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Headscratchers: Civilization

  • In II, Fundamentalism is the result of scientific research.
    • Seems reasonable enough; for example, creationism as a political position would not have existed were the theory of evolution not to have come into existence.
    • Also, most "scientific research" in Civ is not "science" in a "scientific method" way. And Fundamentalism is not non-knowledge; while they are mostly spread violently, fundamentalist belief-systems are still the result of intellectual work. A bad theory is still a result from (bad) research, right?
      • Fridge Brilliance — Fundamentalism is, at its core, a reaction to, and rejection of, Modernism.
    • Fixed in V, where scientific discoveries are limited to what would make sense as such, and social policies are discovered by accumulating culture instead.
    • I'm scratching my head as to why this is a headscratcher. The scientific method was created by Christian fundamentalists. Even then, not all science is rejected. Creationists, for example, dispute only the parts of modern science as taught today that cannot be directly tested in a lab.
  • In 4, the British unique unit is "Redcoat", an upgraded rifleman (Rifleman meaning a solider with a rifled firearm, as opposed to a musket.). Is this a Critical Research Failure or just an attempt to add more variety in what a unique unit replaces?
    • I think it's more just because the 'Rifleman' unit is usually used to represent 18th/19th century gunpowder-based soldiers in general (like the Infantry unit is used to represent early-mid 20th century infantry as a whole despite looking like a WW2 era American soldier), and the Redcoat is the iconic representation of British infantry of this era; it's more like one of the Acceptable Breaks from Reality the game makes, I'd say.
      • The infamous Red Coat was in use pretty much until the turn of the 20th century, including in wars where the British most definitively had toys like Rifled firearms amongst other things. As an example: the British armies that smashed the Tsar's armies on the Crimea, the Indian Mutiny, the Zulu, and the Madhist Empire were all Redcoats.
  • It just bugs me that Baba Yetu, from '05, is nominated for an '11 Grammy.
    • Only after they ignored the fact that it was from a game...
      • It's one more step towards games being respected as artistic medium.
    • The Grammy it won was for the new orchestration and arrangement for Tin's new album.
  • In the Space Victory cinematic in 4, as the person is looking out of the spaceship's viewport, a meteorite (more popularly known as shooting star) or two can be seen. This bugs me because meteorites only light up like that when travelling through an atmosphere, and the spaceship is, you know, in space. Without an atmosphere. Small, but annoying nonetheless.
    • Maybe they're comets?
  • Is anyone else bemused by how Christianity or Islam are almost NEVER is the religion of the dominant world powers? Polytheism (represented by Hinduism) and Buddhism are almost inevitably the dominant religions of any Civ IV game thanks to being discovered (and spread) first. By the time later religions come along, it takes way too much effort to convert people to them, and it's actively a bad idea since most rival nations have settled on the first 2-3 religions.
    • The religion mechanic is wonky at best because of cultural considerations, and we should leave it at that.
      • There are mods that alter the religion mechanic to actually give special bonuses to various religions, specifically to balance out the time difference. The game designers just figured it would avoid a whole lot of problems if they made all religions equal and minimized their effects.
    • What's really weird is that Polytheism and Buddhism are always discovered first (assuming that's the case). Everything else happens randomly with no regard to actual history.
      • Not necessarily. I was just playing (albeit with a mod) and discovered, in order, Khmeticism, Hinduism, Hellenism, Buddhism and Christianity. ...wait, ok, yeah, that's weird. I mean, others were totally discovered by other people, but the first things I discovered were four types of polytheism and buddhism.
    • Even without mods the game has the "choose religions" option that allows you to select the religion you found instead of getting one associated with a tech. The AI in this case chooses the "favourite religion" of its leader. This usually results in a more varied and less predictable set of religions, although there's a slight emphasis on Christianity, then, since most leaders are from European religion and many of the early founders (like Isabella and Justinian) prefer Christianity.
      • Which gets kinda weird if you found Islam before Christianity or Christianity before Judaism, given they're branches of each other...
      • No less odd than founding Buddhism before Hinduism, which can happen even without the option enabled.
  • What is the point of building ironclads in 5? They're a dead-end unit with no lead-ins and no upgrades. There was no reason they couldn't have a frigate upgrade to an ironclad, which then upgrades to a destroyer. Yes, the ironclads in the game can only move in coastal waters, but that is not the case of all ironclads in Real Life. Yes, the American audience associates ironclads with the Monitor (used in 3) and the Virginia (used in 4 and 5), and those couldn't handle oceans. But there's no reason they couldn't use the British Warrior-class ironclads as examples, which were ocean-going. While playing, this troper specifically avoids building units that cannot be upgraded and will become useless in later periods, such as scouts and the above-mentioned ironclads. Thankfully, there are mods to fix this oversight.
    • the idea should be that non-upgradable units and buildings bring your civ more bang for the buck while they're relevant. Not saying that Ironclads follow this though.
    • Ironclads were patched to upgrade to battleship AFAIK.
    • They also changed the look of the ironclads in a patch.
    • Fixed in Gods & Kings: Ironclads now travel at a good speed on coast, on the ocean but slower, are a significant strength upgrade from the Privateer, and upgrade to Destroyers.
  • Why do resources like pig and crab provide food bonuses to civs with Judaism or Islam? Or cow for Hinduism?
    • Dang, that would actually work well for gameplay too, having some resources that are forbidden or particularly good to a religion, forcing the player to decide whether the resource or the religion is more important, and (for the "good" resources) making resource trading (to use an overly-friendly word) between religious rivals more tempting.
    • You can do things with pigs and cows other than eat them or turn them into clothing. Perhaps these religions get a bonus because the surplus allows them to increase trade output? More trade income = more goat burgers and stuff.
    • Hindus use cows for milk (in fact, milk is actually a necessary part of various religious ceremonies; besides, fresh milk tastes good).
      • Besides that, Hinduism has no hard and fast rule that cows should not be eaten.
    • Maybe they're reform Jews...
    • It's pretty obvious that the religions in Civ 4 are meant to be Cosmetically Different Sides of sorts, so they avoided drawbacks for Judaism and Islam as an Acceptable Break from Reality.
  • How exactly does making the United Nations lead to a victory, not trying to insult the United Nations, but they aren't that powerful.
    • Cultural is even better; three highly cultured cities and you win (although, unlike Diplomatic, it doesn't explicitly make you world leader, just the winner of the game).
    • The victory isn't making the United Nations, but rather getting elected leader of the world. I guess the idea is that the UN isn't that powerful, but the combined power of the nations that vote you in are.
      • For all intents and purposes, when you get so elected in the Diplomatic Victory, you've turned the UN into a true One World Government, under your iron (or velvet) fist.
    • It's simply a simplified representation of power through diplomatic and cultural hegemony rather than military force; sort of like how in real life, the United States has achieved global superpower status not just because of a massive military presence (although it does have that) but how it's traditionally been able to exert a lot of diplomatic power over other nations without even needing to really enforce that military power. Similarly, American cultural power comes from the fact that millions of people around the world watch American movies and TV programs, listen to American music, read American books, and so forth — and in doing so, are exposed to a lot of American ideas, where conversely their own native culture might not wield the same influence either over America or their own citizens. Within the game, you are recognized as so powerful and influential that your diplomatic skills can convince your rivals to do anything (such as, say, all but elect you as the leader of the world, essentially), and / or that your nation's cultural products influence the entire world.
    • Also, the real United Nations are not very powerful because the nations in it disagree a lot. When you've won the diplomatic victory, you've made sure they did.
  • Why do railroads make units move x times faster? Well yeah, they could've taken the train but... why do tanks and cavalry ride faster trains than infantry?
    • The military uses specially equipped trains for armored vehicle transport when airlifts are not possible. Most of the time they're disassembled on the way and reassembled back.
    • This one actually makes a little more sense in the older games, where the range of any unit is only bound by the elngth of track itself. Sure, effectively infinite movement isn't balanced, but at least it's relatively consistent.
  • Okay, I understand that it's part of Acceptable Breaks from Reality to give each nation a recognizable face for the player, but... how do you justify leaders being immortal?
  • Many players complain about historical leaders being too "gamey" in Civ5 like hating the player who goes for the same type of victory. But why? The game is not a sandbox like Europa Universalis, both player and AI has clear goals. Previous Civs were silly cause AI could willingly give away victory (f.e. with voting for you in UN). And the first game that truly tries to be competetive, with AI that wins not by accident but by achieving specific goal is not praised for a change but hated?!
    • It's not the competitive aspect that bothered people, it's that they say, "We think you're trying to win the game the same way we are." It breaks the immersion when the AI says it is a game.
  • In Civ 5, why do Giant Death Robots require Uranium to build and operate when the enabling technology is nuclear fusion?
    • It's good game mechanics, it helps keep the Giant Death Robot a limited unit, instead of a unit you can make 50 of on top of all your nukes. But beyond that, this is actually a case of Fridge Brilliance. You could never power a giant robot with a Deuterium-Tritium reactor, because there's very damaging radiation, and it produces heat, not electricity, it'd actually be a steam powered robot. But Helium3+Helium3 is aneutronic (neutrons are the hardest radiation to shield from, because they can create radioactive isotopes when they impact against the shield), and it can produces electricity directly, instead of via a steam turbine. How do you make Helium 3? With a fission reactor. That uranium is going to the process of nuclear alchemy to make the actual GDR fuel.
  • Of all things archery is the prerequisite tech required to research the wheel, in Civ5. What's with that?
    • Because it causes even more problems if you can build horse archers without archery. The first option makes little sense, but the second option is a pure impossibility.
      • You mean chariot archers? Anyway they could've done it so that both are needed to make chariot archers, but neither is a requirement for the other.
      • Note that the above solution is exactly what they did in 4.
  • In 4, the developers deliberately avoided giving the different religions in game special bonuses since they didn't want to cause any offense to members of the faiths. However, in the Middle Ages campaigns added to 3 in the Conquest expansion pack, they had no problem with having a separate 'Christian' and 'Islamic' Tech Tree for the Arab and European nations (With the Islamic Tech Tree consisting almost exclusively of military advancements, while the Christian one more focused on civil development). So if it didn't cause any problems in 3, why were the developers worried about it in 4?
    • Do we actually know that it didn't cause problems in 3? If it did cause problems, that would handily explain the change in 4.
    • In V, you choose a religion but also choose the beliefs associated with it, so all religions are treated equally until the players get their hands on them. However, some of the beliefs are for religious buildings, and each building is different. Pagodas provide more happiness, mosques are more cultural, etc. Technically, the buildings aren't tied to any religion (Christianity can claim pagodas, for example).

  • Why do units not stack? Yeah, game mechanics and so on, but does my road construction team have to take up an entire city and prevent, say, Albert Einstein from stopping there for the night? Does a team of stone-age archers really take up so much room in a 20th century capital city (don't ask why i kept them around) that I can't squeeze in a squad of marines?
    • On that note, though, you can still fit 635 stealth bombers in one city.
    • Unit stacking was done away with to eliminate once and for all the infamous Stack of Doom, an unstoppable stack of powerful units that could usually only truly be countered by your own Stack of Doom. V chose a bit of an awkward way to handle it, truth be told.

  • In IV and V, why does culture of all things determine the expansion of your borders?
    • It may be part Acceptable Break from Reality and part game balance. On the flip side, a city that's pumping out culture is a city that is well off enough to not worry where their next meal is coming from, thus allowing the city to put more effort into expanding. Horrid explanation, I know, but it makes sense if you squint at it sideways.
    • That is you border of influence. As the culture of your city grows, so does the influence you have on that city's surroundings.
  • Why is the Satrap's Court in 'V', a representation of a pre-Roman form of government, the replacement for a Renaissance-era building? Wouldn't it make more sense for it to replace the Market?

Chzo MythosHeadscratchers/GamesCivilization: Beyond Earth

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