[NFP] Thoughts on game modes

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Isengardtom, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. Isengardtom

    Isengardtom Warlord

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    So what do you guys think of the game modes? Do you use them a lot? All the time? Which ones?

    - Apocalypse is my least favourite so far : lots of RNG and doesn’t add much strategy. A skilled player will be long finished before the asteroids start to hit anyways

    - secret societies: love this one, although I have one issue with it. I think the fact you get access to so many early governor titles whenever you discover a society makes the game much easier. The mode itself is really fun but I would like to see a different system with regards to the titles so that you can’t use your discovered societies to promote Pingala or Magnus

    - tech shuffle : also pretty RNG obviously but does add strategy with regards to getting boosts and certain paths of advancements I think. Great mode to try with the new civ Babylon (at least the tech side of it)

    - dramatic ages : I like it because of the harsher dark ages and the policy cards instead of the dedications. Definitely nicer for players that want to make the game a bit tougher

    - heroes and legends : it’s early days but it’s definitely a lot of fun. At first glance it’s the other way around here: this makes the game easier (too early to tell if the AI handles the heroes intelligently), but I do like the fun this mode brings to the game.
     
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  2. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS) Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Don't like this much either - definitely easy mode and devalues builders as well.

    100% agree, would like them to be a bit more, you know, secret as well!

    I love this one, makes every game different - and probably a level harder. Totally disagree re Babylon though, I think they are the last Civ you want to play this mode in otherwise you're just constantly looking outside the game for the Eureka's!

    My least favourite but I agree one for the higher level players. Played it once, never again!

    Again 100% agree.
     
  3. iammaxhailme

    iammaxhailme Emperor

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    I agree with most of what OP said. Apocalypse is boring. Secret Societies is great, although quite imbalanced (hermetic order sucks, spamming gov promotions that early is too game changing, I use the voidsingers almost every time). Tech shuffle... ehh, I don't really like it. It was kind of fun, but it kept annoying me all game. There are some shakeups I like, but this isn't one of them. Good idea to try it with Babylon, though, I'll have to give that a try sometime. For dramatic ages, I like the elimination of normal ages and the transition of dark age policies to being cards. However, I find that the stress of having to recapture a handful of my own cities all the time kills the game mode for me, that's taking it too far. Heroes mode is still early and I haven't finished a full game with it yet. I am definitely having fun with some heroes, but honestly, it seems very combat oriented and I prefer building, so I don't think I'll use this mode that frequently.

    I do play with secret societies mode on about 75% of the time. Shuffle maybe 25%. Apocalypse and Dramatic ages pretty much never. Heroes... not sure yet.
     
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  4. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS) Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Isn't it totally pointless with Babylon though??
     
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  5. AntSou

    AntSou Deity

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    Apocalypse Mode
    Soothsayers are underwhelming, because:

    - They're unreliable as an offensive unit;
    - They are too slow, which magnifies their maintenance cost. Being too slow also makes them not very reliable when attempting to flood rivers in enemy territory (which is the only disaster with a predetermined outcome);
    - Their promotions aren't great. It's just more charges and some not very useful abilities. Since they're not useful, more charges aren't useful.

    How to fix it: Upon clicking Cause Disaster, all tiles adjacent to the Soothsayer become bright green for selection (like when one selects the option to pillage adjacent tiles with Norway, or the option to throw an adjacent unit into a volcano with a Soothsayer). Selecting a tile will cause the disaster to move in that direction, at least for the first turn.

    I've found the meteors that fall at the end of the game are actually the least interesting aspect of the mode. It's the prospect of making disasters work in your favour which holds the potential for this mode.

    One will then be tempted to abuse Soothsayers and find oneself in a Prisoner's Dilemma scenario.
    a) If nobody uses them, everybody wins (aka no meteors, probably);
    b) If you use them and others don't, meteors are still less likely but you're more likely to win the game!
    c) If you don't use them and others do, you'll suffer the consequences of disasters the most and be handicapped.
    d) If everybody uses them (consequences of B or C make this the most likely scenario), everybody loses!
     
  6. shmily_dana

    shmily_dana Warlord

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    I think there needs to be consequences for picking a Secret Society. The other Societies should hold a grudge against you. Such that a Civ that is a member of a different SS will have a diplomatic penalty against you. A SS no one picks should still spawn units, etc and work against everyone. I also think that if you pick a hero, you should have the potential to deal with the associated villain. Pick Beowulf and Grendel will spawn near you.
     
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  7. Andrew Johnson [FXS]

    Andrew Johnson [FXS] Warlord

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    This is currently the case!
     
  8. shmily_dana

    shmily_dana Warlord

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    I clearly have not played that mode enough. I don't think I've used it since the first month. And probably just in dual games.
     
  9. Zyxpsilon

    Zyxpsilon Running Spider

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    T/C Shuffle mode while playing Babylon was really wild for its mysterious quest of each possible Eurekas.

    Although, the Time-Warp achievement (get 5) was precisely the ideal condition for me. Eventually i managed to identify a maximum of 11 Eurekas that could jump through the next Era. Here's the first three, btw...

    Babylon-TW(123).png

    Secondly.. my favorite mode certainly is Heroes/Legends.
    Hercules (4 Districts quickly built on each lifespan ) + Anansi (somewhat rapid T/C research) + Sinbad (mucho Gold!) ... most often are the best for me -- specially on archipelago maps.

    In terms of generic OP.. every Heroes are optimal for the early Eras (Ancient + Classic + Medieval) only & within specific Victory types or swift handling of Barbarians.
    Warfare/Domination is covered by many if not most directly militaristic Heroes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
  10. ehecatzin

    ehecatzin Emperor

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    For me the best so far is Heroes and legends, It's fantasy I can get behind, as in, mythology rooted on existing cultures, as opposed to pop references. I also like that It interacts with so many diferent mechanics, exploration, combat, districts, relics, CS, etc, if anything I would love it if they introduced more heroes so that we can have a rotating pool
     
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  11. cain3456

    cain3456 King

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    Apocalypse and Dynamic Ages are modes I will never use.
    Secret Societies was good at first, but now is meh. I am considering turning it off.
    Tech Shuffle & Heroes are musts.
     
  12. AntSou

    AntSou Deity

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    Secret Societies Mode

    Overall Flaws

    - In some cases it dramatically alters the early game through a flood of yields, severely diminishing the value of other game elements;
    - It diminishes the value of Governors, and Civics which provide governors, by providing you with 4 (VERY) early game governor titles.


    Best Game Elements:

    Initiation (Owls 1):
    +1 Economy Slot, +1 Envoy when sending Trade Routes.
    - This ability exemplifies, to me, the perfect power level this game mode should aim for. A fun, unique ability, which is not ridiculously strong.

    Gilded Vault (Owls 2)
    Exactly the right power level for a Secret Society's unique building.

    Alchemical Society (Herm 2):
    Equivalent to above. A good alternative to the University, without being game breaking.

    Indoctrination (Owls 3): +2 Spies really lets you have lots of fun with that aspect of the game and provides a lot of identity to this Society. Great stuff.

    Master Plan (Sang 4): The only awesome and unique Master Plan and the one that should direct design for the other three: that is, a Unique Ability, in this case Teleportation. This is what a Master Plan should unlock! It makes the other Master Plans look terribly dull.

    Sanguine Pact Society, in general.


    Need Improvement:

    Ritual (Void 2):
    Boost to yields. Too dull and too passive, yet strong, requiring no real input from the player. This is, in my opinion, the worst designed promotion in the entire mode. It detracts too much from the Secret Society Mode experience.

    Possible Solution:

    - Old God Obelisk
    gains +4 of a given Yield when the appropriate district is adjacent to the City Centre (E.g. +4 Science to Obelisk if there's an adjacent Campus, +4 Culture if there's also an adjacent Theatre, etc). +2 Loyalty to Obelisk per adjacent specialty district.

    - Each Second Tier building in an adjacent district gains a Relic Slot. Inserting a Relic of the Void in one of these slots provides +4[Yield] +4 Faith, +8 Tourism. Each Slotted Relic provides +1 Loyalty damage to Cultists trained in the City.

    Honestly, ANYTHING that gives the player agency and that requires effort would be an improvement.
    ===============

    Initiation (Herm 1): Reveals Ley Lines. Provides District Adjacency.
    Problem: The value of the society relies on randomness. Bad luck means you'll go through the game without really enjoying the benefits of the society, which means it's always safer not to take Hermetic Order.
    Possible Solution: Shows the location of ALL TILES with a Ley Line on the map, perhaps a light hovering over the Fog of War. This allows you to send your scouts in the direction of those lights to reveal the terrain. Revealing the actual Ley Line for the first time causes a free scout to spawn on the Ley Line; (if in neutral territory)

    This would make Hermetic Order members the most efficient at early exploration, which is both useful and thematically appropriate.

    ===============

    Master Plans

    Owls: Mindless yields in a manner which is not very engaging. It's just a passive bonus added on top of the fun action which was already provided by the previous promotion.
    Possible Solution: Unique Spy Mission. E.g. steal and use an enemy governor for 8-10 turns. Governor establishes immediately. May only steal one type at a time (E.g. may only have one stolen Pingala at a time).

    Hermetic:
    Just more yields.
    Possible Solution: Unlocks Occult Research Project. Upon completion of the project, the player may select one Great Person which has previously been earned and activated by an opponent, excluding Prophets (also excludes all GP already activated by that player).

    Voidsingers: A Dark Summoning Project which doesn't actually summon Cthulhu.
    Only Possible Solution: A project which summons a Cthlulhu-like creature. Don't really care what it does or what it's called as long as it's got chin tentacles.
    There should be a delay between summons which is shared by all members of the Voidsingers, so that there's only ever one Cthlulhu-like creature on the map. The loyalty damage of ALL cultists increases permanently with every successful summon, not just the Civ that summoned it.

    Double Loyalty pressure from Obelisks of the summoning Civ ONLY, while the creature is active.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2020
  13. Vargas1

    Vargas1 Prince

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    It seems like whatever penalty exists is pretty modest though, right? It seems to make it harder to quickly become friends with civs with other societies, but I have yet to see any significant consequences (i.e. immediate war, long-term dislike, etc.).
     
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  14. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    Yeah, agreed on a lot of this. "bad" design is simply a large passive yield. Voidsingers being the prime example - you get +4 faith in every city for a building you always want to build, and then the next tier bonus is just free yields without any requirements. Not even counting the 3rd tier which is just printing free relics even if you can't actually flip a city.

    Even if you still grant them the crazy faith yields from the old god obelisk, if the 2nd tier bonus Ritual required something to activate, that would help. Especially since the Owls and Hermetic unique buildings are only a T2 building replacement, you could even set up the Ritual bonus to as well only trigger on a T2 building, or at the very least, only trigger if you had a temple in the city. Something that forces you to alter your play style other than "each unit of faith is like 1.5 times as strong".
    And then you add in the cultists, which are too easy to print relics for. Perhaps at the very least, it should be something like "if you use a cultist to get a city to 0 loyalty, the first time for each city that will generate you a relic". While you technically don't have to flip them, it would at least slow down the spread. Or perhaps you turn into like another religion, so cultists act on the religious plane of the game. They can be battled by apostles of any religion, and if you lose a cultist, all your cities within 10 tiles lose some loyalty. So while you can use them to flip cities, you have to be careful or they might backfire on you.

    Stuff like that, where there's a little more balance at play. And like you said, for Hermetic Order, they need some bonus other than simply having ley lines around. They mentioned them in the update video, I'm certainly curious to see what they might do with them. Even if you gave them their bonus for great people recruited right from the start of the game, I feel that wouldn't be unbalanced since it takes a while to generate those great people. Or ideally, I'd almost rather see them yield a major or even super-major (+3 or more) bonus to adjacent districts, so that they are truly a sight to search out and settle near. The couple times I'd played with them, I almost found the ley lines a net negative, since they often took up places I would otherwise want farming triangles or districts on. Other than the few times where I could settle a city on the line and thus really make use of adjacencies, they were often more hassle than they're worth.
     
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  15. AntSou

    AntSou Deity

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    I agree. Obelisks could easily provide only +2 Faith instead of +4, and they would still give the player a good advantage towards pantheons.

    Perhaps +2 Faith, +2 Loyalty (Normal Monument gives +1) would be better than +4 Faith.

    Not sure on the solution, but also agree Relic spam is a problem with the Cultists. I can go entire games without ever finding or creating a Relic with religious units, never using that element of the game, but then if I play Voidsingers I can just spam it.
     
  16. Vargas1

    Vargas1 Prince

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    To third the commenters directly above, as I (and others) have stated elsewhere the main issue with Voidsingers is the +4 faith is such a strong yield. If that were toned down to +2 faith it would make a huge difference.
     
  17. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    Apocalypse Mode, Secret Societies and Dynamic Ages are all pretty good, but they all need a bit of work. They just lack a bit of ... depth, or thoughtfulness maybe. AM needs a bit more interactivity, SS needs less Governor Titles and a bit more “intrigue” and Dynamic Ages needs a normal age.

    Hero Mode is spot on. As is Shuffle. Not really game modes I know, but Red Death and Pirates are also pitch perfect.

    So, yeah. I hope someone takes another look at AM, SS and DA. They really deserve another pass.
     
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  18. TreVor_ish

    TreVor_ish Warlord

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    Apocalypse Mode:
    Soothsayers would be much more useful, if they could prevent damage from disasters in adjacent tiles - while within empire borders. Or perhaps had a promotion that does this for a city maybe?
    When I decide to play Apocalypse, they serve no other purpose, than getting a win in a meaningless anyway competition. They can help in battle, after getting certain promotions. But that mostly happen when there is no need for their service. They were fun once, when introduced.

    Secret Societies:
    Waiting for a patch notes to see, what kind of a change they made to Ley Lines. Perhaps Hermetic Order will be a viable choice after all.
    Rest is ok'ish, some adjustments like already mentioned here would be a good thing.

    Dramatic Ages:
    Perfect. Don't change. There is no need of Normal Age - that's the whole point.

    Tech Civic Shuffle:
    Games are now completely different from one another. You have to adjust not only to your surroundings, but also to the line of progress (unless You play as Hammurabi).

    Heroes and Legends:
    Well, they do make a change, break the game, can swing the odds in battle. I guess that was the whole purpose. Love the graphics and animations. Does this mode belong in a Civ game? Switch it on, if You think Yes. Let it be off, if don't

    Overall it would be nice if AI could use those better and adjust in more meaningful way, specially with Voidsingers and Cultists. They do also make some strange use of Soothsayers - mainly just walking around a volcano for no reason, when Appease The Gods is not on.
     
  19. Siddharth Venkatesh

    Siddharth Venkatesh Warlord

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    I find Apocalypse and Dramatic Ages modes fairly tedious.

    I like Secret Societies and would like it even more if the secret society "governor titles" were instead just automatic promotions you unlock in the corresponding age, or perhaps cost money/faith to show your dedication to the society. I don't like that you get 4 incredibly fast governor titles, though it is fun with some mods that buff Liang 4 a lot. Voidsingers are also just a bit too good, I'd like the decision regarding secret societies to be a bit more evenly balanced. Don't have to nerf Voidsingers, buffing the other societies would be fine as well.

    Tech Shuffle I always keep on, sometimes with the techs hidden and sometimes without. I wouldn't bother with Babylon though, they are immune to the tech side of the shuffle, though having Feudalism be hidden can be somewhat painful for them. I also have had shuffle games where no one ever researches civil service, because it's a leaf civic, and I can never make alliances in that game. But on the whole, a great mode.

    Heroes and Legends feels a bit overtuned to me. I think if Hercules, Himiko and Sinbad are calmed down a little, it would be more interesting, but the heroes aspect feels a bit too gimmicky to me overall. The decision making this mode involves doesn't seem as interesting as I had hoped it would be. I do like the more consistent relic acquisition though. The faith and tourism game is probably my favorite minigame in civ 6 and relics fit into that very nicely.
     
  20. Future Tech

    Future Tech Chieftain

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    It is a common observation, which I agree with, that modes are often "half-baked" features. And because they can be overly OP, or tedious, or even annoying, many people will choose to disable many or all of them.

    Given that, I wish Firaxis would put in the effort to convert some existing "half-baked" features into modes, such as the World Congress which is often an annoyance, requiring many clicks to decide on things that I mostly don't care about, and rarely impactful in my games.
     
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