How would you design China?

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Xandinho, Oct 7, 2021.

  1. Xandinho

    Xandinho Deity

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    I've seen some suggestions about how China should be designed in Civ games. Some people say that China should be "divided" in several dynasties that would be playable as civs. In this way, there'd be not "China", but Ming, Tang, Han, Qing... Other people say that an ability that changes over the eras would be better, we'd see China changing its ability over time to reflect the dynasty of the period. It's possible to find suggestions saying that China should be a cultural and a scientific power, like it's already in Civ6. A design around a builder power would also make sense for China, imo.

    What do you think? How China should be design? Should Great Wall remain as improvement or should it go back to being a Wonder? What should be the Chinese unique improvement/building/district?
     
  2. Zaarin

    Zaarin Diplomatic Attaché to Londo Mollari

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    It's difficult to design civs for Civ7 without knowing what Civ7 is going to look like. I think a culture/science/builder approach makes sense for China as opposed to Civ5's militarist approach--militarism rarely worked out well for China. Assuming Civ7 has an ethnicity feature like I've been pushing for, I think China would also be a prime candidate for an ability centered around forming a cohesive empire with large ethnic minority populations (Rome, Persia, and America are other obvious candidates; Arabia, by contrast, might have an ability that converts minority populations into the ethnic majority population). Perhaps, then, China's unique infrastructure could be the shūyuàn, the academies where the imperial bureaucracy was trained. So in vague terms I'd see China looking something like this:

    A leader ability focused on science.
    A civilization ability focused on culture and building.
    A defensive UU; after its popularity in AoE4, I'm expecting the Fire Arrow/Nest of Bees.
    A shūyuàn UB that boosts stability and lowers discontent from minority populations. Assuming it replaces a University (or similar), might generate a modest amount of Culture as well as Science, tying in with the general focus of the civilization.


    I'm actually really loving this design, and here's what I love most about it: it kind of looks like what you might expect from Korea...which means maybe we can get a more interesting Korea next time. :p
     
  3. Xandinho

    Xandinho Deity

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    I like this, it sounds very Chinese. I also find the design of Civ5 China quite bizarre, an entire civ based on a literary work? Hello Sumer...:p The design of Civ6 was a huge step forward, although I think the Great Wall should be a wonder.
    I wouldn't mind a skill that changes over the ages, though I think that would be a lot of work.

    Brazil would also be a prime candidate for this :p, as the country is a great ethnic melting pot that works quite well, I'd say (that goes from the largest Japanese community outside of Japan to the largest African community outside of Africa, not to mention one of the biggest Oktoberfest in the world in Blumenau). But I prefer that they focus on commodity trading for Civ7.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
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  4. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    I've always been a fan of civs that can do certain things in game before others and China is a prime civilization to show off the possibilities of being able to discover niter/gunpowder earlier than usual and maybe even printing?
     
  5. Xandinho

    Xandinho Deity

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    Extra points in the era when China is the first civ to discover a technology that no one has discovered yet. Would this cause a snowball? perhaps. :p
    But I agree that China should use gunpowder before everyone else somehow.
     
  6. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    I would design China to build huge
    empires with powerful economy, making them uniquely capable of going both tall and wide in the same time (assuming civ7 finally makes both ways balanced, not one of them only viable, as in civ5 and 6). Because China was historically Huge, Mighty and Affluent, so I want to see them like that in a game, instead of some random cultural or scientific or military civ. Second priority would be some scientific ability anyway, but there are many potential science civs and very few that can match historical Chinese Size and Economic Superpower.

    No Shi Huangdi, Wu Zetian or god forbid Mao as a leader would be great as well, Ming dynasty leader would be from the most unexplored period.
     
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  7. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    At least this was shown in Civ 6 with the UU. If they don't get a gunpowder UU in civ 7 I'd like for them to use somehow use gunpowder earlier.

    I feel the same way about the Great Wall as it should be in the game somehow as either a world wonder or their unique infrastructure. I liked the idea of building it in segments even if it wasn't implemented in the best way in game.

    Speaking of leaders it's surprising we haven't got a leader from the Han or Ming Dynasty yet. Considering those are two of the most influential ones I think at least one of the leaders should come from there. I also wouldn't mind Wu Zetian again if we need a leader for espionage gameplay, but only if we get alternate leaders. :mischief:
     
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  8. Zaarin

    Zaarin Diplomatic Attaché to Londo Mollari

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    Even though we've seen her before, I have no objections to Wu being China's primary leader. The Tang dynasty is generally regarded as China's high-water mark, Wu is generally considered one of the better Tang emperors, and she's just an interesting personality in her own right. However, given the enormous selection of interesting and potent leaders China has to offer, I don't object to someone new, either. I do hope Civ7 sees China led by someone from either Song or Tang.
     
  9. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    I mean she is definitely the top choice if they decide go for a female leader. :p

    But yes China does have a plethora of different leaders to choose from which is why I think it would be interesting if they at least went for a new leader first. Actually my first choice would be a different Wu, that is Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty.
     
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  10. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Back in the dim mists of Time - when Civ V was new and different - there was a Modded China for that game in which you changed Dynasties periodically so that you wound up playing a series of 'Chinas' from, I believe, the Shang Dynasty onwards.
    As I remember it, every time you changed Eras, or everytime you lost your Capital as China, you changed Dynasties. the new Dynasty had a new set of Uniques associated with it.

    I still think something like this would be the best way to recreate China for the game. It would allow a representation of some of the major differences among the Dynasties and their characteristics while keeping a continuity as a Civ. Couple that to some very basic characteristics that do not change (Full Disclosure: I've been reading an academic book on the "Early Chinese Dynasties" that covers the Qin and Han, and there were some very definite continuities in literature, law, administration, local government forms, etc that could be 'mined' for Basic Uniques/Attributes).

    As for China's Scientific benefits, everybody brings up Gunpowder and Printing, but they were not the foundations of China's technology advantage, it was Cast Iron.
    Almost 1500 years before Europe could melt iron and cast it (and they learned how from the Chinese, by way of the overland trade routes through Asia and the Caucasus) into cannon, the Chinese were using modified high temperature kilns used to fire Porcelain to produce cast iron tools, like heavy mouldboard plows, hammers, etc which made almost everything they did more efficient than what could be done elsewhere.

    While they were using 'gunpowder' centuries before either rthe Middle East or Europe, they didn't really develop it into a propellant until the 12th century, taking, basically, over 600 years to go from medicine to firearm:
    The timeline:
    492 CE Jin Dynasty using sulpher-saltpeter-charcoal mixtures as medicines,
    904 CE gunpowder-based fire arrows for crossbows and siege engines,
    950 - 969 CE: Fire Lance and other rocket/incendiary gunpowder weapons,
    1044 CE: gunpowder iron and ceramic 'grenades' but largely incendiary rather than exploding,
    1128 CE: first Chinese 'hand cannon' firearm,
    And then: 1326 CE - first evidence of pot-de-fer or small canon used in Europe, and Roger Bacon had described gunpowder's formula in 1267 CE, so less than 150 years after China finally developed an explosive gunpowder mixture.
    Mind you, China did make extensive use of 'gunpowder' as an incendiary, for hand weapons, siege weapons, rockets, on land and sea for at least 400 years before any inkling of the mixture reached the other side of the Eurasian continent, and that should be represented in the game, in China's Uniques.
     
  11. BuchiTaton

    BuchiTaton Prince

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    I am of the idea that the "Big Ones" like China, Rome, Greeks, USA, etc. That on paper could justify any focus (science, military, trade, culture...) should be more about exploit some game mechanic and then focus on any victory type you want from that mechanic.

    For example what about make China the Governors civ using their High Ministers, you can produce the UU Scholar-Officials that boost one district per city, each new era (Dynasty) you get a free promotion to turn the more productive Scholar-Official into a High Minister, and that Minister would keep aditional bonus from what he was boosting when promoted.
     
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  12. Zaarin

    Zaarin Diplomatic Attaché to Londo Mollari

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    She's literally the only choice if they decide to go for a female leader from China. :p She's also probably all around the best choice for a female leader from East Asia; the only other possibility I can think of is Hojo Masako, the so-called "nun shogun," for Japan. The Korean queens-regnant are controversial, as we've seen, and the Japanese royal family is off the table, ruling out someone like Empress Jingu. A lot of people have pushed for Queen Himiko of Yamata, but honestly even if she existed virtually everything we know about her is legendary--and choosing a legendary queen of what amounts to an archaeological or proto-historical culture to lead Japan strikes me as highly dubious. (One might make a case for Empress Myeongseong, who has become quite popular in South Korea for her role as "the last Korean queen," who was highly influential in her husband's court, and who resisted the Japanese domination of Korea before her assassination, but TBH I'm not sure she's the greatest choice--I'd certainly rank her behind Wu or Hojo Masako.)
     
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  13. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    I would agree with you but we also got Catherine de Medici, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Ba Trieu as leaders in Civ 6 this time around. I'm sure if Firaxis found an empress dowager or regent interesting to use they would.
     
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  14. Zaarin

    Zaarin Diplomatic Attaché to Londo Mollari

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    I mean, they could, but why would they when Wu Zetian exists? France never had any queens-regnant so influential queens-consort like CdM are the only options (Blanche of Castile, Margaret of Valois, and Anne of Brittany are a few more powerful queens-consort they might have chosen--but for the love of France please don't in Civ7 :p ). Ba Trieu was presumably chosen over Trung Trac for her Wikipedia quote...
     
  15. notNamed

    notNamed Warlord

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    Well, both 卑彌呼/Piemiexa and Lady 趙/ɖiau (using the contemporary Late Han Chinese reconstructions from 'Minimal Old Chinese and Later Han Chinese: A Companion to Grammata Serica Recensa' (2009)) are both characters of the Three Kingdoms period with fairly little to go on. Lady ɖiau is a random bandit with exaggerated Buddhist features mentioned in Records of Jiaozhi composed at an unspecified date during the Jin dynasty. Piemiexa of Jamatə is written about in much more detail, with less Buddhist influence and not strictly after-the-fact.

    If we were to compare the two, it's definitely the latter who's more legendary, with no contemporary record and only later folklore attributing her inhumane features. Whereas her Japanese colleague is simply being described because it was the person they did diplomacy with, she's not Amaterasu or anything (looking at ya', Civ 2). We could have an entire East Asian old-old-old history girls-club with Lady Hao for Chinese (Shang), Lady Trieu for Vietnamese (3K)/Trungs (Han), Himiko for Japanese (3K) and who knows, maybe someone out there knows someone like that for Korea as well. :mischief:
     
  16. Zaarin

    Zaarin Diplomatic Attaché to Londo Mollari

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    Again, though, the question is why? China, Korea, and Japan are not lacking for historical leaders, and indeed each of them has at least one possible historical female leader (Wu Zetian for China; Seondeok, maybe Jindeok, plus a handful of influential queens-consort like Empress Myeongseong for Korea; and Hojo Masako for Japan).
     
  17. dagriggstar

    dagriggstar King

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    Well if they include a similar golden age mechanic, I'd like to see unique dedications for the Chinese. Like you take a "Han Dynasty" Golden age that doubles your builders charges or a "Tang Dynasty" Golden age that halves the purchase cost of military units (Somewhat random examples).

    That way you have a really unique but flexible civilization
     
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  18. Zaarin

    Zaarin Diplomatic Attaché to Londo Mollari

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    TBH if the Golden Age mechanic comes back, it first of all needs a lot of fine tuning, but I'd hope every civ would get some unique dedications. As it stands, Golden Age dedications are a little bland.
     
  19. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    By the way, what would be the most cursed, worst way to implement China in the game in your opinion?

    Mine would be probably China designed around Mao. In many regards it was arguably the lowest point of Chinese history, especially in terms
    of economic comparision between China and the outside world. Like, in the year 1980 China had literally the worst gdp (ppp) per capita in the world with the exception of Mozambique. Scientific output was also utterly miserable. And that's without even touching the subject of Mao's Big Brilliant Ideas, their morality and their consequences. And the subject of the game being immediately banned in China for touching his personality cult. Basically implementing 1911 - 1978 China would be imo picking the rock bottom of this thousands year long civilization.

    Honestly I think the only reason Mao was picked for first iterations of a game was because of laziness and ignorance of white folk regarding non - white civilizations. Every other argument is against him - relative glory of China in his era, countless atrocites and horrors connected to his awful personality, and
    censorship of the topic in modern China.
     
  20. Zaarin

    Zaarin Diplomatic Attaché to Londo Mollari

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    I agree with this. A Mao-centered China would be the absolute worst way to represent China. Other bad ideas would be "Romance of the Three Kingdoms China," hyper-militarist China, and "lol kung fu China." (I mean, I love Romance of the Three Kingdoms and I love wuxia/gongfu drama, but that's not how I want China portrayed in the game. I love the Epic of Gilgamesh, too, but I loathe the Epic of Gilgamesh Sumer.)
     

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