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Non useless buildings

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by 6K Man, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    The biggest takeaway I have from this and other Civ forums over the last 20 years is: don't build buildings. Call them white goods, or infrastructure, or whatever, the consensus advice in Civ4 and Civ2 was always to build units (or wealth, in Civ4) instead of most buildings.

    In Civ4, it seems the only building that is worth it in almost every city is the Granary, and maaaaaaybe the Forge. Assuming standard settings and standard BtS, of course. You'll likely want Libraries in a few places, and Barracks, and depending on your victory condition, you may want/need some other buildings to unlock Cathedrals, Oxford, etc.

    Walls, Markets, Grocers, Banks, Aqueducts, Colosseums, Courthouses, Harbours, and most religious buildings seem to not provide enough return for the hammer investment, in the eyes of many.

    What changes would be needed to these unloved buildings to make you want to build them? Would a +4 :health: Aqueduct be any better? A Bank that provided +100% :gold: ? I'm curious.

    And I wonder, also, if anyone has made a 'infrastructure mod' that makes infrastructure more appealing to build, by making buildings cost fewer :hammers: and/or produce more output.
     
  2. Louis the XIV

    Louis the XIV Sun King

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    I personally think that the Aqueduct is the best building in civ 4 and also the Cathedral. But yeah a lot of buildings could use change, for example I think that there should have been a Park building that provides 2:health: and 2:) or at least the colosseum should also provide 2:) like in DOC.
     
  3. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    Most of the buildings provide benefit for larger cities. A larger city has much more of a need for :health: and :) - smaller cities you can usually get enough just from resource trades. Also larger cities will get much more of a benefit from :science: or :gold: bonuses (although you might not be running any wealth, so that's another issue with buildings like the market).

    Unfortunately there's rarely much incentive to make big cities. Big cities have a lot of problems- not just health and happiness, but also running out of good tiles to work, and it takes more and more food to get to the next population point. Meanwhile smaller cities are super effecient for whipping.

    So, rather than buffing buildings, i would change the balance of city size. Either nerf whipping, or make it so population growth is flat regardless of size. Maybe even both.
     
  4. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    Aqueduct as best building...um

    Anyway, in my opinion, it is not the output of the particular building but rather the opportunity cost relative to optimization for victory. So I don't really see any increase in bonus of some building that I would no normally build because, for example, Aqueduct is 100H, and I'd rather spend those 100H on something much more valuable relative that point in the game and my overall goals. (What I state is in terms of achieving fast or optimal victory conditions) So an extras +2:health: means nada to me when health is already easily managed and cities in general are relatively small at that point in the game anyway.

    Hammers and how you use them are so vitally important early/mid game that 100H Aqueducts, 120H CHs, and 150H? Markets are very poor, among other things. I'd rather spend those hammers on further expansion, the killing of all the peoples, maybe a key Wonder, fail gold, and possibly wealth building.

    However, some of these buildings may have value in a longer game like space, when cities really do start to grow. Yet with eventually forges and factories you are building these expensive early buildings in 1 or 2 turns. (And one has already conquered/capped a good portion of the world) Thing is I've seen a looot of less experienced players just sit there building aqueducts, CHs and markets in cities early for like 50 or more turns..just watching the screen basically, as they sit at 3 or 4 cities and wonder why there are getting clobbered on Noble level. There's a reason the pros do such amazing things in this game ...on Deity or whatever level.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  5. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    From my guide:
    - :health: buildings (Aqueduct, Harbor..)..they can be good. In case of a harbor at least, an additional traderoute and 3 potential :health: for 80:hammers: are much better than 2:health: from Aqueducts for 100:hammers:.
    Aqueducts are always questionable, too expensive and :health: rarely cripples cities that much.
     
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  6. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    My, for some reason these thoughts make me think of our SGOTM game. May be a good example, even if a competition with very specific goals.
     
  7. Fippy

    Fippy Mycro Junkie Queen

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    Yup sgotm threads are great to check out and learn about the value of builds :)
     
  8. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS) Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Only time I build this is when I build 1 for the Hanging Gardens ...
     
  9. Louis the XIV

    Louis the XIV Sun King

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    But actually the way I win every game (but only on prince or lower since on monarch you have to have a strong military just in case) is I choose Louis XIV, then I build every single wonder in Paris and then I only create great Artists, then I win cultural victory.
    So my favorite buildings are wonders.
     
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  10. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    Well, that was kind of my point. The :health: bonus from an Aqueduct could be +1, +2, +4, or +15, and it would still never be worth building if optimal play means keeping city populations low via whipping. Unhealth is never a serious issue. But what if an Aqueduct was actually useful (other than as a prerequisite for Hanging Gardens? :goodjob:), as useful as 2.5 Horse Archers are?

    So, to use Markets as an example (and I agree that they're poor, as are Grocers). What would it take to make building a Market something to consider? How would you go about balancing buildings in order to make the decision to build units/wealth instead of buildings less of a no-brainer?

    To take an extreme example, if Markets added +20:gold: instead of the current +25%:gold:, I'd build them everywhere. It'd pay for itself in less than 10 turns.
     
  11. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    The situation changes in long games such a space. Here you need to transform to a hammers economy (as opposed to whipping), which means bigger cities and more unhealth from factories and power. Hence, health buildings such as grocers and harbours become more valuable. Aqueducts are still kinda crap, but grocers are decent. In games like that, you may even build some customs houses in selected (big) cities.

    The market kinda shoots itself in the foot, because by the time you may need the extra happiness, most of the resources are obsoleted, so you typically only gain +1 :) -- which makes it essentially worthless to build (except in a corporations HQ city).

    Civ4 is very military/war-based, with gameplay around whipping, so it's kinda hard to make the buildings worth building. Unless you go a bit extreme, like the market example above. Barracks are well worth it for example, because they are cheap and give clear benefits to units. A stable does the same, but less, and already there we're getting into marginal benefits territory, and I reckon most of us don't build many stables. Easier to get that second promotion from Vassalage or Theocracy.

    Some of the unique buildings are quite nice, but of course if we put that into the regular building, they're not very unique any more :p
     
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  12. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    To make buildings worthwhile you need to eliminate (the benefits of) war.
     
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  13. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS) Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    This is why I love Time games, lots of buildings become viable!!
     
  14. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    Sure, +20:gold: would make it good. Kind of overpowered really, at that point you'd never have to worry about gold from anything else. Actually, you *still* might not need to build markets, because all the AIs would also build them everywhere, so they'd have even more gold than they do now, and you could just trade for all the gold you need.
     
  15. dankok8

    dankok8 Elected World Leader

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    No one mentioned Lighthouses. They are actually useful buildings in a lot of coastal cities. Especially with Org they are super cheap.

    The premise of this thread is bang on though! I basically went from a Monarch to an Immortal player by not spamming buildings.
     
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  16. Lennier

    Lennier Emperor

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    What about a slightly less extreme example of +1:gold: per population of the city? Or increase trade-route value by +50%?

    I don't think you need to completely eliminate the benefits of war. But increase the costs of war, reduce the costs of buildings, and increase the benefits of buildings and maybe you'll have a better balance between building buildings and building units.
     
  17. civac

    civac Warlord

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    Let me reitereate that people here play under extreme conditions that acerbate the problem with some buildings. Deity/immortal with tech trading leads to an absolutely blistering tech pace. By taking advantage of the AI the human player can additionally gain gold that he should not have access to and can forego building a standing army which would slow the game down also. Vassal states and capitulations further circumvent the necessity to build a proper economy as vassal AIs can research for you and conquest is much faster.

    Tech trading is a fundamentally broken mechanic that only works in SP because the AI is specifically programmed to not use it in an effective manner. Likewise, Vassal States are also a terrible mechanic. I do understand why people like these in SP. They cut down on annoying micromanagement/army logistics and add some interaction. They are not good for balance though.

    Having said that, some buildings are decidely underpowered, like markets and universities. As a counter example, Banks are actually decent buildings under slower conditions though they come relatively late.
     
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  18. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    Boy, they need to be some very slow conditions. Like no tech trading, no fail gold, no war...
     
  19. civac

    civac Warlord

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    Why no war? When your economy is hurting due to war costs banks are quite good. If you go for Knights you are almost at Banking, when making war with rifleman you do have it already.

    Against competent opponents attacks are actually kinda tricky. Defenders advantage is huge.
     
  20. sampsa

    sampsa Ghost

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    If you are able to war, you can get a winning position way before banks.
    What does this mean? Are you talking about MP? It's completely different of course and I've never commented on that.
     

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