1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Deity snowballers discussion

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Jednooki_John, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. Jednooki_John

    Jednooki_John Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Messages:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Hi all,

    Been playing for few years, have some observations I wanted to discuss with you folks, especially regarding games on higher/highest difficulties.

    We've all seen a snowballer in a game - but how often did you guys see a snowballer who, in the end, actually crumbles under its own weight? In my experience, it never happens. Once snowballing starts, the civ just grows and grows - with the domination being the easiest example. It just devours city after city, grows to cover half of the continent and nothing bad can ever happen to it. Even, in most recent versions, if it suffers from the bad happiness occasionally, it does nothing to meaningfully hinder it. Eventually there is no point in playing, unless you randomized victories and maybe you want to see if you can get a shot on f.e. diplomacy one.

    I was thinking that maybe some sort of mechanism should be thought of; the one that eventually puts REAL struggle to the overblown empires. We've all seen it in the history - overextension leading to disintegration. Something that could still make it worthwhile to try to play a game with a snowballer? Just thinking aloud.

    Or maybe I am alone in my experiences and this is not an issue at all? What do you guys think?
     
  2. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Emperor

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Messages:
    1,035
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Australia
    I don't play on Deity, but the most meaningful counter to runaways (at least in my games) has been mass disapproval. Sanction them, and make sure they are always fighting on multiple fronts so it's difficult for them to steamroll smaller civs.

    Of course, if this happens too late it doesn't matter and can even work in their advantage. But I find sanctioning runaways early and trying to establish strong relationships with the other civs helps. For example in a recent game I wanted to declare war on a runaway (Brazil) but they had a bunch of defensive pacts which would have made it pretty much a waste of time. By denouncing them and sanctioning them I was able to lead denouncements my other people and over time nobody was willing to agree to a defensive pact so I was able to do some meaningful damage to them :).

    Responding to warmonger runaways is more difficult because they don't care so much about international relationships anyway. I do sometimes funnel wealth into smaller civs that I know will get eaten up if I stand by and do nothing (but are difficult to fight directly). Early prevention seems to be the only reliable way tbh - try to make sure warmongers can't obtain that critical mass they need to become unstoppable.

    Although I realise this doesn't address your point about potentially strenghtening anti-runaway game mechanics, sorry.
     
    Carloshooter likes this.
  3. Deljade

    Deljade Warlord

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2019
    Messages:
    121
    Whatever "overextension" type mechanic would be added, it would be much much worse for the players. There have been many complaints about wide warmonger playstyle and domination victory being hard and tedious for the player to execute, I cant imagine further measures doing any good in that regard. Would still like to see some points observations or suggestions
     
  4. Jednooki_John

    Jednooki_John Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Messages:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanks for your input guys!

    Well, I may sound like a sour grape, but on higher levels, especially on deity, everything a player does seems like an overextension already :) wheres AI doesn't seem to have much trouble whatsoever. And I believe it rarely happens that you get to dominate 3/4 of the map as a human player on deity, wheres its pretty common in my experience for an AI.

    Again - just to anticipiate some comments like "just switch to the lower difficulty levels", "get good" etc.; I am a long time deity player and I win a lot of those games as well actually! I just wanted to share some of my sentiments and observations regarding the fun I am having :)
     
  5. andersw

    andersw King

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    sweden
    Interesting to hear, not many vocal diety players on the forums.
    I have seen (in youtube vids) Diety overextension that while not imploding from getting too big atleast slow down because of too big.
    But even on emperor this can be an issue when an AI on the other side of the world runs away with the game and you just cant reach there to prevent it fast enough.
    Because thats the thing, there isnt much effective things you can do vs an agressive AI about to eat up the world other than declaring war.

    Voting out his lux, maybe global peace accords or even decolonization (if he got vassals) can help but those are likely too slow to prevent the steam train, worst case he also have a lot of votes.
    Civ4 had Apostolic palace that could end wars very quickly (but it felt very cheap).

    I'm all for prevention methods vs the snowballers it would probably have to include a reduction on AI special gains for gaining a city or its unlikely to have much impact on an AI (especially on Diety).
    However I see enough ppl winning on Diety that I wonder if it actually is hard enough.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  6. CppMaster

    CppMaster King

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2018
    Messages:
    948
    Location:
    Poland
    Is seeing a Victory Screen the whole point in playing or playing itself is the point ;)
     
  7. 2506

    2506 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2020
    Messages:
    40
    I know you don't need tips in slowing a snowball, but I do think Deljade's point still holds up. It's true that the human player rarely winds up in that impregnably dominant position. But in the rare case that it does, you want that achievement kneecapped by making the end game that much more tedious? Probably not.

    Instead of adding additional handicaps to the runaway, you're probably looking for a new feature or mechanic. The one I always think of comes from Civ 2 — civil war. Take the leader's capital and the empire splits in two. A feature like this gives opponents hope and purpose, which is what you're really talking about. And while it favors the human player slightly more, as they're more likely to set on this course of action sooner, it's still an underdog move.

    I always found it a lot of fun back then. You may not like it and Gazebo may not want to add a feature at this stage. But that may apply to whatever non-tedious solution anyone comes up with.
     
  8. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2017
    Messages:
    650
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pyongyang
    I don't agree with this, mainly for the reasons Deljade pointed out. I think it's unnecessary to impose even more penalties or repercussions toward a player that has technically been playing well and succeeding at their primary goal. I believe there is already enough in place to help deter snow-ballers, while the other half of the puzzle is continuing to piece together as Recursive painstakingly betters the AI diplo to recognize, assess, and execute strategy against potential runaways. I've parroted this during the past while advocating for more lenience in certain aspects of wide play (to which Gazebo obliged), but there would be no point of attempting anything except a tall empire if there continued to be too many negative aspects trying to restrain wide play.

    You only have to look no further than me detailing my previous game (in the current beta threat), to see that between sanctions, unhappiness, barb spawns/city revolt, and being attacked from multiple fronts, things can still become a slog even on King difficulty - and that's with me playing what I'd consider "good"...

    The Civ 2 civil war function sounds neat like a last resort kind of Hail-Mary, but that's probably modmod territory at this point of the project, even if Zebo did want to incorporate something along those lines.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  9. tothePAIN

    tothePAIN Prince

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2018
    Messages:
    316
    Gender:
    Male
    On the current patch, I'm more worried about rationalism runaways than I am wide warmonger runaways.
     
  10. telelavoro

    telelavoro Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Messages:
    31
    Gender:
    Male
    Not a Deity player so take this with a grain of salt, but if we want to nerf the AI in this way perhaps they could have a higher empire needs modifier? I find that even playing peaceful wide, I can barely get up 12 cities as Progress on a huge map before happiness starts getting ridiculous - this could be a possible knob to tweak.
     
  11. Jednooki_John

    Jednooki_John Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Messages:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanks for your input guys! All is welcomed, I just wanted to share some opinions and thoughts, as I myself don't really have any specific solution/proposition in mind!
     
    vyyt and JamesNinelives like this.
  12. azum4roll

    azum4roll King

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Messages:
    696
    Gender:
    Male
    From what I can see in observer games, the AIs' happiness always hover around 50% and they utilize growth locking and public works well. They don't have that much happiness bonuses, but they have the means to circumvent unhappiness (larger army to handle rebellions, production bonus on buildings so they have free time to build public works, etc.)
     
    andersw likes this.
  13. vyyt

    vyyt Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,061
    Location:
    Czech Republic
    Play at lower difficulty and get good, One-eyed John. Ah, this thread feels much better now :)

    Now seriously, what kind of mechanics do you have in mind? Some kind of inflation? Civil war/rebellion? Or the world ganging up against the runaway somehow?

    I am playing on emperor, without espionage and tech trading (= less catch-the-runaway means), but if I have an AI runaway (on a distant continent), they usually start taking off in the Industrial era (Rationalism kicks in???) and it is often not 1 but 2-3 AIs, but in general, I don't see crazy runaways very often in the recent versions (I understand Deity is probably more prone to runaways), so I would rather be against adding more rubberbanding mechanics. I like how the supreme leader summed it up above.

    I think I would not mind some kind of an über-sanction of the runaway WC resolution, but no idea how it should work and if it would not do more harm than good.
     
    bigcat88 likes this.
  14. Jednooki_John

    Jednooki_John Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Messages:
    55
    Gender:
    Male
    I laughed out loud :)))

    I was only having a general concept derived from a history that happened a lot in our "real world" - big empires overextending and then disintegrating. I'd say that every time in the (non-modernity) past when there was a great power which conquered great land, it was most likely to fall sooner or later due to inner tension, inability to project military power to the same extent to every piece of the empire etc.

    I have no idea what would be a meaningful way to even think about how to incorporate such effect in the mod - hence this threat was meant for discussion around it. I just have a feeling that 8/10 times (statistics taken right out from my arse), all the "commonly prescribed" here measures reg. slowing down a distant snowballer amount to nothing. And it would be, in my opinion, good to know that even if that bastard civ conquers relentlessly half of the world, there are still struggles he may face and he might pay for his greed.
     
    vyyt likes this.
  15. arthurF

    arthurF Warlord

    Joined:
    May 31, 2017
    Messages:
    164
    I play on Immortal, but the same thing sort of happens. Usually, one civ gets a tech lead, somehow holds happiness and income together (no idea how), and then just stomps the crap out of anyone near by, and gets a bigger lead in tech, income ( and somehow holds on to happiness??!).
    It is only fun If that one civ is me.
    Actually wait, even that isn't fun, if the runaway effect is too great. What is the point? It is just more fun, if several of the civs are able to keep up with the top 3, until 20c, at least.

    In history, which i believe civ engine is incapable of modeling, the fall of empires is due to other factors: disease (justinian), internal struggle (rome itself), climate change (anasazi). It is not often that the factors in civ are at play ( no oil, no coal, no iron)...but it does happen!
    I actually like that moment in civ where coal appears, and you have 0 and know absolutely that you must immediately begin a war for that will determine the outcome of your game.
     
    glider1 likes this.
  16. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    2,706
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chicago
    The only real problem I have on Deity is that AIs seem very keen to hate a player that is successful, and very ready to be friendly towards AIs that are running away. I wonder if AIs getting guarded to runaways before they hit critical mass would help much.
     
  17. vyyt

    vyyt Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,061
    Location:
    Czech Republic
    No, the only REAL problem is that you went AWOL for months without a word! Where have you been? I hope you were not in jail or playing Civ6 instead of VP.

    Good to have you back :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
    JamesNinelives, tu_79 and Recursive like this.
  18. Recursive

    Recursive Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,414
    Gender:
    Male
    I've been working on getting the AI to recognize and attack runaways more effectively. There's been improvements so far, but more to come.

    Blasphemy! Don't even THINK about it! :)
     
    JamesNinelives, ElliotS and vyyt like this.
  19. CppMaster

    CppMaster King

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2018
    Messages:
    948
    Location:
    Poland
    I played it once, while waiting for a new VP patch when it was on Epic Store for free and I got bored, but it wasn't that bad. I liked various usage of Great People and district system is quite interesting in terms of city planning. Eureka's are a nice touch too, but I don't know if it's that impactful .
     
    JamesNinelives likes this.
  20. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    2,706
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chicago
    There are a billion games that look good, tons of anime to watch, and this awful thing called real life that restricts my ability to do whatever I want, whenever I want. TBH it's a testament to how good this mod is that I keep coming back for games once in a while.
     

Share This Page