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Communism Mods: Techs & Benefits?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Orion Pax, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. Orion Pax

    Orion Pax Chieftain

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    Greetings. Was curious to hear to hear people’s take on possible mods to the Communism tech, namely it’s source techs and potential benefits:

    1. Source Techs: Scientific Method seems odd since Communism was a political response to economic realities, and much later than the Scientific Method was established. So wouldn’t a tech like Corporation make more sense? Or something industrial like Steam Power? Potentially either or + Liberalism? How do folks think that’d impact the gameplay / timing, etc.?

    2. Benefits: It would be a nice touch to have some modest benefit to an empire (like Corporation’s +1 trade route) from the tech itself, to represent labor movements that had a defining impact on much of western countries who adopted labor reforms short of Communist revolution. Seems odd that the last note in labor civics is simply Emancipation, as though former slaves/serfs weren’t dumped into share cropping and migrant labor. So not quite sure what might make sense?

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  2. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    I'm pretty sure Scientific Method being the prerequisite is a sort of in-joke to the fact that Marx and Engels considered their theories to constitute "scientific socialism" in contrast to what they called the "idealistic socialism" of other contemporary socialists.

    It makes sense to me insofar as Marx's work was produced more or less by applying some degree of scientific rationality to the study of society. Scientific Method in Civ also obsoletes Monasteries so in that sense represents a shift from magic and ritual to what Weber called "rationalization." So having Communism become available from that tech makes sense that way too, imo.

    Emancipation is the last labor civic because it represents the end of all those unfree labour systems, not just the end of slavery. IRL for example the end of serfdom in Europe is referred to as "emancipation" of the serfs.

    I think a better tech to give labor movement-related benefits would be Democracy or perhaps Constitution as labor organizations did not play much of a role in organizing society in monarchies. For balance purposes Constitution probably wouldn't be the best tech for this since it already unlocks Representation.

    I'll have to take a look at the tech tree to see if there is any tech that stands out. Most of the other techs I can think of as making sense for this already give quite powerful bonuses (e.g. Assembly Line, Steel, Replaceable Parts).
     
  3. Orion Pax

    Orion Pax Chieftain

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    Thanks Lexicus. Good points. In tech, I can see the case for Sci. Meth. a bit more. It certainly allows for earlier Communism, which for gameplay is more fun.

    The benefit connection could go so many ways, good suggestions. I think I’d say though that the civics like Rep & Emancipation, actually fairly well express what they do and what they leave undone. Rep/Suffrage opened up political rights and Emancipation ended unfree labor, but it was the labor/socialist/Progressive movements that built positive economic rights on top of those political rights. (Since Emancipation again released them from unfree labor, but itself gave no protections against their new position: sharecropping, migrant/industrial work).

    And that seems best reflected in Communism since that’s what it was intentionally about. But to your point, if it was based on Corporation tech they would have had to go through Constitution, so your connection would be there (?).

    Also the game allows for a pretty wide mix and match of civics, so the idea that there would be a labor movement within all government types seems plausible, even if the full civics aren’t adopted (again like the Corporation trade route)?

    Either way, I still can’t think of a workable benefit that’d make sense for that time in the game, lol...? Seems like :commerce: or :gold: -> :), but that seems redundant in form and quantity?
     
  4. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Actually Corporation wouldn't too bad considering that labor unions are themselves a type of corporation, just not a business corporation.

    I think the most plausible mechanic would be happiness due to "reforms" or something.

    The problem is that unions from the perspective of the player would basically just represent extra costs to upkeep the population. It would be really cool if you could fool with the amount of resources consumed by pops but I do not think that would be easy to mod, and would probably break the game completely since 1 pop consuming 2 food per turn us such a fundamental part of the game, conditioning a wide range of game activity. But like e.g. in Stellaris where there's more scope for tweaking stuff I really like the idea that policies like Utopian Abundance increase the pop upkeep in exchange for significant happiness bonuses.

    But, as you note Civ already has a mechanic that lets you sink resources into happiness: the culture slider! So that would be redundant.

    I actually think it might make sense to make Economics a prerequisite for Communism, since Marx's work represented the fullest development of classical political economy, and basically paved the way for modern neoclassical economics insofar as the more sophisticated ideas there were developed in some cases explicitly to answer the Marxist challenge.

    Not really sure how that would work in gameplay terms. I think Economics is a dead-end tech? At any rate I almost never research it, I usually trade for it from an AI long after I've already switched to State Property.
     
  5. Orion Pax

    Orion Pax Chieftain

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    Precisely! Hence Corporation as you mentioned, since it has Economics as a prereq (& Constitution). It fits, no?

    Interesting idea. Kinda like the higher upkeep for certain civics? But functionally you’re right - sounds hard to make that work. And that kinda casts it as a penalty that people consume more because they have more money and live longer? I guess the game doesn’t tend to do that with advances (like with Medicine)?

    But yeah maybe as simple as +1:health: & +1:) empire-wide, extra +1:health: & +1:) if running Emancipation? To represent general uplift/improved wellness, greater under free labor??

    And come to think, this would give the tech a third dimension. Say if you’re not going to run state property, it may be desirable to tech Communism for the quick bump, especially for peacemongers?
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  6. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Communism/State Property is already very strong in the game, so not sure it would be a good idea to boost it. The extra :food: from workshops and water mills and +10% :hammers: also sort of covers what you are discussing, wouldn't you agree?

    +1 :) empire-wide could make sense, but SP is already very strong, and iirc no other techs give a bonus like that (well, there is +1 trade route from Currency). It's tied to the various civics that technologies unlock.

    Balance-wise I think it makes sense to have it like it currently is tbh. They did such a marvellous job with this game (unlike... yuck). If SP were to be placed later in the tech tree, it could effectively cease to be a valid option, given the widescale changes to tile improvements that is usually needed to get it to perform well. But that's speaking more from a gameplay perspective instead of 'realism'.
     
  7. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Genetics gives +3:health: in every city.

    That's basically what I was saying earlier. Tbh giving Emancipation a slight happiness bump might not be a bad idea, since Slavery and Caste System are so powerful.
     
  8. Orion Pax

    Orion Pax Chieftain

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    Yeah I was thinking of Genetics and also Currency, and Corporation again, as well as Printing Press. Corporation is a good example in fact: gives both a workable item (corporations) and also simply an extra trade route from the tech alone.

    The correlation to Communism would be its civic, something you have to switch to. And it’s the State Property civic that yields these improved food and hammers, not merely the tech. A labor reform movement within a society seems more general and more about broad benefits to the population, not bonuses from them? Hence a +1 :) and I’d say also +1 :health:.

    That seems modest to me that deep into the game? To both your points though, perhaps it could only apply under Emancipation? Since arguably laborers must have some freedom to assemble and such? Plus this would help Emancipation mature and be a little less begrudged switch from Slavery or Caste?
     
  9. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Yeah, that was my idea. I typically run Slavery nearly until the end of the game, so a bit of extra inducement to switch to Emancipation might present some more interesting choices a bit earlier.
     
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  10. Orion Pax

    Orion Pax Chieftain

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    Right. I’m also in support of no upkeep for Emancipation since it’s literally just releasing people from a micromanaging system of some kind.

    And to clarify I was wondering if the benefit should apply under Emancipation only, but occur at the Communism tech? So:

    Communism
    +1:) / +1:health: for Emancipation
    State Property Civic
    Kremlin
     
  11. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    It's not a bad idea, but I'm not sure whether it's possible to code tech-based civics bonuses into the game like that. I also typically get to Communism well before Democracy fwiw.
     
  12. Orion Pax

    Orion Pax Chieftain

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    Ah interesting.. No idea on coding..

    Think I’d still be supportive of a boost for all with the tech? Though the more we discuss it, the more I like it tied to Emancipation if possible, for historical logic as much as gameplay - balancing a weaker civic.

    And tech order is one of the things I love about Civ - how differently people can and do it. But a bonus is a bonus, so it’d be waiting for you if/when you switch to Emancipation. ;)

    And if Corporation were subbed for Sci Meth as a prereq, then it’d be a lot closer by tech-wise. Though sounds like that means later for most..
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019

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