The revitalization update

This is a significant update.
It will start by being available on the Tester branch only, for a few days until its ready to be applied on the default branch.
Also note that the only official server running on the Tester branch is the Official Test Server 1. You’re welcome to join it to try the new update before its applied to the public branch!

I hope this update will be a good step towards convincing more players that joining older servers can be a viable option rather than seeking primitive tribes exclusively. The lifespan of players is lower than the one of the servers, thus its critical to get a successful system of late-game starts to prevent the servers decay around bronze age.

Improved advanced starts
This update focuses mainly on improving the late-game starting conditions, with many new features. The goal is to allow for “stale” servers to regenerate by convincing more players to join ongoing games and by cleaning up useless abandoned settlements. 

  • New players now receive the best available starts matching their selection rather than a fully random one. To achieve this, each start is now assigned an internal value assessing the quality of a region based on its buildings, population, techs, and natural resources. The best available value is also displayed when creating a new character, next to the number of available starts.
  • Servers now provide a global start bonus based on the server’s age and lack of active characters. The older and more depopulated, the higher the bonus for new players joining. This bonus is also displayed on the persistent server list. The goal of this bonus is to incentivize the repopulation of abandonned servers. This bonus affects starting resources, money, techs and population.
  • Starting techs are improved and inherited from the average of nearby characters
  • Starting resources are improved to prevent being immediately blocked and being unable to do anything.
  • Government policies are now automatically reset to prevent confusion, and matching the development level of the inherited territory.
  • Starting players now receive automatic knowledge-storage buildings (libraries) to match their current knowledges so that they dont start in negative capacity unable to research new techs. A new ‘stone age’ storage was also added, employing oldpigs, and providing a basic way to expand knowledge capacity even before writting, to prevent tech deadlocks.
  • Starting players also receive automatic warehouses -when possible- to avoid stocks overflowing from the new resources. Excess resources from the inherited territory are also auto-cleared (ex an inactive territory with 2000 of mud and little of everything else ).
  • Diplomacy is automatically cleaned up for new players: all treaties and wars with inactives characters are cleared, to reduce confusion.
  • Regions and nation decay was added: besides new players starting on the best available starts, the bottom ones now also decay and get auto-abandoned thus clearing the map of all the useless and worthless abandoned settlements. In the same way, abandoned Nations can now decay if its leader remains inactive for too long: if that happens, every other inactive character  in the nation will auto-leave, causing the nation to explode. This clears the score board and also ensures that each nation character becomes in turn eligible as a starting point for new players, completing the regeneration of the server.

Networking update
As mentioned in a previous post, this update also contains a significant networking update to improve connection stability and circumvent issues with the engine’s networking that i unfortunately have no control over. 
This update should improve problems of infinite loading times and random “ping timeouts”, especially for players encountering those unusually often of for big players unable to keep playing because they couldn’t load their character or cities anymore.
However I can’t guarantee it to fully fix it as the root of the problem is still there and cannot be directly fixed.
Because its a significant reorganization it might also generate new bugs in the short term, but overall it should greatly improve the quality of life for people having constant disconnections in online multiplayer.
This update should also fix or reduce the problem of the game losing connection when minimized or out of focus (unconfirmed).

Hardware survey and Linux
I’ve replaced the infamous hardware survey by a different better method that should be less likely to trigger AV programs, and less likely to be blocked from executing and to therefore cause the “hardware survey failed” error when starting the game.
This  also restores the game’s Linux compatibility (through wine), as these scripts were not compatible with it.

The new primitive ‘knowledge storage’ building, to avoid tech deadlocks.


The revitalization update
– added start bonus factor affecting all advanced starts and proportional to the server’s runtime and need for new players.
– auto-setting policies when new character spawns in an advanced start
– added auto spawning of libraries for new characters to match knowledge capacity with current inherited knowledges
– improved procedurally given knowledges at aspawn to better match the inherited city and game stage
– added auto cease-fire and ending treaties with all other inactive characters , when starting as a successor.
– best spawn value matching settings is now displayed in the create character menu, and best type is selected by default
– fixed problem of enemy armies on empty cities being incorrectly considered as the attacker when engaged, causing battle AI issues
– added Nation decay, triggered when the nation leader remains inactive for 1.5x the max inactivity time.
– fixed ruins not being visible in region view
– added auto-abandonning of the least valuable cities of inactives and rebels, based on the average value of all other existing cities.
– fixed rebel cities remaining in “occupied” status when owned by rebels.
– fixed problem of state ownership of resources put for sale in markets.
– reorganized the data of the building AI prototype, to prepare for future improvements.
– improved anti-cheating (still passive).
– improved hardware survey at startup and restored Linux compatibility (through wine).
– added new primitive knowledge storage building: elder’s circle.
– added capacity for buildings to employ oldpigs or sows.
– improved network stability when under strain to prevent loading failures and ping timeouts
– data transfers from client to server now operate on a different socket that can auto-reconnect when failing.
– potentially fixed minimized game causing connection losses.
– improved networking debug diagnostic tools
– improved connection process
– improved ping loop process
– improved data instances transfer
– fixed crash from placing roads on bottom left corner tile
– clearing all events from previous player when spawning as a succession.
– added a ‘value’ measurement of regions and spawns so that new players start in the best available ones in priority, to improve the quality of starting late-game.
– colonies belonging to an inactive character ar 50% less valuable for spawn
– spawns in multi-player nations are more valuables
– succession starts of subjugated characters are much less valuable
– succession starts of characters with an inactive superior are less valuable
– natural resources increase the value of a spawn (except for primitve tribes)

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