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A cogent explanation on the shortfalls of Civ V

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by masterminded, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. Craftsman

    Craftsman Chieftain

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    Spoiler :


    Very well written! Congratulations! :goodjob:


    Spoiler :



    Large empires are indeed much better than smaller empires in Civ5. The only drawback is that large empires have a harder time trying to win a Cultural Victory (if this is really something possible to happen). But, when your empire is the most powerful, there are other and more interesting possibilities... :D


    Spoiler :


    Playing Civ5 like Civ4 (or any other version) is suicide. Trying to win as a "small empire" is self punishment. Constant conquest requires constant genocide. That's it - the "grand strategy" game. :D
     
  2. Bad Brett

    Bad Brett King

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    Off topic, but how is that possible?
     
  3. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Communism (+5 Production) plus maritime city states.
     
  4. Leif Roar

    Leif Roar Warlord

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    The problem is, though, that a small empire is optimal for a culture win in the same way that dynamite is optimal for blowing up a railroad bridge.

    At their best, Civilization has always been games of near constant trade offs. On almost every turn you would have to weigh conflicting interests -- do you spend your resources on a short-time goal, medium-time goal or on your long time strategy? Sticking too tightly to your strategy would burn you, since you'd have a harder time staying in the game. Spending too much effort on staying in the game, and you'd have problem winning because your long time strategy floundered.

    I'm not saying the earlier Civ games were perfect in this regard -- they all had their particular Manchester screwdrivers of strategy, but In Civ V I barely see this dynamism at play at all.
     
  5. Shafi-is-back

    Shafi-is-back Prince

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    Thats fine BUT large empires should definitely not be at a disadvantage either. I believe hapiness and maintenance penalties for large empires are fine but the social policy costs are not scaled right, it should still favour the smaller empire (thereby giving them the edge in a cultural victory) but not be absurdly expensive for larger empires like it presently is.
     
  6. Shafi-is-back

    Shafi-is-back Prince

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    I have to disagree. have you tried abusing CS's? the trick is to work on one type depending on your need.

    For example if you have two maritime CS's at ally status, i find my new cities getiing to size 2 in the one turn and then to size 4 in no time at all.

    I played a game focussed on a cultural victory, where i built only 3 cities. I had 3 militaristic CS's allied with me. My entire military (save maybe 3 units) was from them. I was swimming in so many units i actually invaded washington (who was being a royal pain :D) and sold off his cities for absurd amounts of gold to help me along in my cultural win.

    Depending on your need CS's are very very useful. Since its probably the most efficient way to convert your gold to food or units / culture.
     
  7. Maxor127

    Maxor127 Warlord

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    I agree with the points I read except conquest being impossible and slow. I had little trouble conquering everyone without resorting to razing cities. I guess it depends on what social policies you pick. But I had positive happiness and gold output through most of the game. I only build gold and science buildings, and built production buildings in my most productive cities, and I only built happiness buildings when I needed to. Didn't really bother with cultural buildings or military buildings except for Coliseum. I left almost all of my captured cities as puppet states and had a whole continent plus the entire half of a distant continent conquered on a standard map.
     
  8. civ-wrecked

    civ-wrecked Chieftain

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    Very well said. I played my first game on continent map, got to the point where there was only one civ left and I was within a dozen or so turns to win but then the boredom of "Why am I sitting here moving all these units around without any fun ?" took over and I quitted.

    I look at the Civ IV vs Civ V argument in a philosophical light. Some people look at a trip as a way to get to a destination and some take it as a journey. The game designers fall into two classes which I will call the journey designers and the destination designers.

    Civ IV and its offshoot, Fall from Heaven 2 which I enjoyed a lot, fall into the class of journey designers. Their main purpose is to make the trip fun along the way. They do that by providing a lot of unusual options for people to play around with. Inevitably, the very unusual options will make the game unbalanced as some options will be better than the others (FFH2 is one example. even a lot more so than Civ IV). Non-Civ games falling into this class are Starcraft and Warcraft. It usually takes them awhile after the release to retune the units in the games to balance them better.

    Civ III and Civ V fall into the class of destination designers. They assume that people play for the destination, to win the game, and therefore concentrate on making the game balanced and every option has as much the same chance to win as another. Therefore, there's no single factor in the game that will make you feel the exhilaration of "All right, I've got this XYZ thingy, I'm going to have a great game and beat the crap out of the enemies this time". If all the choices are dumbed down enough to keep the game "balanced" then it ru the risk of making some players wonder "Why am I sitting here in front of the computer making all these choices when they're not really matter much ?"
     
  9. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    WHAT? No. you're correct in Lumping Civ3 and Civ5 together, both are... surprisngly similar *visuals, design choices, buggy release, AI behavior* but I was on the losing end (granted I wasn't able to test as much as I wanted to due to work) during the CivIV beta where one camp wanted to basically remove all the exploits in Civ3 to make a super Civ3. While another argued for more varied play, less structure, to keep the spirit of Civ3 in a more refined/streamlined AI. The 'no exploits' crowd won out and we got a game that played a lot like civ3 mechanically but felt completely devoid of what made civ3 fun for a lot of us.

    But I'm not trolling Civ4. I like it. And they did a lot of things right. Removing glaring exploits like using 2 empty cities to play ping pong with the AI's SOD was one. Various diplomatic paradoxes were removed. But they restricted a lot of things on the top end to make them 'non exploitable', things like only per turn for per turn trades, no lump sum trades for per turn deals, and the AI was designed as Soren put it, to form into 'blocs' so some AI started out automatically hating certian other Civs. That usually means half the world hates the player and doesnt want to deal with them (they patched it later and this behavior became less apparent with BTS)

    Then they added religion, which had no real gameplay effect initially other than gold and a mild relationship boost until they made it so strong through patching and tweaks that by the time BTS rolled around, the cornerstone strategy for human players playing at the top end of the difficulty settings was to 'switch to safe relgion'; essentially a crutch to diplomacy and an exploit.

    Civ3 was unbalanced in many ways, there were glaring exploits, but it had a dynamic AI. The AI leaders formed blocs on their own. Civ3 was very much built on the 18th century European great power model, so AIs loved entagled web of alliances. But it worked out for the most part. In many maps where enough Civs survive into the industrial age, there are always interesting side stories and politics going on everywhere. Who is in bed with who, where are the wars. Oh, look a dogpile.

    Vassal States in Civ4 killed that too. Now by the mid to late game you usually have 2-3 locked allianced going to war. And those same 2-3 locked alliances remain unless a human player or a runaway AI breaks up on of those alliances. It's far less interesting.

    In that sense both Civ3 and civ5 are about the sandlot. Less structured play, more foucs on 'influence' rather than hard coded 'pacts'.

    Civ5 will need a lot of work on diplomacy and City States to reach its potential, but the potential is there.
     
  10. SirMaru

    SirMaru Chieftain

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    I agree with the OP. We need an expansion of the Setting options so each of us could tailor our games to our own tastes in a much more effective manner.
     
  11. ds61514

    ds61514 Warlord

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    Actually I've played and beaten BTS 4 Deity with mass-whipped cavalry, thanks to the fact that Civ 4 AI is so dumb, but thanks for playing :goodjob:

    Seriously, can people really deny that there were rote Civ 4 strategies? Look at all of Kossin's Daily Round games (great reads btw). How many of them ended with a cannon and/or cavalry stomp? And this is an improvement over Vanilla, where the AI pre-deity just died to an axe rush, and where players beat the game without cottages, where players beat the game without civics (shows how useful those are...)
     
  12. masterminded

    masterminded Chieftain

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    I cannot respond to over 100 posts, but I think that I will briefly address some of the criticisms directed toward me.

    First, I obviously got some things wrong. My claim that the cultural victory becomes inaccessible with 5+ cities was incorrect, for instance.

    Nonetheless, I don't find many of the criticisms of such deficiencies, such as the aforementioned one regarding culture, very strong. Sure, cultural victories can be possible in larger empires, but that doesn't matter. The overwhelming incentive to build small is still there. Highly undesirable and extremely sub-optimal are not much better than impossible as actual gameplay goes.

    Second, my argument, although worded a bit differently, came down to the rote swim lane critique. The singular focus on expansion is more than a bit non-responsive, and I would even contend that it has somewhat derailed the thread.

    But on the topic of expansion, little more can be said beyond mrt144's articulate retorts. Nonetheless, I'll make a few points. Firstly, there seems to be a contradiction between arguments. In certain responses, it is argued that the restrictions on expansion aren't very onerous at all; in others, that the restriction is a positive because it requires the player to further strategize. I'm not sure if these contradictions were by the same poster or between multiple posters. There were a copious number of replies in this regard and time could afford that I only give many of them a cursory look.

    Secondly, I think the focus on the heavy restriction against expansion as a good is somewhat arbitrary. Until the modern era and the introduction of nationalism, empires naturally expanded geographically, extending their direct control over populations and introducing new socio-economic-civic models of participation and organization. To put such heavy restrictions on the player is counterintuitive.

    Thirdly, it's also a rather blunt instrument in that it replaces a myriad of restrictions and trade-offs in prior civs with a few mechanics that only restrict a few big things. The player no longer has a mechanic for distributing the fiscal outlays of the exchequer. Nor does she have to be concerned with corruption or health. The result is a more shallow and heavy-handed experience.

    Edit: The more I think about it, especially in regard to my last point about limiting expansion being one of the only few large restrictions in the game, I can understand the focus on expansion as an issue central to the meta-game. Nonetheless, addressing only this issue is non-responsive to the rest of my argument, which was a broad summary of the deficiencies inherent in many of the games mechanics and how, in combination, the resulting meta-game favors a few rote paths, greatly restricting the variety of strategies and the ability of the player to shift strategies mid or late game in response to circumstances. To illustrate, I mentioned deficiencies A-G and how they shaped the meta-game. A singular focus on expansion evinces how G relates to the meta-game in isolation, but disregards A-F.
     
  13. Theodorick

    Theodorick King

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    While writing like you just found a thesaurus isn't my definition of 'well written', I agreed with the majority of your points. The fact that this Civ5 feels much more linear than any other Civ, which is a direct reflection of many things you pointed out, takes away the broad, addictive, epic feeling that made me interested in this series in the first place, and I find myself abandoning most of my games out of disinterest.
     
  14. ohioastronomy

    ohioastronomy King

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    In Civ 4 you could win in a peaceful game, and in Civ 5 you really can't. And the military way has never been that appealing to many, including me. That matters to those of us who approach the game as builders.

    Edit: and, more to the point, the winning strategies in Civ 4 weren't obvious right at the start. It took people awhile to crack the higher difficulty levels and to see the flaws in the AI.
     
  15. Maxor127

    Maxor127 Warlord

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    Don't forget the horrible tech tree and broken multiplayer. At this point, I'd rather see a mod with hexes and Civ5 combat, but Civ4 everything else. I've lost all interest in playing Civ5 now. It was extremely disappointing, but I still would've probably enjoyed multiplayer, but that's completely broken. I have a game that me and my brother were playing that we can't progress because we're constantly getting disconnected.
     
  16. masterminded

    masterminded Chieftain

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    Was that qualifier even necessary? It was rather insulting.
     
  17. Asylumer

    Asylumer Chieftain

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    If it was an insult it more negatively portrayed him rather than the person he's attempting to insult. Anybody who thinks a Thesaurus is necessary for a solid vocabulary probably lacks a sufficient repertoire of their own... and using the term pejoratively is idolizing ignorance.

    Though to be fair to Theodorick, I've seen people cry "Thesaurus" for words far more mundane than the uncommon ones used in the OP. It's like these people become upset at the very prospect of reading and voraciously avoid literature, and then proceed to throw a tantrum at those who do indulge in the written word. Personally, I enjoy it when I encounter a new tool to use in wordplay, despite my poor mastery of the craft. A wide vocabulary makes language fun.

    Let the words flow free.

    /rant
     
  18. Jediron

    Jediron Prince

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    Al have been said and all will be repeated again and again by others.

    I just say this; Liked Civ 3 more, where it was possible to loose, where it was possible to make epic battles pre 0BC, where you really have to fight for your life. At least, that how i felt it.

    Now i feel nothing. The Ai is stupid is any way, city states makes matters worse, allie them and your socalled enemies are doomed, right form the start. The AI suck with islands, the AI suck on land, so the only thing that really "threatens" you, is being in WAR with three or four at the same time. Prevent that, Conquer the World, Game Over.
     
  19. Ayt

    Ayt Warlord

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    You clearly have a grasp of the words you employ in your writing so I'd just ignore him.
     
  20. masterminded

    masterminded Chieftain

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    I'd actually like to address one more defense of the slow building and high maintenance mechanics that I've seen elsewhere and here.

    Most of those defending these mechanics proffer that the designers intended to emphasize city specialization. In reply, I'm not so sure that this is the case given the implementation of national wonders, which, for the first time, require that a certain building be erected in every city, rather than a set number of cities as in previous iterations of the franchise. Those buildings are libraries, museums, workshops, monuments, and barracks. All of them require maintenance and museums, in particular, are expensive.

    It cannot be argued that this game presents a clear incentive to encourage city specialization. The following possibilities are the only clear alternatives that I can deduce:

    1) The designers are NOT trying to encourage city specialization

    2) The designers are trying to encourage city specialization, but have introduced mechanics that were poorly conceived and counterproductive to this goal.

    3) The designers are trying to encourage empire-wide specialization, i.e., all cities are encouraged to be of one specialization.

    4) National wonders are now intended to be utilized by small empires to enhance city specialization.

    None of these possibilities are promising. The first means regression in the series, the second indicates poor design, the third only further serves to calcify the linearity of the available strategies, and the fourth further advances the counterintuitive incentive to remain the size of Switzerland in a game with the express goal of forging a civilization that dominates the world. Of course that doesn't mean world conquest necessarily, but it should necessitate expansion adequate enough to avoid relegation to small power status.
     

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