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1UPT and Scale

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Solo4114, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. freeluos

    freeluos Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
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    Yeah! What's CPT?

    But CTP = Call To Power.
     
  2. MaximumPain

    MaximumPain Warlord

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    Apr 30, 2008
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    Curse my lexdysia!
    That was pretty cool back in the day. I dont think it measures up to either of the current offerings though I liked a lot of the concepts in it.

    Still I understand your nostalgia for an older game I still grove on Fantasy General and Shining force every once and a while.
     
  3. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Prince

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    Hey, I have no problem with 1UPT being an option like "Use Random Seed" or a mod you can fire up. My complaint is that Firaxis clearly devoted some substantial design resources towards implementing this -- at the expense of other aspects of the game -- and they failed (in my opinion) to create a really effective system. The problem with leaving something like this to modders to fix is that mods aren't always reliable. For example, the True Start Location mod can't be run using an "Advanced Setup" so you have a whole host of options that you CAN'T mess with if you want to, you know, actually play on an Earth map in the right start location... This should have been something that, like an Earth with proper start locations, should have shipped with the game. It's an interesting concept, albeit one that I find sorely lacking in execution, but it's fine to leave it for players as an OPTION. Sadly, it's mandatory, unless you're willing to load up a mod to try to "fix" it. I'm not sure how that'll play out, but I may give it a try tonight to see whether it's even really all that workable.

    It's more than that. I mean, that's bad enough. It's that the scales just don't match up. Having an archer in Spain fire across the Mediterranean to hit a barbarian in Morocco is goofy, but something that's always been present in Civ. The problem is that the game can't decide what the archer "represents." Is he 1000 guys? Is he one guy? We don't know. While it was never really clear before either, it didn't really matter. The problem here, however, is that 1UPT creates such restrictions on land occupancy that it calls into question not only the scale of the units themselves, but also the scale of the map. Civ maps have never been to scale, just as units have never been clearly defined, but it never really mattered that much. Now, however, it matters. Why? Because you can only put a single unit on a single tile. Well what the hell is that supposed to represent exactly? What's our scale? Why is this being done? How does it fit with the REST of the game (hint: it doesn't)?

    It's not JUST that you can shoot across Massachusetts in a single turn. It's that every battle in history will take at least 60 years to fight AND must be fought on a geographic area roughly the size of Switzerland, Austria, and Germany combined. The issue isn't just that the scales don't match up, it's that they REALLY matter now whereas they didn't before. If the scales didn't match in the past...well, so what? It's just a Civ game and you can stack your units. It's not and never has been a perfect "sim" or an ideal representation of empire management. It's just a fun little 4X game. But suddenly, scale MATTERS, and that just calls into question all the other dodgy scale issues that have existed but never really mattered much until now.
     
  4. MaximumPain

    MaximumPain Warlord

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    I think that people are to married to absolute realism. Nothing in this game is realistic in any way. The 1UPT is in place to force people to make lines (I did do a bit of that in Civ IV as well but I still had to bunch up to take cities). Now sure that didnt really get done until the Napoleonic wars and more so in WW1 when they had a line across the entire front. I think it adds a tactical element to an otherwise strategic game.

    If they had a good reason to make lines it would be fine with me to change the stacking rules to allow more then 1 UPT Id just like to see a reason or penalty for having your army so bunched up like collateral damage or attrition from disease and food issues.

    large armies starve, Small armies cant win battles.
     
  5. Hesha

    Hesha Prince

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    But isn't it really futile to try and repair one logical mistake when there are so many others that cannot be fixed? I mean, since you mentioned battles taking 60+ years... why does it take 40 years to travel through a tile in 100 BC and "only" takes 5 years in AD 1000? And now don't start with road networks ;)
    It just doesn't work altogether. But I think that's acceptable and always has been. It just doesn't work when you try to make it tactical at the same time. Tactics are about time, too... imagine Wellington say: "I wish 20 years would pass or the Prussians arrive."
     
  6. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Prince

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    I agree. I plan to try out the Legions mod to see if that helps and see how my game experience goes and whether it's more enjoyable, but from doing some reading, I have a hunch that once you get rid of 1UPT, you still have a broken system. 1UPT seems to be a core element of Civ 5's design and simply "modding it away" by allowing you to stick more than one unit on a single tile won't change some of the economic issues that are apparently pretty closely connected with 1UPT.

    PI-R8 had an interesting post that I read on another site which went into a LOT of detail about how the game systems function, which I won't repeat here. Google "PI-R8" and "1UPT" and see if you can find it. In short, much of the game seems to have been designed to accommodate 1UPT, especially with respect to the speed at which your civ develops.


    I'm not sure if this is the truth, but I would believe it if it turned out that the underlying design was to make the game super-duper pretty and focus heavily on graphics. This, in turn, eats up processing power as it can take a LOT of resources to animate all those tile animations, render FOW, and move units around, especially at high resolutions which will show off such gorgeous graphics.

    This, in turn, means you need to cut down on what ELSE is going on in the game. Things like, say, calculations. The more stuff you build in your cities, the more the game has to check benefits, bonuses, maintenance, etc. And all that is CPU time that ISN'T going towards rendering pretty pictures. Same goes for...waaaaaaiiit for iiiiiiiit.....

    Units.

    Imagine having 50+ unit stacks running around the map. That's a LOT of calculations to handle, especially if the AI is tasked to operate that way too.

    So, what do you do? Everything in your power to prevent large armies from being built. You limit the space that they can occupy via 1UPT, so that you can render smaller maps and show off the pretty. You limit how fast they can be built by increasing build times. You limit how fast other improvements (buildings and tile improvements) can be constructed, so as to slow down how fast a city gets more bonuses that help it build stuff. You slow down city growth so that, even with a dynamite site, by the end of the game, you may only have 20 pop in a given city. Nice, but not as big as older games could get.


    I dunno. I haven't gotten as in-depth with the game to find all this stuff out first hand, but I can see how what I've seen of the game could end up working out that way towards the end game. So, yeah, ditching 1UPT might make combat different (better? Depends on who you ask, I guess...), but it'd still leave a LOT of work to be done. So, I guess it's not as simple as adding an option of "1UPT or stacks?" in the Advanced Setup. I'll still try out the Legions mod to see how it goes, though. After that, I suspect I'll be retiring Civ 5, though.
     
  7. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

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    Too bad that the majority of "prettiness" is handled by your graphics card, while the rest you mention is done by the CPU(s)... in modern computers, prettiness never competed too much with processing power for other calculations (well, perhaps physics, since CUDA can handle physics).

    Cheers, LT.
     
  8. Howard Mahler

    Howard Mahler Since Civ 1

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
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    The first sentence is at best an attempt at a false dichotomy.
    No simulation is 100% realistic.
    Realism is on a continuous scale.
    Some simulations are more realistic than others.

    The second sentence is just nonsense.
    Let us take one example.
    As time passes in the game, civilizations progress in technology, which in turn allows them to build more powerful military units.
    Sounds pretty realistic to me, even if it is not a perfect model of all of history.

     
  9. sketch162000

    sketch162000 Warlord

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    This is an important point. I feel like a lot of the praise for 1upt simply comes from a visceral hatred of stacking, instead of the merits of 1upt itself. People talk about stacking as if you just mindlessly throw a bunch of random units together and win. As I recall, it was beneficial to put specific units into your stack to ensure that it was flexible and prepared for any eventuality. Did the vastly larger stack usually win? Sure. But you'd have a lot of unnecessary casualties (ie wasted production) if you didn't think about stack composition, terrain, promoted units, etc. This makes sense even in real life.

    To continue with the Thermopylae example, none of the Spartans survived the battle, because they were vastly outnumbered, but the Persians had a lot of unnecessary casualties because the Greeks were far better prepared. Once the novelty of ekeing out a victory against a vastly superior force in 1upt wore off, I realized just how awkward the system actually is. I was excited for 1upt, but after playing it I can't understand the vitriol directed toward stacking in comparison.

    I feel like this need to eliminate the hated stacks is the primary reason why 1upt was so poorly implemented. It clearly was not about creating a battle system that made more sense or was more realistic, or functioned better than stacking. It was just that stacks needed to be gone, period. So, naturally, the dev team opted for the furthest extreme possible.:rolleyes:
     
  10. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Prince

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    If that was the impetus, I can understand wanting to get rid of stacks-of-doom and an emphasis on just throwing out bajillions of units.

    There are ways to make the choice of army size count, though, that don't involve breaking so many other aspects of the game just to make a lot of traffic jams and call it "tactics."


    For example (and all of these are taken from Europa Universalis 3):

    - You could have manpower limits. Each unit in EU3 represents 1000 men. Now, you can stack as big an army together as you want, but you can't build more units than you have men in your provinces. "Humans" become a "strategic resource" in that sense. So, if each "1" of a city in your empire amounts to 100,000 (or 10,000 or whatever) people, you could impose some limit like you can only ever field 1/3 of your citizens in battle. You simply cannot build more units than that. This would, of course, make it more beneficial to conquer or build new cities, but you'd also have an incentive to nurture the cities instead of just spamming them everywhere. This can also factor into reinforcements. Instead of an abstract "health" for your units, the units have to replenish with ACTUAL people, so your empire's growth slows (and your ability to field new units) unless you merge units, disband them, or wait for them to reinforce completely.

    - Another option would be to set fiscal limits. Each unit costs money -- in the form of salaries for your troops. Maintenance costs, if you will. You can lower the maintenance costs via a slider, but if you go too low, your troops will start to desert, and your units will be undermanned and weaker. So that "Str 10" unit would suddenly drop to a "Str 6" unit because you've been paying the poor bugger a mere pittance for his service.

    - Lastly, you could include empire-wide modifiers where you have the option of increasing the QUANTITY of your troops vs. the QUALITY of your troops.

    You can't legitimately make troop quantity a non-issue by having "Super-duper-elite troops" that can hold off hundreds of enemy units at a time, but you can give the smaller empires with fewer troops a chance to at least make warfare so expensive for the enemy that they think twice about taking you on.



    Oh, and as for the comment about how the CPUs don't handle graphics, I admit that I'm just guessing here. I still think that the level of the game's graphical polish and level of the game's mechanical failures suggests where design resources and/or strengths lay or were directed, but if the CPU doesn't handle graphics loads, then I guess the CPU doesn't handle graphics loads. That said, I can still see where both graphical limitations and CPU/RAM concerns would contribute to NOT making the game map on the appropriate scale to allow for ACTUAL tactical combat.
     
  11. Hesha

    Hesha Prince

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    If I may say something about so praised graphics... when I started my first game (every graphics setting maxed out, 1680x1050 (is that the wide screen one?), never had a crash so I guess my machine can handle the game) my first thought was: "Boy, does this look ******." And I haven't changed my mind yet. the units and animations are okay, but the map - especially the Bob-Ross-Forests - looks like a friggn painting. Considering the strain the game puts on your hardware you might as well expect a real-3D map with fully flexible camera and a SERIOUS zoom. It is just ridiculous how far away and unrewarding the closest zoom level still is! When I zoom in as far as possible in a highend 2010 video game, I want to see things moving in my cities and stuff!!! I didn't pay for forests that look like Bob Ross went wild in MS Paint!
     
  12. Goknub

    Goknub Chieftain

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    For me a key issue is that the hexes are simply too big for the game. I would prefer that the map "image" remain but with hexes a 1/3 to 1/2 smaller, so that one tarrain tile would incorporate 3 or a full 7 tiles.

    A city would still use the current scale and simply incorprate a larger number of tiles. Ie, the city itself would spread over multiple tiles and likewise the area worked still be one "terrain type" per citizen.

    For one, capturing a large city would require units to fight through the urban zone to reach the city centre.

    Mix in a limited "Battlegrouping" stack of 2 or 3 units and it'd keep the tactical flavour without restricting the strategic elements. A limited stack would allow ranged fire to still exist and prevent a single unit from being completely useless.

    Placing a melee unit in a "Ranged" battlegroup would prevent the "stack from being railroaded if attacked but at the expense of ranged power. Likewise, a ranged unit in a "Melee" Battlegroup would provide a ranged option at the expense of raw melee power.
     
  13. Hesha

    Hesha Prince

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    Your ideas seem pretty good to me. 2 or 3 units per tile would be great and all I'd wish for really! Also I had an idea for cities while reading your post:

    You guys remember Civ4:Col? In that the colonies/cities expand vastly over the tiles and - visually - cover several tiles. This has no gameplay effects, but it could! Wouldn't it be nice to drastically lower the scale and have cities "grow" - even on the map? I mean, I pop 1 city would still cover one tile, but bigger cities start to occupy more and more tiles. That would of course remove any improvements on those tiles and reduce production to the tiles standard yield (maximum, I mean... how much food is grown in, lets say, Brooklyn?). Ressources would of course still be connected. This would be way more realistic too, since growing cities do consume farmlands, etc.
     
  14. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Prince

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    I just have to say that I actually burst out laughing when I read the "Bob-Ross-Forests" bit. Well played. :lol:



    Anyway, I think the graphics are an improvement over Civ 4, and animations and stuff are pretty enough (especially in comparison to other similar turn-based-strategy games) that reviewers will focus on them. Also, there's the animated somewhat-less-cartoony leaders. Basically, the graphics are a considerable improvement over Civ 4 -- which should come as no surprise to anyone. The thing is, most game reviewers, especially professional game reviewers, focus HEAVILY on graphics, and focus especially graphical improvements when reviewing sequel games.

    "While there are all sorts of fantastic gameplay improvements, the graphics in this game look like they came straight out of 2004, which is a shame considering the last game in the series came out in 2003! 7/10."
     

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