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Culture

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

  1. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    Good 'ol Firaxis.

    If am reading that correctly we now should create some assets for new 'Great Works'?
     
  2. albie_123

    albie_123 Modding In Secret

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    Agree with all of this.
     
  3. Delekhan

    Delekhan Prince

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    Agree as well.

    I would much rather see this time being invested on improving the social policy trees, rather than nitpicking about a point of culture here or there on the buildings.

    That kind of fine-tuning seems more appropriate for post-release, once the core features are in.
     
  4. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    Or the guy making the brunt of the mod could tinker with whatever he likes.
     
  5. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    The culture mechanics seem very balanced already. There may be minor issues here and there, but nothing major. It should be left alone. Don't break what is already working.

    I also find is surprising that people don't know that great writers, great artists, and great musicians are kept in separate pools and generated independently. I figured that out in my first BNW game. In my first game I put the guilds all in the same city. Since then, I've separated them into different cities. It seems easier to manage that way. One city makes artists, another writers, and another musicians. You don't have to ship food into a city that way and each city can still be pretty productive and work more tiles to produce buildings/wonders/units.

    Please don't worry about changing the culture. Focus on more important tasks like making all the different leaders balanced or the policies balanced.
     
  6. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    There is not merely argument over a couple points of tourism or culture so much as major function questions being hashed out. I would rather we learn these things now before making changes in other areas that might effect this (the tradition opener, or the aesthetics tree). It is how the walls save/reload bug and the inflation effect on unit upkeep were discovered. Among other many other game mechanics.

    But in this case, major changes to the culture yields are unnecessary. We are basically talking about the opera house and border popping. That doesn't require removing any of the guild buildings.
     
  7. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    That is pretty much implicit in everything we debate, but it does not defeat the point.

    Seek is suggesting we focus on other parts of the mod and leave this one alone as we gain more experience with it. Its a fine point, Thal could always override, but it doesn't make the point invalid.
     
  8. xInVicTuSx

    xInVicTuSx Chieftain

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    Bear with me on my ignorance of exactly how all this works cause the game is horrible at explaining it but...

    I suppose my main complaint is that most of the time the offensive and defensive aspects of culture seem lumped together. Upon close inspection there are many points where you are forced to choose between either a culture boost or a tourism boost (when excavating digs, when generating great writers) but in the end it just feels like they are one in the same. I don't think I have yet to have poor tourism but high culture, or vice versa. Yet most AIs seem to favor culture over tourism (probably cause AI is having some serious problems overall in these early stages).

    The benefits of either are pretty clear cut:

    Tourism helps you win the game in the end (though that is at the veryveryvery end) and creates huge amounts of both soft (diplomatic) and hard (happiness penalty) pressure on your enemies after the industrial era.

    Culture helps you defend against other players winning the game solely through culture victory and creates advantages throughout the game by accumulating policies.

    Again, the problem I'm seeing as that there is little difference between the two, perhaps because culture from buildings is so low that it comes from other sources like Thal said (the specialist slots leading to great people and the great works themselves). So there really is no risk in going all offense because defense will accumulate as well.

    That said, there are many (some rather tedious) nuances to going on offense with tourism, most of them being diplomatic, while culture itself is as passive and easy to accumulate as it always was. The only change I would even think about to the system is perhaps a separating from tourism and culture so the constant choices you have to make throughout the game between the two of them is more meaningful.

    That is only a thought though, as other victory paths are rather simplistic as well, science always being the chief offender in my eye, though BNW has made leaps to keep it from being as ridiculous as it was in CivV and GEM.

    Anyways, theres two my two cents on something I have yet to master (every game where I've said 'I'm going to go for a culture victory!' I end up just going for science because its piss easy as usual.)
     
  9. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I feel everything should have moderate usefulness in most situations. This is a basic principle of game development - don't design things people will rarely see. It's why the backs of 3d environments are blank when you noclip through walls. If something's not seen most of the time, why have it in the game? I normally understand people's views very easily, but your view on this topic has always confused me. I don't understand why you want things people will ignore in most cites, like specialists or opera houses. It doesn't make sense to me... but I'll concede to your view for now. :undecide:
     
  10. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    But these aren't the same thing!

    For example: if I only want to build a barracks in a unit production city, but I always want at least one unit production city, then the barracks will not be useful in most cities - but it will not be something that is rarely seen. You will always see it every time you play the game, you just won't see it in every city.

    This is true for a whole bunch of mechanics that promote specialization. I will probably want a city that has musician specialists in most games - but that doesn't mean that I need to be able to get musician specialists in every city. I will probably want some gold cities in every game - but that doesn't mean that every city needs a bank.

    City specialization is one of the most interesting strategic decisions in Civilization, and Civ5 has the potential to do it better than most games in the series (since it separated science from gold), and BNW feels like it has more potential than vanilla or G&K did.

    I genuinely don't understand why you want to make everything always useful. Think of The Incredibles: if everyone is super, then no-one is super. I would much rather have things that are super at doing a particular thing, and then the player gets to make an interesting strategic decision about whether and where and when they want that thing.

    Whereas it feels to me like your approach is one that rewards bad play (it doesn't really matter what you build, because everything is always good) and makes decisions less meaningful.

    The other part of my attitude is respect for the game designers. They did a lot of testing and tuning and QA. They did a lot of careful design work. Yes, there are some things they messed up, but there are other things that they did for very good reasons. I strongly suspect that what happened in the design process is that they originally had specialist slots for artists/musicians/etc on the theater/opera house etc, and then found during testing that this made it too hard to tune and balance a tourism victory, and so shifted to the national wonder approach instead.
    I think the BNW economy and mechanics feel much more balanced and tuned than before. That's why I think it is so unfortunate to implement dramatic changes without a strong reason for doing so and an awareness of potential unintended consequences. [For example, I think dramatically nerfing domestic trade, one mechanic the AI managed quite well, is one reason for their economic underperformance.]
     
  11. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    1) Specialists always have uses, even in wide empires. They have less utility (compared to having mostly lower population cities with useful tiles), but this is not the same thing as saying they're useless. It means you have less use for them because of a strategic choice in play style. Great people and extra yields are always useful and powerful, they're just more common in taller empires.

    The concentration of specialists for the specific tourism mechanics (great works generation) makes sense and makes those buildings very useful without making great works/tourism overpowered. That is a good balance already without our dabbling in that system.

    2) Opera houses have uses, they're just are not very good at them relative to the alternatives (theaters or museums at least). A modest adjustment to the culture or tourism capacity of great works, or on the opera house itself, would make it useful without giving it specialist slots. The need for change here on this building is very minor. Making it give 3-4 culture plus the great music slot as was proposed with the theater would probably suffice versus a more dramatic change in specialist slots, which impacts other game mechanics. If there is too much available culture and a need to improve tourism yields, I'd say two things
    a) I found tourism to be really easy to accumulate with the faith belief that grants it on wonders and then amassing great works/artifacts, so it was not much more challenging to win a culture victory already even with the modest culture increases that were already in CEP. This is already a source of tourism that is not available in default BNW.
    b) If it is too much culture, adding additional tourism to great works in slots would also improve the value of buildings that have them, or this could be done more specifically onto writing or music (which are less likely to get theme bonuses). It is not necessary to make great musicians more common to achieve that goal so much as improve the existing objects.

    3) The third issue appears to concern border popping from culture costs. This is a separate mechanic from the culture victory/social policy acquisition rates and can be adjusted separately without making major changes to the buildings themselves.

    There seems right now to be a broad agreement that the culture system works overall and that changes are unnecessary. If we do nothing and opera houses seem a little weak, but you need them to build museums, I would guess we are not losing anything in the short run.

    I think Thal's approach here has merits, because the AI is not a very good player, so it is less punished for making poor decisions. But these are more important in other game areas than on areas where there was a reasonable and functioning system already that it can already use, or where we ourselves had very weak choices (useless buildings or units) and those could be improved.

    We don't really have a weak choice regarding culture right now, just a marginally weak one in the tier, but more culture and great work slots are always beneficial (just as more gold from the markets line is always beneficial), just not always worth the cost depending on your strategy and goals, or not an established must do this now priority as it might be in other styles or strategies.

    (I would also second a change to the domestic city connection values, upping the per pop calculation to closer to vanilla, much higher than 20% but not over 50%, and leaving the per route bonus higher so it is beneficial sooner than in vanilla. Wide now has more extensive penalties as a play style from culture and science and it shouldn't matter if it gets a little more internal trade income to compensate).
     
  12. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I love games where everything feels overpowered, but is actually balanced and challenging. This was my greatest success with my previous project before civilization. I remember random strangers saying how fun and powerful their heroes feel, even as they died over and over in boss fights. It's tough to make respawning feel fun! I have fond memories of that time, and the same drive leads me here. :)
     
  13. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    That works for things like leaders and heroes, which get extra/special things that are better than the generic engine of the game.

    This is what we want in the leader/civ design.

    Its great for the Zulu to feel like they are overpowered at warfare with melee units, relative to how every other civ uses melee units. But that baseline comparison is necessary in order for the "overpowered" feeling to work. In something like Warcraft 3, heroes can feel overpowered *relative to regular units*.

    But it doesn't really work in designing the generic buildings. There are too many buildings for everything to feel overpowered, and the whole concept of overpowered requires some baseline power to compare it to. We can't make the university feel overpowered relative to the library, or the stock exchange feel overpowered relative to the Bank without actually making them overpowered. Everyone gets these; they are the generic engine of the game.

    And to the extent that it is possible, I think we get that feeling much more under my design principle: the musicians guild feels more overpowered when that's the only way to get artists, rather than being able to get musicians from an opera house that you can build anywhere. The barracks feels more overpowered when its a niche building that I only want to build in my unit production cities. Its fun to decide where to build which stuff, knowing that City A needs building X but City B doesn't.
     
  14. albie_123

    albie_123 Modding In Secret

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    :eek: You modded Warcraft 3 as well? Now THERE was a powerful world editor. I managed to make an FPS Doom clone back in the day on that thing - it wasn't perfect but it was a fun little project.
     
  15. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I basically made a Diablo clone myself. It's how I learned game design. :)
     
  16. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    I have to agree with @Ahirman on this.

    It has always been my belief we should avoid making changes just because we CAN make changes.

    If there is overwhelming evidence a current mechanic is flawed or broken then by all means, change it. If on the other hand, as it appears here with :c5culture:, leave it for the time being.
    We lose nothing and it allows more time for evidence to be accumulated for both views.

    Some cities will be better for :c5culture: and some for :c5production:. That's the trade off we make when we choose our playstyle. Some buildings likewise ARE better than others when it comes to :c5culture: or :c5production:. If we fiddle with them too much it ALL becomes bland.
     
  17. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Yes, but.... the current tiering of the building does the opposite. To get to the Great Artifacts/Art slots I want in a wide empire (=archaeologists), I have to build a monument, theatre and opera house in every city. That creates the empty slots for writings and musics in every city while we fill out museums with barbarian longboats et al. ... That's the opposite of specialised. And no, I can't count on wonders, those should be extra!

    I think one of the strongest points of discussion coming from this thread is a) the need to buff the opera house slightly in comparison to the other buildings (and f.e. making musical great works better at tourism may already achieve that...) and b) to make the three types of culture less dependent on each other by f.e. removing the links between the buildings. After all, they are not really consequitive anymore.

    I am personally also open to add Great Works slots to the National Epic, Heroic Epic and Hermitage, but that's minuscule
     
  18. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    How about we simply reduce the maintenance of the Opera House, and remove the requirement links between the later culture buildings, since they're more specialized in BNW? I think this will solve the balance issue I'm concerned about with minimal effort. :)


    @mitsho
    It was discussed at one point to make national wonders have 2 great works slots. Tourism greatly favors wide empires (because of museums), and giving NWs theming bonuses would make tall empires more competitive. I don't know why they didn't do it. It would be difficult to accomplish at this late stage, unfortunately, since the Great Works screen is very hardcoded.

    @Ahriman
    Thank you for thinking about it from my perspective. Your comparison of heroes, leaders, and buildings actually does make sense. You're saying some things should feel superpowered like WC3 heroes or Civ leader bonuses, but it's okay if not everything feels that way (like regular units in WC3, or Civ buildings). I think I understand what you're saying now. You have no idea how much this bothered me that I didn't understand your viewpoint! It really helps create common understanding when people can find analogies to familiar things. Thank you. :goodjob:
     
  19. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    :wallbash:

    the rest sounds good, though...
     
  20. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I could get behind this.
     

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