How would you like civ7 divided into eras?

Krajzen

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In civ6 you have Ancient, Classical, Medieval, Renaissance, Industrial, Modern, Atomic, Information and Future.

Personally I dislike this division, because I think it's absurd that you get the same amount of eras for preindustrial 5700 years of history as for postindustrial 150. I also have the intuition that for the majority of players very modern eras are less interesting by their very nature, and I think the issue is tied to the game's problems with pacing and 'second half of the game being stale and boring'.

On another hand we have Humankind which goes too hard in the opposite direction, with Ancient, Classical, Medieval, Early Modern (!), Industrial and Contemporary. Well I'd argue here the modern age is avtually too short. Well Humankind has also Neolithic age but it lasts like 10 turns so I don't count it.

Personally I'd do it roughly like this:
- Ancient age (4000 BC - 600 BC)
- Classical age (600 BC - 600 AD)
- Medieval age (600 AD - 1453 AD)
- Early modern age (1453 - 1789)
- Industrial age (1789 - 1914)
- Modern age (1914 - 1960)
- Information age (1960 - 2020)

I think Early Modern is much better name than Renaissance because it is an actual historical term for this entire period of global history, unlike renaissance which
a) Makes no sense outside of context of European IRL history
b) It is a name of cultural trend which began in the medieval era Italy actually and ended by late 16th century

As I said, I don't give a damn about making 50 modern eras for every Western - centric major political conflict you can think of (I also never saw the point im making ww1 a separate unit upgrade point, you may as well make Crimean War one, why not) and I'd rather divide it between "world war mechanized industry era" and "cold wars information tech era" (keep in mind how decolonization, sexual revolution, nuclear tensions and radical change of warfare didn't come before 1960). Then you can align gameplay mechanics so there is actually fun stuff to do in two eras, instead of stretching it to four before realizing that the winner is long decided anyway.

Similarly, I don't give a damn about neolithic or especially prehistoric eras, because oldest "100% state level serious talk civilizations" didn't really come to play before 3000 BC (Egypt, Sumer, Syria, Elam, Indus, Caral) and start date 4000 BC is imho enough to nicely align the begin of a game Civilization with the beginnings of, well, civilization. Game's scale is too big to simulate decentralized village communities anyway.

But your opinions may vary!
 
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BuchiTaton

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Agree on most of this suggestion. Is pretty similar to what I would like to have on a CIV or CIV-like game.

Represent real history with all their factors, gradients and variations is far from be possible on a game, then artificial limits help to organize all these processes on an easy to learn in game proxy. Personaly I like to use some arbitrary numerical limitations when thinking about my ideal game design.

What I got is 4 pair of eras that share some gameplay, visual elements and equal time lenght for each couple (Early and Late):
1.- E. Ancient (4500 to 2500 BCE)
Foundation, early cities.​
2.- L. Ancient (2500 to 500 BCE)
Growth, local kingdoms.​
3.- E.Classical (500 BCE to 500 CE)
Conquest, regional empires.​
4.- L. Classical (500 to 1500 CE)
Vinculation, cultural spheres.​
5.- E. Modern (1500 to 1700 CE)
Exploration, global trades.​
6.- L. Modern (1700 to 1900 CE)
Revolution, scientific innovations.​
7.- E. Contemporary (1900 to 1960 CE)
Progress, mechanized ideologies.​
8.- L. Contemporary (1960 to 2020 CE)
Communication, prosperous populations.​

So basicaly your focal objetives go from:
1- Find the proper place to settle and develop early technical and cultural adaptations to that place (agrarian, pastorial, maritime, etc.)
2- Build the infrastructure for a stratified society (monuments, palaces, aqueducts, etc.)
3- Take over your neighbors (conquer city states, repel barbarians, fight rivals, etc.)
4- Unite to fight for a common cause in the name of ... (forge religious and dynastic ties with other states)
5- There is a brave new world out there (transoceanic and intercontinetal exploration, exotic tradegoods and colonization)
6- Shake the foundation of the old order (new social interaction, faster scientific advance, industrialization)
7- Perfect killer machine (ideologies trying to destroy each other as fast as possible)
8- Use more positive ways to assert dominance and keep happy your more demanding population (world congress, cultural influences, welfare)

These make two cicles with similar development in terms of game pacing:
Exploration (E. Ancient and E. Modern) > Growth (L. Ancient and L. Modern) > Agression (E. Classical and E. Contemporary) > Negotiation (L. Classical and L. Contemporary)
 
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I'd fundamentally keep it the same with a few exceptions:

1. Prehistoric Era (Only if they implement nomadic starts similar to Humankind)
2. Ancient Era
3. Classical Era
4. Medieval Era
5. Early Modern Era ( I agree with others that this is a better name than calling it the Renaissance, considering certain technologies and civics that you discover in this era appeared in the 1600 and 1700s, way past the actual European Renaissance)
6. Industrial Era
7. Modern Era
8. Atomic Era
9. Information Era
10. Future Era
 

TheSpaceCowboy

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In addition to Era Score and the Dark/Golden/Heroic Age mechanics I'd like to see reimplemented in one form or another, I'd also like to see global ages affect modifiers to researching technologies from earlier or later eras. Something like +25% Science per era difference when researching technologies from previous eras, and the inverse for skipping ahead on the tech tree. Given that I'd want this to be fairly pronounced, the era breakdown I'd implement is:
  1. Stone Age (with mechanics similar to Humankind's Neolithic Era)
  2. Bronze Age
  3. Iron Age
  4. Classical Antiquity
  5. The Dark Ages
  6. The Medieval Era
  7. The Late Middle Ages
  8. The Renaissance
  9. The Enlightenment
  10. The Industrial Revolution
  11. The Modern Era
  12. The Atomic Era
  13. The Future Era
 
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I'd rather step outside of this discussion:

NO FIXED ERAS

They are artificial, and too often Eurocentric, and almost always utterly unrelated to anything actually happening in the game. When was the last time, in any Civ game, you had any reason for a Rebirth (Renaissance) of any kind?

Instead, 'Eras' should represent Singularities when the very concept, culture and ideals of your Civ change - and they happen based on what is happening in your specific game, and happening to your specific Civilization, not magically all over the world no matter what most of the Civs are doing at the time.

Some examples of Singularity Events:

Agriculture or Animal Domestication - when people first begin to really modify nature to address their specific needs and desires, not just attack it with primitive stone tools and fire. This changes humans' whole relationship with the plants and animals around them, and requires a whole new, settled and more highly organized way of life.
Bronze - the first really useful Artificial Tool Material: bronze saws made real precision carpentry and masonry possible, and therefore the solid and spoked wheel, and bronze weapons transformed warfare and the politics of the warriors.
Iron - the Democratic metal. Available in such near-universal quantities that once you learn how to work it, the tools and weapons are potentially available to everyone, and the old aristocratic Warrior Elite of Bronze has to change: enter Greek Demokratia, 'social contracts', Roman Universal Citizenship, etc. The changes are as much political and cultural as physical
Axial Thinking - the new way of thinking about God, Man, their relationship, and man's relationship to the world. It encompasses Monotheistic Religion, Natural Philosophy, and the codified teachings of Zoroaster, the Hindu Brahmans, Buddha, Lao Tse, and Kon Fu Tse in China. This accelerates Civs and Cultures along very different mental, political and cultural paths.
Printing - specifically, the mass production of written material, the massive expansion of access to Knowledge which in turn requires widespread literacy and formal education beyond anything considered suitable for the mass of people before - and that, in turn, accelerates change in everything.
Steam - artificial Power for everything. This transforms all forms of travel, communication, and view of the world. It also requires a transformation of work, industry, land use to optimize it, and gives rise to the resulting social (dis)orders: Socialism, Communism, Fascism, etc.
Electricity - even more pervasive than Steam in many ways, because its application includes both great changes in communication and private life (artificial lighting) and also more subtle but more incredible expansions of earlier trends like computers, GPS, cell phones, 'interconectivity' undreamed of before
Molecular Chemistry/Physics - when man can modify everything at the most basic physical level, all bets are off: the capability to destroy or create becomes effectively Infinite and so do the political, cultural, and psychological consequences for humanity and the Civilizations.

There are other possibilities, but the point is that when (or even IF) any of these happen is not fixed in time or the game. And in many cases, the Singularity happens somewhere else and is Transmitted to your Civ, with untold consequences (actually, ask the Native Americans, they can tell you about some of the consequences at great length).

Note also that many of these are directly related to Physical changes that could be reflected on the Civ/Map graphics: Agriculture, Bronze, Iron, Steam, Electricity all transform the very appearance of cities and their surrounding landscape: the fact that your neighbor has discovered Iron Working or Steam Power should not come as a surprise to you.
 

BuchiTaton

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I'd rather step outside of this discussion:

NO FIXED ERAS

They are artificial, and too often Eurocentric, and almost always utterly unrelated to anything actually happening in the game. When was the last time, in any Civ game, you had any reason for a Rebirth (Renaissance) of any kind?

Instead, 'Eras' should represent Singularities when the very concept, culture and ideals of your Civ change - and they happen based on what is happening in your specific game, and happening to your specific Civilization, not magically all over the world no matter what most of the Civs are doing at the time.

Some examples of Singularity Events:

Agriculture or Animal Domestication - when people first begin to really modify nature to address their specific needs and desires, not just attack it with primitive stone tools and fire. This changes humans' whole relationship with the plants and animals around them, and requires a whole new, settled and more highly organized way of life.
Bronze - the first really useful Artificial Tool Material: bronze saws made real precision carpentry and masonry possible, and therefore the solid and spoked wheel, and bronze weapons transformed warfare and the politics of the warriors.
Iron - the Democratic metal. Available in such near-universal quantities that once you learn how to work it, the tools and weapons are potentially available to everyone, and the old aristocratic Warrior Elite of Bronze has to change: enter Greek Demokratia, 'social contracts', Roman Universal Citizenship, etc. The changes are as much political and cultural as physical
Axial Thinking - the new way of thinking about God, Man, their relationship, and man's relationship to the world. It encompasses Monotheistic Religion, Natural Philosophy, and the codified teachings of Zoroaster, the Hindu Brahmans, Buddha, Lao Tse, and Kon Fu Tse in China. This accelerates Civs and Cultures along very different mental, political and cultural paths.
Printing - specifically, the mass production of written material, the massive expansion of access to Knowledge which in turn requires widespread literacy and formal education beyond anything considered suitable for the mass of people before - and that, in turn, accelerates change in everything.
Steam - artificial Power for everything. This transforms all forms of travel, communication, and view of the world. It also requires a transformation of work, industry, land use to optimize it, and gives rise to the resulting social (dis)orders: Socialism, Communism, Fascism, etc.
Electricity - even more pervasive than Steam in many ways, because its application includes both great changes in communication and private life (artificial lighting) and also more subtle but more incredible expansions of earlier trends like computers, GPS, cell phones, 'interconectivity' undreamed of before
Molecular Chemistry/Physics - when man can modify everything at the most basic physical level, all bets are off: the capability to destroy or create becomes effectively Infinite and so do the political, cultural, and psychological consequences for humanity and the Civilizations.

There are other possibilities, but the point is that when (or even IF) any of these happen is not fixed in time or the game. And in many cases, the Singularity happens somewhere else and is Transmitted to your Civ, with untold consequences (actually, ask the Native Americans, they can tell you about some of the consequences at great length).

Note also that many of these are directly related to Physical changes that could be reflected on the Civ/Map graphics: Agriculture, Bronze, Iron, Steam, Electricity all transform the very appearance of cities and their surrounding landscape: the fact that your neighbor has discovered Iron Working or Steam Power should not come as a surprise to you.
OK for no fixed global changes of eras based on turns/date.
Technologic and ideological diffusion and the resulting unequal levels of development also sound good.

So, are these Events linear or could be ramified, no sequential and even skip some?
 
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OK for no fixed global changes of eras based on turns/date.
Technologic and ideological diffusion and the resulting unequal levels of development also sound good.

So, are these Events linear or could be ramified, no sequential and even skip some?

We are used to thinking of the "Tech Tree" in our games as Linear, and only Civ VI has introduced the idea that developments might be accelerated or influenced by Non-Technological events (the 'Eureka' system, another great idea poorly developed and implemented). Both the 'outside influences' and the linearity need to be rethought.

For instance, east Africa appears to have gone straight to Iron/Steel smelting by the 4th century BCE without any Bronze working before that. Southwest India was making relatively high-grade 'Wootz' steel in the same century with, again, no extensive prior history of copper or bronze-working. Because of the development of high-temperature kilns for porcelain-making, China had cast iron for tools and a few weapons (cast iron is not really useful for most pre-gunpowder weapons) over a thousand years before Europeans developed the furnace temperatures necessary to produce it. So, the purely Technological Singularities are not necessarily linear. The non-technological, like, for instance, elements of Axial Thinking, only touched much of the world when they were introduced from elsewhere: monotheistic religions to Africa and the Americas at gunpoint from Europe, Printing and its revolutionary impact was a non-starter in China and East Asia because, although they had the technology for it centuries earlier than Europe, their written language and literary tradition (aesthetic brush techniques for writing) were an insurmountable barrier to mass production of books and the resulting dissemination of knowledge

The Devil, as they say, is in the Details. But it is entirely possible for a Civ to have a Singularity Event introduced from the outside, and run with it - see the sudden introduction of Monotheism to Arabia, then the introduction of the non-religious Natural Philosophy resulting in the Baghdad Renaissance, or the sudden imposition of Steam and Electricity and all their ramifications to Japan in the 19th century.

If there is a single lesson to be "learned" from the historical examples, it is that Winners and Losers change constantly, and a linear advance/progression from 4000 BCE to 2020 CE is a complete Fantasy and not reflective of any human group, society, culture or political entity. It's well past time for the 4X genre to start modeling that instead of providing game systems in which jumping ahead near the start keeps you ahead for 5000 years.
 

BuchiTaton

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We are used to thinking of the "Tech Tree" in our games as Linear, and only Civ VI has introduced the idea that developments might be accelerated or influenced by Non-Technological events (the 'Eureka' system, another great idea poorly developed and implemented). Both the 'outside influences' and the linearity need to be rethought.

For instance, east Africa appears to have gone straight to Iron/Steel smelting by the 4th century BCE without any Bronze working before that. Southwest India was making relatively high-grade 'Wootz' steel in the same century with, again, no extensive prior history of copper or bronze-working. Because of the development of high-temperature kilns for porcelain-making, China had cast iron for tools and a few weapons (cast iron is not really useful for most pre-gunpowder weapons) over a thousand years before Europeans developed the furnace temperatures necessary to produce it. So, the purely Technological Singularities are not necessarily linear. The non-technological, like, for instance, elements of Axial Thinking, only touched much of the world when they were introduced from elsewhere: monotheistic religions to Africa and the Americas at gunpoint from Europe, Printing and its revolutionary impact was a non-starter in China and East Asia because, although they had the technology for it centuries earlier than Europe, their written language and literary tradition (aesthetic brush techniques for writing) were an insurmountable barrier to mass production of books and the resulting dissemination of knowledge

The Devil, as they say, is in the Details. But it is entirely possible for a Civ to have a Singularity Event introduced from the outside, and run with it - see the sudden introduction of Monotheism to Arabia, then the introduction of the non-religious Natural Philosophy resulting in the Baghdad Renaissance, or the sudden imposition of Steam and Electricity and all their ramifications to Japan in the 19th century.

If there is a single lesson to be "learned" from the historical examples, it is that Winners and Losers change constantly, and a linear advance/progression from 4000 BCE to 2020 CE is a complete Fantasy and not reflective of any human group, society, culture or political entity. It's well past time for the 4X genre to start modeling that instead of providing game systems in which jumping ahead near the start keeps you ahead for 5000 years.
OK it sound good for a more complex simulation approach of the franchise. But how much of these could be implemented without feel too unbalanced and dependent of the random world generation.

I mean on EU4 (that is based on the real world map and shorter time range) mechanics like Institutions to simulate the spread of ideas and technologies had failed to work properly, bouncing between primitive nations being hopeless to a sandbox where everybody is top teach in few decades.

So maybe I am too pessimistic but I dont think the more intuitive, homogeneous and simplified model of CIV series and the avarage player than want a more ballanced gameplay would not clash with a complex simulation model. Related to this is the "the history I know" problem of most players, just from the list of civs we have a game with obvious predilection for western history, and how could those players be happy without a Medieval Age?

Why the Medieval Age? Well, the Middle Age was not a "Dark Age" as many people believe, but still is the result of the colapse of the classical world, invasions of many new peoples and even some terrible pandemics. This is like the problem of simulate more realistic cultural changes in Humankind. The cultural changes are usually related to invasions, so flip culture being a happy empire sound absurd right? Then voluntarily do negative factors that led to the Medieval Age is also absurd.
On a happy empire without huge random negative events (than most CIV players hate) there are no place for that time period that ironically is one of the most popular in historical based games.

At least since CIV4 there are MODs that add more signifivative and challenging events, also more complex interaction and conditions, so is not that Firaxis need to wait to CIV7 to make the game most a simulation, is just that like the immortal leaders would not leave the simplified linear model fit better the vanilla CIV experience.
 
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OK it sound good for a more complex simulation approach of the franchise. But how much of these could be implemented without feel too unbalanced and dependent of the random world generation.

The way to do it, I think, is not to present a Linear Progression, which is usually a false model, but a series of Decisions by the gamer, with no specific decision, let alone any sequence of them, having a 'right' answer in all game situations.

For example, you have Pottery (a Tech that dates back to 17 - 18,000 BCE, even before Humankind's nominal start date!) therefore you can develop the firing temperatures with modified kilns to produce Bronze. The quantities of Copper required are small - measured in 100s of pounds - so they can be traded from anywhere, even if you have no 'copper deposit' next to your own territory. It just costs you Money/Gold to get the traders to bring it to you (and that removes a lot of the Random Map Dependence of both Civ and Humankind - early Resources will always be brought to you if they are available anywhere within reason, if you have need enough to pay for them: long distance trade started very, very early in the Neolithic). Bronze changes many ways you can change your environment - you can make tools that allow precise forming of wood, for starters, so it leads to Wheels an then Spoked Wheels with draft animals. t is also much easier to form and work stone, so monumental Architecture becomes much less expensive in manpower and time. But also, because it is relatively rare, the Bronze Weapons and Armor are reserved for the few who can afford them, and your society gets a Warrior Elite Aristocracy - whether you want one or not. As stated, it is a Singularity that changes many things, not just one thing, about your Civ, and presents the gamer with new situation an decision-points.

So maybe I am too pessimistic but I dont think the more intuitive, homogeneous and simplified model of CIV series and the avarage player than want a more ballanced gameplay would not clash with a complex simulation model. Related to this is the "the history I know" problem of most players, just from the list of civs we have a game with obvious predilection for western history, and how could those players be happy without a Medieval Age?

Why the Medieval Age? Well, the Middle Age was not a "Dark Age" as many people believe, but still is the result of the colapse of the classical world, invasions of many new peoples and even some terrible pandemics. This is like the problem of simulate more realistic cultural changes in Humankind. The cultural changes are usually related to invasions, so flip culture being a happy empire sound absurd right? Then voluntarily do negative factors that led to the Medieval Age is also absurd.
On a happy empire without huge random negative events (than most CIV players hate) there are no place for that time period that ironically is one of the most popular in historical based games..

Good example, but the Medieval Era started with the 'Fall' of Rome, and that was not a collapse of everything, but a collapse of a central government and its associated long-distance trade and governance, and while the collapse was associated with Foreign 'barbarian' invasion, note that the first things the barbarians did was settle down and start emulating the Roman patterns as they identified them. Gothic Spain, Frankish Gaul, Saxon/British England all tried to recreate the Roman legal, political and social forms, even to the point of keeping Roman legal terms and political terminology for centuries after 'Rome' fell. So in game terms, the gamer playing as Rome may have his Empire devolve into a very local form, but it doesn't. in game terms, disappear completely. And since he doesn't have the tax base to pay for a large professional army, he has to use a Conscripted model in which a percentage of all your manpower gets called up temporarily when needed, providing their own weapons (the Fyrd, Ban, or Hirdsmen of 'dark age' Europe) or provide land for men to support themselves so they can provide even better-equipped troops when called - feudal Knights. Shazam - you're in the Middle Ages, or at least a close facsimile. And a similar model can also produce the Three Kingdoms and Sixteen Kingdoms of central disintegration after the Han 'collapse' in China, so a more Event Driven model is not even uniformly Eurocentric.

At least since CIV4 there are MODs that add more signifivative and challenging events, also more complex interaction and conditions, so is not that Firaxis need to wait to CIV7 to make the game most a simulation, is just that like the immortal leaders would not leave the simplified linear model fit better the vanilla CIV experience.

The Immortal Leader is no more than a convenient Figurehead for the Civ. They need to be kept, because they are convenient, but the attributes of the Civ itself can be independent of the Leader, and the attributes specifically associated with the Leader can vary within the game: very few historical leaders were entirely One Dimensional: provide a set of attributes from which to choose, and have in-game Events trigger occasions in which the attributes may have to be re-chosen, just as the Civ's attributes change due to the Singularities and other changes.

Getting it all right would be a lot of work, no question. But the result, I think, would be a game in which your play of a Civ would be driven by decisions made in response to in-game events and the characteristics of your Civ and Leader would change - would necessarily change - throughout the game as you had to deal with what the game situations threw at you.
 

BuchiTaton

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And a similar model can also produce the Three Kingdoms and Sixteen Kingdoms of central disintegration after the Han 'collapse' in China, so a more Event Driven model is not even uniformly Eurocentric.
I dont think the degree of social changes of the temporaly fragment China is the same of the feudal Europe, or what about the Byzantines, the Islamic world and their big Caliphates and the Turko-Mongol khanates, or the regular intercalation of local kingdoms and some regional empires on India that was in use before and after the european Middle Age.

Still I think that the collapse by bad rulers, climatic changes, foreign invasions and epidemics addresed as "imagine that happened" without on game visible negative causes and effects is the same as the cultural changes on Humankind.

The most honest way to get something like the european Middle Age is by actually negative events, but I doub the average player would accept to see their empires turned on a bunch of city states many of them with new cultures (at least Paradox simulate these negative events as "disasters" on their games). Maybe Firaxis could try to make a hardcore simulation spinoff contrary to the regular lown down console, scify and mobile versions.
 
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I dont think the degree of social changes of the temporaly fragment China is the same of the feudal Europe, or what about the Byzantines, the Islamic world and their big Caliphates and the Turko-Mongol khanates, or the regular intercalation of local kingdoms and some regional empires on India that was in use before and after the european Middle Age.

Still I think that the collapse by bad rulers, climatic changes, foreign invasions and epidemics addresed as "imagine that happened" without on game visible negative causes and effects is the same as the cultural changes on Humankind.

The most honest way to get something like the european Middle Age is by actually negative events, but I doub the average player would accept to see their empires turned on a bunch of city states many of them with new cultures (at least Paradox simulate these negative events as "disasters" on their games). Maybe Firaxis could try to make a hardcore simulation spinoff contrary to the regular lown down console, scify and mobile versions.

Between the end of the Eastern Han in 220 CE, the Three Kingdoms, Sixteen Kingdoms, Northern and Southern Dynasties 'fragmentations' and the establishment of a single Chinese State under the Sui and Tang (581 - 618 CE) was over 350 years. From the 'Fall' of Rome (476 CE) to the establishment of the Carolingian Dynasty and Charlemagne's new "Holy Roman" empire (800 CE) was 324 years. And, although both HRE and Tang presented themselves as a continuation of the previous state, neither was. The "universal' Caliphates began to fragment even faster, and also faster was the fragmentation of the Turko/Uralic Mongol states: Chingis died in 1227, the Mongol Civil War started in 1260, and the Golden Horde that formed the northwestern third of the empire was independent after that. Mongolian cultural and military influence long-lasting, political continuity pretty ephemeral.

The way to include Negative Events in any game without making it a chore to play is to always, in every case, give the Gamer Alternatives and Decisions to make that affect what outcome he gets from the Negative Event in his particular game.
IF the only Victory Conditions require continuous expansion/positive trends then No, any game with Negative Events is essentially, unplayable by any competitive gamer. Change the Victory Conditions. Include how well you did for the longest time During the Game instead of just adding up points and conditions at the end of the game. Include How Well You Adapted to the negative events as part of your Victory: give points for Perseverence, or Recovery, or Sheer Bloody Stubbornness of your Faction/Civ.
 

Haig

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Civilization Revolution had only four(!) eras but it was cool how each civ had an upgrade to their bonus with each era, example
Russia:
Ancient - extra food from plains
Medieval - defensive units extra loyalty
Industrial - half cost riflemen
Modern - half cost spies

They usually made pretty good sense historically, like in Russia's case the rifleman bonus could represent the mass armies of Napoleonic/Crimean/World wars, and spies bonus the cold war.
 

MeganovaStella

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China managed to reunite because of its simple geography compared to the monstrosity that was Rome's Asia + Africa + Europe, with mountains splitting up peninsulas, islands, rivers that act like borders, etc

There could be a mechanic where a nation with a 'mother river' and basic geography (India, China, America if the natives had horses from the start) has more cultural influence over its cities, allowing a state to take over the rest and claim itself to be 'The Nation', while a nation split up by mountains and rivers has less cultural influence over its cities and has SIGNIFICANTLY harder troubles trying to get a state to conquer the rest.
 
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I would like the eras to reflect the game mechanics. If people of the time didn't understand something at that point in time it should not be in the game at that point, otherwise what is the point of eras? For example having era score from the beginning of the game. I like era score but I don't see how it could be tracked if you don't have any monuments or the ability to write.
 
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China managed to reunite because of its simple geography compared to the monstrosity that was Rome's Asia + Africa + Europe, with mountains splitting up peninsulas, islands, rivers that act like borders, etc

There could be a mechanic where a nation with a 'mother river' and basic geography (India, China, America if the natives had horses from the start) has more cultural influence over its cities, allowing a state to take over the rest and claim itself to be 'The Nation', while a nation split up by mountains and rivers has less cultural influence over its cities and has SIGNIFICANTLY harder troubles trying to get a state to conquer the rest.

"mother river' and 'basic geography' are pretty foggy concepts to try and program into a game, and I could foresee gamers getting serious advantages out of foggy concepts compared to the AI.

On the other hand, if as usual 'Loyalty' or cohesiveness of a Civ is based n the distance from the Capital, AND the game measures that distance not in tiles but in Travel Time, we could approach the effect in your concept:
rivers should decrease travel time, so having cities strung along a river would make them more 'loyal' further away. Ditto for travel across plains or grasslands without geographic barriers. And, of course, traveling through mountain ranges, which require you to find a pass or go around, would be a serious impediment to maintaining cohesion across the peaks.
This would also markedly increase the potential size of an empire based on travel Technology: get better ships, have no trouble extending your Civ overseas. Get railroads, and most of the sheer distance barriers on land drop to near-zero - but not completely to Zero, as note that Russia still had some distinct 'separatist' tendencies out in the Far East provinces around Vladivostok, since that area, even after the Trans-Siberian Railroad was completed, was still 9 Time Zones and 2 weeks' travel time away from Moscow!


I would like the eras to reflect the game mechanics. If people of the time didn't understand something at that point in time it should not be in the game at that point, otherwise what is the point of eras? For example having era score from the beginning of the game. I like era score but I don't see how it could be tracked if you don't have any monuments or the ability to write.

Never underestimate the power of Oral Tradition. The Lakota, even without a written language, kept pictographic Winter Count calendars that accurately recorded major events in years generations earlier. Homer's epics were strictly oral tales for an estimated several centuries before they were written down, and pretty accurately describe Greek Mycenean warfare as it existed a good 600 years before that time.
However, that said, to become part of the General Epic Knowledge of a people ("Era Score") I suggest that for a pre-literate (Writing Tech) group the event has to be very dramatic. Conquest of a City State (Trojan War?) or surviving a Major Disaster (Flood Myths?), or perhaps be part of a specialized No Author Great Work of Oral "Writing" like the Iliad, or Beowulf, or the Gilgamesh cycle of tales - all part of the general knowledge of the respective peoples before they were ever written down . . .
 
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A certain pragmatic part of me has long been suspicious of the era system in favor of one that takes more inspiration from multiplayer power spikes. It seems like the question of whether one is in the Renaissance or the Early Modern makes little sense if Janissaries have just overrun your region. In Civ VI, it's almost like everyone should get a notification when someone has researched artillery or bombers, because in the worst-case scenario of sleepwalking through the game, this heralds the potential for anyone to end it.

I like that in Civilization certain unique and generic features trigger such an imbalance as to require action on the part of neighbors. In Civ VI, being the first to found a religion is often enough to extinguish all competition, likewise building a Lavra or getting a Classical Golden Age. National Parks and Rock Bands are also game-changers. A simple though highly unpopular era begins with walled cities. I hope this asymmetry continues and factors into the design of eras. For instance, the dawn of the walled city might trigger the possibility for enhanced siege tactics or great engineers on both sides.
 
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Never underestimate the power of Oral Tradition. The Lakota, even without a written language, kept pictographic Winter Count calendars that accurately recorded major events in years generations earlier. Homer's epics were strictly oral tales for an estimated several centuries before they were written down, and pretty accurately describe Greek Mycenean warfare as it existed a good 600 years before that time.

That's why this is a good topic. It requires more knowledge than i have :lol: It's seems like eras need three things: Events to have happened in the past, some way of 'recording' them for posterity, and some something happening now to distinguish now from then.
 

MeganovaStella

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"mother river' and 'basic geography' are pretty foggy concepts to try and program into a game, and I could foresee gamers getting serious advantages out of foggy concepts compared to the AI.
it sounds complex but here's how to break it down:

1. Start next to a river. It has to be one of the few rivers in that region, be in a fertile plain, and flood regularly. That is now the source of your civilization and culture, radiating out into your empire.
2. Don't have mountains and rivers everywhere. If you are India and several parts of your empire are cut off by mountain ranges, expect the cultures separated by those mountain ranges to drift fast and thus increase separatism

Based on this, the player would waste time moving around and trying to get to a spot where they can sustain large empires for long times. In addition, adding a stagnation mechanic when your empire is big and prosperous would smash snowballing.

> travel time

Seems like a really good idea.
 
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If we are sticking to a 500 turn game, I think 6 eras. For new players that should be about 480 turns (each era lasting 80 turns), for speed runners probably 40.
Personally I'd go
Ancient - Medieval - Early Modern - Industrial - Atomic - Information
I went with this breakdown for game pacing reasons. Like, I don't want the game to feel like it's over before the early modern period, so put it in the first half of the game.

I also think to advance to a new era, you should need to click like a "revolution" or "age up" or "advance" button, that will trigger some event.
 
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