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New Humankind player - Am I Missing Something?


Jul 15, 2017

I am a longtime Civ player, and I recently decided to give Humankind a look.

As much as I want to like this game, I'm simply finding it uninspiring, even boring.

Some of my lack of enthusiasm stems from interface issues: e.g., I can't see at a glance what nations are at war with each other, or what nations have luxury resources that I don't without having to click each nation and eyeball the little resource icons (some of which are very similar to other, distinct resources). Also, if I'm going to be replacing my nation's cultural identity every hour or so, it would be nice to have a button to auto-rename my cities to fit the new culture.

Some of my disappointment is a lack of immersion. For example, the constant cultural identity swapping by nations from age to age is distracting and makes it challenging to make my own "narrative", as we all tend to do when we play Civ games. E.g., Caesar's Rome is aggressive at the beginning of a Civ game, and tends to stay that way throughout.

On the topic of narrative, I must say that the lack of Great People - or something equivalent - in Humankind is a glaring omission that also detracts from the game's personality.

Also, where is the grandeur and majesty when you build a world wonder? When a wonder is built, it's barely acknowledged in Humankind. I don't necessarily expect an extravagant CGI animation for a wonder from a 4X game, but I also expect more than essentially a shrug.

Finally, as much as I wish Civ 6's AI was better, Humankind's AI leaves even more to be desired. Diplomacy seems to usually consist of the AI making demands, I refuse, the demand is withdrawn, and we continually rinse and repeat. I've never had the AI declare war on me, and it generally seems passive.

Last but not least is the starvation. Oh my, the starvation. No matter how many food districts and food upgrades I build in my cities, I am continuously peppered with notifications about this city and that city suffering from starvation. I go to the city, build a new food district, get a nice food surplus, and then get another starvation notification from the city five turns later.

I'm currently at the endgame, which I know has long been a weak point for Civ games, but all I seem to be doing is clicking "End Turn" over and over, interrupted occasionally by a starvation notification.

I know an expansion is coming out soon, but Humankind just hasn't hooked me like the Civ games always have.

Are other players experiencing the issues of monotony and apathy that I have, or am I simply "missing" something in the game design that hasn't yet clicked for me?

Thank you.
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I quite like where Humankind is at the moment, but will try and address some of these points if helpful.

Immersion as you mention it is probably the biggest issue I see. This seems to be a dealbreaker for many. To offer another perspective, I see it almost as building a kit of short-term (emblematic districts, units) and long-term (legacy traits) bonuses. Sure, I often identity with one era more than others in a game, but the unifying theme is forward momentum that is greater than the sum of the parts. There is also opportunity cost, as sometimes a culture really is not a great choice for doing what you want in the next era, so you learn to recognize strategic combinations.

Humankind strikes me as putting much less emphasis on the individual, and Great People appear occasionally scattered in events.

As for luxuries, there is a different system from Civilization. Some you may wish to prioritize, but in general you want access to as many luxury and to an extent strategic resources as possible.

Notifications and recurring demands have been frustrating for many. Luckily, notifications are configurable now so you should be able to silence them. The religious demands are my personal pet peeve, as they interrupt trade and severely limit interactions.

That said, as for many points above including wonders and city renaming, Amplitude is quite engaged with the community and responsive to feedback, so I would suggest posting suggestions on G2G and seeing if they gain traction with other players. The other thing to remember is Humankind is in active development. Parts of the game are changing regularly, and I am often surprised by their dynamic vision.

There are many aspects of Humankind that just are not part of the Civilization games. Tactical battles can be much more interesting, for instance. Conversely, both strategy games are fairly open-ended. The community scenarios could be useful for playing towards concrete goals.
i A`s far as immersion goes, you keep the benefits of all prior civs. They carry forward, but the civ focus {agrarian, expansion, etc] may change be based on what the new civ focus is. You can change to a civ that has the same focus as your earlier civ, unless you are too slow and the civs of that type are all taken.
I find the combat system much more interesting than other 4x civ games. Also, I have had the ai declare war on me several times.
If the AI never declared war, it might be a good idea to check whether you had peaceful mode switched on or in case you didn‘t up the difficulty level a bit. In general, even as a builder type of player, I find the game a bit dull without a really competing AI that is a certain threat at most times (same goes for civ though). Luckily, the AI in Humankind does compete (against my level of play) on the upper 3 difficulty levels. Unlike in civ, my games aren't decided in the 2nd or 3rd era, and I really like that. Did you win by a great fame margin in your first game? This might be another indicator to up the difficulty.

A core feature that might elude you at your first game is the stacking of modifiers. In this regard, it plays more like a paradox game than a civ game. The small and not so small bonuses you get through your cultures, wonders, luxuries, ideologies and events really add up throughout the game and change a lot. Don't forget to check the ideology axes and how civics and events influence these.

I also think the choice of culture is a tad more complex compared to civ. You choose a similar amount of bonuses with a culture as you do in civ, but it's also always about your current needs and interactions with previous and potential future choices. A common mistake might be overvaluing the affinities (militarist, agrarian, etc.), as they are so visible. Units can be great for a power spike and thus a decisive factor on some occasions. But more general, the legacy traits that you keep all game can outshine these characteristics in the long run (although some are also only a power spike and don't scale well). And the quarters are important of course, given that you have the capacity to build a lot of them in the given time frame.

You may have overvalued food. More population is great, but as it gets harder and harder to feed, it's often not worth it anymore at some point. I usually don't invest much into farm quarters. There is great infrastructure for food, and some emblematic quarters are super good in that regard. I almost always set my population with priorities production > science > food. Yes, at some point you are around the equilibrium where you gain and lose a pop every few rounds, but that's fine (just turn off the notification). I also guess that since you did not seem to fight a lot, you did not have to use your population that much for creating units, right? If you are in a tight war in the later stages of the game, 'losing' 20 pops in a turn to create a new army isn't uncommon.

Great persons: I for one like the abstraction that they aren't running around on the map but instead appear in events (at least in theory). Yet, I think they could be much more of these events centered around great persons (and unique events for each culture are direly needed imho!). And to be honest, the effect of the events have been out of balance since release.

With the expansion around the corner, I wouldn't necessarily recommend buying it if you don't like the game (yet). But I would suggest another round once it is released next week, as it comes with a meaty patch that includes great reworks of some base game mechanics, such as the interaction with independent peoples.
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