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

Balancing City State rewards/Tribute

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Drakle, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. Drakle

    Drakle Warlord

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Messages:
    109
    Hey first post here. I've been playing Vox Populi for a couple of months, and have played a few different campaigns with different play styles. I tried a few wide militaristic runs, as Carthage and Aztecs, which is where I did most of my bullying of city-states.

    One thing I've noticed in particular is some city-states are almost never worth Heavy Tributing and only worth taking Gold from. Maritime City-States are the biggest offender, as often they will yield less than a single turn worth of food in the capital. Food is already fairly weak as a one time bonus, let alone being less than a turns worth, for a bunch of turns where the city-state can't be tributed again, and won't give quests or its resources. With the rewards this lacklustre, I often only take gold or stop bullying them and try to ally them. Particularly once chanceries come online, and become very useful for getting lesser cities up and running.

    Maritime City-states aren't the only ones. Cultural ones, particularly with a wide empire will give way less than a turns worth of culture. Religious ones are sometimes useful early game but by the medieval era, the faith that can be bullied from them is nowhere near worth it. Even production ones can sometimes stop being useful if I'm not actually racing for some wonders.

    With this issue, Authority stops really providing benefits in extra bonuses from bullying city-states, and I quickly switch to allying them for the most part. Particularly with the percentage change.

    One change that could help is if the tribute could be directed to non-capital cities. A lot of the time the capital doesn't need the food, which represents a turn of food production for it, but the food could be an extra citizen for a lesser city. Or perhaps Maritime City-states could just be a flat out 1+ citizen for a random city, provided it has less than a certain population threshold, by era. So no buffing a 20 population city of the Classic Era, but say by the industrial era, it could add population to a 20 population city.

    Another thing could be changing bonuses by era. Like for example, cultural city-states can give flat culture in the early game. Then say in the medieval era, tributing could start giving some Cultural Great Person points, in addition to the fairly meagre culture.

    This could be extended to the other types.
    Maritime - Great Merchant.
    Mercantile - Great Engineer
    Militaristic - Great Scientist
    Religious wouldn't work, as Great Prophets don't work by points. Maybe Golden Age points.

    Not a lot. Good for speeding alone the first few Great People, but stops adding much if you've already popped out quite a few. Aka helpful for an Authority Civilisation that hasn't been able to work its specialists or wonder whore, but won't suddenly change a Great Power Specialist strategy into bully all the city-states.

    A final thing could be tributing for a resource. A major drawback of the bullying is no access to the luxury or strategic resources of a city-state. Not sure of this suggestion if it would be too complex, but maybe it could lock the city-state into supplying your empire for a number of turns with a single resource. Worse than a straight alliance, but a good way to snipe resources. Also, it would piss off a Civ if it is allied with it, since you are hijacking their supply of resources.
     
    Arthur Jama likes this.
  2. Cokolwiek

    Cokolwiek Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2019
    Messages:
    194
    Gender:
    Male
    I believe this is intended and balanced mechanic. Any ancient policy tree looses its strength as the game goes by. Authority is hit the hardest, true, but its the strongest at the beggining, you just have to capitalize on early conquests rewards. Authority have plenty of others massive bonuses, great early production, and free science and culture from settling, killing and conquering.

    I think you look on city-states one-dimensional. Bonus yields are just one part of alliance bonuses:
    You gain access to their strategic resources to build an army.
    You gain access to their luxury resources to mantain happiness.
    You gain crucial delegates to block or enforce sanctions.
    You gain all the applicable buildings bonuses, which can be huge up to the renaissance (production, gold from chanceries alone).
    You deny all of the above to the AI, especially you don't loose all of the above in case of war and don't have to deal with their units. As the game goes on, bonus culture, or units become secondary, but maybe city-state provide your only available oil or uranium and every delegate counts by that point.
    You have to consider bonus yields from alliance or tributing on top of all that.
     
  3. Drakle

    Drakle Warlord

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Messages:
    109
    I don't think that really tracks. None of the other Ancient Era Social Policies adds bonuses to a game mechanic which is then largely eliminated. Tradition always provides bonuses to the capital throughout the game, the national wonder happiness continues to gain in strength through the game, and there is continuous extra yields from using Great Persons. Progress is continual gains from new citizens and tech. But both Barbarians and Tributing drop off fairly quickly, while the warfare generally seems to slow to a crawl because of anti warmonger bonuses, once you've rolled over the first or second target.

    Also, you seem to misunderstand my post. I listed the yields, resources, quest bonuses, and building bonuses vs the meagre Tribute bonuses, as to why I nearly always switch to alliance. I was pointing all that out, as why Tributing is eliminated as a mechanic. In those games, I really only demanded tribute after the classic era to fulfil quests for other city-states. All because of those bonuses. The Tribute bonuses seem to only be balanced against the per turn resource yields, and not everything else involved.

    That is why I think Tributing should be buffed. Not all civilisations should be forced into the influence battle and having some civilisations still continually preying upon the City-states would complicate stuff for those in the influence battles.

    If not changing City-states, maybe Authority should add bonuses to vassals. So once tributing and barbarians drop off, it is replaced by vassal bonuses. None of the medieval Policy trees are clearly military, unlike Authority or Imperialism. Fealty can be wide/religious peaceful, Artistry is great people-focused, and while Statecraft is semi-related to dealing with lesser civs, it directly conflicts with the bullying mechanic.
     
  4. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,160
    I'm inclined to agree with Drakle here - it doesn't help that in recent versions with the % tribute demands that the total value of tribute demands was decreased as well, which I honestly never understood. Also, even when I've been #1 in military, I don't even recall a single instance in the new system where I've had 100% for the value of the tribute demand.
     
  5. Cokolwiek

    Cokolwiek Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2019
    Messages:
    194
    Gender:
    Male
    I do not agree. Authority is extremely strong as it is, and you focus on tributing and barbarians from which only 10% of authority comes from. And early production heavy tribute can be game changer with wonders. Authority main muscle is free science and culture through constant warring, and early production which is very vesratile and the strongest in any policy for early development. It is like saying Progress is bad because 25% percent production bonus to workers and trade units becomes eliminated as you have enough workers/improvements/plenty of production anyway by medieval.
    I think this is intended, authority power spike is the early game, and up to industrial/modern era you get tons of production and gold through it.

    Once again, the fact that fealty can be peaceful wide/religious or that it doesn't directly boost troops don't mean it isn't quintessential warmonger-trying-to-catch-up-after-early-conquests tree and synergizes absolutely amazing with warmongering. Statecraft, which is my favourite choice for warmongering, and artistry also. Fealty adresses so much infrastracture development, happiness, provides culture and pressure (for example for newly captured religion). Combined with already strong gold, production of authority and wide empires it is great military tree. And great artists to keep you in golden age forever and outproduce anyone.

    I disagree. I play mostly authority, and I continously advocate for its nerf or nerf across the board for warmongering. Right now authority is the safest bet already on deity.

    They can stay out of it and loose all the bonuses. Or just conquer the city states. Diplomacy and city-states are just vital element of the game, saying something like this, is to me like saying that peaceful tradition shouldn't have an army. You can't ignore major aspect of the game and get away with it.
     
  6. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,160
    I don't know how to make any sense of this statement. How exactly is the science and culture from constant warring "free"? Progress gets "free" science when a citizen is born in the capital. Progress gets "free" culture when a technology is researched or a building is constructed. The point is to measure the bonuses of one tree against another - not act like one has bonuses and the other has SUPERbonuses, or something. In my experience I've rarely or never been a tech leader as Authority despite slaughtering everything around me.
     
    Drakle likes this.
  7. Cokolwiek

    Cokolwiek Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2019
    Messages:
    194
    Gender:
    Male
    Then probably you are not playing well enough generally/not to strength of authority or other policy trees. Warmongering is brutally more profitable over going tall in anything beside GP generation or tourism and everytime I play it I am tech leader (or share the same -1/+1 count with one or two AIs) and score leader by renaissance, culture sometimes takes more to catch up. Even in a game I made a lot of mistakes in (I underestimated how long sieging in jungle can be and conquered only two AIs, there are screenshoots in the beta thread) I was able to be a leader in culture/policies, and science.
    I even spent half of that game at peace, because peaceuful authority plus terracotta is so strong in early development.
    I don't understand "not free argument". Killing units/settling/capturing cities is just as normal game mechanic as constructing buildings is. Both provide benefits on them own unrealted to science/culture, so any addition of that is free.
    I also don't understand how you measure one tree against other, without considering how you play. Generally I think we should discuss buffing tradition a bit here and there, not tributing or authority.

    Advocating for any buff for authority is just balance madness in my eyes. Warmongering from the get-go is widely considered the easiest playstyle for a reason.
     
  8. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,160
    You're comparing apples and oranges.

    I've warred with Progress many times as well. Warmongering's being easy and strong has to do with the number of cities owned, how much science they are producing, how much production you can make, etc...this is where the score is coming from. That is separate from the bonuses actually earned by using Authority in the process of capturing those cities. If I use Progress to capture 10 cities, I'll get bonuses when the cities build buildings or generate population; if I use Authority to capture 10 cities, I'll get bonuses when I capture the cities. The actual capturing itself doesn't tell me everything I need to know about the yields, *apart* from the fact that Authority will have an easier time of it due to healing units on kill, bonus production for military, and a 10% strength buff - the latter when you think about it really not being that much.

    I was pretty specific about my statement about not leading in science with Authority - but I'm pretty much always first in score. Score says many things, and also not very much at the same time. I've also won games with Authority, scarcely having built a Wonder at all. All I really need to win a game as a *Warmonger* (being specific in words - this is not about Authority) is enough muscle and enough science at the bottom of the tech tree to beat up others. *This says nothing about general yields at all.* Whether I pick Authority in the first place itself depends on how close my nearest enemies are, how many barbarians are around...etc. There are plenty of reasons to pick Progress that make far more sense than Authority while still going Warmonger.

    To summarize: I am simply not interested in what a Warmonger can do. I'm interested in the yields that Authority gains doing whatever it is doing (usually Warmongering) VS what other trees are gaining doing whatever they are doing - which can also include Warmongering. Not. The. Same. Topic.
     
  9. Cokolwiek

    Cokolwiek Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2019
    Messages:
    194
    Gender:
    Male
    I agree with some points you made, but they are irrelevant in my eyes and that does not change my perspective.

    You cannot disconnect warmongering from authority, and expect the same results, as much as you can't play tradition wide, ignoring specialists and complain it's ineffective. Authority is meant to be used by early warmongers, it should have less yields for cities, development than trees focused on peaceful gameplay.
     
  10. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives King

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Messages:
    919
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Australia
    OK. A couple of thoughts on the subject:
    1) Obviously you can warmonger with Progress, sometimes just as well as with Authority. That said, a buff to Authority is effectively a buff to warmongering because it increases the potential rewards of that strategy more than any other.

    If you want to make Authority stronger without making early war stronger something else would need to be adjusted to maintain balance between playstyles.

    2) Authority currently seems pretty good to me? I don't know if the yields themselves compare (perhaps they don't), but the Authority AIs in my games seem to be doing pretty well. Not just in terms of warfare, but it also seems useful for building wonders and claiming territory.

    I think bullying is intended to be most useful early on? Especially once they start giving you world congress votes. By that point, however you should have lots of opportunities to make use of the Authority policies with regards to other civs, not just city-states.

    I guess that does mean that policy in particular becomes less useful over time. I would say that's more true for the policies in Tradition than anything else though. What you get from tradition gives a strong early boost but many of those become less relevant over time, and I think to a degree that's intentional. Tradition is the strongest in terms of the intial boost. Probably Progess will be the strongest in terms of yields later in the game. I would guess that Authority is somewhere in between.
     
    Cokolwiek likes this.

Share This Page