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Construction vs Research: early game

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Thalassicus, Jan 24, 2013.

?

How is the construction-research balance:

Poll closed Feb 23, 2013.
  1. Construction is too fast

    4 vote(s)
    8.7%
  2. Research is too fast

    28 vote(s)
    60.9%
  3. The balance is good

    14 vote(s)
    30.4%
  1. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    While playing the early game (Ancient to Renaissance) period of GEM v1.13 or later, do you feel:

    • Construction is too fast - I run low on useful stuff to build.
    • Research is too fast - I get new stuff faster than I can use it.
    • The balance of construction to research feels about right.

    Click to vote for the late game balance.
     
  2. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Just a note, but I think this phrasing may be more appropriate:

    Construction or Research is too slow. the current poll suggests that some aspect needs to slow down, personally I want to see aspects sped up.
     
  3. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    The two are opposites, so if one is too slow, the other is too fast. The first thing is finding out if balance favors one or the other. If there's a consensus a problem exists, then we can decide what to do about it, either by speeding up or slowing down something. :)
     
  4. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Chieftain

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    I don't see that the two are connected that tightly.

    If tech rates are fine, but we are building things too slowly or quickly, that has more to do with the ability to build things being imbalanced. If tech rates are not fine, that has more to do with the science changes than with the amount of productive capacity. Gold rates and production rates are much more tightly linked here than science because they can both be used to accelerate infrastructure and unit development. Science rate just gives new things to build, which is certainly a core part of having something productive and fun to do with those productive capacities, but it's not so tightly involved in the actual rate of development.

    I think the simplest way to balance the tech rate is to see if it's resulting in a reasonably close proximate for history. Your civ has reached the industrial revolution in the early 19th century! say. Faster if you beeline it, slower if you don't bother. If that kind of balance works, then building things should be reasonably set up within the tech tree to provide new options at a constant and predictable rate already regardless of what changes have been made in productive capacity. And so then the question becomes how quickly you can implement your new gizmos through production and gold. If you can't implement them fast enough, or get them too fast, the proper response isn't to adjust the tech rate necessarily. The first proper response could be to adjust the production rate or gold buying abilities and then, when that fails look to see if tech rates are off.
     
  5. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    We unlock new stuff, then build it. If we're running low on useful stuff to build, another way to think of it is we're getting new stuff to build too slowly. It just depends on the point of view. I'm talking about the broadest upper level, not down in the details of individual yields. :)
     
  6. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Chieftain

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    Check list like this:
    1) If tech rate is balanced, then don't mess with it. There are effective ways to balance the tech rate, such as how fast we can get new techs or when in game terms they arrive.
    2) If production rate is not balanced, then that's the problem. Tech rate has nothing to do with it.

    Building things (units/wonders/buildings) is an independent feature of the game that has its own balance rate independent of technology giving you more things to build. The balance reaction between technology and construction occurs largely and most notably when production capacity (via rushing or constructing) is imbalanced, as it often was in the vanilla game. If the tech rate is off, then this isn't the best way to check that it is off. The way to check that it is is to see if technologies arrive rapidly or slowly (say faster than X turns or so per era, or slower).

    Even that variable of X turns is mostly set by how fast we can produce things to get use out of our new techs, not by how fast we can get new techs. So long as you can build things rapidly enough, then tech can be (too) rapid too and no obvious balance problem emerges. It's not obvious that these two things are in conflict as a result.
     
  7. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    If we want something to take 60 turns instead of 40, we just change to epic speed. The turn numbers and dates don't directly affect gameplay in ways other than the game speed, and independent variable we set before the game.

    In other words...

    We can't compare things to an absolute reference scale like turn numbers, because the game has no absolute frame of reference. It's a lot like space. There's no center of the universe to calculate our position from. It's only possible to compare the relative position of things to each other. :)
     
  8. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Chieftain

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    Changing speed doesn't effect the rates of tech and productive capacity differently, it largely changes everything to a different relative scale. All that would do is change the X variable to an X*1.5 or X*3 variable rather than changing the inherent balance. That's not what I'm talking about at all as an aesthetic issue or balance problem.

    I don't think you are understanding the problem from the opposed perspective here (and I'm not following your logic at all either).

    The question looks to me like this:
    1) Is tech rate fine? Too fast or too slow?
    2) Is productive capacity fine? Too fast or too slow?
    Each of those have their own inherent balance points that exist independently of each other. And indeed, the latter can have a large impact on the former (while tech rate doesn't have very much to do with the latter, except in so far as it improves our productive capacity).

    Those two questions don't have very much to do with each other in my mind at all as a result. They're apparently intricately linked in yours. I don't understand how that works. I think the tech rate is probably fine as is. To me the problem is whether productive capacities are imbalanced. Period. Tech rate has (almost) nothing to do with that rather than being a core component question to balance it against and require adjustment. Asking to compare the two doesn't really make any sense to me.
     
  9. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Say a player Alice runs out of useful things to build each game. We could slow construction, or speed up research. Do you believe either of these would solve her problem, and if not, what third choice would you propose?
     
  10. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Chieftain

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    1) Slow construction (by adjusting production down or increasing costs). Most likely this is a problem in the late game. Early game construction is too slow and too gold dependent.

    I still don't see how research matters at all to that question though. It's like asking if culture or faith is too slow.
     
  11. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    If Alice runs out of stuff to build after we increased research costs from 100 to 200, would you still slow her construction rate?

    Slowing construction would work. Alice would not run out of things to build anymore, since everything is slower. Would this approach make the most sense, or would we change research costs again from 200 back to 100? I don't know - it depends on the circumstances. :)
     
  12. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Chieftain

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    If our research speed slows down, I would slow down productive capacity. If our research speed goes up, I would increase our productive capacity (or reduce costs) to keep up. That doesn't make them opposites for me. Productive capacity is the feature that makes research seem fast or slow. Research costs v science accumulation should have remained roughly unchanged in the mod from 1.12-3 so research costs didn't change from 100 to 200. I don't think that's the appropriate question as the cost of research shouldn't have moved noticeably. Production capacity (of all forms) did move noticeably. The changed variable is the one that requires balance. Not the one that didn't change.

    I would balance research costs and rates on their own largely, by looking at other factors first rather than considering that it needs to go up or down based on whether I get things built too fast or too slow.

    (Also: there's a lot of things you could do to affect your approach without even changing tech rate. For instance you could spread or concentrate where we get new and essential things to build in the tech tree itself versus things that just provide other boosts to tiles, movement, auxiliary buildings/units, etc. There are limits to that approach, but there are a lot of techs that don't provide new things to build so much as improve the things we already get to build. I don't think that's desirable on a large scale of course, or even a modest scale other than tweaking here or there stronger or weaker techs right now, but it is a third option to demonstrate that balancing the tech rate and tree has it's own variables that aren't being considered in a simple diametric comparison against production).
     
  13. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I think I might understand now. You feel research rate should remain fixed, depending only on unchanging factors like turn number?
     
  14. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Chieftain

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    Right. Research rate is a largely fixed variable in this equation. We can change it in a lot of ways when needed, but it ultimately should have its own balance points that exist independently. Production makes it feel faster or slower, so if research is feeling too fast or too slow but is otherwise fine, then comparing it to production as an opposing variable doesn't make sense. Production is the problem there that would need addressing.

    This is further justified because production was much more heavily altered by 1.13 economy changes. Of all the changes to balance that occurred in the 1.13 economy, I think production was upset the most. It's very different early-late (as evidenced by the need for early-late poll) where other things are generally scaling in a normal way that's less infrastructure dependent (you always really needed factories and power plants but they're much higher now). It's very different setting hammers against gold. Costs of buildings often went down later and up earlier. City production/growth is different because of the city hall.

    Some of those changes are more desirable or more workable/adjustable than others. I think later game building costs probably were too high in production and often too low in upkeep for example. Early game buildings were probably fine with some up or down in upkeep that mostly worked out in a balanced way, but they're also more expensive to build in some cases now, which affects the speed of development problem. The city hall injects a tiny amount of early game gold management to REX-ing instead of just being able to go heavy on hammers, but I think it adds too much culture though, especially at the lower culture levels you're proposing to go toward.

    As far as changing it. I was pretty happy with roughly the 1.12 balance there. Reductions to gold income and unit upkeep cost and increases to building upkeep ought to have pushed down the glut that peaceful players got to allow them to just rush buy as they pleased rather than rely on production. I would have gone with 1/35 myself rather than 1/50 for unit upkeep as there's no strength component anymore and conquest is otherwise too rewarding I feel without some high cost to having a large military and I think building upkeep for a peaceful "builder" type city ought to have gone from ~50-60 to ~80-100 and I think it didn't' because science buildings were changed a lot. But otherwise, the direction of those changes were fine.

    I think we could do some simple changes, like increasing or decreasing some production buildings upkeeps from the previous levels (stables, water mills, workshops and maybe smiths down, factories/power plants up). Your new modification file still sets upkeep and cost independently and does so more concisely, and we can use that to the advantage there too. I'd mostly leave the production levels from infrastructure at previous amounts, and add some new features like bonuses to late game strategics from factories and/or stock exchanges, or new bonuses to pastures/plantations/camps/wells. Minor tweaks to power plants or factories or smiths might be acceptable, but the +% modifers went from 40% total +15-35% for units/buildings, to 70% total +20-40% while the cost of most things didn't go up at all (units/wonders and many buildings). That's a very large change.
     
  15. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Construction income comes from small inflexible numbers like 1:c5gold: from rivers. There's very few ways we can change those tiny numbers. They usually remain fixed, and everything else changes to balance them.

    This is why research costs took the brunt of the impact from changes in v1.13. Research costs are large numbers with plenty of room for change. It's reasonable to keep research costs steady in theory, but not in practice, because of the indivisibility of small numbers. Does this make sense?

    I'd like to mention again that overall building costs did not change in v1.13, unless there's a bug I'm unaware of. They remain in the average 180% range. There are more buildings now, but that's different from higher cost per building. Research and construction rates both increased in late game, so that ratio shouldn't change much either. :)
     
  16. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Chieftain

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    I don't think research costs changed as much as production did.

    In fact, I don't think research changed much at all because you changed both income and cost in roughly the same direction and amount. I agree it can change its point of balance, but I don't agree it's the point on which to determine a balance for other things that are imbalanced.

    For example.
    Gold went in mostly opposite directions, which it should have for balance purposes. I have some squabbles about the particulars, but I'm not concerned about the direction generally there. It's easy enough to salt to taste the gold changes for my purposes. We balance gold by considering how much it costs to do things with it, or reducing the flow of income by increasing the cost of maintaining things over time and/or reducing the sources of income. You didn't balance gold by reducing the speed at which we gain new technologies but by doing a lot of different things that impacted total gold in the game and the utility of that gold.

    Production however also went in opposite directions (costs went down or stayed the same while yield went up, or vice versa, costs went up when yields are lower), and was impacted much more by the point in the game you are in than other yields which didn't change nearly as much in tiering power and is now more heavily reliant on infrastructure than before. Which that in turn is heavily reliant on resources or terrain limitations that don't always apply to other yields. We don't need a desert or coal to build a laboratory and gain science or to build a stock exchange and gain gold. We do to build production. This means that production is a very specialised resource that isn't worth investing in most of the time versus gold in order to keep building things at a regular pace. You would basically max it in a wonder/military city with some mines and put everywhere else on villages. That's a pretty boring play style versus being able to flexibly build things with either.

    It also doesn't address how fast you can get things. If you can get everything instantly with gold, that's a problem. That problem should be lessened some, so we look at the next angle. How fast can we (actually) build things. If we're building units and wonders, and to some extent late-game buildings, we can now build them a lot faster than before (in the late-game at least). That is because we have more production available to do so in those cities. Not because we're getting techs too slowly. In contrast we have in the early game no modifiers to production except for units and less raw production (w/o a city hall), so production is too slow. That's not because we're getting techs too quickly. When the major change was to production capacity, asking if the tech rate changed doesn't make very much sense as a result.

    (And yes, building costs overall are down in the late game. Just Stock Exchanges and Labs are (slightly) more expensive so far as I can tell from looking over the numbers, and of course building earlier tiers, but things like Towers and Stadiums are now much cheaper. Even Nuclear Power or Spaceship appears expensive only because they're so high in value from the modifications done to them and neither is that much more than before. A peaceful player or otherwise a player who likes buildings isn't going to experience higher building costs. Just a conquest player or player trying to expand in the late game. Peaceful players will experience much lower building costs. This isn't in and of itself a problem but it's a notable point. The actual major problem with balance is the amount of production capacity will rise substantially while the cost of wonders and units they would be building remains fixed in the late-game. Building cost is a side point)
     
  17. rmbennett30

    rmbennett30 Chieftain

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    I just hope and pray steam may have this update!! I am having withdrawals from not playing this mod since you have had 2 updates now and steam wont update me!!
     
  18. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    @rmbennett30
    Try the manual installation. :)
    communitas.wikia.com/wiki/Install#Manual_Installation_.28Download.29

    @mystikx21
    Could you add a column on the buildings table of the spreadsheet with v12 costs? I like to use empirical analysis to determine balance adjustments. Many people thought libraries were better than mentors halls in v12, when the reverse was true. :)
     
  19. Gorhaax

    Gorhaax Chieftain

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    Try unsubscribing and deleting the related files in the mod folder then resubscribe.
     
  20. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Chieftain

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    Late game
    Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4
    Building 1.12 1.13 +/-
    Stock Exchange 500 680 +36%
    Laboratory 500 680 +36%
    Workshop 220 370 +68%
    Nuke Plant 900 920 +2%
    Spaceship 900 920 +2%
    Police 540 600 (+11%)
    NIA 100+25 600 (+171%)

    Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4
    Building 1.12 1.13 +/-
    Hospital 480 470 -2%
    Med Lab 650 600 -8%
    Museum 540 470 -13%
    School 540 470 -13%
    Factory 650 530 -18%
    Stadium 900 780 -13%
    Solar 900 780 -13%
    Hydro 650 530 -18%
    Military Base 900 530 -41%
    Broadcast Tower 900 600 -33%
    Military Academy 900 470 -48%

    I see one very large late decrease (that might not even matter since you can build CN instead), 4 big ones, 2 modest decreases, 2 very large but situational decreases, and the hospital/med labs also are much improved buildings plus cost less. This is measured against two trivial increases, and 3 big ones. Police stations are actually more like a decrease since you only need to build one of them now (although it was rare I built more than 3-4 before).

    By comparison.... here's the early and mid.
    Early
    Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4
    Building 1.12 1.13 +/-
    City Hall 0 70 +70
    Summer Palace 0 70 +70
    Aqueduct 120 190 +58%
    Temple 180 240 +33%
    Colosseum 220 280 +27%
    Harbor 140 190 +36%
    Circus 140 190 +36%
    Market 120 150 +25%
    Barracks 100 110 +10%
    Stable 100 110 +10%
    Granary 100 110 +10%
    Walls 100 110 +10%
    Library 140 150 +7%
    Amphitheater 180 190 +6%
    Water Mill 140 150 +7%
    Mentor 70 70 0
    Monument 70 70 0
    Shrine 100 70 -30%
    Stone Works 140 110 -21%
    Courthouse 140+10x 280 (+17%)

    Almost everything went up in cost, at the point in the game where we have less production available and still limited gold. Stone Works without happiness also decrease the value of settlement near stone/marble, so that building is really weak as is to the point I'd be building a lot fewer of them where before they were almost an essential part of my expansionist strategies.
    Middle
    Column 1 Column 2 Column 3 Column 4
    Building 1.12 1.13 +/-
    Seaport 290 420 +45%
    Theatre 360 470 +31%
    Warehouse 220 320 +45%
    Lighthouse 120 190 +58%
    Forge 180 240 +33%
    Mint 180 240 +33%
    University 290 320 +10%
    Armory 290 320 +10%
    Garden 220 240 +9%
    Bank 360 370 +3%
    Observatory 360 360 0
    Constable 290 280 -3%
    Castle 290 280 -3%
    Smith 220 190 -14%
    Opera 360 320 -11%
    Arsenal 540 370 -31%

    3 coastal buildings went up and one happiness building (all large) versus one production building and one culture building (both modest), and a situational wall (very large). And again, we should have limited production available at this point and somewhat less gold than before.

    In general, I am happy with the late game building costs. I don't say that this is itself a problem that they're generally lower than before. I have specific quibbles or concerns over the increases in value of the buildings involved but they're mostly fair reductions or increases. The problem is that production capacity increases faster now too at that point (both by potentially having -50% purchase costs on rush-buying, more still on units, and by having significantly higher +% modifiers on production in production centers). Production should have stayed mostly the same if these costs were coming down (or the costs should have gone up, which is likely less desirable). Late-game costs only really increased for gold/science construction, conquerors rebuilding lower tiers, coastal empires (which also got a big nerf to available production) and people building new cities (something I thought we would want to avoid penalising further). A culture win or someone needing some extra happiness or seeking to build up their military power likely saw their costs go way down. Someone in between probably saw it go sideways at worst from still filling out earlier tiers, and probably down as the game progresses as they gain more production and see cheaper, faster construction of wonders and units along with several buildings.

    The early-mid game building costs are probably too high at the point in the game when production did stay the same (or even decreased). Coastal building cost increases are fine too. But only if coastal cities could gain local production via beliefs or policies.
     

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