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Ideological Pressure and Influence Balance Discussion

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Rekk, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    This probably should be its own thread (and it is now!), because, in my opinion, ideological pressure is really its own beast, and balancing it has to do with tourism. Happiness is just one of the yield effects that goes with it. That said, if ideological pressure uses happiness as its external forcing mechanism, then an empire's happiness needs to be low enough that the mechanism can actually be effective (whether that be through large unhappiness scaling, or by low empire-level base happiness).

    Some random thoughts about Ideological Pressure and Influence:

    I think the original goal for ideological pressure (and influence) was for tourism to have meaning outside of culture victory. If you don't build enough tourism, then you will face ideological unhappiness and if it gets bad enough will be forced to move away from your chosen ideology (and originally, you lost your bonus policies). I feel that right now tourism is almost entirely a yield that only culture victory cares about. No one is really emphasized to choose tourism based policies/buildings/effects unless they're pursing a culture victory, or it's an incidental effect (dig sites, holy sites, policies required to finish a tree, etc). As such, the culture (tourism) leader always has major control of ideological pressure.

    In BNW, it seemd like tourism was a super long term yield that needed to start in Ancient. The more you neglected your tourism (and influence with other civs) early game, the less choice you had of ideology late game as the other civs' ideological pressure rolled over you. This seems mostly gone now, which I'm okay with. I don't' think any of us want to see unmitigated long-term effects (see this happiness discussion), and Ideological conformity is also undesirable.

    How much more incentive does a civ need to have to improve their influence over another civ? Currently, there are rewards to trade routes, spy versatility and city capture.
    • The trade route reward is good for people who don't care about ideological pressure at all, or want to boost the defense of common ideology civs (to the extent that growth is a reward nowadays). It less useful to civs seeking culture victory, as they will generally be sending trade routes to the civs they have the least influence with.
    • The spy setup time reduction allows civs to move their spies around more frequently. This mostly only helps with advanced actions. Diplomats don't get this reduced setup time, so it doesn't speed up the diplomatic vote buying process (I really wish it did), and compared to the time it takes to steal a great work/tech, setup time is minimal. Rigged Elections/Coups, which would benefit from reduced setup time since the actions are meaningfully short in duration are obviously not part of this system. Edit: quickly moving a spy between cities provides a great way to gain information about what a civ's cities are doing/where their great works are, etc. Reducing setup time has a huge impact here.
    • I don't know if the City Conquest reward has much impact. It affects population, not infrastructure, so the result is more citizens in your empire, more quickly, and more unhappy than if the city had come out of resistance with a lower population. Unless, of course, we're just puppeting everything at this stage in the game. In which case, the yields that the increased pop gives (puppets are still gold-focused, right) aren't meaningful anyway.
    • None of these benefits are something that a non-culture civ would push tourism for. How much does a player even notice their effects when they occur incidentally?
    I like that Order's Cultural Revolution exists. It's partially a policy that gives tourism for players who don't want a culture victory, as it can be used solely to increase defensive ideological pressure between Order civs. This is more of a policy to help other Order civs stabilize if they're in danger of being overwhelmed by Freedom/Authority (it's actually detrimental if Order civs other than the culture leader takes it, when used for this purpose). What do you do if you're being overwhelmed by a different ideology? In this case, you're at low tourism output in general, and you most definitely do not want to send tourism to your fellow Order civs, and maximize tourism with your opposing Ideological influencers.

    Unfortunately, you may not have much time to play in this situation. Maybe this is atypical, but I've been in games where only half of the civilizations on the map even have an ideology by the time the game ends.
     
    Bromar1 likes this.
  2. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    Civilization Influence apparently also helps with coups and election rigging! If you're at least popular with a civ, and they are allied to a city state that you have a spy in, your spy is considered to be one rank stronger. Does this work like England's ability, or is there a cap to level 3?
     
  3. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    Honestly I'd be okay with just totally removing this feature, it adds nothing interesting to gameplay. The idea of the Soviet Union collapsing to foreign influence and pressure is already represented well enough by the tourism victory condition.
     
    chicorbeef, vyyt and doublex55 like this.
  4. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I think there are two debates in here, somewhat related.

    I think CrazyG's point about ideological happiness is a good one. I mean, what does this system actually gain us? In fact it drives us towards something we generally don't want in game play, which is a single ideology across the board. The game is more fun with multiple ideologies, and the interesting tensions that develop because of it.

    Realistically your ideology doesn't "win" because of pressure, you win because of victory condition. If Order wins a science victory...than that means order "rules the world"...in a certain "Civish" kind of way.


    The second part is that the Ideological pressure system is a reward for Tourism players, or a punishment for those that ignore Tourism. But the issue is...it doesn't really work. The issue with Tourism hasn't changed that much in the mod, even with some attempts to curb it:

    1) A lot of Tourism is "secondary", aka it happens as a consequence of other actions. I don't build an Arena for Tourism, I build it for its awesome other bonuses. Historical Events are gotten for key things I do, not for Tourism. My first few Great Writers and Artists become great works, not for tourism per say, but because it bumps my future GP down the road.

    2) There are decision points in the game when a player decides to "go Tourism". These are usually pretty large commitments: specific policy trees, certain religious beliefs, using diplomats instead of spies/coups, getting lesser TR yields to stay focused on a specific Civ, using free GP for Great Musicians instead of other GP...etc.

    3) The commitment to Tourism (from number 2), is not worth the benefit unless you are going for Cultural Victory. While Tourism does have some benefits (faster spies, slightly better TRs)...these pale against the costs of actually committing to Tourism. The pressure system doesn't change this, it just throws a late game punishment my way for playing the way I'm going to play regardless.


    So what you have is most civs just get Tourism "doing what they were doing anyway". They enjoy the small bumps to their TRs, and will use the faster spies and conquests when its available. But its not a part of the "strategy", it just "happens". Then you have the cultural victory players milking every ounce of Tourism they can get. More than any other yield in the game, Tourism is very "binary".

    Now I think what the Mod has done a good job of is making that Tourism push fun. If I am going crazy on Tourism, its not just an empty yield that has no gameplay value until the end game screen comes up. Tourism gives benefits, and they are benefits a Tourism player can enjoy over a different playstyle. It makes the journey a bit more fun. And I think with the recent change to TRs and Tourism, culture players can enjoy their TR benefits without being wholly subservient to "the one civ I need to influence gets all of my TRs".

    G may remember that Tourism used to be a battle cry of mine earlier in the mod. And overall, I feel like we succeeded most of the way. I am content that when I'm playing Tourism, I can enjoy actual benefits to Tourism. And when I'm not, then it gets ignored. I think that's good enough.

    So all of that is a long winded way of saying....I agree with CrazyG that the pressure system is outdated. Its Tourism Reward/Punishment system doesn't work and isn't needed. It promotes a style of gameplay we generally don't want. I say toss it in the trash.
     
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  5. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    If it doesn't make much of an impact now, then it doesn't matter what happens to it one way or another.
     
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  6. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    Or... there could be some penalties, not unhappiness, for receiving ideological pressure. I think that weaker units is already a thing. Losing cities out of secession is another, but this rarely happens, does it?
     
  7. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Oh it does have an impact in some cases, a bad impact. It can cause AIs to all join the same ideology...create blander less interesting gameplay.
     
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  8. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Why do we want any penalties at al? Isn’t the diplomatic tension and the increase in drive for war enough?
     
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  9. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    I love the big alliance shifts and war that comes from ideologies, I don't see the need for a mechanic that dampens them.
     
  10. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    Thought I'd give a quick snapshot of my current game and show the tooltip on how Ideological Pressure currently works.
    upload_2019-3-10_13-16-25.png
    In this snapshot, I am popular with Siam and Germany, and Siam is exotic to Germany while Germany is familiar to Siam. Both Germany (progress/statecraft/rationalism) and Siam (tradition/statecraft/imperialism) are, of course, pursuing a diplomatic victory. Siam has 9 cities to Germany's 8.
     
  11. TheBigFundamental

    TheBigFundamental Chieftain

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    I'm in favour of removing unhappiness from differing ideologies. It leads to consolidation of the world into one ideology, which makes the game much less interesting.
     
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  12. TranceBlossom

    TranceBlossom Chieftain

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    In my experience, if someone (me) is steamrolling everyone with massive tourism, then having everyone adopt to my ideology because of pressure feels rewarding and valid. If it's a neck-and-neck race with two or three different ideological leaders, I've never had ideological pressure be enough to convert anyone except small-fry loser civs, so I'm really not sure it needs to be adjusted or removed.
     
  13. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Chieftain

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    I agree with this.

    Also, I think the potential happiness penalties are an important mechanic to force people to pursue and pay attention to tourism even if they aren't aiming for a tourism victory. I like that VP attempts to enforce repercussions if players ignore aspects of the game. Even if you aren't going for tourism victory you better make some great works and build tourism buildings at a reasonable rate or suffer the consequences (either having your choice of ideology be constricted or plan to deal with unhappiness in some way).

    The situations where this results in all civs adopting a single ideology are not the norm in my experience. I usually see a healthy mix of ideologies.
     
  14. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    The issue is that there are no immediate repercussions to ignoring tourism. They only happen after you've been ignoring it for eras.

    This is similar to our recent discussion about growth and happiness, where you may have grown a lot in early eras and were fine in happines, and now you're paying for it with massive unhappiness in industrial, way too late to do anything about it.

    If we were having unhappiness penalties throughout the eras due to differing influence levels, it'd be different.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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  15. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    Unhappiness could be a function of tourism and social policies. This way you always have a reason to try to weaken your neighbors with differing social polities. Ideological differences could cause MUCH more unhappiness.
     
  16. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Chieftain

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    I don't really see why that means it's not useful. Anybody who has been blindsided by tourism unhappiness just once will know what happened and should know to address it in the future. Also, the tourism unhappiness has a pretty easy solution to it- convert to the new ideology if it's bad enough. So even if you did a poor job of getting tourism you can still salvage the game.

    A lot of the complaints recently seem to follow the form of "this mechanic made me lose so it should be removed" when the better solution, imo, is to simply play better and improve. If ideology unhappiness is a problem then stop ignoring tourism in your games. If unhappiness is a problem in general then stop over growing/settling. I'm afraid that if some if the squeakiest wheels get their oil then the game will find itself devoid a meaningful choices/consequences.
     
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  17. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    I agree with you, but Rekk's has a point. It's easier to learn when you are receiving an immediate feedback. It's not about removing the consquences, but having some of those consequences to be felt immediatly. Within the era, at least.
    When I receive the message that one civ has gained some influence over me, it's like listening to rain, unless I'm going cultural myself, in which case I take note of who are the ones that I need to beat harder. This absolutely changes in the late game, when another civ gaining influence over can make me lose, if it achieves victory before I do.

    Is there any immediate bad effect for being influenced, other than the combat strength penalty?
     
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  18. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    There's a combat strength penalty?
     
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  19. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Let me ask this...why do we want to force a player to generate tourism...sacrificing yields they want for one they don’t, just so they can avoid a happiness bomb later in the game.

    Forget balance for a moment....how is that fun?
     
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  20. Enginseer

    Enginseer Salientia of the Community Patch Supporter

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    What makes you say you are forced to generate tourism?

    In BNW, you are definitely forced but Vox Populi buildings come naturally with some tourism yields like Arena and Zoo. If you are focusing very hard on culture, you are bound to hit culture buildings with tourism yields.
     

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