#1 2020-07-16 12:35:01

Corbeau
Administrator
Posts: 997

Less narrow and more... hollistic... scoring

Now, there are people who play Civ as a military game where everything else is secondary or simply used for military purposes. This post is not for them.


So, when you get down to the core of it, in absolutely all Freeciv games so far it has been the case that victory means military victory. Alliance victory, score ending, spaceship ending, there is even supposed to be some culture scoring in 2.6, but absolutely every one of these things depends on military conquest. Official in-game score is calculated by adding population points and military units and kills (also great wonders - as few of them there are - and techs, with most players being more or less equal). Every aspect: economy, production, science, that influences the score in the end, is heavily dependent on the size of the empire, and the size of the empire is heavily dependent on military conquest.

Every game aspect is viewed through the prism of two things: playability and realism. And this scoring is problematic in both of there aspects.

Regarding playability, this funnels all aspects of the game into one: military conquest. If you are not successful with this, you are not playing well. Which narrows down a wide variety of choices into one.

Secondly, this is very unrealistic. In today's world we see a number of countries being more or less successful, and their size having some influence, but far from crucial. The best example is Germany: having lost every single war in the last 100 years, it is now the leader of the wesern world. Also, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Austria, Switzerland, maybe Portugal, all of them being at the top with successfull management. In current Civ configuration, they would be considered losers, while empires like USA and Russia would be considered winners.

Any idea how to change this? I'd go in two directions: adjusting the ruleset so that size matters less when you run your country, but also modifying the score with the values that re made public at the end of the game. But I'd also like to hear some opinions.

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#2 2020-07-30 12:59:01

wieder
Administrator
Posts: 1,800

Re: Less narrow and more... hollistic... scoring

One way to do that would be a new scoring system. One that would calculate you the average of the cities you have so that way it wouldn't matter how many cities you have.

Maybe better if it would pick your 10 best cities and calculate it from that. The score could be calculated for each turn so it wouldn't matter too much if you lose cities in the end. The score would be a nice one no mattter what.

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#3 2020-07-30 19:54:56

Corbeau
Administrator
Posts: 997

Re: Less narrow and more... hollistic... scoring

Hm, 10 best cities! Didn't think of that. I am reluctant to use "average Whatever per city" because that can really hurt big players. (VERY ROUGHLY, the end score amounts to AX+B where X is number of cities and A and B are whatever, so dividing the whole thing with X would result in "bigger X -> smaller score"... on the second thought, it would be good to verify this with real numbers...)

Calculating score each turn would require a script or something. At this moment I am trying to use something that can be implemented right away without the score-keeper doing this as a daily job.

On the other hand, "10 best cities" would also require coding...

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#4 2020-08-07 20:59:54

panch93
Player
Posts: 1

Re: Less narrow and more... hollistic... scoring

Hey. I am a total newbie to this game. So I apologize is advance if my rambling makes no sense, or they are totally impossible to implement in the game.

But as someone super interested in this general topic of being a non-military nation from various other strategy games and a history buff I would like to chime in on this. Feel free to say it is totally ignorant of what is possible or not in the game so that I can stop doing such rants in the future.

There are 2 aspects in this. One is to make players concentrate on development and second is to have development have a lasting impact, so that people leave the attitude of "if i destroy the best, I become the best"

One aspect I would definitely like to see in such games building upon the previous idea by wieder to have averages, but also to have a new scoring system which accounts or mimics for HDI (Human Development Index) in the real world. This is relevant because in these games any research done becomes immediately accessible to the entire population in the country. Which is not the case in the real world. Smaller countries enjoy being well-connected and have lesser inequality and more penetration of facilities.

Before the scoring way, There is a gameplay way where this could be implemented. Here, technology or tech researches move outwards from major cities (by this I mean, new buildings become available only to the capital or big cities first and move outwards from that) in a speed dependent on how well-connected they are (like quality of roads and stuff, or even with migrant transfer in this game). This mimics the real world scenario of cities being the centre for governance and facilities move outwards from that. I understand this could be really hard to implement since it introduces a new game play mechanic of different tech for different cities.

Second way, is to do the same thing using a score. Instead of just taking averages like wieder suggested, and to avoid the aspect of good big countries being penalized, and to avoid keeping track of score throughout the entire game. We can look at something like the weighted average of all the cities, weighed by how well they are connected to the biggest (or most scoring city) city. (It would also be nice if citizens lose happiness if they aren't connected to the main city, no matter how much entertainment you give to mimic the HDI aspect). This can be done by having some sort of damping parameter which goes to 1 with the best possible roads. We compute the score seeing how many connections are needed to the main city from every city and add them all together. This way a lot of small cities at the edge of your kingdom won't really contribute to the score.

Now, comes the second aspect of not letting a country such as this easily become a victim of military conquest. I think it a country needs to be harder to govern as it becomes bigger. So we use something like relating connectivity to happiness like in the previous para to stop the kingdom from stretching too big without satisfying all the people. Another way is to make a "good" country indispensable in the game so that a military based country wont want to attack and take over such a country. One way is to make trade complicated (I dont know of trade in this game yet, so I will leave it to you guys to think about this). But, something along the lines of certain materials or technology dominating the market and it takes a while for a different country to research the same tech again if the parent country is destroyed makes trade as something a lot more vital.  Historically, trade was so important that even during WW1 it is suggested that Germany and Britain traded glass and rubber DURING THE WAR. So, it should not be a matter of a simple upgrade or taking over resources like in many games. A simple workaround for now could be the option to completely scorch a location before being completely taken over. (Like all resources in the tiles the city is controlling goes to zero in sometime) so that the invader doesn't just keep getting more and more resources as he occupies more, which rarely happens in the real world. (Even something like citizens having grudge and having more tendency to lose happiness works). Grand strategy games such as Europa Universalis implement these things as being harder to maintain cities which belong to different ethnicities. A simplified model along those lines would also work. This coupled with the fact that bigger nations need to be better connected, it really is a hindrance to be military minded in the game.

Anyways, This is my first post here and I apologize for hijacking such a high level discussion of the game as a newbie. Feel free to let me know that all this is irrelevant or impossible to implement in the game.I just got interested since this is a gameplay mechanic I wanted to see in games for a long time.

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