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Free-Research Balance Mod

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Seek, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Seek

    Seek Chieftain Supporter

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    Free-Research Balance Mod

    A mod exclusively created for use with Thalassicus' Balance - Combined Modpack (specifically the Balance - Research mod component) limiting Great Scientists and Research Agreements.

    Great Scientists yield a limited number of beakers, in general enough to complete a tech until mid-Renaissance but not after. Beakers are determined by number of techs, so deep beelines may not allow complete bulbs even before that; one goal is to help promote wide teching as well as to nerf GSs. Research Agreement are overpowered in my opinion, especially if micromanaged, so their costs have been significantly raised. I wanted a Research Agreement to feel like a rare and special thing - maybe one or two at a time.

    Details:
    Spoiler :
    • Great Scientists' :c5science: scales with map size, difficulty and game speed, but not advanced starts.
    • Ten turn cooldown between GS bulbs.
    • Excess beakers do not overflow.
    • Formula: ((.35x)^2.55)+450 where x is number of technologies researched.
    • RA costs: Ancient=200, Classical=300, Medieval=450, Renaissance=600, Industrial=800, Modern=1000, Future=1250.
    • Great Scientist change is player only. The AI's GSs are unaffected.


    Notes:
    ***Please note the Great Scientist bulb mechanic is changed: Pressing the bulb button will result in beaker investment into the tech being currently researched! Tooltip reflects this, but be warned.;)***
    Spoiler :
    • With Alpaca's blessing (and assistance;)), I've taken his Great Scientist modifications from PlayWithMe for general use. Alpaca is responsible for the creation of all GS-related content and Gazebo (creator of the fantastic City-State Diplomacy Mod) for the RA ideas so all praises should be directed to them.:king:
    • Compatibility: Free-Research is incompatible with Liberation Boost. I haven't yet found issues with anything else. If you have PWM installed (but not enabled) there *might* be some funny business that prevents the capture of workers and settlers - I suggest you move PWM out of the mods folder when using Free-Research. I would assume that any mods which affect GSs' bulbing mechanic would be incompatible. Reports welcome.
    • There are some small benign unit action changes brought with it from PWM that aren't necessary for this mod, but otherwise have no significant effect. I'm hesitant to delete stuff from the lua files because my understanding of lua is very limited.
    • If you want to play without the RA changes, delete the CostIncreases.xml file. If you only want to play with the RA changes, delete everything else.


    Version History
    Spoiler :
    Version 3 uploaded. Adjusted GS formula slightly to give more beakers in the late game and thus be more worthwhile at that point. Modern and Future era RAs have a greater cost to more closely match tech costs.
    Version 2.1 available and seems stable. Now included as a part of Balance - Combined!:D
    Version 2 Uploaded, version one was bugged.


    Feedback welcome!
    Specifically:

    • How do the beaker amounts feel? Too much, too little or just right? Same with RAs: are the costs appropriate, punitive, inconsequential?
    • Is there interest in a version that is more applicable for vanilla tech costs? This would require two separate mods, as Balance - Research increases tech costs dramatically, thus use of this mod with vanilla would be much less effective. Though I'd rather not do this, if there's enthusiasm for it I will.


    Special thanks to Alpaca, Gazebo and Thalassicus.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. butaneko

    butaneko Chieftain

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    I'd like to try this out. How do I install it?

    Thanks
     
  3. Seek

    Seek Chieftain Supporter

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    Just unzip it and put the file into MyDocuments/My Games/Civilization5/MODS then activate it ingame like you would normally.

    Enjoy!
     
  4. Txurce

    Txurce Chieftain

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    The GS half of this mod becomes an either-or choice with Perkus' Harder Free Tech mod, right?
     
  5. Seek

    Seek Chieftain Supporter

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    I don't think there is any compatibility reason why you couldn't use both together. Early game, Perkus' mod would limit you more, but later when GSs can't complete a tech anyway the effect would be lessened. I haven't tried them together so I'm not sure if the change to GSs' ability would exonerate them from the median tech limitations, let me know.

    Keep in mind that both mods affect only the player, so you'd be handicapping yourself pretty severely!
     
  6. Txurce

    Txurce Chieftain

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    Yeah, I'm not that good! Perkus' mod works very well, I think - but I like the beaker concept better. My only complaint about HFT was that you had to keep checking until the hard" label" became "free."
     
  7. Seek

    Seek Chieftain Supporter

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    Yes, it's simpler here, you just keep the GS fortified until you complete another tech to get more beakers. But in the meantime, you could simply invest the GS right off the bat and hard-tech the rest - it depends on whether you have a bunch of one-offs you can take to make it worthwhile.
     
  8. bobbyboy29

    bobbyboy29 I was saying boo-urns...

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    I'm thinking that maybe a better way to balance RA's, rather than just increasing cost per era is by either:
    1) Limiting the amount of RA's you can have at one time so you can't just have simultaneous agreements with everyone but have to choose.
    2)Increasing waiting time of subsequent agreements to mature (i.e first one gives a tech after 30 turns, 2nd takes 35 etc...)
    3) Increasing waiting time between signing RA's. (i.e have to wait 5 turns after signing the first RA to sign the second, 10 turns before the third etc...)

    Or some combination of the three.
    Not sure how feasible any of these are froma modding perspective but I think there needs to be some mechanism to create a trade-off between mass Research agreements as opposed to only having a few.
     
  9. Txurce

    Txurce Chieftain

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    All of these suggestions make some sense if the goal is balance. At this point Seek is basically trying to limit RA's to being rare occurrences. This is obviously subjective, and we'll see how people respond to the current version. I never liked the idea of giving gold even more importance, or the randomness of the system, or the fact that enemies still engaged in it, or how it had a "rich get richer" aspect to it. So for now I'm enjoying experimenting with a major nerf.

    In my first game I've noticed that the AI's tech pace has slowed down, so that I have basically stayed even on Immortal using a NC start, all the way to 500 AD or so. In this sense it's been a net benefit to me, although I expect that to change as the game moves into the later stages and I have more gold that could have been spent on multiple RA's.
     
  10. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    The problem is research agreements are almost unmoddable. You can't even change their duration without changing the overall deal duration, only their cost. I would remove them but right now they're almost the only reason why it makes sense to stay on good terms with the AI so I'm not sure that would be beneficial, all things considered.
     
  11. Txurce

    Txurce Chieftain

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    There's certainly no net benefit to Friendship. Good terms with the AI means better exchanges trading luxuries, the ability to sign RA's, and to steer them against each other. It really is a shame.

    I'm later in my first game with this mod, and have more gold than usual - enough that I just made 2 or 3 RA's around turn 200. I could have done more, but the AI was lower in gold than usual, or at least compared to what the going rate for an RA was.
     
  12. Seek

    Seek Chieftain Supporter

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    BobbyBoy: Good ideas for sure, but unfortunately there's not much else that can be done, as Alpaca pointed out. Right now (as far as I can tell) there are three things that are moddable for RAs:
    1. Duration of wait time: Thal has RAs last 30 turns instead of 20 in Balance - Research.
    2. Cost by era: What this mod does. AFAIK there are no other options that are available to modify cost; a dynamic one like what you suggested would be great.
    3. RESEARCH_AGREEMENTS_MOD in GlobalDefines: I haven't been able to find out what this does and messing around with it hasn't yielded anything noticeable whatsoever.

    *Alpaca, do you know anything about #3?*

    The method used here is hardly ideal, but in conjunction with Bal - Research it does solve some of the issues with RAs that Txurce mentioned. (The costincrease.xml is really easy to modify, so if the costs feel too harsh feel free to lower them.)
    ____________

    @Txurce - Playing with this mod, I've found myself gifting a lot more gold to the AI so as to get RAs with them - so it can be more of a nerf to the player than would be immediately apparent. It makes RAs cost more, obviously, but it's a risk since you don't know if the AI will further demand even more gold on top of that. Do the costs seem fair so far?
     
  13. Txurce

    Txurce Chieftain

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    I just mentioned over on another thread that my assumption that RA's had been all but eliminated turned out wrong. I built more TP's than usual, had more gold than usual, and could afford to have multiple RA's from about the 1/3 mark on. However, the AI often didn't have the gold, so in reality I only made 2 or 3 RA's by 1600. How did that seem? Amazingly, just right. It was something I had to weigh, and then find a partner for, as opposed to just spamming them.

    I'll let you know how the next game goes. The GS mod also felt right, and I subjectively prefer a beaker approach to the turn-based HFT approach. They're pretty similar, though.

    So... thanks for this, Seek - and of course, Alpaca.
     
  14. Seek

    Seek Chieftain Supporter

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    That's great to hear, thanks for the feedback, Txurce!:)

    After messing around with it all evening, I finally set the RESEARCH_AGREEMENT_MOD value crazy high, and I figured out that it gives :c5science: per turn! Exciting indeed, however entries in GlobalDefines only have one value and giving a value here *doesn't* negate the free tech at the end of the RA, so I'm not sure how useful it is. Maybe one of the supermodders around here could do something with lua? The amount of :c5science: scaled by 5 in the early eras, I'll have to test it more to see if it increases at a greater rate later.
    If it doesn't, one possibility could be to:
    • Move the RA unlock back to Education or Astronomy or maybe even Scientific Theory.
    • Increase RA prices still more, especially the earliest. Hmm, if it were unlocked at SciTheo, with a high starting RA cost it may not even have to scale by era since it would be so late.
    • Possibly increase the later techs' costs a bit more.
    Thoughts?
     
  15. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    Yes I think the RA mod is the old implementation when it still yielded a science bonus instead of a free tech.

    Can you change the duration of an RA without changing the duration of other deals?
     
  16. Txurce

    Txurce Chieftain

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    Again, in my opinion the mod seems balanced right now, in that it made RA's about half as likely to occur. But is the RA still OP? Not in the early game for the human player, since he usually doesn't have that much gold. Later in the game the RA still has the potential to be a dominant strategy, and the goal should be to make it less so.

    I really like the idea of making an RA more credible by unlocking it later in the game, and raising those costs somewhat would reduce it to a late-game bonus, rather than prime strategy. If this is the goal, it seems worth trying.
     
  17. Seek

    Seek Chieftain Supporter

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    Your statement got me curious, and apparently the RESEARCH_AGREEMENT_TIMER has no effect!:confused: That's a shame.

    I'll experiment with it and if I can get something that feels right, I'll put up a dev version. I do want to live with the regular version for a while. I like the idea of pushing back the unlock too, so I'll give that a shot without the RA_Mod added in as well.
     
  18. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    I thought so, hence I asked.

    The unlock sounds like a good fit for Scientific Theory or even a modern tech. You don't want it at education, that's already good enough imo
     
  19. Sneaks

    Sneaks Brooklyn Bum

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    I cannot find anywhere outside the .dll the location of where the game actually rewards the free tech. I have played with the RA mod in the past, given that the original RA for Civ V was supposed to be a 15% science boost.
     
  20. Seek

    Seek Chieftain Supporter

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    Agreed. Plus I think it'll give a neat "scientific revolution" feeling. I was able to mod the move in just fine, but I can't figure out how to get the bonus-ability star off of Philosophy. Is there an easy way to do this?

    @Sneaks
    Please let me know if you find out how to get rid of the free tech.
     

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