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Why do people want "balanced" civilizations?

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

  1. S1AL

    S1AL Warlord

    Jun 17, 2018
    To expand on the above post, I would be extremely curious to see how many people actually finish a majority of their games. I've always thought that CIVILIZATION generally, and Civ6 specifically, becomes less and less fun as the game progresses. The reasons include:

    Most of the fun Wonders come early.

    The better-balanced combat eras are in the middle.

    The tech tree makes less and less sense as the game progresses.

    Waiting X turns, where X is a large number, for the civ in question to get its special abilities is extremely annoying.

    Production cost scaling is awful.

    Resource distribution (this is more of a multiplayer concern) becomes much worse and more frustrating, ironically. This has been horrible exacerbated in Gathering Storm.

    Most choices are made early. This is an entire design topic in its own right.

    So not only do weaker civs tend to be less fun for a variety of reasons, and not only is it just better to get bonuses earlier, it's actually way less fun when you have to wait until the industrial era to see significant bonuses (looking at you, Canada, and your "I'm amazing one you have Stadiums" improvement).

    Other people may feel differently, but I simply don't enjoy the late game of civilization. And that appears to be a fairly common sentiment... If not almost universal.
    Basajaun likes this.
  2. civplay

    civplay Warlord

    Jun 8, 2011
    This is a good example though of how the game is really only about science, hammers, and War. Oh your Civ gets a science bonus?: "OP OP OP, needs Nerf". "Oh your civ gets a religious bonus? .... sucks to be you. Civ 6 can't possibly ever be balanced, because the mechanics themselves aren't balanced.

    One solution is to just push the unbalance in the Eras. Give every civ a major bonus during their historic golden age. Give them a much stronger unit or ability which peaks at around that era. Like if you're near England, you should be thinking about how you're going to end England before the industrial rev. If you're near Rome, you should be thinking about how you're going to survive until the middle ages.

    Another solution is to simply focus unique abilities on science, hammers, and war. Make sure each Civ gets some sort of bonus which strongly affects at least 2 of the three.

    Third solution is don't give any abilities which affect science or hammers, and make good military abilities come with a draw back to science or hammers.

    But to be honest... i dont understand why people complain about balance so much... My only problem with Civ balance is how "weak" America is. Come on I just want to dominate the world with Raptor riding George Washington carrying machine guns. Unless they're introducing a balance patch which makes America unbeatable, I don't really care...
    Medopu likes this.
  3. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing Prince

    Feb 5, 2017
    Minneapolis, MN
    I agree with your strategy, and I agree that the experience between Elenor and Canada is similar in many ways but... Expanding is how to play all civs. And if I'm playing peaceful with all civ's i'm still bribing others to be my friends to avoid wars starting.
  4. MooFreaky

    MooFreaky Meatbag Destroyer

    Aug 3, 2003
    It's not so much that Civs need to be balanced, as much as it is they need to work as intended.

    If you have a Civ that is clearly a cultural leaning Civ then make it so they work well toward that, rather than having abilities that are not worth using. Look at France and Egypt with their UI, both of which are generally less attractive and less beneficial than putting normal improvements on those tiles. While you get some less common resources, (ie faith and culture) that usually pales in comparison to what a district provides, or a farm triangle, or mines etc. It basically requires finding a completely trash tile that doesn't have a better use, then working said trash tile.

    If England is supposed to be a trade Empire across multiple continents, then give them abilities that allow them to do that effectively. Overall their effectiveness in terms of efficiency may be weak, but they will still have abilities that work together and can be used. That way you can actually play in the intended way. Right now there are too many Civs that are aimed at a particular style, but miss the mark so badly that it's pointless. You may as well have a blank, no bonuses at all civ.
    Socrates99, Elhoim, Delvi and 2 others like this.
  5. BrotherInJah

    BrotherInJah 60% of the time works every time

    Aug 7, 2010
    Location, location, location..
    I like asymmetric sides in a game, only if done right. Civilization is asymmetric game with 5 and 6 doing it in a unique way. Of course core gameplay stays the same, as it needs to be that way considering that all civs have same winning conditions, so here comes balance. Unbalanced civ isn't the same as asymmetrical civ, and that OP get's wrong.

    So assume you don't like only extreme situations when the sides are waaay different and gameplay winning conditions too? Check out Root boardgame. It's fun to play, and it feels like different game depends on who you play.
  6. Mr_PeaCH

    Mr_PeaCH Chieftain

    Oct 9, 2009
    A bit of advice I got recently from this forum was how in the multi-player setup, when you add AI-opponents you can select different difficulty levels for them. Never have I played MP so I had no idea but I think it's a feature that would be nice to be able to choose in single-player too.

    For myself, I regularly select AI opponents with respect to the civ I am going to be playing. If I pick a strong ocean-going civ do I want my opponents to also be strong in this area or not; maybe 50-50. But if I could also choose, or randomize, the AI's difficulty level on a civ-by-civ basis, that would be a fun mechanic to play with.
  7. Midgardsormr

    Midgardsormr Warlord

    Mar 21, 2007
    Wichita, KS, USA
    Beware of speaking in absolutes. I sometimes play Information starts.
    Meluhhan and Ondolindë like this.
  8. Karmah

    Karmah King Supporter

    Mar 3, 2011
    Actually you can, you just mentionned it. Creating a multiplayer game where you are the only human is how you do it.
    À couple of things to understand :

    * the AI level is what it means a deity ai will start with the deity bonuses
    * your level does not matter (unless going below prince where you get bonuses). It does affect city states though.
    I used mp games to play VS immortal opponents and set myself deity so the city states would fall less during the classical Era.
  9. Dirichlet

    Dirichlet Chieftain

    Jul 5, 2011
    Civ 3 already had unique units and civilization traits. You would need to go back to Civ 3. But I think the real break was with Civ 5 - up to Civ 4 you had boni, but they did not really impact on the core mechanics. It's Civilization like Venice in Civ 5 and Mali or the Maori in Civ 6 that make even approximate balance hard to achieve.

    I know it is a unpopular opinion, but I think the superunique civilizations of 5 and 6 are the wrong way for the series to develop. The game should be about building a Civilization from scratch instead of simply playing one. Having Civilization differ from each other is great, but pre-defined traits is the lazy way to do so. Let the player decide what type of Civilization he builds in-game. Blank-slate at the start, and then customize while playing, depending on the circumstances your Civilization finds itself in and in which direction you want to take it.

    Another fundamental problem with the current approach of "thematic civilizations" is that a bonus in early ages is always more powerful than a bonus in later games.
    Medopu and comatosedragon like this.
  10. Bitterman

    Bitterman Warlord

    Mar 1, 2018
    Granada, Spain
    I would say you'd have to look to the bigger picture: Japan is a multi-purpose civ which does decent at war (much better than Canada and Sweden at least) assisted by faith and culture. They can spam Encampments, Holy Sites and Theatre Squares at half oh its costs. On top of that they have the adjacency thing, which give them very strong bonuses very early on. Keeping all of this into account, having a late UB which gives +4 culture doesn't sound bad at all, because is +4 on top of the other (numerous) cultural bonuses, being a civ which is not even cultural focused, or at least not at the same level Canada and Sweden are.

    Having said that, yes, balance could be better. But I think it's more about finding the real value in the bonuses you have and creating situations in which you can excell, than in changing bonuses and civs just for the shake of balance itself.
    Medopu and comatosedragon like this.
  11. Uncle_Joe

    Uncle_Joe Prince

    Sep 9, 2005
    Why would I want 'balanced' Civs?

    In Multiplayer, for obvious reasons.

    In Single-players, because I want to be able to have a roughly similar chance to win regardless of which Civ I choose. I don't want to win because I 'picked an OP Civ' or lose because I picked a stinker. I would like the game difficulty to be regulated by the AI settings, the game situation, and my playing ability, not based on picking a strong or weak Civ out the box.

    That said, true 'balance' without duplication isn't really possible. But they should all be in at least shouting distance of each other with any variation based more on the game situation rather than on a default advantage or disadvantage. In other words, trying to play a naval-oriented Civ on a predominant land map should be harder etc.
    Infixo likes this.
  12. knighterrant81

    knighterrant81 Warlord

    Aug 9, 2011
    I don't think anyone is asking for equal civs. That's really easy to do - just make them all the same like Civ I and Civ II. But even then, there are still balance issues. How strong are infantry units versus heavy cavalry, for instance? You are going to want those to be relatively balanced, or otherwise the best way to play will always be to build the "OP" unit. That actually sums up the reason for balance even in a single-player game. You want to have multiple ways to play the game that are all similarly effective. Otherwise, choosing anything but the "right" way to play feels really bad.

    Or, to put it another way, I'd like to be able to play England and NOT be severely handicapping myself. You'll never have a perfectly balanced game but the goal should never be to have weak and strong civs. They should all be equally powerful so that you can choose to play what you like without having to sacrifice much power.

    I don't know how much you've frequented the Overwatch community, but you can bet that balance is a always a huge issue for a game like that which centers on multiplayer. No, the characters are not balanced, and that severely affects the ability of players to choose those characters, and is not the intention of the designers, and makes the game overall less fun. Again, you'll never completely balance a game without making everything the same, but balance should be the goal, even in a game like Civ.
  13. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

    May 7, 2007
    Wasn’t there at some point a plan to play Civ VI competitively in the multiplayer space? I suspect those people would have cared about balance, but I don’t think anything came from that.
  14. Gloompy

    Gloompy Chieftain

    Apr 15, 2019
    Because we can change the difficulty.
  15. MonkeyPaw

    MonkeyPaw Chieftain

    Apr 20, 2002
    I agree. I'd have each leader have a small unique bonus, but everything else should be up to the player. I think wonders should be the main source of special bonuses.
    Medopu likes this.
  16. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

    Dec 1, 2017
    Thing is, not all the Civs are super unique.

    Sure, at one end you have Kupe and the Maori. But at the other you have, say, Rome, Japan or Germany. They’re pretty straightforward Civs that really don’t play that differently to a “Vanilla” Civ (albeit, they do some things much better). That’s one of the reasons I often play Japan or England. Yes, they have their quirks, but they don’t really change the game’s base rules much.

    I think the current approach is pretty good. Some core “basic” Civs, that largely play is a straightforward way, some Civs that are heavily focused on one VC or mechanic, and some Civs with much more unique playstyles, and a range of power levels across all three categories.
  17. Karmah

    Karmah King Supporter

    Mar 3, 2011
    This is so not true for mp based game. The goal has never been balance in games where asymmetrical elements compete. Never in overwatch, lol, rts games, hearstone has balanced been a target.
    You actually want some character/units/cards to become 'above the pack' (what gamers call OP). They are two reasons for this :
    First is the realization that balance can never exists.
    Second is that imbalance creates dynamic, what we call meta, with every op chars comes :
    * tactical choices in bans.
    * counters to the op chars become more desirable, so does the counters to the counters

    So what you want is a moving meta carried by regular and predictable patches that strongly alters your meta so the Ops /the FOTM pools varies, forcing competitive players to adapt their strategy, creating interest over time with the existing features, and then you add new char/cards/civs/units releases on top of that and you get how those games retain players over time.

    Balance on the other hand is a religious concept that dwells only on forum posts as a demand.
    Socrates99 likes this.
  18. Arent11

    Arent11 King

    Nov 18, 2016
    I don't. I want themed civilizations. You know, like in an RPG - a warrior civ, a scholar civ, a mercantile civ etc.

    Alternatively, you can also give me a custom civ option, in which I can create my own personal civ.

    The balancing is only important in multiplayer. If I play with my brother, of course I want civs that are roughly the same strength.

    That is true from a marketing point of view. I doubt that the people here are interested in promoting sales.
  19. Medopu

    Medopu Warlord

    Sep 19, 2010
    I think there is a general consensus in strategy games that when you have 8 or more races to balance out its basically really hard and time consuming to reach any sort of state that players would all agree is balanced. I mean, even in chess there are probably many eccentric enthusiasts complaing how white pieces are OP and you only have 2 options to select at the start.

    I do not envy devs at all when they have a task to balance 30+ civs and also in addition to that; please the players by making each civ have a unique strategy and playstyle.
  20. Victoria

    Victoria Regina Supporter

    Apr 11, 2011
    True despite there being quite a few openings, I myself beat an ex NZ chess champion with PK3. Some enthusiasts prefer to play black.
    It is in itself the answer to this thread, some people want balance, some do not. I just want things thematically relevant which I do net feel England has beyond Sea dogs which BTW I am very happy with, they may be crap but they are English.
    OmegaDestroyer likes this.

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