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How should builders work?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Arent11, Jul 7, 2018.

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How should builder mechanics work?

  1. Just let them build everything & as much as they want! (Civ 4)

    11 vote(s)
    17.7%
  2. Give them limited builder charges & forbid road building! (Civ 6)

    40 vote(s)
    64.5%
  3. Make them use money for building stuff!

    7 vote(s)
    11.3%
  4. I have another idea!

    4 vote(s)
    6.5%
  1. playshogi

    playshogi Chieftain

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    I like the builders in the beginning of the game, but perhaps with the discovery of civil service the formula should change to a city devoting production to an improvement's project at the end of which you can make 3-4 improvements all at once in that city.
     
  2. mitsho

    mitsho Chieftain

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    That's a weak reason to have workers. The AI / barbs could just ravage the country side, having to pay good money to repair the infrastructure should be enough. I much rather have other challenges, but that takes us a bit away from the topic here. The micro is not challenging per se, but I often find myself clicking whatever or not improving the country side at all by the industrial era or in far flung eras just because it's a hassle and I want to get on with the game. Or the opposite: not replacing improvements in the core of my empire "because I put the farm there 2000 years ago" and that's that. It's not challenging, worse, it's boring. (But again, I do see your point here and see how builders can have value, I just don't share this view).
     
  3. UWHabs

    UWHabs Warlord

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    I also think that we need more improvements to have more choice. Right now one of the biggest problems I have with builders and improvements is that the vast majority of the time, you have one choice. Resource? Whatever it needs. Flat land? Farm. Hill? Mine. It's only the second half of the game where you can now farm hills. Or maybe use 2 charges to plant a forest and put a lumbermill down. So it's really annoying having to move a builder around to build the only thing I can on a certain tile.
     
  4. Duuk

    Duuk Doom-Sayer Supporter

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    I kind of like the idea of "build with gold, takes X turns, can only have X number of projects (maybe 1 per city) going at a time", that would actually be kind of cool. I hate builders in general.

    Hell, I'd even be fine with making tile improvements part of the city building menu now that I think of it. Why should they really be any different than districts? And since a "builder" is essentially a production sink for the city anyway, just go ahead and make tile improvements a straight production sink.

    Of course, that would mean we'd be smarter about governors and trade routes, but that doesn't sound like a bad thing to me either.
     
  5. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    That right there, I think, is a dangerous mistake, the type of which brought us the "change" from sliders... "magic" is not the same as trade-off. In the times of sliders, you had to have an economy first (no magic), generate commerce, and then allocate that commerce (nowadays called "gold") into different, often conflicting, uses... where is the "magic" in that??? In any case, it was much closer to reality, and much more challenging, to always have to leverage the conflicting uses of your limited pool of commerce.

    Magic?

    Magic, to me, is more like instantly purchasing an entire Army Corps in one turn. Or the research generated by a pop just for being alive (sure, that's how the world works...:crazyeye:). Or the lightning bolts coming down from the sky when two priests debate their respective religions...

    Anyways...
     
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  6. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

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    Honestly, I had no idea some people didn't like Builders until I read this thread.

    These things are obviously matters of opinion to some extent, and so I appreciate people may see this differently. But I don't see any room in Civ for getting rid of builders or having sliders or whatnot.

    First, builders (which replace the old workers) are just one of those Civ tropes. It just wouldn't be Civ without them.

    Second, Civ is basically a boardgame. I don't see how a "boardgame" could have sliders.

    Third, having another major resource pool (city improvements) is maybe one resource pool too many, and would seriously cut across the respective values of hammers, gold and faith.

    I think one think two things that undercut Builders are:

    (1) Farms, which of the primary thing Builders build, feel underwhelming. They were obviously originally intended to be one of the main ways for cities to generate growth and housing. But with high pops not being that valuable, housing being so easy to get otherwise, growth being easier to achieve with chopping, farms just don’t feel very useful. I mean, you don’t even need six farms for the feudalism boost - capturing one or two city states usually gets you there.

    (2) Chopping is so powerful it feels like a waste spending builder charges on improvements and not chopping. For the record, I like chopping as a game mechanic, and thinks it’s a key part of the game balance, but it needs to be toned down somewhere particularly for later eras. To my mind, chopping should actually be fairly inefficient in the ancient and classical eras (where chopping should be more about “clearing space” rather than production), and then it a boost from production should really top out about the Industrial era. I’m okay with chopping to build campuses, theatre squares, up to industrial units, settlers, universities - but not spaceports and space projects.

    Rather than having a scaling production boost, I’d rather chopping have a flat boost, that you can then increase with policy cards at appropriate eras.

    But, hey, that's all just my view. Ymmv.

    [edit: more half baked ideas.]
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  7. UWHabs

    UWHabs Warlord

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    Yeah, if chopping was like a flat 25 hammers early, and then maybe at machinery or so it jumped to 50, and then at like industrialization jumped to 100, that would likely be fair. That way, you would have a decent incentive to chop at around the industrial era, but after that, the returns are less valuable. Of course, the flaw is always that since we're playing a game to win, as soon as I know there's < 50 turns left in the game, there's still no point to spending a worker charge to build a lumber mill instead of using that same charge to chop. But at least if the max value was lower than now, then it pushes the cutoff point a bit further back than it currently is.

    I do think farms are actually pretty solid overall. Especially late game farms - you put a farm down it can easily be +4 for the farm itself, and then another +3 for the adjacent ones to get a bonus too. The problem is that the formula to grow cities makes that useless. The amount of food it takes to grow from size 16 to size 17, combined with the utility of growing that population point, just makes it pretty much useless to even worry about.
     
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  8. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Warlord Supporter

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    That's a design decision I wish they'd flip on it's head. Right now, your first Pop is your most productive Pop, your second Pop is your second most productive Pop, etc. So a bunch of small cities are way better than a single big city, even before you take into account the extra district an initial city gets and the free pass the first 2 Pop get from the amenity/happiness system.

    I'd rather there was an encouragement to make the effort to grow a big city and deal with the food/housing/amenity needs associated with it. There were baby steps in R&F with the introduction of the 10+ Pop size for the district building bonus policy cards and the era scores for hitting Pop 10 and Pop 15. I'd like to see a lot more than this, things that make the next Pop you add to a city more productive than the previous Pop, rather than less.
     
  9. Arent11

    Arent11 Chieftain

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    Interesting argument. Yes, waiting for the builders to finish their building is, in fact, a part of the game. As weird as that may sound.
     
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  10. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

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    I don’t know if either of these ideas would work, but I’d thought maybe:

    1. Each district a city has should boost growth somehow - maybe +1 food or maybe just flat +%growth, and

    2. Cities with higher populations should produce proportionally more science per citizen.
     
  11. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Warlord

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    I'm okay with the Civ 6 style. Though one thing I find annoying is when I build a builder to clear a woods/rainforest to build a district/wonder The time it takes to get there and chop means I have to build something else and I still can't place the district/wonder yet. I often just build a 2nd builder. And I'm always worried about not getting all those hammers from the chop if I don't have something in my production queue.

    I would say the only addition I would make is have builders able to build roads using only 1/5th of a charge. I like the trader system, but sometimes I run into situations when they don't work out well for me. Sometimes I get involved in something, and don't get above 1 trader until much later in the game, and I had one game where I had almost no roads in my entire empire. How realistic is that?

    research does come from people just being alive. You never know who will come up with the next big invention. Nicolai Tesla was just alive when he came up with all that stuff. He didn't work for a University or some research facility. You could argue that Zuckerburg came up with Social Media just for being alive (technically he was in University but he wasn't employed by a university). Many other inventions created by people for just being alive. I would maybe argue small towns under size 3 shouldn't generate research points. Though I wouldn't want to penalize small towns too much. One of my heroes John Browning came up with his inventions, and the city in which he lived was not that big.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  12. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Warlord Supporter

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    They won't get lost. They get applied at the end of your turn or the next time you chop to whatever you've set the city to produce next. You can even choose something, change your mind and choose something else, and the overflow will get applied to your final selection, either at turn end or after your next chop..

    I haven't tested what happens if you chop something in, then do another chop before selecting something for the city to produce. I still don't think you'd lose the overflow from the first chop, but I'm not 100% certain on that.
     
  13. Duuk

    Duuk Doom-Sayer Supporter

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    That's actually a fair point. Right now there are no floors on requirements. What Civ6 (or more likely Civ7 since it would be a radical design shift) would be city requirements on buildings (which I believe previous civ games have had). You can build an educational district in a generic city, but you can't build a library until you have 3 pops, you can't build a university until 10, a research center until 15, etc. Then you balance those buildings around the idea that you want players to want them, so you make it worth it. Then you balance the game around making taller cities harder to keep happy.

    So wide play gives you piles of low-maintenance cities with very little in the way of happiness requirements because they are small and easy to manage, but they're not terribly powerful outputs either because you can't build the multiplier buildings. So you can make a linear amount of :science: :production: and :gold:, but you're not dealing with disease and unhappy pops.

    Tall play gives you multiplier buildings with significantly higher per-pop :science: :production: and :gold: output, but you've got major issues keeping them fed, happy, and entertained.

    I would play the hell out of that Civ7.

    Edit: Apparently "production" with colons around it isn't the way to make it display hammers, but I'm not changing it because that's funny.

    :hammer: :hammers:
     
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  14. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

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    Classical Athens had less than 10,000 citizens, and you can walk the circuit of the ancient walls in half an afternoon (been there, done that). By 20th century standards, it would be a very small town, yet it spawned quite a bit of Scientific/Civic Tree advances no matter how you define them.

    What would be appropriate might be to have more of the Progress depend on what sort of activity the people in your 'city' are doing. We've had some discussions on making the Eureka/Bonus system more relevant and dependent on specific actions, and I could see changes in the rate of Technical advance based on, say, the number of Specialist Slots occupied in your buildings, on the premise that folks engaged in subsistence farming or herding don't have a lot of incentive or time to innovate, whereas even someone trying to run a Market has to keep track of goods and coin/barter and is exposed to a variety of stimuli. Palaces should stimulate Progress, because they are among the earliest Storehouses of food and goods and employers, therefore, of people to keep records and lists, tax rolls, write down laws and decisions, etc.
    A system where Tech Progress is related more to the Specialists/Buildings in a city than the total size of the city would, however, be a major change in the way Civ Games do things...
     
  15. UWHabs

    UWHabs Warlord

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    I'm a big fan of making use of specialist spots be the real balancing force. Any of the following could work with a little balance work
    -You need to use population points to "work" buildings to get their output. That would force you to grow cities to actually make use of universities/factories
    -Have an increasing yield per specialist. Would be similar to the above, but if the first scientist you worked in a city gave 2 science, the second 3 per scientist, and the 3rd 4 per scientist, then if you can afford to run more specialists, you get a better per-yield
    -Otherwise, you can rebalance things so that it's actually more valuable to place citizens as specialists. Right now I'd almost always rather work a tile, but if you make specialists worth more, then the cities that have more pop can make more use.
    -You could also simply give more specialist spots. So say the library gave 1 spot, university 2, and research lab 3, then having all the buildings gives 6 spots total. If you also bring back some of the policies like in the past where specialists take up less food/less amenities, there's another way to balance it.
    -Alternately, you just restrict things more. So instead of getting districts at 1/4/7/10/13, you make them increasingly harder to build. So maybe you change it to something like 4/6/10/16, for example. That makes you actually have to grow a city to get districts built there

    Another option could be to simply give an increasing amount of science per citizen depending on the city size. So a city of size 1 generates .1 science, size 2 would be .4 (.2 per citizen X 2 citizens), 3 would be .9 (.3X3), etc... So then a city of size 20 would generate 2 science per citizen, or 40 science total just from citizens. Although that would very likely make it way too strong to build a tall empire, so you'd probably need other ways to balance it.
     
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  16. Duuk

    Duuk Doom-Sayer Supporter

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    I like this idea as well. Geometric progression of specialists would make tall play interesting. The first scientist yielding 2, the 2nd yielding 4 (for a total of 6-for-2). The balancing effect being that larger cities would need happiness/health mechanics a-la-civ4 so that smaller cities would be less efficient but easier to manage but larger cities would be higher yield but harder to keep happy and healthy.

    I like it.
     
  17. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

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    I like the idea of higher pop giving proportionally more science, but I have two misgivings.

    First, Civ VI already does this a bit, through 10+ pop cards, ability of tall cities to more easily build universities (although you can buy them with gold), ability of tall cities to have more spare citizens for specialist slots, and specific governor and wonder abilities (eg pingala, oxford).

    Second, I’m a bit worried about knock on impact on balance. Is there a risk you just end up with continued ICS, but now all these cities are tall? They’ll also inevitably be some new breakpoint for pop, so you’ll still end up with a tonne of sameness.

    I think a better solution with Pop / science might be to make campuses more restricted - ie have a hard cap on the number you can have which you can increase over time, or a soft cap by making them increase in cost faster than other districts. Then have some tier 2 or 3 buildings that provide +% science. That would mean you’d only have a limited number of campuses, so you’d focus them on where you’ll get the best returns - high adjacency and high growth.

    As for making pop just more valuable ... I really don’t know. I actually like the idea of pop being something that happens that you have to deal with, rather than something you’re meant to push for some benefit.

    And as for specialists. Well, I think they’re really fine as is. I think their yields could maybe count as part of the building’s yield for those building yield policy cards, and maybe slotting specialists should have some other indirect bonus, eg more growth. But if there’s a problem with specialists, it’s really that science and culture are often too easy to get, and populations are often too low.
     
  18. orasis

    orasis Chieftain

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    I prefer builders. Workers were sort of stupid. The return on investment with them was massive.
     
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  19. Cerilis

    Cerilis Not Warlord

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    I voted for the civ6 option, but I still hope they kinda introduce railroads back as one of the main features of the 2nd expansion. Like, building them either with production or an extra unit. Preferable production though. Planning lines and such.

    Screw sliders though.
     
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  20. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Warlord

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    If they didn't want to use percentages for some reason, they could also include other rewards for larger more developed cities by way of districts, ex. Universities provide +2 science for every district in the city.
     
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