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Comparing to Paradox Games

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Konig15, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Konig15

    Konig15 Warlord

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    I was in th Crusader King 3 discord talking about the things I disliked and wanted in a Crusader game, and I was told, what I wanted sounded a lot like Civilization. In fact, I think they are correct, to a degree.

    But the thing is, I HATE sandboxes. I loved Civ 2 but only for the highly detailed, highly crafted, highly structured scenarios that people made for that game.

    I don't begrudge a base game for being sanboxy, but I want a historical simulator where I'm fighting history itself not just my AI opponents. So I enjoyed things like the Fading Lights and Outremer (the scenrio itself was bad but the map and cities and such were CHOICE).

    Mostly what I want are way to play laterally, which Paradox Games have become worse at over time. I want to create a free peasantry in the middle ages, abolish slavery in the ancient world, establish universal education or something akin to it, or create a more religiously tolerant society than what was expected of the period, and of course, pay the price for such a thing and do the balancing acts.

    I want to create legacies to leave the end of the game. In CK2 ou do all kinds of things that should be monuments to your legacy, like find artifacts or produce great works, or invent eyeglasses, but there's no way you can see the long term ramifications of these because there aren't. Your monarch can prove Heliocentrism as early as the eighth century, and it does nothing to affect even the fluff of the game.

    I haven't played a Civ game since 2, except I bought 5 and I saw no reason to play it. I hated the city defense dynamic and I saw exactly zero of the kind of scenarios I want. I don't want a sandbox where you are self directed. I wnt highly detailed historical games that reward you and punish you based on if you take certain cities, build certain units, go on quests.

    Like even the vanilla Midgard Scenario from Test of Time, had wonderful quests, like the sacking of Rot, buying the services of Jacko-lanterns and Ents and slaying Dragons. I just wanted a LOT more of that and a way more developed world.

    In any case, I want to study the mechanics of Civilization as it developed to understand the lateral possibilities other than conquering and smash and paint the world.

    What would be the game to best understand all of this? Civ 4, the last quare tile version considered the pinnacle of original Civilization design or something like 5 or 6. And does any the post Civ 2 games have detailed, event-driven historical scenarios?
     
  2. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    I don't know if its as full fleshed as a normal AAA game but, civ4 had a scenario/mod that came with it called Rhye's and Fall. That sort of did what you describe.
    It also has Fall From heaven, a wonderful scenario. You can get civ4 super cheap these days, so maybe it's worth $5 of messing around. I'm sure people have created mods to enhance those scenarios further.
    (Also, the Gods of Old and Final Frontier scenarios were amazing. NextWar wasn't bad either, nor was the chinese warring states scenario. And Gods of Old and NextWar allowed you to bring the content into regular random map games.) Civ4 really had the best scenarios. I think final frontier sort of demonstrates why Jon Shafer got the lead design job for civ5 even though he was just 21 at the time.
     
  3. Konig15

    Konig15 Warlord

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    Well.....let me ask another more hypothetical question: I'm kinda tired of asking other people, mostly devs to make the game I want. Not saying I can actually make a game, or convince a team to deva simple thing, but I want to understand the possibilities as an autodidact. How lateral play can be integrated or not and how much you can stretch and engine to do things you want. In particular, not only could I not understand the rules of Civ5 but also the Fall of the Roman Empire scenario, I was immediately TO by the fact that the turns were three months long and I couldn't get units to go from Rome to Millan on the roads. More than that, while I think it's utterly brilliant to have the institutions for Rome to be reworked into awful debuffs, I didn't see a way to reverse those debuffs if you won or if there was a place for modded late or post-game Roman recovery institutions.

    Because I have zero idea how to even conceive how to put a game together myself or write a story for that matter, I'm a tweaker at best and a loud critic at worst. In the Paradox thing, EU4 has a cultural flipping mechanic which I like.....but it needs to be changed a bit. I'd suggest every province have four or five minorities, region-specific, religion tied, and you pay to flip the culture of yours, which has no bonuses and will be your state religion but if you flip for the minorities you get bonuses which only apply if your chief culture isn't it, such as say you own Anatolia and are the Byzantines, who have Demotic Greek culture, the culture is Turkish but because they aren't your religion you get no bonus and won't for a hundred years. BUT you can flip the culture of the province to Cappadocian Greek, you get access to a Cossack unit, a special elite cavalry unit. But I had to play EU4 to see the weaknesses and opportunities of the culture flipping mechanic. In fact, the whole of EU4 for me would be an example of how to NOT design a game.

    In that spirit, you think I'll learn what I need to from just 4 or are there things in 5 and 6 I should be at least aware of?
     
  4. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    The core of civ is and has been empire building.
    At the end of the day, historical realism can only be done to a degree, since a game must be something people play for enjoyment. From 4->5->6 I would say the game aspect improved greatly. The later entries are more fun, for many people, than earlier ones.
    From this perspective of making a game that you yourself would enjoy playing, civ5+6 offer a lot to study. Both games deviate heavily from civ4 by making the civilizations themselves increasingly asymmetric - in civ4, a civ is a mix of 2 leader traits from a common pool, 2 starting techs, and their unique unit+building. In civ5 all civs have a unique ability, a unique unit, and either a second unique unit or a unique building or tile improvement. But in civ6, all civs have a unique ability, and all leaders have an ability on top of that, and everyone has the unit and then a building/district/improvement. The way Sumeria plays compared to Rome in civ4 is fairly similar, but in civ6 they are radically different. This is another design consideration to make.

    I would still say 4 is a great starting point because it has a lot of diplomacy mechanics absent from 5/6, like tile flipping from cultural pressure, vassals, etc, but it doesn't have some of the abstractions like trade caravans being on the map itself, or cities having an inherent defensive ability. Civ6's districts may not be perfectly implemented, but as a game concept it's brilliantly engaging for many people. Civ6 also put wonders themselves onto map tiles, made every great person unique, added loyalty as a system (since culture now does something a little different) expanded on City States/Minor Powers, etc. Civ sacrifices historical simulation/realism for gameplay, in that sense- gameplay drives the mechanics rather than history - which is quite different than the detailed simulation focus a lot of those PDX games have. (I've only played stellaris, I'm not as familiar with EU4 or CK.)
     
  5. Konig15

    Konig15 Warlord

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    Actually very helpful! And Stellaris.....Oh God....it's such a horrible game. The event chains are amazing! The concepts are cool. BUT the game itself is garbage and no amount of mods can fix boring as ****, souless knockoff of Mater of Orion 2. Master of Orion 2 had PERSONALITy. Heros had minimal backstories, as opposed to ZIP, barren worlds could be terraformed, the races were handcrafted and even had custom music that I can STILL hear in my head which made them memorable, the combat was in it's own screen so you could see things properly, you have no control over ground combat but it had an animated fighting screen and music and people blasting at each other. Combat in paradox games is so bland and lifeless and it's basically watching an excel sheet that is auto calculating. Oh and the buildings, when you built them you could SEE them on the planet screen and it made you feel like your colony was growing. It took a 20 year old game and made it LESS engaging.

    I have ideas how to fix it, and mostly it's greater control of when events chains start, more notes on planets and how they got to be that way, and a far more dynamic internal power dynamic

    But the thing is I'll have to play. And I kinda don't want to. But I gotta do research.
     

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