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Much ado about envoys

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Olleus, Sep 18, 2017.

  1. Olleus

    Olleus Warlord

    Joined:
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    Location:
    England
    I have to say I love the envoy system, it's a much more captivating way of dealing with city states than Civ5s gold is everything approach. There is however one fairly big problem with it IMO; getting envoys is too unconnected with the rest of the game. They come at a steady rate through out the game, being only marginally affected by policies. Civics do unlock some, as does quests, but both of those are mostly rewarding you for doing things that you would do anyway. Sure, it might shift my priorities a little, but it's never giving me a choice between more envoys and something else. I would make for an interesting game decision to be in a situation "Use ABC to get either an envoy or something else".

    The purpose of this thread is to collect and discuss possible such mechanisms. A few of my personal ideas are:

    Spies. Simple idea from Civ5, use spies to gain influence with CS. Would simply be a mission that, after a certain amount of time with an average possibility of success, results in 1 envoy from the current suzerain swapping sides and becoming your envoy.

    War support. When a CS is at war with a major power, you should get some benefit for going to war on behalf of the CS. So if you DoW on someone the CS is at war with you get +1 envoy with them (+2 if the CS has no current Suzerain as it wants the protection more.)

    Gold. A little boring, but you could simply have units 'Diplomats' that can be bought with gold. Very expensive and the cost grows very rapidly as you buy more. Simply move them to the desired CS and get an extra envoy.

    Exchange GP points. This suggestion is a little bit more out there. GP points are another thing I love in Civ6, but they are as disconnected from the rest of the game as envoys. The idea here is that you should be able to buy an envoy for a CS using GP points of the same time (ie, great scientist points for scientific CS). Cost would scale per era.

    Administrative District. This is a fan favourite I believe. A new district that would have two mutually exclusive buildings (or set of buildings). One set would give extra envoy points, while the other would give domestic benefits (ie: cheaper civilian units, extra range for regional districts or extra GP points).
     
  2. Siptah

    Siptah Eternal Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2016
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    2,638
    Location:
    Lucerne
    I'd like to propose a similar mechanic like trade routes for a limitation of envoys: each of the new diplomatic quarters district allows for example 3 envoys and some buildings give you extra envoys and enlarge that contingent as well. Adjacency bonus would be a free envoy for a CS of the same type as the adjacent district and +1 envoy capacity. Districts without CS just enlarge the capacity. Buildings might also reduce negative modifiers with civs, enlarge the +2/+4/+6 modifiers for single CS or reduce enemy envoys in a CS you are suzerain of.
     
  3. Amrunril

    Amrunril Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Messages:
    816
    I like the idea of using spies to mess with envoys and being rewarded for defending city states. I'm fine with GPPs and envoys being separate systems though. Both of them have the purpose of giving civs additional ways to compete non-militarily and receive unique bonuses, and I think they actually do that job better if they don't overlap.

    More generally, I think the game already has a glut of envoys in the mid-late game. It's too easy to have level 3/6 bonuses from a large number of city states and dumb huge numbers of envoys into city states you want to be suzerain of. I'd say that adding additional sources would require either reducing the default number of envoys or instituting some form of decay system.
     
  4. UWHabs

    UWHabs Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Toronto
    I think either a decay system, or a growing number of envoys required to keep the bonuses make the most sense. So many times I'll put my 6 envoys in a city-state, but if I don't care about the suzerain bonus or others fight too much, I can just ignore it the rest of the game. If that grew up to needing 4/8 in mid-game, and 5/10 in the modern era, that would at least force you to keep caring about them over time.

    I do like the limited nature of them. Especially once you get to the later eras, it can be really hard to keep suzerainty, which makes sense. Wouldn't mind seeing spies be able to influence things, but that needs to be balanced.
     
  5. Olleus

    Olleus Warlord

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    Location:
    England
    I agree about keeping envoys sparse. Providing more sources of envoys would have to be matched with either fewer envoys from previous sources, or with more things to do with them. Perhaps reducing the district bonus from +2 at 3/6 envoys to +1 at 2/4/6/8/10 envoys would work? Capital would only get +1 at 1 envoy, rather than the current +2, to keep things inline and to prevent some ridiculously powerful start when you just happen to meet CS first.

    Perhaps keeping GPP and Envoy Influence counters completely separate is the more conservative thing to do. I do find it slightly boring when the game has a bunch of counters that can only do a single thing however.

    Not sure how limiting the number of total envoys would work though. At the moment their entire balance is based on them accumulating continuously over time.
     
  6. Art Morte

    Art Morte Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
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    I like this. I, too, think the envoy system is good, but it would be more fun if you had more influence on gaining envoys.

    Maybe spies could work to reduce the envoys of another civ of your choosing?
    My version of war support would be gifting units to a city-state and gain envoys in return. Generally speaking I think you should be able to gift units to city-states, I don't understand why they removed that.

    However, I wouldn't make great people points able to buy envoys. Not sure about gold, either, it already plays a big part in the game, not sure I want even more reasons to build commercial districts and trade routes. That district thing sounds cool, though.
     

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