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Late game discussion

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Natura, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. Natura

    Natura Warlord

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    We tend to have a lot of discussion on here about early to mid game elements of the CPP, which is fair enough; these have a major impact on how a game will go. Late game tends to get overlooked however, and there are a number of late game elements that I feel warrant some discussion.

    1. Faith purchases

    The faith cost of buildings increases as the game progresses through eras. Past a certain point, generally by the Industrial era, it stops being really viable to purchase them, even if you've invested in buffs for them, such as the Tourism reformation belief. By the Atomic Era, a Cathedral costs 1080 faith. Early and mid game, the only real competition for Faith points is missionaries and inquisitors, but Industrial onwards, faith investment in buildings has to be balanced against purchasing Great People. Virtually every time, the Great People are going to win out, especially as some, such as Great Merchants, become more powerful late game. Buying buildings that were powerful in the early and mid game but do not improve in the late game just doesn't really add up.

    2. Policy trees

    2.a) Rationalism

    By far what I feel to be the most problematic tree to balance, since its focus is Science, and the whole game is based around Science, Rationalism's biggest issue right now, I feel, is that it's dead boring. Industry massively boosts your production rates by incentivizing mines and lumbermills through Entrepreneurship, encourages you to grab any luxury resources you can via the finisher, synergises with Piety via buffed internal trade routes and makes investing in buildings much more powerful, which, when combined with the new science on investment, gives a big reward. Imperialism revolutionises how you use aircraft once they show up and turns farms into powerhouses, not to mention making Ocean and Sea tiles much better, which, given that the Communitas map tends to produce resource rich islands, can be quite powerful.

    Rationalism by contrast just feels dull. Probably the most interesting policy is Free Thought, but ever since Farms were changed to gain +1 food from 2 neighboring farms, villages became rarer. This runs doubly for Rationalism since you don't get the buffed farms from Imperialism. The happiness boost for removing religious unrest feels very minor; when I adopted this policy in my most recent game, I gained 2 happiness. Industry would have given me far more.

    Scientific Revolution and Empiricism are both fairly "nothing" policies. Gaining an extra 2 happiness from a monopoly isn't exactly earth shattering, nor is extra food or production on luxury tiles; you simply don't control enough of these tiles for it to be meaningful. The same issue plagues Empiricism; strategic resources aren't plentiful enough for buffing their yeilds to be meaningful. If this was available in the Ancient era it would likely be game changing, since +3 Science in the early game on strategic resources would be very strong. Late game though, even in a massive empire, this might translate into 30 or so science from tiles. When science production runs 1000+ late game, this is a drop in the ocean. Science and production from specialists is decent, but again, this doesn't produce that much overall. By comparison, +2 production on specialists from Industry has a larger impact because city production is measured in hundreds, not thousands.

    And yet despite all this, the tree is undoubtedly powerful. +10% science when happy, and 20% during Golden Ages, are undeniably powerful. As is a cool +25% growth in all cities. It's just that it's dull. Your playstyle doesn't really change, you don't do anything differently, and no policy you unlock makes you go "Oh wow, I can feel the difference that made!"

    2.b) Imperialism

    A very cool tree, and the changes to the finisher are excellent. Free Range promotion across the board is fantastic, and really buffs aircraft, especially B17's, which can, from construction, get +2 range, double attack.

    Exploration should probably give Great Admirals bonus movement, just like it gives Great Generals the same. Revealing undiscovered capitals is rather pointless given the point it usually shows up, but might be situation-ally useful.

    Exploitation is a total game changer, and a massive boost. It really feels meaningful to grab.

    By far the biggest issue in the tree I feel is Martial Law. This policy has always had some issues fitting into the game because it incentivizes not building Courthouses. The trouble is that this synergises horribly with the two Ideology trees focused on conquest, Autocracy and Order. Autocracy gives you Happiness from Courthouses, a very useful bonus, and Order straight up gives you free Courthouses on capture (great synergy with Civilising Mission too). The game also straight up gives you free investment in a Courthouse if you annex the city, making it even less likely that you're going to not build one.

    Even aside from that, the colossal happiness hit you take from occupation doesn't warrant the +33% production boost. This runs doubly for empires focused on conquest, which Imperialism encourages, because conquest lowers happiness a lot. It's just not feasible to be not building Courthouses as quickly as possible if you don't want hordes of rebels breaking down the walls of your Capital.

    2.c) Industry

    The only issues I find with Industry are chiefly based around Corporations. If any policy tree should interact with Corporations, its Industry, but the tree has no policies that directly assist corporations (The extra trade route does help them indirectly). Mercantilism buffing Internal Trade Routes also doesn't play nice with Corporations, which hugely encourage international trade routes. Plus there's the issue of internal trade routes falling off in late game; if you're going for a culture victory, you really want your trade routes going outside your empire, not inside it. Even if you're not, you don't want other Civs having much cultural influence over you, not if you want the freedom to choose your Ideology.


    Well, there's my thoughts. Let's get some discussion going on this!
     
  2. BenchBreaker

    BenchBreaker Warlord

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    one issue im running into often is the arsenal of democracy + glory of god combo is way too OP
     
  3. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Corporations are tied to ideologies because Corporations and Ideologies are 'modern' things. I don't want to change that.

    Re: Rationalism being 'boring,' perhaps, but keep in mind that the tree is designed to be a force-multiplier (i.e. boosting the efficiency of what you already do), not a game-changer. I think it is fine to have one late-game branch that is 'safe' and straightforward.

    Perhaps, but that's more of an issue of faith per turn, no? Or perhaps even the faith delta scaling on great people?

    G
     
  4. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    Think it's mostly an issue related to the fact that there is absolutely no reason to use your faith as soon as you get enough to use it, you save it up until you can either use it all at the same time to get enough tourism for victory or you save it up until you get arsenal of democracy and get an instant +120 influence with all city-states.
    Not sure if I actually dislike the concept however, but that's probably why.


    Absolutely not about the delta being too low, by the way, the reason why glory of god is 'required' is to avoid the delta.
     
  5. mavol6

    mavol6 Chieftain

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    i do agree on rationalism, with the new bank i feel industry is great on science on it. i just use rationalism on tall empires and even then is not that great (the monopoly bonus seems only worthwhile on % based ones).
     
  6. BenchBreaker

    BenchBreaker Warlord

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    Yeah, like funak said, glory of god allows you to get many GPs cheaply since each type's delta is separate from one another, this gives you instant allied status with almost all city states, what's more spending those GPs gives back more faith to buy more GPs.
     
  7. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    I have long felt that Glory Of God needs to be split into two beliefs: One that allows you to buy Engineers, Merchants and Scientists with faith, and another that allows you to buy Artists, Musicians and Writers with faith.

    The current version is absurdly powerful because the combined benefit of both being able to buy Scientists and Engineers (free techs, free wonders) and also buy Writers to pop for free policies to basically cover for those you invested in Piety to get the belief is rather absurd.
     
  8. BenchBreaker

    BenchBreaker Warlord

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    there are also admiral, general, prophet and diplomat...
     
  9. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    I really don't feel like Glory of god is absurdly powerful, and I for sure would never pick one that only unlocked Engineers Merchants and Scientists, as I likely already have Engineers and Scientists unlocked from policy-trees.

    Glory of God is powerful for one simple reason, it is easy to use and it is always useful.

    Knowledge through devotion (no idea if it's actually called that anymore) requires you to settle great tile-improvements, which is only really worth it for a limited period of time. Even if you do settle most of your great people, the yield payoff isn't really fantastic later on. The one benefit this belief has over GoG is that you can conquer cities where another civ has settled great tile-improvements and benefit that way.
    Bottom line is that it is harder to use properly and the payoff isn't even fantastic if you do.

    Global Commandments are great, probably way better than GoG, but it requires you to both be the host of the World congress and that you pass every one of your proposals. This limits you to making choices that you're sure will pass, which in turn defeats the whole point of actually having a vote-majority. It is just way too hard to use.

    Sacred Sites are great, possibly overpowered.

    One World One Religion is sort of a one-trick pony, it gives you an extra vote which you can use to try and pass the world religion resolution, if you fail to do that(which you probably will) the pay-off for this belief is really minimal.

    Crusader Spirit requires you to keep fighting landwars and conquering cities to make us of, Defender of the faith doesn't really do anything.

    Faith of the Masses/Jesuit Education I've never actually used and never actually seen to point in every picking, why would I waste a ton of faith on buildings that I could spend some hammers on, or some gold and half those hammers.
     
  10. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    I don't know if you use CBP and how balance is in policy trees there, but if you play with vanilla policy trees, then reason why you wouldn't do that is because Tradition and Rationalism are so absurdly poorly balanced against the other trees. I play with my own balance patch, and I use only Tradition if I play a dedicated narrow/tall game - and that is not very often - and I use Liberty and play wide more often than I use Tradition. I also only use Rationalism if I play a very science-focused game, more often I use Patronage or Exploration or occasionally Aesthetics. And that turns the equation around completely - and under those circumstances, a belief that allows you to buy Scientists and Engineers is extremely valuable.
     
  11. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    If a player wants to save up their faith all game in order to maximize their benefit from GoG, I don't see why that should be nerfed. I may change or move the influence element elsewhere, but I don't see it as a particularly broken belief. If anything, Sacred Sites is more imbalanced. I've considered dropping the Sacred Sites tourism to 1 and then adding 5 Tourism on the Grand Temple to compensate.

    G
     
  12. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    That would be a reasonable change also. I've "fixed" the Sacred Sites issue by making it so that a religion can only have one religious building, which makes it less of a problem.
     
  13. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    What I am saying, is that you already get 3 different great people unlocks from policy-trees, meaning that most likely the number of GPs unlocked from your GoG replacements would be 1 or 2, which is honestly speaking garbage.

    Agreed, but I do think some of the other reformation-beliefs could use some work. Global commandments is powerful enough to work the way it does I guess, it is really situational, but some beliefs like that are fine. The others however I'm really not sure sure about.


    About Sacred sites, how about removing the related religious(faith-buy) building stacking? Change the ability to a flat bonus for every city with at least one religious(faith-buy) building. You could probably do something more interesting with the balance even, since you don't have to watch out for those weird Byzantium 8 tourism per city strategies.
     
  14. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    It's not as easy as that – it'd require a rework of the functionality, something I'm not interested in at the moment.

    I'd say the two combat beliefs work fine enough – Defender is a little less useful than Crusader, might give it a buff at some point. The two WC ones are fine – the extra delegates are on top of the bonus you get for reforming anyways, which is nice, and the other one – while situational – is still strong. Most people like the faithbuy culture/science building ones, so really GoG and Sacred Sites are the two that stand out as being 'instant-get' reformations. Could move the Influence off of GoG (or change it so that it only affects non-allied CSs), and Sacred Sites could be dropped to 1 with Tourism on the Grand Temple and still be strong.

    G
     
  15. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    I'll be honest with you, I have no idea what you're talking about here... since when do you get Influence from GoG?


    I'm not saying that Sacred Sites would be bad at 1 tourism per building, but I would definitely not get it with less than three buildings. I mean it is currently definitely not worth getting with only 1 building, it is okay with two buildings, good with 3 buildings and borderline crazy with 4 buildings (Byzantium only). With 1 tourism per building the reformation belief would pretty much always be worse than the Stupa, which isn't exactly a toptier belief in the first place, yeah I realize comparing follower beliefs to reformationbeliefs is pretty silly, but still.

    Having it as I suggested, non stacking (if that was at all possible) you could either pick one of the buildings or go for piety, as an alternative when to going to aesthetics GoG route if you're going for tourism. It would require less of an investment leaving you more room for other beliefs.
    It would also lessen the degree to which you get messed up if you go for 3 religious buildings and someone snags Sacred sites before you can get it, just a thought.
     
  16. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    I was talking about the aforementioned combo of Arsenal of Democracy and GoG. Sorry, thought that was the contention at stake.

    Not sure I understand – non-stacking? You mean a flat x tourism for cities with a faith building in them? Could work, but that does cut out a rather fun combo (and breaks the utility of the monastery a bit).

    G
     
  17. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    Well, why didn't you say nerf Arsenal of Democracy in that case? I mean the GoG have absolutely nothing to do with influence :D



    Maybe, but the faith-purchase buildings should be powerful enough to stand on their own, don't you think?
    Yeah exactly, Sacred sites would give you the same bonus in a city as long as you have at least one religious building in that city.

    I don't exactly think it breaks the utility of the Monastery, it opens up the possibility to make us of Sacred sites without picking a building, by completing piety instead. Piety not exactly being the go-to tree for Tourism anyways would make that an interesting alternative.


    Also as mentioned earlier, if the tourism from sacred sites is capped at one religious building, it opens up the possibility to make the yields provided by Sacred sites more interesting, without having to worry about Byzantium breaking the game.

    You could for example let Sacred sites provide +2 Tourism and Culture in every city with a religious(faith-purchased) building.
    You could have the Tourism from Sacred Sites scale with era, starting off at maybe 0 tourism in Ancient era, then increasing by +1 every era after that (+1 in medieval, +2 in renaissance, +3 in Industrial, +4 in Modern and so on). This puts a further limit on Sacred sites, making it less crazy early-game and more useful lategame. It wouldn't necessarily make Sacred Sites better in lategame than in the midgame because of how much tourism and culture scales later on, but at least it would stay relevant for longer.
     
  18. Der_Zorn_gottes

    Der_Zorn_gottes King

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    Please leave Sacred sites as it is. It is powerfull, yes, and definitely a good way to win a culture victory.
    However, it requires you to take piety (you want your buildings to be cheaper, and you want monasteries), which means you won`t be able to take aesthetics (or at the cost of a Renaissance tree). So if you try for a sacred sites victory, you go all in and depend on it to be efficient.
    If you take it just as a support to a "normal" CV, it will help, but not so much, because you will lack the buildings.

    My general stance on reformation beliefs:
    There are three that I ever take, depending on my VC:
    Sacred sites, If I go for Culture victory that way.
    Crusader spirit if going domination.
    One True Faith any other time. In my settings that's 3 free votes that cannot be gotten by any means, thats strong and helps with whatever I'm doing.
     
  19. hokath

    hokath King

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    To the Glory of God:
    Can we come back to this?

    As Benchbreaker said, there are not 6, but 9 (+Prophet) Great People that can be bought. So if you split GoG, then you would have 4 and 5 unlocks per belief. If you put together Engineer/Scientist/General/Admiral/Merchant and Diplomat/Writer/Artist/Musician, then a standard Ancient/Medieval/Renaissance combo is always going to leave you with one policy that unlocks at between three and four people.

    I do think it's too powerful at the moment, though. The shear number of GPs synergises too strongly with all the GP expenditure things like TraditionPolicy(Majesty?), Mausoleum, Ceremonial Burial, Historic Events, etc. and ofc the belief itself.

    Sacred Sites:
    Either solution makes sense, and sorry Zorn but I think it does need to be changed. Not nerfed into the floor, just changed. Atm it's one thing to Byzantium and another to everyone else, and if that's not gimmicky well it's definitely not balanced.

    Rationalism:
    First off, you're totally right we need to discuss the late game more. Obviously the early game has to be fixed for that discussion to be reproducible, which is another reason why we need to spend less time debating the finer points of where the worker is in Progress (mea culpa).

    I agree with what you said about Scientific Revolution - most of the time I have ~2 monopolies, and if they aren't both % boosts then this is quite underwhelming. I feel like that flat monopoly bonus could be bumped slightly. Having said that, if you were being active and going out of your way to snag monopolies, then I guess this is pretty powerful. So not sure if in need of a boost or just funny design.

    Everything else I think is unfair. The golden age boost isn't just passive, it interacts with all the strategies which have invested into GAP, Artists, Golden Age Wonders, etc. You plan ahead like that and you get so much more out of it. That's a great kind of policy to my way of thinking.

    The strategic boost is pretty OP in my games (though I conceed not so great for Tall Empires) though obviously this depends on the map generator.

    Most importantly, Free Thought. Firstly, I have had games stuck between two religious nutjobs that have hinged upon me picking up this policy to not be swimming in unhappiness from religious divisions. Secondly, you rightly point out that villages are rarer, so the bonus is not as good. But if you were being active, then you would replace farms with villages to get the most out of your policy choice. This is the opposite of a passive policy!
     
  20. Strigvir

    Strigvir Emperor

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    Buying Admirals and GGs? It's either you have enough of them naturally, or pop them instantly. In the latter case all other GPs provide better instant yields than these two.
     

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