[Vote] (1-05) Difficulty Level Revamp Proposals

Approval Vote for Proposal #5 (instructions below)


  • Total voters
    115
  • Poll closed .
Status
Not open for further replies.

Recursive

Already Looping
Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2017
Messages
3,880
Location
Antarctica
Voting Instructions
Players, please cast your votes in the poll above. Vote "Yea" for every proposal you'd be okay with if it were implemented. Vote "Nay" if you'd be okay if these proposals weren't implemented. You can vote for any number of options.

All votes are public. If you wish, you can discuss your choice(s) in the thread below. You can change your vote as many times as you want until the poll closes.

VP Congress: Session 1, Proposal 5

Title: Chieftain Difficulty becomes "Bonus Neutral"
Proposer: @Stalker0
Sponsor(s): @Recursive
Previous Discussion Thread: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/10-proposal-chieftain-difficulty-become-bonus-neutral.679015/

Proposal Details
There are players that enjoy the feeling they are playing against an AI that is playing the exact same game they are. No bonuses/no penalties, just their skill against the AI. Further, it would be useful to have the ability to see how good our AI really is without its "crutches", aka how smart has the AI truly gotten?

With that in mind, the proposal.

Chieftain Difficulty
  • Set AI options to 1 (to ensure the AI is as competent as possible)
  • Remove all ABC bonuses/penalties
  • Remove all supply bonuses/penalties
  • Remove all discounts/increases to tech/culture/purchasing/etc etc
  • Remove any bonus/penalty to combat/war weariness/anti-warfare fervor/healing

Stated plainly, once done, the AI should receive 0 advantages or disadvantages as compared to the human.


VP Congress: Session 1, Proposal 5a
Title: Make Warlord Bonus Neutral, Settler Easier, Rework Difficulty Levels and Barbarians
Proposer: @Recursive
Sponsor(s): @Recursive
Previous Discussion Thread: https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...work-difficulty-levels-and-barbarians.679863/

Proposal Details
Note:
I have a separate proposal to remove AI randomness for policy, tech and city production choice on all difficulty levels, which does not conflict with this one: https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...ifficulty-randomization-of-ai-choices.679135/


Current Status of Difficulty in VP
I have updated the guide for difficulty bonuses in VP (as they are currently) on the wiki for everyone's reference. Feel free to refer to it as you read this proposal to understand the changes.



Problems With Existing Proposal
Making Chieftain bonus neutral without changing any other difficulty levels has problems with it.

As currently proposed, the human player would go from:
Settler: 13 Happiness, -20% Unhappiness from needs, 9 base unit supply, 30% unit supply from population, randomized AI decisions (top 3 choices)
Chieftain: 8 Happiness, -0% Unhappiness from needs, 7 base unit supply, 15% unit supply from population, no randomized AI decisions
Warlord: 11 Happiness, -10% Unhappiness from needs, 9 base unit supply, 25% unit supply from population, randomized AI decisions (top 3 choices)

This is very unintuitive, weird for newcomers, and just bad design, in my opinion.

In addition, it's not only the values above, but also the anti-warmonger fervor cap, which would be raised to +50% on Chieftain so that neither side has an advantage. If a Chieftain player can handle 50% anti-warmonger fervor, they probably should be playing at a higher difficulty level.


Problems This Counterproposal Aims To Resolve
  • I know players who have struggled with the mod even on Settler and given up in frustration - which is not good for VP attracting newcomers. Let's call this group of players the "Newbie Segment".

  • The idea behind the original proposal - a difficulty level where the AI and human are on equal footing, offering a game which is a pure test of skill - is one that a good number of people have requested. Let's call this group of players the "Fair Play Segment".

  • The description for Deity doesn't use the epic "Only the best players in the world will beat this level." line, which is one of the very few things I liked about Firaxis's version. :lol:

  • The Gold received from Barbarian camps ranges from 30 Gold on Settler to 15 Gold on Deity. Songhai's unique ability triples Gold from clearing encampments, and is the only UA that is directly worsened simply by playing on a higher difficulty level. In addition, getting 15 Gold from clearing a Barbarian camp just...doesn't feel very rewarding.

  • There have been multiple complaints about Barbarians being irrelevant at every stage of the game, which is bad for Authority players. Recent testing and inspection of the code has revealed that there are three reasons for this: the high mobility of scouting units (as well as large amounts of AI units, sometimes with extra sight) is keeping too many tiles visible, there are several caps on the number of Barbarian encampments (on top of the restriction that they can't be created within 4 tiles of a major capital or another Barbarian camp), the spawning of camps on islands in the middle of the sea results in fewer Barbarians spawning in the middle of the sea. There is also a bit too much randomness in the spawning, in my opinion. More on this below.

  • There are frequent complaints from players about AI players having endless carpets of units on higher difficulties, which makes war a major grind.

  • AI players, even on difficulties as low as Prince, run out of things to build by midgame and spend all their time training units and working on processes. Not only does this drive up the Unhappiness median, but it doesn't feel fair or fun. The reason this happens is because the AI simply has too much Production with its instant yields combined with its discounts to Production costs. The instant Production from difficulty can also be applied towards World Wonders and World Congress Projects, which doesn't feel very fair or fun either.

The goals of my proposal is to make Vox Populi appeal to more segments of our target market, improve the general feel of the game, and to resolve the Barbarian issue. Thank you to @azum4roll and @Rekk for their early feedback on this proposal.


My Solution
The basic ideas of my proposal are to:
  • Make Settler difficulty even easier than it already is, for the Newbie Segment.

  • Make Chieftain difficulty roughly equivalent to current Settler (still providing some challenge, with an edge over the AI), for the Newbie Segment.

  • Make Warlord difficulty bonus neutral, with neither human players nor the AI having any advantages over each other, for the Fair Play Segment. Note that "bonus neutral" does not mean no bonuses, but rather that humans and the AI will have equal bonuses.

  • Make Prince and King the "ramp up" difficulties, two halfway points between Warlord and Emperor. They will each be substantially more challenging, and are for players who want to build up their skills (the Learners Segment).

  • Keep Emperor, Immortal and Deity at about the same level of difficulty, for players who like a challenge (they are the Challenge Seekers Segment).

  • Make the Gold from clearing a Barbarian encampment consistent at 50 Gold, scaling with era, regardless of difficulty.

  • Remove the caps on Barbarian encampments, allow them to spawn in visible tiles (but not adjacent to city borders/units) and make some other adjustments (explained in more detail below).

  • Remove the AI's total unit supply % bonus, to make wars less grind-y and more tactical on higher difficulties. They will still have production bonuses (so they can produce units quickly) and XP bonuses (so their units will be more effective), but they will not have as much ability to produce doom carpets. On higher difficulties they will have slightly more base and population % unit supply than humans, but that is much less than a 25-35% bonus to their total unit supply.

  • Remove the instant Production yield that AI players get from difficulty. It does not need replacement, in my opinion; AI players already have substantial Production discounts, so this is double-dipping. This also prevents AI players from getting a direct advantage to World Wonders and World Congress Projects, which should allow higher difficulty players more chances to obtain those Wonders.

Keep in mind that while Warlord will be bonus neutral and Settler will be easier, Prince and King will each be a fairly big jump in difficulty. Emperor+ will feel roughly the same, minus the doom carpets and with the AI having to do a bit more work. But I think this new system will work well and I would like to give it a try.

Table of Revised Player Bonuses
For the current values, see "Current Status of Difficulty in VP" above. AI Players have their own difficulty level and receive all of the bonuses in that column no matter what difficulty humans are playing on. These bonuses are equal to those of a human player on Warlord.
Spoiler :

Difficulty SettingWhat does it do?SettlerChieftainWarlordPrinceKingEmperorImmortalDeityAI Players
StartingLocPercentPlayers with a lower value are placed on the map first (pregen maps only, will eventually add to new maps)304050505050505050
HappinessDefaultGlobal Happiness at game start988777658
HappinessDefaultCapitalLocal Happiness bonus for the capital332221112
PopulationUnhappinessMod% modifier to Unhappiness from Needs-30%-15%-0%-0%-0%-0%-0%-0%AIUnhappinessPercent
ExtraHappinessPerLuxuryBonus Global Happiness for each unique luxury100000000
StartingDefenseUnitsExtra Warriors (or era equivalent unit) at game start11000000AIStartingDefenseUnits
ProductionFreeUnitsBase unit supply at game start1098887768
ProductionFreeUnitsPopulationPercentBase % of population added to unit supply (ignore puppets, unless Venice)353025252020151525
ProductionFreeUnitsPerCityBase unit supply per owned city111111111
GoldFreeUnitsNumber of units that don't count for unit maintenance310000000
RouteCostPercentDiscount on tile improvement maintenance60%80%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
UnitCostPercentDiscount on unit maintenance75%90%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
BuildingCostPercentDiscount on building maintenance75%90%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
PolicyPercentDiscount on Social Policy cost80%90%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
ResearchPercentDiscount on technology cost90%95%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
AttitudeChangeDiplomacy bonus for human players to AI Opinion score-10-5000000N/A
AIDeclareWarProbIncreases AI enmity over disputes (and positive opinion for "no competition" modifiers)100120140160180200225250N/A
HumanStrengthPerceptionMod% increase to AI's perception of a human player's military strength (not always applicable)05101520253035N/A
ResistanceCapMaximum anti-warmonger fervor AGAINST this player16%24%32%40%50%55%65%75%AIResistanceCap
BarbarianBonusBonus VS Barbarians50%33%20%20%10%10%0%0%AIBarbarianBonus
BarbCampGoldGold from clearing a Barbarian camp, scaling with era505050505050505050
EarliestBarbarianReleaseTurnEarliest turn Barbarians can enter owned territory or tiles with Settlers (+/- 2 turns)5047444138353230N/A
BarbarianLandTargetRangePathfinder range for Barbarian land unit target search (in estimated turns)34555667N/A
BarbarianSeaTargetRangePathfinder range for Barbarian naval unit target search (in estimated turns)678889910N/A

Note on Barbarians
- Currently, the EarliestBarbarianReleaseTurn is a base value which has up to 15 turns randomly added to it at the start of the game. This is way too much randomness for my liking. I propose we reduce it to +/- 2 turns, and I bumped up the base values accordingly. In multiplayer I'll disable the randomness entirely (though I doubt it will affect much considering multiplayer's current instability).

Note on HumanStrengthPerceptionMod
- Formerly known as AIHumanStrengthMod, this value is now reduced due to the removal of AIUnitSupplyPercent. The strength perception bonus can be reduced or removed if the human player is overwhelmed with wars or doing poorly in them.


Table of Revised AI Bonuses
For the current values, see "Current Status of Difficulty in VP" above.
Spoiler :

Difficulty SettingWhat does it do?SettlerChieftainWarlordPrinceKingEmperorImmortalDeity
AIStartingDefenseUnitsExtra Warriors (or era equivalent unit) at game start00011111
StartingMinorDefenseUnitsExtra Warriors (or era equivalent unit) at game start for City-States00112233
AIWorkRateModifierWorkers complete improvements x% faster+0%+0%+0%+25%+35%+50%+60%+70%
AIUnhappinessPercent% modifier to Unhappiness from Needs+10%+5%-0%-0%-0%-0%-0%-0%
AIUnitCostPercentDiscount on unit maintenance100%100%100%90%85%80%75%70%
AIBuildingCostPercentDiscount on building maintenance100%100%100%90%85%80%75%70%
AIUnitUpgradePercentDiscount on unit upgrade cost100%100%100%90%80%70%60%50%
AITrainPercentModifier to combat unit production cost110%105%100%90%85%80%75%70%
AIConstructPercentModifier to building production cost110%105%100%90%85%80%75%70%
AIPerEraModifierAdditional reduction to building and combat unit production costs (multiplicative) for each game era that passes-0%-0%-0%-4%-6%-8%-9%-10%
AICivilianPercent (new)Modifier to production cost for non-combat units110%105%100%100%100%100%100%100%
AICreatePercent
AIWorldCreatePercent
AIWorldConstructPercent
Modifiers to production cost for Projects, World Wonders and World Congress Projects110%105%100%100%100%100%100%100%
AIFreeXPFree XP given to units (except starting pathfinder), scaling with game speed0001015202530
AIFreeXPPercent% increase to XP gain from combat+0%+0%+0%+20%+40%+60%+80%+100%
VisionBonusExtra sight for AI units (except scouting and trade units) in # of tiles00000012
AIResistanceCap (new)Maximum anti-warmonger fervor AGAINST the AI64%48%32%40%50%50%50%50%
AIBarbarianBonusAI Bonus VS Barbarians0%10%20%20%25%25%30%30%
DifficultyBonusBaseSee AI Periodic Yield Bonuses, below00047101214
DifficultyBonusASee below000320335350360375
DifficultyBonusBSee below000190210230240260
DifficultyBonusCSee below000100123145160180

Note on AIUnitUpgradePercent
- Currently, this bonus is applied to the unit upgrade cost after it is reduced by AITrainPercent and AIPerEraModifier, which is double-dipping that trivializes unit upgrade costs. As part of this proposal, I will change unit upgrade costs to be based on the unit's base production cost, not its cost reduced by difficulty. To offset this, the bonus has been increased a bit on higher difficulties. AI will actually have to spend Gold to upgrade units now.

AI Periodic Yield Bonuses
The amount of yields gained on difficulties above Warlord is calculated as follows:

Yield Bonus = DifficultyBonusBase * (DifficultyBonusA + (DifficultyBonusB * Era) + (DifficultyBonusC * Era * Era)) / 100 (rounded down)
Era = current game (average) era, counting Ancient and Classical as era #1, Medieval as era #2, etc.

The types of yields granted for each trigger are as follows (no Production bonus anymore, Food yield is divided amongst all of the AI's cities):
  • Enters a new era (3x normal bonus; Food, Gold, Golden Age Points, Science, Culture)
  • Founds its original capital (Gold, Golden Age Points)
  • Founds a new city, other than its capital (Food, Gold, Golden Age Points, Science, Culture)
  • Wins a war (warscore 25+) (Food, Gold, Golden Age Points, Science, Culture)
  • Starts a Golden Age (Food, Gold, Science, Culture)
  • Constructs a World Wonder (Gold, Golden Age Points)
  • Generates a Great Person (Gold, Golden Age Points)
  • Completes an antiquity site dig by building a Landmark or extracting an artifact (Gold)
  • Completes a trade route to another civilization or City-State (Gold)
The yield total is multiplied by InstantYieldPercent and divided by 100. InstantYieldPercent is 50 on Quick speed, 100 on Standard, 150 on Epic, and 200 on Marathon.


Changes to Barbarians
Spoiler :

The current spawning logic for camps works as follows:
- Encampment Cap = All possible tiles that could have a Barbarian encampment on them divided by a constant based on map size (Duel: 13, Tiny: 18, Small: 23, Standard: 27, Large: 30, Huge: 35)
- At the end of turn 0, create encampments equal to 1/3 of the Encampment Cap
- At the end of any other turn, if below the encampment cap, 1/2 chance to create an encampment on a random eligible tile
- Encampments cannot spawn within 4 tiles of a major civ's original capital
- Encampments cannot spawn within 4 tiles of another encampment
- Encampments cannot spawn in owned territory or in territory that anyone has vision over
- Encampments cannot spawn on improved tiles
- Too many encampments cannot spawn in the same "area" (an internal subdivision of the map which can be very inconsistent in size)
Spoiler :

I would change the spawning logic to this:
- At the end of turn 2, create encampments on 1/8 of eligible tiles, chosen randomly
- Every 2 turns thereafter, create an encampment on a random eligible tile at the end of the turn (every 3 turns if Chill Barbarians is enabled, every 1 turn if Raging Barbarians is enabled)

- Encampments cannot spawn within 4 tiles of a major civ's original capital
- Encampments cannot spawn within 4 tiles of another encampment
- Encampments cannot spawn in owned territory
- Encampments (and their initial starting unit) can spawn in territory that anyone has vision over, but cannot spawn on tiles that are: occupied by a unit, adjacent to a unit, or adjacent to city borders.
- Encampments can spawn on improved tiles, and destroy any improvement on the tile (except Embassies). Defend your roads if they're not in your borders, or your City Connections will be at risk!

This should address the concerns about insufficient Barbarians and allow them to stay relevant longer, while still allowing "pirate islands" to persist in the high seas.


New Difficulty Level Descriptions
Settler: "Beginner. The AI is at a significant disadvantage."
Chieftain: "Easy. The AI is at a slight disadvantage."
Warlord: "Normal. The AI is on equal footing with human players."
Prince: "Intermediate. The AI has noticeable bonuses."
King: "Hard. The AI has substantial bonuses."
Emperor: "Expert. The AI has large bonuses."
Immortal: "The AI has massive bonuses at all stages of the game. You have been warned!"
Deity: "Only the best players in the world will beat this level."


Randomization of AI Decisions (City Production, Policies, Techs)
This will depend on the results of my other proposal. Whether it passes or fails, it will have no effect on this proposal.


Integration of Alternate Difficulty Mod Columns
Regardless of whether this proposal is approved, I will add some (or maybe all) of the difficulty settings that Milae added for his Alternate Difficulty modmod, and may add a few on top of that. They will be disabled by default, but will add additional customizability for modders and players.
 
Last edited:

Slyceth

Warlord
Joined
Jul 5, 2021
Messages
107
Actually, I already configured my game to be exactly this once, to have the AI use its full brain instead of relying on bonusses, which means they snatch away world wonders before you are physically able to get them.

I think this proposal is great, but I think it's impossible to execute. It would be great as a modmod, just to show it's even possible to make this a reality, because I couldn't get this to work.

Yes that's right, I adjusted all the values, but still the AI was far too weak considering the AI systems currently in the game, even when picking their best options, are not nearly as good as the best option the player would pick.

I voted yes, but I think it's impossible.
 

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
9,564
So one thing I'm confused about in the B proposal. The AI is getting less supply and less free production, so it will be easier. But the description says immortal and deity will be roughly the same as they are now, so what did they get as compensation to keep them at roughly the same difficulty?
 

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
9,564
I have taken the first table and actually compared it to the wiki. I have bolded the actual values that have changed in this proposal, which will hopefully clarify a bit what changes are occuring.

Difficulty SettingWhat does it do?SettlerChieftainWarlordPrinceKingEmperorImmortalDeityAI Players
StartingLocPercentPlayers with a lower value are placed on the map first (pregen maps only, will eventually add to new maps)304050505050505050
HappinessDefaultGlobal Happiness at game start988777658
HappinessDefaultCapitalLocal Happiness bonus for the capital332221112
PopulationUnhappinessMod% modifier to Unhappiness from Needs-30%-15%-0%-0%-0%-0%-0%-0%AIUnhappinessPercent
ExtraHappinessPerLuxuryBonus Global Happiness for each unique luxury100000000
StartingDefenseUnitsExtra Warriors (or era equivalent unit) at game start11000000AIStartingDefenseUnits
ProductionFreeUnitsBase unit supply at game start1098887768
ProductionFreeUnitsPopulationPercentBase % of population added to unit supply (ignore puppets, unless Venice)353025252020151525
ProductionFreeUnitsPerCityBase unit supply per owned city111111111
GoldFreeUnitsNumber of units that don't count for unit maintenance310000000
RouteCostPercentDiscount on tile improvement maintenance60%80%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
UnitCostPercentDiscount on unit maintenance75%90%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
BuildingCostPercentDiscount on building maintenance75%90%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
PolicyPercentDiscount on Social Policy cost80%90%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
ResearchPercentDiscount on technology cost90%95%100%100%100%100%100%100%100%
AttitudeChangeDiplomacy bonus for human players to AI Opinion score-10-5000000N/A
AIDeclareWarProbIncreases AI enmity over disputes (and positive opinion for "no competition" modifiers)100120140160180200225250N/A
HumanStrengthPerceptionMod% increase to AI's perception of a human player's military strength (not always applicable)05101520253035N/A
ResistanceCapMaximum anti-warmonger fervor AGAINST this player16%24%32%40%50%55%65%75%AIResistanceCap
BarbarianBonusBonus VS Barbarians50%33%20%20%10%10%0%0%AIBarbarianBonus
BarbCampGoldGold from clearing a Barbarian camp, scaling with era505050505050505050
EarliestBarbarianReleaseTurnEarliest turn Barbarians can enter owned territory or tiles with Settlers (+/- 2 turns)5047444138353230N/A
BarbarianLandTargetRangePathfinder range for Barbarian land unit target search (in estimated turns)34555667N/A
BarbarianSeaTargetRangePathfinder range for Barbarian naval unit target search (in estimated turns)678889910N/A
 

Recursive

Already Looping
Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2017
Messages
3,880
Location
Antarctica
So one thing I'm confused about in the B proposal. The AI is getting less supply and less free production, so it will be easier. But the description says immortal and deity will be roughly the same as they are now, so what did they get as compensation to keep them at roughly the same difficulty?
It will be slightly easier without the instant Production, but considering that AI had already built all buildings by midgame on Prince difficulty, I don't think it will make a substantial impact, except for removing the AI's advantage towards building World Wonders and World Congress Projects which IMO isn't fun.

The reduction of doom carpets may be more of a balance concern, but I'd like to see how impactful it actually is first.

Anyway, it was more of a statement of where I envision the difficulty being. If we playtest it and Deity players are unhappy with how easy it is, it's easy to tweak the numbers.
 

Recursive

Already Looping
Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2017
Messages
3,880
Location
Antarctica
Proposal "Make Warlord Bonus Neutral, Settler Easier, Rework Difficulty Levels and Barbarians" passed on November 1, 2022.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom