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A Civ V retrospective: what features do you love and, which ones do you hate?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by megabearsfan, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. megabearsfan

    megabearsfan Prince

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    Hey all, I took some time away from writing strategy guides to put together a couple of retrospective articles about Civ V. I wrote a Top 10 list of good ideas, and another Top 10 list of bad ideas.

    Top 10 good ideas:
    http://www.megabearsfan.net/post/2015/06/03/Civ-V-retrospective-top-10-good-ideas.aspx

    Summary:
    10. Customizable religion.
    9. The pact of secrecy - which was removed :( - and preparing for war.
    8. Tactical, 1upt, hex-based combat.
    7. Cumulative cultural progress (social policies).
    6. Strategic resource supply
    5. Archaeology, great works, and tourism.
    4. Natural Wonders.
    3. City States.
    2. Notification-based user interface.
    1. Civilization unique traits, units, buildings, improvements, etc.

    And there's a 10 bad ideas:
    http://www.megabearsfan.net/post/2015/06/04/Civ-V-retrospective-top-10-bad-ideas.aspx

    Summary:
    10. Can't raze capitals.
    9. Insta heal
    8. Chariot archer and anti-mounted upgrade paths.
    7. Warmonger hate.
    6. Removing cinematics and lowering production values.
    5. Linear tech tree.
    4. Snowballing, lack of viable catch-up mechanics and runaway controls.
    3. Forcing small-scall tactical combat onto a large-scale nation-state map.
    2. NO SUPPORT FOR MODS IN MULTIPLAYER
    1. Focus on "strategy board game" feel rather than empire-management sim.


    I'm curious, what are everybody else's favorite and most hated features and mechanics?

    Feel free to read the full blog posts and comment there as well, if you see fit. :)
     
  2. stormtrooper412

    stormtrooper412 Peacemongering Turtlesaur

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    I kind of liked different leaders for the same nation in Civ4, that feels like a missed opportunity. Also, the VCs in Civ4 were kind of more diverse. The rest I generally agree with. The more I played with 1UPT, the more natural it felt.

    I obviously don't really remember anything before Civ4, that stuff was a long time ago
     
  3. ThorHammerz

    ThorHammerz zzz

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    It's a little ironic, because 4 of your "bad ideas" (#'s 1, 3, 4, 6b) are either direct or indirect consequences of a "good idea", namely the implementation of 1-UPT (1UPT in and of itself is not a bad idea.... but when you try to force it on a Civ environment and scale... well, it screws up a LOT of things).
     
  4. megabearsfan

    megabearsfan Prince

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    Yeah, the lack of multiple leaders was a very close runner-up that just didn't make my list. I wanted to try to judge the game based on what the designers tried to accomplish (i.e., on their assertive design choices, rather than design by omission). So I didn't feel that it was particularly fair to criticize the game for limitations that were not really within its intended scope - if that makes sense.

    Yep, that irony was not lost on me. In fact, I specifically referenced that in the Top 10 good ideas article:

    And then again in the Top 10 bad ideas post - using similar language as you :)

    It's also one of the reasons that 1-upt is only at #8 in my good ideas list (these are ranked lists). If the scaling had been a bit better, then I would have pushed it much further down the list.
     
  5. Volcanon

    Volcanon Warlord

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    I like most of what you liked, also: Embarkation and conquering cities using melee ships. I like how cities aren't helpless without soldiers garrisoned. I also like no stacks of doom, which really ruined multiplayer in older civs like civ 3. The ideologies are fun, though Order could use a bit of a boost.

    Dislike 1upt for workers (no more "rush building" improvements by putting 5 workers on them). No workable mountains. No mods for mac without manually hacking the app. Chariot archer doesn't upgrade into a ranged unit. Diplomacy is weak. Warmongering penalties are inelegant. 1-range ranged units with Gatling and later (a bazooka has a shorter range than a guy with a bow and arrow?). Early game seige should outrange cities. I imagine in multiplayer great engineers are irritating because it means desirable wonders are always built in one turn. Most of all the slowness is a huge headache. Older civs are much faster.
     
  6. historix69

    historix69 Emperor

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    The global (un)happiness-system and resource-system took away a lot of the Civ4-Fun. Remember in Civ4 there were numerous luxury resources, health (food) resources and strategic resources but a city could only profit if it was connected via road, river, harbor, open borders with the resource. Having 10 different luxuries gave you 10 extra happiness per city which allowed you more happiness for expansion and empire building. It was much more fun collecting resources in Civ4 compared with Civ5 since every city had a profit.

    Global Unhappiness, unhappiness per city and National Wonders are reasons to not expand early in Civ5, delaying the empire building until the game is almost over. This is ok for players who like quick games, small maps and 1-4 cities but it is no fun for players who love empire-building.

    By distinguishing between local and global (un)happiness the system became to complex.

    Unhappiness from conquering a maior enemy city usually means a maior loss in global happiness often causing unhappiness for every city which is completely counter-intuitive. People are happy if a war is successfull and will end soon. War-weariness as known from Civ3 and Civ4 is more based on duration of war (and maybe unit-losses) but not on successful military campaigns. You can work around by stockpilling happiness before taking a city but it is no fun ...

    Delaying early expansion usually means that you may later have to conquer and raze ai citys to expand ...
    Warmonger penalty after a maior war conquering many cities makes diplomatic contacts, Research Treaties, Resource Trading, etc. almost impossible for the rest of the game ... there are ways to work around but they are no fun ...

    Religion turned out to be another early race like the known wonder race, allowing only a few civs to found religions at all (7 of 43 on Giant Earth) and also limiting the traits such that each trait can only be chosen once. Most civs do not have a good start for the religious race ... I have no idea why there must be an early religious race while most civs do not even have met each other? I would have preferred a religious system similar to Social Policies based on faith ...

    The 1upt combat system is ok, but in peacetime it is annoying to not be able to place dozens of civilian and military units in a size 40+ city. The scaling of early ranged combat (2-3 tiles) compared to late game ranged combat (3-4 tiles) is unbalanced. City Defence with Range 2 is to strong in early game. Also the map size or the space between cities is usually to small for a real 1upt.

    Graphics/colors/animations and music/sound (ambience) are fine.
     
  7. historix69

    historix69 Emperor

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    While some civ Leader UAs are strong / fun to play (I like Japan when they start near Fuji-san), others are unbalanced, unflexible and for many of them it depends on the type of map and starting situation if you can use them at all ... one of the strongest and most flexible UAs is Polands Solidarity which I recently gave to Bismarck (Bismarck'sche Sozialpolitik) via mod since Germanys UA is not very useful on a map where barbarians are completely blocked by other civs ... If your favourite civ has a UA which does not fit your style of play, it reduces fun. Therefore I would prefer a system of custom UAs where every player can choose his prefered UA for his civ. I would also prefer more leaders/UAs for each nation and additional custom UAs as in Civ4 (e.g. simple production bonus, science bonus, ..., unit promotions, etc.)

    Some combinations of UAs, UBs, religious traits, wonders and certain SP are very powerful (e.g. getting culture from different kinds of tile improvements and religious buildings with high culture bonus in cities) but it seems to be unfair since the UAs/UBs are exclusive to certain civs at the moment. If the player wants to play a religious game, he is forced to take a religious civ. If the player wants to play a culture game, he is forced to take a cultural civ. (If every civ had the chance to freely choose their own specialization (custom civ), it would be ok.)
     
  8. Sessy

    Sessy Prince

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    Great works are the most beautiful thing about civ, and second would be wonders.

    I'm not sure that 1UPT is such a bad idea, playing with stacks would be significantly harder on deity, and make it feel more like a paradox game.
     
  9. Socratatus

    Socratatus Emperor

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    Hate the GDR and the Xcom unit in game. I also don`t really like how happiness works, but GDR and XCOM are the most dumbest inclusion into an otherwise not bad game. i`m just thankful mods exist so we don`t have to suffer these idiotic whims of some Devs.
     
  10. Aheadatime

    Aheadatime Prince

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    I really don't like how the AI behaves. I think what makes the AI "difficult" should be (along with bonuses to production, growth, etc) their decision making. It would be cool if, on Deity, the AI had very specific tech paths based on their win condition. Prioritizing NC and other research techs/buildings along with any specific wonders/techs that go along with their VC. This would also bleed over into behavior patterns/like-ability. This exists to a certain extent atm, but it's not pronounced enough. Often I get backstabbed by the guy who is trying to win via Diplo, even though he's getting ~60 GPT through trade routes we've established, or somebody will stall their spaceship parts to build military and invade a neighbor that has no chance of interrupting their SV. Obviously I would like them to be better in battle and less obnoxiously aggressive, but I think we all agree on that.

    I'm also not a fan of the win conditions and how homogenized they are. Science over everything and there's no way around that atm. I was introduced to Civ via CivRev on the xbox. You could win by accumulating immense amounts of gold and building some wonder (forgot by now). Counterplay was to attack the guy and make him spend his gold on defending himself, as well as putting spies in his lands and stealing gold. It was simple, entertaining, and had genuine counterplay.

    I don't like how religion is so snowbally. Some pantheons are useless, while others are high priority. This isn't a game concept so much as it is a balance issue, but perhaps it could turn into a conceptual argument via debate over whether or not the current religion system should stay.

    Regarding what I do like, there's alot of it. First and foremost, the graphics/color-scheme and the music. The combination of a beautiful game and immersive composition attracted me to this game very strongly. I just love it. In contrast, I've seen videos of people playing BE and it just looks muddy, gray, lifeless, etc.

    Social policies, religion (to an extent), natural wonders (need re-balancing though), 1uPt, trade routes, naval combat, ideologies (need re-balancing though), etc. There's alot that I enjoy about civ5. The hard part is distinguishing between balance likes/dislikes and conceptual likes/dislikes.
     
  11. Lanijon

    Lanijon Chieftain

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    I'm not sure I'd call it a "feature," but the overpowered nature of science is without a doubt Civ V's biggest failing for me. All 3 non-dom victories play nearly identical, the only notable differences being which GP you mass-faith-buy, which Info Era tech you click after researching Plastics, and to some extent where you sink your gold. This isn't such a problem if you're a role-player, but otherwise it can get monotonous. One strategy being infinitely superior to everything else is extremely counterintuitive to a strategy game.

    It's harder to list the features that I do like, not because there aren't any but because BNW was my introduction to Civ, so outside of 1UPT I have little idea of what's new and what's been around for 20 years. If everything in your top 10 is new then I'd say they took 10 steps in the right direction. 1UPT hex-based combat is probably the best change. The AI might still be tactically dumb, which will hopefully improve in future games, but stacks of doom sound downright awful, mindless, and game-ruining.
     
  12. reddishrecue

    reddishrecue Deity

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    Things i love about civ v...
    Quick speed
    Random civs
    Things i hate. ..
    Truth
     
  13. Socratatus

    Socratatus Emperor

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    I forgot to mention what i liked.

    1. I like the depiction of most of the leaders and how they talk in a somewhat authentic language. Seriously, it really helps bring me into the game.

    2. I like the many options so you can have the kind of game you want. Can`t have too many options.
     
  14. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    Great articles! Please consider using the same up/down numbering in OP as you do on your website. The lists are both least to best, but one case you count down, and the other you count up.

    I don’t disagree with any of these, but why keep the pact of secrecy? My favorite good idea is that the difficulty levels are rational and balanced. I think most players can progress, and Deity doesn’t lock you in too much. Civ II and SMAC also got the difficulty levels right. Civ III and IV were horrible in this regard.

    I am mostly okay with these.

    Eh, works okay.

    From the title I though it referred to UU ability and I would disagree, but I agree with your write-up.

    I am okay with how things are, except that maybe anti-tank should have more mobility. BNW added bazookas, and that was the biggest hole. Unlike the archer line, CAs are not essential, but CA with logistics/march make okay knights for every civ. In addition, there are a handful of civs with UU that are CA based or ranged knights -- so enough of minority that this is not a big deal IMHO.

    Before the Halloween patch, I was okay with it. Now I think things are even better, but the warmonger hate should not be watered down any more. Really, it is one of the best balanced features of the game, and big improvement over what we had with III and IV -- which clearly tipped the other way. I would not be opposed to a configuration option in the start up screen, but less warmonger hate would be a poor design choice IMHO.

    My biggest remaining criticism is that the flavor/bias system is so complicated, yet results with the personalities being so similar.

    My other complaints have to do with features in IV that did not make it into V.

    I am disappointed that there is not tile flipping. I love how the border organically grow, but I liked how IV mechanics handled forward settling and contested territory. BNW added some city flipping -- which is great -- but not enough.

    I am disappointed not to have vassals like IV had. I think that is compatible with the CS system, and it was smart not to have both upon launch, but they should have both in VI.

    I am disappointed not to have corporations like IV had. It seems like one more layer that could be added, and would be compatible with V.
     
  15. ThorHammerz

    ThorHammerz zzz

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    It's funny how science being overpowered is a direct consequence of 1 UPT being implemented.

    Because of 1UPT - the moment you gain a slight technological advantage with your troops, you can simply overwhelm/steamroll another army through the small-scale combat forced on the game (i.e. armies of less than <6-8 units).

    The reason why this problem was not present in earlier iterations of Civ was that you could make up for slight technological deficiencies through massing troops - a.k.a. quantity to counter quality. But with 1-UPT, quantity is no longer a relevant factor, and hence the current issues with science (Rationalism being grossly overpowered is also an issue, but that is merely bad balance tuning).

    :goodjob: Second this. If only there were even more diversity in the dialogues (both audio and text), that'd make it even more awesome :D
     
  16. historix69

    historix69 Emperor

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    AFAIK The formula for warmonger hate :

    Warmonger Amount = (1000 / victim_num_cities) * (est_num_cities /actual_num_cities) * era-modifier

    scales badly with map size. It doesn't reflect number of civs on the map nor gamespeed.

    On a huge map (12 civs, 24 CS, est_num_cities = 132) an early war wiping out a neighbour may give you a higher warmonger score than on a smaller map due to high value of est_num_cities. This value might be high enough to last for the rest of the game. Usually you would expect less warmonger score for early war on huge map since there are many civs left and early wars are "historically" correct. (Only in 20th century (post-WW) societies war became "politically uncorrect".)

    In Civ5 You can attack your neighbour, reduce his capital's defence to 0 hitpoints and then force him to give you some or all of his other cities in a peace treaty which seems to not increase Warmonger Score. (exploit) (Rinse and repeat.)

    Looking at war- and peacetime history (Wars of British Empire, Napoleon, WW1, WW2, USA, Soviet Union), Warmonger score in real world quickly decreases within a generation. More important for real life Warmonger score is the possession of occupied cities of existing civs rather than the number and score of captured and razed cities from the past.

    If a nation becomes to strong by settling/capturing cities, smaller civs should form blocks / alliances to counter the threat ... that would be more realistic than warmonger score ...

    For current Civ5 it would be nice to be able to release occupied cities (with modified borders) at any any time.
     
  17. Aheadatime

    Aheadatime Prince

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    I've only ever played CivRev outside of Civ5, but science was the deciding factor in those battles as well, even with stacks of doom being a thing. Early game it was all about horse armies and archer armies. Knights then steamrolled everything else, and then you would Oxford for bombers and insta-win the game. Doesn't matter how many archers/legions you have when somebody rolls around with knights/bombers. Perhaps CivRev just wasn't balanced.

    I'd say the solution to the current Civ5 science/warfare issue would be to simply rework the tech tree. It's too linear, and doesn't allow much specialization. Aside from warfare, science being OP is simply due to the current win conditions, which are all tied into science in some way.
     
  18. Lanijon

    Lanijon Chieftain

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    This reasoning is only correct if you're playing a domination game. Optimal science, culture, and diplo games ideally involve little to no military conflict, so they're hardly affected by 1UPT.

    The reason why science is overpowered is two-pronged -- the fact that each peaceful victory condition involves at least one tech (Globalization for diplo, Internet/Biology/Radar and a few wonder techs for culture, Satellites and other SS part techs for science) that is vital to get ASAP, and also the fact that science breeds more science. No matter what your end goal for the game is, the best strategy will always (well, let's say 99% of the time) start with a rush for Philosophy. Why? So you can reach Education faster. And why do you need to do that? Well, to reach Scientific Theory faster of course, that way you can get to Plastics faster, which in turn will get you to your desired victory's key tech(s) faster, which you absolutely need to win. Fixing this problem isn't even that difficult -- just disassociate cultural/diplo success from science success. The culture victory from Vanilla was mechanically closer to where it should be now, it's just unfortunate that actually playing it out was dull as dirt. I would've preferred they dress that VC up a bit for BNW as opposed to overhauling it in favor of another tech-dependent VC.
     
  19. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    That is probably fair. Personally, I hardly play anything but standard/standard/standard. That might be another criticism -- the defaults are tuned pretty well, but the start-up configuration screen invites experimentation -- most of the possibilities will result with degraded play.

    That would be great to see. Also the 2nd/3rd place AIs coordinating to war on the 1st place AI running away with a CV would be nice. I really dislike how the AIs which hate warmongers are likely to warmonger themselves, and even dog-pile an AI that is almost dead.

    Absolutely, IV vassals are one model. V supports 1-city CS, so why not at least the option to turn occupied cities into CS?
     
  20. ThorHammerz

    ThorHammerz zzz

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    Indeed, that is just poor design on the various features/mechanics & how the tech tree is laid out.

    But you could still fix that by just re-designing the tech-tree (re-distributing what unlocks what, diffusing the power spikes, adding/shuffling/removing techs, etc).

    On the other hand, no amount of fiddling with the tech tree will solve the issue of absolute military supremacy while 1-UPT in its current form exists.... you will still need to rehaul the current implementation of 1UPT before you can make science "balanced", simply due to the nature of combat in this game.

    This assertion is only hold true if you disable domination victory for your game. "Domination victory" is still as relevant as the cultural/diplomacy victory types, because it is not only you that is playing the game (i.e. you have X number of players that are playing with you, be they AI or human) - meaning that as long as it is an option, it is a factor (and a fairly huge one at that). A single flawed subset will plague the entire design.

    Of course, that's already assuming you are playing in an enormously simplified ideal world where you don't fight any wars if you're not going for domination victory - the reality is that you will most likely need to wage warfare regardless of what victory type you are going (i.e. waging war against a culturally resistant opponent, killing off enemy-allied city states voting against you... hell, even just clearing out Pocatello (the Shoshone) that you had the misfortune to spawn beside).
     

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