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Tourism is Broken; How to Fix it?

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Gothic_Empire, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    I feel like I've played enough vanilla BNW now to chime in occasionally on CEP.

    In vanilla, the single most overpowered tourism civ is potentially Theodora, but realistically Boadicea or Ethiopia. Rush early religion; get faith from friendly foreign cities. Cherry pick the Tradition tree (perhaps just it's opener), and then fill out both Piety and Aesthetics. Getting two of the three religious buildings (Pagodas and Cathedrals, say) then pick the reformation out of the piety tree that gives tourism with buildings purchased with faith.

    Faith production snow-balls, allowing you to easily buy a missionary and then both religious buildings for a new city. In a multiplayer game with my friends, the guy playing Celtia started producing 30+ tourism per turn (tpt) in the classical era, and 100+ tpt going into the renaissance.

    Digression:

    He has been (and is capable of) infinite city sprawling since the classical era with this strategy, by the way; he needs only to find a source of horses (for the circus) to make his unhappiness not crush him--he's dipped into unhappiness only once, incidentally, with going on 16 cities, turn 180 or so (standard).

    End Digression:

    Near as we can tell, his absurdly early tourism snowball is not getting him anything, and never well. Compare this to someone who picked Korea and decided from turn one to go for a science victory; every tech gives new benefits that support the win condition. Likewise, a diplomatic victory gives new benefits with each city state you win over--and military victory folk get to straight up steal other players' cities.

    Tourism *maybe* gives you cities in the end game, if everything goes a certain way. But filling the tourism bucket against another player does nothing; there's no benefit as in the other methods that ultimately supports the win condition. Even against the AIs, dominating a civ with culture provides no tangible benefit. (And in my experience, the last culture victims to fall are typically the most resilient, and are almost impossible to city-flip.)

    Fixing it:

    I see two potential fixes to the problem of the tourism bucket filling up for zero reward:

    One

    Tourism is essentially offensive culture, and I think we need to treat it like a mechanism very similar to war, with tourism leaching or generating gold, as well as potentially causing unhappiness to civs with the wrong ideology.

    Two

    Tourism is perhaps, as has been discussed, a bad name for the new currency. It represents cultural attractiveness, and is what generated defectors from both sides of the cold war (in real life.) To emulate this, tourism might give random great people who have (aesthetically speaking) defected from another county, rather than GPT or lump sums.

    Three

    Tourism, if we are literally thinking of it as attracting vacationers from other civs, might make certain buildings or tiles in cities with high tourism begin generating gold or beakers, as these are places that the foreigners are visiting.

    I feel strongly that whatever tourism does, it should be somewhat akin to war, where one takes something from another player for their own benefits (Ex: settlers and workers can be captured and enslaved, tiles can be pillaged for money, and cities sacked for gold and then occupied for lasting benefits.) If tourism takes something from its victim civs and gives the tourism generator something in exchange for his or her trouble (other than checking a box next to a victory condition), then I feel it will be a bit more balanced, and perhaps harder to defend against than it currently is.

    TL;DR

    OP thinks tourism should have benefits aside from late-game potential city flipping and a shot at a cultural victory.
     
  2. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    1) Your example is one combination for Tourism that leads to an overpowered situation. We have had this situation before (see reliquary belief f.e.) and we will have it again. So it's primary a belief balancing issue not having too much to do with the tourism-system per se.

    2) We often run into similar problems with :c5faith: since it's an illogical yield. Comparatively low yields are enough to start a religion and after a certain point in time, you don't need them anymore leading to large mid-game faith generation. It's too easy to max out faith production if you want to since it's a very volatile yield. We are already thinking of making Religion harder to get (by for example increasing the deltas for prophets (and maybe missionaries and other buildings as well?) or making prophets only pop one belief at a time. But that is a topic for another thread.

    3) As for tourism, there seems to be some sort of dissynchronity (unsynchronity? Gotta look that up): You only "need" it when the Ideologies come around, but you can start accumulating it as early as your first religion. Both the tourism-on-bought-buildings as well as the tourism-on-wonders belief are quite strong as they start counting so dam early. But also other tourism generators can start early with the first Great Works popping out. Musicians can be generated early as well, etc. etc. ...

    I'd be against linking tourism to another system (whether it's yields or Great Persons). Some things are fine on their own. One could let it count towards policies, but that requires further balancing again. If we keep it independent, it's easy to change numbers for balance reasons. But I'm not sure yet really if anything needs to be done, haven't played enough yet as far in time as the Industrial Era. But this may be the point, maybe we just need to postpone the tourism yield to those eras?

    And tourism does have some, more hidden, effects: Bringing your tourism to a level regarding the other players culture makes it harder for him to dominate you with his tourism in regards to your culture ;) (read twice ;)) So it's both cultural defense and offense at the same time after all.
     
  3. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    ICS isn't really desirable though. Even if each new city can cover it's happiness cost as long as it stays small, it isn't really going to be able to keep covering the per city science penalty.

    Not nothing; once ideologies are reached, getting a lot of influence against someone will make them very unhappy unless they adopt your ideology. If they adopt your ideology you will get influence on them faster, and they will be more friendly do you and will sit back and let you get your tourism win rather than invading you.

    There is reasonable debate about whether it could do more. But it is far from broken.

    Tourism is supposed to be a late-game mechanic. Early game tourism isn't that big a deal; the big multipliers don't kick in until ideologies are chosen (so the diplomat/open borders/etc multipliers start working) and hotels and airports start being built. It seems strange to complain that if you do a particular weird strategy that this strategy isn't a good one. It isn't supposed to be. The along-the-way benefit that tourism gives is through culture and social policies, but this strategy is canceling that out with per-city policy cost penalties. CEP will already be boosting this indirectly by increasing the power of social policies.

    I don't see any need to make tourism give you gold or hurt others.
     
  4. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    While it seems that way, i agree with the OP that you can start getting it very early in the game, for 0 purpose.

    Culture and Faith at least give you something for your trouble. Now does it taper off a bit perhaps, but you at least got something.

    So the OP's point about the broken strategy aside (its a completely different discussion from the main debate) i completely agree that there is far too large a gap between when you start generating tourism and when the payout comes into play.
     
  5. GenjiKhan

    GenjiKhan Emperor

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    Or:

    Four

    Tourism can become a double-edged sword,spreading penalties(unhapiness) to civs who don't follow your ideology(current system) and spreading benefits to civs who share the same ideology. bonus would be scaled with the current ammount of cultural pressure . A single suggestion for these kind of bonus would be:

    - Happiness for the dominated culture;
    - Gold for the dominating culture;

    A special kind of bonus will be granted for both,once tourism dominance reaches the influential level:

    Dominating culture: a free delegate for world congress/UN;

    Dominated culture: a free social policy;
     
  6. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Not zero purpose, it starts accumulating against your foes. 25 tourism for 100 turns is as valuable as 100 tourism for 25 turns.

    But this is still a strange argument. Why does the fact that you *can* get it very early mean that it should be powerful to do so?

    The OP starts like it is telling a story that there is some particular strategy of beliefs and expansion that is too powerful, but then the conclusion is that the beliefs are not too powerful. So what is the problem?

    Tourism gives you culture in most cases.
     
  7. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    zero purpose at the time.

    In my mind, certain circumstances make it too easy to spam tourism early on and build that up. If I recall right, tourism only counts towards those civs you have met, so it's balanced to a degree (but not for your close neighbour... :)).

    But yes, the op is a bit contradictory. Either the problem lies with the beliefs (and the tourism system is okay) or the other way around. But that doesn't mean we can't tweak the religion system (which I think we should anyways) to postpone those tourism bonuses a bit (and imho the enhanced religions and the reformation beliefs as well)
     
  8. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    My friend is using a strategy that feels very unrewarding, despite him having a great deal of success with it; he is easily generating late-game tourism in the early-mid game--only one civ even has musketmen yet! His effort isn't being rewarded as tourism does nothing on its own before ideologies pop up. Whether you agree that ICS is good or bad (I can see him completely kicking the other players' asses once he finally adopts order), he's doing the main activity of Civ--accumulating points--without the reward that makes accumulating points addictive--emptying the bucket of points into some reward.

    Tourism in the early game *feels* pointless; it isn't pointless, but it feels that way. If any other system in the game worked like tourism, we'd question it. If there was only one technology, and all the beakers you produced went into a giant vat to research it, and then when you finally finished, you won, that would feel pretty damn unrewarding. It's the little points between techs that makes science in the game fun. I am merely suggesting that tourism could be way more fun with milestones the way science, military, and culture has. If, for example, there was some reward for influencing and then later dominating a civ, that would be enough. My suggestions may all very well be equally broken, but I think they're easily a step above what the tourism system is now: a giant empty vat waiting to be filled, and no reward for filling it.

    How is that contradictory?

    (RE: my friend: I think his ICS strategy will ultimately be his downfall if I hit ideologies before him, incidentally. It's fun watching him play, though, because his city settling tactics mimic the AI's very, very well.)
     
  9. mystikx21

    mystikx21 Deity

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    I don't see the issue as tourism related either.

    It sounds like combinations of issues with tourism related beliefs that will need some balance, and faith accumulation generally which needs something productive to do, or needs to cost more to accumulate. Tourism in the early and mid game is basically just free accumulation for later.

    I might be interested to see some greater benefit for tourism dominance at 200% (rather than tourism influence), but that isn't necessarily a reward for early and middle tourism yields.
     
  10. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Are you saying that you think the strategy is too powerful, or that it is not powerful? If it is not powerful, then there is no balance problem; not every strategy needs to be powerful. If it is too powerful, then why would we want to make it even more powerful by increasing tourism? More importantly, why would we want to balance a particular mechanic around a single degenerate strategy?

    I suspect that the strategy will run into tech problems in the late game, because the small cities will not provide much science.

    And I suspect that in GEM, with an extra unhappiness per city, that the strategy will be even less successful.
     
  11. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    The power or lack-thereof related to his strategy is incidental to there being no incentive or reward, ever, for pursuing tourism rather than, say, science or a large military. His end goal was tourism, and he saw ICS as a way to achieve it. He has achieved it in what should be a meaningful way, as he has clearly accumulated more tourism than anyone, and far, far earlier than could be expected with another strategy.

    The amount of tourism he has per turn, pre-museum and pre-archaeologist is comparable to what I've had in the late industrial era on other games while en-route to a clear-cut cultural victory.

    Like any choice, this tourism comes at a sacrifice--in this case, he's producing obscene amounts of happiness, culture, faith, and tourism at the cost of science. The game allows him to do this, but does not reward him for what should be a clear-cut success.

    As the game has awarded him 5/12 influential with everyone so far (we won't play this file again until tomorrow), it clearly *intends* to encourage at least some pre-ideology tourism mongering.

    Whether his wins or loses (I have a feeling I'll be the last hold-out to his culture, if he survives My and Zulu's invasion) is tangential to the accumulation of tourism not having rewards scattered through it, as does science, gold, faith, culture, production, or food. It is alien from the other currencies because you cannot spend it; because you cannot spend it, you get to do nothing but accumulate it.

    When I say it's broken, I'm not trying to make an assessment of its power compared to the other mechanisms in the game (though I firmly believe that having 50 tourism per turn on turn 60 should be *intimidating,* and it's not). I'm saying that accumulating tourism compared to accumulating any other point in the game, including combat experience, is unrewarding (and therefore less fun in as close to an empirical sense I we can get with such an abstract concept).

    Late game city flipping is nice, but exclusive to the late game and both random and easy to defend against as a human. It's impossible even to tell how much tourism is needed to give an extra point of unhappiness to an enemy; the currency is not useless in that it can directly win the game for you--but it's frustrating to have accumulated vast sums of it and have no perceivable benefit until and unless you win.
     
  12. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    Power and fun are often unrelated in video games.

    I don't want to balance the currency around his strategy. I want the accumulation of tourism to not be completely devoid of reward until the narrator tells you you've won.
     
  13. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    I'd like this. And I think that a dialogue box explaining what you get at 200% dominance as a reward might even be enough to fix the problem of tourism being less interactive than the other currencies.
     
  14. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    @Gothic_Empire

    Your premise outlined here that 'tourism' is broken is vaguely reminiscent of a post I made some time ago about the downfalls of 'faith'.

    That discussion wound up with the conclusion that it is a mechanic that may or may not be utilized by the player towards the goal of victory. Depending on how it is played.

    I feel this is the same conclusion with 'tourism'.

    Whether or not we feel 'tourism' is being utilized during the course of the game all depends on the way we are viewing the game.

    Is it broken? Yes or no, depending on the view of the player.
    Can it/should it be improved/fixed? Yes or no, depending on the view of the player.

    The mechanism itself is new and no doubt strategies will be formulated to maximize its use throughout the whole game.

    Perhaps the 'Gothic_Empire Strategy' will become commonplace?
     
  15. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I find a tourism victory to be much easier to win than a military victory, and I can usually achieve it before a science victory too. So it is just not true to say there is no incentive or reward ever for pursuing tourism. And as you keep ignoring, most things that give you tourism also give you culture, and so any tourism-oriented strategy that *isn't* mass city-spam (which Civ5 tries hard to discourage) will also end up getting many policies.

    As long as it is not too hard to win a cultural victory, then I think we make the game worse if we start adding significant other benefits from tourism. Remember that tourism is completely passive. You don't have to interact with the other players at all, or even the city states. So yes, we don't want a mass tourism strategy to also give you mass gold for the city states or mass science for scientific victory or mass military. If tourism also gave you any of those other things, then why would anyone ever *not* go mass tourism?

    Then he will almost surely manage to win a cultural victory, and will do so much earlier than will a player who only gets their tourism engine rolling by 250-300 turns in.
     
  16. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Well we can put it in a different context.

    What if faith provided me no pantheons or religion benefits at all until industrial era, but once i hit that era i could buy lots of religious buildings and units with faith.

    Could it be balanced? Of course we could balance it, but that wouldn't make it a good system. But that said, I can completely ignore faith for a big portion of the game if i wanted to, only in certain builds do i prioritize it.


    So to my mind, if early wonders and great people are going to give me tourism, then i should have a use for it earlier than the industrial era.
     
  17. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    Faith has always been spendable. Tourism has never been spendable. There's no perk for bending your civ for early tourism; there has always been perks for bending it toward early faith.

    Since there are lots of early tourism points scattered around the game, it'd be nice if going out of our way to get them was worth a bit more than having a handful of points among several hundred at the very end of the game.

    It'd technically be the "Etchant strategy." I'm playing Korea tall, going for either nukes or a space ship, depending on how threatening the tourism actually becomes to me.


    Yes. This is exactly what I am trying to say. Thank you. :)
     
  18. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    But then the solution is to not make Tourism part of the early game, rather than diluting it with other effects, no? Civ5 goes for rather simple systems mostly as opposed to an interconnected web of everything. Adding other yields on top is unnecessary imho.

    The op is contradictory because if you can get as much early tourism via a belief, it's the problem of this single belief, not the tourism system. So rather than adapt tourism to that single (or rather few) belief, "nerf" that belief. It's a powerful belief after all, you chose it knowingly that it will not help you for the next few eras. It's a nice alternative option to the many beliefs that are strong in the early game and are supposed to give you a headstart.
     
  19. Dorevai

    Dorevai Chieftain

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    Speaking of tourism, could we maybe get MANY MORE great artists, writers, and musicians earlier? The game is full of renaissance art, and you get most of these in the industrial and modern period. Their yield might be reduced and later tourism amplifiers increased. It's silly seeing a bunch of symphonies dominate the music of the information era.
     
  20. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    That is certainly one way to go, just like spies don't show up until renaissance tourism could be delayed until industrial era.

    Although what you would do with all of those great works in the meantime is something for discussion.
     

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