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Mechanism for limiting expansion

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Ikael, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. HorseshoeHermit

    HorseshoeHermit 20% accurate as usual, Morty

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    The multiple paths bit is well and good, but 'tall' and 'wide' keep ending up in lists like that and it confuses the ---- out of me.

    Are tall and wide intrinsic styles? If a game were structured differently, tall and wide being 'alternatives' would not occur to people. The game has to purport to allow infracity development with accumulating costs in order for it even to manifest as a choice against continually placing expansions (or a choice against anything).

    And what is the concept of playing 'tall'? Does it have a thematic concept that exists separate from particular mechanics and systems ? Warmongering is intelligible, hugfest is, "money-strat" is intelligible, any naive fixation on anything at all, is intelligible, but what is tall? Before you see a game's design, what imagination do you bring with you that looks like "I want to run a tall empire"?

    I'm asking what the feeling of wanting to play tall is. What is the invariant thing that you bring as a playstyle across titles - defined in such a way that it is imaginable someone might not have that playstyle?
     
  2. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    Well, "tall" isn't a feeling, it's a deduction. And not a determinant one, because in Civ5 with default city governors you will run out of happiness pretty quickly, so there is a hard limit in going "tall".

    It's even worse with "wide", considering each city will cost you additionnal 3 happy faces other than the ones from the population.

    "Tall" is simply the playstyle (as long as "playstyle" doesn't depend on feeling) where there are less happy faces freely wasted in the wild.

    But, playing wide can be better, especially if you build happiness buildings in your cities. With 2 of them in a given city, you cover up the cost of the city and its first population point. So instead of 1, your first pop point costs you 0. (provided your total pop in this city is 2 or above) So actually, with happiness buildings, new cities make your population to cost less.

    So, in theory, wide is better than tall. The pervert effect of such consequences is that the more you have cities, the more your pop grows, so the yet more happiness you would need. It's why learning to modify the city governor is important : emphasizing production / stopping growth is here important.
     
  3. historix69

    historix69 Chieftain

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    You cannot simply compensate UNHAPPINESS_PER_CITY with happiness-buildings. Standard happiness buildings like Circus, Colosseum provide local happiness which cannot exceed the population of the respective city, so they only compensate local unhappiness from population unless there are additional effects from Wonders, UA or SP who reduce unhappiness from population.

    What you can do is the following :

    Play on huge maps where NumCitiesUnhappinessPercent = 60%. This reduces the value from 3 to 1,8.
    Choose MERITOCRACY which adds 1 (global?) happiness per connected city and reduces unhappiness by 5%.
    Choose Aristocracy which should add another (global?) happiness per 10 pop.
    Build FORBIDDEN_PALACE (-10% unhappiness)
    This should allow a wide, happy empire of size 10 cities.

    Unfortunately it is hard to tell from the in-game description which Social Policies/Wonders will add global happiness and which will only add local happiness.
    (MILITARY_CASTE adds 1 local happiness per garrisoned city.)
     
  4. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    I didn't know that, although if you have a size 4 city with 2 happiness buildings (4 local happiness), you could say it either covers up the cost of your local population or... the cost of the city + 1 population. (only difference with what I said earlier is that it would need a size 4 city rather than size 2, misinterpreting the ingame description of those buildings) Therefore... no, no, forget what i just said. The 3 unhappiness for cities are not severable, so the first population point will always cost 3 happiness minimum...

    But the three next can be "free" (with appropriate buildings), so that the global happiness balance is not modified whether you have one or two cities. So wider is not always better, it's just the same in this example.

    Now, make the city size and happiness buildings higher : say size 10 city with colosseum, zoo, stadium, pagoda and egyptian temple. It has 10 local happiness, no it nullifies the local unhappiness, except for the 3 initial city cost. So the city cost 3 total, except that you don't have 3 more citizen in your capital, you have 10 more in your second city. and this goes on and on.

    So wider makes population cost lower. The only thing that tend to reduce this is the two luxuries nearly guaranteed in the capital.
     
  5. historix69

    historix69 Chieftain

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    As far as I know from reading posts and pre-BNW-experience :

    * If you have a city with 6 pop and colosseum, zoo, stadium (= 6 local happiness), the city costs just the 3 unhappiness per city.

    * If you have a city with 6 pop and colosseum, zoo, stadium (= 6 local happiness) and UNIVERSAL_SUFFRAGE and turn all 6 pop into specialists, the unhappiness from pop should drop from 6 to 3 while the local happiness still provides 6 happiness making the city completely neutral.

    The same should work with India, having only 50% unhappiness from population, and Wonders and SP who modify unhappiness per pop.

    I don't know if this is a bug or intended and I don't know if it is still possible. Would have to start a new game to verify.
     
  6. HorseshoeHermit

    HorseshoeHermit 20% accurate as usual, Morty

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    Nah man I ain't talkin about strategy, I mean style. Ikael said multiple playstyles, ways people play the game - different people who play the game, and would like some route within their style to be viable to the win screen.

    What is 'tall' style? If it is strategy, it can't be the design to allow all the paths to victory, 1st because that's literally the opposite of the game, and 2, because viability is not entirely up to designers. Strategies emerge from a complex game, even a simple one.

    I'm fine with the concept of a game that admits multiple ways to shake a stick at it, multiple things to affirm for the player, but what is 'tall', this alleged thing, in the first place? How do you walk into a game thinking "tall" before it even shows you happy faces and exponential policy cost growths, a definitely particular design element for particular games?

    edit: Before having seen a game where the play unfolds with a tall and wide dichotomy, would anyone have even made up those words to talk about any game? Could anyone have considered themselves to have that kind of style? This makes 'tall' the odd one out of a listing of playstyles of any other sort - warmongering, approval, science, diplo-friendly, you can imagine those things outside of a game. What is the hypothetical "tall" playstyle aficionado?

    Ikael did you mean 'feeling' or did you mean something else?
     
  7. Ikael

    Ikael Chieftain

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    Wow, glad to see the rich debate around this topic, thank you for contributing guys! :)

    What I mean is that there are many types of civ players that enjoy differents approaches to the same game. For some, civilization is mostly a war game, so of course they enjoy playing a military game first and foremost. For others, civilization is a game of expansion and map control (or going "wide" if you wish), not necessarily keen on military conflicts, but they do like to see their empires grow. Other players such as myself enjoy more the builder aspects, and love to make their cities big and full of wonders / buildings / specialists rather than expanding their empire's borders ("going tall").

    An ideal game would give each type of player an edge on a certain area (military, commerce, culture, etc) without shutting their game options altogether, so the game can be enjoyed by a wide array of players without ending up on a vainilla nor flavourless game, making it a different experience for each game and player. Warmonger gamestyles ought to be viable and be the best way of archieving military victory period, but smaller empires ought to be able to put up a fight too (even if not as much as a good fight as a big empire would). Perhaps wide yet peaceful empires ought to control world commerce, but there should be options for mantaining a functional economy in the case that you want to focus in building up your military instead, for example.


    You get the idea ;) Would such such a radious exist, it should automatically adapt to the map size. Its effects would be automatically calculated "in the background", a la Civ 4's manteinance, but perhaps players ought to be informed of the extent of the radious penalties before founding a city, for the shake of transparency (say, your settler gets a % marker over its potrait in order to indicate how much effect will have the distance to your capital).

    As for that type of situations that you describe (start being trapped inside an island), keep in mind that the identity radious only takes into account how much far away your cities are from your capital, not whetever they are on the same landmass or not. Consequently, you can avoid being "islandlocked" and thus, empires a la Greek or Phoenician are quite possible to be built.

    I quite like the whole "cultural decay" mechanic, for it helps to make the stronger empires more vulnerable it should to indirect agression (spyionage, cultural preassure, etc) so you can have effective counterplay even during the late game, a la Chez Geek (oh, what a wonderful, trolling game that is).

    That being said, while cultural delay mechanics seems like a very good anti-snowball mechanic, it should be tweaked a little bit, me thinks, for it doesn't slows down expansion (and it doesn't fit too well with a SP type of system either). But the fundamental idea is sound! :goodjob:
     
  8. Biz_

    Biz_ Chieftain

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    civ is a much better game design than you give it credit for

    the mechanism for limiting expansion is to have opponents that will punish you for spending resources on expansion instead of military/technology and to have opponents that will exploit the fact that you have to spread your forces thin across larger territory.

    civ is not sim-city. civ is a adversarial game where you compete with other empires. the way to limit snowballing is to have opposing empires actually care about winning the game so that they won't let you snowball. it's a game about diplomacy, so maybe they will double-team or triple-team you if it's the only way to prevent you from winning the game.

    actions should have consequences in the way other world leaders treat you. they don't necessarily need artificial consequences through game mechanics designed to limit player agency

    look at how RTS games limit expansion and take notes :)
     
  9. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    So it's total 6 pop for 3 unhappiness right ? Each pop costs then 0,5 happiness.

    Well then it's 6 pop for free but it's unwilling to happen (putting every single citizen into specialists would starve the city i guess)

    If you assume your pop in your capital grows in the same time, and that you have also all happiness buildings built in it, the pop outta smaller cities are still cheaper. (considering your capital is the biggest one, which a Tradition policy greatly encourages)

    I've already exposed here an idea about that : basically, culture decays the more there are obstacles between the cities, so that a close city separated with road/railroads from the capital would hardly revolt, but a far isolated city separated by mountains, forests, waters without roads would likely rebel. These effects wouldn't be immediate, the culture would have to "mix" in some way before. Which lets gambit for a player to dominate at some point, and collapse later. If you consider that the other players rise & fall the same way, this makes for an interesting dynamic game during all the time of the game.
     
  10. historix69

    historix69 Chieftain

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonies_in_antiquity

    If Civ5 would feature ethnic cities/population, you could allow your civ to found new cities which are in the beginning self-governing trade-partners like city states and not part of the empire. Later they may become part of your empire by conquering them or federalizing with them (nationalism). Due to ethnic flavor, they will not federalize with other civs but they can be conquered and maybe assimilated into their empire. If there is a common threat (e.g. neighbour declaring war), it is likely that the colonies will form a defensive league with their mother city and join the empire early in the game.
     
  11. HorseshoeHermit

    HorseshoeHermit 20% accurate as usual, Morty

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    That... helps a lot, thanks. So tall and wide , as these playstyles or affinities, are not a dual with each other - Tall could contrast with militarism, or any other thing you do with your time (and effort, and resources) and wide would mean ... spreading your stuff everywhere, contrasted with.... nation pluralism, I guess, and generally less... expansive... policies. The whole grab-bag of inclinations has no innate inter-relations.

    You could even have tall and wide affinity in one player. It's just the game at that point makes these approaches differently successful, sometimes unviable, either closely contesting the same costs or not, sometimes ignored in the design , sometimes clearly nurtured in the spotlight, and so on.
     
  12. AlphaShard

    AlphaShard Chieftain

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    I feel that the National Wonders do deter my expanding empire. I get maybe three cities, stop and wait til my College is done. Then get to about 8 and stop and do Oxford College, and those are the ones I prioritize. That doesn't even take into account Heroic Epic, the Grand Temple, etc. Plus on higher difficulties the Happiness cap does restrict city spam a lot. In civ's 1-3 it was easy to spread cities everywhere once you were in Democracy and it nulled out Corruption completely. Civ IV just build forbidden Palace. Civ V I have found you can have a small empire and still win even on larger maps.
     
  13. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    What about they start under your control, you may lost them and you may federalize them again ?

    Because it would feel uncorrect that you have to build settlers and all and have no control above those cities.

    Or, you can make city generation automatic. (not simple please note) It would be determined by many many factors such as habitability (value), population streams, accessibility, trades routes, wars, migrations, etc... this way, the map could be totally populated from the start, and you would have to treat with them with various means (diplomacy, wars, etc.)

    This sentence of yours is quite ambiguous. I mean, ethnic flavor would prevent federalization as much as it continues... if it's assimilated then it mean that the ethnic has diappeared or mixed. I'm all in favor of culture/ethnics mix. It would work as city generation, with accessibility, trends and so on.

    Definitely ! I've been preaching that many times now.

    In the case of self-generating cities, I would more say that the cities with the same culture may league. Ethnicity would only be a part of culture.

    Culture would act like self generating cities and ethnics/culture in order to spread.

    *

    A key element of gameplay here could be that you would have the choice to spread your culture as far as possible, by mainly building roads and do commerce with the different tribes, so you could unificate them later. (China)

    You could also choice to settle cities you control early, but they may rebel/collapse at one point or the other. (Europe)

    All this would depend on if you emphasis your culture early on (china) or play in a more classical way. (science, production, growth...)
     
  14. historix69

    historix69 Chieftain

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    2 examples from history :

    see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States#Population

    America (USA) is quite a new state, less than 250 years old ...

    Germany (1945) / the German Empire (1871-1918) is a young state uniting several different germanic tribes/kingdoms/states of the Holy Roman Empire (of German Nation) (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Roman_Empire) in one state. Each region of Germany still has its original dialect but they all use German Language which is an artificial language (culture) developed since the Middle Ages (New High German, Standard German). Without this artificial language, the different parts of Germany would not be able to communicate with each other properly and they probably would not have developed a german identity or formed a german national state. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_German#Origins)
    (Luther's Bible Translation in early 16th century ... contributed significantly to the development of today's modern High German language.)

    Spoiler :


    So one might say : Modern national states like America or Germany are more "ideas" than real national states. Nationalism and National States are rather new topic in history. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalism, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation_state)

    So for population in civ, there would be multiple parameters like religion, ethnic/cultural origin, national state (culture/idea), e.g. the catholic bavarian German, the protestant english/anglo-saxon American, ... after some generations, the ethnic origin might be lost and the new national idea might be accepted as 100% national identity, so new generations might feel like "true americans" or "true germans" ... In a few centuries there might even be a "United States of Europe" when younger generations of europeans have forgotten about there ancestors being french, german, greek, italian, spanish, etc. but it is difficult while there are so many different languages in europe which counter a european identity and emphasize the original national identity.
     
  15. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    I see, i have been troubled by your employ of "assimilated". In that case, it just meant that you integrated them into your empire. Fine, it's possible, by conquest or "idea", even though I see language (and its spreading) an important part in the direction of such federalization, if not essential.

    Without common language/culture, the assimilation could only be temporary... that's my main idea.

    So languages/culture should differ slowly the more obstacles there are between two cities, unless you do efforts for them to keep one common language/culture. (roads, commerce, translation of an holy text...)
     
  16. Redaxe

    Redaxe Chieftain

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    Yeah I really feel like the National Wonders are a big hindrance to playing wide. In a sense they help balance a smaller civ with less cities or a 1 city civ that might have lost its expo's to a neighbor.
    The main hindrance though as others here have said is definitely happiness. It would be nice if the Circus Maximus allowed your capital to continue to grow and not be affected by productivity loss or population stagnancy as long as happiness didn't drop below -10. That would be a simple patch-up that would at least allow your capital to continue functioning even if other cities are stagnating.


    Regarding Expansion I'd be interested to hear what people would think of the following possibility.
    The game should make it easier to found new cities. Currently Liberty does very little to make your Empire feel like it is truly expanding rapidly. You would have to double the Republic production bonus and provide 2 free settlers and increase the happiness benefits to actually feel like you're really going somewhere fast.

    With easier and faster expansion it should become possible to establish a civ of several well developed cities by the medieval era like the Roman, Persian and Chinese empires did. However to balance that it the game could introduce more mechanisms to make it much harder to hold a large empire together. Things like health, plague, religious divisions, ideology divisions, corruption & bureaucracy, taxes vs happiness/productivity, rebellions (like the usurper general in the Fall or Rome scenario), unit morale, financial stress, barbarian invasions, global cooling could all be factors that could contribute to causing a large civ to split apart.

    Sounds like fun yeah but probably impossible to balance.
     
  17. HorseshoeHermit

    HorseshoeHermit 20% accurate as usual, Morty

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    That's a balance issue. If the gains of an empire that built quick national wonders (NC) despite the sacrifices involved, were comparable to the gains of continual expansion, then you would see both being used. But instead, they are just -not- comparable and the one is outrun, outsized, and outdone to oblivion.

    Balancing is entirely possible, even if these 'small empire goodies' are buildings and have the construction rules of national wonders.

    _________________________


    A game is not a perfectly balanced jenga tower. It is not designed with omniscience. A game is something that affords play, and possibly even insight. When you think "I want to make a game that might let you put down a lot of cities, even really quickly by the medeival era like Rome and Persia... but still might not always be like that, because of risk, so that there are large empires and small ones", then, don't beat up the intention to make that game because of thinking that won't work out. Realize what you're saying is, "I want a game where my players can make a decision to have a large empire, which not all empires can successfully be, and not all empires try to be", and now you are making something that affords choice. It doesn't need to have a planned outcome. The player gets to look at the tools and then create their own play experience.

    Your onus is just to find a way to satisfy yourself by some kind of mathematical, but not constructive, means, that the possible outcomes are at least as various as you want. And the tools and skills to that end are substantial, the science is out there.
     
  18. Frank327

    Frank327 Chieftain

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    The obvious solution to introducing fun (or at least interesting) ways to limiting expansion is reducing different government types. In Civ 4/5 there is essentially just one government type: almighty despotism. There's some interesting civics and social policies that give nice bonuses but in the end you'll still be able to wage war on anyone you want and have full control over your empire. If different government types ACTUALLY changed the way a nation works this would not be the case.

    For example:

    Despotism:
    You have full control over your realm and can wage war on anyone you want. However you quickly get into trouble as your realm grows larger, so you can't use this to create a huge empire. Also no bonuses to science/culture/economy.

    Theocracy:
    You can wage holy war on any leader/civ that does not share your religion. However you can't wage war (even if you have a good reason) on other civs that do share your religion as they are your brothers and sisters in faith. War weariness isn't a problem and you have full control over the realm. If you control your religion you can govern a pretty sizeable realm because you have the backing of god.

    Fuedal:
    You have full control over your capital (with bonuses) but the other cities represent your vassal counts/dukes which means they're not as profitable as they'd normally be. Stability is high even in large realms. You have the option of vassalizing other rulers but not fighting a war to get complete control over them.

    Republic:
    Trade focused nation with bonuses to trade and economy. Can create colonies, but has difficulty starting wars for reasons other than control of luxury goods that the republic doesn't yet control. Can create sprawling empires of colonies but they're more profitable than powerful.

    Imperial:
    Can grow big very quickly by conquest but depends on military power. Control over far away regions is still not much but allows for a relatively big and stable empire that can win through conquest. Requires high prestige and happiness in newly conquered territory to prevent revolts, and other nations have an easier time waging war against you and can support revolts to have more troops available for it.



    Of course this wouldn't be some fully developed list or anything but it bothers me how much the way of governing stays the same in civ games from 4000 BC to 2050 AD. It shouldn't be that a prehistoric war between religions causes just as much anger from your population and neighbours as a modern war between two democratic free nations. And two democracies shouldn't just be able to declare war and have one destroy the other. There should be some tradeoff in choices between expanding/economy/maintaining an empire.
     
  19. daft

    daft The fargone

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    All this tall vs wide Nonsense is due to the fact they allowed so many civilizations to be included in single a game that there simply ain't enough room for all of them to expand!
    Tall vs Wide! What a bunch of crap! Historically, it makes absolutely no sense!
     
  20. daft

    daft The fargone

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    In real HISTORY, IMPERIALISM was most often EMBRACED by the populations of IMPERIALISTIC nations! AND DID NOT CAUSE UNHAPPINESS, perhaps the reverse of it, yes!

    These limitations of expansion for real (human) players, who spend money, time and life, playing their game should be thrown out the window!

    The deal is simple!: Explore the land, find suitable spots for new cities, not only based on wonderful resources and luxuries, lets face it, not all will have them, but places inviting an assurance of a large city down the road (metropolis) due to the land's fertility and abundance of food available within the future city's square. Find those places, the quicker the better, before other civs beat you to it, build settlers, expand, found new cities, go right ahead! but you better be able to defend those new cities and territory! Why? Because Barbarians will invade, one tribe after another, and, more importantly, so will other civs, and that's only a matter of time!
    Sound familiar?
    So make it a race! Let some players (like me) go crazy, found 50 or even a hundred cities, why not!, increase map sizes, lower the number of civs per game, I don't care, but let me exploere and found, and then loose half of them to barbarians and other civs, why the hell not?
    Would surely make for fun times trying to get them back, some of my native, poor citizens in cities I lost due to overexpansion sending envoys to me, begging for my armies to attack the occupants, assuring their assistance in the struggle! That is, until they get assimilated to the new tribe, due to, in part to their new Civ's cultural dominance and my inability to free them.

    I mean, let us, human players, expand! for crying out loud, don't give us this unhappiness, science or economic penalty bull!

    The problem is keeping the newly settled lands, building large/strong and modern enough armies to keep your new cities within your empire and not letting them fall pray to barbarians and other civilizations, for that you need a strong economy and science, it all balances out!

    The whole concept of towns, villages, colonies and cities, it makes very good sense. Let settlers found villages at first, then advancing to towns, cities, metropolis', let colonists found colonies, advancing to settlements, towns, cities, etc.

    There could even be a difference in the amount of resources and tech/social policy needed to build a specific kind of a settler: A settler founding a city straight away, meaning a settlement of 10 000 inhabitants from the start, with one or two buildings already included, could demand a lot more/advanced resources, knowledge and perhaps even a social policy type than one founding only a village, or a settlement.
     

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