• Firaxis announces Civilization 2K23! Discuss these news with us here.

Thoughts on the state of the game since New Frontier Pass

pokiehl

Deity
Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Messages
2,091
Point blank, saying civ 6 is not mod friendly is outright hyperbole. Someone with the opposite opinion will never be convinced otherwise and I imagine if DLL access were granted, some other line in the sand would be drawn.

I think Civ 6 has been great and fun to mod, and I’ve been doing it since 2017.
 

Casworon

Prince
Joined
Aug 9, 2014
Messages
539
On the question of mod friendliness. This is my current understanding.

Compared to Civ V and Civ IV there are many aspects of the game that are much more accessible to mod. Making it more mod friendly. However there are certain aspects that are completely closed to modding that where open in Civ V and Civ IV. So if you ask two people the question 'Is Civ VI mod friendly?' Then there answer would depend on what areas of modeling they care more about.

It's such a yes, but also no, but also yes conversation.
 

need my speed

Rex Omnium Imperarium
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
2,363
Location
European Union (Magna Batavia)
Point blank, saying civ 6 is not mod friendly is outright hyperbole. Someone with the opposite opinion will never be convinced otherwise and I imagine if DLL access were granted, some other line in the sand would be drawn.

I think Civ 6 has been great and fun to mod, and I’ve been doing it since 2017.
I can say that it seems averagely mod friendly, if you want to make a spectrum out of it. I perhaps interpret 'mod friendly' as a stronger positive than you do. Regardless of the label - I am saying that Civilization VI is more mod friendly than V, less mod friendly than IV, and arguably less mod friendly than III.

EDIT: See, now that is super interesting - Casworon, what is more mod friendly about VI than IV?
 

AntSou

Deity
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
2,729
For me balance, bug fixing and improved AI would offer the biggest 'fun increase'.
Yes, improvements to the AI is my number one expectation in Civ VII. And more coherent systems, which at times feel disjointed. (Religion and Diplomacy need an overhaul imo).

Civ VII is a great game. Its just I don't see it lasting as long in the long term as some older civ titles.
Well, some of those older titles have been kept alive by very dedicated communities. But I think Civ VI might last longer than Civ V, depending on how good Civ VII is (both at release and just in general), because it exists in a context of easier moddability, the graphics are stylized and will age better, and you can just pop up on discord and get help in real time.

Tbf you could have the perfect Civ game being released and many players would still remain committed to those older titles.

That's the DLL. And maybe there are so few 'large modders' precisely because they can't make a 'large mod' because there is no DLL access.
I know it's the DLL. In any case, I disagree. There are few modders who can make really good use of DLL access because that's a more complex skillset which requires a greater investment of time than learning how to fool around with values on a database using xml or sql.

I jumped into this conversation because someone said Civilization VI is not mod friendly, upon which someone else commented that it actually is.
Well, no, it is not. Maybe on its own, but compared to the usual standard of Civilization. We've already addressed IV, and III includes a whole GUI that combines map editing with modding everything, and it has modding directly done on its .exe - even if you say 'okay but it does not have the equivalent to DLL access', then I'll still say that by your own argument a GUI is more mod friendly than a bunch of textual files. I don't know about V - and I suspect you are only comparing VI to V - and so VI may be mod friendly compared to V, but it is objectively not compared to IV, and subjectively not compared to III.
Yes I'm only comparing to V. I've played a ton of IV but never even looked at modding that game, or even used mods, other than the ones that were at some point included in the game.

It seems that a lot of examples are 'you couldn't mod X in V, now you can in VI' - yeah, and you can mod literally every X imaginable with DLL access, including making the AI understand it (because even if you can add whole new features to VI, effects that don't exist at all within the XML files, then the AI wouldn't know what to do with them without being able to implement these features not only through Python or whatever VI's equivalent is, but in the DLL).
My original reply was in regards to the "mod friendliness" comment. If a game has a lower entry level for modding which allows a wider percentage of the playing population to more readily mod the game, that's what I consider "friendliness". Your interpretation is different from mine, as you seem to see "friendliness" from the standpoint of the limitations which not having access to DLL impose upon the very skilled modders. So we're just using the same word to talk about different things.
 

Equilin

King
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
664
i think there is a difference of what "mod friendly" means here.

One camp thinks of "less technical skills required to mod", hence being more friendly and inviting to mod.

The other thinks of "being able to mod more things", hence being friendly to dedicated modders who change the game on large scales/at basic levels when modding.
 

AntSou

Deity
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
2,729
i think there is a difference of what "mod friendly" means here.

One camp thinks of "less technical skills required to mod", hence being more friendly and inviting to mod.

The other thinks of "being able to mod more things", hence being friendly to dedicated modders who change the game on large scales when modding.
I agree there's that trend in the arguments, but p0kiehl's view doesn't really fit into this, as he is saying the modding capabilities in Civ 6 are pretty wide in scope outside a few scenarios which he listed.

I'm also in the "not that into overhauls" camp. One can assume people who like game overhauls would def prefer DLL access. But even then, there's stuff like City Lights in the workshop.
 

Casworon

Prince
Joined
Aug 9, 2014
Messages
539
I can say that it seems averagely mod friendly, if you want to make a spectrum out of it. I perhaps interpret 'mod friendly' as a stronger positive than you do. Regardless of the label - I am saying that Civilization VI is more mod friendly than V, less mod friendly than IV, and arguably less mod friendly than III.

EDIT: See, now that is super interesting - Casworon, what is more mod friendly about VI than IV?
My modding experience is rather limited. Just messing around with trying my hand at balancing civs and trying to improve AI play by changing leader personality weightings. Things I have tried my hands at in both Civ V and Civ VI. I will say that I felt my changing of AI leader personalities felt more impactful in Civ V compared too VI.

In terms ease of modding and mod friendliness I'm just going by lurking these conversations and doing ny best to follow what more experienced Modders are saying.
 

pokiehl

Deity
Joined
Mar 5, 2017
Messages
2,091
My modding experience is rather limited. Just messing around with trying my hand at balancing civs and trying to improve AI play by changing leader personality weightings. Things I have tried my hands at in both Civ V and Civ VI. I will say that I felt my changing of AI leader personalities felt more impactful in Civ V compared too VI.
That's because, in my opinion, agendas are a total failure and a huge downgrade from the AI Flavor Scores in Civ 5 :p

I really hope we get the return of flavor scores in Civ 7...this system resulted in way more distinctive and coherent personalities than agendas have
 

Equilin

King
Joined
May 8, 2017
Messages
664
That's because, in my opinion, agendas are a total failure and a huge downgrade from the AI Flavor Scores in Civ 5 :p

I really hope we get the return of flavor scores in Civ 7...this system resulted in way more distinctive and coherent personalities than agendas have
How about both?
 

need my speed

Rex Omnium Imperarium
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
2,363
Location
European Union (Magna Batavia)
My modding experience is rather limited. Just messing around with trying my hand at balancing civs and trying to improve AI play by changing leader personality weightings. Things I have tried my hands at in both Civ V and Civ VI. I will say that I felt my changing of AI leader personalities felt more impactful in Civ V compared too VI.

In terms ease of modding and mod friendliness I'm just going by lurking these conversations and doing ny best to follow what more experienced Modders are saying.
Ah, okay. Then I will maintain that IV is both more moddable (as in, technical options) and mod friendly (as in, how easy is it to use a technical option versus how much change can I effect by using this technical option) - but yes, basically what Equilin said above. I put a like of approval/agreement on AntSou's post. :p
 

DizzKneeLand33

Fall from Heaven 2 still rocks
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Messages
625
Location
Kansas City
When was the last formal war any of you have seen in the last year and a half? Even when denounced, the only war that will be declared is a surprise war, at least in my experience. A basic, fundamental thing is completely broken. The only way to fix this (imho) is with access to the DLL, since there apparently will never be anything patched otherwise.

I have repeatedly played with other database factors/numbers, but to no avail. If I could even *see* the DLL, I would be able to see what some of the variables that seem to make no sense mean. Remember the science 150 number? We are assuming we know what that means, but it is still just an "assumption" since again nothing can be fully confirmed.

I guess I am being called an ingrate about this, but really it's just to make the game playable. Formal war is just one of *many* things that could be fixed. We really could make this game great. But alas, we can't, and obviously Firaxis hasn't prioritized anything fixing the game (complete modes are still completely broken). Of course in multiplayer some of these things don't matter, but I didn't buy this game to only play multiplayer. And, if you include a few AI with your multiplayer game, then yes, the AI being broken still matters. How many play multiplayer with no AI whatsoever?

Civ 6 is great for modding certain things (and @pokiehl is an amazing modder -- I use many of them). However, the things that make the game virtually unplayable for me are things that are hidden in the DLL. I can mod out the penalty for surprise war, but I can't change the formal war logic.
 

MrRadar

Deity
Joined
Nov 8, 2014
Messages
2,115
A basic, fundamental thing is completely broken.
As well as the flagship feature of the entire second expansion - the climate change. Deforestation kicks in at maximum: 50 %, and then goes backwards, if the game goes on long enough, but usually the remaining length of the game does not matter any more, because everyone's carbon footprint is immediately increased by those 50 % with a retroactive effect and the world sinks within the next 3 consecutive turns. And this state continues from the Apocalypse pack, the 1st pack of the NFP, never addressed.

The great people from the Babylon pack continue to be more equal than others, giving up to double effects.
 

aieeegrunt

Emperor
Joined
Jan 8, 2021
Messages
1,192
I find Civ 6 to be quite moddable, even without a DLL, you can still do a lot more in 6 than you coudl 5 without a DLL, heck, you can do quite a lot without even getting into Lua.

You can do a LOT of things just by cut and pasting XML code.

DLL access is not the end-all be-all of modding. The game’s core modifier system is far more flexible than the system in Civ 5 which obviates the vast majority of need for DLL access, plus graphic modding has never been more friendly. We got access to nearly every asset in the game except for what came with some DLCs.

This “muh DLL” narrative is really annoying to me as a modder. Almost no actual modders care about this. Every time I read it, it’s from people who don’t mod.

It’s a brain bug for sure

Undoubtedly those huge overhauls require DLL access, yes. But the number of VI modders interested in making huge overhauls like that numbers like 3 or less, and as a player, I’m not interested in overhauls like that. For 99% of us we can do nearly everything we want with the current tools.

Plus this time around we got mods being easy to use in multiplayer. That is HUGE for me and something I’m eternally grateful for.

Are there things I’d like improved for VII’s modding? Of course!

- more stable SDK and asset editor
- more documentation
- a return to SQL-editable ArtDefs
- art modding being less tedious in general
- and so on

But I don’t think DLL access would even make my top 10 of what I want better in VII.

I’ve been doing some poking around and initial experimentation with modding Civ6. It seems like a lot of it, in Modbuddy at least is cut and paste references and XML chonks

For me the #1 thing would be a GUI for that. Like creating a new leader pops up a drop down list of existing leader traits, with a “define a new trait” button at the bottom

Since a lot of Civ6 seems to be Things In Tables referencing other things in other tables this would automate a LOT of routine tasks

There will never be a Civ VI Vox Populi equivalent.

Also does stronger AI not reach your top 10 of what you want better in Civ VII?

DLL modding access opens the door to being able to do much more to modify AI.

Something like Real Strategy combined with either modifying or outright deleting the dumb/broken mechanics in Civ6 goes a long, long way

Personally I could really care less about super in depth TC mods
 

Zegangani

King
Joined
Oct 9, 2020
Messages
846
On the Topic of "Modding Friendliness", I agree with People here in that Civ VI is a very moddable Game, not just compared to Civ V.

Yes, we don't have access to the Gameplay DLL Source Code, but a lot can be done even without it. Civ6's Modding Capabilities are really great and offer a lot of Possibilities, but they also have some limitations:

Graphics Modding:
- Strengths: is better than in any previous Game, and opens a lot of Possibilities that previous Titles didn't offer. Allows for changing Appearance of many Models based on Era/PlotProperty/Ability..etc. adding new VFX, changing Game Lighting (@pokiehl just recently made 2 Mods that change the Dark/Gold Age Lighting), access to most Assets in the Game that we can reuse, combine and reskin as we want...etc.
- Limits: unless you're just resung Game Assets, it can be a tedious work to use the Asset Editor Software (prone to crashes), and adding new custom Models. We can't add new Terrain Types with new Graphics. Since NFP, the Asset Limit Bug proved to be a big restriction for adding new Assets to the Game, so eventhough Graphics Modding is great, we can't make full use of it, which is a big waste.

Database Modding:
- Strengths: The Modifiers Systems is basically Database Scripting that allows modding the Game with only xml/sql, without requiring to have any programming/scripting Skills. It's easy to use, MP stable/compatible like @pokiehl said, and very flexible in that you can mix and match nearly every Effect and Requirememnt in the Game to make something new. And nearly every Mechanic and Parameter in the Game can be tweaked/balanced. Not directly related to DB Modding (alone), but the Modinfo of Mods allow for a very flexible way to ensure compatibility with other Mods and adding various Game Options based on any Game Settenigs that you want.
- Limits: A lot of things are hardcoded, and many Effects/Requiremnts only work for specific Things/in certain Environments.

Lua Modding:
- Strengths: A big Lua Library with Tons of Events, Objects and Methods. Allows to greatly expand the Roster of Database Effects/Requirements within its own Environment, and using dummy Buildings or the Plot Property Methode even allows to add any kind of requirements to the Database, which in combination with the Modifiers System opens the Door for practically controlling the Database Effects with lua. Technically it's possible to mod/control the AI with lua (to a degree), though without doubt it's a lot of Work and workarounds to do that (and may take a lot of processing Power, even for lua). Allows adding new Mechanics to the Game, or even change existing ones where possible (especially in combination with the Modifiers System). May also be used to fix many Bugs. Offers a greatly moddable UI.
- Limits: The lack of a proper lua API (and Database) Documentation proves to make lua modding a very time consuming task, making you lose a lot of Time just with testing things. The destinctions between Gameplay and UI Contexts is very annoying, because a lot of Objects/Methods either work in one Context or the other, forcing Modders to find other ways to transfer data between them, but with Risk to cause MP Desyncs. The lack of many AI Objects/Methods (especially for Diplomacy, Empire and Unit Management) puts a hard limit on how far you can go with modding the AI, especially when adding new Game Mechanics that you want the AI to make use of. Since many Game Mechanics are hardcoded, and can only be tweaked to a certain degree, reworking them isn't possible without coding them from scratch.

Personal Experience with Civ6 Modding:
I've been working on a Game Overhaul Mod since over a Year now myself (see my Signature), and from the experience I gathered from that (and since I started modding the Game), I can tell you that making Total Conversion Mods (like Rhy's and Fall) is definitely possible, even without the DLL, and even AI modding is possible to a certain degree (if you're willing to make some sacrifices in making designs that take AI under consideration, spend a lot of time scripting AI behavior from scratch or adding Mechanics that help AI decision-making...etc). So, even things like fixing AI not improving Resources and building Industries/Corporartions, and fixing the huge Monopoly Bonuses are possible, if you're willing to take the time for doing it. (which is also one of the main reasons why my Mod is taking so long)

I don't know why most Modders stack with Civ IV/V, and didn't give Civ6 a chance, but the lack of a DLL can't be a reason for saying that things like Total Conversions and new/reworked Game Mechanics aren't possible. Unless one wants to mod every Idea that pops into their mind or prefers C++ to mod the Game, we have to make some sacrifices and accept some limitations, and tbf, exactly that helped me a lot to learn and understand Game Design and to be creative in how to accomplish things (Workarounds can be very rewarding ngl), and I think it even helped my Mod to be much better than if I had used the DLL to mod it.

Conclusion:
Civ VI Modding is really great, we can balance and tweak nearly everything very easily, add any kind of Content, add very unique Abilities, introduce new Mechanics/features to the Game, fix many Bugs were possible, and also allows for making Total Overhaul Mods. But a lot of things in the Game are hardcoded, and require access to the DLL in order to change them or add to them (Like Espionage, Trade Routes, Specialists...etc.). The Asset Limit Bug is also a big detriment for People who like to use Mods that add many new Assets to the Game. And since Firaxis didn't expose many AI lua Methods, it's really hard to mod the AI, it's not impossible, mind you, but not an easy task, to put it mildly.

Nevertheless, a lot can be achieved without requiring the DLL, in fact, I wish that Firaxis will double down on the Database and lua moddability in Civ7, have less hardcoded Mechanics, and make AI scripting with lua possible (a lot of Games use lua to script the AI anyway) + SQL Artdefs and no Asset cooking this Time please!
 
Last edited:

Gorbles

Load Balanced
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Messages
9,418
Location
UK
The thing people are forgetting about older games, which I normally wouldn't raise, is that older games are less complicated. Inherently. I say I normally wouldn't raise this, because generally people only care about the end result. But the discussion's gotten pretty technical, and pretty semantically-precise at times over what is "good" or "not good".

To me, Civ IV's graphics are no longer "good". Just like the original Dawn of War, which was a fantastic RTS game for its time and my favourite game pretty much of that decade (much of the following decade was Civ, it has to be said) . . . is no longer "good" graphically for me. It's not the game's fault. They're both coming up, what, twenty years old? They're both between 15 and 20 years old, is my point. And there's only so much upscaling can do.

And sure, a lot of the time, people who like "nice graphics" often get put in a little box, have their head patted, and get told that the game's systems are what matter. I get it. I'm a technical guy too. But looks also matter, and it turns out they matter to me. When I play games. They just do. I've spent a long time going over old games, I still have so many of them installed, and I've worked out that if a newer graphical style "clicks" with me, I find it very hard to go back. The same goes for mechanics of course as well, but the graphics are personally no less important.

So older games are simpler. There's more you can do, there are less proprietary tools involved, and the IP licensing of source code is less sucked into a black hole of lawyer money than it is nowadays. But people don't care about any of that. They only care about the end result. They want their DLL source code and whatever, and it's awkward to me because the mindset prevents people from experimenting at times. But at other times it's a legitimate gripe from folks who have explored everything they can explore with the current tools (in this case for VI, but for V, IV, whichever). But to me, "simpler" doesn't necessarily mean "mod friendly". I'm not 14 anymore. I'm not going to sit there with ten Notepad instances up manually copying blocks of this or that over. I like my IDEs, I like my workspaces, I like my tooling. Having to micromanage a bunch of archaic bits and pieces isn't "friendly" for me. I had to reverse-engineer the specular in Beyond Earth because I don't have Photoshop and refuse to pay Adobe's absurd pricing model for something that's a hobby to me (I do not have the skills for full-time art :D).

So, to recap, the most important thing is tooling. It's not what I can technically do with a game engine, because that just isn't sustainable anymore. Technology-wise, it just isn't. I used to be able to play around with a thousand-line long LUA-esque monstrousity that defined Dawn of War's taskbar code. One character wrong and half the UI would just vanish. Good times. But that was for a UI for a game that came out in 2004. The next Dawn of War game had a UI written in a completely way (Scaleform GFx, I really don't miss you). You're all going to see the same things here.

Sure, it's nice to look back at the past and go "look at what they could do, I miss or prefer that". But that's preference. Nothing more, nothing less. And you're comparing something to something that's a decade or more newer. It's not a fair comparison. If you want to be technical, if you want to be in the nitty-gritty, if you don't just want to consume the end product, if you want to say that you need the DLL . . . you have to understand this. You're not going to win points by saying a game with a far less complicated tech stack is comparably less complicated to modify. Because that's a no-brainer.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Messages
100
In Civ versions where the source code for the dll was released did mods work for all platforms or just windows?
- Limits: A lot of things are hardcoded, and many Effects/Requiremnts only work for specific Things/in certain Environments.
The DynamicModifers table seems like an attempt to remove this limitation and was partially successful. Hopefully they can go from partially to completely in 7.
 

DizzKneeLand33

Fall from Heaven 2 still rocks
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Messages
625
Location
Kansas City
So, why does no one address the (my) issues regarding the game being broken? I don't care about graphics, I care about game play. If the graphics are beautiful, but the AI can't even declare a formal war, then why would I play this game?

It seems that I am no longer the target audience for Civ. If you are satisfied with a broken game because you can mod pretty things, well, that's not what I am satisfied with. Civ is not those other games out there. Or, at least it never used to be.
 

bbbt

Deity
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
2,580
I feel like the original context was calling Civ modable in comparison to Steam games in general (i.e. a comparison to Bethesda)

How does Civ 6's modability compare to it's peers from say Paradox/Amplitude/Mohawk? I.e. how does modablity compare to Victoria 3/Humankind/Old World? Do any of those companies release their source code/DLLs? I'd guess that Mohawk does, but I'm curious if Paradox or Amplitude do.
 

Gorbles

Load Balanced
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Messages
9,418
Location
UK
So, why does no one address the (my) issues regarding the game being broken?
Because nobody here works at Firaxis. If you want people to say "bugs suck and they should be fixed", I think everyone here would agree with that!
 
Top Bottom