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World Congress Needs More Bite

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by oaks2ninja, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. oaks2ninja

    oaks2ninja Chieftain

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    Hello all,

    Very much enjoying the latest expansion. New civs are great, disasters are neat, new grievance and resource systems are all fun as well. However, I find myself much less excited whenever the World Congress comes around than I expected.

    Some of the resolutions are fine, such as a specific civ not being able to make trade routes or halting the recruitment of a certain type of great people, but I feel most of the resolutions lack bite. By mid game, not getting amenities from a specific luxury or extra trade income don't really have too much of an effect on me or any other civs. I usually throw in a few halfhearted votes just to use some diplo points, but rarely am I too invested in the outcome.


    Anyone else feel the same, or are others pleased with how the system came out?
    Any ideas for more engaging resolutions?
     
  2. Ziad

    Ziad Emperor

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    I think they're just the right level of useful while also being intrusive enough to affect my gameplay. Some are more exciting than others. If I'm not interested in a particular session I just don't spend favor.
     
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  3. Greasy Dave

    Greasy Dave Prince

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    The world congress is a complete waste of space. I can completely ignore it every game, lose every vote and it makes absolutely zero impact on my game. There is no single good reason for it to be in the game. If it wasn't in the expansion you wouldn't notice.

    The problem is, like climate change Firaxis have given it zero teeth. I don't need resolutions to win. Similarly the AI doesn't ever set up any resolutions that might slow me down or cause me to lose. It's rubbish, tbh. I'm pretty disappointed by the expansion. I thought R+F was very good and I bought G+S because I imagined Firaxis would implement these new features in a similar way - a way that they would directly effect the player and he/she wouldn't be able to ignore them. Unfortunately it's the opposite. Both features are flat with zero impact. Neither the world congress nor climate change make any difference to the player either passively or actively.

    Weather happens but that's random -and this is a strategy game. Randomness doens't really have much of a place in decent strategy.
     
  4. gallowsCalibrator

    gallowsCalibrator Chieftain

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    I think one of the issues with World Congress at the moment is with its implementation in general. On the one hand, it's toothless, but adding teeth to a randomized system is a dangerous and possibly frustrating route to take, too. I think for WC to be more effective- or to create the design space that would allow it to be effective without being frustrating- it may need a way to manually propose resolutions yourself. Some kind of hybridization with the host system in five might be a good way to achieve this, though that system has its issues as well. More uses for (and perhaps ways to generate) diplomatic favor is a good idea too, I think.

    One issue I definitely have is that the medieval era is far too early for it to unlock. Even worse than this is being able to interact with unmet civilizations while still not technically having met them; I don't like to be negative, but honestly, that's just idiotic. Perhaps founding the WC could become a manual project for anyone that's met all civilizations, has discovered a certain tech or civic, and is willing to invest gold and influence into creating the world congress? The world congress / UN split could be brought back too, maybe even with the physical headquarters / wonder making an appearance in some way.

    Going along with this idea of a more physical, constructed WC, one concept I've thought of before is the idea of being able to overturn resources and infrastructure directly to the WC itself. For example, later in the game there could be some kind of "International Space Agency" resolution or project; this would allow you to designate spaceports in your empire for international use, granting you diplomatic (and other) rewards in exchange for the physical district itself (if that's too much, perhaps you could still use it for projects, but they'd become more expensive to build?). Overturned resources and funds could also be used to give the WC more teeth, too; imagine creating something like the real-world UN Peacekeepers that you could use to fight warmongers!

    VI could really stand to benefit from a more robust political and diplomatic game; while favor and the WC are steps in a right direction, I think, it could still be much better!
     
  5. megabearsfan

    megabearsfan Prince

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    My complaints with the World Congress are:

    1.) Nobody gets to set an agenda. There is no leader, as there was in Civ V, so the whole things feels meandering and purpose-less. Having alternating leaders selecting specific proposals is probably the best implementation, but barring that, I'd probably be willing to concede to having an extra round of all civs voting for which proposal(s) to bring to the floor.

    2.) Many proposals lack interesting trade-offs. Usually, this is because they target a specific civ, rather than all civs. For example: there's the proposal that lets districts act as a culture bomb for a single civ. Why would you ever pick someone else? I'd much rather that this resolution make one specific district type act as a culture bomb, but it affects all civs.

    3.) Congress isn't tied into diplomacy at all, except through the favor currency. You can't negotiate for another civ to vote for a specific proposal, or denounce them because they voted for something that you didn't like (in general, I dislike that you can't pick a reason for denouncing another civ, but that's a whole other rabbit hole of a topic). Some back-door politics would help add some life and intrigue into the system.

    4.) Diplomatic victory points are back-loaded. One of the problems with Civ V and VI in general is that the steps to any given victory tend to be very back-loaded. Unless you're playing at the highest difficulty settings, you can kind of just grow your empire and expand organically until you have to settle on one victory to pursue over the others (which for me usually happens around Industrial era). There just aren't enough opportunities in GS to earn diplo victory points earlier, which means that early diplo favor isn't as critical as it maybe should be.


    I do want to say some positive things as well:
    Tying the emergencies into the World Congress was a great idea! Being able to react immediately to a crisis situation is about the only time that the WC ever feels like it's doing what it's designed to do. This is a mechanic that I think I would definitely want to keep if the WC were to be radically re-designed. I also like the Diplomatic Favor, and the fact that it comes from multiple sources other than just city state alliances. Building coalitions gives you clout in the congress, and that's a good design. But I feel like these are the only areas in which this iteration of WC surpasses Civ V's.
     
  6. azmundai

    azmundai Chieftain

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    I usually pick someone else because I don't want the guy on my border to get it while at the same time i generally don't care if I get the bonus or not unless there is some iron or horses to snag up.
     
  7. gallowsCalibrator

    gallowsCalibrator Chieftain

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    I definitely agree with this, yeah. And your earlier points / complaints too! I definitely think the host mechanic needs to return in some way, though I'm not sure what the best way to implement it would be. Besides the host, how should other resolutions be proposed? Should it be random civilizations like 5, or should there be, like... co- / sub-hosts somehow? It'd make an interesting concept for trade at least- the host could appoint the co-hosts, and trade / promise that. "If you vote for me to become host, and I win, I'll make you co-host." Something along those lines?

    More and better proposals is a definite need, yeah. As far as more victory point sources and better integration into diplomacy go, I'm not sure- though I do like your thoughts re: denouncement and such. More of that kind of interaction would be great!
     
  8. megabearsfan

    megabearsfan Prince

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    The easiest way to designate host/leader would probably just be Diplomatic Favor. Whoever has the most accrued favor when the Congress session starts gets to select which resolution(s) to propose. Maybe the civ with second-most favor picks the second proposal? The A.I.s would probably need to be programmed to not trade away favor as easily, especially as a Congress session approaches.

    Other than that (if Firaxis doesn't want to just repeat Civ V's mechanics again), there could maybe be an extra round before the actual Congress in which a leader is chosen. Each civ votes for another civ to be host/leader, but you can't vote for yourself. Top vote-getter picks first resolution, and maybe gets a discount towards the cost of votes, the ability to veto a resolution proposed by another player, or some other benefit? [I'm just spit-balling ideas here...] Runner-up picks the second resolution. We could also use favor to vote for leader/host, but it should probably be refunded for the actual Congress votes.

    Being able to negotiate for other civs to vote for you as the host would also be a cool mechanic, especially if there were some way to make promises to them that you'd propose things that would benefit them. Maybe you get grievances if you propose something they oppose? The game would have to make it very clear in the UI which civs favor / oppose which resolutions.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  9. gallowsCalibrator

    gallowsCalibrator Chieftain

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    Hey, spitballing's good! ^^ I do think a more detailed host or leader mechanic would be good; the idea of a veto is definitely an interesting thought to explore.

    One of the bigger complaints about 5's congress I heard often is that it winds up becoming more of an economic victory, through buying city-state allies and other civilizations' delegates, than a uniquely diplomatic one. I think the best thing about 6 is that it definitely took a step in the right direction here- things like the climate accord and disaster relief competitions add to the feeling of truly becoming a leader of the world. Something I keep returning to in my own thoughts (and something I'd potentially like to make a thread for) is the concept of the WC as a more physical, constructed organization- more in line with real-life concepts like the League of Nations and the UN. The first host of the WC would be the one to specifically go out of their way to start it- meeting all civilizations and founding the congress using production, or gold, or favor, so on. The main difficulty with this concept, I think, would be implementing a way to stop the first host from being able to snowball too hard with it, but it's still something I'd like to see explored.

    As far as other host elections, the idea of not being able to vote for yourself is an interesting one. It could be a really cool system, but it'd also need non-congress diplomacy to be fleshed out more, too. Including grievances is a good idea! And, of course- agreed on the UI change / improvement, too.
     
  10. megabearsfan

    megabearsfan Prince

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    Agreed. Which is part of why I like the addition of Diplomatic Favor, and that its primary sources are alliances. Again, I like to stress that coalition-building is what gives you influence in Civ VI's WC, which is a HUGE upgrade from Civ V's. It's just too bad there isn't anything interesting or worthwhile to do with that influence... :/
     
  11. gallowsCalibrator

    gallowsCalibrator Chieftain

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    More interesting and usable Resolutions- and more features for the WC itself- would definitely help with this issue, but here's an extra thought, too. One thing I'd love to see is an expansion to the political side of Civ 6- ideally, a new Alliance system, and more interesting and customizable Governments. Diplomatic favor could be used for either of these! Though, I'm not sure if DF is the best currency to represent internal favor too... using Favor gained from suzerainties and the like to alter / upgrade your own government could be kinda weird, I guess. :p

    On the note of Alliances at least- DF could be used to upgrade (or at least rush) the acquisition of new Alliance levels and abilities. Alliances could be made more flexible this way, too- instead of the distinct "religious, scientific, cultural, etc" Alliance types, there'd be a way to choose more unique partnerships and benefits. Later on, you could develop multi-civilization Alliances (Leagues? Ententes?) with more complex and powerful features, too! And of course, the WC could be integrated into this as well.
     
  12. RaphaelMart

    RaphaelMart Chieftain

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    I agree with it all!

    But I thought in something different for the agenda problem...


    When you put the leader ability on the strongest diplomatic player you have a mechanic that reinforces the snowbally nature of the game and I think it's not very interesting.

    I like your second idea, however, where everyone votes to choose a leader for that session.

    But, I thought that if we would have another voting session, it would be more or less like this:

    First, all nations pour their diplomatic favor on resolutions of their preference according to their interests like it is today but they could select any resolution that is available for that specific era (including competitions maybe).

    In the end of this first round, the 2 or 3 most voted resolutions are up to the actual session. This would be defined by the total votes counting both the positive and negative sides of each.

    Who voted on elected resolutions preserve their votes and don't have any favor back. Who voted on other resolutions get all favor back.

    At the second round, all nations votes for the elected resolutions like we already do today. The civs that voted the first round cannot take back their votes but could spend more favor to reinforce their choices if they have received some favor back from another "lost" resolution.

    From now on, everything goes as it is.
    ----

    For example, in a scenario where there are only 3 civs and only one resolution can pass, just for ilustrative purposes:

    First round, all resolutions of that era are available:

    1) Civ A votes 3 times for +100% production cost for units. Civ B votes 2 times for -50% faith cost for units. And Civ C votes 4 times for enhancing amenities from duplicates of cotton.

    2) Civ A and Civ B both voted for the same resolution in different sides, but it pass, because it received 5 votes total.

    3) Civ A and Civ B get their votes preserved for next round and Civ C get its favor back.
    ----
    Second round, only the elected resolution (the mercenary one) is available:

    4) Civ A have no more favor to spend, but have their 3 votes for 100% production cost preserved.

    5) Civ B decides to spend 50 more favor to put 2 more votes on -50% faith cost for units and now it has 4 votes total from the same civ but from different moments.

    6) Civ C decides to vote their 4 times on 100% gold cost.

    ----
    Results are decided just like it is now:

    7) The +100% cost side was chosen by A (3 times) and C (4 times) = 7 votes.

    8) The -50% cost side was chosen only by B (4 times total) = 4 votes. The other side wins.

    9) Civ A voted for production 3 times but civ C voted for gold 4 times, so gold wins and the resolution "+100% gold cost for units" is enacted for the next 30 turns.

    Maybe it's a bit overcomplicated but it permits a lot more agency for the players with no much harming to the new mechanic logic chosen by firaxis for civ 6 World Congress..
     
  13. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    I don't mind the randomness of the proposed resolutions, though sometimes I am tired of continuous Nobel Prizes whenever Sweden is in the game.
    I wouldn't mind though if you could pick from a set of options in the game setup such as:
    1. Random Resolutions
    2. Host or Leader mechanic like some above suggested to where the one with the most Diplo Favor or leader of Diplo Victory gets to pick resolutions.
    3. An alternate mix of both: One session might be random resolutions while the next would be like number 2.
     
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  14. Jarms48

    Jarms48 Prince

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    I would like to see founding the World Congress require player involvement, such as:
    - Unlocked at Diplomatic Service.
    - Researching Diplomatic Service unlocks the World Congress project.
    - The first player to complete the World Congress becomes the founder, they get +1 Diplomatic Favour in their capital and are guaranteed to be the first host. The founder triggers the World Congress for all Civilisations they have met.
    - After the first session any new Civilisations the founder has met, or any of the previous attendees, also join the World Congress and are “introduced” to any Civilisations they haven’t met at the next session. This keeps repeating until all Civilisations join the World Congress.

    This would delay the introduction of the World Congress and promote players to invest into founding it if they are going for a DV. This also penalises Civilisations who don’t invest in exploration as they might miss out on the first few sessions.
    - Researching Ideology unlocks the United Nations project.
    The first player to complete the United Nations becomes the founder, they get 1 DV point and are guaranteed to be the first host. The World Congress is then renamed to the United Nations, it unlocks additional resolutions and the time between sessions is reduced by 25% (sessions become more frequent).
    Things I would also do:
    - The host can choose between 3 random proposals and additional proposals are chosen at random as they are now.
    - New hosts are chosen by which ever Civilisation has produced the most Diplomatic Favour between each session.

    That’s just my 2 cents.

     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
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  15. Patine

    Patine Deity

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    Considering the RL League of Nations and United Nations were so very often toothless lions - big, bold declarations, but so often little concrete results when push came to shove - I'm not so sure I agree with that. Plus, even though it was WAY more heavy-handed and hammer-like, I still have unpleasant memories of MOO2's Galactic Congress mechanism (I don't know if Sid Meier or Brian Reynalds, themselves, were part of MOO2's development at all, but they were big players and major factors in MPS at the time it was made and released).
     
  16. Infixo

    Infixo Deity

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    @Jarms48 There is a risk that someone would get to Diplo Service and unlock WC when only meeting few civs. I would still require meeting all civs to create this project. Also, this project would give +1 DVP, so whoever is interested in DiploVic would actually build it asap.
     
  17. acluewithout

    acluewithout Deity

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    I basically like the WC as it is. Particularly the random resolutions and how diplo favour works.

    I’d like it to be triggered by something - eg building the Apostolic Palace - rather than being automatic. And I’d like a way to “upgrade” it by building the UN building.

    I’d also like the “second round” voting (or non-voting, really) to be reworked. And the game could use more emergencies - that would also help balance out a little more that you can’t actively propose resolutions generally.
     
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  18. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    If diseases do make it into the main game I would like there to be a "Pandemic" emergency where you have to work together to fight off a disease from spreading across the globe.
     
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  19. Phoenix1595

    Phoenix1595 Lord of the Two Lands

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    I agree with the above in regards to the lack of political intrigue behind the WC— the way it works now is like flying blinding into the night without any idea what or how the AI will vote. The diplomatic favor option, while interesting, is too intangible and unwieldy to use as a proxy for the older process of actually negotiating with civs for votes. Global politics is still politics, and one should be able to negotiate and cajole potential allies for votes prior to a final vote.

    The process should be broken up into two round. First, the civs should vote on which proposals to vote on. Then, wait a turn before a final second yay-of-nay vote that determines whether the proposal passes. During the turn, the player has an opportunity to trade-screen negotiate with the other civs for their support.

    Hopefully, the designers are still playing around with the diplomatic favor mech to make it a more useful tool for the WC.
     
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