Why does everyone like individual unit promotions?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Ometiklan, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Ometiklan

    Ometiklan Chieftain

    Dec 21, 2002
    Why does everyone else but me seem to like individual unit promotions? I wasn't wowed by them in Civ 4, and now they are back and at least as relevant/important as they were if not more so.

    I just don't get it. For a strategic game that spans thousands of years of time, where generation after generation of military units become obsolete and are replaced, why do we have/care about the combat experience of one individual military unit? My chariot/knight/cavalry fought barbarians, pike men and archers back in 3000 B.C. so now that it is a Helicopter gunship, why should it have a bonus against ranged units?

    I am not interested in each individual unit. I will have 5-10 units of that type at any given time (at least in previous Civs), they die and are replaced. A hundred years later, new technology replaces them. I don't see why I should care hundreds and thousands of years later. Historical accuracy-wise it makes no sense, but also gameplay-wise it feels like an Role Playing Game element that accidentally fell into Civ, that no one noticed should not be here, and has just been kept around.

    If you wanted to put promotions into a Civ game, I would much rather then be Civilization/military-wide promotions. For example, after gaining a total of, say, 25 experience points in combat, or 5 pts per military unit you have, you get a promotion for all units across the board. This represents improvements to your overall military system/generalship/military training. This makes sense for a civilization over the ages and doesn't strangely emphasize a single regiment/division over others out of your whole history. You could even break it down by combat against types of units: you fight a lot of ranged units, your bonus comes against them (or can be applied to a weaker overall bonus like "strength" for general tactical experience).

    If this hasn't already be discussed, I would really be interested in seeing a mod where this is implemented.
  2. Tylerryan79

    Tylerryan79 Emperor

    Apr 30, 2010
    Boston, MA
    In civ IV promotions were cool I guess, but I always found it too much trouble to keep track of all my different units, and their different promotions. However in V this wont be the case. Units are much more valuable now, so having promotions, and keeping our units alive will be more important. Gone are the days of HUGE stacks. More specialization will be a good thing, and easier to keep track of and use. We wont just throw our units into battle anymore, caring if they die or win, with 20 more to replace them. They take longer to build also.

    I personally like the promotions this time around. Civ to me is a roleplaying game, not just a strategy game. With each unit being that much well rounded, and able to perform better in different situations it will add, not take away, strategy.

    Also certain units already start with a ability/promotion across the board. Beyond that I dont think that every warrior should be promoted just because one warrior won a battle. I get what your saying though, new fighting styles would be taught over the years, therefore new promotions off bat. It would work this way also, and Id be fine with it. As it is now though, I dont see a problem at all. Also we dont know what all the promotions will be this time around, I read somewhere that there will be a lot, but Im sure they will be more specific to unit types this time around. Atleast I hope so.
  3. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

    Mar 12, 2003
    Norfolk, VA
    They're in because they allow specialization in combat units and make each unit more precious and valuable. It's not there for realism and never was. Honestly, even if you want a game that mirrors the real world in some ways, no one should ever want it to realistically reflect the timeline. The turn scale is far, far too large for it to ever make sense.

    Oh, and it wasn't a role playing element that accidentally fell into Civ, it was a role playing element that intentionally fell into Civ. Soren Johnson was quoting early in the Civ4 development process about his desire to add RPG elements (along with Rock Paper Scissor combat).
  4. Algeroth

    Algeroth 8 and 1/2

    Sep 10, 2006
    Military tradition. Look, the first turns are long (more or less) as a one generation. The warriors that fought the barbarians retired long ago. If one of your armies won combat by holding their grounds even aganist greater odds, or by stealthy ambush, they are probably going to train new recruits in the same way that helped them before.

    Look at it this way, if it helps you.
  5. Hammy

    Hammy Chieftain

    Oct 4, 2007
    To be clear, this is a game where Julius Caesar can live for thousands on thousands of years without even needing a Hollywood-style facelift, and you're complaining that combat units can keep their promotions through the eons?

    I actually dislike promotions myself, but it has nothing to do with them being unrealistic or whatever. I'm playing the wrong game if I want to start caring about that. What I dislike is that the AI has never been good about using them, in particular to shore up weaknesses or create specialist units. In vanilla Civ4 it's not a big deal though it is more noticeable in some mods (eg. FFH,) but in Civ5 individual units will mean a lot more.

    *shrug* If it really matters I'm sure it's moddable.
  6. Schuesseled

    Schuesseled Deity

    Mar 31, 2008

    Because they reward succesful battles and tactics with awesome bonuses, thats why. If thats not your thing, too bad,.
  7. Zhahz

    Zhahz PC Gamer

    Oct 18, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Well, it is a game, and you have the same leader for thousands of years, so I don't think it's that big a deal that units persist (call it a tradition or something if it helps with realism).

    Hopefully, *hopefully* units are more valuable with the more limited resources and lessening of unit spam and hopefully using units intelligently based on promotions is more relevant. Terrain and other factors are supposed to be more important so promotions probably will be too.

    I think the intent in Civ IV was for units to be more distinctive with promotions but really, once the stacks started rolling individual units didn't matter that much.
  8. Gamemaster77

    Gamemaster77 PC > Mac

    Mar 8, 2009
    In a place.
    I thought about it this way first. To make it make more since I think when units are upgraded their promotions should be gone and their promotion meter thing reset. This will make them last a shorter time. As for the individual units, think of it this way, the 82nd Airborne Division got it's fame during WWII. Obviously they don't have the same people as before, but they are still regarded as very highly. Skilled officers at the time would obviously be very good teaching their skills to new members making them better than the average new recruit.
  9. AlpsStranger

    AlpsStranger Jump jump on the tiger!

    Feb 8, 2009
    Pretty much that.

    I also agree that making specific realism arguments regarding a game in which immortal God-Emperors count individual haystacks to prevent rounding errors is misguided on a profound level.
  10. 12agnar0k

    12agnar0k Emperor

    Jun 25, 2010
    It allows customisation, its cool bra.
  11. brianshapiro

    brianshapiro King

    Mar 6, 2003
    Again, a discussion about realism. It has nothing to do with realism, you can see it as an abstraction of military tactics passed on between generations of training. ie in the game, otherwise, there'd be no difference between a Greek hoplite and a Roman hoplite, they're all just the same hoplite, promotions allow there to be a difference.

    Promotions bothered me because it was just another micromanagement element that took away from the big picture of the game. In Civ4 I was often too lazy to go through all my units and make sure I promoted them, it also became tedious to manage who had what promotion. I never used things like medic promotions, I almost always I just increased all of my units strengths to four stars.

    I find it strange that generally people who think that limited stacks would be too complicated really like the promotion system.
  12. Bad Brett

    Bad Brett King

    Sep 4, 2002
    Yep. Using the right promotions and upgrading the units is on of the keys to succeed on higher difficulty levels. One of the reasons why Firaxis added this, was to make every unit important, but also, to encourage the player to upgrade their units, to avoid having spearmen running around in the modern era. When you know that your CR3 Axeman eventually can become a CR3 Rifleman, you don't waste him on a Kamikaze attack, because you know how important he may become in 100 turns.
  13. Xen

    Xen Magister

    Feb 10, 2003
    I like it because it allows for specialization - the Greeks and Romans are rather infamous, for instance, for having dozens of different types of spearmen, swordsmen and cavalrymen, artillery and ships - Alexanders army probably had more different types of troops then the number of individual units will appear in civ5 in its totality.

    But because all of those troops can ultimatly be boiled down to 'spearmen, sworsmen, cavalry, artillery, ranged' (with a few shady areas like where javlinmen reside) promotions allow distintion between soldires, effectivly allowing imaginary little distinctions based on what a paticular unit of spearmen or swordsmen are good at.

    Otherwise, I do like the concept of 'elite' formations - the Praetorian guard for instance, wasn't much more then any other legion. Sure they wore fancier get-ups, and their recruitment (the sons of Italian nobility, for much of its history) was a little different, but effectively they were a glorified formation of elite legionaries; and I like the concept of occasionally bringing a battle hardened unit, the most decorated of its kind back to the capital city in order to replicate that.
  14. DeepQantas

    DeepQantas Chieftain

    Aug 9, 2010
    Promotions can also have an important role in gameplay balance. Depending on how exactly they work, of course. My hope is that new technologies like gunpowder and tanks will disrupt the promotion lines and thus everyone needs to start over.

    What this would mean is that there's actually a reason to go to war with Musketmen even though they'll soon been obsoleted by Riflemen. The reason is to get those promotions back ASAP.

    Same with tanks and airplanes. If you try to skip WWI in order to save money for those modern tanks and airplanes in WWII, you'll probably succeed. The problem is, the guy who went through WWI will also have modern tanks and modern airplanes, but they're all veterans to boot.
  15. ezzlar

    ezzlar Emperor

    Dec 21, 2001
    I agree with TC. It just creates micromanagement.

    I liked the veteran status better in civ 1 :)
  16. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

    Feb 15, 2005
    Vancouver, Canada
    With only 1UPT, promotions will become even more important. I am looking forward to the military side of things more as a result.

    I fail to see how this could be considered micromanagement or tedious. Unless you are hellbent on playing the game as fast as possible. However, to each his/her own.
  17. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

    Jun 8, 2008
    Washington, DC
    They're fun. They allow unit specialization and customization, and they reward you for preserving units.
  18. King Jason

    King Jason Fleece-bearer

    Oct 21, 2005
    More importantly and specifically, they reward you for playing well/smart. Which is ultimately a postive thing in a strategy game. Promotions add more strategy and consideration to how you deploy your units.
  19. Ometiklan

    Ometiklan Chieftain

    Dec 21, 2002
    Maybe in Civ5 the promotions will reward you for playing smart, but I felt that in Civ4 they only rewarded you for having lots of units and being willing to "save" some of them for easy battles and multiple victories. To me it was unfun micromanagement.

    Injure enemy units -> mop up with promotion-worthy units -> repeat

    This is not a fun tactic to me - just manipulating minor problems with the combat model (like how the SoD is a pretty poor mechanism, or how armies were poorly implemented). Maybe with 1upt it will be better. But I will still rather see the game reward success in combat with general experience for your whole military system; like how happiness is now civilization-wide rather than city-specific.

    As for it realism. I didn't intend my post to only be concerned with its realism, if that is how it came out. I was trying to argue that it was both unfun and unrealistic, thus meeting neither basic reason for inclusion. The RPG aspects, however intentional, just didn't seem to fit with the history of the game, nor the general theme of Civ4. Even with specialists and specializing-cities, there weren't (in my view) any other RPG-like elements to support this one. It was the odd-one-out for me and one of the few elements of Civ4 that I didn't like.
  20. mjs0

    mjs0 The 4th X

    Nov 9, 2001
    Central Florida
    I like promotions because they can involve interesting decisions...in fact I expect to like them more in Civ5 than I did in Civ4.

    To me the definition of micromanagement is when I have to repetitively perform tasks when there is only one optimal course of action.
    In Civ4 promotions seemed somewhat forced down certain paths
    - when assembling a stack to take a city I knew I would want siege units with a certain blend of promotions.
    - When promoting archers/longbows they were almost inevitably city defenders
    - When promoting axemen they got city raider
    - Scouts got Woodsman I/II
    etc. etc.
    In addition I found myself managing units as they approached promotion boundaries, so I would always look for the units with 4, 9, 16, etc. XP to use in battles.

    Note: I'm not claiming my promotion paths were always the best strategy (I'm typically a monarch level player) but I would always fall back on them as the combat system seemed, to me, to discourage multiple specializations within unit type.

    This was OK, I liked earning the bonuses but I never felt there was enough thoughtful decision making involved, it was borderline micro (the bad type).

    In Civ5 I suspect, based on what we have seen so far, that promotions for each unit will require more careful thought. With 1UPT, each unit will have an individual purpose and will require promotions based on the terrain I expect to put it in and any other role it has in my plans. In addition, I am hoping that the removal or stacks and reduction in units numbers should reduce the impulse to micromanage promotion thresholds.

    I like the potential this additional layer of decision making brings.

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