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Tundra Balance

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by ElliotS, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    So I think the recent balance hiccups might be symptomatic of a greater problem. Furs were overbuffed because Tundra sucks. Now people are talking about 'tundra resources' again.

    This seems like a similar problem to deserts, and could have a similar solution.

    If Tundra starts are really bad without the pantheon, we should buff them a bit. A pantheon should not be required to play Tundra.

    Additionally unlike desert (which has 2 pantheons) Tundra has no super-food tiles. Desert has flood-plains to make up for lack of food.

    My proposed solution:
    Flat tundra tiles with an improved resource get +1:c5food:.

    Probably remove the +1:c5gold: from stars and sky and add +2:c5gold: per city. (Making it similar yet different than Spirit of the desert.

    Questions:
    Do you like the idea?
    Should the +1:c5food: be restricted to non-forested tiles as well as flat tiles? (With recent nerfs to forest I'm not sure.)
    Do you have alternate ideas or ways to improve this one?
     
    pza likes this.
  2. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    If you start near tundra, and inexplicably don't get the pantheon that is part of the game just like everything else, then you ought to be in trouble. If you don't want to play it out, I suggest a restart. It won't happen again in a long, long time. And I much prefer that option to further homogenization.
     
  3. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I think it comes down to the herbalist not hitting forest. This gave you an acceptable source of food, deer was strong and forests without deer could at least pay for themselves. You usually roll tundra with either forest or coast.

    As for what to do...I'm not sure. I don't find tundra that bad, the pantheon makes snowballing quite possible. I don't think its that bad (on average) if you know what you are doing. That means you pursue a religion heavily and take the food belief. Is it at a disadvantage? Of course, however so is being coastal with non-fish luxuries, all starts aren't meant to be equal. I put on average like that because normally when I get tundra, its rather generous with deer and fish, you can definently low roll garbage, but this isn't unique to tundra.

    The problem situations I've found are
    -when your capital is in tundra, but there isn't much more tundra to expand to
    -a river appears, and all the tiles on the river are plains, so many of your resources won't qualify for the pantheon
    -you are the Celts, so cannot take the tundra pantheon

    So the inelligant solution would be for herbalist to buff tundra forests, if there is a sudden dramatic tundra problem my money is that this is the cause. AI does poor on tundra according to G, my guess is lack of food. They probably don't do a good job of addressing food issues with their religion (compared to a wise human player)
     
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  4. randomnub

    randomnub Prince

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    I don't like it. I don't even like the latest buff to deserts but what can I say, I feel map placement is a variable that makes games feel different, and there ought to be some loser there.

    Living in Tundra you work forests, hills and seafood as good as any other start. Chopping a forested deer/fur shouldn't net you +1F on tile: I mean, it'd be ok 'balance-wise' but not 'feeling-wise', I actually like to have tradeoffs for early chopping and see forests still around in the modern era.
     
  5. randomnub

    randomnub Prince

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    Semi off topic, I remember some changes I put into an ancient mod, with the Kremlin (hah) buffing tundra production and Sci Labs buffing tundra/snow science.

    On VP they removed Russian starting bias (when I remember to edit the files I put it back asap :p) but the UB helps a ton in tundra starts already; it's just for Cathy tho. It feels odd we have desert-related buildings (petra, solar station) but nothing to make the poles more... intriguing.

    Did I hear Amundsen-Scott Polar Station? civ6? CIV6!?!? :hammer2:
     
  6. Rekk

    Rekk Emperor

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    Under ElliotS' proposal, chopping a tundra forest with resource would just reduce the tile's yields by 1P. Under his secondary proposal, limiting the bonus food to unforested areas, chopping the forest would convert 1P to 1F. There would not be a net increase in yields.
     
  7. randomnub

    randomnub Prince

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    Yes the -1P is always there to counterbalance chopping, but it'd be an automatic choice of action if it gave +1F in return as well (unlike plains/grassland forests)
     
  8. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Emperor

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    Good topic.

    My 2 cents: I wasn't a big fan of the recent buff to deserts, and I'm not a big fan of buffing tundra. Tundra is by definition very inhospitable and infertile land with usually very little trees - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tundra . It also doesn't have "exceptions" to it like deserts in real life have oasis. So I think it's good that there's at least some terrain in VP that represents the in-hospitality of certain regions in the world, that force you to change your gameplan to either settle away from them, or to settle on the coast and survive via maritime resources (with exception of rare mining resources etc.), and that can naturally only sustain cities with fewer population.

    There's a reason why in real life there aren't any mega cities in deserts and tundras (with the exception of the modern era, where you can send "food&production caravans" to Las Vegas etc.).

    I will say this, however -> if people think there's too many tundra and desert tiles in an average game, I'd rather we tweaked VP into lowering the average amount of tundra/snow/desert tiles in a game than increasing their strength.
     
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  9. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    Two things:
    1- What if someone else takes the pantheon? They can get it faster, being on good terrain. If I'm playing multiplayer I'd consider doing it just to screw over the other player. Even without that malicious play, that means if two people start tundra one is SCREWED.

    I think we need to move some of the power from the pantheon to the land.

    2- What about when you start south of tundra, (making the pantheon terrible) but want to expand a city or two there? I feel like those cities are a bit too weak 90% of the time now, and this small buff would help.

    Would this buff make you prefer Tundra to grassland? I can say 100% that I would rather start in a nice grassland where every tile is worth +2 food than a tundra where only some tiles are worth +2 food, and you can't build farms on the bad ones. (Goodbye farm triangles, which are more important now.)

    There would still be a loser, the loser would still be tundra, but it wouldn't be the only thing that matters as often.

    I mean we can't tweak map scripts, which is what you're asking.

    I'm beginning to think we need a terrain balance or terrain realism option like chill barbarians. That way people can choose gameplay > realism or visa-versa. I think flat improved Tundra resources getting +1:c5food: and deserts getting +1:c5production: is worth the cost of realism, but I understand my opinion isn't the only one and this is largely subjective/design choice.
     
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  10. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    It doesn't make much sense for me for one player to get a massive disadvantage in a game because another player got the Tundra Pantheon first. Many Pantheons should generally be viable choices on all starts, and while randomness exists in the game, the game should have enough predictability and standardization that no matter where you start, you have an even chance of winning.
     
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  11. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    I wonder if we shouldn’t just put food back on the herbalist for forests.

    G
     
  12. Workerspam

    Workerspam Prince

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    If I remember correctly forests on flat tundra have one less yield than on plains or grasslands; fairly certain tundra forest grants 1:c5food:1:c5production: rather than the 1/2 or 2/1 of plains/grassland.

    I'd be good with just copying the new desert model: flat tundra (with or without forests) with resources gain 1:c5production:. Tundra wouldn't suddenly become desirable but it would help give tundra starts a leg up.
     
  13. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    I honestly like the change, as it makes chopping an interesting choice. (and reduced yield bloat) I think this is the only remaining corner-case where it's a real problem. (Also it would only bandage this issue a bit otherwise imo.)
     
  14. Gidoza

    Gidoza Emperor

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    Another option is to just not have Civs begin on Tundra...but that may be a map scripting thing and not a game thing.
     
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  15. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    I can't say if I like the last change to forests / herbalists.

    Forest with herbalist was a tile good enough to not chopp it. Not better than a farm triangle, not worse. And it got better with every improvement, so at the end, forest were just too good. So the only reasons to chopp forest were to rush a wonder in Ancient or to make room for villages. But it made tundra starts viable.

    Now, we don't want forests, it's better to chopp them. Maybe in tundra they will be better than tiles with no features, after workshops. Perhaps they can be useful in places with no mines or quarries, to add a little bit of production.

    Anyways, the change to improved luxuries on deserts addresses another problem: how to balance luxuries when some maps spawn them in different places. If in some maps, silver always comes in tundra, but not in other maps, then balancing is only possible when silver gets an exclusive buff for being in tundra, the same G did with desert.

    This should be considered separatedly from the herbalist / forest issue.
     
  16. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    I just hate hard coded ‘solutions.’ I wasn’t keen on the desert change from a programming perspective and this feels like another step in that direction. I understand it may result in better balance but I also like the elegance of having bonuses be natural or from a player choice and not ‘oh this special tile gets a bonus because reasons.’ Does that make sense?

    G
     
  17. pza

    pza Prince

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    dont like that forests would be better off than jungle.
    would giving tundra tiles a different yield than :c5food: or :c5production: be an option? like 1:c5food: 1:c5faith: or 1:c5food:1:c5science: or give it to a policy later on?
     
  18. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    I don't like the desert thing either.

    Maybe herbalists could hit forests again, to compensate the workshop could lose gold to forests? I think the herbalist and university change were in the same patch so we didn't test forests after they lost just the science.
     
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  19. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    How is giving certain tiles +1 yield really different to the fact that all grasslands or all plains get more yields?
     
  20. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

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    It might be better if the yields didn't require the improvement so it didn't feel as artificial. It can be explained as the land around resources being better, hence why the resource is there in the first place.
     

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