How would you solve the snowballing & endgame problem?

Leucarum

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A single player solution could be an ever-expanding map. As you move through the ages have more and more of the map become accessible and give the civs in those parts of the map a more potent start depending on the difficulty
 

PiR

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It makes sense that you couldn't send scouts very far in the Ancient Era, and could not send more than scouts on another continent during Exploration Era, or more than probes onto Mars in the Information Era. :mischief: Sorry Elon, no offense.
 

mdl5000

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I would narrow the playing area, so to speak, as much as possible
i.e. musical chairs

for example:
- I would not permit the building of new cities past a certain time in the game.
- new population would come more from migration than from new citizens being born.
- more of a pet peeve of mine: but I wish city-states would combine to form independent organizations so they would be harder to conquer or control one by one.

it has probably been said before. but basically anything which makes conflicts more likely to happen would be able to stop runaway players.
I can't tell you how many games where I conquered one neighbor by the Renaissance era and all the other AI simply don't know what to do about it and I won...
 

BuchiTaton

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What about two similar cicles of era's focus like this:

- EXPLORATION 1 (Neolithic Era): Tribes moving around to find the best place to build your early cities, technologies of adaptation like agriculture.
- GROWTH 1 (Ancient Era): Build infrastructure like irrigation networks, quarries, ports, monuments, palaces, temples, etc. (Sumer, Egypt, Harappa, etc.)
- CONFRONTATION 1 (Classical Era): Agressive militar expansion over smaller factions and againts others empires (Persia, Macedonia, Rome, Maurya, Qing/Han)
- VINCULATION 1 (Medieval Era): Build common alliances on religion and dynastic relations to resist rival groups (Crusades, Caliphates, Khans, etc.)
- EXPLORATION 2 (Renaissance Era): New naval technology to reach whole new continents full of new resources to claim (Spain, Portugal, Dutch, etc.)
- GROWTH 2 (Industrial Era): The scientific advance allow to mechanize the production, fast population and city growing (Industrialization of UK, Germany, Japan, etc.)
- CONFRONTATION 2 (Around WW2): Direct massive, mechanized and fast war between world powers.
- VINCULATION 2 (Contemporary): The threat of total nuclear annhilation induce to the use of more soft ways to secure your supremacy.

Each era would have their own relevant aspect with chances for some civs to overtake previous powers.
 

Zaarin

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Many games have an escalating power and escalating difficulty towards the final boss. Maybe there needs to be a final trial at the end. Like everyone ganging up against you.
I don't know what the solution is, but it isn't this. Firaxis has tried this a few times in Civ5 and Civ6, and I loathe it with a passion. Nothing feels more gamey than my friends suddenly turning on me "because I'm winning."
 
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I don't know what the solution is, but it isn't this. Firaxis has tried this a few times in Civ5 and Civ6, and I loathe it with a passion. Nothing feels more gamey than my friends suddenly turning on me "because I'm winning."

Oh, 100% agree with this. I think the thing that makes it worse is that the "winner hate" only comes about when you're roughly 10 turns or so from victory (when it's far too late to mean anything), and the AI never act on it. They just sit there, unhappy with you, being a microscopic inconvenience to the victory that's already in your grasp.
 

DeckerdJames

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At top difficulty level, AI should always try to actively prevent opponents from winning by acts of war and/or diplomatic means, including trade bias.

Most high difficulty games should end up being decided by score because it should be extremely difficult to achieve a victory condition because none of your opponents will idly allow a win. Meaning, the closer to winning or running away with the game a civilization is, the more disliked it is. As the game enters the final eras, the more likely there will be world wars, the forming of coalitions of civilizations to stop clear front runners, and cut throat diplomacy.

Longtime, high level alliances might have generated enough goodwill to prevent open war but allies will still seek to disadvantage each other in the race to victory by diplomatic means. An alliances doesn't mean they will help you beat them.

Ultimately, the AI should prefer a scored ending more than allowing an opponent to fulfill any clear cut victory condition.
 
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Bring back corruption? Diminishing returns for cities based on distance from your capital seems quite realistic and the max distance could slowly expand over with tech.

What the game really needs is a mechanic representing Administrative Efficiency. 'Bureaucracy' was invented about the time of Hammurabi, for the good reason that without it you can't get anything out of anybody who is too far out of your sight. ALL the early 'civilizations' started as city states because, while you could walk around the city telling people what to do and seeing that they did it, the folks in another city a day's stroll away are effectively out of your control without some kind of bureaucratic administration.

So Span of Control is a very real problem from Start of Game, and extending it beyond one city takes not only Technology but is also affected by your Social and Civic structure: a Feudal Monarchy means your 'feudal retainers' run things for you, but they are liable to run them in their own best interests, not yours. A centralized government administration requires that you find a way to train all the administrators, and their supervisors, and that gets expensive in both money and manpower, and of course the larger and more elaborate the administration the more trained, literate people you are taking away from any directly productive work like Mining, Farming, Trade, Crafts, etc.

When you think about it, for most of the game the City State Civ is 'normal' and the widespread Empire is the Exception: Ancient Era 'Empires' were either local or isolated and culturally uniform like Egypt (the first Chinese 'Empire', the Zhou, is actually from the beginning of the Classical Era, "Ancient Era" China is largely legendary). Classical period gives us Rome, Han, Maurya and Persia as Empires - Alexander's doesn't count, since it fell apart as soon as he died and his Successors used Persian and Egyptian foundations to maintain their 'empires' which turned out to be pretty unstable except for Ptolemaic Egypt, which staggered along for a couple hundred years.

And note, the Persians left most of their members very much alone, while Rome and the Han had 'Unique' aspects to maintain their Empires: Roman Citizenship and Confucian-trained scholar-administrators.

You should have to have something special going for you to make a multi-city, spread-out set of conquests work for you for any length of time before the late Medieval, and even then it's no sure thing.

And yes, this will be very frustrating for the MIles Gloriousus wannabees* out there in the Game World, but the other side of making Conquest And Hold hard is that it is hard for anyone else to Conquer you and Hold on to you and your little digital rebels also. This would also be the basis for a genuine Rise And Fall mechanic in the game.

(* = Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum reference)
 

Zaarin

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You should have to have something special going for you to make a multi-city, spread-out set of conquests work for you for any length of time before the late Medieval, and even then it's no sure thing.
I feel like the game already assumes that you have something special going for you, but replacing city-states and barbarians with minor civs might emphasize that feeling.
 

Leucarum

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So Span of Control is a very real problem from Start of Game, and extending it beyond one city takes not only Technology but is also affected by your Social and Civic structure: a Feudal Monarchy means your 'feudal retainers' run things for you, but they are liable to run them in their own best interests, not yours. A centralized government administration requires that you find a way to train all the administrators, and their supervisors, and that gets expensive in both money and manpower, and of course the larger and more elaborate the administration the more trained, literate people you are taking away from any directly productive work like Mining, Farming, Trade, Crafts, etc.

While I agree that it all makes sense historically, I'm not sure about the game mechanics of tying administration capacity to infrastructure. Stellaris does that currently, but it really just devolves into a tax on expansion as you just have to build up admin capacity to match your growth. That was pretty much the only reason I said I'd rather link it to tech though. If complete historical accuracy was the goal I'd argue differently.
 
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While I agree that it all makes sense historically, I'm not sure about the game mechanics of tying administration capacity to infrastructure. Stellaris does that currently, but it really just devolves into a tax on expansion as you just have to build up admin capacity to match your growth. That was pretty much the only reason I said I'd rather link it to tech though. If complete historical accuracy was the goal I'd argue differently.

A lot of it is related to Technology, in the sense that communications technology ranging from road-building to sea-crossing capabilities to Industrial and later electrical (telegraph, telephone) and electronic (radio) systems that 'shrink' the world would all contribute to making farflung control easier. But it's not all technology: some very basic Civics choices and Government types reflect specifically How your Civ is going to be run and how easy it is to run it as it gets bigger.
 

PiR

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I don't know what the solution is, but it isn't this. Firaxis has tried this a few times in Civ5 and Civ6, and I loathe it with a passion. Nothing feels more gamey than my friends suddenly turning on me "because I'm winning."
There could be more subtle ways than this one. ;)
First of all, in modern eras, turning on you should not mean declaring war. It could be - for example - making a scientific coalition to launch a common spaceship very quickly.

And about the scientific victory: I like the fact that there are several steps to it. But everything you have invested in the first step will help you for the next steps. So if you're racing in that direction then you already know you've won when you reach the first step. I think there is an adjustment here. There could be steps also to other victories, each step gaining in difficulty. We could even imagine to unlock some steps in each era, which would make all of them more meaningful. Maybe all steps wouldn't be required for the final victory then, only 80%.
 

Zaarin

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There could be more subtle ways than this one. ;)
First of all, in modern eras, turning on you should not mean declaring war. It could be - for example - making a scientific coalition to launch a common spaceship very quickly.
As long as my friends aren't suddenly giving me the cold shoulder for metagame reasons, I'm open to ideas. But my friends suddenly breaking alliances, pulling out of declarations of friendship, and snubbing me "because I'm winning" is really jarring to me. A game should not go out of its way to remind you that it's a game unless it has meta commentary going on like The Stanley Parable...And I don't want any kind of commentary from Firaxis. :p
 
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Krajzen

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Yeah, I also wouldn't like "because you are winning" hate, both for immersive reasons and because I can't stand "warmongering" hate. If civ7 still has "warmongering" outrage nonsense coming from anybody other than modern era democracies then I'll just create a mod that flat out deletes the entirety of it.

Instead of the ridiculous, anachronic moral outrage of the entire medieval humanity against one state because it conquers some third actor nobody cares about, there should simply exist zones of influence and alliance networks which naturally lead to world wars in the later eras if anyone tries to disturb the world order too much. That's how it works in EU4 - huge alliances form and sooner or later you simply have to face them if you wanna achieve a hegemony. Not to mention real life world wars.

That's regarding military domination. Religious victory shouldn't exist to begin with so that's not the issue anyway. Scientific victory should simply be something every high tech advanced AI civ goes towards by default, and works harder if it sees competition - hey, soace race was a thing during cold war, and still is nowadays. Diolomatic hegemony in the "United Nations" should be hard not because of "you are winning" modifier but because major nations naturally dislike too much influence of one hegemon. Culture victory shouldn't translate to military hostilities anyway (a lot of folks in Eurooe don't like the extent of American cultural influence, but no one sane would take arms against this).
 

Zaarin

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Instead of the ridiculous, anachronic moral outrage of the entire medieval humanity against one state because it conquers some third actor nobody cares about, there should simply exist zones of influence and alliance networks which naturally lead to world wars in the later eras if anyone tries to disturb the world order too much. That's how it works in EU4 - huge alliances form and sooner or later you simply have to face them if you wanna achieve a hegemony. Not to mention real life world wars.
Something like that is happening in my current CK3 game. I'm playing as the King of Bohemia, and I married the daughter of the King of Croatia for the alliance, assuming that sooner or later I would expand into either Hungary or Poland and would want his support. Well, he got deposed--and the new queen is less than a year old, has 805 troops against my roughly 3000, and has no allies. Well, if it's the Lord's will to make me King of Bohemia and Croatia, who am I to argue? :mischief: And, as you say, no one will care because no one has a vested interest in preventing me from becoming King of Croatia. We're both Catholic so Byzantium doesn't care--they're trading one Catholic neighbor for another. It's too far south for my liege the Holy Roman Emperor to care--ditto for Hungary.

That's regarding military domination. Religious victory shouldn't exist to begin with so that's not the issue anyway. Scientific victory should simply be something every high tech advanced AI civ goes towards by default, and works harder if it sees competition - hey, soace race was a thing during cold war, and still is nowadays. Diolomatic hegemony in the "United Nations" should be hard not because of "you are winning" modifier but because major nations naturally dislike too much influence of one hegemon. Culture victory shouldn't translate to military hostilities anyway (a lot of folks in Eurooe don't like the extent of American cultural influence, but no one sane would take arms against this).
100% all of this.
 

BuchiTaton

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If civ7 still has "warmongering" outrage nonsense coming from anybody other than modern era democracies then I'll just create a mod that flat out deletes the entirety of it.
Well it make sense when you have immortal time travelers leaders like Teddy and Gandhi :lol:

The warmongering is supposed to counter agressive gameplay from the diplomatic side, so other option is to use some inner overextension penalties, for me the obvious are:
- Exhaustion (like Alexanders troops in India)
- Moral (value based from the relation of causus belli and your populations civics)
- Logistic (tech related)
- Administration (social related)
- Cost (war is expensive)
- Domination (culture related)
The culture (ethnicity and religion) of the population of your conquest should have some significative impact on the capacity to hold those lands.

Many civs could have a design exactly to manage those conquered lands:
- Romans with "Bread and Circuses" (amenities) and the network of roads and fortress.
- Chinese with overhelming growth and highly bureaucratic administration.
- Persians and/or Indians could have some "tolerance" mechanics.
- Arabs and Spaniards with fast cultural conversion.

While other military powers like the Goths or Mongols could be really powerfull warriors but kind of bad on the cultural aspect and ended diluted on their own conquest.
 

moysturfurmer

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If every other civ has a tech, and you have a declaration of friendship with any of them, you should (slowly?)acquire that tech even without researching it.
 
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Well it make sense when you have immortal time travelers leaders like Teddy and Gandhi :lol:

The warmongering is supposed to counter agressive gameplay from the diplomatic side, so other option is to use some inner overextension penalties, for me the obvious are:
- Exhaustion (like Alexanders troops in India)
- Moral (value based from the relation of causus belli and your populations civics)
- Logistic (tech related)
- Administration (social related)
- Cost (war is expensive)
- Domination (culture related)
The culture (ethnicity and religion) of the population of your conquest should have some significative impact on the capacity to hold those lands.

"Exhaustion" is pretty generic: Alexander's troops turned back (and forced him to lead them back) because His war aims did not match theirs - they had conquered the Persians, that was the original Ultimate Goal, but he kept on going. Mismatch of Stated War Goals and expectations. Could even be part of your second one: The relationship between the Causus Belli and Aims versus the Civics/Social Policy of the Civ no longer matched at all.

Many civs could have a design exactly to manage those conquered lands:
- Romans with "Bread and Circuses" (amenities) and the network of roads and fortress.
- Chinese with overhelming growth and highly bureaucratic administration.
- Persians and/or Indians could have some "tolerance" mechanics.
- Arabs and Spaniards with fast cultural conversion.

While other military powers like the Goths or Mongols could be really powerfull warriors but kind of bad on the cultural aspect and ended diluted on their own conquest.

Rome's Secret Weapon was Roman Citizenship, which was, after some delay, open to Everyone, and had so many economic and Legal benefits attached that it was worth striving for - here was even a black Emperor, so as a citizen of Rome you could climb as high as you could imagine. The road network and transpotation in general simply made it possible to get economic gains frm trading within a huge trade network stretching from Britain and Spain to Mesopotamia and North Africa.

The Persians established the original multi-ethnic, multi-cultural Empire by sheer Tolerance. Don't revolt, pay your taxes, let the Persians handle all the military stuff, and you were left alone - but like Rome a little later, had the benefit of being able to trade from Egypt to India.

The Arabs and Spanish both had the benefit of aggressive Religions which encompassed a great deal of Universalism: just like being a Roman Citizen, once you converted to Catholic Christianity or Islam, you got all the benefits of being part of a huge Empire just as if you and your family had been members forever. That was powerfully Inclusive.

The Mongols, by contrast, suffered from Cultural Exclusiveness. If you weren't a Steppe pastoral rider, you were a Second Class citizen, regardless of any other thing about you and your people. No Inclusiveness at all, so the only part of their Empire that lasted was the Golden or Great Horde on the southern Russian/Ulranian steppes, where the population as all pastoral riders.
 
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