1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Will Civ6 punish players for expansion?

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

  1. aggri1

    aggri1 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Messages:
    399
    It seems to me that since there are people that like many cities and others that like few, a good game should facilitate either style of play. So one needs to ensure that neither approach is penalised, for example with stupidly arbitrary Civilization-wide 'corruption', or happiness penalties, or science penalties, or build costs which increase with city count (what the **?!). I particularly hated Civ IIIs corruption, 'cause there was little you could do about it if you wanted to expand your empire.

    But then, how to allow a Civ with few cities to compete with a Civ with many cities?

    Well, I think Colonization has a nice approach to the problem. You have a limited number of citizens **, and how you employ them is up to you. You can keep them all in the capital and build a 'tall' Civ, or you can send them out to establish new small villages. If you send out a dude to a new location, he's probably going to be less efficient (initially) than were he to stay in the big city with its improved infrastructure, but he might be gathering an important resource. I have had all sorts of fun Col' games where I've built up small but powerful industrial empires, others involving large numbers of farming villages which exist solely to gather resources, etc...

    (** I'm not advocating arbitrary population limits! But perhaps a slower growth rate so the population itself becomes important. And military units are population too - like in Col' - so you always have trade-offs and decisions to make).

    Importantly, there must be no arbitrary penalty for settling a new location, as there traditionally has been with Civ games.

    There should also not be arbitrary bonuses, e.g. the free production and food you get from the city square, or arbitrary trade route commerce just because the city exists. Maintenance should depend on population only, not on how that population is distributed.

    If the penalties and freebies can largely be eliminated, then the tricky 'balancing' problem, which is really nothing more than dealing with symptoms of an underlying issue, is obsolete, unnecessary.

    Some very interesting ideas in this thread everyone! Cheers!
     
  2. Magil

    Magil Monarch

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,618
    Punishing expansion isn't about catering to people who like small empires. People who like small empires should just play on small maps. Punishing expansion is about creating interesting decisions--more cities should always be more power, but there needs to be a trade-off to that power or else it's a no-brainer to spam nonstop Settlers (like in say Civ III). Ideally, I like the idea that a new city is a drain on your empire, but with a little work it becomes a net gain. The key is balancing the work so it doesn't take dozens and dozens of turns to go from drain to gain (this was the case in V: BNW, because the penalty for a new city was so harsh).
     
  3. aggri1

    aggri1 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Messages:
    399
    Agree with that!
    Disagree with this. Or rather, would refine it to say that "more population should always be more power". Specifically, having ten cities at size 1 should be not give more 'power' than one city of size 10, but certainly an empire with 100 citizens should be more powerful than an empire with 50 (but productivity should also play a part). If population (multiplied by productivity), and not the number of cities, becomes the main basis for power, then you can choose to play 'wide' or 'tall', however you like and whatever is appropriate for the map and other circumstances.

    Then you don't have to 'balance', ideally, which always involves tradeoffs and assumptions - some of which won't hold for certain playstyles. And then we're back to a 'one right way to win' game...
     
  4. Magil

    Magil Monarch

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,618
    Well, ideally you should always grow your cities as much as you can, but as long as there are population caps it's going to become more efficient at some point to settle new cities. VI appears to be doing this to some extent, as we know housing will act as a soft-cap to population growth.

    I just don't see growing cities and settling cities to be competing interests. They were in vanilla V, but that's because global happiness was such a brutal mechanic. It was a bit of an oddity.

    Still, land is power. Cities claim land. If you place too much emphasis on the growing side of the game and not the expansion, then naturally land becomes less important, which seems to conflict with their stated design goal of "making the map the star" and interesting decisions based on geography.
     
  5. Pepo

    Pepo Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Messages:
    313
    Tall shouldn't be as viable as wide . not only is impossible to be able to do is without making tall stronger as it requires less investment, but also because there is no argument to be make that a small civ should be able to compete with a larger one
     
  6. ProMeTheus112

    ProMeTheus112 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Grenoble, France
    I think it should definitely not be binary, "tall vs wide". If you CAN go wider, it should be a good course of actions in a lot of cases, as taller should be. So in the end your civilization would likely be tall and wide in different spots, not so tall or wide in some spots depending on opportunities and your strategies and the course of the game... it makes sense if there are drawbacks to being too tall or too wide, there should be (and can overcome them to an extent). But it would be really weird if making a choice to go really tall and not wide at all would be a consistently good choice, it should be situational, because it is an extreme configuration and a very small spectrum of the array of possibilities available! Just like going extremely wide and not tall at all is. In some cases playable and good, but in a lot of cases a combination of both better!
     
  7. sugerdady87

    sugerdady87 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Settlers should be lot more expensive than it was in Civ5 and cities should be significantly weaker, like how it is in CivBE, forcing you to defend with more troops as opposed to only few archers successfully holding off an invasion. That way, a smaller empire who rushes out 12 units could crush a rapidly expanding Civ.

    Barbarians should be a lot more powerful and smarter as well.

    The only penalty for expansion should be the diplomatic cost of other people getting upset and declaring war. If you're mad, come take my land; And if I have the military might, I should be able to take more land. I don't like any of these per-city penalties or having cities be a "drain on your empire."
     
  8. Seek

    Seek Chieftain Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    3,410
    In 4x games there is a concept called "snowballing" where the more cities you have the earlier, the more likely you'll be to dominate. There has to be a limit on expansion or else the game is decided in the classical era. Why is this so hard to understand? I'm not disagreeing that civ 5's *balance* could use some work, but if you want to see a game that doesn't have important limits to expansion, look no further than BE.

    Limitation ≠ punishment.
     
  9. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Warlord

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Messages:
    5,507
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Novosibirsk, Russia
    That's true. But limitations could be very different.

    I'm totally agree with early expansion limit, so some early buildings should give huge bonuses. I'm against limiting expansion as a whole, so large empire don't have access to some things (like large cities and national wonders in Civ5).

    I like if snowballing is limited, so each new city adds less to total output. I dislike systems where adding more cities could actually decrease global outputs.

    etc.
     
  10. sugerdady87

    sugerdady87 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    So? :confused:
     
  11. CivScientist

    CivScientist Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Messages:
    125
    I don't know. I think CiV is a better game because you have to make those decisions. The game is really about the difficult decisions you have to make. Imagine being able to settle unhindered and build expensive National Wonders at the same time. Then there would be no real choice. You do everything you can that gives you an advantage and no less because to do less would be pointlessly hurting your chances of winning. But what's the fun in that?

    Understand, for those who prefer playing tall empires, the choice is no less easy. The tall empire has to often give up choice land in favour of keeping neighbours friendly. But, it's this choice that makes the game interesting.
     
  12. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Warlord

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Messages:
    5,507
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Novosibirsk, Russia
    The choice is good. And I actually like the part where national wonder cost goes up the more cities you have - quite great alternative to unlimited early expansion.

    The problem is - with that much limits on expansion it actually removes choice after you have 3-4 cities as further expansion is not viable in Civ5.

    EDIT: And as I said earlier, the question "to expand or not to expand" shouldn't be stated like this as expansion requires effort. It should be something like "expand or build national wonder" or something like this.
     
  13. alexanderyou

    alexanderyou Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2016
    Messages:
    82
    If you guys haven't played the Anno Domini mod for civ V, I recommend trying it out. It encourages some expansion by having resources only obtainable in certain terrain, clay can only be gotten on rivers, etc. I like this because many buildings required resources like these, so I think with the districts in Civ VI they could be doing something similar as one city won't be able to do everything.
     
  14. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Warlord

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Messages:
    5,507
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Novosibirsk, Russia
    By default, expansion doesn't need encouragement, quite opposite. It's Civ5 crazy limits made expansion less viable.
     
  15. Seek

    Seek Chieftain Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    3,410
    So if what you suggested earlier is true:

    Then the first player to place a large number of cities will win the game. More cities = more science, hammers and gold = better tech, more units and bigger economy = military dominance. So that player will just rampage the map and no other players will be able to compete. In other words, the player will snowball.

    I see where you're coming from, and while it sounds good in theory it just doesn't work in practice. Again, look to BE for a good example, or Civ 5 vanilla at release.
     
  16. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    5,635
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QC, Canada
    Civ5 balance is not as far off as some posters make it out to be. It has been proven countless times that a 7-8 cities game on standard size is as or almost as competitive as the boring 4 city tradition game.

    The problem though is more on the ease of pulling it off as you need the right conditions and better understanding of the game. Small empire in civ5 always work. Relaxing hapiness constraint a bit and removing AI dichotomic behavior (love you if youre small, hate you if youre big) is enough.

    Besides that, the main reason why small empires are so successful in civ5 is because wide empires do not benefit from their main advantage : production. I am perfectly fine with small empires having the same tech rate as wider ones (although if the game was longer, wider empire would definetly beat 4 city games in civ5). I think it's an area where they should be equal.
    However, there is simply not enough pressure on the player. The main risk of running a small empires should be being eaten by a more powerful one. But the AI is barelyagressive in BNW and 1UPT allows small armies of player units to beat large AI ones.

    What Id want of civ6 :
    1. Relax wide constraint a bit so that putting one extra city doesn't completely shut you down.
    2. Keep the tech balance between the two.
    3. Increase the difficulty of preserving a small empire.

    Now Rex is a totally different issue. Civ5 promotes Rex for both strategy. That is mostly because there is nothing really worth it to do instead of making settlers in the very early game. The second reason is that settlers "always" make weak 1 pop cities. A solution would be to give an option to have late game settlers better with free pop or free buildings. Also internal trade route could be a way to bring them up.
     
  17. Socrates99

    Socrates99 Bottoms up!

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,221
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Michigan
    Let me just put this out there in defense of the Devs because I have talked about how I hated the expansion penalties.

    The per city science penalty was added at the same time as trade routes. I'm fairly certain the penalty was put in place to balance internal food routes rather than to directly balance TvW. With an internal food route it was easy to boost pop of a new city pretty quickly. Without the penalty REX would have been pulling record SV turn times. I get why they did it.

    The downside is it really favored small empires in multiple ways. Focusing your population in the city with the NC produced more beakers than splitting that pop into two or more cities. Trade routes had a hard cap. Small empires got relatively close to the same income from trade and city connections barely covered maintenance if you fully developed your "wide" empire's cities. That meant "wide"empires generally earned less gpt but needed more money for gold buying buildings to keep pace. Add in the fact that the science penalty made internal trade routes necessary and the lower trade income was even more pronounced.

    At least those were my observations trying to play wide post-BNW. Maybe if trade scaled with number of cities it might not have been so bad? I don't mean 1 per city but maybe 1 per 4 cities or something...
     
  18. sugerdady87

    sugerdady87 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Right. So the cost of rapid expansion should be aggressive neighbors who can easily take your land. That is what I believe should be the "limit on expansion." Settlers being a lot more expensive, significantly weaker cities and much better/smarter barbarians should be enough. In CivBE, the A.I. simply sucked and everyone was way too isolated.
     
  19. Socrates99

    Socrates99 Bottoms up!

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,221
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Michigan
    But still once you overcome all of that its game over and you're just clicking next turn until the end of the game. Sometimes that can be 100+ turns.
     
  20. Magil

    Magil Monarch

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,618
    Yes, but it's a larger problem then you state. You can get by with a larger empire in V, and if you try hard enough, make it almost as efficient as the Tradition 4-city strategy--but it isn't worth it. A small empire is easier to defend and manage than a larger one, so it should be less rewarding, not more. The risk-reward ratio is off.

    There's also the fact that the whole wide vs tall thing is crap, and we shouldn't be okay with small empires automatically being as good as large ones. Maybe you can make a small empire work, but it shouldn't be handed to you on a silver platter like it is in V, with tradition policies practically telling you how to play the game.

    Not to mention, land is power, and it's extremely un-Civ-like to me to see huge expanses of land unsettled in the midgame. I feel that players should be encouraged to grab as much land as they can early on, and then decide from there what to do with the land they have--build up to take more by force, or focus inward to develop and make what you do have stronger than anyone else.

    In V, you simply don't gain enough from war to make it worth the hassle most of the time. You usually declare war not to claim better land, but purely to hinder a rival. I don't like that. The game doesn't encourage the human player to dispute territory, despite that being a key part of both the Civilization franchise and history. I notice more and more in V, when humans play against the AI, the AI is almost always the aggressor, because the human player knows they won't be rewarded for aggression and the AI is programmed to be dumb for the human player's benefit.

    Small empires should not be as good as large ones because that removes an incentive to get bigger. It's one less "interesting decision" to be made--the trade-offs of a military campaign to take land from an opponent against focusing on economy to make your land better.
     

Share This Page