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Scaling of Diplomatic Units

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by YukiN, Nov 1, 2018.

  1. YukiN

    YukiN Prince

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    Taking a discussion that began on Quick Questions here.

    https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/quick-questions-quick-answers.573489/page-202#post-15255013

    My issue is the huge jump in efficiency from Envoy to Diplomat, and to a lesser degree for other transitions. This creates a great disincentive to research diplo unit techs in order to to delay the "upgrade". An individual tech creating a disadvantage in and of itself is unintuitive and goes against the design of the rest of the tech system.

    Currently, the only reason I can tell for this to be the case is to advantage weaker civs in diplomacy. While understandable, the current implementation is very clunky and unnaturally distorts tech paths. I propose tying diplo units only to era (as such to the same scaling as city state yields) rather than to individual techs, and introduce scaling for every era (the jump from Envoy to Diplomat is exacerbated by the lack of a Renaissance-era unit). Scaling cost of diplomatic units based on technology number alone is fine too. The diplo-related techs should feature the unlocking of promotions if needed to put them more in line with other technologies design-wise.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
    CrazyG and CppMaster like this.
  2. Moi Magnus

    Moi Magnus Emperor

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    To put some context, the reasons why this feature exist are:

    1) Influence obtained by diplomatic units have too remain low enough for other sources (quest, ...) to still be relevant.

    2) Similarly to missionaries, the power of one unit remain the same mostly the same through the game (it slightly decrease, to be fair), but "1 prod/faith/..." is worth far less (in opportunity cost) in late game than in early game.

    (I may have forgotten other reasons)

    As a consequence, diplomatic units (as faith units) should be less and less efficient in their influence-production ratio.
     
    Galbias likes this.
  3. YukiN

    YukiN Prince

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    Thanks for the reply. The idea here makes sense and I agree. I am just arguing that the current implementation can be better. If diplomats functioned exactly the same as missionaries and only scaled by era, it would be a much better experience.
     
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  4. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    We do need them to get more expensive over time. I agree era scaling would be a better solution. Then the envoy could even be the same as an emissary, just with +1 movement. That way it feels good to unlock, rather than bad.
     
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  5. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    Only downside would be we would be back to ballooning 1000+ influence city state fights more frequently.
     
  6. Mad Madigan

    Mad Madigan Prince

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    I don't know that diplomatic units need to get any more efficient, especially in the late game. Right now I'm not seeing the massive diplomat spam that I used to see from the AI, and the fight for CS allies actually feels like something that can be done in the late game, rather than having to chip away at thousands of influence from AI-allied CSs or praying to RNJesus for a low % coup to succeed. Now it feels like it is really rare for the influence leader to crest above 1000 unless they're Austria or achieve a lucky string of CS quests. It makes Great Diplomats feel more worthwhile once there are no more slots for Embassies, and it makes spamming lesser diplomats less productive, which causes the AI to cut down on their general spamming and be more tactical with their use of such units. Really, the only complaints I have about the WC/CS diplomacy system is that a good number of the WC resolutions feel weak/pointless compared to their contemporary options, save as a means to build endearment/hatred from the AI Civs. For example, banning luxuries and Global Peace Accords/Casus Belli do almost nothing to affect the mechanical outcome of the game, but the AI often gives the resolutions a lot of diplomatic weight.
     
  7. YukiN

    YukiN Prince

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    That's a number fix. I'm just arguing the jumps should smoothed out and not tied to individual techs.
     
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  8. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    If you notice I was replying to CrazyG, not you.

    If costs don't go up then numbers balloon. Your idea that it's tied to something unavoidable like era is more fair.
     
  9. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    The trick is to make older diplomatic units to decay in value, so there's a reason for upgrading.

    Maybe have them lose 10 strength each passing era.

    Edit. Or make city size count against influence.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
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  10. CppMaster

    CppMaster King

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    This is a good idea. It makes older units naturally weaker and there is no reason to delay tech with new diplomats.
     
  11. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    I really think this is a 'solution looking for a problem' scenario.

    G
     
  12. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Emperor

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    Diplomats cost 700 Production vs. Envoy's 200. Do you consider that a problem? Or is it properly compensated by its increased abilities?
     
  13. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    I'd say it is compensated by the increased value of diplomacy at that point in the game, specifically with the WC.

    G
     
  14. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Another option is reducing CS population in influence by diplomatic actions.
    Example.
    First diplo unit is 35 influence strength. Used in a 5 pop city gives 30 influence. Used in a 15 pop city gives 20 influence.
    Second diplo unit is 55 influence. So against the 15 pop CS it gives 40 influence. 5 more if the diplomatic building is built.

    Killing CS citizens might be appealing, but it is making life easier for other diplomatic contenders too. Not that it's something easy to do without nukes. And missing quests is not ideal.
     
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  15. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    The problem is that I actively avoid the tech that unlocks diplomats. There is a situation where diplomacy is more valuable and I still have envoys, while everybody else has diplomats, and I'm at an advantage!
     
  16. Galbias

    Galbias Prince

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    I think part of the problem is the harshness of the jump. Because the newer units are so much less efficient in terms of production:influence, unlocking them is something you usually want to avoid when it should be the other way around.

    I vaguely remember a more in-depth solution someone proposed awhile back which would involve the value of existing diplomatic units declining each era or based on the number of technologies acquired or such so that unlocking the new diplomatic units was something you would always want to do at the time their techs were available. It's a pretty small thing overall though.
     
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  17. YukiN

    YukiN Prince

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    My problem are as such:

    Firstly that I am actively avoiding the techs that change diplo units and unlocking them feels really unfun. Secondly, getting such a disadvantage on a single tech like that is contrary to the design of the rest of the technology system, where every tech is beneficial in a vacuum with the costs coming from era advancements. Thirdly, the transitions between Envoy and Diplomat is especially large and can be smoothed out. This large jump makes the first two issues feel even worse.

    The argument that CS scale with Era means that diplo units should scale with era too is fine. Make them scale with era instead of a tech. Make the solution target the problem directly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
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  18. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I’m forgetting what tech unlocks diplomats and what else do you get from that tech
     
  19. YukiN

    YukiN Prince

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    Industrialization. You get Ironclads, WMP and factories. For a statecraft civ, it's debatable as spamming diplo units for both yields and votes may be better than just the votes from WMP alone. As for factories, if you are building diplo units in any number, the hammers from factories do not even begin to compare to the extra ones needed for diplomats.
     
  20. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    This. If you build say 5 envoys instead of 5 diplomats, you've gained enough production to more than offset a delayed factory.

    The envoy is the more skippable tech in my experience. Workshops only strength is more production, but building emissaries instead helps offset that anyways. If I really want workshops for my empire, I just don't build diplo units for a while.
     

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