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Trade Route Balance Discussion

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by Gazebo, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Galbias

    Galbias Prince

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    Maybe some buildings could boost Internal trade routes a little the same way that Market/Caravansary/CH boosts external? I agree with the Science/Culture nerf though, the numbers seem a bit too much.

    I do actually like the way that Internal routes give both Food and Production in Civ 6 but that might be too large of a change to make at this point.
     
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  2. mikes61293

    mikes61293 Warlord

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    The early game science and culture should be tuned down a bit from external routes. On higher difficulties I can usually double my science on the ancient Era with one route.

    I find internal production trade routes very useful for getting a city started in the early game if I can get a stoneworks. I generally only send food to my capital in the mid game.

    Allied CS trade routes produce too much science and culture.
     
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  3. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    I personally really like rubber band mechanics that help deal with run-aways but I also agree that international trade routes are often crazy high in science/culture, most notably in the early game.

    I think I like the current level of yields from trade routes to allied CSs though. Having a CS ally is a competitive thing that should be rewarded and there are opportunity costs to not sending routes to other civs (loss of tourism).

    I think internal routes could stand to have a small buff. I do use them in some instances (food to tradition capital, food or production to weak cities, production to a city working on a wonder). They probably need to be weaker overall no matter what, though, because they are the much safer choice. I like the idea of starting WLTKD when using internal routes.
     
  4. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    I agree. The international TR :c5science:/:c5culture: values are pretty out of hand right now... I was 5 techs behind the tech leader in my last game, and I was getting 1/3 of my total science from 4 TRs to his cities, 18:c5science: each. It is way too good, the gold is completely secondary
     
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  5. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    @Gazebo, While we are discussing this, could you give the breakdown for land vs sea TR calculation? What's the modifier on :c5gold:/:c5culture:/:c5science: from these 2 types of TRs?

    ie. in Vanilla, Sea Trade routes got an automatic 2x:c5gold:/:c5science: modifier. Is that the same in VP, except it's 2x:c5gold:/:c5culture:/:c5science:?

    EDIT: one more question, for coding knowledge. As per this thread, you can get the GPT and Science for each trade route. VP adds culture to TRs, but is that exposed to lua? ie. is there a route.FromCulture and route.ToCulture?
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  6. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    It's...complicated. Essentially the function looks at the delta of your techs/policies versus theirs, then gives you science/culture based on that. The values are controlled by defines (you can find them in the CBO).

    Yes it is exposed to LUA, that's how it is able to appear in the UI.

    G
     
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  7. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Code:
    UPDATE Defines SET Value = '0' WHERE Name = 'TRADE_ROUTE_BASE_LAND_MODIFIER';
    UPDATE Defines SET Value = '25' WHERE Name = 'TRADE_ROUTE_BASE_SEA_MODIFIER';
    UPDATE Defines SET Value = '25' WHERE Name = 'TRADE_ROUTE_RIVER_CITY_MODIFIER';
    So it's a straight 1.25x modifier if it's a sea trade route, which means that a land route from a city with a river yields the exact same? Huh... And given that Sea TRs have larger base ranges (20 vs 10), they tend to suffer distance penalties more.

    So for any given trade route, if it can be reached via land, then it's almost always preferable to do so. Sea trade routes are harder to defend, suffer more distance penalties, don't boost villages on the way, and don't even give more yields if the origin city is on a river.

    This makes sense given my in-game experience, but I've never had the actual numbers in front of me. I haven't seen much use for sea TRs unless I'm trying to trade with someone on a different continent. I found I was getting more gold just using caravans, but I chalked that up to Village bonuses and fewer mishaps with barbs, etc.

    It seems like that Sea TR multiplier could be upped to 50%. With towns/villages, better protection, less distance penalties, etc. it just seems like sea TRs aren't worth it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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  8. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    But sea trade routes reach to more city states, since most of them are seaward, while there are very few CS that can only be reached by land.
     
  9. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    K. I agree that sometimes you can only reach certain cities over land/sea. I also acknowledge that sea TR range is large enough that sometimes you can only reach certain cities by sea. I don't feel that addresses my concern.

    I take issue with the fact that, if you can get both a land TR or a sea TR to the same city, at the same distance, and your origin city happens to be on a river, then a land TR is strictly better:
    • They both get +25% modifiers (+25% on sea, +25% on land next to river)
    • Land TRs suffer fewer distance penalties (lower base range)
    • Land TRs benefit from Caravansary, which gives +3:c5gold: to land TRs, while Harbor is unlocked later and only gives +2:c5gold: to sea TRs
    • land TRs boost Towns/villages on the way to their destination
    • land TRs are easier to monitor and defend (travel inside your borders for longer, land barbs have less movement, it's very hard to clear barb camps that attack sea because it requires you clear the enemy ships, then land a unit to clear the camp)
    I have been under what I guess is a false impression that Sea trade routes should be more productive, or at least worth the risk after Renaissance (Age of Discovery, etc.). At the very least, I think harbour sea TR boost should be at least +5:c5gold:; it makes no sense that a later, more expensive, coastal-only building is worse than caravansary.
     
  10. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I think this is the crux of your argument. You are right that under very specific caveats, the Land TR will win out. Why is that wrong, I mean we don't want Land TRs to always lose to Sea TRs right?

    The key is the first sentence. Many times Sea TRs can reach places Land TRs cannot, and farther away. Therefore you get access to more lucrative TRs.

    So for farther or more inaccessible areas Sea is better, for river cities going to closer cities Land is better. That seems balanced to me.
     
  11. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    I wrote a very long post refuting all your arguments, but basically it amounted to typing out my points, which you never actually refuted, a third time. I suggest you actually read what I wrote. These parts in particular:
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  12. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    But as I noted in my post, Land TRs are not always more rewarding. If a Sea Route can get to a place that a Land Route cannot, than its of greater benefit. I have found that sea gives me better access than land. That said, I do play more continents and communitas maps as opposed to Pangea, so map preference could be a factor here.

    Now in terms of risk, technically sea can be less risky than land if you have a strong navy controlling the sea and a weaker army. But to be fair to your point, that is generally not my experience, and I will agree that on average sea routes are riskier than land ones.

    You also mentioned that land route get the village bonuses. Completely agree, and I always run at least 1 land route to get my villages humming. But I can generally build my cities so that 1 land route takes care of the vast majority of those bonuses. So there's never a question of whether I'm making 1 land route. Its just a question for the remaining TRs.

    In my estimation sea routes are often more rewarding but riskier than land routes...so its a risk vs reward scenario. I personally found them very balanced, and I use the one that makes the most sense to get the job done.

    We have to careful about using IRL arguments, in that the trade system is ridiculously simple compared to the intricacies of real life Global Trade. For one, not all roads and seas are equal to another. An area may have roads that don't allow heavy frieght. Certain harbors cannot access shipping vessels, etc.

    Real life has the complexities of tarrifs. You have vessels that will stop at a port, change all of their goods onto another boat...just to avoid certain country tarrifs and the like.

    And of course, simple weather can be a factor.

    I think the trade system is a reasonable approximation considering its simplicity. I find that I use both land and sea routes, but I find over time a stronger preference for sea for the reasons I stated above. That's pretty close to real life, close enough for me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
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  13. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    This is just not my point, and you repeating it isn't going to suddenly make that a worthy counterargument.

    You are arguing that sea trade routes are better than not having a trade route. Congratulations. If a land route physically cannot get to X and a sea TR can, then yes, the sea TR is better. You aren't comparing Sea to Land at that point though, you are comparing Sea to Nothing. That was never my argument, but sure, you're not wrong I guess?

    Secondly, you are still failing to grasp how TR distance works. If a unit has 2x the max range, then to avoid distance penalties it necessarily has to travel 2x as far. That is 2x as many tiles traversed, 2x further away from your area of control, and 2x the risk. Army composition isn't a factor. Even if we were strictly comparing land to land, the longer distance unit is riskier. Period.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  14. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    How are they more rewarding? Remember, because they have a higher range, that range must be used, or the distance penalty kills it. That means that everything reachable by a land route will be more rewarding by land over sea.
     
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  15. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I am not arguing this point, in fact I agree with it. But I will disagree with the notion of "sea routes vs nothing".

    Trade Routes are a limited resource. We only have so many. So in general, my goal is to get the best yields I can. Lets use an example.

    I have a trade route leaving my capital of Ballersville (a very prestigious place). I can choose it to be land or sea.

    For land I have access to city A (just an example, the numbers aren't perfect of course).

    A - +10 GPT

    Sea I also have access to A, but I also have access to City B.

    A - +8 GPT
    B - +12 GPT

    So the sea route is inferior to the land route when going to A. I am not disputing that. However, because the Sea route has access to a more lucrative city than the land route does....it ultimately gives more GPT. This is my point.

    Now of course the million dollar question is...how often does this happen? I can only say from my experience, that it happens a lot. For example, many times I only get access to another players capital by sea, and those tend to be very nice TRs. Many CS found on islands....again sea for the win. Are there cases where the reverse could happen...absolutely. But in general I find that sea provides better access than land most of the time....and when it doesn't, by all means use land routes! No one is stopping you, and you can pat yourself on the back for good optimized play.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  16. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Any given sea route has to give at least +2 more to be better, because Caravansaries give +3 (and a full era earlier to boot), while Harbors give only +2. You also have to ignore the yields of any village/town your TR would pass over.

    And yeah, sometimes a sea TR can get even better yields based on distance from the same CS, because it has to go around a massive peninsula, or take a very circuitous route, but this shouldn't be as close a contest as it is. The fact that a capital on a distant coastline which had to be unlocked after renaissance is even close competition to caravans you have been using since ancient is pretty sad. The map should open up, and the TRs should rise heavilly in value in renaissance with the new trade opportunities, but instead they are marginal improvements if at all.

    Boost harbor to +5:c5gold: on sea TRs, or reduce all yields from TRs by a further 15% and increase the Sea TR bonus to +50%. Or do both.
     
  17. Enginseer

    Enginseer Salientia of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Except sea trade routes are easier to defend??? What are you talking about.

    Usually for land trade routes, if you need villages and towns then you need to set them up in the first place.

    Sea Trade Routes will basically out-yield Land Trade Routes if you're too lazy to build villages and towns.
     
  18. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    On the one hand, you are arguing that caravansaries are superior because of a +1 GPT, but then note later that sea routes only have "marginal improvements". You can't have it both ways. Ultimately sea routes provide more...is it "more enough"....personally I think so, I mean if I can get +10 GPT from a land route and +12 GPT from a sea....probably going to go sea. That's just good optimized play.

    Caravansaries vs Harbors: We can't look at these two buildings in a complete vacuum. Harbors are AMAZING buildings, and give far more than the trade value. Caravansaries are much more niche and focused buildings, so I have no issue when them giving more bang for the buck on trade. I can say there are many a land city I don't build caravansaries until later in the game, but I never forget harbors.

    To your point about villages/towns, I have already agreed with you that every civ should have at least 1 land route to beef your villages. We are in sync. However, you only get this benefit for 1 route. I can have 1 Land route or 20....and still get the same village benefit. So there is no argument here, you and I agree that its foolish not to have 1 land route. What we are arguing is the notion that I should keep just making land routes after that.
     
  19. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    My argument is that I don’t think land trade routes should be both safer and more productive when sent to a city that has the option of a sea trade route.

    Your counter argument is that the opportunity cost of distant, lucrative TRs that land TRs cannot reach makes this acceptable.

    I don’t think that’s good enough; I think sea TRs, even to cities on your same continent should be worthwhile, for reasons I have enumerated previously. If you disagree then fine. I think you’re wrong, and bringing other continents into the debate is, in my opinion, a fruitless tangent.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  20. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Counter. If you make sea trade routes more profitable, then we won't use land trade routes other than the first one that boosts villages.
     

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