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A Small Rant

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by DrewBledsoe, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. DrewBledsoe

    DrewBledsoe Veteran QB

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    I think you're missing the whole point here..if Egypt had responded much earlier in the war, for example after say the 3rd city was taken, then she would probably still have been winning. Of course I would never expect to be given all her tech lead for peace, but if 3 or even 2 techs had been offered at that stage, I would have capitulated.

    She would at that point still have had a major technological lead, I would be suffering from many minus diplomacy penalties from all her "friends", any future "free market" option would be useless to me for a long time, in short I would suffer the comeback of the action for a long time.

    Of course to have taken her nation "beyond comback" I never really intended to do..my only wish is that the AI should see when its on the severely wrong end of a short stick, and try to preserve its own winning chances in any way it can.

    It would be a sad state of affairs if the AI was given a 16 yr old human anthromorphication attitude of "you shouldn't have the nerve to invade me-now I'm going to sulk about it and give my techs to anyone else but not you". (The reason most MP strategy games aren't worth the effort)

    I am almost 100% certain that the unwillingness of the AI to make a reasonable offer to stop war, is as a result of the developers being fully aware of how this aspect was abused by a tiny minority of players in CIV III (quite often the very people who are keen to beta test almost anything, and revel in finding the most exploitative method of winning)

    If not then they are categorically stating that you must play in a certain way, you cannot fall a long way behind in tech, and then partially recoup this lost by military means, because we just won't let you. This is forcing the game into narrower path options, which I don't believe to be in the spirit of the way CIV is designed.

    Anyways, looking forward to the expansion, as others have pointed out, if vassal states are to become an option, then the AI must learn when capitulation is necessary, and hopefully before this point is reached they may offer a reasonable trade.

    Last point, on marathon lvl I think all deals should be 3x the normal game speed too..eg..peace should be 30 turns not 10, 10 is too short for the increased number of turns.
     
  2. TheNiceOne

    TheNiceOne Emperor

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    You mean that you would throw out all semblance of balance between a builder strategy and a war strategy in civ, by always allowing a civ focusing on war to not only take the enemy terrotory, but also to become the tech leader as well? That doesn't seem like a very deep strategy game to me...
     
  3. TheNiceOne

    TheNiceOne Emperor

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    Now that's an excellent suggestion, as this could satisfy the player while not thrwoing out game balance. The OP could get several techs from Egypt, but at the cost of not being able to declare war on Egypt for a very long time. :king:
     
  4. ferenginar

    ferenginar Grand Nagus

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    The strategic balance is that which is decided by the player not by the game itself, my suggestion does not change any in game balance as it would apply to the human player and AI alike. Whether or not the game is balanced at the moment can only depend on a players personal appetite for builder/war strategies.
     
  5. DrewBledsoe

    DrewBledsoe Veteran QB

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    Yep, that would be fair, good suggestion

    Edit: About 5 seconds after typing the above, I realised that if you signed a 50 turn peace deal with Egypt for example, somewhere around turn 28 Germany would insist you join in their war against Egypt (when you physically were restrained from doing so) and then get all cross when you refuse..as you have no other option but to refuse :)
     
  6. TheNiceOne

    TheNiceOne Emperor

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    It doesn't necessarily change the balance between human and AI players, but it will certainly change the balance between the different strategies that can give you a victory. Playing a peaceful builder will then be a much worse strategy compared to being a warmonger, and I don't want CIV to be a dominantly wargame, but a game where different strategies can make sense.

    Your suggestion awards a warmonger way too much.
     
  7. TheNiceOne

    TheNiceOne Emperor

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    A decent implementation of this would need to make the other civs aware of the long peace deal, so that they never asked you of declaring war in such a case.

    I also think that if such a feature were to be implemented, the additional peace period should only be enforced for the side that gained goods from the peace deal. I.e. if you got a some techs by Egypt for peace, the mutual peace treaty would still be only 10 turns, but you would have to give Egypt an additional 40 turn non-agreesion guarantee for the techs, while Egypt would be free to declare war against you after 10 turns. Of course, if it does, your 40-turn non-agression guarantee would be void as well.
     
  8. DrewBledsoe

    DrewBledsoe Veteran QB

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    Yep, good idea again
     
  9. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    This seems quite stupid, why shouldn't you be allowed to declare on someone. Who could stop you?
    A better way of implementingt his would be to have a 'trust' rating. Every time you sign a deal you gain 'trust' and every time you break a deal or declare war on a friend you would loose trust. Unlike diplomacy bonuses, trust would be the same for every civ, ie every civ only has 1 trust rating and not 1 for every other civ (does that make sence). That way if you betray someone, then every civ will deal more caususly with you.
     
  10. DrewBledsoe

    DrewBledsoe Veteran QB

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    I actually like you idea better, but that was exactly what was in CIV III wasn't it..and there were so many exploits possible, or much worse an "accidental" breaking of a trust pact..

    eg..I trade Spain 1000 Gold, plus spices for 20 turns for a tech (which was possible), but the only trade route was through German soil, who 5 turns into the deal declare war on me..thus making the trade impossible, and therefore making me a "deal breaker" and forevermore to be not trusted through no actual fault of my own.

    I'm all for the idea though if it could be implemented in a reliable way.
     
  11. Pantastic

    Pantastic King

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    It's completely rational to do your best to hurt someome who attacks you, especially if they hurt you badly enough to take you out of the game. You can call it a '16 yr old' attitude all you want, but you randomly attaching a slur to a strategy doesn't change the soundness of it. A simple question in the material of mine that you quoted remains unanswered; given the choice of attacking 2 opponents, would you rather attack the one who will give you help in winning after you beat them up a bit, or the one who will fight against you, and if they see that they can't win do everything in their power to make sure that you can't either.

    I think the real '16 year old attitude; is the one held by people like you, who want the AI to just roll over and hand you a free victory. "Oh no, I was behind in tech, I beat up an AI, and they wouldn't give me the tech to win the game" really is pretty immature when you think about.

    Hmm, or maybe the real '16 year old attitude' is claiming that someome responding to your attack in game by fighting against you in the game instead of helping you to win is 'sulking'.
     
  12. oopsy poopsy

    oopsy poopsy Warlord

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    Well, there's some good ideas, but I think the original rant is still right. You can argue that a civilization wouldn't give up techs for short peace, but IMO in most cases of the real world, they absolutely would. Say I just destroyed half of a civilization and I send an ambassador to that civs leader saying, either teach me everything you know or I'll destroy the rest or die trying. Tokugawa or Genghis might tell me to go fly a kite, but Ghandhi and most others would've capitulated. They are in fact rulers of their people and when faced with the slaughter of their people versus giving away knowledge, what choice would any responsible leader have in that situation no matter how brief the respite? This should only be true, when literally all hope is lost that the civ can stop you of their own accord. Variable peace treaty lengths seems like a good idea to me. Although maybe instead being able to liberate technology with the capture of cities (I'm pretty sure we used to have this in previous versions) could simulate the desired effect.

    Now as much as the real world might work this way, this is a game designed for our enjoyment and not really the exact replication of real world situations. I do think if you beat up on a superior tech society you deserve some way to learn those techs (although the argument that this would make warmongering overpowered is probably valid, but to not have it seems unfair to those that choose a warmongering strategy).

    The other discussion under way about doing everything you can to help the other civs defeat the guy defeating you is mostly BS IMO. I would happily see that if a civ had cultivated an amazingly friendly relationship with another civ, they could have the opportunity to help them in return for assistance, but that's already in the game. Giving the other civs your tech lead or whatever else you can just to knock off the other guy (especially in an MP game, go ahead in single player if you like) is totally cheap and although there is a real human motivation for it, it totally distorts the game mechanics. Now, it's harder to attack the tech leader trying to hold him back, since if I'm successful all the other civs will get those techs and not me. That's punishment for playing well, sure if you're getting beat you're not happy and I would say perhaps it can be allowed with players who are allied with you against the civ beating you up, but then IMO declaring war would require a variable time length as well. You give 3 techs and he promises to fight the enemy for 30 turns with no choice to sign a peace treaty.
     
  13. ThERat

    ThERat Deity

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    some excellent posts and suggestions here. Look at our SG game DG02 and you will find that even after crushing the enemy, we would get an abysmal bounty for peace.
    This forces you into a very narrow path of playing. Any runaway Civ needs to be fought via military, due to the nerfed trading options. Civ3 had the exploit loophole but there was more variety in the end.

    As stated above I pretty much agree on that. It's sad to see that, but the effort to eliminate all potential exploits has made a game that seemed to offer a much wider variety into a narrower game in the end.
    It starts with the very inflexible and predictable AI personalities.
    Having a game with Toku, Monte or other madmen? You better get your military up and running and you can still bet they will attack you sooner or later.
    Having Cyrus or Mansa? They will be great trading partners/allies. Often these guys are used to trade etc, but due to the fact that they would run away with the SS, you need to crush them in the end as well.

    Everyone complained that in Civ3 there was only one way to play the game. Now, in Civ4, I'd say given certain AI personalities, this also paves the path you need to play to win.
     
  14. Qitai

    Qitai .

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    There is an easy solution to this. Go to custom game and use "random AI personality".
     
  15. ThERat

    ThERat Deity

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    I do not think so, since this option just let's you guess who now acts as Mao, Monte or Gandhi. They would simply have a different name but still the predictability of such a personality would be there.
     
  16. neriana

    neriana Warlord

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    The problem is with the AI acting like a human player. If I wanted to play against humans, I'd be playing against humans. I want the AI to be smart, and I want it to act with some semblance of rationality. If that means I want it to not act human, so be it :p.
     
  17. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    The issue is tha Tech is the basic difference betweeen a peaceful and a warring strategy,
    War->gets you more territory=less commerce (maintenance) more production->more units->more territory
    Peace->gets you more technology=more commerce (building boosters)->more technolgy


    Just like a peacemonger needs military if they expect to get new territory, a warmonger needs research if they expect to get new techs.

    It is entirely about balance between strategy, because war gets you so many good things already... (territory which you can use to make commerce, and techs)
     
  18. The Tyrant

    The Tyrant Prince

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    That should be fairly easy to implement in SP games. If a deal is broken during the player's turn, then the player gets penalized, because only the player could have caused it. If the deal is broken during an AI's turn, the player could not have been the cause, and therefore doesn't get penalized.

    Of course that could have some undesired side effects. If you deliberately closed borders with (or declared war on) a civ along the only trade route, the trade deal would be broken and you would get a trust penalty. You may have had other (valid) reasons for wanting to close borders with that civ, but you would still get penalized for breaking a deal.

    As for the OP's point, I agree that there needs to be a reduction in the value the AI places on techs. If I had a huge tech lead and an AI took a city, I would try to retake it. If the AI took TWO cities, and looked capable of taking another, I would be suing for peace at the first opportunity, giving tech(s) to try to buy myself some time to beef up my military. If the situation looked hopeless, however, the current AI policy would be correct. If it looks like someone bent on conquest is unstoppable, don't give a thing. No tech, no money, nothing but resistance.

    Right now the game attempts to analyze this decision, and does a middling job of it, but I think the balance of values is too heavily skewed in favor of techs. I realize programming an AI to even approach a human-like decision is an incredibly complex procedure, but since this decision process is already in the game, it should be possible to tweak it (SDK anyone?). The problem will be finding a formula that preserves balance by not being too easy to exploit.
     
  19. Qitai

    Qitai .

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    Are you sure? I thought it would generate new personality using that option (rather than just shuffling personality around). I have not tried it myself. So, I do not know how it works.
     
  20. TheNiceOne

    TheNiceOne Emperor

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    The game mechanics :) Just as it now prevents you from declaring war within the 10-turn peace treaty time, it could prevent you for a longer time.

    Not necessarily very realistic, but it would work excellent in the way that it would be an exploit-less way of getting more goods for promising to not attack the other civ. As the game is now, Egypt doesn't have much to gain by giving away lots of techs for peace. It only means that after 10 turns - that the player uses to prepare his final attack - Egypt will be attacked again, and now without its tech advantage as well.

    This sounds very much like CIV3, and it was easily exploited there. Yes, it will restrict the exploit of demanding lots of techs and then attacking again soon, in the way that you can only do it once or twice per game, but being able to use such an exploit a couple of time is still an exploit.
     

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