Suggestions for improving the late-game? [hypo:Civ7]

Bonyduck Campersang

Village Idiot
Dec 11, 2022
How would you design Civilization VII in a way that the late-game doesn't become a mind-numbing just-click-next automation? I don't know how it is with other people, but I lose any interest and excitement towards the end of the game (which is why I have only finished a handful of games across both CiV and CiVI).
My problem with Civ is my problem with "4X" in general in that it reaches a point where gobbling up a simple majority of living space and/or resources on a given map will always make you the clear winner. I'd much rather have a game where things happen to the player by chance, rather than having that player in a game of basically Hungry Hungry Hippos with other AI.

In Sim City 2, 3, and 4 (for example)(the ones I played), the turn counter actually stops when a disaster like fire strikes and you have to extinguish it before any more taxes are collected and any more city growth happens. Making problems something you have to deal with before you can progress, rather than something you manage while progressing, would go a long way in holding your attention until the very end.

Of course this could effectively mean scrapping the turn counter and with it research costs; but I'd propose simply throttling it midgame as your heart desires.
In Deity, when I come to go until then without discouragement or simply loss (early AI aggression), I always hold my breath as to who would be the first to reach the stars first. My main problem comes with production outputs, my cities are generally not superpower houses like it could be to other players. :dunno:
My 10 tips:

1- Cut out the Atomic Age and make previous ages longer.
2- Avoid snowball. Make scientific progress tied to other things to prevent a civilization from rushing ahead.
3- Make the AI be more aggressive in the final ages.
4- Make Ideologies a big thing that strongly impacts diplomacy.
5- Make the Industrial Revolution a big thing that "restarts" the game. Even if a civilization is ahead, if it doesn't make an effort and employ resources in its industrialization, it will be overtaken.
6- Add big world events, such as big sporting events, world fairs and the like, but that generate big impacts.
7- Increase the amount of districts, buildings and wonders that are unlocked at the end of the game, but make them viable to build.
8- Create "world wars" based on ideological agreements between civilizations.
9- Add corporations. Companies should stimulate the scientific and cultural progress of civilizations, neglecting them could be a problem.
10- Remove global warming, please.
The game really needs to change up as you go along. By the time you get to the late game it should feel like a race to say, one of 3 remaining victory conditions (economic victory, science victory, cultural victory). By the time you hit the last ages, say once nukes are discovered, military victory should be almost impossible (the AI will perforce nuke you if you get even close to conquering it), forcing you to race towards other victory conditions, and wars/ever heavier trade/cultural diplomacy (trade and cultural wars should definitely be a thing) be a tool to try and slow others down while you get to your victory. By the end trade/cultural stuff should be so valuable you almost can't win without it, but it also leaves you vulnerable to cultural fights/leaks out your scientific advantage/lets other claw towards economic victory.

Make the game really start to level out the playing field as ages advance by making science/cultural advancement ever easier and/or "leak out" through trade. Make really big military gains either as a victory or even as a means of crushing your opponents chances means you can't just crush other civs militarily and then dawdle your way to another victory. And making sure the AI is aggressively pursuing a clear path to victory will put real pressure on you to race towards your chosen victory in meaningful way.

Starting Age.
Start the game at about 6000 or 8000 BCE. Set the time increments to about 10 years per-turn. This will help Cities develop properly. And be more prepared for the upcoming ages

Let there be more than one item researched in a city at a time. Have different areas be addressed simultaneously, in each city, as is done in real life. Areas can be categorized as Agriculture, Governmental, Commerce, Defenses. More tasks will be complete by the time we get to the Modern ages.

Changing Leadership
Let each Civilization have the option of switching to a more modern Leader during the game.
1. Longer eras
2. Multiple research project slots. prioritizations affect reserach speed that one with the top most priority finishes first.
3. TRULY combined arms units. one of the very OUT OF PLACE units in Mid to Late games and never deployes as separate battalion/regiments are...
- Musketeers (or Musketmen); enables with TECH_GUNPOWDER. and preceeds Canon/Bombards, in truth it other ways around (First known cannon. Late 14th Century, First big bombard, mid 14th Century, First matchlock guns 1470s I think if I remember correctly. but early infantry with firearms rarely deploys in the field as single units. these weapons are not so accurate (effective range 50 meters at max) and yet very slow ROF (matchlock arquebuses / muskets has 1 round per minute even in a hand of skillful person), each of handgunners are vulnerable when reloading, even successive volleys of any kind still insufficient particularly in case of enemy cavalry charges. generally they're paired with pikemen and deployed in the same formation. Pike and Shotte.
if they're deployed as homogenous unit they tend to be skirmishers or behind fortifications of any kind.
- Machineguns; Only Soviet Union in the WW2 organizes an entire regiment of MGs, still with regimental artillery of some kind including antitanks. these units are organized so that it can fight in defensive warfare effectively with less maximum fighting men than generic infantry regiments (roughtly 25% less).
No one else in the world does this. MGs are part of Infantry, and Cavalry units since their inceptions in 1890s. all of these around the same time are already equipped with Breech loading rifles and carbines at minimum, many even start using magazine rifles using smokeless propellants, something that reduced the importants of linear drills to ceremony and disciplines, and put a rendered classic cavalry charge a tradition to become extict.
- Antitank guns and bazooka; again, parts of Infantry and Cavalry units (including mechanized variants) and no separate regiments of its own.
- Antiaircraft. I Hardly see a separte regiments of AA units. they're parts of every other regiments. be there Infantry, Cavalry, Armored, or even artillery
- Drones: UAV and UGVs. they're ancillaries not separate units. and very much disposable since it has no pilot inside. some are remote controlled, others are AIs. UAVs are deadly against even most advanced tanks (Modern Armor or MBTs) still in service
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The early game is when you do most of your planning. Expansion and city building are the two main things, but exploration is also interesting. As society develops into modern times and expansion and exploration are mostly winding down, as it is now, early cities will already be highly developed and later cities are less critical. The end game is more about reaping the rewards of your earlier decisions.

I think that there should be many choices about what a civilization can choose to accomplish once the modern era is reached and the explosion of technological possibilities emerge.

They could shift to a modern times technology tree. It would include all of the major achievements of the 20th century and 21st century and also include projected advancements in AI. The world eventually enters an era of robotics and androids that far exceeds what we see today.

Late era city building and planning would help. There could be late era districts to be chosen. Building infrastructure like rails and ihighways could be more costly and slow to build but greatly multiply yields in connected cities. Getting the infrastructure built is a key to producing a modern civilization.

More interesting trade and diplomacy between nations. The ability of the AI to engage in a global world war in a competitive and competent way.
instill the expectation that you will lose. no matter how well you matter how far you can see ahead...your empire will die.

to balance this out, you make the player able to control any current community that has their culture. Rome dies, and gets to play as the Franks, Visigoths, or the Eastern Romans.
A general design that highlight each era with their own relevant aspect, providing the opportunities for some civs to overtake previous powers changing the Status Quo. This model is based in two era's cicles of similar focus sucession like this:

- EXPLORATION 1 (Neolithic Era): Tribes moving around to find the best place to build your early cities, technologies of adaptation like agriculture.
- GROWTH 1 (Ancient Era): Build infrastructure like irrigation networks, quarries, ports, monuments, palaces, temples, etc. (Sumer, Egypt, Harappa, etc.)
- CONFRONTATION 1 (Classical Era): Agressive militar expansion over smaller factions and againts others empires (Persia, Macedonia, Rome, Maurya, Qing/Han)
- VINCULATION 1 (Medieval Era): Build common alliances on religion and dynastic relations to resist rival groups (Crusades, Caliphates, Khans, etc.)
- EXPLORATION 2 (Renaissance Era): New naval technology to reach whole new continents full of new resources to claim (Spain, Portugal, Dutch, etc.)
- GROWTH 2 (Industrial Era): The scientific advance allow to mechanize the production, fast population and city growing (Industrialization of UK, Germany, Japan, etc.)
- CONFRONTATION 2 (Around WW2): Direct massive, mechanized and fast war between world powers.
- VINCULATION 2 (Contemporary): The threat of total nuclear annhilation, the spread of humanistic values and the economic globalization induce to the use of more soft ways to secure your supremacy.
How would you design Civilization VII in a way that the late-game doesn't become a mind-numbing just-click-next automation? I don't know how it is with other people, but I lose any interest and excitement towards the end of the game (which is why I have only finished a handful of games across both CiV and CiVI).

Improve the early game, with tons of tech trees and mechanics that are impossible to study all by any one single civs.
late games would differ quite dramatically.
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