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Plan for Tall and Wide Living Happily Together

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by CivScientist, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. CivScientist

    CivScientist Warlord

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    It seems Civ VI is all about building wide and ICS. That's fine and a lot of people enjoy playing that way.

    I'm more of a tall builder myself, however, and wish there was a way to have tall building be a viable alternative strategy to ICS without nerfing ICS such that tall building is the only viable strategy.

    So, how might that be achieved in Civ VI? I think the easiest way is to improve upon the great people and how they are acquired. Specifically, great people should provide a much better benefit. Not only that, tall cities should have a great advantage in acquiring great people. That advantage should be so great in fact that a really focused tall empire could all but monopolize the great people.

    So, for example, you could build an empire with 4 cities, be at a disadvantage in terms of production and all other metrics compared to more expansive empires, and still be competitive as you acquire great people. Assuming the benefits from great people are properly balanced, the acquisition of great people could offset any disadvantage from having fewer cities.

    And this would work without hurting the ICS strategy because only a handful of empires could focus on a tall strategy or the tall strategy becomes ineffective. Since there's a global pool of great people, if more than a couple empires go tall, there won't be enough great people to go around for the strategy to be effective.

    How could this be implemented? Well, key to this idea working is that tall cities would need to be able to have an advantage in gaining great people. Such an advantage does not exist to my knowledge. There are many ways to introduce this advantage but, for the sake of argument, one way could be introducing an early civic that gives a GPP bonus based on city population to each of your GPP generators. If a single empire following a tall strategy could, say, collect half or a third of all the great people and the great people were good enough to make doing so worth while, then I think tall strategies would be viable again while ICS would be no less viable and an equal counter strategy.
     
  2. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Having fewer cities over a longer period of time should always be a negative, and not expanding after you have a core-number of cities should always be weaker than expanding (until a late point in the game of course).
    Focusing on Great people and Wonders should allow you to delay expanding for longer, but it should not replace it. If those statements are not true, then not expanding is always the best strategy.

    Not sure why you call the current meta "ICS", I may have missed something there, but as far as I know it is not. Current meta seems to be controlled expansion while also growing your cities. It is literally combining Tall and Wide, because you have to do both at the same time, and you have to find a balance between them. It is certainly leaning heavily towards expansion, mainly because of the way you can have tons and tons of trade routes to kickstart new cities, but the goal is never to go full ICS.
     
  3. CivScientist

    CivScientist Warlord

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    Why? I mean, I understand if that's your preference but it's not my preference. Our opinions differ. Is there a reason why not expanding aggressively should necessarily always be a negative? It doesn't make the game any less or more fun. It doesn't make the game any less or more historically accurate.

    The current meta is ICS because each new city is a net gain and there isn't really a situation where building that one extra city isn't always preferred. The only counter to this is the rising cost of settlers which keep your growth at pace. However, that can be bypassed by conquest and stealing enemy settlers. But, fundamentally, after doing all the math it looks like it's always better to have as many 4 pop cities with industrial and commercial zones as possible over fewer, larger cities.

    There are no doubt limits to how rapidly you can expand. It's probably not prudent to simply build settlers to the exclusion of everything else. But, we're not far off from there. That, plus the advantage in keeping empires compact suggests ICS to me. Of course, that's a matter of opinion. Regardless, more cities means better empire pretty much without exception.

    I should also add that whatever game mechanic allows you to farm great people in this proposed idea shouldn't be production based. So, a civic makes sense but not so much a wonder. Why? Well, ICS is fueled by production. In fact, production is so central in Civ VI that having a low production start is a handicap. But, if those few poor civs that start out in low production starts have the path of a tall empire, that adds a new dimension to the game because now a start in flat land doesn't raise the difficulty two levels.

    It also means you don't necessarily choose between ICS and tall building and choose the better. You choose the strategy that's best for your terrain. And, again, it means less of a dramatic different in difficulty based on your start.
     
  4. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    "not expanding aggressively" is not what I said, I said "Having fewer cities over a longer period of time" - don't miss the "over a longer period of time"-part. The ideal situation is one where the player has to find a balance between expanding and growing, and expanding too fast should be just as devastating as expanding too slow.

    Why do I think it's important that expanding is required? Simply because it creates urgency, and conflict. Things that actually create difficult decisions and allow good players to shine (if done right). If you can just sit at home and wait your way to victory, then that's not very impressive.

    Don't get me wrong, going mostly tall should be a way to victory, but not the ideal way, and preferably not on the highest difficulty settings. At the highest difficulties players should not be able to just


    Did I totally miss the memo that I'm supposed to stop growing my cities at 4 pop? Could you link me to a thread where people explain why they do that? Because going wide with those districts AND growing my cities seems to work out pretty well. But in either case, yeah, like I said. The balance is currently heavily tilted towards expansion and should in my opinion be pushed more into the middle, so that expanding and growing existing cities have to be more closely weighted against each other.

    There are other things that can be done to shift the balance a bit more, for example giving workers and settlers a steeper production increase curve, but mainly it's just trade routes and the production district, which both even line up for a perfect beeline. So changing the position of the production district technology to a different row, possibly not always granting a new trade route for Harbors/Market-Districts and instead making it an adjacency bonus (River for Market, a sea luxury for harbor or something like that), and that should already do a lot to slow down the "ideal" expansion speed.
     
  5. CivScientist

    CivScientist Warlord

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    So, I'm just writing an idea I have. It's not like a dev is likely to see this idea and run with it. I'm not going to write a thesis here to support my idea.

    In a month or so well probably know if ICS is in fact king. Maybe then my idea will be with considering.

    That said, in not looking to nerf aggressive growth at high difficulty levels as the did in CiV. But having alternative, situational strategies are nice so you aren't playing the same way each game.

    And tall strategies can still have plenty of conflict and urgency. You just compete for different resources.
     
  6. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Yes, you compete for wonders and Great People, but there's no direct conflict involved in it. You can't slow your opponents down, you can't "sabotage" other Civs that try to construct/buy those things, you don't battle for dominance over a wonder that is currently being created, the way it works is that you push your own empire and then you hopefully win. Which you'll basically always do in a refined and viable strategy - if you don't get the wonders you need to keep up even though you did what you could to get it, then it's not a "viable" strategy. So what you'd need is some more direct competition in how those things are "fought" over. That could work, making more territory on the map belong to you does not always have to be the goal, but such mechanics do currently not exist (well, religion is kind of that, but doesn't interact with much else), which is why making tall viable is just not a good idea, because you replace conflicts in which important decisions have to be made with sitting around and waiting.

    That's fine if you prefer it, but it's a strategy game, the best strategies should be those that are difficult to play, that require both, knowledge, as well as the ability to adapt that knowledge to any given situation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
  7. CivScientist

    CivScientist Warlord

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    See, I find wide strategies rather shallow and uninteresting and prefer tall strategies because they tend to require subtly and adapting to your situation in Civilization games. You still do combat, no doubt, but you don't have a large army to fall back on. But this is my opinion and I don't feel my belief is gospel.

    I could go into depth about why I feel going tall is more interesting, and in other posts I have. But, really, it's your opinion vs mine.

    However, consider this if you will. Of all the game actions the AI conducts, warfare is the weakest of it's abilities. The AI is adequate in city placement and whatnot. But, it can't conduct a 1UP war worth a darn. That's important because one common dimension of all wide strategies is warfare against the AI. You mention that only through warfare can you get the best conflict and make the most important decisions in the game but, ultimately, you're competing against the AI where it's weakest.
     
  8. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    No, I've said the exact opposite:

    "So what you'd need is some more direct competition in how those things are "fought" over. That could work, making more territory on the map belong to you does not always have to be the goal, but such mechanics do currently not exist (well, religion is kind of that, but doesn't interact with much else), which is why making tall viable is just not a good idea, because you replace conflicts in which important decisions have to be made with sitting around and waiting."

    Conflicts don't have to be military conflicts, and again, I agree that it's possible to have types of conflict that make Tall Strategies not play out by just sitting around, doing nothing but building up your own little empire without ever having to give other players reason to be pissed at you, but those mechanics just don't exist in the current game. Currently, tall is literally just sitting back and being able to avoid conflict.

    To make tall into something that is strategic you'd need to add new mechanics, for example... I don't know. A complex sabotage system. You build wonders that other tall-focused Civs want to have so they're now angry at you and send their saboteurs into your land. They can destroy your Empire from within if you don't do a good job defending against them, destroy buildings, districts, kill your population, damage your wonders and basically cripple you if they focus on you while you don't defend yourself. And while they're doing that gain a lot of yields from it (more when acting against tall Civs) - and there you go. A rough concept of how to create conflict on a non-military level.

    Not the most in-depth, interesting idea of course, but point is... you need to have some sort of mechanic that resembles what wide strategies have to go through. If sitting on few cities is supposed to be a viable strategy you need to have a way to make sitting around on the "map-layer" more difficult by increasing the need to "expand" by other means than territory expansion.

    Because currently the fight for wonders and Great People is like being in a contest for land, but then once you've settled that land nobody can take it away from you.
     
  9. Lord_Azazel

    Lord_Azazel Prime Swatter

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    ICS, Imperialistic city spam?

    Anyways, I never really understood the tall playstyle, my main grievance in civ5 was that you got so punished from building cities. I always seek to control as mich land area as I can. Whenever I start a new map and explore I always fond locations like mountain ranges, large bays, lakes etc and my main goal then becomes to own that bay or everything on this side of that mountain range.

    I seldom finish a game properly because I get bored after a while, but these minigoals is what I seek.
     
  10. Knasp

    Knasp Warlord

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    I think it makes sense to expect players to expand much in the early game. All suitable land should be settled by civilizations as soon as possible, as it has been in history. Once all land is claimed, there should be a choice between military/diplomatic expansion by attacking other CIvs or going peaceful by developing and going tall.

    One suggestion for balancing could be to increase the costs of settlers overall, or simply increasing the cost with time even more than currently (forcing the city settling to take place early on).
     

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