Roads vs. Paths

Everything Children of the Nile that doesn't fit elsewhere
Zach
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:07 am

Roads vs. Paths

Postby Zach » Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:32 pm

(I didn't want to hijack that other thread, so I'll just quickly ask here.)

From the game engine's perspective, e.g., calculating pathing nodes/routes, is there any difference between paths and roads?


I only ask because in my limited playtime (compared to you guys), I have noticed my citizens always ignore paths (dirt roads), though they will sometimes (though not often) gravitate towards roads. (This gravitation towards roads may just be coincidental, though.)

My current theory is that roads and paths 100% decorative regardless of what the manual and in-game help state. :) Case in point, watch the laborers walk from their home to some mining site (preferably far away); now create a road that runs one tile parallel to that, and they will still refuse to walk on it (even though it is supposedly faster).

The only exception to this, of course, is creating a shortcut over a mountain with a road. (I haven't tested it with a path.) But other than that, are roads and paths actually used by the game engine?

Tinkerbell
Posts: 5415
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 3:42 am
Location: San Diego, California
Contact:

Postby Tinkerbell » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:42 pm

Howdy again, Zach!

"Zach" wrote:From the game engine's perspective, e.g., calculating pathing nodes/routes, is there any difference between paths and roads?


I really don't think so, but have never Labbed it. Personally I don't like dirt paths & don't use them. If a scenario has them I replace them with stone roads cuz they look better to me. My Noble section gets plazas, along with my city main streets to the floodplains.

I smoke all extra roads on maps. Villager paths are the first to go after most of the villagers are used up. I hate em. ;)

I only ask because in my limited playtime (compared to you guys), I have noticed my citizens always ignore paths (dirt roads), though they will sometimes (though not often) gravitate towards roads. (This gravitation towards roads may just be coincidental, though.)


Always ignore? Can't agree here at all.

I'm not sure they actually gravitate towards roads either. If they accidently run into one, they will use it until their pathing tells them to get off the road to go a shorter path. This is ignoring the roads over mountains. There they actually notice the road obviously & can change ther pathing drastically, but not until they get to the bottleneck that the road actually opens up. Example: I will draw a road over a mountain & they will ignore most of it, or get on, then off, then back on again.

So I will try a second parallel road & they will use parts of both! It is fun trying to out guess my people. They always win! :D

My current theory is that roads and paths 100% decorative regardless of what the manual and in-game help state. :) Case in point, watch the laborers walk from their home to some mining site (preferably far away); now create a road that runs one tile parallel to that, and they will still refuse to walk on it (even though it is supposedly faster).


Definitely not decorative.

With v1.3, TM introduced their claim of speedup on roads. I believe them, but I don't think it has sped up very much. Again, I haven't Labbed this either. I play at max speed of 2.5 always & this might change things. No idea how slower speeds work.

Now if you are asking, does a person stand there & calculate "Let's see, if I avoid the road, my path will be shorter, but I will travel faster on a road, so I will go out of my way to get to the longer but faster road" ~ I don't think so, I think they will still choose the shorter path. But, I really don't know.

There is also the gridline issue, which can cause some very interesting zig-zag patterns going from one gridline to another. We can only place roads along gridlines, but people can go almost any compass direction.

I think I know what you are trying to say. I place a road & they won't use most of it. However, when I really stop & think about the actual path they have chosen, it does make sense & they did it correctly.

Sometimes there are obstacles that we don't see, but they do. Especially tiny bumps in the terrain. Build a road over that tiny bump & they will choose a different path & use the road over the tiny bump.
Last edited by Tinkerbell on Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:21 am, edited 11 times in total.

Azeem
Posts: 3678
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 9:30 pm
Location: Hetepsenusret

Postby Azeem » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:49 pm

In version 1.3 (the Enhanced version), roads speed up citizen movement. If I recall correctly, they move at least 10% faster, but you can really see the difference if you zoom in and watch people moving on roads vs. un-pathed terrain at the default 1.0 game speed. In earlier versions, they helped with AI pathfinding a bit and they enabled people to walk over mountains and rocky terrain.

As Tinkerbell noted, the AI appears to have a tendency to choose the most direct route from point A to point B; people will move in irregular patterns only when they're unable to go to a certain location for a specific reason (shops close, goods run out, etc.).

Zach
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 1:07 am

Postby Zach » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:21 pm

"Tinkerbell" wrote:Always ignore? Can't agree here at all.


It's not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. It was a statement of fact, not opinion. It was coupled with the clear qualifier, "...in my limited playtime," and so far (tutorial maps and first 2.5 scenarios), I have never seen them specifically use a path (dirt road) unless there was no choice, i.e., they had to walk that path whether a road was there or not.

If the engine always just chooses the most direct route (as the crow flies, if you will, which is what it seems to do and you both appear to advocate), then my assumption is correct and paths and roads are strictly decorative for the most part.

My point is that roads and paths are not a means to control or direct traffic as it they are in other city builder games (Caesar IV, CivCity:Rome, and heck, even Empire Earth :p ).

Anyway, I was just seeking outside verification of this observation. Thanks for your thoughts.

Flammehav
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:59 pm
Location: Sandnes, Norway

Postby Flammehav » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:34 am

I just make the roads to mesure up where to place my buildings.

Plaza for pharoes/nobels and city services(religion, healthcare and schools). Normal roads for the middle class. Shopkeepers, bakers and sometimes the other government workers, and dirt roads for the peasants. I find that more realistic.

Haven't played it with the most recent patch yet, but atleaset before I only used them for decoration and city planning.


Return to “General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests