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Came back after a few months, district cost formula still kills the game

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Tomice, May 4, 2017.

  1. HF22

    HF22 Warlord

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    @Felis Renidens

    On that logic, isn't the inflating cost of districts redundant? That is, shouldn't the inflating cost of the more advanced buildings be sufficient?

    In which case, maybe a better idea would be for districts to be basically free upfront (thinking of them as essentially a zoning decision), with say a high maintenance cost.

    Then they could be like Civ 4 cities, where they start off as a resource drain, which needs to be made good by development (ie adding buildings which turn them into net contributors)?
     
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  2. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    District cost
    =[60*(1+9*Larger of [100*(Number of Techs/67 OR Number of Civics/50)]/100] * 75%

    Chop cost
    Basevalue..25fp/50gold for bonus ...20 for features
    =Base Value*(1+9*Larger of [100*(Number of Techs/67 OR Number of Civics/50)]/100)

    Project Cost
    Cost=25*(1+14*Larger of [100*(Number of Techs/67 OR Number of Civics/50)]/100)

    Taken from https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/formula-thread.600534/
    blessed is @KrikkitTwo

    NOTE: if you notice all 3 consider the larger so if you race up the civic or tech path rather than being balanced you are not doing yourself any favors with regard to districts... Also saving your tech advances down to that last 1 are pointless if you have raced through your civics or the other way around.

    To me this makes the game interesting and not so neat and simple that a "purist" can neatly say X is the answer and your are wrong for doing Y. I love Civ 6 for the choices.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
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  3. Felis Renidens

    Felis Renidens Prince

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    You still need the infrastructure, and even from a basic district you get something. I guess they can do many things but I think production is a better balance than gold in civ6. If it was gold I'd probably had explained it away. Every civ game has such system - from corruption and waste to gold cost to science penalty to district cost. I think district cost does it better than corruption and waste and that in civ6 it's logical to balance on production and not gold and I'm glad they don't balance on science because that was annoying.
     
  4. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Yes I used to think that but changed my mind a couple of months ago and @MadDjinn & @Browd made things clearer in another thread yesterday.

    To me production is king but gold is god. They both have their place...

    Production is what maintains our cities, speeds them up and truly gives our advantage over the AI at higher levels (and combat ofc). It also is required for building districts.

    Gold is more globally usable, you can buy in a city with low production and you can buy things like Great people. Once you have built the district you can buy the buildings in there... You can even buy the builder to chop the wood to build the district to buy the buildings.

    This makes gold more godlike but it is a limited resource from a global pool and production just keeps churning away in each city. Gold is the magic that answers the prayers when production cannot.

    I am not sure you can equate one to the other value wise. they have their places in different parts of the pyramid.
     
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  5. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    I still love Civ IV's way of dealing with ICS...and so I instinctively like this suggestion.
     
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  6. HF22

    HF22 Warlord

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    @Felis Renidens

    I don't have a firm view if balancing on production or gold is intrinsically better. Making districts cheap production wise might need balancing with extra buildings with a production cost (spaceports would likely need a building or two extra for example).

    But its worth noting in Civ 6 ATM production is tight, but gold is plentiful. So it might be helpful to balance that out by changing the yield districts cost, though it would need testing to confirm if that is a good idea or not.
     
  7. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    What? I'm talking about from a games mechanic standpoint. In past Civ games there were no districts, just buildings, and districts are just buildings that sit on tiles.

    As mentioned earlier: scale the cost with the number of a particular district in your empire, scale the district cost with techs that actually boost districts, scale the cost with time. Some of these solutions aren't ideal (I think a flat cost is better), but they're better than what's currently implemented.
     
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  8. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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  9. PendragonWRB

    PendragonWRB Prince

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    Factories provide an area of effect, so that justifies some extra cost. Your argument about dirt cheap means as the game goes on you should build less and less districts. That doesn't make sense. It doesn't make sense to penalize cities being built late in the game.
     
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  10. Jimdigriz

    Jimdigriz Prince

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    Never thought of this before really but I agree that districts take too long to build when you need to factor in the buildings to go in them. Not by much but certainly a bit long. Good thing with the Aztecs is that their builders can speed this up which is a godsend in my present game! (Trouble is, I might get too used to it!)
     
  11. Leyrann

    Leyrann Deity

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    The Civ IV system was pretty good gameplay-wise and explainable flavour-wise, I agree. However, it feels much more like an in-the-way thing than the scaling district costs do. I've never been like "oh no I need to be careful my districts don't get too expensive" while in Civ IV you're constantly thinking "okay, can I build that city now or is it better to wait for a bit so I don't have to put my science rate down to 50%". It's a system I can't critque a lot, but the increasing district costs are "smoother", I guess I would call it. Can't really put into words how it feels, but I like scaling district costs more than maintenance costs.

    So in your eyes, a district is just, as mentioned earlier, a zoning tool?

    I mean, that's fine, but it's not how I view districts. I would say that placing the district also includes building roads, shops, sewers, you know, everything that you need to get a place running. And the amount of things you need to keep a place running, as mentioned before, increases with time. In the ancient, classical and medieval era, there were, for example, no sewers (excluding some empires like the Roman Empire, of course), maybe not even the renaissance yet. As for electricity, it wasn't until late industrial/early modern era that it was introduced. Etc.

    Scale the cost with number of a particular district in your empire: An understandable choice, most certainly, but this strongly pushes you into building a few of everything, and on top of that is probably the hardest to explain flavour-wise. Additionally, it discourages pursuing a victory as it will feel very annoying if you just want to focus on, for example, a Culture Victory, and are trying to get all those Theater Squares up as soon as possible, and by the time you have five of them placing down another one will cost 80 turns - and you don't yet have a lot of trade routes, nor is your city going to double it's production by growing from size one to size four, as it's already size five.

    Scale the district cost with techs that actually boost districts: I'm sorry, but not a page back this has been explained clearly by someone else, it doesn't work. It means that you have what, five or six times the district cost increases (or do you want them to triple in cost every time?), times twelve districts, meaning you have 60 of your combined ~130 techs and civics (do we even have that many?) that give a cost increase, every second one of them. On top of that, it would mean things like "it's actually best to delay education if you're going for a lot of science, as your campuses will get more expensive once you get it" instead of "yeah, district costs rise as you advance through the ages as they get slightly higher every time you research a tech or civic". Making it scale only with techs that have a relation to the district gives you sudden bursts of price increases which are either played around with annoyance or not played around and being met with more annoyance, while making it scale over time makes you not care (too much) about the price increase as it'll be there no matter what you research first.

    Scale the cost with time: I'm pretty pretty sure I've explained that in the post I made before the one you're currently replying to, so one time my post up in the quote line. Starting from "districts have to scale during the game" (which is a different discussion from this one), if you choose between making them scale with time or making them scale with techs and civics, then making them scale with time hurts civs that are behind in favour of those that are ahead - not to mention civs that are eliminated and then get liberated - while making them scale with techs and civics actually slightly help civs that are behind (comparatively; it's quite possible of course that the civ ahead still pumps them out faster because they got Apprentinceship or Industrialization or just bigger cities or whatever). In a game like Civ, where being ahead in and of itself is an advance simply because you keep unlocking more and more as the game progresses, it can't hurt to have a few mechanics that keep the snowballing in check. The game snowballs naturally, and certainly doesn't need help doing so.
     
  12. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    Obviously. Does every post need to be ended with "in my opinion"?

    My perception of districts is based directly on the game benefits they give. In general, unless you have a large amount of particular city-state bonuses, the districts themselves are just minor speedbumps you build on the way to buildings, which provide you with more benefits. If the districts themselves gave more benefit, I could see stacking more of the cost up-front with the district. But flavor being mutable (which it is, you can stretch the flavor to fit any of the explanations listed here fairly easily), it makes a lot more sense to make the reward more appropriately proportional to the investment. If the districts cost more than the buildings, then they should provide more benefits than the buildings. This is generally not the case.

    Even with all the negatives you list (and hell, quite a few of them are perfectly applicable to the current system, just with slightly different circumstances and encouraging different but still very gamey behavior), they still come out ahead of the current system. Thus this thread.
     
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  13. c4c6

    c4c6 Prince

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    I don't like, what I read about micromanaging the artificial delay of techs/civics in order to reduce district costs.

    District cost = [60*(1+9*Larger of [100*(Number of Techs/67 OR Number of Civics/50)]/100] * 75%

    Wouldn't it help to just not calculate with the finished techs/civics, but also with the commenced techs/civics (in percentage of completion)?
    (regardless whether you have 3 techs @ 25% or 1 tech @ 75%, you could have, say, "26.75 techs")

    Alternatively global variables "Σ of all produced science points" and "Σ of all produced culture points" could be used (in an adapted Formula)?!
     
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  14. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    I guess I'm also hinting that if they did feel the need to look at ICS again (and I'm not saying I've thought about it enough; but some feel it's an issue in VI), IV is my preferred template. And -maybe in relation to districts- I think it bothers me less than scaling (another thing I haven't put much thought, or maths, into); as in it is very immersive i.e. paying for a certain amount of infrastructure upfront, which in turn encourages you to invest properly into what you've built before you can consider willy nilly slapping down another, and another, etc.
     
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  15. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

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    Yes, the current mechanic for tech-civic scaling of cost for districts only leads to meta gaming, not to actual choice.

    A different mechanic where the cost scaled based upon adjacency bonus, and how many you happen to have of a given district, (or lack thereof) would make it much better. It would give the player more utility in district choices, trim up the spam of districts and create conflict over good locations for districts.
     
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  16. MooFreaky

    MooFreaky Meatbag Destroyer

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    It doesn't mean you should build less, it means you should be building around the same. It is always possible to get enough production where you need it to get districts in similar time frames. It just means that you can't plonk whatever you want without thought.

    I disagree that it doesn't lead to choice. The inflating cost means that you have to decide what is important and how important it is to you. Is it actually worthwhile to me to play this district given the situation. Rather than hey let's just put whatever down because it all costs the same.
    And every aspect of the game leads to meta gaming. However you change the system it will lead to meta gaming. If you scale it based on number of districts, you would be "well I plan on settling over there later, so I won't place a district here because it will make it more expensive in my later city". "I plan to place an currently unavailable district here later, so I need this district to go next to that one, and if I build them in this order then I will get the most efficient cog usage".
    It really is a matter of people saying this form of metagaming is okay and "makes sense" while that form of meta gaming "doesn't make sense"
     
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  17. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    I agree, Plenty of people make sweeping thoughtless statements like that.
    Also
    This meta gaming is not that big.
    For a start we want to beeline stuff and we are not meta gaming when we beeline... and when I tried meta gaming this is was a crap thing to do anyway because I always am wanting something next. Yes there are times when that meta gaming takes over from the beeline but not that often. For example I want archery damn quick but not until that last slinger is built so I hold off for one turn... but that is nothing to do with district prices.
    The meta game I play for districts is placing but not building, that is the big exploit here in my opinion.
    For a start if you nearly build a civic, you cannot start on the next one, and how many are Available at once? It's a small thing compared to district placing.

    Can someone who does meta game for districts give me a good example?

    Interesting but not true in all cases, I thought so at first then played a game with that in mind.

    When I place my harbour next to my centre and 1 fish I get +3 gold a trade route and an admiral point. I often ignore the lighthouse for quite a while

    When I place my CH next to those two I get 5 -7 extra gold, more than the market. And a extra trade route

    When I place my campus I really am keen on those adjacency bonuses but yes Inwill span in library and uni as well

    When I place my theatre I get sod all but I know that when I get to fill the internal buildings it will be awesome.

    When I place my ED it is for the initial amenity but will build the arena if I have time ... maybe not efficiently

    When I place my IZ my adjacency can count for more than what is inside but I personally place it for the internal trade route bonus

    You mentioned the CS value but I tend to also think trade routes

    So sometimes a speed bump but often for me a petrol station I will stop at for a while
     
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  18. Leyrann

    Leyrann Deity

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    Then give me the negatives of the current system and why they're worse than the other systems, in the same way that I gave them for your proposed systems. For reference, my post:

     
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  19. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    To me it makes sense and scales fairly well to me and as discussed provides civs that are lagging behind some hope of catching up... As the AI builds few districts this is intended as a mechanism for the player to catch up with the AI if the player is lagging behind. If the player is in front of the AI they get no benefit from the mechanism, quite the opposite. It seems to me this is a very sensible anti snowballing design I applaud greatly hence why I argue the point so hard.

    The Districts are a container that hold the buildings.... That container in 10BC can hold much less value than a container created in 1010 AD. A container is not the buildings inside it... it has an inherent value based on what can be held inside it. That value increases with time. However If you want to chop with builders you still get the same value you once did to some degree as chopping uses the same scaling mechanism.... the by itself phrase is incorrect because its potential within a few turns of providing more value is greater. It is a new concept to civ which is why it may seem weird. To me it is like a city within a city.

    Because the districts are not buildings they are containers that can be filled fast if you have the gold and you get a better filled container later than earlier. If I build a harbor it will give me gold and a trade route and food with a lighthouse. I invest in that early because I want that early... but later it has a shipyard I can get +14 production off then do I build it early or wait until I can get a shipyard and build it then because it is cheaper due to the fact you get more production and gold later in the game. if it was a flat cost I may wait but if it is scaled its not so straight forward. It brings choice to the game.

    This is because all districts are not created equal, some are stronger that others so need minor nerfs via cards etc.

    And I suspect this is the crux of it. If something feels weird, unless you can grow to accept the arguments you will not be convinced. That this method is anti snowballing in nature and that if you want to avoid increased costs, chop the district in. That it is a container with the ability to hold more later than earlier. It is your opinion and I respect that. I am just saying I feel the counter arguments provided cover your concerns and while it may not be perfect its does the job.

    The par building of civics and techs is a tiny thing that when you try and do is pretty pointless most of the time. It has just been ballooned due to the fact its deemed a gamey exploit. Its a pretty crap one if you ask me.

    The early placement and not building of districts is a more stronger feature that I agree makes me feel a little uncomfortable and I cede this even though you have not raised it.
     
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  20. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    At this point I'd just be repeating myself. Again. The negatives have been discussed at length in this thread. If you're unwilling to acknowledge them or read the posts, I see no point in continuing, as writing it again certainly won't help.

    I'll concede that generally the Harbor and Commercial Hub are worth it for the trade route, without the buildings, but most of the other districts need the buildings to really begin to shine. A Campus, Theater Square, Holy Site, etc. might get a high adjacency bonus in some cases, but if you build them in several cities chances are you're going to end up with a lower adjacency bonus than what the first + second tier buildings provide (unless you get exceptionally lucky with placement and/or city-states). In particular the Entertainment District and Industrial Zone I'll never build unless I feel I'm going to get some value out of the regional buildings.

    Anti-snowballing needs to be handled carefully. This is not. This feels bad, being punished for progress. You never want to do that to a player. In isolated instances it can pass as an oversight, but this is a rather core mechanic.

    Very little of that actually has anything to do with scaling costs. The planning, choice, and strategy would still be there if you place the district later. Opportunity costs are generally the most vital costs to consider in Civ, if you didn't build a district earlier it's because you built something else. I just don't approve of the game going the extra mile to punish the choice with an arbitrarily increased cost in the meantime.

    But I'll contend something: the value does not increase over time. Only its potential value, after additional investment. In which case, the increased cost should come from the additional investment itself, not the first step. Investment. Reward. Outlined this clearly.

    It's less about that particular exploit to me as much as the poor design choices that it makes clear.
     
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