: Maybe you can find a program that can give you a template for the map.


If a very simple color -> terrain is enough for a template, maybe map-from-image is of some help. It doesn't draw rivers, though.

Source pieces: mapgen.py, js, jsp.

If you use it, the web link won't give you the map, but drop me a message with the link you get when you start playing it, and I'll send it to you.

TerryMulhern
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Re: Middle-Earth multiplayer scenario

Postby TerryMulhern » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:24 am

I created most of the above mentioned scenarios and I also created more that were never played in a longturn-style environment. You can find them here: http://forum.freeciv.org/f/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=809


Thanks for the collection thread. I've been searching for it on Reddit and steamcommunity as well. In vain. When I googled "Games of Freeciv", it just sent me to the wiki.

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petroglyph
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Re: Middle-Earth multiplayer scenario

Postby petroglyph » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:11 pm

An overdue reply to everyone. The life of an adjunct professor is ... not rich with time. :D

Re: XYZ

XYZ wrote:ts actually in the Scenario Collection link above. Its the third: http://forum.freeciv.org/f/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=809#p4670


I feel like Bilbo in the cave of treasures!

XYZ wrote:If its just a map I actually see few problems but bare in mind that the Ai does his inter-round moves that some players may find unfair.


Are these "inter-round moves" the things that cause the advantages in productivity and research? Anyway, I don't consider that a problem for my idea per se, because after all the AIs are supposed to be the Witch-king and Sauron, who don't play fair...

However, if someone could instruct me about AI diplomacy, that would be useful. The Witch-king and Sauron are supposed to start the scenario already allied and capable/willing to take on their immediate human neighbors as allies. But at some point, there needs to be an alliance cap, because otherwise a trollish workaround would be for all human players to ally with them and trigger "allied victory".

There is also this "new" thing in the Ai behaviour in scenarios that might be interesting to control it:

XYZ wrote:Scenario creators also have a few new features available. (Scenarios created with previous versions should continue to work in 2.6.)
Scenario property "Prevent New Cities"; players cannot build cities in such scenarios. Ruleset authors can give certain units a flag 'NewCityGamesOnly', which prevents those units from being built in such scenarios, if that wouldn't make sense. (However, none of the supplied rulesets set this flag; in principle Settlers can be used for other things, although they cannot build cities in these scenarios.) GNAPATCH#5678 GNAPATCH#6424


Hmmmm that might be appropriate for this scenario. I would need to think about it.

XYZ wrote:As for the graphics. I might pitch in for a special unit if you think you really need it but my time is very limited lately.


Feel free to post ideas here!

XYZ wrote:As for tech I would at least leave the option for super-slow tech developement to brake the tie if a player decides to camp and you want to end the game without needing to wait until the end.


Hmmm that's a potentially good idea. But isn't it possible to build into the website a timer that automatically boots players for being online for a certain number of hours? (and then doesn't let them log in until, say, an hour after the turn change in order to penalize them)

Re: Madmax

Madmax wrote:If a very simple color -> terrain is enough for a template, maybe map-from-image is of some help. It doesn't draw rivers, though. Source pieces: mapgen.py, js, jsp. If you use it, the web link won't give you the map, but drop me a message with the link you get when you start playing it, and I'll send it to you.


Thank you for the offer! When I finally get a few minutes, I'll do that. This semester is going to be a meat grinder.

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Re: Middle-Earth multiplayer scenario

Postby BOBAH1 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:12 pm

good idea!
interesnye-fakty-o-vlasteline-kolec-3.jpg
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