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[GS] Shall we inherit number-of-city Science and Culture Penalty to Civ6?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Lily_Lancer, Oct 25, 2019.

  1. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    The xml does have an extra science % for being behind in science but currently it is set to 0.
     
  2. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    The adjacency mechanic is perhaps the crown jewel of civ6, and many people find it very fun!
    Plus, it's not that wide players have all these +6 campus spots to use. if you ever roll a lot of good district spots, you're intended to make use of them. Adjacency, in fact, is a trivial component of your total yield in every category except production by midgame. Even if you're korea with guaranteed great campuses, the +4 on a seowon is nothing compared to +2 library +4 uni +3/+5 lab, +50%-100%, plus scientific city states. And for regular civs you don't usually have great campus spots everywhere without starting in the mountains; but even then, that doesn't scale to 20 cities. Theater squares often see +0/+1 if you don't have many wonders. If you just converted the buildings to give more science per pop instead of a flat yield, you'd solve that problem (toning down CS bonuses would still need to happen, and newton/einstein's abilities should probably not stack with rationalism.) Because then the more spread out you are, the more copies of a uni you need to build to get your science up.
     
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  3. KayAU

    KayAU King

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    It doesn't have to be one or another...some form of scaling value of districts based on population size would be a good thing, and make sense. @Monthar's idea is a simple way of doing it, although I agree with @Sostratus that the adjacency mechanic is prettty great. How about keeping that as is, but giving per pop bonuses to buildings instead? So you can build a University in a small city, but it will not yield as much as a University in a larger one.

    Another idea, which I believe I mentioned in another thread long ago, would be to limit access to higher tier buildings based on population size. This could either be based on just simple thresholds, or it could be a more flexible point system, similar to an administrative cap. A city would have a number of points based on population, and buildings would use up these points, with higher tier buildings costing more. This would still give you the ability to construct high tier buildings in smaller cities, but it would mean those would be pretty specialized, and unable to construct as many other buildings. Just a thought.
     
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  4. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    I think the adjacency bonus is indeed a pretty defining feature of Civ 6, but I would argue that it has too much impact and for too long in the game. In my current game, I happened to settle close to a +5 Campus spot in my capital. Yes, it's not every game you get that, but this campus with a library has - along with Pingala and a scientific city state - alone been enough to let me fly through the tech tree well into the medieval era. So I think we need a steeper tech cost progression through eras, coupled with additional science sources coming into relevance after the first couple of eras, and the obvious solution to this will be a per-population link between Libraries and Universities. This will mean naked adjacency yield will be important for your very early game, whereas building yields will carry the weight from mid-game and onwards, which is how it should be imo. Late game stuff like Research Labs should feed heavily into specialists, so that these should become an important source for science in late game.
     
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  5. Elhoim

    Elhoim Iron Tower Studio Dev

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    Which one? I would be interested in testing it out.
     
  6. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Hmm, maybe it has been changed and now does make a difference.... this is the pair of them from global params.
    <Replace Name="TECH_COST_PERCENT_CHANGE_AFTER_GAME_ERA" Value="20" />
    <Replace Name="TECH_COST_PERCENT_CHANGE_BEFORE_GAME_ERA" Value="-20" />
    I've got the old values on another PC, will check tomorrow if I remember
     
  7. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Some really good posts.

    I think this whole area is pretty tricky, and I'm not sure I'm totally clear on what needs to happen.

    The start of this discussion was a wide science penalty, which has been discussed before and @FearSunn has a mod which does that. I don't mind the idea of a wide science penalty... but I'm not sure "what" problem it's fixing and whether its a "good" solution to whatever that problem is.

    Reducing the free amenity for new Cities also sounds interesting, but again I'm not quite sure what's trying to be achieved. Sounds like maybe this needs some tweaking to work though - there’s mention of expanding how many cities amenities cover. I wonder if entertainment complexes would also need a tweak.

    I don’t think linking yields to pop is a good change. You’ll just end up with every city being big. Outside of Theocracy, Communism and some Religious Beliefs, Population is only linked to yields via Govenors. I think I prefer that approach. You end up some big cities, but not every city is big. FXS could do more with these mechanics. In particular, I’d really like to see more unique govenors unlock mid and late game that sort of work the same as pingala and reyna etc, so you could have more than one “science” city and one “gold” city.

    I play with a house rule of now more than 3 campuses by turn x. But that's clunky. If you have zero good campus spots, you need more campuses (and rightly so), but my rule doesn't really allow for that. And if it was a proper game rule, all that would happen is that every civilization would build, you know, three campuses. Talk about predictable play! You'd really need some way to scale Campuses, so that if you want more than three, you can do that provided you invest (a bit like how spies work - everyone basically gets the same number, but you can get slightly more via gov plaza).

    I think there are a few different issues here. One, campus spam. Two, specifically, campus spam leading to ICS. Three, science is too easy to get and impact on game speed (which is linked to campus spam and wide, but it's solely about that). Four, ICS having no real downside (which some people like and some people don't). Five, lack of empire management. Six, specifically, the amenity, happiness and loyalty systems being more meaningful (i.e. people like them, but they currently don't do much). Seven, population not being very valuable.

    I doubt there's one solution for all that.

    Personally, I think a good starting point would be to make Campuses more expensive in terms of gold maintenance, and then make gold more important and more scarce. The devil would be in the details - i.e. getting the numbers exactly right.

    I also think some sort of empire maintenance would be good too - I don't think the amenity system etc. needs to be ditched, but it needs to be tweaked to be more meaningful. Getting rid of the free amenity for each city, or limiting it to cities within x tiles of your capital, might be a good start but I think other mechanics need to be tweaked to make that work.

    More mid and late game governors that have population = yield mechanics would also help. Maybe some Wonders that do similar things.

    And maybe ditch the rationalism type cards. Instead, maybe those sort of cards should boost the specialists not the buildings, so you’d need Pop + Buildings + Policies to really maximise Science and Culture Yields.

    I’m hopeful that maybe after a 3xp, FXS might have a hard look at balancing including mechanics like amenities. I think most of the mechanics are basically right, and it’s mostly just about tweaking. And this year some tweaking has already made a missive difference to game balance - unit balance is way, way better than it was, and production and specialists are much improved.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
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  8. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    There is a subtle but key distinction between making science harder to get and making science itself less valuable sometimes.
    For example, if you simply raised all tech costs, science itself wouldn't be any less valuable - you'd just slow the game down. People want science because techs themselves are very strong. That won't change even if you adjust the overall level of science available to players.
    But we don't necessarily want to slow the game down (okay, some people do) and we don't want people to not build any campuses - we don't want to nerf part of the game into uselessness - we specifically dislike when people only want to build campuses because then it leads to them performing outstandingly well. Proof: the AI which isn't exactly an economic master will become a runaway if they simply build campuses everywhere, IE korea. Campus spam itself is no worse than Granary spam, and many civs are designed around having their UD in almost all cities. What we want is to keep science spam from becoming an unstoppable lead. Hence, I feel the best route of attack is to first target the runaway science effect via the world era modifiers. Then we can go back and talk about tall v wide or whatever the lingo du jour is. But you have to make the value of science go down if, and only if, you're already ahead. Otherwise you'll never cure the itch for more beakers.
    This effect exists with production already; once you've got enough production that you can produce infrastructure as fast as you unlock it, the value of further production drops a lot because all you can do is run projects, and the return on a project is no where near the return on a library or bank or what have you. By extending the "ahead of the world era" penalty, we can make the return on science go down only once you're ahead, and with the right penalty, you can still have tech leads but not "Korea finished the tree and I'm just discovering castles."

    I'm totally side stepping like 80% of the separate issues in your post that follow from it but when these threads appear i feel it can not be overstated how far reaching the effects of "tech rushing" are in the civ6 meta game.
    Firaxis is in the pocket of :c5science:Big Blue:c5science:! Wake up, sheeple!
     
  9. Ownsya

    Ownsya Warlord

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    While this thread seems to have turned into another wide v tall and how to balance the two type of discussion, I think the intent was not quite about this. It seemed that OP was more concerned with the power of domination, which does end up leading to a wide empire, but it's not the same as building one yourself. I agree with @leandrombraz here that the focus should really be on punishing domination, not on wide empires. Surely conquered cities should not immediately (after ceding) be as effective as your own.

    I think a straightforward fix would be to extend the effect of the "occupied" status that non-ceded cities have. Simply put, even after cede, newly conquered cities should only slowly start recovering its productivity. Maybe an entire era length of time (30 turns) before the yield penalties finally reach zero. Call it an acclimation period for the new population. Even a simple, linear decline would have a big impact. Maybe ceded cities start at 50% efficiency and that increases by about 1.67% per turn so that they only reach normal 100% efficiency after 30 turns. Of course, good empire management effects would still modify so if your cities are ecstatic they'd start off at 60% and reach normal levels after only 24 turns.

    The ultimate effect of this is that you can't get a vast empire worth thousands of hammers at the cost of only say the 800 hammers it took you to build 10 horsemen, at least you won't get that worth as quickly and it might make expanding through your own settlers more worthwhile. Conquering should not be a shortcut to success. Wars should usually happen out of necessity (not enough room to expand), or for strategic purposes (to weaken/eliminate an opponent; to gain access to resources you can't otherwise get). Then if someone goes to war just for the sake of it, a warmonger, they should not be rewarded more than someone how has built a good empire peacefully, or at least it should take a while longer before those rewards can be reaped.

    This concept could be expanded and made more interesting by introducing mechanics that shorten the acclimation period. Perhaps having a governor in the city speeds things up. Or if you have founded a religion then converting the new city to your religion speeds it up. Perhaps the number of roads connecting it to already acclimated cities speeds it up. New buildings/districts might provide a base increase to the acclimation progress thus spending faith/gold to develop the new cities speeds up the process. Say, +10% (shaves off 6 turns) for a new district, +7% for each new building (these are just numbers without much thought). On the other hand, perhaps if the new cities are unhappy then it even puts a complete halt to the acclimation process.

    I'm one who believes in balance of design without limiting game play making one strategy significantly weaker than another. So the correct penalty for warmongers as per the above design should be set such that the warmonger and the peaceful expansionist, if they have the same number of cities, end up at nearly the same progress overall. The warmonger benefits by having an experienced army but loses the effectiveness of better placed/planned cities a human would've settled and also through grievances. But one route will not be so much better than the other that it is always better to play one way or another. In another words, if you prefer to play peacefully you are not a disadvantage, nor are you at a disadvantage through warmongering. You can continue to play however you like, both routes are equally viable when done right.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
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  10. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    I don't disagree with what you're saying really. But it is all very tricky. For example, I agree tech rushing causes problems, but it's also clearly an intended part of the game. If you want to rush commercial hubs and IZ, the game lets you. But then you lack military, and might get smashed. You can instead rush military or defence, but then you're not building infrastructure. I think a good example of this balancing is Knights - these guys are probably in a good place now, but it's taken lots of little balancing changes to achieve that - making Apprenticeship a pre-req, resource changes, stopping Knights from using rams, buffing pikes etc. Now, you can still rush Knights, but the cost benefit is much tighter.

    Making Science more scarce doesn't strictly make it more valuable. Indeed, it could make it more valuable (supply demand type stuff). But making it more scare means beelining Science has more opportunity cost, and at some point that does make Science somewhat less valuable. In other words, if I have to kill myself to earn a tonne of Science, then maybe that's not worth it.

    Science is ultimately the most important yield in the game, and I don't really think that can change. Civ is fundamentally about industrialising as fast as possible, and that means Science and new technologies. Things that could help though are increased Science actually creating penalties - e.g. increasing maintenance costs and or amenity requirements. We get a bit of that already with advancing through the tech tree increasing district costs, although that's all weird because chopping also scales, so you can sort of always chop in more districts.

    Anyway. What I was trying to say in my post is (1) there are a lot of related issues people are talking about (tall v wide, pacing, science spam, city spam, competitiveness of the AI), and they often mix them together or aren't talking about the same things, and (2) separating out these issues and coming up with improvements is quite tricky, even moreso when FXS are still maybe thinking about a 3xp that would change things up further.

    Of all the things I've read lately, I think removing the free amenity from Cities and sort of rebalancing luxuries and related mechanics is the most interesting, and has maybe the most potential to improve a bunch of issues people have. After that, I think the next biggest target is the Rationalism Card (which is a kludge and creates really terrible incentives) and Maintenance costs generally (perhaps even linking Maintenance to tech level or Government Tier more - so more advanced Civilizations are actually more expensive to run, so you may actually have an incentive to stay lower tech for a while so you don't go bankrupt or have everyone rebel).
     
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  11. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    To the first chunk: civ5 had the city simply not do anything for X turns after capture, X being the pop of the city. There was still an occupied City happiness penalty, which you could fix with a courthouse; which themselves had rather high maintenance (4 gold) so you didn’t get off scot free. Even just the resistance period being brought back would be a simple, solid step. It could be capped so you don’t end up with 30 turns of resistance late game but just having dead weight you have to upkeep and support without being able to repair or collect yield on would be a nice speed bump.

    to the second section (I condensed the quote via ellipses for brevity) I agree that the ideal game balance allows for a set of viable approaches. WRT warmongering, we can consider the classic RTS triangle of rush/turtle/boom which is loosely Warrior/walls/settler. And it is easy for us on CFC to take the perspective of a highly skilled player against feeble AI, but at its base all three of those strategies have inherent risk: you can lose your army and fail to capture anything; you can build walls for an attack that never comes; you can see your new settlements get taken by someone else’s army.
    The game still has to work on prince difficulty, so we must be careful!

    Unrelated, it wouldn’t be so awful if a future expansion or civ game had something for warmongers who don’t want conquest; basically the piracy/shakedown model- you just go steal peoples stuff instead of capture cities. IE Norway tells Venice via a casus belli / ‘war goal’ that they better pay the Danegeld or else; Venice refuses, and thus they get the Danes, who have some sort of ability to forcibly extract that demand or allow Venice to pay it unilaterally to end the war. Civ has a lot of potential for emergent storytelling and diplomacy needn’t be tied to pacifism.

    Oh, I shouldn’t have said tech rush. I don’t mean bee lining, I meant just the concept of rushing through the tech tree as fast as possible no matter the cost. Which is what science spamming tries to achieve.
    Obviously researching new stuff is a cornerstone of Civ, and it is tricky indeed since it’s not the fact that you’re researching quickly that’s an issue; it’s that there’s no brake on the tech snowball because it’s positive feedback with no downside. You can have a very strong military, but once you have enough to take on all reasonable threats, continuing to train new units is just a drain on resources. That doesn’t mean you keep yourself at the same strength as other players, it just means recognizing that you don’t need an army that can take over the world unless you’re trying to take over the world. Science has no such mechanism in game. If it did, I think we could appropriately reward having good science but also prevent the worst excesses.

    And, I agree on the maintenance thing. I don’t think civ6 has inflation like past games, but I do feel there is a step missing when you advance your government and there’s no attendent increase in “standard of living.” Maybe it’s just clutter for the game, maybe it can be solved by just making the costs of late game stuff more than a linear ramp up from early game. But I’ve definitely had the same thoughts.

    On that note, we should probably drop the “everything is equivalent” Board game balancing of the districts, and just admit that science and culture as they exist are simply more valuable and basically always will be, and furthermore the resources needed to produce them and just going to be greater than keeping the harbor running. The money you spend on research grants really could be used to support your military or pay for hydro dams and factories, instead of the cost being something you don’t even consider.
     
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  12. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    @Sostratus I think we're both patting the same dog on this one.

    I think a problem with how maintenance currently works is that, while more advance units and buildings have higher maintenance costs, that doesn't ever really bite because the player always controls when they build these things. The game has cost and maintenance inflation, but it's always under the player's control.

    Some things I'd like to see are: (1) maintenance costs increasing as you move to higher tier governments and possibly also once you unlock certain techs; (2) happiness requirements increasing as you unlock certain techs (perhaps combined with certain techs allowing luxuries to apply to more Cities) and (3) some buildings providing variable yields based on whether you have a Governor and or status of your empire - e.g. maybe Banks and Stock Exchanges provide more Gold but only with a Governor in the City; maybe Banks provide gold based on total number of trade routes in your empire or additional yields for each continent you have settled on; maybe Rationalism provides +1% Science per Citizen Pop, but only in Cities with a Governor.

    The game isn't currently in bad shape, but all this "empire" stuff could use some tweaking. Thing is, there's lots of things FXS could do to tweak the existing mechanics, and people will have options they prefer.
     
  13. Lily_Lancer

    Lily_Lancer Emperor

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    This only applies in Rise and Fall. I believe In Gathering Storm there's no such modifications in game.

    Another greatness of Korea(or other skills towards adj bonuses) is that the +50/100% actually depends on your adj bonus for the campus. So if you get +3 or +4 for adj then you get 100% otherwise you only get 50%.

    Maybe we shall make these cards +5% per population, max at +100%.
     
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  14. Jeppetto

    Jeppetto Warlord

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    Well maybe they hard-coded it to ignore but in DLC > Expansion2 > Data > Expansion2_GlobalParameters these values are set for both Civics and Techs as + or - 20%.
    And from non-data-based feeling, I do feel like it does work.
     
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  15. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Yes, it is in the GS Paramus specifically and in the R&F I think it was 5/0 hence my ordinal comment. Cannot rest now as I have to do the ironing. I think it’s great if it does work, it is the type of balance that works IRL, old techno,ogives become common knowledge. In a way I would hate to think it does not because it is the right type of thing to stop civs lagging too much. The should have a civic one at 3%
     
  16. Elhoim

    Elhoim Iron Tower Studio Dev

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    Yeah, I loved those parameters and even made some modifications. But right now they aren't working even if you modify it. Like something got changed at the source code.

    Another thing I did was give the Russia ability to all governments (from AgRev, 1 yield per tech/civic), and it's really great, and makes a lot of sense.
     
  17. Lily_Lancer

    Lily_Lancer Emperor

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    Yes they still have the parameters, but the parameters don't work. Maybe they've noticed that 40 is too long for an era so that you always get +20%, making the adjustment nonsense.
     
  18. Wyvern_Parade

    Wyvern_Parade Chieftain

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    While I prefer Civ 6's infinite city sprawl to Civ 5's boring 4 city tradition meta, I think some tweaks to empire wide management would make the game a lot more interesting.

    I don't necessarily think adding the culture/science penalty from Civ 5 is the correct answer though. I'd much rather the devs rework things like district building yields, loyalty, and specialists to make large cities more efficient. I think a highly populated empire with a few powerful cities should be able to at least compete with a low-population wide empire, while a highly populated empire with many cities would beat both of the former. I don't think this is currently the case in Civ 6.

    Here are a few ideas which could improve balance. Not saying all of them should be implemented, but I believe some combination of the following would turn Civ 6 from a really good game into a great game:

    1. Leave tier 1 district building yields flat while making tier 2 and 3 population based. For example, instead of a University giving a flat +4 science, make it +0.4 per citizen. This way a pop 10 city (the current ideal size for most cities) will benefit exactly the same as now, but a pop 20 city will double the yields. Wide empires could still spam more Campus districts and libraries, but might no longer find it efficient to buy Universities and Research labs in smaller cities.
    2. Loyalty penalties scaling with each city settled. The numbers would have to be tested to be balanced correctly, but for the sake of simplicity, say each additional city you settle (or capture) after your capital inherently has an added -1 Loyalty penalty. This means your 11th city (including your capital) would automatically have a -10 Loyalty penalty. Consequently Loyalty boosting abilities and Governors would have more impact as well.
    3. On the same note, additional city centers could have some kind of scaling gold per turn cost once settled.
    4. Make some policy cards or governor abilities improve district specialist yields.
    5. I doubt this will happen because it seems outside of Firaxis's vision, but I'd like to see military units have some up-front food cost or food upkeep penalty so that empires which produce a lot of food can maintain larger standing armies. Not sure exactly how this would affect the wide vs. tall balance, but I think it would buff food as a resource to be closer in strength to production.
    6. Allow larger cities to have more than 1 trade route. Perhaps if a city is over 20 pop and has a Stock Exchange or Seaport it would unlock and additional trade route slot. Or allow cities over 20 pop to get the trade route slot from both the Harbor and Commercial hub buildings (like it was in Vanilla Civ 6).
     
  19. DizzKneeLand33

    DizzKneeLand33 Fall from Heaven 2 still rocks

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    I think the solution has to include things like this. As long as the policy cards are where they are, no amount of adjustment (for example, making campuses less useful) will be even 80% effective.

    I think this is also part of the solution. Maybe a combination of something flat and scaling. It seems very strange how much science can be made out of a pop 4 city just because I can faith buy a Campus and then immediately gold/faith buy the buildings for it, while the city itself is less evolved than some of the barbarian encampments on the map.

    Part of the problem is that we can 100% purchase buildings with gold/faith. Maybe some of that should be limited to 50%. That way, the pop 4 city I list above would take a long time before its impact would be felt.

    EDIT: What about an extra building in each district that can only be built in pop 20 cities that would give a yield based on population and in addition an extra amenity or two? Then you would have some flat yields and some based on population (just another extension of Wyvern's idea).
     
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  20. kryat

    kryat Prince

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    Something I’ve suggested before along these lines is making adjacency a multiplier instead of a flat yield. +1 = 1.2x, +3 = 1.6x, etc. buildings would add to that multiplier. All base yields are based on pop or trade.
     
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