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Suggestion: Make citadeling reversable

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by a3kov, Aug 9, 2020.

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What do you think about citadeling and the described issues/suggestion?

  1. I like the suggested change. Let's do it

    21.7%
  2. I think citadels have issues but I don't like the suggested change

    26.1%
  3. I think citadels are fine. Leave things as is.

    52.2%
  1. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    If you burn a city any tile that city owned that is within 5 tiles of one of your cities (AKA the max range you can own) is added to the closest city you own. If the city owned tiles they never stole, but are still eligible, then you get them too.

    There is already a built-in ability to work other city's plots, which means that you can already keep the city as a puppet and simply work the tiles with the original city. That means this is mostly a QoL update allowing you to raze and recover your tiles instead of being forced to keep a puppet you don't want.

    The ability to take one non-capital city scotch-free allows you to do this if you're willing to respond.

    Thus this solution solves your issues with citadels, people's issues with Washington, and gives a better counter-play reward to forward settling, in a manner that I feel is more elegant and intuitive. (IE it's reasonable to war if someone takes your tiles, so players and AIs alike will overlook you taking a single city to get them back. Also taking and burning the city will refund tiles, which I always feel it should.)

    I think the option for a trade deal would be even better if it wasn't too new-code heavy because it makes it easier to have a war result of "I got back my tiles and didn't knock the AI out of the game." It also could allow you to steal tiles and sell them back, or demand that your afraid neighbor give you back that tile he stole.
     
    Vhozite, Aenigmata, Bromar1 and 2 others like this.
  2. a3kov

    a3kov Warlord

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    What if there are 2 cities nearby that lost tiles ? It's only a partial solution then if only 1 gets the "refund". Also, in my case, it was 3 surrounding cities (of the most annoying neighbor) and several citadels. So I would need 3 wars each started asap after a new citadel is planted just to get tiles for my 1 city without a penalty...Sounds pretty complicated
    How many wars did the aggressor need to steal my tiles ? Riiight, zero. Why should I need 3 wars to get it back ? Not fair...

    I suspect it's technically possible to track which enemy city owns which citadel..that makes it possible to flag cities as "penalty-free" to capture and raze on a case by case basis...Also in my opinion after razing all your cities should grab the razed city tiles in a radius. If a tile is in more than 1 city radius, than it can go to the closest or choose randomly (because you can reassign tiles between cities it's not a problem)
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
  3. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    I think a prompt DoW if the citadel pisses you off enough is a fair ask for a penalty-free city taking. If they spam citadels from multiple cities at the same time in a co-ordinated effort to make it harder to deal with, I would call that good play. I don't want the solution to make counter-play simple or remove options for smart play from the citadel placer.
     
  4. a3kov

    a3kov Warlord

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    It's not about smart play. Usually it goes like this. First they are friendly to you. Then suddenly they are hostile, and put their first citadel. By this time if you are not ready to start a war before you assemble an army big enough for conquest, they have enough time to plant more. You literally can't respond fast enough unless you are a warmonger who keeps huge army at all times. As a peaceful player you are likely to have a small army enough to defend, but not enough for conquest.
    And human vs human...what kind of smart play you are talking ? A human can plant several citadels at the same time, leaving you with nothing.
     
  5. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    If you don't have an army of an adequate size to respond to oncoming situations you should expect trouble for it. Even moreso as a peaceful player, who has nothing to do with their army but maneuver it to prepare for aggression. If you're saying that the warmonger player brings his whole army to plant a single citadel and leaves you no recourse, then he's playing well. If he drops a random citadel while his troops are occupied then you have a good chance of blitzing him and taking back the city.

    Moreover if he drops multiple citadels from one city, you can recover all of them by taking the one city. The only issue would be if he drops multiple from multiple cities, and TBH taking 2 cities, and only getting a warmonger hit for 1, won't ruin your ability to have a peaceful run. Peaceful has never been intended to say "No war ever" outside of challenges, but rather "Don't go on the offensive and try to take over half the world." The world will overlook a single city capture if you're paying attention to diplomacy.

    Also in human vs human other players will overlook you razing more cities if you need to to deal with citadel spam. I doubt there is a single player who would blame you. (Well, except for the one who's cities are on fire. :p )

    I think my solution is simple to code, intuitive, seems to have wide approval, and covers almost every scenario adequately.
     
  6. a3kov

    a3kov Warlord

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    What's the point of DoW if your army consists of garrisons plus a few infantry line units ? You are really out of your mind suggesting peaceful player must always be ready to go on conquest.

    I really feel like you want to throw me a bone, instead of honestly comparing the effort required to steal tiles for warmonger (read: none) and the effort required for peaceful player to get it back (read: major). I'm tired of arguing, if anything will improve in this situation it's better that nothing, but I feel like I'm wasting time here. I know longtime lurkers here play on Deity and prefer warmongering themselves because it simply works better, so that kinda explains the bias.
     
  7. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    If your army is that small as a peaceful player it's no wonder you get citadel spammed. AI take your military strength into their calculations as a primary factor. Having a weak army is practically a guarantee you'll get no respect on the world stage. Let me repeat again: As a peaceful player you still need a strong military. Otherwise other nations believe they can walk all over you.

    Based on your remarks on how hard you'd find it to take back the tiles, it seems like they're right in their assessment that you're an easy target.

    That's a player error on your part, not a mechanical failure.
     
    Vhozite and CppMaster like this.
  8. Recursive

    Recursive Emperor

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    This will especially be the case in the next version. AI now consider your military pathetic if you have less than 1/3 of their strength (up from 1/4) and should be more aggressive and opportunistic.

    Even as a peaceful player, a strong standing army is a must have (humans get more leeway on higher difficulties now since the AI assumes you're more skilled, but the effect of that is limited).
     
    ElliotS likes this.
  9. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    Well humans get "more leeway" but larger AI armies still mean you need a strong standing army on Deity.
     
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  10. Bromar1

    Bromar1 King

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    This is only a partial solution, I think requiring war to regain lost territory is fine but it still doesn't address Defensive Pacts. When you can steal land with impunity and have the threat of your allies to back you up, this is no longer Defensive, it is now an "Offensive Pact".

    Stealing land (from civs that you are not at war with) should at a minimum end your Defensive Pacts. If you made a pact with another civ who then uses your alliance as protection while pissing off neighbors, shouldn't you want to reconsider the pact? If anything, they are putting you at risk for retaliation. The AI can look at your relations with others but it can't predict if you're going to citadel spam and drag them into war.

    If an offensive action is the only true solution to land theft, then land theft must be considered an offensive action as well
     
    a3kov likes this.
  11. a3kov

    a3kov Warlord

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    It was just an example.
    I don't need their "respect" - that is an artificial mechanics trying to simulate the human behavior. I believe the only real measurement of an army strength is war. If they feel they are stronger they can try to DoW me instead
    Also, the whole thing "I will be hostile to you and steal your farms and you can't do anything about it" is stupid. In FFA games, your goal is to gain advantage instead of trying to hurt another player - if you waste time and resources trying to hurt another other players who don't bother with it will go far ahead. Being hostile to a peaceful player without an actual DoW is a losing strategy because it prevents you from getting good trade deals. That's why I said that stealing my farms without the ability to conquer my city is not a military action, it's a childish attempt to hurt me without getting anything in return.

    What happened instead: I vassalized 1 neighbor and won the game instead. I didn't want to go on a full conquest, and I won peacefully. The AI couldn't do much against my tech advantage. That city which lost many tiles to citadel was gimped half the game and I guess contributed much less than it could. The whole reason we are discussing it is because stealing tiles is possible without a DoW - it's a loophole in the rules. My army wasn't the strongest, and I was getting insults and citadels, but it was strong enough to win the game.

    I'm really curious about increased AI agression in the next betas - I guess it will change much both in AI behaviors and my strategies.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
  12. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    DPs have had their own issues and thread. I don't think it would be a problem is DPs back up citadel spammers if the DP logic is fixed.
    So it's a major, difficult effort to take back the tiles, but also something you did and won the game? You're kinda arguing both sides of the coin here. If your reported case of one of the most intense citadel spams anyone has heard about in a long time wasn't enough to lose you the game, why exactly do we need a major nerf to them?

    No offense, but many of your complaints seem less focused on game-balance, and more complaining about how the mechanic feels bad. It's not an invalid line of argument, but also not one I care for. Getting your stuff taken feels bad, yeah. If there are suitable counter-play options (already some exist, and hopefully we can get the changes I mentioned to add another) then I don't see an issue.
     
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  13. a3kov

    a3kov Warlord

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    I gave up on that city - I just did what I could minimally (built some food buildings). It was a 8-city Tradition, so I could afford that. But if it was 4 city Tradition (some people still play this), probably it would require a full conquest.
     
  14. a3kov

    a3kov Warlord

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    I disagree here, if you are able to achieve what you want with the army you got, it is enough. Defensive play does miracles especially paired with a tech advantage and AI stupidity.
    Our disagreement with @ElliotS is that he insists I must be ready to conquer at all times - for me it doesn't make sense if a smaller army is enough for defense. The whole "citadel is not a military action thus doesn't require a war" is bs and clearly breaks the rules of the game.

    It's not like these things make me lose a game often, but it can be serious sometimes (esp. Lebensraum) and I feel it's not balanced at all (favors warmongering). So yeah, it's a complaint about the balance and not just feelings.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
  15. Recursive

    Recursive Emperor

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    It's a must have if you don't want to get attacked, conquered or bullied by the AI. I didn't say anything about conquering others.

    It doesn't break the rules of the game - the mechanic works as intended. Whether the mechanic should be changed is up for debate.

    Also, I hope that "our" refers to someone else, and isn't meant to lump me into an argument. I'm neutral in this. :)
     
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  16. a3kov

    a3kov Warlord

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    Yes it may affect their intention and their attitude towards you, what I mean to say is, if it doesn't have any real consequences in the game that it's just a wasted game of numbers.

    Why the AI who citadeled me whole game only declared 1 time and still couldn't achieve anything ? It's a proof that the mechanics is broken and he is just abusing the ability to citadel in peace. I'm curious if it's gonna change with the agression change - actually I will be happy if they DoW instead of spamming citadels in peace time - at least I don't need to deal with DPs that way.

    Sure I didn't mean to include you.
     
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  17. Recursive

    Recursive Emperor

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    I significantly upped AI aggression for next version, hopefully that'll be sufficient to make the consequences more meaningful. But the AI not declaring war doesn't mean citadels aren't working as intended - and if your issue is with DPs, that's a separate issue with its own thread.

    AI citadel "acceptable" conditions (from memory):
    Code:
    Land Dispute Level is STRONG or FIERCE
    or
    Visible Approach Towards Player is GUARDED or HOSTILE
    
    Additionally:
    - Can't be their teammate
    - Can't be their vassal
    - Can't have a Declaration of Friendship
    - Can't have promised to move troops or not settle near them recently
    - Opinion can't be ALLY
    - Approach can't be AFRAID
    
     
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  18. a3kov

    a3kov Warlord

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    I don't know what was intended originally (citadels were invented in Firaxis). Let me ask differently
    If he can take my city with all it's land, why let him take my land peacefully then ? Why this option must exist ?
    • If he is strong enough and my army is pathetic, he can conquer me, and doesn't need to steal my farms in peace time
    • If he's not strong enough, he doesn't deserve to get my tiles at all.
     
  19. Recursive

    Recursive Emperor

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    I'm not arguing for the mechanic, I'm just noting that it works as intended (by Firaxis and by VP). I'm not sure why it works that way, I don't handle balance and it works that way in vanilla too.

    Personally I don't have any strong feelings one way or the other.
     
  20. InkAxis

    InkAxis Warlord

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    I liked ElliotS 's solution, it works well.
    His second point is essentially that you can take a city without diplo penalties if they steal tiles, but we need to be careful that this isn't exploited. There's a lot you can do in war other than taking cities.

    Now this is edging on DP discussion, but I also came up with an idea that helps with this and DPs.
    When someone spies on you, and you catch them, you can click the notification and it gives you several options, IIRC, it was "let this transgression slide", "denonce", or "declare war". what if a similar thing happened when someone stole tiles, but if you hit "declare war", it would ignore DP?

    This way, Defensive Pacts are still Defensive, it makes it harder for players that are warring for the sake of war or warmongers. But, it doesn't allow the player with the DP to be an annoyance and place citadels, take CS, etc. This I think would fix DPs and Citadels as it would allow you to sort out minor disputes without activating the DP, but major conflict will still require it.
     

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