Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Defianc4, Oct 15, 2010.
Very good post. It is extremely hard to stay positive after this debacle.
The most ironic part about your post is that if the suffragettes or civil rights activists had merely rolled over and accepted whatever was dished up on their plate then we never would have gotten anywhere.
I thank them very much as well for standing up for what they believed in as well. Sometimes, you just have to make a stand. Even something as trivial in the big picture as a computer game series. It's called having a spine.
The concept of making large cities more competitive with ICS instead of nerfing ICS is flawed, because the two strategies can work together without any problem.
The problem is that ICS is productive. infinite small cities that completely support themselves in both happiness and money and even generate extra cash/sci/production/great ppl.
Therefor there is no problem at all with making 3 HUGE cities as a hub and then infinity CS.
Conclusion: balance can ONLY come from removing ICS as a viable strategy.
A civ of a great many small cities should not be able to sustain itself effectively.
I agree -
In fact, I was proposing ICS as the 'answer' to winning the first few days... the only drawback is the SP cost.... but let's face it, if you're going to skip any hope of a pink spaceship -- you're fine just making it through just a couple branches. In fact - if you're NOT going for a pink spaceship, it's generally in your best interest to go ICS - because every branch has levels that are worthless... Some of the options actually feel like they only exist in branches to "force" you to waste an SP on a trait you don't need because the pink spaceship requires branch completion.
I think he did it more because producing anything cost more than buyrush it! So Commerce > Production in every situation except Wonder building
I think they need to reintroduce a lot of the ideas they 'streamlined'. Some kind of corruption could interfere with ICS. Make it so that a few small cities in the early game arent going to cripple an early era expansionist but will defenitly hurt the longer you go without developing the cities properly. Perhaps corruption is era based and gets greater and greater as each era advances. Perhaps high end buildings down the happiness line have an anti corruption component to offset this for large empires.
Just a quick off the top of my head.
I don't think they will introduce a whole new concept in basic game mechanics. Besides AFAIK corruption was not loved in Civ3. Why not just make new cities hurt your research, which was an idea in Civ4? It's easy to implement by increasing costs of techs when a new city is founded.
That seems quite heavy handed to me. For you to make this an effective ICS deterant you would need to ensure that the science grows more than a size 6 city with 1 lib and 2 sci specialist can make. If its equal or smaller then ICS will still be the way to go. That just seems extreme.
If our only choices are to fix this within existing game mechanics then I am afraid its not going to be fixed without causing unintended side effects. If thats the case then we should probably just accept ICS as a very useful tactic in CiV.
Civ 4 didnt have cities causing negative impacts on research. Thats a new consept to the civ genre to my knowlege. Civ 4 did have corruption which was based on the distance to the capital/forbiden palace.
New cities hurting your tech seems an interesting concept to prevent ICS, and is somewhat realistic. If you add a polynomial (power 3 for example in my last post) increase in unhappiness with city number divided by your pop number (credits to cracked for this idea), it can be very interesting to limit ICS.
Actually you could use the same formula for tech / unhappiness / culture increase with cities, and balance the buildings to make them more interesting and make up for this increased cost. The goal being it's more interesting to have a lot of big developped cities than any other configuration (which is an arguable goal in itself).
Provided the AI can be tweaked for it (it needs a lot of tweaking anyway). And that's a massive balance modification, which can probably only be done through modding. It would be an interesting mod to do. However, the war part of the game needs a massive overhaul as well anyway. And the AI. And the pathfinding (which is not the same as AI, more a end-turn time improvement which is crazy atm ). And the multiplayer. And the number of buildings / techs (expansions will fix this ! ). And all the information pannels (which are less informative than those of Civ 1 )........................ etc .......
It had this negative impact, but it was not a direct one. New cities meant more gold maintenance, and less science since gold / science was balanced through the slider. It could have drastic effects if you expanded too much too fast, you had to move the slider from 80% science to 40% for example. And maybe I'm wrong but I remember that maintenance was more handicaped by city numbers than city distance.
I came back to this to tidy it up.
The corruption element had an impact upon scientific research indirectly: because your source of research was identical to your source wealth, and more cities required greater commerce in order to pay for it. More cities meant more commerce and so you could pay for it long temr. Short term you'd have to adjust the science slider down.
It encouraged you to effectively manage the cities you had and not build cities that could never support themselves. A large civ always had an advantage over a small civ in terms of their economies of scale. But a small civ always had a chance of outpacing the big civ early on. It was actually very well balanced. Their were always tricks you could use to get round it but it required good play.
I agree with Eberon, a handicap for research based upon the number of cities you build wouldn't be particularly enjoyable to play. And it wouldn't necessarily discourage ICS except for the early part of the game. Once a player has the techs they want, they'd still want ICS because at present it represents the best use of land.
The way it was intended to work in CiV is that the more cities you have, the more happiness buildings you need to pay for, the more expensive it becomes, the harder to keep those cities producing enough gold to pay for it all. You eventually end up with a defecit that then starts eating into research. This would have worked as intended for standard play because what it really punishes is having a higher population spread across 10 or 15 cities. The developers would have gone home thinking "job done", that it would then punish building a huge numbers of cities.
This is either poor game design or they wanted ICS. A feature designed to prohibit huge numbers of cities doesn't work. For a typical civ, city unhappiness is only ever going to represent a fraction of the total unhappiness compared to population, even without social policies and wonders, unless all your cities are limited to 2 citizens in size.
It strikes me that there are only two possible solutions to reintroduce balance to the game.
Make it more beneficial and cheaper to vertically grow: Allow for building mantainance to be reduced (i.e. have a building that could be used to reduce mantainance) and make the theatre and stadium more effective. Could help smaller empires compete more effectively economically by being cheaper to run. (similar to cIV). At the same time, a building reducing a cities mantainance costs will only really be helpful if it has a developed infrastructure (especially if that building has its own mantainance costs).
Make it more expensive to have more cities by factoring in the distance each citiy is from the capital: A mechanic similar to the one used in cIV (again) but relating to happiness. This would force players to spend more on happiness buildings if they try to use ICS: without necessarily removing the possibility completely. (ICS is an obvious tactic for isolated or cramped starting positions where there isn't too much land so I wouldn't want to prohibit it completely).
This would require other changes though.
Get rid of the penalty for annexing cities as the no of city penalty would be enough. Puppets would not contribite to number of cities penalty.
Planned economy and Forbidden Palace would have to act as a stacked % rather than reducing the penalty by one.
I'm not going into the fine details of it too much, but I suspect doing one and not the other would make the game even more unbalanced.
1)Could benefit ICS style even more: You'd have lots of closely placed and very large cities as you can have with Gandhi.
2)Wouldn't work without the first.
Both together, ICS would be more expensive, negating the benefit from trade routes, while still allowing for large empires effectively ran to be stronger than small ones(a similar balance achieved within cIV). It also mantains it's other benefits (more science and production).
I think making happiness buildings reliant on city population for effectiveness would introduce a hard limit to vertical growth not just horizontal growth, unless you could use them to absolutely eliminate unhappiness from population (in which case what's the point?).
ETA: I came back to it, like I said I would. :good job:
I would refrain for designing specific penalties to avoid ICS, instead I would eliminate or minimize the bonuses that this strategy has, for instance:
absolute happiness: buildings should only be able to provide happiness related with its actual population, never more, and never 100% of it with just one building
trade routes: the ability to have infinite trade route, provide an easy income that cancels the maintenance of the buildings, and even are profitable. Civilizations should have a maximum number of trade routes.
bonus per city: absolute bonus to food/production non depending on the population are overpowered, as stated. Maritime CS has to be redesigned.
slingshot/beeline-social policies: I put this together because one of the exploit that makes the ICS able to grow exponentially is the ability to skip technologies with no consequences and the possibility of saving the culture points and wait till an "artificial" Industrial age to purchase high end social policies that only should be able to purchase at the end of the game. IMHO the player should be forced to pick social policies as soon as it reaches the culture threshold.
library and other basic buildings: but mainly the library. It is insane for a small town of 4 populations to have 2 scientists in the early ages. The library shouldn't have slots at all, or just one. The big slots should be devoted for later buildings.
I think this kind of changes would make small cities non profitable and that the player should choose carefully which kind of city wants to develop. I also agree that the tile yielding is too homogeneous, discouraging careful placement of new cities to make them grow as fast as possible.
With this kind of changes you don't make artificial penalties to avoid the construction of cities, but you make them quite useless until they develop up to some point.
Did you change your equation ? I disagree that cities distance should be heavily penalised, logistics is so much harder that it compensates for it naturally. Just change the trade route income to favor more big cities over small ones. Something polynomial with city pop and hapiness polynomial with cities number. The more simple the equations the easier to implement.
Although you make a long post but fail to see why ICS works : the different policies that decrease unhappiness and the Forbidden palace (the trade route system and the library make it worse, but the core is the policies). That's as simple as this (and as broken )
Social policies need to be reworked, some are too strong. The library is indeed too strong as well, but fixing only the library is not enough, remember the communism policy ! Saving tech GP and policies may need tweaking, but that's not what I think is the most broken. That's more the tech tree or policies in themselves the problem imo.
@Hellboy : proportional happiness of building / food bonus is interesting, but that's not in opposition to a system that penalize city expansion.
Actually the only drawback in my system is what to do when you conquer a lot of enemy cities. It would continue to encourage razing cities so it's not that good maybe. Unless puppet systems make the cities apart from the system, and are completely independant from your empire and they shouldn't grow or build buildings. You keep the special ressources though, and the possibility to annex them when you feel the time is right. That would be a nice idea and make puppets much more valuable. The idea of benefiting of the gold / tech and maintenance costs of puppets does not feel right to me, especially if you add an AI who builds the bad improvements.
It's still beyond me why they didn't just use what I think was the single most elegant ICS limiting solution from revolutions (the mod, not the abomination).
It was the perfect mechanic to limit ICS. It made sense, it had historical precedence, it added an interesting flavor to the game.
The only drawback to the mod is that balancing it took, I'm sure, a ton of work by Glider1, et al (I do remember early iterations where civs would start crumbling by city 3).... but in a brand new release, where you can bake the mechanic directly into the code - ????
Zonk can you tell those of us who don't know this mod how it works ?
Essentially - it was kind of like corruption + unhappiness baked into single mechanic.
Cities would start inching towards revolt if they were far from the capital without connections to it, cities would start getting worried if your treasury was nearing zero and your per turn balance was negative, cities would inch towards revolt if they were just plain unhappy. Multiple religions was a big revolt issue. Certain civics would contribute to revolts, sometimes with different combinations of buildings or religions.... For example - you never wanted to run a theocratic state if you have cities with multiple religions.
Eventually, cities would start making demands -- you could pay off the revolters, draining more gold - but at the same time, increasing the likelihood of other revolts. Sometimes they would demand certain things - buildings, or luxuries. Sometimes they would demand new leadership (i.e., you'd have to give up control -- if you played as Washington, they'd demand Lincoln - and if you accepted, Lincoln AI would control your civ for a certain number of turns).
Or - you could tell the revolters to shut up and get back to work... and if you didn't manage the revolts -- 'separatists' would begin springing up.... armies -- sometimes under your own flag, but using the expanded Rise of Mankind Civilizations -- it was usually a 'natural' revolt (i.e., playing as England - the revolters might be American, Indian, Scottish, Australian, etc).
Sometimes they'd be powerful enough to take a city or cities outright - and break off into a new civilization.... or - even if your repulsed the initial revolt, reinforcements would arrive.... sometimes with a settler, and even if they couldn't pull off a city capture - they'd found a new civilization, usually smack dab near your border, always hating your guts.
Revolutions could get out of control very easily - and it would put a hard stop on ICS until you built up your infrastructure to support additional cities.
Revolts could be empire-wide -- if you had neglected infrastructure - you'd be facing stacks of separatists all over, or, they could be localized (if you settled on the other side of the continent -- even if your empire was largely satiated -- the isolated city could still develop revolts and try to declare independence).
The same mechanic also limited conquests -- conquered cities would naturally revolt, but not always just to rejoin the civ they originally belonged to.... often, they'd break off to another offshoot of the original civ, sometimes, but not always friendly to the original owner, etc.
ICS was nerfed by simply making it impossible to expand beyond your means -- either you were forced to stop expanding because you needed all your forces to deal with revolters, you had to pause your expansion plans to provide what the revolters wanted, or, you had to slow the sprawl and focus on infrastructure to stabilize the empire before beginning another expansion push.
EDIT: The mod is here -- it's also baked directly into A New Dawn.
Yeah that's another big thing that needs to be changed. Large cities just grow painfully slowly right now, even with maritime states and civil service farms. With the 1291 food it takes to grow from size 15 to size 20, you could grow 12 small cities to size 5 (even more than that thanks to maritime food). So of course the small cities will win out- they have so many more citizens that it doesn't matter if they have lower efficiency. Then the fact that the advanced buildings are so weak and expensive just makes things even worse.
Let me start off by saying that I very new to Civ strategies and advanced play styles. Skip the spoiler if you don't want to read about my inexperienced background.
I've played Civ IV sporadically in the past, which is to say I'd get the itch for 2-3 weeks a couple times a year. I attributed my lack of dedication to a late start and general unfamiliarity with the game mechanics. I was excited to hear about CiV coming out because it gave me the opportunity to learn and evolve my playstyle with everyone else who was learning the game. I started out really enjoying the game even though I could tell it wasn't as challenging as Civ IV (from a difficulty setting standpoint). I didn't really mind that I won my first attempt at a King game in CiV (who doesn't like winning?) even though I never tried playing prince or above on Civ IV. My problem was that I couldn't really appreciate the challenge or complexity that most of you speak of regarding Civ IV because I never took the time to really excel at the game (although I'm trying to change that now in CiV).
Naively, when I read that CiV would promote fewer but larger cities, I decided to adapt my games to such a strategy. It wasn't until reading the HoF and GotM forums (and specifically Sulla's recent playthroughs) that I realized the fault with my blind acceptance of this approach.
Maritime CS Ideas
From what I've read about the ICS approach, the major advantages are based on high gpt and beakers. These "high returns" on small investments are made possible (though not entirely dependent on maritime CSs as stated by Sirian at the end of Sulla's Liberte walkthrough).
I've thought of two ways to address this:
A) drastically reduce the food bonus from CSs in each era (1/4-1/2 in the early era up to 1-2 by the modern era)
B) Set a maximum food output for each allied CS which would then be divided equally between all controlled and puppeted cities
Option A would slow down the speed at which these "filler" cities reached their potential and would require either additional food building(s) or citizen(s) working tiles, but each subsequent city would be just as strong as the last based on the flat food bonus provided to each new city. Option B would mean that each additional city slowed the growth of ALL previously controlled cities by further dividing the food.
ICS Beaker Output
With regards to the beaker output of the ICS strat, there are two ideas I thought of that might be interesting since smaller cities are granted the same % bonuses as larger ones. My hypothesis at this point is that it's considerably faster to make three self-sustaining population-5 cities (each with a library) than it is to make one population-15 city with a library. I realize I'm taking the production of 2 additional settler's for granted here, but the only downside I see to 3x pop-5 cities is the extra unhappiness from having more cities... not the most discouraging obstacle.
What I propose is to make the % coefficients dependent on population size for specialist buildings. I should preface by saying I'm no math major so there are probably much more elegant equations that others can come up with, but let's look at the library for example. Right now it offers 25% beaker bonus. If we tweak that value with this equation:
%bonus = 25 - (1000/(population^2))
A pop-5 city would give -15% bonus (or rather 0% beaker bonus in a more elegant eq)
A pop-10 city would give 15% bonus
A pop-15 city would give 21% bonus
Again, this is probably a terrible equation to use, but you get the idea. My other idea for beakers and specialist buildings is to only enable the coefficient bonus if a citizen is working the building.
ICS High gpt
Lastly, since gpt is the other major issue with these ICS strats, we could:
A) Make building maintenance costs inversely proportional to population size (similar to what I said above with beakers)
B) Add maintenance costs to %gold buildings so that people actually have to decide if it's a wise investment to make that market and/or bank. Right now there is no downside to getting every %gold building.
I apologize for rambling on here and I hope what I said was coherent. I'm not trying to destroy the ICS strat, and maybe all of these ideas together would be overkill, but right now it seems like the ICS strat is the best at everything except a cultural victory.
Been playing with very large cities for a while now. I never considered them especially large until I found out that players around here were running around with size 10 cities. Seems not-fun.
Generally speaking, a citizen in a large city with many multipliers is worth more than a citizen in a brand new city with nothing. The reason why ICS is strong is because using many cities grows population, three, four, five-fold faster using small cities than large ones. This issue would be present even if large cities grow just as fast as small cities, for the simple fact that five cities grow five times as fast as one.
Bumping down Hospitals doesn't change this fact. It simply allows empires with many cities to grow their cities large as well.
Changing the numbers on city growth is dangerous because of how the mechanics are set up now. A size 5 city in the Industrial Era with 2 Maritimes devoting all its citizens to Farming would have +18 excess food. A size 15 city with the same 2 Maritimes and all its citizens on food would have an excess of +36 food.
If it had a hospital, however, the food requirement drops to 646 to grow from pop 15 to pop 20 - which is less than the food requirement to grow from pop 10 to pop 15. If you Farmed everything and bought up hospitals, the big cities shoot up remarkably fast.
If we positioned that earlier, then we make big cities more and more dominant, and this is not to say that we will have less cities. We will just have ICS with bigger cities, not fewer, big cities.
The units and buildings aren't ungodly expensive - the player simply isn't playing the game well enough to realize that his own choices are borking his production.
It shouldn't take 15-20 turns to build a single unit.
Buying things generally is more expensive than building them. Multipliers from hammers to gold in the Purchase Screen ranges from 3 times to 5 times as expensive. Also, Production can get as high as +100% multipliers. Gold doesn't get that many multipliers. After Steam Power, applying Lumbermills to Forests gets you as many hammers as putting Trade Posts gives you gold. Smart money puts Lumbermills for greater efficiency at producing necessary buildings and such.
Essentially, choosing to rush-buy everything means that your Trade Posts should be producing 9 gold per square of Forest or Hill, or you just won't be getting enough Gold. If you actually have enough Gold, you should be able to rush-buy an entire army on the instant, so the unit types should not be useless.
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