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Culture

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Thalassicus, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I have a couple goals for the game. :)

    I think the whole game should matter from start to end. Why continue playing if the outcome is certain after the first few eras? Civ games are usually backwards. Early decisions matter most, then choices become less meaningful as we approach the end. Think of culture border expansion. The first few tiles should be easy, then get harder for larger distances. This makes sense, right? The unmodded game has it backwards. It's hard to expand to the first ring or two, then becomes self-sustaining, rapidly filling out to a large radius without much extra effort. It's reversed of what it should be.

    I also feel culture buildings should be important for creating culture. Most of my culture seems to come from citystates, beliefs, and great people in my games. The amount I get from the actual buildings is very low, and that bothers me.

    Rewards should also match the challenge of getting something. The theater and opera house cost more than the monument, so they should have higher rewards. However, only 1 in 5 are usually filled with a great person. This means they provide lower rewards than a monument in most cities, for higher cost. I'd skip theaters and opera houses in most of my cities if we didn't need them for museums. This doesn't make sense.

    What do you think is the best way to solve these 3 problems?
     
  2. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I guess I disagree with either the premise or conclusion much of this.

    1. If you think that it is a problem that early decisions matter the most (and to some extent I agree), then why would you favor making culture costs for tile acquisition rise steeply? It seems just the opposite to me.

    Cheap early game/expensive late game tile acquisition means that it is the early game culture decisions that drive things, and that it doesn't really matter what you do late game because the costs of acquiring more tiles is so high. And really cheap early tile costs make it a no-brainer to spend ~20 gold to buy a couple of key tiles.

    BNW has done a lot to make late game decisions matter more, through ideologies and through the tourism mechanic. We already see comments in other threads arguing to make tourism into a mechanic where it is early game decisions that matter again; I hope we don't do this.

    2. I think BNW made a very interesting change by pushing culture from buildings towards specialists and great works. Now every civ wants to get some great works or wonders if they want a lot of culture. Militaristic/builder civs that don't bother with these will produce less culture and be dominated by tourism more easily - which is a good thing.

    This is closely tied to the tourism mechanic. It needs to be feasible to win a cultural victory against any playstyle type. The point of pushing culture onto great works is that those are constrained at an empire level. If we push culture to mostly come from buildings, then wide empires that can build lots of per-city buildings will produce much higher aggregate culture, and be too hard to dominate with tourism. There are a number of per-empire mechanics in BNW that help to level the playing field without using brute force cheats (# trade routes, great work production, etc.).

    BNW has changed the game in an interesting way, I don't think we need to assume that the G&K way was the right way.

    If we think the ampitheater and opera house are underpowered, then adjust their maintenance or production costs, or make them provide a great writer/musician great person point.

    3. I think your comments seem to suggest that we should want to have every building everywhere, even in a wide empire. I don't think this a desirable goal. BNW has done a lot to encourage city specialization: you only need the market/bank/stock exchange buildings in a gold producing or trade city. You need to build culture buildings primarily as a way of holding great works. You need a great person factory that produces great people, and you can go either for culture and tourism, or for production/gold/science. I really like this enhanced specialization, I think it is good that we don't have opera houses in every city.

    So basically:
    If 1/5 of your culture buildings have a great work, then you're building too many culture buildings.
     
  3. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    1) Yes, there are some yields that should matter more the longer the game goes on.
    2) You're correct about the border expansion
    3) As for where the yields come from, I feel each yield should have a clear primary source, preferably distinct from each other, for science, it's population, for both faith and culture it's buildings, though you are right, BNW has changed the latter to nothing and everything. So where now?
    4) Culture income should be steady in comparison to policy costs. Buildings should matter.
    5) Too many empty Great Work Slots. What is the distinction between Music, Writings and Art? They all give the same yield, why make them different? For themeing? Only 1-3 players per game can theme them.. Is it a reward for the big dogs in each game? Maybe we can merge the slots. The idea behind this would be to make "culture" more movable in your empire? Hmm, probably not.

    What if we lose the monument, but introduce the Palace building again. It's basically a monument, but only buildable 1-3 times. So while early culture stays the same, other cities can directly go to the stronger Theater?

    EDIT: @Ahriman, lots of good points, though one comment: If you don't need each culture building in every city, they should not require each other. The fun thing for great works is as you note that they are movable and empire wide. Requiring each city to build an underpowered building to hold them is counterproductive in this case. I should be able to move a Great Work to a newly found city to make it quickly reach its outer rings (though that is as unrealistic as it gets, or did the Dutch move a Van Gogh painting to Batavia to push those borders? They probably did, Dutch people are... :)). So maybe it is a good idea after all to merge the slots?
     
  4. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Here are my general comments:

    1) My policy culture pace right now feels pretty good. I feel like i can get a decent number of policies in the game even if I am not going really hard on culture. That said i haven't played a truly wide game yet.

    2) I do agree that opera houses and amphitheaters are not high on my list right now, generally i build them for great works not their base culture. To Ahriman's point though, that doesn't necessarily mean its a bad thing, i do build them on occasion, just not aggressively.

    One thing to keep in mind, if we do decide to buff some of the culture buildings it doesn't have to be by just adding culture. We could add other yields or benefits. I wouldn't want to mess with the culture pace too strongly
     
  5. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Why?
    I'm not sure whether I agree or disagree with this.

    If we did have slightly higher culture yields from ampitheaters and opera houses it wouldn't be terrible, but we might need to look at whether it made great works underpowered or increased aggregate culture production by the late game.
    I'm thinking: 200 extra turns of 1 culture from ampitheater and 100 extra turns of 2 culture from opera house times 5 cities each = 2,000 culture, which could be a non-trivial impact on a tourism victory.

    So, maybe increase great work tourism to 3, ampitheater and opera house culture output by 1-2, and then increase social policy costs?
    [To me it feels a bit too easy to get too many policies, I am regularly getting ~5 policy trees & 6+ tenets.]

    Basically for flavor, and to encourage you to build up to opera houses and museums rather than just spamming ampitheaters.

    I think it is important that there be an ancient era building that can be constructed anywhere.
    I don't really like not having a build-anywhere culture building until the classical era.

    And I'd really rather not reintroduce the palaces, which felt unnecessary.

    *edit*
    I'd have no problem with removing the building requirements. I agree, when they're about the great person slots, then they aren't a coherent chain anymore.
     
  6. Anastase Alex

    Anastase Alex Warlord

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    There were 3 points made in the opening post, concerning:

    a) border expansion
    b) Cultural buildings output vs other sources of culture
    c) Cultural buildings output vs their cost

    They all tie in with the idea that we want our decisions to matter all through the game.

    It has been noted that unmoded BNW gives us a reason to build up culture in the latter game, through tourism.

    My opinion on these is:

    I agree that border expansion should matter also in the late game. In the mod the cost to buy tiles through gold is too cheap early on. I like the way culture costs for order expansion scale in CEP, but I would suggest making the gold cost dramatically increase by technological era. This way cultural output becomes vital for border growth.
    This, by the way also ties in with the lesser impact of the Shoshone UA in the mod.​

    A possible way to address the issues of Cultural buildings output would be to give them extra abilities. On the top of my head:

    Give Odeon and Amphitheater a combination of:
    • Culture per Population.
    • Bonus culture for city state alliances, reduce cultural city states output.
    • Lump culture sum when you expend a great person.
    • Reduce by -5% the cost of future policies.
    • Flat increase of their base culture/turn

    In conjunction to these, decrease the monuments output.
    I also like Mitsho's argument about palaces.
     
  7. griffer13524

    griffer13524 Chieftain

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    1) Regarding the importance of early/late game decisions, I think that in civ games, the early game is about developing and deploying a strategy, and that the late game is about taking that strategy and adapting it in response to the strategies employed by other players. It isn't that late game decisions matter less--its that they are of a different type all together. No one wants to play a game which is clear cut from the very beginning, as Thal says, so finding ways to make late game decisions render one's empire "flexible" is important. In BNW, I think espionage, tourism and the shifting mechanics of the World Congress are good steps in this direction, allowing empires which are in some sense behind, either in technology, territory or economics to come from behind if they can manipulate them well enough. Making sure these mechanics that emerge late game are robust and flexible enough that a player who is losing can use them to win is going to be crucial to making the late game engaging.

    2 & 3) Culture buildings are still vital to providing culture--it's just that the buildings "themselves" aren't providing the culture in one lump sum--they hold great works and specialists which generate the culture--a change I appreciate, myself. The Writer's Guild national wonder is a fine example. On it's own, it provides no culture what-so-ever, but stock it with specialists, and you're getting six culture per turn. Fill a museum with two themed great works, and you have a very nice amount of culture being generated. If anything, I'd like to see the theater and opera house cost the same, but provide another slot for great works--that would do more to increase their value, (especially in a small empire that can't have tons of the same culture buildings) and still utilize the present system, which I personally find more realistic than build a building, and get a massive amount of culture with no further effort.

    As for Mitsho's (5), when I go for a culture victory, I often am desperate for more great work slots, not fewer of them. This might be because I have a tendency to build small empires, but I often end up with great work producers who have to wait for buildings to be generated--especially great artists. I can't tell you how frustrating it is that the artist's guild can be build before museums are available--Guilds and Archaeology are separated by two whole eras--gah!

    As for having too many types, the distinctions can seem trivial when great works are considered alone, but their secondary abilities make up for it. Great writers are defensive with their political treatise (massive boost of culture) musicians' concert tour is offensive (tourism bomb), and artists--well, the golden era is a throw away I think, and I'd like to see that changed, not sure to what though.

    tl;dr: I pretty much agree with Ahriman on this one.
     
  8. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    For flavour mostly. And it's probably easier for the AI as well. Want science -> Grow, at the moment for culture it is -> Build Monuments (but less the higher tier ones), get a pantheon, get Great Works, get policies (and kill barbs OR build wonder OR ...).

    The yields also seem a bit wrongly named at the moment by the way. Culture is more like "Governance" (unlocking new policies + widening your empire by new tiles) while Tourism is more the "cultural pull" of your empire.

    Flavour falls away if it cripples one from specialising our cities imho. Spamming, well we might then want to go Anastase Alex's route and differentiate the buildings a bit?

    Is it possible to change Great Works from 2+2 every time to Writing (1+3), Music (2+2) and Arts (3+1)?

    Then let's call them monuments, the point was to take away the "cheap culture building" that is enough for providing me with the borders I want in a newly found city. Either you invest in it (by buying tiles or building the building), or you don't get it. As you still can build those first 3 monuments, you are okay if you don't grow past 3 cities.

    That sounds like a good idea: Make them not require each other and give them special abilities:
    Theatre already has culture on "clothes" tiles (ressources used for costumes)
    Opera can get Culture per population
    Museum has its Themeing bonuses
    Broadcast Tower has its % modifiers.

    Monuments should be toned down in comparison.

    @griffer, Yeah I was comparing only the Great Works themselves and especially the annoyance one gets when one can't slot a Great Artist since there are no museums around... In theory yes, you shoul build a larger empire, but often we can't or don't want to. A buff for Tall empires here might be to put more slots not on the Amphitheatres, but on the various National Wonders available.
     
  9. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Are these culture + tourism? I don't think I understand.

    Why should we only be able to build monuments in 3 cities? Early expansion is limited by happiness, I don't see why we'd want to limit it by an inability to produce culture too. The current monument works fine.

    This is ok.... as long as the culture per pop is not too high!
     
  10. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    I'm with Ahriman on this one too. I think the culture game is fine as it is. It's good that a lot of culture comes from specialists and great people. That diversifies your game experience.

    It may be harder for conquerors to adjust to this than people who play peacefully. I usually play a peaceful economic game. When playing BNW this way I've gone after wonders and tourism and found that I had more great people than I had great work slots. My last game I've been trying out a more militaristic expansionist strategy. In this game I've concentrated on gold buildings and military. I neglected religion and culture largely. I built culture buildings but I've ignored great artists/writers/musicians. Recently, I looked at the culture victory screen and saw my neighbor the Maya were racking up tourism on me in a hurry. That forced me to build even more culture buildings quickly and I'm thinking I'll need some great artists/writers/musicians too.

    So, it forces a more militaristic civilization to balance their approach. Even if you're going for a domination victory you can't ignore culture specialists. I see the culture mechanics working very well in the game, and I vote we leave them alone. The only change I'd make is to make the opera house a bit cheaper to produce and that's it.
     
  11. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Yes.

    To be able to make the monument sufficiently good, and still make the other late game culture buildings viable. As you point out, you are okay yourself with only a monument in most cities. This is trying to get around that by cutting the fat that is a cheap wide culture provider.

    @Eric That may be fine... as long as you get the wonders. I haven't been able to in my last game. It may have been my tactic + ability as a player, but relying too much on those wonders is a gamble, and you may need to push back the Guilds for a military threat, gold needs or exploration.
     
  12. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Then I'd probably do it the other way, so writers (early game) are 3 culture 1 tourism, musicians are 2 culture 2 tourism, and late-game artists are 1 culture 3 tourism. That helps to backload tourism output and emphasize its late-game role.
    On the other hand, you'll probably have more writers, so might this serve to decrease aggregate tourism production? I'm not sure. Maybe they should all increase? Great works are fun, but do feel a little underpowered.

    I think a 2 culture monument is fine and doesn't contradict either of these.
     
  13. griffer13524

    griffer13524 Chieftain

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    The early culture game is definitely reliant on early wonders for viability--too much so, in my opinion. Hell, I have a Maya culture game where my entire empire is stuck in the dessert in the Renaissance, and I'm just getting around to building granaries in some places! All of that early production went to culture wonders, just so I can have great work slots, and I'm just now getting around to building the guilds to actually fill them up. I'd like to increase the number of slots available in standard buildings--two for theaters and two for opera houses especially.
     
  14. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    It does seem like a flaw that the artist guild comes at guilds while you don't have anywhere to put those great artists except 1 in the palace if you don't have the early wonders. I just think that the pace of getting culture (not tourism) and how it is obtained is fine as is. Tourism with great artists does need some tweaking so that it's not so dependent on wonders.
     
  15. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    Thoughts.
    1) 2 culture monument is fine. leave it alone.
    2) I like the idea of removing the building requirements. This also makes it easier to build towers and the Hermitage NW. Costs can scale to tech and value (museums should still be expensive), but that would be easier to adjust too.
    3) I could see bumping the opera house 1-2 culture, or giving it a musician point/slot. The theater is fine with extra culture on resources, but maybe extra from writer works slots?
    4) I am not sure early culture versus later culture costs for tiles matters. For borders I am indifferent. For social policies, I could see if any culture is added raising the costs slightly, but without the steep curve in GEM for the sixth tree. A more gradual escalation that can be overcome by focusing on culture, or can be increased in pain by expanding widely (and having to build up) is fine here versus the wall for utopia projects as before.
    5) I would not mind differences on great works. Artifacts also matter here. If culture is increased, great works points should rise slightly as well for combating tourism.
    6) artist specialists are/were bugged. They should provide (at least) 3 culture as in the base game as they are now rare.
    7) I had no trouble filling great works slots at a greater than 1/5 ratio. It was quickly well over half once I began running Aesthetics and archaeologists. Even with my wider play style.
    8) I do not favor any culture per population mechanic, unless it is for a UB or wonder. I think that's a terrible idea even as it might help a tall civ. It would be hard to balance, and an easier approach is to remove the tiering requirements.
     
  16. tedoll78

    tedoll78 aka 'HylianTom' :)

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    One random culture-related request: in GEM, we used to be able to buy tiles beyond the workable three-tile radius of a city (out to five tiles, if I recall correctly), and I miss having that (expensive) option. It's especially useful in OCC games where there are luxuries.. just.. out.. of.. reach!
     
  17. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    CEP allows it out to 4 (I think, it's in the file, but I've never tested it). I think that's as far as GEM did as well.
     
  18. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    There are a number of things you can do with artists, like make a golden age. Otherwise you can always bank them until later, i do it with scientists and engineers all the time.
     
  19. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    I don't see the artists popping as a problem either. Golden ages are very useful.

    Sistine also provides a themed slot (and still doesn't work to provide extra culture otherwise) if you build it. It is available reasonably soon after getting artist guilds up.
     
  20. jacktannery

    jacktannery Prince

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    Regarding the rapidly-escalating cultural and financial cost of expanding tiles, I totally agree with Thal on this one.

    I totally agree with this and I really like how CEP makes it impossible for me to do my usual trick of buying all the best tiles around new cities and ignoring culture totally. Now I have to make real decisions through the game. I think that this is a really important change that CEP has made and I would be very sad if it was diluted or reduced.
     

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