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Districts becoming obsolete

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by EgonSpengler, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

    Jun 26, 2014
    I'd love to see Districts have useful lifetimes, deteriorate over time, and eventually become obsolete.

    You could, for example, build The House of Wisdom, or The Library of Constantinople, or the Jixia Academy, and be a center of academic learning in the Ancient or Classical World (links go to Wikipedia pages). But those schools shouldn't still be leading-edge hundreds or thousands of years later. They may cease to exist at all.

    Their legacies may last long after they're gone. After all, we still use Arabic numbers and Arabic astronomy today. In Civ terms, their Science output might transform into Culture over time.

    From a gameplay perspective, this would require the player to give thought to when to build a particular District. You might put the pedal to the metal in the Medieval period, then find yourself slipping during the Renaissance and struggling to hold on in the Industrial Era (read: Ottoman Empire, Shogunate Japan - one of them turned it around, the other did not). You could surge ahead in the Ancient and Classical periods, then lay dormant for a while, then burst across the finish line in the Modern & Information Eras (read: China). Venice and Portugal were once economic powerhouses. What happened to their Harbors and Commercial Hubs? In Civ VI, they'd still be there, just as profitable as ever.

    There should probably be some way for a District to be revitalized and/or maintained - Oxford University and the Sorbonne are still around - but it should be unusual. Expensive, perhaps, or with difficult preconditions, but worth doing once in a while. Perhaps, as with Arabic mathematics, Districts transform over time, contributing different bonuses than when they were brand-new.
  2. 679x

    679x Warlord

    Mar 30, 2017
    Eh, while it may be somewhat historically accurate, I think it'd have to be managed a certain way in Civ in order to feel 'right'. Districts already start to fall behind in output slightly as the game progresses, as tech/civic costs increase but the base district's yield/adjacency yields remain the same - in order to keep the district at peak yield output, you'd have to continue building the next tier of district buildings, like Libraries -> Universities, etc. and/or run projects. I think it would feel kind of cumbersome, for lack of a better word, to have them deteriorate outright.

    But, that being said, I think the transition of usefulness over time would be a cool concept for a world wonder of some sort.
  3. Dureeko

    Dureeko Chieftain

    Jun 30, 2019
    Could be interesting, the district would become a small Wonder and give different resources/abilities once obsolete as one example. Could be sort of a fun workaround for more than once Civ having the same Wonder.
  4. Vandal Thorne

    Vandal Thorne Warlord

    Mar 26, 2008
    I feel like the Dark Age / Golden Age mechanic kind of already simulates this.
  5. Phrozen

    Phrozen King

    May 7, 2012
    Districts are historically inaccurate in that many of them wouldn't appear until the industrial where daily mass movement of people became feasible. Most people lived, worked, shopped, worshiped, and were entertained in the same place they had their houses or in very close proximity, ie a few miles or kilometers. The only district that you might see historically is the harbor.
  6. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

    Mar 11, 2012
    north of Steilacoom, WA
    - And a Commercial Hub, as in central Market, or Agora in Greece, and the Government Plaza as in Roman Forum.
    BUT what is a little broken, is that Pre-Mass transit (steam powered or public horse-drawn buses on paved streets) the entire city would be far more compact - no spreading the Districts out across the countryside was possible. This is still visible in many modern cities: Wall Street was originally the northern boundary of New York City, which occupied only the tip of Manhattan Island until the 19th century. You can walk the entire circuit of classical Athens' walls in an afternoon. The French Quarter in New Orleans was originally the entire city - everything else (as they have rediscovered recently) was below-water-level swamp.

    That means, having Districts separated by open country was just not possible before about 1800 CE, and the real physical spread of cities is a later Industrial Era development, the last half of the 19th century when in rapid succession elevated railroads, streetcars, underground railroads ('subways', 'underground', 'metro' etc.) were developed to move people around. Once it was possible to get around faster, the cities expanded dramatically in both ground area and population.

    The problem is, having tied the adjacency bonuses for Districts to the terrain around the district, they made spreading the Districts out both inevitable and unavoidable. Now that we've all been playing with it for years, I suppose we are stuck with it until at least Civ VII.
    Think, though, how different it would be if the 'adjacencies' or Bonuses were tied to a wider variety of Buildings within the District and side-by-side adjacencies with other Districts and the City center, so that building a compact city was the preferred and preferable and most lucrative way to play. For one, then City Walls could be more expensive as the number of Districts to be enclosed grew, and Defense of the City (and its defensive fire/garrison) also variable with the size of the now-contiguous city.
    And of course, when the Industrial Age/Era dawns and the cities can spread out, cities could soar in size and number of Districts and the problems of sustaining them (as, IRL, the problems of sanitation, water supply, crime, housing, etc. ballooned in US and European cities from the late 19th century) would also rise dramatically - giving the gamer a whole new and different set of problems to solve and a real "Revolutionary" feel to the Industrial Revolution . . .
    AsH2 likes this.

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