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Will Civ6 punish players for expansion?

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

  1. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    But you're somewhat repeating the same thing in the end. Smaller empires are not as good as larger ones assuming both are unhindered (since I've also already aknowledged that wide is harder and shouldn't be).

    If happiness is made easier AND the AI has no special agressivity against wide it is a total fantasy that small 4 city tradition is better. Why ? Because with it in the game the playstyle is already as good with favorable conditions. The problem as stated is that wider empire have no use for their extra production because the AI leaves you alone which should be the main point of getting one. Being less at risk. I totally disagree that a wide empire should eclipse you in all areas (culture/science on top of production) which is just my opinion for a saner game.

    War being rewarding has more to do with happiness once again and warmonger hate. Getting extra cities without these being an issue would be worth it. Especially if you slow down the game a bit. The pace of civ5 science wise is too fast to allow a lot of room for conquest. As for midgame expansion it's also a point I have adressed.

    I personally prefer playing wider game anyway but I feel the civ5 balance perspective is really distorted in this thread by players that have really no idea.
     
  2. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    Happiness is not the issue--it really hasn't been since Gods and Kings, when a properly-built religion will eliminate any happiness issues for a wide empire anyway. And the AI can crack down on expansion all they want. It really is just the science penalty (and to a lesser extent, national wonders and various bonuses that don't scale on a per-city basis). The science penalty is what makes a new city (or a conquered city) a burden rather than a boon--happiness is a small hurdle for a conqueror but it can be overcome in the midgame and is a non-issue in the late game. Problem is, by the late game, the science penalty is so huge (because it's %-based and the tech costs are so big) that it's just a terrible idea to shoot yourself in the foot like that.

    Frankly, I don't think this is even in dispute. ICS was the dominant strategy in both vanilla and Gods and Kings. In vanilla happiness was even more of a concern, but ICS ruled. When Gods and Kings came out not only did happiness become a practical non-issue due to religion, but religion even favored ICS play because faith is entirely a per-city resource that has no % modifiers and no direct scaling with population. More cities equals more faith, period.

    Mechanics that unduly favor small empires just feel like dumb handicaps to me. Naturally there should be some kind of check against expansion, but that's the kind of thing that should be something you can overcome via development. As you noted, the science pace in BNW is too fast to overcome the science handicap that extra cities place on you, which is a whole different issue that people here probably won't want to get into (it concerns 1UPT and how it's a bad thing for a Civ game).

    As for a saner game--this is a 4X empire-building game. If you fail to build an empire you lose. That seems perfectly sane to me. Now at lower difficulty levels the AI might trip over itself and you'll win anyway, but at any serious level it's natural that you need land to translate into power in order to secure victory.
     
  3. CivScientist

    CivScientist Chieftain

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    There are two problems with having the only penalty of REXing being pissed off neighbours who attack you:
    1. An enemy Civ can't really attack worth a darn and that's a problem that's not really solvable due to technology constraints. And, even so, this won't be much of a problem if you happen to get an isolated start with lots of land and few Civs around you.
    2. Fundamentally, you need an obstacle that grows as a function of how fast you expand such that faster, more aggressive expansion is met ever growing head winds. Without this, successful REXing is just a matter of mitigating the negative effects and REXing well beyond the point of critical speed. Angry AIs just don't cut it since it's their armies that's the real obstacle and armies don't just double and triple in the classical era because their leader is doubly mad at you now.

    Could you elaborate on how making large empires always better than small ones increases the number of "interesting decisions" to be made? I'd say it would be the opposite. If large empires are the obvious choice, then there's no choice to be made. You just build settlers (and later on armies) over most buildings every time (hyberbole, I know, but not far off).

    CivBE is actually a good example of a game where large empires are clearly better than small empires. I can tell you there it's a real problem. Playing the game with the intent to win is like following a script. If city building queues were unlimited in size, I could literally set the city building queue at city's inception and never need to look inside the city again.
     
  4. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    Hapiness is not an issue ? That s news to me. You re not guaranteed a religion to begin with. Can you please show us a 7 or 8 city game where someone gets good results with little access to luxuries and mercantile CS ? Ive tried and this is where the playstyle has the most issues in civ5 with also neighbour agression.
    But to be honest just increasing the length of the game and culture aquisition kinda fix the issue if you allow the player to take more policies before rationalism. Rationalism and the lack of SP balance is one of the major flaws of civ5 that has ramificatioms in many areas.

    The science penalty makes later expansion not worth it. Not early ones. I agree its an issue but since global happiness is being removed they will probably keep it in the game in order to still have some global effect from expansion. Making it a bit easier to make late game cities could then be a good idea like they did in cbp.
     
  5. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    You're oversimplifying things a lot. Large is better, but you can't really actually expand nonstop doing nothing but building Settlers. You might have one city dedicated to building nothing but Settlers until the initial landgrab is over--but I don't really see such a problem with that.

    Yes, more should always be better. More land, more power, more buildings, more population, etc. There should be two checks--barbarians are there to keep you honest to start, you can't just spam unescorted settlers out into the wilderness. In Civ IV it was also actually -faster- to expand by mixing in some workers to assist with chops too. Mechanics like that keep things interesting. And then, once the initial land-grab phase is over, you have to consider: can I win the game with the land I have? How much will it cost me to get more? What's the diplomatic situation? But the option of getting more land should be there--and it should be a boon. If it's NOT a boon, it's because you've judged that you can win with what you got in the land grab phase and it's not economical to expand outwards (attacking a neighbor, most likely). That is a strategic decision, not one the game rules force upon you.

    If you put effort into getting a religion and aren't playing at the topmost difficulty levels you can get one. True, if you don't manage to get a religion then happiness is a concern--but religion is so important to anyone who wants to REX you should be putting resources towards it.

    You know, other Civs had different methods for penalizing expansion other than an arbitrary %-based science penalty. I'd prefer they used one of those. Or came up with something new.
     
  6. ClavisRa

    ClavisRa Chieftain

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    There is a fundamental design problem if the game requires adding a mechanic that directly punishes a player for expansion. Adding a city should not have an inherent negative impact on the empire. The need for such a mechanic is indicative of other elements being out of balance; it's a kludge at best.

    The problem with earlier versions of Civ is that starting a new city was almost always the most efficient thing to do, because of the massive return on investment.

    My hope is that in Civ 6 players will invest in new cities to get resources, control trade, grow population, get production, spread religion, develop culture, etc. But mere population itself will not be a net positive, you have to direct it and protect it.

    Balance costs appropriately and Civs should experience periods of expansion, and other periods with almost none as they direct energies elsewhere.
     
  7. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    To be perfectly clear my post was not to say they should do like civ5. It was to make things straight. When people say the balance is completely off and only 4 city works they are just flat out wrong.

    I'm not sure levels where you can do whatever and win are the best example of wide having troubles. Thank you for telling me religion is important ;)

    That being said I'll argue there is even less problem playing wide on lower difficulties so I'm not sure why you pick it as your benchmark :crazyeye:
     
  8. gfeier

    gfeier Chieftain

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    I like large empires in Civ V. On Prince level, I usually wind up with 30-40 cities.
     
  9. Socrates99

    Socrates99 Bottoms up!

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    Huge map right? The penalties are lessened on huge. There is still a point where adding cities stops being beneficial even on a huge map though. Sometimes its even detrimental.

    I don't mind if they stop being beneficial for science or culture. I do mind that adding a city to grab a resource, set up as a trade location, set up as a military outpost, etc can push my win time back. That's what I think irks most people about the penalties.
     
  10. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    Late expansion suffer from the time constraint mostly. They take too long for marginal benefits. City catch up mechanic could help that. Many options there... trade routes, better settlers, cheaper rush buys etc.

    There is a problem of scale too. Until your city has all the up to date science buildings and the pop, it just doesn't really contribute and getting all this is slow or very expansive.
     
  11. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    Well, I'm not exactly talking about Chieftain here. Up through Emperor you should be able to get a religion if you push for it! It's not guaranteed, but it's pretty high up there. Heck, if I have -any- intention of going wide I'll probably pick a Civ that gets an early-game faith bonus just because it's -so- important for a "wide" strategy. Immortal can be around 50-50 depending on what other Civs are in the game, and Deity is much more dicey.

    Faith and religion are the reasons why ICS remained dominant in Gods and Kings despite efforts to nerf it! So yes, it's very important--I wasn't intended to be condescending or anything, just stressing that it's much much more valuable for a wide strategy than it is a tall one. It's another good example of needing more effort to make a large empire work, despite the lack of real payoff.
     
  12. historix69

    historix69 Chieftain

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    If you slowly increase (e.g. double) the Tech Costs for later eras, the game will last longer and more cities will be an option. It is to a large amount the pacing of Civ5 which lets people stick to their 4 cities and do not expand. You can hardly build all the buildings you get from one tech in the short time you need to research the next tech. This leads to many "interesting decisions" since you have to prioritize between science, production, culture, happiness, growth, ... and expansion . You can increase science output by building the newest science buildings in your 4 cities but if this is not enough to finish the game before time runs out, you need to think about expansion. Standard game lasts 500 turns but if players finish it before turn 250 (guess), there is room for higher tech costs and expansion ...

    On the other side higher Tech costs may destroy the sensitive balance for "interesting decisions" (= the Holy Grail of Game Design) since you could build all the stuff from a tech and maybe also some military units for war or a settler before the next tech is researched. (If you can build all, it is no longer an "interesting decision".) ... If you run out of build options, you could turn your production to Gold, which allows you to rush buy things in less developed cities or the things from a newly aquired tech in one of the core cities, like buying 3 factories in the turn when you discover Industrialization. Expansion and Rush Buying may speed up development of your civ and will partly compensate for the higher Tech costs ...
     
  13. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Global happiness bleeds into all of it. If you're doing a parity --> production stomp type strategy and just keeping cities en masse', it's still happiness that's constraining. Same deal with aggressive neighbors. In principle, you could just conquer someone rather than straight liberty expanding to 6-8 or more cities.

    Late game cities don't just suffer from slowing your tech, they tag your happiness. That constrains growth in more efficient (IE has better multipliers) cities while giving you almost nothing. In civ 4 it was reasonable to make newish cities productive almost immediately under the right conditions (strong corporation or state property). Even in Civ 5 if you could reliably ignore happiness as a constraint via a consistent investment you could grow new cities fast and put minimal infrastructure and they would be productive.

    I could picture something like commerce --> cash rush food rollover buildings and carpet trade post to make cities that can grow to 15+ without tanking happiness pretty strong even with the tech penalty, similar concept on production-based cities. You'd need more SP balance and reasonable happiness interaction though.
     
  14. x2Madda

    x2Madda Chieftain

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    Really Acken? Really? Have you not seen the complaints about Civ5? the Steam Workshop for Civ5? This is a common, constant problem when it comes to discussion regarding Civ(insert latest edition here) :lol:

    I mean, I agree with you 100% but I also acknowledge that many people do not know how to play Civ5 optimally. Like, at all. Years of multiplayer have attuned me to the fact that some players think rushing the great library rather than building a 2nd city and sending food between them is still 'the ultimate' way to play and will prematurely declare victory upon gaining it, only to find themselves over-run by soldiers on their borders and without any hammers to do anything about it :lol:
    Or;
    The threads about Piety being a very good opener if and I quote "you know what you are doing".
    Or;
    The topics about how tradition needs buffs (On steam forums).

    Civ(5) is a very open game that welcomes everybody, just like democracy and just like democracy, everyone thinks their opinion has equal or greater weight than everybody else. :lol:

    In all seriousness, I like the fact Civ5 is unbalanced. I don't find the community balance patch to be fun, it just slows down the pace of the game without introducing any new, exciting mechanics. Chess is a wonderfully balanced game but it doesn't attract the same quantity of people and lively, active discussion that Civ games do.

    Well, outside of the 'which player goes first has an advantage" debacle :lol: but i'm getting off topic here. :crazyeye:

    I hope Civ6 is slightly unbalanced as I would otherwise miss the mud-flinging :lol:
     
  15. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    If you don't have a semblance of balance, you don't have meaningful choices wrt the mechanics that lack it. They become rote/mundane actions where you click the same option.

    Acken had to go to pretty significant lengths just to get liberty close to tradition, and yet it needs special conditions for even that. Both apparently destroy the other openers, excepting stuff like "conquer SP Pangaea with horse archers" which opens honor.

    When you have an option where in SP you can pick it every time, have it usually be optimal and almost never have a significant opportunity cost, you have something that is approaching false choice (not quite there with tradition, but close).

    So when do you pick piety or honor first in MP? If the answer is "never", then in MP they might as well not be available on first SP choice list. They appear in your UI, but it would make no difference if they didn't. You don't have to think about them at all anymore because you know they'll never benefit you at that stage.

    Honor is particularly difficult to balance as an early choice (make it too strong and it quickly tilts into being the only option), but in principle piety shouldn't be as hard.
     
  16. qwerty25

    qwerty25 Chieftain

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    Okay so looking at most of these posts, we generally want both of these?

    1. An additional city should always benefit the civilization (but can have lower rewards)
    2. Small empires should have a chance against larger empires (through random sp and national wonder bonuses) edit: and to prevent snowballing

    Aren't these two goals mathematically impossible to fulfill at the same time? Which is why civ 5 tended to one or another depending on the patch.

    Unless you introduce a separate resource(reward) that each play style can maximize (like how they're separating culture and science for wide and tall respectively in civ 6)
     
  17. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    Actually, as a general rule, I'd say not so much--except in the case that the larger empire has made some strategic error, i.e. paid too much to get large. And if the large empire sacrifices development for size, then they should fall behind until such a time where they "catch up" in development. It's not just owning land that's important, it's working and developing land. But if an empire is larger and is growing its cities, improving its land, building up its infrastructure, then it should surpass empires that are half the size, yes.

    Small empires shouldn't get a bonus just because they are small. If a smaller power is relevant, it should be because of an advantage it earned through superior strategic gameplay, not because the game rules favor staying small.
     
  18. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Neither 1 nor 2 are correct. 1 is closer to correct than 2.

    Overexpansion/fast expansion should be punishable, but being large should have a significant advantage all else being equal. That way, you have incentive to expand and contest land, something Civ 5 often lacked. The cost of contesting the land should make other choices at least potentially more useful, so the player has to evaluate his position and make the correct choice, rather than having no real choice.

    Civ 4 was much, much better at this aspect of gameplay than Civ 5, because the decision on where/when to cut off expansion against maintenance and military defense was less frequently trivial. It had its own problems (land quality game-over being more frequent and pre-collateral RNG come to mind), but in terms of the expansion limiters it remains way ahead of any iteration of Civ 5.
     
  19. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    Whcih is why id argue for a relaxation of the global hapiness mechanic. The trouble with the expansion limiter in civ5 is that a bad expansion can just kill your game. Which is a problem, especially as argued for less experienced players.
    Small game are indeed easier as aknowledged multiple times.

    But the problem is exactly that local mechanic having empire wide harsh consequences : happiness. Rather than all limiters. The problem though is that you have to come up with something else if you want to slow it down otherwise its like civbe where you must rush out your settlers.
     
  20. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    I think the idea is you should have to spend significantly to Get large.

    If settlers cost 300 hammers (+100 for each additional city you have)

    Then REX will not be a good strategy, even if that settler gave you a bonus with no happy/science penalties

    You could also make cities slow to develop (every population point costs 80 food)...so it might be worthwhile building up the capital rather than expanding.

    Then to ensure the map doesn't stay empty, later techs/policies can make settlers cheaper/start with more pop/buildings.
     

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