Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Bhruic, Oct 10, 2007.
I'm just curious about people's opinions on this one.
Sure everything is fair in love and war! And uh, in spying too!
Really, why not? You are not trading the tech, but stealing it. It is not like the Civ you stole it from liked you stealing it.
Well, I'll play Devil's Advocate again...
The point of "No Tech Brokering" is that you can't trade techs you didn't research. In fact, the mouse-over help for NTB says just that - "Players cannot trade technologies that they have not researched themselves". Since you didn't research the tech you stole, wouldn't that mean you shouldn't be able to trade it?
I can't really say it any better than that, so I voted no. Stealing a tech does not equal researching a tech.
Uh, scrap what I said!
I read the title of the thread wrong and understood this:
"Should you be able to steal techs from a neighbor that were not his initially with "no tech brokering" on?"
Or something like that!
I guess I need to sleep!~
I messed up, sorry! Said that, my opinion to the true question is that I am not sure.
That's a hard one. I would try to use gameplay or consistency reasons to make a decision in favour or against.
The tech brokering was introduced to reduce tech trading to a lower level where you couldn't acquire technologies from a foreign civilisations and then trade them on to other civilisations. The espionage mechanism now allows you to avoid this restriction. I therefore think trading stolen technologies would be against the basic idea of the tech brokering option.
However, it will probably be less of a problem for players who use the tech brokering option as players mainly see it as a problem that the AI trades technologies to other civilisations and not that they themselves trade technologies. Since the AI barely uses the tech stealing option, it won't be seen as a problem. An unbalanced or unrealistic or inconsistent game element won't be perceived as such when only the human player uses it. Only when the AI starts using it on a large scale will players start to complain on a similar large scale. (maybe a bit too much cynicism here )
Not that it is as important as gameplay but lets look at it from a realism point of view. From a realism point of view it is weird that there are 2 classes of technologies, the ones that you can trade and the ones that you can't trade. There is no obvious realism argument that stops you from trading technologies that were learned from other civilisations. You could make up a reason like: 'the one who taught you the technology don't wants you to trade it", but that can easily be countered by: "what do I care what they want after I've acquired the technology". So as I find the tech brokering option an unrealistic playing option, I will stop trying to use realism arguments to decide whether stolen technologies should or should not be available for trade.
No Tech Brokering means only the discoverer of the tech can trade it. Leave it that way.
Too busy for Civ at the moment unfortunately, but first my feeling on no tech brokering.
If you play huge maps, and / or a lot of civs, then no tech brokering should be a standard option. Its the only way to slow world teching to a sensible lvl, especially in mid/late game. More civs, vassals, colonies all leads to a general faster tech rate (its only logical really), and especially with ais still handing techs to voluntary vassals like sweets, too many of my games were somewhat spoiled pre BTS in this fashion..(i.e. one nation passes to another to another, etc).
So for me no tech brokering is standard, and shall always be.
To the point in question, I agree completely with Jaybe above. Stealing is really just an underhand way of trading with someone (in this case someone who didn't want to trade with you ).
So rule one still applies...you didn't research it, so you can't trade it.
I'm not sure what you mean by "leave it that way". Currently, you can trade techs that you've stolen with No Tech Brokering on.
Didn't realise you could...I suppose its not generally that major a game aspect, but change it so you can't then Bh
What do you think "no tech brokering" represents?
a) You don't understand the tech well enough if you got it by trade.
b) You signed some sort of unbreakable agreement not to trade it.
If a, then you can argue either side. If b, then "the way it is" is certainly correct.
Arguments in favor of a:
-The pedia text.
Arguments in favor of b:
-That's the way it was programmed.
-That's what the word "brokering" in the name suggests.
I think you should leave it like it is. If Firaxis wants to change it, they can, but I see no reason to think it isn't like they wanted it to be.
I vote no. I seem to recall some discussion threads about tech trading from the early days of Civ IV, and I believe the consensus was that any sort of tech trading benefits the Human player more than the AI, and I believe that no tech brokering was meant to be a way to minimize the benefits to the Human player while still permitting some trading to take place (since tech trading is a popular feature of Civ). The rule seems, to me, to be designed to force the Human to pursue his own research as much as possible.
This thread from Realms Beyond Civ dating from early 2006 on the then-new "WFYABTA" phenomenon and comparing tech trading in Civ 3 vs Civ 4 expands on this -- it also includes some Firaxians involved in the design of Civ IV.
I meant "Leave it the way I SAID it," not the way it "is".
No Tech Brokering means only the discoverer of the tech can trade it. IOW the stealer of the tech should NOT be able to trade it.
There are two ways to think about this:
1) Techs can be acquired by researching every single beaker of the tech and by other means (including trading).
2) Techs can be acquired by trading them from other players and by other means (including research).
What are the other means not considered main method for either (1) or (2) are:
- popping from huts
- via Oracle or Liberalism
Were I to argue for or against stealing, I would have to argue for all the other methods as well: are they considered self-research or not. Arguing for (2) is easy in that it clearly considers only trading and thus stealing falls into same category as self-research. But if arguing for (1), I could easily see how lightbulbs and Oracle/Liberalism discoveries could be included where huts were excluded. I can see other divisions as well, but they seem to require stronger argumentation than those I've outlaid here.
about the AI not stealing techs often, there are some things listed in the change notes. how well they actually work out i have no clue.
i don't know a thing about code, and since you're asking about this surely you know a way to implement it if you decide to make it "can't trade stolen techs". Elandal's post has me wondering about how the game keeps track of how you got each tech. i suppose some flag is set for "i researched this one, i didn't research that one" but does it go to the level of remembering which techs smart villagers taught you?
does tech brokering currently use the same flag as "you traded for this tech so it counts toward WFYABTA"? and if it does, is that simply because it was the easiest way to do it? or maybe the intent was "no trading stuff you traded for" but that got lost in translating it to the pedia and game options screen.
as a contractor, i often write documentation for software that i don't use (and don't understand). i talk to the experts to figure out what it does, try to write docs to help non-experts understand it, and then have the experts check my work. i don't know whether it's the case here or not, but trust me, it is really easy for things to get lost in that process. when the experts proofread the manuals, they sometimes see what they expect to be there, rather than what is actually there.
my personal bias is "i got this tech in a sneaky way, i can be underhanded and trade it as well", but that's not based in game-play or balance. i just like it since it's james-bond-y.
Ye, you might as well stop the possibility of trading a tech you popped from a hut!
More and more I don't see a problem in trading a tech that was stolen rather than traded.
But there are many other similar situations in the game. For example, peace treaties means you can't declare war until 10 turns have passed, no matter what. But what's ACTUALLY stopping you? Nothing. So, unrealistic as it may be, these sort of artificial restrictions exist to prevent various "cheesy" tactics, even though said chessy tactics would be used in a real life situation. But this is a game, and some measures must be taken for the sake of, for lack of a better word, balance.
So the same way peace treaties enforce an unbreakable peace, no tech brokering enforces an unbreakable end-user agreement for traded techs, forbidding re-trade.
But stolen techs, now, are of course not the same. But as it is, it represents a workaround. Set no tech brokering and divert some points from spying to research and you CAN trade techs that you wouldn't have been able to trade with if you had aquired them by trading tech for tech. Instead you trade spypoints for tech.
The clincing argument for me however is that being able to trade away stolen techs udner a no tech brokering game benefits the player first and foremost. For these reasons I voted no.
The only thing that I'm saying is that you can't use realism arguments on a game mechanic that is there for game balance reasons.
The no-tech brokering option is an artificial limitation on trading technologies that can be set at the start of the game. The restriction has nothing to do with realism. So I don't want to use realism arguments to set the limitations of the option, to decide whether or not stolen technologies should be available for trade or not.
You also base your decision on whether or not stolen technologies should be available for trade in the tech brokering setting on game balance arguments, very similar to my reasoning:
So why are you arguing with me?
In my opinion stealing a tech is similar to researching it: You spend commerce on it and it's an ongoing investment.
Trading techs is different, you trade one tech for another (unless you pay money but that's pretty unlikely) and get it instantaneously without having to have spent anything on it in the past. So being able to steal a technology and then pass it on is fine.
I voted no, though I doubt this would have a major impact on game balance since tech stealing is very costly anyway and happens rarely. (or not?)
On the other hand, I strongly feel that techs from huts and Oracle/Liberalism should NOT be traded with no tech brokering on. They're essentially freebies and being able to trade them to get even more techs gives an unfair advantage since you don't really 'invest' much in them (aside from a scout and diverting research path) The reason I feel less strongly about stolen techs is the high cost - you have to invest heavily in it so it's not as unfair that you can trade it too.
If you make a mod that changes this count me in as a customer!
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