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Lavilledieu

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Although tall play has been buffed lately, it still has many problems. The most important problem is that it's very difficult to keep up with development. Many people would think: "Stack development cost modifiers! Use the dip and adm points to don't spend on conquest to develop your country!". And yes, they're correct in a sense, but more importantly, there is a major problem: development cost isn't a tall play modifier! No, this modifier is best for empires between tall and wide.

Why? Well, let look at what the modifier does: it reduces the dev cost by for example 10%. However, it applies this discount on the base cost, and not the total cost. The base cost, at game start, is 50, so you get a 5 points discount. This sure is useful to develop low dev provinces, but not high dev provinces. On high dev provinces, the development cost reduction will barely matter, since the cost reduction is tied to the action, instead of the province. So this modifier is best for empires with plenty of low dev provinces, and still have monarch points left to invest. "But late game, my provinces stacked up with the dev cost reduction are extremely cheap?" Interesting point. That's entirely due to the dev cost efficiency of technology, which reduces the base cost, which also means that your very high dev provinces (and low dev provinces) become very cheap. However, dev cost reduction has little to do here: since the base cost goes down, so does the efficiency of the dev cost modifier! -10% on a base cost of 35 (late game base cost) is a reduction of 3,5, which is nearly nothing!

The dream every tall player (which I am not) of creating super high dev provinces is difficult and inefficient in this game. Reduced dev cost is almost worthless once you get reasonable large provinces. This is because of the increase in dev cost due to development. For each dev over 9 dev, you pay 3% more. For each dev over 19, you'll pay another 3% per dev, and so on. This makes the dev cost increase very quickly to numbers much larger than the -20% dev cost one gets from economic ideas, and makes it very difficult to play decently tall. That's why I suggest the following modifier: Decreased development cost increase.




Calculations:
The posted table shows the following:
- Dev from: the development is province is at. I've skipped all uneven dev numbers, to make the table somewhat legible. I don't expect that to have a big effect on the calculations.
- Dev cost from dev: the additional cost one has to pay in % due to the current development level. Note how quickly this increases! It's this number that the modifier will affect.
- Cost: the cost one has to pay to increase the development.
- Total cost: sum of the row
- Calculations for a few scenarios.

Scenario 1:
-20% dev cost, the modifier found in the economic ideas, does exactly as expected. It gives a reduction of 50*0.2=10 monarch points. Great for low dev provinces, but hardly noticeable for high dev provinces.

Scenario 2:
Here, the new modifier gets applied. The same value of 20% gets applied, just to make comparing a bit easier. As expected, this modifier hardly matters for low dev provinces, but once one goes over 30 dev (from then one, provinces can be considered as really large), the modifier becomes more effective than the dev cost reduction. The total cost remains higher than the lower dev cost reduction. It's safe to assume this is not a game-breaking modifier!

Scenario 3:
Even with a high number, the modifier doesn't become way too powerful. Sure, if you get a 44 dev city, the reduction will be very strong, but first you'll need to reach such a city, and secondly, you still pay a lot for adding 1 dev to a province!

Scenario 4:
Combining the modifiers has nice results, although it's only 75 less monarch points than the -20% dev cost. Note that this assumes you've gathered two sources for reducing your development cost!

This has the following advantages:
- Makes it easier to balance development cost reductions, as stacking will become harder, since several of the now -X% dev cost modifiers will become the proposed modifier. This will also be a great opportunity to look back at the Imperial City modifiers and the pathetic -5% dev cost reduction from the theocratic government reforms.
- Makes tall play a little better without forcing too much. With forcing I mean, without adding strange mechanics. For example, the advisor upgrading had a good intention, but ultimately also favored wide empires (who can easily control trade) too.
- Both cloth and cotton have the same province modifier. Cloth could get this new modifier instead.
- For many other sources of development cost reduction, this modifier could make sense: burghers, trade centers, prosperity, etc.
 

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Shinkuro Yukinari

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I have a feeling that if you stack up a bunch of modifiers you can reach some insanely low values, possibly leading to exploits.
That being said, it's probably gonna be some next level gimmicky exploits.
Personally, I'd love to see these changes as someone who likes more relaxed, tall games.
 
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Lavilledieu

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I don't see this as adding new bonuses. On the contrary. Instead of leaving the possibility to stack till -65% dev cost reduction, you'll get something like -40% at most in that modifier, and something like -30% in the other, because some sources of dev cost reduction will become this new modifier, the decreased dev cost increase. Even more, don't forget that this modifier affects different types of provinces. Dev cost reduction mostly affects low (and medium) dev provinces, while the new modifier affects (very) high development provinces the most. You won't get "insanely low values" when you implement this modifiers. The only value that may get reduced a lot, is the total price you pay to get from a low dev province to a very high dev province, but for that to happen, you'll likely have to invest/sacrifice a lot into the strategy, and turns the now horribly inefficient strategy into something one can consider.
 
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Herr B.

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I appreciate your dedication for the problem, but I don't think your solution will fix it.

To quickly discuss what's wrong, we need to look at the gain-to-cost ratio of both playing tall (developing) and playing wide (conquering). What we find, is that conquering has a static cost-to-gain ratio: The more you conquer, the more it will cost you (both in wars and integration costs), but this stuff scales linear in the amount of dev conquered (e.g. coring cost). The reward is also linear: All dev gives you the same amount of money (on a large scale). With developing, your cost increases quadratically while your reward stays the same. The gain-to-cost ratio goes down. In the end, there will always be a point, at which it is more efficient to go conquering.

I think this is due to the fundamentally broken desing of base game EU4.

Funnily enough, in M&T the situation is reversed: While developing your provinces has a static gain-to-cost ratio, conquest has a decreasing gain-to-cost ratio. This means, at some point conquest is not worth the effort anymore. Pretty cool.
 
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PyroMegaManZ

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I appreciate your dedication for the problem, but I don't think your solution will fix it.

To quickly discuss what's wrong, we need to look at the gain-to-cost ratio of both playing tall (developing) and playing wide (conquering). What we find, is that conquering has a static cost-to-gain ratio: The more you conquer, the more it will cost you (both in wars and integration costs), but this stuff scales linear in the amount of dev conquered (e.g. coring cost). The reward is also linear: All dev gives you the same amount of money (on a large scale). With developing, your cost increases quadratically while your reward stays the same. The gain-to-cost ratio goes down. In the end, there will always be a point, at which it is more efficient to go conquering.

I think this is due to the fundamentally broken desing of base game EU4.

Funnily enough, in M&T the situation is reversed: While developing your provinces has a static gain-to-cost ratio, conquest has a decreasing gain-to-cost ratio. This means, at some point conquest is not worth the effort anymore. Pretty cool.
I suppose the cost isn't meant to be completely static for conquering, as your religious unity and cultural cohesion in general will go down the more you conquer, requiring heavier and heavier investments monetarily wise and monarch point wise to gain static value from these provinces on top of the larger amounts of rebellions and increased average autonomy (which decreases government reform progress and value from provinces). You must also constantly be increasing your Governing Capacity to accommodate your more spread out lands and will usually need larger armies and navies to defend these lands requiring larger maintenance costs. Also any buildings you have built won't apply to your newly conquered provinces compared to playing tall where every level of development will be amplified by the respective building.

What the main troubles are would be Absolutism that makes it too easy to conquer new land, and also that you can nearly wipe out all the cost of conquering new provinces with enough money at hand (I also believe the CCR from Admin needs to go as it makes the group even more efficient than Innovative in many cases to bring down your Monarch Point costs).


Although tall play has been buffed lately, it still has many problems. The most important problem is that it's very difficult to keep up with development. Many people would think: "Stack development cost modifiers! Use the dip and adm points to don't spend on conquest to develop your country!". And yes, they're correct in a sense, but more importantly, there is a major problem: development cost isn't a tall play modifier! No, this modifier is best for empires between tall and wide.

Why? Well, let look at what the modifier does: it reduces the dev cost by for example 10%. However, it applies this discount on the base cost, and not the total cost. The base cost, at game start, is 50, so you get a 5 points discount. This sure is useful to develop low dev provinces, but not high dev provinces. On high dev provinces, the development cost reduction will barely matter, since the cost reduction is tied to the action, instead of the province. So this modifier is best for empires with plenty of low dev provinces, and still have monarch points left to invest. "But late game, my provinces stacked up with the dev cost reduction are extremely cheap?" Interesting point. That's entirely due to the dev cost efficiency of technology, which reduces the base cost, which also means that your very high dev provinces (and low dev provinces) become very cheap. However, dev cost reduction has little to do here: since the base cost goes down, so does the efficiency of the dev cost modifier! -10% on a base cost of 35 (late game base cost) is a reduction of 3,5, which is nearly nothing!

The dream every tall player (which I am not) of creating super high dev provinces is difficult and inefficient in this game. Reduced dev cost is almost worthless once you get reasonable large provinces. This is because of the increase in dev cost due to development. For each dev over 9 dev, you pay 3% more. For each dev over 19, you'll pay another 3% per dev, and so on. This makes the dev cost increase very quickly to numbers much larger than the -20% dev cost one gets from economic ideas, and makes it very difficult to play decently tall. That's why I suggest the following modifier: Decreased development cost increase.




Calculations:
The posted table shows the following:
- Dev from: the development is province is at. I've skipped all uneven dev numbers, to make the table somewhat legible. I don't expect that to have a big effect on the calculations.
- Dev cost from dev: the additional cost one has to pay in % due to the current development level. Note how quickly this increases! It's this number that the modifier will affect.
- Cost: the cost one has to pay to increase the development.
- Total cost: sum of the row
- Calculations for a few scenarios.

Scenario 1:
-20% dev cost, the modifier found in the economic ideas, does exactly as expected. It gives a reduction of 50*0.2=10 monarch points. Great for low dev provinces, but hardly noticeable for high dev provinces.

Scenario 2:
Here, the new modifier gets applied. The same value of 20% gets applied, just to make comparing a bit easier. As expected, this modifier hardly matters for low dev provinces, but once one goes over 30 dev (from then one, provinces can be considered as really large), the modifier becomes more effective than the dev cost reduction. The total cost remains higher than the lower dev cost reduction. It's safe to assume this is not a game-breaking modifier!

Scenario 3:
Even with a high number, the modifier doesn't become way too powerful. Sure, if you get a 44 dev city, the reduction will be very strong, but first you'll need to reach such a city, and secondly, you still pay a lot for adding 1 dev to a province!

Scenario 4:
Combining the modifiers has nice results, although it's only 75 less monarch points than the -20% dev cost. Note that this assumes you've gathered two sources for reducing your development cost!

This has the following advantages:
- Makes it easier to balance development cost reductions, as stacking will become harder, since several of the now -X% dev cost modifiers will become the proposed modifier. This will also be a great opportunity to look back at the Imperial City modifiers and the pathetic -5% dev cost reduction from the theocratic government reforms.
- Makes tall play a little better without forcing too much. With forcing I mean, without adding strange mechanics. For example, the advisor upgrading had a good intention, but ultimately also favored wide empires (who can easily control trade) too.
- Both cloth and cotton have the same province modifier. Cloth could get this new modifier instead.
- For many other sources of development cost reduction, this modifier could make sense: burghers, trade centers, prosperity, etc.
I don't think the game needs this as new modifier; I think the Development Efficiency modifier should be utilised. The Development Efficiency modifier decreases the base cost of development which in the long run saves a lot of Monarch Points. Perhaps Universities and Prosperity should both give -10% development efficiency modifiers?

If we take an example of a Prosperous state to compare the costs of developing a province from 10 development to 30 development we will find that..
  • In non-Prosperous state: 1397.5 cost with no other modifiers
  • In Prosperous state: 1257.75 cost with no other modifiers
On average this means saving approximately 7 cost per development which adds up to be quite a big help.

I have a feeling that if you stack up a bunch of modifiers you can reach some insanely low values, possibly leading to exploits.
That being said, it's probably gonna be some next level gimmicky exploits.
Personally, I'd love to see these changes as someone who likes more relaxed, tall games.
Definitely agree on this, as once one has completed Economic they will find that they can dev a province from 10 to 30 for the cost of 847.5 which is a saving of about 650 or about 33 cost per dev saved. he trouble I will admit is that eventually you get to a point where you really have few other provinces to develop which is when it starts getting really expensive so I will calculate a few other levels...
  • 10 development to 40 development: 1770 cost with some of the basic modifiers (Economic + Renaissance + Burghers + Encourage Development + Prosperity)
  • 10 development to 50 development: 3225 cost with some of the basic modifiers (Economic + Renaissance + Burghers + Encourage Development + Prosperity)
If you wait till you have Universities and Economic-Quantity policy the following will be found...
  • 10 development to 40 development: 967.5 cost (down to as low as 770.9)
  • 10 development to 50 development: 1991.25 cost (down to as low as 1572.8)
On average you will earn 200 monarch points that you won't have to spend on anything else necessarily if you are playing tall, which means you could get a province from 10 to 50 development every 10 years (or as low as every 8 years) which I would say is quite a good rate. If you went to the extreme you could get a province from 10 development to 100 for 19661.25 cost which means in a full game you could do that to up to 3 provinces (and possibly a fourth too).

Anyway, sorry for the long post, hope you enjoy the Maths :D
 
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Lavilledieu

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I appreciate your dedication for the problem, but I don't think your solution will fix it.

To quickly discuss what's wrong, we need to look at the gain-to-cost ratio of both playing tall (developing) and playing wide (conquering). What we find, is that conquering has a static cost-to-gain ratio: The more you conquer, the more it will cost you (both in wars and integration costs), but this stuff scales linear in the amount of dev conquered (e.g. coring cost). The reward is also linear: All dev gives you the same amount of money (on a large scale). With developing, your cost increases quadratically while your reward stays the same. The gain-to-cost ratio goes down. In the end, there will always be a point, at which it is more efficient to go conquering.

I think this is due to the fundamentally broken desing of base game EU4.

Funnily enough, in M&T the situation is reversed: While developing your provinces has a static gain-to-cost ratio, conquest has a decreasing gain-to-cost ratio. This means, at some point conquest is not worth the effort anymore. Pretty cool.
You're right. You also remind me that I should do an update of this thread. There is a thing or two I want to add. Back to the topic: what I propose here is indeed a way to decrease the effect of the non-linearit cost ratio of playing tall. IMO, conquest should be best (I won't go further than that, it would lead too far, the previous post mentions some things that make the balance between the two somewhat interesting. Especially with governing cost being a thing). That is also why I don't try to remove this non-linear scaling of dev cost.

I don't think the game needs this as new modifier; I think the Development Efficiency modifier should be utilised. The Development Efficiency modifier decreases the base cost of development which in the long run saves a lot of Monarch Points. Perhaps Universities and Prosperity should both give -10% development efficiency modifiers?

Definitely agree on this, as once one has completed Economic they will find that they can dev a province from 10 to 30 for the cost of 847.5 which is a saving of about 650 or about 33 cost per dev saved. he trouble I will admit is that eventually you get to a point where you really have few other provinces to develop which is when it starts getting really expensive so I will calculate a few other levels...
  • 10 development to 40 development: 1770 cost with some of the basic modifiers (Economic + Renaissance + Burghers + Encourage Development + Prosperity)
  • 10 development to 50 development: 3225 cost with some of the basic modifiers (Economic + Renaissance + Burghers + Encourage Development + Prosperity)
If you wait till you have Universities and Economic-Quantity policy the following will be found...
  • 10 development to 40 development: 967.5 cost (down to as low as 770.9)
  • 10 development to 50 development: 1991.25 cost (down to as low as 1572.8)
On average you will earn 200 monarch points that you won't have to spend on anything else necessarily if you are playing tall, which means you could get a province from 10 to 50 development every 10 years (or as low as every 8 years) which I would say is quite a good rate. If you went to the extreme you could get a province from 10 development to 100 for 19661.25 cost which means in a full game you could do that to up to 3 provinces (and possibly a fourth too).

Anyway, sorry for the long post, hope you enjoy the Maths :D
I don't like using development efficiency, as it reduces the absolute effectiveness of the development cost modifier. It also doesn't stop the issue where developing a 3 dev province is almost free. The modifier I propose will on the other hand have 0 effect on that province. But, do agree that it may be a good idea to give the university the -10% dev efficiency instead of -20% dev cost ("equally" affecting both low as high dev provinces, instead of mainly affecting low dev provinces). Though I would limit that modifier then only to the university.

And yes, we know, there is currently a big issue where low dev provinces become incredibly cheap to develop, and as I mentioned, the main countries with such lower dev provinces are those playing rather wide.