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Why have playable Civs?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by RD-BH, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. RD-BH

    RD-BH Human

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    Given the enormity of civs that cannot be included,
    ... why have playable civs?

    You are arguably starting in 4000 BCE with only 36 different nations.
    (12 playable, 24 citystates)
    That can never properly represent every national identity that has existed on this planet.

    Why not abandon the 'concept' of a playable civ in favor of selecting from a list of traits with advantages/disadvantages.
    The player could then customize his civ to be whatever he wants.
    The citystates could draw from a huge list of (player demanded) names/titles (text only) from world history.
    The leaderheads/artwork could then focus on regional and/or cultural variations instead of specific nations.

    The Player could ...
    ... select leader traits
    ... select civ traits
    ... select building sets (regional/cultural styles)
    ... select clothing sets (regional/cultural styles)
    ... create a self-sim for their leader
    ... name and save their personal civ
    ... share their personal civ online
    ... play as the civ they see in their mind's eye
    ... avoid all the frustration of feeling left out 8(
     
  2. hideousmonkey

    hideousmonkey Chieftain

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    This isn't a terrible idea, though it would be a wild departure from what exists now. As a separate civilization style game it could be very interesting. What you describe sounds like a souped up version of the new Stardock game (forget what it was called).
     
  3. Dermo

    Dermo Warlord

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    Elemental: War of Magic??
     
  4. faizan

    faizan Chieftain

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    sounds really nice....maybe what they could do is leave that as an OPTION. So those who are happy with the preselects can just continue to enjoy the game as is, however those who would prefer having their own personal favorite nation in the game, they could build their own.

    I plan on modding and adding Pakistan as a civ :D...u know it would be nice if Firaxis gave us the modding tools early so we could at least start some mods before the release of the game...at least it would help us with the wait :lol:
     
  5. Kruelgor

    Kruelgor Emperor

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    Sid Meiers Civilization series are good fun games, but I personally would LOVE to see someone come out with a much more advanced and complex "Civilization" game, more of a simulator-type of game.
     
  6. hideousmonkey

    hideousmonkey Chieftain

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    Ahh yes that's the one. That looked neat, I like that combination of civilization style city building and tactical combat (with some RPG elements). I thought it looked a little spread thin though; something that complicated would be difficult to pull off well.

    But from what I saw at a friends house you could create your own kingdom with its own traits and your own ruler with his/her own traits. So, it sounds a little bit like what the OP was suggesting.
     
  7. hideousmonkey

    hideousmonkey Chieftain

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    This^^

    The only problem would be that the more complex you make it, the harder it would be to do well and balanced... so the cost of production would go up.

    And if you increase the complexity the amount of purchases would go down.

    So we may be stuck without a Civilization quality simulator game.:(
     
  8. Jecrell

    Jecrell Ruled: Civ3 - Civ5

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    I like the brand names certain civilizations have that almost make me feel like I'm playing Pepsi vs Coca Cola. Yeah they're both sodas, but each has their own flavor.

    I would recommend seeing if this could be done as a mod.
     
  9. Gre_Magus

    Gre_Magus Manet

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    Jon Shafer talks about this in one of the interviews he did (I can't remember which). He said that he considered something along these lines, but in the end, he felt like that you're playing against Gandhi, or Montezuma, or Bismark or whoever is an important part of the civ experience. For a lot of players, Gandhi threatening you with nukes is more memorable and interesting than "generic leader #2" threatening you with nukes or even "one of five fan-made Indira Gandhi's threatens you with nuclear weapons."
    I actually feel like Elemental: War of Magic's open-ended nature is a negative. Sure it's great to have lots and lots of fan-made civs out there, but I want to be able to play an engaging and well-balanced game out of the box. The prepackaged factions and background fiction of Elemental do not interest me (although Gal Civ did) and I don't want to have to spend time making factions of my own or trying a bunch of fan-created civs to find some I like.

    Civ 5 gives you the best of both worlds, in a sense. There are pre-packaged civs, but there are also mod tools (although probably not as extensive as Elemental's), so if you want to create your own set of civs or grab someone else's, you can.
     
  10. bjbrains

    bjbrains Man of U-235

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    And an upshot of having fewer variables to test (Since there are only 18 possible civs versus thousands) is that you get a balanced game. Unlike Elemental, which barring the disaster of its launch, is still months from a semblance of balance. More complexity seems fine in theory, but you end up raising the barrier to entry (thus cutting into your market by a ton) and creating an almost insurmountable balance problem. Hence why Paradox's simulator games are never balanced, and are often semi-functional at launch.
     
  11. 12agnar0k

    12agnar0k Emperor

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    Perhaps you can make a mod for this idea.
     
  12. VainApocalypse

    VainApocalypse Warlord

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    It doesn't need to.

    You start with the premise that we need to be able to "represent every national identity," presumably for some type of historical appeal. As a solution to that, you propose the ability to simply customize Civs.

    Your solution doesn't solve the "problem." All it does is flood Civ with hundreds of wholly unhistorical Civs that have scant little to do with the national identities that "can never [be] properly [represented]" in the first place! So much for that extra historical appeal. It will be the day that everyone's Civ has Samurais and Panzers as their two UUs, both being backed by Siberian Riches.

    Forgo mention of the irony between your premise and your solution; what about balance!?

    Really though, I'd just like to reiterate this:

    It doesn't need to.
     
  13. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    I shudder whenever I great that name. I was so exited when it was announced, then they released it... The only good thing stardock did with this game was giving me a refund. I bought Europa Universalis III complete and Mount and Blade Warband for the store credit I received.

    The first one is way better in the strategy department, the other one is the better combat game. Both are >> elemental in their own right.
     
  14. thungrim

    thungrim Warlord

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    Its the paradox of Civ. They have the playable Civs so you can feel a connection to History, and propose some "What Ifs". The problem is, the more "What Ifs" that play out the less it feels like you're playing the Civ you picked. This is because the Civs we identify with are only identifiable because their actual history.

    What do you call the Chinese on a Pangea world that never had access to horses, but were firing muskets shortly after 0 AD? I have no idea, because that isn't the Chinese people.

    So I sympathize with the "problem" you're perceiving. I think your solution is over engineered though. The game already lets you change your leader and civ name. ;)
     
  15. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    To the OP: europa universalis is a game where your nation is highly customizable. It is a completely different game though. Give it a go, if you like in depth fine tuning and customization it is pretty much the best game around.
     
  16. RD-BH

    RD-BH Human

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    Thanks All 8)

    This has been an interesting read.
    Good points (for and against).
    I had been reading a post on 2k forums regarding what civs people would like to see and why.
    It was sad to see people feeling left out.
    My suggestion was inspired by the customizations in the MOO series.

    Keep having FUN 8) 8) 8)
     
  17. Semmel

    Semmel Large Sid Meiers Collider

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    Yeah I immidiatly thought of MoO as well. And I actually text-searched it in order to find out of someone else has come to that conclusion. But actually, you did it your self, so no point to point it out other than being pointy ;-)

    All in all, a nice Idea, maybe there is an expension pack in 2-3 years "Free History to Civilization 5" in which something like that is implemented. I suspect a Mod might be able to do that as well, even though the Civs would loose their historic identity.
     
  18. MuteWolf

    MuteWolf Chieftain

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    I think it's mostly a balance issue. Beyond that though I like trying to use a particular civ with there strengths and weaknesses.

    Also I would say that them not being generic gives you an idea of what to expect from a particular civ (oh god monty, war is coming) but I'm not sure that is so much the case in civ 5.
     
  19. Seven05

    Seven05 Warmonger

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    I tried doing this in a mod for Civ 4 by allowing the player to select leader traits (modified, not the standard set) and then defining Civ traits as they played the game by using things like the surrounding environment to give them their own unique bonuses (for example being in the desert granting them a free promotion to military units with a combat bonus in deserts).

    It was OK. In the end it pretty much felt like playing with the unrestricted leader and random personalities options and a bunch of vanilla civs.

    I'm not saying it can't be done, just that my attempt failed. Based on that I don't think it's a good idea for a standard Civ game but it would be very good for a fantasy or sci-fi mod. The civs will end up being pretty bland though. Instead of getting mad and the Aztecs for taking land you wanted you'll just be annoyed at random leader #7 with the green flag. It's a little better in a pure MP setting but you still lose the flavor of using traditional civs.
     
  20. Drawmeus

    Drawmeus Emperor

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    Mod away! the Civ V engine will almost certainly be able to support a vastly more complicated game.
     

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