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Darker Dark Ages

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Jkchart, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. Jkchart

    Jkchart Chieftain

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    So, I’ve finally gotten dark ages, and while I still am all for the general concept, I do feel like Dark Ages should be slightly more punishing to get through. I think the loyalty system for the ages works well enough, since I did have trouble holding a couple cities, but it feels almost too rewarding in the end, especially if you jump to a heroic age (since it is easier to get better Ages once you hit a Dark age)

    I saw a suggestion that you should be forced to pick a Dark Age policy on a post, and I actually thought that would be a swell idea to make it slightly more challenging of an era instead of something that outright punishes a player severely and ruins their game.

    The thought I had was that a player in a Dark Age policy MUST replace one of their policies with a Dark Age policy, but not necessarily a wildcard (which was the first idea), rather Dark Age policies could be super policies that could go in any slot. This may still be too flexible, in which case those policies could be forced into the most flexible slots, The wildcards. It would be a change that would make Dark Ages more challenging, like they’re supposed to be, beyond just a loyalty effect, but wouldn’t be absolutely punishing to players that get one.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Eliminator_Sr

    Eliminator_Sr Chieftain

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    I agree - dark ages aren't so bad. I think losing a policy slot altogether or making the DA policies have more negative effects with mandatory slotting could be interesting. Negative combat modifiers or reduced plot yields would pose a significant challenge.
     
    Jkchart likes this.
  3. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Warlord

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    I agree that dark ages should be more negative. I think the civ should suffer a science penalty in a dark age. Heroic ages could grant a science boost to compensate and help the player catch up.
     
  4. Jkchart

    Jkchart Chieftain

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    Negative Combat modifiers would be interesting. They have a large swath of room to create tons of Dark Age policies or modifiers that could accomplish the feeling of your Empire actually going through a tough time. It would make heroic ages more rewarding as well when you get out of a Dark age because you’ve worked your tail off to recover. Thanks for the feedback!
     
    SirWill90 likes this.
  5. Jkchart

    Jkchart Chieftain

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    That’s not a bad idea. Do any of the Golden age dedication bonuses offer a science boost at all? I’m not against General boosts either for the era - I think it would be fair to say you get that plus the dedications. After all, you’d have worked for it.
     
  6. Arms Longfellow

    Arms Longfellow Chieftain

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    I also like the idea of forcing players to select a dark age card for the duration of the dark age.

    I do like the general feeling of dark ages: that my empire has become insular because I'm focusing on domestic trade routes and can't settle new cities (dark age card), or it's simply not feasible to settle new cities because I risk losing them to loyalty. This isolated, insular feeling should be enhanced by forcing people to choose a card.
     
    SirWill90 and Jkchart like this.
  7. Jkchart

    Jkchart Chieftain

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    That’s perfectly stated. Thank you!
     
  8. Temppu

    Temppu Chieftain

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    I would maybe go even further with the forced Dark Age policy card. Let the card you forcibly select become locked for the entire age. Then they would work as a kind of Dark Age Dedication, with some penalty as well. The penalties of Dark Age policies aren't really a penalty because you can switch to a different card whenever that particular penalty becomes a problem.
     
  9. Arms Longfellow

    Arms Longfellow Chieftain

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    Yeah I was thinking that too. It would be like a cursed item in RPGs where once you equip it it sticks to you until you dispell it.
     
    Jkchart likes this.
  10. Jkchart

    Jkchart Chieftain

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    Well of course. Otherwise it would be pointless to force you to pick one if you could easily back out with a bit of gold. Thanks!
     
  11. MP | Moongazer

    MP | Moongazer Chieftain

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    But Firaxis needs to tweak the AI first. On Epic speed somehow a lot of AIs still could fall into a Dark Age, when my civilization always got a Golden Age. The Ages need to be compatible with the game speed first in my opinion.
     
  12. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

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    I think basically losing a policy slot would be very harsh - and not much fun.

    Maybe instead of having to take a dark age policy card, your dark age dedication itself has some negative associated with it in addition to its positive aspect.

    I’ve suggested elsewhere that you should have the option to choose between 5 not 4 dedications; and the fifth should be based on your current government. I think this would work really well if dark age dedications had negatives. Imagine you’re a Democracy and get a dark age; one of your dedications could be ‘Reds under the Bed’, receive era points for building harbours and aerodromes, but campus and theatre districts yields are -x.
     
  13. Jkchart

    Jkchart Chieftain

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    You don’t actually “lose” a policy slot though. You have to pick one of the Dark Age policies in this model, which despite having a negative effect, also have an incredibly powerful bonus. It almost allows you flexibility to “choose” your type of Dark Age in a way. Say you got a Renaissance Dark age. You’re already pushed to your expansion limit, and have had trouble holding on to some border towns. So, you decide to take Isolationism in one of those slots, foregoing direct expansion by settler, which you weren’t planning on anyway, but getting incredibly powerful internal trade routes to promote the growth and stability of your cities. I don’t think that’s too harsh to force the loss of one wildcard policy to better model a Dark age, especially when Dark age policies themselves are powerful cards, they just come at a price. I do think that a couple more Dark age cards would help, but I digress. :)
     
  14. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

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    It’s might be a little harsher if you’re in a tier one government - then you only have one wild card slot to start with...

    And imagine if somehow you’re still in Chiefdom...
     
  15. Jkchart

    Jkchart Chieftain

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    You’re right, it would be harsher in the early game. But if it is limited only to wildcard slots (and you don’t have any), then it wouldn’t really hurt you because you couldn’t have any. So it would hurt Tier 1 governments the most, but those governments are Tier 1 for a reason - earlier administrations were far less developed and efficient. And earlier eras were realistically harsher times.

    But yeah, that would make Darker Ages far tougher early game and for those with less advanced governments. Still, I don’t think that’s too horrible considering how Dark Ages work. Dark ages don’t feel dark enough. I easily have gotten through dark ages. And I think it would be less fun to have “oh you’re in a Dark age, flat -25% science” or something even less flexible that I’ve seen suggested. This gives the player some control, and allows you to recover in a direction that makes sense for your nation.

    It would also make normal eras actually feel more beneficial than dark ages because you have more flexibility to do what you want (as people have noted that a dark ages can be super manageable and it makes it too easy to get heroic ages, creating a strategy to intentionally get dark ages to get a heroic age). We should WANT to avoid Dark Ages by having maluses, make them actually spookier, rather than make them so easy to get through and go “eh, I’ll be fine”. If the game is Rise and Fall, we need to model the Fall better, I.e. the hard times. This idea makes the Dark Ages a bit tougher, but still allows the player some control over the future Dark age to come, so they can focus on catching up and avoiding another Dark age, which should be the focus of such a mechanic.

    I do remember seeing your post on government based dedications, and I DO very much agree with adding those. It would be nice to let government feel more fleshed out and have more of an effect on the game, and tying it to eras/dedications would be very beneficial and realistic, as different governments and societies reacted to trying times (and great times) differently.
     
  16. Jkchart

    Jkchart Chieftain

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    I have heard that the ages don’t scale well on different speeds, but I’m not sure that’s necessarily an AI issue. It could be, but AI issues aren’t a topic I was going for here. That is a LONG list of issues that I’m not wanting to go into here XD that’s just too much for this thread. We could go on forever about the AI’s current state. :p
     
  17. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Warlord

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    What if Golden Ages also provides special policy cards? Then, Golden Ages could give you 1 extra wild card slot that has to take a golden age policy and Dark Ages would replace a wild card slot with a dark age slot. This way, in a Dark Age, you would lose a wild card slot and have to use a dark age policy but in a golden age, you would get an extra wild card slot that uses a powerful golden age policy. And a heroic age would give you 2 extra wildcard slots that have to take a golden age policy. I feel like this would use the existing policy slot system in a cool way that would make dark ages a bit more punishing, make golden ages more powerful and also differentiate the two in an interesting way.
     
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  18. Jkchart

    Jkchart Chieftain

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    Maybe? I don’t know. I feel that Golden Ages are powerful enough as is. It’s not a bad idea, but it risks Golden Ages and especially Heroic Ages becoming steamrolls. In my Netherlands game, I got a Heroic Age, and by the end of that age, I had more than quadrupled my Science capacity and doubled my culture. And it’s not hard to get or chain these. Golden age policies would have to be very carefully balanced, but I’m not sure you should get bonus wildcard slots because that would really be OP.
     
  19. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Warlord

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    Possibly. I was thinking that the golden age policy cards could replace the dedications since you don't really need both. In fact, some of the dedications could easily be converted into policy cards. But if you don't get extra slots, then you are basically just replacing a standard wildcard policy with a golden age policy. You are losing the bonus from whichever wildcard policy you were using but gaining a nice bonus from a golden age policy. depending on how good the golden age policies are, that won't necessarily be a big advantage. You might just be trading one nice bonus for a different nice bonus.

    Also, the reason I want golden ages to be a bit stronger is to provide a better catch up mechanisms if dark ages are going to be more punitive. So maybe golden ages would not give you an extra slot but heroic ages would give 1 extra wild card slot for a golden age policy. That way, a regular golden age would not be quite as strong but heroic ages would be to help the player who just suffered from a dark age. If a dark age reduces your loyalty and your science output (per my previous post) and you lose a wildcard slot and have to use a dark age policy with a malus, then I think it is only fair that when a player gets out of it and hits a heroic age that they get 1 extra wild slot and 2 golden age policies.
     
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  20. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Warlord

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    The more I think about it, maybe having policy cards for dark ages and golden ages is too messy. Since the game already has dedications for dark ages and golden ages, maybe the simplest thing to do is to just adjust what they do. Move the dark age policies to the dark age "dedications" and add some negatives to the dark age dedications so that players would have to pick their poison so to speak when they enter a dark age. And going back to my original idea, you could give the player a -10% science as a default penalty for a dark age. The science penalty and the dedication negative would be more than enough to make dark ages hurt more. Then you could always tweak the golden age dedications to make them nicer to reward players who get out of a dark age but otherwise keep the system of picking dedications the same.
     

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