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Stealing Workers Early

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Cobra522, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. Cobra522

    Cobra522 Chieftain

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    I feel like the free worker that the AI starts with is a little to easy steal with almost no repercussion. There is almost never a scenario I can think of where if I discover a civ soon enough building that early farm that Im not going to DoW and steal the worker. Even with the 50 turn malus and unit maintenance its a still a major boon very early for almost no risk. This is only on emperor, so Im not sure how dangerous it is on higher difficulties, but on the lets plays Ive seen early worker steals even on diety seem pretty safe.

    My big gripe with this is only that it feels really gamey and sort of necessary. Theres no planning or strategy that goes into it and the AI is put at a pretty big disadvantage easily and early. How does every one else feel about it?
     
    saamohod likes this.
  2. civplayer33

    civplayer33 Chieftain

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    Well you're not stealing the workers of all AI opponents, but usually just from one, so the question is whether it really has such a huge impact on the game.

    Another question is what do you want to do about it?
    No free worker for the AI will weaken the AI overall even more than now (you don't get a free worker but from the AI perspective you now stole the worker from each one); prohibiting early worker theft would be super lame (aside from the fact that you can do that already, just tell yourself not to declare war in the first 50 turns) and giving the AI more warriors for protection would mean a move into the direction of vanilla where the AI gets lots and lots of free stuff for a nice head start.
    In my mind that only leaves trying to teach the AI to protect their worker better, I suppose.
     
  3. Cobra522

    Cobra522 Chieftain

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    It can be pretty impactful if the player has good tiles for farm improvements or an easily improvable lux from camps or mines. The AI starting with the bonus worker is one of the huge boons it gets, being able to take that away so easily just feels really shallow.

    I think the AI should keep the worker, I dont know if its possible but maybe they could receive a temporary buff that gives them immunity for 30 turns or so? Keep the AI behavior the same just restrict the players for a short while.
     
  4. civplayer33

    civplayer33 Chieftain

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    Well given that you raised this issue and not me, you should provide some actual data; quickly looking at the last two photojournals I see CrazyG building his first worker himself and Minh Le not getting a worker at all the first 40 turns, so the issue doesn't even come up. And even if it did, like I said, it's only one of your many AI opponents that suffer from it.

    Personally, the AI getting any sort of immunity would be completely intolerable to me. I don't steal a worker every time and probably not even in most games but more importantly I don't agree at all that it is more "shallow" to steal one AI's free worker compared to making that AI immune to having their units stolen.
     
  5. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    Repercussions are actually bigger than you think. That AI is likely to hate you for a long time.
     
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  6. chicorbeef

    chicorbeef Warlord

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    CrazyG said he believes it's gimmicky I believe and Minh Le specifically set out to not steal workers in his peaceful photojournal.

    It is pretty easy. Especially if you happen to get a Scout. Personally I don't think starting with a Worker is a particularly good idea because it favours certain starts over others (eg. Gold vs. Sugar).
     
  7. Minh Le

    Minh Le Chieftain

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    Actually I dont think its worth stealing a worker on standard speed. My pathfinder has much more important work to do i.e scout, guarding barbs... not to mention my neighbour will hate me. 50 turns on standard is really big. But on the other hand, 50 turns on epic or marathon is not much, so its definitely worth to steal a worker, you have plenty of time to walk him home then continues to scout, guarding barbs... So I think a possible fix here is making the 50 turns malus of the stolen worker scale with game speed.
     
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  8. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    If your goal is to win, stealing workers is by far the best strategy I'm aware of. Not only because it helps you so much, but an added bonus of hurting an enemy is fantastic. I don't steal workers in my games because I just don't like it.
     
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  9. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Chieftain

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    I oppose making the malus for Workers last long on slower speeds. If that's the case, then it's penalizing you for winning wars later and capturing Workers to get you even further ahead. If Workers get longer malus in the first X number of turns scaling with game speed, then I'm fine with it. After all, we're dealing with that first Worker and not the Workers you get later from legitimate wars.

    I also no longer capture enemy Workers unless I'm going to war. It feels too gamey for me as well.
     
  10. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I feel that if your strategy depends solely on capturing a single worker in the early game, you're setting yourself on a crutch that will slow your improvement at the game in the long term.

    G
     
    civplayer33 likes this.
  11. civplayer33

    civplayer33 Chieftain

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    I don't know if something fairly situational can be called the best strategy by far...I just skipped through the first 20 minutes of Minh Le's Korea playthrough and I fail to see how hunting for a worker to steal instead of scouting new city locations would have improved his play there, as he himself notes:
    Sure there are times when you happen upon an easy worker early on, and then it may well be worth it, but making that (finding and stealing workers) your top priority over everything else doesn't seem like a good strategy to me.

    But I don't really care as long as nothing like AI immunity gets implemented.
     
  12. Minh Le

    Minh Le Chieftain

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    Stealing worker on slower speed is more like an exploit than a strategy. On marathon you would need more than 20 turns to produce a worker, so 50 turns malus actually doesnt mean much. If I can capture the 1st worker soon enough, this worker will be already normal when I unlock the tech i.e calendar to improve my luxury. I had one game on marathon which I could steal 3 workers from 1 neighbour AI. Actually I never build/buy workers on marathon, its much better to steal worker from AI or city states.
     
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  13. CrazyG

    CrazyG Warlord

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    Sorry, I meant in the idea there is a worker you can steal. Given a choice of stealing vs not stealing, its so much better to steal. Its more than worth the diplomatic penalty. Sometimes you don't get the opportunity.
     
  14. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Chieftain

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    1 game where you are lucky to steal 3 Workers isn't a good indication of how most games go. And were you invading this civ or were you just stealing Workers? Some of us don't declare war, grab Workers and end the war when the AI has enough. I also don't steal Workers from CS because that's also gamey. There are certain things that humans can do and AI cannot. That's something we cannot change until AI becomes really advanced. Until then, some of us set up self rules for ourselves like never steal Workers for the sake of stealing Workers.

    As for exploit, we all know slower speeds are less balanced than Standard. What are we accomplishing with a change of the malus to 150 turns on Marathon? There are honestly many others things that are bigger priorities for balance issues than the length of the Worker's malus.
     
  15. Minh Le

    Minh Le Chieftain

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    Yeah I agree its hard to balance lower speed. But I just want to discuss on the topic which is specific at stealing worker. I can steal as many workers as I want in any game, its hurt the AI a lot. It doesnt mean just stealing the 1st initial worker, I can steal workers from AI secondary cities too. I did this with the old Denmark with 2 pathfinder/scout while also stealing gold by hitting the city. It was a very abusive game :lol:.
    My point is with a worker that needs 20 turns to produce, 50 turns malus is very small.
     
  16. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Chieftain

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    The malus seems very small but I can tell you that Marathon already requires patience. Many people don't have the time to play that into late game for a Marathon game and improving a tile takes already so long. You double that with the malus for 150 turns and I think some people will go crazy so they quit Marathon for good. :lol:
     
  17. Minh Le

    Minh Le Chieftain

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    People can always build their own workers :)
     
  18. Rekk

    Rekk Chieftain

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    We could always just convert "steal" to "kill" ...
     
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  19. saamohod

    saamohod Chieftain

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    I second that.
    My house rule is never attack an ai for the purpose of stealing his first workers. It's just too easy a way to hurt an ai where he cannot expect it. But if I happen to capture an ai worker during any other 'regular' war I do kill them. Makes little sense keeping an ineffective unit for 50 turns while paying his maintenance.
     
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  20. civplayer33

    civplayer33 Chieftain

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    That would mean also implementing kill for settlers, which would destroy the basis for mods like Grateful Settlers, for example, and probably mess with other mods, like Capture Great People, as well.
    I don't like that at all; if you don't want to capture workers, then just don't capture them, but let's not ruin this for everyone else.
     

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