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Foreign Trade Routes

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Werty1066, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Werty1066

    Werty1066 Chieftain

    Apr 17, 2012
    I was thinking the other day what addition I would like most from CiV's upcoming expansion, Gods and Kings.
    I decided that what CiV needs is foreign trade routes. This is a feature mysteriously absent from the latest release in the Civilization series. It's even more baffling when you consider how foreign trade has been so crucial to civilizations past and present. I believe that a foreign trade mechanic can fitted into the game and deliver much more interesting gameplay and give players more incentive to be a peaceful trading empire .
    First off I believe that foreign trade should be available to any civilization that has signed a trade agreement with another civ. A trade agree will be available to all civs from the start of the game. You can sign it with any met civilization so long as you are at peace and have open borders. A trade agreement means a civilization will be allowed to gain gold from trade routes connected between their cities and those of their trade partners. This trade agreement also opens up opportunities to import and export. You may not trade resources with a civ you have not signed a trade agreement with.

    Another idea that goes along with this is the ability to transport food from city to city. If you want to build a city for production in a hilly area you have to also find somewhere where their is a good source of food. Instead though you can build many agricultural cities that produce food to feed these production or specialist cities. All moved food though loses 15% of its cargo. This penalty is negated however upon the discovery of refrigeration. A trade route is necessary to trade food.
    Keeping with the foreign trade route theme food can be exported and imported to or from other civilizations. Gold can be given or spent for extra food.
    Any comments or ideas to improve this idea are welcome.
  2. Nevyn

    Nevyn Warlord

    Jan 2, 2012
    Oh so you decided that? Are you an executive producer in the game design team?

    Jokes aside. I also found that the lack of foreign trade routes makes the game 1 dimensional. In CIV BTS you could covet your neighbors cities but come to the conclusion that the trade generated was more valuable to you than conquest. You had to make strategic decisions. In CiV this aspect is brain dead. You want their cities as puppets and they want your land. That's it.

    I also miss border culture expansion. Having a Great Artist culture bomb is a nice feature, but that borders are so very static is no fun and removed a huge strategic aspect of the game. In BTS you might think your newly founded city should be a production city, but a cultural neighbor thinks other vice and churns out cultural buildings, and so you just have to follow suite or have him/her engulf you. I thought that made for a more dynamic game.
  3. Raneman

    Raneman Warlord

    Mar 12, 2010
    As a long time foreign trade route advocate, I approve of this.
  4. Ajuga

    Ajuga Prince

    Apr 17, 2012
    It would indeed be nice to have that in the game.
  5. Brawndo

    Brawndo Warlord

    Jul 30, 2010
    I think it's surreal that we even have to request something so basic. It just shows how many steps backward the series took with CiV. It's as if Americans put together a petition saying it would be nice to have women's suffrage back after having it for nearly 100 years after the USA was "streamlined" by a young new president.
  6. arioch99

    arioch99 Chieftain

    Sep 9, 2003
    I'm agree with you. For me foreign trade route is one of the things that I like to see the most in Gods & kings.

    It is non sense that Civilization cannot trade with each other like in the real world.

    An alternative can be to add a trade aggreement in diplomacy that give a gold bonus to both side, to represent the trade between countries.
  7. nokmirt

    nokmirt Emperor

    Feb 14, 2009
    Iowa USA
    Sure, why not have trade routes? The devs will need more to add if they make a 2nd expansion. I would probably rather have trade routes than corporations. If they do add corporations, hopefully they make them fun and interesting. I did not care for them too much in CiIV.

    I am a fan of ETW and other total war games. The other thing the devs could do is add an idea similar to trade spots or hubs, that you can go to on the map and try to keep control of. These hubs would have specific luxury resources, which reward you with happiness and cash. This would give navies a whole new importance. Of course, protecting trade routes could do the same. A ship unit called a commerce raider (which privateer could upgrade to) should also be developed if we see foreign trade routes added.
  8. KillingMeSoftly

    KillingMeSoftly Warlord

    Sep 11, 2011
    I'd also like to see trade routes. Currently because roads cost 1 GPT for each tile, there is no reason at all to create a road leading to another civilization. Well, unless you count being able to move your units faster to their city when you declare war. Even if its as simple as a diplomatic bonus and/or a little extra gold per turn, it would be a nice investment.
  9. Bechhold

    Bechhold King

    Dec 27, 2008
    Would love to see this.
  10. NJC

    NJC Chieftain

    Apr 27, 2012

    great ideas, but what if the concept of both protectionism and free trade were introduced for 1)stratagy resource section 2)luxury resource section and 3) a newly designated necessities/food or clothing etc resource section.

    these resources shouldnt be traded just by a players decisions in foreign policy but by economic policies which as technology adapts, more options are opened, however, an alternative for every economic policy decision should always be available, otherwise it just become too bland

    this would transform the gameplay economic section as well as technology because even civs with less natural resources could arguably if they kept protectionism up and had good tech, become in the future a leader of free trade because of their own economic powerhouse of productivity on certain goods or services

    Germany, Japan, USA and Britain are reknown for having done this in economic history

    however, economic ideologies should be restrained, many are too complex for players to properly control and should be limited to certain advantages and disadvantages eg,

    starting economy
    <primitive bartering economy> normal civ economy, nation leaders choose what resources should be traded but fear that during wars they'll be quickly eliminated if they dont keep a strong domestic economy and hence rarely trade resources unless they're in ridiculous surplus,

    then ancient to classical economy
    (good) rapid construction, short term boosts of growth,
    (bad) hinders technological research (eg Alexandria under Ptolemy produced the first steam engine but never even attempted to use it for production as slaves were so cheap instead it was the royal courts toy), unhappiness due to high unemployment/(see roman history bread and circuses) and population rises too quickly for food to control

    then from classical to medieval economy
    stable income, happiness isnt as big of an issue, production gains a higher boost and growth rate than slavery, stable population growth

    as the game moves on to the renaissance
    <Mercantilism>, higher immediate taxation rate and population rate, less harm from massive fluctuations in trade/the loss of a trade route due to war or foreign nations policies (good) but restrained growth and less longterm income for the state(bad)

    other option from renaissance
    <laizess faire>,
    (good) large growth, productivity and longterm state income bonus, also, ifa nation can specialize in a certain resource (eg, has heaps of iron or banannas) than massive boost to growth, productivity and longterm state income
    (bad) but unstable, if trade routes are suddenly lost or roads connecting them or sudden wars with former trade nations or fellow trade nations destruction, than horrible affect of growth and productivity, short term income state lower

    then a choice between the 2 big heads of 19th-21st century economic ideologies
    (good) fairly stable, economy may quickly adapt from peace to war economy and prone to rapid increases of growth in a shortperiod of time, takes minimal affect from sudden international economic changes (good)
    (bad) but longterm growth and production difficulty, corruption, unable to adapt to technological changes
    <capitalism>, the opposite to socialism except economic growth has a series rather than short term rapidly planned economic growth, also, less micromanagement should be needed for this option

    this system of positive and negative affects for economic ideologies/policies specifically for trade only (which should replace the old system were single resources were traded by nations leaders as if they controlled all resources which unless it was socialist, isnt true)
    also, players can adapt their economies to both their playing style and situations in the game, making it all the more enjoyable
  11. Ozzy88

    Ozzy88 Chieftain

    Aug 29, 2011

    I really like the idea of having specialist cities supplied with food through trade routes by agricultural cities, that is such an awesome idea when you consider the strategic elements that could unfold.

    Civ 1 has 3-4 cities stemming from their capital that are used for heavy production and GP, these cities including the capital are fed through 4-5 agricultural cities along the border that focus primarily on food and defense.

    Civ 2 declares war on Civ 1and then systematically cuts off the 4-5 agritcultural cities from Civ 1's main hub, forcing them into starvation. Civ 2 eventually moves deeper behind enemy lines and captures the starving cities from Civ 1.

    The only problem is that these specific trade route ideas start to get a little "simmy", which is not what Civ is about.
  12. woodshadows

    woodshadows King

    Jan 12, 2011
    Foreign trade routes really need to be added back in, as well as cultural border growth.. vassals could be nice as well, if they were done a little better than in civ iv. Finally, in my christmas wish list, I'd like to see lump sum gold trades abolished completely, except in the case of buying a unit. I don't like the fact that I can either abuse a system by selling lux for loads of gold then delcaring war, or even unintentionally selling lux/strategic resources for lump sum gold and the AI declares on me the very next turn, I keep the gold they get no benefit, changing to only per-turn gold deals would fix this. An ability to lump sum buy or sell units however could be interesting, perhaps only allowed while in a defensive pact and only units which are outdated for the player selling it. So if you are playing America and have a defensive pact with India and you have some B17s sitting around you for some reason decide you don't feel like upgrading to stealth bombers, you could choose to sell them to India instead upon researching Stealth technology, maybe selling for 50% of the cost of purchasing that unit.
  13. OmniPotent42

    OmniPotent42 King

    Jun 25, 2012
    I don't see anything wrong with lump-sums, there just needs to be more of a diplomatic penalty. And if you ever declare peace, you should have to pay it back. It should be twice as bad to take money and DOW than to just DOW.
  14. woodshadows

    woodshadows King

    Jan 12, 2011
    that sounds like overcomplicating diplomacy.. and we all know firaxis has a hard time tweaking diplomacy in positive ways ;)

    think in real life, what business/person/government would ever make the decision to send say a million gold coins to a foreign land/government/company/person in exchange for a product being sent in small instalments over the course of let's say 10 years? Nobody would do that because it's a bad deal. Generally a rational person/government/business will want to hold onto as much money at a time as possible, to use for investments in other areas and because nobody wants to get screwed over by the terms of a deal not being honoured. I don't think a diplo hit would be a big enough penalty considering on the higher levels you often exist in a state of permanent hostility with most other civs just for having an army a 1/10th of the size of everyone elses.
  15. ThisNameIsTooLo

    ThisNameIsTooLo Emotion Lord

    Sep 14, 2012
  16. Ikael

    Ikael King

    Dec 2, 2005
    While I agree with the general premise of this tread (that foreign trade routes are needed addition, and that there should be an option for supplying a city with food and production from foreign cities) I really think that the current Civ V's model of economy is ill - suited for such a thing to be implemented, I fear.

    Some time ago, I thougth about an economical system revolving completely around trade routes, and I would love to see something like that on Civ VI:

    1- Bring back trade. Made it both tile - dependant and population - dependant (say, one trade point per popullation unit + whatever yields on your terrain)

    2- Make science steam from trade (say, 2 trade points = 1 science point), but make gold steam from trade routes rather than commerce "per se"

    3- Introduce a limit of trade routes per city to avoid trade routes that encourages city spamming.

    4- And now, for the trade routes theirselves....

    In order to create a trade route, you should expend the trade points of the city as if they were movement units in order to stablish trade routes between cities: you will need far more trade points to traverse abrupt terrain like hills and mountains than rivers and sea tiles, for example. That would have tremendous implications regarding city placement: having a well comunicated, accesible city (river connected, coastatal, etc) will matter far more than its inmediate tile surroundings, open borders and war blockades even on distant lands could disrupt your civilization as much as a direct invasion, and accesibility will matter more than hex - counting, for it will be easier to connect, two cities 6 hexes appart sharing a river than, say, two cities separated only by 2 hexes but with mountains between them. Also, coastatal cities will be need in order to make your trade route enter into the ocean (say, you cannot "embark a trade route" in whichever coastatal point that could fit your needs, it need to pass trought a city)

    Trade routes will yield gold, of course, their profit depending on the following:
    50% will depend of your city's size
    50% will depend of the distance from your city
    Foreing trade routes will yield a whooping double income of gold.
    And most importantly: becoming the destination or point of entry for other civilization's trade routes will generate revenues as well - you may want to specialize your city in producing food and production in order to become a more interesting trading partner and hub (keep in mid that the limit of trade routes per city will force you to compete for the favour of several other cities)

    Trade routes will also yield food and production: your city will recieve 1 food per improved food resource of the cities that it connects with trade routes, and it will recieve 1 additional production per improved strategic resource and metal - based luxury resource (gold and silver)of the city that it connects with. Needless to say, certain buildings, wonders and social policies / goverments will increase the food and production yielded by connecting trade routes or by being the destination of them. Trade routes could perhaps even generate further rewards such as science and culture, too, with the proper wonder / set of policies at hand.

    Such as system would create a series of very real life -like implications:

    - Inmediate, near tiles won't be as defining when placing a city, whereas places like straights, river banks and coastal spots. The riches of a city are of little use if you cannot transport them or acess to them easily
    - Cities could complement each other, creating cities specialized in providing production and food to others
    - Rely on your own cities to supply yourself with a stable supply food and production, while relying in international commerce to generate gold due to increased "foregin bonuses"
    - A way more interdependente world, more prone to butterfly effects: while some wars will not be simply worth enough the economic hit, you may need to extend your army and influence far beyond your inmediate borders in order to open frontiers and markets, securing your trade routes and opening new ones
  17. Lordleoz

    Lordleoz Prince

    Jul 15, 2012
    Shanghai, China
    I think there already are foreign trade routes in G&K.

    When you trade a resource for another resource or GPT from another civilization, a foreign trade route is formed. It's just in a different concept from domestic trade routes.

    One thing is to add, though. It can be nice if harbors and seaports can enhance the bonus of resources traded from another civilization.
  18. ThisNameIsTooLo

    ThisNameIsTooLo Emotion Lord

    Sep 14, 2012
    Not every exchange between nations is government-sanctioned.
  19. awesome

    awesome Meme Lord

    Dec 29, 2009
    behind you
    I agree that foreign trade routes should be re-added, but I see what lordleoz is saying. The foreign trade in this game is just done manually, rather than the combination of manual and automatic that we had in civ 4
  20. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

    Mar 11, 2012
    north of Steilacoom, WA
    Not only is ALL the trade in Civ V manual, but it is episodic and sporadic and only represents a tiny fraction of the trade that should be taking place historically. In fact, adding 'organic' continuous trade and Trade Routes to the game could add more than just another Gold source:

    1. Make Trade Routes visible on the map. As soon as trade is opened by contact (embassy, scout, etc) between Civs or City States, a Trade Route appears between them. If a Barbarian, pirate, or enemy unit sits on the Trade route, they may cut the Gold output for a turn or more from the Route. Clearing 'pirate' ships away from trade routes would get you Diplomatic points with every City State or Civ that has trade.
    2. Wherever the Trade Route changes from land to sea, river to coast, or two or more Trade routes converge or diverge, a village would form. This could grow into a city if the trade is heavy enough, which could either be absorbed into a Civ or, if left alone long enough, turn into a new City State - probably Mercantile, but not 100% certain.
    3. During war between the parties in a Trade Route, that route disappears - the trade didn't stop, but the government stopped getting its cut until peace is re-established.
    4. Along Trade Routes, more than just Gold will flow: ideas cultural, religious and technical, so that the spread of Religion, Technology and Social Policies could all be speeded up or enabled by having a Trade Route. Don't like that, as many civilizations didn't throughout history: you can become a 'Hermit Kingdom'. However, one of the Peace Treaty offerings (or Demands) would be to (Re)Establish Trade Immediately.

    In other words, visible, organic Foreign Trade Routes could add to the range of Trade, Gold, Diplomatic, Technical, Religious and Social Policy options available to the player. Not a bad haul for a single change to the game...

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