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Are puppets in a balanced place?

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

  1. Deadstarre

    Deadstarre Expert

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    whatever it is, its something. its another real, tangible negative associated with annexing, along with all of the unhappiness and courthouses etc. Thanks to @ElliotS being able to sell bubble gum in a lockjaw ward it soon appears that puppeting would be the -only- city capture option with literally zero downsides to it. Free land and yields and discount bubble gum for everyone! =)
     
  2. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Puppets only provide 25% of everything, though - so they'll grow slowly, produce slowly, generate minimal amount of all yields...their primary benefit will be 'a.) pausing for future annexation due to unhappiness' b.) simply occupying space c.) managing large empires

    Annexing immediately gets you that quick courthouse (so it becomes a 'real' city ASAP) and 100% yields/happiness/unhappiness. So it's 25% of a city's yields versus a normal city with pros/cons. I think it's a fair trade.

    G
     
  3. Deadstarre

    Deadstarre Expert

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    Realistically when you annex you pay a heavy price in unhappiness for quite awhile while courthouse and then the infrastructure get brought up to speed, on top of the aforementioned tech/culture % maluses. All of that is weighed against the possibility of razing and then starting your own town instead if you wanted that land. Now if you do raze but don't plant your own town there, somebody else -will- rebuild there and take the land. Puppets: minimal yields OK, but being able to occupy space and resources that used to belong to someone else but you now own for free really looks like a win-win to me. A fair trade would be something like a-%5 culture modifier to your capital per puppet, or if they actually cost you gpt somehow but gave everything else. or, you know, the current system where they produce unhappiness. basically, a malus to anything is the exchange for owning free land. 'simply occupying space' isn't something to be squeezed into an ABC list, its a huge benefit.
     
  4. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Apologies, I gave the number for small maps. I believe it is 7% for standard.
     
  5. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Generate a minimal amount of free yields though. An annexed city has to first provide enough yields so as to be of benefit to the civilization, else I am actually better off without it due to the culture,science, tourism penalties. With this, any yield the puppet provides is pure gravy. Its like I have a GPTI that provides every yield and just increases in yields every few turns.

    Doing this for Imperalism civs is fine, because you have paid for that right with your policy choices. But letting anyone have puppets this nice is not a good idea imo.
     
  6. Deadstarre

    Deadstarre Expert

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    From Oct 17 patch-

    • Puppet unhappiness yield threshold now -25% (was -50%)
    • Puppet Yield modifiers changed:
      • Culture/Science/Tourism now -50% (was -40%)
      • Gold/Food/Production now -25% (was 0%)
      • City AI is good enough that puppets were essentially becoming free yield generators, especially base yields. These changes make puppets temporarily useful, but long-term a net drain on your economy.


    that was the change that brought them from OP to UP apparently. the explanation speaks for itself... along with this from G on the design goals in February.

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/new-beta-version-february-1st-2-1.627741/page-8#post-15022594
     
  7. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    What if only happiness from needings is removed? So working on specialists in a puppet city still costs happiness.
     
  8. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    This will likely require some tweaking, for sure.
    At 25% yields that feels like I could grow very frustrated at my city governor for 'wasting' happiness though.
    Wait are you planning 25% production? That seems like a problem. I was thinking puppeting would be a good middle ground to annex in a certain amount of time. Sometimes a city that's totally under developed you could leave as a puppet while it builds it's basic buildings, then annex when it's back up to snuff. Choosing when to annex would be an interesting choice that would allow more player skill.

    At 25% production no one will ever want to annex the puppet. Annexing will get worse and worse over time, rather than better (which I think is more realistic and better for gameplay.) I'm not even sure it should produce less food.

    If the yields are too strong at 25% while growing well, lowering them to 20 or 15% would be better than making the cities 'deteriorate' compared to the rest of the world.
    There are two options:
    1- Most puppet cities are or will make up for the % cost increase.
    2- If 75% of an average city's yields can't surpass the % increase for having a new city, the % increase is too high.

    The fact is that if #1 is true the yields aren't "free" just because they come without those costs. Puppets cost the effort of capturing a city, and more importantly they come at the opportunity cost of not annexing them.

    If Annexing them increases science and culture costs by 7% of the base, and the average city increases science and culture by 10% of the base cost, then you're losing science and culture by not annexing. You're also losing gold and control.

    If Annexing them increases science and culture costs by 7% of the base, and the average city increases science and culture by 5% of the base cost, then we need to play with the numbers.

    I think we'll need to test and see partially.
     
    ashendashin likes this.
  9. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Emperor

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    I think this makes puppets too good for the time they're puppets (before they build enough buildings to profit from annexing them etc.). Like some have said, I'd be ok with this being one of the benefits from an Imperialism policy tree, but as the proposal stands now, I see very little benefit to immediately annexing and lots of benefits for puppeting, waiting for the infrastructure to be built and then annexing.

    But I agree, let's test and see.
     
  10. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    Invested courthouse, faster ability to defensively support your units, the ability to buy units quickly and choosing the order of the buildings + investing for faster rebuilding don't seem like possible reasons to annex?
     
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  11. Deadstarre

    Deadstarre Expert

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    correct me if im wrong, in vanilla or the history of VP there has never existed a way to conquer city after city after city after city without paying some kind of internal empire penalty for that. Razing ultimately carried the least personal drawbacks and it also meant that people would just rebuild again. Trying to steal and then hold a bunch of cities always came with enough penalties to stop you from going on with that indefinitely.

    so do you mind explaining why that entire system suddenly needs a revamp? that one person could own their entire continent and get nothing but free yields for it internally, and when if theyd had to make actual cities of their own there would have been huge penalties to keep them in check? are you really still justifying implementing this brand new system because it comes with 'opportunity costs' that say "hey, you could have done even better, and thats the real point!'" ?
     
  12. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    Even back when puppets were viewed as standard I still annexed lots of cities purely because of those reasons. The penalties ain't all that when speeding up other goals takes priority.

    25% production would make puppets a frustrating choice in many cases. Free yields at the cost of a permanently crippled city just sitting in your territory. I guess Imperialism will be able to annex after exploiting them for a while. I'd rather they still get some local unhappiness that doesn't entirely contribute to global so they're more prone to flipping than regular cities, but something tells me that's not feasible in the code.
     
  13. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Don't disregard this that easy. G is planning to make puppets happiness neutral. I say let them have a bit of unhappiness so puppets don't work on specialists at will and this way you avoid the issue of having your puppet build happiness buildings to no avail.
    If you think with this limitation puppets are still useless, then buff a little their yields, to make up for the slight unhappiness.
     
  14. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    Vanilla? Yes. ICS was the best strategy until BNW. That's the whole point of the science and culture scaler.

    The mod? Puppets were more-or-less free 6 months ago. I would puppet everything I didn't annex from 1 tile sea cities to snow cities. So... most of the history of the mod?

    I must have razed only 2 or 3 cities in over a year before this most recent nerf, and only when I couldn't hold coastal cities.
     
  15. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    What about this:

    Full food and production.
    25% other yields.
    Happiness neutral.
    No great people points.

    Just spitballing here.

    G
     
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  16. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    I think this is a good place to start. If puppets are too good we can lower it to 20% or 15%.
     
  17. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    I...I don't think I've ever generated a GP in a puppet without Venice. I don't see how this will appease those calling it OP.

    Edit:
    But as ElliotS said, it's a good start.
     
  18. Deadstarre

    Deadstarre Expert

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    by vanilla i mean BNW, i never played before BNW so i didnt know that actually

    more-or-less free, but they wern't because there was still some unhappiness, and they were also found to be OP, hence the nerf. so making them totally free doesnt look like itd be anything short of Really OP...
     
  19. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    They're not free though. You're just framing it unfairly. Let's look at it like this:

    You spend 8 hours digging a trench and at the end of the day you get paid. Is that 'free money?' No, of course not. You needed to dig a trench all day to earn that.

    The guy offers to pay you $400 on the books, or $100 off the books. The $400 comes at a personal cost (taxes, effort of doing taxes, etc.) whereas the $100 doesn't. Is the $100 OP? No, because you're getting 75% MORE money, which outweighs the personal cost of getting it on the books.

    ---

    Do I think there will be NO situations where puppets are better than annexing? Of course not! That's the point of it being an option. Badly located towns. Conquests super late game. Really underdeveloped cities. All of these are potential reasons to avoid annexing them.

    However there are plenty (the majority of) situations where you want to annex. That sounds good to me.
     
  20. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Emperor

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    Good points, ElliotS.

    @Gazebo , a question: Will the puppets' average needs/yields be incorporated in the global yield/need calculated for thresholds of unhappiness in cities? In other words, if this change will lead to significantly more puppets in games, with puppets inherently having (somewhat) less buildings/yields, will that lead to an "artificial" decrease of thresholds of unhappiness in controlled cities?
     

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