Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Enginseer, Mar 15, 2019.
Also Shafer, the civ 5 lead, was a civ 4 modder.
Once I think about what you are saying, it makes sense. The only improvement is that Balance and Fun are compatible in a well designed game.
Balance = linearity steady build and grow
Fun = non linearity beelines and rapid advances
For example linearity means grow and expand gradually and try to win.
Non linearity example is find all these chain of events like a building reveals a specialist that bulbs a tech that upgrades an army that conquers a city state in under five turns say.
A good game has both. Chess sure does. There a millions upon millions of chess players out there that memorise all their opening traps to set for other players where the trap is a non-linear strategy and is extremely well documented with 1000's and 1000's of books on the subject.
VP does have non-linearity but I'm not good enough a player to be able to memorize all of the fun linkages and don't know what they all are - so I tend to play in a linear "slowly" buildup type strategy with accidental opportunities for non-linear fun.
So the problem with VP is that linear players who don't memorize the non-linearities, only ever stumble upon them by accident and there aren't enough of them to make accidental fun strategies common place (like their are in role playing puzzle games like civ6).
But there can't be too many non-linearities otherwise you can't form long term strategies.
But all VP actually needs is to document the the non-linearity strategies that already exist so that players can learn them and apply them in their own games and plan to use them in the future.
Of course the AI has to know how to play the non-linearities as well (EDIT: which it does already well enough in some cases).
Too many non-linearities and the AI can't handle it and the game becomes a role playing mess.
Too few non-linearities and the game becomes a boring linear grow and expand dead game.
There have to be just the right amount of non-linearities and they have to be documented so that players can plan for them.
I've long wanted a list of these fun non linear beeline type strats but I'm not a good enough player to document them all.
I've thought about starting a forum on it but worry that it would end up getting cluttered up.
I just popped in to say I’m really happy to see some of the lurkers posting their thoughts...more perspectives is a great thing.
For that I consider this thread a success
Replayability comes from the fact that a single strategy cannot be consistently used for winning. Otherwise, you just learn one strategy and win, period.
We don't remove overpowered strategies just because they are strong, but because they are strong AND common.
Any combo must come like an opening between moving clogs, done at the right time in the right circumstances. Some of these circumstances can be forced (like gaining a CS ally in the right place) at the cost of something else (like weakening the defense in one of your border cities). This is still a puzzle, a dynamic one. With a big learning curve. And outdated documentation. Well, no one is perfect.
If fun comes from the ability to dominate the game, after struggling a bit, then this is a matter of finding the right difficulty pace. You can tweak it to your liking, by the way. It's quite simple. Check the difficulty file in cbp subfolder.
Don't forget there is another category of lurker (which is a bad word to use) that don't post.
These are the players that are still in the middle of games on older versions that are naturally reluctant to switch to the latest beta builds which would upset games in progress and installation states .
These players cannot contribute to discussion and therefore have no say on the direction of latest builds.
However these players also would have a lot of useful opinions to contribute if they could.
In my opinion it would be polite to this player base to announce (EDIT two weeks) ahead of time that a major game change build will be released for testing so that these players can prepare their gaming lives for that.
While advanced notice of changes would obviously be nice, I don’t think there is a big enough difference between patches for people to be unable to contribute to discussion about the game. Sure, you won’t be able to comment on the new happiness system, but you can still talk about buildings, beliefs, policies, units, civs, etc. etc. Heck, even just post how your current game is going and I’m sure some people will come talk about it with you.
lol I can't even schedule my next week, let alone two weeks ahead
That's fine no probs I'm just making the totally valid comment that with really big changes like the latest change only players that can play it are able to comment on it and that will create a bias in the type of player that can give feedback right at the time when big design decisions are being made. It will bias towards:
players that play quickly in one big slab of time (that don't like micro)
that use settings that allow games to be finished quickly (some settings don't)
players that think they comment on balance without needing to finish games (based on assumptions)
players that prefer a complexity level that supports rapid play.
It shapes what type of mod you will get.
I personally trust the testers that we have got in VP and have to leave it to them and hope that they have the interests of other types of players at heart.
Considering the most recent updates have been a full month apart, it seems strange to ask for more time. A month is plenty of time to make it through a non-marathon game.
I'm still evaluating the empire happiness system that was when I hadn't even fully formed an opinion on the global system that is now extinct. Now we have another happiness system again. I have to trust a hand full of testers that turn over games quickly because the main designer doesn't hand play the game himself. A month is nothing for big changes in a community environment.
Some issues, once identified, can be checked just with AI tests. Also, the change in February introduced the ability to influence the median value, and that added too much unwanted complexity. No need for further tests.
The irony... for a civ veteran, the HEXES feel foreign...
In fact, Sid is recorded somewhere, from the early years, stating that he went SQUARES purposely to convey the clear message that "Civilization is not a wargame" (as hexes are traditionally linked with grognard wargames).
Look where we are now. A game with hexes that pretends to still be an empire building game, but also a war game (and a very bad one at that).
So yes, historically and from experience, I would say that it is the SQUARES that are lost like a midget in a parade.
Now that you tackled the happiness system in a (relatively) radical way, and in the direction of civ 4's... is there any chance you are willing to go all the way and truly make it civ 4 like? As in: every unhappiness net point makes one citizen unhappy, and that citizen is unwilling to work, producing nothing but eating food. That is the civ 4 happiness model, and it was the best in the series so far... easy to understand, easy to try and solve, yet powerful in effects.
The best by which measure?
The civ4 system pushes you to use the Slavery civic in the first phase of the game - sacrificing people for production - which from an immersion point of view is not necessarily everyone's cup of tea.
The negative growth mechanic achieves the same result.
Agreed. Ultimately I still think that Civ 4 had the best economic system of all of the civ games...Civ 5 and 6 included. However, the system required a very specific play requirement:
1) Slavery: You have to be a slaver in Civ 4, the game doesn't really work otherwise. Not only that, but you will Slavery for a very large portion of the game. This one probably could have been solved with rebranding, using the same mechanic but with a different name.
2) Forest Cutting: Forest cutting was key to give you the early hammers needed to set up your infrastructure. You really couldn't "play green" in Civ 4 for the early game.
As long as you were on board with those requirements, the system was awesome...allowing for big bonuses and growth but balanced with systems that kept itself in check. But if you weren't....the game didn't really work...at least not in any competitive way.
Civ 4 and Civ 5's happiness systems have two different aims. Civ 4's system was purely designed to hinder "Tall" growth. It exists to put a cap on how much a city could grow. Wide play was curtailed by the economic system, by making it expensive to maintain new cities. You had to grow your economic engine to have enough money to then support another city.
Civ 5's happiness system pulls double duty. It is both trying to curb aggressive wide expansion and ensure that cities develop proper infrastructure throughout the game. So for those reasons, you can't use the exact same system...even though I did like Civ 4's quite a bit.
I don't think so. The unhappy, non-working citizen is NOT working a useful tile nor a specialist slot. It's far more punishing than penalties. And easier to see, and manage. But I just asked a question, if there is no willingness nor chance to try it now that it is closer to possible, fair enough.
Civ4's is more punishing, but the model was also built around wholly different numbers in terms of food, production, etc - I think they're a bit too different to attempt a 1:1, and I'm not sure it would benefit VP to do so.
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