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Civ IV Complete - First Impressions

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Sir Sam Vimes, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Sir Sam Vimes

    Sir Sam Vimes Duke of Ankh

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    UPDATE: If you're new to Civ IV and would like to share your first impressions of the game, or if you're an experienced player with tips for newcomers or silly newbie mistakes you made and would like to share, please post here!


    Civ IV Complete - First Impressions

    I've been playing Civ games for years (I own Civ, Col, Civ II, SMAC Complete and C3C) but I've never had a computer powerful enough to play anything above C3C. A few months ago, I got a Win 7 32-bit netbook. Just after Xmas, I bought an external DVD drive, went on Amazon and bought Civ IV Complete. It arrived in the post the other day, and I settled down to play. I've played an epic game as Ragnar on Settler difficulty (come on, its changed so much from C3C!) and Epic speed. I've also played 'The Crossroads of the World' and 'Mesoamerica'. I have not played RFC (sacrilage, I know). As of today, I've DL'd and installed the UP 3.19, BBAI, Sword of Islam and Revolution DCM mods, but I haven't played them. Here are my first impressions...

    1 - General:

    Civ IV Complete - an exercise in false advertising: I figured I'd get a fully-patched, DRM-free collection of Vanilla, Warlords, BTS and Col. WHOOPS! THAT'S ONLY IN NORTH AMERICA! No Col (ok, that's no biggie), Vanilla and Warlords need the disk in to play and SIX DAMN YEARS after the release of Vanilla, I had to download a patch for BTS... C3C was fully patched...

    Stupid Expansion Packs...: When you install the complete versions of Civ 2 or 3, its 1 desktop icon, 1 game with all content. But not with Civ IV! Just a niggle, but it makes life more complicated.

    Main Menu: So, I ran BTS and my first impression was 'Hey, this looks fun'. After the fairly utilitarian menu screens of past versions of Civ, this looked bright and shiny and new. Nice!

    2 - General Gameplay:

    New Stuff: Love the religions and corporations: anything that adds strategic depth is good in my book, and its fun! Shame they axed them for CiV...

    Barbs can build and capture cities? Brilliant!

    Random events are fun :)

    Colonies are an interesting concept...

    The new terrain improvements are cool.

    Tech Tree: Bring back icons! I wanna see what the tech gives me without having to mouse over it.

    I wish the tree was more linear, along the lines of C3C (ok, so I'm a bit conservative...)

    Tribes: Added African civs = win

    C3C represented a step forward from Civ II in terms of differences between tribes. Even though Civ IV adds unique buildings, the lack of clear 'culture groups' and the failure to increase on C3C's one UU per civ policy means that I feel Civ IV doesn't represent a step forward in this respect.

    Layout: The game screen is clear, aesthetically pleasing and easily understandable by n00bs. On the other hand, it eats precious pixels and reminds me of Rise of Nations. Narrow win.

    Difficulty: So, I played my first game on Settler, because I knew there were a lot of new concepts for me to get my head around. After about 200 turns, my best city got captured by a rampaging hoard of Barbs. In nearly a decade playing Civ, I had never before lost a city to Barbarian units. WTF?

    Firaxis-made scenarios: Fun, some cool ideas, but the lack of new units/techs made them disappointing when compared to the Conquests in C3C.

    Historical accuracy: Speaking as a historian, a step back from C3C, especially because there isn't such a clear division between eras on the tech tree. However, I understand that RFC improves a lot of this.

    Now, I love Civ IV and will continue to play it. These are just the immediate impressions of someone who has been stuck on C3C since forever and is experiencing culture shock. Any thoughts? Any mods/scenarios I should try?

    Edits:

    6/01/12: 11:36am - I've played RevolutionDCM and Sword of Islam: awesome!

    Indeed. I was playing as Abbasids in RFC SoI, great fun, then a message told me 'a new empire has arisen, do you want to take control of it?' I figured 'woo-hoo, vassel state!' but nope... ended up starting over as a new civ. Ouch! I need to read the pedia:blush:

    Treat me as a test case: I'll post here about if/when I hit a RAM wall of death...
     
  2. JesusOnEez

    JesusOnEez Emperor

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    Wave goodbye to the next 4 years of your life, then try some mods and wave goodbye to another few years!

    Although this is probably a grand generalisation, I believe most players turn of random events because of the possibility of a rampaging hoard of barbarians taking a city before you have time to build adequate defence. In the higher difficulty levels, and I'm only talking Noble here, the rampaging hoard can turn up in the first few turns are take your capital quickly finishing your game.

    Beyond The Sword has kept me busy for years without the need for playing any mods (although I use and would recommend BUG, it gives you much more information without changing the core gameplay). BetterAI may be a good idea as well. It generally makes the AI better and you can estimate that every difficulty level is that bit harder, so Warlord is more like Noble, Noble more like Prince in the Vanilla BtS etc.

    Enjoy!
     
  3. The_Reckoning

    The_Reckoning Prince

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    I recommend K-Mod most. It speeds the game up by throwing out a lot of excessive code. If you're on a netbook it'll be especially helpful. What processor does it have?
     
  4. Sir Sam Vimes

    Sir Sam Vimes Duke of Ankh

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    Thanks guys! My processor is a crappy Intel Atom N455 with 1GB RAM and 2 GB Virtual RAM. Performance has been fine so far (movies off but high graphic levels) but that might change with bigger save files...
     
  5. Ataxerxes

    Ataxerxes Deity

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    Large maps in the late game are going to make you miss Civ3. Another thing I like about IV is that diplomacy matters more in this game and you don't have to kill to get luxury resources (getting AI to trade resources in III is hard). Although warfare certainly helps in IV it isn't as much a war game as III.

    I think RFC is the best mod for CivIV. However, I understand Fall from Heaven is more popular. RFC is definitely best for fun combined with accuracy. I find RFC seems enough like CivIV to lull one into a false sense of security that it works the same way and then a Plague or a Collapse occurs.
     
  6. Old Hippy

    Old Hippy Deity

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    on your issue with tribes i used to use Buffy mod, but since coming back have used the Bat mod ... it seems to give flavour units to all civs... axemen bowmen swordsmen etc. even workers and scouts seem slightly different between civs ... I've only had 5-6 games so far tho ,with fairly early finishes so don't know if it has other issues yet
     
  7. GGracchus

    GGracchus Tribune of Rome

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    If you're looking for a mod that simply improves UI, try the BUG mod(see my signature). It doesn't affect gameplay at all, but really enhances certain features(you can see when an AI is plotting war, whether or not you have a peace treaty, and a lot more). If you're looking for graphics upgrades+BUG, get BAT(also see my signature). If you're looking for a mod that adds a whole lot to the game(tons of new civics, technologies, civilizations, etc.), I suggest Rise of Mankind-A New Dawn(ROM-AND). If you're looking for less add-ons and for the mod to seem more like the vanilla game, try either Dumanios' Ad Infinitum mod or Legends of Revolution. Rhye's and Fall of Civilization is also an amazing mod that simulates history, and I recommend that(it comes with the game, but you need to patch the game and RFC).

    Make sure your game is patched to 3.19. You can see it under options-about this build. If it's not patched, download the patch available on this site and run it, before trying the mods.
     
  8. Sir Sam Vimes

    Sir Sam Vimes Duke of Ankh

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    BTS is patched to 3.19... how do I patch RFC?
    Downloading BAT now... and Buffy :)
     
  9. strijder20

    strijder20 Wallowing in irony

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    I suggest you download 'Legends of Revolution'. It doesn't add that much, but it includes the RevDCM core and the things it adds are great.
    By the way, Vanilla Civ is widely considered not worth playing if you have BtS, and Warlords you should only play for the scenarios.
    And barbarians aren't that dangerous. You should have built more units : it is tempting to collect all those shiny wonders, but you need units too :p
     
  10. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    You simply download the latest version from here ;).
     
  11. Verarde

    Verarde Pondering Wearing A Hat

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    Good to hear that you so enjoy Civ IV! On the topic of the scenarios given by Firaxis, the top two in my book are Final Frontier and Afterworld. I've never played Fall From Heaven, but it is widely regarded as a great mod as well. BUG definitely helps, as you'll find, and as you continue to play, you will find that your skill will only increase with time! Have fun!
     
  12. GGracchus

    GGracchus Tribune of Rome

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    Buffy isn't worth as much as BAT, it's main use is for the Hall of Fame games. I would advise using BAT unless playing HoF for the extra graphics.
     
  13. Sir Sam Vimes

    Sir Sam Vimes Duke of Ankh

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    hmm... had to give up on downloading BAT and Rom: A New Dawn because my internet was too slow... will do it in college soon.

    @strijder20: but its so much cheaper to build wonders than in C3C, so the temptation to neglect your army is commesurately greater ;)

    @the_J: thanks! on it

    and I've just found 'The Years of Rice and Salt'... I LOVE that book, so I'm definitely downloading that!
     
  14. thadian

    thadian Kami of Awakened Dreamers

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    in america on steam version, in my steam window i have 2 icons for each game one active and one inactive. this is really ugly. also, it does a hack job mess of installing the files - such a sloppy mess.

    colonization has some pretty cool mods - some still receive support and some still under development.
     
  15. GGracchus

    GGracchus Tribune of Rome

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    The greatest wonders, IMO, are the 8 axe/10 HA/20 rifles+20 cannons/30 cavalry/other SOD with units wonders. Your army can simply capture the city the AI builds the wonder in and several other things besides. Wonders won't defend your city. One of the secrets of moving up is to resist the urge to build every wonder.
     
  16. Sir Sam Vimes

    Sir Sam Vimes Duke of Ankh

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    you see, in theory i understand that (i once won a domination victory in the C3C Medieval Conquest on Deity...).

    but its so much fun... I'm currently winning a RevDCM game with 4 cities, a medium-sized army and about a billion wonders :)
     
  17. GGracchus

    GGracchus Tribune of Rome

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    It's true that wonderspamming can be fun, and even work on lower difficulties(leader with IND+PHI and wonderspamming can get extra great people), but on higher difficulties, you'll see wonders going faster due to AI bonuses to production, tech pace, and initial techs/units. The AI also gets more willing to attack you.
     
  18. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    With a suitable start, you can spam wonders just fine on Immortal. On Deity it's usually not reliable, at least not if you leave huts on. However, it doesn't hurt to try if you have a plan B - failure cash is often one of the more efficient sources of gold.

    It's probably easier to win the first few games on a new level with a leaner strategy, because those don't depend as much on having a feel for the overall pace... but mastering them works just as well with a full-fat one.
     
  19. Sir Sam Vimes

    Sir Sam Vimes Duke of Ankh

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    Well... guess who's at war? I'm the celts (will post screenies eventually) and my persian neighbours had a rebellion, leading to the formation of a single-city greek state, who, after 10 turns or so, asked to join my civ. So I accepted, persia declared war, and - despite my wonderspamming - I'm winning!

    Plus, I have the apostalic palace...
     
  20. Ataxerxes

    Ataxerxes Deity

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    Good move getting the most powerful wonder in the game.

    Sorry if I'm stating something simple, but I often have a couple of my cities specializing in building military and a couple of others specializing in wonders. Once you start settling GG"s in a military city you get level 4 units out the gate.
     

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