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Tidal Balance - Rising Tide balance mod

Discussion in 'CivBE - Released Mods' started by Polycrates, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. Polycrates

    Polycrates Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,288
    Rising Tide, for all its many good points, is not the greatest in the balance department. A lot of mechanics in the release version are veeeeery wonky. I'm hoping to start trying to address that balance with this mod. Of course it's very early days, and I'm sure there are plenty of nuances for everyone to work out before any of us can consider ourselves experts on the balance, so this is to test out a bunch of changes to see if they start pointing things in the right direction.

    In making this mod, the main thing that stood out was the obscene snowball effect provided by internal trade routes. Toning this down a bit has honestly probably made 90% of the difference with this mod - a lot of the problems really go away when they're not fed by stupidly strong trade routes.

    The other major thing was slowing down early game colonist spam. I've removed the free settler from Prosperity, and made settlers a little bit more expensive (and quite a bit more expensive to rush buy).

    There's a bunch more changes in the changelog below.

    I've tried to err on the side of caution with the magnitude of these changes, at least for this first version, but to me it does still feel like a lot less of a breakneck snowball pace. It's possible others may even find the early game too slow now.

    And there are loads of areas I haven't touched (at least not yet). I want to see how things play out with the current changes before trying to tweak too many things. Energy is still too easy to come by, units may still not be balanced, I'm letting Firaxis handle the bugfixes, buildings are still the same, apart from the free settler the virtues are the same, etc etc. In the next version, I'm hoping to address buildings and energy.

    Version 0.21 (hotfix of v0.2) is HERE

    Version 0.2 changelog is HERE

    Combined changelog:

    General:
    Spoiler :
    Known issues:
    Beyond Earth UI bug: This mod now suffers from the ongoing UI bug in BE that screws up the Unit Panel if you don’t load-unload-reload mods. This is due to the changes to workers and the new promotion from the Organ Printer. Nothing I can do on this end except hope Firaxis do something about it.
    Hover-over help text for technologies has not yet been updated to reflect changes in unit/building/improvement location.

    Core (CoreUpdates.xml):

    • Internal trade routes: Reduced the scalar from 3 to 2. International/station routes kept as before. This is probably the biggest change, and I’m still experimenting with values. But this cuts them down from being quite so absurd, while keeping them still a viable option.
    • City growth formula – flattened very slightly. Cities take slightly longer to grow at first, don’t slow down quite as much at larger sizes. It’s still way more brutal than Civ V’s growth curve.
      Flat cost up from 15 to 20
      Size multiplier kept at 8
      Size exponent reduced from 2 to 1.8
    • Extra trade route slot size threshold: Increased to 12 (was 10)
    • HQ: HQ gives +1 science. Gives the early days a little kick start, slightly less dependent on the luck of high-food tiles.
    • Colonists cost 120 (was 95), and have +50% hurry cost. Still pretty cheap to build, but considerably harder to rush buy with all the energy from popping pods. And honestly, they slow your city down when you build them, you ought to have to pay a premium to bypass that.
    • Trade units: Hurry cost increased by 50%.
    • ALL UNITS embark speed increased to 3 at Biochemistry.
    • Vertical Farming gives +1 food to farms, not +1 food +1 energy. There’s way too much energy floating around anyway, there’s absolutely no reason to add more from farms.
    • +1 Production from Farms at Industrial Ecology changed to +1 Production from Mines
    • City processes: Base conversion for science/culture/food reduced to 20%, 30% for energy (was 25% for all)
    • Insightful trait: Down to 3/6/9 per agreement. Would love if this could be a percentage of capital spent, because it’s currently way too easy to get +60 science really early from just having a bunch of 3 capital agreements.
    • Ambitious trait: Reduced to +10/15/20% conversion (was +10/20/30%)
    • Market Deregulation agreement: Size threshold for extra trade routes reduced to 10/20/30% (was 30/40/50)
    • Tax Haven agreement (extra trade routes in the capital): Cost increased to 15 (was 9)
    • Engineering Corps agreement (free workers): Cost increased to 9 (was 3)
    • Dimension Folding Complex – Reduced to 25% unhealth reduction from population (was 50)
    • International trade: multipliers for lesser and greater yield partners increased to 1.5 and 2.5 respectively (was 1 and 2). The system is still just as completely stupid as it ever was though, nothing I can do about that
    • International trade: Strategic resource trading changed to 0 (cooperative) and 2 (allied). Was 1 and 3 respectively.

    Virtues (VirtueUpdates.xml)
    • Prosperity 5: No longer provides a free settler. Provides +3 food in the capital instead.

    Flavour (FlavourUpdates.xml):

    • Affinity resources: Xenomass revealed by Genetics, Floatstone revealed by Physics, Firaxite revealed by Engineering. To stop you picking an affinity on turn 1, and to stop cities border popping resources they won’t be able to work for ages. I’ve actually grown to really really like this change. Can still be shown on turn 1 by choosing tectonic scanner in loadout.
    • Artifacts: Slightly lowered the discovery rate for old earth and alien artifacts. Should be impossible to get an artefact from the first pod popped.
    • Specialists: +1 of the appropriate yield for all specialists. Hopefully might make the useful for more than just when you run out of tiles.
    • Marvels: All marvels give additional yields (unfortunately this only applies to the small marvels, doesn’t seem to be possible with the big ones). Currently this applies regardless of whether you’ve completed the quest, but appears that it could be made contingent. This is just to make them a bit more Natural-Wondery
      Primordial (meteor crater): +5 production, +5 energy
      Arid (Abandoned alien city): +5 science, +5 culture
      Fungal (giant fungus): +3 food (surrounding food on quest completion retained)
      Frigid (ancient alien structure): +5 science, +5 energy
      Water (hydrocoral brain): +5 food, +5 science
    • Work boats improve algae with +1 food, not +1 energy. You’re gonna build a farm there anyway.
    • Beds improve eggs with +1 food, +1 culture. Ditto.
    • +2 production from titanium mines (was +3). It gets enough boost from the alloy foundry.
    • Floatstone quarry gives +2 production (was +3 energy)
    • Patrol boats have move 3 (was 4) to slow down sea exploration slightly. Regains 4 move at affinity 1 (cutter).
    • Gunboat upgrades have reduced defensive combat strength to make patrol boat line more of a match. +4/+6/+10 (was +4/+10/+16)
    • Hydracoral: Strength reduced (to 2/4/8 – was 10/18/32) but 300-400% defense modifiers added to compensate. To give reduced science from the Might virtue.
    • Paean (health satellite): Added 1 petroleum maintenance (was 0)
    • Cities connected to the Capital produce 0.5 energy per population (was 1)
    • Roads cost 0 maintenance (was 1). Magrails cost 1 maintenance (was 2).
    • Unlocked the additional starting options because why not

    AI Handicaps (AIHandicaps.xml):

    • AI players get +1 explorer expedition modules on Soyuz level, +2 expedition modules on Apollo. An attempt to make AI players compete more for expedition sites.

    Technology (Tech/TechCosts_updated.xml):
    • Tier 2, 3 and 4 (i.e. mostly ring 2) branch and leaf tech cost increased by 20%. Tiers 0, 1 and 5 kept the same.
    Tech affinity and ffinity locations (tier 5) (Tech/TechAffinities_move.xml) - This perhaps needs more tweaking, but the idea is to reduce the affinity available from early techs and increase the affinity available from later techs. It’s currently very easy to grab the very strong level 2 and 5 hybrid bonuses (and hybrid units) just by diverting a couple of turns to inner ring techs, and this is intended to help make that a little more difficult, slow early affinity growth somewhat, and encourage teching towards outer ring techs.
    Currently:
    • Tier 1: stem 4/leaf 12
    • Tier 2: stem 5/ leaf 15
    • Tier 3: stem 6/leaf 18
    • Tier 4: stem 7/leaf 21
    • Tier 5: stem 8/leaf 24
    Tier 5 affinity changes:
    • Field Theory/Exotic Matter changed from Harmony to Purity.
    • Augmentation/Surrogacy changed from Purity to Supremacy
    • Bioengineering/Industrial Ecology – added Harmony
    • Social Dynamics/Human Idealism – added Harmony
    • Astrodynamics/Dark Networks – added Purity

    Affinity perks (AffinityTree.xml):
    • Purity/Supremacy and Purity/Harmony level 5 health perks reduced to -15% unhealth (was -25%)
    • Purity lvl 5 perk changed to +1 food from Domes (was bonus to floatstone)
    • Purity lvl 8 perk changed to bonus to floatstone (was bonus to terrascapes)
    • Purity lvl 12 perk changed to bonus to terrascapes (was bonus to dome)

    Hybrid Units (Units/HybridUnits.xml):
    • +1 to affinity requirements for final hybrid upgrades for basic units. I.e. Marines require 7/7 (was 6/6). Changed for all basic unit types with current hybrids (Marines, Gunners, Patrol Boats, Gunboats, Rovers).

    Unit locations (Units/UnitLocations.xml): (NOTE – still need to fix tech help descriptions for these)
    Pure:
    • Aegis moved to Civil Support (was Surrogacy)
    • SABR moved to Autogyros (was Synthetic Thought)
    • CARVR moved to Synthetic Thought (was Autogyros)
    Hybrid:
    • Immortal moved to Alien Genetics (was Organics)
    • Autosled moved to Ballistic Lev (was Bionics)
    • Architect moved to Tissue Engineering (was Alien Hybridisation)
    • Geliopod moved to Alien Hybridisation (was Transgenics)
    • Golem moved to Surrogacy (was Bioengineering)
    Principles:
    • -All unique units should be on leaf techs
    • -Unique units should be on leaf techs under branch techs with one or both of the unit’s affinities. It should NOT be under a branch that gives a different dual affinity (e.g. a S/P unit under a H/P branch), though it can be under a branch that gives all three (e.g. transgenics).
    • -Unique units should be on a leaf that gives points in one of its affinities.
    • -Unique units should be positioned in a location whose path most closely rewards that affinity/affinities. E.g. a P/S unit on a leaf of a supremacy branch, whose prerequisite branch is Purity. Gain for each affinity along the way should be reasonably balanced. On the other hand, the locations of an affinity’s units should be reasonably well spread-out.
    • -Tier 1 uniques (battlesuit/xenoswarm/cndr/immortal/nanohive/drone cage) should be on the leaf of a tier 2 or 3 tech.
    • -Tier 2 uniques (xeno cav/aegis/carvr/architect/autosled/geliopod) should be on the leaf of a tier 3 or 4 tech. If tier 4, it should be close to techs unlocking its required resources, if tier 3 it should be distant.
    • -Tier 3 and 4 uniques should be on the leaf of tier 5 techs.

    Workers (Units/WorkerActions.xml):
    • Build Magrail – moved to Mechatronics (was Civil Support) – to move from leaf to branch and to compensate new Aegis location. Magrails still obsolete roads (not sure how to change this).
    • Plant Forest – Enabled with Alien Ecology. Can plant on grassland, plains, tundra. Destroys improvements and resources.
    • Advanced builds (array/node/biowell/academy/terrascape/dome/manufactory: construction time reduced by 25%


    Buildings (ring 1 and 2):
    Spoiler :
    Ring 1:

    • Clinic: Unchanged
    • Trade Depot: 2 maintenance
    • Recycler: Unchanged
    • Laboratory: 100 production cost (was 80), 1 scientist slot
    • Rocket Battery: Unchanged
    • Defence Perimeter: Unchanged
    • Ultrasonic Fence: Broken. Unchanged until patched.
    • Launch Complex: Unchanged
    • Pharmalab: Maintenance 2. Quest changed to 2 science or 1 health (was 1 science or 1 health)
    • Cytonursery: Maintenance 2. Gives 1 Health, 0 science (was 1 health, 1 science). No food from marshes. Grants +1 production from forests.
    • Vivarium: Removed food bonus from non-flood-plain deserts. Now +1 food from flood plains.
    • Thorium Reactor: +2 energy (was +3), 1 trader slot (was 2)
    • Repair Facility: Added 1 engineer slot
    • Observatory: Moved to Robotics (was Physics)
    • Barracks: NEW building available at Physics. +15xp for land units. No quests. Frontier stadium changed to 15xp to go with this. Currently uses Augmentary icon as placeholder.
    • Network: 3 maintenance. +33% science (was +3 science). +1 science from gold and copper (was copper). Quest changed to free maintenance or +1 Capital (was free maintenance or +1 culture).
    • Alien Preserve: 2 maintenance. Quest changed to 5% heal rate or +3 culture from alien nests (was heal or +1science/+2 energy)
    • Water Refinery: 2 maintenance. +1 production from sea resources, no production from non-resource water tiles.
    • Tidal Turbine: 0 flat energy (was 3). +25% energy production in city, +1 energy from ocean tiles (not coast).
    • Thermohaline Rudder: 150 production (was 205). No science (was 2). -35% move cost for water cities (was -30%). Quest gives +2 science or -15% move cost (was 1 science or 10% move cost).
    • Petrochemical Plant: Gives +2 production from petroleum (was +1). However, quest gives only +1 production or +1 culture from petroleum (was +2 or +2).

    Ring 2:

    • Alloy Foundry: Maintenance 2. Titanium mine yield decreased by 1 elsewhere, building is unchanged.
    • Autoplant: Maintenance 3. Quest changed to +1 production or free maintenance (was +1 production or +1 energy/-1 maintenance)
    • Biofactory: Maintenance 3. Consumes 1 petroleum (was 0). No longer requires a local source of petroleum. Gives +3 production (as before), and +1 from chitin, resilin, coral and chelonia (was chitin only).
    • Biofuel Plant: 0 flat energy (was 2). +2 energy from algae or plankton (was algae). Can be built with a local source of algae or plankton (was algae only).
    • Bionics Lab: -25% unhealth in city (was +20% health). The difference is technical but this is a MUCH more useful bonus. +2 science from resililn, shell, silica (was +1 production from resilin). Can be built with local resilin, shell, silica (was resilin). Quest changed to +2 science or +1 health (was +1 science or +1 culture).
    • CEL Cradle: Maintenance 3. Changed quest results to +10% culture in the city or 1 free spy (was +10% growth carryover or free spy).
    • Cloning Plant: Maintenance 2. +1 food from xenomass (was +1 production).
    • Command Centre: Maintenance 2.
    • Feedsite Hub: Maintenance 2.
    • Gaian Well: 0 flat yield (was 3). +3 energy from geothermal (was 0). +25% energy in city.
    • Gene Garden: Maintenance 3. Requires 3 Purity (was 2). 0 science yield (was 1). Quest changed to +1 health or free maintenance (was +1 health or 4 energy).
    • Growlab: Maintenance 2. Requires Harmony 2 (was 4). Flat food yield 2 (was 3). +1 food from fruit, fungus, tubers (was fungus only). Can be built with local fungus, fruit, tubers (was fungus only).
    • Holosuite: Maintenance 3.
    • Institute: Maintenance 2.
    • Lev Plant: Maintenance 3. 3 flat production (was 4). +2 production from floatstone (was 0). Quest changed to +2 production or free maintenance (was +2 production or 3 energy).
    • Mass Digester: Maintenance 2. 3 grower specialists (was 4).
    • Neurolab: Maintenance 3. No science % increase, 0 science from firaxite (was 10% science, +1 from firaxite). Gives +1 science per 2 population. Still requires local firaxite.
    • Optical Surgery: Maintenance 3. Gives +2 health from silica (was +1). Quest changed to +3 science or +1 unit sight range (was +2 science or +1 unit sight range).
    • Xenofuel Plant: No flat yield (was 3). +3 energy from Xenomass (was +1).
    • Xenonursery: Maintenance 3. Requires Harmony 4 (was 2). No science from xenomass (was 1). +15% science (was +10%). +1 science from forests. Still requires local xenomass.


    Buildings (ring 3):

    Spoiler :
    Non-affinity: these have no affinity requirement and are generally somewhat weaker than other ring 3 buildings

    Borehole: Maintenance 3. No affinity requirement (was Purity 8). +5 production (was +5), +2 production, +2 energy from canyons. Provides 2 engineers (was 0). Cost 400 (was 500). Updated quest reward to 5% energy and -3 maintenance (was 5% energy and -1 maintenance).
    Notes: This took way too long to provide a return on investment, so this is shifted slightly (although the additional return is deliberately situational). And the game needed more engineers that are available to everyone. Hopefully not too much overlap with the canyon wonder.

    Civil Creche: Maintenance 3. Otherwise unchanged.
    Notes: It’s a bit on the weak side for tier 3 but it works fine and it’s in a spot with other buildings.

    Field Reactor: Provides +33% energy (was +10%).
    Notes: Space Stock Exchange.

    Molecular Forge: Maintenance 3. No affinity requirement (was 8 Harmony).
    Notes: This is the only building in a ring 3 leaf tech, and it’s pretty weak for it. I got rid of the affinity because that was insult to injury. Might boost later, might put the growers from civil crèche here because that makes more sense. On the other hand it has REALLY powerful quests (10% production or 10% science).

    Mosaic Hull: Maintenance 2
    Notes: The culture thing is weird but whatever. It’s a bit crap but I’m leaving it for now.

    Neoplanetarium: Maintenance 3. +50% orbital production (was +40%). Quest gives +25% orbital production or +2 orbital range (was broken).
    Notes: It’s well-placed (if you want the satellites you’ll get this on the way) and it’s a useful niche building. Upped the effect a bit and fixed the quest to make it a bit more worthwhile.

    Soma Distillery: Maintenance 3. Otherwise unchanged.
    Notes: This has a bit of a schizophrenic effect but I really like the flavour and the Huxley thing so I’m leaving it.

    Affinity: These are intended to be VERY powerful buildings that are associated with one or more affinities. Some of them do look stupidly powerful, and they are, but there are significant costs associated as well. I haven’t touched the quest rewards yet.

    Augmentary (SSSP): Maintenance 4. 4 firaxite cost (was 0). Maximum 3 can be constructed. Build cost increases by 100 per city in your empire. +1 of the primary yield from ALL specialists in the empire for each augmentary you have. Has a pretty gold border but is NOT classed as a wonder.
    Notes: Completely removed its existing effect because it was stupid. This new effect only works globally and there’s no per-city equivalent, hence the somewhat kludgey effect. I really wanted something to benefit a specialist-heavy strategy, and I’ve also gone with a slightly ‘taller’ theme for the tier 3 supremacy buildings. Bummer about the gold border but no easy way to fix that.

    Bioglass Furnace (SSSH): Maintenance 4. Requires 2 firaxite (was 2). +2 production, +25% production in this city (was +2/+15%). GLOBAL unhealth increased by 5% for each Bioglass Furnace in the empire.
    Notes: It’s a big boost, but you’ll only want it in cities where you can make it count because that health penalty adds up (again, best for taller). Also wanted to emphasise the ‘more production, damn the environment’ theme for Supremacy. AI tends to have big health boosts, so hopefully shouldn’t screw with them too much. I can make this a local unhealth penalty if necessary.

    Gene Smelter (HHHS): Maintenance 4. Provides 0 health (was 3). Provides 3 Transcend specialist slots. Transcendi give 2 energy, 3 science, 2 culture, 2 capital. Costs 2 xenomass (was 0). Location switched with Organ Printer.
    Notes: Wanted another specialist building on the other side of the affinity spectrum. Obviously inspired by the specialists in SMAC, and gives a bit of Harmony flavour, I think. It’s the weakest of the tier 3 science-related buildings, but Harmony get a good science building early. Harmony also needs a bit of a water city boost, and specialists fit nicely. Perhaps looks stronger than it is, since 3 workers need to be taken from the field. Transcends currently use the blue scientist icon as a placeholder.

    Hypercore (SSSS): Maintenance 5. Cost 1000 (was 470). Can only be built in the capital. Provides +100% science to the city. +2 science to all Networks.
    Notes: Again with the taller Supremacy theme. Seemed like the sort of thing you might only build one of, but which feeds into other networks (hence the network bonus).

    Mantle (PPPH): Maintenance 4. Requires 4 floatstone and local floatstone. Cost increases by 100 for each city in the empire. +10% science to ALL cities for each Mantle in the empire. Quest changed to 1 science or 2 energy (total, not per building) per purity level (was 1 science or 1 energy).
    Notes: Kinda wanted to make this the opposite of the Hypercore. Potentially very powerful if you’ve prioritised settling near floatstone. Favours wide, but that production cost can REALLY add up if you’ve built a lot of cities, and it’ll cost a big chunk of floatstone to build them everywhere. Purity got a bit shafted with science buildings so this is to make it up to them a bit.

    Microbial Mine (HHHP): Maintenance 4. +4 production, +15% production for this city (was +3, +10%). Still requires 2 xenomass. Quest updated to 1 science or 2 energy per harmony level (was 1 or 1).
    Notes: I wanted to keep a slightly more default production building. These are already the strongest of the tier 3 buildings. Considering dropping the base effect somewhat and adding specialists.

    Nanopasture (SSPP): Maintenance 4. 33% food kept after growth (was 15%). No specialists (was 2 scientists).
    Notes: Was a very schizophrenic building. A late-game aqueduct needs to be a powerful aqueduct.

    Node Bank (SSHH): Maintenance 4. Defensive role entirely removed. Production cost increases by 75 for each city in the empire. +10% energy and +10% Capital from ALL cities for each node bank in the empire.
    Notes: Hands up anyone who even remembers what this thing did? Had the stupidest effects ever, so now it’s a node-based energy building. Powerful, but you have to invest pretty heavily in them before the returns outstrip the cost.

    Organ Printer (HHPP): Maintenance 4. Requires 2 xenomass. No science bonus. Provides Enhanced Combat Organs promotion to Land Melee units trained in this city. Promotion gives +25% attack strength and units may attack twice per turn. Location switched with Gene Smelter.
    Notes: I wanted to follow the Space Marine sort of vibe of the Battlesuit and Immortal, and Purity-Harmony in particular. It bugs me in Civ V and BE that melee units are primarily used as roadblocks, so this gives more incentive to attack with them, which fits the ‘reckless charge’ kinda vibe of space marines anyway. Works particularly well with the fast movement and healing of P/H upgrades, and combined with buffs from Architect/Throne.

    Progenitor Garden (HHHH): Maintenance 4. -33% unhealth in this city. +2 food from forests. Requires 4 xenomass, local xenomass. Quest changed to -10% unhealth or 10% science (was 10% health or 5% science).
    Notes: Powerful but specialised effects. With the full array of Harmony forest buildings, forests with biowells are really strong (Harmony can also have workers build forests).

    Skycrane (PPPS): Maintenance 4. Requires 2 floatstone (was 4). Provides 4 engineer slots (was 0). +10% production (was +15%).
    Notes: Weaker base effect than the other affinity production buildings, but allows for a LOT of engineers. Particularly powerful for sea cities.

    Terra Vault (PPPP): Maintenance 4. +3% Culture in the city for every point of population.
    Notes: Gives a LOT of culture bonus, but late culture isn’t terribly powerful so I’m okay with this. Purity really are supposed to be the culture-heavy ones anyway. Alternative plan was +33% culture in the city (was 15%), and additional +33% border growth speed, but this didn’t work.


    Victory buildings:
    Exodus Gate: Unchanged
    Emancipation Gate: Unchanged
    Mind Stem: Unchanged
    Xeno Sanctuary: Maintenance 3.



    OLD VERSION: Version 0.1 file is HERE
     
  2. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2013
    Messages:
    9,192
    Imho Affinity Resources should not be hidden at the start of the game, I don't see anything positive about not being able to plan ahead and instead having to tech and expand blindly. It just increases the luck factor, which is fine for roleplaying but if you're creating a "balance-mod", then your audience will probably rather be the strategy-minded players.

    Other than that nice changes so far. (Haven't actually tested though)

    Important things for your Todo-List:
    - Faction Traits (Especially Polystralia)
    - Tune down Artifact-Unlocks
    - (Maybe) Increase Tech Cost overall
     
  3. Polycrates

    Polycrates Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,288
    Perhaps you're right, and I was initially on the fence about this one, but I stuck it in because I ended up really liking it when I tried it. I really never liked the whole thing of picking your civilisation's whole ideology on turn 1 based on which magic resources are close to your capital. This way it maybe gently nudges you down an affinity path based on which developmental aspects you're favouring. You'll still see them very early, well before you can work them. And the main reason I made the change in the first place was to help stop early cities culture-popping tiles that can't be worked for ages.

    I dunno, I'd say give it a whirl and see what you think. In any case, I definitely should at least update tectonic scanner to include these as well, so there's the option. EDIT: I just did this with a sneaky edit.

    Faction traits are definitely on the to-do list (or at least Polystralia). They might be a bit later since I haven't played all the factions in RT yet. And waiting on the peace bugfix to figure out what to do with Brasilia. For Polystralia, I'm thinking perhaps a percentage yield bonus for international and station trade routes, and maybe 1-2 extra trade routes in the capital.

    I've slightly slowed artifact pops (you were right in that other thread, it does work, I just had something else mucking up the file) so there should be fewer available so early. And slightly slower patrol boats. I've toned down a couple of the bonuses (and the wonders cost more and the buildings cost maintenance), but I'm actually inclined towards keeping them strong, at least for the moment. I really don't want to balance by watering everything down to insignificance. Yes, there's luck involved, but there's also the skill of how you integrate whichever bonuses you get into your overall strategy. I kinda like how they keep things different. Ideally I'd prefer to make them more of a fight to get, by upping the AI's flavour for pod-popping and especially expeditions, but AI stuff is a little above my paygrade at the moment.

    Tech cost is on the maybe list, but the changes so far do slow down how quickly your population grows, and how soon you can build science buildings, so tech is slower as well. I want to see how the current changes play out a bit more first. I'd like to make science buildings have more stacking effects though (like Civ V), and I suspect that will require upping tech cost to balance anyway.

    My first to-do list item is trying to stop energy generation spiralling out of control (which it still does, though to a lesser extent). I'm toying with halving energy generation from pop in connected cities and making roads maintenance-free (since road maintenance feels like a very vestigial and awkward mechanic in RT, with coastal and water cities connecting automatically, for free). Not sure if that's a change too far though.

    And the second is giving buildings a bit more focus, and making some of the outer ring buildings a bit more worthwhile.

    But yeah it's early days, and I'm open to suggestions!
     
  4. SteamCiv

    SteamCiv Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Messages:
    109
    Yes, though I like

    I agree. Stone age to to computer era tech is unplannable except in a game environment. I can understand how throwing resources into an area of research will get a related tech, but the exact tech desired or sought is not guaranteed and something else unexpected is likely to be discovered along the way.

    Randomness in the tech tree is entirely welcome!
     
  5. Azem.Ocram

    Azem.Ocram Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
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    Gender:
    Male
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    WA
    I love the description of your mod! I love what you have planned so far! Might I suggest that trade units should cost 50% more to hurry?

    Now for some questions:
    Is it possible to change artifact wonder recipes, add new wonders, or add new artifacts? I want the full (OP) strength of Machine Assisted Free Will and Quantum Politics to require 3 Pristine Progenitor Artifacts and be tied to 1500 production wonders. I want your reduced strength versions require 3 worn (or better) Progenitor Artifacts and 700 production wonders.
    Is it possible to increase Affinity costs? I have an idea on what the costs should be but I don't know if those types of changes are possible.
    Is it possible to add Affinity Levels 19 and 20? I want a way to make it impossible to max out all 3 affinities from research alone.
    Is it possible to change and add new Tile Wonders?

    I know it is possible to change and add Affinity perks, units, unit strengths, unit upgrades, tile improvements and victories but I don't know how difficult the changes are. If the answer to all my preceding questions is no, I have other ideas for balancing Rising Tides with what I know is possible.

    I want the following (listed in decreasing importance to me):
    1. All tile improvements with maintenance costs take twice as long to construct and cost twice as much energy to maintain (manufactury unhealth unchanged).
    2. Communications gets a 1400 science-cost leaf tech unlocking satellites with the abilities of the seeder ship (reveal all coasts, alien nests, strategic resources, or expedition sites on the Planet), each with 1 orbital radius and 3 line-of-sight radius, using 1 titanium & 2 petroleum, costing 200 production, and lasting 30 turns but activate their full abilities on the 1st turn after launch
    3. Terraforming, Robotics, and Alien Sciences each get an expensive (costing 1400 science) leaf tech granting upgrades to certain worker tile improvements, granting 20 affinity points in 2 affinities, and unlocking a (hybrid affinity) worker tile improvement (which isn't buffed by further techs and wonders). I can provide (suggested) stats and art.
    4. Each Affinity level gets a modest perk with the hybrid affinity perks nerfed (with the health perks being 10% at 6/6 and another 12% at 12/12, instead of 25% at 5/5) explorer affinity perks making a comeback (divided across affinity levels 1 and 3, so Harmony 1 gives explorers 5 less damage from miasma and Harmony 3 grants explorers miasma immunity)
    5. Affinity unique units start much weaker when first unlocked but get passive bonuses from their associated affinities
    6. All units capable of combat (including explorers and ultimate units) each get an additional affinity upgrade tier and hybrid affinity upgrades but have smaller intermediate gains.
    7. Sponsors get behavior that makes more sense, leader traits affect the respect they have for various actions, additional perks (and deals) from upgrading leader traits, and have more balanced leader traits. If possible, upgrading traits and switching them out should cost double.
    8. Each affinity (and hybrid affinity) gets 5 tiers of unique units (as suggested elsewhere)

    Other than my suggestions, I think your mod is great! Keep up the great work and expand!
     
  6. Polycrates

    Polycrates Chieftain

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    Thanks for the ideas!

    I suppose I should clarify first though that I'm EXTREMELY conscious of scope/feature creep with these sorts of mods. The Civ V balance mod started off as 'vanilla with rounded edges', and later evolved to just feel too dissimilar to the base game for my tastes. Last time I checked, they'd added approximately 537 different mechanics to calculate happiness, and that's not something I want. My aim is to go for something that feels like vanilla, but improved more by welding the existing bits together more neatly rather than duct-taping a bunch of extra support struts on. I realise that there may have to be a bit of that to support the goal, but I'd like to keep it pretty minimal. So apologies in advance to everyone, but I'm going to be pretty cautious about suggestions for new features. Happy to try to keep it compatible with other mods that do add new stuff though!


    Definitely an option! My only concern is just the hassle-factor of manually building them later in the game when you've just lost a bunch in a war and want to rebuild. But energy is still no object at the moment, so maybe that's worth exploring, at least for now.

    I've looked at the lua for artifact combination and it makes my head hurt. It might be possible but it would require someone who's better with the lua side of things than I am.

    Sure is! I've definitely considered increasing the rate at which the cost ramps up (e.g +2 per level instead of +1)

    It should be, although it may just be easier to achieve the same result by reducing the affinity yield of the techs.

    It probably is, but it's a bit beyond the scope of this mod.

    Extra tile maintenance is definitely a potential money sink I've considered (and I am DEFINITELY looking for extra money sinks). And construction time is a balance lever I'm certainly willing to adjust. But I'm more concerned that, at the moment, cheap farms pretty much out-perform them all. I'm very interested in suggestions for rebalancing the various improvements though!

    All a bit outside of the scope, I'm afraid. Definitely open to sprinkling a few more upgrades to existing improvements around the tech tree though.

    The balance of the pure vs hybrid perks is definitely something that needs looking at. Perks for each level would be lovely, but that's probably for a separate mod, to be honest.

    I think we've been reading the same thread! Definitely on board with smoothing out the power spikes, but not sure yet sure how messy the implementation would get. I have a horrible feeling it might end up as a bit of a frankenstein solution with the current tools. Something like strength = a + affinitylevel*b, but perk upgrades only at certain levels probably requires firaxis to implement.

    I suspect from skimming the code that the game can only handle one like/dislike per trait. The leader traits currently don't have any, and I was thinking in terms of using that for dislike for having a score too far ahead of the others.
     
  7. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

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    Interesting, will have to give this mod a spin sometimes.

    In the meantime, did you have a look at this thread before? If not, it's at least an interesting read. Might be out of scope, but at least swapping ultimate units with the victory wonders might be something to be considered. Might not quite fall within balance but seems to be right on par with your "flavour" changes.
     
  8. Azem.Ocram

    Azem.Ocram Chieftain

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    It is 1 AM, I have class at 9 AM, and my browser or Wi-Fi ate my post.

    If maintenance removal and time to construct individual tile improvements are both possible with a tech, triple the time it takes to build a farm and attach a -1 Energy cost. Then, Cross Pollination can remove the additional time and energy costs to Farms and Biowells and Vertical Farming only grants +1 Food to Farms.
     
  9. Polycrates

    Polycrates Chieftain

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    Absolutely, thanks for sharing that! The outer ring is way out of whack, and that framework for changes makes a lot of sense. I'm working on the buildings at the moment, and the outer ring ones are a particular mess. I think some changes to the tech tree (and outer ring affinity placement) go hand in hand with fixing up the outer ring buildings (and unit placement).
     
  10. Azem.Ocram

    Azem.Ocram Chieftain

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    Last thing before sleep

    Warp Gate tech could be tied to an outer tech that requires both Hyper Computing and Nanotechnology. Promised Land and Emancipation share the same gate (still limited 1 per planet), and activating a portal (not building the gate) requires Affinity. I'd say 13 Purity for Exodus and 16 Supremacy for Emancipation. Promised Land then requires more Earthlings.

    All the maintenance-costing improvements should get their speeds returned to normal with techs, if possible. Cross Pollination is the leaf tech for Terraforming.

    Leaders should all disrespect high scores but should respect something related to them (culture for Élodie, Energy or Trade for Hutana, Espionage for Fielding and Moon, Army for Rejinaldo, Production for Sochua, etc) and Élodie should get 1 free virtue every 10/8/6
     
  11. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

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    Small suggestion: change the Frigid marvel (ancient alien structure) to science and energy yields. First of all, that distinguishes it from arid marvel (abandoned alien city) and secondly, it fits the lore (geothermal energy extraction) better.

    My gut feeling on the marvel yields is that they're a bit odd (science is worth much more than energy, for example) but have to see it in play to make better suggestions than that.
     
  12. Azem.Ocram

    Azem.Ocram Chieftain

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    I will try to work with both Ryika and you, Polycrates, to accomplish the balancing and features I want in SM CivBERT. Therefore, I suggest you no longer concern yourself with affinities or victories.

    If it is possible for technologies to shorten the time it takes to construct individual worker tile improvements, I have some suggested techs for restoring each of the suggested tile improvements I want nerfed in the beginning to default stats.

    EDIT: I also suggest the Purity choice of Familar Exotics to give +1 Food to Tubers and +1 Food to Plantations (so +2 Food to Tuber Plantations and the Supremacy choice to give +1 Energy to Fibers and +1 Energy to Plantations (so +2 Energy to Fiber Plantations)
     
  13. Polycrates

    Polycrates Chieftain

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    So I've been prioritising the buildings at the moment. Where a lot of the aspects of BE feel overpowered (often in a good way), the buildings always feel really uninspiring. Now this is partly due to them being dwarfed by trade route yields, but I think there's more than that.

    • The first major reason, I think, is that yields are spread too thinly and schizophrenically. Look at the cytonursery - it gives 1 science, 1 health, 1 food from marshes (?), and its quest bonuses both give production. It's a worthwhile building - those are some nice extra yields for the cost - but no matter which yield I'm chasing in a given city, this is always going to be my last choice, and I'm never going to be excited to see it 1 turn from finishing.
    • The second is that a lot of buildings are too niche. The biofactory requires harmony levels and petroleum, and gives bonuses to chitin. That's not a combo that comes up super often. If I can only build them in very select cities, I want them to really give a boost.
    • Related to this, a lot of the third ring buildings require high levels in one affinity but are on a tech for a different affinity. I get that they want to reward hybrids, but this seems like the wrong way to do it, and just makes the tech watered-down for either affinity.
    • And a lot of the third ring buildings are just flat-out weak for how long their window is. The borehole gives +5 production but costs 500 hammers - that's 100 turns just to break even (call it 70 if you've got other production boosts, and by the time you get it there might not even be that many turns left in the game. Honestly, the third ring buildings are just a mess all round.
    • Some buildings look weak and pointless, but have very strong hidden quest results. I feel like this is bad design.
    • The global yield buildings (science, energy, capital, culture to an extent) either provide flat bonuses or very timid percentage bonuses. To me, this encourages going wide too much, and removes any city specialisation. I feel like there should be some cumulative effect for stacking these in a single city, similar to Civ V if perhaps not quite as strong.
    • And they also cost too little maintenance. There's often no reason not to build a certain building everywhere, and I'd like it to be more of a decision.

    So I've been working on the buildings following a particular set of principles:

    • Buildings should be more focused in their yields. Keep them to one yield type where possible, two at most.
    • Quest rewards should be more focused in their yields. If quest rewards boost the building, at least one of those reward choices should boost an existing yield of the building.
    • Where possible, balance towards a bit more city specialisation, and reward a bit more focus on founding good city sites. Try to accentuate different terrain a little more.
    • Buildings that rely on/boost resources should either:
      -rely on/boost multiple resources (and add appropriate sea resources where possible)
      -or give a strong boost to that single resource (like the alloy foundry does)
      -where possible, reduce the flat bonus from the building and add it to the resource, to promote settling sites with multiple copies.
    • Maintenance costs should be increased for many buildings.
    • The affinities should be balanced but different. This is tough, but trying to keep affinity buildings overall equally-powered for all affinities, but balance them towards different character rather than three copies of the same thing. I would really like to have some of the buildings fit a more hybrid playstyle as well, but not in the way the current ring 3 buildings are done. Definitely a work in progress.
    • Science, and to a lesser extent, energy buildings should have fewer flat effects and more cumulative effects. Haven't done much here yet, since it would probably mean increasing tech costs, and finding some way to make energy more meaningful.
    • Ring 3 buildings need to get their **** together. I don't know how yet. Maybe put it in a backpack, maybe take it to a **** store and sell it, maybe put it in a **** museum. It just needs to be together.

    Anyway, I've done a first pass on almost all the ring 1 and 2 buildings - here's what I've done so far, and am going to start testing out. I suspect they will need an additional balance pass, but this is round 1:

    RING 1:
    Spoiler :

    Old Earth Relic: Totally fine. Left as-is.

    Trade depot: Fine (depends on trade route balance of course). +1 maintenance.

    Clinic: A bit schizophrenic, but the quest makes it 2 health, and +1 science may actually help when you have no tech. Fine.

    Recycler: Totally fine.

    Cytonursery: Ugh. Just all over the place with yields, and who the hell cares about a bonus to marshes when you’re just gonna drain them anyway? Changed: +1 health, +1 production from forests, maintenance 2. Make forests a bit more worthwhile, indirect buff of biowells. Fits better with the name, fits harmony, production boost from quest fits better.

    Pharmalab: Absolutely fine, fits its role well. +1 maintenance. It provides an opportunity for +1 health for pharmaceutical-producing resources (fungus, chitin, tubers, plankton) but it just didn’t feel right when I tried it.

    Laboratory: Fine, performs its role well. Added 20 to its cost and give it a scientist slot – more oomph in bigger cities while still being a viable choice for smaller ones.

    Vivarium: I like it, but the desert bonus feels wrong to me. Makes desert hills better than grassland ones, and kinda makes bad terrain good too easily. I applied the bonus to floodplains instead – I think this better emphasises the feast/famine dichotomy of deserts.

    Thorium Reactor: Not bad, does its job and 3 energy or 1 production is a genuine choice (from the quest). My feeling is that 6 energy is too much though. Made it 2 base energy and reduced it to 1 specialist.

    Repair Facility: Pretty underwhelming. Could give it a heal bonus, but that overlaps with xenomass bathhouse. Could make it a barracks, but I think that would be better as a separate building. Chose to give it an engineer slot, to help emphasise production from land cities (and there are very few engineer slots available). Plus it comes on engineering.

    Observatory: Why is this on physics? It just makes no sense. Stuck it in Robotics where it belongs. Could it use a buff? Maybe. It also overlaps a lot with the neurolab. Changed its spot, otherwise left it as-is for now.

    Barracks: I don't want to be adding new buildings, but I think there’s a real barracks-shaped hole now that you get a diplo hit for untrained troops. I thought this would most logically fit in Physics with the gunner. Gives 15xp (and upped the frontier stadium to 15 xp so the two together give you two levels).

    Network: This is where I think you can start having an incremental science bonus, either 1 per 2 pop or percentage bonus science in the city. Got rid of the flat science and made it +25% (hope to up this to 33% when I work out science balancing better). Gave the science bonus to copper and gold.

    Ultrasonic fence: Make it actually work and it’s fine. I’ve tried upping the strength and it does nothing - I think the external code is busted.

    Rocket battery: Seems fine to me – a pretty good strength level for an early City Walls.

    Defense perimeter: Ditto.

    Launch complex: It’s niche but it does its job. I don’t use satellites much but I like it.

    Drydock: Totally fine. Gives needed production to water cities, when they’re hit by changes to…

    Water refinery: Probably the only building that could do with a nerf. It gives a LOT of production for VERY cheap, especially for water cities. Changed to +1 production on water resources, maintenance 2. Makes those water resources a bit more relevant, still a strong building. Water gets somewhat compensated by:

    Tidal turbine: It’s an extra thorium reactor for water cities. Just a bit dull, really. Changed to 0 base energy, +1 energy from ocean tiles, +25% energy in the city. Gives an incentive to float on out to the deep water in the midgame to have specialised energy/international trade cities.

    Thermohaline rudder: Too schizophrenic, too expensive to give a good return on investment. Reduce to 150 hammers, 35% movement cost reduction (up to 50% or 2 science with quest), no science. Water cities won’t have as many hammers anyway.

    Petrochemical plant: Guess it’s okay, but it’s deceptive because most of the bonus is in the quest reward. I put the +2 production in the building itself, and reduce to +1 production or culture from the quest.


    RING 2:
    Spoiler :

    Command centre/sonar net: Seem fine to me. For some reason sonar nets are the ONLY building in the base game with 2 maintenance. Gave command centre maintenance 2 as well.

    Gene garden: Really strong, but very schizophrenic now in RT. Removed the science, jacked the cost up to 3. Quest rebalanced to free maintenance or +1 health.

    Alien Preserve: Fine. 3 maintenance because it’s a strong building. Awkward quest results though. Changed +1 science +2 energy result to +3 culture from alien nests (global).

    Growlab: Too specific (harmony AND fungus). Base food reduced to 2, gives +1 from fungus, tubers, fruit. 2 maintenance.

    Cloning plant: Switched the xenomass yield to food instead of production to make the building more focused. 2 maintenance.

    Mass digester: The tundra thing sorta works with the grower specialists. With growers improved, I might maybe make this 3 growers, but for now 2 maintenance on it and it’s good.

    Biofuel plant: A little too niche. Lose the flat energy, +2 energy from both algae and plankton.

    Xenofuel plant: Eh, it’s okay. I lost the flat energy and made it 3 energy per xenomass. Need to tone down the quest rewards.

    Gaian Well: Worse than a thorium reactor. Lost the flat energy, gives +25% energy from the city and +2 from geothermal. Can stack well for sea cities.

    Autoplant: Fine, but I’d quite like to put the trade bonus somewhere else. Not sure where. 3 maintenance, changed energy quest result from +1 energy -1 maintenance to -3 maintenance.

    Feedsite hub: I like the science from trade routes, but I think it could be somewhere else. Left it for now. 3 maintenance.

    Holosuite: Fine. Really strong but needs firaxite – pushes towards a specialised culture city. Maintenance 3 though.

    Neurolab: Needs science rebalance. Kind of duplicates the observatory. Bad quests. Upped the maintenance, left it alone for now, but flagged for changes.

    Cel cradle: I really like this (though it needs maintenance). I don’t really like the +10% aqueduct thing from the quest though, changed to +10% culture in the city.

    Surveillance web: Niche, but fine. Give it 2 maintenance maybe.

    Alloy foundry: This is how you do a strong, niche building. Reduce the base yield of titanium mines by 1 and this is fine. 3 maintenance though.

    Lev plant: Costs 2 floatstone and 100 turns to break even (although quest gives extra +2). Not a great deal. Gave it 3 production, +2 production from floatstone. Quest choice is ideally between +2 production or -1 floatstone cost (not sure this is possible). For now +2 energy -1 maintenance is -3 maintenance. Purity needs a bit of help in the building department.

    Optical surgery: That’s a big chunk of health, although the firaxite cost is big too, and silica is really niche. Made it +2 health from silica, changed the quest option to +3 science (I’d still pick +1 sight for units every time).

    Bionics lab: Too niche to require resilin. Make it resilin, silica or chelonia? It has terrible quests too. This is an awkward one, I’m not sure what to do with it. Left it alone for now.

    Institute: Cool building with improved specialists. 2 maintenance.

    Biofactory: petroleum, chitin and harmony is way too niche a combination. A good opportunity for a production bonus for ‘fauna’ resources. Changed it to +1 from chitin, resilin, coral, chelonia. Consumes 2 petroleum, rather than requiring it locally. Stiil ought to fix the quest options.

    Xenonursery: Odd link between name and science function. For now, changed science from xenomass to science from forests (still needs local xenomass). I feel like it needs more than Harmony 2 as well.
     
  14. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

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    Bear in mind, though, why flat bonuses are so prevalent in Civ:BE: If the "sum is greater than its parts" through specialisation/bonus stacking, it breaks the tech web, which is built on the assumption that different paths are similarly valuable. With cumulative stacking, you're strongly encouraged to go down a "production path" or a "science path" down the web instead of crawling through it in an organic fashion.

    Percentage bonuses still have a place in the game, but they need to be tied to some sort of additional restriction, such as resource requirements, being on the outer ring (where you'd expect big beefy game-altering buildings), require higher affinity levels, be national wonders and so forth. One of these "handle with care" things.

    From your first pass, the only thing standing out in this regard is the Network. Having a+25% bonus is strong and creates a situation akin to Civ4, where beelining to it is just incredibly important. But perhaps I'm just a bit wary regarding science bonuses after the power of Academy Spam in base BE.
     
  15. Polycrates

    Polycrates Chieftain

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    Yep, sounds good to me, will change. I agree that they're not all equally strong at the moment. Happy to take suggestions for appropriate strengths, although I'm not too fussed if one biome has one a bit stronger than the others (fungal is hugely powerful even without the boost to the inner tile).

    Works for me! Affinities and victories were way down my list and I'd rather deprioritise systems that other people have already modded anyway.

    I absolutely share your concern about it, and certainly don't want to overdo it. I do want the network to be strong though, as the 'second science building', and make it a little bit of a priority. I don't want the Civ V 300% stacking but I don't want it all flat either. My feeling is that Civ V was trying to make specialised science cities, but didn't quite get enough disincentive from building the science buildings everywhere and making every city a specialised science city. So for early versions, I kinda want to put some of these sort of bonuses in, see whether people are able to break the game with them, and scale accordingly.

    My feeling is that there's also more tech available outside the buildings/citizens in BE than Civ V - from diplomacy and trade in particular, and still from academies, so I'm not as fussed if the buildings are a bit strong.
     
  16. Azem.Ocram

    Azem.Ocram Chieftain

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    I still do not know if individual tile improvements can get their construction times altered. If they cannot, my alternate solution is to have 1 new type of worker (same art, different names) who can only build the improvements with maintenance costs + farms (which will be given a -1 Energy maintenance cost) and make the default workers only capable of building the other worker improvements. Both can build roads and magrail. New workers start with 1.5x turns to build and can be upgraded through (several) technologies to eventually be 2.5x as fast (0.4x turns) as default (but normal workers still get 1.1x speed from Surrogacy so it all works out). The normal maintenance-costing tile improvements get the 2x turn cost and farms get the 3x turn cost. Vertical farming grants +1 Food to Farms and Biowells and Bionics removes the energy cost of farms.

    I really love that you want to give Leader Traits disrespect for high scores (so they try harder to win) and I suggested that leader traits grant respect from things related to the leaders. Now I know what they should respect.
    Here is my list:
    Hutama then respects trade routes (more so with higher yields, doesn't care who with).
    Elodie then respects culture.
    Sochua and Kisch then respects production.
    Moon and Fielding then respect espionage.
    Ebner then respects diplomacy (and cashing in favors with any AI for DC, requires restoration of vanilla CivBE diplomatic trade screen, outside scope of this mod but possible by others).
    Alencar then respects military might.
    Kozlov then respects satellites.
    Barre then respects food.
    Duncan then respects naval size.
    Kavitha then respects territory size.

    Also, make sure your building modifications are all in 1 modular component of your mod because I have my own ideas (Old Earth Relic starts with -3 Energy (and still +2 Culture) and the quest either removes the (now higher) maintenance or grants the same extra culture but also gives 1 Purity point per turn; new, expensive 1500-production-cost Interstellar Research Vault building on Habitation, costs 5 energy maintenance but earns 20 Science per turn, quest either removes maintenance or grants +2 culture, Interstellar Research Lab becomes new cargo option)
     
  17. Polycrates

    Polycrates Chieftain

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    So I've played an almost-full game with the 0.1 changes and my currently-implemented 0.2 changes, which are:
    • Ring 1 and 2 buildings as described in the post above
    • Roads cost no maintenance, but connected cities only provide 0.5 energy per citizen. I haven't yet fixed it to allow roads to still be built after magrails are available though.
    • 50% hurry cost for trade units
    • 1 petroleum required for Paean (that much health really needs a bit of a trade-off)
    • Sea cities cost slightly less to move (the reduction in sea-city hammers from the trade route and water refinery changes made them just a little too costly to move around). This attempts to stay more in line with the vanilla number of turns.
    • Titanium mines have -1 production since they're crazy strong
    • Floatstone quarries have +2 production, -3 energy. Floatstone really is the dud strategic, this is an attempt to put it more in line with firaxite and xenomass.

    I'm biased, but I feel like the game is really starting to work with these changes
    • Much slower early-game expansion. Takes a lot longer to get those first coupe of settlers. I'm also heartened that there feels like a bit of a soft cap on REXing - setting up a new city and getting it going (building settlers, trade depots, trade units, extra workers) really does feel like it impacts your ability to establish useful infrastructure (labs, health buildings, culture/capital buildings etc). Not to mention having enough military to cover all the expansions. I think there's a better trade-off now. New cities in the mid-game don't really have that problem so much, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing.
    • Overall development is slowed a LOT. Cities are smaller, less developed at any given time. AI didn't seem to be hindered as much (as expected) - it took an uncomfortably long time to take the lead even on soyuz level.
    • Internal trade routes are still very strong. I'm still inclined to prefer them over international routes. I'm thinking they're more on the side of good-strong rather than broken-strong now but I'm interested in opinions.
    • Energy is not in ridiculous excess for most of the game. Oftentimes I was struggling to break even, if I didn't start building generators. I suspect I may have gone a little too far with building maintenance, to be honest. Estate Tax was very powerful though.
    • Insightful still feels like the obvious political choice. 45 tech per turn is a LOT in the early/mid game.
    • I really like the removed road maintenance. In Civ V it served a purpose but still felt awkward; in BERT it feels really vestigial and twice as awkward. Losing this cost just feels better to me. Might have to up the build time to 4 turns.
    • The tech-based affinity yield changes feel sufficient to me. Affinity comes a lot more slowly early-on, and the tech trade-off required to hybridise up to level 2 or 5 in other affinities seems about where I reckon it ought to be.
    • There's still WAAAAAAY too much culture available from pods early on. It's still really easy to race all the way down one of the virtue trees. While an AI fix would be ideal, I think toning down the culture provided by pods might be in order.
    • Sea cities feel a bit more specialised. You'll definitely notice the reduction in hammers, and they're quite reliant on their local resources. They feel like a natural home of specialists, and ocean cities feel like a home of academies.
    • 3 yield for specialists feels like a pretty nice sweet spot. Enough to be situationally-useful. Growers can get a production-heavy city going, and the engineers from autoplants are really important for sea cities. Scientists are good but not good enough to spam everywhere, and traders are a bit of a when-you-need-them thing.
    • Contact victory may have to be moved later, at least as a stopgap. It was already a bit too soon, and it seems more so with the slower pace.
    • The 3rd ring of tech is a goddamn mess. I feel like it needs almost a complete rebuild from the ground up. I'm starting with some fairly radical building redesigns, which I'll detail in a following post.

    Anyway it feels to me like mostly steps in the right direction, although I would say that.
     
  18. Polycrates

    Polycrates Chieftain

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    So ring 3 is just a mess. Rings 1 and 2 are actually pretty good overall, I reckon. Things kinda fit, buildings and techs etc mostly match up, there’s good but different stuff for each of the affinities, and there’s some hybrid-friendly stuff too. And things mostly match with their names/civilopedia. Ring 3 really has very little of that – I really can’t get any real sense of anything more than haphazard placement of tech, affinities, effects and buildings. Frankly I think ring 3 requires a massive shake-up. Especially with the buildings.
    Ring 3 buildings are all over the place – way too weak for the tech cost, production cost, number of turns left, and the dead-end positioning. Half of them have big affinity requirements but are on affinity techs for other affinities (yet don’t give off any particular hybrid vibes). A lot of them give off a ‘three versions of the same thing’ vibe, and I think the affinities could do with a little more differentiation in their effects. And quite a few of them have a massive disconnect between their name/civilopedia entry and what they actually do (or where they are).

    So I’ve been giving this way too much thought over the last few days, and I've been thinking about significantly reworking the ring 3 buildings in a more methodical manner (hopefully without the whole thing feeling too obviously mechanical). I’ve sort of decided on having twelve really strong affinity-related buildings – one assigned for each tick and half-tick on the affinity ‘compass’. I.e. Supremacy, Supremacy/Purity, Purity, but also SupremacyMajor/PurityMinor and SupremacyMinor/PurityMajor. I've made some assignments based mostly on the civilopedia entries and where I feel like their effect lies in the affinity spectrum - but there's some which could definitely be argued as fitting better in other spots. These aren't going to be rigid definitions - nothing as ugly as "requires supremacy 8/harmony 3" or "requires 6 xenomass/2 floatstone". Rather it's more of a design guideline, to generally guide their location and requirements, and which combination they suit best.

    So I want to make at least six of these buildings crazy powerful. The sort of thing you would really consider beelining for. And I have a number of levers that can be pulled to balance this out. The obvious is massive construction cost and massive maintenance. Big strategic resource cost is a definite. Restrictive local resource requirements (at least once they fix the bug). I can put them on expensive leaf techs – potentially ones without affinity points. I can limit its construction to n number of cities, or even the capital only. I can increase construction cost based on number of cities. I can add a global unhealth modifier based on how many have been built (I haven’t yet gotten local unhealthy to work, but this can be far more brutal).

    • (SSSS) Hypercore – Big science percentage bonus for the city, but highly limited in number of cities it can be built in. Big firaxite cost. Favours having specialised science cities.
    • (SSSH) Bioglass furnace – Gives a strong production bonus, but also carries a global unhealth modifier, so you really don't want to spam it around.
    • (SSHH) Node bank – this currently has no relation to its pedia text or name, and has a totally schizophrenic effect. I’m inclined to make this an energy/capital building.
    • (HHHS) Gene Smelter - I was thinking of giving this building three slots for ‘super’ specialists – like SMAC’s ‘Transcend’ – with particularly good, but spread-out, yields.
    • (HHHH) Progenitor Garden – I would love to have a miasma boost from this, but it looks like that’s not possible with the way miasma is calculated. Otherwise food and/or health.
    • (HHHP) Microbial Mine – I want to keep this much as it is, with perhaps a slight boost – as the most ‘standard’ tier 3 production building.
    • (HHPP) Organ Printer – I was thinking of military bonuses here - potentially an additional perk for units built here. Could be switched with Gene Smelter, really.
    • (PPPH) Mantle – A science building that’s the opposite of the hypercore. I’m thinking a global percentage science bonus for each of these that has been built. Yep, I know. Trade-off is ruinous floatstone cost (and/or local floatstone requirement)and big increase in production cost for number of cities. This may be very hard to balance.
    • (PPPP) Terra Vault – Late culture isn’t super useful since the virtues kinda lead nowhere, so this can be particularly highly-powered. Bonus divided half-half between percentage culture bonus in the city and percentage discount for culture border pops in the city.
    • (PPPS) Skycrane - Production bonuses focusing on additional engineer slots. Hefty floatstone cost.
    • (PPSS) Nanopasture – Lose the scientists, increase the aqueduct effect.
    • (SSSP) Augmentary – Another one to limit to 2 or 3 cities, with a big production cost modifier based on number of cities and big firaxite cost. Small local bonus, but each one gives +1 yield to all specialists (that's global - local won't work unfortunately).

    So yeah, they're BIG changes and potentially very powerful. Some are pretty big departures from their current effects, and their locations on the tech tree will have to change as well. It could very well be argued that it's going beyond where a balance mod should be going, and I'm very sympathetic to that view. I might even have to make it a totally separate mod, to be honest. I'll have to see whether they really disrupt the vanilla feel too much. But I feel something radical is needed to make later buildings worthwhile, and I think a bit of flavour can really help to stop the game feeling like it's completely petered out by the midgame. I'll keep the few other ring 3 buildings more in line with their current effects, as more neutral choices.

    Anyway I'd welcome thoughts, as I'm only half-convinced about the whole thing myself, and the specifics will need a lot of tuning in any case.
     
  19. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2013
    Messages:
    9,192
    Not the most imbalanced thing, but still:
    - Remove the Alien-Tag from Hydracoral (or, as an alternative, lower their combat strength and give them a promotion that lowers their damage taken when defending). The Science that can be farmed from them is completely out of proportion with the actual investment.

    ...and sorry if this post is a disappointment because you had hopes for feedback. ^^ Still haven't gotten around to play around more with the old version, so I can't really give too much input.
     
  20. MasterEcabob

    MasterEcabob Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Messages:
    114
    No offense, but of all the tier 3 buildings you listed, the Augmentary is literally the only building I regularly go out of my way to build in all my cities. Increasing the cost or limiting the amount of those other buildings isn't going to make me any more likely to build them, and limiting the augmentary makes no sense. Just my observations. Good luck with your mod!
     

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