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CivFanatics and the Season Pass model.

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by SammyKhalifa, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    I was out hiking today and my mind started thinking about Civ and the forums here (yes, apparently I need to "get out more" heh). I still don't know that I'm a fan of the season pass model as far as adding gameplay content or not, and you can like the actual content or not; but I don't think there can be much doubt that it adds a ton to our forum here and the quality/quantity of discussion.

    I'd imagine if they were to release traditional expansion (called "New Frontier" perhaps), it would probably have been set to come out in November. Likely the announcement would have been in the past month or two. Before that sure we'd have the expected hundred page "new content speculation" threads, but most of the posts would be some variation of "but when is it coming out I want to know NOOOOOW firaxis." Then, when the expansion did drop, there of course a huge amount of content to talk about and hate/love on. With the season pass, of course, few civs and fewer features release at a time, I think causing people to discuss any individual component much more than they would otherwise. Look at all of the talk about Ethiopia right now, for example. I don't think there would be as much discussion if it were one of eight.

    Or perhaps I'm wrong and we're all so quarrantine bored that that's what's driving the talk.
     
  2. Linklite

    Linklite Warlord

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    No, I think you're right. It's like eating bar of chocolate a square at a time versus stuffing it all in your gob.

    I've noticed that each aspect is discussed of each new Civ/game mode/etc, how it integrates into the existing game, what it brings to the board, how it works etc. If it were a traditional XP, each entire Civ would probably get a brief reference in a list of all the Civs, with only two or three getting a discussion of their own. The latter is probably an exaggeration, but it illustrates what I'm trying to say; there's a lot more getting into the nitty gritty details with an SP versus an XP.

    On the other hand, I do prefer an XP, I like to see what I'm buying before parting with my cash, and if I wait with an SP for it to all release, I'm losing out on months of playing, instead listening to everyone else analyse it to death, so when I finally get it, it's lost a lot of its specialness. I could boycott civfanatics, but then...

    I'd prefer it if they just did it as an XP.
     
  3. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    I like XP more in terms of the content, though I have to admit that these small releases are keeping me active playing in a more steady fashion. I tend to binge an expansion for a month or so and then kind of not play for a while. Here, though, by the time I get in a game or two with the new "stuff" a new release isn't that far off. It's almost as if Firaxis did their research, heh.
     
  4. Killer Rabbit

    Killer Rabbit Chieftain

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    I know I am definitely playing more and spending more time on these forums with the season pass model. I was actually thinking about making a thread saying the same thing. With my limited time to play, I do like that I get to finish a game with every Civ before the next one is released.

    I do miss the tightness in design of the proper XPs, though, and how all the game mechanics integrate together. Maybe there’s a way to find a happy medium?
     
    Zaarin, darkace77450, Kjimmet and 6 others like this.
  5. Finvola

    Finvola Where's my pie?

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    I bought the two packs individually. With the economy and current situation in the world, I didn't have the spare €40 to spend on something I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy. However, I didn't realize I wasn't going to get Catherine and Teddy with buying individual packs so I'm a bit bummed about that, but still, I waited a bit to see if the packs that are out so far were interesting enough to buy, rather than spend it all at once and not like all the content.

    I tried apocalypse mode and I absolutely hate it, haha. I could not finish a game with it enabled, it was too frustrating for me. I haven't played any of the new civs yet but I plan on it. I have tried 2 of the secret societies though.
     
  6. AriochIV

    AriochIV Colonial Ninja

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    You're not missing anything.
     
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  7. bite

    bite Unofficial Civilization Cartographer Moderator

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    I'll be honest, the staggered release is good for discussion here
     
  8. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    I'd have favored an expansion pack, but not so much because of the release mode - I can see pros and cons of both ways of releasing stuff. But as others have pointed out elsewhere, the current model of individual "modes" that can be turned on and off prohibits a deeply-going integration of each element in the game. This means each game element feels less fleshed out and less well developed than they could have been. This is particularly evident with the secret societies, that lack proper integration in espionage, diplomacy and the policy/civics system.
     
  9. _hero_

    _hero_ King

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    If you look at steamcharts, the average players has dropped off more slowly since NFP came out than it did when the expansions came out. More specifically, when you compare it to other games in the genre such as Civ 5, there was a big "covid spike" in March-April for all of these games, but Civ 6 has seen only a moderate decline per month since then by comparison. I think this shows that NFP has been a success in terms of keeping people engaged in the game long term.
     
    Killer Rabbit and SammyKhalifa like this.
  10. OmegaDestroyer

    OmegaDestroyer King

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    I actually enjoy the season passes monthly trickle of updates. It gives me something to look forward to.
     
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  11. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    The pass model might be helping in quantity, but not in quality. Incremental updates, altho advantageous in some aspects, mean possible nightmare for mod devs and a definite lack (or need constant revision) of The Big Picture.

    Besides, it presumes constant gameplay, but Civ6 is not an mmo.

    I much prefer when threads and discussions are consistent for an expansion, as they age better for people that might buy the game years, maybe even decades later.

    its also more than lazy from devs that we
    Have to rely on civfanatics and fan wiki pages for information. Yet another hint they could take from Paradox. I can just hope that Firaxis is a major financial contributor to civfanatics, otherwise its really unfair, especially compared to questionable quality Youtubers who make a living out of it.
     
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  12. Uberfrog

    Uberfrog Deity

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    Three months in, I am in two minds.

    The season pass approach is good in that there is more frequent communication from Firaxis and in allowing the community in general more input (through seeking feedback) which I hope will shape and polish what’s been released over the rest of the year. Monthly updates keep me playing the game more regularly, and the small drops of content are quite fun and will probably lead to me experiencing more of it — I still haven’t played as all the Gathering Storm civs yet!

    It is also undoubtedly better in driving discussion on CivFanatics. Information droughts create endless circular speculation threads (which we still have to some extent!) which don’t go anywhere useful. It also leads to a more granular discussion on each new civ/feature, which I think is healthy.

    On the negative side, it seems clear that the DLC release approach within the season pass structure is hampering the cohesiveness of their design. There is no room for interesting synergies between different game modes, and the lack of compatibility with the previous expansions is also disappointingly restricting the abilities new civs can have. Silly bugs are being introduced even between NFP features (the July patch breaking forest fires and meteor showers!). There is limited scope to address weaknesses in core features, such as with the Diplomatic Quarter... a good idea hampered by the need for it to “stand alone” in a paid DLC.

    I think it would have been better not to make the packs available for individual sale and treat the pass as an expansion delivered over 12 months.
     
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  13. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    Uberfrog,
    That's about exactly where I am with it, but you said it much better than I did. The monthly releases keep up interest and allow for more appreciation of each individual addition, but don't seem to allow for larger, more game changing ones.

    But I think the quality of the community discussion here is undoubtedly better because of it.
     
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  14. darkace77450

    darkace77450 Emperor

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    I've seen too many developers under deliver on season passes to embrace the model without reservation, but I will echo what others have a said about it generating sustained interest in both the game and participation on these forums (where I normally just lurk until an expansion is on the horizon).
     
  15. Arianrhod

    Arianrhod Warlord

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    I think a lot of issues stem from the fact that the game wasn't designed around "season passes" to begin with.

    Doing proper expansions for a couple of years, and then abruptly switching to a season pass model, results in a game where two halves of the game's content basically cannot interact with each other. Basically the only thing keeping the game intact is its relatively competent base game, but even that foundation has trouble serving as a foundation for two completely independent attempts at skyscrapers. They should have either stuck with expansions, or committed to a season pass model that would allow updates to actually interact with each other. The current implementation is more or less the worst of both worlds: content cannot build on previous expansions, but you're still obligated to buy everything for the Persona packs anyway. And then probably disable a b

    Granted, even the limited NFP Civ designs have still been more interesting than half of the R&F designs, but that's R&F's fault and not a positive for NFP.
     
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  16. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    I think it’s more that the season pass suits some mechanics more than others. AM and SS are “fine”, and actually work well as game modes. I think they both need a touch more polish, but they’re “fine”. Probably not the sort of thing we’d get in a full expansion. The pass model is also probably better overall for balancing and adding those little “nice to haves”, like Corn Resource (still my favourite addition so far), City State UU, etc. I can also see the game mode thing be a better way to introduce other discreet mechanics like eg corporations, and stuff that makes it harder to manage your empire (eg tougher happiness).

    But I doubt it’s a good model for stuff that has more far reaching impacts on the game or requires multiple system changes. eg As much as I’d really like to see Ideology (inc governments, governors) get expanded, I doubt it would be executed well as game modes.

    I like NFP, even if it’s not delivering a lot of things I’d like, and I hope FXS stick with the season pass / game mode approach. But I hope that approach doesn’t ultimately preclude actual expansions down the line (although I fear it will).

    Yes. No. Maybe.

    The game is very modular, so it’s sort of inherently well set up for game modes and a season pass.

    I think the “problem” is FXS should have both introduced game modes sooner and later than they have.

    Sooner, in the sense that there are “base game” mechanics that would have maybe worked better as game modes, specifically Loyalty and Disasters.

    Later, in that I think NFP has been introduced before FXS has properly filled out the base game mechanics. As I’ve said before, the game feels like it was designed to have more end game mechanics around ideology, ideological pressure (tourism, loyalty), late game governments and governors, but FXS seem to have decided not to introduce that sort of stuff in favour of more limited game modes. I think that, in turn, is limiting because I doubt the game modes can really fill those gaps and the game modes have less to work with. eg Imagine if we’d had expanded ideology mechanics before NFP; you could have had distinct ideology around the environment in Apocalypse Mode, you could have had Secret Societies modifying ideological pressure in SS mode.

    I wonder if FXS might do a small expansion after NFP, introducing more end game mechanics and perhaps a few addition game modes. I hope so, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Does it though?

    AM and SS are fun and flavourful, but neither add any real depth to the game. AM just gives you Soothsayers, and they don’t really do much. You trigger Secret Societies literally just doing what you would normally do (explore, clear barns and goody huts), and you don’t even have to choose between governors and SA levels, because you get additional governor titles.

    The other balance changes and the new district change the game more, but it’s so far fairly limited. The biggest change has really only been Work Ethic.

    The new Civs are interesting, and there’s a bit to talk about there admittedly.

    I’m not saying NFP and related content are bad. They’re not. There’s a lot to like about NFP, and I think the game modes do dramatically expand the replayability of Civ and the balance tweaks are well needed. But I don’t feel much depth is being added to the game, and so the discussions being generated are a bit limited versus eg discussion around previous full expansions.

    So, yeah. Happy to lurk here still. But I actually feel there is much less meaningful to talk about.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
  17. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    I totally agree with you that the content is shallower than it would be with a full on expansion.

    I'm not talking about the content so much as the discussion about the content. If we were in a typical cycle with a November release, we'd be mostly seeing even more civ speculation (which granted is fun), lots of "why firaziz won't you talk to US??!" and talk about what people want to change. Granted, those are all fine things; but the discussions loop around very quickly, and many times, and in a very annoying fashion when it is several months between anything happening and there's nothing new to talk about.

    But look in the threads now. Heck, there are several threads just about the vampire unit alone (which after all is still just one unit). One unit wouldn't have gotten this talk if all the material was released at once. Also, we've only had this release for a week or so (was that last week) and there is already excitement and talk about what is going to come next.
     
  18. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Got it. But what I’m saying is that I don’t think the discussion around NFP is all that rewarding, because there’s not much depth to talk about.

    So, yeah, maybe Vampires got discussed in more detail than if they’d been part of an Expansion. But I’ve found the discussion anodyne, because there just isn’t really much of substance to discuss. Maybe discussion will be more interesting after the next update and or DLC.

    Is there less speculation? I don’t know. People are still speculating about future Civs, game modes and other things. It’s more people are no longer speculating if more content will come, but instead what future content it will be.

    Frankly, I'm looking forward to stuff being added to the game that actually adds some depth, so that we all have something half-way interesting to talk about. I really thought the Religion Update or the Diplo Quarter might be that "thing", but the Religion Update ended up being quite limited (good balance changes, but didn't really take the mechanics forward, e.g. compare Indonesia & Khmer Update) and the Diplo Quarter seems to have been just slightly undercooked to keep it compatible with the base game etc (or maybe it will feel more impactful after a few other balance changes and or the other new district drops).

    NFP really hasn't quite "changed things up" yet. I'm really hoping that as the various Game Modes get added, perhaps some of the early ones get tweaked a bit, and the Community Updates accumulate, there might actually be some real changes to the game worth discussing, and getting back into the game will just be more rewarding all over.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
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  19. glider1

    glider1 Deity

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    Quantity over quality will produce more discussion in the short term while the hype levels are high. EDIT: but hype levels are by definition unsustainable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020

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