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City Development

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Thalassicus, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I like big buffs to the forge and workshop; they are a good way for rewarding large city specialization.
    But 50% is far too much of a buff.
    I think the 50% military buff on the arsenal is also too much.
    Increasing the vanilla values by a factor of 1.5 is a good start in general, but I think the more-than-doubling is too much.

    I don't think you should think of this as a 20% increase in total hammers, I think you should think of this as doubling the increase from the building.

    If in vanilla it was worth building at 15 hammers, now its worth building at 8 hammers, which is almost every city you have.
    It should not be the design goal to make every building worth having in every city.

    With the military unit production, you're ignoring the synergy benefits you can get from using gold to buy and stack up all the XP-yielding boosting buildings and then all the production boosting buildings in a single city, and producing massively experienced units very very rapidly.

    When you add big boosts to early buildings like the forge and workshop and windmill, you also end up indirectly nerfing the factory. Factories should be a huge deal; they should make coal important, and they should be a large production boost at an efficient build cost.
     
  2. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    I am in favor of any improvement that makes ignored buildings worth building. More to the point, I am in favor of more choices - be they terrain improvements, and building or unit construction - as along as they don't throw the game's intended essential balance out of whack. That balance is an intuitive sense which these mods have somehow maintained so far. I'd prefer to keep pushing the envelope inch by inch, knowing it can always be pulled back if need be (as it was with chariots or discovering iron with Mining).
     
  3. harry_flashman

    harry_flashman Chieftain

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    Yeah, I think it's way too much. In my game I've landed in a very hilly area, have built farms and mines and got a bunch of maritimes.
    Post workshops my production times are just too quick. Coupled with the other improvements to production and longer research times I will end up having no problem building every building in my cities. Which pretty much means city specification is gone, which is one of the reasons I'm playing with the mod in the first place.
     
  4. harry_flashman

    harry_flashman Chieftain

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    actually heres a copy of the save.

    only one maritime now i look at it. the rest of the food comes from various livestock buffed from my smokehouses. I feel like i've got too much production now ive got 50% workshops. all intuitive mind, ive got no head for crunching numbers...
    i think due to the possibility of getting terrain like this, it kind of throws the math out a little.

    i was going to restart without the mod, but i think ill play on to see how it turns out. and i want to see just how much gold memphis can pump out, with about six silver/golds and a mint. we'll be using gold to make our public lavatories. :king:
     

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  5. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    I agree it seems a lot. I'm no maths expert either, but it seems like a no-brainer to build it in every city after the 2 or 3 most urgent buildings.

    I consider monuments essential to gain some tiles, a colloseum to stay in positive happiness, plus libraries in every city I expect to have a decent population. There might also be local necessecities like work boats or a smokehouse.

    After that, I'm usually less sure what to do.
    Gold cities need a market soon, but they might be not be available yet. Barracks for military cities might not be urgent if there's no war or I already have enough units, and aqueducts seem less urgent to me as long as the city is growing well anyway (<10 pop).
    So I'd often build workshops at this point, regardless of city type or situation.

    Is this desirable? Am I right? Should a workshop be standard for every single city? Honestly, I have no idea. Actually, your argumentation is much more profound than mine. I can only suggest to ask known deity players about their opinion.
     
  6. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    Thal - don't forget that you could buff workshops by reducing cost (and/or maintenance) as well. A workshop with 30% boost at 85 hammers would greatly improve the ROI without making it feel OP. As for the arsenal, I've never built it! At 50% I might, but rarely and only in specialized cities, so I don't think that's too much.
     
  7. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    I was just about to suggest this. The needle being threaded here is to make workshops more viable, without eliminating choice or (Ahriman) diluting the sudden power of factories. Speaking broadly, workshops should be part of the mix of a productive city, but not transform it.
     
  8. SlightlyMad

    SlightlyMad Prince

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    Keep in mind also that building workshops allows construction of the iron works, which while not as hugely powerful as in previous games, can still mean the difference between missing or catching a wonder in your production city.
     
  9. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Making it cheaper while providing the old effect seems like an excellent idea! Way less risk of being overpowered lategame in old, powerful cities.
     
  10. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I like the idea of cheaper workshops rather than more productive.

    Another thing to consider with them is their engineer specialist slot. Without early libraries, its much easier to get a couple of engineer specialists at least, which are a nice way to pick up some midgame Wonders (which you're otherwise unlikely to beat the AI to).
     
  11. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Something to keep in mind is cheaper workshops do not solve the primary problem described in the earlier post - under a certain base hammers, workshops hurt you more than they help you. No matter what the cost is, you should never build them in cities under 10 base production, or wonder/military cities. They're of marginal benefit in cities under 15 base production, and really only recommended at 20+.

    In the games I've played this typically rules them out in all cities until the Industrial era, when hospitals and the Fertilizer boost kick in sufficiently to get high populations (and therefore high production). It's even worse in vanilla without the fertilizer, mine or lumbermill bonuses. This is my main problem with the workshop. Why have a building available at the early Medieval if constructing it before the Industrial stage penalizes you?

    In addition, lower cost does not help solve the issues of cost-ineffective late game buildings. There seem to be three choices:

    • Increase workshop production 20%.
    • Reduce late-game building costs, or increase their effect. (Buffing 1 building seems more elegant than buffing a dozen buildings.)
    • Add a new late-game production building. (I generally try to avoid adding new buildings whenever possible.)

    Choice A only affects a single building and solves multiple problems, which is why I implemented it last month.
     
  12. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    This is a good thing. You shouldn't want to build them everywhere.

    This makes no logical sense to me.
    If they only had a cost of 10 hammers, you would want to build them everywhere, because they would pay back in 10 turns even if you only produced 5 hammers in that city.
    Unless you're comparing to the gold maintenance cost?

    Also, I think your 15 hammer story makes sense at ~20% bonus. I don't think anyone disagrees that 20% bonus is too small, I think we just feel that 50% bonus is far too high. Try 30%, or even 35%.

    I think its very important that the workshop *isn't* something you want to build in small or non-specialized cities. The way to fight ICS is to make sure that large cities are rewarded because of valuable % multiplier buildings that aren't worth building in cities too small.
    This of course is one argument against making the hammer or maintenance cost too small; if they're too small, then its worth building them even in your size 4-6 ICS cities.
     
  13. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    This is what I had assumed would be under consideration in tandem with a lower building/maintenance cost.
     
  14. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    @Ahriman
    I explained it in the earlier post. I've highlighted the important portions:

    Maintenance is a fixed expense, so in a city of low base hammers, the workshop is providing a net negative value. It's draining the economy and incurred the initial cost. The exact value at which workshops reach this penalizing state is debatable, as it depends on the value ratio. Since yields and specialists are typically around 1:1 in vanilla this is the ratio I selected.

    It's also important to keep in mind the real figures are higher than what I described, since TVM is left out. There's also the issue of late-game cost effectiveness described a few posts up.

    A 4% increase (1.3 / 1.25) doesn't make a significant impact, which is why I went for a 20% increase (1.5/1.25). At this level, workshops will only hurt you in cities of <4:c5production:, and become valuable at around 10:c5production:. These are more reasonable levels for a medieval non-military/wonder city. You do still incur the initial cost hit, but it becomes a worthwhile tradeoff of investment vs consumption, instead of a bad choice all around (like in vanilla).
     
  15. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    (double post)
     
  16. al-rashid

    al-rashid Chieftain

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    great mods, they really improve the game. just wondering though would a it be possible to make a mod to remove the happiness bonus the ai get? or is their a specfic reason they have it like, the ai's inability to keep it in check?
     
  17. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    The alpha-stage WWGD (What Would Gandhi Do) mod does this. I believe it's compatible with the Balance mods.
     
  18. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I don't think that 1:1 hammers:gold accurately represents the current game. The clearest demonstration of this is that mines give +1 hammers while trading posts give +2 gold, and that people think engineers are fine at +2 hammers but merchants are weak at +2 gold.

    But even if it were true, you would be paying off the maintenance cost as long as the building gave you +2 hammers. At a 50% bonus, you get this when your city produces 4 hammers. If it produces 6 hammers, you'll pay off in 100 turns (50% of 6 gives 3 extra, 2 for maintenance means 1 that gets counted towards paying off the 100 hammer cost of workshop). For a city producing 10 hammers, the workshop pays off in 33 turns. For a city producing 16 hammers, the workshop pays off in 17 turns. Thats too much, IMO.

    Agreed, though there's also the value of the specialist slot.

    How so?
    Balance these around building them when you get the tech (and having them for most of the rest of the game), not whether they're worth building in a newly settled city in the modern era.

    1.3 vs 1.25 is increasing the value of the workshop by 20% over its vanilla value; thats a significant buff.
    Increasing to 1.5 over 1 is increasing the value by 100% over its vanilla value, thats a gargantuan buff.
    I don't think considering the % change in total city output over total city output in vanilla is a useful statistic to be considering here.

    At 50%, it becomes basically a no-brainer in every city over ~size 4-6.
    I don't think thats desirable.
    I think its crucially important that these buildings not be worth building in small cities, else more cities are always better even if they are small.

    The problem is even more pronounced when combined with your tile yield boosts; a size 6 city working 2 mines and everything else grassland, will produce 9 hammers after engineering.
    A size 12 city with 3 mines, 3 plains farms or trading posts, 1 lumbermill, 5 grassland farms or trading posts will be producing 18 hammers, which means its getting +9 hammers from this building; payback period of ~14 turns, and everything else is pure profit.

    I think considering only the low end of where they become profitable ignores how powerful they become at the higher end.
     
  19. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Out of context, a workshop being useful in a 10 hammer city seems reasonable. So seemingly the concern is that they are OP enough to eliminate choice because they allow everything to be built at too early a stage. So why don't we test it at these levels and see what in-hame effect they actually have?

    Off-topic: is the American free-tile bug fixed?
     
  20. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    I just love the highly interesting and sophisticated discussions here on CFC! :) This is the most enjoyable gaming forum ever. Just wanted to leave a little compliment for my fellow forumites ;)

    Back to topic, behind all the mathematical calculations I have a feeling we should solve a more philosophical question first:

    Thal's goal is (seemingly) to make workshops useful enough so they almost NEVER hurt you and you get a benefit most of the time.
    Ahriman seems to favour workshops that are more difficult to use and more situational.

    I think there's no right or wrong here, this is first and foremost a question of enjoyable gameplay.

    There are three things I think we should base this directional decision upon:

    - How does the AI use workshops? How should they be designed to not hurt the already weak AI?

    - Maybe we should stay as close to the vanilla role of workshops as possible. AFAIK the goal of this mod is to balance the game, not to fundamentally change the gameplay from vanilla. If workshops seem to be intended as situational building for advanced cities, we shouldn't turn them into a must-have for every city.

    - Finally, workshops should be clear enough in their role to be usable even for players who haven't read our discussion or crunched numbers for hours. If they are super-situational and very hard to use right, there might be something wrong with them.
     

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