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Civ I Domination

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Iberian, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. Iberian

    Iberian Prince

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    On of my favorite things from Civ I was seeing a dominate nation that truly outbuilt, outdeveloped, outteched everyone. Sometimes it was my Civ (as long as the Mongols didn't ruin my plans) sometimes it was the Russians showing up with battleships and tanks to find my cathedrals were built just in time. Civ II and SMAC were similar in that you could build a monster civ dominating over half the map with serious lead in every category, even on Emperor/Transcendi.

    What started to get frustrating was how in Civ III and Civ IV they really tried to prevent runaway civs. Corruption and tech cost would attempt to create parity and bring down the top civ. Still on Civ IV you would get an occasional monster like the Inca's but generally you could prevent it as long as you made contact before they were already huge.

    What I want to know from those who have played or maybe just know from reading about the mechanics is are there game mechanisms in place that will prevent a civ from running away with the game? Can I or the AI expand and own half the world, have enough troops to conquer every remaining foe in 1-5 turns, have 10x the production, and be an era or more ahead in techs even on the hardest difficulties? Or does it get progressively harder the farther you get ahead to advance further?

    I want a civ that not only stands the test of time but dominates it. Even the AI built ones were cool to lose to. I don't want to lose to some lame AI that built a space ship part 1 turn before me that only had 5 cities. At least not nearly everytime. Typically someone should come out ahead and push that advantage till they dominate.
     
  2. Boris Godunov

    Boris Godunov Prince

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    I'm guessing it would be extremely tough to do this on the hardest settings, as it should be. Otherwise, it would mean the game had a crap AI.

    Er, then just turn off the Space Race victory?
     
  3. PawelS

    PawelS Ancient Druid

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    My preferences are totally opposite, I like when there is some balance between civs, which allows competitive gameplay through all eras. I even created my private "modmods" of some Civ4 mods, limiting the number of cities that a civ can have, with the limit increasing slowly over time.

    In Civ5 it's the happiness that limits the number of cities. It sounds interesting, but I'll have to play the game to find out if this system serves its purpose well, or I need to do some modding again to make it more restrictive.
     
  4. andrewlt

    andrewlt Prince

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    I agree with the OP. I hate games that have too many catch-up mechanics. The AI shouldn't adjust its difficulty depending on whether I'm winning or losing. It should stick with the difficulty I chose when I started the game.

    An example I would give is Mario Kart. I only played the N64 version. It had a mechanic where the AI would slow down if the human player is lagging behind but would reach insane speeds if the human player is ahead. The "random" weapon boxes would also give vastly better items to the players who are behind.
     
  5. Iberian

    Iberian Prince

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    I don't care if it is me or the AI who does it. I am fine with the victory and the race is actually fun but still not as cool as getting rolled by some superpower. Or even watching 2 superpowers rise and see if you can win by watching them fight and picking the right time to strike.
     
  6. Iberian

    Iberian Prince

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    Just to clarify I love competitive games. What I hate is how they changed Mario Kart.

    If you were very good you could lap people you played with and win by a lot. What happend after the SNES and N64 versions is they started to add catchup mechanics to make it more "fair". So the person in back goes faster and gets better items allowing them to catch up. By being in first you face a penalty and the last place person gets a bonus. This isn't fair and I hate it.

    Civ started to do the same thing, if you got too big they made you pay. That is annoying. If I or the AI dominates everyone then so be it!
     
  7. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Agreed. Having a runaway civ is no fun, because they've already won the game, everything else is just mop-up.

    I do like that different continents develop at different speeds, and so if you get too caught up in warfare while other continents are developing, they might show up having significantly out-teched you.
     
  8. Iberian

    Iberian Prince

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    You have got to be kidding. I cannot believe that someone on the internet had pretty much the same thought at the same time.
     
  9. Iberian

    Iberian Prince

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    The way I see it there are two solutions to runaway civs.

    1. Build in game mechanics that prevent it
    2. Try and stop them.

    If the AI sees that I or another have a lot of cities from rexing they should realize this guy has 1.5x as many cities as the rest of us and he is going to boom past us. We need to stop this now. Or even if it is 1.5 or 2x more science/production whatever.

    In an all human game you have two choices most of the time. Try to stop the lead dog or conquer a smaller nation to try and keep pace. This seems fair to everyone.

    What doesn't seem fair is letting everyone catchup just for being inept.
     
  10. andrewlt

    andrewlt Prince

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    It's the best example there is!
     
  11. IdleEnergy

    IdleEnergy Chieftain

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    I completely agree.

    I was playing a game as the Vikings were I had Monty right next door to me and Spain, America and 2 other civs (one of whom was wiped out long before I met them) were on a neighboring continent accessible by trireme.... and the Native Americans were stuck on a medium-sized continent way the heck out in the ocean. Discovering that one orphan civ who has been isolated from the tech trading of the surviving 4 (Monty didn't make it through the classical era) was always great.

    I wonder how much of a disadvantage being geographically isolated will be in ciV? Without tech trading isolated civs may not be as far behind-- and may have the benefit of having a large resource base to draw on for a space or conquest victory.
     
  12. demidyad

    demidyad Warlord

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    There is a big difference between a game that cheats to catch up like in Mario Kart, and a game that employs the concept of diminishing returns.
     
  13. Iberian

    Iberian Prince

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    Two problems I have with that. One is that it isn't realistic. In the real world diminishing returns don't cripple an econonmy. Walmart is huge and dominant. There isn't a small 50 employee company that is at parity with Walmart. Maybe in $/per employee but who cares. Walmart will crush them. Same with the Greeks, maybe some of those city states had a better GDP per capita but a lot of good that did when Alexander showed up.

    Second problem is that it isn't fun. Unless you are normally on the I need to catch up side and hate playing from behind. I am outplaying everyone and they are catching up? How fun is that? Even I didn't play as well as the AI but I still won because the game mechanics let me? Where is the sense of victory?
     
  14. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

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    Actually, Mario Kart 64 has some pretty bad rubber band effects. Not only do people in the back get lightning bolts, while people in first get single bananas, but the speed of drivers seem to increase the farther behind they are.

    But that would make a boring game in many ways. If Civs can't be competitive, you're left with a game that is over by the Renaissance. The game is still set up to reward large empires (more military, more science, more production, more gold), but it's set up to reward the large empires that have invested in infrastructure. If you dominate too early, you'll find yourself slipping behind the smaller opponent who can outplay you and become more advanced. Then that opponent could expand when appropriate at your expense.
     
  15. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    That is what happens in Civ (civ4 at least)!

    The AI bonuses are static and don't change through time, you don't get a bonus by being last or any penalty by being first. In fact, by being the leader you get more bonuses than everyone else by being able, for example, to build wonders and get religions before everyone else. I really don't see what your point is :confused:.

    If anything, Civ (and most strategy games) are the absolute opposite of mario kart in that regard. If you're first you get all the better items than if you're last which results in run away growth. Personally, I hate this and find it hugely unfun. If I'm slightly ahead at the renaissance, my advantage often snowballs so that by the time I launch my spaceship the others are barely discovering oil. This ruins the late game by removing the slightest element of challenge in the game. And if I turn the difficulty up for my next game, then I'm completely unable to get the slightest advantage at any point and get massively overtaken by the AI and lose horribly far before the modern age.



    Mathematically, let t be time and Fa(t) be how well civ a is doing at time t. In civ with a positive feed back system (being the tech leader makes it easier to discover new techs; having the most land makes it easier to grab even more land, ect...); Fa(t) is a roughly exponential function although there are many many factors that might make it dip or rise at any particular point, on average over say ~40 turns the growth is exponential. This means that if Fa(t) is slightly > Fb(t) (a and b being different civs) for a small t, then for T >> t, Fa(T) >> Fb(T) due to the nature of exponential growth. If you make the assumption that the game is fun when it is slightly challenging and civs , you can define the function Ga,b(t) = Fa(t) / Fb(t) which is how 'fun' the game is between a and b at time t -> 1 corresponding to the most fun, 0.0001 being a walk over for civ a and 10000 being complete doom for civ b. Thus, if Ga,b(t) = 1.1 (ie a fun game with the civs in similar power) then for T >> t, Ga,b(T) >> 1 - which isnt fun. However, if Ga,b(t) = 0.9 which is also a fun game , then Ga,b(T) << 1 which also isn't fun. This makes it very hard to have a fun late game because if anyone gets a small advantage at the start this becomes a massive overwhelming advantage at the end - which is fun for no one involved.


    Mario kart had, in effect, exponential decay so that no matter what Ga,b(t) was, Ga, b(T) would be closer to 1. As you were complaining, this makes it hard to get a massive lead as it punishes you for doing well - but it does make the game more fun for a LOT of people.

    Ideally, for civ Fa(t) would be a linear function, so that you are rewarded for doing well, but not so much that the game snow balls. For example, if a plays better at the start and gets a small advantage so that Ga,b(t) = 1.1 at the classical era; but then doesn't play any better than b for the rest of the game, then Ga,b(T) should still = 1.1 in the later game. This would make for a more fun civ.
     
  16. superdudeman

    superdudeman Chieftain

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    One of MY fave things in Civ I was that you COULD stack units, but it was a really stupid thing to do. Because if you lost a battle, the entire stack would go. What was so wrong with this concept that made them take it away forever? Would work well in Civ V i reckon.
     
  17. Iberian

    Iberian Prince

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    The math is all well and good except your values are wrong so naturally is the answer. How many times in Civ IV have we won after being significantly behind for most of the game? How is it possible?

    1. Their is a penalty for having too many cities. This means as you get more cities it actually starts to bring down the rest of your empire. This makes it so no one gets too many more cities than anyone else.

    2. Techs cost less as others discover them. So if you are in front in tech it actually doesn't help you get more techs rather you pay more for each one you discover than those who come after you. The biggest bonus going to the person in the last place. No one gets too far ahead.

    3. The AI is just stupid. This is obviously the biggest reason because even with the handicaps most human players wouldn't lose a good lead.

    What I hope for is a game that doesn't hold anyone back to make it close. It should be close because the talent of the players is at parity. Even if this means the AI gets bonuses to make it close I am fine with that. I just don't want a sliding scale that actually rewards staying small and insignificant. World super powers aren't small.

    Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Rome, China, Mongolia, France, Spain, Great Britan, Germany, Russia, Japan, USA. All super powers at some point none of them small.
     
  18. Herrhals

    Herrhals Warlord

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    If you all love cIv (1) mechanics so much, I have a suggestion:

    Play cIv. Some of the best games EVER came out early last decade (early 90's)
     
  19. Iberian

    Iberian Prince

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    We will probably be able to test that. Make a check box in the pre-game settings to allow stacking and code it so the stack dies when the defender dies.

    Problem is that the game will be designed for fewer units and the AI won't have a clue.

    I think the primary reason for eliminating the stack was to get rid of the end game 1hr turns of moving 300 units. As long as I can dominate with 50 units as well as I could with 300 I am fine with that.
     
  20. Iberian

    Iberian Prince

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    I do. That and RR Tycon I.

    The only problem is that I understand the game too well and you know when you will win and lose in the first 15 minutes.

    Which I understand worries people about runaway AI's/humans players. I want the AI to hold me down, not the game mechanics.
     

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