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The Industrial and Modern Tech Trees are Utterly Broken

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Peng Qi, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Not just from a realism perspective, but a gameplay one, too. The realism items have been done to death, but I'd like to point out some very serious gameplay problems with the current setup:

    Flight's current position in the tech tree means that planes arrive LONG before any non-plane counters come on-line. This would be like if horsemen came almost a full era before spearmen and could only be fought by other horsemen until then. Imagine how broken the early game would be; it would boil entirely down to cavalry spam. The only reasons to build units other than Great War Bombers once Flight is discovered are:
    1. Great War Bombers can't capture cities and
    2. You may need some fighters to counter your opponents' fighters/great war bombers.
    There are a few possible solutions I can think of. One that doesn't involve changing the tech tree at all is to simply remove great war bombers from the game or nerf them significantly. As it stands, it only takes 3-4 bombing runs to destroy any other period unit, which is ridiculous from both a gameplay perspective (better pick up flight first before ANY other modern tech or suffer the wrath of the bombers, and good effing luck if you're a bit behind in tech) and also from a realism perspective (imagine how different World War 1 would have been if a minimal investment in bombers meant the utter destruction of entire battle lines).
    Another other solution is to move Combustion SIGNIFICANTLY earlier in the tech tree so at least coastal cities and navies can protect themselves from the horrors of bombers; or to give Machine Guns a low interception chance and move them up before flight (especially considering that Machine Guns should be the overwhelmingly dominant force of WWI from a realism perspective); or to just swap Ballistics and Flight on the tech tree.


    This exact problem exists with a number of units coming significantly before their counters, but none are so game-changing as bombers coming before any form of anti-bomber measure. I.E.:
    Submarines before Destroyers
    Artillery LONG before Landships
    Landships before Anti-Tank Guns


    Also, what's up with marines? They seem bizarrely situational. I kind of wish they were part of a tech line coming from Scouts but I guess that's another thread entirely.
     
  2. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    Have a max of 3 air units per city, raised to 6 if the city has an airport. Should be enough.
     
  3. Greizer85

    Greizer85 Emperor

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    This along with one or two of the OP's tweaks would do the trick. I've always found it bizarre how 1upt is observed zealously until Flight (even with civilian units! :crazyeye:), and then suddenly thrown out the window. Stacks of 40 bombers are not exactly balanced against ONE unit on a tile...

    EDIT: Allow the building of air bases on the map, capable of housing three planes. They take the place of a tile improvement and give no yield; if an enemy unit enters the tile, the planes are destroyed (part of them could be captured maybe - if you're behind in tech, make a daring raid to acquire a force of rogue bombers! :cool:).
     
  4. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    No need to invent air bases. Use the Civ4 solution of allowing air units to be rebased in a fort.
     
  5. Green_Power

    Green_Power Chieftain

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    I agree. It's a pain when the runaway Civ has 15 great war bombers and you're still very far from anti-aircraft guns. This means that you need to either research air craft carriers or beeline for AA guns, both taking a long time. But, early planes aren't very effective at taking down great war bombers, so...

    I too think something is not right in the tech tree regarding planes and their counterparts. AA guns should come much earlier, or air craft carriers should be easier to research. Or, planes should be harder to research.
     
  6. ShunNakamura

    ShunNakamura Warlord

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    A possibility would be to let siege units like Artillery to act as a basic anti-air platform. Something like making the interception promotion available to Artillery/Siege and maybe ranged units in general when the first person discovers flight. Note that this wouldn't automatically grant the promotion. It would just make it an option to pick on level up. Also note that they would not gain access to the anti-air promotion that the Anti-Air gun has.

    This would mean that you would either have to level up your existing ranged units or build new ones and spend promotions to gain interception. As such they would be far inferior to anti-air guns(no bonus and not coming out the gate as a counter), but would at least provide some basic defense. Though maybe you would want to block the early era ranged units from getting the promotion. It would be a bit weird to see an archer shooting at a Great War Bomber. However, it probably wouldn't be necessary since an archer's or crossbowman's strength is so low in comparison to the Aircraft.
     
  7. Gyra Solune

    Gyra Solune King

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    I think that Gatling and Machine Guns and the like should be part of the same line as Anti-Aircraft guns (as it makes no sense that those are melee units), and be given a sort of very basic, weaker version of what the AA gun can do. They're not the kind of counter that will instantly decimate an opposing air unit, but they'll do serious damage if not air swept beforehand. I feel this reflects well enough how basically the best counter to aircraft early on were indeed machine gun installations. I think as well Artillery and Rocket Artillery should have that same ability as well, though that line wouldn't get the full AA/SAM aircraft counter ability.

    Yeah, the late-game tech trees are definitely pretty wonky. I personally think that a lot of things should be moved an era earlier- stuff like Combustion or Flight would be super-late Industrial techs, allowing for them to be expanded upon more with each era. Anti-Tank guns would be in that same late Industrial section, then get upgraded into Bazookas in the late Modern, and so on and so forth.
     
  8. Santa Maria

    Santa Maria Warlord

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    I disagree. I think flight is where it should be.

    I don't see a problem with GWB, you can counter them with fighters. It is ok as it is. GWB have a small range and I think you shouldn't be able to counter them with land units. AAGun should come later as it does.
     
  9. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    Can you explain why your scenario is desirable, or do you just like disagreeing?
     
  10. z284pwr

    z284pwr Prince

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    I have always found flight to be okay as is. Of course as a warmonger controlling the high ground (air in this case) provides a huge advantage.
    While I do think AA guns are a far ways off from flight but it tends to make sense. You wouldn't need AA units if airplanes didn't first exist. I do like the Gatling Guns and those era units being able to provide a small defense and maybe let any gun units have some hope simply because a gun could possibly do damage to a plane.

    The 3 planes per city would definitely be nice. 40 plane cities are just ridiculous. Rebasing maybe 2 planes to a fort and 3 to a citadel? Then forts may be used more often than they currently are.
     
  11. Green_Power

    Green_Power Chieftain

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    Fair observation, but still, AA guns come a bit too costly. You see, they seem to come right after planes, but that's not true. You need to research the entire dynamite->railroad tech tree to unlock AA guns while planes are unlocked only with the industrialization->steam power path. Just check the tech tree and you'll see AA guns right after planes but you need to unlock an incredible amount more of techs to unlock AA guns. Now, think about Epic speed...

    Moving 40 planes from city to city isn't fun. And, why on earth you have the 1upt restriction but it doesn't apply to airplanes? Because it wouldn't be fun? Then cap it to 3 or 5 tops, not 15 or 40... It can't be just us that think this is utterly unbalanced and unfun.
     
  12. wilro85

    wilro85 Chieftain

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    How about give the first generation airplanes a negative promotion that makes them vulnerable to interception by gunpowder units? The ability to shoot up in the air wasn't a breakthrough discovery and these WW1 planes weren't the most high flying or agile airplanes in history. Once you get to the WW2 era fighters/bombers the aircraft should only be targetable by purpose built AA equipment.
     
  13. Edgehopper

    Edgehopper Chieftain

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    I'd suggest 3 planes per city for each 10 population in a city, and make an airfield improvement available that workers can build anywhere that can hold 3 planes (all of which die if the airfield is captured by an enemy). Capitals should have swarms of planes defending them; minor outposts shouldn't, and you should have a land-based option for basing planes outside cities.

    Or perhaps 3 if pop < 15, 6 if pop > 15, and building an airport doubles capacity.
     
  14. Chemical Toilet

    Chemical Toilet Chieftain

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    But this is how it was.

    Artillery was a major player in trench warfare. Tanks didn't appear till 1917 and even then were used very rarely despite their success, and as far as I'm aware there really wasn't any sort of counter to them such as a designed AT gun, just other tanks and artillery.

    Although I would like to see lancers receive and upgrade before AT guns, simply because the feel out of place and they aren't really worth much once Landships are on the scene. Cavalry-type units weren't a viable option with trench warfare. Not really sure what to replace them with though.

    I think it'd be kind of neat to see a trench improvement either only for the era, or ones that bonuses decline as time goes on. Although I guess it wouldn't be too much different then a fort. Hey! Why not give forts a trench graphic for the modern era?

    I think it'd be really cool as well if we could see some chemical or biological weapons starting in that era. They could be precursors to the cruise missile, a one time use bomb with a bonus versus infantry and cities.
     
  15. Karmah

    Karmah King Supporter

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    I agree with this.
     
  16. fyar

    fyar Prince

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    I tend to agree with the OP. GWBs being as overpowered as they are irks me especially because bombers actually played a very little role in the Great War. I know some people care more about gameplay than historical accuracy, but as you noted, this destroys gameplay too. I had a game where I tried to invade a cultural runaway in Egypt who was spamming wonders like crazy from his 3-city island. We were neck-and-neck in technology, but I had a very powerful navy. Unfortunately my frigates arrived at Ramesses' doorstep just as he discovered Flight. Even though I had an overwhelming navy, I had no counter whatsoever to his mere 1 Triplane and 2 GWBs and had to retreat. Because he was too far away, even if I built my own air force to counter, it couldn't get there until Carriers, which were still a whiles away because of the aforementioned flaws in the tech tree.

    I'm not mad about losing a battle or even a war, it wasn't the first time. What irked me was realizing that there was literally nothing I could do as a counter until Carriers or Destroyers, contrary to what Santa Maria and Karmah are saying that you can just counter them with Triplanes. As such, I would 100% agree with getting rid of GWBs. Zeppelins played a bigger role in the Great War than Bombers did anyway, and I don't see a big push to include those.
     
  17. fyar

    fyar Prince

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    Also, I agree that subs are overpowered and need an earlier counter. I think destroyers should be available before subs in the tech tree, so that if you're upgrading your navy you should already have the counter. I also think destroyers would be more useful if subs were harder to find. I think subs shouldn't be able to spot other subs, or maybe only if they're within 1 tile of subs. Maybe give missile cruisers the same ability to see them from 1 tile away. But as it is, I pretty much never build destroyers besides for those that were upgraded from caravels, maybe if I need a ship that can capture a city.
     
  18. ShunNakamura

    ShunNakamura Warlord

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    Actually as soon as balloons and the ilk were being used(long before fighter/bomber craft) military folk were already readying anti-aircraft weaponry. Observation balloons were a severe advantage and the other side clearly didn't want the enemy's balloons in the air.

    As early as 1870 you had weaponry specifically built to shoot down air borne objects. Mostly they were modified cannons/siege weaponry. In 1911 the US wanted purpose built anti-air guns to counter the future threat of airships.

    The problem with your assumption is that anti-air means anti-airplane. We had limited flight long before we had flight that could be used to bomb. And the world's armies saw the potential threat of air borne objects and started trying to counter them long before we had bombing craft. However, it is also true that such were very primitive attempts and not overly effective, and as such the dedicated hard counter shouldn't really come early. This is why I think the best option is to at some point for siege and other such ranged to be able to pick the interception promotion. Perhaps even have it be a special interception promotion(half interception or something where you intercept at half your normal strength).
     
  19. Peng Qi

    Peng Qi Emperor

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    So you're saying that 3 years is "long before???" And also, anti-tank guns are just artillery pieces pointed horizontally, so in reality anti-tank guns preceded the tank.

    (Also, early flak guns were just artillery pieces loaded with flak shells, so AA preceded aircraft too.)
     
  20. CraigMak

    CraigMak The Borg

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    I think that Bombers are extremely over powered. Every game is a beeline to flight and once there, building anything but bombers a bad idea. All you need is bombers and cavalry to take the cities. Triplanes are garbage at being a counter and terrible at fighting themselves.

    However this is realistic. Flight changed the way the world fought wars. Air superiority dominates any war/battle. 1 bombing can do more damage than an entire platoon of ground troops in reality. Imagine if some one tried to invade the US with no form of anti-air. They would get wiped off the planet with almost no losses to the US. Everything they have would get destroyed before even reaching US soil.
     

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