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The whole Civ series has done a terrible job simulating the importance of energy

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Brawndo, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Brawndo

    Brawndo Warlord

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    Using fossil fuels for energy is the most important thing that has happened to human civilization since the development of agriculture. The internal combustion engine has changed everything from the way we grow our food to the way we fight oue wars. Modern civilization would completely collapse without electricity, largely generated by coal and natural gas. And let's not forget about all the negative impacts of fossil fuels, including economic crashes associated with oil prices and climate change from carbon emissions.

    Yet the entire Civilization series has done a poor job simulating any of this. If you don't have any coal, the worst that happens is you can't build railroads or Ironclads. Farms are only marginally more productive in the modern era than they are in the middle ages.

    If Civilization 6 is ever made, I propose making coal, oil, and natural gas non-renewable strategic resources. Each turn, each city with electricity and each motorized unit will consume 1 unit of the appropriate fossil fuel. Over time, resources will peak and peter out, forcing players to acquire new sources by force, exploration, or trade.
     
  2. HarvesterofSorr

    HarvesterofSorr Chieftain

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    Agree with you.
    One caveat: in Civ 2 the supermarket and superhighway did give quite a boost to food production and trade and was supposed to mimic the effects of the internal combustion engine on those.
     
  3. 3335d

    3335d CCtP Player

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    They seriously need to get some scientists, in particular physicists, on their development team so that they can simulate modern development based on energy. For most of your existence you should only be producing a small amount of surplus, until the dawn of the Industrial Revolution when industrial production becomes able to support an urban class.
     
  4. mdl5000

    mdl5000 Warlord

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    Most of the strategic resources in Civ V lose their value as the tech tree progresses, so I really don't see the point. Seriously, what good is iron by the Industrial era?
    Maybe if buildings which require resources produced sickness like they did in Civ IV, that would make city production more engaging.
     
  5. Duke Maynard

    Duke Maynard Chieftain

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    One must wonder how Battleship require no iron whatsoever. Slap on a 2-iron cost IN ADDITION to the oil.
     
  6. iontom

    iontom Chieftain

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  7. adsin15

    adsin15 Warlord

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    I proposed in another thread that a new Victory Condition be added to the game.

    Economic Victory - Control 50% of the available deposits of 3 different strategic resources (for example Oil, Aluminum and Iron)

    This would create incentive to found cities at crappy places to control Oil resources and encourage civs to fight over energy resources like you have suggested.

    Its not exactly what you had in mind but I still think its a good suggestion.
     
  8. Nukes R Us

    Nukes R Us M.A.D. Man

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    What about by technological advancement?

    Maybe at future era (or informational era) you can use 1 uranium to replace 3 coal using buildings, or if you have access to 1 wheat, you can have a oil-less unit. The more wheat you have access to, the more units you can have without expending oil
     
  9. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    Unless Civ used the Kardashev scale as a reference, simulating energy would be a little too involved for a game trying to cover so much ground.

    If you read the scale as proposed, all of Civ is basically moving from Type 0 to Type 1.

    Also energy thresholds within sub Type I civilizations are represented by 3 key strategic resources that also happen to be significant inflection points in the gameplay. This is well established since at least Civ3 with the addition of strategic resources.

    #1 Iron (Fire/forging) - Represents the first stage of harnessing energy, via fire.

    #2 Coal - Represents use of the planet's energy reserves

    #3 Uranium - Represents the harnessing of Atomic energy
    3b) Solar Plants /Hydroelectic power - reaching towards full Type 1 by harnessing energy absorbed by the planet.

    Unsurprisingly all 3 strategic resources are tied to significant shifts in production capacity.
    And Hydro power in particular features prominently both as wonders and improvements as production modifiers.

    I would argue energy is well represented, but it is moving in a very limited path along the scale. Too small to model directly, but it is modelled indirectly via it's relationship to strategic resources and the improvements they allow that enhances production/economy of your empire.

    The only major energy source not well represented is oil. In Civ its always been a war resource. But I think there's room for some fun in the Industrial /modern era to make Coal and Oil somewhat interchangeable with distinct advantages/disadvatanges while still providing roughly the same production bonus. Coal would be accessible early with factories, but oil would come a bit later with combustion, but provide a slightly scaled up or a different mix of bonus.
     
  10. g3istbot

    g3istbot Space Squid from SPACE

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    I'd definitely like to see some weight added to resources. Currently there is some influence based on where your setup and how your playing, but realistically if your not going for war and your playing a game where you don't manage to piss off every one you could theoretically play with the bare minimums.

    What I'd personally like to see is a lost of resources based on consumption and population. Let's say that your currently set up in an area that's heavily based on oil, but over time due to high population and demand, and because of your own spending spree with it all your oil gets dried up. You have a choice from that point on to either work with other civilizations who have oil and trade for their resource or buy it out right, or alternatively just take them over to obtain their oil.

    On top of that as the OP had mentioned seeing a bigger affect based on your current energy consumption/need would be great as well. Something like higher food output, better population growth, etc. How ever, this would come at a risk as you could potentially see environmental things happen as well. So if you have off shore drilling it could become disrupted, and if you have any food sources in that area you would get diminished food.

    Perhaps global warming from carbon emissions, and even Nuclear Meltdowns if you decide to setup nuclear reactors.
     
  11. Winston

    Winston Warlord

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    I'd like to see cumulative economic bonuses from surplus strategic resources like coal. Maybe factories etc should get an additional % boost based on how much surplus coal you have etc.
    Oil should get a production related building of it's own too.

    The Civ 4 corporations were good for renewing the importance of resources in the industrial age onwards - it's a shame they dropped them for Civ 5.

    I think there is real scope for an expansion pack that takes a close look at all the resources and how to expand upon their role in the game.

    That said, I disagree with the assessment that fossil fuels are the most important thing that happened to humans - it's obviously important but so are many of the other things that are depicted in the game
     
  12. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    All resources should probably move a bit more towards the upfront/maintenance cost model. That could have a better bearing on how well they're used, and allow for more strategic gameplay. So, for example, you would have each deposit contribute X per turn to your supply. Then each unit would have a combination upfront and maintenance cost (ie. Swordsmen cost 1 iron + 1/10 of an iron per turn). Certain buildings or units might have one but not the other (maybe you declare a knight doesn't need iron upfront, but still costs 1/10 of an iron per turn, or without it, gets a 10% combat penalty).

    Then you could simulate energy needs with having something translate resources to energy to be used to power cities. Even with something as basic as a mechanism like the happiness/golden age meter. So each excess resource (iron, coal, oil, uranium) contributes 1 towards that total. But on top of that, each factory in your empire will give a bonus per turn for coal, and each oil refinery will give a bonus for oil, etc... On top of that, each population point (or each pop above a certain level) would draw a penalty from the counter (or even an exponential penalty, as having a pop 20 city would consume more energy than 2 pop 10 cities). Then if that counter went negative, your cities would be in shortfall and you could have production penalties for that.


    With a system like that, it would actually be 2-fold: you have a limited resource supply. Do you use more to equip your troops, or do you put it towards your cities? Getting the balance right would be tough - early game you basically wouldn't be able to use this system, as there's very limited "energy" resources (unless if you also counted timber from forests). And you'd have to balance it late game, but it would certainly add a pretty neat mechanism, where if you have a semi-runaway civ, you still need to be sure you have the resources necessary to handle your civ.

    I mean, in a way that's how the happiness counter works now. Excess happiness is "banked" towards a golden age. And it would certainly help now, where if I don't have coal in my empire, I just find a city state or another civ with a few, buy it from them, build my factories, and then I don't care anymore when that coal runs out since my factories are already running. Any coal more than the 1 per city, and I've never cared about it in civ5.
     
  13. Bechhold

    Bechhold King

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    Think people are forgetting that Civ 5 is incredibly dumbed down in order to not confuse new players who apparently can't read, or take on a simple learning curve (imagine a new player to the series having to juggle happiness and pollution, while actually trying to build and maintain an economy/armed forces ratio! Buddha they would give up right then and there!). Sid Meier is gone and pretty much done with the series as a whole.

    We're stuck with IV BtS being the height of the series.
     
  14. headcase

    headcase Limit 1 Facepalm Per Turn

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    All buildings later in the game should require power. It's not hard for new users (especially since it wouldn't come up until late in the game). Just give all power plants a "provides power" trait and all buildings a "requires power" trait, similar to Civ 4.

    Also, older styles of power plants and factories should give minus apples as a quick way of acknowledging pollution (need hospitals, etc to offset). I know "people don't like penalties" but for massive hammer bonuses I think it wouldn't feel so bad, that way they can give factories more than a 10% production bonus, which is comically small.

    This is a fair enough suggestion. I think the excuse is, by that time, the civ is better at extracting iron and doesn't need the large obvious deposits that it needed in past centuries.
     
  15. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    even a basic pollution = food would work. +25% hammers but consumes 2 food
     
  16. Dida

    Dida YHWH

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    I think civ is also horrible in simulating food and trade.
     
  17. 78stonewobble

    78stonewobble Chieftain

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    You are correct that it is very poorly simulated but it's, sofar, a small thing to leave out.

    PS: Using coal and oil energy should kill of x % of the poorer civs, while nuclear power should have x % chance of killing citizens and polluting an area.

    Yet if I remember correctly we would need 3xx something chernobyl accidents for nuclear power to be as dangerous as global warming (which is estimated to cost 5.000.000 lives a year for around 25 years in the future).
     
  18. Kevin Nash

    Kevin Nash Chieftain

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    I kinda think the recycling centers make it too easy to get aluminum. I think they should be patched to provide extra aluminum only if you already have the resource. Under the current rules Aluminum feels trivialized.
     
  19. Bechhold

    Bechhold King

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    One of the main factors is there is no Pollution factor alongside buildings such as factories with power, production, and pollution where resources and even other buildings played a part.
     
  20. Gatsby

    Gatsby King

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    Access to particular resources should be a prerequisite for researching particular technologies. Seriously, how and why would any society invent iron working without access to iron, or refining without access to oil?

    I also agree that energy supply needs to play a far more important role than it has. The developers of future Civ games should base their whole design philosophy on the idea of civilizations as organisms with lifecycles: they grow, require resources and energy in order to grow and sustain themselves, are subject to ageing and decay, and are prone to overconsume and exhaust their their energy and resource base as a result of their very efforts to grow and sustain themselves.

    It should also be possible to build mulitple power plants in the same city. Each new power plant would provide a certain number of units of power to a city depending on the type of power plant (e.g. nuclear, coal), and each unit of power would only be available for one purpose at a time. Having certain buildings which require a minimum amount of power units would make cities more dependent on power over time, such that a power shortage (e.g. through the destruction of a power plant) would cause severe problems for happiness and productivity etc . To make matters even more interesting, building more power plants would also increase the depletion rate of the particular resources which are required to build them (e.g. uranium, coal), and renewable power plants would provide less units of power than nuclear and fossil fuel power plants.
     

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