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An update from Firaxis Games regarding Beyond Earth feedback

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by FXS_MisterKevin, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    I don't mind making a weak site good after you invest in improvements and buildings. But currently making that investment is a drop in the bucket and bad return if you're going to rush buy those stuff. It's irrelevant to take the time to carefully plan such a city.

    What only matters is rushing the trade post, send 2 prebuilt vessels, some food/prod from another city to get things going (culture, health, auto plant). Exchange newly acquired science for gold, rush a settler, make a new city. Rinse and repeat.

    The list of stuff to fix to make the game interesting with careful management of cities is big. It's not only the health system that is broken. It's the TR, the victory conditions, tradings with the AI, AI passiveness. The list goes on.
     
  2. Manannan

    Manannan Prince

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    ^ This. The concept is good, the execution is atrocious.
     
  3. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    The entire game is an interrelated system. You can't change one thing without affecting other things. This can make it seem like everything is a problem when there is any kind of problem. This can particularly be the impression when things are new and the balance is off. You start looking at the new things like they're the problem, and confirmation bias confirms suspicions. Which doesn't mean that they're true.

    The gold and maintenance and return you get from TRs is strong, but the central fixture of that is food and money, and the food is nonnegotiable if we want to model anything like the very possible modern city of Las Vegas, which, after all, isn't in the middle of lush farmland.

    Even with just the food, a "strong" restraint like CivIV's city maintenance flies off the handle because any city of significant size can work Cottages to rapidly offset the maintenance costs. As long as it grows quickly enough, the restraint comes undone completely - we see this in-game with Sid's Sushi Corporation.

    As I see it, there are two thematic things that are new here and worth keeping - the idea that food can be exported to otherwise untenable sites, and that any site can be made useful with enough technology. That's what Terraforming is all about. These ideas complicate Civ's already strong expansionist design tendencies, but I don't see cutting them out as a useful sort of fix. That just moves us backwards.

    The exported hammers only serve to mitigate long build queues for new cities to be useful. CivIV "fixes" this with massive gold buy and discounts, but that was always unsatisfying. Big cities helping small cities with massive influxes of floating hammers is a very SMAC way of doing it.

    There's something great here. It's not quite there, but I can kind of see it. Blowing it all away with a massive nerf hammer would be a complete wasted opportunity and a real shame.
     
  4. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    Please if you're going to argue with me stop using references to SMAC or Civ4 I have not played those games (well I did play some Civ4...). Make concrete references to what happens in CivBE (or Civ5) instead.

    This is not my critic.

    I'm not saying they should remove it completely either. I'm just pointing out that health isn't the only issue. There are tons of issues.

    And if they are going to take a careful approach then release some beta patch and let me report if things are still broken.
     
  5. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    With these things, slow is better. Small tweaks is better. Health may not be the only thing that needs tweaking - or it may the only thing, really, that needs tweaking. We can't know unless we actually have the tweak.

    I do know that the game is a lot less break-neck in pace if you play as if Health mattered. You can try it out now - simply impose a rule that says that you can't make Colonists or settle new cities at negative Health. See how that changes the game for you. It's a good way to see what fixing the Health can do, without having to wait for a patch.
     
  6. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    It changes nothing as I already said and argued.

    I played a game as if -1 health was the worst thing ever just to make you happy, here is the result. A turn 162 harmony victory on standard speed, apollo :

    Spoiler :


    Health AND TR are the problem, both have to be nerfed. As well as many other issues fixed/balanced.

    Edit: I had even argued that taking care of health would probably slow the game. Doesn't seem to slow a game that much hey ?
     
  7. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    That is quite impressive. Would you mind uploading the save game and coaching me in PM? I want to replicate the result in one of my own games, to see how the factors interact the way you play the game.
     
  8. Senethro

    Senethro Overlord

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    Wow, nice play!
     
  9. Prophet Skeram

    Prophet Skeram Chieftain

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    To be fair, I think you're a bit of an outliner here compared to the average player who might not have played a Civ game before in his/her life, not discuss/read strategies in forums etc. I mean: Your sig tells me that you actually do special challenges during your Deity Let's Plays - that seems like you have a lot more experience and determination than the average player which is probably also reflected in your playstyle.

    This does, of course, not make your criticism less valid, but I'd personally appreciate a smarter AI much more than a system that's as punishing towards expansion as BNW (which just is unfun to me).
     
  10. Haggbart

    Haggbart King

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    I think most agree that BNW took expansion restriction a little bit too far. But the point here is that there must a sweet spot somewhere in between. Also, there is the flavour question: how interesting is it for the average player to calculate TR-yields, administer and assign 30+ trade routes, compared to other game mechanics.

    The UI might not be optimal for this, but I think in order to make the number of routes today "fun" for an average player you will have to make it a discrete mechanic. However that would take away a lot of strategy with it. So the number of routes must be cut IMHO.
     
  11. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    I do not blame expansion per say.
    I think BNW goes too far against it. But I'd like something a little slower and a game that rewards expanding for the ressource/terrain rather than for getting 3 trade routes. This is the current problem I have with the game.

    Really my play isn't extraordinary. It's just going prosperity, use as much loans as possible to buy settlers and trade posts while the capital prebuild vessels/convoys. Rinse and repeat over and over. Just add Auto-plants when possible. And I'm sure there are a tons of possible improvements to my game since this is only my 5th or 6th complete game.

    By the way Transcendence is the fastest victory since you can cut down the time it takes after finishing the flower. A more accurate measure of time is the time to lvl 13 affinity which was Turn146 in that game.

    If the game becomes too hard after some nerfs or changes then difficulty levels are for players having to beat the new difficulty.

    It's also important to note that for such times you have to do a little more than just getting routes. You have to trade a lot of gold, pick adequate seeding options and the map must obviously not be too ugly. But these considerations wouldn't change the strategy if removed, they would only slow it down. While this may be enough to make the game harder I'm skeptical that it would make the game more interesting. Mass routes is just not fun :/ Diminish trade route numbers and bring back the focus on the cities. Make it so TR are a tool to city development where we will carefully craft them (to help a low city) and not the purpose of city expansion.

    @Roxlimn Here is my save. For "how" I'll make a LP explaining what I think (personally) are the stuff that allows such things to happen (it's not just TR, it's also science trading, favors shenanigans, prosperity being a little too strong, health system problematic both in its effect and acquisition, etc). You're free to critique or ask questions anyway (in PM or here idc).
     

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  12. Chaleb

    Chaleb Chieftain

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    Guys he's playing on a Massive map, Turn 162 isn't that rare as games usually go faster on Massive.

    edit: my bad. sea trade routes are too good.
     
  13. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    It's standard size and speed.

    Please verify before saying something like this.
     
  14. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    Acken:

    I think we're largely in agreement with the things that need to be fixed to reduce the game pace. Trading shenanigans were particularly bad in both Civ IV and Civ V, what with players settling on top of luxury resources just to be able to sell them to the AI that much faster. And tech trading - glad that's gone. The science trading could be a lesser form of this, though I'm not entirely sure Research Agreements are better.

    Where we differ is in the fundamental concept of tiles. Civ has always been about tile and resources. That's how it was in Civ1. It's a classic function of the series. Civ IV tries to get away from this with Corporations, though with disastrous consequences. CiV tries to get away from this with its own Trade Routes, to some success.

    TRs in CivBE is the first truly comprehensive system I've seen in a Civ-type game that truly divorces the value of a city from the tiles on which you're going to found it. For the first time, you can, relatively early in the game, found a city on a literal desert and make pretty good use out of it, so long as you take the time to develop its economy (trade vessels, trade depots). I view this as good, not bad.

    The tiles still matter because they add to the output significantly (you're not getting 800 bpt from Trade Routes - Academies have to be put up), and they determine the output of the routes, but they're no longer the single overwhelming consideration they are in every Civ that's been made up to this point. This is a function that distinguishes and differentiates CivBE and I think that it would be a wasted opportunity to kill it.
     
  15. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    Well I just don't like how big the focus on it (TR) is right now. It's not just a matter of being able to expand or not, I think they represent way too big a chunk of yields.

    I don't necessarily dislike the idea that you could tailor your cities (tiles/buildings) to craft the output of your routes depending on needs. But we're very far from it right now.

    Regarding trade it's heavily exploitable because of favors, that's what I meant by shenanigans. Basically the only point of favors right now is to make such exploits... This is very incomprehensible, the trade values in the game make no sense at all right now (they didn't in Civ5) between ept, spt, energy and favors.
     
  16. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    I want to be careful in comparing Civ 4 corporations to CivBE's Health and TR systems.

    Corporations are a very late game mechanic...at that point there is only so much time for new cities to generate positive yields so even if it allows for ICS it is not to the same degree.

    Health and TRs are core parts of CivBE's gameplay. They effect everything right from the beginning.


    I am not saying that to imply either mechanic is "wrong"...just to note that they do not have the same impact and so aren't directly comparable.
     
  17. Mikee

    Mikee Chieftain

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    Beyond Earth Review

    This game is extremely disappointing. I have followed and played each iteration of the CIV Series since its inception. Why go off planet to introduce new technology and concepts? It is a given that the game is adversarial and could easily have remained on earth to explore human advancement and technology. Nothing wrong with going off planet though.

    I have read many game reviews and comments regarding each Civ Game and have always felt that this series has been more or less developing and maturing as each iteration has only gotten better. I am 60 years of age and was once an industrial programmer.

    This game is simply a cheap and nasty rearrangement of the deck chairs with a reduction and loss in many game interface aspects and overall playability.
    The game interface, game details and strategy for Civ V have been by far the best yet. The Civ V achievement could also have been further improved.

    Beyond Earths game interface has suffered a loss of features and connectability. The characters are greatly limited compared to Civ V. The variability of production and game strategy choices are no longer available with projects once committed not able to be changed according to the requirements of the game as it develops.
    In an attempt to create an "atmospheric" off world appearance has only caused a loss of game clarity in the graphics department. Refer to Civ V for a better approach to game graphics and renditions.
    The graphics are poor and units do not flow or sit in the landscape like the CIV V units do, the whole appearance of the game is now cheap, childish, poor and immature. Is the game being produced for the 10 to 15 year old age group?
    The game relies on a great deal of chance with the relics etc.
    The maps are extremely limited in the choice of layouts available.
    What separated the Civ Series from many other games was its more mature and realistic approach to game play that relied on a greater requirement for thoughtful and complex strategy and less on childish handouts and graphics.

    There is an audience who would rather play chess than drafts or snakes and ladders. Beyond Earth is the drafts version.

    All in all this game is a cut down version of Civ V and would seem to be a very cheap approach to cash in on what was now once the very best strategy game series of all time. What a shame. The Civ games have up till now always seemed to be striving for quality, this game does not. As an avid follower of the Civ Games I am now considering not to purchase any further iterations of these games if Beyond Earth is the new bench mark. What is glaringly lacking in most games for the mature gamers who want realism even if it is sci-fi, is complex and mature game play.

    Why has Civ not further built upon the Civ V advancements and achievements in game play, game interface rather than producing a cheap and nasty version directed at what audience?

    Sorry people but you have successfully managed to break what was very nearly the very best strategy game of its kind ever.

    I could go on and comment about many aspects of this game iteration however I think you will clearly understand my view without further embellishment.

    A very sad and disappointed CIV Fanatic.

    Moderator Action: Please do not spam the same post across multiple threads or fora.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  18. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    Stalker0:

    That's an entirely different point - I think you might be saying that as the game closes, the restraints on ICS and expansion ought to be relaxed. Certainly, I get the sense that Eudaimonia was founded on those same assumptions. Not sure what I think about that yet, vis a vis CivBE. Timing aside, Corporations are a very solid thing that also depends only on City tiles to be profitable, so a direct comparison confined on that level is justifiable.

    Acken:

    The upper boundaries being a function of lead city output compounds with their concentrating power to create a feedback loop that rapidly accelerates the game.

    You could slow that down with the simple expedient of reversing the output gradient - the sending city gets the higher value, the recipient city the lower. This means that any city can only get 3 of its own concentrating routes, with the rest distributing resources to the outlier cities.

    I'm not sure how I feel about the upper boundary of Trade Route yields, but the lower bounds seem okay. Getting +5 food/+6 hammers from a route doesn't seem particularly egregious.
     
  19. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    I feel we do not really talk about the same thing when assessing trade route issues. To be honest my biggest problem right now is with the number of them not because of internal routes but external ones.

    Currently the problem comes from the abundance of external routes you can make while still keeping some internal to shape up new cities. I basically use 1 internal for 2 external. This is in my opinion the fastest current way to victory.

    I have nothing against the current strength of an internal route but their total number has to be cut down so that you can't make new cities always instantly profitable from a science point of view. Science is only what matters currently unless you go domination. The game basically uses 3 different form of a science victory and more than half of your science will come out of external routes. Even before you start making academies.
     
  20. CraigMak

    CraigMak The Borg

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    I agree with this completely. But look at Vanilla Civ V. It was utterly abysmal in comparison to Civ IV. By the time BNW rolled out the game was absolutely spectacular and fleshed out with diverse strategies and game play.

    Still, Civ V has a lot of luck involved such as ruins, CS, NW. Why they include this junk in a so called strategy game I don't know. Perhaps for a little spice and added replay value.

    Now with BE they took the luck aspect to a whole new level. Finding progenitor ruins, pods, satellites and settlements can straight up make or break your entire game for the next 200 turns. This is completely unacceptable and absurd in a strategy based game. Hopefully they tone down the luck junk and form this game into something special.

    Either that or BE will go down in history as the child's play toy Civ game and Civ 6 will be the next epic one.
     

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