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[GS] Civfanatics Gathering Storm Reviews

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by DWilson, Feb 13, 2019.

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Score (Out of 10)

  1. 10

    8 vote(s)
    8.2%
  2. 9

    24 vote(s)
    24.7%
  3. 8

    31 vote(s)
    32.0%
  4. 7

    17 vote(s)
    17.5%
  5. 6

    3 vote(s)
    3.1%
  6. 5

    4 vote(s)
    4.1%
  7. 4

    4 vote(s)
    4.1%
  8. 3

    4 vote(s)
    4.1%
  9. 2

    1 vote(s)
    1.0%
  10. 1

    1 vote(s)
    1.0%
  1. DWilson

    DWilson Where am I? What turn is it?

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    Hello folks,

    This thread is meant to for us members to offer our own reviews on the new Gathering Storm expansion. Feel free to rant or rave, love it or bash it, or anything in between to let your fellow members know your thoughts on the game.

    Please do not use this thread for discussing the expansion or others' reviews, to complain about non-expansion related items (e.g., 1UPT). Please do not post a review if you haven't bought the expansion, or to merely protest.
     
  2. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Warlord

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    Lowest score for a start because there are no Giant Terra maps where I can play with 20+ civs. I'll reconsider my score if and when Gedemon and his creative swarm are able to produce their marvellous mods.
     
    Aussie_Lurker likes this.
  3. DWilson

    DWilson Where am I? What turn is it?

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    Alright, I'm not a particularly great reviewer, because I struggle to balance my addiction/fanaticism with objectivity, but here we go:

    Overall 10/10 (Keep it coming, Firaxis, please)

    This is the game it was meant to be. The world feels real, diplomacy matters much more, resources are now handled more logically, and the new civilizations bring variety to how the game is played. I actually find myself saying "... just one more turn ...", which was rare before this expansion in Civ VI.

    Civilizations:

    I honestly didn't know what to expect of the civ selections prior to the leak, because the last several announcements for Rise and Fall were truly underwhelming. This was not the case, for me, with Gathering Storm. The new ensemble brings several needed favorites, and they sre balanced by new and replacement civs that haven't left me disappointed (except maybe Canada, but then I may immigrate there some day, so I'll keep an open mind). More importantly, unlike most of the DLC and Rise & Fall civs, the civs of Gathering Storm feel like they bring unique approaches to how I play the game (even Canada, completely changing early game diplomacy without Surprise Wars). When I play as Mali, I'm working to maximize trade, building walls (because I have enough units and all my buildings and districts have been bought- thanks Reyna and Moksha), and generally feeling like an unparalleled economic powerhouse. As Phoenicia, my empire is built around my "colonies", as my new distant capital citizens refer to them, and I've got harbors out the wazoo. And so it goes.

    Map:

    Not only has there been a massive and appreciable aesthetic upgrade (my fiancee that doesn't even play commented on this), but the map generation is more interesting and better developed. Additionally, I play with climate settings maxed out, so I regularly get flooded and volcanoed (I've lost many citizens already, once a catastrophe that wiped a 10 pop mega-city of it's time down to a 3 pop rural outpost (remember, in civ games population has an exponential relationship to number of fictional people). Tornados have surprisingly damage my troops, dust storm have wreaked having, droughts have limited me when I really need to grow, and so on. While many of these were setbacks, I put myself in place for them by settling near where the later yields would see me flourish- so I only have myself to blame. And I can't say it was pretty or an interesting event for my people.

    Resources:

    Why oh why wasn't always like this? Of my two least favorite changes from V to VI, I'm so incredibly happy to see this one fixed. Resources matter, and it always should have been this way. I'm now engaged with the system, and consider how I'm using and acquiring them. (Now, if you would just readjust movement costs to align with V, we'd be all set)!

    Power:

    I play carefree enough that I can often make it to the late game, and I enjoy the add costs of environmental and resource challenges to developing my empire. It reminds me that a lot of the progress in the world post-Industrial era was centered in the few nation's that were able to terribly abuse resources for energy. The game now reflects this, and it's a fun and engaging system. Hopefully the real world continues to progressively move on from resource abusing means of energy production too.

    Diplomacy:

    The grievances system as a coat of fresh paint on an old vehicle, but that new paint job came with some work under the hood which has led to the vehicle running more smoothly. Beyond that, the added late game agendas have added an appreciated additional dynamic to the AI leader charachter, which is appreciated (even if I would just rather have the personality table from V back). Additionally, we have the featured new diplomacy system, with favor and the World Congress. For this, I say thank you. It feels right having a political system in the game, and I appreciate that it's notably different than what we had in the past. It's no longer simple to merely buy votes alone and dominate politically, now you must earn favor with positive relationships with major civs and earning the suzerainty of the minor powers (of course, the better your relations, the easier it is to actually do some of that bribing, in this case for favor rather than direct votes). While I don't always enjoy the lack of variety (getting three identical proposals in a row, IIRC), I enjoy that there are fairly powerful resolutions, contests, a revamped and improved emergency system, and an additional approach to diplomacy. Overall, I'm quite a fan!

    New Era:

    I appreciate the opportunity to stretch out the game, especially from a science and military game perspective (the two victory paths that have the most potential to benefit from the new aspects). The GDR is interesting, and the added time led to the developers really upgrading the science victory. With a slightly longer game, you also get more opportunity to appreciate later game buildings and events (like climate change).

    What I Would Change:

    The production queue should be toggleable, such that it stays on once you turn it onr (ratherthan needing to be reopened every time). Diplomacy in the World Congress needs more ways to determine what others are going to do (espionage, diplomatic visibility, and bribery), and more unique proposals wouldn't hurt either. Tech speed to productions costs are still too fast, meaning you often don't have time to build much before it's outdated, and the game subsequently can simply fly past, making much of the game out of access to those that play very well (as they're already done before things come into play). The AI is not very good, which is somewhat understandable, but should probably be accounted for with better boosts (preferably percentage yield and cost bonuses, rather than free thingse; even more preferably staggered bonuses to help the AI keep up, rather than just excel in the early game). Also, they should probably buff culture with regard to domestic tourism. It's far too easy (at least as a human) to win a cultural victory, and we have more tourism now then ever before.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  4. SxSnts9

    SxSnts9 Chieftain

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    Well I've only put about 15 hours in to the expansion thus far so I'll withhold my vote until I get some decent time with the game. I am interested to see what other fanatics think though I wish there was a way to ensure only people with 40+ hours invested could review.
     
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  5. bite

    bite Unoffical Civilization Geographer Moderator

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    You can read my full review HERE

    Overall, I really liked the expansion, some good big name features, and some great quality of life improvements, though it is a little on the expensive side.
     
    Stilgar08, Uberfrog and DWilson like this.
  6. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Warlord

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    To each his own, but that seems like a really weird reason to give something a 1.
     
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  7. Eagle Pursuit

    Eagle Pursuit Scir-Gerefa

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    8/10. There's loads of new features. I even like the ones that I disliked in previous iterations, like disasters and the WC. I love some of the new QoL features like geographic labels and the blown-up mini-map.

    I don't give it full marks because it badly needs some balancing, both between the civs and between victories.
     
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  8. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Warlord

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    I voted 8, but maybe more like 7.5, not because I don't like it but because there is so much that could be better. There are the typical post-release issues that will need fixed, but to me that's to be expected and don't burn the score either. In my world, though, nothing at all gets a 1 or a 10 so 8 is pretty good.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
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  9. StrideColossus

    StrideColossus Chieftain

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    I went for 8/10:
    - map changes and disasters add another dimension to decision making when building and developing cities which is a good thing.
    - the WC has turned out to be much more interesting and engaging than I expected.
    - the new civs are interesting with unusual but strong bonuses.
    - on the other hand the new diplomatic victory seems tedious in the extreme, basically just hitting next turn until the next WC.
     
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  10. Red_warning

    Red_warning Chieftain

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    8/10

    + New map generator adds more strategic depth to the game, both in war and city settling
    + Revamped resource system makes trade more relevant and adds an extra layer to unit production
    + Natural disasters makes the world feel more vibrant
    + The music
    + A diverse set of civs that play very differently
    + More late game improvements, coastal cities can now become exceptionally powerful
    + Changes to the space race victory, there is a longer buildup now and I feel like you benefit more from having several cities with the spaceport
    + Diplo points and the world congress. Some call it too simple, personally I like how smooth it goes and how powerful your votes can be.
    + The AI feels less whimsical now

    - Civ balance
    - I feel like some of the new improvements come a tad bit late
    - The price. You can get a new game for 40 €, it holds several of my friends back from a purchase
    - Electricity must be made more important, it's one of the big game changers in human history but is made entirely optional in game
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
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  11. Karmah

    Karmah Chieftain Supporter

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    I join a 8/10.
    It's good but the mechanics are lacking QA / testing.I understand that few people can know the game as much as we do especially if they are busy developping it, I can understand not wanting to spend their free time playing it. But since they have free 'analyst/testers' on this forum ,I can hardly forgive it. They could work more closely with some of the stars we have here. At least read their detailled threads.

    As someone who is working on product developpement as part of my job, I would not forego such a source of info to help build my product and my roadmap. That's all I'm saying.
     
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  12. OmegaDestroyer

    OmegaDestroyer Chieftain

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    9/10 for me. I'll shave a point off for Canada.

    In all seriousness, I think this is a very solid expansion. The new civilizations are interesting and have excellent music. The climate change adds a sense of randomness and peril to an otherwise static map. The graphical updates and improved turn times are very much appreciated. I even like the diplomatic victory condition, rock bands, and GDRs.

    I scoff at the price concerns. Video games are expensive toys and if $40 is too much, you're in the wrong hobby.
     
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  13. Red_warning

    Red_warning Chieftain

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    You're looking at the price issue from a weird angle. There is a lot of competition in the video games industry these days, somebody who isn't as much into civ games as your average civfanatic might not see a reason to pay such a price for a DLC when many games these days come out for a similar price. Never mind that with the crazy sales we get you can get some real gems for much lower than that. Add the time issue on top of that, game releases are so frequent nowadays that they fiercely compete for your attention and purchase.
     
  14. Stringer1313

    Stringer1313 Chieftain

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    6/10 for me, but that's not necessarily negative (in fact, 6 means it's positive on balance).

    The reason my score isn't super high is because I do not feel that the expansion caused much material change in the underlying mechanics of the game. The one major exception is the new civs themselves, which DO change your approach to the game, but outside those civs, the new toys don't seem to make a material difference in how I play the game. And i really hope they beef up religion at some point. And my god please reduce the # of stupid trades the AI offers. I have my left hand hovering over the Esc key now just to mash it repeatedly when the AI offers dumb trades.

    New changes that DO make a difference (however slight) in gameplay:
    - New civs
    - Rock bands have caused me to invest in holy sites even if I'm not going for religion. This does make the cultural victory more interesting, but as others have said, there should be a way to slow down someone else's culture victory. Once a Rock Band gets going it's pretty insane.
    - New resource system, esp in late game, has caused me to pay attention to whether I have enough oil/uranium/aluminum, and I cannot automatically upgrade everyone to infantry, which I really like; helps prevent military snowball
    - New governor abilities have actually made me pay some attention to how I use governors and how I promote them (before I was too lazy and just picked whomever) - I wouldn't mind even more work here

    New changes that DO NOT make much difference in gameplay:
    - Climate change is not impactful enough. I don't notice disasters increasing with climate change, the # of coastal tiles affected are very low, and flood barriers are too easy to build. I don't feel the sense of urgency or terror as climate change happens, as much as I feel I should.
    - Future era techs do not really do anything other than improve GDRs; they feel like busywork
    - Most WC resolutions are not impactful enough, and it is too easy to get more diplo favor than the AI (is that b/c the AI keeps trading it away?). The one exception is the WC resolution that lets you culture bomb when creating new districts - that is a total game changer for me; esp if I have Reina's ability to buy districts
    - New science victory just extends the amount of time it happens - there is no immersion. Without any graphics to accompany the new features it feels like another thing on a spreadsheet. Investing in some art/graphics or reactions by rival civs or ANYTHING to indicate that momentous things are happening would help alot.
     
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  15. sonicmyst

    sonicmyst Warlord

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    8/10
    + map and minimap looks better now.
    + no more blinding yellow hue during golden ages.
    + cloud shadows
    + volcanoes
    + civs that forces you to play differently
    + music
    + leader animation. Yes Kupe I am looking at you.
    + Climate change mechanics even though if it starts late, it rises up so fast
    + grievances
    + play by cloud
    + rock bands
    + hall of fame
    + Canals! Tunnels!
    + resources screen

    - crash if dx12 antialiasing is turned on
    - world congress gets repeatedly stale after many gameplays
    - bored by new science victory
    - GDR is super strong
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
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  16. Sagax

    Sagax Warlord

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    7/10

    Lots of flavor, for which I'm grateful, and which will keep me interested in playing - but it cannot hide some glaring issues that render many of the new features irrelevant or less enjoyable. Solid second expansion, though doesn't feel as eye-opening as Civ 5 BNW. Better than Rise and Fall, so there's that.

    + Design of new civs
    + Grievances system making revenge warmongering a bit more forgiving
    + Visual improvements to maps with more realistic geography
    + New environmental features on the map making the world feel more alive
    + World Congress as an overall concept
    + New resource system
    + Buff to coastal cities

    - Old balance issues and numbers/formulas under the hood still showing their ugly faces
    - Inexplicable blanket buff to pillaging
    - Climate change is not that impactful in practice, while the UI numbers and ramp-up speed try to convince us that it's literally the Apocalypse
    - Victory conditions still out of sync in terms of speed
    - Boring, dragged out, and fundamentally flawed Diplomatic Victory
    - World Congress voting method lacking transparency and leaving room for loopholes. Also, having unknown civs take part in it still makes little sense
     
  17. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    8/10

    The new mechanics are all good. Disasters and weather effects were implemented well to go with game flow and usually I never like these things. World Congress and grievances were also much needed but need a bit more polish. Most of the civs provide a new way of playing and the game overall has very good civ design. But the AI still sucks and diplomatic victory is a fail.

    For comparison
    Civ 4 9/10
    Civ 5 6/10
    Civ 6 (Vanilla) 5/10
    Civ 6 (R&F) 7/10
     
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  18. Ferocitus

    Ferocitus Warlord

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    1. That's how much I hate the small maps that come with Civ6, R&F and GS.
    2. The poll doesn't specify how to scale your score, so I used my own exponential scaling and rounded down.
     
  19. funkymunky

    funkymunky Chieftain

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    Perhaps it deserves an 8, but I gave a 7 because it just doesn't seem polished enough. I really love the new ideas added in the expansion, but the way much of them are implemented just feels unbalanced, irrelevant, incomplete, or odd.

    For example, why are coal & oil & nuclear plants built like buildings but solar and wind farms can just be plopped with a worker? And by the way, how does the pollution system even work? I just played a game where I only produced one oil plant and two factories, and somehow ended up being the largest polluter while opponents who had 4 or 5 power plants were producing less CO2?

    Winning a diplomatic victory just seem like a hack to me and basically doesn't feel strategic in the least. It seems to boil down to winning suzerainship of city states and racking up the score system. Shouldn't winning the various agendas and competitions of the world congress contribute in any way to the diplomatic victory game, or even drive it?

    The global warming system also needs more work. The CO2 emissions system doesn't make sense to me; climate change levels go up way too quickly, and they don't seem to have enough of an impact on the game. Yes, the coastlines suffer greatly, especially since it is very difficult to build coastal walls to mitigate the damage if you haven't already planned ahead of time. Nonetheless, it seems like the impact on those areas is appropriate.

    However, inland areas don't seem to suffer anything from climate change. I'd like to see inland effects from climate change level progression. For instance, how about an increase in droughts, along with them being more intense. And perhaps a decrease in food production from terrain tiles; some previous versions of Civ actually changed the terrain types from grasslands to plains, and plains to desserts, and tundra to swamps, so why not have that in this version too? And what about more floods happening? Dams apparently render flooding obsolete, but shouldn't there be some intense floods that can cause them to breach at times? Same with hurricanes and coastal walls.

    And where are the forest fires? I never saw one, and it seems they should be there, occurring on forest tiles, or perhaps also plains, and workers or engineers or troops can be used to contain them. And as climate change levels increase, that can lead to larger conflagrations that require more time and quantity of units to contain them.

    Nonetheless, there are many good things about the expansion. I like the extra future era with undisclosed, randomized techs. Makes it feel like the future having yet been written. World Congress has some great potential, and makes the game interesting. While playing Canada, which as a civ makes you try to play peacefully, I found myself embroiled in several wars because of emergency sessions or because alliances seem a bit easier to come by in this patch. The grievance system is a welcome change to the ridiculous warmongering penalties, so I like that. And the disasters actually do add a new interesting dynamic to the game, even though the global warming system needs improvement.

    Perhaps after some rebalancing I will give review it as a 9 or 10, but it still needs a bit of work to become the expansion it should be.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
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  20. aguliondew

    aguliondew Chieftain

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    +New Civ/leaders to test out
    +Expanded tech/civ trees so you can get more bonuses at end game.
    +Added a power system that enables you to greatly improve your cities during late game.
    +Disaster can provide a small delay in how you want to play, so mid-game is better.
    +Grievance system is a good improvement over the old system where Civ would be angry at you for something you did 100 turns ago.
    +Added rockbands that increase the speed that you can get culture victories in.
    +The Consumable resources adds make them a valuable trade item now.
    =World Congress is underwhelming most of the time. They should have more options that allow Civs to decide what proposal appear voted on by the civs in game to determine the 2 proposals that appear. (voting for proposal that boost a victory type)
    - Climate change is difficult to understand and prevent, it seems to be effected by mid-late game units.
    - Diplomatic victory take to long to get and science victory take longer to get.
    - The AI is not as arggressive on higher levels now.
     
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