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Scaling of Diplomatic Units

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

  1. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    I often go with Statecraft, and gun for Industrialization as often as something else. Why? Ironclads. If the naval component is important to you, they are big. Also, it takes me a while to have enough paper to spit out diplomats. By then, I have enough factories/seaports to make the efficiency difference seem secondary.

    Note that I am comparing apples to oranges, because that's what the tech forces you to do. I don't think you should decontextualize it to a strict envoy vs diplomat comparison at that stage in the game.
     
  2. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I don't always skip industrialization in my own games, I just don't see why you should punished for taking a specific tech.
     
  3. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Well, you said that you actively avoid the tech that unlocks diplomats, so you can see why I said what I did. And I'm not saying the diplomats couldn't be cheaper — more that framing the discussion along the lines of "diplomats are a worse deal than envoys, so the cost differential should be changed" strikes me as too narrowly focused.

    Just as there are times when a certain strategy makes you avoid Industrialization, there are also times when other benefits make you go straight for it, and the higher price doesn't hinder your overall game at all. For example, as Gazebo said, the WC becomes so important that it's worth having a higher hammer cost. I often stock up on envoys and then upgrade them to diplomats when I research the tech.
     
  4. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I think its much smarter to just use the envoys as envoys and spend the gold on something else, right?
     
  5. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Not if you're Carthage and have the gold to burn, but yes, you're probably right.
     
  6. YukiN

    YukiN Prince

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    Better to use those Envoys and then buy Diplomats if you really need to.
     
  7. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Or upgrade the envoys and then buy diplomats, if you really need to (as you say), and have the gold (as I say). CrazyG says it's much smarter to spend gold elsewhere. That is generally true, but not if you're focused on getting a CS and solidifying WC control, for instance. In that case, this becomes a prime place to spend all that gold I have. As I keep saying, it's all contextual.
     
  8. YukiN

    YukiN Prince

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    You need to really REALLY not care about gold to spend a few hundred to upgrade from 45 to 50 influence. Or about 95 to 100 if you went Statecraft. Even Carthage doesn't have enough.
     
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  9. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Well actually, it's not Carthage: it's me playing Carthage. I can afford to upgrade 4 or so envoys without hurting my game elsewhere.
     
  10. ColonelCarter

    ColonelCarter Chieftain

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    In what way is upgrading Envoys ever better than buying Diplomats? Diplomats take 2 paper compared to Envoys' 1. Buying 1 Diplomat has the same paper impact as upgrading 2 Envoys, but gives like 10-20x the influence.
     
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  11. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    The short answer would be, when you built them in one turn each before Industrialization.

    Getting into your explanation: I don't have an open game, so I can't check values. That said, doesn't an upgraded envoy become a diplomat, and therefore have the same influence? If so, I don't understand your last sentence. If not, then I learned something.
     
  12. ColonelCarter

    ColonelCarter Chieftain

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    This is just back to the choice between delaying Industrialization to build Envoys, since they are much more efficient in hammers/influence and paper/influence.

    Say you 8 total paper at the time you research Industrialization (Scrivener's Office, Roman Forum, Printing Press, Summer Palace, and 4 Great Diplomat expenditures), and have 4 Envoys active. Envoys have a base influence of 45, and Diplomats have a base influence of 50. You could either upgrade your 4 Envoys to 4 Diplomats and gain 20 extra influence when you expend them, or you could purchase 2 Diplomats for 100 extra influence when you expend the units. If you have influence boosters (Roman Forum/Summer Palace) and/or Statecraft policies, it gets even worse because the difference between an Envoy and a Diplomat is still minimal, but the value of an extra Diplomat is even greater.

    Not to mention in looking up the influence values of the units to be accurate, I also noticed it costs more gold to upgrade an Envoy than purchase a new Diplomat (even without cheaper purchase effects, like Forbidden Palace or Industry).
     
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  13. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Let's say we don't use an example where I do something other than what I did, which is use every paper I have (not half) on envoys, then upgrade them. In this scenario (the only one I'm talking about), I now have twice as many diplomats as I would have had — but at a clearly worse ROI — than if I waited a significant number of turns to build them post-Industrialization.

    The bad ROI is CrazyG's argument against it. I acknowledged this as a rule, although it happens to not apply in my particular case: I have the gold to spare, no buildings needed, ahead in tech, doing well in culture, and solidifying my lead in the WC en route to a DV.
     
  14. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I suppose if paper is extremely scarce while gold and production are plentiful, there is room for it to be a good move. In general its not a good move though.

    It still strikes me as odd though. To have already built everything at this point is odd to me.
     
  15. YukiN

    YukiN Prince

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    It is possible on really strong progress games with a Industry follower. I managed to hit 1000 gpt income after expenses when I unlocked Industrialization in my last game. However, I went Rationalism afterwards, and that gave me plenty to do with my hammers and gold.
     
  16. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    We are in synch re: your first paragraph.

    Now as to having built everything... being more specific, I didn't think I needed any buildings where the benefit of investing gold into them would affect to my victory. Here's how I see it: I am going for a DV. I want to reach Telecommunications ASAP, without getting decked militarily, culturally or (obviously) diplomatically. It's Industrialization. I have Public Schools, all guilds, and cultural buildings/Wonders. All my gold is pretty much going to sustaining my WC lead, keeping my fleet upgraded and incrementally growing, and rushing the odd building that helps a shaky city's happiness. At that stage in the game I can afford to splurge on diplomacy, and still save enough gold to build RLs and the much more expensive late naval upgrades. So why not gild my diplomatic lily right then? (I realize this is not optimal play, but it seems bottom-line effective to me. A critique would be welcome.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  17. CppMaster

    CppMaster Emperor

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    So it would be only OK to do that if gold is actually worthless for you (AKA can't use it otherwise). It would be really rare situation since you can always give some gold to other civs to improve relations. IMHO, in general it's a weak argument, because everything would be worth spending gold on if gold becomes worthless.
    Besides, even when you don't have paper available, isn't it similar to just buying a unit and gifting it to a CS?
     
  18. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    If you are in control and your flanks are covered, then I think spending on your VC, efficiently and inefficiently, is the best thing you can do. Why would that be worthless? Again, it's a theoretically bad ROI, but one I can afford, and that feeds directly into my VC. (In this case, we're talking about 800g, right? That's just a turn or two of gold income.)

    To put it differently, I can't see how spending my gold differently would help me reach my VC better at that stage of the game.
     
  19. CppMaster

    CppMaster Emperor

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    No, I didn't say it's worthless, but it's better to save this gold for future building investment and purchasing diplomats when you have free paper. Or you don't run out of gold at all? ;)
     
  20. YukiN

    YukiN Prince

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    You can by preparing for war. As you approach victory your city states are going to be invaded. Your rivals will be racing against you to their own VC as well, and war may be needed to slow them. Furthermore, if you have just unlocked Industrialization, you are still really far off, since you still need to build the UN and reach Telecommunications. If you have nothing useful to build, your science should be faster, both to give things to build and to reach Telecomms. Also, if 800 is what you are making a turn, it really should not be enough.
     

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