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Happiness Balance Discussion

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Gazebo, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I don’t feel that the numbers are all that far off right now. I think PW needs to be stronger, and it will be, and I think the empire wide punishment is too high, so it will be lowered. Otherwise, I think we’re in a pretty good spot. I’ve considered removing urbanization because it is a bit fiddly, but I’m not convinced. I think what might be needed is to actually have urbanization be the last unhappiness source calculated, instead of the first. That way specialists aren’t a weird replacement for median yields in the end game, and might actually be considered for their need reduction capacity. Another possibility would be to have specialists reduce a need type by a flat value per specialist type (ie Engineers reduce Distress by 1 in the City, Scientists Illiteracy, etc) but decrease their yield scaling a bit to weaken them a little bit. Dunno. I like the last option a lot. Wouldn’t be too hard to add and would be a seamless link to the existing system. May be too complex though.

    G
     
  2. Enginseer

    Enginseer Salientia of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Just half urbanization to 0.5 per specialists. There was no need for it to be equivalent to 1.
     
  3. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Yeah G I’m confused why we keep tying specialists to unhappiness...and your recent idea would further strengthen that link.

    Your initial notes were that specialists were too strong and that was the driver for urbanization. Fine, cost more food, provides fewer yields. Done...a simple numbers tweak. Specialists already have a counter balancing mechanic...they don’t need another one.
     
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  4. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    I agree. Why should wide not be able to work specialists? Food is already a good deterrent. I remember first time specialist food consumption was increased, food became too low and it was quite hard to work any specialist at all. Fealty felt like a must for being able to work with more specialists, going wide. Now there is enough food again, so maybe reducing some sources of food will do.
     
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  5. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    Without it tall is trivial for happiness.
     
  6. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Chieftain

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    Even with a very low empire modificator of a 6 city empire, nearly all cities reach their unhappiness cap at industrial age. From that point on, it doesnt matter how much you try to reduce the needs, only flat unhappiness reduction and happiness sources matters. I wouldnt call that a right spot. Increasing the power of PW only shows, that PW isnt an emergency button like you claimed, but is changed more and more into a core element.
    If urbanization is moved at the bottom, would that mean, urbanization is always added, no matter if the yield unhappiness already have reached the cap? This would make the things only worse, or is it simply for a better understanding of the needs?
    Creating more flat unhappiness reductors undermine even more the basic system of needs and median. If you would say, starting from industrial age, every pop is in first place unhappy, nothing would change.
    Even with it its trivial, cause small empires only generate relative small numbers of unhappiness. Something you can compensate with flat happiness from tradition branch, luxuries and wonders. No VP happiness system ever was able to create a happiness system which was also competitive for small empires. As long as we use a median/need based system, this will not happen, cause a lot of yields and efficiency per city was always the strength of tall civs.

    The unhappiness by the needs skyrockets more and more in the later stage of the game, why isnt reducing the modifiers the first point we try to achieve better balance?
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  7. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I love ultimatums like this, they're so warm and fuzzy.

    G
     
  8. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Chieftain

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    No ultimatum, just an observation driven prediction.
    Iam open for suprises from your side. ;)
     
  9. Omen of Peace

    Omen of Peace Chieftain

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    Urbanization was not a problem in my games, especially after the recent tweak that made buildings cancel it out some.

    I would rather we stay away from food change or specialists, because it creates ripples throughout the whole game balance (especially, but not only, for Tradition / Specialist-oriented civs).
    Let's start with small tweaks to decrease happiness for Tall and increase it (decrease needs) slightly for Wide.
    Then look at the late game specifically.
    Only then we can attack Urbanization if it's still an issue.

    I agree with others proposing that PW have a very tangible effect (e.g. minimum -1 Unhappiness, but perhaps -1 of each kind).
    It is possible to cap the number of PW that can be built? E.g. to 1 per era?
     
  10. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I would note two points:

    1) it already is in the current balance.

    2) Is that an issue? Now I don’t mind some tweaks to the current system (more unhappy for high pop less for expansion).

    But happiness is the benefit of playing tall, and there is no shame in that to me.

    If the problem is specialist balance than let’s work the specialist. But if the problem is simply “tall is too happy”, than let’s tweak the numbers instead of having this whole extra happiness mechanism.
     
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  11. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    My personal argument (and it is personal, others may not agree) is not that urbanization has bad balance...to me that is irrelevant.

    I fundamentally dislike the way it makes me play the game in terms of the micromanagement of specialists. I don’t want my happiness to be that flippant.

    In the other mechanics, unhappiness goes up... I build building, unhappiness goes down. Simple.

    With urbanization my happiness goes up and down and up and down, just depending on my particular specialist flair for that turn. That is not a fun decision making point to me, but tedious and annoying micromanagement.

    Now if that was the only way to control specialists so be it...but I think there are simplier alternatives.

    This is why I am against numbers adjustments for urbanization; I don’t believe the mechanic should exist in the first place.
     
  12. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Throwing this one out there. What if we changed Distress to be a 2:1 Ratio of Food and Hammers?

    What this does is the following:

    1) Gives some unhappiness to specialists but in a more organic way. The food cost for specialists becomes more of a big deal.
    2) Gives some relief to food heavy/production light island cities, that grow so fast but can never keep up with buildings (it won't change that much but its something).
     
  13. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    It might as well be just food.

    Distress was made into a mixture because there were no player agency back then. Now city unhappiness is self regulated. Also, extra food leads to extra growth and more population leads to unhappiness. Unless the city is heavy on specialist use, then the extra food is not making the city grow, but rather making support for specialists.

    Production is key for all kind of needs, so it makes sense to detache it.
     
  14. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Chieftain

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    Food only wasnt done cause of good reasons.
    Reaching a happiness limit after strong growth could lead into a trap. Stopping the growth is connected with less food generation and in most cases the usage of specialists, both factors, which would lead to even more unhappiness (by distress and urbanization).
    This was already in the previous version the case (often a null sum game happiness wise). Food only would be even more dangerous than food/hammer.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  15. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    But it's not. Unhappiness in the city reduces growth, not food.
     
  16. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Your not wrong based on the current model, but I had some implicit assumptions with my idea:

    1) Specialists no longer generate urbanization. Their unhappiness would be the sucking up of food yields, which could trigger distress. But likely to a small degree, again I mostly want specialists separated from happiness.
    2) PW is a solid emergency button. So if someone did fall into a "trap", they always have a way out.
    3) By default, the cities that are growing really fast should have food above the global medians, so distress really shouldn't be a big factor to them. If distress is still kicking in strong than that implies so problem with the scaling.
    4) Unlike the previous system, having a city fall into a "Trap" is a lot kinder now. In the current model, a fast growing city that did hit happiness limits would stop grow, correcting the system. This does impact global happiness but not nearly to the same degree the old system did. So it gives a person time to correct the problem. But it also allows for a city to grow a bit more before that distress really kicks in, so the city has more resources to start switching to producing buildings that can address the effect.
     
  17. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Chieftain

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    If a lot of your cities are close to be unhappy and you are in danger to go below 60% global happiness, switching your cities to "No Growth" will reduce the food generation in those cities, and in most cases increase the specialist usage to come down to zero excess food. Decreasing the food generation lowers your food/hammer generation per citizen and rises the distress unhappiness, together with more unhappiness by specialists. The hammer component of distress worked like a buffer to cushion the fluctuation of the food generation. If you remove hammers for distress, distress can be subject to greater fluctuations.
    1. No problem with it. Using specialist slots as food expensive "tile extender" sounds reasonable to me. If the urbanization is gone, switching to food only for distress may work but needs to be checked.
    2. Infrastructure and PW are both using hammers, an atleast in the first half of the game limited yield. Creating something that stays in direct competition with the main component of unhappiness fighting (infrastructure) doesnt make that much sense. Lately founded cities or conquered cities are (if annexed) a big happiness drain. But they are already busy by spending hammers for infrastructure, unable to split the very limited ressource for extremly expensive PW. If you want to let other cities construct PW to compensate the happiness drain from lately gained cities, we are back at the global happiness system.
    3. Distress was the main source for unhappiness in mid and late game in kinda all previous versions. A lot of people reported that already in the forum.
    4. Tradition alone gives +30% growth, so you are able to have atleast 3 more unhappiness than happiness in every city without noticing any negative penalty. Imagine a 6 city empire, every of your 18 citizen cities is fully unhappy and each has 15 happiness. You would have a global happiness score of 45%, even none of your cities would suffer a real growth penalty. Cause of the additive effect of the penalty, the effect is really minor. If you want a really impactful influence, you would need to influence food and not growth. (the control for distress should be done before this modifier is applied, else you have a unhappiness spiral)
     
  18. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    3. What I meant here was for the food heavy cities I was referencing previously. If my model was carried forward, and the super food island cities still had distress problems, than that would suggest distress is just too high. I am fine with it being the predominant source for standard cities.

    4. I think your 15 happiness example is far too high, especially if landmarks do get a nerf. There just aren't that many sources of happiness in the game right now. I find on Emperor that 8-9 happiness is about what I can manage until landmarks kick in.

    Something you said jumped out at me. PW takes a lot of hammers, so it wouldn't help food cites. You are absolutely right, and that gave me a crazy idea:

    What if PW used the settler model....and allowed food to be used for production?

    This would do a few things:

    1) Give fast growing cities a way to self-regulate themselves (without stopping growth which no one wants to do).
    2) Flavor-wise, this can be the "bread" of "bread and circus" type amelioration. Or in modern terms, the "soup kitchen" equivalent. I would even be fine if the project had a permanent food cost instead of gold (to represent this better).
    3) You give food a late game use. Right now there is always a point where it just doesn't pay to have food. But if food can build PWs, than maybe that extra food becomes useful a bit more often in the late game.
     
  19. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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  20. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    G at this point I think we have clearly outlined the main issues and area to tweak the system. We will let you decide what number tweaks you think are appropriate. So all that is left is for us to spit ball other ideas. If none of them stick with you than so be it, but new ideas is all we really have at this point:)
     

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