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does playing on lower difficulties teach you bad habits?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by craney1987, May 31, 2017.

  1. craney1987

    craney1987 Warlord

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    I mostly play emperor and have dabbled with immortal. But my two most recent games I've dropped to king because, well for no reason in particular. What I've noticed is that my current skill level seems to have been directly impacted by my time at king prior to my jump to emperor.
    my biggest challenge in becoming completely sound at emperor difficulty is actually in mid game, where I get bogged down with no set build order, especially when I get to a point of exceeding 10 cities.
    these two most recent games on king have highlighted that on that difficulty if you have that many cities, mid-late game strategy seems to matter less.
    what I take from this is that instead of incremental growth per level, I actually need to learn mid game from the bottom up at emperor. I assume this is the same when making the jump from other difficulties.
    has anybody else found this? Or am I overthinking?
     
  2. Balkans

    Balkans Warlord

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    I think you are overthinking. Just allow yourself to get stomped on higher difficulties and you will learn not to do the same mistake. Definitely allow yourself to play different if situation asks for it, be flexible, never apply the same stuff for different situations.
    From personal experience, deity games, the main difference are early turns. You just can't allow yourself not to build army at start of the game. That's the only and most important change if you go up the levels.
    But what exactly is the problem in mid game for you, i didn't fully understood, if you have 10 cities mid game you can do whatever you want on any difficulty... Give some examples if you need more clear answer.
     
  3. craney1987

    craney1987 Warlord

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    I feel a lack of specific direction. The cities i have, I've mostly plundered from someone else. When to build settlers, what districts to build. On king I basically
    a) rarely build settlers because war
    b) tend to either be building armies or building buildings, but with no real direction or aim as it's not required.
    c) throw my units around with out care because the Ai are squishy.
    I know early game is important, and feel I have a good understanding of setting myself up in the first two eras. But after that it kinda just feels like guessing my way to victory.
     
  4. Balkans

    Balkans Warlord

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    When to build settlers? - First part of the game, you want to squeeze them as greedy as possible. After early game, depending on the state of the map and opponents if i see that i have extra amenity and my cities are kinda slowed with population growth i go crazy on new cities. Also if you see potential amenities around, you can go for new city even if you currently don't have amenity. All of this depends on your vision of what you actually want to achieve.
    What districts to build? - This is also an easy answer but mostly depends on what you want to do. Do you want something asap, or do you want sacrifice something now and explode later. Example: You go early industrial, so you can build cheaper and faster, or you go science because you want to grab something sooner rather than later. It all depends on situation, map and your overall goal. But it's no brainer what you will emphasize every game - trade routes, science & culture as needed, production will always pay off if you see good opportunity to improve it, and what you will really emphasize depends if you early decide to pursue certain victory condition.
    a) If you take good cities, obviously you don't need settlers.
    b)Build army with goal - just enough to be safe - just enough to take something juicy, you don't want to invest in army that is overpowered and not used. You want everything with some purpose in your empire. While you don't have a victory on horizon you want more of everything, and your appetite is insatiable. More, more, more, and with time you will learn what risks are too much to stay alive. :)
    c)If you have decent 2/3 of game, from your text i think you do, no need to sweat about how to finish the game. You just do analysis of map and opponents and realize which victory is the closest or most fun for you, and you go full retard for it. It's an easy guess how to win if you had a decent game early/mid.
    Good luck, but i encourage you to test some ideas, you will see what works and what does not. Also, min maxing is the way to play this game if have the nerve for that style. Every gold coin matters, and no city quest is unattainable.
     
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  5. craney1987

    craney1987 Warlord

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    everything you say make sense. I think you're right from the first post too. Overthinking. I think I just need to stop and spend a little more time ad you say analysing. I think that may be the overarching bad habit I've picked up. Just picking without ever really thinking.
     
  6. Rosty K

    Rosty K King

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    I find lower difficulties more enjoyable actually, and why should enjoying all sides of the game (taking that detour, building that pretty wonder, sticking a city in a useless but beautiful location, or actually trying that legendary 'pikeman' unit in action) be called 'bad habits' ? Higher difficulties are a bit restrictive in terms of what different styles of play you can get away with, and I don't like it...
     
  7. DJ_Tanner

    DJ_Tanner Emperor

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    Bad habits only if you play with a pre-determined style in mind. However, lower difficulties are not some bad thing. You should play where you are comfortable with the challenge, in the end if you are having fun then you are playing on the correct difficulty setting.
     
  8. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Skill curve is an incredibly weird and personal thing. What works for some, might not work for others.

    For example, playing Beyond Earth upped my general competency at Civilisation games, despite that game being recognised for being easier to succeed at than the higher echelons of Civilisation 5. I frequently played only up to Gemini, and as a baseline this raised my competency in general in Civ 5 (and later Civ 6) to the default Prince, instead of Chieftain that I used to sit at. I primarily play games for enjoyment, and I simply couldn't enjoy the game at higher difficulties. I can now, and it's weird.i
     
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  9. cazaderonus

    cazaderonus Actual Dad.

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    To answer to your first post, yes i think lower difficulties give bad habits. But that's kinda true for any game because it makes you overconfident and there's a large tolerance for subpar plays. Prince or below is really here just to allow some "empire building" games, and learn the mecanics if you're very new to the Civ series. King is there to tip your toes. Emperor is imo a good difficulty to really learn how to focus your game and avoid unnecessary things. The AI can be surprisingly "good" but remains manageable and you can do some damage control in case you made a mistake

    As for the part i quoted, you have the answer right there. The early stages of the game (till medieval era let's say) are for exploring your immediate surrounding and stretch out to find all civilizations, and build the infrastructure of your empire (settling\capturing cities ; building basic districts aka Commercial Hub, a campus or two, a theater district or two) so you can then pick "a specific direction".

    Once you have a solid base to build on. Say 10 cities with some population, commercial hubs pretty much everywhere, trade routes up and running, it's time to choose how to win. If you conquered cities, then the districts you captured might choose for you. If you got 5 cities with a campus, might as well go science. If you settled all your cities and have lots of mountains for good campuses, well then again science makes sense. Got no mountains, weaker production but high appeal tiles and coasts ? Might be a good pick to go for a cultural. Got leftovers of your first war campaign and remaining civs look weak, just crush them.

    It's a balance. You need to play on your strong suit, and still build a little of the rest because it's always usefull.
     
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  10. MaximusPlatypus

    MaximusPlatypus O.O

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    Bad habits, if your primary concern is optimal play. Sometimes I liked to do things, because reasons... like going Honor or Piety in Civ 5. Or making the worst empire I could muster and trying to win a Diplo victory....
     
  11. Amrunril

    Amrunril Emperor

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    It all depends what you consider a "bad habit". Civ is a game that can be played on many difficulty levels, or against humans with their own variety of playstyles and skill levels. Likewise it can be played on various map types and sizes and at different game speeds. All of these variations reward and punish different strategies (some more harshly than others), and none of them is inherently better than the others (or even a universally accepted baseline for forum discussions). If your goal is to succeed with a particular group of settings, the best way is to practice and experiment as close to those settings as possible, but there's nothing wrong with switching things up for variety's sake, just as long as you remember that things will be different when you go back.
     
  12. stormerne

    stormerne is just a Retired Moderator

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    Rosty is on to something here...

    What's a bad habit? I'd suggest it's one that interferes with your enjoyment of the game. Yeah, so you many enjoy it more if you win. But Civ offers a great richness of experience, and sometimes you need time and breathing space to enjoy its subtleties and nuances.

    Guess what? You can pick up bad habits at higher difficulties, not just lower ones. You might ask, "How could winning consistently at Deity possibly indicate bad habits?!" And I would suggest that if doing so became either a jaded rote experience or an overly stressful one, then it would definitely indicate bad habits because you were no longer enjoying the game as you potentially could.

    As Garfield the cat once said, "Remember, as you walk down the path of life, stop and eat the flowers along the way."
     
  13. ShakaKhan

    ShakaKhan King

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    You can get away with some things on lower levels that you can't get away with on higher levels, particularly wonder-hording and having a lower ratio of military:rexing and development. While what works on deity will work on lower levels, it may not be the most effective strategy.

    I suggest mixing up the difficulty level you play at. Not suggesting that you drop to settler once in a while, but rather find the difficulty that challenges you enough to make you feel engaged without what you consider to be an unacceptable level of frustration, and play at that level as well as the two levels below it. Personally, I've beaten deity a couple of times but don't like playing at that level; with my skillset there's too much dependence on variables that are out of my control (who neighbors are, what the land yields, etc,) or making decisions based on manipulating game mechanics (each city builds a builder within one turn of completion using Ilkum then waits for serfdom, saving a small fortune then switching to either land surveyors or professional army for one turn (because I kept a leaf civic on the back burner) and spending it all, locking down a district tile the very turn every city hits pop size 1, 4, 7, etc and then switching back) for diety games to be consistently enjoyable. Immortal is where I can win every game if I focus on optimal strategy and stop to micromanage a bunch of min/maxing. So I generally play King, Emperor and Immortal, depending on what mood I'm in. If I want to just sandbox without any direction and still do whatever I want and make some directional decisions too late, I'll go King-play sloppy, relax, and have fun, although it's usually not that immersive. If I want both immersion and freedom, I'll go Emperor, but honestly I have to handicap myself a bit (do things like turn-clicking until turn 10 before settling or exploring) or else the mid-game becomes one-sided and the late game is just going through the motions. If I want full immersion in a game but sacrifice some of the freedom and flexibility, which often means not being able to do some things that I want but don't need (founding a religion, building pyramids), I'll go Immortal,
     
  14. Eliminator_Sr

    Eliminator_Sr Prince

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    If your ultimate goal is to win at the highest difficulty level then yes playing on lower difficulty levels can teach you 'bad' habits in the sense that your opening builds are probably not ideal . The main difference is really in the first 3 eras and as Balkans mentioned it becomes much more necessary to build military units early. I think the key is to just play aggressively to keep pressure on the AI and find opportune moments to take cities after they have built some districts for you. This is much more efficient than building them yourself because of all the bonuses your opponents get and you will automatically get a bunch of Eurekas as you acquire stuff which helps you keep up in the tech tree. I find myself more and more just skipping builders and settlers almost altogether on Immortal and Deity and just churning out units to capture the nearest cities and expansion units (more of these of higher difficulty). Once you get enough cities then there isn't too much of a difference - mainly that it's tougher to get wonders and the AI will ramp up more quickly in culture and science (to a lesser degree) so just be ready to take the fight to them if they start pulling away. If you focus on maximizing your empire in the mid-game then you can minimize the chance of an AI pulling away - sometimes I get a little too content with my early empire and get into builder mode instead of continuing to push hard for victory so be careful of that. On lower difficulties you can take more risks so I'll generally drop difficulty if I want to test out some unorthodox strategies or try to win in X number of turns.
     
  15. Kyro

    Kyro Prince

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    You know something is wrong with game difficulty when doing stuff like building wonders and founding religions can be considered "bad habits".
     
  16. Photi

    Photi Governor

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    lots of good advice here. i would add that, for me at least, after not playing civ for six or seven years, it's been highly beneficial to actually sit and study the tech and civic trees. to me the trees are instructions to the game in flow chart form. before i settle my first city, i'll open up the respective trees and study them. each time i am prompted to choose a new tech or civic, i open up the tree to make a considered choice instead of choosing whatever's been boosted or showing in the drop down menu.

    at the start of the game, i'll have some idea of mid to late game tech or civics goals, let's say gunpowder and flight. so i'll click on gunpowder in the tech tree, and i'll study its path, and then i,ll click on flight and study that path, paying attention to eurekas needed along the way, and then i'll compare the overlaps between gunpowder and flight, and determine where i want to pursue the two paths simultaneously, then determine at which point i want to head straight for say gunpowder before doing anything more along the flight tech path. but if i focus on one, the other or both paths too much, there will be some key techs i'll miss along the way not included in those two particular paths. i spent the first several months of vi chasing eurekas to determine my path, and it's not the way to go, at all. i'd say that more than anything else was/is a bad habit of mine. don't let chance eurkeas in the game drive your gameplay, make your own eurekas. this may sound obvious to the OP and everyone else, but studying the trees has helped me to focus big time throughout the game.

    also, know your units, what they are good for, their class and upgrade paths, know the techs and resources needed for any given unit, and know which of all those you want to use during the game. this will add focus. i play as Persia a lot, and at first i was loving the Immortals, but then after a bit, i started getting really down on them because they are melee, but yet they are ranged and can't smash city walls with a battering ram , and on top of that swordsmen aren't available as Persia, so what are immortals good for other than inducing Legion envy? so i was looking at the tech tree, studying the units, and it was like whoa, eureka!, pair the immortals up with heavy chariots and a battering ram (none of which require a resource) and you're good to go. stirrups is on the way to gunpowder for upgrades to knights and muskets, don't even really need to pursue machinery or build crossbows (ok, lumbermills and xbows for city defense come in handy), don't need to build archers for that matter (even if the tech's a must for knights). opening the game with several warriors provides a great defense until they can be upgraded to immortals. so that's another way i have increased gameplay focus.

    i also like to know which victory i will pursue before i even set-up the game. that helps me focus, but i know some folks like to keep that option for open for a while.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
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  17. craney1987

    craney1987 Warlord

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    all posts should contain garfield quotes

    this is one of the things I'm getting at. There should be a natural progression of difficulty. Not just now you can found a religion because difficulty. Step up a level. Now you're setting yourself back because you should have been focussed elsewhere this early.
    this doesn't feel like natural progression of difficulty so much as teaching you bad habits from the beginning.
    don't get me wrong though,I have no answers on how to balance this.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2017
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  18. Abraxis

    Abraxis Emperor

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    If anything I think playing on higher difficulties teaches you bad habits. I prefer immortal or even emperor sometimes and trying to develop peacefully, beating the AI just by being more efficient than them. That is harder than playing Deity and conquering your neighbours. In doing so, you're effectively turning the difficulty down several levels. It's basically playing King except you have to take over your neighbours by classical if you want to keep playing.

    Ancient wars are clearly something we're supposed to engage in, but taking out all your neighbours' steroid grown deity cities is cheesy. I still enjoy Deity sometimes, but it's by no means the ideal for how the game aught to be played. It is broken by design in order to offer the highest reasonable level of challenge, but in doing so it really just exaggerates some of the game's current balance issues and exploits.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  19. wiggawuu

    wiggawuu Warlord

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    I haven't found a religion in a long time. Why? because it impossible at immortal and deity. So, therefore I learn to completely ignore.

    I don't even build wonders anymore.
     
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  20. cazaderonus

    cazaderonus Actual Dad.

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    I played one game of emperor when CiVI started and decided that i would take a look at religions in another game. Except i went up to deity right after that game. So i actually never founded a religion in CiVI yet :D

    I guess i'll get my first when i'll do a Saladin game eventually
     
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