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Constructive critic of the Civilization series

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Naokaukodem, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. kaltorak

    kaltorak Chieftain

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    I ,loved civ1 and 2. Skipped 3 not sure why. But nowadays, civ1 and 2 are no match for 4 and 5.
    You can argue between 4 and 5, because they are pretty different. But 1 and 2 just miss too many things to be compared to.
     
  2. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    How that does it "refresh my childhood memories" ? You think because I play a game it will remind me how well i was doing at school or somethingt like that ? How me and buddies we were having fun playing in the woods or that travel that i found amazing ?...

    Not. It will just remind me how i perceived the game at those times... And the way I perceived the game at those time was a lot less influenced by the surrounding than... by the game itself !

    I liked it because it was cool. And why wouldn't it be as cool now as before ? Because the fashion has changed and that we see this sound or epoch as retrograde ?

    Who can say why things in the past were what they were ? It obeys to a range of factors, and for some things like fashion, they are pretty hard to figure. Anyway things of the past were not worst than the actual ones. They were, for the most part, exactly the same.

    "Ok, let's switch to something else, that thing was cool but if we imitate it it will just fade away. Better nothing and a good memory than something spoiled." By the way, how to feel twice the same thing for the same thing ? Something's necessarily biased.

    That's why I talk about transcending. Do so that the feeling remains the same, but with improved matter. Because you simply can't have the same feeling with the same matter. Remember, I talked about feeling bored because i played a lot at Civ2. Make so that the sensitiveness is revived. By transcending the game. Make it greater.

    Civ series, has always been just "different". Unlike some other series, that was doing the things right, it didn't really came with something as cool as its first principle. IT DID NOT CAPITALIZED ON THE GROUNDBREAKING PRINCIPLE. -->

    And that's why the games are so amazing in the first place. No, that's not because there is no more ZOC or that the strategies are mixed. It's because of the initial concept.
     
  3. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Chieftain

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  4. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    It makes you doing more moves which are not necessarily all relevant in term of feeling, beside just confusion.

    Civ3 had good things for itself, like the art, smooth animations and great musics. The war was also more industrial as battle outcomes were more random. (need for more troops to secure a victory) But it was just that : a war machine, produce and send to battle field, it could have its charm but it was limited.

    The same game with better graphics and added details are for not too much demanding and too much focused fans and who are comforted with limited changes which appear big to them. I mean, those fans are like cockroaches that enjoy the game like book-keepers. Moderator Action: Such comparisons are not appropriate for this forum and don't belong in a civil discussion. They are not reasonnable and forgot why and how they got hooked by the game. They are imerged in a universe of numbers and mechanics that would be repulsive for the normal player.

    That's what happened when "fans" complained about the so-called "unbalancing" of Civ2 wonders, the infinite settler spawning bug or the absence of borders with nothing. :rolleyes:

    It may also please to totally new players : same big fat qualities.
     
  5. I'm sorry but I have to disagree. Personally I would order the games like this: IV>II>III>V

    Civ IV I think, was a great refinement of all of civ's concepts. With mods it is the greatest strategy game I've ever played. I think you are also wrong that players are immersed in a world of numbers, If I wanted to play really well then sure, but I personally play for the feeling of building an empire, of watching history unfold before me. Civ IV really had this feeling, it was not perfect but it was great.

    I also disagree with most of the other posters here I think civ II has aged quite well, just because it's not as feature heavy doesn't mean it's worse. Of course, this from the guy who still plays the original Prince of Persia, and MOO games.

    Noakaukodem: I would suggest you try civ IV with RoM:AND or RFC/RAND, they both change the game up considerably and improve it greatly.
     
  6. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    Well, the only difference with my classification is that you places IV on a pedestal.

    I don't know your personnal experience, maybe you just didn't play the previous Civs as much as me, or you are the kind of player who find flavor in mechanics.

    As for me, Civ4 was just not necessary after Civ2 and Civ3, I saw it only as a refrain that didn't brought much. The only flavor I find in this game was when you were using a Great People, the way they raised their arms towards the sky singing, it's really the only moment when i had a feeling of novelty and flavor... it is to say not much.

    There's also the way gameplay were put, with redundant gameplay choices that never prooved themselves to be superior or inferior to each others. (specialists/workers economy) It was like everything have been put so you couldn't say which choice is better. That said, it's true that sometimes there's a better choice over others, but I felt it was limited to really insight players who had a better view of the game than I could ever have. That I could ever have ! Like when I see a little japanese genius playing a manic shooter/rythme game in highest difficulty level without losing a single life. Those things, are just not for me, the more when I tend to play video games not for my personnal glory in front the Big None, buy only to kill time.

    Yes, I myself concentrated on mechanics in 4, but it was because there haven't been new flavor.
     
  7. Rod

    Rod Chieftain

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    My current ranking order goes more like

    IV (modded) > V > III > II > I

    but I played all versions in its heyday, so I was amazed by all of them and never disliked any version in its time, though I disliked some features in each version.

    Civ I brought an entire world into the computer, that was new&amazing at that time.
    Civ II expanded and refined the concepts, added depths and introduced scenarios
    Civ III introduced broadscale modding thanks to the editor and introduced flavour.
    Civ IV introduced the SDK and in turn unbelievable modifications became possible.
    Civ V simply looks best till date and you will see its potential after the SDK release

    Now don't get me wrong, I don't like something just because it is new. I still play Master of Orion II, even though it is 15 years old. Simply because it is still good.
    However Civ really changed for the better throughout its history.
    With each version you feel more immersed into the world. History plays out and empires rise and fall due to smart mechanics. Geography and neighbourhood determine your fate as much as individual decisions and prospering in the desert and in the cold mountains can be as challenging as prospering in fertile lands next to many hostile neighbours.

    Granted a good part of this positive change was realized due to the hard work of thousands of modders out there. Be it Rhyes of Civ & The Ancient Mediterranean in Civ III, be it RFC & Fall from Heaven in Civ IV and will it be XYZ in Civ V. These are just my personal favorites and there are countless other for each taste.
    Still though it was the decision and the hard work of the Civ-makers which provided the tools for the modding community.

    Civilization is certainly an exception. Not many game concepts can survive for 20 years and running, but two factors will contribute to make Civ even better in the next years. Stronger machines naturally contribute to the initial goal of Civ: to simulate an entire world.
    But even more important will the strong community and the strong symbosis between the community and the producers which contribute to the ultimate goal:
    to simulate an entire LIVING world.
     
  8. steave435

    steave435 Chieftain

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    [/QUOTE]
    You just described exactly what I love about this game. It's not just a matter of building lots of units and throwing them at the enemy, you need to think about how you use them. A much smaller well balanced army that positions itself well will beat a much larger one that doesn't. You have to consider terrain in combination with your units promotions, how to advance over that terrain without breaking up your formation (like is it worth it to rush that melee unit out over the open terrain to get to a kill a ranged unit, but leaving your own ranged units vulnerable with no protection?) and how to position your ranged units so that they are close enough to hit and have LOS to do so without leaving them vulnerable.
    I'll admit that I actually haven't played any "real" civ games before, but I tried Alpha Centauri (which I believe is very similar to Civ 2 right?) and didn't like it at all. You built up your army, stacked it and then had it clash with the hostile stack, making it great for people that love the building aspect and just want to get the wars over with, but 1UPT is great for those of us that actually enjoy the wars.

    If it was a flat map with no terrain and no need for different troop types having to work together to cover each others weaknesses and no strategic resources, I'd agree. It's not though, so I find the mechanic awesome. For example, positioning yourself to strike at your enemies strategic resources on the first turn of a war can have a huge impact, just like sneaking a nuclear sub up behind an enemy to get the nuclear missiles in range of things that would normally be out of range. Same goes for getting a first strike on the hostile nukes, preventing them from being used against you, or figuring out the best way to get as many units as possible in position to fire on a hostile city as fast as possible to reduce losses taken from the ranged attacks. For example in my current game, the Aztec cannons garrisoned in their cities would cause a lot of damage to my samurai, usually killing a unit or 2 per city if I just marched up on it with the default formation (samurai in the front line, crossbows and trebuchets behind) and then started closing it around the city while in range of them, but I could avoid losses by positioning myself so that I could go from being out of range to having a melee unit in every tile around the city and crossbows in range and firing their first volley on the first turn, while getting trebuchets in range. That meant that on the second turn the city was already weakened by the crossbow fire on the first turn, and all my crossbows were ready to fire again with trebuchets able to set up and fire at already at that point and 6 melee attacks to finish it off ensuring that they didn't get to fire again. That left me with no units killed.

    Uh huh, so if people disagree with you they're unreasonable cockroaches? Very nice of you to stay objective rather then resorting to personal attacks.

    That's exactly the point of a strategy game, lots of different ways you can do things and it's up to you as a player to figure out which one is best based on the current situation rather then something always being the best. If that's NOT the case, it's an imbalanced game that will quickly get very boring because you do the same thing over and over again.

    In the end, they've done exactly what you're asking for. They've kept the original civ building that is the core of the game, but expanded the combat part of it. The "problem" is that the direction they chose to go in doesn't fit your particular taste, while it fits others perfectly. Since discovering civ 5, I've played exactly 0 other games.
     
  9. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    So you LOVE to have a bunch of units that need independent moving and that can traffic jam ?

    There would be only flat terrain that the last example would have been simplier to use. For example, if you have a unit fortified on a hill, with mountains around, and that you need to go past this unit with another which have only 2 moves, you can't. You have to do manipulations which are boring and don't add anything to any strategy.

    Do not distord my purposes. I never said you were an "unreasonnable cockroach", I said that fans that were too much entitled in playing the game for eons just have may lost the taste of their former experience. (and i'm a part of it) Hence my comparisson with coackroaches, that's the least I can do. But I admit, simpler roaches would have done a better comparisson. Roaches are small and confined to the ground, their vision is greatly reduced compared to a human. That's what I wanted to say. I compared those fans to roaches, never said they were. More, they swarm. considering this forum, I can say that it's well seen.

    Moderator Action: Making a comparison to cockroaches isn't acceptable. It's trolling.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889

    [EDIT]There's nothing like "trolling" when I want to express myself. I didn't mean to hurt people just describing what I think they are. In that case, not cockroaches, not roaches, but "people that attach importance to petty things". Roaches were only a comparison to short cut this, and by the way the term "book-keeper" is just as well as good for that. But you will say me "Making a comparison to book-keepers isn't acceptable. It's trolling" ?[/EDIT]

    Then it's time to move on ! When you master everything so that you can win at least 1 game in Deity, then there's nothing more to do. Plus, the strategic choices i was refering to were flat, i mean you had to make them from the start of the game dependentless of the surroundings. (specialist/workers economy) But that was in Civ4 and you didn't play it, so you can't know. I like how specialists are managed in Civ5 though, they at last are complementary with the worker economy. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of things that are in Civ5, but it just do not hit my feelings to the point I want to play endlessly. I don't play for like tweaks (that could annoy me by the past though), balancing nor for strategy. I hate strategy. I play for a feeling. That doesn't mean I don't like variety. You can feel you play a very special game by the variety of situation you can encounter. That's why I prefer non passable mountains for example, they shape more varied map that can lead to particular situations. I like to tell myself "here I am, now that's a very particular situation", be it linked with reality ("i'm a ruler", or "i'm a History witness") or fantasy ("now that's an epic situation"). But I don't even feel anymore those kind of feelings. Is it because I myself lost taste ? (isn't there a mean to renew it ?) Or because the game is less catchy ? Do I take the game less seriously than before ? LeaderHeads sure are cartoonish, and considering Unique Abilities, I don't play a country for roleplaying anymore, only according those UAs. Or, the game has become too much gimmicky. (if you make mountains non passable and trust the theory blindly, it may lack something anyway)

    Expanding the combat part of the game was the last thing I could demand for. In the same vein, hexagonal tiles, I always have been doubtful when seeing all those posts in this very forum about hexagonal tiles. It sure sounds like a brand new thing, able to renew the feeling of Civ. Unfortunately, the only advantage I see with haxagonal tiles is the possibility to have a round earth, thing that is not in Civ5, and by the way, it's more for Poles travelers, which i am not as I keep playing Pangaea endlessly.
     
  10. steave435

    steave435 Chieftain

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    Stopped reading right there, found your problem. If you hate strategy, strategy games are not for you.
     
  11. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    The problem is that Civilization has never been a strategy game for me. I would more say a civilization simulation game.

    Of course at some point there must be strategy in nearly every bit of game. But for me it must be transparent, nearly invisible. Strategy is a mean, not a goal.
     
  12. Hammer Rabbi

    Hammer Rabbi Chieftain GOTM Staff

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    I, for one, hope it never becomes anything other than a first-and-foremost strategy game. These concerns are only a problem for you.

    Since you MUST require strategy to be transparent (AND not even a goal) and that requirement isn't met I suggest you find another game to play. There are plenty of simulators that aren't "hindered" by a victory condition, they just aren't civilization simulators.
     
  13. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    The requirement was met until Civ4. It's not too bad in 5, but I feel that the nerfed things in patches kill the fun. My funniest games were on Settler as long as I didn't enter in war too much (or it gives a taste of nonsense) building all the wonders, having most buildings and some City States in my pocket. I usually aim for cultural victory in those games.

    The thing is, in 5, I don't see how to win in higher diff. levels. Some Ais are expansionist whores [making a comparison with whores isn't acceptable, it's trolling], where in higher diff.levels we are highly limited in happiness. Ais aren't, and some profit very well of it, too much to my taste. I hate global happiness, it's prohibitive for me. I'm looking for MODs that delete it, or will create my own when i would have learned how to program.

    I've already seen other people think that Civ is not a strategy game. It led to some debates on those very forums. It's all in all more a management games than a strategic one. And war is secondary and optinal in a good Civ game.

    That's it, strategy is NOT a goal. Or shouldn't be. As I said it's a mean, not a goal. If the goal to reach is not motivating enough, then the strategy becomes a suffering. It's only a game. How could I take the game more seriously ? Cartoonish leader heads, role playing hindered by Unique Abilities, multiple sequels that changes too little things, etc...
     
  14. Hammer Rabbi

    Hammer Rabbi Chieftain GOTM Staff

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    if you got your desires it would ruin this game. I only play it for the strategy. take that away as the primary reason and it gets bland, boring, and tiresome very fast. I really hope that never happens. What you find interesting in a computer game I find very uninteresting.
     
  15. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    Then you should love Civ4. You have several ways of developping, each no better than the other, even considering the surrounding.

    Alas, those equal strategies schemes are so open that the choice of one over the others aren't not meaningful at all. By concentrating on strategy, developers killed it.

    If you play Civ5 for its strategic bits, it says long about the direction the developers have adopted. A cog vision of the game, whereas there is plenty to do with the feeling. I don't play games for strategy. I'm average at best. So why bother ? Of course I do sometimes strategic calculations, but again for me it's not a goal, it's a mean. I will never do strategic calculations for the "beauty of the move". Anyway, i think it would be a little too pretentious to do so. By the way, even if I would do that, I would not be contempted with a game like Civ, where I see few places for really apprehensible and explicit strategic moves.
     
  16. steave435

    steave435 Chieftain

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    Yeah, you won't see the strategic options and the difference they make unless you're good enough to understand them, that's kinda the point. You have to understand how a decision will affect you long term in order to make decisions based on it.
     
  17. Corvus corax

    Corvus corax Chieftain

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    I’ve played all versions except II. Like them all, but don’t want to compare too much. Every version is based on the same concept, but is essentially a different game with different features. Most of the new features I consider improvements, some I just don’t like. It’s a matter of taste. Now I’m playing V and have lots of fun. And when I temporarily get enough of 1UPT or stupid diplomacy, I switch back to III or IV. And have some more fun. Why choose when you can have it all? My favourite version is still III, for nostalgic reasons.:)
     
  18. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    But this way of thinking marginalizes a great part of players. Unless you see Let's Plays on Youtube or read on such forums strategic sections, you won't be able to overcome your weaknesses.

    Civ is not about that. Or maybe only in multiplayer. (which is really amazing only when you beat a bunch of noobs, otherwise is boring) Civ is about to discover a new game and to roleplay a civilization.
     
  19. Mivo

    Mivo Chieftain

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    I feel that your definition of what Civ is -- or should be -- about is limited to a relatively small number of people who play games of this series. It has all the aspects and criteria of strategy games, and very few of roleplaying games, and has always been marketed as such.

    I certainly have fond memories of Civ1, which I played on the Atari ST, and I remember it as an incredible game that offered me a completely new experience (I was also just nineteen when it came out, which was a fabulous time, so that contributes to the fondness I have of those years), but even then it was a pure strategy game and little else.

    And as a strategy game, the series has greatly improved since then. I'd still consider Civ4+BTS my favourite installment, though I do prefer some of Civ5's on the paper. I say "on the paper" because the implementation (namely, the AI programming) didn't really make it work well, at least initially, but the theoretical concept of 1UPT certainly appeals to me. Looking now at the feature sets of Civ2, which you so fondly remember, those older games were pretty flat and one-dimensional. As Sullla mentioned, Civ2 was a "zerg fest" with city sprawl being the chief, and pretty much only, approach. Compared what can be done in, say, Civ5, that is fairly limited and a tad boring. I like the larger number of different approaches that we have now.

    I particularly love that cities in Civ5 are not pushovers. You have to commit resources and planning to taking over a city, and you can't just roll up the whole map in a few moves. I like that it isn't a completely trivial task anymore to capture a city, and I much prefer being able to manage with just a few, nicely developed cities rather than the sprawl.

    From your posts, I got the impression that what you really want is a game like the newly released Crusader Kings 2. I enjoy that one, too, and here, you actually find a nice mix of strategy and roleplaying aspects. What it lacks is the randomly generated maps, and that is pretty much its only downside (but the history buffs will disagree with that, and I can see the appeal of historically mostly correct maps, too).
     
  20. attackfighter

    attackfighter Chieftain

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    If you think Civ 5 is bad enough to be critiqued - well lets just say it shows how little you don't know you don't know. The truth is, strategy in civ 5 is at an all time high for the civ series. Only civ 2/3 could hope to challenge it in terms of strategic depth. The sole legitimate complaint about the game is that the AI is bad. True, it is quite bad, that's why I win games on the hardest difficulty every time. But really this is not the first time AI has sucked in a Civilization game. AI started sucking since Civ 1, then slightly improved in Civ 2, before dropping again in Civ 3 and plummeting in Civ 4. Civ 5 merely continues the downwards spiral that Civ 4 begat. If you should be hating any civilization game: hate civ 4, defiler of TBS genre *spits*
     

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