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City maintenance questions

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by dannyevilcat, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. dannyevilcat

    dannyevilcat DESTROYER OF FURNITURE

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    I understand why there are costs for maintaining your cities, but some of the finer points of the new rules I'm having trouble with:

    1. Cities further from your capital cost more maintenance. Can someone put this in context for me? Is it simply law enforcement costs or something, and not something factored into city improvement maintenance, etc?
    Losing production to corruption seems to make more sense to me than having to spend more to keep the same levels of production.

    2. The more cities you have, the more the costs go up for all cities... why, exactly?

    It seems to me these new concepts have been introduced for no other reason than to prevent ICS, which is alright, but is there a practical explaination for them besides that?
     
  2. Martinus

    Martinus Emperor

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    Well, I consider those costs to represent the need for growing infrastructure and communication, not just simple upkeep of buildings (After all, an university upkeep for example does not mean the building is so big, you need to spend 2 gold to maintain it, but it represents the fact that you need to pay for various things associated with running such organisation).

    Your civilization is not a collection of autonomous cities, but a nation that works to a more or less common goal. If your civilization consists of, say, 3 cities, each of them with an university, a marketplace and barracks, it does not cost that much to have your scientists communicate with each other, your tax collectors visit all markets and collect gold for the common treasury and your drill instructors to implement the newest designs and weaponry.

    The bigger you are, the harder it is for your scientists (at universities) to communicate and exchange their ideas (after all they are all working for the same invention, not everybody inventing a different thing), the more expensive it is for your banks and markets to generate money and transfer them to the central treasury, or your barracks to implement the newest technologies across the realm.
     
  3. ainwood

    ainwood Consultant. Administrator

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    Personally, I think corruption in Civ 1, 2 & 3 was designed to reduce the "big gets bigger" effect - someone gets a lead, so they get more production, so their lead gets bigger etc - the curve flattens-out, so as you get bigger, the incremental gains get less and less.

    The problem with this was that you end-up with large cities producing only one shield & 1 gold - maybe a few more, but generally they're pretty worthless.

    In this maintenance model, these large cities are all still productive - but your empire as a whole might not be. It does seem to be a fairer approach to the big-gets-bigger problem. :)
     
  4. remconius

    remconius Deity

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    I dont think all game rules need to be realistic and can be explained.

    To be realistic:
    If you wanted to change a civic, you would need to make legislation and get it worked out by ministries in workgroups. Could take years. Then you take it to get approved by senate, and hope your years/turns of waiting are not in vain.
    If you wanted to change a worker from one tile to the next, you need a permit, and get it approved by the local municipality. Negociate with workers councils, environmental groups, etc, etc.

    Some decisions were made for gameplay purposes.
     
  5. Flak

    Flak vBülletin Förum

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    It really does sound like they just shifted the corruption concept to this cost model. There isn't an analogy in reality that reflects this. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people either end up toning down the effect or turning it off completely. We'll just have to see how it affects the base game, particularly how frustration it causes. Certainly though, the fact that your large cities can atleast stay productive will lessen the furor that is raised in comparison with the corruption model in previous games. Also, I suspect they will have learned their lessons from Civ III in particular and given us a way to mod this fairly easily and quickly.
     
  6. Juhahu

    Juhahu Warlord

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    It's quite common mistake think that completely corrupted cities were useless in civ3. If you grew town to size7 and then turned all the extra people to tax collectors, you would make 6-8 gold from specialists, 6 gold from unit upkeep (republic 3 units = 6 gold) and 1 gold when producing wealth with than one shield. In Civ3 I used lot of these farout towns which all gave me 15 gold per town.

    Problem in Civ3 just was that if you had build towns in deserts/jungles near starting town, you just had to improve them, because they were still better producers than towns far away in great place with a lot of corruption. In civ4 it seems that if you build town in great place far away from capital, you can still make it produce. I like that civ4 solution much better, from what i have read from forums.
     
  7. Stilgar08

    Stilgar08 Emperor

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    I'm quite sure, ainwood knew that! ;) But he was talking about production, not benefit from specialists. You could get money and science out of these cities, but you couldn't get units or a lot of city-improvements...
    This effect was later somehow bypassed by the introduction of engineers as specialists in C3C (or have they been in already in PTW?), IMHO....

    I welcome the new system, but I have no realistic explanation for raising maintenance cost due to more cities as well... You could argue this resembles the rising administration efforts you naturally have to pay for when ruling bigger empires... And it could resemble dissipation of taxes which you can observe in every nation on the planet, the bigger, the more (e.g. building a birdge in the middle of nowhere and not connecting it to the street-network until it's SO old you have to build a new one! :lol: - happened here in Germany (37 million Euros!) and surely in a lot of other places as well - )
     
  8. Renata

    Renata homicidal jungle cat GOTM Staff

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    I see it as a reflection of the fact that as a country (or any organization, really) gets bigger and more complex, it also gets less efficient and more top-heavy. You can run a community of 100 people by community vote. Get to a few thousand people, and you start to need some minimal bureaucracy to organize community projects and handle community discipline. A million people, and you need a compartmentalized government. Government doesn't produce anything except organization, so it never really pays for itself.

    It's basically why Switzerland is so much more efficient than the United States.
     
  9. Willem

    Willem Deity

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    I can see it in real life terms. The larger a nation is, the more bureaucracy it takes to keep things running. As you pointed out, bureacracy isn't always the most efficient means for getting things done. So as you add more of it, the costs of running your empire go up exponentially.
     
  10. Steve2000

    Steve2000 Mighty Pirate

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    To me it doesn't matter why it is done - as long as it leads to a gameplay feature that the AI can understand. A big problem in Civ III was that the AI had no comprehension of how to deal with the fact that cities would become unproductive due to corruption.

    As far as i am concerned, this new approach seems better, but it will be doomed if the AI doesn't get it, and still builds way too many cities.
     
  11. Willem

    Willem Deity

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    I don't think you can build way too many cities in Civ 3. Even the most corrupt one can complete a unit eventually. If you have alot of very corrupt cities, that still adds up to alot of units produced. But this new approach will probably be better for the AI all around since it's gold based, not production. If it's treasury starts getting low, it's at least smart enough to find ways to raise more money.
     
  12. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    Well it is better since another city in Civ3 ALWAYS had a benefit (it extended your borders 9 squares, supported some units, gave some gold) it could then use food for specialists/pop rushing. and all of this with 0 cost to your treasury...if you sold off all the buildings.

    In Civ 4 there will be cities that are Not worth building, essentially they wilbe

    1. a forward base
    2. a way to convert gold (their excess maintenance cost) into production.
     
  13. dannyevilcat

    dannyevilcat DESTROYER OF FURNITURE

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    I'm not looking for realism from the Civ series, but I do think these kinds of rules should at least have some basis in reality. For example, culture flipping isn't "realistic", but it does make sense.

    That's the kind of response I was looking for, thanks. I think that's a pretty good case for my second question.
     
  14. warpstorm

    warpstorm Yumbo? Yumbo!

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    Have you ever worked for the government? If you have, these would seem obvious. It takes forever (and consequently costs more) the more and further away the people you have to get to work together to get on the same track.
     
  15. oldStatesman

    oldStatesman Cybernaut

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    AI builds too many cities in Civ3????? :confused:

    The problem was the opposite - they did not build enough! They could not deal with the corruption model because they could not place their cities close enough together to have 10 -15 productive cities in a small core area.

    I see the new model as a positive thing - it will have the same limiting factor as corruption did, but now it is totally able to be controlled by you the players decisions. Corruption in Civ3 could not be controlled - only mitigated. We had to learn to deal with it on it's terms - now with the new system it sounds like we can have a real choice over how much inefficiency we want to deal with. A very positive change - and no small praise coming from a 'skeptic' like me! ;) This is a VERY positive thing IMHO!
     
  16. Crazy Jerome

    Crazy Jerome Warlord

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    I've noticed a trend--not so much in this topic, but in related references elsewhere--to refer to the maintenance as if it were an all or nothing kind of thing: "6 good cities are better than 12+ crappy ones". But as OldStatesman said, we should have a lot finer control than that. A lot of times, we'll probably be facing choices like: "6 good cities in X turns versus 8 good cities in X+ turns."

    I think this is also the key to the expansion business, for those wanting large empires. I'm pretty sure that "6 good cities" is not better than "6 good cities, plus 3 decent ones that are getting gradually better, by which time I can squeeze in another one". :D I do suspect that those 3 decent ones will take longer to pay off than they would have in Civ3.
     
  17. apatheist

    apatheist Emperor

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    Or a software company. Or any large organization. The amount of production increases more slowly than the number of people. You get more total done, but your efficiency/average productivity diminishes as you add more people. Fred Brooks said it best: "adding more people to a late project makes it later."
     
  18. SuperSmurf

    SuperSmurf Chieftain

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    Think of flipping as a referendum where the citizens decide to which nation they want to belong. It did happen in history.

    And as others have said: the more complex a system, the more resources it needs for administration. If it's linear (i.e. not exponential), you can be happy.

    Edit:
    The Law of Diminishing Return.

    Let's take a look at Starcraft. You have 5 mineral fields, the main building close by and you put 10 harvesters to work. Will you double your income when you add another 10 ? Surely not.

    (Sorry, needed to brag about this. Doesn't happen often you can use something in real life that you learnt at university. :D)
     

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