[GS] Why weren't 'strategic resources' more important?

bene_legionary

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The resource stockpiling feature in GS was one of the most underwhelming features introduced - to be honest the previous system was fine. But if the stockpile system was used for something, it would be much better! Quite often I'd be sitting on full resource stockpiles for every strategic resource. Was this just another feature in GS which had great potential but wasn't pounced on?

At the very least, why weren't most units forced to have upkeep? Horses die by accident and need to be replaced, swords wear out, gunpower is expended, et c. But none of these resources are used for more that just their unit building costs? Why?

Another avenue that could have been explored (a hot take, though) was tying it to civilian upkeep - 1 horse per turn for every 5 population, or -1 amenity. Horses were used in daily life, iron in construction, nitre in fertilizer, coal for heat, oil for pretty much everything from planes to plastic, aluminium for electronics and utilities. Some of this is seen ingame, but they're passive effects; researching gunpowder gives your quarries more production, but you don't actually use more nitre? I suppose this would make the game more fiddly, but it would make having strategic resources more strategic. It could be paired with an increase in resource generation.

I'd be glad to hear about why it wasn't developed further, or any problems with my line of thinking.
 

Linklite

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The problem is resource density. It's probably about 50/50 whether I can get hold of iron before it goes obsolete without going to war in a given game. Horses are better but not guaranteed. You could say that's the game, but some don't want to have to go to war, and it does bias the game quite in favour of the warmonger civs.

You could counter it by increasing the number of resource tiles...but then you're tripping over them in the endgame, and there is no where to build. You could make them removable.

The other problem is luck. The game already works on a snowball mechanic and it wreaks havoc, especially in the endgame. You know you've won, you're just.waiting for the game to catch up to that fact for an era or three. This is an inverse snowball - if you don't get iron for any reason, you are screwed. Not only is your war game going to suffer, but your city growth is crippled? You're going to know if you've won in the first few turns. If you have all the resources you need, you've won because it's pretty much guaranteed that half the world will be crippled, and your neighbours will be easy pickings.

Of course, you could increase the number of resources, but that's just extra busy work...just to get back to where we are now? I actually agree with you - the vanilla worked fine, but I think it caused problems with the concepts presented in GS. The idea of using aluminium to power your space flight, GDRs and so forth. I'm ambivalent as to whether I like it or not. It does nicely restrict the size of early armies and stops GDR carpets of doom. On the other hand...aluminium being so rare, having an air defence is impractical. Mech infantry, tanks, etc are heavily restricted because everything depends on oil. Oil is so much in demand that the restriction stops being about making strategic choices and is instead about choosing the optimal path. Oil power stations are very rarely built in my game because I have alternatives and that oil is needed to fuel my armies and navies and so forth.

Anyway, I'm not convinced that it's a good idea to put much more pressure on resources like that. I get that you're trying to make it more of a verisimilitude, but I think it would make the game less fun. I already rarely play Rome because of the aforementioned iron makes it quite likely that I won't get to play with the legionnaire - and that's, like, 90% of the reason to play as Rome. I don't want that problem spreading to most games where I'll starve due to lack of iron in half my games. I'd rather strategic resources remained a boon rather than becoming essential.
 

UWHabs

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The old system was pretty bad, the stockpiling system is better. But the flaws for me:
-It's still too easy to cheat the system. Trade away until you have 19 of a resource. Buy the older unit. Slot in the 1/2 resource upgrade card. Now you have a cheaper unit for less resources
-It still ends up too many times with either having all the resources or none of them. So if you don't have iron nearby, you get nothing. But if you have iron, you probably have 2-3 copies of it. And since I'm not constantly and always building a swordsman every 10 turns per resource tile I own, it's easy to build up and end up capping out your supply really quickly.

I do think that it would be nice if resources had more non-military applications. I think the mid-game where you end up with like a coal/oil balance and having to decide which ones you allocate to military and which to power is a very strong part of the game. But nothing civilian uses the early game iron/horses, so there's no competition for them. And because all those units just need an upfront cost, you can too easily cheat the system.

I think the better answer would be to have every unit simply require 1 per turn of the resource, but also have more copies of the resources on the map. I could see them also having a harvest mechanism for them too - so, either extract your iron at 2 per turn, or harvest the iron resource for 50 iron. Then if you want to build up to a large army you would need to harvest those areas, but you risk running out partway through your campaign.
 

rocksinmypath

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One of the issues with increased dependence on strategics is it makes the game more luck dependent. Here's a solution I proposed in a different thread. We can create a global marketplace for strategics where trading happens passively. Excess strategics generated by all players automatically flow into a global pool, from which any player can purchase using gold. When a purchase is made from this pool, players who have contributed to it receive gold + other benefits based on their level of contribution. I think a system like this would reduce the luck dependence and at the same time increase utility for strategics for players who are able to generate plenty of them. There are also some additional benefits. It makes trading with AI less exploitative and tedious. It also has potential to expand the alliance feature by allowing allies to form cartels for amplified seller benefits.

I like the ideas you're proposing with alternative usage of strategic resources. I've recently been thinking of the concept of manufactured products in the game, mostly for the purpose of amenities management. Basically, in the later stages of the game, you'll have the opportunity to unlock technologies for building things like cars, which can provide amenities. But it won't be interesting to just get the benefits from cars the moment you unlock the relevant tech, so you'll have to dedicate some production towards producing them. You can assign a factory to produce cars, and the factory will require power, production, and/or resources like iron and oil to do so. We can do similar things with fertilizer, although maybe it would be more appropriate for fertilizer to increase food yield rather than provide amenities.
 

bene_legionary

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I'd rather strategic resources remained a boon rather than becoming essential.
Thanks, I understand where you're coming from... But I think that must be more of a problem with the game, then; that resources are just so badly implemented and their use is very restrictive. But I still think strategic resources should be more than a bonus.

I did think about having shortfalls & shortages of resources be covered by trade. The increased necessity for strategic resources past the military means that trading strategic resources was more necessary. But that still depends on the global supply of resources, which has to come from the map - not ideal.

In the future, I think resources should be more flexible; who says I can't build a farm because there's stone around? But that is a part of another subject.
 

criZp

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One of the issues with increased dependence on strategics is it makes the game more luck dependent.
That just depends on the distribution algorithm, where two alternative algorithms could either spread the resources quite evenly over the map, or spread them so that certain regions have a lot and certain regions have none (with yet other regions having a moderate bit). Depending on player preference.
 

rocksinmypath

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That just depends on the distribution algorithm, where two alternative algorithms could either spread the resources quite evenly over the map, or spread them so that certain regions have a lot and certain regions have none (with yet other regions having a moderate bit). Depending on player preference.
I guess I should've been more clear. I'm not saying that the game shouldn't include any element of luck to make the game more or less fair for everyone. In fact, if this was the goal, we could just remove strategic resources completely. As someone who exclusively plays single player, I don't care if the game is fair. What I don't want is to be brick-walled by an element of the game I couldn't have seen until I'm 150 turns in and discover I cannot get access to oil. I just simply want a way to proceed with the game when luck isn't on my side. The system I proposed isn't designed to make the game fair. In fact, if you read my post from the other thread, you'll see that the monopoly mechanism I proposed is actually designed to allow the "lucky" players to screw over other players. The system I'm proposing simply increases the utility of excess resources by giving both buyers and sellers a way to benefit from them, and gives both sides more interesting decisions to make with regards to strategic resources.
 

ezzlar

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There was a mod in Civ 4 (Sengoku) where access to strategic resources gave +50% production on units requiring the resource. That was a clever solution since production was somewhat limited as well.
 

Pfeffersack

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While I consider the stockpile system GS introduced as a clear improvement over the initial Civ6 system, it rarely creates the interesting game you could have in theory with it. Culprits are IMO too abundant sources on the map overall (what doesn't rule out that occasionally someone has none depite), a lacking consumption for the non-energy ones and the problems around the AI (mainly trading - which is full of strange behaviour and unfixed exploits-, but also inability to secure themselves sufficient access). Also the system breaks for the AI on slower speeds because their willing-to-actively-purchase limit doesn't scale (and stays at 50).

Old World has stockpiles as well, but does a much better job - you need ressources not only to create things (improvements, units, citizens), but also to maintain/feed them. You are never locked out completely (as even "bad terrain" can yield you a bit of any ressource and you have access to the global market any time), but you also never can have technically enough as well (be it as storgae for upcoming investions or to be sold for money) - and you are still rewarded for finding the best sources and avoiding to produce the wrong things (trading incurs a cost as well and prices shift according to worldwide supply/demand). Just mentioning OW here because after having tasted it Civ6's problems in that area stand out even clearer.
 
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I don't know how many times I've run out my iron stockpiles when upgrading units. (lots)
Horses as well.
Nitre not so much.
Coal, well, I've run low on that one too. (units, upgrades, and power stations)
Oil, well, once get the off shore rigs, tends to be fine.
Aluminum and Uranium rarely an issue.
Alum used for space race mostly (launching boosters), and of course GDR maint uses the glowy stuffs.
Ok, building lots of nukes..


Mind you, I generally have a LARGE military.
Lots and lots of heavy cav (to be turned into panzers!), large navy.

What is annoying is other civs wanting your strategic resources when they cannot even use them yet.
 

Jarms48

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Jan 16, 2016
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I think they should have added resource upkeep for early units, just like the oil requirements the late units have.

- All cavalry units require 1 horse per turn.
- All gunpowder units require 1 nitre per turn.
- Swordsmen and Men-at-arms require 1 iron per turn.
- Knights require both horse and iron.
- Maybe even have other late units require both coal and iron, or oil and iron. Ironclads for example could be coal and iron. Battleships oil and iron. Mechanised infantry and aircraft require oil and aluminium.

It would make having larger stockpiles more viable. Especially if your access to those resources get pillaged.

Maybe even have more civilian applications. Maybe when horses become obsolete cities with a stable get 1 amenity from entertainment due to horse racing and it consumes 1 horse per turn.
 
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