1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Acken's Minimalistic Balance for singleplayer (and AI improvements)

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Modpacks' started by Acken, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. Acken

    Acken Deity

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    5,635
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QC, Canada
    Acken's Minimalistic Balance Mod (scroll down to Installation for official version)
    NEW VERSION 8
    Balance changes


    Detailed list for v8:

    Detailed list for v7:

    Detailed list for v6:

    Detailed list for v5:

    Detailed list for v4:

    Detailed list for v3:


    Steam workshop has been updated and if you use the workshop your game will be updated automaticly.
    You can find the .civ5mod version there (treat it as a .rar file):
    Dropbox

    Build 8 Stable stage


    This mod rebalances many aspects of the game with a minimalistic approach. It will feel like the same game, with mechanics mostly untouched but with a lot of subtle changes that rebalance things and provide additional, usualy neglected, options. It also tries to streamline the gameplay and make the game more fun overall ! If you are looking for an overhaul with huge changes and a totally new experience then you should look into the Community Balance Patch mod which is a bigger mod with talentful modders (it's available on civfanatics). Minimalistic Balance is aimed for people wishing for some sort of unofficial balance patch and is therefore a lot of small changes rather than drastic ones.

    The mod also works on the AI and improves it in multiple way. The AI is (a bit) smarter but also more opportunistic and agressive. Some of this was achieved by integrating some of the changes (mostly tactical AI) made by Delnar_Ersike's Artificial Unintelligence mod that you can find there.
    Most of the changes are made with a singleplayer frame and this is probably the best way to enjoy the mod. If you're interested into playing multiplayer I suggest you look into the NQMod by Fruitstrike there.

    This mod increases the difficulty of the game. The combination of nerfs, buffs, bug fixes, AI improvements and agressiveness will make your experience harder. If you are looking for a mod diminishing the difficulty this is not it. However, if some mechanics always frustrated you like the inefficiency of wide empires or early warmongering hate, you may really like this !

    If the mod as a few follower I may organize some challenges similar to Deity/Immortal challenges.

    The mod uses also a partial integration of Whoward's PickNMix DLL (and more to come as needed) that you can find there. A modification of the NQMapScript by HellBlazer is included in the mod, it is a very friendly pangea and continents script usually resulting in good starts for every players and gentle terrain. You can find the original version on the NQMod subreddit.

    Big thanks to Whoward, Delnar_Ersike, Fruitstrike and HellBlazer for their work on their respective mods from which I took some parts.

    The mod changes the following aspects of the game (detailed list below):
    • AI. Through the (in progress) implementation of Artificial Unintelligence and some adjustments made by myself the AI should be once again a force to reckon with.
    • Culture acquisition has been changed and you should have a bit more policies to play with throughout the game.
    • Wide game is less punishing while still trying to maintain some efficiency of tall empires.
    • Warfare is more volatile and melee units make a comeback ! Warring is rewarding, more diverse and will punish undefended territories.
    • Policies have been revamped to improve balance between them. No longer feel obligated to play a boring 4 city Tradition into Secularism and explore more options to help you to victory.
    • Religious beliefs have been rebalanced
    • New difficulty level called DemiGod between Immortal and Deity
    • The tech progression is now a lot smoother reducing the big jumps in the mid games. Games should take a bit longer to complete and make the Renaissance+ eras more interesting.
    • Many more small changes (details below in video and spoiler tag).

    What to expect in the current version:
    • Deity is tough. Really. You may want to play one level below what you are used to to begin with and then try your old level.
    • Bugs. Even though I have tried my best to find them there is bound to be a few of those. Note that I have already listed a couple in the detail list. Please report them.
    • Imbalances. Don't expect the first version to be perfectly balanced ! There are some major changes in there and I have limited time for testing. Please report your experience. Note that civs changes will happen later on so yes I know Rome's Legion is overpowered.
    • Stuff you'll disagree with. People don't really agree on what is or is not balanced in the original game so I don't expect players to agree with all changes. You must view this as my own vision of the game and what needed changes. Try it first and I hope you will have fun above all else :)
    • A different game. Even though I have a minimalistic approach to this, not changing the mechanics deeply, the changes are numerous enough that you will have to adapt and some playstyle may become obsolete as a result.

    List of current changes:
    Spoiler :

    Due to space limitation on a single space please just refer to this post:
    LIST OF CHANGE


    Presentation video (1hour) detailing all changes (version 1):
    Note that a couple changes in this video are outdated (rationalism mostly):

    Link to video.

    Let's play with the mod in action:

    Link to video.

    Byzantium v4 Acken's balance mod. Demigod difficulty Culture:

    Link to video.
    List: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6c7hZkRjew&index=1&list=PL5IXV43xjKWSgiNbvNkz2z_x1PrITTrQC

    Installation:
    Use the Workshop link.

    or

    Simply follow this link to dropbox and get the mod:
    Dropbox Link
    Click "No thanks" if asked to register. This should allow you to download a .rar file.
    Find that file in your computer and put it in your:
    "C:\Users\YourName\Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 5\MODS"
    Note that YourName should be your user name.
    Then simply extract the file there using WinRar for example. If you don't have a MODS directory in "C:\Users\YourName\Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 5" then simply create it.


    Link to video.
    Languages:

    It is strongly suggested to play the game in English (you can change your language in game or with steam in the properties). Translations will come later on. Right now only German, French and Polish texts databases have been "implemented". You will see the changed texts in English if you play with these languages. Other language will see the old texts (but the effects will have changed).

    If you play in another language than German, French, Polish or English please let me know and I'll try adding your language for the next version.

    Finally I am looking for translators so if you want the texts to be in your language then simply send me a MP and I will send you the list of code you will have to translate (no coding knowledge required).


    A partial japanese version has been made by one player.

    Compatibility:

    Enhanced User Interface should be 100% compatible.

    It is suggested to use this mod as a standalone, with a minimum of other mods for the best experience. This is a mod designed for balancing the game while staying close to the original game after all !
    However, simple XML/LUA mods like JFD should still be compatible with it (extra civs, extra units, buildings, UI stuff etc) but I cannot guarantee they'll fit in since they are likely balanced for the base game or may simply be unbalanced to begin with.
    The mod is know to work with EUI, InfoAddict, QuickTurns.
    Note that this mod changes the DLL so any mod also changing the DLL will not be compatible.

    Troubleshooting:
    If you map is generated with no luxury make sure you are not running any extra map script like NQMap or Communitas. If the problem persists try deleting the Map folder from the Misc directory in the mod and tell me of the problem.
    If the mod doesn't appear in the game while the installation was made correctly try deleting C:\Users\YourName\Documents\My Games\Sid Meier's Civilization 5\cache\Civ5ModsDatabase.db
    If the mod crashes, please try using only the mod first. If it crashes with other mods please make sure they are compatible first (see compatibility section).
    If your late game turns are slower this is due to more computing done by the AI. There is a tradeoff between AI decisions and turn speed. Sadly not much can be done about it. Delnar_Ersike will probably keep optimising his code but it will remain slower. The fact that Civ5 is a single-thread game does not help.
    If the game crashes when loading a game make sure you are using a save game compatible with the current version
    If the game crashes after selecting the mod (stuck on updating data) make sure you're using the latest version 1.0.3.279
    If a lot of mechanics do not work make sure you have the .dll file in your mods directory. If you did a manual install it's possible the extraction of the dll file was blocked by an antivirus. To solve this you will have to tell your AV to not block the file or you can simply use the workshop version.

    Rights:
    If you want to use all or part of the original content of this mod for your own published mod please mention it in your description and provide a link here.

    Known Bugs:
    All +culture from buildings doesn't show on the buildings but show in the city's culture details in the line "+X from policies".
    When you select difficulty from the setup the choices are "old" difficulties (7. is still immortal and 8. deity) but when you have selected, it shows the "new" one on the screen.
    There is currently a very rare crash in 2.1 involving great merchant escorts by the AI. It will be fixed in v3. Meanwhile you can use IGE to fix it by deleting the merchant and its escort that may cause the bug.

    NEW VERSION FOR MAC AND LINUX ONLY (old stuck at v2 for now)
    This version removes the DLL and changes policies. It's a bit rough as I don't spend as much time on it.
    It can be used by windows user but I suggest the better balanced, with more features, normal version with DLL changes.
    Dropbox Link for Mac and linux version:
    Link
    List of missing/different features for Mac and Linux users (compared to main mod changes):
     
  2. adcarrymaokai

    adcarrymaokai Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,395
    Very interesting changes. I will give it a try later this week when I have time.
     
  3. Nigel_Tufnel2

    Nigel_Tufnel2 King

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    688
    Location:
    Great Plains of North America
    I am so glad to see your Beta posted! So far I am noticing some interesting differences, but I have an isolated start...
     
  4. Acken

    Acken Deity

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    5,635
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QC, Canada
    Not my fault ! Did nothing to maps and start logic :)
     
  5. Nigel_Tufnel2

    Nigel_Tufnel2 King

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    688
    Location:
    Great Plains of North America
    Haha, I meant I am not getting aggressive AI behavior because they are far away. But you can really feel the rebalance between Range and Melee. And I met a Civ and we have Causus Beli, which seems fun. Plus more policies early, which is fantastic. It doesn't hurt that I rolled a 4 salt start either, lol.
     
  6. Acken

    Acken Deity

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    5,635
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QC, Canada
    Bug: Cultural city states are giving 50% more culture than they should at ally status (fixed next version)
     
  7. cazaderonus

    cazaderonus Actual Dad.

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Messages:
    640
    I watched your entire greece let's play. I liked what i saw overall. A few commentary though :

    You mentionned maybe needing to tweak great merchants but having no idea how to because their ability sucks. WOuld it be possible to just change what they do entirely ? Like, maybe giving more gold\influence on diplomatic missions (1K/60 influence ?)

    And more importantly, change their tile improvement ability to being able to build a unique building in a city ? Something like a +5 gold and a +25% to base gold of the city ?
    Cause come to think of it, +5 GPT in a city isnt bad, it's mostly the fact that you must use a tile to add those 5 gold that sucks when you could get more hammers or food, or hell nearly just as much gold from a lux tile.

    Same analysis goes for the GE's tile improvement. It's pretty much useless considering it doesnt give that much more hammers than a hill with coal or aluminum.

    One could say those two improvements are kinda the same than academies vs bulbing. Academies have value early and bulbing is obviously better later on. Except you dont get vanilla tiles with beakers when gold\hammers do (and plenty of them).

    I'm fairly sure merchant and GE tile improvements would be of more interest if they were just adding a building to cities that would be of interest on the entire length of a game.


    Another thing. As you obviously try to value wider play. Did you think of any adjustments to happiness\unhappiness mecanics ? Maybe tweaking slightly (buffing the liberty policy that decreases unhapinness ? adding something to honor ?)

    As for the mod itself, i think i'll try a domV with shaka on immortal. Could be fun ^^
     
  8. Memoryjar

    Memoryjar Emperor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    1,244
    Location:
    Lille, France
    Interesting works, I'll try it sooner. :goodjob:
     
  9. Mr. Shadows

    Mr. Shadows Nomad of the time streams

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Messages:
    595
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Incheon, R.O.K.
    This sounds really cool. I start a nine day vacation on Friday so I'll be checking this out.
     
  10. Acken

    Acken Deity

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    5,635
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QC, Canada
    Changing what they do entirely is very complicated and a bit outside what I'd like the mod to do. Buffing them is the current solution thought for next version. There is a chance I simply double their power, remove the commerce buff and put something else there.

    Another solution is to make GP counters separate but I do not like it because it removes choices. But a compromise could be to have partial counters. Where getting a scientist no longer increase the cost of a GE/GM by 100 but by say 50.

    The biggest problem is that merchants scale really really bad. Compare 1000gold to a full blown 12000 science GS and you see the picture. Most people would argue that 1 science is worth more than 1 gold but science has a way higher slope than gold in general. This truly reduces the value of merchants compared to GS. Customs Houses are terrible too needing so many turns to be worth more than missions. Right now customs houses have been buffed to 7gold instead of +4 and there are two +2 bonuses in the tech tree for scalability.
    Merchant specialist are I hope more attractive too now at +4gold.

    I boosted it to +5 instead of +4 (and +1 at chemistry) but I think GE will still mostly be used for wonders so their problem is less urgent than merchants. GE second ability will get more love if necessary later on.

    Maybe but that is more difficult change so I'll have to see if a building would truly be better than an improvement. Note that secularism now also boosts improvements so there is that.

    Honor as already a per city happiness boost and usually conquered cities involve new luxuries or even happiness buildings. I don't think it needs more at this point. A possible change I thought of if necessary is a small reduction of unhappiness in puppets/occupied cities. Piety usually easily grab Pagodas on top of the new hapiness policy. Wide is already probably stronger than tall so I don't plan to buff it further yet :)
     
  11. BlackWizard

    BlackWizard King

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    620
    Hmmm...How about giving additional +1 food on Great merchant and engineer improvements?
     
  12. Memoryjar

    Memoryjar Emperor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    1,244
    Location:
    Lille, France
    Downloaded it but I can't play. No luxs or ruins in my games. Despite I set all options right.

    Games are normal in classic or others mods.

    Windows 10 effect ?
     
  13. Chum

    Chum King

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2014
    Messages:
    707
    Nope -- no luxes in 2 starts on my game either, Windows 7.
     
  14. Acken

    Acken Deity

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    5,635
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QC, Canada
    Working on it. It's a problem on classic maps. NQMapscript works fine meanwhile.
     
  15. Acken

    Acken Deity

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    5,635
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QC, Canada
    I have deactivated the NQmapscript meanwhile it is causing problems for currently unknown reasons. Should work fine without it. If you started a map with the script you may want to find it on reddit and install it yourself to continue your game. Or wait until I find a solution.

    Workshop should auto update and I have updated the dropbox archive.
     
  16. Nigel_Tufnel2

    Nigel_Tufnel2 King

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    688
    Location:
    Great Plains of North America
    I'm at t141 on an Immortal Arabia game (Mesopotamia map - lux, ruins, etc. are fine here), and I am really enjoying the changes. I will have to play several games to give a better report... I chose Liberty left side, and the smooth transition with Free Worker then Free Settler is really enjoyable. Part of the addictive nature of the game is the friction between choices, but with this setup you get both early, which is really fun. Because I watched your sample video I built plenty of units early!

    I then opened Honor for barb hunts as this map spawns a ton because of all the empty spaces, and later was surprised to get culture kills against Poland! No reason to ever make peace, as far as I can tell. Started into Piety, and the changes there are fantastic, especially the extra culture. I have always enjoyed Piety, even though it has been so suboptimal, and now it really packs a punch. Getting 25% gold Temples *on the way* to Reformation may be game-breaking, I am at 229 gpt, which seems insane (8 cities, 6 Temples - but then again I'm playing Arabia :) )

    I look forward to trying an Honor open in another try on a more standard map. The quicker early policies are so much fun.

    So far the AI is not acting too differently - distant AIs seem to be offended more easily. The Causus Beli seems to come and go... Harald, of course, rushed Poland and now DOW'd England. Austria doesn't seem to have any gold to annex, and appears weak. All the barbs are probably messing with them too much? I will definitely play Pangaea or Continents next time.
     
  17. Acken

    Acken Deity

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    5,635
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QC, Canada
    I have fixed all map problems for now and the NQMapScript is back. Sorry for the 2 updates in quick succession.
    As a side effect all completely random maps (continents, pangeas etc) present some of the features of the script so they will be more oval and bulky with more rivers and scattered mountains. I will wait feedback to see if people like the maps that way or not.

    Both workshop versions and dropbox versions should be up to date.



    Doesn't really make thematic sense :)
    I don't think it's a yield type issue, I could give even more production and gold that I deem equivalent to 1 food. The problem remain that it feels kind of a poor choice to get an improvement over more or less a free tech. A way to address this is to make the improvement better and better through scalability (techs) there is always a point where the balance will tip the other way. But I find that solution risky since there is always a threat of another system taking advantage of it.
    Another solution is to offer synergies instead. So that the great person gives rewards if you have something else. For example Commerce could get a bonus everytime a GM is born.

    Finally it could simply be a combination of all those ideas. Example:
    -Commerce gives a bonus to custom houses
    -GM increase GS/GE counters by only 50 points
    -Custom houses scale up multiple times through the tree

    Also my purpose with making the late game a bit longer is also to make late game buildings more interesting and if that's the case, gold is more valuable. Great Scientist are already weaker too. Fixed 7 turns bulb, Academies at 7bpt.

    Glad you're enjoying it so far. Theocracy will probably be swaped with Religious Fervour in v2 or Theocracy losing the Grand Temple bonus. I think it gives a little too much gold right now. Especially since gold yields have been increased in the mod. Players will make a little less gold too in the next version since I will remove the possibility to get 2gpt per strategic (will be 1 for 1).

    Don't hesitate to report issues with the CBs. It's very experimental so far.
     
  18. cazaderonus

    cazaderonus Actual Dad.

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Messages:
    640
    Well, you mentionned scalability, and i guess having GMs create a building with a base gold modifiers just like any other commerce type building will do just that. A +5 gold +30% base gold could be a veeeeery interesting thing to get at least once for a capital. On top of a market\bank\stock it would be pretty solid.

    But yeah, no idea how doable the "tile to building" change is. Only good thing is that you could use all the assets from the tile (picture\civilopedia pageet..) for the building.

    For the GEs, yeah their ability to rush wonders is enough that they dont need that much love.

    On the GP counters. I still are confused with the math behind how spawning a GM affects the GS counter, so i cant really say about the change you have in mind there.

    Which reminds me. The gifted GPs from patronage, have you made your mind on wether or not they should be "free" ? I think they should be but it's only because i like free stuff. BTW, i know some wonders give GPs that dont add to counters and some others dont (i think LTOP one is free vs PT GS not being free) . Maybe streamlining this so it's makes more sense could be a good idea ?


    Yeah, honor is quite solid really. But i noticed liberty didnt get any change which might make it subpar compared to a buffed honor even for a peacefull play on the long term. It's just a feeling really. But considering the tech tweaks, going wide peacefully could be painfull at first.

    Also, any plan to tweak tradition, make its policies affect 5 cities and not just 4 ? With the tech tweaks, it might be fair.

    All this needs testing but i fear i wont have any time to do that before i go on to vacations :cool:
     
  19. cazaderonus

    cazaderonus Actual Dad.

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Messages:
    640
    Hmmm, it would make the tile improvements decent enough to work if you get a bonus GM. But would you ever want to have a merchant even if it gave +2food+5gold vs a potential 10K scientist or a free wonder through a GE ?

    Not sure i would really.

    Another idea could be to have merchants do some kind of old school artist culture bomb ? But citadels already do that.

    Yet another idea could be to change how they impact CSes. Bomb your CM on a cultural CS and get influence + gold + a solid raw CS income

    => say 100 turn worth of an ally CS, that could scale from 600 to 1.8/2k culture\faith , or 300/400 Golden Age point from a mercantile CS, or maybe 4 insta free of maintenance units from a CS, could even work for food from maritimes for quick buff in cities population.
    => Those could make merchants pretty solid as they would be pretty usefull in any situation ! Which money is supposed to be.
     
  20. Acken

    Acken Deity

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    5,635
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QC, Canada
    Right now GSEM all have a common counter so if you create an Engineer it raises the counter by 1 and the next GSEM costs 100*(counter+1). The NQMod separates the counters, similar to GWAM, so that no matter how many GM you make it doesn't affect GE or GS. It is a solution but I don't like it because it makes all specialists always useful removing choice and creating a bit too many GP.
    An intermediary solution is to separate the counter but have partial increase due to the others so that if you get say 2Merchants 4Scientists 1Engineer, the next scientist cost is:
    2*50+4*100+1*50+100 = 650
    instead of
    2*100+4*100+1*100+100 = 800

    Original LTOP is not free. It is free in the mod right now due to the same fix I applied to Liberty finisher. I also don't like this "free but not really" mechanic. It's counterintuitive. So it may change during the wonder pass.

    Liberty really didn't need much love. Wide game did and that has been done.

    Maybe. They are back to quick monuments right now so it's a small buff.

    Interesting idea, I'll put it in my suggestion list.
     

Share This Page