1. We have added the ability to collapse/expand forum categories and widgets on forum home.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Photobucket has changed its policy concerning hotlinking images and now requires an account with a $399.00 annual fee to allow hotlink. More information is available at: this link.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. All Civ avatars are brought back and available for selection in the Avatar Gallery! There are 945 avatars total.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. To make the site more secure, we have installed SSL certificates and enabled HTTPS for both the main site and forums.
    Dismiss Notice
  5. Civ6 is released! Order now! (Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR)
    Dismiss Notice
  6. Dismiss Notice
  7. Forum account upgrades are available for ad-free browsing.
    Dismiss Notice

Diplomatic-CS influence balance - part II

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by LukaSlovenia29, Nov 14, 2017 at 3:51 AM.

  1. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    Messages:
    656
    Hi.

    In recent games, I'm still seeing games where the AI has several thousands of influence on city states. Do you think the CS influence game is balanced or do you think it'd be better if some changes were made? If so, which? Do you think we should wait a bit more before discussing further changes?

    I think Gazebo's recent change to emissaries was a good one, but I'd still like to see more options for reducing influence and a bit more limitation on increasing influence. Here's some suggestions to discuss, and hopefully you'll offer yours as well:
    1. Great diplomats reduce everyone's influence in a CS to 50, increases yours by 60 + 10 x era (suggestion by Tu_79)
    2. Great diplomats cause a cool-down period (similar to after an attempted coup) where you can't use diplomatic units (except another GD) in that city state for a certain period of time.
    3. After reaching a certain amount of influence (perhaps 500?), you can't further raise your influence with diplomatic units (except GDs), only with quests and spies.
    4. Introduce a limit to how many ordinary diplomatic units you can use in a city state in a period of 10 (15, 20,...?) turns, preventing a player/AI from continously pumping diplomatic units into one city states.
    5. Make great diplomats work percentage wise in reducing influence (it reduces everyone's influence by __% of the influence leader's influence in that CS).
    6. Significantly buff the numbers of increasing/reducing influence by the CS, scaling with era (150, scaling with era?).
    7. Makes spies' election interference more powerful (perhaps increase/reduction of 35, scaling with era?).
    8. Introduce a new WC proposal between open doors and decolonization, i.e. in a city state, everyone's influence is set to 50, but later on the CS can still get an ally.

    Thanks for your feedback.
     
    wobuffet likes this.
  2. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    3,216
    Location:
    Malaga (Spain)
    I like proposal 1 very much, hehe.
     
  3. Txurce

    Txurce Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Messages:
    7,265
    Location:
    Venice, California
    Since winning a DV isn't particularly hard, I think the CS game is basically balanced -- and could be a little tougher for the human (not that that I'd push for that).

    The AI having huge influence leads in some CS is how they basically pursue CS alliances, and DV's in general. It fits into their advantages, so it's not going to change much on its own. Developing a noticeable nerf to it is therefore a major buff to human play, and I wouldn't advocate that -- especially when it comes to DV's.

    For me, the issue of AI having 1K+ influence in some CS is more of an aesthetic problem than anything else. If there were a fix that didn't reduce the AI's ability to sustain alliances, I'd be in favor of it. But that would almost certainly require the sort of reconception that VP is long past.
     
  4. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    3,216
    Location:
    Malaga (Spain)
    Are you aware that AI is wasting tons of hammers in increasing influence level to no avail?
     
  5. Txurce

    Txurce Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Messages:
    7,265
    Location:
    Venice, California
    Redirecting the AI to play smarter is a different issue. My interpretation of the OP is a series of proposals to make heavily invested CS more available to the human player, who can't compete with the AI on a strict hammer basis. I don't think that is needed, from a DV perspective.
     
  6. Workerspam

    Workerspam Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2016
    Messages:
    143
    I don't think 1, 2 3, 4, or 5 would necessarily improve the influence game. Rather they seem likely to add more randomness and less control into the system. For example, it's frustrating enough when you and a neighbor trade a nearby CS ally back and forth for eras on end. With suggestion 1 some rando civ from across the continent can wander in with a GD and nullify both your efforts; it's different but I don't think it's better. I'm not clear what 6 is suggesting other than scaling influence mechanics to eras in some manner. 8 seems like it can be folded into the larger discussion of WC proposal balancing that should be hitting a thread soon.

    I like 7; if election rigging power could be tied to eras or events (i.e. founding World Congress) it would certainly make it more useful over a longer period of time.

    My suggestion if CS influence is still routinely hitting four digits: make the influence decay curve steeper.
     
  7. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    Messages:
    656
    Under point 6 I meant "by Great diplomats".
     
  8. Enginseer

    Enginseer Salientia of the Community Patch

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    2,125
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    When your national interests are at stake in another country due to another foreign influence, liberate it. My modmod on the World Congress Reformation does that perfectly. Conquer a city-state. Puppet which gives you the option to liberate it allowing you to establish your own Sphere of Influence. Nevertheless this is what happens realistically. Smaller nations get attached to a bigger nation and refuse to get rid of their loyalty toward their big brother.
    Honestly all of this can be supplemented with a heavier influence decay that happens at 100(or at least somewhat lower) influence interval instead of 1000.

    The more influence you have, the harder the influence can decay which means actually focusing more in a city-state will have you competing much harder with other competing players compared to just a simple diplomat in an uncontested city-state. (sending 5 diplomat to a city-state mean you'll send 5 diplomats to the same city-state to maintain that high influence superiority again compared to just sending 1 diplomat to another and constantly).

    This also makes passing the Cold War and Sphere of Influences more appealing to those that want a solid chance of DV as well.

    However, this does nerf the tall empires significantly and make wide empires more powerful in the diplomatic scene.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 10:43 PM
  9. Bascule2000

    Bascule2000 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    Messages:
    9
    The AI needs massive buffs to unit production because it sucks at 1UPT combat. But anyone, even an AI, can effectively spam diplomats and walk them to a city state. I suggest nerfing the AI bonuses to diplomat production.
     
  10. wobuffet

    wobuffet Barbarian

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,085
    The easiest change to try out would be fiddling with the Influence decay formula: simply make the curve steeper (as Workerspam, Enginseer have already suggested).


    A related but somewhat different suggestion would be to make Influence decay depend on the total of all Civs' Influence with that CS. e.g.
    • Civs A, B, C have Influence levels of 1000, 0, 0 over CS 1: a total Influence of 1000. Civ A's Influence decays at, say, -4 per turn.
    • Civs A, B, C have Influence levels of 1000, 500, 200 over CS 1: a total Influence of 1700. Each Civ's Influence decays at, say, -7 per turn.
    This would give Civs way behind in the Influence game some more incentive to challenge a the current leader's dominance over that CS.
     
  11. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    3,216
    Location:
    Malaga (Spain)
    There's also the small issue of what to do with those Great Diplomats you earn after all embassies are stablished. It doesn't seem worth to keep civil worker specialists.
    Every Great People has something useful to do even in late game. Merchants have the WLTKD effect. Musicians have extra happiness if you don't need more tourism. Engineers and Scientists are always useful. But Great Diplomats that can be replaced by 2 or 3 common diplo units...

    If nothing is done about it, I'm going to switch my strategy and stop working civil specialists.
     
    wobuffet likes this.
  12. Mad Madigan

    Mad Madigan Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    111
    I tend to go for Culture or Diplomatic victories in most of my VP games, and I agree that the two main issues that need to be addressed are:

    - Wide AI's spending their unit production bonuses to spam over a dozen diplomatic units at once and racking up thousands of influence for chosen CSs by the Renaissance/Industrial Era. This leaves Coups and WC resolutions as the only reasonable way to take back control of these CSs from them, unless you devote a couple of cities to just cranking out endless diplomatic units to match the AI spam. I agree that this can be balanced better by A) making the Influence Decay curve steeper so that as Influence goes above 100 it takes much more effort to keep it (should help with 1000-2000 Influence walls that feel impossible to overcome) and B) adjusting the availability of Paper slightly so that wide Statecraft Civs don't have the ability to spam dozens of Diplo units at once.

    - Great Diplomat's Influence Bulb needs to be adjusted. Personally, I feel it should be changed into a % rather than a hard value (so it has a greater effect on CSs with 1000+ Influence that you're trying to take over), but I also think the idea of making it reduce all other Influence to 50 and then increase your Influence by X + Y(Era) is great. Using a GDiplomat should essentially be a means of making yourself the guaranteed Ally of a CS for at least a turn or two, but it also shouldn't un-Friend other Civs who have built up Influence. I feel this is also a good way to fight Influence inflation, as the player/AI has a controllable resource for instantly becoming the Ally of a single CS if they really need it without making it too difficult for others to then take that Ally status away. The current environment where a few Civs have huge pools of Influence with a few chosen CSs makes GDiplomats feel completely useless if there isn't a CS left for claiming an Embassy. I really feel that Coups and WC resolutions shouldn't be the only options for wrestling away deeply entrenched CS allies.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 10:26 AM
  13. Txurce

    Txurce Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Messages:
    7,265
    Location:
    Venice, California
    To win a DV, you don't need guaranteed potential access to every CS. Consequently, it's clear to me that changes should be made very carefully, lest the VC be made even easier for the human. Some increase in the decay rate will reduce those unsightly influence numbers, and adjusting paper to nerf wide civs will make the diplomatic game more competitive for more AI's. But turning GD's into influence bombs is basically a big boost to the human, who can pinpoint his strikes much more surgically than the AI. But it's devastating for the AI, since it's currently programmed to pile up influence points. Unless the AI's behavior can be changed without too much trouble, and in a way that leaves it as effective as it is now -- unlikely -- then I think it's very important to go easy in an area where nobody has an unfair overall advantage.
     
  14. Workerspam

    Workerspam Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2016
    Messages:
    143
    I don't like the proposal to have GDs lower other civs influence to a set amount; that strikes me as too powerful. GEs don't guarantee a World Wonder; GSs don't guarantee a technology. I don't see the reason for GDs to guarantee a CS alliance.

    I'm coming around to the percentage reduction for GDs (if it's possible with existing code). Seems like a good way to allow GDs to increase in power as the game goes on. I'm thinking something along the lines of reducing influence above 60 by X% (so the percentage loss would only effect civs that have enough influence to ally) along with the flat influence loss.

    Early game, when overall influence levels are low, GDs would operate similar to the current game. Late game, when influence levels are higher, they would be much more effective but wouldn't be a "win CS now" button for the most contested CSs.
     
  15. wobuffet

    wobuffet Barbarian

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,085
    How about this?
    • A Great Diplomat sets your :c5influence:Influence level with that CS to 60 or to your current Influence + 40, whichever is less
      • e.g., a GD may increase your Influence from -32 to 60, or from 133 to 173
    • A Great Diplomat decreases other Civs' :c5influence:Influence by 30 or by 50% of (current Influence - 60), whichever is greater.
      • e.g., a GD may decrease another Civ's Influence from 67 to 37, from 260 to 160, or from 1542 to 801.
     
  16. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    3,216
    Location:
    Malaga (Spain)
    Not that this is wrong, but isn't it a bit complex?

    I get Workerspam point. Maybe a guarantee alliance is a bit strong. But it needs to be much more effective than some normal diplo units.
    Decreasing other civ's influence to 50% of current influence sounds good enough, and simple (eg. from 20 to 10, from 110 to 55, from 1542 to 771). Late game, it means lowering someone's influence by hundreds in one strike. Two great diplomats in a row, and bye bye to your long lasting alliance.
    Then, it could give 60 influence + 10 x (owned embassies), rewarding planting some embassies earlier. I don't mind too much if it is a fixed value, scaling with era, or scaling with embassies, as this is mostly flavour. The important part is how it decreases foreing influence.

    About the excessive AI usage of diplo units, Deadstarre has been playing with a lowered paper production, removing paper from wire services, and placing most paper on the scrivener's office. He claims diplo spamming becomes under control. I had proposed a more radical approach, giving paper only in national diplo wonders, as to limit diplo units by 2-3 per civ at the same time. I get told that this is a huge nerf to diplo wide, which I disagree. It just prevents wide civs from spamming their diplo units in waves, in my opinion, and hopefully, limits the amount of influence an AI commits to the same city state. It is even possible that this isn't a solution at all if AI doesn't change its behaviour towards overinfluencing CS. In that case, the only solution lies in the AI script: a code that decreases the value of added influence, the higher the influence, as a human player would do in this case.

    I know those are separated issues, but somewhat related.
     
  17. Mad Madigan

    Mad Madigan Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    111
    Again, I do agree that the optimal solution for GDiplomats is to have them reduce other Civs' Influence by a percentage while increasing your Influence by a set amount, but I do not know if this is (code-wise) something that is easy to do. Wobuffet's suggestion is pretty good, but it's way too complex mechanically. The solution needs to have a bit more finesse, something that a player can understand the benefit of at a glance.

    As far as the general "power" of a GDiplomat's abilities, I don't really consider gaining a single CS ally to be on the same level as completing a Wonder or gaining a technology. Although it's true that GEngineers and GScientists don't give you a full free Wonder or technology, they do contribute a significant amount and that contribution is never "lost". Gaining a CS as a ally is something that only really matters if you needed them as a buffer in a war, you needed their strategic or luxury resources, or you needed that one final vote for a WC resolution, and those bonuses can be lost within a turn if the AI Civs are sending their own GDiplomats or are spamming Diplo units. However, I agree that any buff to the GDiplomat's bulbing power is a buff to human players, not the AI.
     
  18. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    Messages:
    656
    Just an idea: One option is for each GD that's expended in a city state raises the resting point for influence (either in that city state for a bigger amount, or in each state by a small amount, like 5). That would help GDs have a lasting benefit even if you don't gain an alliance or you lose it soon, because you'll be one step closer to having (a) permanent CS friend(s).
     
  19. Mad Madigan

    Mad Madigan Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    111
    @LukaSlovenia29 Interesting, but given that a player only ever gets 6-10 GDs over the course of a game, and that at least half of those are probably going to create Embassies, how would you balance these Rest Point increases? Surely "+5 to the Resting Point of all CSs in the game" would be too small (assuming it only affects the Civ that used the GD), plus it would be another variable that would have to be tracked for each Civ/CS combo. I don't think that's something that would be easy or elegant to code. Still, interesting...
     
  20. Workerspam

    Workerspam Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2016
    Messages:
    143
    Upon reflection I think I overcomplicated my own suggestion. Reduce influence by X% - Y flat amount is cleaner and just as effective.

    As for how much you influence you gain maybe it could simply increase with each GD you've expended, similar to the GA and GM mechanic. The more GDs you create, the more powerful each becomes. If it's tied to expended GDs rather than embassies then AI that avoid planting embassies aren't punished.
     
    tu_79 likes this.

Share This Page