Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, May 23, 2018.
Awww I get a cute nickname now. Does that mean we are BFFs!!??
*laughs in Babylonian*
I know this isn't the happy thread, but this is a great point when balancing the newly implemented system (which is much better so far IMO). Happiness wise, civs should have some wiggle room, otherwise it just becomes a standardized 'build everything, everywhere'.
If I'm into the modern age without a circus, I shouldn't necessarily be penalized for it. Now, if I've neglected to build other boredom buildings, that's when I should be in the red, cumulative with any other deficiencies in poverty/distress/illiteracy.
I prioritize infrastructure anyways, but in the past it seems like my tech progression pace (Standard speed) has me needing to constantly/immediately build my newly unlocked buildings, only to rinse and repeat. I want to feel safe and confident while diverting production to building a few units, that I won't be overrun by not only the AI, but the unhappiness. This version so far as allowed for that, but I haven't been far enough into a game to see how everything else takes shape.
I appreciate this post. It's not as if in real life people are unhappy because their city doesn't have a zoo while another city does. People without a zoo won't miss it, and it becomes a fun trip to go to a different city and experience what another venue has to offer. That's a luxury, but lacks a certain tangibility. Poor plumbing, however, bad drinking water, poor housing materials, etc, will make people unhappy.
That said, I love your point. I'd be happy to see lots less focus on needing every building in a city and much more "optional" buildings that fill certain roles, where building everything simply isn't necessary and legitimately has no benefits in many cases.
I know this building is quite late but it's rather broken. In the Modern Era, we have the Mine Field that has the ability: Enemy Naval Units and Embarked Units must expend 1 extra movement per turn if they move into a tile worked by this city. Basically, it's the naval version of the Russian Ostrog but it's available to all civs. At the cost of 8 Gold maintenance and 1 Iron, you get to really hinder enemy naval and embarked units down.
How do we give our naval units extra movements? The three methods I think of are Imperialism opener, Coal strategic balance and promotion. Two of these aren't always viable in our games while one is a bit luck based. Naval combat becomes a lot more interesting with the recent changes and extra movements can make a huge deal when it comes to flanking and supporting with ranged units. Yet, the Mine Field can practically neutralize all of them so easily. I can achieve the three methods above and my Battleship will have 8 movements. Entering city tiles that are affected by Minefield, it only gets 4 movements and that's excluding the movements needed to attack from range. While I like the concept of Minefields, I see it as too powerful as it gives the defending side such a significant edge. What are other people's thoughts?
Also Great Lighthouse.
Honestly Mine Fields carry a massive cost and all they prevent is the shoot-and-run of ranged units within 3 tiles of a city. That gives you more than enough space to crush their navy outside of the range, then push in like normal. Essentially all it prevents is the ability for high mobility Battleships to move into range, shoot, and leave city range. It is a last-ditch measure to defend your city from a now-undefendable siege. Its not nothing but I can say I literally never build these, it is almost always more efficient to invest that production/iron into navy.
Right, I forget about the Great Lighthouse but it's not exactly easy to get unless you beeline for it on higher difficulties.
The thing is pushing in like normal doesn't work. You are hindered so badly when there are so many tools to deal with Battleships now. There's a reason why Cruiser range was reduced to 1 and I'm happy with that change. With Artillery and Bombers unlocked by now, Battleships need maneuverability to do well. Why are we preventing the shoot-and-run of ranged units? If that's the case, then shouldn't we do something about Frigates that, if possessing 5 movements, can also get out of the attack range of a city until it can get Arsenals an era later?
I practically never build it either but the AI can get it no problem. It slows things down without changing anything. As you have stated, we can crush their navy outside of the range for any cities. Then, it's a matter of taking the city. Why are we making this more of a grind than it has to be? Essentially, it's a delaying tactic that achieves what? If the AI loses its navy and your navy can approach cities with little opposition, I think WW is starting to take a toll on the AI so it's more of a delaying the inevitable. For me at least, it's so anti-fun that achieves little for both sides.
Honestly I'm not sold, mine fields right now have a niche but they aren't super great, I have never felt they were OP in any way.
Maybe I wasn't using the right term. When I said broken, I meant that they just make attacking cities with a navy a painful experience. They don't change the outcome if you already destroyed their navy. They only delay the end game when you're trying to win domination. Why are we trying to slow down the game even more?
In one of my recent games, I dominated the seas and I just needed to take the cities. However, Minefields just ruined my experience because, instead of having 15 Battleships attack to speed things up, I can only get 6 Battleships to attack due to the terrain. If there's a promotion that let's my ships ignore Minefields, then I'd happily take it. Without any ways to counter Minefields, I find Minefield to be anti-fun and make late game wars more of a grind than before. If I wasn't also launching an amphibious landing in that game, I would've raged much sooner.
Slowing you down and forcing you to deal with defensive planes, artillery and ranged is the entire point, though?
As if the high CS of the cities doesn't slow you down already. Let's say that amphibious assault isn't quite possible due to the AI possessing a lot of Land units. Therefore, you cannot blockade the city. Without Minefields, it already takes a lot of time to clear the land units and knock down the city health to the red. Now, you want to add another layer of delay tactic so that people are even less likely to finish their domination games? We are already talking about how grindy the game can be at times. Therefore, we should make naval battles even more grindy by slowing things down even further? My turns are already slow enough as it is due to my non-gaming setup so I must spend even more time dealing with a building that makes my experience even worse?
You could try switching to planes like everyone else did in real life.
If you look at the tech tree, the Carrier is available at Computers, Battleships are available at Electronics and Heavy Bombers are available at Radar. For me to use planes against an enemy on another continent that I have no foothold whatsoever, then I need Carriers. Does that make Battleships obsolete because it's useless without plane support? If that's the case, then we need to redo Battleships because we have a useless unit that comes from Cruisers which are quite defining in their era despite the range nerf.
Naval combat in the latest stages of the game should be a balancing act between Subs, Ranged Naval, Melee Naval, Carrier, and Bomber/Fighter lines, with some added defensive projection from ranged land units. But, Battleships with 6+ movement can sit at 4 range from a city, move to 2 range, shoot twice, move back to 4 range, and be completely immune to being attacked by the city and most ranged units. Park a Carrier with Fighters nearby and you get the added benefit of near immunity to air strikes. There's basically nothing the defender can do if they can't match the attacker's fleet, unless you build Mine Fields. Mine Fields don't even stop things, they just make it so that your units will take a bit more damage from land units, allowing the defending civ a decent chance to fight back, but at pretty significant Strategic and gold cost. A lot of cities also won't make full use of Mine Fields since it requires the tile to be worked.
I really don't see an argument that defending naval invasions is too easy at this point in the game. This is where naval superiority threatens every coastal city with inevitable destruction, and that's precisely what happens in most of my warmonger games. Mine Fields are a usually subpar attempt to give a losing civ a chance to defend a bit better, and only hampers warmongers that didn't have large fleets.
Since you mentioned a balancing act, then why shouldn't we expect the same from the defending side? Shouldn't they not only rely on land and air units but a navy of some kind as well? In addition, we can all agree that getting an edge in technology should give us an advantage. Yet, here you are saying that we need a bunch to techs to make a navy work in the late game? With the composition you stated above, we would need Penicillin (Subs), Electronics (Battleships), Computers (Carriers), Rocketry (Destroyers) and maybe Radar (Bomber/Fight line) if you want strong units. If I decided to beeline for Electronics when I already have a fairly strong group of Cruisers from my past wars, I should be penalized because I didn't diversify enough? Throughout much of the game, we have certain techs like Chivalry that can literally change how wars happen. Suddenly, a tech edge doesn't matter anymore?
In addition, I don't think the tile to be worked functions the way you say it does. I think it just means that all Coast or Ocean tiles within three tiles are affected. You don't actually need to work the specific tile or else, if you have units in the vicinity, the nearby tiles can't be worked for the enemy and Mine Fields won't even be a problem. The strategic cost is minimal since we usually have a ton of Iron which is why we have so many Cruisers. If it require something else like Aluminum, then it's a more difficult choice. I also doubt the AI is really bothered by that extra gold cost.
I also don't understand why you don't get rewarded for naval superiority. It took time and effort to build it up to that point. Coastal cities aren't going to be safe for a civ that lacks a strong navy. That's just how it works. If you want to give a losing civ a chance to defend a bit better, why not make Ostrog available to all land cities then? Slow down the enemy Tanks and mobile units so the defenders have a chance to recover. A couple of big wars previously will usually result in some very powerful units. I doubt it's hard to get a bunch of Artillery with extra range, logistics and maybe even splash damage. With some anti-air and lots of units between them and the enemy units, they can fire with basic impunity. What's the defender going to do against those Artillery?
I agree that minefields are pretty darn niche already but fulfill their purpose pretty well of giving defenders an extra tool to use on their home turf. I think any nerf to minefield would probably result in players never building them (many already don't).
High mobility naval units gobbling up coastal cities with impunity is kinda cheesy I think. It's something the player can exploit well that the ai usually isn't as good at. The AI protecting its coasts with minefields to eliminate that tactic is a good thing imo.
They might well have had a balanced force including navy, but you specifically built your military to win the naval game. Now your overspecialized military is having trouble against someone trying to counter it.
They exist, in the form of forests, hills and deserts.
You are rewarded. Your military, civilians and trade units can traverse the ocean unmolested, and your navy can provide support to any invasion as necessary, and help siege cities. This is what navies have always been for.
The current problem is that none of these other techs matter because a fleet of Battleships can take any coastal city they want with absolutely no recourse except to have a stronger navy yourself. ~6 Battleships per fleet can take most coastal cities without taking damage.
Every Mine Field is 1 less Cruiser that can shoot back, and 8 less GPT. Those add up pretty significantly once you have a couple coastal cities. For example, if you built this in just 5 cities that is 5 less Cruisers and 40 GPT, enough to probably be able to make the difference between your fleet winning or losing and even needing the mines in the first place. And the building literally says "Enemy Naval Units and Embarked Units must expend 1 extra movement per turn if they move into a tile worked by this city."; everything else with similar language does require a tile to be worked, and if this isn't the case the wording is flat out wrong.
Land wars are completely incomparable to naval. Without a range upgrade your siege units cannot fire without taking return damage. They also can't just sit there with nothing in front of them to protect from a quick tank rolling in and one-shotting them. And that is because land units actually have to play off of each other. A successful land invasion requires mounted/armor units flanking, melee units to protect ranged, ranged units to damage and provide support, and siege units to take down cities. Miss any of these parts without an overwhelming advantage in another and you won't successfully wage wars against a remotely competent defender. But, anyone can defend against an attack by building resourceless units and defensive buildings.
Naval on the other hand doesn't require this balance. You build as many battleships as you can possibly field, send a handful of destroyers to help screen, and that's all you need as long as your navy is stronger. Once you destroy their navy they won't be able to reinforce, since naval units have to reinforce from the same direction they are being attacked from, and you just safely shoot away at their city that can't even hurt your Battleships to enforce a time limit to how long you can abuse them. Mine Fields are one thing that can help this out, at fairly significant cost. By slowing naval mobility they require the attacker to actually have overwhelming naval power if they want to win, instead of a handful of Battleships. They increase the usefulness of melee naval ships blockading the city, subs making sure reinforcing is harder, Carriers for supplemental damage and air defenses, etc. Cruisers had to have a range nerf because they could do this with even less chance of fighting back.
Essentially, Mine Fields take a very common degenerate situation and help push it away from being completely abused. And even though they exist I still finish most of my warmonger games with a massive fleet of Battleships taking every coastal city my happiness can handle. If my navy is truly strong enough to warrant me taking coastal cities with ease, Mine Fields don't change much.
This I think is a worthy debate. So balance aside, do mine fields create the end game experience that we want? Here are my thoughts:
1) Naval Invasions are some of the trickiest military strategies to do historically, and that carries into the game as well. This is especially true for the AI, while the AI is murder on land, it still really struggles to beat its army on your shores, in a way that doesn't just get them murdered left and right.
When people talk about runaways, its often the "runaway on the other continent". The reason for that is because....its simply harder to project force to another landmass in the game right now.
So the key question....is it too hard right now? Removing Mine Fields would make it a little easier to do invasions. I don't think its completely changes the game, but it is a step in that direction.
2) Should late game reward offense or defense? Historically there are periods of warfare that favored defense (medieval times, WWI to a certain extent with "trench" warfare), and then periods where offense is king. In modern warfare, offense is the name of the game.
Is naval offense rewarded enough in the late game? Should a player with a strong navy be able to take the cities of a turtle player without a navy or air force? (we need to keep in mind an air force is a strong counter to navy at this point in the game...and interception is not what it used to be)?
If the answer is yes, it may make sense to remove mine fields.
3) If mine fields had never been a thing, and someone proposed them today....would we want them?
This is a question I think is very important to continuously ask as the mod develops. Its easy to use inertia and say "well its been there so keep it in". But that's a way for glut to clog up your game. So if mine fields didn't exist, would we have a late game "problem" that we would be calling for something to solve? Would people say "late game navies are so OP, they are unstoppable!" ?
If the answer is no, than should the building exist?
Of course, battleships stopped being a thing during the Cold War. I'm not too enthused by their force projection into the Information Era, which is supposed to be dominated by Carriers, Jets and Subs, and instead ... just ends. I don't even know if a Carrier group with Jets can even stand up to a Battleship group.
Separate names with a comma.