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Which real life government type best describes Civ?

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Fuzzz, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. Fuzzz

    Fuzzz you

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    In civ 3 you can choose a variety of governments and in civ 4 you get to pick from a a bunch of traits. These always have some effects on the gameplay etc. , but the basics of the game is an Absolute Ruler (you) deciding what will be built where and when, trying to keep his empire happy in any way possible (warfare, building, teching,...)
    With which real life government type would you best compare this and why?
    Would you also suggest changes?
     
  2. Mewtarthio

    Mewtarthio Emperor

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    None, really. Try to imagine the player less as an actual ruler and more as the civilization as a whole. If you order the construction of a Jewish Synagogue, there's not necessarily a guy in the capital city saying "Okay, guys, lets build a Synagogue." If you're running Theocracy or Organized Religion, that may be the case, but it's also possible that all the Jews in the city have decided to construct a monument to their faith.
     
  3. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    I disagree with Mewtathio, because one could extend his argument to say "well why can't they do that at the same time as some archers are being trained?" As there is no answer to that, his argument is flawed.

    I prefer to see this lack of realism for what it really is, a nescessary game mechanic needed to make civ simple and fun. The only alternative to having a game with an absolute ruler, is a complex system which takes into account the needs and wants of every single one of your citizens in order to decide what is being built where. As well as being very complicated it would also take decisions away from the control of the player, which is inherently a bad thing as it means adding more randomness in the game, reducing the amount of skill involved in playing.
    In short, its unrealistic but necessary.
     
  4. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    It's a dictatorship of some kind, that's for sure... on what precepts, that's open for debate.

    You control everything. What you build. The military decisions. Where people should live. No social movement, no ideological factions, no elite class can obstruct your power. The only thing that will cause your society to change is a sort of nationalistic-greed: will this make our nation better? Nationalism trumps some kind of global morality. Nationalism trumps the interest of separate social classes.

    You also gain the money from the holy city of the religion, and decide whether to adopt that religion, and how -- do you believe in charity or do you believe in war? Your people don't care about the doctrinal or moral issues of religion either. They just shut their mouths and go to church every sunday. It's beliefs without acts: dead faith. If you build them a temple, they are pacified. It suggests that you might be a religious dictator who is never wrong.

    There are some exceptions. There's some token ethnic-nationalism that will spark a resistance in any city you conquer. There's some token war weariness if war goes on too long. People get a little mad about being enslaved.

    A theocracy would ALMOST make sense. Except that you love science. In fact, you get to decide what to discover next. Theocracies tend to be very fearful of science, from global warming and genetic engineering today... all the way back to hostile views against astronomy. Theocracies even opposed banking. I guess it makes sense, though, because you use religion as long as it serves you, and then let it sort of fade into the background.

    In other words, it's neoconservatism. Leo Strauss is a perfect example. Here's an objectivist website (note, I'm not an objectivist or a libertarian) contrasting Leo Strauss with their own philosophy:

    Sounds a lot like Civilization. Except keeping your citizens united is a lot easier than he described. You really only need some dyes and wines, some smart civics choices, and some temples. Have a democracy, but lie to people about it so you can keep controlling everything. Just remember to pay that maintenance, and keep your wars short.

    Would I suggest changes?

    It might actually be more fun if you really had to work to keep your people unified. I'd love to play a game of civilization where you need to work for your peoples' support -- and sometimes try to draw your support from a powerful minority who will keep the other people down. But the truth is the few examples of people resisting you are considered annoying to a lot of people: unhappiness from slavery, war weariness, maintenance for large empires. Adding more factors like unhappiness-between-religions or unemployment and homelessness would probably just annoy people.

    It's a thin line between adding fun gameplay and adding annoying obstacles.
     
  5. Mewtarthio

    Mewtarthio Emperor

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    There wouldn't really be a point to that, would there? I mean, I suppose it would be theoretically possible to make a game in which half your production goes to buildings and half goes to units, but that's got two flaws: It doesn't let you de-emphasize warfare if you choose (that is, you'll end up with a city that always trains units, even if you want to be pacifistic), and it really doesn't have an actual benefit (would you rather have an Archer in two turns and an Aqueduct in ten or both an Archer and an Aqueduct in ten turns?). Since everything in civ is just an abstraction, we don't have to worry about minor details like that. Besides, there are far more logical flaws with the "supreme uncontested dictator" theory.
     
  6. Fuzzz

    Fuzzz you

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    I already thought of this in the good ol' civ II days.
    My basic idea back then was that you make the decisions on how to forge an empire for the people who work the land and who work in the cities. You get to decide everything your people do, but you must grow a large industrious empire, your citizens will help you in the process through working the land etc...
    This always remindend me a lot of communism where bureaucrats make decisions for the sake of the greater good. The farmers/workers all have jobs and recieve orders from these bureaucrats and are in fact the "tools" to forge the empire to its greatness.
    That's also the reason why I used to suck such a long time at civ II. I always thought communism was the best government type, until I discovered the glories of fundamentalism :)
     
  7. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    It's definitely a lot like communism. Except they allow religion -- all kinds -- only to the degree that it keeps people pacified. And they allow "democracy", for that matter, in the same token way. I imagine elections that make the people feel good, but ultimately leads to a hand picked ruler anyway.

    It's a game where you make "noble lies" to your people, to get whatever it is that you need to get done. They buy it every time, giving you near complete control.
     
  8. Fuzzz

    Fuzzz you

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    I believe in the cold war, there were some communist countries where "democratic elections" where held. The people could of course only choose between the communist party and the communist party:)
     
  9. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    Civilization is almost a god game. There's a school of thought that you should become even more godly -- that there should be no more such thing as war weariness. They already took out civil disorder.

    There's even some people who want the game to be more god-like, to the point of becoming a simulation. You actually manage the entire world, and there are no opponents. Your challenge would become something different. It's a radical idea, but it shows that there's a lot of differing ideas of fun.

    On the less godly side, Civilization 2 had something called the Senate which could override major decisions. Even though there's a vocal minority who liked this one, most people hated it.

    Like I said earlier, it's a thin line between adding new game play and merely adding a new obstacle. Religion and civics are new game play. The senate was, unfortunately, just an obstacle. Losing control of your cities to an "elected" (AI automated) governor would probably be in the same category.

    I'd be the kind of guy who'd like to see more "power to the people", instead of god-like power. But it's hard to know just how to accomplish that in a fun and interesting way.
     
  10. searcheagle

    searcheagle Emperor

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    Another problem people had with the senate was that it was arbitary. If you did not have the Women's Suffrage (Great) Wonder, there was a 0% chance the Senate would let you go to war. With the WS WOnder, there was 50% chance you would go to war-nothing more complex than that. (You were still able to respond in self-defense).
     
  11. AThousandYoung

    AThousandYoung Prince

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    Because the Jews in question have hired all the available healthy men to work on their synagogue, leaving no men or money to recruit or buy bows.
     
  12. AThousandYoung

    AThousandYoung Prince

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    That sounds AWESOME!!!!!
     
  13. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    That's how I thought it would be until I actually played it.

    Imagine you're in the middle of a war, about to march on your enemy's capitol... and suddenly, the game rolls a set of dice, and you get unlucky: the senate forces peace, and your enemy gets let off the hook.

    Trust me, it's worse than it sounds.
     
  14. Rusty Edge

    Rusty Edge Deity

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    I only had a taste of Civ II, but I remember the senate, probably from Civ I.

    Democracy was the best economy, but not the best for war. That made sense to me. Realism. Isn't President Bush having issues with Congress regarding the war? It's only a matter of time in a Democracy.

    If I wanted to wage war, I ran Facism (?) or Constitutional Monarchy(?) . Communism was usually best for multi-continental empires because it gave you average corruption in every city, instead of unmanageable cities on your warfront, and production powerhouses in your core, too far away .

    I found it frustrating, much like other random events in the game, but it was the consequences of collective decisions I'd made to assume risk, rather than
    take steps and accept expense to avoid risks or limit damages.

    I know random events are unpopular because they're frustrating, and that's why they were removed. I'm looking forward to their return in the next expansion, because for me, any strategy game that lacks the elements of chance is abstract and unrealistic. The Outcomes become too predictable, the games become boring. Chance outcomes( Senate intervention, combat, volcano,plague, Spaceship failure, etc), as long as they are fair, make the game exciting and compelling, frustrating and fun. I want to play that One..More...Turn.. to see what's going to happen because I never know for sure.
     
  15. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    Randomness isn't really the issue. The issue is getting ripped off at all. Even if you take the dice roll out. Imagine that under certain forms of government, you lose control of your cities. The game picks your research for you. Or you're not allowed to keep cities that you conquer.

    We're talking about limiting player choice. Even if you don't think that's a problem in itself... you have to ask what else the player gets to do when you take those choices away. Especially if you take away a player's ability to wage war, there's not very much left to do in Civ.

    The real solution, then, isn't about having "the people" override player decisions. It's giving the player more options, with incentives for playing into "the people".
     
  16. Zachron

    Zachron Chieftain

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    Yeah, that's when I hit the Revolution button, and conquer their sorry butts during the Anarchy!
     
  17. Gaius Octavius

    Gaius Octavius Deity

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    The problem with the Senate was that they never implemented it properly. With Civ 3 and 4 there came a big leap in programming possibilities such that it could now be done realistically and more importantly--fun. Why they took the cop-out way and got rid of it instead, I don't know.

    Yes, I am one of those few who did kind of like the Senate in Civ II. :D

    My favorite quote while playing as the Americans, upon launching a nuclear sneak-attack against Russia:
    "Hawk Party derails attempted Senate interference. Action confirmed!"
     
  18. Rusty Edge

    Rusty Edge Deity

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    O.K. I see your distinction about choice and chance.

    I used to look at it as decisions and consequences.


    I would choose Democracy over Communism. It was my decision to boost productivity and prosperity, ( and therefore happiness ) while increasing the risk that I would have to change governments to wage a late war, or that a war would end before I'd achieved my objectives..

    That economic boost gave me more options, such as going for the Universal Suffrage Wonder to limit that risk, raising the tech slider or speed in the Space Race.


    In this Civ IV warlords version, there are alternative victories to Conquest and Domination to pursue.
     
  19. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    This starts to go into the core of the game balance. Yes, there are other victories than conquest and domination to pursue. But conquest and domination aren't just a victory, they're also a means to every other victory.

    If you have enough land, population, and vassals, you can vote yourself the winner of a diplomatic victory. With enough land and population, you're sure to finish the space ship first. Even culture turns more on what you can do with the luxury slider and production queue than actual culture points. Production and gold are king, and conquest gets you the most.

    For that reason, creating too many road blocks to conquest seems artificial and annoying. You're blocking the best path to victory by introducing the senate as an obstacle.
     

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