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

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

  1. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    So the +1 science to specialists is an aesthetics policy now? The AI already spams that policy tree and avoiding it often results in cultural problems in the late game, plus you insanely buffed it already with extra tourism and revealing hidden artifacts. I fear that now aesthetics will basically become a mandatory policy tree. It was already difficult and painful to avoid, now it's just going to make sense to adopt its policies in virtually every game.

    I very much preferred your proposed balance solution of giving the commerce policy finisher +1 science per trading post, and possibly even giving +1 gold per specialist. I modded that in myself and kept the +1 science per specialist in Rationalism, then increased tech costs in the renaissance and afterwards to compensate. Aesthetics is already very, very good, absolutely mandatory for a cultural victory and if you don't adopt it you might have trouble adopting the ideology you want.
     
  2. Ravellion

    Ravellion Prince

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    I am reasonably sure that Creative Expression was a Freedom tenet. Which now suddenly has become worth taking, and makes Freedom a far more viable choice for a science victory.
     
  3. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    I don't see what you're raving on about. Aesthetics could not be further from mandatory. It's good now, clearly viable, but I still think that up to this patch (no longer though) Commerce was the better option.

    Now that Acken nerfed the two most valuable things about Commerce it seems really, really bad to me. Big Ben is still a big opportunity cost since the AI likes getting it and the cost reduction was the major thing about commerce.

    I feel like giving lategame buildings + units higher prices already nerfed Commerce. But now not only was the cost reduction nerfed significantly (5% would have been enough), Big Ben was also nerfed. I virtually see no reason to go Commerce over Piety or Aesthetics anymore. It seems like a waste of Culture. So in that regard you are right.

    However I don't think Aesthetics is dominant. Personally I think Piety is up to par as a second tree.

    I really don't understand your point about Ideologies, it seems nonsensical to me. If a mediocre player like me can get first, second or third Ideology in most Deity games (not once used Aesthetics by the way, only a few times on Demi) then other players should manage.
     
  4. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    @Acken

    Sorry for the double post, but I feel like this is a really important topic and it has nothing to do with my previous post.

    I want to talk about specialists.

    In every single one of my games where Growth was good I was able to work a lot of specialists early. This is nice, especially since you eased up the relation between Engineers, Scientists and Merchants, right?

    Wrong. I actually feel like your change made the game worse in a way. Here is why:

    Since creating a Scientist doesn't boost the requirements for your next Engineer and Merchant as much as it used to I am in permanent danger of creating an unwanted GP. Sometimes even without working Specialists because of Wonder GPP. In the unmodded game you could work your Engineer/Merchant tiles almost all game without creating a single one, because the requirements were so high. That is no longer possible.

    This is a horrible scenario! I have lots of amazing specialist tiles I want to work, but I can't, because it'll screw my Scientist timing. It's really, really bad. In my Deity game I had to work Sea tiles, with one city I had to use nonadjusted citiziens because of this.

    I know you want to stay true to the base game, but I would love if you made this one change, maybe just for the next experimental version, and put them all on a separate timer like they do with NQ Mod now. I feel like it is a great success for NQ, it improves diversity in gameplay, it makes micromanaging more intriguing and it creates depth.

    Wouldn't you agree that it's a design flaw if I have amazing specialist tiles that I really want to work, but I can't because it'll delay my victory time? This is such a huge problem for Liberty (esp if you are coastal) because I completely run out of tiles to work. Even if I try to micromanage my specialists every turn (I did that for the Deity game) I still was not able to work my Engineer or Merchant slots without creating a GE/GM that I did not want.

    Putting them all on a diff counter not only helps the player, it also helps the AI, because they tend to push back Scientists with Merchants/Engineers that they don't use effectively. I think it's a fair tradeoff and doesn't make the game "easier".

    Be real, how often do you actually plant a GM or GE? I never did. Not in a single game. Now if every one is on a single timer, that gives you prospect for more GP, which means an early investment like planting a GM might pay off.

    I would really appreciate if you try this out for the next experimental version, or just play the newest NQ Mod. It really makes the game much better.
     
  5. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    @Revellion: Ah okay, buffing Freedom is fine, my bad.

    @Yung: What does getting to an ideology first have to do with it? You can be first to freedom and if every single AI in the game chooses Order, and at least a couple of them are beating you in culture/tourism, you're going to suffer a happiness penalty.

    In Acken's Mod, the AI is much better at producing tourism, the AI also loves to adopt Aesthetics, in Acken's Mod, Aesthetics is much stronger than the base game. Add those above points to the fact that the AI chooses Order 90% of the time and you have the following scenario:

    If you plan on going Order, you're usually fine and need not worry about culture/tourism when pursuing other victory types.

    If, on the other hand, you plan on adopting Autocracy or Freedom, you had better really focus on culture/tourism to the point where it's one of your highest priorities, or you will fail. For example, if warmongering, you'd better choose the targets with the most tourism first, or if going for space with Freedom, you'd better dig up as many sites as possible and build the late game cultural wonders. If you don't, you suffer massive revolts.
     
  6. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    I get what you're trying to say now, sorry. You were implying it was hard to keep one's Ideology of choice because of the pressure. I guess that's true. Haven't had big happiness problems yet even with 6+ city empires, but if there's one or two AIs going for a CV that might be problematic.
     
  7. wayneb64

    wayneb64 Prince

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    I saw a strange thing happen in my game last night. My warrior stepped onto an ancient ruin and nothing happened. The next turn I got a surprise social policy and the message after that that the ruin was a culture bonus. Normally you get the immediate culture bonus message and you can select a policy before ending the turn.
     
  8. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    I get the concern for specialists. I was at first opposed to it but im starting to feel it may be necessary. However im still concerned about the nymber of them so what is possible is to separate the tiners but increase their now individual costs.
     
  9. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    Placing them on separate buckets (timers) and balancing that with an increase to cost sounds like a good idea.

    Also, Yung's right about settling. It's still almost never worth it to settle GM's or GE's, heck, it's hard to settle GS's in anything other than the early game. I know we can't increase the base yields for their improvements without making them OP in the early game, but perhaps we could increase GPI yields a bit more in the mid-late game. They do already increase but I think it should be more. Mines go from 3 to 4 hammers in the industrial age, right? That's a 1/3 increase. Manufactories should also get at least a 1/3 increase, maybe more. Ditto for Custom's houses. Academies should get a boost earlier than the Fission boost, imo.
     
  10. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    I fully agree with everything Noto is saying.

    There are increases, like an increase for Academies that comes with Nukes. It's a complete joke. You get the science increase when the game is pretty much over. How about we move that increase a couple of techs earlier and also put an increase to Academies somewhere at the bottom of the tech tree, too?

    You have already done a great job balancing out the tree but I still think the upper side is way too operpowered. Not only for peaceful VCs but also for domination. Nukes are essential if you want to beat AI carpets. So yeah, having two techs that improve Academies, one in the lower part of the tech tree (earlier) and one in the upper part (later). Or just a single powerful one.

    I just want a science buff for the lower tech tree. Right now domination on Deity is really hard once you get past Renaissance (and by hard I mean impossible for someone like me :lol:)

    Putting all GP on a separate counter but increasing costs sounds great to me. Love the idea!
     
  11. chumchu

    chumchu Warlord

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    Regarding specialists
    If GP improvements are bad compared to their immeditate effects but can not get much better without breaking early game balance then the obvious solution is to nerf their immediate effects. Throwing out some numbers for standard speed:
    Scientist: 150 beakers + 6 turns of science
    Engineer: 100 hammers + 50% of production
    Merchants: 30 infl + 100 gold per era

    Separate timers and higher costs are something I definitely support. There are two ways to go about this: we can either increase their cost to 150 each or we can make specialist provide 2 gpp each. The difference is mostly about wonder gpp/ specialist gpp. The latter option also works better with rounding as all gpp modifiers are 25% and I think it looks better =).
     
  12. Tombaugh

    Tombaugh Chieftain

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  13. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    I think you have to justify why we have to nerf something that so far has been pretty balanced instead of buffing something that has never been balanced. Your proposed solution seems pretty arbitrary to me. Bulbs have already been heavily nerfed.
     
  14. Chum

    Chum King

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    Agreed.

    When you are faced with a choice between something you never do and something you always do, it's probably because what you're always doing is the most efficient path. Therefore, why wouldn't you increase the strength of the choice you never do to make it more appealing?

    Considering how much the late end of the tech tree has been drawn out with fixed bulbs and increased tech costs, you don't need more nerfs to bulbs. What you need is a reason for me to plant an academy.

    This is largely what lead to uncoupling the counters to begin with - why was it imperative that you never spawned an engineer or a merchant? Well, because obviously they were inferior to scientists. Now they're still inferior to scientists, but at least they're interesting (well, Merchants anyway - that gold lump is not insignificant). But engineers are something I find myself only wanting in certain places and i just waste them on suboptimal trash sometimes because there's no other good use for them. If that manufactory was a compelling choice, maybe I'd plant one.

    As it stands, I just laugh at the AI when I take over a city and see one.
     
  15. Ravellion

    Ravellion Prince

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    What I perceive as the design philosophy of this mod, that the balance adjustments should also be done with an eye to how the AI uses the options it has available to it, causes me to think separate counters for great people are a good idea. You can see from the governor that the AI really likes to use a large number of varied specialists. In a way, it is shooting itself in the foot, because the AI will spawn Merchants and Engineers when it doesn't need them. Therefore, separate counters will be difficulty enhancing. Besides, accidentally keeping a city on the governor, especially by not un-puppeting a city soon enough, would also not hurt the human player. To me, that puppet spawned merchant often feel like a "gotcha!" because it normally isn't necessary to have a look in a minor puppet city's city screen.

    edit: I now I see I missed yung.carl.yung's double post with pretty much the same argument. Sigh. So just consider this a "me too" post :)
     
  16. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Hey Bird! I'm Morose & Lugubrious

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    A little bit more pride, please! So far it seems you're one of two people to actually beat AMBDeity, that's a huge achievement of its own, epic speed or not! Congratulations!
     
  17. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    But building a manufactory is the right move in many cases. If it's early game and you're not in a race for a wonder, do it. Hell, any time in the game where you're not in a tight race for an important wonder would make a good time to plant a manufactory.

    I'd argue academies are harder to plant and make worth while than manufactories. With manufactories at the very least you can place them on hills to make super mines and not be losing out on any food. With academies, working them will necessarily reduce the city's food/hammer output.
     
  18. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    Good job ! although Epic + policy/promotion saving + Naval map obviously makes things easier.

    Now it's time to go Pangea standard :p

    Interesting point !

    I'm currently working on a quick version of v6 will probably try the new GP system. Changes to GP ability will wait until I see how this feels first.
    On the bulb vs academy discussion the main issue of it is the poor scaling of academies with empire size. While you kinda want like 5 for an OCC game you feel 1 is enough for a wider game. And then that academies take too long to catch up in the later game.

    Have you guys tried Rome and Carthage ? I've had some pretty powerful start with a coastal Carthage + piety going for a lot of early gold with god of the sea work boats.

    Yep scaling through techs is a good idea especially for GE and GM. GS are a bit different. The thing is both GE and GM have 2 boosts that do not scale on empire size. It's always the same lump sum or the gpt.
    Could make GS similar. Giving them a A + B*Era formula regardless of your science per turn.
     
  19. Chum

    Chum King

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    Is there an easy way to make the new AM maps load in MP? Currently, they show up on the SP dropdown, but not on the MP one.
     
  20. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    I dont reallyknow. with the same method nqmap uses ?
     

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