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Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby morphles » Thu May 15, 2014 7:49 am

Again I agree what you say about musketeers (that doubling of hitpoints seems seriously OP, they seem to be quite a big jump compared to other upgrades, and this also basically forces you to go for them). This was a problem for me in default freeciv and my solution was to increase the cost of industrial units, and to reduce the costs of ancients units (so the attack/cost or defense/cost increases slowly with time). This way, gunpowder gives you a powerful unit, but there is no so much hurry because it is expensive and it obsoletes all other cheap units, as well as barracks.
I agree it is not good idea to try to conquer with ancient units, cities defended by fireguns, but I find it realistic, and I tried to make it possible to defend your cities with ancient units even against riflemen and cannons (as native indians of america against european).
If I understand, you agree about the problem, but you would have liked a different solution where musketers are cheaper and less powerful, but I think current values of those units are overall balanced. Doesn't it?

Well, as I said in some other posts realism argument is not persuasive to me. Second early firearms were kinda shit, I do not think that for city defense they provided much advantage over crossbows (some of crossbows are sickly powerful, while most likely muskets had quite limited accuracy [no bore simple balls, widening firing end]).

While I need more experience with how things are, but so fat it seems that musketeers are too powerful (similar for other units with increased hp). As for obsolescence of barracks, well I personally almost never build them and see them as highly marginal (if units were not supported "per city" then maybe it could make more sense, but even then. On the other hand I might be underestimating them) thing so I do not think that offsets anything.

As for cost, well I don't know how you figure that musketeers have higher cost. Musketeer A:3,D:3,M:1,HP:20,Shields:40, Swordsmen A:4,D:2,M:1,HP:10,Shields:40. Only two things change, point goes from attack to defense, and doubling of HP. So there is tremendous increase in power with no difference in cost. Similar with Catapult, though on flat land catapult attacking musketeers should be able to win fairly easily by my calculations, not so for cities or mountain fortresses (mountain fortress are insanely powerful), pop there a hardened musketeer and taking it will probably require sacrifice of at least 3 canons. Though dunno thats not necessarily bad. Anyways doubling of hit-points seems imbalanced, as I said maybe something like 15 HP would be better. I'm also against increasing costs further, 40 shields is sickly expensive anyways. Swordsmen come pretty damn early, and to have enough production to reasonably make them seems 'unreasonably difficult'.

And again obsolescence of old units seems very bad to me. Yeah now that musketeers are so OP there is little point in building anything older. But again as I said previously it makes game incredibly bland. There are no cheap units (warriors), no attack units (archers/swordsmen), no defense units (phlanx/pikemen), realistically there are no fast attack units ether (horsemen/elephants), as win chance agains musketeers is just so pitiful (personal experience: musketeer on plains [so no def bonuses], attack with two horsemen, one of them hardened, musketeer has half hit-points left after that [well it was somewhat lucky I guess but still], and thats on plains, if it were on rougher terrain one would probably need something like 5 horses for 1 musketeer, if not 6, basically 3x the cost [and in between attacks musketeers would probably level up]!).
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby morphles » Thu May 15, 2014 2:02 pm

I also have certain, probably quite controversial, outlook about certain things. Namely "no bribe" and "no incite" government specials, in that I think that they should never ever be used. Such free defense only makes game more passive. Want to defend from spies/diplomats? Build spies diplomats. (and bribe can be defended with nothing at all, just stack units). But thats just my pet peeve that I think applies to all/most Civ games. Similarly I do not agree with limit of number of times tech can be stolen from city (whit it seems is absolute total of 1, irrespective of who does stealing if city changed owners, city can have tech stolen just once [correct me if I'm wrong]), again if there is need for defense, build the damn defense yourself (btw I know that ruleset authors can't change this currently).

As for matters you are more likely to changes: distance based corruption should be eliminated, as again it impacts game in what I consider very bad way, by , in essence, restricting players mobility. One can forget colonies. Another very bad property of this silly rule is that game is very strongly affected by map size (and with that number of players). While on smaller map losses in colonies can be bearable, on larger maps they become outrageously ridiculous. In one game I have a distant colony. City has courthouse and gets 17 trade, of which 15 (!) is lost to corruption, also 4 of 18 food is lost and 4 of 10 shields. Thats just outrageous basically you are limited to the neighborhood of your capital, and amount of space depends very much on map (maybe you are on isthmus with little land) and number of players around you. Also establishing distant military bases (which is quite interesting and fun strategy) is very restrictive, and you must pour ton of resource to make city even sustainable. IIRC when I founded city, near wheat, it had 0 food income until I built courthouse. In short this rule limits possibilities very strongly while adding basically nothing. If anyone mentions realism, two words: British Empire.
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby bardo » Thu May 15, 2014 6:53 pm

I appreciate your constructive criticism and I'll try to take into account it for future versions.

morphles wrote:As for cost, well I don't know how you figure that musketeers have higher cost. Musketeer A:3,D:3,M:1,HP:20,Shields:40, Swordsmen A:4,D:2,M:1,HP:10,Shields:40. Only two things change, point goes from attack to defense, and doubling of HP. So there is tremendous increase in power with no difference in cost. Similar with Catapult, though on flat land catapult attacking musketeers should be able to win fairly easily by my calculations, not so for cities or mountain fortresses (mountain fortress are insanely powerful), pop there a hardened musketeer and taking it will probably require sacrifice of at least 3 canons. Though dunno thats not necessarily bad. Anyways doubling of hit-points seems imbalanced, as I said maybe something like 15 HP would be better. I'm also against increasing costs further, 40 shields is sickly expensive anyways. Swordsmen come pretty damn early, and to have enough production to reasonably make them seems 'unreasonably difficult'.

I meant that I increased the cost of musketers compared to default rules. The reduction of ancient unit costs was done in the latest versions of this ruleset, but I think they are not being used in greatturn yet. I also noticed this uneven comparison between musketers and swordmen, and I decided some time ago to rebalance them a bit:
- Reduced defense of Archers to 1 and cost to 20. Reduced cost of Legion to 30. Increased attack of Chariot to 4, attack of Elephant to 3, and defense of Knights to 3.

I see your point about musketers being much more powerful than other units and the suden reduction of available tactics, I just say that it is even worse with default rules, and I think it is not easy to try to improve it unless you change massively the stats of many units or you introduce new units. I personally like the current stats because I find it realistic that gunpowder makes all other units obsolete and restricts for some time the available tactics. I find it enjoyable that some unit roles are not available at certain ages, and I like when civ games forces you to change your battle tactics while time progress, in a similar way that it happened in real history.

morphles wrote:I also have certain, probably quite controversial, outlook about certain things. Namely "no bribe" and "no incite" government specials, in that I think that they should never ever be used. Such free defense only makes game more passive. Want to defend from spies/diplomats? Build spies diplomats. (and bribe can be defended with nothing at all, just stack units). But thats just my pet peeve that I think applies to all/most Civ games. Similarly I do not agree with limit of number of times tech can be stolen from city (whit it seems is absolute total of 1, irrespective of who does stealing if city changed owners, city can have tech stolen just once [correct me if I'm wrong]), again if there is need for defense, build the damn defense yourself (btw I know that ruleset authors can't change this currently).

This is supposed to force players to use different tactics against different enemies. No incite and no bribe are features used by default freeciv to differentiate governments and I think they make sense.
I could say the same about corruption by distance, it is supposed to differentiate governments. Some governments are supposed to be more effective for small countries, like democracy, but uses to fail for large colonial empires. While there are 2 available governments in game, federation and comunism, that do not cause any corruption by distance and are more suitable when you try to conquer the whole world.
You say it is better to remove those features, but I prefer to give one of those advantages to each government and to let the player decide which one is better at each time. If you are being attacked massively by diplomats you can protect yourself by switching to democracy, but then do not expect your far colonies to be very productive. That is the way I tried to design the governments, but I must say it is really hard to balance them, and I'm alwasy interested to hear the opinion from online players.

About the waste of food by distance, I see now that it might be annoying in large maps, and I already said that I plan to allow granaries to get rid of it for future versions. Courthouse would reduce half of this penalty, and Granary the other half.
It will also be a reason to keep granaries in cities that already reached the max population.
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby morphles » Thu May 15, 2014 9:17 pm

I see your point about musketers being much more powerful than other units and the suden reduction of available tactics, I just say that it is even worse with default rules, and I think it is not easy to try to improve it unless you change massively the stats of many units or you introduce new units. I personally like the current stats because I find it realistic that gunpowder makes all other units obsolete and restricts for some time the available tactics. I find it enjoyable that some unit roles are not available at certain ages, and I like when civ games forces you to change your battle tactics while time progress, in a similar way that it happened in real history.

Possible that it might be worse in default ruleset, but I can't comment on that now. Latest mentioned changes seem to improve situation a bit. As for realism (which is weak argument in games), I do not think that muskets were that much better, as again crosbows were very powerful and most likely had better rate of fire, and there are tons of other caveats for other units/conditions. But anyways game needs more testing. And I still mourn the death of variety. I'd much rather have rule set where nothing gets obsolete ever, new units only get stronger or cheaper. Not that I saying that civ2civ3 should be that ruleset or that you should make it. (I was working on my own ruleset a bit, but thats suspend for undefined amount of time).

This is supposed to force players to use different tactics against different enemies. No incite and no bribe are features used by default freeciv to differentiate governments and I think they make sense.

And I see at cheesy cheap defense against diplomatic attacks. It provides absolutely nothing. Same thing could be achieved by setting up couple of diplomats in every (or border) city, and moving units mostly in pairs. That it is default/common is irrelevant. "makes sense" I never seen how that could be, certainly not realistic.
I could say the same about corruption by distance, it is supposed to differentiate governments. Some governments are supposed to be more effective for small countries, like democracy, but uses to fail for large colonial empires. While there are 2 available governments in game, federation and comunism, that do not cause any corruption by distance and are more suitable when you try to conquer the whole world.

Communism is absolutely irrelevant here, by the time you reach it you will not be building any colonies as all the land will most likely be taken, as for war efforts again, by that time you are quite capable to just "write off" conquered cities, you only care about the losses of your enemy and yourself (yeah a bit of oversimplification). Federation is a less distant, but still quite far ahead. And does not allow for expansion when it is most needed.

You say it is better to remove those features, but I prefer to give one of those advantages to each government and to let the player decide which one is better at each time. If you are being attacked massively by diplomats you can protect yourself by switching to democracy, but then do not expect your far colonies to be very productive. That is the way I tried to design the governments, but I must say it is really hard to balance them, and I'm alwasy interested to hear the opinion from online players.

Again this "feature" does not provide much, if you are attacked by diplomats, build god damn diplomats to defend yourself, as you build defensive units to defend from military attacks. I see no reason why this should be different. But what it does, is - eventually everyone ends up with those cheesy later governments with magic abilities, and that limits the possibilities, again. I just totally don't like the government "meta game" at all and find basically all the properties of them annoying. IMO anarchy is quite big problem in online games too. As with slight luck it can be exploited very badly: get capital of enemy when he is switching governments - boom he is split in half. In fact the whole civil war thing is quite unfair IMO (even though I have tried to exploit it in basically every GT game I play). Even if you have 30% chance for it, you can still get it, which is quite close to game over, at least it would seem so to me. Just because RNG rolled bad number for you.

{ Well take most of things I say about governments with a grain of salt, as I almost hate the concept altogether. (i.e. in my ruleset I was planing on having just two governments, including anarchy). }
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby Corbeau » Fri May 16, 2014 8:28 am

After having experienced this in full bloom (happened before, but not with such spectacular results), I'm even more sure that the "incite city" feature is broken. I couldn't agree less with it.

Yes, diplomats should have some say in warfare, but them handing out money and having a whole city fall into their lap is ridiculous. I knew this earlier, but now it's even more obvious. What this feature does is that it actually replaces warfare. There are cases where you simply cannot build enough diplomats to counter all the ones the enemy is throwing at you. So, basically, there are no sieges, no non-linear battlefields, no landings in the enemy rear. There is no way whatsoever to keep a city in enemy territory without pumping diplomats from outside and the enemy doesn't even have to spend time to kill off defenders; no combat, just walk in with a pile of cash and it's done. That's not war, that going to the market with a grocery list.

What *would* be sane is some more options for a diplomat/spy: more aimed disrupting of a unit, removing its movement points or fortification bonus, regarding city, more aimed disruption such as breaching the walls and so on. Spies should be able to take part in wars, but not run them on their own.

What may be interesting is that a spy *is* able to incite a revolt, but a real revolt. Not buying off a city with one click, but some internal struggle - a REVOLT, goddamit! - that ties enemy units up and forces them to act, making it easier for the attackers to destroy them.
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby morphles » Fri May 16, 2014 10:35 am

So you make one attack in distant enemy land and don't hold onto city and you state that warfare is broken? While all the while allying everyone around and basically camping for tech with your buddies? Excuse me, but I can't take your warfare arguments seriously. Warfare is not broken because of diplomats (though some adjustments in cost or how defense against diplomatic attacks work [ruleset can't do anything about it currently though] could improve some stuff a bit), its broken because game promotes camping way too much. Attacks are difficult and costly. So warfare mostly amounts to burrowing down, and sitting tight until you amass army, which you then move from one city to the next. Hallmark of what is known in RTS games as camping, which promotes boring and random game.

But the biggest problem is that units cost too much overall (especially after some techs), to have them strolling around doing stuff. Thus everyone just tries to do city hopping, instead of maneuvering units and doing any interesting warfare. Another problems is that of scale. Cities are too close to each other (made worse by increased movement), thus units mostly do not need to be exposed to any battles, they again just city hop, or attack city. But increasing city distance would introduce other problems however...

Also expecting to hold distant location in enemy territory is a bit naive (even though for now you have OP units). Such attacks shouldn't be made expecting to gain territory, treat them as what they are - raids, used to damage your opponents economy and infrastructure, come in do damage leave. Come in at other location, now thats some nonlinearity. Also additional advice, with number of units you had you could have easily moved them out, again as they are so OP, and face 0 threat, and retake revolted city. So in short, you could have done much better and cry me a river.

Also for holding onto city, this should not be easy. Not as ridiculous as it was in Civ3, but definitely not promoting more city hopping with disabling revolts. If you'll remember Civ3 had some [bi]sick[/b] revolts, if you take large city (say size 20) it is so difficult to keep it that you don't even do that, you take, destroy some shit, leave, come back next turn. Otherwise you get such sweet things like cities citizens destroying your forces of maybe even 5 or more armor units and reverting to original owner. Now thats a bit extreme. But current situations is not bad, costs might need some adjustments. If you think citizens of occupied cities just cooperate with occupants, well I have nothing to say in that case.
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby Corbeau » Fri May 16, 2014 11:23 am

morphles wrote:So you make one attack in distant enemy land and don't hold onto city

Since it is pointless to talk about abstracts, let's talk about this concrete example. Please tell the world what it took, and how long did it take, to reconquer a size-3 city that had three musketeers and two diplomats inside and we can debate with arguments if this situation makes sense.

and you state that warfare is broken?

Nope. I said that diplomatic warfare is broken.

While all the while allying everyone around and basically camping for tech with your buddies?

The fact that you hate it doesn't mean that it's senseless, game-breaking or, for that matter, anything to do with this particular topic. It only means that, when you grab a grudge, you simply can't let it go. I've been listening to you whine about this alliance of ours for weeks. Do you ever stop? I mean, really? And it's not even like we attacked you, *you* attacked *us* (or, one of our members) and now you are squeaking because you can't have your fun with him on your terms.

However, as I stated multiple times, I do believe that this model of sharing tech is bad and it should be revised drastically.

See? I'm addressing the principle, not the people using it. How old are you, again?

Excuse me, but I can't take your warfare arguments seriously.

By looking at your consistent behaviour around here, you can't take seriously anything that goes against your personal preference.

Warfare is not broken because of diplomats (though some adjustments in cost or how defense against diplomatic attacks work [ruleset can't do anything about it currently though] could improve some stuff a bit), its broken because game promotes camping way too much.

As a number of games.

Attacks are difficult and costly.

Yes and no. Once you're out of the middle ages, though, and get more mobile and powerful units, attacking gets easier. Also, what, you want to run a war for free?

So warfare mostly amounts to burrowing down, and sitting tight until you amass army, which you then move from one city to the next.

How does that differ from reality?

Hallmark of what is known in RTS games as camping, which promotes boring and random game.

Does not.

Also expecting to hold distant location in enemy territory is a bit naive (even though for now you have OP units). Such attacks shouldn't be made expecting to gain territory, treat them as what they are - raids, used to damage your opponents economy and infrastructure, come in do damage leave. Come in at other location, now thats some nonlinearity. Also additional advice, with number of units you had you could have easily moved them out, again as they are so OP, and face 0 threat, and retake revolted city. So in short, you could have done much better and cry me a river.

Partly true. The problem is, you are now trying to dictate what should be the only possible way to do things. Well, as the things are now, yes, that is the only possible way of doing things (and you have a point here). However, wouldn't it be better to have some more options at hand?

In other words, yes. Taking a city and holding it is impossible (or very difficult) at present terms. But is it good that this is so? How much does it add to gameplay?

If you think citizens of occupied cities just cooperate with occupants, well I have nothing to say in that case.

Well, not many examples of direct resistance in history. And infinite examples of the opposite. Besides, that's what guerilla and partisans are here for. If you think that, before 1800, people generally cared which power is controling their city, well, you should learn some real history.
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby morphles » Fri May 16, 2014 12:47 pm

In an effort to avoid derailing this thread further, my response to last post is viewtopic.php?f=31&t=1065#p4943 . Sorry brado for moving this thread to a wrong directions.
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby XYZ » Fri May 16, 2014 12:56 pm

I agree here with Corbeau that diplomats add too much Deus ex machina feeling and throw any calculation you make by positioning and building units over board. No real fighting man against man but simply throwing coins at eacht other. It even makes military units look redicioulus if it is cheaper to kill a diplomat and buy a city than actually take it by force. I rather loose than using those bogus units although I admit to have used them recently in GT8. (Didn't succed anyway :roll: ) Also there are other ways to attack an enemy, using rivers, coming from behind, slowly pushing the border forward etc.
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Re: Earth scenario and civ2civ3 ruleset

Postby morphles » Fri May 16, 2014 1:06 pm

As I said previously everything diplomats do can be countered, even without free defenses. While free defenses basically nuke diplomat game, and unit itself from the game totally. No real fighting is not because of diplomats, but because all men are stuck in cities cause it's that much safer there, and cities are so close to each other that there is no point going to fight, apart from overwhelming city or defending it. Also none of worthwhile cities can be bought cheaply, you get to prices like 15k, man you can do quite a bit more with that money than buy some 8 level city. Also as you say even with such supposedly deus ex machina you did not succeed, maybe it ain't that bad.

As for other ways to attack an enemy, indeed you can try to do that. But its very hard to do in any efficient manner, as units siting in cities have all the advantages, while you have basically none, some explorer patrolling the area find your position, and then they your life gets that much harder (well depends on terrain, if there are mountains you can stand your ground even without cities pretty decently, but if you approaching on flat terrain, god help you :) ).
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