Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

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fortydayweekend
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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by fortydayweekend » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:12 pm

robc wrote:I wonder if it would help to have the buildings require some type of worker in them for them to operate, let's call them employees. Instead of a pool, maybe make the number of employees based on the city size. Could keep it simple and have each building require 1 employee to be functional, or have some buildings require more than 1 employee. Maybe allow the player to disable some buildings to make sure the most important buildings are active. Or, could let the player prioritize them in the city's built building list. Just a thought. The idea is to limit the number of useful buildings in a city and force the player to have to make choices.
I like the idea of limiting buildings to 1 per city size, it would make for very customised cities at least early on, force you to plan ahead, and sell buildings before you could upgrade. The AI might struggle though as it tends to have multi-purpose cities rather than specialised and so needs lots of buildings.

An easier alternative could be to have the +resource bonuses be capped at the number of citizens working that area. So e.g. science buildings provide +x up to the number of scientists. That way you'd wouldn't want to build every building in every city right at the beginning, but might build a little bit in each, and then keep adding buildings as the cities grow.

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by jdmillard » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:22 pm

robc wrote:I wonder if it would help to have the buildings require some type of worker in them for them to operate, let's call them employees. Instead of a pool, maybe make the number of employees based on the city size. Could keep it simple and have each building require 1 employee to be functional, or have some buildings require more than 1 employee. Maybe allow the player to disable some buildings to make sure the most important buildings are active. Or, could let the player prioritize them in the city's built building list. Just a thought. The idea is to limit the number of useful buildings in a city and force the player to have to make choices.

One other idea related to the economy is to have some type of production penalty when I person is moved from one job to another. Move a worker to a farm and he doesn't produce 100% of the food he normally would until x turns have passed. The idea is to make the player have to decide if the short term penalty is worth the long term benefit of changing the worker.
It's an interesting thought. However, if I were the developer I'd say no. It would surely add strategy to the city management but the cost/benefit isn't worth it complicating city management so much. I think you are right in principle though.

So a counter-suggestion would be like: what if there was a limit to which enhancements are operational and you pick which ones they are by toggling them? The enhancements would simply "grey-out" when not in operation and you toggle by clicking on them. If you want to exceed the operational-building-limit, the upkeep would be twice as expensive for each one over the limit (or some other multiplier). You could disable orbital bombardments during long stretches of peace.

A similar counter-suggestion would be to remove the individual upkeep costs of buildings and say that each city has its own "buildings upkeep cost" which is based on the number of buildings. And that cost increases exponentially with more and more buildings. Or perhaps the the sharp increase in price would only happen if there are more buildings than the city size (or some other mathematical determiner). I think that the toggling option would prove effective with this as well in case someone accidentally builds something they aren't ready to pay monthly for.

Fortydayweekend touched on this a little before I could post.

This is kinda derailing from the Wealth issue, my apologies.

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by SephiRok » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:52 pm

Actually looking at it right now the buyout cost doesn't depend on player's credits, only the buyout of cities (population, buildings) and units. I'm not sure what the reason was for that, I'll likely change it unless I can find a good reason not to. Unfortunately the AI spends pretty much all his credits all the time, so that wouldn't help yet, but of course can be changed. The question is what makes the most sense and doesn't frustrate players. If I were in the AI's place, I wouldn't try to compete with your optimized wealth production, I'd just obliterate you with my 5 black holes, or if I was in a good mood, disable your economy with EMPs.

I'm not sure limiting the amount of buildings per city is a good idea or a solution -- you would just be forced to build military or wealth instead.

And yeah Field Training is overpowered, that bad boy has to get nerfed, likely gonna make it do some % damage.
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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by jdmillard » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:03 pm

SephiRok wrote:And yeah Field Training is overpowered, that bad boy has to get nerfed, likely gonna make it do some % damage.
I'll just go ahead and slap a "+1" on that.
I think it's a great idea because it adds strategy. This way you can't just throw down 10 of them on your whole army in 1 turn or right before attacking.

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by SephiRok » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:38 pm

I made wealth produce 2 credits per production instead of 4. You can check it in the beta version 1.0.5 in about an hour.

Cheers.
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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by Xytop » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:42 pm

SephiRok wrote:Value (purchase):
1 production = 8 credits
1 research = 4 credits
Its possible to purchase research? :shock: Where do I find the button to do that?

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by SephiRok » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:43 pm

You can't, it's just an internal value for it.
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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by adamsolo » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:40 pm

My 2 cents on this issue.

I lost my first Economy win attempt. An AI achieved a research victory first. This was on Hard, High, Large. In my current game with Noxium (Hard, High, Huge) I'm running again for an Economic victory but I'm advancing only 1%-2% each turn with a +900 cash flow (I'm at 52% now). But, I'm tense because I fear that James may come after me sooner than I expect. And Lilith is also strong, and they're buddies. They destroyed Xi in a blink of an eye (and, James is also in Transcendence already, so, I fear I may lose to science again).

Now, what difficulty are you guys playing? Could that be the issue? What I mean is that I'm not feeling the Economic victory to be that easy. I feel it's a gamble. I understand that it probably can be exploited with the right strategy but before you decide to halve the credits generation I suggest you get more feedback on the matter before you brake more than you fix.

PS: Oh, and Field Training is clearly too powerful :) And, please add a production queue re-ordering function (is that planned to come soon?).

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by SephiRok » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:53 am

I hope I can get to production re-ordering this week.
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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by player1 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:14 am

SephiRok wrote:Let me present the technical info.

Value (purchase):
1 production = 8 credits
1 research = 4 credits

Build (Wealth) multiplier: 0.5
Sell multiplier: 0.25
Buyout multiplier: 0.25

As it is now you are already 50% less effective if you produce wealth. If we reduce it to 25% the more optimal thing to do is make units and sell them the first turn they're done because you'll gain the same credits as when building wealth.
Then halve both.

Really, check balance on this in Civilization series. They had much bigger development and testing teams, and multiple games in series to get numbers right.

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by adamsolo » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:22 am

SephiRok wrote:I hope I can get to production re-ordering this week.
Great!

An update on my 2nd Economic victory attempt on High, Hard, Huge. Stagnated on 60% (producing +1300 cash flow) and switched to research but James beat me to it while I was at 54%.

So, my attempts to rush an Economic victory so far have been unsuccessful. If you let the AIs develop you'll have a very hard time going for an Economic victory, at least on Hard, Huge. I only had 5 cities though, but +1300 p/turn is still a lot of money, no? It could have been bad luck, since everybody was friends with everybody, so, all AI economies were flourishing. Oh, and word of advice if you go after an economic victory, buy bunkers, all you can. I got two major cities completely wiped out by Lilith's nuclear missiles.

By the way, how is the economy strength calculated? What does it mean to have enough money to buy out 75% of all other factions' economies? What contributes to said factions economies' strength? Only money? Population? Buildings? Accumulated resources? others?

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by SephiRok » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:25 am

Population (20 credits per pop), buildings (25% of purchase cost) and units (25% of purchase cost). In the next patch accumulated credits as well.
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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by fortydayweekend » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:15 am

adamsolo wrote:
SephiRok wrote:So, my attempts to rush an Economic victory so far have been unsuccessful. If you let the AIs develop you'll have a very hard time going for an Economic victory, at least on Hard, Huge. I only had 5 cities though
Mine have been on Hard, Small. So probably a different scenario than on Huge. But I had 8-10 cities! Could be that 5 cities on Huge isn't enough? How did you compare on Economic rating vs. the other factions during the game? I haven't tried to win from being far behind, just 3-dots to their 4 (and about 80% when looking on the graph at the end).

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by fortydayweekend » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:48 am

SephiRok wrote:If I were in the AI's place, I wouldn't try to compete with your optimized wealth production, I'd just obliterate you with my 5 black holes, or if I was in a good mood, disable your economy with EMPs.
+1. Much more fun! It needs to be almost certain they will attack though unless you've spent a LOT on bribery. Though I guess I've always built up a decent military before going for the win. Would the AI have been more likely to attack me if I'd been weaker?
SephiRok wrote:I'm not sure limiting the amount of buildings per city is a good idea or a solution -- you would just be forced to build military or wealth instead.
I guess for me the thing is that you guys have taken SMAC and taken all the tedious repetition out of it, and the result is a really fun and absorbing game that moves at a fast pace, with much more decision-making than clicking. Queueing up the same buildings over and over again in every city without having to think about whether they're worth building detracts from that. Having to choose which buildings to build is much more appealing - and preferably because the bonuses they give will only be beneficial if that city has a fair number of pop working that area. The artificial limits/penalties for buildings are basically more complicated ways of achieving the same thing.

I know what you mean about being forced to build other things, but I still think that's better than just building every building. Having more buildings to choose from would help (maybe some that give bonuses to 2 areas at once e.g. food & science +25%?) More operations would help too (and nerfing Field Training would presumably mean building more of it).

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by adamsolo » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:03 am

SephiRok wrote:Population (20 credits per pop), buildings (25% of purchase cost) and units (25% of purchase cost). In the next patch accumulated credits as well.
Haa, must have been the units. The AIs (all of them) had swarms of units. They also had many tall cities. Everybody was friends, so, no wars, a zillion of units laying around. I was playing on Huge, so... with much less breathing room (space for expansion) it could have been a totally different story. My 92 population empire should have been enough in a small/medium map. By the way, in the end, all continents were authentic carpets of doom (which shouldn't be, because of stacks, right?). Here's one shot:

Image
fortydayweekend wrote:
adamsolo wrote:
SephiRok wrote:So, my attempts to rush an Economic victory so far have been unsuccessful. If you let the AIs develop you'll have a very hard time going for an Economic victory, at least on Hard, Huge. I only had 5 cities though
Mine have been on Hard, Small. So probably a different scenario than on Huge. But I had 8-10 cities! Could be that 5 cities on Huge isn't enough? How did you compare on Economic rating vs. the other factions during the game? I haven't tried to win from being far behind, just 3-dots to their 4 (and about 80% when looking on the graph at the end).
Ahh, the small vs huge map thing helps explain it, at least partially. I mean, if you had 10 cities in a small map it should have been much easier to go Economic, yes. I had only 5 cities on Huge for a total of 92 population, so the AIs had much more cities than me (and buildings), and had swarms of units. The thing is, I decided to go tall (bigger fewer cities), but having more cities should give you much more pop growth, and, more taxes, so part is that.

I was always 2 to 3 circles tops in Economy. So, perhaps my strategy to go tall is the wrong one if you're going for an Economic victory, especially on Huge. Thinking about it, it IS the wrong strategy, since Noxium has the habitat malus after all. More medium sized cities developing with a couple food powerhouses should do the trick.

So, in conclusion, I feel that building wealth may be slightly overpowered for an Economic victory due to what other players are reporting. But, I suspect that it largely depends on the map size (smaller maps should be much easier), and more importantly, also seems to depend on how focused you are in going after that specific victory condition since the beginning (on how obsessed you are with it, like stress testing the game). I mean, I don't usually play my games thinking in which victory path I will pursue in advance. So, perhaps more evidence of this unbalance is required? I'm not against tweaking the wealth generation, but think about it, Noxium largely depends on that, and, after 4 games (3 complete with two going after an Economic victory large/huge/high in mid-late game) I didn't feel wealth generation to be overpowered. I feel that it gives you flexibility, and as long as it's not too exploitable I would prefer for it to remain that way.

So, I advise the devs to gather more feedback and to give it more time before they tweak wealth generation. It may be the case that it's not the wealth generation per se that is wrong, but the Economic victory condition itself. Sometimes, a feature may be considered unbalanced and exploitative if you concentrate on it too much but perhaps 95% of the players will never notice it. The danger is that by tweaking wealth generation you may have a bad impact on other areas of the game. Namely retrofit and units/buildings rushing, which I feel are about right.

If map size proves to be the issue, then perhaps the Economic victory condition should be the thing to change. Perhaps military strength's weight should be toned down heavily and more weight should be put on population amount, production potential, facilities, morale, pollution, and accumulated credits (the real economy). Example: You could have a huge army, a huge population and all the resources and production facilities, but you could be swimming in pollution and your workforce could be so demoralized and ill-trained that you wouldn't really have a strong economy at all. Thinking about it, research could be a factor for a strong economy too.

Well, just my impressions on the matter. What do you guys think?

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by Barbariandude » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:22 pm

This thread answers quite fully why I could never get an economic victory... I thought it was just the credits! Now I have a much better idea how to win my next Noxium game.

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by SephiRok » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:27 pm

The AI spreads his units so he doesn't get everything nuked in one blow.

Map sizes below medium make a huge difference for achieving economic victory because there's less players. Difficulty also matters a lot because of the AI's morale bonus. If no wars have been fought, it will be harder still.

It doesn't matter however if you have 10 or 5 cities, your growth is unaffected. As long as you don't have negative habitat to decrease your morale it's solid. More cities might be slightly better if you time it right due to resource buildings giving you a flat bonus, but will only really matter for the higher tier buildings.

Also, I think you'll have a much easier time winning an economic victory as Yun rather than Eric. The +25% growth has an exponential effect and +50% production compensates the +25% credits from taxes.
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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by adamsolo » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:00 pm

SephiRok wrote:The AI spreads his units so he doesn't get everything nuked in one blow.
Then perhaps nukes should be toned down a bit? Right now I feel that they come too cheap and too fast. Cities can be well protected though, but having Lilith dropping 10 nukes at you every 10 turns like clock work is not something pleasant. But, at least you fear it, which is good.
SephiRok wrote: It doesn't matter however if you have 10 or 5 cities, your growth is unaffected. As long as you don't have negative habitat to decrease your morale it's solid. More cities might be slightly better if you time it right due to resource buildings giving you a flat bonus, but will only really matter for the higher tier buildings.
Hum, I guess you're right. There's the habitat and morale thing, meaning that more smaller cities should get you the same growth with less morale penalty because of the automated resource buildings thing. And, you may benefit from less pollution (+morale) with more cities due to possible forests nearby also. However, you may get inefficiency by having to replicate buildings in each city where you can concentrate bonuses in fewer taller cities. Humm :)
SephiRok wrote:Also, I think you'll have a much easier time winning an economic victory as Yun rather than Eric. The +25% growth has an exponential effect and +50% production compensates the +25% credits from taxes.
Correct. But there's the minerals catch. You must have lots of them, while Eric gets the 25% for "free". Interesting.

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by fortydayweekend » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:22 pm

SephiRok wrote:Map sizes below medium make a huge difference for achieving economic victory because there's less players. Difficulty also matters a lot because of the AI's morale bonus. If no wars have been fought, it will be harder still.
Good point - maybe the economic win conditions need to be tied to map size?

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Re: Suggestion: Building wealth is overpowered

Post by SephiRok » Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:54 pm

Would love some feedback on the state in the beta. There's per-city taxes and a preliminary implementation of the market.
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