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[NFP] Secret Societies -- Where is the Intrigue?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Tigranes, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. Tigranes

    Tigranes Armenian

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    Disappointment and regret about missed opportunities -- these are the two feelings that shadowed me while playing with new Secret Societies. Just like Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy nor Roman nor Empire so are the Secret Societies. Neither Secret nor really Societies. Here is why.

    One expects something sinister and villainously cool when hears "Secret Society". You don't go secret when you are trying do the most good, like Salvation Army. SS must operate like a state within state, not just another source of bonuses for the state. It necessarily should include some kind of downside for your own empire. I think I will convey the sentiment of all the civ6 players when I say that we are sick of bonuses, no matter how shiny the wrapper is -- more modifiers are just more modifiers. Instead we want to do something cool and we want AI to do something cool. Something that would add some intrigue to the very predictable pattern of how things would unfold if you just rake more goodies. There are so many missed opportunities: instead of being national governor SS could have been global phenomena, more like a CS without city or territory, pursuing their own agenda and having very special relationship with civ leaders providing both upside and downside.

    Secrecy when it comes to your opponents could have been enforced using mechanic similar to Spies -- something is happening to them and they don't even know who did it. But you have to pay some price in order to get some benefit from SS, who, by definition, must serve their own purposes. If you get in bed with Cultists who drive your opponents insane -- your own faith must suffer and this could be a good opportunity to introduce heresy in the game. If Vampires agree to fight for your empire -- you need to pay them with the lives of your citizens. If you follow Hermetic pseudo scientists -- your recruited Great Scientists might part ways with you and run to another empire. And if you call Owls to help with your fiances -- they will bleed your land dry and you should see some farms and plantations go bankrupt and disappear. Just to give you an idea, you know. For such a complex game Civilization should not be so linear. There has to be some intrigue, tough choices, difficult decisions and unorthodox things happening. In form of events, you know, not in form of more free stuff. Even castle teleportation is not very different from airport, so what is so cool here?

     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
    Bonci, Imaus, glider1 and 11 others like this.
  2. Pietato

    Pietato Emperor

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    They definitely need negatives, but civ players tend to cry when they are added.
     
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  3. Vrenir

    Vrenir King

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    I’m more interested in massive end-game negatives for non-members. This would make it feel epic to unleash the full power of your own society against your enemies, but it would also make it very important to crush civs that embrace rival societies.

    I’m thinking unleashing monsters or a Red Death effect for the Voidsingers, or hoards of undead (maybe a zombie plague) for the Sanguine, or devastating espionage operations that also hand Diplomatic points to members for the Owls.
     
    Pietato likes this.
  4. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Yeah. Secret Societies lack depth.

    The Societies and the abilities are very fun. But there is no real "intrigue", nor is there any “Menace”. There also not particularly “Secret” and the “Society” but is very thin.

    Secret Societies are more like Civ V Social Policies, except less options and you can only choose from one policy tree.

    Secret Societies are an add on, so there’s a limit to how much depth or complexity they can have. I think the basic mechanics are okay, and some stuff works really well (flavour, some abilities). But I hope FXS do give them a tweak to make them more interesting. More trade offs. More interaction between Societies. Maybe unique objectives or quests. Just something “more”, so they’re more engaging.
     
  5. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Monarch (BTS) Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    I don't agree with much of what you write here but I definitely agree with this, had the same thought last night.

    You can't speak for everyone, I'm sure many people will share this sentiment but definitely not all - in fact I'd be surprised if it was more than 25% of the user base (quite possibly more than 75% of people on this site though!)
     
    Kupe Navigator likes this.
  6. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    I agree with most of the things that have been voiced here. Some thoughts: Why is there no leader of each "society"? Why are there no society meetings? Why can't we change from one society to another? Sure, there is a diplo modifier for being in different societies, but that's all.

    From a more gameplay-oriented pov, it would be more fun if there were actual promotion trees for the societies to offer variation between games, and maybe the chosen path would depend on a vote within all members of the society, so you could be outvoted if AIs wanted to take the society in another direction (of course the latter is wishful thinking, because we know the AI would most likely end up defaulting to the same choice every time).
     
  7. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    if they wanted new governors and extra flavors, trade companies like VOC or EIC was the way to go.
    Secret societies should’ve been a great people gig.
     
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  8. Tigranes

    Tigranes Armenian

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    Well, speak up then. If you don't agree with well developed point it is at least expected that you counter it with a well developed counter-point instead of just saying -- I don't agree. I need to understand your way of thinking, because 75% or not (completely guestimated number on your part) -- devs don't agree with me and the other whatever %, so we need to understand why some people think that more goodies brings excitement?
     
  9. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Yes please, even if it was just maybe a couple of different options for tier 3 and 4.

    I’m broadly happy with what we got (although it needs more polish), but there were clearly other ways to implement secret societies.

    Using the City State / envoy mechanics might have been interesting. Secret Societies could have basically been City States but not actually on the map. They could have had their own nefarious quests, and you could have competed to control the Society the same way you compete for Suzerain, with some buffs attached to that.

    But the way FXS did it is fine. The abilities are quite like social policies, and I really like that aspect because you can sort of “tailor” your Civ more. It’s particularly fun getting to sort of choose unique units and unique buildings for your Civ.

    Will we get more Secret Societies? I doubt it, but who knows. I’d certainly enjoy a society that leans into the Steak Punk / Diesel Punk atheistic more. Maybe a unique Workshop or Factory? Or would that be too close to the Order of Hermes, or whatever they’re called.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
  10. Kupe Navigator

    Kupe Navigator Prince

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    I am one of those who don't agree with you. I like the bonuses.

    I for one like unique buildings for most of them.
     
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  11. EmJayLambert

    EmJayLambert Chieftain

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    I feel like maybe the Secret Societies concept could be something that will be implemented fully in the base game of a potential Civ VII with lots more to it.
    I absolutely love it and will probably keep it on for the majority of my games from now on, but it certainly would benefit from being expanded.
     
  12. bitula

    bitula Prince

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    Me too. One of my favorite additions in NFP are honey luxury resources and Maize and fertility from wood fires. Of course adding complete new mechanics is even more exciting, but " that we are sick of bonuses" is 100% false in case of myself. I want more-and-more of everything!
     
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  13. Deadly Dog

    Deadly Dog Warlord

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    So far I like the new bonuses, but I do wish there would be some sort of intrigue worked in. I really thought random events/quests were going to be part of the new modes. I also have a concern that too much free stuff flattens out both civ and map differences which in my mind is Civ 6's greatest strength. So I would happily accept some sort of a Malus or Restriction being applied.

    I want to try out all the Societies with several different civs now, even the Hermetic Society. My to do list with civ just got impossibly longer. :lol:
     
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  14. GunsGermsandSteel

    GunsGermsandSteel Warlord

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    I agree with the OP. I see SS as little more than a gimmick that I'll turn on once in a while. It doesn't feel properly fleshed out/secret enough. It's just some more bonuses/buildings/units. It can lend to a certain play style but hardly feel like a secret society with an agenda of their own

    There should have DEFINITELY been some negatives to consider before joining a secret society.
     
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  15. Tigranes

    Tigranes Armenian

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    Again, your post lacks specifics. Why do you like them? Don't you have enough? Game giving you bonuses instead of game giving you some cool stuff to do with is better how? Come on, don't be shy. I am listening.
     
  16. Kupe Navigator

    Kupe Navigator Prince

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    You make it sound like as if players are only once to have them. The opposition can have them too. It offers different styles of gameplay. Also I like concept of buildings.
     
  17. Hunyadi

    Hunyadi Chieftain

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    My only issue with secret societies is that I can't pick it from the beginning. Last night I wanted to play with vampires and had to restart the game 5 times until I finally got the invitation.

    The previous times either the AI beat me to a barb camp or just bad RNG. That was close to 2 hours wasted fishing for the society I wanted to play. I paid for the damn thing, why can't I play the game the way I want to? I want to be able to pick the secret society of my choice from the beginning of the game. This fishing around for perfect scenario is very furstrating.
     
  18. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Negatives were lost with civ5. From there it was “either more of this or more of that”. I don’t mind it. The logic is you can pick only one SSoc so you lose out on others
     
  19. Kupe Navigator

    Kupe Navigator Prince

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    It is worse with hermetic order... yeah it is 100% but fact is you need to find natural wonders. which may or may not appear near to you and in worse cases may be situated opposite to your starting city.
     
  20. Tigranes

    Tigranes Armenian

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    Sorry, but that's not the main point. I didn't say -- "why do I get all this free stuff and AI does not?". I don't say free stuff breaks balance. I say yet another modifier on top of all the existing modifiers is just plain boring. Uninspiring. Not sinister, nothing new or intriguing there. That's the main point of my OP, in case I did not make myself clear.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020

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