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Have they killed the fun for warmongers

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by ThERat, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. microbe

    microbe Cascaded Mansion

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    There are things that are taken away, like trading resources for techs (didn't I mention it?), making buying techs very difficult, limiting brokering opportunities (since you can only do it among your friends), and so on.

    Why not just admit the facts? Sure you CAN still do some trading, but it's severely limited now.

    Note I am NOT saying that the old system is better. I was just stating the fact that they limit a lot of things that AI couldn't do well to make the AI APPEAR smarter, while in many cases they are not as smart as they appear.
     
  2. Kylearan

    Kylearan compound eye

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    Hi,

    AGAIN, I agree that they made trading harder (didn't I mention it?).

    MeteorPunch quoted you, "You traded to catch up? No more such trading in CIV4.". Why not just admit the facts? That sentence can be rephrased to "In Civ 4, you cannot trade to catch up", which is false, plain and simple. That's all I said.

    -Kylearan
     
  3. MeteorPunch

    MeteorPunch #WINNING Supporter

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    First off Aeson, thanks for making these responses. You are far more familiar with the game than me (and most others), so all I can do is give a response of my experiences, possibly being wrong, but at the same time answering honestly.

    Also, many of my feelings/ideas about the way things should be are in the link in my previous post, so I will skip some things here.
    I understand building 'happy' buildings and stopping war stops WW, but I sincerely believe that early civics should provide WW relief. See my link above.

    It turns out I think, that all early city captures are crappy cities, besides the enemy capitals, maybe. Meaning they don't pay for themselves immediately, but later. Maybe it's because all early cities (including your own) are crappy? Or at least most improvements are destroyed (I'm referring to Ancient/Classical conquered cities here).

    wow...I have never noticed that before. That's pretty cool. :goodjob:

    See my the link in my post above.

    This is a reality I agree. I feel Firaxis was pressured by Take Two (deadlines and stuff). One question of mine would be how much did they spend on the studio (or whoever) that made those aweful Wonder movies? They look pretty expensive and I would've put the funding towards something else (unit graphics and animation, for example).

    I think this is all about finding the balance then. I like how in Civ 3 I could just build barracks, markets, and aquaducts and be fine for military for the rest of the game by getting more science from conquered cities. Right now in Civ 4 I'm trying to find what is the least amount of building I can get away with and wage war effectively. I'm starting to think science buildings aren't important, but who knows. I do wish the distance/city# corruption was a tad lower, maybe 75% of what it is now.

    True. I don't have much experience here with the culture slider, and with a theatre I now think it's more powerful than I thought.

    I can't tech trade worth crap. :ack: Everything is redded out for me.

    I could edit the .xml, but then I couldn't play Gotm and SGs.

    I kind of have to agree. I forgot how bad pre-C3C armies were. Still, they were fun.

    I'm not gonna knock the promotion system - I think it's nice. However, armies were fun and should be in as well.

    I guess I just want naval bombardment. Why take a good thing away?

    I think there's a big difference here. There is a way that the AI plays because it can't be adequately programmed to play better - turtling in high defense cities, no regard for victory, builder type game usually. So it seems that the way the game mechanics are built around the AI's style of play so that the incompetant (strategically) AI benefits directly from the game mechanics itself.

    There are many ways that this is obvious. AI's turtle in their cities, so give cities high defense. AI's build tons of cottages, so make cottages more essential than markets/libraries/etc., then have them adopt Universal Sufferage so they can compete in production. AI's cannot use artillary effectively, so change the way it is used. AI's can't MM, so make overflow (this benefits me as well though :D ).

    So I was saying to change things so AI can compete. I would like them to be able to win in other ways than space.

    Haven't tried yet, but I think it would be fun with all aggressive civs.

    I'm not gonna say the game isn't fun because it is fun - it's a good game. Could be a bit better though...:mischief:
     
  4. ThERat

    ThERat Deity

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    @Sirian

    I really like your post about the AI, the mechanics and how it is being tweaked, it's shortcomings and balance etc. I really do like to read all this to understand the game better. And I do understand that the AI had to be buttered up to get a nicer challenge and make sure war isn't the only option to win.

    However, in your next post, you seem somewhat 'pissed' to receive criticism. First off, it is not you that is being targetted. I am pointing at issues that make the game less enjoyable for me as a warmonger. If you are interested in improving the game for all sorts of people, then constructive criticism is the only avenue. I have at no point in this thread stated issues without reasoning. I am not the type that says I want my Civ3 back fullstop. I want I want I want. I stated why I have some problems with the game.
    If this were only my personal problem, I doubt this thread would have gone beyond 10 pages now. Part of me wanted to see whether it is really only me.

    You know that AW is an extreme variant of the game and no, I do not only play AW. I have been playing Civ since it came out many years back. I was always a warmonger. I simply like to outwit the AI by military play rather than being a better builder. It gets me more out of the game. And I think Civ2 + 3 were really suited for that (I say both because in Civ 2 I used to play the worldmap and took over the whole world getting a hugedogpile against me).
    I first learned about AW in the SG forum following and admiring the handy crew. Finally I was able to get the opportunity to jump in as well. Thse are exciting games for me, but not the only option.

    Maybe I have to elaborate again on Civ4. I do like a lot of features, finally annoying concepts such as pollution, no overflow of production and the like, riots are gone taking away the unfun nature of the game. I do especially like the opening part of the game. It is fun to try and expand without collapsing, trying to carve out enough space while the AI spams the territory. But, then somewhere halfway through the game, something happens that make the game too repetitive for me.
    You have your religion and civics, the world starts to get divided into friendly and hostile nations. This means tech trading is ONLY possible with friends. And every so often, the AI demands stuff from you, hitting YOUR rep not theirs. And you are busy trying to play catching up. I am having not that much fun to grab all those techs that come too fast. Because all it does, it leads to AC, which I dread. Now, if I were forced to stop a runaway Civ, things would be different. However, even it that would be the case, it would be very tough to try and do so due to the new game balance.
    And that's what I tried to address. I might be alone in my view, true. You can also tell me that
    And that's exactly why I posted here to see whether I am alone. Judging by what followed my OP, you can judge yourself.

    Again I say, the casual gamer won't notice. But a lot of the guys, I play with, will.

    And one final note, Sirian. Don't take that criticism personally. I know how you guys tried to make a much better game (and in many aspects did). however, if you would be able to get out 'The perfect game' you could stop to work already. It just doesn't exist.
     
  5. microbe

    microbe Cascaded Mansion

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    And by being overly literal you missed the point.

    How about rephrasing it as "No more so many trading options in CIV4" if you like? Or "No more such trading power as before in CIV4"? Does it affect my arguments in any way?

    Sure you can still trade to catch up in certain cases, but since it's so much more difficult now, you'd not be able to catch up in other cases (especially too far behind) compared to before.
     
  6. Aeson

    Aeson orangesoda Retired Moderator

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    Will check it out.

    It would be interesting to look at, though I've never had troubles with WW early on. Late game I've had 30+ WW unhappiness while wrapping up Domination, but even that I was able to deal with without Police State. (Though I was approaching bankruptcy about as fast as I was approaching Domination. ;) )

    Not sure where to fit it in, maybe Slavery or Theocracy could have a small WW relief. Hereditary Rule is open ended happiness, so can indirectly help with WW relief (at the cost of unit building and support).

    Well, most cities when you first get them (founded or captured) are crappy. So you just don't want to get too many of them at once. Most any city can become productive in only a few turns, and once it does, you can then afford more new expansion projects. It's a soft cap on expansion rate for both the peaceful player and the warmonger.

    No idea on that. Wonder movies were one of the selling points of the game. Certainly I don't care about them, but it seems a lot of people do (whether or not they actually like these ones). One of the drawbacks of only being a lowly consumer rather than "the one" the game is designed for.

    Maintenance and civic upkeep scales by difficulty level, so maybe you're looking more for mixing and matching the difficulty level modifiers.

    I've been there too. I still get flashbacks from a game where I started out on a continent with only Isabella and Tokugawa to keep me company... ;)

    But I find that even while playing an outright bastard in game it's possible to keep relations you don't need to screw up yet good enough to trade. Round robin stuff (as in military targets) doesn't work that well as once they hate you, you aren't going to milk them.

    I agree, more is better (at least if it's balanced). Just was trying to point out how much of the functionality of Armies wasn't really lost even though the actual unit is not there anymore.

    As for naval bombardment, it fits better with ground bombardment's changes, but Planes retain the Civ III sort of bombardment dynamic. Not sure why exactly that choice was made. Barrage does give a similar effect to Civ III bombardment in naval warfare, just with risk involved to actually lose.

    A more competitive AI is definitely a good goal.

    I don't think the problem is with game mechanics in this regard though. The AI in Civ III were no better at Conquest/Domination really, because they had no shot militarily against the player. (Outside very early game free unit SoD's.) I don't think I ever played a game of Civ III (or II or I or SMAC) where an AI triggered Domination or Conquest either. (Well Conquest was triggered if any AI beat the player, but that's not real Conquest unless it's 1v1.)

    Freeing up the military expansion through various means might make it easier for the AI to conquer other AI, but it will make it even easier for the player to conquer other AI. As far as the AI competing for eventual Conquest/Domination victory, it wouldn't change much. Conquest/Domination is an area that doesn't fit well with what AI are generally competent at. It involves a lot of low level tactical decisions to be made in regards to a big picture and everything is interactive with the opponents. Plus it requires "more" of everything, which is going to add complexity of it's own.

    The tech race on the other hand is pretty simplistic. It's a static series of goals to reach. The tech tree isn't continually changing like a battlefield does.

    Culture is an area I think the AI could be designed to compete in, as it's also a static series of goals to reach. But it requires an almost entirely different AI as the goals are often mutually exclusive with the tech based gameplay. And the simple fact is that 2 AI take more time than 1 to code.

    Diplomatic victory is something I haven't looked into much at all. It shouldn't be too hard to fit in with the "tech" AI as most of the goals are similar. Though Diplomatic probably requires too much Conquest as it stands to fit an AI model well.

    Always. :)
     
  7. Zed-F

    Zed-F Emperor

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    Some random ideas along these lines, in no particular order:

    Perhaps a good starting point for this would be to have builders tend to reserve more units for static (and/or mobile?) defense, while warmongers tend to reserve more units for attack, while still keeping the actual numbers variable within a range. Coupled with a better diplo balance between warmongers and builders, you might wind up in a situation where a warmonger AI has a hard time defeating a builder AI that's about equal in overall power. However, two warmonger AIs that go at it might result in a clear winner who emerges from the fray more powerful than a single builder AI. From that point, the surviving warmonger AI might be in a better position to make gains in general -- probably not twice as strong as the builder, but maybe 1.5 times as strong (or something.) It could make the existence of a runaway military AI a possibility again (as opposed to a runaway tech AI, which I gather is already possible,) and even if the AI still can't hope to actually defeat good players by military, it could perhaps threaten to win by vote (which essentially amounts to the same thing.)

    This would also tend to up the risk/reward level for starting near a warmonger or multiple warmongers, which might give the game more of a razor edge feel the AWD crowd was looking for.

    It might be useful to add a 4th box for AI units called 'opportunitsitic offense', wherein some of the mobile defense could be moved into this box. These units might go on offense if the AI thinks it can press a strong enough advantage but otherwise be reserved for mobile defense.
     
  8. Kylearan

    Kylearan compound eye

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    Hi,

    No, I don't think I've missed the point. All I wanted to avoid is that oversimplification or false statements spread the false myth that catching up via tech trading is no longer possible. I saw MeteorPunch quoting your one sentence, which when read on its own is false (I don't know in what context you've said this), and in high-traffic forums like this, half-truths, myths etc. spread easy and fast.

    I'm all for criticizing a game (which I did as well in this thread), but I find it unfair to claim things about the game that are not true, but might still be believed by many people here who don't read every post and every thread ever made. Maybe it was clear from the original context what you really meant, but singled out and quoted alone, it was false.

    -Kylearan
     
  9. Sirian

    Sirian Civ Map Programmer

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    None of these design choices were made with the AI in mind. None of them.

    The AI is able to make good use of them because they are simple concepts, but simple is good for players too.


    Reading too much in to why this or that was done can lead you off in to a chain reaction of false assumptions that will carry you far far away from the reality inside the game. I think developers would like to clear up confusion, but it is such a time-intensive process that even when they are allowed to do it, they really cannot. Not across the board. Maybe here or there.


    - Sirian
     
  10. karadoc

    karadoc AI programmer

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    They may be reluntant to hand over the techs for the sake of the rest of the world. They fear that even more people will suffer if they hand over the tech to your war-hungry civ. Besides, its better for gameplay. :)
     
  11. tecknogyk

    tecknogyk Chieftain

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    Just thought I'd give my two cents. I think it's way too early to be judging anything about Civ4. I myself have had the feeling that the tech pace goes way too fast in the modern age (Modern Age? There was a modern age? I thought we just decided to build a space ship and be done with it. :p ). However, this is on the Normal speed setting and I've only played one Epic game so far. I've been playing on Normal to get in faster games in order to feel out the different game mechanics and learn how to play the game. This is a completely different game. There is so much to figure out and so many strategies that have yet to come into fruition that to sit here only a few weeks after launch and decide that it's somehow deficient seems...well...unjust. For all I know right now, that fast tech pace may just seem fast to me because there was no such thing as a "Normal" speed before. Everything was epic. I'll probably end up preferring the Epic speed but I'm not going to say that there is something wrong with the speed in Normal just because I haven't found my ground on that setting yet.

    -teck
     
  12. gmaharriet

    gmaharriet Ancient Crone

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    I'm going to try to make a constructive suggestion here for combatting WW. Why not give "flavors" to the religions, one of which would have no fear of their warriors dying in combat? The other religions could favor other aspects of gameplay.

    As it stands now, there is no particular advantage to discovering one religion over another except that you "hope" your allies will have the same one or attempt to convince them to adopt it.

    I understand the designers were trying to be PC about religion, but giving flavors does NOT have to be all about "my god is better than your god", though it may have that effect, with the no WW religion being the choice of AW players.

    I have no idea how difficult this would be to implement, but I haven't seen it addressed.
     
  13. eg577

    eg577 Warlord

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    Dying civs do give up techs, I think it is just that they value techs in beakers=gold and they value their life as how badly they are losing. Since the cost of techs increases tenfold from the ancient era to the classical and "how badly they lost" is basically the same all the time (and capped too I bet) you won't be able to extort techs after the ancient era. You'll notice that you can always extort gold for peace, but a dying civ won't give you 2,000 gold no matter how close it is to being wiped out.

    I think Civ3 had an extra restriction on extorting techs too. As far as I could tell if you extorted techs twice then nobody would give into a tech for peace demand again (some sort of reputation/blackmark thing). I'm not sure if this happens in Civ4.

    Back to the main topic, one thing that I am finding very unfun about civ4 is the culture of conquered cities and city flipping. The threshold to prevent a city from flipping is ridiculously high in situations where it shouldn't be. Also great artists don't help push back borders enough (5,000 culture should literally give you your 8 squares no matter what).
     
  14. eg577

    eg577 Warlord

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    In line with keeping everything PC, it could be determined by the civics of the civ who controls the holy city. e.g. If I control the hindu holy city and am running pacifism then hindu citizens in any part of the world might get WW quicker or something. Theocratic citizens would have less WW.
     
  15. DrJambo

    DrJambo Crash-test dummy

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    double post. Sorry.
     
  16. DrJambo

    DrJambo Crash-test dummy

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    It's weird, sometimes I think I'm playing a completely different game from some of you guys.

    Firstly, the navy. In almost all maps other than pangea and those without water, I've found my navy to be extremely useful. I simply can't understand those complaining that the navy is pointless or serves no purpose. Let me explain:
    1. The navy massively speeds up taking coastal cities. Reaching enemy cities many times quicker than siege units, they will soften up defences so that once you stack has reached the city it's simply a matter of attacking rather than static bombarding. Once the war machine is up and running I can conquer civs very quickly with a good navy. I find planes much easier to counter, mainly because one you have fighters it can be extremely hard to damage defences. However, naval superiority is much easier to attain and if unopposed is far more effective at consistently reducing coastal defences in preparation for the ground attack (which incidentally can be in accompanying transports!).
    2. They can prevent enemy cities using up to 9 water tiles. This will result in starvation of any highly populated city. Population equals points and replacing a lost population can take a very long time.
    3. There are now 5 water resources in CIV - clams, fish, whales, crabs and oil. These are excellent resources, providing a number of health, food and production benefits, particularly when coupled with the superb harbour building. Without these expect your civ's growth and economy to stagnate.

    Secondly, conquest. Worried about economy? Well, use the money you obtain through city captures to fund the increasing maintenance toll. Once this becomes too much, stop warring for a while and build some economic improvements. Then proceed again. People say the Organized trait is the worst. Well, those cheap courthouses and the cheap civic upkeep come in real handy for early warmongering and maintaining expansive empires. Once that Forbidden Palace is up you don't have nearly as much to worry about.

    The civs and their abilities in CIV are far more varied and taylored to different strategies. If you want to go warmongering then chose a civ with the appropriate traits. Don't just use every civ the same way and expect the same results. I find the Japanese great for warmongering. A good UU and the Organized and Military traits means early warmongering is very suited. Likewise the Romans.

    As the game enters the later stages and there are more improvements, wonders and civics available to support warmongering, then this is where I find the other civs, which are not so geared towards warmongering, can really come into their own on the warmongering. Units are more advanced and planes and the modern navy can have a greater impact on conquest.

    Anyway, lastly but not least, I find conqest in CIV should be targeted and strategic and not just point and click at the next city. If war weariness is beginning to cause me problems then I make sure the next city I target contains a happiness resource which I don't have. Failing that, another resource will do, one which I can at least potentially trade for a happiness resource in the future. I find that during conquest I rarely encounter a problem with war weariness mainly due to the sheer number of resources that I accumulate. If I do, then it's usually late mid-game and I pop the culture slider up 10% and my theatres and colliseums keep the populace happy.

    Like I say, I don't know what game some of you are playing, but to me there doesn't seem like a problem here. Maybe you're trying to play the game like Civ 3 which certainly will not work. I didn't like Civ 3 and didn't play it more than a handful of times. Maybe this has worked in my favour during my acclimatisation to CIV... who knows?

    :)
     
  17. ThERat

    ThERat Deity

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    The problem would be that you then need to go after that specific religion which you might not be able to get. I like the concept of generic religions so far, as individual traits would be very difficult to balance in my mind (and knowing all the religious zealots around, there would be arguments without end).

    I think there should be a civic combination that provides no WW, it should have other penalties (monarchy wasn't a great gov compared to republic as well). I am still hoping this will be tweaked in the expansion.
    Maybe naval warfare as well (I don't think artillery will be changed back). But I have to say, with the nerfed naval bombardment, at least the days of endless AI shore bombardment are over, something I don't miss at all. ;)
     
  18. Red Ant

    Red Ant Chieftain

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    I'm probably a few months late for this discussion but if you don't mind, I'd like to throw in my 2 cents anyway. ;)
    Personally I'm very pleased with the changes in CIV 4 for the very reason that warmongering is harder now. I hate WM and IMO it should be by far the hardest path to take. You wanna take a totally unrealistic approach to winning the game and just blitz the entire planet, constanstly at war for thousands of years on end? Well, be my guest but then don't complain if it's no longer the cakewalk it used to be.
     
  19. insydr

    insydr Warlord

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    This thread is a good read. I started a thread a while back about one of the issues being brought up here, namely the AI's lack of goal-directed behavior (which I called "playing to win" - see here if interested). That one didn't garner any attention from people involved in balancing the game, but similar issues have come up here and received such attention, which is good to see. :)

    My question is, why wait to make the AI live up to its potential? If the issues are known and the causes have already been analyzed, shouldn't a goal-oriented AI update be in the works?

    I feel like there's so much potential for each and every AI leader to add some real personality to the game, and I'm not just talking about changing some modifier from -2 to -4. I'm talking about Napoleon going for the win with a worldwide domination rampage, Hatshepsut becoming a cultural monster and flipping everyone's cities, and Gandhi trying to get everyone to stop fighting long enough to elect him the UN leader. I'm talking about letting the AI loose to be unique and cunning adversaries instead of speedbumps on the way to yet another spaceship victory. Am I hoping for too much? :D
     
  20. Sirian

    Sirian Civ Map Programmer

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    At the moment, yes. I'd like to explain why, but it's a big subject.

    However, with the SDK coming out, you are welcome to try your own hand at it. (Redesigning the AI, that is.) Amaze us all if you can! :)


    - Sirian
     

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