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Civ V is more complex than Civ IV

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Flavorable, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Flavorable

    Flavorable Warlord

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    Civ V is a mixed bag for me, its a game that needed to happen, and it succeeds on so many levels, it also has a few debilitating flaws that really just need to be patched.

    Any Civ players that complain about depth just do understand the mechanics yet. By gutting the bloated, contrived and useless features from Civ IV, it gets to focus on the core game design, and it makes massive strides with it. There are two things that give Civ fans the impression that its simplified:

    1: The AI is horrible, making the game way too easy, people assume this is another Civ Rev because they do as well as they did in Civ Rev.

    2: The elements of strategy in Civ IV were obtuse and obvious. In Civ V, they're streamlined and subtle to the point where they act as cogs rather than levers. Whiners boot the game and don't see any sliders and buttons to finetune their empire, and so they assume that those elements of strategy don't exist.


    They do, and they require more thought than they ever did in Civ IV.

    Take happiness, for example. Happiness is, as you're all aware, now a global value. It no longer pertains to specific cities. Alot of people are assuming that means that its become simplified and doesn't have the depth or importance it did in Civ IV.

    I was a good Civ IV player, I've beaten my fair share of games on Monarch, and I know I have a more than solid grasp of the mechanics. I'm going to say it now, happiness in Civ IV really didn't matter that much. It was somewhat inconsequential, and it was city specific. It enabled me to specialize some cities in normal growth, and create military focused cities that were perpetually unhappy because I forced slavery every few turns to pump out a military. That does not enable strategy, nor is it sensible or realistic. There was no longterm thinking or important decision making to make with that kind of game mechanic. On the other hand, Civ V's happiness has a fascinating balance to it, it's undeniably more important than IV's, and its much better integrated. Happiness structures are initially expensive yet maintainable, they still require you to have other methods of increasing happiness, such as luxury furs and social policies. However, not managing to secure those alternative methods of happiness forces the player to purchase more expensive, high maintnence structures that can cripple your economy. If you let happiness go unchecked, it can totally devaste your Civ with a potency not seen in IV. Because of this, you're forced to claim, trade, forcefully take, or buy luxury resources, otherwise, you either sacrifice your economy or your growth. Happiness forces the player into thinking about resources, engaging in diplomacy, working with city states and occasionally occupying foreign cities.


    That is miles beyond most of the "more complex" systems I played with in Civ IV. AND YET, people whine that Happiness has been simplified.I think alot of people love to jump to stupid conclusions.

    Also, thats only the beginning. The new economy is also miles beyond IV's, and the lack of a slider for science and culture/ makes managing an economy much more interesting. If anyone wants, I'd happily go into depth about how much more complex V's economy, resources, diplomacy, science, city specialization and especially combat is.


    Thats not to say V doesn't have issues.

    -The AI really is atrocious, and its the element of this game that allows a player with very little understanding of the core mechanics to dominate on Prince difficulty.

    -The Multiplayer NEEDS work, really, IV's was shot to hell when it was released as well, but I thought that Firaxis might have learned its leason.

    -Barbarian encampments spawn in stupid places directly outside my field of view.

    -Leader traits are very specialized, and sometimes very annoying. The Japanese one in particular is just really irritating.

    -The game isn't very well optimized from what I can tell, If I can run Metro at full, then why am I running V at a mix between Medium and low and still getting framerate problems.

    -Where the hell is the map editor?



    I eagerly await the first few patches, because to be honest, the game does need patching. However, I have no doubt in my mind that this is the greatest Civ game since Civilization II.
     
  2. swatmp5

    swatmp5 Chieftain

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    I really don't blame Firaxis too much; I'm pretty sure that their publisher, 2k Games, wanted this game out ASAP. Besides, I would think that most technical issues will be resolved with patches and other features (that would usually be in the game) would come in DLC packs.
     
  3. mva5580

    mva5580 Warlord

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    I agree with pretty much everything you say, definitely in regards to the AI and Barbarian encampments. Hopefully a patch(es?) shore those things up. The AI definitely needs work. But I almost think it's completely intentional, like anything Prince or below is for new players and the levels above that are for Civ veterans.

    And I'd love to hear your thoughts on Civ V in regards to the economy, diplomacy, etc. I just love reading about that kind of stuff. I think it's a quality game, it's just.....different. And that's what a lot of people have a hard time getting around.
     
  4. apotheoser

    apotheoser Prince

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    I hope you don't mean that the first statement follows from the second... that would be pretty facepalm.

    Sort of like city maintenance for your empire in Civ 4. Both mechanics prevent you from expanding too quickly. They're not really different mechanics, but you certainly seem to have been tricked into forgetting that.

    It probably seems more complex because it's new, but it's really not. Typical 4x stuff: explore, expand, exploit, potentially exterminate.

    The lack of a slider is a tricky issue for me. I like that gold is more useful, but I hate the way science is calculated now - technology feels too much like it's just a clock keeping track of the game length.

    You barely mention social policies, but for me that's one of the biggest disappointments. No interaction with social policies and diplomacy, no seeing the other civilizations social policies, no losing bonuses, only slowly gaining them.
     
  5. apotheoser

    apotheoser Prince

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    Oh, I DO blame Firaxis. They have a brand new lead designer on the game, Jon Shafer, who's like 26 years old and this is his first game as lead designer. He worked in Civ 4, and some mods for Civ 3.

    I don't blame 2k Games at all, I blame Jon Shafer for this game.
     
  6. Quetz

    Quetz The Tallest Lilliputian

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    If you don't mind possibly having to reinstall the game eventually, I highly recommend playing with this little mod (read the thread carefully before you install it if you do!) http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=381883&page=2

    It increases production yields from tiles (from you and the ai both) but the increased ability to build seems to do wonders for the AI. In my current game I'm getting my ass kicked on King.

    Screenshot:
    Spoiler :


    In that image I have one archer and 2 warriors as my enitre army. That's on King, mind you, not Diety where the AI gets ridiculous bonuses (aside from the bonuses all players get from using that mod)... but apparently they focused on building units while I was working on wonders. Sucks to be me :S

    Even without that mod though, I don't understand why you would play on Prince and then complain about the AI. Turn it up to King, at least.
     
  7. Flavorable

    Flavorable Warlord

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    Except that happiness is really integrated into other aspects of the games, City maintenance was mostly about getting cottages out. Happiness is really about using diplomacy, military and city states to secure resources, and managing an effective economy.


    Certainly at a basic level its about preventing rapid expansion, but now it also pushes the player to explore other aspects of the game.




    I kind of agree about Social Policies though, although its a cool idea, I don't feel like my Civ actually has noticeably changed when I choose Liberty or Authoritarianism. Civics might have been better, but I'm not sure yet.
     
  8. WuphonsReach

    WuphonsReach Prince

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    We need a way to undo social policies... but I think social policies have been done up like the tech tree, with increasing costs to unlock each additional policy.

    But I still want a way to switch policies as my empire matures, even if it's expensive and means wasted culture points.
     
  9. Flavorable

    Flavorable Warlord

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    I agree, I think Policies should be like Civics in that they aren't permanent, but that they are modifiers for the present.
     
  10. Unionfield

    Unionfield Warlord

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    Honestly, to say that Civilization V is a more complex game than Civilization IV is laughable. You can argue about whether or not watering down the complexity and depth is a good idea but you cannot argue whether or not they watered it down. They did. It's not an opinion, it's a statement of fact.

    There is no reason for diplomacy to exist in this game. Unless you declare war on an AI, their attitude toward you doesn't change at all throughout the course of the game save for the normal negatives and positives that go along with border proximity and historical traits. Even the diplomatic victory is bunk -- since votes are no longer proportional and there are no vassal states, you can't gain them through accumulating territory and population and no AI will ever cast its vote for you -- all you need to do is get enough money coming in to buy off City-States. It's a commercial victory.

    With no true element of diplomacy, what do we have left? A game that focuses mainly on production -- how quickly you can produce military units or science discoveries. And since you can just click on what you want a city to focus on, optimizing your empire's output takes essentially no thought whatsoever.

    With no true element of empire management, then, what do we have left? A tactical war game. I guess I can't say anything about that because the combat isn't bad.

    Civilization V is not a bad game but can we please stop trying to pretend that it is a deep and complex strategy game? It's not. It's Revolution for the PC.
     
  11. HannibalBarca

    HannibalBarca Chieftain

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    Bravo sir, but I feel the need to make just one minor correction. An AI Civ WILL vote for you in the UN if they were previously wiped out but you liberated them by retaking one of their cities. Other than that, you've summed up just about all of my problems with Civ V
     
  12. Flavorable

    Flavorable Warlord

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    The AI plays to win much like a multiplayer opponent. They will attack when you're weak regardless of how you've helped them out and they'll backstab you all the same. And thats a good thing. Its no longer about manipulating the system and choosing that pointless religon over this one. The AI knows just as well as you do that the game has win conditions. The diplomacy is now about getting ahead and thinking strategically. Want to avoid war? Try making long term trades with the other Civ that are mutually beneficial. Want to attain a strategic resource? You're now bartering with a competitor, trying to eke out the better deal through terms that exist outside the diplomacy screen. (For instance, giving horses only if I can defend through choke points on uneven ground, or giving Uranium only if I have a proper deterrent.) Diplomacy is no longer about bumping up numbers by gifting pointless :):):):). Its about bargaining for the deal thats better for you, finding ways to avoid war and picking the proper allies. Seriously though, Civ IV's diplomacy felt like every Civ had a countdown timer until they declared war with me, for usually no reason other than I didn't give them the random crap they felt entitled too from me, it made no sense at all, and I'd hardly call it depth. Now its about uneasy alliances, Deciding whether to screw over a more powerful third party with a bordering Civ discretely or tell the third party what happened, watch a war unfold and both Civs weaken each other, bide your time and then blitzkrieg the weakest of the two.

    Its much less mechanical, and alot more strategic. Its less about trying to appease a Civ and add +1 to your relationship, and much more like a game of Monopoly or Risk.

    Monopoly is the exact same way actually, and there is alot of strategy to the deals in Monopoly when you play with the right people. I definitely prefer this by a mile to the transparent binary cogs that inhabited Civ IV.

    Moderator Action: please do not use foul language, if you find you have triggered the autocensor you expected to rephrase.

    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  13. DarkMaster

    DarkMaster Warlord

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    Oh, shut up. You don't know what a fact is. What about the combat? Is it a fact that the combat system is less complex? What about the Social Policies? Is it a fact that the Social Policies system is less complex than the Civics system? There are more possible combinations in the social policy system than in the civics system, so surely if we define complexity as possibilities, the social policy is more complex.

    Do not be so arrogant as to believe that your opinion is a fact.

    Moderator Action: there is no need to attack another user while disagreeing with their post. Please remain civil.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  14. Flavorable

    Flavorable Warlord

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    Btw: I definitley don't think the approach Civ V took for Diplomacy is perfect at all, I'm only saying that it requires more strategy than Civ IVs.

    If I had my way, Civilization would not have any Win conditions, except perhaps score, which would be hidden during play, and it would focus in immersing you into history, and so the diplomacy would feature very fleshed out relationships and alliances, with no War countdowns and no must-win mindset, but that probably won't happen for a long time, so as it stands, I prefer V's over IV's
     
  15. Bad Brett

    Bad Brett King

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    Is it possible not to win on monarch? I'm sorry if I sound arrogant, but it's kind of strange that you are trying to explain for us how complex this game is when you obviously weren't very good at Civ 4.

    A decent player should be able to win most of the times at Emperor and occasionally on Demigod. Monarch is more like a sandbox mode, you can do pretty much whatever you want and you'll still win.
     
  16. HannibalBarca

    HannibalBarca Chieftain

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    Monopoly and Risk are artificial and flavorless and don't take into account industrial strength to any appreciable degree, so I suppose that they are indeed perfect comparisons for Civ V.
     
  17. Mallipeep

    Mallipeep Warlord

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    Get the Honor social policy, it really is handy to get your hands on that barbarian gold.

    You can switch from Liberty/Freedom to Autocracy, and Piety to Rationalism from what i have heard ( only have the demo so far )


    Clicking tiles around isnt thought, its effort/micromanagement.
     
  18. Flavorable

    Flavorable Warlord

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    Monarch was what I played on %90 of the time. I beat Emperor about 50 percent of the time I played it, but usually I played on Monarch. I was alot better at Civ II and III, but I played alot more of those and they don't really pertain to the thread.

    If that isn't a great identifier that I was proficient at Civ IV, I did win most of the games I played on multi.
     
  19. mercury529

    mercury529 Warlord

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    I disagree strongly. By making them permanent, you are forced to make decisions as to whether it is better to select an early social policy for an immediate gain or save your culture for a later social policy that will have a more dramatic effect. Those difficult decisions are what make strategy games good.

    And that's where I think it is hard to argue Civ5 is clearly less complex than Civ4. I find decision-making in Civ5 to be more complex than Civ4. You generally have more options at your disposal, and knowing which one is the best is less apparent.
     
  20. Bad Brett

    Bad Brett King

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    That doesn't make sense. Why would you play on Monarch if you beat Emperor 50% of the time?
     

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