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Barbs and Difficulty

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by CrabHelmet, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. CrabHelmet

    CrabHelmet Chieftain

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    Okay, problem here, and I think one that goes unnoticed because most of the people who give the most dedicated feedback play on the highest difficulties: barbarians and difficulty.

    On Deity, AI start with an extra warrior, can produce units faster, and get absurd combat bonuses vs the AI, relative to King or Emperor.

    The result is that Deity VP is almost a barb-free experience unless you have an isolated start. They're very rarely something I seriously worry about, and I can delay building a Warrior for a fairly long time because of it.

    But lower difficulties? I get swamped. It can be genuinely difficult to settle cities successfully. I produce *more* Warriors than I do on higher difficulties, by a reasonable margin.

    The result is that the whole tempo of the game changes. Quick-settling is much rarer, and Authority becomes more valuable. This has knock-on effects onto things like Pantheons, where some require much more settling to get the necessary resources.

    I think that a) the AI's bonus against barbs needs to be removed, and not dependent on difficulty, and b) barb spawn rate needs to scale roughly according to the AI's Warrior production.

    Thoughts?
     
    Tekamthi likes this.
  2. Txurce

    Txurce Chieftain

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    No question that your basic point is correct. Just as Deity players find fewer ruins, they also get more help killing barbs. Given how well the AI is performing these days, I don't know if there's even a need for a bonus vs barbs, on any level (or not more of a bonus that the human has, anyway).

    Scaling the barb spawn rate to AI warrior production isn't going to happen.
     
  3. CrabHelmet

    CrabHelmet Chieftain

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    I don't mean literally having a function that turns AI warrior production into barb spawn rate, I mean: observing a few Settler, King, and Deity games, seeing how many Warrior Units the AI produces by turn X in each one, then scaling barb spawn rate for each difficulty so that warriors per barb is about equal.
     
  4. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I agree it is very weird that diety players can expand more easily than king players because of barbs.

    So if there are easy fixes I’m all about it
     
  5. Moi Magnus

    Moi Magnus Chieftain

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    I would say that it makes the early game very difficult for a beginner. The barbarians being a greater threat than the other civs...Chill barbarians is the default option for beginners if they want "normal barbarians".
     
  6. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Chieftain

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    Do the chill and raging barbarians options already allow someone to fix this issue? I imagine deity players could use raging and lower level players could use chill and effectively fix this issue themselves.
     
  7. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Chieftain

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    If "Chill barbarians" option isn't chill enough, we could maybe make it even more chill.

    But even if you have problems, that means the AI also has problems with barbarians, so it still allows you to go progress/tradition without falling behind the AI.
     
  8. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    Step 1- Remove ALL starting defense units for city states.
    With changes to worker stealing and nothing important to build this is a great idea.
    Step 2- Remove AI bonuses vs Barbs.

    Let's see how those go imo.
     
  9. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Do cs get starting units at lower difficulties? If so removing them may make barb management too difficult at lower levels
     
  10. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    AI barb difficulties were normalized a few patches ago. And barb spawn rates are now affected by difficulty as of a few patches ago. At a certain point you have to accept that barbs are a problem at lower difficulties because everyone has less to work with vs the barbs.
     
  11. CrabHelmet

    CrabHelmet Chieftain

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    What do you mean less to work with?
     
  12. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    Fewer units, fewer extra units for the AI, slower production for AI , etc
     
  13. Txurce

    Txurce Chieftain

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    And as I understood it, you also said barbs spawn more frequently at higher levels, so it should all be about the same.
     
  14. CrabHelmet

    CrabHelmet Chieftain

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    Right, which is why I'm saying: if it still feels like there are considerably more barbs on lower difficulties, and to me it does, then the barb spawn rate per difficulty level is not set correctly and needs adjusting.

    This has been particularly on my mind because I introduced 3 new friends to VP who are not as experienced a Civ player as myself, and they have all 3 complained about barb proliferation.
     
  15. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Chieftain

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    CrabHelmet, have they all tried playing with Chill Barbarians? Perhaps have them try playing as the Celts or Aztecs in their first months of VP experience.
     
  16. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    The fact is that vanilla barbs just wandered. Literally just wandered around. Now they actively move at cities to harass. So number of barbs has actually gone down, but their efficacy has gone way up.

    TBH most players skimp on early-game military. A few warriors and an archer can handle barbs easily at lower difficulties.

    G
     
    Jdoug312 likes this.
  17. Txurce

    Txurce Chieftain

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    A few warriors and an archer can handle barbs on higher difficulties, too, until you naturally research HBR. But people want to maximize expanding and getting a religion, whcih leads to gambling and periodic bad results. The sweet spot is for the choice to have consequences, but not ruin the fun of the game by requiring too many units. I think it's about right now, on Emperor/Immortal. Occasionally I get swamped, but that feels more like bad luck.
     
  18. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    Well barbs only get horsies when (IIRC) 80% of the world has the tech. If you're the last one to get horsies...shouldn't that hurt a bit?

    Honestly I'd need to see empirical proof of lower level barb swamping to see if it is a.) too many barbs or b.) not enough defense.

    G
     
  19. Txurce

    Txurce Chieftain

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    I meant that it gets even easier for the humans after getting horses.
     
  20. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    Ah, I read it as a 'until you do, at which point GG.' Misunderstood.

    Anyways, I'm definitely interested in the issue, but I need more concrete evidence.
     

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