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Civilization 5 Rants Thread

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by ori, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Teutonia

    Teutonia Chieftain

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    Yeah, it's just that I never play as a warmonger. Just don't have it in me. I don't want to color the entire map, just build my civilization in peace. What usually happens is that someone attacks me twice or three times over. Finally I get bored with it and decide to wipe them off the face of the Earth when they get aggressive a fourth time.

    Still, it always ends up with me being universally denounced as in "they think you are a warmongering menace to the world".

    Which is a completely ridiculous allegation in itself. When the hell in history have civilizations decided to uphold some lofty moralist goal in preference to much needed Realpolitik gain, such as luxury goods are represented in the game? No luxuries, no happiness.

    Certainly not before the post Berlin Wall era of politically correct universalism in any case. The whole conception of 'diplomacy' in this game is disturbing in its anachronism.

    Did trade cease for long in the Levant due to the number of wars fought between Rome and Persia? Of course not. Trade is in fact often carried out between declared enemies.

    So there I sit, with hard to beat unhappiness and tonnes of sought after goods that these dimwit AI's obviously need, but they are not allowing me to move it. Ridiculous.

    I, as a player, don't care if a great power AI has ascended to its position by consecutive wars of aggression and any number of vanquished enemies. If it has what I need, I gladly trade. It's a matter of mutual benefit. So why couldn't the AI be designed to act human in this very simple matter?

    Infuriating.
     
  2. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Just One More Turn

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    Teutonia, welcome to CFC!

    I agree, that it appears the Civ 5 game mechanics for diplomacy have been consciously changed from past Civ titles, and altered from reality as you have noted. In every previous Civ (1 thru 4, including expansions) wiping out other civilizations was an important and necessary step towards achieving one (or more) victory conditions. Doing so would *not* permanently hamper your diplomacy with other tribes. Breaking a deal, though, that was another matter.

    I agree with your historical view, too. Lots of kingdoms traded with ancient Persia, Babylon, and Rome, in between the wars. Trade happened between Native American tribes as well as wars; China traded with and conquered many groups around it. It is only very recently -- say, for example, Iraq invading Kuwait -- where military aggression results in trade embargoes and/or diplomatic sanctions.

    I could live with the AI becoming less tolerant of military conquest as they adopt certain social policies or ideologies that are linked to the 2nd half of the 20th century. Julius Caesar should not be made to think and act like Tony Blair, Kofi Annan, or Lula de Silva.
     
  3. Coastergenius

    Coastergenius Chieftain

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    I think that the reason that the AI has demands either even trades, or rapes you with trades is more of a competitive balance thing. If the AI would let you rape with them trades if they liked you, that would easily be exploited by human players. The AI already has enough limitations that they need all of the advantages that they can get. But I kind of agree that if you were a savvy, rational player, you might ask for a slightly higher premium if you hated your trading partner, but at the end of the day, you would still try to make a deal work if you had something that was of no value to you, or absolutely needed something that your enemy had.

    On the bright side, keep in mind that getting raped in trade deals actually helps your diplomacy with that person, so if you try to stay on their good side, you might get back to being friends. I'd never recommend one of those "give me all of your resources and gold for one little resource" trades, but you might want to think about a resource for 3 gold trades to help improve diplomacy.
     
  4. holywar

    holywar Chieftain

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    You can trade right after wars. Just send a trade caravan over there and see if they try to turn it away.

    There has to be some checks and balances to warmongering. Otherwise everyone would do it with impunity. Also, there are some civs that don't mind it. I swear Attila does warm up to me until I raze my first city.
     
  5. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    The game does seemed stacked against being wholly peaceful. My speculation is that if such behavior was the default, there would be fewer satisfy customers because things would be too tame. Programming the AI to be very inclined to DoW keeps things interesting.

    However, as a seasoned player, you should be able to figure out how to have a peaceful game. Have you tried different maps? (Small continents would make your space more isolated.) Have you tried keeping a large army in line of sight of the aggressor? How about paying the aggressor to DoW other AIs? How about picking non-random opponents, and selecting ones with low boldness and high loyalty? You have good options...

    Well, what else would you expect? Your behavior is much, much worse than the AI you eliminated! They demonstrated saber rattling. You demonstrated genocide. The game is working as designed, and it all plays very well for most players.

    In addition to the options I list above, you could also leave your aggressor with one or two low quality cities, or engineer things so a CS or other AI is the one who takes their last city.

    What you describe may be like acting like a human (I am not sure about that), but it would certainly be immersion breaking if the AIs did not take genocide seriously.
     
  6. docbud

    docbud Emperor

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    How do you know that was the reason? I don't recall ever hovering over the red text and seeing "you blocked his expansion," or "you made him 2 eras behind."
     
  7. docbud

    docbud Emperor

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    How does one turn a trade caravan away?
     
  8. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    You can't.
     
  9. Jinavajra

    Jinavajra Chieftain

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    It was bright red "they covet lands you currently own". I was also competing for their CSs favour I believe (as a Diplo state, of course I was). I belive if he can't attack me (because it would be suicidal) he will take the second most hostile approach.

    I didn't realise when you opened the topic that you are trying to compare the game to reality. I completely agree about the lux trade madness. It should be either:

    A: We will trade with you, because it benefits us
    or
    B: We think you are so dangerous, that every little benefit you get would hurt us, therefore, trade, as it benefits you, who in turn would turn that benefit on our heads, should not happen between us.

    Mind you, trade in this game is brutally simplified compared to real life. If you're into that, I suggest the Europa Universalis series. That thing is about as close as you can get to a "History Simulator". In reality a Phoenician cargo ship didn't just bring gold to the Egyptian Pharaoh's treasury straight away (although it might have on occasions!). I'm sure you know where I'm coming from.

    But I do agree, unless you wiped 2 civs out and are obviously about to take over the world and everybody already kind of allied against you, they should be willing to trade with you.

    "Your behavior is much, much worse than the AI you eliminated! They demonstrated saber rattling. You demonstrated genocide."

    He didn't. He Annexed a kingdom, which happened on many occasions thought history, and it didn't stop any merchants from trading with those guys, unless they feared for their lives. Taking over somebodies cities and wiping out the population isn't exactly the same thing.

    Also, the AI can still take "genocide" (let's just call it successful warmongering) seriously by forging alliances with your other enemies (which he does), trying to undermine you in the World Congress (which he does), not signing research agreements with you, but signing it with your enemies (which he does), sneak attacking you when you got to comfortable in your skin (which he does) etc, etc.

    Trade should not be relevant to any of that unless it's a case of everyone vs. you and you can keep your damned luxes, because we want your populace to be unhappy.
     
  10. Dean.

    Dean. Chieftain

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    There are a few simple ways to take land, DoW and still have good trading opportunities.

    For starters, don't alienate everyone. Choose some friends and some enemies, preferably enemies that don't hold grudges so you can get their resources later if that is how you want to play. Always be denouncing targets and friending buddies.

    You can't walk all over your allies either. Do religion spread sensibly (city states are great and don't cause enmity with rival religious civs for flipping their cities). Don't steal their land.

    Never take the last city of an AI. Think of this like genocide. If you want them dead, leave them with 1 worthless city left and another civ will do it for you. If you have denounced a civ, gotten war allies in against them and they are down to one city, someone else will finish the job even if they are currently at peace.

    Make sure to liberate cities. This counteracts warmonger penalty and makes DoF friends, city state allies, etc.

    Don't backstab or lie. Just be honest with who your friends are and who your enemies are. It is a good idea NOT to agree to a DoF with the first civ you meet if you expect to do any conquering. I withhold these - I don't even denounce those who denounce or DOW me - until I have met enough civs to decide who will be a friend or an enemy.


    In the last game I played, I took most of the land from 3 enemies I DoWed and by the end I had minor warmonger penalty at worst. All the other 5 civs that remained were friends (and one of those was a conquest victim). We all have shared defensive pacts. I even stole land and proselytized by the end of the game.

    You have to learn how to build infrastructure, how to gain tech, and how to manage an army. Why shouldn't diplomacy matter also?

    The Art of War is instructive here - do not go to war until you know you have won. If you denounce on reaction, DoW at whim and raze a civ to the hilt, you are not leveraging your diplomatic options. You are then a victim of a pretty shallow AI. Just take control of it instead.
     
  11. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    How is it much different than that? Terrible trade offers == no trade.

    I disagree. If they hate you, they should offer you only terrible trade offers.

    What do you mean by “annexed a kingdom”? Did he capture more than one city? Was that city a CS?

    If it is just one city from you, that is reasonably close (in game terms) to sabre rattling. If it was a CS, that what I hyperbolically characterized as genocide.

    I will try and stick more strictly to game terms in order to better communicate with you. Conquering the last city of a civ (major AI or CS) results in a huge diplomatic penalty that can last the duration of the game. This is a pretty fundamental game mechanic and, I would argue, an excellent feature on balance.

    No that is wrong. Successful warmonger means that you will only very rarely conquer the last city of a civ. Conquering the last city of a civ is what folks on this forum will call genocide.
     
  12. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    They were great. It may be rose colored glasses, but I really, really enjoyed Civ II.

    FWIW, I was deeply disappointed by III and IV. But I rank GnK and BNW both as excellent. Comparison to II and SMAC is not really fair, but I have gotten a as much entertainment out of Civ5 as I could hope for, and I think it will continue until the first major patch to VI. Because who are we kidding? VI will be a beta that folks eagerly pay full MSRP for.
     
  13. Jinavajra

    Jinavajra Chieftain

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    So you don't actually mean "genocide" as in genocide in reality, but as a term that the Civ community uses to describe wiping a Civ out. I get it. Well, I was unaware of that sir.

    The terrible trade offer thing happens way too early. As the OP mentioned, trade and diplomacy are not exactly the same thing. Just like caravans don't require jolly diplomatic relations to run, exchanging my spices to your cotton isn't rocket science either: You need mine, I need yours. Unless you made a decisive decision that it is your first priority to undermine me EVEN if it costs the prosperity of your own empire you should be willing to offer fair trades.

    Also, trade offers don't get better. It only goes one way: Down. It is clearly nothing but another way of making warmongering just simply bad in this game. It's an attempt at a gameplay mechanic to limit the players warmongering. But what it does is that it makes war before the industrial era (except some isolated cases) unsustainable, and makes 3/4 of the UUs go to waste. As soon as you start taking cities, you get isolated from everyone in the game, except your ideological buddies if you have any.

    Let me give you an example. I captured Stockholm in one of my German games. Before that, I fought another war with Sweden when he had 3 cities. I used my Furor Teutonicus zerg to take 1 city and give my own city more breathing space, I razed it to the ground, than we made peace. A few turns later (maybe 20) I decided to go for Stockholm. I took 2 cities, one that was in the way, and the Capital, and I left him on 1 city, as a poster before suggested.

    The denounce snowball immediately started. Every single civ instantly denounced me and stopped trading with me. I did not commit "genocide'. 3 civs also DOW'd me. I literally didn't do anything at all before this, I was peaceful as a little bird.

    Now you may argue that this makes sense...somehow.

    However what didn't made sense in that game...was Rome.

    While I left Sweden on 1 city, Rome completely wiped out both Arabia AND England. Caesar commited "genocide". TWICE. And he was having hapiness issues.

    Do you think he would trade luxes with me? Of course not.

    What my ultimate point is: If I'm willing to trade with Haile Selassie who built the Forbidden Palace and found the landlocked Montezuma before me, and who's guts I hate more than getting up in the morning to work, than unless I'm the public enemy of the world TRADE. SHOULD. HAPPEN. Because it benefits the other guy. ESPECIALLY other warmongers should be willing to trade with me.

    I think the diplomacy system in Civ 5 is more like a 9th grade classroom than a place of serious decisions.
     
  14. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Yep. Civ II was excellent. I especially loved Fantastic Worlds. :)

    For me, I rank the Civs in order of enjoyment as: cIV, Civ II, Civ I, Civ III and Civilization 5. I still enjoyed Civ III though not as much as the I, II and IV.

    Civilization 5 in my opinion is terrible. It looks wonderful but IUPT ruins everything. That combined with the abysmal diplomacy makes it not fun to play at all.
    I literally had to force myself to play and try and like it. In the end after 125 hours, I gave up. I spent thousands of hours on the other Civs.

    I agree about Civ VI, sadly. Even if they really get it right and go back to the roots of what makes Civ the fantastic series that it is, you can be guaranteed that the game will come out in a beta state. :sad:
     
  15. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    Moderator Action: Denouncement rant thread merged into the main rants thread.
     
  16. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    There are plenty of real life examples of leaders pursuing terrible trade policies at high cost to their people (and their empire). I think it is nice that trade doesn't require open borders.

    The recent patch dramatically lowers the penalties for early warmongering. That should work well for you!

    Okay, another DOW and there is lots of warmonger hate for the next to last city (half of what you get for last city, but still lots).

    Peaceful before warmongering gets you nothing.

    Yes, it is perfectly consistent with the well known game mechanics. I suspect that once you get a better sense of this diplomacy angle, you will have a much easier time at Immortal!

    The other civs were not trading with him.

    The “hate warmongers” civs seem just as prone to commit genocide as most of the others, which is quite odd. But I don't think there is a flavor/trait explicitly associated with the willingness to take the last city. Once rebels show up, it would also be nice if those civs to reconsider their trade options! But the game play works well enough as-is.

    This would make the game even less subtle, and not an improvement IMHO.
     
  17. Big J Money

    Big J Money Emperor

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    My gripe:

    I don't like the imbalance of the Policy trees in Civ V. I feel they need redesign from the ground up. It should be a very difficult choice for the player when looking at those trees; not because the bonuses are so vague you aren't sure what's good, but because all the choices are so interesting and good you have to make a tough call.
     
  18. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    It's amazing that anyone could defend the horrendous diplomacy system in the game. :rolleyes: Even Jon Shafer admitted as much. It really hasn't improved that much in the last four years and it has now been carried over to Civilization 5: Beyond Earth.
    I do hope that they completely overhaul it for Civ VI.
     
  19. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    I just found this old thread which starts out with my favorite quote:
    That part used to bother me the most, but I have made my peace with it, and work my games around it. Things do seem to be somewhat improved, but I think it is more my never really trusting “friends” as I play now.

    Even though this is very much what the article and most folks refer to as diplomacy, I think it is more constructive to look at all the parts more granularly.

    AI being completely enslaved to their gameplay situation is bad, but that does not really have much to do with the trade screens.

    The diplomacy system, as expressed via the trade screens, I think is defensible. I don't recall Jon Shafer complaining about that.

    I appreciate the critique though, because I do find it interesting that I find V so much more compelling than III or IV, but I am not sure I can well articulate why. This dialog helps me think about that.
     
  20. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    I found that the diplomacy in Civilization 5 was so annoying that it became immersion busting. The AI is supposed to be here to collaborate in helping you tell a story. Not act like a petulant little child. Soren Johnson knew that very well and articulates that brilliantly in his talk here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJcuQQ1eWWI
     

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