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Limited way upgrades, rivers and the Pak128.Britain-Ex start year

Started by jamespetts, August 23, 2021, 11:16:31 PM

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jamespetts

I cannot now recall where, but a little while ago there was a discussion about distinguishing river upgrades from canals; there was a suggestion that it might be helpful to allow players to upgrade rivers without being able to use the upgraded river type to build canals on virgin ground.

This is not possible in the current system, meaning that any waterway to which a player can upgrade a river can also be built afresh as a canal.

Restricting this might well be possible using similar upgrade syntax as used with vehicles: an "available_only_as_upgrade=1" flag in the upgraded river's .dat file and the original rivers' .dat files having "upgrade[0]=upgraded_river_1" (etc.) syntax to limit what they can be upgraded to, to prevent people upgrading streams to barge carrying capacity for the same cost as dredging a river.
This might well allow much more subtlety in distinguishing the navigability of early types of river, and allow players to upgrade rivers to a limited extent for a much lower cost than canalising them. For some rivers (e.g. streams) and for some conversions (e.g. to large ship canals), full canalisation would still be required.

Graphics for upgraded rivers might be either canal graphics with the towpath removed, or colour adjusted variants of the base river graphics to represent dredging.

Doing this might well suggest that a slightly earlier start date for Pak128.Britain-Ex might be warranted - perhaps 1700 or 1725 (some new ship/boat designs for the earlier eras might be warranted for this). This would then allow players quite a few decades of building up river traffic and the coastal shipping trade before the canal age starts in earnest in the 1760s because, at present, players starting in 1750 take a number of decades to build up a fully functioning river trade and coastal shipping network and largely miss out on building early canals.

I should be interested in any feedback, particularly as regards balancing, in relation to these ideas.
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Sirius

Seems to be a sensible solution.
Won't fix the "cannot upgrade to canal" issue entirely but it definitely improves the situation and it's an interessting feature on its own.

I guess a color cjanged variant should be fine if the upgrade really has to differ visually from a "natural" of the same level.

Looking at oceanliners in Hamburg, I do not agree that upgrades to large rivers should not be permitted.
Imho upgrading each type by one level should be fine.

jamespetts

Quote from: Freahk on August 24, 2021, 01:24:30 AM
Seems to be a sensible solution.
Won't fix the "cannot upgrade to canal" issue entirely but it definitely improves the situation and it's an interessting feature on its own.

I guess a color cjanged variant should be fine if the upgrade really has to differ visually from a "natural" of the same level.

Looking at oceanliners in Hamburg, I do not agree that upgrades to large rivers should not be permitted.
Imho upgrading each type by one level should be fine.

An interesting thought - thank you. One query: how exactly did you envisage the level system working when you wrote, "upgrading each type by one level should be fine"? I can see a huge number of possible permutations of what this might mean, each with their own balancing complexities, so if you have a specific idea in mind, it would be helpful to know more about it.
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Sirius

Given the current implementation of waterway levels using way constraints and the suggested upgrade system, I mean there should be an upgrade from natural none to tub, natural tub to narrow, natural narrow to barge barge and so on available.

Surely one could re-think the entire canal level system using a canal width, watergate length and wather depth instead, but that's not the intention here.

jamespetts

Quote from: Freahk on August 24, 2021, 09:45:55 PM
Given the current implementation of waterway levels using way constraints and the suggested upgrade system, I mean there should be an upgrade from natural none to tub, natural tub to narrow, natural narrow to barge barge and so on available.

Surely one could re-think the entire canal level system using a canal width, watergate length and wather depth instead, but that's not the intention here.

I do not think that that entirely works in the sense that I do not believe that there were any natural rivers that could only be passed by tub boats or narrowboats - these types of boats were only used where they had to pass a narrow canal. This is implemented in the current canal system, so any more complex system would need to take this into account, which would be far from straightforward.
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