1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Balance and some suggestions

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Bernd-das-Brot, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    13,266
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    +lots
    It is very dangerous to do balancing around polls. I know it makes me an elitest @sshole, but many players don't have a great grasp of balance or aren't really trying their hardest to win (they're trying to have fun, which for them doesn't necessarily mean taking the best strategy).

    In general the OPs comments seem right to me. I'll post impressions if I have time to try the latest version.

    In particular: I wish Rome didn't have a Liburna, it's so odd trying to make them a naval power rather than a land power, and it would feel much more flavorful for them to have a UB (forum, colosseum, thermae, aqueduct (and make the existing aqueduct a sewer), cloaca, etc.).
    And I hope that there will be a simple way to turn the stories off. I find them tremendously unbalancing. You take a basically balanced game, and then add a bunch of free stuff.
     
  2. Lord Oden

    Lord Oden WarLord

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2001
    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Ancient Lurker - Ole Texas Republic
    One possible fix to the tech leader / wonder hoarding would be similar to policy cost inflation with the number of cities.

    For every wonder built, the cost of future wonders goes up by 10%. With this change, the tech leader will eventually be out built, and others will catch up. This also forces you to be more stratigic about which wonders you want.

    This may mirror history a little more closely as civilizations built wonders together. Egypt might have a bonus for early wonders but not for later wonders if it does grab several ancient/classical wonders.
     
  3. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    13,266
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I'm still not sure why people think this is a problem. If there is a single clear tech leader, they *should* win. If the human player can easily hoard wonders, then the player probably needs to move up in difficulty. If an AI player is starting to build a runaway victory, then the player should confront them.
     
  4. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    3,229
    Location:
    ohio
    Right, building many wonders is a sign that either:
    a) the player/AI is going to win because of the tech lead and should be attacked or weakened, or some other means of victory pursued.

    That problem isn't alleviated by any gaming of the wonder construction model, all that idea does is just shift resources to other forms of victory domination to make those methods more effective than building wonders. Building wonders is fun, I don't think we should be too worried about their accumulation in the hands of a player/AI that is already winning the game as it's a reward for playing well to get to build something fun.

    b) the player/AI is sacrificing production of military units and may be vulnerable to attack. That idea also says nothing about every wonder captured, just built (at least in that description of a proposed model). I'm not sure how we would distinguish the two, but one of the better responses to an AI hording wonders is to go attack it and conquer the wonder cities (often a capital anyway).
     
  5. Babri

    Babri Emperor

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Messages:
    2,449
    Location:
    Pakistan
    I agree with the Rome part. And Carthage should most probably get its ship UU back & elephants being removed. If Carthage really needs a land UU then it is Numidian Cavalry. Otherwise Carthage is more of a naval power & an uber powerful escort ship makes more sense for them than a ship UU for Rome.

    Secondly I would also like to point out that serval civs starting with UUs don't make much sense & makes the game overall harder to balance. Warrior UUs are fine & so are spearmen. But giving other UUs, ships etc is just bad. Egyptians may keep their UU at start because they aren't that awesome anyway.
     
  6. Babri

    Babri Emperor

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Messages:
    2,449
    Location:
    Pakistan
    That is a good idea. IIRC in Rise of Nations the cost of Wonders increased so you had to be selective about them.
     
  7. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,450
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tasmania
    That would be my doing. I removed the "no hills" tag because in my mind although the code was taken from the Windmill it isn't really a windmill in this mod and thus needing to be on the flat. (why windmills must be on flat ground is another matter?)

    The whole workshop-windmill-smith shuffle is a strange one to my mind. I couldn't follow why we need to change one perfectly good building into another one, that already exists, and then rename the changes to the opposite buildings.:crazyeye:

    I'm sure there is good reason for it, I just couldn't grasp it. Still can't.:confused:
     
  8. EricB

    EricB Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Messages:
    404
    Location:
    Michigan
    This is just a minor change, but I've been playing with a minor change lately. I lowered the cost of a Frigate to be the same as it is for a Galleon. No changes to their strength. Their cost was almost as much as a Destroyer (the upgrade unit for a Frigate). Seems like a bug with it being that expensive.

    Another change I'm thinking about making but haven't yet is lowering the cost of Submarines. Submarines are currently much more expensive than Ironclads or Destroyers. Historically, nations that made submarines made them as a way to build cheap navies. They should be around the same cost as a Destroyer IMO.

    One minor change I have made with ships also is removing the city attack bonuses that biremes, galleasses, galleons, ironclads, and battleships get. They make ships too powerful for taking cities. Siege units like cannons should be more powerful for taking cities than any ship. Ships should be for controlling the seas (escort units), and bombarding land units if you can control the seas. Ships shouldn't have a penalty vs cities, but definitely not bonuses. The test game where I've been using ships this way has been really good. I've been going for a domination victory so war has been constant from the early stages of the game until the modern era that I'm in now. There have been some epic naval battles with multiple ships on each side of the battle out in the oceans. Lots of sea invasions and taking cities with just navies. Weak cities can be taken with just a few navy ships. Strong cities typically need either a massive land army or an army co-ordinated with a navy. Bombarding ships like the Ironclad are very useful for taking out enemy land units or for bombarding cities. An artillery siege unit is better for attacking cities than an Ironclad like it should be. The new ship dynamic is much better and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to try it. Navies should be important, but that city attack bonus makes them dominating and takes it too far.

    And just to throw some information out there.... I've been experimenting with an effect to make city states more expensive. I'd like it if city states weren't so easy to just buy up. I don't want every single city state in the game allied with someone all the time. Typically it's 1 civ that's buying them all up like crazy. Way too easy. So I added an effect to the Patronage tree on the opener so that whenever a civilization selects that policy opener then all other civilizations have their influence decrease faster with city states. It's crude, but it's working as intended and the game play is funner.

    The other major effect I've been experimenting with is attempting to slow down Wonder hogging by whoever is ahead in technology. It creates a snowball effect where the tech leader gets even further ahead in everything. If they are 10 techs ahead, then that's fine, but if it's just 3 techs then it's not very fun. Creates a predictable game. So I made every Wonder in the game unlocked by a policy tree or an ideology. It comes out to each policy tree unlocking about 4 wonders. I also try to have no more than 3 policy trees open and not completely filled at a time as that's normally the way that the AI plays. I've only tried 1 game so far with that effect, but it's been pretty good. Wonders are more spread across many civilizations. Certain civs still build a lot of them, but no one is dominating the field.

    The wonder effects and the city state effects I wouldn't expect that a lot of people would like, but I'm just trying some experiments to decrease wonder hogging and the ease of buying up city states.
     
  9. stackpointer

    stackpointer Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    809
    Eric, something you can do is set the wonders to unlock inside of the policy tree by putting the name of the policy, POLICY_X, in the PolicyBranchType section of the wonder. Thal and I setup the framework for wonder unlocks inside policy trees in CEP but have held off doing so in the mod until the policy trees are more balanced.
     
  10. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    3,229
    Location:
    ohio
    Eric, the costs of destroyers and subs should be already adjusted in the mod more the way you envisioned with the reduction swapped away from destroyers and onto subs. (There's a separate problem with carriers being in the destroyer upgrade path in the mod).
     
  11. EricB

    EricB Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Messages:
    404
    Location:
    Michigan
    The price of destroyers seemed about right. They are slightly more expensive than an ironclad. The problem was with frigates, which cost a lot more than galleons even though galleons and frigates are both unlocked with Navigation. I know that I don't have the most recent version of the mod. I don't download every new version of the mod right away. I usually update my version of the mod every 6-8 weeks or so. I do that because I make my own changes to it and that way I don't have to re-do the changes as often for just minor tweaks to the mod.

    I haven't figured out how to make my own separate mod which is dependent on Thal's mod yet. Just haven't taken the time to look into it.
     
  12. skodkim

    skodkim Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,221
    Location:
    Denmark
    Do you know how to make mods using the SDK? If so it's just a matter of making a reference to CEP in your mod.

    \Skodkim
     
  13. EricB

    EricB Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Messages:
    404
    Location:
    Michigan
    Yeah I know it's in the SDK. I just haven't tinkered around with the SDK yet. I should do it, but I find it more fun to actually play the game. Maybe one day I'll just sit down and figure the SDK out. In the meantime, I've just been making changes to the existing files and writing a note of what I changed so that I can easily undo it if needed.
     
  14. skodkim

    skodkim Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,221
    Location:
    Denmark
    I did that too in the beginning but I soon became very tires of updating the files with every release.

    \Skodkim
     
  15. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    3,229
    Location:
    ohio
    Same with skodkim. I check against the release to see if changes I've made have been adjusted into the main mod or if there are other very large changes that make my adjustments dysfunctional or imbalancing. I might playtest with some new changes to see if they improved balance or made it worse in some way for comment here, but in general I have my own seasoning that I want to apply when I set out to play a game.

    So. I'd have to check the official version on the frigate/galleon cost. They should be costing the same except the ranged one also requires iron.
     
  16. Eunomiac

    Eunomiac Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I'm very, very new to this mod, and my understanding of its ins-and-outs is quite limited, but I had a couple of possibly out-of-the-box ideas pop into my head while reading this and figured "why not?" :)

    (Also, I apologize if these issues have already been addressed---I did check the patch notes, so hopefully I didn't miss something!)

    I can't comment on the balance of chopping for 80 for reasons I've already said, but I will agree with others who've pointed out that an informal poll is insufficient justification (after all, the same percentage of Americans don't believe in climate change).

    What about increasing the turns it takes a Worker to chop a forest for resources, as opposed to clearing it for an improvement? Perhaps "chopping" a forest takes 5 turns, while "clearing" it takes 3 (providing fewer/no resources). This would represent the additional time it takes to make sure the wood is useable after being cut down, and/or shipping it back to the city. Obviously I just threw random numbers out to illustrate, but in the early game---where chopping for 80 is especially valuable---locking down a Worker for extra turns should be costly enough to be available as a balancing mechanism (with the added bonus that this cost becomes less important as the game progresses, keeping pace with the falling value of the extra 80 hammers).

    This gave me an idea for "temporary" units: Cheaper than normal, but they auto-disband some number of turns after entering into combat for the first time (maybe using an effect similar to Missionary Attrition)---representing your contracted mercenary bands and the like. Offers the choice between quickly scrambling together a large, cheap army of expendable, poorly-upgraded mercenaries, or carefully cultivating an elite team of upgraded, more powerful units that are far more costly to lose (Zerg vs. Protoss!)---and provides more peaceful civilizations with the means to assemble a quick military defense, though not enough to adequately dissuade a dedicated aggressor.
     
  17. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    3,229
    Location:
    ohio
    2) Is already an option in game play style, using highly trained and upgraded troops as a core or using highly trained and upgraded troops period, and you can buy up troops rapidly to use as cannon fodder in a war in multiple cities rather than just your high military core.

    I'd worry a lot about how expiring units are handled by the computer players in the same way that policy choices that provide a short-term immediate boost probably are not ideal.

    For 1) I still think the best way to balance it is just to get the amount at a balanced point, which it presently is not. Taking more time does decrease the potential value for production rushes but the value is so high at 80 that the time requirement would basically have to double to be noticed.

    These might be difficult to implement, or difficult to balance. Good to throw some ideas out.
     
  18. EricB

    EricB Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Messages:
    404
    Location:
    Michigan
    I've been thinking of lowering the chop to around 60? Is that about right? Higher? Lower?
     
  19. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    3,229
    Location:
    ohio
    I'd set it lower, but 60 is still much better than 80 in the way that 80 was better than 100.
     
  20. Delekhan

    Delekhan Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2013
    Messages:
    539
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Lowering to 60 makes some sense, though I doubt it'd have any huge effect on strategy. The key is, it seems, whether keeping a forest makes more sense than chopping it, so maybe boosting an improved forest may be an option to consider.

    @Eunomiac
    Also, just thought I'd mention that I was dismayed to read your comment on people believing climate change. Please consider keeping politically charged comments out of the forum so as to avoid undesirable off-topic debates.
     

Share This Page