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[NFP] Recycling Mechanics (no, not that recycling)

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by acluewithout, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    No, not a tirade about the lack of Aluminum Recycling Plants in Civ. Instead, has anyone notice how Firaxis sometimes "recycle" mechanics?

    I'll give you an example. Trade Route Stacking. Civ VI started with Trade Route stacking, i.e. if you had a Harbour and a Commercial Hub, you got trade routes from both. Coo, cool cool. Nice buff for Coastal Cities, because they inherently get double trade route capacity. And the Harbour and Commercial Hub can sort of synergise.

    ...but then, disaster. It's too powerful. So, no more stacking. Stop it. No more. You were abusing it, so now it's gone. That's why we can't have nice things people. That's how you get ants.

    ...anyway. Then trade route stacking comes back as England's super special ability. Yay. But then it goes again. Boo. But now it's back again, but this time as a Super Secret Society Special Bank ability. Yay, again. (Side bar: I much prefer this mechanic being tied to Parliament of Owls Special Freemason Bank, or whatever it is. So, I'm actually pretty happy how this all ended up.)

    Here's another example. Stacking Regional Bonuses. Civ VI started with allowing Industrial Zone Factories Regional Bonuses to overlap. Coo, cool cool. Lots of production. Oh no, too powerful. Nerf that bad boy. But then stacking bonuses comes back again as Magus' capstone ability. Like, fine, you can stack bonuses. But just for one city, okay!

    Here's another example. Adjacencies. Harbour give gold adjacency. Shipyards turn that adjacency into Production. Once people really get their heads round that mechanic, people start using it and really enjoying it. Turning one adjacency into another is great fun, because the district sort of gets repurposed, you can play around with policy cards, it gives Cities with unique versions of the district new angles etc. So, here, FXS didn't nerf this mechanic. They just said, yeah, people like that. We should maybe do that some more. So, then they go to town with that mechanic in RnF for dedications. Then they sort of do it again in GS with Coal Plants (albeit its more just doubling IZ adjacencies). Then they do it again with Work Ethic. And now its been given a whole new level with the Secret Society of Bird Watchers unique Bank and the Hermetic Order of Hogwarts Unseen University all using the mechanic. I mean, we're probably at "peak" Adjacency Swapping now, but I really like the implementation of this mechanic in the various ways it's been, er, implemented (although, I could certainly hear the argument for making Work Ethic more like Choral Music and it's bonus based on buildings not adjacencies).

    So, here's my question. Where have you seen mechanics being recycled and have liked it (or not liked it)? What are some mechanics you think might get recycled again? And what are mechanics you'd like to see recycled.

    For me,
    • Trade Route Stacking, Regional Bonus Stacking and Adjacencies. I really like all of the examples given above. Particularly the whole adjacencies thing - that's very fun.

    • Build Charges. FXS have gone back to the well a few times with the whole +Extra Build Charge. First it was China and Pyramids and Feudalism. Then Liang. Then England. Again, we're probably now at "peak" extra builder charges, but I really like how this mechanic has been used the various times it comes up.

    • Purple Districts. Maybe not technically "recycling" a mechanic, but I like FXS have implemented another One District Per Civ Government District, i.e. the Diplo Quarter. I think it's a pity both the DQ and GP don't both give +1 Adjacency, and don't both give +1 Envoy next to your City Centre, just because I think the symmetry would be cute. But, yeah, like seeing the basic unique district mechanic getting recycled.

    • Pax Brit. Pax B's original "free melee unit capturing a city" was a pretty cool ability. It then got nerfed inexplicably, and I've never really understood why. England have now been rebalanced in a way that I don't think that ability could ever be brought back for England, but I do think it's found a new life as Zulu's ability to upgrade units to Corps, Armies when they capture cities. I think that's probably a better implementation of the ability, but yeah, there you. One more to think about.
    • Goddess of the Harvest. I think it's likely Goddess of the Harvest (i.e. Faith = Chop Yield) will make a come back, maybe as a Civ ability. GoH was overpowered, but it also allowed for a unique way of playing the game particularly when combined with Monumentality. If FXS could find a way to "balance" the ability, I think they'd be super tempted to bring it back somehow.

    • Work Ethic. I really hope Work Ethics Pop = % Production, Max 15% makes a comeback. I'm not particularly fussed how it comes back. Probably shouldn't come back as an IZ Building Ability or Governor Ability, because that's super boring. Can't be a Government Ability, because that's basically already Communism's ability. Maybe it could be a new ability for some Commercial Hub buildings? Don't care. I don't think it worked as a Religious Belief, but I totally think it could work somewhere else.
    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  2. Deadly Dog

    Deadly Dog Warlord

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    Cool topic, this is so true but I never put much thought into it. I find it interesting that with Ethiopia and voidsingers you see a new mechanic being applied simultaneously in 2 situational ways. Like the game developers have been thinking like you and figured out how to make a powerful mechanic work by tying it to 2 or more situations and so people accept it and learn to appreciate a new avenue of play that won't always work but which will be recognizable by players when in a situation where its really strong.
     
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  3. Naeshar

    Naeshar Warlord

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    I wouldn't call these mechanics as recycled. They are being adjusted or tweaked - the trade routes or regional bonuses. That is very much okay, these were not thoroughly tested or made special later on.
    It is good to use the same mechanics on different topics, as we players are already know how they work. Civ6 already has a lot of going on. A set of completely new mechanics would certainly need a new expansion, which is not the way they are going now.

    The only one sticking out from your post are the adjacency bonuses. We started with very strict bonuses, where Holy Sites got faith and Commercial Hubs got gold on adjacency. Adding production or science on top of that is simple reusing the same mechanic for another boost. Harbor is okay, since that already was a jack-of-all-coasts district. The boosts kind of add a special strategy to each game, but since that is limited an we know what is most powerful, it gets annoying.

    How about the charge system - is it not being recycled from builders to mil.engineers, gurus and unique legions and toas and mounties? (environmentalists afaik don't use charges)
     
  4. Myomoto

    Myomoto Prince

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    To be honest, I always spam harbours because I love love the ability to double dip in their adjacency bonus as production later on. I really wish we got a similar building for most districts, something like science from holy site adjacency, tourism from theatre square adjacency, etc.
     
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  5. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Agree. I quite like the % of X yield gives you Y yield.

    I don’t have a hard definition of “recycled” mechanics. Basically whatever definition makes for the most interesting discussion. But generally I think eg Trade Route Stacking and (what can we call it? um, er) “Adjacency Yield Conversion” can be described as “recycled” because they are mechanics that were used in one part of the game at one point in time and then retooled and reused elsewhere at a later point.

    I guess you could maybe also include particular mechanics that have always been used in multiple places (eg all the yield districts have their own great people), but that feels less “recycled“ and more sort of “always the intention”, and is also maybe not that interesting to discuss. But, we can call that recycled too if people find that useful.

    Does that help?
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  6. Naeshar

    Naeshar Warlord

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    I also don't have a definition. Its just that using one mechanic sometimes feels wrong when used in another area. Which is very different from been "always the intention". This way saying "recycled mechanic" gets quite a negative meaning and where it is not wrong, I don't connect it with these words. On the other hand, when devs changed (limited) some mechanic then added it to a new part or given as specialty to leader, that's just tweaking. To be recycled, it should be used for another purpose.

    Toa itself has a very recycled feel. Legion+Varu
    Mongolian capture of specific units is recycled from English Sea Dog, but since that makes sense it doesn't feel recycled. And because it has a relatively low chance I never got any unit this way.
    Faith is in many ways recycled gold mechanic, except for the upkeep cost. So is the faith buying of units - first it was government specialty, then it was transferred to a building, added civilian faith buying, added naval faith buying. But it doesn't feel bad as just multiplying your options (even though Monumentality is very powerful).
    Governor titles are in a way recycled envoys, and there were posts on CFC suggesting they should be merged. Both are gained via culture tree at specific points (and have also another ways to get them, like via Great Merchants) and are somewhat limited, while once assigned, they cannot be reset.
    Getting GPP from unit actions was originally Alexander's specialty, now also Bolivar has it, am I right? This doesn't have the unique feel anymore.

    About the districts' yields - the additions did not add width, but made the choices more powerful. That's why it feels wrong and recycled to me, but is in fact only powercreep - and that is discussed in the other thread now :D.
     
  7. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Faith is similar to Gold, but I wouldn’t say it’s “recycled” or the same as Gold. Production, Gold and Faith all allow for purchasing, but are balanced against each other asymmetrically. Faith and Gold are instant, but Production takes time. Faith and Gold can buy Great People, Production can’t (but can fuel Projects). Production and Gold can otherwise purchase almost everything (more or less), but Faith usually requires infrastructure or particular abilities enabled first (although only Faith can buy “Religious” Units). Production and Faith are both always surplus, whereas Gold also has a debit side via maintenance.

    I’m happy to treat the other things as sort of recycled, and mostly agree with your analysis. There are lots of these little recycled mechanics like unit stealing or Varu debuff (Vampires get that too). Generally I like these. They are different twists on the same interesting ability. They are mechanics you already know, so easy to pick up. And they make interesting “patterns” across the game.

    Some recycled mechanics are more “significant” I guess, either in terms of frequency, power level or just visibility. I think the Adjacency Yield Conversions are good examples, because they are very obvious and very powerful (and also FXS have added more a more over time, which suggests to me this is a Mechanic that wasn’t originally thought to be in the game that much but which FXS have found more and more used for).
     
  8. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

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    Agree with the OP, I clearly feel a "recycling factor" - but to be adamantely clear: I don't see that negative at all (too - don't understand the OP in that way as well)...as long as what is recycled is both a good mechanic itself and it fits in the new "environment" as well.

    The "recycling" even goes further back sometimes...

    - The Bermuda Triangle mechanic reminds me of SMAC tidal wave outcome of capsules. Receiving a scout unit was another outcome we have now again.
    - The OoM treasury interest had a corresponding national wonder in CivIII
    - Tile improvements interacting yield-wise with each other? Condensators and Echolon Mirros from SMAC
    - the concept of Ideologies (or now secret societies) as permanent divisor between civs is similar to SMAC as well, where some factions just would not go on with each other (a difference though is that back than those leanings where statically attached to the factions)
    - the way strategic ressource are handled since GS has some elements from (Civ)Colonization (need X Iron/Horses/Niter to create a combat unit = Colonizaions Weapons/Horses for certain professions). Ottomans UU even further borrows, when eating up a pop under less-than-ideal circumstances
    - the golden age perk letting cities start with 3 pops has some similarity with SMAC Planetary Transport System secret project

    ...
     
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  9. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Oh dear! Was my OP that confusing? I really didn't see "recycling" as having a negative connotation. Maybe "repurpose" would have been a better word - but then I couldn't have made my terrible recycling joke.

    Anywho. To be clear, I mostly like that some mechanics are recycled. I mean, I don't have any problem conceptually with FXS taking a particular mechanic that works in one place and using it somewhere else. There are only so many "mechanics" the game can have, and so FXS sort of have to re-use them to some extent. Beyond that, I often like things turning up in multiple places, because it creates interesting symmetries and synergies. And some mechanics have actually ended up much better being re-used somewhere else in the game.

    If I ever have a problem, it's only that I don't like the particular mechanic to start with or I think the mechanic has been used in the wrong place.

    Trade Route stacking is a good example of what's "good" about recycling. I like trade route stacking, and was sorry it got removed. But I actually feel like it's found a much better home now, as part of the Confederate of Freemason Bird-people Secret Society ability. That seems a much better fit, and synergises really nicely with their extra Econ Card and City State Trade Route thingy. And it's a much better mechanic walled behind something like a Bank, so you don't get too many Trade Routes.
     
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  10. CoconutTank

    CoconutTank Unapologetic Warmonger Supporter

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    I like "repurpose". "Building upon" would also work I think. And yes, it's fun to play with additional mechanics that are factored on deft applications of previous accepted mechanics.

    I think that's separate from reintroducing previously extreme mechanics with more constraints. This isn't exactly the same, but I recall Monster Hunter will do similar balancing; sometimes certain abilities are too strong, so the devs will either introduce an additional tier where the highest benefit will be, or increase the points requirements of the highest tier, then re-scale the lower tiers as needed. This means technically the ability can still be just as strong, but takes more points to do so, so the ability is nerfed by having a heavier commitment.
     

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