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Does anybody use district workers/specialists?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by KayAU, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. KayAU

    KayAU Chieftain

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    So, with Mali announced, one of my thoughts was that this would be a civ which might want to work districts. Settling in the desert means you will have fewer good tiles to work around the city, yet the passive food income means you will be able to grow your city to a decent size anyway. This got me thinking about district workers/specialists again, which I feel are sadly underpowered in Civ 6.

    I don't believe I have ever felt compelled to work a district in Civ 6, as the yields generated are generally inferior to what you could get from working a regular tile. This is much different from Civ 5, where I would sometimes strike a balance between working tiles and using specialists, depending on what I needed. Specialists would get me yields which were harder to come by in other ways, and especially, they would give me great person points. There were also ways to enhance specialists through policies, making them give extra production and consume less food. This also contributed to taller cities being worthwhile, as those could generally support more specialists, which gave greater yields, which were then further boosted by percentage modifiers.

    Sadly in Civ 6, I feel that neither specialists nor big cities are really worthwhile. Big cities are more demanding to create and keep happy, but besides increased loyalty pressure, they don't really reward you much. There are few things which give percentage boosts to yields, and districts generally output the same regardless of how large the city they are in is. It would have helped if specialists were more useful (for example by providing great people points), and large cities could support more of them.

    I am curious about what other people think. Does anybody here find specialists useful? If not, what would you change to make them worthwhile?
     
  2. Infixo

    Infixo Warlord

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  3. MrRadar

    MrRadar Chieftain

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    They do feel rather bland and nerfed to utter dullness. I only start placing citizens in these slots if my city has rich food resources and too many other unworkable/poor tiles, as can happen close to deserts, mountains, tundra/ice or on coasts. But then such surplus citizens tend to appear quite late, which relatively diminishes those poor district slot yields even further.

    They should've at least retained gpp generation feature, prominent people do not spawn in empty buildings.

    I also thought that science generation by a simple population unit could be reduced from 0.5 to 0.1. Then, if you build a library and slot a specialist, pops in that city would gain +0.2 science to produce the total of 0.3. A university with a specialist would add another +0.2 to the total of 0.5 and have a regional effect to cover cities within 6 tiles. Specialists in science labs, on top of another +0.2 science per pop, could also speed up space projects. I would probably review the Royal Society then, so that builders could contribute to Mars projects only if the city has a staffed science lab and is covered by a manned factory and power plant.
     
  4. NegativeZero

    NegativeZero Chieftain

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    Specialists do feel rather weak in civ 6 as there isn't much reason for enormously populated cities. I get wonders and districts soak workable tiles, but 95% of the time there are better tiles to work then specialists yield.

    Pingala's new 1st tier promotions (+1 Sci. per Pop. / +1 Cul. per Pop.) is a breath of fresh air for tall cities, but that is just for 1 city.

    I'd like to see a bit more abilities like it, but not too many as the Civ team wants game-play dependent upon the map and terrain.
     
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  5. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Warlord

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    I agree, we need a Specialist System like Civ4 & Civ5.

    It would be nice if district buildings granted greater bonuses when they're manned by Specialists.

    Whilst on the subject, would be awesome if we had Great Theologians in the game-Great People generated by Religious Districts once all the Great Prophets are used up.
     
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  6. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

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    I think Civ VI is balanced around having a few "big" cities and then lots of smaller cities. So, tall and wide.

    That's why Specialists are so nerfed and why they won't link Great People to them. If they were strong, then you'd grow every city big. If they gave Great People, you'd never need to go wide.

    FXS have only been willing to really buff tall via Governors - because the number of Governors are capped. So, for example, you can only have one giant science heavy Pingala city.

    It would be fun if specialists were more... well, not more powerful. But maybe just more dynamic. But I do really like the tall plus wide design, and I think it's a major reasons this version of Civ is so much better than Civ 4 and Civ 6.

    Anyway. Specialists aren't that bad. I particularly like sticking specialists into Harbour or Encampment buildings in smaller cities. You really don't need every city pumping hammers.
     
  7. Infixo

    Infixo Warlord

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    It is a topic for a different discussion, but I think that one of the goals of the design team was: make things different than in Civ5. It doesn't matter if ideas in Civ5 were good or bad. They must be different in Civ6, because... well... because of reasons.
    So - builders build roads? Now traders build roads. Doesn't matter that you end up with a crazy labyrinth of paths. Roads are free, so just build them everywhere.
    GPs were from Specialists? Now they are from buildings. Doesn't matter that entire subsystem becomes useless.
    Culture victory - one the most brilliant ideas for a late game in Civ5 to couple it with ideology. No, no.. must be different... in a way that barely anybody understood it at first.
    Combat was based on relative strength? No, no... now it is based on difference in strength.
    You needed one resource per unit? Now let's make it one resource for all units, but 2 for more advanced, unless you have a building. Oh, wait, go back. Better to spend more resources, like... 17. Must be different.
    Really, I find it difficult to find any example of a system that would work exactly the same as in Civ5. And notice that I am not saying that all changes are bad, no - some are very good. I am saying that the drive to make things different shouldn't be more important than the drive to make them just better.
     
  8. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Warlord

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    I never intentionally used them. A couple times I ran into gold problems and used gold focus button which I assume used specialists. Those buttons can be handy.

    I admit I don't like the specialist system in civ 4/5. Probably because I don't like micromanagement, and couldn't utilize it to the fullest extent. And that hurt my great people game.
     
  9. Myomoto

    Myomoto Chieftain

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    I think it's very telling that there are no policy cards that affect specialists. I'm almost convinced the devs have completely forgotten the mechanic is even in the game...
     
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  10. KayAU

    KayAU Chieftain

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    @acluewithout

    Well, if you have the means to keep them happy, why not try to make all your cities as large as possible? I understand that people disliked the strong bias towards tall in Civ 5, but I think they have gone too far in the opposite direction this time.

    Basically, just about everything is tied to district and building count, and all of these are all fundamentally equal. This means that two small towns with Campuses will outperform a metropolis with 4 times the population in science, and also generate more great scientists. The Commercial Hub of a newly settled town can make the same amount of gold and great merchants as a world capital, once you buy the district and buildings. It is not just that it doesn't make sense, it also feels unrewarding to get so little out of a large city which required a lot of effort to develop.

    There are many ways you could improve this, some of which have been mentioned by others. To mention some:
    • Scaling benefits from buildings or from population by number of working specialists are good suggestions.
    • Making specialists generate GPP is also a good idea.
    • Directly scaling district/building/specialist yields based on city population is a possibility. This could be done based on thresholds, which basically means your districts "level up" as the city grows.
    • Increasing district synergies. Currently, you get some benefit from putting your Harbor next to your City Center or Commercial Hub, but this could probably be expanded upon, to create more opportunities for cities with multiple district types.
    • Adding policy cards which enhance specialists.

    I appreciate having a mix of smaller and larger cities as well, I just think that the larger ones need to be much better than they currently are.

    @Aussie_Lurker
    I love the idea of getting Great Thologians for your Great Prophet points. I actually think there is already a mod which does something very similar, I think it was called "Great Followers" there.

    @Myomoto
    I believe you are correct. A few of us asked about specialists in the last livestream, but the answer we got sounded like they were talking about Great People, or possibly governors. I think this is indeed a forgotten mechanic.
     
  11. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

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    @KayAU I think the core design* of Civ VI is right - i.e. a few tall cities but lots of small cities. It creates the potential for more variety - more light and dark. Civ 5's focus on tall v wide is just not a good way forward. Just way too binary. Too blunt. Too boring.

    I think we're it all goes slightly wrong is wide being best for everything, which is because you can build all districts in every city (with the exception of the Government Plaza and sort of the IZ and Entertainment Districts (which can be built everywhere**, but seem designed to be built sparingly)).

    I think the tall + wide v just tall, and the game overall, would work better if science and the campus played by different rules. Specifically, I'd like the total number of campuses in your empire either hard or soft capped; and I'd like great scientist points not to come so much from the district and buildings but instead from maybe policies and or happiness ... or just something else really.

    As I explained below, I don't think specialists are forgotten. I think they actually work as intended - and could maybe be tweaked a little but are actually completely okay. If anything, I think specialist are maybe underrated. Either way, they just aren't intended to be a big deal anymore.

    (*...okay, well, what I think was the intended core design)

    (**but which are rubbish, so you actually don't build them anywhere at all.)
     
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  12. darkace77450

    darkace77450 Chieftain

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    If buildings and specialists granted GPP then players would be rewarded whether they're aiming for a concentrated empire of large cities or a sprawling empire of smaller cities, and those with a skill to manage a sprawling empire of large cities would be rewarded for doing so. As is, you're not going to have a bunch of citizens to spare for district buildings if you don't have a large population, and supporting a large population requires an investment in the form of food, housing, and amenities. I personally don't feel the payoff rewards this investment.
     
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  13. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Warlord Supporter

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    This is a pretty good summary. While Civ 6 is (as intended) flexible enough that you can "win your way" at any difficulty level, the route of growing large cities and making use of specialists is a much slower path to victory than most due to the amount of investment required and the relatively low return on that investment.

    Not everything has to be "balanced", but if an empire of 8 cities with 10 population each can win the game faster on any victory condition than you can with an empire of 8 cities for which you invest in growing one of those cities to size 20 (and for most civs I believe this will be the case), that suggests to me that it wouldn't hurt to give larger cities a buff in some way.
     
  14. Ivan Hunger

    Ivan Hunger Chieftain

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    The purpose of specialist slots is to give cities that are squeezed in by either other cities or unworkable terrain a way to use their population.

    If none of your cities have ever used a specialist slot, then that just means you're doing a good job giving your cities room to breath. Congratulations, you're good at Civ 6.

    I'm skeptical that giving specialists added benefit outside of their intended purpose would make the game better. It's okay to have some mechanics that are just safety nets and not something the player needs to proactively chase after.
     
  15. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    That's a great comment. I haven't seen it that way until now, but it's food for thought for sure.
    There may have been a great fear that the fanbase finds 5 and 6 too similar that drove them.
     
  16. Alexadamz

    Alexadamz Chieftain

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    I guess the devs really forgot specialists, like other have said. For me, the biggest flaw in the specialists' system is the lack of GPP, or rather GPP coming from the district alone or its buildings. Maybe just taking off GPP generation from the districts themselves and their buildings could work, but it guess it just would take too long to have one GP spawn, which could cause trouble mainly for the religion game. I guess I would balance that making that only the first of each district built in the empire provided GPP points, and bonus GPP could only come from specialists. That way, more districts in more cities meant more specialists slots for more GPP generated, but not more passive GPP without effort.

    Besides, I think it would also be more historically accurate that way: the first district built would mean the first effort of your civilization towards a certain area (faith, science, culture etc.), so that would attract Great People; but getting more Great People would requires more investment of your civilization towards that certain area, hence the specialists, trainers of the new generation of Great People. More of the same structure without any further depth would not attract freshness and inovation.
     
  17. darkace77450

    darkace77450 Chieftain

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    If you find yourself needing to work a Factory for +2 production then you probably didn't have the production necessary to build the Factory in the first place.
     
  18. Ivan Hunger

    Ivan Hunger Chieftain

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    So you just buy it with gold instead?
     
  19. redfox85

    redfox85 Chieftain

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    I use specialists in domination victories to starve the acquired city to reduce required amenities to 0.
     
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  20. darkace77450

    darkace77450 Chieftain

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    What I'm saying is working a Factory (1 citizen for +2 production) is a really desperate move. If that little production is a make-or-break situation for you at a point in the game when the worst possible mine provides +4 production then you've chosen a very poor location for your city.
     

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