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BeBa - Beyond Balance

Discussion in 'CivBE - Released Mods' started by albie_123, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. albie_123

    albie_123 Modding In Secret

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    They're all 'compatible' in that they'll work. But they certainly won't be balanced, especially 'Enhanced Loadout', 'Units - Exp Cap Remover', and 'Cities 4 Tiles Away'. Obviously, you can play with whatever mods you'd like, but many mods will 'conflict' with the changes in terms of balance. Just something to keep in mind!

    For information's sake, and as a general recommendation, the mods I play with are:

    • User Interface Tweaks - IphStich
    • Colorful Tech Web - Gildergun
    • InfoAddict - Unknownone / robk
    • Player Colour for Units - SaintDaveUK
     
  2. solinda

    solinda Chieftain

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    Right now there does seem to be great consensus on:
    1) Nerf Steal Energy and Science
    2) Edit Spy Agency to give 2 spies (or heck 1)

    Albi: To help with this project, could a couple of us focus on specific areas, say building quests, wonders or virtues to create test changes, then you get final say on the versions we submit? Basically you need 5-6 developers, each with a team of testers to fix this mess.

    Long-term priorities seem to be (besides trade routes):
    1) Further Affinity Balance
    2) Changing Building Quests
    3) Changing Wonders
    4) Aliens
    5) Further AI changes

    Also my own pet peeve...

    Happiness and Wide Versus Tall:
    A couple of people have mentioned happiness fixes. I think balancing happiness from buildings is a misguided approach. ICS is supported by buildings or trade routes create happiness. Tall is promoted by hard caps trade routes and luxury resources.

    Since buildings with happiness always promote Wide play. To promote tall play, trade routes should be capped and the following virtues changed:

    1) Profiteering: Change to each trade route with a STATION gives 4 happiness, or hard cap trade routes and leave the same.
    2) Magnasti: Probably needs to be removed. Probably should be 1 health from each wonder or 1 health from each building in the capitol.
    3) Eudimania: Changed to all unhappiness from the capitol is removed.
    4) Community Medicine: Changed to +1 health for every population in the capitol.

    Note: The tier bonuses seem to promote Tall play, 7 in each virtue tree gives you solid production bonuses as well as Tall play. The current wide and unhappiness irrelevance makes these bad options. Although there is something to be said for picking Franco-Iberia building like 3 cities and going 7-5-5-5 while farming science from nests...
     
  3. ranafuineluva

    ranafuineluva Chieftain

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    @Albie 123
    Thanks a bunch mate.
     
  4. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    With the thread growing so quickly, contact a moderator to create a sub-forum for this project. It will help a lot. :goodjob:

    I recommend caution when making big changes. It's difficult to get a full sense of the depth of the game so soon. A reasonable early change to trade routes is removing the extra route from the autoplant quest. I'd avoid going further than that until a few more weeks have passed.

    The changes to things other than trade routes look great, close to vanilla, while improving things in small ways. :)

    If you keep the scope of changes small at the start, you'll also reach a larger audience.
     
  5. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Tomice,

    Great post and detail, i think the percentage idea is interesting.

    That said, I will argue your point that TRs have been nerfed "into obscurity" based on my own experience.

    I will admit that I am a cautious changer and without context i too would have said this is an overnerf.

    But I have played many games with the big TRs nerd, and I can say they are still one of the most important aspects of te game. Far from obscure, I still always factor them in as a top priority for optimization. The only difference is now I care about tier aspects of the game as well.

    The degree of the initial imbalance is just that bad
     
  6. metagross

    metagross Chieftain

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    EDIT: Nevermind.

    I really appreciate what you're doing. Keep it up!
     
  7. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    :lol: Maybe you're right, it's just hard to believe!

    I only had a few days to play BE intensively. This week was rather busy job-wise. Others around here sure have more practical experience.

    The point I wanted to make is that balance is nothing absolute.

    It's a design decision how much weight we give to certain gameplay elements. The game can be balanced around strong trade routes as a central part of gameplay, or around weaker TR's as situational/optional/advanced gameplay elements (or anything inbetween). It is merely a designers choice, both options may be balanced eventually.

    I just wanted to make sure that we don't take the level of importance TR's had in BNW as ultimate measure of right balance. Trade routes can be made balanced even if they stay more important than they were in BNW.
     
  8. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I agree with this. Gameplay wise, TRs are a top priority for every city and completely mandatory for optimized play.

    To be considered a "balance" instead of "gameplay" change, they should still have that priority, even if they have less weight to the game as a whole.

    As I said in my last post, I believe that priority still exists for them even with the heavy nerfs
     
  9. kirbdog

    kirbdog King

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    This feature is working now. Feel free to adapt it in any mod.
     
  10. kirbdog

    kirbdog King

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    Well said.

    Although it might be moving from balance and back into gameplay, I think it would be fun to scatter some +1 Trade Route in capital technologies over the leaf techs of the tech web. That would be a serious cost that justifies the reward (while another colonist + Trade Depot + Autoplant is not a serious cost, relative to the reward of 3 trade routes).
     
  11. dhialuck

    dhialuck Chieftain

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    Hi all. First of all let me thank Albie for the work and effort and all involved in this.

    I wanted to talk about the trade routes (TR) issue and try to sum it up.

    TR in CIV BE are different from BNW in that the are not limited by CIV but are rather limited by cities. So the more cities you have the more TR you'll have. These TR are maybe available earlier than BNW and have a relatively high yield in comparison with the city's own yields.
    All this is fine as that seems to be the philosophy or approach that was taken in CIV BE (maybe to encourage expanding with cities, who knows).
    There is of course a risk involved with them which is that they can be plundered by wandering aliens, or by AI enemies (passively when war is declared you lose the TR with that said CV, and actively if they get in the path of your TR with a military unit).
    This is to say that TR were supposed to be a High reward/High risk system in theory but here is where the trouble starts: High risk is well not so high because:

    1) The Aliens while being a very serious menace to TR as were barbarians in BNW, suddenly cease to become one once you get the Ultrasonic Fence quest that gives immunity to all TR from Aliens for the rest of the game.
    2) The A.I is not especially aggressive and as far as I have seen they rarely declare war on the human for the most part of the early and mid game and as such less worry about disrupting TR.


    Attending to these two issues IMO will make TR a lot more balanced in the sense that they will work as intended in BE.

    Suggested fixes:
    For issue (1) we can:
    -Remove the Quest Altogether (the part that protects TR, I am in favor of this for the time being as it is the less intrusive solution)
    -Make the protection city specific (although again building the UF in every city will bring us back to the same issue unless we make the building more expensive idk)
    -Change the quest to only protect Trade convoys or Trade vessels (it can also be the choice to make in the quest)

    For issue (2) we can:
    -Increase the AI aggressivity
    -Have the AI factor in the potential gain they get from auto-plundering our TR with them if they declare WAR on us as opposed to them becoming docile because of the positive modifier that TR create with them.
    -Make TR only able to cross through the territory of a CIV with which we have Open Borders*


    *The result of this will be that we will only be able to trade with the CIVS that like us or trust us or to whom we need to pay the price for opening their land for our TR, this will also create a lot of interesting gameplay implications as well, for example it will limit the number of available TR, it will make Open Borders important as opposed to close to useless in some cases, it will prevent us from making aggressive civs less aggressive simply by sending TR to them, and even if we are a warmonger that everyone hates and refuses to open borders to we can always DEMAND open borders like current bullying major powers do or we can always trade with the good old stations :) God I think I am in love with this last suggestion now..

    Note: I am in the feeling that some of the complaints from TR being OP come from the fact that when we become overwhelmed with how much time we need to spend on reassigning them one may start to think "WTH how many TR do I have?? this is too much" a fix for this be it a better UI with auto assignmenet (just like what we used to have with :c5faith: remember in CIV V? ) will remedy this but in the mean time please do not derail your judgement because of it, and just like Tomice said in the lines of lets try to embrace the new Gameplay Philosophy and fix it to work as intended!
     
  12. metagross

    metagross Chieftain

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    Ultrasonic Fence is only relevant for Sea Routes. Even then, without UF you would just need a few strategically placed Gunboats or Embarked Explorers + Purity 1 to shield your Vessels.
     
  13. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    @dhialuck:
    I hadn't thought about the version of the US fence quest you suggest (only the TR's originating from a city with fence are protected). Might be worth considering! I suggested a version where the chance of alien attacks is lower, but existing.

    In the beginning, external trading partners are scarce. The game will already be well into midgame before more than a handful of harbors exists in the world. Having revealed coastlines from the seeding bonus and trade protection from US fence, you can profit extremely from reaching those cities at this stage.
    If you had to protect the same network with naval units, you would need quite a few ships. Don't forget that a lone low-tech ship is weaker than any naval alien!

    IMHO, we are talking about at least a dozen ships on standard-sized maps. That's not trivial to afford, and still doesn't offer the same level of security.
     
  14. solinda

    solinda Chieftain

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    @Thalicuss: His point about smaller initial changes is excellent.

    So one change everyone would love, is if someone fixed the Broken quests bug...

    About 50% of the time the 'Familiar exotics' and 'resettlement quests' can't be completed, because you can't build the requested building within the listed city, because the city lacks the necessary resource required to build the structure. This is a serious bug, that severally impacts Affinity gain the early game. Without these 2 free affinity points, it's actually difficult to get to Affinity 4-5 until several hundred turns into the game.

    The uneven affinity gain messes with end-game and mid-game balance. Your changes to affinity progression assume that you can complete these two quests, so I would suggest disabling those changes until this bug is fixed. Honestly, the problem is not early affinity, that's fine, it's the how superior the Swarm / CAVR / Battlesuit are to other units.
     
  15. omniclast

    omniclast Prince

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    There is a simple way to fix this - make the required buildings have to be built in any city, not a specific city (just like the Alien Preserve quest)
     
  16. metagross

    metagross Chieftain

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    You are aware that with the current state of BE, you can usually win around T200 with any Affinity-based victory and much sooner with Contact, right?

    On a different note, I would to see a quick "hot-fix" for health bonuses and penalties at higher levels. Nothing ground-breaking for now, just let's say a 15% bonus at Health +30 increased by 5% with each +10 after that; something similar for penalties at -30. At least to have something before harsher penalties can be implemented (or the entire health system redesigned).

    In the meantime, could someone point me to the correct file where these bonuses are stated? I might modify it for myself until there's time for these features to be included in BeBa.
     
  17. Aeraesoria

    Aeraesoria Chieftain

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    solution to some of the quest bugs

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=538131
     
  18. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    This would be good advice if there weren't a lot of threads in the strategy section highlighting just how completely a few broken systems dominate everything else. I don't know if you played BE much, but two trade routes per city are more than the normal yield of a city for a long time if managed correctly. And you can set them up very quickly. Even one trade route is stretching it...

    The same goes for beaker stealing. Since it provides a number of points based on the tech you're currently researching (30% for a level 3 operative), you just switch over to a tier 3 tech you will need at some point the turn before the steal finishes. This will net you something like 800-1500 science points every time it happens. Stealing energy is strong, but stealing beakers is nuts. This goes twice for flipping capitals to go for a cheesy domination victory.

    The third broken system is selling stuff to the AI for favors. You can sell them 3 gpt for a favor, then return it for 100 gold lump sum. So the AI pays you up-front to take the money off of their hands.

    These three systems dominate everything else so hard that it essentially doesn't matter what else you do. Playing OCC? Just steal research or, better yet, flip their capital. Playing wide? Finish around turn 200 even with the affinity victory conditions that arguably take the longest time to complete. Playing tall? Well, it's not really optimal since growing takes so much food, but you can still do it if you don't want to manage so much trade.
     
  19. kirbdog

    kirbdog King

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  20. Aeraesoria

    Aeraesoria Chieftain

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    The thing with aliens attacking trade routes also becomes a moot when you befriend them btw. If anything I always, always aim for trying to befriend the natives and plop a city near a nest and rush getting the tiles for em if I have the energy to do so. The sooner I get them friendly the better. Aliens that are friendly don't attack colonists, workers or trade convoy and trade vessels.
     

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