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Railroads.

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Ksupirates, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    1. Railroads - absolutely agree: their exclusion and the exclusion of their effects is a major Defect in the late game.
    2. The UN - I would be a bit more general: International and Multi-Civ Agreements: because a recognition of 'International Law' and Collective Agreements predates the modern UN by centuries - see the Law of the Sea from the late Medieval Era, or the Hague and Geneva Conventions, or the Congress of Vienna: the game is missing a lot of Internationalism the addition of which would add much to the Diplomatic Game.
    3. Human Rights Revolution - I would argue that increased regard for Human Rights may be recognizable in the late 20th century, but the continued incidence of Human Trafficking and outright Slavery, and violations of basic human rights by almost all participants in the wars of the late 20th - early 21st centuries indicates that the 'revolution' is still in progress if it is progressing at all.
    4. Meaningful Space Program - define 'meaningful', because IMHO, there is no such thing in the real world. Virtually all the current 'space programs' are focusing their money and energy on 'space' to augment what can be done on and to Earth: communications, surveillance, etc, or 'raw' research - trying to find out what we don't know. The actual exploitation of 'space' has been much talked about and of course, been the subject of millions of words of Science Fiction, but in practice, has turned out to be much more difficult and far, far more expensive than expected. I can remember reading science fiction stories about individuals and companies setting up colonies and space stations, and people living in such, but the practical problems of human engineering and financing haven't really been solved yet. The current (and previous) Civ model of 'Going to another planet' as a Science Victory is, in fact, Science Fiction at this point.
    That's not a Bad Thing in and of itself, but perhaps it means that the game needs a different definition of Science Victory with an alternative Science Fiction Option including specific 'Future Techs' like Nanotechnology and Fusion Propulsion to enable an Alternate Science Victory of space travel.
    5. Vassel States - Uh, no, that's not how the English Empire was governed. English colonies were centrally governed and controlled from England, a system so unworkable that every single one of its colonies became separate so that what "the English Empire is" - is that it isn't anything any more. 'Vassels' were political entities connected by family or marriage to a more powerful Sovereign, and came to refer to any political entity whose sovereignty was all or partially under the control of another political entity. In practice, that usually meant eventual revolt or absorption, as in the Netherlands versus Spain or the non-Russian 'Socialist Republics' of the USSR - which became really independent states again when the controlling political entity collapsed, but had a prior history of revolt before that.
    I do agree that the game needs more variety of Diplomatic Relationships, especially with City States, in which Suzereignity is ill-defined and incomplete and short of that there is only economic advantage, nothing political or diplomatic. There should also be much more variety of interaction with 'Barbarians' and a variety of both economic and diplomatic agreements/interactions between Civs. Getting back to your first point, there were international agreements to build or connect railroads between nation-states starting almost as soon as railroads started being built, and international cooperation in building major communications/trade infrastructure has become almost the norm (see the Chunnel, for example, or the International Pipelines throughout the Middle East and from Russia to western Europe and Canada - USA).
     
  2. Yavid

    Yavid Chieftain

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    2- By that I mean a Global community that we see today. It's been a slow evolution to the point we are at today with having the UN and NATO. One could argue NATO exist in the game being you can have 5 allies of different types but it's the Global community part that is missing.

    3- By this I was thinking of the American Revolution and French Revolution, States such as Prussia, Russia, Austria, Spain the citizens began demanding rights. Freeing of both slaves and serfs, suffrage for women. Are we there all over the world no. But between the two Revolutions I mentioned the world changed forever. I do enjoy playing Civ and being either the oppressive dictator or having my civ being the beacon of freedom in the world. That's missing in this game.

    4- By meaningful Space Program I'm thinking things like spy satellites, international space stations, SETI, space telescopes. Something better than a 5 step process to victory.

    5- By how English Empire thing, My thinking is in a Civ game, Egypt, Canada, South Africa, India, Australia, Sudan, Middle East, Malta, Hong Kong, being either Vassal States or City States England was the Suzerain. I do agree it's not how they ruled their empire but it would work for game mechanics.
     
  3. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    Right now you either settle new lands or you march in and take. These methods work well with other civ mechanics. The biggest challenge is how do you accurately represent the exact situation you are describing - suzerainty over another civilization- without having to conquer all their cities. I think creating some kind of option would be great to kind of shunt the loyalty system- Britain is suzerain over Egypt, but britain does not exactly have loyalty with the egyptian populace. And that doesn't matter because the suzerainty isn't based on loyalty. Of course, this boils heavily into how competitive you want the AI to be: should it be a there for the experience or should it be out to win? Civ4's greatest struggle with vassals was that once you had one, it basically took them out of the game; this naturally goes against the "its a game and everyone should try to win it" side of things. After all, what rational player would accept Civ4 style vassalage if they wanted to win? So from that side we would need a system that enables vassalage from one angle (say, the Suze has the rights to war and peace and must protect the vassal in exchange for X) but not so detrimental that the vassal is basically auto-losing. I mean, just look at some former british colonies like India!

    I might be okay with being a vassal of deity gilgabro so his donkey tanks protect me from neighboring eagle warriors; but certainly I would still want to labor towards eg a religious victory while I'm taking advantage of his protection. Maybe the vassal even gets some benefits of tech/civic transfer (in the form of eurekas or boosts on already researched suze techs) as a method for an advanced but small nation to have a mutually beneficial arrangement with a large but less developed one.
     
  4. Yavid

    Yavid Chieftain

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    I am by no means saying bring in the Civ 4 Vassal system. You are correct by agreeing to be someone's Vassal in Civ 4 you are saying, I can't win. I'm speaking of a rework of that system but bring back the basic idea.
     
  5. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    NATO is a regional 'defensive' military alliance involving multiple partners, and that idea is quite old. In fact, I think our main disagreement is the timing of International Multi-State Agreements: they go back centuries before the UN (or League of Nations, for that matter) and involve everything from specific Laws of War or Law of the Sea to mute-national alliances for war like the coalition that defeated Napoleon. This also overlaps with the Vassel thing, see below...

    Ironically, the Enlightenment that provided the intellectual fuel for all this is now a Social Policy in the game, which rather completely minimizes its impotence. More important, that entire process took place only in Europe and states founded from Europe, and much of the problematic nature of 'human rights' today stems from the fact that a large part of the world has only a theoretical knowledge of the Enlightenment thought process and its effects. I would very much like to see much more Far Reaching consequences from Civics and Social Policies, and especially a much less Linear Civics Tree so that not all Civs in the game wind up being sociologically near-identical clones by the Modern/Atomic Eras.

    Now that I can agree with completely. In fact, the majority of late-game military units should be modified by or dependent on to some extent space-based surveillance and communications systems, as is most of Social Media, civilian communications and the internet. Right now, the entire orbital infrastructure is ignored in favor of semi-Science Fiction spaceship building.

    As Sostratus' Post above points out, we need some more variety in the interactions with other Civs and City States - and Free Cities, for that matter. The current game is strictly conquer or colonize/settle, with occasional temporary Achieve Suzereignty over a City State, then lose it every fifth turn to some foreign envoy. It's all pretty bland and leaves out a lot of potential diplomatic gamesmanship, which should include some kind of Vassel/Client system among Civs as well as the 'minor' players (Free Cities, City States).
     
  6. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    The game really needs at least three things to capture the idea of colonialism and later in the game ideological blocks. First, it needs some sore of vassal system, so you can control other cities and or Civs without necessarily capturing them. Second, it needs a layer of Civs between Major Civs and City States - to fill out the map, to be 'native peoples' you can discover and 'colonise', and later in the game be cities you compete over for influence. And third, it needs something to make 'colonial' or 'foreign' cities more valuable to make settling capturing and holding cities in foreign continents more valuable (given their increased cost).

    I don't like the word 'vassal'. It's an okay shorthand word but I agree what's needed is not strictly (or only) vassals in the sense that word usually means. What's needed is something that gives you some putative control over cities or a civ. The precise amount of control might need to vary too - sometimes, something like a vassal would be precisely what's needed, but other times it would be more like a very specialised alliance.

    I don't have any clear idea myself how this vassal mechanic would work, and haven't seen any really great suggestions yet. I certainly don't like how it worked in previous iterations. It's a tricky one to figure out.

    I do think we'll get a "vassals" system. And how it ultimately works will probably hinge on how other mechanics work - in particular, whether we do get some layer between Major Civs and City States, Ideology, and how ideology works with loyalty, tourism, alliances etc.

    Civ VI probably does need some science fiction bits, albeit more at the "hard sci-fi" / speculative fiction end of the spectrum. It's tricky though, because that stuff can easily get silly (looking at you Giant Death Robots). But some sci-if is needed to capture that "take your people from stone tools to the stars".

    I wish Civ offered a few different paths to a science victory. It just feels a bit silly you and everyone else racing to complete the same very specific objective. It's also a bit tedious completing the same project every game, particularly as the advanced techs you complete (e.g. nanotechnology) don't actually provide any other advantages.

    The game needs to cover "near future" a little better, if only for flavour. But for that to be worthwhile, the game would first need a longer and more meaningful end game, because currently most games end around the Indistrial era and those that don't are usually just grinding / click next turn after that era anyway.

    As an aside: why does future "tech" always focus on "tech" rather than civics? There could be also be future Civs? I mean, why not a "future" government type like "anarchist collective" (think Ian Banks Culture Novels), or "chemical autocracy" (think Brave New World).
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  7. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Right now, we have:
    Major Civs, which means multiple cities , Tech, Civics, et al.
    City States, which are individual cities with some 'flavor' (military, religious, economic, etc.) that we can gain benefits from and trade with
    Free Cities - which we can fight and conquer or 'absorb' with Loyalty influence, but nothing else.
    Barbarian Camps and Tribal Villages, which are ephemeral, especially the latter, which rarely last to the mid-game.

    I see two places to 'expand' this system:
    1. Allow City States to become Multiple-City Minor States. This has to be very carefully controlled, and one possibility might be to allow Free Cities to become 'dependancies' or 'second cities' to a City State - that would keep it rare, but provide an opportunity for City States to become something More.
    2. Make the Camps and Villages more permanent with more varied interactions with the major civs. I've been flogging this horse for a while now, but basically I'd like to see them all become permanent Settlements on the map that can be, depending on circumstances including your Diplomatic/Military reactions with them, Hostile (current Barbs), Friendly (current Tribal Villages) or Neutral (open to Influence). Allow Trade with the Friendly Ones, and even hiring of Mercenaries from the 'Barbarians', and allow Very Friendly ones to join your Civ, and we've got a mechanism for modeling a great deal of the 'Colonial' history of the Real World.

    Well, right now we've got two problems with the End Game (Atomic/Information Eras):
    1. Most games are over long before you get to either Era. In 1400 hours of playing, I have yet to build an Information Era unit: the game is over with a Culture or Domination Victory a couple of Eras earlier, or I quit in disgust because the late game is so Mind Numbingly BORING that I can't stand it.
    2. The Late Game was apparently designed last, when all the game design team was tired.
    The last two Eras have 18 Technologies, compared to the first 6 Eras which have 50, so they actually average more Technologies. But the last two Eras have a total of 8 Civics, while the previous 6 Eras Average 7 Civics Each, AND the total number of 'activities' (Social Policies, Wonders, Units, etc) from the Civics in the last 2 Eras total 6, compared to an Average of 8.5 Per Era for the first 6 Eras.
    Basically, there just isn't a lot happening in the late game Civics Tree - as if we haven't had much in the way of Social Change in the past 75 years, which comes as a real shock to anybody who has lived through most of that period (like me!)
    Given that those last two Eras also have 16 out of the 56 military/support units in the game, a higher density than any other Eras in the game, and you see that the late game is seriously out of balance between military, economic, and Civics activity. Add to that the whacko lacko Production for late game, and frankly, I'm very glad I've never had the frustration of playing the last two Eras.

    Whatever else they do with the next Expansion for Civ VI, they need to fix the late game balance and playability issues or they might as well come up wth Victory Conditions that all apply by the end of the Modern or Industrial Era...
     
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  8. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    The aforementioned problem of Civ4 vassalage being essentially anathema to the idea of a competitive game would be much better approached by this angle of a "third way" where you have some factions that are dynamic but aren't seeking victory. The NPCs of the world. Why would a Major Civ want to exert influence over another area but not conquer it? Well, "for the loot." People have always wanted exotic luxuries. The Industrial revolution also adds the demand of raw materials. Nowadays we move finished products around the globe too.
    Then there's the military component and the diplomatic component. Genghis and Monty knocking at your door? They'll be met by my valiant army plus the levy of my tributaries. Catherine being a PITA in the UN, trying to ban the Dyes luxury yet again? My delegation also has the proxy votes of several minor powers. Scheme harder, haters.

    Total brainstorm:

    So we have developing minor powers, maybe being created from city states over time, or being unpicked major civs that spawn in for flavor. Some level of allocation of major, minor, and city states to each continent. So a standard map of 8 civs and 12 CSs might now feature just 8 CSs and instead 4-6 minor civs, or something. The map would get slightly more crowded but this is intentional.

    Interface:
    You interact with minor civs semi-similarly to how you interact with city states. It's a static menu with some faction color and symbol, maybe a jingle to go with it. The reason I would go for this is because it cements the user experience of major civs vs everything else. You can declare war/peace, and have some other options based on your relationship, like:

    If you have a classic vassalage ie You protect them from enemies in exchange for fealty, then:
    Extract tribute (this would grant you cash but piss them off) (perhaps you could also get a builder)
    Levy an army (not all of their military, because they will have more units than a small CS would)
    Establish trade monopoly (no one else can send trade routes to them! They may not be happy if you do this.)
    Enforce closed borders (no one else can move through their turf. They may not be happy if you do this.)

    Normal relations (any civ not at war with them)
    Gift a unit (why isn't this a thing for CSs right now!)
    Some types of trade mission thing- they send you traders; if those traders are pillaged en route, they get angry. If they make it, they are happy. You get some trade routes benefits while they send them- maybe some GPT+whatever bonuses you've accrued.
    get open borders with them.

    On the map, they'd have that free city 'mostly black' style, except perhaps a little more pronounced faction color. If they have a suzerain, then they take on some of the colors of their suzerain. The minimap would show a checkered scheme. Maybe their boundaries on the map would show a dashed line of the suze's two main colors. Of course the icon of the suze would appear next to their icon in the diplomacy screen.

    Minor civs have personalities. This controls how much they prioritize settling new cities and how willing they are to invade nearby cities of civs they dislike. Difficulty level makes them a little more aggressive in fighting major civs. I'm not sure how their tech would be handled, ideally just like any major civ.

    Benefits
    As a change to the base game rules, any intercontinental trade route gains bonus gold for the sender for each "exotic" luxury the target city has in its territory (luxes from a different continent than the sender.) I'm not 100% certain on how bonus resources are distributed on the map, but at some point in the industrial age, a sending city with an IZ gets bonus production yield if they send a trade route to a foreign city for each bonus resource it has. Perhaps this comes in with, oh, say, Railroads. :mischief:
    (Domestically, this is enacted via railroads in your borders.) Probably just make international trade routes worth more in general.

    Why would I do this? For starters, those far flung continents have STUFF. I stand to profit immensely if I can get that STUFF. Conveniently there would be a local power that I could trade with to get those benefits. Isn't that handy? I now have a vested interest in their well being. but what if I start next to one of these minor civs? Why shouldn't I go full on AI and just raze them to the ground from, turn one? Well, first of all, unlike city states, these minor civs aren't pushovers- they develop like regular nations do. They'll have several cities and a handful of units just like the AI. But they also can benefit you: you can become their suzerain and use this to shut your opponents out of lucrative trade, perhaps even have some generic bonuses for being the suze (I'm not sure what this would be, perhaps amenities or great person points or something.) later on they are a source of delegates to the world congress/UN. But if they are in the way, you absolutely can try to take their stuff. Second, any continent of civs has a strong reason to try and colonize the other continents. A minor civ will give their suze access to their resources, which would hopefully be boosted or boostable to have a little more potency than the stuff you find in the homeland. It's a loyalty free way of securing control on territory. (If britannia controls the zululand as suze, they can found Cape Town next to them with no loyalty issues.) You can also levy armies from them- handy for colonial wars fought across the globe. Healing as if in friendly turf. And, not forgetting this side of the game- a minor civ will be extra receptive to your religious efforts. You can use your inquisitors in their lands as suzerain.

    With railroads, suddenly the game changes. Any self respecting industrial power will want to secure trade routes far and wide to feed their factories. Because this is a direct and powerful advantage, even isolationist countries have an interest in (at a minimum) keeping trade open. A Suze's trade monopoly could be undone via UN vote or a deal. Cost of doing business, fellas.

    Okay, so, any feature of civ6 needs policy cards around it.
    -A card increasing the rewards of tribute!
    -Increasing the yield of trade routes to minor civs you have sway over
    -you get some fraction of their science and culture
    -etc

    The only thing I can't figure out is how influence works. I'm not sure but keeping CSs as the envoy sink makes more sense to me. I would prefer that vassals are acquired by doing things to build a positive relationship (or something you can extract from another major civ via war.) I understand this would greatly call into question why we have CSs in the game, but I really like city states because they offer unique bonuses. Most CSs should ideally survive the game. Fewer minor civs might- or they might lose a lot of territory at least- depends on how the major civs are competing.

    TL;DR
    Important: you can only have a minor civ as a vassal. Major civs have alliances instead.

    I feel like something along these lines could work, most importantly the distinction that minor civs "play" the game normally (expand and develop) but don't try to win (they won't build wonders or recruit Great People either. They may well attack you if you settle nearby.)
     
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  9. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Why not just get rid of City States?
    • Instead, you have Minor Civs. These can have multiple cities, but usually less than Major Civs. Some spawn at the start of the game. Some spawn later or are Free Cities. They don't try to win, can't build wonders or grab great people, but otherwise work the same as other Civs.
    • You earn and assign influence to these just like City States, basically just like envoys. The difference is, your influence is also affected by other factors (e.g. shared ideologies). You might even be able to reassign influence at points, a bit like how you unlock policy cards.
    • Have enough influence, and you can even Suzerain and Levy etc. just like you do for City States. There could be other diplomatic options too, maybe some not even based on envoys (like demand tribute).
    • Here's the cunning bit. Some of these Minor Civs basically have the same abilities as City States, and so provide "Suzerain Bonuses". So, all these minor Civs work the same way, are manipulated through the same interface, but only some give Suzerain Bonuses. So, you have to decide whether to compete for these prized City States (where completion is fierce) or focus on generic ones which might provide strategic bonuses.
     
  10. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    It seems to me that rather than abolishing City States, you are arguing for both the traditional City State in fact (Suzereignty, Bonuses, etc) And a 'Minor Civ' category in addition. I think we are arguing semantics, because we're all looking for the same result: more variety in potential interaction with Non-Major Civ Players in the game, and I agree with your differentiation between the (current) City State and Another Form of non-major Civ entity.

    I suggest that the current City States can stay as defined, with the addition of potentially being able to 'hire Mercenaries from them, among other possibilities. Then, either by capturing Settlers from Barbarians, or 'absorbing' Barbarian (Hostile Settlement) Camps, or Free Cities, a City State can become a multi-City Minor Civilization, with slightly different characteristics and interactions than the original City State had. In fact, as you indicate, the possible Benefits from currying favor with a Minor Civ should be much greater than for a City State - something beyond Suzereignty but short of Inclusion resembling Vasselization or Alliance. I'm thinking something along the lines of England and Holland at the beginning of the 18th century, where they virtually shared a Monarch (William), were closely allied militarily, but were separate countries, cultures, etc, or Austro-Hungary, where Hungary was a 'junior partner' (and occasionally in Revolt) but provided a large percentage of the total army and economy. In both cases, using our new definitions, Holland and Hungary would classify as Civ VI 'Minor Civilizations'.

    This gives us the hierarchy:
    Civilizations (major players, major AI opponents)
    Minor Civilizations (2 or more cities)
    City States (1 city each)
    Settlements (Less than City sized)
    .....Which last could be Hostile, Friendly, or Neutral, and those characterizations could be different for each Civilization they meet, and changeable by Civilization actions or even (rarely) 'Random Events'

    At the beginning of the game, the map would hold Civilizations, City States, and Settlements. Minor Civilizations would 'grow' out of the City States and their interactions with the Settlements, Free Cities, and possibly even with the Civilizations (migration by Population Points/Settlers/Builders from an Unhappy, Amenity-less Civ to a Happy City State?)

    This, in turn, would give us a lot more scope for dynamic and changing Diplomatic Conditions throughout the game, and methods of 'exploiting' the map: through conquest or absorption of Minor Civs, City States or Settlements, to Trade/Suzereignity or other Friendly Status with any or all of them, with the potential players chasing throughout the game: Settlements becoming Friendly or Neutral/Hostile, City States becoming Minor Civs, and City States or Minor Civs or Settlements becoming partners or parts of the major Civs.
     
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  11. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Well, to be clear, I'm not arguing with either of you. You both have some really good ideas that I'm very much in favour of.

    And yes, I'm not "really" suggesting getting rid of City States. I was just dying to suggest a way to pull things together in terms of design. Basically, instead of having another group of "things" in the game, have just one overarching "thing" that largely follows one set of mechanical rules but that can have some variation i.e. just have Minor Civs that basically work like expanded City States, but only a few on the map retain the suzerain bonus.
     
  12. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    My bad: 'argue' was the wrong word to use in this context.

    We do have a different view of the Suzereign Bonuses, though. I find that they are strictly ephemeral, and frequently Suzereignity changes every other turn or three in the mid-game. Only after I've eliminated half of the other Civs in a Domination game, or obtained a steady supply of Envoys through a combination of Wonders, Policies, Civics, etc can I rely on the Suz Bonuses. To me that makes them less important as an 'Identifier' of uniqueness for City States or Minor Civs.

    I also think that a distinct differentiation between City States and multi-city Minor Civs is necessary to make the Minor Civs distinct in Diplomacy and Economics from the City States. An Alliance, for example, might be a Diplomatic Effect only available with a Minor Civ, because a City State 'Alliance' is too one-sided: the difference in size and resources between a Major Civ and a City State is simply too great. This, in fact, might be our Game Distinction between a Vassel and an Ally: the first is a City State, the second is a Minor Civ under normal circumstances... By making distinctions and identifying them by the type of object (Minor Civ, City State, Free City perhaps even Settlement) in both Diplomacy and Trade - and by extension from Diplomacy, in hiring Mercenaries or using their military in other ways - we can add considerable 'depth' to both the economic and the diplomatic game.

    And now I finally realize that we've hijacked this thread and hauled it a long way off the railroad tracks!
     
  13. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Guess it’s a detour? ( ...can trains have detours?... hmm )

    I think I’m broadly okay with all of the suggestions here. If it was up to me though, I’d rather not have minor Civs and city states work differently. I feel that it creates just more disconnected mechanics. I’d rather Minor Civs and City States work broadly the same, with City States being just a different flavour of Minor Civ (e.g. suzerain bonuses). But I get you and others might have a different view.

    Indeed, that’s sort of my gripe about Barbarians ams Goody Huts. They’re yet another little system with their own logic and Mechanic that don’t fit with anything else. I’d rather Barbs again we’re just a Minor Civ. The difference being that until you befriend them, they spawn units within a certain radius. And maybe after you do befriend them, they provide better troops when you levy them.

    Overall, I really like how city states work. There’s even an argument for just leaving City States alone precisely because they do work so well. But on balance I think the game would really benefit from expanding the City State mechanics more generally, so they capture Free Cities, Barbs, Goody Huts, and so make all those disparate elements feel more coherent.
     
  14. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    of course; we like to have elegance in our design! The hardest part is giving players (human and other) an incentive to not just pillage and burn everything in sight. From that context, some types of special bonuses that can't be replaced by simply taking their land need to be in play. (In the same vein that the Alliance mechanic of R&F tries to give you a reason to not burn and pillage all your rivals.) CS envoy bonuses usually pile up for reasonable sized empires to be more worthwhile (for most CS types, at least) than owning their city. In the same way, a minor civ system requires a 'raison d'etre' to keep players from just warring on them for no reason. Partly I think giving players one set of opponents that want to win -and act like it- and one set that plays the same game but is just there to survive, opens up some interesting options. It shouldn't be a mystery who is who though- otherwise the blanket approach would remain "conquer thy neighbor."

    Growing Minor Civs from city states is one option, although the fact that we work with city state influence on the envoy system might get dicey. Having thought about it a little, if minor civs were truly playing by major civ rules just without an aim to win (and again, possibly they wouldn't build wonders or recruit GP) then we could simply interact with them via normal diplomacy and agendas, maybe skewing things a bit to make it a little more transactional than the current "sometimes I just hate you" AI. Major Civ Australia will not care much if you offer them advantageous trade deals, but minor Civ New Zealand might be all about that (and willing to overlook your warring against major powers. Business is business.) That just massively simplifies everything. As long as it is visually communicated they aren't out for victory, it may be the simplest drop in out there. (You just have AI/diplomacy settings A for major and B for minor.) Agendas etc can be extended to them too, obviously filtered a bit for flavor. And of course, no one said you couldn't make minor civs your vassal! Major civs would always refuse that offer and say something to the effect of how it would be giving up on victory.

    Now, of course, to the thread at hand. Why on earth would we want minor civs in the game? Because we want ECONOMIC GAMEPLAY. That means I need to care about other entities and how they interact with my domestic outputs. This doesn't mean turn civ into this crazy factorio level resource manager; it means I need to have a reason to care about the intersection of my economy and other players - whether this is trade routes, resource deals, other mechanics that have yet to be created. I can always be self sufficient in any game, which leaves a lot of things lacking. And it so happens that railroads are a great way to change how we interact with our resources and terrain, and other players resources and terrain. This also drips into the military and diplomatic side of things as well as other gameplay like the paucity of late game things to do.

    To borrow civ5's railroad quote: "The introduction of so powerful an agent as steam to carriage on wheels will make a great change in the situation of man."
    And boy, it can make a great change in the situation of Civ6 as well.
     
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  15. ghost88

    ghost88 Warlord

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    Having given thought to this, the simplest fix for this would be a graphics change in the industrial era with an additional increase in movement if you have the Coal tech(and Coal), as coal burning locomotives being more efficient than wood. This would add rail for those who can not live without it and not cause more micromanagement for those of us who could care less.
    My apologies if this has been suggested as I don't have time to read the whole thread.
     
  16. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Super Moderator

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    Indeed, I must confess that I wouldn't have thought to look for that interesting discussion in this thread, so may I try to put the four of you back on tracks here and here, both thread linked together in trying to set something more dynamic for barbarians/tribes/civilizations and on which I'd welcome feedback (but not discussing railways yet, I'm afraid, so the current thread stay the best place for that :D)
     
  17. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    It hasn't been suggested, and it's a simple graphics-only change which, unfortunately, doesn't address the very extensive changes in communications, production, trade and social policy brought on by the advent of the railroads.
     
  18. Sostratus

    Sostratus Deity

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    It has gotten quite long at this point. The gist of it is, people hear "what would you think about railroads?" and this question splits into roughly two groups:
    1) players who want railroads back because railroads were a very significant historical development. "It's like having a civ game without the pyramids!"
    2) players who see railroads as a way to address shortcomings of the current state of civ6.

    Some people ascribe to both.

    What Boris is getting at is the sentiment of those in the second camp. But that means you have to first pinpoint mechanical or gameplay issues to fix, then figure out how to implement railroads to fix them. For example, many feel that there both isn't enough to do nor is there enough production in the late game. So that's why a lot of people suggest something that requires some player action (so there's more to do) with the payoff being some kind of economic boost (to combat lack of production.) We already make players go through the hurdles of district placement. Many people find it very fun, and it works well enough that you can still do fine with haphazard placement (this is very good game design!). In the same vein, having some kind of railroad building subsystem can be a good thing - it's another layer of working out how to put your empire together (fun) that comes after you've placed most of your districts- but no one would enjoy want the current military engineer style "place every tile individually." That would be madness.
     
  19. ghost88

    ghost88 Warlord

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    I see your points my suggestion of a graphics fix was for the large amount of post about "This game stinks because..." add one : 1)to much micro in late game cause I get all construction done in one turn. 2)da turns is to long in late game cause my 'puter is only minimal to the specs+ I refuse to play on less than huge maps with all 50 Civs and 70 city states(there is a mod that adds 30 CS)
    By adding to the rewards from Coal to include more prod.
    Personally I never lack for things to do or production late game. I do have usually have more than 20 cities and large amounts of units.
    I play large map 8 civs/ 30 CS ( Modded the two map files to distance 20 for civ 10 for CS) these settings seem to stop the early contact/ long turn time complaints, of course as I have a Nvida 1080TI and 8core processor I have more than enough puter power ;) .
     
  20. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Well, as I've stated before and elsewhere, I am a historian first and a gamer second, so the first thing I look at is What Is Missing From This Supposedly Historical-Based Game That Existed In History? and then How Does This Affect Game Play?

    In the case of railroads, their exclusion from the game immediately made me think of all the Real History effects of railroads: increased productivity and a quantum leap in communications, leading to increased mobility of populations (mass tourism), massive increase in size of armies (increased supplies) and massive growth of cities (food supply no longer dependent on nearby sources or water-borne transportation). And, sure enough, NONE of those things are in the game either, making the late game (post-railroad) Eras merely a More Of The Same experience rather than a Revolution in Human Affairs represented by the industrial/railroad revolution...

    While railroads are not a panacea for the late game Ills of Civ VI, properly modeling them in the game would address some of the problems that have been identified - lack of production - directly, and indirectly could provide answers to other problems. Like, if big (+15 pop) cities are made important and relevant to the game, then food supply from across the continent by railroad would be a major component (as it was historically) for the growth of such cities in the Industrial and later Eras.

    It's my view, backed up by 50+ years of studying history and 50+ years of board, miniature or computer gaming and 50+ years of reading Fantasy and Science Fiction, that when you get the History wrong you are left with a Fantasy game, and they are always less interesting because you cannot make up activities as weird and wonderful as what actually happens when several millions of people are all working at, in or on the story. When railroads were left out of Civ VI, so were, largely, the Effects of Railroads, and that left us with a dull fantasy game for the last 3 Eras or so.
     

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