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New Beta Version - February 18th (2-18)

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Gazebo, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. Voremonger

    Voremonger Chieftain

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    Do keep in mind that random events with a small probability of occurring per turn will approximately follow a Poisson distribution.
    This means that while the AI will on average get yields once per 100 turns or so the turns where the AI get yields will in reality cluster together with long periods of no yields in between.
    Since your goal seems to be a reduction of runaways I would advise against this approach unless you made the yields more regular (for example a 1% chance which increases by 1% on every turn that the AI doesn't get yields and resets to 1% when the AI gets yields).
     
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  2. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I will also say there are differing degrees on runaways.

    If my neighbor is running away, I have several options. I can use a lot of TRs to gain some of those yields myself. And/or I can try to conquer. The runaways on a far off continent are more difficult, sometimes you can't get TRs to them till late in the game...and water routes just love to snagged up by pillages. Conquest is also harder due to the need for a big navy, and then amphibious landing.

    Also I will say, to me the biggest runaway problem is that the runaway normally has the lead in BOTH science and culture. Science I can work with, there are several ways to get science and spies can help with this to a point. But with culture, its like in a current game I am playing Morocco and the runaway is 3 policies ahead of me. As morocco I have culture yields out the ying yang with my Kasbahs but have no hope of catching up on culture. But together, the leader is always going to be able to dominate the wonder game....even if your production is superior (its normally not due to AI bonuses until maybe very late in the game, but even so) its very difficult to make up for the fact the AI can start a wonder 5-10 turns ahead of you (or more). So they take all the wonders, and the snowball continues.
     
  3. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    Yeah, they get to have their cake and eat it too.
     
  4. HeathcliffWarriors

    HeathcliffWarriors King

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    But what would you do with a cake, besides eat it? Share it with Montezuma? No thanks! :)
     
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  5. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    The Great One Kim Dong Un gets all of my cake. His holy appetite knows no bounds!
     
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  6. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I'd be totally cool with X yields every Y turns (+/- Z turns for randomness if desired). X and Y could be big for spikes or X and Y could be small for smoothness if needed. HCW's idea for how to address wide vs tall is fine too- having the option for bonuses to scale on city # could be a built in way to address future instances of tall or wide play being better for AI for whatever reason.

    I'd also be fine with event driven bonuses if we can just find a way to make them not lead to runaways. That seems difficult, though.
     
  7. HeathcliffWarriors

    HeathcliffWarriors King

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    Another reason the idea appeals to me is that the primary purpose of the difficulty bonus is to compensate for the AI making less intelligent decisions than the human (due to humans having a way better ability to do long-term planning and prioritization). Humans are better able to compensate for the weaknesses of their playstyle than the AI is.

    Wide AIs have lots of Gold and Production, so if they make a poor economic or city production decision, it's not a huge deal. But making bad science and culture decisions could be significantly worse.

    The opposite is true of tall AIs; they have lots of Food, Culture and Science, so suboptimal decisions in policy/tech choices or growth have a lower impact. But bad city production and economic choices can hurt them a lot more.

    Scaling the yield bonus based on their number of cities compared to the global average (perhaps with a cap to prevent ridiculous situations) could compensate for this.

    It also nerfs warmongering a bit; if you conquer a bunch of their cities, their remaining cities will get more Gold and Production bonuses and less Food/Science/Culture bonuses, enabling them to fight back more effectively.

    It likewise makes tall, peaceful play more difficult, since your warmongering neighbors will get more Food, Science and Culture than they otherwise would.

    This kind of bonus system, combined with more consistency in the form of X yields every Y turns (with or without a random factor), seems a lot easier to balance and a lot more effective at preventing snowballing and runaways. It may end up being more interesting in practice, too. I think it could be worth a try.

    Finally, a passive over-time bonus like this rather than an event-driven bonus is more immersive, as it favors all AI players evenly, and is meant to simulate superior human skill. A game is generally more satisfying to play when the AI players can keep up with a skilled human but aren't visibly cheating.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
  8. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    Production is a weird yield in that it's localized. Tall civs actually have decent localized production (especially in the capital), it's just that they struggle when it comes to fitting units into the build order, and have fewer choices when it comes to "production" satellite cities to slot them. Making it stronger with your proposal means that they compete even better with wonders, something that they're naturally strong at. Maybe it will be different if their bonus science/culture is cut down, but I think it's worth playing attention to.
     
  9. Omen of Peace

    Omen of Peace Prince

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    I like your idea, Heathcliff, but that introduces a lot of tunables that may not be easy to get right.
    In the short term at least, my thinking goes in a different direction: start by reducing culture in the instant boosts as advocated by CrazyG and Stalker, since it's the biggest snowball enabler.
    Starting from there, why keep all the instant yields equal: we could give more gold than we give food, production and science for instance, and then even less culture. (This is based on past discussions on the relative value of each yield.)
    Starting numbers compared to the current yields could be: 1.2 multiplier for gold, 0.7 for culture and 1 for the rest.

    Back to general comments about the beta: I played a variety of starts with Iroquois on Immortal.
    The AI is definitely more competitive than before:
    - it's back to being ahead of me very early on,
    - settling faster than me
    - it's nabbing the Wonders
    so all good there.

    But:
    - I've noticed some Happiness issues with barely-wide expansion (6 Progress Cities around turn 100), and I suspect policies are to blame for that: policies give yields, and given that all AI are ahead of me I find myself below the median which didn't happen in the past. Perhaps science as well (hence more buildings), but likely to a lesser extent.
    - The AI feels a bit too ahead too early - as described also by other people. That goes back to the suggestion above to reduce culture (and possibly raise some other yields to compensate).
     
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  10. Roamy

    Roamy Chieftain

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    Now that you mention it, I had this too. Revolts in a previously mentioned super bad start, but my happiness did seem to take a nosedive faster than "normal" or anticipated.
     
  11. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    I think you're all overblowing the effect of the handicap yields on runaways. Runaways happen without any handicaps. It's the nature of a game built around buckets and snowballing.

    G
     
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  12. MIS

    MIS Prince

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    Gazebo and team: Thank you for working so hard on this. New-be potential bug: Mongolia on Settler, on Great Plains Plus, Animal Husbandry revealed 1 sheep, no horses or Bison, in map revealed to that point (about half of world).
     
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  13. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Some runaways is OK, as long as we can catch them. We also have quite a few anti-runaways measures.

    Now I had a mind-blowing idea:

    Give a time set culture bonus, like 10 :c5culture: scaling every 20 turns, or whatever you see fit.
    And keep the current event-based handicaps, but without culture.

    This is a mix of event-based bonuses and time-based bonuses, and prevents the much feared culture to benefit the stronger runaways.
     
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  14. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    It works well with current version and the map I am using. Bison is revealed at hunting, by the way. Maybe you wanted to say Cattle?
     
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  15. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Its probably pretty easy to test (and you may already). So if you turned off the A,B,C bonuses....but kept the AI optimized decision making at high levels....generally how many techs/policies is the leader ahead compared to the rest of the pack (by lets say turn 100, 200, 300)?

    I believe you that a leader will naturally arise amongst a pack due to the nature of gameplay, but I do think intuitively that the bonuses would increase that gap. Its hard to imagine that the extra yields from 20 wonders wouldn't give a leader even more of an edge than one who only completed 2.

    Just doing a quick look at my current immortal game (which is right on Turn 200). This is how things are stacked:

    Civ - Techs - Policies
    Ethiopia - 49 - 16
    Morocco (me) - 36 - 11
    Indonesia - 38 - 11
    Denmark - 36 - 10
    Siam - 39 - 11
    Venice - 39 - 11
    Germany - 37 - 11
    America - 33 - 9

    So most of the pack is very close, within a few techs and policies of each other (America being the clear "loser" so far). Policies are actually extremely close. And yet Ethiopia has an absolutely dominate advantage right now, and that's only from 200 turns of bonuses. Looking at his religion, he does have the 1 science per 2 followers, which might help explain the tech. But nothing that strongly effects his culture. My base culture is much stronger than his, heck I have a natural wonder giving me 12 culture base by itself.

    The main outlier: He has 19 wonders, whereas the second best person has 5.
     
  16. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    Supreme Leader lets no outsider handle his food! The Glorious One doesn't ingest substance that has been corrupted by the touch of the unworthy, and that includes breathing in the same vicinity! You conspire to take my throne and save the world from their inevitable defeat, but I will not succumb to your tricks! You will pay for this in time...

    Besides, how can The One And Unly even be sure that your offering is gluten-free, non-GMO, or was made in a nut-free facility?
     
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  17. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    you can get a feel for this by looking at the handicap log file.
     
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  18. Bromar1

    Bromar1 King

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    It's not about curbing the natural snowballing of the game. I think the way the current bonuses are set up tends to lead to the "lone runaway" scenarios in a disproportionately high number of games.
     
  19. HeathcliffWarriors

    HeathcliffWarriors King

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    Runaways as a result of the natural course of the game (through doing very well in conquest, diplomacy, science, culture, religion, etc.) do happen, and that's part of the game.

    But in the case of Wonders, at least, there've been several reports so far of AIs building an enormous amount of Wonders and snowballing out of control. Runaways as a result of the AI's difficulty bonuses are significantly less fun and feel significantly less fair. I think that's what people want to avoid.
     
  20. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    This is a probably a bit too harsh of a change, but what if there was a limit to how many wonders a player could build throughout set time-periods (e.g, max 3 per era, so a civ could max out at 24 wonders in a standard game)? This way even if Ethiopia is 10 techs ahead and into the next era, they'll only have 3 "wonder slots" available for that era (corporation/ideology/policy finishers wouldn't count, but things like Manhattan Project probably should), and would have to decide which wonders to build while forgoing the others. It would still be beneficial and possible to rush wonders, but you'd have to be more selective; half of the wonders that snowballers accumulate aren't even usually necessary or overly beneficial to the run-away's victory condition.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
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