Civ X or Civ 6 ?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Rvil Plum, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. FramedArchitect

    FramedArchitect Reluctant Modder

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    I agree that ALL analyses are biased; we are human after all.

    But, in order not to veer too far from the DEEP analysis presented by previous posters, I'll just present a few more numbers to support my position that CiV is "not bad".

    Metacritic Scores (Users, not paid reviewers):
    Civ IV: 7.9. Positive/negative ratio: 3.3
    Civ V: 7.0. Positive/negative ratio: 1.7
    Civ G&K: 7.4. Positive/negative ratio: 6.8
    Diablo III: 3.8 Positive/negative ratio: 0.6 (Another highly anticipated sequel, for comparison only)

    In the end this is just an ad populum argument -- as are most of the posts above. But I can't see any other kind to make for such subjective things as popular entertainment.

    Finally, I think it is too simplistic to divide opinion on CiV (or anything) between two "sides". Clearly there is a wide range of opinion on the game, but the consensus seems to be positive, i.e. "good".

    Yet the tone of posts here seems to be that there are connoisseurs with "good taste", and the rest of us blathering idiots. That's a pretty condescending position to take.
     
  2. TheWilltoAct

    TheWilltoAct I am observe

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    I appreciate the diplomatic effort, but my disagreement is derived mostly from the tenuous question of what are we hoping to accomplish here? If I dislike a game (Civ 5 being the game in question) my opinion won't be swayed by parsing reviews or acknowledging its popularity amongst the masses. What I mean by "sides" is that you are on a Civilization 4 forum, discussing a subject with entrenched fans, and this topic is by no means fresh.

    For me it's important that I am very clear and consistent in my opposition to what I view as a flawed game. At least I will know that I am not responsible if the next Civ game is created in the image of 5. And consequently an even greater disaster, in my view.
     
  3. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Civ V is still in beta and will be until it runs smoothly on the recommended specs it advertises. An interface from this decade would be useful too.

    Then again, civ IV suffers from the interface problem and horrible engine optimization too. At least it's deep and old enough that current machines can largely run it decently.

    I hear so many fanboys defend the bad performance based on graphics or "strong AI" or other nonsense, while other games can handle thousands of units in REAL TIME this series can't even do it turn-based. Lots of unnecessary checks, lots of unnecessary information done constantly, and yet it's still an RNG mess.

    Civ IV was never completely finished (you still have units ignoring orders to move to danger while trying to cancel it, broken hotkeys, etc), and V is even worse. At least modders have helped to fix civ IV a bit. I wonder if that's civ V's only hope?
     
  4. s.bernbaum

    s.bernbaum Mostly lurking

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    FramedArchitect:

    There is no "better" game in an absolute sense. There are only games that are better for a particular individual because they appeal to what interests that person. Given that, you should expect that people in this forum, which is peopled by folks who like CIV and therefore consider it better, will speak in favor of CIV and against CiV.

    As for me, my attitude has always been, as long as I am enjoying the game(s) that I have, I am content to ignore new ones as they come along. My preferred game before CIV was a very old one, that I played for well over a decade. I still play it now and then. I only moved to CIV as my "main" game because my old favorite won't run on a modern computer.
     
  5. Gurn Blanston

    Gurn Blanston MOstly Lurking

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    I don't think Lemon was being condescending, just her usual smart-ass self. i never met a civ IV connoisseur here, I don't think there are any. Most of us just don't like civ V
     
  6. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    The unfortunate reality is the different reasons. Fundamentally the game doesn't work as advertised. They give you recommended specs; but if you use those specs you will lose hours per game if you go close to its max # of turns. I don't mean "lose" as in "you play for x time". I mean that you play for, say, 4 hours but 90 minutes of it was spent waiting to be able to do anything at all.

    Not only are the in-between turns at recommended specs long (often longer than the human turn, which is flagrantly ridiculous), but even DURING the turn you lose a lot of time. You give a command...then wait. You finish moving the last unit, then can click that end turn button 15 times before the game will let you end the turn. That kind of **** is OBJECTIVELY broken. Good games don't do that. Good games from 1995 didn't do it and good ones now don't either. Good games let you play them consistently, not just 60% of the time.

    The thing that sums up the V fanbase the best is that MP was quite literally non functional for the majority of its existence (it's supposedly much better now, but still far worse than actually good titles made years ago, even 10 years ago). The outrage over this...wasn't enough to stop it from getting votes for game of the year! A CORE ELEMENT OF THE GAME DIDN'T FUNCTION AT ALL, and people didn't care! 9.5 out of 10! AAA title! Best strategy game in years! Who cares if it works?!

    That's not connoisseur stuff, that's "sniff test" stuff. Civ V smelled like **** on vanilla release, and it stinks somewhat less now. No matter how many bells and whistles you add, the game still has to run. Civ V's engine is so clunky it's a joke. I could run backwards in tar faster. I can certainly out-play the civ V interface. Why is that? I'm not some superhuman...how is it that I can process (and physically execute) commands materially faster than the computer can handle them?! Because failaxis.

    And then there's the UI, or the pathetic excuse that V passes for one. Make no mistake, the Civ IV UI is horrible also, unless you are running kmod or someone else's 3rd party effort to make it better. However despite that IV's is quite bad, V takes it a step FURTHER! You need MORE clicks to accomplish the same things in V as you did in IV, and they gave us LESS hotkeys and hotkey customization!

    Compare any of my let's plays of civ IV and V and the UI to the UI of warlords 2, which was made in the early 1990's.

    Then point your finger at failaxis and laugh at the fact that the early 1990's game had a better interface than either game.

    In Warlords 2, the game would prompt you if an enemy unit in the fog showed up directly in your path. In Civ IV? Auto-moves, no prompts. In warlords 2, the end turn button ALWAYS worked. EITHER civ game? NOPE! In warlords 2, you never had an instance of a unit doing something differently than you commanded. Did that happen in civ IV or V? Yep, BOTH of them have that issue! In Warlords 2, cities never, ever did something differently than you commanded them to do. In CIV V, made twenty freaking years later, it was possible to end turn while emphasizing hammers (governor showing a surplus), then watch as the governor rearranged your tiles in between turns and STARVED your city down a pop, something I caught on video. This was still the case a YEAR after the game was released.

    I know since this is a civ site that people are going to argue in favor of it, but open your eyes. Both games have strategic depth to different degrees, but objectively, Failaxis has never, ever released a title with a sound user interface and a reasonable engine....with the possible exception of civ rev. I bet that's just as bad, but having never played it I can't give a fair opinion of it. For whatever depth they come up with, the games have NEVER worked properly.

    However civ V took it to new levels. When I can play a game 20 years older and see notable superiority in the older title's UI, someone done goofed.
     
  7. FramedArchitect

    FramedArchitect Reluctant Modder

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    Given that above criticisms are true and valid, isn't it amazing that so many people continue to play IV and V? There are several straw man arguments above, but in fact I did not make a direct case for V, other than the (admittedly) poor ad populum. I will now.

    I think the popularity of both games relates directly to the ability to mod the game and to explore the mods others have made. It would be interesting to know how much game time is spent running mods; my guess is above 70%. My own experience with both IV and V is closer to 99%. I cannot imagine having spent as much time on IV without Rhye's or FFH pulling me in. Same for Thal's mods for V.

    I've also begun modding CiV, at first out of frustration with the shoddy base game, and then for the kind of creative joy of making something. As more mods are offered through the very accessible Steam Workshop, I think more and more people are getting interested in the game, too. The DLL has been released, and we'll probably see more complex creations pretty soon.

    On a side note, I suspect that exploiting people's desire to be creative explains the lasting appeal of games like the Sims and SimCity (seeing your buildings spring up in town was very satisfying). On the flip side are games like Baldur's Gate that are terrific, but that are probably played for only a fraction of the time as games like Civ.

    For me V is something like watching a campy, low-budget movie (Rocky Horror?). Yeah it's clunky, but it's also fascinating in a way that an exquisitely crafted Hollywood monstrosity usually is not.
     
  8. Alchemind

    Alchemind Warlord

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    Civ 6 sales will inherently be down at start from any other Civ game. Civ 6 will be whether or not this series lives or dies. If its not good I cant see any reason why the producers would ever continue developing anything new and they need to move on if they can't get this right. I wont buy Civ 6 until I hear the reviews.
     
  9. gps

    gps King

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    Well, I'll just present a few more numbers to support my position that CiV is "not go either" - especially if compared to Civ IV. Here are the numbers of One-Star-Reviews on various Internet pages for Civ V vs. IV Vanilla:

    Civ V
    Amazon.com:...420 / 983 = 43%
    Amazon.co.uk:.116 / 294 = 39%
    Amazon.fr:.....18 / .64 = 28%
    Amazon.de:....139 / 354 = 39%

    Civ IV:
    Amazon.com:...106 / 393 = 27%
    Amazon.co.uk:..25 / 117 = 21%
    Amazon.fr:......1 / .18 = .6%
    Amazon.de:.....35 / 154 = 23%


    See some kind of trend here..?
     
  10. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    If the core of the experience is in the mod work, all the more reason to have given us good ui and engine instead of trash ones. You will notice I attacked the design itself very little. there are issues there in both games for sure, but where both truly fail is their direct functionality. The coffee is pathetically sloppy and it detracts from the game greatly. Imagine how fun mods might have been if the game actually ran well...civ v in particular is awful with that.
     
  11. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Actually only some of the post was meant to directly address other people's points at all. After that, I went into rant mode.

    The points stand on their own though and it's sad that the community, old and new, is willing to tolerate shoddy 1990's user interface controls and a laughably terrible engine for multiple civ iterations. It's doubly sad that we don't have a consensus powerhouse challenger to dethrone civ's utterly weak position atop TBS.

    If there were competition like the 1990's, firaxis would get its pants pulled down by HOMM III and Warlords II and III, all 3 of which were easily better than any contemporary civ-like title could dream to be.

    But HOMM isn't made by the same company any longer, and SSG doesn't do games like Warlords anymore. Will someone step up and make the working title that Firaxis has demonstrably proven it can not, while still holding the depth of civ IV and a balance seen in no TBS in over a decade?

    It's a big challenge. I thought Firaxis had a chance with playing civ IV; the design was pretty good but they plagued us with bad controls, balance, and a horrible engine. Civ V should have fixed all of that and built on the depth. Instead, it regressed in depth as it went a different direction (understandable perhaps) while also regressing in performance-vs-recommended specs (not understandable at all) and UI (Pathetic).
     
  12. Core Imposter

    Core Imposter Deity

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    The fact as I saw it was that Civ2 was fine but then a quantum leap was made with SMAC. And then Civ3 was a big letdown (to those who actually played SMAC). Civ3 was to SMAC what CiV is to Civ4, a much worse game in a linear series.

    So we have seen this twice now and thats a pattern. We could see a great Civ6 but I lean towards thinking the great days of 4X games are behind us. People are just different now. My generation started with wargames with die cut counters, dice and cardboard maps, book length rules sets, and games that lasted months.

    Strategic gaming for these last few generations has been boiled down to a 20 second lark on a smartphone.

    The value of a good civ game to me is inestimable. I get thousands and thousands of hours of enjoyment. A game as good as SMAC or Civ4 I'd slap down 10 to 15 times the actual issue price for it, without blinking.

    Give me the game of my dreams and I'd pay 5 or 6 thousand. Maybe more.

    My theory is that the industry went the dumbed down route because they were afraid that one day they would put out a game so good and replayable that gamers would never buy another game. That theory is buttressed by the pay to play games that have been rolled out over the years.

    Civ3 turned me off so bad I just got around to playing Civ4 this year. Glad I did. More glad that I have yet to master the game, will have tons of mods to try later as well as having a shot at modding for myself.

    My son insisted on gifting Civ5 to me. I would never tell him what I thought of it. He plays wiki games. I blame this on his mother.
     
  13. Sullla

    Sullla Patrician Roman Dictator

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    Given the hundreds of people voting on Metacritic, this actually is statistically significant. Civ4 scored on average about a full point higher in user voting, with a score of 8 compared to a score of 7 for Civ5. The older game's ratio of positive to negative reviews was also twice as good, 3.3 against 1.7. That indicates a real divergence between the two; clearly, there was much more negative sentiment surrounding Civ5 compared to Civ4. It doesn't mean either game is necessarily better, but there's enough people voting on Metacritic to make that a meaningful stat. This is especially true because the official/paid reviews had no difference in score whatsoever. It demonstrates that there was a sizable gap in opinion between the paid reviewers and the user base, and that Civ5 was not received as well as Civ4.

    For the record, I think the interface/user input in both Civ4 and Civ5 work fine.
     
  14. Abegweit

    Abegweit Anarchist trader

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    I have never heard of a Civ1 fan who complained about Civ2. I certainly didn't. They are the same game, except that Civ2 is better in every way. Better graphics. Better UI. Better AI. Better combat. Better options. Better governments. Civ2 took the strengths of Civ1 and improved on them.

    The next three iterations went off in different drections so people can argue about the relative merits of each of them (as well as compare them to Civ2). But Civ2 is simply a better Civ1.
     
  15. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    IMO it's far simpler than that and boils to simple economics. What INCENTIVE do developers have to make a game better? Can they charge more? How much more, given the added expense/delay of release? The extra revenue is marginal but the added expense isn't. They will only make a quality game if given an incentive to do so. As much as you'd be willing to pay extra, it doesn't even begin to cover the 1000's and 1000's of people who wouldn't buy the game for $1k or more even though they'd buy it for $50.

    The real problem here is that there isn't even incentive to reach the most basic standards of quality that once mattered, at least not in TBS. I wasn't lying when I said Warlords II has a better UI. But look at how many people bought civ V! They ate minimal penalty for it. They bought off gameinformer and many other major reviewers to lie to us outright, giving the game over a 9.5 rating despite that multiplayer doesn't even work at the time (game informer is a disgraceful, unprofessional joke because if its rating methodology catering to known titles, but in the case of civ V it was flagrant. Such a high rating, not a single mention of the word "bug" (horrible considering vanilla release), and a completely non-functional core feature. GJ scrubs, -1 subscription).

    So they get people to buy it. To support it because "people like it" (after all, they buy it). To see those positive ratings and go along with them (after, people don't like to admit they got screwed over on a bad deal). Firaxis is not alone in getting people to buy a disgraceful mess. They're right there with, say, both developers of Call of Duty games, who routinely use net code that is inferior to net code used by unreal tournament over 10 years ago.

    But, making the game actually work takes time, effort, and money. Why do that? People buy it when they don't.

    A lot of this is a predictable result of gaming in general becomming more mainstream over time. You have lower standards with the increased demand, but you also have FAR more consumers who are ill-equipped to even evaluate what makes a good title, and have information that would give them a chance flagrantly manipulated.

    There's also "average skill" drop since more casual people play, and how games cater to that, but that's a rant for another time. Let's just say it's extremely difficult to find games that don't have skill equalization now. Every civ game I have played has had some, with IV and V having more than games past, but even games like Madden and most shooters have it (despite holding tournaments where outcomes are supposedly based on skill, which is laughable if it weren't so pathetic).
     
  16. FramedArchitect

    FramedArchitect Reluctant Modder

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    This could be generalized to just about every part of society: public opinion does not correlate with official doctrine. It's why I threw in the example of Diablo III, a horrid game by any measure that was just fawned over by the paid reviewers. I still think the stats show that opinion of CiV is generally favorable. Not to mention the consistently high number of Steam players.

    I agree....but I'm no connoisseur.

    As to competitors, the only game that even comes close in this genre (for me) is GalCivII. But I guess we are the Mumbledy peg players of the game world.
     
  17. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    O RLY Sulla?

    Civ IV:

    - Hold alt and click to select all units. Now hold shift and click on a unit. That's supposed to un-select a unit. Good luck seeing that happen consistently.
    - Control-click is supposed to select all units of that type. So why does control-clicking on a land unit select ALL NAVAL units?
    - The game will occasionally glitch-out and "think" you're pressing alt when you're not. This can cause you to declare war without prompt. I bet that would be a lot of fun in XOTM or a so-far-good HoF game wouldn't it!
    - Units will re-route rather than prompting you
    - Units can move at the start of a turn even when you give them orders to the contrary before they move
    - Units in a stack can auto-split and attack out of the stack, but only under certain conditions...but why is this happening at all? It's not what you ordered!
    - Workers with "route to" orders will move next to a barbarian or enemy already in vision AND start an improvement.
    - It is more than possible for me, a human being, to select units "so fast" that the game can fall 10 units behind my shift click. WTF! I'm making a simple command on a machine over double the recommended specs...why can't it keep up with basic selection?!
    - Even if you have no more orders to give, the game will refuse to let you end turn for 5+ seconds.

    I guess those things are fine by you?

    I know you hate civ V anyway, but here we go:

    Civ V:

    - Ranged attack: Siege unit is already set up. Game displays "ranged attack". You right click, and the siege unit instead moves towards the target, adjacent to enemy mounted. OK cool. Quite the "not ranged" "not attack" there.
    - Governor will occasionally swap tiles AFTER you end turn. I have video evidence of this starving me down a pop. You're cool with this Sulla? Really?
    - I have hit end turn literally 20 times before it let me actually end it. Is there a reason I can't end my turn when I choose? What is the game calculating when I have no orders to give?
    - Similar to civ IV, I can give an order to a unit, then wait. I can do this 15 times per turn, losing about 3-5 seconds every time. That starts to add up.
    - It actually takes MORE clicks to do most things in civ V than it took in civ IV. To queue something up you have to go into a city, click again, click to queue things up, click out, escape etc. In civ IV you could select the city, hold a button and click on something....!
    - Civ V has considerably fewer hotkeys than civ IV did, and no customization last I played.

    I must admit, I didn't play even a reasonable fraction of civ V compared to IV, because the engine is so freaking bad that above recommended specs I have to spend somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 of my playing time waiting to be able to play, which isn't acceptable. Still, in the short time I HAVE played it, I've seen more of the same. I'm sure I'd have found more UI nonsense had I actually been willing to stomach that shoddy product further. I have only scratched the surface of the engine, but again you didn't mention the engine as fine in either game so I don't feel the need, since it obviously isn't.

    I don't get how you can actively support some rather HORRIBLE interface conventions, as well as civ V literally misrepresenting what will happen in some cases. The UI in these games is very bad. I compared it to an old, old game on purpose and both civ IV and V LOSE. Why do they lose? Because in BOTH games, buttons the game purports as doing something do not consistently work. When the controls don't work consistently and the UI requires a large number of inputs compared to what is necessary (the latter more civ V territory), you don't have a good interface. You don't even have a passing interface.

    I'd love to hear how my examples are things that you consider to "work fine" :p.
     
  18. Drakarska

    Drakarska Epic Dadness

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    ^^ Ok, I got the chairs and popcorn ready. Someone bring the beer, "cause this royal rumble is gonna be good :)

    OT: As to civ v, I can't really attest to the ui functionality. Civ IV's I had issues with on occasion, as well as Warlords and BTS. Granted, I play mods all the time on BTS now and a lot of issues for me have been fixed ( bows to the mod gods), but every now and then, an issue crops up and leaves me shaking my head at the idiocy of it all.
     
  19. gps

    gps King

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    Completely agree, the user interface has it's problems. The logic behind mass-selection of units sometimes is strange and you constantly have to wait for the icons to adjust to the current selection, otherwise you can easily click something not really intended.
    I am not programming expert but this slow performance COULD be caused by the Python and XML-Elements, which seem to be interpreted rather than compiled and thus naturally are less performant than a hard-coded / compiled game. If this were the case - and I am open for correction if I am wrong here - I could live with less perfomrance as a trade-off for better modability. Modability beeing one of Civ IVs main advantages over many other games.
    Civ IV sure has it's issues - but I have been put off by unfixed bugs and quality issues in so many other potentially great games as well. So I still have to say Civ IV as it is today and with all it's remaining troubles and problems is a quite good and above average product compared to many other games of comparable complexity. And in a way I am grateful for the Civ V disaster - which actually brought me back to Civ IV and once again made me see everything we have there rather than what we are still missing.
     
  20. Apricottage

    Apricottage Warlord

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    Personally, I'd be fine with just another CivIV. It's a very good game, and I think it would be great if they tweaked it a little to smooth up some of the rough patches. Things like making espionage a necessary part of the game (make it necessary to check diplomatic relations, perhaps) and making later religions relevant (many more free missionaries, possibly even a free Great Prophet for Islam). Possibly even little changes like giving a bonus to your attackers if you have units on another adjacent tile to the target: flanking! Something as simple as that would add some tactics to engagement without taking away the focus on long-term logistics. If one of these games does go through, I'd like it to be something that builds on and cleans up after CivIV instead of trying too hard to revolutionize it.

    Probably the biggest change they could make, though, would be to add different complexity settings as well as difficulty settings. That way they can market it to the more casual crowds alongside the more obsessive members of the gaming community. Things like city management and the research slider could be slowly phased in, or whatever is needed to make things simpler for players.
     

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