Yakk wrote:What if the cost of per-era wonders went up for every wonder you have built from that era?
I'm not sure much would change.
It would be somewhat harder to amass large numbers of wonders- but you can build 3 wonders per age at the same cost as the current system. The main change seems to be that the strategic decision of which wonder to pursue first is even more pressing- you should only expect one top-tier wonder per age, essentially, unless you're breaking away from the pack (or there are very few players). It would make it so everyone has a strong chance to get some boost that could define how their empire works (Ok, do I want a giant culture building, a giant gold building, a building that boosts all military units produced in my capital, a building that makes all scientists produce more research, ...)- but it's not clear to me that that should be exclusive. If I built the Great Library to have a scientist-focused empire, why should you be prevented from doing that? Because I finished it a turn before you did?
Similarly, I'm not sure I like the idea of getting those benefits from conquest. It half fits- the Romans and the Greeks, the Yuan dynasty of China, etc.- but it seems like the wrong mechanism.
I do like this idea, though, when it comes to policies. Particularly if, instead of a bunch of trees, there was a 'policy grid' of some sort- think like the Social Engineering in SMAC, except now each of the choices is instead a tree. From my poking around in the policy system, it appears robust enough that you could have individual policies conflict with each other, not trees- what I'm not sure you could do, but what would be awesome if you could do it, is have policy costs only depend on the number of policies done in that row. So when you adopt a Governance policy, it doesn't make it more expensive to adopt Economics policies, and so on.
The main benefit of this is it would change policies from an alternative technology tree to more like the social engineering of previous days- you actually make choices, but you can do so on a much more fine-grained level. We have free trade- but also heavily subsidize agriculture.
I wonder how difficult it would be to make wonders that occlude other wonders just for your nation, and if that would be beneficial- it gives you more interesting choices to make that you choose by producing things.
Yakk wrote:I'd also be tempted by a "diplomacy-style" mod.
A tempting idea, but I'm leery of any benefit dependent on the number of cities, since that boosts ICS (and ICS does not need to be boosted).
It seems like there are two possibly easy ways to implement it: add a strategic resource that each city produces (you should be able to do this by having a "recruiting station" or something automatically built in every city that produces one "recruit;" you could also have later buildings that increase the amount one city gives. This might accidentally give Russia twice the number of units; I don't know if that works for buildings or not) or see if you can adjust the game's built-in cap on number of units (I believe it's currently a function of population) to just be 1 per city.
One big thing to consider is that currently city defenses are such that you want 2-4 attacking units per city (or a large tech advantage). I could see this working well if city-state city defenses were reduced to 0 (or something suitably low), so major powers can just waltz in and claim them, but the thing to remember is that Diplomacy is a good game not because of its mechanics but because its mechanics and its scenario are paired so well. Script-generating a map that works well for mechanics that are heavily tied to the number of cities you *can* make seems problematic.
headprogrammingczar wrote:Perhaps make units time-consuming, but relatively inexpensive. That way, you tie defensive ability more closely to economy. To bring diplomacy back into it, buff trade routes.
How would you make units more time-consuming but less expensive? They're run off the same cost.* Or do you mean that the maintenance would be lower? That seems like it would be a poor change: you could support larger armies at less opportunity cost, and it would be more difficult to fend off surprise invasions by raising troops.
*You could fiddle with the hammers cost and a % bonus/penalty for building military units, but that seems like it could have a number of unintended consequences.
More thoughts about strengthening non-ICS:
Make specialists give percentage bonuses instead of flat amounts. If a scientist gives you +25% science (or +.25 science per pop or whatever) instead of a flat amount, specialists in heavily populated cities are significantly better than specialists in sparsely populated cities. The main reason so much research goes on in universities is not that there are a bunch of smart people there, but that the smart people there are all talking to each other. That also suggests the buildings (or, at least, a few of them) might be better off as flat science boosts than as percentage boosts- though that runs the risk of running into the Autolab problem from MoOII, where production races were better at research than research races.
Make food cost to grow constant, or raise for a bit then flatten, rather than explode to keep cities small. Again, thinking back to MoOII- which was somewhat different because you could ship people cheaply- the best way to grow was to colonize a rock where people would have bunches of babies, and then ship those babies to your quality world. That's just odd.
Make higher tier buildings similar, or the same, cost as lower tier buildings, and increase their effectiveness. Particularly when it comes to happiness: a stadium should be significantly better than a coliseum so you have a reason to specialist buildings instead of just drop the first tier buildings of all types in a town then stop.