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Kill 1UPT, add city maintenance, and we have a winner

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by jjkrause84, Oct 22, 2016.

  1. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Choosing a city specialisation or building improvements around a given city in earlier Civ games is something of a one-time thing as well. Housing is a pretty important addition too (an indication of the power of correctly naming something: housing in Civ VI feels like a natural addition where health in Civ IV felt like pointless busywork, despite the fact that the mechanic is essentially identical in practice).

    The oddity to me isn't the complaint about micromanagement per se, it's that complaint in the context of older Civ games. There's no more micromanagement in Civ VI than there is in Civ IV - the only difference is that you don't have the paint-by-numbers +X% boost to resource Y buildings, but that's not micromanagement - once you decide the resource you want a Civ IV city to specialise in, the rest's purely robotic fire-and-forget.

    EDIT: Though as far as I can tell so far specialists have gone - that was a relevant piece of management at least in Civ V and the first two games; from my most recent experience of Civ IV specialists were more often created by wonder-farming than by allocating citizens.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2016
    dexters likes this.
  2. Sobornost

    Sobornost Chieftain

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    I don't think anyone is expecting an Einstein AI, that's what higher difficulties are for, filling in the inevitable gaps in human-AI capability. It won't happen in 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or anywhere.

    But why is it so irrational to say that 1UPT exacerbates the AI's decisionmaking problems? It's obvious they can handle throwing a stack at you better than a carpet. There are exploits and always will be, but those have to be more actively deployed in a game like Civ 4. I can't really call it an exploit on my part, just to watch the AI shuffle around hopeless while I massacre him :) Can't even remember the last time I lost a city on Civ 5, and I played on a higher difficulty in Civ 5 than Civ 4 usually. It just doesn't take any effort, the only way the AI would be dangerous would be to play at a really high difficulty level for me and for his total idiocy at combat to be offset by a massive tech edge.

    I love a lot of what I see and read about Civ 6, it seems like a really fun game to play generally, it would be nice if the idea of more stacking would be entertained though, as from what I'm hearing the AI's combat woes remain. I think an AI that can pose a better challenge (not a perfect one) would be a great improvement to the game.
     
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  3. Kozmos

    Kozmos Jew Detective

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    Civ 3? Civ 3 had some issues with spearmen defeating tanks. But I don't recall that stratagem in 4 either. I don't doubt people eventually find the optimal solution to everything. That's pretty much every game ever. However there should be scenarios where you enter a no-win situation even if you play pretty good simply because you can't argue with the forces arrayed against you. It's what keeps me engaged to stay on top. I rarely felt threatened in 5 or 6 even when behind on tech and facing trice my forces because the AI simply can't deal with all the handicaps of the terrain and 1UPT.

    Naval AI has always been pants on head, but from what I remember there were similar amphibious modifiers as in 5 and 6.

    I used to play Epic speed Huge maps on Civ 4. The wars were brutal, but satisfying and I never felt tedium even when going for domination victory because it was percentage based on land and population control instead of the silly hold every capital goal.

    You conquer enemy cities obviously. The AI is going to DoW no matter what you do.
     
  4. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    Nice pivot, i listed Civ3 because it was particularly bad but everything else is a problem with SoD. Essentially, people just develop different strategies to deal with the AI between SoD and 1UPT.

    Recommending going to war instead of building has been a stock argument with every Civ release. Sometimes tweaks are needed to balance it out and i have no doubt that will happen if one is needed, but I don't see this being a particularly egregious flaw that is unique to this game
     
  5. Sobornost

    Sobornost Chieftain

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    Stack AI has to be actively exploited by the player, though. Like in all games the player has the choice to not use tricks that the AI can't imitate. 1UPT AI hands you its head on a silver platter. What are you supposed to do, not attack him?
     
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  6. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    The really egregious exploits aside, most of the 'exploits' are essentially strategies humans are much much better than the AI at. Mainly micromanaging stacks of catapults, and other units to maximize damage on an incoming SoD. And or simply just min-maxing unit types in a specific area in a way the AI isn't programmed to anticipate. It's what you see people do with 1UPT tactitcal level play but scaled up to huge stacks. Hence I keep repeating that people simply adapt different strategies to deal with stacks vs 1UPT, but the end result is still the same. AI's enormous production advantages are overcome , stack mechanics or not.

    I personally frankly don't have anything against stacking; But a lot of people really like 1UPT tactical level play. I understand that too and that is what we have in Civ6.

    And as I said upthread, unless there's evidence they messed up 1UPT in Civ6 in a way that's a downgrade to Civ5, then we've known it's going to be 1upt with (limited stacking in the form of late game corps/armies) for months. Why do we need this thread if it's just dredging up the same tired arguments in the Civ5 forum with nothing new to add.
     
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  7. Nefelia

    Nefelia Prince

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    District choice and placement is a strategic decision a player has to make, often even before the Settler is queued up for production. There is an element of fun in trying to maximize returns while making several contingencies for future development. This is something that was lacking in Civ V and the other Civ games, as city production basically followed a fixed sequence with little variation.

    What element of Civ IV was superior to this? And how is it lacking in Civ VI?
     
  8. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    I want open borders with other Civs for the various benefits, but I don't like it when I can't even navigate my own territory because they have random military units milling through my borders. Who thought this was a good idea? At the very least let my civilian units stack with them.
     
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  9. skallben

    skallben Diplomat

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    This is what I was saying too. The congestion issues needs to be fixed. It can be done without scrapping 1UPT combat.
     
  10. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Many of us suggested in Civ V that civilian units should be able to stack with one another and with military units - it's a shame that wasn't implemented.
     
  11. Ranbir

    Ranbir Civ junkie

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    I miss the old ZoC style too. Automatic bombards of enemy entering zoc, actual blocks of enemy movement forcing them to deal with it.

    Even with a minimalist UI, I find myself "overwhelmed" with visualised information noise. An ugly thing where I have to have my armies spread out like a carpet to obsfucate what is otherwise a nice tapestry of farmland and other landscapes.
     
  12. TehJumpingJawa

    TehJumpingJawa Warlord

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    While this is true, the interface doesn't present the information well, and the art style compounds the problem.

    A good UI should present you with all the information you need to reach a decision ON A SINGLE SCREEN.....
    instead we have to dig through dozens, if not hundreds of civilopedia pages to find district neighbourhood bonuses........ and which improvements each has....... and which wonders interact with them...... and which civics......
    then you build a district and lose its right-click hyperlink to its civilopedia entry from the city screen.......
    and then the civilopedia doesn't default focus to the search text field.......
    and then the civilopedia doesn't remember the previous page it was opened on......
    Then you take over a city that's had its districts placed by the herpy-derp AI, and discover they can't be destroyed or relocated......
    Then you discover the crazy way that the cost of districts scales with cities + districts built, so actually building an expansive empire results in an entire mechanic of the game becoming cost prohibitive......
    and then you realise the tooltips that should be telling you about this scaling are completely absent.....

    So you're left with dozens of cities with no improvements to build, so what do you do? build units?

    So if the initial AI suicidal aggression doesn't railroad you into aggression, and you instead decide to colonize and expand, the construction cost scaling will eventually railroad you into aggression anyway because there's nothing else worth doing.

    Civ6 is another boring "go tall for 6000 years or wipe out the terminally handicapped AI asap" game; it isn't a Civilization building game.
     
  13. Nefelia

    Nefelia Prince

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    Ok, seriously, tone down the breathless hyperbole.

    The UI can use some improvement, sure. I like the general lay-out: verticle tablets to the left and the right of the screen when managing cities, and the full-screen reports you can access at the top left of the screen. Some information will need to be added, some condensed, and some cleaned up. However, we don't need a cicilopedia's worth of information in the general UI.

    Civ VI is a brand new game with lots of new features and systems. It should be expected that you need to do a little research in the Civilopedia until you have memorized the relevant information.

    As for the AI's placement of districts, I have seen no major problems withthat so far. And a free district is a free district. Make the best of it. You also have the option of not conquering cities or razing conquered cities if you prefer.

    You can still build districts once they become more expensive. You'll have traders that can link low-production cities to developed cities with IZs. You'll have factories pumping out AOE production bonuses. You'll have the gold (or faith) on hand to straight-out purchase districts.
     
  14. Vohbo

    Vohbo Warlord

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    I think it is generally bad to try to solve a problem by changing what the problem is. The problem here is mostly the AI. Even more than mechanics, the AI is the most important part of a good strategy game. We know that a good AI is not only possible, but that it is likely that we already have the ability to create an AI that will beat human players every time on even footing. The problem I think is that the ability to program it is either lacking or expensive. The only way we are ever going to get a good AI is when we ask for it en masse. This is issue is bigger than whether there should be 1 UPT or not.
     
  15. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    You're creating a false dichotomy in saying "Even more than mechanics, the AI is the most important part of a good strategy game". The AI is perceived by the player as a separate entity from the game, but that's not how the coding works - it's just a series of routines each of which tells the game what to do in a given situation. It's fundamentally tied to the mechanics - the AI used to define how the game uses its armies is not the same system as the one used to define how it settles cities.

    1UPT is perceived as a key issue because the AI has demonstrated difficulties handling it relative to the older system - or at the very least, its weaknesses are more exploitable. And the vast majority of people complaining about the AI are complaining about one of two things: the combat AI, or the diplomatic AI. City placement is a minor bugbear but has been acceptable in most cases despite often not being optimal, the AI's ability to expand varies across iterations and seems poor at lower difficulties in Civ VI (based on a single jaunt down to King for comparison), but okay in my Emperor game. Generally the AI's ability to pursue a specific victory condition (assuming no interference from other players capturing its cities etc.) was actually pretty good in Civ V - I'm not far enough along to tell how good it is in Civ VI, but India at least appears to have a coherent approach: aiming at religious victory and sending swarms of apostles across the map to convert everyone.
     
  16. Lord_Azazel

    Lord_Azazel Prime Swatter

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    I read your arguements, and while I could agree on civilian units not having the 1upt rule, and that AI can't handle it, I am a fan of the 1upt since it makes war much more interesting and fun. I always looked forward to a war in the early civs, but when it came to it, the stacked armies just became tedious and boring. When civ5 was released it gave a much needed breath of freshness to the war aspect of the game, and I liked that, it made me enjoy the game a whole lot more. But what do I know, I don't play the higher difficulties and have only been around since civ3, so my vote hardly qualifies I guess.
     
  17. RealAntithesis

    RealAntithesis Warlord

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    In Civ5, I always played with a mod to get rid of 1UPT (unfortunately I can no longer play Civ5 since it always ends up crashing at a certain number of turns in every single game which is impossible to get past). Not because of the AI, but because it was a pain having to find empty tiles to place my units, which ended up scattered all over the map which became a logistical nightmare and mini-game all by itself (which is what I'm finding in Civ6 now). I don't play Civ for the pleasure of endlessly shuffling my units around each other and dealing with traffic jams - that's tedious and boring. Especially when units spill over into terrain without roads where units can't move much at all. In real life, a standing army during times of peace is not scattered all over the countryside in forests, jungles, on hills, in cities, in urban areas, in deserts etc wherever they can find some empty space because there's no where else for them to stay. Unit stacking is much more convenient from the gameplay point of view and more 'strategic' in the sense that I can build forts in certain locations to hold all my units (where they would be in real life) to create defensive infrastructure on the terrain while keeping my map clean of units. The other problem also is that the AI has similar issues as the player - constantly shuffling units around rather than efficiently going for the objective they have in mind.
     
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  18. Rhavanna

    Rhavanna Chieftain

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    All the folks complaining about "stacks of doom" clearly never played Civ4 multiplayer. There was plenty of incentive to split your army up. There was plenty of strategy involved in stack composition and setting up siege stacks, flanking stacks, raiding stacks, and defensive stacks. And we don't have to go back to unlimited stacking. A lot of the suggestions here for 3-6 units per tile would be plenty sufficient.

    I think the hex system is an incredible improvement over squares, but the ultimate issue with 1UPT comes down to the simple fact that the AI cannot handle it. You can hold off any AI carpet with 4-5 units and a mountain. What is the point of feeling "strategic" outmaneuvering the AI army when there's no threat to begin with? The AI simply cannot handle one unit per tile.

    Did civ4 have a lot of micromanagement? Absolutely, and especially so at higher difficulties if you wanted to stay competitive. But it was all *interesting and deep* decision making. Planning your cities, tile improvements, and maintenance reduction strategy was so much more in depth than the civ6 system.

    Civ6 introduced a lot of very cool systems and features, but they have really failed to address the underlying issues that the AI will never be capable of handling a 1UPT system.
     

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