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Are we expecting too much from the game?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by TheMarshmallowBear, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. TheMarshmallowBear

    TheMarshmallowBear Benelovent Chieftain of the BearKingdom

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    I was wondering, over the past few months spent on this forums, I've realised how high our expectactions are of Civ as a game, not just Civ 5, but just Civ.

    We want big features that give so much depth to the game, from reasons to declare war, complicated features like colonization, vassalage etc.

    But then, is that was Civ was ever about?

    From what I can remember, Civ isn't a simulation, it's a strategy board game. Isn't?

    So.. are we expecting too much and being disappointed because what we want is not what Civ is?
     
  2. Smokeybear

    Smokeybear Emperor

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    High expectations are never a bad thing, as game devs need to feel the heat from consumers to continue improving the quality of their games and not just go for lowest common denominator crap and the quick bucks. Of course realistic gamers know many of those expectations will likely never be reached, but you can't help but dream and talk about it with other dreamers. I don't think you can ever ask for too much- gamers being vocal about what they like and want in their games is one of the ways developers decide how to make and expand and improve their games. But expecting it all to be deliverable any time soon is just foolish.
     
  3. TheMarshmallowBear

    TheMarshmallowBear Benelovent Chieftain of the BearKingdom

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    I would love a game which would be easy to understand, but would have those features mentioned, but I don't think Civilization game series will ever have that.. on the other hand, if another studio/company began working on a brand new game similiar to that of Civ... well, go ahead, we're waiting :p
     
  4. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    I would disagree that most human expections are too high.
    Mine is basically I don't like items that are step backwards compared to the previous version.
    There's quite a list of those that took place (well documented on so many other threads), so I'm only going to mention five things that Civ V did better:

    1. Hexes!
    2. I liked the extended range and the tile by tile cultural growth (as opposed to a full ring as a time).
    3. Religion in G&K is much better than Civ 4. (Choose your own beliefs for your own benefit instead of being locked to 1 gold per city.) And the majority requirement for benefits also better.
    4. I like the idea of there being cultural cost to add a policy (instead of short anarchy / none at all during Golden Age or if religious.)
    5. And I like (in G&K) that some naval ships are ranged and others are melee.
     
  5. Rooftrellen

    Rooftrellen King

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    I think some people are. Particularly from a game that, though history, hasn't done the same thing over and over. When has a brand new Civ game ever been about perfecting the same thing that has worked for...ever? I think it's good, but that also means that sometimes good features end up being left behind for the greater good of the game overall.

    The biggest complaints I have about Civ V are simple. It felt rushed at release (I left it for over a year before coming back due to the crashes, something like that should NOT be considered a finished product), the graphics are too much (graphics were fine 10 years ago, and having to upgrade my PC to play a turn based strategy game is a bit over the top), and Steam (I will never buy another game that requires Steam, including Civ VI if it happens to be).

    People want some of what left in the past, and those features may have been good for those games, but health, corruption, and leader choice just don't fit in this version of Civ we have now.

    I think that, too often, people want things that are too complex to simply put into a game, yes, but also people want something they liked from the past without considering how it would affect the game at hand or affect the ideals of the developer.

    I think being vocal and demanding is all good and well, but it does no one good to demand too much. In fact, too much is exactly what Civ V was made to get away from. Is it perfect? No, and I would change things if I could, but I know people would scream and cry about the changes I would make, just as others would hate the changes they would make.

    In the end, what we have in Civ V is probably the best Civ game to date with the nostalgia of the past games (and expansions) getting in the way of really seeing it for what it is.
     
  6. TheMarshmallowBear

    TheMarshmallowBear Benelovent Chieftain of the BearKingdom

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    I agree with all the above, but what was Civ 1 all about? Was it a simulation, or was it just a port of a boardgame onto a computer?

    Because I don't see Civ 5 as a simulation, I see it as a turn-based strategy game? And are we expecting features that would suit a simulation or a TBS game?
     
  7. Smokeybear

    Smokeybear Emperor

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    There is definitely no serious simulation aspect in CiV, it's all about strategy and tactics in order to 'win' over all the other civs (players). It's pretty blatant about its approach. There is only the barest of lip service to any historical realities.
     
  8. httvoid

    httvoid Chieftain

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    An important thing to keep in mind is that game publishers are *businesses* trying to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. Visit the Paradox forums to see how ridiculous people become when they forget this.
     
  9. Mylor

    Mylor Chieftain

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    Civilization is first and foremost a simulation. "Can you build a civilization to stand the test of time?" It is a civilization-building simulation from the outset. Turn-based strategy is a marketing term that was applied to the genre long after the game was originally developed.

    Prior to Civilization, Sid Meier's claim to fame was Railroad Tycoon. That was a simulation about building and running a railroad and it was a huge hit. Civilization followed in that mold but based on building empires rather than railroads. Pretty much every type of empire building game afterwards was basically a Civ knock-off, whether out of simulated history or in outer space. The marketing terms like 4X and TBS came about by trying to define this type of game in a marketing sound bite.

    I don't think that Civilization should be conflated with strategic war games because that is not what it is, even though it may have some of those elements as part of its game play. Computers are not tacticians. They are glorified calculators and they are not able to make strategic decisions; all they can do is calculate. That's why they are so good at simulations and scientists use them in that capacity.

    Now, with CiV, we are finally starting to get the best of both worlds, so to speak. The game has evolved enough that strategic play can start to come into its own. But I would caution that it is best only in multi-player scenarios. The computer AI will never be like a human opponent because it can only calculate and it cannot strategize. It cannot look at the 'game board' and assess it and make tactical or strategic decisions quickly regarding its purview like a human can.

    Personally, I believe that CiV is still best played as a simulation, up to Prince level. Beyond that level, it is trying to be a TBS but still failing because computers can't think, only calculate. But it's developed enough that it can give a player a sense of competition at the upper levels in a race-like form. But a player's best strategic and tactical competition will come only from another human player, not the AI.

    So when you sit down and boot up CiV, ask yourself, "do I want to play the simulation or play the game?" and make your choices accordingly. Personally, I find the simulation much more fun to play.
     
  10. Juanholio

    Juanholio Warlord

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    I think criticism is healthy, ranting is much less useful. I really like being part of this community and contributing to the bugs section as it feels like helping out.

    It's strange in itself - thinking about the games I grew up with - having any kind dialogue between the fans and the devs other than units shipped. I got into computing mainly from trying to squeeze the last few Kb out my base memory just to run something like Elite II. Flicking through the game manual to see if there was anything else I could prefix with 'load high.' Being able to contribute to a forum and maybe, just maybe that would influence the game in some way - that's pretty remarkable. Although many games these days seem to be badly rushed to market and need significant repair work after the fact (vtm Bloodlines anyone?).

    So in short I think high expectations help drive things forward, as long as they're balanced on reasonable. Ooops I just realised I used the phrase 'balanced and reasonable' on an internet forum ;)... it could be worse, it could be youtube...
     
  11. LuCypher73

    LuCypher73 Chieftain

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    I would settle for a easier editor interface for making mods. I realize they cant do everything I want, but for those of us with little time to learn programming, the ability to do some common things very easily through a high level editor would be great.

    Not everything of course, but maybe just some generic starter art and the ability to add units/civs, etc without any hassle at all using a library of selectable components that could be added to . Please if you dumb anything down, dumb down that and let the rest of the game be more old school challenging. Bring back events, war weariness and the original civic type system, not this warcraft talent tree crap
     
  12. soprof

    soprof Warlord

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    Do people who buy modern computers want to much? Or modern cars? Or modern fridges?

    Progress bro! You have researched futureTechV =D

    Juanholio: You seem to not believe the life you see around is real
     
  13. aluelkdf

    aluelkdf Prince

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    I think that sometimes expectations are too high. I'm sure the Pentagon has supercomputers that are simulating different global scenarios 24/7. And sometimes I feel that people want something equivalent to that, except with an easy to understand and visually appealing user interface, and without the supercomputer of course. And this is basically impossible.
     
  14. Matthew.

    Matthew. Deity

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    Fanatics of games will always want more than what is likely/possible. That's what makes us fanatics.
     
  15. General Tso

    General Tso Panzer General

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    Agree 1000%
     
  16. ahawk

    ahawk King

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    To start with, I enjoy Civ 5 more than Civ 4, mostly because each civ in the game feels much more unique this time around, as well as because of 1UPT, which I like. However, I completely understand when people prefer Civ 4. After all, Civ 4, with all the expansions, had religion, corporations, a wider array of spying options, capitulation (a form of vasselage), and a handful of other mechanics that Civ 5 either doesn't have (yet) or has in a lesser form than Civ 4.

    Now, I see some people just bash the game. But, to be fair, a lot of criticism is levelled at the game that I understand, because a lot comes from Civ 5 having a handful of features stripped or watered-down compared to Civ 4. For these folks, that compare one installment of the series to another, the problem is not expectations that are unrealistic, it's instead expectations that were raised by the last game in the series and then let down.

    I personally prefer Civ 5. But, even I have to admit, there's a few things missing from Civ 4 still, even this long after initial release. And a few things that got changed that were always going to be polarizing (1UPT). And that's part of the reason Civ 5 has had more bashing than others in the series (with the exception of the Civ 4 Colonization, which was a little too simplistic and had other issues).

    Further, Civ 5 has gotten more bad attention because it has gotten more attention in general: the numbers of people who currently play Civ 5, according to Steam, appear to be greater than ever played Civ 4. When you get more publicity, you are bound to get more bad as well.

    Frankly, I'm glad to see legitmate criticism of Civ 5 (as opposed to bashing), because it means the game's attracting more attention than ever.
     
  17. Vamphaery

    Vamphaery Chieftain

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    I always feel that a successful and popular game mechanic - especially one that contributes to the player's sense of being able to exercise power and choice - should never be eliminated from a sequel's design unless something better replaces it; something that achieves the same goal, or does an even better job of serving the same purpose.

    I don't feel that was always the case with Civ V personally. In Civ IV I felt like I had much more control over the nature and style of my civilization than I do in Civ V. Civics and revolutions let me change things on a whim and on the fly as situations demanded. Culture actually influenced other civs, as did my ability to broker technology. The spread of my religion actually gave me influence, as opposed to making other civs angry and giving me buffs.
     
  18. Rooftrellen

    Rooftrellen King

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    I felt religion, in Civ IV, was little more than an excuse for Spain to declare war on everyone. I much prefer the control, power, and diplomacy of the new version, and the method of gaining religion...not even comparable, Civ V wins that hands down.

    I do agree with civics. I think the policy trees have a place along side civics, not in place of them, but given the choice, I prefer to have culture give me bonuses though time rather than science allow me to use new forms of government, making it even more powerful (and, in fact, if civics were to be introduced, I'd tie them to science, culture, faith, wonders, etc. rather than JUST science.)

    I also like that technology trading is gone in the form from the past, but I'd like to see more of an effect toward science that other civs have, passive or active, but right now, it's pretty minor.

    However, in the end, this power and choice thing needed to be changed. In Civ IV, I know I could spend several minutes per turn sometimes micromanaging every little part of my empire. Now, I rarely look at my city screens more than once every several turns. Before, there was more power and choice, but it was sometimes reduced to a chore, and I think it was a better choice to remove too much that could be re-added (and I do hope to see the return of civics in the next expansion, to work along side SP's, for instance) rather than leave too much and the game be unfun due to the amount of time and effort needed.
     
  19. Trias

    Trias Donkey with three behinds

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    No, first and foremost Civilization is a game. This is immediately apparent from the fact that it can be won. This unlike simulations that are typically open ended (e.g. SimCity, Flight simulator).

    Even in Sid's original design, gameplay always can before realism. (e.g. see the choice to abandon the original realtime design of the game).
     
  20. TheMarshmallowBear

    TheMarshmallowBear Benelovent Chieftain of the BearKingdom

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    Finally, somebody is onto to something

    Civ 5 isn't open-ended, which is why I don't believe there are features that we want would ever work only because we want them there. If Civ 5 was open-ended it would be way different (and.. er.. more fun :mischief: )

    But that is not that I agree with everyone here, I do think there's stuff that should be here that isn't, i.e more spy options. and I will too admit that upon release Civ 5 seemed lacking, i.e Pact of Secrecy and Cooperation that did absolutely NOTHING until it was made apparent that they became Denounciation and Friendship.
     

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