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[GS] Civ VI lacks tension

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by acluewithout, May 10, 2019.

  1. glider1

    glider1 Chieftain

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    One big thing that has to change is peoples mindset on 4X. Expand, explore, exploit and exterminate is less than one half of the story of empires. Civ does a great job with 4X at the beginning then it falls apart in the middle because 4X is not a good representation of empires in the middle and latter stages of history. Civ muddles along trying to define what empires do in the middle and latter stages but it doesn't have a coherent model of that and so the game just falls apart.
     
  2. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

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    Yup. Agree.

    Civ VI just doesn’t have a clear idea what it wants the middle or late game to be.

    RnF clearly tried to sort of extend the early 4X part of the game into later eras. First, by slowing down early expansion via loyalty (the new resource rules also slow down expansion). And second, by providing new tools to make expansion in the later eras a bit easier overall and more dynamic.

    These were good changes. And they worked a little. But RnF sort of fell short extending 4X because it still didn’t make mid or late game expansion worth the effort. It’s not that settling mid or late game is too hard - hard is fun - it’s that it’s just not worth the effort doing it. At most, you just get some cities that grow a bit faster and produce a bit more gold than your existing cities. Really nothing special.

    But extend the 4X bit or not, at some point you can’t keep expanding on the physical map. And at that point, the game needs to be about something else. Either a new layer you can 4X on (eg instead of cities, you expand your religion or ideology etc) or some entirely other new game direction (eg Civ becomes a grand strategy game, or a war game, or an empire / resource management game maybe).

    The late game just doesn’t have that at present. There’s just no clear idea what players should be doing late game. It’s just a whole bunch of disconnected mechanics.

    I guess history or views about what empires “do” could inform the mid or end game. I agree with @glider1 that Civ just doesn’t have any real ideas about what empires do, so there’s nothing which comes from that. (I’m pretty sure they don’t send Rock Bands to flip cities by playing the Pyramids).

    But Civ VI doesn’t even have any ahistorical point to the end game - beyond sprinting to the finish while maybe jostling with your neighbours Super Mario Cart style. (Oh no - a Red Shell, er, Spy, just blew up my Dam!)

    Frankly, I’m not confident I could say definitely what empires “do” from a historical perspective. But from a game perspective, I think the game should expand the 4x mechanic because that’s what Civ does best. First, by finishing what RnF started and making the existing settler-city-settler mechanic still be useful through to the renaissance (by making colonial cities more valuable, so settling mid game is worth the effort, and improving map generation so there’s more room). Second, because that settler-city-settler thing can only last so long, by giving the late game some new strategic layer where you can sort of start expanding again.

    If that second option sounds a bit vague, think of sort of how domination and religion relate to each other. Domination works on the initial physical map, with expansion measured by cities on that map (more or less). But then you can flip a lens, and you have this new religious layer that allows for a whole different domination game to play out on this separate but interconnected layer.

    I’d love it if, mid and late game, you sort of went from founding cities to instead founding (I don’t know) trade hubs or spheres of influence or something, so you had this whole other layer you suddenly had to expand and fill. You’d have two map layers - a physical layer and some new strategic layer - and each empire would have a different foot print / borders in each.

    That could be so awesome - you could maybe have some tiny tall geographic area most of the game, and then late game you rapidly expand on this other layer boosting your economy (a bit like a tiny tall empire can have its religion expand well beyond its borders). Or equally, you might have this huge land empire but suddenly find you control almost none of this new strategic layer - like some massive Ottoman empire about to collapse.

    Anyway. @Victoria is right. So many potential ideas. I’m not really attached to any of them. I’d just like the end game to be about something. Not a sprint to the finish. Not conflict for the sake of nothing (or for the sake of killing time). Not busy work. The end, like the beginning, needs to have a point.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
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  3. Mahi

    Mahi Chieftain

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    I agree that stepping up the personalities for CIV would change the dynamics but in order to compensate for exploits in civ personalities I almost feel the AI should be given alot of free army units.
     
  4. Zenphys

    Zenphys Chieftain

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    I love the idea of new layers opening up for expansion during the mid and late game.

    Mid game should have a new continent that is only inhabited by barbarians or maybe new types of 'city states' that work diffently (2-3 cities) and have lower levels of technology or even perhaps completely unique units. That players can expand into and fight over.

    Late game could definitely have corporations and trade hubs as a new layer of expansion and conquest.

    However its how do you the corporation mechanic without turning it into another religion mechanic. Which many players, including me, already see as somthing which should be improved.

    I really dont want to see corporate lawyers having law warfare to change the corporate presence in nearby cities.

    What i really like about this idea is how civs that have struggled in the earlier stages can claw back in the later ones. Maybe even have negative or positive modifiers to each stage depending on how you did in the last.

    For example if you managed to conquer a large land empire in the first stage of the game then maybe your settlers or exploration ships to the new continent are more expensive.

    However at this point we are effectively creating an entire new game
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
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  5. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Warlord Supporter

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    Ah yes, the tension of having to click through a slew of AI peace requests every 3 turns. That's exactly the sort of tension I'd enjoy in a game about the history of the world.
     
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  6. Kayak06460

    Kayak06460 Chieftain

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    How about a slider for AI aggression, similar to choosing “raging barbarians”. That way, people who want safe games and people who want an AI civ to invade with a large army would both be happy.
     
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  7. UWHabs

    UWHabs Warlord

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    The biggest problems that the civ series has almost always had are that your first couple cities basically are always your best cities. Any city you found after the classical or medieval era is basically useless, there's really no chance of a New York or a Singapore springing up and overtaking the older capital cities of the past. There's no real way that you can have a Cincinnati be one of your civ's 10 best cities 100 years ago, and now it's way down the list. I know for me, it's always discouraging when I found a city in the modern era, even if it's in a great spot, but I still see the first district as needing 50 turns to build, makes me simply not care about what it does.

    Maybe that's where the game needs to go in the later eras. While early on in the game, food=population growth is a fairly decent proxy, that's not true in the later eras. New York isn't growing because there's a lot of people working the nearby farms, it's growing because it's the hub of tech and commerce. Whether that's done by corporations, or maybe tourism somehow merges with an immigration mechanic, or neighbourhoods/urbanization/industrialization trigger a whole new way that things happen, that might be an interesting enough late game shift that is not totally disconnected from the early game.

    The only other parts of the game that I've always found annoying is how I can be in the midst of fighting a global war, a back and forth in the trenches, and people back home are still going by their peaceful lives. I think it's the fact that with enough money (or maybe faith) and time, you can simply buy any units you want, and if you're careful about not having them die, can have them repair without paying extra. So really, the best engine to keep your war machine moving later in the game is a bank, not a factory.
     
  8. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

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    @UWHabs I agree with you that mid and late game civs can’t ever really compete with your first few cities. It’s baked into Civ’s model.

    But I think there’s room to move without turning the game on its head. One partial solution is to buff Cities founded in later eras - and the game already does that a little with Policy Cards that buff colonial cities, Ancestral Hall, dedications, Governors that can purchase districts and chopping - plus making the game last longer so newer cities have more time to earn back their investment.

    That only gets you so far though, because your early cities will still outperform exactly because they were early.

    The other solution is to have Colonial Cities give you something unique that your original cities can’t. My suggestion was to allow players to generate extra diplomacy and envoys from colonial cities (via a diplomatic policy card). A more involved idea might be giving players to found trading hubs and or mega cities in the mid game, but with a maximum per continent. So you’d need some colonial cities if you wanted more than one “mega” city.

    The problem with colonial cities at present is that they only do exactly what cities on your home continent do - they’re just more work to found and build up, and come too far after the game is over. Make them do something different to cities on your home continent, and then maybe they’ll be a reason to work for them.
     
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  9. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    The "feelings" crowd wouldn't know how to handle a real Dark Age. The "dark" has to be positive, because feelings. :rolleyes:
     
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  10. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Warlord Supporter

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    The Civ 6 engine already has the coding to make cities start in a more advanced state when founded in later eras. When you choose Modern Era for your start, all cities you found are basically jump-started.

    I think you could move that mechanic into the base game. A new medieval city starts bigger than an ancient era city, a new Industrial era city starts bigger still.

    I agree with @UWHabs, though, that the population growth mechanic itself does not age well. I'd like to see population growth be based on base population, limited by food, and then reduced or increased based on health factors. Then accessible food (whether from nearby farms or distant farms, self-produced or traded) simply becomes a cap on how big a city can grow, not the determinant of how fast it grows. Technology and investment in sewers, etc., dictate growth.
     
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  11. rbricker99

    rbricker99 Chieftain

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    I think a few "features" could help the mid-game grind:

    1. Disease - Big cities were ravaged over and over by various plagues, slowing or stopping growth. Stopping trade. Trade routes spreading disease etc. Like the new scenario "Black Death" Entire Civs could be wiped out. Like IRL. "Guns, Germs, and Steel"

    2. Crime - Big cities with corruption pulling gold from your coffers, and amenities and selling secrets and techs to the highest bidder. Failed states overwhelmed. Think the "Blacklist"

    3. Expand Barbarians and Free Cities - Partisans and "Freedom" fighters.. Support groups in others Civs to pillage buildings and districts. Fight a proxy war. Support them or lose support of sympathizers in your own lands.
     
  12. rbricker99

    rbricker99 Chieftain

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    Late Game expansion feature seems obvious:

    Multi-Maps:

    Solar System Map
    Moon Map
    Mars Map

    Think of the "Expanse" as someone won a Diplomatic Victory on Earth and is now trying to colonize the other planets.

    Also, these are not original ideas. Thank you CivIV C2C mod for paving the way.
     
  13. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

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    The problem is that all Civ games assume that Human History has been continuous: that the aspirations and goals of Empires, States and Settlements/Cities 4000 BCE are the same in 2019 CE.
    Therefore, there is no room in the basic game concepts for 'real' Dark Ages, replacing Science with Religion/Faith and then reversing that, changing the reasons you place Cities and grow them and why or even whether you make war and how you make it. Rules change, are accepted only partially, are enforced explicitly or implicitly, and Real World Historical Events change peoples' and empires' perceptions of what is necessary, desirable, or possible.

    Virtually every population in Europe was Enthusiastic about going to war in 1914.
    In 1939, even in heavily-propagandized Nazi Germany the population was nervous, scared, and not enthusiastic at all.
    Today, a General War is almost universally viewed by populations and governments as an Unwinnable Proposition, even disregarding WMDs: "conventional" weapons can do quite enough damage, thank you.
    And that change in attitude took place in less than 100 years: 1/60 of the game's time period.

    Civ VI, at best and only sporadically hints at any of this.
    Any body out there remember SMAC? The Factions had very different ways in which they would grow, and most of them spent most of the game building up "conventional" military forces based on technology and machines. Then, as you reached certain levels of Biological Technology and understanding of the native/Alien lifeforms, the best strategy was to convert to a military technology based on Bioweapons and Alien Technologies. That mirrors History here on earth: after 5500 years or so building up militaries based on muscle weapons like swords, lances, and bows, suddenly warfare became based on chemical power (gunpowder) and Mass Manufacturing (iron, steel, cannon, vehicles, tanks, aircraft, etc). The army that showed up on a battlefield in 1800 CE with pikes and swords would have been massacred. That same army by 1920 CE would have been massacred without ever even seeing their opponents.

    Things Change.

    It took about 5800 years after the Start of Game in 4000 BCE for there to be more than a half dozen cities in the world with 1,000,000 inhabitants or more. Today this post would have to be pages long to list the number of cities in the world with 1,000,000 people, and the number of cities with more than 10,000,000 is in double digits. As stated in the previous post, Growth has expanded exponentially, and the game doesn't reflect that - or the problems that growth brings for the people and their governments (and only skims the problems it brings to the Environment).

    To incorporate all this into the game would result in a much, much more complex, subtle, and in many ways Non-Linear game: everything from 'best' strategies to Victory Conditions would have to radically change. For one thing, a Civilization based on some Bonus or Unique from one tiny period of history would be Unplayable. The basic design assumptions of the game, in many or most cases, would have to change.

    Honestly, I'm not sure how such a game would be received. I'd like it, but I'm not a typical gamer (Typical Gamer = the Unicorn all game design teams are chasing) and I'm not sure such a beast inhabits these forums, so we may not be able to evaluate such a game from a marketing standpoint.

    Assuming the design was done well, I can be absolutely certain that such a game would never degenerate into "same turn again" boredom . . .

    To address specifically the 'Growth Problem', the exponential Growth of cities in the last 200 years or so comes from three specific mechanisms:
    1. The productivity of "Builders" IRL has grown enormously. First, with steel hand tools in the 19th century, and then Power Machinery in the 20th century, the ability of relatively small numbers of workers to throw up buildings, pave roads and streets, dig sewers and water systems and infrastructure, has increased massively from any previous period. For an immediate example, it took 100 years to built Notre Dame in Paris back in the late Medieval Era. They are planning as I write to completely rebuild it in 5 years. The Pentagon, a vastly larger if less decorative structure, went up in less than 3 years. A city started in the 20th century from Raw Earth will be larger than almost any Ancient or Classical City in a fraction of the turns (even allowing for the 20 or 40:1 ratio of years to Turns) they took.
    2. Food Supply for a city/settlement for most of Human History was what was available within walking or cart-hauling distance: a maximum of about 100 km or so over a decent, or at least level, road. Or by sea of river from much further off. Once railroads were laid between cities and regions and powered (steam, diesel, etc) ships were built, Food Supply became Whatever There Is In The World and the City/Settlement can pay for. In game terms, City Radius disappears as a limiting element and Trade Routes become The Factor for city growth.
    3. Population Growth in a city has never been dependent on people born in the city. Cities for most of history were very unhealthy places in which to try to grow a child (Rome averaged an epidemic of some kind every 15 - 20 years in the 4th and 5th centuries CE), but people were constantly moving into the city from the countryside to get near the Jobs, political power, and amenities (IF you wanted a Circus, you had to go to the Circus, it wasn't coming to you until P. T. Barnum and his contemporaries much, much later). So, when Mass Media (starting with regular mass newspapers in the 18th century) and Fast transport (railroads, steamships again) became available, Internal and External Migration became almost unlimited for City Growth. the growth of New York City, London, Paris, even Moscow in the 19th century would have been simply impossible 200 years earlier: the food supply, migration, and viable living conditions for such masses were simply not available. Shanghai and the other Chinese 'Mega-Cities' (or Mexico City and other examples) in the 21st century did not have 10,000,000 + people get born in them: their inhabitants moved there from rural villages - the migration into cities has, if anything, gotten more rapid and massive in the past 50 years throughout most of the world.

    So, and this goes back to the Non-Linear nature of the Real Human History, such a basic thing as growing your cities in the game has to undergo a complete change of factors and conditions and mechanisms in the late game - and the problems and decision-making that the gamer/AI has to tackle for city growth must/should also change.
     
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  14. qqqbbb

    qqqbbb Chieftain

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    This can be fixed with mods.
     
  15. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    For features like these to work they must have reasonable counterplay, and I don't see how that happens in the scope of Civ turns.
     
  16. rbricker99

    rbricker99 Chieftain

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    CounterPlay:

    Disease:
    Units: Shamans, Healers, Plague Doctors, Witch-Doctors/Chaplains (Apostles)
    Buildings: City Center: Healing Tents all the ways up to Hospitals. Sewers
    Techs: Antibiotics, Sanitation, Vaccines, Genetics
    Diplomatic: Closed borders
    Policies: Quarantine, Abolition (decrease disease, increase crime), Cleanliness (see Japanese culture)
    Military: Pillage Pastures/Neighborhoods, Attack[Spread Disease] (See Conquistadors vs Inca)

    Crime:
    Units: Early Tribal Peacekeepers up to modern police, Investigators, Criminal Gangs (Hidden Units)
    Buildings: Tribal Chief tent up to Police Barracks, Banks
    Techs: Code of Laws, Computers (CyberCrime)
    Diplomatic: Banish Criminals
    Policies: Surveillance State, Kleptocracy
    Military: Criminal units: Bandits, Pirates, Mercenaries, Recon Units - Buy Tech (Gold)

    Non-Civ Groups:
    Units: Partisans, Resistance Fighters [Free City Units], Crusaders, Militias
    Buildings: Temples, Broadcast Centers
    Techs: Asymmetric Warfare, Propaganda
    Diplomatic: Support Rebels (Gold, Faith)
    Policies: Crackdown
    Military: Spec Ops - Train Rebels, Spec Ops - Counter Insurgency

    Again: Credit to CivIV Mod C2C
     
  17. Sostratus

    Sostratus Chieftain

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    They really did improve the growth curve over civ5 in this one though. I mean if you play the barebones deity chop rocket to Alpha Centauri, then yes you will be pretty much unable to develop cities at the end; but, I think the pop growth is enough that good farms can boost a late game city to your capital's level (or at least size 20) inside of an era or two. Vs civ5, where that simply could never happen ever.
    ~~~~~~
    But one thing I feel they overextended on in 6 was making it so easy to improve terrain. (you can build a farm anywhere it's flat on turn 1, for example.) Part of the joy of 4X is the overlapping mini goals - if i get this tech, I can do this action or implement this change; if I had that, then I could do this other thing too! , etc.
    Perhaps empires can fully build out districts and improve everything too fast. There's no fun late game abilities unlocked wrt the map except farms on hills, and now canals. The best way to extend 4x fun through the game is either to add more empire building elements to the late game (like very substantive reasons to build a good rail network) or make it harder to 'complete' your empire so early on. Example: No farms without adjacent freshwater until technology X, or forcing certain things to be near other things until later- perhaps you cannot work the 3rd ring right away. Basically reasons to either have development minigoals that cannot be achieved in the first 150 turns, or positive dynamic changes to the map that force you to react and move things around. (Part of this would probably mean needing the ability to move a district.) While storms force you to repair, there's never anything oriented around upside. (Discovering a previously unknown resource field, or something.) Over time I think the game needs to shift from working land to working districts and having developed cities; part of that could be that initially you simply can't improve every tile. At the industrialization+ stage, making neighborhood and city center placement the corner stone of an advanced economy instead of just extra housing hexes would be one easy solution, and the level of impact that power has on cities. You could have an entire economic system around generating and consuming power for advanced districts/structures/etc.

    Because I think part of the fun of finishing a game should be visually seeing your empire develop and flourish - that means you have to start with relatively sparse footprints, and then spread more and more into the industrial, when finally you start going up instead of out and see the urbanization and infrastructure take hold. Sort of how in an RPG your character can barely fight a rodent but by the end they're killing dragons. In Civ6 the dragon killing just happens in the middle ages.
     
  18. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

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    Aside from the already-several-times-mentioned Dynamic Resources to keep you searching. researching, and exploiting raw materials, there are a number of Historical Advances (Tech/Civics) that could keep you working over and improving your Cities and Civ throughout the game:

    1. Real Irrigation. The Irrigation Tech in the game now is a Cipher - just an excuse to build Plantations, and they might as well have called it Melvin. Instead, Irrigation should boost productivity of farms on Floodplains, Plains, and even make possible (initially) productive Farms on flat Desert within 1 tile of a Water Source (oasis, lake, river). Later, at about late Classical/early Medieval Era, there should be a Tech (perhaps Engineering) which would allow that to extend to 2 tiles from a water source or perhaps extending the Irrigation Bonus to tiles could be tied to having a Water Mill (essentially, ability to 'pump' water) in the city. Still later, in the Modern Era, the powered irrigation with electrical/combustion pumps can Irrigate just about anything and, parenthetically, also provide a Water Source to a city from a long way off - see the Mulholland projects that still 'water' Los Angeles, so "Irrigation" could be tied to Extended Aqueducts - I will not repeat here my arguments for the Aqueduct as an Improvement rather than a District, but this is another reason for that change..
    2. New Agriculture. The game really shortchanges us by not allowing new agricultural products to be introduced to Civilizations. The effects of the introduction of the potato to Europe in the 16th century, for instance, were simply enormous. One historian has said that "any history of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries that does not discuss the potato is not worth reading." The industrial effects of Maize (American Corn) and Soybeans have also transformed modern agriculture, and agricultural Trade, and industrial raw materials. Earlier, in the Atomic Era, know what the greatest expansion of American agriculture was during World War Two? Cotton. As in, Cotton as a raw material for modern military explosives and artillery propellant powders. We should have those possibilities - and problems - in the game.
    3. The Industrial Revolution. This has been discussed elsewhere, so I'll just summarize: the profound effects on use of Resources, production of Trade and military goods (units), population growth in its and Cities, disruption of Civics and rise of 'Ideologies', international NGO Corporations - the game is still missing almost all of the real effects that defined the Industrial Era, and thus the very real complexities and requirements for the gamer/AI to react to and confront those changes.
    4. Technological changes in the obtaining of Resources. You build a mine in 3700 BCE, and it keeps right on producing at whatever rate you need for 5700 years. WTF? Early mines were shallow and could only, effectively, skim the surface of mineral deposits. In the Renaissance, the earliest steam engines (100 years before they were applied to transportation) pumped water put of mines so they could be dug deeper. In the Modern Era, electricity allowed mines to go 1000s of feet deep instead of 100s, and by the later Modern/early Atomic Era, mega-heavy earthmoving equipment allowed 'miners' to simply remove a hill completely to get at the resource. The Atomic Era Open Pit Mines change the entire landscape, but we can't do that in the game, and don't have any reason to since the hand workers in linen loincloths from the Ancient Era are still digging up all the millions of tons of ore required by our factories in the Information Era.
    I can't make any comment to that that would be allowed on this Forum, but it ties in also with Dams being a much earlier Improvement, like late Ancient and Classical Era, and Canals being dug from about 600 BCE (earl Classical Era), at least in very specific, flat and short-ranged (1 tile limit?) areas.

    In short, there should be a lot more, and on-going, Upgrades to Resource Extraction throughout the game, and potentially those requirements could drive political/diplomatic/military problems as well - Britain was diplomatically active in Persia and the middle east before WWI, getting oil extraction concessions because they were already planning that the next 'class' of Dreadnaught battleships laid down would use Oil instead of Coal for fuel: Resource requirement changes should have a lot more on-going effects than the game has now, because it will keep you paying attention in the game.

    All of this has been brought up before in these Forums, but the bottom line is that laying down an Improvement on a fixed and permanent resource on Turn 15 in the game and then forgetting about it until Turn 475 makes things really simple, and simple-minded, and dull. We should have to work much harder, and more continuously, and pay much closer attention to resources, tech and civic changes, and all their effects on our Civs during the game from Beginning to End, not just Built/Chop/Improve And Forget.
     
  19. glider1

    glider1 Chieftain

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    Problem is no-one has a simple model for what an empire is that can be represented in a game and be fun. Currently 4X is obvious. You make a blob of territory on the map that is very powerful and productive. That is all civ is at the moment. But an empire becomes an ever more complex series of networks starting with colonies and ending with diminishing resource security. Civ needs to represent the phases of birth and death of the networked empire.
    Phase 1: 4X (which is currently all civ is)
    Phase 2: Colonies (completely adhoc implementation of that currently). Some empires skip this step.
    Phase 3: Internal instability (weak implementation now). Some empires sidestep this step.
    Phase 4: Acquisition of networks of military bases controlling territory at a distance and networks of economics that control resources at a distance.
    Phase 5: Stabilization of territory and destabilization of rival networks.
    Phase 6: Empire declines because networks breakdown. You have to choose which networks you want to preserve on the way down to win. The game itself will remove network control from all players in different ways during this phase.

    All the mechanics are already in Civ. What is missing is that there is no value placed on networks. Networks have to be acquired and valued in the same way that territory is at the beginning of the game. War is really just a side effect of network growth and maintenance as is espionage, diplomacy, culture and science.

    Plenty of tension and endless game play variations with such a model.
     
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  20. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

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    @Sostratus We need to get you on the FXS development team. @Boris Gudenuf You know all the history stuff my brain tells me I know, but when I check the mental filing cabinet there’s just a note saying “yeah, kinda dropped the ball on that one dude. Hey, do you want to know why yogi bear wears a necktie?”.

    Anyway. I'd never really thought about it before, but farms are quite underwhelming in Civ. They were a bit better than people gave them credit for in Vanilla, in that food + housing is quite good, six of them give you the eureka for feudalism (although it used to be easier to conquer than build farms), and farms had there own mini-adjacency game. GS has buffed farms because volcanoes and floods buff farmable land.

    But farms still aren't that sexy. I don't think you should be limited to building them next to rivers. But, like lumber Mills, they should get a buff from rivers.

    Irrigation is a very disappointing tech. It should be a much bigger deal. And the game should better represent the advances in farming generally. It does a bit through yield boosts from certain techs, but it's a bit underwhelming. (And on that note, I agree the Industrial Revolution is still not well represented.)

    I think the big problems for farms and tall cities generally is this: you can't share food between cities. Most cities have either good land or farms or good land for mines. So, because you can't share food, what you get is either high food low pop cities (no thanks; except maybe one for Pingala); or high production low food cities (which I can usually make work with a single farm triangle and graneries, policy cards or whatever).

    I get that not sharing food makes the game easier to balance. But it would be great if maybe later in the game you got sort of empire wide benefits based on the total number of farms you had.

    Which brings me to another point. I think one thing that would massively help the mid and late game would be the ability to upgrade cities into some sort of "Mega Cities".

    Mega Cities could have regional effects, both in the sense that they have aura effects that buff nearby cities; but also in that their yields are based on neighbouring cities (so, a Mega City might produce extra science based on how many Universities are within six tiles; and it's growth might be boosted by all farms within 6 tiles).

    Mega Cities would also be required for certain special projects or districts. eg maybe you can only build a Spaceport within 6 tiles of Mega City. Or maybe Mega Cities boost trade somehow.

    Here's the key thing. There could only be so many Mega Cities per continent and or in the game total. So, you have to race to build them, and would need Cities on other continents to have more than a handful. And, once they're all built, you may have to fight wars to control key Mega Cities.

    I don't think this would be a hard mechanic to introduce. The game already has a tonne of mechanics that could play off a few high value Mega Cities (Governors and Loyalty in particular).

    And Mega Cites good help fill a lot of "gaps" in the late game - you could tie boosts to farms, industry etc to Mega Cities; or have Mega Cities able to manufacture unique luxuries or resources if you want; you could also introduce corporations and or economic victories tied to Mega Cities.

    The most important thing is that Mega Cities would also give you a kind of new layer for expansion, and a new late game source of meaningful conflict over strategic territory.

    You know. It looks likely we'll get another expansion. Other than ideology, I wouldn't really make any bets on what a third expansion would bring. But I do wonder whether, if we do get a third expansion, it might really and finally give the late game some purpose and pull the game together mechanically and thematically.

    In retrospect, RnF did make the game much deeper - loyalty in particular has been a great mechanic, and the expanded role of faith has been awesome. GS filled in a lot of gaps, even if some of the new mechanics were a bit underpowered (which will hopefully get fixed on patches).

    But, apart from a bit more balancing, what Civ is missing is some sort of mechanic to pull things together late game. All the pieces are there - eg loyalty, resources, districts, future techs. It just needs a bit of vision.

    This is really my main frustration with Civ. Yeah, I wish England was better. I wish Irrigation and farms were better. I wish coastal cities and colonial cities were more valuable. I wish the AI was better. But that's not what frustrates me...

    What really kills me is how Civ VI is always, always, on the verge of being just awesome.

    It's always just almost there ... one more patch. One more expansion. One more patch. God, almost ... there .... almost.

    You can sort of see what the game could be. Almost. And you open it up, play a few turns, and feel certain that it's finally there ... and then all your coastal cities flood, you cant afford sea walls, you realise your Research Labs aren't worth the effort, lilylancer just finished the game on turn 30 with one relic and 108 campuses, and the AI just surrounded my capital with two Spearmen and 8 observation baloons. And you say "sigh. Not yet".

    (@glider1 Yup. Agree. At the moment Civ really nails phase 1. Everything else ... not so much.)

    (Posted a more fleshed out Mega City suggestion in the wasteland that is the Ideas & Suggestions Forum. Also added some Farm Suggestions to the Patch Suggestion Thread in my Signature.)
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019

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