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Why some many CityStates Want Each Other Dead?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by bcaiko, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. Polycrates

    Polycrates Emperor

    Dec 15, 2006
    Cos at the end of the day, long as there's two people left on the planet, someone is gonna want someone dead
  2. Strategist83

    Strategist83 King

    Dec 30, 2005
    The real problem isn't so much that the 'raze' quests are so frequent, but rather that the diplomatic penalty for doing so is so large, as was already discussed. Gameplay doesn't necessarily suffer from most civs absorbing a few of their nearby city-states - on the contrary, it makes liberations play a much larger role which is especially interesting in relation to the diplomatic victory condition (instead of it being a pure 'bribe' victory, it would then be more of a 'UN military intervention victory' with big bonuses from liberations, lessening the need for bribes). After all, there are a lot of militant civs represented in this game - it only makes sense that Mongolia or Japan might want to conquer rather than simply befriend its neighbours. However, this isn't even a city-state issue because the same mechanism happens for the 'real' civs. The developers need to lessen or completely remove the penalty for killing the 'last' city of a civ. Just as it's completely nonsensical that other civs are annoyed at you for 'trying to win the game the same way as them, and they don't like it, omg omg!' (as if it mattered what type of victory you're winning rather than simply the fact you're winning), it also makes no sense that there is little/no penalty associated with wiping out a city but a huge penalty if it's the last one.
  3. bryanw1995

    bryanw1995 Emperor

    Oct 10, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    The best way to fix it in my mind is to just remove the diplo penalty for killing a CS b/c of a quest to do so. At that point you can decide if it's worthwhile or not based upon the CS (do you need culture/food/more military) and its personality.
  4. starrywisdom

    starrywisdom Warlord

    Jul 15, 2010
    Removing the diplo penalty is a terrible option - IMHO. It's hard to justify 'they told me to do it so it's okay guys :)'. While I'm not saying Civ is a real life simulator, but saying there should be no diplo repercussions because 'a quest' told you to do it is well beyond silly.
  5. Keejus

    Keejus Prince

    Mar 6, 2011
    It also doesn't really make sense that the quest is to wipe them off the face of the earth. I would like the quests a lot more if they were just "rough them up a bit, maybe pillage some farms"
  6. cman2010

    cman2010 King

    Oct 7, 2010
    which is an ai problem.;)
  7. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Super Moderator Supporter

    Oct 22, 2008
    Let's agree that it's a problem in Civ5, okay ;)? Doesn't really matter where the source is, as long as it gets fixed.
    Maybe just dayfax' suggestion for a bit more diversification would do it.
  8. void_genesis

    void_genesis Prince

    Apr 12, 2011
    Totally agree on the CS kill quests being next to useless at present.

    Other than them expiring, reducing the diplo penalty or also counting for roughing up the enemy without taking the city, perhaps another solution would be a CS dogpile effect?

    If one CS puts out a kill request on another CS, then the remaining CS's should be more likely to start dog-piling on the target CS. This means the reward for conquering the target CS keeps going up until it is worth the diplomatic penalty. The random combination of maritime/cultural/military CSs on the dogpile and the resources they have on offer add variety and flavor to deciding when it is worth taking the request.
  9. doctorfork

    doctorfork Chieftain

    May 28, 2011
    I like to believe that the CS quests should be more abundant and timed to expire. Maybe even make it something you have to actively pledge to do it. As in, "Sure, I'll build you a road within 30 turns" and take an influence hit if you don't get it done.
  10. Bezurn

    Bezurn Prince

    Nov 23, 2005
    I think that would be wonderful addition to the game that would add a better risk / reward mechanic for city states. The only big problem would be certain GP requests as it may be many many turns before you spawn another of that type. Either a long time period should be put on those, or those will stay around til the quest is completed.
  11. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

    Nov 9, 2005
    Looking into the files reveals the quest system is likely unfinished; it's got missing pieces, is not organized well, and not really modifiable.

    • Quests are selected by a random rolling of dice based on certain odds. The personality (hostile/friendly/etc) and trait (maritime/etc) determine which probabilities are used.
    • The probabilities are stored in isolated variables, which is inflexible and difficult to maintain. There's only a handful of personality-quest combinations specified in the files. The more logical approach is a table with personalities on the rows and quest probabilities on the columns.
    • Some of the personality-quest pairings make no sense. Even citystates that supposedly are "friendly" or "mind their own business" are still bloodthirsty and request kill-rival.
    • Only the kill-rival and barbarian quests are available when a citystate is "neutral". If there's no barbarians nearby, the citystate defaults to kill-rival.


    It's not possible to really fix these problems without the c++, which only Firaxis has access to. Here's my thoughts though:
    • CS quests are not interesting.
    • Distance should be a strategic factor (as done in Gazebo's CSD mod).
    Let's say we have a diplomacy unit, the Agent. It's basically like a trainable Great Merchant that can only perform the citystate trade mission. When we activate the Agent in citystate territory, a Civ4-style event box pops up which a choice of performing a diplomacy or espionage quest:

    • The diplomatic quest requires little investment, gives influence, and major-civ AIs are more likely to have a "friendly" attitude to the player.
    • Picking a covert mission gives more influence, requires a bigger investment from the player (such as gold or gifted units), and increases major-civ "deceptive" likelihood.
    The quests we receive are randomized, but influenced by the personality of the citystate. The missions could also involve performing secondary actions like building a road (diplomatic) or disrupting the wedding plans of a rival citystate's royal family (covert).

    The Agent itself is a non-combat unit stackable with military, and has an experience bar. Completing missions gives experience to pick promotions like sight range and movement speed. Some buildings could also give Agents experience when trained.
  12. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

    Mar 17, 2008
    I think the simplest solution would be have every quest expire about X turns. Maybe 30 turns on normal; but if that's too soon perhaps 50.

    Yes, I'd remove "kill another city state" as possibility for a civ listed as friendly.

    For neutral; I'd only have them select the kill mission against a state that has selected that mission against them.

    For hostile; I pretty much expect seeing a lot of kill missions from them.

    And erratic I expect a mix of kill and non-kill items.
  13. Steelyglint

    Steelyglint Warlord

    Jun 21, 2011
    Agreed. Also I hate how CityState units never, ever attack each other.

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