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Do people actually like Eurekas/Inspirations?

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

  1. Zaarin

    Zaarin Chief Medical Officer, DS9

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    Phoneticly speaking, American English is a lot more conservative than English English. :p
     
  2. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    Also, soccer is correct ("association football") as a way to distinguish from all the other forms of football including Rugby League/Rugby Union/McGill Rules/etc. etc. but I fear we've strayed a fair distance from the topic of this thread.
     
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  3. Zaarin

    Zaarin Chief Medical Officer, DS9

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    No opinion: I hate all of them. :p
     
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  4. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    Well, not sure how it went for you, but in Civ 4, didn't you sometimes have to worry about the AI winning a science victory or just outright killing you during an attack with a huge stack? I mean yes, the AI was dumb there, but if they had the tools for science, they'd definitely win. And they could aim for culture wins too. That's not just a matter of being carried by bonuses, because they were. But here you have a Civ 6 deity AI that doesn't know how to win even when it's all handed to them. And this has nothing to do with combat-- even if you play peacefully in Civ VI, the AI has trouble winning. Basically, if you can win by t300, the results would be the same if you played in a vacuum on 6 out of 8 difficulties (arguably 7) where the AI doesn't exist besides being a trading partner. I would say Civ 4's BTS AI if it teleported into 6 would trounce the resident AI though it may not be challenging enough for many still.

    The AI would calculate your strength vs theirs and declare war as such, as opposed to Civ 6's haphazard way of declaring war even when they don't have the power (this has been improved).
    I'm actually agreeing with you on this. That's actually what I was getting at. Firaxis has long used bonuses to substitute a real challenge. So when people say that 1upt is complex and use that as an excuse, I don't buy that at all. It's just the entire philosophy behind what a challenge is in the first place. Besides, Civ 5's AI could organize their units pretty well for an attack, and a lot of people thought that was bad. And it was 1upt! Sure it had pathetic micro and didn't use ranged units right, but the idea was there. And then we have modders that got it right, so ....

    Basically even if the AI is incompetent in combat and I accept that as a reality, there's no reason why a high level AI shouldn't be able to threaten the player if undisturbed. No point about talking about war when it loses before the first shot gets fired. And this trickles down. If you play on Prince in Civ 6, you basically can't lose except by time victory. That's kinda boring.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
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  5. Casualty of war

    Casualty of war Prince

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    Eureka/Inspirations happen because a large part of the player base likes the thrill of "found money." You stumble across a twenty in your winter coat pocket and suddenly it's your lucky day, even though it's your money that came from your work anyway. You do the thing and you get a reward. Bell, treat, salivate.

    Every Civ should have its own Eurekas, with some overlap for similar Civs. Honestly, each Civ should have its own tech tree, with some Civs being able to beeline to Horseback Riding and some having virtual Swordsmen analogues available in the Ancient Era. Some Civs should have Writing as a mid-game tech and some should be able to get it right out of the gate.

    More work than Firaxis are willing to put in, and probably more detail than most desire. Some people just play without ever coming anywhere near a Civ forum or without mustering up the passion to post.
     
  6. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Okay, instead of 'Sloppy', how about 'Temporally Irrelevant'?
    There is DNA evidence for the Domestication of cattle, sheep and goats dating back to 8500 - 7700 BCE.
    There is archeological evidence of cattle pens and even domesticated Water Buffalo by 7000 BCE
    There is evidence of Horses domesticated for hauling travois and plowing by about 4400 BCE

    While archeological evidence keeps changing our picture, at this moment, as far as I know, the earliest evidence of horseback riding dates to between about 1000 and 800 BCE.

    So, basically, you domesticate 'large animals' like cattle and water buffalo, and 6000 years later this leads you to ride horses?
    Since the game only lasts about 6000 years, I'd say this is a pretty irrelevant Eureka...

    Well, except that all too often I get a 'Eureka' for Tech: Sailing from some &^%$ Tribal Village when my first two cities are in the middle of the continent 10 - 15 tiles from the nearest body of water bigger than a Damp Sponge. Like finding money in your old pocket and it turns out to be an East German mark, worth about 6 cents even when there was an East Germany...

    Absolutely NOT. This idea assumes that all Civs are Set in their development from 4000 BCE on, regardless of their actual surroundings of terrain, climate, and position relative to other Civs. It is bad enough now that some Civs are stuck with 'naval' Unique Units which are worth diddily-squat if they get stuck building Harbors around a small inland lake (seen it happen to both England and Indonesia in Civ VI games, including R&F, so Initial Placement Bias is still very badly programmed).

    Instead, let's have Eurekas and Bonuses that are well-thought-out and related to the Techs and Civics the way they are supposed to be, so that IF England's first three cities are all on the coast, the Naval Techs and Trade Bonus Civics/Social Policies are almost automatic for her. On the other hand, if England starts in mid-continent, no Naval 'Bonus' should apply - if she turns into a Great Trading/Exploring Nation, it will be with Camels instead of Caravels and Sarais instead of Sea Dogs.

    Now, one possibility would be for each Civ to have Unique attributes that are both Terrain/Climate specific and not, so that the Civ, depending on the in-game situation, may get all or only some of them, but isn't left 'high and dry' if the situation makes a single set or type of Unique inappropriate.
    To take England as an example, instead of Sea Dogs and Royal Navy Dockyards which she might or might not find useful, England could also have as Alternatives the Yeoman Archer (longbowman) and Bank of England Uniques which are largely 'terrain independent' but still related to 'Englishness' historically, even if the In-Game England develops in a bunch of mid-continent rain forests.
     
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  7. Zaarin

    Zaarin Chief Medical Officer, DS9

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    If we're looking for a hard history sim, maybe--though that will automatically make some civs OP in certain eras (sucks to be you if you spawn next to Sumer in the Ancient Era), some OP in general (oh, look, runaway Europe and China), some civs woefully outmatched (the Aztecs and Cree better get something to make up for the fact that their tech tree is screwing them over), and brings up questions with what to do with the tech trees of civs that stopped existing at certain points.

    I agree with @Boris Gudenuf: the tech tree needs to better reflect the map, not the civilization. Scythia developed as a powerful horse-and-archer civ not because they were Scythian but because they were on the steppe; Egypt developed strong trade networks not because they were Egyptian but because they had an excellent source of wheat and wanted various luxuries*; etc.

    *Honestly, I would have given something akin to Monty's luxury bonus to Egypt, which was well known historically for its insatiable appetite for luxuries, though I would have angled the bonus in such a way that it made Egypt desirable to trade with (something like Cleopatra's existing bonus, but for diplomatic trade rather than trade routes [which has to be the most nonsensical and arbitrary distinction ever--look to Endless Space 2 for trade routes done right]) rather than keyed toward warfare. Egypt became incredibly aggressive and expansionist during the New Kingdom, but prior to that most of its wars were defensive in nature. During the Ptolemaic period Egypt made intermittent war with Seleucia with very mixed success.
     
  8. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    I've love to see a system where everyone gets the same basic bonuses, but then at various points in the tree, you can like super-specialize. So if my terrain has a bunch of iron around, maybe I decide it's worth it to spend 20 turns to harness to give my swordsmen to turn them into legions, for example. Or if I start in hilly terrain, maybe I place my first theatre square and then decide I want to "upgrade" it to an Acropolis. Although given that not every bonus is the same, it would be incredibly hard to work that, unless if you somehow designed it so that all the bonuses got picked pantheon-style.
     
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  9. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    Isn't this basically going back to the original Civ 1 system, where every civ starts out the same (other than its name) and the only differences are developed through game play?
     
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  10. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Actually, what I am arguing is that the Eureka system that 'drives' or nudges you in certain directions down the Tech (and Civics) Tree needs to reflect the map, and the Civic/Social Policy peculiarities of each Civilization's In-Game Situation. I agree only partly with Jared Diamond's thesis that Geography Was Destiny for historical Civilizations - the Relative Geography was just as important, as in, How Close are you to other civilizations, and what kind of other civilizations, has almost as much influence. Egypt could have had the fertile Nile valley and the deserts to protect her from foreign influences, but if she had also had a society like the Hsung-Nu/Jurchen/Mongol horse-archer pastorals living on the other side of that desert, Egyptian history and development wold have been much, much different - just ask China about that...

    Actually, we can make a good case that by the time the game starts in 4000 BCE, many if not most 'starting civilizations' already have access to a varied set of Technologies. Starting everybody off with Agriculture is based on the idea that agriculture is a requirement to feed a city, but it means that other Technologies discovered and exploited long, long before the game's nominal start time are relegated to post-start research. Two worst examples: People had domesticated animals like sheep and cattle about 3-4000 years before the game starts, yet in game you have to research Animal Husbandry to do the same thing. The Aegean islands, Cyprus and Crete had all been settled by people from the mainlands of Asia Minor and Greece 3 - 5000 years before the game starts, but nothing in the game can do anything with a water tile until Sailing is researched.
    Instead of a city built on the coast giving you a boost towards Sailing, especially if it is for first city in 4000 BCE it should give you instantly the ability for your Builders, Scouts and Settlers to move over Coastal Tiles and build Fishing Boats - there is evidence of both net and spear fishing of fish and even organized whale hunting long before the game's 'Start Date'.
    If your first city has Sheep, Cattle or Horses in its starting radius, your first Builder should be able to start right in pasteurizing those animals, because you can bet that your people had long since Domesticated them before that city was founded.

    Animal Husbandry, Pottery, Boating/Fishing are all possible Starting technologies in addition to or instead of Agriculture, so that the Technological differentiation of Civilizations in the game could start from the very first turn, not X turns later when they start to diverge in their Research.
     
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  11. Casualty of war

    Casualty of war Prince

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    The Cree and Aztec were some of the Civs I was thinking of that would have alternative tech trees, 2 societies that didn't have riding animals as a significant part of their culture and definitely not an early part. They have the SuperScout and the nearly-Swordsman Jag Warrior.

    If you make a game where the map is the most important thing, the determinant, call that game Wayfarer or Sojourner or Trailblazer. But this is Civilization and the Civs are not the most important feature, which is a problem. CivVI lost its way.
     
  12. Zaarin

    Zaarin Chief Medical Officer, DS9

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    Again, this would be true if Civ were a hard history sim...but it's not. It's about the "what if," including "what if the Aztec did have access to large domesticable animals?" The universal tech tree as it exists now is indeed very Euro/Mid East-centric, but I don't think hobbling everyone outside of that region is the solution. I mean, the Aztec weren't primitive, even in our own timeline, and giving them their own tech tree could certainly accommodate that to a degree, but it would still hobble them in the long run. I don't think that's the solution at all. I think a degree of asymmetry is desirable, but not at the cost of lacking anything vaguely resembling balance.

    Last I checked, physical geography is part of a civilization; civilizations didn't spring out of the ether or exist in a vacuum--there are dozens of great space-based 4X games if that's your thing. ;) Besides, if there's a central focus in Civ6, it's not the map: love it or hate it, the leaders are Civ6's showstoppers.
     
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  13. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Actually, Cree and Aztecs are two examples of the influence of the map/terrain/local resources on the 'Civ'.
    The Cree exploited the Bison, a distinctly UN-domesticated animal which provided both food and raw materials for an extensive material culture including bullet-proof hide shields, among other 'distinctive' features.
    The Aztecs lived in an area of rich volcanic soil and exploited large areas of marsh and shallow lake agriculture - which led to a very dense and concentrated population, which in turn provided labor for some serious monumental construction and sophisticated city building.

    BUT by the time both of them reached the point where they enter 'history's stage' as recognizably Cree and Aztec, over 5000 years of Game Time had elapsed! The developments in related Technology, Social Policies and 'Civics' that resulted in the distinct and recognizable Cree and Aztec 'Civs' were not likely to have been present in 4000 BCE - in fact, since the Aztecs migrated into central Mexico, it is virtually certain that they weren't. In both cases, they adapted the resources available to their needs, and the adaptations in turn led to modification of the basic human nomadic hunter-gatherer tool & fire-using extended family groups into, eventually, something recognizably Cree and Aztec - or Greek, Roman, Chinese, Scythian, etc.

    The Game Problem, as I see it, is not only in identifying the elements that are distinctive to a given Civilization, but identifying Why those distinctions developed: entirely due to terrain/climate/resources, or a combination of those and interactions with other Groups, or modified by Extremities of their surroundings? (Living next to active volcanoes certainly had an effect on the Aztec religion and world view). Then how do you either allow that to happen in the game or make it 'fixed' to the Civ? It's not easy. How do you get a recognizable Cree culture/civilization without Bison and woodlands? How do your Aztecs develop in the game without the influence of sporadic volcanic destruction and access to volcanic Obsidian, the material for the weapons of Jaquar/Eagle Warriors?
    It's a complicated set of problems, but simply Hard Wiring each Civ into a set of attributes and technologies regardless of their In-Game surroundings results, in far too many games, in the English Civ hauling Sea Dogs across the desert trying to find some water to float them in...
     
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  14. Zaarin

    Zaarin Chief Medical Officer, DS9

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    Not to mention an abundant source of obsidian, which meant no need to switch to metal weapons despite knowledge of bronze working, which they used for ornamentation and toolmaking but not warfare.
     
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  15. Casualty of war

    Casualty of war Prince

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    Maybe now that the game has Eras the first Era should not be Civ-constrained and be the period where "you find yourself." Then when you hit the Classical the game chimes in, "Your eye toward the sea and love of green, rolling hills makes you most like England. Here, have some English-ish benefits and characteristics." Or maybe you should choose your Civ after seeing your starting dirt. Just spitballing but, yes, I know the frustration of playing landlocked Denmark.

    Most of the Civs, especially the higher tier ones, already have a virtual alternate tech tree because of their unique unit. Gilgamesh is a beast because he can build an improved virtual Chariot right from Day One; while everyone else is trying to research Wheel he's already rolling. All the other Civs with Ancient or Classical units are playing as if they are an Era ahead once they can make their special friend.

    What I would love is something that assigned a point value to each Civ characteristic and you could compile them a la carte, like creating a race in Master of Orion 2. I also liked the ability from MOO2 to not spend all of your build points to get a percentage multiplier on your score, penalty strokes on your golf game.
     
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  16. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    Part of the flaw is that the tech tree is fixed. For example, you can only build Huey Teocali by researching Military Tactics, which you get after having discovered Mathematics, which you can only get once you discover Currency, etc...This kind of created the backwards situation where if I have lots of lakes I want to boost, I have to go through that path. So if I want to, say, go learn construction and machinery, that doesn't help me at all whether I want to get Huey and help my lake empire.

    Ideally, the tech tree structure would have virtually one tech per item, but to "research" it would follow a completely different path. For example, the path to Huey Teocali should probably be more like "work lake tiles for 20 turns and have researched Mathematics or Construction". If there were more "or" branches in the tech tree, at the very least, then that might allow you a different path. It would be even cooler if the "or" path you chose gave different bonuses as well. Like, say I want to build a seafaring civ. If I research apprenticeship "off of" shipbuilding, then maybe my industrial zones would gain an extra bonus from being adjacent to a Harbor or to sea resources, instead of being based off of mines and land resources.

    I'd love to see a civ game where they generate the map, generate the 6 or 8 starting locations, and then for each location, chooses a civ that fits it. I can't imagine how amazing it would be to see your starting location, and then when you settle your first city, you get a popup to choose your civ. So many times I get my starting location and be like, "man, if only I was XXX".
     
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  17. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Actually, most items, whether they be Buildings, Districts, or Units, require multiple Techs and Resources, and sometimes Civics and/or Social Policies, to build. Good example, Sumer's War Cart, which requires the Wheel, which requires woodworking and Mechanics, and a domesticated draft animal (mules or donkeys in this case) and certain Civics/Social Policies of organized society to concentrate the resources to build, man and use these machines. Virtually everything in the game has similar, multiple requirements, and usually more of them the further along the technology path you go. For the game to be playable at all this has to be grossly simplified, but some of the choices made in the simplification were just plain bad and the Tech trees for both Civ V and VI betray a gross ignorance of the proper sequence of technological progress, to say the least.

    Back in the Civ V days I proposed an Open Start version of the game in which, in fact, you got a start position, and then based on the Start Position got a Civ or set of Civs to choose from. Each Start Position having the following characteristics:
    Water source: oasis, river, coast, lake
    Food Source: cattle, sheep, grain, rice, fish, game
    Building resource: clay (bricks, pottery), timber, stone, reeds

    Just from that 'short list' alone, there are 96 combinations to choose from not counting situations where a Start has, say, more than one food, water, or building resource, which should be enough Civ choices for the average game. In many cases, your starting choice might be a 'Proto-Civ' since almost none of the 'Civs' in the game existed in recognizable form in 4000 BCE - you wouldn't start as Greeks, but you could become recognizably Greek with, say, a Coastal Start with fish and cattle and stone resources. Of course, with that start you might also wind up as Minoan or Phoenician, but since all of those cultures/Civs didn't emerge until over 2000 years after the start of the game, why not?

    The problem, of course, is that the animated Leaders that Firaxis spent so much time, effort and money on are rather superfluous to this concept, since none of them would appear until well after the Ancient Start. I still like the idea of a Starting Civ based on the Start Position rather than a Start Position only loosely related to the characteristics the game gives the Civ.
     
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  18. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    This is the same tired excuse I always hear. First off, it doesn't excuse laziness. It's like how people use the word "decimated" as a synonym for devastated. In the case of the word "liberal", however, laziness has nearly ruined the word. It originally meant a person who prioritizes the rights of the individual and sees society as a collection of individuals (as opposed to conservatives who see society as a collection of families, or socialists who prioritize the rights/needs of the community). Once upon a time, these opinions were considered left wing. It was liberals who championed causes like womens' rights. But Americans use the term liberal and socialist interchangeably, and Americans use the term socialist when communist or statist would be more accurate. Calling a communist/statist a liberal is incredibly stupid and confusing. They are literal opposites. They are antonyms.
     
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  19. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    It's two words and I have no particular attachment to them, they accurately described what you were doing.

    OT: It seems to me that the Eureka system is just a band-aid solution to a poorly-designed tech tree. Ideally, there would be many different strategies the player could employ and replay value would be increased by the fact that different tech paths suited different situations and maps.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  20. Zaarin

    Zaarin Chief Medical Officer, DS9

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    ...Literal etymology aside, that's exactly what it means in Modern English. :huh: Decimate is very, very rarely used in English to mean "reduce by 10%." Just because a usage is colloquial (which is less and less true of decimate, incidentally) doesn't make it wrong.
     
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