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Balance Factors

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

  1. Thunderbrd

    Thunderbrd C2C War Dog

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    SM doesn't change anything about the unit in comparison.

    During the mid Ancient to Early Classical:

    Macemen: 6 str
    Light Swordsmen: 7 str
    Composite Bowmen: 5 str (plus a few on the defense with the right buildings in place)
    Javelineer: 6 str
    Arsonists: 8 str

    This is a Jack-of-all-Trades, Master of ALL unit.

    This is the reason you've OP'd this unit right here - resent for the core designs of others. The intent for Rams is to make it very hard to build an army to steamroll capture lots of cities until you are in Classical and reach the point of very long range ballistic bombard siege units. The point is to force you to take only one or two cities with a stack at a time until then, forcing you to only invade closer neighbors that you can send reinforcing rams to back up your forces with.

    Sure it's frustrating! That's the point. It's the reason to feel really proud and relieved to have earned the stage of catapults and such and how we create that sense of accomplishment. It forces you to really question if it's worth it to you to launch an invasion before that point, an effort to delay invasive warfare as an element of the game until a bit later on, unless you're really crowded in at which point yes, it's worth it.

    At the point they are nerfed, I won't be offended if you make a modmod version of them for you and anyone else who wants a faster path to easier warfare. It's not that different from Pit wanting to have over-ocean travel come an era earlier. It's a very similar design concept - to help give tech improvements more of a purpose and a point and make the game actually change in feel and strategic focus as it goes.
     
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  2. Snofru1

    Snofru1 Chieftain

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    I like the way that early city conquering is very costly. I think Civ works best when the nations 1st settle in the open areas and only later start larger scale wars.

    In fact I have never used an arsonist, I somehow overlooked its qualities it seems. I will be tempted to build them in my next game but from what I read here I wouldn´t mind if they were toned down to some degree.
     
  3. JosEPh_II

    JosEPh_II TBS WarLord

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    Oh jeez here we go again! :(:shake:
    Only to a war dog like you. Ever consider that others do not want to play like you when it comes to warfare? The when and where and how? Guess not. The War Dog way of warfare Is The Only Way to play. As usual. Becoming pointless to try and present alternative ways of play. And in the long run, it Will be changed to suit your style.
     
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  4. billw2015

    billw2015 Chieftain

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    Some of my thoughts on balance now that I am 1000+ turns into a new game on latest SVN (flexible diff but I went straight to the top score and am on deity or maybe emp diff):
    • Arsonists OP, obviously. However, given that it sounds like they are designed to solve an AI problem that results in a performance problem, I guess will be fixed at some point. Rams are pointless it seems, as are basically any other offensive unit for a long time span. One thought off the top of my head: make rams way more expensive and also way more powerful, perhaps high retreat chance, (very) high build cost, or very high per turn cost that increases with number (starts at 25 then doubles?). So you take 1 or 2 with you and ram them against the gates for a load of turns while the enemy gets to rain down arrows on you. They usually don't get destroyed but you also don't build many of them. Or give arsonists a high per turn cost (5?) to offset their strengths.
    • No real cost to expanding: shouldn't I be paying a high cost for a massive empire under some circumstances?
    • Civics are fairly weakly differentiated in a lot of cases. Lots of +1% to something, and they all seem to influence capture % for some reason? Capture chance isn't really something I'm considering important so far, at least not so much that I can evaluate the importance of the +/-5% changes they all seem to be giving. Seems like a waste of screen space to me.
    • Way too much money. I have only had to drop from 100% science to 90% once so far for a few turns while expanding as fast as I could chuck out settlers.
    • Easy to keep city properties in check (education, crime etc.), haven't really needed police or medics except a couple of times.
    • Way too many buildings. Some of the resource specific ones are quite interesting (like spreading horse breeding about etc.), but things like marriage ceremony +1 happy or whatever should just be cut for the sake of performance. My profiling indicates that the number of building types is having a highly significant effect on performance during AI turns, at least at my stage of the game. I like the idea of a lot of content usually, but given the trade off against end turn times is fairly linear in this case I know which I would preference.
      In regards to balance: the number of buildings is going to make it more difficult to balance, probably the too much money + no cost in expanding is down to how many buildings are giving me +1 or +2 coins.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  5. JosEPh_II

    JosEPh_II TBS WarLord

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    Civic rework is still an ongoing project. I have been interrupted 3 times already by changes made to the mod's base Production, Research, Culture and Gold. And will likely have to rework again what has already been done to all starting Civics in each category.

    Opinions are welcome and noted. But the reality is they may not get done exactly how the suggestee wants them to be.

    We have been whittling away at Gold for many years. Even changed major systems and hierarchies to do this. But the Author of all the buildings you don't like is a highly respected and original main designer. Changing all his work is Not taken lightly or frivolously.

    Just sayin' don't expect wholesale changes because of your posting.
     
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  6. billw2015

    billw2015 Chieftain

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    Yeah I don't expect my one post to translate into direct changes, that would be pretty presumptuous. Also to clarify I don't dislike the buildings particularly, I dislike the end turn time.
     
  7. Thunderbrd

    Thunderbrd C2C War Dog

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    It's not a style. It's a design choice. Again, very much the same as limiting naval travel from none to coasts to seas to oceans. Just like Pit wanting to make it possible to travel to other continents as soon as you have galleys, you've decided that once we can defend ourselves with walls, we should immediately make it a moot point with a few super units. I'm sorry to be aggressive with my statements but when you look at the power balances between the units then consider how many non-strength abilities the arsonist has, you can see why: And you said yourself you hate the way we wanted it to be with Rams being sacrificial and required for taking cities. Whether I play an aggressive wargame or not has little to do with whether the AI would and would do so successfully as well, so it's not JUST to limit players.
    is true.

    @JosEPh_II please also understand that folks on the Discord channel have been noted as saying the Arsonist imbalance is the worst aspect of the mod right now. I'm not alone here.

    Ramming crews never really did survive the attack in RL so the first option would be unrealistic and thus, IMO, immersion-breaking. It's hard to imagine that they would be strongly capable of retreat. It also suffers from the overall factor of our gold balance always being wildly in flux. One version, the rams may be prohibitive to use at all because of costs and the next you've got as many as you want whenever you want them. The arsonists control by gold would have the same issue. I think it's a better method than an outright unit limit though.
    There have been some ideas floated about making building stats morph over time so that we can cut down on the number of them without fundamentally changing how many there actually are in the game in a lot of ways. For example, a Forge becomes a Foundry rather than the foundry being defined as a separate building. The forge would be given tags to state at what point it gets a name change, a cost change, a change in certain statistics and so on.
    This is the result of population suddenly becoming more challenging to get and some thought needs to go into exactly where to retool and rebalance a few things here. We had a challenging balance previously and it probably still is somewhat on harder levels. Difficulties in the AI with dealing with these means it is helpful for us to keep them a little less straining until we can solve those matters. There's been a LOT of improvement there but there's still a point or two that needs to be addressed.
    I've long wanted to convert us to a more scaling system of +.0x per population per y bonus access on yields and commerces for many buildings. Just haven't been able to get around to that yet. It will help this side of it. Yes, civic rebalancing can help, as Joseph says.
     
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  8. alberts2

    alberts2 Chieftain

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    The biggest turn time impact is usally changing between units and cities. C2C has over 6000 buildings CivIV was never programmed for that and if anything that number will increase even more.

    Some time after the v39 release i'am going to commit a huge set of changes which should also decrease the turn times. But the downside is that these changes contain much needed fixes to the game save and load mechanism which won't be save compatible with oder games.
     
  9. Thunderbrd

    Thunderbrd C2C War Dog

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    Another compatibility breaking version eh? Ok. Good to know.
     
  10. KaTiON_PT

    KaTiON_PT Chieftain

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    @Thunderbrd I suppose then's a good time to uniform any tags (buildings, techs, etc.) that differ from their text name?
     
  11. Toffer90

    Toffer90 C2C Modder

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    Correct, after the freeze and release we can all do save-game breaking changes as alberts will be making an important save breaking change at that point.

    But we should wait until alberts make his first before we punch in more, just in case alberts important change isn't delayed longer than expected.
    We don't want to have more save breaking development periods than necessary.
     
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  12. Thunderbrd

    Thunderbrd C2C War Dog

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    Hell yeah if anyone wants to take up that project, this will be the version to do it!
     
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  13. KaTiON_PT

    KaTiON_PT Chieftain

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    I remember that @raxo2222 had a list of those.
     
  14. raxo2222

    raxo2222 Warlord

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    List of techs tags is in main folder of mod (notes of tags for savebreaking or something like that).
    But it may be as well thousands of tags, that have different ingame and XML name.
     
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  15. JosEPh_II

    JosEPh_II TBS WarLord

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    Oh well you just keep drawing me in with these poor examples.

    Now to poke some holes in your overarching fact deficient very base list.
    1. Base str from 5-8 is basically irrelevant. It's the Promotions that make the difference No one attacks with a Non promoted unit.
    2, Axe (copper) is str 7. Obsidian 5.
    3. A str 6 Javelineer is bane to most units Including the Arsonist.
    4. Composite bow are not main offensive units. But set them on a forested hill and it's like they are in a well built and supported castle. Again promotions. But they can handle arsonists too.
    5. Light sword is Not in this timeframe until late. so not that relevant a comparison. Obsidian sword at 6 is your 1st sword unit and very effective against arsonists. Of course you have to get obsidian but they are in the same timeframe.
    6. Where are the mounted units? They too can be very effective against Arsonist.
    7. Arsonist receive the least amount of Promotions of every unit listed so far.
    8. Mace is a seldom main unit for attacking another unit Except when they are 1st introduced into game play as Stone mace (Preh Era). Otherwise metal (Copper) is a support unit.
    9. Hand rams are a joke.
    10. Rams are wasted production as fodder units to die upon the walls of a city. And have no real value because of this narrow role. But yet you would like to force everyone to use them.
    11. Battering rams are better but come later about the time the 1st catapult or ballista units start to show up, basically late in this timeframe.

    Please elucidate on these "many non-strength abilities the arsonist has".
    And how many people are on Discord? 5? 10? even 20? is a really small sample size to promote a view. Basically they all share your view of How to Play the Mod, else why would they be on Discord?
    Same difference in this case my friend. And to say different is obfuscation. The lines in this regard are very blurred as to which it is. Whether you want to see it or not. And I believe you chose the not. Don't be offended but it Is how it Is.

    Look I know you will change them. You can't help yourself. Because you are driven to follow your overall design scheme. I understand this fully. So I buck at you at times on small things like this (And when necessary on large things), just so the player that is not like you can have something to play with.from this Great Mod started by StrategyOnly. And SO has handed you the keys to the car. All I can do is back seat drive. :mischief::rolleyes::D Oh and can you turn the A/C up a bit? And you went thru that last light on the yellow and it turned red when you were in the middle of the intersection! Did no one teach you about stale Green lights a block ahead? And it's a block closer and 1 less stop light to the grocery store if you had turned right at that last corner. Are we there yet? Oh and the floor is covered in soft drink bottles! Don't you ever clean this thing out? Is that gum on this seat!?? :cringe: :lol:
     
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  16. alberts2

    alberts2 Chieftain

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    Should happen more often because manny other changes actually break saves as well!!!

    Soon after the last time i did that i discovered various save compatiblity issues. Issues with the compatiblity code are really bad and i hope that i can fix alot of them this time without creating any new issues. If anything goes wrong another compatiblity break might be needed.
     
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  17. Thunderbrd

    Thunderbrd C2C War Dog

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    1) Strength is far from irrelevant as it forms the very basest expectation of victory. Natural modifiers are second most important (including things like withdrawal). How many XP you can get into them (you're calling this how many promotions they get) is a potential factor depending on a few things.

    2) I didn't evaluate axes in this because swords are supposed to be stronger by a point than axes so I assumed they were at 6. If they have been increased to 7 then swords should be increased to 8. (Maces should be the same as Axes and have been dramatically left behind during this era in terms of adjustments.) Axes are an anti-melee unit and are given +25% vs Melee, so they really weren't a unit to put in direct comparison to Arsonists. They can be a good city defender and field fighter to help defend stacks against other melee units and try to take advantage of swords (since the +25% puts them as stronger than the sword when they clash, despite the swords higher overall strength). But they are inert in terms of natural modifers against arsonists (throwing units), and thus are just a base strength to strength comparison there. With arsonists at str 8, the Axe is unlikely to fare well against the Arsonist, being a point weaker. An extra promotion MAY be worth +1 str IF you are playing with SM, but usually a promotion itself is worth a bit less than that if you aren't. The standard is +10% combat modifier for a promotion. So if an Axe is getting an extra promotion over the Arsonist due to more buildings giving melee XP bonuses, then without SM, you can increase the value of the Axe str by an average of 10-15% str depending on how applicable the promotion it takes actually is in the fight. The arsonist is still a little better than the axe in this evaluation. Both on defense and offense, and far better when you consider the special abilities of the arsonist, which may apply against the axe as well. More on that below.

    3) The Javelineer, like all throwing units, has a natural bonus against archery units and has some withdrawal ability. It adds early withdrawal ability if applicable as well. Like other throwing units, it has a very light amount of collateral when it attacks due to the weapons fanning out and striking other targets during use. It doesn't have any natural bonus against other throwing units so against an arsonist, aside from the withdrawal and collateral they both share as throwing units, they would be fighting each other as equal units. They get the same amount of promotions because they are both throwing units, which is what is giving them a diminished amount of promotions in comparison to melee units which get a lot more bonus sources among buildings defined. The Javelineer upgrades in the late Classical to a Skirmisher which has 8 str. Therefore, the Arsonist is already at the upgraded strength level of the Javelineer and in all other ways they are completely equal except that the Arsonist has 8 strength while the Javelineer has 6 and they are timeline concurrent units. Clearly the Arsonist is the FAR more powerful unit than the Javelineer (the Javelineer may have a touch higher withdrawal and the Arsonist a little higher collateral if I recall correctly.)

    4)I wasn't putting the Composite Bow in the mix as a comparison regarding offensive units but as the main unit that Arsonists are there to fight. Composite Bowmen are the primary city defensive unit and although they do have a strong city defense %, probably higher than the Arsonist's city attack% bonus, the Composite Bowmen are a strength 5 unit trying to hold off a strength 8 unit. At the base, the Arsonist is already starting at more than 50% stronger, unless the right buildings are in place. This is really skewing towards making cities far easier to capture than to try to defend.

    5)The Light Sword IS late in this timeframe which aggravates this balance scheme even further. Being a swordsman unit, it is intended as the most core city attack unit and yet it is outclassed and outgunned by the arsonist which has been in play for nearly an era already by this time. They share about the same amount of city attack% bonus but the light sword is weaker by strength, does not have any withdrawal, does not cause collateral, and does not have any ability to bombard. Yet it's supposed to be a major step up in the strength you can present when attacking cities. It is failing to provide this in light of the dramatic overpowering of the arsonist.

    6)Mounted units are strong at attacking throwing units yes. Of course you MAY or may not have access to some. Their strength is equivalent, about 7 or 8 depending, at this stage, and with their natural combat % bonus against throwing are very likely to kill unprotected arsonists. This makes arsonists vulnerable to them in the field. However, only some more advanced mounted get the ability to gain any defense bonuses and even then a lot don't. Therefore they cannot get any benefit from defense on the tile or from abilities when trying to hold a city, and with the city attack bonuses granted to the arsonist, they are also likely to fail to defend a city from an arsonist's attack. It's also pretty easy to throw a few spear units into the stack with your arsonists to defend agains their assaults in the field so it's not hard to get the arsonists up to the city even if your opponent does have mounted units.

    7)Arsonists get fewer promos because they are throwing units. That can not only change by building designs at any time but it can also easily be drowned out by placing military trainers in your cities that train them. They can easily gain a lot of promos if you try. They are combatants and benefit from any XP source that applies to all combatants, which CAN be the majority of your XP sourcing despite buildings depending on how the game goes and how you play it. Furthermore, aside from mounted units, throwing units have few vulnerabilities. There are no melee units (which get the lion's share of added XP benefits from buildings) that have a natural counteractive combat bonus against throwing like axes get against other melee units and spears get against mounted. Axes make most melee units very vulnerable and very counterable. There is NO defensive unit that gets a natural anti-throwing unit benefit, which is part of why Javelineers are great to use on the attack, but Arsonists are outright better. This means stacks are hard to protect against throwing units unless you have some units in there that specialize in anti-throwing promotions and the AI doesn't yet realize they need this as much as they do. Therefore, not only are arsonists lethal when attacking cities, they are also great at breaking up stacks because primary stack defenders are very unlikely to be strong enough to stop them from not only surviving and killing the lead defender in the stack, but also causing collateral in the process, thereby damaging the next best defenders and making it easy for follow up attackers to wipe out the rest of what you've encountered on a plot in the field.

    8)So we agree that Macemen have basically been forgotten as a useful unit by this time by being left behind in the strength ratings and their awkward anti-melee/city attack blend doesn't help much against archery units (though CAN be better against axemen if that's all that's left guarding a city.) They need beefing.

    9)Hand rams are a Prehistoric era unit that is really only for those first conflicts and precede arsonists usually anyhow. Usually once arsonists are in play, you have better rams either right around the corner or already.

    10)Yes - Rams should be the main way you have to take down the walls at this point and they are meant to be costly. Another step that has not quite been completed in this scheme is to make Siege Towers (later developments anyhow) capable of enabling a limited number of units to attack without reducing the defenses to the minimum required level to attack, allowing swords and javelins to break apart the immediately strongest threats harming the rams before the rams head in. Still, I don't mind if arsonists do a little bombardment, but they shouldn't be doing more than a few % in a round, just enough to take a little of the edge off and give your rams a better fighting chance.
    Withdrawal, collateral, bombardment, city attack%
    All of the abilities that mounted, other throwing, and dedicated city attack units like swords and maces have combined. PLUS the unique ability to bombard the city defenses without threat to themselves. As throwing they are also hard to counter and get a natural anti-archery bonus.

    I'd prefer it if you could understand that the 'why' involved in this is not just a personal opinion but based on design plans that extend from original Civ IV vanilla to extended game concepts that others began and I agreed with and wished to extend out, as well as yes, some personal design concepts regarding throwing units and where they fit into the scheme in general. If you could see the light on the why of this whole design setup, I think you might appreciate it more.

    Thank you for keeping this conversation civil though. It means a lot.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  18. Dancing Hoskuld

    Dancing Hoskuld Warlord

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    I have never found a way to keep them in check except with police, healers and entertainers. Somewhere in the late Classic I need 4 police (1 investigator, 3 crime fighters), 2 healers and 3 entertainers (educators) in any city over 6 population. I do not build any of the crime buildings and I do build most of the counter buildings. I do usually end up with an excess of education. My main city will need twice the number of police and healers to counter all the military buildings built there.
     
  19. Dancing Hoskuld

    Dancing Hoskuld Warlord

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    We have a list of changes we would like that break saves and I have a couple that are waiting in the wings.
     
  20. Thunderbrd

    Thunderbrd C2C War Dog

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    Recently it's gotten a LOT easier due to populations being tougher to get too high. How recent is your impression coming from?
     

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