Goodspeed wrote:Ports age up with a very weak (13 to 14 vill) eco, which means any strategy that pursues early map control is going to be unrealistic against a civ with a reasonable timing before 10 minutes. I've tried to play Ports that way on RE patch, after all it's the only way to play them on those maps, but it just doesn't work. If Ports were able to get 3 TCs spread out across the map AND enough units to defend them from early timings, they would be OP. In order to make this a realistic strategy without making Ports OP, we would have to give them a 3 vill shipment and apply some major nerfs across the board to make sure they don't rek everything. This may be the best course of action if we want Ports to be as interesting as their design allows them to be, but it's not exactly in line with our philosophy plus it's too much work to test properly.
My point is it's easy to say Ports should be a civ that focuses on map control with their free TCs, but considering those same TCs are also booming machines it's just not possible to balance the civ around that unless we were to redesign them in a big way.
Some of the complaints about the 80f vill change are valid, but I still think its pros far outweigh its cons and am personally of the opinion that it's one of the best changes we made. Whether it made Ports too strong remains to be seen, but it can be easily tweaked in that case.
While it is unquestionable that Portuguese, because of its inherent weakness, is underpowered on the average (land) RE-map, it is highly questionable on the average ESOC-map. Although your post implies
otherwise, I'm sure you're perfectly aware that on the average ESOC-map the conditions are completely different. Therefore, it's disappointing that you attempt to justify the need for such a buff by clinging on to and applying the same assumption of irrelevant RE-centric logic that misguidedly prompted making the change in the first place, which is quite telling itself.
If you think that's what I'm doing you misinterpreted me which let's face it is probably my fault. The only reason I brought up RE patch is because the playstyle Ports are forced into there was relevant to the point I was making, which is that Ports shouldn't or even can't (with their current design) be good enough to make forward TCs and hold them consistently. The vill cost change is not at all in the picture here, I was trying to explain why according to Ports' design they can't be balanced around a playstyle where they take early map control. Now of course Ports need resources and their TCs need to be spread out accordingly, but that's not the same thing as placing them aggressively. As always, reading the rest of your post, it seems like there is actually not a lot we disagree about.
Considering the above, I find it absolutely ridiculous that you would use that very same weakness as an argument for such a change, when it's an obvious argument against it – the civilization should find map-control challenging for balance & design purposes alike, and map changes have already diminished this severely (which is necessary for achieving reasonable balance and therefore desirable). Amazingly enough, without realizing it, you even explained it yourself: "If Ports were able to get 3 TCs spread out across the map AND enough units to defend them from early timings, they would be OP." Indeed, this describes my entire point: Portuguese should have its strength naturally limited by its corresponding weakness, unless changing this is absolutely necessary .
Indeed, this was actually also my point. Map control shouldn't come easily to Ports, they should need to make some concessions on that front in order to hold timings. If they don't need to do that any more, that means we overbuffed them.
Its pros may very well outweigh its cons. Again – this has nothing to do with the argument; the argument is that the change is, in several ways, inferior to its alternative(s) and that choosing it regardless of this is a mistake, however uncomfortable admitting that might be.
Please accept and acknowledge that the change was made on a fundamentally flawed logical basis, and that it, without any justification, negates the doubly desirable weakness of the civilization even further than map changes.
This is all highly subjective. For one I don't see the fundamentally flawed logic the change is based on, and I also don't think the change was at all a mistake. Perhaps it should've been 90f, sure, but I still absolutely agree with the design of the change. The main reason why we went for it is that it doesn't change how Ports play, it doesn't force them into a certain style. It just made them a little better at everything. As you know we always aim to change the strength of the civ without changing the civ, if at all possible. You may not agree with this philosophy but that doesn't make it wrong.