Yield value discussion (food vs others)

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Tomice, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    I was inspired to create this thread by this posting:

    I don't have elaborate numbers to confirm or dismiss this statement, but there seems to be an issue if basic improvements can outperform a GP improvement - even if farms only feel stronger (and actually aren't), it sure is worth a discussion.



    Generally, I've seen most people agree that food is the most important yield in this mod.

    The difference compared to vanilla comes mostly from the new happiness system. Happiness was a somewhat more limited value in vanilla. At one point you would have access to most luxuries on the map and have built all happiness buildings. In practical terms, this point came sooner rather than later.
    In CBP, a well-managed large city has only very little unhappiness, most unhappiness comes from underdeveloped, newly founded or conquered cities. Unhappiness is a temporary nuisance in many cases.

    This means: as long as you continuously build unhappiness-lowering buildings, food is always good. It means more population, more science, more worked tiles, more specialists, more yields, more military -> used to then acquire even more of each. It's the great loop of CBP - how much population growth can you manage before things get out of hand? (*)

    This also means that over the course of the game, production and science are the most important secondary resources. Production fulfills the happiness needs of your citizens, while also providing military units, defense, workers, settlers, ... - even diplomatic relations! (when using the whole package including CSD mod).
    Science is needed to always have something useful to produce, to unlock certain game mechanics/victory conditions and to keep your army from outdating.

    Culture and faith are in an odd position. They are maybe the most important things to get during the first few turns, but rapidly drop in importance. A single point of culture or faith is significantly more valuable than food or production early on, but this changes pretty soon.

    Gold is something you need, too, but there's never a doubt that it's the least valuable yield per unit.

    Tourism is too special to comment at this point IMO.




    (*) Of course, a city will eventually reach the point where you neither have good tiles nor specialist slots left, but at that point you've probably won - or you've placed your guilds badly :D
     
  2. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    This leads me to a few possible problems I wanted to start a discussion about:

    - Academies seem to be inferior to bulbing in any situation after the very early game.
    First of all, while I haven't done extensive research, I think bulbing often gives you more science that the academy could produce in 1000 turns - it's clear that there can't be a payoff. Not to mention that immediate science is more valuable due to the snowball effect (e.g. if it helps you to get a wonder or unlock a science building faster)
    I'd love if people would share some numbers and pay attention how much science bulbing gives compared to academy yields.

    - Lategame policies seem to unlock rather sparsely even in culture-focused empires

    - Immediate culture from great writer seems way more valuable than creating a great work of writing

    - Is managing happiness in large, developed cities hard enough?
     
  3. Natura

    Natura Warlord

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    Good topic. In my most recent playthrough I did what I don't normally do and took the specialists off in my cities. To my astonishment I surged ahead far more quickly than I otherwise would have. And this was with a Tradition opener and Mastery which should have prioritized specialists. Instead I found exactly what you have noted: specialists were a detriment, especially in late-game when newly founded cities would immediately put all available citizens into specialists before working any tiles.

    I haven't been making great works of writing since 3 or so playthroughs ago. I find bulbing them just far more worthwhile. And two of those games were Tourism victories. I just haven't found the payoff from Great Works of writing to be worthwhile.
     
  4. Wodhann

    Wodhann South American Norse God

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    This is a vibe I've been getting too. All I see in the strategy-guide threads is people saying how you should focus on food above all else. I mean food should be important but it's getting somewhat out of hand.

    It's hard to think of a happiness-related solution to this though, because the new happiness system isn't linear and cut and dry like the vanilla one. In fact it's worth noting that the new happiness system was built this way precisely to break a bit from the close association of happiness and population and more towards scope of management. Therefore, you won't do much to "nerf food" and you might end up breaking the fine balance happiness system is under right now. And buffing other things won't solve the problem.

    We might need a more clever solution for this (of which I can't think of right now).
     
  5. Der_Zorn_gottes

    Der_Zorn_gottes King

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    As a rule of thumb, I work tiles that produce culture first. Culture is the hardest yield to get (or, to be more precise, it has the fewest sources).
    After that, rather than having a tier system for the different yields, I will work the highest gross.
    So I will work a tile with 10:c5science: and 2 :c5food: over a 8 :c5food: tile.

    Faith is something that needs no special consideration - if you can get faith from tiles, it will be improved resource tiles, which will be the strongest anyway.

    As for Academies: I settle usually the first three or four. After that, it is clear that there is not enough time for it to pay for itself. Also, I am running out of places where it doesn't interfere with farm clusters, villages on roads ect.
    But I wouldn`t want to miss those early academies. CPC has done a very good Job already in making the more attractive by ending the GS hoarding nonsense.
     
  6. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Agreed, I do like the system a lot. I do like how wide and tall are both viable.
    It's more of a tuning issue than a general problem with the system as a whole.

    I'm also not against food being the most important yield, it just shouldn't get "out of hand", as you said.

    And let my clarify that I consider the balance in CBP much better than vanilla in general.
     
  7. hokath

    hokath King

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    To me the problem is this
    There should be a gentle tweak to the high end. Newly founded cities want to see those small yield buildings to deal with their unhappiness issues, but larger cities seem to be able to offset them just by virtue of their population raking in more yields.
     
  8. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    This leads me to another question: despite all of its glory, this mod hasn't introduced the most missing feature in civ5: health! Was it ever discussed? It could solve the issue of near-infinite tall growth with the new happiness system (and open a dozen cans of worms :D)
     
  9. PurpleMentat

    PurpleMentat Videographer

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    IMO, the part that makes population growth, and consequently food, overwhelming important is the way most of your civ-wide yields (Science, Culture, Gold) are directly tied to population early on by bonus buildings. Getting Markets, Libraries, and Guilds rolling ASAP is very important to the smooth snowball. You're getting a coin and a beaker per four citizens. Further, specialists are a lot more powerful in CBP, and require far more food. Every city wants to be large and diversified as a result.

    In vanilla, you can create low population focused cities. Get an Observatory city with 12 population and a few Academies and it will be half of your empire's Science output. CBP intentionally moves away from that by removing percentile yield bonuses. The side effect: population bonuses overwhelm.

    The only idea I have for fixing it would be moving away from the buildings that give bonuses per population, and rebalancing costs around not having them. That's quite a task, and still leaves the very powerful and food expensive specialists.
     
  10. crdvis16

    crdvis16 Emperor

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    The current situation of academies being pretty decent early game and bulbs being better late game isn't so bad. That's the kind of balance you want I would think. The fact that later game an academy is weaker than a 4 or 5 food farm is a problem, so maybe mechanics should be put into place to buff academies further in late game? Maybe add to research labs "Double science yield from academies" thereby rewarding players who chose to put down academies rather than bulb from the start?
     
  11. tompliss

    tompliss Warlord

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    I think "double" is clearly too much.
    I know I use an early academy on a new city to avoid Illiteracy problems, but that is quite rare (because once you build a library, a small city doesn't have problems)...
    I think the library could use a boost too, yeah.
     
  12. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    Even with not as much experience as some people the statement in OP that you should work a farm over an academy is just flat out wrong.

    Academies vs Bulbing is as much a problem as in the base game, probably even more so due to less multipliers and if I remember correctly bulbs are 10 turns worth now ? You have the exact same problem with writers (even more so I'd say).
    Bulbing (science or culture) also scales with empire size (because culture and science do) while the other option doesn't.
    I'm not sure what the solution could be.

    I don't really see the problem with growth being the top yield. You'll still work a mine to be able to build something, work towns to manage happiness/gold and specialists for happiness/GPP.
     
  13. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Well, here's a thought. We could take away the per-population bonuses on a few buildings, especially early ones, and replace them with flat yields. It'll encourage a little bit of REX gameplay early on, but then you'd get to a point in the mid game where the per pop values start to take over.

    May be a band-aid on the issue though. Not sure. I personally don't see the emphasis on food as being a huge problem, as food is- historically- the biggest deciding factor in how human civilizations develop. (Side note: when I teach the Industrial Revolution, I discuss it in the context of a 'calorie revolution'. See also the concept of the Great Divergence and the High-Level Equilibrium Trap.)

    Here's another insane idea: remove the 1 science per citizen base value. I know! I know. But think of the options!

    G
     
  14. Strigvir

    Strigvir Emperor

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    Then the flat science needed to be added on some ancient era buildings, otherwise an early game will turn into beeline to Libraries/pick Progress/luck on Ruins.
     
  15. Mitch.sp

    Mitch.sp Warlord

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    And what about shift the bulk of science from pop to specialists, buildings and GP improvements as time goes?
    For example in the line Science per pop= 1-(Age-1)/10 to decrease 10% per age since Medieval

    This way the early game doesn't change but progressively we achieve the desired effect.

    EDIT
    and thinking more about this:

    buildings that provide yields per pop also provide specialists slot, so maybe we can drop that part and give either more slots with actual specialist values or increase yields and food consumption of them.

    Now with increasingly reduced science per pop and not percentual yields per number of pop their main use would be to provide the food and hammer that allow the specialist infrastructure to run.
     
  16. PurpleMentat

    PurpleMentat Videographer

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    I like the idea of removing the science base value. It's a pretty radical, ground-up redesign, but I really like the options it opens up. Palace could give some science. Maybe it increases with number of techs researched, so you have a natural ramping up. Science tile yields become important. Probably need to poke at tiles to include more science at that point. Balancing of research costs can be made knowing that population will play a role, but not until later. Maybe give the Library a second Scientist and move the science per pop to University?

    Looking at the late Classical game I'm in now, my science would be cut to a quarter what it is. An Academy's 7 science is a lot more valuable when I'm producing 37 than when I'm producing 140. Library and Progress would definitely need to be adjusted, and some source of Ancient science added. I'd suggest the shrine, herbalist, and barracks. That, or the tech tree could be juggled. Writing could take the place of Calendar, Calendar goes where Mathematics is, and Mathematics moves to where Writing is, as a quick and badly though out idea. Probably just need to rework the late ancient and early classical techs as a whole.

    If this is something you're serious about, I'm game to start tackling some numbers. I don't want to launch on an hours long project for a joke suggestion though :p
     
  17. Funak

    Funak Deity

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    Honestly, the problem here is that Science as a yield is just way to varying in power, making the Academy feel really unreliable. If you expand more than once or twice, your science output from cities and your science-costs will have increased so much that Academies just won't be worth it.

    This coupled with the fact that most people seems to want to play completely over-sized maps with way too much expansion-space (like communitas) and/or go on a conquering spree leads to situations where most of the flat science gained from academies, UAs and whatelse is going to be worthless.

    I think the key here would be making academies more useful by adding something to them that's actually at least locally useful in a large empire.



    I think I might be partially responsible for this as it is somewhat reminiscent of what I've been preaching.
    The main problem here isn't about food being so good that you don't want to work anything else, it is the fact that with the way food works, if you want to grow, you're usually better of cutting all other yields in favor of more food. It is however even more important to know exactly when you're supposed to cut all food in a city in favor of focusing production, which is pretty much the yield you want in the end.
    City-management isn't so much "Work all the food, all the time" as it is "Try to get away with growing your cities as much as possible".
    Excess food generated in cities does absolutely nothing to help you up until the turn after your city grows a pop. I guess in a way production works about the same way, and when you're producing buildings that increase your growth, exactly the same way.

    I'm not really in agreement with your priority-list of Food>Production=Science, imho Production is pretty much the go-to yield for everything with usually gold or culture as the secondary. Being behind in Science is usually a good thing at least in the early to mid-game, it gives you a bunch of free science from your trade-routes. Culture can be used for policies, which are still extremely powerful. Gold can be used for pretty much everything, behind on tech? Research-agreement. Behind on your army? Buy one.
    Even when you're not behind on anything, gold can effectively reduce the build-time of buildings by a bunch, pretty much translating into production. Less production needed means getting your infrastructure up faster and can go back to growing or building an army faster. It also allows you to keep upgrading your army rather than replacing it every era, making it extremely versatile.


    Now I ran out of time to comment on this, but I'll resume when I have some time later on.
     
  18. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch Supporter

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    I am serious about it, yep. It's liberating, and really the last vestige of the weird population model of vanilla civ. Shifting the science bonus to tiles, other buildings, and specialists feels like a more natural and exciting system.

    G
     
  19. Dallandra

    Dallandra Chieftain

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    I don't think removing base science from pop is a good idea.
    From personal experience, unless there's one isolated AI that can just claim a massive area for itself, around midgame I outpace them in science every single time, no matter how few cities I have. The only time the AI has any chance to get a technological advantage is early on, when they settle like crazy while I grab as many ancient era wonders as I can. And the only reason I can see why that happens is because of their higher base science from their massively higher population.
    Now of course that is just a playstyle thing, but I think that highlights the problem even more. If a playstyle that is, from what I've read over the last few months here, highly suboptimal since the mod encourages settling more cities even in areas that don't give access to, say, more luxury or strategic resources, then, as much as I like playing like that, it shouldn't be encouraged by removing one of the reasons WHY it's suboptimal.

    The only real problem there is with science is that there is no use at all to putting down an academy at any point in time past the very early ancient era. Just popping a scientist gives way more science total that working an academy for hundreds of turns. And if you do do that, the gains over popping it are minimal.

    This is honestly not something that CAN be fixed without completely overhauling how science is generated from the ground up. Simply removing passive scaling (either early on from the first few buildings or in general by removing science from pop) is definitely not the way to go though.


    In a similar vein, the only GP improvements I actually use are town (and those only on tundras or over plantations) and holy sites. Engineers are much more useful for instant building wonders, the production bonus from a manufactory feels insignificant in comparison, just like the scientists problem we have at hand.
     
  20. Gokudo01

    Gokudo01 Emperor

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    I don't understand how we went from academies/GW are not in a great spot to "We must change how we generate science in cbp"

    Yes we want more strategies to be viable but let's be realistic : there never was any system where 1 science = 1 food or 1 production = 1 gold in any game where everybody plays with the same rules.

    In Endless legend, Broken lord and The Forgotten have got an increasing interest in dust ( gold ) but not because gold vs production is a choice but because they has a big bias toward gold ( BL can buy "population" with gold and The Forgotten can only "buy" science instead of searching)

    It gives you the illusion that you got the choice but food + production are still the alpha and the omega of any 4X games for one reason : Buildings and techs don't come from the sky, you have to earn/build them. As long as you are in the 4x, they will almost be the strongest yield over the course of the game.

    Back to our subject, The change to science generate is bound to the happiness change.
    In vanilla game, you are not only asking yourself "how to get more" but "how can I get the most of my limited resources (happiness) "

    Academies are great because they offer you a lot on this specific context : You want to grow but not too fast to avoid unhappiness.

    But with CBP, your growth is only limited by your production because production is the main factor to manage unhappiness with culture(policies). Lucky for us, production helps to generate culture.
    And population is the biggest factor to generate production and culture (after the early game for culture)

    So the happiness system push you to get always more population until your building and specialist can't handle the unhappiness generate per the population.
    The happiness system is the source of this "issue". So unless you want to remake another happiness system, any other solution will be a band aid which won't solve this fundamental problem.

    Conclusion : there is no issue but there is a design choice. Academies and GW are in a rough spot at the moment but they have already got some niches.
    Buff them a little, improve their attractiveness for those niche and it should be fine.

    on the other hand, changing how you generate yields ( culture and science ) in order to solve a side issue will only bring more problems on the table.

    Wide vs Tall
    Policies balancing
    civilization balancing
    etc etc ...

    ps :If you change scaling value per pop to flat, you just made production stronger and you have to change the illiteracy threshold but it wont change the fact that food will still be stronger because you will need population to work those mines and lumber mill to get those building out.
    If you remove the base science from population, you are just forcing people into writing, reducing our choice when you want in reality to increase it.
    People have to understand that academies were viable in vanilla because we were playing with 4 - 5 cities.
     

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