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A General discussion of Heroic Branden and Great Basil

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by pineappledan, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    This is a discussion of the relative strength and interactions between Heroic Epic, Great Wall, St Basil’s Cathedral, and Brandenburg Gate

    Spoiler “But FruitBoy, what do these wonders even do?” :

    Heroic epic
    Unlocked early classical
    1:c5culture:
    A free Great General
    Writing slot
    Morale promotion (+10%:c5strength: CS for units built in this city)
    Great Wall
    Unlocked late classical
    1:c5culture:
    1:c5greatperson: GEngineer points
    3:c5war: flat supply cap
    Free wall
    15:c5strength: defense for city
    +50 city HP
    Reduced empire needs modifier by 5%​
    Free GGeneral
    Enemy Units entering your borders lose all movement points​
    Cathedral of St basil
    Unlocked late medieval
    Must be in a holy city

    +3:c5culture:4:c5faith:
    -5% population needed to reform your religion
    Free Order
    10:c5strength: city defense
    3:c5faith:, scaling with era, when you kill a unit
    15XP to units trained in this city
    morale promotion (+10%:c5strength: CS for units built in this city)​

    Brandenburg Gate
    Unlocked late Industrial
    1:c5culture:
    2:c5greatperson:GMerchant points
    10:c5war: flat supply cap
    Free Great General
    15 XP for units trained in this city
    -1:c5unhappy: distress in this city​

    “So what are your thoughts on these wonders, AnanasLad?"
    Spoiler Heroic Epic :

    So, first off, with the addition of free Great Generals to the heroic epic, there’s a lot of free generals floating around. In a standard game if 8 civs, that’s 10 free great generals. Now obviously this is a grand conspiracy to keep Great Admirals down, but in addition to that, I have concerns with how 2 civs have complete control over a triggering of their UA.

    For Japan, the issue is less serious. It is unlikely a player will delay their Epic until Artist/Musician guilds are up, but a player can time their General’s birth to happen after the next GWriter so they get more :c5greatperson:GPPs. With Sweden, the ability to have an extra free, global heal that you can time with impunity is very potent. This is why Sweden is so dangerous in Industrial, but this moves the Swedish power spike forward a bit.

    it’s also worth noting just how early this bonus is. The Heroic Epic is available to most civs before all but the most bellicose civs could have generated a GGeneral through combat. It seems strange that civs would all have birthed a great military mind when all they have done up to this point is snuffed out a few hill tribes. Mongolia in particular can spawn a free Khan while they might still be barb hunting, and that medic bonus getting leveled against your first target civ, with zero windup can feel pretty uncalled for.

    Some possible changes to the Heroic Epic that I think would improve it in some way:
    • Could have a max of 3 on Empire, like Guilds. Currently, the bottleneck of having only 1 Morale city for stronger military unit production can feel quite restrictive. Obviously the Free GGeneral would need to be dropped then.
    • Could give 1:c5greatperson: GWriter Point in City. It seems weird that this building doesn't contribute to any :greatwork:GW production, given what they are supposedly meant to represent.
    • Could move the Heroic Epic to a later tech. Maybe Chivalry?
      • This would address the timing issue with the Free GGeneral.
      • It seems very strange that the wonder is so early, given what it is supposed to represent: A heroic myth from which national identity can be derived. Most of the examples given in the Civilopedia text either never contributed to the basis for a national identity (Odyssey, Gilgamesh), or didn't exist until much later than Classical Antiquity (Beowulf)

    Spoiler Great Wall :

    Great Wall - The movement penalty on this wonder makes it one of the most potent wonders in the game. It is also wonderfully unique. I do have some quibbles with the rest of it though.

    if it is determined that the GGeneral on Hepic is here to stay, then a 2nd free GGeneral in the same era is overkill.

    The free wall is also pretty weird. Walls are unlocked a full era earlier than the GWall. This makes a weird incentive for players, because they can get a maintenance-free wall if they don’t build a wall and hold out. Failing that, they can sell their existing wall before GWall is finished in a city so they can enjoy the lower building maintenance. Leaving a city, a high :c5production:production city able to compete for GWall no less, undefended is pretty much suicide, so it’s weird to have this free wall where none but the most daring will get the full use of it. Maybe the GWall could give a local % defence boost in the city, or a weaker version of Himeji’s global % boost to :c5strength:city defense, or maybe it could just boost walls some other way.

    Spoiler St. Basil's Cathedral :

    Hoo Boy. So the long and the short is that the order should be dropped from this wonder. By itself, that free order makes St. Basil's a top-tier wonder, even if a player has already reformed. I would say that Orders are probably balanced as a belief, but having only 1 Order on Empire is like 50% of the benefit of having Orders in ALL your cities.

    Assuming you didn't get orders as a belief:
    That 15XP undercuts the Brandenburg gate, who would otherwise be the only wonder giving extra XP. It gives the same amount, no less, AND Morale, and it's 2 eras earlier than Brandenburg.
    The 10:c5strength: is like a tiny Red Fort, undercutting that wonder by increasing your city's defense cap
    The City can basically function as a second Heroic Epic city, which incentivizes you to put the Heroic Epic in a secondary city if you are gunning for Basil's. You functionally double your ability to minmax cities for military production by adding a second source of Morale Boosts

    On top of that, the base yields on St. Basils are very respectable.

    Last thing is, the Order is just a very silly thing to put on St. Basil's Cathedral. The Cathedral was consecrated in 1561, and didn't complete construction until 1588. The 9th crusade was in 1272, and that's a major bookend to crusader history. Did any Slavs ever actually do a crusade? In fact, weren't the Slavs on the Receiving end of a crusade???

    Spoiler Brandenburg Gate :

    So this wonder is maybe not the worst in it's current form, but it doesn't have much going for it either.

    Let's start with the :c5war: Supply cap bonus, since that's the best part of this wonder, and the biggest reason to build it. 10 supply is a pretty strong boost, but the fact that the best part of this wonder is just a relatively larger version of a bonus given by 5 other wonders is not great, and it demonstrates the problem with Brandenburg: It's not special.

    The 15 XP bonus is weak. Compare that to the free Order (15XP) from St. Basil's, unlocked 2 eras earlier, or the Military Academy (25XP), unlocked on the same tech, or the Assyrian Royal Library (up to 45XP on Empire). Brandenburg's XP bonus just doesn't stack up -- not for a late Industrial World Wonder, at least.

    Then there's the Free Great General. As with the GWall, my opinion is that 3 different buildings giving the same bonus is too much. Industrial era seems like a great place for a second GGeneral to appear, spaced out from the other 2 in classical, so I would rather see the GGeneral dropped from 1 of the other 2 buildings.

    For possible changes for this building, I've actually got a whole list:
    • Give the BBurg a free Military Academy
    • Increase the BBurg's bonus XP to 25 or 30
    • Make the BBurg give its bonus XP Globally
    • Instead of the BBurg Gate giving bonus XP to all units trained, it could give either flat bonus XP to all purchased/faith purchased units on Empire, or it could reduce the XP penalty for purchasing purchasing units to 3/4 of max XP for purchased units.
    • This would also serve as an excuse to reduce the Volunteer Army Freedom tenet to give another 25% reduction in XP loss. the tenet completely eliminates the XP reduction currently, and is reeeeeeeally good right now, and could stand to be nerfed.​
    • BBurg Gate could give a bonus for every Great General/Admiral born on empire, though if you gave that bonus it would probably be fitting to make it either the Imperialism or Authority Finisher, since they can :c5faith:Faith buy the instant boost.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
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  2. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    I always assumed that building a wonder gives you the maintenance-free building, whether you'd built it already or not (ie, if you had already built the building, its upkeep cost just becomes 0 upon completion of the wonder). This is not the case?
     
  3. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    On the heroic epic, I will say that i often generate a GG before I build the building. A little warring plus the CS quest for killing a barn camp is all you need.

    Thst said, I think the heroic epic stands on its own without the GG, I didn’t think that was necessary.

    On Great Wall, I will agree the wall building, while flavorful, is not the best building to place here.

    Brandenburg is fine to me. The supply increase is huge for tradition players. The 15xp is also very good, doesn’t matter if other things give XP, I always want more XP!

    ST Basil, you’ve given some good things to think about. Honestly I almost never get this wonder because reforming is pretty easy and there are so many wonders around this time period that I want. But maybe I’ve been underestimating it
     
  4. andersw

    andersw King

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    I dont build st Basil after the changes on reform, sure the exp of an order is nice but I have other priorities at that time and it doesn't give exp to my old units.

    I build (and would continue to build) Great wall only for the special defensive effect that halts incoming units, everything else is cherry on top.

    I like where heroic epic is now, the early generals leads to interesting offensive citadels from the AI.

    While all the possible generals are strong for Japan and Sweden I don't see it as a bit issue and they don't overperform in my games.
     
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  5. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Response, since I promised updates on the next 'full' version elsewhere (i.e. the one where I clean up all remaining quibbles with the betas):

    - Heroic Epic is swapping it's free GG for a free Writer. I think it makes more sense flavor-wise, and is a more universally-useful buff. A little more early tourism will also help get some familiar/popular statuses going faster, even if they fade with time (I dislike that tourism bonuses generally only come into play in the later part of the game).

    - Great Wall is fine, IMO. We can drop the wall, I don't think it will hurt the wonder to do so.

    - We could put a cathedral on basil, or just a temple. I don't really care.

    - Brandenburg is fine, IMO

    G
     
  6. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Or a Synagogue :lol: (Jews were banned from Moscow until the 18th century, please don't take this suggestion seriously)
    Jokes aside, the base stats are pretty good, and it's the reformation wonder, so it doesn't need to be fantastic or else people who don't need it to reform might be enticed to build it anyways
    Since it is one of the last religious buildings available, maybe it could boost all buildings in the city unlocked by beliefs? It could give +1:c5faith:1:c5culture: to belief buildings as a way of capping the free religious buildings acquired through your own religion/wonders
    Even increasing the XP to 30 would hold my interest on this wonder. I always feel like I should just be building a military academy instead, if I do manage to access this wonder (The AI seems to focus it pretty hard)
    Brandenburg vs Military Academy:
    Cost is 1250:c5production: (with wonder :c5production:modifiers) vs 1250:c5production:
    1:c5culture: vs 1:c5science:
    15XP vs 25XP
    10:c5war: vs 1:c5war:
    -1:c5unhappy: distress vs -1:c5unhappy: distress
    Free :c5capital: GG vs 15%:c5production: for land units

    Like, Brandenburg is better and there's only 1 of them, but it's a Wonder and it doesn't feel like it's that much stronger than a military academy, especially if you aren't having supply problems.
     
  7. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    They aren't mutually exclusive, its not like you build the Gate and go "oh now I can't build the military academy". 15 XP still gets me that much closer to my 4th promotion. +10 supply is nothing to sneeze at (some have argued that for tradition this is one of the most important wonders to have the needed supply for proper forces), and yes if you don't need the supply than the wonder will be weaker, but I could say that about a lot of wonders.
     
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  8. swapoer

    swapoer Warlord

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    I would like to ask people’s opinions about CN Tower too, which gives broadcast tower which is a era earlier. I find this mechanic quite weird too.

    Playing mostly on tradition with emperor difficulty, I found getting reformation belief is purely determined if my surrounding AI has their own religion. In my most recent game, 2 AI has their own religion, and 1 surrounding AI has no which is surrounded by the other 2. I have 8% to get reformation belief. I give up on it and never build ST Brazil.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
  9. LifeOfBrian

    LifeOfBrian Warlord

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    Heroic Epic giving a great writer would be good.

    Great Wall should give a free building like a free armory or castle, not a wall.

    I think Brandeburg is fine as it is, perhaps even a bit too strong.

    I'm indifferent to St. Basil's changing or not.
     
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  10. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    If you ignore/delay broadcast towers, there are tons of other worthy options for your hammers at that stage of the game. The CN tower can save you tens of thousands of hammers on a building that doesn’t necessarily get built in every city otherwise.

    on the other hand, if you neglect to build walls until late classical then you must have a death wish. While I can understand the parallel being made, one is for a relatively niche building in ALL cities, and the other is incentivizing a very risky playstyle for 120:c5production: in a free building.
    Another option is the yields on faith purchase that you made for me to add to 4UC. Maybe you could give 25% of faith purchases in this city are converted into :c5goldenage:GAPs, or some other yield?

    also, just realized the switch to a great writer on the HEpic is a terrific steroid for Assyria. I think they could use the help, and it’s nice for getting their UA’s :c5science: bonus science and the XP on their wonder going.
     
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  11. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    I love most things about this game, but I agree that the land unit bottleneck created by the Heroic Epic is super frustrating. I'd say it's one of my most disliked parts of VP, without a doubt, and it always has been. I already tend to neglect building early units because I like staying on top of infrastructure, and the HE often causes me reluctance throughout the entire game in many instances, including while warmongering, where I should realistically be building land units in other cities to fortify my forces. It creates unnecessary hesitancy and bogs down the capital when you've bigger and better things build (because I'm sure we can all agree that it's built there 95% of the time). I really like that idea of being able to construct the HE in up to 3 cities, a la guilds. This would be a huge QOL improvement and just more overall fun, while freeing up some breathing room and diversifying my hammers throughout a couple other cities. I'd advocate for this change more than almost any other current issue.

    I can also say that I personally love @pineappledan 's new tweaks (in his modmod) to Brandenburg and Pentagon, and will not look back; having to previously build a military academy immediately after you just spent 2000+ hammers on a military wonder that's primary focus is to maximize units exp is less than ideal...
     
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  12. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    From the change, I've thought that the Heroic Epic should give GG points, instead of directly giving a free general.

    The free wall on the great wall should stay. Usually in gets build in a capital, and your capital can easily skip walls in many games. No really is no need for a great general on the great wall, as it is already an amazing wonder without it.

    I haven't build the Cathedral of St. Basil a single time since the changes to reformation requirements, simply because I have never struggled to reform at all. The order is a weird building to include on it.
     
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  13. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    Same.
     
  14. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Makes me wonder if reform % should be increased...

    G
     
  15. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    I think a tiny bump would suffice.
     
  16. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Sigh, I knew you were going to say that. I think reform is fine. It still takes effort, but its pretty reasonable on most positions if you focus on spread. And yes I have been against religion heavy civs (Maya how I hate you!) playing as Tradition and couldn't reform because I just didn't have the faith to compete.
     
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  17. Omen of Peace

    Omen of Peace Prince

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    - Great Wall: I agree with CrazyG that,if the capital is not exposed, you're fine skipping Wall for it for a while - I do the same.
    But the wonder could stand on its own with just the movement penalty (and GE point IIRC?), so I think it'd be fine to remove the free GG and free Wall. When you think about it, the Great Wall is around your realm, not the city.

    - Yes, please drop the Order from St Basil's!
    Cathedral or nothing would be fine.

    - For Brandenburg, I'm also in favour of a global XP bonus. Like Kim among other people, I dislike overly local bonuses - though having a few is fine to force some choices.

    Regarding Reformation, for Tradition it's not always easy as has been pointed out. In my current Austria game, my 3 neighbours have founded and I'm defending my faith (inquisitors) rather than being able to spread easily - which is expected since I went Iconography (a bit OP with Austria, btw).
    If a bump is coming, make it 2% maximum I'd say.
     
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  18. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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  19. HungryForFood

    HungryForFood Prince

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    I like the idea for Brandenburg's XP being global, I think that would make its effect much better.
     
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  20. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    Even then, I just cringe when I have to build land units outside of my HE city (almost always in the capital). I'll always hesitate when it comes to losing out on the morale boost, regardless if it's early or late game. Even if I could just have one other city devoted to land unit production, where I didn't have to stress about creating gimped units that aren't at their fullest potential, it would open up gameplay for all styles and allow more fluidity between choices.
     
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