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4 distinct ages

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Pirate, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. Pirate

    Pirate Emperor

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    You know how your science advisor proudly tells you that "We have entered a new era!" but then nothing actually changes? Well, there are some cosmetic differences, like your city graphics change and your leaderhead gets a haircut, but nothing about the game changes at all!

    I believe each age should carry a distinct method of gameplay and city support. Here's a basic framework that doesn't touch on everything I'm thinking, but it's a start:

    Ancient - each city is basically on it's own. The city is the center of a 'hinterland' - the area of land necessary to support the city. Your borders should be determined by the placement of your citizens - if nobody's working those hills, you don't own 'em! And citizens can only be placed adjacent to existing citizens (including the city) There is no central economy - upkeep of each city must be paid for by each city. Science research is also per city (multiple cities can work on the same thing to pool resources, though). Units are free, but limited to 1 or 2 (or whatever) per city population (except artillery). Military control of unincorporated areas is the only method of control the wilderness. It now becomes relevant to besiege cities and wait them out. Forts and outposts are also more important and the 'landgrab' phase is eliminated - wilderness still exists after 600 BC! Corruption is determined by rank and distance.

    Medieval - Cultural borders are now defined by terrain improvements (whether they are worked or not), taxes are now pooled nationally, citizens can work any square within a certain radius of the city- much like current system of civ. Disputes over territory (improved but unworked squares) are determined by culture and military presence. Military presence can override culture on unworked tiles (tile belongs to the last person to invade it). Units are supported by the city from which they are produced (civ 2 style of upkeep). Corruption is still by rank and distance.

    Industrial - Nations exist with fixed borders based on cultural influence of cities. Any military within the borders constitues an invasion. Citizens can work any tile connected to a road or railroad regardless of distance from the city. Terrain can be specialized for different production, or "urbanized" for more population and trade. Army support is nationalized. Corruption by distance is diminished with the development of mass communications and railroad.

    Modern - Citizens no longer work tiles for a particular city. Food and sheild production are pooled into national "banks" and redistributed. Citizens instead are assigned to different industries which are affected by different city improvements. Diplomatic options, war, space race, etc... become the focus of the game and most micromanagement is eliminated. Corruption by distance is eliminated and is instead determined by city size, attitude, industries of citizens. More terrain specialization and urbanization lend character to cities and define regions.

    I basically want to represent the difference in the roles and shapes of cities in the history of civilization, while attempting to eliminate the boredom in the middle of the game. Thoughts?
     
  2. shr00mz

    shr00mz Chieftain

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    what about meaning of connections? per example if in ancient era your cities are connected with roads would at least taxes be on national level, couse in persian empire they did so as they did in roman.
     
  3. RedAlert

    RedAlert Love one another

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    4 distinct ages? Not enough, really (if you ask me anyway) There should be at least a couple more ages, that way you can

    1) focus on each time period in more detail, and
    2)Ages won't be too generalized as they are now.

    Personally I would go for something like Classical age* (after ancient, before medieval) and Early Modern age* (after medieval age and before industrial age) for potential new ages

    *except more suitable names for these eras


    As for your idea, Pirate, it sounds interesting, and it seems to work, but I think the timeperiod should be compressed. I would honestly not want to wait through the game to get these advantages gradually. Besides, some civilizations had these advantages in earlier eras, some later (and sometimes they lost some of these)
    I do, however, think that these ideas could be put into good use during the first era {minus the space race!,etc.}, possibly available with succeding techs in that era.

    Otherwise, not a bad idea at all.
     
  4. Shyrramar

    Shyrramar Warlord

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    I don't think there is any need for more eras. What comes to this idea, though, I think it has potential. One thing that I didn't like, though, was the sudden change of it all. You just suddenly begin to have taxes on national level? Perhaps this could be worked out by implementing techs that will do this (like RedAlert suggested) at the start of each era. First that comes in mind is Nationalism for industrial ages.

    So if the change was more gradual, it could be a refreshing change in the game. I do not agree with RedAlert here that it would be a bad thing to wait for those advantages. On the contrary, it would perhaps lead to players actually playing the whole four ages instead of just two or three. It would better represent our modern age. Currently modern age is just "a better industrial age" with stronger (but basically the same) units and more improvements that do the same thing as they did before. I think the only thing that the modern ages has to offer is the handling of pollution and that's it.

    It's a great idea, IMHO, but needs some fine tuning. Ideas, anyone?
     
  5. RedAlert

    RedAlert Love one another

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    You make a good point about the 'players actually playing the whole four ages instead of just two or three' thing. I never thought of it that way meself. (And I am one of those people, too)
    True, if the player had to wait till later in the game to get thesse special advantages it would give them more incentive. I just meant it would be dumb to make the player wait too long, lest they get bored of not being able to do anything for a long time.

    The reason I mentioned new ages is; (not because it could take longer to get all the way to modern era or anything of that sort) as I mentioned there could be more focusing on details in those ages. More and more when I play civ I don't really 'feel' like I'm in that particular age, all it really is is get new tech, upgrade unit, blah, blah, blah, etc. The era's need a little beefing up (definately not necessarily more techs, but more things to build, do, and more ways to interact, etc.)
    A 'beefing up of eras to make them feel more like that actual era would be hard to do with the current number of eras, which I still believe is far too generalized. Besides, it could no doubt fix that problem of as you put it: the modern era just being a better industrial age. (Modern era bites the big one, it needs improvement bad) A couple more eras, more room for improvement and detail. (just as long as it does not take too much longer to go through)
     
  6. Pirate

    Pirate Emperor

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    Good suggestions. Modern era definitely needs to be a whole new way to play the game. But what makes the real life modern era different from the industrial age? Is it safe to say that WWI marked the end of the industrial era and the beginning of the modern? The game seems to draw the line much later, at WWII.

    Either way, the hallmarks of the modern era are mass communication, environmental considerations, decentralization of cities, growth of the global economy, and an increasing pace of social and scientific advancement.

    While I don't advocate having lawyer units running around the map, Call to Power did have a good idea in having units or concepts that directly affected the income or production of another civ. The modern era could open up many methods of silent wars where military domination is still possible, but certainly less desirable than cultural domination.

    Jumping back to the ancient age, i do think connections between cities should definitely have some benefit, but for the long majority of the ancient times cities were isolated for day to day matters. Roads should allow you to pool scientific production and trade luxuries, etc...
     
  7. rcoutme

    rcoutme Emperor

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    This is a good thread! I love the idea of the different eras causing different government styles and controls. I agree with ShrOOms, however, that some sort of provision needs to be added for large empire building. These suggestions would also go great with the Civil War thread and the ideas of provinces. What do you think on that Shyrramar (I mention you because I know that you have written in those threads along with me and judgement).
     
  8. Shyrramar

    Shyrramar Warlord

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    I'm honored! :)

    Yes I think that this would go well with Civil Wars. The nature of the civil wars and the triggering causes should differ from era to era. In ancient times all you needed to form your own government is the small number of forces stationed there. In later times this is no real issue - they are mostly ethnical (due to nationalism) and more connected to rights and happiness. In ancient times you would need a large military to handle a large nation, otherwise there would be break-aways. In later times the impact of army lessens (while still being a factor, of course) and the importance of keeping your people happy and well-fed would grow. In medieval times a strong military would still be very important. Due to the discovery of nationalism the impact of culture would grow. Thus the resisters, revolts and such due to ethnical differences. This would only be emphasized in modern ages, where the wealth and happiness of your people would gain more importance still - I think that the army would come into question only AFTER rioting/revolting.

    But I really don't have a clear picture of this. It seems plausible to me, though, that Civil Wars would be linked to these progressing eras. This way there could even be some challenge in modern ages, where you gain a lot of money and everybody's happy: perhaps they would be increasingly unhappy so that you should battle that with actually using that money (luxury slider, anyone? Not since 2002 ;) ). In the earlier ages people shouldn't be so pissed off by not having luxuries (are they really expecting any?), but because of weak military. There was this great article about why Iraq isn't ready for democracy the other day in our local newspaper. If I can remember correctly, the steps any civ takes are something like this:
    1. Basic needs. Food and simple survival.
    2. Safety. Military competence to guarantee the safety of the people.
    3. Luxuries. People begin to gather wealth and think it as an important thing to have luxuries.
    4. Civil rights. People begin to concentrate on all people having equal rights.
    5. Prosperity (I don't know the exact term). This is where the most well-doing countries are now: all should be given the basic needs and those left lacking are helped. Equality is strived towards.

    Anyway, may the exact order and wording of each of these be whatever, this should certainly be seen in the game. It clearly isn't the same things that makes a non-developed ancient civ happy than what makes a modern-day society happy! There is some of this in civ already, though: military police. They won't work when people have achieved certain rights.

    Hopefully these thoughts are of any use.
     
  9. Pirate

    Pirate Emperor

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    I've been thinking a little further on these ideas. I think transportation and communication networks are very important in shaping a civ. Mass communication via telegraph (wired analog), radio and television (wireless analog), and internet/cell phone/satellite (digital) should shape corruption and happiness levels in the end of the industrial and throughout the modern ages. These factors take over when military police lose effectiveness (as Shyrramar said).

    Other threads mention a balance of workers and public works. I think that a public works system could follow the same 'nationalization' procedure as science and food production - i.e. every city for itself until industrialization or nationalization allows pooling of resources. I think provinces in medieval ages could be a bridge between individual cities and a national economy and would also work in a lot of the civil war ideas.
     
  10. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

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    These ideas sounds great! :)

    About more ages. How about this:
    1. Ancient Age
    2. Classical Age
    3. Medieval Age
    4. Age of Discovery / Age of Gunpowder
    5. Industrial Age
    6. Imperial Age / Age of Empires
    7. Modern Age
    8. Late Modern Age / Future Age

    Maybe it should be harder to improve all the terrain in the early ages, and become easier the longer into the game you get? So you won't end up with all tiles completed in late Ancient Age.
     
  11. ComradeDavo

    ComradeDavo Formerly God

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    I LIKE that idea. ALOT! :goodjob: :goodjob: :goodjob:
    One of the best I have seen so far!
     
  12. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Deity

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    OK, aside from graphical issues relating to your cities, I think the other way to better define each age is as follows:

    1) Each city has its own independant WEALTH-based largely on its DEMOGRAPHY, which is itself dependant on the improvements you build in that city and the resources that lie within its borders!

    2) This Wealth determines the city's per-turn income. The point is that, in the ancient age, the city only automatically contributes a VERY small amount of this income to the national treasury-the rest goes into the city's treasury. Although this gives the city more money to play with, it also makes it more vulnerable to theft from foreign powers. It also reflects the virtual 'City State' status of many ancient cities. You can increase/decrease the amount of money cities contribute to the national treasury via the domestic or cityview screens!

    3) As you progress through the ages, the minimum 'city tithe' increases, until it reaches around 80-90% of the city's income-thus closely tying the city's wealth to your nations wealth!

    4) Another way to better define eras is through corruption and wastage. In the ancient era, distance from the capital would be a much greater factor in corruption than when you have instantaneous communications! In addition, if you shift food/shields to a central pool for redistribution, then distance from the capital should be more of a factor in how much you lose, than in later eras. For instance, food wastage might be 1 per 2 hexes, but go down to 1/4 hexes in Middle ages, 1/8 in the industrial age, and 1/16 in the modern age. Again, these factors help to reinforce the 'city state' idea of cities in the ancient age, whilst making them more part of an integral nation later in the game-irrespective of where your cultural borders might be!

    5) Governments from the ancient age should be very distinct from those of later eras. For instance, Classical Democracy and Republic should not be nearly as effective for governing larger, more modern nations as modern republic and democracy would be. This fact would be reflected both in the 'staring' corruption, and in the minimum/maximum settings allowed for 'Social Engineering'.

    6) One that already exists in civ3, but should be strengthened in Civ4, would be that, with the discovery of nationalism, you should be able to set the 'stance' of your military-both in terms of production and troop readiness!
    In addition, as has been stated above, borders and national culture should become far MORE important after nationalism-and violation of borders, therefore, should become a much worse crime, and assimilation should become much more difficult to achieve!

    Anyway, just a few rambling thoughts.

    Yours,
    Aussie_Lurker.
     
  13. Pirate

    Pirate Emperor

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    Good ideas for a compromise, AL, but it seems a bit watered down to me. My point is that the way you play the game should change drastically with each age, instead of just adding new concepts as you progress (like adding mobilzation and espionage). Just scaling up the tax and production distributions doesn't really alter the game a lot.

    I do like your ideas about demographics. Is there a thread about separating popluation into upper, middle, and working classes? I can definitely see that different classes would affect production and wealth (or vice versa) and different classes would react differently to different governments. For example, all working class citizens would be happy under communism. Upper class/aristocracy would be happy under monarchy but the lower classes would be discontent. Anyway, that's probably not for this thread but has anyone thought of this yet?
     
  14. Deathgoroth

    Deathgoroth Chieftain

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    This is a good idea. It could also get rid of the problems in the Sovereign borders thread. Also, the eras should be used in the way that different civilizations should meet different requirements to enter the era and be allowed new types of research, which, by the way, would be more in the spirit of the original boardgame.
     
  15. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    I think you have some good points. While the temptation exists to nitpick petty details, I believe the groundwork is there.

    In the ancient days, cities were more like "city-states", that each governed themselves, but traded between one another like they were each separate nations.

    (A crazy thought -- imagine in the ancient era that cities just popped up, as cousins of your civilization, but you had to win them over to cooperation by culture or military might. A bunch of independant city states united under the sword -- that's the history of a lot of peoples. China, Greece, even the Iroquois can be traced back to 5 nations... but this might be TOO drastic, even for Civ IV.)

    In the age of feudalism, city states were organized into a hierarchy. ... I don't know what this implies for gameplay, although I do know that historically it made it really easy to relocate the capital and re-order who was in charge.

    And in the modern age, there is widespread cooperation within nations (and even between nations, relative to that of the ancient times). The economy and production ought to reflect that to some extent. I'm sure to the makers of Civilization, everything would even out after redistribution anyway... but in a time where our computers can handle it, shouldn't we try to emulate more real-world complexity?
     
  16. Squirrel

    Squirrel Warlord

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    I really really like Pirate's ideas (and also some of the elaborations made by others)!

    I have been playing Civ for like 10+ years, and Pirate solves one of the weakest features of the game with his ideas: The modern age is really not that interesting as it stands. Micromanaging is awfully tedious in modern ages, most often you will know whether you win or lose by the time you reach modern ages and last, but not least, corruption by distance and rank is ridiculous in a modern democracy.

    With that last line I implicitly suggest that corruption should be determined both by age and government. During the cold war corruption was definately lower in Moscow than in the rural areas of the Soviet Union. The same probably goes for todays autocratic regimes. I just cannot believe, though, that corruption is much higher in Munich than in Berlin.
    Hence, for autocratic governments, corruption may be determined by rank also in modern ages, though to a lesser extent than in ancient times.

    Good work, Pirate! This is something Firaxis should definitely look into.
     
  17. Evie

    Evie Pronounced like Eevee

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    I would agree with those who think that a review of the present set of ages would be needful for this system. However I'm not thinking of ADDING ages, but specifically of deleting one and replacing it with another to more accurately represent the changes various civilizations went through.

    The ages I suggest :

    ANCIENT - this represent the city-state organization, as you mentioned, with minor losely allied entities, and no major power emerging. It's ancient Greece, pre-Punic wars Rome, MOST feudal/medieval states, etc.

    CLASSICAL - This represents the organized, strong nations that formed out of these loose alliances of city-states and/or feudal nations : ie, the later Rome, Imperial China, Tokugawa Japan, most of western Europe from the renaissance on, etc, with the central authority becoming strong enough to truly unite the rest of the nation. Once these society are strongly organized, science can lead to a new age...

    INDUSTRIAL - yes, Industrial right after classical. Medieval in western european history was essentialy a step back to the ancient era owing to conquest by foreigners, the medieval era being the catching-up game they had to play to get back to pretty much what the Romans had. (and it's been argued that Rome, lack of gunpowder not withstanding, was edging relatively close to hitting its own industrial age toward its end).

    MODERN - Same as always.

    I feel this would more accurately represent the way civilizations historically developed than the present system, which inserts the European "middle age" in the picture needlessly.
     
  18. Pirate

    Pirate Emperor

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    Hmm, what if the age changes are not triggered only by researching a certain level of technology, but also by achieving a certain level of social or political organization? For example, if by the end of the classical era you do not have a complete trade network connecting all (or maybe 90%) of your cities and have not yet established a capital, then you cannot begin the industrial revolution. That's an example that begs more thought.

    What are some of the major revolutions, the trigger points that began an era?
     
  19. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    I like the idea of needing a certain amount of infrastructure to support certain things. Connecting your cities before you can industrialize is key.

    How about having a certain cultural rating before you can achieve nationalism?
     
  20. ComradeDavo

    ComradeDavo Formerly God

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    Perhaps the last tech you could research could be the name of the next age or 'advance to next age' etc.

    Thinking about it, I would like to see another 1 or 2 ages added in. I think there should be an age between industrial and modern, to represent the kind of world war 1/world war 2 era. Industrial would end just before tanks and planes and alike, which would then be key techs in the next era (kind of 1900-1950's technologies). Modern era would then be similar to what it is now. That would help lead to more diverse units as well! (I am a BIG supporter of increasing the amount of units for civ 4).
     

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