1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Unique Units with no Carry-Forward Promotions

Discussion in 'General Balance' started by pineappledan, Mar 22, 2018.

?

Do you think all unique units should have a bonus which stays on upgrade?

  1. Yes

  2. No

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    4,298
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Issue:
    There are a few unique units which do not have any bonuses which remain after they are upgraded.

    Why a change might be good:
    • promotions that stay on upgrade are fun, and enhance the character of a unique unit beyond its initial power spike
    • maintaining "legacy" units is an enjoyable mini-game, though it is not required that your legacy units be uniques
    • Unique units obsolete later, so some civs have the option of building old units with special promotions and upgrading, or just buying the newer unit. Other civs don't have an option since the promotions wont carry forward anyways
    • City state unit gifts that don't retain any promotions are white elephants, because city-states will continue to gift them unit long after they are useful, instead of giving a current unit.
    • Consistency is nice
    I want to have a discussion about whether this is something that people are happy with and what changes, if any, would be supported.
    For the purposes of this discussion, a unique unit which has 1) any promotion which the base unit would not otherwise have, and 2) is carried forward is fine (eg. Hun archers with Accuracy I is not in need of change). Units are only considered if a unit upgraded from a unique unit is indistinguishable from the base unit.

    Unique units with no carry forward:
    Naresuan's Elephant
    Atlatlist
    Impi
    Naga Malla
    Conquistador
    Legion (has Cover I)

    If I have forgotten or missed one, please let me know, and I will edit this list.

    Possible fixes:
    Naresuan's Elephant - Give either "Double Great General Stacking Bonus", or a New Unique promotion: Songkram Yuddhahatthi - Great General points on Kill
    Spoiler :
    The unique unit gets its name from a famous elephant duel between the generals of the Thai and Burmese armies, where the Thai general (Naresuan) killed his opponent (Mingyi Swa). Some sort of great general-related bonus would be fitting


    Atlatlist - Let Atlatlist strike stay on upgrade. Maybe reduce the damage boost
    Spoiler :
    Atlatlist strike currently is +50% vs wounded units. If that is too good to stay on promotion then I think 33% would do the trick.
    If people have a problem specifically with the name (ie. a promotion called atlatlist strike on a crossbow), then it could be renamed "poisoned dart", or "poison-tipped".


    Impi - Let bonus vs. Gunpowder stay on upgrade
    Spoiler :
    Impi enjoys the benefit of Zulu's unique barracks promotion line, but neither of its 2 unique promotions stay on upgrade.

    I'm not aware of any other unit which has the bonus vs. gunpowder promotion, so it is effectively a unique promotion. Could rename the promotion "Legacy of Isandlwana" if the name is too boring.


    Naga Malla - Give unit either "Accuracy I" or "Range". Reduce base melee CS a bit to compensate.
    Spoiler :
    Naga Malla is a really mixed bag. It has considerably more defense and is available earlier than the cuirassier, but it has -1 move, and can't move after firing, which are significant drawbacks.

    The Naga Malla is the only ranged elephant unit in the game. Elephants were more stable as firing platforms than horses, and provided a higher, unobstructed line of fire. Range would stop the NM from getting in the way of your other units, as it often does currently. If Range is too much, then accuracy I would at least give the unit something.


    Conquistador - Let either 1 or both of its +2 vision stay on upgrade
    Spoiler :
    Conquistador has +2 vision. This is very useful, but it wouldn't make the unit game-breaking if it stayed on upgrade. You could also split the difference and have only +1 vision stay, while the second +1 vision is lost.

    With conquistador being 1 era earlier pioneers, you would get much more value from the unit by settling with it anyways. Allowing a promotion to stay would at least be making the most of a bad situation, if you find you simply can't use your conquistadors to settle.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
    hr_oskar likes this.
  2. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    2,654
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chicago
    Legion and Conquistador seem like potential balance problems. Pilium is really good, and might be too good to keep. Plus Legion takes free Cover 1 with it.

    Conquistador's 2 sight is strong, and Spain is already one of the top civs. I would honestly worry about balance with that change. It's one thing to propose a change that could take a middle of the pack civ to higher in the pack for the sake of fun/consistency like the Moai Warrior, but it's another when the civ is really good like Spain.

    I wouldn't mind in regards to the elephants, they've always felt like stinkers to me. Atlatis I also agree with.

    Impis I could take or leave. Not too worried about that change making them a new top 5 civ.
     
    pineappledan likes this.
  3. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    4,298
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I had forgotten about Legion's Cover I promotion. I have removed it from the list. I'd still prefer if pilum stayed, but for the purposes of this conversation it's moot.

    Perhaps you could split the difference with Conquistador and make only 1 of it's +2 vision stay on upgrade?

    @ElliotS are you aware if Nau retains its +1 vision or its withdraw before melee after upgrade?
     
  4. LukaSlovenia29

    LukaSlovenia29 Emperor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    Messages:
    1,500
    Good thread/OP.

    I'd be in favour of reworking the aforementioned UUs to ensure every UU retains at least one promotion upon upgrading. That would give extra incentive to build UUs even if at a given moment you're not planning on using it extensively. Like Elliot pointed out, we'd have to be careful to ensure it doesn't make any one civ too strong.
     
  5. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    2,654
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chicago
    Not sure on Nau. Conquistador is a top tier UU in a top tier civ. I don't see a reason to change anything about it.
     
  6. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    4,298
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    It’s not making conquistador stronger, it’s making the lancer that comes after stronger.

    Conquistador is an interesting one, because if you are upgrading them to lancer then you are a dumb. You should try to settle with conquistadors if you can; otherwise you are throwing away not only your UU, but your UA as well. I don’t see much harm in essentially mitigating bad decision making, it seems AI-friendly if anything
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  7. Mad Madigan

    Mad Madigan Prince

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Messages:
    384
    I don't have much to add to this other than that I agree with the OP. It's always bothered me that the few UUs listed in the OP kept nothing when upgraded. The only exception I might have to this is the Impi since Zulu already get unique promotions as part of their UA, and keeping the bonus versus Gunpowder units for upgrades could make Zulu melee infantry too strong.

    HOWEVER, I also agree that with Spain, Zulu, and Maya already being such good Civs, getting even a little bit stronger could be a dangerous move towards them becoming OP. Siam and India, while good, could probably use the boost as both of their UUs are weak even to begin with.
     
    pineappledan and Rafs like this.
  8. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    17,493
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Little Rock
    I've noted before that standardization can be useful - for UUs, however, I feel that's not the case. I'm happy with balance for UUs right now, I don't see a pressing need to change for the sake of uniformity.

    G
     
  9. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    4,298
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Uniformity is attractive mostly because it reduces the burden on the player for detailed systems knowledge. There are so few UUs that don’t pass on anything, that it can be a rude shock when you come across one.

    This would also solve the issue with rubbish CS gifts. I remember my first exposure to the atlatlist was as a CS gift and I wasn’t impressed. I was allied with a CS who kept gifting them to me all the way to Muskets; I must have gotten at least 7. I was a bit peeved that the game kept gifting me useless classical ancient era units all the way into renaissance, but if they carried something forward I think that would mollify players.

    - I did suggest that atlatlist strike be toned down to 33% if it were to be carried forward. Maya aren’t overly aggressive, and I wouldn’t call the change a buff, exactly.
    - Naresuan s elephant and naga malla could use a slight buff anyways imo
    - Zulu are strong, but not the strongest, and keeping gunpowder bonus would only benefit fusilier and later units, well-outside zulu’s Medieval/renaissance power spike
    - As for Conquistador, if you're forced to upgrade to lancer then you must be having a pretty terrible game anyways, or you have no idea what you are doing

    edit: musketmen, not gatling.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
    Blue Ghost likes this.
  10. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    6,584
    Location:
    Malaga (Spain)
    Suck kind of standardization would lead to uninteresting promotions. Things like Pilum and Nau trade mission should be dropped or they would be too strong later on. Any 'fun' promotion is overpowered by definition. If all early unique units were to keep their unique promotions, all ancient civilizations would be overpowered too.

    Another 'solution' would be to have all unique promotions not kept on upgrade. This would be consistent and would avoid the unbalance towards ancient civilizations. But it seems this solution won't be popular either.
     
  11. infidel88

    infidel88 Prince

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    478
    Location:
    Yuggoth
    I believe only abilities attached to "natural" skills shall remain on upgrade. Like cho-ko-no double shot remains when you upgrade it to musketman? How? Why? Chokonu was special kind of crossbow, once you upgrade it, you no longer get special kind of musket/machinegun that can fire twice as fast.
    Atlalist had poisoned spears. Ok. Now when you upgrade it to musketman eventually you get poison bullets? Or Kris swordsman promo of magic sword remains when you have fusiliers. Come on.

    Plus, like @tu_79 mentioned, it makes civs with ancient UU even more powerful. And since window of opportunity for those units is longer (you can easily build your army around hoplites for almost 100 turns), they are already way stronger. Try to have same impact with Comanche as with Pictish warrior ;)
     
  12. ElliotS

    ElliotS Warmonger

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    2,654
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chicago
    Pretty sure this already happens. Also many UUs have non-standard promos carry over. Look at Jaguar, they keep most of their abilities.
     
  13. Moi Magnus

    Moi Magnus Emperor

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,848
    That's not the first time we have this debate on this forum. And the conclusion was "no consensus, but no real problem with the current situation, so no changes".

    My personnal opinion is that UU are inherently a bad things design-wise, and that civ should have unique lines of units instead (or unique buildings giving bonuses to units). However, since this opinion is far from being universal (and since we are too late in the devellopement of the mod), I'm mostly fine with current system.
     
    vyyt and Gokudo01 like this.
  14. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,434
    Current system is fine. There’s no need to strangle our designs in this way. Some units their promos are transferable, some not. We do it on the basis of interesting promos and balance. It works great as is
     
  15. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    4,298
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I'm fine with a disagreement, but it seems you haven't read the OP.

    Legion has Cover I carry forward, it was dropped from the list
    Nau has +1 vision and I'm pretty sure it stays, it was never included in the list to begin with. There's also no way to have unit actions carry forward on upgrade, and I never suggested they would.
    You know that's not that hard to do? Lead bullets were the default for a long time, and there have been cases of people lacing modern shells with potassium cyanide.
    You know Kris are often carried as sidearms right? They are still found in ceremonial dress, even for modern armies.

    At any rate, why would the idea of dropping unique promotions be attractive? It's currently only 5 (12%) units that don't have any free promotions that stay behind, and going the opposite direction causes even more work for balancing.
    • It makes the carry-forward potential of UUs even less consistent, demanding more system's knowledge from players
    • It makes even more CS gifts into white elephants. It would likely make the CS system such a pain in the ass that people would call for the obsolete tech on units to be moved back to vanilla levels, just so they could stop getting crap units as gifts
    • It would break certain UUs entirely, like Jaguar. You can't build more than 5-6 jaguars in a game because the unit is so early, and replaced by spears so quickly. The unit depends on promotions carrying-forward as a feature for the base unit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  16. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    6,584
    Location:
    Malaga (Spain)
    I did! :dunno:

    You will be changing balance for an extra bit of fun.
     
  17. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    4,298
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    You make it sound like I was suggesting EVERYTHING get carried forward. If something has at least a single promotion, even if it's something boring like accuracy I, then I didn't include it in discussion.
    I listed a single ancient/classical era unit, and what I suggested for it would actually be a slight nerf. Do you consider the current ancient/classical UUs broken?
    Balance is in service to fun, is it not? Why would a game designer prioritize balance over fun, ever? I would crucify balance if it meant more fun.

    But if there needed to be some compensation for the changes I suggested:
    - Atlatlist promotion could be reduced to 25-33% vs wounded
    - Naresuan could have its building cost increased to 225 (currently it's identical to knight at 200. It's an elephant so being more expensive makes more sense anyways)
    - Impi bonus vs gunpowder could be reduced to 15% (currently 25%)
    - Naga Malla is already underpowered, so adding accuracy I just seems like justice to me
    - conquistador - I don't really care, you should be settling with them instead of upgrading anyways. The vision is nice, but their +5CS and their ability to settle are what makes the unit powerful, so I see no issue with giving them a permanent vision promotion
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  18. infidel88

    infidel88 Prince

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    478
    Location:
    Yuggoth
    To be honest we should go one-by-one with every unit to see whether it should stay or not and find some pattern/logic. You say Kris swords are still used for ceremonial purposes. Sure, also bagpipes are and probably most countries have some kind of special thing to their uniforms. But we have XXI century, it doesn't mean that holding this Kris sword on your belt is going to make you shoot more accurately :D

    Jaguar holding their promotion makes sense - those are people who grew in jungle and know how to move there better, how to use jungle to their advantage. Chinese people shooting twice as much bullets because of crossbow they invented 600 years ago or English guns shooting farther because of Longbows makes no sense at all.

    And again - the fact that window opportunity of early units is so long is why I don't like to play 'modern' civs. Look at your 4UU mod, which I greatly appreciate, and compare Egypt, Celts or Rome, which will have whole line of units with 2 special promotions, comparing to Austria, Shoshone or Russia. One of the reasons I HATE playing as Austria is because it's so generic. And yes, removing unique promotions will feel more generic, but at least it will be fair. Right now it's not.
     
  19. Workerspam

    Workerspam Prince

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2016
    Messages:
    321
    This is the point I would love to see addressed in some way regardless of where you stand on unique units and promotions kept on upgrade. Getting obsolete UUs that get upgraded to vanilla units is not particularly fun nor balanced. I'd be in favor of any of the following (listed in order of personal preference):
    • Change current promotions-lost-on-upgrade UUs (or PLOUUUs as no one will call them) to a Legion style unit: they lose their special ability on upgrade but have a bonus promotion they can keep. I think this can potentially be done without severely affecting the power of the units or their unique promotions.
    • Change current UUs to keep their promotions. Easier to remember what promotions are kept but likely trickier to balance, and some special abilities would likely need to be weaker.
    • Prevent CSs from gifting UUs that lose their promotions once the base unit is obsolete. No idea if code can support it but it'd be a nice QoL improvement if it's simple to do and neither of the above (or alternative options) gain support.
     
  20. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2017
    Messages:
    4,298
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Well this sounds exhausting... Are you creating some sort of... lore for civ? I don't see how I or anyone else is accountable to your head-cannon.
    This puts me in a weird spot. You're effectively asking that I defend the premise of magic swords in Indonesian culture. I've been to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia and I have never seen an example of a kris in any museum which had more than a 14 inch blade. They were never anything but side-arms, and even from looking at the sword it's fairly obvious they aren't that practical. Most actual combat was done with spears. Those cultures legitimately hold that their kris, often a prized family heirloom, bestows magic powers on them. If you take issue with a man holding a kris and firing a gun getting just as much magic power as a guy with a kris fighting with a spear, then I don't know what to tell you.

    On the other hand, if you take issue specifically with the magic bit... I’m not really a good debate partner w.r.t. the legitimacy or existence of Southeast Asian sword magic
    Those are promotions any other unit can get with XP, so I don't even think if this needs an explanation. Obviously guns can shoot farther and longer with enough training and experience in the Civ-o-verse, because everyone's gun units work that way. Another explanation is that the unique attributes of those weapons leave an impression on their soldiers and commanders, informing later eras on favoured tactics. Chinese saw the value of putting more darts downfield that a chu ko nu provided, and so they prioritize firing rate and barrage tactics in later army compositions. Likewise for England and sharpshooting, which actually has great IRL historical basis since British regulars were renowned as sharpshooters. Obviously firing your gun faster or longer is possible in this universe, or else they wouldn't be base promotions attainable for everyone. Once again, I think you're taking this a bit too seriously.
    Generic is a worse sin than unfair, in my opinion
    Another possibility is having promotions that are lost on upgrade be "liquidated", and converted to, say, 20XP for every promotion lost. Likely too much work.
    This is possible, though not what I would prefer. A binary option already exists to disable a unit from being gifted
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018

Share This Page