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Tweaking the Victory Conditions

Discussion in 'CivBE - Ideas and Suggestions' started by Roxlimn, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    I'll be looking and discussing the VCs in CivBE (and the other Civs to a lesser extent) in the thread. The lens through which I will look will be vis a vis the so-called German board games. Civ isn't just a board game, but in terms of the VCs, it can certainly cull a thing or two from the excellent designs coming out in the board game space.

    A lot of posters think that the Affinities for the VCs are too low. I disagree. I think they're about right. The problem with the VCs isn't that they come too fast. The problem with every VC right now, and many VCs in the Civ franchise in general, is that they're too non-interactive. In board game parlance, this is essentially similar to parallel Solitaire. It can be nice, but playing Solitaire beside each other kind of undermines the entire point of playing together.

    I don't think the Affinity score for each VC is too high because I do not see building each of the Planetary Wonders as end-game. These events should be early end-game or even mid-game. When a faction builds a Wonder (which would be broadcast via notification to every Civ), is when the shenanigans start. Everything prior to that is just a prelude.

    Here are a few ideas for how the VCs can be more interactive:

    1. Each alien killed by any faction planetwide, game-long adds 1 turn to any attempt at Transcendence Victory. In MP, you can short-circuit another player's race to victory by slaughtering alien units, making it harder for them to achieve Transcendence.

    2. Add Destroy Building (not Wonder) to Espionage Activity. This allows players to not only affect each other's city improvements, but also to kill Mind Stems and sabotage XenoSanctuaries. A Transcendence player on the race to the win will have great incentive to call her agents home to defend her stuff.

    3. AI: Add "Please stop killing aliens" to options. 1 Favor minimum necessary to request.

    4. Favors no longer purchasable. The AI must ask you for Favors. You cannot actively sell anything to curry Favors from the AI. This change is to change Favors from just another currency to a big event - the AI really, really needed you, and you came through. That's worth something special.

    5. Each Earthling Settled by any Purity faction adds +100 Strength to the amount needed to win Emancipation. Earthlings won't sacrifice their "weaknesses" in the face of immediate salvation.

    6. Add "Please stop Settling Earthlings" to diplomacy options. 1 Favor minimum necessary to request. Requires Emancipation Gate built.

    7. Increased AI hostility from Supremacy-Affinity-AI for Settling Earthlings.

    8. Earthling Settlements may be attacked and destroyed directly. Lost Settlements do not count towards the 20 Settled Earthlings necessary for victory.

    The thinking here, of course, is that each of the Affinity-specific VCs are essentially Builder VCs. They are sufficiently different already, but the lack of interactivity means that they all expose Civ's main weakness.

    Let's be honest here. We're essentially playing Progress Quest.

    The more layers are in between Progress Quest and us, the better Civ becomes. Science VCs in nearly all the Civs, Culture in IV, somewhat Culture in V, Economic VC in SMAC - they're all Progress Quest, fairly nakedly. That's one of the reasons why they're weak.

    Adding a solid layer of interactivity and conflict between the factions is a way to make that more entertaining. Right now, the odd thing is that the Builder VCs are mainly contested with Military, which is weird. You don't need to instigate war to interfere with another person's race to VC. Settlers of Catan shows this very well. 7 Wonders, Agricola, Puerto Rico - we have a lot of things to show us how interactivity and conflict can be built into a builder game without necessitating the use of the military layer (though you can always use that).

    Most of the things I spitballed here are meant to be simple to understand, add, and implement; the better for it to be patched in. In addition, most of these add conflict, but do not add partnership. It is, to my mind, entirely appropriate for Purity factions to aid each other to reach VC faster, even as Supremacy factions collude to prevent Exodus.

    Feel free to post your own ideas in the spirit of the thread. Specifically - let's not just add Affinity Requirements to pad the game. Let's add something super-entertaining!
     
  2. MistroPain

    MistroPain Chieftain

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    I like the idea of making the victory conditions more competitive, especially the abilities to undermine someone elses victory indirectly (as long as its not overpowered).
    Hopefully Sid Meier's team take a look at this!

    I always loved games like Risk; its simple victory condition was domination, but players would continually change allegiances to take down the bigger foe, who in turn would join the weaker of the two that ganged on him to take the bigger one on. A much more obvious example of how victory conditions can be disrupted, but something i'd like to see promoted in Civ.
     
  3. Haggbart

    Haggbart King

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    I think the reason that most people (me included) want the affinity victory wonders to need more affinity points, is that it seems the easiest way right now to solve a couple of problems with the game (it will also require a tweak to the contact victory).

    - The pacing is too quick.
    - You should almost always beeline for the affinity techs to start the building of victory wonders as quickly as possible, if the affinity point demands were higher, it might be viable to invest in other techs in the meantime (and it will make you explore more of the tech tree to get more affinity techs at least)
    - Right now you never need the outer tier units and buildings because the game is over when you can build them. If affinity wonders were later, there might be a viable option in shooting for some late game military units and go conquering.

    Now, I don't say it's an optimal sollution, but it does seem like one that can realistically change with a simple patch. I am, however, open for a better sollution long term being in line with what you propose, or something else that would make the end game take longer and be more interesting.

    But in the meantime, higher victory wonder requirements will improve the above.
     
  4. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    Definitely agree...

    I hope that BE gets some Global Terraforming expansion... whereby Global Terraforming levels must be > X for Promised Land Victories... but Global Terraforming levels make it harder to reach Transcendence victories.
    (Global Terraforming could also change yield/maintenance from certain imrovements... terrascapes require miasma-free tiles, what about an improvement that required miasma on tiles)

    That way there could be a separate area for conflict
    One of the things BNW did well adding diplomatic and cultural conflict to military conflict....
    Hopefully BE will get environmental and cultural conflict added.

    I really like the 'Settled Earthlings' increase resistance for Emancipation idea (Harmony-Purity tension is easy if there is some form of terraforming added)
     
  5. Minor Annoyance

    Minor Annoyance Deity

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    I have often thought that the reason war in these games has such appeal is that it is the more comprehensive test of how you've built your empire. If it can survive then you've done OK. If it can conquer you did better. Building, after the initial land grabs, is mostly just about keeping to yourself and doesn't directly test you against others.
    It does end too soon because the wonders are the end. In BNW you can start getting tourism pretty early but it's a long process and you can catch up so it's less important exactly when the race starts. I should be more of a start rather than the end
    Specifically one turn might be too much. If it was worked into the point system and worked with the strength of the alien that might be better
    I kinda wanted that just for the surveillance web.
    Great. Makes sense.
    Although I attacked an opponent to stop a promised land victory but I've never done one myself so I don't know how much of a change this is.
    Oh, I will.

    This gave me an idea. Terraforming is supposed to be Purity's thing. Make this a new earth. Terrascapes are earth's ecosystem recreated on the new planet. Purity is supposed to be bringing people to a new earth, but when they get here they're probably all thinking, what's with all the fungus? So terrascapes should be part the Promised Land. Make the stacking limit for how many earthling settlers can be in one settlement. You need one to settle at all and need all six surrounding hexes as terrascapes to get six in. The AI would have to understand this though and I don't know how good they'd be at preparing a settling area... Probably better they just increase the limit so the ai can settle and then build around it. Have something real to build around rather than have a long term plan.

    Another idea for terrascapes I thought of http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=13585095&postcount=15 that I'll mention here too is give them an effect like the Moai of Polynesia in civ 5. Give them 1 energy for every adjacent terrascape. A center tile would totally offset maintenance. It makes sense that the more of an area is terraformed the easier it would be to maintain and it gives them more practicality and uniqueness.
     
  6. Lglenhaber

    Lglenhaber Chieftain

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    Those ideas are really good!

    Here are some ideas I have come up with
    Promised Land You need to settle in a refugee camp that needs to be built. Also, barbarians spawn at the gate
    Emancipation The people of earth have made a sizable army, and can put up more resistance (-20 :c5strength: per turn). As well, the gate takes science to keep open
    Transcendence The victory would take 1 more turn for every alien killed, improvment, and human population. However, it would take -2.5 turns for every tile with miasma, and -4 for every xenosanctuary and every mind stem.
    Contact Contact would need 50,000 :c5gold: for you to win, instead of 30 turns
     
  7. purplecow

    purplecow Chieftain

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    Great idea. It would be great to have a way to hinder other players' affinity victories short of full scale invasion. It could lead to a situation where you open a warp gate to settle refugees to inspire Earth to hold out long enough for your Mindflower to bloom!
     
  8. Xenotitan

    Xenotitan Prince

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    I think this whole non-interactive complaint really hits the nail on the head here.

    1 turn per alien killed seems way too much and is also a problem if you don't like to play harmony as space PETA.

    I always assumed 8 was already the case. I'm surprised it isn't.
     
  9. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    Harmony here isn't envisioned as Space PETA. You still domesticate and exploit the alien life, after all. It just posits that the alien intelligence is a faction of its own that isn't playing the game. However, it still gets pissed off if too many of its units are killed. It doesn't really care if you're not the killing player - all humans are the same in its eyes. So, the more alien units other players kill, the harder it is for you to achieve Transcendence.

    Of course, you can always kill aliens yourself and just make it up with Mind Stems.
     
  10. Minor Annoyance

    Minor Annoyance Deity

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    Thought: Killing aliens with harmony unique units doesn't anger aliens doesn't anger them because aliens killing aliens is part of the normal ecosystem. Not sure how the aliens function though. Are they just recognizing humans as a new threat or is a hive mind directing them? A hike mind might still think your domesticated aliens aren't part of their ecosystem but they might also realize if aliens are domesticated then they will never go extinct and are thus more safe.
    This might set the unusual situation where harmony becomes the BEST alien killers. If they brought back the old harmony 1 perk at a higher level and created animations where your units were stunning aliens rather than killing them it would make sense that they are capturing them and domesticating them or relocating them.
     
  11. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    I like your train of thought, and a lot of the improvements envisioned. The only problem I find is that that might make it too involved, which is certainly several steps above previous Civ games (and SMAC, for the record). Gameplay is better, with an established audience, being advanced a step or so at a time. Several steps, even if they result in an arguably better game, can put people off.

    Also, my sole quibble is that landing Earthling Settlements is hard enough as it is. We don't need ways to destroy them (considering how weak they are), personally. I'd investigate another angle to this.
     
  12. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 King

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    I agree wholeheartedly that the current VCs are too boring and non-interactive. I generally like all your ideas but think they could be taken even further x10. When I first build the Mind Flower and they said the aliens would get ticked off, I thought that there would be a wave of hostile aliens spawned from nowhere. That didn't happen, but it should have.

    I think that they should also build more quest/story in the LEAD-UP to the VCs. Right now, the only way you learn about the VCs is by clicking an obscure icon and reading that story. It would be nice if the game immersed you a little bit more into the lead up.

    I'm surprised to hear you (Gorb) say "Earthling Settlements is hard enough" --- isn't it easy to find an empty pocket of land in between my million cities? I think settling the Settlements is way too easy right now -- they should cap each settlement to 3 or something. Are you really overlapping each of your cities perfectly in 3x3x3 (or whatever the hex version of that is) grids?
     
  13. Minor Annoyance

    Minor Annoyance Deity

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    I believe they call these 'double win' mechanics because if you are already winning they help you win faster. Problem with this game is that most victories are races like the spaceship victory i.e. two people can get close to winning at the same time. Examples from civ5, conquest you have to get everyone's capital. Diplomatic you complete for the same pool of votes. And culture you have to overcome everyone else's culture/tourism. I think it mighty be possible to have a opponent get influential on you and then get it on them but it's very unlikely. So they're all for the most part zero sum games. You fantasy win unless you make everyone else lose. So having the tech leader get an advantage is to break a stalemate that might never end. There's no such situation in BE, but there should be! See already linked thread for ouch back ideas.
    As for your specific ideas, purity 17 is getting what many harmony unit perks are so that takes a little out of harmony's uniqueness. Same with 18.
    Supremacy 18 it too good for conquest. I've found the the one unit per turn through the gate holds you back more than production of units. The upgrades for units at 17 and 18 are conquest's high affinity bonus. We need one more specific to emancipation.
    For purity giving all civilian units +1 move and maybe ignore terrain costs would be more specific to promised land and not conquest.
     
  14. Lucius_

    Lucius_ King

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    Interesting thread. I like the overall idea. Right now the game is build until you win. It's just a race. Everything you do is to win faster (expand, research, even spying.) There is no way to make the other guy win slower, short of conquer his stuff. The AI is not good at "conquer his stuff."

    I have no suggestions to add, but I agree we need a "lose a turn" card, or a "go back 3 spaces" card, figuratively speaking.
     
  15. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    You only need one Emancipation Gate. You only need one Mind Flower. You need one Exodus Gate and the ability to settle somewhere six times. You have to abide by city limits. This doesn't affect me personally so much, but it does affect players of the game full stop.

    Purity doesn't need more weaknesses when it's already the weakest of the three. Arguably Harmony is the safest because it's hard to wreck Transcendence points without taking cities. At least you prevent the army supply route to an Emancipation Gate.

    The ideas, while good - don't get me wrong - fail to take these discrepancies into account, and simply look at increasing the depth of all three (which would be a good change), but you still need to consider this carefully.
     
  16. Lglenhaber

    Lglenhaber Chieftain

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    You could have the Purity victory need to settle the planet for part of its victory, but also need to find a second habitable planet for the rest of the earthlings

    Similarly, you could need to have a large computer to upload everyone as well as concurring the earth that would need science to maintain (the contentiousness need to go somewhere)

    For the harmony victory, you might need to fight off more aliens, or the fresied aliens fight better (4 or 5 times their strength-- look out for the siege worm!)
     
  17. omniclast

    omniclast Prince

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    Can't Earthling Settlements be destroyed by standing on the tile and pillaging? I'm pretty sure I've done this before.
     
  18. Alexander Boney

    Alexander Boney Chieftain

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    I'd do this:

    If an Emancipation Gate is built, then the other civs can build a gate to reinforce Earth, but must declare war to do so.
    Earthling Settlements can be attacked.
    Mind Stems should be improvements that can be razed.
     
  19. keldaur

    keldaur Chieftain

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    For me, the biggest issue is that affinity is completely related with the victory conditions AND military tech.
     
  20. Lglenhaber

    Lglenhaber Chieftain

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    You could also have it so Earthling settlements cant settle on miasma or next to miasma (So people can "Miasma bomb" You) and that the world has to be 20% miasma in order for you to start the mind flower (So you need to care about the world)
     

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