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(LOCKED) Going for Gold: Buildings

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, May 23, 2018.

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Is this item in a reasonable state of balance?

Poll closed Jun 6, 2018.
  1. Yes

    100.0%
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    Keeping in mind that in the case we are arguing, "offense" means build as many battleships as possible to the exclusion of other naval units. Carriers are essentially unaffected by mine fields.
     
  2. Bhawb

    Bhawb Prince

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    Part of the problem is that VP currently doesn't accurate scale naval through the end of the game and doesn't model naval combat. It essentially stops at WW2-era naval units, where the balance was still okay for battleships. It also treats each unit as a separate-but-equal ship, while the reality was that a single battleship was worth far more than a destroyer, and a carrier carried a hell of a lot more than 6 planes. But that's why I play with VPENW, which does a better job of keeping naval relevant. Things like Supercarriers, nuclear submarines, etc. allow you to more properly project inland since your naval units have actually kept up with land's progression, instead of randomly having a 1950s navy with Cold War planes and 2050 land units.

    That all said, I don't think Mine Fields are part of that discussion. And I honestly have no issue at all with invading with a navy later on. If you have 2 carriers with a fleet you will have more planes than the enemy's city can field, realistically every turn you can defend against every air strike and still have planes to sweep and bomb their units. There is sometimes a civ that is so well entrenched that I'm too lazy to deal with the pain of invading them, but that is relatively rare and has more to do with the difficulty of invading inland, not taking coastal cities. It could be that my use of VPENW makes it easier to continue taking coastal cities though.
     
  3. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

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    On a water heavy map, I think we can agree that a powerful navy is a must if we want to win domination victory for the first couple of eras. Until Atomic Era, we have basically two naval units, one melee and one ranged. There are no other options until Carriers and Subs are unlocked. To gain naval superiority, we build a bunch of these to achieve that. The melee ships eventually upgrade into Destroyers while ranged ships eventually upgrade to Battleships. Due to the wars, they will no doubt gain a lot of experience so it's difficult to replace them. Why is it considered overspecializing when we are stuck with these two options for 6 eras? Why are we penalized for keeping our naval units alive to get lots of experience and be extremely powerful?

    If every tile within three tiles of a city is Forest, Hills and Deserts, then I'd be very annoyed as well as this will greatly slow down my advances. This tend to be the case early game and I have no problem with it. However, these are heavily random with the terrain and where cities might be located due to the resource locations. If this happens because of various factors that somehow made the city difficult to take, I accept it as being a part of the game. More often than not, there's a combination of flat and rough terrain (Forests are practically cut down at this point) so there are certain approaches to launching an assault. I'm not sure when was the last time you played against Russia in late game but those Ostrog slow you down so much. I can accept one AI having that ability. Everyone has it in the form of Mine Field is way too much.

    On higher difficulties, the AIs tend to have a lot of land units on their continent. To disembark land units is usually suicide unless you cleared most of the enemy land forces with your Battleships. Let's not forget that, with the recent change to the Cruisers' range, Battleship is the first ranged naval unit with 2 range. That extra range basically means they should provide some hefty support to weaken enemy land forces so your embarked units can launch an amphibious assault with some degree of success. This support has been made much tedious with the Mine Field. With naval superiority, the idea is that it's a matter of time before you whittle down the enemy forces.

    There's one thing we have to realize. We don't necessarily build a fleet of Battleships from scratch. We have Cruisers that upgrade into them so it's much faster to transition into a fleet of Battleships than build a new navy from scratch. Do we want to give the impression that all the Cruisers we built are now less useful because players have to build a more diverse navy? Are we expected to disband some of our Cruisers/Battleships because they no longer project the same dominance as Cruisers in the eras before?

    The wording is wrong as I've noticed in my game but that's a minor point at the moment. You are right that each Mine Field is 1 less Cruiser/Battleships you must face. However, I can assure you that, even using your example, those 5 Cruisers/Battleships aren't going to make a difference for the AI against my superior navy. We have seen that the AI doesn't always make the best decisions when it comes to their ranged naval units. As a human, I never build Mine Fields. For AIs, whether or not they build Mine Fields will change little in our conflicts if I'm determined to achieve naval superiority. We'd like to think the AI does war quite well but, regarding navy, they are still lagging behind what their armies are capable of.

    That's my point exactly. Mine Field doesn't change the situation if a player's navy is truly strong enough which, for most people, it will be at this point. People don't wait until Atomic Era to get Battleships. They usually begin earlier if necessary but, at the latest, the Renaissance Era when Frigates become available. With a tiny navy, even the absence of Mine Fields won't see a city fall. Have you seen how much health those cities have late game? By the time a small navy gets a city to yellow, WW is going to start kicking in and it's harder to maintain the siege. If they don't change this fact except making games longer, why are we keeping them?

    I personally think Mine Fields make it slower, not harder, to do invasions. I can still use my same strategy of patiently picking off enemy land units with my Battleships until I'm bold enough to proceed. Instead of 10 turns, I might require 20 turns. The outcome doesn't change because the AI will still struggle to defend without its navy which I'd likely crushed before I enter water controlled by Mine Fields.

    We generally start on the defensive and then shift to offensive. Why? Defending is usually easier and, if I can crush the enemy navy in my territory, I can repair all the damage and proceed to attack afterwards. In essence, this isn't merely my naval offense. This is a combination of both to shift the balance in my favor as I eliminated some of the most dangerous enemy units (like Destroyers) and let my Battleships have free reign over the enemy.

    Personally, I do feel that, after all the time we invested to reach the Atomic Era, we should avoid any mechanics that slow it without any good reasoning. If your navy is strong enough, a Mine Field isn't going to change the outcome. It will increase the turns you need to achieve the same thing and that's, in my opinion, very anti-fun.

    I think the question "late game navies are so OP, they are unstoppable!" can be used to addressed even the Renaissance Era. Corvettes and Frigates are in a really good spot as most of us agree. With one extra movements, a Frigate can attack a city without taking any damage since it can retreat three tiles away from the city. However, nobody is complaining about this. Then, we have the Ironclad and Cruisers. While Cruisers have to work much harder to take no damage from cities, it's certainly doable and, without an enemy navy in the way, they also dominate in their time. Why then does Atomic Era make a difference with Destroyers and Battleships?
     
  4. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Wait.

    You have to be working the tiles if you want them to stop ships, right? But the next turn you can't work on any tile with an enemy ship or adjacent. So, in practice, the next turn you can move as always in the occupied tiles AND the adjacents. Can you make survive for one turn that ship?
     
  5. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

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    See, that's what I thought but it's not what happened in my game. When I made a push after whittling down enemy forces, I had naval units basically occupying every single tile within 3 tiles of my targeted city. The ships still expend an extra movement when I move them so the tiles are clearly not being worked as all of its Coastal tiles have one of my ships on it.
     
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  6. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Then, it's not working as intended. Care to open a Github issue?
     
  7. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

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    See, the issue is that I noticed this when I faced the Russian Ostrog as well so I'm not sure if it's intended or not. Maybe it's just bad wording? Should I still open a Github issue?
     
  8. Bhawb

    Bhawb Prince

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    I would because it is a bug regardless of whether the wording or the implementation is wrong.
     
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  9. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

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    I checked on Github and there was a report of this 2 years ago. @Gazebo responded that Mine Field: Affects tiles owned by the city. Since no change has been made then, I'm assuming that reporting it won't change anything.
     
  10. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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  11. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

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    I think people are confused by the description as you can see below. It says: "... into a Tile worked by this city..." If it says: "... into a Tile owned by this city...", then we'd avoid this confusion.

    Spoiler :

    20190515091546_1.jpg
     
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  12. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I don't think the conclusion that mine fields simply slow the game down but have no effect on the outcome is accurate. Minefields can help ensure that your navy is getting hit by defending land ranged units where they would otherwise be able to attack and then move out of range with impunity. That's not merely slowing down the inevitable, that's potentially causing you to lose naval units or having to cycle them out to heal. It makes the fight less one-sided. You know what's super anti-fun? One-sided fights, even if you're the one on the winning side.

    Really though, if your navy is so overwhelming then I would think minefields wouldn't have much effect anyway. Minefields won't really stop you from attacking a coastal city with a fleet of battleships as long as you're willing to let your battleships end their turn near the city. If your navy is super strong then that's no big deal.

    The only time I can see minefields increasing the turns it takes to take a city is if your navy is afraid of the coastal ranged land units so you only attack the city with a few battleships at a time in order to keep them mostly safe. You have naval superiority but you aren't so superior as to be able to win a head on fight against his land defenders. In that case you simply don't deserve to take that city quickly- a longer siege is the price you pay for not being willing to confront his army with your navy.

    Also, the idea that having means to slow down a warmonger is by default a bad thing confuses me. When was it decided that anything that slows down the game in general or warmongers in particular is bad or anti-fun? Domination is potentially the fastest victory condition and war is still the easiest way to exploit the AI so if anything I'd lean the other way and say that things that slow down warmongers might be a good thing by default. I think this is especially true of minefields when their mechanic is helpful in stopping a player from exploiting naval mobility in a way the AI is not nearly as effective in exploiting.
     
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  13. Bhawb

    Bhawb Prince

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    So the description is wrong.

    As to what other people are mentioning, Mine Field "works" to me in the sense that it allows a defending civ a better chance to defend against small fleets by slowing ranged damage and forcing attacking civs to have enough strength to weather a bit of returned damage, instead of having ranged units that can attack and never take damage unless you have a significant navy. I have regularly taken coastal/island cities that don't have Mine Fields with nothing but 4-6 Cruisers (2 range)/Battleships and a melee ship, because you don't take a single bit of damage. Does it take a while? Sure, but since I can both invade by land and snipe people's islands at the same time, the fact that it takes a little while for the city to fall isn't a huge deal. War Weariness also isn't that big of an issue since I'm winning the war, any WW affecting me is doubly affecting the enemy.

    But Mine Fields make it so that these small fleets take return damage from the city and land defenses, which in turn forces warmongers to actually focus on taking a city. This is functionally the same as any defensive building, it allows your city to attack incoming threats. Its just that instead of giving cities even longer range, which would break land combat, it decreases naval mobility so they can't just move in and out of range constantly.
     
  14. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

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    I think there's one aspect you're missing. Generally, Atomic era is very late and, for warmongers, the game is already decided or close to being decided at this point. The fight should be one-sided because you have eliminated most of your opponents. One-sided fights will happen since I don't pick off the weaker enemies early on. I go after the runaways first so they don't snatch victory from me. At this late stage, it's merely a formality to get rest of the capitals to get that victory screen. If you want fun, then you should the runaway civ for last and then you'll be racing against the clock. Me? I prefer to eliminate the biggest threat sooner rather than later.

    Even if my navy is super strong, I don't like throwing units away unnecessarily. It's something I developed since, for most eras, I can't afford to lose units. Why would I play differently when it's basically a habit at this point to play smart, minimize losses and achieve a satisfying victory? Don't forget that losing units cost WW and, with how WW works and rebels that can spawn if happiness drops enough, I don't want more WW than necessary.

    I don't know why you think some of us are willing to just throw units away even if we have the advantage or the game is practically decided. What's wrong with a more strategic approach? Some of us feel satisfaction if we minimize losses and still win the war. In my last game, I can win a head on fight against enemy land units. I have probably as many Battleships as they have ranged units, if not more. I don't want to because I don't like losing more units than I have to. Mine Fields drags on a war that won't buy the enemy enough time to make any sort of comeback.

    Slowing down warmongers early and mid game is fine. Late game is what confuses me. I have 100+ units to manage and turns take drastically longer to process. Why are you slowing someone who already put that much more time in the game? Even you mentioned that Domination is potentially the fastest victory. If I had dealt with runaway civs earlier, then the rest won't be a problem. Don't forget that Mine Fields are available in Modern Era so the AI, even backwards in tech, can still access it. Will the AI slow me down with Mine Fields? For certain! Will it change the outcome? No. However, it will make me rage more as, with each turn taking 15 minutes for me, the doubling or tripling of turns needed to take a city isn't a small commitment. Is it too much to ask to see the victory screen without the tedious process we experience with formality?

    If you want to stop the naval exploit, why don't you go after Frigates and Cruisers as well? They have no Mine Fields to slow them down and they can be very dominant for their era. I'm sure a lot of players can use them and their melee counterparts better than the AI. Reduce their Movements if you want naval exploits to drop even further. They have a much larger impact on the outcome of the entire game than Battleships, a late game naval unit that seems to be trashed upon despite being the first naval range unit to get 2 range.

    Small fleets aren't going to work. Why? You have Bombers and such. Bombers have 6 range for attack. A Battleship with 8 Movements must stay 7 tiles away from the city. It needs to move 5 tiles to get within range of a city and only 3 tiles back. Therefore, Bombers can still hit it. If you have a small fleet and one Battleship has to withdraw, your siege isn't going to work. With the rise of planes, staying out of city bombardment and enemy ranged units range aren't your only issue. With your example about taking cities without Mine Fields, then you are already facing a civ who's behind you. Mine Field isn't going to close that tech gap and that's why you are dominating so much with a handful of units. With Cruiser's range reduced to 1, you'll find that Minefields will drastically eliminate the use of Cruisers. You have two options here. Either you wait until Atomic Era or you achieve a naval superiority where you just have so many ships. Can you see how Mind Field is actually promoting a mass Battleship playstyle because it forces you to do so with recent change to Cruisers.

    When you put planes into play, then small fleets become a lot less viable. You aren't experiencing it because you are already ahead compared to your enemy. Mine Field isn't going change anything for even average warmonger players like me. If you go Authority, you want to snowball early on. You will ideally be on par if not ahead in military tech against your enemies. I still don't get why people are supporting the Mine Fields that comes way too late to slow down a successful warmonger that in theory have captured multiple capitals by the Modern Era. If the warmonger hasn't snowballed yet, then the warmonger deserves to lose and the target he's attacking won't need Mine Field to successfully defend.
     
  15. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    So long story short, you want the game balanced around a situation where you've already won and are just mopping up weaklings with your ridiculously overwhelming navy. And also, you could still win quickly in this scenario but you have this penchant for never losing a unit so you force yourself to win slower because of that. But clearly the problem here are the minefields, obviously.

    Has it occured to you that maybe instead of complaining about minefields you simply alter the way you play the game?

    First- if you've already won the game and the only thing left is to mop of garbage civs and you find that part of the game extremely tedious, maybe just start a new game? You say yourself that the outcome is not in doubt so why continue? You won already!

    Second- let go of the idea that you can't lose a unit even if doing so means you win the game many turns faster. When sprinting for the finish line the way you should play drastically changes.

    Both of the above solve your problem and have the nice side affect of not requiring a change to minefields which would negatively affect the game's balance.
     
  16. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

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    You can attack me all you want but so far you haven't made any really good points of why Mine Field exists. Even a lot of people admit that they are a subpar solution to a bigger problem which is late game naval combat. Removing the Mine Field won't affect the game's balance. You won't even notice it in most games like those that go for victories other than Domination. Honestly, how many human players ever build that? I built it once to try it and never tried again. Removing a late-game building that's almost never built by humans and is largely relevant for only one of the four victories is going to affect the game's balance? Please explain to me how so.

    What are your points for Mine Fields? It slows the warmonger down? It's a bit too late for that if the Warmonger has already cleared out most opposition. A warmonger's snowball should begin in the Ancient Era. You don't wait until Atomic Era before you decide to maybe conquer the world. In addition, it makes Battleships harder to use? Why are we making the first naval unit with 2 range more difficult to use? Why are you targeting a unit that's already seeing fewer uses due to when it unlocks given how quickly Domination games go and, compared to both Frigates and Cruisers, less impactful on the game? In a way, I'm frustrated that you finally get a range 2 naval unit and it can be countered by a single Building regardless of how experienced they are when there are other ways to counter them like Submarines and planes.

    We have also touched on diversity. I will admit that, in an ideal world, we need Carriers, Submarines, Battleships and Destroyers working together. However, that isn't possible without a huge overhaul which I doubt we'll do until VP has a gold version. At the time being, we are stuck with a melee and a ranged naval line until the Atomic Era. How do you justify the time and resources needed to diversify a navy that has been consisted of two ship lines for all the eras leading up to Atomic Era?
     
  17. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

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    I honestly just don't face Mine Fields much. I have used Battleships before but I've never had a Mine Field get in my way.

    I think we're talking a lot of theory but there isn't much experience with Mine Fields.

    I do think that dealing with Artillery is not that hard, especially if you keep your units 3 tiles away from the city (so you only have to move 1 tile). Most of their units can't even get to you and the few that can can be picked off.
     
  18. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I don't think I'm attacking you, I'm attacking your arguments and stance. I apologize if it came across that way. I guess re-reading my post it does seem snarkier than necessary so sorry about that.

    Minefields can be noticed when a player is aggressive and is running into them when attacking and they can be noticed when a player is playing defensively in order to protect his shores. So no- it's not just relegated to domination victories. Hell, a player can be executing an offensive war and attacking a neighbor without trying to conquer the entire world. Why are you often making these false choice binary arguments? There's a whole spectrum of play in this game that you seem to ignore when forming your arguments.

    I'm actually in a game as Ethiopia currently (Deity/standard/standard) where I have two coastal cities that I've built minefields in because I have zero navy and want to be able to defend my coasts with just ranged units. It seems to be working pretty well so far, honestly. I think minefields get a bad wrap when they might be fairly decent. I'm not going for domination and neither is my German neighbor who is attacking me and yet I'm getting good use out of my minefield.

    Also, I really don't see minefield as a late-game building. It's not like a GDR that only gets used for kicks. There's a good number of turns left in the game when minefields can be built. My game is far from decided (though I'm probably going to win my science vic) and minefield has been consequential.

    Again, why do you immediately go to some scenario where a warmonger has dominated the world in previous eras? Warmongering can happen all game. You can absolutely be a warmonger who still has formidable opponents to conquer well into the late late game. Not every warmongering game is a snowball from ancient era on affair.

    My main reasoning for why minefields are important (which I've stated before, but I'll do so again) is that it can counter the high mobility of naval units to attack coasts with impunity and not receive any damage in return. I think that's a totally valid role for minefields and is an important counter to an easily exploitable mechanic in this game. I think a lot of people would agree with that role. And note- it's not a hard counter. Your navy is still plenty effective, it just now takes some damage as it attacks rather than being invincible. Why is that a bad thing?

    I honestly don't understand your point here, so maybe it's not directed at me.
     
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  19. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    Something to the effect of it not being worth it to produce units after the Renaissance era?
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  20. phantomaxl1207

    phantomaxl1207 King

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    I wonder if the Minefield should grant some buffs to friendly Naval Units, such as more Healing or Defense bonuses.
     

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