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Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Thalassicus, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I've been thinking things over after playing a few games with the changes to luxury resource yields. While realistic, I feel the spots I picked at first for luxury bonuses overly complicated things, without adding as much to early-game strategic depth as the Smokehouse accomplished (especially with so many bonuses on late-game stuff like the Opera House or Museum).

    I've consolidated the resources on fewer buildings, and primarily include the bonuses on buildings earlier in the game. I also converted the culture to gold bonuses, since the culture mechanic is rather confusing (does not affect tile yields, only receives bonus from first copy of the resource). From a perspective of realism, it could be considered tribute or offerings made to especially elaborate temples.

    So as a second iteration of the idea:

    • Incense, Wine
      2:c5culture: Monastery
    • Gold, Silver, Gems
      3:c5gold: Mint
    • Fish, Pearls, Whales
      2:c5production: Seaport
    • Cow, Deer, Sheep, Fish
      1:c5food: Smokehouse
    • Wheat
      1:c5food: with Civil Service or Fertilizer (improvement)
    • Bananas
      2:c5food: when improved (was 1)
    • Horses
      2:c5production: Stable
    • Iron, Coal, Aluminum, Uranium
      1:c5production: with Machinery (improvement)

    • Spices, Sugar
      1:c5gold: Watermill
      1:c5gold: Windmill
      (Split in two because these are situational)
    • Pearls, Whales, Fish, Furs
      2:c5gold: Harbor
      1:c5food:1:c5gold: from fishing boat on fish (down from 1, 2)
    • Silk, Cotton, Dye
      2:c5gold: Temple
      Previous buff to Temple in BCD mod removed.
    • Horses, Ivory
      2:c5gold: Circus
      Circus increased to 3:c5gold: maintenance (was 0).
    • Oil
      4:c5gold: Combustion (improvement)
    • Market bonuses removed
    • Museum bonuses removed
    • Opera House bonuses removed

    This puts more resources on the newly-added stuff, similar to the Smokehouse, so there's enough opportunities to efficiently gain effects from multiple sources.
     
  2. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I think luxury balance in particular needs to be considered with the combination of:

    Tech requirement.
    Basic yield.
    Special abilities (marble).
    Terrain type, clustering factor.
    Building synergies.
    Technology requirement for improvement (mining > calendar)

    Some things to make sure get considered are:
    Gems give a high yield just with a mine.
    Incense tends to appear on desert tiles, which have no yield, so its a weaker resource.
    Wonder boost from marble is very powerful.
    Mint building has no purpose except the terrain yield boosts. I think that's a decent precedent, balance-wise. I think its better to create separate buildings (eg "weaver" that boosts silk, cotton, dye) rather than boosting existing buildings even more. If a temple gives +4 culture *and* boosts your economy by 2-6 gold in many cities, that's way too strong.
    Think of how powerful everyone agrees the paper maker is.

    I'd also move yields to medieval era or later buildings, not classical era, I think they're just too powerful in the early game. In the early game, higher yield alone is sufficient.
     
  3. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I agree Marble's existing bonus is already quite good. I'd been including it simply out of consistency, but leaving it out does have precedent since I left Bananas off any buildings (due to the later jungle science bonus). I've removed it off the Temple.

    Speaking of which... now that the jungle bonus is delayed and farm yields nerfed it's worth revisiting bananas... hmm...

    Here's my reasons behind the other points:

    • The Gem point could equally be applied to Gold and Silver. From a gameplay perspective I feel it's best to not leave one of them out. From a realism view, precious stones have been used as currency in several societies.
    • I try to avoid adding new buildings until I've eliminated all other buildings that could be viable options for achieving a goal. In this case there's several places we can put stuff.
    • Buildings like the Mint that can only be built with resources, but are better than most alternatives when those resources are available, which creates somewhat of a non-choice for city build queues. This is one reason why the Smokehouse has been a rather popular addition: its value varies but it's always an option, so it leaves more choice in the hands of the player as to just how much it's wanted for a particular city.
    • The Harbor's in the medieval era, and Windmill is in renaissance. The Watermill bonus is earliest of the new additions, but smaller than the others (even the Smokehouse), not available everywhere, and has a relatively high cost.
    • I agree the Temple's somewhat early, but the Opera House was too late. Since the Temple is a tier 2 building it does require a decent investment.
    • I buffed the temple when reworking the culture buildings, and after placing the luxuries here I reduced the temple's base power back down again. This in particular shifts the temple to favor efficient city placement over ICS, which I'm always looking for ways to do.
    • I like adding the bonus on the Temple because it diversifies it with more options/flexibility. I know it's more of a personal feeling, but something I do want to stick with. Orangecape helped a lot with spicing up buildings back in version 10 when I added the 1:c5happy: to the Opera House for the same reason.
     
  4. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    The problem with the at temple gold boost is that it makes it too much of a no-brainer if you have even one of the resources around (pays the entire maintenance cost).

    Increasing temple maintenance costs isn't a good rebalance though, because it weakens the temple when not near those buildings.

    So I don't really see a good solution using it with the temple.

    The solution I prefer is: have cotton, silk, dye, spices, furs and sugar have a higher base yield by 1 gold.
    Then remove the watermill, windmill, temple building effects.

    I think this makes sense, and makes them interestingly different from the gold/silver/gems resources. Those ones have low tech requirement and a good improvement (that also got boosted by mine yield boosts!), but need an extra structure to give the boost.

    Then these other resources have a higher base yield right away, but don't get a further boost with an (otherwise useless) building.

    I think its very, very weird for furs to tie to a harbor. Biggest fur trading in history was in Russia and Canada, a very long way from the coast.

    Tying resource boosts to buildings that are already well-balanced is a poor solution IMO.
    Better to have no building boost, or tie them to a building whose boosting value is its primary purpose, like the mint.
     
  5. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    The thing is adding to base yields improves the value of the resources, but does not achieve the two primary goals: rewarding well-placed efficient cities, and extra rewards for long-term investment.

    Better base or improvement yields works well for ICS because two cities can be placed adjacent to two resources and immediately gain both, while placing the effect on the building encourages dropping down a single city between the two resources. The second option will typically be further than either resource (likely out of the initial city circle) and therefore is a poor option in normal circumstances.

    Basically it all ties back to Plolycrates's post on page 11 here. This is a philosophy I do feel strongly about and intend to stick with, as a matter of personal 'fun factor.' :)

     
  6. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I don't think I understand this; how is city placement not rewarded by yield raises?

    Do you mean because: you want to place a city so it gets all 3 sugars, rather than having those 3 sugars split between 2 different cities, so you only have to build 1 booster building?
    That only works if the booster building is something like a mint, which you weren't otherwise going to build. If you were probably going to build it anyway, like a temple or harbor, then I don't see any efficiency gain.

    Similarly on the second point; if you were going to build a temple or harbor anyway, then there is no incentive extra reward for long-term investment, its just a buff to buildings that you were already going to build. And I don't think the Temple needs a further buff.

    This is why I would favor a Weaver building, which acted like a mint but for cotton, silk, dyes, and fur. You could still leave it at 2 gold, to compensate for the fact that it affects more resources, and that these resources are usually slightly more common and more concentrated than gold/silver/gems.
    You could put it at Machinery tech (loom).
     
  7. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    To put it simply it's not just what to build but when, priorities in the build queue. There's very few buildings I'd never build at all. In my games, unless I just really need the border expansion I prioritize libraries, markets, colosseums, most other things before a temple. A monument's usually enough to keep up with early population growth for new tiles. This shifts priorities around, encourages more consideration of different build queues for specific cities, and it's this added variety I find a lot of fun. :)

    Take the smokehouse for example: if there's only 1 bonus resource nearby I often build other things before the smokehouse, but sometimes before, it depends. Two resources usually makes it an early priority, no resources makes it very late. The Shinto Shrine was also designed in this manner.

    On the topic of the furs, I'm not as familiar with Siberian history but I do know the trapping industry in North America long relied on waterways. Most of the fur trade was around the Great Lakes area, and the Hudson Bay Company was set up because that organization was able to secure a monopoly on rivers leading into the bay. From a perspective of history and flavor (in North American fur trading at least), it fits to have a naval trade building improve this industry. Speaking from a gameplay angle, furs tend to be in tundra regions in CiV, which are often close to the northern and southern coastlines of continents on the pangaea and continents map scripts and likely to be in range of a harbor.

    Ivory are actually the resource I'm least sure about in this regard. Logically the Stable should give a bonus, since elephants are often used as 1) beasts of burden and 2) in war, both like horses. The only thing that held me back was the production modifier for mounted units... which makes sense in general (war animals) but I'm less certain about due to the fact most ingame mounted units use horses.

    I also tried Ivory on the Circus a while, though that building's already so good it's a first-priority everywhere. Now that I think about it... I'll move it back to the Circus and improve build-order flexibility with other changes to it.

    That's really what it all boils down to for me. I find it very fun to have a hard time picking a build order between options that all feel powerful. If it's easy to say X is always better than Y in every city, there's not really any option and I find things more boring. In vanilla, the circus/mint (obvious first priority) and stable/forge (obviously bad) fail at this and are not particularly thrilling for me.

    It's definitely a subjective matter because what's fun varies from person to person. I don't remember which game designer said it, "Make games you enjoy!" :)
     
  8. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    This is pretty much what I enjoy as well, which is why I gravitated toward these mods.

    With regard to the relative value of gems, I think the game designers valued it higher than all the other luxuries.
     
  9. homan1983

    homan1983 King

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    I wonder if you realize with the +1 hammer to mines/lumber with engineering you've destroyed the terraced farms of Inca.

    Could you tell me how i can implement a +1 food or hammer to terrace farms as well post-engineering?

    Its a shame cuz i can't disable this mod as it would reverse a lot of other things that i very much like.
     
  10. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I didn't buy that DLC so I can't look at the code of how the terrace works, but is it basically this?

    • +1:c5food: base yield
    • +1:c5food: at Civil Service (freshwater) or Fertilizer (non-freshwater)
    • +1:c5food: for each adjacent mountain tile
    • Does not require freshwater
    • Can be built only on hills?
    If this is the case, the maximum yield of a terraced hill is 7:c5food:2:c5production:, quite powerful. Even with only one adjacent mountain it's +3:c5food: vs the +2:c5production: of a mine, and the value of one over the other would depend on the food situation in the nearby city.

    One point to make is the mine bonus is split in the next version: +1 on riverside mines at Machinery, and +1 on non-riverside mines at Dynamite. Since non-river mines will only be 1:c5production: for the first half of the game, the value will be reduced.
     
  11. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    Thal - I hate to say it but I'm not thrilled about the general change of importance from production to gold. Production is now essentially back at vanilla values for much of the game, and if you don't get a river start you're at a severe disadvantage. Because of a combination of increased costs (which I admit my mod has a part in) and more yielded from terrain, gold has seemingly taken a much more important role. Is this intentional? I saw your "Double Down?" thread and I can appreciate that it's extremely difficult to balance these things, however at this point I'm not convinced that the river bonuses to production are really necessary. It could be that I need to play a few more games with the changes to get used to them, but I felt I should speak my mind before they become set in stone here. The balance felt great until the .20 version, I think.

    On a positive note, seaside cities are awesome now! With all three ocean buildings and the Research Lab, they've become very desirable. Btw, the Harbor's tooltip doesn't mention that all water tiles get 1G again.
     
  12. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    The intent is to shift from improvement-based to building-based production buffs (not lessen production overall). This is why I did things like doubling the modifier for workshops, forges, and the arsenal, and the gigantic buff to nuclear power plants. Those buildings are nearly worthless in vanilla, but I can't buff them while also buffing improvements without overdoing it and ending up with out-of-control production. :crazyeye:

    In particular, I'm going to focus on balancing the workshop and forge. These are available at the same tech level as the previous production buff on engineering, so overall it should result in similar gains while also improving building balance.

    I've been thinking about removing rivers' base +1:c5gold:, but holding off on that for a while until I can learn more about how start locations are valued and resource placement occurs. The file that handles that stuff is over 10,000 lines of code. :badcomp:

    The gold boost to water tiles is now on the terrain itself instead of the Harbor. :)
     
  13. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Yes, they did, and I loved it. All of a sudden I had something to do with my uranium that was worth going out of my way for. Between them and the SS factory, I built the parts in about 5 turns in size 12 or so cities.
     
  14. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    Yes, I understand that's where you're heading with this; I just found that the differences were remarkable, especially because I rolled Caesar. Note, I didn't build a forge because I only had one iron deposit and I settled my last city there which was playing catch-up the rest of the game. Also didn't get to nuclear plants because I'm going for a space win and am still teching the parts. I am sure this stuff will come out fine, I just found it a little frustrating and too river-focused. Sorry if I sounded harsh.:)

    I just checked the xml and there is indeed a +1G for all water tiles with the harbor (v.28) - must have been left in by mistake? I was actually happy to see it back in, with the 4G maintenance (!) the harbor is only viable if you have 3+ sea resources, assuming you don't need it for a trade route.
     
  15. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Yeah, it really all ties back into the issue of too-low base yield values, there's just limited flexibility in what to put where. One thing to point out is the trading post bonuses to rivers and non-rivers are very close to one another in era, so that particular aspect isn't too disjointed.

    Your feedback's given me added motivation to figure out how start locations are valued around rivers, maybe I can hardcode in an additional value-weight for fresh water (if it doesn't have one already). This would let me remove rivers' base gold yield without messing up the map balance algorithms. :)

    Thank you for pointing out the Harbor inconsistency. The reason I shifted the bonus from water tiles to resources is so the Harbor is a more challenging decision, while it used to be a no-brainer for every coastal city. The Harbor pays its maintenance in any of the following conditions:

    1. Sea resource and market+bank.
    2. Two sea resources and no market+bank.
    3. Specialist economy policies acquired.
    4. 4+ tiles to next city and no military need for a road.
    5. Railroad tech researched... instant +50%:c5production: from all harbors! Railroads are very expensive at 2:c5gold:/tile.
    Since fish are rather common, meeting a combination of #1 and #4 can be done rather easily (1 resource and no road). Fish turn into superpowered 5:c5food:2:c5production:4:c5gold:2:c5science: tiles when fully improved. Each investment might not seem great individually, but I think the total effect is worth it, especially if there's a cluster of sea resources a city can improve all at once.
     
  16. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    I disagree, really. Bonuses from buildings have their place but so have improved base yields. Improved base yields can be made more worthwhile for a highly developed city compared to an ICS borg outpost by improving multiplier buildings. ICS outposts usually don't have enough hammers to get all their infrastructure done with, for example, workshops. So if workshops are better, the large city does get a more significant benefit from better resource tiles. This is how it worked in Civ4, by the way.
     
  17. Polycrates

    Polycrates Emperor

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    I think there's probably room for both. I think the building boosts work really well in the early/mid game. But given that cities are working so many tiles in the late game (especially since this mod boosts pop growth), even with the building boosts the specials tend to get a bit lost in the noise later on. By the mid/late game, everywhere has pretty much been settled (and most cities have already grown big), so ICS is much less of an issue - but you still want to keep certain city sites particularly tempting for conquest, or just specialised development into your super-cities.
    I think a later-game boost to resources via tech could go hand-in-hand with the earlier boosts given by buildings. Something like: Rifling for camps, Fertiliser or something for plantations, Biology for pastures, Steel or Metallurgy for Iron etc.
     
  18. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    It'd make sense to do a combination of both like Polycrates suggests... and the start of the Industrial Revolution would make sense as a spot to put the bonuses since other improvements get boosts there too.
     
  19. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I disagree, I think the current system is pretty good, and makes fresh water tiles avoid a "no-brainer" system of which tile to build, because every improvement gets a bonus.

    Tile yields are also higher than vanilla for most of the game; for fresh water tiles from compass/machinery, and for all tiles from economics/steam power.

    I take the point that coastal cities are production poor, but maybe that's ok, they're gold rich.

    Every game start is either on a river or the coast, so that's the only tradeoff to be considered.

    Right, I support this.
    But I wonder;
    a) Haven't checked the current version, but many previous versions didn't have the forge boost.
    b) What's the gameplay reason for the forge needing local iron? Its frustrating and not much fun. I would rather leave the forge without a requirement, but have it give +1 hammer to a local iron resource.


    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here.
    Yield improvements favor ICS, because its easier to get lots of population working lots of tiles, and the yield is high from the base alone.
    Building boosts favor tall cities, because they're percentage boosts; my size 10 city with a workshop can now compete for total production with your 3 size 4 cities that don't have a workshop.

    Changing tile yields has a bigger impact than anything else we're doing, particularly due to discreteness issues. I advise severe caution before making further changes.
    And I disagree that industrial revolution makes sense for large *tile yield* bonuses; the production boost is already adequately handled by the factory and railroad (and the steam power boost for non-fresh-water).
     
  20. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Forge was boosted from 15% to 25% in v12 (December 26). You and I are thinking along the same lines regarding an iron boost. For a while I've been considering a boost on it for iron/aluminum/uranium, and changing the local-resource requirement. :)

    The Industrial Revolution changed much more than production of goods alone. As you know, modern economics was basically born with the introduction of market theories in the same era. Even disregarding the changes to economic theory, there were huge changes to transport, communication, and innovation brought about during this time period. From a historical perspective it make sense for the economy to get a boost at the Economics tech. In vanilla this is only marginally represented by the Big Ben wonder.

    In addition, the threshing machine was invented around the same time, and allowed farms to change from thousands of workers to dozens, dramatically improving food productivity. The concept of crop rotation became more widespread, and the study of plant nutrition was mostly nonexistent before the Industrial Revolution.

    Basically, this time began the first period in human history of of rapid, sustained improvement in material well-being of average people around the world since the introduction of agriculture.
     

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