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Policies

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Thalassicus, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Drat, I just accidentally closed the window of a reply I was writing! :lol: Well, I think I remember most of what I said...

    Thanks for pointing out the Cultural Diplomacy typo. The main draw of the Guilds policy is the free great merchant. I've seen feedback people invest in Commerce specifically for the GM, so I don't think it needs a buff.

    Cross-posting something I wrote elsewhere: One primary goal with policies is for every tree to be somewhat useful for most strategies, and most useful for some strategies. Policy changes in the past few months generally work towards this goal. For example, early Piety policies are somewhat useful for most strategies (+3:c5happy: and +1:c5happy: per-building), while later Piety policies are most useful for some strategies (specialist, culture, and tall-empire games). Militaristic games will generally get more use out of investing in other trees instead of the left half of Piety.

    I moved the culture-from-wonders policy back to the Piety tree, but on the Theocracy policy now. It fits the theme of % bonuses to yields from various sources.

    Altering the effects of the :c5food::c5angry: specialist policies requires the game core only Firaxis has access to. The old Freedom finisher of +2 yield to Great Improvements was split up to the various specialist-improving policies. Militarism is weak but leads to the two most desirable policies in the Autocracy tree (happiness and healing bonuses). This is why I set up Militarism as a prerequisite to those two. I reduced Communism from 2 to 1 per village because it's more accessible now.

    I decided to make the Engineer policy last of the 4 specialist base-yield bonuses because it's arguably the most powerful and trickiest to balance. The decision was also influenced by realism. It makes sense for the productivity of Engineers to increase at the start of the Industrial era, particularly for an Order/Communist society. Since the policy is early in Order it's easily accessible to any playstyle once we reach that era.
     
  2. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Based on feedback I've updated the policy trees for v117.2. There's no changes to Autocracy since v117.1, I just clarified the diagram a bit.




     

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  3. Torvald

    Torvald Chieftain

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    Thal,

    I like the recent changes you've made to the other policy trees, but am concerned that the Honor tree is still too weak.

    Have you given any thought to modifying VEM such that a warrior is generated when the Honor policy tree is activated?

    This would make pursuing the Honor tree much more valuable, especially early in the game.
     
  4. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    The culture from the opening policy was doubled a few versions ago. I also increased the respawn rate of barbarian camps recently. I'd highly recommend trying it with 1 warrior + 2 scouts to clear camps. The rapid culture gain will quickly boost you through to Professional Army, give you lots of gold, and when you're ready to conquer your first citystate your units will already have 60:c5war: XP. :goodjob:

    A free warrior with the opener would make it a little too easy to perform early rushes on citystates. The barbarian-focused bonuses avoid that problem.
     
  5. Txurce

    Txurce Warlord

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    If anything, I would want the Honor tree weaker. The complete package makes warring pretty comfortable - especially financially.
     
  6. Txurce

    Txurce Warlord

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    I have yet to start a game with 117.1, but can say that Freedom no longer seems like an automatic, which is a good thing, because neither are Patronage, Commerce and Rationalism. I am fine with this basic approach, leaving Piety for Cultural and Autocracy for Conquest. (I've only dipped a toe in Order as some games ended.)

    On a side note, when I said that an OP tree could not be nerfed to UP status overnight by Thal, I am saying the obvious: he knows what he's doing, in broad strokes at the very least. This doesn't mean the tree may not need adjusting.
     
  7. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Chieftain

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    I think Freedom looks better like that, but I still think the CS production one is odd to place in Freedom. Though you have now clarified that the Production is overall like the other CS bonuses (and spread out through your empire, making Tall better for this) it still doesn't feel like something that belongs in Freedom. On the other hand, it is only a prerequisite for the finisher, which seems fine to me, as if anybody wants that finisher they can think of it as paying for the finisher and getting the Production from CS as a bonus :lol:

    I think having the bonus yields from specialists being in their appropriate trees is a good idea. If you want to have specialists for more yields, then you take the tree for the appropriate yield. If you want specialists for GP, then you go Freedom.

    The opener still sucks in my opinion. Do garrisons get multiplied too? Does city strength work on attacks?

    And I still think we should go back to 5 trees for a Cultural VC. Like I said in the Specialists thread (which should've been here, my bad), there are 3 reasons to complete a tree:
    1.) Cultural VC
    2.) I wanted the whole tree anyway
    3.) The finisher is worth the waste of picking policies I wouldn't have normally

    I don't think entering trees just to snipe the useful policies is a terrible thing, I actually think that is great! I shouldnt always have to go 3 deep to get a useful policy. Make different trees different, so that if I just want happiness, I have to look at which tree is best to cherry pick happiness. If all of the happiness policies are the same distance into the tree, for example, then it is a no-brainer which tree I should invest in (whichever one gives the most happiness). Instead, if Piety for example has an easy to reach happiness policy, and Commerce has a hard one, I have to take into consideration which one has more useful policies on the way, and how soon I need the happiness, as well as which policy will give me more happiness (due to its synergy with my situation/playstyle).

    Sniping policies is fine. If its a no-brainer, then its too valuable or too easy. Having to choose between investing slightly into several trees or investing heavily in one is a choice every non-culture empire should have to make. Right now there is so much culture floating around that non-culture civs don't have to worry about each pick (evidence: there is enough culture floating around that cultural VC requires 6 trees and can still finish really quickly, see the GoTM). Furthermore, as I have said before, picking 6 trees is remarkably similar every game.

    Pick 6 of 10. Piety and Rationalism conflict, and you better pick Piety.
    Pick 5 of 8. Autocracy and Freedom conflict, and you better not pick Autocracy. I still think you have to pick Freedom, but perhaps not. Let's pretend not.
    Pick 5 of 7. You have to pick one of Tradition, Liberty, or Honor. Probably not Honor.
    Pick 5 of 6. Tradition OR Liberty (maybe both...ugh), Patronage, Commerce, Freedom. And you have to pick one of Tradition or Liberty. So really...
    Pick 4 of 5. (Whichever you didn't pick of) Tradition/Liberty, Patronage, Commerce, Freedom, Order.

    And Order is very not synergistic with Tradition and Freedom. So yeah. Ugh. :cry:
    And Honor doesn't synergize with any of these.
    And Patronage locks you into a CS game. Which, when combined with Commerce, why aren't you just going for a Diplomatic victory? Don't have the tech?
    If you don't have the tech, you won't even be able to unlock Order!
     
  8. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    10% city defense is still pathetically weak for a policy. Worst policy in the game.
    All my complaints about free trade still apply; it has poor flavor here and fits badly with the specialist theme of the tree.
    Libertarianism has never had any significant impact on history, so I would really oppose putting that on a name. For great people, how about Liberalism, or Free Speech.
    Longer golden ages is also weird here. It has very weak strategic synergy.
    Really, what do city defenses, golden ages and city states have to do with each other or with specialists?

    Basically, I think that the Freedom tree here is much worse than it was before you started tinkering with it. I think you should have just gone with straight changes to the policies that weakened them (switch specialist bonuses so they only affected a particular specialist type, reduce the size of the bonus food and happiness) rather than diluting the whole purpose of the tree.

    I don't think Honor is too weak at all.

    Honestly, I don't see any evidence of that. We had a tree that was too strong but *worked* well thematically and strategically, and now it is kindof all over the place.
    I also still don't understand the idea that just because 5-6 changes were made in a single go, that the 5-6 changes couldn't possibly be underpowered.
     
  9. Txurce

    Txurce Warlord

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    That's not quite what I said. In my opinion it is extremely unlikely that an experienced modder like Thal would take an OP tree and make it UP overnight. It's too big of a pendulum swing. Again, in theory I could see the need for further adjustments or (as you argue) a more appropriate focus. I'm sure we'll get lots of opinion on the Freedom tree soon enough.
     
  10. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    So, just an appeal to authority, rather than an argument?
    This mod is great in general, but it seems dangerous to me to have the mindset "Thal is great and thus couldn't possibly have made a mistake, and so any changes he made must be balanced".
    The changes made were huge. Many policies had their value halved, or more.

    I would have liked to see a smaller pendulum swing; start with the old tree but nerf the individual policies (reduce the food and happiness bonuses, make the specialist policies specialist-specific) and then see how things go, without the radical reshuffling of the policy effects. I think too much was changed here.
     
  11. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    The opener is +10% city healing, attack, and defense. I wouldn't say this is much less powerful than +3:c5happy: from the Piety opener, even taking into consideration their different unlock eras. This effect used to be on the Constitution policy, and the value did not change, only moved earlier in the tree.

    Which policies are you referring to? These values in the Freedom tree are identical in v117 and v117.2:

    • Specialist :c5food: value (-1)
    • Specialist :c5angry: value (-0.5)
    • Specialist :c5greatperson: value (+50% and +1 free)
    • City defense value (10%)
    • Specialist building/wonder construction bonus. (20%)
    These received sidegrades:
    • Exchanged +2 yield per great improvement with +50% :c5goldenage: golden age duration.
    • In a typical tall empire of 6 cities with 5 specialists per city and 10 citystate allies, the production bonus per city is unchanged at 5:c5production:.
    The only two changes to values are replacements with effects of approximately equal usefulness for different purposes. If you're asking if rearranging policies reduced the power of the tree, then yes, that was the goal. Early policies in trees are generally weaker than deeper policies. If you are not referring to the Freedom tree, which policies are you talking about?

    Altering the :c5food::c5angry: specialist effects is not possible without the game core only Firaxis has access to.
     
  12. Txurce

    Txurce Warlord

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    Be careful with lead-ins that are both presumptive and derogatory. They make it difficult for the reader to focus on any legitimate points that you may be making.

    You also have a chronic habit of misstating what others have written. I didn't say Thal was great, that he couldn't possibly make a mistake, or that any changes he made must be balanced. I said that as an experienced modder, he is extremely unlikely to turn an OP tree into a UP one overnight. There is a major qualitative difference here; if you can't see it, I'll be happy to explain it further (provided you ask contritely).

    "Huge" and "many" are awfully vague modifiers for someone wanting more specifics in an argument.

    Maybe it was, and this is the third time I say that these changes (like all changes) should be adjusted after testing, if needed. That is, rather than immediately after you decide what is wrong with the entire tree and how to fix it, despite not having played it once.
     
  13. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Chieftain

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    An appeal to authority is bad for a flawless proof, but that isn't necessarily what Txurce is going for by saying Thal knows what he's doing. Stating upfront that you think his debate skills are subpar is, as Txurce said, a bad way to start an argument as well, because it makes people less likely to accept or even listen to your point of view, as you have now made them dislike you. Please try and keep this civil (though there was no direct name-calling or anything like that, so one could argue that this was a sophisticated insult)

    Another thing to note is that we do not need concrete arguments to convince people of our points. This is a game, not rocket science, and how people feel about it can be just as important as the number-crunching. Just as Ahriman said he feels that many things were nerfed heavily, Txurce can say that these numbers just feel right, or that we should playtest before number-crunching.

    On the other hand, I agree with Ahriman when he says that it is certainly possible for Thal to make the tree underpowered overnight with so many changes that are not just based off of numbers.

    I think the opener may not be underpowered if healing is also increased. As for the CS production one, I still think it is out of place for this branch. I also think it is unreasonable to expect a civ to have 10 CS allies in Freedom. Maybe 6? Or how about 8? Yeah, I think 8 is better. Diplo CS games would want to cherry pick it, (or any CS game) and if you want the Freedom finisher then you are paying for the finisher instead of this policy, and getting this as a minor bonus (making this one of the worst finishers, but the rest of the tree is strong so whatever)
     
  14. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Let's stay objective, please. :)

    I moved the policy from Order to Freedom for these reasons:
    • Freedom players are more likely to ally with citystates than Order players, since Freedom directly opposes Autocracy, and Autocracy/Order have synergy.
    • Freedom enhances self-creation of Great People, while Patronage gives us the capability to do so through alternative sources. I enjoy tension such as this between divergent policy paths. It means there's no "best" choice to always go for. This improves our strategic options.
    I have not seen a convincing reason to revert this back to Order.

    In a normal sized map of 8 players there are 16 citystates. Assuming a third of those are unavailable for some reason, most tall-empire games have 10 citystate allies in the Renaissance era. This has been the case in each of my tall empire games. The only alternatives are conquest or ignoring. Conquering citystates in a non-conquest game would upset trading partners... does anyone do this? Income from alliances outweighs the expenditures, so ignoring is illogical in tall-empire late games. I've also seen feedback some people have too much gold, so these players have allied with all available citystates, like myself.
     
  15. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Chieftain

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    First, telling us to speak objectively is talking about how to converse :p But anyway

    In a normal sized map of 8 players, there are 16 CS. 2 per player. Roughly 6 of those will probably get conquered, leaving 10 CS. How are you supposed to ally with all of them? Shouldn't the AI be competing for them?!

    If there is too much gold, then there is too much gold. That is not a reason to expect people to ally 10 CS.
     
  16. Gamewizard

    Gamewizard Chieftain

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    I'm playing an Emperor game as Japan right now with 117. Going Liberty, Honor and then Autocracy I am finding it easy to roll over a neighboring Arabia 20 techs ahead of me. He had built some useful units (Camel Archers, poorly used however...) and walls but was just no match for upgraded Samurai -> Riflemen. Honor really speeds up conquest with the massive amount of gold from Spoils and happiness from colosseums and walls. I think removing the wall happiness at the end is a wise move and will really force to grow cities slower that shouldn't be growing. I like the colosseum boost at the end for flavor reasons (dominate military would certainly make better gladiators).

    As for Autocracy, I tapped into the right side of the tree, planning on going for the courthouse booster. The unit maintenance reduction gave me +50 gold a turn, timed perfectly when the Riflemen were available. Making Autocracy available in the Rennaisance is a good idea IMO.
     
  17. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I included Libertarianism because it's one of the fundamental political categories, even if it hasn't overshadowed the other political philosophies at a specific place or time in history.

     
  18. Gamewizard

    Gamewizard Chieftain

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    The city-state bonus in Freedom indirectly boosts the merchant specialist as well, which I think everyone would agree is a good thing.
     
  19. Txurce

    Txurce Warlord

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    I'm already on record as preferring five trees over six. But you make some good points about sniping. In theory there should be some games where you don't fill out a single tree. Is that likely now?

    I'll use a tall effort at a Science win as an example. I could see myself choosing the opener and the Settler in Liberty; the opener in Honor; as many as possible in Tradition until Commerce opens up; the opener and the GM policy in Commerce; up to the science bonus in Patronage; and at least the left-hand side of Rationalism before switching to Freedom. (Realistically, I would finish Rationalism to win the game, and would close out Tradition if the eras fell into place.)

    Warmongering, I would snipe all but Honor.

    This makes me wonder whether there's a problem here (given that I agree with you in theory).
     
  20. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    There's not really any good solution to the cultural victory problem. I think the root problem is they dropped the Civ 4 style culture victory requirement... 3 cities need X culture apiece, instead of the empire as a whole needing Y culture. Changing this is not technically feasible with our modding tools however.

    A straightforward way to increase options for culture games is to remove the Piety-Rationalism exclusion. I find it reasonable for a society which focused on one set of beliefs in the classical or medieval eras could change focus in the renaissance. After all, that's how history actually progressed! The Freedom-Autocracy exclusion makes more sense, as those trees are very close to one another in time.

    I think renaming the tree is justified. It's not entirely realistic for Rationalism to be a science-focused tree, since rationalism favors reason over the five senses. A more accurate term would have been Empiricism, which favors empirical, measurable data. For our purposes a better alternative is "Enlightenment," which was partially influenced by Protestant reaction to the counter-reformation, so it's reasonable in a society that previously focused on Piety. The Enlightenment was the precursor to both rationalism and empiricism, and closer to the Renaissance.
     

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