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Balance & AI Training

Discussion in 'Orbis Modmod' started by Ahwaric, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. scutarii

    scutarii King

    Joined:
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    I'm trying illians at deity.

    So far: weaker thay you AI tend to DOW at you and....send one assasin afer 2-3 turns or so. Weaker than you at deity? in both my deity games( first dao, now illians) were scions and by wide margin.


    Religions are problematic: as illians I was able to establish FoL, "snow cult" and...yeah, that is right, usually much sought RoK. I researched Rok at CLASSSICAL era only to get some money but I was amazed when I got it first...

    Most of AIs have adjusted to OO ( in my previous game too...)

    Oh, and AI likes mercurians...
     
  2. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    Kill the crews, it's micro and AI doesn't understand

    Also maybe those buildings which have upgrades can have promotions making building up to the second best possible? so you have a .1 chance that each turn your worker builds a fort it gains Expert fort builder allowing it to build the next best fort
     
  3. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    I agree; It's more micro, but it's something that is interesting IMO. Or rather, COULD be interesting. :p

    Very. The builds granted are ran just like a normal build when evaluating what's best for the plot... Only real use of it in the team version of RifE so far was to remove unique workers [All but the lizard/golem worker UU's are gone; Lizard still builds Trails currently (Sadly, does not work on Routes, just regular improvements), Golem doesn't gain xp, not built with food, and works faster], and the AI workers behave in the same way. Khazad still build their Dwarven Mines, Malakim still build the Bedouin Sits, etc.

    The only issue is whether or not the AI will take the promotion over defensive strength; But that just requires tweaking the iPower tag on the promotions, so the AI knows it's a good one. ;)

    Really, the main reason I added it was to remove the Worker UU bloat, as I don't like them. But you can have a promotion allowing you to build better forts (already in the team version), better towns (thinking that's too strong, personally), better Yurts in Orbis, or even entirely new promotions; Considering giving FoL civs access to an Orchard improvement that can be built in forests.

    Plus, you can REMOVE build orders. That's what I did for the D'tesh; They only have access to 5 improvements, they're a very minimal civ. ;)

    The issue is just that workers with withdrawal seem to withdrawal constantly (Even when they really don't). Getting it too high is a bad idea, IMO.

    That's an interesting idea. ;)
     
  4. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    Clay (mud) golem is the only unique worker in orbis, so it is not really an issue. Orchard is a nice idea, but I think I have that already covered by forester's lodge.
    Removing orders - another good idea, but I have no use for it now.
    Same with improved versions of improvements - I prefer civilizations to modify yeilds, not to add new improvements.
    Not in Orbis - withdrawal is possible only once per turn. Then, unit gains a promotion that disables withdrawal for one turn.
     
  5. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Really, most of the unique improvements have a range tag; Makes it rather hard to modify that way.

    .....I even merged that, and still forgot about it. :lol: In any case, one of our new features is going to necessitate the addition of a new tag, iWithdrawalBlock (or whatever we call it); Reduces the enemy's chance to withdraw by that amount, or to 0 (whichever is highest).
     
  6. readercolin

    readercolin King

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    I have some issues with the civics, and some questions about what exactly you're trying to accomplish with them. I'll address them by category. Other balance issues I'll address in separate posts.

    Economy:
    Spoiler :

    First off, survival. As the default starting civic, I reaaaaly don't like this. The reason is, at the start of the game, one of the first things that you want to do is grow your city. However, at the start of the game, the only buildings that you can build are palisades. Combining this with the need to build several defensive units, and you don't actually start growing your cities until much later. The other problem with this is that the only two early options to switch into are Tolls, and Agrarianism, both of which have their own issues. Agrarianism is a very low priority if most of my cities are on the coast, or if I want to keep my production high, and tolls is nearly 800 research points in, (with 12 research, not counting animal husbandry or agriculture/hunting, that's 60 turns of research that isn't going to be improving your cities or giving you defense). This means that if you want to actually grow your city early on, you are forced to take agrarianism, or research techs that provide buildings and devote your early production to them instead of to expanding.

    Guardian of Nature - Exactly why do you have "no :yuck: from city population" here? Isn't the whole point of FoL to have trees, which provide health to nearby cities? Now you have a case where you never EVER have to worry about unhealth, AND you get lots of free happy from forests and jungles. Because of this, it might just be worth it to follow FoL and run Guardian of Nature, even if you never plant a single tree. Especially when you compare it to the other options in that particular group of civics.

    The other economy civics seem ok.


    Government :
    Spoiler :
    I would complain about them all being rather underpowered - looking at it, I feel nothing but apathy over what government I happen to be running.
    Slumbering Coven is the only decent one of the bunch, but it requires a religion.

    God king gives +50% production to your capital, but loosing the gold bonus means that this is a civic that you only run in the early game, it really has no mid/lategame potential.

    Aristocracy giving a few happy and 1 trade route? Happy is already easy enough to come by in orbis, so I really don't care about that. So basically, why the heck would I want a single lousy trade route?

    Theocracy actually gives a semi-decent bonus, with -50% maintenance from number of citys. On the other hand, the only real reason why I find that to be decent is that it can combine with social order for -100% maintenance from number of cities...

    Is this all an attempt to make republic finally seem good? It hasn't changed, but on the other hand, I never really used it (taxation comes too late for most of its bonuses to actually seem useful to me). Magocracy giving a 15% bonus to research is just icing on the cake here - yay for another useless civic among a bunch of other useless civics.


    Legal
    Spoiler :
    the only ones here that I don't see myself ever using are nationhood and liberty.

    Liberty Comparing Liberty to city states, both give me a +25% bonus to :culture:, and an increase to the amount of war weariness. However, city states gives a nifty bonus to distance from palace maintenance, while culture gives me a measly 25% bonus to great person rate. Why would I EVER choose Liberty?

    Nationhood gives an experience bonus to combat within borders, and an increase in the amount of espionage points. Personally, I've never found espionage to be especially useful, and experience within own borders is also similarly useless by the time that I have printing press. Being able to draft units is... well, I've never felt a need to use it, ever.


    Labor
    Spoiler :
    did you actually find serfdom to be that powerful that its bonus needed to get cut in half? Compared to the other ones in this tree from before, serfdom was the civic I used the least - all the other ones I just found more useful, no matter what I happened to be running.


    Cultural Values
    Spoiler :
    The unlimited sage/priest/merchant/bard gives culture/wealth/religion/scholarship useful bonuses. On the other hand, a 5% bonus is practically unnoticeable - unless I'm running a specialist economy, none of these are actually worth grabbing. Pacifism's 50% bonus to GP birth rate is semi-useful, though generally not enough to make it something that I would use except in some rare instances. Conquest has me puzzled though - why exactly would I want to use a civic to get +1 xp?


    Religion
    Spoiler :
    There are only two things that I'm puzzled about here. First off, Universalism - can build missionaries without Temple? Does that mean that you can build the Disciple units without a temple? Or priests? What is a missionary? Secondly, Free Religion. Does it enforce having no state religion? Why would this actually be useful to anyone other than an agnostic (religions are just too powerful for someone to want to not have one - there is a reason why agnostics usually get bonuses to make up for being forced to not have a religion)?


    -Colin
     
  7. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    I know. Will keep this experiment on a bit more. And then decide if to keep it or no. But all votes are recorded.
    Actually, I do not think it is really powerfull as you already have a lot of health from forests, so no :yuck: from population give a little effect at best. Now if you would cut forests, that would be big thing, but you would loose :happy: from forests. But this way, it is more usefull in other areas, like deserts. You still get something, so GoN is not a total wast in desert/floodplains cities.
    I think that government is quite good. And republic with elections is actually quite powerfull. Please do not forget bonus xp to specific unitcombats. God king has culture bonus on top of production - it is almost a must in early game, and still quite powerfull later. If you want to build a lot of wonders in your capitol, it is the way to go. Extra gold is a bit too much IMHO. Just need to build bazaar of mammon and you are swimming in gold.
    Liberty probably needs small improvement. Also, please not that number of cities is a bad thing in city states (+maintenance)
    Nationhood is quuite unique civic, and not to everyone's taste. It is the only possible way to draft. But I will take a look if it needs changes.
    Is +10% population in all cities and +50% worker speed not enough? Yes, that is +10% population, as modifier works on all food produced. So size 30 city gets at least 9 extra food. Food is THE best yield.
    And more great generals... (I think it might use +100%)
    Cultural values are not meant to be that powerfull - these are constructed around great people. So you get free specialists (excpet engineers, it would be too powerfull from the start). The bonuses are just icing on the cake. Pacifism is all around GP booster, while isolation is for espionage & conquest for great generals.
    All units that require temple. SO, missionaries, priests, lunatics... I need to update the help text.
    It does. It is good for agnostics (the real ones, especially grigori). Also, some people might decide they like it anyway.

    I do not agree with some (most?) of your points, but still big thanks for posting them. Your opinions have been noted, and might influence my future decisions.
     
  8. Highjacker1983

    Highjacker1983 Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Just one balance related point:

    In my opinion the "First Strike" ability of units, especially while guarding a city is way toooooo strong. I play as Palatinates (correct spelling:confused:) and got a city on the front line guarded by !!!TWO!!! archers, with maxed out First strike skill and Duskwood promotion, plus one priest with sharpshooter protection, with the extra topping: city walls.
    And guess what, they're killing everything that the enemy has to offer, like champions or asassins, because of their first strikes doing about 65% damage before the battle actually begins.

    Someone said in a previous post that the AI almost act like cowards and let me tell you, if I didn't have my special assasine also with maxed out first strike skill plus the "chosen of Aeron" promotion, I probably wouldn't attack those cities myself, 'cause with my standart-infantry I won't stand a chance against it.


    Edit:
    Something I forgot,
    the new system for hiring mercenaries is very good but those starting promotion-selection is quite strange. I already got a flying dwarven Minotaur (no joke!!!) and a "Gnoll" + "Strong" + "Weak" Shapeshifter. I think there is some work need to be done.

    And not really an issue but cosmetical question:
    Aren't dwarfs a little bit too big (as big as human units)?

    BTW: I'm playing in german language, so i might have translated some of the promotions wrong.


    greetings
    Highjacker1983
     
  9. CladInShadows

    CladInShadows Chieftain

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    I personally like the current Survival starting civic. It adds an interesting choice, to either build monument, temple, palisade, etc and grow your first city, or to build warriors and then a settler, which will let you expand outward, but leave your initial city small.

    I think it's a really interesting choice to have to make.
     
  10. KrugSmash

    KrugSmash Warlord

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    Yea, it took some warming up to it, but I've actually started to like the starting survival civic. It's not like there aren't enough early buildings to allow for some growth, and it really helps get that initial army out there.
     
  11. iffi

    iffi Warlord

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    Location:
    Helsinki
    I like the boost to FSs in Orbis, and so does the AI. Often, half of the units have consentrated on taking FSs.

    But woe, a simple single Adept spell can negate them all. And not only FSs, but also defensive strikes.

    If the AI would be bright enough to use it in every game, it would be ok. And I mean every game, every AI civ, because it can be that powerful. The Balses get it for free with Acroquins/Harlebats.

    Now the proposed cure. If technically possible, could Blur promo negate just a % of the damage done by a first strike attack? If not possible to separate an attack done with or without first strike, should it then just negate a % of physical damage? In effect, +20% physical damage resistance for example. Scalable by caster level like damage spells? Physical elemental etc damage is perhaps difficult to include with normal phys dam, but perhaps not needed anyway.

    One can argue that there still are the other bonuses given by first strike promotions if the enemy uses Blur. Perhaps, but there still is the negation of defensive strikes which makes taking cities safer for your veterans. At least, no need to suicide a few rookies to deplete the defensive strike pool an enemy city has..

    Having Adepts casting Blur and Rust, there is little incentive to bother spending research on further arcane stuff (other than roleplay-related). Even your Hunters can hop into their steamrollers and start leveling cities. Add a Tsunami/Ring of Fire, a catapult, an insanely (and too easily) leveled Archer ranged attack specialist..

    (In Wildmana my units got Rusted. MY UNITS!? Well, on the other hand, there the AI shoots itself on the foot with Maelstorm.)

    EDIT: About ranged attacks. Ranged attacks giving xp is a bonus on top of a bonus. While just taking a shower, I could finally pinpoint the thing that worries me about ranged attack xp: It gives more xp against weaker enemies. A leveled archer can get 5+ xp against a rookie skeleton, for example, because it inflicts max damage in one hit. It should be the reverse, right? If an archer scores a good hit on a strong opponent, it should get rewarded. Not when impaling a half-starved three-legged kitten.

    All this was from Orbis 0.xx over a month ago, sorry if some things have been adjusted already.
     
  12. Kalina

    Kalina Just lurking...

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    Some balance things:

    Was religion spread increased ? I founded CoE (with Shrine, so I see cities with my religion). I don't have Open Borders with anyone and didn't make any effort to spread my religion and still, CoE has spread to half the cities on continent, even to holy cities of other religions. It's same with other religions, from what I see.

    Dao elementals can heal even without movement points - it ends their move but it doesn't matter if they have none left. Of course, this might be intended - but if so, AI should be using this ability every turn after move. Also, while you get too much of them early game, late game basic elementals with 5 str are pretty much useless, as they have limited chances to win enough fights to upgrade to elder elemental.

    Easy access to specialist might be abused, as event when starved city only lose 1 population each turn. You can let city grow to max size, than change all citizens to desired type to generate great person. It's less abusable mid-late game, when you need a lot of points to generate GP, but early game you can easily get 1 or 2 GP of desired type. Also, it makes buildings like Elder Council less useful.
     
  13. readercolin

    readercolin King

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    To address your responses:

    Survival - we'll see as we go along i guess. I just would rather have this available later
    GoN - The primary issue I have here is that even with running FoL, after about size 14, unless you have other sources of health, even the forest cities will begin to experience unhealthiness. If your whole goal is to make this useful to non-elves, it does do that. My issue is more that it totally outshines everything else in the category.

    Government:
    More xp to specific unit-combats, quite frankly, is trash. I mean no offense by this, but even in a city with archery tower (for example), I still build other units. Generally, less than 1/3 of my units will be of a specific unit type. On top of all of this, the amount of XP given, considering the other available sources of xp, is pretty negligable. Ex. Aristocracy. If I have stables, hippodrome, and barracks (+3xp to land units), i start with 7xp. Dropping the hippodrome, i still have 5xp. In either case, 2 more isn't enough to get me another level. Getting the great general mounted building gives 3xp, which in the first case gives me 10 xp, and ONLY in the second case gives me 8, where 2 extra XP will make a difference. Unless you are charismatic, if the sources of xp aren't enough to bump you up a level given other readily available sources of xp, there really isn't any reason to go for that. Now, if it gave that much xp to all unit types, 2xp is plenty powerful, because I would then be able to bump out an emergency archer for defense, and it will start out with a free promotion. But giving it for just one unit type isn't going to influence my decision at all.

    Now to god king. Bazzar of mammon does give you plenty of gold, I agree. However, that gold bonus is the only thing that kept godking even semi-useful in the mid-late game, when you typically have many more cities, and one producing a little bit faster only makes a difference if you are pumping out wonders (and even then, there are enough sources for a +:hammers:% bonus that it doesn't make THAT big a difference). The gold bonus also helps a great deal in the early game - I now only have to drop my research 20% instead of 30% to continue to run all of my cities. Or just grab 1 merchant specialist, etc.

    Republic. Elections may be powerful. The problem is, they are too random to actually be useful. For people like me, who try to control most things about their empire (aka, I NEVER play perpentarch), having a chance for a random golden age or a random trait generally leads to me ignoring it. The reason is that I am unable to base a strategy around this, as I have no way to aim for a specific trait. Elections also take place periodically, and as far as I have been able to determine, there isn't any set number of turns between elections.

    Legal. The net effect of city states, unless you place your cities to only be able to use the first ring, is generally reduced costs, even with large empires. This is because each successive city is further and further out. Compared to reduced costs (especially for large empires), a 25% bonus to GPP, especially later in the game when liberty is available, is generally negligible. As for nationhood, it would probably be useful if you gave it a different, more general bonus. I will agree however that it is one that isn't to everyone's taste.

    Labor. The issue that I brought up feudalism is that in previous versions of orbis, it was a 20% bonus to food. And I still never used it, it just wasn't as useful as no cap on specialists and 20% production bonus, or greatly reduced costs to corporations (size 30 city, 9 food. 1 corporation, 12 resources, and you get 9 food in EVERY city, not just the ones that are already that large). As for worker work rate, it might be useful, but by the time I get it, I have already developed my core empire, and I have enough workers out there that new cities get developed in a few turns anyways.

    Cultural Values. Quite frankly, I generally consider great generals to be a nice little bonus. I will keep a few around to create the special buildings that only they can build. But since I can't attach them to hero's, and I can't remove them from a unit once attached, and if that unit somehow gets adventurer, I loose it, I generally find great generals to be little more than an occasional free building. Therefore, I looked at the net bonus that will appear with every unit that I build - +1xp. Which, compared to no cap on a particular specialist type, is kinda useless. It also isn't enough that a new unit would receive the next level, with any combination of buildings that you build. As for the other cultural values, the bonus from being able to get as many of a particular specialist as you want, while quite powerful, is only a benefit to the specialist economy. If you are trying to make them useful for people who run more of a cottage economy (aka, if you want there to be a viable economy other than the specialist one), they really need a significant bonus other than no specialist cap. That was really what I was trying to point out with that statement.

    -Colin
     
  14. gktr

    gktr Chieftain

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    absolutely agree with Colin's post.. IMO civics in previous version was much more useful and interesting. Old Survival with +1:hammers:forester's lodge allows leader with Industrious trait to have 4:hammers:!!! on plains/forest plot at the start of the game.. Like it very much. And about Serfdom. Never used it, except playing elves when it allows to avoid 20%:food:penalty. Now i will always choose another, 10%:food: isn't enough.. Also i think religion-based civics like Slumbering coven, Guardian of nature etc must be in separate group, because now being agnostic is almost same as being religious civ, thats not right..
    Anyway Orbis is my favorite mod, thank you very much for your work, Ahwaric :)
     
  15. arkham4269

    arkham4269 Court Writer - Orbis Mod

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    I agree completely with this assessment. I would also like to add (again) my observation that often I will be rampaging through the AI's lands and it will continue to build triremes or Frigates! Worse, it will do this in the face of overwhelming odds. By this I mean I'm sitting off his coast with 3-4 ships so building one ship and sending it out just means it's going to die for little overall value. rather than building a land defender unit that probably (hopefully) kill a few of my units as we attempt to storm the city.

    Also, in regard to the 'rampaging beastmaster' comment, I'd like to reiterate that so many times the AI is so passive about gaining copper and iron that it meekly goes into the middle/end game with only adepts, assassins, horsemen, rangers and beastmasters along with whatever priest unit they have. Against heavy infantry and knights, and mages, they are easily killed.
     
  16. Vainglory

    Vainglory Chieftain

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    I think survival's food building abilities should be cut.

    1) It makes early aggression even more difficult. While the mod makes early rushes difficult with the promotions for guarding the capital, having to sacrifice nearly all of your growth to create an effective army is the final nail in the coffin.

    2) You are forced to search for a new civic if you want early growth, forcing you down certain tech paths. Calendar is now a must have early on in the game now if I want larger than size 4 cities.

    It is entirely possible that I simply don't know how to use this mechanic (I am kind of a moron).
     
  17. admtanaka

    admtanaka Warlord

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    Part of me likes the increased defensive strikes, but without too much effort or unit pampering, I was able to create this monster in a game as the Elohim:



    This might be a bit much. Of course, there are ways around this guy (blur, magic, etc), but will the AI be able to stop him? Maybe there could be a hard cap on the defensive strikes?

    If you look closely in the screenshot, you might also see what I assume is a bug. I was able to upgrade a heavy infantry to a Paladin (and thus not Hospitliers) as the Elohim.
     
  18. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    Got blitz? if so, check mate
     
  19. readercolin

    readercolin King

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    Issues with the Malakim. At the moment, all their terrain turns to desert, which they get 1:food: and 1:commerce: from. The problem is, unless they settle right next to a river, they become rather food starved, as there is no way for them to get enough food to live off their terrain without spamming farms. A possible fix for this would be to add in occasional oasis's like wildmana does, giving them fresh water and additional food in the area. I'm also not sure if terrain next to rivers turn to floodplains. At the moment however, it is just too difficult to actually get them to grow.

    -Colin
     
  20. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Just so you know, RifE allows the occasional Oasis as well. We just allow a spell for arcane units, letting you place it yourself; One per city.
     

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