I have been delving in the code of this game for the last weeks, and I have read all discussion about this topic for the last week.
I have come with the following suggestions. If the devs want to steal some of theses ideas, I am ok with it!
Note: I am currently trying these ideas in a unpublished mod.
Problem : By the time an AI player has all the prerequisite for building a city (tech, food,monsatium), all the tiles in his planets are already occupied.
Solution #1: Add a Town building that need less food than city, and is available sooner in the tech tree.
Solution #2: Make City an upgrade from Town (and Megalopolis an upgrade from City), so that the tile occupied by the town will be a way to reserve the space for later upgrades.
Solution #3: Split the Food production in two lines:
- Farm (all buildings with a Flat Food production): should be buildable without Monsatium, with reduced production value (by -50%).
- All others building with a Multiplier Food production: should need Monsatium, and be colony unique. (increased prod by +100%)
Problem: The AI does not build enough farms and cities on his planets.
Solution: Add new entries in the file GovernorDefs.xml, for Food and Population.
Problem: The AI does not put enough focus on research that improve it’s food production.
Solution: In the file MasterTechDefs.xml, increase the weight of all techs that lead to food increases. (and city and Megalopolis).
Problem : The populationCap of 3 could be increased for planet of class 12+ to give more time before cities are needed.
Solution: Create a new PlanetTrait That increase PopulationCap by +2 for planet of class 12+. (in PlanetTraitDefs.xml).
Problem: The current growth is much too high with the limited PopulationCap.
Solution: Decrease the current growth of 0.1 to 0.05 in the file GalCiv3GlobalDefs.xml
Problem: The ProlificAbility of the Thorian is not very usefull because of the low PopulationCap. All planets reach their PopulationCap and the growth is useless.
Solution: Change the ProlificAbility to increase the PopulationCap by +1 instead of giving 50% population. (reduce bonus to growth to 25%).