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attacks from cities

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by ilteroi, Dec 26, 2019.

?

what should we do about attacks from cities

  1. nothing, leave everything as is

    20 vote(s)
    29.9%
  2. make them stronger

    10 vote(s)
    14.9%
  3. remove them

    17 vote(s)
    25.4%
  4. remove them and compensate by disabling healing in enemy territory

    9 vote(s)
    13.4%
  5. other

    11 vote(s)
    16.4%
  1. ilteroi

    ilteroi Prince

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Messages:
    341
    hello all!

    it seems there is some discontent with the way attacks from cities work right now. it's just not clear which way to go for improvement. so i made my first survey ... let's see how it goes.

    some background information:

    city attack pro:
    * you can fend off a siege more easily
    * can tie policies to the attack strength

    city attack con:
    * complex and arcane rules to derive the attack strength of a city, hard to balance
    * bad UI, only the defense strength is being shown
    * lots of code for a weak effect

    the only real usecase for me personally seems to be very early in the game, for example defending against barbarians if you don't have any units at hand and cannot buy one. however, barbarians don't capture cities, so there is no real danger from them. this is why I would prefer to simplify the game by removing the attacks from cities.

    optionally we can try and compensate by setting the base heal rate in enemy territory to zero (note that pillaging and the medic promotion would still work). assuming a city attack would have done damage of 10hp/turn, that is equivalent to two units not healing 5hp/turn.

    the realism argument: this is always difficult, after all we are talking about a game. but do note that that melee units will still take damage when attacking a city. also armies in enemy territory should normally suffer attrition from disease & desertion, so not healing is actually quite generous towards the attacker. naval units never had healing in enemy territory.

    the AI performance aspect: right now, city attacks are a totally separate codepath from unit attacks, there is no coordination and no concentrated fire. units which need to heal will retreat to do so. AI players make use of pillaging if a unit is damaged. however, they do not consider the medic promotion (at the moment ...)

    of course, there are some knock-on effects to consider as well: some policies and buildings might need re-balancing, some promotions could be changed eg to allow healing in enemy territory.

    so, what's your opinion?

    always remember: "perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove" (antoine de saint exupéry)
     
  2. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 King

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    Actually, barbarians can capture cities. Barbarian galleys hit pretty hard and cities without garrison can fall against them.
     
    SuperNoobCamper, vyyt and CrazyG like this.
  3. civplayer33

    civplayer33 King

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2017
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    965
    Firstly: barbies can't capture Cities anymore? Sad. I remember when they used to be able to and I kinda liked it.
    Secondly: There is actually quite a bit at stake nonetheless, since barbies attacking your City means they steal all sorts of stuff like Culture, Science, Gold, Production, Food etc. and at this very early stage in the game those thefts can actually set you back numerous turns (happened to me in my current game, for example...I lost about 5 turns to barbies because my Pathfinder was too far away, which ended up making me lose a WW race); when this happens City Attacks are the only hope. Also, what if the Pathfinder is killed? The City might not be able to push out a Warrior due to barbies stealing Gold and Production constantly, thus leaving the player in a situation with no chance to recover.
    Thirdly: I personally like the mechanics, the progression and the special cases (Red Fort one-shotting units is fun, IMO, for example) and would feel like the game lost one of its fun elements if this was removed.
    Fourth(ly?): While there have been complaints about imbalance, I think it's actually in an OK spot right now...not perfect but not so bad it needs to be removed completely. Any balancing should be done by tweaking the existing mechanics, not removing them, IMO. (I'll wait for the vote to develop and chime in for this aspect if people tend to want to keep it.)
    Lastly: I had a feeling the AI wasn't using the City Attack as part of their tactical reasoning viz. concentrated attacks...IMO this should be fixed (easy for me to say, though, since I'm not the one who has to code that :lol:).

    Finally, this project is, as you pointed out, a game and not some engineering project that should be tuned for maximum efficiency; therefore, instead of your quote (which I would agree with for building machines, but not art, which this game kind of is), I leave you with the following:
    "We are here to heal, not harm. We are here to love, not hate. We are here to create, not destroy." — Anthony Douglas Williams ( :D;) )
     
    Erikose, vyyt and HeathcliffWarriors like this.
  4. usadefcon1

    usadefcon1 Warlord

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    Minimum damage 10 is my vote
     
    Erikose and civplayer33 like this.
  5. Teholb

    Teholb Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Messages:
    199
    At first, I was against removing them. However, because anything that removes arcane code from the game will inevitably contribute to greater stability, ease of development, and easier balancing, I voted to have them removed.

    The more I consider he idea of removing [base] healing in enemy territory, the more I like the idea. This would provide a great incentive to promote early scouts down the Medic line, rather than beelining the vision/movement/defense bonus route. It would also make Medic ranged units supremely valuable. If the AI could be trained to use this effectively, I would be in favor of it.

    This is all with my multiplayer bias, though. Single player doesn't really have to worry about stability as much.
     
    vyyt and Kim Dong Un like this.
  6. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    Maybe you could tie other mechanics into the :c5strength: process? As of always, switching a city over to :c5strength: is something that's rare, I would imagine. We could add to it's functionality.

    IMO, units not in the front line (usually the ranged / siege) being protected but still vulnerable to taking damage from the city is kind of silly; it's one thing to directly attack them with a ranged garrison or guided missile, but any resistance / damage from the city would realistically be directed toward the most immediate threat, that being the units in or adjacent to the city itself.

    What if on top of increasing the city's CS like it does currently, running the :c5strength: process triggered an additional feature(s) like enemy units adjacent to the city can't heal and take X dmg per turn? It would represent the general resistance from the inhabitants, in whatever ways imaginable (yes, that includes old women chucking heavy roof tiles from elevation...). The defensive buildings could further increase the dmg per turn to units adjacent to the city; wall / castle / arsenal could increase by +5 e.g, a base of 10 would have all enemy units adjacent to the city taking 25 dmg per turn with an arsenal present (Red Fort could further increase, or even double this number).

    Policies could be adjusted to add flavour. Say that wide trees allow offensive buildings to stack - Authority with barracks, Fealty with armory, and Imperialism with military academy could provide an additional +5 each toward the possible +25 from the defensive buildings, leaving you with 40 dmg per turn to enemy units adjacent to the city while running :c5strength:. That gives adjacent units 3 turns of indirect damage before they'd have to retreat or face death (a garrison could finish them earlier, of course). A fully buffed warmonger could see Red Fort dealing 90 damage, crippling any units that dare surround the city for even 1 turn.

    I don't quite know how well the AI would handle a change, but the more I think about removing the city attack, the more I lean towards it. My idea doesn't really consider the early barb factor, but it's fun to brainstorm.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
    gwennog likes this.
  7. Tarzan737

    Tarzan737 Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Messages:
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    I always disliked ranged attacks from cities, remove it please or at least disable it like in civ6 when the city is down in yellow or red.
     
  8. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I think the current status of city attacks contributes a lot to how easy it is to rush AI cities and capture them with ease. Generally city attacks do a lot against gimmicky early game rushes, such as carthage's boats against a coastal capital (the AI won't even necessarily have trapping unlocked). I wonder if the range could just go back to being 2 standard, for the AI's sake.

    My concern with removing healing in enemy territory is AI performance and new player friendliness. Generally speaking, this hurts the attacker a lot more than removing city attacks helps them.

    Red Fort could probably have its raw defense boost lowered. But really, is it that OP, compared to stuff like the Great Wall? The complex code this does stink, and we would be fine to simplify it (for example tradition's bonus to it could be removed, just give cities a bonus instead).
     
  9. azum4roll

    azum4roll Prince

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    City damage should already be 10 minimum (before direct damage reduction like Dauntless) unless the latest versions removed it.

    What contributes to city attack strength right now, besides buildings, policies and religion?

    We need to clarify those before making choices.
     
    Tekamthi likes this.
  10. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    i think we just keep it simple, and return to the minimum 10 dmg for city attacks. I think removing the city attack entirely has too many other consequences.
     
  11. Tekamthi

    Tekamthi Prince

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    After the occasional 2-3 DMG attack, this morning I had a city attack for 0 damage against Songhai city attack promo tercio. 5 pop city had no garrison and no def buildings, after changing hands a bunch in recent turns

    On one hand, 0 DMG attack is useless.. on the other, from realism basis I didn't mind.

    I don't like min DMG idea. Would rather see city attack use garrison CS, maybe with multiplier for pop. and infrastructure
     
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  12. civplayer33

    civplayer33 King

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    If we're keeping the City Attack I'd actually like to see both of the suggestions of the previous posters added: (re)implement the minimum 10 damage and make the damage scale with population size as well as garrison strength (in addition to what the defensive buildings do, though the numbers could be tweaked). This would have the interesting effect that tall civs would inherently have more City Attack strength because they will usually have Tradition (direct boost from the Guardhouse if a garrison is in place) and more population.
     
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  13. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I don't really like the idea of removing healing in enemy territory. I think it's appropriate that you heal best in friendly territory, less in neutral, and even less in enemy (but still a little). Or if healing in enemy territory is 0 by default, still allow nearby medic units to cause healing in enemy territory to work again.

    I think cities being capable of doing massive damage to enemies is actually more of a problem than them doing too little. I really dislike a city with Red Fort hitting like a truck at 4 range. The fact that the AI doesn't use city attack well makes me like it even less. I'd probably be in favor of scrapping city ranged attack and avoiding trying to get it balanced. I think the defensive buildings would still be useful enough for city CS defense and for their distress/unit cap benefits.

    I do like the idea of giving the defense process a 1-tile AoE attrition attack, similar to encampments/legions/citadels. 5 or 10 damage AoE might do the trick. It only hits units right up against your walls in order to hopefully push the enemy melee units back and give your own units some breathing room. Red Fort could boost it to 10 or 20. I think this would tend to be more balanced because it only affects those units you allow to get so close while your ranged/siege are still OK and the city would have to actively run the process. Maybe have that damage disabled for a completely surrounded city.
     
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  14. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    Making cities like citadels is interesting.
     
  15. gwennog

    gwennog Chieftain

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    Yes, I also find.
     
  16. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Well RIP blockades. Now the only way to take a city is to plink it with 3+ siege units from 2 tiles away for 10 turns. Peninsula cities are unassailable until frigates.

    thanks, I hate it.

    Can’t we just simplify city attack damage? Maybe you can make it scale with city HP instead of defence? That would incorporate defence buildings in a more modest way.

    or maybe city damage could function as straight HP removal between 5-50HP, based on an even distribution of cities based on :c5strength:CS or :c5citizen:population? Eg. Beijing has the highest :c5strength:on the map, so it does 50 damage. If there are 50 cities in the world then The next biggest city does 49 damage, etc etc. Then drill and other city damage reductions could just reduce city damage by a flat amount, with a min of 1 dmg?

    Aside from that, If you try to rip city attack out then just take it out, don’t break 3 other things while trying to fix this 1 thing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2019
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  17. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

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    Can we not keep city attacks and make the code less arcane? Let them use the same system as unit attacks?
     
  18. saamohod

    saamohod Prince

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    What I dislike here is that it would interfere with certain policy and religion choices, as well as wonders, that modify the cities attack strength. Removing it would make the game more poor.
     
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  19. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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  20. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    And I guess siege towers and battering rams would just disable this ability or take no damage? you know if you have a small lake next to a city it is impossible to ever blockade, right?

    and the 2-4 turns (20 damage) on your encircling units before they manage to fight off the defenders and establish a full blockade, then every time the defenders manage to kill 1 of those 6 units they get a free 25 damage spread across the remaining 5 for breaking a blockade every 1 turn?

    No thanks. This will put too much power into defenders. It will require too many exceptions. At least a citadel is 1 turn to pillage once I can dislodge the defenders; you’re asking me to be okay with eating absurd amounts of attrition damage to pull off even a medium city siege.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2019
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