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Some advice for people trying to beat wonder addiction.

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Monkeyfinger, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. futurehermit

    futurehermit Deity

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    That is one possibility. But if you are struggling on noble, going up and getting beat up on prince might just frustrate the player and they might not understand enough of the game to know why they're losing (other than that they are getting invaded by multiple civs and destroyed).

    Playing without wonders forces the player to focus on other aspects of the game and when they can't tie up all their cities building wonders they have to build buildlings. And once the buildings are all built :mischief: then they HAVE to build military units :hurrah!: In this way, they will probably have more military kicking around (at least in spurts) and thus have a higher probability of winning the game. Most newer players don't build nearly enough military and build too many wonders. Getting that priority switched around usually helps players go up a skill level or two imo.
     
  2. 3 EMS

    3 EMS King

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    Moving up a level will do one thing for the erstwhile engineer( wonder builder). He will soon find that he can't build them all. So he will learn to prioritise and pick the one that helps him the most.
     
  3. Kennigit

    Kennigit proud 2 boxer

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    Moving up wouldn't help a new player: they still need the feel for the game. But more what I was thinking was that lets say you have someone who wins 80% on noble after a month or so of playing. They have the basics down and rather than cure their itch for wonders, they worked on other aspects of the game such as diplomacy and all. They might not see that they would do better without wonders or that they might need to almost never build wonders in their future- they figure that they would just fine-tune the rest of their game. By moving up and falling behind in 1 or 2 games, they can drop back down and understand what the future lies for them.

    This was/is all postulation, and best way for a cure is still to play games with no wonders. Just wanted to through something else out there.
     
  4. Benford's Law

    Benford's Law Warlord

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    I agree. I don't mind getting my butt kicked on higher difficulty games because I always learn something worthwhile out of it and my ego doesn't need to win a game.
    I actually think it's sometimes better for newer players to try tougher difficulty levels because I've actually had to UNLEARN certain things I picked up when playing Warlord and below (even though every game is different).

    ~Benford's Law
     
  5. Light-Giver

    Light-Giver Warlord

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    I love the versilles it decreases corruption in my near core citys, i usaly build that first then a forbiden palace more outside even on the other side of my core citys to decrease production in that side, with both your economy booms, also it good to note a city that made it so you could conqure it later,

    also i have mannaged to build a SC, i had a 5 turn tech lead on whatever tech you need to build it and i made it before any other AI, i feal that the best wonder to make is the stone henge,

    the computers dont make it early in the game, i build it when i have 3 citys, my main city builds it and grows in pop when my other 2 expand, by the time the 2 make settelers and escorts the henge is made any you get a early culture and border bust...
     
  6. Levgre

    Levgre King

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    Colossus can be really nice, one of the bigger reasons, is it is cheap. If you have copper + nice production it can build very quick, a recent game i built it in 4 turns, although 6-8 is more common. And it added about 40 research, since my bureaucracy capital had a good amount of water tiles (so the colossus adds 1.5 commerce, not just 1, to those water tiles).
     
  7. popejubal

    popejubal Emperor

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    Chicken Pizza is an awesome wonder to put hammers into! If I have stone, I'll often set a production city to build that wonder and I get an enormous strategic benefit out of it.

    Since I have stone, I get +100% production on the wonder. When another civ completes it (I'm certainly not going to complete this absolute worthles turkey of a World Wonder), I get 1 gold for each hammer I've put in, so I'm getting a +100% bonus to my gold-from-hammer production compared to building wealth. I have to wait for my cash, but it's worth the difference since I can then run 100% science for a good number of turns because of the cash my Chicken Pizza take-out service brought me.


    ...seriously, if you are not winning games on Monarch, stop building Wonders entirely except if you need this silly trick (i.e. building wonders for which you have the +100% production resource) for some extra gold to support your science habit. You'll be amazed at how much better you play and how many more games you win. After you start winning more games, then go back to building wonders that are appropriate to your game.
     
  8. CivCorpse

    CivCorpse Supreme Overlord of All

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    Just bad advice in general. I build wonders. Not building wonders is basically ignoring a function of the game that has been a key part of the civ series since forever.
    Reasons for building the wonders you said not to build
    Temple of Artemis : Early wonder that provides FIVE great people points, that is second only to the GL. Early game that can be huge if you are not philosophical or are in a food poor location. Also provides a priest (more cash and hammers) and it increases trade route income. And if you are running a specialist economy with representation (LOL, from another wonder) then it is three more beakers as well. It's expensive but a great bargain. If i build it in a coastal city I really try for TGL as well.
    The Great Lighthouse. On a snaky continent it can pay for most of your early cities. On archi-maps almost a must have.
    Statue of Zeus. The benefit isn't in causing unhappiness, it is keeping it out of the AI's hands. Try attacking a civ that has it before you have jails/police state and rushmore. That is usually early game when happiness can be a big issue. the little redfaces pop up quite quickly
    Three Gorges Dam. one of the most powerful wonders in the game. I try and save an GE for it. It costs less than 10 hydroplants and if you're on a large continent you have more than ten cities by then. plus you get clean power to cities that are not on rivers and can not build hydro plants for themselves. Really a blessing for moderate production cities that would take a while producing their own power plants. And you say the game is over ten turns after you build it? How in the world do you research all the techs for a space ship and build the ship that fast? World Builder?
    Ankgor Wat. One of the nicest wonders in the game. very very long life span (until computers I believe) A. Great Priests are nice nice nice. Hammers and gold are nice nice nice. Have a production poor city that needsa a science building or commerce building? Run a couple priests.
    Sisitine Chapel...ok I agree, not worth building unless you share borders with a creative civ you don't want to attack. Or if you have marble. But almost a must build for cultural wins.
    The colossus. If i have a pennisula I build a city on the tip for maximum water tiles and start the Maoa statues. I try and build the colossus in my biggest coastal production city. I once had a city with 14 water tiles as a the dutch. With the maoaoaoaoa staues and the colossus it had a pile of commerce and hammers until astronomy. even with astronomy it had decent commerce and when I built the dike it was a sick sick producton city. 28 base hammers is great for cranking out naval units. But the colossus is definately situational, but by no means worthless.
    University of Sankore. Why don't you want more beakers for buildings you will have anyway?
    The Spiral Minaret. See above and substitute cash for beakers.


    and now a few wonders you didn't mention.
    The Mids....the most powerful wonder in the game in my opionion. Early Rep is HUGE for an SE. And is a great combination with angkor wat. If i have stone I seriously head for the mids and tech to philosophy. Might even try for sistine as well. Each priest is then worth 2hammers 3 beakers and 2 culture. That is one powerful specialist. And police state is great for wars. more units and less WW.
    The Great Library, major wonder. 8 great people points and 6 beakers.
    The Hanging gardens. The xtra population isn't great but the free health for the rest of the game is. Health is the only thing you can't fix with the slider and late game it is usually the biggest issue
    The Oracle...cheap wonder great way to get a leg up on the AI.
    Statue of Liberty. On a big continent with representation or even without it....loads of free specialists are great. Heck if you have Angkor Wat...make them priests. Nothing like 2 free hammers, 3 free gold, and three free beakers. tack on 2 free culture if you conquered or built the sistine chapel. Not too shabby.
    Hollywood/Broadway/RocknRoll...I usually save a greatartist and great priest so I can pop a golden age to get all three fairly reliably. with a broadcast tower that is 6 smiley faces per city. Speaking of broadcast towers.
    Eiffel tower. Great for conquering late game cities. no need to build a culture building in new cities. and with the three techs above those unhappy faces from missing the motherland go poof. and you can build it during the same GA for the above techs.
    The Space elevator. Oh yeah the game is over ten turns after plastics so space races never occur.
    The great wall. Barbs are annoying. Great generals are not. Privateers are fun and the early great spy settled pretty much takes care of your espionage points for the rest of the game.
    Christo redentor. who doesn't want a free extra leadr trait? if you play epic or marathon speed late game civics changes for war can be brutal. Switching to vassalage/theocracy/policestate takes 6 turns on marathon. that is six turns in and six turns out for every war. three wars? that is 36 turns....basically 36 turns of no more units, and about 3-4 techs. spread you corporations to the Ai and switch to enviormentalism. use a spy to switch the AI then switch back one turn later. Their economy sags for 5 turns til they can switch back....and then it is 3 turns of anarchy for them as well on the slower speeds.
    The pentagon. If i have to explain why exp are good then you probably stopped reading a long time ago.

    Trying to build wonders while ignoring everything else is a recipe for disaster. Learn to build the ones that you can best leverage. Build the ones with the best synergies. Sort of like theme wonderspam. sankore/spiralMin/sistine makes a simple cheap temple one of the most powerful buildings in the game. Got stone? mids/angor wat/sankore/spiralMin is a game breaker at 1/2 price. between the temple and the priest you can run from it you can get mucho production/beakers/gold...and pray your state religion is the ap one. if it is then you get 4hammers/5 gold/5beakers per temple/priest
    And one last thing to consider when considering a wonder...You need to double it's benefits when deciding...because not only don't you get them if you don't build it...but the enemy does.

    Not building wonders is bad advice for people learning the game. It is better to learn how each one can affect the outcome.
     
  9. popejubal

    popejubal Emperor

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    Not building wonders at all is great advice for people who build too many wonders.

    It's just bad advice to keep forever.


    If you think you might be building too many wonders (the AI has lots more cities than you, lots more units than you and lots more research and money than you), then cut out the wonders entirely UNTIL YOU CHANGE YOUR PLAYSTYLE.

    ...once you can play without wonders, it's time to start playing with some of them again.
     
  10. Porphyrius

    Porphyrius Warlord

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    Let CivCorpse and identically minded builder AIs build all the wonders they want. ;)
    In fact should it come to pass that they are your neighbors help them out by gifting your sole stone/marble to them, plus spare copper/gold and techs to them. Dont worry copper for them just means colossus not axes/maces.
    Then proceed to sweep the cities they have been building for you and are proudly defended by topnotch defenders (but kinda really sparse in numbers:D ) with the horde you were building meantime.:devil:

    The question naturally becomes : should you keep that city with the colossus and all the GProphetP generating wonders or raze it to place it better so you can work the bananas.:lol:



    In a more serious tone i am not the best to give advice on how to rid yourselves of wonder addictions while playing at noble. I never had a wonder addiction and hardly ever play mid-range difficulties.
    Seems to me though that by striping yourself from all wonders, you are avoiding all the intresting strategic dilemas. Like given the resources you have and the map type, AI contacts etc which wonder to build if at all.
    IMO going for a maximum 2-3 wonders per era (i.e. classical,medieval etc.) should work better. Then again everyone has his own style to both play and learn.;)



    Monkeyfinger definitely has points to make but he is a tad too strict. Most wonders have a limited use yes and one is better off REXing (via force if necesary :mischief: ). Still the actual value nad efficiency a given wonder has varies with games.

    Keep in mind though when trying to figure out efficiency that :hammers: cost alone isnt everything. For example inext to never build the SH not because it casts too much but simply because it needs be built in a time i have dear use of :hammers: for expansion and i would other wise delay it.

    I find the mids worth building most any game despite the cost. Representation is just too good and any early economy of mine is a HE biased towards SE nommater the map/situation.
    The rest depends on GPP type, actual effect, cost etc.

    PS:Gliese if you think so lowly of GM you are probably not using them right. I know i can always use funds any given time till the industrial era. In fact if the whole GScientist/lib race package didnt work so well together i'd take a GM in almost all times/cases (save for GSpies at their peak course:D ).
     
  11. Winston Hughes

    Winston Hughes Wrathful Warlock Retired Moderator

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    Indeed, but that's the whole reason for doing so (if you're a wonderholic).

    The idea is to better appreciate the nature of those strategic dilemmas - it helps you to understand exactly what you're giving up by spending all those hammers on wonders instead of producing more settlers, workers, troops and buildings (or working more commerce tiles/specialists).

    Once our wonderholic has got a grip on the true opportunity costs of wonder building, I'd agree that this is generally the best approach.

    Edit:

    What he said. :hatsoff:
     
  12. Bleys

    Bleys Deity

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    Speaking as a wonder-addict working on my habit, this is one of the key comments on this topic. Wonder addiction is common among new players. Players coming from SMAC or Civ III may be used to getting all the wonders in the game past turn 20. You can actually get most of them in Civ IV, below Noble. But the road to Emperor level and above is not paved with MORE wonders, its actually easier to win those levels by making less wonders, and making them in their proper place and time.

    So instead of "make zero wonders" games, I try to focus on the correct path to winning those levels, and I think that "secret" is City Specialization (and micro-managed chopping/whipping, but thats another thread). When deciding which wonders to make, first decide what sort of city plan you are going to use, and build accordingly. That means you only make the buildings, wonders, tile developments compatible with the strategic use of that particular city, and instead of clicking off that Wonder in the queue simply because its "available", make units. In fact, any time you get the "urge" to make a building or wonder not compatible with your cities main focus, build a unit instead.

    You should also have some idea of a Victory Condition target, and most of those have "good" and "not so great" wonders. Culture is great, but if your not going for that particular condition, then some of the culture oriented wonders are mediocre at best, for example. If Domination is your thing, can you ever really build "too many" units? Not really, but you can certainly build "too few".

    With regard to the individual reviews of the specific wonders mentioned, I cant make an educated comment because I havent played with them enough yet. But every wonder CAN have a place in a specific style of game. Picking the "Wonder Path" for your specialized cities is ever bit as important as picking the proper "tech path" for the style of game you are trying to play. Learning which path is the most effective is what gets you wins on Immortal before the 20th century. Mixing and jumping around without a solid plan is what keeps you in the Noble-Prince range, and that applies to wonders, cities, and research.

    So it kind of depends on what level you wish to play. Below Prince, you can wonderspam to your hearts content with minimal strategic planning and win most games. Above . . . well you best have a plan in mind for your cities, wonders, and research, or you're going to get run.
     
  13. Kennigit

    Kennigit proud 2 boxer

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    One point that has not been made IIRC is that the resources for wonders are very powerful trading tools. On emperor+ when the happy cap is lower, trading marble or stone for happiness resources gives a strong boost as it allows either more production or more science (cottages). Just a tiny boost in science/production would let you either build a stronger military or get to Hereditary rule earlier to grow your cities unbounded (or to CoL and Civil Sevice). On immortal-ish you probably won't build too many wonders (ignoring obsolete's stuff), so why keep the resources around?
     
  14. cheffster

    cheffster Deity

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    I always build AS MANY WONDERS AS POSSIBLE in ALL my games, period.

    I generally like playing with an industrial Civ, and often regenerate the map untill I have a nice location with stone and/or marble.

    I'm not going to elaborate on each individual wonder, but ToA + GHL on a costal city provides more commerce then any other method in the game. It's not 'impossible', to build both of these on a costal city, on any difficulty, even w.out marble.

    I've had >600:science: / turn from this around 400-500AD, and got constitution from liberalism at 790AD, and no this wasn't on cheiftan/noble difficulty it was on Deity (lots of tech trading maybe helped tho), nothing beats ToA + GLH for bolstering you ecomony given you have 4-5 decent costal locations, and you listed these wonders as 'wastes'. Here's a tiny shot from that game at 1040AD in my captial: (+52 commerce from tade)


    I've tried playing games where I "don't build any wonders", and I just find the game isn't nearly as fun, and I don't do as well. Ppl say that wonders 'halt expansion' cause they cost so much hammers, but I like running with a smaller number of cities untill I can afford to expand futher, and on higher difficulties having 8+ cities before 1000AD really kills your research because of matainence costs, I'd rather have a few really good cities and run 90% research, then having to run 40% research cause of expansion costs.

    Obvisouly some wonders help more then others depending on the situation, and no you won't ever get 'all of em' and you have to balance your priorities, but building say 5-10 wonders relevant to my circumstance in my capital, with NE there too - more or less always yeilds a healthly economy that can beat the Immortal+ AI's.
     
  15. Bleys

    Bleys Deity

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    I guess my question would be "What level do you play/style most often?". As you go up the difficulty scale, you definitely need to streamline your wonder choices considerably for many specific styles of play.
     
  16. cheffster

    cheffster Deity

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    I play the majority of my games on Immortal difficulty, sometimes Deity if I'm feeling brave, or Emperor if I'm trying out a new playstyle or just want to take it easy.

    Obviously I don't blindly try and always get "them all" or "whichever ones are possible", there's a method to it.
    I do however make it a top priority to get as many as I can like I said.
    Back when I played Noble/Monarch I didin't try to get that many wonders - I thought it was harmfull, but now I get as many as I can given that they'll help me, my strategy revolves around it, and is similar to Obselete's threads (you should read them if you haven't)

    My basic strategy is this:
    - Make sure my capital is in a good starting point for a super production city
    - Regen map untill I have either marble and/or stone
    - Wonder-spam from the get-go, and then settle all the great people into my capital, which in turn, makes it faster and faster to keep producing more wonders, and I build National epic / Oxford in my capital.
    - If possible I'll bring out a few quecha's or warriors to steal some workers from the closest Civ(so I don't have to build em), and in some cases I'll make an early capital grab.

    Wonders I always build and go for are:
    Stonehenge, Oracle, Pyramids, Great Library, Taj Mahal, and Statue of Liberty.

    Depending on my strategy/map I'll either build:
    a) University of Sankore / Apolistic Palace / Spiral Minerat
    or
    b) Temple of Artemis / Great Light House. (for costal maps)
    This means I'll have a strong ecomony and can run 90-100% research.

    Other wonders I aim for (but don't always get) are:
    Parthenon, Hanging Gardens, Massuelum of Massolloss(sp?), Angor Watt, Collossus, Hagia Sophia and Eiffel tower (+ Rockn'll roll, broadway) and some others I can't remember right now.

    I rarely bother with: Shweggadon Paya / Statue of Zeus / Notre dame / Michelangelo's chapel, but if the opportunity is there and I have the required resources I'll go ahead and try to get these (sometimes I'll let the AI build them first and cash in)

    As far as wars - I'll sometimes goto war as soon as I meet a rival civ to nab workers. I'll often goto war around the time I discover rifling to storm in with my troops loaded with guns vs their bows and arrows. Between these times I'm rarely at war, if you understand how diplomacy works you don't need to worry about being sneak attacked - just make sure border civs like you, or bribe em off if you're vunerable to attack.

    For a while I thought I was a 'wonder addict', and that to play at higher difficulties I had to stop this behaviour and only build a select few wonders. After playing a bunch of games trying out the 'only 2 wonders per era' strat, and a few games 'cold turkey' I just couldn't stand it, Civ wasn't fun anymore and I lost at lower difficulty levels then what I'm used to.
    So I gradually went up from Prince->Monarch->Emperor->Immortal->Diety(sometimes) w/out giving up my precious wonders, rather I made refinements to my play-style and found that you can really win even at Deity whilst spamming wonders till your heart's content -- But only given that you execute it properly.
    There's a wide range of strategies, and I'm not suggesting you 'need' to build wonders to win at higher difficulty, but if you like building them you don't need to nessessarily give it up. It is a good idea to try playing w/out wonders, but it's also not any 'better' of a strat then playing a game that centers around them.
    Wonder's aren't like some harmfull drug which is ok only in 'moderation', or inheritally dangerous to your game if you build too many, I see them as an integral part of Civ4, and whether you decide to build none, or go for em all, both strategies are valid and can work at any difficulty.

    I dont like people generalizing 'Once you take the leap to Emperor+ - You can forget about wonder spamming', etc, this is very untrue in my experience.
     
  17. Bleys

    Bleys Deity

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    While re-generating and plotting out a few early cities over and over until you get the map you can CRANK wonders with sounds like fun, I would prefer a strategy pattern that involves more realistic starts as well as "hand picked" ones.

    Dont get me wrong, I dont like (or even bother playing) weak, unwinnable starts on high levels. But at the same time, I like to play with SOME surprise factors. There is also a difference between "wonderspam" and focusing on the ones you mentioned, in fact, my point was that as you go up in level of difficulty, you need to refine your strategy more and be conscious of the "paths" to success, be it your Wonder plan, your City layout and specialization, or your Research goals. As a novice Civ IV player (but veteran SMAC, Civ II, MOO2, etc player) I often find myself thinking "oh rats I should have built XXX instead of YYY 30 turns ago, and put my Science City one tile over, and researched VVV instead of WWW" etc etc.

    The OP is a bit extreme, I agree, and "never building" certain items isnt realistic either. But I think a good method to discipline yourself is a short list of "Specialized Cities" and the Wonders they will contain, and stick to it. That will go a long way to improving your game skill, IMHO, farther than either "dont build any" or "build em all".
     
  18. Cer

    Cer Warlord

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    It sounds like you are very good at playing your own strategy (which seems to be related to Obsolete's strategy) but my personal preference is to adapt my playing style to allow me to go with any kind of map without regenerating. I may prefer to have certain resources or tile types next to my capital but I like how some maps encourage me to, say, learn to play without any pre-calendar happy resources or without copper or without marble/stone near the capital.
     
  19. Bureaucracy

    Bureaucracy Chieftain

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    Mr. Monkey seems to be taking his time replying to this thread, but from the looks of things, I do not blame him :)

    And as for Mr. Cheffster, I would be very interested in looking at one of your deity games. I just would not want to see some sort of exploit like 'And now, we accept our permanent alliance signature with Musa!'
     
  20. cheffster

    cheffster Deity

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    I agree, its nice sometimes to mix things up and have to adapt to different situations. My favourite games however, ended up being with an industrious Civ with both Stone/Marble nearby my capital - hence allowing most wonders I wanted to be built.

    On emperor, I usually just adapt to whatever situation the first map gives me, however on Immortal+ I sometimes regenerate the map a few times untill I have a start I know I can work with - no point playing when you know early on your chances are slim to none.
     

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