Balance Factors

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Caveman 2 Cosmos' started by Thunderbrd, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. tmv

    tmv Emperor

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    I don't know if that's still the case, but at least a few years ago switching off the automatic restart was absolutely necessary. You get a corrupted registry, leading to an infinite reboot loop, and to top it off, after the second or third reboot the corrupt registry is now saved as the last good configuration. After that you could only reinstall Windows if you didn't have a backup.
     
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  2. JosEPh_II

    JosEPh_II TBS WarLord

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    Now with win 10 build 1903 if you don't let it finish and restart for you it does this. I was ready to pack the comp up and take it to my IT son-in-law to get diagnosed and hopefully fixed. Now I don't have to, thank God!
     
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  3. pi4t

    pi4t Warlord

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    Arsonists seem...extremely powerful. They require no metal, have an attack of 8 (comparable to metal-using units), do collateral damage, are one of the first units that can bombard without attacking, and get to ignore city defensive bonuses when attacking. And have extra circumstantial bonuses too, including when attacking cities. This seems to make them a very efficient all-in-one city conqueror.
     
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  4. Dancing Hoskuld

    Dancing Hoskuld Deity

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    I thought they were able to bombard a city, and attack units but were not actually able to take the city by themselves.
     
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  5. Thunderbrd

    Thunderbrd C2C War Dog

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    They would be balanced properly if they were reduced to str 6. Giving them an attack limit I would feel would take too much away from them (unless it could be applied to city attacks only, which it can't.)
     
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  6. pi4t

    pi4t Warlord

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    Considering I just conquered a city and only attacked with them...you thought wrong :p

    Also, I'm not sure that "and bring along one normal unit in your doom stack to mop up the final defender" really makes them that much less powerful.

    I'm concerned that even with Str 6, they seem to be far stronger than other units of the era that don't require metal to make, which seem to have about str 4. This reduces the importance of getting access to the early metals rather a lot. And they do enough bombard damage to reduce a city from 250 defence to 20 in two or three turns, depending on how many you have. Putting this property on a unit capable of fighting means you don't have to make a bunch of siege specific units like rams; and indeed even if their bombard were weaker than other siege weapons (which it doesn't appear to be) the advantage of not having to prepare a separate doom stack to attack with would mean they'd still outclass the other siege weapons, in my opinion.

    I'm just not sure what the unit's intended purpose is. To provide an early siege unit which doesn't rely on breakdown like the rams? It succeeds too well, and makes the rams almost not worth using. Besides, I'm not sure it's actually a good idea to have siege weapons that don't rely on breakdown in the ancient era - it'll take some of the "ooh" out of catapults when you finally get to them, and will make the ancient era battles feel less unique. To provide a unit which doesn't need metal and can compete with units that can? I'm not sure that "arsonist" is the best choice for such a unit.

    Perhaps the arsonist should be more of an agent, sneaking into cities and then destroying buildings using espionage or something?

    As a matter of historical interest, wikipedia says that greek fire (which I assume is the inspiration for the arsonist) was used mostly on ships rather than cities.
     
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  7. Thunderbrd

    Thunderbrd C2C War Dog

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    The issue with these guys is a huge amount of overlapping concepts converged on them at once and whether the team realizes it or not, the intentions of this unit have been hotly argued over in a very passive-aggressive manner to the point that it now fills all the roles we all envisioned for it and has become a super unit. I'm not against it having some bombard, but want it to be as weak as it can get - like maybe reducing the city by 1 or 2% with each use of that. There are team members who were resentful of the ram breakdown mechanism and the fact that this makes rams often a one-shot unit which they have to laboriously build a lot of to take each city. However those team members also happily establish unit limits (which I prefer to eliminate in most cases) and are quite happy to think of arsonists as super units that are limited - then others expand those limits... it has become a bit complex.

    Str 6 would put them in the right zone against the composite bowmen usually guarding cities and some core units do need to come up a little in strength around that point too but we can wait on that a bit. I wouldn't mind reducing their bombard ability by a lot as well and leave them basically at minimum with that. The problem is that this course has been gravely criticized to the point that I feel like doing nothing about it until I get a chance to chart out ALL units and make a mathematical argument based on proofs of balance.
     
  8. JosEPh_II

    JosEPh_II TBS WarLord

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    You are supposed to be able to do this. Whether T-brd thought otherwise or not.

    And as T-brd says in his reply this has been fought over many times. Your opinion is Noted. But that does Not mean it will be instigated now.

    The Arsonist Is the early unit to take down city defenses. As stated it is Limited. If the Arsonist is nerfed as you want (and to T-brd's level of acquiescence to your demand) then you will need to build More supporting troops to protect them. So that you Can capture a city. Thereby Increasing the number of units in the game at the time of arsonist usage. Overall Unit glut Is a Major problem. The way the Arsonist is designed Helps tremendously in reducing that Unit Glut.

    Do you want to go back the days of the AI building Stacks of Rams on every tile around it's cities? Do you want the flood of units this causes were No game can get past the Ren Era? If that is what you want then by all means nerf the *ell out of them and carry on. But don't ever expect to get to the late game.

    But many people just gloss over this and nitpick about being OP. It does get tiresome.
     
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  9. pi4t

    pi4t Warlord

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    Obviously this is your mod, and you're free to make it as you like and ignore the suggestions of random strangers who pop into your forum and don't know that much about the mod. But doesn't your argument rather defeat the point of city defences as a game mechanic? If you're really saying that the game can't handle the complexity of having siege-specialised units and you're giving attacking units the ability to remove the defensive bonus themselves, then might you not just as well remove the defensive bonus and bombarding from the game altogether, and just keep things at the minimum defensive level? As it is, it's achieving nothing, except perhaps slowing down doom stacks by a single turn.

    I'm not quite sure why the AI would feel like it needed stacks of rams on every tile around its cities if it didn't have arsonists. Does it undervalue the amount a ram can reduce a city's defenses by? Or are they genuinely so weak that one needs that many to conquer cities? If it's the first, that sounds like the AI needs to be taught to understand the breakdown system*, and until it does it might be better to just move things back to the classic bombardment system. Rather than having a unit the AI doesn't know how to deal with and switching back to classic bombardment via the back door of everyone using the arsonist anyway. And if the rams are too weak, then surely the answer is to buff them until they aren't, or to tweak the breakdown mechanics so they're more effective?

    *Am I remembering the name right? The way that rams reduce the city's defences by attacking.
     
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  10. Thunderbrd

    Thunderbrd C2C War Dog

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    I agree, they are... DH though they weren't supposed to be able to.
    This isn't a matter of acquiescence - remember I've been saying much the same all along. I will continue to keep things as you've left them for this release and until I can get to the rebalancing I do plan to attend to at some point soon. Whether this next cycle or not is hard to say cuz there's a lot going on here.
    This is a problem in the AI that whether arsonists fill a gap or not doesn't change anything about. (Well, it may have to an extent, yes, helped... however...) The AI has had major problems getting its attacks stacks to coalesce - some of that may have been fixed recently with a correction in the brokerage system - I've been hoping to get to playtesting to a stage where I can see if it really has helped. There are also a few other methods I'd like to use in AI warfare that could improve this further - there are lots of ways to help here, but Joe's tried to patch a major issue with his decisions on this and for a time it helped a little - remains to be seen if it's still needed as much. Of course, to remind:
    Actually, rams are supposed to be that and they are supposed to be disposable and require that you build a lot for every city you take, expecting losses in the process. This is what makes the distance siege weapons a major breakthrough later that can enable a lot more than wars that are waged entirely to capture a single city.
    Also easy to make them too strong. They are supposed to be a costly way to take down defenses, though they can also be a lot more effective in some ways.

    From a note in Discord, I think I need to figure out how to make it possible for Rams to attack from ships too... they currently can't and I think that does need to be fixed to be possible for a number of game mechanics reasons.
     
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  11. JosEPh_II

    JosEPh_II TBS WarLord

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    And this exaggerates the too many units in the game problem. This should be an obvious observation. And you said that you prefer specialized units instead of the vanilla approach of massed attacks as well. Just sayin' can't have it both ways I think.
    Not in C2C's case, it helps balance the City defense system which is still too strong in most situations. There is a big divergence here between C2C and AND2. Or even Vanilla BtS abd C2C.

    Sorry pi4t but you just happened to step into the middle an ongoing area of contention over this particular unit and City defenses that has been going on for over 2 years. Things are a bit better than they were, even with the rams overbuild by the AI (which it will do). But we are still not "there" yet. I still say City defenses are too strong in most other cases. Now if the AI would use the Arsonist like the player does......well that would be a major break through in my opinion to game play balance and level the City defense conundrum of cities being too strong. Especially with the early game play. Citys in general should Not be impenetrable fortress in the early game. The Arsonist keeps them from being so atm.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  12. tmv

    tmv Emperor

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    Don't forget SM and standard C2C. That might be an issue here - I think rams are among the units that can gain the most with merging. If that's the case, an SM player wouldn't see that much of a need for extremely strong Arsonists. Of course, that could easily be corrected by reducing the SM strength of Arsonists (e.g. company -> squad without compensation).
     
  13. Thunderbrd

    Thunderbrd C2C War Dog

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    I don't feel that we have a too many units in the game problem when the AI is functioning as it should be. I'm not sure where we are with that at the moment, but if it takes 2-5 rams to take a city (or more if you're outmatched in tech), I don't think that's too much to ask of the attacker at this stage. Ultimately, my point is that there's still a lot to do with the AI to correct this that XML can't really address. IN the meantime, I'm happy to allow the strongly overpowered arsonists as they are as a patch.

    By specialized, perhaps we mean different things. That said, at the moment, the arsonist is the specialist of all things and is diminishing the role of rams (take down the defenses) AND swords/maces (invasion attack units that are actually weaker than the arsonists during much of this era of combat) AND javelins (weaponized throwing) or mounted city raiders (able to attack with low chances of success but a good chance of withdraw and in the case of the javelins, causing collateral as well in the process to weaken the units there) by being able to fill all of the above roles at once. This means the only role they don't fill is that of the distance attackers (bows) but who needs that when you have them anyhow? These are the 'specialties' and this one unit is handling nearly all of them. Particularly since throwing units get a natural combat bonus against archery units and we still don't have strong melee defense units yet - which we will after the pending review which will expand the purpose of the mace units. I suppose in the core, the LE units are strong enough for that role for now.

    I still debate to myself whether its better to launch more smaller attacks with sacrificial rams than it is to sacrifice a huge merged group of them knowing they'll all die albeit taking much more of the walls down with them. I don't think it's too significant here whether this is SM discussion or not to be honest, for everything in this balance equation tends to scale, although arsonists are more powerful at taking down defenses when split more than merged.
     
  14. JosEPh_II

    JosEPh_II TBS WarLord

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    True I suppose as I do not normally play with SM because of all the test games I run. I do try to stay as basic as I can in that regard. And to me SM, and the Combat Mod ensemble is not base game play imhpo. They are on the same level as using the Upscaled Research and Production Options or Nightmare deity, For the more advanced players.
     
  15. Dancing Hoskuld

    Dancing Hoskuld Deity

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    I never use arsonists. I build them (all as I have limited on) to get them out of the "can build" list and park them in an out of the way fortification where they can count as part of my "power" without getting in the way. In fact I do that with most of the limited units. Hunter line excepted.

    My understanding was that they were supposed to be an early grenadier and so were just another type of city defense destroying unit. Mind you the name suggests that they should be a criminal or spy unit that is sent into a city to destroy specific buildings. I can't see any sense in using them in combat with other units, that is what the flame thrower line is about.
     
  16. Thunderbrd

    Thunderbrd C2C War Dog

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    Of which they are also kinda the first most crude version of this, a diversion towards that line from throwing that makes a connection between the two.

    Basically, they are guys with flammable oil and torches and, perhaps unrealistically, they are currently (for a long time after they get accessed) the most powerful unit in the game. Their strength makes them outclass all other melee, archery, and throwing units within the time range of their use. Mounted can kill them but mounted is also rare and is useless as a defense.

    They do make getting alcohol and/or fish oil super important though, which is kinda cool.
     
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  17. JosEPh_II

    JosEPh_II TBS WarLord

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    This is not true. They have less promotions than those you listed. So they are Not the most powerful and they do not outclass. I can kill the AI's arsonists rather easily. I usually do not send my arsonists out alone either. I think SM has warped your view of the Arsonist.

    As for DH reply. Flame throwers are Not present during this time frame in the game. This is in mid Ancient Era not mid Med Era. :p
     
  18. Dancing Hoskuld

    Dancing Hoskuld Deity

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    Did we ever get the metal/classic age flame throwers in. I know there is a roman unit made somewhere but there were none other nations.
     
  19. JosEPh_II

    JosEPh_II TBS WarLord

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    I have never seen one, from any culture for that timeframe. Arsonists fill the siege gap till the 1st catapult type units start showing up.

    And I don't usually build the ram or battering ram. Too costly and need too many of these "disposable" units (hate that idea). I will capture the rams that the AI sends my way to re use against the sender though. Not gonna waste precious production on throw away units. Wasteful.
     

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