To Firaxis : the eras to concentrate on when designing Civ

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Naokaukodem, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    There have been great scenarios past in the series, and when I say great, it's great, worthing a 10 out of 10, but of course those are not random scenarios, they are Civilization 3 Conquest scenarios.

    I'm thinking about the scenarios around the Fall of Rome in a first part ; and the scenario around the conquest of the new world in a second part.

    The scenarios around the ascension and the fall of Rome will be taken back in the upcoming Tim Schafer's next video game, and it's not a hasard.

    But, that particular game may be concentrated only on eras around it, and not make the full test of Time like Civilization, from 4000 BC to AD 2050, it just emulates those times by limiting itself to them.

    What I would want to see in Civ, is a focus not on a particular era (I want it to bring us from 4000 BC to AD 2050), but mechanics that refers to those above eras.

    For example the Fall of Rome : a country rises, dominates and falls. What I would want to see is mechanics that permit a civilization in the game to rise, dominate and fall, just like in the reality, but that being only a small part of the game and ingame history.

    Because I think this is the natural evolution of the series, pushing things towards a more advanced and fun simulation of countries.

    Imagine that you see a set of countries evolving throughtout 6000 years, rising, evolving, changing, falling, conquering each others... that would simply be amazing. The more when you are a part of it, and do the test of time by trying to survive as a player.

    That would not be without difficulty. For example, where to place the player where countries are supposed to rise and fall ? In the skin of a god ? Of an immortal human ? An E.T. ? Or just a civilization that can change name but be considered like the same base entity ?

    Also, I think developers should try to concentrate on the Age of Discovery. Because I think that those times are all Civ : exploring, catching resources, exploiting the land, conquering, etc...

    Plus, colonies are an element Civ series would earn greatly to think on about, and not only from a continent to the other. Indeed, I'm highly disatisfied by the way we grab territory nowadays in Civ : land from who ? There's nothing around us ! What would prevent us to secure all the land we see ? And if the empty land is "occupied", why culture would grant us peacefull land catching ? I think there is an important need of a reworking a some basis here. And I think colonies, it is to say a way to conquer, can help here.

    In order to make the game a better evolution in its mechanics, the Rise & Fall of Rome seem all indicated. And in order to magnify Civ and add always more fun into it, I think the Age of Discovery is precious. Will the developers follow those paths, could they have the same feeling as myself, how do you feel about it ?
     
  2. Greizer85

    Greizer85 Emperor

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    I often start a new game after the exploration/land-grab part is over... The AI is better at overseas colonization now, but you can still easily win that race if you want to, so there's not as much excitement. I agree that exploration mechanics should be given priority; but at some point the whole map is going to be explored and filled with cities no matter what. Other systems will need to be provided to stave off boredom at that point, like corporations and whatnot.

    As for the whole empires rising and falling part, I'm not too keen on that tbh. I don't mind talking to the same leaders for thousands of years. It's more of a convenience than anything. I'd hate if my empire was altered somehow without my permission, due to the ebb and flow of pre-determined 'history' (or even dynamically determined. Those peons would have to ask for my consent before changing the name of the capital, mmk? :lol:). Btw if you like this mechanic, in Civ IV there is the excellent mod Rhyes and Fall of Civilization, which does exactly this and much more besides (strategic balance etc).
     
  3. Haig

    Haig Deity

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    Personally Id love that strong leading powers would get hazards that would give extra challenge when leading and also to pull back runaway civs a bit.

    So if a player or ai would capture too many enemy cities too quickly, there might be a possibility of rebellions, cities trying to detach from the empire.

    I know this divides people, as some think its not fair to punish a player or ai for being succesful, but personally Id love it when a huge empire gets rebellions in its colonies and would have to deal with them militarily or let them de-colonize peacefully and gain diplo points with them(they could turn into city-states).

    If/when a new expansion is released, mechanics such as revolutions, rebellions, pollution etc. could help to rein in too quickly advancing runaways.
     
  4. Wir0s

    Wir0s Chieftain

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    Some kind of mix between CIV & Crusaders kings?

    The "action" and battles of CIV with the timeline/leader changing of crusaders kings will be a win!
     
  5. RedFuneral

    RedFuneral Warlord

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    You could have this(as well as real world wars in the late eras) if the AIs were programmed to recognize and try and stop runaways. What I'd love to see is that when a civ starts to 'runaway' the other nations split into two sides. Those banding together to overthrow the world power; and those terrified, paid off, or profiting off of them as well as the power themself.

    That way if you're the runaway you'd have some actual difficulty staying in that position(rather than 'end turning' until the end of the game) and if you weren't there would be a lot you could do to really throw a wrench into the works and get yourself into a more favorable position.
     
  6. ambill10

    ambill10 Chieftain

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    Is it an over-simplification to think that diplo penalties could be created based on the info in the demographics menu to make runaways have more difficulty as they grow? Each category that you lead in adds another diplo hit that makes life more difficult and leads to a potential world war starting as everyone dislikes the runaway?
     
  7. Haig

    Haig Deity

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    RedFuneral's and ambill's ideas are both good and would be quite simple to implement to the game I think.
     
  8. Anfillius

    Anfillius Chieftain

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    I know Civ IV had the option for colonies to break away, and IIRC it was Civ II that had civil wars resulting in new AI players. Both of these kept things interesting, and added to the immersive, narrative aspect that many of us enjoy. I would not be surprised to see something like this is the One World expansion.

    A mix between Civ and Crusader Kings would be wonderful, but I imagine it would be a very tricky thing to design correctly.
     
  9. headcase

    headcase Limit 1 Facepalm Per Turn

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    This would be a big departure but I wanted that in a civ-like game as well, where there are events that weaken and strengthen civs as needed. To keep it competitive, something that hurts a civ gives that civ many points, and something that benefits some civs gives the other civs a lot of points, and the points help with the victory condition in some way.

    Events like national instability, where a large civ splits off, and the player loses some of their cities, and a player that had a failing civ switches to that newly made civ. Or if a player with a civ that is about to be wiped out early on, the game generates a new civ with a few cities on a previously unvisited island and gives the player that.
     
  10. Jingo7

    Jingo7 Chieftain

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    The problem I have always had with civ echoes OP's point:

    The way we perceive history is not objective, and civ is no exception. We tend to see history through the lens of the 'nation-state', because today we have come to live in a world where the nation-state is the dominant form of political organisation. Civ reflects and reinforces this tendency (in the name of playability, and I guess that's a decent reason).
    However I'm sure you all know that the nation-state is a relatively recent political unit, other forms of organisation have varied wildly, from tribal slave-societies to attempted (but failed) internationalist communist societies. It makes no sense to even pretend that Sumeria is or was a coherent political entity, it's just plain wrong.

    My point is - civ limits our concept of history into 'great men' or 'great nations'. Why should this be so? Why not a game in which you are guiding all of humanity, like some sort of 'great reason'? Or a game where you are guiding a certain class, for example, you are guiding the slave-owning classes, crushing slave rebellions, or you are guiding the working-class, struggling to overthrow the Capitalist ruling-class.
    The whole 'guide a civ to destiny' thing is boring, it's ideological, it's unimaginative.
     
  11. The QC

    The QC Quietly Confident

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    They sort of tried this with the system in Civ V, but they didn't develop it very well. I still think it's a good idea, but it needs to be fleshed out more. Like you say, it doesn't make sense that everyone hates the leading player and refuses to deal with them. First of all, this makes the game more boring for the player who is doing well, because he cannot make any use of one of the game's mechanics (diplomacy). Second, it doesn't make sense for a weak player neighboring a strong one to act like an . The weak guy should be afraid and should try to find ways of convincing the big guy to let him live (for instance by paying tribute - money or resources in exchange for a number of turns of guaranteed peace).

    I really think there are many possibilities here. Players/AIs should be able to issue ultimatums in the format "Make peace with this guy or we are declaring war against you", in order to contain warmongers. Players/AIs should be able to group together to start wars against stronger foes... Etc.

    It's still tricky, though, and I think that some players would still hate being restrained like this. It would need lots of work.
     
  12. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    You might as well introduce class war to Chess. "We'll shoot the generals on our own side" and whatnot.
     
  13. Rooftrellen

    Rooftrellen King

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    I'd love to see something that could hurt civs, a unique flaw, if you will. Right now, civs can do things well, it has been pretty well thought out to make them work well, but no civ lacks the problem that has caused the fall.

    I wouldn't want to see big changes to civs though time. After all, if I pick the Celts, I want to lead the Celts, overcoming the problems they faced in history and dominating the world, and not falling at a pre-programmed point.

    A flaw could be something to add breaks to civs that are doing too well, further add balance to some of the weaker civs, or even give a stealth bonus.

    For instance, for England, when the combined population of English cities on a foreign landmass reaches a multiple of 10, gain 3 unhappiness (per landmass and population). That would put the breaks on an England overwhelming enemies on archipelago without giving them half a chance of fighting back.

    For Arabia, cities cannot gain extra resources via the bazaar with a majority religion different from the one you founded or a majority religion different from the one found in the greatest number of your cities (if you did not found one). This would cut into the profits gained from a big bonus, simply adding balance to a civ that is normally considered one of the best.

    For Byzantium, gain X (based on game speed) faith whenever a pantheon or religion is founded. No religious pressure to unfriendly or hostile civs, or civs at war with you. This would provide a boost toward getting a religion, which, in turn, gives the civ a needed boost, while providing a downside (much like India's UA has both an up and down, this "flaw" gives a down and up).
     
  14. WChrisMullen

    WChrisMullen Warlord

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    I do kind of miss the Civ II schism mechanic, although I can count the number of times it happened in my games on one hand. I think that if your unhappiness gets high enough (-30 like it is now) instead of Barbarian rebels spawning, one of your peripheral cities or puppets would revolt and start a new AI player. They would use partisans or fanatics to spread the rebellion to other cities until you quashed it or made peace with the new nation.

    Spies could also try to throw coups in cities, except for the capital. They would have a better chance in inciting a rebellion and a super-slim chance of taking control of the city themselves. I liked some of the espionage and terrorism elements from the older games but I think that just throwing money at a city to get it to revolt is unrealistic. It would have to be based on amount of unhappiness generated by the city and its distance from the capital, etc.
     
  15. Infantry#14

    Infantry#14 Emperor

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    I think most of the elements (rebellion, breaking apart, empire collapsing) can be found in mods. Try out Civ4 Rhye's mod.
     
  16. Biologist

    Biologist Emperor

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    I was thinking the same thing; Rhye's mod for BtS includes many aspects that make it hard to keep a nation growing in power over time, and new factions often form. Civs also vote to take land away from runaways and give it to less powerful civs, which may not make much sense but definitely hinders runaways. A similar mod for Civ 5 would probably be a lot of fun (although difficult because it is no longer possible to make individual cities unhappy or to have faraway colonies declare independence).
     
  17. ambill10

    ambill10 Chieftain

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    There is a Revolutions mod that attempts to do some of these things in CiV. I have only used it a few times, but I'm intrigued by it and will keep trying it out.
     
  18. TyBoy

    TyBoy Prince

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    Rhye's is excellent of course. If you haven't played that you absolutely need to. The problem with Rhye's is that it is pretty rigidly tied to the true course of history. Or rather, it solves the big problem with the falling empires idea by following world history so that replacement civs are predetermined and waiting in the wings.

    The big question with falling empires is whether or not it is desirable to have your empire fall. If it is; you plan your game out around strategically allowing your empire to fall at the optimal times and you end up with little or no personal investment in empires or parts of empires that you know you will lose. If it isn't; stability becomes just another stat to manage. You spend the game riding the line by growing as much as you can while barely not triggering "fall" mechanics. This may or may not be good from a gameplay point of view, but it doesn't dramatically alter the game experience. You can rest assured everyone who complains about global happiness would find this about 10x worse. Any ideas regarding rising and falling empires need to begin with an interesting idea to solve this problem. Without that you're just rehashing something that a thousand people before you have already thought of.

    BTW, I love the idea of a Civ-esque game where you are some kind of god or demi-god managing your followers through time. I think the resulting game would be too different to call it a civ, but it could be very good.
     
  19. Biologist

    Biologist Emperor

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    If I remember correctly, I solved that problem as Japan by colonizing California relatively early on. Definitely threw history off a bit having a Japanese splinter-civ living on the West Coast.
     
  20. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    I'm not sure, but I think I played this MOD, wasn't it Fantasy with pre-set starts ? If yes, I didn't pay attention at all. :(

    If no, then I'm pretty sure that there's an instability factor based on happiness. Which I think is a bad design for rises & falls of civilizations. Why ? Because the factors involved for for example falls (or rebellions for example) should not be controllable, otherwise like TyBoy said, the player would have only one data more to take into account and at term play like usual. If the rebellions are humanly controllable, then the player will effectively control them, which would lead to their disappearance, which is not the goal, the goal being seeing rises and falls during all the course of a game.

    Not sure if you can design rebellions to have a positive side, but if not, then rebellions may die in their egg if they obey to pure logic or factor controllable in the game. I already debated several times in the Ideas & Suggestions forum about that without really having myself understood, but the fact is that I think that for rebellions to really happen, they should be not result of bad playing/bad understanding of game mechanics/noobness, but a standard expression of the different game events.

    Some don't understand this because I think they want to tie rebellions with gameplay at all costs. I see them more like flavor, but flavor that would have great impact on the gameplay. (for example if you lose half your cities -no matter if this is normal or not- you may want to rethink your position and objectives)
     

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