The Official Civ4 Ideas Thread

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Chieftess, Nov 19, 2003.

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  1. Mr. Cackle

    Mr. Cackle Cacklin' since '95

    Sep 29, 2003
    New York, New York
    Governments and the economy:

    Civ needs some sort of economy. This would go along with the liberal/conservative slider i mentioned before. The more liberal you make your government, the less the economy can sway and the more conservative you make your civ, then the more the economy is able to sway. These apply to Republic and Democracy, as for Despotism, Fascism and Communism the economy cannot sway at all, Monarchy and Fuedalism can sway a little bit. How does an economy boom or stagnate? It is a combination of treasury (run a deficit and your economy goes to the dump), your GDP (finally a use for that thing that pops up when you press F11) and how openly you trade with other civs.

    A boom in the economy will increase the overall mood a little bit, but increase science and commerce. If the economy lags, then the people will get sadder, production will slow and corruption will increase. Every once in a while an equivalent to a "plague" will arise and could be called something like a "stock market crash" or something to that extent, and would be an instant lag in the economy.

    The range at which an economy can rise and fall is rather small until you get banking, and the range will increase even more once you get Economics and The Corporation.

    This gives much more stability and appeal to governments such as Communism because they can rely on a steady economy that won't fail them. However, the risk takers who choose a conservative Democracy can either be extremely rewarded or find themselves in an eternal depression.

    on to my second idea: I propose that there be various public services that one can invest in. These would range from public health to education, union support to civil safety (police, courts, firemen), all the way to business relief (not sure of the proper name for it, but it is basically something to help bankrupt companies). Under Communism, the cost to invest in the various areas is drastically reduced, to reflect the fact that the state has complete control of the economy, so thus has an easier time giving public services. Of course, communism could not get "business relief" because they have no businesses! Each slider has a certain effect on your civilization, for exampe public education would increase science and slightly boost commerce, union support would increase production, civil safety would slightly decrease corruption and make the people happier.

    This system of investing in the various services would also tie in to the idea of having some sort of Congress, Parliament, Meeting of Feudal Lords, etc. in that the various "factions" within the congress would want various amounts of money to be spent in various places.

    Although this may seem like it leans a bit towards Communism, it is mainly because in civ3 communism is very under-rated and SERIOUSLY needs a boost. Most would either choose Fascism, Democracy, or Republic instead of communism, plus I feel that this economy thing would allow for it to be risky to have a free market, which is true in the world (look at Africa and how quickly it depressed) and should be in civ.
  2. NankingDan

    NankingDan Chieftain

    Dec 12, 2002
    More Ideas Still...
    1) I really like Buckets' idea about terrain naming. You could name a clump of six or more mountains into a mountain range, or name six or more tiles of desert as a desert. This has no function but looking cool, and maybe serving as a point of reference. The Civ that owns the area should be able to name it.
    2) I think they should have police actions, for example going to England and saying "Make peace with India or else!"
    3) Possibly as a trait of militaristic or a wonder, something that preserves more infastructure in captured cities. I can't tell you how skeptical I am when I conquer a huge city and all that's left is a marketplace or harbor.
    4) A wonder or small wonder that allows you to produce two things at once in the same city.
    5) I like the idea going around of a spherical world. maybe you could chose at the "world size/age" screen whether you want a spherical or flat map
    6) Nova's idea of unchecked barbarian villages being turned into new civs is good.
    7) Barbarians in more modern ages, like guerrilas or terrorists
    8) I hate the Byzantine UU. I almost never use naval units early on. To make the unit better, and more historically accurate, how about letting it be able to defend inside of coastal cities like it was a foot unit?
    9) More African and SE Asain civs would be nice
    10) Discussing Military affairs with allies, such as: "please attack Corinth within ten turns".
    11) Greatly decreased espionage costs, slightly decreased corruption
    12) Units with both combat and bombard values
  3. Grey Fox

    Grey Fox Master of Points

    Dec 19, 2001
    Addable and/or Editable Traits

    If Civ4 is going to use traits, similar to the system in Civ3, they should be editable in the Editor. And even addable, in some way. Like a new trait that is a merge between 2 traits.

    I also think that if the civs are going to have 2 traits like the Civ3 system, one of the traits should be dominant, so that a civ that is Scientific/Industrial, is more Scientific then it is Industrial. And a civ that is Industrial/Scientific is more Industrial then it is Scientific.
  4. heiminglee

    heiminglee Chieftain

    Nov 27, 2002
    Hong Kong
    1. real earth map

    2. contain all features of CIV3, don't want to wait expansion pack to provide the features the original should have (like multiplayer)

    3. real modern military situation. no more battleships in modern times, missles rule!!! aegis & sub are too weak in the CIV3.
  5. xumio

    xumio Chieftain

    Jan 25, 2003
    how about splitting the the research tree, one part is like the current one, but the other has only non trade able techs.
    furthermore make your "research strenght" in the later dependant on something like # of cities or population
    techs in this tree could require techs from the first one as prequesits and vice versa.
    also should only be optional techs, area depending on "normal" scientific area.
    each civ should have one of these at the start of a game.
    the content should consist of some of the more abstract technologies like governments, philosophy,
    as they would be non trade able they could also be used to allow culture(group) specific techs/govs/etc.

    little example:
    lets say you found your first city, and have the either despotism (later you'd get feudalism), shamanism (later you'd get theocracy), tribal council (later you'd get monarchy)
    and can start researching
    despotism: "slavery" +25% production, +2 unhappy citizens
    shamanism: "medical ritual" +1 food in center city square
    tribal council: "campfire stories" +1 content in every city
    no requirement: "riddles" +1 research for every 5 population
    riddles: "philosophy" +1 research for every specialist used

    PS: 2d is enough, computer power should be used to speed up game/make ai less stupid - just my 2cent
  6. Mad Hab

    Mad Hab Warlord

    Apr 22, 2002
    São Paulo, Brazil

    I think civs with lots of unhappy/unemployed citizens should randomly lose population points to richer/growing civs (unless the former civ is communist, that is). That would be a good way to emulate younger countries such as Canada, Brazil, America, Argentina or even what happens today with emmigration of africans to France and Britain, for example (this feature could work to emulate war refugees as well).

    Oh, and one more thing: NO MORE JEANNE D'ARC, for heaven's sake!!!


    Mad Hab
  7. Mad Danny

    Mad Danny Chieftain

    Nov 27, 2003
    I like these - and the revised automation could really work - just draw blueprints, eg:
    roads as dotted lines, clearing jungles or forest as a red X
    irrigation as a blue circle, mines as a black circles
    railway as black dots along the roadway, etc.
    and worker automation could be just prioritising agriculture (irrigation & farms), trade (roads & railroads) and production (mines) and setting the pollution override radius.. that should cover most issues alongside the 'road to ->' for resources and such 'partial automations' (must also remember when prioritising worker actions to include the 'this worker/ all on continent/ all workers option)

    saving production queues would be most helpful (temple then 2 defense units then library then notify me for changing then)
    but not doing away with governors - one of the best features of governers is not having to worry about city happiness because they automatically allocate entertainers and change production:food ratio to prevent starvation - this is extremely useful for people who want to play more militaristic without having to keep checking moods against troop numbers, or expansionists who just get sick of spending every turn tweaking every city..

    I think the immigration idea several people have elaborated could be good - maybe make it a NPC unit of 'huddled masses' equivalent to one population point :p
    maybe then when a city is under particularly heavy bombardment you could get refugees trying to escape in the opposite direction (to other friendly cities at first, or others if they don't like what their home civ is up to or if they're too unhappy), and if they get captured by another civ they count as slaves or such until assimilated (slaves being a possible saleable luxury by low-tech governments or POWs for democracy and republic). Alternate techs like Radio and Television that people have mentioned could reduce the chances of people trying to leave because they can be misled by the media
  8. Gatlin

    Gatlin Chieftain

    Jan 3, 2002
    Greenfield, IN, USA
    Another idea taken from SMAC and the MOO series:

    Divide the techs into different categories- Militaristic, Social, Economic, etc.
    Then allow the player to set percentages of total research funding into each category.

    Historically, a nation didn't research single-mindedly, they have broad research areas.
    Gameplay-wise, this gives more control to the player, which is always, ALWAYS a good thing, and it allows for more customization and randomization of games. If you aren't sure what the opponent is invested in research wise, it makes for more varied games.

    I also like the idea of allowing multiple things to be built in a city.
    Historically accurate again, and allows for more choices. Again a very good thing.
  9. Howard Mahler

    Howard Mahler Since Civ 1

    Dec 7, 2003
    In Civ2 I believe cities with too many unhappy citizens would have their names show up in red in the list of cities.
    This made it much easier to see which ones would go into civil disorder.

    This feature seems to be missing in Civ3 (F1) and should be brought back.

    Howard Mahler

    P.S. It would not hurt if when you set the governor to control happiness it did not produce somewhat inferior results compared to doing it manually. (Doing it manually usually results in an extra gp per city compared to automatic.)
  10. artemisarrow

    artemisarrow Warlord

    Dec 1, 2003
    there are a few things id like to see improved upon..

    1. i think that cities should be more than one tile, as in small cities start out as one time, but larger ones are like 4, it jsut goes to add for reaslism, and also bigger cities consume more space and recources. Kind of like in sim city where small shacks in one square evolve into big plaza's worth 4

    2. a real earth map with acurate sizes, rome should not take up 1/10th of italy

    3. the units should all be multi figured, better realism.

    4. lets have an age past modern! and also something to come before classical/ancient, like archaic

    5. how about a civ editor like in the sims, u can build up how an opponent looks, what uu's they have, even design them with like pics, like long sword short sword, kilt or sarong, instead of pcx this and flc that

    6. more meshes between terrian, like desert hills, plains hills, tundra hills, glacers, like in ctp

    7. i think every civ should have a religion, most of this worlds wars were due to it, it might make things interesting, liek part of cultural value
  11. Mike.doc

    Mike.doc Warlord

    Mar 7, 2002
    Walloony, Belgium
    Graphic interface
    1. One more grade with the Zoom.
    2. The cities doesn't change of look when conquered, except the color
    obviously, but when growing after, the new parts added look like the
    conqueror's cities.
    3. Still more diversitity in the units and the human races, for example when
    one take wokers prisoner.
  12. playshogi

    playshogi Emperor

    Nov 1, 2001
    I'd like to see more small wonders, perhaps with 2 resources required to build, like Iron Works.
  13. Inkalu

    Inkalu Chieftain

    Dec 10, 2003
    Finland, Tampere
    There have been some great ideas and improvement suggestions for Civ 4 on this forum such as more complex trade and diplomacy, religion, biggest should not always be the most productive, more adjustable forms of governments and so on. These are all obvious improvements that everybody would like to see in the next civ.

    Well, here are few of my ideas:

    Map. Instead of tiles, there should be hexes. Hexes are so much better in all ways than square tiles. Of course with tiles you have eight adjacent tiles and with hexes you have only six adjacent hexes, but besides that, hexes are more flexible and realistic way to form a map.

    Slavery. Civ 4 should have slavery implemented somehow.

    Exploration. Military units shouldn't be able to explore unexplored land. Instead there should be explorer units (something like scouts or explorers of civ3). Or even better if exploration would be abstract. You pay some gold to an 'explorer' and in return he would go out in the wild and bring you a map of the explored land...or not. Trade and growth of population would also reveal parts of the map. Isn't it a bit ridiculous that military units wonder in jungles, tundra and desert unharmed without supply for hundreds of years. Which brings me to my next subject.

    Supply / readiness. Military units need supply to function properly. In order to be in supply, a unit for example should be connected to a city via road. Perhaps in out of supply the unit would lose some of its hit points or combat strength. This sounds like a wargame, not empire building game, but making war really is expensive and hard. Not as easy as in previous civs.

    Upkeep. Civs should need money to upkeep their roads, (irrigation, mines)...

    Infrastructure. As in CtpII or something similar. Forget workers.

    Wonders and traits. Wonders of the world and racial traits should have less impact on the game.

    That's it for now.

    Oh. Why call it a civ 4 or civ IV when it could just be called cIV =).
  14. Winston

    Winston Warlord

    Jul 23, 2003
    I also have some suggestions about adding more depth to military strategy. Civ 3’s combat system is good but I tend to find that the easiest way to conquer cities is to mass produce loads of the fastest, most powerful attackers of any particular time period and I tend to ignore the other units apart from for city defence. I am hoping that civ 4 will force the player to produce a large variety of units – this can be done by making units require specific buildings before a city can produce them (I’ve already posted this suggestion earlier in the thread) and by giving units combat bonuses depending on what units they are fighting and the type of terrain they are fighting in; here are some suggestions for combat bonuses:

    1) Infantry units (from both the industrial ages and modern ages) should get attack and defence bonuses if they are fighting in any kind of difficult terrain – this would include mountains, swamps, jungles, forests, ruins, and cities – because all of these terrains offer an abundance of cover that infantry could exploit far more effectively than tanks and therefore they should get additional benefits when fighting in this terrain.
    2) Fast units such as tanks, knights, horsemen, cavalry should get combat bonuses when fighting on flat open terrain such as plains and grassland because this kind of terrain offers these units the maximum opportunity to exploit their speed against other units.
    3) Archers and Longbowmen should receive defence bonuses when they are fighting on hills, mountains, fortresses, and cities because their elevated positions allow them to see approaching troops more clearly and to maximise the range of their weapons Nb: Longbowmen should be a specifically English unit and every other civ should use crossbows. 2nd Nb: Archers and Longbowmen should both have higher defence values.
    4) Units such as spearmen and pikemen should receive combat bonuses against mounted units.
    5) Mounted units should get a combat bonus against archers, longbowmen, and musketmen as they can close the distance on these ranged units faster than any attacking foot units.
    6) Archers, Longbowmen, and musketmen should get a combat bonus against hand to hand foot units because they have plenty of time to fire upon units to reduce their numbers and weaken their morale before the enemy can retaliate.

    The above are just suggestions for numerous different combat bonuses – the aim of the bonuses would be to stop any single type of unit dominating any particular age because all units will have different strengths and weaknesses that will vary according to terrain types and the opposition.

    Another suggestion to discourage the mass production of the best attackers would be to increase their support cost, which would also be more realistic e.g. Knights were rewarded for their services with tracts of land whereas pikemen were raised from the peasantry and were expected to fight as part of their feudal duties to the land owners and they were not rewarded for their contribution in any campaigns. Another example would be tanks and infantry – It is a lot more expensive and time consuming to build tanks when compared against supplying the wargear needed to arm infantry. Both tank crews and infantry will require uniforms, boots, training, ammo, food, and a host of other things; but tanks also require spare parts, regular maintenance, and fuel, which would make them more costly to maintain.

    Another suggestion to add depth to the combat system would be to add the concepts of supply lines and morale.


    In RL battles have been won and lost according to the morale and motivation of the troops, so I suggest that in addition to a health bar units should have a moral rating which would reflect the mood of the troops. Morale for any particular unit could be 1 of 5 classifications, which could be:

    1) Excellent: Only elite units would be able to achieve excellent morale and while their morale remains excellent they would benefit from significant bonuses to their attack and defence.
    2) Good: Only Veteran and Elite units would be able to achieve good morale and while their morale is good, units would receive a small bonus to their attack and defence.
    3) Steady: All Regular and Conscript units would start off with steady morale and this would be the best status that they could achieve (of course if the unit is promoted to Veteran or Elite then morale could exceed steady). Steady units receive no combat bonuses or penalties.
    4) Low: If things are going badly for a unit their morale may deteriorate to low, in which case they receive a small penalty to their attack and defence (troops are less motivated and more likely to run away in battle).
    5) Awful: If things are going terribly for a unit then it’s morale may deteriorate to Awful. Units with awful morale will not be reliable in battle as they will be likely to run away so they will have a large penalty to attack and defence and in addition, the units health bar will decrease each turn that the unit has awful morale because troops will start deserting.

    Unit morale could fluctuate due to a variety of factors. Morale could improve when a unit is at full health, is in home territory, captures an enemy city, defeats enemy units, loses a friendly city (desire for vengeance), is fortified in a city/fortress etc. Morale could deteriorate if a unit spends a long time in enemy territory, loses a lot of nearby friendly units, if the nation is suffering from war weariness, if the unit takes damage, if the unit is nearby another friendly unit with poor morale etc. By adding in unit morale this would create a new tactical facet to the game and it would become necessary to be more careful with how you deploy your forces.

    Supply Lines:

    In RL as armies advance it becomes necessary to extend their supply lines, which creates all kinds of logistical headaches for military strategists – supply lines are also a weak point in an army that can be exploited. So with this in mind I suggest that as units move into enemy territory, they should leave behind them visible supply lines that enemy units can move onto and disrupt. If a unit’s supply lines are disrupted them it should receive a combat penalty or a morale penalty.
  15. nova

    nova Chieftain

    Sep 23, 2003
    Moderator, forgive me. I have no idea how to break down the following to fit your Post#1 format.

    In addition to the above -- which are great ideas -- completely scrap the tech tree concept as it currently stands (or at least make it invisible). It's utterly ridiculous that you should be able to look ahead 500 or 2000 years to map out your progress.

    Most of the advisor screens make sense in that you are dealing with current information that should be accessible to your average leader with reasonably good advisors ... and then you get to the Science Advisor screen. F1-F5 put you in touch with your realm, F6 makes you (scientifically) omniscient. To beat a dead horse: The King who's asking his Science Advisor how to get from here to Construction (2 steps and 1000 years away!!) can then say "Oh, by the way, remind me what's the shortest path to Miniaturizaton." Bad, bad schism there.

    In addition to the "fog of war" there should be a "fog of science" that would let you look ahead very narrowly when you're concentrating on a certain discipline (such as weapons or religion or government). Of course, by now we all have the tree memorized so just making it invisible wouldn't really accomplish anything. Seems to me there's a potential for big change here, but sadly, it's big enough that I don't even know where to begin with suggestions on improvement. I'll think about it.

    While we're discussing omniscience, make the spaceship screen inaccessible until the Apollo Program is built (or at least take out the civs/status list so that we can't check out the spaceship in 3550 b.c. to see who else shares our world).

    Hmm, also, dispense with the Histograph -- at least until embassies have been established; the information in that screen should only reflect the civs we know about (and/or have embassies with).
  16. DrMadd

    DrMadd Maker of Monsters

    Dec 10, 2003
    The Southeast US
    I'd like to see the Advisors from Civ2 come back. There was a certain charm in Civ2 Advisors. While the Gameplay of Civ3 is indeed excellent in all aspects, and the interface allows much more detail in play, That would be all I would change. Keep most of Civ3 and its expansions, but switch back to Civ2's advisors. Oh, and bring back Elvis.
  17. Winston

    Winston Warlord

    Jul 23, 2003
    Here’s some suggestions for infrastructure developments. I would like Civ 4 to represent developments in agriculture, transport, and fishing more accurately.


    Agriculture improved massively throughout history so that modern farming techniques are VASTLY more productive than ancient farming techniques. So I think that there should be 4 levels of irrigation (each time you irrigate a tile it produces 1 more food).

    1) The first level of irrigation would represent ancient farming techniques and civs would start the game being able to irrigate tiles to this level.
    2) The second level of irrigation would be available with a tech such as feudalism and would represent developments in farming tools, crop rotation, and the strip farming system.
    3) The third level of irrigation would be available with a tech such as refrigeration and it would represent developments such as commercialised farming, refrigerated transport, and vastly better farming equipment and practices e.g. early tractors and high farming.
    4) The fourth level of irrigation would be available with a tech such as pesticides and it would represent all the developments that have taken place in modern times such as combine harvesters, pesticides and fungicides, large-scale greenhouses, large-scale mechanised commercialised farming etc

    This means that your cities would receive a food boost in the middle ages, in the industrial ages, and the modern ages so it would be more historically accurate and there would be small towns in ancient times and vast metropolises in modern times.

    Similarly, improvements in naval travel should improve the volumes of food produced from coastal, sea, and ocean squares because fishermen would travel further out to sea to catch fish and fishing techniques have improved so food produced from these tiles should increase after the discoveries of navigation and refrigeration. Military ships should get a lot faster as you research techs too (there was a suggestion earlier in the thread about ‘airlifting’ ships from one city to another that sounded good).


    Transport should also develop from roads to railways to motorways and each time the tile is upgraded it should produce more bonuses to trade and shield production and should increase the speed at which a unit can travel along a tile.
    Nb: Neither railways nor motorways should allow infinite movement. Simlarly airlifts shouldn’t be infinite either – but the distance of airlifts should increase as you discover more techs
  18. drewgood

    drewgood Chieftain

    Nov 12, 2001
    San Diego
    If I can build a rocket and go to the moon, I wish I could distribute food across my cities. So when a city is short on food it takes from a larger pool. Maybe this is a new technology called 'Distribution Infrastructure' or whatever.

    Makes no sense to have Advanced Flight but you can't even drop a payload of bread to a starving city.
  19. DrMadd

    DrMadd Maker of Monsters

    Dec 10, 2003
    The Southeast US
    I feel that Communism should be a lot like it is in Civ3, but I would add Disabling of temples, Cathedrals, Stock Markets, Adam Smith's Trading company to reflect the actuality of this system.
    Also, Fascist players should have the option of enslaving all citizens not of their nationality when they capture a city and move of some of their own into it.
  20. Cornflake

    Cornflake Chieftain

    Nov 29, 2003
    Tallinn, Estonia
    It would be good it units that use projectiles as weapons would have some sort of advantage over melee warriors.

    Maybe things like hired armies that you buy and when you are done using them you just give them back. They should cost some money every round.

    I would really like more that one leader for a civ.
    I am not a shovinist or anything but it just doesn't feel right taking over the world in brutal war with some "princess Catherine" I wanna atke control of some bada$$-m0therfycker like Stalin or Lenin.
    Maybe leaders could change over time because it feels strange that I control Xerxes in 1983.
    But then again who is the leader of Persia nowadays.
    Just like the Americans didn't even excist until the 19'th century.

    Civ specific unit graphics would be awesome, like workers would look different for everyone and they would evelvo over the time.
    It is strange having some long bearded, robe wearing yahoo digging roads in the nineteenth century. I know they change in the industrial age but atleast give us some robots or something if we were to go past "Modern age" as someone before me preposed.

    More understandable charts, just some plain old lines would work.

    A spy sattelite would be a good wonder in a later part of the game. You could have full view of the world without the fog of war.

    That's it for now.
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