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[GS] There are just too many diplomatic currencies

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by acluewithout, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

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    For better or worse, Civ is a game made out of interlocking game systems rather than huge overarching mechanics. But there really are just too many diplomatic systems and currencies even for a game like Civ.

    Let’s count shall we? Well, for a start, Envoys (which in turn is made up of influence and “suzerain”), Diplomatic Modifiers (which includes delegations and embassies), Diplomatic status (including friendly, unfriendly etc., but also open borders), Diplomatic Visibility, Alliance points, Warmonger points, weariness. You can can also add in Spy Capacity and Governor Titles which are more or less related. You can also add in loyalty (including era score, Religion, pop), and tourism which are also more or less related. Then with GS, we have diplomatic favour, grievances and diplomatic victory points. Oh yeah, there’s also some sort of Cede Mechanic - whatever that does.

    It’s confusing. But worse than that, it becomes very rigid. No matter what you do, you will always have a Governor (unless you deliberately don’t spend titles) and you’ll always have envoys. And various systems don’t interact - both alliances and envoys get me diplomatic favour, but I don’t really ever choose between them, I just have both. And this has been discussed to death before, but tourism doesn’t really interact with any diplomatic systems, neither loyalty nor alliance points nor anything else.

    Does anyone else find these various different systems sort of maddening?

    If we get a third expansion, I think this stuff needs to get reworked. Not massively, but at least a little. In particular, Envoys (including influence), Governor titles and Spy Capacity seem particularly ripe to be collapsed into just one currency. And loyalty and tourism are just crying out for some sort of link, so that cultural power directly affects the map (something like how Civ 5 did it with Ideologies).

    FXS do seem like they’re tidying up the diplomatic game to some extent. Grievances seems like it could well be the best feature of GS (they should really think about putting Grievances into the base game to boost sales, given how many people complain about warmonger penalties). Having Alliances, Envoys, Government Tiers and other “events” create diplomatic favour does make all those systems a bit more integrated. And being able to buy diplomatic favour sort of links the whole diplomacy thing into the core yields of the game - gold, faith and hammers and economy in general. But it could all be a lot better.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
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  2. Uberfrog

    Uberfrog Warlord

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    Civilization games are the very epitome of feature creep.

    If I were to take post-GS Civ VI and redesign it from scratch to be one complete package, I would consolidate many of the in-game currencies. Diplomatic favour would be tied to suzerainty of city-states, for sure.
     
  3. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

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    Nope, I am a mechanic... however I find is saddening.
    I think the complexity is showing through with the quality of the livestreamers. unless you live eat and breathe civ you will struggle with the nuances all of these things introduce. Miss a conversation on the forum and you miss an OP exploit.

    I do like the way they have made faith more than just religion based. Faith could also be merged with amenities in another version.
     
  4. Ziad

    Ziad Warlord

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    I disagree.

    The features are introduced slowly enough throughout the game. That a first few games involve a learning curve is normal in any game that involves more than 2 rules. Definitely in strategy games.
     
  5. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Warlord

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    But more=/= better necessarily. I think about some people still want health introduced in an expansion (for example) and ask myself why.

    I like everything that's going on in the game right now, but I'm sure that you could go back and streamline the systems while still maintaining the current complexity and nuance. You just wouldn't have two mechanics where one would do. That's part of what comes with incremental additions through expansions though I guess.
     
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  6. UWHabs

    UWHabs Warlord

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    I don't mind having the different system, but do agree that the creep is real. One thing I did pick up from the first post and could agree with is that combining some systems would provide for some interesting decisions. For example, if you combined governor points, envoys, and spy titles together and had them all draw from a common pool, that would provide some fantastic decision making: do I concentrate on my homeland (governor titles), on city-states (envoys), or on foreign nations (spy titles)? To me that would make sense, since then you can decide which makes the most sense for you in your game. Right now, there's definitely games where I have way too few envoys, and other games where I have way too many, so being able to "shift" those to other parts of the game would open up some new strategic avenues.
     
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  7. TheMarshmallowBear

    TheMarshmallowBear Benelovent Chieftain of the BearKingdom

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    Agreed, most players start in the Ancient Era, on your first turn, you have literally ONE thing to do, settle a city, move your warrior, and select your technology. That's all. How's that over-complicated?

    Whenever I start a new game in Crusader King's I just get overwhelmed, I have no idea what to do or when

    Civ has one of the best onboarding processes in a grand-strategy/turn-based game I've seen.
     
  8. Anno

    Anno Chieftain

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    Eh, I get what you’re saying but I don’t feel like it’s a problem. Everything is introduced so slowly and really only interacted with infrequently enough that it doesn’t seem overwhelming at all. I really like lots of fiddly stuff though so maybe it just all appeals to me.
     
  9. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Warlord

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    Ha, I was thinking about this in a totally different way (through REAL time not game time). The game has grown in features from iteration to iteration: it has also of course grown within 6 by expansion too. Imagine of the first Sid Meier' Civilization was dropped on people the way it exists now. It could have been perfectly balanced (and even ignoring all the techological/hardware issues for a moment) and would have been way too much for people.
     
  10. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

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    The grievances system may be an interesting bellwether.

    As someone smarter than me has already pointed out, it doesn’t seem really all that different to the existing warmonger system except maybe a little more permissive on capturing cities. But it looks totally different in terms of transparency and feel.

    People have been complaining about diplomacy and warmongering for ever. If that gets “fixed” by making the system more accessible, but the core system remains the same, isn’t that sort of win win?

    I could really see the Grievance system being something that brings in new players (because it makes the mechanics more accessible ) while existing players remain satisfied with the existing underlying complexity of the game. So, I guess let’s see what people on reddit or steam end up saying?

    Here’s another thing. Look at Religion. I really like Religion, but it took me ages to get a grip of it, and I really only started enjoying it once it got linked to loyalty. The thing is though, when I didn’t like it or get it, Religion didn’t stop me getting into the game. And that’s because I could simply ignore it. I don’t mean in the sense that Religion “doesn’t matter”, but more Religion integrated into the game’s underlying opportunity cost mechanics. Sure, if you ignore it then you miss some gameplay and some benefits, but that’s okay because equally you can lean into other more straightforward mechanics. The game is accessible even with the complex religion system because the novice player’s tendency to just ignore it can actually make sense tactically.

    In contrast, you can’t really ignore governors or envoys. I mean, you can, but there’s no benefit to having unspent titles or envoys. So, it’s always another thing you have to consider (in a long list of things you’re considering ) even if it’s not a part of the game you really want to focus on. And because you always have Governors, always have envoys etc., it makes the game feel very samey sometimes.

    I’m not saying the game is fundamentally broken or needs some massive rework. But I do think some of these various diplomacy and influence currencies need to be boiled down a little.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
    Prester John 2 likes this.
  11. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Warlord

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    I guess I'm just in the "less is more" school sometimes.
     
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  12. Phoenix1595

    Phoenix1595 Lord of the Two Lands

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    I respectfully disagree that the various diplo currencies are a negative. To me, they add a level of complexity that mirrors RL international relations, where countries may have nuanced relations with each other, both good and bad, which may help on one issue but not another.

    For years, players have complained about AI diplomacy. I think the new changes remedy many of these problems— we can now be slightly aggressive in war to remedy an AI’s aggression and not suffer the same warmonger penalties as a belligerent domination player. We can use favor to convince neighbors to stop forward settling us. We can pull puppet strings to gain votes for this, that and the other thing. I believe this makes the game more interesting and adds political intrigue to the mix.

    As for mechanic complexity, we all had a large learning curve going from Civ5 to Civ6– these were two different games, despite being from the same series. We all overcame that curve. I think, given time and practice, the same can be said here, too.
     
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  13. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 Chieftain

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    Not sure if this relates to the topic, but I really think they should forbid the trading of diplomatic favor. It feels Gamey and immersion breaking
     
  14. Onin

    Onin Chieftain

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    I play a lot but play relatively casually. Right now there doesn't seem to be a tangible response to taking part in diplomacy but now there is. I think the change is very welcome even if it adds yet another currency to consider. I think as long as the system is transparent it should be good. I am sure there will be parts of the system that are not clear to players but this system and all the various diplomatic currencies seem relatively transparent and easy to manage. Obviously more dedicated players will find better ways to min/max the game decisions they have but that is a good thing for them. For more casual players the systems should still offer interesting choices and opportunities for trying different approaches which is key to their enjoyment.

    I don't think one catch all system is always the best choice as it can suffer from being too complex and less transparent.
     
  15. Onin

    Onin Chieftain

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    I think it makes sense and seems historically accurate enough. When nations trade or give gifts it makes sense that they get some sort of reputation and favorable opinion in return. A closed off nation on the other hand would put people off diplomatically speaking. I would also add that players can still completely ignore this favor and attack them anyway. Especially if they are doing something to annoy you (getting grievances).
     
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  16. ombak

    ombak Chieftain

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    While I agree it's not overly-complicated on turn one... that was a bit of a "nobody expects the Spanish inquisition" moment.

    You have three, three things to do! Settle a city, move your warrior, select your technology and begin production! Four... four things...
     
  17. Architect

    Architect Chieftain

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    Depth vs. Complexity. Can you play the game without completely understanding all these systems? If you can then it's depth. If you can't it's complexity.

    None of what you mention is complex. A prince player can 100% ignore all this, have fun, and win the game.

    A deity player can try to make friends with an agressive neighbor by changing play style to match their agenda, avoiding grievance generating behaviors and trading with that AI.

    I would say that passes the depth vs. complexity test just fine. This is a non-issue for the game and Ed and the gang have worked very hard to achieve this grand vision. They are not going to do a massive cut until you can't cut anymore on this design. There is a time and place for this type of activity but the diplomatic system is not one of them.
     
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  18. bbbt

    bbbt Warlord

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    Some people prefer Pathfinder, some DnD 5th edition.
     
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  19. TheMarshmallowBear

    TheMarshmallowBear Benelovent Chieftain of the BearKingdom

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    I can't count xD
     
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  20. ehecatzin

    ehecatzin Chieftain

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    I'm actually happy they've been adding more complexion to the game, because really, the diplomatic aspect and pretty much anything revolving around interacting with other civs were bare bones. Even envoys and diplomatic power I like separate, diplo power is about your standing with other civs and being able to push your agenda, and envoys are about securing a sphere of influence.
     
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