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A theory on why ciV has been so divisive to the community.

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Thormodr, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. serikas

    serikas Chieftain

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    I agree to the analysis in general.

    I see someone saying removed features were redundant, like health, corporations. Can't agree that they were redundant but even if they were, they had to be in civ, in any form. Why? Because they were all around human history and played great roles. Disease was a major pain throughout any civilization history and it will continue to be. Corporations? Do we need any explanation? We are debating over a corporate-made computer game series. I personally expected a lot for civ 5 to have greatly reformed corporation feature.

    In Civ 5, many things that made us feel the reality are gone. Civ designers must have put their effort to increase the reality, and not cut them down. If they were to follow the trend of simplifying everything, why didn't they just make ciV RTS?

    Let's face it. Do you think civ would be so successful if you weren't playing with real civilizations like Rome, Greece? What if you were playing empire A, B, C ? What if your city isn't New York but some_numbers_only_inside_your_computer?

    There were many civ-like board games, and I think what makes us we love civ and what makes civ different from those board-games is complexity. Complexity something human player cannot or wouldn't be happy to handle, like calculating trade routes, how many gold you get each turn, etc.

    If civ designers keep this approach, that would be simply playing a board game with fancy graphics and (dumb) AI.
     
  2. GenocideAlive

    GenocideAlive Chieftain

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    Can you support any of this with some kind of fact? What is or is not "fun" seems to be a prevailing theme in your writing, but I have as of yet to see you support it with evidence from this unanimous opinion that you seem to think you're citing.
    I'd like to note aloud that quite literally none of these points have any factual basis whatsoever.
    Actually, among best-sellers this is very uncommon. Most successful computer games released are generally very polished and tend to only need tweaking in "balance" categories; they do this with extensive Beta testing. I used to count Civ among them, but apparently the times, they are a'changin'.

    It's becoming rather clear that the author of this iteration was shooting for a successful multiplayer Civ, in the hopes that they could tap the playerbase of the gaming industry's most successful titles (SCII, WoW, etc.). Unfortunately, in doing so they have alienated Civ's most dedicated playerbase: hardcore AI players. Civ has always been at its core a single-player game. You decided the pace of the game, you decided whether to take another turn or go to bed (another turn!). Multiplayer doesn't work that way. You need to have simplified rules, faster turns, and quicker games.

    Quite frankly, Civ was always amazing because of its incredible world-building as much as its empire building. Now it doesn't have much of either, in hopes of being more "streamlined" for player v. player games. As for me, if I wanted to play Starcraft using Civ units, I'd get a mod.
     
  3. SuperJay

    SuperJay Bending Space and Time

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    Interesting analysis, thanks for posting that. (I don't use the 2K Forums and wouldn't have seen it otherwise.) I think he has a lot of good points.

    For me, some of those points are relevant, others not as much. In a nutshell, I think it comes down to three basic problems for me:

    • I just don't have enough to do in Civ 5. The journey through time - the process of building an empire - feels very empty. I basically just wait for the game to end or somehow get interesting.
    • The progress of any game is incredibly predictable; there's no real mystery. Do X, then Y happens.
    • The AI is just plain awful, especially at combat. And the new combat system is the game's centerpiece. So when that system is fundamentally broken... what's left? A lot of "Next Turn" clicks, apparently.

    Are those problems the results of board-game design when I'm looking for a god-game? I don't know. Does Civ 5 divide the community? No, the community divides itself.
     
  4. Gaizokubanou

    Gaizokubanou Warlord

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    I don't know if Civ4 falls under this so called "god-game" category, but I can see how Civ5 is more of an "board game" than Civ4 is.
     
  5. BulMaster

    BulMaster Chieftain

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    I think the guy has some very interesting ideas. But the main issue comes from the target market of the game, not the god game/board game difference, which in this iteration of the game is not the core gamers who like to build an empire on a huge map on marathon and fine tune it as it progresses in the ages. On civ 1 2 3 and 4 i've always played a game for days if not weeks on Marathon. I was deriving fun from my "hard work" and basking in the glory of my result.

    Instead the game is focused towards the casual gamer which is the reason why games are becoming so "accessible" lately since that market is huge! Those casual gamers want a quick dose of fun and that's what Civ V offers. Or their source of enjoyment is different than mine. Hence why the 5 cities, limited armies, moving everything from a micro level to a macro level and why playing marathon on huge is extremely boring - its not quick! The game is designed to be fast and small.

    I am sure if you look at it you will see civ V fan cleavage is just between those two distinct groups. Those that want their quick fix of fun and those that want to dedicate time to achieve something, which was the reason for the 1MC syndrome in the first place. Yes the line is fluid since gamers are not so clear cut, but the reality is that the game appeals to the casual gamers' side of the spectrum than the core gamers' side. Bash all you wish, you know I am right. And as I said that group is big, very big which means more profit. After all it is profits that keep Firaxis existing, not wishful thinking and at the end of the day, in a very democratic manner Firaxis has responded to the wishes of the majority.

    The core gamers that have propelled Firaxis to today's glory are becoming a niche market, because of the proliferation of PCs. Think about it in those terms of who was the early adopter. We the core gamers of civilization are not an economically viable market anymore. That's why we play Dwarf Fortress, which is aimed at us and casual gamers will almost never pick up.

    Now I wouldn't have had any issues with Civ V had it been named Civ: Rev 2, since i feel Civ: Rev, not Civ IV is really the prequel of this game.

    Side note: And no I am not saying casual gamers are dumb. Yes accessibility does seems dumbing down to us, but is more a reaction to economic realities, it is sad to say it, but it is actually an evolution rather than a devolution
     
  6. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    civ5 is just different. Every transition to a new civ always leaves a portion of the community out in the cold.

    civ5 had the misfortune of coming after the wildly popular and casual friendly Civ4, which meant a lot more players could potentially felt jilted if they made major changes (which they did) and releasing in such an incomplete state.

    But the game is the scion of Soren's concepts in civ3 and 4. Anyone who touches 5 and claims it is a completely different game is either lying or didn;t play enough of 3 and 4. I keep referring back to Civ3 in my posts, because this game has a lot in common with that.

    It's not more board gamey, its more Civ3-ey,
     
  7. Kerosene31

    Kerosene31 Prince

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    I get how people have criticisms of Civ V, but to me it is not a radical departure from the series.
     
  8. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    Yep , it borrows so much from Civ3 and 4 no one seems to notice the similarities, but Civ4 BTS fans want BTS 2.0 with religion so they can exploit it again.

    But it needs to be emphasized too Firaxis created this situation by releasing a buggy mess of a game that seems to have its AI either missing or broken.

    If the AI was competent, a lot of these complaints would go away.

    Some people are just so disappointed with the AI, they'd rather be in bed with the thing they know, Civ4 BTS. But as a long time Civver, I've completely grown out of Civ4. And like the beginnings of what I see in Civ5.

    Maybe the game will crash and burn and be a sad footnote to the Civ franchise, or maybe it will be patched in a year's time and we'll all be enjoying it.

    I'm trying to be helpful to the franchise I love by contribution comments and suggestions, rather than getting on the treadmill of rose tinted glasses talking about how awesome Civ4 is and how Civ5 should just be like Civ4 (no thanks).
     
  9. SuperJay

    SuperJay Bending Space and Time

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    It's interesting that you agree with one of the biggest reasons that other long-time civ players are disappointed in 5, but you tar us all with the same "it's not Civ 4.5, quit whining" brush.

    I understand that criticism of something you love can feel threatening, but if you actually read the posts, I think you'll find that most of the criticisms have valid points, and aren't simply parroting "I want Civ 4 back." (I don't want Civ 4 again, I already have it and can play it if I so desire. I just hoped for more from Civ 5, which is turning out to be a pretty shallow, uninteresting, predictable experience.)
     
  10. Jester Fool

    Jester Fool Emperor

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    Ironic you would say that. I have already started coding/designing one (but it will probably be 5 years before I can finish). "Galactic Supremacy" will be the title and the best part is that it will be SHAREWARE (sorry Steam - you LOSE).
     
  11. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    If you're making genuine criticism,s posting on comments and suggestions then you shouldn't feel targeted by the comment. I've personally not seen you post very many times on the whine threads in question.

    I'm referring more to the posters who continually generate the dreck of polls, counter-polls, and walls of text.
    And lists of 'things removed from Civ4'
     
  12. lschnarch

    lschnarch Emperor

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    Would you mind to explain this in more detail?
     
  13. tom2050

    tom2050 Deity

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    Technically, it borrows the most from Panzer General... with the difference that PG implemented it correctly, and Civ5 failed due to scale/bad AI.
     
  14. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    I thought about this overnight and though I initially agreed with the god game vs board game analogy, I felt there was something missing. I believe there was a very conscious decision to make Civ5 more accessible than Civ4 was (which had been criticized for being too intimidating and complex). Now whether you adopt board game principles to make it more accessible, I guess that could be part of it.

    Now, where to go from here? I have expressed the optimism that since they were successful in making the game more accessible (as sales attested), shouldn't the patches and expansion packs now focus on making the game better and more complex? The casual gamers could stick with vanilla Civ5, if they wish.
     
  15. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    Cvi4 too complex? It was the casual version of Civ3. That's when 2K first acquired Firaxis and they signed Nimoy as part of the push to appeal outside the number crunching crowd.

    But as with any strategy games, it got more complex with each expansion.

    Im sure Civ5 will follow the same trajectory.
     
  16. DaveGold

    DaveGold Emperor

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    There are some interesting observations in the original post but to be honest the game just needed 4 weeks more beta testing. It's that simple. Back that up with in-game information that tells you what you need to know instead of the obvious, and people might have taken a longer look at the game and form a reasoned opinion. People wouldn't be complaining that diplomacy is broken if it wasn't actually broken. People wouldn't be complaining about broken strategies if they weren't actually broken. People would be trying to find new ways to play if broken features didn't predominate. We don't know if one unit per hex is a failure as it's undermined by so much else in the game.

    As a simple example, just look at the notification log. This was clearly written by a programmer to a specification. It does what a log should do. It's patently though no help to a user as it only gives you an alternative way of accessing the easy-to-click big round buttons that notify of you of events each turn. The log should have been something useful, something that reminded of you of events that aren't shown with notification buttons, events like someone pillaging your fishing boats or shooting your units. Beta testing would have changed that log from merely meeting specification and turned it into a feature that users want.
     
  17. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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  18. lschnarch

    lschnarch Emperor

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    Seems to have been these people:
    And I think there is a reason why I haven't seen any postings from any of them lately.
     
  19. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    The game was very much beta tested. But for those that are developers, like myself, know what that means. Beta testers inundate the developers (actually the lead test manager) with many, many fixes, changes, deletions, additions, etc. There only so much a developing staff can do with limited resources and therefore, have to prioritize what can done pre-release, day 0 and post-release.

    That's obvious. There was a 4-weeks testing period between the release of Civ4 and the first major patch (forgot what version it was).
     
  20. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    Strong team of testers, alot of them I've tested with on the Civ4 beta.

    I have faith they will have the problems fixed.
     

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