• Paradox Games has announced today their new game “Millennia”, a semi-historical turn-based 4X game. Find out more here .

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Jun 19, 2019
This is a long post, and as my first post to these forums, perhaps I'm biting off more than I can chew. Regardless, I hope that my ideas are worth sharing and it sparks interest in a few of you!

There are many things I enjoy immensely about Civilization VI, but there’s also a few things I find tedious or monotonous about the gameplay. As a programmer by trade, my mind tends to wander towards solutions, and this mod package is my attempt at implementing changes that address the deficiencies. Some of you may find that what I consider a deficiency, you consider the opposite, and that’s to be expected, so let’s just acknowledge that and move on!

I hope that each of the suggestions I outline below can be distilled into a few unique changes to the game which can all be turned on independently without breaking the others, but I suspect this won’t be entirely possible. I haven’t begun any implementation yet, a mod of this magnitude is far beyond my capability at the moment. I’d like to first get some feedback and ideas from the community, especially if some of what I mention has been done before. As this is my first post, I hope you’ll forgive my ignorance!

So, to begin, I’ve focused on two primary areas of Civilization that I think could be improved.

I’m not a very good micro-manager…I never did well in games like WC III or Age of Empires, and even though the turn based style of Civ makes it less tense, I usually get bogged down and bored of a lot of the micromanaging. To address this, there are few things that I believe can be abstracted out a level to alleviate some of the micromanaging.

I know, Civilization is a game, it’s not meant to be a hyper-realistic simulation, but hear me out and I think you might find yourself agreeing. There’s a few areas I think ripe for improvement, but one aspect of the game that’s always bugged me is the “instantaneous communication” between leaders.

Imagine this common scenario: you’re in the ancient era, you have a scout which has made its way to the opposite side of the really long continent, and there you meet a scout from the great Japanese empire! Somehow, instantaneously, you can begin talking and trading through all kinds of various means. Yea…okay…that’s definitely how it worked.

Anyway, trade and diplomacy are just two of the areas where I have an issue with realism. Where I think the game does a good job is in warfare, so most likely, this mod package will include only minor changes to warfare.

Gameplay Modifications
Anyway, without further ado, I’m going to dig right in and start discussing each aspect of the game I think could use some rework, and then also introduce my proposed solution, as well as open the floor for suggestions.

Empire Expansion
Expanding your empire is a big deal, especially at the higher difficulties. If you don’t claim your territory, you’ll get shut out and shut down. So, you spend production on settlers. How much did rulers actually say "hey, go over there and settle that place." We can do better.

City Levels
Essentially, the idea is something like this. Cities are now classified at different levels, perhaps Village, Township, City, Metropolis, I don’t know, maybe others. When you establish your city in the Ancient era, it’s a village. When you research a certain tech (either a new one or a current one), your capital will automatically become a Township when it reaches a certain population. Then, similarly, it will become a City at another population threshold, and lastly a Metropolis. I think it might be interesting if the city bounds could also expand to additional tiles instead of just the one, but these decisions are reserved for implementation.

The first major change to accomplish this is that the property “Population” should no longer be applied only to cities, but instead be a sort of tile yield, though better yet it would just be a property of a tile (which programmatically might just be represented as a yield, though the idea isn’t to stockpile it as a resource). Having each tile with a population is the basis for determining when a tile automatically becomes a village and can begin climbing the tiers to a metropolis. It might be pertinent to have some range limits, (i.e. a tile can only become a village if it’s three tiles or further from a current city, though this too is an implementation decision.)

Automatic Development
Okay, tiles now have population, and when a tile reaches a certain population, it becomes a village, cool. So, how is population calculated? There's a lot that could potentially impact the population of a tile, but I'll list off a few things just to get the conversation started.
  1. Roads are critical. A tiles population growth should heavily depend on its proximity to a road. If the tile contains a road, that tile has maximum population growth from roads. (also, better roads increase population growth.
    1. This means trade route placement is also critical, as you might want to pick the first city state or other civ’s city not on how much gold you get, but the resources and locations that the road will travel through, as most likely that’s where your second city will end up.
    2. Intersecting roads should add bonus population growth
    3. Builders should gain the ability to build roads, that way if you have a spot you really want a city to spawn, you can build a road to the location if you cant make a trade route pass over it.
  2. Access to fresh water also increases population growth on a tile, obviously...
  3. Adjacent farms or plantations increase growth, while adjacent mines or quarries reduce it.
  4. Working a tile grows the population
    • Conversely, not working a tile could result in a population decline
    • Perhaps a tile can only grow in population if it’s being worked.
So, now the question might be, what to do with Settlers? Well, I’m not sure exactly. I think increasing their cost or reducing their movement speed might be effective, but essentially the point of settlers now would sort of be as tactical land acquisition units. Did you discover a valley which is critical for holding a defensive position? Grab it with a settler. Want to make sure you setup some distance between you and a nearby civ? Use a settler…In general, I think as long as the role of the settler is no longer “move five tiles away and grab as many resources as possible before your neighbor does,” then I’ll be happy…

Population Capping
I think that it would also make sense for each city level to be sort of “capped” at a particular population, and if it continues to produce extra food, then the population can spill-over into nearby tiles, perhaps doing things like spawning “sister-cities” (sort of like Washington and Baltimore, or the five boroughs of New York City)
Tile Improvements
I’m not a huge fan of builders in this game, so here’s how I might change the system for improving tiles. First off, when a tile is worked (and therefore generating population on the tile), it also begins incrementally improving the tile as well. So, if you have a citizen working a tile which has a copper resource, eventually, if it continues to work there, a mine will become an automatic improvement after a certain amount of time (or maybe when it reaches a certain population below the village threshold).

Side note: Instead of the “village”, perhaps each improvement could just be the first stage of becoming a city. So, maybe at the beginning of the game the Capital is just a “Village Green” improvement, which then becomes a Township, then a City, etc. A Mine also becomes a township, same with a plantation, etc.

Anyway, builders would still be able to automatically create these improvements, which just add housing and population potential for that tile and increase the likelihood that it turns into a village/township in the future.

Builders should still be important for something, similar to Settlers, but I don’t have an concrete ideas on how to work builders in. Maybe they’re more important for building wonders? This would encroach on China’s ability…but I think there’s some ways to accomplish this and keep China unique.

Closing Statements
So, I've said a lot here, and if you made it all the way here I'm impressed by your ability to focus! I'd love to here your comments and suggestion on ways to tackle some of the different ideas, as well as whether they're even possible with the current modding capabilities in the game. I touch on many different aspects of the game, and despite my best attempts at keeping them relatively tame, I suspect that more than a few of them will be mostly impossible.

If you have any additional ideas or changes that might fall under the "Autonomy" or "Realism" subjects, please share them and I'll update this main post!

If this leads to significant interest, I'll probably setup a code repository to use for collaboration, or if someone feels so inclined feel free to set one up for me.

Anyway, I'll leave things here and see where it goes, thanks for reading!
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