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[GS] Do Governors need a rework?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by acluewithout, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    I mean that's fine and all but even then diversity should be regional.

    Maybe divide them by culture like "Mediterranean" or "European" or "South American" or "Colonial" etc...

    As someone else said it's obviously an art or UX limitation which is why I'm hoping a modder can do it.
     
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  2. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    Can you adopt a multi-culturalism policy that lets you attract people of all ethnic backgrounds to lead your empire? :)
     
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  3. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    In fairness, I don’t think the current Governor system could be described as “wrong headed”. There are legitimate reasons for FXS to have designed Governors the way they did.

    As I’ve said, I think the Governor / loyalty mechanic works well - Governors let you respond to loyalty on a city by city basis, can be buffed via policy cards, promotions, buildings etc., but there is an opportunity cost using Governors this way.

    The title mechanics are straightforward. The specific faces for each Governor makes them visually easy to recognise on the map. And the “one of each” design + everyone has access to the same pool of governors and titles makes balancing really easy. (eg Pingala can’t ever really be overpowered, because everyone has access to him, and everyone gets one of him).

    So, I can get why FXS implemented Governors this way.

    But God help me, this “keep it simple” design means they’re really boring and immersion breaking as a result. And what really gets me is that they wouldn’t take much to improve.

    For example:
    • Governors could work more like a Spy unit. You’d have maybe three sorts of Governors - a Emissary (that can be sent to City States and maybe other Civs), a Commander (broadly like Victor, who can defend cities and Governor.
    • You could earn these units and promotions for these units the same way you do now - ie titles through the civics tree. Or they could maybe work more like Spies and you have a “capacity” or limit to how many you can have based on tech level, buildings maybe government tier etc.
    • When you choose an Emissary, Commander, Governor, they have a generic graphic like the spies and other units do (maybe tailored a bit for each culture) and they get a unique name for each Civ. Some of these names could maybe reference real people (like the Spies do). You can then assign these units to Cities just like you do for Spies and Traders.
    • You’d be allowed to choose more than one of each type, and they’d continue to have promotion trees. You earn promotions the same way you do now - eg you earn titles, and decide whether to get a new unit and or promote an existing unit. You could maybe randomise the promotions a little, so each time you promote you choose between two or three random promotions (so you couldn’t guarantee always getting Pingala or Magnus’ perks).
    • You’d otherwise keep the Governors buff loyalty / establishing takes time mechanic you have now.
    I think something like the above would be a lot more immersive (Governors would be more abstract but would actually feel more specific to your game) and would allow for more variations in gameplay by giving you more flexibility.

    But you don’t even need to go that far. I mean, if you just had say three or four new Governors, and then each game randomly only gave you seven of those to choose between, that would be much more interesting. You would literally not be able to choose Pingala every game, because sometimes you wouldn’t have access to him at all. And when you did have access, it would feel like a much bigger deal.

    Yup. Agree with all that.

    I really like the idea of having one pool of points for envoys, spies etc. It really is getting tedious having all these different currencies. We need sort of a single currency, like “monarch points” or “admin points” that pulls some of this stuff together.

    More generally. I really think it’s dumb that you can only have one “Diplomat” that you can place in other Cities. And only one Castelleon / Victor that can defend a City. And it’s really dumb there is only one Civ that can place a Governor in another Civ ... and they can only do that once!

    At the end of the day, Governors aren’t such a big deal to me that I won’t play Civ. The loyalty and movement thing works fine, and there are some interesting (if narrow) decisions about how you spend the first few titles. Governors pull me out of the game a little, but there’s so much other stuff that’s awesome that I can live with it. And like I said, while Governors aren’t to my taste, I do understand why FXS structured them the way they did.

    But increasingly I find I just don’t spend my governor titles. They’re just so tedious. I hate getting pulled out of the map to keep making these barren choices. I can’t get excited about touring Magnus and Liang through my Cities and while I’ll put a Pingala or Reyna in one of my “good” cities, I don’t really feel like it adds much.

    I think I’ve mostly said my peace. I get other people maybe don’t feel as negatively about Governors, and maybe some people even like the mechanic. But ultimately, I just think Governors could add so much more to the game if FXS was willing to rework them a bit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
    Elhoim likes this.
  4. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    Sure but not in the ancient era when I'm still relatively racist :p

    Jokes aside, I truly mean regional... so it's less about ethnicity and more about geography. So Phoenicia for example would have Mediterranean (so Levantine, European, and North African ) advisors... It's just weird to see an Incan.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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  5. darkace77450

    darkace77450 King

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    If I'm reading this correctly, you're saying "tough decisions" are bad? If so, I vehemently disagree.

    You say social policies weren't this rigid, but when I was getting into Civ5 (post BNW) I don't think I read a single guide that didn't strongly recommend starting with either Tradition or Liberty and heavily investing in Rationalism ASAP.

    This must be a YMMV situation, because as someone who seeks an immersive experience when I play, I don't personally find the governors' design to be immersion-breaking.

    I can think of no quicker way to sour me on governors - a mechanic I currently enjoy - than turning them into de facto Great People for whom we compete.

    As you've probably gathered by now, I don't share your opinion vis-a-vis governors. I'm all for further balancing passes, and I would be absolutely thrilled if a hypothetical 3rd expansion added a new governor or two, but I don't personally feel that they're in a bad place as is.
     
  6. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    @darkace77450 Thanks for the comments.

    Just to clarify:

    No, I’m not saying tough decisions are bad. I’m saying one thing I like about the current Governor mechanic is that you’re forced to choose between having your Governor run about stabilising loyalty or staying put and buffing a particular city. I like that choice, specifically because it is a tough choice.

    It’s just pretty much everything else about the Governor mechanics I don’t like.
     
  7. darkace77450

    darkace77450 King

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    Now that's an interesting idea. I think I would welcome such a change.

    I see. Thanks for the correction.
     
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  8. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    Immersion is probably one of the most subjective parts of a gameplay experience :p
     
  9. NukeAJS

    NukeAJS King

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    I don't agree with most of your points, but I do agree that everybody getting the same governors is immersion breaking. Would Japan have a Somali diplomat? Why would Mapuche have a Russian defense minister?

    I would normally say that this was done for art reasons because making civ specific governors is a ton of images and adds zero functionality. However, the art team has already ethnicized all the civs using broad, regional-based art. Swordsmen from France look identical to swordmen from Germany, for example. Using the same paradigm, they could ethnicize the governors based on region. Obviously, it could really upset some people (like China having a Japanese defense minister), but the alternative reality part of civ is part of what makes it fun and interesting. What if Native Americans had horses before Europeans showed up? What if China had hired hundreds of Japanese military advisors in the Meiji era? On top of that, history is chock-full of foreigners that drastically changed society. The Ottoman Empire had long stretches where they actively sought out foreign advisors. Japan hired lots of American and German army advisors in the Meiji era in addition to even more English Naval advisors.

    I think my idea runs into two main problems -- one logical and one practical. The logical problem is that if civilizations have had important foreign advisors in history (and foreseeably forever into the future) what does it matter if they're a nearby foreigner or one that lives on the other side of the world? Yeah, I can see that argument at least once the industrial era comes around. But having a Chinese infrastructure advisor in Cree while it's 3000BC is about as immersion breaking as possible.

    The practical problem is basically the same thing as stated before -- what functionality does this add beyond immersion? The answer is none. Units and cities were ethnicized because we're talking thousands, even millions of people. It's simply too unbelievable that Swedish people would build their homes in the same style as Mali might. There are obvious climate differences, but there's also the cultural part. Why even have separate civs if they are all the same?

    This only works on broad, societal levels. When a single individual is involved, suspension of disbelief is much, much higher. Even though it seems extremely unlikely, it's at least possible that a Chinese engineer advised Cree on how to build weather-proof houses in 3000BC.
     
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  10. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    Well there was a land bridge in the Bering Strait so it's definitely possible.
     
  11. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing Prince

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    I think that's one of the reasons they pick Ibrahim as a unique governor as he was not Turkish. It's an example of how Leaders were forced to find people who had the least threat to there position.
     
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  12. MonkeyPaw

    MonkeyPaw Chieftain

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    This would be my suggestion for Civ 7: kind of roll governors, policy cards and great people all into one. Policy cards are now "advisors", and are mostly generic that anyone can use, but great people provide some unique cards. The "Machiavellianism" card could literally be Machiavelli.
     
  13. Stilgar08

    Stilgar08 Emperor

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    *Phew* - that is gonna be a crowded place where all of the above are packed in one mechanic... When I look at cards and governors alone, I couldn't imagine the marching hordes of people being on that decision screen. And why on earth should all of the above work the same way? I agree there are enough (too many maybe ) buckets to fill but to even it all out with a bulldozer...
     
  14. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Good God. Okay. One last point from me, and then I really am going to try and stay away from this topic...

    I’m not actually that hard to please.

    If FXS weren’t going to rework Governors, I do think there are three things they could do which would improve the mechanic but shouldn’t be too much hassle.

    First. Put the whole choosing Governors on the side of the screen, rather than having a whole separate window we jump into. FXS are doing that for Pantheons already. It’s natural to have the same thing for Governors.

    Second. Don’t show the Governor faces for other Civs. It’s ridiculous seeing another Victor or Armani in another City. Just use some placeholder or symbol for “foreign” Governors.

    Third. Maybe more work I know, but have additional Governors unlock during the game. Keep a cap of say max 7 Governors but have more than seven to choose from and have some unlock during the game. That may have to wait for say a Third Expansion and maybe Ideologies, but it would be great if you chose say the “Patron” Social Policy and that gave you access to another Armani type Governor, or you choose the Communism Ideology and got access to another Victor type Governor and maybe a Scientist Governor (Kreiger) focused on Spaceships, GDRs and Man-Pigs (that’ll do Pigly, that’ll do).

    The third point is key. Having additional Governors unlock, rather than having all of them available from the start, would help reduce some repetition (eg there would be some Governors you don’t unlock and so don’t see in every game), and it would allow you to maybe have more than one “Armani” , “Victor” and or “Pingala” type governors, This is because the “new” Governors could overlap with the “older” Governors a little, but without causing huge balance issues. EG you could have a new Governor unlock under the Patron Social Policy that can also be assigned to City States, but this Governor might have slightly different abilities to Armani.

    Having new Governors unlock later in the game would also create a new decision - do I spend Governor titles as soon as I get them, or should I hold-off until some of the (better) Governors unlock later in the game?

    Anyway. There you go. I really hope FXS take another look at Governors, maybe as part of a Third Expansion. They really feel out of place in the game at the moment, and just massively underdeveloped. I think if they were fleshed out a bit, made slightly less immersion breaking, and just made a bit more flexible overall, they could really improve the game rather than just slightly holding it back.
     
  15. Arent11

    Arent11 King

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    We had a hero system decades ago in master of orion & master of magic. It worked just fine.
     
  16. Kibikus

    Kibikus Warlord

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    In terms of gameplay, I think Firaxis made some very good changes with GS, reworking some of the more lackluster or mechanically clumsy governor abilities. I still think they should have one more look in a future patch or expansion, as there are still abilities that are very situational or provide very little benefit. As an example, I find some of Amani's abilities related to getting resources from city-states almost inconsequential, whereas they could instead add something related to World Congress, diplomatic favor, etc. She is the diplomat after all.

    In terms of visual appearance, I like that they are consisent across all civs, and it's understandable why Firaxis chose that route. Having 42x7 different governors would be wildly confusing, and not just for those playing more casually. I play a new civ every game, so having a new set of governors every time would be similar to having different icons for builders or warriors for example. As others have mentioned, Civ is not really a historical simulator, but a strategy game with a historical "skin", so there are many aspects of the game that don't follow actual history, governors being among the least "outrageous" in my opinion.

    The way I look at governors (and this may help others "swallow" them more easily), is as symbols, or representations of a certain aspect of my civilization. Pingala, for example, is a symbol of science and culture, Moksha of faith and religion, Reyna of gold, etc. Firaxis could have chosen actual symbols or icons to represent those aspects, similar to yields, like a science flask or a gold coin, but having these abstract concepts as governors that you assign to cities doesn't really make a lot of sense. Instead, they chose to "humanize" them, making it easier to look at them as actual governors that help you rule your empire. In that sense, Liang is not an actual Asian engineer that you "hire", it's a representation of engineering works in general. Moksha is not a particular Buddhist monk that is very much out of place in an Incan empire, it's a symbol of faith and religion in general.

    I do understand that everyone see and plays the game differently, so for some of you governors may be a big issue, and I'm wondering if mods could help with that (after all, that's the best thing about mods, having the ability to customize the game the way you like it). IIRC, Firaxis mentioned on the Ottoman reveal livestream, that they've made it even easier for modders to add, change and remove governors. Is it more difficult than they claim, or is it just the case that no one has decided to make a mod yet? As I said, I prefer having the same 7 governors, so I'm not "demanding" that the modders make a governor pack, I just think that's best solution for those who want different governors for every civ.
     
  17. Stilgar08

    Stilgar08 Emperor

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    If it wouldn't be for the last paragraph you would have received a big like from me... ;)
     
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  18. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    While this is not really a big issue for me, I don't agree that it would be wildly confusing. It's not like you're seeing all of them at once. You will always be presented with the 7 governors related to your civ (only), and with some very simple common traits in terms of coloration and outfits, plus supported by the "titles", I fail to see that this would be confusing.

    Also, while I recognize that it would be extra work to make images for each civ, it's not exactly a huge workload. We're talking static images, not 3D-models, and they are not particularly detailed either.

    Spoiler :
    Quick mock-up of color-codes. And yes I made Pingala blue, because I think there should be a separate governor for culture and science.
    upload_2019-6-14_11-17-31.png
     
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  19. Scaramanga

    Scaramanga Brickhead

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    Would the common traits of a civilization's governors be anachronistic, such as you would have a modern German industrialist with an ancient German chieftan? For civilizations that span millennia there could be quite a difference between them still.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  20. AsH2

    AsH2 Warlord

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