Why was maintenance made more crippling than Civ 3's corruption?

Green172

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It's agreed that maintenance is much more crippling to a player's empire than corruption was in Civ 3, but I want to know why it was made that way. Is it because the map is a lot smaller than civ 3's, so an early conquest of another civ was made less viable for gameplay concerns. In Civ 3 when I destroy the first civ I meet, I don't feel like I have the game in the bag yet. But in Civ 4 most of the time you kill that first civ it feels pretty easy to snowball, I'm more confident that I'll be able to win the game. Otherwise was it made a more defiant mechanic to really entrench the idea that trying to play Civ 4 like Civ 3 will rapidly lose the game for the player.
 

Lennier

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I find it the other way around. Civ IV has a number of ways to overcome maintenance--techs that give additional trade routes, buildings that lower maintenance, the ability (with Currency) to build wealth, and finally the State Property civic which reduces maintenance to very manageable levels. It basically forces you to be small early, but lets you get huge late. Something of a "let everyone have a chance" effect.

Civ III's corruption felt (to me) as a mechanic that served to limit your civilization's size. Beyond a certain size, additional cities would be unproductive (and State Property just lowered the producitvity of all your cities with each additional city beyond a certain size.) More of an overall limitation on your size.
 

pigswill

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Its been a while since I played civ 3. One of the things that put me off civ 3 was the corruption mechanism as at a certain point additional cities were just unproductive. In civ 4 you can overexpand and city maintenance can cripple your economy, however with a growing economy the economic collapse is a temporary rather than a permanent phenomenon. One approach in civ 4 is expand until economy crashes, grow cities until economy recovers then expand again. Playing civ 4 like civ 3 is not a good idea, play civ 4 like civ 4.
 

AspiringScholar

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If I remember correctly, they're not really comparable mechanics for serving the same function of limiting expansion, because corruption in Civ 3 was still always a net positive. Even if a city yielded very little due to corruption, you still claim the land and deprive the AI of it without any risk of going under for it, whereas in Civ 4 your city maintenance can cause your research to outright collapse and your armies to disband.
 

ArchGhost

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Never played Civ3, but I believe the way Civ4's maintenance works is discourage players from doing the whole "carpet the map with cities" thing from Civ3 (where it was very much worth it to do so, as the previous poster mentions) as a go-to approach. Civ4's maintenance encourages steady progression and development, which throws the player into conflict with the AI as the land dries up...especially as the difficulty increases and they largely ignore costs and just take territory as fast as they can.

You certainly can still spam cities in Civ4, but not from the get-go, or you will pay. You will crash hard without proper development of tiles, key economic techs or civics,and the strike mechanics act as a check against just pushing through anyway --eventually, you won't even be able to keep a settler long enough to put down more cities.

I remember being quite surprised reading about Civ3's corruption and how you don't actually get punished in terms of net losses. More cities simply yield more, even if the corruption makes the gain very little. It's entirely possible to settle cities in Civ4 that do nothing but act as an economic drain that other cities have to prop up.
 

Bibor

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It's agreed that maintenance is much more crippling to a player's empire than corruption was in Civ 3, but I want to know why it was made that way. Is it because the map is a lot smaller than civ 3's, so an early conquest of another civ was made less viable for gameplay concerns. In Civ 3 when I destroy the first civ I meet, I don't feel like I have the game in the bag yet. But in Civ 4 most of the time you kill that first civ it feels pretty easy to snowball, I'm more confident that I'll be able to win the game. Otherwise was it made a more defiant mechanic to really entrench the idea that trying to play Civ 4 like Civ 3 will rapidly lose the game for the player.

Wouldn't neccessarily say it's "agreed". Also, "game in the bag" is a very broad definition :)

Wholehearted recommendation for this article: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/the-curious-cat-city-upkeep-explained.138473/

I personally never liked the corruption mechanic. Why would something on the other side of the world cost so many more turns to build? Upkeep paid in gold makes it possible for core cities to finance fringe city development, which is so much more realistic and fun gameplay-wise.
 

Slaughter

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Never played Civ3, but I believe the way Civ4's maintenance works is discourage players from doing the whole "carpet the map with cities" thing from Civ3 (where it was very much worth it to do so, as the previous poster mentions) as a go-to approach.
I remember, Civ3 early game was essentially everyone and his mom spamming settlers until the land ran out. Then the fighting started.

In Civ4, you usually build 3-5 cities then stop for consolidation a bit, then expand up again until you run out of land.
 

AspiringScholar

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I remember, Civ3 early game was essentially everyone and his mom spamming settlers until the land ran out. Then the fighting started.

In Civ4, you usually build 3-5 cities then stop for consolidation a bit, then expand up again until you run out of land.

Between the two models, the latter is much better. :)
 

Slaughter

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Between the two models, the latter is much better. :)
Yeah, Civ4 model's really makes more sense. Plus, it also prevents barbarians from essentially disappearing like five minutes after gamestart because the entire planet is covered in cities by then.

Plus, its a pretty good at preventing ICS and other issues with expanding too hard without any sort of penalties.
SMAC and 2 were somewhere between 3 and 4 in that aspect. SMAC was more punishing because its equivalent to barbarians, the native life, was more dangerous than plain old barbarians, and the xenofungus was a thing.
 

MrCynical

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It's agreed that maintenance is much more crippling to a player's empire than corruption was in Civ 3, but I want to know why it was made that way.

Definitely wouldn't say that's "agreed". One of the major issues I found with Civ 3 was that beyond a certain point all cities were just one production/ one commerce filler. You just ended up with a bubble of actually productive cities around the capital, and a second around the forbidden palace. Everything outside that bubble (a fairly small one on most map sizes) was near dead weight.

Civ 4 maintenance put a brake on expansion by making cities a net cost initially, but as they developed they became actually worth having. Expansion was worthwhile in the long run, which I found a much better approach.
 
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