Proposal: Beef up Barbarians in Game

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youngsteve

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One of the things I have noticed about barbarian in Vox Populi over the years, is how weak they have gotten & less of a threat they have become. Originally even playing on standard they were quite challenging, but either I got better with dealing with them or they declined in strengh, for a long time I have alway used raging barbarians. Unfortunately, even these have become very ineffectual after a time, & are normally gone by AD.In a way I blame Recursive & team for this (only joking) as they have done wonders to the AI, making them very effective in dealing with Barbarians & camps. Now hunting them down as units. This is all nice, but has really weakened barbs as a threat. I do normally play on Prince level by the way.

I find one of the consequences of this is I very rarely take Authority now, as the bonuses aren't really needed anymore, & you can easily deal with them whatever you take. This is without extra bonuses from Authority or a Civs own abilities. In my games usually only one or two civs in a standard game take Authority, but the barbarians are still dealt with in a fast efficient manner. I feel for the Aztecs. Also, I have noticed in my games, that civs taking Authority start of fairly well, warring, but are soon taken down or vassalised. So their weakness from my observations makes taking Authority alot weaker than it used to be.

I note players & AI (not sure how much) get bonuses against barbarians, particulalrly the lower levels, but propose removing all these from human player & AI for more of a threat. Obviously, playing standard level barbs should mean they are more harder to defeat but there would be less of them, whilst raging barbs should be a real challenge again. You can also turn them off. I believe human players have no bonuses against barbs, so I am suggesting as well as getting rid of these bonuses, barbs should be beefed up the higher skill level you play at. Perhaps King & upwards should have strength added to barbarians just like AI military units have.

Remember tribes of barbarians such Huns & Goths etc caused mayhem in Europe throughout the Dark Ages, As for the Mongols, no idea what would have happened if Genghis hadn't died when he did.

I may well be alone on these opinions, as do not read much about the lack of barbarians strength, but I do feel the barbarians are weak on all levels, taking into account the hardness of what level llevel you are playing at, & certainly need beefing somehow.
 

Zanteogo

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I don't know, if I play with ranging barbarians on they are a serious pain as it is. (as it should be)

Now that the AI cheats less with happiness they are actually getting rebels / barbs spawning in their empires. Right now it's a pretty big hindrance when it happens because chances are they will be pillaging the crap out of your core.
 

Stalker0

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I don't think barbs need a buff, I do think that the slinger needs a nerf (which we are looking at in another proposal) as they clear barb camps too easily.

If you want to enjoy barbs more, try a "old world" type start, where everyone starts on one side of the world. When you go to explore into the new world, you get tons of barbs to deal with.
 

Delvemor

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I find the barbarians to a be a minor nuisance if not raging, and a reasonable threat if raging. In both cases they are still able to catch AI workers on Immortal. I would suggest buffing them only with Raging Barbarians on though, so people can still play with them as a lesser threat if they want to.
 

nekokon

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The thing with barb is that you don't really get anything from fighting them (not counting UA or taking Authority), thus they're only meant to be a nuisance.
If they're threatening and you have no other way to deal with them rather than just brute force the game would become very unfun (like having an aggressive neighbor who throw endless hordes at you for fun, and you can't do anything to stop that like diplomacy or gruella warfare or bribing etc...)
 

Rekk

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The thing with barb is that you don't really get anything from fighting them (not counting UA or taking Authority), thus they're only meant to be a nuisance.
If they're threatening and you have no other way to deal with them rather than just brute force the game would become very unfun (like having an aggressive neighbor who throw endless hordes at you for fun, and you can't do anything to stop that like diplomacy or gruella warfare or bribing etc...)
The entire point of them is to force you to spend hammers on military instead of buildings; to either kill them or to keep enough land visible so camps can't spawn.
 

BornDownUnder

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I am all for increasing the barbarian threat.

Historically they did pose a serious problem for many major hubs, not just large-scale groups such as the huns causing the problems. Attacks were frequent for a long time as military efforts were too costly and logistics were time consuming to deal with encampments. Germanic barbarian groups pillaged and razed townships and even took on fortifications along the Eastern Roman Empire well before 5th century C.E.

Currently part of the reason for barbarian encampments being easily dealt with from what I have seen is a barbarian unit will step out of the encampment to attack a damaged unit, will stay out of the encampment until that unit is killed and have seen sometimes will then fortify on the spot to heal before going after another unit.

Perhaps for Raging Barbarian setting, an increase in healing rate (Perhaps +10 hpt as a warrior with flank I promotion and a second unit, scout or archer, they are easily dispatched) when fortified in encampments, as well as an increase in spawn rate of units from ancient, up to and inclusive of industrial era, I think would help alot.
 

nekokon

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The entire point of them is to force you to spend hammers on military instead of buildings; to either kill them or to keep enough land visible so camps can't spawn.
That's exactly what being a nuisance mean though. If barb got strong enough to tight up more than half of your maximum military power then it becomes a bad game design that someone would randomly get pinned by barb for dozens of turns (because they're not strong enough to take care of the camp, which spawn more barb and wreck their lands so they can't push through and the cycle repeats).

Barb does not have any mechanic to counter aside from just brute force, thus there is a need to limit their strength in order to not force non-militaristic civ into the negative feedback loops above. Being able to randomly spawn and attack your back at an unexpected timing is already enough as a nuisance. This is a case where it's better to uphold gameplay element than realism, unless you want to play a game with double/triple classical/medieval time because that's what happened irl.
 

Recursive

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@youngsteve You have a specific proposal to remove difficulty bonuses VS Barbarians, but this:
barbs should be beefed up the higher skill level you play at. Perhaps King & upwards should have strength added to barbarians just like AI military units have.
fails the "specific" requirement because it does not explain the exact changes you're proposing. This is more fit for a discussion thread than a proposal.

Please amend your proposal or it will be vetoed.
 

azum4roll

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Barbarians serve to be a hindrance to civs to force them to train military units to protect civilians and cities. By design barbarian camps appear more in rough terrain since they obstruct vision. If you play one of the tree civs (minus Iroquois which zips around just fast enough to deal with them) you should have more trouble dealing with them.
 

Zuizgond

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I think barbarian difficulty is very different whether you play on big landmass maps (pangea/oval) or island maps for instance.

In pangea maps you usually have 5-6 camps around your first city sending land units that can capture your workers and pillage your land tiles, whereas on island maps there are far less land units and more naval units which are usually easier to deal with (no risk of worker capture, don't deal a lot of damage and can only pillage your fishing boats if you have any).

I don't think we need to beef up barbarians in the first case.
 

youngsteve

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@youngsteve You have a specific proposal to remove difficulty bonuses VS Barbarians, but this:

fails the "specific" requirement because it does not explain the exact changes you're proposing. This is more fit for a discussion thread than a proposal.

Please amend your proposal or it will be vetoed.

Sorry, not being clear, but I am not totally certain what advantages player has against oridinary AI when fighting it.
What I proposed was removing all the bonuses the player has when fighting barbarians, & also remove the bonuses other civs have fighting barbarians. I note Diety level doesnt have any fighting bonuses against barbs. What I was trying to say, was all levels should give the barbarians the same bonsues the other civs have when fighting human player, so obviously the higher the level, the more bonsuse barbs would have against the player. The AI would be equal strength against the barbs.

One thing I never see is barbs taking over CS or cities, unless they rebel or assisted by AI or human. It would be nice to see barbs take over CS early on & civs/players trying to free the cities. Hopefully, it might also make Authority more viable choice as it is now, as a big part of taking it is dealing with barbarians. If barbarians are stronger it might make Authority bonsuses far more useful than they are now.

Just my thoughts. Sorry not to be clearer as I have limited knowledge on the structure & workings of the mod.
 

youngsteve

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I think barbarian difficulty is very different whether you play on big landmass maps (pangea/oval) or island maps for instance.

In pangea maps you usually have 5-6 camps around your first city sending land units that can capture your workers and pillage your land tiles, whereas on island maps there are far less land units and more naval units which are usually easier to deal with (no risk of worker capture, don't deal a lot of damage and can only pillage your fishing boats if you have any).

I don't think we need to beef up barbarians in the first case.

I play on pangaea maps most of the time, & you are right initially they are strong, but after awhile you & the AI soon whittle them down to size. I would add I am also playing with lots of hills & forests, which should make them even harder, but doesn't really. Nearly every game the fews civs who take Authority, start some wars, & are usually finished of or vassalised by medieval era, as their bread & butter barbs are usually done away with.
 

Recursive

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Sorry, not being clear, but I am not totally certain what advantages player has against oridinary AI when fighting it.
What I was trying to say, was all levels should give the barbarians the same bonsues the other civs have when fighting human player, so obviously the higher the level, the more bonsuse barbs would have against the player. The AI would be equal strength against the barbs.
The AI doesn't receive direct combat bonuses against humans, and humans don't receive direct combat bonuses against the AI.

The only exception to this is anti-warmonger fervor (humans on Emperor+ difficulty have a higher cap), but this isn't applicable with Barbarians.

However, on higher difficulties AI units start with free XP and gain more XP from combat. Barbarians don't gain XP or promotions.

Humans and AI do get bonuses VS Barbarians.
 

Delvemor

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A first step could be "Proposal : Remove player and AI bonuses against barbarians when playing with the Raging Barbarians option"

This would imply warriors not having the Brute Force promotion, which is 33% bonus combat strength against barbarians, but the bonus from Authority would obviously remains.
 

Recursive

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