What should the happiness system achieve? [POLL]

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by BiteInTheMark, Nov 26, 2020.

Tags:
?

What should the happiness system achieve?

  1. Slow down early expansion

    47 vote(s)
    53.4%
  2. Limit/slow down expansion of the empire in general

    48 vote(s)
    54.5%
  3. Reduce/Limit growth of cities

    29 vote(s)
    33.0%
  4. Reduce/Limit the ability to work specialists

    23 vote(s)
    26.1%
  5. Reduce/Limit the ability to be at war (war weariness)

    56 vote(s)
    63.6%
  6. Limit the ability to conquer cities (in short time)

    48 vote(s)
    54.5%
  7. Force effectiveness of citizens (needs)

    23 vote(s)
    26.1%
  8. Force the construction of buildings/infrastructure

    47 vote(s)
    53.4%
  9. Punish losing a war (pillage tiles/trade route)

    33 vote(s)
    37.5%
  10. Give penalties, if negative happiness

    50 vote(s)
    56.8%
  11. Give benefits, if positive happiness

    43 vote(s)
    48.9%
  12. Should be more global (less city individual treatment)

    13 vote(s)
    14.8%
  13. Should be more local (more impact of local situation)

    36 vote(s)
    40.9%
  14. Should harm cause of religious diversity

    20 vote(s)
    22.7%
  15. Should harm cause of ideological pressure

    35 vote(s)
    39.8%
  16. Others (please write a comment)

    4 vote(s)
    4.5%
  17. (added: Harm if yield generation/focus is outbalanced)

    10 vote(s)
    11.4%
  18. (added: shouldnt spawn barbarians)

    9 vote(s)
    10.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Messages:
    2,028
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Germany
    Iam really interested what other people's think what the happiness system should achieve.
    The vanilla system followed two clear targets. Limit expansion and limit growth. VOX POPULI have achieved a lot of balancing over the former base version and fast expansion and growth have now much more downsides than before. Before this mod came into play, expansion and growth was an easy way to win, but this isn't the case anymore. It's now the question, what should the happiness system achieve, if several aspects of the current system are now so well balanced that harming additional with unhappiness seems unnecessary?

    Here some explanations of the points:
    Slow down early expansion

    - happiness system should make it hard or impossible for you to found too many cities peacefully in the early game
    Limit/slow down expansion of the empire in general
    - happiness system should make the control of wider empires more difficult or lead to a maximum amount of cities you directly can control
    Reduce/Limit growth of cities
    - the happiness system should make working larger cities harder independently of other facors
    Reduce/Limit the ability to work specialists
    - using specialists should impact your happiness negatively
    Reduce/Limit the ability to be at war (war weariness)
    - war weariness should not only affect your ability to build units but also decrease your empire happiness
    Limit the ability to conquer cities (in short time)
    - the conquest of cities and/or puppets should have a negative impact on your empire happiness
    Force effectiveness of citizens (needs)
    - your empire should get unhappier, if your citizens earn less than the median or less than the median with modifiers
    Force the construction of buildings/infrastructure
    - Your empire should get unhappier, if you didn't build enough infrastructure in a city or didn't build key buildings
    Punish losing a war (pillage tiles/trade route)
    - effects cause of war should directly harm your empire happiness, this can be pillaged trade routes, pillaged tiles or losing cities etc.
    Give penalties, if negative happiness
    - a city/empire should always gets disadvantages if it gets too unhappy
    Give benefits, if positive happiness
    - a good amount of positive happiness should lead to positive effects to your empire
    Should be more global (less city individual treatment)
    - unhappiness should be collected more or entirely on a global level, so that individual cities didn't get harmed for being "bad" as long other cities/sources can compensate
    Should be more local (more impact of local situation)
    - happiness of cities should get less influenced by global effects and react more on local aspects (like luxuries in city territory, etc.)
    Should harm cause of religious diversity
    - unhappiness should rise, if cities didn't have your religion or too many followers of other religions
    Should harm cause of ideological pressure
    - ideological pressure of other ideologies should negatively influence and harm you for picking the "wrong" ideology or force a swap
    Others (please write a comment)
    - comment if I have forgotten something and maybe add it (it's possible to change your vote)

    Following options were enabled after 26 votes were already done:
    (added: Harm if yield generation/focus is outbalanced)
    (added: shouldnt spawn barbarians)
    The shown percentages have to be adjusted to show the real value (given votes divided by total amount of votes minus 26)
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
  2. InkAxis

    InkAxis King

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2020
    Messages:
    698
    Gender:
    Male
    I think happiness should limit expansion, specialist, and war. And also other minor stuff like ideology pressure, disconnected cities, pillaged tiles, etc. Probably not religious diversity because while it makes sense historically it just feels weird and there are strategies that benefit with multiple religions.

    I think with those goals in mind we can have the current system work. I just think currently it's a little too punishing. The way it would work, is that needs unhappiness would be manageable untill you start over expanding/war/specialist. Then you need to try to build infrastructure or increase yields or get PW. I think for tradition (tall) this works pretty well, people don't complain about it being too OP, it is a little too easy on happiness though. I think the problem is with wide you are at around 50% by default and then fall lower if you overexpand, if you're not over expanding and everything else is fine you should be around 75% if not better. At least that would be my goal.
     
    youngsteve likes this.
  3. glider1

    glider1 Deity

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,905
    Location:
    Where animals hop not run
    Your survey is poorly worded. The topic title says "what is the purpose of the happiness system" and the survey heading is "what should the happiness system achieve?" These are two different questions. Then the options listed do not capture the most important aspect of happiness which is the strategy of internal empire management.
     
  4. 4CV

    4CV Warlord

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    205
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Germany
    I don't think I'd be unhappy if there were no happiness system at all in the game, because
    - lack of any yields is punishing enough in itself (slower growth, less buildings, policies, tecs....)
    - specialists are self limiting because they need food. But if I want the yields, I'll feed them. Why should this make me unhappy, then?
    - I like winning wars rather than lose them, so my happiness depends on the results. No other system needed.
    - if I feel, I should not go to war so often, I just don't do it. That's all.
    - if I want to conquer the world twice a day, eight days a week, why not? It is a game after all, not RL.
    - if I like to settle many many big big cities, and that makes me win the game... I feel fine! No unhappiness system needed to keep me from doing it over and over again, because the fun in it will diminish soon enough. Only endlessly fighting unhappiness could be more boring...
     
  5. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Messages:
    2,028
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Germany
    I changed my mind after I have posted the thread and then couldnt find the option to change the title, but have done it now. :)
    What whould that exactly mean? I think I have integrated each aspect of something you could call "internal empire management" in the poll, separated. There is a need of a clear definition and each point you can vote for stands for a mechanic which is able to generate unhappiness. You are free to vote for each aspect which is in your eyes part of an "internal empire management".
    Fully agree. Punishing something that is alread punishing isnt necessary.
    Someone who fall more and more behind cause his citizen didnt generate enough yields will inevitable fail to win.
    And if specialists are too powerful then simply increase their food consumption, let them eat gold or reduce ther GP generation while removing the unhappiness and you can decrease the overly complex happiness mechanic.
     
    Zuizgond likes this.
  6. smorgasborgas

    smorgasborgas Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2020
    Messages:
    47
    I think it should counteract large population growth, war, yield deficits.

    Increased population --> increased yields.
    This needs a check and unhappiness from overpopulation is a logical friction.

    War --> more production, more yields, crush your enemies see them driven before you etc..
    This needs a check. Dead friends and relatives, ideological opposition leads to unhappiness.
    Destruction of property.
    Personally, I think there should be more specialization in the culture tree. Meaning if you go intellectual or artistic then you should see MORE unhappiness from war. And militaristic policies would still generate art and science but produce much more unhappiness countered by SUCCESS in war, meaning don't start a fight you can't finish. (In general, I think city specialization should be more of a benefit. I end up making all the buildings in all the cities. For example, the majority of the time a city shouldn't need a stadium. But as it is it's almost always beneficial.)

    Yield deficits come from each citizen working, but not producing much. Bad city placement, no yield boosting buildings, or no worker improvements can cause this.
    Seems pretty natural.

    On the other hand, I don't really understand unhappiness from specialists
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
    Kim Dong Un likes this.
  7. JamesNinelives

    JamesNinelives Emperor

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Messages:
    1,659
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Australia
    I think this is a really great poll! Lots of details so we can see some nuance in the subject. Good job @BiteInTheMark.

    Personally I think it should primarily limit expanding too rapidly, conquering too rapidly, and being laser-focused on one victory condition or aspect of the game while neglecting the other factors necessary for a healthy civilization. This means focusing science so much that you can't keep up in terms of production and culture, focusing exclusively on military and conquest, or focusing purely on diplomacy or religion with no army.

    I also want a system that gives me meaningful feedback - that is, one that rewards good play and makes bad play more difficult. I think it's important that the impacts are incremental or graduated though, so that a) you feel it's worth investing in happiness from the start and b) you have fair warning when things are going wrong. Otherwise people are inclined to try to play around the system rather than look for ways to use it to their advantage.

    The ones I voted for are the things that are to my mind at the core of the happiness system:

    *Slow down early expansion*
    *Limit/slow down expansion of the empire in general*
    *Reduce/Limit the ability to be at war (war weariness)*
    *Limit the ability to conquer cities (in short time)
    *
    *Give penalties, if negative happiness*
    *Give benefits, if positive happines*

    I think many of the other aspects can be useful and have a role to play, but they are lower in terms of priority to me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
    vyyt, InkAxis and youngsteve like this.
  8. notaspambot

    notaspambot Warlord

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2020
    Messages:
    121
    I actually like how happiness works at the moment for the most part, but if there was a key purpose I'd attribute to happiness, it'd be acting as the key limiter to snowballing, and to force civs take a breather every now and then to focus on lesser-priority projects to keep the empire stable. I particularly like the idea of needs to force a city to have balanced yields, since it merely shifts the priorities of things that that you would want to do anyway.

    What I don't think happiness should do, however, is force a player to feel like they're constantly pressured to keep up with the mechanic, but I think that's more of a numbers issue than with the system itself (tech speed!). Nor should it encourage death spirals- a reason why I specifically dislike the barbarian spawns. I'm much more ambivalent on the "if your citizens earn less than the median or less than the median with modifiers" part, as I like the idea in concept, but there are simply too few levers to deal with that specific aspect apart from just "doing better".

    The problem with this idea is that successful wars almost always involve taking cities, and that simply razing cities is not at all a viable strategy at the moment due to the bonuses the AI get for doing that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
    vyyt likes this.
  9. andersw

    andersw Emperor

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,210
    Location:
    sweden
    I dont know .... however, if players or AI are free to go as tall or as wide I as they want I very much suspect this will be THE strat.
    I guess that growth just like war need limits and happiness in general is a very practical tool to limit other things (specialists for ex) as well IF they are too good.
    I WANT micromanagement, thats why I like 4x games.
     
  10. Legen

    Legen King

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    Messages:
    866
    As I see, happiness sets the player towards choosing how to balance growth and expansion. This gives a form of internal conflict to solve in the empire, so that you always have something to handle even if you have no enemies.

    It also means another use (the "Others" option), which is to allow for three playstyles: Tall (max growth, min expansion), Wide (min growth, max expansion) and Thick (intermediate growth and expansion).

    This is also part of the vision not just for the happiness system, but also the Social Policies: each of the three eras would have one social policy oriented toward one of the three playstyles. For instance:
    • Tradition as Tall: minimize number of cities, many bonuses to growth, powerful uses for population (specialist, GPTI, culture from opener)
    • Progress as Thick: some food from Fraternity, get 7-8 cities and carefully manage growth outside Capital, less reliant on population
    • Authority as Wide: get as many cities as possible and be rewarded by Imperium, very frequent use of "Avoid Growth", little to no food yields, least reliant on population for yields (benefits from military units instead)
    Medieval and Industrial policies also had this vision, but which tree leaned towards which playstyle varied over time. Either way, Happiness is a main mechanic to make this 3-way playstyle applicable and distinguishable from some years ago.
     
  11. tu_79

    tu_79 Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    7,371
    Location:
    Malaga (Spain)
    When I saw the happiness need system for the first time, I thought that it's main purpose was to prevent players from going too extreme on any playstyle, thus forcing people to not dismiss any mechanic. In vanilla, focusing on techs was enough to win. Here you have to balance where you put your eggs. Oh, you can try focusing on some yields, but you need spare happiness for that. If you expend your happiness expanding too fast, then you can no longer expect to especialize a few of your cities. If you expend it warring too much, you can no longer expect to have a top notch culture.
    In that regard, happiness is limiting the number of actions you can try on the same period, and it's also limiting the time you can keep doing the same thing.

    But then, somehow the scaling turned it into a reward for the civ that was already winning. I think we already fixed this problem, so it mostly works well. It's only a little more complex than anyone would expect for such mechanic.

    PS. Now that I think about this, maybe we could achieve a similar thing with a stress mechanic. The more you keep doing the same thing, the fewer the benefits. For example, if you increased your science yields three times in a row, you would get stress, increasing the cost of research. Doing any other thing would reduce stress. Producing a settler just after another settler would increase stress, making the third settler very expensive. Conquering a city while having another not pacified yet would increase stress. Spending several missionaries, emissaries, using great people of the same type,... We just need to define what is an action that would increase stress, the effect that would counterbalance it and what changes of activities are needed to reduce stress. Aggressive actions could be a way to reduce the stress of focusing on peaceful ones for too long. Acquiring luxuries could be another.
    In a way, it is like applying the law of lowering profits.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
    Nightmare Dusk and Bromar1 like this.
  12. ilteroi

    ilteroi Prince

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Messages:
    389
    i don't really want to get into the fray here but if the main purpose is to prevent "expanding too fast" or "growing too fast" or "warring too much" then wouldn't a "token bucket" approach fit best?

    call the mechanism stability. you have max N tokens. each city you found costs you X. each citizen born, each unit lost, each tech discovered costs you some tokens as well. if you run low on tokens, trouble like eg growth penalties.

    you gain tokens at a certain rate, depending maybe on policies. bucket size maye also change over time. buildings generate tokens, on finish or per turn. etc, lots of possibilitites, but still hopefully simpler to understand and self correcting?

    on the other hand of course this is a major major change ... still one can dream.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2020
    vyyt likes this.
  13. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Messages:
    2,028
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Germany
    That is the median-need mechanic.
    Everyone tries to gain more yields per citizen/city cause it's beneficial, I don't need a happiness system that say that to me. The fact that I am at the bottom of the score and very likely lose the game is a very obvious signal that I am doing something wrong. How does being harmed by unhappiness modifiers cause I don't meet the need requirements help?
    Haha, have you read my comment in Stalkers thread about a modmod for an alternate happiness system? I suggest exactly the same you do. :)
     
    Kim Dong Un and Bromar1 like this.
  14. Casworon

    Casworon Prince

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Messages:
    527
    I`ve not had a chance to play for a while due to being in my exam period. But from the sounds of it people are struggling with the `Thick` strategy. Is it possible to play Thick with high growth if you invest more into Public Works`?
     
  15. looorg

    looorg Prince

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Messages:
    488
    I guess my main issue with it is the wild swings that sometimes happen, having seen the happiness go from 60+ down to 30ish in a turn. Not for things you did but for things that happen in the world. It's hard to plan for such events. But I guess in some regard that is what can make the game interesting.

    The other issue then is that once you get hooked in the (un)happiness spiral it can sometimes be quite hard to get out of it. So it's not so much that it's there but that it's very hard to break out of and once you are in it things tend to spiral out of control with the unhappiness feeding more. If you are unhappy other unhappy-events start to trigger like mad making it even worse. You can counter part of that by not just running the game with events but if you don't then it quickly really starts to suck -- all of you cities tend to get the corruption event, bandits stealing your gold, science failure etc. When it rains it pours. So perhaps it's really the event system?

    So I'm fine in some regard with what the system does and it's goal in its current form (limit growth, expansions and eternal wars). I more see the issue of that it from time to time is extremely hard to break out of.

    I'm not quite sure how it should be fixed, perhaps some kind of positive events that help you break out of it. As far as I know there are none of those or to few in comparison. Only rare and random events that either give a little help or if they fail make it even worse (the hold a speech, let religious leaders pray ...) and then there are the devastating events such as every city gains a pop - one would think that it should help as production would increase but usually needs just grow more and it becomes a sh*tfest.

    Then of cause there are the games where the happiness systems doesn't matter at all and everything is just fine and dandy all game long.
     
  16. BiteInTheMark

    BiteInTheMark Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Messages:
    2,028
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Germany
    Playing thick gets harder in this version cause the tech progress is faster, which gives you less time to construct the necessary buildings. And PW are irrational, cause you need all hammers you can get to finish the buildings, where does the additional hammers for PW should come from?
    Even constructed everything, without a harsh specialist control you get into deep unhappiness.
     
    Kim Dong Un, Drakle and Bromar1 like this.
  17. Bromar1

    Bromar1 King

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2015
    Messages:
    883
    This is what I don't understand. There is almost always a building that can reduce unhappiness by 1, and occasionally can reduce by 2+. Why would I ever want to build PW before core buildings?
     
    vyyt and XSamatan like this.
  18. Legen

    Legen King

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2015
    Messages:
    866
    Very hard without help from certain uniques. The thing is, unhappiness from needs has a more linear increase if you only choose one between growth and expansion, and quadratic if you go for both, while your absolute happiness is relatively the same regardless of your empire size. Your happiness may even be lower in large empires due to having less friendly civs willing to trade luxuries with you as you expand.

    Some civs have more room to do both growth and expansion due to their uniques, but the general rule remains that Thick requires careful management of growth and Wide requires avoiding growth most of the time.
     
  19. Zuizgond

    Zuizgond King

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2016
    Messages:
    640
    Avoiding growth is so frustrating and counter-intuitive for a civilization game. If going wide means avoiding growth that is a really bad design in my opinion.
     
    Delvemor and Drakle like this.
  20. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    8,617
    As late game buildings become hammer expensive, PW becomes very cost efficient
     

Share This Page