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Revising strategic resource usage

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by nauberry, Feb 20, 2021.

  1. nauberry

    nauberry Warlord

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    As the strategic resources were updated in GS, I feel like they are in a much better state. However, now that we have had multiple DLC after GS and we have seen the game evolve a lot, I would love to open up the discussion about strategic resources again. How do you feel like they have been implemented? Do you think AI can utilize them well? What would you like to see improved?

    In my opinion, the state is enjoyable right now. If AI not upgrading their tiles is at some point fixed, I feel like that they have enough resources to keep a small army. However, there are small things I would like to see improved on.

    1) Units, that use resources per turn should have no or limited usage, while garrisoned/stationary in a district. This would allow a player/ AI to stockpile up on resources, even though they don't have enough resource production per turn. This way, larger armies could be used during war time, depleting stockpiled resources. Once the war is over, the units (naval, land and air units) could all be garrisoned to stockpile again.

    -edit- I forgot to mention, stationary units could also have their CO2 emissions halved, in order to lessen their impact on the global warming if stationary.

    2) A large issue in the end game for AI, is that they build more units, than they can supply for. It is common, for the AI to build countless GDR, even though they only have one uranium deposit. Thus, all their GDRs are running on low supply and are less effective, than one or two, with uranium supply, would be. I think the suggestion in the first point could even help with this.

    Finally, I really like, that the AI is very active in resource trading, and both buys and sells large quantities for a reasonable price.
     
  2. iammaxhailme

    iammaxhailme Emperor

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    I definitely the "mining a resource over time" way it is now is better than how it was at launch. However, I do think deposits should be depleted eventually. Say an Iron source has 400 iron and runs out eventually. I think new ones should be discoverable though, but I'm not sure how that should happen. Military and economic competition over strategic resources like oil, steel, aluminium etc are very important in a history sim like this and should be a bigger part of the economic and political calculus ingame.
     
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  3. nauberry

    nauberry Warlord

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    I like the idea of depleting resources. Maybe new ones could be found using city projects unlocked throughout the tech tree indicating advances in mining technologies. I would also love to have a city project, that could turn one resource into another, for example creating oil from coal using power.
     
  4. Linklite

    Linklite King

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    If they did that, I'd really want them to have techs that allow you to extract more resources. I'm skeptical of the amount of resources present as it is, let alone having what we do have run out.
     
  5. Pietato

    Pietato Emperor

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    Tanks should not use the same amount of Oil as Infantry who can only walk as fast as ancient Warriors.

    Also the AI needs to actually check to see if it has upkeep before making a unit, and needs to stop wasting resources on units if it is going for LaZ0rs for science.
     
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  6. CoconutTank

    CoconutTank Unapologetic Warmonger Supporter

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    I like strategic resources more now than how they worked at release. Each individual unit requiring strategic resources instead of one node being enough for an entire military is good, as it makes controlling multiple strategic resource nodes more valuable.

    I don't really like strategic resources as maintenance, though I think the intent is to have them work like unit caps from Civ 5. Magnus' Black Marketeer ability only works with costs, so it's useless when strategic resource concerns change from costs to maintenance. Scythia's double build and the Venetian Arsenal's double build being able to skip strategic resource costs is fun, but also does pretty much nothing for maintenance. In general though I find that strategic resources as maintenance is less flexible and less interesting than strategic resources as cost.

    I do think there needs to be more types of strategic resources in the later parts of the game. Infs and Mech Infs are competing with tanks, ships and siege units for Oil, and at minimum I think I'd rather have tanks. Helis are competing with air units for Aluminum, and I think I'd rather have air units. I think having another strategic resource for Infs, Mech Infs and Helis would likely make those units more viable.

    EDIT: And to add to @Pietato's observation, I think the AI would be less likely to cripple itself when it comes to strategic resources as costs vs strategic resources as maintenance.

    EDIT2: And in further support of strategic resources as cost, that generally has much better available granularity than strategic resources as maintenance. Maybe Infs and Mech Infs can still require Oil, but have 5 Oil cost, whereas tanks would still be 10 or 20 Oil each. Maybe as a minor penalty to spamming a unit, every 10th unit built of a type gets a cost increase for +5 strategic resources (a similar cost increase model already exists in the game for religious units, Naturalists and Rock Bands). I think this kind of granularity is much harder to achieve with strategic resources as maintenance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
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  7. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Deity

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    My biggest wish is to see the new Economic Mode extend to Strategic & Bonus Resources. Indeed, some bonus resources could grant you a choice of industries. Like Cattle could grant you a Dairy Industry, a Beef Industry or a Leather Industry. Similar situation with Sheep, or with various grain crops. Then you can have Corporations that make products from those resources, as they currently do with Luxuries....and let us trade the Corporate Goods to our neighbours, not just the raw goods.
     
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  8. nauberry

    nauberry Warlord

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    This is actually a very nice idea. At least it would be very AI friendly to implement, as no strategic decisions other than trade are required to maintain a large army. Would the CO2 costs be then just lump amounts every time a unit is trained?
     
  9. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

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    A problem for the AI is their trading behaviour. Despite some big issues here were cleared since the initial GS release, there are still several flaws left:

    - Intended Storage Limit: AI will only purchase up to 40 Iron/Horses/Niter, 22 Coal/Oil/Aluminium and 62 Uranium. This does not scale with game speed, which creates a very obvious problem especially on Marathon (AI will not even care to buy the 60 units of the early ressources it needs for a single unit: [NFP] - [1.0.6.9] AI strategic ressource storing/trading logic puts it behind on Epic/Marathon game speeds | CivFanatics Forums ). And the limit for Coal/Aluminium/Oil is IMO too tight at all - together with neglecting improving their own sources, it leads to AIs constantly running out of ressources wih a per-turn-consumption.

    - AI pays doubled, if they have 0 of a ressource when the trade starts (and then for everything you sell them up to the limit). As soon as they have 1 or more units already, the price drops to normal: [NFP] - [1.0.9.9] AI pricing of strategic ressources: Initial storage 0 = double price, 1< = normal price | CivFanatics Forums

    - If AIs have more than they purchase limit in their warehouse, they are willing to sell not only what is above that limit, but everything they have: [NFP] - [1.0.8.4] AI trades below a storage 40 units of a strategic ressource, when being above | CivFanatics Forums

    - Uranium is traded with for a high price (around 60 per unit), only in smaller chunks and has potential to bankrupt AIs quickly: [NFP] - [IMPROVEDw1.0.8.4] [1.0.5.11] AI buys Uranium only in tranches, but for an excessive price | CivFanatics Forums
     
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  10. nauberry

    nauberry Warlord

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    On my Marathon play troughs the AI constantly asks me for strategic resources in quantities of 60 at a time. Sometimes even multiple different resources at a time. I'll add a screenshot if I notice that again before the game ends. The second bug I have also encountered.
    -edit- This is on marathon speed
    upload_2021-2-21_12-28-27.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
  11. Abaxial

    Abaxial King

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    Also, you can get into a position where you can't build an artillery because you don't have the oil, but you can't build a bombard instead because it's supposedly obsolete.If you need a unit, it can't be obsolete, by definition.
     
  12. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

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    Yeah, it is indeed correct that the AI initiates offers for quantities bringing them above their normal limit (they do that on any speed, BTW) and it is nice to see that at least her they factor in the different game speed rules into their absolute demand here...however:

    1) You have to check the total gold amount they offer - I'm not convinced that they are really willing to pay for the units exceeding their limit (I can't see their storage ATM they offer the trade, so I can't judge whether they are in normal or double pice mode - but 26 GpT for 60 units is not a lot, plus they as for a luxury as well. Also the numbers are hard to judge for me, as I usually make my strategic ressources trades vs. lump gold).
    2) As soon as you slightly alter such an offer, the AI will fall back for sure on their "no-more-then-my-tiny-limit"-behaviour. Same if you actively initiate a deal.

    So that occasional offers are flavourwise nice and if you accept them, you can help the AIs - but given the offered sums, I'm not sure if that goes a lot beyond that the AI will accept strategic ressource gifts bringing them above their limit, too.
     
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  13. Aurelesk

    Aurelesk Prince

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    The idea of Strategic Maintenance sounds good, but a little weird for some units like Infantry or Artillery that needs some, but somehow some units do not bother (the famous Planes powered by Aluminum fuel).

    Strategic cost could be split between Strategic production and Strategic maintenance. For example, Tank would use Iron (and Coal?) to produce, and Oil to use. I would also like to split unit between mechanical with Oil as Strategic maintenance, and non-mechanical with no Strategic maintenance: the Infantry would be finally be free! All non-mechanical units (even the Slinger) could gain a new ability once a Technology is unlocked (Combustion?): Motorization. Usable once, a unit using the ability would consume 1 Oil but gain +2 Movement for the turn (like Sword of Faith as Castile in the Black Death scenario).

    Maybe, some policy cards have to be created to mitigate the Oil usage, like: "Defense of the Motherland: units do not consume Oil when moving, attacking, or when attacked inside your territory, or to help Oil creation like "Biofuel production": +1 Oil but -3 Food per Farm. -2 Amenities in all cities.

    But the biggest "flaw" is the granularity: 1 Oil per turn is too much. 0 Oil per turn is not enough. And 0.25 / 0.33 / 0.5 Oil per turn is not manageable right now.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
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  14. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    I really like this idea. Brilliant, in fact. It's both logical and takes care of many weaknesses of the current model.

    Wrt. the numbers, that's just a matter of scaling. If we make all resources produce 2, 3 or 4 times their current number and at the same time increase pr. turn consumption of some units to higher numbers, that evens out. It's basically the same as the 10 vs. 100 HP system they changed in Civ5.

    Wrt. original question, my biggest pet peeve with current system is that there is no way to find new resources and produce strategic resources. There should be buildings in the Industrial Zone that allow us to manifacture Iron (might have some conditions, like require a mine being worked in the area), Salpeter (from Cows) and even Oil (from Corn). I'd be ok with these buildings unlocking a tech level or even two later in the game than the "natural" resources, but it's annoying and unrealistic how you have no way at all of supplying some of these resources even much later in the game if you don't have a natural deposit.
     
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  15. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

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    Allowing to convert excess Coal into Oil would be a similar thing.
     
  16. aieeegrunt

    aieeegrunt Prince

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    Like just about every part of the game, strategic resources stop making sense after the Renaissance Era. You can really tell that the later eras got little to no playtestibg

    Try modelling actual World War 2 units with Civ6.

    You can’t.

    About 85% of Germany’s Army doesnt exist. By that I mean that they had Infantry that was certainly at least as good as any of their peers but walked everywhere and used horse drawn transport because the limited oil went to fuel tanks and planes.

    Infantry, AT and Field Cannon should cost Iron and Horses to produce, not oil. This tier should be the “World War One/Two” tech level units.

    Cavalry Units should have a “Horse Per Turn” maintenance, so your production/maintenance model is fracking consistent.
     
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  17. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    Yeah, I would agree with a lot of this. A lot of the current system is great - having a cost to build a unit, costs to maintain, etc... way better than the previous system. But it's really annoying in the modern era where a single oil well can literally only support 3-4 units, whereas than ancient era iron mine can basically support a new unit every 10 turns or so.

    I think if you increased the values by like 5X, so that it cost 100 resources to build a unit, you could also justify a maintenance cost on the earlier units. So if every cavalry unit was 100 horses to build and 1 horse/turn maintenance, that would at least give you a sort of soft cap. I wouldn't mind seeing resource costs balanced to the build costs to repair a unit as well. So if a Cavalry unit was: 100 horses to build. 1 horse/turn maintenance. 5 Horses/turn for healing. Then you need to much better manage your maintenance through the war, and you can't simply buy 21 iron, build a swordsman, and have him heal and repair infinitely through time.

    And then yeah, if you combined that with other policies, that would help. Even adding in some other bonuses for certain setups would help. As in, if you had it so that a unit sitting in an encampment didn't require any maintenance resource costs, then suddenly you could potentially use them to better park troops between conflicts. Or even further and add in a way to literally "park" a unit, you could do something like each encampment building can "park" 1 unit, so you could in theory keep 3 Cavalry units stationed in a city with a Military Academy, and only activate them if you go to war later.
     
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  18. CoconutTank

    CoconutTank Unapologetic Warmonger Supporter

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    Hmm, that's a good question. I think I'd like the CO2 costs to be lump amounts too, just to make sure there's consistency, but if CO2 upkeep needs to still be a thing, it could still be made its own thing instead of being tied to strategic resource as maintenance.
    I would like this quite a bit actually. A common complaint I hear about IZs is that the production spent to build them up would've been better spent in other ways, and that it takes too long for IZs to make up for that production spent. As you say, it'd give folks another way to get strategic resources when they've been locked out of them, and it'd also give IZs a new niche, so that they're not evaluated on just production alone.
     
  19. Depravo

    Depravo Siring Bastards

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    Iron needs to matter throughout the game. It has been pointed out on this forum that iron wasn't a sought-after strategic resource before the industrial era, being available almost throughout the civilised world in the quantities needed then. Whereas in the game you stop giving a rat's reverse about it at about that point.
     
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  20. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing King

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    Does anyone else think that powered buildings are underpowered? I wish they had made tier 3 building more expensive and increased power needed and yield. Making them cheaper made it less of a commitment and less of a decision.

    I waver between enjoying the scramble to find strategics for units and thinking it's stupid in a game where you cut down trees to make spaceships.
     
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