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Make Tall Valid - Make Pop Matter - Increase Science/Culture per Population

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by myb7721, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. myb7721

    myb7721 Chieftain

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    So, as we all know ICS is king in Civ 6. Tall is not a viable strategy. The increase per settler cost was meant to balance this. It failed to. It seems pretty obvious to me that simply increasing the benefit of higher populations via increase to science and culture would be an effective solution to this design flaw. There is very little incentive for high pop. # of tiles worked is even reduced due to districts/wonders. Make pop matter.

    On a related note, at high levels(Deity) much of the end game content is useless because of this flaw. SVs and DVs are not only possible but easier if you don't waste time building pop enhancing content (sewers, neighborhoods). This is absurd. I've beaten deity many times and have never taken the time to even try to understand appeal, because it's irrelevant. This to me indicates a serious flaw in design. Making population meaningful beyond 6-7 might help fix this and make more of the end game content actually helpful.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  2. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Chieftain

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    Due to less food needed for growth at lower population points and higher populations being painful to obtain due to housing restrictions, ICS is actually *improved* as a tactic if you increase yields-from-population. In Civ5, before they added a penalty-per-city, ICS was the dominant strategy. It was the easiest way to get more population and thus more science.

    If you want to improve tall, you'd be better off making tier 1 buildings give a flat yield (so that going wide is still possible), tier 2 buildings give a yield based on the yield of the district (so you need to specialize your cities to get higher yields, meaning more cities is not always worth the cost unless they are good cities), and tier 3 cities give a yield based on the number of districts constructed (so very populous cities can generate good yields, meaning investing in your current cities is sometimes better than making new ones).
     
  3. myb7721

    myb7721 Chieftain

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    I like your ideas. That said, ICS would be constrained by amenities if there were a benefit to large cities. So I don't think boosting the effectiveness of pop would help ICS, I think it would hurt it. It might also help to make the first amenity necessary at 3 pop instead of 5. ICS currently works best with <=7 pop cities. Another idea would be to have the pop yeilds increase geometrically instead of linearly so that very high pop cities would be very worthwhile. s=p^1.25
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  4. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Chieftain

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    The first amenity already is necessary at 3 pop. (Edit: no it isn't, you're correct) It simply isn't that big of a deal to lose a percent off of a low flat yield. If large cities were very beneficial, then yes amenities would be a big deal. One big reason to not have pop yields increase non-linearly is because its a pain for people to calculate how much of an advantage they get from it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  5. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Chieftain

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    I'm not finding ICS as much of a useful strategy as, say, in Civs 1 to 3. Indeed, through proper use of Envoys I've found myself competing very well against Civs twice my size. That said, one thing I'd like to see is an building for Neighbourhood Districts-Public Schools. It could have a similar effect as in Civ5.
     
  6. Amrunril

    Amrunril Chieftain

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    There was another thread a few days ago (still on the first page) with some very good analysis of what's hurting tall civs and some ideas for how to change it. Perhaps the two should be merged?
     
  7. Sostratus

    Sostratus Chieftain

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    The difference between tall and wide is that tall has more population per city but fewer cities. In fact, the question of wide vs tall really comes down to how you want to distribute your population. Do you focus on gaining more territory and terrain yields (wide) or do you focus on city/development-derived yields (tall.) Obviously, assuming you can pay for it with happiness/amenities/housing/whatever resource is in place to check growth, higher population will generally beat lower ones: you can simply work more tiles, run more specialists, etc.

    WRT some of what has been said, Civ5 had an automatic 3 happiness penalty just for a city existing. This was, imo, a much bigger limiter of wide than any per-city science and culture penalty. Tradition giving away free stuff to tall empires also boosted tall in the relative sense, although you could operate quite wide empires, even early, with the right strategies.

    In Civ 6, there is no such per-city happiness/amenity penalty. If we go back to Wide vs Tall as a matter of distributing population, 1 Amenity=2 pop would appear to give the two some fundamental equal balance; the free 2 citizens per city tilts things towards wide a bit. The only way to skew this population management calculus towards Tall is to make their marginal citizen better. This is what that nonlinear pop yield was getting at. In past games this was achieved by percentage modifiers, the power of specialists (especially concerning Great People points) and the ability to (world & national) wonder spam. (I would see the thread linked by Amrunril for some suggestions about handling this.)

    With Civ6's focus on tile gameplay- districts, wonder placement, etc- and de-emphasizing the city center, this hurt tall quite a bit. As long as the marginal citizen of a wide and tall empire both end up working a terrain tile (as is the case now; most specialists grant a paltry 2 yield) then it's a terrain game. And Wide is the king of working terrain.
     
    Art Morte and Atlas627 like this.
  8. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Chieftain

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    In fairness, though, how would you replicate the Civ5 approach when there is no global happiness anymore? I certainly don't want a return to the awful days of Civ1-Civ3 corruption. Maybe a variant of the Civ4 approach, that increased maintenance costs for cities based on city number and/or distance from capital. Of course, then I feel we'd need to bring back Courthouses and other legal buildings (like prisons) to help mitigate such things.

    As I've said before, though, I'm not really seeing a strong anti-tall situation. Good planning of tile Adjacency bonuses, proper use Religion and Trade Routes, & effective use of City States can still make Tall a fairly viable strategy.
     
  9. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Chieftain

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    Some things I've put forward, aside from what I have already mentioned, is to have improvements over resources generate GPP when worked. For example, Plantations would normally generate Great Merchant Points.....but Plantations on Dyes & Silks might also generate Great Artist Points as well. Mines over Gems and Silver would generate Great Engineer and Great Merchant points. Quarries would generate Great Engineer Points, but Marble would also create great Artist points, & Stone would generate Great Writer points.....just as some obvious examples of how to move GPP generation beyond districts.....and making City placement even more important.

    Another thing I've wanted for a while is to have buildings you can place in neighbourhood districts, that could improve Amenity, Housing, Appeal or tile output of the district. For example, a hospital might increase the housing of a neighbourhood district, Public Transport would increase the Amenity of the District, a parkland would increase the appeal of the neighbourhood tile and a school would give science from that tile.....based on the population of the city the district is attached to. Just as some obvious examples. ,
     
  10. Sostratus

    Sostratus Chieftain

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    While there were a few ideas in the thread referenced, the biggest set apart between 5 and 6 is the real lack of tall-oriented bonuses. Almost every thing- every policy, every CS bonus- is geared towards wide. Even cards like New Deal serve as a way to boost the growth power per city. 3 districts is only 7 pop, which is easy enough to do by late game.

    I strongly agree about neighborhoods. I think neighborhoods and the city center need work for tall strategies. For example, Public transit (I loved the graphic in civ 4!) could be a city center improvement that gives a nice boost to each neighborhood, as you mentioned- and the graphic could be little train (industrial) or monorail (modern) lines extending out the neighborhoods. I would love that. Since only tall cities have many neighborhoods, only they would build it.

    The main issue with tying things to neighborhoods, though, is that save for Kongo, they come too late. For tall to be viable you need it to work in that classical-renaissance stage where wide empires are investing hammers into settlers and many districts: they need opportunities to invest their hammers into growth and productivity as well. This means earlier options like national wonders, and mid game options to leverage pumping resources into population growth, like specialists. Some way to get more housing is also needed.

    Here's one idea you just inspired in me: Cottages!
     
  11. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Chieftain

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    To my mind, then, there are two ways to make tall as viable as wide-one is to provide at least a few policy cards that grant greater benefits to tall empires than to wide empires (maybe a district bonus that works on a per x-population in the adjacent city, for instance).

    The other way, which I have suggested elswhere, is to have a distance & number of cities multiplier to city maintenance costs. This should then be something that can be mitigated via the construction of courthouses, prisons & police stations, & certain policy cards could help as well.....but it would help to make tall vs wide work much more like it did in Civ4.
     
  12. stinkubus

    stinkubus Chieftain

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    I agree with @Aussie_Lurker; with smart planning for adjacency bonuses and envoy management somewhat "tall" play (10 cities or so but each productive with at least 3 districts) can produce strong, satisfying games even if you won't set any records with your finishing time. Kongo isn't the only civ which can pull this off. Australia and Rome also get housing buffs, and Rome's Bath gives an amenity which means that at least two extra pop are fully taken care of in each city which you can build them.
     
  13. martyb36

    martyb36 Chieftain

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    In this games districts are key.
    For example science is won far easier with as many campus districts as possible. Having say 5 tall cities at 20 population you still only have 5 campus'.
    A Possible way around this would being able to build a duplicate of an existing district once you hit 10 population?
    For example at 7 population I have campus, commercial and industrial district. Then once I hit 10 I can start building a duplicate of any of these. Then at 20 I could build another.

    The other issue is having enough culture to keep up with a wide Civ. A wide Civ of say 15 small cities is getting 30 culture from monuments alone. A tall Civ of 5 cities is getting 10 from monuments.
    Then when you consider meritocracy and how many more districts wide has the culture difference is even larger. Perhaps a large city population multiplayer for culture is needed?

    Still I prefer wide being the most effective. But I'd like tall to be viable on higher difficulties.
     
  14. Olleus

    Olleus Chieftain

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    You want to make tall more viable? Having buildings give a % boost to yields (specially science, culture, faith and gold) rather than flat, that way having your population concentrated in a few cities makes it easier to leverage. Letting cities build multiple of the same districts could also work. That would have a drastic effect on game balance though.
     
  15. Horseshoe_Hermi

    Horseshoe_Hermi 20% accurate as usual, Morty

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    Make districts able to be built in duplicates, but have their effects apply only to the 3 pops that unlocked each one.
     
  16. Amrunril

    Amrunril Chieftain

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    I'm not sure what you mean by this, unless you're thinking of combining it with another change. Districts currently have flat yields from buildings and variable yields from adjacency bonuses. None of their effect, besides specialist slots, are specific to population.
     
  17. megabearsfan

    megabearsfan Chieftain

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    I like the idea of having a Public School building that provides beakers from population. While simply providing beakers from population automatically might work, I would prefer for such a thing to be something that the player has to actually invest in (i.e. build the proper infrastructure for). I also really like the idea of making a school be a Neighborhood building instead of a city center or campus building.

    Perhaps the effectiveness of the Public School could also be based on the appeal of the underlying tile (or the housing capacity of the Neighborhood, so as to not screw over Kongo)? For example, the effect of a Public School could be something like:
    "+1 science per 3 citizens in Neighborhoods with 4 housing or less. +1 science per 2 citizens in Neighborhoods with 5 housing or more." or alternatively,
    "+0.3 science per population. Increases to +0.5 if the neighborhood has 5 housing or more."

    This would probably work better if each citizen actually had to live in a specific tile. That way, each Neighborhood's Public School would only affect the citizens that live in that neighborhood. Maybe that's an idea for an expansion?
     
  18. megabearsfan

    megabearsfan Chieftain

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    Other (brainstormy) ways to make tall cities better could include:

    - Add flat yields per population (as the OP suggested).

    - Add additional build queues to cities that reach certain population thresholds. A very large city, therefore could hypothetically be as "productive" as multiple smaller cities, even if they both have the same number of hammers. For example (just brainstorming out loud here, haven't really thought this through much), the Factory could have a specialist slot that, when filled, grants a second build queue. Production is, by default, split between both items being produced. But, if you assign additional specialists to the factory, an increasing fraction of the production is shared between each queue. Alternatively (or in addition), Encampments could have a way of providing a build queue exclusively for units, with the productivity of that queue being based on population.

    - Yield/benefit of specialists in districts scales up with the number of specialists assigned to that district. So cities with more population to spare can specialize even further.

    - Raw population acts as a percent modifier towards the accumulation great people points in that city. The more populous your cities, the higher the likelihood that somebody will grow up to be a great person.

    - Cost of civilian units (settlers, builders, archaeologists, naturalists, etc) scales down based on the population of the city that is producing it.

    - Have mutually-exclusive building options in each district (similar to barracks vs stable or art museum vs archaeology museum), in which one line of buildings benefits tall cities (% modifiers), and the other line(s) benefits smaller cities (flat modifiers). I've pitched this idea on a couple other threads. I'll edit post with links to them if I can find them. For example, the Campus district could have the following building lineup:
    Library : +2 science, +1 specialists slot
    College : +4 science, +1 Housing, +1 specialist slot
    Final building in district is one of the following options:
    1.) University : +3 science, +X science per population, +1 specialist slot
    2.) Research Center : +3 science, +Y% science in city, +2 specialist slot
    3.) Observatory (req. adjacent mountain) : +1 science, increases mountain adjacency bonus, +1 specialist
    4.) Apothecary / Pharmacist (req. adjacent jungle) : +1 science, increases jungle adjacency bonus, +1 specialist
    5.) Another building that adds an additional adjacency bonus, or which improves the bonus for adjacent districts?
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  19. Horseshoe_Hermi

    Horseshoe_Hermi 20% accurate as usual, Morty

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    I forgot Civ6 was still pre-alpha.
     
  20. Hans Lemurson

    Hans Lemurson Chieftain

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    How to make tall cities viable:
    1. STOP GIVING FLAT BONUSES ON A PER-CITY BASIS I'm looking at you, trade routes. Either use production Multipliers (which make terrain important) or grant bonuses per Population (which makes absolute Pop important).
    2. DON'T USE SUPER-QUADRATIC GROWTH COSTS. When +1 pop in a large city uses as much food as +5 pop in a new city, building wide is the only sensible answer. Housing limits already restrict growth, why do it double?
    That's basically it. If you stop penalizing large populations, and stop rewarding city spam, then your problem will solve itself. The trouble is that Civ6 retains Civ5's city-growth costs, and district Bonuses and district Buildings are available on a per-city basis and give flat bonuses. Stop doing that.
     
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