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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. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Well of course they are going to read your blog post. You provided the link and if they wanted to debate with you, presumably they would have to read it.
    That was the whole point of this thread. To have people read your blog and find more people that shared the same opinion as you. Just like your previous thread on the subject.
    Moderator Action: Don't troll other posters here.

    Anyway, you brought up the point of role playing. Role playing is something that I have loved to do ever since the very first game. I usually don't game the system (I didn't care much for "slingshots", "whipping", "chop rushing", ICSing, etc.) in any way, I don't back stab long time allies and I play in a fashion that is at least semi realistic. I play to have fun and tell a story more than I play to win. Glad you seem to share the same play. :)

    However, that is definitely one thing that is a lot harder to do in Civilization 5 since so many things stretch credibility to the limit. For example, if I go to war and am phenomenally successful and capture two of the enemy's cities and don't even lose a single military unit my people will likely be unhappier than before. However, if I do poorly in the war and lose a city as well as 10 military units they'll likely be as happy as before or possibly even happier. Certainly happier than in the first example. Global happiness as a concept compared to localized happiness makes far less sense.

    Teleporting resources is another ridiculous feature. Enemies can sever your trade routes to your capital but resource trades with other civilizations magically float on air and can't be disrupted. Not realistic at all.

    Not being able to have a great general and a spaceship part in the same city because they are both civilian units and yet being able to have 20 airplanes in the same city? How does that make any sense at all?

    Those kind of things just make me shake my head. Writing good AARs is a skill and there were many very good ones for cIV. I still love to read them even now.
    Trying to justify these logical inconsistencies in the latest iteration of the game has lead to much poorer AARs in general.

    Something else that hasn't been touched on, goodie huts are certainly less complex. In order not to upset the mass market/casual crowd, they've removed all negative results. Now, there really is no reason to not explore that goodie hut whereas before, you really had to make a hard decision whether it was worth it or not. Also, removing random events removed those nasty little surprises that forced you to play a little more cautiously since something very unexpected could happen that would throw a big wrench in your plans. You had to roll with the punches and be adaptable.
    It also greatly aided role playing and made for some great storytelling in AARs. Not having negative results just babies the player.

    Barbarians are laughable now. Although, capturing settlers and workers added a new wrinkle, the fact that they never heal is ridiculous and they basically act as cannon fodder. I don't even think they are programmed to capture cities. Raging barbarians on higher difficulty levels in cIV were very challenging and made for some exciting AARs.

    In summation, I find Civilization 5 to be less complex and certainly less engaging role playing wise.
     
  2. Disraeli

    Disraeli Chieftain

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    Civ5 removed Civ4 happiness, health, and maintenance and replaced it with Civ5 happiness which is a limit on both city growth and expansion while Civ4 happiness and health is a limit on city growth and maintenance limits expansion. This means you have to consider the thought required for three game mechanics versus one and there's really no contest.
     
  3. CivCube

    CivCube Feelin' defiant.

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    Um...Civ 4's health didn't really do much. It just meant your cities would grow more slowly, which was actually often a plus for the player.
     
  4. GenjiKhan

    GenjiKhan Emperor

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    Not Necessary.If you complete the Rationalism Branch,you can have a great boom in science and if you have few cities,you'd complete it faster(I know this sp comes in renaissance and you need to sacrifice Piety to take it) but with Patronage Branch,it can make up the differences.about AI intelligence to war,It's terrible and makes us angry :mad:
     
  5. Disraeli

    Disraeli Chieftain

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    It's still something you have to think about. In the industrial/modern era I find that my cities often get so unhealthy that they start starving which might just be because I suck at the game but it's still something I have to plan for and prevent. It's definitely the least complex of the three though.
     
  6. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    So in summation, whereas Civ 4 could be enjoyed equally well by casual, roleplay, and hardcore players alike, it seems as though Civ 5 may only appeal to the former two.

    It is a shame, and maybe it will improve, but from a development perspective, I'm not sure Sid ever really had "hardcore" gamers in mind when he first created Civ. Perhaps that metality had changed with Soren's Civ 4, but tonally, Civ 5 seems to keep the "core" components up quite well, in my opinion.
     
  7. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    I'm not sure where you drew that conclusion from.

    Civilization 5 is certainly harder to roleplay in since the so many game concepts and features are inherently less believable. It's certainly more of a stretch.

    Casual, I can understand since they are trying to sell the game to a mass market and to casual gamers. Streamlining things as well as taking out things that may offend their sensitivities like negative goodie hut results (the first time they've ever done that in the series) and random events which were well received in cIV and certainly aided roleplaying. In that, they've appeased the casual crowd at the expense of long time fans. Mission accomplished.

    As far as hardcore fans go, if you are referring to long time fans that like depth, immersion and interesting gameplay and aren't obsessed with graphics then yes, they aren't pleased with Civilization 5.

    Hardcore fans are what built this series up, buying game after game. They contributed greatly to the success of this franchise. With Civilization 5, this has all being forgotten as they chase the mass market. So yes, I agree that it is a shame. :(

    Moderator Action: Please be more constructive, else such posts are considered spam.
     
  8. Pangur Bán

    Pangur Bán Deconstructed

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    In saying this I risk incurring vengeance from The Man, but the point that most Civ fans are only very slowly realising is that Civ 5 was not made by game-driven developers in the old fashioned sense, but by plain business types. Guys like this are working out how to squeeze more profit out of a game one minute, and how to get more cattle into less space another. Civilization is no longer a game to those who own it, but a brand. That's why Take-Two Interactive Software bought it, because it had brand value. They calculated that they could make a bigger profit than before, and gave Shafer got the job because he was an enthusiastic "nobody" most likely to co-operate:
    *"I have these great ideas",
    *"yes, great ... just make sure you have good graphics and that you're finished by next week".
    I explain here (responding to a claim that we should buy the game anyway as the money will be used for future versions):
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=9848324&postcount=375
    I should have added ... "wine and dine potential reviewers". I don't agree with my last paragraph any more, incidentally, I was a bit naive then. ;)
     
  9. Oneluv

    Oneluv Warlord

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    Seems right to me. The noob got the goldmine, the "hard-core" fan got the shaft.

    Does the O.P. think that perhaps this (de?)evolution could be do to market forces?

    I don't play video games. I play(ed), Civilization. Singularly.

    I'm not going to bother explaining why, it's all been done before, but Civ(II,III,IV) appealed to me. Something about the Civs captured my attention, the game kept me involved and at times enthraled me.

    I was willing to exchange my time, which I hold dear, for the opportunity to play. I don't know what exactly makes a player "hard-core" but I do know I liked playing civ.

    I don't like playing civ anymore. Whatever "Civ-ness" animated the franchise, whatever forces enthralled me are, for the most part, absent.

    Call it lack of depth, call it what you will but CiV just feels mundane. I wouldn't call the game bad but there are just so many other half-assed things in the world it's dissapointing when it hits so closed to home.

    A graphic-centric money grab to the middle. Hmmm, I wonder if this may be the a trend?
     
  10. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    Speculation like this almost always comes from people with little to no experience in game development or publishing. It's one part conspiracy theory, one part anti-capitalism, two parts guesswork.

    That's not to say that I know better. But I know a fact-less concoction when I see one.

    Well first off, having worked briefly at Big Huge Games (PC strat. developer), I can tell you that devs do what they do almost completely for love of their work. They make okay money, not great. They work INSANE hours (the reason I left). They barely get to see their loved ones or have a social life, especially during crunch times.

    You just don't get people to make that kind of sacrifice for a "money grab", not the least of which because most developers do not see any increase in their salaries. They just get steady work while the publisher foots the bill.

    I firmly believe that Firaxis took a long hard look at Civ 4, asked "How can we make this more engaging/streamlined? What parts are integral and what parts are fluff?", and they went from there. It also comes down to vision. Jon Shafer clearly had a vision of where he wanted to take Civ, especially regarding war and hexes.

    I also don't believe that the "hardcore" crowd is what drove sales of the Civ series for these decades. There simply aren't enough hardcore fans to justify the sales numbers each and every new release. Civ has never really been about the hardcore. It may have tipped its hat to the hardcore crowd here and there (which I expect them to do in the future of Civ 5 as well), but this series has always been "aimed" at the middle.

    This all reminds me of a love-stricken boy who makes an angry/tearful plea to a girl he thought loved him too, but she was just being nice to him. She's got nothing against him and would love to consider him a friend, but she isn't going to commit totally to him, and she never really indicated that she would, despite the boy's desperate longing.

    Civ has always been meant for everyone, casual and hardcore alike. I do hope the hardcore crowd gets some bones thrown their way because it would be a shame to remain bitter about all of this. But talking about how awful 2K is and these grand principles that Firaxis abandoned...it's just not true, not from where I've been sitting since Civ 1. I have no dog in this fight other than an entertaining Civ 5, and as much as the hardcore crowd may hate it, people by in large do love Civ 5 (after the popular shooters, it's the most played game on Steam, every day).
     
  11. MkLh

    MkLh King

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    Not quite. Roleplaying is impossible as there aren't meaningful diplo relations ("play to win" -approach) nor enough depth. CiV is for casuals.
     
  12. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    Roleplay implies way more than diplomacy. It implies which social policies you take, how many cities you found, how aggressive you are...really it implies your entire approach to a play session.
     
  13. Pangur Bán

    Pangur Bán Deconstructed

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    Unfortunately this is just the standard way most big successful companies in this era operate (not normally called "conspiracy" fyi), and will be the case whether or not guys like yourself understand or care about it.
     
  14. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    Does 2K want to make money? Of course. Are they subjugating all creativity and vision at Firaxis? Of course not. Sid Meier is one of the few game developers in history to be famous enough that lots of people know him by name. If he wanted to, he could easily switch publishers when contracts expire (something he didn't do between Civ 4 and Civ 5). Like I said, developers don't make games for the same reasons you seem to think they do.

    But anyway, this is all off-topic. Moving on...
     
  15. Pangur Bán

    Pangur Bán Deconstructed

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    2K are just a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive. "Fixaxis" and "Sid Meier" are just branding. Take-Two Interactive execs are the actual decision makers.
     
  16. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    Again, wild speculation. Are you in the meetings? If not, you have no idea how the companies intermingle or what hierarchies exist. Neither of us do.
     
  17. Pangur Bán

    Pangur Bán Deconstructed

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    I hate to shatter anyone's world view, but this isn't wild speculation. Take Two is a public company on the NASDAQ. Its corporate structure is public knowledge. Just check the Wikipedia articles. :)
     
  18. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Moderator Action: Back to the original topic!
     
  19. aatami

    aatami Kuruth Urfarah, kuruth!

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    On the contrary, I think IV is worse for roleplaying since it is filled purely with min-maxing and fiddling with useless values.

    Edit: Ninja'd by J.
    Moderator Action: The above post still stands, back to topic.
     
  20. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    Well I don't know about 4 being "worse" for roleplay than 5. The min/maxing was completely optional. I've roleplayed every version of Civ, even the first one, as much as my little ten year old brain could handle.
     

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