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New Version - May 19th (5-19)

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Gazebo, May 19, 2019.

  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    CrazyG has stated it more elegantly than I have in my last few posts. We are creating this feedback cycle that penalizes growth....but at the same time the happy system keeps telling the player "build more infrastructure, develop those cities!" So why do we tell the player "infrastructure is good!" but at the same time tell them "growth is bad!". Why is one version of developing my cities acceptable, but the other one is not?

    The fundamental answer is: Every strategy game is a balance of long and short term goals. Growth is a long term strategy, and also a fairly passive one. We don't want it to be so good that the players ignore short term strategies and do the same thing every game. And that is a valid concern, but I think the structure of the mod is mature enough at that point that we have long surpassed the issue.

    1) AI's warring is nasty. If you grow all the time and don't get an army, you will get crushed.
    2) Wonders are powerful and the AI is competitive. If you grow and don't get focus on short term hammers, no wonders for you.
    3) Specialists are strong and are a natural growth counterplay. If you want to grow....fine. If you want to sacrifice growth to get earlier specialists / Great People....fine.
    4) Buildings are strong and balanced. A food heavy city is going to grow quick....but realistically what are you doing with that population anyway? This isn't vanilla where most of your research game from pop....ultimately you still need infrastructure to make your pops do useful things.
    5) Quests often push players in interesting short term directions (to date one of my favorite improvements in the mod). I commonly build buildings, or make trades, I wasn't intending to in order to secure them. Or sometimes get a bigger army just to pick up tributes. Short term goals FTW!
    6) Growth has lots of later synergies that let players catch up. If you want to grow heavy before aqueducts fine, but the player that focused on hammers early and then combined with a Great Merchant WLTKD bomb with an aqueduct rush can catch back up very fast....and now has more infrastructure than the growth player. There is a lot of ways to skin the cat other than "get early food, grow, profit".
    7) Border growth and worker availability put some soft caps on growth. I have to invest in more workers and spend gold on borders to keep up with a fast growing city.
    8) And of course....happiness. Ignoring distress, population increases your yield needs. Unhappiness rises with population, and requires infrastructure to address it.

    So with that in mind, I believe some of the shackles on growth could be removed. I think the bigger question is, if we removed distress....would 3 buckets be balanced or would it make the system too unwieldy?
     
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  2. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    I would challenge Growth as a long term strategy.

    Your list is good, but another aspect is that building maintenance is pretty low, it has been lowered many times. I usually quickly reach a point where my next citizen and my next building have comparable costs (say its 100 hammers each). If you factor that citizens eat 2 food, and subtract it from whatever tile the next citizen would work, the buildings usually outperform the tiles. To improve the tiles, you need workers or buildings, both of which cost hammers.

    If I'm authority I'll often let a 2 or 3 pop city stagnate, until it grows from bonus food. A monument or shrine adds way more yields than working unimproved early game tiles will. Cattle (2 food, 1 hammer, but -2 food because the citizens eat it) is so weak unimproved. Even improved, its very weak compared to a well. Working production or gold to build that well faster puts you ahead, short and long term.

    You shouldn't run out of worthwhile things to build in VP, there are so many strong buildings; worst case diplomatic units are always worth putting hammers into. The only time I really make an effort to grow is in my capital
     
  3. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I disagree. I think the current specialist-happiness connection is intuitive and limits wide specialists in a way that makes smaller empires viable.

    G
     
  4. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I’ll note that I don’t see an issue with allowing smaller cities to remain small, then growing when you want to. I think making growth a pro/con scenario is far more representative of how human development has progressed. The idea of unlimited, infinite growth (as a positive) from a population standpoint is a truly modern concept/problem. Far better to have it be grey.

    G
     
  5. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I would say its more that the idea of "more stuff = good" is a game concept, its a reward mechanic. Humans like stuff, it makes us feel good. Games give us stuff, making us feel good.

    This is an area where gameplay doesn't have to mesh with reality. Heck, growth in Civ games is completely unrealistic anyway. Growth in real life is exponential, in civ it slows down with time.
     
  6. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    Lots of elements in the game follow this rule. Food doesn’t have to. People didn’t complain about the hard caps on city size in civ 4 from health. How is this any different? At least players have more agency this way.

    G
     
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  7. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Food = Production in Civ 4 through Slavery (not the most kosher mechanic, but it worked). In Civ 4, a flood plain city was godly. So a hard limit didn't really exist, it was just a way to remind people to "convert their food into hammers".

    Now that mechanic had its own problems for newbies, if you didn't know about forest chopping and slavery Civ 4 starts were veeeeeeery slow. But for standard players it did the job.
     
  8. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I don’t see how this changes food in VP. I think food is essential but unexciting. That’s okay IMO.

    Edit: if you really want to make food essential, an easy method would be to have all units use food as part of production like settlers.

    G
     
  9. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I was just giving you an example to your note that people didn't complain about hard caps on food in Civ 4....it comes down to food in Civ 4 has a stronger purpose than in Civ 5...and even more so than in Civ 5 VP.

    Ultimately I think the concern about food is not that its unexciting, but that growth is actively "penalized". People getting more yields actually hurts them. The inability to assign specialists is the latest straw on top of that pile.
     
  10. Revolutionist_8

    Revolutionist_8 Chieftain

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    Now that would be awesome 'methinks'. An elegant and easy solution (with an even realistic touch) :)
     
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  11. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I don't think growth is overly penalized in the latest version, I really don't. The AI, with no bonuses to happiness, grows without issue and rarely encounters happiness problems. I think the system is very flexible now, and with all of the direct means to reduce unhappiness in a city, players have quite a bit of agency if they want to grow (or not, if that's their goal).

    The only people who will chronically be unable to work specialists in most cities are wide conquerors or very wide peaceful expanders. But that's a trade-off that has largely been missing from VP until this point, and I'm happy that it now exists.

    G
     
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  12. Bhawb

    Bhawb Chieftain

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    In a way, I agree that it feels weird that having an excess of any yield is bad, especially when food is the singular exception. It does make me wish we had an internal trading/donation system, so even if my 1 tile island city can't grow any larger it could farm a ton of fish and send them to my production-heavy tundra city. That way at least the yields are never useless, and those otherwise weaker cities still meaningfully contribute. Lock it behind a tech a bit later in the game to represent how agriculture moved from being largely local to most of the world's food being grown in clustered mega-farms.

    I do like the specialist system currently though.
     
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  13. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    Again.
    Linking distress solely on food would very much soothe this issue. Then, extra food will be granting the food AND the happiness needed for working specialists.
     
  14. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Chieftain

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    Maybe, but it can also create a downward spiral.
    If your empire is going to be unhappy and you stop growth in your cities, you can only use few specialists, cause your empire lack the happiness to work them. As a result, you would work less food tiles, cause you didn't want to grow but don't have many specialists to use the food. But then, the decreased food generation would cause more distress, and with it, less options to use specialists. With even less food consumption, you work even less food tiles and get even more unhappy and so on.

    But in the end, it doesn't matter, cause at end of renaissance, the modifiers for the needs are so high, that nearly every citizen is unhappy, and only need reductions are helping.

    Btw. Artistry is far far over buffed in direction of happiness. The amount of happiness you get from it is insane. Even with only a 6 city empire, you get 9 happiness by guilds, 12 by reduced unhappiness from specialists, maybe 5-10 happiness by great works, and the option to see hidden dig sites, which can be transformed into landmarks with +3 happiness each. That's OP. Compare it with +1 per city from fealty or up to +12-15 from Statecraft.
     
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  15. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    Happiness based on food output is just a bad concept, it creates so many bizarre situations. You can't become happy by working more food. You could just make 1 in 6 citizens unhappy from distress (6 is a guess that could be adjusted). In terms of gameplay, its going to be really similar but far more predictable

    Just get rid of distress.

    I think you just make a mod-mod, with the happiness system totally deleted, and production would still be superior to food. High production cities end up producing far more science, culture, and military than high food cities do. Production wins games.
     
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  16. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    But reductions are made to a value which is made up of the difference between your current yield per citizen and the world median, so it still counts.

    Soo, you can't become less illiterate by yielding more science, either?
    Or are you referring to the population growth that happens after you accumulate food? Because you can get the food and expend it on specialists and avoid growing this way.

    I admit that it will create a funny effect of increasing unhappiness when a specialist heavy city stops working specialists. Quite reallistic, if you ask me.
     
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  17. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    New techs do lower unhappiness. However, science unlocks buildings and other things which make cities more efficient. Long term, science makes your average per citizen yields (all types) higher.

    Long term, working a farm won't actually increase your average food per citizen by very much. You'll grow faster which offsets that. If you want to actually increase your food per citizen, you need science or culture or production. Long term, food makes your average per citizen yields (of all types) lower.

    Besides that, distress is hard to manage. Distress based on just food will be harder to manage. Unhappiness directly makes food a weak yield. Food and happiness pull in opposite directions, neither current distress nor a pure food version can change that relationship.
     
  18. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    Reduced unhappiness from specialists is not unique to artistry. So taking that out, the core difference is that artistry requires a heavy investment in great works and has its happiness bonus capped at 3 of each guild. Fealty has the lowest happiness of the three, but it is also unlimited.

    G
     
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  19. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    Removing distress would make one tile island cities and other ‘bad location’ cities far more viable, which would be problematic. The knock on effects of removing distress are pretty harsh, especially since the happiness system borders on mild as it is now.

    G
     
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  20. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Chieftain

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    I don't feel this is an accurate representation of the situation.

    Yes, cities with more food grow faster, but cities don't grow exponentially. Even in cities with lots of food, each new city size takes more surplus food to reach. Not only do cities naturally level off after a certain point, but unhappy cities have a growth penalty to ensure that they will level off sooner.

    Moreover, growth isn't just a factor of the food the city has. Things which affect the growth rate have a big impact - each Granary-type building contributes about 15%, the Tradition policies and Temple of Artemis increase growth rate in all cities, and so do beliefs like Goddess of Fertility.

    And while you can't work specialists in unhappy cities, remember that you don't have to have everyone in your city working all the time. Unemployed citizens eat food and give production. They produce unhappiness of course, but remember that you are in control of growth. Even in a city with only farms, you can choose to put your city into stagnant growth until you have that infrastructure you need - you can even artifically starve people if you really want to.
     

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