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Does the spaceport and space victory need an overhaul?

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by kryat, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. kryat

    kryat Chieftain

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    One of the staples of the Civilization franchise has been the science victory where you build your rocket to go colonize somewhere new in the stars. The series first sent you the nearest star and lately has sent the player to the more culturally relevant mission of colonizing Mars. However, I can’t help but feeling like there’s always been a missed oppotunity to have a real space program that has an impact empire-wide, except maybe in Beyond Earth.

    In VI, we get a dedicated district to build space units, but it’s only needed for the handful of missions that are prerequisites for the science victory. I feel like the game would be more interesting in the late game if the spaceport could be used to augment other playstyles, like having communication satellites that boost your culture, tourism, or gold output. Or military satellites to better spy on your opponents. Or weather satellites that boost growth in all cities (or warn of disasters, if they ever implmenented that feature).

    Part of the problem is that by the time you unlock the spaceport, most players will beeline for the science victory. I think the game is too short in this era, as far as science goes. The jump from the moon missions to the Mars missions should have more space between them. I feel like the game is missing something that represents the years we've spent sending probes to other planets, each vastly more sophisticated than the last and to increasingly challenging targets. Or the years spent building Hubble, the ISS, or the Jim Webb telescope, all long before we could seriously start thinking about colonizing other worlds.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Kyro

    Kyro Chieftain

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    I think the Science Victory is too passive and gives the winning player the default upper hand since nobody can really stop him/her apart from an invasion.

    The fact that great people can rush out space projects quickly on top of late game chops renders any investment in city infrastructure and population very underpowered.

    To win a science victory, you don't need good cities, you just need as many of them as possible and a strong military. A strong military facilitates the acquisition of many cities as conquering is easy. This specific combination makes any other strategy quite pointless because it outclasses anything else in terms of output, offensive capability and defensive capability.

    Good city placement? Economical Investment? Industrial Powerhouses? Diplomacy? Long-term advantages? All meaningless and insignificant.
     
  3. Art Morte

    Art Morte Chieftain

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    Yes, I mostly agree with the OP. The science victory is very simple and straightforward, just a matter of spending a ton of hammers on projects that affect nothing else (well, apart from revealing the whole map). I rarely finish the games where I find myself going for SV.

    However, I would argue that all the victory conditions are quite simple - and for whatever reason I'm finding winning altogether in Civ6 more boring than in 4 and 5. All the victory conditions have this feel to me that they simply have to be there for the game to end, but they don't really feel like a meaningful ending to me, if you know what I mean. Most of the time I find myself caring about expanding my empire and building it up to be "nice" more interesting than really pursuing any of the victory conditions. I do wish all the victory conditions would have more depth to them.
     
  4. Japper007

    Japper007 Chieftain

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    I mostly think the projects are way to expensive, aside from chop abuse or lucking out on the Engineers/Scientists that give +spaceport production, it can quickly become a thirty turn slog. But I see the victories more as a way to quickly close out an already won game (like the Science victory in civ 4 and earlier titles) than a goal on it's own, so I might view them quite differently than others on this forum. If you have the entire tech tree unlocked it should at that point also be trivial to run over everyone anyways, so the game might as well provide you a quick way out. This is coming mostly from a multiplayer perspective where slow victories are agonizing if everyone already knows who won +- 30 turns before the actual "victory" arrives (civ 5 was also really bad at this)
     
  5. kryat

    kryat Chieftain

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    The question then becomes, how should they system be fixed? I think science is a good path to have for victory, but it does need tweaked.

    My suggestions:
    1) Reduce passive science output from population to half of current value. You should get minimal technological advancement without spending effort on campuses and buildings for campuses.

    2) Add a “space great person” (an astronaut) you earn from using spaceports. You can only earn these points within spaceports when you are building units at the spaceport (more on that later), or when you are doing projects at the spaceport (also more on that later). You must possess a space great person in order to be eligible to construct any rocket components, excluding satellites. The astronaut must board the craft for it to be able to launch, and may be assassinated by spies or enemy military units, forcing you to earn a new astronaut. You also lose your astronaut whenever you complete a launch with them. They are not true great people; they’re more like spies or archaeologists, but it’s important that they cannot be produced through production. There’s also a cap on how many astronauts you can have, but you can raise the cap through buildings at the spaceports (like the R&F traderoute system).

    3) Spaceports have buildings that unlock different tiers of units and earn more astronaut points when in use. These also unlock citizen slots who earn astronaut points even faster. There are also mutually exclusive building selections that either help build satellite units faster or earn astronaut points faster.

    4) Introduce satellite system present in Beyond Earth. In BE, satellites could be launched into “orbit” onto a tile layer above the ground that provided benefits to the player. I mentioned these at the beginning of the thread. You can build several different types, depending on what spaceport buildings you have built. There’s also a variant called “space wonders” which grant huge bonuses. One of these is the “GPS Network” that grants a permanent +2 movement to all types of units. Another is the “Hubble Space Telescope” that earns lots of astronaut points without requiring district projects to be underway.

    5) The Spaceport district project, “astronaut training” is the only way to earn astronauts. You earn astronaut points every turn you have this project active, but the project has infinite build cost, so it cannot be “completed” or chopped to “completion”.

    6) Three manned rocket missions are required for victory: Orbital Flight, Mission to the Moon, Mission to Mars. Each stage requires more 1 additional rocket components and 1 more astronaut, (1/1, 2/2, 3/3).
     
  6. Japper007

    Japper007 Chieftain

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    This would only serve to make population even more irrelevant then it already is. The situation in-game is already as you describe: a 1 pop city in the desert with a Campus produces more science than a 20 pop city in a fertile river valley without one.

    IMHO pop should be made to matter more not less. You could do this f.e. by making the Campus buildings a percentage modifier, which would achieve the same effect of slowing down tech (as you won't get insane science yields until you have a lot of population and cities) while making infrastructure and growth more important.

    I like the idea of the Sattelites a lot though, as it is there are no big ways of improving yields after the late Industrial Era (when you unlock Stock Exchanges, Labs and Power Plants)
     
  7. acluewithout

    acluewithout Chieftain

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    I love the idea of the science victory - you take a people from pre-agricultural society to the stars - but it is a little dry. I don’t think the game needs much to make science victory to make it more interesting.

    My (limited, random, and ill formed) thoughts:

    - The different techs or achievements you need to unlock should give you more. Launching a satellite allowing for BNW orbital play has already been discussed. But it could be as simple as giving you new projects that when completed give you a bonus - eg “spy satellites” or “gps” projects which give you an additional spy slot or more movement. Maybe a few unique units or buildings could be unlocked too.

    - As you get to robotics etc. some of these projects / units should feel a bit more ‘future tech’. Going to Mars is basically science fiction- the game should foreshadow that a bit. I mean seriously, robotics just gives you +1 to pastures? A bit anti-climactic.

    - Lastly, I think some of the steps / techs should give other civs random eurekas. It would make these achievements more dramatic (because you’ve actually suddenly impacted other civs), it would be a nice soft catch-up mechanism, and would make a interesting choice for someone going science because you might potentially boost your opponents.
     

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