Terrain Features: Does Civ VI or VII need more?

Would you like similar additional Features in Civ?

  • Brush / Dry forests

    Votes: 20 58.8%
  • Meadows / Moors

    Votes: 11 32.4%
  • Mangrove / Swamp

    Votes: 20 58.8%
  • Kelp Forests / Algal Blooms

    Votes: 11 32.4%
  • Hazardous Ice & Reef

    Votes: 11 32.4%
  • Other (please state)

    Votes: 7 20.6%
  • No. It already works well & looks good.

    Votes: 3 8.8%

  • Total voters
    34

SandFli

Chieftain
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
53
Based on everyone's ideas on Page 1, and some research, I’ve started making a (possibly overcomplicated) table of options (not for Civ VI).
VERY EARLY START FOR UPDATE/FEEDBACK.
Hunting, Herding, Gathering and Farming mechanics are under work, plus Flood Plains, Oasis, Volcanoes/Earthquakes/Tectonic value.
Aims: better balance between terrains; climate specific resources; weather able to alter environment (& vice versa); new collecting mechanics; graphic immersion without disturbing interface.

upload_2021-4-12_19-59-42.png


Wind, Heat & Rain factors derive/create a map-wide, regionally generated weather system over tiles.
Wind helps to create the size/scale of the climate, and drives the directional pressure of waves, naval movement & natural disasters.
Heat & Rain values on tiles are basically either high (+1), medium (0), or low (-1). This determines the base Terrain.
Variation occurs in the form of greater or lesser values (+/-1, 0.5, 0.1), whether by Weather, adjacency or random rounding.
This determines the certainty or probability of the emergence and type of Features (such as Forests & Plains).
Such deviations allow creating regional biomes, environmental transitions, and microclimate fluctuations.

Forest features allow hunting and gathering, regardless of base terrain.
Plains features also allow planting crops and herding animals found on same terrain type.
Featureless terrain allows improvement of resources already present (as standard in Civ VI, V,..).
Forest and Plains type terrains are easy to determine, the former with trees, the latter, low-lying shrubs or grasses.
Terrain without the above features are ‘clean’ and featureless; Highlands and Lowlands display clear topography.


Highland prevalence over a region adds extreme elevations (+1.5-2), making Mountains and Canyons/Cliffs.
Continuous Lowland areas (-1.5-2) could more often fill with water, making Oceans & Lakes.
Those water tiles between Coast and Land make a Delta/Estuary (ships can 'beach'), or making Rivers if on land.
Still thinking through Highlands and Lowlands.. A geological / tectonic force might help in addition to wind.
 
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mdl5000

King
Joined
Sep 21, 2012
Messages
627
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
- I guess we're all waiting for Humankind. The ability to have many more elevations will give us things like cliffs and valleys and plateaus and depressions which we haven't seen in Civ yet.

- There are also many sea obstacles to consider. As mentioned, trade winds. But also moving icebergs, doldrums, shoals and reefs, various storms, scurvy (!). Your first ships trying to move across the oceans should have a difficult time, and only when you've traveled one route long enough will these many obstacles subside. (Sort of like how Civ 6 gives you better roads as time goes on). You will eventually be a specialist of your particular sea trade routes. And if any other player wants that, they would have to essentially buy access to that route. Or try to map it themselves.
 
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- I guess we're all waiting for Humankind. The ability to have many more elevations will give us things like cliffs and valleys and plateaus and depressions which we haven't seen in Civ yet.

- There are also many sea obstacles to consider. As mentioned, trade winds. But also moving icebergs, doldrums, shoals and reefs, various storms, scurvy (!). Your first ships trying to move across the oceans should have a difficult time, and only when you've traveled one route long enough will these many obstacles subside. (Sort of like how Civ 6 gives you better roads as time goes on). You will eventually be a specialist of your particular sea trade routes. And if any other player wants that, they would have to essentially buy access to that route. Or try to map it themselves.

Call it the 'Rutter Factor' representing personal knowledge of the route(s) by your sea captains and pilots. Up until the late Industrial Era, you could make a case for this being one of the primary influences on sea transport and exploration: the accumulated knowledge amongst your own seamen versus anybody elses.
 

Phrozen

King
Joined
May 7, 2012
Messages
994
It needs malus for terrain types likes swamps, jungle, or even thick forest. Swamps of course are hard to travel through in large numbers and have multiple disease vectors. Jungles again are hard to travel through in large numbers. Thick forest is a malus for anybody trying to travel in a large organized group.

We kinda have the wrong idea about terrain due to fantasy and Hollywood. Most of the Yucatan jungle around Mayan cities was clear cut or slash and burned so it wasn't jungle anymore. Forests surrounding villages or roads was a managed thing with the brush being cleared to attract animals the nobles/villagers wanted to hunt and to simple making getting lumber out of the forest easier.
 
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It needs malus for terrain types likes swamps, jungle, or even thick forest. Swamps of course are hard to travel through in large numbers and have multiple disease vectors. Jungles again are hard to travel through in large numbers. Thick forest is a malus for anybody trying to travel in a large organized group.

We kinda have the wrong idea about terrain due to fantasy and Hollywood. Most of the Yucatan jungle around Mayan cities was clear cut or slash and burned so it wasn't jungle anymore. Forests surrounding villages or roads was a managed thing with the brush being cleared to attract animals the nobles/villagers wanted to hunt and to simple making getting lumber out of the forest easier.

In general, Humans have been modifying the landscape around them since before there were modern Humans. The ability to manage fire not only allowed cooked food and warming fireplaces, but also burning off unwanted vegetation, driving animals in desired directions (like, off a cliff) and otherwise modifying grasslands, brush and forest.
But, and I think more important in the game, there were specific Human activities and technologies that contributed to very specific modifications to the terrain and biome.
1. In any temperate region, when people started living in one place, they started clearing nearby forest for Firewood. In dry land forest areas (the Mediterranean, for example) this meant deforestation of all areas within a day's walk of the city/town/settlement. This could happen pretty early: there is evidence of deforestation around the Cucuteni Neolithic/Chalcolithic settlements in southern Europe (at the edge of the Ukrainian steppes, so an area in which 'forest' was a little thin on the ground to start with). In temperate forest with lots of rainfall (northern Europe, eastern North America), the forest could be 'coppiced' taking advantage of the fact that in that climate, new shoots will sprout from the stump of a cut-down hardwood deciduous tree, and grow much faster than a 'full-sized' tree would. This gives 2 - 3 times the mass of fresh wood for firewood and fuels than ordinary tree cutting would, but doesn't provide any continuous source of timber for heavy construction, just 'waddle-and-daub' framing.
2. When charcoal became a preferred fuel for hotter pottery kilns and metal-working furnaces (mid-Classical Era in the Mediterranean, several centuries earlier in central China) it resulted in massive deforestation, because while charcoal burns much hotter than wood, it requires much more wood to produce the same volume of charcoal as fuel.
3. Every advance in tool technology allowed faster and more efficient 'clearing' of forests: bronze saws and axes, iron saws and axes, steel saws and axes, motorized saws and mechanized machinery - every advance made forest removal and biome change quicker. That meant more and more areas of managed vegetation, like the huge 'plantations' of planted rubber, palm oil, food and fruit trees and plants all over the world today. 'Wild' forest, in fact, is much rarer than people realize, because management and transformation of even tropical 'rainforest' has been going on for as long as people have been living there (a large percentage of the Amazon area is, in fact, not natural: the trees were planted by humans because they were more useful than what was growing there naturally). Modern machinery has speeded up the process, but even 'primitive' techniques will do it at the time scales of the game.
4. Forest management took different forms in different places. In Europe, aside from coppicing and setting aside large areas of forest for aristocratic Hunting Grounds, forests were to be plundered, which is why the forests of Germany, for example, are virtually all planted now, and carefully managed because the 'wild' or natural forests disappeared centuries ago, under the plow or to the charcoal-burner's axe. In contrast, the natives of eastern North America managed the forest more completely, burning off underbrush every year to 'open' the woods to grazing animals. They even produced a string of meadows so that Bison from the plains could graze their way all the way to western Pennsylvania as a source of food and materials (sinew, horn, bone, hide). Planting the Three Sisters (maize, beans, squash) among and on the edge of the forest areas, they produced per acre almost 6 times the calories that European open-field mono-crop farming did! Of course, it was extremely labor-intensive to plant and harvest from each individual mound of plants, so by the 1790s broad open fields were typical around the native villages, because they had obtained European steel plows and draft animals, which work best only after the forest has been completely cleared away, and allow good food yields at a fraction of the cost in man (or woman and child) hours of work.

Bottom line:
The interaction amongst technology, human food-producing activites, and the changing landscape or terrain/tile needs to be much more active and continuous in the game, and the varieties of ways that humans have modified the landscape and the consequences of that need to be in the game from the first turn.
 
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Galvatron

Prince
Joined
Jul 28, 2017
Messages
349
Three biggest thing that needs mor features is water. I think that the coast should have features like beaches, bays etc. That change yields and add options. Desert islands, atolls, and other things inv the water would be great.
 

The Civs 6

King
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
782
I find the elevation stuff from Endless Legends to be super disorienting on a 2d map. And I don't feel like the dramatic cliffs and stuff simulate anything that's in the real world either. So I just don't get it.

I would love a civ game that really focused on weather patterns, long term ecological change, man's impact on the environment (and not just "teehee global warming"), and how there are many unique macro-biomes that have impacted human history. at the end of the day isn't the hypothesis of civ that land determines things?
 
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I find the elevation stuff from Endless Legends to be super disorienting on a 2d map. And I don't feel like the dramatic cliffs and stuff simulate anything that's in the real world either. So I just don't get it.

I would love a civ game that really focused on weather patterns, long term ecological change, man's impact on the environment (and not just "teehee global warming"), and how there are many unique macro-biomes that have impacted human history. at the end of the day isn't the hypothesis of civ that land determines things?

Lack of attention to long term climate changes and their effects is a major lack in the game. If anything, it's an even greater omission in the new Humankind game, because that game starts nominally in the Neolithic, which means it covers the end of the last Ice Age, and so should (but doesn't) show such 'minor' changes as the flooding of the North Sea and English Channel, which were a large marshy plains, and the flooding the Black Sea and draining of a sea between the Black and Caspian, or the drying up of what was the Sahara prairie (before 3900 BCE) all of which took place after 10,000 BCE. In fact, sea level hasn't 'stabilized' until the last 3000 years, which means major changes in coast lines were taking place throughout the Ancient Era of Civ VI.

And since then, of course, 'minor' changes keep happening: marshes form, or dry up, harbors silt up and get abandoned, drying, warming, cooler trends cause changes in the biome over large distances (Grasslands becoming Plains, Plains becoming Deserts, Deserts becoming Floodplains along the coast, forests spreading or contracting, etc). The idea that the game map as presented at Start of Game should stay relatively Static until the Atomic/Information Era is Fantasy, and should not be accepted in any further renditions of Civ - or any other Historically based game
 
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Seems like we need something between temperate/wetland and tundra for Russia and Canada to live in as it seems silly they live in tundra. If there are more "active" weather patterns that might be more appropriate.

The characteristic biome of both northern Russia and Canada, at least where the people live, is not tundra or taiga but marshy forest. If you want to use up copious hours of time, go to any State University in the USA and in the map room of the school library you will probably still find copies of the N501 series of 1:250,000 scale maps of Russia produced by the US Army back in the 1950s. If you go through any of the 250+ sheets that cover central and northern Russia/Soviet Union, you will notice that every green forested region is also covered with 'marsh' graphics. Except for hill or high ground, the land is virtually saturated with moisture, almost all rivers have marshy banks or wide floodplains, in some cases to the point where bridges have to be combined with elevated trestles to cover both a 400 meter wide river and a 3 - 5 kilometer wide marshy flood plain. In Canada, as a friend of mine from there pointed out years ago, his favorite summer vacation was to take a canoe and portage trip from Quebec across the country to the Rocky Mountains - because there was a vast network of river, stream, swamp, marsh and other waterways stretching clear across the country.

An expansion of "Forest" to include at least a few of the varieties: forested marsh/swamp, hardwood, pine/evergreen, dryland, and the actual Effects of Old Growth versus regrown or coppiced forest would go a long way towards making the game development far more interesting than the bland Tree/No Tree we have now.
 

aieeegrunt

Emperor
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Rivers should be a major source of both movement and trade, it’s mind boggling that this is ignored in Civ6, this is just as fantasy as zombies or soothsayers
 
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Rivers should be a major source of both movement and trade, it’s mind boggling that this is ignored in Civ6, this is just as fantasy as zombies or soothsayers

Shh!!! Don't mention those all in the same sentence, or Civ VII will have Zombie Flatboats (Mike Fink with bad complexion problem?) and Soothsaying Steamboat pilots . . .
 
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