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The game is too fast and too easy

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Pietato, Jul 23, 2020.

  1. Pietato

    Pietato Emperor

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    The game is too fast and too easy, and each new update is only making it even quicker due to some insane power creep. Deity should be a setting where you have to put full effort into winning, but instead you can still do whatever the hell you want and cruise to an easy victory.

    The ease will also stop people from experiencing the full Secret Societies due to them being linked to World Age, instead of your civilisation's Age. The World Age is always far, far behind where it should be due to all the power creep and lack of proper speed balance; I have not even seen the later ages since the original diplomatic victory...

    I really hope there is something in the next patch to address this, or that they know it is an issue and are working on it.
     
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  2. Myomoto

    Myomoto Prince

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    I agree completely.

    I'm using the expanded eras mod. It increases the cost of all techs and civics, increases dramatically the bonus/penalty to tech/civic costs from different eras to the world era (makes it more difficult to catapult ahead of everyone), and nerfs eurekas/inspirations to just a 20% boost, and fixes the calendar year to better match the turn number.

    To me this has been far far more enjoyable than vanilla, each unit unlock feels meaningful and can be used appropriately in its era without becoming outdated too quickly (I also use the steel and thunder mod, which adds several missing links to the unit upgrade trees like longswordsmen, riflemen, cogs, galleass, trebuchet, etc.).

    At this point, I honestly feel like Firaxis should just contact the mod authors and add their mods into the default game. Especially the unit mod has excellent art assets that look like they fully belong into the game.
     
  3. Lord Lakely

    Lord Lakely Idea Fountain

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    I'm not sure about too easy. I like easy (because you know, I'm a builder) and I feel the silent majority does as well. ^_^ but if Deity is too easy, then maybe adding an extra difficulty level would be in order?

    The issue for me with regards to difficulty is that the game isn't that fundamentally different on higher difficulities anyway. The AI just gets a crapton free stuff (extra prod, extra cities, extra workers, extra units) but otherwise still play largely the same.I hate difficulty scaling like that (which is also the reason why i will NEVER play Immortal or Deity. I don't want the AI to get an advanced start over me. What's the fun in that? Screw that.); so I personally just stay on King/Emperor and roleplay. :shrug:

    However, I definitely agree that the game pace is screwed up badly. I think it's in large because techs are *way* too cheap and yields are generally too easy to get by (adjacency bonuses, policy cards, envoy bonuses and... *sigh* Secret Societies). I really like the wealth of yields myself so I hope the devs add in MORE techs/Inspirations or some other mechanics that slow down the game a bit more.

    Perhaps (and I don't mean "Perhaps", but "THIS IS URGENT AND SHOULD PROLLY BE LOOKED INTO #SOMEONETAGANTONTOTHISPOST") an alternative way to spend your Science/Culture would be nice (for instance, wouldn't it make sense that when constructing Space Ship Parts, the city STOPS producing research? All the research should go into making the damn' rocket, dammit). Spending culture to boost Tourism (or making buildings better => every heard of World Heritage, Firaxis? Countries invest a TON of cultural capital into that which fuels the prestige of their Universities, National Parks and whatnot). The lack of alternative uses for Science and Culture is what contributes to the game finishing EXTREMELY quickly in the hands of skilled players. Civs 1-4 tied Science and Culture rates with the tax rate. I woudn't mind if that feature were to be reintroduced...
     
  4. TomKQT

    TomKQT Prince

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    It is extremely hard to make a good AI for a game like Civilization. So, the developers make the best AI they can and now the question is how to make difficulty levels. You can make easier levels by making the AI act slower, make some stupid decisions, ignoring some of your actions etc. But how do you make harder levels? As I said, programming the AI is very hard for such a complex game and it cannot make really clever human-like decisions and strategies. And in a turn-based game the computer cannot even utilize its speed and the ability to give orders to units much faster than a human can using a mouse.
    So, the even the best possible "fair" AI will look easy for an experienced player. The only way to make a higher difficutly is to give the computer some bonuses and make it "unfair".
    If you wanted all difficulties to be equally fair regarding the game mechanics, the result would be easy harder levels and extremely stupid-behaving easy levels.
    Sad, but true...
     
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  5. Melkus

    Melkus Chieftain

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    The pacing is the most frustrating thing of the (overall very enjoyable) game to me, coupled with the fact that the dev team seems to see no problem with it at all and just happily piles on the yield porn sources (in admittedly creative and fun ways).
    The game just flows better with Extended Eras (and the beautiful Gold Deflation mod from the same author). Quick pace with these two mods is my sweet spot right now (maybe later eras are a bit stretched, AI needs to be at least Emperor to even finish the game in time), and also maybe helps the AI a bit (probably because its strategy scripts aren't obsolete when it finally finishes building the units).

    Difficulty is its own issue of course - the best solutions are still Real Strategy (which improves the AI end game a lot) + Smoother Difficulty - but this is a tough issue for Firaxis in a still developing game and there is clear effort to improve the AI (although they should put more resources into it or open up the modding).
    But I wish the community could somehow focus the complaints on the power creep issue, that's definitely more interesting than the vampire debate (though I may have opinions about that too)
     
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  6. Melkus

    Melkus Chieftain

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    Well, you can also make it harder for the human. As it is now, we have to crank up the difficulty to get some sort of challenge out of the game, and the pacing is completely off (partly) because of the bonuses.
     
  7. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    +1

    As it is, I’m a little concerned the changes to envoys might make the problems with yields actually much worse.

    Getting rid of flat yields for buildings and reworking Rationalism type cards would help a lot. Yields and adjacencies also need a look - seriously, where doesn’t a Campus get adjacencies at the moment. Tech costs could also be looked at.

    Adding an additional difficulty level is a bit like Nigel Tufnel having the dial go up to 11. Immortal and Deity need to be retooled to be harder and or the game rules or balance need tweaking more generally, so that Deity means Deity.
     
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  8. Myomoto

    Myomoto Prince

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    I just wanted to add a small additional point to my post above: I'm totally fine with the overall rate of production on standard speed. Making an era appropriate unit in a decently optimised city should take 4-10 turns (with/without the appropriate production boost policy card). But the next problem comes from the unit movement on the map. Currently it can take several turns after a unit is produced to march it to the frontline of fighting, which in the default research speed can mean your entire army is outdated after sieging/conquering a city, or in extreme cases your army of archers may be facing crossbowmen and medieval walls by the time they arrive.

    I'm kind of thinking that the increased unit movement speed of Gran Colombia should become the default for everyone at this point (or at least make a tech give all units +1 movement at some point, some kind of more advanced logistics, hell just make the red logistics policy card available earlier and work outside friendly territory perhaps). It would help to fix the overly complex micro management of unit movements late game, and speed up combat relative to research.
     
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  9. Pietato

    Pietato Emperor

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    Yeah, movement speed is a tricky issue due to the different game speeds.
     
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  10. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    No, I don’t agree that’s a good idea at all. Current movement rates are fine. It slows down manoeuvring and exploration , but that’s precisely the point.

    I agree hammers feel about right overall, although I think some tuning is still needed. eg I’d really like Lumbermills to get back some sort of river adjacency (it really was quite fine), the shipyard production to unimproved tiles is really not fun or intuitive, and mines on empty hills need some sort of tangible downside.

    But it’s really Culture and Science that are too easy, and where the too fast thing really comes from.

    I’d staunchly believed gold was too easy too, but am maybe coming around to the view that maybe all the gold is a feature not a bug (like, maybe). But if gold is going to be so plentiful, then there needs to be something else to be bigger things to spend it on and or more that adds some sort of drain on your economy be it happiness or whatever. Currently, it really feels like you just get 8 to 12 cities down, and then all the yields just pour in and there’s nothing to challenge my Cities or empire at all.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
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  11. Pietato

    Pietato Emperor

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    Too much gold means you can too easily bypass production, especially of units.
     
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  12. Josephias

    Josephias Emperor

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    And there we come back to the shunned slider of Civs1-4, as @Lord Lakely suggested.

    Maybe not the slider itself, because it is good we have different science and culture (and faith, and favour...) sources, and that it does not all depend on just moving a bar, but making in general science/culture prices greater, and providing a way to get more science/culture with gold.

    Maybe a possibility would be "district funding". As of now, districts have no maintenance and still work. What if a energy-similar mechanic was introduced, but for money? District buildings would have a base yield, that could be increased by devoting funding (a maintenance cost) in them. Maybe offer even two levels of maintenance cost (plus the basic "no cost" one). In example:
    Maintenance cost 0: (0 gpt) - "self-managed": base/reduced yields
    Maintenance cost 1: (x gpt) - "subsidized": full/increased yields
    Maintenance cost 2: (2x/3x gpt) - "élite": bonus to GPP generation.
    So, you'll have to spend gold in your science/culture to go fast (by the same logic, you could also spend gold in faith/production, or even in troop training, for improved results). Gold-producing buildings should have a different toggle, however. And you should have a practical "finance/tresaury/budget" UI to manage all that, of course.

    Back to topic, checked the "fast", as for the "easy", I'm really thinking civ starts to need something that other strategy games are already implementing: customization in the difficulty options. As we all players are different and maybe do not move up the difficulty scale in a different way: maybe decreasing civ diplomatic appreciation is challenging for some, and annoying for others, as well as increasing other civs starting resources, or agressivenes, or combat bonuses. Choosing the additional AI benefits you consider fit to make the game still enjoyable yet harder might be a good idea.
     
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  13. Myomoto

    Myomoto Prince

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    I really liked a suggestion I saw earlier on these forums. Have all the policy cards like Rationalism that boost the yields of buildings also increase the maintenance cost of them. Perhaps add a small maintenance cost on the cards that double adjacency bonuses too. Currently economic policy cards are by far some of the strongest, adding some downsides to them would help a lot I think, especially if you cannot support the upkeep of a military while simultaneously boosting all your district yields out of the wazoo. Adding upkeep reduction to the class of military units in the appropriate red production boosting cards could also help balance the value of red policy slots in governments.
     
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  14. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    God, please no sliders.

    I think some stuff could be improved just by tuning things before getting into real mechanical changes. Tweak envoys a bit more per above. Increase tech costs a little. Get rid of flat yields for buildings, and rethink rationalism etc.

    After that, I’d look at maybe having things like happiness and loyalty and maintenance more adjustable at game set up, like how you can adjust disaster levels and city states. Maybe these things are just adjusted by choosing different difficulty levels, eg Diety makes tech and maintenance more expensive, and your cities have a lower loyalty cap; or maybe you can directly dial things up or down, eg there’s a wide science and gold penalty, but you adjust when it kicks in.

    After that, yeah, I’d look a more mechanical changes. And that’s really where the Game Modes should help, because it should give FXS room to have more difficulty economy management for those that want it, but it’s something you can turn off if you don’t want it. eg maybe having something like Civ V global happiness, but it’s only a game mode so can be switched off.

    Anyway. It seems like FXS are getting to some of the more annoying balance issues. I mean, they gave additional AA to armadas and fleets! Finally! How awesome is that! Coastal Cities stopped sucking (even if they maybe got a little less special). Industrial Zones don’t suck (actually, no, they still suck, but yeah they’re kinda okay enough to build and that’s fine). Religion finally got a decent tweak. They’ve given envoy economy a red hot go, and I think almost got it right (or, maybe it’ll turn out it is right after it gets played). At this rate, it’s possible they might even make anti-cav not suck! Imagine that! Actually good Spearmen! What an exciting time to be alive !

    But yeah. The game is too fast and too easy.
     
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  15. Melkus

    Melkus Chieftain

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    Exactly, it also allows you to buy your way out of most strategic errors - and jumpstarting new cities with Monuments, Granaries and Builders becomes trivial. The dev team just wants to avoid player frustration a bit too much.
    There's one balance problem that came up with the gold deflation mod (which mainly raises maintenance costs): faith gets very powerful as a production bypasser - but at least you have to work a bit to setup faith buys.
     
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  16. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    I could live with something like that.

    I kind of agree. But at the same time, I do think the game‘s design is sort of meant to push you to move from hard building things like units in the early game to instead buying things with gold and faith in the mid to late game (with production becoming more about projects and wonders). And I kind of like that, because it helps with the feeling your cities are working as an empire not city states and that your economy is getting more sophisticated.

    I think what’s really missing from the gold economy is not “there’s too much gold” or “not enough maintenance”. Instead, I think gold is missing two key things - variable maintenance and negative gold balance.

    If you had variable maintenance, ie your gold cost of maintaining units and districts / buildings etc went up and down situationally, then gold would be much more dynamic and your choices more meaningful. eg you might choose internal trade routes for production and growth because you think you only need x gold, but then your maintenance costs go up and suddenly you need to sell all your luxuries or pump out harbours for stay afloat.

    Allowing negative gold balance, ie you can have less that zero gold and don’t automatically start losing units, would also make the game more dynamic because you could risk cutting it a bit short on gold and or extending yourself for some strategic reason. Negative gold would still need to have penalties, eg negative amenities, and there would need to be a cap on how low you could go, but I think the added flexibility would make your gold economy more interesting. You could think of it a bit like dark ages - going negative has a negative (eg less happiness) but it has a small upside (you can buy more stuff) so it’s not necessarily a disaster if you go negative and in the right circumstances you might actively choose to go negative.

    The game does already have some variable maintenance already, although it’s pretty limited - War Weariness (which only effects happiness) and Coastal Wall Maintenance. Otherwise, all the variability is just at the supply level ie other players can hurt your supply of gold by pillaging, spies, killing Traders or even just not continuing trade. More variability in maintenance, coupled with the flexibility to go negative for periods of time, would radically improve the whole gold economy.

    Anyway. Enough of all this. FXS know about all these problems. There’s more than one way to sort them out. Maybe they’ll fix them. Maybe they won’t. I’ll leave it at that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2020
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  17. BrotherInJah

    BrotherInJah 60% of the time works every time

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    I like it how it is, epic speed helps me enjoy every era and I rather stick to king level anyway, I can play well on deity with civs like Germany, although I can be surprised on king if I play very inefficient.
     
  18. RohirrimElf

    RohirrimElf Emperor

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    Playing on epic speed. And i find the last techs to go by to fast. Feels like i unlock a tech every 6 turns when it used to be like 15 turns in earlyer parts of the game. I do tend to focus a bit on science. Together with increased turn time lenghts waiting between turns. The last few hours feel more like a chore instead of fun. Especially when you can predict 50 turns ahead that you will win the space race.
     
  19. kb27787

    kb27787 Deity

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    Oky... time to bring back the % research/civics cost increase per city from BNW.... that ought to solve all your problems.

    5% increase in tech/civic cost per additional city founded, and make this 7.5% for captured cities. This should nerf warmongering completely. In the meantime, make a city able to build more than one copy of a particular district (rewards taller cities) or make GPP tied to city pop.
     
  20. Mr Jon of Cheam

    Mr Jon of Cheam Prince

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    There's definitely an issue with yields, I mean I love crazy yield tiles and everything but it's getting a bit much.
     

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