Slight gameplay balance problem, or How the heck can they outtech me...?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by morchuflex, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. morchuflex

    morchuflex Emperor

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    Hello.

    I've been playing Civ4 on Noble for three months and I think I'm almost ready to move up one level. But only "almost", because I've still got to figure out one thing: how the heck can the AI outtech me when I make 2x as much gold as them?
    See the attachment: I'm by far the richest civ, earning 2x as much gold as my richest rival (Spain). And it's not recent: it has been so for dozens of turns. I also know for sure that Spain does not have contacts with civs unknown to me. Still, they're several techs ahead of me. Even the lousiest civs are not that far behind me.
    Now, before you ask: I have not been warmongering like hell, or favoring religion or GPs at the expense of science. On the contrary. My whole territory is improved. Every city has a MP and a Lib.
    And I have been vigilant not to miss tech trade opportunities.
    Still, I seem to suck at research.
    Or would it be possible that the AI cheats more badly..., er, I mean, benefits from more "advantages" in tech than in other areas? (like: 10% discount on buildings but 20% in tech) That would explain why I can easily beat them in every area, except tech.

    Any clue?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Artanis

    Artanis King

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    The AI doesn't get any tech discounts on Noble.

    Are you trading techs? The AI doesn't hesitate to trade techs, so you have to get in on it if you don't want to be left behind.

    Also, how are you sure that Spain hasn't had any contact with anybody you don't know? I look at the minimap in your screenshot and see a LOT of empty space - including at least two entirely seperate continents - that would just be sitting completely empty if there's nobody else out there that they could've met.
     
  3. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    It's easy for you to generate more gold than they do, and them to generate more research that you do, if they have a higher research rate.
     
  4. BenniusCaesar

    BenniusCaesar Warlord

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    Maybe you have a lot more cities than them which is why you have a lot more gold. But you would also be losing a lot more to maintenance than them.
     
  5. BenniusCaesar

    BenniusCaesar Warlord

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    He has 100% though
     
  6. automator

    automator King

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    Having hard currency on hand doesn't offer much in Civ.

    If you aren't already, get into Representation ASAP. Science and Culture bonus for every specialist.
     
  7. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    He has 100% on this particular screenshot. He obviously hasn't been running at 100% over the past several turns, because (1) he has a huge deficit, and (2) he wouldn't have accumulated so much gold.
     
  8. ShaLouZa

    ShaLouZa Warlord

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    Right now yes, but losing 127 gpt : he didn't have that all along for sure. Also everyone else is in the Isabella hinduist circle, so they do trade techs without a doubt.

    edit : reloading the page before posting would have saved me a post. :D
     
  9. chewbaccad

    chewbaccad Chieftain

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    Also, in looking at the mini-map, her civ is smaller... so while she's not generating as much gold she's also not paying nearly as much maintenance either. Since everybody's her religious bud, I'd bet they've been tech-trading something fierce.
     
  10. ShaLouZa

    ShaLouZa Warlord

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    At least there's no master tech-racer like Gandhi, Rossevelt or Mansa Musa on the map, so he could be able to catch up.
     
  11. Shadzy19

    Shadzy19 Warmonger

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    I really find that graph misleading , ive often had double the amount of gold on this graph , but yet when i check the demographics im only slighty above or even behind some civs in GNP simply because i have a bigger army / more maintance / expensive civics.
     
  12. malekithe

    malekithe King

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    Plus, there's the tendency of the AI to farm like crazy and run a specialist based economy. If Isabella has dozens of scientists, those won't show up under the GNP graph. No chance she build the pyramids and is running representation as well, is there?
     
  13. morchuflex

    morchuflex Emperor

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    All right, thanks everyone. Now to my answers:

    - Isabella probably hasn't more contacts because I'm the only one having caravels (for the moment).
    - I'm not in representation (tech not discovered yet), but she isn't either (Bismarck has the Pyramids).
    - I do trade techs, except when I'm only offered insulting deals.
    - Yes, my empire is bigger (11 cities) and I do pay a lot of maintenance. That has to explain much of the problem.
    - I thought the GNP graph represented gpt (income). You seem to suggest it represents your treasury? That would certainly be misleading.
     
  14. DaviddesJ

    DaviddesJ Deity

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    I believe the GNP graph shows your income. But this has nothing to do with research. You can have high income and no research, or low income and high research. Depending on where you set your tax rate, where your income and research are coming from, etc.
     
  15. Nestorius

    Nestorius Prince

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    I sure see a lot of farms behind that info screen.
     
  16. Hans Lemurson

    Hans Lemurson Prince

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    I believe the GNP displays the total amount of commerce generated per turn. Large numbers of cities, and a resultingly high maintainance cost can eat up a large chunk of your GNP that could otherwise have been spent on research. To build up a large budget treasury like that I would think must have cost you some in the way of science.

    Tech-trading is another likely culprit though. You can make technological gains far greater than you would normally be able to with proper tech-trading. Say you know 5 civs, and together they know 5 techs that you do not. If you have or have researched a tech of your own that none of them have, you can trade that tech to each one of them individually, and end up gaining 5 techs for the price of 1. The AI tech-trades, but I do not believe it does sophisticated wheeling and dealing like that.

    Though a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, a savegame file is worth a thousand pictures. Uploading your most recent save will allow us to fully see and critique what is going on. A single graph of questionable measurement that lacks any quantitative data will be limited in the amount of wisdom it can provide.

    Oh, and Noble AI's fight on an even footing with you. They're noble like that.
     
  17. morchuflex

    morchuflex Emperor

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    Well, here's a save game so you can better help me.
    BTW, I was mistaken: I'm playing on Prince, not Noble.

    @Nestorius: the NW area sure has a lot of farms. It was until recently a 100% jungle area, which I colonized only lately. Since it has no hammer-rich tiles, I rely on growth and my trusted whip to rush buildings and catch up.

    Any advice welcome.
     
  18. bonscott

    bonscott Prince

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    Cottages my friend. Cottages. Maybe build a couple farms in that area but cottages could be pulling in 5-8 commerce per turn once they are towns. Your research will skyrocket at that point.
     
  19. morchuflex

    morchuflex Emperor

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    While I agree on the general importance of cottages, I still contend that I'm better off using farms right now, because whipping is the only way these cities will finish MPs, Bks, Grocer's, etc, in a reasonnable time. Growth, whip, growth, whip... and when all the essential buildings are complete, I'll convert these farms to cottages. With the appropriate civic (is it free speech? - can't remember) they'll still have enough time to become towns. No?
     
  20. Andrei_V

    Andrei_V King

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    The sooner they start growing, the better, no matter what the growth rate is. In the later game they must not grow, but give a huge amount of $$$$ already. Emancipation speeds up the growth, of course, but be sure it is not too late.

    You better delay a little your markets, grocers, etc. They are only efficient when you have enough commerce, which you cannot get from the farms alone. The markets, banks etc. only increase income, but do not create it. Cottages do.
     

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