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Acken's Let's Plays Apollo series announcements

Discussion in 'CivBE - Stories & Let's Plays' started by Acken, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    As I did in Civ5 I will record a few games of CivBE.
    For reference here is my Civ5 thread:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=533320

    This thread allows me to post new LP and links to it.
    _________________________________________________

    NEW LET'S PLAY POST PATCH

    New let's play is being uploaded.

    This one was played post patch and is complete. I wanted to see if things really had changed with the patch, they didn't. They mostly reduced the amount of exploits available but the game is still disappointing to me.

    This let's play features a 221 turns purity victory with Franco-Iberia. The game is semi-peaceful. I don't try to conquer but I get attacked by angry neighbors not happy with my over-expansion !

    Here is the playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5IXV43xjKWSFu1APT1h9s3VzSzz8rzIH
    And first video:

    Link to video.
    _________________________________________________

    Pre-patch first LP:

    Right now I only have finished recording the Apollo challenge number 1 that I played. Here is the thread if you also want to participate and play the same map:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=538443

    This series features African Union and suboptimal seeding options on Apollo for a take at the Promised Land victory (first time I took this victory).

    I had a crash of the recording software so this series sadly misses some turns in the mid-game (95 to 140). I apologize for that and some ranting about trade route hell in the late game.

    Please feel free to comment :)

    List:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJJJJJqecYE&list=PL5IXV43xjKWSR30NglWAwYmAw08BXMwSY&index=1
    First video:

    Link to video.
     
  2. TLHeart

    TLHeart Chieftain

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    Thanks for the LP...

    Just a comment on perspective... you find managing the trade routes boring, yet you spend more time managing your city tiles every turn.

    Yes the UI for trade routes needs some work, which is all in the code, just not being used.
     
  3. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    Well for TR it has more to do with the problem that is searching through the list, when I manage a city I feel like playing and taking a decision rather than skimming through an opaque list.

    But that kind of ranting is only a matter of opinion of course :)

    We'll have to see what kind of improvements Firaxis brings to the game. By the way I have already finished recording another LP but... I got a lucky T159 contact victory in it so I don't know if it's really worth much to show it.
     
  4. TLHeart

    TLHeart Chieftain

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    a lucky contact win is boring... I have done that, without even trying... getting the signal from ruins needs to be changed...

    Understand that you find managing your citizen tile placement for just 1 more food or hammer, more rewarding than picking from a list to gain 5 to 15 units of useful resources. You get to choose when you change the citizens, makes one feel in control.

    Trade routes, pick and forget for 25 turns from a list does not give a player the feeling of control.
    And then the game prompts you in the middle of other units that HEY I am over here, assign me to trade!!!!! an intrusive mechanic.

    I would like to see a trade route screen like a city screen, showing your empire,and the KNOWN world and the yields available, and allowing you to adjust the trade routes when YOU choose to.

    Just like we do with the citizens. Just dreaming now, as I know firaxis wont be doing that.
     
  5. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    After getting a T162 Harmony victory I'm getting confident I can make a last lets play (before patch) with similar or better times to victory. I'll do that next.
     
  6. nmlpsousa

    nmlpsousa Chieftain

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    Nice LP, I hope you release more! This game looks kinda stale in terms of streams and LP's, which is sad since it's my main source of knowledge.
     
  7. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    I'll make one more then quit, I think sadly that the game is quite poor. I may remake some if I'm satisfied with patches. But there's really many things that I dislike.
     
  8. Breezin

    Breezin Chieftain

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    Very interesting LP. Thanks for that. I learned quite a bit.

    I'm curious, what parts of the game do you dislike? I agree the game leaves a lot to be desired. I'm not sure if patches can fix it.
     
  9. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    I'll try to organize my thoughts and what follows is only my own opinion in my own thread ;)

    Well like many people I dislike first and foremost the patchable issues like balance and UI. I don't have a lot of hope for the UI to be improved so maybe bc1 will be interested to improve it with his mod, however I'm not even sure he's working on it and may be too disappointed to bother. I've seen him post more updates in his Civ5 mod thread than in his CivBE one. Stuff like trade routes, uninteresting health, exploitable favors etc etc. I think they could be fixed. Difficulty maybe too.

    Also like many the AI (diplo and tactical) is problematic and we'll see what they do there.

    However I have also some fundamental problems with the game.
    First with the victory conditions. I feel they are way too similar right now. It may be a consequence of affinity techs not being relevant due to balance but whatever affinity I pick I just feel as if I'm always playing the same game with different units. Like I said it may just be a trade route related issue but the game currently has this very weird exponential growth in science output where while the first techs take ages the last ones are done in 2 turns. And the first techs are the most important in planning out your empire. This creates a weird feeling where 2/3 of the game are always played the same since you use common techs and then the last third is a mad rush for 13 affinity, build a wonder, win.

    Compare that to the huge difference there is between Culture and Science in BNW and I feel a little sad (and that was with a linear tree !). Maybe if they make affinity techs more relevant and the game longer we will start to care more about affinity techs and experience really a different game. But I don't feel getting a building that does +10% prod instead of +10% science will feel that awesome. And anyway the end game are sadly not very different, you build a wonder and then must spend a specific amount of turns doing a simple task that you can anyway plan for way in advance.

    Then comes my second issue. I just dislike the affinity system. It forces you to go one path and ignore every-other. Once you have chosen your affinity, the shortest route to winning is always to get only the relevant techs for this affinity. They shouldn't have been your goal for winning and more a new set of bonuses and mixture of units that you could craft for your needs. I must also mention that you have no control about the bonuses you get out of your affinity (apart from unit bonuses if you're into domination). It's supposed to take the ideas of Religion and Ideology mixed together from Civ5 but without any of the meaningful choices from it. Can't really remember when I really cared about the bonuses too :X
    Both these two last points make me just see how much of a wasted opportunity the affinity idea was. What if instead of simply awarding points for techs you were awarded points for actions you take toward that goal ? Adding special mechanics for each affinities and special objectives.

    Right now spies doesn't seem to be very interesting. But even if intrigue was fixed it's a fire and forget mechanic. That's it. For one of the major feature of this expansion it's disappointing there's not a more active role to it (to be fair Civ5 spy aren't better).

    I have a dislike for how health is managed in the game. Not the issue that it doesn't stop expansion, that will be fixed. No I have a problem with how you actually get positive health. You see in CivBE health is a global stat. However the only global health you get is from virtues (and spies). Everything else is local health. This is like the wrong mixture of Civ4 (local) and Civ5 (local+global). The problem I feel it has is that basically all you can do outside virtues is to reach your local threshold in each city. You do not have other means to acquire global health besides virtues. On the other hand, local health is VERY easy to get (many buildings, biowells).
    This creates this weird situation where you can just keep expanding in slightly positive health with no strong constraint because getting those new buildings and improvement in a city is an easy task and you'll reach your local threshold in no time. It's a brainless task, especially if they make health harsher. There is no shortage of health so you don't have to hunt for external happiness like you do in Civ5, no luxuries, CS or trade.

    Now in a more subjective area I dislike a lot of the "artistic" stuff in the game. I think the textures for different terrains are way too confusing so I always have to put tile yields on to have a clue. I do not like the tech and building icons. They are very unintuitive. Compared to the care that was done toward Civ5 icons it's a bit sad. Also I have really no idea of what I'm really building or researching. When I play usual civgames I have a sense that I progress in technology and it's obviously easy to understand. Here the icons doesn't help and I have to go to the civilopedia. I don't know... something seems lacking in atmosphere and soul.

    Despite all that I kind of like the virtue tree. The ability to get cross sectional bonuses is great and was really missing in Civ5. I also think the tech web was a good idea at the start but like I said I don't like the fact that they put the affinities in it since it destroys the principle of really crafting your technology by restricting you a lot. The satellite coverage idea is also interesting even though I think bonus satellites come too late.

    Here you are, some thoughts in no particular order ;) If we remove all the things that I don't really like you'll agree that I'm left with a very stripped version of a game very close to Civ5. After around 100hours of play I don't see myself playing it over Civ5 or Civ4. I'll likely play after major patches to see if my opinion of it changes but as you can see I have some core problems with it.
     
  10. Breezin

    Breezin Chieftain

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    I never thought about this but now that you mention it, I see that. Maybe with an expansion they'll revisit the victory conditions like they did with Civ V.


    I don't think I have a big problem with the affinity system except for the fact that once you've decided on one, you pretty much ignore the rest of the tech tree. I've played perhaps 10 games so far and there's probably 20% of the techs I've never researched. Is this a bad thing? I don't know about that but it's something I'm not used to.


    You've thought quite deeply about this I can see. I don't have the complete understanding of how it works but I find managing health boring. In Civ V unhappiness had consequences which made it more engaging.


    I agree the art is distracting. It is very difficult to know what is plains, tundra, grassland, etc. Certainly it's nowhere near as intuitive as Civ V. I also find there are too many resources. I wish they would have made a lesser number but with more significant bonuses.

    There are too many buildings as well. They all seem very similar - only slightly varied versions of each other (Clinics, cyto nursery, etc). I would have preferred them to have made fewer buildings with more significant effects.


    You made excellent points. Clearly, you've delved into this game more than I. Thanks for your insight!
     
  11. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    And it's even more aggravating right now with traderoutes giving so much production that you make these in a few turns. You just don't really care about individual buildings, you just have a set of health buildings that you spam. It's hard to be really interested in getting just another health building or a production one etc.
    It's rather bland in terms of buildings. And with the disappearance of national wonders there is also no coordination necessary across your empire.

    To be precise, what I meant wasn't that you ignore a part of the tree, that's okay and eventually a simple balance issue. My problem is that the victory comes ONLY from finishing your pick of affinity techs from the tree. In a simple format, all 3 affinity just set you down a single (often straightforward) path up to Affinity 13 and then it's finished. There is no in between steps outside of the tech tree. You don't have special buildings or tasks to do. You just boost science to accelerate your affinity acquisition that is your only goal unless you want a domination victory. It creates a double problem, first it defeats the purpose of a tech web where you carefully craft your civilization, second it makes teching the only purpose of these victories and most bonuses are totally irrelevant toward accelerating the process (teching). Finally like I said, there is absolutely no customization toward your affinity bonuses (top left corner bonuses) which is a loss in gameplay compared to religion and ideology.

    In more subjective and passionate fashion, if I'm transforming the humanity into robots I want to feel it. It's not because my scientists have a better understanding of computing that my whole colony will become robots. I want to feel that. When I play tourism in civ5, I get great works of art and wonders and stuff, I feel I'm a cultural civ influencing others.

    It's clear to me that CivBE is designed to be a game based on a lot slower game and where you have a lot more wars going on to make units matter. This is the only way for affinities to make sense, if you're in a constant battle against other affinities and willing to make sacrifices to help your war effort rather than simply boosting your science. Sadly this metagame cannot be achieved before they make the game harder, AI more agressive and better.
     
  12. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    New let's play is being uploaded.

    This one was played post patch and is complete. I wanted to see if things really had changed with the patch, they didn't. They mostly reduced the amount of exploits available but the game is still disappointing to me.

    This let's play features a 221 turns purity victory with Franco-Iberia. The game is semi-peaceful. I don't try to conquer but I get attacked by angry neighbors not happy with my over-expansion !

    Here is the playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5IXV43xjKWSFu1APT1h9s3VzSzz8rzIH
    And first video:

    Link to video.
     
  13. stormtrooper412

    stormtrooper412 Peacemongering Turtlesaur

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    Finally taking a small break from the DCL madness in the Civ5 district to look at this one, and I don't want anyone to take it the wrong way but the way "fixed" things in the patch looks insultingly half assed. Rather than trying to understand what the issue is, they literally added stuff like explicit descriptions on what the trade routes will yield for each side, probably because people complained that the arrows weren't clear enough (they are!). Also, you've dipped into negative double digits and you're ... still fine!
     
  14. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    Random thoughts on wonders patch 2. Bear with my accent :p


    Link to video.
     
  15. Velasti

    Velasti Chieftain

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    I don't understand how anyone on the forum hasn't realised the obvious.

    The 3 affinity victories ... are the same victory. It's not CiV's Culture vs Science victories, it's CiV's Science Victory, with different flavour text depending on whether you are Freedom, Order or Autocracy.
     
  16. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    A lot of people have realised it :O
     
  17. Valessa

    Valessa Communistress

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    No, can't agree with that. The victories are very different from one another. There's annoying (Harmony), very annoying (Supremacy) and super-annoying(Purity). 8)

    But yeah, the discussion about that is really old. I believe there was a rather in-depth post about how the Victory Conditions could be made a lot more interesting gameplay-wise on the suggestions-forums a while ago.
     
  18. Velasti

    Velasti Chieftain

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    Consistently saw posts like this one.. skewed my viewpoint.
     
  19. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    I'll make a playthrough with impressions of BERT tommorow (so uploaded sometimes durring the day).
     
  20. stormtrooper412

    stormtrooper412 Peacemongering Turtlesaur

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    Should be good :)
     

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