Author Topic: Changes to the Social Engineering models  (Read 12225 times)

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Offline Dio

Changes to the Social Engineering models
« on: January 16, 2014, 05:39:51 AM »
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  • I have some plausible theories as to why the game developers never included the -economy effects into the social models yet made several references to it in the help section for said models. The reason I think they did not include -economy effects in the social models is because late in development they reduced base energy output from 2 to 1 which made the -3 economy effect (-2 energy at each base) take away more energy than would be produced by the base square of a base without facilities. However, they did leave references in the help text of the two social models that I think might have gotten this negative social effect(s). First, the help for Police state is:    (important word(s) are in bold font)
    Quote
    Police States use oppression to keep their citizens in line, and allow
    their leaders great power over military decisions. But oppression of
    this type also decreases economic efficiency.

    and secondly the help text for power is:

    Quote
    Leaders seeking Power build strong, well-paid military forces to
    enforce their will. However, economic and industrial infrastructure may
    suffer from bloated "defense" budgets.
    .

    Do you think that it is an appropriate match to have -Economy social effects for the Power and Police State social models based upon their help texts?
    « Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 06:55:46 AM by sisko »

    Offline Geo

    Re: Changes to the Social engineering models.
    « Reply #1 on: January 16, 2014, 11:36:00 AM »
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  • Do you think that it is an appropriate match to have -Economy social effects for the Power and Police State social models based upon their help texts?

    To me it looks the -2 effic replaced the negative economy modifier in Police State. Might be interesting to see how this plays out, but probably AI Morgan would never follow PS again then.

    Negative econ for Power sounds counter intuitive when military sales are about the top business here in our economy.

    Offline gwillybj

    Re: Changes to the Social engineering models.
    « Reply #2 on: January 18, 2014, 04:02:54 PM »
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  • On this note, can someone give me a realistic replacement or adjustment for Fundamentalist? I don't have a problem with the title, just the factors given.

    I'd rather replace the line with something else from modern society, though.
    Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying. ― Arthur C. Clarke
    Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt. (They change their sky, not their soul, who rush across the sea.) ― Horace, The Odes of Horace

    Offline Dio

    Re: Changes to the Social engineering models.
    « Reply #3 on: January 18, 2014, 06:59:54 PM »
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  • You could rename Fundamentalist to something like Theocratic or Ecclesiocraic. As for bonuses, you might be able to swap the Probe bonus for something like Planet.

    On a another note, it has bothered me that their is no way with any of the original seven factions to get -5 RESEARCH or -3 GROWTH in the Social Engineering table.

    Offline Yitzi

    Re: Changes to the Social engineering models.
    « Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 06:05:30 AM »
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  • First, the help for Police state is:    (important word(s) are in bold font)
    Quote
    Police States use oppression to keep their citizens in line, and allow
    their leaders great power over military decisions. But oppression of
    this type also decreases economic efficiency.

    That could easily refer to EFFIC rating; EFFIC affects energy (which is economy), so it's logical to call it "economic efficiency", perhaps more logical than using "economic efficiency" for ECONOMY.  The fact that Police State is obviously based on Despotism from Civ also supports the "EFFIC penalty was original" theory.

    Quote
    Leaders seeking Power build strong, well-paid military forces to
    enforce their will. However, economic and industrial infrastructure may
    suffer from bloated "defense" budgets.
    .

    That refers to energy-boosting facilities, which take longer to build with an INDUSTRY penalty.  The key word here is "infrastructure", which refers to facilities.

    So those help texts do not support a -EFFIC change, though thematically having -EFFIC for Police State would not be out of place.

    Offline Kirov

    Re: Changes to the Social engineering models.
    « Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 07:45:59 PM »
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  • I agree with Yitzi on that 'economic efficiency' line. I've always read it the same way he says.

    What I miss a lot from SE options is that there is no feature in PROBE to make your probe actions cheaper - apart from a probe morale boost, positive PROBE is largely passive. Is there any way to change it?

    And+2 and +3 MORALE, as weak as it is already (I consider MORALE to be the least important SE) give only +1 and +2 Morale respectively, plus additional 1 on defence... What gives? Even the highest MORALE is no match for +2 ECON or +1 INDUSTRY. I can't imagine how someone thought that the SE settings and choices are even remotely balanced.

    Offline Geo

    Re: Changes to the Social engineering models.
    « Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 10:10:50 PM »
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  • Instant Elite units is in my opinion not something to sneeze at when a native stack of doom heads your way. It saves minerals to replace lost units, or seen the other way, gives extra mineral or energy costs to opponents to replace those units they lost against your elite ones.

    Offline Yitzi

    Re: Changes to the Social engineering models.
    « Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 04:26:34 AM »
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  • I agree with Yitzi on that 'economic efficiency' line. I've always read it the same way he says.

    What I miss a lot from SE options is that there is no feature in PROBE to make your probe actions cheaper - apart from a probe morale boost, positive PROBE is largely passive. Is there any way to change it?

    Not without .exe modding.

    Quote
    And+2 and +3 MORALE, as weak as it is already (I consider MORALE to be the least important SE) give only +1 and +2 Morale respectively, plus additional 1 on defence... What gives? Even the highest MORALE is no match for +2 ECON or +1 INDUSTRY. I can't imagine how someone thought that the SE settings and choices are even remotely balanced.

    Firstly, having all your units be elite (doable with +3 MORALE in conjunction with a command center and monolith, or +4 with just a command center) is quite an advantage, since it lets you use cheap infantry as though they were rovers.

    Secondly, what makes you think they're considered equal?  You take a lot of penalties for +2 ECON, and other than Free Market, boosts to ECON and INDUSTRY are only +1 where most boosts are +2.  The imbalance is due more to (1) PLANET penalties being not as big a deal because of how the ecodamage formula works, (2) -2 MORALE not being such a big deal because creches' effect on morale penalties is too strong, and (3) people usually playing on more builder-friendly maps.  Plus some other things, such as POLICE being too weak...

    Instant Elite units is in my opinion not something to sneeze at when a native stack of doom heads your way. It saves minerals to replace lost units, or seen the other way, gives extra mineral or energy costs to opponents to replace those units they lost against your elite ones.

    I think the +1 movement is a more important bonus, both because it always applies and because it translates into usually being able to attack first.

    Offline Nexii

    Re: Changes to the Social engineering models.
    « Reply #8 on: February 14, 2014, 07:41:31 PM »
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  • Agree and the devs obviously did know that some SEs had stronger benefits than others.  Mind you they might have overestimated some SE settings like Fundamentalist, Power.
     
    PROBE was probably weaker than intended judging by Fundamentalisms +/-
    Something like +/- to PROBE team construction costs might have worked too, or modified energy cost on actions.  The best fix IMO is to just give Fundamentalism +2 MORALE instead of +1 MORALE

    Similarly Power was a bit weak, though I wouldn't underestimate ++SUPPORT that it gives.  Supporting extra units for free will often counteract the --IND until Clean reactors (which are a bit broken IMO).  I think Power is a bit underestimated in general though.  Modding Power to just -1 IND makes it really strong...so I'm not too sure.

    Police State at -2 ECON might work, though you would have to probably make Yang immune to its downside.  Thing is late game -2/-3 ECON isn't a huge penalty.  And +2 POLICE becomes really good with the drone fixes.  Don't underestimate +POLICE especially as you expand and conquer.  -2 EFF is probably required to keep it more balanced.  Really I always felt +ECON was a screwy SE with its odd breakpoints.  Something like +/- to total Energy production might have been more interesting than hard square modifiers.  But as Yitzi said this isn't easy to modify...so it's best to make due.

    Also I agree with Yitzi that MORALE is a really important and underrated modifier.  +1 movement lets you position to almost always strike first, be it by land, air or sea.  The game is very attacker favored, therefore the attacker rarely takes many losses.  Even if you unit cost mod to make defense a bit more viable, the attacker will still be favored (as only a bad player would suicide their units into a death trap).  Now the AI doesn't war all that well so this might not be apparent.  You can run your builder SE and pick off the un-coordinated AI attacks with ease.  But if you play some Human vs Human games, you'll see how important first strike and positioning are.

    With Yitzi's fixes I'd rank PLANET and PROBE as currently the least important SEs by quite a big margin.  It'd be nice to somehow make them a bit more relevant but it's not too bad given how the SEs are mostly balanced around this. 

    - 1/-2 ECON might make more sense for Power than Police State, as it thematically opposes Wealth SE.  But Wealth also gives +IND so I think it's ok.  IND and ECON are pretty similar in that they both favor builder style play over momentum.  Personally I think the -EFF fits Police State as there would be a lot of corruption.

    Offline Yitzi

    Re: Changes to the Social engineering models.
    « Reply #9 on: February 15, 2014, 11:54:47 PM »
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  • Agree and the devs obviously did know that some SEs had stronger benefits than others.  Mind you they might have overestimated some SE settings like Fundamentalist, Power.

    I think that it's less "overestimated" and more "expected people to play on maps that are more aggression-friendly than the ones currently often used in multiplayer."
     
    Quote
    PROBE was probably weaker than intended judging by Fundamentalisms +/-

    No, I think it's more that RESEARCH was stronger than intended, and MORALE...actually, that's probably about right, as it can be very powerful if used to its potential.

    Quote
    Something like +/- to PROBE team construction costs might have worked too, or modified energy cost on actions.

    Or perhaps an energy cost applied to infiltrating and stealing tech?

    Quote
    Similarly Power was a bit weak, though I wouldn't underestimate ++SUPPORT that it gives.  Supporting extra units for free will often counteract the --IND until Clean reactors (which are a bit broken IMO).

    I think it's more that it makes it easier to get Elite...and when your infantry are equivalent to your opponent's rovers, that's far more than worth a +20% cost (if, of course, most of your production is spent on military).

    Quote
    Police State at -2 ECON might work, though you would have to probably make Yang immune to its downside.

    Not really, as he'd just have to wait until he's not relying on the base square for energy.  Even -4 ECON has no penalty beyond the base square.

    Quote
    Really I always felt +ECON was a screwy SE with its odd breakpoints.

    Not as odd as you might think; with the right playstyle (which, not coincidentally, is probably the one where Market's and Wealth's penalties hurt the least), commerce bonuses are EXTREMELY powerful.  (I'm talking about "Morgan can be a better techer than Zak" powerful here.)

    Quote
    Something like +/- to total Energy production might have been more interesting than hard square modifiers.  But as Yitzi said this isn't easy to modify...so it's best to make due.

    It probably could be done if you describe what you want, it's just not such a high priority.

    Quote
    With Yitzi's fixes I'd rank PLANET and PROBE as currently the least important SEs by quite a big margin.  It'd be nice to somehow make them a bit more relevant but it's not too bad given how the SEs are mostly balanced around this. 

    Actually, PLANET can be made very important, depending on how you mod the ecodamage formula.  (Cut clean minerals and increase divisors, and it becomes quite significant.)  PROBE could use some boosting, probably by making more things cost credits (and thus be modified by the target's PROBE rating.)

    Offline Nexii

    Re: Changes to the Social engineering models.
    « Reply #10 on: February 25, 2014, 05:48:26 PM »
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  • Yea I'll have to play around with some Planet modifiers.  The thing is I find FM already has big downsides on Transcend, with Drone fixes in.  No Police sentinel really stings.  A lot more than the P-drones as you'd only really run FM in a peace scenario anyways.  Like you said Morgan and +Commerce are really good with higher ECON.  Didn't mean at all that ECON is worthless past +2.  It's really powerful if you can get allies and have the Global Trade Pact going.  But on the flip side, if you don't have this energy boost then it's really hard to control Drones.

    I think if feasible it would be good to add a Energy cost to stealing tech.  Maybe tie it to your current research cost in lab points? You could add a cost to infiltrating too, maybe tied to faction population.  Although doesn't infiltrate last forever?  I always thought it should wear off after some time, maybe 20 turns.  I could be wrong on this one.

    Another possibility to boost PROBE would be to make it impossible to do all probe actions and not just subversion against a player running +3 PROBE SE.  That would make it very tempting.  Especially if you couldn't be infiltrated at +3 PROBE SE...a lot of wars come down to knowing when to go all-in.  Believers would have a needed boost with just Fund or TC, most other factions could run both late-game.

    As for the Yang thing (on topic!) I'll have to test.  I thought that -ECON was a modifier to the base's energy and not to the base square (if in excess of the default 1 energy).  Regardless, I still say that -4 ECON is crippling till later in the game, because that's -2 energy per base.  A size 3 base with Recycle tanks and 3 forests is only 5 energy and this puts you all the way down to just 3.  Or equivalent to -40% research rate - worse than Fundamentalism not even considering the lost Energy to rush with.  It just seems counter-intuitive that Yang wouldn't want to run Police State when he gets it.  Although to play devil's advocate, Yang is really strong with the Drone fixes.  PS is very powerful now also.  I think if you were to give PS -2 ECON instead of -2 EFFIC, then -2 ECON would need to be a bigger penalty in the later game.  Perhaps a commerce penalty?

    Offline Yitzi

    Re: Changes to the Social engineering models.
    « Reply #11 on: February 25, 2014, 07:43:44 PM »
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  • Yea I'll have to play around with some Planet modifiers.  The thing is I find FM already has big downsides on Transcend, with Drone fixes in.  No Police sentinel really stings.

    Hey, Transcend is supposed to be hard.  But if you do want to make Planet more important, what you want to do is increase mineral divisor and total divisor (so that you can get some decent minerals without too much ecodamage if you have good PLANET) and decrease or remove the clean minerals (as those are not affected by PLANET rating.)  Oh, and increase the threshold for max ecodamage at the nearest base to still be able to capture worms, but that won't be possible until the next version of my patch.

    Quote
    A lot more than the P-drones as you'd only really run FM in a peace scenario anyways.  Like you said Morgan and +Commerce are really good with higher ECON.  Didn't mean at all that ECON is worthless past +2.  It's really powerful if you can get allies and have the Global Trade Pact going.  But on the flip side, if you don't have this energy boost then it's really hard to control Drones.

    Actually, even without commerce, a decent-sized base should be able to use the bonus energy to compensate for the lack of police.  Normally you'd only be getting 2 points of drone control (1 unit with non-lethal methods), so that's 4 psych, and with a hologram theater that comes out to 2-3 energy (or 2 with more psych-boosting facilities).

    Quote
    I think if feasible it would be good to add a Energy cost to stealing tech.  Maybe tie it to your current research cost in lab points?

    I considered that, but it just doesn't really seem like it makes sense.  I think a better approach is to tie it to the target's energy (just like subversion) and the target base's distance from HQ (increasing with higher distance from HQ, and being free at the HQ.)  That way, if you want to steal tech or infiltrate you have to decide whether to go after a riskier central base, or a more expensive fringe base.

    Quote
    You could add a cost to infiltrating too, maybe tied to faction population.  Although doesn't infiltrate last forever?  I always thought it should wear off after some time, maybe 20 turns.  I could be wrong on this one.

    It does last forever.  Making it wear off after some time could be tricky, because it would need to store when it happened, but I like the idea.  The duration could then be modified by PROBE rating.  The question is then what to do with the Empath Guild (as if it's the only way to get permanent infiltration it'd be way too powerful); I think the best approach is for it to create an infiltration with double duration when it's build, and also double the duration of probe-team-created infiltrations.

    If infiltration is temporary, though, I don't think it should have a cost.  Still, I can add both features and people can use whatever they want.  (It's not going to be one of the next few, though; the next version is waiting for the "ecodamage to prevent worm capture" variable and for me to finish with "enhanced information"; after that is making base-to-base crawling viable and allowing population-based caps on crawler use, and then making some nifty options involving fungus and the Voice of Planet.)

    Quote
    Another possibility to boost PROBE would be to make it impossible to do all probe actions and not just subversion against a player running +3 PROBE SE.  That would make it very tempting.

    It would also be overpowered and have a negative effect on the game, I think.  However, if +3 PROBE reduced the duration of infiltration to

      Especially if you couldn't be infiltrated at +3 PROBE SE...a lot of wars come down to knowing when to go all-in.  Believers would have a needed boost with just Fund or TC, most other factions could run both late-game.

    As for the Yang thing (on topic!) I'll have to test.  I thought that -ECON was a modifier to the base's energy and not to the base square (if in excess of the default 1 energy).  Regardless, I still say that -4 ECON is crippling till later in the game, because that's -2 energy per base.  A size 3 base with Recycle tanks and 3 forests is only 5 energy and this puts you all the way down to just 3.  Or equivalent to -40% research rate - worse than Fundamentalism not even considering the lost Energy to rush with.  It just seems counter-intuitive that Yang wouldn't want to run Police State when he gets it.  Although to play devil's advocate, Yang is really strong with the Drone fixes.  PS is very powerful now also.  I think if you were to give PS -2 ECON instead of -2 EFFIC, then -2 ECON would need to be a bigger penalty in the later game.  Perhaps a commerce penalty?
    [/quote]

    Offline Nexii

    Re: Changes to the Social engineering models.
    « Reply #12 on: February 26, 2014, 04:31:40 PM »
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  • Complete immunity at +3 PROBE might be pretty overpowered I'll admit.  But HSA does the same, maybe something like non-AE probes only.  That or tighten up the odds curve.  Right now it doesn't feel like there's much difference between - and + PROBE SE.  The thing about adding steal costs is that it hurts the stealing factions more than techers.  If steal costs were very low at +2/+3 PROBE this might be okay too.

    Also Dio I tested and at -3 (or lower) ECON, the -2 energy only affects the base square and cannot go below 0 (in the case of a new base with no recycle tanks or other bonus).  So I'm not sure the whole negative energy theory is the reason for no -ECON SEs.  My theory is that it made Police State just too punishing to run early game for Yang.  Though you can argue PS+Planned has the same flaw at -4 EFFIC for others.  I'm of the opinion that certain combinations shouldn't be so crippling (otherwise the game would restrict).  The other thing is that -2 ECON is insignificant past early game.  The same can be argued of SUP I guess but Clean has a cost.  If -ECON had Commerce penalty (in the way that +ECON gives Commerce bonus) then I think you could balance the -ECON SE better between early/late game.

    Thematically I think the -2 ECON would fit better with Planned than -2 EFF.  Thoughts anyone?

    Offline Yitzi

    Re: Changes to the Social engineering models.
    « Reply #13 on: February 26, 2014, 04:57:24 PM »
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  • Complete immunity at +3 PROBE might be pretty overpowered I'll admit.  But HSA does the same, maybe something like non-AE probes only.

    Well, obviously it wouldn't be better than HSA...but while one faction being able to be probe-immune isn't too problematic (as if one faction is weak against another it's not such a big deal because there are a lot of other factions), for every faction to be able to achieve that is too much.

    Quote
    That or tighten up the odds curve.  Right now it doesn't feel like there's much difference between - and + PROBE SE.

    Steal costs that change with PROBE, and infiltration duration being highly affected by PROBE (say, 40 turns at -2 target's PROBE, 30 at -1, 20 at 0, 15 at +1, 10 at +2, 5 at +3) should make it more noticeable.  I also think removing the "boosts probe team morale" feature of some techs will help, so that that +1/+2/+3 PROBE actually has a noticeable effect.

    Quote
    The thing about adding steal costs is that it hurts the stealing factions more than techers.

    Of course it does; stealing factions have other advantages (Miriam has a powerful army and if she ever does get ahead in research she'll be expensive to steal from, and Roze can steal more cheaply and unless running Knowledge will have auto-elite probe teams with PSA.)  It actually helps techers, as they can more easily keep their lead, but they have their own weaknesses (Zak's got drones and is fairly cheap to steal tech or bases from, and Aki and Morgan have population weaknesses, including lacking easy pop booms.)

    Quote
    If steal costs were very low at +2/+3 PROBE this might be okay too.

    That's the nice thing about making it scale with distance from HQ; it means that cost and risk have a trade-off.

    Quote
    Also Dio I tested and at -3 (or lower) ECON, the -2 energy only affects the base square and cannot go below 0 (in the case of a new base with no recycle tanks or other bonus).  So I'm not sure the whole negative energy theory is the reason for no -ECON SEs.

    Of course it isn't; the reason is that there really wasn't something to match it well.  (Police State was probably always intended to be -EFFIC; it's clearly a carry-over from Despotism in the early Civ games, which was effectively -EFFIC, +SUPPORT, and resource caps.)

    Quote
    The same can be argued of SUP I guess but Clean has a cost.

    Indeed it does, and a fairly significant one; throwaway units will be better used as non-Clean.  More of a concern is the fact that unit costs and resource income increase as the game progresses whereas support cost does not; that's why my next patch includes scaling support costs.

    Quote
    If -ECON had Commerce penalty (in the way that +ECON gives Commerce bonus) then I think you could balance the -ECON SE better between early/late game.

    It's an idea; when I start taking requests for mods feel free to request that.

    Quote
    Thematically I think the -2 ECON would fit better with Planned than -2 EFF.  Thoughts anyone?

    Maybe not.  EFFIC affects bases far from your HQ more, and is more important with a larger empire (due to bureaucracy drones), so having Planned be fairly effective with a small empire but devastating with a large one makes a lot of thematic sense.  (Planned economies tend to work well with small groups and poorly with larger groups.)

    Offline Geo

    Re: Changes to the Social engineering models.
    « Reply #14 on: February 26, 2014, 05:44:04 PM »
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  • Complete immunity at +3 PROBE might be pretty overpowered I'll admit.  But HSA does the same, maybe something like non-AE probes only.

    To chip in here, it would render trying to build the HSA moot in the semi-short run. That's where the SP's are for; an incentive to strife for.

     

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