How powerful are the "exploits"?

Lily_Lancer

Deity
Joined
May 25, 2017
Messages
2,387
Location
Berkeley,CA
I see many people talking about “those who finish under xxx turns are using exploits, if you don't use exploits deity is hard”. However, I strongly doubt on this.

Game Setting: All random, standard, disaster 2, deity.

Rules:
Exploit 1 banned:No Chopping or Harvesting
Exploit 2 banned:No Pillaging or Plundering Trade Route
Exploit 3 banned:No trade with AIs, including peace deals (the only operation available is denouncing and declaration of war, or being denounced/target of war)
Exploit 4 banned:No neighborhood gold from Urbanization

And after all, every decision is final, you save when you leave the game, you can only load the most recent save when you continue.

Target: SV.

Last time I finished this setting on turn 218 before NFP, don't know how soon will it be on NFP.
I'll start the game after the June patch. The game may last for weeks and I'll keep updating.

Finished, SV @ T 197.
Screen Shot 2020-07-07 at 4.30.46 PM.png
 

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Vizurok

Magyar Soldier
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
646
Location
Hungary, Sátoraljaújhely (spell it)
Looking forward to see such a good player work with these restrictions.

However, I think that that you are setting up a very dangerous precedent by calling all of the above "exploits". Obviously, i understand that you are going to overcompensate the doubters by limiting yourself to even harsher rules, but now you are also commiting to the foolish idea of "omg chopping is cheating".

Chopping / harvesting in its current form is absolutely in line with the intended game rules (on the other hand, the card-supported overflows were obviously exploits). You have limited resources available that you use however you like.
Pillaging / plundering is also not an exploit by default.The AI only has a limited amount of resources that can be pillaged - if you do pillage, you also face the consequences of not being able to work those tiles / districts.
 

GrumboMumbo

Warlord
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
136
Do you have a turn 1 save file for us to play from? Or is this just a general question?
 

Archon_Wing

Vote for me or die
Joined
Apr 3, 2005
Messages
5,255
I don't think it's an issue of whether or not it can be done in X turns, but more that nobody (or close to nobody) actually cares; so bringing it up incessantly yields that kind of response. It's kinda like running down the street and thinking you're racing the other people but they're not.

Nevertheless, it's nice that you're willing to demonstrate to prove a point.
 

tedhebert

Emperor
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
1,463
Location
Montreal, Canada
Looking forward to see such a good player work with these restrictions.

However, I think that that you are setting up a very dangerous precedent by calling all of the above "exploits". Obviously, i understand that you are going to overcompensate the doubters by limiting yourself to even harsher rules, but now you are also commiting to the foolish idea of "omg chopping is cheating".

Chopping / harvesting in its current form is absolutely in line with the intended game rules (on the other hand, the card-supported overflows were obviously exploits). You have limited resources available that you use however you like.
Pillaging / plundering is also not an exploit by default.The AI only has a limited amount of resources that can be pillaged - if you do pillage, you also face the consequences of not being able to work those tiles / districts.

Yeah to me, chopping is certainly not an exploit. But chopping and timing it with overflow buffer, moving magnus, civics and everything comes close to being one.
 

Pietato

Platonic Perfection
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
2,176
Location
New Zealand
Exploit 3 banned:No trade with AIs, including peace deals (the only operation available is denouncing and declaration of war, or being denounced/target of war)

You joking? So you want either eternal war and war weariness, or eliminating any AI you go to war with. Also no trading luxuries means larger maps are punished, unless they, once again, wipe out others.

If you are going to restrict trade, do it properly.
 

AlanC9

Chieftain
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
79
I read it as meaning no trade in peace deals -- you can't ask the AI for anything, or accept any bribe the AI offers.
 

ATEX

Warlord
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
205
It will be interesting to see what you can do. I will follow the game, and maybe try one myself. However I do belong to the small Group of People that are also very interessted in how fast you can go using everything that is available in the meta. Except trading reources for 1gpt which I consider a bug, I use pretty much everything to see how fast I can get it. Speed requires understanding of the mechanics of the game with or without "exploits", and thats where all the fun is for me at least.
 

Vandlys

King
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Messages
715
Location
New Atlantis
I see many people talking about “those who finish under xxx turns are using exploits, if you don't use exploits deity is hard”. However, I strongly doubt on this.


You know, this is actually not something that -needs- to be argued. Sure, you can make a case for why you don't agree with others, but you can't doubt their thinking it's hard. Because "hard" is entirely relative. Even with your exploits, to some Deity might still be hard.

So your test is going to prove one thing, and one thing only: Whether you think the game is hard on these presets.

Anyone else can try this test and come up with totally different results. They might say it's very hard, nearly impossible, or even impossible. And then you are back at square one; people say it's hard, and you start argueing on why it isn't.

Maybe from now on when someone says "it is hard" imagine they said "for me" after it. And whenever you say "This is not hard" try to say "I don't find this hard". You'll notice that instead of one truth, you now start seeing two.

That said, after reading your theories and methods on this forum quite often, I would be curious to see you play a full game, even with exploits (preferably both). Would it not be possible to record a game?
 

ATEX

Warlord
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
205
I would very much like to see that as well. Like Vandlys I have read very much of Your Insights to the game Lily in this forum. To watch it Would be very fun!
 

Mahi

Prince
Joined
Apr 24, 2010
Messages
394
I don't see how chopping in itself is an exploit though? You even have a governor, who encourage it.
It's more the act of switching policy cards for higher yields in the same round, which is the exploit.
 

Victoria

Regina
Supporter
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
11,883
Yes a game can be won without using anything that possibly could be deemed an exploit.
The question of how much difference they make cannot be compared using different games so the test is flawed In my view.
Playing a game at least 3 times is required. Once to know the map so that the next 2 tests have a similar knowledge level, then playing the same map with and without the rules above in a similar style would provide some empirical evidence but difference also depends on skill of the player and dedication to an empirical test.
Personally I am unconvinced of the value and the intention of Firaxis to recognise any of these as exploits. Take trading as a good example, the micro resource selling is an exploit but it is boring as hell, if you want to play like that and fell good about it afterward, knock your socks off. But to ban all trading is just stupid. Is a key part of the diplomatic game
 

Minou

King
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Messages
765
I would argue all four of these are real design elements that make the game better and more immersive but are slightly to badly broken. Each could be very easily fixed.

Exploit 1 Chopping or Harvesting:
The improve or chop decision is in theory one of the best parts of the game: instant reward versus long term gain. It is unfortunately not a hard decision because chopping scales so much better than production. A simple fix would simply be halving the ceiling that chops scale up to, but the real issue is that normal production is fine in the early game but way too weak late game (e.g. it is never smart to build a tank, ten times better to upgrade a knight instead) and it would be almost impossible to get many later wonders or even additional districts In a new city without chopping. So, probably it would be better to decrease chop strength AND decrease late game building/unit costs as well as district cost scaling. I’d also like to see production scale up, perhaps by giving all city centers +3 production each time the era advances.

Exploit 2: Pillaging

Pillaging was totally out of control when it gave science and culture (which is why I agree Norway is one of the very best Civs) but it’s not terrible now. The real exploit is pillaging a city, taking it, repairing, and letting it flip. Or to a lesser extent pillaging an AI and then letting them repair and repeat. This would be simple to fix by either only letting a tile be pillaged once for yield (future pillages wreck tile but provide no reward) or (probably easier to code) requiring a Builder charge to repair a tile (would still be abusable but at least would require the player to buy Builders at escalating cost to use the pillage-flip exploit.

Exploit 3: Trade

Trade is great, but I agree the AI pays way too much for DF which should be easy to fix. The 1gpt bug is also broken but again should be easy to fix. One thing I never do because it feels like a cheat is sell resources for lump sum
Gold and then declare war. I wish they would code that so you still lost the resource for 30 turns so this loophole would be closed.


Exploit 4 banned:Neighborhood gold

Why oh why won’t they just fix this by making the gold pay out when the Neighborhood completes? I use this one myself and role play that sleazy developers are selling condos to suckers on old farmland and never actually building them.
 

leandrombraz

Emperor
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Messages
1,443
Why oh why won’t they just fix this by making the gold pay out when the Neighborhood completes? I use this one myself and role play that sleazy developers are selling condos to suckers on old farmland and never actually building them.

I assume it isn't used often, so it's probably low in their priority list of stuff that needs fixing. I rarely hear people talking about this exploit or see people using it. If someone like PotatoMcWhiskey did a video on it, then it might get popular and turn into a real problem. For now, it's a policy that seems to be mostly ignored. They even gave it a buff when R&F came out IIRC, so really, I doubt they even see it as an issue. First time I heard of this exploit was in this forum, when that buff happened, and I don't remember hearing of it again since then, aside from now.
 

SharTeel

Chieftain
Joined
Dec 10, 2005
Messages
75
Tbh, I'd rather end a game by t300 in 6 hours than spend 10h micromanaging every little bit to end it by t250 (random numbers, you get the idea). Time is a limited resource after all XD
 

JJOne

Prince
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Messages
404
Exploit 4 banned:No neighborhood gold from Urbanization
What's the exploit here? It seems to me that changing x turns production for a neighborhood to get 100 gold is kind of bad? Not to mention the AI loves to make partizans afterwards, which is also kind of annoying?
 

bbbt

Deity
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
2,556
Exploit 2 banned:No Pillaging or Plundering Trade Route

I'm curious why you include "No plundering trade routes" in with pillaging - trade route gold scales pretty minimally in comparison to pillaging, and can't be exploited in the same way (i.e. you can't create a trade route and then flip it to someone else to plunder it). Presumably the AI doesn't do a terribly good job protecting trade routes, so I can see that argument, but that's about it.

You joking? So you want either eternal war and war weariness, or eliminating any AI you go to war with.

I think the issue is probably that the AI will often agree to a peace deal even when they have you at a disadvantage.
 
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