1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

June/July Patch Notes

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by 2K Greg, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    679
    I think the main complaint with higher level play is that there are fewer opportunities to leverage no matter how smart you are. Make no mistake, with the AI's bonuses at higher levels, we do have to find some leverage point. It seems like Firaxis is systematically nerfing viable strategies available to the player. Someone on the "balance" thread said it well...

    Follow the link, he was replying to yet another poster who enumerated the available leverage points and how they'd been hamstrung.

    Now, I'm not sure yet how this patch will all play out. There are just too many changes to integrate how they'll interact without actually testing it. However, Firaxis seems to be taking the tack that any identified infrastructure opportunity for the player is "bad". The problem I particularly have is that by "flattening" out the opportunity landscape we'll be forced to exploit still existing AI weaknesses, particularly tactical incompetence. (And emphasize that you must find some leverage point to exploit or the higher level bonuses are insurmountable.) I'd prefer some infrastructure opportunities so's I can "build" rather than "fight".
     
  2. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Messages:
    8,274
    Location:
    Venice, California
    Quite the sweeping indictment. Care to amplify substantively?
     
  3. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,115
    Location:
    Abroad
    Agreed, the patch makes higher difficulty levels more difficult to manage to be sure, but it doesn't necessarily make the game more fun. AI incompetence with war tacticss and overall sucky diplomacy (liberation woes) will remain, as will the lag even on higher-end engines...not to mention the lack of a good UN of some kind, extra techs in the tech tree to provide more than 2-3 choices in later ages, still unfriendly UI.....I could go on.

    I hope future patches will iron out these issues. At the moment it seems Firaxis is listening to some feedback, and then throwing massive wrenches in player strategies as well. Some good some bad with each patch. Not sure if I should be happy or displeased.
     
  4. Zyxpsilon

    Zyxpsilon Running Spider

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,250
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    On Earth
    Indirectly, i can detect 20 now... if only for the extremely potent finisher slots.
     
  5. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,332
    No, and that's the problem. The devs have gotten themselves trapped in a cycle of overbuffs and overnerfs by making too many changes at a time, and that's going to continue to result in unbalanced gameplay.

    It's nearly impossible to gauge the effects of so many simultaneous changes. A developer has a finite amount of testers (volunteer or paid) and a finite amount of time available for testing, and so there's no way to exhaustively test all of the combinations a large batch of changes like that introduce. There will still be unbalanced strategies after a patch like this - just different ones.

    That's a good thing for me; giving me a new set of mechanics to tear apart will get me back playing again. But for more casual players that set their copy aside, a host of extensive changes raises the barriers to entry for coming back. Worse, LE and Meritocracy never should have been reworked to those mechanics, experienced players told Firaxis that before that patch, and they didn't listen. The result is a bunch of aggravated players that liked those imbalanced strategies. Odds are that some of them will hate the new patch enough to quit, further decreasing the pool for prospective DLC/expansion sales.

    It would be strictly better for Firaxis to fix the things that were obviously broken (eg: Landed Elite, Meritocracy and Research Agreements), then take stock of the state of the game. Reworking :c5happy: and buildings this time around is just too ambitious. On the face of it, there once again appear to be some boneheaded changes that can be exploited. In particular, the Research Agreement "fix" is misguided. The amount of pressure on the player to make an early move to Education and the Renaissance is now enormous, as is the amount of pressure on early :c5science: production to clear cheap techs. That's going to result in very repetitive gameplay, as the relative payoff from getting the :c5science: machine up and running will be far greater than it ever was.
     
  6. civnoob13

    civnoob13 King

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    Messages:
    713
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Well the hanging gardens giving 10 extra food per turn in all of your cities so early on in the game is vastly going to speed up growth, making basically every aspect of your game far stronger. Having so much extra growth so early on is going to do wonders for your production, gold and science, which means you're probably going to be a runaway. At this stage of the game you'll probably have 2 cities. +5 food per turn for your first two cities is massive. Can't you remember how OP maritime CSs were before they were nerfed? The hanging gardens are far more OP even than this.

    The cultural bonus for stonehenge has now been reduced by 25%. This is just a matter of opinion, but I think that this means it isn't worth those essential early hammers anymore; it is too dull to bother with.

    Pyramids are now completely useless. The early worker is nothing compared to the effective doubling of workers for the entire game that you get from the halving of their time to complete stuff. Lets assume that the pyramids take 30 turns to complete. Let's assume that workers take 12 turns to complete. That means that the effective time taken for the pyramids to complete is 18 turns. 18 turns early-game for only 25% less worker construction speed just doesn't seem worth it to me. The long-value has been halved, and initially is was still a good question whether to build it.

    And not building early wonders at all, or even considering them, to me makes the game far duller. Hanging gardens are already taken by the AI very early as well, so you're not likely to get this, and it shouldn't be included in the state it is anyway.
     
  7. Zyxpsilon

    Zyxpsilon Running Spider

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,250
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    On Earth
    Thanks -- and now, if you'll just excuse me i'm goin' right back to a dreamy state of mind while shuffling a few carefully estimated thoughts on my upcoming attempts at all Victory Conditions; Science - first as usual.

    Denmark DLC steam achievements, for example, aren't on the same priority list anymore.
    :D
     
  8. Randall Turner

    Randall Turner King

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    679
    I agree that the main error in MkLh's post was in assuming experienced players will "quit". You can't make this many changes without some unbalanced elements (ie, new leverage opportunities), and identifying those is "fun". (Although I agree that if Firaxis' main thrust is to "plug holes", we'll end up with fewer and/or more difficult to execute strategies.)

    This, though....

    I'm not sure I understand. Keeping a tech lead has always been the key to winning, imo. It's just that most of us were doing it with the NC start, then making a decision later on whether to go Scholasticism, Rationalism or gold-based RA strategy. You're saying what, that RA's aren't worth it and/or they're ineffective without a strong inherent research capability?
     
  9. Keejus

    Keejus Prince

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Denmark
    I don't understand this outrage about nerfing all the best strategies. If you want a large number of viable strategies, and you have some that are far above the others, there are two solutions. You either lower the best strategies to be on the level of their alternatives, or you improve the weaker strategies to be as viable as the "no-brainer" ones.

    The general feeling on Civ V is that it is much easier than its predecessors when comparing difficulty levels, so it seems natural to me that you'd make the "easy" strategies harder, rather than make the "hard" strategies easier.

    Maybe we'll just see them all be replaced by an "HG start" and nothing will change. Maybe their impact is a lot less than you'd think. We'll just have to see, but I don't see why nerfing puppet empires and NC starts is worse than just making everything else as powerful or leaving them as they are.
     
  10. Zyxpsilon

    Zyxpsilon Running Spider

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,250
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    On Earth
    Let's call it for what it truly is; Innovation shock!

    Players' genome must mutate to adapt and survive to that new but still implicit Darwinism model of natural selection.

    Wouldn't you agree? :cool:
     
  11. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,332
    No, what I'm saying is that you're still going to push Education with (a lot) of RAs once you have the ability to clear cheap techs. Before, alternatives to early Education were possible. Momentum strategies could go for Longswords, Chivalry or Rifling. An Arab player could go for Currency.

    Now, you will get left so far behind in :c5science: so rapidly if you delay Education/Renaissance that it does not appear to make sense to do anything else.

    I'm fine with it. I explicitly said that. The problem is that the cycle of overnerf/overbuff is stupid business practice that limits the developer's ability to make money on the game.

    A lot of people don't like change. Selling games to those people requires not overhauling the game in its entirety every few months. This is what, the fourth total mechanic overhaul? That's a little excessive, especially since little progress appears to have been made on getting the game into a "balanced" state where we actually want to use the majority of the available options depending on game circumstances.
     
  12. ColinTH

    ColinTH Prince

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Messages:
    441
    Location:
    Bedford
    I found this very interesting, so I tried the same myself on Archipelago as Arabia small map versus five opponents. Note the games you lost in 45 and 46 turns are completely out of your hands.

    My results -

    success Wonder 2/5.
    without the chopping 0/5
    with chopping for the long term game (you have very few hammer tiles and need to build woodmills later) 1/5

    My apologies for my rant, so it is possible sometimes! Though I have to say, it is a major sacrifice if you do miss out, having not built a Library and NC by this time, or indeed military units for a different type of game!
    Also as some of you will be aware, on Archipelago maps, the landscape is very often devoid of forrest. Going further afield to chop down forrest gives less yield, buying a tile then gives you 50% more yield, so on the two games I did produce the HG first, I depleted my Gold reserve and slowed down the potential hammer production.

    I am going to have another look versus nine opponents, which is my usual type of game.

    EDIT
    Tried five Deity games versus nine opponents playing as Arabia, who allways get alot of desert and not many forrests.
    I only chopped forrests when good for long term strategy playing OCC, result lost all five. Conclusion, I would have to keep resetting game until I have plenty of forrests, and then just hope none of the AI builds HG in 45 turns, if so quit and reset up. I might be wrong about the HG, but I fear the worst.
     
  13. Brimstone

    Brimstone Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Springfield, IL
    That may be true, but wide empires gather most resources easily anyway. What you suggest may work, but they would need to work on a much better algorithm for resource distribution for that to have the affect they are trying for with a happiness nerf.

    I guess it's just the whole global happiness method that gets to me. I bump up against it's boundaries too easily, and it feels artificial and gamey compared to methods used in past iterations of Civ.

    Maybe it will balance with SP's, we shall see...
     
  14. Zyxpsilon

    Zyxpsilon Running Spider

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,250
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    On Earth
    Well - taken into such a context i'll have to admit a fair amount of risk(s) to ever reaching a proper final definition of CiV.
    Can't blame them for taking daring steps into a solid set of features.
    The design is under attack, so what!
    Keep 'hem coming.

    Once FINALLY done - this will turn into a spectacular success, if not a fantastic adventure with a targeted market. Persistent real-time world that consistently (expansion_s distribution model, anyone?) hit the consumers' mind.
    Just wow.
     
  15. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,554
    This seems likely, on first blush, but it might not be the case in the end. Sure, Deity will require more of a push to Education early, but that will depend on the map/AIs around you/VC. (Piety will be useful for non-culture sometimes)

    Though, I'm thinking this RA mechanic will be just as easy to 'exploit' as the last one. Mix GS bulbs into the mix and you can get access to high beaker cost techs which will then drag the median tech value up, thereby giving you a much better RA choice; especially after getting the Porcelain Tower (still useful to hit Renaissance early) and open up Rationalism.

    The one likely question is 'will it be better to sign 4 RAs in one turn, or 4 RAs over 2-4 turns?' Without knowing how the mechanic gives you the beakers, (your choice of techs or dump into what you're currently researching) we'll have to wait to see. There's also some corner cases to consider. (finishing techs as you get the bonus, etc)

    So I don't think you'll need to 'fully sweep' all cheap techs out of the way (sailing balances, say Rifling, but neither is close to the 'median' so you're still getting Acoustic level beakers anyways. for example)

    I think that's the nudge for abuse. 'median' and not 'average'.
     
  16. MkLh

    MkLh King

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    903
    Location:
    Finland
    Personally I don't care which level I play on and easiness has never been a big issue to me. The main problem of Civ5 compared to Civ4 is the lack of options, especially on the early game. Let's look at the early wonders as just as on example:

    Ci4:

    -The Great Wall - strong and often worth building (keeps barbs out and can give an early Great Spy which offers some interesting choices)
    -Stonehenge - often quite strong (gives an early Great Prophet)
    -The Pyramids - a very strong wonder and an option if you have a resource
    -The Oracle - a very strong wonder in certain starts and strategies
    -The Great Lighthouse - an extremely strong wonder especially in certain maps

    All these wonders can realistically be built by a player on Immortal, I think all but maybe Stonehenge are realistic on Deity too.

    Civ5 after the latest nerfs:

    -The Pyramids - junk, never worth building
    -Stonehenge - weak at best, hardly worth building
    -The Great Library - weak and hardly worth building if it has lost its free tech like some have suggested
    -The Great Wall - junk, never worth building
    -The Great Lighthouse - weak in most maps, maybe worth it in some heavy water maps
    -The Hanging Gardens - either OP or junk depending on what that "10 food" means really. Probably impossible to build anyway on higher levels.
    -The Colossus - almost worthless except maybe in some special settings (an Archipelago OCC?)

    And these were only the world wonders. There are much more possible openings in Civ4 too, like an early library and creating a Great Scientist with it. In Civ5, there were very few options before, and I'm failing to see all those new possibilities some say this patch would bring. Perhaps it would help if someone could give exact examples of some new valid opening strategies?
     
  17. elprofesor

    elprofesor Pluri-editing poster

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    773
    Location:
    (hint: I can type "Ñ")
    @MadDjinn (and Alvito?):Maybe we are looking at the "median" thing backwards. Because of how beaker costs rise, it would be much easier to exploit the "average" than the "median". Getting, say, civil service early (IIRC, some other tech if not) opens 2-3 renaissance's techs, thus it would drive RAs' beakers up way more than the median, whic would still be at classical-medieval levels. Sure, leaving sailing behind is more profitable with this change, but maybe the alternative was worse.
     
  18. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,554
    What's with the hate on Stonehenge now?

    Policies are cheaper now (curve wise and number of cities wise), so dropping from 8 to 6 is just a balance pass. I'd likely suggest that 6 cpt that early (given a number of other changes) will still be solid.
     
  19. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,554
    we'll have to wait and see.

    Though, some common early high cost techs did get their beaker costs dropped (Iron working and Civil Service are in there), so we'll have to see where the break points are.

    Ofc, if you sign 3-4 200g RAs right when you hit Philosophy now (assuming science rush) then definitely clearing every ancient and cheap classical tech will be the way to go. After that... there are choke point techs with higher beaker values than their normal counterparts coming up that will help drive the median.
     
  20. kamex

    kamex Emperor

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,272
    Location:
    UK
    With tech being such a hot issue, do you think Academies are now worth it?

    Because RAs no longer allow you to get instant high beaker tech which can be guided through blocking, I would have thought the bulb ability of a GS would be even more valuable.

    However, the Freedom finisher means you could potentially have a 14 beaker tile towards late game, and due to the university (non rationalism) and public school nerfs, an academies seem attractive to me. A late academy tile could equal the amount of bulbs produced by a public school in a 28 pop city...

    I'm thinking to settle the early Babylon GS as normal, but maybe keeper later ones to bulb. Also Scientific Revolution seems to be indirectly improved in this patch due to the RA nerfs.
     

Share This Page