Future of Major DLC for Civilization VII: Expansion or Pass?

Do you prefer GS or NFP type expansions?

  • All large scale DLC should be one drop, GS and RF like.

    Votes: 33 47.1%
  • All large scale DLC should be lengthy and resemble NFP.

    Votes: 6 8.6%
  • There should be a mix of the two options, resembling Civ VI's route.

    Votes: 31 44.3%

  • Total voters
    70

bbbt

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I feel pretty strongly on this one - I'd much rather all the mechanics be released together, as that allows the mechanics to meaningfully interact with each other. A large collection of smaller DLC makes it difficult to have interconnected mechanics which play off of each other. It also means there are more combinations of possible DLC to take into account for patches and mod requirements.

While that's generally true, there are approaches they could do to accommodate for interactivity. And then the conterpoint example would be the actual expansions with Civ 6 had a bunch of mechanics that didn't necessarily interact that much with each other.

Ways of allowing separate DLC to interact would be, imho:
1) Having DLC that sits on top of game systems that are in the base or that are added in a free patch. Spitballing an example would be say faith as base and Relgion as bonus DLC - you could do mechanics that interact more with the faith layer. Same with culture vs tourism, where some basic logic can give a great work if the tourism DLC is enabled and culture bonus if not. Or they add a Logisitics system that's just a morale penalty for distance from your capital in the base, but an actual mechanic with the DLC enabled. Alexander say gets no morale penalty in either.

2) Open ended systems you could add independently to. Policy cards are an example - new DLC, new policy cards for that game mechanic. Diplomatic options are theoretically an example (religion DLC enabled, accept my State religion is a trade/diplo option). The era score system is sort of an example but as it's always additive could get complicated with the scaling (Religion DLC is enabled - 10 more ways to get era score - but the cap is increased). They sort of did this with the Loyalty system where it was very stand alone and they later added in interaction with religion, happiness, grievances.

The above definitely still requires more planning and potential bugginess, I'd agree. It also lends to more generic currency boost sort of bonuses (which something like Humankind almost entirely does) while Civ seems to be going more towards the bespoke goal type of bonuses (using an apostle on a different terrain type in an ally's territory gives a great work!)
 

Leucarum

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Adding in game systems like loyalty or climate as a free mechanic and then making civs available in season passes could maybe work. It is definitely the civs which get people excited after all.

They could even do themed seasons - the season of "loyalty-mechanic civs" to tie In with new mechanics...
 

The Kingmaker

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Mini XPs every year. Bigger than a DLC but smaller than a regular XP. Keep the players engaged with regular content rather than having 1-2 year droughts with radio silence.

I also like the idea of small optional content every 3 months. Keep people excited and looking forward to new content. Even if it’s just a new leader or scenario or map.

I might suggest something like the following to maximize interest and engagement:

Civ7 release - Q4 2023
18 civs, 24 leaders
2 scenarios
6 map scripts

Day 1 DLC (free for pre-orders)
1 civ, leader, and wonder

Season Pass (includes the following content)

DLC 1 (90 days after release)
2 civs, leaders, and wonders
1 scenario

DLC 2 (6 months following release)
1 leader and scenario + a version of the scenario map for random play

DLC 3 (9 months following release)
1 civ and leader

Mini-XP 1 (12 months following release)
1 major new feature, multiple minor improvements
4-6 new civs and leaders, 2 new wonders
1 scenario, 1 new map script

Wash, rinse, repeat for the next five to seven years.
 
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nzcamel

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Another question is this - given the number of people posting about still playing Civ 5, how many are going to switch right away to a Civ 7 that only has 18 civs?
What you are hearing is the squeaky wheel. It's not representative.

Bygones - I really enjoyed the NFP with content showing up all the time. But having said that I would still prefer big expansions for one reason alone - bugs. They don't always get sorted after a big expansion quite as we'd like, but most of the really impactful ones do, within a month or so. With the NFP not only did bugs linger longer, but each new content drop added more! The game entered this weird permanently broken state. Without a massive change to how they troubleshoot the bugs before release, I cannot vote for any small ongoing release model; and would be pretty unimpressed if that is what we get in Civ 7... unless they painstakingly explain that they are aware of the issues they had with the NFP, and have done X, Y, and Z to make sure it doesn't happen again.
 

Linklite

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[...]A myriad of smaller packs, with a more regular release schedule keeps the game fresher for longer[...]
This is dependent on the player though. I don't doubt that you felt that way, but I found that the XPs gave a much longer lasting lease of life to the game than NFP. I mostly stopped playing NFP a month or two after it finished, whereas I was only just starting to wind down from the XPs as NFP started - and I played the XPs more intensely as well. That's what...two years versus one year? CivFanatics was a lot more active, but the game itself was actually less helpful in keeping me engaged.
 

Leucarum

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This is dependent on the player though. I don't doubt that you felt that way, but I found that the XPs gave a much longer lasting lease of life to the game than NFP. I mostly stopped playing NFP a month or two after it finished, whereas I was only just starting to wind down from the XPs as NFP started - and I played the XPs more intensely as well. That's what...two years versus one year? CivFanatics was a lot more active, but the game itself was actually less helpful in keeping me engaged.
Being honest, external circumstances rather than how expansions released probably had the biggest impact on how I consumed the NFP. The pandemic completely upended my gaming habits to a much greater extent than the expansion packs or NFP did. In my case Civ became a very social, multi-player thing which it hadn't been before as my friend group moved onto there for something to do while hanging out. I doubt I have ever played it that frequently, and I think the regular updates really helped keep it fresh in a way the expansions wouldn't have. Similarly, with lockdowns over, the amount I am doing any type of gaming has substantially decreased from where it was before the pandemic.

So it's difficult to make a strong claim for me. I can appreciate that the way they did the NFP; each entry was small and self contained, making each one potentially a more quickly solved puzzle... But I did find it worked well at keeping me engaged. We'll see how this one works now that it is in more normal times.
 

Linklite

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Being honest, external circumstances rather than how expansions released probably had the biggest impact on how I consumed the NFP. The pandemic completely upended my gaming habits to a much greater extent than the expansion packs or NFP did. In my case Civ became a very social, multi-player thing which it hadn't been before as my friend group moved onto there for something to do while hanging out. I doubt I have ever played it that frequently, and I think the regular updates really helped keep it fresh in a way the expansions wouldn't have. Similarly, with lockdowns over, the amount I am doing any type of gaming has substantially decreased from where it was before the pandemic.

So it's difficult to make a strong claim for me. I can appreciate that the way they did the NFP; each entry was small and self contained, making each one potentially a more quickly solved puzzle... But I did find it worked well at keeping me engaged. We'll see how this one works now that it is in more normal times.
I think the stretched out method of delivery helped, having it piecemeal slowed down our investigation of it - you'd have to play a game for each game mode, for instance, rather than playing the one game to experience all of them. However, I found the lack of interactivity and cohesion reduced the substance and complexity so that once it was over...there just wasn't much reason to come back. The most egregious problem was that the civs didn't have a special relationship with the new mechanics (Tamar doesn't count), not even the ones they were released with (that latter part is easily fixable though), and most of them were base game compatible, which removed a lot of the more interesting avenues they could have taken.

Anyways, I never had that "newfound" social interactivity come into the game. I've only played half of a multiplayer game...hotseat with my wife...and so I never experienced what you did. Perhaps others feel like you do, even without the new social aspect, and it's a red herring and I'm the odd one out.

Still, you can have both. Rather than a pass, have an XP that is drip fed. Ship a major mechanic and updates to old leaders so they can work with it, then a month later release a batch of civs and leaders who have leaders relating to it. After that, a bunch of maps. Rinse, lather repeat until the whole thing is out. I get my big XP, you (and CivFanatics, Reddit et al) get the benefit of a dripfeed which can help encourage engagement.
 

Leucarum

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I think the stretched out method of delivery helped, having it piecemeal slowed down our investigation of it - you'd have to play a game for each game mode, for instance, rather than playing the one game to experience all of them. However, I found the lack of interactivity and cohesion reduced the substance and complexity so that once it was over...there just wasn't much reason to come back. The most egregious problem was that the civs didn't have a special relationship with the new mechanics (Tamar doesn't count), not even the ones they were released with (that latter part is easily fixable though), and most of them were base game compatible, which removed a lot of the more interesting avenues they could have taken.

Very true, but fixable with 'themed' passes. Something they appear to be playing with on a small scale albeit without mechanics.

Anyways, I never had that "newfound" social interactivity come into the game. I've only played half of a multiplayer game...hotseat with my wife...and so I never experienced what you did. Perhaps others feel like you do, even without the new social aspect, and it's a red herring and I'm the odd one out.

Yeah part of my point was that I don't think my experience was a common one...

Still, you can have both. Rather than a pass, have an XP that is drip fed. Ship a major mechanic and updates to old leaders so they can work with it, then a month later release a batch of civs and leaders who have leaders relating to it. After that, a bunch of maps. Rinse, lather repeat until the whole thing is out. I get my big XP, you (and CivFanatics, Reddit et al) get the benefit of a dripfeed which can help encourage engagement.
100% agreed.
 

Wielki Hegemon

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Mix of those.
After NFP I just can not imagine retuturning to the past and one year gap between two packs of content.

We should have Year Pass model with 6 DLC every two months.
First DLC should be bigger with new game design elements and mechanics like Disasters from GT or Governors and perhaps two new civilizations.
The rest of smaller DLC packs should contain civs, leaders, maps, buildings, worl wonders and minor changes.
 

AntSou

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I think medium and small DLC are better as that would allow new game mechanics to be added to the whole game without players requiring the DLC. With expansions you have the situation of having the player base split into three titles, and the devs needing to work around those splits.

This is how Creative Assembly and Paradox do it.

Of course, the DLC needs to be high quality. Creative Assembly's DLC for Warhammer II were overwhelmingly of good quality imo and mixed for Three Kingdoms. Paradox has had highs and lows (prety bad lows too). They also used to block basic mechanics behind a pay wall in the earlier days of EUIV but I believe they stopped that.
 

Linklite

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I think medium and small DLC are better as that would allow new game mechanics to be added to the whole game without players requiring the DLC. With expansions you have the situation of having the player base split into three titles, and the devs needing to work around those splits.

This is how Creative Assembly and Paradox do it.

Of course, the DLC needs to be high quality. Creative Assembly's DLC for Warhammer II were overwhelmingly of good quality imo and mixed for Three Kingdoms. Paradox has had highs and lows (prety bad lows too). They also used to block basic mechanics behind a pay wall in the earlier days of EUIV but I believe they stopped that.
Your solution to the problem of having the player base split into three via XPs...is to split them into a dozen with the various DLCs? I'm not sure that helps any.
 

Linklite

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FWIW, if they go down the route of primarily NFP style, then I'm almost certainly not coming back for any future Civ games. I'd be fine with the one-XP-but-in-multiple-packs model, but the idea of all additional content being in DLCs...pretty much everything that I actually dislike (as opposed to thinking it could just do with improvement) has its roots in the DLC format of NFP.

The lack of integrated interaction. The lack of Civ abilities that use new mechanics. AI incapability to deal with new content. The freaking bugs as they were tripping over each other trying to deal with new content and fix bugs from previous releases simultaneously. All the things that come with having the content released separately and having to assume that you have nothing else other than the base game.

I can take year long gaps, do long as the content is good. NFP showed that getting it in smaller packages doesn't improve the content, quite to the contrary.
 

AntSou

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Your solution to the problem of having the player base split into three via XPs...is to split them into a dozen with the various DLCs? I'm not sure that helps any.
They're not split at all. That's why I gave the example of Creative Assembly and Paradox. New mechanics are introduced to the base game. DLC usually offers stuff which relates to those new mechanics.

Example applying the system to Civ VI:

- Firaxis introduces the new Diplomatic System and World Congress to the base game, along with a DLC which includes:
- 2/3 new Civs and a Persona, all diplomatic oriented;
- Unique City-States;
- Unique Resolutions for the World Congress;
- Unique Emergencies;
- Unique Diplomatic Quarter (changes gameplay a bit, but not substantially).

The lack of integrated interaction. The lack of Civ abilities that use new mechanics. AI incapability to deal with new content. The freaking bugs as they were tripping over each other trying to deal with new content and fix bugs from previous releases simultaneously. All the things that come with having the content released separately and having to assume that you have nothing else other than the base game.
That's all because of the split expansion system. That's where all the major mechanics were introduced. The game was disjointed before NFP entered the scene. I don't think NFP made it any worse. It had to work around the limitations which the expansion system had imposed upon it.

NFP rate of new patches was too fast. Yet for the Expansions it was too slow.
---

Trying to add new content to a game that is split into three must be a pain in the back, so I really think there's a strong chance that they'll take the approach of regular updates to the base game (every 3-4 months), while being careful not to lock important mechanics behind DLC.
 
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Zegangani

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I can see both Models` Pros and Cons.

Expansion:
- Pros:
a yearly Expansion that introduces many new Game Mechanics, rework of existing ones, Civs/Leaders with Abilities related to those Mechanics, more Content...etc. would bring a Mix of Content that's worth waiting a whole Year for. But the biggest Pro of it would be that the Mechanics are mostly well connected with the Game's other Mechanics/Features and sometimes even tied to them.

- Cons:
Let's be honest, most of the Civ Game's first Expansions were Underwhelming/Mediocre, it was the 2nd Expansions that made those Games the great Games that Players like and gush about. So, this Model has always a chance to disappoint Players. Like for me personally, I got Civ6 a few Months after release, and I played it for a little while, but had to drop it and didn't pick it up again until early 2020. Therefore I got RnF and GS together, but the RnF Mechanics left me unimpressed, so imagining that I had to wait a whole Year to get an Expansion like Rise and Fall would for sure had driven me away from the Game. If it wasn't the the Gathering Storm Mechanics I wouldn't be here +2 Years after I picked the Game again and become a Modder.

Paradox-Style DLCs:
- Pros:
Each DLC brings new Mechanics/Reworks to the Base Game for free. And The DLCs themselves further expand on the new Game Mechanics they introduce with new Abilities and Uniques (In Addition to new Content). Which makes the Game grow with each DLC without needing the DLCs, but the Game with all the DLCs enabled offers the full/richer Experience with deep/detailed and interconnected Mechanics as well as many new Content. But, for me, the biggest Pro of this, is that the Devs only have to focus on a single Theme for a DLC (as opposed to in an XP like GS, where you have Climate Change, Desasters, WC, Stackable Resources...etc), which allows them to make the Mechanics as good and well designed as possible (in other words, working on many fronts doesn't allow for very detailed and deep Mechanics, sometimes even end in bad Designs, like the WC Design). Another big Pro, is that this Model allows for a longer lifespan of the Game, where there will be always demand for new DLCs/Content (just look at EU-IV), bc the Players mostly prefer a full Game that keeps getting improved and updated (so a new Iteration is only necessary for a new Game/Graphics Engine if the Game can't handle more, or the Time requires a change/update in Graphics).

- Cons:
The biggest Con with this Model, is that it makes you look twice at your Pocket, which isn't something that a Studio wants. Having multiple DLCs where each adds Content related to the Mechanic it brings, allows for the Player to freely choose which DLCs they want, without worrying much that they won't get the Features they introduce if they don't buy it, and for the Studio it means that because each DLC has its own Theme, there is always a target Audience for a DLC, and even for the Players that don't buy one, they may buy the next one, bc they support them with free Features with updates. But a Game that is built arround selling DLCs always requires good quality Content and full support in order to be successful. And for the Loyal Fans and Fanatics, who always prefer a full experience of the Game, and don't want to miss out on the content in DLCs, it means they have to dig deep in their Pockets to be able to afford that. Yes, Paradox Games are usually more expnsive than Civ Games bc they are much more detailed, but even at half the cost of that, it's still a lot of Money.

For me personally, I would like a model between the 2. Or maybe do it the PDX-style for 1-1.5 Years after release, and then a big Expansion DLC, and then PDX Style again.
 
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_hero_

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What you are hearing is the squeaky wheel. It's not representative.
Steamcharts has Civ 5 having 20-25k players consistently over the past year with Civ 6 consistently 50-60k. While it isn't perfectly representative because Civ 6 has a much higher console representation, to act as though the Civ 5 player base is just a squeaky wheel is a bit unfair. Consistently being a top 100 game on steam when there's been no new content for nearly a decade shows a very strong and loyal fanbase.
 

Zaarin

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I hope they just don't go down the path EA took with the Sims 4.
It's way too messy and chaotic.
You mean where they just keep throwing sparkly glitter over the game in hopes you won't notice that they've never fixed the base game's fundamental flaws or gaping holes? :mischief:
 

Linklite

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Steamcharts has Civ 5 having 20-25k players consistently over the past year with Civ 6 consistently 50-60k. While it isn't perfectly representative because Civ 6 has a much higher console representation, to act as though the Civ 5 player base is just a squeaky wheel is a bit unfair. Consistently being a top 100 game on steam when there's been no new content for nearly a decade shows a very strong and loyal fanbase.
The player base is still pretty large (although, at the same time since launch (6 years), considerably smaller than Civ VI at 40kish total versus 60k for Steam alone), but when we have 76 leader/civ combos by my count, I don't think any of them are legitimately complaining about lack of choice.

He has a point, the Civ 5ers that we hear from are the squeaky wheels. There will be some squeaky wheels when Civ VII comes out, but it's unlikely to be anything more than that. It's always the case when new iterations occur. I play D&D and we get people from 1e that came out in the 70s complaining about 5e. Bear in mind that 5e is multiple times more popular than any other edition, probably all combined, and people moan.

Some people won't move on, and that's their decision. Some of those will moan etc. Still, unless they actually screw up Civ VII, most people will move on and it'll be fine. Yeah there'll be fewer Civs, but the sparkly new mechanics will tempt people over.
 

Jeppetto

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You mean where they just keep throwing sparkly glitter over the game in hopes you won't notice that they've never fixed the base game's fundamental flaws or gaping holes? :mischief:
More like splitting the content to the point where after 3x as much time it has 25% less content that costs 10x more... Yikes.
I'd say I agree, I don't have problem with the Pass, single Expansion split along the year as much, but multiplying its price by 5 for the same result like EA does, that I would mind.
 

nzcamel

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Steamcharts has Civ 5 having 20-25k players consistently over the past year with Civ 6 consistently 50-60k. While it isn't perfectly representative because Civ 6 has a much higher console representation, to act as though the Civ 5 player base is just a squeaky wheel is a bit unfair. Consistently being a top 100 game on steam when there's been no new content for nearly a decade shows a very strong and loyal fanbase.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not in denial that for some Civ 5 hit the sweet spot. Same with others and Civ 4, but it's always been hard to get any reasonable comparison on numbers still playing that edition because the vast majority of them didn't buy 4 through Steam. As @Linklite says, the same will happen again where some of us hate 7 so much compared to 6 that we will not only not move on, but we might even haunt the Civ7 forum making snarky snide remarks whenever possible ;) Which isn't even a bad thing... within reason.
 
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