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[GS] World Congress Voting Mechanism Is Flawed?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by returnofbabylon, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. returnofbabylon

    returnofbabylon Chieftain

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    Apologies if someone has posted about this elsewhere. I thought this was a problem based on the streams but wanted to actually play GS a little before bringing it up. Unless I'm missing something, I don't think the way the WC tallies votes makes sense.

    Imagine a game with Macedon, Mali, and Russia, and no one else (for simplicity's sake). The WC resolution comes up that allows you to make producing military units cheaper/more expensive for a particular currency.

    Mali is planning a war with Macedon, and is rolling in gold. They're planning to purchase an army and don't anticipate any problems on that front, so they vote to make it harder for Macedon to make units. They put all their favor into making units more expensive with production, and can cast 10 votes.

    Macedon is likewise planning a war with Mali. They have several high-production cities, so they decide to vote to make it harder for Mali to purchase units. All their favor goes into making units more expensive with gold, and they can cast 11 votes.

    Russia is on a different landmass entirely, and is planning on going on a city-state conquering spree. They've built the Grand Master's Chapel and have lots of faith, and they want to make it easier to faith-buy their army. They put all their favor into making units cheaper with faith, and can cast 20 votes.

    What should happen: I think this is fairly straightforward and intuitive. Russia should win. They're putting almost double the votes into their desired outcome as the other two outcomes are getting. Macedon and Mali should get their favor refunded. Simple.

    What happens currently: The game acts like there are two rounds of voting happening, even though there is only one. It first decides whether units will become cheaper or more expensive; in doing so, it construes Mali and Macedon as being on the same side of this initial vote, even though overall they have diametrically opposed objectives. It then decides which currency to apply the change to - Macedon has submitted one more vote than Mali, so the result will be that units become more expensive to purchase with gold.

    Russia will get its favor refunded, even though it should've won the resolution, and vice versa for Macedon. This isn't great, but ultimately isn't necessarily a *huge* problem.

    But think about Mali. I believe Mali will get half their favor refunded for winning the "first vote" and losing the "second vote" (can anyone confirm this is how it works?). So, in essence, Mali will spend half its diplomatic favor to pass a WC resolution specifically designed to screw Mali. This is, to use a technical term, pretty dumb.

    The game should stop acting like there is a first round of voting with 2 choices, followed by a second round with 3 choices, and determine who wins based on how the voting works in reality: a single round with 6 choices. The only downside I can see to this is that it will make ties much more common, especially for the resolutions that have even more options. Personally I think that's a small price to pay to make the mechanic operate in a more fair fashion.

    Is there an aspect of this I haven't picked up on or something I have wrong in the above that makes the current way of doing it reasonable? Sorry again if this has already been addressed somewhere.
     
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  2. criZp

    criZp Warlord

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    I thought the two votes in one sounded dumb from the moment they announced it in stream, but I actually haven't dealt with the world congress yet as all my 3 games so far ended in the classical era for various reasons, lol.

    I don't have all the resolutions in the head, but can't the "target" option just be scrapped from all of them? The army production vote becomes cheaper (all methods of production) or more expensive (also all methods of production). In the nuke resolution, everyone gets their nukes taken away, or everyone gets as many nukes as the guy with the most nukes. And so one.
     
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  3. Duuk

    Duuk Doom-Sayer Supporter

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    Yeah, I don't like how it works either. It's terrible. TERRIBLE.
     
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  4. Kibikus

    Kibikus Chieftain

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    Yep, I saw this is going to be an issue as soon as they demonstrated the WC on livestream. As you said, it can sometimes lead to your votes actually helping achieve the exact opposite of what you're trying to do.

    Eliminating the two-step process is probably a decent solution, at least for now. Have all the options of A and B be on the same level, and whichever has the most votes will pass. The extra ties shouldn't be an issue, there is already a system to resolve ties (as far as I understood it, whoever invests a higher percentage of their diplo favor wins the tie).
     
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  5. bladex

    bladex Chieftain

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    it's deff broken i get my votes passed every single time even the ones that effect other civs they are so stupid
     
  6. DemonMaster

    DemonMaster A.K.A. Fenhorn

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    I have no problem with this two-step voting. You just have to think before you vote, think in two steps before you vote. If you vote to make units cheaper and that side won, you have to consider the vote counting among those votes. If a lot of the AI:s have theocracy, they will probably vote for cheaper with faith. I think it is a clever way to save time. If you would vote two times resolution instead of one combined, you would have to make the same considerations.
     
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  7. Hatchie

    Hatchie Chieftain

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    Also many players claimed they feel the resolutions are inconsequential. On paper, they provide very strong effects, but I think the problem is the vast number of options and the mentioned flawed system, which makes you have very little control over the result and can make your votes count towards an undesired result.
    I think there should be a first step where some players get to pick a specific target suboption and then everyone gets to vote just A or B. For example you can make an additional voting on each session where everyone can spend favor to get to be a chairman and vice-chairman for the next session (again refunding everyone who doesn’t get to become either) and those two are the ones who get to decide which suboptions are picked - perhaps even get a limited choice of which resolutions are picked.
    I’d also tie Diplomatic victory to this. My feeling is that diplomatic winner should be someone who is able to use his diplomatic abilities to shape the world around him. But in current implementation, anyone who shoots for diplomatic victory hoards their favor to be able to vote themselves diplo victory points and as a result doesn’t spend favor on much else. Meaning that - counterintuitevly - the diplomatic winner is the player who had the least impact to the diplomatic landscape (resolution outcomes) throughout the game. Make it so that each time the chairman gets 2 victory points and vice-chairman gets 1 (perhaps the win treshold would raise) and this way the diplomatic winner is a player who most of the time decided what the congress actually vote about and as such actually held significant diplomatic impact during the game!
    Plus flavor-wise, you could bring back the idea of congress actualy being held somewhere in the world - the capital of current chairman.
     
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  8. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Civ IV Emperor EQM Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    That would be a much better and simpler solution, everyone proposes an agenda and how much favour they are willing to spend on it then the Congress votes for or against the winning agenda.
     
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  9. kaspergm

    kaspergm Warlord

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    I agree the WC voting is a complete mess. It's very nontransparent and it's virtually impossible to predict how the voting is going to fall, so you basically just throw in your votes in blindly. In most cases, I just found myself going one vote in a more or less random direction, because most of the votes were decided by 6 AIs throwing in a couple of votes on the same A/B proposal but with different targets, which still tipped the scale on the A/B proposal.

    When that's said, there are also situations where the bundled votes makes sense. This is from my game yesterday, I was two points away from winning diplomatic victory. If AI votes had NOT been bundled, claiming victory would have been too easy: https://imgur.com/a/dLMNgJR
     
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  10. returnofbabylon

    returnofbabylon Chieftain

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    This is a very good suggestion (it reminds me of the Alpha Centauri and Civ IV versions somewhat, which were pretty good implementations but limited in terms of options), but it's also a fairly substantial overhaul to the GS system. If we get more content for VI, hopefully they'll do something like this. In the meantime, I think we need some kind of band-aid. I don't think actually doing two rounds of voting will work, since there'd be a huge incentive to save all your favor for the second round - as that's when it's determined whether it's a positive or negative result from your perspective.

    Now that you mention it though, it is strange that there's no leader or host of any kind for the congress, not to mention no wonder associated with it. It's definitely a very different take from what they've had in previous games.
     
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  11. BTSeven7

    BTSeven7 Chieftain

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    On the original post the fact that Russia should win seems wrong. The whole point of world congress is 2 are more powerful than 1.

    I think you guys are being too hard on the system. The first example is with 3 civilizations. The game is intended for more civs than that.

    The way I see the example Mali made a hard play to handicap their opponent and lost by earning 1 less diplo favor than Macedon. Upon taking that risk to punish they lost half their diplo put in. That seems fair. Macedon lost all its diplo and got what they wanted. Macedon earned one extra point before showing up to WC and went in on the right side of the vote. Sounds like politics to me.

    At some point you have to take diplo points away with some mechanism. The system is a little wonky at first but it was designed for balance I believe.

    If anything I think the game needs more espionage or diplomacy to reveal how people are voting. It should be possible to know exactly how others are voting, if say, you have an alliance. Then you can do some math to get the things you want.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
  12. teakbois

    teakbois Chieftain

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    I like the system itself, but it needs better support. As others have said, more visibility into what others are voting. There is a complete lack of diplomacy behind it. No repercussions for votes against a civ. But the actual voting itself is fine. An agenda a few turns before would be nice too.

    The emergencies tied to world congress are a good idea though.
     
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  13. returnofbabylon

    returnofbabylon Chieftain

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    I would agree, if Macedon and Mali were voting the same way against Russia in the example. But they're not - they're intending to vote against each other more explicitly than either is trying to vote against Russia.

    If the voting were reversed, and you first pick the resource - faith, production, or gold - and then pick whether costs go up or down, Russia would win round one and overall. That would make just as much sense as how it's being done now - which is to say, not much.
     
  14. Timothy001

    Timothy001 Chieftain

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    Another solution. Round 1, vote A or B. No adding votes. Everyone gets 1 vote. If a tie, random selection decides. Round 2, Everyone that voted for the winning side, gets a second vote. This time, Diplo Favor can be used. Alliances, spies etc should be able to help give info on voting preferences for both rounds.
     
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  15. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Chieftain

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    The system is fine; you just need to adapt to it. If you can swing the vote between A and B, you still may not wish to do so because you predict someone will vote B with you but then pick a target that wastes your votes or actively hurts you. If you know A will win, then you need to figure out which target will get picked. Again, if you can swing the target to something you care about, you have to determine if it is worth it to spend the points. If you can't, you can either vote with the majority to help secure A over B, or you can put favor into B that will either swing the vote or get refunded.

    Its politics, its complicated. There's a lot of predicting what other people are going to vote and playing around with the system. This is a good thing. You just have to learn how to play the system.
     
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  16. criZp

    criZp Warlord

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    No, it's dumb system. Real united nation don't vote for/against economic sanctions with their eyes closed. You need to know who's the target when you vote for/against.
     
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  17. UWHabs

    UWHabs Warlord

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    That could work, although I would probably swap it around so that the first choice free vote is you choose the sub-option. Whether that's done by the "chair" or the basic vote, everyone first votes for the currency/religion/target/etc... they want to affect, and then in round 2 people vote A or B using their votes. This way you can decide how much favour to put into the vote based on the currency of choice. Especially since on the unit side, I will often have strong preferences one way or another on each choice. ie. my top option is "cheaper gold", my next option is "expensive production", I need to guess how everyone else is going to vote whether I'm better to vote for my favorite option or against my least favorite option.
     
  18. Forster

    Forster Chieftain

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    I can't remember if it was Iv or V that allowed you to disable the congress. I always hated it. I hope the next patch the developers will include such an option for VI.
     
  19. Sagax

    Sagax Warlord

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    Except real-world voting is kept to the simplest precisely because politics are complicated. The last thing you want is a convoluted voting system with loopholes to add to the mess.

    Also, even if we assume that the current system is fine and adds "a layer of complexity"...we're talking about the Civ 6 AI. Are we really expecting them to be capable of figuring these things out and min-maxing? For now, their votes seem very straightforward: always for their own benefit, and bandwagon against the DipV runaway. Outside of that, they are voting without any strategy other than "My CIV-ica first".
     
  20. Takfloyd

    Takfloyd Chieftain

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    The World Congress needs a full overhaul. The proposals usually make no logical sense(why would medieval nations from across the world, including ones from other continents with no knowledge of ocean travel, convene to enact laws on... urban planning?), and the large amount of options for each vote (first two alternatives, then multiple sub-alternatives) means that votes will usually be spread thin, and whichever option randomly happens to get 2 or more players voting for it will win. This is on top of the major issue laid out by the OP of this thread.

    It needs to be changed to be more in line with earlier Civ games. One player narrows down the options, and the rest submit a simple vote with few alternatives. The "chairman" role deciding the voting topic should periodically be up for grabs, probably via another regular vote where diplomatic favor can be used to muscle your way into power. And the world congress absolutely shouldn't be convened until later in the game when all civs know of eachother, though perhaps a page could be taken out of Civ IV's book, where a less powerful religious grand council could be formed in the earlier ages, with only local civs following the same religion participating. This also has historic precedence in the real world.
     

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