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Pyramids can be built only on desert tiles

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Krajzen, May 12, 2016.

  1. Ikael

    Ikael Chieftain

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    Just make it so the higher levels of difficulty only gives a bonus to the AI towards the production of units and buildings. Or only aim for the wonders that have full terrain bonuses + the most essential ones for your empire
     
  2. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Warlord

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    You just can't balance the game in your head. And I'm pretty sure developers considered soft limitations, but they didn't work for some reason or just became too complicated for the value.
     
  3. Ikael

    Ikael Chieftain

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    Not only you can, but you MUST "balance the game in your head" before starting to produce it. Game theory is a thing, and so is system design. And it is a damn pity that so little attention and resources are paid to these crucial areas of game development. If the core mechanics aren't sound it doesn't matter if you have the best graphic engine or the greatest cinematics in the world.
     
  4. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    No, it is not. I qualified it as a choice that impacts the outcome of the game. If it doesn't matter (or very close) then it isn't a meaningful choice, and if it's something you always pick it's a false choice.

    So we're looking at decisions that are sometimes optimal, where the best course of action varies depending on conditions in the game.

    This is indeed what I'm arguing against, yes :p. Once people took their training wheels off, the decision to build 'mids in Civ IV was costly and sometimes could set you back, but under the conditions of stone/constrained land quality would be worth attempting. A decision tree along the lines of "oh, I have a desert tile in a good city, so it's optimal to attempt 'mids in 90% or more of cases now" is a step backwards.

    Having 1-2 options with false choice alternatives because your terrain makes your decisions for you is the exact opposite of variable strategy. You can't get more formulaic than "I have x terrain, so I should go for y wonder", and now rather than having to consider a wider space of possibilities you are constrained to the set formula with the terrain aspect.

    I doubt strongly Stonehenge in majority of games is optimal, when comparing against possible alternative wonders and no wonders. That you did it often doesn't mean it was good play, especially not in every instance you did it.

    But now you don't have to consider alternative wonders, and your 50% chance of missing it is ~20% or less. Allegedly, this is allowing for more meaningful decisions, but there's no case being made that actually demonstrates more meaningful decisions.

    In fact, now Stonehenge is less likely to be your suboptimal play when available, because your odds of missing it are reduced and your otherwise better alternatives are gone. In essence, the game is *easier*; you don't have to consider as many opportunity costs and what was once suboptimal play is now not only optimal, but among a smaller list of possibilities. Whereas it might have been a misplay half the times you built it previously it would only be a fraction of that with the terrain block of other wonders/lower miss chance.

    Terrain dictating your choices for you makes the game more like that, not less.

    That might be the belief, but I question the reasoning for that belief. I am repeatedly seeing posters claim that a reduction in possible decisions + more decisions dictated to the player for them is somehow adding impact or frequency to important decisions.

    That isn't a rational position. I'm asking "how does this add meaningful decision making to the game", and the answers are along the lines of "well, you have less meaningful decisions, so you have to adapt and do closer to what the game dictates than previously". The latter is an accurate description of what the terrain limitation does, but it is irrational as an answer to my question.

    You don't get more X by removing X.
     
  5. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Warlord

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    I'm sorry, but it something out of connection with reality. A team of people makes draft game design. After this, draft implementation is done. It has numerous rounds of internal playtesting before some acceptable results are made. At this point, pre-alpha and alpha builds are gathered for wider audience of testers - based on the results some major game design changes could appear. Once this stage is finished, beta version is created for external testers. At this point no major game system changes appear, but minor elements come and go and a lot of math is changed. By the time of release major game titles have man/years of work in gameplay only. After the release, development team gather statistics and feedback from real players and use this to make gameplay patches.

    If you could do half of this in your head - send your CV to game development companies, you'll make millions immediately.

    You forgot to compare it to previous Civ titles :)

    Without terrain requirements at the start of the game you generally have choice between pursuing you favorite wonder (i.e. Great Library) if your production is very high; pursuing your second favorite wonder, which is easier to build (i.e. Stonehenge) if your production is not that great or not build Wonders at all. That's 3 choices.

    With terrain requirements you have generally the same 3 choices in each game, but the combinations of available Wonders are different from game to game. It doesn't force more choices for player, but it forces player to use different strategies in different games. This means less repetitive games.
     
  6. Sommerswerd

    Sommerswerd I never yielded

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    FWIW I was unhappy that Civ 4 allowed building the SoL in non-coastal cities, as it offended my aesthetic sensibilities, given that the SoL is basically the American Colossus and an iconic lighthouse-statue.

    It also made competition for the SoL more fierce, since even Civs without productive Coastal cities could build it. It basically made SoL a "build every time as soon as available" Wonder, which I did not approve of, but whatevs, Civ 4 is still the bestest ever:D.
     
  7. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    In reality, you had more than that. If we're going to look at previous titles as a comparison, let's not be disingenuous.

    This is assuming you even wanted to head towards democracy early, which is a large assumption in IV. A lot of players preferred a run to state property for kremlin whips or caste/SP boosted workshops, which developed cities faster than you could get with even emancipation cottages, or just to go faster for military and knock heads.

    Putting SoL higher than Kremlin is questionable, though there weren't a lot of wonders in that era overall so the few that existed were more contested, yes.
     
  8. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Warlord

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    I'm simplifying, but I believe you get my point. Most nuances from previous titles could exist and on top of them we have different set of limits for each game to shape the strategy and not repeat it from game to game.

    Speaking about previous titles, in Civ4 early strategy regarding Wonders completely depending on your leader's starting techs. The level of restrictions was nearly the same - having techs to beeline for early wonder greatly increased chances of achieving it. And I'd say, this part of Civ4 was quite fun. Unfortunately, starting techs in Civ4 affected early-game only and you was able to pick the strategy while choosing a civ to play.
     
  9. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    The question is whether the terrain restriction specifically is adding anything wrt meaningful decisions. Why is it so difficult to extract why it can do so in principle, yet we're still seeing arguments that it will?

    If there is so much confidence that this will add to strategy somehow, let's see some examples of how it's adding in principle, as opposed to reducing.

    No. No it was not. That's even more disingenuous than the civ V example. Some wonders were too good relative to others, but dependence on starting tech not even close. The only one you could maybe make a case was Stonehenge, and arguably not even that one since you either had mysticism and needed worker techs or had worker techs and needed mysticism.
     
  10. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Warlord

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    I believe I've made it quite clear.
     
  11. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    You have made a point that fewer options and map making choices for the player = more strategy, but this has yet to be substantiated. Normally, people would conclude that less strategy = less strategy, not that less strategy = necessarily more strategy.

    I'm still looking for how it adds meaningful decision-making to the game that doesn't already exist, instead of reducing it, and that still hasn't happened.

    Rational beliefs are supported by evidence, but so far the evidence presented runs counter to the belief that terrain constraint adds meaningful decision-making to the game.
     
  12. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Warlord

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    In concept - "creativity comes from restrictions".

    There's no "less strategy" involved as number of meaningful choices doesn't decrease (considering early wonders are diverse enough so you still have more than 1-2 wonders you could build in each playthrough), but these choices change from game to game. So, you'll not have more strategy in each game either, just more variety between games.
     
  13. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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  14. Hail

    Hail Satan's minion

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    how much impact is subjective.

    Ed Beach clearly wants to simplify the decision tree. less is more where the casual gamer is concerned. it's great design from that PoV: build harbors on the coast, faith district near forests. the casual cannot go wrong here. civ6's design guides the player to victory. I applaud Ed for that. like combat? all combat experience goes toward research for a new shiny toy (unit type) to play with. awesome!
     
  15. MIS

    MIS Chieftain

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    My main worry about this is making it easier for the human player on Deity. In CiV, it was almost impossible to get the early wonders, since the AI would beat you to it. The earliest you could reasonably go for was Petra, precisely because it had a prerequisite. In CiVI, it could be very possible to grab those wonders, making the whole game easier.
     
  16. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Warlord

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    I assume in nearly all cases there's at least 1 AI which could build the same wonder as you targeting. And since AI have reduced list of Wonders too, the chances of them doing so are higher than in case of Petra in Civ5 where even AIs who could build it have other wonders to distract.

    Also, building early Wonders on Deity may be not that bad thing - it all depends on Wonder bonuses, the AI bonuses on this difficulty level, etc.
     
  17. anandus

    anandus Errorist

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    Maybe wonders have more requirements than just the terrain:
    http://www.pcgamer.com/what-the-cha...the-pcs-biggest-strategy-game/#prclt-UM1MRual
     
  18. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Chieftain

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    That all just depends.

    CivV AI was bad, so it got crazy production and other bonuses on the top levels. So it getting all of the early wonders on Deity (not 'all', but the important ones usually) was more of an effect of the bonuses than choices.

    If players can make choices on Deity/whatever in Civvi that includes wonders, then that may make the game a better experience overall. There's always a trade off, so maybe you get the wonder but lack the military or income to deal with some AI that went a different way.

    Remembering that wonders take production and that early game wonders on Deity CivV, aside from a few, were actually worse things to spend hammers on in both the short and long term.
     
  19. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    If you shut down the number of possibilities within a space, then unless you would never prefer a blocked wonder you are reducing the number of potentially useful options in that context.

    I was expecting better arguments, along the lines of balance (some wonder/start combos might be too good, so this is done to even out start positions) or functional role rework (wonders are more like special buildings in utility and cost, such that even settling for them is often a mistake). While I think these things are unlikely to be executed well (especially the former), they can at least in principle add depth.

    Restricting options that a player would otherwise have to eliminate himself does not.

    If you have 1 optimal choice out of 100 or 1 optimal choice out of 3, you still have one optimal choice. That point is tangential/irrelevant to my argument. It can be a problem regardless of the restriction and isn't useful in distinguishing whether the restriction is good.

    No. How much is noisy, not subjective. If I build a worker first in 30 games and you build something else first in 30 games given the same start, and I consistently have a stronger position, the choice of worker is stronger holding other factors equal. There are a lot of decisions you can make, and the impact of any one is small compared to the sum total, but it's not immeasurable. The reason some of the top Civ IV deity players so profoundly trounced average civ IV players was exactly because they found a way to overcome that noise and make increasingly accurate evaluations of individual decisions.

    That still exists in Civ V, though for non-modded games it matters mostly in MP or fastest-finish scenarios.

    Admittedly, the nature of the bonuses made some wonder (and other) options a false choice, but you could make that case even for several of the social policy trees. That's not necessarily bad wonder design, but also bad balancing in general.

    Yes, and in both IV and V that holds true even if you build the wonders successfully. Heck, in IV sometimes failing the wonder was more valuable than completing it if you had a resource boosting its production, since it gave you a 1:2 conversion from :hammers: to :gold: (even more with industrious, otherwise difficult to achieve early). But investing in something like pyramids or oracle took careful consideration on higher difficulties and *could* hurt or help you. Same for GLH, though that wonder was overpowered and should have been toned down.
     
  20. Sommerswerd

    Sommerswerd I never yielded

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    This immediately reminds me of the Espionage system in BTS and all the hand wringing you get over it especially among the players that had already mastered the systems in Vanilla and Warlords. Now I will preface this by saying that I have argued about Espionage ad-nauseum on these threads and discovered that peoples attitudes about BTS Espionage is tantamount to religious beliefs in many cases...

    That being said, what I have observed is that the top players did exactly as you said with the systems in place in Civ 4, and perfected their game, the CE (Commerce Economy) and SE (Specialist Economy) in particular, then along comes the Espionage system in BTS, and with it the EE (Espionage Economy) and the dreaded CSM (civic/religion swapping missions). Now you have a whole style of play that the "experts" are unfamiliar with and its difficult to practice against because the AI doesn't use it, so when the experts face it, they were getting trounced by it. So, rather than step out of their comfort zone and learn the new system, they by-and-large simply summarily declared the Espionage system or components of it "unbalanced", "exploitative", "unfair", "un-fun" etc., and began banning its use from games.

    My point in mentioning this is that I see some parallels with the unhappiness with the tile restriction. The statement I quoted was particularly reminiscent of that.
     

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