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Unpopular civics

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

  1. hbar

    hbar Constant

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    Re: Agrarianism
    How about a penalty to great people development? More people in the fields would certainly result in fewer great minds, and it would somewhat offset the SE synergy. It would also make an interesting early game choice - grow your cities or aim for an early academy/altar/etc.

    I don't know enough about Civ economies to make a great guess at a balanced number, but -33% seems about right.
     
  2. Dean_the_Young

    Dean_the_Young King

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    Mercantilism predates colonialism. It was about foreign trade in the sense that its practitioners believed that there was finite wealth in the world, and that all trade outside of the country was 'losing' wealth from your own. Mercantilism was about domestic trade and growth, without any imports. Mercantilist powers were plenty happy to sell goods outside, though.

    It's a foreign trade policy in the same sense that isolationism is a foreign political policy. Some people see the only way to win the game is to not play at all, which is a game strategy in itself.

    It meshed with colonialism because colonies provided a means for exclusive markets; the colonies could only buy colonizer goods, enriching the colonizer, and could be made to sell raw materials to the colonizer. This fits a mercantilism model of wealth accumulation, but isn't required; mercantilism also applied to many non-colonial countries. Colonies were justified by mercantilism, but mercantilism didn't demand colonies (though it did appreciate them).

    Of course, history also shows that different, even more durable, forms of colonialism/foreign dominance don't require mercantilism.
     
  3. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Quotin' myself to derail the mercantilism derail.

    The two best suggestions to my mind we've had so far are a trade route penalty for Agrarian and a GPP penalty. Both of these are relatively painless at the start of the game but will hit the mid-game where it hurts.

    But then we get a new problem. Conquest and Foreign Trade are on very specific side branches of the tech tree. If enough problems are thrown at you they'll get delayed. Foriegn Trade is also crap and Conquest gets in the way if you aren't at war. Mercantilism is hidden away afraid to show itself.

    So if you don't want the Trade or GPP penalty what civic do you pick? Back to the basic choice? (can't even remember its name)

    If you nerf Agrarian you need a new default Economic civic to chill in when you won't want to commit to something. It has to be simple and inoffensive.

    Annual Gatherings
    Available at Festivals
    Low Upkeep
    Merchants make +1 gold
    Domestic Trade routes +25% value.
     
  4. SurahAhriman

    SurahAhriman Chieftain

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    From wikipedia:

    "Mercantilism is an economic theory that holds the prosperity of a nation is dependent upon its supply of capital, and that the global volume of international trade is "unchangeable." Economic assets or capital, are represented by bullion (gold, silver, and trade value) held by the state, which is best increased through a positive balance of trade with other nations (exports minus imports) and assumes wealth and monetary assets are identical. Mercantilism suggests that the ruling government should advance these goals by playing a protectionist role in the economy; by encouraging exports and discouraging imports, notably through the use of tariffs and subsidies."

    Colonialism is a separate theory, though the two were frequenly employed together historically. But mercantilism itself is just about acquiring wealth through a favorable balance of trade.
     
  5. Neomega

    Neomega Deity

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    Thanks for the history lesson folks. I misunderstood mercantalism. :)
     
  6. Kenjister

    Kenjister Swimmer

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    I don't really think a new civic is necessary if Agrarian is nerfed, couldn't we just simply buff up Decentralization? If we add a civic though, I support the idea of a "cottage economy" type one, right now we don't have any economic civics that truly work with a CE. Many of the bonuses in FfH are geared towards specialists, so it would provide a nice balance as well, and perhaps make a CE more viable for more civs that just the Bannor and Kuriotates.
     
  7. hbar

    hbar Constant

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    So what is the best way to boost the cottage economy? Increasing the growth rate of the cottages is tricky, as it overpowers some select civs while being marginally useful for the others. Agrarianism is the go-to choice for growing cities quickly, so that's out.

    Question: Why is Mercantilism available so late? Its certainly not overpowered, and it seems it would be most useful in the early game when you don't have many neighbors. The +20% gold would help you run the science slider higher for longer, and it seems like it would synergize nicely with a cottage economy.
     
  8. Dean_the_Young

    Dean_the_Young King

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    I do believe I just suggested switching it with foreign trade a few posts ago. ;)
     
  9. hbar

    hbar Constant

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    People need to stop taking you so literally :lol: I completely missed this post.

    I think this (allowing merc. early) along with a GPP malus for agri would allow two viable, competing, and (most important) strategic choices for the early game that would get real competition by the mid/late game
     
  10. Dean_the_Young

    Dean_the_Young King

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    What can I say? I'm a serious person.

    Perhaps, to make the comparison stronger, a GPP bene for Mercantilism, to encourage a shift from one to the other depending on means. Agri gets your population up, but slows your GPP. Mercantilism doesn't help population, but puts it to much better use in output, both commerce and what you can do with food.
     
  11. Emptiness

    Emptiness []

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    I find that in the early game I tend to have lots of open borders (as does everyone else), and so Mercantilism would block me from the opportunity to make use of that fact whereas Foreign Trade gives me more routes to benefit from those open borders. Later in the game, after wars have broken out and real hatred has developed, there tends to be fewer opportunities for open borders, and so Mercantilism is less painful.

    On the other hand, larger cities take a while to develop - meaning that any given trade route is likely to be more valuable later in the game. Also, I play on Pangea maps; with continents the opportunities for profitable trade might instead be increased later, since Optics would be required before you could trade with about half of the other civs. In this situation Mercantilism would make sense earlier with pressure to switch to Foreign Trade later.

    It's certainly an interesting idea, worth further thought. I'm not sold yet, but if AI improvements get to the point that water doesn't ruin games then I'd probably be conviced.
     
  12. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    What do people think about this change to Mercantilism:

    Mercantilism: no foreign trade, 30% gold in all cities, unlimitted merchants, +1 :) from markets.

    The unlimitted merchants, extra gold per city, and :) from markets make it combine very nicely with GK and Consumption for lots of gold, and big cities. This can allow you to expand very strongly which I think is quite apt for Mercantilism (what with the colonial aspect and so on). It makes up for the extra maintenance cost of GK, and the fact that you are not reducing your maintenance through Aristocracy or City States. No Aristocracy means you probably want a cottage economy, most of your specialists will probably be merchants so a specialist sage economy isn't particularly viable.

    Very synergetic with RoK, and a nice strategy for the Khazad who have a genuine reason to rush to Mercantilism.
     
  13. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    If you're going to uncap merchants then +20% gold is quite enough.

    What are you thinking? Attach that version of Mercantilism to Currency, change the name of Tech:Mercantilism to Liberalism?

    Edit: Probably not Currency - too easy for Hyborem to research. Alternate route to Tech: Mercantilism from Tech: Trade?
     
  14. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    Actually I was thinking of leaving it where it was in the tech tree, I think having unlimitted merchants and the extra gold make it worthy of a high place in the tech tree. If it was going to be brought into an earlier position I would consider changing it to 100% trade route yield, unlimitted merchants, +1 :) from markets, no foreign trade and renaming it to Trade Caravans or something. In that case, maybe Trade, maybe Mathematics, Currency perhaps, I haven't given it that much thought.
     
  15. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    Also, I was experimenting with my version of Agrarianism (1 food to farms, -1 hammers to mines and workshops) and I found it quite nice to play with. It essentially provides you with a choice between growth and production.

    The game was as the Clan of Embers (Jonas Endain). I had very limitted access to fresh water in my capital so immediately Aristocracy was a no-no. The civic is sub-optimal with the Clan anyway as they tend to prefer City States, which was my choice in this game. Luckilly I had a rice and a corn resource in my city radius so few farms in the early game was ok.

    I had a very peaceful start, stuck on a quite large peninsula on my own with no enemies near enough to warrant an early war. For this reason, I went to Agrarianism asap as my capital and surrounding area had many dye and sugar resources. Then I headed to RoK and adopted Arete in conjuction with Agrarianism. This gave me a net effect of +1 food to farms, -1 production to workshops. This was quite handy as this stage of the game as I could grow to my max population cap while still maintaining enough hammers to keep production ok. I then went to Masonry for Warrens, and Construction after. This gave me access to Workshops which provide 2 hammers and 2 commmerce on a standard grassland tile (I had mainly grassland and jungle). Of course using Agrarianism they were only providing 1 hammer and 2 commerce, very mediocre compared to a farm at 4 food.


    Anyway, at this stage mmy cities were at their happy caps but continuing to grow so I left agrarianism and replaced a few of my farms with workshops. After all, the yields were now 3 food to 2 hammers and 2 commerce, a lot more balanced. The only other option in that civic category was Conquest, which was useless considering I was converting my farms to workshops and had no intention of going to war just yet. I stayed in Decentralisation for the most part.

    This conversion helped fuel my economy in the mid game. I admit that I play on very resource heavy maps, and was in the middle of a jungle so had plenty of commerce resources available. However, the workshops added to this quite nicely, while also providing hammers. I think that if I had added my industry civic idea it would have made for a very viable economy. Anyway, somewhere along the line I also researched Sanitation, which brought my farms back up to four food per tile. Using the production bonus from my workshops, I had built warrens in all my cities and expanded greatly, netting myself perhaps three extra happiness resources, and a few extra from trade. This, plus the three from public baths, gave me a massive bonus to my happy cap.

    At this stage, my cities weren't really growing, but running workshops was getting my new cities on the outskirts of my empire up and running at a nice speed, quickly becoming a net gain to my civ. The svartalfar were now building up along my north border, my only land border, closing me in on my peninsula, relations were poor, but I was on route to ogres so I figured I'd be safe from attack pretty soon and took a risk. I went back to Agrarianism.

    At this point, the majority of my workshops went out of use, now only providing 1 hammer and 2 commerce (three on a riverside). This of course was a blow to my production. Never mind, I thought, I'll just start converting some of those workshops back to farms, which now produced 5 food per tile. This lead to a nice period of growth, and I started to fill out my cities.

    A little while later I got myself some Iron Working, and was roughly 25 turns away from Machinary (this tech provides 1 extra hammer and 1 extra commerce to workshops in my game). I now had Ogres, but I had no source of metal. My start was completely devoid of both Copper and Iron.

    Now that I'd grown as much as I needed to, I switched back to decentralisation for extra production from workshops, built a stack of Ogres, and attacked the svartalfar. I captured two cities, one with Iron, and eventually vassalised them after destroying a few more. I then researched Machinary, at which point I felt like I had the choice to either stick with workshops, which would now provide 3 hammers and 3 commerce, or go back to Agrarianism for extra food and another period of growth, and have workshops producing 2 hammers and 3 commerce. I decided to stick with Workshops and had a nice boost to production. I converted a few of my now un-needed farms into more useful workshops.

    Notes:

    1) If I had used Aristocracy I would have been constrained to Agrarianism to maintain some small amount of growth in my cities. This would have probably given me more commerce over all, but production would have been weak.

    2) Upon changing out of Agrarianism, my cities did not starve. However, growth slowed to a crawl in any cities that relied heavilly on farms for their food. Changing back to Agrarianism allowed me to increase my population across the board by increasing the rate of growth substantially.

    3) Without Arete, using Agrarianism in the early game is risky. To me it paints the picture of quaint little farming towns, totally inward looking and ignorant of the world around them, woefully unprepared for any serious invasion. I quite like it as an idea, you have to choose between growth or production.

    4) Playing with a Spiritual leader, as I was, makes for a very fun strategy of simply changing civics whenever I wanted more growth, or more production. With a non-spiritual leader you would probably need to look more at the long term prospects, in which case you would probably use Agrarianism until you hit Sanitation, then leave it, possibly returning to it in the late game.

    5) I'm not sure whether having neo-agrarianism in the late game is good or bad. It is fun though.

    6) There desperately needs to be a new early civic in Agrarianism's group that you can use when you don't want Agrarianism in the early to mid game. My suggestion is Industry which would add an extra commerce to workshops and mills, and perhaps give a percent production bonus to cities. This would be available at construction. Alternately, bringing Mercantilism into the early game is an option.

    7) Playing a super-city civ or religion would probably influence you to maintain Agrarianism throughout. This is a nice prodction penalty to civs like the Calabim which are currently very stong. Playing with Sacrifice the Weak would probably influence you to stay completely clear of Agrarianism.

    8) I think the people who suggested that Agrarianism was the main problem of Aristogracy were right. Loosing one production from farms was a far too insignificant penalty, and not enough to balance the +2 commerce net gain of Aristogracy. On the other hand, loosing one production from the improvements you actually use for production balances it nicely. You effectively have a choice between commerce (aristogracy), food or great people (agrarianism) or production (neither) in the early game which is a very interesting decision to make at that stage of the game.

    Thoughts?
     
  16. hbar

    hbar Constant

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    Excellent analysis and writeup. I do have a few questions, however. What do you think of lumbermills? On a forested hill, they provide the same (initial) hammer boost as mines, meaning that they become the preferred improvement if you plan on running Ag at all. Of course, you can't really take away their 1 hammer... Also, does your "Industry" civic improve lumbermills at all?

    I agree that another early game civic is needed, and Industry sounds good, although if you added a production bonus, I would limit it to buildings. There are a lot of civics that impact military unit costs, but few that impact buildings. Perhaps this would be a way to make some of the more expensive later-game buildings more attractive. One issue I can see is that this would make Construction an even more important tech then it is - catapults, irrigation, workshops, and a new civic? Then again, Festivals is arguably just as important in most situations, and Ag is on the way, so maybe it isn't an issue.

    I think I'll give this a try (assuming I can find/change the XML) in my next game (although I am currently running Wildmana, there isn't much difference in the civics except Agrarianism, which I'll change).
     
  17. Emptiness

    Emptiness []

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    Right now, the only way to get unlimited merchants is to run Guilds. Giving unlimited merchants to Mercantilism means you can achieve it sooner (one less mid-level tech needed to be researched), and it means that instead of Guilds you can run Caste System (+1 :science:, +2 :culture: per Specialist), which is a big boost. I think this may be too powerful - especially in the hands of the Sidar or Kuriotates. The increase to +30% :gold: should be enough to make the civic more attractive.
     
  18. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    I hadn't considered lumbermills actually, but it's a useful bonus that under Agrarianism these become favourable over mines. They could provide a useful source of production for agrarianism users, while still being limitted enough (only on forests, and weaker then a non-Ag mine) to make Agararianism weaker in terms of production over all.

    Industry doesn't exist as of yet, so I haven't been able to test it out. But yes it could potentially benefit lumbermills as well.

    That's true, but it needs to be available at an early tech and I can't think of one that fits better. Possibly it could be moved to something like Mathematics? The bonus to building production is a neat idea and I agree that we don't really need to increase unit production with any more civics.

    All of my changes were made using the Excel Editor, it's really easy to do.

    ---

    Also, I would suggest that maybe Conquest should be moved to a different civic group. I rarely use it as it is, but it could be very nice in combination with Agrarianism. Covering its production penalties, and making extra use of its food bonus.
     
  19. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    I don't think the extra 10% gold is enough on its own, and guilds has the benefit of providing unlimitted engineers or sages which are more useful then merchants in most cases. Especially considering that you can only have so much gold in most cases before any extra is simply useless to you.
     
  20. Emptiness

    Emptiness []

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    You should read this thread: Tech freeze strategy?

    Although that's an extreme example (and would switch to 100% :gold: long before Mercantilism was available), eventually any strategy that plans to win the game militarily will reach a point where :science: is of limited use (additional technologies will not have much impact on the success of the strategy, because the technologies important to the strategy have already been researched) and :gold: (for unit support, unit upgrades, or outright unit purchases) is all that matters. This also applies to AotL and ToM victories, since the final stage of each of those is a Wonder which :gold: can be used to rush.
     

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