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Will Civ6 punish players for expansion?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by historix69, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. historix69

    historix69 Chieftain

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    Civilization is a 4X-Game where players usually explore, build cities, colonize, expand, go on conquest and build an empire "to stand the test of time" ...

    Civ5 introduced a couple of Game Elements to limit expansion and conquest in respect to players who prefer to play small (1-4 cities) independant from map size which ranges from duel to huge/giant. The elements are :
    - Warmonger Hate (against Conquest and Elimination of players)
    - Science-Penalty per City (less problem on huge maps)
    - Culture-Penalty per City (less problem on huge maps)
    - Increasing Costs for National Wonders (huge problem on huge maps)
    - Global Happiness (impact depends on social policy strategy and wonders like Forbidden Palace)

    Colonization and military conquest usually come with a cost that the player has to produce settlers and military units instead of building city-improvements and wonders in his core cities or use money to rushbuy buildings near the frontier. The military upkeep can drain a nation's budget quickly. So expansion usually means that core cities develop slower ...

    In Civ5 National Wonders were artifically instrumentalized to reward players for not expanding (in a 4X-Game :rolleyes: ). National Wonders are buildings which usually provide only a limited local benefit like +50% Science or +8 Production in the city where they are built ... (in contrast to social policies which can provide benefit for some or all cities like +1 culture per city or +3 production in all coastal cities.) The costs of National Wonders in Civ5 are based on the number of cities and they require each a specific basic building to be built in all cities, independant from the fact if this is making sense or not, e.g. if the player wants to build University of Oxford in his capital or science city, he has to build a university in all cities, even when they are just size 1 and located in alaska (it really doesn't make sense to build a university there,) and he has to "pay" a penalty of 30 production per city (on normal speed) which is added to the base costs. In our real world the existence or non-existence of other cities (especially if they are size 1 and far away) usually does not influence the feasability and costs of a project like a National College with only a local benefit.

    The result was that most players delayed expansion to be able to strengthen their core citie(s) with some of the National Wonders and so missed the fun of early conquest ... or they abandoned the idea of building National Wonders from the beginning, but then could see National Wonders with insanely increasing costs in their building list for the rest of the game ... after a certain number of cities, the costs usually exceeded the costs for a normal wonder of the specific era ... It is completely irrational that it is possible to built a National College at minimum costs in your first (and only) city and use it for the rest of the game even when your empire has grown to dozens of cities, but not the opposite way around ... The opportunity costs for building a National Wonder are usually that the player cannot build settlers, units, other buildings or wonders in the city while the National Wonder is constructed ...

    I am a player who loves building Wonders/National Wonders, but I also like early expansion, conquest and empire building (up to 50-100 cities) ... I constantly loose the fun in playing Civ5 when I come to the point where I have to decide : settle the empty land around my capital, go after the AI which forward-settled me or skip early expansion/war until late game and build some of the National Wonders while they are affordable and do not have a massive expansion-penalty ... While I really like Civ5 (graphics, hex-tiles, music, animations, ...), the expansion-penalty-design of National Wonders was one of the most disappointing game-experiences in 25 years of playing civ and other games ... (I can enjoy Civ5 only when playing a modded version.)

    ... So I do hope that Civ6 will not repeat the design decisions of Civ5 to excessively penalize players for (early) expansion in a 4X-game ... Building Settlers, military units and transfering resources from core cities to new founded/conquered cities usually costs a lot ... it is not necessary to additionally punish the player for early expansion and reward players for delaying expansion until the game is over ...
     
  2. MIS

    MIS Chieftain

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    There have been other threads on this. The basic summary is that we don't know yet, but based on what we have, "wide" may be more beneficial than in Civ5 BNW.
     
  3. Loaf Warden

    Loaf Warden (no party affiliation)

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    I was about to go into a whole rant about how there's no reason not to have a university in Alaska, since we do have real universities in Alaska, and Alaska has a lot of mountains to make a science district attractive . . . but then I realized you were talking about Civ V, not Civ VI, and that the point was less "Alaska" and more that it's a size 1 city far from the core of the empire so it doesn't need a university. Sigh, time for more caffeine, I think. Carry on. :rolleyes:
     
  4. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    It should be a short time punishment to slow down expansion rather than stopping it. It shouls always be good to expand but the restriction should be on the pace.

    All those 4x which relies on fast rather than careful expansion bore me to death.
     
  5. historix69

    historix69 Chieftain

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    @Acken
    The opportunity costs should be balanced : Do I build a settler or do I build a productive building in my core city ... how develops the game if I build first the settler and then the building or vice versa ... if the costs are "balanced", they do not need to invent artifical extra-costs for national wonders.


    The point was about distance to capital, e.g. if you take Washington D.C. and a city in Alaska, and the size of a city ... A University project in Washington is usually independant of the availability of Universities in Alaska ...
     
  6. stiiknafuulia

    stiiknafuulia Chieftain

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    Although it was an ambiguous quote, the existence of the science penalty for more cities in Civ VI is a possibility (the previewer said something like '[if you expand very much] you may not be as technologically advanced'). Other than that though, it seems that the district system would inherently require some more wideness for the typical empire (it wouldn't be fun to build only a few districts during a game; and you need space for wonders as well). Global happiness has been removed as well, which means (according to the devs) that small tundra and desert cities can again be viable additions to the empire (if not powerhouses, due to the low food and low Appeal value of those terrains).

    So... It's not confirmed by any means, but I'd be very surprised if we wouldn't have more cities in Civ VI than we had in Civ V. By how much is anyone's guess... I'm hoping for 10-15 cities in a typical Standard map game where you conquer your own continent but go no further in terms of conquest. More for warmonger games, ofc.
     
  7. Amrunril

    Amrunril Warlord

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    From what we've seen so far, Civ VI seems more favorable to wide play (though the district system will likely reward going tall as well as wide). City size is now limited by three separate mechanics (food, housing and amenities), and global happiness has been removed. That said, we really don't know how the balance will look in practice. After all, despite most of the mechanics you cite being present at release, it took two expansions and many patches for Civ V to reach the tall dominated state we now associate with it.
     
  8. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    What would you do ?
    Most game allowing expansion without constraint fail hard to do that. The reason is simple. You do not get a lead big enough by expanding later rather than right now. Both strategies have to expand but one gets a lot more benefits from its earlier cities.

    Usually the real non penalty limiter comes in the form of external agression which I think is probably a better thing than penalties. But its still not a choice. You stop because otherwise you die.
     
  9. historix69

    historix69 Chieftain

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    For Civ5 in CIV5Worlds.xml there is an overview not only on map-size, players, CS but also on target number of cities :

    Name : size, player/CS -> target num cities
    Duel : 40x24, 2/4 -> 4 cities
    Tiny : 56x36, 4/8 -> 4 cities
    Small : 66x42, 6/12 -> 5 cities
    Std. : 80x52, 8/16 -> 5 cities
    Large : 104x64, 10/20 -> 6 cities
    Huge : 128x80, 12/24 -> 6 cities

    So far the devs have not revealed the target num cities for Civ6 ...
     
  10. Sherlock

    Sherlock Just one more turn...

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    Post of the day.
     
  11. Krajzen

    Krajzen Warlord

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    In Civ5 BNW tall play was overpowered - put 4 cities, stack them to infinity with stuff and bonuses, take Tradition and Rationalism, boring. I'd gladly welcome more pressure to expand this time. In civ5 the only reason to found cities by the late game was securing strategic resources (rarely) or troll enemy by building fortifications at chokepoint.
     
  12. historix69

    historix69 Chieftain

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    Balance Opportunity costs (building a settler, loosing production), extra costs (War?) and Time for Return of Investment (ROI) ...

    Expansion in a game usually is only usefull if there is a return of investment after a certain time, usually depending on the quality of the place to expand to ... or if you need to expand to prevent your competitor from winning by denying him the land, e.g. when the land contains strategical resources.

    In a game like Civ with a limited number of turns, the time for Return of Investment should not be too big since otherwise not expanding is the better strategy ... the ROI-time should actually get smaller due to higher production in core-cities and faster development of new founded cities, (e.g. by rush-buying buildings or due to faster population growth).

    costs in Civ5 are :
    reduced production due to delayed population growth
    production costs for settler
    reduced production when a bonus-building is delayed by building the settler
    loss of boni when a wonder race is lost

    ROI in Civ5 consist of following productions :
    Gold (which can be negative due to upkeep of the new city)
    Science (can be negative with science penalty)
    Production (which is mostly used to further develop the new city)
    Culture (can be negative with culture penalty)
    Faith
    Availability of Strategic and Luxury Resources
    (Gain of strategic positions)

    In Civ1-3, building a settler costed 2 population which was setting back output of core cities for some time depending on growth rate. Since core cities had higher boni for production, science, etc. the loss in production for core cities was higher then for smaller cities which on the other side took longer to produce a settler.

    The opportunity costs to build a settler should be balanced ...

    Note :
    Expansion in Civ-Games is usually limited by map-size as well as population and production are limited by food and production resources on the map ...
     
  13. Human Crouton

    Human Crouton Chieftain

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    It looks like the expansion is limited by the game structure this time rather than by specific expansion limiting or rewarding rules. Expanding is naturally limited by how difficult it is to defend un-stacked cities. My prediction is that this will be the only factor limiting expansion.
     
  14. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    But here you're not adressing the elephant in the room. Both strategies will expand. The one that make this sacrifice early is usually ahead because all its extra cities get a substantial headstart. Unless you either punish it or give a massive bonus to the one that doesn't do that.

    And then you run a high risk of getting the problem you describe in OP where if you give too many bonuses to small, delaying expansion, empire it's no longer worth it.

    Sure we could imagine a scenario where all this is perfectly balanced but it's really not easy.

    Something like costing population is actually the kind of stuff I'm talking about. It slows your expansion by giving you a short term penality but expansion is still your goal. Civ4 also did something similar where if you expand like crazily too soon you get crush by maintenance. Or as said external agression to force you to secure your expansion before getting a new one. These things work.
    War should also be worth it.

    And finally since snowballing out of control is not really fun, smaller empire should be less good but still relevant by offering them catch up mechanics.
     
  15. historix69

    historix69 Chieftain

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    A city's outer ring has 18 tiles which are hard to defend with a small army ... this can be frustrating in the beginning when not only improvements but also districts and buildings are pillaged ...
     
  16. Chinese American

    Chinese American Hamtastic Knight

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    Expansion is naturally halted when you encounter opposing civs. Not only because there is limited space for all civs, but also fear of conquest and losing cities. But in V, the AI barely expands AT ALL. Leaving half the land unoccupied halfway into the game, and only 2 or 3 cities per civ.

    As for defense, their are natural defenses (mountains, shape of the land) and zone of control to slow down invading forces. In VI, finally a Civ game where Forts matter.

    Yeah war in V is undesirable because you don't even want more cities. Not to mention the fact those puppet and annexed cities stack even more maluses on your empire. In previous games, the early game was very exciting. Both to grab and settle more lands, and because of early wars. In V, early wars almost never happen. (Partially because you couldnt take down a city until you had catapults anyway.)

    In short, Civ V balance was all messed in every area.
     
  17. historix69

    historix69 Chieftain

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    This was probably caused by the luxury/happiness-focused strategy of the AI :
    If a good spot nearby with some luxuries did not contain a new luxury, the AI often ignored it since it was probably coded to look for new luxuries ... the human player would exploit the luxuries and trade them ... the AI would send settlers across the map to remote locations with rare luxuries, but would often fail to build a working empire with connected cities unless the free space to settle is very limited and the AI is forced to settle cities close to each other. (In this case often too close ...)
    By trading luxuries with AI, the attractiveness of a potential city location with these luxuries for AI seemed to fade ...

    AI also often tends to sent the first settlers undefended so that they are often captured by barbs (or other players).
     
  18. Atwork

    Atwork Immortal

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    I would venture that it depends on the power of districts. Given that you get one district for every 3 population, would it be better to have 1 city the size of 12 with 6 districts, or better to have 2 cities the size of 6 with 3 districts each?

    Probably depends on various factors that we can only speculate at. We'll know more when we know more.
     
  19. DJ_Tanner

    DJ_Tanner Warlord

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    I think it is very safe to say, Yes.

    To what extent however, there is no info on that. Prior to V expansion had very little downside and it felt they overcompensated a bit too much in V. There will be some tweaking (and local happiness is back already downplaying it) so it should swing back some but we will wait and see.
     
  20. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    Perhaps they can prevent REX while still allowing good expansion by changing settler cost.
    If settlers rapidly got more expensive, you would only expand where you could defend them, because taking a city would be cheaper than building it.

    So say cost of settler=100*(number of cities+ number of settlers you have)

    So you would quickly grab 1 or 2 expansions in prime locations, and then if you wanted to expand more, battle other civs rather than settling second level spots (until midgame, when those other marginal cities become worthwhile.)
     

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