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Specialist Balance - A real game example

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Stalker0, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    6,311
    Update: Removed the halfing note about tradition, since this was not in my capital. Note that did not effect any of the math or conclusions.

    Update: Fixed the wrong yields for a forest in example 2. Only made small changes to the conclusions, no real change to the main conclusion.


    I decided to look at specialist balance based on my actual gameplay.

    In my current game, Im playing China on a King/Standard Size/Standard Speed.

    I went Tradition 6/Fealty 6/Artistry 1/Industry 6/Freedom 1 (the 2 new trade routes). Its modern era, Turn 258.

    I took a look at my 2nd best city (not focusing on the capital just yet). So here are the current specialist yields (without any percentage modifiers)

    Note: This is not the capital, so the tradition halving of specialists does not apply.

    SCI: -4 Food, +2 Prod, +5 Science, +1 Culture, +0 Gold
    MER:-4 Food, +5 Prod, +0 Science, +0 Culture, +5 Gold
    ENG:-4 Food, +5 Prod, +1 Science, +0 Culture, +2 Gold
    CivS:-4 Food, +2 Prod, +2 Science, +0 Culture, +3 Gold
    WRI: -4 Food, +2 Prod, +0 Science, +5 Culture, +0 Gold
    ART: -4 Food, +4 Prod, +0 Science, +3 Culture, +0 Gold (no typo, artists are generating more hammers than culture)
    MU: -4 Food, +2 Prod, +0 Science, +5 Culture, +0 Gold

    This city has a population of 28, and is working all 12 of its specialist slots currently.

    Let me switch between running all specialists and no specialists to see what happens. Note, this is not a guild city, more of an industrial one. This is encompassing all of the percentage bonuses, growth bonuses etc.

    Food: -141.36 (dropping my growth rate from 6 turns to 53 turns). I am China with huge growth bonuses so this is about as bad as it gets from a good loss standpoint.
    Gold: 35.52 GPT
    Science: 26.62
    Culture: 2
    Prod: 73.35
    Happiness: -1 (note that my happiness at this point is so high this is not important. Further, I have eternal Golden Ages so that doesn't really factor in)

    Now: When a new citizen is born, I gain the following things (note I have cooperation so this is even stronger than normal):
    +30 Food instant.
    +30 Gold instant
    +66 Science Instant
    +30 Culture Instant
    +80 Prod Instant
    +30 Faith Instant (does help me get more GP, but considering how much faith it takes at this point, ~5k, this is really not an impactful bonus).
    +1.11 GPT (increase from population, with a 48% boost)
    +.3025 SPT (21% boost)
    +0 CPT (no museum just yet)
    +1.06 PPT (63% bonus)

    Exercise 1
    So as an exercise, lets compare 52 turns. One scenario where specialists were off (and the city grew at turn 6), vs specialists were on (and the city didn't grow).
    What is the total change:

    Gold:
    Specialist Off: 0*6 turns + 1.11 GPT * 48 turns + 30 instant = 83.28
    Specialist On: 35.52 GPT * 52 turns = 1,847.04
    Difference: 1,763.76 Gold

    Science:
    Specialist Off: 0*6 turns + .3025 SPT * 48 turns + 66 Instant = 80.52
    Specialist On: 26.62 * 52 turns = 1,384.24
    Difference: 1,303.72

    Culture:
    Specialist Off: 0*6 turns + 0 CPT * 48 turns + 30 Instant = 30
    Specialist On: 2 * 52 = 104
    Difference: 104

    Production:
    Specialist Off: 0*6 + 1.06 PPT * 48 turns + 80 Instant = 130.88
    Specialist On: 73.35 * 52 turns = 3,814.2
    Difference: 3,683.32

    Conclusion: The specialist play was significantly better. I didn't even have to factor in the bonuses for getting fast GP (and I got a LOT of bonuses for birthing a GP right now). Now, having a museum would have made a little difference on the culture side, but even if those were more even all of the other yields were signficantly better.


    Exercise 2
    Ok lets get extreme for a minute to really look at how good specialists are. Lets say that with specialists, I will NEVER GROW. Then lets say without specialists we having population booms. We are able to grow every handful of turns. And remember, I am using those same cooperation numbers as before.

    To give us some theoretical land to work, lets be very nice and use forests. Lets say we have a large amount of unused forests to work, which give +6 prod, +1 science, +2 gold. This is factoring in various buildings and the Golden Age....which is eternal for me right now.
    So the question: How fast does my growth rate need to be in order to keep up with a specialist strategy?

    Gold: You have to grow every single turn to beat out the specialist gold. And it catches up in 4 turns.
    Science: With a growth rate of every 4 turns, it catches up in 56 turns.
    Culture: This is the best for growth, because I don't have culture specialist in that city. Even here its a growth every 11 turns, and kick in at turn 22.
    Production: At a growth rate of every 3 turns it can catch up, at 26 turns.

    So with the exception of culture (which is the worst yield to look at in this example since I don't have a museum yet and I don't have any guilds), it takes growth rates of every 2-3 to catch up in most yields. That is....a HUGE amount of food at that point in the game.

    How much food? So I took a look at my city (again with specialist off), and I asked how much more food would I need to get my growth rate down to 3 turns? At the current level, I would need 61.4 more food...again I've already turn my specialists off. And once I get my next pop, I need exponentially more food to maintain that growth rate...which is not sustainable.

    And remember, I am using cooperation, which boosts growth even more.

    Overall Conclusion: At this point in the game for a tradition player, specialists are a no-brainer. And adjusting their food at this point in the game doesn't matter all that much....because unless your growth is extremely high specialists will always win out. So if you do wish to weaken specialists at this point in the game (~280) the only viable way is nerfing their yields.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
    CrazyG likes this.
  2. MorphBer

    MorphBer Warlord

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    "Remember that since I am tradition, my food numbers for specialists are already halved. "

    You said you did not take this yields from your capital, but the half consumption of food is only in the capital.
     
  3. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Oh you are absolutely right! It doesn't change my numbers (I got the actual numbers, I didn't rely on a math assumption).

    That just means that the capitals specialist are even cheaper.

    Hmm...I had thought specialists costs more food than this now. But its only 4 food in the modern era as this is the latest patch.
     
  4. Workerspam

    Workerspam Prince

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    My concern with balancing specialists and growth in my cities revolves around ensuring I have enough population to work not just current specialists, but future ones as well. I’m curious how many additional specialists you could work if you went all specialists in that city? Is food growth through techs/policies enough to keep adding them on, or do you de-specialize if you find you need more population?

    What I love about many of these balancing discussions is finding out how differently many of us play this game.
     
  5. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost King

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    Sep 5, 2016
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    I personally don’t see it as a problem that specialists are better than working tiles late game. It’s historically realistic that modern nations have more educated and specialized citizens, and the increase in specialist usage in late game helps with a diverse game experience. There are enough complex decision points in the game that some “no-brainer” decisions can be good for gameplay in general. Overall yield inflation is an issue that’s being worked on, but the raw fact of specialists being better than tiles is not a problem.
     
    admfischer, MorphBer and CrabHelmet like this.
  6. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    It does contribute to Great Person spam, which many of us view as a problem. Remember that none of his calculations even involved the great people he was getting from the specialist focus, skewing it even further.
     
  7. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    I think it would do to have a re-work of some of the specialist yields...they're not really...specializing much in anything. Merchants are outperforming Engineers in production; Culture specialists are also production specialists, etc...I think we should just focus on making the main bonus of a specialist bigger so they can actually specialize.
     
  8. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    2018-01-03 was supposed to do exactly this.
     
  9. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    Ah OK.

    This may seem like somewhat of a prodding question, but wouldn't it have been of value to see what kind of yields were generated if those non-specialists were working tiles instead? (or perhaps there were no tiles to work, which is a possibility - nevertheless, that does seem like the fair comparison to make)
     

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