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

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

Postby Corbeau » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:45 pm

People aren't disciplined so I'll gather the discussion here. This would probably be a job for mod, but apparently there isn't one here.

So.

wieder wrote:On longturn.org no tech trade became popular after too many very good players teamed up, shared the techs and quickly became too advanced for the smaller alliances. This is the short version. Also, the tech upkeep didn't seem to be that good solution because on an alliance the other players could
instantly give back the tech(s) that were lost during the tc. It also gave an advantage to those who were able to be online at the tc.

Tech leakage has been used to compensate this and it has been working reasonably well.

Without tech trading every nation get the tech according to how well they play. Having no tech trading also allows new strategies to be used. For example, you can max trade for a while, build the infra and then switch back to max sci. You only need to know when this is the right call. In my opinion switching between different sci/tax rates adds to the game. Lots of players used to do max sci or max tax all the time when tech trading was possible.


wieder wrote:I don't believe it's only about scoring system. If you want to do well in the game, you need techs and tech trading is a effective way of getting them for free. By free I mean without actual bulb cost. Without tech trading, everyone wanting to get tech A costing 100 bulbs, needs to spend 100 bulbs (or less with tech leakage) to get the tech. With tech trading only one player needs to spend the bulbs and the tech can be duplicated to everyone in the alliance. It's like printing money but without the inflation if the techs are not given to everyone.

It's more about becoming more advanced than some other players. I see no reason why not try to do that regardless of the scoring system, winning conditions or any other setup. All the saved resources can be used for other purposes and that definitely speeds up the game.

Of course, if specialized nations is what you are looking for, tech trading is the way to go.



If giving back lost techs every turn is the only problem, it can be fixed. Set:



- tech upkeep based on number of cities so that you can't be in an industrial era without every city having a library, or else you lose tech,a nd also to give a slight catch up boost to smaller nations

- 50% chance of tech lost when receiving.

- 5% chance of tech lost while giving.

- tech leak so that people who are behind can also catch up

- or, even better, I don't know if there are options that make you lose bulbs when receiving or giving technology use that, instead of CHANCE to lose whole techs. That would be more neat.

- every tech should have a root_requirement (or whatever it's called) so that, when you lose tech, you don't lose Bronze that you're not using anymore, but something current, expensive and useful

This way it's more efficient to reduce tech transfer to a minimum, but it will still happen when someone really needs a technology and when you want to give your allies the edge. It also forces them to expend bulbs because, if they rely on patching up by their allies, it will backfire sooner or later; alliance whose members all have good technological infrastructure will lose far less techs and bulbs than the one whose members are specialised to Sci-only and Tax-only.

And, again, as someone said, tech trade may be unbalancing. However:
- that's life, deal with it; it's more realistic for a large alliance to be ahead than not
- balance in a game like Civ is an unreachable abstract
- balance in multiplayer game is an unreachable abstract

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

Postby wieder » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:32 pm

With 5% probability for losing the tech you could probably just repeat the process as many times as you wish and the receiver would probably get the tech with few tries anyway. The penalty should be symmetric like 50% 50% to be really effective. With 50%/5% it would still be printing free money.

Then again... Tech loss at 50% might solve the problem with "free techs" and even with teammates giving you all the lost techs. However 50% 50% setup wouldn't be exactly tech trading but more like tech lottery. 25% chance for both losing the tech, 25% chance for both keeping it etc... While it wouldn't be printing money, it would also result with some nasty new exploits. Some players might want to forget unwanted techs like combustion (obsoletes Leonardo's) or some other tech obsoleting something. You could simply give the tech to someone who can receive it and hope that you lose it. Requirements won't help with this, as far as I know, because the only check the required previous techs.

Then again 50% 50% is one way to implement some kind of tech trading, but it's definitely not the same tech trading people are used to.

Another problem with similar (70% 30%) implementation on LT31 was the party attacked will lose ludicrous number of techs in just few turns. Attacking became more like lottery when both had techs the other didn't have.

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

Postby Corbeau » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:13 pm

About "printing free money", that's how knowledge works. You give without losing. Again, it's realistic.

About people giving and losing techs, that requires a lot of transactions. If people can pull it off, it is still unstable and carries a risk of blowing up in your face. Sooner or later you are going to drop something and it is going to roll under the bed without you noticing until a critical situation arises. You are forgetting about the consequences of complex systems. If you rely on your friends to patch you up and they rely on their friends, first, everybody needs to be online at a right time. Then everybody needs to know what he is doing and then do it on time. Things will collapse sooner or later.

If 5% is too little, sure, increase it to 10 ir 20%. Because 50-50 is not tech sharing, it's selling and it's lottery, like you said, and it makes no sense. Keep in mind that all this time tech upkeep is ticking and, while people are trying to juggle with a chain reaction, bulbs are being lost. It's not as easy as you depict it.

As for root_req, are you sure this is how it works? I was under the impression - and I think i literally read it somewhere - that you can't HAVE a tech that you don't have reqs for. Not sure what would happen in you get to lose a tech from the middle of the tree, is the loss cancelled or is the whole branch chopped off. Testing, anyone?

Loss while being conquered: does "techloss when giving" apply to this? You are not giving, it is being taken from you.

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

Postby cazfi » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:55 pm

Corbeau wrote:I was under the impression - and I think i literally read it somewhere - that you can't HAVE a tech that you don't have reqs for.

Whether forming of holes to the tree is allowed or not is ruleset controlled. When they are not allowed, tech loss always happens from the top techs.

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

Postby Corbeau » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:24 pm

cazfi wrote:Whether forming of holes to the tree is allowed or not is ruleset controlled. When they are not allowed, tech loss always happens from the top techs.

So, if tech is lost when given, and it is not a top tech, and holes are not allowed, what happens?

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

Postby wieder » Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:39 pm

In the real world there is no free duplicating of knowledge. You can't simply go to some Indian city with a population of 10 000 people, steal the tech for nuclear weapons from there and then start building nukes as easily as anyone else.

An even if there was "free" knowledge in the real world, this type of action might not suit too well for all gaming situations Freeciv has to offer. There are reasons why most of the longturn.org games have tech trading turned off or seriously limited. It's basically to avoid situations where big alliances will always win no matter what. It's also there to allow lone wolfs to compete against everyone else. If this is not the type of the game someone is looking for, there are other types of games and Freeciv game setups.

The giving and receiving techs really has been that easy in the past but you need to have players who login at least few times every turn. In the past games there really was no problem for me to get the techs with the technics I described. You only need active players and know how to do it and it will blow to your face mostly only when an active government tech is stolen. As anything, it will collapse if you don't know how to do it but for those players who know the tricks, it's a relatively safe way of doing this.

It would require negative bulbs to remain as they were, without forgetting half of them. It would also require more than one tech to be lost at the tc. That might invalidate this trick.

What it comes to losing techs, I would also like to know how it's handled. if you give warrior code and lose it in the process, what will happen to your researching if you already have Iron working and other pre reqs for feudalism and you are already researching feudalism? The LT games may have been set up in the wrong way but there you can still keep researching feudalism even if you lose warrior code.

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

Postby wieder » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:42 pm

I'm not saying that tech trading is evil :) or something like that. Just that for some game types it may not be the best possible option to be available. It all depends on what type of game you want to create.

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

Postby Corbeau » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:16 pm

wieder wrote:In the real world there is no free duplicating of knowledge. You can't simply go to some Indian city with a population of 10 000 people, steal the tech for nuclear weapons from there and then start building nukes as easily as anyone else.

I agree. This is why I think that stealing should be significantly reduced. But we are not talking about stealing here.

Although, your example is flawed. A city with population 10k in Civ is not equivalent to some random RL city with 10k population. A very large empire here usually doesn't have more than 50 cities. Compare this to USA and you get that each city represents approximately a state capital. And you can definitely get some secrets there. Although, I agree that stealing techs is way oversimplified. However, this is only a game. Until we invent a better way to do this - and, more important, someone puts it into the code - this one will just have to do. Or be cancelled.

An even if there was "free" knowledge in the real world, this type of action might not suit too well for all gaming situations Freeciv has to offer.

Again, every computer game is a simplification. Until someone thinks of - and puts into code - a different system, we are stuck with this one.

There are reasons why most of the longturn.org games have tech trading turned off or seriously limited. It's basically to avoid situations where big alliances will always win no matter what. It's also there to allow lone wolfs to compete against everyone else.

Now, it seems that you are constantly forgetting that Civilization is a political and strategic simulation of state relations through human history. Please note that never in that time that we know of has a lone wolf prevailed for long, and even in short term, when looking more carefully, you will see that he wasn't so lone after all. So, when you play a historical simulation, you want to stick to historical realism, at least on a basic level. And that is: alliances get you further and loners are usually short-term.

If this is not the type of the game someone is looking for, there are other types of games and Freeciv game setups.

A truism.

The giving and receiving techs really has been that easy in the past but you need to have players who login at least few times every turn. In the past games there really was no problem for me to get the techs with the technics I described. You only need active players and know how to do it and it will blow to your face mostly only when an active government tech is stolen. As anything, it will collapse if you don't know how to do it but for those players who know the tricks, it's a relatively safe way of doing this.

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.

Also, when checking things in order to reply to this I just realised that a number of values that should by pure logic be separated, are actually connected which makes absolutely no sense.

Chance to lose tech when giving it is the same as chance to lose it when it is stolen from you. Can't separate them. So, same parameter for two completely different situations.

Chance to lose tech when receiving it by treaty is the same as chance to lose it when you steal it. Can't separate them. Again, same parameter for two completely different situations.

Percentage of bulbs lost when getting a tech is the same as penalty when sharing gold. Can't separate them.

This is actually insane and no wonder there are so many problems with tech trade. And until this insanity is resolved, problems will remain. Some people simply want to chare techs because it makes sense. It is more realistic to share them like this - no matter how flawed the system is - than not to share them at all. And if some Genghis Khan or Ragnar Lothbroek wannabe wants to play against the whole world, well, tough luck. Shit ain't like that.

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

Postby AndreasR » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:56 pm

For me, the question is how enabling or disabling technology trading will have an effect on the gameplay experience for the majority of players. If a Longturn game on Freeciv-web has 300 to 500 human players, would most of these players want to participate in alliances and trade technologies?

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

Postby Corbeau » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:04 pm

Well, we'd have to have a poll for that. 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.

But, like I and some others said, there is no problem with some games having tech trade and some not. But then it would also be nice thta some people get tech leak and tech upkeep. Although, is interface ready for this? If we get tech upkeep, will the amount be indicated anywhere, as it should?