Quoting sweatyboatman, reply 113I think most of the issues with road-building would be resolved if the local road system were recalculated every time you found/take a new city. It would be a little weird to have the roads redraw, but hey, roads are already magical abstractions.
What are the issues "issues with road-building" that you mention and would be resolved if the road system was recalculated with new cities?
It is intended that the road system grows out of the way your empire grows. That it may start with a single road between your first 2 ciites, then expand as additional cities are added and that it prefers those existing roads that are already in place.
We tested having a road from every city to every city. It was a mess, basically every tile became roads (because the most efficient connection between 2 cities in each case resulted in lots of roads). It looked horrible and it wasn't fun. So the current system prefers existing roads so you get more natural looking roads.
Hi Derek! Thanks for taking the time to reply. First, I'd like to say, I actually don't mind the way auto-roads build, most of the time. And I am delighted to make the tradeoff of the occasional awkward road layout without any of the hassle of having the BYO. I understand that it irks a lot of people but personally I think this is a minor issue with the game. I agree with you that this is a perfect example of something that bothers die-hard fans that would never occur to most players.
Road networks grow the way your empire does, that's a good thing. But your empire often grows in weird ways that ideally would lead to some roads becoming obsolete as other roads are built. I think a lot of the problem is that "mistakes" made early in the game get compounded as the game slavishly keeps old roads that really don't make sense anymore. That's why I made my suggestion: to provide a means of automatically removing old roads that no longer make sense.
What I had in mind is something like the following scenarios that are actually things that happened to me in previous games (on the left is the road network the game would generate, on the right is the "optimal" road network)
In this example, a terrain feature makes it impossible to link C directly to the road between A & B, so a road is built from B to C. But that means that to move from A to C/D I need to travel across my entire empire and moving overland would probably be faster. If I had settled C first, my road network would be much more effective.
Here my empire has grown in a circle. The road network is perfect! Except, again, to get from A to E I need to move through my entire empire. If I had settled C or D last, my network would be better, but ideally the road network should be a full circle.
Basically the algorithm would try to create the most optimal path to connect all your cities to each other using the least number of roads. That's the sort of calculation I assume you do when wildlands are cleared, so that's why I suggested recalculating that every time a new city was taken/founded.
It might not be practical to do this given the low-end computers you're targeting as minimum specs. I gave up thinking about algorithm complexity when I left college. But IMHO, this is the sort of thing that people want their road networks to do and find frustrating about the automatic roads in FE. If the road networks adjusted themselves as your empire grew, I think most of the complaints (except the "road through dragon's den") would be solved.