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How to Reward Small Empires

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Öjevind Lång, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. Öjevind Lång

    Öjevind Lång Deity

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    A problem with Civ V is that one can always solve unhappiness by building more cities. That can't have been the intention, and of course, something should be done to counteract it. So far, most of the suggestions have been to punish infinite expansion, in various ways, and that's all right of course, but why not also introduce positive things that can only happen to smaller empires? For example, something like the Olympic Games in ancient Greece - an event that can happen fairly often in your civ, but only if it is rather small and homogeneous - that is to say, on the small side and without too many puppets or annexed cities (and the puppets and annexed cities wouldn't share the happiness anyway).

    Another possibility is to reintroduce religion; but the spontaneous spread of religion would be rather rare, especially on harder difficulty levels, and in order to spread the religion to all your cities, you'd have to build expensive missionaries who always would stand a chance of failing - also scaled to difficulty level. If a whole empire shares the same religion, that could be a constant source of happiness due to a feeling of community. (If some other religion is present in your realm, that should not matter one way or the other, except for it being harder to spread a religion to a city that already has another one.) The difficuty in spreading a religion should increase with each city that already has the religon, until it becomes virtually impossible to spread it further and get the happiness bonus.

    I want to make it clear that a shared religion should not affect the attitude of two civs to each other - religious sympathies were one of the major exploits in Civ IV, bordering on breaking the game. (And historically, countries sharing the same religion have often attacked each other, quite frequently in cahoots with countries with another religion. A Christian and a Muslim country against a Christian or Muslim country, and so on. In world diplomacy, material interests almost always take precedence to religious fellow feelings. In fact the First Crusade would never have taken place if a moronic Caliph hadn't stopped trading luxuries to the Europeans, and furthermore, if there hadn't been a lot of landless European younger sons of noblemen itching for an estate of their own.)

    On the negatiove side, why not reintroduce an old mechanism from Civ II? In a slightly different form. If your empire is very large, there would be a definite risk that it will spontaneously split into two different empires, and you're only master of one half. That could be really cool. (Especially if you see Napoleon or some other warlord stopped in his tracks by it, but it should be quite possible to happen to YOU. Naturally, the expansionist should have some ways to try to counteract this happening, but make it hard for him! Eh? Because that's what the expansionsists say they want - a harder time.
     
  2. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    First paragraph- I agree with the idea of positive reinforcement of small empires, but the example you give of how to achieve this seems to me to be a rather clumsy way of doing it. A clearer, more important, and less seemingly random mechanism would seem better.

    Religion- reintroducing religion is a toughie. If it is reintroduced, it would have very large scale implications. I don't think it would be reintroduced for the purpose of encouraging small empires, although it may very well have that effect.

    Last paragraph- a much more complex version of that being largely dependent on happiness would be something I would greatly favour. But simply have a random split seems, again, a bit of a clumsy way of implementing this change. :)
     
  3. Öjevind Lång

    Öjevind Lång Deity

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    Well, I was just hoping to start a constructive discussion of how to reward having a small empire and make it less easy to have a big one. Your feedback feels like a good beginning. :)

    However, I do think one could reintroduce religion with the limited functions I mention. I'm firmly opposed to religion affecting diplomacy, remembering what that led to in Civ IV. One could of course also include the possibility to build a shrine that generates money or happiness. The condition for that would not be a Great Prophet but having your religion in all your cities. And you might have to *build* the shrine, not just have it shoot up magically.) Also, more than one civ could have a shrine to the same religion, in the same way that there is one Orthodox Pariarch in Russia, one in Bulgaria and so on. One Protestant Arhcbishop with his own seat in every Protestant country. (The US does not have anything that exclusive - a national head for all the members of one religion - but that's because the US is a huge empire.)

    There have been complaints that there are too few things to do in Civ V. My suggestion might add one.
     
  4. Slowpoke

    Slowpoke The Mad Modder

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    What if rather than a random split, you had a base chance for each city to have an uprising every turn? It'd be something like:

    chance = (cities cubed/20000)% per turn. Negligible till you hit about 20. After that point, if a revolt hit, you'd have to crush it immediately or it'd spread.
     
  5. Öjevind Lång

    Öjevind Lång Deity

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    I like that suggestion. But suppressing the revolt should be quite demanding, not just a routine police action.
     
  6. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    I'm very interested in the Anarchy Bucket idea. There were similar ideas that were discussed a bit quite a while before Civ5 was announced, but now they seem to be more possible than ever. Empire splitting could be an important aspect of that idea. I'm not entirely sure how that would fit in with encouraging small empires exactly. I assume that would require a reworking of how happiness works, so that small empires are simply rewarded in terms of happiness. That's really going right to the core of the issue.

    As for religion, well, the implementation to its full extent is probably for another thread, I guess, but I do see how it could be implemented so as to specifically encourage small empires.
     
  7. Slowpoke

    Slowpoke The Mad Modder

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    My thoughts would be the city would turn "enemy" and have to be taken, spawning a unit every few turns from the era before the one you are in.
     
  8. Creepy Old Man

    Creepy Old Man Warlord

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    The "security" or "loyalty" of a city could depend upon
    - the distance of the city from the capital
    - the presence/absence of a garrison
    - the empire's happiness
    - the total number of cities in an empire

    If the security of a city ever drops below a certain threshold, then it would rebel. Rebellion might mean that it actually attempts to become an independent political entity, or it could just mean that the city becomes entirely useless until order is restored. Conquered cities might be in danger of reverting to their original owners.

    Perhaps there would be two thresholds. If loyalty drops below the initiation threshold, then a city rebels. Then, any nearby cities which are below the spreading threshold (although not below the initiation threshold) would also rebel.

    This would handicap large empires, because as I described it, loyalty depends upon factors which are much easier to maintain for a small empire.
     
  9. Slowpoke

    Slowpoke The Mad Modder

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    Personally, I like the idea that a city has a minimum chance to rebel based on empire size regardless what you try to do to prevent it from doing so. Otherwise it just becomes a routine to garrison scouts every now and then. Happiness should definately be a factor.
     
  10. zimmah

    zimmah Chieftain

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    in europa universalis you could have revolts (you could have them any time if your empire was unhappy, but especially in annexed cities)

    once a city revolts, it summoned some troops around the city, something like barbarians in civ, but much more. they would then try to take over your empire. (starting with the city or cities they came from, and expending until you forcefully stop them). once they took at least 1 city, they'd atually form a new civilisation of their own.

    something like that could also be implemented in civ.
     
  11. Vordeo

    Vordeo King

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    I like the idea of revolts, but it seems a bit unwieldy given the current mechanics.

    My bigger problem with higher pop civilizations is that their science goes through the roof. I'd actually prefer it if say, cities with low populations (say, minimum pop size 2 in classical, 3 in medieval, 4 in renaissance, etc.) didn't contribute science, just so you have to at least work to develop each city.

    Makes historical sense too, as most tech innovations have come from bigger cities.
     
  12. CivMyWay

    CivMyWay Warlord

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    Is maintenance per city an exponential thing? It seems to me that a large Civilization should have high overheads compared to a smaller civ.
     
  13. Namaspamus

    Namaspamus Warlord

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    Revolts and secessions would be great. It should be the only limit to expansion.
    Agree. The total number of cities could be the most important. So small empires could, when new resources appear on the map, found a few distant colonies without problem.

    Some policies would reduce instability from number of cities but it would take time to unlock them especially with an early city-spam.

    This shouldn't happen all of a sudden with multiple cities, there would be small riots first when the loyalty becomes dangerously low.

    Cities leaving your empire could join another civ or become a city-state.
     
  14. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    I don't think that revolts should always be a possibility. You'd get inexplicable revolts that would be as annoying as :spear:. I agree that it shouldn't necessarily be easy to completely eliminate the chance of revolt, but perhaps setting a floor (and it can be based on a formula, rather than being arbitrary, even) below which there would be no revolts, would be a good idea.
     
  15. Öjevind Lång

    Öjevind Lång Deity

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    Also, if a city rebels, any troops stationed in or near it might simply join the rebellion. Certainly the garrison (including any unit stationed in the city) should do so.

    Suppose you had stationed a Great General in that city? Oh, my.
     
  16. Brawndo

    Brawndo Warlord

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    We need a Rhye's and Fall-style system implemented here for instability. For example, a large empire with many puppet states should not be a stable entity, and would run a big risk of revolution or collapse. You could even work Social Policies into this concept. Small empires running Tradition would be very stable, while a large empire with many puppet states would need Order and/or Autocracy to keep itself from collapsing
     
  17. CivMyWay

    CivMyWay Warlord

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    Though the idea holds merit, should a small civilization really be safe from a large one? One idea I would merit is that a Civilization should get a "familiarity" bonus. For example 20 turns after planting a city in the mountains, all units that are trained in that city get a bonus (less maintenace perhaps, better fighting odds) when on a mountain terrain. Therefore, if your cities are mostly in hilly regions (e.g. Afghanistan) you will be better suited to that terrain, and you will more easily be able to repel "foreigners". Also, it gives the larger civilizations good reason to "diversify"
     
  18. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    A small civilization shouldn't really be entirely safe from a large one (assuming size and power are proportionate), but it should be able to defend itself to some extent. A civilization of double the size should not necessarily have double the power.
     
  19. Namaspamus

    Namaspamus Warlord

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    There could be a policy in Tradition giving a 100% combat bonus in your own territory if you got 3 cities, 90% if you got 4 and so. This should probably be scaled with map size, type and sea level because 3 cities of course doesn't mean the same on every settings.
     
  20. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Could be overpowered. 100% is a pretty damn big bonus. Something along those lines might be a good addition, so long as it's scaled/balanced properly. But I would think that 100% would make conquest an exceptionally hard task.
     

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