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The Most Essential Mod Never Developed (Balance of Power) - A PROPOSAL TO MODDERS

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Berent Baris, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. Berent Baris

    Berent Baris Chieftain

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    In my opinion, the biggest problem of Civ 6 is the horribly incompetent AI. There are many mods that attempt to make the AI better by making it more aggressive, persistent and better at preparing for and waging war. But none of them seem to modify WHO it chooses to go to war with, which is the leading cause of the AI's incompetency.

    In power politics (of which I am a student), there is a concept called "balance of power". The theory predicts that states attempt to secure their survival by preventing one state from gaining enough military power to dominate all others. If one state becomes much stronger than the rest, it will take advantage of its weaker neighbors, thereby driving them to unite in a defensive coalition.

    In Civ 6, the theory holds true when you are going for a domination victory, as mechanics like warmongering penalties, grievances, and military emergencies unite civilizations against an aggressor.

    However, domination is not the only way you can win in Civ 6, and the balance of power theory doesn't hold true for any other victory type. As soon as you surpass the AI in science, culture, religion or diplomacy, you can just cruise to a victory without ever attacking or being attack by a civilization. The AI will just passively watch you win the game and you won't have any competition. It makes the late game extremely unchallenging and tedious.

    A simple modification to WHO the AI attacks could easily solve this problem. The AI should be made very eager to go to war with the civilization that is closest to victory. This tweak will result in the strongest civilization (the civilization most likely to win) having to fight off the combined forces of many other weaker civilizations in the late game, making it much more challenging and fun for the stronger civilizations and giving the weaker civilizations a chance to catch up.

    Hence, I CALL ON CIV MODDERS TO BRING THIS SIMPLE IDEA TO REALIZATION. I think that it would be the single best change in the game and that the playerbase would be very grateful. If you are interested, please read on the technicalities below, and comment or pm me.

    TECHNICALITIES

    Disclaimer: In this section, I simply intend to explain my vision more clearly and give modders some food for thought. Modders know whats possible and whats not, and only they can figure out how to actually implement the idea that I outlined above.

    There are 5 categories in the in-game world rankings list; science, culture, domination, religious, and diplomatic. Civilizations' progress in these categories fills up the circle (with their icon in the middle) that represents their ranking in the categories.

    I thought the mod could compare the fullness of the circles that lead each of the 5 categories, and the fullest circle would become the primary target of all civilizations starting from the modern era. This targeting can be achieved by the emergency mechanic (details below), or by other means that modders can think of.

    It might be best if the target is declared through a diplomatic emergency called the "Balance of Power Emergency". If the target is leading in culture for example, it might have a text like "A civilization is approaching cultural dominance. The members must capture cities from the target to restore the balance of power." The goal of the emergency would always be to capture the target's capital. Ideally, like other emergencies, there would be rewards and punishments for the target and the members based on which side succeeds.

    Starting from the modern era, a balance of power emergency should be automatically proposed anytime an emergency is able to be proposed. Which civilizations join/vote for the emergency can be determined by how well they're doing and the victory type they're pursuing. So, all civilizations that aren't in the top 25% of any victory category in the world rankings list would join the emergency. And all civilization that are 2nd best in any category in which the target is leading would join the emergency. All other civilizations won't join the emergency. I think these would make writing the mod easier and keep the emergencies fairly balanced.
     
  2. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    They had something analogous to this in civ5 on release - essentially the AI would say “hey, you’re getting close to winning. It’s time we take you down a peg.”

    The problem, as it often is, was the psychological nature of how humans interacted with them: players SAW a red number saying the AI was angry they were winning. This rustled the jimmies of the “immersion” crowd and they took it out. The devs are reluctant to do that again.

    Anyways... mechanically you are asking for something extremely similar: AI that try to stop you from winning. But then you’re just sacrificing diplomacy to a volcano, because anyone playing well will always know they are getting Ganged up on. (It becomes a necessary condition of winning.)
    This dynamic is a big part of why it was removed from 5.
    That and the AI often can’t stop you at that point. Hence people try to make the AI play better so it is threatening.
     
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  3. Casworon

    Casworon Prince

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    Honestly I expected emergencies like this when i first heard about Rise and Fall.

    Currently we have emergencies against religious victory, domination victory and conquest snowballing, but absolutely no emergencies against speeding towards a science and culture victory.

    As said though I think the reason the 'players dogpile the winner' mechanic was removed was roleplay players hating it. Even though in my mind, it is an essential mechanic to bring tension to the late game and for some challenge to be provided once you have snowballed.

    I would love a science emergency and culture emergency to be added. A democratic emergency would be a weird one but still if a country went to declare itself world leader I'm sure some states would have something to say about it.

    We do have the anti-victory agendas such as flat leather being a anti-science victory agenda, libertarian being a anti-diplomatic victory agenda etc etc, but without an emergency causing the AI to take action they often just denounce you and stare at you angrily without doing anything. I think this is also the reason for such a huge malus for having different governments in the late game.

    If the AI was more declare war happy and was more threatening in war perhaps the anti-victory agendas and the late game different government malus would be enough
     
    Myomoto likes this.
  4. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Civ IV Emperor EQM Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Yeah that's a horrendous immersion breaking proposal from my perspective! The AIs should be trying to win but they shouldn't be aware of the meta game. I never really played Civ V so can't speak about that but it was in an earlier version of Civ 6 and very few people liked it. Maybe something more along the lines of Civ IV would help whereby the less powerful Civs would band together and help each other, honestly the best thing they could do is bring back tech trading as that was one of the obvious ways Civ IV AIs helped each other out.
     
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  5. Casworon

    Casworon Prince

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    Losing AI's supporting each other is an amazing suggestion to help counter snowballers. Achieving a similar objective in a more civ vi way.

    Trying to think how this would work though. Maybe once the world enters the modern era. All civs in the bottom 50% for a victory condition share some of their yeids with each other. Or some kind of 'catch up' aid emergency? There must be some better implementations. Maybe tech and culture trading can come back but only for the bottom 50% civs.

    Although I'm not sure it would bring back that sensation of the player being challenged which I feel is essential to maintaining some tension in the late game and ensuring its interesting to play.
     
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  6. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    I agree with this, but not with the application you're proposing.

    Diplomacy should matter, weak civs should ally with each other to stay competitive with leading civs in the different type of victories, not just domination, yes.

    But making the weak AI civs attack a strong human just because he is leading is a bad idea IMO, first, as Socratus said, it just remove the diplomacy aspect from the game, second because the AI is bad at making wars, unless it can rush the human before it can build defenses at the begining of the game.

    On a side note, technically it can be modded.
     
    Kjimmet, Sostratus and Noble Zarkon like this.
  7. Myomoto

    Myomoto Warlord

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    They should absolutely make emergencies for things like cultural and science victories. NASA was directly founded as a reaction to the USSR launching Sputnik.
     
  8. Berent Baris

    Berent Baris Chieftain

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    When real players play against each other, they gang up on the player who is closest to victory. This is how actual humans play. Moreover, I pointed out that this is exactly how nations behave in the real world (balance of power theory). So, I don't get how it could possibly make the game less immersive. In my opinion, it clearly makes it much more realistic and immersive.
     
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  9. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    That why I don't play MP. And you need AI that can actually play as well as a human to implement it.

    and isn't Balance of Power about making alliances first? Wars being consequences?

    but I agree that wars between alliances are indeed missing in the game. Well, real Alliances (ie more than 2 civs) are missing, that were I would start (and planned to) if the game was moddable.
     
  10. Berent Baris

    Berent Baris Chieftain

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    We want diplomacy to result in weaker civs trying to take down the winning civ. You can achieve that result with weaker civs hating the winning civ and doing alliances with each other and declaring joint wars, or you can achieve it with a simple emergency mechanic.
    As for the AI being bad at wars, the mod that I proposed can be used alongside Real Strategy or some other mods that improve AI warring. Additionally, the emergencies can get stronger as the eras progress. Every single civ can declare war on the winning civ in the latest eras.
     
  11. Soupy Delicious

    Soupy Delicious Chieftain

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    The problem with this is that there's so much wrong with this game, modding it that extensively would be an inefficient use of time. Just go play Civ 5 Vox Populi or something. Like why are yall so keen on sticking to Civ 6? Because it's the latest installment? Districts? Like what?
     
  12. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Civ IV Emperor EQM Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    I still play a lot of Civ IV but there's a lot to love about Civ VI, especially the Districts yes, Civ 5 never really got into - the weakest iteration in the whole series in my opinion.

    Indeed - that's why I don't play multiplayer!

    Agreed, again that was in Civ IV where diplomacy really mattered!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
  13. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    There is a lot to mod for civ5 to be enjoyable too (but at least it is moddable, yes), and no easy way to do MP with mods (because I don't do generic competitive MP, but I want to be able to do some coop or RP MP with friends and AIs)
     
  14. Soupy Delicious

    Soupy Delicious Chieftain

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    I agree that Civ 5 is pretty damn weak (though it looks a hell of a lot better than Civ 6, imo). But I did mention Vox Populi, which for those who don't know is probably Civ 5's biggest mod and completely saves Civ 5. Makes it a lot like Civ 4, actually, and totally improves the AI.

    Civ 5 with mods is actually ridiculously easy! Just a little haphazard, yknow? You just turn whatever mod you want (or download someone else's) into a 'DLC' (modpack) and put it with the other DLCs. Make sure your friends have exactly the same modpack and boot up the game!
     
  15. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    I know very well, I made the tool to do that.

    It still had limitations (try to do that with YnAEMP for civ5 or my WWII total conversion for example), and mods development is very tedious this way. One of the reasons I stopped modding civ5.

    That's a bit different from the original proposal, or I misread it.

    But I can agree with that, making alliances (plural) first then eventually wars. But no blind dogpiling on the leader, diplomatic relations should still matter, some civs should side with the leader to share victory for example.

    AFAIK there is no mod that can improve the tactical AI for civ6 with the current tools, but you can improve a bit war preparations.
     
  16. Soupy Delicious

    Soupy Delicious Chieftain

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    Oh well played. Well that definitely gives you some street cred :p. How do you play Civ 6? What is your go-to set of mods?
     
  17. Berent Baris

    Berent Baris Chieftain

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    is it impossible to add an extra emergency?
     
  18. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing Prince

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    I'm hoping this is what 'modes' are for - games rules that are not for everyone like Apocalypse mode. Have the AI team up at the end but don't stop there. As soon as you friend the AI they should try to kill any city states you have suzerain. Have you allies forward settle you. No trade deals at all. And NUKES NUKES NUKES.
     
  19. serikas

    serikas Chieftain

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    If we want to make AIs play like humans do, then we can make AIs disconnect from the game if they are losing.
     
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  20. Berent Baris

    Berent Baris Chieftain

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    we want to make AIs play like real-life nations do
     

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