Civ 7 idea - different cultural and border mechanics


Nov 1, 2019
In the new Civilization game, how more or less interesting could the game be if the game mechanics related to culture and border expansion were to be changed so that districts, wonders, and improvements applied cultural pressure to surrounding hexes independently of each other? Instead of a single pool of points that expands a single hex, wonders and districts would emanate cultural influence to surrounding hexes on a ring by ring basis, and the pressure would be calculated based on a base value multiplied by the age of the structures. This would cause wonders and districts to be the epicenter of cultural influence. Improvements could always have a fixed value that are not multiplied by their age.

Borders would become a line that is drawn around the epicenters and their areas of influence. When many things are close together such as a city's districts, wonders, and improvements that game draws a logical border around the entire collection, which would enclose the whole city in a border. When cities are close enough together the border is drawn around all of them. The strength of the border would be correlated to the maximum length of the border. As all of the civilization's culture gained from structures and improvements grows stronger, the border can enclose more. Close borders with a neighbor could either push the border or the borders do not push on each other but the excess culture in one area is distributed along the border so that more will be enclosed in other directions. If a civilization is completely hemmed and the hemmed in civilization is stronger culturally, the hemmed in civ will capture hexes. Lesser developed hexes are captured first. Culturally strong hexes like districts take more to overpower and when districts begin to flip, the city center/city government district will begin to lose loyalty to its civilization.
So you have to build wonders for your borders to expand reasonably quickly, and improvements for slow expansion ? I think it would be frustrating : it's already frustrating that you have to build a monument first in all your cities (that's why I often play as Rome, Trajan, but even like that, I find it frustrating to see my first build indicate '60 turns' or so, hence my proposal of estimated build times instead of instant in some topic I created around here), but at least with Trajan if you settle only near flat grassland your borders may expand quickly to grab some hills you could improve - or not if they are wooded - which isn't the case for other civs, so having to build wonders to see your borders grow would be if not improbable, very annoying and suboptimal... and why would you want a wonder 3 tiles away create territory for you in a no man's land ? If you really want that land, build a city instead, at least you could work the land around. Or maybe your idea is incomplete and you assumed things you didn't write ?

So, as to border expansion, there is yet to be tested the fact that you grab territory with scouts, for example. (despite multiple mentions of it I never saw such a mod mentionned anywhere, but who knows ? maybe it exists)

You could also base your borders expansion on culture, which would be more logical. As it have ever been but more like in Civ4 where a lot of buildings (including key ones like libraries) other than monuments, and theater squares (that I never build) generate culture also. Along your idea, districts should always generate at least 2 culture, and buildings in it 1 or 2 also. Wonders should automatically generate maybe 6 culture for the city it is built in ?

You could also have a 'move/build palace' city project, that would be relatively quick to build and provide +4/5 culture in this city. (kind of a lower tier (national) wonder) Or, even better, having a culture generating project since the start (without the need of any district) that would, instead of building things, provide culture points for young cities. But, as young cities may lack production, maybe this project would generate the same amount (3 ?) of culture regardless of your production. So it would be interesting for small/young cities but not for massive production ones. It could be useful if you haven't the gold to purchase tiles at t moment and the only point of production of your city is the free citizen in it (city core). Obviously this is to adapt to Civ6, not Civ7 which may have totally different concerns.
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