1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

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

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

  1. Kupe Navigator

    Kupe Navigator Prince

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Messages:
    533
    Gender:
    Male
    I like it because it is a "new toy to play with?" I can take my civ into brand new direction.
     
    Noble Zarkon and Banazir864 like this.
  2. AriochIV

    AriochIV Colonial Ninja

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,914
    Location:
    Nehwon
    While drawbacks may lead to interesting decisions, plain negatives don't equate to interesting gameplay any more than simple bonuses do. Particularly in the case of an optional feature, if there isn't a clear advantage to using it, most players simply won't.

    Unfortunately, I think the optional nature of Game Modes (and the evident requirement that they must be quick and extremely cheap to develop) limits the degree to which they can deeply interact with and change core gameplay.
     
  3. ezzlar

    ezzlar Emperor

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2001
    Messages:
    1,684
    If you struggle with the game I am sure you would welcome more bonuses.

    The envoy system could have been an interesting choice. But mostly I would have preferred something like "side with them, if you are willing to pay the price. You would be truly desperate if you did".

    I don't like when the game turns into a Young Adult fantasy book where all hard and dark choices are gone.

    The solution? Thanks for the mechanic but enable some deep modding so we all can have the kind of SS we are longing for.
     
    acluewithout likes this.
  4. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,332
    Location:
    Germany
    Two things surprised me, when we learned how SS actually work:

    1) They actually added more governor titles to the game rather than splitting the existing ones between the desire to join a SS and promote/adopt a "conventional" governor. This eliminated an opportunity cost that would have made embracing a SS an "interesting decision".

    2) The SS "leaders" are not present at the map. Why that? There could have been both: opportunity cost and risk!
    - SS leaders occupying a city's governor spot would have excluded this city from possible governor benefits - an opportunity cost.
    - The hideouts of "physical" SS leaders could have been searched for by spies, possibly by special missions, possibly by simply gaining city intelligence. Depending on the number of enemy cities, this might take a while. On the other hand: With enough insight, all cities with governors will be known, reducing the possible cities that might host the SS headquarters.
    - A discovered SS leader could decide to willingly relocate the headquarters, nullifying some (or all) of the SS benefits for the time of the relocation. Or he could decide to stay in place and hope, that the following enemy mission will fail:
    - Discovered SS leaders could be eliminated by spies, just like governors. This will lead either to a prolonged loss of SS gains - or even a malus, related to the SS's nature (-5% income, research, faith. Vampires: -5 HP/turn or loss in city growth/production. Maybe not exactly that, but something in this ballpark.).

    Adopting a SS could therefore possibly involve a real risk to counterbalance all the gains. And spark a worthwhile spying game with high rewards for the player busting an enemie's SS HQ.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  5. blackcatatonic

    blackcatatonic Queen of Meme

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
    Messages:
    3,398
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    UK
    This. I think a lot of players are forgetting this.

    I would definitely have liked a more complex implementation of Secret Societies but I never really expected one - we have been explicitly told to think of these as 'ice cream toppings' to add a bit of flavour to the game, and that we can conceivably have all of them active at once. So it's hard to think that any of them will be particularly deep or complex.
     
    Weraptor likes this.
  6. Casualty of war

    Casualty of war Warlord

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Messages:
    299
    The negative is the diplomatic hit you take if you aren't the same Secret Society as a neighboring civ. It's worse than mismatched governments.
     
    8housesofelixir likes this.
  7. CoconutTank

    CoconutTank Unapologetic Warmonger Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2014
    Messages:
    298
    Location:
    Macro Land
    I think bonuses are fine if they are mutually exclusive choices. Each building built at each tier of the Gov't Plaza is a meaningful choice, but on their own they're usually all upside (with the exception of the Audience Chamber, which imo probably shouldn't need that malus). Similarly, choosing to join one particular Secret Society means not joining other Secret Societies and getting their bonuses. Being able to secure and leverage advantages sounds much cooler than having to play around explicit disadvantages. If anything, the elimination threads demonstrate how certain advantages are more meaningful, either due to the state of the metagame, or for certain victory types, or within specific eras of a session. It's almost as if... relative lack of advantage is a disadvantage.

    But y'know I guess I'm not a civ6 player huehuehue
     
    Noble Zarkon likes this.
  8. Pietato

    Pietato Emperor

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,709
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Heaping bonuses upon bonuses is why the game ends at turn 200, and why the later eras are never-seen fairy tales.
     
    acluewithout and 8housesofelixir like this.
  9. oSiyeza

    oSiyeza Prince

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Messages:
    508
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Spain
    If everything is a bonus, a bonus means nothing. When every mechanic works the same, different mechanics mean nothing.

    Every decission you make, every direction every promotion, dedication, inspiration, government, governor, amenity effect, legacy government, policy card, competition prize, pantheon, city state, wonder, building, world congress resolution, land improvement, Secret Society, alliance, unique hability, unique unit, adjacency... everything is a bonus. Even disasters give bonuses...

    Why everything is a bonus? Maybe cause adding +1 in a line of code costs almost nothing.

    The more they add to the game, the easier it is to see there is barely anything inspired, interesting or unique. The easier it is to see the flaws and the little care and effort fxs is putting in so many aspects of the game.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  10. glider1

    glider1 Deity

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,832
    Location:
    Where animals hop not run
    Problem with opportunity cost decisions is you have to carefully program the AI so that it can nuance the decision. So instead of writing AI code to any depth they give bonuses to everything so that the AI stumbles across bonuses. It is a sad design decision but not enough players complain about it unfortunately.
     
    Tigranes likes this.
  11. Red Adept

    Red Adept Warlord

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    133
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX, USA
    Bearing in mind that it's just a game mode, so what we got is something that could be turned on or off easily. That being said. I like the Secret Societies.

    Could they be better and more in depth? Gods, yes! One thing I miss from Beyond Earth (aside from the tech web) is the quest challenges. Civ VI feels too linear. There aren't a lot of choices and the Secret Societies just add to that. Aside from which SS you choose (or none, if you just want the extra governors), there's no 'choice' in the matter. Giving a fleshed out governorship with different pathways to tailor the SS to the game you're playing would require more enmeshed programming with the core game.

    Even a choice after the fact, of choosing another SS, losing all invested governor spots and starting out at the beginning would be interesting. You choose one society, but see that the map isn't suited to the choice... or your closest rivals are all of the opposing SS, it could make for more interesting gameplay to be able to repent and choose a different SS.

    In the games I've played, I have yet to unlock the 4th SS level... that's just a waste. Drop it down to the Information Age at least.
     
  12. CoconutTank

    CoconutTank Unapologetic Warmonger Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2014
    Messages:
    298
    Location:
    Macro Land
    Err, I guess it's true that a bonus means nothing, if it's the same as every other bonus and every decision involving that bonus is the same. This opinion doesn't make sense to me though, given that (for example) playing for a Science Victory with the Mayans will be pretty different compared to playing for a SV with the Zulu. The bonuses for Synthetic Technocracy are probably better tuned for a SV than Corporate Libertarianism is, as another example. And well placed Campuses with Rationalism will do more for SV than Professional Army will. It's true that there are lots of bonuses, but it's hard to believe that the bonuses mean nothing.

    On a separate note, I don't know what your programming experience is like, but I'd not assume that adding a modifier would always be a simple thing to do.
    I do wish that the AI was a bit more intelligent about what it is doing. I imagine being able to streamline some choices could give the AI less to process, while also reducing some toil for players.
    ...? Aren't all the Master Plan titles for Secret Societies unlocked by entering the Atomic Era? That's the era before the Information Era iirc.
     
    Noble Zarkon likes this.
  13. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

    Joined:
    May 10, 2003
    Messages:
    2,567
    Location:
    Germany
    Worse than mismatched governments?

    DivGovPenalty.jpg

    And he isn't even Ideolouge...

    AgendasOfMenelik.jpg
     
    AsH2 likes this.
  14. AriochIV

    AriochIV Colonial Ninja

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Messages:
    5,914
    Location:
    Nehwon
    Yeah... except... that mismatch has been there since the initial release.
     
  15. oSiyeza

    oSiyeza Prince

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Messages:
    508
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Spain
    Of course I was a bit hyperbolic. I dont say there is no place for bonus, but every mechanic being a numeric modifier is a lazy careless uninspired way to do things.

    Mechanics should change if posible the way you play, or at least provide meaningful inmersive choices. For example diplomatic choices for opening and closing air, naval, or civil borders, WC resolutions that allow for a global comercial ban to a country or to declare a world war, spy missions to infiltrate a silo and trigger a nuclear warhead on a false flag attack or infiltrate a military base to reveal the position or military units, abilities that allow workers to automate repairs or to build roads, wonders or specialization options that allow cities to claim more land or to have more copies of some districts, appease the gods competitions were a plague is unleashed on the loser, options to conquer a city state as a puppet city that you dont need to micromanage ... Those are the kind of mechanics the game should have and FXS refuses to add at every turn. Going in almost in every case for flat, boring, most of the time pointless numeric modifiers that almost invariably only bring positive consequences.

    Regarding my programming experience, I have a PhD in computer science and teach videogame design at university, and I can tell you with full confidence that too many of the civ mechanics have zero work, effort or thought behind them. But honestly almost anyone can see the problem with the general approach Fxs is taking.

    That is not saying the game is bad or completely unfun. Only that it is but a pale shadow of what could have been.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
    Tigranes likes this.
  16. Pietato

    Pietato Emperor

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,709
    Location:
    New Zealand
  17. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Deity

    Joined:
    May 10, 2003
    Messages:
    2,567
    Location:
    Germany
    Communism. Since he is not the only leader with this huge penalty and it seems to affect a lot of those with T3 / T4 goverments I have filed a bug report.
     
  18. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    9,321
    Location:
    France
    I agree that the first modes have surely been "quick and cheap" to develop, but I don't fully agree that the optional nature limits them that much (ie just being new modifiers).

    While I'm part of the people who think that they have surely moved most of the development team away from civ6 and they are just trying now to sell at the price of a full expansion something that cost them far less to develop, we can be wrong, and the title of the leaked game mode ("Alternate Economy") can give hope that it's not just another layer of bonuses allowing one to brag on Reddit about how much yields he can get out of a single tile, but something deeper that was not "quick and cheap to develop" (and so not one of the first released modes)

    But then, yes, the nature of the modes would mean that a much more needed "Alternate Diplomacy" mode could not interact enough with an "Alternate Economy" mode, and IMO that's the main reason why the NFP is a bad design idea for those who were still hopping for core gameplay changes.
     
    glider1, GrumboMumbo, Zaarin and 5 others like this.
  19. glider1

    glider1 Deity

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    2,832
    Location:
    Where animals hop not run
    If the AI were a keen intelligence you would notice a lot less linearity. Current 4x design philosophy is to build a weak AI that survives on stumbling upon accidental bonuses at a rate that keeps it competitive. The weaker the AI the more bonuses need to be added into the game which means humans will also stumble across them which turns the game into a bucket filling exercise. It can only be fixed with better AI's or multiplayer. Secret Societies is yet another example of how to build a game mechanic around a weak but cheap to build AI.
     

Share This Page