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Civ5 at PAX

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by isndl, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. isndl

    isndl Chieftain

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    So I was at the Penny Arcade Expo today, and so was Civ5! There was some kind of semi-public screening (with limited seating and you basically had to reserve a spot, I didn't go) as well as two very low-key stations a little ways away with the playable game (don't feel bad if you were there and missed it, I almost didn't see it myself).

    I figured I might as well give my first impressions of the game after some hands-on play, and offer a chance for people to ask questions that they may direly want answered, since I'll be going back on both Saturday and Sunday. No guarantees on answers because I might not even be able to get on that station again, but I can try to keep an eye open for stuff if I do play it again.

    Keep in mind all this is from someone who didn't hunt down every tidbit of the game, so treat it as coming from a Civ player who's only heard about the biggest changes (1UPT, hexes, etc.)

    First, I tried Civ5 in 3D, the kind you have to wear the special glasses to see. I gave that up after a few seconds, because while having city boxes and stuff float in midair seems cool, I could tell it would be painful to try and play an extended session with. I'm thinking it was because of the tinting on the glasses, but I could be wrong.

    Anyways, I eventually got onto a regular laptop that wasn't 3D, and started up a new game. First thing I noticed was that the controls are a little different, namely right-click being move unit - I managed to accidentally send my starting Settler running off while trying to get an idea of what the yields on everything was. (Later, I went into the options menu and found a setting that automatically revealed tile yields when economic units are selected)

    Resources seemed a little more difficult to keep track of on the world map, as there wasn't a resource bubble toggle like in Civ4 that I could find. The tile graphics seemed fine, and the water-based resources like Fish are easier to notice at least (there are seagulls flying over Fish resources). It might get better over time, but I'd like the option of resource bubbles anyways. The fog-of-war cloud cover also had a tendency to obscure hexes that were on the northern edge of the clouds, if that makes any sense.

    Strategic view is workable, but feels a bit cluttered to me. I was trying to find barbarian encampments, but I had to focus a bit in order to find them, because there were a lot of similarly shaped bubbles around (resources). Would be nice if there was a filtering system for the strategic view; I didn't notice any if there already is one in place.

    Combat feels good. Expect some degree of micromanagement, especially when coordinating assaults. Capturing a city takes roughly three turns for a moderately prepared assault; the game will try to nag you if you try attacking with less than four units available, but I took two cities with 3 units each and a Great General, so it's not strictly necessary.

    Gold is definitely a lot more important now. Rush-buying doesn't require anything in particular, so a well-timed rush can give you an early edge easily. There's no discount for rushing something you already put production into however. You'll also want to use gold for unit upgrades and diplomacy (city-states, research agreements, etc.) so there's some decisions you'll have to make. You won't have too much trouble making gold at least, since I was able to increase my GPT without even paying attention to it.

    Diplomacy interface is terrible. I had a lot of trouble figuring out where my relationship stood with 'real' civilizations (city-states had a nice visible bar so they were easy to manage). I couldn't get a good overview of my existing deals (I agreed to a pact of secrecy against someone, except I couldn't figure out who I made it with or against later. I'm not even sure what a pact of secrecy does). Songhai came around demanding Silver, and I couldn't open any other menus to figure out what kind of impact it would have (Civ 3 and 4 allows you to examine your trade overviews and whatnot). I couldn't tell what the relationships between other civilizations were, other than the occasional message saying such and such made a research agreement or when someone came around asking me to declare war.

    General user interface has some issues. I started hitting the function keys to open menus (Civilopedia is now F1, by the way), and it turns out that opening a new menu doesn't close the old one, so I had to click close on a half dozen or so menus manually. If I open a city view, click 'change production' and then exit city view, the 'change production' menu persists. Notification bubbles pop up on the right, but the menus where you select your choice show up on the left (lots of right-left-right mouse movements). Unit XP seems to be completely opaque, as I couldn't tell how much XP a unit had, or how much it needed for a promotion.

    That's all I can remember for now. Things I'd like to do if I get a chance would be to examine the Civilopedia more in-depth, figure out hotkeys and shortcuts and such, and try more mixed-unit army compositions (I didn't try building any archers).
     
  2. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Deity

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    Hmm...
    It was confirmed on early screens and interviews what you could show resources on regular view and turn on and off layers in strategic view.

    And I hope UI will be more polished at release.
     
  3. cyril25376

    cyril25376 Chieftain

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    Thank you for the informations. Good work
    On which difficulty level are you playing an on which game speed (fast/normal ...)?
    I hope that modders will bring a better statistik for diplomacy
     
  4. isndl

    isndl Chieftain

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    It's entirely possible that there are toggles for some of the issues I had, since I didn't try clicking on everything on the screen; I just tried to play it like a regular game. It took a good minute or so just to figure out how to manually assign which tiles a city works, and it turns out that's a relatively large and visible button you can click on the city screen.

    I'm not exactly sure what the game settings were, since it was the default 'Play Now' settings and I didn't spend a long time looking at it. Offhand, I think it was Normal speed with Chieftain difficulty, although I vaguely remember a (2) next to the difficulty level.
     
  5. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Deity

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    The stuff you've said about diplomacy-especially coupled with things other hands-on people have said-leaves me *really* worried that Diplomacy is only half-done. I was all for hiding the *specific* diplomatic bonuses & penalties-but I'm distressed to hear that you won't have any indication of how a Civ feels about you-& what things you've done recently that could be contributing to those feelings :(.

    Aussie.
     
  6. Auncien

    Auncien Prince

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    Everything I hear just makes me more... cautious I guess? That's probably the best word to use. I respect the good work that modders do but these issues that you have addressed from your play session seem to indicate that the game may have needed more player input during testing and I don't think modders should be expected to 'fix' something as simple as a UI diplomacy screen.

    They really should have gotten a demo out before release if they're really trying to push the premium pre-order stuff. If nothing else, a day or two would have been fine. As it is I think a lot of people are going to hesitate which isn't good for anybody, player, developer or publisher.

    Thanks for relaying your experiences to us.
     
  7. SevenSpirits

    SevenSpirits Immortal?

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    I also tried it; I'll add some comments.

    Yes, they were in the nvidia area, not the 2k area. I found them completely by accident after being disappointed earlier in the day. Very odd.

    Totally agree. I tried this for about 10 seconds and decided I'd rather watch someone else play on the normal laptop.

    This is how it works in civ iv too.

    When I was playing it was on the "always show yields" setting that pretty much all the screenshots we've seen use. Also it showed the resource bubbles. Someone must have screwed up the settings for you. Annoyingly, it did not show what the improved yield would be if you built the appropriate improvement, nor was this information easy to find anywhere, even in the civilopedia.

    This part of the game can't possibly be complete. The civilopedia did not, as far as I could tell, even mention pacts of secrecy or cooperation.


    By the way I also went to the presentation. I think it was the same demo they've shown earlier somewhere. It had you as England attacking someone, navally and then with land units, a GDR and a nuke. After the demo they answered questions and I though "Sweet! Finally we can get some new information." And then the other people in the room asked questions like "How many civilizations will there be?" Heh.

    One thing that really irritates me is how they keep trying to convince people how clever the AI is by saying that it will sometimes come to you to set up a research agreement and then attack you afterwards, thus wasting your gold. I mean, that's going to be the pinnacle of stupidity 9 times out of 10 the AI does it, right? Mutual destruction is not desirable, guys!
     
  8. Azazell

    Azazell Prince

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    isndl --> You play in final version??
     
  9. GeoModder

    GeoModder Deity

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    When you had half a dozen or so menus open, could you move them around so they don't obscure one another?
     
  10. Zhahz

    Zhahz PC Gamer

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    Sounds similar to some reports from GamesCom - very little playing time, kinda rushed, and most likely the same preview build that's months old.

    I think I'll wait til I play the game for days or see some chunky and in-depth coverage of a build that's closer to release build before worrying too much.
     
  11. bernlin2000

    bernlin2000 Prince

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    Thanks for the update, people have been expressing concerns about the diplo screen for awhile (no previewers/reviewers have said much about the screen) and your post seems to confirm those fears that it was implemented poorly. The web of relationships is well done in CivIV (it lets you see what agreements each civ has with each other) and I don't see why they couldn't just replicate that. I know they're intentionally trying to make figuring out relationships between civilizations more opaque, but I should be able to at least know if China has an open border agreement with England! Hopefully diplo and the UI quirks are just symptoms of a preview build: they'll be plenty of complaining on release day otherwise (well, people will be complaining no matter what :sad:)
     
  12. Jonkenden

    Jonkenden Chieftain

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    Sounds very possible that there is some way to find out more detailed diplomatic information, just that no one so far managed to figure it out. Or maybe they haven't finished it in the preview build. I don't mind not having super detailed information on it, but I'd sure like to know what kind of agreements are in place atleast.
     
  13. Semmel

    Semmel Large Sid Meiers Collider

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    Sounds like the early press build that also went to Cologne.. I guess its several month old and I wouldnt put too much worry into the diplomacy issue. If anything, Sid knows how to present the information you need and I dont expect him to make such a basic mistake like keeping you completely in the dark of the diplomacy.
     
  14. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Thx for trying to find this out! Also thx to both of you for sharing your thoughts!
     
  15. Auncien

    Auncien Prince

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    I thought "Sid" wasn't the Lead Designer of this game.

    Also, I find the "it's an early build... I'm sure great things will appear at launch" argument to be inadequate as we're now 17 days from release. Who knows? Maybe the 21st will hit and it will be amazing. Since they won't provide us with an early demo, like they once suggested that they might, nobody really knows.
     
  16. Semmel

    Semmel Large Sid Meiers Collider

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    You can always expect the worst if you want..
     
  17. Auncien

    Auncien Prince

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    "Who knows? Maybe the 21st will hit and it will be amazing. Since they won't provide us with an early demo, like they once suggested that they might, nobody really knows..."
     
  18. Ituralde

    Ituralde Warlord

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    Thanks for sharing your impressions. Sounds like the gamescom build to me too. I'm not sure yet whether I should be happy that I can try out the demo before buying the game or that I'll get the full game three days later. Either way I hope a useful diplomacy overview makes it into the game!
     
  19. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    :wow: did not see something like that at the Gamescom.
    Interesting, that this is also developed, quite cool :hatsoff:

    For this (and also the tile yield and the grid) there is a small button (did i already say that some of the buttons are too small?) at the bottom left of the minimap.

    :yup: same experience here from the Gamescom.

    :yup: yes, that's annoying.
     
  20. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Deity

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    I tried to play KB: Armored Princess in 3D. The same 10 minutes before you end and never return to this feature.
     

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