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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. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    I'd like to grapple with those idea further, but you were very vague. How does Civ 5 "fall apart"? War weariness did add an extra constraint to warfare in Civ 4 so yes, it was a bit of complexity. I would argue it was an un-fun bit of complexity, but that's neither here nor there I suppose.
     
  2. Babri

    Babri Emperor

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    Ok. I've added trade routes in the list. :)
     
  3. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    How is the naval system less complex? As far as I can tell, the ships act very similarly to Civ 4.

    And actually, now that you mention it, trade routes are actually more involved in Civ 5, what with having to protect roads fewer roads from pillaging and all.
     
  4. Save_Ferris

    Save_Ferris Admiring Myself

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    Bashing the Wii and Civ? How dare you!:eek:
     
  5. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    Haha. Well I would have thought the Civ 4 vets would at LEAST appreciate that ribbing of the symbol of "mass appeal". ;)
     
  6. logintime

    logintime Warlord

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    I actually have to disagree with Civ 5's military being deeper. Civ 4 had more units and more rock-paper-scissors combos to work with. And while I was always annoyed with the giant stacks of doom, there was an art to them. How many siege weapons should you bring in the stack? How many should you sacrifice for that city? How many of each melee unit? Etc. I found myself thinking about whether to produce an axeman or swordsman a lot more than I do in Civ 5, perhaps because there's just the swordsman.

    As for depth, Civ 4 wins it in a mile. Not because it is more complex as a game- though it most certainly is- but because there are more meaningful decisions to be made. Diplomacy is about building friendships and long term alliances. Religion adds a whole extra element to the game. The economy is more interesting and includes foreign trade routes. Developing your cities is more interesting because the buildings in them are more interesting; you can make a generic city, or a production city, or a GP city, etc. The ways to play Civ 4 are many and varied. I've never quite felt that with Civ 5, as it seems to only have two or three ways to play and all of them have heavy overlap.
     
  7. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    Your point about combat seems to come down to personal taste. As far as rock paper scissors, there was a hint of that in Civ 4, but not to the extent that it mattered greatly. Now, if they put that sort of system in Civ 5, THAT would be interesting (1upt AND deciding between swordsmen/axemen).

    Yeah religion keeps popping up. It does add an extra wrinkle (probably a major one) to diplomacy, but even if you are a fan of it, didn't you find it very constricting? If you could design a religion-like feature to be added to Civ 5, wouldn't you want it to be more...I don't know...roleplay-y? More about dialogue and give and take, rather than a blanket "Me hate Jews!"?
     
  8. logintime

    logintime Warlord

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    I liked it's implementation in Civ 4, but I'm perfectly cool with it being used other ways too. The general "I hate religions that aren't my own" was pretty accurate for most of history (though I think at a certain era that should have gone away; it's not like the US is still vehemently anti-Jewish anymore, or Japan anti-Christian, etc.), but I could work with a roleplay-ish type format as well. It could be a lot of fun in that format, actually, and add more to the (currently lacking) diplomacy!

    Religion in general was such a huge part of human history though, and added so many wrinkles into Civ 4 gameplay, that I was legitimately dismayed when I found out it wasn't going to be in Civ 5. And I say that as an atheist! It definitely needs to be reintroduced in some meaningful manner.
     
  9. seasnake

    seasnake Conquistador

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    I think your article is interesting as far as it a goes, but as a fan of both games I think your analysis ignores some relevant points when determining a more or less complex game. I understand that you probably had to cut off the article at some point, but I still feel it appropriate to mention a few things:

    Diplomacy: In my opinion your article does not really do this topic justice for Civ IV. You basically assert that the presence of religion modifiers was the big difference, but that's just a part of it. The big difference in Civ IV diplomacy is that there were actual, positive steps you could take to build up good relations with the AI and have lasting friendships. In Civ V the AI simply does not do this.

    Further, those relationships had tradeoffs: If I change my civics to Police State and adopt Buddhism I may make a good friend with Montezuma. But by so doing I'm ticking off the Christian bloc and foregoing a bonus with Charlemagne who is also on my borders but believes in Hereditary Rule. Further if Charlemagne hates Montezuma I need to limit my trading to one or the other or I'll lose points (you've traded with our worst enemy). Finally, the UN and Apostolic Resolutions that kicked in gave you a way to really impact someone else's future and you could get points for voting in a way they liked or forego points by voting for a rival. You could also establish colonies or take on vassals as a way to increase your relationship or gain points in the UN.

    Simply put, Civ IV had a variety of ways to make friends, and those ways could just as easily make you enemies.

    Resources: You conceded that CIv IV had a more in-depth happiness system but you ignored one key component of health: The value of multiple food resources. If you built a grocer you had incentive to trade another civ your bananas for their deer. You wanted to deal with Health but you did so in a way that made more resources useful. Further resources that impacted building and wonder production, like Stone, Marble, Iron, Copper have been replaced by Marble which boosts all wonders. If I had no copper but wanted to build the Colossus in Civ IV I had a huge incentive to acquire some, perhaps even trade the more valuable Iron to a civ with Copper.

    Tech Tree: this was simply in ignored but in my opinion it is too important to do so. The Tech Tree in Civ V is much simpler and far less elegant than Civ IV. I arrive at this conclusion for the following reasons: First, the tech tree In Civ IV had far more incentives to pursue various branches. Being the first to certain techs would found religions, others would yield free great people, others would reveal key resources. So as you raced through the tech tree you often had many competing priorities. Second, the tech tree in Civ IV was not nearly as linear in Civ V. In Civ V I can just look at something I want and beeline it in a pretty direct turn, Civ IV the tech tree twisted and wove in and out. Finally units and buildings often, sensibly, required multiple techs. In Civ V I can train Cavalry without ever researching Rifling, which makes little sense. To build the Great Lighthouse in Civ IV I needed Masonry and Sailing, so I had to take them to get both techs

    Espionage: Clearly no comparable system. Espionage was a whole new level of investment and strategy, instead of building siege weapons you could send agents to start a revolt, or you could steal key techs. You could invest counter espionage or not, but it was another layer of decision making that could really impact gameplay, not really a complex for complexity’s sake type of mechanism.
     
  10. seasnake

    seasnake Conquistador

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    Now I do think that Civ V will get to the point where it is as in depth as Civ IV BTS. I think eventually there will be espionage, a health system that focuses on individual city growth and production to supplement global happiness, a revamping of the tech tree, more positive diplo modifiers and more resource variety. But we're not there yet, and to be the man you've got to beat the man. Civ V is great, but it simply has not eclipsed it's predecessor.
     
  11. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    I agree, the idea of "religion" should be in Civilization, in one way or another. And I am also an atheist.

    I just want diplomacy to be about interpersonal interactions more than they have ever been (in any Civ game). I like that the current AI is aware of your troop movements and that's a good first step, but it needs to go further.
     
  12. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    Oh I absolutely agree. "Friendship" in Civ 5 is almost impossible to maintain, often disappearing on a whim by the AI. Plus friendship doesn't seem to help you in any regard, other than the AI asking for handouts (which in my book, is a negative, not a positive).

    Admittedly, I never played like this. Changing my religion and civics to make other leaders happy...god it's like highschool! :) Like I said in a previous post, maybe I was missing out on some deeper level of diplomacy, but that style of play would totally ruin the immersion of "building a civilization".

    Yeah I didn't bring this up for a reason. Either there just isn't enough of a difference between the games, or I'm too unsophisticated to notice. Since you seem to think there is a difference, I'll just assume that I'm not hardcore enough to notice, so I concede the point.

    Yeah as said in a previous post, I hope they add an espionage system into the game. I never really liked Civ 4's espionage, but I'm hoping they create a whole new one that is more interesting to me (personal taste, I know).
     
  13. captainmission

    captainmission Chieftain

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    i'd say that's an example of the point sephi was making; that civ4 had more interaction of various subsystems.

    In Civ 5 you link you cities to the capital and once you've done that then trade routes are done. There's no real question of whether you do that it just obvious (barring some inland empire of massively spread out cities where the road maintiance would be greater than trade route income). Its a closed system with no contection with other aspects of the game. And unless you playing a different AI than i, i've never know the ai to deliberately try sever a trade route. I've occasionally had barbarian ship float in to my habour town, but then that happens in civ 4 too,

    In civ4 i've got variouss stratergies i can adopt with trade routes. opening boarders gets me more income, so the diplo system plays a role. choosing mercantilism impacts my foreign trade routes so civics affects it. Various buildings increase number of, or income of, trade routes, especially in costal cities. I could build the great lighthouse and rex up the coast to off set the maintiance. So depending on how i played on how i trade routes could be anything from a small bonus to essential part of my economy. Now that's depth.
     
  14. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    I think this thread has a good discussion on the merits and demerits of Civilization 5.
    Quite a few pros and cons are discussed. Perhaps it could be of some use.

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=394565&highlight=crispy+gamer

    As far as Religion goes, it added depth and made diplomacy interesting.
    It also modeled world history fairly well. Many wars have been started in the name of religion down through the ages. After the scientific revolution, the reason for wars became more because of nationalism than religion. It also added depth and personality to the AI Civs which are now just hollow drones and as interesting as a stack of wet newspapers.

    Trade routes are also a total joke. Not realistic and simplified to the point that everything merely trades through your capital. It's not complex, interesting or realistic.

    Also, when you trade resources with an AI Civ, you don't even need to trace a trade route with him/her. The resource magically teleports to you. It even teleports from the trading partner over enemy territory, even if you are at war with that enemy.

    This game was obviously released far too early. At least one year too early if not two.
    The truly sad thing is that the only area that might even be considered more complex (and that is debatable) is the combat system. However, the AI is so awful that any complexity to do with the combat system is quickly forgotten as the AI is too moronic to use it even remotely correctly. At least in cIV, the AI could use the stack system fairly effectively and present a reasonable challenge.

    That likely won't change in the future. As Jon Shafer himself said, it isn't worth it financially to build a great AI. For that reason alone, the game is and will remain quite mediocre. Adding more complexity will not be deemed financially viable for that reason. The future is bleak.
     
  15. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    Good points all.
     
  16. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    All I can say is I hope you are wrong. And since Jon Shafer is not working at Firaxis anymore, maybe that's one more reason to hope, if he really did downplay AI as you say.
     
  17. Oneluv

    Oneluv Warlord

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    Perfectly laid lines
    Sephi is most masterful
    Mana is bottomless.
     
  18. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    I really doubt that unfortunately. :(

    I am a fan of Stardock games and I frequent the forums there as well. Jon Shafer comes across as a standup kind of guy. I get the distinct impression that he was just "following orders" at Firaxis. He embraced the new company philosophy as best he could and finally quit out of disgust when he couldn't take it anymore.

    As far as being wrong, you know what? I really hope I am. I have been playing Civ games since 1992 and have always been a big fan of the series. The latest game has been a real eye opener though. By going the mass market route, they have emphasized graphics over gameplay and reduced Civilization to merely being a fluff game.

    I hope by some miracle that Civ VI will return to its roots but I really don't see that happening. As mediocre as Civilization 5 is, I think it sold fairly well. Adding in all the DLC and a constant money stream, there is really no incentive for them to change.
    So it likely will be a game that is released early (to satisfy 2K Games), not complex (as that's what the mass market wants) and with a crappy AI. (Because it doesn't make economic sense to make a good one.) More of the same.

    For those reasons, I am not optimistic. A good AI is expensive. Great graphics are expensive. Which do you think they will choose? :(
     
  19. logintime

    logintime Warlord

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    I have to say, this is one of the best "Civ 4 vs. Civ 5" threads I've seen. There's none of the sniping that usually finds it's way into these sorts of conversations. Intead, it's a calm rational discussion of the merits and weaknesses of both, and what constitutes depth. I'm enjoying it a lot.
     
  20. seasnake

    seasnake Conquistador

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    This does bring up one point in favor Civ V that I didn't mention: Roads. Roads and cutting roads are now really important in this game, because there are so few and they are tied to unit movement/trade routes. In history roads and control of roads has always played an important role, so I am glad to see that.
     

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