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Civ4 pet peeves

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Tervadh, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. Tervadh

    Tervadh Chieftain

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    Hi folks. I'm a long-time Civ player. I've read all the War Academy articles here but haven't delved into the forums until now. But now Civ4 has boggled my mind so much I've felt the need to post a few issues I have with it. These are things I feel are disappointing and degrading features as compared with previous Civs. My main question is "why"?

    1. Load times. It takes appallingly long to load a game that's even moderately progressed. Civ3 loads are instantaneous by comparison. Why have all this Python and other extraneous code that obviously only increases load times without increasing functionality? And it's not just load times, but wait times. I get so bored with the "Waiting for other civilizations" that I'll often abandon a decent game in the 1700s just to start a new one so I can actually *do* things rather than sit around waiting.

    2. Land use. In Civ3 you could cultivate and mine deserts. It didn't give you much, but at least it gave you *something*. You could also mine mountains, which only makes sense. In Civ3, deserts and mountains are completely *worthless*. They just occupy space on the map.

    Let's reflect on that in terms of realism. *Of course* you can irrigate deserts in real life (provided you can connect them with a water source). And of course you can mine mountains. By comparison, in Civ4 you can irrigate tundra and even build watermills in ice (by rivers). How realistic is that? I'm not saying it should be disabled (as I hate unproductive squares - even oceans can produce quite a bit of food or commerce) but for freak's sake, let's allow desert irrigation and mountain mining for what little benefit it provided in Civ3 (better than having totally pointless land).

    3. Forestry. This is really a continuation of #2 - but what happened to planting forests? More importantly, why? As if in real life, we can only chop down forests but not plant them? What would this say about global warming (which also, unless I missed it, is largely gone in Civ4)? Was someone afraid of exploiting some sort of build/chop/replant/rechop bug? If so, there are much better ways to prevent that (Civ3 did it if I'm not wrong). Even later in the game, it is *not* always advantageous to have all your forested land chopped down - sometimes the land under it is useless without the forest.

    Hell, I even remember how in earlier Civs you could use engineers to *transform* land from one type to another (to level hills to plains or vice-versa for example). What happened to this? Too unrealistic? Sure, we never build hills or level them. Even ancient cultures could do that (take Silbury Hill for example).

    If there's a mod that corrects (even some of) this, please point me drooling in its direction. I'll admit I have no knowledge whatsoever of Civ4 mods. I've played Civ3 (and previous Civs) for years, and only tried a few of the (presumably better) mods, most of which were disappointing (buggy at worst or didn't provide the same quality of overall gameplay as the unmodded game at best). I'll also admit some skepticism about Civ5 judging from its reviews and the general decline between Civ3 and Civ4.

    Don't get me wrong, I like Civ4. If I didn't, I wouldn't bother posting about it, I'd just go back to playing Civ3. The religion system is nifty, though I'm not sure whether it adds realism or just another layer of complexity (particularly when you fail to spread one of your own religions in one of your own cities). I'm not sure what's with the cartoonish leaderheads when they talk to you as compared with the badly-degraded portraits on the Foreign Advisor screen, but I can live with that. But I have to take issue with basic gameplay issues that defy realism, particularly when they worked just fine in previous versions.

    Moderator Action: Moved to Civ4.
     
  2. tdy99

    tdy99 Prince

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    1) I've never had much of an issue with load times. Usually anywhere from 15-30 seconds or an advanced game. What kills me is the need to exit Civ IV and reload the entire game, then load the save, a process that takes 2 or 3 minutes. You need to do this every 5 or 6 turns once you get to the industrial age. The infamous memory allocation error that truly is the bane of this game.

    2) I agree about mountains. If the real world was anything like Civ IV, you could forget about countries like Switzerland, or even Japan.

    This touches on a much larger issue, though, which is the completely unrealistic modeling of how cities grow and develop. In Civ, there's no way for the supporting empire or hinterland to feed a dominant city and encourage growth, there's also no consideration for things like natural harbors, and being the seat of Empire, which are the real engines of city growth. A city like Tokyo, Rome, or Singapore is pretty difficult to have in the game because you wouldn't have enough food resources in the BFC. I remember wayyy back in Civ II, you could send a convoy of food to promote the growth of a super city and establish a +1/-1 food relationship between two cities permanently. Wish there was still something like this.

    As far as deserts, I don't mind them so much. The really big deserts like the Sahara and Gobi still are mostly wastelands, even to this day. It's not unrealistic IMO. Plus it realistically models the fact that a large country will have huge, sparsely populated expanses. And you'll always find the random oasis in a desert, so you can establish a smallish city there, plus coastal cities.

    There are a ton of mods that allow you do different things with these terrain types, though. Someone else will have to give details because I've forgotten which ones.

    3) I'm not sure that this is really so unrealistic. Each tile in the game is something like 10,000 square KM. That's a huge area, and once an area that large has been cleared, assuming there is still human activity there, it's not going to grow back.
     
  3. plasmacannon

    plasmacannon Emperor

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    You can irrigate accross a desert tile adjacent to a city that in next to a fresh water source, such as an oasis.
    It just doesn't provide food, but, can be used to irrigate a corn on the next tile.

    I thought they should have kept the mountains from Civ3, and added just a few peaks.
    The idea of making a mountain so high that regular travel across just doesn't happen.
    We shouldn't be able to build roads and RRs on every tile, but, we should be able to work on plateau and mountain tiles.
    Inca, Nepal and Switzerland would be 3 examples of Mountainous civilizations.

    I'd add another thing.
    The fact that 1 empire will go the religion tech route and discover more than 3 religions shouldn't be allowed, IMHO.
    It becomes very difficult for another empire to create their own and instead nust conquer another empire?
    While there is some historical evidence of people fighting for centuries over holy cities, the city doesn't have almost every religion in the world in it.
    The could have put Judiaism over in the Mathmatics tech section, just to break up the block over there.
    And yes, I keep the Global Warming thing turned off. That's silly. Effects like the ones in the game wouldn't happen as quickly as the do. It makes the game even more political than it needs to be. Firaxis, please, remove Al Gore! He flubs up in a speech. Fails to become president, so, you decide to give no credit to the people or companies who were the real leaders in early internet technologies? Lame.
     
  4. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    1) A serious problem where people just put fog over their eyes so they can pretend they don't spend hours watching the spinning world icon. Yes, it's annoying, especially when machines ridiculously over spec still do it.

    2) Not sure on firaxian logic here. Why randomly make tiles 100% worthless? What did that add to the game's strategy? I can tell you what it DID do; it added fake difficulty. Still largely minor compared to the spawning joke algorithm though.

    3) Global warming is in civ IV. It should not be. I am so angered by this point that I won't dignify it with further response :p.

    I think the CAR mod helps slightly with 1. Not sure but probably mods out there for 2. For 3, please don't encourage that idiot mechanic. Forests serve as a "returns now vs returns" later mechanic in IV, and are fine in that capacity. They're too good if you can make them at will (tremendous health and productivity).
     
  5. Skallagrimson

    Skallagrimson Deity

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    As usual the balance is provided by the realism.

    Planting forests "might" be too good if an average worker could to it. But if some super-expensive modern worker were needed that you had to devote lots of food/hammers to make, then it becomes a strategic choice. That modern "Civil Engineer" if you will (Civ2 called them "Engineers") should also be able to irrigate deserts (greening deserts is a specialized skill) or mine or create roads in mountains (needed the "Explosives" tech in Civ2).
     
  6. sydhe

    sydhe King of Kongs

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    My main problem is crashes when it hits around 1800, even with all the options on low.
     
  7. Tycho

    Tycho AFK Forum Warrior

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    Even on huge maps I have never had much problem and load times are generally 5-10 second affairs, though replanting forests and global warming should have been in and out respectively for each one. Like it's been said, the useless tiles of desert and mountain is very unrealistic, and is something that should not have been. The best thing that could have been with mountains is that they produced five hammers, but "removed" commerce and food from the city as well. Deserts... irrigation, mining, and laying cottages on them should have been done but was not unfortunately. Oh well.
     
  8. Skallagrimson

    Skallagrimson Deity

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    Had that problem myself and a new video card fixed it for me.
     
  9. AJ11

    AJ11 Emperor

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    Just take it out of the game. Serious, all this glabal warming crap makes me understand why Wilkes Booth did what he did. Frakking Aldork Goreing!
     
  10. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    1.) Terrible programming. Even far exceeding the recommended specs, the game lags like crap late game.

    There is no reason why I can play something like Starcraft II, which has far more requirements than this game without issues, and yet Civ IV's performance is god awful even if I turn it to low.

    2.) Lame unit finder; I should be able to easily center on any unit I want. That's one thing Civ V did right.

    3.) Multiplayer. Just multiplayer. In SP, if my worker is out of moves, I can tell it to chop and it'll start chopping next turn. Doing this in multi does absolutely nothing. Wtf?

    4.) Wolves/panthers. Oh really, a 2 move barbarian. That's really fair. You can always dodge the other barbs, but these like to jump out of nowhere and win at 3% odds. Then you can't scout hurr.

    5.) Stupid spawns where you start with tundra; mostly on Archipelago.

    6.) peacevassal only AIs like Gandhi. I'd like to take his book on pacfism and shove it up... nvm. :lol:

    7.) AP-- whoever even thought this was gonna be balanced should be shot.

    8. Global Warming.

    9.) Unit selection is a POS. Alt-click to select your army... Oh wait, you can't do that because it selects the planes anyways. Deselect is broken and randomly deselects everything. Basiscally it's very annoying to move troops out of a city with planes. There really needs to be an auto-intercept button so I can just leave them alone.

    10.) Ais making ******** DoWs for no good reason. Either they attack with some random army in the BCs that benifits them nil and just pisses you off, or they DoW when they can't even reach you and all they send is 2 frigrates. Why?

    Overall, Civ IV has great concepts and strategy which is why I keep playing it. But the interface is godawful and the programming leaves much to be desired.
     
  11. Tycho

    Tycho AFK Forum Warrior

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    Yep, AI can be really stupid sometimes in vanilla Civ 4 and it's expansions. Mods are very handy to that effect though.
     
  12. strijder20

    strijder20 Wallowing in irony

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    1.I think you are playing on an old computer. I never get 'long' loading times, unless 5 seconds is long.

    2. I don't agree with deserts, as those are still very improductive tiles today. However, ZERO is a bit much said. The Arabian empire, which used to be one of the greatest civilizations of the world, 'spawned' in a desert and spread to a lot of desert area (Northern Africa, Egypt and Arabia). But a system to really be able to work deserts would have to be complicated. Perhaps give them +1f and +1c, making them just profitable when you put farms on them? (Or trade caravans as a new improvement, whatever).
    In the case of mountains you are completely right. But RoM: AND has a feature in it making mountains passable/improvable, I think.

    3. I think they removed it because the AI was not capable of dealing with it.
    As for global warming : it is in the game. But it is not realistic, as in real life (in which it is realistic, if you believe the majority of the scientists and don't think it's all a big plot against the common civilian)
    . In real life, global warming does not only speed up the growth of deserts, but it also thaws icecaps (Ice/coast to coast/ocean) , removes permafrost (Ice/tundra to tundra/grassland), augments the circulation of water between the seas and land (desert/plain to plains/grassland), makes sealevels rise, although this is a minor effect (land to coast)... The current system of global warming is just crappy. Global warming caused by nuclear weapons? Of course. I think a nuclear winter would be more in place, and fallout storms sweeping around the planet. Global warming should be caused by coal plants.
    But there are mods removing/altering that aspect of the game.
     
  13. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

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    There's no point in adding a tile improvement that's never worth working anyway. You don't give the game more depth by adding non-viable options.

    Still, deserts and mountains have a purpose in the game. Not only because of tile yields, but strategical importance such as border tension, city settling, choke points, barbs spawning and so on.
     
  14. LitHouse

    LitHouse Chieftain

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    Not being able to set workers to 'sentry, wake and fix whatever AI spies and/or random events break'.

    Global warming is just silly as implemented.

    Vassal system breaks in certain situations (tight Pangaea maps especially) and makes a game unwinnable when 8 rivals become 2 rivals with 3 vassals each.

    State Property & Free Market should have produced the same conflict that different religions do in earlier ages.

    Minor stuff really... this is such a great game. I only have a chance to play ~1 game a month, but I just keep coming back and it hasn't gotten old yet.
     
  15. LeHam

    LeHam Prince

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    1. Load times are rarely a problem for me, unless it's a mod, especially since I changed the BIOS to use all 3 GHz of processing power, as for some reason it wasn't using it all :mad:. Once I upgraded to a 64-bit memory allocation system, memory problems have also completely gone away for me.

    2. I will give you the not being able to traverse mountains. However, even today deserts tend to be pretty useless, although there are some mods (Rise of Mankind: A New Dawn is one, I believe) that allow you to terraform and use mountains.

    3. In CIV4 Beyond the Sword forests will grow back over time, and you can turn a plot into a National Forest or build a National Park in your city to encourage growth of new forests.

    The game with its expansions is terrific in and of itself, I think. But if you want a better experience still, I suggesting trying mods like Rise of Mankind, Legends of Revolution, RevolutionDCM, Better AI, and the BUG mod.
     
  16. QuixotesGhost

    QuixotesGhost Warlord

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    My main beef is that AIs are too predictable, particulalry with tech choices. One side effect is that it makes Liberalism to Steel or Mil Trad. too dominant of a strategy.
     
  17. stoferb

    stoferb Prince

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    I don´t doubt global warming, but then again I'm not american so it's not a political issue for me and Al Gore has nothing to do with it. But I think it's wrong to implement it in civ4. First of all, the result of global warming are much more unpredictable than that deserts will grow, some deserts may grow other's may shrink some forests will thrive other's will die etc. It happens very slowly and gradual so that it suddenly would hit earth in a single turn is also very silly.

    The other objection is that no other enviromental factor is implemented. There's no little ice age during the 17th century, no extra mild age during the bronce age, no extra dry age around 900 - 1100 AD and so on. Landrising in the north have in reality changed the appearance of Viking land considerably since the Viking era, some of what is today prime land for agriculture was underwater just a thousand years ago. Big rivers like the nile have over the years created land where there once was ocean. Vulcanic activity have made huge impact on land from time to time. I could go on citing examples but the point is that if the climate changes and the land changes of the past 6000 years isn't reflected in the game why should we implement it for global warming?
     
  18. plasmacannon

    plasmacannon Emperor

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    LOL. I have seen the occasional funny TV show on there, that, does involve a conspiracy or two, but, I can assure you that not all of their shows are that way.
    Is your theory that water levels haven't risen or lowered ever in the past?
    I think, that would be a more difficult task to prove.

    I'll use a different source.
    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/234542/glacial-stage
    Surely, you accept the fact that there were ice ages around the world?
    Much of that ice did melt and go back to the oceans and lakes around the world, thus causing raising and lowering of ocean levels.

    The point still stands.
    For game purposes, for the 750 turns that the game takes place, GW effects would be miniscule at best and didn't need to be added. As a scenario, ok. As an option in a custom game? Yep, good there too. Some people might like that experience, just like some want goody huts or random events left on. As part of the main game, irrelevant.
    But, I think we are getting sidetracked here.

    Another pet peeve.
    The AI assuming that tech trading is normal. Becoming irrate to the point of war, when, we deny them technologies.
    Agriculture, ok, fine I'll share that. Stealth bombers and nukes? No way! Even certain techs, which, would lead an AI to build a wonder that I want to build, I won't do, such as The Sistine Chapel, which is along a non-combat unit path.
    Demands for Gold or war?
    Ok, from Genghis Khan? Yes. Churchill? No. Ghandi? No.
    It shouldn't apply to all AIs, unless using the random personalities option at the beginning of the game.
     
  19. Linkman226

    Linkman226 #anarchy

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    For flooding to increase you don't need all Antarctica to melt, only some during the summer. Not to mention the fact that again there's the point of expanding water
     
  20. Bluebags

    Bluebags Warlord

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    I think it's funny that the OP is whinging about global warming being "broken" in Civ4 when it was just as broken in Civ3. Global warming caused tundra forest -> tundra, and there it would stop. :crazyeye:

    I'm also unsure what their issue is with load times. I run a computer with only just the right specs for Civ4 and still get 5-10 sec load times in the late game. The only times I spend ages waiting for the AI to have their turns is when they get all trigger happy with the nukes. Either the OP has too many things running in the background, or he's running something rather ancient in digital terms (my comp is over 6 years old!)
     

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