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Rise of Nations Heaven » Forums » Throne & Patriots Expansion Pack » Proposed Balance and Flavor changes
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Topic Subject:Proposed Balance and Flavor changes
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Timetodie777
Member
posted 05-10-05 08:45 PM EDT (US)         
Greeks, Mayans, and Incans still aren't on par with the other nations (incans are slow to start and really need a good mountain position before they are on par, and needing position is unfair). Greeks need to be rescued from their own knowledge building; without good knowledge production they can't get level two techs like other nations can. Mayans actually build wonders slower because they have more hps but are not built faster like other buildings.

Why did the americans take such a heavy hit but the romans didn't?

Also I question why certain nations powers don't really reflect what their nation power is called.

So without further adue:

Greeks: Should get 20% reduction in science costs (doesn't stack with their 10% reduction in library research) and scholars are produced 50% faster.

Chinese: Lose 20% science reduction and gain 10% reduction in age costs and 10% reduction in scholar costs.

Mayans: gain free architecture upgrades and build the first lumber mill instantly.

Americans: Lose the 25% reduction in ground unit upgrades and lose the +2 resources per barracks unit (cuts down on lakota infringement as well as being a power the americans have which has nothing to do with innovation). Gain 20% faster age research and tech upgrades (non-unit non-library). 15% cost reduction in knowledge production upgrade costs.

Lakota: Starts with one more peasant and peasants are produced 20% faster. Peasants have 25% more hitpoints and +2 attack (benefits militia/minutemen/partisan as well). (Living out on the plains in small communities your peasants better be buff, plus it makes sending your peasants off into no where to build cities more doable)

Romans: lose starting military research and cities producing wealth. Gain 25% reduction in ground unit upgrades. Taxation upgrades 50% cheaper (render unto caeser that which is caeser's right?).

British: lose taxation 50% cheaper. Gain cities built 20% faster (empires are built one city at a time right?)

Incans: Gain cities produce 10 wealth.

Critique is welcome

[This message has been edited by Timetodie777 (edited 05-13-2005 @ 05:40 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
AlienZ
Member
posted 05-10-05 09:47 PM EDT (US)     1 / 36       
Nice to hear no one cares crawl into a hole and suck your thumd
War
Member
posted 05-10-05 10:13 PM EDT (US)     2 / 36       
You not been banned yet AlienZ?

You just can't get the staff these days

Dark_Dragon
Member
posted 05-10-05 10:38 PM EDT (US)     3 / 36       
The american drop sounds good.

D_D
Timetodie777
Member
posted 05-11-05 05:49 AM EDT (US)     4 / 36       
I created the thread because I wanted some feedback from the community. I honestly believe there to be a problem with the current nations and would like community input before suggesting it to the devs at BHG.


Honestly, AlienZ doesn't bother me at all. He doesn't even attempt to provide evidence for his position, and he can't spell "thumb" correctly. I've met much more acerbic individuals on other forums, and they all had the foresight to make sure their insults were formatted correctly. But truly if this post is similar to his other ones, then he very likely is in breach of the CoC.


Oh and I was thinking about egypt and how so few people play it. There are a couple viable strategies for playing egypt suggested online, but I wouldn't exactly call Egypt a powerhouse. Perhaps a bonus to the rate at which Egyptians build wonders. Part of the egyptian civilization bonus is the assumption that they will build wonders more easily to compensate for the slightly better other benefits that the other nations get. But this ignores how long it takes to build wonders, especially multiple ones which egypt is assumed to be doing. A bonus to building speed for wonders would be nice, in line with their civ power, and likely make them a little more competitive.

Shilkanni
Member
posted 05-11-05 07:58 AM EDT (US)     5 / 36       
No.

I respect your points and agree that the game is not perfectly balanced, however, there are some good reasons to accept it the way it is and be happy:

(1) I do not believe that BHG is going to release another patch. Any further patch/balance changes would almost definitely be unofficial and would splinter the community.

(2) There are fundamental problems in balancing sides... and this is not specific to RoN. Some people will tell you certain sides are too powerful, other people will give different answers. You can balance a game for inexperienced players, in which booming sides or sides with simple advantages will thrive, or you can balance a game for experienced players, assuming that everyone will get the most out of every advantage*.

If we could numerically assest every side out of 100, of course we would tweak with them until the balance is perfect, but until then, we're basically going to have to accept a bit of imbalance and ask ourselves... "Is this good enough"?

The problem with 'rebalancing' when the game is already playable is that you can make things worse. I think BHG made the right choice in principle with their most recent patch. There were some sides which were clearly weak, and some clearly strong, and they only gave small boosts to the weak sides (Lakota, Greek, Maya) and small nerfs to the strong sides (French, Iroquois, Rome, Dutch). Only the Americans got hit a little hard, but I do think they were the only unreasonably strong side, especially at beginner and intermediate levels.

I don't think it's 100% balanced, and I don't agree with their exact choices**.

They have tried 'kneejerk' reactions, like introducing Thrones & Patriots where they hit Maya and Spain really hard.

Here's how I try to gauge if it's "good enough":
- Is competitive play dominated by particular strong sides (online random games or tournaments)?
- Is competitive play devoid of particular weak sides?

If I beat someone (uncommon) I would be happy to give a rematch with any side of their choice, because no side is simply terrible or completely uncompetitive. If I won convincingly the first time, I'm confident I would win again.

Everyone has their own opinions on which nations are stronger or weaker, but there's not the clear consensus there was before this latest patch (America = Overpowered, Maya = Shite).

To respond to your specific suggestions:
- It doesn't bother me that bonuses do not clearly correspond to the concept of the nation's "Power".
- I don't think America is overpowered anymore and do not think they need further nerfing.
- I think the Chinese changes make them slightly worse and either way I think they're un-needed.
- The Mayan boost you suggested wouldn't make much of a differece but I would support it because I think they're weak.
- The Greek boost you suggest would probably make them too good, I think they just need a small boost so that their "Power" doesn't hurt them for the first 5 minutes of the game.
- The Lakota changes I don't really like, would rather see them start with the same number of citizens as everyone else (bar Korea) personally.
- Don't like the Rome or British changes
- Don't agree that Inca needs that boost
- I think Egypt is the perfect example of a balanced nation, no-one would call them overpowered, but they don't suck, and they feel unique, you can do some special things with them that no-one else can (survive with less cities, Hanging Gardens in Classical, Statue of Liberty in Enlightenment, Supercollider in Modern, etc...)

Personally, if I am really serious about winning I am dissappointed when I get the following sides:
* Maya
* Spain (except in team games)
* Lakota (except in team games)
* Greece
* Mongol (I don't think they're bad, I'm bad with them)
* Korea (I don't think they're bad, I'm bad with them)
* Aztec (They're definitely a great side, but having to be so agressive to win is hard for me)

In summary:
- I don't expect another official patch, if there is I would like to see some minor boosts and basically no 'nerfs' (keeps the sides unique instead of homogenizing them). If this is what you want to pursue I suggest you start small with changes as there is no way BHG will overhaul the game this late in development.
- If someone made an unofficial balance patch, I probably wouldn't play it, or support it, and would cast a critical eye over the changes before considering it.
- If more played an unofficial balance patch than played the official game, I would probably play with it too.

Footnotes:
* Iroquois scouting is a good example of this. Iroquois are considered one of the best nations, and they get increased scout LOS, mobility, upgrades, and free ones, but a newbie (like me) will often put them on auto-explore, not getting the most of this bonus like you could with proper scouting management and 'ruin manipulation'.

** Lakota Horse Archers generate double food. This made me think "WTF?"... I thought the problem with Lakota is that they start really slow! So they gave them a bonus which doesn't kick in until much later. I think Lakota actually start with less than any other side (they lose the farm citizens along with the farms), that's just crazy-harsh.

TWC_Ascalon
Member
posted 05-11-05 11:27 PM EDT (US)     6 / 36       
The balance is near perfect already, quit whining!
Timetodie777
Member
posted 05-12-05 06:11 AM EDT (US)     7 / 36       
Shilkanni:

With respect I seriously doubt they are going to leave the game as is simply by virtue of the fact that the people at BHG have as a "known issue" that the civilization information does not accurately reflect in game characteristics. That alone probably warrants a patch, in which case I think it prudent to desire changes along with the patch which is likely to occur.


I've found that in 1-1 matches most people will lose when using lakota, maya, or greeks against a player of equal skill with other civs assuming standard starting features. The reason why I don't like inca is that it is slow to start and its abilities are almost wholly conditional on the availability of mines. Certainly all the civs have their advantages, but the speed with which a civilizations power can be brought to bear should be proportional to how much power they possess. Can anyone honestly tell me that the Lakota's might matches that of the japanese at any given time during the game? If the lakota is less powerful (economically/militarily), then the lakota should be faster than the Japanese, but this is clearly not the case. Japanese can hit the food cap just by building two farms right away. Lakota can't get even close to hitting their food cap even after using all their starting food to make peasants.


It's fine if it doesn't bother you if a nation's abilities don't reflect the name of their civ power, but some of us would like the abilities of the civlizations to reflect what the countries were known for. China advanced culturally much faster than other nations for the better part of 2,000 years. This is why I don't think the science reduction is appropriate in favor of an age based reduction. Same deal with why people bring up the rare resources threads trying to figure out why rare resources do what they do.


I don't think America is overpowered anymore either, hence I am not trying to nerf them. The 25% reduction in cost is nice, but not very solid. The bonus resources is solid I will admit, but getting almost the equivalent of a rare resource (relics) is roughly what nation powers are all about, and the decreased cost in knowledge production upgrades is close in terms of resources saved to the ground unit reduction since the knowledge production upgrades are expensive.

On the greeks; that just shows why I am just suggesting at this point. Obviously the issue with the greeks is that their power slows them down in the early game, since they can't hope to get the second level techs as early as the other civs. The greeks need a way to make their techs more obtainable, and I think science is the way to do that since science still is costly, but it makes other research less expensive and faster.

Not sure how you thought I was suggesting the lakota get more peasants. I was suggesting making their peasants better (all around), not give them more. The turks already have cheaper peasants and the chinese already have instant production of peasants.

Rome was reknown for its early taxation, hence I think a reduction in cost is warranted. I also never really understood why they got wealth to their cities. The free military research is imo too much for rome, and taking the american 25% reduction in ground unit upgrades would add to their military without infringing on the aztec paradigm too much.

British was changed mostly for flavor reasons.

The inca I've already discussed why I think they need changed.

I've said my piece about the egyptians. Building wonders has it own set of vulnerabilities. Building two wonders in one city means that if your opponent can sack that city, then you are in trouble. Not just because your opponent potentially stands to gain a lot, but also because your economy takes a huge hit. What's more is that if your opponent can hold the town for a little bit, but doesn't think it will be permanent, then it becomes wonder razing time.


TWC_Ascalon: Constructive comments are welcome. Please evidence your position. If you believe the balance to be "near perfect," then please discuss how I am wrong in my assessment of the game's balance. Explain to me, if you can, what the Lakota have on the mongols (their closest related civilization in terms of civlization bonuses). The only real use for the Lakota that I have found is using them as a springboard for allowing other players to build in remote areas. This use is limited to games with multiple players and have decent sized maps. That benefit is even more conditional than the incan wealth generation. Just how exactly does something that conditional warrant the inclusion of a civlization?


TWC_Ascalon
Member
posted 05-12-05 10:12 AM EDT (US)     8 / 36       
Do you even know how bad the balance used to be in this game before? We put hard effort to get BHG finally change it and now there isn't a superior civ.

About Lakota: They are a very hard civ to play, propably the hardest in RoN. If you would boost them more, they would simply become overpowering to the experienced players.
About maya: I agree that maya should have been made a little stronger but they are still very much playable. BHG could start fixing this but I think they are just too busy with their new game and they do not have time for this (besides I think they already said that there won't be another patch)
About Greeks: Greeks are also a very hard civ to play, they would just become too powerful on sea maps if you would boost them...
British: They are just fine, slow and weak at start but get better when it goes to the end of the game (later ages)...
Romans: I wouldnt change them really, I dont think there is anything wrong with them, with Timetodie777's changes they would propably become the weakest RoN civ :S
Americans: They are very much beatable at start and I dont really think they need to be changed..
Inca: They are very good already, look El_Capitan's newest strat for them
Chinese: They are okay, no need to nerf them..

I find it VERY Surprising that nobody mentioned Iroquois, they are the best civ in this game.. makes me wonder how much you actually played this game :/

Shilkanni
Member
posted 05-12-05 05:48 PM EDT (US)     9 / 36       
Obviously we completely disagree on many issues, and have both stated our points clearly, so there's no reason for me to repeat (yet I do anyway...):
* I am mildly confident there will not be another patch from BHG. If there is one I seriously hope they don't mess with the balance and make significant changes like you are suggesting.

* I agree that flavour (sp: Australian English ;-P) changes could be nice, and I think all of the RoN Nation Powers which make some sense historically are 'neat'. If BHG or someone else make a RoN 2, I hope they continue to use history as an inspiration for nation powers. It's too late to completely overhaul Rise of Nations.

* If any changes, or a new game are made, I also hope they continue to come up with significant unique powers which make sides stand out from each other, as they have done with Lakota (no borders, no farms), Dutch (interest), American (troop income, instant wonder), Egyptian (wonders early), Inca (gold from mines), Chinese (instant citizens), Aztec (resources from fighting). These are significant powers which you really notice and they shape the way you play.

This is a big step up from what I remember in AoE (although I havent' played in a while) and many of your suggestions: pretty predictable things like free research or discounted research.

Quote:

The reason why I don't like inca is that it is slow to start and its abilities are almost wholly conditional on the availability of mines.

True, but all maps have mines, it's just more important for Inca to claim them. Yes, their main bonus is dependant on the map. Some sides are better on sea maps - It doesn't bother me.

Quote:

TWC_Ascalon (05-12-05 10:12):
I find it VERY Surprising that nobody mentioned Iroquois, they are the best civ in this game.. makes me wonder how much you actually played this game :/

Quote:

Shilkanni (05-11-05 07:58):
Iroquois scouting is a good example of this . Iroquois are considered one of the best nations, and they get increased scout LOS, mobility, upgrades, and free ones, but a newbie (like me) will often put them on auto-explore, not getting the most of this bonus like you could with proper scouting management and 'ruin manipulation'.


...Regarding powers which are not utilised by beginner and some intermediate level players. This is my theory as to why Iroquois goes 'under the radar' for many.

[This message has been edited by Shilkanni (edited 05-12-2005 @ 05:59 PM).]

War
Member
posted 05-12-05 06:40 PM EDT (US)     10 / 36       
The reason why there is so much disagreement on balance is because balance is relative to the skills of the players involved. EG French, very strong, but only if you are at a certain skill level.

So the question is not which nations are over powered, but at what level of play skill do you want to balance the game for. Should you balance it for the very top level of play, enjoyed by a few, or for the majority of players that are serious about the game?

Shilkanni
Member
posted 05-12-05 10:45 PM EDT (US)     11 / 36       
Exactly, and the way they have it now, it's somewhat of a compromise.

The nations which are strong for more experienced players (Iroquois, Aztec, Roman, French : IMHO) are actually not very good choices for brand for players (In my opinion), to whom I would recommend: Bantu, Indian, American, Dutch, British, German, Incan, Russian. Other people will produce a different list.

I remember when I first played RoN (not T&P) with friends, and Russian attrition (and cheaty-spies) dominated, and Egyptian nations building wonders actually won some Free-For-All games because no-one could mount a proper attack in the first 80% of the game.

The game dynamic depends on the style and skill of the players involved, and that will control which nations feel overpowered to each individual. In terms of balance, we just need a game which is playable for all sides. Any universally bad sides should be boosted, and any universally good sides probably need to be weakened.

That's what they did in the last patch, and based on this thread, the only thing that 3 of us agree on (War didn't weigh in on the subject) is that Maya are probably a little bit weak.

Under "Small City" rules, every side (except Lakota) gets:
- City Centre, Library
- Woodcutter Camp (2/?)
- 3 Farms (3/3)
- 5 Citizens
- 1 Scout
This means base resource income of:
40 food / 30 wood / 0 wealth

Korea gets a 6th citizen, Spain get a 2nd scout, Dutch get a pair of merchants, many sides get a bonus building. Lakota gets:
- City Centre, Library
- Woodcutter Camp (2/?)
- 2 Citizens
- 1 Scout
This means base resource income of:
22 food / 30 wood / 0 wealth (worse than any other side)

But if you gave them the same number of citizens (5) as everyone else they would have:
34 food / 60 wood / 0 wealth (which is probably better than any other side)

Egyptian: 46 / 30 / 6
German: 45 / 35 / 0
Roman: 40 / 30 / 10 (Dutch & Nubian are similar)
Japan: 46 / 30 / 0
French: 40 / 34 / 0
Iroquois: 44 / 30 / 0
Mongol: 40 + ? (Territory Bonus) / 30 / 0

Of course, it's way more important what happens over the first minute of the game, where you spend your starting resources and pick up early ruins.

Quote:

Shilkanni:
The Lakota changes I don't really like, would rather see them start with the same number of citizens as everyone else (bar Korea) personally.

Timetodie777:
Not sure how you thought I was suggesting the lakota get more peasants. I was suggesting making their peasants better (all around), not give them more. The turks already have cheaper peasants and the chinese already have instant production of peasants.

I'm not sure how you thought I thought you were suggesting that lakota get more peasants. :-P

You were suggesting the move from 4 to 5 food per citizen, which I believe might make them too good, and also the making the citizens stronger, which might be okay but I don't really care one way or the other.

I was suggesting giving them more peasants than they currently start with.

Lakota vs Mongol:

I'm no Mongol expert, and it will show, but my theory is that Mongol is better at getting out some troops to raid with faster, because Lakota is slower to start and has to focus really hard on getting food production rolling in the early parts of the game.

However, I would expect that by Medieval, Lakota can be raiding just as happily as Mongols. The advantages they have are (in 1 on 1):
- They can build their first city well further forward. This can claim important ground and limit your opponents expansion. This influences territory, including taxation income throughout the whole game. The location of a nation's second city can have a big impact on the game (IMO), and only Lakota can do this much with it.
- Free ranged cavalry upgrades. Early, this is way worse than Mongol's free ranged cavalry. Later on in the game, it's probably better and saves you more money. I'm not sure about this. In industrial they get upgraded to cars.
- Lakota Unique Cavalry steal from enemy resource buildings. I don't know if they're better or worse than the Mongol UUs.

TWC_Ascalon
Member
posted 05-12-05 11:07 PM EDT (US)     12 / 36       
There won't be Lakota vs Mongols no matter how much you tried it in random 1vs1, Lakota will face
-Koreans
-Turks
-Iroq
-Aztecs
-Inca
And if there would be Lakota vs Mongol you propably would have to go early infantry with Lakota to deal with the HAs, no big deal =/ Lakota get very strong later game, you just have to survive the start...

And isn't Lakota vs Mongol supposed to be in Lakota favor as they can take the mongol territory and lower the bonus? =p

and btw if you didn't know, Lakota is the nation that you are supposed to scout with all your villagers for ruins.. You do not even have to put them on produce building and you still get resources with them. Go Sci-com start and build market to get food rares, use most of your villagers to scout, ruin manipulate to get only food ruins to get fast 2nd TC and II... you should also try to Look el_Capitan's strategies for Lakota -_-

Shilkanni
Member
posted 05-13-05 00:00 AM EDT (US)     13 / 36       
I wasn't actually talking about a Lakota vs Mongol battle, it's just that Timetodie777 asked earlier in this thread (to you):

Quote:

...Please evidence your position. If you believe the balance to be "near perfect," then please discuss how I am wrong in my assessment of the game's balance. Explain to me, if you can, what the Lakota have on the mongols (their closest related civilization in terms of civlization bonuses). The only real use for the Lakota that I have found is using them as a springboard for allowing other players to build in remote areas.

...but I'm curious now, how is the 'Random' side calculated? (Is this information somewhere you can link to?)

[This message has been edited by Shilkanni (edited 05-13-2005 @ 00:03 AM).]

Timetodie777
Member
posted 05-13-05 00:39 AM EDT (US)     14 / 36       
All maps have mines, but not all have decent mines. An incan player who starts with a 4 person mine and none anywhere else near him has a bonus of +40 wealth income. Does this come even close to other nations benefits?

I don't mention the Iroquois because I have yet to see how they fare under the new patch revision. I'm personally not very good at managing my scout while dealing with my economy, but I have seen people who are. However, I am not so certain that spain does not come out ahead of the Iroquois after the recent revision.

I can see why starting with more peasants might be good too. This definitely affects how quickly biulding can be accomplished. But I don't see why upping the amount of food granted by peasants would over power them. The lakota rely a lot more on military for food later on. Peasant food is more of the early game as far as my experience is concerned.

The reason why I say compare the mongol to the Lakota is not to pit them against each other, but to compare how they would perform against another opponent. The mongols will expand relatively quickly, and can send their troops off into no where because they won't suffer any attrition. The lakota will have a town way up somewhere so they too can expand. But the mongols will have way better food production. They will be able to get classical age in a reasonable amount of time, time enough to get horse archers before getting run over. What makes the Lakota even worse is they are very dependent on map benefits. Without a good ruin draw and with bad rare resource draw the lakota are absolutely stuck. Let's say the lakota picked up obsidian and relics as their closest rare resources. What does the lakota do then? Commerce just lost you food and didn't net food production at all.

And I question whether or not anyone can seriously manage 6 peasants going in different directions to explore for ruins. Even using the que and with the smart AI having the target pick up ruins along the way I seriously doubt someone can control that many individuals are normal speed. Maybe at very slow you could control that many, but not at normal. Even if someone could, what do you do if your ruin draw is bad?

I've looked over the EL Captains lakota strategies and they involve having a teammate for the most part. Surely the Lakota can do ok on a map like mediterranean where they can get fishing. Of course the Lakota can't even build a granary to upgrade their fishing production, which leaves them with using military units to pick up the slack. Of course if you can't produce military because you haven't researched it due to the food expense, then i guess you can't pick up the slack.


Not sure how my greek changes would overpower them on a sea map. The change would make greek science cheaper (the faster scholar production means they can start getting knowledge sooner, which is their fatal flaw in the early game. Later on that speed advantage would become almost negligible). So you are convinced that slightly cheaper science research nets you much greater potential on sea maps? How so?

The british changes I'm suggesting are purely for flavor. I think the British are fine as is.

The romans I think are too powerful, especially on smaller maps. Plus I don't like how they share an ability with the aztecs. With cheaper taxation it just means that the romans are going to have to research taxation to get their early wealth. It still doesn't ruin the roman tactics, just delays it. The romans can boom and rush, and that is just like what made the americans too powerful.

Shilkanni
Member
posted 05-13-05 03:05 AM EDT (US)     15 / 36       

Quote:

An incan player who starts with a 4 person mine and none anywhere else near him has a bonus of +40 wealth income.


+40 wealth is significant right after you hit classical.
In any game which was not over in under 15 minutes, I have always been able to get at least 10 miners, playing Incan or otherwise.

Quote:

Without a good ruin draw


Some players would argue that this is not random, and that if you get a 'bad ruin draw' you're doing it wrong.

Quote:

And I question whether or not anyone can seriously manage 6 peasants going in different directions to explore for ruins.


I sure as hell can't, but checking acheivements after a couple online games that I lost and I noticed some people playing 2-6 times faster than me (Player Speed = Actions per minute).

Quote:

Of course the Lakota can't even build a granary to upgrade their fishing production.


No-one can. I believe the Temple's Taxation upgrade effects rare resource & fishing income, which lakota can upgrade.

Quote:

Not sure how my greek changes would overpower them on a sea map.


Well, they're already decent on a sea map, because it's harder to rush them, which buys them enough time to get out of their painful early rut. If they're already good at something (booming) and you make them much better, they may become too good.

And now, my big reply...

Quote:

But I don't see why upping the amount of food granted by peasants would over power them. The lakota rely a lot more on military for food later on. Peasant food is more of the early game as far as my experience is concerned.


Clearly you don't see it.
Joking aside, neither do I, but here's another way to look at the lakota & inca benefits, vs some other (decent) nations:

Base Resource Collection:
Job_________Lakota__Inca__Japan__Iroquois
Farmers_____N/A_____10____12.5___10
Lumberjacks_14______10____10_____12
Miners______14______20____10_____10
Builders_____4______0_____0______0

Basically, Lakota are good because their peasants are on average the best resource collectors in the game.

WARNING: horrendously contrived example...
let's say each side has:

2nd, 3rd city
3 temples,
3 markets
2 mines (room for 10)
smelters as required
2 woodcutters camps (room for 10)
lumber mills as required (with 1st upgrade)

The sides other than lakota have:
3 + 5 new farms (56 + 60 + 64 + 68 + 72 = 320 Timber
2 granaries (1st upgrade) = (60/40 + 100/40 = 160/80 Timber/Gold

All sides have:
1 scout
32 peasants
small military presence (lets say the lakota player has 3 unique cavalry, the other sides have other assorted troops)

Resource income is
Job________Lakota___Inca____Japan__Iroquois
Food_______190______150_____180____170*
Wood_______180______180_____180____180
Metal______120______120_____120____120
Wealth_____30+T_____130*+T__30+T___30+T
Total______520______580_____510____500
(T = Tax & Caravan Income)
(Disregarded Knowledge)

Lakota have spent 480 timber, 80 gold less than the other sides (if you want to be pedantic, and I do, Japan only spent 320/80 on farms and granaries).

Everyone except Lakota has 28 workers and 4 builders, Lakota has 20 workers and 12 builders (some might be exploring). With those spare resources, they could have built scouts or cavalry instead of those peasants, and would still have the same food income.

At this point in the game, Lakota have spent less than the other sides and are doing fine in resources. They have way more idle citizens, so can build new cities, forts, and wonders faster, or explore with these citizens. They're probably also collecting more Tax income and lowering at least one opponents Tax income.

Of course, because Lakota would have been struggling for food for the first couple minutes, they're going to have problems getting here, but I just wanted to show on paper how strong their economy can be in the midgame.

* Not sure if Inca Mining and Iroquois Woodcutting benefits from Smelter and Lumber Mill upgrades, so I assumed it doesn't.

[This message has been edited by Shilkanni (edited 05-13-2005 @ 03:17 AM).]

Timetodie777
Member
posted 05-13-05 05:37 AM EDT (US)     16 / 36       
Ok I can see the argument how their peasants give them economy because they are gathering wood or metal at the same time as gathering food. This is an economic advantage. So I will grant you that making their peasants give more food is a bad response. The Lakota need to get out of ancient age faster (or be able to build a military faster to deal with a rush), and thus I believe you are correct that giving more food per peasant is not the proper way to go.


On the incans: Don't get me wrong. I think the incans are quite potent once you get them going. If you let an incan player have the chance to get good mining setup, then they are hard to beat. The issue is they having nothing going for them in the ancient age, and have no benefits directly linked to economic production or military pre-classical. I'd like to see Incans with a slightly stronger start, and I don't think giving them 10 wealth per city (after all Incans were known for wealthy cities) would overpower them. It wouldn't make their later ages that much more powerful than they already are, but would give them just that little nudge early on.


Also I'm having trouble seeing why greeks are that much stronger on a map with nearby fishing. Certainly it gives them an ancient age source of wealth, which they need to make scholars. But the way I see it you are looking at maybe 30 wealth production via the sea, and the opps are probably looking at the same. The greeks need knowledge faster early in the game exactly because their library trees require knowledge from the start. Getting Com 2 early on is really difficult for the greeks. Also I'm not suggesting that the 20% cheaper science stack with the greek 10% reduction in non-knowledge costs; I understand that that would be too good at the start. If you can suggest a better alternative than science, then by all means. I thought about scholar cost reduction, but thought that might be best for the chinese. A solid reduction in scholar cost combined with 50% faster scholar production would definitely make the greek more early game worthy.


On a side note:

Granary is how you upgrade food production for fishing. The temple only upgrades the non-food resource (aka the metal for whales and the wealth for fish).

Iroquois food and Incan wealth do not benefit from smelter or lumbermill upgrades (incans would be ridiculous if this were the case)

According to your economic chart the incans are actually the strongest there; of course this is probably to be expected since the incans are capable of doubling up on a resource whereas the Lakota are only getting 4 for every 10. The crux of my argument though is that while economic advantage like peasant efficiency is good it doesn't serve to illustrate how effective the civ will be. Being able to extract resources is good, but be able to use it is the other side of things. Yes the lakota will have more builders, but to even get there you needed to send your peasants off exploring (which means they aren't building). If I knew I was fighting Lakota as an aztec I would just send my instant spawn LI over because I know for a fact that the Lakota can't afford to have a military presence early on, and if I manage to tag a peasant, then that sets them back quite a bit.


With the new information presented I have opted to alter my fix for the Lakota to starting with one more peasant and a faster peasant production time.

[This message has been edited by Timetodie777 (edited 05-13-2005 @ 05:37 AM).]

TWC_Ascalon
Member
posted 05-13-05 10:03 AM EDT (US)     17 / 36       
If there would be a patch I would change (but only minor changes):
Inca:
-Incan UU LI stronger OR that they give extra resources back when killed (75%?)
Greeks:
-Cavalry cost 10% less wealth
Romans:
-Free mil off
Aztecs:
-Instead of +15 res per age from sacrifice you would get +10 per age (max would be at Inustrial then)
Bantu:
-Give back their old power of not having to do mil2 to get HCs and FAs
British:
-1 free FA in II, 2 free in IV, 3 free in VI
Mayans:
-Free architecture researches
-Faster wonder building (like 10%)
Lakota:
-100% faster razing
Egyptians:
-UU LC stronger against HCs
Dutch:
-Start with only 1 free merchant
Indians:
-Change random 1v1 matchup seed that India wouldn't get to play against civs like Ame, Iro and French
Russians:
-Give back their oil bonus
Americans:
-Instead of 25% cheaper upgrades, get 15% cheaper upgrades


El_Capitan_
VIP
posted 05-14-05 07:11 PM EDT (US)     18 / 36       
You guys talk too much. Lakota villie rush against Maya pwnzorz.
War
Member
posted 05-14-05 07:22 PM EDT (US)     19 / 36       
Does it work against Russia too?
El_Capitan_
VIP
posted 05-15-05 01:22 AM EDT (US)     20 / 36       
Dooood! It works better on Russia! Lakota villies don't feel attrition, didn't you know it's their new Nation Bonus? Noob.

=p

Shilkanni
Member
posted 05-15-05 09:15 PM EDT (US)     21 / 36       
Overall, if there were to be any official changes (which I don't think there will be) I think they should be buffs, rather than nerfs in most cases, unless you think a side is grossly overpowered. This allows the sides to keep their uniqueness.

Furthermore, I would like to see the existing powers of the sides enhanced/restored rather than complete upheavals of existing powers. For example, if any side needs a general buff, why not restore powers they used to have?

Example: Maya used to have +50% reduced lumber cost and +50% build speed and it applied to wonders. This was too good, but if Maya need need a buff, and I believe they do, I would like to see them land somewhere between where they are now and what they were previously. Perhaps restoring their ability to build wonders fast or boosting their % a little more. At the moment, I feel they're slightly more defensive but immensely worse off economically version of the indians.

Ascalon:
- If you think Iroquois are the best side, why didn't you suggest any tweaks for them?

Quote:

Russians:
-Give back their oil bonus

Does this mean they currently have no oil bonus? When was it turned off?

Quote:


Romans:
-Free mil off


Do you think they would still be as competitive without the free military research?

Quote:


Indians:
-Change random 1v1 matchup seed that India wouldn't get to play against civs like Ame, Iro and French

Not sure what you mean by this? Indians are made weaker because they usually have to face the stronger sides?
Is there any place I can see these match-up seeds?

Quote:

Granary is how you upgrade food production for fishing. The temple only upgrades the non-food resource (aka the metal for whales and the wealth for fish).

Iroquois food and Incan wealth do not benefit from smelter or lumbermill upgrades (incans would be ridiculous if this were the case)

Sorry about the misleading comments on granary/fishing, I checked this and also the Incan mining after making my comments and obviously should have checked before :-P

Quote:

According to your economic chart the incans are actually the strongest there; of course this is probably to be expected since the incans are capable of doubling up on a resource whereas the Lakota are only getting 4 for every 10.

True, and I guess my point was to show that both Inca and Lakota have a strong mid-game. It's a contrived example of course, because the Japanese and Iroquois bonuses take effect earlier, and the snowball effect means that they will get more set up early. However, I just wanted to show that they're both economically strong, and it doesn't actually take too long to get rolling once Inca hit Classical and Lakota reach the food cap, and they can actually make up ground on the other nations.

I guess an important question is:
"Do sides who 'start slow' need a buff?"

I would say the following sides (all IMO of course) start off significantly slower than other sides, because they start with no or few bonuses which help them out early on:
- Lakota (slow until they recover from food drought)
- Greek (slow until they recover from wealth drought)
- Inca (nothing until they put up a mine in II)

To a lesser extent:
- Indian (cheaper farms)
- Maya (cheaper farms)
- Russian (free civic)
- Mongols (food from territory)

This makes these sides a bit slow early on, but do they make up for it over time? I would say yes... in most cases.

Inca & Mongol don't have to wait too long, once they build a mine and stable respectively they start reaping rewards.

Lakota, Greek, and Indian take longer to get rolling, but I would contend that they are all very powerful if they survive to mid-game.

Russian and Maya leave something to be desired, as their slightly weak start is followed up by a slightly weak mid and late game. I suppose you could argue that this is because they are 'defensive' nations, and they do both have benefits of unique defensive abilities.

I like that there is some variance, some sides start strong, some sides take longer to get rolling, it only really needs to be changed if sides are so grossly crippled that they're routinely getting rushed and can't defend themselves. I definitely don't see this as a problem for Inca, and I think you underestimate the power of Lakota and Greek once they overcome their early problems. That is why they're stronger on sea maps, because for each of them it helps them escape their rut faster.

Timetodie777
Member
posted 05-15-05 10:15 PM EDT (US)     22 / 36       
El_Capitan: I would like to see this Villigar rush you speak of. Personally I don't see how you can rush Maya and survive like that since the maya town center is going to be shooting you and you start off with less villagers than they do. And if you don't do it immediately then the maya are going to get up a tower.

Against Russia I can kinda see it working since Russia has no powers that kick in before the Medieval Age. On smaller maps Russia is just fodder (which might need to be addressed, dunno).

The Inca I have since looked at again, and found that an early classical age can help significantly. The change I suggested isn't all that powerful though, and would serve to help incans who didn't have a good mining draw (more of a tweak if anything).

The lakota and greeks do have an early game drought. Without fishing wealth greeks can get stuck without knowledge to research early on. And without early food from fishing Lakota can get stuck without the ability to buy the second age.

The difference I see depending on the map is immense. Last night I drew Lakota in a 3-3 team game on Sahara with a bad starting position and was slaughtered (the fact that a mongol player was raiding me didn't help). Now in another game I was greek, the game had peace for 10 minutes, I had good fishing nearby, got the collosus up early, had relics and papyrus, and was first to hit industrial age. My nubian ally got defeated, but I fought back and defeated both of my enemies. The greek disadvantages of low starting speed was counteracted by fishing wealth, early collosus, and good knowledge rares. The fact that I could research quickly allowed me to get ahead in the ages and this allowed for me to engage in asymetrical warfare and defeat my opponents.

So under optimal conditions sure the Lakota and the Greeks can be powerful, but the other Civs don't have to rely on "optimal" map conditions.

India plays nicely regardless of map because it can build resource producing buildings all over the place. Having a market in every town is very nice on the wealth generation. And I think that if you are going to build lots of wonders India is probably better for you than Egypt, since once you start building a 3rd wonder its cheaper for India than Egypt.

Russia has sort of a mixed place in my views. It can build another city right away which is an advantage (gives the play lots of time to find a good position or allows for an early speed advantage in getting up another city). But that's where its early game stops. I personally don't like slow economies because that usually means slow militaries (Aztecs being an exception since their military is an economy).

Sure on larger maps the slower civs can sort of get rolling, but this ignores the rush. Most of the counter rush techniques rely on you taking a fairly symmetrical route as the rusher. The consequence of this is that if you are already vulnerable to a rush, then you trying to engage in counter rush is going to put you at an even bigger disadvantage.

Really the best thing you can do to help even things out is to play tournament only. Because if I knew my opponent was Lakota, then my first reaction would be get a barracks up asap and send a military unit his way.

Shilkanni
Member
posted 05-15-05 10:41 PM EDT (US)     23 / 36       
With 'Tournament Mode' I think it:
- Hides what the person selected in the lobby
- Hides the score in game

However it:
- Still shows you what the person selected on the loading screen

Meaning that for example:
- You can't select a 'counter nation', ie play Japan and rush them if they choose lakota.
- You can use a 'counter strategy' if they intentionally selected Lakota, you will see this on the loading screen and can send a couple units their way early. By the same token, if they choose Korea or China you might change your start up and send a raiding force instead of a rush force...
- Of course you still won't know which side they are if they go random, although Ascalon's comments suggest that you might have some idea.

[This message has been edited by Shilkanni (edited 05-16-2005 @ 01:24 AM).]

greaper1
Member
posted 05-16-05 09:53 PM EDT (US)     24 / 36       
i disagree with most people here...

greeks dont need a buff they are good against most nations really all that need to change are the player's style

maya have great def as the slingers get a bonus against both archers and light infantry so early on they get a good speed.

lakota are good on most maps(granted some they are weak on) and really it depends on the player once again.

inca are good on any map except sahara and african oasis, general sea maps
only because their main bonus isnt that much of a bonus. but land maps they are great massed hc is hard to defeat espcially when accompanied by massed archers and small amount of hi. the sizes of groups depend on the time played.

NyanNianKoneko
Member
posted 06-09-05 06:45 AM EDT (US)     25 / 36       
I agree with Timetodie777.

That is all.

[This message has been edited by NyanNianKoneko (edited 06-10-2005 @ 04:02 AM).]

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