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Emissaries can be improved

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Crag Hack, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. Crag Hack

    Crag Hack Warlord

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    The current state of emissaries is problematic. The city states can be far from the player and often the emissaries can't reach to them due to open borders restriction. This mechanic can ruin a diplomatic strategy and cause frustration.

    These emessaries should be able to cross borders freely, just like missionaries cross borders. Attrition damage could be applied so that the emissaries exert less influence the longer they stay in foreign territory, again just as it is with the missionaries.

    Currently due to lack of open borders my missionaries idle. A whole stack of them. This is not cool, boring, and ruins diplomatic strategies. And it is not realistic either. Emissaries have diplomatic immunity. Plus they are not hostile military units, they are civilians and they are only transiting to a different destination.

    If they can cross borders this would make for more interesting games for those who like to pursue city-state strategies.

    I noticed that archeologists also cannot cross borders. This is not cool mechanics as well. Too restrictive and leads to idling and boredom in the game. I think they should be able to cross any borders freely enroute to a different destination, but if they want to excavate in a specific foreign territory they should have open borders agreement with that Civ.

    I believe civilians should be able to freely transit. But if they want to do a specific action other than just transiting, then they should have open borders agreement.
     
  2. Diverman

    Diverman Chieftain

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    Summer Palace WW gives open borders to diplomatic units and there's a National Wonder (can't recall the name) in modern era which gives it aswell.
    I find it more interesting to forbid border crossing to diplomatic units as it creates more natural spheres of influence + with a system where every civilian unit can cross borders, scouting enemy territory would be really easy.
    But that's just my opinion :)
     
  3. vyyt

    vyyt Deity

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    Definitely prefer the current state, @Diverman explained it well.
     
  4. Tryford

    Tryford Chieftain

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    This reminded me of an old idea of mine:

    What if the emissary worked on major civ, too?

    You could improve relations with your neighbor, get that open-border treaty, and the reach the city-state beyond.

    This would work better if relations were evaluated differently, a bit like how CivBERT has "Respect" and "Fear" metrics for evaluating how friendly a civ is. Your emissary could improve "Respect", but you still need to tackle the other element to make yourself respected. Won't be as easy as just spamming emissaries. Could also help ease tensions in case you feel some AIs are fast to denounce you and call you a warmonger. Would also make it clear that attacking cities is frown upon (in CivBERT, attacking a city for any reason cause outrage due to the civilian deaths caused. As long as you only kill soldiers, they don't seem to really care).

    EDIT: The emissary unit makes me reminescent of Civ 1, where you needed to train diplomats everytime you wanted an audience why a AI leader. This might skew my perspective as it would feel more natural to me to send those units towards major civs first, city-states second.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  5. Crag Hack

    Crag Hack Warlord

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    The problem is not about spamming diplomats. You are supposed to do so in pursuit of diplomatic relations with CS. And they don't come for free at all.

    Due to the restriction of open borders, the issue is largely RNG. If the city states are nicely next to you, 2 or 3 of them is enough to pursue reasonable diplomatic victory, then all is fine. But if the map is unfortunate and the CS are far from you and requires crossing 2 or 3 civilizations, then you are out of luck and ruined strategy.


    By the way you are out of luck but the Civs next to them are just very very lucky. I observe those lucky Civs often reach influence values over 1000. Good luck quickly reversing that. They already spammed at their comfort due to the lucky RNG while you had to wait and be frustrated most game with idle emissaries. Sure you could open borders with one Civ but it becomes impossible to if the terrain is such that requires a few more Civs. You know the response "impossible" right ?

    As for the summer palace, the conventions start earlier than the modern era. Waiting for that wonder is truly waste of time and lack of options. By that time some CS cease to exist even. Too late, wasted potency. Oh yeah, you might not get the wonder too if someone else does it. Unless you play on Chieftain difficulty.

    Just too restrictive and unfair. A whole aspect of the game gets easily ruined. It could have been free transiting for civilians. I love tinkering with City States but due to these open borders a potent and interesting aspect of the game gets amputated.

    And I find it bizarre that missionaries can cross (and even spread religion; not just transiting) without open borders. Yet emissaries who only transit without taking actions require open borders.

    How many of you have declared war just to be able to pass a civilian ? Usually over water is safe, just a few hexes needed to cross. A whole damn war because of this. Very unrealistic, those civilians are only transiting.

    By the way, sometimes you can gift units to CS. When you are surrounded by closed borders, how the military unit reaches the CS is open to imagination. Yet a civilian can't cross.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  6. Diverman

    Diverman Chieftain

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    Summer Palace is available at Acoustics (Renaissance era) and I don't know the map settings you are using, but with Communitas, most, if not all, CS are usually located near the sea, making them reachable for most of the civs on the map. Maybe you should give it a try if CS location is your main concern.

    Also, there are other options than emissaries to play the diplomatic game : spies, missions (while protecting the CS to have the influence bonus), and of course, destroying any civ which want to mess up with your CS. Diplomatic Victory is a lot about power projection and being able to wage war to protect your CS.
     
  7. Crag Hack

    Crag Hack Warlord

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    I use the Tectonic mapscript as it makes some very large maps as I play only 43Civs. It is quite random, sometimes can be lucky to get 2-3 CS right next to you or in proximity. But sometimes they get nested far behind other Civs which is very convenient for them.

    I understand your suggestion for summer palace but I often can't compete for wonders as at least few Civs are rushing them and really hard getting wonders.

    I prefered the restriction be removed so that the game gets more strategically open rather than being hostage to unlucky RNG placement.
     
  8. Crag Hack

    Crag Hack Warlord

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    And speaking about diplomatic influence, something I noticed and can't understand.

    So I see my influence with a CS, let's say 100. The screen also shows a contender score and it says 100 too. Then I send a GD and my score gets 200. But at the same turn the screen shows contender gets to 200 automatically.

    Why it showed 100 the previous turn ? Why didn't it show the true value so that I can evaluate the efficiency of my diplomat's action. Yesterday I spent 3 GD on the same turn only to observe this same thing how the contender updates the score to the exact same amount as mine on the same turn. I truly wasted precious GD. Had I known this particular CS is so much influenced I would have saved the diplomats. Why this weird obscurity ?

    And this happens very often. I can't afford to waste GD like that. Apparently his true influence is much higher but secretive, another mechanical breakpoint for me. Wasted 3 GD to uncover the influence is more than 1000, possibly more because I never was able to see how much it is. Always auto-updates on the same turn. Insane over 1000 influence, why no wonder that the Civ ally was exactly the one neighbouring the CS and obviously been spamming emissaries comfortably without any open borders issues like I had for most of the time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
  9. randomnub

    randomnub Prince

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    I think you should specify any no standard setting you like to play with when starting a suggestion thread, that way we can quickly dismiss it. Emissaries are alright on [insert standard map, standard size with standard # civs]
     
  10. Crag Hack

    Crag Hack Warlord

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    You heard that folks. From now on every post must start with

    [standard map, standard size with standard # civs]

    Otherwise will be dismissed :hammer2:

    Hey dude I am just saying what I believe adds more value to the mod. You can dismiss whatever you want.
     
  11. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I like that open borders and your general relationships with other civs is important in determining if you can send civilian units through their lands. Diplomatic relationships matter.
     
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  12. Crag Hack

    Crag Hack Warlord

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    Sure, Open Borders are important for many many reasons. I like Open Borders too. But the discussion is about exempting emissaries from Open Borders, just like the missionaries. The discussion is not about removing Open Borders from the game.
     
  13. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    Sorry if my post wasn't clear (though re- reading it I think it was...). I was trying to say that I like that open borders are required for emissaries to travel through foreign lands. It forces players that are pursuing a diplomatic victory to pay attention to their relationships with other civs and maintain open borders if possible. I like that inter-civ relationships are an important aspect of the game. So I would be opposed to giving emissaries a free pass through foreign lands with or without open borders even if there was an attrition mechanic similar to missionaries given to emissaries.
     
  14. cammcken

    cammcken Warlord

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    I actually noticed this in my game too. My influence and the contender's influence are the same. Looks like a bug.

    If you hover over the icon of whoever is the current ally, you'll see a message such as "Assyria is their current Ally. You need another 113 influence to surpass Assyria and become their Ally." That number sounds more correct.
     
  15. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Emperor

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    @randomnub isn't dismissing what you are saying out of hand. He is simply stating that it will help us understand the nature of your problem if you let us know what the details are. There is a significant difference in balance between even most non-standard settings and 43-civ games. I play Huge maps, Epic speed, 12 civs 24 city-states and I find emissaries to be useful.

    Your idea of civilians being able to enter enemy territory even without open border (provided they do not pose some kind of thread) is cool. I sometimes find myself a long way from city-states because I play Continents Plus which puts most of them on islands. Your settings are relevant to your balance concerns though.
     
  16. randomnub

    randomnub Prince

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    I also forgot to add some emotes to highlight the sarcastic tone of the reply.
     
  17. Recursive

    Recursive Emperor

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    Gazebo has stated that he won't rebalance the game around unusual settings, e.g. one city challenge or 43 Civs CP. Such settings may be fun but they come with their own drawbacks.
     
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  18. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    If you dislike CSs mostly spawning on islands in continents+, continents++ exists to fix just that. I can post it if you're interested.
     
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  19. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Emperor

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    It's OK, I actually like it :). Playing on a huge map setting sort of makes city-states more powerful than normal so not having immediate access to them balances that somewhat. IMO anyway!

    Thanks for offering though! I have been linked to the alternatives and took a look at them. Glad the option is available if I get tired of this map script!
     
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  20. Crag Hack

    Crag Hack Warlord

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    I recommend Tectonic mapscript for the 43Civ nerds like me with the following settings

    Size - Huge
    Continents - Standard
    Land - More
    Islands - Abundant
    Sea - Low
    Tectonics - Fast
    Plates - Standard

    I play only this setting after extensive testing. Provides the best and most balanced maps. Very unpredictable shape big plus. It is very important for me that each map is unique unpredictable shape. City States will be placed nested between Civs. There could be few on remote islands but most are nested all over the place.

    Plenty of land and sea and you will have to balance land and naval armies accordingly.
     
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