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Do people actually like Eurekas/Inspirations?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by noto2, May 28, 2018.

  1. noto2

    noto2 Chieftain

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    I've put probably close to ten thousand hours into the Civ franchise from Civ 2-5. I've been playing Civ since I was 14 (I'm 34 now). I own Civ 6 but I've only put about 10 hours into it, enough to play one game and beat it (on Immortal, I think it was. The only Civ 6 game I ever played. As China.)

    One thing is really getting in the way of me playing Civ 6 and that is the eureka/inspiration system. This game element irritates me to no end. I'm actually very annoyed that Firaxis even put it in the game at all, let alone made it such a huge part of the game. The stated reason was to increase replayability so that people didn't always choose the same (optimal) tech path.

    First of all, I don't think it's a problem if diety level players always choose the same tech path. Only about 0.01% of players consistently play at that level anyway. On Immortal and below, there were many viable options in previous Civ games. Second, other triple A titles actually put effort into patching and balancing their games so that the different options are all viable. Firaxis could just do that if they weren't lazy.

    But they gave us Eurekas to supposedly increase replay value. How the hell does it increase replay value? There are certain techs/policies that are very important so the player will always try to get the correct eureka/inspiration. That means there are dumb, rote tasks that the player must do EVERY game, like killing a unit with a slinger or discovering another continent by a certain point in the game, etc, etc. I cannot express how frustrated this makes me feel just thinking about it.

    I believe it is possible to completely remove this mechanic via a little modding and I have contemplated doing that. The whole eureka/inspiration system to me just seems like such god-awful game design that I wonder if I'm missing something. Do you guys actually like this system? Would removing it be game-breaking? (other than to China, that's a different issue). Do others share my distaste for it?
     
  2. Arent11

    Arent11 Chieftain

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    A better way to randomize the tech tree was implemented in alpha centauri & some other games. You basically had a tech tree but could only choose either (a) the broad direction of your research (blind research option) or (b) a randomized subset of all available techs (blind research turned off).
     
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  3. Exterrestrial

    Exterrestrial Chieftain

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    Personally, I don't mind eurekas too much but I'd like it better if they were randomized.
    I agree that the system certainly does not boost replayability in the sense it's being advertised, as long as eurekas are the same every game, obviously.
    There's a mod that randomizes eurekas but it's a bit too random/specific for my liking so I disabled it again. However, the idea of having a vast pool of different eurekas, randomly assigned to the techs/civics each game, is way better.
    I honestly don't know why firaxis didn't implement eurekas that way instead of the stale "build 3 archers each game" mechanic.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  4. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    I love them. I disagree that they don't affect replayability as no one has yet agreed on any sort of optimal way through the trees (that I am aware of. Obviously aside from racing to P.P. in the Civics tree). They add another dimension by dragging me off what my plan was. I really want to do Y, but along with other competing priorities I have the miniquests from research trees and CS's dragging me in different directions.
    All that and they're immersive (it makes sense that settling on the coast will teach you how to sail faster than not).

    Having said that, I think some of them should be changed. The research this tech and get this inspiration to me is meh. All the more so when you're 99.99% going to get the required one first (like how Feudalism gives you the boost to stirrups). Rather than having them be totally randomised as suggested above; I would like to see a couple for each tech/civic that rotate at random; so that you don't have the same one every game.

    On a separate note I'll concede that it likely has made pacing the game all the harder. I need to get a mod like 8 Ages of Pace (but one without the extra movement for units) cos I get through the tree too fast most games.
     
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  5. aguliondew

    aguliondew Chieftain

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    They could make the eureka system more complex by giving you a chance of a random eureka based off of what you have completed. Still I like the system. It does not force you do do stuff to advance but is helps. If anything they should refine the eureka system so that some of the rarely earned eureka can be more common with different place styles.I still beeline to some techs/civic.
     
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  6. masda_gib

    masda_gib Chieftain

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    I get that some people might not like them. But, Eurekas as ed game design? Really?
    Firaxis makes sciense more than just piling up numbers and thats bad game design? Oo

    I think the thought behind them is good and I like them. But I think that erekas should be more circumstancial. I like the one for Sailing for example. It makes sense. Others are a bit too gamey or you get them everytime just by playing normally.
    Maybe not all techs/civics should have eurekas so that they can be more meaningful.
     
  7. Cerilis

    Cerilis Not Warlord

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    I think they could be a bit more flexible. Like for example, instead of Archery requiring a slinger kill, it could be a slinger kill OR a camp over deer OR killing an enemy archer, or something like that. Alternatively, it could also be one single random of those conditions every game.

    Edit: Thinking about it a bit more, some multiple Eurekas might be hard to come up with... as the example of Sailing above me. ...found a city on the coast... have 2 cities on the same river... ... ... have a farm over the new flax bonus resource?

    Edit2: Or chop a forest, if you dont want new bonus resources. Though I guess flax is kinda overdue anyway.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
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  8. Starwars

    Starwars Chieftain

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    It'd be interesting to play a game of Civ VI without them actually.

    I'm not sure how I feel about them. I do like that they are another decision to make at various points in the game, do I go after this Eureka or do I just do this instead and "hard-research it"? I like that aspect of it.

    But like others have pointed, many of them feel a bit "forced" and some of them are random in a not fun way, like the "find a new continent". The early game is always important and it's annoying to me that you might miss out on something early on just because the game happens to spawn you on a continent with sometimes not immediate way to get to another continent.
    It also makes the goodie huts/great scientists a bit annoying at times when they give you eurekas that you *always* will get anyway.

    I don't know, I still kinda like them for Civ VI but it's not something I hope will be a part of the Civ franchise as a whole. At least not in the form that they exist in this game.
     
  9. leandrombraz

    leandrombraz Chieftain

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    I love it to be honest. I'm the kind of player that like to micromanage and this is one of the many things Civ VI did that favor micromanagement. It also add a lot of interesting decisions to make throughout the game, which at the end of the day is what Civ is about. Do I go for this Eureka/Inspiration? Is it worth to try to fulfill its condition or I'll spend more doing it than I will gain? Should I change my research to buy time to unlock this Eureka or I need this tech/civic asap and just can't afford to wait?

    Eureka/Inspiration + the policies system turn the tech/civic three into something more dynamic, not just that passive thing that you visit from time to time. You need to keep an eye on your research and change plans on the go. I like that.

    The only issue I have with Eureka/Inspiration is that it's such a huge boost, it end up having a bad effect on pacing and on the AI. They improved it considerably when R&F came out, reducing the boost to 40% and adding an era penalty if you're one era ahead but I think it still could use adjustments.
     
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  10. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    The point is eurekas/inspirations depend on enviornment and circumstance so they change.
    Some are dead easy to get and vary in ease up to the point where they are normally ineffective to get.
    Some also add extra encouragement, for example rushing for a science victory some encourage spies
    The fact that an early eureka may save you 5-10 turns while a late one only 2-3 turns even though its 1000 science or culture I find interesting.

    I feel they are quite clever and certainly I feel they do what is said on the packet, there was nothing worse in V than clicking the national library ... again.
    Even now we play different openings playing the same game and I feel fairly convinced that this is partially due to this mechanic.

    I get a bit annoyed that science and culture are quite samey (trees) and this may cause some dissatisfaction out there. I used to like the culture boxing in V sending you down a specific path, that feels lost along with the ideology being stamped on and smeared into another grey card.
    But I'm OK with it also because it does cause variation in my view.
     
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  11. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Chieftain

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    I think eurekas/inspirations were one of the best new features of Civ 6.

    My path through the trees is definitely affected by which bonuses are most easily obtained, so for me it does help "play the map". It's also fun and flavourful, especially when the triggers are well designed.

    As others have noted, some of the triggers are lame or uninspired, but many are very good. Ideally, there would be 2 or 3 different triggers associated with each eureka/inspiration, and you'd get a different one active each game, but that would make it even more difficult to avoid including silly ones.
     
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  12. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    It's a good thing because it's often map dependent and is more involved than just clicking on some faraway tech in the tech menu and ignoring the rest.

    Some of them are pretty obscure and pointless, like Drama and Poetry's requirement for a wonder.
     
  13. UWHabs

    UWHabs Warlord

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    Yep, I agree. Would like to see a little variety at times, but it's nice to get some extra bonuses.

    One other thing I would consider changing would be instead of giving a flat +40%, to give it as a % modifier to your research of the tech. That way, you can't just research halfway and wait for the eureka to pop to finish it off. If you want the full eureka bonus, you need to have the eureka before starting to research the tech. But that's just a flavour thing that I think might be a bit more interesting.
     
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  14. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Chieftain

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    As I understand it, the point of the Eureka/Inspiration system was to make the in-game situation more important to how your civ developed.

    IF that was the goal, they only marginally succeeded: even without Eurekas, you can rifle through the Tech Tree in a fraction of the 500 turns that a Standard Game is supposed to last, so the advantage of 'playing for Eurekas' is simply not that great.
    Also, many of the Eurekas have little or no connection with the Technology they are supposed to enable:
    *Mining a Resource speeds up The Wheel? - Even if you have no draft animals like Horses or Cattle?
    *Building a Pasture speeds up Horseback Riding? - even if it's a pasture full of Sheep? Sounds like Woolly Thinking on the part of the game designers...
    *Building 3 Mines speeds up Apprenticeship? - That's funny, mining was one craft/industry that didn't use apprentices at all: apprenticeship was associated with the Value-Added Crafts like metal-working, wood, leather and cloth fabrication, and special skills like painting, jewelry-making, Trade/Accounting, etc.
    *Killing a unit with a Musketman speeds up Square Rigging? - even if you assume 'Square Rigging' actually means all the technologies required for the cannon-bearing sailing warship, wouldn't the requirement be kill a unit with a Bombard (large cast cannon)?
    - And so on and so on.
    But, just improving the relationship between the Eurekas and the Techs is only part of the story. The Value of the Eurekas also has to increase to make them not just 'nice to have', but Essential for your Technological (of Civics) advance in the game. AND if you want to concentrate on, say, Sea Power (talking to you, Victoria!) you should have to really concentrate, not just build a couple of galleys, shoot someone with a musket, and otherwise go about your game.

    Suggestion:
    Have more than one Eureka for each Technology, and as you get more Eurekas, their value increases.
    Example:
    Archery Eurekas:
    Kill a unit with a slinger
    Have a unit attacked by an Archer or Horse Archer
    Have 2 Deer, Ivory, or Fur resources within a City Radius.
    - In other words, numerous reasons or uses for archery, not just one.
    You can obtain the Eurekas in any order, but their value increases as you obtain more:
    1st Eureka - +10% towards researching Archery
    2nd Eureka - +15% towards researching Archery
    3rd Eureka - +25% towards researching Archery

    - Note that the total 'bonus' is 50%, somewhat better than the 40% base bonus now, but you've got to work a little harder to get it, have more specific situations and resources. That will also serve to slightly slow the research progress over all, which is another thing the game needs.

    More Examples (with reasons behind the Eurekas in parentheses)
    Astrology Eurekas:
    Find a Natural Wonder (religious impulse)
    Have a Pantheon Belief (religious impulse)
    Have a Trade Route (navigation)

    Writing Eurekas:
    Build a Granary (keep track of what's stored)
    Meet another Civilization OR City State (records of diplomacy)
    Have a Civilization Population of 6 (complexity of your society)

    Bronze-Working Eurekas:
    Have Technology: Pottery (kilns = heat required for smelting)
    Have 2 or more Copper Resources within a city radius (earliest metal worked for tools/weapons was Copper)
    Engage in melee combat versus a Spearman unit (the old Arms Race - I want what He's Got!)

    Currency Eurekas:
    Have a Mine on a Copper or Silver resource (only Spartans made money out of Iron, and it didn't work at all)
    Have a Trade Route to a Foreign City (Civ or City State) (Coins grease commerce)
    Trade a Resource to/from another Civ (Resources have to be paid for)

    I hope the picture is plain: Eurekas come from in-game situations and available on-map resources, which will change with every game, and from specific actions by the Gamer in the direction of a Technology or chain of Technologies. Also, Technologies outside of the 'direct link' on the Tech Tree will also contribute to some Technological research, and that should be reflected in the Eurekas.
     
  15. Liufeng

    Liufeng A man of his time

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    I actually like them much, as they add more objectives to the game. It's cool that they dropped the bonus to 40%, but I would drop it even 30% as to not get that much of a science/culture boost. What I'd really however, would be 2 or 3 conditions per technology and civics, so as they would randomly change between the games, so as to not always have the same conditions over and over again. But it certainly is one of the best ideas Ed Beach came up with.
     
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  16. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Chieftain

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    Great ideas for alternative triggers. Perhaps it wouldn't be as difficult as I thought to come up with 2 to 3 alternatives per tech/civic, or at least for the early era ones.

    I think I prefer "all or nothing" triggers over partial. Just a bit more fun to my mind, so I'd rather these were alternatives randomly available each game rather than additive.

    Apprenticeship is just poorly named, I think: 3 Mines leading to Industrial Zones doesn't seem unreasonable. 3 Lumber Mills could be an alternative, or 3 Water Mills.

    Personally, I think the idea of a pasture of sheep being the eureka for horsebacking riding is itself inspired! Now I just need to go find something larger and faster than a sheep that I could ride on ...
     
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  17. ElCid0204

    ElCid0204 Chieftain

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    Good idea! Also it should considered to give negative impacts as well, such as additional research time ("negative eureka") for example to scientific theory tech if you have founded a religion or have majority religion in your civ or you started inquisition. Maybe one negative boost would be enough and should be around 10-20%.
     
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  18. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Chieftain

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    Anything that Negatively impacts game play has to be very, very carefully handled and balanced, because competitive gamers will howl against any such thing.
    Specifically, the negatives to Technology are not other technologies, but Social Policies or Civics, and I would suggest the temporary nature of Social Policies makes them the place to put any 'negative impact' on Technology. The trick would be that any such negative would have to be balanced by a Positive Impact: like a Religious Fanatic 'social policy' that gives your units a + 5 combat melee strength against units belonging to Civs following a different religion, but also gives you a -10% Science because it makes the bulk of your population resistant to anything new or different.
    This is all very tricky because you run the risk of stepping on a lot of current ideological or religious toes, even though historically there are a lot of civilizations. religions, and societies that displayed precisely the Resistance to New Ideas we're talking about.
     
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  19. Cerilis

    Cerilis Not Warlord

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    I dont think negative boosts are good game design.
     
  20. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Chieftain

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    In general, I agree: game elements that are entirely negative are Bad Design Features. But in a game that supposedly gives you multiple choices to make in your strategy and tactics within the game, such choices have to be not only between Good and Better, between a Bonus Here or a Bonus There, but also between Good and Bad, between Temporary Negative versus Long Term Positive.

    That's why I keep hammering on the point that any negative, whether it's a 'bad' Social Policy or adding Natural Disasters to the game, HAS to be balanced by some positive aspects.

    For example, Historically, even the Black Death had positive aspects: the cost of labor rose dramatically when (live) workers became scarce, so the general quality of life and standard of living of the survivors went up in the century following the 'Plague Years'. The increased 'value' of the laboring classes then translated into increased political and economic power for the non-aristocratic elements of society, which led to advances in political and social structures. In game terms, losing X percentage of your population to Plague could give you access to 'free' Social Policy Card changes or increased Economic activity in your Civ.
    Balance - Positive and Negative aspects to any change or addition to the game.
     
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