Are you sticking with civ4?

binhthuy71

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Staying with Civ IV for the foreseeable future. Just built a new box (AMD Phenom X6 1090T CPU, ATI Radeon 5870 Graphics, 8Gb RAM, 2 SATA 6 HD's in RAID 0, Win 7 Ultimate, etc.) so running the game wouldn't be a problem.

Civ IV has become a highly polished, excellent game and with all of the mods available it still hasn't become old for me. The fact that Steam is required to run the thing puts me off of it completely.
 

Greybriar

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wolfigor

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I got CIV V, play, won easy, got bored and upset by very bad balancing and changes that transformed Civ in a glorified Risk.



Why was this game not working for me? I was "playing it the right way", purposefully avoiding the most broken elements. I'm a more "casual" player, which is supposedly the targeted audience. The noticeable bugs and such hadn't bothered me all that much, and while the pace of the game is terribly slow, I usually played Civ IV on the "Epic" speed anyway and didn't have a problem. So why wasn't I liking this?

To discover the answer, I went back and played a game of Civ IV. In one two-hour session I discovered why I am not liking Civ 5 but still love Civ IV. In a word, it's the land.

In Civ IV, my favorite part of the game is spotting the most perfect city-sites, and trying to build them up. The tension in the game starts from the very first turn, when I must decide if the starting location is "ideal" or could be improved by moving a tile or two (and even if it can, is it worth giving up a turn or two of research right off the start?). The tension continues as I must plot the locations of new cities, always looking for spots with the ideal mix of resources and farming ability. This quest for prime real estate always generates the most interesting conflict with the AI, and it's even more engaging when you consider that most historical conflicts between civilizations revolved around land and resources. Nobody ever fought wars over Siberia, but everyone wanted a piece of the "fertile crescent."

Back to Civ 5. It didn't have this tension. The only time during my games that I felt anything like this tension was when I was trying for a good location against France. As it turned out, I needn't have bothered. ALL the locations in Civ 5 are equally good (or bad). Not much food? No problem... ALL cities grow so slowly that you need maritime city food anyway. Not many resources? Still no problem. Resources don't seem to matter that much except for maybe iron, and there simply isn't much difference between one hex and another. In Civ IV, there is a huge, Huge, HUGE difference between having a gold hill in your city square and just a normal mine. In Civ 5? Not so much....

So in Civ 5, the game lacks tension. There is simply "the one right way" to grow (Magical Maritime Food), and cities can go anywhere. If the AI beats me to an "ideal" location, there's no sense of disappointment or challenge. I'll just make do with something less, and know that it's not that different. And because locations really don't matter, other big problems crop up. As has been well-documented here, ICS is now "THE" way to play. Much of the fun of being a "builder" is gone. All cities are pretty much equal in Civ 5, so who cares what goes where (and don't mention lame location-specific buildings that have no real impact)? And finally, where cottages gave you an interesting risk-reward mechanic in Civ IV (build cottage early so it grows into a money-pumping town, or build an improvement with more short-term impact...), Civ 5 has..... trading posts? And since growth comes from MMF and mines are worthless, they're always the right improvement?

I doubt that this rant has added anything really different to the discussion, but I wanted to get this off my chest. With Civ 5, I believe that somewhere hidden under all the bugs and issues is a good game screaming to get out. I think that the best way to unleash that game would be to add some real difference to tile resource values. If river tiles are so completely superior, then go all-in and make them food powerhouses. If resources are really important, give me a real bonus when I mine them or create a plantation. Give me a reason to put a city in a certain location and build it up. The way it is now, I'm just putting random dots on a pretty grey-brown map."


Tredje: "Perhaps others will disagree, but another Civ4 (and by this I mean a game designed along the same lines as Civ4, not merely a copy) is something I would have welcomed with a big smile on my face. The designers of Civ5 could have made changes to the tech tree, the buildings, the units, the wonders, the tiles, the resources, etc; they could have implemented Social Policies instead of Civics and got rid of religion. As long as they kept the mechanisms that underlie Civ4 and continued to reward the player for making strategic choices. Of course they would have been criticised for being too conservative, but they would have made a good game. I am not saying Civ4 was perfect, but it was a very entertaining game.

I agree with a lot of the criticism posted here, but I figured I would provide my own reason for loving Civ4 and why I don't feel the same way towards Civ5. This critique comes in addition to major problems like the moronic AI, obtuse diplomacy, having to watch the useless AI attack my City State ally for 50 consecutive turns and other basic design flaws.

I am not sure the developers understood the consequenses of them altering some of the very foundations of the Civilization franchise. I am not talking about hexes or 1UPT, but the overall balance when building your empire. There were definite choices to be made in Civ4, say between going to war early and developing a strong research base. You could not do both effectively, although you could alternate between them or attempt to balance them off against each other. The same was true for expansion vs income/research.

My main concern is the way science and the economy works in Civ5. In Civ4, like I said, the player had to prioritize. In Civ5 science is to a large degree based on population, which means that the traditional dilemma of extensive growth vs intensive growth is effectively removed. To get more science you need more citizens, and due to several factors small cities can contribute just as well as big cities, particularly early in the game. There is no option besides expanding. Anything else, like focusing on workers or infrastructure will only put you behind those that expanded. As for gold you simply have to connect your cities, spam trade posts (you don't need many farms if you have Maritime City States and mines only give +1 production.)

There are some other elements that influence how you design your empire: 1) Small cities are great. City growth after ~size 10 is very slow. Maritime City States allow for fast growth of small cities and no farms. The area surrounding a city is of secondary importance, since so many bonuses can be accumulated for the city center. Collosseums and social policies make sure you have the happiness to expand indefinitely. Buildings and wonders take a long time to build, and the benefits they provide are negligible compared to more cities. 2) A small elite army is able to conquer the world. Units (especially late in the game) have very long construction times. Upgrading units is relatively cheap, especially with all the gold you get from trade posts/captured cities. The AI is poor, so you will hardly lose any units. This means building units early and using them is worth it most of the time. With upgrades they will form the backbone of your army for millennia.

The result is that spamming cities across the map is the best playstyle throughout the entire game. Science will not suffer, like in Civ4, because science is a result of your population. In fact science will increase. Income will not suffer because new cities will get only the necessary building and you will spam trade posts / capture cities. In fact, the economy grows. Happiness will fall periodically, but this is easily negated with the correct policies / colosseums.

This is the reason that the aggressive AIs can spam units, crush their weaker neighbours and still have good science and a massive economy without building any science/economic buildings. This, to me, is poor work by the developers. Where are the decisions and the trade-offs between different approaches? As for the player strategies, I fear that they will merely be variations on the theme I have outlined here. Perhaps some will get enough culture for the necessary social policies, and then go for massive expansion, or you will simply expand from the get go. Either way, it's not too important, as long as you keep expanding.

Is it possible to remedy the situation? To a degree, certainly. Increasing the value of land by reworking improvement gains and resource gains (+1 production means next to nothing) should enable cities in good spots to outperform spam-cities. I also think something has to be done about city growth after, say, size 10. Building costs and benefits provided could be changed in order to make it profitable to focus on intensive growth. I don't think limiting happiness more would be a good change, since it only puts another constraint on the player. I'd like positive changes that reward the player for choosing to improve his empire in certain areas. Not like now where infinite extensive growth is rewarded. But I am unsure if any changes made in this department will be effective as long as science and income work the way they do now.

At the end I would like to include a couple of things I like about Civ5: I do like the Seaport building, it means cities with a lot of coastal resources can become powerful later in the game. I also like buildings like the Observatory and Solar Plant being tied to certain tiles like deserts or mountains. It encourages a player to make certain choices when creating their empire. Of course none of these choices mean anything as long as the economy in Civ5 continues to operate along the lines mentioned."
 

fociwm

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I bought Civ IV BTS after Civ V got bad reviews here this forum.
This is my first Civ game, and I'm getting addicted.
I'll wait several more years until Civ V gets good review or buy Civ VI.
 

Ataxerxes

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I bought Civ IV BTS after Civ V got bad reviews here this forum.
This is my first Civ game, and I'm getting addicted.
I'll wait several more years until Civ V gets good review or buy Civ VI.

Right now, BTS is easily the best thing available. And it is the most addictive as well with a lot of mods available and all. You have years of fun ahead of you with BTS. I'm not sure they'll ever fix Civ V.

Your plan is a good one. I haven't bought V yet and I appreciate all the work of the Beta testers who bought the game when it came out. I will probably eventually succumb and buy the game after it gets polished.
 

Haig

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Back in september I predicted on this thread that I'll play both IV and V side-by-side.

After V was released I wrote here in an euphoric rush that there's no turning back to Civ IV. :crazyeye:

Now.. I already am tired of V and find it pretty shallow and even..boring!
I'll play it again after patches and maybe an expansion. Still lot of the faults are in the core of the Civ V game I guess, so I think Civ IV will never be irrevelant for fans of a brilliant strategy. :)
 

sherbz

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We can only speculate why the company has failed so badly when it comes to bug fixes. Patches usually fix bugs, not implement more of them. I always thought BTS/3.19 was the version with least bugs, but that doesn't seem to be the case based on what you wrote. Some minor bugs are easy to live with, but things that affect the gameplay is a different matter. They should definitly be corrected ASAP.

Unfortunately civ4 is the best TBS-game out there, so what can you do?

The problem with implementing patches in to a game like civ is that the implications of certain fixes generally require a significant amount of play testing in order to ensure that they work and not screw up the rest of the game. If you tweak situation A in the BC's, that could result in situation X crashing the game in the AD's. Unfortunately, I think Civ 4 was so buggy when it came out Firaxis never really got out of the playtesting frame of mind (when fixes should have been purely focused on things like AP palace and game balance after consulting forums and doing research). A similar fate lies in store for civ 5 if im not very much mistaken.

Some of the mechanics in 4 are obviously busted (AP). Also, some of the patches did some purely weird stuff (barb galleys). I dont agree with TMIT though. There is no such thing as a perfect game and craving one will always leave you disappointed. When it comes to game balance starcraft is perhaps the most balanced and varied game ever created. Civ 4 is not in the same league, but it is certainly a lot better than other games in a similar genre (Master of Orion 2 springs to mind). Its all well and good wanting a game to fit our own idealist view of how it should be, but its simply not feasible. The quality of information is not available and nor are the resources. I think for a game like civ the developers use the modding community as a crutch to help sort out the things that would otherwise cost them resources. Its not right but its the reality of computer gaming. Look on the bright side, its A LOT BETTER than it used to be. In the past all we had to rely on were patches and hope against hope that they fixed the thing we wanted fixing.
 

binhthuy71

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My memory isn't that great but, I seem to recall a lot of complaints about Civ IV when it was first released. Most of them were centered on obvious bugs though rather than on the game mechanics. IV did have the advantage of following Civ III, a game that Firaxis (To my mind anyway) never quite fixed.

Having tried the demo version of Civ V I can say that I'll be staying with Civ IV until Civ V available in a "Complete" version for twenty bucks. It took five years and many mods to get Civ IV to its current state of esteem so I doubt that Civ V will fare any better.
 

Abegweit

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My memory isn't that great but, I seem to recall a lot of complaints about Civ IV when it was first released. Most of them were centered on obvious bugs though rather than on the game mechanics.
Right. The problems were huge. As I recall, a quarter of people couldn't get the game to run at all. However, almost everyone agreed that, if you could get it to run, the game was great.

IV did have the advantage of following Civ III, a game that Firaxis (To my mind anyway) never quite fixed.
I loved C3C. Although you're right that it was never fixed. The fact that the AI never knew how to fill up an army was simply inexcusable.

Edit: I miss armies.
 

Lemon Merchant

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I was hopeful about V on release. I tried to look at it in a positive light, but not now.

I just applied the patch for V tonight. I could play just over 100 turns before it crashed. :mad:

I'll take any free DLC that Firaxis decides to try to placate us with, but I won't be purchasing any, and I won't be playing it until it gets a pretty good overhaul. I'll be sticking to BTS, and I'll keep modding for it, so that I can help to make a really good game even better for those of us who have been left out in the cold.
 

bestbrian

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I was hopeful about V on release. I tried to look at it in a positive light, but not now.

I just applied the patch for V tonight. I could play just over 100 turns before it crashed. :mad:

I'll take any free DLC that Firaxis decides to try to placate us with, but I won't be purchasing any, and I won't be playing it until it gets a pretty good overhaul. I'll be sticking to BTS, and I'll keep modding for it, so that I can help to make a really good game even better for those of us who have been left out in the cold.

Lemon Tested; Not Lemon Approved.

Another new Avy, btw? :)
 

sherbz

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Right. The problems were huge. As I recall, a quarter of people couldn't get the game to run at all. However, almost everyone agreed that, if you could get it to run, the game was great.

I loved C3C. Although you're right that it was never fixed. The fact that the AI never knew how to fill up an army was simply inexcusable.

Edit: I miss armies.

or the rather annoying habbit of marching through your territory when the same luxury was not open to you.
 

Abegweit

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or the rather annoying habbit of marching through your territory when the same luxury was not open to you.

That's not unfinished. The AI in Civ3 cheated, just like in 1 & 2. Among other things it always knew the entire map. That's just how the game was. You could exploit its cheating. For example, leave a city without any defenders. The computer would invariably make a beeline for it allowing you to slaughter its troops along the way.
 

Merzbow

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Just came back to Civ after 4 years when I heard Civ5 was released. Quickly discovered that it sucked, and noted how mature Civ4 has become with the various mods available. Graphics aren't too far off Civ5 with the Blue Marble mod as well (and much better in some cases, i.e. the infamous rivers). Civ4 is perhaps the perfect iteration of the concept of this series of games. They should simply keep re-releasing it as is with upgraded graphics engines/OS compatibility until the end of time...
 

Iranon

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By that logic, they probably should have frozen innovation at civ2 (which was a rather conservative evolution of civ1 anyway).
It remains a very polished entry with very little wrong with it. It's entirely reasonable to argue it's still the perfect incarnation since 3 is made for accountants (both for the micromanagement and the exploitation of loopholes), 4 is made for people with a grudge against elegant design and mathematics, and 5 is a mess. I do love civ4 best of the series though, despite everything that's wrong with it.

*

I think it's good that they were willing to try something new, but the implementation has me scratching my head in places:
Civ combat AI never came close to a semi-competent human. Making war more demanding on the AI, less forgiving and less suited to unequal challenges with high-level handicaps is a bold move. It would have been a surprise to see it work.

Heavy-handed mechanics to keep an ICS from being the dominant strategy is par for the course. I was very pleased that they actually worked for a change in civ4: it was possible to out-expand high-level AIs but certainly not the only valid option, and the opportunity costs were such that most people didn't bother.
I'm not asking that things be kept the same, but using safeguards that humans can easily work around and that don't really affect AIs noticably shows someone didn't learn their lessons.

Unequal terrain kept expanding interesting, full of tension, time pressure and small trade-offs. Making the quality of the land less of a deciding factor coupled with making it take a long time to have cities reach their full potential makes the lack of constraints on horizontal expansion even more egregious.

Many problems can probably be fixed given time and willingness to do so... but despite the apparent streamlining the developers made life unnecessarily hard for themselves.
 

Wodan

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Sticking with Civ4 for now. There are enough lack of features in the reports about Civ5, plus some issues (though it's nice they've put out a patch already). I need a new PC which I may get for myself for Christmas, too. My hard drive is about full and I've cleaned it up as much as I can. I'm playing Starcraft II and Planetfall, and I've been thinking of getting into ROM. But I definitely will get Civ5 pretty soon.
 

casey1966

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Yes,sticking with IV.Tried V and the deal breaker is one unit per square.Actually it's been a few years since I've posted or played Civ IV, re-installed & have been playing all day long.
 

cdcuase

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Right. The problems were huge. As I recall, a quarter of people couldn't get the game to run at all. However, almost everyone agreed that, if you could get it to run, the game was great.

I loved C3C. Although you're right that it was never fixed. The fact that the AI never knew how to fill up an army was simply inexcusable.

Edit: I miss armies.

True. I was one of the players back then that had problems running civ4. But to me the gameplay wasn't flawed, I didn't have an urge to go back to civ3. To me it definitely felt like a step up from the previous game.

But Civ5? No technical problems running it on the first day, but after about a week of playing I was so bored with the game that I found myself going back to Civ4. And I hate it when people tell me "oh, you just want civ4.5". Uh, no. Civ5 is just dull for reasons mentioned numerous times on this forum.
 

h@@kon

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Staying with Civ IV for the foreseeable future. Just built a new box (AMD Phenom X6 1090T CPU, ATI Radeon 5870 Graphics, 8Gb RAM, 2 SATA 6 HD's in RAID 0, Win 7 Ultimate, etc.) so running the game wouldn't be a problem.

Civ IV has become a highly polished, excellent game and with all of the mods available it still hasn't become old for me. The fact that Steam is required to run the thing puts me off of it completely.

do you experience to be thrown out when playing in Win 7? I did, so i only use my old XP computer when playing Iv...but would like to use the win 7 computer on IV since CiV didn't really satisfy me...
 
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