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  • Balanced Scenario

    Some friends and I are trying to make a patch/scenario of the game that makes a huge balance/content overhaul of the game. I wanted to get some feedback from the community about the list of changes we're looking at, and what seems to be the worst offenders in terms of balance in the game.

    Bug fixes
    - Write some SLIC script to fix the farm under city/mine under city bug.
    - Took away AC's attack and ranged attack in hopes of putting it in rank 3.

    Balance Changes
    Governments

    Theocracy- The prerequisite was changed from religion to perspective. The science cost of the advance was changed to match perspective's cost. The thought here is that theocracy is just too good. If you take a cursory look at the government explanation work/analysis done by Celestial Dawn you'll see that Theocracy is strictly better than Monarchy (and each require the same advance!) Theocracy is almost strictly better than Republic.

    Democracy- The Democracy Gold Coefficient increased from 1.25 to 1.4. The workday expectation was increased from 8 to 10 hours.
    Democracy is supposed to be a strong science government but its terrible sliders just push wages and rations so high that theocracy is just stronger in science

    Technocracy- Added a martial law happiness bonus of 0.5 for the first 4 units.
    This is a fluff thing. I mean Technocracy not having a martial law bonus just seems ridiculous. Especially if theocracy gets it. (How weird is that).

    Units
    All unit upkeep costs were increased where production costs were increased (to keep upkeep 3% of production)

    Longship - The production cost was dropped from 720 to 700.
    The Ship of the Line is out of line in terms of how good it is. Maybe making the longship cheaper will keep the first person with machine tools in an island game from just running away with the game.

    Ship of the Line- The production cost of the SOL was increased from 855 to 900.
    Beating someone to machine tools can be crushing, turning a small advantage into a huge one. This small increase means that the civ slightly ahead loses perhaps a turn. This gives the behind civ another turn to catch up. This may be a really good place to add another unit. Change the current ship of the line to a 3 assault/3 ranged/3 defense/4 move unit and add an ironclad with its stats of 5 assault/5 ranged/5 defense/3 move, or perhaps remove its ability to transport so many units and instead add another transport ship.

    Nuke - Increased nuke cost from 4,000 to 4,500.
    Everyone seems to ban it because it is so unbalancing. It may be fundamentally unfixable as it can destroy far more production than its worth, its practically its purpose. Perhaps the solution of the other civ games: requiring a wonder before it can be produced is good.

    Mobile SAM - Decreased Mobile SAM cost from 2000 to 1500.
    At least in my games this unit has always been underused, when it could be such a good counter for the nuke. The purpose of this cost decrease isn't just because it is so quickly replaced by the war walker but because the nuke is too good. The availability of a cheap strong counter might bring the nuke into balance

    Space Plane - Increased production cost to 2500 from 2250.
    Another integral unit getting a nerf. Getting a bunch of these quickly is a game ender. Units that break basic game rules (in this case movement) were in general undercosted by the game developers (example: nuke-negates combat, wonders-almost all of them).

    Park Ranger - Increased production cost from 3,750 to 5,000.
    At the point in the game where this is buildable high production cities are able to crank these out alarmingly quickly. 100,000 to make the opposing civilization entirely unplayable is just too cheap.

    Plasmatica - Dropped the cost to 4000 from 4500. Increased the attack and defense of the unit from 15 to 16.
    This unit is a joke. Compared to the space marine which is 24 attack and 20 defense. The production cost is identical to the plasmatica, it has the benefit of being able to attack off of a transport (now that space planes are available this is super awesome). The only concievable advantage that the plasmatica has is that it has 6 movement. But, if you want 6 movement, build a tank for half price. Frankly this unit needs more of a boost than we're thinking about giving it. Is it possible to make it so that the plasmatica gives double martial law bonus? (The fluff on the plasmatica makes it sound as though this would make sense). (How are tanks supposed to enforce law as well as infantry anyway)...(I'd do whatever that lady told me).

    Pikeman - This unit doesn't feel like it has room to breathe as agricultural revolution comes maybe 4 turns before musketeers come rolling out from gunpowder. Then there's a massive wait before machine gunners. This is more of a fluff issue as the unit does get used meleeing for cannons and muskets, but that's just so terribly historically inaccurate.

    Wonders
    Wonders in general need a large increase on their production costs to balance them against other uses for production. The Labyrynth (on high good maps), London exchange and Edison's lab are the worst offenders. Maybe a good idea would be to have all wonders simply have a significant maintainance cost in production or gold if this is possible, though the london exchange may just have to be reworked or removed.

    If anyone has any suggestions or criticism, I'd really love the opportunity to hash some of this out.
    --Higgs

  • #2
    As an aside, do wonders seem fundamentally incapable of being balanced?

    Things like the London exchange (4320) basically trades a stack of musketeers for 500-1000 gold per turn before coefs and marketplaces and such are added. This is basically a full renaissance age advance per turn. This adds another modern age advance once every ten turns effectively. This happens about 3x's as quickly with the theocracy gold coefficient and city improvements included. Is there any amount of cost that makes this reasonable. Maybe the trick would be to convert this into caravans so like 4 caravans bring 4 new goods into each city so (50+40+30+20 (minus the ten you lose in each city it comes from) so 40+30+20+10 = 100 gold) This gold is before the gold coef of the government is applied just like the free gold from maintainance. So we're looking at 20 to 40 caravans equivalent. This means a production cost of about 15,000 to 30,000. This may work out to be really similar because the disadvantage of the caravans is that they require goods to use. The advantage is that they never expire (though they can be pirated) and as they're being built they can be used. So once 7,500 production is pushed into caravans those first ten are out and being used, while the wonder is still building.
    --Higgs

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    • #3
      Decrease the bombard rounds to 5 for everything if you haven't touched any HP values. Likewise decrease ranged combat values, they are way out of line with hp.

      Theocracy, has a lot more than its bonuses going for it, conversions are hands down the nastiest special at that stage in the game. Definately you can tone it down. Mid game think about Communism,Fascism,Democracy. Fascism seems all around good, just starting to show its age when Corporate republic comes and removes all gold related negatives. Communism meanwhile gets a crippling pollution penalty,an even worse gold penalty in exchange for a mere .25 production, and Democracy gets a similarly crippling war weariness penalty. Fascism even has a nice endgame bonus, the Fascist will be buildable by more marginal cities than the other super end game units which cost 5-9x as much and is still a viable unit.

      You're just going to have to remove/rework Edisons. The Labyrinth is more dependant on the map and how close you are to others, but it can definately be a game breaker.
      Last edited by Whoha; June 17, 2010, 23:58.

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      • #4
        I'd be happy just using the apolyton pack mod.
        "

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        • #5
          What's in the apolyton pack mod?
          --Higgs

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Whoha View Post
            Decrease the bombard rounds to 5 for everything if you haven't touched any HP values. Likewise decrease ranged combat values, they are way out of line with hp.
            The ranged combat values have nothing to do with HP. The only thing that matters is the defense values of the units being attacked, you might say that ranged attack values are out of line with defense values. You could perhaps argue that the number of bombard rounds is out of line with HP. But it seems like Leviathan's ought to be able to kill warriors with a bombard.


            Originally posted by Whoha View Post
            Theocracy, has a lot more than its bonuses going for it, conversions are hands down the nastiest special at that stage in the game. Definately you can tone it down.
            One way of toning it down seems like it ought to be moved into the renaissance age. Then there is some nice symmetry that was broken by theocracy:

            Ancient: Monarchy - Republic
            Renaissance: Theocracy - Democracy
            Modern: Communism - Fascism
            Genetic: Ecotopia - Corporate Republic
            Diamond: Technocracy - Virtual Democracy


            Originally posted by Whoha View Post
            Mid game think about Communism,Fascism,Democracy. Fascism seems all around good, just starting to show its age when Corporate republic comes and removes all gold related negatives. Communism meanwhile gets a crippling pollution penalty,an even worse gold penalty in exchange for a mere .25 production,
            The gold penalty is actually that bad for communism, it only loses .25 gold relative to theocracy and fascism. Pollution is really harsh on communism, but being able to produce 20% more units than other governments is just really really strong. (Edit: Communism is actually better than I thought. It gets .5 over theocracy and .25 over fascism. Having communism when your opponent is in theocracy means building 40% more units. This doesn't even include that Communism has a 70 city cap rather than 40. Also, Fascism has the same gold as communism. Relative to a fascist government communism only makes 16% more units, but has slightly slower science. Fascism shows up later than communism, and sometimes waiting for it will lose you the game. In a game where one guy has communism and the other has fascism, the fascist will crush.)

            Originally posted by Whoha View Post
            and Democracy gets a similarly crippling war weariness penalty. Fascism even has a nice endgame bonus, the Fascist will be buildable by more marginal cities than the other super end game units which cost 5-9x as much and is still a viable unit.
            Democracy just sucks. Not being able to send units to opposing nations, when the game in 1v1 revolves around sending huge masses of units to conquer the bad guys is just bad. If its sliders were improved perhaps it could be used when behind to catch up in science and fortify in one's cities.

            The Fascist is just crazy, its cheap, hits like a tank and often shows up before explosives are researched (which give the machine gunner with 1/2 the attack power). It probably wouldn't be used less even if you toned down the marine to 10/0/8 and the fascist to 12/0/8, and gave Fascism explosives as an advance requirement in place of electrification.

            Originally posted by Whoha View Post
            You're just going to have to remove/rework Edisons. The Labyrinth is more dependent on the map and how close you are to others, but it can definitely be a game breaker.
            What about London's exchange?
            Last edited by JohnGalt137; June 18, 2010, 15:16.
            --Higgs

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JohnGalt137 View Post
              The ranged combat values have nothing to do with HP. The only thing that matters is the defense values of the units being attacked, you might say that ranged attack values are out of line with defense values. You could perhaps argue that the number of bombard rounds is out of line with HP. But it seems like Leviathan's ought to be able to kill warriors with a bombard.
              Ranged combat values don't directly have anything to do with HP, but the Number of Ranged combat rolls is excessive for the HP value, much like the bombard issue. I was playing a small diety game where I was successfully fighting off Fusion Tanks, Star Fighters, and Plasma Destroyers with cannons(screwed up handling emancipation ). If they attacked they died to the back row cannons(20-40 ranged combat rolls and only 5 need to hit to get a kill). If they park the unit in range of mine, 40-90 bombard rolls and only 5 need to hit to get a kill.

              Honestly the problem isn't Leviathan vs Warrior, just up the Leviathan's firepower and it will increase both its ranged and bombard lethality. The problem is 3 Destroyers having an even odds shot at killing a Leviathan.

              Unit Hitpoint, Firepower, ranged combat, and bombard rules are probably a more involving problem than what you are trying to solve however.


              I like what you did with Theocracy, seems good though play testing will ultimately determine that.

              Relative to a fascist government communism only makes 16% more units, but has slightly slower science. Fascism shows up later than communism, and sometimes waiting for it will lose you the game. In a game where one guy has communism and the other has fascism, the fascist will crush.)
              I lift my complaint about the gold rate, still the pollution is killer. 16% more units ignores the extra happiness buildings you'll need, or the productive mines that get dead tiled, or the fact that you have to ignore airports and oil refineries whereas a fascist can afford to push pollution a little bit for both his trade cities and production cities. Also fascists get 2x as good military police.

              Drop the communist pollution factor to 2 since they get only 1/2 as much unhappiness from pollution and it probably evens up.

              Democracy just sucks. Not being able to send units to opposing nations, when the game in 1v1 revolves around sending huge masses of units to conquer the bad guys is just bad. If its sliders were improved perhaps it could be used when behind to catch up in science and fortify in one's cities.
              Democracy certainly doesn't belong in a multiplayer environment as is.

              The Fascist is just crazy, its cheap, hits like a tank and often shows up before explosives are researched (which give the machine gunner with 1/2 the attack power). It probably wouldn't be used less even if you toned down the marine to 10/0/8 and the fascist to 12/0/8, and gave Fascism explosives as an advance requirement in place of electrification.
              You probably shouldn't move Fascism to explosives. From railroad you go Electricity, electrification Fascism, or Oil Refining, Mass Production/explosives. So Fascism appears at the same level on the tech tree as marines, destroyers, artillery, machine gunners and terraform hill.

              The explosives part of the tech tree is already very valuable.

              What about London's exchange?
              I have nothing special to add about London Exchange, it probably is broken, just not as broken as Labyrinth/Edisons.

              Also the Downloads section for CTP 1:
              http://www.apolyton.net/downloads/li...to-power-i-400

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JohnGalt137 View Post
                What's in the apolyton pack mod?
                Its basically the celestial dawn mod + some goodies.
                "

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                • #9
                  I've looked a little bit at the celestial dawn mod and can't find a detailed explanation. Just off the cuff I noticed that theocracy took a hit to its gold and so did republic (what was republic too good?) Across the board all of the governments took a hit to their city cap. This I confess that I don't understand. One of the distinguishing features between CTP and Civ 4 is the fact that in Call to power the game is very much about controlling large empires. Is there any explanation of the celestial dawn mod?
                  --Higgs

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                  • #10
                    Download the apolyton pack and look at cdanalysisv2.0.xls in the readme folder. It gives a detailed explanation for all of the changes.
                    "

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                    • #11
                      So I took a look at it. The explanation of the unit changes isn't too terribly in depth. It some really interesting stuff. It seems to me though that he got some things very wrong. For example in his discussion of nukes, he adds a new class to make it impossible for air defense to take them down. He claims that this won't make nukes too good as they already have a significant amount of disadvantages.

                      Nukes are too good. They are so good that people routinely ban their use from ladder games because their presence warps the way the game functions entirely. The unit is flatly unbalanced.

                      The changes to science seem unnecessary. Science buildings are a critical part of low goods games. He rebalanced these buildings on what seems to be the basis that the user not use scientists, when the primary benefit of these buildings is with science.
                      The changes to trade seems sensible, as it seems to be what is primarily the problem with the gold vs science problem.
                      --Higgs

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                      • #12
                        This is the version of Civ I'm currently using (the one outlined in the first post).
                        --Higgs

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