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Unique abilities vs. "Geography is destiny"

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Phobetor, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. dragon653

    dragon653 Chieftain

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    I don't like the idea of you starting out as a generic civ and then evolving in to a true civ because it would be just going random every game just this randomness is decided by your terrain
     
  2. boghog

    boghog Warlord

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    That's the bit I don't understand: disadvantage? In comparison to who? You're the only person in your game. To the AI? That feels like a baseball player complaining that he's at a disadvantage against a pitching machine. It's only there for you to give you something interesting to do. Or a role-player complaining that the DM has all the power in the game (If you have never tried old fashioned tabletop roleplaying games :confused:, please ignore that simile.)

    What you call "false dilemma" I call "choice". That's why it's a good situation.
     
  3. King Jason

    King Jason Fleece-bearer

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    You just kind of contradicted yourself. If you enjoy seeing what you can do with the situation before you then continue to do so. Just because you rolled England and you seem to be a bit more inland than usual doesn't mean you need to head to the coast and begin your naval empire.

    Play the situation; play England as a continental superpower. You literally just said that's what you prefer doing so there really shouldn't be a dilemma there.
     
  4. Amrunril

    Amrunril Emperor

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    I addition to the (extremely important) function of providing an additional source of game to game variability, I think one understated advantage of civ uniques is that it allows a huge amount of content to be added to the game without overwhelming new players (or experienced ones for that matter). I could easily envision a system where every unique unit, building, improvement and ability is locked behind branch techs/civics, wonders, city state/GP/religious bonuses and therefore available to any civ. In some sense, it would even be the most elegant way of designing the game (though balacing such a system would be a formidable challenge). On the other hand, can you imagine loading up your first game of civ and seeing the tech tree that system would produce? The civ unique system allows all of that variability to be present, but limits how much of it a player has to worry bout in any given playthrough.
     
  5. Tagma

    Tagma Chieftain

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    Having thought about it, I can see both sides of the argument; but I doubt many people are watching the First Look video for America or Egypt and thinking "no no no, this isn't right at all! I need LESS character and flavour!"
    I want rivals, opponents and allies I can come to know, hate and admire. If this comes at the cost of some realism, well, I'm happy to pay that price; and there are always Paradox games out there to scratch that particular other itch.
     
  6. JtW

    JtW Prince

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    If you play MP, it's an obvious disadvantage. If you play SP, it's a disadvantage compared to optimal play you could be having. Maybe you're different than I am but I cannot force myself to ignore a Civ's uniques. If the tool is there, I am going to use it and maximize it. So for my personality type, it feels more like coercion than choice.

    No, because having a specific bonus is a part of your situation. It's one of the cards I'm dealt. A landlocked England with a naval bonus is a good example. For me, something like that breaks immersion (why in hell would a civilization born on a steppe have naval bonuses?) and pushes me towards *becoming* a naval power to use that situational bonus.

    Yes, easily. One example is the religion system in Civ5 which even gives you a choice of having unique buildings. Haven't heard anyone complain about it being too complex. And haven't heard anyone complain about it being immersion breaking although you can have mosques as Spain and cathedrals as Arabia.

    Doesn't diplomacy (stuff like agendas) and ethnic units/cities/etc. already provide that, though?

    For me, Cleopatra having a trade bonus or whatever doesn't add any flavor. Her excellent animated portait on the other hand certainly does.
     
  7. Socrates99

    Socrates99 Bottoms up!

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    Isn't this kind of turning into a silly argument? Even though start biases don't function perfectly I've never had England begin land locked unless there's no water on the map anyway. I've never had a good non-jungle start with the Aztecs and I always wind up smack dab in the middle of the tundra as Russia. If V's start biases functioned at least marginally well is there really any reason to believe Cleo won't get a river start and Vicky won't have a coastal bias?
     
  8. JtW

    JtW Prince

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    It kinda is. Although this was only an example to point out how the unique ability is locking you into a specific playstyle. Starting biases are a part of that.

    FWIW I've seen a lot of posts where people rerolled because they didn't get enough good terrain to make use of the UA of the civ they were playing.
     
  9. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    @JtW
    I think the devs are in partial agreement with you - with BE Firaxis attempted to create an emergent gameplay system that unfortunately failed on some important points, immersion being a central one. I think it's still a direction they are interested in heading in though, so we are seeing the Eureka mechanic as a result of this, for example. As I mentioned above, I wish they had kept the leaf-tech mechanic in some form also. But due to the poor reception of BE even after its expansion pack, I suspect they are nervous about repeating some of the mistakes from it.

    As an aside, I wish Ed had taken the reins more wrt BE. I understand Firaxis was trying to give the young designers a shot, but sometimes someone with more experience needs to step in before there's a disaster. I work with a young manager and I try to let her take on as much as she can handle to give her experience and let her occasionally have some small failures for learning purposes, but if I see something happening that is just not going to turn out well for anyone I will step in to guide her, for example.

    @Socrates99
    I'm sure start biases will be in, but I certainly hope they improve the logic - England on an inland sea or a river-start civ on a two-tile long river were not that uncommon in Civ 5.
     
  10. Plus Ultra

    Plus Ultra Conquistador

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    Sorry if this has been already adressed.

    If we strip Civs of uniques, and go with this "emergent gameplay" idea, what would be the difference between playing with Polynesia or Russia?
    If the answer is: An icon and colours! Then meh, I don't see how that is better to what we are getting.

    Again, the OP has a great idea for a different game. I've already proposed an alternative idea that could co-exist with the current system: Create-a-Civ.
    Imagine choosing your unique stuff from all available units, improvements, districts, abilities already in the game. Choose your colours, icon (even upload your own) name your Civ.
    Tell me that doesn't sound great.
     
  11. JtW

    JtW Prince

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    It's clearly a matter of preference. I would prefer precisely that.

    Civs 1 and 2 would beg to differ.

    That's actually a pretty cool idea. :)
     
  12. Seek

    Seek Deity Supporter

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    Countless 4X games have selectable bonuses, and in every case they lack the flavor of Civ imo. It sounds good on paper, but in practice falls short I've found.
     
  13. boghog

    boghog Warlord

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    In that case I fear the new play-the-map philosophy will feel like thumbscrews to you. ("Damn Eureka moment I got for building this quarry, forcing me to research masonry. And those blasted mountains coercing me to place my science district next to it to maximize my enjoyment.")


    Here's your contradiction.


    I'm sorry, but I think your Create-a-Civ leads to the same result: meh!
    If you can pick-n-mix from the whole range of unique stuff and so can any other player (or AI) then what's the difference between Polynesia and Russia? What's unique about them?
     
  14. JtW

    JtW Prince

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    Sure, let's dial up the sarcasm, it always improves the discussion and prevents it from devolving into a flamewar. :rolleyes:
     
  15. chaosprophet

    chaosprophet Warlord

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    That's basically mods though.
     
  16. boghog

    boghog Warlord

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    That ☝🏻is sarcasm, mine was maybe a bit farcical but not intended to be hurtful.

    But anyway I guess you got my point: If you feel that potential benefits you get for certain decisions during the game (like building a coastal city so that you can reap the UA benefits for being England) are coercion, then you must have a problem with many of Civ's mechanisms which reward some actions and thereby influence you to go for them (like deliberately placing your districts so that you maximize proximity boni or sending your scouts to some ancient ruins to reap some random reward).
    Somehow I feel my original way of phrasing it was more enjoyable to read - but if you felt it was too harsh, I apologize.
     
  17. Scaramanga

    Scaramanga Brickhead

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    In the battle between nature vs nurture it's possible that 100 civilizations could have occupied the niche that something like Egypt or Mongolia or Netherlands occupied and failed completely. They had the right stuff and the right time, which is something more than random chance IMO.
     
  18. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    In nature vs nurture, I'm on team Nurture.

    It's just that "Nature" is a more interesting game for me. :)

    Actually, I think I like where it is going this way. Yes, you are moving in direction that the land takes you. But you also have the uniques of the civs that add some wrinkles and make it a bit interesting.
     
  19. Phobetor

    Phobetor Chieftain

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    Of course the game will reward some actions and penalize others, and the game is all about making the interesting series of decisions that arises from the choices for different rewards and penalties. The problem we have with unique abilities is that we don't feel that the decisions related to them are very interesting (or immersive, or realistic, etc.). Indeed we'd prefer not have to make those decisions as all, so they feel forced on us. Which reminds me, in Civ III there was the (developer-supported) option of playing with unique abilities but it wasn't necessary.

    Egypt is quite a unique niche, a major river valley surrounded by deserts. Mongols are a part of the long line of steppe peoples: Aryans, Scythians, Xiongnu, Huns, Turks, Mongols, Manchu, and many more. The golden era of Netherlands was pretty much shared with the rise of England. In these examples, I see little else than the opportunities and constraints of geography :)
     
  20. JtW

    JtW Prince

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    It's alright. I don't enjoy mudslinging but it clearly wasn't your intention.

    I don't get your argument, though, to be honest. Games without rules don't exist so I don't know what you're suggesting I would prefer. I feel like I have stated my point many times over in this thread so you either only read my last reply or I am not very good at explaining myself. Be it as it may, I don't feel inclined to say the same thing for the umpteenth time so I don't know what to tell you.
     

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