My first few hours with Pandora

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whaleberg
Senior Corporal - Destroyer
Senior Corporal - Destroyer
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:04 pm

Re: My first few hours with Pandora

Post by whaleberg » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:39 pm

This is of course subjective, but in my opinion for a good 4X game building cities / colonizing planets to expand your empire is a crucial aspect of the game. I'm aware that Civilization and Colonization introduced the concept that empires with one or two cities can be stronger than ones of significantly larger size, but I have very mixed feelings about that. Realism aside, to make this happen you have to introduce artificial distortion by either heavily penalizing expansion or providing gigantic boni to small empires. However, I do agree that spreading yourself too thin with too many cities should be punished, and the AI actually does that already to an extend.
I agree completely that artificial feeling caps on city construction is extremely frusterating. I hated the crazy amounts of corruption in some of the civs, and the happiness system in civ V was a bit strange. I liked that civ V gave you the option of specializing for a large empire of small cities or an empire concentrated fewer more powerful cities. It didn't force me to play a tiny empire, but let you play one if you so desired. If you don't want to limit city sprawl at all though, you need to have mechanisms for managing many cities at once. An AI governor could help, or even the ability to save a construction queue and reuse it. There also should really be a system for upgrading defensive units. The micromanagement needed for manually controlling many small identical cities rapidly becomes not fun at all.
My main problem is that cities provide a too high intrinsic bonus (equivalent of 4 colonists), so we could tweak in that direction by making a colonizer consume 4 colonists and new cities starting with 4 (but not having boni by itself). We could also give one of the factions a heavy bonus for keeping its empire small.
There is definitely a huge advantage currently to just building TONS of cities. Especially considering that the 2 first available buildings give major production bonuses at fairly minimal cost to build. As far as I can tell it makes sense to just cover the map with a grid of cities as closely spaced as possible. There isn't really any penalty to losing and retaking cities, so it's not likes it's a real problem to leave them poorly defended.

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