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Post GS DLC?

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Hawke9, Apr 16, 2019.

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Would you like to see post-GS DLC?

  1. Yes

    48 vote(s)
    87.3%
  2. I wouldn't mind, but I can live without it.

    1 vote(s)
    1.8%
  3. No, the devs should focus on civ VII

    6 vote(s)
    10.9%
  1. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold Chieftain

    Joined:
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    See, I think the players are reading too much into this business about leaders requiring a lot of resources. Regardless of how long developing one leader actually takes, the devs can and probably did start work on them a lot earlier. Potential leaders were likely vetted while the base game was being developed, so any number of leaders the devs want to include, their designs, their scripting, even their voice acting could have been done years in advance. They could have a whole database of audio files and concept art just waiting to get the green light.

    And the actual modeling and animating of the leaders would be wholly independent of the rest of a civ's design. No coding required, no mechanical balancing. So even if it did take longer to actually render the leaders, they again could start work on that earlier--whereas the rest of a civ's design would likely require a pre-planning phase to straighten out all the mechanical ideas.

    I could be wrong, but I believe that if 90% of these proposed DLC/expacks was recycled mechanics and assets, I think churning out eight leaders in a year is more than feasible, especially since most of the preliminary work has likely been done for most proposed leaders. In the grand scheme of things, throwing together some purely aesthetic bonuses is a lot easier money than having to come up with and refine new gameplay styles.

    (It's also quite possible that Firaxis deliberately played this up so that players would see more value in a future leaders DLC pack; but my opinion doesn't fall either way because even on its shadiest day Firaxis is an amazing company)

    The clone civs I proposed are just aesthetic redesigns of base game civs. The Byzantium hybrid clone civ I proposed is just a combination of two (or three?) base game civs. Also, aren't the DLC packs being included with the base game in some releases?

    Well, again the design space is extremely, extremely limited if we are talking about content that does not require DLC/expansions. But the reality is that a "prehistoric era" mode could be developed purely on base game content (the Inuit and the Noongar are practically made for this). Maybe a nomadic challenge featuring a civ specially designed for it like the Romani. Or perhaps a single-city challenge featuring Vatican City. While there may be design space for implementing extremely broad universal mechanics to overlay over any iteration of the game, I do admit that I find this improbable because, absent a strong idea like "space" or "fantasy" or "co-op" it's extremely unfocused, not to mention would require extensive balancing. But there is still quite some potential for very small concepts to be executed around specific civs the devs want to include, but for one reason or another are just too weird to sell as a typical civ.

    That's...kind of true? They've actually been introducing more "modified" civs over time:

    Base game: 2 (Sumeria, Scythia)
    DLC: 1 (Macedon)
    R&F: 2/3? (Scotland, India) (Georgia?)
    GS: 4 (Phoenicia, Hungary, Maori, Angevin)

    While I am positive we will see some sort of Byzantium representation, it is anyone's guess whether they will be an "old" or a "modified" civ, given the new paradigm of consolidating civs according to cultural legacy. Mechanically speaking, Byzantium is losing design space, given that:

    * Russia already has the lavra and a trade route bonus.
    * Hungary already has the cross symbol and city-state levying bonuses.
    * Poland already has strategic forts and a unique heavy cavalry unit.
    * Rome already has everything early Byzantium would likely have.
    * Georgia's unique walls, city state bonuses, and chanting music feel like it was intended to serve as a Byzantium stand-in.

    Honestly, I would rather the devs not expend time actually developing a Byzantium civ, and instead just combine several of these civs' uniques into a hybrid civ
     
  2. Civilowealth

    Civilowealth Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Its been 2 and a half years since Civilization VI was released, you're right they probably have a list of civilizations and leaders they think would fit perfectly into the game and the subsequent expansions they have planned and probably have concepts of their designs also, but I doubt they will commit too many resources into any leader or civilization until they know without a doubt they'll be in.

    Preliminary often meaning concepts not the bulk of the work of getting them physically in the game, it would be nonsensical to create everything you think might be in the game for the future, it would take far too much time and be far too much risk to do so. Especially with a game like Civilization which can change and evolve overtime based on how the community is reacting. Each DLC and Expansion Pack will go through the same phases the base game did, which are the same phases any game goes through meaning time is allotted before and during each DLC or Expansion's development phase to fully act on concepts and ideas they've made in the past for that specific upcoming DLC or Expansion.

    (I don't quite understand what you mean here?)

    I don't quite understand what you mean by "clone civs" or "hybrid clone civ" either so I'm afraid any response I give here may be irrelevant. But what I'm assuming is that you'd have 1 civilization that's already in the base game, take that civilization and make another other civilization that is functionaly no different from the first civilization, just with a different name, style and leader?

    I don't think Firaxis would do that, gameplay wise they'd be no different from the civilizaiton or leader they've been based on which is, in my opinion, one of the most important components to making them distinct from all the other civilizations or leaders. You play the game to play the game, my interactions with the leaders and thus how they look whilst is important for immersion is far less important to how they actually interact with the game and what their purpose in the game is - Any new civilizations or leaders that Firaxis may release will be designed and created how all other previous civilizations and leaders have been created, theres no reason to think they'd deviate from that and far more reason to think why they wouldn't deviate.

    Ultimately I just don't think Firaxis will release any new civilizations outside of an expansion pack at this point. I could be wrong but if I am they'd be designed and created similar to how the previous wave of civilization packs were.

    Scenarios tend to be based around historic events or general world events: World War Two, the American Civil War, the Bubonic Plague, Nuclear War etc. But Civilization V did have a Steampunk scenario so Firaxis seem open to exploring little parts of fictional worlds that would overall play well with Civilization.

    Prehistoric Era mode would be better suited to being in the main game as just a new starting era, the bulk of the prehistoric era would be progressing from speech to forming the first ancient civilizations - Which is where the first age of the main game starts out. Scenarios are designed around a narrative.

    You'd need to flesh this out more for us to understand how a nomadic challenge would work as a scenario. Same for the Single-City challenge.

    Major new gameplay mechanics tend to only be introduced in expansions, scenarios only tend to introduce mechanics that help translate the narrative of the scenario into gameplay, I would say the Black Death scenario has the most tailored gameplay systems for a single scenario in Civilization VI yet, but seeing as Dennis Shirk or Ed Beach (I can't remember which) said they use scenarios to test new gameplay systems - I think thats one of the reasons the black death and its accompanying desease mechanics were added.

    Of course neither of us know for a fact that Byzantium will come back, but the fact that the Mayans, Byzantium, the Portuguese and Babylonia are all civilizations that have been in a majority of all previous Civilization games and are well loved by the community and yet none of them are in? Its far too much of a coincidence.
     
  3. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

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    Even if we get a third expansion, DLC still seems like an easy win for FXS.

    As it is, Vanilla Civ + the latest expansion basically gives you a “base” game you can build dlc off, because the expansion incorporates all the other previous expansions. So, RnF and eventually GS will already basically be fluffy “DLC” as they really will only provide additional civs and wonders.

    So, having DLC that requires the vanilla game and the latest expansion as a base game is no huge barrier to market.

    I agree more and more Civs will get hard to design. But if FXS decided to do some thematic DLC, they could easily have a couple of thematic new alt leaders, a wonder or something, and some scenarios or whatever.

    Any new mechanics probably couldn’t be tied to the dlc (eg balancing the game would be a nightmare), so you’d have to make new mechanics available for free to everyone that has vanilla + expansion. That would limit how good / complex any new mechanics could be, but then again how much room will there be for new mechanics post another expansion? And there is some precedent for free mechanics separate to a paid for dlc - eg the patch that provided gurus and warrior monks etc.

    It just seems like money for jam post a third expansion. Yeah, you need to use art resources. But coding might not be so intensive, and it helps pay for more patching / tweaking which helps keep the buzz (and sales) going. And if art is just a leader and a voice actor, FXS could probably just outsource that.

    A similar model seems to work for Paradox. Seems like a no-brainer to me, provided there’s enough sales to support it.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  4. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Warlord

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    Given the amount of space for returning Civs is slim, I'm under the impression now that the Byzantines might just go the route of becoming Rome with an Alt leader with a twist.
    They gave us Eleanor in GS that could lead 2 different Civs, so why not this time give us a leader that gives us a whole new Unique Ability as well as a part of their Leader ability along with Dromons, because we don't have a unique quadrireme unit yet.
    That way it would feel more like playing a different Civ than Trajan though you could still keep the legions and Bath.
     
    TahamiTsunami likes this.
  5. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold Chieftain

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    It really depends on how much resources we're talking about.

    Leader design: they probably give several assignments to the concept artists. And maybe even assign them in tiers: this is was we need you to design; this is what we want you to see if the idea even works. So there could be plenty of doodles lying around for minimal extra cost. Looking at the leader concept art, it's nothing fancy. It goes through a few refinement phases but it's not like they're spending more than an hour on the final drawing.

    Leader script: again, probably give several assignments in tiers. Someone could write a dozen scripts in an evening; there ultimately isn't much dialogue.

    Script translation: 15 minutes to do it literally. Maybe a few hours if you wanted to incorporate more native phrases.

    So, already, the upfront investment is incredibly minimal, and there could be potentially dozens of leaders floating around with completed designs and/or scripts. Again, you have to keep in mind that expansion civs appear to only be finalized about a year before release; prior to that, there almost certainly has to be preliminary research and design just to get an idea of what can work, and what just isn't coalescing into a coherent civ. Having leftovers will naturally be part of the process.

    Then, we have voice actor recording. While this may be more expensive, I would wager the real expense is finding the talent in the first place. Paying the talent itself is practically nothing if they're using an existing or well-testified language; it only gets pricey when they need linguistic coaching. But it's entirely feasible that leaders with strong concepts have already been recorded as well.

    Add to the fact that I bet several of the voice actors are either linguistics professionals or trained in several languages. If you have someone in a booth and they could easily voice a second character--even if you're not sure you're going to use that character--it just makes too much sense not to take advantage of the opportunity to get line reads for the second character. At the very least, I would be extremely surprised if we didn't have at least one recording like this already floating around at Firaxis.

    What I mean is that Firaxis may be advertising leaders as an expensive feature so that players will perceive value in a leaders-only expack.

    Effectively, yes. Different city and citizen list. Could rename the uniques. Basically anything that, aside from the leader, would be a purely textual change.

    They would be different if they had a different leader. In that respect, a clone civ would mechanically be "alt leader plus," where you effectively get a second Spanish leader, but it feels more like Portugal thanks to more superficial alterations. I don't find your reasons particularly convincing when we already have three alternate leaders who change the game precisely as much as a clone civ would.

    Porque no los dos? The prehistoric era happens to lie completely outside of the game design as it currently stands, so it could be both completely isolated from main gameplay, as well as tacked onto it.

    Goal: Found a civilization.
    Means to goal: Acquire enough food to sustain your tribe and have enough excess to produce a Settler.
    Player Units: Hunter (upgrades to Warrior), Gatherer (upgrades to Builder)
    Enemy Units: "Game" - animal units which move around the map. Prehistoric versions of current animal resources.
    Killing Game adds to your food supply.
    Bonus resources can be harvested to add to your food supply; bonus resources do not disappear but are "tapped out" for a certain period of time before regenerating.
    Complete fog of war returns to tiles after you leave them. You haven't discovered writing yet, so your people have no enduring memory of where they've been. This encourages constant exploration during the prehistoric era, but also rewards players with good memory in later eras.

    I'm not sure why it has to be an all-or-nothing approach. Expansions add several major new mechanics. But what if the devs have enough leftover mechanics to release a mid-size DLC? One great new mechanic, two civs? Two great new mechanics, four civs?

    Well fudge Ethiopia and Morocco's drag, I guess. I don't think that's a coincidence at all, if you're just going to cherry-pick four civs. :p

    And again, I would emphasize that not all of these civs are created equal in VI's eyes.

    * Sumeria already functions as an Akkadian blob and steps on quite a bit of Babylonian design; I do not see any reason other than fanservice to include Babylon at this point, because it would actually detract from the game's thesis.
    * Byzantium, as I pointed out, is struggling to justify itself mechanically, as well as justify why it should be separate from Rome when the Carthaginian, Mauryan, Angevin, and Holy Roman empires were not separate from Phoenicia, India, France/England, and Germany.
    * Portugal, as I observed, begs for many of the same mechanics that Spain received. It would have to reach into really weird design space to differentiate itself from Spain, at which point it probably wouldn't feel much like Portugal.
    * And the Maya, although the most likely of the four, have already been poached a bit by the Aztecs with the Tlachti.

    None of these are guarantees, and players need to make peace with the fact that they may not appear in the form they expect, if at all. Just being important doesn't cut it in VI's design like it did in prior games. That may be enough to push a game into inclusion, but that doesn't mean its inclusion will be wholly original. There are already a lot of assets in the game, many of which could easily be recycled to construct similar civs. In fact, in the case of Portugal, it is so easy, and so guaranteed to sell well, I just don't see the point of trying to eek out a subpar original design when players would pay for a two-civ DLC pack featuring a Portuguese Spain clone with a kickass leader ability. What worked before, when practically the only aesthetic difference between civs was their leaders, does not necessarily work in VI. And frankly, after seeing how much fun can be had going in other directions like Canada, Scotland, Georgia, Australia, etc., I kind of don't care what players think they want. I want more of that, more weird UIs, more diverse music, more underrepresented cultures with a clear mechanical "gimmick;"not merely civs included "for the principle of the thing." And I don't see any evidence yet suggesting that the devs don't want that, either, because it has literally reinvigorated the series.

    At this point I would be fine with an alternate leader. But in the interest of exploring design space, I wouldn't be opposed to Byzantium finding some weird middle space between alternate leader and full-blown civ. Give it a "basilica" (the lavra) and a "theme" (the legion, able to build roman forts), and then maybe a dromon.

    I also would be completely happy with a Roman alternate leader, however. That would be most consistent with how VI has organized its civilizations.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019

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