CS Influence Decay

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, Aug 16, 2021.

  1. vyyt

    vyyt Deity

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    We are choosing a lesser one between 2 evils. I think removing the AI production bonus for Diplo units is the lesser one. If anything, it's more fun. I find it just tedious and annoying that from a certain point in the game, your Diplo guys become irrelevant once the AIs get the diplo express-train going.
     
  2. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    How is adding an extra AI penalty the lesser of 2 evils? Influence Decay already exists. It also already gets faster and faster as you get higher and higher amounts of total influence with a CS. All we're recommending is making CS decay get faster...faster.

    Meanwhile you're suggesting an entirely new AI handicap as a mechanic.
     
  3. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    The lesser evil is not about "coding impact" but about "user experience".

    vyyt is suggesting that a change to the AI will provide the desired results with no change to the user experience (except for the fact they could actually get CS with diplo units). Now it does have a big impact to the AI itself, but that is behind the scenes from the user's perspective. The influence change, if we go with the amounts we were considering above, would have a noticeable impact on human players.

    So I can respect that the AI change would be considered the "lesser change" even if the implementation required more work.
     
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  4. vyyt

    vyyt Deity

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    What @Stalker said. Influence decay doesn't seem to be doing the job (enough). The diplo part of the game in the later eras are not fun and feel unfair and frustrating.
     
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  5. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Then make it do its job more? Don't use 2 tools to fix 1 problem; use the right tool.
     
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  6. notaspambot

    notaspambot Warlord

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    I agree that adding an AI-specific penalty doesn't seem to be the way to go here. On the topic of CS influence specifically, I think that decay is the way to go- and I also prefer the x^2 formula from the OP out of the ones suggested.

    But going a bit beyond the scope of this topic, it might also be worth exploring other alternatives to diplo units entirely if the production difference makes influence alone a too difficult lever to balance with.
     
  7. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    Here's a thought: how about Great Diplomats, rather than increasing/decreasing by some amount (or merely doing so), also drop influence of all opponents by a % of total? Or you steal all of that % that was dropped. Or automatic -60 (probably too much).

    The thing is that when you get to 4000 influence...even a Great Diplomat seemingly does nothing at all. A 75% drop on that brings the CS into range to potentially actually be convertible.
     
  8. Fluffball

    Fluffball Prince

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    How about simply reducing the influence of subsequent diplomatic units used on the same CS within a set number of turns (scaled with game speed).e.g.
    1st diplomatic units provides x influence.
    If another diplomat is used within 10 turns it provides 0.5x influence
    If another diplomat is used within 10 turns it provides 0.5*0.5x influence
    etc.

    If no diplomats are used for 10 turns it resets to normal.

    Obviously Great Diplomats would be unaffected.

    This may serve to help other ways of gaining influence become more useful.

    I feel i would find it a bit more interesting to play the diplomatic game like this also as you would have actual decisions to make if your fighting over a CS's influence.
    If i am competing with the AI for a CS i usually have a diplo unit camped in their border and as soon as the AI flips it i use my diplo unit to get it back. Not much would change in the first instance but for subsequent flips you would have to start considering if you wanted to flip it back immediaitely to ensure you have control over it or is it better to play the longer game, possibly allowing the AI to waste resources on diplo units while maximising your influence gains over the long term but at the risk of not having influence over the CS for a period of time.


    Another idea which would make the diplo game a bit more interesting while eroding the dominance of diplo unit spam (which i am vaguely remember having been discussed before) is allowing the expenditure of a diplo unit to change a CS's quest.
    Part of the reason diplo unit spam is so predominant in the diplo game is because other sources of influences aren't that effective a lot of the time.
    CS quests are a great mechanic and if your lucky enough to get the right quests you can control a CS's without having to use diplo units but with the wrong quests they become pointless as you have no real way to reset them aside from being at war with them.
    If you could ask the CS for a new quest at least it would make them more effective and less reliant on diplo units to win influence.
    This also provides a risk/reward scenario as you expend a diplo unit to get a new quest which could potentially provide you with much more influence or may be another not so great quest.

    As a side note this could help with an 'issue' with CS quests where you influence a CS without even trying and have no real way to prevent it without gimping yourself such as completing quests to build a building in x cities, which then angers an AI as your 'trying to compete with them'.
    You could use a diplo unit to reset a quest you don't want to complete as you don't want negative influence with an AI as you are trying to be friends with them or at least trying not to anger them.

    Great diplomats could also be used to 'complete' a quest which would be an interesting and strategic option for quests that you directly compete with others for such as build a wonder or learn the most techs.
    If your likely to win the quest do you use your Great diplomat to 'rush it' like with a Great engineer and wonders or do you leave it to win it naturally but risk someone else using a Great diplomat to win the quest.


    I know all these options may not be realistic for the AI to be able to deal with effectively but like many aspects of the game they would provide the human player with ways to 'out-think' the brute force advantage the AI has over them.
     
    Bromar1 likes this.

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