Complaints about random events

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by civfanchambers, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    Part of the dislike of huts and events comes from the competitive and learning aspects of the forum, as randomness is a bad thing to have in either.

    While I personally dislike huts and event type events, I don't have a of problem with quests, at least conceptually, as they require some kind investment to achieve something and reap rewards.
    The only balance change revolts create is the unbalancing of slavery against itself. Think of an MP scenario, 2 players, both adopt slavery, all else being equal one player recieves 5 slave revolts in the capital by 1AD, whos going to win?

    If it was really needed to reduce the strength of slavery for balance reasons then there should be some thought put into it e.g. more or longer unhappiness. A mechanic that in practice merely unbalances an object against itself is totally moronic.

    Same scenario but with a different event, one player recieves 3 forest fires on the trot starting turn 20.... who wins?
    Forest fires are even worse, as without hut gold your unlikey to be able to afford to pay it off, meaing your bound to get another couple on the following turns and it makes you lose a lot of :hammers:.
    Or will you argue that you should spend the first few turns after settling with 0% :science: as well as building warriors?
    IIRC Its possible for the Vedic Aryan event to pop up so early it would still be a crapshoot to win if you had been building warriors from the start, so if someone lost like that would "shoulda played inca" been added to your argument then?
    The logical end to this argument of course is that as V.E cannot be predicted you should always build lots of warriors at the start every game to prevent something that is unlikely to come and in doing so castrate your empire, well, either that or take losses at random for doing something that isn't a mistake most of the time....
    How this can be defended as "balancing" is frankly mindboggling.
     
  2. DigitalBoy

    DigitalBoy Emperor

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    The problem isn't with Slavery; it's with Caste System and Serfdom. Serfdom has always been straight up awful, and nothing has been done to change that. The infinite specialist slots for Caste System is potentially useful, but the loss of whipping generally hurts you more than the specialist slots can stand to help you.

    Slavery is indeed powerful, to the point where you'd be handicapping yourself for not using it in at least some capacity, but I'm convinced it plays an important and necessary role in the game. Not every city site is going to have good hammer-producing tiles. What every city does have in some quantity or another, is food. What Slavery does is provide an essential means of production for cities that may not otherwise have any practical way of producing hammers.

    The bonus hammer for workshops under Caste System was a step in the right direction, as it gives an alternative way to divert surplus food into production, but workshops still manage to be pretty bad until you at least get to Guilds.

    Point being, if there was a balance problem with Slavery, then slave revolts didn't do anything to resolve it.

    "Worker first" is not a strategy that needs to be nerfed, least of all by a random event that you can't see coming and don't have time to react to once it happens. Building a huge military isn't something you should be required to have from turn zero; that's why the barbarians are hard-coded not to intrude upon your borders until there are a certain number of cities on the map.
     
  3. ZeekLTK

    ZeekLTK Warlord

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    Of course the counter point is that Civ wasn't necessarily made to be a "competitive" game. The only reason there are win conditions is to give a sense of conclusion to each session so that it doesn't feel like you just spent all that time playing one map and accomplished nothing.

    But there is a reason that the AI doesn't necessarily "play to win", because the game would not be as much fun if they did.
     
  4. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    That line was just to address the topic, combined with randomness messing up learner games it is afterall a major reason that many forumgoers shun events and huts.
    Though the competitive balance of the game can't be ignored either, it is a multiplayer game afterall!

    Don't get me wrong, I can understand why people like the randomness of events, i'm just glad I can turn them off :p
     
  5. Kallikrates

    Kallikrates Prince

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    The civics are not thought out very well, IMO. A few are too powerful, others are useless and there should be more restrictions/penalties for some combinations that are conceptually and historically very strange.

    There is nothing in principle wrong with randomness, but many aspects of its implementation in the game truly suck. The battles might average out when 10 or 100 units are involved, but certainly not when your first two warriors are lost to barb animals.

    Religious spreading seems completely broken. Right now I am trying the isolated Pacal (from Lonely Hearts, a truly awful starting land) and I founded Taoism in 425 AD (late, but some nut founded Confucianism ridiculously early and I missed the Oracle as well, would have been too late anyway). Of course the religion was founded in one of the worst cities (on ice, basically to get to copper and silver). I sent the missionary to the capital. (I am not sure if this is on purpose, there is a bias against the capital, I believe) and after some time another one in a city with lots of food where I wanted the National Epic. As I have the Great Lighthouse and Currency, 6 of 8 cities have 4 trade routes, almost all one into the capital. Now it's around 1200 and I liberated Astronomy. Taoism has NOT SPREAD TO ANY OF MY CITIES in about 60 turns!!!! It just has not spread at all, despite only domestic trade routes and no contact.

    Now I probably get all kinds of foreign religions with the trans-oceanic routes. It was not a huge problem, because I had 3 happiness goods. But it definitely sucks if you rely on religion for happiness in isolation. The prob should be something like 5-10% per turn if there is a trade route in a religious city OF MY OWN. This is just not working, if something like this can happen. And I remember quite a few similar cases, although none as extreme.
    And other than with unlucky battles or maybe Great persons, you can't even reload a turn if the religion doesn't spread.
     
  6. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    Religion spread doesn't have anything to do with trade routes, all that matters is that a city with no religion has a route to the holy city (so that a trade route between the two could exist, it doesn't have to). The odds are then determined by distance and the existance, or non existance of the shrine

    Religion founding location has a big bias against the capital, and a bias against cities with an existing religion (though that wasn't the case for you)
     
  7. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    Actually the slave revolts strengthens spiritual. Which many consider a second tier trait.

    But if you're playing MP, huts and events should not be used if your ego is so large that you can't handle losing to a lessor player. JK Or if you're looking to equalize it as best as possible.
    We still use them in MP games just to listen to people whine during slave revolts. About the 7th or 8th turn you swear they're going to bust a blood vessel. To us, even MP games are about the fun and not necessarily about winning. True winning is more fun but if that's the reason you're playing, you probably shouldn't be.

    And in MP games the archer event isn't as bad because if you haven't built any defenses yet, another human player will play that role. (I still wish it was rigged to happen not quite so early)

    It's all about personal opinion. No one is absolutely right or wrong.
     
  8. Kallikrates

    Kallikrates Prince

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    I was certain that only the trade route to ANY city with the religion mattered. If only the Holy City spread the religion it would be much slower than it usually is. (Of course in the beginning, only the holy city has the religion). But if you are right, this could be an explanation as the holy city in this case was the second smallest or so, although coastal and therefore with 4 routes.
    FWIW in three turns after I had the international trade routes, two cities became islamic and in another few turns one hindu. I could go back and check whether they had holy city trade routes.
     
  9. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    I had a four city empire the other day when I founded conf. AS I was sending the freebie back to my cap it got converted before it arrived. The same happened to the next two cities so I was fully converted in 3-4 turns and had a free missionary to send my neighbors way. Sometimes life is good.
     
  10. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    This is the bottom line; you have hit it squarely. If you play multi-player the source of competition is the other player(s). If you are posting something on a forum showing 'I can win better quicker bigger' then the source of competition is the other player(s). Turn off events.

    If you are playing the game as a complex form of solitaire then events add to the game...because as you said you have to 'nerf' your empire to account for them even though they rarely happen, which makes the AI more competetive (since the AI will nerf their empires just in case). Or you can turn them off and play a less complex form of solitaire...but there's cards for that.

    By the way 'pump out warriors' doesn't necessarily exclude 'worker first'...it does pretty much exclude 'don't build any military until I can rush axemen' though.
     
  11. elmurcis

    elmurcis Emperor

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    I had strange situation... I found Judaism in 2nd city (lot of gemsss :D ) and I need that +25% production bonus in capital (for chops).. so i decide to build missionary.. when I whip it.. next turn capital gets Judaism (1 turn before missionary could get into capital). Okay, I will try to wait instead of building missionary (reload ofcourse :D )... And now.. nope, religion didn't got to capital before chops were finished... okay, lets reload again and whip someting else (workboat) in 2nd city... yes, now its worked and got religion to capital without building missionary :) seems that whip change something in randomness of the game :)
     
  12. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    did you have the change seed option on when reloading?

    I always play same seed to lessen the temptation to reload. I always try to never do it, but the temptation when you lose that 99.7 GG attack is large. :)
     
  13. Kallikrates

    Kallikrates Prince

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    Yes, I also had cases of rather quick spread, but also many ones where I had to build the missionaries for my own cities. That's what I mean with "broken".
    Did anyone of the code divers work out the mechanisms/probabilities for spread? There must be a trade route between the cities in question, but I am pretty sure that any city that has the religion contributes to the spread.
    And how does the shrine figure? It says it spreads the religion. Also by trade routes or does maybe geographical distance matter as well? In the lonely hearts Ramesses I try for cultural victory and have the Conf shrine, but later also founded Tao (no shrine). In fact Tao spread considerably faster...
    In many cases all this is no big deal. But when you are isolated (often screwed anyway with lack of happiness and/or strategic ressources), it does. And if there is a prob each turn for the religion to spread to another city there should be something after 50-60 turns...
     
  14. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    Yes they have, the findings can be found in the spreading the word section in this thread

    Summed up its what I posted previously
    Though the bolded word 'route' may have caused confusion. What I meant by it is that the holy city and non religion cities are connected somehow.
    Shrines double the chance of spread, and the base chance is determined by geographic distance between the holy city and a city the religion can spread to.

    I know the way you put it doesn't mean this explicitly, but the event can happen from either t20 or t30 at Emp+, which means you would need to in practice.
    You may have to nerf your empire some to block the most ******** early one, but events in general tend to be far more devastating to the AIs than humans, and some basically hand you effortless wins i.e. tower shields, marathon runner.
    Wheras huts may genuinly make it harder at high levels due to AI free units, but humans will get a lot more mileage out of the stuff they get, for example free BW, AH or IW may turn an otherwise hard game into a cakewalk.

    In the end all that matters is whether someone prefers to play with huts and events or not, and that they can play with or without them at their discretion. Theres no need, nor point in trying to justify them through talk of balance or challenge, because it ceases to make sense fast.
     
  15. Lennier

    Lennier Emperor

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    This. If you like huts/events, turn them on. If not, turn them off.
     
  16. Timsup2nothin

    Timsup2nothin Deity

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    I agree with this wholeheartedly.

    Do you think it ceases to make sense just as fast when people justify turning them off through talk of 'game breaking' and 'no place for randomness in a strategy game'?
     
  17. Kallikrates

    Kallikrates Prince

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    o.k., maybe I misunderstood. But this quote from the "Dona eis religiones" seems to say that it does not have to be a direct trade route to the holy city (which is what I understood you to have said above).

    "Trade Network connected means almost what it sounds like; there must be a connection between the converted city and the holy city - that is, the cities must be part of the same plot group. Plot groups are determined by explicit routes (roads, railroads), and terrain routes (oceans, rivers, coastline). These latter types depend on which technologies have been discovered by the owner(s) of the cities."

    As I understand this, in my situation (isolated on an Island with about 8 cities, of course only domestic trade routes) all of my cities would belong to one "plot group" which included the holy city.
    So it shouldn't make such a big difference, if it spreads from the capital or the holy city although the bad non-central location of the latter would be a factor.
    But I was wrong as I thought, ANY religious city would spread with some probability (which would make sense, historically, Xtianity spread to Germany from Ireland, not from Rome or Jerusalem)
    EDIT: Of course the last sentence does not really apply, as it spread by missionaries, not spontaneously...
     
  18. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    Yeah, my choice of wording wasn't very clear.

    It sounds as though it was primarily a bad luck problem on your part :p
    Hmm, the things I chose as leading to nonsense I chose because as arguments they really couldn't stand up to any criticism. But,

    I would certainly disagree with there being no place for randomness in a strategy game, for starters, on the grounds that in many succesful tactics/strategy games there is randomness. As such saying theres absolutely no place isn't very sensible, though coming up with ways to improve things while removing randomness is fine.
    Civ itself would be extremely boring if random maps weren't available. Combat too by and large works fine as a random element once you get past the early game, though I would have liked TMITs determinant combat mod idea to have come to fruition :cry:

    While subjective, 'game breaking' events exist within what I would consider a reasonable definition. A couple can come out of nowhere in uncounterable fashion and cause you to have no option but to lose.
    e.g. Apart from the VE, there is an event that gives a civ the chance to have another civ declare war on them, along with all their DP partners, and the 'attacked' civ gets a bunch of free tanks for agreeing to it :crazyeye:.
    Similarly the Bermuda Triangle is a low chance, extremely high impact event, that can insantly cause an unrecoverable position (instant loss) as it can wipe out several thousand :hammers: investments for no concievable reason.

    That being said, even valid points will immediately lead to nonsense when used in places they shouldn't.
     
  19. civfanchambers

    civfanchambers Prince

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    Twice now I have heard mention of a Bermuda Triangle random event. I have never encountered this. Someone plz explain.
     
  20. Ghpstage

    Ghpstage Deity

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    It occurs on ocean tiles outside of anyones borders and destroys all units in that tile.
     

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