Suggestions: City Tile Control, Empire Spreading, Sea Access Ports, Technology
I for one am really looking forward to this release. The potential to improve a game always exists and the civilization series is not without its needs.
City Tile Control "Regions"
I'll be referring to the tiles that a city controls as a Region. Think Total War series.
In Civ4 control of the 8 tiles surrounding a city was instant, and another 12 tiles were added after reaching the first culture level. I never liked this concept, just guaranteed control despite being past water, beyond mountains, or across desert. Natural features like rivers, mountains, forests, deserts, and oceans/seas are the most common borders for every country in our world. Perhaps this concept could provide a basis for the way control spreads around a city; push against mountains or water, then spread further the opposite direction instead of just circular from the city center.
Furthermore, the shape of a region being circular is quite silly. The amount of land each tile represents, times 21 using Civ4 city control, is a ridiculously large area, and its shape would realistically be very far from a circle, shaped by natural surroundings, coastline, and neighbors. As a player, if I drop a city somewhere I want to place it to capture resources and have decent food/production numbers. In Civ4 that could mean missing out on some resources simply because they are 1 tile out of reach, they just don't fit into the city's circle. Too bad.
I would propose a different method of spreading control from a city across its region of influence. When founding a city/region, begin with control of the immediately neighboring 6 tiles, then as the city's population increases(not culture), grant the city 1 additional tile that touches a tile it currently controls, but -not- water or mountain tiles. This way a city spreads based on something tangible: the user's needs. If you want a horse resource and it's 3 tiles away from your city, don't fret- get your population up and pick to control the tiles toward the horse until it's in your region.
This method allows regions to be used the way the user wants them to be, rather than just what the 2-ring circle of influence allows. This also would eliminate the need to drop cities everywhere just to capture resources. The distance you could spread in any direction would have to be capped, maybe around 5 or 6 tiles away. Also, city regions wouldn't be circular... variety is aesthetically pleasing! Watching a city/region slowly spread to fill an area between the Himalaya and the Ganges, or between the Alps and the Po, rather than just being a circle covering whatever land/water in its zone, would greatly improve replay value in my opinion.
As a last tidbit on regions, your first city is always the most important in your civilization until far later in the game, so I would highly recommend allowing this region to control more tiles, a whole extra 'ring' of tiles, in civ4 terms. Consider it your home region, the core of your culture and power, your most protected territory in the empire- it's naturally larger and more populated than your other cities/regions.
Settlers make me mad. Constructing a settler, then moving the unit around until finding a good spot and hitting the 'found city' button, makes me want to close the game and play something else. The idea that you as leader have to tell your people to get up and go wander around for years(early in Civ4 it's hundreds of years) to found a new city is beyond silly, it hurts my head. I know it does happen sometimes but certainly not over those timeframes. Besides, the vast majority of cities simply grew around one resource or another, be it food or mineral.
I would absolutely love to see some type of budding method put to use- when a city grows to control 10+ tiles and one of them is at least 3 tiles away, you have the option to turn one of those further tiles into a new city. Or perhaps it could be automatic, with the new city springing up on top of a resource that is under your control but 3 or more tiles from your city.
Budding aside, a unit to begin a new city/region does need to exist for building on islands, or simply going around another civilization for one reason or another. The worker would do this job perfectly!
In Civ4 if you don't build your city on the coast you simply do not do any sea trade at all, cannot build ships, and generally miss out on a huge opportunity to be profitable. But in reality plenty of "inland" cities were serviced by nearby port towns. Rome is a prime example, built several miles from the medinterranean sea, and serviced by the nearby port Centumcellae. I would highly recommend allowing "inland" cities to use a worker to build a port town (just like building a village in Civ4) in a tile that is adjacent to the city and also adjacent to water. This way cities that are near the coast could gain the exact same benefits as a city placed directly on the coast.
Furthermore, if Civ4 is anything to go by, the vast majority of rivers are not represented by anything on the map, simply too small to do any trade or travel. On that mindset, I propose the rivers that -are- represented on the map should be navigable by small ships, including all trade ships. Cities built along rivers should have "sea trade" access to all other cities on that river or any other connecting body of water, sea, ocean, lake, or joining river. It would be neat to let all exploration units(like a scout) use rivers for very quick travel as well.
Before diving into techs, let me explain my play style: Rush a religion, rush horseback riding, conquer my neighbor. Rush catapults, conquer the next neighbor. Rush macemen and conquer the next neighbor. ETC. It's far too predictable, leaves little to the imagination, but it gets the job done. I always study the same things in the same order simply because it gets the results I want. But in reality, you can't point your finger at a technology and drive toward it in a definite amount of time based on funding. And what about the times where discoveries were made that were not what was being studied?
Civ needs variety like this, unpredictability in the tech race. Allow results early, or late. If it says 2000 science units (beakers?), the tech should be acquired as early as 1000 beakers, but no later than 3000. In other words, let the scientists have a chance of a breakthrough after hitting 50% study, and also let them be confused and take far too long to complete it, let it go overbudget up to 150%. This would have the same overall rate of tech advance, but some would be early and others late.
As for unpredictablity in the results of the study, how about flagging each technology as cultural, military, or development? Then let the player choose what category to study, but not what specific technology. Choosing develoment to start a game might get you mining, agriculture, or the wheel, you just don't know! This really would add replay value to the game as every civilization would grow differently, with differing abilities and specialties. It might also prevent large gaps in the tech tree forming, by having low-beaker techs(easy techs) a higher liklihood of result from study rather than high-beaker techs.
Lastly, the spreading of technologies from one civilization to another really does need to occur in some form or another. Tech trading sure, but techs should also be learned from conquered cities/regions or perhaps even from winning battles. Kill Longbow units and you should have a % chance at grasping the idea how to upgrade your Archer units, for example. In Civ4 the map overlays showed the spread of culture with solid colors where just one occured, and mixed colors for a blending of cultures on those tiles. Areas like this should provide some technology crossing, borders with other civilizations, cities that do a lot of "sea trade", etc... should have chances of learning technologies from those civs, and vice-versa.
Okay, that was long winded, thanks for reading, please criticize. It's 4am, I'm going to bed!
These two are so simple yet in my opinion brilliant ideas. Hopefully Sid will read this post
Originally Posted by shenryyr
I'm not sure I'm totally in love with the tech ideas but you could do some cool things like: a great scientist can either build an academy to increase beaker production or increase the % chance of great breakthroughs.
My idea for mixing up tech discovery was to have some buildings and wonders generate beakers for a specific tech (or under the system outlined above, a tech type). So I might be researching feudalism but in the mean time all of my theatres are generating research towards music as well & my courthouses may be getting me some of the way towards education.
Your idea for only researching a broad category was implemented in SMAC as the default setting, while tech-by-tech control over research was optional (It was called "blind research" IIRC). I absolutely loved it in single player games but we always played with it off in MP games, which are probably going to be the focus of this iteration of Civ anyway. It would be great if they put it in, but doubtful.
As for cities expanding asymmetrically and control over far flung resources, the whole idea behind Civ 4 appeared to me to reduce the number of cities a player has, and hence the micromanagement, and by providing so many alternative resources that the game does not easily become unplayable for lack of a certain resource (copper e.g.). I do not know if implementing the expansion of influence along mountain ranges/rivers etc. is going to make the game more fun, I do know it will make for some interesting and realistic empire-planning options. Simply being able to choose the direction of expansion seems a bit gamey to me though, and would probably make for a number of gameplay exploits that the devs wouldn't want.
All in all a number of good suggestions. *thumbs up*
I like the proposals you have made, at least most of them.
City Tile Control
Judging from the leaked info it just might work very similar to your described system in Civ V. While the information is vague it sounds to me that you can choose which areas you want to be workable and invest in them. Forests or Mountains would need more investment than grasslands/plains, so the latter are the more natural choices.
I really hope it turns out that way, so I'm looking forward to hearing more details of this in Civ V.
Yeah, natural fluctuation of population was always missing from the Civ games. I hope that with City States the world will at least feel a bit more alive.
That's one thing that always annoyed me, when you had ocean tiles in your city radius but no way to work them. The port feature sounds nice and I would love to have that in the games.
Concerning the rivers, judging from the screenshots they don't look navigable for ships, but the trade aspect was already well done in Civ IV, where it worked just as you describe, if you had the required technology.
Also wasn't it Civ II or III that gave you movement bonuses when you travelled along a river? Of course that was when rivers where actually part of the tile and did not run between tiles. But anything that adds to the importance of rivers sounds good!
Now this is a point where I disagree with you. Not that those aren't viable approaches. I just always found the Civ technology system far more engaging than other more realistic systems. For one thing the element of chance that you intend to introduce would bug me. You would have huge benefits in the early game if you were lucky and had five breakthroughs in a row, or a huge penalty if the opposite happened.
From a gameplay point of view I just prefer something you can plan with.
The tech trading arguments I agree on however. Some technologies are just hard to hide from your neighbour, especially early on with things like farming or the wheel. And ideas often travel across cultural borders!
It should be ok if there are more rules governing border expansion- the first expansion more than one hex away must be adjasvent to three already claimed hexes, for example. This would limit blatant exploits like creating a cultural line accross muliple hexes for just one resource
I agree on the settlers.
I doubt we will see a new type of settler arrangement in Civ 5, but here is what I posted on Fanatics some time ago:
I like the idea of how your ports would work too. In fact, my idea in the thread above would also implement that idea nicely.
i liked the technology part, realistically people didn't say "hey theres something called gunpowder noones discovered yet why don't we research it", i don't mind having trhe individual technologies to research but with the catagories the chance for a quick breakthrough could be higher then individual technologies
Maybe developing categories could as a default give its founder a technology not yet discovered by any other civilization? Tecnologies could spread quite rapidly after the first discovery to other civilizations, as the knowledge is already there to be copied, but the first founder would get a bonus of some sort concerning that technology. Develop them in the same way as great people in Civ4, the next one always more expensive than the other but the last founder starts from zero as the others continue from where they were...
Well, I don't know if this kind of idea would work at all, but I just wrote this to throw some kind of idea in the air.
Whatever the new game turns out to be, I am definitely waiting impatiently.
It's definitely not unthinkable- if there was a bonus for discoverer and techs bled into other civs very easily.
Originally Posted by Googol
Did anyone ever play Civilization the board game? In that there was a tech tree made up of cards - you could spend gold on buying one of those techs and that would unlock the unit for all players to use but whenever a player bought that unit it 1/3 of the unit's cost would go to the player who discovered that tech. It was a nice system - obviously it won't translate exactly to Civ V but it demonstrates that there are interesting mechanics to arise from a shared tech tree
I think a good optioin to reduce the instances where every civ has the same techs is to make some techs only researchable by a single civ. Obviously it wouldn’t be iron or a necessity but maybe a tech like privateers.... What do you think?
I think rivers should be navigable by ships (at least small ones), and I would love to see a "Canal" function for terraforming.
I absolutely love the idea for city border expansion! I am seeing lots of great ideas about how tiles would be worked and how hammers and gold would be generated. I don't like your ideas about the tech discovery. I hate luck ruining games online. I want as much pure strategy as possible, no luck at all. I know that's not possible, or realistic, and with any competitive sport there is always a little luck mixed with skill. But to add an element of luck into the tech system is going to make a lot of people mad, just look what happens when you have a tribal village give out horse back riding to the enemy alliance, or even metal casting or monarchy. It ruins the game. The same can be said for getting crappy land, this should not happen, the map generator should make equal sides for each team on a teamer or each player on an ffa. If I want to win by luck I will go play Texas Hold Em on Poker Stars, LOL. I see no problems with the tech tree that we have always had and want no changes there. Now, how we go about creating research can change. I like how great people added a new way to increase tech in Civ4. Maybe another addition like that would be good, but the tech tree ain't broke so let's not fix it.
how many times you see the tech graph and after that you quit game knowing you got no chance to catch up to the leading civ if graph is like double reasrch 400 vs 800 in science. i had many mp games where ppl simply giving up when they see tech graph maybe that should be hiden and many other things should be secret for other players i think combat odds should be hiden too .