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Firaxis isn't incomepetent - they're just CHEATING us and they've planned all it out!

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by lordsurya08, Feb 9, 2011.

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  1. lordsurya08

    lordsurya08 class-A procrastinator

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    PLEASE READ THE WHOLE POST BEFORE YOU COMMENT. There are so many people asking stupid questions like "Why would Firaxis release a bad game on purpose?" when I have already answered that question at length in the post. If you're too lazy to read the post, don't comment at all.

    I think we can all agree that Civ 5 doesn't come close to what we expected from it. Many explanations have come out as to why Civ 5 sucks so hard, but I find them to be inaccurate. Here are by brief rebuttals to the two major ones:

    1. The guys at Firaxis are incompetent. How is this possible? IIRC these are the same people who designed Civ 4 - talent like that doesn't disappear overnight. And employees like these aren't fired overnight either.

    2. The guys at Firaxis are all good, but Jon Shafer sabotaged Civ 5. Really? IIRC again, Shafer was the assistant director of Civ 4 and BTS (see his Wiki article). He was also a modder for Civ III who was good enough to join Firaxis, not unlike Kael. I highly doubt that Jon is the blithering idiot that many forum-goers make him out to be.

    3. Most players these days are unsophisticated and would prefer a streamlined game rather than one with more depth. Chew on this: most people who buy a Civ game are looking for sophisticated game to play. No one who buys a Civ game thinks, "Oh, I want something simple and casual to play." Anyone who wants that would probably not be attracted to the idea of a Civ game anyway.

    None of these explanations seem to fit. But there must me a reason Civ 5 sucks.

    I have realized that Civ 5 is a dismal failure because Firaxis (and 2K) wanted it to be that way. I'm serious - it seems absurd, but i can prove that it makes perfect sense from a business perspective. You see this tactic everywhere - NBA, Call of Duty, even Windows OS.

    This is basically a cycle that begins with a very good product in a series (say Civ 4.) At this point the series hasn't achieved massive popularity yet, and the main purchasers are the hardcore, loyal, high-expectations fans who are satisfied with the game. However, the game contains one drawback, just one not-too-major drawback (read: stacks of doom), a drawback that should have been so obvious to the developers that it just might have been put there on purpose. Of course, no one cares until they buy the game, when the say "Oh, yeah, this mechanic is kind of lame, but the rest of the game is excellent, so who cares anyway?" As it is the only drawback in the game, it attracts a lot of attention from the purchasers.

    When the game is released, it propels the series into the mainstream. Sales increase, but above all there are many (many) people who are aware of the series but are still hesitant to buy the game as it is several months old - but the series is in the corner of their minds.

    Let's say that the release date for the next installment is 1 year. The next installment is developed in the space of 3 or 4 months. In order to finish the game in such a short time, code is recycled from the original and many features from the original are cut - the game is dumbed down. In the remaining months, the devs start on the sequel after the sequel.

    Of course, the developers still need a selling point, something original and different from the previous installment. Remember that one drawback in an otherwise flawless original? The devs promise that they've fixed that by adding a NEW cool mechanic (read: 1upt) . As the one drawback stood out of a flawless game, this so called "solution" earns a lot of publicity, attracting new players to the Civilization cloud.

    About this solution - It sounds really good on paper and in fact it is an interesting concept, but it doesn't work well for two reasons: (1) the devs don't WANT it to work well (keep reading to see why) and (2) as the code for this new idea has to be written from scratch, and the devs spent little time to do that. The result? Miserable failure. Need I elaborate on the AI's ability to play Civilization 5 with 1upt?

    This sham of a sequel is packaged with nice graphics and lots of hype surrounding it. When the game is released, all those people who were aware of Civ in the corner of their minds buy the game. The hard-core, loyal Civ fans blindly pre-order the game with high hopes. We all know what comes next. Many people are satisfied, but most curse devs for being incompetent. Overall, there is a lot of ill-will towards the devs.

    Here come the masterstroke, the grandmaster's play on human psychology. The devs now have twenty months of time to create an excellent game. The features removed in the sham sequel are restored and many new ones are added. New idea, new concepts, old problems solved. The works of a class-A game.

    The devs woo the unhappy crowd by saying "you know that drawback two game ago which we tried to fix last game? Okay, we admit that it was pretty ****** and now we've found a middle ground that really DOES work." (this is what they did for Call of Duty Black Ops) The crowd is moved slightly, but they are once-bitten-twice-shy and are still distrustful of the devs, but nonetheless slightly hopeful that the next installment just might be good.

    And in fact it is - the game is excellent. Though initial sales are low - no one wants to buy a Firaxis game - rave reviews and positive feedback accelerate sales, and in no time everyone conveniently forgets about the previous sham of a sequel.

    Yes, the game is excellent, and it would be absolutely flawless if it didn't contain one not-too-major drawback, just one drawback, a drawback that should have been so obvious to the developers that it just might have been put there on purpose....
    ___________________________
    DEBRIEF:
    Let's say Firaxis plays the fair way and works hard on every game it releases, spends 1 whole year on each of three games. The result is three great games and three great sales certifications for each of them.

    What about releasing games the way I suggested? Civ 4 receives excellent sales (keep reading to see why). 1upt, the "solution" to the "drawback" of SOD in Civ 4, gives much more publicity to Civ V than any advertising campaign can give. Consequently, Civ 5 also receives excellent sales (it's the #2 played game on Steam behind MW2) because it's too late to return the game once people realize how crappy it is. Civ 5 makes Civ 6 so good by comparison (and Civ 5 has attracted so much publicity) that Civ 6 gets excellent sales as well. So, Firaxis gets tons more sales this way out of the same amount of work. And the cycle continues.

    You see this pattern in other games as well. Modern Warfare 2 is a masterpiece in FPS, but it had the minor drawback of no dedicated servers and noobtubing/commando etc. With the absence of anything to complain about, these flaws stood out. Black Ops used dedicated servers and removal of grenade launchers as selling points. I did not buy BO. My friends did. Now they have returned to Modern Warfare 2.

    Same goes for Windows. XP was popular, Vista was a bug-laden steaming heap of poop, and Windows 7 was class-A.

    Discuss.
     
  2. brxbrx

    brxbrx Worthless loser

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    tl;dr

    you're butthurt like everyone else and you think excessive complaining and accusations will miraculously give you everything you've ever wanted.
    Moderator Action: Such comments are not appropriate for this forum

    I want a better game too.
     
  3. lordsurya08

    lordsurya08 class-A procrastinator

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    Complaining and accusations which enabled me to save $60 by not buying Black Ops.

    You know that it's obvious you didn't read the whole post, right?
     
  4. brxbrx

    brxbrx Worthless loser

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    did the tl;dr give it away?

    learn to internet
     
  5. Nerochev

    Nerochev Chieftain

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    u mad, lordsurya?
    Moderator Action: Please don't troll other people
     
  6. CV-110

    CV-110 Chieftain

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    Dunno what you're talking about, Black Ops and Civ5 are great, and I much appreciate the enhancements both have made to their formulae. Not gonna buy another Infinity Ward game after MW2, so that's right out the window.
     
  7. Mustakrakish

    Mustakrakish In 'Node' We Trust

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    Moderator Action: Please don't troll other people.
     
  8. alysenne

    alysenne Chieftain

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    Firaxis took Civ5 in a different direction. You can't expect it to be 100% perfect. It's not like Civ4 came out of the gate 100% perfect either. It took time.

    You're crazy if you think Firaxis didn't want Civ5 to be a masterpiece. The developers worked their asses off because they love gaming and especially this series.

    Even if the game isn't perfect a few years from now, that's fine too. Not every game can be pure awesome. Hopefully the next game will be even better.
     
  9. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Moderator Action: Please stay civil.
    If you can't post in a constructive way, then please don't post.
     
  10. Jamuka

    Jamuka Warlord

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    Interesting theory, maybe put into use by accident. I think the CoD games are just like that because Activision rotates devs, so they can release a new edition every year. Tryarch games have always been ******.
     
  11. krasny

    krasny Prince

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    I think Civ 5 failed in the eyes of the majority of hardcore players for two reasons:

    1. The resources to develop Civ 5 were split into two games, namely Civ 5 and Civ-Ville.

    2. Sid Meier was not interested in Civ 5, thereby letting the suits at 2K influence the game's design.
     
  12. Horizons

    Horizons Needing fed again!

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    Maybe it 'failed in the eyes of hardcore (LOL) gamers' because they were annoyed at the distraction and wanted to go back to Call of Duty and Warcraft? :)
     
  13. krasny

    krasny Prince

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    Badly phrased on my part.

    Hardcore gamers should read hard core civvers.

    Most people would infer that, but the correction is clearer anyway.
     
  14. Horizons

    Horizons Needing fed again!

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    I'd agree if by hardcore civver you mean somebody who has played all the previous Civ games and beaten them on Deity. There are plenty of us who have been playing long time but haven't been concerned about beating the game at the highest AI-cheat level ;)
     
  15. LegionSteve

    LegionSteve Motörhead

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    Very interesting OP, but I don't believe that's what happened. Just my opinion, but I think the reason Civ 5 has a lot of problems is because it was released only half finished, simple as that. Many people have said on this forum that they enjoyed it at least for a while, and some poeple say they are still enjoying it now, which suggests to me that Firaxis were at least trying to make a good game.

    Love the Tactical Facepalm though, very funny :lol:
     
  16. MoonFlare

    MoonFlare Prince

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    Nice theory.
    But comparing Civ to CoD it not fair.CoD isn't deep or good - it's gaming diarrhea.
     
  17. Horizons

    Horizons Needing fed again!

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    I loved Civ5 at first, became disillusioned, then got back into it ... it is a product of its time, for example there is no representation of free trade, the emphasis is on order, organization, and 'planned economy' is essential for large empires (alongside theocracy) ... capitalism and free trade are not represented in any way in Civ5. :goodjob:
     
  18. Hail

    Hail Satan's minion

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    people come and go all the time. i am certain, that the team that wrote civ4 was not the same team that did civ5.

    about incompetency:
    the civ5 team chose to save time & effort and copy-paste civ4 code & XML into civ5. btw code reuse is a great idea. however was the civ5 team successful in their copy-paste effort? nope

    they did not even bother to clean up the XML. imho probably they threw some old code together with some newly written code and plastered it with hacks until the exe did not CTD most of the time. and called it an alpha.

    the most weird thing is that in the process the civ5 dev team reintroduced issues that were resolved/negated in civ4 (like ******** next unit selection that results in the camera jumping around a lot)

    civ5 is Shafer's vision. his vision might have been corrected by superiors, but he chose to carry on regardless. therefore as the leading designer, civ5 is his game.


    the hilarious thing is that civ5 lacks the constant stream of rewards that imho will keep the casual crowd with short attention span glued to the game.

    who is going to buy DLC/Xpacks?
    the casual crowd is bored, the hardcore/fanbase crowd is pissed by the game's shallowness. i just don't get it :dunno:

    on a sidenote
    Spoiler :

    civ4 is a lot better candidate for the purpose of appealing to the casual masses: throw out religion, health, promotions, corporations, espionage, tune MP. what's left is the "essence of civ" that would suffice for some fastpaced, rewarding and fun games :goodjob:



    2k wanted civ5 to fail alienate the loyal fanbase? :lol:
    that's like stating that one will run faster is he/she cut their arms off.

    in other words, releasing a subpar game means that people will be more reluctant to buy the next game in the series and that means a lot of lost zero-day sales, whose importance is not to be underestimated.

    however your point that civ5 tries the hardest to "cure" civ4's issues (SoD's, etc.) is valid, and might very well be the truth.
    probably devs started brainstorming about civ5 by analyzing civ4's weaknesses and ways to eliminate them.
     
  19. Zyxpsilon

    Zyxpsilon Running Spider

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    A plan? A real rational solid purposely designed plan?
    Like reasoned & focused development steps to actually have a plan?

    Com'on, you should know the answer to that; Decision. Structured thoughts towards achieving some plan. Ideas, peoples, coding,.. get together in a magic process that eventually leads to a final result (good or bad!). But, not necessarily according to the *initial* plan(s).

    1) Oh well... summer of '10 proved to be quite the (2K's)slash on dev staff overthere at Firaxis. That makes for a sharp spike of negative influence on -yet again- the "plans".

    3) The business_wise plan certainly was to hit the market of casual gamers hard in order to gain a good chunk of supplemental_potential sales. Expanding the usual "principles" of the Civilization title into a somehow different product was a necessary evil. The vast majority of consumers buy (their games, btw) without second-thought. Look, what's this, let's give it a try. Sort of.

    Yep, there *IS* indeed a (master) plan. But, it might not be what you think it is.
     
  20. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    I think this veers a little too much into the realm of conspiracy theories. A rather simpler explanation suffices: the market has changed.

    The so-called triple-a section is saturated to the point where putting out what the devs think is a decent effort no longer suffices in the face of rising developing costs.
    In a saturated market, it must be possible to manufacture demand for the product... it needs attention-grabbing selling points, even if they're irrelevant or even detrimental to product quality.

    Also, the Wii shook things up not so long ago (a year after Civ4, half a year before BtS)... I don't think the major companies are willing to disregard the casual market these days.
     
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