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BERT analysis

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by ZTZaorish, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Well, like I said I think the basis of comparison should not be theme but mechanics.
    I also think that the big differences between IV and V are not in 1upt but rather in the empire management mechanics (i.e. no slider, no whip makes for a very different game).

    The question of which differences are more important or fundamental, of course, is subjective. What is not subjective is that these differences exist.
     
  2. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Deity

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    Oh, I agree with you that differences exist. That's obvious.

    But looking at mechanics instead of theme, you are correct that civ4/5 have meaningful differences in how empire management works but I would argue that civ5 and BERT have similar gameplay differences. Civ5 is about going "tall", maximizing growth and focusing on science. If you are going for a culture victory, you will want to emphasize the techs that give you culture and tourism. If you are going for a space victory, you will want to focus on the techs that give you a spaceship component. In BERT, the emphasis is on going "wide" and prioritizing trade routes. You want to maximize science too but for difference reasons. In BERT, your science focus is geared towards climbing the affinity ladder as fast as possible, so that you can buff your units and complete one of the affinity victories first. So, I would argue that civ5 and BE have a different gameplay focus. They do not play the same.
     
  3. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Alright, we're still playing the semantic game.

    Best of luck in eliciting whatever responses you wish to draw out with your posts. I'm bowing out here.
     
  4. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Well, I think that in V you can actually go wide or tall, though admittedly I haven't played V in quite some time. I remember going tall is easier, but going wide can be viable too and actually more powerful than going tall under certain circumstances.
    I think one of the criticisms I have seen of BE around here is that going wide is too optimal due to how the trade routes work.

    Yes, the way the affinities work viz. unit types and victories is an important difference between BE and V, and one that I would like to see worked into future Civ releases. For instance civs that choose a nomadic focus might have their science and commerce cut but get access to powerful cavalry units in return, while Civs that want to go a Mercantile route might lose the ability to train certain units with hammers but get access to powerful mercenaries which can only be bought with gold...

    I said before I thought Affinities were a really interesting idea but not implemented radically enough, in that they (in my view) do not differentiate gameplay sufficiently between civs of different affinities. It would be very interesting to see a game designed with an Affinities-analogue incorporated from the beginning, then we might see things like Affinity-specific yields, entirely different unit types available to each affinity, and so on...

    Interestingly, Civ wiki (not just me!) says that BE "uses the Civ V game engine"...
     
  5. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Primarily the impact they had on the way the late game played out - now the world fragments into exactly the same three-way blocs every game, often either fatally undermining game-long relationships or making them unnecessarily difficult to maintain. It's a bit like reading a novel only to find that the final chapter has been copy-pasted from a different book with no relation to what went before ... and then finding that every novel you read from then on has been replaced by the same final chapter.

    On top of that it simply has thematic problems - aside from inventing a triumvirate that never really existed at any given point in reality, it's trying to reflect in broad strokes a Cold War situation, but there is no way out of that Cold War even if the game goes to 2050 (plus it tends to become hot rather quickly). There isn't a way to move into a post-ideology era, and as ideologies have such drastic penalties to change one of the key dynamics of the Cold War - changes in the ideological alignments of different powers - can't happen outside very specific and rather rare circumstances. And, clunkily given that their introduction was in part a way to promote proxy conflicts between civilisations each trying to gain influence with the same state, city-states don't interact with the ideology mechanic in any way.

    It was an interesting way to try and enliven the late game, but ultimately it made it too static and disrupted what came before too much - as well as simply having far too significant an effect in starting wars. A subtler implementation, which may be tied for instance to city-state favour and UN resolutions and/or provide bonuses closer - ironically - to those in BE's affinity system but don't directly affect victory conditions or have such a severe impact on diplomatic relations would be a better approach for later games.

    Civ V favours going tall as a result of balance issues, rather than deliberate features of game design; indeed I understand that in its earliest form (before I started playing it) going wide was optimal, and until G&K Liberty was preferable to Tradition. And within that framework you have the differences in teching strategies you mention, irrespective of whether your game plan is to go tall or to go wide - both of which ultimately produce the same science resource, which is then put into whatever tech path you choose.

    This isn't any different mechanically from what you're doing in BE - all that differs is that at each decision-making stage your options are simplified. In Civ V you can go tall or go wide; the latter isn't as easy, but is fully viable. In BE you can go wide or go wide. In Civ V you can choose different tech paths that lead to one of several different types of victory conditions that are achieved in different ways (be it votes, spaceship parts, or tourism output). In BE you can choose one of three colour-coded tech paths each of which gives you a victory wonder which is produced in essentially the same way whichever one you choose. That's a different in complexity, but not in mechanical focus.
     
  6. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Thanks for this answer. I agree with much of what you're saying, particularly in how the CS relate (or, rather, don't relate) to Ideology.

    Ideologies did feel rather tacked on to the end. There wasn't much of a sense of continuity with the rest of your civ's history, though I suppose that might have been the goal given how drastic the shifts entailed by the Industrial Revolution were.
     
  7. Westwall

    Westwall Emperor

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    Well said.
     
  8. ZTZaorish

    ZTZaorish Warlord

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    I agree with a few of your points, that I hadn't thought of before. City state don't align with ideologies. Man, that could of been interesting for sure, although I do like the fact that it divides you majorly. The penalties are a bit too much if you are behind in culture though, they literally can bring your country to the brink of utter annihilation if you don't switch, it is ridiculous. Perhaps if they reduced the overall effect this has on nations, but implement the subtle influence it has on city states we could see a more interesting result.

    Additionally, it would have been nice if Ideologies did die down at a certain age in the game. This would of course imply something else has to come into the game to keep it fresh, not sure what though.

    What I don't agree with is that it makes the game that predictable, different nations choose different ideologies every time, so I wouldn't say it's the same book in that sense. I see what you are saying, but it seems a bit exaggerated of a statement. That being said, it could have been implemented to have a bit more subtety.

    This. I have to admit, for somebody who hasn't played the game, I agree with the majority of what Lexicus has stated about BE. I go even farther with it even as to say that CIV BE should have been more different than Civ V than it is currently, and it is a shame that it isn't. Are there very real differences, yes. Once you learn the game though, there isn't one compelling, interesting, and replay value added reason to play BE. There isn't 1 solid reason why I will play 500+ hours of CIV BE, and enjoy it to death for that duration. I can say this easily about civ V.

    CivBE needs to double down on affinities, and make it their selling point, because right now, I can't honestly recommend BE to anybody looking for a game that will keep interest for very long. Half of my hours played on BE were done to achievement farm before BERT, while watching shows on my left screen, or twitch streams. The game really just doesn't hold my attention at all. Obviously BERT has helped, but we are far from there boys. There is hope yet, I highly doubt that they will abandon BE without a second expansion. I take a lack of frequent patch as a sign of what's the point of patching something we are going to change in next year's expansion anyways.(For Civ BE specifically)
     
  9. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    The problem you have is that is an entirely personal qualifier. You agree with X, you can't find yourself playing BE, and so on and so forth.

    I've played more BE than I have CiV (195 hours to 138 hours, and for me those are big numbers to sink into a game), by the logic on display that means I can state that BE is unequivocally and objectively better and CiV fails on a number of levels. This line of debate makes no sense, you see.

    I mean, on one hand you say there are very real differences, which lends credence to the argument that the games aren't so easily compared. But then you say those differences aren't compelling / interesting, which is another point entirely that has very little relevance to comparing CiV and BE. It's an opinion on the state of BE, sure, but it doesn't match the debate.

    Could they do more with BE? Of course. But you could make that argument about CiV. Or Civ 4. Or Civ 3, and so on, and so forth.

    Very few games are truly "finished", most games reach near that point but are ultimately put to rest either due to financial decisions or simply due to the amount of work needed to "finish" them being too much for the end result.

    In BE's case, people who are dissatisfied with the theme(s) are unlikely to ever be satisfied, because the game has been implemented as per the themes laid out by the developers and we're not going to see any kind of 180 degree turn on any of those decisions. So it's a lost cause trying to cater to them.

    So who do the developers cater towards? The inhabitants of this forum (the official forums are somewhat dead)? How do we reach a consensus? Plenty of people on this forum alone disagree with each other on many aspects of the game's design. How do the developers draw from that? How much work do the developers do on Affinities at the expense of other game systems? How do they prioritise?

    These are questions to which there are no answers :p The developers just have to do the best they think they can. Some people will enjoy the game, some people won't, and some people will be in the middle.
     
  10. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Deity

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    Perfectly stated.
     
  11. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    I agree with your comment!


    ______________________

    Spoiler :
    Not that I have anything against the "I just comment to say that I agree but add nothing to the discussion!"-nonsense that Westwall is pushing, makes the forums look more active than they are.
     
  12. ZTZaorish

    ZTZaorish Warlord

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    Ok , listen here. I am not joining in your argument or discussion. I am just stating my opinion, so going into analysis about what I said isn't worth it. I don't see why you are doing so. Me stating my hours played and such is just my experience with the game.

    On my couple points about differences and about comparing these. Although these differences do exist, I don't think they are enough to discredit comparisons on what worked and what didn't. But, again, I don't know why you are going in on me here, because I am just stating my 2 cents, I am not trying to convince anybody that they are wrong/right about this, or calling out anybody, just stating my opinion. Because in the end, this is all it is. It does add to the conversation, but it doesn't add to the debate, I never stated it did so. But hey, look again, this is the thread where I discussed BERT, so I am doing so in my post. I state my agreement with a lot of what lexicus stated, but the rest is just an opinion. I compliment him on seeing things in what I consider an "accurate" perspective without having to play the game himself, and then i go off to talk about what I think about BE and it's state, which is fine. Because again, I am not joining in the debate.


    Could they do more with BE? Yes, and I personally believe that they could and should do so. Saying there are no answers is a cop out in my opinion. (I am NOT calling you out on this) I am just saying, in all respects, they haven't lived up to Civ V, and Civ IV, and they need to do so. There are multiple correct answers to this question, and I think we will see it eventually if they release another XPAC. To the last statement saying some people won't some will, and some will be in the middle, I have to say that the vast majority of people enjoyed Civ V, apart from Civ 4 naysayers who didn't like 1UPT and such. So again, reaching a happy medium is happy, and very doable. What we have right now is still far from being good enough to satisfy the civ fanbase, and I think we have to take it upon ourselves to make sure that Firaxis delivers the best product they can by giving them consistent feedback. (again, not saying you wouldn't, these are my 2 cents)

    I'm going to leave my comments at this for now, I just want them to be that, comments to think on. They don't have to be right, or don't have to do with the aforementioned discussion.

    Good to see some BERT discussion, and good to see you guys all still care about Beyond Earth.
     
  13. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    I appreciate where you're coming from, that's fair enough.

    Just want to clear up one thing on the "no answers" bit (not taking it personally either, no worries). I mean no answers as in these questions cannot be realistically answered.

    Can we, individually, answer those questions? Yes.

    Is this useful for Firaxis? Well, any input or feedback at all on a product has some utility so that's kinda a dumb question in hindsight, so a better question would be: is this useful for Firaxis after the effort of sifting through the large amount of divergent opinions?

    For example, I'd disagree that they haven't lived up to CiV or Civ 4. We haven't even heard about the second expansion yet, which is at the very least what both of those games received. If we were to compare BE:RT to CiV: G&K, I think that would be a very favourable comparison.

    As many people have noted, comparing base BE to CiV is also a favourable comparison.

    The only time it is not is when we a) factor in personal enjoyment of modifications or b) include additional expansions that BE has yet to benefit from.
     
  14. Westwall

    Westwall Emperor

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    Good discussion overall.

    The important thing is that people are finally realizing there are many faults with BE.

    The next step is taking the developers to task on them.

    If they aren't catching the simplest and most glaringly obvious bugs and underperforming game mechanics, they have effectively failed as designers.

    We don't have to settle for less. As players and consumers, we have the right, nay, the responsibility to say enough is enough.
     
  15. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    I'd argue that the people you repeatedly don't name by name, but reference in most posts, have never denied that the game has flaws.

    Every game has flaws.

    Certainly, I'm very sure that even if the developers don't post on this site, they do read it (the same goes for most developers and popular fansites), so our feedback will be coming across in some form or another.

    "taking a developer to task" infers, well, corporal punishment, heh. It also falls into the trap of assuming that your perceived underperforming game mechanics are actually underperforming.

    Which I've covered twice already with the "everyone has a different opinion" bit. What you think is underperforming - heck, what ten people think is underperforming - isn't necessarily a definite.
     
  16. Kutuzov

    Kutuzov Prince

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    This is wholly in your head. We've all been aware of the flaws in the game since it was launched. ;) Where we differ from you is that we're not gnawing the carpet in rage about them.

    Again, we've been doing that since day 1. In case you hadn't noticed, they made changes to Trade Routes, Wonders etc as a result of our posts. While we might not be satisfied with the way they fixed things, we have demonstrably taken them to task.

    You've made your feelings towards these devs abundantly clear in the past. There's nothing new to see here.

    I don't know about you but I vote with my wallet. Nobody forced me to buy Civ BE or fooled/tricked me into buying it. I bought it with my eyes open and I have had some very good times with it. So much so that I bought RT as well. You bought RT too. When are you going to be responsible? YOU are the one who should be listening to yourself.
     
  17. ZTZaorish

    ZTZaorish Warlord

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  18. Westwall

    Westwall Emperor

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    Fairly balanced retrospect, I like your points on how aquatic cities could be more compelling.

    Having them move to expand borders is just lame.

    Also yes, so little imagination seemed to go into the game's graphical details, and the lack of a congress is just inexcusable. You need planetary events and worldwide diplomacy in a title like this. The novelty of those tweets also wears off fast and they quickly become annoying since you can't send texts of your own.

    It's good to see there are still people who can apply critical thought to evaluating this game.

    Moderator Action: Please cease the trolling.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  19. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    I don't see how moving to expand borders is a bad design, though admittedly my inclination was to use an energy economy and tile purchase with relevant traits.

    I completely disagree that we need a planetary congress - that always felt extremely arbitrary and divorced from real diplomacy. Why, on a planet with deeply divided visions for the future, would a UN with teeth automatically form?

    AIs competent enough to be useful allies and dangerous enemies would do much for the game on that front though, as well as more affinity rivalry and generally a more refined take on affinities.
     
  20. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    You do realise critical thought applies to both positive, negative, and deconstrutively-but-ultimately-useful statements, right?

    Planetary Congress in SMAC was severely limited. Very easy to game, moreso than CiV's World Congress / United Nations. If you want that back in, you want it solely for nostalgic reasons and you haven't given much thought to tackling the problems in implementation of previous systems.

    Better AI is a universal wish, of course, I agree with Galgus there. But what do the developers prioritise, PvP matchups, or AI matchups? There are distinct problems to both that cause both resource constraints on the manpower front, and implementation-based constraints on the game mechanics front.
     

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