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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. Drakarska

    Drakarska Epic Dadness

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    Ok, so if i'm understanding you correctly, civ should only be about choosing the the best of available potential positives? there should be no negatives at all?

    If so, then i'm a little confused. I'm running an empire, of course there is going to be negatives somewhere. My job as the Grand Poobah is to limit the amount of negatives that affect my empire in order for me to rule the world by whatever victory conditions I choose.

    I also play RPG's as well, and I'm afraid I really don't see the comparison between the two types of genres. In a RPG, it's all about the benefits to your character. Of course you want the best of any potential positives ( I. E. magic weps, spells, etc), and none of the negatives.

    But in a strategy game ( at least IMO), it's all about limiting your negatives, improving your positives, and planning ahead to achieve the goals you set out for. Basically ( for me at least), it's all about immersion. I want to feel like i'm in charge of a grand sprawling empire, react to random events that may impede my progress, adjust accordinly to my citizen's happiness or to world events, plan the demise of Monty, or even something as simple as protecting that cottage from a sudden barbarian invasion.

    Civ IV had all that. BTS raised the bar even better. Civ V just doesn't give me the same amount of immersion and enjoyment.
     
  2. nokmirt

    nokmirt Emperor

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    Indeed Bibor! It is a slow agonizing decay and too many politicians sweep the real problems unde the rug. Politicians from the president down, cater to, and are controlled by corporate business, and international banking. They talk a big game about change, but it is all talk little action, the lobbyists feed their greed. The only change I see will come from the people themselves after its too late. Of course there is plenty of erosion still to come before our government collapses completely. I am speaking of the US, I am not sure about other countries in Europe, but here in this country things are falling apart.
     
  3. SammyKhalifa

    SammyKhalifa Deity

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    I think "Complexity" and "Depth" are coming to lose meaning or drift in meaning here, and to be honest I think a lot of people are using it as a way to pat themselves on the back and to make themselves feel smarter/better/whatever than the average person because they play more "complex" games.

    And even if you take "Complex" to mean "having a lot of rules," I don't know that complex even equals "better" anyhow. I don't follow poker, but I know that it has about five rules, I think--so it's not a "complex" game. I'm guessing a lot of civ players might turn their noses up at it. But you know what? I suck at poker. I bet that many civ people do, and then complain that the game's all about luck.

    If poker were all down to luck because it's such an easy game, though, you wouldn't have the same players winning all the time. It takes a different skill set. You need to understand and read people. Players spend their entire lifetimes learning how to read people and how to hid their intentions. So is that "simple" or complex?" And if it's so simple, why aren't we all out winning millions on the Poker Tour?

    EDIT--so where was I going with this, again? Oh yeah. I don't think the issue is with how many rules/what kind of decisions are being made. It's with balance. If one of the options always seems better than the others, then something's wrong.
     
  4. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    Wow, off-topic much?
     
  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Corporations do not control government. Nothing controls government, because the basic check to it (population voting incentive) is manipulated, and things that attain vote favor are different from things that are best for the country in many cases. Political individuals cater to themselves first and foremost. The fallacy of government is that it does not provide incentive for politicians to do the right thing OR any meaningful penalty if they behave in a corrupt fashion unless they go completely overboard...this allows outside influences to mess things up. However, the root problem is that a) politicians are human beings who behave predictably based on incentives and b) virtually all of their incentives go against decisions that are actually in the long term interest of their country.

    This is a long standing problem in human history; no model has been designed that is immune to influences, poor incentives, and government going unchecked until it crushes itself in corruption...with the exception of monarchies/dictatorships. The problem with those is, sometimes the leaders really suck and even if they don't...well they get old and die and eventually you get one that sucks. We don't have 6000 year old leaders to guide us to having fusion power in the 1600's in real life, sadly.

    Also, objectivism can be taken in multiple different ways of the definition. The linked article represents none of them.
     
  6. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    You are operating from the premise that a strat game has to have negatives at all. That's a big assumption to make. Why can't you have to an all-positives strat game?

    Comparing RPGs and Civ is not really as far fetched as you think it is. In an RPG, you start with a no-body character and through leveling up, build him into someone who gets better and better at taking on the AI enemies.

    In Civ you start with one city and no abilities (tech or SPs) and over time, you grow and become better and better able to at taking on AI enemies. It's actually quite a similar gameplay mechanic. In fact, when people ask me what Civ is all about, I tell them that it's a cross between strategy and a "National RPG".
     
  7. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    Yeah I talk in my FAQs page on my site that while I am an Objectivist and I sometimes grapple with those concepts as they relate to gaming, there's really none of that in this particular blog entry. The only reason this was brought up is because someone confused the words "objective" and "Objectivist".
     
  8. Drakarska

    Drakarska Epic Dadness

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    I don't think i'm making an assumption, as strategy games usually have some point of neatives to them. As for a strat game that has nothing but positives, then where's the challenge in playing? I chose the best of available positives and I don't have to worry about anything negative at all? what's the point then? If I wanted something like that I'd go play Farmville ( not trying to be offensive here).

    If I'm interpreting your analagy correctly, the comaparison between RPG's and strat games should be similar and an individual should never have to worry about anything negative ever happening to him/her.
     
  9. nokmirt

    nokmirt Emperor

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    Yes that post was. I felt I had to answer.
     
  10. Graven

    Graven Chieftain

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    My main issue with Civ 5 is that most of my games feel identical in terms of strategy -- even worse, regardless of the Civ I use, not much changes.

    OP, I didn't read your entire article and only skimmed some of this thread, but it's difficult for me to relate to anyone who sincerely believes Civ 4 didn't have a heavier emphasis on strategy.

    Using the most simplistic example, it took me months and months of playing to improve my game play and move up in difficulty levels in Civ 4 -- with Civ 5, I popped in the disc and face-rolled my way to victory on King (I was a Monarch player in Civ 4). While that point is likely not very helpful in assessing the games, it will undoubtedly be the reason I lose interest in Civ 5 -- the ai simply isn't good enough to compete with a human player when the game mechanics limit units to one per space. It has nothing to do with whether the game works better or not in a vacuum, it just simply doesn't work with the current ai, which will forever limit the game's ceiling.
     
  11. seasnake

    seasnake Conquistador

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    This is the point. It all turns on the AI. You can add a thousand new features, but until you fix the Diplo and Combat AI it won't work.

    Lamborghinis are slow if you can't shift, for all their horsepower. Until the AI gets that right these arguments about depth just don't truly matter.
     
  12. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    And see, this is exactly the problem. Lack of knowledge. In some RPG systems you start from level 1. In other RPG systems you start with fully developed characters that develop only slightly over time (GURPS, White Wolf RPG systems, just to name two)

    How come that for good players neither stacks of doom (civ4) are "easy to blaze through with" nor happiness (civ5) is a problem?

    If you want to be objective you need to know as many facts as you can, because that's, really, the only way to be objective. If you want to be an objectivist, you just need to put on the tinfoil hat.

    Hell, Hesse can be called a philosopher too. I'll base my exsistence on Steppenwolf or Glasperlenspiel. :crazyeye:

    I know it sounds like bashing, but too often prophets pop up on these forums to sell criticism.
     
  13. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    You are. The "negative" in my "all positive" strat game comes from the enemy AI. In other words, the "system" gives you nothing but positive rewards. It gives you abilities, skills, attribute increases, etc etc. It also gives these bonuses to the AI. How you choose your bonuses and how effeciently you make use of them is put to the test against the AI and its choice and use of those same bonuses.

    Nowhere in that hypothetical is the "system" also working against you, giving you penalties.

    I wish I could meaningfully respond to you, but as it stands, you aren't really saying much of anything. You think I'm wrong on every count I bring up, is pretty much all I can gather. You also dislike my life philosophy. Is that about the long and short of it?

    And you think your victories had more to do with design complexity than AI skill level? I couldn't beat Civ 4 on Noble reliably, but I can beat Civ 5 on Prince easily...is that because Civ 4 is so much more to "understand" or is it because the AI in Civ 5 sucks? I'm pretty sure it's the latter, at least for me.
     
  14. sketch162000

    sketch162000 Warlord

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    I'll throw my hat into the ring, here.

    Funny, I have always read it opposite--that the ones who mastered Civ IV and played with the express goal of "beating" the game (as opposed to role-playing) were more satisfied with Civ V. Like many others here, I see much of myself in your play style. I am a Prince-level player, yet was highly disappointed in V. The divide between Civ V haters and fans is clearly not along that line.

    In fact, the LACK of role playing features were a major turnoff for me, so I'm confused as to what it is that you see in Civ V, as a roleplayer. IMO Civ V breaks immersion on many levels that IV seemed to model in a way more conducive to story-telling.

    --A.I.s play to win, instead of playing with a personality.
    --Happiness is more abstracted
    --1upt screws up the sense of scale
    --Tech is very linear
    --I suppose Social Policies are more of a role-playing thing, but they got rid of civics (gov't types) in exchange.

    **Note: I haven't played in months, so the above might not be applicable.
     
  15. stethnorun

    stethnorun Warlord

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    Well all, thanks for reading and debating. For the most part everyone was really cool and I learned quite a bit about lots of different perspectives. I'm signing off the thread (I'm debated out!).
     
  16. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Moderator Action: Please make sure the off-topic discussions don't continue in this thread. You're welcome to continue such a line of discussion in the OT forum.
     
  17. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    You're debated out not because your views are different, but because they do not bring much (or at all) to the actual debate about Civilization V. Hiding behind objectivism (as TMIT already pointed out several times in this thread) doesn't help much. I personally take every chance to learn and I (foolishly) presume everyone else wants to do the same.

    ... as expected. Civilization V suffered more from the fact that it was unfinished at release than from flaws in the actual core game mechanics.

    And again, much of this came from the fact it was an unfinished game. Yes, some things were "dumbed down", but not as much as it seemed at release. The fact that Firaxis (for whatever reason) was prevented from releasing a fully operational game is too significant to skip in these matters. If it would've been released two months ago, the hype wouldn't be so great. At all.

    Far from truth. Especially untrue for SMAC and Civ4. Yes, anyone can play on settler not knowing 95% of game options. Terms like "conquerors plateau" are absolutely unknown to the common player "who picked up the game easily" yet they are essential for any sort of advanced play.

    Wow, what a slap to all those hundreds of people that contributed in mathematical models, graphs, analysis, code digging and everything else.

    Let me just point you to Universal Sun's Justinian game writeup:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=242211

    You're making the mistake that people often do when asked "what complex is?". Heart of iron have more obvious "levers" to modify the game. In Civilization games this is somewhat masked, but in truth every single unit is a "lever". If you loose a unit that costs 440:c5gold: to rush-buy or 12 turns to build, just because you poorly placed it - you just lost a collosseum somewhere. These things add up. As a matter of fact, they add up so much that you can easily loose.
    ...

    As you can see, my criticism of your "review" is based on glaringly obvious gaps in knowledge, gaps so wide that they actually prevent you from making any sort of anaylsis. Even a "quick and dirty" one.
     
  18. MkLh

    MkLh King

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    It probably depends on a level they were playing. Those who played IV in higher levels generally don't seem to like V as it's not challenging enough and tactics needed to beat higher levels are too repetitive and tedious (like RA-blocking :sad: ). It's true of course that V isn't made for role- or sandbox players but those who are looking for a real challenge don't necessary like it either.
     
  19. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Vast majority of vsAI games are "easy" to beat once you learn the mechanics. Even vsHuman games are based on standard, repeatative strategies.
     
  20. Leif Roar

    Leif Roar Warlord

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    Funny. While there are some choices involving penalties in Civ IV, I feel that with global happiness and the sharp rise in social policy costs penalties are lot more central to Civ 5 gameplay. In Civ IV most of my decisions involved juggling opportunity costs: do I build a barrack first and wait to build an axeman, or vice versa? In Civ 5, though, it's more a matter of "Can I take that happiness hit now or not?"
     

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