"Neutral" ideology needs to be reworked.

Posted on Thursday, February 19, 2015

So "Neutral" is a tier one pragmatic ideology trait that prevents other civs from declaring war on you for 100 turns.

First let me say as a player I like taking this trait. It gives you a giant chunk of time when you can invest in infrastructure without worrying about building up your military. That said I think it is unhealthy for the game.

First, the very reason I love it is why it probably needs to go. To be able to focus on social building without any concern for military or even diplomacy really throws off the balance of the game. It makes things too easy and takes away any tension from trying to build up your early infrastructure. You can safely completely ignore a huge section of the game for a rather long time.

Second, playing against civs who have taken it is no fun. It feel like your available interactions are very limited and if there is a neutral civ blocking your access to the rest of the galaxy you have no real options for advancement except to turtle and wait.

Neutrality takes a huge portion of the game off the table with no available counter play by players or AI. It is really un-fun to play against, and honestly even playing with it isn't that great because it takes away that critical tension between building military and infrastructure that is usually so important to early-game 4x strategy.

I don't have a solution, but there has to be some other way to give the player some extra breathing room at the beginning of the game without totally removing the danger of foreign military power.