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New Version - May 19th (5-19)

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

  1. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I genuinely haven't seen you ask it until today.

    My rules for this system:

    1. Cities will always suffer some amount of unhappiness from a few sources, in many cases a bit of each. This is by design. It should be rare for a city to be wholly free of unhappiness.
    2. Specialists should be a prize earned by cities with excess happiness, not a natural goal for every city. Some cities will never be able to 'naturally' run specialists.
    3. Median-based unhappiness exists, as you say, as an 'x per citizen' penalty. All medians follow this, in that the system is shaped by population and the disparity, but the fact that it can vary from city to city is what makes it different. You note concerns about scaling as you move from 20->25->30 pop, etc. Modifiers play a role in this, to be sure, as they create a goal line that moves faster than your city. That goal line is intentional - unhappiness should never be a 'solved problem' in any game.
    4.The 'point' of this system is the variability and the unpredictability. I realize that this variability can be frustrating because it can be hard to predict - I think the system is far, far more predictable now than it used to be, and the impact of 'missing' something is far less substantial now than before. Vanilla civ suffers on the 'internal development' front because there's no meat on the bones of pop = unhappy. It is flat and bland. The median model, while (in the grand meta) resulting in a similar end, allows for individual cities to have problems tailored to their terrain and build order.
    5. For distress specifically, the connection of food+production is largely a legacy of the more erratic global system (having both as a model helped control swings) - as I've said earlier, I'd be fine with looking into separating it out (either removing food or production), but I don't think the concept is flawed at heart. All cities should have 'base' yield standards to meet.
    6. Unhappiness should matter. It should be a bit frustrating. It should force you to stop, look at a city, and think 'how can I fix this' and 'why won't these citizens do what I want!' Can't run specialists in a city you want specialists in? Tough. There should be consequences if you don't take action against unhappiness.

    NOW, as I've said many, many times, AI tests are fruitless when it comes to the 'mouth-feel' of this system. Feedback on this is vital and valued, and said feedback has shaped the bigger changes in this system over the past few months. I don't feel that 1-5 are contentious, but I know 6 is. See solutions:

    a. I imagine part of the issue is modifiers - since we shifted buildings to a 'flat reduction' system, a lot of the old means of reducing modifiers went away. As such, those numbers climb and you can't do much about it. The numbers themselves are lower now than ever before, but I do imagine they could be made lower. The consequence of this, of course, is that small empires will have few unhappiness issues. Maybe. We have two values - tech and pop - that are the biggest factor. We could increase tech and greatly reduce pop, which would make all cities have similar problems. Or we could flip it, but that would hurt growth a lot.

    b. Another part is that the system is a 'per citizen' model - each additional citizen increases the yield division, making it harder and harder to hit the values needed. This is a knock-on effect with a.

    I'd rather keep Distress than keep modifiers as they are now. If you'd prefer to see lower modifiers, we could try it, but I fear it will trivialize some aspects of the late-game. The other option would be to make unhappiness stem from total yield production in the city instead of per citizen, however this would alienate smaller cities quite a bit. There's no easy solution for that.

    G
     
    wobuffet, Viralvoid, Bhawb and 5 others like this.
  2. zeofig

    zeofig Chieftain

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    I agree that being unable to work specialists early game is rather frustrating. Sometimes you also get a tradition capital with like 5 pop which can't work its first specialist, at least for a little while. Maybe it would be good to have 1 free specialist from the palace, or from some early building so that each city can have one?
     
  3. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I think the Palace makes sense.
     
  4. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    How do deficits from needs work? What does:
    Deficit: 5 (up to 3:c5unhappy:)
    mean?
     
  5. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Chieftain

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    That means, that I didnt have enough yields to meet the modified median, and this discrepancy would create 5 unhappiness, but because I have unhappiness reduction buildings, I only get 3.
     
  6. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    No, the deficit is the yields you need per citizen to bring it to zero unhappiness.

    G
     
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  7. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    Long term, there are two "actions" against unhappiness. One is strong production, which some cities just can't have. Forget this island city nonsense, what I am supposed to do when the initial settler is coastal or desert without hills? High food, low production starts are already hard to play before happiness comes along.

    The other option, which is often the same action, is just not growing very much. A 25 population city often generates double the unhappiness of a 20 population city, and as you stated those last 5 population are the least efficient. The punishments now extend to taking my specialists away. You can actually LOSE culture and science by growing. The reward of growing are what exactly? 3 gold and 1 culture from that village? 1/4th of a science if I have a public school.
    What am I supposed to do? Not grow? That's the answer to this puzzle. Doing things like dumping hammers into public works doesn't help. This building, or others that modify needs but have low yields, basically says that in order to grow, I have to pay hammers, in addition to the food. How long does it take my 26th citizen to earn enough hammers to cover this expense? Aren't I better off just using the hammers directly on something that gives me culture or science?
     
  8. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Chieftain

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    Not really, no :(. Puppets aren't that great at making themselves defensible, and island cities already take more effort to fortify properly than other cities. Plus there's the diplo penalty for capturing them.
    I really feel you've misunderstood me CrazyG. Growth isn't inevitable, but it does require you to account for the different factors which affect it.

    For example, you talk about Progress and Authority giving so much bonus food that it doesn't matter what the other factors are. On the contrary, cities will grow much more slowly under Authority (or Tradition) than under Progress. Progress does offer more happiness reduction if you are playing wide, but if you are having trouble with cities growing too fast Authority is a much better option.

    I can understand if you feel the system is unnecessarily difficult or complex to manage. But it's not true to say that %bonuses to growth are largely irrelevant - cities with Granaries and Aqueducts will always grow faster than those without. If you are having trouble managing distress in your cities, don't build those buildings.
    Stalker0, I hope you don't mind me responding to your post in order rebutt this concept, as you've presented it quite nicely.

    I think what's missing from this picture is that culture and gold directly counter unhappiness as well - not just production. Specifically, gold can be used to half the production time of every building you build. I see people going all out in hammers but honestly I find gold just as useful - it converts directly to hammers in many cases. Culture may not have that kind of direct exchange, but culture is the only way to acquire policies, which can reduce unhappiness in a big way.

    Now arguably science is a bit of a mixed bag when is comes to unhappiness (and I think that's intended), but gold and culture are very useful in keeping your people happy - not just production.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  9. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    I think the problem is they way G implemented this flat unhappiness reduction from buildings. It looks as though the bonus is lowering the unhappiness cap instead of just reducing actual unhappiness by one point. The effect seems to be the same, but it's not. When unhappiness keeps growing, the cap makes it ignore whatever yields we are producing, thus disconnecting yields from happiness.

    In short, the cake is on the cap.
     
  10. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Chieftain

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    Yes, and that's intended. Public works exist as a last resort, not as a way for your city to growing further. If you have a choice between a university and public works, choose the university.

    I empathise with you. Flat starts are more difficult, and I would love for grassland capitals to be a little stronger for example. There are a number of options to keep people in your capital happy though.

    Edit: cut this post down to be more succinct.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  11. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    When I said % bonuses to growth or food, I meant bonuses that directly boost a city's food output or growth number in the tooltip, such tradition policies, or the Temple of Artemis (sorry, I wasn't clear). You are right that granaries and friends do capture bonus food such as what progress gives, but they are the only effect which does. I frequently intentionally delay granaries as progress, sometimes delaying until medieval era to get the 20 culture for building them.

    They just exist in this weird space where they should be good in food heavy cities, but those cities don't have the hammers to spare (or they suck up gold). Your point about gold is spot on, I get the impression that people undervalue gold.
    I'm aware of the other options and I've evaluated them, not growing is usually the better choice.
    a) I'm can accept some unhappiness. But each city I own faces a question of should I work food or production, and the answer is an overwhelming production in most situations after the very early game. Is it so crazy to suggest that the food is too weak and happiness plays a part?

    b) Not at all. If you have 10 luxuries you can have 10,000 cities with 10 pop, and you'll be at 100% happiness. This happiness system doesn't punish having lots of cities, it punishes growing. Even on just one city I get hit pretty hard by unhappiness, enough to block tradition specialists.

    c) This is my point. A strategy of not growing and avoiding unhappiness pressure is just overall much stronger than a strategy of growing. I'm aware I could grow and spend my resources fighting unhappiness, but I'd rather spend my resources winning the game. Using social policies as an example, think about taking an ideological tenet for happiness instead of taking one that directly boosts military/science/tourism/whatever your win condition is. Growth is really hurting you in this situation.

    The costs and opportunity costs of growing are very high, and the benefits are very low, I think its a balance problem. Several civs have extra food. The balance of civs, wonders, social policies and more is directly affected by this. My last India game I realized that lumber mills were better than my super farms, feels bad man.
     
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  12. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Chieftain

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    Not at all, but you have to remember that the game needs to be balanced for the general case. If you take Progress you are going to get a lot of bonus food - the same isn't true for Authority or Tradition however.

    Similarly, if you're on flat or coastal terrain and you have an abundance of food, and granaries can seem kind of pointless. If you're on a hills or plains-heavy start though, food and growth are not just valuable - they are essential if you want to work your tiles.

    Finally, while civs like India can struggle with overpopulation, growing too quickly is less of an issue for civs with unique improvements like the Huns, Polynesia, or the Shoshone. When your flat land has ekis, maoi, or encampments on it, it grants more diverse yields.
    I think this is part of what needs to be considered. Super farms are awesome, but they're not always optimal, particularly if you have lots of food already.

    If I get a hilly start as Ethiopia, and I've taken Authority after adopted the Goddess of Love pantheon, then I'm going to build farms on every available flat tile. On the other hand, if I get a flood plains start as Egypt and I take Progress then I don't care about extra food from farm adjacencies, so I'm going to build trading posts wherever possible.

    Certainly you can make the case that food is more abundant and less perhaps versatile than production. I don't think it's true to say that growth isn't worthwhile in the general case though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  13. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    How much unhappiness is generated per yield per citizen that is lacking?
    Deficit: 1 = how much unhappiness? Under the most basic circumstances.
     
  14. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Chieftain

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    1 Deficit = 1 Unhappiness.... It was always like that.
     
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  15. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    It sounds like the pop modifier is frustrating you more than anything else, since it double-dips against pop (and thus, food). Bringing that down substantially might solve the problem.

    The flat reduction removes unhappiness after calculation. So if you have a deficit of 5 per pop (= 5 unhappy), it is resolved as 4 unhappy by the city.

    1=1

    G
     
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  16. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    Still. W
    Still. What I see in Bite's example is that he's at the cap, so he stopped worrying about yields. The problem is the cup cake.
     
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  17. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    ??
     
  18. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Chieftain

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    OK, I think I can clear the confusion.
    I thought, the unhappiness cap by population/category is already working for the unhappiness by deficit (left value), but from the context and now having a city which has higher deficit sum than population, I think the unhappiness cap is only for the already modified happiness (right value).
     
  19. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    Sorry. A bad joke about the cap.

    I now think that I don't understand how the cap is calculated. Why is illiteracy on the second city 3 (up to 0)? I thought we were going to have city population as the cap, but it makes no sense to me that illiteracy is capped at zero. Is it because there are three science buildings in the city giving - 3 illiteracy?

    Edit. Also, why is technology penalty so huge? Technology is already taken into account when yields are compared to the global median. I understand the willingness to establish some control over tech runaways, but isn't it too much?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  20. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    3 = deficit in yields per citizen, normally 3 unhappy directly; up to 0 = city hasn’t 3 reduction of this unhappiness type

    G
     

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