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Civ VI ...Huge disappointment

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Manol0, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    Well, yeah. Cos it is smaller. But there is this whole second tree that you have ignored...

    Examples please.

    Agree with this ^.

    I'm not saying that there are no tactical considerations in IV. If you read what I write properly, you can see that I am actually dispelling the notion that 1UPT brings way more tactics with it, when we really get down to it. The thing is that -what we call- tactics in any turn based game is going to work very differently to tactics in real life, as the clock does not stop ticking in the latter; yet is always stopped in the former. So when Balkans says that these decisions have become tactical rather than strategic...that comparison doesn't really hold up. We have bastardised the meaning of those two terms.

    Sure WW is comparable. It is something you have to guesstimate off of experience. I mean sure, you could screenshot the game and measure the height of Mario's jump (assuming you're good enough to catch him at the apex of his jump); but knowing that exact figure will only help you more than your gut instinct, if you have a ruler out and often pause the game to measure the height of various obstacles etc. And who wants to play a game that way? It isn't how the game is intended to be played!
    In both cases we are not supposed to calculate using exactness. We are supposed to weigh up the pros and cons from past experience and act accordingly. If we get it wrong, that gets added to our experience.

    It seems coherent to me. Civ could be called a god game. But it isn't Populous. We role play as the -undying eternal lol- leader of our nation. Not as a god who is all knowing.

    This isn't intellectually rude ;) Though it may be frustrating if you struggle to effectively counter my points.

    Maybe it would be okay to hide the food/growth and research costs. I wouldn't do that myself, as that has always been known in Civ (though in a video where Soren talks about what he wanted to put into IV initially they almost took it in a real time direction that could have looked more like this) whereas something like WW hasn't consistently been spelled out through out the series (and hasn't even been in the whole series).

    Maybe this is something that younger players expect... People who are used to being able to look into the game code and mod it can find out anything -almost-, if they really want too. Maybe the idea of some game mechanics being alluded to, but not spelled out is an old school idea. To me it is what the devs want it to be. You can make a case to them that something should be known, or shouldn't be; but they have made the call on what is presented to you directly, and what is not.
    I don't see that I should have the formula for WW any more than I should know where hostile units are in the FOW.

    It certainly isn't thematic to me that I should know. Why do you long for such a dry certain mathematical take on everything? The immersive nature at having to guess some things, and develop hunches as a result is reason enough to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  2. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    On a per-time basis is flagrant due to civ 6's alpha level UI and joke optimization, so uninteresting to provide examples. Instead I'll focus on per-turn strategy, since that still carries some proof burden and is closer.

    The main differentials come from terrain variability (district adjacency bonus is not as important as defensibility and :commerce: tech rate hit of bad settles in 4) and worker micromanagement. Tech path is a lesser differential. Eurekas influence tech path but also make it more obvious, but occasionally get overpowered by situation. Not bad. In civ 4, assuming broken tech trading is off, you're similarly teching based on resource (calendar path), wonders, military situation (bigger priority in 4 since archers alone don't cut it), and economy to sustain situation. When it comes to tech, your extra consideration in 4 is timing expansion/maintenance against tech rate. Civ 6 removed this consideration, stripped a lot of separation available from worker planning (YMMV on good or bad, but certainly fewer meaningful decisions there), and centralized terrain usage.

    In effect, civ 6 has fewer meaningful decisions per turn, but also requires a lot less tedious micromanagement planning...like I'm understating that. The difference is huge. However, sacrificing that to reduce tedium is not necessarily a bad choice. The necessarily bad choice was massively increasing time between meaningful decisions in a real-life sense. It doesn't change the reality that 4 had more per-turn depth though, even if the price was high.

    It's comparable because it isn't comparable?

    Knowing the exact figure of WW would allow you to anticipate the consequences of doing one action vs alternative action in advance. Knowing exact jump height of Mario does not change your anticipated future platforming decisions in normal mario games (maybe in Mario hacks, but then you'd have access to tool assists, including those that let you move by frame). The reality is that you must engage with one and make the jumps, while in the other the values are variable and it's avoidable. The decision-making process is not comparable.

    You have still failed to show why the examples I gave are different from WW.

    Ignoring my points in favor of red herrings and refusing to engage with the core point that calling hidden food/tech/etc mechanics not okay but hidden WW okay being self-inconsistent is intellectually rude. The food example you gave required a god, not whatever you're claiming a ruler is in civ.

    Soren made some mistakes in 4, most notably he thought making a game-throwing AI to be a good move. Obviously if WW doesn't exist then there's no point in explaining it as a rule. However, since it *is* a rule it needs to be accessible. You said it yourself earlier in this thread; you expect players to learn this mechanic by experiencing it.

    IE, you acknowledge this mechanics is "trial and error gameplay". We aren't playing "I wanna be the guy". We're playing a purported strategy title, not a memorization game or a "infer the mechanics yourself" game. The rules of the game are part of its strategy. In hiding WW from civlopedia, the designers actively undermined their own advertised experience. Fake difficulty is directly counter to actual strategy and inhibits it.

    It is incoherent to acknowledge something as fake difficulty, then turn around claim fake difficulty adds to strategy and is only okay in some cases using criteria that also apply to most of the game's mechanics but we'll ignore that little detail because it's inconvenient. That is not a rational position. It can't be, because it isn't consistent with itself.

    BTW, likening trial and error gameplay to skill is an insult to the concept of possessing skill.

    If the devs rolled up into this thread and claimed WW is working exactly how they like it, they would NEED to show how WW is different from pop growth and tech costs per my request above. If they couldn't do so, then their position would also be incoherent.

    In essence, they'd be telling us that they're implementing fake difficulty intentionally on a whim, and can't even justify it in the framework of their own standards! I have no respect for that as a design goal in a TBS game. Not when Firaxis does it, not when Paradox does it, not when anybody does it.

    I long for the "S" in TBS to be more than a suggestion. My immersion is derived from applying strategy to the game's systems, and it is broken when it is undermined by fake difficulty. I don't see why your immersion should be more important than someone else's. The game's actual gameplay being consistent with its genre is important however.

    Now, let's flip your question. What criteria, *precisely*, makes it okay to hide a mechanic like WW, but not growth? Why not hide unit combat strength too? Why not hide victory condition specifics? (haha derp psyche! This game already does that!) We could also hide the turn you're on, the production bar, and how many turns it will take to build something. Why not?

    You're not going to get away with the "this isn't populous" nonsense. The argument you made does not separate these mechanics from each other. In order to have a coherent case, you MUST have criteria that separates them. Insisting that hiding WW is okay but hiding production costs + progress isn't okay is irrational absent that criteria. The case isn't coherent because you say it is; you NEED this criteria! Where is it?
     
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  3. Manol0

    Manol0 Chieftain

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    Sorry but you are wrong. The first weekend of Civ VI's release ... it reached the number of 200.000 players (this happened cuz of its brandname mostly) and 1 month later until now it hardly passes the 20k players each day... Plus devs announced in January that Civ VI sold 1 million copies...People fell into trap cuz they couldnt expect after the formidable Civ V to get such a sequel. However they quickly abandoned it.
    All of u that u try to proove that Civ V is inferior game even to IV ... just check the Steam Statistics... It is among the top 15 most played games every day with more than 30k players playing it daily. It is the first time .. that a predecessor title dominates so much its sequel....
     
  4. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    4 is a superior game to 5, but 4 was mostly sold pre-steam and is super old by this point.

    Strategy discussion in this forum remained more active for civ 4 than 5 for many months after 5's vanilla release. To be fair civ 5 vanilla was a disgrace though, even worse than 6.
     
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  5. Leyrann

    Leyrann Deity

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    Popularity =/= Quality.
     
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  6. nzcamel

    nzcamel Nahtanoj the Magnificent

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    I do have IV on steam as I misplaced my original pre-steam copy of it. But yeah as The Me In Team says, most people who own IV bought it on disc when Steam wasn't part of the process. Give it a year - as the first expansion come out, and the overall price drops with specials; VI will crush V.
     
  7. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    Who knows! Maybe the devs will learn and at least bother to make the AI somewhat acceptable with all the new features in that expansion. Could be that by then all the remaining players that play unmodded civ will start moving over. Hell, if some modders start making mods that are as high quality as Civ V's Vox Populi or something with as much content as IV's mods, then even I might give it another go, horrendous AI or not (as much as some of you like to hopelessly defend VI's AI, you completely ignore mods like Vox Populi in the process). Most likely they'll simply introduce more broken mechanics that the AI barely understands and leave it at another one or two years of polishing to a halfway decent level. That's the current state of VI anyways.
     
  8. vandyr

    vandyr Prince

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    I agree about the strategic resources...requiring only one copy to produce as many units as you want is a huge step backwards and removes an entire strategic layer from the game. In Civ V, the war for resources was real.
     
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  9. Leyrann

    Leyrann Deity

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    To be fair, the AI is only bad for the best of the best players. By now it's good enough that it's a challenge for at least some 95% of the people. Only the hardcore players that always play Deity lack a challenge regarding the AI. Everyone else simply plays one difficulty level higher than you would expect and sometimes wonders about a decision the AI makes while still having a good challenge.
     
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  10. MantaRevan

    MantaRevan Emperor

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    Lots of people who can play deity don't also, because it sometimes requires a more restricted play style that is less fun. IMO, winning above ~emperor-immortal difficulties in civ games tends to be a lot less enjoyable because of how ostentatious AI bonuses are. Who wants to play Civ 5 Byzantium on diety:sad:? So I'd put that number somewhere around 70-90%, probably not 95.
     
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  11. misesfan

    misesfan Chieftain

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    TheMeInTeam - The quest system in Civ IV is pretty opaque and illogical strategy design. In your defense, you did say that all Civ titles did struggle with this, which could be probably generalized to most strategy titles, not just civ.

    Its not really the quantity of meaningful decisions that matters - look at the design in CivBE. Its the impact of the choice that makes a game more interesting. Micro'ing workers gives lots of little meaningful choices on plot terraforming - the overall goal being to specialize a city for industry, commerce, science, etc... Maybe the worker micro is cool and all, but the overall macro effect of a specialized city (or build rushing via chops, or whatever) meaningful. The overall macro is in Civ VI, and IMO - in a very well designed system where terrain matters much more than your workers ability to transform the earth.
     
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  12. ashendashin

    ashendashin King

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    Challenge doesn't mean quality. VI's AI needs massive cheats to be relevant on any stage, and I think most people find it to be excessive, given that the option of a decent AI exists. Vox Populi's higher difficulties give boosts to the AI throughout the game to keep it feeling natural. It allows you to take advantage of many of its mechanics to keep up or even get ahead in the numerous ways VP expanded on. The nice thing is that the AI can actually use these boosts and stays relevant for a player of any skill level at all stages.
    The largest difference in quality is that the higher the difficulty, the more likely the AI is to pick the best option available from a pool of choices. You don't find this in any of the vanilla games. It gives the impression that Firaxis blatantly ignores anything to do with a high quality game. But then this is an obvious trend lately that a huge chunk of major devs have been following for whatever reason. Hopefully not some disgusting attempt at eventually merging the exploitative mobile markets and just the usual cutting costs.
     
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  13. CPWimmer

    CPWimmer King

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    While I agree with the first statement, that it is frustrating those 2 features are missing. I strongly disagree with your "most obvious" reason why.

    First, the "restart button" and a "hall of fame" aren't sell-able features. Nowhere in the marketing of Civ 6 XP-1 will they be including either one of these items as a reason why you should buy the expansion pack. Their selling points for XP-1 will be New Content like Civs, Wonders and Districts; New Mechanics like a Diplomatic Victory using the United Nations or adding Corporations; or major changes to existing systems like an overhaul to the Religious Victory or Espionage. They probably won't even bother heavily marketing the inevitable additions to the Tech and Civics trees as they re-balance certain areas, fill out more units in the various eras, etc.

    Second, they seem to be focusing the patches on game play bugs, AI enhancements, and balance changes. Which (I think) most people would agree are more important. There is a limited amount of time in each patch window to work on things, and the powers that be set the priority for each bug and feature to be worked on. It seems to me that they don't feel these 2 Quality of Life items are as important as the game play items that they have addressed. I would agree. Some people even argue that the reset button isn't a feature Firaxis will even want to add at all. They want you to "play the map". I disagree with this reasoning, but it speaks to at least one alternate school of thought regarding the development team's priorities.

    Third, I do think that we will get both of these eventually. I even think that it is likely that they will be part of XP-1. However, I don't think that it will be for the reason you state, "increase the saleability". The main reasons I think they will be in XP-1 (if at all) is because they will be looking at a larger scope of features and enhancements across the board. That will include things outside of basic game play features. And as they do so, developers will have time to fit in some of these smaller QoL requests (in terms of man power) as the larger items get worked and re-worked. Over the course of the development timeline for XP-1 lower priority items that wouldn't fit into the tight Patch Windows can find their way into gaps that larger higher priority items that are part of the XP-1 can't get done in. Example - I've got X days before my tropical vacation - I can't do complex thing Y in that amount of time (and would loose track of where I was by the time I get back from Bora Bora), but I can knock out Z before i go.

    I hope other QoL features make it into XP-1 along with the 2 you mentioned already. I still would like an official Build Queue, more efficient Trade Route management UI, Preferences for New Game settings to be saved, a post-game replay showing the civ's expanding and retracting on the map over time, etc. But I don't think any of these are missing from the base game just to make XP-1 easier to sell. And I strongly disagree with the opinion that they are being held back for that reason.
     
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  14. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Oh man, you should have seen what I had to say about events back when civ 4 was the current game. Needless to say, I was not impressed by some of them. Pre-patch vedic aryans, bermuda triangle, chained whip anger by event that stacks while removing forests...blech. So much anti-strategy stuff that had no counter play.

    The quests are indeed one of 4's examples, along with having vassals causing your opinion to average based on the non-numerical representation (even though the game had a numerical representation! In this one case it didn't use it :smoke:) and stuff like worst enemy map hack. Trade route calcs were similarly a fake difficulty/poorly explained aspect in civ 4. I'm not going to give it a pass there, especially because this bogus WW junk was a civ 4 issue also (I don't remember if the game gave you the computations, or if I knew them only because people dug it out of the code; if it's the latter 4 is every bit as bad as 6 in that regard).

    I don't mean to put 4 on a pedestal, it's just that much better than 5/6 in some regards. That doesn't mean it's good. 4's UI had legitimate problems, but it remains MILES ahead of both civ 5 and civ 6 UI to this day because Firaxis simply decided to stop caring about a solid UI, at least in the financial/design sense.

    I would argue most of those are not meaningful to the outcome, especially when they're false choices (IE the answer to many is consistently obvious and can be taken w/o consideration for situation). False choices amount to a noob trap initially, then busywork thereafter.

    In terms of terrain mattering, 4 > 6 > 5 (won't rank BE, don't know the nuance well enough). However, I consider the ability to spawn to a loss in civ 4 to be a design failure that the later games patched up a bit. Even so, a skilled player vs an average-to-good one showed an enormous gap in worker utilization in civ 4, and that's something 5/6 don't replicate. I'd argue that 5/6 lost something there, but also lost the ability to effectively screw someone over with plainscow + no strategic resources type starts. Not everything about the new games is bad, but its worst offenses are pretty off-putting.

    I consider it unlikely that they deliberately left these features out in order to try to sell them later.

    I consider it far more likely that they did not consider them important enough to prioritize development resources into them consistently, and thus they didn't make it into the vanilla experience. I can't say I respect that choice though, certainly no more than they're respecting players' time.

    I used to call out Civ 4's UI actually (this forum likely still has some of those rants). It has moments of misleading information. In spots, it lies to you outright. It will do weird things with movement near end-turn (though civ 5 and 6 kept that as a legacy issue because screw UI). However, civ 5 and 6 each respectively regressed from that point. The game still lies to you, but now it also makes you slog through tons of unnecessary actions, also lies about what will happen when you right click sometimes, effectively removed unit cycling by making it sufficiently non-functional, and doubled-down on some of the opaque rule problems from civ 4.
     
  15. misesfan

    misesfan Chieftain

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    Lack of a build queue in CIV VI is a weird choice, agreed. I thought I saw a mod or something that implemented one for VI.

    What I loved about the civ 4 UI was the ability to stack commands using the shift key. Worker go here, build a mine and then go here, chop down these trees and then build a cottage in the same location and then go here and build a pasture. Same with unit orders, go here and then here and then finally here to load a boat and then sail here....Awesomeness. You are absolutely correct when you say that there is a big jump from that level of UI design to the current game.
     
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  16. gettingfat

    gettingfat Emperor

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    I honestly think you have oversimplified the marketing strategy. Any features that make a game better will make it more saleable, not just the features you mentioned. When people decide whether to buy an expansion, in addition to the main features, some of them will also compare the other aspects with the original game to see if there are enough improvements to justify the spending. The more the better. For the buyers of the original game. I don't think they care as they've already got the money.

    The statement " they seem to be focusing the patches on game play bugs, AI enhancements, and balance changes. Which (I think) most people would agree are more important" is not necessarily true. Bad user features and interface can easily turn people off. The two features I stated are also included in past versions and are almost core elements of civs games, and they also don't need a lot of testing. One patch, two patches, not seeing them maybe ok. Half a year this is just bad. I'm not the only one asking for these here. Firaxis just don't care about customers... At least they give many this impression.
     
  17. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Emperor

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    More than one difficulty.

    Reminds me of the joke that games these days have difficulty levels "normal, hard, nightmare" that, 20 years ago, would have been called "super easy, easy, normal"
     
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  18. Quoth the Raven

    Quoth the Raven Warlord

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    I agree with the OP mostly. I browse the Civ IV forums every so often to see what state Civ VI is in, but so far Civ VI does not seem enough of an upgrade from Civ V to be worth the money, and I think I speak for many Civ players there. It seems simplified to me (graphics and number of units wise). I still play both Civ IV and V, and they are each good in their own way. I would say that modded Civ IV is still the best Civ right now though. Modded Civ V would be better, but the multiplayer does not run well.
     
  19. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Emperor

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    I've read enough game and UI design that it's obvious to me... to the point where it's hard to understand why it's not obvious to someone else. But I'll give a try at explaining anyways.

    The reasonable options are basically examples of game variants, with the caveat that information given to the player is accessible. I do not intend to say anything about the merits of different game variants, just that they are game variants.

    The unreasonable options are all instances of the "camps are known" game variant that demonstrate different forms of UI tax -- sacrifices one must make in real life in order to receive the information that the game intends for the player to know.

    ---

    Now, I will also preempt the argument that the "UI tax" is part of the gameplay rather than just bad design.

    It is true that what constitutes "UI tax" is not an absolute. For example, there are hidden object games that are all about finding items hidden in a picture, and it's natural for their gameplay to require scanning through pictures for things. And there are action games which are all about reacting in real time to audio and visual stimuli, and it's natural for their gameplay to require paying careful attention to audio cues.

    But the point is that Civ 6 is not a hidden object game or an action game. Putting in hidden object or action game features detracts from the overall experience of being a turn based strategy game.

    And even those players who might enjoy having hidden object or action game features included in a turn based strategy game are likely to be unsatisfied, since the game features aren't designed to and don't provide satisfying experiences of that type.
     
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  20. Leyrann

    Leyrann Deity

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    You're most certainly right with this post, and I would love to see an AI like VP's one (never played with VP myself btw, but I'm getting an idea from what people are saying). However, as long as the AI isn't there (which it probably won't be until a VP-like mod appears for VI), I'm fine playing on my actual difficulty level +1 as long as the AI doesn't seem overly bad to me. And you hear a lot about them sending Settlers forwards and things like that, but to be fair, it doesn't happen that often in my games. Overall, I think the AI is good enough that you can play with it. I do use a mod to reduce starting bonuses in exchange for over time bonuses though, because I don't like the idea of the AI getting 2 settlers at the start (I play Emperor).

    For me, it's one difficulty versus Civ V. I played V on king, I play VI on emperor. Versus IV it might be two - I play IV on monarch - but I don't have as much experience with IV and I would most likely climb at least one difficulty level if I played it some more.

    Modded IV is most certainly the best civ out there, but that's also because of the power of mods, and I think that VI has the base, with double tech tree, districts etc to allow mods that by far surpass IV's mods. Depending on the moddability of course.

    PS I like your username.
     

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