Multiplayer-Evolution ("MP2") has a mission to evolve a fresh modernized Multiplayer ruleset as a whole new Version 2: just like a new version release on the commercial market. The goals of a new release go beyond adjustment of bugs and imbalance. It's a new game that is immediately familiar, preserving everything that was good about the old game. It adds features and improvements, as long as the old elements are preserved. An important goal is to implement the new Freeciv 3.0 features that a more modern ruleset deserves to take advantage of.
MP2 is faithful to the classic Multiplayer ruleset, evolving it while staying true to its design principles. Many contributors deserve credit. Many sources added and tested improvements, and gave critique. MP2 takes advantage of advancements in Freeciv development. Over the years, developers added features and used them in experimental rulesets. But because of “Classic conservatism”, these improvements weren't implemented in standard rulesets. It made sense – classic rules shouldn't change. But it also made no sense at all – these improvements fixed major flaws, but weren't implemented in community games. The MP2 ruleset is the answer. Features & improvements are added to the classic-based Multiplayer ruleset while keeping true to classic Freeciv and its players, its strategies, its rules, its governments, wonders, units, and buildings. MP2 carefully uses new features to fix holes and improve playability, depth, and diversity of strategic options. The goal was to fully modernize the Multiplayer ruleset and have players say, “This finally hits the mark for what Classic was always trying to be.” The result is a familiar experience that is greatly improved by subtle smoothing, re-balancing, nice new features, and major improvements in depth, graphics, creative strategy, and playability.
Guidelines and Principles for the Changes to this Ruleset Branch:
The principles for what changes find their way into the MP2 ruleset come from the design goals of Multiplayer itself. No ruleset should claim to be in this branch, if not loyal to these design goals. MP2 has preserved all the original goals and expanded them with goals that further define and articulate the original goals:
- Be decisive yet conservative about changing flawed balance/mechanics. Perfect the intent of the original mechanics. Create new dynamics only when needed to improve flaws in the classic dynamics. Respect tradition and maintain classic familiarity.
- Expand strategic creativity by intelligent evolution away from OP elements and “Golden Paths.” Give a greater palette of creative combinations. Subtly fix exploitable imbalance. Adding features is done strictly to improve balance and tactical/strategic depth; novelty is allowable as a side-effect, not the main motive.
- Cut “Luck Volatility” – Luck is part of the game. However, MP-branch rules commit to never magnify luck as a deciding factor. (Eliminate Player-only Wonders, Player-only bonuses, Huts, Game-skewing "geographic luck" from Trade Route formulas and continent-only restrictions, etc.)
- Allow more ways to be diversely brilliant. Strategy is the art of creatively exploiting advantage: Don't flatten strategic impacts or make all play styles equal. Do re-balance mindless "Golden Paths," but preserve them as strong and effective classical strategies that co-exist with other effective and diverse strategies.
- Use new features that were added to Freeciv server after the original Multiplayer was released. Carefully and very selectively put the features to good use for the beneficial purpose they serve.
- Aggressively re-balance and improve air units and sea units. There were crippling flaws and gaps in Air and Sea units. Enhance tactical depth of air and sea battles to fix the strategic enjoyment of the game.
- ReWonder 2.0 - continue to evolve and develop the goals of MP1's ReWonder 1.0 project.
- Feel like the ultimate modern completion of Multiplayer – utilize all the best new features to achieve it.
- No private party. This isn't about personal private pet preferences, peeves, or play styles. Don't favor or disfavor different styles of play. A large group of accomplished players who often disagree with each other, enters this ruleset agreeing to say “This cannot represent how each of us wants to see every change or lack of change, which we know is impossible. We realize many private proposals have others who want the opposite. We agree that creating an improved ruleset is better than having no new standard and no improvements.” No single person will like every change or lack of change in this ruleset. If they did, it would only be a YAPPR ("yet another private personal ruleset".) Loners with the attitude “it can only be my private preference or else I'm against the whole thing,” may create a YAPPR or play older rulesets without the new server features.
- Holistic Vision - Every change to rules ultimately affects the balance of the entire ruleset. For example, an increase in cost to one thing relatively decreases the cost of everything else. A decrease in the cost of something else can strengthen it, which can then lead to its technology requirement becoming a key to the game, which then diminishes the relative importance of a completely unrelated technology, and so on. A minor change that at first appears to fix a small annoyance, can end up introducing 25 new characteristics or path-forcing in other areas. Contributors who are 1-expert and 2-have holistic focus, will be responsible for implementing, altering, augmenting, or vetoing the ideas of contributors who are less experienced or not prioritizing a holistic fidelity to all the design principles and goals. Design-by-committee never fails to destroy holistic integrity. Design by maverick individualist is infallibly riddled with holes, blindness to imbalances, and favors certain play-styles over others. Design-by-pyramid is the only professional model that has ever created a good well-balanced release.