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, Issues, and Concerns on non-Standard Gamespeed

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Ziad, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,820
    Location:
    Lebanon
    So we all know that Gazebo and others have been working diligently throughout the project to get the game in as balanced a state as it could be.

    Of course, the default tuning occurs on Standard speed. That's not only fair, as thoroughly testing a mod of this scale on multiple speeds would only quadruple the work, but it's also justified as most people do indeed play on Standard.

    However I recently discovered a bug with tourism scaling on Marathon where boosts where being multiplied twice. I'm not sure what the underlying cause is, but what I noticed that the instant boost tourism you get is multiplied by 3 (the Marathon scalar) and then is multiplied by 3 yet again when applied to other civilizations.

    As expected, this made cultural influence much easier to attain on Marathon.

    Thankfully, Gazebo was super quick to diagnose the issue and fix it and it'll be a part of the next release. Yay!!

    However this has another implication. A bug of THAT magnitude was gone unreported for the longest time. I have to admit that I exclusively played Marathon games so I never noticed the discrepancies and thought that's how the game was. I didn't report anything because I was never vocal. I thought this was how the game was intended, after like 1000 hours playing Marathon....

    Well after I discovered the doubly applied tourism issue, I started playing Standard on Deity again and I was shocked to say the least at how DIFFERENT the game plays. On lower difficulties it's not as obvious, but on Deity...

    I noticed two other issues which I have just reported to Github.

    1) Initial handicap Difficulty happiness is scaling with Gamespeed. On Standard you start with 5. On Marathon you start with 14! Not only does this make the early game + expansion sooooo much easier, it also leads to some ridiculously quick Golden Ages.

    2) WLTKD/GA durations are scaled by a non-standard amount. On Standard, WLTKD/GA last 20/10 turns. On Marathon they last 30/20 turns. This makes them less valuable per unit occurrence.

    These are just two issues (in addition to the fixed tourism issue) I have noticed on the discrepancy, all within a single week of just playing Standard....

    Could there perhaps be different bugs that have gone unnoticed due to lack of non-Standard player voices around here?

    Would you, the non-Standard players, be willing to look into it? Who knows what we'll find. We can't leave this up to the mod devs only.

    If there are things you've noticed, not just potential bugs, this is the thread to discuss them. What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,820
    Location:
    Lebanon
    @Gazebo just mentioned that the durations of the WLTKD/GA are from Firaxis.

    This is what I posted:

    It makes getting WLTKD more frustrating on longer gamespeeds because the resource turnover is much higher per unit time. It also makes GA less meaningful. Like I would never take Divine Inheritance on Marathon because GAs aren't as significant.

    Perhaps with the changes to happiness in VP, it would be appropriate to change how GAs are also handled in terms of duration? The same can be said of WLTKD and the resource diversity afforded by More Luxuries

    ------

    Anyone have an opinion on that? I'm not sure if it's hardcoded, so maybe it's not possible to modify it, but I'm not sure the durations even made sense to begin with.
     
  3. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Messages:
    1,056
    If anything, starting happiness should be a function of map size, not game speed, for the same reason as per city culture/science requirements: in larger maps, everyone is expected to claim more cities, especially at the start.
     
  4. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,820
    Location:
    Lebanon
    Penalties already decrease with map size. Why increase bonuses?

    Wouldn't that effectively widen the gap twice?
     
  5. Tekamthi

    Tekamthi Prince

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    Messages:
    393
    i like this approach.. should it maybe be a function of the ratio of map size and # of starting civs? w/ 43 civs, even on huge map, for example, there's not really much more room for early expansion
     
  6. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Messages:
    1,056
    Shouldn't happiness should stay the same over all map sizes if an empire has the same relative number of cities and city size? The science/culture penalty decrease is an effort to do this very thing.
     
    vyyt likes this.
  7. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,820
    Location:
    Lebanon
    Yes that's my point exactly.

    It shouldn't scale with anything, whether speed or map size. Speed should be irrelevant, and map size has penalty reductions in place.
     
  8. Tekamthi

    Tekamthi Prince

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    Messages:
    393
    wouldn't you need a happiness offset to make domination conditions still behave similarly on larger maps? presumably one will need to hold more cities to achieve such a victory than on smaller maps... that said, could just burn more cities on larger maps i guess
     
  9. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    17,851
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Little Rock
    1. It scales with gamespeed because growth/tech/building differences can causes problems with unhappiness early on. I'll reduce the bonus, but it needs to be there somewhat.
    2. These scale based on existing gamespeed info from Firaxis.

    G
     
    Ziad likes this.
  10. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,820
    Location:
    Lebanon
    Thanks for addressing them @Gazebo. I do agree that eliminating it outright may make decisions more punishing than they should be given that they take longer to achieve. Reducing the bonus a bit should help a bit, although I don't know how much that should be. I honestly think it is quite high right now. Maybe reducing it to like 6 on Epic and 8-9 on Marathon could be reasonable.

    Another note. Barbarian camp spawn culture from Authority does not scale with gamespeed. Made a github post.

    Based on my experience on Standard, Barbarian spawns occur WAY more often. I have never seen a barbarian army on Marathon, but I frequently see them on Standard. I don't know how spawn rate scales. If you could elaborate (or perhaps @Infixo given that he's a beast in the code too), we could probably figure out how to approach it.

    The issue isn't just that there are less spawns. I'm currently playing my first game on Standard where I went Authority (in a year lol) and I just noticed that culture camp clears provide 25 culture. That's the SAME amount that is offered on Marathon.

    Given that gold from clears also scale with gamepseed (15 vs 45 on Marathon), shouldn't culture clears also scale as well (25 to 75 on Marathon)?

    This may explain why Authority civs on Marathon tend to lag behind somewhat in culture in the early game.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
    vyyt likes this.
  11. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,820
    Location:
    Lebanon
    ALL of the issues were addressed!

    • WLTKD now scales
    • GA now scales properly
    • Authority culture on camp clear now scales
    • Happiness initial bonus scaling reduced
    If anyone notices anything else, please report it here so we can bring it up to the devs.

    Yay for a better Marathon experience!! :D
     
  12. MorphBer

    MorphBer Warlord

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2017
    Messages:
    180
    Were the issues for epic the same (different numbers of course)
     
  13. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Messages:
    1,056
    (and epic!)
     
    Ziad likes this.
  14. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,820
    Location:
    Lebanon
    Yeah
     
  15. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    2,715
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chicago
    Great job spotting and effectively helping to find a good solution for this problem!
     
    vyyt and Ziad like this.
  16. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Messages:
    1,056
    (1-14-1) Tourism penalty per city is 2% on Epic speed. The Heritage policy in Aesthetics offsets this by 3% per city. Does this policy completely negate the base tourism penalty on Epic and Marathon?
     
  17. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,820
    Location:
    Lebanon
    The penalty reduction policies have been removed from both Artistry and Rationalism in the latest patch.
     
  18. ryanmusante

    ryanmusante Regular Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2018
    Messages:
    1,086
    What does that actually mean in terms of handicap numbers? I see in posts that some experienced players adjust their handicap numbers to their liking according to their preferences.
     
  19. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,820
    Location:
    Lebanon
    Oh that's not relevant to happiness. It has to do with AI bonus handicap yields and such.

    All what that statement means is that your initial happiness went from 14 to 9 on Marathon. That's the starting happiness you begin with independent of buildings, population, policies, etc...
     
  20. ryanmusante

    ryanmusante Regular Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2018
    Messages:
    1,086
    OK, I play Marathon exclusively so whatever is done to improve overall balance is good for me. I don't want to have unfair advantages over AI.
     

Share This Page