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Scaling issues

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Abaxial, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. Abaxial

    Abaxial Chieftain

    Sep 14, 2017
    One thing that irks me about Civ 6 is the weird geographical scale. I identify three problems.

    1) Is the world of Civ 6 a planet or not? It is interesting to speculate if a globe could actually be represented in Civ in such a way that the map tapered to a point at each pole. It might be too much of a challenge. But given that the map shows a planet on a cylindrical projection, then the distance from one pole to the other is necessarily half the circumference. So the map should always be twice as wide as it is tall. In practice, for any of the map sizes, the ratio is about 1.6 instead of 2.0. So it's not a globe at all.

    2) More serious. The distance from pole to pole on Earth is about 12,450 miles. So on a standard size map, a city occupies an area roughly 230 miles across. Now, in Civ 5, say, it's not really a problem because when you look at a map, having a city occupy such a large space is just like indicating the position with a slightly over-large dot. But in Civ 6, a city with all its districts may be 1,600 miles across, and that is getting ridiculous. It means having London twice the size of Great Britain. I know its only a game, and it's weird enough that a crossbow can shoot 460 miles whereas a machine gun has a range of 230 miles, but those are passing things, but you just have to glance at the map and you see these monstrous cities in your face and any suspension of disbelief goes out the window. Districts may or may not be a nice game mechanic, but they look really stupid the way they are implemented. Oh, and wonders. The Eiffel Tower has a base (pi r squared) 42,000 sq miles in size. What. The. Hell.

    3) More serious yet. In Civ 5 the three-hex radius round a city is its hinterland, the area it draws on for food, minerals, etc. In Civ 6 that is still the case, but it's also the region where the city will put its shrines, libraries, and so on. Want a library? Then sacrifice 42,000 sq miles of farmland to have somewhere to put it on. And so on. In Civ 5, if you need to boost happiness you scheduled construction of an arena. Now you have to find room for an entertainment district, and there may not be room. So supposedly, this means you need to plan your cities carefully, but you are actually planning them against constraints that are totally absurd. And consider the case of an island of three hexes. That's substantially bigger than, say, Singapore IRL, but it becomes totally unmanageable because you have no room for districts. Districts are a nice idea for a game mechanic, but the way they are implemented is just unbelievable. It's all very well to say "it's just a game", but I remember a wargame published some years ago, where, when you worked it out, it took an infantry regiment a month to travel three city blocks. That sort of abuse just ruins things.

    A map in Civ 5 looks more or less credible. In Civ 6, not remotely.
  2. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Warlord

    Aug 7, 2016
    Adelaide, South Australia
    I don't think that's necessarily the best way of looking at it.

    I prefer to think of it as not so much a library, per se, but as a scientific
    pressure. (Maybe somebody else has a better description!)
    And the same with units. In Civ5, longbowmen could shoot across the English
    Channel. That would be crazy if you thought of them as one person firing a
    single arrow. Not quite so bizarre if you imagine them imposing a military
    pressure over the time between turns, e.g. 10 years.
  3. Amrunril

    Amrunril Chieftain

    Feb 7, 2015
    Civ games are intentionally ambiguous and abstract regarding scale. I think this is a good thing: it means the same rule sets can be applied to maps of different sizes (including both world maps and scenario maps), and it allows for movement, city design, etc. to be balanced around what produces good gameplay rather than what is technically correct at a given scale.
    Ferocitus likes this.
  4. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

    Dec 1, 2017
    Yeah, the map, and the wider game, is totally nuts if you think too hard about it.

    Civ obviously abstracts certain ideas. How tolerable that is depends on your willingness to suspend disbelief.

    I’ve no idea why or how, but I think Civ VI really gets it right. Units, cities, buildings, yields feel realistic to me for the most part, although of course they’re anything but.

    The only things that I have a bit of trouble suspending disbelief over are:

    (1) the map feels a little under populated sometimes - like, the world should feel like it’s made up of these big powerful civs, who fight to dominant the world through culture, religion etc, and then there should be smaller countries / states that get swept up in that. To feel like that, I think there needs to be something between barbs and city states at one end and other full civs at the other end. Maybe free cities will take that place after a few patches.

    (2) City areas are also a little under populated sometimes. To me, the city centre just represents the main city / urban centre in that area. You should be able to build smaller villages or towns in your cities areas, to help reflect / capture other urban areas.

    (3) I wish the map named areas somehow. Like this is the Sahara desert, this is the Andes mountain ranges. Natural wonders, which are only 1 - 4 tiles, don’t quite capture that.

    (4) I wish Gold generation, food, loyalty and happiness were a little more dynamic. No one ever starves in my empire. There’s never a financial crisis. My citizen are never unhappy about how I govern (except when I go to war).

    On the map and districts specifically, I think districts are more believable if you don’t spam them. Yes, a campus district takes up some huge area. But then I think of that campus area more like Oxford the city or even Oxford the wider urban area. I assume there are other smaller libraries and universities in my other city centres, but that the game doesn’t specifically capture them. But, it gets hard to keep that feeling if you spam campusus in every city.
  5. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Warlord

    Nov 14, 2006
    Las Vegas
    The scale is weird, no doubt about it. But I still find it works and is enjoyable. Yes every city has a university and a library in it. All well and good. In Civ4 I'd end up building these same buildings in every single city. I guess one way to think of it is to think of a city like New York while it does have universities in it, the campus district with university could be representing Princeton which is in New Jersey. My city could be considered an entertainment district for Los Angeles and so on, although instead of zoos we have brothels (I'm kidding, that's illegal here folks)
    acluewithout likes this.
  6. isau

    isau Warlord

    Jan 15, 2007
    I don't think you should read the map literally. It's just a figurative representation broken down so that gameplay decisions are intelligible. The district isn't literally hundreds of miles wide, it's just drawn large to illustrate the main yields generated from that use of land. Presumably there are more than just 9 buildings in the entire city, and more than just 3 in each district.

    I actually find the cities from older civ games less logical than what we have in Civ 6. Civ 4 admirals be like: the first house built in Boston wasn't on a water so now we can never launch a boat! Fantastic...

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