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Thoughts on this comment

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by blunderwonder, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    If we're going to use terms as "part of language", they actually have to carry meaning. SE and CE don't. Generally, terms are used as a short way to represent something...but these terms are such LOOSE representations that they're worthless. Even something like Bureaucracy-driven research is far more descriptive than "CE" and even that leaves a lot out.
     
  2. Kaosprophet

    Kaosprophet Warlord

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    That implication is a little harder to stumble into, because while it is entirely possible to go through a game without without running a single specialist or working a single cottage, it's literally impossible to avoid producing commerce at all.

    For me, there's a feedback loop. I don't really plan on running US/FS unless I see a fair bit of cottage-worthy land and a likelihood of going into the late game; but when I do see that, I'm more inclined to plant cottages on the marginal land as well than I would have otherwise been.

    The only time I'd bother to name whatever economy I'm running, is for a theoretical discussion here. And even then, in the details between transitions and incidental boosts from secondary sources, I'd be hard-pressed to justify using any shorthand other than "hybrid economy" for the overall game in any but a handful of situations.
     
  3. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    Well some of us find it useful, and I do plan my economy in advance a lot of the time. Take the game I'm playing right now, for example. I'm playing Hammurabi and started with very specific land all around me. To the south is desert and vast areas of plains, with gold mines, and to the north is vast areas of tundra and ice with lots of silver mines and fur. The land is very hammer heavy (hilly and brown) but there are many food sources (deer, corn, wheat, cows, etc) and many luxury resources. I simply don't have the spare food to build any cottages this game. My capital's a net -7 food, I have to farm every tile I can. I suppose I could work the sheep and brown cows and have enough food to work about 5 plains cottages, but then the city wouldn't have enough food to work its other tiles. Oh, and my capital has stone in the BFC. So what can I do with this?
    Hammer heavy, plenty of luxuries, and stone. I already no I'm not going to build cottages. I figure the hammers can build an army to go warring, but I also figure it might be beneficial to build a wonder or two, I'm thinking Hanging Gardens. Another thing that occurred to me is that I almost never go for an early religion but it might make sense here. I have lots of hammers, hammers everywhere, I can afford to build missionaries and I could really use the gold from a shrine. Yes there are the silver and gold mines, and I'll get those, and they will help a lot at first, but they won't provide enough commerce alone to fund an entire empire.
     
  4. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

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    The economy you run is map dependant and most reasonably experienced players will explore the land before they decide what type of economy they run. Its not always optimal to decide beforehand what economy you're going to run based on which leader/civ you're playing. In that sense SE or CE are useful descriptive terms in retrospect but not useful as a basis for planning a game in advance of map knowledge.

    As noto2 seems to be the primary exponent of the usefulness of Ce and SE I'd ask if he/she was playing Hammurabi and started with lots of grassland and rivers but not so many food specials and no stone would he/she still run a specialist economy?
     
  5. babar

    babar King

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    CE is where you spam cottages everywhere you can, except for a production city or two and a GP farm. SE is where you farm instead and run specialists with spare food, except for the cottaged capital, ideally. I don't see how "Hybrid Economy" is any more helpful, as it is too broad to define anything. I certainly don't know what it means. A Bureaucracy capital is almost a given, so defining the general set-up of the rest of the cities is more useful I think.



    Way back in warlords, switching from what was understood as a "CE" to an "SE" took me from noble to immortal almost against my wishes, so it was helpful enough terminology for my game. I don't think in either term anymore, but I think it is probably useful rather than harmful for newer players.
     
  6. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    pigswil I'm obviously looking at the map when deciding my economy. Honestly, did you even read my post? I spent most of it describing the land... And how would Hammurabi's traits lead to a specialist economy anyway. I ended up wonderspamming and going with a settled specialist economy in that game, worked fairly well, oh yeah I found marble not too long after that start, hence the wonderspam.
     
  7. pigswill

    pigswill fly (one day)

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    Of course I read your post. The point I'm trying to make is that discussion about SE or CE is map based and experienced civvers know this. However civ is a complex game and new players can be overwhelmed quite easily and look for algorithms such as SE or CE to guide their play. That's why I dislike using SE and CE because if applied blindly they hold new players back and why Play The Map is still better advice.
     
  8. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    People do not generally agree on your definitions. CE can easily run 2 spec cities if the land is right and still be CE (still far more cottages than anything else). I don't see how with SE you'd ignore a 2nd good early cottage site either. The terms are garbage. The best proof is if you open up a map and someone said "I ran a CE" or "I ran a SE". Based on their description, could you tell what they did? Of course not. If it's some monarch player, you will literally see cottages all over the place or no cottages at all in many instances. If it's someone who knows what they're doing, you'll instead see a mixture, but you probaly wouldn't have been able to guess the mixture. Of course, many good players wouldn't bother with such useless terms so there's some inherent bias already.

    It was harmful rather than useful to me. I've seen plenty of people who suffered the same fate I initially did. The only good that ever came from any of these debates is that people started to learn the tradeoffs at least.
     
  9. WelshGandalf

    WelshGandalf King

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    When I started I basically thought specialists were useless. I think cottages are easier to understand, and they get bigger & better as time goes on, so better long term investment, right?

    Thanks to some of the SE discussion and some SE games that were run, in understood why specialists were good, the power of Representation and when to run both. Playing some no-cottage games to test the extreme end of what would traditionally be called the Specialist Economy let me see how good specialists can be, but also their limitation (eg some sites are just better for cottages, and it can fade somewhat late game.... this then led to learning how building wealth can be really powerful). So for me, testing the extremes was a good learning experience.

    I do understand your point that for some, CE/SE can be a trap and people end up going either/or. I think most of us in this thread are primarily using our own experience as the basis for our beliefs on this topic, which is only natural. I would say that if you start off saying to people "there are two main ways to get lots of commerce - cottages and specialists - and how many of each you use depends on many things" then that's a good way to teach.

    Also, I think "hybrid ecenomy" is even more useless a phrase.
     
  10. babar

    babar King

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    That's true, some cities you almost have no choice with, and I was never one to farm over captured towns. On the other hand it has been argued by better players than me that diluting an SE too much or running more than one GP farm in a CE is inefficient...

    I disagree here. I think it would tell you something. Not everything, but enough to get a basic idea.
     
  11. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Even knowing that some people define "CE" as "most of current output from cottages" while others require that it uses half of their cities or most of them? I don't think so.

    If we want to short-form strategy we need more/better descriptive terms that a person can read and then unpack into knowledge of what the player actually did. That's the whole point of having terms like this at all and CE/SE have always failed that test, perhaps a testament to the good thing about civ IV: its design complexity element.
     
  12. Izuul

    Izuul Level 86

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    I think they are fine when one is not trying to convey detail, and that is typically the case when using these kinds of terms anyway. If i really wanted to express details of my game, there are far better avenues to do so. As you said, there is too much complexity to sum something like that up with a simple shorthand phrase.

    If I'm reading a write-up and someone says that they have 10 cities and are a running a "CE," i really don't need to know if they have 5 cottaged cities or 8 cottaged cities. I know the gist of what they are doing, and that's clearly all they intended. If i wanted to see the details of someone's economy i would go watch YouTube or find a detailed game summary with screen shots and a save file.

    I have several contentions with "CE" and "SE," but that's not one of them.
     
  13. Kaosprophet

    Kaosprophet Warlord

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    How long ago? Last I checked, most of the better players were avoiding the terms altogether.

    I think it would mostly tell you the speaker/poster was working from archived strategy articles from ~5 years ago :p

    Literally the only economy I could say I "ran" in most of my games would be a hybrid, because even at the gross macro level I tend to transition a fair bit between different stages unless I'm pulling off a medieval conquest victory.

    I might even be tempted to buck the terms and call what I was running at the mid-stages a "broker-economy." Tech trading is kind of taken for granted, but I think it would be fair to say trades are bringing in nearly as many beakers *and* maintenance gold as my base economy is around that stage, if not more.

    Ironically, I consider that to also indirectly be the source of most of what you consider to be the bad things about civ IV. But I've already learned that's a fruitless discussion in it's entirety.
     
  14. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    There is no way design complexity causes broken controls or a horridly slow engine...my two biggest complaints since forever. You could argue it makes balance harder...but that does not exclude balance. just an excuse lol
     
  15. AxisOfAllies

    AxisOfAllies Chieftain

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    I agree with this 100%. I've been reading these forums a long time, and have read many posts on SE vs. CE. Based on my experience the most useful thing about these terms are the discussions that get generated when people try to define them. Those discussions have taught me plenty about city specialization and how to build an economy based on the map you roll.
     
  16. Kaosprophet

    Kaosprophet Warlord

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    Like I said, fruitless discussion.
     
  17. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    If you give up before starting, then sure.

    Put another way, are you seriously trying to assert that by making this game have depth at the strategic level, the effort indirectly led to broken controls and a crummy engine?

    Considering that 1 man across far less time than civ IV's development patched up almost the entirety of the broken controls, I suspect your real reason for not wanting to discuss it is how ludicrously ridiculous the implication is. That might be the case, but then why bring it up at all ;)? If you're going to argue something then argue it, don't kind of meekly imply something and then refuse to go further. Can't you defend your point? I don't think you can, but don't you at least think you can :lol:?
     
  18. Kaosprophet

    Kaosprophet Warlord

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    I wouldn't even try to argue the earth was round with you, if you were asserting otherwise.

    No, actually it's just you.
     
  19. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    You know, I'm not sure how to take this. I am feeling a mix of trollface pride and disappointment at the same time. It feels really strange. Much like talking about my feelings.

    edit: TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN!!!!!!!!
     
  20. Zx Zero Zx

    Zx Zero Zx Deity

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    I like turtles.
     

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