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Are puppets in a balanced place?

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by ElliotS, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    For a while puppets were the best choice you could make. They couldn't produce units, but gave gold to buy them in cities that had all the promotion buildings anyways. They produced more happiness than they consumed. They took nothing and gave many benefits.

    Now they've been nerfed to the point that I literally don't use them past ancient and early classical. Hell, I even annex before I can make courthouses just to avoid the penalties and get the courthouse faster once unlocked.

    Puppets as a mechanic feel largely removed from the game. Some would say this improves balance. Some would say this makes vassals better.

    I don't know.

    I think it feels bad/unfun. I'm just not sure if I'm overreacting to the changes.

    So now that we've had time to really drink in the changes: What do you guys think?

    Do puppets have a place in the game?

    What role do you expect puppets to play? Are they too weak for their intended role?

    If any, What changes would you like to see?
     
  2. Moi Magnus

    Moi Magnus Emperor

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    (Mostly) unrelated question:
    Is the puppet building AI hardcoded ? or could we easily use it to have "auto-building mode" in non-puppet cities ?
    When I was a beginner, the question about puppeting was not a question of strategy, it was "is this city important enougth to be micro-managed, or I am too lazy for this ?"
    In the current balance state, you can't puppet cities "just because you don't want to manage them" and not suffer horrible unhappiness from it.
     
  3. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    I’ve noticed that AI players who puppet too much suffer. We may need to reduce the puppet penalties to output slightly. I’m not sure on the exact numbers but I think some tweaks are in order.
     
    LukaSlovenia29 likes this.
  4. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Overall, I like idea of controlled cities being much better than puppets, when you can stand the happiness. Though I dislike puppets being a drag, there has to be some incentive to razing.

    I don't know. Maybe puppets could be good to have and keep, sometimes. As Magnus says, it's a lot of micro to have a large empire with no puppets. Specially when taking Imperialism.
     
    vyyt likes this.
  5. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Are you saying there should be an incentive to raze? Because I wouldn't worry about that.

    For me puppets are in a good enough place, short of the sort of creative reinvention we're now past.
     
  6. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    More or less, yes. The recent changes were a response for the little use we were making about razing. If puppets become great again, razing won't be a good option. Again.

    Compare keeping a captured city, be it as puppet or whatever, to razing and resettling. Pioneers are the most likely units for doing such thing, starting with 3 pop and a few classical buildings already built. How many cities do you capture in Renaissance that end up with 3 people and fewer buildings than what a pioneer would grant? Are the turns lost to building the courthouse worse than the turns expending at producing a pioneer? China may raze them, as it counts as taking two cities, but it's an edge case.
    In colonist era, no cities are worth razing and resettling. I would consider razing a city if I captured it and could not stand the unhappiness, or I am unable to protect it, that's all.

    Perhaps razing would be sweeter if pioneers and colonist were stronger, but that could change balance too much.
     
  7. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    I don't really care if razing were to become a rare occurrence. The mod doesn't need to justify such an extreme real-world action as some sort of balanced choice.
     
  8. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Razing happened in real world. Only not very often after Renaissance. The Nigerian city of Benin was completely razed in 1897 by the british. I see making razing more and more difficult as game progresses, but it should be a thing in earlier eras.
     
  9. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    To me puppets were the worst thing to happen to civ 5. It was a ridiculous mechanic, and took away from city governors that could be used on any city...something that has existed in civ for decades.

    I would love for them to be “burned to the ground” frankly.

    So that’s my personal thoughts. From a “keep them in and balance them”, I agree they could use some love.

    I think the big one is happiness. Their yields are fine as long as they don’t cost me much on the happiness front.
     
  10. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Is it possible that puppet happiness scales with era?

    If taking puppets in early game is punishing, we'll see more razing then, more controlled cities for those who expand early, and more puppets in the late game. Solving all issues in one move.

    Something like no unhappiness reduction in ancient to 50% unhappiness reduction in information age.
     
  11. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    I think puppets should be mostly like they were before, producing 33% less gold, science and culture (post happiness calculation), with some reduction in unhappiness and no reduction in growth or production.

    It's much better and more realistic. It makes for more fun gameplay. I think the reduction in science and culture could be enough. If they're still too strong make it 50% less gold, science and culture.

    To make razing viable I would have it produce a great work of writing upon finishing the razing, or add the functionality of Whoward's refugee mod. (Where refugees pop out of cities randomly as they burn, letting you move some of the survivors to cities that want more population, or keep them there to buff up your pioneer's city.)
     
  12. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    No new features. Razing is fine as-is, just need a few small tweaks to puppets to make them viable but not no-brainer solutions.
     
  13. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    Shouldn't they be a no-brainer solution? That's always seemed like their niche. Less profitable than full cities, but less effort/investment. It also fits historically. Here's a thought: No unhappiness or happiness, but you only get 25% of the total yields.
     
  14. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Ha, I guess technically 'no-brainer' was a bad choice of words. I just meant in terms of benefit, not time spent on management.

    G
     
  15. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    I know, but my point is that if they produced 25% yields with 'no cost' there's still a cost: Opportunity cost. There's still a reason to annex later: 75% yields.

    I honestly think if they didn't affect happiness and produced 25% science/culture/gold they would be perfect. Like a semi-vassal.

    They would fulfill the niche you're seeking (mostly temporary, to keep things in order till a better time to annex) better than they do now. Tall empires going for science victories might keep them puppeted to avoid the science penalty, but at 25% they too might annex.

    Most importantly they're going to be worth annexing because they're not building too slowly.

    This opportunity-cost balanced method of 'forcing' annexation is much better in terms of fun gameplay and realism.

    In game design terms it's rewarding rather than punishing. A puppeted city is good. You're rewarded for taking it 100%. Annexing it unlocks more rewards, which is fun.

    It also feels less forced, while still making it plainly good to annex 9/10 cities.

    I'm tired so I either made my point too well, or am just being confusing. I'll be back in the morning lol.
     
  16. IcyAngel

    IcyAngel Prince

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    Can someone tl;dr the recent changes to puppets? Can't find anything in the January and February patch(es) notes.
     
  17. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    You are forgetting though that an Annexed City provides a -10% science, culture, and tourism to your entire civ (on Standard size). That is one heck of a cost.

    I don't mind that Imperalism puppets have no cost, that's the benefit of the tree. But by default, puppets need to have some cost, else there is no point in not getting puppets. You can't stay small compared to someone going around a puppeting everything.
     
  18. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    Is the increased cost still so high? That sounds like it needs to be lowered to 7% at highest.
     
  19. Deadstarre

    Deadstarre Expert

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    thats basically how im seeing it. if puppets in imperialism become the no-brainer, most optimal choice above all other options thats perfectly fine, but normal puppets for everyone else shouldn't be close to if not simply the same thing. thats just throwing a huge bone to the people who need it the least
     
  20. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    That changed months ago. It's 5% on epic now.
     

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