Do trade routes need an overhaul?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by RealHuhn, May 5, 2018.

  1. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    @RealHuhn That sounds awful.

    What bugs me about the TR system is that, because it’s focused around individual trade routes, it’s almost impossible to get an overall view (or have an overall strategy) with routes. The first and second trade routes you get feel incredibly powerful; but it feels like a mess after that.

    I sometimes move all my routes to just one city, just so I can see what I’m doing. I agree with Victoria that international routes are best, but a few domestic ones can be handy too. But unless I put everything in one city, I find I’m just constantly just clicking whatever looks like the ‘best deal’, and find it impossible to think strategically.

    Sea Routes are also daft. They are categorically worse because they have such a higher risk of being pillaged, don’t create infrastructure (ie roads), and for all that, usually don’t give you anything extra vs. land routes.

    Sigh. Trade Routes are fine as is. There’s other stuff that needs more work. But, yeah, they could be better.
     
  2. Pietato

    Pietato Platonic Perfection

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    Internal trade routes were better before R&F. Now International ones are much better, unless you have civ bonuses.
     
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  3. RealHuhn

    RealHuhn Emperor

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    Before alliances, I feel like internal trade routes are preferable. They even got buffed in R&F. A trade route to a city with the government plaza yields +2 food and +2 production. Add another district and that's like working an additional 5 yield tile during a phase where growth and production is so valuable. I guess I value it higher because I experiment a lot with early district discounts and that requires all the production I can get.

    Anyways, I just wish trade routes would become more flexible again, especially in early game. If Magnus gets the ban hammer, peaceful strategies need another way to boost production. At the moment, trade routes cannot fulfill this role because they are too slow without flexibility. Magnus only takes 5 turns to rotate between cities. A trade route takes 21 turns minimum xD.

    I don't really mind the mess. Granted the UI is pretty bad but at least there are mods like Better Trade Screen which adds sorting options and autorenew.
    I agree that early trade routes feel like they have more weight though which is exactly why I wish they would have a much faster time to complete.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  4. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    I think something which would make life easier is if you could build trading posts. The current system - send two Traders to the same city (which means having to the Traders start in different cities) is a pain. If you could build trading posts, then you could put your traders in whatever city you want and then go from there.
     
  5. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    After a year and a half, I still don't understand what trading posts actually do and how they work exactly ...

    Anyway, my biggest gripe with trade routes is how they handle roads. I hate how they will fail to connect cities in a meaningful way - for instance, if cities A, B and C are placed like below, I can make a trade route from A to C, but it fails to go through B, and there's no way I can force it to do it:
    Code:
    A ------------------------ C
                 B
    
    So we really need some sort of connect-the-dots interface, so that I can send my trade route from A to C through city B.
     
  6. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Deity

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    I like to have one route for each of my cities, but I often double or triple them up to get an important wonder I'm worried about losing.

    It is a mess like you said. The trade route overview screen helps, but isn't that useful.
     
  7. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    What I don’t like about the current system is that I never feel like I’m operating a real “trade network”. It’s just a series of disconnected traders and yields. It’s a bit better if I base every trader in the same city, although that can take a lot of organisation.
     
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  8. PeterChu

    PeterChu Chieftain

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    That's Civ 4 style. So little chance they would go back to that, given the famous 1/3 rule.
     
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  9. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    I believe you get trading posts by sending more than one trader to the same city - that destination city then gets a trading post. I find it very fiddly.

    I like how roads are sort of out of controlled and organic. But I agree you should be able to tell your trader “go to city x, but via city y”.

    If you could actively build trading posts it would make life easier. Your traders would then default to always passing through trading posts - so the way to ensure “go... via city y” would then be to just build a trading post in city y.
     
  10. AlannaT

    AlannaT Chieftain

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    Maybe I don't understand what you're getting at, but Trading Posts are created in both the starting and the destination city once a trade route is completed. One trade route is all you need for that. Once a Trading Post is established your future traders can use it as "refueling" spot and that extends your trading range.
     
  11. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    @AlannaT You’re right. I thought it worked the way I described but have just checked the wiki - I’m dead wrong. I take back all my earlier comments.

    Bother.
     
  12. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    And once you have a Trading Post in a city, any trade route of yours that passes through that city on its way to another destination gets +1 gold.

    Sea routes don't seem to benefit from this, i.e. as best I can tell, sea routes won't develop like real world trade routes, where the ships stop at each port along the way to their destination, they just beeline. It's part of the reason land routes are usually better than sea routes in Civ 6.
     
  13. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    So what’s the smart way to organise trade routes? Start at your capital, and just expand out city by city?
     
  14. slowcar

    slowcar King

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    21 turns is really quite long, it would be probably a lot more reasonable to cap duration at 10 turns (while allowing auto-renew)
     
  15. RealHuhn

    RealHuhn Emperor

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    It's actually much worse than that. If 21 turns would be the consistent number for internal trade routes you would at least know what you get.

    The following image is taken straight from the guide. The y axis is the duration of the trade route and the x axis the distance between the two cities. On standard speed.
    As you can see, for trade routes with distances between 5 and 11 tiles, it's completely messed up and quickly increases to 40 turns if cities are 10 tiles apart which happens quite often in a normal "from city A through B to C scenario".
    At 11 tiles, it drops back down to 21 turns which makes zero sense xD.
    Spoiler :
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  16. AlannaT

    AlannaT Chieftain

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    If you'd do that, you had to create a new mechanism for establishing trading Posts.

    What I would like:
    • Get rid of the minimum duration. If your cities are only 4 tiles distant a trade route needs only one cycle = 8 turns to complete. I really don't see the point why this minimum exists.
    • Add a auto-renew check box to the trade route overview.
    • Enable cancellation of auto-renewed trade routes after the first cycle is complete.
    • Buff sea trade routes by having 2 movement per turn as proposed above.
    • Bonus: Add a second trade route overview screen, sort of like an enlarged minimap where you can see all your trade routes, ideally color-coded by destination civ.
    What I would not like:
    • Completely abstract trade. I like the units, how they populate the map, that they can be plundered, etc.
    • Completely replace the system with something with less agency, like the mentioned Trade Capacity thing.
    What might work but sounds complicated:
    • Increase speed of traders with era progression (maybe +1 movement per turn every second era).
    • Increase speed of traders on existing roads.
    • Refine path finding to maximize visited trading posts and/or use existing roads and/or avoid hostile territory. (I doubt very much that the benefits here would justify the work.)
     
  17. Rosty K

    Rosty K King

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    I use them instead of the farms (there's always something better to improve than the flat tile) for food. And somehow I don't feel that with the market/lighthouse requirement it has considerably slowed my trade development. Maybe that's because I'm always rushing to get them traders early anyway and CH or Harbor are typically my first districts in most cities except the capital.
     
  18. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    That's a well thought out approach. I'd like to see something like this implemented at some point (after current broken features are fixed and AI deficiencies are addressed).

    I'd also like to see:
    • the receiving city get more of a bonus from incoming trade routes; and,
    • cities that have foreign trade routes pass through them gain some small bonus (we know this is tracked as Reyna has an ability tied to it).
    Little things like this would help buff building peacefully and contribute to "playing to the map" (a city on a narrow sea passage could have a lot of trade route pass through it if sea routes prioritized stopping at Trading Posts along the way as per AlannaT's suggestion).
     
  19. rschissler

    rschissler King

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    I agree. Sometimes the route goes through the borders of a city state you are not aligned with, and it would be nice if you could direct the route around it. Because, you end up having units go off road into jungle or hills, since they can't traverse the road that goes through the city state border.
     
  20. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    We just need military engineers to be able to build more than 2 roads. If they could build, say, 8 roads per engineer, then I wouldn't mind the trader's bad pathing nearly as much. That's enough to get you mostly around a city-state, and it would still be ~100 gold per road that you end up paying for the engineer's cost.
     
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