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Very unpleasant experience playing Civ V

mastrude

Paraclete of Kaborka
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Oct 9, 2006
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Santa Cruz, ca
A couple of times recently I’ve had a game go to horsehocky. I don’t know why. I adopted the Freedom branch, going for a science victory, and was leading. Unexpectedly my unhappiness shot above 10, and even went to 25 at one point. I had just built five stadia to fix mild unhappiness. All that was lost.
A number of other civs had adopted Order. Could this have swayed my people?
I quit my game. I could no longer win. Any ideas?
 
A number of other civs had adopted Order. Could this have swayed my people?
Yes. Ideological pressure can easily crash your happiness -- even from one turn to the next. All it takes is one Civ that has a lot of wonders, and therefore a lot of tourism, to adopt a different ideology, and your happiness can go from positive to negative at the end of the turn. The only defence against this (in my experience) is to take ideological tenets that provide extra happiness. When I play I expect that I will come under severe ideological pressure in the later phase of the game, so I tend to take happiness tenets as soon as I get an ideology to buffer against that pressure when other Civs choose ideologies. It has been quite rare for me to find that other Civs with plenty of tourism have taken the same ideology as me, so I normally suffer a huge hit.
 
Yeah, Unhappiness is brutal in Civ 5. Take all the happiness policies and tenets you can if happiness is an issue.

In addition to what mbbcam said about ideological pressure - if there are any AI with the same Ideology as you, they can help negate the bad ideological pressure. For the civs with the same ideology make sure you: trade open borders (or even give it to them if they won't trade) and get a trade route with them; this increases their tourism against you which for every level of influence, it cancels a level of influence that a civ with a differing ideology has against you.
 
Thanks very much to both of you. To you or anybody, do we know how the happiness algorithm works?
 
I have never bothered to research the algorithm, but any article that deals with tourism and cultural victory should tell you something about that aspect of the mechanism. This guide might help:

https://forums.civfanatics.com/resources/cultural-victory-and-tourism-bnw.25612/

One of the reasons why I often take Commerce is that it provides a lot of happiness if you can complete it. If you are coastal, you can also get happiness from Exploration, though I haven't tried that myself. CS alliances can also help. In fact, some players say that diplomacy and CS alliances are some of the most important factors in the game.

I don't know if it is part of the Enhanced User Interface mod (I haven't played with the standard interface for years) but if I hover over the happiness icon in the menu bar, I get a breakdown of where happiness and unhappiness are coming from.
 
A couple of times recently I’ve had a game go to horsehocky. I don’t know why. I adopted the Freedom branch, going for a science victory, and was leading. Unexpectedly my unhappiness shot above 10, and even went to 25 at one point. I had just built five stadia to fix mild unhappiness. All that was lost.
A number of other civs had adopted Order. Could this have swayed my people?
I quit my game. I could no longer win. Any ideas?
You got basic answers. Other tips include:
1. Asceticism as Follower Belief
2. Neuschwanstein, which means found a city within 2 tiles of a mountain. AI rarely go for this wonder.
3. I could be wrong about this but I think ideological pressure depends a lot on general dominance, like number of cities and Demographics tab. I noticed that even if I'm the only one with Freedom, my ideology negative decreases as my civ grows in influence in general, even without major culture or tourism gains.

As noted in the explanatory video, you can still have positive happiness with a negative ideology (penalty). The real point where I consider quitting is if I get to Revolutionary Wave and an entire city joins a neighboring civ. Rare, but I've gotten stuck there.
 
Another way of fixing this is to choose the same ideology as the nation with the highest tourism... it can mean missing out on picking up two free policies, but this can be worth it in the long run if you are behind on culture. Being the only nation with, say, Freedom, and being surrounded by others can be a nightmare.
 
Freedom can be tough. I've bailed out and switched ideology a couple times. Plan ahead: strong city close to mountain for Neuschwanstein!
 
A couple of times recently I’ve had a game go to horsehocky. I don’t know why. I adopted the Freedom branch, going for a science victory, and was leading. Unexpectedly my unhappiness shot above 10, and even went to 25 at one point. I had just built five stadia to fix mild unhappiness. All that was lost.
A number of other civs had adopted Order. Could this have swayed my people?
I quit my game. I could no longer win. Any ideas?
Commerce is, IMO, secretly the best tree. If you fill out Commerce you cannot be unhappy.
For SV, I would typically do either Tradition or Liberty (whichever is best to grab the available space). For 3 cities or less, Trad is definitely better. 4-5 they are almost equal. 6 or more Liberty is much better.
As a 2nd tree, I would then do Commerce, focus on Cultural CS and as long as you have the Rationalism opener and Secularism, the rest can wait until late game.

TLDR: Commerce, Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, Forbidden Palace = cannot be unhappy
 
Thanks for the tip on full Commerce tree. I think opening Tradition at the outset is a no brainer -- you get a bonus in Culture that makes subsquent Policies come faster in the early game. I usually fill Liberty first to get a free Great Scientist plus extra happiness from linking all my cities via roads.

Rationalism is often neglected by AI, so if you open it you have a good chance to get Porcelain Tower and another GS free.

As noted in other threads, AI (nearly?) always ignore Neuschwanstein so plan a city close to a mountain and move research toward Railroad if you're getting stuck on unhappiness. AI do like Notre Dame and Forbidden Palace so those can be hard to achieve.

Also Asceticism gives you happiness as a Follower Belief in your Religion.
 
Lots of good advice above on how to mitigate the problem, but IMO the best solution is to avoid the problem entirely. In games where there is a clear tourism leader, or where you're already heavily influenced before reaching ideology, just delay your ideological choice and follow the leader's lead. Yes, you'll get one fewer social policy, but what good is one extra policy if you have to spend two or more policies (or build entire wonders) just to compensate for ideological unhappiness? One way of thinking about it is that there's a hidden social policy named "Matching the Culture Leader's Ideology" that gives 2-3x as much happiness as any other policy on the tree.
 
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