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Let's get rid of workers . . .

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by CGG1066, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    Well, several different mechanics have been discussed. Honestly, I don't know how "public works" worked in Call to Power exactly. Here's a summary of what seems to be suggested in the two threads that have been merged:

    (A) Citizens work a tile and receive the un-improved tile yield. The relevant improvement appears under construction (i.e., by working the tile, the citizen is both producing and improving simultaneously) (This was my initial suggestion, though I was never so explict as the first post was more idea focused over mechanics);

    (B) Citizens are removed from producing anything an assigned to make improvements from the city screen (or you just tell them to make improvements and they automatically improve based on AI - like automating workers, and taking into account city focus);

    (C) You just buy improvements and plop them down. Sim-City style with an increasing cost.​

    I still favor my initial suggestion - but get rid of trading posts, so that for most tiles, there really is only one choice of improvement. This way geography will play a larger role. (For tiles that you could still choose, the AI will decide what to build based on city focus, with some sort of override from the city view). This way, there's less MM.
     
  2. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    I think the advantages are that you don't have worker units. Workers aren't fun units - they're work, and the game will benefit from being more fun and less work. Workers (when automated) also have a habit of taking fool-hardy voyages around the world barbarians be damed! And (when not automated) talk about MM!

    Additionally - it's been reported that workers are fairly resource intensive. (http://forums.2kgames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94139&highlight=workers)
    I don't have the expertise to evaluate the claims, but if true, getting rid of workers would help with lag.
     
  3. OTAKUjbski

    OTAKUjbski TK421

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    I mostly agree with the OP, but I'm reluctant to jump fully into the idea though. Workers are still a good strategic element of this game.

    Since tile bonuses aren't as grand in ciV [as compared to cIV], it doesn't play as much of a factor, but there is still a decent amount of strategy involved in deciding when to build your Worker and then how many to build. There is also strategic value in choosing one city to produce the Worker for another city's benefit.

    If Workers are eliminated, it will most likely eliminate more strategic elements from a game that has already removed too many as it is.

    As far as implementation is concerned, I am completely against making improvements cost gold. Workers are basically a standardized method for converting a city's production into tile bonuses. For example, you may be able to buy/build a Worker in 1 turn, but that Mine is still going to take X turns to build. By tying improvements to a :c5gold: or :c5production: value, they can then be rushed. Based on how OP and imbalanced rush-buying already is, I just can't see that being a good decision without some serious testing (something I really don't trust them to do right).

    I'm okay with tying the initial investment into Gold/Hammers, but the actual rate of improvement should be fairly standardized.
     
  4. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    I think that's part of the point. I want to win/lose a game of Civ because of what grand strategy I adopt - which victory to go for - which wars I fought/stayed out of. Big decisions. Not because I choose to build my SCV (umm . . . err . . . worker) at the wrong time. If we wanted that type of game - we would be playing starcraftII. The emphasis of build-order strategies is making this play more like an 2nd best-RTS.

    I agree other aspects of the game need more invigorating - but those require other solutions.

    (I also agree that buying improvements isn't a good idea; just let the citizens working the tile build the improvement while they work it for the set number of turns)
     
  5. OTAKUjbski

    OTAKUjbski TK421

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    Even grand strategies include plenty of smaller strategic elements. Choosing when to build a Worker is no different than when to build a Settler or a Scout or a Warrior or a Market or a whatever. Ultimately, when and how many Workers to build is just part of the grand strategy being implemented.

    Take for example Worker stealing. There are strategies which emphasize building Warriors and Scouts in lieu of a Worker with the intent of stealing Workers from neighbours. This in itself is not a grand strategy, but it is certainly part of one. To eliminate this element from the game will limit strategic options -- dumbing down the game even more.

    (If you lose a game of ciV because you forgot to Chrono Boost your Probe (umm ... err ... rushbuy your Worker), you've got bigger issues, lol. ;))

    But otherwise I do see your point.
     
  6. killmeplease

    killmeplease Mk Z on Steam

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    capturing slaves may be introduced as replacement to capturing workers.
    that is, when you raze a city, a few of slave units pop out of it, that can be used to settle in your cities or to hurry production.
     
  7. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    An 'improvement build' option in a city that allows production to be channelled towards the building of improvements is one thing, but dragging citizens into the situation seems like unnecessary complication.

    I can see why there would be an advantage in removing workers, I'm just wondering what the advantage in Johan de Witt's suggestion would be.
     
  8. V. Soma

    V. Soma long time civ fan

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    I like the "improvement build" option...
    and that you channel city resources (I presume: hammer, gold, food) into it...

    Idea (for all but roads):
    1. every improvement has a hammer-gold-food cost (edit: maybe just one of these?),
    2. you can set only a fix % of the city's resources, based on population number:
    you have to make population assigned for improvement,
    and thus you set % by the ratio assigned for improvement/total population
    i.e. if you have 8 population, and you set 2 pop assigned for improvement making,
    that makes it so that 25% of city production of hammers-gold-food will go for improvmenet making...

    For roads:
    there could abe a formula that
    road tiles are getting more and more expensive as you get further away from the city and into not owned land
    (plus geography is a factor, too, like building road on a hill is more expensive)...
     
  9. Donaithnen

    Donaithnen Chieftain

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    For those who don't know what the Public Works system is (assuming i can remember the details correctly) in the Call to Power series you set a empire wide "public works tax" using a slider. (uh oh!) Depending on what you set the tax at, a certain percentage of production of every city would be converted to Public Works Points instead of being applied to whatever the city was working on. When you had accumulated enough points you opened up a small window that would let you purchase improvements for any tile inside your cultural radius. I believe the improvements would take a certain number of turns to complete, but aside from that improving your city was pretty much as simple as the "drag and drop improvements" solution suggested above.

    You still had to make the exact same strategic decisions in the game, but your options were more diverse. Do you start taxing your production right at the start so you can get some early farms and mines as soon as you have the tech? Or do you want to wait until after you've got your first couple units and/or buildings done? During times when you've already built all available improvements in all currently controlled tiles you can decide whether to eliminate the Public Works tax to speed production times, or keep at least some tax in order to save points for the next improvement you discover or the next city you found.

    And since dealing with tile improvements was so simple it allowed them to expand the system. Instead of Civil Service (or it's equivalent) granting an extra food in all river tiles, it gave you a new improved farm which you could replace older farms with. This kept recurring throughout the game with better and better improvement, allowing late game cities to have huge populations and production.

    The one improvement they could have made to a system like that would be to add a "combat engineer" unit, whose sole purpose would be to let you improve tiles outside your cultural boundaries.

    It was the biggest improvement the CtP series made out of a whole bunch of good changes (leavened with a lot of poor AI and programming issues.) I'm not sure why the main Civ series has never adopted any of their innovations other than pure "not made here"ism.
     
  10. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Prince

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    It doesn't have another advantage (next to removing workers) other than adding a little decision making. While I would like to see workers removed, just having farms on flatland and mines on hills gives the player less chance for decision-making.

    Another idea alltogether is:
    Like roads, improvements cost gold to sustain. At the start of the game, the gain would only weight up against costs on high yield spots (resources/floodplanes etc.) but as technology increases and crop yields increase, it becomes more and more useful to improve your land.

    This way you would actually think about what plots to improve instead of just spamming improvements anywhere.
     
  11. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    That is probably a good idea, so long as it was balanced so as to still incentivise economic development.
     
  12. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Prince

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    It would make placement of cities VERY important.

    Rather place a city five more hexes away with 2 wheat, a cotton and a wine rather than in that big grassland with just one sugar.

    But that's off topic.

    On topic: Public works seems nice although I am a bit woried that it becomes too much micromanagement in the end. Think how you late game would be, trying to build improvements for fifty cities.

    maybe that's just because we haven't seen how it would really work (I haven't played Call To Power).

    Another idea: improvements start to crumble when they aren't worked...
     
  13. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    I'd rather just have the tiles auto-generate the improvements when worked.

    It wouldn't be too hard. When you place a citizen on a tile, you tell it what you want it to be. You could do this similar to colonization, where you either took the food output, or the cotton output, or whatever from a tile. In Civ, it would simply be "emphasize food/prod/currency", with certain options not valid on certain tiles (or perhaps they just need to add new improvements for those tiles). Then you work the tile for X turns (where X depends on what you select, what era, some random factors), and your improvement is generated.

    In modern eras, you could reduce the time. So in the modern era, a farm could be built in a single turn, for example.

    It would also work very well for tech changes to improvements. So Fertilizer gives +1 to farms? Just have it so that X turns after you work a "farm", it grows to a "fertilized farm".

    And really, it's not like this is unheard of. It just does basically what cottages did in civ4 - grow by working them. Except you wouldn't have to use workers to plant the initial seeds.

    It's true, you'd have to still have something for roads, as well as for chopping forests and jungles. For those, if you're getting rid of workers for the other functions, just change those to use gold.

    It gets rid of worker stealing, but to be honest, that wasn't a big feature for me. If you still want that, each improvement you pillage, maybe you get a "worker" that you just need to bring back to your territory that speeds up the production of one tile.
     
  14. ezysquire

    ezysquire Warlord

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    Microing workers always has been and should always be a part of Civ.
    One of the great things about this game is the large number of tasks one needs to complete in a turn. Worker tasks are a part of the prioritisation process that enables the player to maximise a strategy. This includes the worker build times for improvements matched against science discoveries for new improvements, or the growth of a city for that next hex to be worked etc.
     
  15. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Prince

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    Thank you for your opinion. I do not share your opinion though.

    I think civilization would become a greater game if the posibility for descision-making is enhanced but micromanagement is reduced. I don't ever automate workers though, because I like to have control over my Civ.
     
  16. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    This is a fantastic statement, in a way (although I'm not sure I completely agree). Greater decision making possibilities are definitely something that should be maximised, at the same time as forced micromanagement is minimised. Where I disagree is that I think it's generally good to allow for the option of micromanagement, without making it necessary. It depends on what particular micromanagement you're talking about, but in general, more decision making possibilities require more micromanagement options.
     
  17. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Prince

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    Perhaps true.

    What I am thinking about is the amount of micromanagement you need in Colonization. For the first three cities it is awesome. Then it becomes tedious... I have played a game with 30 cities in the end; absolute nightmare.
     
  18. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Well yeah, the key is micromanagement in combination with good automation. Micromanagement should only really be in the game to the extent that automation can be a reasonably viable alternative.
     
  19. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    I also think there's a difference between automation and just letting things happen organically. Some things in Civ are just aren't fun, but are necessary to move the game along. The best example is spreading the state religion in Civ IV; you know it's a good idea, but it's a pain in the @$$ to do it - especially when the only "strategy" involved is rather simple - hit the big cities first, etc. Things like this don't even need to be automated - they can just happen organically.

    Workers fall into this category. You think the it has profound consequences on how your civ develops, but really there is one, clear "best" way to improve the tiles around you, and you just grind at it over turns building improvements. Even if there is more "strategy" in terms of build order, there's a hefty opportunity cost - my time, which I would much rather spend on decisions that have greater strategic impact, such as building military units and planning invasions, or fooling Bismark to attack Monty so they destroy each other.

    Organic actions also have two really good effects:
    - Balancing between comp players and AI players, as the same organic algorithm applies equally.
    - Reduces turn time, as automated/AI workers seem to be primarily responsible for late-game lags.

    Sure - there is the small issue of what to do with the few tiles on which you have a choice of which improvement to build, but that can be addressed with the city UI tweak allowing you to change the improvement from there.
     
  20. MikeJep

    MikeJep Chieftain

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    Down with workers! Up with contextual menus!

    Remember how much better CivII was with contextual menus. I say bring them back.

    Just do all of your worker type actions on any tile with a right click. You could have all of the relevant information right there.
    How much gold does this cost to build?
    How many hammers will I be using from the nearest city to build this?
    For how many turns?
    What kind of payment plan can I put this farm on? 30-year fix mortgage?

    I think we really need to get rid of workers now that they have the 1up rule.
     

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