[NFP] Is Apocalypse mode worth it?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Alaindor, May 30, 2021.

  1. Alaindor

    Alaindor Warlord

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    I'm considering turning on the Apocalypse mode for my next game, which I have always refrained from doing. Conflicting thoughts come to my mind:
    • It may add some challenge towards the end of the game and make it more difficult to sustain a victory condition...
    • ... however it may turn victory into a mostly RNG fest...
    • ... and anyway I rarely hit Phase III of Climate Change before I win on Deity, so what are the odds of reaching Phase VII and of this having any impact?...
    • ... O wait, there is the Soothsayer which may actively add some new strategies...
    • ... but with this special unit, as with H&L or SS, the AI is probably incapable of effectively using it, giving me once more the edge?
    What is your experience, what are your thoughts? Do you use it, does it add any fun and more especially some challenge to the game?
     
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  2. PiR

    PiR Emperor Supporter

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    Then it's worth testing it out. But note that the Soothsayers are increasing CO2, so you may reach it much faster.
    But yes, the AI will just have Soothsayers going around. Sadly your opponents won't use them efficiently.

    Just for a few games, then I was done with it.
    I found the disasters entertaining for a while though, not just comets but sun blares. Loosing cities was frustrating but challenging. You have to hurry up to finish the game. But it's not that much of a victory-changer.
     
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  3. Aurelesk

    Aurelesk Prince

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    Apocalypse game mode is rather special: it is a matter of taste. It focus on three things:
    1. Natural Disasters & Intensity
    2. Soothsayer, a special unit
    3. Appease the God, a scored competion

    1. Natural Disasters & Intensity

    The Natural Disaster Intensity is set to 4. It supposed to make all Volcanoes to go active at some point in the game, and allow them to reach up to 2 tiles away when erupting. In theory, it also increases the rate and severity of Natural Disasters. In pratice, since the game can only trigger 1 Natural Disaster per turn, its rate is already maxed out once you play on larger map. The bigger the map is, the less common the Natural Disasters per area.
    For severity, it makes all kind of storms more 3 times more common and more devastating: 75% of Blizzard are crippling, 75% of Dust Storms are Haboob, 75% of Hurricane are Category 5 and 75% of Tornadoes are Outbreak. Wildfires are twice more likely. Floods are either Major of 1000 Years one (never Moderate), and same for Volcanoes: never Gentle, either Catastrophic or Megacolossal.
    But as I said, since they are 1/turn Disasters, even if Flood rate is supposed to be the same, since Storms are 3 times more likely, it reduces indirectly the rate of Flood on larger map. Same thing fo Volcanoes: they are more active on the map, the global rate of Volcanic eruption is the same, and withthe limitation of 1 Natural Disaster per turn, a single active Volcanic ends up to erupt way less often, oddly.
    Once you reach the final phase, random Meteor Strike are spawning, destroying 4 diamond shapes tiles at the time, deleting everything under it. If it was a city, it is destroyed. Capitals city are not immune, and can a Meteor Strike would never strike a Ocean tile.

    2. Soothsayer
    It a faith-buyable unit that allows to create a Natural Disaster depending on biome: Tundra (Blizzard) or Desert (Dust Storms), or on features: Floodplains (Flood) or Rainforest/Woods (Wildfires). It can also create a Volcanic Eruption if it is next to a Volcano.
    Sadly, you can't use those unit offensively since you can only active those Disaster inside of your territory, or on neutral territory.
    Each time you use their ability, it procude 50 CO2, speeding up Climate Change.

    3. Appease the Gods
    A random competition that appeared from time to time. It consists to sacrifice your units to your nearby active Volcano. Your score being equal to the Combat Strength of the sum of all your sacrificed units, but it procudes 30 CO2 each, also speeding up Climate Change.
    Being at least on Silver tier allows you to gain a promotion to your Soothsayer, allowing them to gain more charges and gain more abilities (act as General, became Invisible, move faster, besiege city...).

    Conclusion
    My subjective conclusion is... meh. The appeal of this mode depends a lot on how much you like the Natural Disasters in the first place. Taking part the Soothsayer game further speed up the Climate Change, to the point of facing Meteor Strike in the Medieval Era.
    Soothsayer seems to be glorified Great General, allowing to increase the Combat Strength or besieged City with ease. Which is... meh once again. This is a subjective: I am more a pacific builder type, and a warmongering / destroying mode was going to not please me the most
    Some exploit are doable: the Great Bath allows you to mitigate flood and give 1 Faith per Flood on those tiles. Since Soothsayer are buyable with Faith, you can Flood your own tiles on purpose in hope to increase your Faith gain in the process. That extra-Faith synergise way to well with Heroes & Legends game mode. I believe the CO2 generation with Soothsayer was created as a way to "balance" the Great Bath trick.
    You can also do the same with Woods, since burnt woods througth Soothsayer have their +1 Production / Food, contrary to other Disasters generated trougth Soothsayer that do not increase yields.

    To answer your questions:
    1. It is more difficult since Natural Disasters are more lethal
    2. It is a RNG-fest.
    3. If you do not play with Soothsayer, you would face any real change with Standard game, except mre frustating RNG-damage.
    4. Sadly, new strategies are more close to exploit (Great Bath, perpetual Woods burn cycle...)
    5. The AI seems to not really know to use them the Soothsayer effectively. But the Soothsayer are not effective so it is thematic, excluding the exploit or the Warmongering abilities. They manage to throw some units in Volcanoes.
     
  4. Menocchio

    Menocchio Warlord

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    Aurelesk points out the great problem with disasters on Apocalypse mode, excellent write-up! If you want less hassle but still Big Yields (and don't care about Soothsayers) then, in my opinion, just setting the disaster intensity to 4 ought to give you the best of both worlds, no need for Apocalypse. Sea level rise in the Renaissance is annoying anyway.
     
  5. PiR

    PiR Emperor Supporter

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    Awesome summary!

    Sometimes just one tile, unless it changed since this winter.
    But if your city contained wonders, even if that one tile is just the city center, everything belonging to the city is razed.
     
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  6. Alaindor

    Alaindor Warlord

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    Thanks a lot for such a detailed and enlightened answer!

    Really? I hadn't realized this. As a summary, I'm not sure my strategy-oriented inclination would be satisfied with this mode...
     
  7. Pietato

    Pietato Platonic Perfection

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    The Comet is the one which wipes out cities. The Meteor gives heavy cavalry.

    I tried to use storms to kill AI units attacking city-states, but even then it barely does anything. Best use of Soothsayers is to play as the Maori and set fire to everything.

    Almost forgot; sell off your Diplomatic Favour before you spam storms/fires/eruptions. The carbon penalty you get is immense.
     
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  8. iammaxhailme

    iammaxhailme Emperor

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    I don't like it. I'd be fine with a high-disasters mode, but half the map becoming permanenlty flooded due to gloabl warming way before people get flood barriers is just not fun imo.
     
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  9. MrRadar

    MrRadar Emperor

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    I've found it fun for two or three games, and then it grew old. If you're a secret pyromaniac, your interest might last longer. Pick a well wooded map ;)
    And honestly, the only legitimate victory condition for this mode should be space and none other.

    p.s. You will not have really experienced this mode until your second or third settler dies in a forest fire which happens on the planned settling spot right on the time the settler arrives. You reload then - you're not a real civ player ;)
     
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  10. Pietato

    Pietato Platonic Perfection

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    I reload the entire map if I do not start next to Paititi.
     
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  11. Leucarum

    Leucarum Emperor

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    This one is permanently off for me. Either you win fast enough that it barely affects the game or if you are having a slow game it becomes all about whether the RNG gods decide to wipe out your capital mid exoplanet launch (no I'm not bitter)...
     
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  12. Canadian Bluebeer

    Canadian Bluebeer Prince

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    Tried it once. Poor Ulm was cursed with drought that lasted nearly the entire game. (overlapping droughts too)

    First metor to wipe out a city? Ulm.

    Cursed it was.

    Managed a SV before everything got wiped though.

    Fun to try once though.
     
  13. aieeegrunt

    aieeegrunt King

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    I have noticed that droughts almost always hit the same city for most of the game

    Which is kinda historical
     
  14. Tuvok694

    Tuvok694 Civ6 addict

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    This might not even considered to be a bug, but it's completely unbalanced regarding the gameplay. (And I only play on disaster level 2.)
    When this drought area is around my capital, it can happen that my tiles are practically un-usable for dozens of turns, and there is nothing I can do about that. Very very annoying.
     
  15. MrRadar

    MrRadar Emperor

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    You can build an Aqueduct, if geography allows. Else, you can put in there Liang promoted to the Reinforced Materials. If it is the same city over and over again, putting respectively promoted Liang there might be justified.
     
  16. Linklite

    Linklite Emperor

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    Does Liang work in current disasters? Or does he just prevent them?
     
  17. Alaindor

    Alaindor Warlord

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    Prevent I should think, but if the droughts always occur in the same city (which is also my experience) you get caught the first time and put Liang in expectation of the next
     
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  18. Socrates99

    Socrates99 Bottoms up!

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    If the map has a lot of forest there is a work around on that offensive soothsayer thing. You can start forest fires right on their borders. It'll often spread into their territory because disasters are set so high. Forest fires get massive in Apocalypse mode. Sometimes a huge forest fire can be set to damage enemy armies too. Just make sure your units are safe on....wide open ground. Kinda turns that defensive bonus from woods on its head right? Same goes for other disasters that wreck units.
     
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  19. Kupe Navigator

    Kupe Navigator Emperor

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    I would only try this mod if I am going for SV.... just for a fun of leaving rest of civs in a hellhole while you escape into the new world.
     
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  20. Pietato

    Pietato Platonic Perfection

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    Liang is male? Dude (Looks Like A Lady).
     
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