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BeBa - Beyond Balance

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

  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I do think the extra exploration module is more of a "gameplay change" than a "balance need".

    There isn't anything imbalanced about the explorers module mechanic. The fact that you explore and then have to go back to base for resupply is a part of the game...and you have ways to mitigate it with virtues and affinities.

    I do think the explorer is too weak, mainly because you can't always know if the aliens will attack you, and when they do having the ability to take at least 1 hit prevents some of the pure randomness while still forcing you to be very careful.
     
  2. albie_123

    albie_123 Modding In Secret

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    It was done in an attempt to get the AI to use their explorers more, as I noticed many of them staying around close to cities and assumed this was because they were going back to base to recharge. I was wrong. Haven't seen any difference in AI behaviour. Back to 1 charge next update. :)

    EDIT: On the topic of trade routes:

    I believe fewer, stronger trade routes is far far more interesting and balanced than many weaker ones. (This is all in comparison to vanilla's many very strong ones.)

    If we give trade routes heavily nerfed yields while increasing their number, it becomes far less important in choosing where to send them, but more notably it makes defending them irrelevant. It's no problem if a tiny percentage of your city's trade is knocked off. Compare this to the case of one or two powerful trade routes: If one gets pillaged, you'll be in a much trickier situation. Incidentally this has a knock-on effect making dealing with Aliens more interesting and valuable - knowing that getting a trade route knocked out later on down the line may cripple a city, is it worth killing those few aliens early in the game?

    Alien interaction in general needs to be more responsive, in that attacking one makes them angrier than it currently does, but that will come at a later date. I heavily suspect that aliens were toned down pre-release after many viewers of the LP's complained it would be too hard to expand with them causing trouble, despite the fact they were one of the only things stopping rapid expansion in Beyond Earth.
     
  3. lordrune

    lordrune Chieftain

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    It's a big change, but it's required. I consider Beyond Earth to be an unbalanced, unfun, micromanagement hell abortion of a game with the default setup.
     
  4. TwistAU

    TwistAU Chieftain

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    I seem to remember watching an official vid that indicated that alien activity is greatly effected by global factors. I have had aliens go berserk everywhere once in the early game when I didn't do much to provoke them, I assume because of the AI factions actions.
     
  5. siteonfly

    siteonfly Chieftain

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    Explorers are imba.
    I got first purity affinity (Aliens will fear Explorers, keeping them from attacking tiles occupied by them) first about 95 turn on epic speed. Also by this time I had scavenging vertue. I send my explorer rigth to alien nest, wait until it become empty (aliens go hither and thither) and captured nest. It gived me 90 science. Two scouts gived me all researches to open map resources before 120 turn.
     
  6. Alblaka

    Alblaka Chieftain

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    Can you get me the source of this?
     
  7. tudy2

    tudy2 Chieftain

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    Yeah, but the problem I spot here is the 10 science from a TR. Not the fact, that there are too many TRs.

    I like how you compare a TR to a building and I think this could be the key to balance TRs, without reducing their numbers.

    Assume for a while, that the ratio costs/yields of TRs are comparable to a building.

    The big difference would be then the higher risk of a TR compared to a building (destroying a building is very hard. Destroying a TR is very easy, if done correctly). The upside compensating for this higher risk, is the flexibility you get from a TR. You are able to change it to your needs every 20(?) rounds. A thing, which you can't perform with a building.

    Basically, if a TR is capable of producing 10 Science, when it should also cost an amount of hammers/gold comparable to five +2-science buildings. Applied that directly makes the vessels way too expensive in early-game of course. But, if you nerf the Science yield - to say 6 Science - and increase the production cost of the vessel or the unlocking building correspondingly it could work.



    I never wanted more trade routes. I want them to be unaltered from vanilla BE. A very good reason to leave them unaltered is, that a couple of other game-elements rely on the number of TRs. Changing the amount of TRs, needs a change on all of those as well... which in the end might result in more changes needed...

    In my opinion there are a lot of ways to balance TRs. A few have been proposed in this thread already (not only by me). Changing the amount of TRs is only one way to do it - but it is very invasive.

    If you nerf the TRs by increasing their maintenance/production costs it will not be "no problem" to loose them, even if their loss will not directly impact your income drastically. It will be something you want to care about, since you have invested into those TRs: You have spent several turns on building them, in which you could have build for example a specialist building and go more heavy on specialists instead. Similarly if the unlocking building costs you - let's say 4 - energy per round, you might quickly make deficit, if your TRs get pillaged.


    I see your point in that only a few powerful trade routes are representing the higher-risk-higher-yield thing.

    However, for me that makes TRs a no-brainer.

    There is no reason not to build them. I would be stupid not to do, since they give me a nice income for almost no investment (the amount of hammers/maintenance). So, if one gets pillaged I can immediately rebuild and send them somewhere else. There will always be another open route for me, which is only slightly worse.

    So, the impact of a pillaged trade-route is the following: It delays whatever I am currently building in the corresponding city by 1-2 turns - or it costs me 310 Energy to repurchase the unit.

    There is no choice not to use TRs.

    Btw: The alien-argument can't hold, since using the hypersonic-fence-quest makes your TRs immune to aliens anyways.

    Compare this now to a (tall - how do you build tall, without many TRs?) empire, which is heavily invested in TRs. And I mean by invested, that it takes a considerable amount of time to build up your fleet of traders. Suddenly loosing 30 % of your fleet, since an AI cuts you off, is not so fun anymore. You will not repurchase that in 1-3 turns. It will take you more like 20+ turns. 20+ turns - in which you have only 70% of your economy - spending your time to get on your feet again. That gives you a choice! Do you want to take that risk? Or do you leave TRs mostly aside and focus your time and hammers into specialists and tiles?
     
  8. tudy2

    tudy2 Chieftain

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    I also thought, that Explorers might be used in such a way, but didn't try it yet.

    However, I see this more as a bug. There should always be an Alien in an Alien-nest. But they like to leave them. That needs a fix, it has nothing to do with Explorers being imba.

    Has one ever tried to "block" off aliens by a little fleet of explorers? I guess not, since Aliens are not aggressive enough at the moment.
     
  9. Lanth

    Lanth Chieftain

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    I don't think there should always be aliens in the nests. Having them move around gives you a chance to rush in and snipe them - at a risk, of course.

    Bug report: with 0.102 version, the specialist icons in the tooltips for buildings on the techweb (probably also in production queue, but didn't/couldn't check) are messed up. For example for Growers it will show the production nut instead of food, and for Traders it shows the food apple instead of energy whorl, for Artists it shows the energy whorl (IIRC) instead of culture. I assume this was a result of the off-spec yield that was given to the specialists? Hopefully the tooltip icon can be separated from the actual bonuses they give, although I wouldn't count on it.
     
  10. tudy2

    tudy2 Chieftain

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    True, but with the Explorers there is no risk involved.

    If Aliens would go absolutely berserk about such a move from a player (even killing that Explorer - i.e. it looses its protection) it would be alright.

    This one also catched my eye. I was hesitant doing a research, since I thought the specialists had been completely altered O.o

    But yeah, the secondary yield messed things up, I guess.
     
  11. albie_123

    albie_123 Modding In Secret

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    Thanks for noticing it! Bug fixed for next update (all I had to do was update the primary specialist yields after the secondary ones, as whatever the game sees last is the icon it uses).
     
  12. MasterDinadan

    MasterDinadan Chieftain

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    Is it possible to make the trade depot give +1 trade route per 6 population? Makes it worthless for brand new cities, and it doesn't become really good until 12 pop. Also makes it a bit more viable to go tall as reaching 18 or 24 gives even more trade.
     
  13. tudy2

    tudy2 Chieftain

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    It would balance TRs as well, I guess.

    But again: Going TRs or not going TRs is still a no-brainer: If you have the pop you also go TR, because it's high reward no risk. If you don't have the pop, there is no decission to make anyways.
     
  14. Aeon221

    Aeon221 Lord of the Cheese Helmet

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    Trade route management is a lot of busywork to implement macro scale decisions like "I want this city to be stronger" or "I want to catch up with my more advanced neighbor". A smaller number of trade routes that allow the player to accomplish the same macro goals is a net gain for player enjoyment.

    I think that explorers should be made stronger (2 - 3pts weaker than the main infantry line at start) but the purity explorer immunity to aliens ability should go. Instead purity should get alien combat bonuses early, and then maybe a worker speed buff at purity 3.
     
  15. solinda

    solinda Chieftain

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    Having completed 2 Apollo play-throughs, I want to retract my comment about 'Spy Agencies'. CIV BE AI effectively mirror CIV AI behavior and quash spying on Apollo. You get maybe 1-2 techs at most in 100 turns. Spying is only overpowered on lower difficulties.

    From my testing, it appears that if you set:
    1) Non-staggered start
    2) Raging Aliens

    The AI is more willing to bully you and attack over zones of control. You still can appease them by giving them trade routes though. Ugh, seriously, I'm about to edit the XML myself to remove trade routes from this game, they break everything.

    And now the horrible, horrible endgame:
    On Apollo, tech victories are obtained at 40% of elapsed maximum turns on highest two difficulties, because of ICS. Which is my new major sore point. The end-game right now is unplayable. As soon as you hit affinity 10-12. Each player can start the end-game sequence, given you about 20 turns to react and kill them.

    What makes all of this even worse, is that the Tech Web is a lie. There is only 1 route through the tech web that matters, and the AI knows it:
    Terraforming
    Auto-Plants (for trade routes - airpower)
    Artificial Intelligence

    Those are the three techs that are close to the end-game trees. Basically, all the the end-game affinity units and structures are unplayable, since they can't be researched before end-game is unlocked. Auto-Plants, Bio-Wells and Terrascapes are all basically broken. Sattelites are insane as well, but by the game ends before you ever reach them.

    Did anyone even test this game on Apollo past turn 150?
     
  16. Aeon221

    Aeon221 Lord of the Cheese Helmet

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    Spying is overpowered if you strike a target city with agents who bounce between headquarters and the target conducting the establish network mission to get the intrigue up high.

    You can also splash might for the +intrigue attribute to speed things up. Doing the above with ARC makes city sniping very easy.

    As far as the endgame victory stuff, I agree it's too accessible on Apollo. I've turned it all off and just play domination, which tends to be more stable.

    ICS is very easy to pull off, especially with an all purple build.
     
  17. Lanth

    Lanth Chieftain

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    Any ETA for the next version? Looks like you've got quite a lot of changes planned, so might be at least a few days?

    I just lost the game I was playing (started in a crummy food-poor location with no good city sites nearby - would probably have been fine with standard 3 OP TRs per city though) so want to start another.

    Actually it'd be good if you could publish a quick update that just had +1 TR in capital, specialist UI bug fixed and return explorer to 1 module.

    For your colonist changes, I think leaving the +1 health on aristocrats is reasonable, since energy is the least problematic of all of the resources to generate. If you do take it off, maybe give them +4 energy instead? Also if you want a name for the colonists, you could go with "Clinicians" or just plain old "Doctors". Refugees could stand to be increased to +3 food as well, again since it's not as valuable as the others.

    Also a thought for Barre's UA: if you aren't near any plantations, you don't really get any bonus from this. An alternative might be +1 free grower specialist per city; although given the UI that attaches specialists to building slots that may not be so easy.
     
  18. JFD

    JFD Kathigitarkh

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    Would you mind if I incorporated your African Union changes into my mod, which seeks to revise the vanilla sponsors better to my liking (usually according two clauses in their UA), and I find the African Union changes sufficient to my liking. I currently use this mod, but in the event that I don't, or that a user of my revision didn't, it would be imbalanced to leave the African Union UA as is in vanilla.
     
  19. albie_123

    albie_123 Modding In Secret

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    Go for it. Keep in mind I'm about to change some other UA's as well - I've given Brazilia an additional free 'Move After Attacking' promotion, Kozlov now gets double geothermal instead of titanium due to silly Firaxis changing how mines work if you use the tectonic scanner, and Elodie is going to change although I haven't quite decided how.
     
  20. tudy2

    tudy2 Chieftain

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    I see this quite differently. Maybe my playstyle is all weird, but in Civ5 I commonly spent minutes on managing my citizens in each city, so that they do exactly the things I want them to do.

    That is way more management for a far less effect, compared to redirect a TR every 20 turns. But that (the management) is what makes a big part of the enjoyment I draw from games like Civ.

    I do agree that the current UI is suboptimal to manage TRs effectively. And as said before, there is no question about the vanilla TRs being OP.

    I will repeat my main arguments in a short version for a last time and afterwards will stop pester this thread with the TR-discussion (this mod is about balance overall - not about TRs in the end):

    • TRs are OP and the corresponding UI sucks.
    • However, obviously the developers intention was to make them a central element in BE. A move I appreciate, since it makes BE different from previous iterations of the franchise.
    • So there is a new concept, which is OP. In my opinion the correct response here is to make the new concept not OP and enjoyable, instead of effectively removing it.
    • This gives choice in your economy - a thing BE lacks much, since they nerfed specialists into triviality.
    • Furthermore reducing the number of TRs is too invasive, since a lot of other game-elements are connected to the number of TRs.

    If the mods creator decides to not give it a try, that is his good right to do. I have tried a few games by now with the BeBa - I love the changes made so far. Except for the TRs, since they were cut down to a no-brainer - which makes them boring.

    I would love to see a different balancing approach at least tried. Not necessarily here in BeBa. But, if it happens somewhere else, I hope that people will look into it and give it a fair chance as well.
     

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