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Game Speed Scaling issues

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Bug Reports' started by Exodite, Oct 28, 2016.

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  1. Exodite

    Exodite Chieftain

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    Here goes, my first try for this so be gentle... :)

    I'm someone who always plays Marathon speed games, on the largest possible maps, I were generally annoyed (and still am) about Civ5 never getting around to fixing the game speed scaling issues.

    Since it's early days for Civ6 I thought I'd try and get in front of these and maybe we'll get them fixed in a timely manner.

    Please post any correction or additional issues you've seen and I'll try and add them to the list!

    Note: These observations are based on
    • Patch 1.0.0.26 (221715) / Patch 1.0.0.38 (235603)
    • Marathon game speed, Standard for reference
    • Prince difficulty level
    • Huge map size.
    Notes on patch 1.0.0.38 (235603)
    • No game speed-related issues were mentioned in the official patch notes.
    • So far I've been unable to confirm any undocumented game speed-related fixes in the game.
    • Updates as I go along.
    In no particular order...

    Barbarians
    • Clearing a camp yields 45 gold, an odd number as the AI gets 50, on every game speed. (Not fixed as of 1.0.0.38)
    • Camps and units spawn at the same rate regardless of game speed, which means you can end up struggling to build enough units to stop an early onslaught on Marathon while Quick and Online should be relatively painless.
    Tribal Villages
    • Yields the same rewards on every game speed. (Not fixed as of 1.0.0.38)
    • Seems hardcoded for Quick or Online speed, as 20 faith doesn't even net you a Pantheon on Standard and 40 gold is rather pitiful overall.
    • Does Tribal Village rewards that have a game turn minimum scale with game speed? Ie. does turn 50 rewards on Standard only trigger on turn 150 on Marathon? If so that shouldn't be the case, as map exploration isn't any slower on Marathon than it is on faster game speeds.
    City projects
    • City projects (Holy Site prayers etc.) takes three times as long to produce on Marathon but doesn't yield three times the amount of great person points. (Not fixed as of 1.0.0.38)
    Harvesting resources
    • Generates the same yields on every game speed. Clearing a forest in the late Renaissance era to remove 3 turns from my 93-turn Huey Teocalli build isn't particularly meaningful. (Not fixed as of 1.0.0.38)
    • This also means that harvesting resources is likely to be stupidly powerful on Quick or Online speed.
    Apostles
    • The Indulgence Vendor promotion (100 gold on first city conversion) doesn't scale with game speed.
    AI
    • This one is more nefarious to judge but at least the early build times seem out of whack on Marathon.
    • I've seen the AI sporting at least 2 Warriors, 1 Scout and 1 Settler with a population 2 capital around turn ~30-35 on Marathon. As a Scout takes ~20 turns to build with good production that just can't be right.
    • The AI struggles to keep up on science and culture from the Medieval era and forward but units keep getting produced remarkably quickly.
    • In general the AI getting frontloaded with units or bonuses early on is much worse at slower game speed, because the ability to settle a second city or improve tiles immediately is much stronger when others are 50-100 turns away from being able to do so.
    Trading
    • Non-gold commodities in trade deals with the AI need to be valued based on game speed. Ie. selling a spare luxury resource should get me three times as much gold and/or GPT on Marathon as on Standard because gold is worth a third as much. (Not fixed as of 1.0.0.38)
    • Trade agreements last the same amount of turns on every game speed (30), which wasn't the case in Civ5 but I honestly think this is ideal and not in need of change.
    Great Person Points
    • Units which provide additional great general/admiral points need to be investigated, do they scale based on game speed or not?
    Religion

    • Does slower game speeds require more accumulated religious pressure to convert citizens, as opposed to reducing actual (passive) pressure?
    • Religious units needs to be investigated, they seem to convert fewer citizens on Marathon than on Standard when manually spreading. (~1 citizen per spread charge using a missionary, ie. converting a 5-pop city with no religious citizen requires 3 charges to get a majority conversion)
    • Assuming the first point holds, ie. slower game speeds require more total pressure to convert citizens, and as the religious units don't scale their spread/combat power by game speed they might be proportionally stronger/weaker on faster/slower game speeds.
    • As the cost of religious units, like all other units, scale with game speed their spread effect and combat pressure shouldn't be any stronger/weaker than it is at Standard speed.
    • If Civ6, like Civ5, instead scales the actual passive pressure exerted by religious cities then religious units are likely working as intended while pressure probably isn't (notably, the Scripture belief didn't work well on slower game speeds in Civ5).

    Exploration experience
    • Finding a Natural Wonder or exploring a Tribal Village gives the same experience to Recon units regardless of game speed. (Not fixed as of 1.0.0.38)
    • I'm not sure this should be changed however, see the next point..
    Unit experience (Not fixed as of 1.0.0.38)
    • This actually does scale, as units require three times the amount of experience on Marathon to gain a level as they do on Standard.
    • This probably shouldn't scale, as you're not going to be fighting more units, exploring more or doing more of anything that generate experience than you would on other game speeds.
    • While the game lasts three times as long it's also three times as expensive to build units, ie. there won't be more of them on a Marathon game.
    • Even with the Exploration policy in effect on Marathon you probably won't make level 3 with a Recon-class unit, ever, unless you have a single unit literally discovering every natural wonder and a ton of Tribal Villages on it's own.
    • The only way to actually get experienced troops on Marathon is to farm 0-health cities with Ranged and Bombard units for experience, which is clearly an exploit/bug in the first place.
    • Promotion notifications in the floating combat text, as opposed to the right-hand side notification bar, seem to (intermittently at least, it's hard to see) trigger at the threshold for Standard speed games, meaning i see those pop up on combat/exploration while I'm a third of the way to an actual promotion.

    As a general rule I find that the current state of game speed scaling, or rather lack thereof, tends to make several key game aspects tougher for the player (barbarians, AI scaling, unit experience) on slower speeds and supercharged (harvesting resources, city projects, unit experience, tribal village rewards) for players on Quick and Online speeds.

    I wouldn't argue this is quite as high priority as the AI issues and obvious bugs/exploits but it's a significant concern, and one that may go largely overlooked by players who only play on Standard speed. Or feel, correctly so, too powerful by players focusing on Quick and Online speed games.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
    Lord_Azazel likes this.
  2. Exodite

    Exodite Chieftain

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    Tested unit experience on Online speed, confirmed busted.

    In need of testing with regard to game speed scaling:

    • Units giving additional Great General points.
     
  3. Lord_Azazel

    Lord_Azazel Prime Swatter

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    At least most of the stuff (except what you wrote under AI) seems it is quite easily fixable in an upcoming patch, or if 4x is too busy doing other things, I'm guessing the modding community will look at this with hungry eyes :)
     
  4. Exodite

    Exodite Chieftain

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    Absolutely, which is why I remain optimistic and don't consider these issues as genuinely game-breaking as some of the truly bugged stuff with the game currently. :)

    That said Civ5 is still pretty bad at game speed scaling so I'd like to get in front of this and hope to get it fixed while Civ6 is still being actively updated.

    As for the AI issues this is, as noted, one of the more nefarious aspects. Without knowing more about what bonuses the AI gets and how it operates it's hard to say what is bugged, what's intentional behavior and what needs to be actually fixed.

    I've now come across AI Scouts before turn 10 regularly enough to imply that they may be getting bonus units even on Prince, which would be an issue as that significantly skews Tribal Village bonuses towards an AI-only benefit. Then again I can't be certain the AI hasn't just gotten lucky and received those Scouts from Tribal Villages their Warrior might have explored. *shrug* More data needed.

    Edit:

    Added a paragraph on trade to the opening post.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2016
  5. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Just as explanation for that number: Gold from Camps scales with Difficulty level for the Player.
     
  6. Exodite

    Exodite Chieftain

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    Thank, appreciated.

    I suspected as much as I got 75 gold from a camp while testing a downloaded save file but confirmation is nice!

    This probably means Prince is 90% scaling then, interesting.
     
  7. marioflag

    marioflag History Addict

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    About unit experience i don't agree at all, i'm also a Marathon player and in general your units have a number of fights disproportionately superior than at other speeds so it's a lot easier to get fully promoted units. I would personally decrease the xp rate at Marathon speed for a more balanced game.
     
  8. Exodite

    Exodite Chieftain

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    It may feel like that but it's not actually the case.

    Certainly it's possible to be at war for more turns at slower speeds but, like I pointed out in the OP, you won't fight more units at Marathon than you do at, say, Standard because those units take proportionally longer to build. Barbarians might be the exception but since you don't actually get any experience from those that's not really a concern.

    I've explored playing on Standard speed, and recent on Online speed as well, and the disparity in unit experience is striking. On Marathon you're effectively locked out of the 3rd and 4th tier promotions unless you're using exploits (farming zero-health cities with ranged units). In contrast to your claim I find it trivial to get fully promoted units on faster speeds and close to impossible on Marathon.

    The way the game is currently set up (amount of experience needed to level up scales with game speed, ie. level 2 on online speed requires 7XP and 45XP on Marathon) unit promotions is yet another system you're effectively locked out of on slower speeds.
     
  9. Exodite

    Exodite Chieftain

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    In need of further testing
    • Religious pressure, how does it work? Does slower game speeds require more accumulated pressure to convert citizens? This would be preferable to the Civ5 situation where the actual pressure was reduced, which meant percentage scaling was off a fair bit.
    • Religious units needs to be investigated, they seem to convert fewer citizens on Marathon than on Standard.
    • Assuming the first point holds, ie. more pressure needed, and as the religious units don't scale their spread/combat power by game speed they might be proportionally stronger/weaker on faster/slower game speeds.
    • As the cost of religious units, like all other units, scale with game speed their spread effect and combat pressure shouldn't be any stronger/weaker than it is at Standard speed.
     
  10. Torisen

    Torisen Professor

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    I'm going to post this as a bug, since it's perfectly clear no one thought this one through:

    - Units on Marathon take 3x as long to get promoted. Oh, they have 3x as many turns to kill things, you say?

    1) The number of units created in the game should be roughly equal, given that production costs have been scaled up 3x, so there aren't going to be 3x as many things to kill in 3x as many turns (with the possible exception of barbarians, but good luck getting a unit to level 5 against barbarians on marathon).

    2) In any sort of reasonably balanced game, having to go through 3x as many combats to level up means 3x the chances of something going wrong and getting killed.

    Fix this, please. There should be no scaling of XP as the time scales.
     
    Exodite likes this.
  11. Exodite

    Exodite Chieftain

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    I've touched upon this in my thread tracking game speed scaling issues (please mention any other issues you've noticed in the thread) but it's important to note that this also has a significant impact on faster game speeds (Quick and Online). At Online speed units gain promotions at a stupidly fast rate and that's arguably even more of an issue than not being able to go past level 2 in any reasonable fashion on Marathon.
     
  12. Exodite

    Exodite Chieftain

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    In need of further testing
    • Does turn-delayed Tribal Village rewards (ie. rewards you can only get after turn X) scale with game speed?
    • Ie. is a Tribal Village reward which is only available after turn 50 on Standard only available after turn 150 on Marathon?
    • If so that clearly shouldn't be the case, as map exploration isn't any slower on Marathon (bar the time to build additional exploration units).
     
  13. jaegybomb

    jaegybomb Chieftain

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    Why would the fact that tribals are easier to find mean you have to make them stronger relative to the era?
     
  14. jaegybomb

    jaegybomb Chieftain

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    Also if city projects give 3 times as many turns of GPP after they are completed why would they also give 3 times as many GPP per turn? Do you get 3 times as much gold per turn from a market too?
     
  15. Exodite

    Exodite Chieftain

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    Projects don't give GPP per turn, they give faith/gold/etc. per turn and then a static number of GPP when they complete.

    I haven't actually looked into the per turn yield of these but the lump sum of GPP given from a project is the same on every game speed (for the ones I've tested at least) and that means they're very weak on slower speeds and notably too strong on faster speeds.
    I confess I'm not entirely certain what you mean here so if I misinterpret what you're saying feel free to correct me.

    Exploration, and finding Tribal Villages, is exactly the same on every game speed. Units move at a per turn speed, not per year, which means that exploration isn't game speed dependent. That is, Tribal Villages aren't easier to find on slower game speeds as you put it but rather exactly as easy to find as on every other game speed. Now, I'm not even sure whether or not the turn-limited Tribal Village rewards scale with game speed or not since it's quite rare to trigger those (at least on Marathon, which is why I suspect they might indeed scale) but regardless they shouldn't.

    As for the rewards themselves they aren't individually strong enough to necessitate limitation by progress and by turn 50-100 the only ones that won't be already cleared are those on remote/uninhabited islands anyway.

    Indeed, some of the stronger Tribal Village rewards (double Eureka/Inspiration, complete Tech) are actually stronger the deeper you are into the Tech/Civics tree and as such are naturally stronger on faster game speeds where you're likely to have progressed further down the respective trees by turn X.

    In short, if you turn limit a particular tier of rewards to turn 90-150 (or whatever it ends up being) on Marathon that isn't "balancing" - it just means that you're effectively locked out from ever receiving those rewards on Marathon because there will be no Tribal Villages around by then.

    I'm honestly not particularly impressed by the whole idea of turn-limited rewards to begin with because there are too many ways those lead to wildly different experiences based on game speed, map size, Pangea vs. Island Plates scripts, player density and number of bonus units the AI gets. Of those things game speed is probably the one metric where by it shouldn't scale though.
     
  16. jaegybomb

    jaegybomb Chieftain

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    Exploration may be the same speed relative to turns on every game speed but turns are arbitrary when talking about game speeds. Relative to the year exploration is much faster on slower speeds and so is finding tribals. From a balance perspective adjusting tribal village timed scaling based on turns instead of years so they are not only found much faster but scale much faster just further widens the gap between the impact they have on different speeds. Yes they are all going to be gone quicker but that's just what happens on different speeds.

    Also disregard what I said about GPP :) I'm dumb and misinterpreted it. You are completely right.
     
  17. Exodite

    Exodite Chieftain

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    It does shift the balance, though not in the way you'd expect.

    To illustrate I'll dive into a more elaborate example, for the purpose of other readers of the thread as much as this particular dialog.

    From GoodyHuts.xml
    Code:
    <!-- Science-->
    <Row GoodyHut="GOODYHUT_SCIENCE" SubTypeGoodyHut="GOODYHUT_ONE_TECH" Description="LOC_GOODYHUT_SCIENCE_ONE_TECH_DESCRIPTION" Weight="15" Turn="50" MinOneCity="true" ModifierID="GOODY_SCIENCE_GRANT_ONE_TECH"/>
    <Row GoodyHut="GOODYHUT_SCIENCE" SubTypeGoodyHut="GOODYHUT_TWO_TECH_BOOSTS" Weight="30" Turn="30" ModifierID="GOODY_SCIENCE_GRANT_TWO_TECH_BOOSTS"/>
    <Row GoodyHut="GOODYHUT_SCIENCE" SubTypeGoodyHut="GOODYHUT_ONE_TECH_BOOST" Weight="55" ModifierID="GOODY_SCIENCE_GRANT_ONE_TECH_BOOST"/>
    This defines the "science" Tribal Village rewards as follows

    • 15% chance of one free technology (minimum turn 50)
    • 30% chance of two free tech boosts (minimum turn 30)
    • 55% chance of one free tech boost (no minimum turn)
    We've already established that exploration, ie. finding Tribal Villages for the purpose of this argument, is (roughly) as fast on every game speed. Meaning that the map will be mostly explored, and the Tribal Villages explored, at roughly the same turn on every game speed.

    Certainly there are other factors which play into this, such as map size, the prevalence of uninhabited islands, the number of starting units for AI factions etc. but these are all irrelevant for the purpose of this discussion.

    The primary continents should be fully explored by turn 50-100 or so, YMMV.

    Assuming the minimum turn requirements do scale with game speed (I haven't been able to confirm that, I've simply noted that I can't recall ever triggering one of the turn-limited rewards on Marathon) the above "science" Tribal Village rewards would look like this on Online speed

    • 15% chance of one free technology (minimum turn 25)
    • 30% chance of two free tech boosts (minimum turn 15)
    • 55% chance of one free tech boost (no minimum turn)
    and like this on Marathon

    • 15% chance of one free technology (minimum turn 150)
    • 30% chance of two free tech boosts (minimum turn 90)
    • 55% chance of one free tech boost (no minimum turn)
    Lets assume that clearing the Tribal Villages takes ~75 turns and that it's a linear experience, ie. that ~33% of the Tribal Villages have been explored by turn 25, ~67% by turn 50 and so on.

    Factoring that into the different game speeds would result in a found "science" reward breakdown for Online speed that looks like this

    • 10% chance of one free technology
    • 24% chance of two free tech boosts
    • 66% chance of one free tech boost
    while Standard would be
    • 5% chance of one free technology
    • 18% chance of two free tech boosts
    • 77% chance of one free tech boost
    and Marathon would be
    • 100% chance of one free tech boost
    That's definitely neither fair nor balanced, nor can I possibly imagine it being the intended behavior.

    For the interesting part, let us look at the scenario where Tribal Village rewards don't scale with game speed.

    Let's assume that we, the player, find a "science" Tribal Village tucked away at the end of a snaking peninsula on turn 75, ie. we have all the possible rewards available. The exact reward we end up with, whether a free technology or either one or two tech boosts, isn't important.

    On turn 75 at Online speed we're likely to be into the Medieval Era and with a significantly higher chance of getting a Medieval or late Classical free tech/boost(s)*.

    On turn 75 at Standard speed we're probably somewhere in the Classical Era and stand a good chance of getting a Classical free tech/boost(s)*.

    On turn 75 at Marathon speed we're definitely still in the Ancient era and any free tech/boost(s) are thus going to be from the Ancient Era*.

    And that would be my point.

    A system of turn-limited Tribal Village rewards that doesn't scale the turn limit with game speed is already inherently stronger at faster game speeds. Actually scaling it with game speed would essentially break it, making it meaningless on slower game speeds and stronger than intended on slower ones.

    The same principle applies to the "culture" reward Tribal Villages and the others are either not really subject to balance concerns (gold/faith/military) or inherently broken in other ways (survivors, requires trade unit).

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Hopefully this example also illustrates why I believe turn limited rewards to be a poor idea in general. It always ends up weird depending on varying factors, mostly ones not related to game speed. At the very least the weights used should be biased towards the more powerful rewards for the final breakdown to reach anything close to the stated values, since anything found before turn X can't be one of the more powerful options.


    * Honestly though, it's going to be Sailing every time.
     
  18. jaegybomb

    jaegybomb Chieftain

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    No I completely understand all of that and agree except for the conclusion that it is bad. From the perspective of years rather than turns unit movement and exploration is the one thing that can't be constant between game speeds and tribal villages are always going to be found much faster at slower speeds relative to years played. The fact that the rewards scale based on years and not turns is the one thing that keeps them in check across game speeds and even though they are collected far faster in terms of years on slower speeds the fact that they are still on the lower side of the scaling keeps them balanced.
     
  19. Exodite

    Exodite Chieftain

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    Those two statements are inherently contradictory.

    Scaling minimum turn requirements for Tribal Village rewards by game speed isn't just inherently unbalanced, it actually exacerbates the existing dichotomy that already favors faster game speeds.

    If you feel that is desirable, let alone intended, then that's your prerogative. I'm certainly going to disagree, strenuously at that, but I'm not going to spend any time arguing against anyone's personal preference regarding this.

    However, it's entirely wrong to claim that game speed scaling regarding this issue works in favor of balance between the different game speeds - it's the complete opposite. If you don't see that than I'm afraid you don't actually understand the issue as well as you claim.

    To reiterate, assuming game speed scaling is active for minimum turn requirements of Tribal Village rewards

    • Faster game speeds (Online, Quick) gets more powerful Tribal Village rewards on average due to faster tech/civic development.
    • Slower game speeds (Epic, Marathon) gets less powerful Tribal Village rewards on average due to slower tech/civic development.
    • Faster game speeds (Online, Quick) gets more, and a higher proportion of, Tribal Village rewards with a minimum turn requirement (roughly analogous to the speed difference vs. Standard).
    • Slower game speeds (Epic, Marathon) gets less, or even no, access to Tribal Village rewards with a minimum turn requirement (due to most being cleared before hitting the turn requirement).
    Not scaling the minimum turn requirements with game speed wont address the first two points but at least it will prevent the latter two, and avoid exacerbating the problem.

    In short, the problem is the complete reverse of what you seem to believe.
     
  20. jaegybomb

    jaegybomb Chieftain

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    Yes but slower game speeds get much faster tribal rewards relative to game progression to snowball off of which is why they are overall weaker in a vacuum. If they were not only much quicker but also just as strong that would cause an actual problem.
     

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