Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Greywulf, Jan 2, 2018.
Well then I suppose I should start protesting!
As a quick review of my posts on these Forums would show, I've been protesting the way Firaxis does things for years, but not of the way they depict (or fail to depict) people and civilizations, but in the way they abysmally fail to correctly depict History, even in a game context!
I know. I really like your suggestions regarding the unit types and promotions.
Thought I'd share some memes and the like...
Someone did a spoof of Civ V Barbs...
Had to share this one of course (fyi, that's not what I actually look like)...
Yes, definitely need more interactions with the barbs.
In VI they're just a nameless, mute force of destruction.
Way back in II they had their own group names and would ransom your cities. Or rather, they would ask to be paid not to attack.
We desperately need to interact with them more. Instead of just mindless barb killing, there could be some real nuance to the gameplay.
Indeed! Thank you for supporting this!
The problem with giving real ethnic names to barbarians while them remaining
>warlike savages unable to develop, thugs you buy etc
Then sooner or later there would a controversy of somebody being greatly offended by "my ancestors being named barbarians to kill, lesser people" etc
Goths, Alans, Huns, Xiongnu etc wouldn't be that great problem, but you'd finally have Native American Savages, Black Savages, Aborigine Savages...
Ethnic sensibilities are a huge mess, the best example of which is sudden and kinda absurd controversy with Cree.
Rome is triggered
Wait what controversy? When did this happen?
Which is why I have suggested in several posts in various threads that 'Settlements" not all be Uniformly Hostile, but with a range of reactions from Friendly through Neutral to Hostile, with provision for fighting, hiring, trading with, or even allying with them. More dynamism overall. Uniformly Hostile Barbarians are a Civ invention with no counterpart historically: even the most traditionally hostile 'barbarians' were never hostile to everybody all the time. The barbarians that raided Rome and China throughout their respective histories also traded with them, providing Amber (to Rome) and Horses (to China) and at least one German tribe made a good deal with a Tourist Trap of hot springs that enticed Romans to cross the Rhine and 'take the waters' - A Barbarian District or Improvement?!
Perpetuating stereotypes about 'Barbarians' is what Civ does now. I completely agree there is no place in the game for perpetuating stereotypes about the direct cultural/ethnic ancestors of groups still dealing with similar stereotypes today. On the other hand, your list of 'safe' (in that they have no recognizable existing counterparts in cultural or ethnically distinct descendants today) barely scratches the surface. In addition to major groups such as your (incomplete) list, just a glance through the listing of Celtic, Germanic, and Steppe Nomad groups in classical Roman and Greek writers gives a long list of possible names: Roxolani, Massagetae, Matti, Churusci, Cimmerian, Carduchi, and so on. This, combined with a change in representation to reflect the historical variety of interactions between 'barbarian' and 'civilized' groups should, I think, avoid the terrible stereotyping of Barbarians in the game now.
One option would be to leave Barbarians' name unchanged, although this may make it difficult if they were to attempt to create multiple independent groups of Barbarians, which would be ideal, although not necessary. For the sake of it, we may want to brainstorm for safe names to give each group of Barbs.
We should search for an extensive list of safe names...It does seem that Goths (which can be divided into Visigoths and Ostrogoths), Alans, Huns, and Xiongnu are safe options, as well as the Vandals, Burgunds, Teutons, Cimbri, Alemanni, Philistines, Iceni, Franks, Gauls, Scirii, Herules, Sueves, Thuringians, Saxons, Angles, Jutes, Rugii, Lombards, Gepids, Sarmatians, Avars, Picts, Carpi, Isaurians, Thracians, Pechenegs, Kipchaks, Guifang, Beidi, Xirong, Dongyi, Nanman, Chichimeca, and the Puruma Auca. Know any others? Some of these terms are quite vague, which could be a good thing. Also, each of them should be checked so that they are not offencive to anyone. You will notice that most of them are European Barbs, so it would be good to find more outside of Europe too, if we can.
Adding more potentials to the list: Cucuteni-Trypillians, Dacians, Buzhans, Dregovichi, Drevlians, Dulebs, Kriviches, Severians, Bohemians, Zliczans, Goplans, Lendians, Nok, Mwenemutara, Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites, Amalekites, Hivites, Jebusites, Girgassites*, Amorites, Caspians, Sagartians, Dahae, Massagetae, Cimmerians, Sigynnae, Wusun, Xionites, Yuezhi, Dorset, Clovis, Moche, Olmec.
*won't let me spell the name correctly.
I have to say that out of all the game concept ideas I want included, this idea is definitely the one I want most. I appreciate all the support it has gotten and all the ideas people have had, and I'm wondering what is the best way to pass this on to the devs? If they would only consider this idea, that would be so much appreciated.
Stay Tuned. As soon as people get over their first hack at Rise & Fall, I plan to start a thread on What Is Needed in the Next Expansion, and the concept of 'Dynamic Barbarian Relationships' is high on the list...
Awesome, I look forward to it! I really want this to happen...
I like this idea. It would allow more primitive, small, or short-lived "civs" (ahem, Palmyra) that otherwise don't work as civs or city states to gain some representation.
The other interesting thing I see about this is how this could very easily integrate into an idea that I encounted somewhere about "towns." The idea was that "founded" cities should spend the first 5-10 turns or so as "towns" that function more like trading posts, in addition to generating no aggro on either side of the border until they evolve into fully fledged cities. This was mostly conceived as a way to allow players a time window to shut down forward settling without incurring warmongering penalties.
The cool thing about this is that settlements could be the same thing. If you take over a settlement, you have a window to either raze it if its inconvenient, or you can just wait a few turns and turn it into a city.
I think as a general rule graphical diversity should be kept at a minimum the more primitive civs become. I'd say the optimal, least-effort option would be to have one model of each unit, the same, universal, non-region-specific clothing, and then a skin texture layer that can easily be set with RBG values to match the appropriate civ. The architecture could be like the ancient palaces: stone, wood, straw, mud; or, an a-ethnic mush of all four materials.
From a simulation perspective, they do facilitate the idea that the majority of ancient human history was between warring tribes (with you starting out as "tribe" as well). But this is an incomplete idea, because there was a lot of trading and politicking going on between barbarians as well. Fleshing them out along these dimensions would make them feel more like people than minor nuisances.
Additionally, I think there is a lot of criticism to be leveled at the Civ franchise for prioritizing war in nearly all eras simply through which mechanics they include/omit. If all you can do is fight barbarians, then you are forced to emphasize military development earlier on over every other facet of your civ. And this only compounds. I think the ability to give players more options in how they deal with enemies at every level of the game can only lead to a more interesting, fulfilling play experience.
I would vet these by the same standards as we do civilizations and city-states. Which are the most iconic, influential groups of tribes that could fit this mold? I am trying to choose options that could have some human dimension to them, and could fit the warlike/politique/neutral model well. In addition to being iconic. Again, these are presumed to no longer be "Barbarians." They are "Settlements" or "Tribes."
Of those, I would say:
Gauls (I'm presuming the Franks will ultimately be represented by a Charlemagne leader)
Sami (YES. Yes.)
Siberians/Yakuts (Although I'm still holding out for a Siberia/Sakha civ)
Champa (there you go, Vietnam fans)
America (also, I have no idea why some of the many Native American tribes can't be city-states...Pueblo and Cahokia city-states anyone?)
Shoshone (the Comanche were indisputably vicious; the Shoshone half balances it out I think)
Ojibwe (an excellent example of both military ruthlessness and foreign diplomacy)
Blackfoot/Niitsitapi (purely for CBR representation)
Taino/Carib (YES finally I have a use for you guys; trading AND cannibalism!)
Inuit (Now they don't need a leader!)
Tupi (in the event they are never blobbed into Brazil with a Tupi submarine, this is a nice compromise)
Maori? (same as Shoshone and Ojibwe)
Hawaii? (protect the cinnamon roll)
I'm coming up kind of short here for Australian and Indonesian examples
I think that's at least a start. I wouldn't want there to be so many complicated, obscure and/or similar-sounding names that these mini-peoples lost all personality. And in the process of looking at this, I've discovered a lot of potential design space here to include larger regions and more primitive tribes that players want in the game, but which would be difficult to make into fully fledged civs or city-states. Particularly Amerindian tribes, but also to an extent Austronesian and Eurasian tribes.
It's actually not a controversy because most civ fans only paid attention to the inciting incident and, like most people, stopped paying attention after a day or two.
Basically, despite Firaxis consulting with parts of the Cree tribal council and even recording music sung by Poundmaker's descendants, the current leader of the Cree (also a descendant of Poundmaker) published a statement saying that he disapproved of aspects of the Cree's portrayal.
The internet immediately conflated what was a disapproving but ultimately moderate and balanced opinion on the Civ franchise as a "controversy." As far as I can tell no further statements were made by the Cree nation and that headman disappeared back into the tribal woodwork.
What most people neglected to follow up on is that, thanks to the increased public attention on the subject, the Cree Nation created a petition to get Poundmaker exonerated in Canada, and so far the the Ottowan government seems completely on board with the process. So without the Cree's inclusion in VI, neither the Cree nor the Canadian government would have had the popular impetus to remedy past conflicts.
It's irritating to watch people en masse only pay attention to conflicts and ignore resolutions. Civ players seem to be no different and still have extremely misinformed opinions on the Cree's portrayal. If anything, the designs of Seondeok, Wilhelmina, and Tamar were all actual controversies Firaxis was actually forced to do something about. Firaxis, as long as it has a strong commitment to historicity, has no obligation to bend further backwards to please unpleasable individuals in the Cree nation, and especially not when they were basically the catalyst for improving Canadian-Cree relations.
I would normally send this privately, but this is an immediate, relevant issue of massive public misinformation in the civ community that is being perpetuated by politically ignorant gamers who think only in soundbytes. Please, wherever you see people claiming that there was a Cree "controversy," they only read the headlines and need to be corrected. Firaxis should not be scared into omitting future civilizations based on fan paranoia.
And, to tie this back into the discussion at hand, my above "reformed" list of barbarian tribes could easily see similar controversy at mere inclusion. Many Native American tribes seem to be opposed to being fit into what they see as "European" concepts of conquest, militarization, and property. I think this is frankly nonsense, since most of the larger tribes that would be tapped for inclusion formed confederacies, warred with each other for land, and traded. Claiming an arbitrary distinction in values is ridiculous; to my mind the only legitimate concerns are cultural appropriation at the hands of a very present and still quite recently instituted dominant culture. With extreme emphasis on recent, because I am of the opinion that cultural inequity is inevitable and colonialism is baked into the history of every culture on the planet and will never, ever go away. So in nearly all cases it is better to heal cultures through melding and assimilating their better parts into the grander global legacy than to waste life dwelling on an immutable past.
The more likely controversy here (which I'm surprised hasn't already happened with city-states, honestly?) is that Civ is inherently structured to predetermine who can win and who cannot. Civs are destined to be big and have a chance at success. City-states are presumed to be "second-class" civs that can never win. Citizens of developed countries issue mild complaints at only getting a Vienna or a Stockholm but they generally settle for what they can get and certainly don't raise criticism to the level of "are you implying that we are less?" Middle nations know who they are, and are too well-educated and well-off both socially and economically to complain about representational parity.
On the other hand, making a third-tier of civs makes the "categorization" much more stark, especially since there already isn't much difference in development resources between city-states and our proposed settlements/tribes. And, on top of this, since Civ has mostly refrained from representing tribes with city-states, the inclusion of them as either city-states or settlements may cause them to ask why they are given such presumptively small status. "Why?" the Tupi might ask, "Are we treated like barbarians?" "Why?" The Shoshone might ask, "Have we been downgraded from a civ to something even less than a city-state?"
The obvious answer, of course, is that the three-tier structure would and should be designed to represent political structure, not political importance. The settlement/city-state/civ distinction should exist not to minimize anyone, but to portray them as accurately as possible in the particular structure/phase of civilization they predominately adopt. In that respect, I am further emboldened by the decision that where civs represent nations/federations/unions/empires and city-states represent cities and small kingdoms/republics, then named settlements should indisputably represent tribes of unified identities. And that, as a consequence of this distinction, that in order to give these tribes their due respect, that the settlement mechanics in earlier eras must be fittingly complex as to be on par with city-states in later eras.
Great discussion here, I'll join with some of my points about this topic:
1 There have been a number of "Civilizations" included already in the game in previous iterations as well as in CVI, which could have been named Barbarians instead of a Civilization. How do you rightfully decide which tribes were "civilized" and which were "barbarian"? Ancient Greeks used the term "barbarian" for almost all tribes other than Greeks themselves.
Are the Zulu a civilization or Barbarians? The Huns? Shoshone? Celts? Kongo? Polynesia? Scythia? Mapuche? Vikings? - Civilized or Barbarian? How do you make proper distinction? And even if one does decide, other person will have contrary views.
2 A number of tribes originally considered "barbarian" by the more cultured and advanced empires, eventually became civilizations. This has been proven on several occasions throughout history, take some of the tribes I mentioned in point 1. Celts formed several states-through conquest and interaction by/with Rome, similar the Goths- except Goths conquered Rome-and then became Civilized (like Romans) and their countries, just like Celtic ones, last till this very day. Vikings eventually formed several Scandinavian countries too, they interacted, by raiding/trade/conquest with several empires, including France/Frankia, England and even Byzantium.
To summize, in Civ6 2nd and final expansion, or in Civ7, I'm hoping the designers/Firaxis will consider:
1 DO NOT CALL THEM BARBARIANS! Don't offend anyone. Just let some of them have a camp/settlement at the game's outset and make more appear in the game gradually with passing turns (where no city territory exists yet).
2 Give them each TRIBE NAMES. Like Vandals, Pechenegs, Massagetae, Huns, Arawak...
3 Give them each a (1) Great Leader to lead their tribe
4 Let them build 1 Unique Unit of their own. One historically accurate, provided they have the needed resources to produce them (for example a Horse within a camp's radius). As well as a generic warrior/if applicable. No war weariness of course.
5 Let them build armed settlers and let them settle other camps/settlements (just like civs)
6 Let them TRADE with Civlizations, City States and other Settlements/Camps.
7 Let them build Wooden Palisades to better defend their camps
8 Let them INTERACT DIPLOMATICALLY with Civs, City States and other camps/settlements
9 Let them Advance Technologically until they develop CITY BUILDING/FOUNDING technology letting them change the status of their camps/settlements into Cities and thus letting them eventually change from nomads or forest dwellers into a Civilization. (and then kick in the war weariness/happiness thing the civs experience)
10 Let them trade for knowledge/techs with Civs and City states
11 Let them aquire knowledge (1 tech of their choice) from Civs and City States upon capturing each city.
12 Let them ALLY with Civs, City States or other settlement/camp tribes. If they ally against a human player, well, he/she's got trouble.
13 Let them be more or less Hostile at the start of the game, depending on how they were known from actual history and let them change their status to Neutral, Friendly and even Allied with the right diplomacy from a Civ player (missionaries, gold, gifts)
14 Give them an additional characteristic if applicable according to the historical accounts about them, for example: Spiritual.
15 Let them be able to convert to a great religion (with help from missionaries) while still founding camps/settlements and make that speed greatly their change into a Civilization
16 Give their units and leader their actual tribal features as portrayed from pages of history.
17 When they advance to a Civilization, let them build workers/builders
18 If they lack a City List: Just name their capital after their Tribe Name (like in Civ4) and name their additional cities the same with an added number behind it (Hun, Hun1, Hun2...)
Give these tribes a chance to become Civilizations and compete, let human players trade and interact with them and even form alliances with them, do not limit our options only to fighting and ridding of them.
Since barbarians were considered like so as long as they were not a part of X civilization, they are people too for sure.
I would go even further than Gudenuf, I would like to split up civs in 5 categories, barbarians and "goody huts" included :
- hunter-gatherers ("goody huts")
- pastoral civ
- empires (more or less civs we know them now)
- city-states (like OCC but with advantages, so more like Civ5 Venitia)
What's next will displease people and not have their suffrage, i know it by experience in those very forums. I mean, i don't see why we should keep traditional civs like they are since Civ3, differenciated with UUs and UAs. Not only this restricts picks and roleplay, but this monopolizes a great amount of work of the devs. I would prefer to have an exhaustive list of civs to play, and differenciate them ingame.
IF we define Civilizations as those groups which built Cities (the classical definition, reflected in Civ by Building a City being virtually the first thing that any Civ does in the game), then there are a lot of groups with a lot of Technologies that are not Civilizations.
Just for instance:
Pottery, both fired clay containers and fired clay 'votive' or religious figurines and objects, date back to 14 - 19,000 BCE, or 10,000 - 15,000 years before the game starts
Agriculture, including the domestication of most of the grains and starch plants (wheat, barley, millet, Taro, Yams) dates back to 8500 - 9000 BCE, or 4500 - 5000 years before Start of Game
Animal Husbandry/domestication of Sheep, Cattle, Goats, and Pigs all date back to practically the same dates as for Agriculture.
Horses had been domesticated for hauling loads, plowing, and for meat At Least 400 years before the start of the game (Ukraine) and probably much earlier: there are indicators of potential or possible domestication all over central Asia that are still being debated
Whaling was being practiced from boats with harpoons 2000 years before Start of Game (Korea)
Flax was being spun, dyed and used to make knots, nets as early as 30,000 years before the start of the game, and it was domesticated by 2000 years before th game starts and used to make fishing nets and fish traps.
The Aegean Islands, Cyprus and Crete were all populated 3000 years or more before the game starts: evidence of boats that could carry people and their domestic animals.
So, most of the early in game Technologies were already known and used long before there game starts. That means, Settlements of Non-Civs could have a lot of technologies and access to resources not available at first anywhere else.
Historically, 'Barbarians' were sources of very important strategic and luxury and 'bonus' resources for Civilizations: Amber and Tin from northern Europe to Rome, Horses from Mongolia to China.
Opening up these Trade Possibilities wth 'Barbarians' would make it potentially much easier for a Civ to not be strangled by lack of a particular Strategic Resource.
Allowing Settlements to start at single-tile Graphics and, eventually, grow to City States, would make the game map much more dynamic, and open up new possibilities for application of Trade, Loyalty, Diplomacy, and other mechanisms already in the game but not applicable across most of the map until late in the game.
We need this.
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