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[GS] Simple Balance Mod (Science) - how to fix Rationalism?

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by acluewithout, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

    Dec 1, 2017
    I’m putting together some ideas for a simple (or mostly simple) balance mod for Civ 6, focusing on buildings and a few key Policy Cards.

    My current thinking is to reduce the base Science from Libraries and Universities, and instead have both provide +% Science if you have a Governor in the City (which will provide a (very) soft cap on how many Science Cities you can have) and having Science, Culture and Faith City States only give bonus yields to your Capital.

    I may also tweak Maintenance costs and or Specialist slots, making Universities more expensive but perhaps giving Universities an extra Specialist Slot (although they already get extra housing).

    I don’t want to mess around with Campus adjacencies and I’m disinclined to push back Campuses to a later tech, because I think this would be too big a change.

    But the big thing that needs to change is Rationalism. It’s too powerful, but worse totally distorts the game because it pushes you to spam Campuses and spam Pop 10 cities.

    So, does anyone have good suggestions on how to rework Rationalism?

    My current thinking is that Rationalism could buff Science Specialists. But my worry is that this might then undermine the value of T3 buildings, which also buff Specialists. Another option is maybe +% per Campus adjacency, provided you have a University, or even just a flat +% for having a University (although that maybe goes back to just encouraging Campus spam and high Pop Cities).

    Another option would be to have Rationalism provide +% if you have a Governor in a City (perhaps increasing if City also has a Library and or University), but then I’d need to look at Libraries and Universities again. Another option for them might be they give very low base Science, but provide bonuses for Projects generally and or give +% Science but only during Golden Ages.

    Sostratus likes this.
  2. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

    Jul 31, 2017
    Minnesota, USA
    It might seem that way, but if a lot of the Uni's power was transferred to the scientist slots, then anyone actually running the scientists would really want to get a hold of a research to buff the scientists that they are running.

    Another thing I always find is that the aesthetic of the game effect matters - there's an elegance in having a card that says "+2:c5science: science from campus specialists" over one with a long description of conditional bonuses. (I'm imagining the Uni only gives like +2 science in this scenario, and perhaps gives 2 slots, so you can run up to 3 scientists at that point.)
    Even with rationalism, your research lab would be giving the scientists a 25% buff, which is quite meaty.

    Anyways, without going into a massive post, moving a decent chunk of science potential into specialists means that in order to get a lot of science, you need to move pops away from the farms and mines, so there is a true trade off - the defining features of a big science civ then become 1) how good your adjacencies are (a rewarding mechanic!) and how many citizens you are willing to sacrifice for specialists that could be making you money or digging up more iron ore- another gameplay consideration!
    Then you layer on the two policy cards, also boosting adj and specialists, and you have a very nice cherry on top of your science cake.

    There's an unused game table to let specialists give :c5greatperson: GPP so you could also transfer the points off the buildings, if you wanted.
    Speaking of the Research Lab, you could keep life balanced by just moving its specialist slot to the Uni entirely. AFAIK you can only assign flat yield boosts with power unless you start making new modifiers, but you could have some slick deal like "research lab gives you some +% effect or whatever, and then when powered, adds 5 science, equal to a fully boosted scientist!"
  3. Galvatron

    Galvatron Chieftain

    Jul 28, 2017
    Well, is it more powerful than the other district building cards? If it is then your problem isn't the card, it's that science is op.

    If you believe that to be true, you could just nerf the card to be weaker.
  4. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

    Dec 1, 2017
    @Galvatron @Sostratus Oh my, I have so many thoughts about Science!

    I think the current problems with Science basically boil down to three issues.

    First, Science is trivial to get early game because you can place Campuses so early and then chop them in, and you can then add in City State bonuses, with the result that other mechanisms for generating Science get overshadowed and the early game flies by.

    Second, and relatedly, Science isn’t very interactive because it’s mostly generated from Campuses and flat yields. Whereas there is a bit of a mini-game for culture, there really isn’t anything for Science. I mean, it’s there, but it really doesn’t shine. For example, you can get a Golden Age and use that to generate Science from Harbours and Commercial Hubs, or you can get a Dark Age and generate Science from Campuses and Holy Sites, but I think good players rarely do either because those mechanics are very hard to trigger and there’s no need to in any event. Just spam campuses and chop them in.

    Third, Rationalism (and other building cards) distort the game, because they specifically push players to just spam 10 Pop cities.

    If I had a free hand, I would push back Campuses to the Medieval Era, introduce some soft caps or trade-offs for Campuses, and make Science much more about Specialists. But I think that would require a lot of game changes. Instead, I was thinking there might be scope for a relatively narrow patch / mod that just rebalances things a little. (I had been working on one pre-GS to address balance issues in RnF, but then put it on hold because GS and subsequent patches had seemed to fix so many balance issues.)

    Another tricky issue is that, if you buff specialists too much, you potentially end up with a worse problem of just spamming high Pop cities everywhere for Science. Indeed, I suspect this is why Specialists are so weak in Civ 6 compared to previous versions, to make high Pop more situational.

    So far, my current thinking for a Mod is as follows (Science specific changes in Blue):


    Industrial Zone and Buildings
    • Industrial Zone. Remove adjacency for Mines. Add Standard Adjacency (+1) for Oil Rigs, Stone, Copper and Mercury.
    • Hansa. Additionally provides +1 Housing.
    • Workshop. Forge: alternative Industrial Zone Tier 1 building, unlocks at Apprenticeship, Cost 195. Provides +3 Production, +1 Citizen Slot and +1 GE Points. Additionally provides +1 Production to improved Iron and Horses. Workshop: unlocks at Castles, Costs 205. Provides +3 Production, +1 Citizen Slot and +1 GE Points. Additionally provides +1 Production all Camps and Pastures.
    • Factory. Additionally +0.5% Production in this City per Population.
    • Powerplants (All). Add +1 Housing to all Cities within 6 tiles.
    Commercial Hubs, Harbours and Buildings
    • Bank. Add additional +5% for Projects and +5% Gold during a Golden Age. Also provides +2 Citizen Slots instead of +1.
    • Stock Exchange. Add additional +5% for Projects and +10% Gold during a Golden Age. Also provides additional +2 Science.
    • Shipyard. Provides +1 Gold to all Luxury Resources in this City instead of and +10% Production instead of bonus production for Coastal Tiles. All other benefits remain.
    • Seaports. Seaport: unchanged, save it does not provide bonus experience for Naval Units, and instead additionally provides +5% Production and Growth. Naval Base: alternative Tier 3 building, also unlocks at Electricity and Costs 440. Provides same bonus a Seaport, but +2 Science, +25% xp for units built in this City, and +2 loyalty to all Cities within 6 tiles, instead of +5% Production and Growth.
    Campus, Theatre Squares and Holy Sites
    • Campus. Remove adjacency for Geothermal Vents.
    • Library. Science reduced to +1.
    • University. Science reduced to +2. University also provides +5% for Projects during a Golden Age, and +2 Citizen Slots instead of +1.
    • Research Lab. Additionally provides +5% for a Projects during a Golden Age.
    • Tier 3 Holy Site Buildings. All Tier 3 Holy Site Buildings provide an additional +3% Culture and +15% Religious Pressure.
    • Rationalism (and other Building Policy Cards). Change to +5% yield to each City for each appropriate Tier 2 and 3 Building (total +10% if you have all three Tier Buildings) provided you have a Governor in this City.
    City States
    • Scientific, Cultural and Faith City States no longer provide +1 Yield to either Tier 1 or Tier 2 Campus, Theatre Square or Holy Site buildings for having 3 or 6 Envoys. Instead, +1 Yield for 3 and 6 Envoys is applied to Capital City only (no building requirements). Commercial, Industrial and Military City States are unchanged.
    • Military City States additionally provide +1 Production for Units for T1 and T2 Harbour Buildings.
    Governors and Policies
    • Reyna. Tier 1 Promotion changed to Money Changer. Provides +1 Trade Route and purchasing tiles in this City is 20% Cheaper.
    • New Policy Card. "Sun Never Sets", Diplomatic Policy Card, unlocks at Colonialism. Cities on a Foreign Continent with Pop 10+ provide 0.25 Diplomatic Favour per Turn.
    Other Changes
    • Lumbermills. Changed as follows: +1 Production if adjacent to a river after you research Square Rigging, instead of flat +1 after you research Steel.
    • Geothermal Vent. Add additional +1 Science.
    • Walls. Medieval and Renaissance Walls additionally each provide +10% Production for Siege and Anti-Cavalry Units. Renaissance Walls additionally provide +1 Housing.
    • Sewer. Additionally increases District Limit by +1 and reduces cost of purchasing tiles by 50%.

    The main goal of the Science changes is to (1) reduce CS bonuses for Campus buildings to help reduce the value of Campus Spam, (2) link Campus building bonuses to Governors to create a very soft cap on Campuses (and also introduce more dynamic mechanics for Campuses), (3) buff Specialists indirectly by having more Specialists slots, (4) make Campus just more dynamic / situational overall by linking them to +% and Golden Ages.

    Just for context, the other non-science changes are mostly directed at making IZs, Harbours, Banks / Stock Exchanges, and a few improvements a bit more dynamic and more valuable, and slightly buffing a few weaker mechanics (eg colonial cities, walls, sewers, Reyna).

    Make of it what you will I guess.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
  5. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

    Dec 1, 2017
    A few additional thoughts.
    • I don’t really know what to do with libraries. I’d like them to do something other than just give flat science. They could maybe give science to certain tiles or improvements, but then they’d just end up being really powerful. Another option is maybe they give no science, but do something else entirely (great writer points? That’s OP. Amenities? Fine, but the game already has too many amenities.
    • The game needs just a sprinkle of additional Alt Buildings like the Barracks / Stable. I think obvious candidates are T1 IZ and T3 Harbour buildings. I like my idea for the IZ (which also helps buff the very weak Workshop), but don’t like the abilities for the Seaport v Naval Base.
    • I’d originally envisaged an additional T3 IZ building, a “Tech Hub”, that’s focused on production and unique projects. But I couldn’t get happy with the abilities, and have no idea how I’d make the building for it. It also felt like it would be too game changing for what I’m discussing here.
    • I’m also not happy with T3 Holy Site buildings, which I think would just generate too much culture.
  6. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing Prince

    Feb 5, 2017
    Minneapolis, MN
    The problem with science is there is so much of it is maintenance free. Having to use card slots and envoys is far outweighed by having more science. There's no way with the current rules to add a per point maintenance to science.

    For Rationalism I would prefer to keep the card the way it is and add -25% production and add a different specialist card. (Production not faith to avoid any Religious arguments, and you don't aways care how much faith a city produces, where as you almost always have to care about production.
    acluewithout likes this.
  7. Jaster83

    Jaster83 Chieftain

    Dec 12, 2003
    I'd change everything about the Campus...
    Adjacency Bonuses:
    I think all geographical adjacency bonuses should be removed. It's dumb and I can't think of any major University that is top tier that was better because it was near mountains. The mountains had nothing to do with it at all. Geographical features inside the city limits should maybe allow you to build certain types of buildings that give some sort of boost, but only to specialists assigned to the campus. Like a University at a higher altitude with less light pollution it's going to have a better astronomy program than one that's at sea level and in the middle of a huge metropolitan area with tons of light pollution.

    I'd rework the entire specialist and building system, like a building provides a specialist spot and 1, 2, or 3 science per turn (depending on tier), and each specialist assigned doubles the building's bonus, starting with the lowest. So with a T3 building and 0 specialists it'd be 6 per turn, adding a specialist would take it to 7, then 9, then 12. Add a fourth type of building that is adjacency dependent that gives +4, but you can only have one of them, and it doesn't add a specialist, add Computer Lab which doesn't require an adjacency but can't be built if any of the other adjacency buildings have been built and it requires the city or district or both to be within range of a power plant. you would get it much later than any of the others but it would give 5 science per turn instead of 4
    Some Adjacency dependent building ideas that would be available sometime in the Industrial era through Civics or other Science:
    Observatory (mountain), marine biology (ocean), Geology Department (Geothermal Vents).

    If you have a trade route from one city with a campus to another city with a campus it should provide a bonus to both cities equal to the top science per turn that a specialist in each city provides, but no bonus without a specialist. So if you have City A with 3 specialists and city B with 2 specialists, a trade route between them would add 3 from A to City B, and 2 from B to city A. So if it was a domestic route you'd gain 5 science for the route, and you could do it twice. If it was an international route and you were City A you'd gain 2 while you'd be giving 3. You'd both gain, but they would gain more. You'd basically be exporting science to them. If you were City B the international route would be better for you, even though you'd both gain.

    There's just a lot that can be done and whole dynamics shifted by reworking the Specialist system and having it synergize with trade routes for all special districts. Adding policy cards that reduce the amount of food that a specialist in a district needs or making a building like cafeteria for the Campus or Chow Hall for the Encampment that would reduce the amount of food that specialists ate by 1. That alone would be simple enough to implement and it would change how districts and specialists were used in a big way. Add a policy card called rationing and cost amenities per turn and ramped up the war weariness a lot, but turned half of all food produced into production. If you left it on very long your cities would starve and they would rebel like crazy, but if you're getting invaded it could be your last ditch effort to not get wiped out.
    steemroller likes this.
  8. dagriggstar

    dagriggstar Prince

    Mar 23, 2006
    Adelaide, Australia
    What I've modded for myself is the following (Note, this is not the mod I have actually uploaded)

    Science from population - 0.25
    Campus geographic adjacency - +1 for rivers, reefs and fissures. Max I've gotten in +2.
    Buildings - Each building adds 0.2 science for every population point. Wat is reduced to +1 science. (Research lab does retain it's generic bonus yield from power)
    Governor - Pingala adds 0.2 science per population point
    City States - Science bonus reduced to +1 science in capital, +1 per library and +1 per university
    Rationalism - Adds 0.2 science per population point
    Great Scientists - Most bonuses halved
    A lot of reducing science related unique ability bonuses

    Certain natural wonders can dramatically swing the games, may reduce those bonuses too at some point.

    The result of the above (And doubled civic costs) is that each in game era takes around 50 turns.

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