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Unpopular civics

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by EverNoob, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    That would make Mercantilism the best civic in the game. Nothing does +20% commerce and for a reason.

    Mercantilism is fine where it is - a sometimes civic for the civilization without any friends that gets overshadowed by Agrarian. The solution to Agrarian shouldn't involve creating a second overpowered civic in the same column.

    Civics that see less use are acceptable. Its rare that you'll use Pacifism, Liberty or Slavery unless you're doing something very specific, but they've got a place.
     
  2. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    Consumption


    I use pacifism all the time.
     
  3. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Consumption is +20% gold, not +20% commerce. +20% commerce is +20% gold AND +20% beakers.

    So do I when I'm Spiritual trait. But I use it less than Apprenticeship for example.
     
  4. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    Consumption adds 20% gold, not commerce. I agree though that pacifism is an extremely useful civic whenever you need a specialist. If I'm spiritual or philosophical I will almost always switch to pacifism to get an early great sage. If I'm using arete I will commonly stay with pacifism for the stacking bonus to great people points. If I'm the grigori, sidar, philosophical, or using a specialist economy I will commonly use pacifism the entire game.
     
  5. Emptiness

    Emptiness []

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    Repeated for emphasis. There are lots of reasons not to use Mercantilism. When none of those reasons happens to apply, it shines.

    If you have lots of forests (typically, because you're Elven), you'll use Guardian of Nature instead of Mercantilism.
    If you have lots of farms, you'll use Agrarianism instead of Mercantilism.
    If you have lots of open borders agreements, and you are running your :science: slider high, or if you are going for a Cultural victory, you'll run Foreign Trade instead of Mercantilism.
    If 2 more xp/unit will give your units another level, or if you are in a production-poor area and need a boost to military unit production rates, you'll run Conquest instead of Mercantilism.

    As the Bannor or the Kuriotates (both of which have strong incentives to go for cottagespam rather than farmspam), late in the game (after wars have usually reduced the number of civs with which you have open borders), Mercantilism can be a great way to boost income. The Bannor can use the gold to support more units, and the Kuriotates can use it to fund unit upgrades, allowing them to build Warriors and buy them into useful-but-expensive Tier 3 or 4 units as a way to boost unit production rates.

    Also, remember that the "no foreign trade routes" doesn't just hurt you, it hurts the civs that have open borders with you as well. If you are in a strong lead and have relatively few trade routes anyway then using Mercantilism amounts to an economic cold war with your "friends", to protect your lead.
     
  6. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    In your opinion. Others might differ. The loss of trade routes and the switch away from Agrarianism could significantly change the amount of commerce. Anyway, if 20% commerce is too high then reduce to +10% commerce and +10% gold. The +20% gold at present is too small a benefit to compensate for losing ALL foreign trade.

    Besides, I offered an alternative, which I prefer, and that is a +50% trade bonus to all the internal trade routes as a bonus to compensate for losing foreign trade routes and then retain the +20% gold bonus.

    Mercantilism is useless - worse than that, its counterproductive, if you have good foreign trade routes. Unless you are prepared to lower the gold slider and raise a mountain of gold it literally has no use.

    I want an alternative to Agrarianism for the late game. Either weaken it or provide an alternative by bolstering Mercantilism and Foreign trade.
    I agree with this in principle. The problem we have is that at present Agrarianism is probably the best civic in the game in a wide variety of games and there are no viable alternatives in that category. We need one or two alternatives that support other playstyles and then some other civics for specific situations.

    With Agrarianism we have a big bonus with a small klux that can be worked around, that's why it can be used from the beginning of the game to end. With Mercantilism we have what is usually a big klux with a small bonus that is hard to find a use for. They are in no way equivalent. In my opinion one is the best civic in the game and the other is the worst.
     
  7. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Go show me a civic in Civ4 or FFH which does anything like +20% commerce. Theres not even one that does 20% beakers. There is a reason for this.

    Not an interesting choice. It steps on the toes of Foreign Trade by improving trade routes. Besides, you were telling me Foreign trade routes are bad because the opponent benefits. You've convinced me.

    You never heard of that thing they do in BtS? Fractional research? Differential...? Where to achieve a 70% science rate they run 3 turns of +100% gold and 7 turns of +100 beakers? A Consumption/Mercantilism combo would be pretty sick there.

    If you improve Mercantilism to the point where it competes with Agrarian then it'll overshadow Conquest and the utterly pathetic Foreign Trade. Its not desirable that it be a default civic choice because what'll happen is a few civs will switch into it making trading conditions less favourable for everyone else so a few more will adopt Merc and etc etc

    The good bits of Mercantilism are good but its up to you to decide if the bad bits are worse. For those who can't or won't trade its a good civic. There is its justification.
     
  8. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    Several civics in BtS are much stronger that that. Free Speech in a CE gives a 40% boost to commerce from cottages (+2 on the base of 5) and they are by far the major source of commrce in a CE, it typically raises commerce by 30% overall since trade routes are weaker in BtS. Nationhood is situationally the strongest civic in BtS (+2 happiness, +25% EPs and drafting a rifleman for 1 pop) and Slavery is probably the most powerful overall civic throughout the game (particularly with Kremlin whipping)

    In general BtS civics are stronger than FfH2 ones, with one very notable exception and that is Agrarianism. No civic in BtS would give +100% food production from farms. There is a reason for that. This is slightly moderated since the FfH2 granary is heavily nerfed compared with its BtS version which is probably the strongest building in the game.

    I think you might be under the misapprehension, that +20% commerce is equivalent to +20% research and +20% gold. This is not the case. There are significant sources of beakers from buildings and specialists and the same for gold which includes shrines as major non commerce sources. So a +20% research + 20 gold would be much stronger than +20% commerce. In a typical late game economy commerce provides 75% of total beakers and gold. I estimate that a +20% commerce boost would increase the overall economy by about 15%. That is less than half the effect of switching to Free Speech in a fully developed CE in BtS.

    Having said all that. If +20% commerce is too much for FfH2 (it is a different game afterall :) ) then make it 15% or 10%, there will a level that is balanced. The only reason I suggested a change from a gold bonus to a commerce bonus was not to make the proposed Mercantilism significantly more powerful but to make it more useful and attractive. There is clearly more utility in a civic that gives its bonus regardless of whether the player (or AI) wants to do research or accumulate gold, rather than restrict the options.

    I forgot, you're the person that doesn't understand trade routes. My mistake :p

    Binary Research is what you're referring to. People don't use that anymore since the beakers and gold are accounted for to 2 decimal places. It was fixed in Warlords but was an important factor in Vanilla civ due to problems with rounding errors in calculations. Players sometimes hoard gold if they're mass building universities etc. but it is a minor feature of BtS now.

    I suppose a Spiritual leader could use 10 turns of Consumption and Mercantilism (+40% gold) followed by 10 turns of Scholarship. But don't forget that BtS has markets, grocers and banks that give +100% gold all the time. The ways to manipulate the FfH2 economy are small beer compared to BtS, with weak civics and overpriced buildings. A 40% gold bonus from using 2 civics is not impressive.
    Well, as I've suggested elsewhere, I think the Agrarianism should be further weakened by making it :
    +1 food - 1 hammer - 1 commerce

    There would be less need to alter the balance of other civics then. Alternatively strengthen all of them:
    Conquest (as now +10% mil production, low upkeep)
    Mercantilism (as suggested above)
    Foreign Trade (add a trade route bounus as well as the extra trade routes)
     
  9. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    I had a similar idea, to give agrarianism -1 commerce. However when I tried it I found that it made Agrarianism an appaling choice for the early game, when every commerce counts. I think that the thematic nature of a farm-based society belongs primarilly in the early game, so Agrarianism should be strong in the early game and start to weaken in comparison to other civics in the mid-to-late game.
     
  10. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Your whole approach to this thing is wrong because you're trying to turn Mercantilism into a default switch by making it too powerful. Trade routes are obviously going to be more powerful on a larger, multi-continent map with more civs and more cities. Its not wrong that Mercantilism should be less useful where lots of trade opportunities are present.

    If you change Mercantilism so that the loss of foreign trade is made up by some domestic trade improvement, thats not a choice - its an upgrade that everyone would choose. I'm sure you don't mean to do that.
    If you change Mercantilism so that the loss of foriegn trade on a 12 player, 3 continent Large map is compensated for by some huge bonus, then thats going to adversely affect balance in the Economy column on Standard, 7 player maps. I'm sure you don't mean to do that either.

    Mercantilism losing income from foreign trade is a feature, not a bug. It is working correctly. Tone down the crazy 20%s or get some perspective on the kind of return Trade routes give on other map sizes.

    This is a bad idea as it leads to bad micromanagement. It would encourage you to chain farms away from rivers so that they make 0 commerce, so you don't lose any commerce.
     
  11. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    I see what you mean about the early game. Maybe the commerce penalty could come later in the tech tree and after Aristocracy is available. Code of Laws or Sanitation are obvious possibilities. So Agrarianism gets -1 commerce when that tech (you chose which) has been researched.
     
  12. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Adding penalties is counter-intuitive. Techs have never made things worse unless they obsoleted them and obsoletion is not a feature of FFH.
     
  13. UncleJJ

    UncleJJ Deity

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    :rolleyes: What was your suggestion again?

    Leave the most over powered civic as is, was it?

    I answered your assertions in post #27. You fail to even acknowledge what I've written (a common courtesy) and then quote mine my post and pick holes in my suggestion.

    Then you tell me to "tone down the crazy 20%" when I already addressed that point. :deadhorse: If you bothered to read what I wrote in answer to your specific questions you would know what my position was.
     
  14. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    This is my suggestion: (from the Aristogracy economics thread)

     
  15. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    Perhaps Mercantalism should simply give one extra commerce per resource per city, in addition to removing foreign trade routes, but no commerce bonus. It would at least make sense.
     
  16. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Aha, no, if your memory lasted a bit longer you'd remember that I'd characterised Agrarian as the problem, not weakness on the part of Mercantilism.

    You acknowledged my point on the 20%, hardly addressed it. 20% commerce/15% economy is too much however you slice it.

    If anything in the economy column needs a lift its Foreign Trade.

    What, this suggestion? I've also hidden alternatives in other threads that usually relate to giving Agrarian penalties when using industrial improvements (workshops, windmills) but they tend to not be powerful enough in the first place.

    My suggestions are usually related to getting people out of Agristocracy in the midgame than making Agristocracy unusable. If the utility of Agristocracy ends before the late game and has a unsmooth transition into another economy then there are switching costs and their cottages will be less developed compared to those who've been riding them since the beginning.
     
  17. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    the two are not mutually exclusive.

    Overall, when the options are avaialable, I tend to use city states/theocracy, nationhood/pacifism, apprenticeship, conquest. Only during golden ages do I use others, then I switch back, (yay for 12 turn GA's!)
     
  18. EverNoob

    EverNoob Prince

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    My main problem with Mercantilism is that it's too deep in the commerce tech path. If it was available before that it could be useful. As it is, it's not powerful enough to warrant researching Mercantilism. Right now the only reason to research Mercantilism is for Liberty for cultural victories. If you're going for a cultural victory, you'd prefer to be at peace with everyone, which mean you'll want to take advantage of foreign trade routes...

    So one solution is to change Mercantilism civic so that it would be worth researching...or place it earlier somewhere on the tech tree. Maybe at Mathematics so you can combine it with the Bazaar of Mammon?
     
  19. Kenjister

    Kenjister Swimmer

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    Looking at all the discussion at trade routes got me thinking. Agrarianism is an early game civic to represent an agriculturally based economy. Historically, agricultural importance as always declined over time. Currency supplants the barter system, and once large cities start forming, long distance trade works it's way in as well. Over time, agricultural economies fall behind in the for lucrative trade unless they export a luxury. (Highly simplistic explanation, so all you economics/history people please don't take offence)

    The point here is that Agrarianism should create a penalty to trade routes, pehaps a -100% modifier, to represent the lack of tradeable goods a truly agricultural economy would have. It wouldn't have much of an effect until the late game, when trade routes become profitable, and it wouldn't penalize empires with lots of small to moderately sized cities as much either.
     
  20. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    I like it, this might do it.

    The idea I'd been stewing on was to give Agrarian a -10% production towards buildings and the creation of a new civic.

    Urban Development
    High Upkeep
    Available at Construction
    +1 Unhealthiness
    +20% production towards buildings
    +50% Cottage upgrade speed (10turns becomes 7, 40 becomes 27)

    While a trade route nerf would be simpler (and therefore better), I thought this civic would be a good way for non-Agristocracy to get a headstart on building Markets/Training Yards and even powering up their cottages a bit. Its got a side benefit of not being in a good place for the elves on the tech tree, so it shouldn't make them a balance problem again.
     

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