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Balance and Gameplay discussion.

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Legends of Revolution' started by phungus420, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. phungus420

    phungus420 Deity

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    Please post any ideas, issues, suggestions and what have you with Balance and gameplay. I am particularly interested in the oppinions of those who play multiplayer, as that is the most effective way to really understand balancing issues. But all discussion on the subject is welcome. The mod is still in Beta, so we can definatly make radical changes to improve balance and gameplay. One thing to note though, it's unlikely there will be any more added content. There are plenty of new concepts and objects in the game. I have no desire to expand it more, I do not think more is better, and the goal of this mod is to simulate a commercially viable expansion pack, akin to the experience from Vanilla CivIV to Beyond the Sword. This mod already accomplishes this, and I do not wish to overload it. Though keep in mind this mod is very open to mod modding. Feel free to take this mod and do whatever you want with it, I would very much like to see this mod developed in new ways by other modders.
     
  2. bigfatjonny

    bigfatjonny Warlord

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    I've been finding swordmen difficult to use. Now axemen get +50% melee and +25% vs swordsmen, you need to have a lot to be able to break a city with a fortified axeman.

    Any thoughts?...
     
  3. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    The axeman has also been reduced in strength from 5 to 4.

    Situation with no defence bonuses

    Swordsman attacking axeman in standard BTS:
    6 vs 7.5

    Swordsman attacking axeman in LoR:
    6 vs 7

    Situation with 40% culture defence bonus and 25% fortification bonus

    Swordsman attacking axeman in standard BTS:
    6 vs 10.75

    Swordsman attacking axeman in LoR:
    6 vs 9.6

    However, the axeman has gone down in cost from 35 to 30 and the swordsman has gone up in cost from 40 to 45. The cost decrease for the axeman is justified by its weaker power in attacking cities or in general any unit other than melee units.

    The swordsman should be able to capture cities easier since in LoR it is possible to bomb away defence bonuses with rams and capped rams before catapults are available. So when you're attacking a city with no defence bonuses with city raider swordsmen, then you have ample opportunities to be successful.
     
  4. bigfatjonny

    bigfatjonny Warlord

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    Wow, that is a very comprehensive exaplaination. Thanks.

    So what you are saying is that you have to use a mixed force to attack, not just a stack of one type of unit.
    Sounds like a great idea to me! I never really used rams before, because they dont do damage to other the units like catapults do.
     
  5. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    Once I saw the changes done to the ancient age, I just had to see for myself whether that worked so I thought a bit about it. They are very interesting changes, especially the rams.

    Personally, I think that the classical age could use a composite bowmen (upgrade from archer), but that's something for another discussion.

    A mixed stack always works better in civ4, but it is also more expensive to have units in your stack that defend against all the types of threats, especially that early in the game. So you'll have to guess whether your stack needs for instance spearmen to defend against horsemen or that maybe the enemy doesn't have horsemen yet.

    A few battering rams to deal with nasty defence bonuses will likely be worth their fairly low cost. But it depends, when you're very quick with an attack (attacking with chariots or axemen), then it can sometimes be better to gamble everything on one stack of these units taking a few cities. When swordsmen come around, then defences might have stiffened enough to make rams and stack defence units worth their money.
     
  6. MrPopov

    MrPopov King

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    What about pikes? Why did they get a +100% vs melee?

    vs maces they are equal

    6str pikemen +100% = 12
    8str maceman + 50% = 12
     
  7. Alsark

    Alsark Noble

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    That might not be a bad idea. I've found that Horsemen will completely rip through my defenses in cities for whatever reason. I didn't look at the odds, but every time a Horseman was attacking my City Garrison I archers, they'd lose (fully fortified). A Composite Bowmen would swing the odds a bit more in the favor of defense.

    Yeah. I can understand getting a bonus against melee, but perhaps not such a substantial bonus. Maybe like a 50% bonus? A Heavy Footman should probably be able to defeat a Pikeman. Since a few of the ethnic style arts have shields, I think a Heavy Footman could easily knock the pike away in order to close the distance (at which point the Pikeman is screwed). Depending on the type of melee, though, the Pikeman may have an advantage (I'd imagine that pike > axe). Although you could give the Pikeman only bonuses to certain melee, I think a 50% against melee all around would make sense (since, depending on the ethnic art, the Heavy Footmen may or may not have a shield).
     
  8. Alsark

    Alsark Noble

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    Oh, and regarding traits, I posted this awhile ago in the old thread:


    Oh, I'd recommend creating a "strategies" topic, too, Phungus.
     
  9. phungus420

    phungus420 Deity

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    The main reason is that historically Mideaval armies were mainly Pikes. Now gameplay > historical accuracy, but testing this change it worked well. Pikes are still extremely weak against archery units, and make poor city attackers (especially since max damage and overall strength of seige has been reduced), but they are the best field unit of their time. Pikes have also gone up in price.
     
  10. bigfatjonny

    bigfatjonny Warlord

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    Is there a list of all the changes from Vanilla BTS, not all the extras Revolutions, Wolf, AI etc - Just a list of changes to units & techs from BTS to LoR?
     
  11. phungus420

    phungus420 Deity

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    Well to be honest, I sort of did this in the LoR Concepts section in the civilopedia (there was a BtS rules changes section, and tried converting that), but it got too unwieldy so I removed that section. All of the core concept changes are adressed and listed there, in the Civilopedia under LoR concepts. But as far as unit changes and trait changes and what not, it just sort of bogged me down, and I gave up on it. The main changes are axeman are strength 4, and Pikeman get 100% vs Melee as well as mounted, though due to overhauling the tech tree and what not, there is just too much stuff to really list it all.
     
  12. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    To add to phungus420 post. This change to pikeman changes the balance of optimal armies in the middle ages so that they'll contain more pikemen, but it will not imbalance the game. The pikeman now becomes the main stack defender in the field, but it won't be the unit to capture cities nor will it be the best city defender. It also won't defeat every contemporary unit.

    By the way, it's important for your strategies to know that the unpromoted pikeman will defeat the unpromoted maceman. The way the bonuses are applied in the quoted post in incorrect. The combat mechanics in civilization IV subtract bonuses before applying them so if a maceman attacks a pikeman, then it will be 8 vs 9 (6+50% of 6).

    A complete medieval matchup:

    Pikemen: strong vs knights and cuirassiers, good vs macemen
    Trebuchets: Prime city attackers combined with collateral damage
    Macemen: Prime city invaders with good strength and city raider promotions, good vs longbowmen.
    Crossbowmen: Excellent vs pikemen, good vs macemen, decent vs longbowmen, good city defenders
    Longbowmen: excellent city defenders, in the field decent against pikemen and crossbowmen. Weak in the field.
    Knights: Good stack breakers, especially with flanking promotions to retreat or anti-melee promotions to beat pikemen. Strong vs everything except pikemen. Can flank attack siege units.

    The only thing that changed is the matchup between macemen and pikemen which is now won by the pikemen while they were being massacred in regular BTS.

    Here's the wikipedia entry on pikemen.. Check the section of the medieval revival and renaissance heyday.
     
  13. GONdorman

    GONdorman ROCK´N ROLL PEOPLE!!!!

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    Oh man...:crazyeye:

    You could have simply made a new "LoR Concepts" and keepin the BTS concepts like it was... to give more of a "expansion pack" feel:D
     
  14. MrPopov

    MrPopov King

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    I want to be sure I understand this point.

    How does the math change if, say the heavy footman was in a forest defending vs the pikeman? will the +50% forest defence cancel out the remaining +50% from the pikeman?

    I guess what I am asking here is: are all +/- percentage based bonuses resolved before they are applied to the unit's strength?

    Oh and I don't want to sound like I am arguing for or against any side, I appreciate the consideration that went into this change
     
  15. scu98rkr

    scu98rkr Prince

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    Hi,

    I've been playing Wolf's mod and then WolfRevolution and I've really been enjoying them particularly WolfRevolution.

    I generally play on the LAN against against housemate + AI's. As phungus mentioned the reason we use these mods is they add some new components, unit and leaders without totally changing the game.

    I particularly like some of the ships Wolf added as I think these were needed.

    We've upgraded to 3.19 last night and thought we'd try the latest version of LOR.

    There are some changes I particularly like mainly reducing the poly count of many units and reducing the overall graphic load.

    However as Im sure phungus knows this mod obviously needs balancing. I normally play monarch and my housemate normally plays prince and we tend to be even.

    Last night I got handed Saladin (Enlightened/Spiritual) I surged away into a lead of almost double the next AI/my housemates score. I imagine this has to do with the +15% science bonus.

    Normally Im stopped from getting a religion by playing monarch because my research is slow but it didnt seem to be any problem at all getting one. May be I had a good start but this +15% science seems too much.

    But the main point of this post is I think your overstepping your OWN aims phungus

    "Overall Legends of Revolution has been built with the idea that more is not better, rather the goal has been to add in needed units for balance, and concepts that enhance gameplay."

    Like you say one or two tech some units need to be added but I think you've either added too much or added too much at once.

    Especially reading that you have changed axemen to 4 strength in stead of 5. I didnt even realise this while playing because its such a given.

    Arguably could have been made when BTS came out but it wasnt now is too late. The Axeman/Spearman/Archer/Chariot balance is now very set most players minds. I dont think changing basic military balances like this is needed in an expansion pack. Little changes are needed but this is too much.

    Also units that can move 3 squares like Legio X I know this is a legend unit buts its too much. The whole strategic thinking for wars has changed personally I think this is too different.

    I am in total agreement with your aims for this mod phungus and I was convinced it would become THE next "unofficial expansion pack" just like wolfrevolution was before. But I think your going to far I think you need to go back to your OWN original remit and maybe consider reversing some of the changes and making it more like BTS.

    Or introduce the changes more slowly its going to a right bugbear to balance this mod by throwing everything into begin with.
     
  16. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    Yes.

    All bonuses are applied to the defender. If the defender has a negative bonus of x, then his final strength will be original strength/(1+x). If the defender has a positive bonus of y, then his final strength will be original strength *(1+x).

    The only exception is combat bonuses which apply directly to the strength of the original unit.

    A lot can be said about how combat works in Civ4. Read the article Combat Explained to get a better idea about how it works.

    I just wanted to explain what the effects of the change are and I wanted to make sure that people understood that the pikeman with this bonus will beat the maceman one-on-one (although it will be a close fight).
     
  17. Alsark

    Alsark Noble

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    I think what he has done is just fine. Why can't an unofficial expansion mod tweak strength values? That seems appropriate - especially one to prevent an overpowered rush like the axemen rush. And the Legio X is fine, too, in my opinion. The fact that it's a legend makes a huge difference. Why bother going for him if there's not something that makes him special?

    I don't think he's gone too far at all. I love the mod and what it adds/changes.
     
  18. achilleszero

    achilleszero Emperor

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    Yeah Enlightened is probably the most powerful trait, but thats what were here for. Playtesting before V1.0. You should see the various scientific traits in other mods. Some add a free scientist in everycity. Thats crazy powerful.

    If you didnt even notice while playing then that would seem to imply that its not much of a change.

    The Axeman/Spearman/Archer/Chariot balance that you speak of never really existed in the core game. Oh they tried, but it always wound up being 80% axes with 1 or 2 spears and maybe a chariot and then maybe later an srcher would show up to fortify the city you just routed with nothing but axes. Axes were too domintate in the game. Pretty much every strategy or question about the early game ends in "just do an Axe rush." LoR's set up actually brings the other 3 units in you supposed balance, more into the picture.

    Well thats pretty much the only one. Roland convinced everyone of the folly of haveing a 3 move UU. So Legio X stands alone. but have you actually played with it. Its just one guy and will still die and get hurt alot. He can kill straglers outside the stack and make it back to safety within the stack but still theres only one of him. He does have blitz but after the first and second attacks he will likely be hurt or possibly be dead. On top of that he only has 3 mp because of the morale promo (which he could esily get with a great general). I would say that he is the best Legend. But until more people complain about him he'll probaly stay as he is.

    Theres still lots of things that are still imbalanced and phungus needs your playtime to fix them. But the core game was never really balanced. Firaxis seems to have taken the route of "if we make all the units really lame and dont do much to rebalance our original set up, everyone will think that it was balanced to begin with."
     
  19. phungus420

    phungus420 Deity

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    If you think the default strength 5 axeman was balanced, I don't know what to make of the rest of your post scu98rkr. The strength 4 axeman actually makes it so the other ancient units have a use, rather then just all axes, and maybe a single spear being the only units you need.

    Enlightened used to be +10% :science:, but the AI sucked with it so I bumped it up to 15%. I do have my eye on enlightened though, but certainly need more oppinions on it before I tweak it any.

    Also scu98rkr when I moved all the concepts from BtS over to main game concepts in the civilopedia and created the new LoR concepts I was able to compare the LoR and BtS changes. They are very comperable, I just don't think you realize how much was changed in BtS.

    So I'll conclude this post by saying I'm more interested on specific game balance issues (like the enlightened trait). Telling me I've added to much doesn't say much, other then you're unaware of the actual content changes from Vanilla to BtS.
     
  20. bigfatjonny

    bigfatjonny Warlord

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    Er... in my version pikemen get +50% to gunpowder not melee.

    Im quite pleased with this, because otherwise I thought that it was doing away with macemen being the main medieval unit. I was planning of using only pikemen and seige if this was the case.

    Are you sure it has changed in the latest version?

    I fully agree with the axes down to str 4, I do still find that swordsmen are underpowered and easily stopped by fortified axes now though - with their combined +75%. Swordmen have also lost their +10% to attacking cities, so maybe they shouldnt have been increased in cost? Or increase in cost but keep +10% city attak or even +20%?
     

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