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Multiplayer Balance Mod Proposal

Discussion in 'CivBE - Multiplayer' started by Empedocles, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. Empedocles

    Empedocles Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Messages:
    62
    So Beyond Earth certainly has potential in multiplayer games, but as it stands the game has huge balance issues in MP. Many of these things can be fixed using XML mods, and a single standardized XML mod could be loaded as a DLC and give us a much more fun MP game.

    There are already some balance mods out there, but they are geared towards single player games. I'd like to see what MP civvers think would solve some of the issues with multiplayer balance.

    First, a few goals that I have:

    1. Make tall empires a valid strategy
    2. Reduce trade route micro so that turns go faster
    3. Decrease the power of Battlesuit/CDNR/Xeno Swarm rushes
    4. Make sure everyone is on a more even playing field in regard to affinity points
    5. Even out the difficulty of the victory conditions

    To accomplish 1, we need to weaken trade routes and increase the effect of health and unhealth.

    Trade routes currently dominate other sources of all yields except culture, and force anyone who wants to play optimally to spam as many cities as possible. A few options for weakening trade routes are to reduce the number of trade routes per city, remove the ultrasonic fence reverse polarity quest option, and/or reduce yields from internal/extrernal trade routes.

    I think a mixture of all three solutions would be best: reduce the number of trade routes to 1 from depot and 1 from autoplant, and reduce base yields by 25%. That reduces the total yields by 50%, which is a good baseline modification. This would also help with 2, but cutting 1/3 off the trade route micro time.

    The ultrasonic fence quest removes all risk from trade routes, and I think removing it entirely would make the game much more interesting. I'm interested in hearing suggestions for what to replace it with.

    In addition, we need to increase the effects of health, so that the optimal strategy isn't always to just ignore it. The biggest issues are that the bonuses for positive health are very small, and there are no extra penalties past -20. Doubling the yield bonuses for positive health would go a long way towards encouraging healthy empires, with +20% to all yields being a good incentive to keeping lots of positive health.

    Making the growth and intrigue penalties scale seems like the best option for discouraging very poor health, so that your cities stop growing completely at -40 and become very hard to protect against coups past that point.

    3. Decrease the power of Battlesuit/CDNR/Xeno Swarm rushes
    I think the power of these units just needs to be decreased. They are far stronger than basic units at affinity 4. Armor is only strength 22, and a CDNR is strength 38. That is actually bigger than the jump from a CDNR (38) to a CARVR (50) after 3 affinity levels. I think reducing Battlesuits, CDNRs, and Xeno Swarm strengths to 36, 34, and 31 would give other options for defending against affinity 4 rushes other than just rushing your own affinity unique. I'll have to test it out to see whether that is enough.

    4. Make an even playing field in regard to affinity points.
    For this, we need to remove some of the randomness from the bonus affinity rewards. Firstly, affinity pods need to be removed or nerfed. They give too much of an advantage, compared to other pods. 2-3 of them lets you beeline the tech for your affinity unique unit and rush someone while they still only have basic units. After that, quests need to be modified so that all of them are possible. Getting a quest that requires a biofuel plant in your land-locked capital can permanently set you behind by 1 affinity point.

    5.Even out the difficulty of the victory conditions
    There are two problems: Harmony victory is much easier than the others, and progenitor ruins can give incredibly early contact victories. The second can be fixed just by removing that option from progenitor ruins, but I'm not sure how to fix the Harmony victory. The fact that you can win the turn after you build your mindflower makes this victory almost impossible to stop. The fact that it requires no extra investment makes me think that this victory should take longer than the others, not less time.

    Anyone have any comments on how to fix these issues, or any other issues you think are important to fix?
     
  2. kirbdog

    kirbdog Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    898
    The mod that seems closest to meeting some of these goals already (trade routes, rushes, and health) is the Simple Balance mod I'm doing. I agree with your other goals. I'm not certain about the best way to achieve them. (Also I think balance for SP and MP are indeed different but can usually best be achieved in the same way, by making things truly balanced, whether in SP or MP.)
     
  3. Empedocles

    Empedocles Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Messages:
    62
    Your mod was one of the ones that inspired me to consider how to balance multiplayer. It does a good job with my first 3 goals.

    Are all of the changes in your mod implemented in XML? A modpack would be far easier to put together than a balance mod made from scratch, but lua changes are very difficult to get to work in multiplayer.
     
  4. omniclast

    omniclast Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    475
    Unfortunately I don't think balancing is going to be much use unless the stability issues are fixed. At least not for playing with non-friends.
     
  5. Empedocles

    Empedocles Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Messages:
    62
    NQ games are fun. The stability issues are not a big deal if you have a good host and people who will rejoin when the game crashes. It is pretty much the same as Civ 5.
     
  6. kirbdog

    kirbdog Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    898
    Unfortunately the Siphon Energy / Steal Research changes require changes to Lua.* There is also an Aliens.lua file for alien behavior that would need to be dropped. Other than that, though, you could strip out the rest to make a new mod or modpack (and are welcome to do so).

    * The code uploaded right now is buggy too. I have a patch coming today...
     
  7. kirbdog

    kirbdog Chieftain

    Joined:
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    898
    Patch is out.
     
  8. Empedocles

    Empedocles Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Messages:
    62
    OK, I will play around with that. I feel like siphon energy and science are fine on quick speed, and mp is pretty much always quick speed .
     
  9. B166ER

    B166ER Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    22
    how do i use this mod in multiplayer? when i select the mod it only shows single player option to continue
     
  10. Gort

    Gort Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,517
    Get Kirbdog to read the last few posts of this thread and he might figure it out.
     
  11. B166ER

    B166ER Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
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    yea got it, Thanks!
     
  12. silvertuerk

    silvertuerk Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Messages:
    53
    ::Reduce trade route micro so that turns go faster

    +1. It could be done on trade screen by scroll menu. The change may be delayed until trade unit returns home, that prevents looting prevention if imminent looting is suspected.

    ::Decrease the power of Battlesuit/CDNR/Xeno Swarm rushes

    done. Earlier rush is now more viable because then it is less likely that defensive buildings enable turtling.

    ::Make sure everyone is on a more even playing field in regard to affinity points

    I would not be too darn happy, if exploration would rendered less significant. Exploration is one of the most fun parts of the game, my holy cow.

    And yes, multiplayer is almost always on quick speed. If I could, I would add an option of -25% science to slow down the game a bit but nevertheless.

    As concerns a mod, then yes.
     

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