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City States

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Bob the Barbari, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. Bob the Barbari

    Bob the Barbari Warlord

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    From official site:
    City States will present a new diplomatic battleground on which the major powers of the world will vie for supremacy.

    Based on a Danish magazine:
    and
    It seems that there will be some kind of minor nations whose only purpose is to be included in one of the major powers sphere of influence. What are your opinions on this way of increasing the number of civilizations without increasing the number of real players?

    Personally I think that a lot depends on how exactly are those “City States” will come to be (i.e. appear on the map). If they will just work like some sort of treasure chests randomly generated at game start with “real” nations racing for them, then it’s going to be both unrealistic and annoying (and would create more incentives for REXing). There are however many ways of implementing such mechanisms that could be both historically plausible and entertaining; e.g. barbarian cities and tribal villages becoming civilized (I hope there will be barbarians, they are annoying as hell but without them the game wouldn’t feel the same), cities asking for independence via events (event system in BtS was underdeveloped but it was a good idea I hope it wasn’t scrapped), or simply being given independence by the player, “real” countries collapsing into a bunch of smaller states, etc. If that were the case then perhaps this could actually work.
    I am however concerned that if the bonuses were too small then the best course of action would be conquest (especially considering that constituting of only a single city, they should be easy to subjugate). If the bonuses were too big then it would probably end in a contest between player and AI of who can provide them with better gifts in which case conquest may also end up as the best option if only to deprive AI of said bonuses. Additionally let us not forget that land is power and bearing in mind that the size of an army will now be limited by the size of a country (in tiles) and number of resources, conquest may be preferred just so that a player can build three more warriors and one chariot.
    So all in all while this concept looks promising it may easily end up being underused like the mechanics of colonies and vassals did in Civ IV.

    Any thoughts/concerns/ideas?
     
  2. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Re your problems of balance, I would hope that these incentives to not conquer the city-state would be mainly incorporated in some sort of stability system. Meaning that you overexpand and you conquer the state, you will get lesser out of it. (but if it is in your sphere of influence, it still counts towards a victory! ;))
     
  3. Inverse Icarus

    Inverse Icarus Chieftain

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    I hope there are multiple ways to interact with them. There are three ways that pop up in my mind:

    1. Conquer it.

    2. Convince it to join your empire diplomatically / culturally.

    3. Trade with it as an independent city-state.
     
  4. Tusked

    Tusked Chieftain

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    I love the idea of smaller nations. It's never sat well with me that Civ encourages a bunch of large empires and no small ones - the world isn't made up of seven United States or China sized states, it's made up of a few of them and crapton of small useless ones that no one really cares about. Anything that leads to a Civ political landscape more resembling a real political landscape is a plus in my book.
     
  5. Dark_Jedi06

    Dark_Jedi06 "Deus ex Machina."

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    I like the idea alot. :king:

    I just hope that they don't make them too easy to conquer, militarily speaking it is unlikely that one city is going to stand against a large empire. To prevent this they should make it that there's a high chance that AI Civs who are close with the city state may choose to come to its defense or nearby city states may rally together to oppose conquest.
     
  6. TheDS

    TheDS Regular Riot

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    I'm reminded of the minor nations in Imperialism. You could vie for trading rights with them, trying to get their limited resources before the other great powers did, and try to develop them and turn them into colonies that were loyal to you. OR, you could send your armies in and just take their land and develop it yourself, but if you did that, the other minor nations would dislike you a lot and it would be hell trying to trade with them. If you didn't keep your infrastructure in top shape, you'd end up in the crapper. The best strategy I found was to woo them into my empire.

    I'm also reminded of the dozens of threads here about barbarians becoming semi-civilized. This sounds to me like that's what they're going to do.

    A long time ago, I proposed something for the boardgame Attack!. Since Glenn Drover and Sid Meier know each other, they might've used my idea as the basis for what kinds of bonuses will be conferred. Without going into how Attack! works, I'll divulge what it could mean to Civ5.

    Essentially, independent cities will act much like the vassals of old. It's a trading partner that gives you better income for your trade routes, except that all players potentially share them. (Limited to the number of trade routes possible for a given city.) Other bonuses could be conferred, but what they are will depend on how the game shapes up. I haven't played CivRev, but I'd wager heavily that some of the special powers and other ideas from that game will be involved. Someone else might be able to make a good guess. Perhaps you can hire Hessian mercenaries if you're friendly with Hessian. These might be UUs that only that city-state can build. Remember, they said they're moving away from the Trait system and toward unique bonuses like in CivRev.

    City-states might also be capable of research, and if so, this would potentially provide you with more techs, or at least a huge bonus due to so many others having a tech.
     
  7. Tusked

    Tusked Chieftain

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    Sometimes there are mitigating circumstances - Venice, essentially a city-state, was one of the foremost powers of late Medieval europe, and Constantinople (which during the late stages of the Byzantine empire was a city-state) was only conquered thrice (once by crusaders under Venice's leadership, once by ousted Byzantines trying to get their city back, and once by the Ottomans). City-states can hold up militarily, at least to the point where it's not worth the time or resources for larger empires to conquer it.
     
  8. Ischenous

    Ischenous Chieftain

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    Maybe you'll get a relations hit for attacking city states, because your picking on the 'small guy', so sure, you might get a few cities but all the major powers start to avaoid you. Which could cause problems.
     
  9. Panzeh

    Panzeh Warlord

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    It would be interesting if city-states could be added to a larger civ's sphere of influence, where you get use of their military units without having to pay for them.
     
  10. Roland Johansen

    Roland Johansen Deity

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    City states could be interesting, but they could also be horrible. I wouldn't want there to be two kinds of civilizations on the map with a different rule set for each one. So if a major power were somehow limited to building only one city due to the lay of the land, I wouldn't want that one city to be less powerful than a city state simply because the city state would get a special set of rules. Natural ways to protect single city empires from conquest do exist like a reputation which becomes worse each time you destroy a civilisation and that same reputation influences your trade and relations with other great empires and city states. Or maybe game rules which make your capital far more powerful than your other cities. Furthermore significant research boosts for civilisations trading with more advanced civilisations could help single city states or any other empire that's backward to not fall behind too much in the tech race.

    But I'd hate game rules like: if you're a city state, then you'll get twice the production in your city and 5 times the research compared to a full fledged civilisation.
     
  11. l3illyl3ob

    l3illyl3ob Chieftain

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    This reminds me a lot of both the Barbarian Civs component of the RevDCM mod, and of Galactic Civilizations 2's minor civs. Both were excellent additions to their respective games, in my opinion, and I'm glad to see Civ 5 getting them from the get-go.
     
  12. CrimsonEmperor

    CrimsonEmperor Chieftain

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    At the very least, the extra 'palacial' and 'national' wonders available in these cities would make them more efficient individually, than if they were just pieces of an empire.

    What they need to do, is introduce a far more complex economic model. Like Victoria. The small city-states send you lumber for X; you manufacture it into furniture, and sell it back. It could definately be done with Civ IV, but it would become hard to scale. One lumber shipment would be able to power the creation of furniture factories in every city...

    Now how could we change that with Civ IV??? Oh...Civ V.
     
  13. DroopyTofu

    DroopyTofu Double Bass Double Bass

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    They sound like Independent Cities from RFC. I just hope you can make them join your empire peacefully. It would be realistic enough, right?
     
  14. Samus_au

    Samus_au Chieftain

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    I like the idea that a larger nation could fall apart into several of these city states, but it makes me wonder if the reverse could happen. Could (or should) a city state be able to conquer others and become a 'real' Civ? It would certainly make you pay more attention to them.

    I also agree that there need to be some negatives to taking over a city state by military might, or the benefits to befriending them need to be quite large.
     
  15. Pikkis

    Pikkis Prince

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    The quote from the Danish magazine seems to confirm #1 and #3, but I too hope that #2 is also possible.
     
  16. manivo

    manivo Chieftain

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    Wait, wait. What's that about Vassals being gone? D:
     
  17. Mesodius

    Mesodius Warmonger

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    Regarding the survival of small nations or city states-

    Civ V could introduce a more complex diplomatic system such as is used in Europa Universalis 3. In fact, I would love if they used a lot of the diplomatic elements from that game.
     
  18. CHEESE!

    CHEESE! On a long nostalgia trip

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    I love this idea. I never liked the Civ abstraction of all 'minor nations' as 'barbarians'.
     
  19. Sian

    Sian Emperor

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    as far as the magazine go the city states is going to be at least one axis around which diplomatic blocks can evolved ...

    Those interested in trading with it (getting some bonuses beyond trading with it from it being friendly towards you ... wild guess is either some bonuses on trade routes or some % more beakers) ... and those interested in counquering it developing the land themselves ... and they're all a part of the improved / more complex and realistic diplomacy
     
  20. _hero_

    _hero_ King

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    Perhaps instead of the barbarians being considered one nation, now all barbarians will come from these city-states, and if you don't either befriend them or conquer them they will become aggresive and a thorn in your side.

    It would definitely be more realistic if the 'barbarians' each acted independently instead of as one unorganized nation. They could even fight each other.
     

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