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[GS] Need suggestions for my upcoming balance mod

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by kotpeter, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. kotpeter

    kotpeter Chieftain

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    Hey everyone,

    English is not my native language, but I'm trying my best at it. If you feel like my words sound rude, improper or condescending, please let me know, I'll fix them ASAP, I never mean to sound like that!

    I know there're lots of balance mods out there. I'm not trying to replace any of them with my own; instead, I want to make the gameplay more fun and diverse for myself and my friends.

    With that being said, I haven't played Civ 6 as much recently (I only came back to the game several weeks ago), and I'm not aware of all existing strategies, what's the meta, etc. That is why I came here with a small concept of what I want to do with my mod and I'm looking for feedback on my changes.

    Speaking of modmaking, I write SQL for living and I've already played around with modding Civ 6 for a while, so technical implementation of balance changes is not difficult for me. If you have any questions regarding modification of gamedata tables, please let me know, I'm willing to help!

    Now, onto the main subject. Here're the goals I have with my mod:
    1) Enable alternative strategies for warmongering;
    2) Boost defensive playstyle to compensate for #1;
    3) Shift unit balance for the sake of #1 and #2 and overall unit balance in the game;
    4) Change as little as possible in the game (I don't have all the research the devs made on the game, so I don't feel confident doing overall revamp of units' strength, tech/civic balance, etc. I do, however, feel there are outliers that need to be fixed, primarily because they just seem wrong to me. Also, there're tweaks I'm just eager to try because I feel they'll make the gameplay more fun)

    And here's the list of changes I plan to make on my first iteration:

    1) Unit balance
    • Iron is revealed with Mining technology
    • Anti-cavalry have -7 CS penalty against Melee units (was -10)
    • Anti-cavalry promotion "Thrust" now provides +7 CS against Melee units (was +10).
    • A new unit is added to the roster: "Sentry". Classical Era anti-cav unit, 33 Combat Strength. Available at Military Training. Upgrades into Pikemen. Costs 100 production.
    • Spearmen now upgrade into Sentries
    • Spearmen production cost reduced by 9
    • Infantry no longer requires Oil.
    2) Civic changes:
    • New unit added to Military Training (see above)
    • Military Training no longer requires "Games and Recreation" (can be beelined)
    • Military Training costs the same amount of Culture as "Games and Recreation"
    • Defensive tactics now requires Military Training instead of Games and Recreation (G&R is a dead-end civic now). It still requires political phisolophy too.
    • Mercenaries no longer require Feudalism (can be beelined)
    • Military Tradition inspiration changed to "Have 3 combat units in your army"
    3) Tech changes:
    • Masonry eureka is "Build a mine or a quarry" now
    • Bronze Working eureka is "Research Military Tradition civic" now
    • Oil is now revealed at Rifling (cannot be obtained until Refining is researched and tile improvement is built, unless a city is already on Oil tile)
    And here's some reasoning behind those changes:
    1) My assumption is that Anti-cav units were designed to be primary defensive units of your roster. That is because they never require any strategic resources and can be reliably researched and built by any civ. Furthermore, Pikeman unit is available at higher part of Tech tree, which further implies more "Peaceful" victory path. Same for AT and modern AT.
    That is why I gave some direct and indirect buffs to Anti-Cav units: spearmen production cost is reduced a bit, and eureka for spearmen favors culture output over troops. Which means, those who prioritize early monument will get to it sooner. Also, I don't generally like RNG eurekas/inspirations, and those tied to barbarians are heavily RNG reliant. Spearmen are still very weak and their primary purpose is to resist chariot rushes. It is advisable to upgrade them as soon as possible, which leads us to ...

    2) A new unit "Sentry" is here to fill the gap between spearmen and pikemen. It's not quite resistant against swordsmen (even fortified it doesn't catch up), however with its first promotion it is actually capable to fight swordsmen back. This, and the reduced initial penalty vs Melee (-7) should make AC class viable early game and more relevant later on. Also, sentry's helpful against coursers and is a death sentence to horsemen. The downside is that you have to walk the unconditional path on the civic tree to obtain it.

    The reason behind adding Sentry to the game is to fill the gap between Spearmen and Pikemen. Previously, relying on spearmen to defend your empire would cost you the game because you're never able to withstand swordsmen, and pikemen are just too far ahead on the tech tree. But with Sentries, you have an intermediate upgrade possibility, which allows you to withstand till pikemen are available. Furthermore, through Military Tradition you're now able to beeline Mercenaries and take a huge discount on upgrading your spearmen. Bear in mind, however, that your opponent can beeline Mercenaries and upgrade all his army as well!

    As a last note, another tiny buff to defensive playstyle is easier eureka for Masonry, which helps you get the walls sooner.

    3) I already spoke a lot about defensive buffs, but what about offensive? Well, one of the more frustrating moments in the game (as for me) is that you need to commit to researching certain military units before you even know whether you can build them! That's why I moved Iron and Oil one tech earlier, just to give a player better estimation on whether committing to bottom tech tree part is reasonable or not. Also, changes to Military Tradition and Military Training, as well as the ability to beeline Mercenaries, is a boost for offensive gameplay as well, because it opens more opportunities for unit upgrades (less gold required) and gives some nice trade route bonuses to keep up on science and culture.

    4) Last but not least, I believe Oil requirement for Infantry is a plain oversight, as it makes the unit useless at its era. So I removed the resource requirement.

    That's it! Please remember I'm sincerely looking forward to feedback and critique. Thanks for reading that far and have a good time of day wherever you are :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
  2. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    I have tried to take a first stab at the unit balance issue purely through tweaking unit strength. There’s a link in my signature.

    But IMO to really make things flow in multiplayer you need to really study which units to add. I see you added the sentry; I made spears themselves stronger instead. But I would really highlight that pikemen are very very weak units- they lose to swords by 5 but cost twice as much, and only beat knights by 3.

    Further, you should look at AT crew vs Tank and Modern AT vs Modern armor. In both cases, the Anticavalry unit hits the Tank at +0, but the cost differential is ~20% or less. You need to decide what the counter straegy for tanks is.

    Lastly, helicopters use aluminum, which I feel really makes them useless. Not only does aluminum extract at a rate of 2 - vs 3 for all other late game resources, I strongly suggest boosting that- but air units are so powerful I just don't see how a helicopter at strength 82 is justified when you could build a jet bomber or fighter with strength in the 100's.
     
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  3. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing Prince

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    First off OP you english is excellent .

    You could add more policies in the style of 'Twilight Valor'. That's the card the is 'All units +5 Combat Strength for all melee attack units. BUT: Cannot heal outside your territory.' I know the old 'rule with faith' mod added a new type of policy card. You could use that example and go that route if you wanted to force players to chose one of your new policies.


     
  4. kotpeter

    kotpeter Chieftain

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    Hey, thank you very much for these! I will surely keep that in mind during the implementation. I completely agree on Aluminium extraction rate and helicopters. And I'll surely get to tweaking air units later on.

    Speaking of pikemen, I consider the following properties for AC units pre-industrial era:

    1) Whenever calculating their strength, consider adding fortification bonus on top;
    2) They should be on par with melee units from previous era;
    2) They should be stronger than cavalry units of current era, but the difference in strength needs to go down through ages.

    For the points mentioned above, I don't think that pikemen are necessarily weak. IMO they're just underused because there's no convenient way to upgrade into them. That's why I added sentries. As of pikemen, first of all, they comfortably defend against knights, which is a big deal. Second, they demolish coursers, which again is a big deal. Third, they withstand swordsmen, which is great (and if you're able to get their first promotion, you get +5 CS against Swordsmen, not to mention fortification and other bonuses). The only problematic units for them are musketmen, which is fine I guess. If you're afraid of musketmen, you'll have to beeline forts, walls & pike&shots after getting education, to make sure you can defend against them. Also, P&S will protect you from cuirassiers.

    Speaking of tanks vs AT, there're lots of factors to consider, actually. First, the defending side (the one with AT) may possibly have access to air units. Secondly, they also have more combat bonuses than the offensive side (when positioning your defense properly, support bonuses > flanking bonuses, also there's Victor with his 1st promotion). By this stage of the game both sides are supposed to have a Great General for the appropriate era (if one side doesn't, it can be considered a misplay). The defending side also has walls and an encampment which provide 2 additional range attacks. Also there're forts. Overall, having a 70+10 AT unit for defense while being able to build labs and being on the way to planes is a bigger deal than having access to tanks. The "tanks" tech tree part has no science gain, no spaceports, no tourism bonuses, and little to no production (outside of oil). For defense, biplanes are actually very decent and do a really good job finishing off artillery and ranged units.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  5. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    This is a key thing to point out. Players may not have a given resource in their area, it's not really a misplay - it just happens based on the map.
    Oil lets you build the hard counter for AT crews - infantry. If you strip that requirement as you mention, then infantry will almost certainly counter AT crews very easily.
    But, a player without oil may have to go on the offensive at some point - which is a huge problem in the current game, because anyone without oil will get so totally wrecked by anyone with oil that they have no hope of taking the oil wells from them.

    You don't get aluminum until radio, so there is a period of time when the only choice is At crew + Field cannon for someone without oil. (I guess battleships if they have coal but situational, but biplanes need oil too.)
    Anyone with oil should build all the tanks they can, because for the low low cost of 80 production, you get a faster unit that fights tanks and AT crews just as well as an actual AT crew, plus you have +10 vs everything else. They still get all the bonuses etc.
    I know steel/combustion is an awkward tech path, but this problem comes back at Composites, because the scenario is identical with Modern AT vs Modern armor, only Mechanized Infantry are at 85, so they are even more of a (oil using) counter to Modern AT.

    The only reason I'm underlining this interaction is because if you do a good job balancing units, then your players will shift how they play, and you have to be prepared in advance of how powerful the tank is as a unit compared to all other modern units.
     
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  6. Pietato

    Pietato Emperor

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    I believe the best way to properly balance things is to bring Siege into the equation.

    E.g

    Anti-Cav
    +10 versus Heavy Cav
    +10 verus Light Cav
    -10 versus Siege
    - 5 versus Melee

    Siege
    +10 versus Anti-Cav
    -10 versus Light Cav
    - 5 versus Heavy Cav
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  7. criZp

    criZp Emperor

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    My idea for spearman balance is to increase spearman CS to 30, increase pikes to 43, and change the anti-cav and anti-anti-cav modifiers from +10 to +5. But have not played much with it yet.

    It will make barbs tougher unless their spearmen are replaced with warriors tho.
     
  8. kb27787

    kb27787 Emperor

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    Palace guard combat strength from +3 to +15.
    All capitals now start with ancient walls from Emperor and above (same as CS)

    Slinger melee strength increased to 10 and ranged strength to 20.
    Warrior combat strength reduced to 18.

    Spear class penalty against melee to -5 and bonus to cavalry to +15
    Light and heavy cavalry -10 CS against cities and encampments.
    Pillaging yields reduced by 75% and now expends all of a troop's movement points (except for light cav with the 1 mp/pillage promotion and for the berserker UU)
    Raise the cap of loyalty hit from grievances against that a civ's occupied city to -20.

    Siege units melee combat strength -10.

    Remove the +10 inherent loyalty bonus of free cities.

    Nerf early warmongering, period.
     
  9. Aurelesk

    Aurelesk Warlord

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    Hol'up a minute!
    Does that mean Slinger is strictly superior than the Warrior in every way. Sure, Slinger takes more damage when attacked, but receive none when he attacks! With this, Slinger will be the best unit to go for in every case.

    Why do I see an asymetry of balance with -5/+15 when you could just stay at -10/+10 and add +5 at the base combat strength? Sure, it mean that Anticavalry will be stronger against Ranged attackers (Ranged, Recon, Air, Naval, Cities), but is it really a problem or leading to imbalance?

    I think the lands units was kind of made like this:
    • Melee: City Conquest. They have promotion that ignore some penalties (rivers, cliffs), endure ranged attack and gain extra CS on cities. Plus: they also get support bonus to ignore Walls.
    • Anti-Cavalry: City Defense / Support. They have promotions that increase their strength against invaders, further increase the support and have better defense, but are cheaper and therefore weaker.
    • Heavy Cavalry: Destroying units. They are quicker and stronger, but costlier. Right now, they are just Melee units but stronger and faster.
    • Light Cavalry: Pillage and Flanking. They are kind the opposite of Anti-cavalry, as they are mostly to get bonus for others units and ruin enemys, will predate on lonely units.

    Maybe we should further increase their properties.
    • Melee: Maybe non-cavalry lands units should be the only ones to be able to fortify by themselves (cavalry in fort could fortify), and also get bonuses from forest/jungle. No other bonus than being more powerful but flavorless. Maybe change some promotions for make them more veratile like the ability to cross moutain (add it to Commando?), give additionnal Movement on water with Amphibious, or something.
    • Anti-cavalry: No strategic ressource needed. I would like it give them faster heals (+5 overall) or faster fortification (instantly 2 turns?) and the ability to prevent Pillage / Plunders on a 1-tile radius tiles to make them the perfect units for city defense. Furthermore, get ride of the "cheaper but weaker" mechanic.
    • Heavy cavalry: Make it fast and strong unit with no side bonus, like it can't ignore zone of control anymore, and get ride of the "costly but stronger" mechanic. As said in the melee part, maybe the cavalry shouldn't be able to fortify by themselves nor get bonus defense from forest/jungle. Being fast is a real powerful bonus.
    • Light cavalry: Pillage and Flanking. They are faster but weaker, and get bonuses towards flanking, pillages, and somehow almost no Combat Strength bonus.

    I think Ranged units have too much Ranged Strength and should suffer an overall -5. A Crossbow with 40 Ranged Strength and 30 Melee Strength should be at 35 Ranged Strength and 30 Melee Strength.
     
  10. criZp

    criZp Emperor

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    for balancing infantry vs cavalry, I think that giving terrain-based bonuses/penalties is a good idea. Like cav getting bonus attack when enemy is on open terrain. Or infantry getting bonus combat in districts and forest, where they can move around more easily than cav.

    And I think maybe balancing ranged should be done by lowering defense rather than attack, since this promoted good positioning.
     
  11. kb27787

    kb27787 Emperor

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    Well, for one thing, slingers cannot take cities nor inflict ZoC to put it under siege.... and really their damage output is too underwhelming (not to mention the one range guarantees that if the target does not die, it will take huge damage the next turn). As things currently are you would only build them to upgrade them and in the meanwhile they are useless... that should not be.

    This should put an end to the 5-starting warrior rushes that deity AI loves to do, if a slinger can at least kill a unit from the very same era in 3 shots or so. (on deity currently it takes 4-5 shots which are too many). Conversely, that means that AI who don't beeline archery are now much harder targets to conquer if they put a slinger inside the city. I've always believed that to conquer a capital should be HARD. It should require 8+ units with melee units putting it under siege and ranged units to whittle it down slowly for several turns (hence my suggestions about walls and palace guard buff).

    Also, I suggested that mainly to open early game tech options a bit more. You should have some degree of safety even if you open pottery first... (as things are horses and camp luxuries are too strong).
     
  12. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    In my lite balance mod I have done Spears to 30 and pikes to 45. (Although I also adjusted all HC to be multiples of 10 except cuirs @ 65.)
    I was worried about the barn camps but it surprisingly doesn’t seem to be much of an issue- a Attacking a camp on a wooded hill with a warrior before discipline is tougher, but once you have discipline or just unlocked really any unit, it’s no issue. The AI doesn’t have much trouble either. EDIT: I should mention a big piece of this is that Battlecry promo works on AC units. That promotion is incredible if a bit strangely worded.
    Essentially AC always hit HC for +5ish. It works quite well, and I find myself actually using them! Although melee units are still extremely handy just given they can hack through AC and all the other advantages.it works better than you’d think.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
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  13. Aurelesk

    Aurelesk Warlord

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    I do agree that the Slinger is, to say the least, kind of fragile but stay relatively relevant to deal damage. For example, a 20CS Warrior facing a 5CS Slinger: 15 CS difference → around 55 damages dealt for 15 taken. With a Battlecry Warrior, it is a 22 CS difference → around 75 damages dealt for 12 taken (add Oligarchy: 85 damages!).

    Even if the Slinger start first, it deals 25, the Warrior will still deal 50 damage (and take 17) so ending at a 58% Warrior and 50% Slinger. But the strength of Ranged units came from massing them, dealing and killing units before the enemies could even touch it.

    Due to the 1-tile range, the effectiveness of the Slinger is rather limited. I would want to see them more bulky with a 10 Melee Strength as you suggested, but their 15 Ranged Strength is kind of good. You could raise for a few point (let's say 17), but the effectiveness of the Warrior mainly come from the +4 from Oligarchy than anything else. If the early game between cavalry / non cavalry units is more balanced, maybe the Oligarchy bonus have to change.

    Furthermore, except for the Slingers, all the Ranged unit line is a little too much powerful, but I would love them to be able to take cities (well: all ranged units should do it à la Immortal / GDR).
     
  14. Pietato

    Pietato Emperor

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    Barbs could just use different Spearmen.

    I still think Siege need to be added into the counter system.
     
  15. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Slingers were rubbish irl and should be in the game
    Such a change is just appeasing the sling openers which is a highly aggressive and successful method without changes. It has early risk attached to it and that is good to keep.
    Scouts +1 vision.
     
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  16. CoconutTank

    CoconutTank Warlord Supporter

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    I'd like to see Scouts have 4 movement points again, esp since they don't innately ignore terrain, and the movement system in Civ6 doesn't allow units to spend leftover movement.
     

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