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Civilization 5 Rants Thread

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by ori, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Bad Brett

    Bad Brett King

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    Yep. Of all the stupidiness, that might very well be the most idiotic design decision they made. It makes absolutely no sense to penalize the player for building roads in a 1upt game.

    Road costs would actually add some tactics to a game like Civ IV, where you would have the option to slow down the opponent by placing good defensive on the road, to block the enemy SoD to reach the main attack force. You'd be forced to build the roads in smart places, and you would have to decide if you were willing to take the risk of only having one road.

    However, in Civ V, since only one unit can use occupy the tile, you can't really block the road in an effective way, and even if you could, it would only affect a couple of units, since most of the units are going to walk beside the road.

    It's so stupid that I still can't believe that this made it past the beta testing. The stupidiness of this is not my opinion, it's a freakin' fact. I can't imagine that even the most hardcore fans of this game could defend this design decision. It's like the developers were brainstorming and wrote down 100 ideas, mixed them all in bag, without even discussing how they would affect each other.

    The more I think of it, the more stupid it seems:

    Ok, I get the problem. The SoD's got incredibly large and people would get pissed when Monty conquered your pretty civilization with 40 knights and you really had no chance to stop him.

    The easy solution would of course be to make armies more expensive, increase war weariness, make city walls and such more powerful, turning other AI's against the aggressive civilization and so on.

    What did they do? Quite the opposite of what you would expect. Instead of making armies more expensive, they reduced the tile yields which affect everything else in the game as well. They decided to completely remove war weariness, so you can now fight an eternal war without any consequenses, (except for accidently capturing cities that is). Even though the cities can defend themselves, you can no longer stack 20 units behind your city walls and hope for the best. And the AI will always hate you, so it doesn't really matter if you try to play nice.

    When you think of it... they decided to go with 1upt to remove the SoD's... And in order to make it playable, they had to reduce the number of units, by lowering the tile yields. But wasn't the entire problem with the SoD's that there were to many units? Do you see I mean? They want to decrease the number of units in the game, and somebody shouts "Hey, let's add the 1upt rule! That will fix it for sure!". But in order to implement, they must find other ways to reduce the number of units. So basically, they could have skipped the 1upt rule and just decreased the production values, and the SoD's would have been gone anyway. So what was the purpose? Probably to turn Civ into a board-game-like tactical war game ala Panzer General.

    Fans of this game will often claim that I "just want Civ 4.5" or something like that, but I actually really wanted a new, different Civ game. I actually like the idea with hexes and 1upt before I tried the actual game and if it was implemented in another way, I might actually enjoy it. But the problem is that nothing seems to fit together.

    Lower tile yields and limited resources would be more than enough to stop the SoD. If they still thought it would be a problem, they could give all units the ability to cause collateral damage. This could actually lead to some interesting tactical decisions. Should I send of my units out to block the enemy road, or should I keep it in the stack? But no, instead of giving the player the option to make tactical decisions, they force you to do it.

    This leads me to another stupid thing: The removal of transport ships. Sure, it was not fun to transport that SoD with 40 units across the world and then sit there with 10 empty transport ships with nothing to do. But since the SoD's are gone, you would now only need a couple of ships. So again, the purpose of adding the embarkment feature, is clearly to make it easier to move your army between different islands. But since you have so few units to worry about, this wouldn't have been a problem anymore. Would it be such a problem to build a single transport ship? Heck, you could even give military ships the ability to transport units if you wanted to streamline it that badly.

    So I guess the bottom line is: Nothing makes sense.
     
  2. ezwip

    ezwip Prince

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    I gave up on Civ 5 long ago pleasw wake me up from the nightmare when they get rid of 1up.
     
  3. Andulias

    Andulias A Stranger on a Train

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  4. lollibast

    lollibast Warlord

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    another day another rant,
    actually I want to praise it today or put it like this:
    I liked Civ4, then i played civ5, now i love civ4

    oh and to posts on page 93 or so:
    yeah, professional (name says it) gamereviewers suck, just like whores, they do it and get money for it. hey lured me into buying Civ5 and D3, thank you for that!!
    http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/diablo-iii the discrpancy between critics score and user score is just industry-shattering
     
  5. Funky

    Funky Emperor

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    @Bad Brett: Thing is, noone knows who had the 1UPT idea, but its implementation was the birth of the myth that stacks are terrible. Interestingly, before Civ 5 stacks were hardly ever regarded as something bad. Sure, the term "stacks of doom" was coined, but it was usually used in a humorous way to emphasize the threat presented. In fact, compared to earlier Civ games, it was a great improvement, adding strategic depth to stack composition and combat in general.

    Advantages of stacks are:

    - more depth in war preparation (decide on stack composition, number of stacks etc)

    - more depth in combat by adding aspects like collateral damage and flank attacks (decide if using siege weapons / flank attack / suiciding weaker units first etc is worth it; be wary of enemy counter attacks when invading unknown territory)

    - easier movement and less tedious (move whole stack instead of every single unit seperately)

    - realistic

    - epic feeling having built a huge army and marching it against an opponent. Feel the despair when your stack gets beaten due to tactical mistakes or good defense, and the joy when managing to kill large enemy armies.

    - the AI can play it. When the AI declared war it was usually a big threat to your empire instead of a nuisance of having to wipe out dozens of troops with an archer or two in the following rounds.

    - I'm sure there are many more benefits of stacks, but the most important one is:
    While stacks involve tactical elements in battles, these are not overstressed. War is usually decided by which civ has the better economy, technology and better production, which are results of strategic empire management. In other words, while war is more than just a simulation of troops fighting (and on high difficulties tactics are in fact very important), at its heart the game stays an empire building game. This is in my opinion why Civ 5 feels so wrong (apart from its many inexcusable flaws in other areas): the entire empire building feeling - the ambition of achieving a functioning and flourishing economy as the backbone of your army - has become totally meaningless. This is because it's not the strategic empire building decisions that will win you wars (or let you prosper in other areas), but the use of tactics in battles. Who cares what buildings you build, or if you make the most out of your economy, if the impact of these decisions on wars is minimal, compared to use of tactics. In quintessence, the soul of the civ series was ripped out (it was always about empire management, with war only being one aspect among many). Of course to make it worse, the game fails terribly at the all-decisive tactical overlayer by employing a horrendous AI.

    It's just funny how today civ 5 is defended by pointing to civ 4's supposedly terrible stacks, when there was nothing inherently wrong with them. Frequent comments, which show a serious lack in understanding this entire genre, are things like "you just had to build the bigger stack and steamroll your opponent". Duh, of course we'd like to have the bigger stack but our economy will decide if we are able to pull it off. This is how it should be in an empire building game as opposed to winning by use of superior tactics. Even if the AI wasn't the total desaster that it is in Civ 5, the whole system would still be wrong, as the game is decided by the armies, not by the empires behind them. And as far as I know, the game is still called "Civilization" and not "Armies".

    Now before I get another "you are overgloryfying Civ 4" comment thrown at me (another popular strawman used by Civ 5 defenders as a response to rational arguments), I am not saying that Civ 4's stack system was perfect. In the modern era when stacks became large war did become tedious. Which leads back to the question by Bad Brett: Why not fix the flaws of an inherently good system instead of replacing it with a system that destroys the heart of the game? There are basically two possibilities: Either the designers were not aware of the problems of 1UPT (in which case they should pack their bags and find another job) or it was a conscious decision along the lines of that a tactical war game appeals more to the mass market than an empire strategy game. The latter would at least be understandable in an economic sense (assuming the premise is true, which I doubt), but as both aspects fail horribly in Civ 5 there is not much ground left to defend the implementation of 1UPT on.
     
  6. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    As someone who spent many hours arguing over how to 'fix' SoDs in the Ideas & Suggestions subforum before Civ5 was announced, I feel I can contend that this is patently untrue.

    That's all I wanted to say; I wish to make no comment on 1upt here. :)
     
  7. Funky

    Funky Emperor

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    @Camikaze: Further down in my post I said myself that the implementation of stacks in Civ 4 had flaws. I wouldn't say stacks needed a "fix", but they could be improved, no doubt. However, there was definitely no general consensus that stacks themselves were inherently terrible, as was heard so often after Civ 5 was released in order to defend the game.
     
  8. gps

    gps King

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    Totally agree on what you said. Civ I was about empire building. War was part of it, but not the main focus. For me it was enough strategy to build the bigger army to win a battle. I am not interested in tactical battle field stuff, which does not make too much sense anyway in most historic areas except the most modern ones. I can understand Camikaze's comment, that people who wanted to play a more intense tactical game might not have been completely happy with any of the earlier games implementation of warfare. Fair enough, they might have a point here and might get what they wanted with V. Does not change the fact, that Civ IV is (and probably will stay for quite some time) the most advanced, prettiest, most balanced and most complex version of the original "Civilization I - Build an Empire to Stand the Test of Time" gameplay concept. Established features like BFC, sliders, revolutions, you name it, it's all in place where it belongs. It's not totally perfect, and to be honest there were phases when I quit playing Civ IV because I was hoping for something even more advanced, improved and more perfect. But after seeing how V turned out, I had to return remorseful to Civ IV - because with the way the franchise turned there was not much else to expect to improve on what started with I. For me IV is the best and most worthwhile version of "traditional" Civ. If there are people who want to call that "overgloryfying Civ IV" and blame me for it - well, I guess I can live with it. That does not mean I hate V or would never play it, but it's just something else. It's like the Phantom Menace of Star Wars or the Casino Royale of the Bond Series. It does not quite fit...
     
  9. Treedweller

    Treedweller Chieftain

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    I'm not sure if you're using the right Bond film. Casino Royale was great.
     
  10. Revent

    Revent Will SIP

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  11. Treedweller

    Treedweller Chieftain

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    What's wrong with that review? It gives more detail than most I've read.
     
  12. Bad Brett

    Bad Brett King

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    It's obviously bought...
     
  13. Andulias

    Andulias A Stranger on a Train

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    Yes, of course, obviously. Anyone who disagrees with you was bought. Obviously.

    EDIT: No, I don't think I stressed it enough. You are saying that 2KGames bought a review in a publication that absolutely nobody in the gaming industry cares about for an expansion pack to an actual PC exclsuive. Do you understand on how many levels that sounds ridiculous?
     
  14. digitalcraft

    digitalcraft Warlord

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    Its unfortunate this wouldn't fit in a quote box. I like stacks soooo much better. I was willing to entertain the idea when civ5 was in development that 1upt might be interesting but good god it makes civ5 tedious. 10 minutes of pushing around individual units and having the mill about so you don't end up with your catapults at the front is so freaking boring.

    I'd actually like it if they made combat even less involved than civ 4. Just point to where you want your generals to fight and let them handle turning your military output into military conquest. Then, put all the complexity in to diplomacy and more internal random events to deal with. Mini quests, internal political strife, etc. Make revolts causing new rival factions and civil wars an integral part of the game.
     
  15. Esoteric Arcane

    Esoteric Arcane Warlord

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    I like the war aspect as it has been Digitalcraft, I wouldnt want them to change that aspect into what they did with my trade (caravan) and espionage units :-(
     
  16. Jayman1000

    Jayman1000 Prince

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    I don't think the review was bought, for the reasons you mention. However, the review is very bad. There are almost no criticism and the reviewer don't get in much detail. The review is effectively worthless.
     
  17. Bad Brett

    Bad Brett King

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    Yes! Isn't it funny that with all this "streamlining" going on, combat is the one thing they never touch.

    Take the Settlers series for example:

    The point of the game was originally to build a smooth working trade network. You needed lumberjacks, carpenters and stonecutters to build more buildings, you needed farms, mills and bakeries to feed your miners, you needed coal, iron and gold to produce swords and shields and pay for the military training.

    ...And then you build 200 swordmen and steamroll the map, right?!

    Nope. You just click on the enemy you wish to attack and select how many soldiers you want to send. That's it. The actual combat is completely luck based. There are no battle tactics, you only have one type of unit and you can't even retreat if you're losing the battle.

    In my opinion, this was a rather streamlined design. The goal was to build up the economy and since the battles were purely based on luck, the player with the best economy would (almost) always win.

    However, in Settlers III they gave you the ability to move your units around. They added new unit types such as archers, spearmen and priets. It suddenly felt a lot more like playing Warcraft. You would even have to worry about building roads. But at least the economy part remained... However, now you could simply use your magic priests to get whatever you were lacking.

    But then someone realised that the economy part of the game was far too complex, so they decided to "streamline" that area of the game by removing a lot of the buildings and making it even easier to build a working economy. And of course, they added "heroes" with unique abilities that you could control all the time.

    So really, while the developers are talking about "streamlining", this rarely seems to affect the military aspect of the game (though there are rare examples of companies streamlining EVERYTHING, like in the RPG Final Fantasy XIII where towns have been removed and you should walk on a straight line fighting enemies, using the "Auto-Battle" feature). But really, being able to collect 50 units in a SoD and just move it to an enemy city is pretty much my idea of what "streamlining" should be. But no, since we all know that moving troops around is the most fun part of ANY game, let's add depth to that area and streamline everything else. I guess the next step is to include a FPS feature, so that you actually can participate in the combat.

    That was kind of a joke. However, since he's been playing the game for weeks he obviously got an early copy. Writing a negative review = no more early copies. Simple as that.
     
  18. Andulias

    Andulias A Stranger on a Train

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    Yeah, the thing about early copies is, no, not really. It' isn't as simple as that. This coming from someone with a first-hand experience.
     
  19. ohioastronomy

    ohioastronomy King

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    An absolute chasm has opened up between professional reviews and user reviews. The professional reviews are almost uniformly glowing, while the user reviews range from extremely positive to extremely negative. Civ 5, Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3 and Diablo 3 are just a few recent examples of games which received "professional" critical acclaim and were roundly panned by users. Note that actually good games (e.g. Skyrim) can get very high user reviews too.

    What's truly damning about the professional reviews is that they ignore or discount significant design flaws. At Civ 5 launch, for example, you could defeat the computer AIs at deity with 4 horsemen. The reviews didn't bother to note, or factor into their ratings, the incompetent and psychotic AI. Many simply read as press releases. At this point I assume that the gaming review system is hopelessly compromised, and I wait for the verdicts of people who actually understand the game series and can critique the changes in a new version. The user recommended reviews in places like Amazon or Metacritic tell me more about what a new game is like than the glowing "professional" xeroxes of press releases.

    And, yep, Civ 5 is what you get when you hand over a major intellectual property to a 23 year old designer and a bunch of suits chasing the FarmVille crowd.
     
  20. Andulias

    Andulias A Stranger on a Train

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    I don't see what makes you think user reviews are any better. The only Reason Diablo 3 has such a low score is the always-online thing. Most of the low scores come from people who haven't even played the game. Mass Effect 3 was an amazing game right up until the last 15 minutes. Should we ignore the awesome 40 hours that came before that and give it all 0s? I don't think so!

    The truth is, most people go to Metacritic to whine, not to objectively evaluate a game. Which instantly renders for me 90% of the user reviews as rubbish. I mean, just look at the scores of previous Civ games:

    Civ 2: 8.9
    Civ III: 8.0
    CIV: 7.8

    CIV has less than 8. Less than the mess that's Civ III vanilla. I rest my case.

    NOTE: I do not excuse reviewers for the 9s CiV got. The reasons are slightly different than you think though. Most of them aren't civ fanatics, they haven't played 4 to death and, what's worse, they didn't have enough time to truly test out the game. It all comes down to a general lack of experience with the series and time constraints, with the good track record of the series factoring in as well. However CiV still has a lower score than CIV :p
     

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