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How do we fix the resource system for Civ 5?

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Optimizer, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. Optimizer

    Optimizer Sthlm, SWE

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    The resource and production system of Civ 4 has some serious flaws.
    * Each civilization, no matter its size, needs exactly one resource deposit.
    This is a "Matthew effect" (For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. - Matthew 25:29) which helps a stronger civilization at the cost of a weaker one.
    * The player must micro-manage resource exchange. Beneficial trade deals should be automatic so the player does not need to bother with them.
    * Many resources are critical for survival. If you cannot secure sources of copper, iron, horses, oil, aluminum AND uranium in your territory, you might be a sitting duck to an enemy during some period of the game.
    * Production is tied to hills and forests. A coastal or flatland city might support a large population and provide lots of intellectual property (science, culture and espionage), but it can never create large wonders or armies.
    * Electric power is represented twice. Since Civ 1, each city can build a power plant that provides extra production. But in Civ 4, watermills and windmills add extra commerce when Electricity is discovered. This is confusing.

    How do we fix this system for Civ 5 without making the game more complex?
     
  2. obliterate

    obliterate Warrior Monk

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    I don't think it's broken.

    1. That's just the way the game is. I suppose you could make it that you need 1 resource per 5 cities. The largest cities get that resource.

    2. WTF. Seriously, you can't be that lazyw would you like it if you spare copper was traded to your arch enemy for deer? That just doesn't make sense. I wouldn't like automatic resource deals personally. It just defeats the purpose of having resources in the first.

    3.Yeah. That's why resources are in the game. The aztecs didn't have any horses and so were at a serious disadvantage when the spanish invaded with their horses. Also, one reason why the Roman Empire was so strong was that they were using iron weapons and most of their enemies were using copper weapons.

    4. You can't expect a coastal city with no forests, or stone, rocks etc around. What would they build with? Mud? It was used but it wasn't that strong. You could say plains represent this.

    5. It is represent in two different areas not twice in the same area.
     
  3. Optimizer

    Optimizer Sthlm, SWE

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    I would solve this problem by a semi-quantitative resource system inspired by Rise of Nations.

    Production would split into three quantities: Labor, Metal and Energy. Each city would have a pool of these, together with food.

    Labor would mainly be created by Worker units, able to build terrain improvements as well as building things inside cities. Most buildings and some military units would be built by labor only.

    Metal would be extracted from mines, with bonus from metal deposits (copper, iron and aluminum, found as game progresses). Metal would be needed for military units.

    Energy would be extracted in small amounts from forests, in mediocre amount from coal mines and in large amounts from oil wells and uranium mines, and also from terrain installations like water- and windmills, and needed for late-game units and buildings.

    If one city is short of food, metal or energy, it could be automatically moved from another city at a labor cost proportional to the travel time. Cities connected by railroad would share a pool of these resources.

    Stone should not be a resource. Stone can be found almost anywhere, and in the other places you can make bricks or concrete.

    Food and luxury resources can remain largely as in Civ 4, but you should have an option to auto-trade them.

    Opinions?
     
  4. Optimizer

    Optimizer Sthlm, SWE

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    Broken or not, a future game could be made better.

    I don't understand. Please rephrase.

    I never said I wanted totally automatic trade.

    Historical realism is not enough for a Civ game - strategic depth is needed too. And being doomed by a bad starting location (as the New World in real life) is not strategic depth.

    Hong Kong and Taiwan are coastal territories without natural resources, still they have the world's highest industrial productivity - because they make stuff from imported resources. This should be represented in Civ too.

    I don't understand. Power plants should produce the same kind of resource, no matter if they are in a city or in the country.
     
  5. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    Big lumps of high quality stone is hard to find. Stonehenge was built using stone from Wales (a hundred miles or more away). Welsh slate is still quarried today. I don't think Stonehenge would be the same if it was made from concrete.
     
  6. obliterate

    obliterate Warrior Monk

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    Stone can be found in most places but only in certain places is it found in large enough quantaties to be of any use. So I think stone should be a resource.
     
  7. Optimizer

    Optimizer Sthlm, SWE

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    100 miles are just about one tile on a world map. You never have to go further than that to find good stone. Through my window, I can see enough flat rock to build a Stonehenge.
     
  8. GenocideBringer

    GenocideBringer Chieftain

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    24,901.55 miles is the Earth's circumference. There are not 249 tiles from edge to edge on the world map, no matter what size you're playing.
     
  9. Optimizer

    Optimizer Sthlm, SWE

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    That means that a tile is larger than 100 miles, smart guy...
     
  10. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    I think the whole economic system could stand to be overhauled.

    - Drop all food resources. Why have cows or pigs in only one location? Reality is much more flexible than Civ. Rather than having cows and rice on every tile, just make them implicit. Every tile can generate food, via farms.

    - Overhaul farms. They should still take up land, but there is no need for a discrete food resource. More farms should just support more population flat out. Think WarCraft.

    - Resource one: population.

    - Resource two: building materials.

    - Resource three: energy.

    I think the reason they don't go into some kind of quantified resource system is because most players don't want to manage 40 different quantities.

    But if there's only one quantity: "building materials", it becomes more manageable. Perhaps even three or four quantities could be okay: metals, and lumber, and stone (just as an example). (This would be in addition to population and energy.)

    With many fewer resources in the game, they could come up with a much more streamlined trade system. Especially in the modern era, just have an open "world market".

    You sell off your excess metals or lumber at a set price, and put it on the open market. Civilizations can also buy materials on the open market, at the lowest price. This would naturally stimulate price wars, with certain civilizations pricing their wares low enough to get bought up first.

    An open market also makes embargoes meaningful. Rather than deciding who you trade with, in the free market you trade with everyone. You have to explicitly say "I don't like these guys and don't want them having any of my oil".

    Like I said, this kind of thing is only viable if there are much fewer resources to keep track of than Civ 4 right now.

    I think there's a funny question to ask about Civ 4. If they build a mine on a regular hill, what are they mining? There has to be iron in there, just not as much as there is if you should find an actual iron deposit. I think all tiles should generate the necessary resources, just that some tiles will generate more than others. Nobody will ever be totally starved.

    Population should be a resource unto itself. A large, commercial/intellectual city without much industry should still be able to produce a large army. If it has people, it can have an army. This is the benefit of moving away from food as a quantified value and towards a Warcraft model that simply supports population.

    Hence the energy resource. Mills might generate small amounts of energy, while coal plants and nuclear plants will generate more energy. Buildings might offer a bigger bonus with more energy (e.g.: research lab, factory -- with appropriate energy).


    I think this is pretty ambitious. But I think at least one or the other should be attempted: streamlining the resources and quantifying them, or overhauling the dynamic between food and population so that population is a factor for armies. Both would be nice.
     
  11. Optimizer

    Optimizer Sthlm, SWE

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    dh_epic: I agree with most of your opinions.

    However, I don't think that building materials should be a resource, since most people throughout history have used locally available resources, be it wood, clay or stone. The greatest cost of construction is the workforce.

    A metal resource would be more appropriate, since it has been contested throughout history.
     
  12. Silence101

    Silence101 Chieftain

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    I kind of like the fact that I may end up lacking certain resources and have to either fight for them, or learn how to survive without them. Some of the most interesting games I've played are when I didn't have access to iron, copper, or horses and had to figure out what to do.

    Personally, I think this is one aspect of the game where no major changes need to be made, except for maybe adding more resources. This would require some extra balancing to ensure that Civ's couldn't get *too* happy, but that's doable.

    Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing.
     
  13. Seras

    Seras BuildingMonger

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    i agree with everything in the second post.


    also, "strategic depth" comes from having to adapt to different circumstances, such as not having easy access to iron once in a while. if you feel constantly getting the short end of the ressource stick you could always play with ressources 'balanced'.

    personally, if i'm locked out of a strategic ressource i either alter my game plan so that it no longer relies on it, or i alter my game plan so that i can go secure it somewhere else(either through trade, exploration or military invasion)
     
  14. obliterate

    obliterate Warrior Monk

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    @dh_epic

    I want to play civ not warcraft.
     
  15. Optimizer

    Optimizer Sthlm, SWE

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    That would still happen with quantitative resources. The difference would be that the big guys would need to fight more often for them than the small ones would.
     
  16. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    obliterate, it depends on whether you think the current resource / economic system works or not. If you like the way things are now, then what I'm suggesting won't appeal to you. (Although if you read it over again, you'll realize it has very little to do with Warcraft, except a flimsy comparison with farms.)
     
  17. Silence101

    Silence101 Chieftain

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    I do see what you mean, but what you're suggesting sounds like a lot more micro-management. Often times by the mid/end of the game, I may have 20 or more cities. With your idea, I could see myself having to constantly look at a given city to verify that it has a particular resource available to do... whatever it may be. I just think it would get annoying after awhile - I like the fact that when you gain access to a resource, it's available to every city hooked up to your network.

    On that note, I think the idea of yours that I liked the most was the auto-trading of resources... as long as stratigic resources weren't included. Again, I think this idea might be feasable, but I'd like to see maybe 3 times the luxury and health resources in the game than we have now before going down this road... (still keeping everything balanced for gameplay, though.)
     
  18. moorie678

    moorie678 Chieftain

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    Quantitative resources would be really ******** to manage, if you take into consideration the drafting, trading, starvation, etc etc. Your city is constantly changing, also how do you set which city gets what resource? this will be a . .. .. .. .. . to program and even harder to manage. The way the resource system is ok.
     
  19. The D Man

    The D Man sigh...

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    Quantitative resources would reflect problems in the past and today. For example, if America has oil deposits in Alaska and Texas, why are we trading for it with Kuwait? Perhaps if the first resoucre was necessary and the rest made the effect larger and stronger, i.e., the first iron is needed to make a swordsman, but the rest reduce the hammers you need by 5%.
     
  20. Optimizer

    Optimizer Sthlm, SWE

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    Word, the D Man!
     

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