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Civilization "Depth" - A Civ 4 vs. Civ 5 Comparison

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by stethnorun, May 14, 2011.

  1. Helmling

    Helmling Philosopher King

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    And it would be undeniably MORE complex if each of those positives also involved taking into consideration other variable that could, under different circumstances, have negative consequences.

    In modeling the complexity of history and the "real" world, CiV should take into consideration the idea that every choice is a trade off, not just of the opportunity cost of another beneficial choice, but of the possibility that the choice could come back and bite you in the rear.
     
  2. jbevermore

    jbevermore Warmongering Menace

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    Agree with this. My favorite example is still Alpha Centauri (RTS par excellence).

    When making your Civic choices you could go a lot of different ways. Want an army of religious fanatics ready to die at your command? Going to have a weak science rating in exchange. Powerful free market economy? Pollution nightmare (and in AC that meant getting attacked by psychic worms. It's as scary as it sounds).

    The Civ 5 method isn't bad, and I kinda like the idea that civic choices aren't something you change at the drop of a hat but are organic and grow over time. But I do feel like it's a false choice at times, what choices you make are totally governed by your playstyle and victory path. It's been improved since release, but still needs work.
     
  3. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    In the complexity of the "real" world it also doesn't take 400 years to build a grain silo.
     
  4. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    I feel silly for actually writing this down, but here goes.
    It doesn't matter how many units you have, how many cities, how many social policies, how many techs. It only matters how many of these you have compared to the strongest of the AIs. You can pursue a certain victory type (OOC) from start or decide after 200 turns. All it matters is that you win. Please stop trying to turn Civilization into something that isn't = your own brainchild game.
     
  5. jbevermore

    jbevermore Warmongering Menace

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    You're being a bit unfair. As Civ is a "model" of the real world, it's not wrong to discuss how it does and does not relate.
     
  6. Graven

    Graven Chieftain

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    I think the victories heavily funnel through the one unit per title game design. In Civ 4, if the AI was stronger, the stack of doom owned you and that was all there was to it. In Civ 5, the AI can be 5x stronger than me and I can crush them easily as I watch them haplessly move their troops in circles.

    Now, that point is somewhat separate from my overall strategy point, but it deserves consideration since it's a built in advantage for human players. I don't need to be as on top of things as I did in Civ 4 because the AI is less of a military threat.

    I think the two games are very different and as of now, Civ 5 just doesn't measure up (in multiple ways). That's not to imply that it never will though -- it might just take an expansion or two of refinement. And I assure you, that's exactly what I'm hoping for.
     
  7. jagdtigerciv

    jagdtigerciv Prince

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    Remember when I said this on page 2? This thread is why ... :rolleyes:

    Moderator Action: Not a helpful comment. :)
     
  8. wcbarney

    wcbarney Know-it-all

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    I totally sucked at Civ IV -- I think partly because my rig sucked. I managed a few frustrating and unsatisfying "Dan Quayle" wins, and then donated the game to the Salvation Army and went on to something else. So I didn't like Civ IV. I don't suck at Civ V; am pretty darned good at it, in fact, so I like it.:)
     
  9. Graven

    Graven Chieftain

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    I think the idea is that more people are good at Civ 5 because it's easier. It's less complicated on a turn by turn basis and the AI is MUCH weaker at comparative difficulty levels. The desired result is that Civ 5 should be open to a wider audience...the lasting result is that the game will fade at a much faster rate than Civ 4 did -- that's always the result when dealing with such a game design since there's no draw to keep higher level players interested on a prolonged timeline.

    I'm not knocking Civ 5 -- I enjoy it...but there's no reason to pretend it's something it's not.
     
  10. sketch162000

    sketch162000 Warlord

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    I think this is where a lot of rage at the SoD model comes from, and conversely why a lot of people prefer 1upt--I know that it's why I was initially glad to see stacking go.

    The problem is that, for the most part, the larger army SHOULD win, realistically. Sure, you have an odd Thermopylae every now and again, but Civ V goes way overboard in that nearly every battle is stupidly easy to win. Before, military strategy in Civilization was more about managing your nation well enough to have an effective army, and investing in the right troops. With the rush buying in V, that level of thinking has been totally replaced with basic battlefield tactics. The AI is so bad at tactical maneuvering that it ends up being a waste, though.
     
  11. Civ4Brains

    Civ4Brains imperfectus

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    took a while to get back to this thread.

    because:

    didn't come across at all preachy.
     
  12. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    It is when you run afoul of gameplay considerations. Besides, the game/company doesn't call civ V a model, it calls it a game, and for a reason.

    Also, the implication that EVERY action should have potentially negative consequences (beyond opportunity cost) is completely ridiculous. Opportunity cost is a legit negative, by the way. Ignoring it can easily cost a player games, something of which it is very very hard to convince many rookies and even some veterans.
     
  13. joyous_gard

    joyous_gard Prince

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    Opportunity cost does not a fun game make.
     
  14. Celevin

    Celevin King

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    Opportunity cost is directly related to decision making. In every game that you are forced to make a decision, the opportunity cost is what you would have received had you did the other. Presented as a mathematical equation*, every decision has a negative effect which is just the opportunity cost of not doing the other choice. It's just how the information is presented. The drawback of taking a policy is the opportunity cost of not taking another. City maintenance is almost entirely an opportunity cost (unlike civ4) as happiness and policy gain lost can be made up for with getting more culture/happiness buildings.

    Hell, I can really extend this. The opportunity cost in Tic Tac Toe of putting an X in a spot is *not* putting X in a spot that blocks O.


    *: As a mathematician, I feel dirty for using the phrase in that way.


    While it's easier, I also think it has an illusion of being easier on top. In Civ4, you can pretty much plan your empire as you go. In Civ5, you plot your moves much more in advance. For example, placing a new city doesn't have any immediate disadvantages, but over the course of the next 50 turns you won't get as many population growth and policies.

    If the game all of a sudden became harder due to better AI and the removal of certain cheese (RA blocking, puppets, longswords slingshots), people would have to account for this delayed rewards/pitfalls even more. Those who couldn't would have too bump down 1-2 difficulties.
     
  15. Kaosprophet

    Kaosprophet Warlord

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    Not entirely. I've seen some pretty hefty kill ratios in some of the Deity AW challenges that popped up in the Civ4 S&T thread - even with SoD over 1UPT, the AI can still be enticed into throwing away bucketloads of troops.

    Perhaps not as easily, but neither is it quite as cut-and-dry as you make it out to be.
     
  16. joyous_gard

    joyous_gard Prince

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    My point was all I feel in Civ V is "Opportunity Cost." It's like the whole game is a lesson on opportunity cost and that's not fun. I appreciate your lesson on opportunity cost, but that's not fun either.
     
  17. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Since this is a response quoting something I wrote, how does this relate to what I was quoted for saying? Please clarify the argument and how it ties into what I said a bit.

    I did not say that solely relying on opportunity costs makes a game fun, but rather that they are legit decision constraints, and that constant negative tradeoffs are ridiculous. How does the statement I'm quoting fit into this? I don't understand.

    Seeing this, perhaps it is more clear but I'm still lost as to why my post was addressed in particular. Civ V has significant penalty elements:

    1. Declaring war
    2. Capturing cities
    3. Moving units into places where they die or attacking anything for that matter
    4. Denouncing AI, or making other requests that anger it
    5. Building ANY city improvement that costs maintenance
    6. Settling cities beyond the first one
    7. Training units
    8. Dealing with civs others hate
    9. Trying to win in certain ways (a rather convoluted mechanic, but a legit negative beyond opp cost)
    10. Building roads

    These are just off the top of my head, there are definitely others. However, all of them have direct cost penalties, not just opportunity cost.

    Also, the argument that direct costs are fun while opportunity costs are not fun is illogical. They are, in fact, both real costs of doing something in-game. The strategy analysis on whether or not you do something factors both in the exact same way. The only difference with opportunity cost is that they're a little less obvious up-front, they're not actually treated any differently from direct costs............and note that opportunity cost consideration is paramount to ALL strategy games. Yes, all of them. There's no escaping it. If one doesn't like opportunity costs as a necessary factor in optimal play, strategy games are the wrong genre (although note that even games like call of duty and halo carry opportunity cost decisions that, if analyzed properly, lead to better play).

    Lecture or not, factoring opportunity costs is a critical part of decision making in both games and practical real life scenarios. My best advice is to pick things where doing that is the most enjoyable/least annoying.
     
  18. jbevermore

    jbevermore Warmongering Menace

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    Oh heck no, I didn't mean every single action you take (IE, I'm not a fan of building having maintenance costs in Civ 5, I much preferred the Civ 4 method).

    Mostly I meant that with social policy choices, I loved the min/maxing you could do in Alpha Centauri with different strengths and weaknesses of the different Civ's and government/economy types. I feel like that's never been replicated in any Civ, the differences between the Gaians and the Morganites compared to the French and the Germans don't even begin to compare.
     
  19. Graven

    Graven Chieftain

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    That's a semantical way of viewing it though -- those penalties are "immediate" in a very real sense, especially when dealing with the delayed policy. So while it's not a hard penalty in the sense that it was in Civ4, it does change how you will play the rest of the game and what victory condition you'll be chasing, making the impact instant. Assuming you could afford it, new cities were always a good thing in Civ4, in Civ5, building new cities more often than not feel like a bad thing -- which is one of the many reasons why so many games feel very similar in Civ5. By hindering horizontal growth, one ends up playing a bunch of games where you found three cities or so, puppet an empire, and move on to win however you please.

    The difference though is not the various cheeses, it's the threat of the AIs. As I mentioned, the AI can have 5x the units I do and I can sit back and mow them all down with a handful of units -- and I'm not about to pretend I'm some brilliant military tactician, it's just that easy to do.
     
  20. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    It is true that they are more "different" than Civ teams, but I don't think that the only way you can get that is by handing out negatives. What if Morgan had say, +4 Economy and +0 Environment (or whatever the attributes were called, can't remember), and the Gaians had +4 Environment and +0 economy, instead of -2/+2? You'd of course have to balance out with the other "civs," but the point is that you could do the same thing without handing out penalties.

    They could give the current civs more extreme abilities if they wanted, but maybe they felt that those fit more in a scifi environment than in one that is historically-based.

    I'm neither for nor against penalties, but I think that it's silly to say that a game that uses more penalties is more "complex," emphasis on the quotation marks.

    EDIT: taking away the negative modifiers in the example above also doesn't mean that there aren't negative consequences in taking one of those factions over the other. The same, very real, choices are still there.
     

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