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Barbarians are People too...

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Greywulf, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold Chieftain

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    Hmmmmm. I'm not sure how a "pastoral civ" would function. Would it be halfway between a city-state and a full civ? Or would a pastoral civ be a normal civ, and then we'd give empires additional bonuses and leaders?

    I also am somewhat opposed to the goody hut/barbarian dichotomy, because it encourages a binary sort of categorization between "hostile" and "friendly" tribes. I'd rather they just all be settlements that can have barbarian-like and goody hut-like characteristics depending on how you interact with them.

    As for differentiation, I think it largely exists as a product of wanting to expand Civ's roster. Once they run out of "empires," they need the UUs and UIs to make the smaller, more obscure, and less conventional civs feel unique and deserving of inclusion. Because otherwise it just feels weird to have, say, the Mapuche building cities on par with Rome. By emphasizing that the Mapuche can ride horses and build Chemamull as more "pastoral" improvements, they can give Rome whole districts and monuments to make it feel more imperial by comparison. I actually like a lot of the unique infrastructures; I like less of the unique units and wish they would make more civs with less military options.

    Plus, without the unique units/infrastructures, a lot of iconic parts of history just wouldn't make it in the game and civs would default to an even more Euro-centric tech tree. The uniques are a way of giving civs personality, so I'm fine with the development resources spent on them.

    I very much like the idea of giving Settlements some limited tech. Although it would have to be limited to roughly what you have there and not much more, because there must still be mechanical differentiation between settlements and City-States. I don't want the distinction to become so blurry as to invite criticism as to "why can't these be City-States?"

    The idea of letting Settlements grow into City-States while independent seems also to invite several unnecessary development complications.
    • If Settlements can grow into City-States, why can't City-States grow into Civs? Where do the devs find time to make Civ assets for promoted City-States? Or, to a lesser or possibly greater extent, the assets for promotes Settlements?
    • If Settlements represent tribes, why would we historically misrepresent them as founding city-states when they generally didn't? In most instances, the only way "tribes" ever graduated to "city" status was under some sort of unified rule, which can easily be represented by being annexed by a City-State or Civ. Then it would make sense for them to evolve into cities, and would make it mechanically much easier to manage since City-States and Civs already have the assets and unique mechanics developed to represent fully fledged cities.
    Leaving Settlements as Settlements better accomplishes the aim of making Settlements more active players in the game as a third tier of "civs" that must be managed. Although everyone likes the idea of Settlements/City-States automatically upgrading at some point, the fact is that every tier that would disappear as every civ becomes a City-State and then a Civ substantially reduces political intrigue on the map. There is less weighing of options when everyone is a peer. I would sooner just add a later-game mechanic that adds culture bonuses to a Civ for not murdering/assimilating every Settlement/City-State they come across and maintaining positive cross-cultural relationships. The equivalent of setting aside native lands. Maybe even implement a Massacre penalty.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  2. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

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    I agree. In fact, I have gotten Techs from 'Goody Huts' in Civ VI that I thought were too advanced to be appropriate. On the other hand, I want positive Interactions with the Settlements to very worthwhile, if you as a Civ can establish such with them.

    These are very good points from a game-play perspective. Keeping three distinct 'tiers' of Human Habitation on the map: Settlements, City States, and Civilizations, maintains the dynamic diplomatic and economic relationship I want in the game. Since City states and Civilization Cities both grow and access more territory around their starting tile, possibly Settlements would start as the current one-tile Barbarian Camp/Tribal Village graphic (in fact, the Tribal Village Graphic would be a fine Generic Settlement graphic) and if left, eventually expand to take in 1 - 5 tiles around that one - but never all 6, because that would make them a City State. One nice result could be that if the Settlement controls a tile with a Resource and they are friendly to you, they could give you permission to exploit that Resource - send a Builder and construct the proper Improvement on it and get the use of the resource - as long as you maintain good relations with that Settlement, of course.

    IF a City State or Civilization conquers a Settlement, it disappears. Basically, the population was massacred, enslaved, or fled, and your underpaid soldiers looted everything there. This should get you a Bloodthirsty Penalty - not as bad as razing a 'real' city, but not the sort of thing to make your other neighbors feel Warm and Fuzzy about you, either.

    If, on the other hand, the borders of a City State or Civilization expand to include the original tile of the Settlement, it becomes an 'extra' District. I'm of mixed mind as to whether that District should be by choice or random, since random could conflict with some of the Unique Districts (Hansa, Acropolis) in the game. Better, possibly, to be able to choose among a limited number of Districts, the types varying with some formula involving the Settlement's past interactions.
    Any Hostile Settlement, of course, in such a case provide nothing positive: they revolt, form a bunch of military units and attack you.

    Another possible Settlement Interaction is that if borders of Civs or City States start to encroach on them they pack up and move away, so that the number of smaller population centers on the map does not drop to zero until very late in the game when all the map is covered by City State/Civ borders - in other words, usually never unless the game goes all the way to Turn 450 or later.

    The neutral-hostile-friendly Settlement as a replacement for the static Goody Hut-Barbarian Camp we have now has huge potential to add more dynamic relationships to the game, in Trade, Diplomacy, and economics...
     
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  3. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold Chieftain

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    The mini-expansion would be fine. Or they could just remain single-tiles. It depends on how closely we want them to act as spiritual successors to Barbarians, and how much of an economic system they should be coded with. I'm of the opinion that they don't really need any economic mechanics since their primary functions can all operate without population/happiness management, and the fact that they could settle in locations without resources the way Barbarians do. But I'm not opposed to a very basic "resource" system that would necessitate local tiles; you could even retool Settlements to only specifically sprout up near resources (since this generally is why settlements are founded in the first place).

    I think the culture disappearing completely, without the player having a choice in the matter, seems a bit...fascist? I'd rather players have the choice to either raze it to make room for cities, or incorporate it as their own little township that would turn into a fully fledged city. It would more closely mimic how many native populations are assimilated into and then contribute to dominant cultures. Say, the Tupi settlement, if conquered by Brazil, will always have a lingering presence in the Brazilian empire henceforth.

    Your alternative District idea could also be an elegant alternative, but I wouldn't make it random. I would do one of two options. Either, each settlement has an associated district type it will turn into based on what "type" of settlement it was (akin to the types of City-States). OR, an entirely new district called "Tribal Lands" could be made as a universal replacement for all tribes. I actually like the latter better because it would be much easier to implement and understand, not to mention is a happy compromise between outright obliterating Settlements and incorporating them as cities. Plus, it would still give the players an option to "raze" the Tribal Lands further down the line if they want to place different districts, or to keep them around for more benevolent aims.

    I would further posit that a "Tribal Lands" district would probably grant culture bonuses and Great Diplomat points.

    I like the idea of making them semi-mobile. This is another excellent idea that fits extremely well thematically.

    I know, I really hope someone makes a mod for this even if Firaxis doesn't. I already made an excel spreadsheet for recategorizing some City-States as Settlements and some Civs as City-States. It really opens up design space to allow more highly requested civs to at least get some representation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  4. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    Not sure either ! The devs to decide. But in another idea, I depicted those different factions by having several abilities like being able to have cities with more than 3 population (with a tech like agriculture), the ability to build settlers (with a tech like "Bureaucracy", or for instance a civic), etc... not forgetting far from it the military aspect : in this idea, pastoral civs had very strong units in the era where they historically conquered a lot (middle age ?). Additionnally I guess than nomadism would have to be implemented, although it seems difficult to imagine any territory control in term of Civ, eventhough it should be fun.

    Good point. If any, Barbarians are maybe too much of a category. I forgot to mention it, but that were to respect the historical Civ scheme, and totally optional. On the other hand, hunter-gatherers can be hostile, and why not barbarians be peaceful. Just that they would play differently (I often compare this to Starcraft) and have different victory conditions.

    It seems like it is the snake that bites its own tail. And that's what I dislike in this. I really don't see why people are so attached to uniques. It's just 'eye candy' to me. More, uniques just don't change dramatically how you feel in game. Nor how you play. Mostly you will try this or this victory condition, but constraints and difficulty level are truly what makes you going into one victory condition or the other. It's not a mere bonus that will help you, unless it is overpowered.

    I assure you that playing Rome doesn't feel more roman. I read SPQR book by Marie Beard, and wanted to play Civ. I was disappointed to have no feeling to play Rome. In fact, this kind of books makes me want to create my own Civ, not really playing the existant ones. But it's true, it's Civ that gave me that taste. But Civ2 more generally, Civ3 and further made me want to change the game.

    In Civ2 you had Hoplites for everyone, Legions for everyone, Elephants for everyone, in Civ4 you had elephants for everyone... nothing prevents to give a feeling of grand history without uniques. Is Civ2 less liked than Civ3 ? Doesn't seem like it.
    But I admit it, unique civs are perfect for selling DLCs. People feel like they truly rule those civs because they paid it, not because it's real.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  5. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

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    Here's a possibility: an Improvement addition (which actually harks back a few Civ versions) of a Civ-built Settlement: call it a Village to start, it might grow into a Town or Suburb/Neighborhood later. Early on it would provide a potential 'Bomb' in that they could be built touching but outside your borders to 'grab' a tile. They would automatically 'work' any resources in the tile, provide Housing for the nearest city, but, say, require 2 - 3 Builder Charges to construct. IF your border expansion 'takes' a Native Settlement, it becomes a Village in your territory (or, say if they are Neutral when it happens, they pack up and Move Away, if Friendly they stay, if Hostile they revolt/attack). Later, those 'Native/Tribal Villages could provide Tourism bonuses, or perhaps turn into a specialized Improvement: Tribal Casino (Gold, Amenity), Tribal Preserve (Tourism, Culture), or Special Economic Zone (Gold, Production) - each or all with their 'enacting' Civic in about the Modern Era.

    By using a specialized set of graphics for the Tribal areas, even a graphic that combines a 'generic' original Settlement with the specific Civ Architecture Graphics, which would show neatly who is assimilating and who they are assimilating with, and possibly even naming them: "Tupi Economic Zone", "Xiong-Nu Tribal Preserve", etc. we should be able to keep them incorporated into the game from start to finish without 'requiring' (by the Iron Law of Civ Victory) that they be exterminated in most games. A Village/Town mechanic also maintains the variable population centers that the Civilization - City State - Settlement system with which we started the game, even after the bulk of the map is inside some Civ's borders.
     
  6. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold Chieftain

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    Okay, I see some distinction but I'm not sure if there would be enough to mechanically differentiate them from City-States and Civs. I'd probably sooner just rename "City-States" to "Kingdoms" and add a "pastoral" City-State/Kingdom with a higher propensity for annexing other cities. I would like there to be a few more City-State types and maybe some stronger differentiation between them.

    In a similar interest of consolidation, why not just give Settlements "types" like City-States? Hunter-gatherers. Herders. Fishers. Farmers. Raiders (barbarians). That way they can all use the same base village system (design efficiency) but then be differentiated based on culture and behavior.

    B-but I like the eye candy. :p

    I do agree that unique assets generally don't affect the game as much as abilities/agendas. I think part of this is due to artificially "balancing" the unique units by making them mostly early- to mid-game military units. I think the unique improvements have a much stronger impact because they last the whole game mechanically, and deserve inclusion because they much more substantially add visual and cultural variety than units do. You do make an extremely compelling case against unique units, however; they only last an era or two before being completely irrelevant.

    This might not be the case if unique units would be the only units which automatically scale with era so that they can stay relevant for the rest of the game. But anachronicity is a hard concept to sell in this game.

    That they are. And I guess if governors can be from wherever and wonders/units can survive extemporaneously, there wouldn't be much wrong with going back to a system where everyone can build every unit. It wouldn't save much on development resources, since we'd still want nearly all of the units that have been in the game so far, but it would give players more options. Idk, I'd need to think about it more before committing to one side or the other on the issue.

    So, I'm trying to parse this out to see if I agree with it:
    • If Border expansion takes a Native Settlement, it becomes a Village. But attempting to conquer or annex it still destroys it like a Goody Hut/Barbarian? This may be a little limited but then again we are going for limitations so I think I'm onboard.
    • Villages would also be a basic improvement that would be a territory bomb and pseudo-city? The issues I see with this are that the housing/resources wouldn't be calculated on a strict adjacency rule but on a vague proximity rule. And that, since they turn into town/suburbs say when cities grow adjacent to them, this destroys their "Settlement" identity; contrariwise, if say they remain villages otherwise, it leaves us questioning why they never eventually develop into towns or cities themselves. I'm not saying it can't work with some streamlining, but there are complications that I would want to iron out.
    • Border expansion has different effects based on the state of your relationship. I think this is a great idea in all respects, wouldn't change a thing here. Although it does raise the interesting question of "what do they leave behind if they move away?" I think the only rational answer is a "goody hut." Imagine all the fun games of tag a civ could play repeatedly chasing the same tribe away just to get their goody huts lol.
    • Specialized Tribal Improvements; I...think having multiple limited improvements may be spreading the concept too far laterally. Hence why I would probably make this "Village" proposal a new district type. That way it could have buildings like a Casino and Tribal Council; saving space on the map and adding more "dimension" to the tile you already have. Making a district also by consequence makes the "Village" feel more like a mini-city center rather than "farmland" or "mines." Or even if it weren't a Village but "Tribal Lands," it would still make them feel more like a separate, federally recognized entity rather than a mere nature preserve.
    Okay, I like the graphical change to represent tribal villages, just quite literally mashing the two building types onto the same tile. I'm trying to think of a more elegant way of giving names to only this very small subset of districts/improvements, however. Why name these and not generic Villages? Why name Villages at all and not other districts/improvements? This, I think, is the only reason why I'm tempted to allow Villages to evolve into Cities; purely so that they can have names. But if I can find another mechanical work-around I would probably prefer that.

    Maybe the solution is as easy/laborious as just giving all village districts namelists for every civ anyway. Another could be to just make a LOT of Settlements spawn and ONLY make the Village district/improvement acquirable through assimilation--and not as a generic district/improvement. This would exclusively limit them to tribal representation and therefore only and always taking the names of tribes they originated from. OR maybe to maintain the 3 tier system like you said, the Village could just be what the Settlement always was under a different name; a one-tile "city" with extremely limited territorial gains. Just now with a few building slots for Casinos/Preserves/Councils/Whatever.
     
  7. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

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    One possible/potential solution to above and below is to treat All Villages, whether acquired from outside 'Tribes' or your own internal efforts, as Districts. Call it a Colonial or Homestead District, perhaps, and it acquires territory as yours, exploits any Resources on that tile. The ones that you build would keep that 'Frontier' aspect: buildings could be a Fort (graphic could be a timber palisade or even a stone Border Fort tower) which provides Defense for what is, after all, on the edge of your territory, perhaps a Trading Post that would provide the benefits of extending any Trade routes passing through and provide positive Influence to City States and Settlements ('Barbarians') within range... The 'Native' District formed when your border overtakes an outside Settlement, on the other hand, would have a separate set of Buildings:
    Agency - which provides the 'Tribal Zone' Tourism and Cultural benefits
    Casino - providing Gold and Amenity benefits
    Economic Zone - providing Production and Gold benefits.

    Naming could be, I think, legitimately limited to those Settlements/Districts that started with a separate Identity from your Civ. That ties in with one of the original ideas, which was to provide unique Tribal Names for the 'Barbarian' or Settlements in this rendition. Let those names stay around, just as the names of the City States remain after some Civ has engulfed them...
     
  8. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold Chieftain

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    Ooooo I like the melding of the Village with the Trading Posts. There was a mod in V that would give trading posts one hex range of territory, and another which would have them evolve into "towns" in the later eras.

    If we did have the district, I would still just call it "Village," and then we could build it them out into "micro-civs" using buildings which function as basic "micro-districts."

    Village (Civ)
    • Fort - Military, Government, and Defense (maybe make a second faith-based building, except "Temple" is already taken)
    • Homestead - Amenities and Production
    • Trading Post - Gold, Resources, and Trade
    Village (Tribal)
    • Agency/Council - Culture, Government, and Defense
    • Reservation - Resources, Production, and Trade
    • Casino/Economic Zone - Gold and Amenities
    These buildings would basically be locked-in variants of each other, by that I mean you always build the government building first, then the production building, then the gold building. They just happen to have different bonuses based on whether they were aggressively settled or peacefully acquired. They don't make faith or science. "Homestead" villages don't make culture. "Reservation" villages don't make war.

    Resources would automatically be collected from adjacent tiles, until other districts/improvements were placed in those adjacent locations.

    Okay. I can see it working. Especially if they have a distinct visual difference than the normal Villages.
     
  9. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

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    Good To Go. Now just have to sell it to Firaxis or the Modders!

    As earlier, use a combination of Civ-region-specific buildings and a Tribal/Settlement graphic, so that, for instance, a Xiong-Nu Settlement with an Agency won't look quite the same as part of a Greek Civ as it does when part of a Dutch or Chinese Civ...
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
  10. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold Chieftain

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    Yeah, I think it's a solid design concept. Firaxis would never lift design concepts wholesale from forums for fear of copyright suits, though. So I think getting it done through modders may be more practical.

    Yes, yes. I think the district-specific buildings would help a lot in making tribal districts stand out. And, as you suggest just keeping some Settlement "buildings" on the tile as opposed to Civ-region-specific buildings may help make them stand out even further. There are plenty of options to make them feel more like acquired "towns" rather than "suburbs" like the civ-built villages.
     
  11. FractalAdvocate

    FractalAdvocate Chieftain

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    Yeah, barbarians as a constantly hostile force that can't be reasoned or bargained with or grow or anything bother me thematically.

    That said, making them immobile, take up land, and use districts... it seems simplest/most intuitive to me to mod city states towards that, from the current state of the game.

    Like, play without barbarians and way more city states, and alter city state rules a little -- some bonus to unit production, they can declare war on you if you don't have envoys, they start with only a couple tiles of land, you don't get a free envoy for meeting them, if they're low pop when you take their cities by force they get auto-razed... maybe a little less auto-internal loyalty. Settlements are just city states that don't get big, after all, and you can levy units from them if you're the suzerain, which is essentially mercenaries.

    Alternately(additionally?), if you want more nomadic/less settlement focused cultures, maybe spawn a cityless leader on... let's say each continent, for convenience.

    Slowly give them free units in random unclaimed areas on that continent, give them each an agenda where they like you a little less for each city you make on that continent, plus a random one, and give them full diplomatic options(trade with them so they'll joint war with you, for example! maybe they can have a civ ability to have access to a few luxuries, so they can trade that...). Make research agreements available from the start, and give them a +60% boost to tech eurekas, and you can give them new techs, too, although sadly not techs you have already gained unless someone figures out/has figured out how to mod that. Sometimes they could take over parts or all of other more settlement-focused civs, too -- which has definitely happened.

    Edit: The +60% eureka would have to be conditional on them not taking any cities, or things would get bad.
     
  12. Xmonger

    Xmonger Chieftain

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    In this post about the next possible expansion I demonstrate how it will probably be about Diplomacy - Ed Beach said as much before the VI release. If this is true, which I think is inescapable, enhanced Barbarians would be a great addition as a different form of Diplomacy. Diplomacy with Civs, City states and Barbs, fascinating.
     
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  13. Jarms48

    Jarms48 Chieftain

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    I completely agree with the opening post, and this quote in addition as well.

    Could also add in an ability to extort gold from them if they view you as intimidating, similar to Civ V and demanding gold from a city state. The gold limit would be equal to whatever destroying what the encampment was worth (maybe less for balance reasons). This gives players the choice of getting gold from barbs without actually killing them, and maybe even recuperate some of the gold you paid them.
     
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  14. Greywulf

    Greywulf Chieftain

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    Thank you for your support!
    I like your suggestion here also. There is so much potential for barbarians, it would be such a shame if they never do anything with them, and just leave them as mindless attack bots. They should give them personality, and make them turn alive into what we would really expect from barbarians in the real world. Like the title of this thread says, barbarians are people too.
     
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  15. megabearsfan

    megabearsfan Chieftain

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    Haven't read the whole thread yet, so maybe this has already come up.

    I wouldn't mind seeing Barbs be flat-out removed from the game and replaced with "nomadic tribes". They'd basically be treated similarly as city states, but they wouldn't have a specific city. They'd move around the map, setting up camps for periods of time before moving on to somewhere else. Each tribe should be named and have a specific personality type like city states, and there could be some diplomatic interactions that civs could have with them (similar to what was outlined in the OP). In addition, if you are on good standing with them, they would ask for permission to migrate through your territory, and could maybe temporarily settle, which could maybe provide some bonuses to your nearby city(ies) or civ (such as increased production or trade or something). If you're not on good standing, then they may invade your land and pillage and raid it, and you'd have to pay ransoms or bribes to make them stop. You could also maybe hire them as mercenaries to attack / raid / pillage other civs.
     
  16. MonkeyPaw

    MonkeyPaw Chieftain

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    - Keep them as nomads, no settlements
    - They can gain gold through pillaging, bribery and maybe goodie huts, then use that gold to buy more units. So paying for peace will also make them stronger
    - You can buy back captured civilians from them, your own or from other civs
    - Maybe gain other bonuses from pillaging certain improvements (like stealing horses)
    - Option to play as the barbarians!
     

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