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Necessity is the mother of invention . . .

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by CGG1066, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    . . . and so shall it be in CivV. I think adopting a need-based science algorithm could make game-play more intuitive, automatic, and strategic (because every action you choose - military, production, et al. - effects science).

    The idea is rather simple - you don't pick which tech you research next, you research them all simultaneously, automatically emphasizing the techs which your citizens need. For example, engaging in combat will skew science towards a military tech, working cows will skew science towards animal husbandry, and working hills will skew science towards mining, etc.

    This could be implemented in a number of ways, but a simple back-of-the envelope calculation could be this - conducting an activity gives the next related tech a scientific weight unit (SWU). For example, if I work one cow and one hill, mining and AH each get 1 SWU. Then my total science is multiplied by the (SWUs for mining)/(total SWUs), and that proportion of my science goes towards that tech. Here, it would be .5 to AH and .5 to mining. If I worked 2 hills and one cows, mining gets 2 SWUs and AH gets 1, and my science would be appropriated with .66 to mining and .33 to AH.

    Obviously, the tech tree would have to be redrawn, and balanced-out. But It adds a very strategic calculation in how you want to presume your research that is missing, and eliminates the "I'm going to rush X tech" mentality from the game. It is much more organic because you have to survey the land around you, make due with what you got, and develop what you have into what you want. Trying to rush a tech not suited to your territory is possible, but will be expensive (you'll have to work less productive tiles, etc.) - and it's a trade off you have to make. And it adds this strategic element without making the game more complicated to manage.

    Mitigating feature: with the discovery of "scientific theory": you get to assign all science from buildings, specialists, and wonders to the tech of your choice. For example, if I have 300 science total (200 science coming from my cities, 100 from buildings/specialists), the first 200 is apportioned by the described above method, and I can choose to put the last 100 towards refrigeration.
     
  2. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Prince

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    This is a great idea. I wonder if it is possible to mod this.
     
  3. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    I like the idea, but I'm not entirely sure how balanced it would be. My first thoughts are that it would make powerful military states more powerful militarily, simply by virtue of them being powerful militarily in the first place. It would probably have these sort of escalating effects in all facets. And I'm not entirely sure how this could be prevented. Thoughts?
     
  4. 14koder

    14koder Philosopher

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    It sounds cool. Perhaps you could also let people discover resources before they are usable. For instance people knew about uranium since the 1700s, but they didn't use it as a bomb until 1945. Then civs could see this resource, want to use it, and then their tech gives them the answer. This already happens with oil, so could you make it happen with other resources to? Also why does the warrior not upgrade to spearman? Once the spearman comes into play, there is almost no purpose of the warrior except for a cheaper, weaker unit. (sorry off topic)
     
  5. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    It really is Dependant on how you design the tech tree, and how many times the different lines of research (econ/pure science/military/etc.) cross. Let's say you have the Aztecs doing an early military rush, so they have more military techs than anybody. But what if gun powder requires a prereq from a pure science/econ tech? They'll be dead in the water, and very behind.

    The implicit gameplay enhancement is that it is much more difficult for a civ to become top-dog and stay there; if you want to stay on top, you will have to keep re-inventing yourself.

    I think this would add to the challenge to the game without making it more complicated.

    (I'm also in favor of a form of tech diffusion; which I'll describe in more detail when I do my econ post.)
     
  6. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    That's certainly true; multiple tech paths are required to succeed in any singular aspect. Well, so long as the tech tree is quite interconnected, and military victories don't lead to advances along the science paths required for better military, that issue is cleared up.

    One important additional thing to consider is choice/self-determination. In the game, I believe that every player should have all options available, and not be limited in their choice. This idea wouldn't appear to necessarily allow for the full range of choice, making science a consequence rather than a decision.
     
  7. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    That is true . . . though that is part of the point. What I want to get away from is the game becoming so mechanical, like (I'm showing my age) starcraft. Experienced players generally already have a build order already in mind - rush animal husbandry/mining; or rush the sailing techs because it's the quickest way to the Medieval era (and benefit from Medieval era policies). This is true even if you're not near the ocean!

    This approach forces you to discard those plans and actually be creative. You have to think on your feet, look around, and be creative. Do the best with what you got even if it's not what you wanted in a perfect world.

    Some people might enjoy the pre-set build order approach - but honestly, I already think it's getting old.
     
  8. RomanHoliday

    RomanHoliday Kibitzer

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    In Alpha Centauri, you didn't pick techs -- you chose your tech bias. A military Civ would still eventually discover writing or mathmatics, that is just not their focus. If they are late adopters to, say libraries, their loss.

    I think that it could work thusly: a simple formula to decide your bias based on your actions; when the tech choice comes up as it does in the game currently, your civ decides for you.

    Personally, I'm a micro-manager. I like choosing. Your idea makes more sense though.
     
  9. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Those are good points. Being able to adapt should perhaps be more important. I'm not entirely sure removing choice is the best way to go about this, however. Adding more features in that need to be taken into account would seem to be a better way to go.
     
  10. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    Maybe - but it also complicates the game and makes it less intuitive. And I wouldn't say choice is completely removed, it is just made more implicit. You can still choose which way you want to develop - but it might mean expanding south to the hills rather than north to coast if you wanted a military game over a trading game, for example.

    That said, I do recognize explicit choice in the tech tree has been with the game since Civ I, and not everybody would be behind drastic change.
     
  11. eric_

    eric_ Emperor

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    Interesting...

    I think this would have great synergy with ciV's implementation of culture. Working certain tiles/taking military action emphasizes certain techs, which in turn influences which tiles your culture will claim next. So, if you're doing a lot of fishing, you'll be more likely to grab another water tile than a tile with cows. A lot of farming gets you grasslands, etc. A lot of military action will make you more likely to claim a tile of iron, etc.

    Taking this even further, what if tiles you worked also affected civ expansion, and new cities arose more organically? For instance, what if working a lot of farms and generating tons of food increased the likelihood of a new city popping, its location determined by a combo of tech, tiles worked, and cultural tendencies?

    Roads also could be laid organically depending on city builds and whether gold-producing tiles are being worked. If you're building military units, a road would be built to connect up a military resource or a city with lots of hills and forests (production).

    Edit: I do think the ability to impose decisions should be retained to some extent, though. So, a settler could still be built, workers could still build roads, and a tile could still be bought. But, a settler-founded city will not flourish quickly as an "organic" city unless it is strongly in line with the "organic" emphases of your civ. Perhaps there could even be indicators (a la the purple-outlined hexes in the city screen) of where your settler can build to be in line with ongoing development.
     
  12. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    I like the idea of it influencing expansion - it might even be helpful to those complaining they don't get the next tile they want (the system would infer it). It allows your citizens to form an identity.

    Another related idea is having it effect cultural policies. If you send out your citizens to fight, they'll develop a more warrior culture (and your culture points are allocated towards honor).

    But there needs to be control over cities' timing and placement. That is something I really want to keep. Part the the benefits to game-play I think my suggestion offers is making city choice more important as a way to control science. Taking it away would lead to negative gameplay effects, I believe.
     
  13. eric_

    eric_ Emperor

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    I enjoy it, but it has always felt bass-ackwards to me. How is it that a civ researches an idea that doesn't yet exist? ;)
     
  14. eric_

    eric_ Emperor

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    Sorry, see my edit to that post...dropped it in just before your post.

    In addition to the last points of that post, a civ's worked tiles and military actions (excluding taking another's city) would be "soft" methods of controlling where the next city goes via tech and cultural expansion.
     
  15. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    Ahh - I see. I still have some concerns. If a city doesn't flourish because it's not "in line" with the other cities - there would have to be some time of growth/production modifiers which are hard to see/understand.

    And I don't wouldn't want to kill adaptability. If you're realizing you're falling behind on the military front, maybe you start seeking out grasslands to boost other techs and re-invent yourself. (or the converse - your live on the grassland, see that you're going to need defense and - as iron maiden would say "RUN TO THE HILLS!") That is the kind of decision I think really makes the game fun. "Oh carp! That didn't work, what should I do next" instead of "Well, that didn't work [RESTART]"

    Besides - nations have reinvented themselves over and over. It allows for a building cycle that is never finished.
     
  16. eric_

    eric_ Emperor

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    Sorry, I keep editing on you, as this idea of yours has really sparked my imagination and makes me wish I was a better programmer than I am! This is copied down from above in response to:

    Basically, everything begets itself, but you have the choice to open up new paths of development by dropping a city in a location with access to new resources, changing up tile improvements in existing cities (switching farms to trading posts or mines), buying certain tiles, explicitly building roads, etc.

    At first a new city placed to influence development will grow slowly, but as the new path of development picks up, that city will start to take off, which will boost that new line of development, which will affect cultural tile grabs throughout the empire, new "organic" city location, and so on.

    Another way you could impose your will would be to implement methods (buildings, hooking up a new luxury resource, etc) for inducing population shifts from one city to another. As you switch farms to trading posts, a new city with a bank will draw population from an old city with a granary, etc. If you retain the ability to rush-buy buildings, purchasing a bank and hooking up cotton in a settler-built city as you switch over to trading posts in the old city would speed up the development of the settler city. Likewise buying a forge or workshop in a new city as you build new mines in old cities.

    Of course, if you go too far too fast with the reinvention, you end up with a Detroit or a Baltimore :D
     
  17. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    Internal migration (killmeplease already has a mod that deals with international immigration, which looks really cool, though I haven't tried it) is something I've thought about - though it's not really related to science; I might start a thread later about my ideas about it, but I have a few more things to think about first. So - let's focus this discussion on science.
     
  18. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    Haha - it's ok. I'll lay off for now. I think we both like the idea and we're just talking about implementation issues. Obviously, implementation will have to balance complexity/functionality/playability - which probably would require testing. We may have different starting points on those issues, but it's really the big idea I care about.
     
  19. eric_

    eric_ Emperor

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    It could be, though, if you set newly migrated population as specialists in a building that's in line with your new development direction, which in turn would influence how your civ techs.

    I'm definitely extrapolating your idea into a much broader application, but I think it would work on that broader level and would make for a hell of a good game.
     
  20. killmeplease

    killmeplease Mk Z on Steam

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    maybe just give bonuses to particular techs researching?
    e.g. you research iron working. if you go to war and kill enemy units - you get free beakers towards it. get cattle resources inside borders to speed up animal husbandry, etc. such a funny little quest for each technology.
     

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