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Civ4 MultiPlayer Has Become Unplayable!

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Multiplayer & PBEM' started by sirkris, Jun 10, 2006.

  1. Speaker

    Speaker Deity

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,097
    Location:
    Section 1
    You'll find that ladder players are the same: very skilled, challenging, interesting. Ladder players are just random people who decided to join the ladder to get away from the quitters and "griefers" as Elledge put it. Most of the ladder players I often play also with remember playing a game with me. And they boot up their Civ and play a good game with random (ladder) people. For minimal effort you will rid yourself of all the problems you have so far encountered.

    This is hardly the point. Several people here have given you good suggestions on how to minimize the problems you have encountered with Civ4 MP. Hopefully the game will be "fixed" to remove some of the griefer issues, but in the interim, why suffer through them?

    Just because Sirian may or may not be listening to your complaints, doesn't mean someone else isn't. ;)
     
  2. Elledge

    Elledge Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    57
    It really baffles me how many people view the ladder as some kind of elite club whose mission is to play un-fun games with jerks and try to trick other people into playing them. The single solitary reason for the ladder's existence is to bring together friendly, intelligent players who don't screw up games. The narrative here seems almost surreal:

    SK: I'm angry because all my games get ruined by assheads!

    Others: Hey, why don't you join our anti-asshead league, created for the express purpose of preventing assheads from ruining your games?

    SK: What are you implying? I'm not the sort of person who joins things.

    I mean, I'm not saying the ladder is the only way; the other way is to basically assemble your own, private anti-asshead league with your friends and play games with people you trust. But the ladder is pretty much the only way to find reliable & good people you don't already know.

    You want to "boot up [your] Civ and play a good game with some random people." So does everyone! But for some reason you're convinced that non-ladder random players will be likely to give you a better game. What on earth do you think the ladder is for? I'm completely mystified at your point of view on this subject (although it's one which seems to be extremely widespread, which is why I'm so curious.)
     
  3. Thisnameislame

    Thisnameislame Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    44
    To all blaming the greifers instead of the devs, how many other games do you know of whrere one griefer the power to force the game to end? Online isn't designed to ONLY play with your friends. And if a game has problems, just because they don't bother you doesn't mean they shouldn't be fixed.
     
  4. Skudor

    Skudor Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Messages:
    39
    Silly question... but how do I set up a ladder game? I've joined but never seem to find any other ladder players in the usual lobby.
     
  5. xeophist

    xeophist Don't feed the flag!

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Switzerland
    I honestly don't think that joining ladders is a solution. It is not a solution, it is just a desperate move to be able to play outside of the lobby. Obviously there is something wrong with the system if a separate ladder is the only means how to get in a solid multiplayer game. Playing in ladders is not solving the problem (which is the easily exploitable multiplayer part of Civ 4), but trying to evade it. Sooner or later, griefers can appear in ladders as well. I have no idea why is this big effort to not see the problem. It is like shutting your eyes plugging your ears and shouting "I'm not listening!", because it is of course a lot more confortable then stepping up and trying to convince the devs that something is wrong. Even the archetypical "wont work!" attitude of some people is really amazing.

    It is definately Firaxis's responsibility, given they do really strive for a good playing experience for their customers. If someone didn't notice it yet, then yes, Firaxis exists because people buy their games. They do not exist to create games for their own delight, they exist to make money. Thus I think it is in their own best interest to try and make the game enjoyable to as many people as possible. If people need to make up their own solutions where the game fails obviously because of not well done concepts, then parts of the game are not really enjoyable for them. Sirian, honestly, lets say you bought a car that wouldn't brake sometimes, or would randomly die when shifting gears, wouldn't you feel a bit cheated to say the least? Wouldn't you go to the dealer/service and demand that this situation be corrected? What if the dealer simply said: "What do you want? You can still drive it. You'll sometimes run over people, or hit a wall, but you can still drive it.", would you accept this answer? Then, after you got angry he said: "Well mister, we'll do bat**** about your problem because you're too emotional about it". Sure, you could try to drive very slowly, so you don't cause an accident when the brakes give you bad pRNG luck, but definately you wouldn't buy a car from them again. The "ladder solution" or "play with friends only solution" would equal to driving only on straight roads, or driving only on the parking lot when there is nobody around. Surely that is not why you bought a car.

    Please? Are you serious about this? The guy has bought the a product that the devs are selling (well technically its not them doing the sales), it is not the question of being nice to the devs, it is whether the devs want to get additional money, or sell only to people who will never be hard on them (but then they must not expect to get paid too much). When you're selling something to a customer, you have no right to expect them to do you service (unless it is in the agreement), it is them who are paying, not you. I can't see anything in the EULA that would state that customers who are angry are not eligible for customer service. You're attitude isn't any better then Sirkris' in this regard. For me, when I see a customer disappointed and complaining, it is a signal that something is not good in the product I'm trying to sell.

    Again, why is the honest player forced to deal with the griefers at all? Wouldn't it be simpler for erveryone (except the griefers), to have potent defenses against such things (or simply no exploitable things).

    So I guess in real life (where you have to deal with strangers as well) you also just roll with the punches. Rarely does however such a passive approach bring any fruit you know. I'm not saying that there is a definite solution, but why not to try to be constructive and at least try to reduce exploits to the minimum?
     
  6. Skudor

    Skudor Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Messages:
    39
    I am new to multiplayer, but have played three proper games now (plus one where I entered mid game = thoroughly boring). My impressions so far: Multiplayer is great when you have a game up and running smoothly. Playing against humans is a whole different experience. The games can lag a bit sometimes, and combat can get slow and weird - but perahaps that's not a bad thing -> war should bring suprises.

    In my first game (as Louis XIV) I was attacked with overwhelming force and obliterated (I nicely stayed in the game until I had been obliterated). This was on a small inland sea map.

    In second game (as Kublai Khan) I had learned the lesson that just having a military isn't enough. It has to be very, very strong. So I built an army in the second game. Fended off an initial attack (with some difficulty) from my fellow Mongols, who had horses (I didn't - but had copper), and destroyed the attacker - was a matter of using spearmen against his keshers. Flirted with a second war with my Greek neighbour, took a city, but let another player do the final destroying. I did, however, lose on technology. This was partly a blunder of trusting a fellow human - he had suggested we gang up on the points leader (who was nowhere to be found at that time on this continents map). After we had destroyed the Greeks together I accepted a map sharing proposal from this 'friend'... it seemed like a good idea and fitted in with what we were discussing -> i.e. where is everybody else? Needless to say, the map sharing revealed my Longbow and Knights army to his Musketmen and Grenadier army... of course he quickly attacked. I was about to repay his deviousness by exiting and giving a couple of cities to the third human player, but the system booted me out. My lesson learned was that my initial war of conquest had bankrupted me with city maintenance = only keep cities that will bring you necessary resources or income (cottages).

    So for my third game I picked Washington for his financial traits. Focussed on cottages and establishing a strong army. Beelined for copper. You can't survive without it. Thankfully, I was able to fend off an early attack from my neighbour (forgot who!) who had a bunch of warriors and a couple of archers who stood no chance against my axemen. I ruled that war. Two civs on that continent were marginalised or eliminated by my stronger armies. The Russians, who were points leaders, stood idly by (a peaceful Human multiplayer.... they do exist) so I didn't bother them. By then we were the last two human players - one had been destroyed me, one marginalised and gone and the other three had left before I made any contact. The Russians - despite having cossacks against my Riflemen (but not yet any Cavs) - never attacked and left the game before the modern era (without a comment). Going from multiplayer to single player is no fun. Lesson learned - not everyone on multiplayer is aggressive (I'm not - in all three games I only started one war - to obtain iron) and even when things are going well a multiplayer game just is no fun when not even the strong remaining civs are AI controlled.

    So, my overall impression so far is that multiplayer can be great fun. My two continents games both ended with only 2 or 3 human players (out of seven starting) by the middle ages - and the one where I was doing best I ended up on my own :-(. The game with the most potential was probably the first one - things seemed to kick off pretty well due to the compressed nature of the map. Oh, and wonders are not a priority in multi. I think I built one in all three games. Didn't make a difference. I've seen some tech issues, been annoyed by people joining a game in progress, only to leave again within minutes (letting people join is a great ide in principle, but it fails in practice most of the time). The diplo screen doesn't seem to work very well in multi either... not sure if I'm doing anything wrong... but it takes quite a few tries to get it up and running.

    I'll certainly be playing more online though - it can only get better!
     
  7. Gazaridis

    Gazaridis Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
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    Location:
    UK
    Ive just started playing multiplayer over the weekend, and it does look promising.

    I will, however, back up some of the points made on this thread. Me and a few other randoms (you shouldnt have to fill in an application form to play a decent game) playing a continents game today. As the game wore on, after a couple of hours there were more and more drops and OOSs. Then once a couple of people had left other people kept joining and leaving, stopping the game for a few minutes at a time (lesson learned - password game at start to stop it). Eventually, the turn timer froze, the four of us around since the start could talk to each other and some guy who joined halfway through we couldn't contact, dont know if hed left or hung or whatever. The point is, after spending a good 3 hours on a game, it froze up and we couldnt continue. This is a serious bug that completely ruined the game.

    In the end I took down some of the guys names and said Id meet up for another game sometime, but it isn't worth it if again we get halfway through and the game decides to not let us play any more.
     
  8. MookieNJ

    MookieNJ Noob

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2002
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Randolph, NJ
    Ladder games are not played outside the lobby, in fact they are not played under any different circumstances than normal Civ4 MP games.

    The difference is that there is a set of rules in place designed to prevent people from constantly quitting games. If I play an open FFA game in the lobby and I don't like my land, I can drop. If someone beats me to the Oracle, I can drop. If someone declares war on me, I can drop. Etc, etc, etc. In a ladder game, if you quit, you report losses to all -- a mighty steep penalty.

    Why is there a need for a ladder system such as this? Civ4 is a totally different type of MP game than a first person shooter, for example. It requires a minimum of a few hours to play a decent game to a semi-conclusion (130 turn game or something of that nature). Even longer to get to even more advanced stages of the game. On the other hand, you hop into a FPS, score a few headshots, feel satisfied and leave. The game goes on for everyone else. Civ4 is not like this, and that's why the ladder is great. You find people that actually stick around and finish games rather than people constantly leaving the minute they lose a city or have a worker stolen. I've played some enjoyable Open FFA games, but they really are the exception rather than the norm, as I find a lot of people quitting a lot more than they stick around.
     

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