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[R&F] Civ is about the map. Until it isn’t.

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by acluewithout, May 12, 2018.

  1. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    You can only pick one of these if we're talking about Single Player.

    I'm not the best player and thus I finish slower, but I've realized whether I win on Prince or Immortal the end plays out exactly the same and around the same time with the variance depending on what happened early game. For me to play faster is simply an issue of my ability to pursue victory and the AI has literally no impact on it past the midway point. Basically it just turns into Solitaire and certainly the AI's inability to achieve victory even when it has the advantage or its complete inability to even participate in late game systems at all is a huge problem. If the AI could start abusing air units, I assure you the late game could be a lot more interesting because right now, you can win nearly any war with 3 bombers and Civil Defenses.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
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  2. isau

    isau Deity

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    The single worst change from Civ 4 to Civ 5/6 in my opinion was the change of the Domination rules from "winner owns 66% of land tiles" to "winner owns X number of capitals." In Civ 4, every single land tile has value, because it's one more tile someone else can't grab in order to win. In Civ 5 and you can just defend the area around your capital, ignore everything else going on in the world, and its virtually impossible for another player to win with military.

    Civ 4 had it right. We could keep the current Domination rules and call the "percent of tiles" rule something else. But it was the critical piece that held the tension together and drove players to settle everywhere they could.
     
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  3. Rosty K

    Rosty K King

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    Well, the 'settle everywhere they could' part is also something a lot of players don't like... Cause the AI tends to take it too seriously.
     
  4. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing King

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    Putting in a game mechanic that limits the useable/inhabitable area by era would be interesting. As the game progresses more and more of the map becomes available.
     
  5. Sherlock

    Sherlock Just one more turn...

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    Original Post was outstanding - he hit the nail right on the head. My current game is just about to the 'send Settlers and military escorts overseas to create new cities' stage and as usual... the pickings for new city sites are slim. Real slim. The thrill of early game expansion is replaced with pointlessness.
     
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  6. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    @eleven11 and @Archon_Wing You both make good points.

    I said in the OP that I don’t think the AI is the problem. But I also think that a better AI could be part of the solution. Hopefully that doesn’t feel like splitting hairs...

    I don’t think just making the AI better alone will make the mid or late game better. Sure, the AI would be better at war then, but what is there to fight about? By that point in the game you don’t need more territory. And having waves of AI units crashing into you - no matter how expertly the AI does so tactically - is still pretty two dimensional.

    I get that the AI after the ancient era doesn’t put up much of a fight. That’s frustrating. But I think a more fundamental problem is that there’s nothing to actually fight about. And even if there was, there are only limited “vectors” for that conflict other than total war - spies, religion and I guess envoys? These are all very limited vectors tactically.

    If there were more things to compete with the AI about late game then of course the AI would need to be effective at competing for those things. So, yes, I think the AI matters. But what my OP was getting at was that the more fundamental problem is that, after the classical era, there isn’t anything you really are competing for. Instead, the game becomes a question on how quickly you fill various buckets based on the cities you have.

    Somehow, as the game goes on, territory has to continue to matter - indeed, it has to matter more. And there needs to be new dimensions to how you acquire and control that territory beyond just “settle” or “capture”.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
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  7. 679x

    679x Warlord

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    I currently have 244 hours in Civilization 6 - not much compared to what other people here have, probably - and out of that time, playing singleplayer with mostly Online/Quick speeds on king difficulty, I have only finished 3 games or so, which were the ones that I found would be fun enough to continue playing until an actual victory was reached. In both Civ 5 and 6, I almost never get past the industrial era before I get bored of a match and start a new one fresh in the ancient era. In Civ6 specifically, I often find that it's fun to continue to send out settlers to found colonies wherever I can before an AI snatches it all up, but after a while, especially once I've reached the tech to send settlers across oceans, it seems like the new cities just aren't worth it anymore because they'll pretty much never get enough production to do anything remotely useful. They'll just be sitting there for the sake of being there.

    I remember playing Sukritact's Swahili mod in 6 on an island plates map... this was one of the games I actually completed. Throughout the whole game I was creating cities along the edges of all the islands that had some space left for a city, and these cities always had a bunch of resources in them and varying terrain and stuff. But, many of those cities didn't do much other than constructing a few city centre buildings and a single harbour district or whatever. The cities on my home island were the only ones that actually seemed to matter - if I hadn't tried to claim territory elsewhere, I probably still would have won the science victory.

    I want you to know how well you did with this thread. I didn't quite know what it was about the game that was keeping me from wanting to actually get through a full match, but now I think I do. The AI could use a bit of work too, so that it's more like competing against others than competing against yourself, but really, I've got nothing to add. You've expressed my own thoughts more than my own thoughts even could.

    I'm hoping Civ 6 will receive an update that addresses this whole issue outside of an additional expansion... it'll be a long time before we receive a second expansion, and this seems like a fundamental idea that should be part of the official base game. And it's not too late to add features to the base game. That's probably really wishful thinking, though. Deep down, I imagine that if it happens, we'll have to wait for another priced expansion before we'll get some bigger changes to improve stuff like this, but I remain hopeful.
     
  8. BarbarianHunter

    BarbarianHunter King

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    I think it all depends on your playstyle. I find ancient and classical conquests spotty leaving me with a bunch of unit types I don't really want (ranged). I have the most fun waiting until the midgame. For instance, this game I wasn’t able to break through militarily until I built my 1st Kheshig unit and rushed a siege tower with crossbow and KNIGHTS at Egypt’s cities. Then when I researched steel, and checked the map, I found the ONLY oil was right in the middle of the premiere city of the scientifically competent Korean empire.

    I surveyed the area and thought my odds looked fairly grim. Those infantry looked scary, as all I had were green field cannon and relatively green knight corps. All the double shots were to the East, having just finished Egypt. I was thinking I’d take allot of casualties, but hey, I had to have the oil. InkedChuncheon 98_LI.jpg


    Enter the AI.

    8 turns later, like a hot knife through butter…
    InkedChuncheon-106_LI.jpg
     

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  9. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    There’s another small thought I wanted to add to this.

    I sometimes hear people talk about how “snowballing” really weakens the end game. Basically, once you get to a certain tipping point, you pre-destined to win. So, the game just becomes either an exercise in “clicking next turn” or trying to finish out that end game more efficiently to win the game on lower and lower turns.

    I agree snowballing might rob the game of some drama, but I’m not sure it’s as big a problem as people make out.

    - First, some (although I realise not all) people might be happy to keep playing even if victory is assured, at least for roleplaying reasons. The catch is, I think, that the late game still has to have its own dynamic: things that are interesting, fun, and challenging, even if they don’t impact the likelihood of victory. At the moment, the only activities the end game provides is steam rolling the AI (with or without nukes) and late game wonders.

    - Second, part of the solution may be to move the goal posts periodically. In the early game, your goals are to establish productive cities, possibly found cities with high potential yields to use later (eg lots of rainforest or woods for production; or high appeal for national parks / seaside resorts), and possibly nobble your opposition.

    - But what if, say, in the Industrial Revolution the game shifted. Provided you had reached some “goal”, then you and some other Civs that had reached that goal would then have to achieve some new objective to get a victory.

    - So, off the top of my head, maybe when you run the Manhattan project your Civ becomes a “Major Civilization” (like a permanent member of the security council). Only a limited number of Civs can get this status. Once a certain number of Civs achieve this goal, the game shifts gears, and you now have to establish some new “infrastructure” to access some other “yield” or “unit” etc, eg you need to vassals junior states (by force or diplomacy or gold), which provides you with “influence” that in turn unlocks new “international” policies. This would maybe shake the game up because, provided you could get to this level, you and the other major Civs would basically be starting from scratch again. It would be like a new “early” game expansion. This could form the core of a diplomatic victory, but it could also be baked into other victory types.

    - Again, I’m really not wanting to make this an ideas thread. I’m not discussing this to advocate or develop this idea. Honestly, just take it or leave it. My point is more, perhaps a way forward, a way for the mid and end game to recapture the feel of the early game, is to “reset” the game slightly. Perhaps this is what a World Congress might do.

    - Third, why doesn’t the game have rubberband mechanics? In the developer videos, Firaxis seemed to say they wanted to avoid rubberband mechanics. I really don’t get this.

    - In real life, advanced nations ultimately do pull along less advanced nations technologically. They sell their advanced technology to those nations, or those nations copy their advances. Look at how quickly India and China and other countries have industrialised. It’s been faster than in the West, precisely because they’ve been able to leverage the advances in the West (and hey, that’s not a bad thing overall).

    - Civ should make it harder and harder to keep a relative advantage. If you’re the first to research tanks, great. But by unlocking that technology, it should make it easier for the Civs behind you to grab that technology too. Civ represents this a little by increasing science costs for Civs ahead of the current Era, and by letting spies steal technology, but I think there is more that could happen here.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  10. MonkeyPaw

    MonkeyPaw Chieftain

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    This, but every era. Sort of treat each era as its own mini-game, with their own types of discovery and management.

    As a catch-up mechanism, reaching the next era gets easier as other Civs advance.
     
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  11. Grotius

    Grotius Prince

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    The original post is quite insightful, and it made me think about why I tend not to finish Civ games. (Not just Civ 6; the same has been true for me for most Civ iterations.)

    Is one option to play on larger maps, with fewer AI opponents? That might lead to a longer territory-grab phase. Or perhaps, as an earlier poster said, to play modded maps with chokepoints or scarce strategic resources?

    Another approach might be to increase the importance of strategic resources. As the original poster says, oil really should be a game-changer. Maybe uranium too. Right now it seems too easy for me just to shrug and build something that doesn't require those resources.
     
  12. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    Strongly agree with this. I understand the concern about "rubber bands". To use a similar analogy, I like the idea of "running with a parachute" instead. It doesn't pull you back, it just makes it harder to get too far ahead in any given area, by letting those behind cover the same ground quicker. Maybe allowing "slip streaming" is a better analogy.

    Point is, once ahead, you shouldn't be able to then simply cruise to victory, you should still need to work at staying ahead. You should get an advantage from getting ahead, but that shouldn't by itself be "game over", and right now it pretty much is, whether you're talking being ahead in science, culture, religion, or military. You only need to get a lead in one, and victory pretty much follows.
     
  13. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    There would be ways of putting "latter" things on the map. For example, Religions could be founded by city states and thus "appear" randomly around the map. Can you take up the mantle (by suzeraining or conquering it) and spread the world?

    I also like the idea of trade routes generating specific trade hubs that are worth more or change another system radically. One could increase the difference between the governments and colonizing distant shores should be worth it somehow. Industrialization should change the balance of the civs, and so on.

    All those require two things: Making late game units and city management manageable. The decisions of the beginning (monument, scout, granary, barbs) should vanish & armies should be moveable without a logistical nightmare of clicks. And they maybe should rethink culture (victory). The yield and the victory can be incorporated into the point system. Fewer decisions are more. But I'm probably quite alone with this opinion and simplification isn't realistic for civ6.

    What we will get is something adding another system to the later eras or fully developing the ones they ran out of time on in the original release. So yeah, I can see the point of the opening post very clearly.
     
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  14. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    I made some comments about loyalty which I’d like to expand on (assuming there is anyone left who is still interested in this topic).

    I think loyalty is probably the best thing that’s come out of R&F. FXS have been very clever in linking loyalty to the map. This further drives the design principle that the map is the most important part of the game. It makes where cities are, and how big they are etc., more important, and creates new vectors for tactical and strategic conflict.

    But I also think there is still a gap here. The gap is that this “loyalty” map doesn’t really shift much. Once borders are in place, the boundaries of loyalty seem to mostly stay the same unless the AI or player actually resorts to military or something goes very wrong.

    You can see that problem writ large with the Ancestral Hall. Right at the start of the game you’re given a choice: wide or tall. If you choose tall, you can choose the Ancestral Hall. Now your Civ has a tight core of loyal cities, and anything beyond that is vulnerable to flipping. Once you make that choice, you can’t change it. That’s it.

    So, if you planned to go wide, and didn’t build the AH, but then you get blocked in or lose all your outer cities, then you don’t really have anyway to pivot to a tall empire / cut your losses. Likewise, if you build the AH, and then see an opportunity to expand, then bad luck. All your cities without Governors are just disadvantaged.

    For example, you cant really play the British Empire, pouring resources into its Empire to keep it together through military and governors - you can’t, because military doesn’t impact loyalty much (basically just the limitanei card) and you really just have the governors you have through the civics tree (and even then, they all just provide the same +4 regardless of who they are or how experienced they are). If you have lots of gold, all you can do is buy a monument and maybe a grainary. Equally, you can’t play Post Colonial Britain, allowing its control over its colonies to wane, but creating out of that a Commonwealth and a unique place in the world.

    Loyalty is just a sort of “hit points”. You can’t really manipulate it in a strategic way, all you can do is just “get more of it”, by forcing growth, using some cards, building an Entertainment Complex or placing Governors. There is some strategy around opportunity cost, but that’s it.

    And even when there is flipping, it’s very binary. The original civ loses the city and you either take it or you don’t. If the city remains a free city, it doesn’t really have any implications for anyone (except the civ that now has one less city). Free cities, for example, don’t trade with anyone, can’t interact with anyone, or provide any yields. They’re just “there”.

    The result is that the “loyalty” map really doesn’t add much to the already existing map created by city borders. You don’t, for example, really have unruly border areas that you’re forced to spend resources holding onto. You place a governor, slot limitanei, and hope for the best. If it holds, great. If it flips, well, bad luck. Or you can capture / destroy the cities causing the opposing pressure or raze them, or maybe force growth, but then the problem is just gone (hazzah) and there’s nothing further that happens strategically. Sorted. Now focus on your spaceport again.

    Like I said, I think loyalty is a big step forward. It maybe doesn’t totally get rid of the “late game malaise” (not my term), but it does make the map more meaningful, and extend competition over the map a little.

    Linking loyalty to religion is very positive. I’m not sure about FXS’s decision to limit this link to only Civs who have founded a religion, rather than just basing it on majority religion. I would have thought the second option would allow for more tactical play, but perhaps it would have created too many balance problems. But fundamentally any link between religion and loyalty is great because it links three different maps together - the base map, loyalty map, and religious map. And it allows for those maps to change.
     
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  15. eternalblue

    eternalblue Chieftain

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    I agree with you. I had lots of fun in my last journeys with the loyalty system and it's a nice addition to the game in the last expansión. The era score and the historic moments are very nice too, tho the only problem that I have with it, is that you can exploit it so will be cool to nerf that part and to be more difficulty to have a golden age, and to make it even more difficult to get era score for a heroic age. The true problem for me is the "state of emergency" system that it's not proper implemented, and is just like the united nations "projects" from CIV V, but in this case in war with the civs united against one foe. I think this part is not good enough, having penalty when the other AI attacks me for no reason and they gaining bonuses (+1 movement or attack or whatever), and that said with all the penalties I'm better because I know how to defend. I prefer more diplomacy and world congress for example like in the real world divided like ONU, EU, etc for every continent or whatever Firaxis want to make this late part more enjoying (could be cool having the option to actual name your union like you want if you can be the lider to create it like in religion and have varios in the game having different parties in them) than the state of emergency addition. The "state of emergency it's cool to have it just in the first eras and nothing else, and have it to work properly producing real impact (not just some gold). I don't like the late game in CIV VI at all. Hope with the addition of the second expansión will get the "cultural projects", some unit types that are missing, and the world congress or something new original, but good.
     
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  16. Sherlock

    Sherlock Just one more turn...

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    I don't think AI is the (only) problem.

    I think the problem is so few good places to found cities.
     
  17. blackbutterfly

    blackbutterfly King

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  18. kruszelnicki

    kruszelnicki Chieftain

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    One of, if not the worst change from Civ 5 -> 6 was the change back to the old method for strategic resources. Having lots of strategic resources on the map with the need for one for each unit/building was fairer and encouraged expansions.

    Now with 1/2 copies of a strategic resource, there is little incentive to gather more other than denying your opponent that resource and I would argue one of the reasons why expansion is not as necessary (or arguably fun).
     
  19. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    I do like the simplicity of the current strategic resource system. I would dlslike having to really manage consuming resources or force numbers- Civ isn’t deep enough to justify that level of micro.

    What I think is actually lacking is making strategic resources only be useful for units. Coal, Oil and Uranium should have more significance than that. But that could be as simple as those resources boosting the local and regional production bonuses of factories, power plant and sea ports.
     
  20. blackbutterfly

    blackbutterfly King

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    You still have to expand for luxuries, mostly.

    Strategics are good for trading for gold and diplomacy.

    What I did like about the previous system (in Civ V) is strategic units were dependent on those resources. So you couldn't spam a ton of bombers with just 1 or 2 sources of oil (or aluminium?). But the AI in Civ VI already struggles, so this change would only make them even weaker. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
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