Adventurer, Contender and Challenger!

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Game of the Month' started by ainwood, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. ainwood

    ainwood Consultant. Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    30,083

    New Names - same idea: Game Classes for the Civ4 GOTM



    Many of you who have played the Civ3 GOTMs will be aware that we offer the starting save file in 3 different classes (Conquest, Open and Predator). Well, they're now back in the Civ4 GOTM, albeit with different names - they're now Adventurer (new name for 'conquest'), Contender (new name for 'open') and Challenger (new name for 'predator').

    For new players to the GOTMs, you may be somewhat confused - so what are these about?

    In running the GOTMs, we try to have a varying degree of difficulty - to keep people interested in new challenges, to provide a change of pace, for learning purposes (you can try things on lower difficulties that you wouldn't on higher ones, or you can learn to push yourself on higher levels than you'd normally play).

    Sometimes, new players can feel a bit overwhelmed attempting higher difficulty levels. To help them to overcome this, we offer the 'Adventurer' class. The object of this is that we change the starting save to provide the player with an initial advantage or bonus. This helps them get their game off to a better start - with a strong foundation, they can hopefully do better (or even play more confidently) than they otherwise would.

    Now - the advantages given do not guarantee that the player will win - it is a one-off starting advantage, but if used well, it can be significant. To prevent the really good players from simply taking advantage of this, there are a couple of conditions: The player should never have finished in the top-half of the results in a GOTM, and we modify the score downwards by 15%.

    The score modification is to ensure that new players who are very good do not take advantage of this class to propel themselves to the top of the leaderboard. We figure that players who consistently finish in the bottom half are playing for enjoyment, learning or just the challenge, so it doesn't affect them much. They are also ineligable for any 'fastest victory' awards.

    The 'Contender' class is the 'standard' level - its the game most people play. It is the vanilla level - no advantages provided, and no extra challenges.

    The 'Challenger' class is for those people who simply want to give themselves an added challenge. We make the game slightly harder for them by handicapping their start. There is no restrictions on who can enter this - but its purely for the extra challenge and bragging rights - we give no score bonus to people who play this version.


    If you have any questions about these, the please ask them here. :)
     
  2. AU_Armageddon

    AU_Armageddon Cenobyte

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    123
    Location:
    Hades
    I have a question before I start. Will it say what class you played on the ranking/results table? Or is this just for personal pride?

    Actually, if so I have another. Feels rude to ask but it is what I am wondering and thus I imagine some others will too. In CivIII, was there a general attitude that if you don't play challenger class, it doesn't reaaaaaallllly count for much? Not really? Or was that a given feeling just amongst top contenders? Or something else or nothing.

    Whatever really , I'd just appreciate an impression about this cos my first feeling on reading this was, aaaaaaaarrgh, I have to play with no techs! I've seen that attitude in other games I played i.e. the RTS SWGB, if you don't play on the fastest speed with the lowest resources, the game doesn't really count. i.e. adventurer is really NOOB class; contender is really HANDICAP BONUS or NOVICE class, and challenger is PROPER GAME class.

    Not trying to stir up a problem or attitudes reflecting the above, just wondering how things worked out in CivIII and would appreciate a frank commentry on it.
     
  3. ainwood

    ainwood Consultant. Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    30,083
    Yes, it will show the class in the results - the score is colour coded adventurer, contender, challenger.

    Regarding "have to play predator" - I was not aware of that feeling, and I sure hope it doesn't exist. I have seen some very good players winning the C/GOTMs playing open class - and with the quality of their play, I don't think people would dispute that they would not get there if they played open.
     
  4. horragoth

    horragoth Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Messages:
    81
    AU_Armageddon: It is IMO worth to mention, that there were situations when playing predator could actually improve your score or achieve faster victory then playing the open class. It would occur namely if the challenger class penalty consists in giving some bonus to competing AI.
     
  5. mzprox

    mzprox Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Messages:
    430
    Location:
    Hungary
    I don't really like these classes. The adventurer is ok for those who want easier gotm, but the games should be comparable with each other. The real challenge is to be better than others in a comparable way.

    (I hope my english is understandable :blush: :) )
     
  6. Velvet-Glove

    Velvet-Glove Prince

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    England
    I think the classes are a great idea, thank you for organising them! As a noble player I welcome the starting advantage that Adventurer will bring and feel I might actually have a chance of making a go of this monarch game now. :mischief:

    I think these classes offer something for everyone and seem very balanced.
     
  7. Methos

    Methos HoF Quattromaster Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Messages:
    13,100
    Location:
    Missouri
    @GOTM Staff: On GOTM1 I finished in the top half and plan on playing Open in GOTM3. But if one of the future GOTM games is Emperor, Immortal, or Deity I do not feel up to playing Open Class. Does that one Noble game mean I can never play a Conquest level game, even on the upper levels? When there were six hundred submissions that really opens up the top half. I believe I was 210th.

    If the number of submissions stays as high as it did I suggest maybe going with the top third. When/If the submissions drop back down to CivIII levels I can see going back to top half.

    Just my two cents.
     
  8. AU_Armageddon

    AU_Armageddon Cenobyte

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Messages:
    123
    Location:
    Hades
    Thanks, answers my question. If people were actually winning GotM in open class then it's not at all the situation I was thinking of. This particular gaming community keeps proving somewhat more mature overall than I am used to.

    That said, I will bring some immaturity here cos I'm gonna try but dun think I will be able to shake the taunting voices in my head if I don't play the hardest :borg:
     
  9. shadow2k

    shadow2k Emperor

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Messages:
    1,059
    Location:
    Kansas City
    @Methos

    I'd assume that same thought process will go for Emperor/Immortal/Deity.
     
  10. Qitai

    Qitai .

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,177
    Location:
    SG.MY.TW.US
    Will we be using icons during spoilers to identify who is playing which class, like the way we use to for Civ 3? I think it is good to have some sort of identification to know who is playing which class when sharing experiences.
     
  11. Detritus

    Detritus Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    11
     
  12. Shillen

    Shillen Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Messages:
    2,122
    Location:
    MA
    Funny, I remember that quote. I do think there is pressure on people to play the challenger class when they don't want to. I'd be curious how many people actually enjoy playing the challenger class because of the added difficulty vs how many play it because they feel that they have to as an upper eschelon player. Personally I don't think predator/challenger penalties make the game more fun. I do like the adventurer class quite a bit though. I think it's a lot easier and more effective to artificially decrease the difficulty for those that need it than to artificially increase the difficulty for those that can win either way. Also, taking away starting techs and things like that just makes it much more difficult to compare games between challenger and contender classes, which is a huge aspect of what the GOTM is all about.

    But by all means if people play challenger because they enjoy playing with the initial handicap then more power to them. I just don't think people should ever feel pressured to do so. But it's not like you can prevent someone from making an offhand comment in one of the threads, just like the one cited above. So I think no matter what, as long as the challenger class exists, there will be some pressure involved.
     
  13. ainwood

    ainwood Consultant. Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    30,083
    As Shadow2k said, we'll give some leeway. We are not going to be fascists about this - If people really feel uncomfortable about playing on high(er) levels and want to play adventurer, then that's fine. If they're consistently finishing in the top half of the GOTM results and still want to play adventurer, then they're probably underestimating their skills.

    BTW - I forgot to mention that adventurer players are ineligable for any 'fastest victory' awards.
     
  14. bradleyfeanor

    bradleyfeanor King

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Messages:
    676
    Location:
    St. Louis
    I agree, and I am hoping that the top players wait a few months before they start playing predator/challenger. The game is still very new for all of us, and I am finding it interesting to try different strategies based on the techs/traits we start with. I would have more fun playing the base game than I would playing a variant like "no tech start," at least for a while.

    Nevertheless, if the top dogs run off to play challenger, I will feel compelled to follow even though I don't want to, because comparing my game to theirs is probably my favorite part of the GoTM.

    I am thrilled, however, that the adventurer class is available now. I think that will help keep our new players around until they are ready to step up to contender. Great job for rolling it out so quickly Ainwood, AlanH and company! :king:

    Edit to avoid a double post:

    I missed this part of your post, Shillen:
    Now that I think about it, you are right. I have never seen a predator/challenger handicap that makes it difficult to win, only handicaps that make the games incomparable between classes. I would actually prefer it if we had only the adventurer and contender classes. Maybe the predator/challenger class could be replaced with a "GoTM sponsored variant," like in the succession games. I would find that much more challenging and fun.
     
  15. ainwood

    ainwood Consultant. Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    30,083
    I agree completely. I'm not a devout fan of this class either - I prefer to play open/contender when I play. I don't want people to feel pressured to play challenger, and we won't have much tolerance for anyone who tries to pressure anyone else in a negative way (positive encouragement - fine, negative pressure - not).
     
  16. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Deity

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Messages:
    6,489
    It's fun to play Challenger and know that you beat the AI or many Contenders with a handicap.

    But it's not fun to play Challenger and lose an award to a Contender by a small margin.
     
  17. solenoozerec

    solenoozerec Stranger

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    739
    Location:
    Russia-USA-Ireland
    I am not sure that even Dynamic should play challenger. His signature states: "predator forever", not "challenger forever" ;)

    I suspect that we will have very few challengers in this game if any.

    Talking about predator/challenger class, in civ3 several people suggested that limitations that make game more challenging should be self-imposed. Elite players can limit themselves in a number of ways (OCC, 3CC, always war, no open borders, never research gunpowder, etc., the list can be endless). However, the real fun will be if such a limitation will be the same for a group of people. Pre-game discussion can be used to discuss what kind of challenge should be implemented in this game. Then the games will be comparable and will use the same starting conditions.
     
  18. ainwood

    ainwood Consultant. Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    30,083
    Yep. And people claiming that you "have to" play predator / challenger are being completely unfair.
     
  19. shadow2k

    shadow2k Emperor

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Messages:
    1,059
    Location:
    Kansas City
    The fact that Challenger (Predator) never got a score bonus always confused me, when there is a scoring alteration for playing Adventurer.

    The other confusing thing is the way the difficulty was increased. If I remember right, Predator games in C3 were made more difficult by giving the AI bonuses, like an extra settler/worker/units/higher troops support, things like that. This is the first time I remember actually penalizing the player directly in such a way that even tech development strategies will vary greatly based on class. Not sure why that was done, part of the beauty of the C3 classes was that it didn't necessarily change opening strategies that much.
     
  20. solenoozerec

    solenoozerec Stranger

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    739
    Location:
    Russia-USA-Ireland
    In later 3OTMs, predators used to be handicapped severely. Giving no techs was very frequent.
    The change compared to earlier 3OTM predators (with AI bonuses) was made because strong and wealthy AI is often better than poor and weak AI. They can pay more money for your techs, they build more cities, etc.
    Thus, predators sometimes were able to use these AI bonuses to their own advantage.
     

Share This Page