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List of Urgently Needed Balance Changes

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by SahintheFalcon, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. SahintheFalcon

    SahintheFalcon Chieftain

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    For multiplayer. At this stage, people are quite well catching on to what the most powerful civs are, and the most powerful strategies. Without rules (i.e., banning civs), the game devolves into an unbalanced mess.

    I propose:

    Civs
    - Rome: only get a free monument in subsequent cities, not the capital. Right now, Rome generally gets first dibs on the pantheon and gets political philosophy way sooner than anyone, paving the way for oligarchy-buffed Legions.
    - Scythia: give +25% production for cavalry, remove free cavalry. Right now they essentially have +100% production for light cavalry, which is gamebreaking.
    - Sumeria: War Carts to come at the Wheel, cost increase (can keep their lack of vulnerability to anti-cavalry units)
    - Nubia: nerfed to +25% production for ranged AND Pitati Archer cost increase. Pitati Archers at their current strength level should not be cheaper than a generic civ's archers.
    - Japan: nerfed to +25% production for encampments, theater squares, and holy sites. Currently Japan is always in the running to get the first great prophet or first great general, and this is too strong considering that they are a top tier mid/late game civ due to their adjacency bonuses.
    - Macedon: free promotion removed from Hetairoi
    - Persia: changed to +1 movement if they declare a surprise war OR if another civilization declares a surprise war on them. Currently, people will pre-emptively declare war on Persia if they see it to prevent use of this (admittedly overpowered) bonus.
    - America: changed bonus to +5 strength for all combat within 10 tiles of borders and within borders. Right now the continent bonus is too random.
    - Russia: Cossack decreased to 62 strength (same as cavalry), but can keep its move after attack ability.
    - Indirect buffs and nerfs to other civs (see general balance changes below)

    General Unit Changes
    - Field cannon to cost niter
    - Decreased penalty for siege unit attack against regular units
    - All anti-cavalry units buffed to 3 speed. Currently, anti-cavalry is near useless because they can never catch their opponents, and are extraordinarily weak to both melee and ranged.

    General Balance Changes
    - Unique districts to cost 75% of generic district cost (currently they only cost 50%). Currently, civs with a unique district have a HUGE advantage because they are so dirt cheap to make. This is an indirect nerf to civs with a unique district, such as Russia, Germany, Greece, Korea, Zulu, etc.
    - Unique buildings to cost 75% of generic building (currently same cost). Unique buildings are very weak right now. This is an indirect buff to civs with a unique building, such as Mongolia, Macedon, etc.
    - God of the Forge nerfed to +15% production for ancient/classical units
    - Defender of the Faith/Crusade to only give +7 strength
    - First great general should be for ancient/classical era units. Currently, civilizations with an ancient era unique unit (primarily Greece) are at a disadvantage at times since they cannot make use of great generals.
    - Oligarchy to give +3 global strength, as opposed to +4 for only melee units. Oligarchy legacy card also nerfed to +3 strength
    - Autocracy to increase the yield of every worked tile in the capital that produces at least 1 of a given yield. For example, if a tile produces 2 food, 2 production, and 1 faith, it will now produce 3 food, 3 production, and 2 faith.

    Settings
    - For multiplayer, make start biases guaranteed. If a civilization has a bias for a certain start setup, make them guaranteed to start as such. I understand that in singleplayer, variety/unpredictability are interesting and welcomed, but in multiplayer, too often people will quit right away if they don't get what they expect.
    - Add setting to set balanced city-state types. Far too often we will see 4 of one type of city state and none of another type.
    - Add option to ban player (not just kick)
    - Add option to mute player


    I believe the above changes would address the most blatantly gamebreaking problems. It does not address the multitude of underpowered civs or mechanics, but that can be saved for further discussion.
     
    Kjimmet, Infixo and VermelhoRed like this.
  2. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Great summary, though I'd rather buff weak civs than nerf powerful ones. If a single item is op (like scythia's light horse bonus), the needed nerf should be accompanied by a buff that makes the civ more versatile.
    One trick ponies are always bad, even worse if their single trick is op.

    Regarding generals:
    Policy cards that buff the production of units will be changed to affect "outdated" units back to the ancient era, so I hope they'll do the same for generals.
     
    SahintheFalcon likes this.
  3. Pietato

    Pietato Emperor

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    You cannot just nerf everyone like that. Japan is barely average at Deity, and you only nerfed them.
     
  4. VermelhoRed

    VermelhoRed Prince

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    Imo the best solution to Scythia would be to:

    1- The double light cav ability only works in cities with an encampment district and maybe a stable

    2- After you have done part 1, the light cav costs 50% more, but produces two units at once
     
    SahintheFalcon likes this.
  5. Caprikel

    Caprikel Warlord

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    I'm not a fan of all these nerfs, and only a very small minority of players would actual want nerfs like this. Multiplayer is already somewhat niche, so these changes wouldn't be relevant to most people. Also most of these complaints have to do with early war being too good, so a nerf to early war in general would probably cover a lot of these issues.

    Those multiplayer settings changes would be very nice though.
     
    Elhoim likes this.
  6. CornPlanter

    CornPlanter Emperor

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    I see Civ as a primarily single player game and I'd be happy if they wouldn't change the balance based on multiplayer.
     
    Elhoim likes this.
  7. Infixo

    Infixo Deity

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  8. Metecury

    Metecury Prince

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    I think they should apply the same reasoning to balancing that is used in Total War games meaning differentiation between single and multiplayer balance.

    Single player does not really need all this.
     
    Elhoim, SahintheFalcon and Kjimmet like this.
  9. Naktis

    Naktis Warlord

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    I never liked ideas of nerfing unless is broken , I rather go buffing weak civs for them catch up to strong ones , nerfing makes game less fun.
     
    Elhoim likes this.
  10. Aurelesk

    Aurelesk Prince

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    I always thought that a balance game is better. I end up to think otherwise. In fact, I ended up thinking that a small imbalanced game is better than a strict balance one. Let's take Civilization V: going through Tradition and Rationalism was the standard play for most player, because it was the most effective. But you can still go for Honor or Piety in your early game, make your game harder and different, and still enjoy the game. Of course, the Honor/Piety path have to be at least a little interesting and not feel as a waste of policies.

    We can say the same thing for Civilization VI. France is an average civilization. The Wonder game is actually weak for the Tourism victory, making Grand Tour insignificant (fun fact: Eiffel Tower don't enjoy the +20% Production). The Château is hard to place because rivers tiles are too valuable. Even if the Garde Impériale isn't a bad unit, the fact that you can't upgrade your melee unit into it make it worse because you have to hardbuilt the unit.
    You end up with Catherine bonuses towards Spy. Is it gamebreaking? Clearly not. Fun? A lot! Playing as France make you play the game completly different and it make more enjoyable. And it also make your rage your enemies because they don't have Spy yet to defend themselves.

    In short: Having a strict balanced game isn't the most important, as long the imbalance doesn't make some civilization way too powerful / implayable. I thing it's more important to focus on "how to make a civilization fun and play different from others civilization" than making each civilization having the same opportunities and be bland.

    For example, if I have to rethink a civilization like Scythia or Egypt, I think I will go for something like that:

    I am pretty sure that the Saka Horse Archer unit will need Horse in Gathering Storm.

    Scythia can support a larger light cavalry army with a decreased Maintenance and quicker with consuming twice as less Horse in the process, but will take more time to have army in the first place. The heal was too powerful, and broken for religious units. It is now a bonus Experience instead, allowing to unlock Promotion quicker and still heal somehow, but not at the same rate. The Saka Horse Archer is tougher, mostly because it can't heal as well as before, and to make more effective than the Archer. The Kurgan is more powerful by making Scythia less sensible to early rush with the -CS à la Varû. That bonus need to be obsolete because it will be to strong in the late game. That's why it yield Culture at Natural History in exchange. Plus, the Kurgan give more Gold, allowing to support a bigger army.

    For Egypt, there is just the missing Heavy Chariot that was making them a huge opportunity. The Maryannu Chariot Archer is really really powerfull. I just make the Sphinx twice as powerfull but limited to 1/city. The Faith bonuses from adjacent Wonder is now changed to work à la Divine Inspiration. Plus, Iteru is now more exploitable because it work also adjacent to Sphinx, making a +30% Production if next to river and Sphinx.

    I think that the spirit of Scythia is saved. The abilities that was too powerful are weaker but are still very strong and exploitable. The UU and UI is now useful enough to give Scythia an utility than the basic option, and save its identity. Same thing for Egypt, just making the Sphinx a real thing in the Egypt city and make Heavy Chariot available. I think he most important is the feeling that we can exploit the game, like having double production and be better than any other civilization else at some key point. Scythia can have a huge army without suffering to much about the cost and build it fast if they have the Stable and Egypt can make better Alliance and produce Wonder fast if they have the river/sphinx adjacent. Maybe it's too powerful, I am not great at gamedesign. But what I fear the most is to make some civilization bland by just taking off their (way too powerful) strength and not give them something interesting to work.
     
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  11. SahintheFalcon

    SahintheFalcon Chieftain

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    But you see, nerfing something that is overpowered is 1000x more important in multiplayer than buffing something that is weak. If something is weak, no one will play it - problem solved. If something is strong, you literally need to implement rules (often involving kicking people) for fair play.

    Overall, my point is that civs which have a broken ability that predictably and consistently ruins other players' experiences in the early game should be nerfed.
    For example, the post above me gives an argument for how France is a unique civ. None of that matters at all if Sumeria or Scythia runs you over in 30 turns. It literally was a waste of time for you to even be in the match.

    Note how I did NOT list any late-game (or in general, economic) abilities that need to be nerfed. Germany, Japan, Korea, Persia, etc among MANY civs have a very powerful late game. But it really doesn't matter, because good play can easily make the difference up for the late game. If you lose to Japan after a 3 hour match, it was a good match and time well spent. If you lose to Sumeria or Scythia in 15 minutes, that is just a wasted game.
     
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  12. HorseshoeHermit

    HorseshoeHermit 20% accurate as usual, Morty

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    Multiplayer balance can't ruin a single player experience.
     
  13. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    IMO unless you re balance all the unit strengths, oligarchy is the only way for melee UUs to compete with cav spam, especially knights. Would anyone really want scythian horses at +6? From a meta-balance perspective, I hate that governments give unit strength boosts and i hate that you can slot a legacy card while still in the government, but that's another discussion.

    On Cossacks: I have tried peddling this fact in other GS threads, but since almost no one in SP uses light cav right now, esp as Russia, they don't know the cossack is a base 67 unit. With GS' coursers bridging the gap from horsemen, that is going to be a serious problem especially since good culture means cossacks will come close to nationalism for 77 power. Siberian steamroller indeed.

    I do like your point on UBs though. People always think of districts as being expensive, but almost no one ever brings up how expensive buildings are. Most of the time, the buildings individually cost as much or more than what you paid for the district.
    Base cost 54 scaling to 540 at future tech. You might pay 75-100 for that first campus or three. The library costs 80 and that's one of the cheapest. A workshop costs 175. The tier 3 structures are 4-600 range.

    In GS, I think they should change it to be: horse resources provide +1 horse per turn. There, that gets them the spirit of the ability and practically allows for 50% more horses to be fielded, but doesn't give them an absurd double unit boost. With coursers coming in GS at the same tech tier as knights, double light cav is slated to be straight up doom. The momentum will not stop. Especially since I can totally see an oversight where the free unit doesn't consume horses from your stockpile.
    An alternative implementation would be making the horse cost of light cav half (10 horses instead of 20) although thematically i think we want to emphasize them having more horses, not needing less.
    Scythia still has +5 vs wounded units and heal on kill, both of which are amazing. They will be okay.
     
  14. Aurelesk

    Aurelesk Prince

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    I can't disagree with that. The War-Cart is the flagship of this: a stronger, faster, cheaper unit available earlier not vulnerable to anti-cavalry.

    Imagine 1 second that a new civilization have a Knight with +2CS, +1 Movement, 30 Production cheaper, available at Horseback Riding and doesn't suffer from anticavalry. It will be way too powerful. Mamluk is just an Ironless selfhealing Knight and is considered as one of the most powerful unit of the game.

    Making the War-Cart not sensible to anticavalry was just a trick to allow the War-Cart clear the Barbarian Outpost more easily. Just put a +10 CS against Barbarian in the Epic Quest ability (or +5 against Barbarian, up to +10 against fortified barbarian) and allow others civilization have a fighting chance!
     
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  15. SahintheFalcon

    SahintheFalcon Chieftain

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    In terms of awareness of balance issues, multiplayer is simply light-years ahead of singleplayer. As @Sostratus says above, there are lots of unbalanced aspects of this game that people who only play singleplayer are just completely unaware of.
     

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