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Multiplayer leader balance feedback

Discussion in 'Leader Balance' started by Voker57, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. Voker57

    Voker57 Warlord

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    As you might know, we play cutthroat competitive multiplayer semi-daily, and gathered quite a bit of statistics and feels of different leaders. I posted feedback to leader threads, but they are mostly focused on single player, so I'll create this thread in hopes that it will be useful for multiplayer communities and maybe by powers that be to include multiplayer-focused balance changes in.

    So, the nations we banned by popular vote, due to them being completely overpowered. We still manage to bring them down, but that requires universal collaboration and does not make gameplay fun. Especially since war means we enter simultaneous turns and game slows to crawl.

    Ethiopia.

    +3 faith boost from Stele is huge and puts you miles ahead of every player in religion race. You don't need to build shrine, thus save a lot of resources. You also get 3 (!) free technologies rather early and continue to receive them throughout the game. AI or Human, Ethiopia snowballs out of control very fast. Mehal Sefari is also a killer, but it's late game. So if you didn't manage Ethiopia by then, at Rifling (and it will come much, much faster for Ethiopia) whole world is screwed.

    Spain.

    Massive free food and faith from just founding new cities gives a tremendous kick start to an empire, and when you beeline for Chivalry, you get everything you need to roll over everybody with units bought for a discount with your already overflowing Faith (while also founding new advanced cities, if you have a separated land mass.

    China.

    Let's talk about China. Again, just by founding new cities you get Food and massive Culture passive income, which lets you disregard Boredom and speedrun through the policy tree (which is Progress). Era income decreases are not really significant. Chu-Ko-Nu are a nice bonus which can help you sneeze at any attempt to downsize you in Medieval era.

    And there's one nation that is not overpowered but banned nonetheless: Venice. It will just never work. It might work with AIs who don't guard their cities well and build them in any available crack and crevice, but with human players who know Venetian tricks, no chance. Tall will never will be good enough.

    Nations currently under consideration: Mongols. Their unit abilities are extremely powerful in hands of human player.

    Other SMAC players might have more feedback, but there is one important thing:

    [ @nj666 ]

    DO NOT BELIEVE HIS LIES
     
    black213 likes this.
  2. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    It seems that all your qualms are for early bloomers. What about Aztecs, Songhai and Carthage?

    Would increasing the time for city acquisition in the early game make things easier for you?
     
  3. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    Off-topic, but I know I'll find other multiplayer people here:

    Does anyone else have a problem where, after a resynch, puppeted cities become occupied cities?
     
  4. Voker57

    Voker57 Warlord

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    Aztecs? Not overpowered at all, they can try to rush early, but unit gets outmoded very soon.
    Songhai and Songhai: strong but not overpowered.

    Not sure what do you mean by city acquisition. Early game is the most important part in my opinion, so yes, civs that have early bonuses are most powerful.

    Not that, at least in 5.20.3
     
  5. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    I guess you don't care much about getting in good shape in Renaissance, do you? All that's enough for your kind of games is killing each other, probably before Middle Age. If so, the time needed for city conquests assimilation means little for you. Late bloomers can't shine if you don't leave them the chance.

    I wonder, what's the acceptable game length in hours for a MP?
    Cause I was thinking if forbidding human players to fight each other until there's no AI in control of its capital could make things different, but this kind of 'fix' will probably make your games too long.
     
  6. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    Could it be a problem with how I am making the mod-packs then? I'm definitely experiencing it in the second-most-recent beta.
     
  7. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    It sounds like progress being clearly the best is impacting games a lot. Playing without barbarians encourages a very specific opening involving fast settlers, which is why Spain and China perform so well. Carthage would probably be there too, if the map script had more water (even with her coastal bias, there's a chance she spawns inland which really hurts her opening).

    No barbarians hurts Celts and Aztecs, the other early game juggernauts. No barbs hurts authority a lot which in turn hurts a lot of civs with good early game such as Greece/Persia/Songhai and some others. Human controlled Mongolia isn't balanced at all in games with barbarians, its interesting that you find even with the no barbarian handicap, its a top dog.

    The civs are designed with balanced social policies and barbarians in mind; I suspect that this accounts for a huge portion of your balance concerns. Not Ethiopia though, he is just awesome.
     
    Rhys DeAnno likes this.
  8. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I think multiplayer games can offer a useful 'stress test' for relative balance in VP, but I think we'd need to resist knee-jerk reactions against stand-out civs like Ethiopia.

    G
     
  9. Cat-du-fromage

    Cat-du-fromage Warlord

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    i only play in multiplayer , we are 6 and the major "unbalanced" feature is the start, a bad start (forest + plantation) can put you behind hard; concerning the civs, some can snowball hard in some conditions but no real OP things.

    Though i precise we play with more unique component, that add some balance where some civs have late game UU/UB more unique component add early UU/UB for most of those civs, so my opinion is based on VP + More component.

    EDIT: Since we play between friends we also add rules early so people with a good start won't "eat" his neighboor because of a better early RNG.
     
  10. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    Forest Plantations are something we'll reroll over. It's an auto-lose situation, or at least used to be before the happiness changes. Letting plantations exist on forests for at least some resources would help, or moving the clear forest ability to calendar would also be nice.
     
  11. doublex55

    doublex55 Prince

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    I second moving forest clear ability to calendar. Just let both forest and jungle be chopped then.
     
  12. ofmiciv5

    ofmiciv5 Warlord

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    may i know where can we download the latest multiplayer version of vp? thanks.
     
  13. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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  14. a1nosugar

    a1nosugar Chieftain

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    The mp mod pack is
    Stickied.
     
    ofmiciv5 likes this.
  15. Voker57

    Voker57 Warlord

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    We are actually quite peaceful most of the time, but often by Industrial Era power balance is hopelessly offset already.
    Game length can be 10+ hrs. And we play without AIs recently.
     
  16. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    How so? There are many comeback mechanics.

    2 players in a duel map?
     
  17. Voker57

    Voker57 Warlord

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    Usually 4. Not enough if you ask me, lots of way to snowball, like keeping winning CS' culture contests.
     
    SupTo likes this.
  18. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    It's just, I have the impression that Spain and China are overperforming in your games because the way you play. The only thing I can think of is just banning those civ in your games. I would have thought that, in duel, no one beats Songhai with horses, or a pictish warrior rush.
    Well, maybe China is always going to overperform, since her power only goes down in late game.
     
  19. Voker57

    Voker57 Warlord

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    What's special about the way we play, except no barbarians?

    Unique units/combat stuff are not that significant since you can team up with somebody else against a dangerous warmonger. If a civ has a explosive growth in beginning, best you can do is try to individually grow along and team up, but then it leads to alliances being always based around teaming up against known powerful civ, which is not fun. And like I said, early speed-up leads to snowball effect, that's why early bloomers are more powerful in general.
     
  20. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    It basically means no Authority and it makes it much easier to peacefully snowball.
     

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