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Civ V no longer a 4x or am I missing something?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Ordate, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. Dishonor

    Dishonor Chieftain

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    You may by right with this. I have no problem to have 50 cities in alpha centauri in the middle of the game. But it is not possible in Civ5. You can have maybe 5-8 max in the middle of the game to stay competitive.
     
  2. Gabriel Pyyrhic

    Gabriel Pyyrhic Warlord

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    I 100% agree. :goodjob:
     
  3. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

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    I don't want participate in a definition discussion wether or not Civ5 is a 4X game and I don't want to judge wether or not the changes made are good or bad. But I think it is safe to say, that Civ5 did change quite a lot with BNW!

    As the recommendation of civ1 or 2 shows (which are not serious, are they? I mean... REALLY?), going wide was one of the basic ideas initially. It worked quite well in Civ4 (at least for me) and did so in Civ5 until and including G&K.

    However, with Civ5 (even in the vanilla version), for the very first time in a Civilization game history, the idea existed to make tall empires really competitive with wide empires. (It might have worked out as intenden or not. But this is not the point.)

    Then came BNW. By any means, I've got the impression that with BNW a certain line was crossed. Now, it seems way more profitable and therefore way more reasonable to stay small/tall! Wide empires might be still possible, as many users stated already in this thread. But now - and for the very first time in this franchise - they are less beneficial than growing tall!

    As stated above, I don't want to judge. I just want to state, that I always enjoyed founding and conquering a monstrous empire. If it is true that within BNW this approach is less viable (I don't know jet, as I haven't played enough games right now to make up my mind), then the new expansion would indeed have taken fun out of the game - for me (which is very important to emphasize. I'm not saying it is not a better game than before!)
     
  4. Gabriel Pyyrhic

    Gabriel Pyyrhic Warlord

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    Again I pretty much 100% agree with you Deggial.

    The only point of contention would be that I don't think wider empires should always be the "best" way, or most efficient way. I would hope that both approaches could be made strong by the right strategy, or weak by the wrong ones. I agree BNW has swung more towards SMALL/TALL, but am not sure I agree its definitively the best method. It may well be, but I think more testing needs to be done. Wide has always been so strong, that any nerf could bee seen to be impacting more then it really does.

    Anyway time will tell.

    BTW I think truly balancing the WIDE vs SMALL issue is almost not possible from a gameplay perspective. I think one way will always come out on top no matter what the designers do. The best we can hope for is something competitive as there are just to many variables to consider, to ensure true balance. IMO of course.
     
  5. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    It doesn't seem so...
    early game.. tall=better (but then tall and wide are pretty much the same early game)
    late game
    tall=wide (ie it depends on what the cities ARE... whether or not a city is worth taking/settling has little to do with how many other cities you have)
    wide is somewhat better for domination (production)
    medium (wide with minimum conquest) is somewhat better for diplomatic ($) and cultural (tourism) victories
    tall is somewhat better for science (tech) victories
     
  6. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    As someone who has an awful lot of sympathy with the OP – because of the extent to which Civ 5's global happiness mechanic limits expansion – I'm just going to repeat a question to those who say they routinely go wide that I asked in another thread. Specifically, does anyone know of a Let's Play video on youtube that illustrates how easy it is to go wide in BNW?

    I've asked this previously because the youtubers I watch (such as Quill18, MadDjinn and Marbozir) are either (a) playing civs like Venice and not RExxing or (b) in Marbozir's case, constantly battling happiness problems with little more than 6-8 cities. In other words, whilst I keep reading posts from folks saying that it can be done, I've yet to actually see anybody demonstrate how easy it is to REx in BNW. What's more, undertaking some very simple maths tells me that a gamer is going to have to jump through some very large hoops to REx in Civ 5, given the presence of the global happiness mechanic.

    Sounds like you're putting words into another poster's mouth. As someone who would also like to play wider than Civ 5 allows me to play, let me offer an alternative rationale behind @Dishonor's comments that I use: that other posters would simply like to settle good land, where “good” means land that is capable of supporting a city that would make a meaningful contribution to an empire. The issue here of course is that the land may very well not be capable of being settled in BNW because it doesn't contain an unowned happiness resource. Settling “good” land and settling “without bound” need not be the same thing.

    It's not necessarily a bad thing but it can be something that's not fun for some. Maybe others for instance would like to manage more cities than they're currently able to do in BNW (which limits the number of cities in your empire courtesy of the global happiness mechanic) to give them more to do per turn.

    As I showed in a debate with @PhilBowles recently, games may well use different mechanics to achieve the same end (eg. to limit expansion) – but the use of those mechanics can have very different gameplay effects. And the issue that the debate in this thread epitomises is not necessarily whether a mechanic is right or wrong, but that some gamers will find certain mechanics fun given the way they like to play, others not so.


    Thanks. :) That's a very good summary - and certainly accords with my own BNW experience. It also possibly explains why folks aren't submitting youtube vids to demonstrate how easy it is to REx...because it's difficult to do in BNW unless you're lucky enough to spawn in a map with loads of different happiness resources and a mercantile CS or two.
     
  7. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    One of the key differences between them is that settling more cities can give you more to do per turn.
     
  8. Ordate

    Ordate Chieftain

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    QFE

    I can see merits in the game systems they added. I also read a lot of reviews where they talk about how you have "choices" with the newest expansion. But in turn for the first time in the history of Civ have my choice thoroughly trounced upon. I don't know late game if you can really go wide. Haven't played that far yet because I keep getting annoyed with the early game.

    As for wars, what other civs think, etc etc. Is Rome(real world) a hugely successful empire that left its mark through time? How many other "civilizations" did it crush? How about the Greeks? Seem to remember a couple of Greeks on burn campaigns (Alexander the Great was a noted exception because he actually incorporated other cultures... sometimes. But most, burn them to the ground) On the other end of the world. How many wars were fought in China as one dynasty or another rose to power? Did some people hate them as each empire grew? Sure! Did the whole world? Nope. Wasn't of each "civs" concern, they had more important matters to attend to. Land grabs especially early history is what has shaped our cultures to what they are today. Civ now does not feel like that is remotely feasible and reflected.

    I love the idea of more options. Going tall vs. wide. If both are feasible, GREAT! More interesting ways to win! GREAT! Pretty much saying we don't like your play style to long term fans of a play style... errr wtf?

    If I am doing a early land grab, dropping 3 new cities around the same time half the civs are dropping 1, I HOPE the AI takes the closest civ and goes, crap, ATTACK! Or 2 Civs! Or maybe on that occasional occurrence 3! Instead the gameplay currently seems to be slowly drop a few cities, wait forever, and from what Ive read, maybe you can attack later. But will be heavily crushed for. In my own little world. Everyone should be doing a land grab early on. Pretty much through the middle-ages when the church slowed it a little. And then later game your other game winning strats unfold. But alas I'm not Sid Meyers :p
     
  9. learner gamer

    learner gamer King

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    Completely agree. Indeed, I'd say those sentences are some of the best I've read on this forum recently. :)

    One of the very clear implications of the global happiness mechanic is that it reinforces the benefits of playing tall in the early game, by gimping the alternative of playing wide. Rather than provide choices to enhance gameplay, all I find that the mechanic does is reinforce the notion that there is “one true way” to open - settle around 4 cities and develop them – to the detriment of strategic depth.

    As I mentioned in another thread, I really wish Firaxis had attempted to increase the advantages of staying small – to present the gamer with more choice and more flexibility – instead of simply nerfing going wide into the ground.
     
  10. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    MOO II (the only one worth playing IMO) didn't penalize expansion per se so much as limit ability to expand (and defend your expansion) until you had reached tech milestones. By the later stages of the game, you could spam colony ships and colony bases to your heart's content, as long as you had the hammers and gold to fund it and the fleets to defend it (the AI (and Antaran raiders) severely penalized you for forward settling and/or neglecting defense).

    Like Civ, it was ultimately all about the science. Until you researched particular techs that extended your range of exploration and/or invested lots of hammers in outpost ships, you couldn't even reach certain parts of the map. You could settle crappy worlds in range (high and low gravity, toxic, radiated, etc.), but you were hit with growth and production penalties until you researched other techs that allowed you to make those worlds tolerable (gravity fields, radiation shields, etc.) and/or terraform the worlds. Late game, you could create whole new planets out of asteroids and gas giants, so your expansion could continue.

    Fun stuff, but too easy to beat on highest difficulty levels, mainly because there was no mechanic to rein in a runaway or take him down a few notches. Those sorts of mechanics make the Civ series more interesting and ultimately more replayable, IMO (although I still put WAY too many hours into MOO II).
     
  11. The QC

    The QC Quietly Confident

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    I think one issue in this discussion may be that we don't all have the same definition of wide. For me, 8 cities is wide-ish, especially in a smaller map size. For others, it probably feels like very little.

    One thing that I've found so far in BNW is that the science penalty is not an issue and you still go ahead science-wise by playing wide. Also, I find that the lowered penalty on social policy costs makes it more feasible to settle cities, rather than conquer them. Aaaand you have more money from going wide, from city connections and Tithe.

    The main limiting factor is, indeed, happiness. I could agree with the notion that there's too little of it early on (I think it's enough, if not a little much later on). The same goes for money, really.

    But it's also possible that, with more experience, we'll find efficient wide strategies.
     
  12. mystiqblackcat

    mystiqblackcat Chieftain

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    CiV feels like more like a really complex board game to me than a computer game, which I've grown to quite like. Any one else agree?

    If you want to play a large empire then you have to manage your money and happiness appropriately. Rome wasn't built in a day :p and you shouldn't expect to just settle cities willy-nilly with out the infrastructure to support them.

    I don't think it is harder to do so much as that it is just done differently. Previously you would just have citizens work gold producing tiles to pay for your happiness buildings and if you had room you could expand as much as you had happiness for. Now with gold from rivers and coastal tiles being removed you have to use trade routes to get this income, at least initially. Once you have markets, banks and gold producing specialists you can survive without some trade routes although you will not have much income.
     
  13. manu-fan

    manu-fan Emperor

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    OP- After my first two BNW games (Prince), I would have agreed with you. I used the old G&K strategies and they did not work at all.

    Then, I sucked it up in the third game and altered my strategy. No early war with Catapults. Wait until 6 cities are up and running with good happiness buffer and gold coming in from Trade Routes (with others than my target). Then go to war with Trebs and take a couple of cities. This got the ball rolling and I eventually finished off the target, went for target #2, then #3 and now have my whole Continent (with about 30 cities) and have just started invading the other continent.

    I was first to get an ideology, after buying 3 Factories, and took order for massive happiness increases.

    It seems that 4x is alive and well.

    Cheers.
     
  14. Kwami

    Kwami Deity

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    I recently started a game as The Shoshone in which I was isolated on my own continent until Astronomy. I had two city-states to trade with, but otherwise I was unable to contact any other civilizations. Some observations that might be relevant to this thread:

    1. Happiness and Gold were very hard to come by, even when allied with both city-states (one cultural, one mercantile).
    2. Tech was slow because I didn't have any international trade routes and because I couldn't sign research agreements.
    3. If I had built any military at all, I wouldn't have been able to pay for it.

    So, I can see where the OP is coming from. If you start with 1-2 AI neighbors and wipe them out to expand your own empire before Astronomy, then you're just not going to have the Happiness and Gold that you need to survive. Even after Astronomy, Happiness can be very limiting without the right tenants and some good allies. (That said, Happiness and Gold are still way too easy to get once ideologies hit. At that point, the situation is even worse than it was in G&K.)

    Are these bad changes? I don't think so. You can still conquer and expand to your heart's content once you hit mid-game. I like the early-game limitations and choices. Do you want to expand early and struggle with growth, or do you want to grow tall and trade with your neighbors?
     
  15. Gabriel Pyyrhic

    Gabriel Pyyrhic Warlord

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    Wish I could help but Liveplays are not my thing. If I learn of any I will PM you.

    To be fair I think you need to relook at the posters remarks that I was addressing. They specifically mentioned "Expanding" and "Exterminating" and being limited by "stupid" game mechanics. They compared it to the Sims and Facebook, reductio absurdum and all that.

    Their whole premise was that Game Mechanics should not limit expansion, only players. How is that not implying a desire for uncurtailed expansion at the point of a sword. I truly cannot see any other interpretation of THEIR words, YOUR position is a vastly different one IMO.

    I don't disagree with a single thing you said, even the "words in mouth comment". I just happen to think they were the right words, regardless of whether I put them there.

    The impression I got from the description they gave was what I typed. Was I paraphrasing yes : yes. Was I wrong : possibly. But do I stand by it :yes.

    Hey each to their own, I don't object to Dishonours desired playstyle, nor do I have any acrimony towards them. Wide expansion should be viable, war for land should occur, warmongers should have their day in the sun. I was just objecting to assertion that the game was not 4X, and more importantly that game mechanics should not curtail expansion. Without that mechanic Civ would be dominated by ICS or Wide Sprawl strategies. From my perspective I think multiple viable expansion options (Wide Sprawl or Small Tall, can't say I am in love with ICS though), within a plausible historical framework, is the most desirable option.

    Your interpretation is a much more considered and rationale one, and had the poster put it in that way I would not have responded as judgementally. I would in no way make the same assertions about you, as your premise is a wholly different one IMO.

    Yes but I was specifically talking about limiting empires by various mechanics, I did not mean to imply I was only talking about Global Happiness when I said "How is that a bad thing"; the previous statement list various metrics for limiting empires. I was saying how is curtailing expansion due to real world factors a bad thing, the only other interpretation is unbounded expansion until forced to stop via the sword or the ocean.

    If the debate is about global happiness then I would just say, well its a mechanic, it has its pros and cons and it probably needs to be tweaked a little. Civ 6 may or may not have it, but one thing you can bet on is it will have an expansion limiting mechanic.


    I agree.

    That said I do believe mechanics can either be right or wrong within the context of what they were designed to accomplish. What we see each patch/expansion is a tweaking of the game to try and make SMALL-WIDE both viable. SMALL/TALL was atrocious when Civ V was originally released, remember TRADITION vs LIBERTY at that time. Remember how all Happiness was global and therefor an ICS dream (enter SULLA's ICS). Gradually SMALL/TALL got buffed. Perhaps the pendulum has swung to far since BNW, I really don't want to comment either way as I just don't have enough info to make that judgement. That said I tend to lean toward the poster who said wide becomes more and more viable as the game progress, or words to that affect.

    FTR I enjoy both playstyles (except ICS) and am wedded to neither. What I choose or enjoy the most is dependent on the Civ I play at the time and what VC I intend to pursue (if I make the choice early).
     
  16. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

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    Interesting. I knew about efficiency (essentially corruption), but I had no idea about the extra drones. I played Alpha Centauri too (just not recently).
     
  17. Gabriel Pyyrhic

    Gabriel Pyyrhic Warlord

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    Thanks for that, certainly clarifies things.

    I have always wanted to really get stuck into the MOO series but came into it too late. Not really sure how I missed it when it came out but apparently I did.

    If they make a MOO4, or remake MOO2 I will be sure to grab a copy. I really like the idea of a space based 4X but have never found one that really grabbed my attention since AC (which is not really a space based 4X in the vein of MOO, et al).

    Damn I would kill for a good AC remake. EA better not stuff it up.

    Really wish Firaxis was doing it.
     
  18. MkLh

    MkLh King

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    It seems they never found the balance on expansion in this game. Either mindless city spamming is the optimal strategy, or a big empire has so many disadvantages that it isn't fun or realistic at all.

    I'm glad they are done with this game already. The global happiness concept is too broken to be fixed with any number of patches or expansions.
     
  19. steveg700

    steveg700 Deity

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    You can certainly play an expansionist in Civ V. The real question is...why do so?

    Even if you're settling next to a luxury resource, then unhappiness generated by the simple act of settling negates the luxury's piddling +3 happiness.

    And if you conquer cities, not only are you hit with more unhappiness, but also a science penalty.

    So you grabbed a nice plantation or gem mine. Does that two or three gold really feel like a tremendous prize?
     
  20. Superwide

    Superwide Chieftain

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    I've been playing most my games ICS, and to make it work requires religion early on. It's A LOT slower at the beginning, gold and happiness force me to throttle expansion. Once i get currency and start building markets and city connections gold is no longer a problem, for the rest of the game. Because religion is so important for ICS, if you start on desert, desert folklore boosts the speed you can expand.

    Its not uncommon for me to get ~70 cities in a epic/huge game. The map size penalties are lessened on bigger maps, the science penalty on huge is 2% per city, for example. My culture is virtually immune to influence, I had 1500 gpt, 6k bpt, by 1950 AD as Arabia. Religion carries me well until i get Order, which allows me to let my cities grow without worrying about happiness at all.
     

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