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Smoother Difficulty 1.4

Better difficulty curve for Civ VI

  1. RushSecond

    RushSecond Chieftain

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    I didn't like that the AI got insane bonuses at the start, which meant the #1 way to lose a game was to just get DoW'd in ancient or classical and get killed by more units than you could possibly handle. This mod smooths the difficulty curve of the AI, so now they have about the same start you do, but get better constant bonuses so they can keep up with tech and production throughout the entire game.

    Also, in the most recent versions, I've added new difficulty levels! Demi-god adds a stepping stone to get from Immortal to Deity, and Omniscient is a new level that's even harder than Deity. If that's still not hard enough, I encourage you to try MyopicCat's mod Deity++

    Installation: extract the zip folder into Documents / My Games / Civilization VI / Mods
    Value Warlord or Less Prince King Emporer Immortal Demi-god Deity Omniscient
    Base Science & Culture Bonus 0% 12% 24% 36% 48% 60% 72% 84%
    Per Era Science & Culture Bonus 0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7%
    Gold and Production Bonus 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 100% 100 %
    Combat Bonus 0 0 1 2 3 (+1 over time) 4 (+2 over time) 5 (+3 over time) 7 (+3 over time)
    Bonus vs Barbarians 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
    Bonus Amenities Over Time 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 5
    Extra Military Units 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 3
    Extra Settlers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Extra Builders 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Player Production Penalty 0 0 0 0 0 0 10% 25%
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
  2. Brave Sir Robin

    Brave Sir Robin he bravely ran away

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    where did you find the original info? I have been looking and can't find it
     
  3. Littlebob86

    Littlebob86 Chieftain

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    Yes! This is what I've always wanted since I was born! ;)
     
    Akbarthegreat likes this.
  4. RushSecond

    RushSecond Chieftain

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    It's hidden in Eras.xml (for the starting units) and Leaders.xml (for the production/science/etc bonuses)
     
  5. MyopicCat

    MyopicCat Chieftain

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    I'm also looking into modding difficulties in exactly this way (I did something very similar in my "Feudal Ranks" mod for Civ 5), but I'm not sure if I'll go through with it now that you're doing the same thing. I guess it depends on how far you take the concept.

    Anyway, I just wanted to point out that your numerical descriptions of the difficulty levels are probably wrong. Reason: I believe the internal default handicap is Warlord (and not Prince). At least that's what I've concluded since it's the only way to make the math check out for modifiers that use the LinearScaleFromDefaultHandicap type, compared to what actually happens in game.

    To get the numbers right, just recalculate assuming that Warlord is the default (so Prince is +1 handicap level, up to Deity at +5 handicap levels).
     
  6. Brave Sir Robin

    Brave Sir Robin he bravely ran away

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    Thanks
    just goes to show they know how horrible the AI is
     
  7. RushSecond

    RushSecond Chieftain

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    I don't think I'll take the concept further than this. I plan to focus on the civics tree, policy re-balance, and adding new policies. This was just a quick fix that I wanted to share.

    I just tested it myself and you're right! Woopsy. I'll edit the first post with the correct before/after difficulty settings.

    Now that I know exactly the values I set it to, I'm thinking I may have made it significantly more difficult than without the mod, and prince is also more difficult which is not intended either. Then again, if someone is looking for a mod like this they probably want the game overall harder anyway. Let me know what you guys think.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
  8. Littlebob86

    Littlebob86 Chieftain

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    Hey so I also just changed the unit maintenance cost for warriors and slingers to 1, and so far it doesn't seem like the enemies are spamming them to ridiculous amounts, and I haven't noticed money being a terrible issue.. Although I did try looking for where starting gold was to maybe give an extra 10.

    Civ vi/base/assets/gameplay/data/units.xml

    Using notepad ++, line 627 and 628, I just had to add in 'Maintenance="1"'
     
  9. Potenzo

    Potenzo Chieftain

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    This is just what Civ needs!
    I don't know what it is with Firaxis and reverse difficulty curves (hello? X-Com?!) but I'm certainly looking for something that starts off challenging and keeps the pressure on, not something that starts off with an insane zerg rush and then peters out. I'll definitely be testing this out.

    Of course, grading the difficulty to "match" the default settings is conceptually difficult, since the explicit aim of this mod is to make the start easier/the later game harder, relative to default. So, how are you trying to pitch it? I can see two conceptually different ways to go:
    • Aim to replicate the base game "minus annoyance of early zerging". In the base game, if you're playing at the "right" level for your skill, sometimes you get stomped early, sometimes you don't, depending on starting conditions. That means a lot of annoying re-rolls. Move up a difficulty level, you pretty much always get stomped, move down one, you don't get stomped but the rest of the game is a boring cakewalk. In this approach, the aim is just to eliminate the re-rolls. If this is your aim, you're trying to make mediaeval/later eras play the same as in the base game, only the ancient/classical experience is changed. So the increased yields for the AI compared with base settings for a given difficulty level are intended only to make up for the loss of the compounded effect of having two cities and a builder on turn 1.
    • Aim to genuinely "smooth" the difficulty, so while the early game is easier than the base game on a given difficulty level (because you're not at so much risk of an early stomping), the later game keeps the pressure up, and so feels harder than the base game. With this objective, there isn't really an intention of "matching" the base game's difficulty settings (although you might say, for example, that late game on Smooth Emperor should still be easier than late game on base-game Immortal).

    So the first version just "fixes" the problem you describe "the #1 way to lose a game was to just get DoW'd in ancient or classical and get killed by more units than you could possibly handle", while correcting for the fact that removing the source of that problem on its own would make the whole game a lot easier. The second approach doesn't just eliminate the unwanted challenge of coping with an early DoW, it transfers it into later eras, by making the later game harder than the base, on any given difficulty setting, not merely equivalent to how it was.

    In terms of making comparisons, if you go with the first approach a mod user would say "I play on Immortal but I use the Smoother Difficulty mod", and the base-game player would probably hear it as "So you're not really as good as Immortal then, you're playing with a crutch". With the second approach it would be more "I play on Immortal and use Smoother Difficulty", to which the base-game player would say "So you're pretty strong Immortal then, but your playstyle is weak in the Ancient/Classical".

    Interested to hear what your goal is.
     
  10. ichbinsehselber

    ichbinsehselber Chieftain

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    I like this mod. The start was always the most difficult part of civ for build-up style players like me. Due to this issue I haven't been able to tackly Deity level games anymore after civ2.
    Taking away all the builders will make the start for deity level players a lot more viable. The second settler is still a big challenge I guess (I don't have so much civ5 and civ6 experience to tell)
     
  11. retrocity5

    retrocity5 The American Monarchist

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    So from what I can tell, is Prince not the normal difficulty anymore?
     
  12. RushSecond

    RushSecond Chieftain

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    I'm using the second approach. The late game (Modern and later) should be noticeably harder than without the mod, and if there's a consensus that it isn't, then I would prefer to boost AI science/production/etc even more.

    Suppose you can beat Diety 20% of the time without this mod. That means 80% of the time you will die within the first three eras, or else forgo so much infrastructure trying to build military to survive, and/or end up losing too many cities that you are effectively dead. If you make it to Industrial and are close in city count, science, etc. then you are nearly guaranteed to win. The problem with that (and what this mod aims to solve) is you basically are only really playing half the game, since once you set yourself up strongly at Industrial era the game becomes really easy relative to the difficulty level you chose, and you can just coast to victory.

    Now if you try it with the mod, you could make it through into the later stages of the game much more easily, but hopefully now there is no coasting to victory once you get there. You have to stay ahead in city count/land or infrastructure, or continue making strong power plays throughout the rest of the game. If you don't, the AI will continue gaining momentum and outpace you to the finish, and you'll end up with a hopeless situation in the Modern/Atomic era where you can't make it to a victory condition before someone else does, as a result of many small mistakes throughout the game. I made this mod because that sort of situation sounded way more interesting and interactive to me, and gives more challenging situations and choices you need to make in the later eras.
     
  13. Potenzo

    Potenzo Chieftain

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    Excellent. Firing up my first game with your mod now.
     
  14. bald cheese

    bald cheese Chieftain

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    I've been playing with this mod on immortal difficulty. It's been nice not getting stomped out in the ancient and classical eras. However since the AI trade mechanic is kinda weird, and now they're making a ton of gold, when they wage war on you, and then you defeat the units that they sent out they end up giving you a ton of cash just to make peace. They gave me like 18,000 gold plus 400 a turn in the medieval era. Now essentially I have those extra bonuses making the game easy, and war is the only way to get ahead.
     
  15. Akbarthegreat

    Akbarthegreat Angel of Junil

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    Superb mod. You might just have saved this game for me. Kudos :D
     
  16. Zuizgond

    Zuizgond Chieftain

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    +50% to the already huge AI production bonus?
     
  17. Skulbow

    Skulbow The Lonely Cyclist

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    I did one game on immortal difficulty and had a very easy win...just too easy to make money now from AI with deals and war payments. I think the beginning game is usually fine as long as yopu expect to be attacked and so prepare for it. I might like this mod better if somehow the AI's didn't end up with so much money but where helped more in production and maybe extra units in the later game. Apart from that the game really needs an official patch which changes many systems not just one to better balance the game and make the AI more sensible. Saying all that I am enjoying the game but finding it a lot easier to win that CivIV and V.
     
  18. Miravlix

    Miravlix Chieftain

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    I generally feel this mod is a hail mary for the game, the AI is beyond broken without it.

    The AI upgrades/build appropriate armies, without this mod, you could fight 300 warriors in the atomic age.

    I've been upping difficulty to find my level with this mod installed and is upto immortal and then the AI was having some problems, with low army score, I couldn't figure out why, until I started one game and got kicked out to the defeat screen just after my first build (scout) was finished, as a barb invasion killed my capital.

    The barb upgrade for immortal is evil, with the mod barbs is killing and razing cities left and right and even if they aren't razing, they are hurting the AI armies.

    Do your changes effect city states or is it a base game problem that on immortal, city states get razed by barbarians?
     
  19. RushSecond

    RushSecond Chieftain

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    I didn't change barbarians at all. I know sometimes you can get unlucky and start a game with multiple barbarian camps nearby and they all happen to scout your capital early, so you could get swarmed and killed. That can happen even without any mods though.
     
  20. Miravlix

    Miravlix Chieftain

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    Yeah I know, there is even at least two levels of barbs possible in a single map, one is much more aggressive than the other. Had the same in Civ V, where Barb behavior wasn't the same on all maps, unrelated to the barb advanced setting, but now they have strengthened the Barbs, so on immortal, they spawn 3 warriors and 2 slingers pr. scout visit.

    The "problem" is that by reducing the AI bonus units, the balance in the mod to deal with the improved barbs is not working out well for the AI.

    I was wondering if the problem is the same for city states on unmodded immortal, does city states get the added units that's removed?
     
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