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RA: The biggest Bug never fixed!!!

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Bug Reports' started by idontknow2011, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. turingmachine

    turingmachine Chieftain

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    Tech trading in Civ IV was not without it's abuses but a lot of those abuses were solved by selecting the no tech brokering option and the Civ IV system had an upper limit of the highest tech currently researched, you could never get ahead in tech and then stay abusing it when you were the tech lead.
     
  2. headcase

    headcase Limit 1 Facepalm Per Turn

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    Bring tech trading back, but make it so it only gives the first 25% or so of the beakers for a tech, a tiny bit more with the PT. That way you can't learn anything your friends haven't learned and it doesn't have as strong an effect as Civ4. High-tech civs can trade their techs to get much needed gold from lower-tech civs and keep their science running (maybe with higher maintenance on science buildings). Plus it makes sense because you can tell someone the idea of a tech but it requires intuition and experience to use properly.
     
  3. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Chieftain

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    I'm going to try it on Deity. Just a couple of questions:

    1. What if you're unable to build PT? Do you still need to do all RAs you can?

    2. Aren't AI like to declare war on you during RA? What map type do you play? I think it would be much easier on Archipelago, since civs on other continents rarely backstab?

    3. What's the number of opponents you have? Is it standard map? The less opponents you have, the less RA are available.

    The problem with tech trading is not direct exploit. As a part of tech race system, it had a lot of problems with balance between difficulty levels, extreme differences in MP and SP games, etc.

    As I wrote before, tech trading was a part of different design, where gaining tech first was a main source of bonuses. It doesn't fit Civ 5 approach.
     
  4. ArcaneSeraph

    ArcaneSeraph Chieftain

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    It takes a bit of time to figure out this way of playing. Basically you should be aiming at all times to try to increase your gold output and your GS generation.

    1. If you are unable to build the PT, RAs are still good but the plan is generally to get the PT at all costs. It can usually be done by the liberty finisher GE.

    2. I usually play continents or one of the pangaea variants. Yes the AIs sometimes backstab you but not because of the RAs. If in doubt, sign RAs with the most distant civs you can first.

    3. Personally I tend to play large maps and don't alter the number of opponents. That's just cause I like them though. There are players around here that use it on most map settings. Most of the HoF games for example, tend to use a form of this concept. For testing you are welcome to try an archipelago or something... but keep in mind that you won't get RAs as quickly as you won't meet as many until astronomy then. It's good for testing but delays RA onset.
     
  5. Becephalus

    Becephalus Chieftain

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    Frankly tech trading was horrible too. They are just crutches for weak players and departures from the core decision making in the game.

    Civ5 already has ways to convert production to beakers (building sci buildings). Gold to beakers (building maintenance and purchasing) and culture to beakers (rationalism).

    If you want to a way to convert good relations to beakers then you should simply have a MOO-like RA where say each side has research boosted X amount/turn. No cost, but you can only do it if you have good relations. Maybe something like +1 in ancient 2 in classical 4 in medi, 8 in ren, 16 in industrial 32 in modern and 64 in future.
     
  6. idontknow2011

    idontknow2011 Chieftain

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    Peace have rewards! Excellent idea!

    Why there are so many good ideas and developers can't take one? :mad:
     
  7. headcase

    headcase Limit 1 Facepalm Per Turn

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    And if that's too peace-loving, you can also get more hammers when making units depending on how many civs you are at war at (or just have hostile relations with) and how big they are.

    Another thread was talking about gold for foreign trade routes... that gold could then be spent on science buildings\maintenance or... well... RAs or whatever they come up with.
     
  8. pazmacats

    pazmacats Chieftain

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    Becasue the game is done by marketing not by game design.
     
  9. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    OP, at this point RAs are clearly a "feature" rather than a "bug". Please get your definitions straight.

    Sarcasm aside, the real problem is that the escalation in late game tech costs favors RAs and Great Scientists at the expense of producing raw :c5science:. The result is that small, vertical civs tend to most efficiently set up the conditions that permit the player to use a series of RAs to reach a win condition and end the game.

    Which more or less explains why the golden era of PC gaming is long dead. Producing short-run profit maximizing games that enable current executives to hit this quarter's targets, get promoted and get hired away to better jobs is usually inimicable to producing games of the highest quality.
     
  10. ArcaneSeraph

    ArcaneSeraph Chieftain

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    The problems with lowering all the late game tech costs would be massive. Considering RAs become more efficient than research already by early-mid renaissance, you are talking about cutting down a significant portion of the game.

    Further, doing so would not improve the value of mid to late game buildings nor really weaken RAs or GSes. You'd just use them in combo with hard research rather than have it replace it, as it does now. So instead of finishing the game at turn 250 of 550, one would finish it at like 180 or so.

    On the other hand, weakening RAs would greatly enhance loads of features they presently completely obliterate. Having more options in a strategic game is always the goal. Thus even if you call RAs a feature, they are a feature many of us don't enjoy.
     
  11. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Chieftain

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    RA in their current form are good. Probably overpowered, but much better than tech trading (for Civ 5) and solutions granting beakers per turn (it's more valuable to keep it). So I'd suggest some cosmetic measures only:

    1. Decrease PT and Rationalism bonus to 25%, so RA will be not so central in strategy.

    2. Change Liberty completion bonus, so it will not be no-brain choice. Probably grant Great Artist instead of GP of choice. The GA allows compensation for wide empire problem with culture.

    3. Increase RA cost and, probably, make some Commerce policy to decrease it. So player will need the civilization to be developed in economical side as well.

    4. Make AI sign RA slightly more often.


    Although I still not sure how many techs you could gain through RA on standard-sized map. Maybe GS focus and/or Rationalism SP bring much bigger advantage.

    EDIT: I have another idea. The RA effect is very dependent on number of opponents. So probably the RA should have progressive costs - increasing with each signed RA, not with eras. This way RA will not totally dominate research even on biggest maps.
     
  12. idontknow2011

    idontknow2011 Chieftain

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    1. Decrease PT and Rationalism bonus to 25%, so RA will be not so central in strategy.
    Re: Even 50% RA is too powerful.
    2. Change Liberty completion bonus, so it will not be no-brain choice. Probably grant Great Artist instead of GP of choice. The GA allows compensation for wide empire problem with culture.
    Re: Without GE, getting PT is still easy
    3. Increase RA cost and, probably, make some Commerce policy to decrease it. So player will need the civilization to be developed in economical side as well.
    Re: Good idea!
    4. Make AI sign RA slightly more often.
    Re: That won't help. AI is too aggressive to keep their own RAs alive.
     
  13. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Chieftain

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    What about the last one - "The RA effect is very dependent on number of opponents. So probably the RA should have progressive costs - increasing with each signed RA, not with eras. This way RA will not totally dominate research even on biggest maps." ?
     
  14. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

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    I like the concept, but I would change it slightly. Rather than your partner's median value, it should be your combined median value. That way, your beaker advantage would help, but a less advanced Civ would still slow you down (while you would boost them up). Keep in mind increased tech costs. The weaker Civ gains more per Research Agreement because they can invest those beakers in more than one tech. You, on the other hand, might not even get a full tech out of it because each tech requires more overall beakers.

    For the overall issue, I think RAs are better than tech trading. I think it's far more fun this way than cycling through all AIs when I get a tech to trade it away with every other AI for maximum value (and then cycle through with all newly acquired techs to do the same and to deprive the AI of the same ability). It's at least capped to one each for 30 turns. It's removed instant gratification. To me, it's one of many research options, while, on higher difficulties, storing gold to buy a tech (while researching a tech nobody else goes for) was a main strategy.

    I agree with progressive costs of RAs when you have more than one in effect. Although, if they weaken the bonus depending on who you sign with, that might go a long way.
     
  15. ArcaneSeraph

    ArcaneSeraph Chieftain

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    That's not a bad idea. Another option that's similar in principal I think would be to limit the number RAs an empire can support at a time. So for example say every empire could support 2 active at a time (the AIs could be allowed more at higher difficulties).

    There's actually kind of a problem with doing it this way. The civ that's behind will get a way more than one tech. In fact the civ will likely get 3 or 4 for each RA this way. Because the research costs are growing by large factors through the eras, the combined median of a renaissance tech and say a medival is more than 1 medieval tech.

    So as an example, lets say I'm playing as Hiawatha on deity and took out a civ with my mohawks. I never really bothered to focus on science. Now because I was dawdling early on with a war, the AIs are in the late renaissance / early Industrial era and I'm sitting in early renaissance. Thus the AIs medians are about 4000 whereas mine are about 600. So I sign 4 RAs and when they land I'll get (4000 + 600) / 2 = 2300 per RA or about 10000 for all 4. That's pretty much enough right there to finish the entire reniassance and completely catch up to the AIs.

    TLDR - It's a good idea but it overpowers catchup schemes.
     
  16. wobuffet

    wobuffet Barbarian

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    I'm reluctant to say how things would work without seeing how it works in practice, but I think it could be fine-tuned to be something in between somehow. I'm thinking something like
    boostAmount = 0.85*lowerMedian + 0.15*higherMedian,
    so that the tech progress of the more advanced Civ still matters somewhat (just much less than the less advanced Civ's).

    One additional side benefit of a mechanism like this would be allowing Civs that were conquered but get liberated after a while to catch up in a reasonable period of time.
     
  17. ArcaneSeraph

    ArcaneSeraph Chieftain

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    Yeah that might work. To extend it further, the multiplying factors could be based on eras. If you are in the same era, it's a 50/50 weighting. However if you are in different eras, either the weighting would be adjusted as you suggested.
     
  18. chazzycat

    chazzycat Chieftain

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    I'm surprised no one else has touched on this important point. Simply reducing the late tech cost escalation a bit could have the desired effect.

    Personally I like having a mechanism that allows for a small empire to keep pace techwise. But it does seem a bit OP at the moment.
     
  19. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

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    Fair point, but that'll still help the leader too. If anything, I'd prefer helping people catch up than helping the one in front. My fear is it encourages the best to work with each other, leaving the backwards civs behind (and they're probably already behind because they don't have any gold half the time).
     
  20. ArcaneSeraph

    ArcaneSeraph Chieftain

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    You are right. It's a fair suggestion. We don't want civs to be able to snowball ahead too much via RAs but at the same time we don't want backward civs to be left out of RAs completely.

    Others have suggested a diplomacy modifier, which isn't a bad idea and would help encourage civs to form RAs. Also I think a modified version of your suggestion without the full 50/50 weighting could be worked out. Alternately you could impose some cap to the amount the backward civ got... say at most 2x their median, that might help too.

    The real question is: Are the devs actually interested in making any of these kinds of changes or are we just having a discussion for the sake of it?
     

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