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Notes from Ed Beach's Civ VI talk at GDC

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by DavidFarrell, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    I would agree that one of the the biggest no brainers in VI is rushing Political Philosophy. Although Mysticism and Military Tradition can have enough going for them to divert your attention depending on the circumstances. The case I would make for why it is worth bunching all three first up governments together is because it makes less pragmatic people genuinely consider their options when they get there. Someone like me who thinks classical republics are awesome and the other governments tyrannical, would often just head straight for the civic that gave me that Classical Republic option. But as all three are options from the same civic, I have tended to pick Oligarchy more times than not. I think it is worth having Political Philosophy as the no brainer civic, to get players coming out of their 'ideological' shell.

    And early in the game is the time to do it. Not only is there all the normal interesting early game stuff going on (unexplored map, unsullied relations with other civs, goody huts etc), but the tech tree is providing plenty of genuine choices. I never go through them the same way; as it really does depend on what is going on and what I have close to my city, that I will research. So it doesn't bother me that the early civics tree is more predictable than the rest of the game.

    I'll also agree that 1UPT armies can still be a pain to navigate long distance, even with the lower amount of clutter. Which there definitely is. Having said that... I don't seem to do as much big army moving in VI as I did in V. And it is not for lack of warring! I can't quite explain that...I'll have to go away and think about it. I just don't recall half as many units getting tangled up on each other as they did in V.
    When I think about the slower movement in VI; in relation to war, I immediately think of the better maneuvering tactics that are present in the game as a result. Maybe that is why the whole moving thing bothers me less. It is more fun in and of itself.
     
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  2. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    I think early game it also helps as the tech tree tends to fluctuate a lot early, I "focus" more on that. Then once political philosophy comes in, I basically start switching my focus and can start concentrating on the civics later.

    I think also having them all come together it prevents a case where a certain beeline happens more frequently than others, causing everyone to end up in the same civic early until you reach the "second" one. It's a similar model to the fact that everyone is researching the same civic at the start, and once that one's in, then you start branching.
     
  3. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    There will always be dissent and difference, thats what makes life so divine.
    Projects are never easy as the design phase is often long, the implementation phase is never scoped with enough time (those damn graphics) and the testing phase is shortened because the other phases took too damn long.
    Then there is post go-live where you do not want to make radical change, just fix & tweak

    Then there is the realisation that maybe they just are not going to put in the restart option and I just think eff it. I have better things to do than load my 20th flat land start and try and play with broken arm. For some reason thats just broken my heart.
     
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  4. dagriggstar

    dagriggstar Prince

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    Interesting read

    Having played since civ II, I feel like the main problem the game has is the tendency for runaway civs which gives the end game a kind of an inevitable feel about it. Like either nothing you do will stop the AI from winning, or nothing they do (or maybe they CAN do something, but are not programmed well enough to know what that is, so you feel safe anyway) will change the result ie matter. The game is still not dynamic enough.

    What to do essentially with culture is interesting. I actually prefer V as it gives you a sense of shaping your society over a very long period of time, as opposed to shaping your society in a very short space of time (IV). The idea about conditional unlocks being too much overload, even this I guess simplified version that we got is probably too much overload. So I guess they decided at one point to make the system less complicated, then went back and made it more complicated later with the gov legacy bonuses. Ultimately I question whether the whole system is necessary, culture already does so many different things in game....

    The unit congestion stuff.....ugh.......
    Firstly the whole reason that is a strategic city location IS because there is less space to put the army. This would be true under any combat system.
    Secondly support units basically add nothing to the game. If anything it is more tedious having to produce a specific type of unit that has a specific use.
    Thirdly there is no real rock/paper/scissors nuance to the battlefield. Ranged units win. Ignoring that, some units in particular are basically useless. There are more than three unit classes. Further, just because you have stacks doesn't mean you can't have rock/paper/scissors, the two ideas are not mutually exclusive.
     
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  5. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    In terms of dynamism which you refer to as well, and seem to think is important - locking in your civics reduces that. Anything in the medium to late game that isn't locked in makes a big difference to tedium, which V had in spades sadly. I do like seeing my plans get fleshed out and come to fruition. If nothing is locked in...well, we don't have a game! Certainly not one with history as a big theme. So given that crucial parts of the game already get locked in (and must do so); finding ways to reflect how the world works where genuine exploration or options are offered in the mid to late game is very important, and will keep us all engaged longer. Being able to change your government as a whole, or policies that government has fits the bill.

    Ranged units do die - I can testify to it ;) They have their limits, even if they need to still be taken down a notch...
     
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  6. Esperr

    Esperr King

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    Yes, this issue comes up a lot. Early game bonuses are all that matters and have so much more value then late game abilities and bonuses because once you get ahead its so hard for other players to catch you. Its what makes Gorgo and AUS so busted and any UU past the medieval era pointless. I also don't get why they don't just use the civic system from IV, I used to hate it until I played the game more. It really allows you to have full control of whatever your trying to accomplish by steering your country.
     
  7. CanuckSoldier

    CanuckSoldier Emperor

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    Nice presentation...to bad they didn't mention the total revamp of the MP code....of course 2K would not allow that as it would mean admitting that Civ5 had poor, barely playable MP...

    CS
     
  8. CivCube

    CivCube Feelin' defiant.

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    Yeah, 2K has been a big hindrance for transparency, deadlines, and modding tools. For such a complete vanilla release, it could have used another six months of development, if not a full year.
     
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  9. DonTomaso

    DonTomaso Chieftain

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    No, to all of it. Stack of dooms are way more problematic (not in terms of control, but because they're in my mind nonintuitive) than 1UPT. This means that going back to full stacks are out of the question. While there are still congestion problems it's slightly better. <answer to movement below>

    There is no longer "the" optimal tech tree route because it should depend on the map. Maybe the selected boosts aren't perfect now, but they could easily be tweaked to change how players want to advance. This is in no way "as one dimensional as V". I'm still not sure how much this actually changes, but it have had quite some effect on my games.

    They are probably very aware of the problems, but as he tried to explain in the GDC talk there was problems with earlier versions of the game as well. The talk was trying to focus on the design choices behind CivVI. Obviously they didn't explicitly choose something that they thought is bad to the game, which is why it sounds like everything is perfect and green. I for one like most of the game design changes.

    It's not that much that can be done to the tech tree without blowing it up. It's one of the few features that have stayed almost intact from the first game, which means you probably shouldn't change it too much. The boosts will alter the thinking slightly, which to me is a very good idea.

    The problem that they saw (and I partly agree on it) with the earlier movement system is that you always spend all movement points before going into harsh terrain. It's a very nonintuitive thing to do. Why is it possible to go to plains first, and then into a forest, but not the forest first and end on the plains?

    I agree however that it did cause the congestion problems to become even worse, but there might be other solutions to that.

    Isn't the civic system in CivVI very very similar to CivIV but much more fine grained?
     
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  10. Esperr

    Esperr King

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  11. ThERat

    ThERat Deity

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    Moving even a few troops across the map from one battlezone to another is an incredible pita. For example, you move 2 units across the map, both separated by a mere tile. The first issue pops up when there is no road and you get that irritating cant move across plains and cross a river at the same time. Next issue, you try and move over cities, but the city has a garrison (due to ww reduction policy card). One of two units will get stuck by the MP in your city and you need to start to micro manage this.

    It's just plain irritating and has got absolutely nothing to do with strategy etc.
     
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  12. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    I would like to see something introduced that allowed units to share the same tile in passing. It would have to have limits on it for 1UPT to still be governing the game. My suggestion would be something like:

    1) When you aren't at war; and
    2) are in your own territory

    If those conditions are met then units should be able to end their move on the same tile. Any time this happens only one of the two units could do an action as the other unit is still in the process of moving. So they (the second unit) couldn't fortify etc.

    Maybe it could be loosened up to include times where you are at war, or outside your own territory; but only if you were a certain distance away from any units that you are at war with. I can see that confusing some people; but obviously 1UPT as it is must be in force when you get to a distance where tactical considerations are relevant.
     
  13. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    For most of the game once your cavalry got within 10 tiles of an enemy (even inside your own borders) they'd have to revert to 1UPT. All other units at 5 tiles away.
    With modern roads kicking in, that figure probably needs to double.
     
  14. DonTomaso

    DonTomaso Chieftain

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    I think that would be a lot more confusing. Pathfinding would get even more complex with such a system unless you always tried to have stacks of 1 everywhere, which you probably wouldn't want because full stacks are more effective/compact.

    Agreed. Not sure why though. Lowering the amount of cards could work, but that would cause balance issues between current civilizations. Maybe having some more impactful cards which requires multiple slots? That would solve the issue with the cards not having the umph.

    Actually it has nothing to do with 1UPT either. As you (and many others before you) said, "you need to start to micro manage". Path finding is in general a solved issue, and computers can do this effectively. Civilization maps are very simple in this regard as well. Well defined. Small. Discrete movement. Having infinite stacks will make path finding easier to implement because it wouldn't need to care about other units, but the real problem here is indeed the path finding.

    Some solutions to path finding problems that appeared because of 1UPT:
    • Have the path finder take other moving units into account. Example: Moving two units on the same road. Currently the last one might take steps out of the road because the road is "blocked". This fix would make the unit wait on the road tile until the unit in front moves away (which it knows it will because it also have a move order queued up).
    • Special move command that moves a unit "as close as possible" to a specified point. Example: You want to move your 10 unit army to the enemy lines. Instead of having to target 10 different tiles you can just order them to move to the same tile, and they would try to get as close as possible before stopping. Maybe with some advanced tools to say in what way they should group up (as _very_ many RTS games have, formations).
    • Maybe holding a key down could show some sort of heat map over the tiles where there are units heading, and how many.
     
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  15. ViterboKnight

    ViterboKnight King

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    Unit movement basic mechanism is fine, as long as it means:
    - each unit has a specific unit layer
    - only units of different layers may share the same tile

    However, since at the moment there are only two layers (standard unit, support unit), there are several problems, like the missionary-carpet-of-doom, and the annoying march of an army towards a distant destination.

    I suggest to handle up to 6 layers:
    - military units (as now)
    - support units (as now)
    - builders (I think they deserve a separate layer, making them able to share tiles with any other unit)
    - diplomatic/religious units (at the moment, only missionaries, apostles and inquisitors)
    - great persons (better to have a separate layer for them, it should ease the movement reducing traffic jam!)
    - background units (see below)

    About background units, i think it should be a good way to reduce the carpet-of-doom, expecially when going on peacefully inside your own borders.
    Any military unit could be set as "background" of another military unit. A military unit can have an unlimited number of background units.
    "Background" units are simply there, but they cannot attack or defend, and are damaged/killed when the main military unit is damaged/killed.
    Units can be set on "background" when you have many units on your land and you don't want to carpet-of-doom all your empire, or when you have to march your army towards a distant destination. It's a way to "park" currently unneeded units, or to "stack" units that have to travel far away.
    Background units can be moved away and reenabled only when there are no enemy units nearby (in order to avoid exploits) (and possibly, only when NOT in hostile land).

    What do you think?
     
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  16. grandad1982

    grandad1982 Deity

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    I think it sounds like civ 2 (3? I forget which). Units stacked but when the defender died they all died.
     
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  17. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    That was II; and I hated it. Killed immersion for me - losing a whole set of units when only one actually lost.

    The distinction that ViterboKnight and I are making is that this isn't to usurp 1UPT. They aren't collateral for any other reason than that when it comes to combat there can only be one functioning unit on each tile. It's to ease traffic away from combat zones.

    If Civ ever returns to stacks, II's interpretation is the worst imho lol.
     
  18. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Emperor

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    I found the section on playing the map mystifying. Allegedly the problem is the "Rote Tile Decisions"
    which is fixed by
    My reactions are
    • One doesn't build anywhere near enough wonders to warrant inclusion here
    • Tiles aren't so scarce that building a district has much impact on your ability to improve tiles
    • All of your tile improvements are still "farms on flat land, mines on hills".
    • It's missing the point that the big decision in playing the map is how to develop and use your city
    The adjacency bonus minigame requires some amount of planning, but that's something else entirely. (and debatable as to how well it fits into the game)

    I suppose they're only really comparing to Civ 5, and maybe this is a big improvement as compared to Civ 5. (I don't have enough experience to know) It does makes me wonder of he knows anything about Civ 4 gameplay.
     
  19. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    It is a comparison to V which was a yawn fest re workers. I'd guess that he wouldn't want to reference IV as he'd know that IV already gave you genuine choices re what to build on tiles. It has to be one of the great mysteries...why V went away from that great interesting system to what it did.
    True that you can't build farms on hills till late in the game; but he has improved the choices big time.
     
  20. DonTomaso

    DonTomaso Chieftain

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    It's happening to me multiple times per game that I find myself not building a district because of lack of proper tiles. It's even common in water worlds. And even if you don't build many wonders, they have very specific requirements of where they can be placed. I find it quite common that these places already have (or will have) good improvements. However I do agree that there's a no brainer which improvement to use per tile.

    I find this too complex. A complex system needs to visualize more information to the player (5 layers of units + any number of extra military units), which can cause clutter and confuse. It will also require a lot of micro management unless it's happening automatic. But since it has consequences of combat it might be too complicated to make it automatic and at the same time not frustrating.
     

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