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Now that we have 3 game variant toggles, which will you use regularly?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by iammaxhailme, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. McLMan

    McLMan Afraid of the monkeys

    Jun 29, 2005
    Trinity, Florida
    I will use all 3 occasionally. Probably 20% of my games will be with one (or more) of the variants.
  2. Leucarum

    Leucarum King

    Dec 21, 2018
    Mostly playing MP in a regular group these days where one player loves apocalypse, and the others love secret societies and shuffle... So probably all 3 with apocalypse slightly less than the other two...
    ShimmerGloom likes this.
  3. Futumch

    Futumch Calm as a Coma

    Dec 27, 2001
    142 E 42 S
    It'd be interesting if you couldn't commit to a Secret Society until you had discovered all four. Just to see which way each of the AI leaders chooses.

    I'll occasionally play with Apocalypse mode on, but I had so many droughts in my Zulu game recently that it's sort of soured it for my next few games. I'm not really enjoying Tech Shuffle so far, but due to the random nature of it, I may have just had a wacky tech tree. Secret Societies were a bit meh. I don't envisage going back to that mode in the near future.

    EDIT: just finished my first shuffled tech tree game. I won as Hungary - religious victory just as my Spaceports were under construction.
    I'll try a few more games with the shuffled tech tree, it's still a little weird. I mean, I don't mind it so much, but it's a bit like if you get a crappy start position you will know within 10 turns (and then you can restart). With a crappy tech tree layout, you're looking at dozens of turns before you'll have an inkling of how good or bad it is.
    Maybe if a full era of tech was revealed at a time, that might help the decision along (to bail out or continue).
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  4. Naeshar

    Naeshar Warlord

    Oct 22, 2016
    This might be a good question for a poll...

    As I do not have NFP, I only got the shuffled tech and civic trees and I think I will use it in all games. Not because it's very good, but the original trees are too rigid and boring after 600 hours in Civ6. Perhaps adding random eurekas is the way to go.
  5. isau

    isau Deity

    Jan 15, 2007
    I really like the random tech tree.
  6. Pietato

    Pietato Emperor

    Jan 9, 2014
    New Zealand
    I am going to have all 3 on most of the time.

    Apoc mode was lame before, because you would never actually get any climate change which meant the game was far too easy. Now it can escalate quickly, and you can actually have a proper 'battle' with it using carbon capture.

    SS makes the AI a lot more competitive, as Voidsingers is their favourite.

    Shuffle slows the game down most of the time.
    I just did that. 60 traders was painful.
  7. Oberinspektor Derrick

    Oberinspektor Derrick Warlord

    Aug 3, 2020
    I started turning off Apocalypse mode.
    I like the inevitable apocalypse at stage VII, but up until that point I feel that the Soothsayers just lead me to abuse a playstyle that I don't like (namely, finding a huge cluster of forests/rainforests, and "farm" them for the majority of the game with fires, in order to set up late-game powerhouses with 10/10+ yields).
    It gets very one-dimensional after a while.

    I am contemplating to stop playing with Secret Societies too.
    My main gripes with SS are that the societies are tied to governor promotions, which can be heavily abused in the early game (early Connoiseur Pingala, 4x Moksha for instabuying districts the rest of the game, etc.).
    I really hope they change that mechanic, as the societies are otherwise interesting.
    There's also the problem of RNG tied to whether or not you get an invitation or not.
    Having played some recent reliquaries culture games, I had to resort to numerous reloads (after clearing a Tribal Village) in numerous games, as the game simply wouldn't give me an invite to the Void Singers.
    This isn't a disaster per se, but when your whole strategy is revolved around playing with a particular society, it gets extremely frustrating.
    Some "sources" of invites (like Tribal Villages) are also very limited, meaning you can actually run out of invite opportunities at a certain point.
    In one particular game I had to chase for remaining Tribal villages in the late medieval era (where the Void Singers really start to pick up steam), and when I failed to get the last remaining tribal village I was simply screwed without further reload cheesing.
    On the other hand, when you do get all invites by turn 25, the game is effectively like playing on one or two lower difficulties.
    RNG like that is never fun.

    The shuffle mode is great though, can't complain about that one.
    It does feel like playing on a higher difficulty though, as you can't beeline the important techs anymore.
    That causes the AI to benefit a lot more from its innate bonuses, compared to the player who tries to catch up with known beelining strategies.
    Even if you get an Eureka and know where Writing is located (science game as an example), you might have to plow through a lot of useless techs on your way there (sea-techs while playing inland for instance), which really shakes things up.
    Tried a recent Emperor game, and it felt like playing on Immortal+ as I was just constantly behind the AI.
    Ended up having to rely on early warfare even more than before, since I could at least benefit from conquered cities at that point if I was unlucky with the tech tree or generally in the dark.
    Can't imagine playing Deity anytime soon again, until I figure out how to win consistently.
    Very fun, and feeling that I'm learning a lot from it!
    Jkchart, oedali and Pietato like this.
  8. pokiehl

    pokiehl Emperor

    Mar 5, 2017
    It's not really the game mode's fault if you're purposefully abusing exploits. I never feel the compulsion to do so.
    King William I and racha like this.
  9. Dotsworthy

    Dotsworthy Chieftain

    Jul 1, 2019
    Both Apocalypse and Secret Societies have been a regular in all my games.

    Haven't yet tried tech/civic shuffle, but I imagine saving it for online games in our group to keep things interesting.
  10. raen

    raen Coat of Arms

    May 12, 2003
  11. Breadsmith

    Breadsmith Warlord

    Aug 14, 2013
    I'm never turning Shuffle off. Might turn SS off at some point. They're just a little too unbalanced.
  12. Aurelesk

    Aurelesk Prince

    Oct 26, 2017
    Apocalypse mode is not for me. I am not a fan for several reasons:
    • I am not a fan of Natural Disaster mechanic. I am lazy: I tend to play with fewer and populous developed cities, for less micromanaging overall, so a game is shorter (by time, not by turn). A mode focusing on a mechanic that need me rebuild my districts and my tile improvements all the time is not for me.
    • Not specific to Apocalypse mode: Emergency aid. They are more common. Either this makes me win a Diplomatic Victory way earlier, or swim in Gold.
    • I kind of dislike the Soothsayers. I am not talking about esthetic, but the gameplay. Their promotions either help to conquest (siege, combat strength... leading to Domination and therefore... micromanaging) or create Natural Disaster. But... the likeliness to create a disaster harmful to other civilization seems non-existant. I end up to use them for some "exploit?" like a never-ending burning cycle of forest or Great Bath floods.
    • Finally, the main change are in the end game, where you already won / lost the game. So you let the game running just to witness the world burn, to never see that again in your life.
    I am talking only for myself, but Apocalypse mode is a miss. I played a couple of time just to know the mechanic of the mode. Once fully understood, I didn't really think about play it again. Maybe I will it in the future, but now, it is a 0%.

    Secret Societies mode is good. But is so close to be really great. Excluding some balance issue (one of them is way weaker than the other), my main problem is the early Governor titles. Playing this mode change a lot of things in the early game, focusing more on early exploration and sheer LUCK. Will I have the extra titles by discovering that wonder, uncover this tribal village, razing that barbarian outpost of sending an envoy to a city state? Those extra Governor titles are extremely powerful in the early game, even if it cancels out in the end.
    In the end, I will play the SS from time to time. I could play it all the time but is has too much randomness and the early Gonernors feel like cheating the game.

    Shuffle is a simple but really great mode. I like it a lot, but the AI seem to be completely lost. Normally, the AI are rushing crossbows for defense (and offense) which help them a lot due how inneficient they are at city building (no Campus priotizing?). But Shuffle mode seems to make the AI less competitive (because the AI don't know where the crossbows are? or the path to it is not efficient anymore?). Or I might be on luck the last games I played. Shuffle mode could go from good to perfect if they manage to display untangle paths so we could clearly see what leads to what.
    In the end, I will play with the Shuffle for the next few party then decide if I play with this all the time on, or not. So, 100% right now?

    Sidenote for SS: I dislike how SS somehow trap the player to follow one specific gameplay. Going Sanguine and not go into a war and pillage is a waste. Going Voidsinger but not going after a faith-game and cultural play is a waste. Going Minerva but not going for suzerainty and economic is a waste. Going Hermetic is a waste.
    If we compare with a standard game, there is no drawback to choose a SS (except Hermetic that displays dead tiles and destroy all your building plans): there are only bonuses making the game faster. I would love to see them act like some dark policies: bonuses with maluses. I would be even happier if the SS display even more choice, like a skill tree (where I could select only 4 out of the 10, maybe like how Ideology worked in Civ5). Should I focus more on the Vampires or the Castle? More on the Faith-game or the Loyalty game? More on the Envoys or the Government? More on Adjacency or Great People?
    Last complain: there is no intrigue. Having same / different SS is just a diplomatic modifier. Imagine if the civilizations share the same SS were also sharing the same skill tree. This could lead to intra-SS drama about picking one path instead of the other, maybe leading some civilization to quit the SS for an other one. But my brain is going wild.
    In the end, Secret Society is a nice little game mode but my brain was expecting a big deep complex feature with tempting choice and intrigue.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
    Leucarum and 8housesofelixir like this.
  13. Stilgar08

    Stilgar08 Emperor

    Nov 6, 2002
    Zeven, Germany (Lower Saxony ;)
    Apocalypse nope
    Secret Societies always on
    Shuffle trees - I think I'll play with this one on most of the time but I need more gametime to be sure...

    You do realize that you can do that, if you wish to, right? No need to pick the SS off the bat you can wait as long as you like
  14. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

    Feb 15, 2006
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Apocalypse mode - never have played, should sometime for the lols. Don't get me wrong, I've played most of my games on disaster level 4 since we could change that. But actual meteors wiping out cities? Not so much...
    secret societies mode - played it once and liked what it added, except the early governor titles. So won't play again as that stands.
    tech/civic shuffle mode - I think I'll have this on half the time going forward.
  15. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

    Mar 11, 2012
    north of Steilacoom, WA
    None of them.

    Apocalypse Mode is like playing as a Dinosaur - always looking over your shoulder for the next Meteorite.
    Secret Societies turn the game into a game entirely about - Secret Societies. Literally nothing else is as important as them, so why bother?
    Shuffled Tech/Civics is a cheap way for Firaxis to try out 'Blind' research trees, which have been talked about a lot lately in some Threads - the old SMAC and MOO Science Fiction modes where you could only 'select' a general area to research and then never knew exactly what you were going to get. Unfortunately, the Shuffle results too often in a very random tech system, in which, for instance, in one test game no one started a religion until after Turn 100 because Astrology Tech never came up! In another one there was no progression of mounted units because Horseback Riding disappeared into the Shuffle so Chariots were the only mounted units into the late Medieval Era - mildly entertaining, but not for Scythia . . .

    All three modes make the game too dependent on Random Events that get you your desired Society, remove or spare a city or region from Apocalyptic Visitation, or allow access to technology, unit, construction, etc only at random. Frankly, it's a lot cheaper in time and effort to just toss dice.

    I think elements of all three could have a place in, say, Civ VII, but right now they were not well enough thought out in how they affect the rest of the game to attract me.
    xaiviax likes this.
  16. King Rad

    King Rad Warlord

    Oct 5, 2010
    Pensacola, Florida
    Not a big fan of disasters and have never played apocalypse mode. Am on my third game with Secret Societies and plan to continue playing that mode. Haven't started a new game yet, but really looking forward to shuffle mode, which I think I will leave on all the time.
  17. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

    Dec 1, 2017
    Apocalypse Mode. Cute for a few games, then no. The problem is that it doesn’t really add anything, except discouraging settling on Rivers. I think if Soothsayers were more interesting, there were more ways to mess with disasters and or the disasters were more dynamic beyond “oh, now I need to repair those tiles again”, it might be more interesting.

    I am particularly pained by the lack of Zombies. Honestly, what sort of Apocalypse doesn’t have Zombies?

    Secret Societies Mode. I’ve mostly left this on, as I really enjoy the additional abilities and the way it lets you customise your Civ, and the new buildings, units etc. But. The extra Governor titles really break the game. Added to that, the fact that how you discover Societies is so repetitive, that there is no real trade-off having a Society (beyond negative relationship modifiers), and the lack of any intrigue, means this mode is ultimately a bit underwhelming. I’m not sure I’ll keep playing with it, although I do really like the Culture Bank...

    Shuffle Mode. Haven’t played with it yet. Would rather wait until the bugs are fixed. Seems like a good mechanic, but I don’t think I’ll use this much although the might play with it for a few games.

    Honestly, I think all of the game modes and NFP generally suffers from being “good not great”. I really hope FXS take another look at these. They’re very close to being excellent. But not quite.
    8housesofelixir likes this.
  18. JerseyTed

    JerseyTed Chieftain

    Jun 6, 2020
    Shuffle: all the time.

    Secret Societies: some of the time.

    Apocalypse: only if my annoyance with forest fires having disappeared from non-Apocalypse games overwhelms me and I decide I absolutely need to see a forest fire again.
  19. Tech Osen

    Tech Osen Emperor

    Nov 13, 2016
    I thought I'd like shuffle but turns out it just annoys me. Inventing tanks before discovering oil, etc just irks me. The standard tree has a logic to it. Also it messes with the cross flow of inspirations and eureka's.

    Apocalypse also not my thing since you can't urge other civs to not pollute. Also weird that one governor can protect one city but that knowledge somehow can't be spread to the rest of your empire. I'll stick to the standard disaster settings.

    Secret societies I do like. Though I have yet to try the hermetic order. I'm too much a fan of the owls.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
  20. oedali

    oedali King

    Apr 6, 2007
    Washington, DC
    Shuffle: all the time. As someone else pointed out it does increase the difficulty level significantly. With shuffle + Real Eurekas mode, my win rate at Deity has plummeted to levels lower than anything I've experienced before.. more aligned with what the highest difficulty setting of a game SHOULD be like (ie winnable only <20% of the time)

    Other 2: not interested (sounds unbalanced and ultimately favors human player vs AI which I avoid)

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