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Unofficially Official Git Balance Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Rhye's and Fall - Dawn of Civilization' started by 1SDAN, May 25, 2017.

  1. 1SDAN

    1SDAN Chieftain

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    This has been something I've wanted for quite a while, and with a recent post in Gen Dis, I've decided to go ahead and post this.

    This thread is for discussing the unbalanced portions of the Git Version, such as Babylon's difficulty in researching it's UHV techs before Greek spawn or Harappa building two wall in it's UHV time limit, and how these issues could potentially be rectified.

    So um, discuss.
     
  2. Mxzs

    Mxzs Chieftain

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    Okay, I'll go first with Babylon. People have already noticed this one, but I'm going to plunge in depth.

    Babylon's UHV conditions:

    1. First to discover Writing, Arithmetics, Construction, Calendar and Contract.
    2. Make Babylon the most populous city by turn 84.
    3. Make Babylon the most culturally advanced city by turn 94.

    The main difficulty with this latest DoC build is getting Writing, Arithmetics, and Construction before the Greek spawn on turn 50. On Monarch, this appears to be impossible.

    You need to research 8 prerequisite techs and the 3 target techs in 50 turns. You are helped by the Babylonian unique power -- the first four techs you research give you a free bonus tech; it's like getting an Oracle grab four times -- and the obvious strategy is to research cheap techs and use the bonuses to collect expensive techs, such as using Pasturalism (90 light bulbs) to take Masonry (180 LBs) as a free tech. All these techs should be in the branches leading to the target techs.

    Let's start by running some numbers. If I've done the math right (always a big IF), those eleven techs, collectively, cost 1556 LBs. Eliminate the four most expensive techs -- Masonry, Writing, Construction, and Arithmetics -- as "Cradle of Civilization" freebies, and that still leaves 820 LBs needed. (But even this best-case scenario is impossible, as there is no research path that can deliver you those four techs as freebies.) The Oracle in theory could eliminate up to 196 LBs (those for Writing), but then you'd have to invest 232 LBs to get Sailing and Divinity, which are not in the research paths for the Greek techs, making the Oracle as a UHV tactic a net loss on investment.

    So that means you need 820 light bulbs researched the old-fashioned way by turn 50. (Again, you actually need more than that.) That's an average of 16.4 light bulbs per turn. If you build an edubba and hire two scientists, cottage the flood plains, and improve the Sheep and the Marble you can get your research rate up to at least 30 per turn by the deadline, but the rate of increase is too slow to get you to the necessary average by the deadline.

    If someone can beat this math, please say something. Until then, I'd say this UHV is impossible on Monarch. I haven't checked the easier levels.

    For the record, here are the three strategies I tried:

    1. Beeline Arithmetics and Writing, build an edubba, hire two scientists (even though it kills growth, which makes the population UHV impossible; see below) and switch to Republic and Redistribution once the edubba is built. Research path: Pasturalism (free Property); Mythology (free Leverage); Ceremony (free Writing); Tanning (free Arithmetics); Masonry; Smelting, Construction. Results: Writing got on turn 31, Arithmetics on turn 39, Construction on turn 63. Note how two of the three target techs are seized with plenty of time to spare.

    2. Beeline Arithmetics and Construction, using Redistribution and Republic. Research path: Pasturalism (free Masonry); Tanning (free Property); Leverage (free Arithmetics); Smelting (free Construction); Mythology; Ceremony; Writing. Results: Arithmetics on turn 34, Construction on turn 45, Writing on turn 66. The first two are still doable within the time limit, but it takes longer to get any of them. This was even after building the Ishtar Gate on turn 57 and hiring a scientist.

    3. Beeline Writing and Construction, build an edubba and hire 2 scientists (killing growth), and switch to Republic after building the library. Research path: Pasturalism (free Masonry); Tanning (free Property); Mythology (free Smelting); Ceremony (free Writing); Leverage; Construction; Arithmetic. Results: Writing on turn 38, Construction on turn 56, Arithmetics on turn 63. Now only one of the techs could be gotten within the time limit.

    Construction is the odd tech out. Writing and Arithmetics overlap closely with their prerequisites, so they can both be got pretty quickly. Construction either comes in very late, or when beelined it ******s the other two techs.

    I don't have a suggested solution; I will only point out some obvious possibilities.

    a. Remove Construction from the Greek spawn. Greece is born remarkably rich, as I believe Leoreth has noted elsewhere.
    b. Remove Construction from the Babylonian target list.
    c. Replace Construction with a tech that has either Sailing or Divination as a prereq, so that building the Oracle becomes part of the solution.

    As for the other UHVs, I tested these out without worrying about the tech UHV. Biggest cultural city by turn 94? Very easy. Minimal effort will score Babylon an early Wonder; so long as ziggurats and monuments are built, the city is unlikely to lose its lead, and a second wonder will cement it there.

    Biggest city on turn 84? Harder, but doable. Niwt-Rst is the early leader, and in my test games I only caught up near the final post (~ turn 78) when Babylon hit a population of 9. The Hanging Gardens and the civic Monarchy (for civic peace) are musts here; a Granary and a Smokehouse probably necessary as well, considering how tight the race is.

    Here's a game I used to win the second and third UHVs. Maybe it can be a starting guide for considering how to adjust the required techs in the first UHV.

    Research path: Mythology (free Masonry); Sailing (free Divination); Ceremony (free Calendar); Pastoralism (free Property); Leverage; Writing (from Oracle); Arithmetics; Tanning; Smelting, Construction.

    Build order. This is listed in terms of priority. If an item is not available, skip to the next available item; when a prioritized item becomes available, switch to building it. So, for example, Worker is third on the list, after the two Wonders. But it will be the first build because you'll get it before the first Wonder is even available. Oracle will become available during the ziggurat or monument builds.

    Hanging Gardens, Oracle **, Worker, Ziggurat, Monument, Granary, Edubba, Walls, Smokehouse, Barracks, Bowman [repeat until turn 94]

    ** Oracle will become available before Hanging Gardens, so I started it, then switched to Hanging Gardens before it was complete. When the Gardens were built, I could no longer work on the Oracle because I hadn't enough culture. So I waited until my culture expanded, then finished it. As it happened, it was only three turns I had to wait, and I got both Wonders by turn 45, before anyone had built any other Wonders at all.

    Worker orders: Marble, Stone, Mine (2N Babylon), Sheep, Cottages.

    Note that this strategy employs early military neglect. This is a reasonable gamble, as you're not likely to meet hostiles until turn 84, by which time it's possible to have half a dozen Bowmen inside Babylon. But there is a chance of Barb Chariots spawning on the Dye, and if that happens you are dead if you've only got one Militia in the city. But that will only happen around turn 50 or so, and you can always just start over again. It's not like you've been playing China and it's almost 1800 AD.
     
  3. Mxzs

    Mxzs Chieftain

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    Harappa is another one that seems to have a busted UHV condition. Otherwise, Harappa is an easier play in the latest version than it was in 1.14, and in 1.14 it wasn't very hard at all.

    Harappa's three UHVs are:

    1. Open a trade connection to another civ by turn 50.
    2. Build 3 Reservoirs and 2 Walls by turn 54.
    3. Have a total population of 20 by turn 87.

    The first is easily doable with Sailing and Seafaring (for trade along river and coast) being researchable by turn 49, while the first Militia, if sent down the Indus and then across the Persian coast through Shush, can open a connection to Babylon. However, it is best to start by researching Mining -> Masonry before (Tanning + Sailing) -> Seafaring, as Masonry is needed for Reservoirs. There is still time to Seafaring, though, after Masonry has been discovered.

    The third condition is even easier than it was in 1.17, where it was at least slightly tricky. City Builders are cheap enough to spam, and with five you only need each city to have an average population of 4 in order to reach the third condition. With Ceremony yielding the Monarchy civic, cities can get much larger than that, so you can get by with fewer of them, but larger. In my playtest, I hit population 20 on turn 67. About the only thing to watch for is that you not overextend yourself too quickly.

    The second condition is the troublesome one. It has two parts: Build three Reservoirs, and build two Walls. The first is doable, both by itself and in tandem with the first and third UHVs. It only requires getting Masonry early and having three cities built as soon as you get it. The hard part is getting both Masonry and Seafaring before the deadline. The reservoirs themselves are easier to handle, and I built three of them between turns 40 and 49, so there was a fair margin there. Note that I did not need whipping -- which is unavailable now -- only careful city management.

    But the Walls require the Construction tech. You must invest 812 LBs to get Construction, and that doesn't include the 223 LBs that Seafaring requires for the first UHV. So that's 1035 LBs you need to acquire within 54 turns in order to win a UHV on Monarch.

    That's an average of 19 LBs per turn. On my test game, on turn 52 I had four cities with a population of 15, and I was earning only 16 LBs a turn.

    So I think this part of the UHV requirement is mathematically impossible on Monarch.

    Suggestions? Vedic Temples can substitute for Walls, and in my test game I got two Vedics built by turn 51. Could I have gotten three Vedics? I'm not sure. I would have had to set up my cities differently.

    But I'm not sure what Walls or Vedics add to the challenge. In 1.14, adding Walls as a requirement meant you had to use the whip, but that's not possible here, not with Masonry and Seafaring taking you to turn 49, which leaves not enough time to research the Despotism civic. Right now, the challenge is to squeeze in Seafaring along with three Reservoirs, and adding another build to the requirement won't force the player to be clever or highly knowledgeable about game mechanics (like whipping does).

    I'd almost suggest just dropping the "Wall" requirement. But the remaining UHV conditions by themselves might leave the Harappan UHV game too easy.

    Possibly the challenge, even if dropping a Walls requirement, could be increased by raising the population requirement on the third UHV condition by requiring Ceremony (Monarchy) or some other research goal in order to meet it. I'd have to look deeper into it for ideas.
     
    need my speed, Leoreth and 1SDAN like this.
  4. Wessel V1

    Wessel V1 Chieftain

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    I played a few games with China to get a hang of the current tech tree and I think the problem is not so much the tech difficulties these civilizations face, but rather the way the tech tree is constructed. There seems to be no fast way to get your science going. For example, you really need Libraries to get started but it takes 5 techs to research. While I assume tech pace is not so much of a problem in later stages, the AND requirement makes early tech pace slower in general. I think these costs should be greatly decreased.
     
  5. FinalLegendZero

    FinalLegendZero Chieftain

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    Actually it's still an option, but it's now tied to Despotism instead of Slavery, which Harappa can't reach in time while still grabbing Seafaring.

    Also, Leoreth please correct me if I'm wrong, but I though that Regent was the difficulty the game was balanced around?
     
  6. Mxzs

    Mxzs Chieftain

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    Yeah, that's what I meant: Whipping is not an option the way it was for Harappa in 1.14 [because Slavery is attached to an unavailable tech now].

    Leoreth, can you say something here about the founding conditions for Confucianism and Taoism, as those are part of the Chinese UHV?
     
  7. J422

    J422 Chieftain

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    Is there an easy way to try the game with OR requirements instead of AND ?
    Maybe it's the easy fix for all those tech UHV problems.
    What would be the downsides anyway ? too much player beelining ?
     
  8. Leoreth

    Leoreth Knight of Time Moderator

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    It's supposed to be the default difficulty. However, unless other civs are involved (e.g. tech speed only goals like Babylonia) they are equivalent, because the only difference are AI modifiers.

    Techs plus a city in the religion's historical area.
     
  9. FinalLegendZero

    FinalLegendZero Chieftain

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    Then we've got a bug on our hands, because techs are cheaper in Regent than they are in Monarch.
     
  10. Leoreth

    Leoreth Knight of Time Moderator

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    I need more detail than that. Do you mean base costs? There are modifiers in the game that depends on AI progress. Can you give me a scenario to compare?
     
  11. FinalLegendZero

    FinalLegendZero Chieftain

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    How does one check the base cost? If you mean the numbers listed in the Technology Advisor, then yes, I mean those. Start a 3000 BC game as Egypt in Regent and Monarch, and check the beakers necessary for techs in the Technology Advisor on the first turn. In Regent, all the first column techs cost 81 beakers to fully research. In Monarch, they all cost 96 beakers. If that's not where you check the base cost, then I'd need to know where that can be found.
     
  12. Leoreth

    Leoreth Knight of Time Moderator

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    You're right. Let me review the difference between the difficulty levels.
     
  13. Leoreth

    Leoreth Knight of Time Moderator

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    Okay, there is a difference but I've decided to keep it that way. But the game is intended to be balanced on Regent.
     
  14. Leoreth

    Leoreth Knight of Time Moderator

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    Recent changes that are pertinent to this thread:
    - Greece starts without Construction
    - slightly increased research speed for Egypt, Babylon, China
    - Oracle now gives two free techs
     
    1SDAN and Ecthy like this.
  15. Ecthy

    Ecthy Chieftain

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    Darwin's Voyage is finally back.
     
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  16. 1SDAN

    1SDAN Chieftain

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    THANK YOU!

    Time to play RFCDoW for the first time in a month.

    BABYLON HO!

    BTW, how is the Harappa balancing going?
     
  17. Leoreth

    Leoreth Knight of Time Moderator

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    Haven't thought about them as much, but they're next. Forgot to mention them above though, they got the same slight tech speed increase.
     
  18. Ecthy

    Ecthy Chieftain

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    Thought about India: That one wonder that speeds up construction of religious buildings (K...something), comes too late IMO. We're supposed to do 20 tempels by 700 AD, that wonder is with a medieval tech. Somewhat earlier maybe? This would support the notion of (more or less) civ-specific wonders supporting the UHV.
     
  19. Mxzs

    Mxzs Chieftain

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    Thanks for the revisions, Leoreth! I tested them out this evening. The Babylonian UHV is now certainly doable at Regent, and is possible at Monarch as well, though a certain amount of luck is required at that level.

    Basic strategy: Get Arithmetic and Writing before the Greek spawn; get Calendar before the Indian spawn; get Construction before the Chinese or the Greeks research it; Contract seems not to be a challenge. Use wonders and growth buildings to raise your population above all other cities by Turn 84; the same wonders that power growth and get you the techs will secure your culture lead.

    If anyone wants to double-check my work, here is the strategy I used. It is for a win at the Monarch level, and it requires *precision* timing and city management. There is no room for error. Maybe there's a faster and more forgiving strategy out there, but this one worked for me twice. [Subject to the usual caveats that if barbarians swarm your borders, or if the Greeks are fast-moving and aggressive, you will lose because it requires early military neglect.]

    Tech path: Myth [free Masonry]; Pastoralism [free Property]; Ceremony [free Writing]; Sailing [free Divination]; Leverage; Tanning; Smelting, Construction(3); Contract.

    Build order: Worker, Edubba(1), Oracle(2), Hanging Gardens, Granary, mix of Bowman/Skirmishers/Barracks/Walls to taste(4).

    Improvement order: Mable, Sheep, Stone, Cottages, a Mine later on if you're feeling sassy.

    Notes
    (1) After building the Worker, start building a Granary, then switch to Edubba as soon as Writing is researched. With that switch, prioritize Hammer production without running a food deficit.

    (2) Once the Edubba is built, switch to Oracle and prioritize Food production until Babylon reaches size 4; then hire two scientists, keeping the Sheep and Marble tiles in production. You will probably have to fiddle with at least one scientist, moving him onto and off of the board in order to build the Oracle in time: you must get it built on or before Turn 49, and you should probably time it to be built *on* Turn 49 so that you get some extra beakers rather than hammers. Use the Oracle to get Arithmetics and Calendar.

    (3) Once Construction is researched, release the scientists and prioritize Food production -- Marble, Stone and Sheep will provide enough Hammers that you won't need any other tiles for Hammer production. Also, switch civics to Monarchy and Redistribution, which you will have skipped up to this point as you don't want to miss any turns on your research.

    (4) Units will keep city happiness up and also protect against frisky Persians, so you won't need a Ziggurat, and Wonders mean you won't need either a Ziggurat or a Monument. You can slip Barracks or Walls into the queue if you have a breathing space. But if the Persians are hostile, you only need to hold them off until turn 94.

    I said at the top that a certain amount of luck was needed at the Monarch level. This is because the Chinese LOVE to research Construction, probably on their way to Contract. The above strategy will give you Construction on Turn 63 or 64, but in three test games I played, the Chinese snagged Construction on turns 63, 59 and 62. On Regent I think I got Construction on Turn 57.
     
  20. Leoreth

    Leoreth Knight of Time Moderator

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    That sounds good, thanks for the write up. I think doable but requiring intense micromanagement on Monarch is the right difficulty to aim for. How hard do you think the goal is on Regent if you don't know what you are doing (building/improvement/tech order)? Is it too easy?
     

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