1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Going for Gold: Policies

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, May 20, 2018.

?

Is this item in a reasonable state of balance?

Poll closed Jun 3, 2018.
  1. Yes

    46.7%
  2. No

    53.3%
  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    6,287
    Edit: Added a few new notes to Shadow Networks and the Finisher.

    I want to give Statecraft a look. While I think the overall package is alright there are some weaknesses in the tree that can be shored up after recent changes.

    1) Trade Confederacy: The +1 influence per turn with a CS is a very weak bonus past the earliest turns of the game. Further, it creates a bit of a newbie trap...because this policy actually makes you think it might be good to get TRs to CS (due to the influence), but because of the increase in external TR bonus it provides, its actually the worst idea. So this policy really works against itself.

    I think a few ways to go would be: TC provide an influence bonus to all CS upon completion of a TR...sometimes decent but not too strong, mainly just to pay off attrition and to guard against GD usage to knock out your friendships. Another option is to change the Culture/science bonus to work with CS trade routes (and the bonus will need to be higher). Aka Statecraft CS trade routes are as good as ETRs.

    One last bonus would be to move the influence bonus to a rigging bonus, aka make CS rigging stronger. So swap a little TR flavor for more of the espionage flavor.

    2) Shadow Networks: This is a good thematic policy. It gives you a unique bonus in more spies, it gives you bonuses for having spies and for building espionage type buildings....it works. Now the constabulary bonus is pretty weak, but honestly its mainly just a fluff bonus, and the policy still holds up to me even without it. I will say its not going to make me build more constabularies than I would have already.

    3) Foreign Service: My only issue with this is that on higher difficulties its very difficult to maintain all of your CS alliances all the time. So if you are relying on this policy to give you needed strategic, you will inevitable hit a point where you go into negative strategic because of a GD bomb or something. And when you are on in the middle of a war, that can be crippling if it happens at a key time. I personally wished this gave a different bonus for every 3 CS alliance...one that if I were to lose periodically would not be as much as a game breaker.

    4) Exchange Markets: I would argue that this policy IS statecraft. Its a fun bonus, its a strong bonus, it just gets the job done.

    5) Consulates: The delegate bonus is good (you could argue that since most Statecraft players are at least thinking about a DV, this is the best bonus of the tree). However, the Tourism provides for CS TR completion is absolutely garbage...its so low compared to an ETR that its not worth consideration. So the bonus should either be greatly strengthened or changed.

    I think we can again look at a bonus that uses my CS advantage. So how about a +1% tourism bonus for every CS alliance, or something like that (or every 2 CS allies, whatever works for balance).

    6) Opener: Pretty solid overall. Gives a unique bonus working with population. Its not the most thematically aligned bonus but its a cool bonus. I do think the tooltip can be adjust slightly. When you say 10% more from Trade Missions I think that's a little confusing. Does it work with GD, with just diplomatic units...does it actually work with Great Merchants? I would like that language cleaned up a bit but the bonuses themselves seem decent.

    7) Finisher: The finisher has a few problems with it.

    a) Palace of Westminster is fine, its actually a very strong wonder for those pursuing DV.
    b) The WC bonus needs a tooltip update. Looking at some recent games I had, it looks like the bonus (assuming its linear) is .5 C + S + G per delegate per turn (once WC is convened every 10 turns, and it scales with era). For example, in my recent game 20 delegates was netting me 500 C + S + G every 10 turns in the modern era, or 50 / turn. But instead of figuring out that math myself it would be nice if the tooltip just told me that.

    In terms of bonus...if we compare it to fealty is scales weaker to begin but does ramp up past Fealty's bonus unless you are super wide. So the bonuses are probably in a decent place.

    c) GD faith is fine.
    d) The -1 world wonder policy is a good bonus but it suffers a similar problem to Foreign Service. You can be right in the middle of a wonder race and suddenly a GD bomb snags one of your CS allies and you can't build your wonder anymore. Again the main issue is that the bonus is so clutch when you need it, that losing it at the key time can be crippling. And then the rest of the time it doesn't matter.

    I would rather see the bonus be static. A straight up 1 or 2 (probably 2) policy reduction. Quick and clean, and that's a solid bonus. We already have a few other bonuses working with CS in the tree, so its not needed for the finisher.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
    cerk, Kim Dong Un and lunker like this.
  2. Omen of Peace

    Omen of Peace Prince

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2018
    Messages:
    375
    Gender:
    Male
    My main gripe with Statecraft is the ridiculously low Tourism at the end of a CS Trade Route. I fully agree that it needs to be buffed mightily, or to go away.

    - Trade Confederacy: I don't think the +1 influence if "very weak", but it's clearly been made worse by the recent change in CS Trade Routes, since you only want to send a TR to a CS if you're already allied or if they have a quest for just that.
    I like that you proposed a wide range of ideas. My preference would be to buff CS TR specifically (either with the Influence burst at the end, or increased yields); otherwise, CS TR will become a niche.

    I have to say, though, that I don't seem to depend as much as you do on ETR to other civ... The Statecraft buff to them doesn't change much for me. Perhaps because I aim to be in the top 3-4 civ by that point in the game (on Immortal), so the ETR don't bring in crazy yields.

    - Foreign Service: I agree the strategics are tricky, but they've also been a lifesaver for me in the past.
    If we remove strategics per 3 alliances, I would like to keep them in there in some shape; perhaps +1 strategic for every 2 embassies? That could be too strong in the late game on large maps (not sure! I play Standard), but 1 per 3 embassies would be weak in the mid-game...

    - I haven't checked in-game, but isn't the policy reducer already a fixed -1? I see the Wiki says differently. Has it changed in recent months?
    I think a fixed -1 would be best here.
     
  3. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    6,287
    I've made this statement a few times, so let me take a stab at quantifying this by converting influence into production, to give us some understanding of what bonus we are actually getting here. Ultimately we want to look at a bad influence to production ratio....as that means an extra +1 influence is giving us the most hammer benefit.

    So lets assume I am building an emissary (haven't gotten to envoy's yet), and I am building it outside of my diplomatic buildings. I think we can all agree this is a very non-optimal scenario for building diplomatic units, so this will be our upper bound for how valuable the +1 influence per TR is.

    It costs 250 hammers (in medieval era) for 40 influence...or 6.25 hammers per influence.

    Now if we go with a more middle ground scenario, lets assume Envoys with chanceries but not the schriver's. That's 225 hammers (10% discount) for 55 influence, or 4.09 hammers per influence. Considering that anyone going statecraft is planning at least some type of decent CS play, I think using this middle ground scenario is reasonable...but not optimal, so I am still giving the policy the benefit of the doubt.

    Just taking a look at my current medieval France game (just took a spitball of my production on Turn 199...not optimizing or anything just said what is my current civs overall hammer output at the moment), I have 257 hammers overall. So my new bonus is effectively increasing my civ's hammers by 1.6% in this example.

    Now taking it a step further, right now in my France game I have the option of getting a CS TR or an ETR. (Note: I do not have the statecraft policy this game, but I have confirmed the TR is to a civ with more science and culture than I have, so I am adding in the +3 science and culture into the math). I have an allied CS that would get me +7 gold, +2 science, and +2 culture. Or I could choose an ETR for 9 gold, 9 science, and 5 culture. The extra 2 GPT is worth 2.6% more gold, the +7 science is worth 4.8% more science, and +3 culture is worth 1% more culture.

    A lot of text, so let me summarize. In my particular example:



    A CS ETR is worth 4.09 HPT (1.6% increase)
    A ETR is worth 2 GPT (2.6% increase), 7 SPT (4.8%), 3 CPT (1%)


    Now my France game is a single example, and these values may not hold true to your game. Yet I feel I gave the influence per turn policy a lot of benefit of the doubt. I am also not taking into account many other factors that make the policy weaker, such as:

    1) Making a TR to a CS that goes into a sphere or open policy
    2) Making a TR to a CS that has so much influence that the only way to take it is with a sphere (which is pretty common in my Immortal games).

    And yet with all of these factors, based on the math above the CS TR is just terrible compared to the ETR. While the Influence is nice, I can make up for it very quickly with just a little more diplomatic unit use...and I give up a lot in not going regular ETRs.
     
  4. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Messages:
    4,868
    Location:
    Beijing
    With statecraft, you used to get your spy a long time before the Renaissance spy. Lately I feel like I get it at most like 10 turns earlier. I would like it if the spy was available earlier.
     
  5. civplayer33

    civplayer33 King

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2017
    Messages:
    965
    The problem with making the Influence per turn much larger in general is that it would allow civs to get to even more ridiculous Influence levels even more easily.
    What if it gave 1 Influence per Turn + 1.5% of the Influence difference between you and the top contender Influence (unless you are top)? So if another civ is sitting at 500 Influence and you have 0, the TR to the CS would give you (1+7.5=) 8.5 Influence per Turn...in the above example that would equal somewhere between 35 and 40 Hammers per Turn.
     
    crdvis16 likes this.
  6. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    6,287
    I personally would be fine if we swapped shadow networks and foreign service. Overall I think the swap would be a buff, as shadow networks to me is a stronger overall policy, but I also think it would help some policy "dip" strategies....and I'm always a proponent of trying to make dips more useful to increase the variety of gameplay.
     
    crdvis16 and CrazyG like this.
  7. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Messages:
    4,868
    Location:
    Beijing
    I support this change. With the current statecraft, sometimes I feel like my first couple of policies just don't do very much.
     
    crdvis16 likes this.
  8. Omen of Peace

    Omen of Peace Prince

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2018
    Messages:
    375
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanks for the numbers, Stalker0.
    I don't get as much Science and Culture from ETR in most of my games, so that likely explains some of the disconnect between our views.
    Also, at this stage of the game, I rarely feel that I can divert production to many diplomatic units (perhaps wrongly so!), hence why I welcome the stabilization of my allies. The "hidden yield" is keeping an ally when I would have lost it otherwise (because influence levels with allies hover at 60-100 rather than 150+ at this stage).

    As for swapping policies, I think Foreign Service's +50% rewards from quests is one of the quintessential benefits from the tree: that's what allows you to start allying CS much more easily than non-Statecraft civ, so I wouldn't push it back.
    You can swap Foreign Service with Trade Confederacy if you want, but this might make the tree less elegant if it's the only change.
     
    Mitch.sp, civplayer33 and lunker like this.
  9. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    6,287
    Agreed, and this may be another reason to tweak this policy, as it doesn't scale as seamlessly with difficulty. On higher difficulties, the +1 influence is weaker, and the ETR science/culture stronger. So it shifts the balance of this policy in a weird direction.

    Honestly I would be fine if the influence was removed in favor of a different bonus.
     
  10. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Messages:
    4,868
    Location:
    Beijing
    The 1 influence per turn on trade routes is nice when you are competing against just the influence decay (common in vanilla, and remember that the CSD overhaul is optional and not all VP players use it).

    When its a contest between me and another civ, with the numbers hitting the 100's of influence, its not that great.
     
  11. phantomaxl1207

    phantomaxl1207 King

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    775
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Indiana
    What if we made the +1 Influence on CS TR's an innate ability to make them more appealing?
     
    telelavoro, Vhozite, cerk and 4 others like this.
  12. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    6,287
    Taking another look at Industry, I think it could still use a little tidying up and tuning.

    I actually like a lot of the Industry bonuses, but I think the tree is actually less frontloaded than Imperalism/Rationalism....especially when it comes to science. Imperalism and Rationalism both offer a solid boost to science by Policy 2, whereas Industry doesn't get anything until Policy 3 at best...and that's competing against the nice bonuses of the left side of the tree. I've pitched some arrangements of Industry before, and I'm going to give it another shot.

    Opener: Unchanged
    Free Trade: +5 ETRs, +33% ITRs, -15% poverty, +1 happy from workshops (coupling all of the trade bonuses into a single policy. No matter what type of TR you like, you get the bonus. Also bringing up the happiness bonus earlier to be more comparable to the other trees).
    Division of Labor: Extra 10% when investing. Gain 10 science (era scale) when building a building. (This early policy gives us benefits to build infrastructure).

    Meanwhile...

    Mercantilism: Forges, etc gain +3% prod and gold. Markets, etc gain +3% science and culture. (and now we couple division of labor with the a policy that gives us benefits for having infrastructure). So there is a natural flow there.
    Entrepreneurship: +50% GMs. +25% yields on GM/GE. +1 gold/+2 hammer on mine, etc. (just moving down the GM bonus, so this policy becomes a strong GP policy).
    Protectionism: +2 TRs, +10% food/science during WLTKD (though a little less, considering you get this and the finisher a very solid policy).

    So overall this move gives some flexibility to TR usage with the tree and gets the science benefits going a bit earlier to be more comparable to the other trees. It also has a more natural flow of benefits for building infrastructure which is then followed by benefits for having built all that infrastructure....instead of now where so much of those buildings will have already been built before the science benefit kicks in.
     
    Arthur Jama likes this.
  13. Arthur Jama

    Arthur Jama Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2019
    Messages:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    I agree with your post, Industry feels weak even when converting the extra production to culture/science.

    One small suggestion would be to scale the science on building construction based on building cost. Mainly to avoid getting too much science from walls, caravansaries, etc. in the late game.
     
  14. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2016
    Messages:
    4,868
    Location:
    Beijing
    I think the better move is to chill out imperialism.
     
  15. SuperNoobCamper

    SuperNoobCamper Prince

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Messages:
    330
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Egypt
    About Imperialism ... i brought this up in the new beta post but i think it belongs here.
    Currently Regimental System reads as following : Gain GGs and GAs 33% faster, their bonus gets +10% and the radius is increased by one extra tile which translates into : you wasted a social policy to get a negligible bonus at the time you unlock it but you have to do so to get the Scaler & Finisher.
    The bonuses provided by it are extremely lackluster and very minimal compared to literally every other policy in the entire game; Compare this to Authority's Conscription that's available at ancient/classical era : Every unit gets a +10% CS as a free promotion not tied to GGs and a free unit spawns the first time a city reaches a population equal to a multiple of 10.
    Why is an industrial era policy so lack luster that it is strictly worse than an ancient/classical era one ? The +10% combat strength at that time is unnoticeable and it's tied to a GG .... +33% generation of generals/admirals in the industrial era ? is this really noticeable at all ? i mean ... i played a lot of matches as Japan that wants to spawn as many GGs/GAs and not once i have noticed any effect at all .. i'm not saying it's not working but such a minor effect on a social policy is really weak.
    To be completely honest i have no idea how to balance this with just numbers ..... even doubling the GG combat bonus to be 30% is still weak .... there is really nothing to be done to the +33% generation of GGs/GAs to make it worthwhile .... even +100% is still so bad for a policy you unlock this late in the game.
     
  16. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    6,287
    Part of this is the fact that Rationalism and Imperalism are very front loaded trees. Rationalism's last two policies I think are garbage, but the tree overall is great. This policy isn't the best, but its not nothing, and extra +10% is still 10%, more GGs can help drive policies like lebensraum. But overall its usually one of the last policies I take, which means I am going for the finisher more than the policy itself.

    It also should be noted that front loaded trees are not necessarily a bad thing, in fact, one of the theoretical advantages is it allows for dipping strategies (aka taking a few policies in multiple trees).
     
  17. SuperNoobCamper

    SuperNoobCamper Prince

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Messages:
    330
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Egypt
    I wholeheartedly disagree with this, the impact of +10%CS in the early game differs greatly than the impact of the same +10% later.
    I don't have the numbers to back up my claims but how many "fights" does this policy deduce from the number of "fights" required to generate a GG/GA ? we are not even taking into account that the GG points needed to produce a GG at this point in the game is actually in 3 or 4 digits number which again makes the effect even more negligible as it affects the points generated not the cost of GG/GA.

    This is my exact issue with it, it's a filler policy that no one would notice it's absence if it was renamed, removed or changed into a button that does nothing and i don't like that given how amazing the rest of imperialism tree is and industrial era trees in general.
     
  18. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Emperor

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Messages:
    1,821
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Germany
    Not every social policy have to be fantastic. Its thematically ok, and +10% combat strenght to every unit within a range of 3 around a GG/GA is literally the same as giving every unit +10%. It is an advantage.
    How much more GG/GA points are useful in that stage of the game is indeed really questionable and this policy would benefit, if it would be one of the first policies in the tree and not locked behind others.

    Often enough I go imperialism, even without being a warmonger, cause the other aspects of the tree are so strong. Doubling the percentual monopoly modifiers, free culture/science from military buidlings, +3/2 yields for basic improvements/terrain, maintenance free units if in a city and production/upgrading benefits.
     
  19. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,162
    See I don't find much of a problem with late game science boost from a new city as I consider that one of the natural perks of the tree. I like to use Ironworks in newer cities for the same reason.
     
  20. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,162
    It would be interesting if we added a couple things here.

    1. The Citadel capture bonus from Lebenstraum becomes part of the GG bonus, and the GG heal radius increases by 1 as well.

    2. GA heal radius increases by 2, and the lux resource perk gives 4 instead of 2.
     

Share This Page