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Envoys < Emissaries?

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by The Fuzzician, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. DarkZero

    DarkZero Chieftain

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    Instant gratification crowd?

    You realize that diplomacy is a win condition, if diplomats are not strong, them it becomes impossible to get city states far away from your territory and roads, and thus it becomes impossible to win a diplomatic victory, the problem here is that a lower tier diplo unit is better than the advanced version, because of the hammer cost increase, making it abusable for human players by delaying a tech on purpose.

    Quest as the main way to get allies is a terrible idea ive had hard as fudge to complete quests that giving me 5 influence while quests i complete on accident giving me 200, its to much rng in a victory condition wen every single other win is so focused and rng free.

    Makes perfect sense to me that a diplomatic unit should make you at least friends whit the city state if you at 0, maybe a small nerf to 35 influence could be a start, only because right now emissaries really start at 45 influence due to the promotion they get from chanceries and the roman forum, and you really build those things before building the emissaries.
     
    Bromar1 likes this.
  2. doublex55

    doublex55 Chieftain

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    You dont need any allies in classical or medieval to win diplomatic victory. There isnt even world congress yet.
     
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  3. DarkZero

    DarkZero Chieftain

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    You dont need to capture a capital in the classical or medieval era either, but doing so makes domination that much easier, civs like siam want allies as soon as possible.

    Its like saying you dont need libraries in classical because you cant even research the rocket parts until information, a nonsensical statement.
     
  4. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    Making a smooth transition to each diplo unit is a multifacet problem.

    First, who's going to produce the units? There are civs that just want to make friends with one or two close CS for tactical purposes, who cannot expend too many resources in this. They think just in terms of investment. Investing 100 hammers in befriending nearby CS should give those civs more yields than the same thing in their cities. Investing in far away CS where they might be contested is not going to be efficient. Those civs will build eventually diplomatic buildings, but it's not a priority. There are also civs that want as many CS allies as they can get, be it for an unique ability, be it for the current AI strategy. They not only want the investment to be worthy, but they want also raw influence power so they can shift foreign influence. These civs will build diplomatic buildings as soon as posible, and will try for diplomatic wonders.

    Second, how is diplomatic units going to compare with CS quests? If diplos are too strong, quests become irrelevant, if quests are stronger, diplos are only for the tactical shifting just before one WC session.

    Third, what is the role of paper? Is it there to avoid stocking diplomatic units for a surprise shifting? Is it there to prevent non diplomatic civs from producing high diplomatic units? It kind of works like supply limit.

    Fourth, as it happens with military units, it makes sense that more modern units are less efficient (in influence per hammer), considering that overall production is much better and there are enhancing buildings online. Even if paper increases more dramatically than supply limit, the use of paper also increases, more or less in the same proportion, so the number of active diplomatic units relates to the number of productive cities.

    For an efficient use of diplomatic units, there are two national wonders that increase production and influence for diplomatic units created in that city, usually the capital. So a civ that doesn't want to dominate WC can just produce a diplo unit in capital from time to time in order to keep nearest CS under control.

    Some ideas for tinkering:
    - Requiring diplo buildings to be able to hammer produce units.
    - Reduce costs of units, but increase paper requirements. So it's only efficient for those that build the buildings.
    - Increase efficiency of the national diplomatic wonders (where only a limited used of diplos can be done).
    - Allow purchasing only in national diplomatic wonders.
     
  5. Moi Magnus

    Moi Magnus Warlord

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    If we only do number tweaks, here is a suggestion :
    +The Emmisary cost is upped to 2 papers. The Emmisary costing 1 paper makes it impossible to have the envoy upgrade interesting while keeping the influence reasonable. With the progression 2-3-5-7, the cost is +50% paper at each increase.
    +The hammer efficiency cost can decreases, but not that quick. I would say x0.75 at each upgrade.

    Emmisary 160 :c5production: (25%), 2 paper, 40 :c5influence:, 2 :c5moves: (Writing, First half of classical era)
    Envoy 250 :c5production: (20%), 3 paper, 50 :c5influence:, 3 :c5moves: (Civil Service, Second half of medieval era)
    Diplomat 400 :c5production: (15%), 5 paper, 60 :c5influence:, 4 :c5moves: (Industrialisation, Second half of industrial era)
    Ambassador 700 :c5production: (10%), 7 paper, 70 :c5influence:, 5 :c5moves: (Atomic theory, First half of atomic era)
     
    bigcat88 likes this.
  6. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    If emisary requires 2 paper, it cannot be produced until chanceries. Not enough with the first national wonder. Unless there's someone willing to sell some paper. I never need to purchase paper lately.
    Also, are you considering promotions given by diplomatic buildings? It's a +20 influence with all four promotions, it's much cheaper to hammer produce units too. And the final promotion that allows trespassing, it should be accounted for too.
    Increasing the value of some promotions (those granted by national wonders) is also doing number tweaks.
     
  7. Moi Magnus

    Moi Magnus Warlord

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    You are right, I should also had added +1 paper to the first national wonder.
    I don't have all the modifiers in head, so I read and sup up them before my next suggestion.
     
  8. Owlbebach

    Owlbebach Warlord

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    Maybe reduce influence to 20 AND cost by 50%? It will still be limited by paper until Chanceries. This way they will become a tool to achieve Ally status if you're close to it, but it will be hard to use them as the only tool.
     
  9. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    An option is to increase costs in the same proportion as influence raises and let the buildings be what makes the difference. This way there's no gaining or losing when the unit is changed. In contrast, when a building grants 5 influence and 1 paper it could increase cost of diplo units instead of decreasing it.
    Or, unlocking the diplo unit by producing the building first, the same as archaeologists, which need public schools to be able to produce. There are four different buildings and four different units. That way, researching the technology is not punishing, only if the player invests in stronger diplo units, it has to pay more for it.

    Another option is to make older diplo units obsolete at a higher technology, so the player can produce both units for a while.
     
  10. StugLife

    StugLife Chieftain

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    Somehow, this just makes most sense to me, although there would surely be much work involved.
    This attribute of diplomatic units could be called "Base Influence", and then it could be stated somewhere that it will be subject to reduction per era in order to keep civilopedia entries useful for reference.
     
  11. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Warlord

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    I too like the proposed solution by @Psikus .

    Also, I think it would help if there were no limit to negative influence (I think it's -60 now?) and if there were more factors causing an instant decrease in influence that would come in effect even during/after war (like stealing a worker) and/or a permanent decrease in base influence. That would help in reducing the exorbitant amounts of influence in later stages of the game.
     
  12. Workerspam

    Workerspam Chieftain

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    This seems like the simplest solution. Emissary->Envoy appears to be the only transition that is dramatic enough to alter your tech strategy. Lower the Emissary to 25 or 30 influence and the Envoy suddenly looks powerful. 25 influence is almost enough to go from neutral to friend or friend to ally, a worthwhile enough jump that early in the game. Lower the cost of the Emissary a bit to compensate and call it a day.
     
  13. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    To help discussion. From civipedia:

    Unit - cost - requires paper - influence - movement
    Emissary (Writing) - 100 - 1 - 40 - 2
    Envoy (Civil Service) - 250 - 3 - 50 - 3
    Diplomat (Industrialization) - 500 - 5 - 60 - 4
    Ambassador (Atomic Theory) - 750 - 7 - 70 - 4
    Purchasing cost approx. doubles production cost.

    Building - cost - maintenace - paper - increased production - promotion
    Scrivener's Office (Writing) - 144 - (national) - 1 - 10% - none
    Chancery (Education) - 294 - 3 - 1 - 10% - Royal Signet (+5 inf)
    Printing Press (Civil Service) - 175 - (national) - 1 - 20% - Literacy (+5 inf, +1 movement, ignores terrain costs)
    Wire Service (Replaceable Parts) - 1800 - 6 - 1 - 20% - wire service (+5 inf, +1 movement)
    Foreing Bureau (Radio) - 175 - (national) - 2 - 20% - diplomatic immunity (+5 inf, trespass)

    I'll study 2 cases. Civ T is tall, has 6 cities including capital, has no interest in controlling WC, just want some close allies. Civ W is wide, has 10 to 15 cities, but only 10 of them are productive enough, it wants to make as many alliances as it can hold.

    1st case.
    Writing. Scrivener's Office is built before any emissary, for the paper. Production is 10% better, as if costs were 90%. Civ T is not going to produce them in a row, so it looks just at influence per hammer. 40 influence per 90 hammers = 0.44 influence efficiency.
    Education. Secondary cities only build chanceries if paper is needed. What matters is emissaries in capital. Production is 20% better. Influence is 5 better. 45 influence per 83 hammers = 0.54 ie
    Civil Service. Civ T doesn't want to produce any envoy without a printing press, it doesn't need to rush diplos. Production is 40% better, Influence is 60. 60 influence per 178 hammers = 0.33 ie. The influence efficiency is much lower, but there's a tactical advantage in allying any CS in one shot.
    Industrialization. Same buildings, new unit. Now it gives 70 influence with the same production efficiency, but much higher cost. 70 influence per 357 hammers, that's 0.19 ie.
    Replaceable Parts. We need wire service before producing any Foreign Bureau. It increases production up to 60%, and influence increases +15. Now diplomats give 75 influence and cost 312 hammers, so 0.24 ie.
    Radio. With a foreign bureau, diplomats now give 80 influence and cost 278 hammers, so 0.29 ie.
    Atomic Theory. Ambassadors are now only for the very special shifting before a voting. Giving 90 influence is fine, but they are prohibitive at 416 hammers (sometimes 2 turns of a production heavy capital), and efficiency is just 0.21.

    So the worst change is going from envoys to diplomats, since there's no extra building to make up for the increasing costs. It's ok for diplo units to be every time less efficient, to prevent their abuse when there's too much production available.

    2nd case
    This is tougher than I expected. Too many assumptions, too many ramifications. General rule is that every new technology increases influence per turn, but costs are higher. Purchasing is better for increasing influence per turn, and capital begin to compete with local diplomats beginning industrialization. Early game, the limiting factor is not having paper. After chanceries the limiting factor is lack of gold. Then again in Wire Service we are more restricted by paper.

    It's impossible to keep up alliances just with diplomatic units. They can be used for securing some CS, or taking a CS with difficult quests, but it's main usage is a tactical shift before a voting session. That's why hitting 60+ influence is so much better than a cheaper influence.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  14. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Why would I waste hammers early in the game to build and emissary that gives me 0 value? If I can't make a cs a friend then it's a waste of hammers...so I have to make 2.

    And then because my paper is limited it takes a number of turns to build and send it out...and every turn is lost influence.

    People forget hammers are precious precious precious in the early game. If I am giving up a military unit to keep me alive or forgoing the permanent bonus of a building it has to be worth my time.

    If I can't make friends with an emissary and keep the friend bonus for a number of turns...its just not cost effective enough compared to other things I need to build.

    Nerfing the emissaries bonus is not the answer
     
  15. Deadstarre

    Deadstarre Expert

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    youre either willfully overstating that 25 influence equates to zero value for the purposes of your argument, or ... are just really mistaken? I dont know, but if you dont think it has value then feel free to not build it; solved. I happen to highly disagree and I would build them for 25 influence. Doesnt mean i'll send them to CS I have zero influence with unless I had a really good reason to, but I will build them!
     
  16. Workerspam

    Workerspam Chieftain

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    I would expect early on you would send Emissaries those CSs you've earned some reputation with through quests. If you're starting from scratch I don't think it's unreasonable to put some real effort into gaining an ally.

    If some people choose to forgo Emissaries until Envoys are available I think that's also fine. Everyone's priorities are different; some forgo religion early to usurp another, some forgo early infrastructure in favor on conquest. Playstyle diversity is one of the great aspects of VP.

    As the game stands, the number of CS allies I have in the early game is limited only by the number of CSs in my vicinity. If I have 5 CSs nearby I will have 5 allies soon after I build the Scrivener's Office (not solely through Emissaries, of course). Occasionally I'll build them if I have free hammers but usually I'll buy them. If Emissaries were dialed back maybe I won't commit the resources to keep 5 allies; at a minimum I'll have to put more work into keeping them.
     
  17. Deadstarre

    Deadstarre Expert

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    anyway even though the consensus here is that theres a problem with the current system there is roughly zero chance of consensus on the way forward from there. I personally think emissary needs a nerf and I don't want to see ratios improve anywhere because more bloat does nothing. Some of the bloat comes from the high numbers / availability (looking at you emissary), some of it might possibly be AI who for some reason continue to pump diplos into CS theyre already allied and at 300+ with in the renaissance (that really kind of a separate *possible* issue, requires a peek into ai performance but its not hugely a problem either- the AI I play with who do it can also afford it).

    I put some of my thoughts down here already but to add a few and summarize what i'll be trying (pending unforeseen official changes incoming)-


    Increase scriv office paper supply to provide 5 paper, roman forum to provide 3.


    Emissary use 5 paper (mainly keeping them at 1-2 available, no room for hordes to be built)
    -lower emissary influence to 25 and lower production cost to 62 (same ratio but effectively a nerf to emissary by way of decay, strengthens the need to stay close to home early)
    --- slightly lower scriv office production cost to offset the loss of a free super emissary


    Envoy use 4 paper (can now build immediately upon tech unlock - no longer firmly gated behind chanceries due to paper needs. Small empires quickly gain access to 2 of them, larger empires will mainly have access to 3-4)
    -lower envoy influence to 40 and lower production cost to 200 (same ratio, getting better use of promotions / very marginally worse for decay but overall leading to less bloat)
    ---Envoys require a chancery to be rush-bought (new availability comes with some stipulation)


    Diplomat use 3 paper (small empires have great access if they can afford them, larger empires basically able to build at-will before or after wire service but the counters of spies, wars and WC proposals are now also very real things- careful with your hammers)
    - lower diplomat influence to 55 and lower production cost to 450 (same ratio, keeping a theme).
    --Diplomats require a chancery to be rush-bought
    ---Wire Service production cost lowered to 1250 (from 1800), promotion now grants +10 influence (role as a paper supplier greatly diminished, finds new role as a cost effective building you want asap in at least a couple cities for the diplo game)


    Ambassador use 2 paper and otherwise remains the same (So late in the game I can't think of any reason their universal availability should be a problem, testing will make certain)
    - Ambassador requires a wire service to be rush-bought


    Lower the trade value for paper (otherwise scriv office becomes a no-brainer to always build and sell all the paper)



    I see these changes as thematic (paper efficiency getting better with new technology), addressing tall v wide problems, increasing great diplo usefulness, decreasing bloat and getting back closer to the original intention of emissary not being the penultimate diplo unit. also fits effortlessly into all existing functionality so far as I can tell
     
  18. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    If you flip the ratios, late-game AI diplo spam will become absolutely unbearable.

    G
     
  19. Deadstarre

    Deadstarre Expert

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    specifically in what way, compared to the status quo?

    from what i've observed, they either take interest in a CS or they don't at all. are you saying AI will suddenly take interest in every CS on the map and go after them? could also just remove the paper from wire service entirely to address "unlimited" quantity of diplos and / or leave ambassadors at a 3 paper requirement

    honestly i'd rather see late game diplo spamming (when i can do something about it) than the early to mid game stuff that goes on right now
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  20. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    Actually, having scriveners office being the main source of paper is not a bad idea. Requiring chanceries to purchase.
    I don't agree with late game diplomats requiring less paper, though. It could lead to too many units late game.
     
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