Civ 7 Wishlist

aieeegrunt

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Ease of play, which basically means no more one-unit-per-tile and a UI that calculates a lot for you. (Civ6 tried to do the other thing by emulating a boardgame)

Make the end game matter, for example by unlocking uniques throughout the eras or having some high risk-high reward option (nuclear war or climate change; and maybe as a compensation introduce a sandbox mode for the empire builders).

Make your population matter, your economy independent and the map dynamic. Basically, introduce basic social science into the game in a way that wasn't possible in 1994. What I mean: Your population demands you to stop the war, your church really wants you to build a cathedral here, your merchants act independently which is why your opponent gets silk, a city's population isn't dependent on the number of high food tiles around it, but on the amount of food it can bring in from somewhere else. How they do all that, that's not my job to tell.

And yes, make naval more important, my proposal would be to make the seas act like the skies do to make them really distinct from land (warfare). Working a specific sea tile and improving it with fishing boats never made much sense to me anyways...

“The senate has overruled your decision to go to war”

STRAIGHT OUTTA 1994

The hilarious irony is that Civ6 is hands down the Civ that feels most like a board game, and it’s the one with the most computing resources at it’s disposal

Meanwhile Sid Meirer, a boardgame designer who made the original boardgame Civilization, completely threw board game paradigms away when making Civ I. Talk about coming full circle

You can make your population matter, the map matter and Make Tall Great Again by merging the concepts of improvements and districts, and have each district AND each building in each district require a pop.

Make Naval Matter Again by recognizing basic history in that until railroads over water travel amd trade was vastly VASTLY faster and more efficient than overland.

Harbours should allow a “sealift” ability between friendly cities with harbours the same way airports can do an airlift. Trade routes over water should have greater range and be instantaneous
 

mitsho

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Well yes, it should still be a game to be played. There’s no fun in „The Senate says no“. But I think there‘s a difference between that and „doing that would enrage the senate“. It‘s a quite logical way to scale the difficulty level without even looking at the other factions. Again, there‘s no sense in specifiying all the details here.

You‘re right on the full circle though, my question however would be if that is only our impression as „fanatics“ in this forum (meaning also rather older players :)) or if that extends to the majority of their customers.
 

Haig

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Democracy:
More great people points and science.
Cannot declare surprise wars. Extra war weariness.

Etc.

I would like to see all goverments with positives and negatives to them.
 

Gregorios

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Dec 26, 2020
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12
I have several ideas, but here are a few of the more fundamental and least esoteric ones.

1) Some general manifestation of the fact that cultural boundaries and political boundaries are often two very different things. My post on centralization explores one possible way to achieve this.

2) A mechanic/concept that might best be called "Ethnicity" or "Heritage." In territories that have changed hands, citizens should retain a memory or trace of which Civ they belonged to originally. This can have an upside and a downside. The downside might be called something like "Ethnic Strife," which can erode happiness levels and maybe even spark a rebellion if it gets bad enough. The upside would be something like "Cultural Syncretism," where the blending of traditions gives you a boost to your cultural output. Which effect transpires may be modulated by the relative richness of the conquered culture versus that of the conquerors, amenities, current diplomatic stance with the Civ of origin, certain civics/policies, and government type.

3) Some transformation in identity over the course of a Civ's history. At a minimum, a city that has rebelled and remains Free for a certain length of time should just turn into a new full-fledged Civ, maybe choosing one from among those not yet participating in that particular game. More ambitiously, things like unification, civil war, secession, reunification, etc should all be more formal parts of the game, maybe providing the framework in which milestones can be reached which allow you to change your Empire's name, leader, and maybe even a few unique attributes. Maybe the Roman Kingdom rebrands itself as the Italian Republic after 1) culturally influencing a certain number of city-states to the point of joining up and 2) changing its government to a republican form. Just an example.

4) How about more mobile city populations? Depending on various factors (culture output, happiness, government, etc), maybe one city can draw population away from another over time. Or maybe a city in particularly dire straits (e.g. low culture output, happiness in the red, host to a recent battle where the city's owner lost) spawns a unit called a Migrant or Refugee. It moves into the territory of the nearest city with enough of the right perks, and the city's owner is given a choice: use it as a settler to found a new city or let it move into the existing city and add population points.

5) Bring back the ability to trade techs.

6) Give players the ability to organize multiple cities into "provinces," maybe with a production pooling ability (might be useful for wonders).

7) More mobile food with the discovery of refrigeration. It should be a simple matter to take the surplus from one city and give it to a starving one, at least in sufficiently late eras. You shouldn't have to waste a whole trade route! Seriously, losing population from lack of food is realistic maybe up until the industrial or modern era. Any later than that, it's just weird. If you can colonize Mars, for crying out loud, you should be able to move food around to where it's most needed!
 

aieeegrunt

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I have several ideas, but here are a few of the more fundamental and least esoteric ones.

1) Some general manifestation of the fact that cultural boundaries and political boundaries are often two very different things. My post on centralization explores one possible way to achieve this.

2) A mechanic/concept that might best be called "Ethnicity" or "Heritage." In territories that have changed hands, citizens should retain a memory or trace of which Civ they belonged to originally. This can have an upside and a downside. The downside might be called something like "Ethnic Strife," which can erode happiness levels and maybe even spark a rebellion if it gets bad enough. The upside would be something like "Cultural Syncretism," where the blending of traditions gives you a boost to your cultural output. Which effect transpires may be modulated by the relative richness of the conquered culture versus that of the conquerors, amenities, current diplomatic stance with the Civ of origin, certain civics/policies, and government type.

3) Some transformation in identity over the course of a Civ's history. At a minimum, a city that has rebelled and remains Free for a certain length of time should just turn into a new full-fledged Civ, maybe choosing one from among those not yet participating in that particular game. More ambitiously, things like unification, civil war, secession, reunification, etc should all be more formal parts of the game, maybe providing the framework in which milestones can be reached which allow you to change your Empire's name, leader, and maybe even a few unique attributes. Maybe the Roman Kingdom rebrands itself as the Italian Republic after 1) culturally influencing a certain number of city-states to the point of joining up and 2) changing its government to a republican form. Just an example.

4) How about more mobile city populations? Depending on various factors (culture output, happiness, government, etc), maybe one city can draw population away from another over time. Or maybe a city in particularly dire straits (e.g. low culture output, happiness in the red, host to a recent battle where the city's owner lost) spawns a unit called a Migrant or Refugee. It moves into the territory of the nearest city with enough of the right perks, and the city's owner is given a choice: use it as a settler to found a new city or let it move into the existing city and add population points.

5) Bring back the ability to trade techs.

6) Give players the ability to organize multiple cities into "provinces," maybe with a production pooling ability (might be useful for wonders).

7) More mobile food with the discovery of refrigeration. It should be a simple matter to take the surplus from one city and give it to a starving one, at least in sufficiently late eras. You shouldn't have to waste a whole trade route! Seriously, losing population from lack of food is realistic maybe up until the industrial or modern era. Any later than that, it's just weird. If you can colonize Mars, for crying out loud, you should be able to move food around to where it's most needed!

There should absolutly be a big difference between a city you founded and one you conquored.

Honestly I think the whole concept of blobbing the map in your colour is stupid and ahistorical; I’d rather see a return of vassals like in Civ4 and a complete removal of taking over foreign cities directly.

And if your grip weakens the foreign Civ comes back, something like how decolonization happened after WW2
 

XX36789

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Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
74
my idea for civ vii

> spherical map using same trick as civ iv. minimalistic but realistic art style so the game runs smoother and looks more beautiful with less cartoony leaders.

> two leaders per civ, leaders also have traits that give an era based talent tree. as the game goes on you can customize your palace for huge bonuses and swag in your leader scene

> like in civ rev, diplomacy is done seamlessly in overworld without a background. you can optionally visit them in their palace for more advanced diplomacy.

> if you click on yield icons for science/culture/faith/favor/tourism etc. you meet with an advisor who gives you a breakdown of how you generate it and be assigned to govern cities and boost that yield.

> music is modular and not only becomes different each era but as you get closer to culture victory you can edit the instruments and sound of your civ's theme.

> civ vi expansion mechanics and barbarian clans / monopolies are now part of the base game, but simplified.

> score victory totally reworked. now named 'glory victory', and era score replaces total score. era score is renamed to glory.

> each citizen now has a name, a face, and a secret passion. there are now many more in your cities than before. if they become specialists in their secret passion they gain new district projects only they can perform that greatly increase your progress towards finding great people of their type.

> citizens gain xp from building things and completing district projects. they also replace builders so you can use citizens to build improvements.

> you can now build more than one thing per turn in cities by slotting citizens into tiles. you can manually assign them individually to tasks but they will automatically all be assigned otherwise.

> military units require citizens to be created. they have lifespans like heroes and can be returned to civilian life if stationed in another city or when their lifespan expires. they become extremely effective veteran citizens who can be quickly retrained as a new unit that keeps the promotions.

> diplomatic favor replaced with 'communication' and linked to diplomatic visibility. communication lines of cultural understanding increase steadily over time then exponentially with modern techs and can be manipulated by diplomatic units like diplomats (establishes better relations and communication with other civs), consulates (same but with city states), spies, codebreakers (lets you figure out what enemies are communicating), hackers (lets you manipulate enemy communication lines or destroy anything connected by internet).

> later on as you unlock printing press -> railroad -> telegraph -> radio -> telephone -> television -> internet -> social media you unlock new ways to establish communication lines like radio towers, film studios, communication satellites, etc.

> government reworked, citizens have a say in your government based on their specialization and the tier of government unlocked. policy cards are modified based on your citizens representation and their ideology. great people you unlock can be slotted into your government for extra bonuses. policy cards are more powerful but go obsolete quicker.
 

aieeegrunt

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No unit upgrades; as well as being historical it also helps balance out early unit rushes making it a hefty investment in obselescence.

it also takes out irritating and ahistorical minimaxing bs like deliberaftly building crap just because it can cheaply be updraded into a powerful unit
 

fmvsrag

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Joined
Jun 3, 2021
Messages
2
I hope they add more features to Japan, it would be great.

1. Dead samurai could produce katana (the sword), similar to dead apostle would produce relic. As we know, samurai and katana has a very special place in the history of Japan, they even have the museum for sword in Tokyo. In the game, the katana then could be placed in Art Museum and generate decent Tourism. Katana itself is not just a weapon, it's an art.
2. An antique sword from Kamakura period (feudal era of Japan, 1192-1333) was sold US$ 418,000! It could be translated into the game as samurai with high promotion, if they die, their katana can generate more Tourism.
3. Samurai produces Faith perhaps? Since the katana (in the real world is believed) to have the ability to dispel evil.
4. How about the concept of Daimyo, could be translated to unique government of each cities (each city will automatically generate one), perhaps it could change the existing Government in Civ 6. The more "successful" (the metric could be debated) the daimyo, will give more bonus to the city, and if we build a samurai in that specific city, if he dead, his katana will give more Tourism (similar to point #2). Because in real life, the famous bladesmith made a sword for the famous Lord X to fight someone, the sword would have higher price today than if the bladesmith made a sword for nobody.
 

Chris Cook

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Joined
May 3, 2022
Messages
1
  • Becoming even more moder-centric. Creating a modding guide, tools, tutorials, etc. Making the game so moddable that others can even create an expansion. There can even be a marketplace where Firaxis gets a cut. A developer guide from the Firaxis team would help me learn how to build better mods and not crash games as much.
  • AIs becoming more unique including scaling AI difficulty by unique strengths and adapting to their environment vs. general bonuses.
  • Creation of new civilization AI during the game. Possibly through city-states turning into a civilization.
  • Wonders: When losing wonder race you will be given an option to continue building a lesser form of that wonder or a higher form of a normal building resembling that wonder. For example, The Pyramids would turn into a pyramid with +1 culture instead of +2 and +1 builder charge in that city instead of every builder.
  • Increasing the political game
    • Having opportunities for alliances in different parts of the game rather than the trade screen.
      • Technology Alliance- On the tech tree, you can see opportunities to partner with other Civs to research a particular technology
      • Cultural Alliance- You can combine efforts with another civ to build a world wonder giving benefits to both Civs.
    • Governments
      • Changing resource/citizen bonuses. For example, communism would receive gold from controlling the resources and commercial hubs; democracies would tax the citizens and allow them to have more control over resources/commercial hub
      • Democracy giving pressure to make certain decisions: building certain districts/buildings/units. Or giving your civilization more goals from the people, if you accomplish those goals you gain more culture. Failing to live up to your government type reduces loyalty.
      • Making it easier to negotiate with dictator/monarchy rulers than with democracies.
    • Teams being able to form mid-game, making it so that victories are not held to just one civilization dominating all the others.
  • Late game biological/cyberwarfare
  • Economic Control Victory Condition: Having more than a 60% majority of economic control of the world population. Economic projects that help other Civs but leave them in debt to you including helping them build districts/buildings. You can have them pay it back or keep the investment. Gaining a return on the investment depends on what was built and can be per turn, per tourist, per unit that passes through the territory, per member of faith...This can be received as faith, money, culture, etc. The more investments you have in a civ the more economic control over the civ you have which could lead to you being able to make other demands to repay the debt or adding to your investments to decrease loyalty in their cities. If you were going for economic victory, you would want to keep your investments and add to them. We would need:
    • Economic units that can go into other countries like missionaries
    • More advanced trading
If you don't create an economic win condition, at least create more economic opportunities.​

Small Asks:
-Spy hiding another unit within the spy's visibility range.
-Scouts or traders that can collect a resource from a tile outside the boundaries and bring it back to a city
-Population being able to move to a neighboring city
-Combining adjacent National Parks
-Military engineer building a string of railroads with one command not one turn though. Creates less user management turn to turn.
-Religious units only being able to see other religious informatuon in AI territory and not for recon. A bigger undertaking would be letting the competing civ killing units and the player deciding to retaliate with war or not.
-Undo button for non significant moves. I can't tell you how many times I moved a unit to the wrong space. I think as long it doesn't give me strategic advantage or replay a random outcome it would be really nice. For example, I wouldn't want to undo combat, exploratory or goodie hut moves.
-Nuking a city with a nuclear power plant causes more radiation damage.
-Scaling up the number of traders and spies with the map size.
-Cities are more like States so, use state names instead of city names

Civ 7 Expansion Game:
This idea is out there...It is along the lines of the economic victory: Instead of playing as a civilization, you play as a business. Civilization AIs would play civilization as normal while you try to win this new game against other Business AIs. You would start almost like a barbarian a few turns into the game. Establish relationships with Civs, and have a unique trade unit with more capabilities. In the early game, you would gather unclaimed resources and trade with Civs and between Civs as an intermediary. Build trade districts in AI cities. AI can't go to war with you but barbarians can attack. You will need to maintain good relations with Civ AIs to ensure your trading districts can continue to operate in their cities. You benefit Civ AIs when you trade with them. Businesses can invest in wonders like the Panama canal and get a return on investment by charging every "ship" that goes through or have a market around a wonder to make money from tourism. Throughout the ages, you will grow your interest, expand trade capabilities, learn new ways to trade, and try to outcompete other Business AIs through sabotage, bribing AI Civs, outbidding, etc. In the end, you win by having the most influence among the civilizations: Most ownership, money, or employees. Come to think of it, this would actually be great to just be part of the economic victory type instead of being business, being a civ with these abilities without off balancing the game.
 
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Marla_Singer

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The hilarious irony is that Civ6 is hands down the Civ that feels most like a board game, and it’s the one with the most computing resources at it’s disposal

Meanwhile Sid Meirer, a boardgame designer who made the original boardgame Civilization, completely threw board game paradigms away when making Civ I. Talk about coming full circle
The trend started with 1upt in Civ5, but it's been enhanced even more in Civ6 with districts. I agree with you that's a weird evolution I didn't expect as an old player who discovered the series with Civ 1. Yet we need to acknowledge that this trend seduces many players as Civ5 and Civ6 sold much better than any game in the series before. At the beginning, the grid system was considered a necessary evil, now it's considered a feature. People enjoying 1upt tells they love it because it feels like playing chess.

You can make your population matter, the map matter and Make Tall Great Again by merging the concepts of improvements and districts, and have each district AND each building in each district require a pop.
That's one aspect where I've always thought Colonization (and later Civ4Col) was superior to Civilization. Population feels a lot more real. All units have a profession (miner, farmer...). If you need a cavalry unit, rather than building it, you equip your citizen with horses and guns and attribute him the profession of cavalry. I like a lot that mechanism, even though obviously applying it to Civ would probably change too excessively the nature of the game.

Yet your point still stands. Population in Civilization feels very abstract, it's only a figure attributed to a city. There could be mechanism to make citizens feel more "alive".

Make Naval Matter Again by recognizing basic history in that until railroads over water travel amd trade was vastly VASTLY faster and more efficient than overland.
That is very true and something which has always bothered me in the series. That's one of the reason (with access to freshwater) why most cities in real life were built on a river in the first place. River boats could carry a lot more goods much further than horse carriages.
 
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Krajzen

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- Throw away 1UPT and replace it with anything other than doomstack, half of game mechanics would benefit.
- Make the new unit system so a) AI can sometimes win war against human player b) Turn loading times are less horrible than 1UPT c) Less micromanagement d) Less traffic jams
- Base diplomacy on some adult realpolitik notions which make some serious sense, instead of some stupid, bipolar, unstable spasms of cartoonish personalities. Remove the warmongering penalty forever. Add normal, sane notions of alliances, coalitions, congress, vassals etc which just... Do intuitive things instead of abstract slot machines point generators.
- Add back happiness to the game, as it didn't exist in practice in civ6, make it per city, make it intuitively sensible and realistic, so we care for cities to not make them revolt. Which they can and do revolt and split off. Balance wide/talk balance around this, do it isn't as lopsided to one side or another like in civ5/6.
- Make the category of minor nations whih includes barbarians and city states and given them their own ecology of occupying territory, fighting each other, disappearing, appearing, regressing, migrating, turning into city states etc. Make interactions with barbarians and city states less artificially constrained and more fluent, with choice to destroy them, or assimilate them, or buy as mercenaries, or turn into vassals etc.
- Introduce clash of ideologies back to the lategame, which naturally generates culture wars, economic wars, congress mess, espionage, coups, revolutions, cold wars, world wars etc. Like seriously, why was this obvious and historical solution to endgame tedium abandoned?
- Dont split tech trees into two, as it makes them both individually feel shallow and empty, messes with game's pacing and balancing, and is no more clever than one tech tree. Also abandon the idea of eurekas as they mess pacing even more and male little sense in practice.
- Make government system less "you can switch it casually at aby point, zero weight to your choices" but not as rigid as civ5 "past choices are forever and define everything".
- Make the game have less than 50 thousand separate post industrial ages, so it automatically makes the endgame problem less miserable.
- Actually think of catch up mechanics (hunt: industrialization) and limitations to game's linearity while designing the core economic system and tech progress, instead of silly as hoc post factum solutions which don't work at all (hello loyalty and golden ages)
- Make playable civilizations have more concise and distinctive bonuses (while still powerful) rather than Mali and Maori having like 15 separate bonus effects.
- Give us back war themes, so the tragedy of trench warfare doesn't happen to joyful dance of spring blossoming
- This time allow modding to change .dll so it's not miserably crippled like in civ6
 

GeneralZIft

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Feb 25, 2019
Messages
79
- Throw away 1UPT and replace it with anything other than doomstack, half of game mechanics would benefit.
- Make the new unit system so a) AI can sometimes win war against human player b) Turn loading times are less horrible than 1UPT c) Less micromanagement d) Less traffic jams
- Base diplomacy on some adult realpolitik notions which make some serious sense, instead of some stupid, bipolar, unstable spasms of cartoonish personalities. Remove the warmongering penalty forever. Add normal, sane notions of alliances, coalitions, congress, vassals etc which just... Do intuitive things instead of abstract slot machines point generators.
- Add back happiness to the game, as it didn't exist in practice in civ6, make it per city, make it intuitively sensible and realistic, so we care for cities to not make them revolt. Which they can and do revolt and split off. Balance wide/talk balance around this, do it isn't as lopsided to one side or another like in civ5/6.
- Make the category of minor nations whih includes barbarians and city states and given them their own ecology of occupying territory, fighting each other, disappearing, appearing, regressing, migrating, turning into city states etc. Make interactions with barbarians and city states less artificially constrained and more fluent, with choice to destroy them, or assimilate them, or buy as mercenaries, or turn into vassals etc.
- Introduce clash of ideologies back to the lategame, which naturally generates culture wars, economic wars, congress mess, espionage, coups, revolutions, cold wars, world wars etc. Like seriously, why was this obvious and historical solution to endgame tedium abandoned?
- Dont split tech trees into two, as it makes them both individually feel shallow and empty, messes with game's pacing and balancing, and is no more clever than one tech tree. Also abandon the idea of eurekas as they mess pacing even more and male little sense in practice.
- Make government system less "you can switch it casually at aby point, zero weight to your choices" but not as rigid as civ5 "past choices are forever and define everything".
- Make the game have less than 50 thousand separate post industrial ages, so it automatically makes the endgame problem less miserable.
- Actually think of catch up mechanics (hunt: industrialization) and limitations to game's linearity while designing the core economic system and tech progress, instead of silly as hoc post factum solutions which don't work at all (hello loyalty and golden ages)
- Make playable civilizations have more concise and distinctive bonuses (while still powerful) rather than Mali and Maori having like 15 separate bonus effects.
- Give us back war themes, so the tragedy of trench warfare doesn't happen to joyful dance of spring blossoming
- This time allow modding to change .dll so it's not miserably crippled like in civ6

Some good ideas and some bad ideas. I personally want 1UPT and not some weird new system. But I agree with everything else.
 

pineappledan

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A more coherent use of cultural/geographic/linguistic blocs to determine who/what gets to be a 'civ'.

I loved the split of civ and leader abilities introduced in Civ 6, and I thought the sharing of leaders across multiple civs, like Eleanor and Kublai Khan was an incredible tool to show how cultures mixed and reformed through time. It makes my mind run wild with the design challenge that the devs could set for themselves if they genuinely tried to use that system to add diverse people groups, and stop themselves from over-filling or reiterating on the same cultures, and then tried to find 1 leader from 1 empire that covered that entire region maximally?

For instance, what would the spread of European civs look like if instead of just retreading the greatest hits, the devs held firm to having 1 leader/empire from 1 geographic/cultural bloc each?
Mediterranean (Roman, Greek, Minoans, Etruscans, Italians, etc.)
Germanic (Carolingian/Holy Roman Empire, Various Germanic tribes like Marcomanni and Goths, Germany, Anglo-Saxons, France, Austria, etc.)
Celtic (Various old celtic tribes, Ireland, Gaul)
Norse (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland)
Slavic (Poland, Russia, Kievan Rus)
Baltic (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Old Prussian)
etc. etc.
You'd have to make allowances for Settler-Colonial empires, since they are just so massive and important in world history, but you could still limit it to 1 colonial/post-colonial hispanic empire, and 1 Northern European Colonial empire.

Then they could assign a Unique infrastructure and unique unit to the culture, and 1 to the specific leader/empire chosen. Civ would benefit from having both general and specific components the represent a specific time and political entity, and the wider culture, showing both a "great man history" and a "people's history" angle to each civilization.
 

Krajzen

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A more coherent use of cultural/geographic/linguistic blocs to determine who/what gets to be a 'civ'.

I loved the split of civ and leader abilities introduced in Civ 6, and I thought the sharing of leaders across multiple civs, like Eleanor and Kublai Khan was an incredible tool to show how cultures mixed and reformed through time. It makes my mind run wild with the design challenge that the devs could set for themselves if they genuinely tried to use that system to add diverse people groups, and stop themselves from over-filling or reiterating on the same cultures, and then tried to find 1 leader from 1 empire that covered that entire region maximally?

For instance, what would the spread of European civs look like if instead of just retreading the greatest hits, the devs held firm to having 1 leader/empire from 1 geographic/cultural bloc each?
Mediterranean (Roman, Greek, Minoans, Etruscans, Italians, etc.)
Germanic (Carolingian/Holy Roman Empire, Various Germanic tribes like Marcomanni and Goths, Germany, Anglo-Saxons, France, Austria, etc.)
Celtic (Various old celtic tribes, Ireland, Gaul)
Norse (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland)
Slavic (Poland, Russia, Kievan Rus)
Baltic (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Old Prussian)
etc. etc.
You'd have to make allowances for Settler-Colonial empires, since they are just so massive and important in world history, but you could still limit it to 1 colonial/post-colonial hispanic empire, and 1 Northern European Colonial empire.

Then they could assign a Unique infrastructure and unique unit to the culture, and 1 to the specific leader/empire chosen. Civ would benefit from having both general and specific components the represent a specific time and political entity, and the wider culture, showing both a "great man history" and a "people's history" angle to each civilization.

As a Polish person, trying to do this with Russia, Ukraine and Poland is the fastest way to make every single player from all those nations completely enraged, it would be far less chaos inducing to not introduce any of those civs at all rather than just detonating this political nuclear bomb. There is nothing in common between Polish and Russian culture more than between Polish and German culture; as for Ukraine, the current war is literally exactly because of Ukrainians asserting to be completely separate civilization from Russia, desperate to not be part of any wider identity at all cost. The very idea of "Pan-Slavism", of existing some sort of common Slavic civilization is an actual tangible historical ideology opressing several nations in the name of Russian imperialism, so introducing "Slavic civilization" is like jumping straightforward into the volcano; it's the notion regarded as an offense in itself in several countries there.

I suspect any attempt to do this would introduce several firestorms like this (especially doing this with China, Korea and Japan, guaranteed firestorm; good luck with Balkans!) plus a lot of other people just being casually bewildered and disappointed (Swedish and Norwegian historical struggles for example were all about NOT being in union with Denmark and being separate cultures). Trying to do that with "West African" group? There are cultures within this area which are more different from each other than Portugal is from Armenia. There is nothing in common between Swahilli and Zulu, et cetera, et cetera.
(...)

On a less political note, I think each and every idea of assigning civilizations to neat "thematic blocs" which has ever appeared on these forums for a decade of my tenure has failed to convince me that it is not what it is: an inherently attractive concept, that is impossible to introduce without horribly bending history to make it fit abstract arbitrary categorizations. Whether you try to do that basing on language groups, religions, regions, cultural groups, traits or whatever, it always ends up with far more cases where it doesn't make the smallest amount of sense, than with cases where it actually feels good.

I mean I get that this idea is really tempting, I have actually tried to do this kind of categorization of all civs into neat blocs many times in my head, but in the end I have always concluded that cultures are aimply individual and separate, and there are no neat categories or meta - civilizations of any kind that don't end up obliterating a lot of that historical distinctiveness in the name of elegant symmetry. It's fun to do those kinds of things in head or on paper but trying to put this in place and assign "common cultural template" to any group of cultures just goes back to 19th century, there is a reason why modern social sciences avoid doing this kind of thing and roast the hell out of Huntington.
 
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pineappledan

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Well, what I was thinking of was that in order to do this, you would need more unique components at all levels.
  • At least 2 unique abilities:
    • a civ ability that relatively weak, and is tied to low culture, and has a wide geographic and temporal basis
    • a stronger leader ability that is tied to the specific leader/kingdom, and invokes a specific time and place
  • In addition, you would need to systematize something that is already present in civ 6: more components for all civs in general. Probably a unique building/improvement etc and unit for both the culture and the specific leader, for a total of 4
I suspect any attempt to do this would introduce several firestorms like this (especially doing this with China, Korea and Japan, guaranteed firestorm; good luck with Balkans!)
regarding flattening and essentializing cultures, that's what Civ already does.

Well, even before lumping by geography or any other cladistic, Japonic and Koreanic languages are isolates that are unrelated to any of the various Chinese languages, so I agree that's a non-starter. If Korea or Japan were to be in the game at all, I would do them as their own cultures, and then choose specific dynasties from within that, of which there are still plenty. Likewise I would think the Han, as the largest single ethnicity on the planet, with several imperial dynasties under their belt, would be a full civ unto themselves.
plus a lot of other people just being casually bewildered and disappointed (Swedish and Norwegian historical struggles for example were all about NOT being in union with Denmark and being separate cultures).
This is where alt. leaders actually comes in handy. In the last two installments, Firaxis has taken to creating 1 Viking Age civ, and then Sweden. I don't like how this design effectively denies Swedes engaged in viking raids, or existed in that millieu. Why not instead have Norse cultures gain Viking abilities as a civ bonus (extra gold from pillaging, etc.), and then design 1 leader that doubles-down on that, with more war bonuses, and then another leader from a later period?

What I would propose for Firaxis to do with the Norse/Scandinavia to start would be to give them Margaret I as the leader of the Kalmar Union.
Trying to do that with "West African" group? There are cultures within this area which are more different from each other than Portugal is from Armenia. There is nothing in common between Swahilli and Zulu, et cetera, et cetera.
You couldn't possibly lump all of West Africa together, but there are cultural groups that could be made the civ, with specific kingdoms attached to them. The Mandé people for instance (eg. Mandinka, Soninke), or the Defoid group of cultures, which all claim descent or relationship with Ife (eg. Yoruba, Fon)

The entire point would be to try to lump European cultures together to emphasize how little difference there is between many of them, while showing the huge diversity of other places that goes unappreciated/unnoticed.
The very idea of "Pan-Slavism", of existing some sort of common Slavic civilization is an actual tangible historical ideology oppressing several nations in the name of Russian imperialism, so introducing "Slavic civilization" is like jumping straightforward into the volcano
The point would not be to emphasize pan-slavism; two slavic civs under different leader could be in the same game. However, Poles, Russians, Bulgarians, Serbs, etc. being Slavic is a neutral fact of history, ethnicity, and language. There are things that, while maybe not shared between all cultures, are present in the history of enough of them and could be turned into game components. That this implies any political motivation or call for pan-slavic identity is nonsense, as far as I'm concerned, but you are right to point out that people will find reasons to get mad over just about anything. That is why I would try, where possible, to select leaders and political groups to add into the game from each culture that are long dead, like having Charlemagne/Carolingian empire as the standard bearer for the Germanic civ, Margaret I and the Kalmar Union for the Norse, and a leader of Kievan Rus, or maybe Great Moravia
On a less political note, I think each and every idea of assigning civilizations to neat "thematic blocs" which has ever appeared on these forums for a decade of my tenure has failed to convince me that it is not what it is: an inherently attractive concept, that is impossible to introduce without horribly bending history to make it fit abstract arbitrary categorizations. Whether you try to do that basing on language groups, religions, regions, cultural groups, traits or whatever, it always ends up with far more cases where it doesn't make the smallest amount of sense, than with cases where it actually feels good.
That's kind of what civ already does, as a series. :D

I don't think the groupings would have to be consistent, or follow the same rules everywhere, or even make that much sense. However, how civs are picked now leaves me cold, as there isn't even the faintest attempt to depict different cultures. Civ 6 has 1 North American First Nations group -- the Cree -- for an entire continent. Meanwhile, it has another politically and historically contiguous entity split into two entirely separate civs -- Rome and Byzantium -- functionally the same entity with different capitals. It also has England led by Victoria, in addition to 3 different settler-colonial nation-states that draw direct historical and political descent from England/Britain. I find that frustrating, and I think it's the place that I would most like to see the series improve.
 
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For instance, what would the spread of European civs look like if instead of just retreading the greatest hits, the devs held firm to having 1 leader/empire from 1 geographic/cultural bloc each?
Mediterranean (Roman, Greek, Minoans, Etruscans, Italians, etc.)
Germanic (Carolingian/Holy Roman Empire, Various Germanic tribes like Marcomanni and Goths, Germany, Anglo-Saxons, France, Austria, etc.)
Celtic (Various old celtic tribes, Ireland, Gaul)
Norse (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland)
Slavic (Poland, Russia, Kievan Rus)
Baltic (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Old Prussian)
etc. etc.
You'd have to make allowances for Settler-Colonial empires, since they are just so massive and important in world history, but you could still limit it to 1 colonial/post-colonial hispanic empire, and 1 Northern European Colonial empire.
Leaving out the Roman Empire or Classical Greece, along with either France or Germany, seems like it would not go over well if this is what would happen. Sure they could do the Byzantine Empire and the Carolingian Dynasty to cover those cultural areas but to me that would feel weird if they were the only one. I also don't see this happening at all considering these are all one of the original 12 from Civ 1. :p

On a less political note, I think each and every idea of assigning civilizations to neat "thematic blocs" which has ever appeared on these forums for a decade of my tenure has failed to convince me that it is not what it is: an inherently attractive concept, that is impossible to introduce without horribly bending history to make it fit abstract arbitrary categorizations. Whether you try to do that basing on language groups, religions, regions, cultural groups, traits or whatever, it always ends up with far more cases where it doesn't make the smallest amount of sense, than with cases where it actually feels good.

I mean I get that this idea is really tempting, I have actually tried to do this kind of categorization of all civs into neat blocs many times in my head, but in the end I have always concluded that cultures are aimply individual and separate, and there are no neat categories or meta - civilizations of any kind that don't end up obliterating a lot of that historical distinctiveness in the name of elegant symmetry. It's fun to do those kinds of things in head or on paper but trying to put this in place and assign "common cultural template" to any group of cultures just goes back to 19th century, there is a reason why modern social sciences avoid doing this kind of thing and roast the hell out of Huntington.
I think having a common culture theme, at least for the way cities look are fine which they've already done in Civ 6. They could dive deeper into it such as all Mesoamerican arenas look like ballcourts instead of the jousting/gladiator arenas of Europe etc. But I agree that I wouldn't really want it to go much further than that.
 

pineappledan

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Oh for sure, it's never going to happen, but I just think if they went through the trouble of making that civilization/leader split in Civ6, they could actually Use It. We use the term Greco-Roman to imply a more or less continuous cultural sphere. If you wanted both in the game you could make 2 leaders, like what they did with Gorgo and Pericles, except really stick to their guns by concocting a definition of what "civilization" means to a group like the Romans.

If maybe 25% of the power of a civ came from a "civilization" bonus, you could still make leaders/empires from the same civ feel distinct. If the power was derived mainly from Leader-related bonuses then that would define the playstyle of the faction.
  • Culture bonuses would be generic economic or military bonuses to things most players do anyways, like:
    • yield increases on common actions, like trade routes, or killing units, or to certain building types.
    • fairly generic military bonuses, like training archers faster, or yields from kills, etc.
    • Bonuses that align with the player's start bias, like the ability to build on or move through certain terrain more easily, or more yields from certain generic improvements
    • Civilian components would need to be limited to buildings, districts, and maybe national wonders, if those were a thing. Things with less visual impact on the map than improvements
    • The buildings could just be a numbers boost over a base component, or maybe unlock earlier.
  • The leader/empire components would then be much stronger and much more dynamic,
    • The Leader ability could unlock entire new abilities or unique actions, or give enormous incentives to existing actions, such that the leader ability defines the faction's playstyle.
    • open the civilian bonus up to unique improvements and great people (if generic GPs made a return), and also give them bonuses or abilities strong enough to define the gameplay of the faction, beyond straightforward steroid bonuses
    • It's probably less important that the leader-bound UU is made much stronger than the culture-bound UU, since UUs are only temporary bonuses for a certain era, but some thought could be put into making sure the UU reflects the character and time of the leader, and if it combines with the culture UU to make a large power spike in a single era, or if it maintains your civ as a military threat through multiple ages.
  • I think this system would skew civs and leaders into earlier eras. This would be great, because it would allow for a return of ideologies as a late-game mechanic, and each ideology could come with its own unique unit(s) that define the late game

Spoiler Roman/Greek examples :

Mediterranean culture
Culture bonus: Arete - Adopting new policies is % cheaper
Culture building: Hippodrome - Entertainment/happiness building. Romans had their own form called the Circus, but use the Greek name
Culture unit: Ballista - Siege unit. Thought most often connected to the Romans, two-armed Torsion engines were widespread throughout, yet entirely unique to the Mediterranean world

Rome - Augustus
Leader Bonus: Pax Romana - Something leveraging conquest into internal trade
Leader unit: Legionary - Heavy Classical infantry
Leader Improvement: Villa - culture/gold improvement

Athens - Xanthippus
Leader Bonus: Delian League - Something to do with City States
Leader Unit: Trireme - Classical Melee Ship
Leader Building: Acropolis: Defensive/Military District or improvement
 
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BuchiTaton

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There is nothing in common between Polish and Russian culture more than between Polish and German culture;
Language is part of culture and both are objetively Slavic so... Of course just language do not weigh as all the other cultural elements together but certainly there is something in common.

the current war is literally exactly because of Ukrainians asserting to be completely separate civilization from Russia, desperate to not be part of any wider identity at all cost.
The CIV's use of "civilization" is not the same as the true traditional use of civilization.Two countries with close related culture included language, religion and shared history many times under the same dynasties/goverments certainly fit in the traditional and broad definition of civilization as part of the same broad group.

Now this justify the current Russian Invasion over Ukraine? Of course NO. But be carefull to not mix civilization with sovereign nations. History and common identity are used as pretext by the ruling groups to movilize common people for their power projection, but that do not mean to deny those links.
In some way one of the shocking elements of the Russian Invasion is precisely how easy is for people of two close related nations to start killing each others, this is shattering the recent false notion of world security. Just in a moment anybody could be forced to kill people not just in extrange lands at the other side of the world, but also just next to home no matter they share culture, religion, history, economy, etc. Even inside the same country or city the groups of powers just need a little political polarization to make people kill their literal neighbours.
 
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