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Tundra Balance

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

  1. Deadstarre

    Deadstarre Expert

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    The city governor can't see it when deciding which tiles he should work, I know that for a fact and i can base it on playtime because it happens all the time. a city which has mixed forest and jungle and 2 spare citizens could very easily wind up with him deciding to work 1 of both, rather than working 2 of the same which, through the pantheon, would have resulted in me gaining an additional culture and faith. he seems completely blind to it at all times, and hence the very annoying amount of micro it creates.
     
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  2. CrazyG

    CrazyG Deity

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    What is also important, if the governor isn't handling this well, is the AI?
     
  3. Owlbebach

    Owlbebach Emperor

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    I kinda feel like all of you guys are trying to do a very strange thing and missing the point.

    There aren't too many options really. Here is the thing:

    If you want Tundra starts to be playable - you need to make Tundra yields about as equal as yields in other bioms, one way or another.

    If you want overall Tundra to be less yield-heavy than other bioms (which it should be imo) - you need something that is going to fix it. And this something should apply to Tundra only.
    If you make Tundra yield competitive with other bioms - this something will become overpowered.

    Previously this something was Tundra God. It feels to me that even before the Herbalist change Tundra God based religion was really the only option to play in Tundra unless you had very lucky start (most likely with tons of fish) or conquer your neighbour.

    Gazebo's proposal with +1:c5food: per 2 forest is not goinng to change things, cause there will still be the same difference. Actually there will be even more difference, cause Tundra forest is worse than other forests, therefore you do not work them. Herbalist tundra buff instead of forest buff - will fix the problem, but seems to be superboring. This is like a building that converts Tundra to Grassland or Plains.

    I think from a design point of view the fix should the following:
    1) Be something, that forces you to play differently on Tundra compared to all other bioms, cause otherwise it is boring and not interesting
    2) Be something, that will make Tundra playable, but leave it bad overall, cause terraforming Tundra to plains is strange.

    It appears to me that it should therefore be something that buffs Resources on Tundra similar to Tundra God. Also i like the concept of Tundra cities being low-populated but very efficient, which means having small pop, but lots of yields on resources. I really liked it back when Tundra God was giving +2:c5production: but no food.

    Maybe give Tundra base +1:c5production: or +2:c5production:? I.e. Tundra tiles give 1:c5food:2:c5production: and tundra hill gives 3:c5production:? Seems strong, but you can't build farms on them unless you have rivers. Or maybe gold instead of hammer. It might make Tundra God OP, but seems quite interesting too me

    EDIT: Actually i really would like to try it, it will make Tundra game absolutely different, you'll get production-heavy start, but by turn 100 all of your cities will have 2-3 population less than others, which is huge. And Tundra God problem is easy to solve by removing food/production boost from it. But maybe i do not see something, would like to hear thoughts from experienced players: @CrazyG @ElliotS @randomnub @ashendashin what do you think?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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  4. randomnub

    randomnub Prince

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    Aww don't call me out, I'm not even playing in the last month :(

    I agree with your premises, I also am against yields inflaction and herbalist becoming yet another must have ancient era building again on pretty much any start not just tundra ones (I actually like more niche buildings), without changing much about the tundra playstyle: resource-less tiles aren't worth working full time in tundra as in desert or coast, and that is alright in my opinion, those tiles are there as map fillers, movement and military features only; forests are there for chopping, or ignored until lumbermills come in if the location is really production starved/you're Russia.

    Tundra has it rough the very first turns if no lake/coastal resource/forest resource nearby, then at pop 3-4 and hopefully a couple of good border expansions can start pump out settlers as good as other starts. It falls off later when the population gap with other starts get rough (and with specialists being very food consuming it became worse) if you didn't snag the tundra pantheon, and ye missing it sux. It looks like an issue only on very big maps with more than 1 civ sharing such starts so I have no anecdotal evidence to report here. Desert has 2 pantheons now, can always expand the Hunt one to get the floodplains treatment but for tundra. I think if you miss the pantheon and keep settling your main cities in tundra you are really playing bad anyway: move out of there or take a non-founding pantheon to get a science/production lead to go conquer the decent dirt next to you.

    There's a typo for your tundra: 1 only hammer on flat no? And that's basically plains with buffed hills. I'm not a fan, the gold suggestion would make playstyle more unique/different/better even if a bit odd looking. I like tundra as it is tho, it feels like an added difficulty setting for when you're not already challenging yourself, if I am not feeling like that there's always the restart button. Tundra towns must stay small compared to other locations for realism purpose, if anything the resource tiles could use a production buff (ye similar to the most recent desert edit) and simulate better concentrations/deposits without touching the map scripts. I'd then have desert resources get bonus gold instead of production (to build on a start strength, not to make all starts feel the same fixing yields deficiencies) but that's another topic
     
  5. Owlbebach

    Owlbebach Emperor

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    Actually no, i meant 1:c5food:/2:c5production: for both flat Tundra and Forest Tundra. Keep in mind taht you can't build farm there, so this tile really sucks after first 60 turns. Corrected original post
     
  6. randomnub

    randomnub Prince

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    That makes chopping a given because you're not losing yields, at least not until you factor all possible improvements but villages > lumbermills anyway.
     
  7. Hinin

    Hinin King

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    I'll play the role of the nitpicky guy who enters a conversation, says something a bit useless, and then leave, but shouldn't we call the "toundra" biome "taiga" ?

    One of the caracteristics of the toundra biome is that there is almost no tree here (only arbust, moss and lichen), to the point that the word "toundra" partly means "treeless".
    On the contrary, taiga are very frequent biomes, usually seen in places with which we would associate "toundra" using ingame denomination : Sweden, Canada, Siberia, Hokkaido. They are subartic biomes with vast forests (they are sometimes called "snow forests") and relatively poor agricultural capabilities (at least, until these last centuries).

    I know that changing the "toundra" appelation to "taiga" in all building/promotions/pantheons etc in the game would be a lot of effort for something little to no people pays attention to, but I just wanted to point it out (it's just unbelievable that the devs have not been able to correct themselves one game after the other...).
     
  8. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Emperor

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    Good point, Hinin. Hope you won't leave the discussion, though :)
     
  9. pza

    pza Prince

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    well you say it's "until". so there is some form of decision making. still better than "never chop".
     
  10. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    The AI isn’t blind to it. It may just not value the difference as much as other yields or tiles. Anyways if you have a problem with a mechanic post a github issue, don’t sprinkle it around. Hard for me to keep track of stuff otherwise.

    G
     
  11. Questdog

    Questdog Prince

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    I agree with those that say tundra should not be a great place to build an empire. I do not like the homogenization that comes with these balancing efforts. It is getting to the point where it will not seem to matter much which decisions you make in this mod or what your starting location is, because all of them will be viable to most any situation. That will be boring.

    And villages are definitely in need of some nerfing. I liked the old mechanic of them starting out as pretty useless improvements, but growing into great gold factories (but only if you worked them when they were not very good). This meant they were a long-term investment. Now they start off with as many hammers as a mine (???) and a pile of gold and then just get better.
     
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  12. Owlbebach

    Owlbebach Emperor

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    Agreed, with an addition that ideally different start should still be about equal in strenght (not in yields) if played out correctly. Ideally different biomes should force player to play different playstyle and adopt. This is why i am advocating for Tundra having high production and low food. This will force different playstyle and different prioritization.
     
  13. Deadstarre

    Deadstarre Expert

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    I was talking about tiles with exactly the same yield, IE a plains with farm vs the 2nd jungle tile i need to get a renewal bonus, he is just as likely to work that plains as the 2nd jungle tile I need him to be working.

    the reason I assumed you knew this is because someone brought this up about open sky ages ago, and I thought i remembered you telling them there was no way around it. i cant find the thread at the moment but thats how I remembered it happening, and why ive not said or githubbed anything.
     
  14. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Even if I did say that, and I don’t doubt it, that doesn’t make it eternally true. All those ‘improved AI x performance’ posts?’ Yo. In any case I’m happy to take a look.

    G
     
  15. MidnightAfterglow

    MidnightAfterglow Chieftain

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    ^This, this, this. Cannot emphasize this enough. It makes complete sense that Tundra cities should have low-population due to their destitute agricultural capabilities. Cities founded in tundra biomes should derive their benefit/yields almost exclusively from the natural resources present and from the coast, and thus the approach should be to specialize these types of cities around these aspects (think Greenland, Alaska, parts of Siberia, etc.). I think any attempt at trying to buff the tundra terrain inherently to be competitive with grasslands/plains is entirely the wrong direction to go in and will only result in stale, boring homogeneity in the pursuit of balance.

    With that in mind, rather than trying to buff the tundra terrain, I would propose implementing a new niche building or two and/or some bonuses that unlock from the tech tree that grants buffs to natural resources located in tundra and to coastal tiles/resources worked by tundra cities. I'll list some (crude) examples that I can think of in line with concept that tundra cities should be low-population, but capable of being economic powerhouses/trading hubs.

    Researching Animal Husbandry: +1:c5production:, +1:c5food: , +1:c5gold: to Deer and Sheep located in Tundra.

    For a basis, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reindeer#Reindeer_husbandry

    New building: Slaughterhouse ?
    +X:c5food:, :c5production:, and :c5gold: to Deer, Sheep, Cattle, and Bison. (maybe make stable +1:c5production: for sheep and cattle and keep +2:c5production: for horses only? to compensate)
    Possible to allow establishing an additional trade route, but for internal food only (and capping the total allowed of this unique trade route)?

    If not possible, then maybe instead: "Internal trade routes to/from this city grant +X% :c5food: to the target/origin and generate +1:c5gold:"

    X varies based on the type of terrain, being greater for Tundras and lesser for grass/plains.
    Prereqs:?
    Maintenance:?

    Would make for some interesting trade-route and economy focused strategies for Tundra starts.

    So, now addressing the coastal specialization aspect, since real-world counterparts rely heavily on marine life for their food an economies. See https://www.mapsofworld.com/greenland/travel-guide/cities.html

    New niche building Fish Factory (?):
    +:c5production: per 2 Coast/Ocean tiles worked
    +1:c5gold: on Coast/Ocean and sea resources +1:c5gold: +1:c5production:+1:c5food:
    Maintenance: -2:c5gold:
    Can only be built in cities on or adjacent to Tundra.
    Requires at least one improved Fish, Whales, or Crab.
    Prerequisite: Construction.

    I'm just throwing ideas out there. By no means, do I think these ideas are perfect, but I think they would be a better direction to explore rather than trying to buff Tundra tiles themselves.

    The core issue is exactly like Hinin pointed out; there really needs to be an additional type of terrain which exists in the game, that being the Taiga, which is distinguished from the Tundra biome by its own separate characteristics and features. But since, it's not feasible (or even possible?) to implement an entirely new terrain type, we must go with a different approach, and I believe flat buffs to Tundra is the wrong way to go about it. Rebuffing the Herbalist for Tundra only is a better step in the right direction, but I still believe we can do better than that.

    To conclude, even if my suggestions are terrible, I think we should explore things with the underlying concept Owlbebach expressed: "of Tundra cities being low-populated but very efficient, which means having small pop, but lots of yields on resources". This will ensure that Tundra-based strategies are unique and interesting and don't necessarily have to rely on a Pantheon to be viable, rather than ones that are balanced to be on par with plains/grassland but awkwardly/unrealistically and boringly so.

    Edit: another idea I just had is something that speeds up the border expansion of cities founded in/next to Tundra, in line with the whole idea that they should depend on the natural resources and this would allow them to access more of those more rapidly, and also in line with the real-world fact that such settlements are sparsely populated and cover vast regions of land (think Siberia, Alaska). Such a boost to border expansion could be a springboard for attaining Score* victory based on land area (and conquest of your more heavily populated neighboring civs for world pop%) if you get a Tundra start?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
  16. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Don't mistake homogenization with viability.

    What we are asking for is a viability for almost any start. Homogenization implies that you don't need to do anything different to play in different starts. Having to wait until herbalists are built to make something useful out of tundras makes it a different start. Probably you'll feel forced to beeline herbalists? But that conflicts with beelining to iron working for an early expansionist strategy. It's different enough from a grassland or a coastal start.
     
  17. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Emperor

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    If your settler starts near a tundra region, risk a few turns to move away from it. If your pathfinder sees that the only good/decent tiles are in direction of another civ AND if you failed to get the tundra pantheon, start preparing for warfare so you'll expand at their cost, for example by going authority instead of tradition, or going tradition but long-term prepping for war.

    I think tundra starts are viable as it is. It's only non viable if 1.) you miss out on the tundra pantheon, 2.) settle intentionally near/in a tundra region instead of going in another direction, 3.) letting yourself get boxed in the tundra region.

    But since we're looking to change something, I'd rather have the Goddess of Hunt pantheon grant an additional 1 production/1 food on camps on tundra tiles - that would mean we'd have TWO pantheons for tundra starts (where furs/yields are most common resources) and two for desert starts (the later one also having the Petra wonder).

    Edit: Deers, not yields :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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  18. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I agree with Luke here. We have options to deal with tundra. Get the pantheon, or get away from it. Those are viable options. Tundra doesn’t need to be more viable to me.

    The idea to make goddess of hunt more tundra friendly is also fine by me. It doesn’t effect any other balances. If a player can’t get one of 2 tundra pantheons or can’t war or settle their way out of tundra...then frankly they have just lost, and they deserve to
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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  19. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

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    Do you remember why we are here?

    It's quite difficult to balance some resources that usually spawn in tundra, because they become overpowered when it happens in other terrain. Improving tundra is not only for the difficulty of starting in tundra.
     
  20. MidnightAfterglow

    MidnightAfterglow Chieftain

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    A thought just occurred to me when discussing building balance with Tu. So, in real life, Tundra technically doesn't have any trees on it (as Hinin mentioned, that terrain would be referred to as "Taiga"), and it's not feasible/possible to introduce a totally new terrain into the game. Then what if "Tundra" with trees is simply treated as "pseudo-Taiga" for balance purposes and is adjusted accordingly? Give them bonus production?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiga

     

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