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Slavery in BNW

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by moysturfurmer, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Biologist

    Biologist Researcher

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    I'm not sure it's a controversy issue so much as a profit expectations issue that would keep Firaxis from adding a slavery mechanic of some kind to BNW. They would certainly keep it low-key; we're not going to see a bullet point on the shiny BNW box that says "Brave New World: Now with 30% more slavery!"

    The vast majority of people probably aren't going to be excited enough by a slavery mechanic to buy the game simply for that, and it doesn't really make sense as an attempted selling point compared to all the other major stuff planned for the expansion. Therefore, resources are better spent elsewhere.

    Could a non-intrusive mechanic be introduced to model the effects of slavery on human history, as in Civ III and Civ IV? Yes, but it probably wouldn't be worth the time and effort to add in, and it would likely feel tacked-on. If anything, the concept might see representation as a social policy.
     
  2. Sid Simelia

    Sid Simelia Warlord

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    I think slavery as a policy choice could be very interesting, seeing as how policy choices are supposed to effect diplomatic relations. I'm also intrigued by the American Civil War scenario, will slaves fight in those wars? The scenario could tie a lot of new features in together to teach some of the new mechanics to the player.
     
  3. Torwaechter

    Torwaechter Chieftain

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    Yes - Civil War and Scramble for Africa is literally cyring for some slavery mechanism. Probably low-key, but it would be very strange to not include it at all as if it had never existed and as if it had never been part of human nature...

    And recognizing that slavery and post-slavery racism is quite a topic in the US these days ("The Help", "Lincoln", "Django Unchained", next up for next Academy Awards round: "12 Years a Slave") I don't think Firaxis could shy away completely. Civilization has always been an educational game and here is some lesson to learn. The Africa scenario should not only be about conquering.

    Slavery as Social Policy is a good idea, but it should have severe consequences (great benefits and huge penalties).
     
  4. aluelkdf

    aluelkdf Prince

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    Slaves provide cheap labor, but they are probably not as efficient as paid workers. Paid workers have more pride in their work and are more motivated to be productive. Slaves only work because they are forced to, and don't have the same motivation as a paid worker. So slavery may have some benefits (especially for expanding in the ancient and classical eras), but by the modern era slavery would probably hurt you more than help you.

    Even without the civil war, slavery would have probably been done away with eventually anyway. Because it economically doesn't make sense. Its a lot cheaper to buy a tractor and pay somebody to operate it, than it is to feed and shelter 1000 slaves. And you know that your tractor will never revolt against you.
     
  5. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    Why is everyone obsessed with having slaves as workers? Slaves, be it in ancient Rome or in 18th century America, were not mainly used to build roads and erect mines. They worked in those mines and farms/plantations instead.

    It seems to me that a far better model of slavery is one that (temporarily) increases the yield that a city can get from working mines/farms/plantations.
     
  6. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    How about this?

    When you defeat an enemy unit or city they have a small chance (which might go to as low as 0 with the right SPs, higher with more pro-slavery SPs/ideologies/wonders) of generating a slave unit, which is a civilian unit.
    This unit cannot do anything other than build an improvement that consumes the unit. The improvements it can build are called a "slave mine", "slave farm" and "slave plantation". The rules for where they can be built are as for the normal versions, but the slave version gives +2 production/food/gold compared to the normal version. After 30 turns (or more, with the right SP, etc...), the slave version turns back into the normal version.

    Effect: Slaves can be used to hugely boost the output of a city, making a bigger difference in the early eras than the later ones. The amount of slaves you can use is limited by your cities population, so there is a limit as to how many slaves you can use. As they burn out, however, the benefit doesn't last a very long time and you have to be constantly at war to keep the flow coming (see Aztecs).

    Should also be very easy to implement, and fits with existing mechanisms comfortably.
     
  7. Loaf Warden

    Loaf Warden (no party affiliation)

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    I don't see why the effects of using slaves would automatically fade with time. Slavery tends to be pretty firmly entrenched in those societies which make use of it. I really think it should be social policies/ideologies that make the difference, with penalties for happiness and diplomatic standing once emancipation starts to appear in later eras. (And an option for the World Congress to ban it altogether.)

    I also don't agree that war should be the only way to get slaves. The Europeans didn't capture Africans to take to the New World; they bought them. And then bred them.
     
  8. Jimjemael

    Jimjemael Chieftain

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    To be honest I would still prefer the mechanic to function as it did in Civ 4. The ability to sacrifice population for production was great as a flexible last resort. Or if you're going wide.
     
  9. Leugi

    Leugi Supreme Libertador

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    Yeah, I would say that instead of fading with time, make the penalties grow heavier with time... And some ideologies make such penalties on influenced enemy civs higher, while other ideologies make such penalties lower.
     
  10. headcase

    headcase Limit 1 Facepalm Per Turn

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    Slavery is a tough call. It's a sensitive issue, and can be somewhat glossed over (tradition can be imagined as partly slavery, and captured workers can be imagined as slaves, for example). Make it OP, it can make the game cynical. Make it UP, hardly anyone will want to use it. Making it useful depending on the situation is better, but still problematic especially as an SP which tend to stay to the end of the game as of G+K.

    Anyway,

    Available at: Ancient Era

    Focus: Workers, wealth, domestic luxuries

    Opener: Upon capturing or taking as tribute a worker or settler not originally from your civ, you will be given the choice to take them as a slave unit instead of a worker unit. Slave units cost no maintenance, but have -1 sight.

    1) Exploitation - Captured cities provide a slave unit the first time they are captured, and barb camps have a 50% chance of providing a slave unit (in addition to any worker\settler units captured).

    2) Human Trafficking - requires 1 - Can produce and purchase slaves at a cost similar to a worker. Can "upgrade" workers to slaves. (The cost would be nominal like upgrading to mech infantry: 10 gold. The removal of maintenance will pay that back quickly.)

    3) Indentured Servitude - Slaves build improvements x% faster (change of Liberty SP from free worker + 25% building to free worker and +2 movement range for all workers)

    4) Indoctrination - requires 2 and 3 - +1 :c5gold: gold and +1 :c5food: growth from luxury resources. The -1 sight penalty is removed from slave units.

    5) Slave Trade - Deleting slave units that were originally from another civ yields much more :c5gold: gold than usual.

    Closer: Cities with a population of 5 or more can sacrifice 1 population for a certain substantial number of instant :c5production: production.

    We're not sure how ideologies exactly work yet, but if it fits, have a tenet in Freedom that causes +1 :c5unhappy: unhappiness and other penalties for each slave unit held by influenced civs, to try to somehow curb it a bit later into the game.
     
  11. gunnergoz

    gunnergoz Cat Herder

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    It is not my "irrational fear" of "PC" that we are discussing, however so you can let that straw man argument die right there. What I am alluding to is the fact that, once the media grab on to a controversial subject and start beating their drums about it, companies' stock prices can plummet and CEO's start losing their bonuses.

    There is no telling in advance what might happen if Firaxis did announce it planned to include slavery in the game: furthermore, I am not claiming that for sure a media brouhaha would ensue; only that the investors and managers of Firaxis have proven to be sensitive to certain socially touchy subjects in the past and have shown a distinct tendency to avoid controversy. For a recent example, take what recently went down with the Native American tribe (was it the Hopi?) that did not wish to be represented in Civ V. When Firaxis heard of the objections, they immediately pulled that out of the game.

    This is not about "imagined" PC issues, this is about what happens in the real world when a company feels it cannot maintain a positive reputation in the marketplace: it generally alters its behavior to conform more to what the public approves of.
     
  12. God of Kings

    God of Kings Ruler of all heads of state

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    gunnergoz, you meant the Pueblo.

    Anyways, regarding slavery, its mechanics can be used as a UA for the Confederates in the ACW scenario, as well as a social policy in the Scramble for Africa.

    However, the slavery mechanic should be done implicitly.
     
  13. Art Grin

    Art Grin Emperor

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    To be honest, I never used slavery in Civ4 and I'm not missing it in Civ5.
    But a way they could implement it into the game is by having it be a social policy( maybe in the new Exploration tree) or one of the new African civs can have a slave-trade based UA.
    Maybe something like:
    Slavers:
    Upon defeating an enemy unit have a 50% chance of capturing it as a slave(worker replacement)). Slaves gifted to other civilizations or city-states provide :c5gold:.
    Slaves suffer -1 :c5moves: and can be sacrificed for :c5production: or to rush an improvement.
     
  14. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    The idea with them fading is that, simply put, slaves die. Sure, they reproduce too, but generally not a rate fast enough to keep the population constant, specially in places like mines or plantations.

    Being able to buy them is interesting, not sure how that would work though. Maybe you can sell slaves you've captured to another civilization? (Effectively what west african tribes did).
     
  15. Carl5872

    Carl5872 Prince

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    This may be overly complicated, but many slaves were taken from conquered nations. So what you could do is have the option to enslave conquered civs. Basically when you capture a city, you have the option to enslave 1 worker of every (pick a number, arbitrarily, 5) population rounded down. Now in history you couldnt just raid a strong empire and take slaves. Typically it was conquered or dominated nations that were victims of slavery, and to illustrate this, you may only take slaves from a civ AFTER you have taken its capital.

    Mechanically heres how it would work:

    I am at war with Rome. I capture Antium - nothing different happens than as it is now.

    I then take the capital city of Rome, which is a population of 9. Since it is deemed to be of conquered or weakened status, I now have the option to enslave. Using the 5 population per slave limit rounded down, I could take one slave. If I do heres what would happen:

    -Rome drops to 8 population (ignoring the population lost for actually capturing the city as it works now).
    -I receive one slave worker a unit exactly like my built workers, but is designated as a roman slave.
    -I receive a diplo penalty from Rome (this could also be extended to other civs who have been victims of slavery, and also those adopting Freedom)
    -As an added twist, Should Rome (the civ) ever recapture its capital, it slaves would turn into Roman soldiers (assigned similar to the way city states gift units) so in the medieval period you may get a pikeman or a crossbowman. Rome would also be able to pay gold to upgrade these rebel-slaves. So if you got a warior in the early period from inciting your slaves to revolt, you could pay an iron and some gold to upgrade them to a legion.

    Just a thought but I think it would be really cool.

    (lol never thought Id say slavery would be cool, but Civ DOES make you sound like a raging biggot "you know the world would be so much better without the chinese" or "the spread of Christianity is really pissing me off, I want to wipe them off the map" (and no I dont have anything against either of the above examples)
     
  16. Loaf Warden

    Loaf Warden (no party affiliation)

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    That's not necessarily true. In the United States, to take the example most familiar to me personally, slaves reproduced quite consistently. Families weren't always kept together, depending on the dispositions of individual slave owners, but slave populations overall went up, not down. By the dawn of the Civil War, slaves made up a considerable percentage of the Southern population, and in some states were even a small majority. (Source)

    Remember, Americans didn't conduct slave raids on other nations. We imported some as trade goods, but by the 19th century most were locally born. Just look at the establishment of Liberia, decades before the Civil War. It was a scheme to send freed slaves "back" to their "homeland", but the people who were sent there had never been to Africa in their lives. They had been born and raised in America, and thought of themselves as Americans.

    (I understand my example is Ameri-centric, and not all slave societies worked the same way. Heck, in Rome you could sell yourself into slavery if you were desperate enough, and actually get released if you saved up the money to buy your freedom. So I know there's not just one model for slavery that's been used everywhere. I'm just saying the idea that slaves don't reproduce enough to keep the numbers up is not really true, historically.)

    I would think they could be traded, like Iron or Silks or anything else. And once received, they should be kept even when the trade agreement ends, to represent that they're now part of the local population and are being "bred" to keep their numbers up. It should be changing attitudes reflected in ideologies and diplomatic modifiers that make slavery become untenable later on, not a gradual disappearance due to lack of continued raiding.
     
  17. Eru Ilúvatar

    Eru Ilúvatar Chieftain

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    Slavery must be on, but must has good and bad consequences. It would be good it it increases the production and decays the gold imput.
     
  18. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

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    The reason why slavery (also in it's modern forms) is so hart to overcome, is that it is actually so profitable!
     
  19. Eru Ilúvatar

    Eru Ilúvatar Chieftain

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    In fact, the end of slavery has more to do with the expenses to mantain it than to nobility. Selling slaves is of course profitable, but keeping them alive and effective in their work not quite so. Free folk produce more and cost less. The industrial revolution was only possible with the end of slavery, since you spend less to keep a free worker with a (usually bad) payment, than to provide food, lodge and water to a slave. Slavery was lucrative as a business, but nothing more. Slavery, as a meaning of life, was very expensive.
     
  20. Eru Ilúvatar

    Eru Ilúvatar Chieftain

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    Sid Meyer's colonization shows with the free colonists, prisioners and servants productivity something like that.
     

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