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Do you believe they actually play tested Civ 6?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by tanktop4158, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. drubell

    drubell Prince

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    So for advertised features, I can go to the store page and see that all of the advertised features work. I might think that the “dynamic diplomacy” feature is a little fuzzy because the promise of “late game alliances and negotiations,” I feel, are not particularly actions that the AI avails to the player. Otherwise all of the advertised features seem in place.

    “Controls doing what the game says” I guess is closer to how the UI lies to you? Because I agree that the UI does lie and deceive the player in many ways in its current release. Aside from the auto-cycling thing, what are the controls not doing?

    On the basis of one turn (or more, I’m just trying to help quantify the argument), what meaningful decisions can you make in previous Civ game that you do not have in Civ 6? Notwithstanding extra time spend to complete functions (objectively I agree that Civ 4 requires less clicks to play than more recent Civ games). P.S. Nice Shot! x10 X_X
     
  2. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam If A implies B...

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    Similar to starting a district and then leaving it for 30 turns as you build 3 other things :p? There certainly could have been technical complexities there, but it's hard to imagine that they were insurmountable, and it's unlikely that they were significant compared to say AI pathing at war.

    Very few reviews, especially from major publications, that I've read explain that, or mention the issues they anticipate might be resolved in the future. This gives reviewers that don't say those things too much benefit of the doubt. You actually did mention the issues, and even linked a page to them. That is atypical.

    I also consider the fact that the game hides rules from the player (including the specifics on attaining one of the victory conditions outright) to be a significant UI problem, but while you didn't cover everything your review is reasonable. Most are far more disingenuous and misleading.

    I've seen near-perfect scores given for civ 5 vanilla, when its MP didn't work at all. A perfect/near perfect review for a product that objectively didn't perform one of its advertised features :(. "I think this will be fixed in the future"? No, that kind of review is dishonest outright. Civ 6 vanilla is substantially better, but that's such a low bar.

    I'll settle for the game not lying to me, hiding its rules, or forcing me to spend nearly triple the time necessary on rote inputs on some turns. Seeing civ 4 selection bugs find their way clean through every civ 5 iteration and into civ 6 is extremely discouraging. The unit you select should be the one that moves when you give an order after selecting it. Why is that so hard that it's a (literally) 10 year problem?

    "Advertised features" is more a knock on civ 4, civ 5, and just to take a shot at them, EU IV. I didn't notice anything glaring there for 6, but 4/5 both promised MP it could not deliver, and EU IV has engaged in false advertising outright for > 2 years now (cross platform MP).
    This list could get pretty long. Let me give a few quick examples:

    1. Units you have the tech to construct but do not meet the requirements are not consistently represented (sometimes you can see them in build options but they're greyed out, sometimes they don't appear at all for reasons you can't discern).
    2. When you attempt a ranged attack, but have terrain in the way, the game will usually show a unit path instead of the ranged attack arc. However, sometimes the arc doesn't show when you can fire from that spot. Sometimes, the pathing doesn't show when you can't, and your unit moves towards enemy melee units while attempting a ranged attack.
    3. You can get variable outcomes on attack due to RNG, which is okay, potentially even desirable. The UI gives no representation of this when making it though, which is neither okay nor desirable. If I see a graphical display showing that I won't kill that unit and wind up out of position, I expect not to kill the unit. If I'm shown a center point with a range of possibility, I understand the chance I'm taking. Same deal in reverse when "decisive victory" results in damage but no kill.
    4. There are many more that are not lies outright, but are just examples of excessively opaque rules where you wouldn't even know if something is wrong, because you have no means of determining what the rules are supposed to be in the first place. WW falls in this category.

    It's not the per-turn thing, it's the per-time thing. It's still a human being sitting in front of the screen that needs to be engaged. Let's give a concrete example:

    Civ 4: When you declare war on a civ, civs pleased or higher get a *permanent* negative hit for it. Others don't care. This opinion mattered greatly for determining who could declare on you. Each time you declared war, you had to consider this until you were too strong for it to matter, and had options to offset dislike. In some cases these options were dominant (same religion with Isabella), others unattainable (same government early with Shaka), others still possibly making the difference but not necessarily (extended open borders time + trading resources). You also had to consider the ramifications of moving "worst enemy" around, such that any tech trade you made could damage an important relationship more than the trade was worth in at least some situations.

    Civ 6: Once you take a few cities, further consideration of your warmonger actions is irrelevant. They hate you irreparably whether you've taken 3 cities or 3000 cities, with no variability of behavior between those extremes.

    So across a 200-250 turn game where you do some conquest, you had to consider your diplomatic position relative to opposition many, many more times in civ 4, while also plaything through those turns more rapidly. A mistake could set you back in terms of finish date/resources, so making the correct decision was *meaningful* to the outcome. Civ 6 *can* do this, but at present it does not do this. The player incentive to carefully consider interactions like that isn't there, so the choices you make aren't meaningful to the outcome, even on deity. The biggest mistake you can make is maybe not getting a better deal in a trade or something, once you've taken a city or three.

    That's just one example, and by itself it doesn't ruin civ 6 or anything. It's when you combine LOTS of system differences like this PLUS the more number of needless raw inputs that you get a measurable difference.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
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  3. megabearsfan

    megabearsfan Prince

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    Oh, I didn't mean to imply that the queue was "insurmountable". But it's the sort of thing that the developers (and probably a lot of players) might have thought would be trivial to add (because it would just be copying old code over, right?). So the addition of any extra complexity may have forced it to be pushed down on a priority list. Not having a queue is an annoying useability issue, but it isn't "basic functionality". The game works without it.

    In fact, I remember early preview footage seemed to include a queue button. See the first screenshot of China gameplay in this preview that I had written back in June: http://www.megabearsfan.net/post/2016/06/03/Civ-VI-announced.aspx
    So it looks like a queue was at least planned, as they had a UI place-holder for it. I have no idea if it ever actually worked, but it was there. So I'm hoping that it's on the list of features to add post-release. And I just hope that if it does get added, it has a drag-and-drop functionality and ability to alt-click to add stuff to every city's queu like in Civ 4's queue, rather than the crappy queue of Civ V (and BE) that required so many extra button clicks to shuffle stuff around.


    I agree that hiding rules is a problem. This isn't Dark Souls after all ;)
    The tutorials and civilopedia can be much better, and there's a lot of mechanics that just aren't very well explained or documented in-game (like trade posts). That's one thing that I regret not including in my review :/

    I also agree that I would like to see a range of possible outcomes for battle previews.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
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  4. Biz_

    Biz_ Prince

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    seems relatively good from a quality assurance point of view (civ4/civ5 had more crashes for me at launch)

    seems awful from a gameplay balance point of view
     
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  5. Lewi11

    Lewi11 Chieftain

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    There are lots of small bugs, e.g the last production complete in the production screen. Try reading through these forums if you haven't experienced them yourself in the game. But the main bug\issue\call it what you will is the useless AI. I don't expect the AI to actually simulate a human player and I know it's always been an issue in the series. But in VI it doesn't even pose a challenge. E.g in attacking a city, it will bring a large force to my city, leave it at my border for 20 turns giving me plenty of warning, then declare war and just dance it's units around, rarely (if at all) attacking my units or city. Then they throw cities or luxuries at me in a peace deal. I can defend my whole empire with a few Archers on any difficulty. I'm not even a warmonger, I just think having to strategically defend is a must for such a strategy game. I won't go into the AI any further because I assume you've actually played the game. But basically it's meant to be a strategy game but it takes no real strategy to defend your empire (or annex cities, etc).

    As I said earlier, I've already backed down on blaming testers or any one particular group. I just assume, when a product is sold faulty, perhaps it hasn't been tested. But I don't have much technical knowledge nor know who is responsible for what in games production. I'll let you with all your wisdom enlighten me on that. It would be sad if there is not some kind of testing\QA\whatever on the issues I've mentioned before they release the game at full price.

    And "not working properly" might be my subjective view (that's what I like to share on forums instead of having to list facts that most people already know like I had to above about the AI). But if it is subjective, it is a view shared by a VERY large amount of fans (again, try reading through these forums).

    If your idea of a game "working properly" is merely a stable launch and no crashing, then I respect your opinion and hope you enjoy the game. But many of us have higher standards which are not unreasonable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
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  6. Lucius_

    Lucius_ King

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    Just to answer the OP's original question in the title, yes I believe they did. I'm confidant they played it significantly. I suspect many of the issues we as players are having with the game they are aware of.
     
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  7. Gub

    Gub Chieftain

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    Riddle me this, what is the challenge posed by a human player?

    Always challenge your assumptions. Yes, Civ fanatics is home to a dedicated community of players (new/experienced/competitive) and content creators. But does it truly represent the games' broad worldwide customer base?
     
  8. Miravlix

    Miravlix King

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    The AI isn't a bug, it's intended. We complained about this for the entire lifetime of Civ V and they did not change the AI for Civ VI, so claiming that the AI is bugged is simply wrong, it's intentionally designed the way it is and Firaxis gave up on improving it, after failed AI patches for Civ V.

    Balance -- Seriously? How can anyone expect balance in Civ, it's never been part of it's design, balance is something modders have created, not something Firaxis has ever even remotely tried to implement.

    Think! Your trying to take all people who died of cancer and then claim all people die of cancer. That's weird distorted view, just because you take all bugs and put them in a big pile, doesn't mean that every single game has those bugs and that the game is a unplayable buggy mess that no one tested. The reality is that this seems to have been a really good release, it's not a perfect release, but it's a lot closer to a perfect release than a catastrophic release.
     
  9. c4c6

    c4c6 Prince

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    Ok, but then the barbarians are seriously flawed. Haven't you noticed something is completely wrong with them? They need urgent patching, don't they?
     
  10. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Deity

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    I see nothing wrong with barbarians in civ6.
     
  11. MyOtherName

    MyOtherName Emperor

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    I got the impression from the aftermath of the AI FFA just before release that the devs thought the AI did not perform nearly as well as they wanted it to.
     
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  12. beorn

    beorn Prince

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    I am pretty sure you are correct.

    And I don't say that because there are bugs. It's a complex game, so of course there are bugs. But as I play I keep running into things that, if actual humans had spent time playing the game, of course they would have caught. Like in many cases, hills are all but impossible to discern. Or that various overlays such as religious units make the map incredibly difficult to use. Or, most dramatically if least importantly, that the colors on the government-type maps are nearly identical to each other -- I mean just look at that and try not to burst out laughing! (Not to mention that the lack of documentation would have been obvious to any player who was not intimately involved in setting up the systems -- although I suspect any testers were told "We'll get that later.")

    Don't get me wrong, this game has a ton going for it. In my view, the first 150 turns offer the best gameplay of any computer game ever made. But that is where they put their time and other resources. This was a "big picture" production, where overall matters of game systems and fun factors received close attention, while the details where set aside.

    When I sit and look at a small detail in the game that is inscrutable, I feel frustration and even outrage. But on the other hand, I keep loading up the game and playing for hours, because it is great. :)
     
  13. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    No, I do not see the barbarians as seriously flawed or even flawed. Just because some people do not like Raging Barbarians doesn't mean it is wrong. Personally, I think it's about time there is an early game threat instead of free and easy points. Most good players are meeting this challenge and succeeding well, even at high difficulty levels.
     
  14. Ashbery76

    Ashbery76 Warlord

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    You play the game for 5 hours at release and see obvious bugs and gameplay issues.Very poor show.No QA or most likely ignored QA.
     
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  15. c4c6

    c4c6 Prince

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    Trying to explain my last post (#69) here in this thread:

    Miravlix wrote: '''The AI isn't a bug, it's intended. [...] claiming that the AI is bugged is simply wrong, it's intentionally designed the way it is and Firaxis gave up on improving it [...]'''

    Now I regret my persuit to contradict him indirectly by writing along this line:
    If "the AI isn't buggy", if "it's intended" to be clue- and helpless, ok, then the barbarians are seriously flawed. Haven't you noticed something is completely wrong with them? They need urgent patching, don't they?

    Because the barbarians are NOT clue- and helpless (as the other civs). Because nothing is wrong with the barbarians. But (if the quoted were true), they would need urgent patching, in order to behave the same as the "AI".

    The barbarians are great with their scouts ... especially if they can get horses :D

    I'm sorry for having made the thread unnecessarily complicated.
     
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  16. Buccaneer

    Buccaneer Deity

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    c4c6, thanks for the clarification.
     
  17. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam If A implies B...

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    Dark souls doesn't hide its rules, it hides its lore in equipment descriptions ^_^ (that is a very interesting design choice for that series). The overwhelming majority of the rules/what stuff does you can just look in the stats menu and know it, with a few exceptions. It's otherwise just an action RPG that's a bit more punishing than average. On average it's significantly LESS opaque than civ 6 wrt rules! Its rules are fundamentally simpler however.

    Not much to comment on from the rest of your post as I don't really disagree with it, so I just dropped a like there and moved on. I will say though that I don't equate "basic functionality" to "core gameplay" or "required for the game to work". It's just basic functionality IE it's not an advanced concept, very game-specific, or nuanced. It's like music or sound effects, the game runs without them but should be better if it has them.
     
  18. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    OP and others in this thread obviously 1) have not worked in the industry 2) know how game development works.

    When I was in the BETA team for Civ4, the game shipped with a lot of bugs, UI and broken or missing items that were KNOWN by the Dev team, but they just kept on working on the game after it shipped and completed it in patches.

    There's nothing I've seen that would suggest otherwise.

    Civ6 is in retrospect actually the most complete launch game. Would love to see how these same people here react to Civ3,4 or 5 launches with some of their sometimes completely broken vanilla states.

    Edit: well actually Civ5 launch wasn't so long ago and had a lot of issues, and it's sitting pretty right now in retrospect.
     
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  19. jekke

    jekke Warlord

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    Having read this thread and a couple of other similar ones, I get a very weird impression of everything being totally fine about civ vi (despite all the criticism) because:
    1) all other games have once been in a much worse shape and, generally, cmon, everyone is doing this;
    2) testers did their job properly, it is just their reports that were not taken into account;
    3) developers had to do this because of the deadline set from above;
    4) it was set so because of marketing reasons which we mere mortals will never understand;
    5) the journalists (bow to those noble and highly educated folks!) highly rated the game;
    6) everyone knows what they are doing so stop complaining and shut up if you are not happy.
    7) *used intermittently* we at this website are so smart and skilled at civ! we should not criticise AI and the game for being too easy because there is a bunch of idiots outside who can hardly win on settler. It's supposed to be a game for those people, not for us.

    All in all, with all the flaws, how convenient that it's nobody's fault, isn't it?
     
  20. c4c6

    c4c6 Prince

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    Yes, it was, is and will be. Time is an illusion. The civ6 project has reached its final state. Thank you for telling me.
     

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