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Late Game Tension Evaporation

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by GunsGermsandSteel, May 28, 2020.

  1. GunsGermsandSteel

    GunsGermsandSteel Warlord

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    One of the most pervasive issues in CIV 6 for me is when I have effectively won, but have to continue on for 2-3 more eras before I can actually meet the win conditions. Essentially the tension is gone and therefore the game becomes an uninteresting grind. If there is literally no chance of an opposing Civ catching up, I lose interest. There have been many uncompleted games due to this issue. Most of my plays have been on King, but I just recently started winning on Emperor difficulty, perhaps it's different at higher difficulties? Emperor, was harder at first, but had the same tipping point as King. Just seems that I reach a point where snowballing occurs.

    Not entirely sure what a good fix is. Even emergencies, which are supposed to cap snowballers, often end up just fueling my snowball more as they will often fail against me.

    Edit:
    I'd like to add that this is the reason Religious Victory is my go-to. Domination becomes a slog of large numbers of cumbersome units, and there's a slowdown in late medieval (once AI has strong walls and encampments everywhere) until I get sufficient modern artillery. Culture/Science both take until very late game (information era) to achieve.
    RV takes relatively few units who have good movement, is often achieved before industrial era, has a similarly aggressive feel to domination victory without all the negatives (war weariness, warmongering, can't trade with the person you are at war with, more cities to manage, etc).
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  2. Casworon

    Casworon Prince

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    I think this is a result of a number of things.

    One is that you are becoming a better player with a better understanding of how the different mechanics interact with each other and how you can use them to your advantage.

    The second is that the AI seriously struggles at dealing with player snowballing. And as you mentioned, rather than increasing the challenge they present to you as you start snowballing, they often just fall flat on their face roll over and die.

    The only real suggestions I can give is to start having the tension being provided by something other than the AI opponents. A common approach is to go for better times, win in under 200 turns etc etc. Before long you will find time to be a better opponent than the AI ever was.

    But also check out the difficulty/Ai mods on the steam workshop. They can provide a different experience to make the game fresh again for a few rounds.

    Increasing the difficulty in the base game usually means you snowball a little later due to the AI bonuses being front loaded. But doesn't really provide any more challenge once you are snowballing.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  3. Civrinn

    Civrinn Chieftain

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    They really should have done something similar with climate change that compares to Ideologies. Something where some civs may be pro "pollution" and others would be pro "environmentalist" which I suppose would make 6 even more similar to 5 but it's better than the current imo. But yes that was one of my complaints as well I really enjoy late game civ in older iterations.
     
  4. tedhebert

    tedhebert Emperor

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    Sadly no. The change in difficulty is apparent in the first 2-3 ages mostly. After that, there's not much that is noticeable as far a differences go
     
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  5. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    You know you can win from turn 1. Was that ever in question?
    If not, then the only two questions that remain are how and how fast?

    If you're well developed, that probably means a domination loss is out of the question.
    You can still theoretically lose to an AI in culture, religion or perhaps diplomacy? I was personally never challenged in space.

    Yes, certain win conditions take a long time, like space, but also culture might be a struggle, especially if another civ is culture heavy.

    I guess it depends on how you like to play. If you determine your winning strategy on turn 1, then grind it out. If you find yourself "82 turns from winning culture", it's not engaging, it's a grind, I agree. Doable? Probably yes, with enough rock bands.

    If you are, however, flexible to switch gears mid-game to (usually) domination, that doesn't really provide a challenge per se, but at least it offers an interesting game.

    I wouldn't pat myself on the back for winning on emperor (I play on emperor, btw), because there's always ways to finish *faster*. Save a few turns here, cut some corners there, and suddenly a T240 win can turn into a T190 win.

    I'm a fan of re-playing maps just to see what I could've done better and apply that to the next game.

    One of the new things I learned to do (especially now when forest fires are a thing) is to cut down heavily on workers. Another is to cut the number of industrial zones and other districts and build'em if I really need'em. And yet another that after your 3rd city, having two pop 4 cities is worth more than another pop 8 city. These are all tweaks (for me at least) that challenge me to play more more efficiently and thus games become (or stay) interesting enough.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  6. Brutus2

    Brutus2 Prince

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    I think this is a part of all 4x type games not just Civ. Once you understand the game, it's almost impossible for any AI in any 4x game to actually play better than a human brain. Sure you can give the AI huge advantages, free settlers, higher yields all of which will make things harder in the beginning but even then if you survive, you will always hit a tipping point where your win is secure and it's all down hill from there.

    Single player is really not about beating the AI or wining the game. It's about improving on your past wins or getting a higher score on the Hall of Fame board. Can you win sooner or with different settings, maps and opponents? Can you beat your high score? Single player will never be a challenge to win once you become familiar with the game and that is true in any 4x game but that is what multiplayer is for. Try playing against other human opponents and then you will have the late game tension you are looking for.
     
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  7. Shibooyeah

    Shibooyeah Chieftain

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    Give me your wisdom regarding early religious victory! Playing as Spain on Emperor right now, in the modern era, and I am hovering between 4 and 5 of 10 Civs converted. I get about 800 faith per turn and Apostles cost 1400 right now. I just can't keep up on multiple fronts despite having well-placed cities. I'm currently building spaceports as a backup, but Kongo is already at the third step of a science victory.

    Is it worth it to go with an Apostle, then a bunch of missionaries? Are missionaires important in the late game? IDK.
     
  8. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Part of the problem is unavoidable, yes.
    But it's also a game design issue!

    A significant part of the AI advantages are frontloaded.
    Free Settlers, Units or techs at game start make it difficult to survive the first 50-100 turns, but once you've caught up the difficulty suddenly drops.
    Those bonuses also distort the game - good luck trying to get a religion when the AI has astrology as a free tech.

    It would help a lot the AI would get bonuses that help them continuously:
    - free worker when founding a city
    - free unit when founding a city
    - free food/production/gold on the city tile
    - faster tile aquisition via culture
    - free unit in the capital each time they lose a city (helps against being able to crush an AI easily once you've defeated their initial army)
    - increasing science/culture bonus per era (4% ancient, 8% classical, 12% medieval)
    -......

    If the bonuses would scale by era, we'd have a much bigger chance of the AI staying relevant.

    If there were less upfront bonuses, people wouldn't be forced to play in relatively low difficulties that bore them later.
    Upfront bonuses turn all high difficulty games in a "survive until the medieval era" challenge...
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  9. Brutus2

    Brutus2 Prince

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    As Spain you want to convert cities through war. It may be too late now, but ideally you would have wanted armies of Conquistadors attacking and converting Holy Cities in addition to your Apostles spreading your religion to the civs that did not found a religion. If your armies can capture Holy Cities and other cities with Holy Sites, you can remove their religion while continuing to spread yours. Getting the right promotions on your Apostles is also important. There are wonders and city states that help you get the best promotions and really boost your Faith per turn. Relics can provide a lot of Faith per turn if you get the Martyr promotion on all those Apostles (which you can do with a wonder). Reliquaries belief to boost those relics as well. Trade routes also spread your religion. Obviously you want as many cities as possible with fully developed Holy Sites and the policies that boost the faith they generate.

    You probably know most of that, I'm just trying to give some general advice off the top of my head.
     
  10. L4Psha

    L4Psha Warlord

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    For me tension rises the most in the endgame and that's why i like this part. Because it's when the game winner is desided. I never choose exact victory from the start, only after i saw how the game developed. I almost always play relatively peacefully, i don't attack without reason. Also i never rush, because it cuts other interesting eras, and just looks silly, it's better, i think, to play slower and have more consistent game, then fly to space in medieval era.
     
  11. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    I don't want to put words in the OP's mouth, but for me, the problem isn't strictly that the AI can't overcome a deficit. It's not just that the game becomes too easy, it's that it becomes boring.

    As already pointed out, the AI simply can't compete with the human player, in the end, and we can't expect it to. Okay, fine. So the game's tension, excitement, and the effort the player needs to make shouldn't be built on the AI's ability to threaten us, because in the end, it doesn't really have any.

    I think the game needs to impose catastrophic brakes and/or interruptions on Civs' development from time to time. Among other things, this would model real history better. For example, I think Dark Ages should be real Dark Ages. They should crush your nation into the ground and force you to rebuild, not from scratch, but almost. I'm talking about the Germanic barbarian invasions that hit Rome (you think 2 or 3 Horsemen are a problem? how about 12 of them? or 40?); the Black Plague; the Great Depression and the Second World War; the Chinese famine of 1958-1962; the Khmer Rouge; the collapse of the Soviet Union's economy.

    Real game-changers, in other words. Just giving the AI civs bonuses over the human player doesn't affect the late-game because that doesn't change the game.

     
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  12. L4Psha

    L4Psha Warlord

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    It was discussed one time that dark age isn't exactly dark because it may drop you from bad position even lower with bigger debuffs and stuff. But some things like major disasters would be really nice and interesting. But even new apocalypse mode didn't feel that way. I don't even see difference between it and maximum disaster setting. In one game though i had multiple eruptions and disaster in a row, but in other - nothing special. Developers also once said that disasters that just disasters are frustrating and thats why they don't included some, but now, with official mods we already have human sacrifices, why don't have brimstone, boiling seas and cats & dogs?
     
  13. GunsGermsandSteel

    GunsGermsandSteel Warlord

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    In fact it's something I've thought for a while - Dark/Golden ages just don't feel as dramatic as I think they were intended to.
    Perhaps this could be one of the new game modes. 'Extreme Ages' or something along those lines.
     

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