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

Bad events have an acceptance problem :D the spontaneous reaction is always No, I don't want it, do it away!
how about it always occur to all players AI and human , as part of the endgame challenge , since we already know people dont really play or enjoy endgame , maybe this will make it interesting enough. it could be walled off via options like the whole latest expansion pack to see how many people use that option vice versa
 
One thing I forgot to add from my own observations is that yet another of innumerable failures of Humankind was its idea of literal city merging (where the asimilated cities essentially completely disappear from mechanics and UI visibility, they blend with the background terrain), so I hope this isn't going to be the go - to solution to lategame tedium. There were two problems with that approach
1) It seems very hard to balance the ability to merge cities into one without creating even worse expontential snowball effects, with a ton of modifiers from both cities multiplying. And the optimal strategy inevitably being the creation of monstrous super - cities covering entire continents. Which leads as to the point two:
2) It feels psychologically awful in terms of ingame geography, because no matter how huge your lands are, if they consist of extremely few discrete units - they feel small, and as a result there is this unavoidable feeling of map being much smaller and less epic. Keep in mind that because of 1) the less cities you have the stronger you are in mechanical terms, but the smaller and more lame the map and your empire feel lol.

Like seriously, I don't think you can avoid the second problem. I was playing on the Large map and it felt like civ equivalent of Small, like a provincial affair instead of empire building, because my "empire" consisted of like 5 cities while covering a gigantic area where Civ5-6 would see like 20 cities.
Much safer bet would be leaving cities visible on the map and leaving them some active functions but shifting some of them with late game global interfaces, or "regions" to which you assign few cities at once, or whatever. But having big numbers of cities on the map turned out to be unexpectedly important to the "feel" of Civ - like games.

But again, there is a lot of stuff in Humankind which prior to its release seemed to be like "it will teach Civ a lesson" and turned out to be "it will teach Civ a lesson of what not to do, ever, whatsoever", starting from shifting faction identies, lack of historical leaders, and its victory conditions system.

Very well put. To me, the region system as a whole is my biggest issue with Humankind, and this would be the same with or without the merge ability. It was the one thing I was the most worried about before launch, based on my experience with Endless Legend. It does indeed make the map feel small, and for me, it takes a lot of the joy out of both exploration and city development...the two aspects of 4x games I usually enjoy the most. I also struggle with how sprawling HK cities are. As critical as I have been of Civ 6, placing districts there is fun and feels meaningful, at least in the early game. Each district feels like a major addition to the city. In HK there are just so many of them, I tend to stop caring quite early and just go with what the UI suggests most of the time.
 
Yeah, there are so many districts in HK to place that if you try to care you'll go nuts. Trying to go for things beyond the UI suggestion is painful, especially given the indistinct art style making it tough to work out what is what. Again the UI doesn't help much with planning ahead beyond immediate yields...

I'm not so against the regions, but keeping a small number of distinct districts and letting pop size determine city sprawl as displayed on the map would be my preference in a game going down this route.
 
Civilisations 4 has "colonies". Essentially you are sacrificing control over a city for reduced maintenance. This mechanic can be expanded further.

In the early game, you control every citizen and military unit, like a god-king. As you expand, you "unlock" different more sophisticated modes of governments, some of which involve granting varying degrees of autonomy for improved efficiency. Over the long run, states that allow local governors and citizens to make their own decisions tend to be more efficient, especially if they are large countries. You can still insist on controlling all aspects of production like a pure communist state but it will be very inefficient, or your country remains small. Either one reduces micromanagement.

I would take it even further to military units. Military units that you can directly control will cost maintenance. Military units assigned to a feudal duke or regional commender will cost less maintenance, but they will make AI-level decisions. This simulates the historical progression from a single king personally commanding an army, to modern warfare where even lower-level officers have to make decisions on the battlefield.
 
Calamities - Maybe like a year ago I suggested like an "age up" mechanic. Basically you can choose to enter a new era of technologies whenever you like. But your empire has to go through like a transformative event. The earlier you click up, the harsher the event. Any of those calamities could apply.
I really like your idea of, as I understand it, entering new technological era coming with a risk/gamble the bigger the earlier you enter it (relative to other players). It kind of makes sense - earlier adopters of revolutionary new technologies, civics, philosophies etc may be destabilized by them, or find in them seeds of their downfall, as they are entering entirely new territory not yet charted and tried by anybody else.
Honestly, that's one of the best Ideas that I have seen that can prevent early Snowballing and keep the Game more interesting throughout the Eras. I like the Ideas presented by Krajzen, and it was Fun trying to design them to fit the Theme and Design of Civ6 specifically (I couldn't resist lol), so allow me to share what I came up with with you:
- Either (1) For every Tech or Civic of the next Era that you have researched, you get -1 Loyalty in your Cities for every 2 Players that don't have it yet. If you're in a Dark Age it's -1 Loyalty for each Player that doesn't have it yet, if you're in a Golden/Heroic Age it will be -1 Loyalty in your Cities for every 3 Players that don't have it yet., OR (2) For every Tech of the next Era that you have researched and others haven't you get a Loyalty Penalty, and it's calculated as follows:

[((All Techs from the next Era that you have researched * all the Players in the Game except you) - (Sum of all Techs from the next Era that all other Players have researched)) / all the Players in the Game except you] + [((Sum of Players that didn't research any Tech of the next Era) - (Sum of Players that have research a Tech from the next Era)) /(2 if you're in a Normal Era. 1 If you're in a Dark Age. 3 if you're in a Golden/Heroic Age)] = - n Loyalty Penalty in All Player's Cities.

Example: We have 12 Players in the Game, including You.
- You have researched 3 Techs from the next Era
- 2 other Players have researched 2 Techs from the next Era.
- 1 other Players have researched 1 Tech from the next Era.
- 8 other Players haven't research any Tech from the next Era.
The Loyalty Penalty equation will go like this:
Normal Era: [(3*11 - (2*2+1*1+8*0)) / 11 ] + [(8-(2+1)) / 2] = ((33 - 5)/11) + 5/2 = 28/11 + 2.5 = round(5.04) = - 5 Loyalty in your Cities
Dark Age: [(3*11 - (2*2+1*1+8*0)) / 11 ] + [(8-(2+1)) / 1] = ((33 - 5))/11) + 5 = 28/11 + 5 = round(7.54) = - 8 Loyalty in your Cities
Golden/Heroic Age: [(3*11 - (2*2+1*1+8*0)) / 11 ] + [(8-(2+1)) / 3] = ((33 - 5))/11) + 5/3 = 28/11 + 1.66 = round(4.21) = - 4 Loyalty in your Cities

Another Example: We have 12 Players in the Game, including You.
# You have researched 3 Techs from the next Era
# 3 other Players have researched 2 Techs from the next Era.
# 2 other Players have researched 1 Tech from the next Era.
# 6 other Players haven't research any Tech from the next Era.
The Loyalty Penalty equation will go like this:
Normal Era: [(3*11 - (3*2+2*1+6*0)) / 11 ] + [(6-(3+2)) / 2] = ((33 - 8)/11) + 1/2 = 25/11 + 0.5 = round(2.77) = - 3 Loyalty in your Cities
Dark Age: [(3*11 - (3*2+2*1+6*0)) / 11 ] + [(6-(3+2)) / 1] = ((33 - 8))/11) + 1 = 25/11 + 1 = round(3.27) = - 3 Loyalty in your Cities
Golden/Heroic Age: [(3*11 - (3*2+2*1+6*0)) / 11 ] + [(6-(3+2)) / 3] = ((33 - 8))/11) + 1/3 = 25/11 + 0.33 = round(2.6) = - 3 Loyalty in your Cities

Other Penalties include:
- For every Tech of the next Era that you have researched, you get -2 Gold in your Cities for every Tech of the current (not next) Era that you haven't researched yet.
- For every Civic of the next Era that you have researched, you get -1 Culture in your Cities for every Civic of the current (not next) Era that you haven't researched yet.
- For every Civic (or 2 Civics maybe?) of the next Era relative to the current Game Era that you have researched, you get -1 Loyalty in your Cities.
- For every 2 Civics of the next Era relative to the current Game Era that you have researched, you get -1 Amenity in your Cities.
- If the Game is in Classical Era, for every Tech from the Medieval Era that you have researched, you receive -1 Food and -1 Gold Penalty in your Cities.
- If the Game is in Medieval Era, for every Tech from the Renaissance Era that you have researched, you receive -2 Gold and -2 faith Penalty in your Cities.
- If the Game is in Renaissance Era, for every Tech from the Industrial Era that you have researched, you receive -2 Culture and - 2 Food Penalty in your Cities.
- If the Game is in Industrial Era, for every Tech from the Modern Era that you have researched, you receive -4 Gold, -2 Food and -2 Production Penalty in your Cities.
- If the Game is in Modern Era, for every Tech from the Atomic Era that you have researched, you receive -2 Diplomatic Modifier with all Players and -1 Favor per Turn.
- If the Game is in Atomic Era, for every Tech from the Information Era that you have researched, you receive -5 Gold and -3 Culture Penalty in your Cities.
- If the Game is in Information Era, for every Tech from the Future Era that you have researched, you receive -3 Food and -10 Gold in your Cities and -4 Diplomatic Modifier with all Players Penalty.
- Some Policies, Governors and Wonders might negate/reduce some of those Penalties (either globally, or locally in case of Governors and some Wonders).

Sounds Fun to me, maybe I will make a Mod out for this at some Point (after more thinking it through ofc) ^^
 
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Sid Meyer's Alpha Centauri had some interesting mechanics around mitigating endgame complexity.

- Unit hull & armament consolidated. Early-game, you have several different unit hulls which have different strengths; late-game, you get generally better hulls which are more expensive but make everything else obsolete.

- Specialist consolidation. Early-game, you have doctors / engineers / etc. but late-game you have only Transcend specialists, which are better than all previous specialists.

- Improvement consolidation. Early-game, you have things like boreholes with adjacency bonuses to carefully place in your terrain; endgame you have fungus which is better than (many) previous improvements and cares not for placement.
 
I have never understood Civilization's extreme aversion of negative events. A ton of other strategy games is much more challenging, chaotic, random and filled with sudden hits in the face of all sorts:
1) Direct brutal consequences of stupid actions
2) More indirectly: emergent complexity and chaos blowing in your face, with limited player agency
3) And yes even just plain random terrible events ruining your plans.
This has never stopped all those games from being popular and highly rated; the presence of risk, gamble, randomness, consequences, spectacular disasters, overall not entirely predictable and optimizable challenge is spread all over strategy game genres, and here we are Sid Meier's secluded islands which tries to perform crazy alpine acrobatics of how to provide challenge while never taking player's candies, just always giving them.
Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis franchises have been massively popular, and they have never been reluctant to throw unpredictable mess at the player from time to time (taken to extreme levels in CK2, where there was feudal logic of your awesome ruler always being potentially close to dying to some infectious disease, causing disastrous civil war). I have never even seen players grumbling about this aspect of those games too much, they are simply part of adventure, of the living world. Taking to very different (tactical) subgenre, and Firaxis other franchise, XCOM games randomize a lot of things, including most importantly shots accuracy, frequently leading to spectacular disasters. Darkest Dungeon tactical game got massively popular while regularly killing off heavily invested - into team members during some random crazy kertuffles. It was just part of its risk management and adrenaline - pumping allure, also making victories much more emotional and satisfying.

Obviously I am not suggesting Sid Meier's Civilization going to very high levels of risk management and dramatic struggle (...though personally I'd love to see 4X civ - developing game not afraid to kick me in my teeth from time to time) but I just don't understand this talk of random events, probabilities and problems appearing outside of players agency being necessary, logical antithesis to strategy games while, depending on a game, a lot of them has incorporated randomness as part of core strategic experience. Just like real life "strategy games" of politics, economics, warfare etc has always involved a lot of unknown, probabilities, gambling, risk management and challenges suddenly emerging through no fault of parties involved.

Personally I think a right infusion of some of those qualities could go a long way of making Civ games less stale, linear, predictable and "winner is already decided halfway through", "I have optimized the game perfectly by renaissance, now I can capitalize on this forever with no risks".

The original Civilization Board game by Sid had a calamites function (earthquakes, plagues etc) that was player controlled via trading

Trading was an essential part of the game, basically you would try to complete card sets of various commodities. It was possible to “hide” a calamity in a set you were trading

It was an excellent system to target the percieved leader
 
The original Civilization Board game by Sid had a calamites function (earthquakes, plagues etc) that was player controlled via trading

Trading was an essential part of the game, basically you would try to complete card sets of various commodities. It was possible to “hide” a calamity in a set you were trading

It was an excellent system to target the percieved leader
There's soothsayers and faith for this still.
 
The original Civilization Board game by Sid had a calamites function (earthquakes, plagues etc) that was player controlled via trading

Trading was an essential part of the game, basically you would try to complete card sets of various commodities. It was possible to “hide” a calamity in a set you were trading
The 66 commodity cards and 8 calamity cards in Francis Tresham’s original Civilization board game: https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...easing-complexity.677400/page-6#post-16310805
Some more early board game pictures: https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...gs-you-didnt-know.673477/page-2#post-16307776

For the true & genuine fanatics :D who later read the whole paper manual before starting the software :eek: : an early board game Civilization rule book: see attached org_Manual (1981).pdf below.

It was an excellent system to target the percieved leader
how about it always occur to all players AI and human
Applying it evenly to all players wouldn't have the desired balance effect ... but it is not pure ganging up on the leader simply because it almost never developed a single clear leader ...

Question about ganging up : given a game with 4 players, 2 stronger & 2 weaker
Who does it not find natural/suggesting, that both stronger players try to deal damage to the other strong player while both weaker players spare themselves and target both stronger?

 

Attachments

  • org_Manual (1981).pdf
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Applying it evenly to all players wouldn't have the desired balance effect ... but it is not pure ganging up on the leader simply because it almost never developed a single clear leader ...

Question about ganging up : given a game with 4 players, 2 stronger & 2 weaker
Who does it not find natural/suggesting, that both stronger players try to deal damage to the other strong player while both weaker players spare themselves and target both stronger?

That strategy doesn't follow necessarily. Each leader might try to sphere an opposite weaker player. The weaker players, one or both might still believe devouring their rival is in reach. The only thing strategically bunk is for the stronger powers to ally to the detriment of the remaining. Anything else is intelligible.
That said, in some sense everyone's strategy is to weaken all rivals all the time as much as possible. At some times, your best goal is to damage someone else more than you are damaged yourself, and your only option is not to avoid but to minimize it. Those times are war. So the question of targeting is a matter of degree and priority. Then, given the mechanics of this game, at least, it's not often true that you need to make an exclusive choice. No resource is flummoxing to a specific player which is also an "excludable good (bad)" in being put to such a use, except for military positioning.
 
Bad events have an acceptance problem :D the spontaneous reaction is always No, I don't want it, do it away! Perhaps they would be better digestible, if the game mechanics would allow delay at appropriate higher costs (but unavoidable in principle).
The reason why bad events aren't accepted in Civ games comes from the strong linearity of the game in itself. In order to win the game, you need to grow big and efficient rather early and once that's done, the inertia is so strong that you can basically cruise for the rest of the game.

If the game was made more versatile, with more unavoidable bad events occurring but also easier comebacks, maybe these bad events would be better accepted as their consequences wouldn't be as impactful.

Historically speaking, all Empires struggled after exceeding a critical size, becoming overextended. Even the Roman Empire was quite powerful during 2 centuries of conquest but this had lead it afterwards to struggle with domestic conflicts causing it eventually to split up. China and India were huge civilizations during most of History, yet they also continuously struggled with internal conflicts. That isn't the case in Civ games. And as much as I understand most players absolutely love to grow huge Empires, conquering other civs and absorbing them as if they've always been yours, maybe that is made too easy. Once a player reached such a position where it has grown much bigger and advanced than others, it's just impossible for other players to catch him back. As a consequence of that, we don't tolerate losing territories because we know that a comeback would be too hard and tedious to be worth a try.

If the game was made more versatile, certainly bad periods would be better accepted as we would know that the leading opponents will also have their bad times and coming back with a revenge would therefore be made possible. This could be achieved with a mechanism making growing too large necessarily leading to internal conflicts, that would dramatically reduces your efficiency. Growing larger may be possible in later eras, but it would require discovering new technologies and developing specific infrastructures. In the meantime, if you need access to a distant ressource, founding a colony may be smarter than integrating a too expensive distant city, even if that would generate a risk that the colony may claim later independence. When conquering an opponent, maybe it could be more interesting to turn it into a vassal state in order to grab what you want of it (alliance, resources, military support) rather than integrating it to your Empire taking the risk it would later want to split, thus triggering an unavoidable civil war.

Another problem is that when you're leading technologically, it's far too difficult for other players to catch back, as they need to discover all technologies by themselves. I don't really understand why that should be the case as it never happened this way. Once a civilization discover something, it should be unavoidable to see that knowledge progressively spreading outside its borders, to anyone being in contact with it (through trade, religion, diplomacy). If that would be the case, then it wouldn't be as awful to not lead the technological race at a certain period of time in the game, as you would know that you could later get that knowledge at a cheaper cost and ultimately catch back.

There's a risk such mechanisms may frustrate older civ players at first, but if done properly, it could make the game more challenging and ultimately more fun. It would certainly help to make the final space race to Alpha Centauri turning really competitive and as such making the end game very thrilling.
 
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The reason why bad events aren't accepted in Civ games comes from the strong linearity of the game in itself. In order to win the game, you need to grow big and efficient rather early and once that's done, the inertia is so strong that you can basically cruise for the rest of the game.

... snip, snip ...

Historically speaking, all Empires struggled after exceeding a critical size, becoming overextended. Even the Roman Empire was quite powerful during 2 centuries of conquest but this had lead it afterwards to struggle with domestic conflicts causing it eventually to split up. China and India were huge civilizations during most of History, yet they also continuously struggled with internal conflicts. That isn't the case in Civ games. And as much as I understand most players absolutely love to grow huge Empires, conquering other civs and absorbing them as if they've always been yours, maybe that is made too easy. Once a player reached such a position where it has grown much bigger and advanced than others, it's just impossible for other players to catch him back. As a consequence of that, we don't tolerate losing territories because we know that a comeback would be too hard and tedious to be worth a try.
Agree with these ideas. Civ games, all through the franchise, are empire building games. One of the 4X's is "Expand", increasing the amount of territory and resources that your empire has. Many players (including me) love the expansion phase. Careful building, choosing city sites or resources to improve, all of that craftsmanship is very satisfying. For Civ6, those choices include using pins to set locations for future districts or wonders.

The AI could grow big and efficient in earlier games in the franchise, especially if one chose "Continents" maps. An AI faction could find itself with fertile land and grow pretty large. For Civ3 and Civ4 players, it was not uncommon to find a large opponent on the other large land mass with many cities, competitive tech, and a large army. This certainly happened in Civ5 and BERT as well.

While I agree that the idea of "empires struggling after exceeding a critical size" is historical, I'm not sure if I would find it "fun" to watch my carefully crafted empire begin to unravel. I would start looking for strategy articles on Civfanatics ... or YouTube videos ... to help guide me and reduce my vulnerability to the unravel mechanics. Or perhaps the optimal strategy, literally the best way to win the game that includes unravel mechanisms, is to plan for that, to leverage that. Plan to split off these N cities into an colony/vassal/sub-civ, plan to split off those N cities into another, to satisfy the ultimate victory condition in the *game*, which is an imperfect approximation of history.

I also agree that technology and knowledge tend to leak and diffuse between factions/regions/players. A player should be able to make choices and "beeline" to learn a particular tech, but the monopoly should have a finite lifetime. In contrast, if the human player has made better decisions about infrastructure development, city placement, resource trading, and empire management in general, then I would expect a *productivity* advantage to be sustainable over many turns.
 
I have never understood Civilization's extreme aversion of negative events.

Straight from the horse's mouth: players don't like this sort of thing. Here, Sid Meier talks about how his attempt of introducing the concept of rise and fall into Civ was one of his big mistakes as a game designer. Many players, myself included, complain about even minor adversities like not being able to maintain loyalty in a newly conquered city, having to spend faith and energy undoing conversions by an opponent, and the AI generating a ton of culture to slow down their cultural victory. Civ isn't a purely competitive strategy game, so while it does pull in players who do enjoy extreme challenges, it also attracts players who aren't interested in finding out how the empire they worked so hard to build up will recover from a terrible catastrophe. You should check out the rest of this talk because he also talks about why he believes it's important to be cautious with random events with negative consequences and the efforts he and his team have made to accommodate what you might consider irrational attitude held by many players.
 
Straight from the horse's mouth: players don't like this sort of thing. Here, Sid Meier talks about how his attempt of introducing the concept of rise and fall into Civ was one of his big mistakes as a game designer. Many players, myself included, complain about even minor adversities like not being able to maintain loyalty in a newly conquered city, having to spend faith and energy undoing conversions by an opponent, and the AI generating a ton of culture to slow down their cultural victory. Civ isn't a purely competitive strategy game, so while it does pull in players who do enjoy extreme challenges, it also attracts players who aren't interested in finding out how the empire they worked so hard to build up will recover from a terrible catastrophe. You should check out the rest of this talk because he also talks about why he believes it's important to be cautious with random events with negative consequences and the efforts he and his team have made to accommodate what you might consider irrational attitude held by many players.
That's an important point, random events with negative consequences indeed don't work. Just like Sid Meier told in this conference, the player indeed feel punished and it's too tempting to reload a savegame. This being said, the problem here is about the random nature of the event rather than its negativeness. The player indeed needs to feel in control and hate facing an unpredictable burden. However, if something negative happens because he didn't play well enough, then he's ready to recognize his fault and accept it.

The player will not accept to see his best city suddenly getting wiped out by the unpredictable eruption of a volcano. However, if his cities aren't well enough defended, and he gets attacked as a result, then he can recognize he made a mistake and accept it. Probably he'll try to replay an earlier save, but he knows that if he doesn't build the appropriate defence, then he'll necessarily end up being attacked. And he will be ready to take the challenge because that's how he'll learn to become a better player.

Now let's imagine that if you expand too quickly, things start getting wrong: discontent starts growing and you can't stop losing money. Then the player will understand he did it wrong and he should better go for another strategy, such as growing colonies instead of too distant cities or vassalizing a conquered opponent rather than integrating it to his empire. I think the player can accept that as long as this is properly enough explained so that he can see where was the mistake.
 
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Even some forms of predictable "rise and fall" are too much to bear. The aforementioned Loyalty situation. If a city swings away from you, and stays there, not only did you miscalculate, but... you're probably out of the running. Against competitive opponents, sinking that kind of investment is just the end. Stick a fork in you, you're done. "Rise and Fall" can be contemplated if there are falls that involve lurches downward, but which fall in an averaged space with everyone's trend. A fall that other players don't experience is simply lost time, and no reflavoring, recontextualising, or rationalising will get the player out of the bare problem.

Again I admire the Old World situation of city discontent, which is set up like a sinking boat problem where the bucket you have to save yourself just isn't big enough to start with. The negative event -will- trigger and it's a matter of finding moments to delay the next one and the next one until you actually have the means to meet the culture demand *consistently. In gameplay, it is experienced like speed bumps. The city doesn't *steal* anything from you. It just... stops being as much of a profit proposition for a bit. Perhaps the secret is in the negative result being a trigger, and a flat cost when experienced? Instead of a pit which you just pay some other maintenance cost to stay out of, it's like tossing water out of your boat. Uhh, except the boat resurfaces just with stinky kelp on it temporarily?
 
That strategy doesn't follow necessarily. Each leader might try to sphere an opposite weaker player. The weaker players, one or both might still believe devouring their rival is in reach. The only thing strategically bunk is for the stronger powers to ally to the detriment of the remaining. Anything else is intelligible.
I was not clear enough, with "both stronger players try to deal damage to the other strong player" I meant not situations typical for civ1-civ6, but situations like in setting the robber in Settlers of Catan or trading calamities in Francis Tresham’s original Civilization board game.
For game improvements this means a new type of bad events inflicted by other players. Cf. to post #112, 114 & 117 of this thread.
This new type of bad event via token is quite common and means not being at war or benefitting from it (as in zero sum).
If the game was made more versatile, with more unavoidable bad events occurring but also easier comebacks, maybe these bad events would be better accepted as their consequences wouldn't be as impactful.
That's an important point, random events with negative consequences indeed don't work. Just like Sid Meier told in this conference, the player indeed feel punished and it's too tempting to reload a savegame. This being said, the problem here is about the random nature of the event rather than its negativeness. The player indeed needs to feel in control and hate facing an unpredictable burden. However, if something negative happens because he didn't play well enough, then he's ready to recognize his fault and accept it.
Agree totally. As said in #119, I also think, a new type of bad events would be better accepted, because every player would also actively inflict the bad events onto other players and not just passively suffer from them himself.
A fall that other players don't experience is simply lost time, and no reflavoring, recontextualising, or rationalising will get the player out of the bare problem.
So it feels :yup: - especially if generated by a RNG. Because of that I want bad event tokens (calamities) played by the (other) players.
Trading commodities is very profitable / existential in Tresham’s Civilization, so swallowing calamities now and then is unavoidable ... the calamities don't really *steal* a lot from you. It just... stops being as much of a profit proposition for a bit.

 
Straight from the horse's mouth: players don't like this sort of thing. Here, Sid Meier talks about how his attempt of introducing the concept of rise and fall into Civ was one of his big mistakes as a game designer. Many players, myself included, complain about even minor adversities like not being able to maintain loyalty in a newly conquered city, having to spend faith and energy undoing conversions by an opponent, and the AI generating a ton of culture to slow down their cultural victory. Civ isn't a purely competitive strategy game, so while it does pull in players who do enjoy extreme challenges, it also attracts players who aren't interested in finding out how the empire they worked so hard to build up will recover from a terrible catastrophe. You should check out the rest of this talk because he also talks about why he believes it's important to be cautious with random events with negative consequences and the efforts he and his team have made to accommodate what you might consider irrational attitude held by many players.
I appreciate this source of Sid Meier. I haven't seen him speak like this before. I could've just looked it up myself and googled it. The video has credibility too because civilization is not our civilization, its Sid Meier's civilization.
 
This being said, the problem here is about the random nature of the event rather than its negativeness. The player indeed needs to feel in control and hate facing an unpredictable burden. However, if something negative happens because he didn't play well enough, then he's ready to recognize his fault and accept it.
Unpredictability isn't needed to make a negative event feel unjust. The player should be able to trace back their actions and come to the conclusion that there was a reasonable sequence of actions they could've taken to prevent the event. The loyalty system, for instance, is strongly coupled with the era score system, which sometimes forces you to do strange things. Sometimes, when you're struggling with loyalty, what you could've done better was to buy a galley in Lake Retba 20 turns ago instead of buying a library, or to not forget to switch out of Feudalism and accidentally complete it with 1 turn to go in the previous era.

This is all assuming the player is rational enough to own up to their mistakes, though. If that's the case, why don't we also assume that the player is rational enough to tolerate random negative outcomes, provided that the game accurately presents to the player the probabilities of all possible outcomes? In that video, Sid talks about how this was not at all the case when his team was designing the combat system for a Civ title, and his team ended up making accommodation for some players' tendencies to fall prey to what's commonly known as gambler's fallacy. I think he approaches game design with a principle similar to the old slogan, "The customer is always right". For him, doing what he knows many players won't enjoy is a bad investment, and that's a good enough reason to not introduce these features into the core game. There's no guarantee that a well-designed (whatever that means) anti-over-extension system like the one you described will be a hit with the Civ player base at large, even if it ends up being popular with more experienced players looking for a fresh experience.
 
Here, you run into another problem though: the inefficiency of automation will bug players.

Sector automation in Stellaris doesn’t come close to what skilled and experienced players can manage if they optimize their economy manually.

That forces the player to choose between tedium and inefficiency. Many, maybe most, pick tedium. If you are going to use automation as a hatch to climb outta late game boredom, it has to be on point. It doesn’t have to be as good as a talent players effort, but it has to be close to good enough that they’re not so irked they never automate anything.

Programming automation that efficient absolutely cannot be easy.
Not sure why it selected this particular short and generic piece of text to quote instead of full post that I wanted to quote? I agree with all poin 99%
 
Unpredictability isn't needed to make a negative event feel unjust. The player should be able to trace back their actions and come to the conclusion that there was a reasonable sequence of actions they could've taken to prevent the event. The loyalty system, for instance, is strongly coupled with the era score system, which sometimes forces you to do strange things. Sometimes, when you're struggling with loyalty, what you could've done better was to buy a galley in Lake Retba 20 turns ago instead of buying a library, or to not forget to switch out of Feudalism and accidentally complete it with 1 turn to go in the previous era.

This is all assuming the player is rational enough to own up to their mistakes, though. If that's the case, why don't we also assume that the player is rational enough to tolerate random negative outcomes, provided that the game accurately presents to the player the probabilities of all possible outcomes? In that video, Sid talks about how this was not at all the case when his team was designing the combat system for a Civ title, and his team ended up making accommodation for some players' tendencies to fall prey to what's commonly known as gambler's fallacy. I think he approaches game design with a principle similar to the old slogan, "The customer is always right". For him, doing what he knows many players won't enjoy is a bad investment, and that's a good enough reason to not introduce these features into the core game. There's no guarantee that a well-designed (whatever that means) anti-over-extension system like the one you described will be a hit with the Civ player base at large, even if it ends up being popular with more experienced players looking for a fresh experience.
the game should have concription system that allows creating lower level military units from peasant by forcing them to join army. These should sometimes turn into counter and super aggressive barbarians that can pillage all tiles of your empire in one turn and also capture half of your cities instantly
 
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