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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. ohioastronomy

    ohioastronomy King

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    I'll have to disagree with you I'm afraid. If you put in a game concept that your AI can't properly handle you've done a bad job, regardless of the theoretical merits.
     
  2. Sullla

    Sullla Patrician Roman Dictator

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    Echoing some of the others here, there's nothing wrong with preferring Civ5 over Civ4. You can play whatever games you like, and it's ultimately your opinion. However, if you're going to write an article arguing that there's no difference in depth between the two games, then you're straying outside the realm of opinion and into the area of (objective? heh) facts. It's very difficult to make the case that Civ5's gameplay works at the same level of depth as Civ4. We can go through a million examples, but all you have to look at is the difference between the cottage and the trading post. Civ4's tile improvement grows organically over time, and is modified by several different technologies and civics. Civ5's tile improvement stays almost entirely the same, with one lategame tech and social policy altering the trading post. It's a very simple way to see the different scales on which the two games operate.

    What really undercuts the argument though is the admission that the original poster never played Civ4 in depth. I'm not talking about difficulty level either - he wrote that he never did much with changing religions or civics and so on. How can you argue that Civ4 didn't really have much strategic depth if you never took the time to experience it yourself? It would be as if I put on my "stupid American" hat and said something like this:

    Obviously I would look rather foolish if I actually believed something like that, based on a dismal ignorance of how international soccer is played. I feel that this article is operating on much the same level, trying to tell readers why Civ4 doesn't really have any more depth than Civ5, despite never taking the time to understand how Civ4 works. It undercuts your position and make you look a bit silly. Now again, there's nothing wrong with the writer preferring Civ5, or having more fun with it... but that's not what the article was claiming. It was claiming that there was no difference in complexity between the two games, which is simply not true. It took me years to master Civ4, while I had Civ5 pretty much solved in six weeks. Firaxis went and revamped many of the core mechanics, because the game had been so thoroughly solved and trashed by the online community! With no offense intended, it's hard to take this article seriously.

    One other link for you. If you really don't believe that Civ4's combat was significantly more complex than Civ5, try reading this link here. It's from a Play By Email Game currently ongoing, where one player was fighting a pitched battle in Industrial era against a very large, technologically superior opponent's army. If anything, the complaint about Civ4's combat should be that it's *TOO* complex! :lol: Remember, regarding combat:

    Civ5: what unit do I put on each tile?
    Civ4: how many units, and in what combination, do I put on each tile?
     
  3. regoarrarr

    regoarrarr King

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    The actual battle that Sullla references starts on post #358, so depending on your forum settings you may need to advance pages. Of course, I'd argue that the whole thread is worth a read :lol:
     
  4. CivCube

    CivCube Feelin' defiant.

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    You just compared Civ 4 to Alpha Centauri. :clap: More diversity in unit combos still makes for more diverse units, regardless of how those units are set up.

    And again, I think if Civ 5 focused more on interesting, different terrain, or game mechanics that changed the map in significant ways, then it would have something to truly differentiate itself from Civ 4. As it is, it's IMO a good Civ 4 mod for casual play.
     
  5. PotatoOverdose

    PotatoOverdose Prince

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    From what I've seen of Civ 5 immortal-deity play, civ 5 is a one trick pony in terms of complexity. You improve a luxury resource, and sell it to the AI for 300 gold. Repeat as much as possible as quickly as possible. Seriously, look at all of the deity/immortal games in the strategy forums. They all come down to this.

    There are no similar one trick ponies for Civ 4 immortal-deity play. For each game you had to tailor your approach based on your starting location, your neighbors, what type of economy you want to run (CE, SE, Espionage Economy). Those three types of economy led to fundamentally different experiences. Furthermore, it was impossible to know which would work for a given map until you got some decent scouting done and established relations with your neighbors.

    In Civ V, for the first half of the game (at least on deity/immortal) there is one type of economy. Its the luxury-resource-AI-ATM-machine economy, there really are no other viable choices. You can't run a pure SE for example. How is Civ 5 more complex?
     
  6. Knightly_

    Knightly_ Warlord

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    Thx for the info civ4brain!
     
  7. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    No? How many Civ4 games don't involve abusing the tech trading system and AI?
     
  8. PotatoOverdose

    PotatoOverdose Prince

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    Plenty? There are many excellent recaps available on the civ 4 strat boards that use no tech brokering or avoid tech trading altogether.

    I was also addressing a more general point about luxury-AI-ATM machines being the one trick pony of economics in Civ 5.

    And honestly RA blocking is MUCH worse than tech trading. tech trading allows you to get any tech the AI possess. RA blocking allows you to get a significant tech lead with tech no AI possesses.

    I'm not saying Civ 5 is without its merits, but I've yet to see a single deity thread where the 300 gold-luxury ATM machine effect wasn't a pivotal cornerstone of their strategy, and that makes me sad.
     
  9. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    Haha. Well, you'll find no argument from me about Tech Blocking. It's pure cheese. To me, though, it's an exploit that needs patched out of the game rather than in indication of a lack of "depth." I'd also think that some similar balances could be made to the resouce selling. It's not that there aren't decisions there to be made, but that some options are obviously better than others.

    Don't get me wrong--I still like 4 better I think. I do think though that sometimes people sell 5 a bit short: slightly not-as-good does not make something the worst thing ever, if you know what I mean.
     
  10. essmene

    essmene Warlord

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    I think he was going after the "<one> trick pony". Guess he knows that there are lots of ways to abuse the AI in Civ IV. I think he wanted to point out, that there is one (not several) in V.

    P.S.> too late and can't find the delete button...
     
  11. Haig

    Haig Deity

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    I hate to throw around the term "dumbed down" with Civ V, but actually.. it's truthful, at least partially.

    I think Stethnorun wrote well, even though I say it was a bit biased and I don't agree with many things on it.. ;)
    But what strikes me is that stuff you don't like are some of the things that make Civ IV more complex and rewarding for me. for example you wrote:

    "It's funny you bring up maintenance. I always HATED that feature. It made colonizing other continents, especially, very unappealing. I was overjoyed when Civ 5 got rid of that penalty and made all cities alike, regardless of distance or landmass.
    Just personal taste, but man is it nice to get rid of that nasty "I shouldn't be settling this far away" feeling in the back of my mind."


    Again, another case of having more decisions and planning in Civ IV. Should I start my own colonial British Empire where the sun never sets, or will it cripple my economy like with Spanish Empire? Now that I have colonies, should I grant them independence?
    That adds both to deepness and to the "feeling" (or roleplaying aspect as some call it), and personally Civ V needs more stuff like this.

    There's some much cool little stuff in Civ IV that I can't even think of them all, and I think stuff like this adds to the liveliness of the world and the grand, epic feeling.

    Colonies
    Important part in the history of empires. Wasn't in Vanilla Civ IV but came with BTS I think.

    Random events
    I kind of understand why some people play with them off in Civ IV, but as I'm not a high score type player I think they add vast amounts of detail and realism to the world. One of the things I think that Civ V would profit from would be the return of these.

    Resistance fighters
    Just a small thing, but cool anyways. When you conquer a large enemy city, part of it's people spawn as resistance fighters or militia to battle your troops. I like it.

    City rebellion
    In Civ IV, if you have a conquered city and there's not enough garrisson, it suffers from rebellions and might be in danger of turning back to it's previous owner. If I recall right in Civ V you need just time to quench the disturbance.

    Health
    Again, why to take it off? I guess this is streamlining..

    War weariness
    Essential part of Civ for me, why NOT to have it? Demands more strategy and is also more rewarding in the sense of atmosphere. In Civ III I think the goverments and war weariness was done really well.
    In Civ IV losing lots of units also adds to it, makes sense.

    Army Maintenance in foreign campaigns
    When Napoleon drag his SoD around Europe, he needed the gold to flow to sustain his grande armeé, in Civ IV units take more maintenance when out of borders, as simple as that, and works fine.

    Navies
    There's been it's own topics for this, but when in start I though having embarkation in Civ V was nice, now I feel it's a bad case of streamlining and takes away the grand feeling of building your navy and thinking about what other projects to sacrifice when building the galleons or transports.

    Here I didn't tackle the biggest topics of IV versus V in depth issues, but about many small details that add to the experience.

    By the way,I play Civ IV in middle difficulty levels, and I haven't had any big problems with stacks of dooms, like having an enemy stack of 100 approaching me.
    Instead of 1UPT I think it's obvious that something like ten units per tile would have been the right choice.
     
  12. Haig

    Haig Deity

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    Addition: also I don't like how you get in Civ Vimmediatly on the first turn stuff like being able to build scouts with every civ, being able to rush buy units and buildings etc etc.

    I love how in Civ IV Bts you need techs to learn those things.
    Streamlining should be a word for power point presentations in trendy media companies, and not the basis of designing a Civ game!
     
  13. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    You know, this brings up another good distinction. I don't like penalties. If I'm playing a game, I don't like negative modifiers thrown my way. Call it "harshing the mellow" or whatever. I like to be given a choice between many different bonuses, all of which I want.

    That's the sort of choice I look forward to in games and it's the sort of thing RPGs have always had to make them addictive. When building an RPG character, usually you don't get hit with penalties to your general ability when you level up. You simply have different positive directions to go in.

    This is why I much prefer social policies to civics. I like leveling up, not balancing pros and cons.
     
  14. JohnnyW

    JohnnyW Gave up on this game

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    Horseman penalty v. cities.

    Terrain defense penalties.

    Empire-wide penalties for unhappiness.

    Happiness penalty for placing a city.

    Happiness penalty for growing 1 pop.


    Penalty for choosing an SP: you can't choose another SP of equal level/value until you gain enough culture (which increases heavily for each).

    Penalty to amount of happiness needed for GA for number of cities placed.


    I'm sure there's more.

    Underlined are specifically against your idea that growth should = success RPG mentality.
     
  15. Krill

    Krill Deity

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    Wait, so the idea that having to make an informed strategic decision in a strategy game is bad?
     
  16. Haig

    Haig Deity

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    Didn't know that river trade network thing, very cool! Needs sailing, makes sense. :)
    A good example that depth and detail doesn't make game too complex for newbies like me, players don't need to take all the small stuff into account in the beginning, but can try to master it later and adding more layers to the game.

    I quoted only a small part of joyous gard's post but the whole post says what I think better than I could write it, great.
     
  17. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    Nevermind, I humbly drop the point.
     
  18. nokmirt

    nokmirt Emperor

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    What the game needs, are more reasons than just what you do, for the AI not to like you. We need political and religious ideologies to set civs apart or bring them closer. A civ that counts itself compatible in some way, may forgive certain transgressions like god awful warmongering, towards a civ it feels close too, in religious, and political ways, even when other civs keep asking for the aggressor to be denounced. We need to see true diversity in CiV. The game would become more fun and interesting. Right now diplomacy is too static, too readable, too obvious. How, what, when, and why does each civ act the way it does? When studying history about a civilization we use PRIMES to describe each civ. Politcal, Religious, Intellectual, Military, Economic, and Social tendencies. These should be added into CiV for each civ. This would give the game the personality it is missing. :) Just some thoughts I had today.
     
  19. Krill

    Krill Deity

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    *shrug* Neither design idea is better than the other. One may be more fun than the other for different people. There is no difference between the Technology tree and the Social Policy tree, you accumulate beakers/culture to unlock benefits to your civ. The strategic decision is you have to choose what you want now and what you can delay. Civics are a choice within a choice, that're adding depth to the game. They are choices that you can change throughout a game as the situation on the ground changes, which you can't do with a tech tree.
     
  20. Civ4Brains

    Civ4Brains imperfectus

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    making an informed strategic decision does not preclude the possibility of there being multiple choices all with positive outcomes, rather that some will merely be better than others.
     

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