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Arheo

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Feb 13, 2018
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Greetings all!

Today I’m joined by @Trin Tragula who will bring you up to date on some of the rebalancing and tweaking that has taken place in the Cicero update, after I’ve explained a little about the changes we’ve made to the food and pop systems. These changes are not currently live on the open beta, so those of you who have kindly opted in to the beta to help us out, will have some new information to read.

It has been rightly pointed out that the way that starvation applies in the current beta iteration results in some undesirable results. To solve this, starvation will no longer be applied at a flat rate, which caused Settlements to dwindle away when a large city is present in a Province.

Instead, provinces which run out of food will apply a -75% total multiplier to the population capacity of all Province territories. Overpopulation will now yield a small (-0.03%) population growth malus for every pop over the threshold, alongside the happiness penalties previously implemented. This solves a number of issues we had when playing with Cicero, and feels like a much more organic solution to starvation and overpopulation. Territories that exceed their population capacity will begin to slowly grow fewer pops, organically reaching a stable population point, and starvation will no longer punish Settlements unduly.

In addition to these food changes, we’ve taken a pass over the initial setup of the territory map, adding food resources to a few Provinces that were lacking access to a renewable food source, and removed a series of buildings that were erroneously lurking in territories of the wrong category.

A seemingly minor, but important change coming to population, is in the way that ratios are calculated. It was previously possible to raise the desired ratio of a pop-type to well above 100%, and depending on the order (from left to right) in which it appeared, would be given precedence over other types. In an effort to solve this problem, and provide a better baseline with which to balance setups, we’ve elected to normalise pop ratios across the board.




In practical terms, this means that a territory which in the old system had 20% Desired Citizens and 10% Desired Freemen, would now have 66.6% Desired Citizens, and 33.3% Desired Freemen.

This system is much easier to balance around, and should never result in a situation where it becomes impossible to gain any pops of a specific type in a territory.

Some valuable feedback regarding the cost of founding a city has been given and received, and we’ve changed the cost from a scaled gold cost, to a flat gold cost. This seems logical, as the benefit from a city does not scale linearly with national income, as a scaling cost would imply.


Now I shall hand over to @Trin Tragula , to explain some of the balance changes we’ve made, in the Cicero update!


/Arheo


Hello and welcome to this second part of today’s Dev Diary. Here I will show some of the changes that Cicero brings on the balancing side. One of the greater benefits of an open beta is that we have been able to change things based on the feedback players provide as they try out features. Some of this you will already be aware of if you have been playing the open beta, some of it will be new even if you have.


Military Traditions:



Traditions are in many ways the main thing that differentiates countries in various parts of the map, and in some cases they also unlock things that you cannot otherwise make use of. As such there will likely always be many opinions on them and their relative balance.

Offense, Defence and Discipline: Something that has been frequently mentioned by the community is the fact that traditions have not always seen to the full picture when it comes to the use of unit specific Offense, Defence and Discipline modifiers. As of the Cicero Update almost all such modifiers from traditions have been changed. Some have increased, others have decreased and in many cases a Discipline bonus has been turned into one for Offense or Defence.

Levantine Traditions: When traditions were originally conceived the intention was always that Egypt make use of the Levantine set. This later changed to make the successor kingdoms all use the same (Greek) Tradition set. In the name of variety Cicero has brought the Levantine set back to Egypt, while also reshuffling it a bit to make the middle path able to unlock Mega Polyremes. The Legacy of the Builders tradition will now also provide extra building slots in cities.

‘Barbarian’ Traditions: Perhaps our most wide reaching set, that of the Barbarian Traditions, have seen an increase in bonuses related to Light Infantry and Chariots.


Military Units:

A fair bit of the feedback we have been getting during the open beta has related to unit type balance. In some ways the new food system has meant that units with a higher weight are more valuable now, and to some degree this feedback has just related to general concerns present since 1.1 or before.


Elephants:
While elephants themselves have not been changed their general viability has increased with the introduction of food. Having a healthy food storage, and taking control of the enemy food storage in offensive warfare, have made these giant beasts of the battlefield a much more viable option in many cases.

Horse Archers & Light Cavalry:
The effectiveness of flanking means that both Horse Archers and Light Cavalry are very useful, more so than is warranted by their cost and availability. As of the Cicero patch we have increased the attrition weight of both, reflecting the great need for food of horses. Mounted archers will now also take extra morale damage and therefore retreat more quickly from the field of battle if they are opposed, much like archers do when deployed as skirmishers.

Chariots:
Chariots are a tricky unit type balance wise since they were largely outdated in many ways by the start of our game, yet they were still in frequent use in some societies. As of the Cicero patch Chariots are cheaper to recruit (from a cost of 8 to 6) and traditions that boost them have been further increased.

Heavy Cavalry:
While expensive Heavy Cavalry was a central part of a number of prominent armies in this timeline. Cicero patch increases the viability of Heavy Cavalry by reducing their price to 10 (this is further reduced by Military Traditions in many cases).

Mega Polyremes & Octeres:
The idea of the Heavy ship class was always that its main use would be the special abilities that they have access to, that allow them to influence land warfare and help more directly with naval invasions than other types. This is why their maneuverability is low enough that they can only target a ship directly in front of them, but even given that these ships have tended to perform very well against other ship types. More so than intended, even given their high cost.

For this reason both Mega-Polyremes and Octeres have now lost their greater ability to absorb strength damage, making them slightly less useful in ship to ship encounters.


National Ideas:

Even if the need to match your national idea to your government type remains in Cicero the removal of monarch power has made it more important that national ideas can compete with each other for utility.

The bonuses have therefore been revisited, both with an eye on their value and to adopt them to our new game mechanics such as food or conversion.

Central Urban Spaces:
Province loyalty gain increased from 3% to 5% to make the idea more worthwhile.

City Planning:
With the introduction of cities a national idea that gave more building slots in only cities turned out to be of limited use. Instead this idea now gives a general increase in Population Capacity.

Standard Construction:
With buildings playing a larger role in the game, and with the more expensive buildings in settlements this idea has grown more useful. It will remains o but the discount for buildings have been decreased from 20% to 15%.

Grain Stockpile:
Instead of increasing population growth directly this idea will now increase Food output as well as the food capacity in every Province in your empire.

Institutional Proselytism:
This idea will now increase population conversion speed in your nation.

Siege Training:
In order to make this idea more worthwhile the bonus to Siege Ability is now 15%.


That was all for today. It is however by no means the only tweaks coming to the Cicero update! We will cover more changes, as well as more of the general features of the Cicero Update next week. :)
 

Denkt

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Thats some pretty great changes

Any way to increase desirable slave ratio since slave buildings in cities have quite limited use with few slaves.
 
Last edited:

hashinshin

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Heavy cav at 10 cost in the beta are still just not worth building.

In the current build they basically function like inferior elephants. At best they're more expensive, slower, less flanking, slightly better damage LC. At worst they're slightly less supply SIGNIFICANTLY WORSE elephants.

Their cost should go back up and their effectiveness should be increased. They're just being slept on so hard by paradox.
 

Arheo

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Any way to increase desirable slave ratio since slave buildings in cities have quite limited use with few slaves.
Mills now increase Slave Desired ratio, just as other poptype buildings.
 

Zylathas

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I feel it would be worthwhile to add some more military traditions down the road to differentiate stuff more.

I definitely feel that the Barbarian military tradition should be split in 4 Iberia, gallic, Brittonic & Germanic and the Hellenistic one in 2 mainland greek (Sparta, Epirus, Macedonia etc) & non-mainland greek (Seleucids, Phrygia, Massilia, Emporium etc)
 

Todie

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Very exciting! I cant wait to try next beta-iteration , can we expect one tgis week?

@Trin Tragula
Instead of increasing population growth directly this idea will now increase Food output as well as the food capacity in every Province in your empire.
I have a concern with this similar to the old building slot idea - switching away from any idea that gives +max capacity poses the question of what happens with any overflow.

... in the building case, they just get destroyed. Will food overflow sinply dissapear from one day to next?
 

hashinshin

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Heavy cav at 10 cost in the beta are still just not worth building.

In the current build they basically function like inferior elephants. At best they're more expensive, slower, less flanking, slightly better damage LC. At worst they're slightly less supply SIGNIFICANTLY WORSE elephants.

Their cost should go back up and their effectiveness should be increased. They're just being slept on so hard by paradox.
I want to add on to this: What I did in my MP mod is made them 12 cost, +20% morale damage, +10% damage to HA, and 3 flanking (same as LC) then trade good bonus from horses (same as LC.)

I've been considering that LI should have 3 speed as well, so that HC have more units they can play off of to actually use their 3 speed.
 
Last edited:

Denkt

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For National ideas changes I think land appropiration should increase migration speed rather than citizen output as it make more sense and there is already an Idea that give +20% research.

The three loyalty ideas need some look at since the religious loyalty is superior to both oratory loyalty ideas combined.
 

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I really want to thank you for this open beta approach. It is great to try immediately all those new changes, also with so many people testing it it is easiest to see if the implemented changes are good or not so good and need to be polished. I think this will greatly speed up the process of Imperator becoming the best Paradox game (which I honestly think it has potential to become). You really should use this open beta for other Paradox games as well, especially Stellaris (I know, there are open betas as well but not so intensive as here with Cicero, the more revolutionary changes do not make it into open beta in Stellaris and sometimes the final product is then not so good as one was expecting from Dev Diaries).
 

Rabid

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In practical terms, this means that a territory which in the old system had 20% Desired Citizens and 10% Desired Freemen, would now have 66.6% Desired Citizens, and 33.3% Desired Freemen.
I don't quite see how this follows, does this mean that slaves are no longer promoted or something? The only way I can make those equivalences make sense is if the "desired" proportion only applies to citizens and freemen.

Changes sound great but please consider further buffs for HC especially since they get very few NI buffs and no trade good buffs.

Looking forward to seeing the changes to Levantine ideas in action, Kush was already one of my favourite states to play with their awesome building cost reduction, now they get big ships and more building slots too!
 

Denkt

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It mean that pop ratio work like trade power in EUIV. Promotion and demotion work like before but the sum of ratios is now always 100% and getting 100% ideal ratio of a specific pop is now going to be impossible or close to that.
 

Todie

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I want to add on to this: What I did in my MP mod is made them 12 cost, +20% morale damage, +10% damage to HA, and 3 flanking (same as LC.)

I've been considering that LI should have 3 speed as well, so that HC have more units they can play off of to actually use their 3 speed.
I think the potential strength of unmodded HC is late game with dedicated road networks and food bufferig for attrition. You can deploy high concentration of HC on and near your border, move them faster and train them much faster than elefants.

the changes to LC/HA in this dd means the supply differance between HC and LC will be notably smaller, closing the gap a bit in terms of usefulness on enemy lands - perhaps you’re right that HC will still be too nieche though, idk.

In other news, camels are now probably the most supply-efficient flanker?
 

Trin Tragula

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I have a concern with this similar to the old building slot idea - switching away from any idea that gives +max capacity poses the question of what happens with any overflow.
... in the building case, they just get destroyed. Will food overflow sinply dissapear from one day to next?
Yes. Will be no different from when food storage capacity is decreased from destroying granaries or losing settlements :)
 

Rabid

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It mean that pop ratio work like trade power in EUIV. Promotion and demotion work like before but the sum of ratios is now always 100% and getting 100% ideal ratio of a specific pop is now going to be impossible or close to that.
But under the current system 20% ideal citizens and 10% freemen means that a city with 100% slaves will end up with a 20/10/70 split, which is entirely different from a 66.6/33.3/0 split which is what is implied by what I quoted.
 

cristofolmc

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I dont understand well the pop ratios changes. So if you had before 10% now you are gonna have 66% just because potato? It doesnt make any sense so I suppose Im missing something.

Please someone explain it in more detail.
 

Denkt

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Will you take a look at tactics such as making them unavaliable at 0% affinity since currently you can counter any tactic with any army since even a 0% affinity tactic will counter a 100% affinity tactic and it simply don't make much sense being able to do stuff such as cavalry skrimish without cavalry.

Some suggestions have gone even further with tactics being the main way of balancing unit types but I think that is not the way to go since it add more dimensions that need to be balanced but giving the tactics more impact than just being +-% would be nice.

But under the current system 20% ideal citizens and 10% freemen means that a city with 100% slaves will end up with a 20/10/70 split, which is entirely different from a 66.6/33.3/0 split which is what is implied by what I quoted.
No, the new system will likely work with weights such as a city may have 10-10-10 weight for citizens-freemen-slaves which would give an ideal ratio of 33% each. Now you may change the weight to 10-20-20 which would give 20% ideal citizens and 40% ideal freemen and slaves.

The formula for a pop's ratio would be: Its weight/(sum of all pops weights)
 

Zylathas

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I dont understand well the pop ratios changes. So if you had before 10% now you are gonna have 66% just because potato? It doesnt make any sense so I suppose Im missing something.

Please someone explain it in more detail.
Before you had 10% extra citizens and 20% extra freeman, that ment 30% boost in total.

They have put this to a scale of 100%, so to make it match 10% = 33.3% and 20% = 66.7%.
 

Todie

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I dont understand well the pop ratios changes. So if you had before 10% now you are gonna have 66% just because potato? It doesnt make any sense so I suppose Im missing something.

Please someone explain it in more detail.
What now is 10% will just be 10 ”ratio points”, then the actual %ratio depends on the relative ”ratio points” of all pop types in that territory