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Let's talk about ages and dedications...

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by orasis, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    I love having a system to nominally mark the current era the world is in. This is very useful mechanically.
    But, anyways: I have to imagine that the reason the different ages feel hollow is that the Loyalty system is something that's relatively "solved" by most people here. We all know how to play so it's never an issue, even when we are in dark ages and the neighbor in a golden.
    You also don't want dark ages to be actively punishing in realms of science/culture/etc - not only could that approach lead to cascading dark ages, but it definitely takes on a stereotype of what these ages are.

    Look at when Spain & Portugal explored the new world and claimed huge tracts of land, gaining great era score and gold doubloons. Then they kind of stopped being eminent on the world stage, as Britain and France rise. To me, era score is sort of capturing the empires doing things in the history books, with other nations plodding along in a normal age, and some nations essentially not doing much of note and becoming stagnant (like late ottoman empire.)

    But anyways, it's a tad disconnected because you do things in one era and then get rewarded in the next. I actually think dedications should be only half the system and should focus just on era score; a "plan of attack" on how you are going to do things. I would move the concept of golden age dedication bonuses to the end of ages and make them more like rewards; and some of these would be competitive. The empire establishing the most new trade posts could get a reform the coinage style boost; etc. I think the era score dedications are generally okay but some need a balance pass. The golden age ones are as mentioned, all over the place.
    So loyalty effects would be tied to how many things you do in an era; the bonuses would be tied to how many more things you did than your rivals. Carefully choosing things that do not directly make the runaway or the leader always win them, like creating the most new trading posts, (because if create them all in one era, you'll have none the next) would keep it balanced. Limit the number of bonuses a civ could could claim to 1; 3 for heroics.

    TLDR I do think what we have now would be fine if it affected loyalty more. The geometry of loyalty effects all but guarantees that as long as you settle in a blob, or at least have a triangle of cities near each other, nothing but a fully stacked Eleanor can ever take them from you. This is because of the pop effect dropping off 10% per tile. Maybe it should be some other thing. I'm no game designer but that fundamental geometry is where i would start.
     
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  2. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    I agree, often I feel like I can toss a coin in terms of whichever will be best, so that seems fairly balanced. One exception is the one that gives you era score for discovering new continents and natural wonders. Maybe it's just because I normally play continents map and tends to neglect my navy (and discovering in general), but if I can time it so I have a dark renaissance age, this one gives me the easiest heroic industrial age *ever*. Pop a Caravel or two, send a couple of scouts overseas, once you get the appropriate tech, and era score just rolls in.
     
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  3. MrRadar

    MrRadar King

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    That's a thought, but in that particular case of Dark Classical, while you're still in Chiefdom, you only have one Military (unless Barbarossa) and one Economic card, no wildcards usable. And then, further down the line, Merchant Republic, Democracy and Fascism would receive an extra punishment. To say nothing about Futuristic governments, which would have an excessively bad time and they don't really need more discouragement from being used.
     
  4. Pure24

    Pure24 Warlord

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    I like that idea of reducing yields! What happens when you lose loyalty? I'm not sure of the exact values, but it reduces your yields and growth. I'd do the same. Keep the same Loyalty mechanic for a Dark Age, but on top of that make your cities only max at 50 loyalty. This means not only is it difficult to keep cities loyal, but you quickly lose them should they ever become disloyal.

    And then on top of that add -10% to science, culture, and growth, -25% to gold yields, and -1 Amenity per city.

    Now you're feeling the pinch. BUT... all Wildcard slots are converted to Dark Age slots!
    So now a Dark Age actually punishes you!!! One problem with getting additional slots for Golden/Heroic Ages is that higher tier governments stop feeling impactful. That is a problem I felt with Tier 3 governments after the Future Era governments came out; they now feel like a transition.

    One random change could be to push the 4th tier government to the final Civic (Future Civic), that way you only get it as a reward for completing the Civic Tree. And then instead of picking a Tier 4 government you get a 'Future Governance' government of 10 Wildcard slots!
    I think keeping the slots at a premium would keep decisions about which cards to put alive, as would switching... while making the World Congress discussion to add a Wildcard slot to your government be really impactful. Also, Civs with extra slots (Germany, USA, Greece) would become extra important.

    I'm sure there are downsides to this last idea, but it was just a random thought I had right now. Instead...

    ...

    One disadvantage of punishing Dark Ages more is balancing them in terms of the AI. It could really cripple an AI Civ because they do not really know how to handle such drawbacks/fast grow a city or efficiently move governors around
     
  5. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    I think the further the game goes along, the more dedications should be tied to mechanics that are "once per map" rather than repeatable actions that wide empires can leverage. There's only so many continents and NWs. There's only so spies. There's only so many eurekas and inspirations.
    But you can crank out science buildings, industrial+ buildings, complete TRs, etc. Again, this could be one area where the game isn't skewed towards sprawl. Similar to how every real historical era, there have been disruptions of the world order by newcomers.
     
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  6. Pure24

    Pure24 Warlord

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    I like the spirit of this thread. That you shouldn't seek a Dark Age! It would make those final 10 countdowns really tense if you're about to go down. As it is, nobody is happy to be in a normal age, but it should be a relief. Plus, a Civ in a Dark Age shouldn't just go on a conquering spree as if nothing has happened; why does my Dark Age civ always play better than heroic AI ones? That is not right...

    Hence, one other change is to slightly tweak the score calculations. Increase the requirements with difficulty! If you do it even by 5 per difficulty level, Deity gives you 20 era points you need as compared to Prince. Now you have people really paying attention to the scores... and no two games will really be the same again
     
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  7. Troy Bruckner

    Troy Bruckner Prince

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    There should be a way to get a heroic age without being in a dark age like get 50 points above what is required for a Golden Age.
     
  8. adajaga

    adajaga Chieftain

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    Maybe golden ages should be things you earn within an era -- when you have enough era points the dedication is activated. You could lose era points as turns progress, so if you really stop doing anything 'era point worthy' you are thought to be stagnant and slip into a dark age. Eras (besides their other effects) would just change the available dedications. This would also get rid of the gamey aspects of saving up era achievements for the next age if you've already reached a golden age.
     
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  9. Lily_Lancer

    Lily_Lancer Emperor

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    If you only have Renaissance tech , this "flying machine” is really wonderful.

    But if you are already making helicopters and rockets, this "flying machine" has no insight.
     
  10. Lily_Lancer

    Lily_Lancer Emperor

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    There's nothing about rushing games or so. Even under my ruleset of no chopping, harvesting, pillaging and trading, it is easy to build spaceport and fly rocket at renaissance or industrial.

    The main problem is that "age" in game does not follow the science/culture development, only relies on number of turns, making it very very silly.
     
  11. Tobizi

    Tobizi Chieftain

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    But that's not true. It depends on the tech/civic progress of all Civs in the game, so it's kind of an average age. The problem for you is a lack of AI competition because you're a very good player.
     
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  12. lotrmith

    lotrmith Prince

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    In this case the Golden Age would have to last a set amount of turns rather than deactivate at the end of an 'era'. Because as far as gamey aspects I wouldn't want to activate a Golden Age a few turns before an era ends.
     
  13. kryat

    kryat Prince

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    Seeing all this discussion about how dark ages need to be more punishing, but not just by hurting yields makes me think we haven’t thought outside of the box enough.

    What if dark/golden ages affected rate of tile growth? During a dark age, your empire shrinks. During a golden age, acquiring new tiles is even easier. Costs of acquiring new tiles via gold is scaled to age.

    Granted these would need to be balanced (I’m thinking during dark, tiles disassociate at a rate of about 1/2 that of what you’d earn them in a normal age, though more culture would slow the rate of disappearing. When you are about to lose a tile, it prompts you that you can immediately pay to keep it. Improvements disappear, districts are immune, and wonders become free agents for the next player to claim the tile.

    I think this would really help add to the ebb and flow of borders that the devs have always wanted.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
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  14. Weraptor

    Weraptor Prince

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    Delightful, you should really make that into a mod. Dark ages are meant to be dark, after all.
     
  15. Softly

    Softly Warlord

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    This is more a great person issue then a era/dedication issue but I run into the exact same issue every time. I'll get like 5-6 great scientists in a row (the ones from the industrial->modern era) that give eureka to eras I already have fully teched. To add insult to injury these great scientists are double cost (bc scientist era is always > in game era) so if I pass on one it will take the AI 80 turns to get it.

    They definitely need to change all the great scientist to do something other than give eurekas. Just off the top of my head (a) doubles the science and GS points from science research grants. (b) +X raw science per wonder on this tile or adjacent (c) Eurekas grant an additional 10% of the research cost. (d) Gain science equal to unit strength on kills (e) perform a culture bomb when used on an existing campus tile (3 uses). Took me 10 seconds to come up with those, surely firaxis could come up with some more interesting than "Grants X Eureka" for every other great scientist.
     
  16. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    THIS is what a golden era allows you to do
    Cyrus declares on me, I take 3 cities from him, giving 1 back in the peace deal to get rid of the -18 .. now because I am golden and he is normal and I hold his 2 largest cities it is goodbye Cyrus.
    Now you may call that dull but I do not. For a mere handful of grievance I will have all his cities
    upload_2019-8-1_21-9-0.png
     
  17. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing Prince

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    I wouldn't mind if being in a dark age increase the effect of disasters effect your empire. Such as anyone in a dark age will not get any fertilization and much higher chance of droughts.
     
  18. lotrmith

    lotrmith Prince

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    You crazy
     
  19. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Ages and Dedications work okay, but could be better. Even just adding one more Dedication per Era would help. We always have a Culture / Tourism one, a Science / Industry one, and Religion one and an Explore / War one. We could easily have a Diplomacy / City States one or a Power one.

    But as always, I am perplexed why people want Dark Ages to be “bad”. It’s not historical. And making DAs just “bad” would be quite boring. Much more interesting to make them a mix of good and bad, so whether they are good or bad for you personally is more situational.
     
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  20. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    It may sound like a nice thing at first glance; but who would actually want to play with such a rule?
    Either you're just kicking the AI when it's down - making the game easier in the worst way possible- or you're making a bad situation needlessly worse for the player. If you make the situation feel like it's all going downhill, many people will simply reroll. You've already got the loyalty hit, and you are in a dark age because your empire didn't do things - things which usually contribute in some small way to success. So the virtue of being in a DA is already indicating you are not in a great spot. If we slap on science and culture penalties, how do you dig yourself out?

    The devs themselves, in livestreams before RF's release, outlined why they didn't want to attach heavy handed penalties to the DA. Dark age cards are supposed to be a mechanic to help make a comeback; again. Their existence is an acknowledgement that you are in a bad position by virtue of achieving a dark age in the first place.

    That said, yes, some dedications need touching up, and the thresholds (and general power of heroic ages) could be addressed. But I do believe if those are on point, and loyalty is on point, then the whole thing will feel quite satisfying.
    Because of the release schedule between RF and GS i don't think it's ever gotten fine tuning like the june patch did with some GS changes.
     
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