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Strongest and Weakest Policies

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Thalassicus, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. jwerano

    jwerano Wonderstacker

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    I share your discomfort with too radical an alteration of the rationalism tree and I suspect most others will agree with you.
     
  2. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    Yeah I figured that not everyone would like the idea. Just throwing it out there. I don't like it when there is something in the game that is always good or always useless. I also perceive there to be a balance issue between wide and tall empires in the game. CEP has introduced many elements that help wide empires and throw off the balance. For example, gold in the vanilla game comes to tall empires best because they have fewer buildings and fewer units costing maintenance while most of their income comes via trade routes. CEP increases gold substantially benefiting most wide empires. CEP also adds more culture in the game making tourism victories harder. CEP also really buffs trading posts, which is more useful to wide empires because they have more land. CEP also adds more happiness to the game making expansion easier.

    Basically, these additions throw off the balance of the game. Therefore, I'm trying to buff tall empires somewhat to offset this and restore some balance. I want it to be possible that the empire with 4 cities is producing as much science as the empire with 30 cities.

    As for the opener being weak, it's not supposed to be that strong. +3 science per national wonder is supposed to be something that only a tall empire would be interested in. There are 9 national wonders: Heroic Epic, National Epic, National College, Oxford University, Ironworks, Circus Maximus, Grand Temple, Hermitage, and East India Company. That gives you 27 raw science. If you have a university in the city, then it's actually 36 science. Maybe it is a bit weak and would need 4 science per national wonder so that you can get a total of 48 science from the policy.
     
  3. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    At the very least, we have two-three dud/meh policies in the tree and some weaker effects in ideologies, so any ideas we can throw out are potentially useful still.

    In my mind, the gold problem for tall-wide is mostly an artifact of villages being too strong period than rationalism being too strong for wide and maybe a related effect of there being too many +gold yield modifiers available that add up and too many gold purchase reductions to make the gold more useful.

    CEP adds more happiness, but also is supposed to cost more to expand (early). I think there's some happiness penalties if you go off for conquest, but otherwise, the balance is toward more expansion. This might be alleviated if golden ages are working correctly however, as tall would have a use for all the excess.
     
  4. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    yeah I agree that villages are too strong. In the vanilla game villages aren't even available until Guilds. They are too weak in the vanilla game IMO. But I think CEP is closer to being about right than the vanilla game. The real problem in CEP is that building maintenance is so low and like you mentioned all those multipliers. I nerfed some policies in the Wealth tree for this reason already a while ago. I lowered the opener in Wealth from 15% down to 10% gold and production. Also the Protectionism policy in Wealth gave an extra 10% gold and production in addition to bonuses on mines, lumbermills, and villages. I eliminated the extra 10% while leaving the rest in place as that policy was just overpowering. I also buffed the Wealth policy giving Great Merchant bonuses to include a free Great Merchant as well as the +25% Great Merchant rate and trade mission bonuses.

    The idea for altering Rationalism came from seeing how the Exploration tree is so overpowering for very wide empires. The Rationalism policies giving benefits to buildings (such as extra science on Lighthouses for example) also help wide empires more than tall empires since they have more buildings. Basically, I don't want to play a game where you must have a huge empire in order to win the game.
     
  5. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Wow, you really put a lot of thought into this, EricB! While some of your ideas are surely a large change, there's much truth in your explanation. "Sadly", I'm on a mountain hut for skiing for the rest of the week, so I can't comment in detail.

    Just remember wide is very underpowered in vanilla, please don't change it back to much (check my thread on trading posts in the strategy forum).

    But some things like science on farms instead of trading posts are really interesting.
     
  6. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    Right, I'd be fine with putting some tall-centric effects in rationalism instead of the duds, or alongside them or to replace some of the stranger policies (I don't like the science on lighthouses effect for example. I've never understood this theory of coastal cities as being research poor in some way). Though part of the issue is the overlap effects with Freedom, say. I think the default CEP tree already does this way too often with the ideologies being even weaker by moving some of the effects into the trees. Some amount of balance needs to take into account that the ideology picks are often getting a few of the choice effects from GK/GEM era policies.

    Another thing to consider is that if exploration has moved the needle too far on the wide-tall effect, reducing or spreading out some of its effects would be an option.
     
  7. Babri

    Babri Emperor

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    Honestly I never understood the concept of pure tall empire ie sticking with just 3-4 cities . In my opinion it should be between fast expansion/small cities Vs Big cities/relatively slower expansion. Fast expansion = more gold & production. Growth focus = More social policies & easier to remain peaceful & defend land.

    I do feel that in Communita you get SPs quite quickly as wide even if you don't focus on culture. My suggestion would be to bring tourism a bit earlier in play & make it more prominent aspect of gameplay instead of just being a victory meter & little buffs here & there.
    So instead of taking SPs away from wide empires (and thus limiting their choices), we could make tourism more easier to get for more developed & tall styled empires. Then tourism could further be used to buff other stats of an empire such as growth bonus/science bonus/gold bonus etc.


    Sent from my One V using Tapatalk
     
  8. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    In the tweaks that I make to the tech tree (small tweaks), I do bring tourism into the game earlier. The Writers guild is moved up to Drama & Poetry so that you can build it earlier. The Artist's Guild is still available at Guilds, but I moved the Museum foward substantially (to Guilds), and also reduced its cost so that the cost of it is the same as an Opera House.

    I did that for a couple of reasons. First, is like you mentioned letting tourism play a bigger factor in the game by starting it earlier. Second, I don't like it that you can build an Artist's Guild and generate Great Artists yet have no where to put them besides one slot in the Palace. If you don't have any wonders with Great Artist slot or Cathedrals, then they aren't very useful.

    I also made a few other minor changes to the tech tree. One is moving the ability to chop forests over to Mining while changing Mining somewhat. The Heroic Epic is pushed way back until the Medieval era (so that wide empires don't build it). The barracks is moved back one tech to Bronze Working just to make Bronze Working more valuable and also because Barracks are rarely built that early. There just isn't much use in building a Barracks when it only gives 10 experience. 2 battles will give you that. Much smarter to just build the unit and use it right away and gain some experience.

    Another change to the tech tree I've been playing with is modifying the early naval techs. Sailing is pushed back from late Ancient era to early Classical era with Calendar as the prereq tech. Sailing gives you Biremes, Triremes, Work Boats, and a new trade route. Optics is pushed back to late Classical era with Sailing as the prereq. Optics gives you the ability to embark, Cargo Ships, Lighthouses, and the Great Lighthouse wonder. I wanted to have Biremes and Triremes unlocked on the same tech while having Cargo Ships a bit later until you've at least had the chance to build some ships with the earlier Sailing tech. I also like the flavor of having units be landlocked during the ancient era. Some may not like that, but I like that style of not being able to do much of anything at the very beginning with new effects gradually being introduced. Navies first appearing in the Classical era is just one of those effects.

    The other change has to do with Composite Bowmen. They seem to be the dominant defensive unit for a very long time. Archers disappear almost right after you've built them. Then, you have Composite Bowmen for a long time until Crossbowmen appear later on. So the simple solution is rearranging some of the techs in the classical era. Mathematics is pushed back to the late classical era so it's after Iron Working and Construction. It's just below Engineering in the tech tree. I know it should probably be renamed to something different, but the game play effects work better now.

    Another minor change is adding some prerequisite links in the later part of the tree (Modern, Atomic eras) so that you can't beeline only one half of the tree and have Frigates as your ships in the Atomic Era.
     
  9. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    I habe to look into these suggestions when I can access the game, but there's one thing that really stands out: naval units come to late in your suggestion!

    The Mediterranean Sea saw several settling waves long before anything we'd call classic age (1000 years before the grecopersion wars).

    Also from a gameplay perspective, it's a huge achievement of this mod that navies are really important (and that coastal cities are worth it). While we might have overdone naval firepower, I wouldn't like to destroy the general achievement.
     
  10. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    I think the wonder unlock for the Knowledge policy is too far removed from the time the policy can be taken.

    The policy becomes available in the Renaissance but the current wonder, Bell Labs, is a wonder from the Atomic era.

    A better wonder which gives similar results would be the Porcelain Tower, or a new wonder of our devising.

    The only problem is as it is now this wonder becomes available at Education, in the Medieval era. Surely a bit of readjusting here with this is better than the Bell Labs?
     
  11. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    It used to be Porcelain Tower and it was kind of strange there. I've been experimenting with having every wonder be unlocked by some policy. Right now every policy (or later ideologies) unlocks about 4 wonders. It seems quirky I know, but it's just a crude method of limiting wonder hogging. Normally there are a few policy trees that a civilization will never even pick the opener. If there is a wonder hogging civilization that is a bit ahead in technology, there will at least be a good number of wonders that it cannot build so that other civilizations can build something too. I've played several partial games so far with it and like it a lot. Most wouldn't like it because it's too dramatic of a change, but for your own games you may try adding a 2nd wonder on each policy opener. When I'm testing out a new idea, it's best to try the extreme case first, then adjust from there if necessary. I might tone it down to only 2 or 3 wonders per policy unlocked, but I wanted to see how it played out first.
     
  12. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    It looks like there are changes in mind on github from this thread. Some are very good. Some probably need to be nixed still

    Ugly first:
    Piety still has happiness on the opener. Less but still there. There's faith on it also, which is good. But the happiness was just moved to another policy effect (the one with happy on shrines/temples). This is unnecessary and overlaps with religious beliefs too much to be interesting anyway.

    The main problem with the entire tree's design throughout the modding process has been there seems to be trouble deciding whether to make it less narrowly about religion/faith, when that's kind of the point of the tree and then how best to do that, which seems to come down to adding happiness. Gold, science, faith/faith-spending, even minor quantities of culture (say from GP spending?) are all much better ideas than:
    a) putting more happiness in the game early in a tree that doesn't need it
    b) limiting faith spending options unless you take the tree

    I'd also rather see the golden age effect in aesthetics.

    It looks like the reveal map options are still in play and are both duds.

    I realize the culture buildings issue is seen as a dud by some, but I'm not sure replacing it with science is the solution here. I'd rather it retain a cultural bias.

    Good
    Aesthetics: has an increase of tourism bonuses in it. I'd like to see this on the GW slots, but it sounds like that might require the yield library to be fixed first?

    Wealth
    Opener's crazy strong values are nerfed
    Protectionism's duplicated effect is removed. I'd put a plug in for now to put in a route decreased cost modifier and an increase in city connects here.

    Honor has been getting some buffs.

    Citizenship reduced to 1 worker.

    Specialist slots on monarchy is interesting.
     
  13. agc28

    agc28 Warlord

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    Can somebody explain the Tradition-Landed Elite policy to me? It gives 25% surplus food + 2 more food per city.

    Now, if I combine this with the Pantheon Fertility Rites, which gives 25% surplus food. The Aqueduct, which gives 40% surplus food. That gives me 90% surplus food...which means CRAZY growth for cities.

    Now, if I recall correctly, there is this follower belief that gives 25% surplus food if not at war....Does that mean there is a combined 115% surplus food, which means...there will be 1 population growth per turn for every city with the religion? Is the mechanics right..?

    I have never tried this, but it seems borderline OP (I say borderline, because eventually you will run into happiness issues or food issues). But maybe the city can continue to grow despite starvation...
     
  14. ShmooDude

    ShmooDude Chieftain

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    No, 115% means 115% faster, meaning if your surplus food means you get a citizen at a rate of 10 turns normally, you'd get one at 4.65 turns with 115% faster.
     
  15. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    Landed Elite seems fine to me. The beliefs are a separate problem. We should not have two of them to do the same growth effect plus the policy effect.
     
  16. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    Yeah I'm with you about the changes to Piety. It already has +1 happiness per religious building, which in effect is +2 happiness per city. That's really, really strong. It doesn't need even more. I think the Piety opener should give something like +1 culture in the capital (or a national yield) and +3 faith in the capital. Tradition, Liberty, and Honor all give some sort of culture in the openers. Piety should too, although Tradition should have the strongest culture benefits.

    You can already get a lot of happiness from the effects of a religion, you don't need it in the Piety policy. Happiness should come mostly from the Liberty and Exploration trees. Honor should also have a good amount of happiness.

    I can sympathize with the issue of what to put in Piety. It's hard to put an effect in the tree that you can't already get with the effects of the religion. Gold, Culture, Production, more Faith, and Happiness are effects of your religion already.

    I agree that Golden Ages would fit better in Aesthetics, but then what is left to be in Piety? Happiness works better somewhere else, and so does Golden Ages. The problem is a fundamental design flaw by Firaxis. Religion isn't a significant part of the game, yet a whole policy tree is dedicated to it. Maybe in addition to religious benefits Piety could help those civs that are targeting an eventual culture/tourism victory.

    Piety policies could be something like:
    Opener: +3 faith and +1 culture in the capital
    Policy 1: faith on shrines and temples, cheaper faith costs
    Policy 2: happiness on shrines and temples
    Policy 3: gold and culture on temples
    Policy 4: +10% cultural great people rate, small production bonus for building cultural buildings
    Policy 5: free great prophet
    Finisher: Reformation belief
     
  17. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    But Religion is good for many victory types, not just religion. Making it narrowly on tourism seems wrong, besides that's what aesthetics is for. And why exactly don't Golden Ages fit there? (I'd rather have a specialist focus than a culture one btw., it's more open to all playstyles and fits historically with monks etc. being great scientists, artists and so on)

    In general I dislike the big focus you put on religious buildings and especially on shrines. Shrines become overpowered quite quickly as they cost next to nothing and give cheap happines as you point out above. I'd rather put the double amount on the temple and/or add some to the Great Temple as well..

    Random question: Can we make missionaries linked to a policy? Or else, I know nobody liked the Landsknechts, but what if we create a new unit "Martyr" which is basically a cheap and slightly weaker version of the vanguard unit line? The clue is it can only be bought by faith thus allowing for quick defenses for religious nations, offensive meat grinders for attacking religious forces and a faith sink? It can be upkeep free as well. There's quite a few arguments against this in that it's quite a lot of work to create a new unit line of 3-6 units, the AI might have problems with it (as with the vanguards) and so on.
     
  18. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    I really like Mitsho's ideas, especially with Piety benefiting every playstyle. What if Piety did something like this:

    Opener: +3 faith and +1 culture in the capital
    Policy 1: faith on shrines and temples, cheaper faith costs
    Policy 2: +2 happiness on temples
    Policy 3: can buy religious warriors with faith
    Policy 4: +25% non-cultural great people rate (scientist, merchant, engineers)
    Policy 5: free great prophet
    Finisher: Reformation belief
     
  19. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    This generally sounds good, except that I don't think boosting great people 25% is very powerful or has any particular strategic synergy, I don't think a culture building boost really works (remember that culture buildings are largely about great people slots and are already boosted by Aesthetics) and I would like to still see some kind of boost to holy sites (as a secondary effect) and potentially some kind of gold generation.

    Is it technically possible to give you gold based on empire wide faith generation? Just as there is a policy that gives you culture for net happiness, could we get 1 gold per turn for every ~5 faith generated empirewide? It would need balance testing to get the number right. That would be a way of giving a boost from a religious playstyle that generates faith, but without piling up too many effects on the temple building, and to reward you for generating faith without being a means of consuming it.
    Alternatively is it possible to give +1 faith to specialists? That might be too strong I guess.
     
  20. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    I agree that a policy boosting the great people rate by 25% is rather weak. Perhaps if that was combined with another effect. Maybe a boost to the grand temple. Usually it's tall civilizations that care about specialists and great people, and it's them that build national wonders like the Grand Temple.

    As for the extra faith on specialists, it's the effect that Hagia Sophia is supposed to give; however, that effect does not work yet. The yield library still has to fix that because it's not a core effect of the game to give faith on specialists. There are also a couple of religious beliefs that give extra gold per city or per population, which is similar to giving gold for having more faith.

    I also would like to see some boost to holy sites. Currently, Thal has plans to nerf holy sites, which I do not understand at all. Currently they give +3 culture, +3 gold, and +8 faith if you get the right policies and complete the Piety tree. That's pretty weak. If you're building a holy site, it means that you have a TON of faith because you're creating a Great Prophet that you have no use for. You're not wanting to spread your religion any further or you'd do that with the great prophet. So pretty much you just create a holy site as a default. Holy sites should give something like +6 culture, +6 gold, +2 faith once you have the right policies.
     

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