1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Thoughts on negative civ bonuses?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Mr. Salt, Apr 13, 2021.

?

What do you think of negative civ bonuses?

  1. I like these types of civs, and would like if more were added to the game.

  2. I don't really care either way.

  3. I dislike these civs, and would like if they got different abilities.

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Mr. Salt

    Mr. Salt Warlord

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2020
    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    CT
    This trope of ability is a trend I've been noticing across the entire New Frontier pass, and I think it's something the dev team has been trying to flesh out. Personally, I'm a fan of them. As you can see from my signature, 2 out of my 4 favorite civs have them. They tend to have some sort of game-changing, powerful aspect to make up for it, which is the draw for me. For context, I'll put all of the ones I can remember in this post:
    • Cannot found a religion or build Holy Sites (Kongo)
    • -30% Production towards units and buildings (Mali)
    • Start in the ocean, can't harvest resources or recruit Great Writers (Maori)
    • Can't declare Surprise Wars or wars on city-states (Canada)
    • No bonus Housing from fresh water, cities >6 tiles away from the capital get -15% to all yields (Maya)
    • Can't build districts next to the City Center, and they don't give each other adjacency bonuses (Gaul)
    • -50% Science (Babylon)
    • Must build districts on Rainforest, Woods, or Marsh (Vietnam)
    • International Trade Routes can only be sent to cities with water access (Portugal)
     
    Datgingah, Zaarin, ezzlar and 2 others like this.
  2. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    4,762
    Location:
    Toronto
    I don't think I would want EVERY civ to have negatives. But they definitely add some flavor, and I certainly wouldn't mind if a couple others had some similar changes.
     
  3. AriaLyric

    AriaLyric Nonbinary | Peaceful Builder Vietnam & Māori Main

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2020
    Messages:
    481
    I love civs with maluses built into their kit. It forces you to go about the game in a different way than how you would with a blank-slate civ (one that gets no bonuses or maluses at all), which makes playing as the civ with the maluses feel so much more engaging. It motivates and rewards you for careful strategy & planning.
    With how many civs and leaders there are in the game currently, if I had to choose a single civ/leader to play as, and couldn't choose one with a malus, or at least an extreme bonus (like Bull Moose Teddy), it feels like such a boring choice. Like I'm picking out a victory condition to head for and like 2 policy cards to have slotted in. And some people probably like that? But for me, it's waaaay more fun & interesting to play as a civ/leader that fundamentally changes how I approach the game, and forces me to actually think about strategies that would normally never be relevant. As the Māori, I have to think about where I want to settle first, and in what order I settle my cities, in much more depth than I normally would.
    Also, small plug, but I feel like this is why I like the Community Monthly Challenge so much. It takes that same aspect of revolutionizing how I go about playing and strategizing, and ramps it way up. ^_^
     
  4. Linklite

    Linklite Emperor

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2019
    Messages:
    1,067
    Gender:
    Male
    They're great, if they're balanced well by strong bonuses and synergise with them to fundamentally alter gameplay. Babylon is a good example of how instead of the standard spam campuses research new tech, instead you hit the eurekas and focus your buildings on other things. I haven't played Maori, but I don't really see much of a payback that directs you into a new way of playing.

    They should also be specialist civs, not the rule. Most civs should have a malus, at least not strong ones, but there should be a significant number that do.
     
    AriaLyric, Kjimmet and Mr. Salt like this.
  5. InsidiousMage

    InsidiousMage Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2021
    Messages:
    554
    100% this. Forcing players to rethink the some of their basic assumptions is a great way to make the game more interesting and, in my opinion, much more fun to play.
     
  6. iammaxhailme

    iammaxhailme Emperor

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Messages:
    1,810
    I don't mind ones that are more passive maluses like Bablyon's -yields or ones that don't make me feel like I may lose some huge potential that anyone else could have... but a few of them annoy me quite frequently, like Gaul or Vietnam's district placement (similarly also district/building maluses. How many times have I spawned in a geothermal paradise as Korea, for example?). So I definitely have mixed feelings about them.
     
  7. InsidiousMage

    InsidiousMage Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2021
    Messages:
    554
    Honestly, these are some of my favorite types of negatives. You have to break out of your old habits, put in a lot of effort and think outside the box, as overused as that phrase is.
     
  8. Dantesedge

    Dantesedge Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2020
    Messages:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Personally, I like Civs designed with a great positive against a negative. I find them to cause me to think outside the box and try different approaches I wouldn’t do with other Civs. The Mayan are one of my favorite examples. At face value, their Civ ability looks terrible with the loss of fresh/coastal water housing with only a lift from farms. However, combined with the leader ability, the negatives of this flip around when you see why it was designed like this... you can place city centers almost anywhere in order to get as close to the capital as possible and use the farms to erase this negative. Is it difficult, yes. Is it a nice negative/super positive bonus structure, absolutely. I love Civs like this.
     
  9. Aurelesk

    Aurelesk Prince

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Messages:
    423
    Gender:
    Male
    I like the "high bonuses but with maluses" approach, as long it is well made, powerful enough to compensate or have the ability to circumvent with an extra step or the use a special mechanic. Furthermore, not all civilization should follow that formula: you need "bland" civilization to learn the basic. For most of them, the maluses are compensated sooner or latter, or with a new gameplay (Mali has low Production, but Gold discount and better Gold generation). For me, there only two civilizations to which it doesn't feel "okay" :
    • Kongo cannot unlock a Great Prophet (deny a victory), and Holy Site (deny Faith generation, deny most beliefs to apply since most of them needs a Holy Site). With the update, Faith became more prominent and became a key component to Tourism, yet Kongo only went worse (notable: the modifiers of GW are now applying to the base yield). I get that Kongo is supposed to be a Faithless civilization, but does it need to remove the Holy Site from there game? Cannot they have Holy Site that generate Food instead of Faith? I believe the maluses outweight the bonuses, even if the bonuses are good: +50% point to Merchant and Cultural people, 4 extra slots for GW, and some GW have additionnal yields. But that's it.
    • Maya and the Housing crisis. Having +15% to your first cities compensate a lot than having a -10% for your last cities in theory, even if you go wide. It is more the Housing that really slow down early cities to grow and incapacite them, so they need some Builder charges for Farms as quick as possible. I would love instead they start at 1 Housing as if all cities were coastal, so they could have a delay before suffering the malus growth, instead of suffering right away.

    Gaul feels quite clunky to me. Mostly the district's restriction that are too high. I believe they did the "non-adjacent" one to prevent having a defensible district adjacent to a City-Center througth the Oppidum, but they applied it to all districts instead. It is a nice change of pace but it feels really clunky with the Harbor and the Diplomatic Quarter. The removal of minor adjacency bonuses from districts are not compensated with Mines, even Gaul would be a civilization who couldn't achieve good adjacency througth district placement reliably anyway. But in the same time, having Culture bomb thougth all-powerful cultured Mines are incredible and need a malus on its own... but my brain can't allow the link. If Gaul has the ability to put Harbor adjacent to City-Center since it is quite hard to put a Mine on water tiles, and change the adjacency by removing the Mine one to bring back the district one, I believe it will feel more "smooth" to play, at least for me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
    Socrates99 and Zaarin like this.
  10. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    4,762
    Location:
    Toronto
    I would agree with some of these. I do think earlier on, Kongo was fine, but as we have moved later and later on, and faith becoming more and more important now (Rock Bands, Heroes, etc...) they do lack that. I think though I don't mind keeping them without building holy sites since I think that's a really cool mechanism, but would love to see them be able to gain a different source of faith. Whether that was +1 faith on jungle, or +1 faith per district, +1 faith per great person point, etc... something that gives them a little bit of passive faith yields.

    And Maya, yeah, they really struggle early on before you get those farms up, so starting as if coastal would just give a nudge more in that direction without totally removing what makes their city placement more unique. And for Gaul, I honestly think the district placement and only getting bonuses from mines are huge maluses, that even if they gave every district a standard adjacency from mines, that would certainly not feel OP. So if you can fit 5 mines around a campus, go wild. Or alternately, let them mine flatlands or something, since if you're not on a highlands map with them, they can really get into trouble. And yeah, being able to put a harbor next to the city seems like an easy adjustment too - Vietnam's special district rules only apply to land districts, so why not Gaul?
     
  11. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold Emperor

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2018
    Messages:
    1,828
    Love maluses. They force civs into more specialized playstyles, and overall introduce a lot of variety into the roster. Creativity is found in limitation.

    Also add Sweden as a softer malus where merely including it in the game forces you into Nobel competitions that can benefit other players.

    Phoenicia might also be a sleeper malus civ in that using its capital moving ability forces you to abandon some cities to loyalty pressure.

    Also any civ with a very situation casus belli (Scotland, Georgia) might be seen as having a soft malus.
     
  12. AntSou

    AntSou Emperor

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2019
    Messages:
    1,957
    I think Civs should come in different levels of complexity. Maluses sound to me inherently more complex.

    Although I don't notice it anymore in Civ, when I'm new to a strategy game I tend to prefer the straightforward ones first. Only then do I start moving to the more complex ones.

    So, "I" would like more Civs with maluses, but that's not necessarily the best for the game.
     
  13. PhoenicianGold

    PhoenicianGold Emperor

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2018
    Messages:
    1,828
    Agreed. The game shouldn't be completely composed of "challenge" civs. Having some pretty basic civs, and some OP snowball civs I think gives the player more agency as to what sort of SP game they want to play.

    Now, for multiplayer, that's a whole different problem. And frankly I think that civs should have two different designs: one that is fun and gimmicky for solo play, and one that is balanced for multiplayer. I don't think there's any other way to cater to multiplayer aside from having some sort of heavy banlist on multiplayer civs.
     
    Hellenism Salesman likes this.
  14. InsidiousMage

    InsidiousMage Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2021
    Messages:
    554
    I feel like the challenge civs should been better spread out instead of just mostly being put in GS and NFP. It would be interesting to see what Firaxis would consider a challenge civ is with the base game mechanics.

    They are actually really important from a game design perspective because they allow newer players to feel like they become better at the game when they realize that a civ they though was bad is actually good once they've gotten a better understanding of the game mechanics. One of the cool things Crusader Kings 3 does is give you recommended start positions and an associated difficulty level and would love for Firaxis to adopt something similar. Like recommend two civs for a science or domination victory and say one is any easy playthrough and the other a more difficult attempt.
     
  15. Sixty_Three

    Sixty_Three Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2020
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    U.K.
    I don’t think that a malus, per se, is inherently either engaging or boring. It all depends on what it does. In my case, the map-dependent maluses are the most interesting, as they can force you to (randomly) look differently at city placements. Vietnam being an example.

    Babylon, in contrast, just makes eurekas more valuable. But I’d be trying to trigger these anyway.
     
  16. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2012
    Messages:
    5,194
    While I don't feel very strongly on this point, from a more general approach I dislike this way of creating civs. I think most of them fall between feeling very artificial (Portugal: Can only create trade routes to cities on the coast - I mean, why would that ever make sense in real life?) or being poor balancing tools that are otherwise broken civs (Babylon, obviously).

    In the case of the former, I would rather just have given more incentive to make the desired behavior: Portugal giving double yields on trade routes to coastal cities will already strongly motivate you to send your trade routes to those cities. Maori: Giving them bonus yields from resources or adjacency bonuses from putting districts next to resources would also be a way to notch the player to not harvest. On the other hand, with the Maori, I will acknowledge that it does make this civ feel different to play from other civs, so I don't mind this too strongly.

    In the case of the latter type, I would rather that one treats the actual illness (which is the full tech from Eureka being completely broken) rather than making symptom treatment by adding negatives on top of strong positives.
     
    Mr. Salt likes this.
  17. Vargas1

    Vargas1 Prince

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2020
    Messages:
    366
    Gender:
    Male
    I like them generally - as others have said, it encourages you to play the game differently rather than just having a standard approach with civ bonuses on top.

    I also like some of the discussion here about Kongo/Gaul (haven't played Maya so can't comment). Honestly, I'd like Kongo to get Brazil's +1 appeal from rainforest - that would make preserves more powerful for them, which would help make up the missing faith from holy sites. For Gaul, it also seems like an easy and not too powerful fix to say they can't build land districts next to the city center, which would leave open harbors (and, to a lesser degree, water parks).
     
  18. Hellenism Salesman

    Hellenism Salesman Prince

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2020
    Messages:
    326
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Macedon
    While I like this idea and it's a buff they deserve, this irks the game designer in me since it effectively negates one of the factors of the Mbanza. One of my favorite clever design choices with Kongo was how the Mbanza had fixed housing, meaning it didn't scale on appeal. This showed the developers were knowledgeable about the struggles of spawning in rainforest, and new that the way a Neighborhood would normally work wouldn't fit it. So, they adjusted it accordingly.

    If we just gave them the flat +1 Appeal on rainforest, then it would be an indirect nerf to the Mbanza, while also negating the reasoning behind its fixed housing. Since you could never gain extra housing from appeal, this new influx of appeal means your Mbanza's fixed housing could be gimping you more often than not. Rather than taking advantage of what would be +5 or +6 housing to a normal Civ, you have to settle with earlier and cheaper housing, but worse in the actual housing part of it.

    But now that I think of it... it could actually subtly play into Kongo's already asymmetrical/malus-y design. Plus, the half cost and earlier unlocking probably still makes them better than regular Neighborhoods.
     
  19. Askia Muhammad

    Askia Muhammad Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Messages:
    92
    Gender:
    Male
    I love the civs that have a malus. I think the game could do with quite a bit more in the way of challenges to overcome. I love Dramatic Ages.
     
  20. Banazir864

    Banazir864 Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    157
    Gender:
    Male
    I don't have strong feelings on maluses per se, but I do like unique civ builds, and maluses are a useful tool in creating them. You don't need a malus to have a unique civ, and adding a malus doesn't necessarily give a civ a unique feel, but allowing maluses creates a lot more options for unique civs.

    What I don't like is having more than a few civs that are basically "generic gameplay with a minor bonus somewhere," which is what too many civs were before Gathering Storm---I like the design in GS and NFP much better.
     
    Kjimmet, 8housesofelixir and Linklite like this.

Share This Page