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Independent Cities and Regional Zoning

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Lesser Ajax, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. Lesser Ajax

    Lesser Ajax Chieftain

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    I've lately been thinking on the prospects and difficulties of implementing civil wars, province/regions, curbing reckless early expansion, minor civs, and so forth for Civ IV. And though many excellent suggestions have been made thus far, many seem rather inefficient or prehaps reliant on randomization.

    In attempting to formulate a more elegant solution to the matter, I've been entertaining the following ideas. (I hope I'm not repeating anything already posted.)


    1) "Neutral" settlers. What I mean by this is settlers that are from your civilization that you build that form their own "minor Civ" when they found a city. I propose that at least two types of settlers be available: normal settlers and these independent settlers (I'll call them pioneers for now). The normal settlers would have a set build time, unaffected by shield production, of perhaps ten, maybe fifteen turns, and a small population cost. The pioneers would have a shield cost, preferably one that makes them unattractive until they take less time to build than settlers, and cost a little more population than your regular settlers (twice as much?).

    The catch, then, is that once built, the pioneers belong to a new civ (maybe call it "Independent <civname>") that starts out with a regular 20-turn alliance with the mother civ (mutual protection, right of passage, etc.). It gets moved by the AI, builds a city, starts with a small treasury, manages its city, researches tech, builds some settlers of its own, and so forth. After the alliance expires the offshoot civ is more or less on its own.

    A couple of thoughts: the minor civ should favor trade with its parent. Because they're still obstensibly your people, if they get into a war and you don't help them, peace weariness should begin to rise. On the flip side, if you declare war on your offspring, not only should war weariness begin, but unhappiness due to aggression against your kin should rise.

    As another wrench in the works, culture flip both from the independent civ to your empire AND vice versa could be much easier and more frequent (though in this case a grace period for new towns should be allowed), allowing you to peacefully absorb your people back into the fold or forcing you to unite the lands through conquest.

    What's the point to all of this? Fast expansion would be held somewhat in check by the inability to control the growth, yet it'd be easier to lay claim to that land later on. There would be opportunties for revolutions and civil wars that would not be sudden random events.


    2) Grouping cities into regions/provinces. I think there should either be a quick menu option for this or maybe an overlay gui to set things up. What, essentially, I would do here is a little more nebulous, as I personally envision it tied into corruption, and they've already stated that corruption is going to be reworked. That is, it could be set up so that grouping cities that share cultural borders with other cities in the group (that is, no selecting disparate cities from all over the empire) would get production and trade bonuses, reduced corruption, and increased culture production coupled with diminished flip chances. As the number of cities in the group increases, the bonuses give diminished returns and the corruption steadily increases.

    A few considerations here: bonuses should be tied to the best cities/city in a group, so that grouping a bunch of poor towns wouldn't boost anything, except maybe unhappiness. On the flip-side, putting the entire core of the civilization into a region, while still DOING something, wouldn't suddenly allow the area to produce two to three times its normal. The computer should be able to auto-calculate, by current and potential (if all tiles were worked the way they are currently developed) city production, the best way to set up industrial regions, food producers, science centers, and so forth. This would be both to ease micromanagement and also to keep the AI competitive in this area.

    Additonally, to keep region borders from constantly being in flux to eke out the best bonuses, it should cost money to rezone cities. I think a simple counter on how long a city has been in a particular zone, combined with a short history of how profitable (trade, shields, food) that city has been and a set value on city size would be best. In this manner, you couldn't simply rezone your best cities around at will to accelerate empire development unless your treasury would allow the luxury.

    Regions shouldn't be available until a tech advance allows them and/or your empire reaches a certain size. Until then, all of your cities should be assumed to be in a region (without actually being in one). This would discourage having many cities early in the game and wouldn't punish smaller civilizations for not being large enough to make (effective) use of regions.

    This could open up strategic considerations (perhaps an entire region could surrender/culture flip if its "big" cities fell into enemy hands), make it easier to navigate and manage large empires (assuming regions/provinces/zones can be named/renamed), and improve civil wars if those were implemented, too.




    I seem to have typed quite a bit and gone all over the place, so I'll KISS and list the basic gist of each idea:

    1) Independent settlers that form a minor civ that can be fairly easily reabsorbed into the parent civilization.

    2) Ability to group cities into regions to increase productivity and lower corruption and waste.


    Mostly a mental exercise, but these ideas seem easy enough to implement without totally rewriting the game's rules. Feel free to comment or criticise.
     
  2. Elrohir

    Elrohir RELATIONAL VALORIZATION

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    1) Doesn't sound like a very good idea to me. Quicker or not, I would rather create an empire of my own than build a bunch of little off-shoots that may or may not ever join my empire. I wouldn't use nuetral settlers at all, and I think this feature would annoy a lot of people.


    2) Good idea. It's been discussed before, and could be a feature in Civ 4. (I hope so, but honestly, I'm not too hopeful)
     
  3. FenrysWulf

    FenrysWulf Evil Norse Wolf

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    I'm in favor of neutral cities, but I don't understand why a person would want to build them. Your idea seems like stabbing yourself in the back. A person wouldn't want to establish a competitor for themselves when for a little more cost they could just own that city outright. Building neutral cities as you suggest just seems to be anti-intuitive - it's not in your self interest.
     
  4. joebasstard

    joebasstard Chieftain

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    Lesser Ajax wrote:
    "Neutral" settlers. What I mean by this is settlers that are from your civilization that you build that form their own "minor Civ" when they found a city. I propose that at least two types of settlers be available: normal settlers and these independent settlers (I'll call them pioneers for now)...


    Yes, read: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=86674

    my post there reads:
    What about this? EVERY city has a chance of becoming an INDEPENDENT city-state if the ruling civ doesn't maintain their control well enough. These cities would break away from the empire and have a neutral (grey) culture border, but any independent city-states would also be independent from each other. In the beginning, leaders must keep their grip on cities with military force and happiness, and maybe a visit by the actual king helps keep a city in line. As technologies come around, they actually make keeping an empire together easier. So an ancient leader has to work his butt off to keep a large empire together, and there would be lots of revolts and such. Any technology that speeded up communication or control over cities would extend the effective 'control range' of a leader or empire.
    I also like the idea of barbarians spawning their own towns.

    Also, what if your cities sometimes spawned 'rogue' or 'independent' settlers on their own, outside of the build cue? Things like a large population, high taxes, famine, or just nearby open land could initiate it. You have no control over them, and they go settle and form an independent city. They would have very close culture ties, and if you attacked ths settler or new city it would cause unhappiness in your civ. But you could try to culture flip them, which might work, depending on the people's general attitude towards you. Maybe if it's already good they just decide to join your civ immediately.
    I would also like to see the option of communication with individual cities: in a situation like this, you could meet with the city leader(s) and either offer them a deal to join; OR set up a trading relationship; OR offer them protection for a fee (remain independent and protected for a price) In which case you could not control production but coul move units in and out; OR threaten them if they don't do one of the above.
    The reasons I like these concepts: A. Throughout most of ancient and middle history, much of the world was popiulated by cities that were NOT part of some tightly unified nation or empire, unlike in Civ. B. It would make the game FAR more interesting.
     
  5. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Deity

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    Hmmmm perhaps with a little work, though, this idea COULD have merit.
    Lets assume-for the sake of my example-that Civ4 has 'factions': semi-independant demographic groups within your nation (such as labourers, farmers, religious groups (including minorities), ethnic minorities and the like).
    If one of these factions becomes sufficiantly unhappy, then perhaps the city they are in could produce one or more 'settler' units which can go off and found a new 'colony'-perhaps in the same kind of way the Pilgrim Fathers sailed to the Americas to escape religious persecution in England. Such a colony would be still a part of your nation-in many respects-but would be more 'autonomous' than the regions you directly control (i.e., they have more chance of going against your wishes).
    Anyway, its just a thought.

    Yours,
    Aussie_Lurker.
     
  6. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    I think your heart is in the right place, but this is a frequent problem with a lot of suggestions.

    It's not enough to build a feature. You need to make people want to use it, too. Otherwise you end up with another useless feature like a "trade embargo".

    Why would you trade embargo somebody when getting someone to declare war on them is more effective, let alone warring with them yourself?

    Likewise, why would you build a settler for an allied Civ when you can expand your own empire?
     
  7. FenrysWulf

    FenrysWulf Evil Norse Wolf

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    It is an intriguing idea to have, for example, protestant reformers break off and form their own cities, because it's more like real life. I am a little concerned from the aspect of a game, however, that if you make everything so complicated and realistic, then the game won't be any fun. It's a fact that most people play civ because they like building empires, and the harder you make empire building, the less enjoyable the game might be for most people.
     
  8. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Deity

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    I tend to say that, if people are only interested in 'building empires', then perhaps they should go and play one of the Warlords games-or some such-because they will get that in spades. I like to believe that the reason people play CIV, rather than other kinds of 'Empire Games', is because they want to feel like they are truly reliving or rewriting history. The beauty is that, with each iteration of the genre, that sense of really being a PART of history has increased (albiet with some minor setbacks in certain areas :mischief: ), and I hope that Civ4 will take that to the next level-by giving you a sense of ruling REAL people-with all of the benefits and pitfalls that this entails-including the ability for parts of your nation to break away, parts of your nation to rebel, and some of your people to set off and make their own way in the world.
    As for your point, DH_Epic, I think this highlights the danger of discussing these kinds of things in isolation of broader changes to the game systems. For instance, embargos would work brilliantly if trade actually earned you income and other benefits above and beyond the trade itself, or if food and shields were tradable along with resources and if resources were more depletable than in the current system.
    Likewise, if helping out another nation by building settlers for them could actually gain you points towards another kind of victory (morale victory, perhaps, DH_Epic? ;)!) then perhaps people would make greater use of it-especially if war and domination were made a much harder route to pursue.

    Yours,
    Aussie_Lurker.
     
  9. joebasstard

    joebasstard Chieftain

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    I like the idea of factions within the culture...they could be cultural groups or rival religions...
    The idea that nobody would use them is silly. This would be an automatic part of the game, something you respond to, not something you do.
     
  10. Tom_Bombadil

    Tom_Bombadil Chieftain

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    I don't think you should just be able to produce settlers and send them out to build cities. I think cities should just appear and either be culturally assimilated or conquerred by your military force.

    I like the idea of civil war and corrupt generals and despots. The byzantium empire frequently fragmented and reunified, perhaps some of your ideas could be implemented into civil war.

    I also like the idea of satellite states. Rome was once a greek colony and Carthage was once a phoenician colony. The USA was once a British colony. lol.. I think these ideas would add an extra element to the game, in easy modes your civ will be very nationalistic so only if you build a civ on the otherside of the planet and you are a military dictatorship will there be a chance of desertion. Whereas in harder modes you will need to ensure the loyalty of your army and have a strong culture in order to maintain control over a small region. Aswell as conquer you will need to maintain.
     
  11. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    Aussie, I figure it's been long enough since the last time I said it...

    So yes, thank you for being a likeminded advocate of everything good ;)

    (You have to discuss every feature in the context of broader gameplay, and changes to that broad gameplay... and the kinds of gameplay that we should be rewarding.)
     
  12. mhIdA

    mhIdA Warlord

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    joe basstard
    A city-state feature in early stage of the game is a thing I would like see in game. In this stage we don't have fully control of our cities in sense that we must see every single city almost a separate civ until we lie cities with roads, and pass some turns (e.g.: 20). If some our cities are due an absorbe of minor civs, barbs or nomads, then it makes more sense.
    With Feudalism tech this is transpose to province/regions if we choose this kind of government.

    If we have factions and one or more are unhappy (political, social or religious) with the ruler of the city or civ then after a # of turns it produce automatically a settler (colonial, pioneer, etc) and go find a place to settledown. If ships and military units are needed they also are produced in automatic way.

    The provinces/regions must only appear if there are same ethnitic, religion, culture that diferentiate from the core cities of a civ. So if I captured 2 or 3 cities then they could become a provice of my empire. And with capital province it prevent corruption.
     

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