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Trade Route Balance Discussion

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

  1. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    .... Yes. This is the Help text for the Market:
    upload_2019-10-19_10-4-27.png
    Now that, to me, would mean that Internal Trade Routes get an additional 2:c5food: per turn, since it doesn't specify which kind of internal trade route.

    Gazebo has confirmed, however, that the type of trade route Does matter, and the market's boost only applies to :c5food:Food ITRs, but not :c5production:production ITRs.
    The previous instant yields on ITR end system didn't discriminate between :c5food: and :c5production: TRs.
    So at the bare minimum I think the help texts for these 4 buildings should be changed to accurately describe what they do. "Internal :c5food: Food :trade: Trade Routes from this city generate +2:c5food: food."

    But then, that is a very narrow bonus, isn't it? It's incredibly obtuse. Considering there is only 2 buildings giving a combined +6:c5food: to :c5food:Food ITRs - and only :c5food:Food ITRs - this is one of those "not worth the ink it takes to write it" kinds of bonuses.
    This compares even less charitably with the old ITR End instant bonuses, which scaled with era and didn't discriminate between TR types. It was a very large nerf to the ITR system that, warranted or not, was very badly communicated at the time, and continues to be badly communicated in-game.

    Now I want you to forget about the building and concentrate only on this single mechanic. Does this mechanic, in its current form, deserve to exist? It's used to give very small boosts which are narrow in their application and don't retain value through the eras. I don’t think they are a valuable addition to the game.

    As someone who mods for the VP community, I am additionally frustrated by the addition of a limp, overly specific mechanic which can't be used for anything except adding :c5food: to :c5food:TRs and :c5production: to :c5production:TRs. I can use the old system to give any yield I wanted on completion of a TR, but this system is worse than useless, it's mocking me by dangling what could be an actually useful feature addition in my face.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
    Kim Dong Un likes this.
  2. Kim Dong Un

    Kim Dong Un The One & Unly Supporter

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    I agree Dan, after playing since the switch I find it underwhelming and less fun compared to the previous mechanic of bonus instant yields on completion. Even if those instant yields were nerfed a bit, I think it's better to change it back.
     
  3. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I didn’t remove the old code, though. It still exists. You can use it if you want.


    G
     
  4. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Emperor

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    I wonder you thought that, cause it was kinda clear that it will work this way, cause of that I was really disappointed about the low values.
    If those bonuses are linked with such essential buildings like market, I want to ask why not simply increase the base yields and simply forget the mechanic. Every city will construct the market anyway so in the end will also receive the additional yields anyway. Better to keep it simply and increase the base yields and its fine.
    Or, if I think about it, better to increase the change per era, cause at the start, the yields of the ITR are fine, its only the increase over the ages which make the ITR, especially the food ITR less worth.
     
  5. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    I’m using the old code for 3 other mods. I was looking at using these buildings to redo the Tlingit custom civ’s UA. If the Tlingit used an instant yield on ITR End for their UA they would be indistinguishable from the Ottomans. Currently I have the UA giving yields every turn via lua, but if these building tables were more flexible I could have used them instead, which would allow me to integrate the Tlingit UA into the trade overview screen.

    As far as modmodding goes, it’s fine. youve given us plenty of tools to work with and I don’t expect you to bend over backwards for me. It seems like an opportunity missed to have more flexible, useful code. This is bizarrely restrictive.

    min more concerned with how fringe these benefits are, especially in relation to what they replaced. It’s overcomplicated and too narrowly useful if the bonuses only affect half of the available ITRs
    Why would I have? That’s not what it says it does.
     
  6. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Just to summarize my thoughts:

    1) ITRs and ETRs are decently balanced right now. I'm using both.
    2) I think Food ITRs have a place. If anything my biggest issue with Food ITRs is I'm struggling to maintain local happiness in my cities whenever I do a decent expansion (8 cities or so). So as soon as I grow, I have to stop to address local happiness. But that's a different concern, the actual food value I consider competitive for the times in the game that food is competitive. Late game Food ITRs are worthless because food is worthless.
    3) In terms of the mechanic, I will agree its not my favorite way to scale ITRs. I never look at the TR bonus is making my building decision, its just along for the ride. So in my perfect world I wish ITRs just scaled with era instead of relying on buildings. But the current system works well enough for me. I don't miss the instant yield system, because I am tired of more instant yields, I think the game still has too many to be honest. The current system scales up ITRs well enough...it doesn't do anything for building balance, but I don't feel it really needs to. The only building that I think is leaning on that bonus too much is the factory, which is a building I still think needs some adjustment...but we will see how the latest version of it stacks up. The agribusiness just needs to be redone...the TR bonus has no bearing on whether its good or not.
     
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  7. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I don't understand you feel the need to communicate this way on the topic of trade routes. You seem to think your point of view is obviously correct that Stalker and I are fools for disagreeing, but you really aren't making a solid argument. An extra 2 food per food ITR during the ancient era is a very significant bonus, and often can be the strongest aspect of a makret. It isn't fair to say that it isn't worth the ink it takes.

    I do agree that the text should be revised, especially because Mendincancy does give both yields to both types of ITR. I can understand frustration as a modder.

    But I just don't agree with your analysis of trade routes. I'd say there are 3 "tier 1" ways to use trade routes (and I don't think this changes with 4UC or your custom civs)
    • Allied CS, the culture and science you earn is really impactful.
    • Run a ton of ITR production, build a lot of wonders.
    • Tourism bonuses in the late game, like modern/industrial era. Until Renaissance its smarter to just spam wonders.
    There are a couple of other uses, like leeching science or to get a positive diplomatic modifier with an AI, early on they do food, sometimes I just desperately need gold. But in general but the Renaissance the only things I think about are those three. Generally ETR to other civs are the option I just about never use. Adding food to production ITR or production to food ITR won't change any of my decision making, which is why I say that feature isn't adding depth.
     
  8. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Emperor

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    Sorry CrazyG, thats wrong. Mendicancy only buffs :c5food: ITR with :c5food: and :c5production: ITR with :c5production:. Cause the description for Mendicancy was already missleading, atleast for me it was clear, that the building description will be wrong too.
    What pineappledan want to say, is that the market dont need any additional buffs like the extra yields for ITR and the amount of yields for ITR is getting so insignificant in long run, that it could also be ignored entirely.
    :c5food: ITR are most efficient, if those start from the capital, and a market will be a high priority building you will construct in your capital anyway, so theres no real incentive to play different even if you want to focus on ITR. (Something I would adress with a switch to Caravansery/Custom House/Factory and additional bonus if the target city has the building too)

    The numbers ive taken from my game for ITR (40:c5food:) is the highest achievable from my capital and already has a bonus modifier by +58%, so the real base value is 25, which can be earned by simply using 3 citizens on farm triangles on rivers. In comparison with the ETR with 30:c5gold:10:c5science:10:c5culture: (25% trade route modifier and +5:c5gold: from industry). So, how many citizen do you need to achieve that amount of yields without the usage of limited GP improvements? You maybe want to say ETR are more dangerous than ITR, but sending ITR across oceans to own cities on other continents/island are as dangerous as ETR. And an ETR to an allied CS bordering the own territory is as save as an normal ITR.
    :c5production: ITR have/can have more value than the :c5food: ITR, but the amount you get from it can be also earned with relative few workers, unlike ETR.

    Cause of that, I would like to see, if we stay with the current model, an era scaled yield increase, not making the yield buffs for ITR irrelevant from the mid of the game on. But if you really think about it, it isnt necessary, cause if you get the bonuses anyway cause of naturally all time constructed buildings and increase with each era, you also could simply increase the base yields or the increase per era and you have achieved the goal with less complexity.
     
  9. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    A few notes on this statement:

    1) 3 citizens is actually a fair amount. I find a lot of my satellite cities only get to 15-20 citizens until the later parts of the game. 15-20% of your citizens is a solid investment for just food.
    2) Just like Prod ITRs and Wonder, a lot of times I'm trying to maximize use of Food ITRs by combining it with other food and WLTKD. So I will also work that 3 citizen triangle in junction with the Food ITR.
    3) Not every city has a River Food Triangle. Sometimes I have a very nice hammer heavy area, but it needs starting food to get it to a good place. Food ITRs are good for that.
    4) Your talking late game bonuses. As stated before, I do consider Food ITRs weak at this point...because food is weak at that point.
     
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  10. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Really not sure how mendicancy could be a competitive enhanced belief if it’s only giving +2 yields, scaling with era, on ITRs. The +2:c5culture::c5faith: per city is far more impactful.

    If mendicancy gave 2:c5food: and 2:c5production: to all ITRs it would be much more exciting. It’s also, you know, what the belief says it does, and I thought it was what we agreed to when enhancers were reworked.

    If this is a limitation of the code, that :c5production: can’t be added to :c5food: TRs and vice versa, then it is what it is. However, I feel like I’ve been sold a bill of goods re these TR buffs. If only 1 Yield can ever be given to an ITR, then maybe we need to look at the numbers, scaling, or think of some other way to augment ITRs, because I have been operating under false information on how all of these mechanics worked for months.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  11. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    Re: scaling with era on buildings, I don’t think ITR yield boosts should scale with era if given by buildings.

    Buildings already scale by the addition of more buildings. If we need more ITR yields in later eras then we can simply add ITR bonuses to more different buildings. It’s not like base yields on buildings scale, after all.

    If yields can be added to ITRs, regardless of the type of ITR, then I would do this:
    Market: +2:c5food: to ALL :trade:ITRs
    Workshop: +2:c5production: to ALL :trade:ITRs
    Grocer: +2:c5food: to ALL :trade:ITRs
    Factory: +2:c5production: to ALL :trade:ITRs
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
  12. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Emperor

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    Ok, to be fair, you may need 4 :c5citizen: to reach 25 :c5food: under normal cirumstances.
    But now think what you would get, if you would use those citizens to earn the yields of an ETR.
    5:c5science:5:c5culture: from a scientist and an artist in modern era. But specialists consume 4 more :c5food: than a citizen so you would need to work atleast one citizen as a pure farmer to feed them. The fourth could work a railroad village with a trade route and would end with +6:c5gold:+5:c5production:+1:c5culture:. (we have to remove now 2:c5gold: for railroad maintenance but transform the 5:c5production: with the common ratio to 10:c5gold:)
    All together you would get the base yields of 14:c5gold: 5:c5science: 6:c5culture:.
    Thats half the value I currently get from a trade route in that state of the game.
    While a :c5food: ITR is worth 4 :c5citizen:, an ETR is worth 8 :c5citizen:.

    You can surely discuss about the pure numbers, but if you look at a balance between the 2 trade route types based on how many citizens you would need to get the yields, the ETR is definitly winning. (positive effects like diplomacy bonus, influence bonus, tourism modifier, tourism finisher bomb, franchise bonus, UAs not even included in the comparison)

    I find the comparison based on citizen numbers to achieve the yields a really good instrument to look at balance, maybe we could use this as a tool balance ITR and ETR better?

    I stay with my opinion, if we get each era a new building with an ITR boost, we also could simply ignore it and adjust the base values of ITR to reach the same values. Cause ITR are most powerful if started by cities with already a big size and infrastructure, the difference would be minor to none existant.
     
  13. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    It doesn't matter how the conversion to citizens works, that doesn't look at your actual opportunity costs. 40:c5production: is competitive with 30:c5gold: 10:c5science: 10:c5culture:. Usually what I end up doing is a couple of CS routes and then the rest to production. CS routes are limited by the number of allied CS, and usually some are safe but not enough to fill all my trade routes.

    What I usually end up with is like half CS routes, the rest to inland production, which may switch later on due to tourism. If you are bothered by food ITR being worse than production ETR, then you should be bothered by CS ETR being stronger than major civ ETR.
     
  14. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Emperor

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    The correct comparison would be a 22 :c5production: (cause hammer ITR are less than food ITR and without modifiers) vs a 30:c5gold:10:c5science:10:c5culture:.
    That's also an amount you would need only 4 citizens for.

    We may differ at valuing the worth, but we both agree that without substantial effort, :c5food: ITR are not really that much worth in the later stages of the game. While :c5production: ITR stay competitive, only growth geeks like me may work food in the late game.

    This opens the question, why food and hammer ITR stay relative close with the amount of yields to each other, if the hammers are worth more, especially in the late game.
    Could the balance be found with a much stronger increase each era for the :c5food: ITR over the :c5production: ITR? Like both types start with the same value in ancient but the :c5food: ITR end with double as much yields as the :c5production: ITR in the last era? Would this change anything?
     
  15. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I compare real numbers, now whatever theoretical stuff your post tries to put together. There are like 8 nonsensical assumptions and multiple lies by omission in your numbers; it requires multiple conditions to be met in order to get a CS route like that, and the comparison is just useless (when do you ever have unworked villages on railroads?). Its so unrealistic that its just nothing. In game I have 40 hammers, the correct comparison is to 40. You don't hit 30 gold without modifiers either, and you are just ignoring the requirements to have strong CS routes. Yes the modifier is bigger for ITR, that needs to be part of the comparison.

    You can run close to unlimited production routes (unless your empire is really tiny), CS routes are limited to one per CS. You can bash food routes all you want, in game I actually consider using them. I don't seriously consider other ETR unless I want tourism. Food routes keep coming up but I think the actual imbalance is how CS routes give more than a specialist's worth of culture and science.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  16. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    Maybe it’s because I’ve been using statecraft lately but I don’t agree on CS ETR vs Regular ETR. I will commonly see regular ETRs provide more science, culture, and gold than CS ones. If I’m trying to catch up, riding the coat tails of the leader through trade is a great way to do it.

    Doesn’t mean CS ones are bad, they are often safer than regular ETRs, so I use both.
     
  17. ridjack

    ridjack Prince

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    That's pretty much only true when you're behind, though. As soon as you start catching up, the CS TRs immediately start being better.

    Why is this a bad thing? Not rhetorical, genuinely curious about your thoughts.
     
  18. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I’m still a neophyte immortal player, so I find im a good bit behind science and/or culture for a lot of the game. That’s enough of a niche to make regular ETRs a good value.
     
  19. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I don't necessarily think it is. I just don't like how people keep bashing food routes because they are worse than CS routes. CS routes require a lot of conditions to be met, and you can only send each CS a single route (so if I have 8 routes and 5 allies I still use internal routes). Similarly, Stalker gets culture and science from regular ETR, which also requires conditions to be met and has the further downside of helping a competitor.
     
  20. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    CS routes could probably be brought down a peg, however.

    Re: food ITR routes, I think the only issue here is that people don't like the agribusiness. If we move the ITR food bonus earlier and rework that building, problems solved with no major mechanical changes.

    G
     

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