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Have they killed the fun for warmongers

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

  1. ThERat

    ThERat Deity

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    Well, which aspect of Civ has really followed realism? It starts with turns. Which unit in modern days would need a whole year to advance 10 tiles? Realism in Civ only goes so far to somewhat resemble human history.
    You don't want to tell me panthers and lions were a threat to humans (as in a group of settlers or warriors?
    We all know it's appealing because of some historical settings, but it's a game and should be a game. It is also very different from RTS. It's a turn based game that does not require the 'who can move the mouse the fastest skill' which I personally don't really like.

    And this thread is about warmongering, I did NOT ask builders to comment here about how great a builder game it is. We all know that as we can read in other threads. I started this to get an idea about other people's feelings of the warmonger aspect of the game. Thanks
     
  2. gibbie99

    gibbie99 Chieftain

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    I'm also a warmonger; I agree with many comments made herein. One thing I would add is that you can mod the game to increase movement on roads. IT's in one of the INI files, if you want, PM me and I'll dig it up (i'm at work now). I increased road moevment speed to about 6 tiles and the game is much faster now to me. But one thing I couldn't figure out how to mod is how to increase road speed when you are in enemy territory. It seems like the penalty should be half or something, not one bloody tile per turn. I agree, warmonger is so difficult in civ4; it takes 10 turns to take a city on average (in early/mid game), and if you have too many cities you go broke, but if you raze the city then your enemy and their friends are permantly pissed. Faster movement speed would help alot with warmongering.
     
  3. MeteorPunch

    MeteorPunch #WINNING Supporter

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    How realistic is it to win by culture, or diplomacy, or a space race? It's a game - hardly realistic at all.
     
  4. Aeson

    Aeson orangesoda Retired Moderator

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    It's still possible to conquer the world. It's much tougher in general than in previous Civ games, but if you need to drop down some difficulty levels, they are there. (If you can't conquer the world on Settler, my appologies... ;) ) Deity is tough, but doable at least some of the time.

    If you're having an easier time than you'd like on builder victories, enable Aggressive AI, Raging Barbarians, and/or up the difficulty level. I guarantee you that a Deity spacerace on standard type settings is going to be anything but easy. It's tough, but doable at least some of the time as well.
     
  5. ThERat

    ThERat Deity

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    Good one....but honestly, what's the challenge to beat the AI on lower levels when you have a lead anyway which would make it possible to win any way you like.

    I like a game where I am cornered and can only win/survive by using multiple strategies to outwit the AI. This includes playing them out against each other, playing the trading game (gpt, crucial resources, techs). And of course, wars for strategic reasons and ultimately victory. In Civ3 it was too much catered for the go all the way out for domination, agreed.

    I am sure a deity space race is incredibly difficult. But, we need to ask the reason why. I have not attempted this, but I guess with thumbed down trading it's going to be very tough to catch up. I cannot imagine Civs being desperate for some resources. In that above mentioned monarch game I had a mere 7 cities and still lacked no vital resource. So, how can you exploit this once the AI also faces no lack of vital resources?
    Other choices? Attack? On deity with the ultimate punishment of falling behind in tech even further since every turn spend on military is lost in tech lead.

    Of course, I am playing this game less than a month and am not really in the same league as other players I admire, hopefully will discover the war = fun element later on.
     
  6. MeteorPunch

    MeteorPunch #WINNING Supporter

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    I have no arguements against the game being tough. Like you say, move down a level if you can't handle it.

    My gripe is with the all the penalties given to aggressive civs, the combat system itself, the crap diplomacy, the defensive bonuses, no WW relief until the endgame, huge city/distance maintenence, almost ignored naval/air presense, no artillary bombardment, lack of important military units, cannons coming too late on the tech tree, AI's that hide in their cities, Axemen, markets too late in tech tree (to fund wars), every AI plays the same - goes for Space victory, the slowness of war (hurry up catapults, you're laggin'!), ship transport capacity is too low, newly captured cities flipping to neutral civs...etc. Could go on and on really.

    I'll admit, in real life an all-out war effort will ultimately drag a nation to the dirt. However this is a game, and the designers have tried to kill the most fun (imo) way of playing civ. If someone honestly thinks it's more fun to just build city improvements and defend their borders (much how the AI plays...), great - this game is perfect for you. :goodjob:
     
  7. Aeson

    Aeson orangesoda Retired Moderator

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    Right. Which is what Civ III Deity was to me and many other players. It wasn't about if winning was possible, it came down to whether or not the AI would attack in the first X turns (say 40-50) when they had their starting SOD and the player had only what they could build. if not, the game was in the bag (assuming no self-imposed limitations). Any victory condition was then a walk in the park.

    A big part of that was Armies and bombardment. They took even the rare situations where the AI had a realistic chance to compete and eliminated them altogether. Even Sid was a foregone conclusion if you could get some Armies together.

    It's there in CIV.

    My first "peaceful" victory on Deity I had to Warrior rush an AI neighbor to carve out enough room to found my second city and claim my only source of Copper, which was absolutely vital later on. Then conquer most of the same civ later just to get enough room to be competitive with the others. Then fight off a naval invasion that if I hadn't had naval sentries out to see coming, could have eliminated me from contention. All while running a very light military in regards to the AI, so that my economy wouldn't dragged under by support costs.

    I had to trade techs and resources judiciously. Pay off demands when necessary and say go to hell when I could get away with it. Pit the AI against each other in wars I manufactured, going so far as to supply the weaker civ in the struggle with units, techs, and resources to slow the stronger ones down. I was at the mercy of some civs from time to time where if they had attacked, we both would have been eliminated from contention.

    In essense, I had to outplay the AI in every conceivable category, and get a bit lucky, to eek out a Spaceship victory 1 turn before Mansa launched. (Though if Mansa had been faster, the Spy was there...)

    Trading is extremely important on Deity. Without taking advantage of it properly, you will almost surely lose. The AI trades amongst themselves relatively well, so creating and keeping trading partners and breaking up AI relations is essential to keeping up.

    There aren't any get rich quick schemes like in Civ III. No ToE to jump into the lead. No draining the AI economy of gpt in return for Techs to make a tech lead insurmountable. No trading for monopoly techs from the AI to turn around and trade them for massive profits to benefit the most from AI research. If you fall far behind it means you're not playing right. You will lose playing that way, because you have to play well over the course of the entire game to win. If that wasn't the case, then there wouldn't be a challenge. There are lower difficulties for those who want to win while making (more) mistakes.

    There will be games where you have the important resources, there will be games where you don't. The AI is no different. One game is virtually meaningless statistically speaking. All civs having all vital resources is going to be an extreme exception. Usually all civs will lack a vital resource or two if they don't go out and claim it or trade for it.

    You will almost certainly have to fight on Deity even to get a "peaceful" victory. It's not absolutely certain, but I have yet to be able to avoid it completely. There are long term gains to be had by military expansion, but tradeoffs too. It's up to the player to choose when is the proper time, what is the proper way to go about it, and have a plan for how to both achieve the military objectives efficiently, and turn them into the economic objectives efficiently as well.

    I hope so.
     
  8. MeteorPunch

    MeteorPunch #WINNING Supporter

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    from another thread:
    Hopefully a patch fixes stuff like this.
     
  9. Aeson

    Aeson orangesoda Retired Moderator

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    The penalties given to aggressive civs are to counter the rewards for aggression. I find aggression a valid choice in most circumstances, but not always the best course of action. Which is what makes for strategy rather than repetition.

    No idea what you mean by "the combat system itself". You'll have to be more specific. Unless you're saying the entire combat system, in which case Civilization (as a series) is not what you're looking for.

    Same with diplomacy. Obviously whatever part(s) of diplomacy you don't like (ie. call crap) you have a gripe with, but that's hardly useful information as it's completely nebulous unless you dislike everything about diplomacy... same "Civ as a series is not what you're looking for" in that case.

    Defensive bonuses are to help balance building and warfare. There are times when you can still overcome the defensive bonuses, times when you can't or shouldn't. Again, that's what makes for strategy rather than repetition.

    There are plenty of ways to address WW even early in the game. WW can be mitigated by how you fight. Poor tactics will lead to more WW than necessary. WW can be negated totally by making peace. WW's effects can be addressed by the Culture slider, city improvements, garrisons, resources, and civics. The Pyramids allows for Police State from very early on in the game.

    City/distance maintenance can be huge if you don't plan your empire or conquests very well. They can be minimal if you want to avoid them as much as possible. Somewhere in the spectrum is the "ideal" expansion rate, which will vary from game to game, and even from playstyle to playstyle.

    I have no idea how you can say airpower is almost ignored. It's "game over" when used right against someone who can't counter it, and it's the only really effective counter for itself. Naval power is map dependant. On some maps it's the definitive factor in warfare. Others it's mostly irrellevent.

    Artillery bombardment is abstracted further in CIV than it was in Civ III and not quite so abstracted as it was in Civ II. It's still there though, just abstracted to avoid huge problems the AI had with it. (And still a touch overpowered IMO.)

    What do you mean by lack of important military units? I find most military units important in various contexts.

    Cannons can be beelined to, and are rather useful when doing so. Catapults are still useful up to Cannons even if you take your time.

    AIs do tend to hide in their cities too much. It makes them tougher to roll, but more likely to eventually beat. The overall effect is that beating all the AI is tougher, because most won't crack easily. On higher difficulties the AI are much more likely to have the "spare" units to send out though, so be careful...

    Axemen are a problem? I don't think I've seen that thread yet. Please explain.

    Markets can be reached pretty quickly if you put your mind to it. Ancient wars won't have them, but you don't need them if you are playing well at that point. Intelligent use of Cottages and cash from captures should suffice. Later wars will have plenty of Market potential. (Though I don't think they are necessary, as you can fund "deficit" research for a long time if you're doing well in conquests and/or religion.)

    The AI are generally better at Spaceship than any other victory condition. They don't so much "go for it" as they are limited to it as something they can compete with. That's just because they aren't that good, especially in relation to themselves. If you look at competitions like the GOTM, usually the players struggling to just win always won by Spaceship/Diplomatic. Domination means you've dominated... Conquest means you've completely dominated. Culture takes a dedicated and not as obvious approach. The AI just isn't good enough to dominate itself, which makes sense. Since Diplomatic victory is actually much more difficult in CIV, and Culture is now even less obvious, that leaves Spaceship as the chance for the "weak". If you want to see more variation, I'd suggest setting a mix of AI difficulties at start.

    I've already addressed the "slowness" issue. You can go fast, you'll take more loses though.

    Ship capacity is too low? And you said that navy can be ignored. That seems contradictory. You need more ships, which means navy is more important.

    I have never had a city I captured flip to a third party. I can't tell you what the problem is, because you've offered no specifics, but flipping can be avoided.

    The designers tried to balance gameplay so that building, warmongering, and various combinations can all be effective. I have no trouble effectively waging war still, Civ III style rushes included. It's just not far and away more effective than building peacefully anymore.

    If you find that unfun, you can easily imbalance gameplay by editing the XML.

    That is a poor assessment of what effective gameplay in CIV is. You're advocating playing like the AI...
     
  10. Kemal

    Kemal Tough Bureaucrat

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    Hmm, I always won via spaceship/diplo as well... :blush: ;) maybe I should consider re-entering gotm for civ4 then. :)
     
  11. Aeson

    Aeson orangesoda Retired Moderator

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    But you weren't struggling to win... ;)
     
  12. Kylearan

    Kylearan compound eye

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    Hi,

    note: I absolutely love Civ 4 and find it superior to Civ 3 in many ways. Yet, I still think Civ 4 could be improved, and the war issue is something I'd like to see changed a little bit.

    I completely agree with that. I welcome the idea behind all the changes they had made - but I think they've gone a bit too far (see below).

    Good idea in theory, but they've gone too far with that IMHO. The fun with wars for many people is action - units get killed, cities captured, taken back, and captured again. As it is now, cities fall too slowly. You have to move your slow artillery to the city. You have to bombard the defenses for a couple of turns. Only then can you take the city - and have to heal the stack first before being able to move to the next city.

    I don't want "wipe out whole civilizations in three turns only" action like Civ 3. But the combat pace of Civ 4 is a little bit too slow, at least the aspect of attacking cities. Something inbetween would be nice, although I'm not entirely sure how to do it. Maybe a lower cultural defense bonus for cities would be nice; or have the AIs protect their cities with less units (and let them attack my pillagers with them instead!).

    Playing on lower difficulties won't help - then you have a tech advantage, and the challenge is gone. I want a challenge, but I also want action and a faster pace!

    For the same reasons, AI-AI wars are so boring to watch. They rarely manage to take enemy cities - they only manage to pillage each other into the stone age, but fail to take more than one city per war, if at all. Contrary to many here, I see lots of AI-AI wars happening in my games, which is a good thing; and yet they achieve nothing with these wars, only if one AI gets dogpiled it will lose more than one city.

    It's boring to know beforehand that no AI will ever manage to win a domination victory. They already won't win by culture, and rarely by UN. So the end result is that spaceship is the only real threat - or getting so outteched that they can conquer you. (You, not any other AI!)

    I agree with that; I think WW is fine as it is. It's about breaking out of old Civ 3 habits and having to adapt, IMHO.

    This, and that AI-AI wars are silly and boring because of that.

    Why does this make sense? It makes sense that two equally strong AIs won't be able to overcome each other, but if one AI is larger/has better lands/better techs than the other, it should be able to conquer the other AI (eventually). And after a consolidation phase (to manage increased maintenance costs, for example), it now should be able to attack and swallow a third, weaker AI. And so on, until it might reach domination - like the human is able to do, and like the AI in Civ 3 was able to do ("runaway AI").

    As it is now, I see a larger AI with better techs attacking a smaller AI which only has outdated units...and all the larger AI manages to do is to take one lousy city in the first few turns, and then that's it. Again, only if the stronger AI gets help from a second AI, he may be able to capture a second or even a third city...but never have I seen one AI wiped out completely without the help of the human.

    End result? Space race! Yay.

    Ah, that may be a good idea, I'll try that. But IMHO more variation should happen with the default settings already, as most people use these.

    On lower levels, you can go fast because you will have a tech advantage. But then it's a foregone conclusion anyway.

    On higher levels, where you are only on par or even slightly behind and where it should be more of a challange (more fun), IMHO you cannot rush anymore because of the AI's production/upkeep advantage. (Although I have to admit I may need more experience with the game and the higher levels to really be sure about that)

    I'm addicted to the game nonetheless. :p

    -Kylearan
     
  13. Sark6354201

    Sark6354201 Warlord

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    In my post I noted that Civ is NOT based on reality, but there has to be SOME semblance of it.

    Heavily influencing the world through diplomacy, being a dominant culture and launching a spaceship are not very unrealistic. Obviously, 'winning' is not realistic in the real world, but it works well in the game.

    Do you really think I give a ****?
     
  14. sfuller

    sfuller Chieftain

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    ^Boy, that's productive^

    I think it's a great discussion of warmongering. I miss the pacing of Civ3. I know that it's Civ4, but Civ3 had a better rush of combat than Civ4. I felt like a killer more in Civ3.

    And I think its because of cultural defense bonus and units tied to thier posts. I've paid the price for my expeditionary army and lack of stack in a city, but I think the AI could do a better job in that respect.
     
  15. Turner

    Turner Deity Retired Moderator

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    Moderator Action: Sark6354201 - warned for language & flaming
     
  16. R3dKnight

    R3dKnight Warlord

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    let's just admit flight destroys the AI completely because they :
    1. Cannot use it effectively both defensively and offensively
    2. Cannot allocate the proper number of land to air ratio in their army.

    I would be worried if the AI has a stack of 5 bombers parked in their cities, waiting for any units to come within range that tries to attack them, but nope, they chose to destroy improvements outside their borders leaving my numerous tank to blitz through in one whole stacks.
     
  17. Shades

    Shades Chieftain

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    You young whipersnapers got it easy. Back in the great BC, before roads and other modern stuff, you just dreamed of going a whole 10 tiles in a year. It took us a whole 20 years just to move one. Wasn't lucky enough to get assigned into a scouting unit with those lighter packs and training. They could manage a whole 2 tiles. Heck, we used to round up the wife and kids for those long trips (like 10 tiles) so our great great grand kids would be there to actually do the fighting. These trips often took centuries.

    Yep, not very realistic.... ;)
     
  18. Zhahz

    Zhahz PC Gamer

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    I think I've already posted on this thread but I'll restate that I think warmongering is alive and well. It's not realistic (even in a game) or practical to be "always at war" but you can certainly war early and war often.

    Heh, even when I have a peaceful goal in mind I still usually go to war early to grab some extra cities to get some large scale peaceful building going.

    I actually get my best scores and finishes going for domination (and conquest wouldn't be much more effort if I disabled domination). So far my best finish on noble was domination in 1740 or something like that. I can't get anywhere near that early of a finish with any other victory type, nor can I break 10k in score with any other victory type (compared to the 43k I got for that early domination victory).

    This is especially so since the patch since it takes a bit longer to do a space race now.

    Granted, I'm not that great at Civ so I most likely simply do not know how to win faster with other victory types - but I'm trying. I figure that if gimp like me can dominate noble before 1800ad that much more capable players can certainly do that or better even on higher difficulties.

    Also granted that my best domination was on pangea with Caesar which is admittedly probably the easiest way to do it (even so it's a good way to learn lessons you can apply to any warmongering). That game is my best ever but I've had a few others over 20k doing domination on continents with other leaders.

    I really don't see that huge of a difference between combat in Civ III and IV. It takes a bit more combined arms and planning in Civ IV, IMO, but overall you still have to build up an army and build up an infrastructure to pay for it. The fundamental concpets haven't changed.

    Early rushes are still about surprise and going all out military instead of infra - and often relying on a UU advantage. Mid game is still about strongest units backed by siege. Late game is still about armor and bombers.

    Being aggressive early in Civ IV is usually a risk and requires sacrifices in research and infra that you hope to offset by taking some nice cities - and when you pull it off it's glorious. It shouldn't be easy.

    Maybe I'm dense because I just don't see things being that different.

    If anything I'm far more inclined to go to war, especially early war (something I almost never did in Civ III), in Civ IV. Mainly because it's a lot more fun (I love the Civ IV combat/promo/combined arms way more than the Civ3 system). Diplomacy being more stable is also a huge factor for me. I never cheesed diplomacy in Civ3 so I was always worried about AIs randomly attacking for seemingly no reason or ganging up on me because relations always sucked (unless you cheesed diplo or were way behind). I would usually be very defensive til I built up an overwhelming tech and army advantage. Cities mean so much more in Civ IV (at least in my games) such that it's much more gratifying to take one over too, especially if it's well defended and you take it with minimal losses.

    I like early warring the best in Civ IV where there's more unit vs counterunit going on, UUs mean something, and your actions and planning mean more.
     
  19. shadow2k

    shadow2k Emperor

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    I wouldn't say they killed it, they just made it tougher. A challenge, you know?

    Was pillaging every single square in enemy territory and never getting attacked a challenge? Was pulling up to Rome with your 100 artillery units and hitting "B" for 5 minutes, only to walk in the 3 infantry you had guarding it a challenge? Even more than that, was it FUN?

    I miss the MGL's, simply because it was exciting to get one. But the way people would milk the game for one, and how overpowered they became, I'm not sad to see go. Sure, artillery was a necessity at higher levels to kill off their stack of 100 units built up from the ancient ages, but again, people abused it and it got nerfed to hell. In ever game I've ever played, when enough people start exploiting loopholes, they'll get nerfed. This is no different. It's an effort to bring balance back into the game.

    As for the AW and WW thing, well...think about it. Why were AW games created to begin with? I know why I played them, because it was too easy to just destroy a couple civs at a time on your way to world domination. So you took on the whole world, all at once. And still came out on top? Citizens never got tired of your endless genocide? That didn't seem too easy to you?

    I dunno, I can't really see why these questions are even raised. There's good reason these types of things were changed. I can't say I'm all that sad to see them go. In time, people will figure out new holes, and beat the highest levels. Enjoy the challenge while you can, because I'm sure that soon enough, some "genious" will figure out a way to exploit something in Civ4 that makes it like shooting ducks in a barrel, just like the old days.
     
  20. Aeson

    Aeson orangesoda Retired Moderator

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    This is one type of warfare. It's not the only way to fight though.

    The city defense bonus is easily modified:

    ..\Assets\XML\GameInfo\CIV4CultureLevelInfo.xml
    Code:
    <[i][/i]Civ4CultureLevelInfo xmlns="x-schema:CIV4GameInfoSchema.xml">
    	<[i][/i]CultureLevelInfos>
    		<[i][/i]CultureLevelInfo>
    			<[i][/i]Type>CULTURELEVEL_NONE<[i][/i]/Type>
    			<[i][/i]Description>TXT_KEY_CULTURELEVEL_NONE<[i][/i]/Description>
    			<[i][/i]iCityDefenseModifier>[b]0[/b]<[i][/i]/iCityDefenseModifier>
    The changes to the AI will have to wait until the SDK is released.

    You're asking for something the AI can't offer. If the AI isn't focusing on defending it's cities, the player can easily take it's cities and eliminate the AI before even having to deal with their units (ie. Civ III). It's not about game rules, but AI limitations.

    You could try MP to avoid the AI limitations.

    Like I said, if you want to see AI differentiation, set the game up with it. A Deity AI will probably eat several Settler AI's for lunch. Because they are "better" at the game. If you aren't better than your opponent, it would be a game flaw if you could easily conquer them. Same holds for the AI.

    It makes sense because the AI is designed to be a static difficulty at a difficulty level. That makes difficulty levels meaningful. Otherwise you'd choose X difficulty and not know if you're going to be up against a tough challenge, or in a cake walk.

    Bigger is not always better in CIV. It can even be worse. Very good thing for game balance.

    The basic map scripts are all pretty balanced in regards to terrain around the starting location. You don't get truely horrid starts as often as in Civ III, and neither does the AI. If you work from imbalanced maps, you will see more differentiation in AI.

    Generally speaking, the AI doesn't get a very big tech lead on each other. Have you seen big differentiation on techs in any game? I haven't. The rants seem to be mostly the opposite, that the AI tends to bunch up in the tech race and makes tech trading more difficult to take advantage of. The AI tend to all play basically the same with the same bonuses, and end up similar in strength. Militarily they all play the same too. It ends in a stalemate most of the time because they are all the same "skill" at everything if you're using the same difficulty for all of them. That's what difficulty is, the AI's "skill".

    Dogpiles still allow for even "skill" to dominate the opposition. If there is a problem here, maybe it's that dogpiles don't happen as much. You can mod this too. For each leader, change this value:

    ..\Assets\Civilizations\CIV4LeaderHeadInfos.xml
    Code:
    <[i][/i]iDogpileWarRand>50</[i][/i]iDogpileWarRand>
    Though I'd recommend becoming more active with diplomacy. It's possible to manufacture wars, manipulate the outcomes...

    Settings are for people who differ in their playstyle and/or preferences from that which the developers determine is "standard". They are there, so use them.

    My conquests of neighbors on Deity are generally just as fast as lower difficulty levels. In fact they have to be fast, because even a "successful" conquest will kill my chances to win if it drags out.

    I can't serialize conquests on Deity, because each AI is a very tough challenge and requires a dedicated buildup and then recovery time to fight effectively (both slow and sure, or rushing). If I could serialize conquests, there would simply be no challenge. It would be falling dominos. Can't have it both ways.

    What I have been saying is that it is possible to still rush on a challenging difficulty level. It's costly. It requires precision planning and execution. It's not always the right answer.

    I've done it on Deity without a tech lead... what else is there to make it more possible other than making difficulty irrellevent?
     

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