The core of 4X games "boring endgame problem" - a short essay about Rapidly Increasing Complexity

Krajzen

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I really hope that they turn civ 7 into basically a pseudo team game. Make co-operation so critical to development (science, culture) that you can't exist in splendid isolation and win the game. The game should give you this uneasy feeling of right now I NEED to work together with my opponents but ultimately either I or they will betray each other when we get to the final 20% of the game.

Awesome idea I haven't yet heard om these forums. Trade and diplomacy with other civilisations should be necessary maybe not for short term survival but for long term development and being on top. In history isolated civilizations lose because they don't adapt others innovations, don't spread their influence, have crippled trade... As long as isolated, closed e civilisations can stay on top in civ series, diplomacy is always going to be secondary rather than primary concern.

However I don't really like the notion of AIs automatically hating "winners" by the end game, because it ruins any immersion "this is simulation of the world" in favour of "this is the game played to win". IRL rest of the world isn't suicidally, murderously hating USA, China and EU just for being dominant. Endgame challenge should rather come from natural dynamics of the game themselves - dominant empires definitely should naturally rival and compete with each other; also, civ5 ideologies, tragically removed from civ6, are an excellent natural source of late game global conflicts and divisions. But Mexico shouldn't denounce and suicidally hate US just because of it being, uhm, closer to victory conditions? :p It should hate US if it harms it interests, sentiments or has contrary ideology.
 

Vandlys

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Totally disagree with this, Civ is a game of expansion!

Not just modern, the last patch ruined the careful balance with early units in a particular line only appearing every alternate era.

Isn't that like saying there should always be war because one in the 4X is about extermination? Personally, I consider expansion also to be possible culturally, religiously, scientifically. I love smaller countries that build tall and excel at something without needing large landmasses.
 

UWHabs

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I'd settle for it being possible to collaborate at all. In Civ games actually the only thing you can do is trade luxuries (which is an automatic thing and involves a single moment of management and then forget about it) and not attack people who send you trade routes. Gold gifts are hilariously foolish, strategic resource trading is a trap.

Boris' reply reinforces what I am thinking about a combined "research" and "education" system driving technology progress. It also makes me think, of the idea of "main techs" and "leaf techs", and, maybe the key distinction to bear out that rule is something to do with diffusion coefficients? I also like this again, to interact with diffusion, and he's exactly right that diffusion should itself be a system with some mechanics to it (more than 1 number), mostly out of touch of the player but whose effects are relevant to decisions.

A Wheel is easy to copy because what you need is the inspiration of the image. The mere idea of it, and then -seeing- its usefulness is now clear. You can't find the idea you need the Wheel, and also design the wheel, all too easily, but being shown the Wheel makes both those things clear. Other technology, maybe you can make clear what the idea is (if you have a literate team looking at it), but even so the engineering of using it still takes yet again a precision and knowledge you need to back up with technological infrastructure and an established curriculum I guess is the word, to have technicians competent to ... do whatever the thing is. So, there's a role for education here. Your research is an expression of what records there are, in the Civ... anywhere. "Research", the empire process, corresponds to taking things at the frontier of knowledge and codifying them. But, your overall literacy can lag behind this. People need to have structures and institutions for being instructed in these fields of knowledge. It has to be someone's job to even merely pass on the information; your society develops ways of doing this past Oral Tradition and it gets going really fast. But not just transferring the knowledge, there's , as I gestured to, the issue of supporting individuals to become technicians and artisans and engineers to keep that knowledge alive, in your society (with the constraints of political economy, etc.)
Having education will make the possibility of technology diffusion *much* more ready, than the reverse. Your mere technological "contact" is usually a lot less - with the exception of those techs which are like the Wheel, as Boris said.

Having a Needs-driven research has the issue of the game playing itself. I've got tinkering Im doing but it's still beneath anything I would put in words right now.

It wasn't collaborating on science as much, but allies did get some nice trade route bonuses in Civ 6. If they got cut or killed, that was a significant drag on your empire. +6 food/+6 gold plus all the regular yields from trading with an ally with some late cards and techs, while also getting some other bonuses too, was a big step from some previous versions.

Which was great, except for a few things:
-They never scaled the bonus yields from allies. So yeah, +2 faith from trading with a religious ally was good, but not when you can get +30 gold from trading with another city because of a golden age boost or whatever.
-Then they changed the cards to give the boosts to trading with CS suzerains too. Which, yeah, makes for a lot of fun and lets you get that bonus more often, but it really shifts from allies being all "let's help each other out" vs. "Nah, yields are way too good, let's give that to some useless CS instead". Especially since it's pretty easy with a little lead in the game to be suzerains of multiple, you never had to worry about finding that big bonus.

So yeah, trading with allies has been a marginal benefit in 6 overall, but it's still the case that more often than not, you'd still be better to just conquer than than keep them around as an ally. My last game I had a similar thing - was allies with Norway for a good stretch of time, but eventually it was just like "I could stay allied, but I could also just wipe you out", and it really didn't cause me any troubles.
 

SirNovelty

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Jul 14, 2021
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Which was great, except for a few things:
-They never scaled the bonus yields from allies. So yeah, +2 faith from trading with a religious ally was good, but not when you can get +30 gold from trading with another city because of a golden age boost or whatever.
-Then they changed the cards to give the boosts to trading with CS suzerains too. Which, yeah, makes for a lot of fun and lets you get that bonus more often, but it really shifts from allies being all "let's help each other out" vs. "Nah, yields are way too good, let's give that to some useless CS instead". Especially since it's pretty easy with a little lead in the game to be suzerains of multiple, you never had to worry about finding that big bonus.

Not to say the alliance system of Civ 6 is.....even acceptable really, but I think these critiques miss the mark somewhat, at least on how the system is "supposed" to work:

- The Level 1 benefits are clearly supposed to be marginal. They're instantly available, and not only can trade route bonuses be stacked for as many routes as you have (so the devs tried to be careful with them), but the bonus yields are only half the benefit. It also speeds up the alliance towards Levels two and three which are much more significant on average. That said, games go so fast, those bonuses almost never have time to make an impact, but that's the fault of general power creep and segmented design more than the alliance system.
-Again though, you're supposed to send trade at least in part for alliance points. Also, City-States shouldn't (in theory) provide better trade yields than any decent city a Civ has. When they do, it's because the AI has completely failed to develop, and/or a City-State trade bonus from Congress is on, which is fine.
 
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To condense that previous Brobdinagian Post and add some comments on what has been posted since:

1. The Requirements and Bonuses for Technological Development:

Need This is Fundamental. No one will waste time and effort researching something they Do Not Need. If you all live in a bunch of oasis cities in the middle of a desert, you Need Navigation (because getting lost in the desert is Fatal) but you don't need Boats. This will immediately 'close off' some parts of any Tech Development until a Need develops. People wanting separate Tech Trees for each Civ, here's how: Need will drive each Civ in different directions, because in almost every case, the terrain, climate, situation, and therefore the Needs of each Civ will be different.

Competition Here's where the Isolation elements comes in. In a way it's another form of the basic Need, but this is specific: if a potential enemy has Cavalry and you don't, you are compelled to develop cavalry or a counter to cavalry, and the sooner the better.
And until communication and travel technology improves, you only compete with your immediate neighbors: Roman Imperials saw no need to match Han China on the far side of Eurasia in anything, and if you are isolated you have no competitive Push from anybody.
As posted above, the Royal Navy saw no pressing Need for all-big-gun Dreadnaughts because they already had everybody beat with ordinary Battleships. But, as an aside to that, the all-big-gun Dreadnaught was being planned or contemplated by Germany, Japan, and the USA when Fisher jumped them all and pushed out the HMS Dreadnaught from laying keel to launch in a single year: Britain's position as an island requiring sea trade imports and holding a sea-connected Empire made keeping absolute Naval Superiority too important a Need to mess with it.

Diffusion To repeat, Technologies range from the simple (The Wheel, Ride A Horse) to the complex (Steam Engines, Nuclear Weapons) so they have to be differentiated by the complexity and the amount of Prior Knowledge - and more importantly, Unique Skills - required to use them. This should be a combination of numbers of required prior Technologies, possible required or preferred Civics or Social Policies (like, would the Steam Engine as a labor-saving device be adopted by a slave-holding society as fast as by an expanding Civ with a labor shortage? The history of Heiro's steam and hydraulic mechanisms in the Hellenistic Era replies with a resounding Hell No!), and what you can get from neighboring Civs and groups by observation, buying, stealing or copying. The Chinese essentially copied, stole, and bought advanced Western Technologies in the 19th century. The Haida of the Pacific Northwest copied sails after the first time they saw a European ship - but they were already accomplished ocean boat builders. Pontus tried to copy the Roman Legion (with a pressing Need since the Romans were kicking their butts at the time) and failed utterly, because Legions required not only technologies but also Social Policies and Civics that they could not adopt at a whim.

2. Finally, a note on the differentiation between Technology and Skill, or what I like to call Basic Technologies and the Applications of them. This is another way to make the 'Tech Tree' both individualized and yet not so complex it becomes unintelligible. Each basic Technology would have a number of Applications. You can potentially research 1 of each at a time, and the Applications will take about half as long (barring all the bonuses or negatives from Need, Diffusion, Competition, etc). Given 3 or more Applications per Basic Technology, this means you absolutely Cannot research everything and your Civ would have to pick and choose not only what to research, but what to research as opposed to what you might get from another Civ, or City State, or 'Barbarian' group ('Barbarians' spread the spoked wheel Chariot and Horseback Riding Technologies, and probably the Composite Bow to their settled neighbors, frequently by raiding them or conquering them using those Technologies).
So, for example, the hoary old Civ Technology Agriculture would now look something like this:
Basic Technology: Agriculture
Resource Requirement:
.....Food: Korn, Fruits, Nuts
.....Fibers: Flax, Hemp, Cotton
Knowledge Requirement:
.....None (Possible Starting Technology, in other words)
Allows:
.....Units: Warrior
.....Districts: Settlement
.....Buildings: Granary, Palace
.....Improvements: Farm
Need Bonuses:
Have any Population reach Hungry State for 2 consecutive turns
Have Water adjacent to exploitable Food Resource tile (marsh, river, oasis)

Applications:
Flood Irrigation
.....Allows Clearing of Marsh
.....+1 Food on Floodplains or plains/grassland Tiles next to Water Source (River, Oasis or Lake)
Provides Eureka for: Basic Technology: Writing

Selective Plant Breeding

.....Reveals Potato, Maize and Rice Resources
.....Reduces Production Cost of Archers by 20%
Provides Eureka for: Basic Technology: Advanced Cultivation

Brewing
.....Grain, Rice OR Maize Resource provides + 1 Amenity (Beer!)
.....Reveals Wine Grapes Resource
Provides Eureka for: Ceramic Application: Stoneware Pottery
 

DeckerdJames

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Nov 1, 2019
Messages
132
Let me add to this because, as a few of you might have guessed by now, I am a history buff and then some.

China's historical technology rush to catch up with Europe started much earlier than most realize, and started from a solid technology base that was already there. China developed all the early gunpowder and metal working technologies well before anyone else (cast bronze hundreds of years before Europe, cast iron almost 1000 years earlier, high-temperature coal-fired furnaces at least 500 years earlier, simple cannon and muskets several hundreds of years earlier, etc) BUT China's technological progress was not subject to any outside pressure or Need - China's neighbors adopted Chinese technology, but China adopted very little from the outside and had no competitive reason to 'push' technological progress. Any such pushing came from the whim of the government/emperor and lacking that, China reached a comfortable level of tech (wheel-barrows, fine porcelain, fine metal-work, a high level of food production) and stopped. The Europeans in the 15th - 16th centuries, basically lapped her.

China very quickly caught up by copying matchlock mechanisms from Europe and adopting volley fire techniques originally used with crossbows (also several hundred years before Europe developed the same techniques), so that Chinese, Japanese and Korean small arms technology and techniques quickly matched European.
Cannon were harder, because the great wall-smashing Bombards of Europe were almost useless in East Asia: walls were made largely or rammed earth or solid earth dozens of feet thick, and the large solid shot simply did not do any damage to them the way they could smash stone curtain walls in European fortifications. So here the technological advance or 'catch up' was slowed enormously by a lack of Immediate Need. That need appeared when Portuguese and other foreign ships showed up with heavy shipboard cannon and sank everything Chinese in sight in the late 16th century. The Need was satisfied when a bunch of heavy cannon were salvaged from the British ship HMS Unicorn that ran aground and sank in a Chinese coastal river, allowing the Chinese to 'reverse-engineer' the guns and produce their own - stolen technology, if you will, but helped by the fact that the guns were cast iron, a technology that China had originated over 1500 years earlier!

The next 'catch up' was harder: when European steam-driven gun boats began appearing in Chinese waters in the mid-19th century, since a steam engine required much more complex and precise metallurgical technology than China possessed. With French engineering help and Chinese engineers trained in American and European universities, the Chinese government managed to build a shipyard in Fuzhou that by 1873 was building Chinese steam gunboats with modern guns that a British naval officer described as "“better than . . . British vessels of the same type"!

So, IMHO, to include Technological Diffusion in the game without making it a Fantasy mechanic, three things have to also have to be included:
1. Need. This should be one of the most basic driving forces for the Tech Tree (or Bush, or Creeper Vine, or whatever form technological change takes in Civ VII). People will not bother researching and adopting technology that they don't need. There will be no boat-building Tech in the desert. There will be no development of Wheel technology if you have no draft animals to pull the wheeled vehicles (Fun Fact: the Aztecs and Incas were perfectly familiar with the Wheel - they both had wheeled toys for their kids. But they also had no draft animals to pull larger wheeled vehicles, so never developed spoked wheels, harness, or any of the other tech that goes with 'real' wheeled vehicles). If you need it enough - like your opponent appears with steam warships to your wind-driven Junks - you will beg, borrow, or steal the Technology as fast as possible.

2. Each Technology has to have a Diffusion Score indicating how easy it is to copy and adopt. See a solid wheel, it's not hard to see how to use it and copy it. See a Steam Engine, it's going to require a lot more Prior Knowledge to reproduce it no matter how much you need it. A large component of the Diffusion Score for your Civ will include how much related Prior Technology you already have. China had very little problem adopting superior European metallurgical products like matchlock muskets and cast iron ship cannon, because she had already been making intricate metal products and cast iron objects for centuries. No American native Civilization ever managed to develop its own iron or steel technologies, because only a few of them had any metal-working/smelting technologies at all.

3. Individuals as Diffusers. Civ's unique strength has always been its personalization of History. Named leaders, governors, Great People, etc. It's been a standard part of Civ throughout the series. A lot of Technological Diffusion and Knowledge Diffusion throughout history hinged on individuals, many of them named, so that this Civ Meme can and should be included in Civ VII. Chinese development of Steam Engines and modern (Industrial Era) naval architecture sprang from a single Chinese engineer (Yung Wing) trained at Yale University in the USA, who bought a complete machine shop (with Chinese government money) in New England and brought it and his knowledge of how to use it back to China. This shop became the nucleus of China's first modern shipyard and Arsenal producing modern ships and artillery. An 'individualized' Technology Diffusion/Spread mechanic would fit right in with Civ's individualization of game mechanics in general and advance the spread of Technology to avoid the ridiculous imbalances that occur in the late game now.

Perhaps tech nodes should be a little more complex than they are currently. Eurekas are great, but perhaps progression speed can also be accelerated when exposed to unknown technology in the world. How much it is sped up is based upon how much progress in the tech tree has been made in preceding tech nodes and in closely related technologies or categories of technologies. Perhaps certain leaders or civilizations are better able to catch up on some types of techs when exposed. Also, earning great people could add a cumulative bonus to catching up on techs which have been observed. Defeating superior units could increase the acceleration too. Repeated or prolonged exposure could accelerate catching up too.

Your ideas are very good. I hope they do it.
 

DeckerdJames

Warlord
Joined
Nov 1, 2019
Messages
132
Awesome idea I haven't yet heard om these forums. Trade and diplomacy with other civilisations should be necessary maybe not for short term survival but for long term development and being on top. In history isolated civilizations lose because they don't adapt others innovations, don't spread their influence, have crippled trade... As long as isolated, closed e civilisations can stay on top in civ series, diplomacy is always going to be secondary rather than primary concern.

However I don't really like the notion of AIs automatically hating "winners" by the end game, because it ruins any immersion "this is simulation of the world" in favour of "this is the game played to win". IRL rest of the world isn't suicidally, murderously hating USA, China and EU just for being dominant. Endgame challenge should rather come from natural dynamics of the game themselves - dominant empires definitely should naturally rival and compete with each other; also, civ5 ideologies, tragically removed from civ6, are an excellent natural source of late game global conflicts and divisions. But Mexico shouldn't denounce and suicidally hate US just because of it being, uhm, closer to victory conditions? :p It should hate US if it harms it interests, sentiments or has contrary ideology.

Not everyone agrees that the AI competitors should be unaware that there is a game to win, but I can see the value of a simulation where the AI competes without knowing the game will end at turn 500, or something. That could be an option, if it were not drastically hard to do both.

I think the main difference is between the AI answering the question, “How do I improve my position or harm my opponents’ positions?” and the question “How do I do it enough by turn 500?”

These two types of games are different, in part because if the AI knows the game will end soon, it can evaluate and consider sacrifices and plans that are bad in the long term but good in the short term. So the idea of a “term” is what the AI has to include in it’s evaluation of a given plan, to be able to play both ways.
 
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Joined
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I do like tech diffusion as a concept, however I think it needs to be both simple and visible.
I think it was Soren talking about civ III said something like "AI tech trading looked like AI cheating to the human player, when they were simply acquiring a new tech and on-selling it to all of their contacts".
I think we could just cut out the middle man. You know one civ with Industrialization great you can now pay 10,000 gold for it (sort of like industrial espionage or paying a private citizen to reveal its secrets). You know five you can now pay 1,000 gold for it.
You get the effect of tech diffusion, make it a visible mechanic but also simulate something that was happening back when tech trading was a thing in earlier civ iterations.

I also think having a wide tech tree would improve things, one where at any given time there is like 12 available technologies to research. Try to make it even though one faction is 3 technologies ahead, they might still be missing 2 technologies from another faction, maybe 1 of those 2 can decide a war or something. Make progression less linear.
 

aieeegrunt

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Joined
Jan 8, 2021
Messages
1,181
Awesome idea I haven't yet heard om these forums. Trade and diplomacy with other civilisations should be necessary maybe not for short term survival but for long term development and being on top. In history isolated civilizations lose because they don't adapt others innovations, don't spread their influence, have crippled trade... As long as isolated, closed e civilisations can stay on top in civ series, diplomacy is always going to be secondary rather than primary concern.

However I don't really like the notion of AIs automatically hating "winners" by the end game, because it ruins any immersion "this is simulation of the world" in favour of "this is the game played to win". IRL rest of the world isn't suicidally, murderously hating USA, China and EU just for being dominant. Endgame challenge should rather come from natural dynamics of the game themselves - dominant empires definitely should naturally rival and compete with each other; also, civ5 ideologies, tragically removed from civ6, are an excellent natural source of late game global conflicts and divisions. But Mexico shouldn't denounce and suicidally hate US just because of it being, uhm, closer to victory conditions? :p It should hate US if it harms it interests, sentiments or has contrary ideology.

Ganging up on the percieved leader, especially by “challengers” of whatever the existing world order is, IS very historical, as well as being good game strategy

Even just in the last century you can find numerous examples:

Russia and Great Britain were usually bros with Prussia. Then 1870 happened, and the Greater German Reich lapped them, and suddenly France, Britain, and Russia, three countries which had been most certainly either open or covert enemies and competitors form an alliance

Italy and Germany (in the form or Austria) had been enemies for centuries over the various territories along their borders and fought again in WW1. Japan had opportunistically attacked Germany during that conflict to steal it’s Pacific colonies. After WW1 Germany supplied China with weapons and helped train a modern army for them, something directly opposed to Japan’s rape of that country

Yet Japan and Italy ended up allying with Germany in the next war, because they all wanted to challenge the existing post Versailles order.

To condense that previous Brobdinagian Post and add some comments on what has been posted since:

1. The Requirements and Bonuses for Technological Development:

Need This is Fundamental. No one will waste time and effort researching something they Do Not Need. If you all live in a bunch of oasis cities in the middle of a desert, you Need Navigation (because getting lost in the desert is Fatal) but you don't need Boats. This will immediately 'close off' some parts of any Tech Development until a Need develops. People wanting separate Tech Trees for each Civ, here's how: Need will drive each Civ in different directions, because in almost every case, the terrain, climate, situation, and therefore the Needs of each Civ will be different.

Competition Here's where the Isolation elements comes in. In a way it's another form of the basic Need, but this is specific: if a potential enemy has Cavalry and you don't, you are compelled to develop cavalry or a counter to cavalry, and the sooner the better.
And until communication and travel technology improves, you only compete with your immediate neighbors: Roman Imperials saw no need to match Han China on the far side of Eurasia in anything, and if you are isolated you have no competitive Push from anybody.
As posted above, the Royal Navy saw no pressing Need for all-big-gun Dreadnaughts because they already had everybody beat with ordinary Battleships. But, as an aside to that, the all-big-gun Dreadnaught was being planned or contemplated by Germany, Japan, and the USA when Fisher jumped them all and pushed out the HMS Dreadnaught from laying keel to launch in a single year: Britain's position as an island requiring sea trade imports and holding a sea-connected Empire made keeping absolute Naval Superiority too important a Need to mess with it.

Diffusion To repeat, Technologies range from the simple (The Wheel, Ride A Horse) to the complex (Steam Engines, Nuclear Weapons) so they have to be differentiated by the complexity and the amount of Prior Knowledge - and more importantly, Unique Skills - required to use them. This should be a combination of numbers of required prior Technologies, possible required or preferred Civics or Social Policies (like, would the Steam Engine as a labor-saving device be adopted by a slave-holding society as fast as by an expanding Civ with a labor shortage? The history of Heiro's steam and hydraulic mechanisms in the Hellenistic Era replies with a resounding Hell No!), and what you can get from neighboring Civs and groups by observation, buying, stealing or copying. The Chinese essentially copied, stole, and bought advanced Western Technologies in the 19th century. The Haida of the Pacific Northwest copied sails after the first time they saw a European ship - but they were already accomplished ocean boat builders. Pontus tried to copy the Roman Legion (with a pressing Need since the Romans were kicking their butts at the time) and failed utterly, because Legions required not only technologies but also Social Policies and Civics that they could not adopt at a whim.

2. Finally, a note on the differentiation between Technology and Skill, or what I like to call Basic Technologies and the Applications of them. This is another way to make the 'Tech Tree' both individualized and yet not so complex it becomes unintelligible. Each basic Technology would have a number of Applications. You can potentially research 1 of each at a time, and the Applications will take about half as long (barring all the bonuses or negatives from Need, Diffusion, Competition, etc). Given 3 or more Applications per Basic Technology, this means you absolutely Cannot research everything and your Civ would have to pick and choose not only what to research, but what to research as opposed to what you might get from another Civ, or City State, or 'Barbarian' group ('Barbarians' spread the spoked wheel Chariot and Horseback Riding Technologies, and probably the Composite Bow to their settled neighbors, frequently by raiding them or conquering them using those Technologies).
So, for example, the hoary old Civ Technology Agriculture would now look something like this:
Basic Technology: Agriculture
Resource Requirement:
.....Food: Korn, Fruits, Nuts
.....Fibers: Flax, Hemp, Cotton
Knowledge Requirement:
.....None (Possible Starting Technology, in other words)
Allows:
.....Units: Warrior
.....Districts: Settlement
.....Buildings: Granary, Palace
.....Improvements: Farm
Need Bonuses:
Have any Population reach Hungry State for 2 consecutive turns
Have Water adjacent to exploitable Food Resource tile (marsh, river, oasis)

Applications:
Flood Irrigation
.....Allows Clearing of Marsh
.....+1 Food on Floodplains or plains/grassland Tiles next to Water Source (River, Oasis or Lake)
Provides Eureka for: Basic Technology: Writing

Selective Plant Breeding

.....Reveals Potato, Maize and Rice Resources
.....Reduces Production Cost of Archers by 20%
Provides Eureka for: Basic Technology: Advanced Cultivation

Brewing
.....Grain, Rice OR Maize Resource provides + 1 Amenity (Beer!)
.....Reveals Wine Grapes Resource
Provides Eureka for: Ceramic Application: Stoneware Pottery

There definitly is room between Absolute Determinism and Civ’s completely wide open tech approach
 

reddishrecue

Deity
Joined
Nov 16, 2009
Messages
5,845
Ganging up on the percieved leader, especially by “challengers” of whatever the existing world order is, IS very historical, as well as being good game strategy

Even just in the last century you can find numerous examples:

Russia and Great Britain were usually bros with Prussia. Then 1870 happened, and the Greater German Reich lapped them, and suddenly France, Britain, and Russia, three countries which had been most certainly either open or covert enemies and competitors form an alliance

Italy and Germany (in the form or Austria) had been enemies for centuries over the various territories along their borders and fought again in WW1. Japan had opportunistically attacked Germany during that conflict to steal it’s Pacific colonies. After WW1 Germany supplied China with weapons and helped train a modern army for them, something directly opposed to Japan’s rape of that country

Yet Japan and Italy ended up allying with Germany in the next war, because they all wanted to challenge the existing post Versailles order.



There definitly is room between Absolute Determinism and Civ’s completely wide open tech approach
In the next war, Japan, Italy and Germany-the axis powers- wanted to dominate the world and form the Aryan race. All the jews were put in mass encampments where they were gassed and killed by the thousands (or the millions). Japan eventually led the attack on US in the pacific which caused US to go to war for WWII. The US wouldn't have go to war because of its democratic values, but would go to war in order to defend itself from Japan and the rest of the axis. That formed the allied powers - Russia, England and USA.
 

Krajzen

Deity
Joined
Oct 23, 2013
Messages
3,296
Location
Poland
Ganging up on the percieved leader, especially by “challengers” of whatever the existing world order is, IS very historical, as well as being good game strategy

Even just in the last century you can find numerous examples:

Russia and Great Britain were usually bros with Prussia. Then 1870 happened, and the Greater German Reich lapped them, and suddenly France, Britain, and Russia, three countries which had been most certainly either open or covert enemies and competitors form an alliance

Italy and Germany (in the form or Austria) had been enemies for centuries over the various territories along their borders and fought again in WW1. Japan had opportunistically attacked Germany during that conflict to steal it’s Pacific colonies. After WW1 Germany supplied China with weapons and helped train a modern army for them, something directly opposed to Japan’s rape of that country

Yet Japan and Italy ended up allying with Germany in the next war, because they all wanted to challenge the existing post Versailles order.

There definitly is room between Absolute Determinism and Civ’s completely wide open tech approach

I mean, yeah, but it's like I have written (or at least meant), they were rivals to global hegemony - apex empires by their nature compete with another and that should be done in civ's endgame as well as it makes sense. Games mechanisms definitely should help those natural rivalries between top tier superpowers emerge (US - China, US - Soviets/Russia, Germany - Soviets, Germany - France & UK, France - UK, France - Habsburgs, Persia - Rome/Byzantium etc)

What does not make sense, adds nothing to gameplay, ruins immersion and is very exhausting and annoying, is that in recent civ games you can make literally the entire world hate you, including medium and small nations that you have common enemies with, or benefit from good relations with you, or depend on your protection, or simply have all sorts of normal reasons to be neuttal or amicable. It does make sense that USA ended up as a great rival of Soviet Union and its friends, and later China as well, but in civ games it could be also hated by post ww2 Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, UK, Poland, France, Colombia etc just for the reason of being "the most powerful" and my absolutely most hated notion from the game "warmongering menace to the world".

You can align game mechanics so the exciting, adrenaline inducing competition, including endgame competition between superpowers and neighbors, also makes in - universe sense. But it always felt awful to me when it is blatant when diplomacy in civ6 is board game, arcadey and throwing logs under the feet of the player for no intuitice reason besides artificial number crunching, against all pretenses of AI empires behaving rationally.
 
Last edited:

DeckerdJames

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Joined
Nov 1, 2019
Messages
132
I mean, yeah, but it's like I have written (or at least meant), they were rivals to global hegemony - apex empires by their nature compete with another and that should be done in civ's endgame as well as it makes sense. Games mechanisms definitely should help those natural rivalries between top tier superpowers emerge (US - China, US - Soviets/Russia, Germany - Soviets, Germany - France & UK, France - UK, France - Habsburgs, Persia - Rome/Byzantium etc)

What does not make sense, adds nothing to gameplay, ruins immersion and is very exhausting and annoying, is that in recent civ games you can make literally the entire world hate you, including medium and small nations that you have common enemies with, or benefit from good relations with you, or depend on your protection, or simply have all sorts of normal reasons to be neuttal or amicable. It does make sense that USA ended up as a great rival of Soviet Union and its friends, and later China as well, but in civ games it could be also hated by post ww2 Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, UK, Poland, France, Colombia etc just for the reason of being "the most powerful" and my absolutely most hated notion from the game "warmongering menace to the world".

You can align game mechanics so the exciting, adrenaline inducing competition, including endgame competition between superpowers and neighbors, also makes in - universe sense. But it always felt awful to me when it is blatant when diplomacy in civ6 is board game, arcadey and throwing logs under the feet of the player for no intuitice reason besides artificial number crunching, against all pretenses of AI empires behaving rationally.

If Civilization VI or VII wanted to be more like the real world, they should make the choice about government type more import.
 

reddishrecue

Deity
Joined
Nov 16, 2009
Messages
5,845
If Civilization VI or VII wanted to be more like the real world, they should make the choice about government type more import.
The governments in civ 6 are all built with policies like civ 5 instead of just adopting different types of governments like they used to in civ 4. Through bonus providing policies, the cards adjust to serve a purpose whether its military, economic or whatever it is you want to focus on-religion, science, or culture. Different governments change the amount of cards you can put on the different slots, some have more military or some have more economy, for example. As you pass through the ages, better governments will allow more slots for more bonuses.
 

ezzlar

Emperor
Joined
Dec 21, 2001
Messages
1,778
The governments in civ 6 are all built with policies like civ 5 instead of just adopting different types of governments like they used to in civ 4. Through bonus providing policies, the cards adjust to serve a purpose whether its military, economic or whatever it is you want to focus on-religion, science, or culture. Different governments change the amount of cards you can put on the different slots, some have more military or some have more economy, for example. As you pass through the ages, better governments will allow more slots for more bonuses.

And no matter what you pick or how you mix it doesn´t affect your civ, other than the stated bonuses, or relations with other civs.
 

aieeegrunt

Emperor
Joined
Jan 8, 2021
Messages
1,181
And no matter what you pick or how you mix it doesn´t affect your civ, other than the stated bonuses, or relations with other civs.

This bothers me a lot. Something like Serfdom side by side with liberalism or whatever is ridiculous
 

HorseshoeHermit

20% accurate as usual, Morty
Joined
Apr 5, 2013
Messages
1,455
Location
Canada
To me the difficulty setting in Civ should work like: There is a training wheels / casual difficulty. There is a normal mode. There is a special *Ruthless flag, which tells it to treat the game like a game. There is Expert mode. And, not intended for use with Ruthless, there is Deity difficulty; turning on Ruthless Deity could be considered to be the "Insane" difficulty.

The difficulties would be characterized in small by initial bonuses and by ongoing bonuses/discounts, but in the main by a kind of intelligence siloing. The redesign of the AI for Civ V Community patch makes possible to have done the following kind of thing: Each circumstance has certain factors that bear on it, which the AI has an algorithm to compute its choice in. A basic difficulty replaces an actual examination or computation of some of these factors with a "one-size fits all" assumption - for example, a choice to shoot whatever is the most CS-value besieging attacker in range of any city's defenses, vs. a real thought process regarding the unit's likelihood to be deterred and combining with other military actions. Or likewise, rules of thumb in tactics, vs. an algorithm that scans for more data.

I mean, yeah, but it's like I have written (or at least meant), they were rivals to global hegemony - apex empires by their nature compete with another and that should be done in civ's endgame as well as it makes sense. Games mechanisms definitely should help those natural rivalries between top tier superpowers emerge (US - China, US - Soviets/Russia, Germany - Soviets, Germany - France & UK, France - UK, France - Habsburgs, Persia - Rome/Byzantium etc)

What does not make sense, adds nothing to gameplay, ruins immersion and is very exhausting and annoying, is that in recent civ games you can make literally the entire world hate you, including medium and small nations that you have common enemies with, or benefit from good relations with you, or depend on your protection, or simply have all sorts of normal reasons to be neuttal or amicable. It does make sense that USA ended up as a great rival of Soviet Union and its friends, and later China as well, but in civ games it could be also hated by post ww2 Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, UK, Poland, France, Colombia etc just for the reason of being "the most powerful" and my absolutely most hated notion from the game "warmongering menace to the world".
We do do weird things in the name of tribe, huh.
 

UWHabs

Deity
Joined
Oct 10, 2008
Messages
4,986
Location
Toronto
To me the difficulty setting in Civ should work like: There is a training wheels / casual difficulty. There is a normal mode. There is a special *Ruthless flag, which tells it to treat the game like a game. There is Expert mode. And, not intended for use with Ruthless, there is Deity difficulty; turning on Ruthless Deity could be considered to be the "Insane" difficulty.

The difficulties would be characterized in small by initial bonuses and by ongoing bonuses/discounts, but in the main by a kind of intelligence siloing. The redesign of the AI for Civ V Community patch makes possible to have done the following kind of thing: Each circumstance has certain factors that bear on it, which the AI has an algorithm to compute its choice in. A basic difficulty replaces an actual examination or computation of some of these factors with a "one-size fits all" assumption - for example, a choice to shoot whatever is the most CS-value besieging attacker in range of any city's defenses, vs. a real thought process regarding the unit's likelihood to be deterred and combining with other military actions. Or likewise, rules of thumb in tactics, vs. an algorithm that scans for more data.


We do do weird things in the name of tribe, huh.

I do have some issues with the AI being "dumber" at lower levels, or skipping steps just to make it easier. Like, if an AI knows how to take a city, just because you're playing on Settler it doesn't attack, to me that always feels wrong. Now, granted, it makes sense to give them different priorities, maybe change their calculus for what invasions make sense to try, and maybe you get rid of some advanced AI like "if I move my guy here, it's going to bait their unit out of the city so that I can kill them in the open field next turn".

Now, granted, some of that is predicated on the AI actually being able to realize those scenarios. While I'm not as pessimistic as some on here about the faults in the current game AI, maybe I'd have a different opinion if the AI could handle the more advanced stuff and truly beat me on the battlefield 1v1, rather than now where it feels like the AI needs to be about an era ahead to put up a fight.
 

GIO888

King
Joined
Nov 25, 2005
Messages
807
Location
England South West
I've given up on Humankind because Civ VI is so vastly superior, but especially late game.

Not bad for a six year-old game!!

The recent fixes make late game wars much more difficult, AI units harder to kill, cities harder to take, and this with Jet bombers and modern armor? Makes it much more interesting.

I may be in a minority but I don't automate - and wouldn't necessarily use the function. Yes its tedious very late game to scroll thru endlessly renewing "campus grants" or whatever, but by then you're only a few turns from winning, (usually!) right?
 

Krajzen

Deity
Joined
Oct 23, 2013
Messages
3,296
Location
Poland
I've given up on Humankind because Civ VI is so vastly superior

I agree despite disliking ro being different about almost every design decision for civ6, because Humankind was just such a miserable experience :p

The recent fixes make late game wars much more difficult, AI units harder to kill, cities harder to take, and this with Jet bombers and modern armor? Makes it much more interesting.

See, that's the problem: if you don't like 1UPT combat system and unit management for whatever reasons (I do), and/or you are generally more interested about peacetime mechanics in 4X games than conquest (I do), and/or you don't have a lot of time to spend on video games (I don't), and/or your laptop can fluently handle Witcher 3 on high but civ6 next turn loading takes it a lot of time (somehow it is the case for me)...

If you have one of those problems, civ6 endgame becomes much less attractive. If you have many of those problems at once, like I do, civ6 endgame because completely unplayable. If I find 1UPT warfare system to be completely boring, lacking non - logistical challenge, and in general even besides that I think peaceful mechanics in civ tend to be much more interesting (especially as I like to "watch simulated living world of AI empires", not destroying it). And in this case civ6 endgame for me largely consists of hours of either joyless tedium (need to micromanage cities, or God forbid units if AI declares some stupid war and I have to manage army) or nothingness (waiting 25, 50 or 100 turns to fulfill obligatory conditions for victory you have already clearly achieved because the race in civ6 is already determined halfway through it). If you don't enjoy 1UPT conquest of AIs, civ6 loses a LOT of allure.

By "lacking non - logistical challenge" what I was trying to say is that the primary source of challenge in 1UPT in civ6 is not AI activity in itself, especially not AI offensive movements which are very rarely capable of threatening you. Nor do you have to actually think on the level of countering any sort of AI movements (I know AIs suck in many strategy games but in 1UPT they suck somehow much more). The main challenge of civ6 combat system is the gigantic pain in the *** constituting of the way movement, terrain and territorial control work. A lot of individual tokens you have to move one after another and which all create traffic jams with another, which often move at agonizing speed of one tile per turn because of a crapton of terrain obstacles, struggling with line of sight and range limitations, which you constantly stress about losing because individual experienced token can die in one turn after one wrong move, setting up siege engines only to realize you have no LOS or city one shotting them with not much you can do to prevent that - yes it is difficult, but it's because of horribly painfulin interaction of topography, logistics and interface, not because of AI armies being threatening by themselves and offering a glorious battle of wits and valor.

Don't anybody dare to say this is how military wargames and difficulty work by default and I just have to become better player, I have greatly enjoyed XCOM games on classic, I've finished famously "hardcore" Darkest Dungeon having pure fun, played tactical rpgs such as Original Sin 2 on quite brital difficulty levels, played many Total War games, won campaigns as Wallachia and Mysore and Ichma in eu4, I had fun with them, I don't have much of fun with 1UPT, so I criticise it knowing the context.
 
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aieeegrunt

Emperor
Joined
Jan 8, 2021
Messages
1,181
I agree despite disliking ro being different about almost every design decision for civ6, because Humankind was just such a miserable experience :p



See, that's the problem: if you don't like 1UPT combat system and unit management for whatever reasons (I do), and/or you are generally more interested about peacetime mechanics in 4X games than conquest (I do), and/or you don't have a lot of time to spend on video games (I don't), and/or your laptop can fluently handle Witcher 3 on high but civ6 next turn loading takes it a lot of time (somehow it is the case for me)...

If you have one of those problems, civ6 endgame becomes much less attractive. If you have many of those problems at once, like I do, civ6 endgame because completely unplayable. If I find 1UPT warfare system to be completely boring, lacking non - logistical challenge, and in general even besides that I think peaceful mechanics in civ tend to be much more interesting (especially as I like to "watch simulated living world of AI empires", not destroying it). And in this case civ6 endgame for me largely consists of hours of either joyless tedium (need to micromanage cities, or God forbid units if AI declares some stupid war and I have to manage army) or nothingness (waiting 25, 50 or 100 turns to fulfill obligatory conditions for victory you have already clearly achieved because the race in civ6 is already determined halfway through it). If you don't enjoy 1UPT conquest of AIs, civ6 loses a LOT of allure.

By "lacking non - logistical challenge" what I was trying to say is that the primary source of challenge in 1UPT in civ6 is not AI activity in itself, especially not AI offensive movements which are very rarely capable of threatening you. Nor do you have to actually think on the level of countering any sort of AI movements (I know AIs suck in many strategy games but in 1UPT they suck somehow much more). The main challenge of civ6 combat system is the gigantic pain in the *** constituting of the way movement, terrain and territorial control work. A lot of individual tokens you have to move one after another and which all create traffic jams with another, which often move at agonizing speed of one tile per turn because of a crapton of terrain obstacles, struggling with line of sight and range limitations, which you constantly stress about losing because individual experienced token can die in one turn after one wrong move, setting up siege engines only to realize you have no LOS or city one shotting them with not much you can do to prevent that - yes it is difficult, but it's because of horribly painfulin interaction of topography, logistics and interface, not because of AI armies being threatening by themselves and offering a glorious battle of wits and valor.

Don't anybody dare to say this is how military wargames and difficulty work by default and I just have to become better player, I have greatly enjoyed XCOM games on classic, I've finished famously "hardcore" Darkest Dungeon having pure fun, played tactical rpgs such as Original Sin 2 on quite brital difficulty levels, played many Total War games, won campaigns as Wallachia and Mysore and Ichma in eu4, I had fun with them, I don't have much of fun with 1UPT, so I criticise it knowing the context.

Having to solve a sliding tile puzzle every time you move your units is absolutly awful as a mechanic and hilariously stupid as history. I’m not surprised it’s beyond the AI.

Cutting that Gordian Knot would solve so many problems with so many aspects of this game

Civ6 is so close to greatness, and it’s just a few small things that ruin that
 
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