2.6 Playtest Feedback

Stalker0

Baller Magnus
Joined
Dec 31, 2005
Messages
9,361
Alright so after a long hiatus I did several rounds of games. Here is my feedback:

Germany
I tried out the new Germany several times.

UA: It creates a unique playstyle with the notion of pounding out units instead of rushing to emissaries to snag a few CS allies. Its also a nice synergy with the new "gift a unit" type CS quests. Ultimately, I didn't find it terribly powerful, but it helps a bit. My biggest issue with it is the "UI" of it, I had situations where I gifted a unit and got no benefit because the CS instantly upgraded them, and the amount of benefit you get is highly variable because of that. Contrasted with Siam that gets an immediate influence boost when you first meet them, you know exactly how much you get and how long it will last. In comparison the Germany mechanic feels a bit clunky. If there was a way to solve that more elegantly, I think it would be really great.

UU: I like the new Tercio version a lot. Its a good solid unit, the new +30% on max hp is a nice mechanic that is solid but not OP. The ability to spam them out rapidly in a hotzone is a really cool ability that feels unique to Germany. My only concern is that the Fusilier that follows gets everything from the unit, which creates some really strong Fusiliers. But in the long run its hard to go OP with melee units, compared to American Musketman -> gatling guns, I don't think the abilities are too strong. Overall, really like this change.

New CS Quests
Coup X CS: Its a fine quest that I think is overtuned at the moment (or simply that coup's are too easy, see my notes below). This gives a LOT of GP points, like a ton of them, for a pretty simple action.

Gift X Unit: A solid benefit, good frequency, a very nice addition.

Units
Slinger: The new slinger is a very strong unit for what it is at that point in the game. I have tried getting an extra warrior or an extra slinger, and so far I've been hard pressed to find a reason to the warrior. The slinger is tough even to take barb hits and clears camps and barbs a lot faster than a warrior thinks to the lack of counter damage.

Archer: I already made my thread about the power of this unit. I'm going to try a few more runs to see if I change my mind, but I do think the unit is too strong at the moment. Ultimately I think the RCS is fine, but its too tanky....and also its upgrade cost from the slinger is really cheap...which augments the power of a slinger -> archer rush.

Skirmisher: I think we could drop the CS on this unit by 1. It currently is the tankiest unit of its time in open field, even Formation II spears (which are designed to rip apart horse units in theory) take almost as much damage as they deal. That's just too much for a unit that is supposed to run not stand there and take it. This combined with the loss of the cbow (which was its real counter) makes it the most dominant unit by far on the right terrain.

Trade Deals
Lux Trading: So it took getting used to the idea that the AI would often not buy my luxs, but once I got used to it, it makes sense to me. Yes it means luxs aren't as coveted as they were before, but they are still good yield tiles that I want, so I never found myself ignoring them. My only issue here is the wide variance in trade deals from the AI. Early game, most of the time they want 2 GPT for a lux...fine. Once in a while, 6 GPT....great. And then.... 22 GPT!!! I have seen 60 GPT deals in the late game! I get that the AI generally wants it for a WLTKD, which makes perfect sense, but every so often they just go off the rails on their valuation.

"What makes this deal work" button - Just wanted to give a shout out. The fact that this button consistently works now is just a godsend, makes things so much better. Thank you!

New Resources
Corn / Rice: This seems fine. The pictures are a little "colorful" compared to the standard ones which makes them stick out a bit, but the yields are fine, I haven't noticed them coming up too often or too little. I personally don't know how much they add to the game but I don't think it detracts any so bring em on.

Naval Movement
Galleass: Big fan of the new change to its movement. It gives the ship enough mobility to actually be a worthy ship, but the caravel is still very important for crossing oceans and still has much greater mobility because of it. Its a very nice balance.

Corvette/Ironclad Speed Nerf: I don't remember when but at some point these ships were dropped down to 4 speed. Ultimately, I think its a good change. The speed prevents crazy sneak attacks from the fog of war, and forces you to maneuver your forces more. It also reduces the power of larger navies so they can't maneuver around each other as easily. While its annoying to move a navy across any distance, I think the change is ultimately for the better.

AI Aggression
So after 4 games I'm seeing the same behavior, could be a coincidence but I'll note it. The AI seems extremely passive in the early game. Basically I never got attacked until Renaissance, even when I'm barely making army. I remember a time when if you didn't have your medieval techs in order you were going to get run over by the pain train, now the AI just lets me plod along with no issue.

Happiness
Happiness on Immortal has been a non-issue to me so far except right after a conquest. I almost never care about my happiness nowadays. I am fine with that personally but making the note.

Spy System
So the spy system is the biggest change, so I'll dig in.

Coups: CS coups seem way too easy right now. Its basically almost 75% or higher chance to succeed, and you can do it with level 1 spies. I quickly found coups were the best use of my spies.

City Sabotage: So the new quest here deals 100 damage to the city and stops healing for like 3-5 turns. It takes like 8ish turns to Travel and Surveil to a city, and then 1-2 turns normally to sabotage (assuming a low security city). I found that too long for the city I was actively going after, I almost always had the city taken care of before the spy did anything. However, as an opening move before I start a war, or maybe putting that on the second city while I'm working the first one.... that could be doable. I think its probably reasonable, its not fast enough to be hyper usable (which could be too strong, if I can slap a blockade on every city I attack I'm unstoppable), but fast enough with a little planning I can probably make good use of it.

Yield Siphons: I found a consistent pattern in my siphons:
  • It took roughly 8-9ish turns for a spy to set up in a new city (travel time + surveillance).
  • Almost every city that I had not touched had a bare minimum security (aka I never saw how constabularies did anything). This meant a 2 turn siphon most of the time.
  • I get the siphon with a reasonably low chance of identify/kill.
  • Then the security shoots up to max, and now its ~19ish turns to get a siphon. That in itself is not a problem (just means I get a big steal at the end). However, the identification is normally 90-99%, and most concerning, the kill is like 30-40% or more. So assuming I get kicked out every time I do the second steal and go to a new city, I am basically gaining 5.25 turns of yields (21 turns * 25%) for 29 turns of spy time (2 turns + 19 turns + 8 turns of setup). If that was everything....that MIIIIGHT be viable. But then you have the kill chance. So ignoring the loss of spy Xp for the moment, it takes like 10 turns to get your spy back. So on average that's another 4ish turns (10 turns lost * 30-40% chance), so we are at 33 turns of spy time. Its just not worth it imo.
UI Wise: I found the system pretty clean. I don't understand what "spy power" is though, I don't see how that's calculated, and I don't really know how X power = Y speed with my yields. But how things are organized and arranged looks good to me.

Ultimately I think this new system is workable, it just needs numbers adjustment. Either the security bump for a siphon needs to be toned down, the yield siphon increased, the travel/setup time greatly decreased....something needs to get changed to make it viable. But the core system seems solid.
 

nekokon

Prince
Joined
Aug 9, 2017
Messages
396
Is CS coup still the one-sided rng roll ? I hate that mechanic so much since if your cs is targeted you won't know or can do anything until the result is decided.
Would be great if you are notified when it's underway and can decide to "pay" resource to lower the chance or just let it go.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2022
Messages
130
AI Aggression
So after 4 games I'm seeing the same behavior, could be a coincidence but I'll note it. The AI seems extremely passive in the early game. Basically I never got attacked until Renaissance, even when I'm barely making army. I remember a time when if you didn't have your medieval techs in order you were going to get run over by the pain train, now the AI just lets me plod along with no issue.
That's the most important issue in my opinion that completely eliminates the feeling of creating an actual civilization and competing with others, just leaves a numbers game, always rigged for the player.
 

beginner_

Chieftain
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
70
AI Aggression
So after 4 games I'm seeing the same behavior, could be a coincidence but I'll note it. The AI seems extremely passive in the early game. Basically I never got attacked until Renaissance, even when I'm barely making army. I remember a time when if you didn't have your medieval techs in order you were going to get run over by the pain train, now the AI just lets me plod along with no issue.
In general I think the AI seems a bit worse as I started playing a level higher (King) and won more clearly than on Prince.
 

looorg

King
Joined
Dec 22, 2010
Messages
677
The new CS quests
Coup and Gift. As noted the coup is somewhat to easy to pull off I guess. I don't think I have ever seen it being less then 70ish percent to succeed. Gifting as noted previously had a bug where the quest would pop up but the city-state couldn't accept more units. That is now fixed. (edit: coup still has the bug that you can get the quest to coup city-states that you are already allied with, so making it impossible unless you first somehow lose the status of allied and then coup -- but really that would be like getting a city state quest to acquire a resource that you already have).

Slingers. As noted the slinger rush works but is a lot more dangerous for the attacker as slingers only have 1 range instead of 2 like an archer. But the AI seems very reluctant to attack them. Also the early AI seems to become very confused when it gets attacked early and keeps retreating instead of attacking or standing their ground. I think I have had more success in this patch with early aggression then I have had in a long time. So much so that I can in the ancient era knock out one or two of my closest neighbors, the problem then is usually that I have to have their capital be a happiness drag until the middle of the next era when I can get the courthouse. So you better lock the growth and put out a settler or two from their capitals just to lessen the unhappiness.

Trade. Trade is my main grief with the new patch. While I can adapt to the new situation and I do understand the why and the how of it it is still borked in my mind. I don't think not buying and just buying when you need something is working out for the AI. If anything if they ask for something now then I know they need it for trigger quests or happiness in their land and can just say no and deny them the resource. After all I can live without their gold. It also breaks the entire UI as you can't tell any longer what they want, what they need or if they are even willing to buy it. So it broke a large part of the UI which have then now been replaced by extremely tedious micromanagement as you have to click every civ and every resource to see if they like or want it or if the deal is impossible. The AI have also started to do stupid requests like asking for luxuries in deal they deem to be impossible, they'll still accept it if you agree to the deal but they claim it's impossible to the valuation is all kinds of borked. I'm not a fan of this new trade situation.

Corn/Rice. Nice but it doesn't really add anything. I guess this will be fixed next patch to add some diversity to them so they are not three things that are the same just with different graphics. Overall thou I still think it's more of it as it's now three resources that can spawn instead of just wheat so it takes up more tiles. But I have not really compared it to previously so that could just be my impression of it.

Naval movement. I kind of like it to. Even tho I don't really use it much. That said I'm wondering if it wouldn't be interesting if you added another old thing that if early ships end their turns in oceans they could get lost or destroyed. Just so there is an early risk/reward thing. Perhaps it could be tied to cities with lighthouses etc to create safe zones or extend the safe range.

AI Aggression. As mentioned in the slinger post early AI have gotten very passive. They don't seem to know what to do and can be very easily pushed around. They don't really come into their own until the second era now. That said they are still hostile and so on if they are authority they just can't do anything about.

Spy games. Have gotten a lot more important with the city healing changes. You really want to time the sabotage action to coincide with your sieges if you can. I still thing the siphon amount is to low, previously when you got a large chunk no matter what you could do something with it. Now you get a trivial little amount that is not even enough for a unit upgrade. I like that you are stealing again. Even tho it sort of pushes the player into the old thinking of "don't save anything cause it will get stolen" way of thinking. I'm not sure but I do wonder what happens if the AI steals but you have nothing in the pool, I have not seen myself go negative from their stealing but I have gone to zero. So you are somewhat incentivized to not have anything in the faith and gold pool at the end of your turns just so that they can't steal. Also there are ways to circumvent the whole thing -- put up some dummy cities, they appear to be like beacons for the ai spying. They seem to go for the easy targets even tho they won't hardly siphon anything from a small city that is pop locked and doesn't produce any resources to speak of. Yet they keep hitting them over and over again, I guess they might complete the quests but they are not really gaining any yields. So while it might not work or reward the player very much it probably rewards the ai even less.
 
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CppMaster

Deity
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
2,006
Location
Poland
My biggest issue with it is the "UI" of it, I had situations where I gifted a unit and got no benefit because the CS instantly upgraded them, and the amount of benefit you get is highly variable because of that.
Isn't that a bug? Because it makes no sense. The CS can upgrade the giften unit, because it Sas gifted in the first place.
 

greenfieldpark

Warlord
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
159
That's the most important issue in my opinion that completely eliminates the feeling of creating an actual civilization and competing with others, just leaves a numbers game, always rigged for the player.
Ive basically stopped playing due to this. Has taken the fun, challenge and roleplay out of the game for me.
Check the forums daily eagerly awaiting a fix or change.
 

pineappledan

Deity
Joined
Aug 9, 2017
Messages
7,815
Location
Alberta, Canada

greenfieldpark

Warlord
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
159
se

setting war approach in diplo ai options may help this.
Thanks for the tip. I tried it but no noticable difference. New game. I forward settled both carthage and monte. Even refused Carthage demand to refrain from settling nearby in future. I had two military units the entire early game. Nada. No war.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2022
Messages
130
Thanks for the tip. I tried it but no noticable difference. New game. I forward settled both carthage and monte. Even refused Carthage demand to refrain from settling nearby in future. I had two military units the entire early game. Nada. No war.
wow, just wow. if it doesn't help anymore, then im not coming back, i haven't played in a month already. forward settling should = war.
 
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