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Why do people want "balanced" civilizations?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by comatosedragon, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. comatosedragon

    comatosedragon Chieftain

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    I have been thinking about this quite a bit recently, especially with all the recent posts calling for civ 'X' to be buffed (balanced in relation to every other civ). Personally, I don't understand the want for this. Why would we want all civs on the same level playing field? The way I see it, some civs are there for a unique challenge, when you have played the game so much you can win with your eyes closed, maybe it's time to try a civ with a 'handicap'? Just to try something different.

    By the way, what TBS games have all civilizations/races starting equal? I don't play a lot of other TBS (just GalCiv III); so I am really not aware.

    I compare it to other genres of games like this:

    MLB The Show -- All teams are obviously not equal. Want to win a little easier? Play Boston or Los Angeles. Want a tough slog of a season? Play Miami or Cincinnati. (other sports are the same)

    Tekken -- Learn the ways of Lei Wulong and learn the intricacies, synergy, beauty and flow of his unique fighting style. Or just pick Hwoarang and smash LK and RK blindly and repeatedly until you win. (other fighting games are the same, AFAIK)

    I don't play games like Destiny and Overwatch, but I am fairly certain all those characters are not "equal".

    Anyway, thanks for reading. I'm going to stop typing now, because the patch just came out, and this thread will be buried in a minute anyway. :thumbsup:
     
  2. Arianrhod

    Arianrhod Chieftain

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    Because I use the difficulty option to choose my difficulty and the civilization slider to choose my civilization.

    I'd be more inclined to believe your "artificial challenge" silliness if this wasn't a game where Australia is comprehensively better than England in every regard and the Aztecs were possibly the most powerful empire to have ever lived, but so it isn't.
     
  3. EpicWestern

    EpicWestern Chieftain

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    I prefer Civ to strive toward balance, but without sacrificing any diversity, so obviously complete balance will be impossible to achieve.
     
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  4. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    Can't really determine the quality of a strategy without an even playing full. There shouldn't really be useless choices, because why have them at all?

    While Civ 6 has outliers (some really good and really bad civs), the balance is actually rather good in the middle.
     
  5. japanesesamurai

    japanesesamurai Chieftain

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    Haha, yes the old Tekken days! Lei was such a fun fighter to play with.

    I agree 100% with the OP. No problems with unbalanced civs.
     
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  6. Naktis

    Naktis Chieftain

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    For someone to be great , someone has to bad.
     
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  7. gallowsCalibrator

    gallowsCalibrator Chieftain

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    I personally look at this kind of issue as more of a question of niches and viability, rather than just 'balanced.' The ideal, for me, is every civilization being viable and having its own niche to excel in- it's a bit more of a question of design than balance alone, I think. For example, I think GS civilizations are, in general, better designed than earlier ones; they have unique niches and are all viable in their own ways. Maori are designed around making use of early exploration and leaving natural land intact, Inca are all about huge population mountain cities, etc. What I don't want is those civilizations crowding out older ones- Maori and Phoenicia crowding out Norway and England, for example, or other issues like that. I'd fix this by, not quite buffing them, but by giving them a better focus; Workshop of the World was a good start for England, for example, and more themed around a potential to industrialize early (with leaders introducing other focuses- Victoria's navy and Eleanor's artworks) would be great to see for them.
     
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  8. CPWimmer

    CPWimmer Chieftain

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    A lot (possibly most, but I won't presume) of people that want balance, want it either for Multi-player or for HoF-esque fastest times/highest scores kind of play styles.

    Personally, I agree with @comatosedragon and @japanesesamurai I don't need or even want balance to be a big focus for Firaxis. But I do understand why some people want it.

    Sure there are some better and worse civs. However, there are also some interesting variations on those lists if you change the map or the starting era or other game parameters. For example, is Aztec top tier if you start in the medieval era (IDK, just asking) and Eagle Warriors don't give you a huge leg up?
     
  9. comatosedragon

    comatosedragon Chieftain

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    Good point on the multiplayer part. I forget that some people play this online.
     
  10. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Warlord

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    I like that each civ has a niche, that's great. The abilities are so different in 6 that you couldn't possibly make them totally equal anyhow. But some aren't even that good at what they're trying to be doing.
     
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  11. japanesesamurai

    japanesesamurai Chieftain

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    Agree but this isnt a FPS. In my opinion the devs should focus on making the game experience better in single player mode. A single game could last for 10 hours or so, depending on your knowledge of the game mechanics.
    I had to tweak the game setup and look for mods for days to have a better experience. Out of the box, the game didnt really to anything to me to be honest. For example; I think the game is king of boring with very bad pacing if played on standard sized maps at normal speed. The pacing is way off and isnt exciting without heavy border pressure.
    If you would couple this with unbalanced civs with unpredictable agenda’s, the excitement gets a 200% boost
     
  12. Takfloyd

    Takfloyd Chieftain

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    No one thinks it's a problem when some options are harder than others. But it IS a problem when some options are flat out BETTER than others.

    Fighting game characters that are easy to pick up and play are usually not better than the others once both players are good at the game. And harder to play characters will then have an advantage because other players are less used to fighting against them when they are played competently.
     
  13. japanesesamurai

    japanesesamurai Chieftain

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    It might be something to think about:
    Give some AI civs more production bonus and others less science bonus or whatever, instead of an equally spread bonus system across all civs on higher difficulties.
     
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  14. VermelhoRed

    VermelhoRed Chieftain

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    I think a good thing to do with Workshop of the World would be to reduce production costs for IZ buildings. Would fit thematically, and would synergise well with the rest of the ability (that is the bonus to coal and the bonus to all powered buildings)
     
  15. Krajzen

    Krajzen Warlord

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    1) Because it ruins fun in multiplayer (even if only something like 10% of people play it)
    2) Because lack of balance limits choice, if you have 30 civs and one third of them have useless never used features then for most players it is as if you had only 20 civs (I say most because some don't care about other things than civs theme and graphic differences)

    3) Because playing civilizations "with bonuses so bad it's as if they had none" is automatically boring in comparision to those with unique engaging mechanics.

    Point 3) wouldn't be so annoying if not the fact civs consist of "historical flavor" layer as well as "gameplay" layer and most people are really frustrated when they are presented "thematically cool mechanically useless" options.

    For example, I love the concept of Georgian civ, but its mechanical bonuses are so miserable that I regrettably don't play it, because there are many other interesting cultures to play as, which also offer something new to gameplay...
     
  16. Krajzen

    Krajzen Warlord

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    Separate comment on separate issue. There is also this concept "let's don't care about balance, let's make all factions/characters/classes YOLO overpowered - then nobody is overpowered anymore!"

    This is horrible design philosophy because there are different levels of "overpowered" and you still end up with better or worse civs, however this time result is even worse because some of them are so op that they cannot be countered at all, you die if you unluckily encounter them in bad moment and you cannot do anything about that. Thing A exterminates you 90% of time if you stumble upon it in the wrong time, but if you find it in your optimal time then you win 90% of time. Asymmetrical balance - thanks, I hated it every time I've ever encountered it in any game.
     
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  17. Midgardsormr

    Midgardsormr Chieftain

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  18. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing Chieftain

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    There's balance in ability to win the game, and there is balance in enjoyment. I think the best illistration of this is Eleanor vs Canada. Eleanor is fun in the early part of the game because your working to set up her late game abilities. Canada is not so much fun because your early game isn't really connected to you late game and your spending your time trying to find ways not to be denounced.
     
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  19. S1AL

    S1AL Chieftain

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    While multiplayer is my core reason (the AI prevents me from really enjoying single player), I also don't like that certain civs - which should focus on providing different options and challenges - are essentially difficulty settings unto themselves... That's what difficulty settings are for. Civs should provide different play experiences, challenges, strengths, etc. without sacrificing general power level as a result. That's just good design.

    Unfortunately, Firaxis' approach here is to basically treat this game as a puzzle adventure/meme generator. Thus we have Rock Bands but not a good selection of pantheons and beliefs...

    To respond to something that was said earlier: I fully understand the focus on single player. That said:

    1) Most of the balance and gameplay issues are common to single player and multiplayer.

    2) I'd be much more ok with it if I had proper modding tools.
     
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  20. acluewithout

    acluewithout Warlord

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    I agree with the comments above that Civs don’t need to be “balanced” ie equal power levels. But they all need to be fun to play and so none should be crushingly sub-optimal or there abilities just never get used.

    To be clear though, at this point, I don’t think the current Civ balance issues in the game are actually Civ balance issues.

    The Civs that are seen as weak or not fun are usually like that because they leverage some mechanic that needs tuning. FXS need to fix mechanics not directly rebalance Civs (mostly).

    Specifically:

    • England, Spain, other Coastal / Colonizer Civs: these Civs by and large are getting hurt by Coastal Cities being slightly weaker on average and not having a really distinctive use case; and by having Colonial Cities not being too hard for the limited rewards you get. A few Civs here get away with this just because they are so strong, eg Indonesia, but they’re still hurt by bad underlying mechanics.
    • England, Japan, Germany, Netherlands: these guys suffer from IZs, IZ buildings (particularly Factories) being underpowered. Other than England, these Civs generally have other stuff going on which is good (eg Hansa), but England really suffers given it's also leveraging Coastal and Colonies (and also Military Engineers are also weak ... Sheesh, England really does use all the weakest mechanics, right???).
    • Georgia and maybe Poland and China: Walls and Forts suck, which really hurt these guys. We really need a rethink on how Walls work (I think one level of Walls then two levels of Castles with wider benefits beyond Defence), and Forts need to be more useful overall.
    If you fixed the above mechanics, then I think almost all the Civs would be well fairly balanced, with maybe just a few needing some small additional tweaks (England, maybe France (let’s see if the Chateau gets another pass)).

    The only Civ I think has real “balance issues” is Canada. They’re just an awful design. I don’t really care that much because they’re not my go to Civ, but I think there is a good case for #fixcanada and giving them a complete rework.

    This is why I’m quite disappointed with the patch (even though, to be clear, I think it’s a really really good patch). For all the stuff that has been patched, there are still a lot of core mechanics that need tuning. (Although, good god, at least Pikeman are better priced now. That’s progress!)

    Guess we keep waiting.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
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