Civilization VI


I meant increasing the minimum city distance even further.


Something to consider if you do tinker with city distance is the knock on effect of city loyalty.

Honestly, the AI is pretty good at founding cities. Or more to the point, the game is pretty generous when it comes to turning sub-optimal land into something useful. The AI isn’t always smart about district placement, but then it can not really see potential that I as a player can.




Contains info I hadn’t heard previously.


Yeah, that was actually a pretty compelling video. Now if only they didn’t price it so high, lol.


Looks like fun. I knew about the natural disasters and diplomatic features, but I hadn’t realized power is now a thing. Also, I like the idea of the randomized tech tree in the late game. (I kinda wish the whole tree were semi-randomized, the way Stellaris does it. One of the early MOO games did this too.)



Yes, this is an enormous plus in most any game. And in Civ, where the tech tree necessarily pushes other activities due to inspirations, it would be especially helpful in keeping the game fresh.

Aggressors: Ancient Rome does a particularly good job with this.


Neither of those approaches would work copied wholesale into Civ, though I’m not against the idea of some randomisation in the Civ tech tree in general.

MOO’s tech set consists almost entirely of a relatively small number of essential concepts repeated several of times at different tech levels. Higher tech versions of the same concept don’t require the earlier versions. They provide better gameplay numbers and obsolete earlier versions of the technology. So for example the engine concept gives the techs Nuclear Engines, Fusion Engines, Sub-light Engines and so on. Each one provides additional travel speed when added to a designed ship. Rinse and repeat across the entire tech tree.

This would be extremely dull if not for the randomisation, which removes most of the possible techs from your tree at the start of the game. This is a brilliant design that results in great variety from game to game as the technologies you have available to play with are different. Working around a series of missing techs in your tree can be a big challenge, and you probably won’t see the same challenge in your next 30 games.

But I don’t see it working as it stands for Civ. A lot of the joy of Civ is the loose simulation of history. It’s simply absurd to be effectively told “Oh no, your nation’s brightest minds simply can’t conceive of Writing. You’ll have to make do without libraries until universities come along to obsolete them.” To work around that, your techs would have to become much more generic and have less of a gating effect on game mechanics. I can see why they want to avoid this as it loses flavour.

By comparison, Stellaris has a much simpler tech tree. There aren’t all that many pre-requisites except straight up a line of similar tech. Stellaris goes with completely randomising the techs available to choose from at any given moment, out of all the techs you could be able to research. That works well for avoiding players using the same strategy for every game but doesn’t really add much in the way of interesting decisions. It’s very rare to not have the next level of laser tech available within your next few selections, for instance, so the randomisation is more of a speedbump.

This is a much less interesting system but would work rather better in Civ. The big change required would be to significantly increase the number of techs in the game: right now there simply aren’t enough available to research at any given moment to randomise a choice between them. You’d also probably need to break some of the dependence between specific technologies and resources available on nearby terrain: it’s no good rolling loads of mounted unit tech to develop when the nearest source of horses is on another continent. One option for this would be to make any tech you had the inspiration for always available as a research choice, allowing the player limited control over the randomisation.

The way I’d approach it would be:

  • Keep a similar number of techs as Civ currently has.
  • Each time a civ advances to a new age (not sure quite what would trigger this), it unlocks new research choices.
  • All techs would appear as options to research sooner or later. Specifically, a medieval tech would always appear by the renaissance, would usually appear in the medieval era, but you might get lucky and have the option to research it while still in the classical era.
  • This would usually be randomised at game start but could be fixed for some techs for specific civs, as a flavourful advantage. For example the Greeks might always have Drama in the classical era when it would appear in the medieval for most civs. The Mongols might always get horse techs early but tend to get infantry technology late.


Not one of, the very first game did it. I still don’t understand why that particular element of the original MOO was left by the wayside. [Edit: explanation snipped since @rho21 did a much better job.] Honestly, it was a great system and I don’t think any 4X since then has done anything similar?


Sword of the Stars had a tech tree that had links with a given probability for each race. That meant it was quite possible to end up with no good heavy beams, or torpedoes, or point defense, or shields, or kinetics, or super colonizers, or fancy lasers. Every race had different probabilities, which was huge for adding unique character to each race’s gameplay with only minimal changes to the base ruleset.


Oh yeah, I always forget about Sword of the Stars (because I really couldn’t get into it).


That’s too bad, it’s one of the best 4X games ever made, IMO. Well, it reached that point after an expansion or two, at release it was pretty mediocre.


The implementation in SotS was the closest I’ve seen, certainly. It played quite differently to MOO though due to techs having prerequisites: if it decided you were missing a specific tech, you’d also miss out on everything past it.

This usually worked pretty well, but it would occasionally effectively shut you off from end-game weapons entirely. More commonly, you’d go down the the most likely weapons line for your race, discover a blockage, and have to spend ages researching down a new weapons branch and hope you didn’t get shut off from that one too.

This is the full tree, with probabilities:

A note on reading that: two power techs were necessary but not sufficient prerequisites for large chunks of the tree - that’s the yellow and purple background colour areas.


I always thought the tech tree in Alpha Centauri was brilliant…if I recall, you could pick individual techs and micro it or just pick a category for the big picture

As far as the next xpac here, sure looks like civ6 is goin the ‘builder’ route…i’m ok with that…less need to deal with AI I suppose


There was a completely blind option as well, I believe.

As it happens, there was some apparent randomisation in available tech choices in Alpha Centauri too. When you had free tech selection on, it would actually remove some techs from consideration based on the number of techs you had already discovered. Split into three groups, so a tech would appear two-thirds of the time. Looks random to the player, but they’re guaranteed to get the tech they want available next time if it wasn’t this time.

Knowing this means you need to track it in high-level play to ensure you can always reach your current tech target as quickly as possible.


That’s what everyone says. Which is why I bought it on… three different platforms. But I always bounce of it, hard. Doesn’t help that it’s so ugly.


Yeah, I didn’t stick with it for long either. If my memory is correct, it’s 4X for gamers who want exploration minimized and extermination maximized. And I find that without meaningful exploration, I tire of a game rather quickly.

However, as to Civ using a randomized tech tree, I would agree @rho21 that they cannot simply leave techs out on a given run. (They could fill in the military gaps, so that each military type had an advance each age, and then randomize the appearance of those… but that would be an anemic implementation.)

Rather, Civ would do better randomizing the order and the connections and possibly the inspiration conditions. This would have a profound impact on the human player because one of the ways the human advantages is learning an ideal route to coordinate build/inspiration progress, and simply having that route so established is a lot more ahistorical than having techs appear at different times in history.


Oh, SoTS is a wargame. It’s even moreso than AOW3.

But I don’t think it’s far off MOO1 in terms of X priorities.


Civ VI looks so great. I have been watching Quills’s new Lets Plays and nearly got it.

The one thing that stops me is the AI. I keep thinking I should just bump the difficulty and stop worrying about it.

I bounced off of V for the same reason. It felt like I was picking on a 2 year old.