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Building Wonders - Change

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by dsinsocal, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Actually, Stonehenge is kind of a bad example: there are lesser standing stones and stone circles all over parts of northern France as well as the British Isles, so in a manner of speaking, who built the biggest one was sort of 'up for grabs'. However, as far as I know there is no proliferation of 'stone circles' of massive blocks anywhere else: there are large stone monuments, but not arranged the same way. That means there is a specific combination of cultural - religious circumstances that 'causes' Stonehenge to be built, in addition to 'gazing at stars' (Astrology Tech) and having stone handy.

    And, of course, the stone circles and standing stones in Brittany and other continental locations did not crumble away at all: they still litter the landscape, as do Greek temples not quite as impressive as that of Artemis and 'Royal Tombs' not quite as impressive as the Mausoleum or Cheop's Pyramid and its cousins.
    I think you hit on a Good Point, though: a half-completed Wonder could be 'salvaged; for stone and other materials, which is pretty much what the production return represents now, or we might add a mechanism that 'converts' the Would-Be Wonder into an 'ordinary' Building, Improvement or District.

    This would be particularly handy in the case of Stonehenge with its Religion emphasis: fail to complete Stonehenge, and instead it 'completes' as a Holy Site: a lesser collection of standing stones that still acts as a focus for religious observances.
     
  2. dsinsocal

    dsinsocal Chieftain

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    Lesser standing stones do not a Stonehenge make. :) There was only one biggest, most prominent set being made, and that was the one we now call Stonehenge.
     
  3. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    True enough, but that makes it unique only due to its size, and we don't know WHY that one set of standing stones/stone circle was made larger: whim? competition? religious visions of grandeur? We don't know, and so we really don't know just how unique it was.
    This is not a problem peculiar to Stonehenge: there are Tombs, Palaces, Temples/Shrines all over the world that are identical in function but wildly different in architecture, construction techniques, size, quantity and quality of decoration: what makes one of those a Wonder and one not? I think if we go by size alone we are going to miss some very significant 'Wonders' - after all, the Parthenon was not even the second largest Greek temple built . . .

    Stonehenge came up as an example in the first place because it is one of the few World Wonders that we know for certain could have been built by any of several - but not all - of the Civs in existence at the time, because there are examples of similar constructions (granted, not as big) all over northwestern Europe. That is not true of many Wonders: Temples are usually peculiar or unique to a given religion, snd some Wonders are almost absolutely Unique: The Taj Mahal was built as a memorial for a ruler's wife, and I can't think of another 'Wonder' anywhere that fits that description.
    Still other 'Wonders' were built to solve a specific problem: China's Great Wall (which, however, was matched by other walls built in Afghanistan and Persia to keep nomads out, but not covering the same extent because their boundaries with the steppe weren't as long as China's), various dams, canals, harbors, reservoirs, etc.
    Other Wonders were built for purposes that had nothing at all to do with how Civ depicts them: the Colossus was built to honor Apollo, the God that the Rhodians credited with saving their city from Demetrios the Beseiger: it had nothing at all to do with trade, trade routes, or commerce in any form. IF it had an ulterior Purpose, it was that it was the largest cast and fabricated bronze statue ever built in the ancient world, and so represented a massive increase in size (Bigger Is Better again!) of an 'industrial/artistic' technique.

    Not to drag this out (more than I have already, sorry) but I think the Wonders in Civ VI, and potentially Civ VII, need a comprehensive rethinking, perhaps to give us, instead of a single Wonder to build, a 'class' of Wonders which, based on numerous 'auxiliary' factors, resolve into specific types or models.
    Example Stonehenge again, which is a combination astronomical observatory/calendar and religious Focal Point. So were Babylonian Ziggerats, Mayan Pyramidal Temples, and myriad other standing stone circles. Having identified a 'need' for the astronomical calendar and a Religious Focal Point, what you build precisely might be as simple as what materials you have available: mud brick for the Ziggerats, massive stone for the Circles, masonry construction for Pyramids.

    Likewise, have a God King or Supreme Ruler in your Civ/Government type, you need a Great Tomb for him, but whether you build him a buried Terracotta Army, a Great Pyramid of Fred, or a Mausoleum may depend on specific Religious Beliefs, materials and architecture, or even Whim of the Ruler - randomness.
     
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  4. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    One mechanic I think they could explore a little is to utilize stuff like this. Maybe Stone circles does absolutely nothing for you except it allows you to build stonehenge (which gives you the prophet and maybe faith the quarries in range.)
    Another example would be egypt: instead of the sphinx improvement, literally make a sphinx wonder only Egypt can build that does something cool. It could always be captured of course.
    It works cleanly because the reward is the wonder, but its exclusive to whoever picks that pantheon or plays that civ or leader. I wouldn't mind a couple wonders being like this.
     
  5. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    It probably reflects my philosophy of history, that there really isn't much unique to any civilization that wasn't a product of terrain, climate and situation (Jared Diamond's thesis several books), but rather than have Unique Improvements or Unique Wonders I'd rather have them dependent on a set of specific terrain, Civic, Religious, and/or Tech requirements. That way, while it might be very hard for, say, Russia with a Tundra start bias to build a desert-based Wonder, if Bol'shoi Peter happens to start with some desert nearby, he should be able to make a stab at it.
    And anybody who starts next to Genghis on an open plain should have a chance to build a Great Wall, because he's going to need it!
     
  6. dsinsocal

    dsinsocal Chieftain

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    This mod built by killmeplease (Mk Z) has been broken for a really long time, and I don't think he/she even does this stuff anymore. I thought I'd resurrect this thread to see if there was someone else who was willing and capable of rebuilding it.

    The way the wonders are handled is still the worst part of this game, in my opinion. I know I might be alone in that opinion, but I HATE spending 33 turns on a wonder just to have it snatched away by another civ 2 turns shy of completion and getting essentially nothing in return. It's *still* the main reason why I end up getting pissed off and quitting a game midstream.

    If anyone can re-create, or even improve upon, this mod I would be grateful. .... or if a similar mod already exists that I just haven't seen yet, that would be great too.

    Here is the original link from above, if you need to see the original description text.
    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1630413539
     
  7. PiR

    PiR Prince

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    I think there is if you have a good level access to that civ.
     
  8. aieeegrunt

    aieeegrunt Prince

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    The whole concept needs a rework

    Here is an analogy; do the Galapagos Islands sink beneath the sea and become undiscoverable after the first civ finds it?

    Do the yields only work for the first civ to find it?

    Why not? Because that is both conceptually stupid and gameplay stupid

    If someone else, especially the AI With Ludicrous Cheats finishes it first, I shouldn’t lose everything, ESPECIALLY since it is such an enormous time and resources sink

    You get to finish a lesser version of it that doesnt get a movie and the era score. So like you still get to build Not As Big Ben or The Ok Wall or Great Value Mahal.

    I mean seriously this is like France not being able to build the Maginot Line because Germany built the Oder festung line first
     
  9. mdl5000

    mdl5000 Prince

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    I always felt that the wonder should be a "reward" for a challenge you complete.
     
  10. The Civs 6

    The Civs 6 King

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    With a few exceptions, wonders have always been the ultimate red herring in the Civ franchise. Traps for the unwary.

    I totally get if you want to bedeck your civilization with all of the amazing stuff that this game has to offer. But think about a wonder like Hanging Gardens in 6. It provides a measly +15% boost to population growth, +2 housing in each city - which is pretty good, except for the fact that population growth isn't that good in Civ. Worst of all, the opportunity cost for this wonder is a) researching irrigation, which may not be the optimal tech; and b) spending 180 hammers on a useless wonder instead of building a settler, worker or unit. When I see that this or great baths has been completed, I sigh in relief because I know an AI has probably just boofed their Sid-given early game advantage.

    Part of the fun of Civ is being very deliberate, rejecting the impulse to build a wonder just because it is a wonder, and beelining for certain techs that give you wonders that are actually worth building (IE Kilwa). Maybe Civ becomes a little too much about beelining, but that's a fundamental problem with the tech tree.

    And worth noting that Old World has the desired mechanism. A wonder requires an enormous upfront (almost crippling) investment in resources, but once you start it, no one else can come in and scoop it.
     
  11. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    And note that so far in the pre-release 'Builds' that have been shown, Humankind also has a Wonder Exclusion mechanic: once you have 'unlocked' the ability to choose a Wonder, the Wonder you choose - and they are limited in number and by Era - cannot be chosen by any other Faction, even if you in fact never get around to building it.

    Both Old World and Humankind show that there is more than one way to work Wonders in a game, and the alternatives should be studied carefully before anybody starts designing Civ VII . . .
     
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  12. InsidiousMage

    InsidiousMage Prince

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    The problem with the only one person can start a wonder method is that you can't make up for low science or culture with more production. Great Engineers would also lose a lot of early to mid game value since some of the best ones give your wonder production.
     
  13. Evie

    Evie Pronounced like Eevee

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    Bring the old National Wonders back. Have one of them for each Great Wonder. If you try to build the Great Wonder and someone beat you to it, you just complete the National Wonder instead which is a less powerful, less touristy version of the Great Wonder.
     
  14. dsinsocal

    dsinsocal Chieftain

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    So, nobody wants to re-create this mod to make it usable with the current version of the game? i wish I knew how to do that stuff...
     
  15. aieeegrunt

    aieeegrunt Prince

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    Ugh God such a terrible mechanic
     
  16. dsinsocal

    dsinsocal Chieftain

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    So, I thought I'd give the new content a try. I really love the new barbarian stuff. Having a way to interact with them was brilliant. I'm also having fun with the new heroes. However, once again....

    I get to around turn 130 and the Great Library is stolen from me when I get to construction-turn 31 out of 32. I let out a few colorful expletives and logged out. Like I said before, maybe I'm in the minority here, but this game is frustratingly unplayable for me as long as the Wonders mechanic works the way it does. The frustration of wasting 31 turns aside, there is absolutely nothing realistic about throwing hundreds of years of slave-labor at a world wonder, only to have it disappear -- "POOF" -- in a turn. What makes these things "Wonders" is the fact that they are unique. There was only ONE of them ever built. Once a civilization gets the idea, shows the will, and develops the technology to built one, it should be exclusive to them.

    In short, it should be a race to the start, not to the end.

    If anyone wants to take on this project -- or can point me to someone who might, please let me know. I can't play the game until then.

    Thanks.
     
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  17. Evie

    Evie Pronounced like Eevee

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    The idea of a race to the start is every inch as bad, design wise, as a race to the finish. One way or another, you end up with being frustratingly beaten by a turn,

    Also, wonders aren't wonders because they were a once-in-history unique ideas. Lots of massive linraries were sponsored. Lots of puramids, and cathedrals, and universities built. They became legendary wonders because they lasted longer, or achieved greater fame, or were bigger or more impressive.

    The idea that what you build is the national wonder, and the first civ to finish the national wonder get a more powerful great wonder version instead is a far better change than suddenly deciding "well, the greeks have had the idea of building a giant statue, no one can ever build a giant statue again".
     
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  18. dsinsocal

    dsinsocal Chieftain

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    A. If you're beaten to the start of a wonder, your lost time and investment is considerably less than if you're beaten to the end. **Considerably**. Like, practically zero. Same goes for the frustration factor. Getting beat to the end is **FAR** more frustrating.
    B. Yes, lots of random libraries, pyramids, cathedrals and universities have been built throughout history, but there has only ever been ONE "Great Library", ONE "Great Pyramids of Egypt", ONE "St. Basil's Cathedral", or ONE "Oxford University". You admit yourself that these specific wonders "achieved greater fame" or were "bigger or more impressive" than their peers. In other words, they are indeed one-in-history, unique ideas. That's pretty much the definition of it.

    None of those wonders were ever duplicated somewhere else in the world and then, "poof", disappeared -- Thanos style -- at 95% completion. The entire idea is idiotic.

    You should start a separate thread and argue *for* your idea. We're not in competition here. Attempting to minimize someone else's idea doesn't lend more validity to your own. I don't dislike the idea of national wonders turning to world wonders. Anything would be better than how it works now.

    I'm sure there are several ways to address this problem, but changing it to a race to the start rather than a race to the end is the most simple of them here in this forum. I'm interested in finding a way to fix this now rather than praying that the developers will fix it sometime down the road in Civ 7 or 8.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021
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  19. AsH2

    AsH2 Prince

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    Add a "pimp"-dimension and that race could be interesting - not just (only) about :hammers:s (production).

    You know this is Civ - Ideas & Suggestions..
    If you want help with mods, you'd better post in Civ6 - Creation & Customization..
    [pimp]
     
  20. Evie

    Evie Pronounced like Eevee

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    I'm posting here because you made a suggestion, and I disagree with it. It's not just that our solutions work separately, it's that I think yours is bad. There are few forms of peaceful competition in the game as is, and making wonders a race to the start would make for one less, while still involving lost investment. Your solution fails to completely address the problem, and actively make the game worse, in my opinion, so I'm against it.

    A race to the finish were second-third-fourth (etc) place still come with a significant reward in the form the national wonder, possibly with other boons if finishing second or third (eg, first get the great wonder, second get the national wonder and an appropriate great person, third get the national wonder and a faith/gold/culture reward, all later ones just get the national wonder) is just a much better way of adressing the lost investment while keeping the game competitive.
     
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