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Should Internal Trade Routes Drain Resources from Origin City?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Seek, Apr 13, 2013.

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Should Internal Trade Routes Drain Resources?

  1. Yes

    58 vote(s)
    37.4%
  2. No

    74 vote(s)
    47.7%
  3. Indifferent

    23 vote(s)
    14.8%
  1. Gucumatz

    Gucumatz JS, secretly Rod Serling

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    No King... Aristos is right, this is the very definition of Opportunity Cost in Economics rather than a trade off...

    Food/Production is already weighed at such a higher value than gold. Despite changes in gold, most decent players can balance a negative gold per turn for most of the game, production and food are much more important. I wouldn't be surprised if internal trade routes are the first thing to be patched - because I can already imagine too many ways for human abuse
     
  2. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    The 30 turn "lock in" is no different than deciding you want a wonder and being "locked into" spending 30 turns to build it - you're losing the opportunity cost of building up science, production and culture buildings, or workers and military units, or whatever, in that time period; you are being cost the opportunity for doing other things with what you have. Trading off means you lose something to gain something (for instance there is some trade off when building settlers because you can't grow while building them). Civ5 has few trade-offs and is primarily built around the idea of opportunity cost, moreso than previous iterations.

    Regarding the definition you quoted, there is no exchange of resources with internal TRs, if there were there would be a trade off.
     
  3. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Talking about trade-offs and opportunity costs as if there's some relevant difference strikes me as missing the point a little. You have two choices with a trade route. Either you get food or production, but not gold and science, or you get gold and science, but not food or production. If you have had a trade route that connects to another civilization for 30 turns, and then when the time comes to renew that trade route, you make it an internal production route instead, your gold and science will suddenly drop. You have lost something that you would otherwise have had in making the choice to boost your production.
     
  4. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    It's the old "gameplay vs realism" debate... but remember, gameplay > realism, and gameplay + realism > gameplay... the "oh-so-hated" slider was trade-off, the issue debated here is cost of opportunity... HUGE difference. In Civ5, it feels like you have to decide "which magic benefit should I choose", while some of us feel more challenged when we have to decide what to do with a scarce resource (commerce in previous Civs), in terms of how to distribute it among many strategic needs. Some may argue (and they will) that it is still the same if you look deep enough, but even if it is, it does not feel like that... it just doesn't. It feels like "instant gratification".
     
  5. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Yeah, I get that. As I said in my previous post, ideally it'd be better if you were funneling food/production off, rather than conjuring it out of thin air. So from a realism point of view, there's no question that the system as described is somewhat deficient. However, my point is that from a gameplay perspective, internal trade routes would be untenable if they were designed any other way. I'm not sure what sure of trade off you would want to see, that would still make internal trade routes a viable alternative to international trade routes. And from that point of view, the design can hardly be greatly criticized.

    I'm not sure 'instant gratification' is the best way to describe what you're getting at. The dominant theory nowadays seems to be that a lot of the effects you choose don't feel significant enough when you choose them, but are designed to allow you to reap rewards much later on. With trade routes, for instance, it's not like you get some massive lump sum of gold, which would be instant gratification. Rather, you get a smaller (though perhaps not insignificant) boost each turn.
     
  6. Pizzaspy

    Pizzaspy Chieftain

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    No. If it was zero sum, it would be a significant feature addition just for the sake of some fiddling on par with deciding which city uses a shared tile.
     
  7. kingchris20

    kingchris20 Wisdom Seeker

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    To me, once the trade unit is built you are afforded both interantional and internal trading, you're initial decision will contain a trade off, because once you choose to focus on one, you sacrifice the other. (just like focusing on building a settler, once your civilization is built you are afforded both expansion and growth, once you choose to focus on settler production, you sacrifice growth)

    I can see how not draining resources makes sense, as a singular empire, you have X amount of food and production if some of it is shuffled around, that doesn't necessarily mean any amount of food and production is lost for the empire, you are still producing the same amount as before....actually more with a new city to tend to new land.

    However, it also doesn't make sense, if you are looking at it on a city-level basis (micro-management as in several entities within one empire) In this case whatever city 1 sends off to city 2 (for nothing in return) should be lost to city 1 and gained by city 2. ----------- But since City 1 and City 2 are incorporated under the same empire, it all equals out in the wash of the big picutre.

    --As a counter with international trade, you are dealing with two empires that have different resource flows going both into and out of both origin and recipient. Because they are two completely seperate entities, apart from one another, it is only logical that whatever you send is drained in return for gain from the other entity.
     
  8. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Deity

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    My feeling is that, if it isn't a drain, then it simply becomes an exploit. More to the point, the maximum number of hammers/food you can trade to a city should depend on the total number of hammers/food the city produces. For example, maybe 10%-20% of total production/food can be sent out as trade (with different technologies/buildings improving this number over time).

    Aussie.
     
  9. Gamewizard

    Gamewizard Emperor

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    Really? You don't think that in order to TRADE luxuries that you would have to establish a TRADE route? I know they haven't yet described it as working this way, but still being able to trade luxuries as soon as you meet a Civ would just seem silly now that we have international trade routes back.
     
  10. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    While it would be nice if that were the case, I doubt it will be, but even if it were I rarely rely too much on traded luxes even on high difficulties. I know many players use excess luxuries to sell for gold rather than trade for other luxes. Domestic luxuries, buildings, religion, and mercantile city-states can provide all the happiness you need.
     
  11. Biologist

    Biologist Researcher

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    Just because resources aren't removed from the origin city doesn't mean the output of the origin city won't affect the value of the trade route. I suspect that trade route yields will be determined by the base yield of the origin city; i.e. a city with a high base food yield will generate more food for the target city.
     
  12. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    I disagree that this is the case in Civ V generally, at least any more than previous incarnations, which were not short of magic benefits of their own. Any Civ IV tile improvement was, just as in Civ V, a magic benefit for which the only sacrifice was forgoing another magic benefit, and that's quite apart from magically appearing gold seams and forests growing faster than they could be cut down which gave you magic benefits without any cost or tradeoff at all. This is in fact why I find it particularly jarring that this seems to be exactly what these new trade routes will provide, since it's not something I otherwise associate with Civ V.

    From the Poland screenshot that seems unlikely to be the case, unless the three or four Polish cities with trade route options shown were all of similar size and providing equivalent amounts of both food and production (it's +4 for the caravan whether the resource being traded is food or production).
     
  13. Biologist

    Biologist Researcher

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    I disagree that there is no tradeoff or cost at all, since if you use domestic trade routes you are missing out on gpt increases from foreign trade routes. With river and coast gold yield gone, I'm guessing that sources of gpt are going to be much more important in BNW. Sacrificing gpt (which is vital and benefits your whole empire) for more food or production in just one city isn't going to be done lightly.

    You have a point there; without better information then the screenshot/PAX demo vid, it's hard to say. There's no reason that this can't be tweaked prior to release or in a patch, though. I feel that a system that bases domestic trade route benefits on city yields would make sense, since there are clearly a number of modifiers affecting foreign routes. That said, as others have stated, actually draining resources from origin cities is unnecessary and would make domestic routes far too situational.
     
  14. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    But this is what Aristos and I are saying: domestic resource boosts from trade routes are "magical" free bonuses. Gold boosts from international trade routes are "magical" free bonuses. So the cost is just "do I want free bonus X or free bonus Y?", instead of "do I sacrifice X to gain Y?"

    As I say, this isn't actually very different from many (possibly the majority) of decisions in past Civ games, but it has important game implications when what you're getting for free can be as powerful as 4-9 food or production a turn. Compare it with, say, maritime city states, where you can gain a food bonus (though a smaller one per city), but to do so you may need to pay gold, pledge protection which could set you in conflict with other civs, build a road that costs your workers time and you maintenance costs, use a spy who could otherwise be sited elsewhere, etc. etc. Those are all opportunity costs or trade-offs.
     
  15. Aaron90495

    Aaron90495 King

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    I think the key here is how valuable gold is in BNW. Yes, most players can currently win a game and be in the negative GPT most of the time, but will that be true in BNW? Without many international trade routes, you'll have very low income, as there's no longer gold on the map. And as bribing leaders in the World Congress/UN looks to be fairly important, you're gonna have a hard time sacrificing a lot of gold for food/production in one city.
     
  16. Biologist

    Biologist Researcher

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    Is it confirmed that we won't have to spend any hammers to produce these trade units? There is also the consideration that some sort of military escort will be needed for many trade routes, which has its own tradeoff: do I want my units protecting that trade caravan, or should I have them guarding my border?
     
  17. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    It is a hard debate because it walks on the fine line that divides pure gameplay effectiveness from the all important suspension of disbelief concept... yes, some may argue that there is indeed an indirect trade off of resources, for example, when building the caravan... but does that translate into a feeling of "sacrifice"? No.

    Yes, previous versions have magical benefits also, in fact, it's a game after all; we are not really ruling a 4,000 years old civilization. But the feeling of doing so, that is what drags us into this game, or is it? Well, that feeling becomes lost when suspension of disbelief (SoDB) gets compromised. Yes, tiles produce "magical" resources, but you have to put a population unit there to "work" it, so the path to SoDB is a little shorter... you are, in the end, making your citizens "work" that tile, right? Not so with truly magically appearing resources where there is no real trade off of resources involved...

    This is similar to the whole new "civilizations" speculation/addition... I mean, last time I checked, we are toying with the idea of ruling a "historically real" or at least "historically plausible" civilization... but now we are adding "civilizations" here and there, as if they were mere marketing ads, and not plausible civilizations... Brazil? Come on! What's next? Paraguay? (I reckon this is another topic, but not by far... both are related if you look deep enough).
     
  18. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    If there is in fact a 30 turn cool-down to setting up trade routes, I'm more positive towards the current "food/production for free" system. If we look at the alternative, were food/production was simply transfered, you would have the choice between a) trading international and get extra Gold and Science, or b) trading domesting, simply transfering food/production, for no actual net gain. That would make option b) inherently worse than option a), and after all, we don't really complain that much about the "free" Gold we get from connecting our cities.

    I assumed that you could at any time cancel a trade route and set it up to a different destination - for instance, I want to transfer food from city A to city B for 8 turns, then I prefer to do something else and change it. Under such a system, transfer would make sense because the opportunity cost would be much lower - I might also have prefered such a system to the current one, because the "30 turn lock" seems very artificial, but I am less worried about this after all than a no-lock free food/production model.
     
  19. asmartlittleman

    asmartlittleman Chieftain

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    I think people are forgetting you need a granary to trade food and a workshop to trade hammers in the city it originates from. This at least has some cost since these buildings need gold maintenance and if you are using the trade route domestically then you won't be gaining as much gold. Also these buildings might be tweaked to not give you hammers and food anymore they could just unlock the ability to trade those resources (pure speculation). This would solve the problem of having "free" food and hammers since you need a building that cost gold per turn and is only beneficial to build if you use the domestic trade routes and if your not using the domestic trade route and have built the building the gold is reclaimed by a international trade route.
     
  20. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    But you need a citizen working the tile to gain its benefits whether it's a bog-standard hill or a hill with a windmill. The addition of the windmill provides wholly free resources, since there's no cost to working a hill with a windmill compared with working a hill without one.

    What reason do we have for believing there's "no longer gold on the map"? We know river tiles don't produce gold, but that's not a major income earner. There are still luxury resources (and undoubtedly still mints), and roads have been spotted with the trade route symbol, suggesting that you still get gold for having roads between cities. Those "good players" who play with negative gpt are the ones who game the system by selling luxes for GPT, and unless the AI is improved this will still be as possible in BNW as it is now. It's been speculated that trading posts are gone, but I haven't seen any confirmation of that.

    On top of which gold is currently so abundant that a number of existing gold-farming techniques just aren't used - Merchant specialists and Great Merchants, and the aforementioned Honor finisher. And it looks as though international trade routes are a new gold source on top of all that, rather than replacing anything.

    While I had forgotten that, how many cities do you build without granaries? Workshops are more situational, but in any case it's the free food bonus that's going to cause problems, not the production bonus. Remember that maritime city states had to be nerfed following the game's original release because they gave such a drastic advantage. If granaries lose their food output, that might be a partial solution, but I'm not aware of any indication that that's going to happen, and I very much doubt they'd do that with already somewhat-situational workshops, if only because a workshop is a specialist building that's inherently of more use in a destination production city at present (unless they reallocate the engineer slot to a different building). I don't think they'll want to make it worthless for a production city.
     

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