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Biggest problem this game still faces

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by MantaRevan, Dec 8, 2013.


What is the game's biggest problem that could be addressed?

  1. Tall Empire Bias

    71 vote(s)
  2. Boring/Predictable Endgame

    42 vote(s)
  3. Warmonger Penalty

    35 vote(s)
  4. Diplomacy

    29 vote(s)
  5. Dumb AI

    92 vote(s)
  6. Long Turn Times

    27 vote(s)
  7. Too Easy

    3 vote(s)
  8. Too Hard

    0 vote(s)
  9. Science>>>>Everything Eles

    70 vote(s)
  10. Unsupported Multiplayer

    15 vote(s)
  11. Other

    19 vote(s)
  1. MantaRevan

    MantaRevan Emperor

    Oct 9, 2011
    I think we can agree that Civ 5 has come a long way since its vanilla implementation. Over the years things have been patched, tweaked, fixed, and entirely new systems have been added to make up for what felt missing. But we all also agree that the game isn't perfect, and I would certainly argue that some aspects are still problems to be addressed. This thread intends to act as a forum for debate over that issue. If it were up to you, what is the first thing the developers would address? I've added some options in the pole, but obviously people will have other ideas.
  2. CaptainPatch

    CaptainPatch Lifelong gamer

    Sep 6, 2007
    San Rafael, CA, USA
    I've been playing Civ since it was a board game back in the early '80s. Sid's initial foray into a computer version was THE advent of Just-one-more-turn-itis. But the subsequent versions always seemed to not quite get it right. #4 with its several expansions almost got Civ back to where it was my #1 go-to game. #5 had a number of novel introductions, but it seemed like EVERY game devolved down to a battle between warmongers. G&K added more novel stuff, but overall Civ5 still felt fairly "ho hum". But now, with BNW -- and access to umpty-ump mods to flesh out the game to the player's personal preferences, Civ has once again become the go-to game that Sid introduced me to.

    Except that pretty much every game's conclusion has become predictable: Whichever civs are leading the pack going into the Info Era will be the only contenders for the eventual winner. Which makes it quite a bit like ALL of the other versions: Fascinating at the beginning. Interesting in the middle. No surprises at the end.
  3. Arachnofiend

    Arachnofiend Perturbed Pugilist

    Oct 5, 2012
    I voted tall empire bias, which is funny because during my Gods & Kings days I was firmly a Tradition player and only went wide under specific circumstances. I feel that tall and wide was more or less equal in Gods & Kings and both could be played well depending on the map. With the economic reality of Brave New World that is no longer the case and it requires considerable effort to go wide even with civs that are specifically designed with wide play in mind. Options are reduced and replayability is limited when tall and peaceful is the best option 90% of the time. I'd like to lump in the difficulty of early game war here too since its related to the same problems (BNW economy is designed for the express purpose of not supporting it).

    Also I'm surprised "Piety and Honor are too weak" isn't a voting option.
  4. fuzzatron717

    fuzzatron717 Holy Warrior

    Mar 30, 2012
    Canada, eh
    That is strange because in my games Vanilla was tall and Gods and Kings was between Tall and Wide while my BNW games are all wide which is strange I have evolved my game style which is the exact opposite of the common strategy yet in all my games from when I bought the game to now have been very successful and I tend to pick Piety rather Tradition for an opener.
  5. truenarnian

    truenarnian Emperor

    Jul 1, 2011
    I'll be surprised if "Boring Endgame" doesn't win. Dumb AI is silly, but not game-killing for me because I can play with settings and mods and personal challenges to amp things up, but boring endgame is always boring endgame.

    A few things I've been thinking about in regards to this problem:

    1. Remember the break-away empires from Civ 4? They were a pain in the ass. They were also realistic considering the history of oversea colonization. I feel like the game does a good job of settling, expansion, consolidation, and warfare - which makes for an interesting beginning and middle, but when you look at the history of earth, what you see is something Civ sorely needs: an endgame that goes haywire:

    - England lost most of her possessions to independence movements, the Soviet Union dissolved - why is empire cohesion so easy in Civ? I want big empires (that have benefitted from their sizes most of the game for production, resources, etc.) to break down. Not FLIPPING (which I found to be a pain), but becoming independent city-states, or (better) new emergent civilizations. The further from your captial, the more culture you have to generate to keep them. (A much better check than the penalty to culture right now.) Some people want Canada in the game, others object, but acknowledging that countries like Canada DO emerge is important. And having this in-game would be amazing.

    - Countries like Senegal, Indonesia, were able to emerge from colonialism (somewhat spoiled in the case of Zimbabwe, etc., but independent nonetheless). How about cities that we conquer from, say, 1600 AD on, eventually mount independence movements as the World Congress begins convening?

    2. I watched a video for Europa Universalis IV yesterday, and just that brief glimpse into that game made me long for more diplomatic and policy systems than what civ has right now, and for new systems in general. I don't know what those could be (still haven't played EU4 because my specs are bad), but just mine some ideas from EU4 and various board games (which are great at implementing systems). As the game wears on, there should be new challenges to face. I think tourism/artifacts was a HUGE step in the right direction. We just need more steps like that.

    3. I want more victory conditions: how about religion (something like Islamic pan-Arabism) happiness, military influence (as opposed to domination - so you would have military in different spheres for influence without having to conquer), economic/corporate.

    4. Random events in the late game. This should include quests. Not city-state quests, but other quests that are further reaching that would influence your decisions late game (got this idea from EU4).

    5. In opposition to #3, what about a version with NO win conditions? (Got this from EU4). Have a thousand different accomplishments and quests that have nothing to do with size, and have to do with informing your play style. And make them interesting.

    6. We have more Civs than ever before, but I want the Civs to have more civ-specific features within each civ. More complex UAs, 5 Unique U/GP/B/I each.

    7. deleted because it had nothign to do with endgame

    8. Cities need to become more interesting. That won't work for Civ 5, but maybe in the future. What if you have a little dash of SimCity in city management? More (smaller) hexes that you have less direct control over, but that have more interesting gameplay with the city to make city management interesting late game instead of time-consuming drudgery.)

    9. It's time to make barbarians more interesting late game. Any gaps in the map should eventually emerge as city-states.

    10. Which brings me to city-states. They are an amazing addition to the game, but now that we have them, I want them to be bigger and better. I think the one city restriction is actually a good idea (representing minor powers like Singapore), but the whole game need a bit more complexity, and city-states should rise with the tide.

    11. When civs are marginalized on the map, relegated to no victory at all, why can't they attempt to merge? Sort of like the European Union, but united enough to mount a challenge to the 1-3 runaway leaders.
  6. Zaimejs

    Zaimejs Emperor

    Jun 22, 2006
    I still think the biggest obstacle to fun games is the lack of intelligent strategy from the AI. Quick example... I took the Celtic capital with a small force of artillery and a tank. She had about 50 or so units nearby, but she allowed me to negotiate peace, and then she never attacked despite me not defending the capital at all. She could have completely wiped me out if she had tried. Why?

    I was going to choose Science>>>>>>>>>> everything else. I keep trying to play games without going the rationalism route, but darn... it's so hard when you see other civs outteching you.

    If there were a victory condition related to religion, I think that would help.
  7. Zaimejs

    Zaimejs Emperor

    Jun 22, 2006
    truenarnian makes some good points! I like the idea of merging weaker powers toward the end of the game. Why not? I also like the idea of military victory without having to "prove it". You could do this like tourism... you get points for a powerful military, and if you are SO MUCH MORE powerful than your neighbors, they allow you to diplomatically conquer them without actually going in and destroying them.

    I'd also like to see more options for spies. And I want submarines that can cross borders and a way to shut off borders to prophets.
  8. Talcove

    Talcove Slayer of Spies

    Apr 23, 2013
    The under-performing AI. Most, if not all, of the problems in single-player can be traced back to the bad AI. It cannot handle war, it hardly handles diplomacy, and doesn't seem to have a sense of long-term strategy. If the AI were fixed, then Civ 5 will shoot up to be a magnificent game. Sadly, however, the AI in it's current state cannot rise to the challenge of using the systems and mechanics of Civilization 5.
  9. GoStu

    GoStu King

    Sep 16, 2013
    I voted "Science >>>> Everything Else".

    If you're not leading in science, you're in a bad bad spot. It's a nightmare to out-war someone who out-techs you. The Culture route is difficult when the runaway snags all the nice wonders. With the wonders, techs, and such it's very easy to get tons of free influence with City States.

    I think the Tall Empire bias is really just a side-effect of the science over everything approach. Getting a National College up on 3-4 solid cities is all you really need to do to start running away. As Wonders can't really be split between the production of lesser cities, I kind of wonder why Tradition gets the Engineers from Faith.

    I don't think the Tall v. Wide route is as bad as some claim though. Wide empires still hold a number of advantages; it's more a matter of starting your wide empire.
  10. vusalgustav

    vusalgustav Chieftain

    Aug 31, 2006
    The biggest problem which I think Civ V (the best strategy game ever) has, is inaptness of the AI in tactical combat.
  11. sendos

    sendos Immortal

    Aug 12, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    I voted tall empire bias because it is a solid way to win the game. I have beaten the game following the liberty path and a combination of liberty and piety on emperor level, but tall empires suit just about every civilization. The only civilizations that I think are suitable for wide empires are the Maya (UB), Spain (UU), Portugal (UI), Assyria (UA) and the Inca (UA and a bit of start bias and UI).

    My 2nd vote preference is between early warmonger penalty, lack of early war tactics unless you are Huns or Assyria, Science >>>> everything and Other. The Other covers unbalanced SP trees, namely honor, exploration and a little bit of commerce, piety and liberty. Commerce and liberty need better finishers (free great person for liberty is flexible but too short term compared to tradition finisher), piety tree is rather hollow and exploration and honor are both hollow and need better finishers.

    Other also covers the need to diversify science victory. Here is my idea: Building a spaceship is one thing, but what about the crew? The second part of science victory should involve the recruitment of crew members and the use of specific spaceship parts to guarantee the success of launching the spaceship. There should also be a success/fail chance for spaceships, with failure meaning you have to build it again from scratch or parts of it again. If this is too much, then add a few more parts to the spaceship.

    I am surprised dumb AI has got the most votes. I think the AI is rather diverse and not outright dumb. I also disagree that AI's lack long term strategy. In every single game, cultural AI's beeline to internet and diplomatic AI's use their spies a lot to gain control of CS'. The main challenge is AI winning a science victory though, but if it were not for my focus on tourism or CS', I'm sure AI would beat me with cultural and diplomatic victories. You also need to remember that the AI has to cater for both good and fun gameplay. Too good, and only we, the civ 5 nerds, are left and the civ brand dies down. One example of this is that the AI gangs up on you even if you aren't a warmonger or if you have the only ideology that they don't. Too fun, and the game loses community support in the long run. I think Firaxis got the balance just right but I'm not saying it's perfect.
  12. Wulf38

    Wulf38 Warlord

    Aug 21, 2010
    I voted "tall empire bias", although my problem would more accurately be called "anti-large empire bias". The trade-off between staying small vs. expanding is balanced fairly well in the 1-6 cities range, but beyond that it breaks down badly. It's possible under certain circumstances to scrounge up enough happiness to settle more, but the returns from doing so diminish very sharply. The game's design doesn't encourage much city specialization, so each new city has to churn through a wide variety of infrastructure to catch up in usefulness with the older cities.

    This isn't so bad if you stick to maps like Continents, where there's more water than land and 4-6 cities will almost always fill up the available space. It makes maps with more wide-open space almost unplayable.
  13. YertyL

    YertyL Chieftain

    Nov 15, 2013
    How about "ranged units>>>>>>everything else"? I'm surprised this has not been included or mentioned yet. When is the last time you thought "If only I could get some iron/horses to build longswordmen/knights and kick my neighbour's behind"? Instead, it is mostly:
    Defensive: A few cbows/xbows, 1 spear/pike
    Offensive: A few _more_ cbows/xbows, 1 spear/pike
    Besides pretty much obsoleting half the units _and_ techs(Lately beelined iron working and steel anyone?), this also makes the so-called "strategic ressources" not like anything their name implies - besides needing iron for frigates, of course.
  14. Kizo

    Kizo Chieftain

    Jun 23, 2012
    Voted for boring endgame, but ultimately that's caused by several other options in this poll, along with other problems. Tall bias and Tradition/Liberty being unquestionably superior to Honor/Piety both homogenize games and kill replay value. Multiplayer is marginally better than it was but is still an exercise in frustration. The catastrophically stupid AI generally ruins everything. All these factors combine to make me routinely abandon games as soon as the novelty of early expansion wears off.
  15. gashad

    gashad Chieftain

    Jul 29, 2013
    While many of these are linked, I voted Science >>Every thing else. The easiest way to win is to establish a science lead. Once you have done this you can pretty much just pick your victory condition.

    Conversly builds that weaken science(slow NC and education, etc) become quite weak, as you are quite limited what you can do when far behind in science.

    Hence the dominance of Science makes the Science strong builds by far the strongest ones, limiting variation in gameplay.
  16. YourHarry

    YourHarry Chieftain

    Nov 5, 2013
    Voted for science being too important for any type of victory strategies. For example, even if you don't try to set up for cultural or domination victory, being way ahead in science allows you to achieve either quite easily.
  17. Alziel

    Alziel Warlord

    Nov 20, 2010
    London, UK
    I really don't get the 'Tall Empire Bias' that everyone seems to perceive. Maybe it's my personal play style but I actually struggle to force myself not to go wide in my games. I'm convinced that a well played wide strategy will always beat a well played tall strategy in the long run even with the 'penalties' introduced in BNW.

    As I say - it must be the way I play (Emperor/Immortal player if that makes a difference)

    In the end I voted for 'Science > Everything Else' - but that seems to have been a consistent thing across all iterations of Civ I think.
  18. krc

    krc King

    Sep 28, 2010
    I'd definitely vote for this....
  19. cinattra

    cinattra Warlord

    Nov 3, 2002
    I voted for the "Tall Empire Bias" because I want to build the national wonders just like the civs that stop with 3 or 4 cities. I must go wide because when I see land I want to take it. Why should I have to stop my land grab just so I can build my national treasures? It is b.s.

    I think there should be a change into how science is calculated. Technology is not just driven in the laboratory... sometimes necessity was the mother of invention.
  20. phillipwyllie

    phillipwyllie Wannabe Deity

    Dec 11, 2003
    4 Hexes from FoY
    Warmonger Penalty: There should be some leeway for capturing a city that's on your cultural borders, especially if that city is miles from the capital of the offending civ.

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