Empire Division (aka Civil War)

Olson

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Civ I's "civil war" mechanic was fun and with Civ IV's Religion, Culture, and Espionage mechanics, it's not difficult imagining a civil war like element being brought back into the game in some way. To do so, however, would be the challenge of making it 1) a fun; not frustrating challenge to manage, 2) difficult to exploit, 3) organic, 4) uncommon, and 5) not unprecedented in actual history.

Using the term "civil war" limits the defining characteristics of what the mechanic might be. The assumption of "empire division", instead, might be that expansive empires tend to collapse under the military, administrative, and economic weight needed to maintain its own cohesiveness while resisting the racial, cultural, and religious differences within it; which tend to pull away from the empire's traditional, original core. Expansive empires could break apart into two or many and either peacefully gradual or violently abrupt under varying and complex circumstances.

Unlike the game's victory conditions, which are "this one or that one", an Empire Division mechanic might be "some of this, some of that, but mostly those". Then a 'means test' applied to those parts of the empire with the weakest attraction to or strongest repellant from the empire's core when all the prerequisite conditions are met.

[Edit: Civ I's "civil war" mechanic was fun and with Civ IV's Religion, Culture, and Espionage mechanics, it's not difficult imagining a civil war like element being brought back into the game in some way. What do you think? ]
 

Drakarska

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ok, so do you have a question somewhere in that post? making an observation? looking for a mod with those components? There's actually a few good mods that have the civil war/breakaway civ's components.
 

lymond

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Rev DCM has been around for a long time and does pretty much what you describe. It has been incorporated by many modders into various large popular modpacks. I usually turn off the core features of Rev as I don't want to deal with that aspect, but I can see it's value to some.

Also, there some mod component in some mods that adds a "Mastery" victory condition, which is a combination of victory conditions.
 
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The big challenge with making a revolution fun is that most players like to see their empires grow and expand endlessly, always accumulating more stuff, whether it's land, culture, money, power, or whatever. A major setback like a revolution, especially if there is any random element to it, would be a major turnoff for these kinds of players.

And I think some random element may be required to ensure your second and fourth conditions--it is much more exploitable if the event can be predicted with absolute accuracy, and for it to be uncommon it either requires extraordinary circumstances that would not occur in most games or there needs to be a random roll.
 

The Diocletian

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Maybe a stability feature like in Rhye's and Fall? Maybe slightly less punishing, it could work. If you stability dips, you start having cities declare independence/you have a civil war, where most of you cities flip to the Independents?
 

Olson

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The big challenge with making a revolution fun is that most players like to see their empires grow and expand endlessly, always accumulating more stuff, whether it's land, culture, money, power, or whatever. A major setback like a revolution, especially if there is any random element to it, would be a major turnoff for these kinds of players.

And I think some random element may be required to ensure your second and fourth conditions--it is much more exploitable if the event can be predicted with absolute accuracy, and for it to be uncommon it either requires extraordinary circumstances that would not occur in most games or there needs to be a random roll.

Thanks for replying. I would go for "it requir[ing] extraordinary circumstances that it would not occur in most games"...unless the player was overly complacent. I'm not a fan of randomness especially of things which
a) undo all that I've worked for,
b) I had no prior warning with the time to mitigate it,
c) the trigger was so simple or the outcome so predictable that it ruined my suspension of disbelief.

Without knowing the ease or difficulty of coding it into the game, as well as, how it might 'break' other mechanics, I'm hesitant to make any specific suggestions on how/what criteria would trigger an "Empire Division" or how it would be implemented.

But, in a general sense, my thought ran along historical lines of why expansive empires don't last and how that might translate into game terms.


For example, OTTOMH, the sum of:
#turns a city is unhappy/unhealthy
+ total controlling civ's culture %
+ whether or not city has state religion
+ pop.pts. used for whipping
+ distance from capital
+ % of pop. with foreign culture
+ comparison of pop.# to #units garrison
+ how controlling civ. acquired city (built v. captured v. gifted)
+ comparison of controlling civ. to other civs. re: wealth, culture, power, etc.

I'm not advocating any particular criteria but showing: the player would be hard pressed to predict or cause one or more cities of an opponent break away while, at the same time, have a general sense if any of their own cities might (especially if a player loses his capital, as in CivI).
 

Olson

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A player option (default: "off") in which revolting citizens contribute points toward a new type of Great Person called a Revolutionary/Rebel Leader (RL).

The creation of a RL requires the player to respond to the RLs demands, which can include eliminating the RL (triggering 'martyrdom'), by choosing from a menu of possible responses. Each subsequent RL can make more or less ambitious demands depending on current empire and city conditions.

In the course of a game, demands could range from building certain city improvements, adopting or avoiding certain civics, granting the city increased indepndence (vassal/city-state status), to granting 'new civ' status to a portion of the player's empire (perhaps with some favourable relationship bonuses).

Some demands, if granted or refused, carry certain modifiers to future RL generation, in either the player's or AIs' civ(s) and/or international diplomacy modifiers.

Empire situations which might influence the menu of options of a RL's demands:
- the extent the city's population has been sacrificed (whipping/starved)
- lack of city infrastructure over time
- civics employed
- [F9] demographics compared to other civs
- city's % cultural identity
- presence of state religion and % of population practicing the state religion vs. other religions present in the city
- international reputation of player/leader
- domestic espionage

Espionage: A player can employ spies for domestic or international espionage to infiltrate revolutionary movements in order to
- reduce/increase accumulated points toward a RL (one time/city/RL)
- reducing/increasing the rate in which RL pts. accumulate (up to a max.%)
- influence the "severity" of the demands a RL makes
 

plastiqe

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Most players play with Events off; there is a lot of room for improvement there. I always thought a Reformation type Event could be added to the game. It would have a chance for triggering in the largest world religion and would split that religion into two sects based on national or geographic lines. Rhye's and Fall - Dawn of Civilization has the Reformation occur when the first Christian civ researches Printing Press which is a super sweet bit of historical accuracy. I think an Event like this could work in the main game to split up those huge Hindu lovefests.

In terms of Revolutions we already have the ability to create a Colony in Civ IV. Revolutions could be like an Event where an area that could be a Colony wants to culture flip to itself. I wouldn't add a visible Great Revolutionary tracker or a new type of Great Person, but the game could keep track of a hidden revolution score the same way it does for war success or war weariness.
 

rah

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Yeah, plastiqe, considering the whining that occurs every time anyone mentions events. I doubt this would be seen anymore favorably.
 

plastiqe

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Well I know I'm in the minority but I play with them on. It seems to me, in a historical game, bad sh*t you can't control should happen sometimes. Look at human history and you'll see it filled with natural disasters or plagues or uprisings or random destruction. If anything Events in Civ IV are a mild representation of historical events. Quests and some of the good ones are fun sometimes too.

If I ever get around to learning how to mod the game, I think I'd do a complete Event overhall mod.
 

Drakarska

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An overhaul would be great> Kind of gets old for a supposed random event to happen fairly consistently over a continuous amount of turns.
 

Olson

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Well I know I'm in the minority but I play with them on. It seems to me, in a historical game, bad sh*t you can't control should happen sometimes. Look at human history and you'll see it filled with natural disasters or plagues or uprisings or random destruction. If anything Events in Civ IV are a mild representation of historical events. Quests and some of the good ones are fun sometimes too.

If I ever get around to learning how to mod the game, I think I'd do a complete Event overhall mod.

I would agree if, for gameplay purposes, they were random but not arbitrary. The player should be given the opportunity to avoid or mitigate events. IE. one can choose not to build a city on a floodplain, next to a volcano, on a beach (tsunami/hurricane), etc.; plagues can be largely prevented/treated, uprisings prevented, etc.

It's a bit unfairly arbitrary to have a marriage alliance occur in the game without the option to prevent it or create it.
 

Drakarska

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My personal fav (not!) is losing my forge due to arson.. Continuously... Over consecutive turns. Seriously, this one chaps my twinkies to the point of where I want to execute my blacksmith (he's obviously doing an insurance scam) and replace him with an undead minion.. Except undead and fire don't mix.. I wonder if I can hire a dwarf from FFH :think:.
 

plastiqe

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Well we're going way off the topic of Revolutions and onto the topic of Events which is not what I meant to do. My original point was that I think Revolutions would work as an Event, and yeah as rah pointed out then you can always just turn Events off. Although I do disagree with the OP's ideas on implementation as I think less is more in this case.

A Revolution Event could be a mechanic to deal with over expansion. Often in Civ you're able to conquer a lot at the beginning and from then on the game is already won. None of the huge empires in history were able to do this, otherwise we might all be speaking Mongolian right now.
 

Olson

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Well we're going way off the topic of Revolutions and onto the topic of Events which is not what I meant to do. My original point was that I think Revolutions would work as an Event, and yeah as rah pointed out then you can always just turn Events off. Although I do disagree with the OP's ideas on implementation as I think less is more in this case.

A Revolution Event could be a mechanic to deal with over expansion. Often in Civ you're able to conquer a lot at the beginning and from then on the game is already won. None of the huge empires in history were able to do this, otherwise we might all be speaking Mongolian right now.

My dislike of events rests primarily with them not only being random but arbitrary, a done deal; in which there's no impending warning, no opportunity to prevent them, and they aren't a punishment or reward of a player's actions.

Whereas, for example, having revolting citizens contribute toward an undesirable "Great Person" and then being able to decide how to let that Great Person impact the game seems fair in that the player can make choices to prevent it's creation, in the first place, and can choose what impact it will have.

The current game mechanics are already in place and used for other, positive Great People so it wouldn't be a major 'game changer' to implement. Depending on how one pursues the game and manages their empire a Rebel Leader may not appear or, probably, not until the later game when there might normally be fewer interesting things with which to deal.

[Edit: Also, the RL would make a 7th GP type to go along with the other 7s in the game]
 
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Events may not be a punishment or reward for player's actions, but they can be influenced by them. If you don't run slavery you don't get slave revolt events is one obvious example. I think the 'quest' type events are influenced by your tech path. Only coastal cities are hit by hurricanes so if you minimize coastal cities you minimize exposure.

The revolution event can be influenced as well. Rather than building towards a 'not so great' person, just have unhappy citizens and other things feed a counter. If a Civ draws the 'revolution event' consult the counter and current circumstances. If you've kept your people happy and healthy and safe the event is minor or even completely benign. If you've whipped your cities to the nub, given them nothing, run obsolete forms of government over your citizens for long periods of time, and half your cities are full of subjugated foreigners or people of the 'lesser faiths' then it could be severe or even catastrophic.
 

Olson

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Events may not be a punishment or reward for player's actions, but they can be influenced by them. If you don't run slavery you don't get slave revolt events is one obvious example. I think the 'quest' type events are influenced by your tech path. Only coastal cities are hit by hurricanes so if you minimize coastal cities you minimize exposure.

The revolution event can be influenced as well. Rather than building towards a 'not so great' person, just have unhappy citizens and other things feed a counter. If a Civ draws the 'revolution event' consult the counter and current circumstances. If you've kept your people happy and healthy and safe the event is minor or even completely benign. If you've whipped your cities to the nub, given them nothing, run obsolete forms of government over your citizens for long periods of time, and half your cities are full of subjugated foreigners or people of the 'lesser faiths' then it could be severe or even catastrophic.

"Chance" cards in Monopoly are only picked if one lands on a certain square. So one shouldn't land on those squares if one doesn't want the card.
 
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"Chance" cards in Monopoly are only picked if one lands on a certain square. So one shouldn't land on those squares if one doesn't want the card.

In Monopoly you have no 'chance' to control what squares you land on. So chance cards, like events, fall where they happen to fall.
 
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