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Game balance proposals (very big post ahead)

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Creation & Customization' started by Ninakoru, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. Ninakoru

    Ninakoru A deity on Emperor

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    I'm preparing a full balance patch, I will publish it today both on workshop and Civ Fanatics Database, when I finish the testing. The topic is really about the balance changes I made, I will explain them so if anyone want to discuss about them, or has a better ideas please go ahead. The objective of this modifications is to make the game more balanced, so many underused aspects are buffed and the few overpowered ones are slightly degraded. This changes try to keep the game as unchanged as possible.

    Now with a dissection of problems, explanation and solution applied:

    Most old Vanilla Natural Wonders are a bit crap

    Low yield is the main issue here, many of them only give 5 yield units, and sometimes/some of them aren't worthy at all.

    SOLUTION:
    I buffed them slightly to get al least 6 (yield + happiness) count.

    Early gold problems

    Money can be easily an issue on civilization early stage. Until you have markets, road connections and some appreciable pop in your cities, money is too dependent on AI trading, trade routes, and gold luxuries. Out of Tradition is easy to get into red numbers even with barely no military, I consider this a problem specially when there are map types in wich you can be isolated, and/or you don't get any gold luxury. Heck, I even stayed in red numbers on isolated starts after disbanding every single military unit.

    SOLUTION:
    Free maintenance on monument/shrines.

    Simple solution. The most cheap buildings save up to 2 gpt per city, something that won't change economy drastically in the big scheme (is not like you will be buying settlers like mad with it), but makes early gaming more manageable and you will not drop into red numbers so easily, or in more standard situations you will be able to support a few extra units.

    AI free techs and units change the game too much

    On higher difficulties the game changes a lot. Most if not all Classical wonders are just gone before you get the chance to build them, forcing you to ignore them, and the free tech pressure makes the first part of the game a mere science catch up, because science is the most important aspect in the game hands down.

    SOLUTION:
    AI has no free techs in any difficulties, no settler on deity, and extra units are reduced by one, excluding scout. For example Immortal only has one extra warrior and the scout, deity has one extra worker, extra warrior and scout.

    This is somehow compensated with the science changes later explained, and the less science you will get from trade routes. Now you can count on early wonders if you decide they are key on your strategy, and you can go on non-science routes for more time until you are outdated, making tech paths more flexible.

    Warmonger penalties are huge, specially on early stages

    As many people think, these penalties are extreme, you are labeled trash if you play warmonger on early stages of the game, and the reduction per turn is barely noticeable. This hurt specially to warmonger play styles, where early warmongering is part of the strategy. Once you get into chain denunciation the diplomacy is gone for sure. Enemy civs won't open borders, trade luxuries in ratios of 3:1 or they give you a mere 2gpt per luxury.

    SOLUTION:
    Conquering cities give 40% less warmonger penalty, Warmonger penalty decay per turn is increased 40% and denunciations, City Liberations and Capital Captures weight 30% less in leader's opinion.

    These changes make early warmongering a bit more manageable, but far from diplomacy-free. If you want to conquer two of three cities of a neighbor early, you will get penalties, but not so huge you have to deny diplomacy.

    The game is too dependent on NC, and scientists ASAP in order to keep a decent science output.

    Lets face it, as you get into the higher difficulty levels, early National collegue, beelining education and placing Scientists ASAP are all a must. Scientists boost science output by a lot at the time you get universities, plus the early Academies also make an important difference in science output. The different of doing it this way or not doing it is huge.

    SOLUTION:
    Library: +1 science
    University: +2 Science, 25% instead of 33% science boost.
    National College bonus split with Oxford University (25% boost to city science each), Oxford unlocked at architecture.
    Scientist specialists give two extra science instead of three.
    Academy improvement base science down from 8 to 6 (up to 10 with tech yield upgrades).

    This way non science-focused approaches will have less impact in science output, while the science approach still gets similar numbers. The player has more margin to choose to delay education or to farm other specialists instead of scientists.

    Making NC weaker isn't so big issue because AI will have a slower start, so it's indirectly compensated by it. The less scientist output is compensated with base science from libraries and universities. Early academies where horribly strong, they are still great but not decisive.

    Standard GPs other than Scientist are barely used, and the use options are near always better than the improvement option

    Even with a downgraded Academy, the output difference between academy and Manufactory/Customs house is considerable. Due to the low output, the Production Rush or the Trade Mission abilities are used most of the time.

    SOLUTION:
    To make Manufactory/Customs house more interesting, the base value is risen from 4 to 5, and the tech upgrades from chemistry and economics rise the value by two.

    Windmill is barely worthy, and you can't set all four production slots on hill cities

    Windmill low production bonuses make it a low opportunity cost. Not being able to build them in hills isn't so much of an issue, especially because you won't build them anyways most of the time, but you miss a specialist slot, and you should have all 4 specialist slots in any city.

    SOLUTION:
    To make Windmill more worthy, the not on hills requirement was removed, and the base production bonus goes up to 3.

    Kremlin, Ankor Wat and Pentagon are the worst wonders

    Ankor Wat ability is overlooked. Kremlin is mostly wanted for the free policy, but the production bonus is too situational. Pentago just comes too late to be of real use.

    SOLUTION:
    Ankor Wat also provides +3 gold and +3 culture. Kremlin armor production bonus down to 30% but gets a base production bonus of +5, and Pentagon now unlocked in Combustion.

    Some religion beliefs are clearly underpowered

    Some pantheons are light versions of part of social policies which is truly forgettable. Ceremonial burial downgrade makes it as a Founder belief even worse than many happiness boosting follower beliefs. World church and peace loving require followers not in your city, and the numbers are quite high, so is hard to get into decent numbers even if you have a completely dominant religion.

    SOLUTION:
    Goddess of protection: From 30% to 50% bonus city ranged damage.
    Religious settlements. Faster border growth boosted from 15% to 25% bonus
    Ceremonial burial: boosted by 50%, now each three cities give 2 happiness
    Peace loving: Boosted to 1 happiness for each 6 followers instead of 8.
    World church: Boosted to 1 culture per 4 followers instead of 5.

    The two first pantheon beliefs have the bonuses values switched with the Tradition policy versions, it makes more sense this way.

    Siege units are near useless until Artillery (excluding some Uniques)

    Catapults, Trebuchets and Cannons must enter into city range to get their shots out, and they can be crushed just as easy as ranged units (or even more due to not benefit from rough terrain bonuses), while ranged are much more versatile due to not having to setup for fire, so siege is eclipsed by ranged until artillery, and makes the renaissance units the less useful for military operations.

    SOLUTION:
    All siege units (except Siege tower) get Cover I promotion as a base promotion.

    This gives a slight indirect nerf to ranged, witch BTW is welcomed, but more importantly, makes siege more durable, able to withstand a first round from a city + possible ranged garrison prior to fire or retreat.

    On social policies, Tradition and Rationalism are the most used because of the major impact on the game compared to other policies

    Tradition has become the best ancient option. It remains unchanged in BNW (even buffed with the Faith Engineer), where early gold and happiness are severely nerfed, making it a solid choice for a fluent early empire setup.

    Liberty still works OK, fast city setup is always powerful, but is severely restricted due to with gold and happiness problems, so the extra cities on initial setup is hard to achieve.

    Honor and Piety boost Military/Faitch in several ways, but the production/growth bonuses from tradition/liberty totally eclipses them. Piety also lack early culture boosting, making a pain to finish the tree without using the beliefs to do so.

    Rationalism is too powerful even it got nerfed. You get huge boosts to science witch is the most important resource. Even going only for Opener + Secularism provides a huge 35-40% science boost for only two policies.

    SOLUTION:
    · Tradition border growth cut from 25% to 15%. Ranged strength down from 50% to 30%. Happiness and gold in capital down from +1 each two pop to +1 each three pop.
    · Liberty unhappiness cut from non-occupied pop boost from -5% to -8%.
    · Honor give +2 prod in capital and 10% unit production bonus instead of 15% melee, three units maintenance-free, and instead of garrison happiness and culture: Walls, Stables and Forges give +1 happiness and +1 Culture, plus 25% building bonus. Discipline promotion also grants a +25% flanking bonus.
    · Piety grants +1 culture from shrines and temples, +1 food from granaries and hospitals, +4 happiness from grand temple, and -10% policy cost for future policies.
    · Rationalism's Secularism science bonus from each specialist reduced from 2 to 1.

    Tradition is very good as it is, and the synergies and policy placement are just perfect, so I opted to reduce the existing bonuses instead of re-arranging or removing core SP abilities.

    Liberty is indirectly buffed thanks to free monuments and shrines, so money is not so much of a problem. The only other restriction that hurt liberty is happiness, so lowering the mark of 1 happiness from each 20 pop to 13 should make this policy stable.

    Honor just provides what is needed for early harass and the production boosts are enough to not fall too behind due to the lack of empire-building policy abilities.

    Piety, even divided with Aesthetics, should still be king on culture, and give some minor empire-building aids in form of happiness and growth to not fall too behind in the early game.

    Rationalism: Secularism nerf should be enough to keep the tree less of a no-brainer, but still very powerful, and in many situations the best option.

    Thanks for reading this post.
     
  2. SalemSage

    SalemSage Warlord

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    Intriguing changes.

    I'm going to have to give this mod a spin once you publish it, none of the changes seem all that bizarre or overpowered. Though the one thing I did notice which raised my eyebrows slightly was the Goddess of Protection change - though we'll see how that goes, I guess!

    I'll play a Rome game and try to go Liberty and take roads less travelled and see how it goes!
     
  3. Greizer85

    Greizer85 Emperor

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    No... Just no. Have you seen what the AI does with this, even in its un-buffed state? Otherwise good changes, although I'd still pick Rationalism every time even with the nerf. Science is simply too powerful; imo the whole tree should be removed from the game and not replaced with anything, so that there'd be an actual choice involved. Btw you could've done something to buff Exploration as it's a horrible tree in its current state.
     
  4. Koiranputki

    Koiranputki Prince

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    Very thoughtful post.... I, too, think that a few tweaks could be made to the Exploration tree....maybe a +4 or +5 Production boost for Coastal cities...something that will make you really want to slog through the tree to get to the finisher....which can be really great when you turn up one of those huge "cultural" sites...maybe more hidden archaeological sites. Also, and with the regular sites as well, less beads and maybe more manuscripts or maybe statutes which could be interchanged with paintings...

    The Commerce tree has some painful bits as well, though not as bad as Exploration....Aesthetics is quite good as it is I think....
     
  5. Ninakoru

    Ninakoru A deity on Emperor

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    Well, didn't expect Goddess of Protection boost would be alerted, after all is a policy that si rarely used by humans, if ever, and I didn't see complaints about the 50% bonus you get from Tradition originally. The AI can have fearsome ranged cities with this pantheon and Tradition, but as the values are switched, the total +80% is the same.

    Yeah, is hard to get exploration instead of the other advanced policies, it gives a bit of everything but not enough of nothing to be really compelling... But I've gone exploration in a few water maps and I felt it was OK, dunno.
     
  6. Ninakoru

    Ninakoru A deity on Emperor

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    Hey, finally released the mod, have fun!

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/downloads.php?do=file&id=21997

    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=194751874

    BTW policy yields changes other than happiness are not shown, to see them there are great mods there like Enhanced UI.

    Also note there's no lua coding involved, I purposedly wanted to do it fully addressing ingame database, that way so there's not possiblity for additional bugs.

    The game is only translated for 'en_US' language, in the future I may change texts for other languages.
     
  7. Magma_Dragoon

    Magma_Dragoon Reploid

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    :agree: Thank you Greizer, for giving me an opportunity to use this smiley.

    Completely agree the NC is too important and too powerful. Instead of fiddling with numbers on academies and scientists and universities and libraries, why not just push the NC a bit further down the tech tree, to civil service perhaps?
     
  8. goremand

    goremand Chieftain

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    These changes all seem pretty cool, will take this mod for a spin once I'm done with XCOM: EW.
     
  9. zukenft

    zukenft Xx420NoWondeRHon0rStaRtxX

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    you should edit the first post to include the link, spoiler up the changes for less clutter, and move this to the mods forum.
    also, you haven't balanced the civs yet. there's a lot of talk about how weak byz, america, denmark are, or korea and babylon OP, etc.
     
  10. glider1

    glider1 Deity

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    Thanks for the effort Ninakoru I'll definitely give this mod a spin.
     
  11. Doktor Vic Tim

    Doktor Vic Tim King

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    As for the no maintenance Monument and Shrine. Maybe it could gain a 1 gpt maintenance once you hit medieval era?
     
  12. Ninakoru

    Ninakoru A deity on Emperor

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    Well, not sure, this is a discussion about the proposals used in the mod, not of the mod itsef, but yeah, I guess I can split it out of something.

    As for the current civs, yeah, there are so much differences between Civs is hard to find an objective middle ground, most of them can shine depending on map and luck.

    For example, extra sight from America Civ while is not a direct benefit like a resource, production boost, maintenance cut... It can be really useful during the whole game. The B17 bombers are awesome once you get to that point, minuteman are nice too.. As for Denmark, just the same, the ability of landing siege units on a city coast and start firing on the go is priceless if properly abused.

    Not sure why you want to do so. I mean, 2 max gpt saving per city is not a huge change. There's no building that changes the maintenance, units do change over time, and as you advance you build more expensive buildings, but maintenances do not change that way.
     
  13. rkade8583

    rkade8583 Realism Invictus Player

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    Going subtle? I like that. I'll give this puppy a whirl.

    Edit: As a religious civ, I like the buffs to piety but I worry that Tithe and Pilgrimage might be OP. Maybe nerf? If not, hey, I'll take advantage of 'em... Especially Pilg.
     
  14. MKDELTA3

    MKDELTA3 Warlord

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    Wouldn't removing the No Defensive Terrain Bonuses penalty from siege engines be better than free Cover? I think Cover is OK but removing that malus would be better. Siege units would still be vulnerable on flatlands but benefit from rough terrain. Cover is not a hard promotion to achieve if you put any effort into military infrastructure. Of course it might not be enough which leads me to the next point.

    Ranged unit strenght (except pre-Artillery siege units) and city combat strenght could IMO use a throughout trashing with the nerf bat. Ranged combat is way too good and cities are way too good at defending themselves without any military presence.

    No maintenance on Monuments and Shrines is a good move in my opinion.

    I don't know if the border expansion bonus is really the big thing about Tradition opener. Maybe it is but I feel that one of the reasons why Tradition is so well-liked (aside from great and usefull growth bonuses) is that it gives so much culture that it's a very self-sustaining tree. You can complete it in a reasonable time while the other Ancient trees take forever to finish.

    I would honestly completely rework Oligarchy into something else and put the garrisoned units are maintenance free effect to Honor. That policy is an abomination. City combat strenght is already high enough, +50% is absurd and early military bonuses have no place to be in Tradition. Tradition gets so much free stuff that if you spawn next to an early warmonger you can build those archers and walls without sacrificing Monuments. But since you wanted to go for subtle I doubt this kind of move would interest you.

    Liberty would IMO at least need a lump sum of Happiness on a relatively early point to faciliate expansion. The current happines bonuses take forver to come online so to speak. It also suffers from bonuses being at awkward spots, like getting a free settler in a time where you could have easily built 2-3 settlers (3-4 cities being generaly the sustainable amount of early cities due Happiness) and getting the city culture bonus at a point where you probably aren't going to be new cities anyway.

    I'm probably the only person here who likes Military Caste about as it is. I like how one can use it to reduce unhappiness in puppets/annexed cities before a courthouse is built. It's not much but sometimes it's enough to buy time before happiness goes into deep red while you take measures to prep up happiness. If you feel that Honor doesn't have enough Happiness I'd just up to garrison happiness to 2. It would help policing occupied cities too. Generic unit production bonus instead of melee production bonus is a good move.

    Piety is unfixable at least without doing something to seriously rebalance reformation beliefs. Culture from Shrines and Temples is a good move but of course steps on the toes of Ancestor Worship. It's a dismal pantheon anyway.
     
  15. rkade8583

    rkade8583 Realism Invictus Player

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    I always felt that piety was kind of a "now for later" tree. When I finally max it out, I'm hemorrhaging faith and, by extension, units/GP. Pity there's no "holy zeal" kind of thing where you get a buff against heretics :p
     
  16. Ninakoru

    Ninakoru A deity on Emperor

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    My idea is that siege units always have extra defense against ranged (both ranged units and city ranged attack), not only on rough terrain. The no defense from terrain is great to not let siegue units survive easily from melee attacks if they are settled on a hill. I think the actual weakness they have against melee fits well and should remain that way.

    Well, IMO is the city the major problem, not the ranged units themselves. I was thinking on reducing some values to obtain a 33% decrease in ranged city strength, but +50% HP. As discussed in other post some time ago, city ranged attack alone is the top consideration when you decide to enter into their range or not.

    The +3 culture of the opener and the free culture buildings (monuments) on new cities do the trick. What makes Tradition so good is everything, policies came just in time to get full benefit, and to me the most overpowered is Monarchy, witch lead to huge happiness and gold, something purposedly restrained in BNW early gaming.

    The initial approach of giving tall empires defensive abilities to resist against wide empires was understandable, but at game's current state, tall is can be more powerful than wide, so yeah, it's a bit of overkill. The +50% was just absurd, so I lowered it to +30%.

    Well, liberty isn't that bad in happiness, just keep in mind all the happiness problems you face early are intended, for everyone. My modification isn't a big boost but should help a bit to not clog too much with happiness issues.

    The main problem I see is that it asks you to have troops parked for garrison if you want the only source of extra happiness of the entire honor tree. This coupled with the happiness problems you will face until ideologies ends with a necessity of maintaining troops as garrisons in all your cities, I find that doesn't fit into a warmonger policy.

    Yeah, it emulates a pantheon, but the thing is that Piety didn't give some empire-building bonuses, so if you have to use religion beliefs and pantheon to make up for it, what's the point of the tree? Is better to go Tradition and get the bonuses you really want from beliefs.

    I have to test the piety changes but on paper it should make piety a competitive ancient policy if you are able to abuse religion properly.
     
  17. Aaron90495

    Aaron90495 King

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    Looks great, for the most part! Excited to try it out.

    One glaring issue I see, though, is that going wide is still gonna be tough even with the slight improvement to Liberty. While Happiness is certainly an issue with going wide, I think the bigger problem is the per-city science penalty. Perhaps allow Liberty to decrease the penalty to 2%, if not eliminate it completely?
     
  18. glider1

    glider1 Deity

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    Is anyone concerned that combat is going to be too easy unless the AI is given buffs to its offense and/or defense? Firaxis tried to prevent humans exploiting the AI with all the anti-war measures and this mod is bringing in more warfare without boosting the AI.
     
  19. Vitruvius

    Vitruvius King

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    Ai combat is fine but they spend alot of time manuevering and surrounding you during this time you can just shoot them with ranged. The root of the problem is ranged units and ranged city. Empty cities should have no business shooting rockets everywhere. I think ranged city combat should be removed altogether, but keep city counter attack. On top of that, cities should be allowed to counter attack ranged units too (considering they counter air units already), but does less damage, and especially less to siege units. This indirectly nerfs ranged units but at the same time keeps siege units competive.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
     
  20. Vitruvius

    Vitruvius King

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