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Tying It All Together In One Big Mess: Why 1UPT Is Powerful

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by CivCube, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. CivCube

    CivCube Feelin' defiant.

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    I like to play on smaller maps. The lay of the land (or lack thereof, rather) makes it easier to read what's going on. Things aren't as complicated...right?
    Sure. In fact, that's the problem. In my other thread, I argued for tying culture to diplomacy. The reason is that, when used well, city-states make a great presence on the map. Why are France and Greece mad at you? Well, there's Brussels taking up your land. Putting a conflict of interest like that on the map is a fantastic way to ramp up the tension. So I played another game with that in mind the other day. I chose Gandhi with a one-way trip to Alpha Centauri in mind. Steadily I went, attempting a balance of vertical growth with adding more cities.

    And yet, something didn't seem right. This was a tiny map, but everything felt so...empty. It wasn't the other AIs; they were actually doing their best to expand as rapidly as I did. It wasn't the lack of units; there were plenty of spearman, settlers, barbarians, and war elephants marching around. But the overall gameplay still felt rather flat. It was a new feeling that I couldn't quite put my finger on... I popped a social policy and chose a free Great Person, a Scientist actually. I moved him over to the city to build an Academy...huh? You're supposed to build it on a nearby tile? Well...

    That's when it came to me. The map felt empty because there really wasn't much to freak out over except for cities, city-states, and the odd weakling unit. What about taking buildings out of the city and placing them on the actual map? Or put another way, how about translating more infrastructure and game concepts into actual objects to protect?

    Civ 5 does some of this already, actually. Civ 4's spaceship is no longer stationed safely at an abstract dock, the parts are literally on the map, just waiting to be gobbled up by Mongol hordes. The Great Scientist's Academy is also another building that can be destroyed, never to return if you let that idiot barbarian wander where it pleases. I'm sure there are a couple more Great Person buildings I'm not thinking about...

    But what does this mean for the rest of the game? The point of 1UPT is that if there's a unit on a hex, it can potentially block other units from accessing other territory. Put more victory-crucial objectives on the map, and you have a warzone. As mentioned already, City-States are the diplomatic game translated into something that can be conquered. So you have that ally over there, huh? Too bad, my units are over there. Whatcha gonna do about it? My spaceship parts are over in Hong Kong but they need to get to Stockholm. How can I maneuver them around Hiawatha?

    So let's throw some ideas out there. How can we best create more conflicts of interest on the map? Here are some implications for you:

    City Slots Out Of The City: Civ 4 introduced the fun visual of seeing all your Wonders and buildings on the map without needing to go to a separate screen. With 1UPT, that could make things very risky. Suppose a tile could only hold so many buildings...say, 4 buildings on this marsh, and the Pyramids took up two. There they are, just waiting to be taken. How do you protect them? Can you expand the number of slots for one tile with research? You're not just showing more stuff for the AI, you're changing the terrain itself. This also makes the player more mindful of which buildings to construct if there is limited space, unlike the Infinite Bag of Holding that is the current city system.

    Sorry, Civ 4 builders. Civ 5's 1UPT system is going to make it harder...is it? With more buildings on the map, you can literally see your civ grow with every turn. That leaves you more vulnerable, but at the same time, you can bask in the glory of your expanding empire, turn by turn.

    Domination? On my culture and science? It's more likely than you think. Right now the Domination Victory is the condition in the least need of attention. This system simply makes it a lot easier for military civs to stomp around all over your stuff, and again, that's not a bad thing. The more incentive you have to protect yourself and do more things on the map, the more the other civs and players are going to take notice.

    But here's where it gets interesting. A three-city empire is small, right? Wrong. Because it has more wonders and cultural buildings, a "tall" empire could be spitting out its crap all over its territory. If you're going to be the high-falutin' one, you might as well make other people notice by taking up their potential territory with your god-awful lawn gnomes. Sound familiar? Polynesia already does this with their Maoi statues.

    The Diplomatic Victory Is One Sensitive Baby And notice they will, if more keys to diplomatic success are tied to the map. Maybe that research agreement is represented by a couple scientists running back and forth between capitol cities. What if Polynesia had something to say about it? Or maybe that maritime ally has actual caravans of food parading down the road. There's actually a mod already out there that requires diplomatic units to be exposed to military action. While I'm not sure if there are consequences to killing diplomatic units, it's a great step.

    Civ 5's map currently doesn't know which Civ it wants for work for. Does it work for Civ 4's city system, where all the buildings were in one tidy place? If it does, then there's a huge opportunity being lost by not cluttering the map with other people's stuff. With 1UPT, your units should be in other people's business, whether you want them there or not.

    So it comes back to France's pet Brussels, sitting there like a rotten egg on my land. What do I want to do about it? After all, all our toys are spread out in the room. Let's stop thinking of production and improvements in terms of stacks and spread them out like units. This is a game of rapidly decreasing space. Making people mad makes the game more fun.
     
  2. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Having a lower land area would make you more of a target if it meant that every tile was more valuable. That would only seem to encourage ICS more.

    It makes sense to some extent to tie victory objectives to actual things on the map, but if that means you are relying more on warfare and less on building, then it's a bad thing. If you expose buildings, then you are encouraging others to attack you even more than you already are. Just like pillaging. Adding a more economic side to warfare is a good thing, but I'm not too sure about encouraging warfare as a whole, even if it is a more economic style. And I think that's what moving buildings onto tiles would do.
     
  3. CivCube

    CivCube Feelin' defiant.

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    Honestly? I have no problem with that. This is a game where available space disappears rapidly. On the other hand, that's where the City-States come in handy. If you've run out of space, you've got these allies to fall back on for resources. If your civ is able to crank out cultural buildings and win its victory in the midst of land-grab chaos, more power to it. If another civ takes space it needs for another wonder, it may even have to use its Militaristic ally for once.

    Translating abstract concepts into physical objects that take up space doesn't necessarily equal warfare. Civ 5 is already a wargame to some extent simply because the Domination victory has the least need for growth. For me, by keeping buildings as in-game objects, you don't have to jump back and forth between different ways of reading the game. That's the one thing that's held me back from playing Civ as often as I want to--the important information was often shunted away in another menu. It's not that the UI was poorly designed, it was just more difficult for me to translate that information into what I needed to do on the map. I don't have to add up all the modifiers if I can see how spread out the city is. That shows its growth and production focus much better.

    But by showing everyone's progress on the map, it can only create more action and interesting scenarios. 1UPT makes Civ 5 a very different game than Civ 4 by throwing out the careful plan-ahead-by-so-many-turns strategies and makes it more like Go or Chess. Of course, that's not what a lot of fans want; for those fans that do like this style of play, the game can only be improved by pushing the concept further. Otherwise the game has a few concepts that worked better in Civ 4 (culture) floating aimlessly amongst the 1UPT gameplay. Surprisingly, though, diplomacy is off to a half-decent start just by having city-states available as an on-screen resource.
     
  4. Darac

    Darac Warlord

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    I quite like this idea, it's very different and at the same time it's very Civ V.

    Just imagine! if you are limited by real-estate then you can let the player build as many buildings of a single type as they like, as long as they have the space and capacity to defend it. specialising takes on a whole new meaning when you have a single city with 8 monuments around it.

    To hell with it, why not go the whole hog and let military units capture culturally owned land, meaning if I have a unit on your tile, it's mine! I think making military a more meaningful thing than it already is will actually incur tones more unit production and make all players way more defended and therefore make friends in war (or diplomacy) way more important.

    Right now I'm in an emperor game and 6 civs declared war on me at once. I pwned them all in an orgy of destruction because they simply did not have enough units. I outnumbered all of them combined. If the emphases is on military 100% then maybe it'll cancel itself out.
     
  5. CYZ

    CYZ Toileteer

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    I suppose this idea isn't bad. It would just be really hard to implement. After all, having too many of those building-improvements would clutter the map and make it illogical and ugly.

    I'd like to see national wonders as tile improvements. They'd take extra long to construct, would still require a certain building in every city, take up an entire tile. But most importantly, give a buff that great people improvements can't match.

    For example Ironworks will give a tile +8 production. Powerfull, I know, but you can only build one, it takes long to build, denies another improvement and will be a priority target for enemies.
     
  6. CivCube

    CivCube Feelin' defiant.

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    You're on to something. Now spin it: with the ability to turn different victory conditions on and off in game options, you can substantially alter what units are produced. You could have all victories turned on for the full game, of course, but what if you turned off Domination Victory? The game could have nothing but diplomatic units running all over the place, making things especially interesting and visually complicated for the player. Think of it as Civ 3/4's diplomatic relations chart extrapolated on the map with built-in nuance.

    Culture-only? Land grab with buildings. Maybe the buildings and Wonders could have special on-map effects (e.g. adjacent tiles gain double culture).

    Science-only? Maybe it doesn't have to be only the Spaceship that can be built. Maybe other science projects can have different parts built like the Large Hadron Collider. Research agreements could even let two civs build a project together.
     
  7. awesome

    awesome Meme Lord

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    one of the main issues i see with this is that there are some buildings that just don't make logical sense to be outside of the city, like public schools or courthouses, for just a couple of examples
     
  8. Darac

    Darac Warlord

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    umm I don't know where you're from but in my country there are public schools in rural areas...

    Not big ones granted. but they're everywhere!

    Besides, the city tile is a tile too, it can have building as well, I mean if I'm not mistaken with this idea you'd almost get rid of the city tile altogether and just have settlers form new councils that allow you to build in that area... this is a radical change yes, but progress is change!
     
  9. awesome

    awesome Meme Lord

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    i'm not sure if i consider the space between cities to be rural towns, but let's say they are. if there's a public school for the entire nyc metro area was in, say, waterbury, ct, that wouldn't work at all, even though waterbury isn't even rural. that's a 77 mile trip for school. but we'll just say our idea of what the tiles are exactly is a small difference of opinion.
    a larger difference of opinion, though, is that i don't see that as progress, but an unnecessary amount of over-complication. sometimes cities started out as small councils, even a lot of really early ones did, but not true for all of them.
     
  10. Darac

    Darac Warlord

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    Well none started as a guy with a spade morphing into a city did they? There's a point at which we have to be abstract and generalise.

    And yes I realise that the current city system is abstract and generalised. But for the sake of this thread and it's main idea. Everything should be on the map! and this is one way of accomplishing that.
     
  11. awesome

    awesome Meme Lord

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    i know for a fact that brazil wanted people to move west, so they built brasilia for the purpose of making that the new capital. and buildings being inside of a city doesn't mean they're not on the map.
     
  12. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Information is pretty accessible for a city; you go into the city screen and you see your exact output for each of the yields. The reason why I think the translation from concept to object would equal warfare is that it would be much more possible to destroy some target in warfare. You wouldn't have to take a city to gain something. Pillaging a tile would provide what could be a major setback. And with concepts more clearly translated, the player is probably going to be more tempted to attack that concept as manifested through the object than they otherwise would be.
     
  13. CivCube

    CivCube Feelin' defiant.

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    It really depends on how that object is being attacked, and more importantly, what object is being approached. Keep in mind the building/unit in question doesn't have to be defenseless, and it doesn't have to be used only in a military way. Suppose Alexander was running a good culture game and had the Oracle two tiles away from his city. I could attack it with a spearman, but what would be the point? Certainly if that Wonder allowed faster culture on that tile, but maybe it also attracts cheap diplomatic and scientist units that boost CS relations for all neighboring civs. I could be getting bonuses just by being next door! Would I want to jeopardize that if I was going for anything other than Domination?

    The key here is complicating the tactics in ways that don't have to be military but nonetheless change the map in a meaningful direction. In other words, tactics can be just as builder-friendly as military if they're allowed to be.
     
  14. Darac

    Darac Warlord

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    I agree, I think this is the tip of the iceberg. For it to work you almost have to stop thinking about how it'll blend into current Civ, it's almost a new game.
     
  15. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Yeah, I guess the problem I'm seeing is how it would fit into the game as it is. It wouldn't. But I guess that with a whole lot of things adjusted to accommodate it, it could be quite an interesting and fun thing. :dunno:
     
  16. CivCube

    CivCube Feelin' defiant.

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    Neither do the Civ 4-style concepts, really. There are two games in Civ 5 that can only go so far before one style is sacrificed, leaving that half-baked feeling many people are complaining about. I say push the new concept further. Those who are fans of the old style can play Civ 4.

    Civ's at an interesting point in the series. Civ 4 pretty much encapsulates everything that marked Civ as Civ--calculating what techs to shoot for based on location, city placement, stacks of (well) everything. There was usually at least one person who worked on the previous titles who joined in the next.

    Civ 5 is a different egg. It's an entirely new team that represents the industry for 2010-2011: the concepts are visibly streamlined so that things are not as "crunchy". Think 4th edition D&D versus its previous incarnations. The old TSR guard was long gone and younger people have taken over, molding ideas to fit similar games while still keeping in mind what made the original distinct.

    So what makes Civ distinct? Fortunately, there can be more than one answer.
     
  17. Darac

    Darac Warlord

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    To me Civ is distinct because of its varied win conditions. They are what keeps civ from descending into a simply kill everyone type game.

    I guess in a word what makes civ, civ is 'choice'
     
  18. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Well sure, adapting it to Civ5 might be a good thing to try, but my point is that I can't see how it would fit well into the game. I can see how it might fit well into a completely different Civ game, but I think it offers too much of a drastic change from the concept of victory to really work within the current iteration.
     
  19. CivCube

    CivCube Feelin' defiant.

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    Hah. Sorry, I think the entire point of Civ 5 is to gain success through tactical means, even if those means aren't military in nature. It's an intriguing interpretation of Civ that IMO still feels like Civ.

    But anyway. Here's an intriguing post from the 2K thread:

     

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