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DCL evolution and proposition

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Strategy & Tips' started by Acken, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    Hello,

    This is a thread in order for people to discuss what they'd eventually like to change, what they like etc.

    1.How do you feel the difficulty is at ? Too hard, too easy, balanced ?

    2.How do you feel about the map creator (me) modifying some of the original map in order to craft difficulty in one way or another, or for a fun change ?

    3.Are the DCL too quick or not enough ?

    Feel free to add any suggestion and comment. I may not necessarily agree or respond but I'll read it and take it into consideration.

    Finally I have a proposition. For me right now the DCL are a bit too quick, but if people are still interested into having 3 a month I propose to structure it that way:
    First map of the month will be on the easy side. Either because is naturally very good or because the map is modified to help the player. For example a map with salts and mountain or you could start with Optics on a water map.
    Second map of the month will always be unmodified and I'll try to give an average map for medium difficulty.
    Third map of the month will be on the hard side either due to a terrible map or the AI receiving more bonuses (Deity+).

    The main reason why I want to be able to modify maps to craft a challenge is for 2 reasons. First it breaks monotony and second it helps me to make the challenge more quickly being able to skew the game one way or another without rolling 20 maps. Keeping this schedule also helps me as I have a set difficulty always in mind. If the community is strongly against it I'll probably have to cut it down to 2 a month.

    So it's up to you if you're okay with it, against it or willing to try :)

    As a side note, the next map posted tomorrow will be the hard one for April. Venice would be considered the easy one (but I won't go to such extremes, this was for the 1st april) and Celts map the medium one.
     
  2. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    Well, playing Civ 5 is my main 'relaxing' hobby, since philosophy and permaculture usually feel more like work than fun, so I'm in favour of more maps, but of course I realise that not every one wants to dedicate as much time as me to playing. I'd also like to make more and more LPs, on Deity, so more maps helps with that goal.

    I really like the idea of altering the maps and having some imaginative differences. I support this 100%.

    I look forward to the next challenge. :)
     
  3. BearStew

    BearStew Chieftain

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    I agree whole heartedly with what you've proposed. Schedule wise, both options are fine for me. Chances are I won't get through more than a game or two every fortnight at best. I like the format of the DCL series and looking at what decisions other players made given the same information. So in all honesty if the DCL games are the only games I'm really playing then I'm pretty happy, especially if you're varying the difficulties of the maps.

    As a suggestion though, it would be awesome if you don't necessarily keep an easy-medium-hard schedule. That way I won't exactly know what to expect heading into the game.

    Also I'm not sure which maps are/aren't part of map packs but I would love some games on differing maps like sandstorm, highlands, inland sea or donut if they aren't map pack dependent.
     
  4. stormtrooper412

    stormtrooper412 Peacemongering Turtlesaur

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    Some really awesome suggestions thrown out there, if it's not a hassle, then definitely do it. I'm obviously not looking forward to the hard maps though :p but I suppose it's for the better.

    Some roleplaying or set goals/scenarios might also work, I can't really think of anything concrete but along the lines of certain stuff banned, workers cannot be stolen under any circumstances, scouts are not attacked by barbs, Enhanced Raging Barbarian mod, etc etc. Of course, if either of that can be done without modding the base game files
     
  5. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    If we're getting into rules that aren't map-defined, like no worker steals etc. then I'd have to object, from my POV. Map alterations are one thing. In-game restrictions are a different kettle of mackerel.
     
  6. stormtrooper412

    stormtrooper412 Peacemongering Turtlesaur

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    Fair enough, I was just thinking out loud
     
  7. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    That's fine that's what that thread is here for :)
     
  8. Chunkook

    Chunkook Chieftain

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    I still haven't started playing the DCLs (Deity still too hard I guess), but I'm following them thoroughly and one thing that came to my mind is that the map types aren't enough.
    There was a Small Continents once I think and all others were Continents and Pangaea. Imo posting more Small Continents, Fractals and Shuffles would greatly enhance the DCLs.
    Take for example the 1st ICL - Japan on a Shuffle map - turned to be my favourite ICL so far.

    Considering the quantity and the manual changes - whatever you and everyone else prefer.

    That being said, thanks for taking an interest in our opinion Acken! :)
     
  9. Babinski

    Babinski Chieftain

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    I am happy to see a new DLC every 10 days, appreciate it.

    I am fine with the tiers you decribes aswell. :)
     
  10. Nigel_Tufnel2

    Nigel_Tufnel2 King

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    Time: I don't have enough time to play both the DCLs and ICLs, so a little slower pace would not bother me. But I'm a tediously slow player too.

    I like the rotating difficulty levels, and am more likely to play the "easier" ones, or ones in which an interesting quirk was added.

    I would be very interested in modifications of the map. I opened up an inland sea to the ocean in my Deity-Lite England game, and it doubled my enjoyment of the map. Doing things like getting rid of ice blockage on some polar regions can be very helpful (or adding them!).

    You can test many more maps using Firetuner to let the AI play clumps of 50, 100, whatever turns - to see how balanced or whatnot the map is. The downside seems to be that your "host" civ loses all the Deity bonuses, so I have experimented with ways to level the playing field. So far I add units to equalize the start, and have experimented with adding buildings. I don't have the mix correct, but I think if you add 2-3 gold buildings in the cap, and 2-3 happy buildings, you start to get close. Plus, I think it's kind of fun to watch the mayhem, like a crazy fast LP.
     
  11. Grendeldef

    Grendeldef Trancerelic

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    1) On average too easish but everyone should be catered to some degree and I probably am in a minority so I don't mind occasionally playing something like the DCL #20 with Isabella; just don't put like those too many in a row. It's also not just about the easieness - if the game has any interesting aspect beyond what is seen as normal scope I'm all for it. It's just that I'm starting to run out of reasonable self-set rules to accompany these maps.

    2) I'm all for fiddling the maps or whatever for the sake of being interesting. The only downside is that whenever Civ5 client crashes it seems to be on a cooked map but I can live with few extra crashes and I'm probably not the first to complain about weird extra rules etc.

    3) From personal pov there's no 'too quick' - I can skip one or few which I don't fancy and I'd settle for a slower pace. DCL in every two weeks is fine and I'd fine with even slower pace like one in every 3 weeks.
    The possible downside of fast pace is that there's a soft cap of results somewhere and getting 50 results from 5 games is better than 50 results from 10 games. The series has diminished meaning with less results and has a potential of becoming extict/obsolete like in the past.

    While the constant interval between games is nice it's not set in stone, I hope. Summer is coming even here in North which I assume will drag people away from comps so slower pace than during the Winter months might be prerrable. My main interest is still keeping the series alive as the old games will always be playable later.
     
  12. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    Having thought about this some more, and having started and aborted DCL #27, I would like to chip in the rest of my thoughts, by directly expanding on the question Acken has posed about difficulty.

    Firstly, I should say that, despite what some people here think, I am not a great player, and I know I can get a lot, lot better. It is my aim to get to the level where I can comfortably win any map without too much doubt as to whether or not I will win. So I don't want easy challenges too often. I'm sure everyone agrees with me. When I was host, I tried to make sure they weren't all easy. If you disagree, that's fine, but certainly now I am not host, I want the maps to be on average a little harder.

    But, I must also say that I don't think Deity+ has any place in this series. For me, these maps are only enjoyable for the top 5% of players, and frankly, as I've said all along, they can start a new series if that's what they want. I like the fact that Acken wants to experiment with tweaking the maps, but the creation of Deity+ kinda falls outside the remit of the DCL, in my opinion.

    So I'd like to stick with rotating through Easy, Medium and Hard, but where Hard is defined not by tweaking to give the AI advantages (Deity+) but by other, natural factors. Yes, it's hard to know exactly how hard maps are. I think this was something else that people didn't give me credit for when I was host. If I test play it until T80 and think "OK this might be quite challenging", it might not pan out like that in other people's playthroughs. But I think that you can get a general sense of things, and hey, if a map selected as Hard turns out to be Medium, then it's no biggy.

    So yes, my particular opinion is that I don't want to see any more Deity+ maps. But if other people want them, then I can just ignore them, as they'll only be 1 in 3. I'd just prefer not to have them at all.

    If a player is so good they need to (spoiler for DCL #27 ahead)
    Spoiler :
    give T0 National Colleges to the AI
    , then they probably need their own series, GCL (Godlike Challenge Line-up). The rest of us still find maps like Celts, Arabia, Brazil, Huns, India, etc, fun and challenging, I think.
     
  13. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    Note that I'm more interested in how you feel about the concept rather than how extreme the difficulty was. It can be tuned better. But I understand that this is no longer pure Deity and therefore kind of outside the scope of the series. This is why I'm asking since this month had the 2 extreme, before going further. Maps like Celts, Brazil fit more the Medium difficulty bill and therefore would still exist.

    But like you said it's not very easy to propose hard maps that are interesting. Jungles next to Shaka like the India map gets sadly old very quick. It's important to note that these would not vanish. What you got for the Danemark map is just an example, you'd still get some India type of difficulty. However my philosophy with proposing something like the Danemark map is that I wanted to give the player a good start while still having a challenged game. Feeling to fight at full strength a tough opponent rather than feeling handicapped while fighting a granny.

    I also couldn't propose 4 map a month if there were an additional series.
     
  14. consentient

    consentient Domination!

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    I think the concept is interesting in principle, but how it is applied is completely different from one thing to another.

    There doesn't seem to be any way to discuss these applications without referring to spoilers from DCL #27, so I'll just put the rest of my post in spoilers, and anyone who reads this should realise that they are heavy spoilers for that game, so don't read unless you've progressed with that map.

    Spoiler :
    How you judge all of the below points depends on what you are trying to achieve with Deity+. To my mind, given the limitations of the AI and all the ways that it is crap, the only way to make it harder is to up their tech rate slightly. But not so much that by T100 they have completely runaway beyond the ability of most players to get back.

    1. Resources. I think this is a problem because if you give the AI more resources they will have a better start, but it won't necessarily translate to faster tech because they suck at improving them. Then, when the human captures them, they become game-breaking. Imagine being the human who could have conquered the DCL #25 Venice before T100. I'd stay away from doing any more than adding 1 or maybe 2 bonus or strategics.

    2. Buildings in cities. Barracks seems like a good thing, making the AI units a wee bit tougher. Any 1 of Granary or Library seems not bad, but NC? That's pushing it, I'd say.

    3. T0 CS allies. Seems really unfair because the AI has a much better chance of allying them from the start. CS alliances are borderline broken, even for the human. Giving them T0 seems really too much.

    4. Extra units. If they're a warmonger, they will be even more destructive from the start. A T45 DoW from Oda is tricky enough, let alone if you gave him extra units. If they're a peaceful player, the units won't make a difference once the human comes to their borders if HE himself is a warmonger.

    So overall, I think the best way to make the maps harder is to explore other things that naturally make the map harder. Have 3 continents where one has the culture runaway, 1 the science runaway, and the human's starting continent has much less good land. Find positions where it's going to be really difficult to get trade routes for science leech/CV tourism modifiers. Let 5 AIs found religions T0, put the player in the middle of the landmass and force the player to choose which it wants to keep, other stuff like that. But Deity+ just makes the already formulaic difficulty of Deity even more oppressive without allowing for imaginative new strategies, I'd argue. It will force the players to turtle even more than they do now. Bear in mind that more than 50% of wins on the DCL have been SVs.
     
  15. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Haha, isn't that the truth. It's quite the experience you need to look at a map and envision how it will probably unfold. In Civ IV when I was hosting I could more or less do it because I played that game so much I had every AI personality and tendency memorized, so I knew games where a big expander near a culture fiend would be problematic or whether continents were likely to be peaceful or warlike (and the result on tech rate). V is less micro intensive than IV but it has more of these nuance factors that could impact the AI so the predictions might be even harder, and they'll never be 100% because sometimes the AI just does wonky crap.
     
  16. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    1) How do you feel about India and Huns map ? You should also test the current Danemark map if you want to be challenged and I'll be interested to know what you think of it.

    More map variation noted.

    I already do that :)
     
  17. Grendeldef

    Grendeldef Trancerelic

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    This Deity+ looks tempting but I'd be inclined to agree that it's perhaps not what series is mostly for.

    I hope & assume that I've said this earlier, too - it's unreasonable to expect the hosts(s) to play the potential maps to any sort of serious degree in advance. If they're willing to play for 50+ turns fine but ~5-10 turns is usually enough to at least discard any godlike maps and that's enough. How the game turns out for any individual player is RNG issue beyond the hosts' control anyway.


    I do still, on principle, oppose any new Challenge series - there should be enough other words to choose from.

    And for clarification I'm not disagreeing with Consentient here just using his remarks as they're on topic.
     
  18. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    And I'd even agree that something harder than Deity isn't really Deity. But this is kind of where I have to make a decision for those wanting harder games or those getting bored. There's just a limitation on how hard I can make the game with the normal limits of the game.

    Current BNW will never give you a challenging AI, the only thing possible is to give you the most terrible start you can think of: jungles, isolated, between Shaka and Japan and with 0 hills around. Something like the Polynesia map. But personally, I enjoy these less than a good map in which I'd level up the AI. Preferring for you to fight at full strength a brute rather than making you a cripple sent to fight a leper. Getting back the thrill of moving up a difficulty level.

    Although like I said, this would not be all maps. Like said in OP, the hard map would also sometimes be just a bad position.
     
  19. Grendeldef

    Grendeldef Trancerelic

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    Hah, how convenient - I just finished the Attila DCL 5 mins ago and it wasn't hard by any means but I'm more inclined to put it into the interesting category as at least there's a twist even though it's known from the beginning. Haven't played any India DCL yet nor this fresh #27.

    Interesting vs boring tilt is more important to me than hard vs easy. With easy one can do weird things to compensate the easiness but turning a plain old boring gaming into an interesting one is much trickier.

    Something like early DCLs with Ethiopia & Byzantium for example - doing Total Dom including religion made them interesting not hard. The bonus incentives mainly prolong the game especially when AI is next to incapable of winning game. Making the starts of those games endless jungle would've made them hard but eventually repetitive hence not interesting. Interesting is highly invidual concept hence harder to cater for everyone's taste unlike making a game harder - that's easy ;)

    I need to look at the DCL #27 before I can comment on that.
    I'm not familiar with mods or fiddling the game much beyond UI settings but I assume the problem is still with how the game handles difficulty - by giving a head start & bonuses which are more useful earlier than later. More difficult usually means just that the catch up phase is longer and whether that's more
    interesting is debatable. I'd like something that scales with the turn time.
     
  20. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    And that's very true but this cannot be changed without modding. The Ai does not understand the science game. It doesn't use science specialists, it doesn't take rationalism and often build the national college in a secondary city.
     

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