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RB3 - Daring Deity with Ottomans

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Succession Games' started by Sullla, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. LKendter

    LKendter Exterminate, exterminate, exterminate!!! Supporter

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    I played from Civ1 to Civ4, and as of right now that is the end of the line.

    Unless that make RADICAL improvements to the game I don't ever see myself playing Civ5.

    When I play again it will be Civ3 for AW, or Civ4.
     
  2. ThERat

    ThERat Deity

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    Whatever happened to the so called 3 layered AI? Which of those actually works? I guess none :crazyeye:
     
  3. Andos

    Andos Chieftain

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    Just a random thought on compromise between 1UPT and stacks-o-doom:
    what about combat penalties for large stacks? i.e. it wouldn't be too hard to imagine that 15 tank divisions all occupying the same space might not be able to fight as well as properly spaced ranks.

    That way you wouldn't need 1UPT and all of the frustrations (unit blockades, tying up roads, bottlenecks, etc) but would still promote more tactical battle conditions and smart use of terrain.
     
  4. SevenSpirits

    SevenSpirits Immortal?

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    Well, there the strategic AI, which is responsible for not building horsemen or upgrading obsolete units. Then there is the operational AI, which coordinates troop movement to critical destinations through flatland next to enemy units. So that all seems fine, maybe the problem is that the tactical AI is broken?
     
  5. Defianc4

    Defianc4 Chieftain

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    Could we expect another Civ4 pitboss game, possibly a FFH pitboss?

    I think the future of the series lies with FFH.
     
  6. Bezhukov

    Bezhukov Deity

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    Excellent analysis from pi-r8, boiling down to the fact that there just aren't enough tiles in the game.

    I remember seeing the first screenshots and thinking (hoping) that the world looked more "to scale" than previous civs - i.e. a lot more room between cities on which battles could be fought. Alas, it was not to be.

    How feasible would it be to increase the number of tiles in the current game 10x (100x?) and require cities to be at least five apart?
     
  7. joyous_gard

    joyous_gard Prince

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    Well I just read the whole thing just now. It took like 4 hours. It was really fun to read. For that reason only I hope you do another.

    Excellent critical analysis as well. Pretty rough criticism but spot on with real gameplay to back it all up.
     
  8. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    There's a lot of balance tweaks that could be done but I'm not sure if any of them would really change the basic economy system of this game. Of course improving the AI would help a lot, but I'm skeptical that they'll ever do this. Game AI programming is such a difficult task, which requires a LOT of time and very skilled programmers to do well. Most games have AIs far less sophisticated than the Civ V AI. And there's very few games where the AI can compete with even a moderately skilled human in a fair match.

    If they nerf gold, that would definitely nerf the ICS approach to the game, since that relies heavily on buying thing with gold to make up for the weak production in most cities. It would hurt the AI even more though- I think deity AIs use gold for making almost all their units and buildings. One time I saw a deity AI produce 3 new units every turn for about 50 turns, which was far more than his total MFG, so he must have been buying them. The human player could adjust buy just buying fewer units, but I thnk the AI would be completely lost.

    Getting rid of the gold for resources trades would slow us down a lot in the early game, but I don't think it would matter at all later, when you have 10+cities working all trading posts, and most of the AIs are at war with you anyway. The balance in the early game seems OK as it is, except for some big randomness issues like ruins and city state quests.

    Making the buildings better- the problem here is, what buildings will you improve? If buildings increase production, then this will increase the unit-spam and map clogging problem. Same problem, indirectly, if you improve the gold buildings or happiness buildings or food buildings- all of those lead to more people, more gold, more units. The only thing you could do is improve the science buildings, so that the game ends faster before you have time to spam units. Already the research buildings are the most powerful (especially libraries and universities, mostly because scientists are so powerful), so I'm not sure they should be improved more, but that's what I would do to improve the unit/map balance. The way things are now, the balance works because players are sort of "tricked" into making buildings which cost a lot but don't do much. As soon as I realized that I could skip 90% of the buildings in this game, that's when I figured out how to make massive gold and armies. The only incentive I have to make a building, is if it has an ROI of giving me more units or better units before the game ends.

    edit- one possible mod idea I'd like to try, would be to nerf early game buildings and strengthen the later ones, while also starting the game with a capital of about size 10. That would effectively nerf the small city spam strategy, without making the early game excrucatingly slow. I also think we could nerf great scientists, but also cut out a lof things from the tech tree, which seem like filler techs just to make the game last longer.
     
  9. Corbeau

    Corbeau Jack of All Trades

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    Keep a reasonable ratio of modern unit costs to modern production with modern production buildings, but make them both huge relative to base production. This obviously doesn't work if you can just spam gold purchases, but there is no reason why one can't prevent tiny cities from cranking out massive armies without obscene prior industrial investments. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, even if the latter has to go through toxic waste disposal. :D

    Basically, both units and buildings should grow sharply in cost as the tech tree progresses - but they should also become more efficient, rather than less efficient like they are now. The fact that later buildings are both more costly and less efficient is nonsensical and obviously foundational for ICS strength.
     
  10. SevenSpirits

    SevenSpirits Immortal?

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    The AI can definitely be improved. The main problem with it right now is they went for a fairly elaborate system that is now tripping over itself because they released the game before it was anywhere near finished. The clearest example of this is when the AI will move a unit (e.g. an archer), on flatland, past your own units (e.g. horsemen). That is not hard to fix - just make units that are already at the front either attack, or move to rough terrain.

    I agree the AI will not reach human levels of intelligence (especially if you don't want its turns to take forever). But right now it's dumbfoundingly and unnecessarily bad.

    If you're arguing that nerfing gold wouldn't work, because it would disadvantage the AI... well, that's kind of easy to fix.

    If you're just pointing out that the necessary changes are quite extensive, I agree.

    If you mean "the balance in the early game at Civ V deity seems comparable to emperor in Civ IV" I agree. And actually I'm OK with that. I prefer for the AI bonuses to be spread evenly across the game, rather than concentratred at the beginning like in Civ IV.

    But I still consider it stupid that the way to do OK is to sell all your stuff to the AI. And again, single player game balance vs AI is not a real argument! First balance the game so it's reasonable; then balance the AI bonuses so it's appropriately challenging. It's silly to base the game mechanics off of the arbitrary numbers that were chosen for AI handicaps.

    Think of the build options abstractly, as investments. Investments A, B, and C get a 20% annual return. Investments D, E, F... get a 5% annual return.

    Well duh, you buy A/B/C.

    If the returns of D, E, F... were increased to also be 20% (or even just 19%, say) your overall rate of return doesn't change significantly! You just have more options available to you, in order to get that same return. This is true even if the exact returns of those investments is dependent on some varying external circumstances. (Like, maybe D is 2% better if you have lots of grassland.) Yes, that variation will result in a slight efficiency increase, because in some of the situations, your return will go from 20% to 22% or something like that. But it's not a big deal. (And if you want, all returns could be reduced 1-2% across the board. Then it's the same average return as before, just with more variety.)

    In this analogy, A/B/C represent Settlers/Colosseums/Horsemen, or something like that. And to be honest, some things you can build don't even have a positive return at all! There are many build options that could be strengthened without significantly changing the speed at which you progress through the game. (Most such changes would result in you building more buildings but less settlers, and getting approximately the same outputs.)

    And of course in Civ V, the returns you can get on the best builds (settlers...) are probably too high, which means all returns would need to be lowered.
     
  11. Gaspar~

    Gaspar~ Warlord

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    I think the issues have been well explained in this thread, but my two cents is this: Civ has always been a more interesting empire building game than a war game. In Civ5, over and over decisions have been made to make the empire building aspect less interesting to try and make the war game more interesting. Its almost as if the designers looked at Civ4 and decided "Hmm, they did a pretty good job of everything but war, so if we want to improve the game we have to improve war," and then proceeded to throw away everything that makes Civ interesting in the name of improving tactical war.

    That's the issue though - war requires a better AI than they can realistically afford to build. So if the game is going to be all about war, and the human will always be drastically superior to the AI at war, then... people smash Deity a week after release and all the hardcore, experienced players go play something else. The mediocre players (of which I am one) can keep playing by either wittingly or unwittingly placing restraints on themselves, or they can just go back to Civ4 which allows for a far more varied gameplay, or they can also just go play something else.

    I just don't understand how with such an established franchise with established strengths and weaknesses, the designers of Civ5 managed to completely forget what made this game last 20 years through 4-plus iterations to make some watered down version of Panzer General.
     
  12. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    agreed. The fact that the AI has so much trouble just conquering a city state, and that Siam was never able to conquer Greece in our game, really shows how bad it is.

    I guess was saying both. Let's just agree that changing the gold system will not be easy.

    Yeah I pretty much like the balance in the early game at Civ V deity. (I don't like the balance at any lower level, because the AI seems unable to expand at all)

    Selling stuff to the AI works OK when you've only got 1 or 2 luxuries to sell them, and you have to choose between selling luxuries or growing your cities more. It just gets stupid when you can sell them 10 luxuries, and then use the money to replace all the lost happiness buy buying city states. Ironically, this strategy becomes even better on deity where the AIs have unlimited gold. On lower levels they usually don't have enough money to pay 300 for all your available luxuries. You could certainly change this, but I have no idea how to do it.

    Sure. The problem is, the rate of return of settlers and other early stuff is already too high, which leads to blazing fast tech rates and huge armies that clog the map- the "carpet of doom". I think they need to actually decrease the rate of return on those things, instead of strengthening the rest. But at the same time I don't want to plod through 200 turns at the beginning where I can't do anything, so that's a real problem.
     
  13. SevenSpirits

    SevenSpirits Immortal?

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    Fixing maritime food might actually solve the settler super-efficiency problem by itself. If you also consider other obvious fixes (like resource selling), ICS speed is going to be hit quite a bit. Maybe not enough though - it's hard to tell. Anyway, I'm going to go enjoy BTS for a while. :cool:
     
  14. da_Vinci

    da_Vinci Gypsy Prince

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    I have thought about whether some kind of transport mode for units, where they could stack, but be vulnerable to attack, would help with logistics. Units would then have to deploy out of that to fight effectively.

    I have also wondered if some UPT cap other than 1 might make sense ... maybe 3 to 5 combat units limit per tile. It would allow flexibility to have either a mixed small stack (foot, horse, siege) or a focused small stack (all horse, for example).

    dV
     
  15. Shoot the Moon

    Shoot the Moon Playing World in Conflict

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    First off, thanks for the wonderful read. That was an impressive (and depressing) display.

    In regards to 1 UPT: Could it possibly work to not have a limit but have a ranged attack damage all units on the tile? That would provide a natural incentive not to stack too heavily, but wouldn't have issues like units clogging the roads, ineffective combat workers, open borders clogging your lands, etc. I've never understood why 1 UPT had to be a hard cap, as there are so many ways to discourage it anyway.
     
  16. haphazard1

    haphazard1 Dancing Bear

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    Lots of great discussion and ideas in this thread. :)

    This is what is going to be the problem, I think. The changes necessary to get Civ V into a truly strong condition are going to be so extensive that you are really looking at a Warlords or BTS sized effort; tweaks and even patches just are not going to be enough when many of the problems are so deeply rooted in fundamental aspects of the game design.

    Do we really expect Firaxis/2K to invest that kind of effort into corrections/stabilization/rebalancing? Or will we see most of the effort go into new features (which can be marketed) that not only do nothing to fix core problems but introduce new issues, as happened with vassal states or corporations? (Both have positives, yes, but also negatives.) Especially since much of the rebalancing would not align with the Shafer team's vision for the game?

    We might see some AI improvements, since that is such a glaring problem and it can be worked on without challenging the vision. But good AI is a very difficult problem. Still, even incremental improvements to avoid the worst AI stupidities would be welcome.
     
  17. Aoeu

    Aoeu Chieftain

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    How about just throwing away all the gameplay and AI and replacing it with the Civilization 4 gameplay and Better BTS AI, ported to the Civ5 Lua-based engine and UI and tweaked to work with hex-based maps?

    Then, readd unique advantages (but with a balanced design), city states (ditto), option of not having roleplaying diplomacy, and other Civ5 additions.

    Instead of 1UPT, add tactical battles on a separate (1UPT) map like Master of Magic, which can be "just added" to the Civ4 design and AI with no need to limit the number of units and thus avoiding the massive problems of 1UPT.

    It seems to me this would be much easier and give a much better result than attempting to fix Civ5 as it is.

    This might even be doable by modders once they release the SDK, which they should do asap in the hope someone will help them fix the game.
     
  18. Nutteria

    Nutteria Tzar

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    ICS can be dealt with very easly.Just scale the unhappyness relative to the number of Citys.So for example after building 5 citys the Unhappyness goes to 4 another 5 and it goes to 6 per new city etc. etc. This will hardcap ICS to ~ 20 or so Citys and after that you won`t realy have economic advantage of getting more citys par science. But that is not the problem with the ICS.
    The problem is that you have in general NO initiative to build high populated citys.Reasons being:

    1) You don`t get extra defence/modifier if you have larger City
    2) You currently have higher happyness/science/GNP penaltys if you have few larger Citys then if you have more smaller ones that hold the same total population.
    3) Loosing a large city currently is very costly compared to loosing 2 or even 3 fillers.
    4) You have limited number of specialists per city and every extra slot costs high amounts of production and maintenance due to the way buildings are balanced in the game.In ICS you can easly have more specialist slots for relativly low maintenance production cost.
    5) ICS helps waging wars due to rushbuying and city bombardment.

    So it is not as simple as many people think.Hapering one of the abovementioned aspects can hurt the ICS game strategy but mostly it will force players to caveat around that penalty and continue to spam Citys.

    As this game showed currently ICS is beyond overpowered but it is due to way more many factors then many people think
     
  19. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    Of course there's ways you can limit the number of cities- you could even go to the extreme and put a hard limit on the number of settlers you can make. The problem though, is that it's still in your best interest to make as many cities as possible early on, because settlers are such a great investment compared to almost anything else. If you force me to play with only 10 or even 5 cities, then I'm still going to make 10 or 5 cities as soon as possible before I do almost anything else.
     
  20. Nutteria

    Nutteria Tzar

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    Pi-r8 I gave a hard thought on your post game analysis and run some napkin math again and I came to quite an interesting conclusion.

    As you said 1UPT is the main factor for the lack of balance and the disconnect between the various aspects of the game.

    So I thought this idea and I hope you can help with some criticism/feedback.

    Most times of this game we saw you mainly Opt for Horse ranged(catapults-->artilery) and some melee units as cannon fodder.

    So It struck me.Keep the 1UPT but with a TWIST! If the rule is changed to : "Only one unit OF EACH TYPE can occupy the same tile" you can actually clean up alot of the issues the game design has.

    A quick example :

    having a spear a horse and a catapult at the same time.When they are attacked the rules will be the same as in CiV 4 as in the unit with the highest chance of dealing the highest damage while having the highest chance of not dieing will fight the attacker.

    So immagine a few "divisions" if you will instead a vast blob of pointy sticks.It will clear ALOT of hexes esp for the AI.It will force the AI to use combined arms since it will be the most optimal way and it will effectivly stop any kind of 1-unittype-of-doom rushes/builds we see currently.

    Also it will free ALOT of development room to make more drastic balance changes whithout braking the overal state of the game.(read free room for fixin ICS and all its aspects and generaly promote stuff like higher yields on special tiles larger citys etc.etc.etc.)

    I think this is the conclusion after this game.
     

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