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Are we expecting too much from the game?

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

  1. Vamphaery

    Vamphaery Chieftain

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    Well I'm not saying I want religion to be like it was in Civ IV. I actually prefer the customizable belief system in G&K. It's a much more tailorable system and on paper should make me feel more powerful and influential over my gameplay experience than I was in Civ IV. The problem is that I don't feel that way. Religion feels like it has very little influence on other civilizations' relations with and attitudes toward me (other than the fact that spreading a religion to their cities makes them angry.)

    That's a design philosophy decision I suspect was made early on, because it runs throughout most systems in the game. Culture, religion, and government type are more about benefits to your own civilization than about influencing other civs this time around. Which is fine if that's the goal, but it's not what I would prefer personally as the player. I want to feel like I'm exerting influence and having an effect beyond my borders with something other than my military. That sense feels drastically reduced to me in Civ V.

    With civics, as with religion, I'm not even necessarily saying I want them back. Just that I want policies to have more influence beyond my own civ than they do at present. It would be nice if, for instance, the game could calculate a "governance state" (with a name that you could transparently see, like 'benevolent socialist' for instance) and then generate attitudes toward you based on what other civs' governance states are.

    Tech trading, I do really miss. Severely. I like to play a totally peaceful game sometimes from start to finish. And I liked sort of roleplaying that I would share techs with everyone so that the world could unite and be on an equal footing. That may not sound particularly appealing, but the point is that in Civ IV there was the freedom to cater to that play style without compromising the game for anyone else. Whereas in Civ V, that's all but impossible now. At least in my experience. Not to mention, when playing a team against the AI (something I loved doing with friends) it was nice to share techs and feel like an alliance.

    As for micromanagement, I actually feel there's more micromanagement now. Civ IV let me automate virtually everything, and everything could be done seamlessly and intuitively. To me Civ V feels much more opaque and unintuitive, and requires a lot more attention to things like buying tiles and constantly dealing with contacts from city states and so forth.

    But that's me.
     
  2. Trias

    Trias Donkey with three behinds

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    This essential design philosophy here is that relations with other (AI) players is on affected by things that actually affect the other player. I.e. the AI cares only about things that a human player would care about. In civ4, there was no real reason for a player not liking a player with a different religion, because there was no (gameplay) effect on other players. The AI players were just artificially instructed to dislike other players with a different religion (except possibly if you owned the holy city).

    In principle, this was a very good idea, because the irrational behaviour of the AIs in civ4 was one of the reasons they fell behind as much. However, in the design of civ5 the design team neglected to actually properly fill the gaps left by removing the artificial behaviour. The result was, fickle AIs that would stab everyone in the back, because there was no real incentive not to.

    What should have been done instead, is in some sense the opposite of what happened. Various gameplay mechanics should have been added/modified such that the AI attitudes from civ4 made sense from a gameplay point of view. For example, some policy choices should have been made such that there effect was based on the number of players with that choice, providing a rational basis for liking a player because he made the same choice as you.
     
  3. kaspergm

    kaspergm Deity

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    I don't think expectations are necessarily too high. I think expectations for Civ5 are high - very high - but then again, given the legacy of the series, there is reason for them to be. Does the game meet them yet? Not quite - but then again, we have one more expansion to go.

    As for the general tendency in computer games, there does seem to be a trend that as graphics get ever more and more complex, gameplay and content becomes less and less, because it costs too much time and money to add it. That is a very sad evolution (I'm looking at you, UbiSoft, after you molested the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise). Fortunately, that has not really been the case for Civ, even if there are things from Civ4 that have been left behind, for better or worse (depending on who you ask, mostly).

    As someone else mentioned above, I think the clue when developing a new chapter of a game should be - ought to be - better, not just different without a reason (looking at you again, UbiSoft). I think Civ5 did right in most of those aspects (I know not everybody love the 1UPT thing, as discussed in length elsewhere, but there was a sound idea behind it, even if the implementation left things to desire with regard to the AI). There were game features that were left out of vanilla, like religion, but with its return in G&K I think it's safe to say that religion is not only back, but also improved. I can't say the same about the espionage system - I didn't like it very much in Civ4, but I certainly don't like the Civ5 version either, and the lack of player impact on it is something I find to be a really grave design flaw.

    At its current state, I think Civ5 is a better game than Civ4 up to and including Renaissance era. From that point, the game is seriously lacking compared to Civ4. So that is what I expect the next expansion to focus on. Is that an unreasonable expectation? I don't think so at all. The other thing I would really hope for is better combat and diplomatic AI. Is that wishful thinking? Diplomatic AI - no. That should be doable, and is something that really needs looking into. Combat AI? Probably wishful thinking. Making big improvements on this area will probably require a complete re-write which is unlikely to happen. I do hope there will be tweaks to make it use ranged/siege units better. And air units perhaps. But adjusting the skill level still gives the AI enough of a head-start to make it able to stand up to me at least for a while, even if it is imbecile in using the units, so I can live with that.
     
  4. Biz_

    Biz_ Prince

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    civ is basically an adversarial board game and that's the problem

    we either expect working multiplayer or competent AI opponents and we get neither

    it's a completely reasonable expectation and it blows the mind how anyone with even a basic grasp of strategy can defend civ 5

    civ doesn't have to be that. it can be a great product without AI and without multiplayer, but they don't design that way at all
     
  5. Civking5

    Civking5 Prince

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    I am very surprised with your comments about multiplayer. Many people who are playing civ5 multiplayer would say the opisit. Based on my own experience, civ5 multiplayer is far better than previous civs and I have played countless hours of it. I would suggest you come and join steam groups like NQ, it will change your opinion about civ5 multiplayer ( assuming you have good Internet connection).
     
  6. seancolorado

    seancolorado Deity

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    Sums up my feelings. I have so much fun during the early eras of the game but once it gets into the later eras I tend to lose interest
     
  7. Vamphaery

    Vamphaery Chieftain

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    @ Trias I agree completely.
     
  8. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    I think there's two different factors at play. As far as I can tell, a widespread opinion is that Civ5 is theoretically a better multiplayer game, with more enjoyable mechanics. But it is also notoriously unstable and unpolished. Some people find these problems too much to contend with, such that they do not have an enjoyable Civ5 multiplayer experience. I mean, that the Civ5 multiplayer community would probably be extremely happy if Firaxis were to dedicate substantial resources to multiplayer in any further patch or expansion reflects the extent to which it may be lacking. You can't really contend that the multiplayer community is perfectly content and doesn't see the need for fixes/stability improvements.
     
  9. Civking5

    Civking5 Prince

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    I agree with you. That is why I suggested Biz to join one of the steam groups, so if the game crashes or becomes unstable people will reload the game and the game is not lost. Also after he finds the right people, he can minimize the amount of crashes. Regardless, when it comes to game play, civ5 multiplayer has far better experience.
     
  10. Funky

    Funky Emperor

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    I admit that I have not played Civ 5 in multiplayer (nor do I intend to do so). It does sound plausible though that it's much better than singleplayer since we don't have to deal with a broken AI, and tactical warfare can finally become remotely meaningful. Still, any multiplayer experience can only be as good as the game allows. Hence everyone who prefers Civ 4 over Civ 5 will most likely prefer Civ 4 multiplayer as well. Don't get me wrong though, I'm happy for you that at least in multiplayer the game is finally able to offer some sort of challenge and, trusting your words, seems to be fairly stable.
     
  11. Civking5

    Civking5 Prince

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    Tactical warfare in civ5 multiplayer can be like something out of horror movies sometimes, lol. No more clumsy and random AI moves. I had satisfying experience with civ5 multiplayer ( which I never had with civ4 or civ3). Also one major problem with civ5 multiplayer in steam groups like NQ is that you have to commit 5 or 6 hours of your time for a full game which I rarely have these days.
     
  12. smallfish

    smallfish Immortal

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    Yes, clumsy and random moves like taking Patronage and then not buying off the city-state next to the capital, or thinking that artillery guns will win wars against someone with a real frigate navy on fractal...

    :D

    But that aside, I do have to agree with our Viking friend here that CiV multiplayer is indeed great stuff. The only problem is constant lagging and crashes, especially with folks with net connections from Asia (like me) and the fact that this game leaks memory real bad. Civ4 multi seems like a case of just sending wave after wave of stacks and using spies on folks who would least expect them... yeah, not that fun at all
     
  13. Funky

    Funky Emperor

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    There is nothing more fun in Civ 4 multiplayer than successfully defending against an opponent who thinks that he can win by brainlessly sending a large stack into your land, using your defensive trumps and superior tactics (yes, tactics play a very large role in multiplayer!). Like in singleplayer, multiplayer in Civ 4 is generally centered a lot more around strategic considerations though. So if you are able to be militarily more powerful through good strategic play, you will have an advantage, and rightfully so. But you will have to nurture this advantage by applying good tactical abilities as well, the game won't win itself!

    About espionage, sending spies can occasionally be viable, though the main benefit of having a superiority in espionage is that you are able to see more of what your opponents are doing while they can't see much of you.
     

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