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Civ V is more complex than Civ IV

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

  1. teeman11

    teeman11 Chieftain

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    Two things, first we are looking at this from two different angles I think. You're looking at versatility as it pertains to replayability we're I'm looking at it one game at a time. Yes, each game you can go down a different path and there are thouasnds of options but if you look at it one game at a time you are locked in as you go. Yes this can make the game more challenging because you can't change but that doesn't equate to more complex.

    My second point is we both know that eventually the civ community is going to find out what the best paths are and everyone will be using them. Happens with almost every single game out there.

    The simple fact is SP give you a benefit that's locked in and effects your long term strategy while civics can be changed, effect you short term and maybe long term strategy, effect you relations with the AI and add anarchy. You can't convince that SP's are more complex. Now which on is better, that's a different story and the jury is still out. Like I said in my first post, I'm not arguing for or against either game, it's not which one I like better it just the fundamental basic of what each one does.

    You use an RPG as an example. I see choosing an SP like deciding whether to put a point in STR or DEX. Simple choice, does it have long term effects? Of course, but once you decide what character you are going to play it's pretty simple. Civics on the other hand, and you'll have to forgive me because I haven't played an RPG in a long time, are more like alignment(?) choices. Meaning, if I do this deed it will make me more evil or more good, which effects short and long term, how people react to you or what they charge for items etc. you can counteract some if it with an opposite deed down the road or keep going down the same path. Not the best example I know but I think it makes the point.

    One is a fixed choice that effects one thing(granted there are more of them) and the other is an opened end choice that effects multiple things. The later in book is definitely more complex.
     
  2. Flavorable

    Flavorable Warlord

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    Except that SP are situational, which adds even more depth. There isn't any optimal route because they all relate to specific situations, Civics didn't have that going for it, hence, slavery strats everywhere.
     
  3. spiffamoo

    spiffamoo Chieftain

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    Wow. I think Flavourable really nailed this. The point on SPs was really well-argued. Just to chip in, barring some unpolished areas, I really think V is a better designed strategy game. IV gave that sense of thrill as you kept learning more obscure mechanics, but once you did understand it, the decision making became almost routine.

    Things like prechopping forests to rush a wonder? And religion was the best abuse of 'diplomacy' if there ever was one.
     
  4. WuphonsReach

    WuphonsReach Prince

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    I don't think people would have as big of a complaint about social policies if it was separated between "cultural norms" and "governance type".

    There needs to be some aspects of a society that are fairly fixed in stone - think tradition of individualism vs group mentality. To change those would require huge social upheaval (such as the French Revolution).

    But there's other things like switching between police state, democracy, totalitarianism and fascism that change on a much more frequent basis and should only require a small opportunity cost to switch.

    I'm not sure yet what social policies would fall into which category - but I think it's something that needs to be thought about. But right now, as someone said, picking social policies is a complete shot in the dark, when you don't have enough information to even make an educated guess, and you're stuck with the result for the rest of the game. That's pretty anti-fun as a design element. Most everyone is going to take the "safe" choices, just to be on the safe side and not get caught with their pants down.

    A good example of this is in the MMO. In EQ2 (back at release), you would pick a base class at level 6, then specialize at level 10, then specialize further at level 20. Sounds great, right? Except that you really don't have the information you need at level 10 to figure out if you want to be class X, Y or Z yet. Much less being forced into a further specialization at level 20 based on your city alignment. So players would get into their mid-20s and realize that they didn't like their choices at all.

    Now compare this to WoW's talent system. You're still picking a base class when you create the character - but depending on what talents you pick, most classes have at least 2 different play styles with some classes having 3-4 different play styles. A priest can re-spec to do DPS duties as a shadow priest, or they can switch to one of two different healing styles. Without having to re-roll their character from scratch. Or you have druids... who can be healers, or ranged DPS, or melee DPS or tanks - and changing from one to the other is a simple re-spec if the situation changes and you decide that you really need to be a melee DPS instead of a ranged DPS.

    I think the other issue is that a lot of social policies are exclusive - if you take X, you can't take Y or Z. Even if the situation changes down the road. Some people might say, "well, tech tree is similar and you can't undo your changes". But it's the exclusive nature of some of the policies that makes the key difference. In the tech tree, if you pick musketman instead of ship of the line, it's not the end of the world. Because you can always (if there's time before you get steamrolled) go back and pickup the other tech.
     
  5. moscaverde

    moscaverde Prince

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    The point about SP being a shot in the dark is just because the game is new and the mechanics unclear. I bet in some time people will very well understand the risks about adpoting one or other SP.
     
  6. SidMeierGroupy

    SidMeierGroupy Chieftain

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    No, no it isn't.
    It isn't even more complex than Civ II.
     
  7. MonorailCat

    MonorailCat Chieftain

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    Adopting your style of discussion:

    "Yes, it is"
     
  8. SidMeierGroupy

    SidMeierGroupy Chieftain

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    You like that? Well you're forum name is monorail, so it stands to reason you'd like a game that plays on a monorail.:p

    Exactly why Civ 5 is a terrible game has already been gone into in great depth, and there hasn't been an intelligent rebuttal of these reasons yet.
     
  9. Flavorable

    Flavorable Warlord

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    Could you post these reasons? lol.
     
  10. Jet082

    Jet082 Chieftain

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    Interesting thoughts and discussion. I can't say I appreciate the people who decide to attack your level experience ("He thinks beating Monarch is good? Tut tut!") or those who decide to attack a username - those aren't arguments, that's just ignoring the issue.

    I look at Civ 5 to be a very long-term game. People shouldn't confuse "number of choices on a given turn" with complexity. I think that's what people hate the most - on any given turn in Civ 5 you actually have less to do on average. In Civ 4 you could always tweak your civics for the most part (whether it was a good idea or not) and there were sliders to play with. Civ 5 is all about the long game. It's a difference in style; some people like one over the other. Personally, I'm loving it. It took me a day to really grab me but now I'm hooked. That's not to say there aren't any problems, I just think it's a good game and it's not simple.

    I've been trying different aspects of Civ 5 for each game. I would do things like concentrate just on commerce or culture. I wanted to see what each piece had to offer. It has helped a lot - there's a good variety of gameplay that I wouldn't have realized existed. Each is it's own path - it isn't just build a military the whole time. Rather than play this like Civ 4 I suggest that each person actually tries to play Civ 5 fresh as it's own game. Only then can it be appreciated.
     
  11. lampshade

    lampshade Chieftain

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    i agree 100% with this precis.
     
  12. lampshade

    lampshade Chieftain

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    earthling, with the greatest respect, a casual player plays to enjoy the game, not purely to win. i played 4 up to monarch and could win probably half my monarch games. i reckon i was a fairly good player. most prince/monarch players know what they need to do to level up but choose not to do it, because it involves micromanaging and warring which is boring to people who play for fun.

    you've got 5000 posts on a forum about a computer game. you must appreciate that this puts you on the very far end of the spectrum.
     
  13. diesirae

    diesirae Chieftain

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    Regarding Diplomacy.

    I don't understand how people are equating "being able to manipulate the AI attitudes at will" to being "more complex". I think diplomacy is more complex now that the AI isn't so easily predictable. In Civ 4, as many of you point out, you could just switch religions/civics to gain the trust of an AI rival. Having direct control of their attitude towards you makes it much less complex, not more, in my opinion.
     
  14. boredatwork

    boredatwork Warlord

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    I somewhat disagree with the OP that Civ5 is more complex.

    I don't think the terms dumbed down or consolized are appropriate either but I think alot of complexity debate seems to revolve around whether you preffer to make a few relatively deep decisions with far reaching consequences and then let the game play out on auto pilot OR make more frequent but less critical decisions that give you a more "hands on" feeling.

    Civ5 seems to be the former, Civ4 the latter.

    Personally I'm dissapointed they didn't go for both - give me a descent number of decisions per turn but add more meaning to them.


    Take civics vs. SP for example - Rather than have to pick one path and stick with it through the entire game OR being able to freely adapt the ideal set of bonuses based on *almost* turn by turn basis I would have preffered if they had added something like a momentum mechanic to the civic system - where you could change if you wanted but it would take many turns for the penalties of the previous system to dissapate and the new bonuses to maximize.

    For example say I wanted to change between +25% Scientific output to +25% War Production - I'd have something like:

    Turn 1 - 25% Scientific Output + 0% War Production.
    Turn 2 - X Anarchy.
    Turn X+1 0%Scientific Output, + 0% War Production
    Turn X+2 0%Scientific Output, + 2% War Production
    Turn X+3 0%Scientific Output, + 4% War Production
    Turn X+4 0%Scientific Output, + 6% War Production
    Turn X+5 0%Scientific Output, + 8% War Production
    Turn X+6 0%Scientific Output, + 10% War Production
    Turn X+7 0%Scientific Output, + 12% War Production
    Turn X+8 0%Scientific Output, + 14% War Production
    Turn X+9 0%Scientific Output, + 16% War Production
    Turn X+10 0%Scientific Output, + 18% War Production
    etc



    That way there is still the ability to adapt but the decision to do so now becomes more meaningfull.
     
  15. boredatwork

    boredatwork Warlord

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    I don't understand how people are equating "random AI attitudes" as being complex, or diplomacy at all for that matter?

    Ghandi begs me to help him against a third civ breathing down his neck, I do, I liberate his cities for him, and as we're still fighting the third civ he turns around and tells me he's decided to wipe me off the map? WTH?

    I would expect that in multiplayer, but it's not what I call good gameplay. I think someone else said it best in another thread - diplomacy in Civ5 seems to exist solely as an excuse to not be at war with every civ at once.
     
  16. diesirae

    diesirae Chieftain

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    Well I think that diplomacy isn't working as they intended with every civ being such a warmonger. But it's certainly not "random", at least when they tune it.

    My point was, it's pretty dumb to say an AI is more complex when you control how it feels about you. That's why they got rid of religion and the diplomatic effects of civics.
     
  17. Troymk1

    Troymk1 Warlord

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    This is patently untrue, and I am surprised a Mod didn't jump on this negative rubbish for the spurious and abusive post it is.

    1) Anyone can have an opinion, if their opinion is intuitive and thought provoking that is self evident. (ie they do NOT need to present credentials)

    2) Any idiot can comment on graphics. It's like art, you all can have an opinion. A graphics savant would be needed to comment on a fix or troubleshoot, but after that his opinion is the same as anyone else's.

    3) Some of us might even have a big enough background in game theory and strategy to comment without being ones to routinely play on the highest levels.

    4) Such snobbery and rudeness based on your game playing 'couch cred' makes you appear boorish and lacking in social skills.

    Rant over, back to debating V vs IV
     
  18. Flavorable

    Flavorable Warlord

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    Once again, more numbers do not equate to more strategy. Having unpredictable AI that focus on victory rather than holding hands and praying together adds a level of depth and consideration to your choices.
     
  19. kuukkeli

    kuukkeli King

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    My two cents to this discussion. First I was pretty much a casual player in Civ4 (was winning majority of my Prince games and somewhat struggling on Monarch) so take with whatever amount of salt you think appropriate. Also I'm not saying Civ5 sucks (though my initial reaction is slight disappointment), I'm just commenting the complexity claims.

    This pretty much sums up my greatest disappointment this far. Number of turns have been increased while the number of decisions has decreased. This causes long periods that mostly consist of clicking the "next turn" button. It doesn't matter if individual choices are more meaningful, a huge decrease on their amount equals less complex* game. My initial impression of Civ5 is that there's less reacting to situations during the game and I fear that it leads to situation where games aiming to same victory condition will vary less from each other than they did in Civ4.

    I don't think it's dumb at all. Having means to control an aspect of the game adds more options and therefore complexity while making such an aspect to be beyond player's control only adds a random element into game (an element that may or may not increase difficulty but certainly not complexity). I'm not saying that diplomacy in Civ4 was perfect by any means but logical means to manipulate the affairs of civilizations made it more complex than Civ5 diplomacy appears to be.

    Also my skeptic opinion is that stuff like religions and slavery were sacrificed on the altars of political correctness. Until future DLC / Expansion brings them back in some form or another I'll hold on to that opinion.

    Yes, (A)RPG is my other favorite genre of games. The problem is that your analogy doesn't work in my opinion. Civ and RPGs have huge differences that (again IMO) require different mechanics.

    In RPG you have an exact goal - you've designed (or decided to use someone else's design) a character build and you know that whatever happens you'll eventually end up with it. Nothing in the game forces you to adapt, there are no random events to prevent you from reaching your build. On the other hand in Civ there are many aspects that are out of your control - most prominent being the starting location and your imminent neighbors. You can't make a rigid turn-by-turn plan like you had in your RPG, you must be able to react.

    Another reason why being stuck with SP is bad for Civ is the real world. Politics change at rather rapid pace so it feels weird to be stuck with a decision made thousands of years ago (only exception would be leader traits as they would give some personality for them). Besides that I'm fairly certain that in a short time people have discovered the optimal SPs for a typical games towards each victory type meaning there's really no trade off - just lack of decisions to do during the game due to being stuck with same SPs for the whole game.

    *By complexity I mean both the learning curve and the amount of time before the game starts to repeat itself too much to be enjoyable. Or to put it otherwise the amount of options and degree of variation between individual games.
     
  20. ClearDark

    ClearDark Chieftain

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    All this Civ5 vs Civ4 arguments have boiled down to definitions of complexity and depth. Each and every individual here claims "A is complex, B is not". It's like an endless war.

    Civ4 has been played since 2005. Its well studied and polished. Civ5 has been out for 4 days. There is no way in hell anyone here can make comparisons and start calling out facts. Give the game a chance. Wait a few more months until more games are played and deeply explored, then come here ringing your bells of doom.
     

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