A veteran going back to Civ4?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by bennos76, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. JBConquests

    JBConquests Prince

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    Good point.

    I seem to remember when keeping more current units was a new change to Civ 4 BTS AI. Or maybe it was to the Better AI Mod. I don't remember anymore but Civ 4 had a similar problem for a long time.

    In Civ 3 I remember getting attacked by some civ and they came at me with several stacks of 30-50 units in each stack. Since I only had 15 or so units I assumed I was going to lose but mine were calvary and theirs were warriors and archers. I actually survived because the AI was doing the same thing this AI does. Wandering around with its units (or SoD in this case) scattered - not actually performing a concerted attacked on any city. After enough turns, I wiped out their units.

    I think it's been said already but bad AI like that may have been acceptable with SoD but now with 1UPT it is not.
     
  2. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Hmm, not sure if there's been an unannounced patch recently or anything, but the AI in this game seens to have drastically improved compared with my both my last and the first portion of the same game (the one from which my above account came) - played through the rest of it today (Prince level).

    1. Contrary to a lot of reports here, Babylon knew when it was beaten and stayed quiet after I finally agreed to peace, and during the war it did concentrate both its attack and defence, stalling my more advanced units' efforts to capture its core cities with cannon and crossbowmen (the Bowmen did eventually disappear), and concentrating its attack on Vienna sufficiently to capture the city-state.

    2. Other diplomatic efforts seemed to follow the rules better than reports suggest - I was Friendly with most states (including, eventually, Babylon), and after some time these civs started accepting/offering better trade deals or no-strings-attached agreements (until the Indians started getting a bit sure of themselves at one point).

    3. The Germans actually played very consistently - Bismarck sequentially took out other capitals and civs, and a bunch of other wars were started between AI powers (quite possibly prompted by Bismarck - he'd been unsuccessfully prompting me to attack other civilizations for half the game), and then suggested I attack India - I was turns away from winning and expected that the Germans were wanting to use me to take out the Indian capital while they sat back. Since Seoul was secure and on the other side of the world from Germany I knew there was no prospect of an enemy domination victory, so I agreed. Naturally the turn after I attacked India, I got the 'Bwahaha, this is what you get for trusting me" declaration of war from Bismarck.

    I have to say, this alone made the game feel a lot more Civvy than my previous game (Warlord difficulty) or earlier stages in this game when the AI seemed considerably less capable. Does the AI have a learning algorithm, does anyone know? It would explain why the Babylonians slowly improved their city attacks - I'd left off coming to the aid of Vienna because Babylon had been attacking it piecemeal and it looked as though it could take care of itself (city-states can be tough, though I'd taken Singapore without losses earlier in the First Babylon War), only for Babylon to then suddenly start massing attacking forces and cannon.

    My main gripe with the later stages of this game was to do with the way city-states are designed - they were very relevant in this game, with my allies Helskini and Vienna bordering me on either side and drawing the attention of or picking off stray Babylonian forces. But a city-state will remain your ally and you won't lose influence for not coming to its aid, its various quests don't seem closely-tied to actual in-game events going on around it (Vienna never once asked for units or military assistance against Babylon, for instance), and it can't take a peace initiative on its own. I think the city-state AI should at least be programmed with that basic level of self-preservation and the autonomy to exercise it.

    Even the combat AI wasn't dreadful after a while - the Indians' nuclear bomber chose exactly the right target which let them wipe out half of the army massed at their border, although the second strike, against Pyongyang which had no units anywhere near it, was basically pointless. Unit targeting generally seemed more or less random, although more damaged units were preferentially targeted and the ranged attackers would concentrate their fire appropriately.
     
  3. petergandalf

    petergandalf Chieftain

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    I went back to Civ IV after a few months of Civ V. But since I had played Civ IV so much, each time I return to it I "wear it out" a little faster and get bored a little earlier. At this point when I play a full game, I have no desire to do another game until another six months pass or so.

    Civ V, in contrast, held my interest for only a very short time, but I keep trying to revive my interest. But each time I return to it I "wear it out" in a matter of hours. I usually can't get through a game before it bores me and I abandon it.

    I start more games of Civ V but finish more games of Civ IV.
     
  4. Firebird

    Firebird Chieftain

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    Civ IV runs great on my 64bit win7, 4GB ram (laptop).

    For me Civ V lasted something like one or two months. Then I went back to Civ IV. IIRC I haven't touched Civ V since december 2010. I just follow the changes and the talk here.

    I like my civ game to be somewhat realistic, and Civ V is too dumbed down to do that.
    F.ex.: Capitals cannot be destroyed. AI does not seem to handle war - it just kind of shuffles units around randomly (ok I exaggerate - a bit...). One easily produces far more units than can be placed in the world. Diplomacy is... inexplicable.

    Actually a limit to units per tile could be ok, but at the moment the ultimately futile battle to limit the amount of units in the game kills the rest of the game.

    Also: Half the fun for me is modding, and Civ V is still too restrictive.

    The problem is I don't think they will ever go back to a hardcore civ. I think the game for the masses is the better business case (5 million play the game for 1 to 2 years instead of 2 million for 5 years). This is the time where cheap, simple things rule the world - just use 10 minutes looking on the TV.
     
  5. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    I don't think it's intended to do that - if you play the original board game Civ, or a game like Tigris & Euphrates or indeed chess, they aren't realistic either. They're about gameplay over simulation. Whether Civ V achieves that when compared with earlier incarnations is another question, but the fact that it's not realistic doesn't imply that it's 'dumbed down' any more than chess is a dumbed down wargame.

    Then again, how realistic is Civ IV? I love culture wars in Civ IV - my favourite part of the game is taking over enemy cities by culture. But in reality how many cities have ever changed allegiance without conflict because they were in awe of the neighbouring culture? How many because a spy bribed them? I've mentioned the absurdity of aspects of the religion system before. And no Civ game can claim to be realistic when it takes several centuries to build an archer or a Granary. etc. etc.

    Really, does everyone here treat Civilization as a wargame? Why? Never has been, never will be. There are three entirely non-combat-related win conditions. The AI's bad on all fronts in Civ V (and, to be honest, in most Civ games, although perhaps not this bad - it had to be completely redone in an expansion to fix the poor AI in Civ IV), but for people who are particularly bothered by the tactical AI, why not just play with less of a combat focus? If the AI's that bad it can't be too much of a threat, so why not just focus on the interesting victory conditions? I never play Civ with a heavy combat focus anyway - I almost always go for science victories, but I think Civ V has better diplomatic and cultural victory conditions than earlier games.

    Civ has only made it to a fifth incarnation because it has been made to appeal to the masses from day 1. Look at the common threads of other popular game genres - such things as in-game achievements that give you bonuses (not just 'hey I've got an achievement that does absolutely nothing' like the Steam achievements, but things like building Wonders), unit promotions, named characters with special abilities (in this case Great People), tech trees... In fact I originally disliked both great people and unit promotions as 'dumbing down' the game, however being more objective and realistic as I've got older, you can hardly accuse one of the computer game industry's most commercially successful franchises as changing its gameplay in order to appeal to the masses. Games are, if anything, longer than in previous versions of Civ; the stereotype masses don't have patience for a 10 hour game (as my last was), they also like explosions and combat and dislike macromanagement - so why simplify the combat system to appeal to them and then add extra macromanagement details like city states and social policies?

    Not only does the direction of Civ V seem exactly the opposite of the direction that would appeal to the masses, in all honesty the people complaining about this change of direction sound more like the mass target audience themselves (which is unsurprising since they're the ones who've tended to go for four previous mass-market-targeted versions of Civilization).
     
  6. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    Once and for all, Civ IV works more than fine on 64-bit Win7 machine. In fact, it works better as it remedies some of the memory issues - no MAFs.

    You CAN install it in your program folder. Just install everything with "run as administrator" and, if you want, change the security on the entire folder.

    My big regret is paying full price for V. I would pay double the price for Civ IV, which I actually bought on sale some years ago. I go back and pick at V from time to time, but it just does not hold my interest. I still play IV avidly as I have for years, and don't see that letting up in the foreseeable future. I just hope they don't make the same mistakes with VI as they did with V. VI can't get here soon enough, but at least I have IV to play.
     
  7. Palaiologos2

    Palaiologos2 Prince

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    I went back to civ4 myself, so i second the OP. I am a Civ veteran myself as well.

    And the latest mods for Civ4(try total realism) truly give the game another a new feeling.
     
  8. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Doesn't this amount to saying Civ IV is preferable if it's completely redesigned? Is anyone here actually comparing Civ V with the Civ IV Firaxis produced, or with a game they've extensively fixed using mods?

    I'd be interested in seeing how a Civ game handles 'total realism' - year-long turns throughout the game in which a city can produce multiple structures/units a turn?

    A tech system that allows more than one technology to be researched at a time?

    Wonders of the World that, once completed, are mostly essentially just big buildings that provide no bonuses other than culture, and possibly tourist income?

    An Oracle that doesn't, in fact, work rather than one that provides a bonus based on a myth?

    Religious techs that allow you to build temples etc. even if you haven't founded a named religion?

    etc. etc.

    Phil
     
  9. Firebird

    Firebird Chieftain

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    That is no argument. Of course no game is completely realistic. The point is Civ IV is somewhat realistic in ways that I find interesting. In Civ V that is gone. I mentioned some examples where Civ IV fares much better than Civ V.

    Again my point is Civ IV does most of this better than Civ V. That no game is completely realistic is irelevant.


    No, we don't, but again warfare is a rather common event in history, and while a SoD isn't all that realistic having the whole world plastered with units is just absurd, plain and simple.

    Neither do I, but war is still an interesting part. And don't tell me that a victory condition which requires that capitals cannot be destroyed is better than one requiring the anihilation of a civilization. Again civilizations have been destroyed. And armies don't walk up to a capital and - puff - by magic they cannot burn it down or bomb it to ruins with nuclear weapons.

    You are right in that most people don't want to play a game that lasts 10+ hours. At least again and again for years on end. Most people also don't want a game that might need months of gametime before just getting the hang of most parts. So no Civ-games have not typically been for the masses.

    And I agree with someone else who wrote, that social policies are two restrictive. No real nation (sorry, reality intrudes once more) are restricted like that. A few decades, sometimes just a few years can drastically change a country. Not so in Civ V. If it wasn't that restictive I would be happier.

    No, no, no! Have you played Civ IV or the earlier titles? They where complex enough that many people don't wanted them. The learning curve was too steep and moreover too long. I have never seen a consolegame of matching eras with a matching complex gameplay. Most games might have prettier eyecandy than a civ game, but no gameplay by comparison! It is the complex gameplay that gives you all the interesting choices, new situations and surprises. That is why I have played Civ-games since 1992 - and barely any other games except a few casual games.

    Civ V has been simplified on many points (the main exceptions being city states and social policies, but city states ended up ruining some of the balance - and else they don't do much, and social policies I have mentioned before).
    For ex.:
    The terrain in Civ V is just about as boring as possible - and no I don't mean the graphics. It doesn't matter much where you put your cities.
    The lousy diplomacy means it doesn't matter what you do or don't do to or with your opponents.
    The stupid AI means that you can fight off China, USA and the Martians with three riflemen and a slingshot, so war is a doddle.
    That is dumbing down.

    There is a huge lack of options in Civ V. Life in Civ V is simply not interesting enough.

    That's what they have done to Civ. Make it a more casual game, so 5 times as many people buy it. They might only play it for a fifth of the time - combined, but the seller has 5 times as much money and laughs all the way to the bank.

    Now, that is not illegal. I think it is typical of the world today and I think it is sad that quality is sneered at, but so it is. My life is more than civ. I am a big guy, I can take it :). But don't tell me Civ V is the better game if you want complex and somewhat (I said somewhat) realistic gameplay.
     
  10. Firebird

    Firebird Chieftain

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    I mentioned that I like to mod.

    Some people think this means modders are trying to fix the game. Not at all. I have made hundreds of changes, had fun with them in a single game. Changed them or some other things for the next game. Most changes have been reversed back to the original. But it is the fun in building the new piece of gameplay, that I like. In Civ IV I can do just about anything:
    Religions can disapear over time, just as they can spread.
    Techs can be lost when a city riots or is taken by the enemy.
    I have made terrorist units that where invisible to other units except spies.
    Drastic, terrain altering events (meteors and mega volcanoes), that have effects over many turns (climate).

    The process is funny, not necessarily the result. In Civ IV we had python and the C++ SDK. In Civ V we have Lua. I did some mods in Civ V, but I bumped my head into more limits, than I want to think of. Sorry, but it probably will never give the same feeling of freedom, that Civ IV gives, if we never gets the "real" SDK for Civ V. In Civ V though I would start out by fixing the d... thing.

    Then I would play around and have fun.
     
  11. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    My point is that a game isn't worse or 'dumbed down' by default because it's less realistic than another. You happen to prefer more realistic elements of Civ IV, it appears - personally I found the best elements of Civ IV (culture, religion) were the very aspects that weren't very realistic (as I say, to me the best part of that game was the territory- and sometimes city-stealing 'culture war' that has no analogue in reality), or weren't handled realistically (yet again, developing polytheism etc. and being unable to use religious buildings or bonuses), and if anything the most realistic aspects of Civ IV were the same features that were realistic in earlier versions - Civ IV added no realism that I recall.

    And you could argue that Civ III did most of it better than Civ IV. To take a random example, the age-old Civ convention of having the Great Library provide technologies that were known to other civs is a very good representation of its historical reputation as a storehouse of the greatest knowledge of the age. Having it generate extra scientists is at best more of an abstraction.

    I won't, which is why I didn't say I think Civ V handles conquest victories better... I do however favour the diplomatic victory system that actually forces you to engage in diplomacy rather than spamming the map with cities and conquering neighbours to get a majority vote through sheer population. And the culture victory is interestingly novel.

    Civilizations can be destroyed in this game - they just have to have their capital change hands. Alexander will just be disappointed when he gets to Persepolis in Civ V, that's all...

    I agree that it's conceptually awkward, but I've been playing a game for two decades in which individual named rulers run their nations for 5,000 years; some incarnations even gave them specific personality traits emphasising that yes, these are intended to be the historical figures themselves, rather than an abstraction to avoid changing a graphic every few turns - I think I can handle lack of realism in the name of playability.

    Any game is necessarily an abstraction - if it makes you feel better about it you can always bear in mind that, historically, civilizations have been very reluctant to let their capital die, if only for sentimental (although often also for logistical) reasons - many of the world's older capitals of surviving nations, from London to Rome, have burned down or been destroyed at one time or another. Most get rebuilt in the same spot. A city in Civ V that can't be destroyed might conceptually be seen as a case like that. Many other cities have also been rebuilt, and yet in Civ in any incarnation if a city is destroyed, it's gone for good - I'm not sure that's necessarily any more realistic, even though it's more intuitive.

    EDIT: One of the nice changes in Civ V is the introduction of a 'repair improvement' mechanic. I wonder if there could be a 'rebuild city' mechanic along similar lines? A city that gets razed is left as ruins, and a settler can opt to rebuild on the same spot - restoring the Wonders in that city, but restarting it from pop 1 and having to rebuild some or all of the buildings (this could be worked the same way earlier Civ games handled 'battle damage' in cities - a random number of structures will have survived). Among other things, this would let them drop the 'capitals can't be destroyed' rule.

    After all, it's curious that ancient ruins in Civ V seem to stick around but recent ruins are less durable... Incidentally, this pointless name/graphic change is a minor gripe; tribal villages made so much more sense as an idea than 'Ancient Ruins', especially when you're conceptually starting the first civilizations around when you play the game, only to run across countless stone ruins everywhere you go.

    Okay, you caught me in an inconsistency in my argument - however in my defence I'd point out that all computer games took a lot more patience back in 1990 and even for some time afterwards; these days I don't have the patience to get through a campaign mission of Starcraft 1, for example. For the time Civ's game scale wasn't as demanding as it is now; as time has gone on it's become moreso because it's much more limited than, say, the Starcraft franchise in how far you can accelerate gameplay - and Firaxis has responded to that by making the version of the game you insist is aimed at more of a mass audience than its multimillion-selling predecessors take *longer* to complete.

    But whatever the true justification, you can't argue with success - Civilization *is* a game that has consistenly had mass appeal and the success to prove it. It sold millions of copies in an era when most games were selling thousands - it still ranks among the best-selling computer game franchises in history. You don't, as Firaxis is now doing, try to import a brand name into everything from console games to Facebook games and MMOs unless that brand name is a proven commercial success. Blizzard could have named their MMO World of Diablo (since that's the game engine) or given it an all-new name - but they went with a name that capitalised on the already great success of their Warcraft brand, not to make an obscure little game called Warcraft more successful.

    Civilization IV had a mechanic about which the same can be said - leader personalities. No real nation is restricted to one pair of 'personality traits' over the course of millennia. Yet these are one of the key features of that game people are clamouring to bring back.

    I think it would be fine to make the policy branches adjustable, and it would be very simple to do - just remove the restriction on changing policy branches (i.e. that if you drop one you have to research it all over again) and let the player select X of his available policy branches at any one time (either a fixed number throughout the game, or a number contingent on specific technologies) - with individual policies in each branch remaining fixed as now.

    Since 1990 - however the sales figures simply don't support your case. Wikipedia gives a figure of over 6 million Civ games sold - and with four previous incarnations, if that many people were being put off the sales would surely not have remained as high as needed to reach that figure and spawn further sequels once people knew what they were getting into. I've heard of more people abandoning Starcraft 2 for being complex with a steep learning curve than I have people abandoning Civilization.

    And while I've never played it (not having a console), from what I know of the latter I'm sure exactly the same can be said if you compare Civilization V with Civilization Revolution.

    City states are I think much like corporations or religion in Civ IV - a very good addition to the game conceptually, but one which needs a lot of tweaking to work. And you really can't argue with a straight face that the religion mechanic - which restricted religious benefits, spread into other civs not withstanding, to at most 5 of 7 civs in an average game, and which gave huge bonuses and unlocked key early-game buildings - didn't "ruin some of the balance". I had too many games of Civ IV which boiled down to "get religion early enough = win the game". I'm not aware of balance issues with city-states that are even close to being that dominating.

    All but point 1 are a symptom of dumb AI and don't really relate to the actual game mechanics - I doubt anyone would argue that the AI doesn't need fixing. Then again, in Civ IV it was deemed so poor it actually *was* fixed - maybe that will happen with Civ V. In my last Civ V game, at least in the later stages when the AI seemed to get a better hang of what was going on, it seemed to play much like the earlier Civ games I'm used to.

    I'm not sure without refreshing my memory what exactly has been done to change terrain - although high ground granting/blocking line of sight and using rivers as barriers to attackers are new as far as I can remember, which don't seem cases of simplification. Main gripe in that regard would be loss of the irrigation mechanic; I now seem able to build farms anywhere whatever my tech level.

    If anything I felt Civ IV was getting overly bloated, with too many units that were much the same as one another (axemen vs. swordsmen for example), often short-lived in the tech tree, and quite often redundant. It was heading too far towards detail for the sake of detail.

    I won't. But I also won't tell people that by virtue of having less extraneous detail and fewer complexities, and by being less of a simulation (even with the proviso 'somewhat', 'realistic' is an arguable point in favour of either game), Civ V is inherently a 'dumber' game than Civ IV, or one targeted at a mass market - I might as well argue that Company of Heroes is necessarily a better game than chess on the same basis. And I still don't see an argument for supposing that Civ V is targeting a mass market audience - across genres and game systems mass market audiences *like* detail, lots of unit options, and developed combat systems, the very things people are complaining Civ V has done away with. Shoot-em-ups have more mass market appeal than RTSes, Dungeons & Dragons more than the Traveller series of RPGs, Axis & Allies more than Tigris & Euphrates, and so on and so forth. Which is why I say that many of the arguments pitched against Civ V here sound as though they're coming from the stereotype masses themselves.

    Phil
     
  12. Staal

    Staal Warlord

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    Have to agree that CiV definitely does not have quite the epicness of IV. I think it is mainly because you do not have to employ short term "tricks". Solid efficiency and build order will see you through. I feel like I can beat Immortal with my eyes closed. Not saying I don't have to concentrate, I do, but no bad start or other bad luck etc will stop you from beating the AI senseless.

    Just can't agree about going back to IV. I start a game, see a SoD and quit. CiV with its fewer units and 1UPT has spoilt for all time. We can only move forward, going back is not really an option.
     
  13. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    I have both games on my machine. I really have to carry out an experiment with simultaneous ongoing games of each...
     
  14. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

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    Didn't last so long for me.
    Having seen the square tiles and tried to explore the world with one-tile-per-turn moves was enough...
     
  15. LeHam

    LeHam Prince

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    Yes it does. At least on Steam it does.
     

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