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Boredom with CIV5 demystified

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Bibor, Nov 30, 2010.

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  1. moscaverde

    moscaverde Chieftain

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    I really agree with Alpaca's post. I was thinking, and all this years of Civ and CFC I never bothered entering the war academy, maybe a few times in the strategies forums.
    For me Civ always was the more sandbox kind of game, for more hardcore play there are other games (that I do like, too).
     
  2. Thomas G.

    Thomas G. Chieftain

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    Good OP, I'll not take it all as the gospel, but that's probably okay. Mostly interested about game development and why ciV is so boring/hated. Which was the title of the thread.

    I also believe that a game can cater both to core and casual players. Casual want an experience, they need graphics and sound and music, they also need choice, but they do not need to know everything (odds, AI attitudes, research-time modifiers, etc) to have fun or even be successful. Because they can play at one of the lower experience levels. Core want a challenge, they want to create, try out and adjust strategies, find the little ways to improve to gain that little extra edge. And they, of course, play the highest difficulty levels.

    I've played civ II a lot. Went up to deity pretty quickly. Started looking for fast ways to win, dominate, finding the techniques to streamline my play. Had good fun doing that. Then I found the civ II forums here and learnt what an unsuccess core player I am. Wow the stuff some people have found out. Just wow.

    A friend played civ II a lot, was playing lower difficulties until I pestered her to go to the 'real' one, deity. She reluctantly did, but does not actively seek victory. Seems to be happy building stuff and developing and colonizing. When declared on she will be frustrated that the AI would do such a thing as they were co-existing in such harmony, but will handle herself decently enough in combat. Counterattack and buy a city with a spy and then accept peace. She still plays the game while I moved to civ IV.

    So a game CAN be appealing to both. They have different wants, but many of those are not mutually exclusive.

    Difficulty levels, or 'handicap' (like golf) can cause players of very different skill to enjoy the same game (like golf). Several games do not even call difficulty levels "easy" and "hard" but "casual" and "(hard)core"

    Has anyone tried out modding the game to be harder that deity? Will it ever feel like the good old civ IV warlords "walking-on-the-edge-every-turn" difficult, or does the game simply not function if AIs get more bonuses?

    Perhaps part of the problem with ciV, in addition to lack of choice, is that it is just too easy.

    However, I can understand why devs want to turn this great series into profit. Civ IV must be the game, apart from the free ones, that I definately have payed the least for to be able to play. Counted per hour, of course.
     
  3. alpaca

    alpaca King of Ungulates

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    I completely agree. Nevertheless, it is difficult satisfying both because while not being mutually exclusive, the wants of casual gamers (maybe immersion would be a better word? still looking for actually good terminology) often pull into a different direction than those of the core (abstract?) gamers.

    Modding the game by just letting the AI cheat more will not accomplish anything much beyond making the game even more tedious because you wade through lakes of blood. You have to change the rules but I think we'll find a solution at some point.

    The biggest advantage humans have in almost all strategy games seems to be tactical in nature. The AI is just much worse at positioning, protecting their units, etc. So if you want to make the game more difficult, you have to develop a game ruleset that removes some of those advantages. I am currently investigating to remove upgrades and reduce healing to 1, and only in cities. This is going seriously off topic, though, so if you're interested we can continue discussing this in my mod thread (click the link in my sig)
     
  4. JLoZeppeli

    JLoZeppeli Chieftain

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    Niche product??? Have you an idea of what is a niche product??? Paradox games are niche products.. Even Football Manager is a niche product, because soccer is only liked in Europe and in South America (and some other countries like Japan), and it is a management game, not Fifa or Pro Evolution... And there are niche games like Blood Bowl or Operational Art of War that far surpass even Paradox games to gain the title of NICHE GAME...

    Civilization is the most renoved strategy game on PC, it sold about 6 million copies with Civ I, more than 10 with Civ II.... Are you serious?? It has never needed to be streamlined more... It was streamlined as hell in Civ IV!!! Compare it to the ROM mod to understand....
     
  5. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    I think that's the main reason many of the better players are still active in the community. There's a good game in Civ 5 that's waiting to come out, but significant and effective balance work will be necessary to produce that result. 1UPT has the potential to be a fantastic innovation for the franchise, but the AI and terrain balance are getting in the way right now.

    There's nothing so game-breaking about the present design that it cannot be fixed by modifying some scalars and adding a few mechanics. Eventually the community is going to stumble into those solutions by trial and error even if the devs cannot. The accessibility of CiV is a plus, if it's leveraged properly so that there's actually a deep game hiding under the hood.
     
  6. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    I would really divide the player population into four (or more) rather than two categories.

    1. players who play often and like to solve (physical or mental) puzzles (hardcore)
    2. players who play here-and-there and also like to solve puzzles (casual)
    3. players who play here-and-there and they prefer minimal (phy or ment.) activity while doing so (not really into games)
    4. players who play often but also prefer minimal activity (these are the really creepy ones)

    The number 4 is where the money is, because these are the converts that enjoyed the bottom of other sorts of entertainment before. You can throw anything at them, as long as its not very demanding, and they'll consume it. Pay for it. They don't really care where their money went as long as you made them sleepy (ready for bed) at some point.

    But I don't understand why would Firaxis be so hell-bent on trying to please The Really Creepy Ones by designing Civilization V for that market, because really the only thing you need to do is this:

    YOU WON with a score higher than [random Facebook Friend name]

    [tell your facebook friends button]


    You don't even need graphics or engine or AI to get their attention. The only reason why Farmville is so popular is because the game makes you think you're being watched.
     
  7. Dun Malg

    Dun Malg Chieftain

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    No doubt! Of course what gets me in this particular case is that the inflammatory comment isn't actually false--- Civ I is an awful game. I still play it at work all the time. The game mechanics are crude and abstracted from the reality they purport to mimic. Losing a battleship to combat with a spearman on shore? Friendly neighboring civs plopping cities down in the cracks between your cities? Difficulty level that's nothing more than giving the AI free stuff and making other civs backstab harder? It's still fun, but its shortcomings are infuriating. What's noteworthy is that the concept was appealing enough to overlook the warts and play again and again. It was good enough to nearly monkeywrench two quarters of college for me.
     
  8. MoonBase

    MoonBase Chieftain

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    For me, as both a "casual" player and a long-time fan, only after two expansions and three years of Modders plying their trade. And even then, my father (who loved the first Civ but never got into Civ2 due to the map-squares turning into map-diamonds) couldn't get into it.

    He's gotten into CiV, though. Now he's talking about looking forward to how the mods are going to change the things he dislikes, which mostly revolve around what we'd all say are the "dumbed down" aspects, like the tech tree and the hidden modifiers. Go figure.
     
  9. markantony

    markantony Chieftain

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    Um.......Football a niche market? I don`t think so. 2006 World Cup final 600,000,000 viewers? 10% of the whole world?

    BTW, Europe has a population of over 700,000,000 and South America has almost 400,000,000. Thats 1 in 6 people in the world.
     
  10. MoonBase

    MoonBase Chieftain

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    And how many of those are interested in a game about managment?
     
  11. Zydor

    Zydor Chieftain

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    Not me thats for sure - and I'm one of the 700 million :)

    However Football cannot remotely be described as "niche"

    The PC Game itself is indesputedly a niche market though, in comparison to some mega global titles like Civ - due to its restricted potential market size resulting from its concentration on the management side of Football.

    Having said that - its proving to be remarkably successful, kudos to it for that, definitely unexpected outcome on that scale :goodjob:

    Regards
    Zy
     
  12. Warspite2

    Warspite2 Chieftain

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    Extensive knowledge of computer games? What is the name of your studio, what games have you developed and what languages can you program in? How long have you been in the business and whats your position? Are you a CEO at Blizzard or something? Reality check...

    Playing games since 1990 don't give you (or me, or anyone else) extensive knowledge and certainly don't give you a right to criticize a top award winning developer like Sid Meier as you had in this opening thread. Totally arrogant, in fact this whole thread comes out as nothing but that. Then we have some here who say good OP! Thats like you are in your home stadium watching your home football game and a fan of the visiting team criticizes the quarterback of your team. Then you agree with them! Then your team wins the game anyway and goes on to win the superbowl. Its like, people grow a backbone here will you. The guy just insulted your beloved Civ franchise and the very man who brought it to life and you say, good OP?
     
  13. Warspite2

    Warspite2 Chieftain

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    No, in reality the only thing is... your just a freaking arrogant know it all. Total disrespect by claiming Sid Meier just slapped his name on products is why he became a legend. How do you know what he had programmed and provided vision for? The point is you have no clue, but are leading others to believe you do which is how rumors are born. Well, I have read and done my homework so I know exactly why Sid Meier is a legend, its all over the internet and many times over again.

    Moderator Action: do not personally attack other posters
     
  14. Sofar Sogood

    Sofar Sogood Chieftain

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    You don't have to have equivalent qualifications to say, "I didn't like this product. Here's why."

    Winning awards (who qualifies the people who gave those awards anyhow?) and such doesn't make you immune to criticism who didn't win awards. :X

    The op may be wrong in some, other, or all ways. That's not to say it's totally cool to peer-pressure him out of his right to voice an opinion.

    You're only a fan of the Civ franchise for as long as you like the games. You're not backing Civ because the players are from your region, but because you like Civ. If Civ doesn't produce, then -- well.

    Whatever Civ 5 sells, that's not to say that folks don't personally find the game boring/aggravating. The whole Superbowl thing isn't really an apt comparison here, because Civ 5 does different things for different people. Maybe it'd be more like criticizing the guy who does your plumbing. Some folks hate him, others love him...

    But either way, some folks just don't like the job he does.

    Correction: he insulted Civ 5 (which'd still be fine, since opinion-having is cool)... and he made some assertions about Sid, I guess. Some of them insulting, probably.

    Whatever else he said about Sid and Firaxis and such, though, I totally agree with the analysis here. So... good op, y'know?
     
  15. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    This is a common misconception of how criticism works. People with PhD's and fancy business card titles love nothing more than to measure the world according to their own rules. I'm pretty sure Bernstein and Woodward were not high-ranking politicians when they broke the Watergate affair. And I can't even compare my accomplishments to these people (and that's my own opinion, not a dictated one).

    If I were indeed a CEO of Blizzard I would never write such a post for several reasons:
    a) criticizing a CEO or product of company in the same business is really unprofessional
    b) I wouldn't care about what Sid Meier or Firaxis do, since they are not really competition
    c) I would have little to gain

    Furthermore your comparison of playing games with watching sports is a really bad one. Playing is active, watching is passive. An amateur that plays basketball for 10 years knows more about playing basketball than a person who spent 60 years watching it. You don't need to be an NBA-certified basketball judge to play good basketball.

    There hasn't been a single breakthrough in religion, arts, sciences, politics, warfare or any other enterprise that wasn't made by people who were breaking or bending the rules, with disregard to authority and tradition. If arts would've been judged only by established artists, we would be still doing cave paintings.

    And finally, as a son of two established, awarded and recognized musicians, I can tell you that:
    - awards are usually a political decision, rather than proof of accomplishment (lets give it to this guy, he's sleeping with a person I need a favor from)
    - established critics give good reviews for money, favors, free samples, paid flight and accomodation for conferences; they will continue to spit on your products until you start caving in to their own personal demands. Noble critics are rare because they are either young and naive or have already died from starvation.
    - quality and quantity need not to have anything in common. Most successful people in any business steal the quality and produce it in quantity.


    But of course, you're entitled to your own, if flawed, opinion :)
     
  16. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    It's interesting that respect is brought up. I'd prefer an atmosphere of mutual respect between players and designers: 'I expect you to make the best game you can. In return, I will give the game a fair chance and judge it on its quality'.

    Sid Meier's talk on the psychology of game design at GDC2010 was quite telling - he gave multiple examples of the need to accomodate people who wouldn't give the game a chance ('give a chance' as: try to understand the mechanics instead of screaming 'unfair!' every time they got a result they didn't like), at the cost of making the game less elegant.
    A surprising amount of effort went into making Civ Rev (the example he used) worse but more in line with the wants of supposedly lazy and unthinking customers. I assume he didn't consider this approach to be platform-specific.

    Maybe ingenuity that went towards wide appeal rather than quality for quality's sake deserves respect as well... but then it's for the businessman, not the designer or artist.
     
  17. neptune2000

    neptune2000 Chieftain

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    Wow. Games are entertainment. I think a simple analogy is the movie. I can infer from your post that (unless you work in the movie industry) you've never criticized a film. You're probably alone in that. Enough said.

    Yes, the OP comes off as a bit, uh, "sure of himself", but he's certainly entitled to his opinion, even if it bashes the Civfather. He may be right here and wrong there, but his argument is well-reasoned. And if anyone at Firaxis/Take 2 reads the well-reasoned threads, the result may be game improvements (look at the new patch notes from yesterday).

    And for what it's worth, industry awards are usually full of sh*t.
     
  18. markantony

    markantony Chieftain

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    Um...sorry but that is not a very good argument. By that standard nobody could judge anything unless they had done it themselves.

    I can`t build a car, but I can tell you that my current car is better that my first car.
     
  19. JLoZeppeli

    JLoZeppeli Chieftain

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    Yes that's the reason because FIFA AND PRO EVOLUTION ARE POPOULAR...

    So It's true that Football Manager is slowly becoming popular, but it's far away from the popularity of Civilization... It's a football management game.... So A basket management game how much could sell worldwide, being the SECOND most popular sport game after soccer???;)
     
  20. markantony

    markantony Chieftain

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    Dunno, but Sports Interactive have done ok, despite only making Football Manager. Simply put, saying that Football managment is a niche market is wrong.
     
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