Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Civ V: Tourism

Matt made a comment on my post yesterday about how tourism isn't just used for a cultural victory but has some other useless, particularly defensively against ideology unhappiness. And then it just so happens that in my current single player game I'd started off ignoring tourism completely and I'm now suffering 18 unhappiness because my people want to autocracy instead of order. But what's really weird is England is unhappy with their autocracy and wish they were freedom because of Brazil. Brazil is unhappy with freedom and wish they were order because of Poland. And if Brazil was actually order then I would be happy because Brazil influences me! (I'm actually influenced by Brazil, Poland, and the Huns who are all different ideologies and I guess the autocracy one is winning the tiebreaker, whatever it is.) 6 civs are content with where they are, 3 haven't yet chosen an ideology. Something seems wrong when 3 civs cover all 3 ideologies and all are unhappy with their choices. If only Brazil would make the switch, then I'd be happy! But even if they made that switch if a world ideology was ever created I feel like I'd be unhappy unless I was that one regardless.

The really annoying thing is there are 5 order civs who are all happy. Two of them have a lot of tourism and are influencing the rest. Except me, because I have a mediocre amount of tourism now. (I built the Eiffel Tower which comes with 12 tourism and I've been making works out of my musicians because there's nothing else to do with them.) It feels like if I'd continued to ignore tourism (not build the musician's guild or the Eiffel Tower) I'd be content. I have happy faces to burn so my empire isn't actually unhappy but I'm going to be getting golden ages less frequently as I result.

But seeing how things play out in one game is one thing... I want to actually know how this stuff works. Internet, hook me up!

Tourism is a number you generate each turn, mostly based on great works you have lying around. Each turn that number is applied to every other civ in the game that you've met. Each civ has a multiplier applied to your number individually and that multiplier is based on having open borders, a trade route, a shared religion, a different ideology, and a diplomat when you have a different ideology. That number is stored individually for each other civ and is added up over the course of the game. At the same time their total amount of culture generated over the entire game is also added up. Then each turn you compare those two numbers to see what your influence level is with that civ. The actual numbers don't seem to matter at all; what matters is what influence band you're currently in. The bands are {0-10%, 10-30%, 30-50%, 50-100%, 100-200%, even more}. They will also have generated a tourism number against you, and you will have generated a culture number, so you will also be in an influence band the other way as well.

Influence bands actually matter for a lot of different reasons, many of which were added in the last big patch so they didn't exist back when I played a bunch with the 'new' expansion. The biggest one is the cultural victory which is achieved when you've managed to get every other civ into your 100-200% or higher influence band. In order to make this happen you need a lot of tourism and they need not much culture. Your culture and their tourism are irrelevant. That's why you'll often read about how culture is the defensive stat and tourism is the offensive stat. It's totally true when you're talking about the victory condition! And most of the other things too, but there's one where it's not quite the case...

First, the other things that only care about where you've put the other civs into influence bands. If you get another civ into the 30-50% band then your trade routes to that civ generate an extra science per turn. Getting them into higher bands raises that bonus. Spying works in a similar way, with a bonus that applies at the 30-50% band (only 1 turn to establish a spy in a city) and spy level up bonuses as you get into higher bands. Conquest has the same sort of deal going on with the 30-50% band granting a 25% reduction in population loss and civil disorder period when you conquer a city. You get another 25% reduction for each escalating band. So even if you don't intend to win with tourism getting a lot of it can still generate minor bonuses along the way. They seem really minor to me though, and I can't really see getting tourism in the hopes of having faster spies or anything like that. Especially since the 30% band is pretty hard to get into in my experience, at least with harder AI levels. Maybe against humans it'll be easier?

There's one other spot tourism matters and it's the ideology unhappiness thing I mentioned at the start of the post. It turns out that when you're doing ideology comparisons what you're comparing against each civ is not tourism values or culture values. It's the difference between your respective influence bands. So if someone is at 10.1% of your culture but you're only at 9.9% of their culture you're still a full influence band apart. When looking at your own potential unhappiness all you care about is influence band comparisons where you're lagging behind. Comparisons where you're tied or are beating them are completely irrelevant. All that matters is the ones where you're losing. Now compare the number of times you lose to civs matching your ideology to the number of times you lose to civs of different ideologies (with a multiple band gab counting multiple times and with civs without ideologies being completely ignored). If there are more different ones than same ones you're going to be unhappy. This is the case even if the different ones are split between the different options. In my example above I had one loss to each of the 3 ideologies and assumed there was some sort of tiebreaker. No, it turns out the two opponents get added together and 2 is bigger than 1. Note that in this case it actually doesn't matter what ideology I'd pick. I'll still be dominated by the same three civs and they all picked different ideologies from each other. I have no course of action that doesn't result in getting an unhappiness penalty.

I actually went and played a few more turns and I ended up knocking one of the opponents into the 10-30% band. That's where he had me, which meant he no longer had any influence on me. This brought things into a 1-1 tie which means I get to be happy. Hurray! Unfortunately I'm also about to bump the influence of the other order civ into the 10-30% band so my stay in happy land will be short lived. I do expect to also knock the last guy into the 10-30% band as well soon though which will remove all influence.

Note that there's a mechanic for voting in a world ideology and that is worth 2 influence points for that ideology. Once I reach the point where no civ is influencing me I will be forced to synch up with the world ideology or be unhappy. Meanwhile the no-tourism civs will be able to sit around influenced by me and another order person and will be able to stay happy!

As such it seems like if you ignore tourism then you get to follow the crowd and be happy. If you have a lot of tourism you get to be what you want unless there's a world ideology and then you have to follow it or be unhappy.

It does mean tourism has some value in a game when you aren't just trying to win by tourism though. Maybe that's good enough to justify making great musicians? Maybe I even want to use some great writers for works instead of the one shot ability? It's at least a choice at any rate. It could certainly be pretty powerful in a multiplayer game to have the other people in the 10-30% band if they all have everyone in the 0-10% band. Then everyone has to follow your ideology or eat a ton of unhappiness. So it may end up in a situation where it's 'right' to ignore tourism as long as we all collude to do so, but if someone breaks rank the other people may or may not get burned. Very interesting...

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