View Full Version : New strategy: Ignore happiness


Celevin
Sep 24, 2010, 03:49 PM
There's been too many threads on "happiness is so key!" and such, when I think that you actually pay for as much as you gain with it. What I did in my last game just shows one more thing that I think is going to need to be fixed. Obviously this needs some fine tuning.

This will happen in 2 phases. This strategy works best with France, as you're going to have a HUGE empire.

First phase, play the game as normal. You'll want to slingshot a bit to get the commerce / freedom trees, as every tree before then is going to suck for you (except maybe liberty for culture and happiness, as well as fast expansion). Don't build any happiness buildings, as their maintenance is too much. Focus on nabbing a lot of luxury resources, as once phase 2 hits, you won't grow anymore. Trade for as much luxury resources as possible, and max out your happiness. Get currency at some point, and start all your towns up on markets.

Phase 2 is called ZERO HOUR. Your goal is to start up a massive war machine, and never stop. You know those times when you want to keep up the fight but you don't because your happiness is capped? Ignore that entirely! Get the com to that dumb level where they are willing to trade 5 cities for peace. ANNEX every single one. Don't build courthouses.

Ignore happiness, and keep capturing cities. Switch all your mines to trade posts. Ignore growth and production. Get every single city maxed out on merchants, and pray for some great merchants. Sell off all happiness resources for more gold. Grab the key commerce policy of -25% spending cost. Build the key wonders for buying units/buildings. Gun for the Renaissance era, as Freedom is the key policy tree. Remember all you're working really is trade posts and specialists, so you'll get 2 extra science from each thing working. As this is really a specialist economy, you'll see quite a few great people, as well as lower food costs from Freedom.

What you lose
- NO city growth
- NO golden ages from happiness
- Half production
- Penalty to combat

What you gain
- A LOT of gold off selling luxuries
- More gold from production
- Cities switching from growth to more useful tiles, like merchants and trade posts
- No maintenance from happiness buildings and previously needed workshops
- No maintenance happens from marketplaces or any other key buildings
- Benefits of currency modifiers over production modifiers
- More specialized policies
- No caring to stop the war machine, and thus a much larger empire
- Gobs and gobs of great generals and other specialists to use for golden ages (+1 commerce per tile in a massive empire!)
- The highest science you'll ever see


You'd be tempted to try this with Arabia for its gold on trade routes, but you need the culture from France. No other civ can have an empire this size and still pump out social policies.

Ahriman
Sep 24, 2010, 03:56 PM
What you lose
- NO city growth
- NO golden ages from happiness
- Half production

Uhh.... large penalties to military strength, no?
Aren't your military units going to get crunched?

No other civ can have an empire this size and still pump out social policies.
France isn't going to pump out social policies with a massive empire of annexed cities either. The SP costs increase 30% (multiplicatively) each time you get a new city. 2 culture per turn doesn't really help much.

Quick1
Sep 24, 2010, 03:57 PM
You do realize that negative happiness doesn't just stunt growth, your troops stop fighting after you hit like -10 or so? Even if you stop growth, your happiness level is going to plummet once you start annexing cities, especially if you don't build courthouses.

Dizzy75
Sep 24, 2010, 03:58 PM
Pretty interesting and innovative. I'm not sure it needs to be rebalanced, though, unless it can pretty handily beat any "normal" strategy at domination? Since pumping happiness at first and acquiring lots of luxuries seems to be a key part of the strat, does this have advantages over someone who acquires a ton of luxuries and doesn't try this?

Dizzy75
Sep 24, 2010, 04:00 PM
Uhh.... large penalties to military strength, no?
Aren't your military units going to get crunched?


France isn't going to pump out social policies with a massive empire of annexed cities either. The SP costs increase 30% (multiplicatively) each time you get a new city. 2 culture per turn doesn't really help much.

Hmm, shows what I know about the game.

Has the OP tried this yet, or is this just theoryzation?

Celevin
Sep 24, 2010, 04:04 PM
The entire point is you don't care if you go into complete unhappiness. -200 unhappiness means nothing.

-33% combat strength is nothing that can't be made up in policies, great generals, and other things. Your gold and science is crazy enough to give you the military edge.

The SP costs increase 30% (multiplicatively) each time you get a new city.
Actually it's additive. You'll still get the number of social policies that you'll need to survive, you just need to be strict with your choices. A lot of previously needed ones (like bonus happiness) are no longer needed at all.

I'm in a game right now with around 15-20 cities as France, and am actually thinking of winning by culture.

Has the OP tried this yet, or is this just theoryzation?
I've done this, but haven't done this from scratch. I was successful, but didn't get to take the key policies since I didn't plan (ie the Freedom ones). The only hard point is the expansion then rapid switch to a gold-only empire.

Quick1
Sep 24, 2010, 04:07 PM
The entire point is you don't care if you go into complete unhappiness. -200 unhappiness means nothing.

-33% combat strength is nothing that can't be made up in policies, great generals, and other things.

It's only 33%? I could have sworn it was more than that.

Syiss_
Sep 24, 2010, 04:29 PM
Interesting strategy, and possibly the only way to win by domination on the larger maps (besides cheezing out and mass striking just enemy capitals). I did something similar in a game with Japan on accident. France declared war on me and decided to sue for peace after I took 1 city and had killed like 12 of his units. He offered me 4 of his cities (leaving himself with only 2) and I stupidly accepted, putting myself at about -30 happiness. Realizing I was never going to come out of that hole, I decided to keep rolling over people and just bought the rest of my army. Won domination victory at around 1300AD.

Puzzlemaker
Sep 24, 2010, 05:02 PM
I have done this before, too. You don't want to use France, you want to use japan. With bushido, you can blitz. Don't stop to heal, just keep attacking. It works very well.

Druin
Sep 24, 2010, 05:34 PM
I can attest to this working, the tech lead you get from having a TON of cities is actually big enough to easily make up for the -33% military strength.

I highly recommend getting/saving a great engi for big ben ... you can't really build it otherwise :P

Celevin
Sep 24, 2010, 05:35 PM
It's not just a last-ditch effort before you win by domination. An empire that goes this route will probably out-science a regular empire, while keeping up decent production.

Druin
Sep 24, 2010, 05:53 PM
It's not just a last-ditch effort before you win by domination. An empire that goes this route will probably out-science a regular empire, while keeping up decent production.

I do not believe you could call the production of this empire type "decent."

If by "production" you mean "rushbuy ability" then I agree!

Celevin
Sep 24, 2010, 06:03 PM
I do not believe you could call the production of this empire type "decent."

If by "production" you mean "rushbuy ability" then I agree!

Yep, that's what I mean. Making 500+ gold a turn is fun.

DalekDavros
Sep 24, 2010, 06:24 PM
Why is ignoring happiness an integral part of this strategy? What if you did exactly the same thing, but build/buy happiness buildings and keep lux resources?

If you have a huge empire that gets lots of golden age bonuses, surely happiness becomes even more important and perhaps the extra golden age income/production pays for the upkeep on happiness buildings and lost resource trade potentials. I'd crunch the numbers, but I haven't looked at the golden age costs yet.

Conspirator
Sep 24, 2010, 06:30 PM
Because you can't maintain a huge empire and be in positive happiness and gold.

KrikkitTwo
Sep 24, 2010, 06:39 PM
Because of the lag time... building/buying happiness buildings takes investment, and it doesn't necessarily pay off for a long time.

Celevin
Sep 24, 2010, 06:42 PM
Because you can't maintain a huge empire and be in positive happiness and gold.
This right here. I'm talking about a 30+ city size empire.

Spatzimaus
Sep 24, 2010, 06:45 PM
Why is ignoring happiness an integral part of this strategy?

I think the thought is that no matter how much you tried, a rapid expansion with annexing would kill your empire's happiness regardless. Most people slow down their expansion once they run low on happiness, or trade for more luxuries, or build more +happy buildings, but what if you didn't slow down, and just kept going full-bore? Obviously, you'd go negative on happiness.

So if it's inevitable that your people would be unhappy, why waste time, effort, and money attempting to mitigate the unhappiness at all? If you're at -100 happiness, then building a little +3 Colloseum isn't exactly going to help, and you could use the ten or twenty turns it'd take to build that thing churning out more units/wonders/etc. (and save the 3-gold upkeep, to be used for more units!).
Likewise, if your city growth is going to be so stunted by unhappiness, it's not really worth putting down farms; just put Trading Posts everywhere (for the cash and science benefit later on).

Obviously, there needs to be more of a cap to this. As in, if you go below -25 or so you hit the Rioting level, where all production shuts down entirely and troops refuse to fight at all. But until that happens, this is still viable.

Now, for sheer irony value, you need to try winning a Cultural victory with this strategy; once you've got a large empire, start churning out more culture buildings. The idea that millenia of unhappiness can lead to Utopia is just too funny to ignore.

Conspirator
Sep 24, 2010, 06:51 PM
Now, for sheer irony value, you need to try winning a Cultural victory with this strategy; once you've got a large empire, start churning out more culture buildings. The idea that millenia of unhappiness can lead to Utopia is just too funny to ignore.

LOL. Yeah it's definitely going to be fixed, I would imagine, so I'm not pursuing this beyond a level of unhappiness I am unable to get back out of. Just wouldn't feel right.

Gaizokubanou
Sep 24, 2010, 07:02 PM
I just raze all the cities I can when I go on conquer spree.

ashmizen
Sep 24, 2010, 07:19 PM
I agree with OP about France's ability. At first, I worried about building too many cities that would effect me getting policies, but realized that the 30% is wayyyyy over blown.

First, its addictive, so its 30% of the base cost, 5 cities would increase cost by 150%, not 371%. So that last city increases cost from 220% to 250%, an increase of only 13.6%. Second, its not 30% in most games! In my game, on a huge map, it was only 15%. I heard it ranges from 10-30%, so 30% that most people tout is really just for tiny 2 player maps, which no one plays on.

Early on, building cities as France actually INCREASES the rate at which I get policies. Even at 5 cities, my 5th city would increase my culture cost by less than 10%, but boost my culture from +21 to +23, so building it would not affect cost. If I built a monument or something, I would actually gain at the rate I got policies.

This idea is very creative, and probably works. I know that science goes crazy when you have a large empire, and newer units tend to have 50-75% more combat strength than the previous generation, so the 33% penalty isn't big in comparison. I'll have to try it.

coe
Sep 24, 2010, 07:37 PM
I played a game like that, with something close to -50 unhappiness. Map wasn't large enough for it to go lower.

Also noticed, that domination based victories are only happening by massive razing of cities. You can't puppet them because gold income will take a nosedive as puppets build every expensive and useless structure there is. Annexing them lead to the unhappiness without the massive gold influx if you dont plan it from the start.

Civ 5, it's mainly a razing game, often taking cities (if they dont hold happiness resource you happen to miss), causes massive problems. Basicly, map wont be ever fully your color in this game. When you start to raze and ignore the empty land mass, it gets easy and you win your games. It feels goofy and looks ingame, no more "build empires", but thats how it is.

lilnev
Sep 24, 2010, 07:45 PM
I played a version of this in my first game, with China. The Arabs gave me five cities for peace (though I've that that's already targetted for patching), and my happiness went to about -30. An interesting wrinkle: I was in Representation -- or whatever they named it, under Rationalism, that gives each specialist +2 science -- and I had more than enough food thanks to Maritime allies and probably-unnecessary Granaries. With food worthless, and production cut in half, tiles weren't looking so good. So I used most of my pop as Unemployed Citizens. Half a hammer plus two science seems better than a trading post.

Tylerryan79
Sep 24, 2010, 08:25 PM
I did this with England. I played normal, built 3 cities, and made friends with on military city state. When I reached longbows I upgraded my regular bows and conquered the whole continent. I had pretty high unhappiness, but the negative bonus didn't really matter because I had 3 great generals, my upgraded bows already had a bunch of promotions before my "real" wars started, and the fact that during all this I got a few horsman/cats and built some swords then upgraded them to longswords. I popped a GG for a golden age, switched everything over to gold, except for one city that built a few units. I would sometimes let a civ give me a peace treaty for ten turns, getting their city state allies resources for 45 turns, then I'd hit another civ. This is only on prince, but I had every civs cities/capital, and there where two more on another continent but I hadn't got the tech to get there yet. I ended up razing the bad cities, and when it was all said an done I had a core force of 4 longbows, 2GG, and two longswords. I only lost my cat/horseman. Also my happiness recovered quite quickly, and I was at +15, then it evened out to +6 or so, but the whole time I was warring it was very unhappy.

Celevin
Sep 24, 2010, 08:40 PM
This idea is very creative, and probably works. I know that science goes crazy when you have a large empire, and newer units tend to have 50-75% more combat strength than the previous generation, so the 33% penalty isn't big in comparison. I'll have to try it.
The secret to this, from what I've theory'd, is that when you go for all gold to make your units you actually end up with maximizing your science too. If you go out of your way to make more gold, you do it in two ways: trade posts and merchants. Both of these gain +2 science with social policies.

Secondly, the way golden ages are set up is it's easier for smaller empires to obtain them (more happiness), but give bigger benefits to larger empires. However, if you were to make a 30-40 city empire then pop a great person, policy or wonder for a golden age, the effects would be massive.


The big problem in this game is the happiness effects happen at stupid levels. -10 happiness is something that comes and goes SO easily mid to late game with any sizable empire. One deal with one com stops, and all of a sudden you are very unhappy. The reason this happens is because your empire is more volatile the bigger it gets. If I were to redesign it, I would take out the unhappy and very unhappy penalties all together and make it a smoother system. Give -2 production and gold (the production taken away from the largest cities first) for each unhappy face. Taking away the food penalty would actually make people stop growth themselves rather than have the entire damn thing computerized.

Mac2411
Sep 24, 2010, 08:53 PM
Nice strategy, but to me it demonstrates an unbalance in the rules of the game that needs to be fixed. Happiness is a core concept so for one to just be able to ignore it and dominate the game seems inconsistent. The solution is to do as other posters have suggested and drastically increase the penalty for unhappiness once it reaches a certain level.

Krill
Sep 24, 2010, 09:10 PM
You do that and you might as well not bother fixing the game because warfare will have zero point...

_hero_
Sep 24, 2010, 09:22 PM
I agree with OP about France's ability. At first, I worried about building too many cities that would effect me getting policies, but realized that the 30% is wayyyyy over blown.

First, its addictive, so its 30% of the base cost, 5 cities would increase cost by 150%, not 371%. So that last city increases cost from 220% to 250%, an increase of only 13.6%. Second, its not 30% in most games! In my game, on a huge map, it was only 15%. I heard it ranges from 10-30%, so 30% that most people tout is really just for tiny 2 player maps, which no one plays on.

Early on, building cities as France actually INCREASES the rate at which I get policies. Even at 5 cities, my 5th city would increase my culture cost by less than 10%, but boost my culture from +21 to +23, so building it would not affect cost. If I built a monument or something, I would actually gain at the rate I got policies.

This idea is very creative, and probably works. I know that science goes crazy when you have a large empire, and newer units tend to have 50-75% more combat strength than the previous generation, so the 33% penalty isn't big in comparison. I'll have to try it.


This just made me think of something I'll need to test later. Take France. Get this massive, unhappy empire. Build up a TON of culture towards your next SP. Then gift all those cities you took back to the AIs. If it works the way I think it will, you'll keep all the points you've built up, but your SP cost will be cut down dramatically. You might be able to pop out multiple SPs in a turn. Additionally, you're happiness will skyrocket, and your troops will gain back their strength. Time to reload for another war.

Martin Alvito
Sep 24, 2010, 10:12 PM
Half a hammer plus two science seems better than a trading post.

In principle, 1/2 hammer is roughly worth 2 to 2.5 gold. (See the rush buy screen and convert.) In practice, the gold is much better. The upgrade mechanic is horribly broken, and you can buy culture and units for cheap from city-states, then upgrade for cheap.

CorporateGoth
Sep 24, 2010, 11:05 PM
Hrm ... So far I've started out slow with Civ5 (beat it at Chieftain then Warlord, I'm moving to Prince next). I found both levels quite easy, and finished both with domination victories and ended up with Augustus Caesar ratings. Both times I just expanded my empire, annexed most of the cities I took (and puppeted a few). For the majority of the game my happiness was tanked - and while I continually did things to try and correct it, it didn't stop me steamrolling my opponents. But as the OP said, the key was to build an army first that is capable of overpowering at least 2 cities at once, and then just upgrade it as the game went on, and make sure you don't LOSE any.

I played chieftain as Catherine and warlord as Oda (I liked Oda, because of the Bushido bonus - I literally had a unit with 1 HP kill a full strength unit that was only slightly less powerful). In both games my strategy revolved around getting to musketmen/cannons or riflemen/artillery as fast as possible. This meant I ignored most of the tech tree unless it got me closer to those units (with Catherine I did get some techs that allowed for more science output, with Oda I didn't even bother). So in the end, I just had better units than the other guys.

For some reason, money has not been an issue when I've played - I make sure I have plenty of workers around improving land to get me more money, and all my cities are connected via. trade routes (the SP that gives +1 happiness for each connected city is good when you have a bunch of cities ... but nowhere near enough).

By the time I had steamrolled over a few civs, and the last civ (which took me a while to find) was catching up tech military wise (though still behind), my happiness stabilized anyway and so I was only unhappy after I had just annexed a few new cities. Maybe this strat will fall apart on Prince though ;)

I think I only barely (and incidentally) got into the modern era on my Oda game ... I could have stopped research altogether at that point though, I was already halfway through annihilating my last opponent.

mcmpan
Sep 25, 2010, 02:26 AM
Incredible strategy! I like the total focussing.
I'm interested in the score you get after succeeding with this strategy. Do you get a malus score of negative happiness? Do you get a higher score of annexing many cities (vs. razing them)?
Has anybody a score comparison of this as a domination vs. i.e. culture victory.

If you can't get a high score with this strategy, maybe this is the way of balancing the developers implemented. Just an assumption.

Crashed
Sep 25, 2010, 03:13 AM
Tried this on a standard earth map, monarch dificulty, starting in Africa as Babylon.
The grear scientists allowed me to slingshot rifling and by 800 AD only the two civs that started in americahad any cities left.
Imo it takes the fun out of the game, after steamrolling a few civs, i only wanted to start a new game that didn't feel like cheating.

Biz_
Sep 25, 2010, 03:25 AM
focusing on grabbing luxuries isn't ignoring happiness...

TheSorcerer
Sep 25, 2010, 04:52 AM
Now, for sheer irony value, you need to try winning a Cultural victory with this strategy; once you've got a large empire, start churning out more culture buildings. The idea that millenia of unhappiness can lead to Utopia is just too funny to ignore.

Karl Marx would agree :D

shadin
Sep 25, 2010, 06:41 AM
What sad I had the AI do this to me. I had large tech lead most of the game and so I was going a science victory, however as game progress One of the AI just started killing off all opposition. By the time modern times hit, he had 90% of map control and our tech levels were the same. I didnt finish the game, with his massive empire I knew he was gonna out tech me. I was gonna go for the cheesy conquest victory and just sack his capital, but at some point in the game I signed a defensive aggrement with me so I couldnt attack him. Culture was out too because my empire was too big too, about 10 cities. I quit the game and went to bed. Came here this morning for some help and read this thread.

I couldnt figure out how he was dealing with the massive unhappiness. Well now I know, he wasnt. He was generating about 400 gold per turn (from the diplomacy screen). Attached my save if you dont beleive. I just hope I learn form this, next time the AI goes on the war patch, make sure to take him down.

r_rolo1
Sep 25, 2010, 06:55 AM
I wonder what will happen if you try this coupled with getting acess to the Freedom SPs in 900 BC (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=9656319&postcount=16) ... world conquest in 300 AD ? ;)

Celevin
Sep 25, 2010, 08:37 AM
The big part about the strategy, from my angle, is to switch everything to trade posts and grab the Rationalism crucial techs. Ignore production entirely. It's more than just the "last steamroll".

Culture was out too because my empire was too big too, about 10 cities.
This is why I consider France OP. I have 20 cities and still a good policy unlock rate.

WuphonsReach
Sep 26, 2010, 07:14 AM
I couldnt figure out how he was dealing with the massive unhappiness. Well now I know, he wasnt. He was generating about 400 gold per turn (from the diplomacy screen). Attached my save if you dont beleive. I just hope I learn form this, next time the AI goes on the war patch, make sure to take him down.

I've seen this on Prince level in my Large/Fractal map. The Iroquois have probably 3x the number of cities that I do and are rolling in gold (last trade screen was that he had 90 gold/turn available).

The penalties and bonuses for happiness are not balanced. Right now, if you go "unhappy", your cities grow at 1/4 rate. If you go "very unhappy", cities stop growing completely and you get the -33% combat modifier. As shown in this thread, that's nothing more then a mild annoyance and speed bump rather then a real impact.

It needs to be a much larger sliding scale - and possibly percentage based for the cut-off values.

Assuming that you need 100 happiness to break even (so about a 6-7 city empire at a guess):

> +10 = +10% to combat, -5% to support costs, +5% city growth
> +5 = +5% to combat, -2% to support costs, +2% city growth
>= 0 = no bonuses, no negatives
< 0 = -10% to combat, -25% city growth, +5% support costs
< -5 = -20% to combat, -50% city growth, +10% support costs
< -10 = -40% to combat, -100% city growth, +25% support costs
< -15 = -80% to combat, +50% support costs

Or something along those lines. As you go from being short by 5% to being 10% short of what you needed, impact should double. Getting more then 10% under what you need will pretty much halt your expansion and you'll be dead in the water if your happiness deficit is more then 15% of your baseline needs.

But you can still run a slight deficit and not worry. And on bigger empires where your baseline is 200 happiness, you have a bigger margin of error.

Makaz
Sep 26, 2010, 08:12 AM
I agree with the above - Luxury ressources allow you to expand nicely in the beginning without worrying about the rest and build 2 small combat groups that will take over the world.

Once unhappiness starts hitting, you ve a large enough empire to generate enough money and science to sustain upgrading your units and beating everyone in science without having to worry - Just use your 2 combat groups, upgrade them continously, rushbuy if you loose one and win the game.

I think unhappiness should bring a malus not only to production but also to research rate and gold output to make the game balanced. Education and Public Service working on under unhappiness feels somewhat wrong.

Penalties to large empire are just too little so that they become systematicaly absolutely unstoppable. AI also should have a different research mechanism that allow them to keep with a specific research rate no matter their unhappiness or reserarch output.

coe
Sep 26, 2010, 08:43 AM
I'm not sure if this can even be balanced right. If you grip the player too hard on happiness, you end up with more games that go like this:

* 4-6 cities
* couple units to fend of attacks
* 200+ next turns until enough policies are unlocked doing literally nothing

pick a winning condition you want, go to war, go tech or go diplo, etc.

This translates into extremely boring game and we are allready with this system suffering from "next turn" syndrome where nothing happens. This is teh moast winning tactic because AI is incompetent in warfare and declarations mean nothing to your bunkered cities with the generated combat bonus of great generals + "next to another unit" + fortify bonuses, and your artillery units behind it. Simple formation of couple units can stop AI on its tracks.

I always saw and want civ to be a game where you build an empire and its busy. I never liked the civ IV's, get 6 good cities and you can win the game, because there was not that much to do. Granted it was alot better because you had things building and completing all the time, keeping you busy and interested. CIV V core problem in everything is that you need less than 6 good cities to win the game AND nothing happens as buildings take eons to build and you don't want more than your core units -> nothing happens. Next turn, next turn, next turn.

Anyone else noticed the same or am I alone here?

Makaz
Sep 26, 2010, 11:11 AM
Library 7-9 turns, colloseum 11-13 , monument 5, not counting if you are in golden age...

If you get your city in the right places, get the good tiles worked etc... it gets alot smoother and possible to have 15 cities with 15+ happiness

But it is true that the interface especially for allocating tiles is dumb

aryah
Sep 26, 2010, 11:43 AM
sounds as abusive as permanent anarchy was. Perhaps deep unhappyness (eg -20) should cripple your economy too, as well as increase production and warfare debuffs. You got plenty of warning both up to -10 and further to -20 that you should fix your happyness or else, I think it's ok if it just comes down on you as hard as possible next.

EDIT:
Give -2 production and gold (the production taken away from the largest cities first) for each unhappy face.

or something like that, only you should I think have a 'grace' period (or two) where unhappyness is not penalized at all/much . If its totally painless like up to -10 now, then it probably is necessary for the comp to stop growth automatically, for you have no reason to. And even if its not fully painless, its still practical to save micromanagement. Beyond its unnecessary but it makes little sense to remove the penalty, the only possible impact if any is to make a careless player grow himself into a deeper hole.

And maybe it's more elegant to just have an increasing -X % to all production and gold in all cities for unhappy beyond the threshold than divide a global effect (unhappyness) to individual cities as you suggest by some fairly random criteria. Its concievable one would think of exploiting the way city to be penalized is chosen.

Zhahz
Sep 26, 2010, 12:44 PM
All sounds terrible to me.

They did test this game, right? Didn't some civfanatics help test, people who would've discovered this kind of stuff and report it? You would think...

I don't see how this can be considered a viable "strategy" since it's counter to most of the game's design.

I haven't tried this, but I saw an AI doing it yesterday - one AI took out an entire pangea as fast as he could move troops, was making 330+ gold per turn (when I checked, I'm sure it was higher by the end) and had 15k gold sitting. He was also 25 techs ahead of me, but I was doing OCC and last for just about everything.

Conspirator
Sep 26, 2010, 01:00 PM
Well if the AI is using this tactic then surely it isn't something the developers didn't design themselves.

oppy
Sep 26, 2010, 01:37 PM
Has anyone had the problem of the trading posts not producing 2 science? I'm not sure if it's my insane unhappiness or something else. But I'm only ever getting 1 science on trading posts.

coe
Sep 26, 2010, 02:57 PM
Has anyone had the problem of the trading posts not producing 2 science? I'm not sure if it's my insane unhappiness or something else. But I'm only ever getting 1 science on trading posts.

Its a bug in XML file, policy has +2, but xml only +1.

cracked
Sep 26, 2010, 03:42 PM
the happyness system is broken and quite seriously. I would have the penalites and benefits of happyness based on a proportional scale.

Bonus for happyness: +.5% combat strength for all units each happy.
+.25% production for each happy.
A small bonus simply because excess happyness already goes towards golden ages.

Penalty for unhappyness: -1% combat strength for all units for each unhappy.
-.5% food penalty for each unhappy.
+.25% Increase in maintenance costs for each
unhappy.(including unit upkeep + road upkeep.
-.25% decrease in research for each unhappy.

Or something like that.

That way, 1 or 2 unhappy doesn't really affect your empire too much. You could probably still happily operate with 10 unhappy unless you were really big but you'd be able to cope.
But if you end up with a 100 people unhappy (i.e. don't bother managing tour empire) your empire would implode quite quickly. You're units would be ineffective, your people would starve, you'd be bankrupt and research would grind to a halt. Domination would still be possible because you only have to capture the capitals to win. The result would be less inequality between a large and small empire.

aryah
Sep 26, 2010, 04:45 PM
there already is a proportional bonus for happy, it accumulates to a golden age, +gold +prod.

WuphonsReach
Sep 26, 2010, 04:45 PM
Yeah, the bonus for being above zero-level happiness doesn't need to be too big since it will already result in a golden age. Those bonuses should be capped though. Make them linear increases up until you hit +10.

The negative bonuses, on the other hand, need to start out gentle, then increase severely as you get to 10-20 below your requirement. I think those should be percentage based... small maps you only need a total of about +40 happiness to keep your 3 cities running. But on larger maps where you might have 15 cities, you need more like 150-200 happiness. So 10-20 difference is a drop in the bucket (only 5-10%) compared to 25-50% on a small map.

So the big penalties should not occur before -5 (absolute) and any bonuses should stop at +10 (absolute). Anything at or below -5 should be calculated based on the percent deficit, with exponential impact as you decrease below that point (and it should be pretty harsh by the time you hit -20%).

VladDaImpaler
Sep 26, 2010, 05:34 PM
Has anyone ever played Rise of Mankind mod for Civ4? It included something called revolutions mod where if unhappiness was very high, and other demands weren't met (civic policies, religion, nation stability\economy, -happiness for large empires etc) cities would start rebelling against you and even form a new nation. That would be an interesting idea for a future mod that will take care of this and add difficulty to large empires wtf-stomping everyone.
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But staying in vanilla game, they should implement a dark ages event, where if your -happiness generates points towards a dark age (instead of +happiness for golden age) and that's where you'll get huge penalties (allowing that lee-way to improve happiness until a dark age or at least slowdown the rate at which you'll enter a dark age)

alpaca
Sep 26, 2010, 05:44 PM
Yeah I wondered if you could do something like this. Happiness? Who needs happiness? My slaves are supposed to work!

Anyways, I don't really like it that such a strategy is possible. The primary reason it works is because purchasing things is in many cases far too good. I don't think you should be able to buy military units at all because this also unlocks strategies that aim on taking some single city on a foreign shore and simply buying units there every turn once it's out of anarchy.

cracked
Sep 26, 2010, 06:03 PM
Yeah, the bonus for being above zero-level happiness doesn't need to be too big since it will already result in a golden age. Those bonuses should be capped though. Make them linear increases up until you hit +10.

The negative bonuses, on the other hand, need to start out gentle, then increase severely as you get to 10-20 below your requirement. I think those should be percentage based... small maps you only need a total of about +40 happiness to keep your 3 cities running. But on larger maps where you might have 15 cities, you need more like 150-200 happiness. So 10-20 difference is a drop in the bucket (only 5-10%) compared to 25-50% on a small map.

So the big penalties should not occur before -5 (absolute) and any bonuses should stop at +10 (absolute). Anything at or below -5 should be calculated based on the percent deficit, with exponential impact as you decrease below that point (and it should be pretty harsh by the time you hit -20%).

Some clever ideas there. Thing is, if you made the penalties for below -20 unhappynes exponential you would be hammered if you conquered a rival civ with even 3 cities and would have no time to adjust quickly enough. Not too low to make conquering one empire an insurmountable problem, but high enough to ensure you can't go on a roll and simply ignore the unhappyness.

I think the real trick would be to make the penalty also proportional to the number of cities annexed.

So expanding from 5 of your own cities by conquering 5 cities wouldn't harm you too much if you went into unhappyness, it would only be multipleid by 5 and could be offset by courthouses. You'd have the opportunity to deal with the problem and reasonably quickly if you managed the situation well.

But it would really kick in if you then took it from those 10 to 20 too soon. The effect would then be multiplied by 15 (and it would thus appear that the penalties increase exponentially) if you didn't bother dealing with that initial unhappyness by building courthouses or by failing to puppet state them.

assuming each new city would add 15 unhappy (probably a conservative estimate) and you're neutral happyness.

1 city annexed would result in 15 unhappy and a penalty factor of 15. i.e. 1.5%
2 city annexed would result in 30 unahappy but a penalty factor of 60. i.e. 6%
3 city annexed would result in 45 unhappy but a penalty factor of 135. i.e. 13.5%

Once you get to 5 cities you'd end up with 75 unhappy but a penalty factor of 375. 37.5% The 6th a penalty of 54%. the 7th 73.5%. Annexing cities beyond this would quite simple crash your economy.

At which point, you probably wouldn't want to continue expanding until you've sorted the mess out or were going to raise or puppet the cities you took anyway.

This would discourage people form going on a roll by forcing the player to deal with the unhappyness before further aggressive expansion, or limiting the amount that could be gained by annexing (because you can't control what is built) but not from expansion or aggressive expansion in general.

The idea is to punish a lack of management and poor strategic choices, not military and tactical success.

andrewlt
Sep 26, 2010, 06:09 PM
I believe you guys are approaching this backwards. The problem is not that the penalty for happiness is too small. The problem is that the penalty is too much and there are too few things you can do about it. However, the human player knows how to work around it while the AI is afraid to grow their empire and create new cities.

The fix should be some combination of more happiness buildings, more happiness from those buildings, lower production cost and less maintenance for those buildings. The incentive is for both the human player and AI to solve their unhappiness problem by building their happiness buildings, not work around it.

The happiness penalties are also backwards. If Firaxis is trying to combat the ICS problem, this current method is the wrong way to do it. The problem with ICS is people building too many small cities rather than building cities they would grow. The current implementation penalizes population just as harshly as having more cities, so people are afraid to expand at all unless they want to ignore happiness.

Firaxis should increase the penalty of having too many cities while vastly decreasing the population penalty. Combined with making the happiness buildings give more bonuses and have less maintenance, people would be willing to improve their current cities first rather than spam them all over the map. At the same time, it wouldn't scare anybody from expanding or growing their empire at all.

KrikkitTwo
Sep 26, 2010, 06:25 PM
The simplest thing would be to have "extreme unhappiness"-> negative growth, ie under 'extreme unhappiness' food boxes empty at 1 per turn
When totally empty, the city drops in pop by one and the food box is 1/2 refilled.

This way you can end up in Monetary disaster, because your cities depopulate, giving you less gold, and less science. Eventually, your cities contract to all 1 pop and you are in permanent bankruptcy.

aryah
Sep 26, 2010, 06:50 PM
lower production cost and less maintenance for those buildings.more happiness from those buildings, lower production cost and less maintenance for those buildings.

I'm not sure that's a good idea, seems like the new economy system intends for having to create a balance between maintenance and unhappiness and production and growth/science. So each should substantially burden the relevant others.

and higher penalties deeper on would solve the exploit, so..

Celevin
Sep 26, 2010, 06:56 PM
I disagree with any suggestion that has happiness becoming really severe at a certain level. The system is not... continuous. The strategy usually turns into keeping your head *just* above water, which is the problems we're seeing now at 0 happiness.

andrewlt
Sep 26, 2010, 07:39 PM
I'm not sure that's a good idea, seems like the new economy system intends for having to create a balance between maintenance and unhappiness and production and growth/science. So each should substantially burden the relevant others.

and higher penalties deeper on would solve the exploit, so..


The problem is that the amount of happiness buildings really puts a hard cap on the number of cities with large populations you can have in a game. It's just way too limiting.

Ironically, it's actually better to spam a lot of low population cities rather than build up large cities. There are really only 3 happiness buildings in the entire game (colosseum, theatre and stadium) and they only add up to 12 happiness total you can have in any single city. A fourth one, circus, requires either horses or ivory near the city. That means, for the most part, you are basically better off spamming size 12 cities rather than growing any above it.

King Jason
Sep 26, 2010, 08:30 PM
Ironically, it's actually better to spam a lot of low population cities rather than build up large cities. There are really only 3 happiness buildings in the entire game (colosseum, theatre and stadium) and they only add up to 12 happiness total you can have in any single city. A fourth one, circus, requires either horses or ivory near the city. That means, for the most part, you are basically better off spamming size 12 cities rather than growing any above it.

Perhaps it isn't ironic, since in the teens is when we begin to see it take a large amount of time for pop growth. Maybe it's the intent to have many cities floating around pop 10.

Edit: Out of curiosity, I checked a save-file I had; Standard Earth, Standard Speed ~ By turn 280, the largest city in the world is my capital at 16... every other city is floating around 10.

aryah
Sep 26, 2010, 08:52 PM
The problem is that the amount of happiness buildings really puts a hard cap on the number of cities with large populations you can have in a game. It's just way too limiting.

Ironically, it's actually better to spam a lot of low population cities rather than build up large cities. There are really only 3 happiness buildings in the entire game (colosseum, theatre and stadium) and they only add up to 12 happiness total you can have in any single city. A fourth one, circus, requires either horses or ivory near the city. That means, for the most part, you are basically better off spamming size 12 cities rather than growing any above it.

I don't disagree with the unquoted part of your post - I'm not sure, but possibly it would be better to have additional happiness buildings. I'm just skeptical of making happiness any cheaper, hammer wise or gold wise or by buffing existing structures much w/o extra costs.


Perhaps it isn't ironic, since in the teens is when we begin to see it take a large amount of time for pop growth. Maybe it's the intent to have many cities floating around pop 10.


yeah, I wonder what's the point of having such a steep pop growth curve too. I'd like to see that a bit flatter, I think, by itself or by sooner access to hospital-like structures..

WuphonsReach
Sep 26, 2010, 09:54 PM
I believe you guys are approaching this backwards. The problem is not that the penalty for happiness is too small. The problem is that the penalty is too much and there are too few things you can do about it. However, the human player knows how to work around it while the AI is afraid to grow their empire and create new cities.

My view of the problem is varied:

- You can ignore the impact of the unhappy / very unhappy and still succeed. That's very broken. Which is why I think the penalty needs to ramp up drastically the farther you get away from zero-point.

- The impact of unhappiness is extremely sharp-edged. When you are sitting at zero, everything is fine, then you slip into -1 and you get huge nerfs to your city growth and other issues. I want to see that stepped effect smoothed out into an exponential curve as you drop below zero. I think using the minimum of either -3 / -6 / -15 or the greater of -3% / -6% / -15% would probably work. Really, by the time you've hit -15% below what you need, it's probably time to stop and re-consolidate a bit (and you could have easily started the war at 10% above what you'd eventually need).

- Not enough that can be done to fix happiness (especially on larger maps). Can't use luxuries to get out of it because there are only N luxuries that you can possibly get. And there's only N world wonders. Can't build your way out of it, because the buildings are too expensive. So you're stuck waiting, waiting, waiting for a social policy to pop.

- I like the idea that annexed cities give more unhappiness or that it would have some bearing on the calculation - but that already kind of exists.

Pinstar
Sep 26, 2010, 10:14 PM
They do need to stick in a harsher penalty for being in the 'livid' happiness mode. Perhaps -50% gold income (thefts) or random citizens go on strike around you cities (forced into the 'unemployed citizens tab)

Celevin
Sep 26, 2010, 10:17 PM
Alright, let's think it through on how it *should* scale then.

We need to set some goals first. What needs to be brought down if you get low on happiness?
- I will start by arguing food shouldn't be. Food going up causes unhappiness, therefore you don't need it diminishing when happiness goes down. Switching to no food is something the player should manage to stop happiness from going out of line. Really food diminishing is a way of Civ5 to hold your hand by telling you "you shouldn't grow right now, you're just going to make things worse". If a person wants to grow, they should be able to grow.
- Production should be, as we don't want people producing troops in mass numbers in negative happiness
- If production is on the list, then so should gold, as it is another means of production. I "gamed" gold to get by their little roadblock in my original post.
- Obviously the hit to golden ages should be present
- A hit to military power. This is to stop steamrolling, which isn't good for the game

Next, we need to know how we want to implement it. If it's a stepped system (ie how it is now), it is easily brought to the most efficient level by staying just above one of the steps. This is unrealistic, and doesn't feel right at all. Moreover, a system like this doesn't scale equally from large empires to small empires. Therefore, I think a more continuous system (alright, not continuous, but the most small steps we can get) is needed.

Finally, what we need is for this to work well for big empires and small empires. Note that I'm talking about 2 different things. First, it should work for empires with the same population, but different numbers of cities. Secondly, it should work for different numbers of population.

To tackle the first point is easy. A straight up percentage loss on production/gold would work for both. The problem is if you try this, then small population empires will barely suffer. I'll take 1 additional citizen (ie 2 production and 2 gold) for a 1% loss on production/gold if I only have 10 population in total. So we can't use straight percentages.

Instead, think of what 1 unhappiness causes you, and what it also benefits you. Obviously we want 1 more unhappiness to give a net loss: The goal is to punish the player for trying to play with a really unhappy empire. We want the player to want happiness.

Letting the city grow by 1 citizen nets:
- 1 unhappiness
- -2 food
- +production value of a citizen
- -1 golden age point

Therefore we need our "happiness detriment" to be worse than the production value of a citizen - a golden age point - 2 food.

Eyeballing it, I think what we want is probably -2 production and -2 gold per unhappy citizen. We then divide this by the total number of population, and apply it times the number of population of a particular city to that city, for all cities.

For example, say we have an empire of a size 20 city A, and size 10 city B, and the player has 5 unhappiness.
Then the player suffers -10*(20/30) production and gold in city A, and -10*(10/30) production and gold in city B.

pi-r8
Sep 26, 2010, 11:01 PM
hahaha, I love this strategy, and I can't wait to try it. Has anyone tried it with Songhai, yet? I think they'd be even more powerful than France. Use their massive pillage gold to rush buy a mud pyramid mosque (+5 culture, 0 maintenence) in all cities.

Also, why do you think the freedom line is so good for this? The first benefit, lower unhappiness from specialists, is totally useless to you. Lower food for specialists is kind of useful, but you can make up for it easily with city states. The only really good benefit is the extra great people, but I think you'd be better off going for autocracy (lower unit maintence and rush buy cost) or commerce (lower road maintence fee).

andrewlt
Sep 26, 2010, 11:15 PM
Alright, let's think it through on how it *should* scale then.

We need to set some goals first. What needs to be brought down if you get low on happiness?
- I will start by arguing food shouldn't be. Food going up causes unhappiness, therefore you don't need it diminishing when happiness goes down. Switching to no food is something the player should manage to stop happiness from going out of line. Really food diminishing is a way of Civ5 to hold your hand by telling you "you shouldn't grow right now, you're just going to make things worse". If a person wants to grow, they should be able to grow.
- Production should be, as we don't want people producing troops in mass numbers in negative happiness
- If production is on the list, then so should gold, as it is another means of production. I "gamed" gold to get by their little roadblock in my original post.
- Obviously the hit to golden ages should be present
- A hit to military power. This is to stop steamrolling, which isn't good for the game

Next, we need to know how we want to implement it. If it's a stepped system (ie how it is now), it is easily brought to the most efficient level by staying just above one of the steps. This is unrealistic, and doesn't feel right at all. Moreover, a system like this doesn't scale equally from large empires to small empires. Therefore, I think a more continuous system (alright, not continuous, but the most small steps we can get) is needed.

Finally, what we need is for this to work well for big empires and small empires. Note that I'm talking about 2 different things. First, it should work for empires with the same population, but different numbers of cities. Secondly, it should work for different numbers of population.

To tackle the first point is easy. A straight up percentage loss on production/gold would work for both. The problem is if you try this, then small population empires will barely suffer. I'll take 1 additional citizen (ie 2 production and 2 gold) for a 1% loss on production/gold if I only have 10 population in total. So we can't use straight percentages.

Instead, think of what 1 unhappiness causes you, and what it also benefits you. Obviously we want 1 more unhappiness to give a net loss: The goal is to punish the player for trying to play with a really unhappy empire. We want the player to want happiness.

Letting the city grow by 1 citizen nets:
- 1 unhappiness
- -2 food
- +production value of a citizen
- -1 golden age point

Therefore we need our "happiness detriment" to be worse than the production value of a citizen - a golden age point - 2 food.

Eyeballing it, I think what we want is probably -2 production and -2 gold per unhappy citizen. We then divide this by the total number of population, and apply it times the number of population of a particular city to that city, for all cities.

For example, say we have an empire of a size 20 city A, and size 10 city B, and the player has 5 unhappiness.
Then the player suffers -10*(20/30) production and gold in city A, and -10*(10/30) production and gold in city B.


The other side of the coin is, how do we want people to manage happiness? Currently, a size 20 city results in 21 unhappiness (1 city + 20 pop), while two size 10 cities result in 22 unhappiness (2 cities + 20 pop total). However, the two cities can build a colosseum each, resulting in 8 total happiness while the one city can only build one.

That means that late game, I can construct as many size 11 cities as I want (14 with a circus), as long as I can afford the maintenance on the happiness buildings. I get a penalty I need to offset with luxury resources and other stuff if I let any city go past this population.

Shillen
Sep 26, 2010, 11:18 PM
That means that late game, I can construct as many size 11 cities as I want (14 with a circus), as long as I can afford the maintenance on the happiness buildings. I get a penalty I need to offset with luxury resources and other stuff if I let any city go past this population.

Two major drawbacks here. One, it's harder to build those happiness buildings in the smaller city. And two, your social policy costs go through the roof. Sounds balanced to me.

Thyrwyn
Sep 26, 2010, 11:24 PM
If this proves to be a problem, and it very well may, I would argue that the problem is that the cost of new technologies do not scale with #cities. Without a tech lead/advantage, that -33% combat penalty will become much more relevant.

andrewlt
Sep 26, 2010, 11:49 PM
If this proves to be a problem, and it very well may, I would argue that the problem is that the cost of new technologies do not scale with #cities. Without a tech lead/advantage, that -33% combat penalty will become much more relevant.

Why would you want the cost of new technologies to scale with # of cities? Not everybody enjoys playing using a 1 city challenge. Firaxis has been trying desperately since Civ 3 to weaken large empires and people keep finding ways around it.

Firaxis should just face the facts that most people play Civ to build large empires and start conquering things, not survive until end of game with their 3 cities with all the other AI factions still intact. Most people want to build lots of huge size cities to cover the map with and they should just stop trying to cater to the minority who want their small 3 city civ to break even with a 50 city juggernaut.

Every single game from Civ 3 - Civ 5 has the developers trying to reduce city spam and limiting population growth in cities. And in every single game, the dominant strategy quickly became the loophole that allowed players to do just exactly that. It's time for the devs to just quit that pointless endeavor and design a Civ around a mass land grab.

WuphonsReach
Sep 27, 2010, 12:00 AM
I'm not sure that additional cities should give -happiness.

Other thoughts:

- What if you get a happiness bonus for having other allied cities within 8 tiles? Say +3 per friendly allied city (annex, original). Plus another 3 for being near the capital. Plus 1 for every puppet state within 8 tiles? Minus 2 for every enemy city within reach? Minus 1 for every enemy unit within the inner ring? (some pie in the sky ideas there)

- Agree that the function needs to be smooth and not stepped. Especially not stepped to the degree that it is now.

- Linear impact probably won't be enough to curb abuse. The question will be do you go with y=x^a or y=a^x and what values do you use for a. Assuming that "x" is the percentage below optimal happiness.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Exponential.svg

Personally, I lean towards y=a^x, where x is the number of points below optimal happiness. An "a" of about 2 works well to start. It ramps up quickly, but by changing the "a" term you can control how fast it ramps up. If that ramps up too fast, use y=x^a where "a" is something between 2 and 3.

aryah
Sep 27, 2010, 12:47 AM
Currently, a size 20 city results in 21 unhappiness (1 city + 20 pop), while two size 10 cities result in 22 unhappiness (2 cities + 20 pop total).

this must depend on some game setting (maybe time/mapsize ,but its not due to difficulty) for I saw both, but on some at least, i think default/normal ones , its 2 city 1 pop.

I get a penalty I need to offset with luxury resources and other stuff if I let any city go past this population.
good point, and moreover, given how progressively more difficult it becomes growing the population anyway, good luck getting it go much past anyway.
But this sounds familiar - didn't CivII have aqueducts, sewage systems and just gave a hard cap on how large a city can be w/o them?


Not everybody enjoys playing using a 1 city challenge. ... It's time for the devs to just quit that pointless endeavor and design a Civ around a mass land grab.

I think your argument is incoherent - are you saying that it would work, hence everybody would be forced to play 1cc, or that it cannot work, hence pointless?

ciV_Loki
Sep 27, 2010, 01:04 AM
I watched a live stream of this guy trying this strat today with Napoleon on a huge earth map, emperor difficulty. It seems to be working as he's taken over most of asia so far. But the big thing he's having issues with is that once you're that unhappy your cities don't grow at ALL. so all the cities he's conquering stay at like.. 1 or 2 or 3 pop permanently.

Still there isn't much of a penalty for taking them once your happiness is already -30 and slowly but surely those 1 and 2 pop cities are adding up. He already seems to have a bit of a tech lead too over his continent. Second place in the score (with someone having double his score probably in America).

You can watch the videos in his archives here - - -> www.justin.tv/gilded_gaming

He's been playing on there live like 12 hours a day since the game came out.

muxec
Sep 27, 2010, 01:30 AM
Courthouse takes a long time to build, even more with -50% production and costs 5 gold to maintain. And having extra fully controlled city as compared to puppet is not beneficial. Controlled cities contribute to social policy costs and effective costs of national wonders. -50% production is a bonus rather than penalty as your puppet cities take more time to build useless buildings.

Souchirou
Sep 27, 2010, 03:41 AM
But if you're making 500+ gold per turn how hard is it to rush-buy other money earning buildings in every city?

I had a game I was using a similar tactic and had about half the world (50+ cities?) on a huge map with max AI's in golden ages I was making around 1400 gold/turn I would simply rush-buy banks/markets in every city then rush-buy buildings that give happiness and you can easily get your happiness back in the + and because of the research advantage you already have you should have tanks when others still run around with spears/gunpowder units.

Especially once you have banks etc in every city money comes in so fast theres nothing that can stop you and soon EVERY city will have every building means happiness in the +, gold over 1000+ a turn (without GA), 600+ research...

Managed it on king.

cracked
Sep 27, 2010, 04:29 AM
I believe you guys are approaching this backwards. The problem is not that the penalty for happiness is too small. The problem is that the penalty is too much and there are too few things you can do about it. However, the human player knows how to work around it while the AI is afraid to grow their empire and create new cities.

The fix should be some combination of more happiness buildings, more happiness from those buildings, lower production cost and less maintenance for those buildings. The incentive is for both the human player and AI to solve their unhappiness problem by building their happiness buildings, not work around it.

The happiness penalties are also backwards. If Firaxis is trying to combat the ICS problem, this current method is the wrong way to do it. The problem with ICS is people building too many small cities rather than building cities they would grow. The current implementation penalizes population just as harshly as having more cities, so people are afraid to expand at all unless they want to ignore happiness.

Firaxis should increase the penalty of having too many cities while vastly decreasing the population penalty. Combined with making the happiness buildings give more bonuses and have less maintenance, people would be willing to improve their current cities first rather than spam them all over the map. At the same time, it wouldn't scare anybody from expanding or growing their empire at all.

The problem is that the penalty is sat at a maximum of 10 unhappy. This essentially means that 10 unhappy people has the same penalty value as a 100 unhappy people. Thus, what deterrent to not just go on a roll? What encouragement is there to keep people happy, especially as building's have a high maintenance cost.

cracked
Sep 27, 2010, 04:46 AM
For what it's worth, I'm not against people having large empires. The penelty I suggested would compound with annexed cities, to make it too difficult to go on a roll. Thus it would slow down the rate of conquest by forcing players to manage their empires effectively.

If you're getting +500 gold per turn, you wouldn't have that much of a problem. BUT, if you're getting that, you're obviously doing something right.

I'm not saying it should be impossible for people to gain massive territories through conquest. Just more difficult than it currently appears to be because an aspect of the game, designed to penalise poor management, actually encourages it. what the emergence of this tactic says is that if you get 30 unhappy, your better of ignoring it and going on a roll.

Cyberian
Sep 27, 2010, 04:49 AM
Edit: Out of curiosity, I checked a save-file I had; Standard Earth, Standard Speed ~ By turn 280, the largest city in the world is my capital at 16... every other city is floating around 10.

I am currently in a game where I got a Size 25 capital on turn 275 Large Earth, Standard Speed Immortal Difficulty.

The growth was possible by doing early maritime city states combined with early farms river tiles and Civil Service.

Be aware that the city creates only 20 Unhappiness though as specialists only generate half happiness and you are usually able to work 10 Specs at that size.

Playing Egypt helped me with happiness alot cause the burial tomb is +2 happy without maintenance. ATM I have 7 other cities all Size 10+ (mainly capitals).

But on the other hand I agree of course that the France early expansion technique maybe combined with later "Unhappy Warfare" is the best strategy and all games will be won way before even reaching that late a turn.

coe
Sep 27, 2010, 05:39 AM
Why would you want the cost of new technologies to scale with # of cities? Not everybody enjoys playing using a 1 city challenge. Firaxis has been trying desperately since Civ 3 to weaken large empires and people keep finding ways around it.

Firaxis should just face the facts that most people play Civ to build large empires and start conquering things, not survive until end of game with their 3 cities with all the other AI factions still intact. Most people want to build lots of huge size cities to cover the map with and they should just stop trying to cater to the minority who want their small 3 city civ to break even with a 50 city juggernaut.

Every single game from Civ 3 - Civ 5 has the developers trying to reduce city spam and limiting population growth in cities. And in every single game, the dominant strategy quickly became the loophole that allowed players to do just exactly that. It's time for the devs to just quit that pointless endeavor and design a Civ around a mass land grab.

This is pretty much how I feel too. Eventually they will try to balance all of this and still players will end up figuring out that best way to win the game is massive land grab.

I personally never understood the 3-6 city plays until the end. They are more about pressing next turn dozens and dozens of time while nothing happens instead of fun, and fun is most important part of any gaming experience.

Makaz
Sep 27, 2010, 08:25 AM
Perhaps it isn't ironic, since in the teens is when we begin to see it take a large amount of time for pop growth. Maybe it's the intent to have many cities floating around pop 10.

Edit: Out of curiosity, I checked a save-file I had; Standard Earth, Standard Speed ~ By turn 280, the largest city in the world is my capital at 16... every other city is floating around 10.

What is wrong with that ?

I think we all tend to compare to Civ IV which was unrealistic in some cases.

Do you know a lot of cities which had 10M + inhabitants in 100 AD or even 1800 AD ? Always made me feel strange to see some cities with 17+ pop in 100 AD in Civ IV

I think the growth rate of cities is finally adapted to what it really should be and I am glad of it. What isn't, is that unhappy people = people still produce at the same rate gold, while it should bring in a kind of "corruption factor" where under unhappiness, civilians tend to steal some gold out of the treasury (meaning unhappiness = reduced gold outup). Rest is fine !

Celevin
Sep 27, 2010, 08:28 AM
Also, why do you think the freedom line is so good for this? The first benefit, lower unhappiness from specialists, is totally useless to you. Lower food for specialists is kind of useful, but you can make up for it easily with city states. The only really good benefit is the extra great people, but I think you'd be better off going for autocracy (lower unit maintence and rush buy cost) or commerce (lower road maintence fee).
Sorry, I meant Rationalism. Most of your cities will be on trade posts and specialists. Since they won't be that big, 1-2 maritime city states will give enough food to make this really easy to maintain.

You'll be getting much much more than 500 gpt with this strat. I was managing over 500 in Renaissance era on Epic. That means out of my best military academy + heroic epic city (yes, I still managed heroic) I was making a unit every second turn. In the late game this would turn into a tank every turn due to certain policies. I also easily had top science.

If I wanted to break this even more, I didn't need to conquer the world. I could have just sold all my cities, then spent all my culture, and built the Utopia pretty damn early.

The risk/reward system of a big empire is pretty damn broken.

franklin01
Sep 27, 2010, 12:23 PM
Sounds very good, but let's try to make thing clear...

Step 1, start (3000BC):

Use your scout/warrior to explore surroundings.

Settle your first city near/on luxury goods tile.
(it seems that if you build a city on a luxury good tile, you still get goods without improvements as long as you have the tech, cf thread in the forum)

Step 2:

Explore and hunt ruins with your scout/warriors.

Build Scout -> Worker -> Warrior -> Settler -> Settler -> Monument
(use scout to hunt, you can skip warrior if you dont play with barbarians enable)

Worker will build improvement (dont use automated workers...) go for luxury first, and farm after.

Step 3:

Sell luxury goods for 300 in early turns, and ally with a City state (maritime if possible)
(Selling goods to ally with city state is useful as you ll gain food/ressource + luxury goods from it)

Build 2 more cities and build Worker -> Monument -> Archer in both cities.

Step 4:

Keep selling goods for money.

Build Farm/Trading posts on every tiles
(start with farms as we need to pump up the population and then max gold)

Kill you scouts/warrior
(since you discovered you whole continent there is no needs for scout and you got archer or better units so warriors arent needed anymore. If there are some barbarians left or ennemies near, keep them, otherwise sell them, it costs money...)

Step 5:

Once your cities got enough population (around 10) start the Phase II, rule the world.

Use workers to change un-needed farms to trading posts and keep pumping trading posts.

Build/Buy advanced units (swordman/horseman, catapults)
(your tech should be above every other players)

Start annexing every cities on your continent.
(Dont use puppet)

Build monument and pump trading posts in every cities you got.

[need to be edited but sounds to be a good start]

Note:
Dont let your units die, retreat and heal.
You can rush-buy a settler in step 2 (like in chineese strategy) but allying with a city state sounds more useful IMO.


Feel free to comment/edit to make this strat better.

Celevin
Sep 27, 2010, 12:38 PM
Just to be clear, I made this post to point out the obvious flaw in the game and to try and fix it, not to make a strat out of it. After once I have never went back to playing like this. As King Jason said, "Celevin's posts are rife with sarcasm".


As a side note: I have a list in a word document of every thing that I think is broken and needs fixing in the game, and how to fix it. The more controversial items are the ones I make posts out of, trying to show exactly how to exploit it. I also list what I think the Civ tiers are, and am trying to think of ways to balance them. When I get more free time, and after we see how Firaxis approaches the current problems, I'm thinking of designing a mod to fix and rebalance these problems.

Common Sensei
Sep 27, 2010, 01:15 PM
As a side note: I have a list in a word document of every thing that I think is broken and needs fixing in the game, and how to fix it. The more controversial items are the ones I make posts out of, trying to show exactly how to exploit it. I also list what I think the Civ tiers are, and am trying to think of ways to balance them. When I get more free time, and after we see how Firaxis approaches the current problems, I'm thinking of designing a mod to fix and rebalance these problems.

I'd be pretty interested in seeing your take on the why some civs are weaker and stronger and what might be done to balance.

Quayleman
Sep 27, 2010, 01:18 PM
Celevin's posts have demonstrated the first actually broken elements of the game that I've seen on these forums. Everyone else just gripes about crappy AI and hidden diplomacy. He's actually suggesting useful fixes that sound workable.

I had to break from my lurker status to say that I wholeheartedly support his attempts to improve the game. Problems aside, I love this game. With some tweaks, albeit major ones, it could be the best Civ yet.

UncleJJ
Sep 27, 2010, 02:45 PM
It seems to me this problem could be fixed fairly easily and in a way that would strongly deter playing with negative happy for long periods.

Tie research and cultural outputs to how unhappy your people are. Say 2% penalty for each unhappy, so with 6 unhappy you'd get a 12% reduction in total beakers per turn and a 12% reduction in culture added to SPs.

Once unhappiness reached a certain point (say -40), your army and navy will be ejected from enemy controlled tiles and refuse to attack any units except in friendly territory.

At -50 happiness or worse you'd get zero research and culture and not be able to attack anyone. In other words you'd have no way to win, until you fix the happiness, except perhaps a Time Victory :lol:

Dix Cheney
Sep 27, 2010, 03:25 PM
What you lose
- NO city growth
- NO golden ages from happiness
- Half production
- Penalty to combat

What you gain
- A LOT of gold off selling luxuries
- More gold from production
- Cities switching from growth to more useful tiles, like merchants and trade posts
- No maintenance from happiness buildings and previously needed workshops
- No maintenance happens from marketplaces or any other key buildings
- Benefits of currency modifiers over production modifiers
- More specialized policies
- No caring to stop the war machine, and thus a much larger empire
- Gobs and gobs of great generals and other specialists to use for golden ages (+1 commerce per tile in a massive empire!)
- The highest science you'll ever see

I'm just curious, would this work in a multiplayer game?

You can't "sell off" your luxury resources so easily if 2 of the players are humans trying to win, and you are conquering the AI players.

Plus you won't be able to conquer such large swaths of territory without a human deciding you are getting too crazy, and attacking much smarter than the AI.

Spatzimaus
Sep 27, 2010, 03:35 PM
Eyeballing it, I think what we want is probably -2 production and -2 gold per unhappy citizen. We then divide this by the total number of population, and apply it times the number of population of a particular city to that city, for all cities.

While I like the general idea of having this sort of dynamic penalty, I do think it'd be a bit too tough to mod in. A more discrete numbering might work better in practice; besides being easier to code, it'd be less abuseable. (A late-game city with tons of production and gold might be able to live with the sort of penalty you're proposing. I want to see something that completely shuts them down regardless of size.)

Very Unhappy (-10): as current, massive growth penalty and -33% military
Rioting (-20): cities cannot produce buildings (but can make units at half the normal speed) and do not grow, -50% military, -50% research. Only the capital can purchase buildings.
Revolting (-30): -10 food to all cities (meaning they'll shrink as people abandon your empire), cities cannot produce or purchase anything, -66% military, -100% research. (Easy way to do some of this: put the city into the revolt mode you get when you annex a new city.)
Apocalypse (-50): in addition to the above, all cities go into "Raze" mode, losing 1 population per turn (which should quickly free up some happiness). If you hit this, you've done something REALLY wrong.

That should be enough by itself to prevent the sort of abuses you discussed in the original post, without needing any kind of complex math. Just a couple additional thresholds, something a normal player should never reach.

Dix Cheney
Sep 27, 2010, 04:12 PM
Just a couple additional thresholds, something a normal player should never reach.

Even with those thresholds you can still do this strategy, just buy a few happiness structures, keep a couple luxuries, throw in one SP and you can keep your head above water. That point might be -20 or whatever it is under your paradigm, but it won't stop this general approach.

A better threshold would be time-based, i.e. after 10 turns of -20 (whatever), penalties kick in, another 10 and the penalties scale. Increasing happiness scales this backward, gradually. This would totally kill the notion of unending unhappiness.

Corbeau
Sep 27, 2010, 04:26 PM
Even with those thresholds you can still do this strategy, just buy a few happiness structures, keep a couple luxuries, throw in one SP and you can keep your head above water. That point might be -20 or whatever it is under your paradigm, but it won't stop this general approach.

A better threshold would be time-based, i.e. after 10 turns of -20 (whatever), penalties kick in, another 10 and the penalties scale. Increasing happiness scales this backward, gradually. This would totally kill the notion of unending unhappiness.

Use the Golden Age timer, but allow it to go into negatives and create negative golden ages (anarchy?) of increasing duration that basically paralyze the state completely. Logical, and an impermeable barrier to someone trying to game the system indefinitely.

SeptimusOctopus
Sep 27, 2010, 04:34 PM
Use the Golden Age timer, but allow it to go into negatives and create negative golden ages (anarchy?) of increasing duration that basically paralyze the state completely. Logical, and an impermeable barrier to someone trying to game the system indefinitely.

Yeah, someone previously in this thread (Vlad at post #50) mentioned using the golden age timer to generate dark ages. I think that would be an awesome way to fix this rather huge problem. It might be cool if their length were increased with each instance, sort of as a mirror to the golden ages' duration decreasing with each instance.

cracked
Sep 27, 2010, 05:20 PM
Use the Golden Age timer, but allow it to go into negatives and create negative golden ages (anarchy?) of increasing duration that basically paralyze the state completely. Logical, and an impermeable barrier to someone trying to game the system indefinitely.

That would work quite nicely. It would also give players time do something about it. Having it based upon a similar premise to golden ages would do the trick.

Every tile producing 1 hammer or more will produce 1 less hammer.
Every tile producing 1 gold or more will produce 1 less gold.
A penalty for units as well?

Start off with the first occuring at an accumulation of 1000. Then decrease for each successive Dark Age (the lowest at 100), with the length increasing (the longest at 17 turns). As running a deficit leads to penalties towards technology this would slow up players who don't bother trying to manage their cities.

Celevin
Sep 27, 2010, 06:46 PM
I'd be pretty interested in seeing your take on the why some civs are weaker and stronger and what might be done to balance.
Here it is... You can count on France being on its own tier above the others, it just looks weird if I list it like that though.

Tier 1
France, Babylon, India
Tier 2
Arabia, China, Greece, Japan, Siam, Romans
Tier 3
Aztecs, America, Egypt, English, Iroquois, Persia, Russia, Songhai
Tier 4
Germany, Ottomans

Keep in mind 2 things:
1) Don't argue if "x isn't 3, it's tier 2" because one tier difference isn't big at all
2) Yeah yeah, I don't think much of Germany / Ottomans

It's really interesting to see how the tiers change with a few of the changes I've been snarky about lately. They really even out.

RobAnybody
Sep 27, 2010, 07:09 PM
If you decrease production AND gold/rushbuy with unhappiness, how do expect anyone to become happy again?

Barring trading for more resources, which would presumably have already been done as much as possible before hitting that point, if you make it so the player can't build anything & can't buy anything, they're just going to be stuck being unhappy forever, especially if the unhappiness was caused by a large empire (so they may never get another SP).

Of course, there is a "hard cap" to the number of cities you can have. If you have 69+ cities, your game will crash & your save file will become corrupt, so there's that for a solution. :)

Celevin
Sep 27, 2010, 07:14 PM
You can always starve your people / take out a com loan / sell cities.

feelotraveller
Sep 27, 2010, 09:20 PM
...
2) Yeah yeah, I don't think much of Germany ...


Off topic: neither do I. However this is the civ which will produce the quickest conquests.

On topic: I think the way to deal with the mega unhappiness strategy is to create a 3rd threshold, -30?, which causes rioting=-1 pop in each city per turn.

Celevin
Sep 27, 2010, 10:21 PM
I disagree with new thresholds, Civ4's system was clean because it gave a penalty per-unhappiness. By the same manner, Civ5 should have a penalty per unhappy citizen.

Common Sensei
Sep 27, 2010, 10:35 PM
Here it is... You can count on France being on its own tier above the others, it just looks weird if I list it like that though.

Tier 1
France, Babylon, India
Tier 2
Arabia, China, Greece, Japan, Siam, Romans
Tier 3
Aztecs, America, Egypt, English, Iroquois, Persia, Russia, Songhai
Tier 4
Germany, Ottomans

Keep in mind 2 things:
1) Don't argue if "x isn't 3, it's tier 2" because one tier difference isn't big at all
2) Yeah yeah, I don't think much of Germany / Ottomans

It's really interesting to see how the tiers change with a few of the changes I've been snarky about lately. They really even out.

I'm not too surprised by the tiers. They make sense to me. Were you planning to post your potential tweaks or holding off until you have time to mod?

Bibor
Sep 27, 2010, 10:39 PM
I'm just playing a conquest game and I can say that this strategy is probably valid, but not the ONLY way to go. Actually, I find it easier doing it the happiness way.

Celevin
Sep 27, 2010, 10:42 PM
I'm not too surprised by the tiers. They make sense to me. Were you planning to post your potential tweaks or holding off until you have time to mod?
I think I'll post them when I think they're bulletproof... I'm constantly altering them.

I just finished 2 back to back compact Masters degrees, moving, and am looking for a job, so I'm out of time. Luckily we can't even start modding until the SDK is released. Also, I haven't modded any Civ games before. I've got c++ experience and VBA exposure, but I think it would take me a long long time to get going.

I've got a lot more ideas on how to fix the game and make it better, which I'm recording, but it's going to take me a long time to implement them. Plus I need to wait for two things first:
1) The game's too young, and any imbalances I see might just be me being a newbie at it still. The game needs time to ripen. That's half the reason I post so much, I like it when people either prove me wrong or reinforce my ideas.
2) We need to wait for Firaxis to make the first move in patching things up. Otherwise I might be redundant, and make a mod that's obsoleted the week after it comes out. I'd rather wait until they get all their ducks in a row.

If I started to make a game fixing / balancing mod, I'd need help.

feelotraveller
Sep 27, 2010, 10:51 PM
I disagree with new thresholds, Civ4's system was clean because it gave a penalty per-unhappiness. By the same manner, Civ5 should have a penalty per unhappy citizen.

Ah..., I'm, as yet, undecided on this.

My suggestion is an easy to implement (simple patch rather extensive mod) fix for the mega unhappiness strategy.

(It is another question whether it is needed at all. If mega unhappiness is not OP or it was forseen then no fix is needed.)

es4
Sep 28, 2010, 12:09 AM
You keep saying the AI does the "ignore happiness" strategy, but do you have any evidence for that? At least on King difficulty, when the AI gets huge it still has a lead in the "People that smile the most" category and on demographics, there seem to be a bunch of happiness bonuses they get.

As it is right now, the game generally encourages REX; with the right social policies the marginal cost of a new city is 0 and you get the city center for free. If you are an invader, you get puppet states that are also very cheap happiness-wise (and the production difference doesn't matter that much to the AI).

Niniux
Sep 28, 2010, 04:20 AM
I think the best and most fun way to deal withthe imbalance is to combine both the dark age idea and a revolution mechanic. I really think global happiness lends itself really well to revolution.

KrikkitTwo
Sep 28, 2010, 09:13 AM
Well currntly, low hapiness causes your empire to stop growing in 2 ways
1. no more city growth
2. no more settlers (so no new cities)

It Weakens the ability to take new cities but doesn't remove it.

Perhaps if it removed the ability to Annex cities then the strategy wouldn't work.


The way I would do it.

Revise the way golden ages work, so that the "Happiness Bucket" is more like experience... ie you don't lose the experience/happiness when a promotion/Golden Age is triggered, it just raises the threshold for the next one.

Then
+Happiness (like it is now)
-Happiness (like it is now)
-Happiness Bucket=Current "Very Unhappy" Penalties... With Dark Ages (at every ~1000)
A Dark Age would mean all cities with pop >1 lose 1 population.

r_rolo1
Sep 28, 2010, 09:31 AM
Don't expect "dark ages" in a game so designed to "feel good" ;)

It would defintely be a good mechanic, though.

KrikkitTwo
Sep 28, 2010, 09:39 AM
A simpler mechanic would be disallowing Annexing when you are "very unhappy"

So your 'controlled population' can't grow. (you can only add puppet states)

To make it a more severe penalty, have the 50% production penalty apply to science as well as production.

r_rolo1
Sep 28, 2010, 10:30 AM
A simpler mechanic would be disallowing Annexing when you are "very unhappy"

So your 'controlled population' can't grow. (you can only add puppet states)
As long as you are careful enough to keep your military stable in numbers this is not enough to stop you. Worse, puppets still add to your gold, research and culture points ( even worse in here, because SP culture costs are calculated with base on the cities you control, with exclusion of puppets ) ...
To make it a more severe penalty, have the 50% production penalty apply to science as well as production.
Now you're on to something :D If you add increased $rush penalties, it gets more like it ;)

Conspirator
Sep 28, 2010, 10:46 AM
What I don't understand is why bother actually Annexing cities. Just make Puppets and only Annex the high production cities when happiness allows. You can have near continuos warfare, never going into unhappiness or effecting your social policy progression. What's the point in being in unhappiness and behind culturally when there is a perfectly good alternative: puppets.

Sure they suck up gold by building stuff. So what? Usually they build useful buildings that you would have wanted anyway, and the amount of gold, science and culture they provide surely negates any expenses that might occur with their liberal building habits. In fact this is probably the reason why we can't delete buildings or direct puppet city production, otherwise they would be just too powerful. I think they're ridiculously powerful already, and all this talk about how they suck up gold just isn't true, a puppet provides more gold than it drains.

KrikkitTwo
Sep 28, 2010, 12:50 PM
Well

1. The puppet can also drain resources (Coal, Aluminum, and Uranium)
2. The gold provided is Not necessarily worth it

Also the puppets Do affect happiness., just not as much as annexed.


For a truly good 'penalty'

No Growth, Building Settlers, -33% combat, -50% Production

ADD
Conquered Cities stay in resistance.... conquered cities stay in resistance until you have reached 'slightly unhappy' (I don't think resisting cities contribute to your unhappiness do they?)

So if you are Very unhappy, your "productive population" cannot increase.... at all. (no city growth, and no new 'productive' cities)

and also if you a "Very Unhappy" your unhappiness cannot increase... at all (no new pop, and no new 'productive' cities)



Note: r-rolos was probably in response to me saying the -50% production should apply to science, culture, and GPP as well (which would also be good, but I edited out, in favor of a more stabilizing concept.

r_rolo1
Sep 28, 2010, 01:05 PM
Like it ;) Add a $rush penatly and you get my vote ( to avoid some exploit around $rushing units solely instead of making some of them. )

WuphonsReach
Sep 28, 2010, 01:14 PM
1) The game's too young, and any imbalances I see might just be me being a newbie at it still. The game needs time to ripen. That's half the reason I post so much, I like it when people either prove me wrong or reinforce my ideas.

Same reason that I post my thoughts in the balance-oriented threads. Because a month from now, when I know the mechanics inside and out, I may not remember what was opaque to me at the start.

So I try to record early frustrations where things aren't clear or aren't balanced or just simply aren't fun because your only choice on a given turn is to put everything to sleep and hit "next turn" a few times.

Spatzimaus
Sep 28, 2010, 02:00 PM
If you decrease production AND gold/rushbuy with unhappiness, how do expect anyone to become happy again?

Glad you asked.

1> Take an SP that adds to happiness (there are several)
2> Connect to a new luxury resource (or reestablish your connection to a pillaged/blockaded one)
3> Trade for a new luxury resource, either from another player or by making a city-state happy (which you can do through gifts of units or gold, neither of which is affected by this penalty).
4> Starve a city down so that it has less population, and hence less unhappiness. Obviously this won't help much, but every little bit helps.
5> Raze a recently-conquered city. Or, if you're already in the process of razing one, wait for it to finish dying.
6> Build a +happy building. Decreased production doesn't mean NO production. While this'd take a long time, a smart player would have started building one BEFORE he approached these thresholds.

See, the question really becomes, what exactly did you do to get to that horrible unhappiness level? Did someone pillage a luxury? Did they blockade your Whales? Did all of your cities grow at once? Did you go on a massive conquering spree without thinking about the unhappiness (the point of this thread)? Most of these are either temporary or fixable.

Also, it'll depend on which civ you are. Egypt, for instance, has a HUGE advantage (which is why I'd move it up from "tier 3" in Celevin's list): the Burial Tomb (replaces Temple) adds +2 happy and +2 culture, with no upkeep. Fantastic UB. The result is that even from the early eras, Egypt has far more happiness to work with than other civs. (Persia's Satrap Court is even better at +4 happy on a Bank, but it's a later-game building and can't be cheaply rushed.)

Martin Alvito
Sep 28, 2010, 02:30 PM
Egypt is going to graduate to the top tier if there is a serious Happiness rework.

If there is such a rework, then Happiness needs to affect all aspects of your empire. The exploit functions by maximizing the dimensions that Happiness does not affect - Culture, Gold and Science. This compensates for the growth and combat drawbacks of unhappiness.

You do that and you might as well not bother fixing the game because warfare will have zero point...

Wrong. The nature of warfare will change...perhaps undesirably. Players will invade, raze and resettle wherever feasible, since they can quickly regrow indigenous population with huge Maritime-fueled Food buckets. Only Wonders and capitals will be preserved.

It also might be worthwhile to reduce the costs and maintenance of Happiness buildings, and perhaps even modestly buff the effects, in order to enhance the desirability of capturing new territory. Players like to have huge empires.

KrikkitTwo
Sep 28, 2010, 02:46 PM
Egypt is going to graduate to the top tier if there is a serious Happiness rework.

If there is such a rework, then Happiness needs to affect all aspects of your empire. The exploit functions by maximizing the dimensions that Happiness does not affect - Culture, Gold and Science. This compensates for the growth and combat drawbacks of unhappiness.
.
Well if it Trully stopped ALL growth (Conquered cities did not move out of resistance) then it would be viable... once you hit "Very Unhappy" your empire would not get More productive.

ie the only point to taking cities would then be
1. Denial
2. Resource Access


Wrong. The nature of warfare will change...perhaps undesirably. Players will invade, raze and resettle wherever feasible, since they can quickly regrow indigenous population with huge Maritime-fueled Food buckets. Only Wonders and capitals will be preserved.
Well Maritime needs to be fixed... too big of a benefit for large empires. (the food benefit should be fixed....like the culture benefit, +10 food for your empire... distributed equally, with the Capital taking the first 2 chunks.... biggest cities first)

and as you mentioned, a benefit to razing. Large cities should not be worth Razing. (although if you Don't want the populationof the large cities, just the territory, then raze+resettle should work, because you can found a city, stop growth and rush culture/buy tiles)

Also... cities being razed should have 0 production (hammers, culture, gold, science, GPP), and no ability to rush/defend themselves.

Martin Alvito
Sep 28, 2010, 02:53 PM
Well Maritime needs to be fixed...

This, and Food buildings need to not suck by comparison. Even at a 10 Food cap per ally, you'd still take the ally first.

Spatzimaus
Sep 28, 2010, 03:46 PM
This, and Food buildings need to not suck by comparison.

One of the first things I plan on modding is the Granary. Remove the +2 food, and change it back to a toned-down version of its old effect: keep 25% of the food when you gain a new citizen. (The Hospital would be reduced to a stacking 25%, but I'm giving it the +2 food instead to compensate.) This is the biggest problem with these buldings; depending on your particular food resources (especially fish) and nearby city-states, you can get a tremendous amount of surplus food early on. In fact, you'll quickly outgrow your happiness limits if you're not careful, so the last thing we want is a flat +food bonus. Instead, it needs to be something that's still useful in later eras.

I realized part of the problem with happiness last night, as I was planning out a future-tech mod (three eras, ~45 techs) based on the old Alpha Centauri tech tree:
There is no tunability.
In earlier games, there would either be some sort of happiness specialist citizen, or a slider that would allow you to reduce income/research to gain happiness. So when unhappiness started to get a bit out of control, you could compensate for it temporarily without having to build a permanent structure.
Civ 5 doesn't have that. When unhappiness starts to get bad, you have to take what should be considered extreme actions. This makes the sort of strategy mentioned in the OP more likely; since it'd be so hard to pull out of the spiral, why bother?

So, one of my dream changes for my mod will be unlocking the Empath specialist in one of the first techs of the next era. An empath specialist would, simply, add +1 happiness. (Plus whatever other production and research bonuses your SPs and wonders give to all specialists.) Also, if possible, each should give 5 "great empath" GPPs, which'd lead to the Great Empath leader: can create a Monolith terrain improvement (when worked, +2 happy but no other tile bonuses), or can "Peace Bomb" (immediately ends all wars you're in and give a massive bonus to all diplomacy ratings).
It'd be easy enough to create a "Great Entertainer" to do something like this without needing a future setting, but that might overlap a bit too much with the Great Artist.

KrikkitTwo
Sep 28, 2010, 05:43 PM
I realized part of the problem with happiness last night, as I was planning out a future-tech mod (three eras, ~45 techs) based on the old Alpha Centauri tech tree:
There is no tunability.
In earlier games, there would either be some sort of happiness specialist citizen, or a slider that would allow you to reduce income/research to gain happiness. So when unhappiness started to get a bit out of control, you could compensate for it temporarily without having to build a permanent structure.
Civ 5 doesn't have that. When unhappiness starts to get bad, you have to take what should be considered extreme actions. This makes the sort of strategy mentioned in the OP more likely; since it'd be so hard to pull out of the spiral, why bother?.

It doesn't have tunability, but it is a Soft cap.

When you go negative happiness, what are the penalties
- golden Age points
-growth

Now what does growth give... it gives population, and population gives productivity, but also unhappiness.

So.... If you go Negative Happiness, that is the game telling you something needs to be done. AND giving you time to do it.

ie truly Bad stuff only happens at -10, so when you go into -1 to -9, you
1. will not get much MORE unhappiness (unless you annex/conquer cities) because you won't add more population.
2. Don't get any significant penalties


Basically Total Happy+10 = Total Population you are allowed to have
If you go over
1. 'Natural' pop growth slows (to give you time to raise the cap, or to have you manually stop growth)
2. 'Natural' pop growth stops


I think that if they
Changed the 'Very Unhappy' to

No natural growth, No Settlers, Conquered cities stay in resistance (eliminate the 50% hammers and the combat penalty, but add the resistance)

Then it would be fine, the Happy+10 would be a hard cap on total population.

r_rolo1
Sep 28, 2010, 05:49 PM
I think that if they
Changed the 'Very Unhappy' to

No natural growth, No Settlers, Conquered cities stay in resistance (eliminate the 50% hammers and the combat penalty, but add the resistance)

Then it would be fine, the Happy+10 would be a hard cap on total population.
So you would keep the ability of keep the fight until the AI out of the game ? Not good ...

KrikkitTwo
Sep 28, 2010, 06:00 PM
So you would keep the ability of keep the fight until the AI out of the game ? Not good ...

Well in this case, it is just as if you razed the cities (except you get the territory/resources, and the AI can recapture them)

I'm not sure if cities in resistance give you their unhappiness/maintenance costs, but they don't produce anything.

DarkSchneider
Sep 28, 2010, 06:04 PM
I tried keeping my happiness positive while expanding the last game and it was awfully hard. The best advice I found was to raze all of the non-capital cities and then place a settler on the city remains. That way you don't have to build any courthouses or deal with occupied city unhappiness. But when I think of all of the lost production due to building Colosseams in every city, I think you might be on to something.

r_rolo1
Sep 28, 2010, 06:05 PM
@Krikkitone

You would still have the advantage of playing home inside the captured land, and the use of roads without paying for them. Not such a good bonus as the current situation , but substantial.

KrikkitTwo
Sep 28, 2010, 06:13 PM
@Krikkitone

You would still have the advantage of playing home inside the captured land, and the use of roads without paying for them. Not such a good bonus as the current situation , but substantial.

You do have to pay for the roads I believe if they are in your culture.

Maybe keep the combat penalty (since you really only reach that stage through combat)

But replace the -50% production with 'perma-resistance'. (and the inability to Annex)

RobAnybody
Sep 28, 2010, 07:54 PM
If you decrease production AND gold/rushbuy with unhappiness, how do expect anyone to become happy again?
Glad you asked.
Thanks. But you probably should've read the rest of my post first.

1> Take an SP that adds to happiness (there are several)


Barring trading for more resources, which would presumably have already been done as much as possible before hitting that point, if you make it so the player can't build anything & can't buy anything, they're just going to be stuck being unhappy forever, especially if the unhappiness was caused by a large empire (so they may never get another SP).

see bolded, already addressed


2> Connect to a new luxury resource (or reestablish your connection to a pillaged/blockaded one)
3> Trade for a new luxury resource, either from another player or by making a city-state happy (which you can do through gifts of units or gold, neither of which is affected by this penalty).


Barring trading for more resources, which would presumably have already been done as much as possible before hitting that point, if you make it so the player can't build anything & can't buy anything, they're just going to be stuck being unhappy forever, especially if the unhappiness was caused by a large empire (so they may never get another SP).
see bolded, already addressed

4> Starve a city down so that it has less population, and hence less unhappiness. Obviously this won't help much, but every little bit helps.

Indeed. Will not help. When you're at -15-20 Unhappy, this will take forever to matter and/or may eternally cripple your cities.
5> Raze a recently-conquered city. Or, if you're already in the process of razing one, wait for it to finish dying.
This is my preferred solution. See here (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=383032) where I suggested that last week. Raze every city that isn't a new-resource-grabber or a Capital. Not just raze a recently-conquered city. Raze 90% of cities upon conqering.

6> Build a +happy building. Decreased production doesn't mean NO production. While this'd take a long time, a smart player would have started building one BEFORE he approached these thresholds.

If you are building stuff, you are not playing optimally. Again, see the post I linked to. You buy stuff. You buy Coliseums if you need them, but razing means you don't really need them as often. The OP's Ignore Happiness strategy (I know, not a "strategy", but a bug report) pales next to "don't ignore Happiness, but don't generate unnecessary Unhappiness by razing" strategy.


See, the question really becomes, what exactly did you do to get to that horrible unhappiness level? Did someone pillage a luxury? Did they blockade your Whales? Did all of your cities grow at once? Did you go on a massive conquering spree without thinking about the unhappiness (the point of this thread)? Most of these are either temporary or fixable.
*I* never got "that horrible unhappiness level". The OP did, & proposed debilitaing production+gold+science+rushbuy changes (or, I guess, people in this thread did). But that's all really irrelevant. You should be *razing cities* instead of *keeping them & ignoring their Unhappiness*.
Also, it'll depend on which civ you are. Egypt, for instance, has a HUGE advantage (which is why I'd move it up from "tier 3" in Celevin's list): the Burial Tomb (replaces Temple) adds +2 happy and +2 culture, with no upkeep. Fantastic UB. The result is that even from the early eras, Egypt has far more happiness to work with than other civs. (Persia's Satrap Court is even better at +4 happy on a Bank, but it's a later-game building and can't be cheaply rushed.)
No. Civilization doesn't matter. The mistake you're making (& the OP is making) is generating all that Unhappiness & either ignoring it or seeking greater penalties for having it. Raze. Raze. Raze. No unhappiness. No "solutions" needed.

player1 fanatic
Sep 28, 2010, 09:04 PM
I think the biggest balance problem with this mechanic is that after getting -10 unhappniess, any additional unhappiness doesn't make any difference. -11 or -88, it's same effect!

There needs to be some mechanic in place which would make -88 really much worse then -11. That way, even when totally unhappy, happiness points will be worth, instead ignored.

Celevin
Sep 28, 2010, 09:39 PM
Same with the difference between 1 and 9.

Any new thresholds will create the same mistake. There needs to be a "threshold" at every unhappiness level.

Louis XXIV
Sep 28, 2010, 09:43 PM
Is it me or did they add a gold penalty? I seem to have trouble staying in the green when I'm unhappy.

Celevin, I don't think it needs to be every happiness point changing things slightly. Should benefits stack gradually too? But I do think a second tier is needed. Basically, if you get 20 unhappy, it should probably just cripple everything (-50% combat, half science, gold and production penalty). Seriously, I conquered the map and I think the worst I ever got was -12. -20 would stop the most abusive conquerors who don't even bother with puppet cities.

player1 fanatic
Sep 28, 2010, 09:45 PM
Same with the difference between 1 and 9.

Any new thresholds will create the same mistake. There needs to be a "threshold" at every unhappiness level.

Exactly. Every point, or every 5-10 extra points of unhappiness should add additional penalty.

Celevin
Sep 28, 2010, 10:06 PM
Is it me or did they add a gold penalty? I seem to have trouble staying in the green when I'm unhappy.

Celevin, I don't think it needs to be every happiness point changing things slightly. Should benefits stack gradually too? But I do think a second tier is needed. Basically, if you get 20 unhappy, it should probably just cripple everything (-50% combat, half science, gold and production penalty). Seriously, I conquered the map and I think the worst I ever got was -12. -20 would stop the most abusive conquerors who don't even bother with puppet cities.

Part of the reason we see a problem is because thresholds exist. It's called a binding constraint. The best strategy will be to let yourself fall to right above that level, as there's no point in being above that. We don't want the player to feel like getting an additional couple points of happiness won't help them out, as it is now.

RobAnybody
Sep 28, 2010, 10:08 PM
Celevin, I don't think it needs to be every happiness point changing things slightly. Should benefits stack gradually too? But I do think a second tier is needed. Basically, if you get 20 unhappy, it should probably just cripple everything (-50% combat, half science, gold and production penalty). Seriously, I conquered the map and I think the worst I ever got was -12. -20 would stop the most abusive conquerors who don't even bother with puppet cities.

Exactly. Every point, or every 5-10 extra points of unhappiness should add additional penalty.

What will that accomplish, though? As this thread shows, you can completely ignore unhappiness. Plus, if you follow my strategy, razing 90% of cities instead of keeping them, you won't even get into Unhappiness.

If you up the penalties, it doesn't matter. Even if you shut off all my cities at 5 Unhappiness, it doesn't matter. Even if you make Unhappiness a permanent debilitating state at *1* unhappiness & never let me get Happy again, I can still conquer the world (even at -50% combat strangth).

Happiness simply does not matter unless you let it change your strategy because you believe you need to. If you ignore it, just plain pretend it doesn't exist, you can still conquer the world.

WuphonsReach
Sep 28, 2010, 10:21 PM
Exactly. Every point, or every 5-10 extra points of unhappiness should add additional penalty.

Hence the math functions that I provided earlier, where as you get deeper into the hole, the penalties rapidly become steeper and steeper until you gain back some happiness. (Exponential growth functions are good for this. They're also very tunable because you can just change the "A" value to get a different slope.)

y=a^x

Y = penalty
A = some constant (something between 1.5 and 3.5 generally works)
X = percentage that you are below the happiness requirement (use the absolute value)

Diminishing return functions work on a similar basis where it's a gradual decrease in benefit for each additional stack of a particular bonus that you use. Those look like:

y = (x) / (a^x)

Y = benefit
A = some constant (anything > 1.00, like 1.02 to 1.05)
X = the number of bonus items that you have

Unless X is a very small number, they have very gentle stepping and there really aren't any big binding constraints or thresholds. If your X value will only ever been in the range of say -1 to -20, then you can calculate these penalties ahead of time and store them in a table for later look-up.

Martin Alvito
Sep 28, 2010, 11:19 PM
Part of the reason we see a problem is because thresholds exist. It's called a binding constraint.

There's nothing inherently wrong with having players solve a max f(x,y,z;a) s.t. H>=0 linear optimization problem with a truly binding constraint. We did that on every turn in every Civ up until Civ 4. The mechanic was, coincidentally, called happiness. The system worked, though it forced either hardcore micro or a lot of save and reload.

The hard constraint meant that if you ignored happiness, your empire cratered. You couldn't produce anything at all if you failed the constraint in a city. Civ IV cleverly relaxed the constraint to make it less punitive. What Soren realized is that it doesn't matter how hard the happiness hit is as long as it is meaningful, so that the player is incentivized to resolve the problem. In this case, Soren just made an unhappy city strictly less efficient than a happy city with one less pop. That's enough.

The problem now is that all production other than food and hammers are additive processes ultimately deposited into the same empire-wide bucket. Right now, none of those buckets are penalized for unhappiness. Since resources are fungible (convertible from one to another), you can substitute resources in your large buckets for the small, city-specific buckets that get nerfed by exceeding the happiness constraint. Since the buckets are additive and unpenalized, conditions must exist where it is desirable to ignore the mechanics entirely.

The most elegant solution to the problem is simply to directly reduce the number of cities that contribute to the empire's productivity as the happiness problem becomes more severe. Under that rule, you will invariably run into a wall where continuing to neglect your happiness problem ceases to pay dividends.

An alternative approach that is likely to be better received is to make extreme happiness problems sufficiently punitive that it will never realistically make sense to expand without limit. It seems that some version of this solution is what most players are advocating.

But it is important to realize that a smooth happiness function will only alter how we manage our empires, not whether or not the game is "fixed" by forcing us to consider happiness. The harshness of the penalty will dictate whether the solution "works". Also, you need to realize that under the current mechanics, any smooth solution guarantees that we will want to run some unhappiness at some times. Either the constraint at the margin is sufficiently harsh that it might as well be a hard constraint, or conditions exist where limited unhappiness is desirable. There is no middle ground.

feelotraveller
Sep 29, 2010, 12:22 AM
The harshness of the penalty will dictate whether the solution "works".

:goodjob:

Decimation, I say. Let those who live by the sword die by the sword. :lol:

Actually I don't understand why someone would pursue the ignore unhappiness strategy other than out of passing curiosity. Going after the easiest victory condition in the most mind numbingly boring manner just can't appeal that much! And you're not even going to get a quick victory... :crazyeye::crazyeye::crazyeye:

minslight
Sep 29, 2010, 01:49 AM
IHAHAHA~~~~

If this mathed do its good job , it will must be a failure to the CIV 5 rather than a success to this way.

Let's take a look at it.

Offense: Twice army , 33% decrease due to unhappiness. 2*(1-33%)=1.35
Defense: Oligarchy , 33% increase due to in homeland. 1*(1+33*)=1.33
——This means the penalty of decrease always more obvious than the bonus of increase.

General 25% and Discipline 15% can be obtained by two side.
Besides, the defense maybe gain a bonus of fort or fortiness by 25%~50%.
So , what's the obvious advantage of this method ?

Maybe , technology. But , do not forget , the higher power your army is , the more it losts from penalty of decrease

================================================== =======================
Do remember , the part can just be the pioneer of the whole , not separate itself from the whole.This idea ignores the importance of diplomacy , city-states , the good defense system of city+garrison+terrain , and a pack of cavalry from sideface can also cause lots of trouble to the generals and trading post.

I took the first score place in my last Demon game in level Deity with Egypt. Half of the turns is full of fight , twice against Roman in east , then against Germany in north , besides I succeed to build the 4 great work of the Great Library, the Oracle , the Angkor Wat ,the Himeji Castle .
I don't think this method will provide a more rapid army output than the Germany and Rome before Renaissence Time in Deity level .

Of course , it is a good way of rush , but it is also a way of gamble , and before the beginning of roll , there are also lots of work to prepare besides money . However,it will be a shocking stategy to some freshbirds in net mutiplegame.

player1 fanatic
Sep 29, 2010, 02:01 AM
Should benefits stack gradually too?

But they already do.
Every extra happiness point helps with golden ages.

sylvanllewelyn
Sep 29, 2010, 03:46 AM
If you do this, make sure you have a lot of friends because you do not want someone to attack you.

Say someone sends in mounted units to pillage your farms and take out your allied maritime city-states to starve your population, what do you do? You could attack them back, even wipe their people out, except once the war is over you will be stuck with a bunch of 3-pop cities because you still have unhapiness from number of cities. Roads cost maintenance in Civ5 and you just won't have that many relative to your empire since the number of road segments for n number of cities is kn^2, you won't catch the enemy cavalry even in your own territory. You do have more units overall but you also have more land to protect so you will have some local superiority issues, even though perimeter grows slower than area.

alpaca
Sep 29, 2010, 08:10 AM
What will that accomplish, though? As this thread shows, you can completely ignore unhappiness. Plus, if you follow my strategy, razing 90% of cities instead of keeping them, you won't even get into Unhappiness.

If you up the penalties, it doesn't matter. Even if you shut off all my cities at 5 Unhappiness, it doesn't matter. Even if you make Unhappiness a permanent debilitating state at *1* unhappiness & never let me get Happy again, I can still conquer the world (even at -50% combat strangth).

Happiness simply does not matter unless you let it change your strategy because you believe you need to. If you ignore it, just plain pretend it doesn't exist, you can still conquer the world.
After trying to ignore happiness, I agree that razing almost all cities seems to be the better - and possibly more obvious - option. However, it's every bit as absurd as ignoring happiness in my opinion.

If you conquer a country, you don't normally genocide the whole people and then build your own cities there, even though there were some cases in history where something like that was done deliberately or accidentally (the Americas come to mind), it wasn't the usual method, and would be highly unacceptable in a modern world with ethical standards. I would like to see a big diplomacy and happiness penalty for razing cities.

Celevin
Sep 29, 2010, 08:54 AM
There's nothing inherently wrong with having players solve a max f(x,y,z;a) s.t. H>=0 linear optimization problem with a truly binding constraint. We did that on every turn in every Civ up until Civ 4. The mechanic was, coincidentally, called happiness. The system worked, though it forced either hardcore micro or a lot of save and reload.

The hard constraint meant that if you ignored happiness, your empire cratered. You couldn't produce anything at all if you failed the constraint in a city. Civ IV cleverly relaxed the constraint to make it less punitive. What Soren realized is that it doesn't matter how hard the happiness hit is as long as it is meaningful, so that the player is incentivized to resolve the problem. In this case, Soren just made an unhappy city strictly less efficient than a happy city with one less pop. That's enough.

The problem now is that all production other than food and hammers are additive processes ultimately deposited into the same empire-wide bucket. Right now, none of those buckets are penalized for unhappiness. Since resources are fungible (convertible from one to another), you can substitute resources in your large buckets for the small, city-specific buckets that get nerfed by exceeding the happiness constraint. Since the buckets are additive and unpenalized, conditions must exist where it is desirable to ignore the mechanics entirely.

The most elegant solution to the problem is simply to directly reduce the number of cities that contribute to the empire's productivity as the happiness problem becomes more severe. Under that rule, you will invariably run into a wall where continuing to neglect your happiness problem ceases to pay dividends.

An alternative approach that is likely to be better received is to make extreme happiness problems sufficiently punitive that it will never realistically make sense to expand without limit. It seems that some version of this solution is what most players are advocating.

But it is important to realize that a smooth happiness function will only alter how we manage our empires, not whether or not the game is "fixed" by forcing us to consider happiness. The harshness of the penalty will dictate whether the solution "works". Also, you need to realize that under the current mechanics, any smooth solution guarantees that we will want to run some unhappiness at some times. Either the constraint at the margin is sufficiently harsh that it might as well be a hard constraint, or conditions exist where limited unhappiness is desirable. There is no middle ground.
There's no situation or formula to solve with the current binding constraint. It's just "am I above the limit? Ok, I'm good. If I go below next turn, I can adjust on the turn to get above again".

I wouldn't mind limited happiness being desirable as long as too much happiness isn't. Under my idea, a player might decide to take upon more unhappiness if the tile or specialist exceeds 2food-golden age+2production+2gold. Not likely, but it's possible. And the empire doesn't sink at a certain number. This requires a bit of thinking to see if it's best to take on more unhappiness.


People complain about no depth in Civ5, and while I think it's a bunch of hogwash, this is an area where more depth can be added without making the game bloated. I admit I don't like not having to actually wonder if happiness is a problem anymore. The reason happiness takes no work or thinking is the easy to manage thresholds. The reason we're able to completely CHEAT the system is the penalties aren't harsh enough.

Martin Alvito
Sep 29, 2010, 09:33 AM
Happiness doesn't bind the solution to the production maximization problem in the later stages, which is the basic problem here. It's an unconstrained maximization problem where bigger is always better due to the present design. What we need to do is make happiness bind the solution under all cases.

You are correct that there is no meaningful penalty that I can see for minimally exceeding the cap, since the food buckets appear to expand and contract to the same points. I find that Happiness sometimes becomes a problem during the later portion of the buildup phase. You're still pumping coin into city-states, but their luxuries are often redundant. Since you're still setting up alliances, you don't have the cash to throw around to just dial up an AI and buy a luxury to solve the problem.

That can cost you some growth. Otherwise, it's never a pressing concern.

As for your fractional solution - there's no guarantee that the player will feel minimal overages due to rounding if the population is large enough. Kill one city's entire output, and the player will always notice. It still might make sense to capture the adversary's big production city and suffer the production death of your weakest city in the near term, but you'd never be incentivized to let it stay that way.

Louis XXIV
Sep 29, 2010, 09:38 AM
Part of the reason we see a problem is because thresholds exist. It's called a binding constraint. The best strategy will be to let yourself fall to right above that level, as there's no point in being above that. We don't want the player to feel like getting an additional couple points of happiness won't help them out, as it is now.

Well, margin of error is always nice. Plus, extra positive happiness gives Golden Age bonuses.

What will that accomplish, though? As this thread shows, you can completely ignore unhappiness. Plus, if you follow my strategy, razing 90% of cities instead of keeping them, you won't even get into Unhappiness.

If you up the penalties, it doesn't matter. Even if you shut off all my cities at 5 Unhappiness, it doesn't matter. Even if you make Unhappiness a permanent debilitating state at *1* unhappiness & never let me get Happy again, I can still conquer the world (even at -50% combat strangth).

Happiness simply does not matter unless you let it change your strategy because you believe you need to. If you ignore it, just plain pretend it doesn't exist, you can still conquer the world.

Yeah, you can. That's why I suggested increasing the military penalty (ideally get it to the point where they can't win). Perhaps even bring back the strike feature from Civ4. If you have unhappiness greater than 20, you can't even attack.

BTW, razing isn't an issue. In Civ4, you could raze all the cities and there wouldn't be a maintenance penalty. It's not like Civ5 is any more unbalanced in this regard. If you want to leave a wake of destruction without gaining the material benefits, you can. The only constraint is losing units.

Celevin
Sep 29, 2010, 09:40 AM
Give unhappiness a gold penalty as well as a production penalty, and you'll see people trying to get above water again in no time. They won't be able to keep up with the unhappiness.

WeaselSlapper
Sep 29, 2010, 10:13 AM
I think adding gold and science penalties along with some extra stepping stones that with either happiness duration or beyond just -10 would be enough to balance this out. In order to recover from the hole you could say that the production penalty doesn't apply when building happiness buildings.

ShaqFu
Sep 29, 2010, 10:33 AM
If we're increasing the penalty for unhappiness, we should be extremely careful about introducing death spirals. Let's say, for sake of argument, there's a large production and gold penalty for severe unhappiness. If you ever hit that point, you functionally lose the game - there's no way to build Coliseums in a reasonable timeframe (because of -% hammers), and there's no way to rush them (because of gold drain), so you can only hope that an opponent is willing to trade a luxury to get you out. If not, you're spending a huge amount of time at a crippling disadvantage, and might as well Exit to Windows. Any solution that involves production/gold penalties should exempt Coliseums (and its children buildings), so there's at least one guaranteed path out of unhappiness.

Unhappiness should absolutely freeze growth to prevent this from occurring. If you can grow, you can incur further unhappiness from population, pushing you down into worse penalties. Again, nobody wants to incur a death spiral. Perhaps a solution is something like:

1 :( : 75% growth
2 :( : 50% growth
3 :( : 25% growth
4 :( : growth freezes
5 :( : -5% production/gold on non-:) generators
6 :( : -10% production/gold on non-:) generators
...
4+X :( : -(5*X)% production/gold on non-:) generators

This way, you can stop severe unhappiness before it gets oppressive, and if it does for whatever reason, you can dig out of it, without getting locked into growth negating your generators.

Cymsdale
Sep 29, 2010, 10:41 AM
I'm a big fan of the Dark Age idea where there is an unhappiness pool that builds up for every unit of unhappiness you have. Not only would it make significant amounts of unhappiness much worse than just a little, it would add flavor to the game.

Louis XXIV
Sep 29, 2010, 12:04 PM
Doesn't very unhappy freeze growth? I'm -10 means no growth, -33% combat, and -33% science (I was suggesting gold and production, but I realized that means you can't build improvements to get out of the mess. Maybe -15% gold and production). Then -20 should be -50% combat, -50% science, -25% gold and -25% production. When you get to this point, the biggest reason is you continued to conquer while very unhappy. Unless you lost resources while in a very unhappy stage (in which case, use diplomacy to get them back), there's no excuse for this, it's the exact behavior the model is trying to discourage.

vranasm
Sep 29, 2010, 12:08 PM
last game on prince with India in late game I was "pulsing" between +50 surplus happy and -15 unhappy...

this whole hapiness mess motivates only 1 thing...raze every enemy city you find and annex what you can't raze.
I am not sure if CiV should promote such genocide...sufficient enough that players love to throw nukes around like it's no tomorrow.

TommyVern
Sep 29, 2010, 12:38 PM
Yeah it's not like ignoring happiness doesn't tank your economy and force you to delete military units...yeahhh....

player1 fanatic
Sep 29, 2010, 12:52 PM
Ignoring happiness, gives you more cities, and more money.

WeaselSlapper
Sep 29, 2010, 02:04 PM
OK I know this is way off topic but:

Louie the quote in your signature
Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy
-Ben Franklin

This is actually not a misquote that's caught on, not quite sure who said if first, but they distorted what Ben Franklin actually said. What he actually said in a letter addressed to André Morellet in 1779:


Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.

mrt144
Sep 29, 2010, 02:05 PM
After trying to ignore happiness, I agree that razing almost all cities seems to be the better - and possibly more obvious - option. However, it's every bit as absurd as ignoring happiness in my opinion.

If you conquer a country, you don't normally genocide the whole people and then build your own cities there, even though there were some cases in history where something like that was done deliberately or accidentally (the Americas come to mind), it wasn't the usual method, and would be highly unacceptable in a modern world with ethical standards. I would like to see a big diplomacy and happiness penalty for razing cities.

Maybe if the AI had a propensity to be against genociding instead of playing to win just as a person would do there might be a reason not to do so. I agree, there needs to be a much more firm diplomatic model in place that doesn't turn a blind eye to wanton genocide.

r_rolo1
Sep 29, 2010, 02:08 PM
Or to extensive pillaging + military slaughter but no city taking ...

KrikkitTwo
Sep 29, 2010, 02:15 PM
ALL you need is
-10 => no improvement in your empire's capabilities

Essentially every empire should AIM for
Maximum total happiness
-10 NET happiness

They designed the system so that
Maximum Population of Empire ~ Happiness+10

The problem is you can get around the "Maximum Population" through conquest.

Then it becomes very simple
1. No new population from city growth... check
2. No new population from founding cities...check
3. No new population from conquering cities.... OOps, fix this.. OK, conquered cities stay in resistance. (like razing cities should)

Then Maybe add on a combat penalty, to stop you from gobbling up Territory where you get benefits (-33% seems good as it counters the Oligarchy/Nationalism bonus, so your troops are poor 'outside' of your territory, but balanced inside it.)


Or if you want to be really mean, charge maintenance for buildings in cities in resistance..... that'll stop the war machine.


That should be enough I think

-10=> No city growth, no settlers, no cities leave resistance

General change: Must Pay maintenance for buildings of cities in resistance.

Spatzimaus
Sep 29, 2010, 02:19 PM
Thanks. But you probably should've read the rest of my post first.

I did. You didn't address some of those points nearly as well as you seem to think you did. (Besides, it was a comprehensive list of options, obviously some of it would be redundant with things others had said already.)

First, large empires do NOT shut down SPs, because the +30% is additive instead of multiplicative. So as long as any new city produces more than 30% as much culture as the capital, it's a net gain to add a new city.
If your empire is rolling in wonders then sure, it's hard to reach that 30%, but if it's not? If you've only got a handful of wonders, then the 5 culture for Monument+Temple starts to add pretty significantly to your empire's culture, and easily offsets the increased SP costs. (Especially if you're France.) Sure, rushing a Temple sounds pointless, but I've been playing Egypt, whose Burial tombs are +2 happy +2 culture, and THAT is definitely a worthwhile building to rush immediately in any new city (border spreading and happiness boost in one!). Before that, I played Persia on an archipelago map (and lots of water means lots of money and very few roads, so my income was huge), and I'd rush-buy at least four buildings in each new city.

Second, stockpiling. The question becomes, are you actively expanding at the moment, or did this come up on you some other way? It's often in your best interest to save up some culture points to buy the later-game SPs as soon as they unlock. (In my last game, I bought three Rationalism SPs as soon as I hit the Renaissance, resulting in a massive science boost. If I'd spent those points on lower-quality SPs in earlier eras, even with the reduced costs I would have faced at the time, it would have raised the later SP costs up even higher.) If you've been steady at a given number of cities for a while, then it's likely that you're either at the amount needed for a new SP or close to it.

Using a statement that begins with "Barring trading for more resources" is hardly a slam-dunk, because that's the main way of dealing with unhappiness. ("Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?") No, most people don't trade for every possible luxury at every opportunity if they don't need to, for two reasons.
First, because if you're at +5 happiness, going to +10 only really makes Golden Ages come a bit faster, but if you traded a critical luxury to your opponent to get that boost, he'll get a lot more utility from the trade than you will. So trading for more happiness when you're still in the positive numbers isn't really a good idea.
Second, because if you're talking about city-states, it's an ongoing cost to keep their relations up. (To make things worse, what happens if you spend 1000 gold to get to Ally, only to have another empire conquer the city-state?) So if you're running low on cash, is it really worth spending that sort of money for a happiness boost you don't need? Or would you just be better off using that 1000 gold to rush-buy a Colosseum in one of your cities instead?
End result, you'll often have some way to get a new luxury that you won't take advantage of until necessary.

Indeed. Will not help. When you're at -15-20 Unhappy, this will take forever to matter and/or may eternally cripple your cities.

Not really true. If you've got a 10-city empire, then starving each city by one size saves you 10 happiness, barring any discounts for certain SPs/wonders. This isn't really a good long-term solution, because it takes too long to recover and the loss of income hurts badly, but it's at least an option. It's especially useful if you have no intention of recovering; for instance, if I'm ten turns away from a domination victory, and I just need to keep my people happy enough to avoid the -33% penalty, then there's no downside to doing this. It also doesn't take long; spend one turn not farming any tiles (all specialists!), watch your city shrink, gain a happiness.

Not just raze a recently-conquered city. Raze 90% of cities upon conqering.

Hence the "or wait for it to finish dying". But I disagree with your 90%, and your own culture argument above is the reason why. If you're capturing small border towns that have never had any culture, then sure, burn 'em. But if a city's had a lot of culture and/or paid border expansions, then the amount of territory you lose by razing can be huge, and it's often worth the 5gpt (and Courthouse building turns, and lost turns of rioting) to keep all of those hexes, even if there are no new luxuries or strategic resources within those hexes. It's hard enough getting a decent amount of culture accumulated for SPs, but if we need it for basic border expansions in the late game as well?
(And obviously, don't raze anything with a Wonder.)

If you are building stuff, you are not playing optimally.

Now THAT is just a dumb statement.
Some things should be bought, sure, but money is often in tremendously short supply in the later game. For the cost of a single rushed Colosseum, you could enter two research agreements, and that building might only take 10 turns to build the old-fashioned way. Or for that same cost, you could upgrade three or four units to the next tech level. It's a non-negligible cost to rush something that big.
If we're talking about a newly-conquered or newly-founded city, then sure, buy it because the city's production will be nonexistent or better used for a Courthouse. But if it's just that you never got around to building that Colosseum in one of your older cities because you had more than enough happiness and didn't want to pay 3gpt for something you didn't need, then it can easily be better to build it.

*I* never got "that horrible unhappiness level".

"You" can be both singular and plural. In this context, the "you" corresponds to "anyone who's having massive unhappiness problems". You don't have to be using the ignore unhappiness strategy to reach -10; an excessive conquering spree will do nicely, even if you're razing regularly.
For instance, in my most recent game, I started on a continent with three civs. In the ancient era, two of them declared war on me at the same time. Thankfully, I was Egypt, whose chariots are awesome, and I wiped out both of them (although it took a LONG time), razing their non-capital cities and capturing the capitals.
So far so good, but the third civ on my continent, Siam, was at 9 cities by the time he declared war on me (industrial era), at least 5 of which were well-developed, wonder-filled cities with huge culture. So when I started conquering his cities, I couldn't afford to raze most of them. (Replacing them would have cost me far more in the long term, especially compared to the other civs on the map. Rome and England had gone on massive conquering sprees on the other continents and were now racing me towards the spaceship. I NEEDED the science and gold those cities could produce.)
So, I had quite a few turns where I fell below -10 happiness, especially if I'd just conquered a new border city that I was in the process of razing (since the conquered unhappiness doesn't go away until the city dies entirely).

The mistake you're making (& the OP is making) is generating all that Unhappiness & either ignoring it or seeking greater penalties for having it. Raze. Raze. Raze. No unhappiness. No "solutions" needed.

Clearly you didn't read the OP too closely, since you completely missed the point of this entire strategy.

No matter how much you raze, you're still adhering to the game's core limitations. You're trying to keep your people happy, and slowing down your empire's expansion to account for this. Sure, you can raze a conquered city, but you won't get anything out of it; in terms of money and production, you'll be exactly the same as if you'd never conquered the city in the first place. If you found a new city on that spot, it'll generate its own unhappiness, forcing even more rush-buying of happiness buildings, and it'd be quite a while before it would be productive enough to contribute significantly to your empire. This slows you down, keeping you from going on the massive conquering spree that was the bane of earlier Civ games; in Civ 3, you could conquer an entire distant empire in a turn or two (in the later eras, I mean), plop down the Forbidden Palace, and suddenly your empire was twice as productive as before. Civ 5's happiness mechanism attempts to limit this.

But with the OP's strategy, you don't have this problem. You conquer, and just keep conquering. There's no reason whatsoever to hold back. The cities you conquer are just as productive as your ones back home (once they come out of rebellion), assuming the appropriate buildings are in place. (Rush a factory instead of a Colosseum, for instance.) The only limiting factor on this strategy, normally, is happiness, and the OP's point was that this was an inadequate balance.
Compared to your raze-for-happiness strategy, the OP will have MUCH higher science, gold, and production, because those captured cities will contribute far more than any new city you'd found on the spot after razing. All he'd lose is city growth (which people trying to keep cities happy will limit themselves, and freezing a captured city at size 5 still puts it far ahead of your brand-new size 1 colony for a LONG time) and the -33% military strength. And that's not even mentioning the financial benefits, like not paying 3gpt for each of a dozen Colosseums across the empire; that adds up quickly, and the cost can be used to make more units. Or like how if you don't care about unhappiness then you have no reason not to sell the last unit of each luxury within your territory to other civs for even more cash.

What we're asking for, then, is an unhappiness penalty that makes the latter situation more like the former. A production and gold penalty for unhappiness that makes empires with massive unhappiness less productive than if they'd followed a strategy that attempted to manage the happiness the normal way, because ANY attempt to manage happiness (even your Razing "strategy") will result in less production, gold, and science than the OP's method. (Especially far less gold, which is the major limiting factor in later ages.) And that's bad.

Louis XXIV
Sep 29, 2010, 03:52 PM
last game on prince with India in late game I was "pulsing" between +50 surplus happy and -15 unhappy...

this whole hapiness mess motivates only 1 thing...raze every enemy city you find and annex what you can't raze.
I am not sure if CiV should promote such genocide...sufficient enough that players love to throw nukes around like it's no tomorrow.

How is this different from Civ4, though?

WeaselSlapper, this has been pointed out to me several times. I respond that the misquote is more poetic sounding, so I still with it in spite of it's inaccuracy. Maybe I should add a disclaimer about that... :dunno:

BTW, can someone do a quick walkthrough of a game using this strategy? I'm curious what the numbers go up to at various stages of conquest and what the consequences are of never addressing them.

vranasm
Sep 29, 2010, 04:27 PM
How is this different from Civ4, though?

WeaselSlapper, this has been pointed out to me several times. I respond that the misquote is more poetic sounding, so I still with it in spite of it's inaccuracy. Maybe I should add a disclaimer about that... :dunno:

BTW, can someone do a quick walkthrough of a game using this strategy? I'm curious what the numbers go up to at various stages of conquest and what the consequences are of never addressing them.

well in Civ 4 you actually didnt need/want to raze the cities...well some people did but it was relatively rare. mostly you took them. This game taking enemy cities bring too much restriction - every variant has some strict disadvantage...puppet - they over time drain your coffers (don't understand why empire pays maintenance for their buildings...it's like when for example Iraq would build temple and US government would have to pay for it), annex - long long long long time big big big unhappy and when they finally go out of "strike" you pay 5g just for it...I would adjust the maintenance or build time, since this way the opportunity cost is too steep, you have to pay 2.5 TPs just to have annexed city, I can see why people want to raze most cities especially when conquering halves the amount of people and I usually get 1-3 pop cities (I don't raze enough...yet).

Or you mean the nukes? Yeah in Civ 4 the same...I didn't like it there and don't like it for sure here. Imagine our world with some crazy people that think nuking someone with 100 nukes and take their oil is fun with access rights to the right computers...

tibbles
Sep 29, 2010, 04:44 PM
The happiness system has several major flaws that I can see (yes a few shamelessly borrowed from posters above :)):
1. -10 is an unscaled breakpoint. When you're already running a 100+ pop empire with surplus happiness, taking 1 city or a trade expiring should not send your entire empire into decline.

2. +Happiness from nonbuildings is limited and does not scale. +5/resource is huge early on and peanuts late game or on huge maps. SP happiness scales but mostly small benefits. SPs late game also accumulate too slow to fix a sudden happy drop.

3. If you want to play by the intended rules of keeping your empire happy, you lack enough control. Most happy buildings take a long time to build. Couple with point 1 and you can hit the production penalty before you finish 1.

4. You can only control pop in cities you directly control, on conquering if you do not want to grow, you have only 4 options, 3 of which break realism: Raze everything new, annex and ignore penalty, gift them all to the dumb ai, or annex and pay to rushbuy happiness buildings and waste time on courthouses. I'm guessing option 4 was the intended, but is often the worst.

5. The aforementioned lack of penalty to just dominating everything past -10.


Some fixes I'd suggest:
1. Preferably some form of penalty scaling. Though as noted the difficulty is penalizing production/gold/research/military/culture but still allowing the player a way to dig themselves out of the unhappiness penalty. Perhaps increase the penalties to include gold, research, and culture. Scale this penalty high enough to break the OP's strat.

To compensate, add the Entertainer specialist. No slot limits, +1 happiness, no other effect, even with SPs.

1a. If keeping a hardcap, change the -10 based on mapsize and possibly empire population.

1b. If no assignable +happiness option, lower the building cost, but not upkeep, of +happiness buildings. As well as allowing you easier correction if you dip, I'd imagine this'd affect puppets by making them cost more upkeep each when they finish buildings faster (not a bad thing imo given their strength), but allow them to be self supporting faster so you could take more sooner w/o dipping into unhappy.

2. Allow you to order Stop Growth on puppets. This way you can at least limit future empire growth solely to city populations you directly control or you own decision to take another city.

edit: I wrote this like an hour ago and server didn't respond to post request. To address the post above, maybe I never took enough puppets, but I never had them drain my income, they were always cash neutral at worst. And I'd pay a little gold for the research and culture bonuses. As to why you pay gold (beyond an attempt at game balance), I assume it's like the administrative overhead of trying to control your puppet state and collect their surpluses for your own use.

Celevin
Sep 29, 2010, 05:03 PM
Why the hell are people razing cities? It's like throwing away gold. Just sell it instead.

This thread's run its course. I thank everyone who contributed, and I hope Firaxis saw it as well. I know what I'm going to do and how to implement it if I have to, otherwise it was a good mental exercise and a great mid-late game strategy.

Gaizokubanou
Sep 29, 2010, 05:17 PM
Why the hell are people razing cities? It's like throwing away gold. Just sell it instead.

This thread's run its course. I thank everyone who contributed, and I hope Firaxis saw it as well. I know what I'm going to do and how to implement it if I have to, otherwise it was a good mental exercise and a great mid-late game strategy.

Because I need the room for more cities :D

ShaqFu
Sep 29, 2010, 05:19 PM
This thread's run its course. I thank everyone who contributed, and I hope Firaxis saw it as well. I know what I'm going to do and how to implement it if I have to, otherwise it was a good mental exercise and a great mid-late game strategy.

I'm very interested in seeing your eventual modpack; it seems like it'll solve a lot of the abuses of Civ5 thus far.

KrikkitTwo
Sep 29, 2010, 07:10 PM
The problem is that -10 happiness is becoming a Penalty instead of a "Cap"

If it was an actual Cap, there would be much less problem with it.

So they need to remove the "Penalty" and reinstate it as a cap.

Spatzimaus
Sep 29, 2010, 07:39 PM
To compensate, add the Entertainer specialist. No slot limits, +1 happiness, no other effect, even with SPs.

I tried this last night, actually, except as I'd mentioned before, I'm putting it in as the "Empath" (slightly future-era) specialist, who adds +1 Happy and 5 GPP towards a Great Empath unit (has to be more than the usual 3 in my mod, since you won't start getting these until late in the game, when GPs cost much more). Here are the problems I've run into:

1> Specialists, like tiles, choose a yield type and then an amount. You can add a new entry in the Yields file (YIELD_HAPPINESS), but tying it to an actual effect seems to occur in a place I have yet to find. More on this below.
2> All specialists are tied to specific buildings; I've yet to see code for a generic specialist slot (a la Civ4) to assign to an arbitrary new type. You just can't do the "no slot limits" thing, as far as I can tell.
So to add an "Entertainer", you'd have to change some building (say, the various +culture buildings like the Temple) to have a specialist slot of the appropriate type.
3> If you allow this specialist type to generate Great Person Points, then you'd either need to have your Entertainer progress towards an existing GP type (Artist?), or create an entirely new Great Person unit. (Or you could just have it generate zero GPPs. I actually did that for my "Transcend" specialist, who only slots into a couple top-end future buildings but has huge bonuses.)
The biggest problem with creating a new GP is that Great Person special abilities (the engineer rush, artist culture bomb, etc.) seem to basically be hard-coded. There doesn't seem to be much flexibility to add new ones, at least not within the existing XML structure. You CAN change a few other things, like making Empath/Entertainer Golden Ages last 50% longer or something. Also, think of the tile improvement; my Empaths can create the Monolith improvement, which when worked adds +2 happy (except that as mentioned in #1, I haven't got the happiness yield to work yet, and it's missing the 2001 artwork of course).
4> You can't seem to do what you'd suggested of having these specialists give no other bonuses with SPs; if an SP adds some bonus to a specialist, it'll do it to all of them. So yes, these'd become pretty powerful. I suppose you could compensate by giving these a NEGATIVE amount for research, gold, etc., and assume that SPs would at best neutralize these penalties, but that'd be brutal in earlier eras, and I'm not sure how well the AI would handle that.

The confusing part about adding these things is that the existing mod structure has a LOT of unused functions (stubs for religion, tech trading, map trading, etc.), but many of these wouldn't work right if you turned them on. For instance, the tech tree is dynamic (add a new tech and it'll draw the lines connecting them, and if you want to add more future techs it'll keep expanding the tree to the right, complete with era titles and such), which is a great improvement. It does this by parsing the Technologies.xml file, tech by tech. But if you go into the Technologies.xml file, there's a section for Prerequisites, and another section for ORPrerequisites, presumably so that you could add some flexible tech requirements. Sounds great, but the Tech Tree Lua files simply don't have any ability to draw arrows for that OR logic, so I'm not sure what it'd do. (Probably not draw anything.)

skywalker
Sep 29, 2010, 07:47 PM
Throw another vote in favor of Dark Ages - they are flavorful, have an elegant symmetry, and avoid the death spiral problem.

If you do this, make sure you have a lot of friends because you do not want someone to attack you.

Say someone sends in mounted units to pillage your farms and take out your allied maritime city-states to starve your population, what do you do? You could attack them back, even wipe their people out, except once the war is over you will be stuck with a bunch of 3-pop cities because you still have unhapiness from number of cities. Roads cost maintenance in Civ5 and you just won't have that many relative to your empire since the number of road segments for n number of cities is kn^2, you won't catch the enemy cavalry even in your own territory. You do have more units overall but you also have more land to protect so you will have some local superiority issues, even though perimeter grows slower than area.

This is clever, and a great balancing mechanic for multiplayer. Unfortunately, I don't know how well it would go over in SP.

If we're increasing the penalty for unhappiness, we should be extremely careful about introducing death spirals.

Actually, death spirals would be an interesting mechanic. Sucks for the human, of course. You could introduce some kind of revolution mechanic that would bring you out.

Spatzimaus
Sep 29, 2010, 09:59 PM
This is clever, and a great balancing mechanic for multiplayer. Unfortunately, I don't know how well it would go over in SP.

Remarkably well, I'd bet. The person you were quoting didn't have quite the correct math; the number of road segments for N cities does not go as N^2, it's closer to going as N. Often you'll have a single transportation trunk line going through your main cities, with only short spurs going off to the side cities. But regardless, think of it this way: if you're packing your cities in, then regardless of geometry, each city would be about 4-5 hexes away from its neighbors; less means overlap, more means unused tiles. So no matter how many cities you had, connecting a new city to the network would cost 4-5 tiles' worth of upkeep.

The only question would be how well the AI would do this, but it seems to be doing a pretty good job so far.

Actually, death spirals would be an interesting mechanic. Sucks for the human, of course. You could introduce some kind of revolution mechanic that would bring you out.

Most of the "death spirals" we've discussed here really aren't. It's the old positive-vs-negative feedback thing.
If extreme unhappiness caused your population to actively drop (not just stop growing), then it's somewhat self-correcting; less people means less unhappiness.
If extreme unhappiness caused some of your military units to spontaneously disband, then you're now spending less money on military and can spend more to buy a Colosseum.
Adding a straight production/gold bonus might be a problem since yes, it could create a situation where it's much harder to rebound from extreme unhappiness, but not every proposed solution was like that.

(There are other ways we can solve this. For instance, if your unhappiness is below -10, then capturing a city could automatically pick "Raze" instead of "Annex" or "Puppet". This'd effectively kill the strategy, since you'd now have less production and research than someone who tried settling new cities and/or annexing.)

But again, I think the underlying problem with the happiness system is that it isn't adjustable. If you know there's going to be a 5-turn period of extreme unhappiness before your new Colosseum is built, you often have no choice but to just wait it out. There's not an easy way to temporarily boost happiness at the cost of science or production. That's why I'd like to see the Entertainer/Empath type specialists implemented.

aimlessgun
Sep 29, 2010, 10:08 PM
Just a comment on the original post: I too have seen the computer using this "strategy": massive expansion and gold weeeee.

ShaqFu
Sep 30, 2010, 12:35 AM
Dunno if this was already suggested, but perhaps, in extreme unhappiness, your border cities start culture flipping. This kills the strategy of depressed conquests (since you're losing at home while you take abroad), prevents a death spiral by having an automatic way back to happiness (or at least less debilitating unhappiness), and keeps flavor - if a city's that angry, they can join another civ instead.

The first issue that comes to mind is a flip-flopping city between two massively unhappy empires, but I don't think the AI runs in deep unhappiness, so it's not an issue there. It might be weird in multiplayer, but if another player sees a civ's cities flipping culture, it's a sign of weakness and a good invitation to conquer/raze them.

Seanner
Sep 30, 2010, 01:13 AM
Why can't it just have the same effect as starvation. No food is same as no happiness in game. Explanation = citizen suicided from depression. Girlfriend left him and he got fired, then this whole war with Rome thing *pull trigger*. One less unhappy face. Soon, your empire will stabilize and you were better off without them.

player1 fanatic
Sep 30, 2010, 04:01 AM
When we are at this...
Is AI using same rules as player regarding this?

I've seen in my game massive AI empires with dozen and dozen of cities, which if I owned would never be able to make happy. Yes, I know there are some bonuses at higher diff. levels, but I think it's only 10% happiness on King. Yet still, if I declare war on them I don't see any combat penalty for their units. Also, they do have more recently found cities, something that would be impossible if they are very unhappy.

Anyway, unhappiness is a factor which is supposed to prevent player from over expanding. Yet, it does not prevent AI to do so, nor it seems they get penalties for doing so.


P.S.
Is there any cheat or way to see happiness rating of other civs?

KrikkitTwo
Sep 30, 2010, 09:30 AM
Well more importantly, the AI gets bonuses to production+maintenance, most cities are capable of 'paying for themselves' happiness wise... it just takes time.

And citizens "Starving" would be reasonable too

ie change it so that
Instead of Excess being added to the Food Box, -1 is added to the Food box of every city, every turn. (eventually they start suiciding/emigrating/running away to the circus/becoming barbarian... just not having kids and dying of old age, etc.)
Settlers can't be built.

That would make it a hard cap. (you can go over it for a bit, but eventually the starvation starts.)

I prefer the 'conquered cities stay in resistance but still charge you maintenance' since then the new conquests are the ones that are 'losing productivity'

Louis XXIV
Sep 30, 2010, 11:14 AM
-1 food per city for any unhappiness? That seems a bit harsh, imo.

BTW, the AI does get unhappiness penalties. I've seen Augustus with the -33 listed. That plus artillery is the only reason he couldn't steamroll me like he did everyone else.

mrt144
Sep 30, 2010, 11:16 AM
-1 food per city for any unhappiness? That seems a bit harsh, imo.

BTW, the AI does get unhappiness penalties. I've seen Augustus with the -33 listed. That plus artillery is the only reason he couldn't steamroll me like he did everyone else.

It isn't harsh though. Usually you're at a food surplus and you can absorb some unhappiness. This is just a relative cap on expansion. Also, it makes happiness meaningful when negative.

Eejit
Sep 30, 2010, 01:04 PM
Perhaps have unhappy citizens cause rioting which damages tile improvements? The chance of it happening increasing for each unhappy face.
So your trading posts are constantly trashed if you try this strategy, but the penalty isn't too great if you're in neg happiness temporarily or only slightly.

KrikkitTwo
Sep 30, 2010, 02:25 PM
Actually, I think I have a better idea.

Make Puppets worthless...
Make them produce 0 Gold, Science, Culture, Happiness, or GPP points, no Gold from Puppet Trade Routes
BUT
Make them not charge Building Maintenance OR Unhappiness (or Social Policy Cost increases)


So that ALL you get with a puppet is the Territory... and That's it.
So Raze... Bonus=none (except enemy loses it), penalty=none
Puppet.... Bonus=Territory, Penalty=Improvement Costs
Annex.... Bonus=Territory+Productivity+Control+Trade Route, Penalty=All Maintenance Costs, Unhappiness


THEN....
-10 Unhappiness=>
no city growth, no settler production... No Annexing allowed

So that way
1. Puppets can't be eaily abused
2. No one can get more than 10 unhappiness (at least not Much More)... it is a hard cap on your production.


And then give Puppet cities a -50% for combat against their original owners. (or some bonus like that... to allow the original owners to return easily) (ie in 2 range of a Puppet city that you originally owned counts as friendly territory)

Gath
Sep 30, 2010, 03:16 PM
Best fix? Put happiness back like it was in civ 4.

ShaqFu
Sep 30, 2010, 03:23 PM
Best fix? Put happiness back like it was in civ 4.

Then what curbs growth?

WeaselSlapper
Sep 30, 2010, 03:35 PM
Then what curbs growth?

The other Civs, like it was in Civ III. You grow too fast you don't have a military and don't have time to build wonders and can't improve your land fast enough so the others civs can come and take your cities. However with cities being as strong as they are early setter spam would be less risky, but you still wouldn't be able to improve your land and after your early expansion you would be stagnant for a while.

KrikkitTwo
Sep 30, 2010, 03:38 PM
No the current system is Much Better, it is just Incomplete.

You need to be unable to add productive population at -10 unhappiness.

Simple
Make Puppets unproductive, not adding Unhappiness
Make Annexing unallowed at -10 unhappiness (like City Growth and Settler building)

WeaselSlapper
Sep 30, 2010, 03:47 PM
No the current system is Much Better, it is just Incomplete.

You need to be unable to add productive population at -10 unhappiness.

Simple
Make Puppets unproductive, not adding Unhappiness
Make Annexing unallowed at -10 unhappiness (like City Growth and Settler building)

This doesn't solve buying units and still being able to produce military in your original production cities.

KrikkitTwo
Sep 30, 2010, 03:50 PM
This doesn't solve buying units and still being able to produce military in your original production cities.

The puppet cities shouldn't give any Gold/Science/Either.

Essentially reaching the Happy Cap should mean you can't Increase your productive population.

THe Puppets would just be Territory... no Gold to buy units with, no Science to get better techs, no Culture for better SPs, no Great Persons, all of that has to come from your Original/Annexed Cities.

Ahriman
Sep 30, 2010, 03:54 PM
Make Puppets worthless...
Make them produce 0 Gold, Science, Culture, Happiness, or GPP points, no Gold from Puppet Trade Routes
Eh, I think thats a bit too harsh.
There are other less draconian measures.

Find other ways to weaken puppets, and bump up the penalties for negative unhappiness.

Best fix? Put happiness back like it was in civ 4.
How does that fix anything? That would make the problem worse; no matter how many cities you conquer, your core cities would remain untouched. At least with global happiness going too conquest-mad will degrade your core.

ShaqFu
Sep 30, 2010, 04:01 PM
The other Civs, like it was in Civ III. You grow too fast you don't have a military and don't have time to build wonders and can't improve your land fast enough so the others civs can come and take your cities. However with cities being as strong as they are early setter spam would be less risky, but you still wouldn't be able to improve your land and after your early expansion you would be stagnant for a while.

So in other words, ICS until someone takes your cities, which is harder now that cities can defend themselves. Given the high cost of Workers over Settlers, it's more efficient to ICS than build improvements at that point - one Settler is worth two worked tiles immediately after settling.

Let's not bring Civ5 into the realm of FreeCiv, please.

mrt144
Sep 30, 2010, 04:27 PM
This game has painted itself into a corner.

WeaselSlapper
Sep 30, 2010, 04:45 PM
The puppet cities shouldn't give any Gold/Science/Either.

Essentially reaching the Happy Cap should mean you can't Increase your productive population.

THe Puppets would just be Territory... no Gold to buy units with, no Science to get better techs, no Culture for better SPs, no Great Persons, all of that has to come from your Original/Annexed Cities.

What i'm saying is the puppets wouldn't be a drain so all the gold and production in your original cities would still allow the buying of units and having puppets just be territory wouldn't hurt a steamrolling military engine at all. In fact the extra land would be a boost because you would gain access or more resources.

Kushluk
Sep 30, 2010, 05:28 PM
Um... they need to fix this. A whole part of the game seems to be BETTER LEFT IGNORED.

What do? Add what people do in real life when their happiness is -150 with the government: Revolution (into other civs), Succession (into other civs), Rebellion (City States form) and/or Immigration (Punishing unhappy civs and rewarding prosperous/happy ones).

rune42
Sep 30, 2010, 06:00 PM
How about making it so any captured city will automatically be razed if you're at or below -10 happiness? This creates the illusion that the conquered population isn't willing to be a part of your empire, so your only choice is to commit genocide.

Considering how lucrative puppet cities are, this is a simple, but incredibly effective fix.

Your own cities will stagnant once you're at -10 unhappiness in the current iteration, so you really only need to worry about conquered cities.

skywalker
Sep 30, 2010, 07:25 PM
Remarkably well, I'd bet. The person you were quoting didn't have quite the correct math; the number of road segments for N cities does not go as N^2, it's closer to going as N. Often you'll have a single transportation trunk line going through your main cities, with only short spurs going off to the side cities. But regardless, think of it this way: if you're packing your cities in, then regardless of geometry, each city would be about 4-5 hexes away from its neighbors; less means overlap, more means unused tiles. So no matter how many cities you had, connecting a new city to the network would cost 4-5 tiles' worth of upkeep.

The only question would be how well the AI would do this, but it seems to be doing a pretty good job so far.

I wasn't talking about the road analysis (didn't really read it), I meant how would humans react to AIs being asshats and ganking all of their food? As well as the question of making the AI competent enough to actually do that.

But again, I think the underlying problem with the happiness system is that it isn't adjustable. If you know there's going to be a 5-turn period of extreme unhappiness before your new Colosseum is built, you often have no choice but to just wait it out. There's not an easy way to temporarily boost happiness at the cost of science or production. That's why I'd like to see the Entertainer/Empath type specialists implemented.

You are getting dangerously close to slider territory, here. The massive reduction in short-term fungibility of resources from previous games is a good thing, IMO.

MeteorPunch
Sep 30, 2010, 08:51 PM
Just skimmed through this thread and it's interesting. If unhappiness is the only detriment to expansion then it has to work better than it does currently.

My thoughts are:

Unhappiness could lead to loss of labor, which causes loss of gold, leading to unsupported units, which either disband or become immobilized when outside of your own territory (lack of supply lines).

By loss of labor I mean cities would become overall less productive. Imagine somewhere between 10% - 90% decreased production/gold/science depending on how unhappy they are.

Overall though there are several design and "numbers-based" problems with this game and any changes to one means changes to others become necessary. It's a mess and we are currently in the $50 entry paid beta phase for 6 months of fixes and re-balancing.

mrt144
Sep 30, 2010, 09:59 PM
I wasn't talking about the road analysis (didn't really read it), I meant how would humans react to AIs being asshats and ganking all of their food? As well as the question of making the AI competent enough to actually do that.



You are getting dangerously close to slider territory, here. The massive reduction in short-term fungibility of resources from previous games is a good thing, IMO.

Okay Kuci.

KrikkitTwo
Sep 30, 2010, 10:33 PM
What i'm saying is the puppets wouldn't be a drain so all the gold and production in your original cities would still allow the buying of units and having puppets just be territory wouldn't hurt a steamrolling military engine at all. In fact the extra land would be a boost because you would gain access or more resources.

This might be better Bolded changes I would make


If the city is in Resistance, OR being Razed
Gold, Science=0
GPP=0
Hammers=0
Culture=0
Social Policy Cost=0
Excess Food, UnHappiness, Happiness, Trade Route Gold, Building Maintenance=0
Territory= Original Owner.... yes as long as the city is in resistance, the original owner of the city controls its territory (so its not friendly for you)
Control=None.. city will not defend itself, any more than a Fort will.

If the City is a Puppet
Gold, Science=50%
GPP=0
Hammers=Buildings only...None that require resources, because the Puppet does not have access to resources, they are independent
Culture=Local only
Social Policy Cost=0
Excess Food, UnHappiness, Happiness, Trade Route Gold, Building Maintenance=Normal
Territory= You.. full control of territory including resources, etc.
Control=Combat only

If the city is Annexed
Gold, Science=Normal
GPP=Normal
Hammers=Normal
Culture=Normal
Social Policy Cost=Normal
Excess Food, UnHappiness, Happiness, Trade Route Gold, Building Maintenance=Normal (With "Annexed" unhappiness)
Territory= You.. full control of territory including resources, etc.
Control=Complete

Then make the Rule... a city cannot come out of Resistance while you are at 10 or more Unhappiness

So an territorial conqueror will eventually just a bunch of cities in perpetual resistance... unless he razes some of the Cities (and loses their Territory)

So if you are at -10 unhappy...
Your productive pop cannot expand (no new growth, no new settlers, no new Puppets/Annexes)
Your Territory Cannot expand through war (cities stay in resistance... all you are doing is denying that city to your enemy)

Allow the Puppet to build "useless" buildings..... but allow Buildings to be Sold (from an Annexed City.... Just make some of them better, ie Stables give a benefit when Cavalry go obsolete+Military Bases give Airlift)

Jellly
Oct 01, 2010, 12:12 AM
Yeah ignoring happiness really isn't that detrimental. I was playing as Japan on a continents map and it was just me and India on our large island. I intially tried balancing happiness but after a while I just ignored it as my empire expanded rapidly and it worked really well. I could concentrate more on raking in money and ended up with 120+ gold per turn and -40 happiness :P.

fed1943
Oct 01, 2010, 10:44 AM
Agree with Krikkitone.