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On Food, Growth, and Happiness

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by CrazyG, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    I’ve played quite a few games on the recent patches, and I wanted to create a formal suggestion on what changes would improve the game (to be honest, this patch is rough, especially happiness). I hope to do the following
    1. Make food more scarce, and therefore more important
    2. Give players more control over how much they grow
    3. Make specialists feel more special
    4. (side goal) Reduce the length of some text explanations

    Biggest change first, remove the 10 bonus food for completing a building in progress. This bonus is hard to calculate, unaffected by modifiers, can’t be used to feed specialists, and the AI/city manager don't handle it well. The +3 food per city is still enough to grow early, but later on you will need to get the food yourself. Double the gold for citizen birth in progress, as compensation for the loss of food, the finisher is currently weak, and that policy is still strong without the food. Without being so overloaded with food, progress can look more seriously at fealty, food religious beliefs, food wonders, or even just building farms.

    Spoiler Social Policy Changes :

    · Tradition- remove the 2 happiness from the opener. Move it to the palace

    · Fealty- lose the 3 food per castle. Get 3 gold per castle.

    · Artistry- reduce to only -1 urbanization per city

    Tradition is the same as now, but progress and artistry have an easier time against unhappiness. Having some breathing room with happiness just makes the early game more fun, and the tradition opener is a wall of text. Fealty currently has 11 food per city, 8 is more reasonable. Artistry has too much happiness available. The great work policy has way more text than is necessary.


    Spoiler Building Changes :


    · Market- no longer gives 50 food for finishing an internal trade route.

    · Workshop- no longer gives 50 production for finishing an internal trade route.

    These bonuses are unnecessary, and their era scaling is a mess. Trim food and simplify buildings.

    · Lighthouse, no longer gives +1 food

    · Windmill, no longer gives +2 food to granaries or grocers, gain +2 hammers

    · Grocer, +1 happiness or a larger unhappiness reduction

    This is just trimming random food. The grocer is weak, a happiness buff is the best thing to give a city that wants to grow so much.

    · Workshop, no longer gives -1 urbanization

    · Library, gains +1 urbanization

    Moving this bonus earlier lets you work a merchant, scientist, or engineer in classical and early medieval. Having options just makes the game more enjoyable.

    · Customs House, lose the merchant

    · Windmill, lose the engineer

    · Public School, lose the scientist

    This means that you can only get to 3 specialist slots of these types, there are too many specialist slots available currently.

    I'm confident that these changes would address a lot of other balance issues present, such as the general weakness of farms, Temple of Artemis, or other tools to grow. This is meant to be a starting point, please offer thoughts you have.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  2. Txurce

    Txurce Warlord

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    I already said that making food more scarce makes it more valuable, but itemizing it the way you have is a giant step toward actualizing it. The changes would be easy to fine-tune later with a start like this.

    I also feel like food shouldn't be penalized, which the complexity and over-abundance of it inevitably did, thanks to the happiness penalty. This approach accomplishes a version of the same thing, by controlling food to the point that solid play should make it a good thing most of the time.

    You wrote that "a happiness buff is the best thing to give a city that wants to grow so much." This is a great way to encapsulate what you're proposing. Growth will be a positive most of the time because there's not so much that it becomes problematic, and the boosts to happiness (and gold) will make staying happier longer — thereby allowing more growth when you're capable of generating it.
     
    CrazyG likes this.
  3. HeathcliffWarriors

    HeathcliffWarriors Chieftain

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    My personal feedback, I think almost all of these changes are a great idea, but the first one I hesitate about.

    I usually always play Progress or Authority. When I play Progress, I always select the first three policies in this order: Organization (because the Production is too important not to take first), Expertise (extra Culture, and I like strong infrastructure), Liberty (as about that time I start having Gold issues).

    Fraternity is excellent for getting extra Food and Science, but it tends to be the last I select, because as an expansionist who admittedly is greedy for land the happiness bonus from Equality is usually of greater importance to me.

    The +10 Food for completing buildings helps you grow despite devoting a lot of hammers to buildings (which are needed to be competitive and combat happiness issues), and I feel that removing it entirely would make Progress too weak Food-wise, especially compared to Tradition, but even Authority's Tribute would be superior for a good chunk of the early game.

    Making Food scarcer is a good idea but Growth and Production is a big choice early on, and the balance of yields and ability to create strong infrastructure is why I value Progress.

    You may as well just add +2 to the global happiness from difficulty level, or to the local bonus for being the capital.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  4. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un Chieftain Supporter

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    How is the production bonus from workshop ITR completion unnecessary? If the era scaling is a mess, can it not be adjusted? What about the other buildings that grant this boost on ITR completion, are they broken too? ITRs were once unviable, but since the buff I still almost exclusively use them for production boosts because of unhappiness problems stemming from overgrowth . I thought this was about food, so I just don't agree with this small thing. I'd say everything else is definitely feasible.
     
    Bromar1 likes this.
  5. Txurce

    Txurce Warlord

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    I think the point is that you won't need that boost because you won't have unhappiness problems stemming from overgrowth.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  6. tu_79

    tu_79 Warlord

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    This may sound crazy.

    What if GPP contributed to city need fulfillment? The biggest need of them all is Distress, mostly because their yields are typically bigger. But working a mine is much better than working an engineer, in top of it giving 1 urbanization malus. If Great Engineer points were accounted, then an engineer would be much better at fighting distress, and maybe growing won't be such an issue as long as there is some specialist slot to fill.
     
  7. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    Usually if I suggest anything about difficulty handicaps, I usually get "Deity is supposed to be hard" as a response. I think actually being able to grow in the early game is fun and we should be allowed to do it because its fun. Getting blocked by happiness at 3 cities with a total population of 10 does make the game harder, but it also kills strategic diversity.
    If progress is weak after this, I think the right call would be to trim from the other trees as well, not give progress more food. Long term you don't need more than 3 food per city, there are many options to get more food. Breaking up the early game procedure is something I would welcome. If left vs right side balance is an issue (I think right is way better than left right now BTW), we could rearrange some bonuses. If you really want food in every city, I think you just have to go right side first, and that's okay. It has good production too: free worker is an instant 80 hammers and you can invest the gold into the first building of new cities.

    I don't see why this feature was added, or why it was added to the workshop which is a great building without this effect. Couldn't we just raise the base value by 1 or 2 base production if they need to compete? It would be a simpler solution with the same impact.
     
  8. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    On the ITRs I am also in favor of just increasing the base bonus instead of adding in the instant bonus.

    From the building changes, the one I disagree with is the lighthouse. For coastal cities food is one of their benefits, so the food from that is fine to me.

    I would also like the food bonus from agribusiness removed. Instead go with the hospital esque bonus: +x% of food is added as gold. Gives food some more late game uses when adding new population is not that useful
     
  9. Bhawb

    Bhawb Chieftain

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    IIRC, the addition of all the ITR stuff was to boost ITRs, and especially give something back to the origin city. I don't personally find them too interesting but I see the idea.
     
  10. HeathcliffWarriors

    HeathcliffWarriors Chieftain

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    I actually think this is a great idea; a specialist is after all a specialist, dedicated to improving the needs situation in that city.
     
  11. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Warlord

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    Well before we make sweeping balance changes we should let G's proposed specialist change and current unhappiness calculations be sorted first.

    I quite like the Library idea and the idea of less specialists overall. I agree with most of your proposed changes. One question about your proposed Lighthouse change-are you proposing -1 food on coastal tiles or -1 food on the base building?

    Markets are the building with internal TR food btw.
     
  12. pineappledan

    pineappledan Warlord

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    What about moving some of the specialists onto national wonders, so tall isn't hit quite as hard?

    Engineer slot moved from Workshop to Ironworks
    Scientist slot moved from University to Oxford University
    Merchant slot moved from Customs House to East India Company

    I imagine the proposed changes, if implemented, would make specialist-dependent civs much weaker. Korea stands out as the worst-hit to me.
     
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  13. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    The lighthouse itself has +1 food, I wanted to remove that as part of trimming food. It will still give coast and ocean tiles +1 food and +1 gold. My goal is to remove a bunch of the random food sources, 1 point here and there adds up. I was only going to leave food on buildings on the well, watermill, herbalist, and the granary line. This should make food from unique buildings feel a lot more special.
     
  14. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un Chieftain Supporter

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    The entire point was to make them a somewhat viable alternative because they were niche and rarely used. They simply didn't compete, but now there's some nice synergy with Serfdom/Protectionism/Iron Curtain. Getting those bonus hammers in the origin city is a nice little incentive, and I just don't want them becoming irrelevant again. If the base bonus is increased then it shouldn't be an issue I guess. The food I could care less about, but don't take away my glorious hammers.
     
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  15. Bhawb

    Bhawb Chieftain

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    I overall like the concepts here. Honestly feel like the "stop growth" button should basically never be used in a well-played game, it should only be there in "oh **** don't want to take X unhappiness here" situations.
     
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  16. pineappledan

    pineappledan Warlord

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    What if market and customs house gave 25:c5culture: on ITR completion instead of market/agribusiness giving 25/50:c5food: on completion?

    I think if you take the merchant slot away from customs house then there really isn't anything of much value on that building, except -1:c5unhappy: poverty and access to the East India Company. It's a pretty bad building already, and if you strip it of more stuff you'll have to replace it with something else, or I'm only ever building 1 in my empire.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
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  17. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    Isn't this pure feature creep and yield inflation? It doesn't address the alleged problem at all.

    If "I will only build one customs house" in my empire is a problem, how does this solution address it? I can have all internal trade routes start in the same city, I still only need one. How many of your cities were working two merchants at once in medieval? Probably at most one, so you only needed to build one before. Sometimes I build customs houses, sometimes I don't. Not every building needs to be amazing and worth rushing in every city.

    Why would markets buff internal trade routes? Early game trade routes favor internal. ITR were never awful and they got way overbuffed recently. If they struggle to compete later in the game, what does adding yields to a market do? I always saw the changing balance between trade routes as a feature, not a balance problem, there are common exceptions, and there are religious beliefs and social policies available if you want to focus on internal routes. If they are still bad, I think the better answer would be removing culture from external trade routes, this feature was added to catch cultural runaways, but I don't see how the entire world sending their trade routes to the guy who is already winning helps change the situation.
     
  18. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    +2 culture, gives trade routes bonuses, and a -1 poverty (which is damn rare at that point in the game). What's not to like? Honestly I think the merchant slot is the least appealing thing about it.
     
  19. Legen

    Legen Chieftain

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    My opinion of markets and custom houses is that they should buff international TRs, not internal. They are common buildings when playing merchant civs like Carthage and Morocco, who love international trade, and I think these buildings should maintain that focus. The custom house is expensive for what it does, it's only really appealing when buffed by a bank; this building could see a buff.

    I don't think internal TRs are weak now, and they are quite strong with Mendicancy due to the era scaling.

    About food, I think it is more interesting to convert proc-based sources of food into per turn, if just to better handle distress and the occasional famine when using the "Stop Growth" option.
     
  20. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Chieftain

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    Overall base happiness could be increased by 1, tradition opener down to 1 extra happiness.
    For fealty, I would shift the yields a bit around. Monasteries and Castles lose their food bonus, but get culture and gold respectively. The scaler of fealty is changed to +2 :c5food:/:c5strength: per city instead of +1:c5food:+3:c5strength:.
    Artistry nerf down to 1 free specialist is good, but I think it's still not enough.

    Internal Trade Routes are OK in ancient to medieval era, but starting from renaissance really falls off. Even with mendicancy or fealties 50% bonus, they are only mediocre. You really have to focus on ITR to use them efficient and a mechanic that is only worth the effort after sacrificing other options like beliefs or policies is fairly balanced. But I agree, the ITR were over buffed by those instant buildings, sometimes I got double the amount of yields by instant buildings than by the trade route itself.
    I think the instant yields by buildings arnt necessary, we are able to balance ITR simply by buffing some numbers, especially the era scaler for it. Or cut down the instant yields but increase the base value and meat somewhere in the middle.

    I disagree about the removal of specialist slots. Only having the option to work a specialist hurts nobody. And you need those numbers of specialist in one city to get later on the GP, cutting down from 4 to 3 means you need 33% longer to get a GP in one city.
     

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