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The Unique Improvement situation

Discussion in 'Leader Balance' started by Funak, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    There has been some discussion concerning unique improvements kinda allover the place so I figured I'd make a thread where they can at least be compared with each other without resorting to going offtopic in other leader-threads.
    Anyways I figured I'd get us started so I made a list of unique improvements and I guess I'll write a few lines about every one.

    First of all I kinda want to make my position here clear, I don't necessarily think every unique improvement needs to be balanced against each other, some of them are compensating for lackluster UAs while some are complimenting powerful UAs.


    Brazilwood Camp
    This improvement starts out really boring but grows bigger over time, it does a fairly good job of staying relevant throughout the game. Whenever I try Brazil out however I have a really hard time actually finding jungles to work.

    Chateau
    One of my personal favorites, starting off strong providing plenty of yields. The one thing I don't like about it is how the bonus yields from tech are allocated. Printing press is fairly close to the unlocking of the Chateau, but then the next powerup is way back at flight which is like 2 eras away. Also worth noticing that the flight bonus feels way to big at +3 yields, would be better to distribute them more evenly.

    Eki
    This improvement starts of somewhat okay, and then gets incredibly weak for a few eras before you get a consolation-price in late renaissance and a foodbump in late industrial which pops the improvement up to 'somewhat okay' again. I'm honestly thinking that if it weren't for the probably overpowered +3science to all unique improvements tenet in autocracy, this Improvement would just never go beyond 'okay'. I feel like some of the bonuses could really have been moved earlier, especially away from the Information era (I personally feel like increasing yields in the information era is just wasted anyways)

    Encampment
    The improvement that blows the Eki away on most realistic maps. You're really rarely going to get to use the Eki adjacency bonus, but you will most of the time get to build an Encampment on every non-adjacent tile. The Encampment also gets a way more interesting boost in the industrial era compared to the Eki. Over all this is a clear improvement over the Eki, but I still feel like the information-era stuff could be moved earlier (honestly anything later than flight is just not going to have an impact unless it improves the yields by like 5).
    I also really don't like the name Encampment, I feel like there has to be a better word for it, even going back for the somewhat misleading name from that scenario, Tipi, would be better at this point.

    Feitoria
    I'm just going to assume that the CS-Feitoria doesn't exist (imho it's more like a part of the UU).
    This is one of my clear favorites. It does unlock ungodly late(in fact, maybe something could be done about that?) but it provides some pretty cool bonuses once it is unlocked. The best part however is that all the bonus-yields are unlocked almost immediately, it makes the improvement keep feeling impressive. Even though it caps out at industrialization the improvement still feels good and like a priority to get built until the end of the game.

    Kasbah
    This improvement used to be really cool, but I just don't feel that about it anymore. Maybe it is just trying to do way too many things, but I don't feel like it is actually succeeding at anything. Some more focus, perhaps?


    Kuna
    To be perfectly fair I'm not sure I've actually given this improvement that much of a chance, but after maybe 15 starts I've done in the last few days to try it out I never got a location where I could fit more than 3 Kuna, most of the time I could barely fit 1. The yields on the improvement isn't that impressive, sure getting some faith early on is super, but other than the +2 base faith the only thing you'll get on the improvement pre-flight is science. And for all that people keep saying about science, it just doesn't feel good to work science-tiles. Especially tiles with pretty much only science on them.

    I do understand that that the Maya UA is crazy good, but this thing pretty much keeps me from ever wanting to play Maya, it just isn't fun.

    Moai
    This unique improvement is crazy good, there is no doubt about that. With the right terrain you're looking at crazy culture income with some decent production to back it up. The problem I have with the improvement however is that it encourages you to just ignore resources on the map, the Moai doesn't connect them and the Moai wants to be built on top of them anyways.
    Some improvements needs to be able to be built on resources for map-reasons, like the Kasbah or the great tile improvements, they do also connect resources for that exact reason. I feel like the Moai can be built on top of resources only because without it the improvement would be terrible and allowing it was an easier solution than fixing the core issues with the improvement.

    Polder
    Polder is awesome, like the Feitoria, it unlocks late, gets improvements quickly and generally is just a really nice tile that you feel like building wherever you can. Like the Feitoria it would probably be more fun if it unlocked slightly earlier, but it is nice as it is as well.

    Terrace Farm
    I don't feel like it would be fair of me to express myself about the Terrace Farm, when I play Inca I never get any good spots to build them. Either I get almost no mountains or I get sheep blocking the tiles where I could build decent Terrace Farms.
    The improvement is still fairly good to build anywhere to pump up adjacent farms but it is pretty sad to build improvements and never actually working them
     
  2. thecraftybee

    thecraftybee Warlord

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    I love UIs and would love to see all Civs have one, as well as a UU and UB. I love seeing UI civs in my games because I know I'm gonna get great territory once they have been laid down. My only gripe is that you can gain the benefit of these when you war the Civ, but you never get the UBs of other Civs whenever you take them over.

    Would it be possible to capture UBs so they better balance against UI?
     
  3. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    I think Rome can capture UBs with their unique ability, but that might have been changed.

    Other than that I kinda like the current system, the fact that you can conquer UIs and steal them with a great general adds to their uniqueness and helps with making them feel different from UBs.
     
  4. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    I had a much better experience with the Kunas. Between Workshops and Herbalists you can make jungles and forests pretty strong in the early-to-midgame to begin with, and throwing a Kuna on them is just icing on the cake.

    It's true that they're not much use if you don't start in the middle of a big jungle or forest patch though. I wonder if the "can't build adjacent" restriction is really needed. It really limits the amount of maps they can be useful on.
     
  5. tompliss

    tompliss Warlord

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    I haven't played the Mayans in a month or two, but I agree that the Kuna is good. I feel like it supports a wide playstyle (because you work many tiles with various yeilds, so you don't work many specialists, so you have more cities without guilds than with them).
    It also gives "rare" yields, on tiles that already has various yields.


    One of the UI I don't really like is the Kasbah. When you unlock it, you basically build it everywhere you can and work it mos of the time.
    I think that it could do with having a "main" yield higher and other lowers. If it's possible, I'd love if there were events where you can choose a bonus yield to your Kasbahs; then you'd have a real decision about them.
     
  6. NerdExtrodinare

    NerdExtrodinare Chieftain

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    I'm currently playing a Netherlands campaign and I agree the Polder is great, though I have to ask, is there a reason it can't be built on wheat? The tile fulfills all the other requirements, flat, fresh water, but there's wheat on it so, no Polder.
     
  7. Glidergun

    Glidergun Chieftain

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    You can't build the Polder on any resource. This isn't unusual, resources typically only accept the improvement that connects them or a Great Person tile. The Moai and Kasbah are exceptions.
     
  8. NerdExtrodinare

    NerdExtrodinare Chieftain

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    But a Polder is just a special farm, so it doesn't really follow that you can't put it on wheat.
     
  9. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    Yeah the tiles turn out pretty strong, but are they actually that much better than lumber-mills? This is a unique improvement with MASSIVE tile-restriction on it, you're pretty much only ever going to be able to build it in cities you found yourself, because other people just cut their forests/jungles down, you can't build them adjacent to each other, which is painful considering forests/jungles tend to spawn in triangles.
    With such heavy restrictions the tile should feel super-amazing, and it just doesn't.

    And no I don't think lifting the Adjacency restriction is a good idea, it would just look silly.
     
  10. NerdExtrodinare

    NerdExtrodinare Chieftain

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    Well the issue is if you make it really good, and they do spawn in a forest or jungle, they'll just murder everyone. My solution would be to fix the start biasies because seriously, I started multiple times with dessert and no trees in site, one time with only two trees nearby, full of chocolate.
     
  11. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    That would be an issue if you're talking about the brazilwood camp, the Kuna got an adjacency restriction so you can't fit that many anyways, even in optimal situations.
     
  12. pandasnail

    pandasnail Prince

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    So I know the game is balanced for Standard not Marathon, but the Kuna is already superpowerful for the AI starting with whatever diff the AI gets a free worker, Emperor I believe, helping make The Mayans the guaranteed number one threat. King or lower or in my hands, its just okay tho.

    As to the rest, I love the Polder, I love the Terrace Farm, I love the Moai, I actually like the Eki, at least at first. I love fighting against the Encampment, tho I've barely played with it. Brazilwood Camp annoys me because everyone else cuts their jungle if they even have it, so there's less ability to war. I guess you aren't supposed to with Brazil. Haven't played Portugal since the Fei became a 'normal' UI, and the Kasbah really only seems truly worth it in Forest, which is kinda weird.
     
  13. Enrico Swagolo

    Enrico Swagolo Deity

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    Eki seems like it'd be really good if it were like Terrace Farm in that it considered Farms to be equal to itself

    So if you surround your Eki with Farms (because, well, you could only put farms on the surrounding spots), it gets +1 Production for every 2 Farms (or 1Farm-1Eki). It'd be cool if Eki also got some Farm bonuses like from Cathedral too.
     
  14. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    You agree that the heavy restrictions make it feel less than amazing, but you also don't want to lessen the heavy restrictions. The only alternative I see would be to raise the yields dramatically, which has its own risks--getting that "perfect" start would be all the more insane.

    Lumbermills give +1 production and comes later in the tree. A kuna gives more total yields and its boosts come earlier (if it's jungle, it's not even really comparable). I'd say it's a lot more impressive than a lumbermill, especially since early on that +2 science often boosts a city's total science production by a very significant amount if it can get more than 1 kuna in its work radius, with faith as a bonus. But it is perhaps too heavily start-dependent.

    Adjusting the start bias to make the Maya start in a big forest/jungle patch would work best, as NerdExtraordinare suggests, but I don't know how viable an option that is.
     
  15. JungleBucks

    JungleBucks Warlord

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    Now that you mention that Cathedral bonus, I don't recal my Terrace Farms getting said farm bonus. I undestand it's a UI and not quite a farm in itself, but it still seemed weird to me. Guess it's for balance purposes. Having a UI get non-neutral benefits may be unfair.
     
  16. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    Just wanted to point out that Terrace farm does not get any bonuses for nearby farms, terrace farms are usually stuck as 1F 3P tiles for most of the game.


    Well, pyramids on every tile would look really silly (and it would be overlapping with the Brazilwood camp (somewhat).


    A terrace farm is not a farm in any way, it does not benefit from anything that boosts a regular farm (it does however unlock bonus food on the same tech as normal farms)
     
  17. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    And it has the word farm in it:crazyeye:
     
  18. NerdExtrodinare

    NerdExtrodinare Chieftain

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    Well that depends on what you mean by "should be really impressive." I was probably thinking you meant it to be more impressive than you meant.

    Why wouldn't that be viable? (And it'd make sense historically.)
     
  19. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    Well, I just assumed they already had a start bias towards jungle. I know it doesn't always work, though.
     
  20. NerdExtrodinare

    NerdExtrodinare Chieftain

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    They might have a slight one but (though it's not a big enough data set) I restarted like, 12 times and about 8 were dessert/grasslands without almost any (two had literally none, and one had only two tiles of forest, full of chocolate), and the four were well forested/jungled but none were particularly large.
     

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