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Building Review

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    As we try to get the beta ready for a finished release, thought it was time to do a building review to see how everything stacks up.

    I'm not going to go through every building, just the ones I think may need a look.

    Ancient Era: I think everything is fine here. I like all of the buildings!


    Classical Era:

    Forge: This is a building I have trouble getting excited about. The problem is its a core building that often acts like a niche one. The engineer slot is nice...in a select group of cities early game, now that specialists are less of a general thing. The mine bonus can be nice...for a few cities and not until later when you get those mines going.

    It feels like the forge is too back loaded. Sure once I have an arena, and I'm working that engineer, and I have a bunch of mines it looks good. But it takes a while to get there. This is a building I find I forget at times until its time for workshops.

    I would suggest changing the bonus from mines to hills so that it comes online quicker, though that means grassland iron suffers as a result.

    Caravansary: This building has always felt like a red-headed step child of buildings to me. It is clearly more useful than the core, but I think it still has problems.

    I think its trying to be too fancy and just not effective enough. The 10% city connection bonus is actually a pittance for most of the game. The merchant bonus I don't think is needed to make merchants useful, but if people wanted to argue that point I wouldn't disagree. But it also makes it even more of a niche building, especially if you aren't making a lot of merchants.

    So I would go one of two directions:
    1) Drop the 10%, add +1 gold.
    2) Drop the 10% and the merchant bonus, add +2 gold.

    Just give it some straight up benefit, it doesn't need to be fancy.


    Medieval:

    Chancery:
    I actually wanted to give G credit for turning this building from (imo) a piece of crap, to one of my favorite buildings. That said...it may be too good, and may need some kind of cap. Late game when I'm rocking 8 allies, and getting +8 gold and +16 hammers with a single building...that's pretty intense.

    Workshop: This a niche building trying to be a prereq building. If I don't have forests I hate to be bothered with this building. I can't remember how many times I've gone "why can't I build factories...oh yeah I still need that damn workshop". Maybe this could add in a 5% bonus for buildings (and take away from the windmill), just to give it something to do. Honestly even with that I probably wouldn't care for it, so not quite sure on this one.


    Renaissance:

    Windmill:
    This is completely a nitpick, and fine if ignored. I think the windmill should just get a +2 food bonus, and not "granary/grocery gets a +1". Those buildings are already great, they are almost always built before this guy anyway, and it just muddies the waters unnecessarily. The "give another building a bonus" is a nice mechanic, but I think its used too frequently. Again, complete nitpick, the building is fine generally.

    Opera House: While I didn't like the 10% culture nerf to 5%, it was probably the right call. My one change here is change the gold bonus for musicians guilds to +2. The amphitheater gets to make money when all its guilds are built, and I think the opera house should too. It gives it just that little bit extra that will round it off.


    Industrial:

    General: Just generally noting this is the point in the game when I notice my building speed start to go down. I think as growth starts to slow down at this point, cities don't increase their hammers that much more than in older eras, and you start to notice it.

    Museum: Keeping with the Amphithreater/Opera House theme, I would increase the gold bonus from artists to +3 (or at least +2 to break even). The museum still remains a questionable building to me, its a lot of hammers to not provide specialists or base culture. Compare it to the public school for example. So even with the change, might still be on the watch list for me.

    Agribusiness: Having used it a few times since the recent change...its a flat out worse building than before. +1 farms/pastures does not equal 15% more food....15% is a lot more food. I would just change it back.

    Factory
    : Just to show some context. If we assume a nice big city, or a few manufactories...we could assume the factory provides a +10 hammer bonus....maybe. Now, lets assume a 50% hammer bonus in the city from various bonuses which are common at that point. So +15 hammers. That means it takes 83 turns to pay for itself. At this point in the game, that's a lot of turns....and it requires coal! I think this building needs some love, if not more hammers, than something else (gold bonus?).


    Modern

    Stock Exchange: This is one of those buildings that looks good on perception, but I'm wondering how good it is. The 10% discount on purchasing looks attractive. But I'm curious how much gold that translates to at this point in the game, and to warrant the 1800 hammer cost. Its one I might need to crunch some real numbers to see if its really worth it.

    Coal Refinery: Personally I would go with the aluminum refinery model. Just give me the coal, no production bonus. Its meant as a building to give me emergency coal, I don't think it should also be a production building as well.

    That said, I would also be fine removing this building. To me...the whole point of strategic resources is they should be "oh ****" moments. Things are fine, and then suddenly the world is moving in a new direction and you have to race to keep up. If you have coal, great. If you don't...well you better trade, CS ally, or war and go get it! I think this building "coddles" people too much.

    Wire Service: Similar to chancery, might need some cap. Beyond that, I would switch the bonuses. I feel culture is a stronger bonus over science and should take more to earn.

    Research Lab: I feel like this building is a bit scattered. The bonus to medical labs makes sense to spread the science out. But I think the rest is a bit unnecessary. I would just give it a +12 to science (it is one of the capstone science buildings). Then keep the terrain bonuses, Medical lab, and GS bonus.


    Atomic

    Medical Lab: So in best case scenarios (lets say a city is working all specialists), its what +5 science, hammers, and gold? So the gold is obliterated by the maintenance cost, the hammers aren't worth the building price tag, and the science bonus is pretty low at this point in the game.

    Honestly, I think the medical lap could just be removed from the game, and let agribusiness take on the load. Or, continue the hospital mechanic, and convert food into more science or culture or something.

    Wind/Hydro Plant: I feel like each is on the weaker side, and I think usually the one you want is pretty obvious, so I don't see a reason to have 2 separate buildings. I actually would love to combine these together. Use Wind Plant as a base, change it to the "Wind and River Plant" or "Renewable Plant". Gain the wind plant benefit, +1 prod per river tile.


    Information

    Solar Plant: Generally its just a more expensive nuclear plant. The desert prereq throws a bone to desert, but its not like I'm building desert cities back in the day going "one day I can build a solar plant here!".

    This building should not exist. Strategic resources exist to be coveted. If you want raw production power, you better go get some uranium!
     
  2. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I think your analysis is off with the Forge. There are lots of mine resources (luxuries and iron) and some people like making early mines on resource-less hills because they really value early production. Also, the triumvirate of barracks/arena/forge is something I highly prioritize in all of my cities- it's usually the go to 3 buildings after initial shrine/monument type stuff. Those early hammers are crucial to get production up and get the city catching up on infrastructure.

    Also think you're off with the Caravansary. It has bonuses to some luxuries so I highly prioritize it if I have a few of them in a city. It also improves trade route gold and tourism so is a crucial building in whatever cities have land routes.

    Chancery (and all of the diplomatic buildings) are certainly strong if you have lots of CS friends/allies, and you might be right that they are too strong in those instances. Kind of a win-more because if you have tons of CS allies you're probably already in a very strong position.

    I think the Workshop is fine- I find that my cities often have a few forest tiles and they are often being worked at some point with the science/tourism bonuses that come online. Production is such an important yield that it's hard for me to see any production building as niche.

    I think you're short-selling the Agribusiness. With all of the +% food modifiers out there base yields of +1 food become stronger and stronger. Any city with some strong farm clusters and pastures could potentially get more food from the +1 bonus than +15% food. I think often times people forget how strong base yields are when multipliers come into affect. Ditto with the Factory- those base yields end up being multiplied by production buildings later on.

    I have less of an opinion on all of the other buildings, other than I think they are generally OK and I'm fine with them staying as they are.
     
  3. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    @Stalker0 I appreciate the post, however a lot of you suggestions would reintroduce the yield creep we've just dug ourselves out of.

    G
     
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  4. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    The comments I agree with most and would like to see some more discussion about is the awkardness of forge->workshop->factory lineage. Is there an easy way to remove the pre-reqs? On the note of the workshop, forests could actually use some love earlier, they got hit really hard when they lost both the herbalist boost and the university boost
     
  5. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    I think forests are weak, but should be. They often provide great tiles early, with 4-5 yields on many resources. Chopping regular forests makes sense. I like it right now. Agree with most of the comments. Late game building costs in general are really high, but I think that's intended.
     
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  6. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Keep in mind I am giving and taking in this review, its not pure yield creep. And even so, a lot of the yield adjustments could be compensated for small changes to instant yields.
     
  7. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Generally I chop now until workshops. 1/2 forests aren't useful to me, but 2/2/1 forests are so I my secondary cities will often get forest benefits. I think the dynamic works decently well right now.
     
  8. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Edit: Decided to put my money where my mouth was and check my food numbers. Looking at my recent progress/fealty game, my cities were generally in the 70-80 range, not 100 as I had said before. So I have adjusted my argument based on that.

    Actually, the vast majority of %food bonuses have been removed in the game. In fact, the only one I see now is the Mandir's 10% food bonus (and I think china's bonus is food%...maybe). And in terms of comparing them, I find it very easy to be generating 70 food by the time agribusiness comes out (before consumption and growth of course). So the old AB would give 10.5 food. That means you need 10.5 farm and Pasture tiles in a city for it just to break even with the old building. That is quite a few tiles.

    I recognize that many of my building thoughts are somewhat subjective, however...I feel confident to say the new AB is weaker than the old one. If it should be weaker than so be it, but objectively it is weaker.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  9. Moi Magnus

    Moi Magnus Emperor

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    Then instead of buffing the problematic buildings, maybe we can reduce their cost.
     
  10. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Agree. It's not comfortable. I'm fine with forge, great for tradition, good for mine heavy cities. I'm not fine with workshop, just a few hammers, another engineer, which you probably won't be able to work at the moment, and buff to forests that you may have chopped early game. Then there are windmills, this building looks like it should be the prerequesite for factory. Windmills is what I need when I'm low in production and infrastructure... so pretty much always I want windmills, plus it adds food, and then I can work another specialist or two. Probably workshop should be left optional, so you only build it when you are in a heavy forested land, or have excess food and happiness and want another engineer.
    About forests, see my answer to ellliots.

    No, they shouldn't. They can be chopped for an early production boost, so if you keep them you should be rewarded. They were too strong before. They are slightly weak now. I'd say add 1 gold with the herbalist, much weaker that +1food in the long term, but not crap.
     
  11. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    I'm actually in agreement that Herbalist may be a tad too niche right now in that it can potentially offer you nothing but 1 food for 1 gold. This wouldn't be a problem but given that it has a policy and pantheon attached to it....
     
  12. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    It also adds a production point to plantations. I find myself wanting it in quite a few cities.
     
  13. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    Why would you have that pantheon if you didn't already want a herbalist?
     
  14. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Because you could have lots of forest around you. Forest bonus resources are upgraded with camps, and if your regional luxury is also camp-based then an herbalist does virtually nothing.

    So now there's a pantheon boost that could be situationally quite useful, but also boosts a building which is also situational, but in a different situation.

    So that's the situation.
     
  15. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    If only there was a pantheon that buffed camps, which you could take instead.
     
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  16. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    Right but not every city has plantations. If your city has no plantation (happens a lot) and no jungles (happens even more) then you are effectively trading 1 gold for 1 food. This makes it unique as an Ancient era building of being capable of providing almost nothing for the player AND not being a prerequisite for any other building.

    You would think that it would be fine, but you also have a policy, a pantheon, and even a wonder that interact with it. That puts it in a somewhat awkward situation in the Ancient/Classical era...

    If a civ went Tradition but had no jungles and no plantations nearby, they would have to build a Herbalist only to get +1 :c5food: +1 :c5science: for -1 :c5gold: at almost twice the production cost of a council that is not only free but would provide +2 :c5science:.and +5 :c5science: on :c5citizen: AND is actually a prerequisite to another building.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  17. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    This isn't a solution to a problem this is avoiding it.

    In this case, if Renewal isn't meant to be used in forested areas then it should only interact with Jungles. But that's not why you take Renewal. You take it for the no-effort benefit you get from it in heavily forested/jungled areas. You typically take non-scaling pantheons for their immediate benefits. You want to build the Herbalist ASAP. The problem here is that Herbalist no longer synergizes as much with forested areas, beyond making herbalist not trash tier for its location.

    But in the case of having camps, might as well just take the Hunt one as you said.... but where does that leave Herbalist again?
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  18. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    Ultimately either Herbalist should be modified to be a bit less niche somehow (increase base :c5food: perhaps), or the policy/pantheon/artemis wonder need to be revisited. Situational utility is fine, but it should at least provide something beyond +1 :c5food: -1 :c5gold: at significant :c5production: cost in its era in the case that you are compelled to build it to make use of said policy/pantheon

    Honestly compare Herbalist to Granary. Both provide +1 food and bonuses to resources, but one not only provides +15% food transfer on population growth, but also is actually a prerequisite for future buildings. Also way cheaper in case you do build it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  19. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I don't think that pantheon is very good in a situation without jungle. The forest yields are nice for mixed jungle/forest areas so it doesn't need to change. Long term I don't plan to keep forests, so I wouldn't take this on heavy forest, and that is okay. It reminds of the guy who took the culture for grassland tiles just because he had a lot of grassland. Its still not right for that situation, and that's okay, not a balance problem.

    The herbalist is no more situational than the stoneworks. You don't need herbalists as tradition, if its still not worth building with +1 science, just don't build it. If the council is way better, build the council first. Its amazing on jungle or with plantations so I build it quite often.
     
  20. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    "It's not worth building +1 science" in literally all of your cities? How would it ever be acceptable for an ancient era policy tree to have a component be potentially completely useless? A science yield no less in what's supposed to be a scaling component.

    Just because it's good in some situations doesn't make it fine as is.

    And it's not even comparable to Stone Works. You still get a benefit from stone works IF you can construct it because you need something in order to construct it. You can never only have a base +1 production from it. Not to mention production from trade routes. Also not tied to a policy.

    Again the major issue here is that we have an arguably situational building in tier 2 Ancient that is not a prerequisite for anything else but is also part of policy tree, a pantheon that has an odd interaction with it now, and a free building from a wonder (lol my fault for that).

    NBD though if Herbalist should remain untouched. At least look at the policy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018

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