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First Impressions

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by Krajzen, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Chaos Blade

    Chaos Blade Chieftain

    Aug 25, 2011

    Thing is, without a solid infrastructure you can't maintain the tech level, you can retain the knowledge, but not the infrastructure to pull it though and that, for me, is what the research might mean, and not just figuring something new or adapting something old to the planet's unique circumstances.

    like I said, they made a new toy and couldn't wait to show it off. its the same problem with the virtue system, all pros and no cons like the older civs, or SMAC, there you had to make conscious decisions of what was best for the time and for your goals, not just earning bonus with no trade-offs every so many turns. honestly, I'd lvoe to give the virtues some negative points too... like you devote to science? well your warmongering hurts because of it. you are a warmonger? your culture takes a hit, and so on and so forth. sure you could invest some points in the proper field to negate the trade-off -but never to earn a bonus on top-

    THere needs to be meaningful choice, and I feel drawbacks are the best mechanic for it. you should not be able to have your cake and eat it too... that is lazy and wish fulfilling gameplay. then again after the XCom game, I am starting to think that is what Firaxis is going after :/
  2. Becephalus

    Becephalus King

    Nov 30, 2005
    First off I really enjoy the game and it is well worth the time/$ I invested so far. That said it falls short of greatness in the following ways I see (I am sure there are other faults or needed improvements I am not thinking of).

    The tech web could really use more color coding (what are wonders, what are buildings, what are terrain improvements).

    The terrain is a decent art style but could be a tiny bit more differentiated. At times it is very hard to tell what is what.

    Very annoyed that I don't seem to be able to have a cleaner interface for the trade routes. In addition, generally managing them after you have a dozen or two dozen cities is a huge pain as several expire every turn. Clicking trade routes was 90% of my activity late game. Also, the inability to tell it "pick best total" or "pick best energy" is an oversight.

    End screen is kind of week for a game this size. Should be a video, and definitely should have a replay/graphs. Seriously no graphs? Cannot seem to find graphs in game either.

    Some of the interface items are needlessly huge and make lists hard to use since only a few items show.

    AI seems a little passive/weak. First game on Gemini and it posed zero challenge. I could have gotten any victory type and nearly got two simultaneously. AI also seemed to not care that I was on a path to win easily.

    The AI is interested in resources it doesn't need. Glad research agreements are gone since the human manipulates them so much better than the AI, but the buying and selling of strategic resources is just as way for the human to steal the AI's energy right now.

    I feel like the factions need more differentiation. Bigger bonuses or unique buildings or mechanics or something.

    Anyway that is my list of complaints about a very solid game, but one I was hoping would be spectacular.
  3. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

    Mar 17, 2008
    Moderator Action: Seems like a solid game if ... post merged into first impressions thread.
  4. Grotius

    Grotius Prince

    Jan 7, 2002
    There are end-game graphs. I don't have the game up right now, but I found them either in the Hall of Fame screen or just in the saved game itself. They track score, cities, military, production, and a couple dozen other things over the course of the entire game.

    I agree with most of the rest of your assessment. A good game, but needs some love to become a great game.
  5. Lanth

    Lanth Warlord

    Sep 16, 2007
    Edit: didn't see the above reply, but my reply has the correct location to find them from.
    Weirdly, the graphs are available from the main-menu after you complete a game. But not available from the victory screen itself. On main menu, click Other then select your game. You don't get a birds-eye turn-by-turn replay of events though like some of the earlier games had, which is a pity, since I only ever explored 25% of the map so it'd be nice to see what the rest of it looked like.
  6. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Dec 31, 2005
    I'll disagree with this a bit.

    I don't mind farming (aka food) type techs a bit spread out, though I think some of them are far too down the tree. Food requires the most of time to "pay off", food gotten in the late game is much weaker than food early. For example, there is one tech at the end of the web that gives you 30% carryover when your city grows. But that is very late in the game, so it provides little value.

    For satellites, I wish satelittes came in a little bit earlier into the game. They are actually one of my favorite parts, I love solar collects, weather controllers, etc. It brings back some of that "wide scale" terraforming that SMAC had. But it feels like for the first half of the game I got miasma repulsors and that's it.
  7. Chaos Blade

    Chaos Blade Chieftain

    Aug 25, 2011
    it is not about them being spread out, its that it should take time and effort to adapt techs to the planet. you are colonizing a potentially hostile world here! there should be some early hurdles to self sustainability to overcome, make them all early, if you wish, but make them all, including the farm construction, needing researching, I am talking not balance but immersion here.

    This I disagree, heavily. recovering spaceflight tech should be hard and difficult, midgame minimum, much like it was in mainstream Civs or in SMAC/X it shoudl be something to aspire and to work for, not a convenience to have. moreover, having miasma repulsors in a satellite in Geosync orbit! implies a very high tech solution to the problem, something that should not be in the lower areas of the web, like at all.

    They are convenient and cool, but you should need to work for them.
  8. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

    Dec 31, 2005
    I will use your same argument of immersion against this point.

    It could be said that finding ways to adapt cities to an alien environment would take a lot of work...as you said.

    However, satellites....at this point we have the science licked for that. These people just came down in a spaceship...an intact one (they didn't crash). They have all the knowledge they need to reconstruct the means of putting a satellite up.

    Now sure it would take resources...but no more so than building cities in an alien world.

    So the argument can work both ways...but there is no "realism" argument that requires satellites to come late in the game. Or in other words:

    1) If satellites come late....its because it was hard to make.
    2) If satellites come early...its because they already have the knowledge on how to do it.

    so you can tailor the gameplay to that which is more fun, and the flavor part takes care of itself.
  9. AriochIV

    AriochIV Colonial Ninja

    Jul 25, 2006
    I'd say that summarizes my feelings. I'm enjoying the game, but it feels unpolished. I'm hoping that they'll devote the time to refine some of the rough edges. A game that's essentially a fourth iteration of a fifth iteration should feel more refined than this.
  10. Chaos Blade

    Chaos Blade Chieftain

    Aug 25, 2011

    Sorry, but you are mistaken, putting anything in orbit requires a lot of resource intensive equipment, knowhow AND infrastructure. Putting something in orbit that can affect wide swaths of land like the miasma repulser is downright magic or bad Sci Fi, it is something suitable up in a tech tree, or out in a tech web, but easy and convenient. no.

    Sorry, I just get the feeling the people at firaxis wanted to brag about the orbital layer and thus gave us access to it too soon instead of making it a progress related reward. it is the CiV tech tree all over again (you know the one where flight precedes and is a requirement for internal combustion?)

    More to the point, if you are going to settle an alien world with no resupply or second mission from home you will prioritize the things needed for survival, first, and then things that are complex, requires clean rooms and the like like spaceflight. it is the tools to make the tools argument.
    And, honestly, you get satellites before getting the first plane in game! if it is so easy to launch a sat, why is it so hard to fly a plane?
  11. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

    Nov 30, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    My biggest problem with the miasma repulser is that our completely overshadows workers. It's a bit too easy - I'd prefer to see it later, but make miasma a bit less passive in general.

    I agree that an early satellite is cool, but I'd prefer it to be some sort of espionage satellite or something like that.
  12. Big J Money

    Big J Money Emperor

    Feb 23, 2005
    The simplest way I can sum up my first impressions of BE is that it really makes me want to play CiV.

    The above was like practically reading my mind, thanks.

    I'll add:

    - The victory conditions are borish from a gameplay standpoint; not ripe for open strategic possibility like they are in other Civ games. (a hallmark of Civ play)

    - I suffer from extreme analysis paralysis this time around. There are so many bonuses of vague significance spread out among the tech web and Virtues screen that I get weary looking at them. I stay away from gathering Culture so I don't have to face the torture of choosing virtues

    And I'm frustrated because I feel like I'm one of the few who actually liked Civ V Vanilla just fine. (Yes it was better with patches/expansions of course)

    All that said, there is a lot of good here. This game has moments of real excitement. I like not knowing what the hell is going on with the wonders... is someone even considering the one I find super useful? One way to find out...

    I'm just personally too burdened by the bad to care. I will check it out again at patches and DLC. I might be able to build up the urge to play another game, but really I'd rather play CiV. I still have a lot to dig into in that game, fortunately! I just hope the problems I have with this game are even patchable; my gut says they aren't.

    I hope the money I gave Firaxis this time around goes to learning from the mistakes made with this game. I'm honestly worried by all the positive reviews that journalists are giving this game. It really doesn't deserve a 90 in any universe, and I say that with a lot of love for Firaxis.
  13. Mustakrakish

    Mustakrakish In 'Node' We Trust

    Sep 2, 2009
    Grainvillage, Finland
    Guys, thank you so much, won't play another game without these! There's no reason not to be able to use both, right?
  14. jokii

    jokii Chieftain

    Jan 8, 2014
    Civilization Beyond Earth is broken game ( ... just like the last two from Firaxis )
    Civ 5 and Civ BNW are not competitive games. They are builder games, like SimCity. They are broken by a bad AI. And after 4 years we got another game, broken, like those two. In Civilization Beyond Earth AI is not opponent but just a decoration. And I think only noobs would disagree.
    You may distract yourself in a economic game, making decisions, and love the game for it.
    But you will find that your all decisions are pointless, and you are playing " against yourself " just if you try war part of the game.

    read this.... review from a player which tells everything what is wrong with this game


    Moderator Action: You are allowed to have your opinion of the game, but spamming it in multiple different threads while not contributing to the discussion at hand is not permitted.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
  15. Banners

    Banners Chieftain

    Jul 12, 2013
    These are very early impressions, and there sure is a lot of potential, but from the small amount of time I've played, it's several steps back from BNW.

    There doesn't seem to be much to do, especially at the start. Without trying to get the luxuries, fending off barbarians, rushing beneficial Wonders, exploring to find the other Civs - and the sense of anticipation in gradually discovering which Civs I'll be up against - and City States, and striving to get one of the religions (and then, the better religion bonuses), it's all feels a bit lacking. Where are my Civ's unique units that I might rush for? Where are the Natural Wonders to either discover or land-grab?

    The quests are too abstract and just get in the way of the gameplay. And the new city buildings and technologies are too abstract as well. When I get a Colosseum in Civ5 I can understand the benefit because I can relate to it in a historical context, and I can see it thanks to the artwork. There's a small degree of pleasure in that. In BE, when I get a 'biomass hive exowell disruptor' (or something) it's really underwhelming because even though I know it's meant to be cool, whatever it's supposed to be just doesn't resonate, and I basically just get an icon to look at.

    I like it, and I'm grateful to Firaxis (and I confess the opening cinematic made me cry...!), but much like the colonies which have just arrived, this seems more like a platform to build upon, rather than the fully-realised game yet.
  16. Strategist83

    Strategist83 King

    Dec 30, 2005
    A good game, but needs some love to become a great game.

    I'll just quote Arioch again here (becoming a trend) because his observation is just spot-on. There's definitely a a quality game here - a Civilization game - but its covered up in all the junk that Firaxis just couldn't be arsed to fix. Most depressing of all, I think, is seeing all the animation bugs which the developers were obviously aware of (you can't play the game for half an hour without running into multiple instances of these). That is plain evidence they either just don't care or are on such a tight leash from their publisher they're prepared to put out unfinished games. Don't know which is worse.

    Oh, and all the usual junk from V carried over as well, of course - dysfunctional AI, absurd diplomacy, the works. There is so much to clean up for the game to get really good and since many of these things were never fixed for V, either, before they cut support there's no guarantee it will happen for BE.

    Like Arioch said, fourth iteration of a fifth iteration - and polish is still lacking. Incomprehensible and indefensible.
  17. renton555

    renton555 Warlord

    Aug 9, 2011

    I've actually spent a lot of time just reading the civlopedia and breaking down the tech tree. My massively anal-retentive nature has made me unable to play a game past the 50th turn. I'm certain this is a personal flaw on my part but here are my first impressions of the game from a purely theoretical perspective, as I'm too overwhelmed by the mechanics to put it into practice for some reason:

    1. 90% of the buildings confer flat bonuses, which seems to mean that the correct empire is a wide one, probably one in which the cites are built 3-4 tiles apart and share tiles. There are direct incentives for tile sharing due to the sheer number of buildings that have the "the city must have an improved, workable source of X" requirement. That said, it appears that the virtues confer percentage bonuses which are equally beneficial to tall empires and wide ones.

    2. Building colonists seems incredibly cumbersome, especially when added to the fact that outposts are so fragile and take so long to become cities. I try to follow the civ 5 standard, which is generally 5 population before building them, and they take as much as 18-20 turns to build which seems entirely unacceptable. Am I supposed to wait until ive improved a bunch of hill tiles and have 6-7 population?

    3. There appears to be much more of a reliance on melee units in general, which I like. That said, there seem to be very few units to choose from, and they have disparate strengths. It looks like its possible to have nothing but 10-15 strength units available until mid-late game and then all of a sudden you can build a 50 strength one.

    4. The game doesn't seem to reward growth nearly as much as civ 5. There are few enough % bonuses to science so for most of the game one citizen usually = one beaker. This, along with absurdly expensive settlers means that probably it pays off in the early game to invest more into production and energy than food, especially when considering the health bottleneck.

    5. Maybe this is because everything in this game exists in a futurist's mind, but I'm generally overwhelmed by this game. It's gonna take some serious memorization to optimize build orders and tech beelines, there are so many layers to every decision. I think this can be rewarding to some extent but BE pushes it to absurdity. I'm finding it impossible to decide what paths to choose in a game where paths are so divergent that early choices handcuff you to specific strategies. How much value is there to simply deciding to go harmony if you start next to 2-3 xenomass? And vice versa for other strategic resource starts?
  18. Mustakrakish

    Mustakrakish In 'Node' We Trust

    Sep 2, 2009
    Grainvillage, Finland
    I felt so stupid when I found out miasma repulsers clear it for good! I was so damn sure it does it for as long as it's in orbit, then when it de-orbits, miasma comes back! And when I saw it's only 10 turns in orbit, I thought to hell with it and spend all that time clearing all that miasma with my workers... :wallbash:
  19. robbocroft

    robbocroft Chieftain

    Jul 29, 2007
    I've got mixed feelings after playing a couple of games. I still get hocked but i think it has a lot of serious flaws:

    - quest decisions: those are awful from a long term planning prospective. Say i want more health, so i chase a faraway tech for a much needed building. After waiting all those turns the next tech i research is a close one wich i skipped with a building i'm not that much interested in. Then a quest decision pops up and it says "guess what? your not so interesting building can generate +1 health". Those things i need to know beforehand!!!

    - combat: ok, it's simple here. The AI isn't able to manage ranged, melee and artillery. It's laughably simple to kill them. Especially if they are trying to take a city. I really wish they would blatantly copy the combat system in Endless legends. That one really rocked in my opinion

    - tech tree: honestly... it's an hodgepodge of stuff. I'm completely lost looking at it. I appreciate the intention but it's too confusing as of now

    - AI: well... kinda no improvement here from CIV V
  20. Ikael

    Ikael King

    Dec 2, 2005
    My review of BE:


    Beyond Earth? Move beyond focus test group game design, Firaxis. Please, I beg you


    Sorry, but I cannot feel any love for this game. Nor distate, too, so that's the bland middle point that they were aiming for, I guess. If that's the case, sorry, but THAT is no reciepe for greatness. That is a reciepe for blandness and mediocricy instead.

    I have never met in my life a game that transpires genericness so much as this one, that makes it so clearly that it has been designed with a marketing focus group on the backs of developers all the time. For all the effort on studying European boardgames that Firaxis have put, they have seem to forget about one of the most vital characteristics of them all: "flavour".

    Yes, a videogame is about making interestingt decisions. But if they are meaningless and one-sided, they are not decisions, they are mindless nuisances, like picking if I am going to drink my cup of morning coffee in a red or blue cup. Life's already filled with meaningless decisions like these, if I want to feel as if I am shaping the future of the human race on an alien planet instead, my decisions should carry, you know, weight. Quests, promotions, affinities, ship cargo... in the end they don't matter. At all. Hell, virtues are the only things remotely game-changing. This is not good sign for the game's replayability.

    The factions, oh, the factions. The focus group is strong with these ones. So ok, you first make them vaguely related to Earth ethnic / political groups so they can be appealing to your customers... only to not being able to make them steer strongly towards one gameplay style or another in fear for disgusting said base of customers, and of course you don't dare to introduce penalties within them a la Alpha Centauri. Cowardly game design makes for a bland, flavourless game with forgettable factions / characters. Then gain: lack of flavour is the main issue of this game. A heavy focus on "asymetrical balance" gameplay a la Civ: Revolutions would have helped the game inmensely.

    The happiness mechanic was a failure in Civ V, and is still a failure in BE. I know that it's hard to let it go off concepts that you loved at first, but seriously, do like Elsa and let it go already. We are suppoused to go beyond earth, yet you keep obsolete concepts like these going and going....

    Horrible graphic optimization too. The game runs slow and clutttered whilst CivV: BNW runs smoothly and peachy.

    The game is unpolished, unfinished and unbalanced in a way that resembles the very worst things of Civilization's V release. Everything feels "halfway there". Yes, the game has potential to mend many of its more easier to repair flaws (wonders, military unit balance, etc) but then again, the lack of clear direction and focus shows its ugly head in the form of lack of design decisions that ens up translating into deep balance issues. I have payed 50 € to recieve a full game, not a beta testing ticket.


    Outstanding soundtrack, the graphics / ambience got nailed very well. It's a pity that for some reason wonder and victory movies are forbidden by the producers now, because they would have helped to increase the mood of the game tenfold and Firaxis have shown plenty of talent in these areas.

    The planet has character indeed and the game mechanics regarding aliens helps it to become alive in a way that aestethics alone can't. I love how the planet itself limits your expansion actively and with "on board" elements (miasma, roarming alien lifeforms, etc) rather than any kind of arbitrary mechanic a la health.

    Exploring the planet is a delicious activity. The reimagined Civ V's archeology system works like a a charm in this new scenario.

    Tech web is a rather intriguing concept. It needs a couple of tweaks here and there, but the potential for long term strategies and tech slingshots is present and very real indeed. Mad props for whoever thought about it!

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