Make civ5 better! settlers suck!

I think the price of settling a new city is outrageously high. New cities slow the rate at which you gain new policies, drastically increase unhappiness, and make it much more difficult to build national wonders.

On top of all that, the cost of the settler unit is unforgivably out of control expensive. You can build 2 or 3 military units at the cost of a settler in the early game. They take FOREVER to build, and prevent the city from growing in the meantime.

I think settlers should cost 1 production, and reduce the population of the city by 1. The barrier to building new cities should be happiness, social policy stunting, national wonder stunting, and political “you are building cities too fast!” fallout, NOT all of those PLUS a jillion turns of uselessness in the production city.

After over 1900 hours on Civ5, I must say I completely disagree!

Can you elaborate?

I think the way they have settlers now works well. They should be difficult to build. It becomes a very important choice on when to build your city. Should you build another warrior or archer first? What about a worker? Maybe a library and get the National College and it’s 50% science early on.

Me, I build scout-warrior-settler. I usually steal another civ’s worker, settler if I’m really lucky.

To be honest. I never noticed the production cost as being an issue.

What I find baffling is how happiness is handled. The pan-empire happiness metric just doesn’t make a lick of sense; as someone has already pointed out,

  1. Having the founding of a city make your existing people unhappy makes no sense, and
  2. Conquering an enemy city making your own people unhappy makes even less sense than that; it is logically equivalent to the United States going into massive civil disorder when Germany was conquered in 1945.

Having individual cities happy or unhappy, as the case might be and as was the mechanic in previous games, makes a lot more sense. I can understand the net total contributing in some way (e.g. getting towards Golden Ages or contributing to culture) but having it make the whole empire unhappy the way it does is just bizarre.

This is why I’ve started to buy settlers in the early game.

One of the great strategy failings of the Civ series has always been the incredibly low price of expansion, even from an opportunity cost perspective. Voracious expansion was the default approach and nothing else became a competitive option until you ran out of area to expand into.

But that has already been addressed in civilization 5. In previous editions, the cost of the settler itself was the only barrier to expansion. In civ5, there are many more things to consider. Most times, even if you get an absolutely free settler, it’s not a good idea to actually make a city with it.

The problem I have with the settler issue is that in most circumstances, a conquered city with a puppet government is actually preferable to a peacefully built city. Why make an extremely high settler production cost on top of it? When was the last time someone playing at King or higher built 6 cities in one game? Can most good players remember the last time they built 4 cities in one game? I know I can’t.

In my current game I have about 6 cities, but that’s because the land was well worth it.

I’ve pulled a victory with seven at least twice. I’m typically a sprawling empire builder, but once in a while, your cultural advantages combine with a few good city spaces and make a small nation highly advantageous. They’re very easy to defend, crank out culture, and can produce as much money, science, and production as several small cities if you do it right.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loathe the way happiness increases with number of cities. I usually have a big empire. Many cities with high population. But yeah, it’s very possible to win with just a few cities.

Why is this a problem? It seems to me that that’s the way it should be. I mean, would you prefer a game where the entire US is supposed to be represented by New York, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles?

Cracking open the SDK and making a mini-mod to change those problems wouldn’t be very difficult. The tutorial should give you the know-how needed to write the tweaks you want.

Even post patch the dominant strategy at higher difficulty is Infinite City Sprawl (ICS), so I think its a bit much to say “good players” don’t build a lot of cities. Check out this description of a game on immortal which describes it very well: Its pre-patch, so things are a bit different now, but the basic ideas are the same.

Quite frankly, I’d be shocked if someone could keep up on a multiplayer game playing with only 4 or 5 cities versus someone playing ICS well. If settlers were only 1 production, I think the ICS player would steam roll over everyone even harder.

Yeah, city spamming is still the best strategy in pretty much every circumstance. They tried to curb the advantage a bit with patches but it’s still necesary. We’ve tested it in multiplayer with two players of roughly equal skill going the super city spam route and the other going the highly developed super cities route and the city spammer just steamrolled the game.

If anything, settlers should be harder to produce or new cities should come with more downside, because the game is still far too stacked in favor of flat out expansion early on.

The liberty tree policy that both gives you a new settler and makes them 50% cost at the capital is extremely powerful.

I don’t understand how infinite city sprawl can work. How is happiness managed? How do you get new social policies, (or do you)? Even on king level my third city makes my empire deeply unhappy, and i spend dozens of turns building happy buildings just to keep from going negative. Literally the rest of the game is spent fighting the happiness problems.

Fighting Happy problems is the whole point, I think. That is the mechanism they chose to bedevil those who insist on the Manifest Destiny strategy.

Mosier - check out the link I posted earlier. If anything, happiness is easier to handle with ICS than with a few cities. I know its counterintuitive, but that’s the way it works. The key quote is:

Grumble I’m glad I don’t play Civ V competitively, because ICS seems like the exact opposite of my preferred style.

We did a OCC game this afternoon and I greatly enjoyed it. It was something I’ve never played before.