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Irrigation is pretty bad I think

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Archon_Wing, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    While Military Tactics is famously laughed at, I'd like to take some tech to poke fun of this other leaf tech. I actually didn't realize it was optional!

    A lot of times I feel punished when I spawn with a plantation luxury. I have to research 2 techs while every other luxury takes one and irrigation is so expensive early game. I'd rather just settle on top of the luxury if possible then build a crappy plantation over it which gives you a whopping 2 gold (4 with .... globalization!). But eventually you might run into luxuries you can't just settle over so by then I can research it when it's really cheap and then sell it to people; only to have them ask for like 1 gpt or nothing because they have it too. And this is ignoring that banana and stuff are probably better Magnus'd.

    You also can build the Hanging Gardens. Well, at least on paper. And you could take Oral tradition but then I just can't see keeping the jungle for long.

    Though come to think about it, most improvements are pretty weak too, aren't they? Except mines that get boosted multiple times and pastures?
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  2. Sostratus

    Sostratus Chieftain

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    Whoa. I could have sworn you needed it for something. I never realized it was a leaf either!
    There's so many plantation luxes out there, though, that often there's a compelling reason to get it soon. Plantations give +2 base gold now, as per some recent patch or r&f. They also get +1 food at Scientific Theory (oxford.) And of course the extra gold at globalization. (WEAAAK.)

    It's kind of funny- virtually every improvement locked to certain resources is much worse than a farm or mine. This is mostly because farms and mine get upgraded early and often- Medieval and Industrial/modern. Everything else doesn't see upgrades until much later- industrial at the earliest.
    For example: why don't quarries improve when mines do? At apprenticeship, quarried stone on flat land is now worse than a hill mine. It contributes heavily to the chop meta. I think most of the improvements (camp, plantation, pasture,quarry, fishing boat) should have their upgrades moved up in the tree, and for the most part have an extra +1 yield tossed in the upgrade path to reward those who stand firm against the false prophet Magnus.

    Unique improvements are another mixed bag. A few are absolutely bonkers -outback station, ziggurat, kampung, mekewap- and some completely suck outside of the early game (sphinx.) I also don't recall when they put this in, but pastures get +1 production from outback stations with steam power now.
     
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  3. acluewithout

    acluewithout Chieftain

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    I quite like how irrigation works. It’s sometimes a really tough call whether to research it or not early.

    I had a game recently mucking around with Norway. I spawned near jungle, including some very powerful spice and banana tiles.

    It’s an interesting choice. I didn’t need irrigation because those tiles were already so powerful. But then again, I was already working those tiles, so adding in extra gold, and then maybe culture through oral tradition on top of that, had the potential to make a very powerful city in short order (particularly as oral tradition will expand borders faster).

    But it quickly became something of a moot point. I had horses and iron, so they became my early improvements. And I didn’t need plantations to unlock amenities because I could just settle on them (I really don’t think you should be able to benefit from resources or amenities by settling on them until you’ve unlocked the relevant technology).

    Hanging Gardens is one of a number of very cool Wonders that at high levels you just can’t get. I had a great city for it in that game, but had to give it a hard pass (as I pretty much always do). I don’t like that aspect of Civ, but I think it’s just how it is at higher difficulties.

    I’m not sure improvements are underpowered but will happily defer to others on that. I think perhaps Workhops and Factories buffing those resources would be a way forward - it would make those improvements better but also buff the IZ and its buildings. @FearSunn has a mod along these lines that’s worth looking at, although I think his tweaks are still a bit strong at the moment.
     
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  4. SahintheFalcon

    SahintheFalcon Chieftain

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    The thing is that you need at least a small trickle of gold in the early game in order to survive. You don't want to be forced to make a bunch of commercial hubs, as gold simply isn't as valuable as production or science. It's also less efficient in terms of city-states/envoys to diversify your district construction too much. The last thing you want to have to do in the precious early game is to divert production to commercial hubs because you went bankrupt.

    In other words, I consider having a small trickle of gold to be the optimal situation. Too much and you're giving up science/production, and too little and you go bankrupt.

    Obviously, if you're playing as a civilization that specializes in gold production like Persia, then you're going Commercial Hubs first and none of the above matters. But in general, plantations and the like are often your only source of gold in the early game.
     
  5. kb27787

    kb27787 Chieftain

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    Not that bad... They still give housing and some plantation luxuries are great tiles (spice, citrus, sugar, coffee)

    Besides you need it to remove marshes
     
  6. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    Sometimes I come close to going broke (negative GPT) but usually it's a result of bad play; I think this is probably the easiest game when it comes to gold. And I usually don't build many commercial hubs anyways, sometimes even none, preferring harbors. The only time it becomes an issue is if you reach State Workforce too late which I don't find to be a problem anymore. But in these cases, neither a commercial hub nor finding the time to build a plantation is going to arrive in time. If it really gets that bad, you can always send your lone trade route to a city state and run Autocracy.

    Also I think settling on a gold resource, even if the city is not so good, can provide the trickle. That's why I sometimes move the settler to a gold tile at the start and this is no longer a problem. It's not always possible though, I know. But take a start like this:



    Settling on the cotton really helped; it also moved me closer to the other luxury. I should have also sold it for more gold to someone but forgot. In any case, gold was pretty easy to deal with as a result and I could just put off irrigation for a while. And this capital is pretty bad. Would have been worse if I had to put a plantation. EDIT: Oh, I lost fresh water. Oh well. :p



    Housing's not too useful that early unless you don't have fresh water unless you managed to get 2 amenities hooked up fast. And even so, you could just chop the jungle for instant pop. Marshes are true though I usually leave them alone unless it blocks something.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  7. acluewithout

    acluewithout Chieftain

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    Early housing can be good if you have good tiles, particularly with Magnus.

    In the example I gave, I ended up have a 10 pop city very early. My city was working good plantation and camp tiles and a few mines. I was able to really pump out settlers because Magnus stopped me losing any pop when I did.

    It’s situational when camps and plantations are good, although that’s provided you’re not aggressive with chopping. If you are really aggressive (and by that I mean, settling terrible jungle cities en masse just to chop everything) then, no, camps and plantations just don’t compete.

    Chopping is a big part of my game, as are campuses for that matter, but I try to have some rules around them otherwise they overpower all the other mechanics.
     
  8. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    But the thing is that builders constantly escalate in costs, so it really feels like if you're not chopping or putting down the best stuff pre-feudalism it is a big disadvantage.

    I think builder scaling is something that needs to be looked at. Could be the limitations of my own gameplay.

    Although it really boils down to chopping drowning everything else out.
     
  9. Sostratus

    Sostratus Chieftain

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    I cry tears of jealousy i can never get a dutch start like this. Those lakes and coastal inlets... :love:

    I made a post somewhere a little while back that did crude chop vs improve analysis. Essentially, even with crude assumptions, improvements don't get upgrades fast enough to stay ahead of chopping. Even ignoring the intangible value of being able to get yield right now to finish something early. After ~50-100 turns, you should chop and harvest everything in sight.
     
  10. montalaar

    montalaar Chieftain

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    umm... what?

    irrigation is not just good, it is great, i think. it is early game. so you get amenity, housing, gold(while working and/or selling it). how is that bad? irrigation for me is a must. one builder action lowers its cost 50%. expensive? no, it is not. just do not research it at first, if other priorities beat it at that moment. im always glad to see those potential gold tiles. it adds up all the game. to the end.

    mines are great, farms are... good. sugar is beautiful.
     
  11. MarigoldRan

    MarigoldRan WARLORD

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    'Cuz there's better things to do and research.
     
  12. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Warlord

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    I often put it off if going the aggressive route early game. It's just not that important. In that case I may get it early classical era.

    If you don't plan on attacking at all, why not pick it up? Unless of course you have no plantation sites.

    As for Hanging GardensGardens, it's near impossible to build in time unless you beeline it. But is this wonder worth forgoing a second or third city, no.
     
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  13. acluewithout

    acluewithout Chieftain

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    I don’t think “chopping gives more production than yield” completely answers the question “are improvements underpowered”. Well, okay, it sort of does mathematically. But gameplay is a bit more wobbly.

    Basically, I think a game like Civ can get away with some things not being as strong as others - ie some things being unbalanced - provided the underpowered things are situationally useful or fun.

    I suspect improvements like camps or plantations are at least situationally okay when they are optimally places and when you pile in everything - not just yields, but also housing, additional yields from pantheons, potential yields from wonders, keeping appeal, etc. And there can be a fun factor: the base yields of deer, bananas and spices etc can often be really good; slapping more gold on those tiles can be very satisfying.

    Here’s where things go wrong though.

    First, it’s not that chopping is relatively better most of the time. It’s just so, so much better. The gap is enormous. Combine that with the total mismatch of late game costs with late game production, and you very quickly feel like a massive berk keeping resources / building anything but campuses. It’s one thing to play a little inefficiently; it’s another to play like a muppet.

    Second, Godess of Harvest and the faith / appeal pantheons are so strong you again feel like a bit of a berk if you don’t take those. So, it’s hard to take the pantheons that would make some improvements cool.

    Third, the late game value of keeping certain resources just isn’t there. Appeal doesn’t really give you much until the late game, and even then it’s not that valuable outside of some very specific culture victory strategies.

    Basically, I’m not sure improvements are weak. I think it’s more that chopping (particularly combined with aggression), certain pantheons, and campus spam, is just way, way too strong, that it robs every other strategy of any fun.

    I think the following would make the game a bit better.

    1. Keep chopping, but have it plateau about the time you hit the industrial era. Also, make increasing yields from chopping not be automatic. Instead, it should be more lumpy, maybe by requiring a card to be slotted to get better chopping yields.

    2. Nerf goddess of the harvest (eg only works on rice and wheat) and the faith from appeal (higher appeal requirement) and then make them policy cards unlocked on some leaf civic. That would give everyone a way to generate faith outside of holy sites and pantheons, freeing up room for other pantheon picks. You could even make the harvest goddess ability a Dark Age policy card, which I think would make it a much more interesting choice.

    3. Create a soft cap for campuses. You shouldn’t be able to have a campus in every city.

    4. Buff the IZ. IZs should have a bit more flexibility with placement, eg keep +1 for mines and quarries, but add on +0.5 from lumber mills and pastures, and +2 from harbours.

    5. Buff IZ buildings. Something like Workshop buffs yields for bonuses resources and gives some additional base production and say +1 housing; factories buff lumber mills and give regional production, housing and amenities; power plants give regional production, housing and amenities and an additional trade route.

    Agreed. But it’s a very cool wonder, and I feel a bit sad never building it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  14. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    Edit: They actually DID buff plantations. I bet nobody noticed. :lol:

    Only your first luxury counts, rest have to be sold and past the early game they start paying very little unless they have amenity problems and I can just settle on them; plus bananas are pretty useless as well. And yes I do get it later too, when it's like literally no time to research but literally everything else seems more important; even crap like Astrology. Well maybe not. As for the housing, that's with every other major improvement so not particularly impressive either.

    I'm not too sure about that. How much is it actually adding up to, though? I mean, for example, trade routes start at a few GPT but can grow to 10x that amount mid-game. So that translates to several hundred gold per turn even with no real investment in them. And even those tend to get ignored by better players.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  15. Eliminator_Sr

    Eliminator_Sr Chieftain

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    I find irrigation to be useful early. I will beeline for it in some cases if I have a lot of early luxes nearby. I'm often just struggling with gold early on and this can make a big difference in the ancient era allowing you to purchase an additional builder, settler, or monument. It's an easy Eureka and quick to research so I almost always just grab it before I decide to beeline for anything. It also unlocks some food harvesting which can help to grow your cities and plant districts early as well as secure extra faith if you have the harvest pantheon. It's definitely a terrain dependent tech that can be deferred but it's quite good in the right circumstances.
     
  16. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Warlord

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    I think I only get it 50% of the time. It's amazing how quite often I lack food resources near my city. I often end up with cows which won't cut it for this Eureka.
     
  17. Mr. Shadows

    Mr. Shadows Nomad of the time streams Supporter

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    If you need irrigation, you need it. If not you can safely neglect it until you do. It is awkwardly placed, but the eureka is easy to get.
     
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  18. UWHabs

    UWHabs Warlord

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    The main thing I don't like is that it requires 2 techs, while every other initial resource only needs 1. And given how important it is to go AH/Archery or Mining/BW early (to find iron), I do find irrigation starts are more rushed for research. You need it eventually, and the gold is nice, but would definitely agree that in many cases it's better to settle on a plantation resource and not worry about teching it until after the initial rush.
     
  19. SahintheFalcon

    SahintheFalcon Chieftain

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    In the grand scheme of things, this is it.

    You can be 5 or even 10 techs behind your opponents in the classical-medieval ages. That translates to being 1-2 techs behind in the industrial-modern age, assuming you both continue on a normal trajectory with campus, library, and university construction. Science just goes up so fast exponentially that it doesn't really matter what you do in terms of research in the first 50 turns, as long as you don't get invaded early.

    I mention this only because many (or should I say most) players have it ingrained in them that 1 turn in the early game is more valuable than 1 turn in the late game. This is true in nearly all respects; however, 1 turn of science in the late game equals many, many turns of science in the early game, so as long as you get your science up to the 100s by the mid-game, you've pretty much wiped out an temporary gains your opponents may have had on you in the early game.
     
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  20. Mr. Shadows

    Mr. Shadows Nomad of the time streams Supporter

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    I'm all in favor of settling luxes but you still don't get the lux until you get the tech. The extra money is nice and you frequently don't want to work the tile.
     

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