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America

Discussion in 'Leader Balance' started by Funak, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    UA - Manifest Destiny: All land military units have +1 sight 50% discount when purchasing tiles.

    This UA gets a lot of crap that I really don't think it deserves. Extra sight on military units is great. It makes your scouts way better and it makes it easier for you to spot for your artillery, it really never falls off.
    Half price for tiles is also extremely powerful helps you get those important resourcetiles early on at a reasonable price, if you never buy tiles you're probably doing something wrong, and America saves money when you buy tiles.


    UU - Frontiersman - unique American settler. Moves faster, has better vision, and always evades capture by barbarians (unless it is trapped, at which point it is destroyed).

    Way more powerful than it seems, 4 movement and immunity to meleeattacks makes sure you get your expansions up faster and safer without having to waste gold on early soldiers for escorting. With the extra vision you can even send your settler into the fog of war to try and find a suitable location by itself, something that's completely absurd for any other civ.

    UU - Minuteman - Starts with drill, ignores tilecosts and earns golden age points when you destroy enemy units.

    Again this is one of the best melee UUs in the game, it was really strong back in classic, and the added GA-points from victories made it even more ridiculous.
    A soldierunit that moves like a scout and starts with a free promotion


    All in all with the removal of that extremely lategame UU from vanilla, America is in a pretty solid position now, and have a clear solid focus. You use your extra sight to scout the area for good citylocations, you pick up more goodyhuts than anyone else because you have better vision. You build your unique settlers, send them halfway across the planet to the best locations you can find, you use your UA to purchase the tiles with resources, improve them and sell them to your neighbors.
    Later on you get access to your UU and can use it as you see fit.

    The main problem I see with this is that this is exactly the same way the Shoshone works which leads to the question, which civ does it better? And I'd say without having too much experience trying both out that the Shoshone might have an advantage, their friendly land bonus is really strong, and more than makes up for their UU(horse) being a lot worse than the American(minuteman). Only realistic way I see us buffing America however is maybe adding free landgrab or extra pop to the Frontiersman or lowering its cost. It could also be possible to give them Frontiersman upgrades to the advanced settlerunits aswell to make sure the power stays on but I'm not one hundred percent sure that is needed.
     
  2. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    I agree on all points. There are few passive bonuses here, so it has the appearance of being a weak civ, but the advantages to scouting and settling are pretty long-lasting. I think the Shoshone advantage is that the rapid acquisition of tiles is instant, which is nice if you are competing for territory. A bit more situational, but also free and instant.

    Fun story: when I was designing the UU for America, I originally had it as a capture-able unit (just like the normal settler) if it got trapped, however this created...problems. As a barbarian unit, the AI would try to capture it, triggering the ability and making it constantly avoid them. At one point, there were three different units, from three different civs, chasing it all over the map for around 50-60 turns. Needless to say, this wasn't a sustainable situation. :)

    G
     
  3. ecgopher

    ecgopher Warlord

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    So I brought this up in the Unique Abilities thread going on in the main CPP forum, but it was a little tangential to the discussion going on there. I wasn't sure where else to put this, so I guess I'll necro this thread?

    I really am not a fan of the Resort UB. It's a late game thing while everything else about Washington comes in to play much earlier. And while the extra tourism is nice, it doesn't really connect with the expansionist theme of Washington. The Ranch in JFD's Washington replacement is an example of something that would fit perfectly.
     
  4. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    I know this isn't what you asked, but I'd like to point out that we pretty much abandoned ties between uniques and leaders. If it fits the leader, sure that's nice, but we'd rather have balance/fun over that.
    Main reason for this is that leaders tend to not live very long when compared to the civilization as a whole, and having all uniques based around the era when the leader in question lived get's pretty boring. Spreading things out and you're able to place more power behind them and still keep balance.


    On the subject of the Resort I really have no opinion, it looks nice on paper but why would I want to play as America, ever?
     
  5. ecgopher

    ecgopher Warlord

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    Fair points. I didn't mean it so much in terms as Washington is early American therefore all American uniques should be early game. I just dislike in general uniques that don't show up until the late game. And while I understand the desire to spread things out for balance, the Resort doesn't really connect with any of the other American uniques, regardless of connection to George Washington. The UA and UU are both built for aggressive expansion. A late game tourism boost doesn't synergize, connect with, or extend that focus in anyway. It feels very orthogonal to the rest of the civ. That, and a simple tourism bump is just frankly boring, IMHO. Just my two cents


    Because Freedom™ duh :p . Also, the the Minuteman are pretty awesome, especially when combined with the Might finisher.
     
  6. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    A completely fair analysis. I think it makes sense giving America a lategame UB mostly because America really wasn't relevant before the world wars. Sure, they were there and they weren't doing all that badly. But they really weren't a superpower before Europe decided to blow itself up. By that reason having a modern or later era UB makes sense.
    Since I really don't know much about what America does, I went ahead and agreed with the resort when Gazebo suggested it.
    Other ideas for buildings that comes to mind is the Mall from civ4, but I don't really know of a building that it would replace.

    I'm not saying they are bad, I'm saying they are Americans :D
     
  7. ecgopher

    ecgopher Warlord

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    Even a later era UB could still do a better job connecting to the rest of the expansionist/military flavor of the UA and UU. At a general level, it should either directly enable expansion (not sure how you'd do this late game), more strongly benefit a wide empire, or give a military boost. Here are some ideas (number and amounts can of course be adjusted to achieve proper balance; these are just some ideas of what something that fits better with the American theme might look like):

    Resort: Hotel replacement. Instead of the flat tourism boost now, make the tourism boost scale with empire size (using whatever metric -- cities, cities connected to capital, population, etc. -- works best for balance).

    Baseball stadium: Stadium replacement. Additional culture and/or happiness bonus based on empire size (using whatever metric -- cities, cities connected to capital, population, etc. -- works best for balance).

    Investment bank: Stock exchange replacement. Additional gold bonus based on empire size (using whatever metric -- cities, cities connected to capital, population, etc. -- works best for balance) and/or number of unique luxuries owned. Could also give additional Great Merchant bonus.

    Assembly plant: Factory replacement. (Credit to JFD's Roosevelt who's done a version of this already). In addition to factory benefits, could give a military production boost, additional hammers/gold based on empire size (using whatever metric -- cities, cities connected to capital, population, etc. -- works best for balance), additional bonuses towards Great Engineer, or some combination thereof.

    TV studio: Broadcast tower replacement. Yeah, I don't have anything other than the same as suggested for the baseball stadium. I guess I need to think about this some more.

    There is one I came up with I really like though, my personal favorite of the bunch:

    NASA research center: Spaceship factory replacement. Available earlier (rocketry or satellites). In addition to spaceship factory bonuses, extra hammer boost, science boost, exp boost to air units built in city and production boost to building air units.
     
  8. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    Since numbers are stats are boring I'm just going to comment on the building itself. Except for the first one, because reasons.

    Problem with such a bonus is that it forces you to go wide, something that is ridiculous out of a balance-sense since wide is more powerful than compact as it is. Balancing it would be hell, as you'd probably balance it around a medium sized empire, which would make it completely overpowered for big empires and even worse would make it worthless for small empires. This pretty much equals into a UB that kicks people that are down and rewards people that are already winning, not really a good concept.

    I'm not American so you'll have to explain what makes baseball stadiums special compared to the football(Real football)) stadiums of the rest of the world.

    I thought this was a dutch invention honestly, but I might be wrong.

    England already have a factory-replacement and it makes more sense with them imho.

    Was the US really that much ahead of the rest of the world in TV-development? I don't know, that's why I'm asking.

    A spaceship factory replacement would work fine, but isn't that even later than the hotel that you were complaining about being too late? :D
     
  9. ecgopher

    ecgopher Warlord

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    That's precisely the point though. The UA and UU for Washington encourage wide play. A late game UB should arguably leverage that by benefiting from having gone wide earlier in the game. I don't really mean to push this point though because the best idea I've had (the NASA research center, see below) is wide/tall agnostic anyway.

    Baseball is America's pastime. None of those countries that get riled up over kickball can claim to have invented the sport nor, for most of them, has the sport been as important to the country's culture for as long as baseball has to America. There's also lots of old baseball stadiums in American cities that are important for architectural and historic preservation type reasons (Wrigley, Fenway, etc.). Honestly, I think a baseball stadium is much, much more "American" than a Resort. As an American, when I think of a tourist resort, I think of some place in the Caribbean or Mediterranean, not anything domestic. Just my opinion.

    Perhaps. I'm not sure. My original thought was a Wall St. replacement for the International Finance Center, but then I remembered that required Freedom, so this seemed better.

    Fair enough.

    Hollywood. Call it the Movie Studio if you think that's more fitting.

    It is true, other things equal, I prefer uniques not to be late game things, but that's just my personal preference and I limited this list to late game options because it was suggested that it's preferred to keep America's UB late game. Also, partly why a benefit to the NASA center would be getting it unlocked earlier. I actually really like this idea though. It can naturally benefit peaceful or aggressive play by giving both science/hammer and air unit bonuses. It's wide/tall agnostic too. It also makes the spaceship factory relevant for more than just a science victory. Moreover, if a goal of the UB is to highlight postwar America, landing a man on the moon makes any shortlist of its most impressive 20th century accomplishments.
     
  10. Ampharos

    Ampharos Chieftain

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    Bump.

    I notice a trend where UUs coincide with the leader of a civilization such as Gustav and Lion of the North and Isabella and the Reconquista. If you are interested in doing something like this for America and George Washington, then you might want to get rid of Manifest Destiny and replace it with something else entirely. Washington predates Manifest Destiny by several decades, the period itself lasting from the War of 1812 until the start of the American Civil War in 1861. If you want a UA to represent the United States during the Washington Administration, I'd recommend something like Continental Congress, Constitutional Convention, Federalism, or Republicanism, any of which could have America start with Liberty and Republicanism and forbid Tradition, similar to a mod on the Steam Workshop called Unique Traits Collection.

    The problem I notice is that Manifest Destiny is neither something that existed/happened during the Washington Administration such as Lion of the North nor a prevailing mindset that existed throughout America's history such as Serenissma.

    If you want to change America's UA, I'd definitely do something related to the Washington Administration and something related to the Liberty tree.
     
  11. Damirith

    Damirith Prince

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    I dont think its a good idea to give a Civ a unique policy tree. Lets not start turning this into a WoW like talent system. If you do make unique policy trees you are pretty much forcing the player to have to pick them even though it might not be the best thing to be doing for your particular game.

    I think the UA of buying land from others needs to be replaced. I get it, its fitting for america, but it causes too much hate and can lead to a war. This can cause people to refrain from even using it unless they have a army to back them up.
     
  12. Ampharos

    Ampharos Chieftain

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    I don't understand the WoW reference or what you mean by "unique" tree since Liberty and Republic are policies available to everyone.

    If the goal is something related to Washington and the Washington Administration, that's probably the best UA that America could have since his administration was focused on laying the groundwork of the republic. More so, the ideals of liberty and republicanism are more applicable to the United States than Manifest Destiny, which, again was only prevalent for a short period of its history.

    About forcing the player into a choice, there are obvious benefits to playing certain civilizations certain ways, and this isn't any different. There are plenty of civilizations whose UA encourages certain playstyles over others, so, again, not really sure how this is different.

    I can't say I associate Washington with baseball, NASA, or Manifest Destiny, so the current UA and suggested alternatives are awkward, at best.
     
  13. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    Considering Washington lived most of his life as a British citizen, it is probably good that you don't associate him with things that are typically American.
    American history is short and uneventful enough without removing another 200 years because George Washington wasn't alive during that time.
     
  14. Damirith

    Damirith Prince

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    I don't disagree with changing manifest destiny to something else. I still do like America's UA but I am not against changing it.

    I feel the social policies should remain the same for all civs. It's just one of those things that I feel needs to stay universal.

    Here are some of my ideas for a UA. We could use the names like "State and Federal", "Democratic Republic", "Representation", lol "The American Way" or whatever. Again, these can always be mixed up if needed. Some are built around going liberty, some are more of a "reverse Tradition" where the non-capital cities are improved, some focus on culture and tourism in order to go hand in hand with the resort.

    version 1) Cities with a connection to the capital will produce +10% science, culture, and gold. Connected cities with a population of 10 or more provide the capital with +5% generation of Great People. +1 happiness for every 3 social policies you unlock.

    Version 2) +100% resources traded between your own cities with trade routes. +2 happiness for every completed social policy tree. Cities with a connection to the capital have +15% generation of great people.

    Version 3) Every 5 people in the civilization provides the capital with +2 gold and culture. Every city connected to the capital produces +15% production and science. Gain a Great Person of your choice when you complete a social policy tree (cannot pick the same one twice).

    Version 4) Golden ages last +10% longer for every city connected to the capital. Gain a boost of science and gold every time you unlock a social policy (scales with era). +1 happiness for every 5 post-Renaissance era technologies you have.

    Version 5) All culture buildings and culture specialists produce +1 gold and all science buildings and science specialists produce +1 production. Cities connected to the capital produce +20% tourism once you hit the Industrial era.

    Version 6) Connected cities provide +5 culture to the capital. Cities with a population of 10 or more produce +10% science and gold. +15% production in all cities once you hit the Industrial era.


    American can really be all over the place depending on your point of view. I left military buffs out for now since we just got Lion of the North.
     
  15. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    Most of these feels kinda overpowered, try comparing them to Rome for example :D
     
  16. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Let's keep in mind that unique abilities are supposed to offer some kind of gameplay incentive. Many of the UA issued in this thread mesh with standard gameplay mechanics a little too well, thus taking away from the uniqueness of the UA.

    To be honest, I believe that America's UA is perfectly fine as-is. Yes, 'Manifest Destiny' was a 19th century phenomenon, but UAs do not have to match their leader specifically. Let's not go down that road, as it is unnecessary in a game as ahistorical as Civ. Furthermore, the mechanic of buying owned tiles is truly unique, and gives America a unique gameplay directive.

    The Resort UB can absolutely be replaced, however. Something in the Industrial/Modern Eras would be nice, as those eras are neglected in terms of UBs.

    G
     
  17. Damirith

    Damirith Prince

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    Well if the resort is the thing to change, I could see either buffing it a bit more or replacing it. NASA would be a good pick...even though there is only 1 NASA (unique spaceship factory).

    Have it moved to the atomic era, maybe at Radar or Rocketry, and also have it provide like either a specialist slot, maybe +10% science, or like +1 science for every 4-5 pop in city.
    If you want it more unique to could make it provide +10% production towards Hubble and the International Space Station, and/or -5% science needed to research Information era
    technologies.

    A better Stock exchange or broadcast tower could also work.
     
  18. Ampharos

    Ampharos Chieftain

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    To be fair, most things that we define as "typically American" didn't come into existence until the 20th century.

    That's fair.

    How useful is tile buying though? It's an interesting feature, but how often does one want to buy enough tiles that America's UA has a noticeable effect on gameplay?

    Homestead, maybe? Assembly Line? Baseball Field?

    Homesteads would mesh well with Manifest Destiny and are based on the Homestead Acts, Assembly Lines could replace Factories and are based on Ford's design, and Baseball Fields, as discussed earlier, would replace Stadiums and is centered on the game that has been considered America's pastime for about two hundred years, which you can read about here.
     
  19. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    Correct. And Manifest Destiny is as typical American as it gets really :D

    I wouldn't go for Assembly line, mostly because the English factory-replacement is one of the only other lategame UB, having both as the same building is kinda boring.

    I'm not American so I still don't understand why Baseball in America would be more special than football in the rest of the world. A stadium is a stadium.

    I would love to see a Mall, UB, considering that seems to be a big part of American culture, I don't know if the that idea exists in other places of the world I just know that it doesn't exist here.
     
  20. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    A courthouse replacement (not sure who mentioned it) could be fun.

    G
     

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