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Old May 30, 2011, 12:02 PM   #1
Suntechnique
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Civ5 Is National College start too powerful?

Since I tried scout-monument-library-NC-settler build order + liberty policies my odds to win improved drastically.

I used to lose half of games due to massive enemy armies, but after I started to use NC I lost just one out of ~20 games. To early warrior rush.

It just gives too much benefits: early culture boost, no worries about happiness at start, huge science after NC is done.

And nothing AI can do about that. E.g., Great Library - Civil Service handicap has a chance that AI will build GL faster and you'll get very complex game so I often opt out of it.

But NC is secured, cheap and looks like best start without options. So I'm thinking to start playing with NC "self-banned" till 3rd city.

So, what do you think? Did you met the games where you don't want to start from NC?
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Old May 30, 2011, 12:15 PM   #2
Save_Ferris
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Since it's so early, it's way better than the Great Library, even. Don't think it should be nerfed, although the AI never builds it, it's too early expanding in that era.
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Old May 30, 2011, 12:22 PM   #3
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(The following post pertains only to my experience with Immortal.)

Only if I'm playing with a "no conquest" self-handicap and I have good surrounding land and expansionist neighbors nearby. In those cases, I find that I'm usually better off in the long run with getting the prime city sites and delaying NC until I've rush-bought libraries with the income the luxuries give me. This is especially true of I'm playing as Arabia; I really want as many double resources as I can find, and I want to keep my warmonger hate down so I can get favorable trades.

But even though I almost never let myself conquer unless I'm going for a domination win, I still only find that maybe one out of five games will be improved by putting off NC for any reason. So yeah, I'd say it's far too good for how early it comes. Making it require universities instead of libraries would probably be a step in the right direction given how it's probably the best NW in the game and the easiest by far to construct (well, maybe a little harder than National Epic, but so much more powerful it's hard to compare the two). Alternately, removing the +5 BTP would make its impact on the very early game less staggering while keeping it a critical wonder. Or reducing the 50% modifier.

I've also seen a lot of forum-goers recommend that if it's nerfed, the AI beaker bonuses should be reduced at the higher levels. Don't know how I feel about that, but it's an interesting compromise.
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Old May 30, 2011, 01:22 PM   #4
Bezurn
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I think you shouldn't be able to build it until you research education. Much like how Ironworks is delayed until Machinery, it makes more sense that way IMO.
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Old May 30, 2011, 01:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bezurn View Post
I think you shouldn't be able to build it until you research education. Much like how Ironworks is delayed until Machinery, it makes more sense that way IMO.
Yeah, I don't really like the National College opening. It has become one of the only ways to open now -- to me, this is boring. I'd like to see it nerfed (only if there are more alternatives, or nerf to AI science bonus'), or changed. Either later in the tree, or, which I think would be neat, giving it a scientist slot while nerfing (or outright removing) it's science bonus'.

In my opinion, i'd like to see all the national wonders contain specialist slots while their static bonus' nerfed.
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Old May 30, 2011, 01:49 PM   #6
Lyoncet
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Originally Posted by jagdtigerciv View Post
Either later in the tree, or, which I think would be neat, giving it a scientist slot while nerfing (or outright removing) it's science bonus'.

In my opinion, i'd like to see all the national wonders contain specialist slots while their static bonus' nerfed.
That's not a bad idea. They'd still be good, but it would take a bit of extra planning around to get the maximum potential. And you'd get the GPP as well.

One addendum though: don't nerf National Treasury. 1.5x a Customs House does not a reasonable hammer investment make.
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Old May 30, 2011, 01:53 PM   #7
bryanw1995
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I find that post-patch the early game AI is so much more aggressive that an NC-first approach isn't always optimal. I typically still try to do it, but sometimes I end up changing to military production to fend off the inevitable 6 warrior dogpile.
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Old May 30, 2011, 01:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lyoncet View Post
But even though I almost never let myself conquer unless I'm going for a domination win, I still only find that maybe one out of five games will be improved by putting off NC for any reason. So yeah, I'd say it's far too good for how early it comes. Making it require universities instead of libraries would probably be a step in the right direction given how it's probably the best NW in the game and the easiest by far to construct (well, maybe a little harder than National Epic, but so much more powerful it's hard to compare the two).
Making it require universities would make it useless. There are better options to research in that point than some lame +50% modifier that needs really expensive building in every city (in Civ4, the equivalent was +100%). NC is currently no stronger than Civ4s NWs which are extremely powerful. The only difference is that in Civ5, NWs (like all wonders) tend to be quite useless and thats why NC stands out from the rest.
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Old May 30, 2011, 01:57 PM   #9
Randall Turner
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It's really necessary to keep up with the horrendous high-difficulty AI bonuses. I have no problem with it at all, it keeps the early-game "even". I'd say RA's are much more unbalancing.
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Old May 30, 2011, 02:00 PM   #10
Lyoncet
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Originally Posted by MkLh View Post
Making it require universities would make it useless. There are better options to research in that point than some lame +50% modifier that needs really expensive building in every city (in Civ4, the equivalent was +100%). NC is currently no stronger than Civ4s NWs which are extremely powerful. The only difference is that in Civ5, NWs (like all wonders) tend to be quite useless and thats why NC stands out from the rest.
I agree that universities would make it much less useful, and would probably over-nerf it. But there are only a few NWs in V that are as bad as you describe. National Treasury is the most blatant offender, but the others I can think of off the top of my head are pretty strong. Heroic Epic is just as necessary for a war-oriented game as NC, Oxford is wonderful since it can give you a great return whenever you build it, Ironworks is great, National Epic can be useful but is more niche (but early and cheap so not a huge deal IMO, and Hermitage is good in any game and absolutely stellar for culture wins (although I think the requirements are too strict). So I agree with your specific premise, but strongly disagree with your general premise.

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It's really necessary to keep up with the horrendous high-difficulty AI bonuses. I have no problem with it at all, it keeps the early-game "even".
That's exactly the problem though. It's really necessary, almost always. Anything that is that strong of an option with that consistency eliminates choice (yeah, you COULD do opening XYZ, but of opening A is vastly superior almost every time, you better not), and choice is one of the most important parts of any 4X game - particularly the Civ series. Your issue could just as easily be solved by reducing the AI research bonus at high levels a bit and making NC less powerful; the game would still be just as balanced in terms of high-level difficulty, but you'd have a number of strong opening strategies instead of one strategy every game you play.

Last edited by Lyoncet; May 30, 2011 at 02:03 PM.
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Old May 30, 2011, 02:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Randall Turner View Post
It's really necessary to keep up with the horrendous high-difficulty AI bonuses. I have no problem with it at all, it keeps the early-game "even". I'd say RA's are much more unbalancing.
This is pretty much my opinion. I love the idea that you don't trade techs directly since the AI is pretty dense when it comes to tech trading. However on higher difficulties AI get soooooooo much bonus happiness that they convert to gold and RAs, that if you don't play the RA game you end up quickly behind.
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Old May 30, 2011, 02:58 PM   #12
bryanw1995
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I very rarely allow myself to do any RA's on immortal, maybe one RA every 2 or 3 games, and I'm the tech leader or within a few % of the tech leader in almost every immortal game I play. On deity they are more important, though I have won several deity games with a tech lead and no RA's allowed as well.
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Old May 30, 2011, 08:54 PM   #13
vampy420
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I've never used that opening before. I like to get 2-3 early cities and great library slingshot to civil service instead, especially with free settler,worker via culture in liberty path.
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Old May 30, 2011, 09:31 PM   #14
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In multiplayer, NC first can be good, or bad. Not unbalanced at all. Because you actually take a ''risk'' to build NC first, and not expand and get hammers in first glance.

Against AI, it's certainly very strong at high levels, but for emperor or below both ways can do the same job excepted for a cultural win.
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Old May 31, 2011, 03:13 AM   #15
MkLh
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In multiplayer, NC first can be good, or bad. Not unbalanced at all. Because you actually take a ''risk'' to build NC first, and not expand and get hammers in first glance.

Against AI, it's certainly very strong at high levels, but for emperor or below both ways can do the same job excepted for a cultural win.
It's probably not the best option always though. If there is that 3 luxuries city site, it may be wiser to go after it. In my recent game Songhai took a 3 luxuries site near me while I was building NC and then there were only 1 luxury sites available. That's 2000 gold lost in the first 100 turns only. It probably would have been better to build a settler ASAP, spend ~400 to another library and delay NC a little. If you're going for a longsword rush, NC is probably almost always the best option though.
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Old May 31, 2011, 06:01 AM   #16
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The AI are grabbing a lot of free stuff on Imm and Deity, why can't we take a chance/risk to get even? NC is fine as it is!

IF you go for it on these levels, you can have 15 French units coming your way and you'd be toast.

I don't go for NC in all games, it's situational and Imm and Deity are usually VERY situational.

So stop nerfing stuff.
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Old May 31, 2011, 07:07 AM   #17
Randall Turner
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Originally Posted by MkLh View Post
It's probably not the best option always though. If there is that 3 luxuries city site, it may be wiser to go after it. In my recent game Songhai took a 3 luxuries site near me while I was building NC and then there were only 1 luxury sites available. That's 2000 gold lost in the first 100 turns only. It probably would have been better to build a settler ASAP, spend ~400 to another library and delay NC a little. If you're going for a longsword rush, NC is probably almost always the best option though.
I still count a two-city first setup as an NC rush. I do it a lot if there's one good nearby site, like you suggest here.
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Old May 31, 2011, 08:45 AM   #18
jbevermore
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The only way it would be "too strong" would be if you were hugely handicapping yourself by NOT doing it.

There's several good opening strategies based on your Civ and map type. So it's probably fine as is.
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Old May 31, 2011, 09:18 AM   #19
KrikkitTwo
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It might be worth bumping it up the Tech tree...To say Philosophy or Civil Service.

The others are OK (the National Epic is blah... should probably make it +50% and more expensive)

The Natonal Treasury could use a boost (add the +50% to it)

Ironworks is OK because Producion isn't pooled.
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Old May 31, 2011, 09:48 AM   #20
Exterminas
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I don't think it is overpowered.

It solves some problems and generates other. Like leaving you vulnerable to early agression and the chance of screwing your diplomacy plans.
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