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Rework Trade Routes

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by timbociv, Dec 7, 2016.

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  1. timbociv

    timbociv Chieftain

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    Wondering what your thoughts are on the trade route system. Personally i do like that yield of routes are affected by districts and such. What i dont like is constantly having to reset trade routes because they expire. This is bugging me more than it did in civ5, probably because it is easier to get more available routes. Would rather have a system where trade routes dont expire but the game offers the option to change all routes every 30 or so turns (or earlier against a price, similar to changing policy cards). What do you think about this?
     
  2. bmrigs

    bmrigs Chieftain

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    I agree. It starts to become a click fest at the end game. Also the spys always having to get placed.
     
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  3. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    This is a big UI request. I don't think letting people send to caravan to the last city need be a big change though as it is more a UI issue than something broken with how the trade routes work
     
  4. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

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    My thought on TRs hasn't evolved. A buffet of bonuses with no opportunity costs. Districts and TRs interact together to form a landscape of giant easy-buttons you bomp down over and over for colored dots. Who cares. Bomp bomp bomp, weeee wow I'm doing trade!

    The game would be totally the same without TRs and just a slew of automatic benefits between cities in their place. The game would be totally the same as that second thing but just lower the food and hammer costs of what a city needs to do. Abstract this nonsense away from me please

    Global TR count was good, if you wanted to feed a new city it took food out of your cap, it was a decision that mattered.
     
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  5. CaiusDrewart

    CaiusDrewart King

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    I think trade routes are a great idea. Trade was obviously really important historically and it's nice that Civ V and Civ VI let the player control it instead of just representing it abstractly. I also think trade routes creating roads is cute (though I wish builders could make roads as well.) But there are two huge problems with trade as currently implemented.

    First, it's a micromanagement nightmare. Spamming trade routes is clearly a great strategy and constantly refreshing 20+ trade routes in the late game just sucks. They need to make these auto-refresh easily. Or maybe have them not expire at all; give the player the opportunity to manually change them after a minimum amount of time (say 25 turns). If the player doesn't manually change the route, though, have it go on indefinitely.

    Second, I hate that internal trade routes are more powerful than external ones. It should be the opposite! Ever since the Civ series got rid of tech trading, there hasn't been nearly enough incentive to play nice with the AI. Why bother? What do they really have to offer you? Trade routes are a great way to fill that void. Imagine if having strong trade partners was the key to thriving economy. That would be historically accurate and make the diplomatic side of the game way richer! I think external trade routes should be generally stronger than internal ones. External trade routes to declared allies should be even stronger. Internal trade routes can still have a role; they should be useful for establishing internal road connections and for helping to get new cities off the ground with a bit of extra food and production. But in the long run, empires who establish foreign trade should outdo those who rely only on internal trade--I think that is both good gameplay and good history! Please rebalance this, Firaxis. This is an enormous opportunity to transform the diplomatic part of the game for the better.

    Also, foreign trade routes should always benefit both sides. It's just bizarre that in many cases the recipient of a foreign trade route gets nothing. Insofar as this system is trying to simulate real economics, that makes zero sense. Moreover, the diplomatic side of the game would be richer if you actually wanted other nations to send trade routes to you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
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  6. Zaarin

    Zaarin My Dearest Doctor

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    My biggest issues are:

    1. There are no incentives for external trade routes beyond a minor diplomatic bonus. This is the mirror image of Civ5, where foreign trade routes were generally far more profitable than internal trade routes except under specific circumstances. This is silly. Ideally internal trade routes and external trade routes should have equally lucrative but completely distinct bonuses so that choosing one actually feels like a choice instead of number crunching.

    2. The game treats trade as a non-zero sum game. Of course you're going to send food to that horrible little tundra city you just founded because it costs you nothing! It doesn't even have the opportunity cost of foregoing a more lucrative trade option because internal trade routes are almost always more profitable (see point #1).


    I do have to give the game credit for what it did right, though: trading posts allow the creation of long Silk Road-style trade routes which were seriously lacking in Civ5.
     
  7. dagriggstar

    dagriggstar Prince

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    On a UI level, I wish there was a way to filter out "bad routes". Late game playing large maps and I swear it takes longer to load the trade route overview than to process a turn......

    On a gameplay level, I've had a trade route plundered.......once. Would be nice if we had to think about actually defending them.....

    Also +1 to the external routes should be more rewarding.
     
  8. CaiusDrewart

    CaiusDrewart King

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    Another thing about making foreign trade routes stronger--I think it would really help out multiplayer, too. Right now if one person gets a fairly isolated start with a lot of empty space between them and the other civs, that person is at a huge advantage. That would be less true if that situation meant that the player would miss out on lucrative foreign trade. The isolated player may have more space, but maybe the rest of the world is trading with each other and everybody is profiting, and the isolated player is stuck with inferior internal trade routes until technology unlocks longer-distance trade.

    Plus, if two civs spawn very close to each other, strong foreign trade routes would create an interesting dilemma between cooperation for mutual benefit vs. a risky war. That decision becomes much less interesting if foreign trade routes suck and there's no benefit to having a close neighbor.
     
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  9. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Why does a commercial zone provide you with +1 production not +1 gold?
    Why does a new trade route go via a city your troops cannot enter the border of?
    Why do we not have to use trade routes to get foreign luxuries?
    Why do trade routes end automatically for no reason?
    Why does a country get rich without foreign trade routes?
    Why are resources like copper and marble (no tin?) of little value while iron and aluminum are?

    insanity abounds
     
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  10. Zuizgond

    Zuizgond Prince

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    Fully agree with this. I think the main issue comes from the fact that gold income is too high. So external trade routes are not really desirable especially when internal ones give production bonuses.
     
  11. TomKQT

    TomKQT Prince

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    I agree that external trade routes are too week in Civ6. I usually make such a TR only to get envoy in a CS (of course if it gives this type of quest).

    About the micromanagement nightmare and UI: I would be happy if they just added the button "repeat last route" on top of the dialog that appears when a trader needs new assignment. In CivV it at least showed you which destination was the previous one for this trader, but you still had to scroll down to find it and click on it. Civ6 even doesn't do this, that was a very bad design decision. Together with the still not fixed bug of last completed production I often wonder whether this trader who needs assignment is a newly built one or an older one (who I probably want to keep on the same route).
     
  12. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    I just played a game to assess and the issue seems to stem from the commercial zone just over earning for doing little.
    I believe something like the following would lessen the gold while placing more emphasis on external trade routes.

    Commercial Zone
    Remove +2 gold for each adjacent river
    +1 gold for each adjacent river
    Remove +1 prod for each internal trade route
    Add +1 gold for internal trade routes
    Market
    Remove +3 gold
    Add +1 gold for each external trade route to or from the city
    Bank
    Remove +5 gold
    Add +1 gold for each external trade route to or from this city

    Currently adding a commercial zone with buildings to a backwater town provides the same monetary benefits as the capital cities commercial zone
     
  13. TomKQT

    TomKQT Prince

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    I don't remember the exact numbers, but are you suggesting that Market and Bank would have no real meaning (besides great merchant points) unless you send a TR to/from the city? That would not sound like a good idea.
     
  14. smartcanuck1988

    smartcanuck1988 Warlord

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    I'd be happy if they just put it in a separate minimal spreadsheet-like UI (with, importantly, auto-renew checkboxes) instead of actual units on the map, and make it so that both cities would benefit from the trade.

    They can elaborate on trade and adjust yields and what not (or introduce more buildings that alter trade), but all these changes will go unnoticed when 90% of users will be bogged down by so many trade units on the map that need orders. They'll just be selecting the first city and be done with it.
     
  15. Zaarin

    Zaarin My Dearest Doctor

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    I forgot my third major gripe with the current trade route system: unless you're Cleopatra or trading with Cleopatra, trade routes are one sided. That's not the way trade works; trade is supposed to benefit both parties. Why on Earth are my rivals just letting me take things, apparently, from their cities without offering anything in return?

    To be fair, traders will often be welcome where troops are not.
     
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  16. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Yes but i want a road my troops can walk along between cities
     
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  17. Joebles

    Joebles Chieftain

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    I like the way roads grow organically from trade routes - its a small thing that provides an elegant solution to the micromanagment drudgery of building roads.

    That being said, the micromanagement dudgery that comes from having a huge number of trade routes isn't any better. I think a new UI panel that abstracted the need to treat each trader as a separate unit would be nice. Maybe instead of having to renew the route manually every few turns, just give a route a cool down when you send it.

    External vs internal trade routes could use some tweaking as well, as the lack of incentive to trade with other nations just increases the sense of diplomatic isolation thats the reality of the game right now.
     
  18. GhostSalsa

    GhostSalsa Emperor

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    Oh but this is one design absurdity I'm attached to. I quite adore the idea of two boats throwing gems and iron at each other over a still unpassible single ocean tile..
     
  19. Halcyan2

    Halcyan2 Emperor

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    While I overwhelmingly use internal trade routes (except when completing City State quests or when I want to build a road to a foreign city), don't forget that foreign trade routes:

    1. Provides a diplomatic benefit (mentioned by others)
    2. Increases your spy/diplomatic visibility which gives you access to more information
    3. Increases your tourism towards that civilization

    Maybe one possibility is that the designers assumed that external trade routes are an obvious choice if you are going for a Cultural Victory, so maybe they overweighted that benefit.
     
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  20. Zaarin

    Zaarin My Dearest Doctor

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    This is all true--but the sheer concrete benefits of internal trade routes make those benefits feel awfully small. I mean, do I want +10 food and +6 production...or do I want to know that my neighbor built a granary?
     
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