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First Impressions

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

  1. Rellin

    Rellin Norrathian Gnome

    Feb 25, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    4/10. Game is unfinished in general and the AI is broken.

    It is fun enough that I blew like 30 hours this weekend, played until 5:30 AM, but in retrospect, I was just clicking next turn for 30 hour and victory was guaranteed. The AI hardly ever attacks, and if they do, they are easily beaten and will quickly ask for peace and give you their best city or even capital. I had basically NO military two games in a row and did both Harmony and Supremacy victories easily.
  2. Rellin

    Rellin Norrathian Gnome

    Feb 25, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    The AI is broken both Alien AI and other Civ AI. Plain, as in no flavor or depth or difference, and broken as in does not know how to win or prevent others from winning. Hardly attacks, and if it does, it fails miserably and then fails again on the diplomatic level by giving you their best city to make peace.
  3. Ryoga

    Ryoga King

    Oct 12, 2010
    There are a lot of cool and fun stuff in this game, some pretty nice ideas and mechanics, but unfortunately as it stands now this game is ridden by bugs and unbalanced stuffs.

    It needs some major overhaul and patches to become something decent, which is more or less what we got with Civ V in the beginning, maybe a little worse.

    I still had fun playing all the maps, victory conditions and sponsor, but right now I can only think about the various stuff that can be patched by community mods before playing it again.
  4. The Sentinel

    The Sentinel Chieftain

    Nov 2, 2014
    simply put, it is broken but does show a lot of potential, i think you need to wait for some patches and maybe an expansion(will there be one?)
    you want the arguments for this awnser, read the posts above me:p
  5. Prophet Skeram

    Prophet Skeram Chieftain

    Jun 30, 2012
    Ahn' Quiraj
    I think Civ BE is currently best described as a "diamond in the rough" aka an unpolished product that still shows potential despite its shortcomings.

    BE introduced great new ideas like a complex Tech Web and more interesting virtues (aka social policies), I also like the futuristic setting, the aliens and a good chunk of the lore found in the wiki, but there are quite a few bugs, balance problems and interface issues and the game desperately needs a few more tooltips to clearly tell you which building will be a wonder (when browsing the tech web), what do certain buildings and tile improvements really do etc.

    The game still has the potential to be great, though, and is - in my opinion - already fun enough to sink a good amount of hours into.
  6. blackchimes

    blackchimes Chieftain

    Apr 24, 2014
    It needs an expansion to round off some stuff(stations, aliens, maybe unit upgrades, etc.). And patches of course, but expansion should also be a patch.

    Basically, wait for the Gold version equivalent.
  7. liv

    liv Emperor

    Dec 2, 2010
    As a really big civ fan and a sci fi fan it was no doubt I would buy it. I think it worth the money in terms of sort of the prize per hour of entertainment that i will end up getting out of it.

    Good is both the interesting terrain, the different ways you can change it, the new tech web.
    I also like the affinities (social policies). I do not mind the way the weapons upgrade either. It makes this game different than civ - which I like

    I like that I do not have to watch city states move their units.

    But it is not as good as Civ Brave New World.
    The negatives
    It has some bugs and some balance issues (like Vanilla Civ did)

    Perhaps there should be a connection between the type of affinity you choose and what you may or may not do to the planet. It feels wrong that the aliens will be friendly even if I am purity or supremacy or that I can destroy the planet with improvements but still win a harmony victory just because I build a wonder.

    It lacks some of the excitement that civ provided in terms of "will I have coal", "where is the oil" "can I get to these archeology sites before my nabours"
    In this game resources seems to be pretty abundant - at least on the maps I have tried.
  8. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

    Mar 17, 2008
    Moderator Action: "Just to get an Idea" thread merged into First Impressions.
  9. Risch

    Risch Chieftain

    Oct 29, 2014
    I've been trying to form my perspective of BE since its release. Short version is, BE is a good game that could have been a great game (and still might be).

    I disagree with the assertion that this is just a Civ 5 clone with a fresh coat of paint; you can tell that there are some significant design changes and innovations that come into play. The world physically looks different, the colors inspire a sense of adventure and mystery, and there's a great sense of immersion in the early game as you're trying to forage for survival.

    Things I love:
    • The Early Game: The early game is pretty cool. Making planetfall feels like an event, there's definitely a sense of vulnerability when you land in this alien world with miasma and aliens lurking in the wilderness. I definitely feel more threatened than I ever did in Civ 4 or Civ 5. Losing an explorer early on feels bad, not only because it's an investment to build another one, but because the game does a good job of immersing you early on and getting you to think "oh no, I just lost a member of my original landing party".
    • Affinities: I really like this idea, and I think the execution was pretty good. I'm a big fan of small visual details, and I love that you can see the changes that affinity choices make - not only in your own cities and units, but also when chatting with other factions as well! There's something delightfully creepy about watching an AI's eyes turn purple (with Harmony) or yellow (with Supremacy). Really well done.
    • Tech Web: I really love what they've done with the techs, and exploring individual trees and leaves feels rewarding (even if it's not 'optimal'). I feel like it gives you greater flexibility in being able to choose techs that can help solve short-term needs (like clearing miasma), or longer-term investment (like affinity pursuits). It's a little daunting at first, but that's part of the fun. I still spend a lot of time sifting through it, looking at all the different options I have.
    • Virtues: Virtues are fun, and they now offer synergy bonuses that reward different play styles - you can go wide, go deep, or both, and the game recognizes and rewards that.
    • Fewer Units: I might catch some flak for this, but I actually really like that they streamlined many of the units and gave you a smaller, fixed number. I think it makes the production screen far more manageable, and helps you create the right balance of fighting forces for your needs. Plus, I love the upgrade system, and how it changes the aesthetic of the units and instantly upgrades all of them (without needing to run back to your territory and spend energy to do so).
    • Little Details: I really like the work that was put into the little details in this game. Zooming in on a worker improving a tile will show you exactly what they're doing... if they're clearing a forest, you will see (and hear) the buzzsaw, you'll see (and hear) them spraying to clear miasma, and you'll actually see them building a Terrascape (as the tile they're improving gradually becomes greener and greener. Compare this to the generic 'farming' animation from Civ 5 and you can tell that a lot of time and care went into this.
    • Music: Seriously, I want to buy the soundtrack to this game. The music is excellent, it picks up and slows down at appropriate times, and it really contributes to an epic feeling. When you go to war, it becomes percussive and ominous, when you have a 'slower' turn, it sounds gentle and inquisitive. It's just really, really well done.

    Things I think could use some work:
    • AI: The AI is still a problem. They get mad at you for attacking the aliens. They get mad when the aliens attack you (which still counts as you attacking them? I guess?) They get mad when you attack stations to complete quests, but they have no problem wiping out stations on their own. They make very unbalanced trade offers. They condemn you for no reason (at least not one that's shown), and then ask you for help a few turns later. They get mad at you for settling near them. They get mad at you when they settle near you - even if they land near a city that was already founded before they made planetfall!

      Now, it's not all bad. There have been some changes since Civ 5, most notably around the addition of 'favors' and some flavor text - I do like that Harmony leaders don't openly insult you, but instead approach you in a Zen-like Yoda stance and say things like "I sense a great dissonance in you. Why must you fight against this world?" But overall, the AI acting the way it does really ruins my immersion in the game.
    • Tech Web: I put this in two places because while I really like the Tech Web, I feel as though it's not without some flaws. First off, from a purely immersive standpoint, you go from planetfall and threatening surroundings to being pretty well-defended and stocked pretty quickly. It's odd that within the first 70-100 turns you can have boats, planes, snipers, Gene Vaults, and other high-tech scientific equipment. Wait, weren't we just worried about getting eaten by aliens? That's one thing I think the Tech Web does poorly... I would have liked to have seen a few additional rings or nodes in between 'starting techs' and 'mid game' techs to help balance this out a little. Even in Civ 5, you don't go from warriors to musket men. It kind of ruins the atmosphere.

      The second big reason why I think the Tech Web is problematic is because there are no distinct 'phases' you go through. In Civ 5, you had 'eras', so you could be pretty confident that no one was going to win a space race victory in the Renaissance. But now, given the open-ended nature of research, it's hard to tell where you are versus your opponents. "Hutama has completed Memetwork!" will pop up... but what does that mean? Let me look that wonder up... okay, that goes to this tree. Okay, so he's up there. But does that mean anything?

      The reason I mention this is that it's very easy to lose the game the first few times you play, and honestly have no idea why. I didn't mind losing, but I also got almost no warning [EDIT: I actually did, but you really have to know what you're looking for] and continually checking the Victory conditions isn't intuitive. So, in that regard, I think the Tech Web provided a lot of flexibility but removed some of the guided experience that would help gauge your progress.
    • Story: BE has a great story. Somewhere. The problem is, it's not front-and-center as you would expect it to be. My first game was with ARC because I loved the idea of a space corporation trying to buy its way into ownership of a new planet. The only problem was that there was very little personality injected into the experience from my sponsor/faction; most of what I did read had to be found in the Civilopedia. This isn't a problem, except that when you research a new tech and hear/read a neat quote from one of the leaders, there's no link to the Civilopedia to learn more. Same with Wonders. It's like there's this great resource that they actively try and get you not to use.

      I think part of my dissonance with this is that you also know that you're not the only mission that was sent out from Earth, so it doesn't lend itself as a 'humanity's last chance' mission so much as a 'we'll give it our best shot' situation. Also, while in SMAC, all of the leaders were officers on the ship before it split apart, and knew each other, none of these leaders have history. It would have been nice to add some flavor to the interactions they have with each other, but unfortunately, many of the interactions you'll have are copy-paste text that all AIs will say. These generic responses can make you feel as though these leaders are interchangeable. While I do enjoy the personality that's conveyed by their on-screen avatars (my personal favorite is still Hutama, I like his slick confidence), having them repeat the same one line over and over tends to ruin this after a while.

    Overall, I'm really pleased with the game. There are a few things that need to be ironed out, especially to improve the immersion, but I'm glad I bought it and will continue to play it for a while - I'm only 45 hours in (according to Steam), but it's an enjoyable ride, and no two games have been the same so far.
  10. manu-fan

    manu-fan Emperor

    Sep 20, 2006
    I would like to change my First Impression to a Second Impression.

    After now having played 38 hours and a few games, the more I play, the more I like the game.

    I have figured out how to stay healthy, attack cities, get non military victories etc etc etc. Everything is pretty good.

    There are however two massive problems with play right now that they need to fix:

    1. Show you what you've just produced in a city

    There is no notification of this in BE. I find I need to Open the City, maybe even check Trade Network, to figure out what has been built, or what is needed to be built, instead of it just saying 'Completed: Trade Vessel' and me knowing exactly what I was planning on building next. This is especially bad with many cities.

    2. Previous Trade Route Handling

    I find it sometimes hard scrolling through the targets, searching for the one that was 'Previous'. Why isn't it in bold? Why isn't it always at the top of the list? Something. Anything to make it easier to assign a Trade Route to the Previous Route. In the End Game, when you're constructing the Victory Wonder, all you might be doing is managing workers, and re-assigning Trade Routes. It's such a pain.
  11. Drowsy Emperor

    Drowsy Emperor Warlord

    Oct 27, 2014

    And the worst thing about that, is that its exactly what people like about this game.

    They're enjoying that its space themed solitaire and that almost any strategy they pick is a winning one, along with a constant stream of "look you're doing so well!" bonuses from quests and such for doing nothing at all most of the time.

    Its a strategy game without strategy required. In fact, its a browser game, one of those games that you get a reward for whatever you actually do.

    I won my first game effortlessly, without previous Civ V experience, meandering through the tech tree, misusing all my trade routes and under utilizing orbitals. I won my second game equally effortlessly, while doing everything much better the second time around. The AI seems designed to play the building game as sub-optimally as possible, to let you win in fact. There's no other way to describe it since a player should not be able to win the endgame victory on his first play through, while not even being familiar with the interface and game mechanics.
  12. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

    Sep 2, 2006
    So I haven't won a game yet because I don't have a lot of time to play, but I also just realized I haven't a clue as to how you actually win a game.
  13. Drowsy Emperor

    Drowsy Emperor Warlord

    Oct 27, 2014
    Expand. Trade routes, orbitals. Skeleton army for the attack that will probably never come. Pick your victory condition beforehand. Follow the color of your preferred victory on the tech web. Read the victory log for pre-requisites. Build pre-requisites. Win.

    Its a foolproof plan.
  14. Cromagnus

    Cromagnus Deity

    Sep 11, 2012
    And if you go for a Purity victory, make sure to notice the button that DOESN'T LOOK LIKE A BUTTON. Yes, that one, the one that comes with no explanation, the one that is used to win, the one that looks like the work of a hasty modder. Otherwise you might spend 20 turns waiting for those earth settlers to spawn.

    But, don't go for a Purity victory. All the other victory conditions can be hastened by choices you make. Purity *always* takes a minimum of 20 turns after you complete the Gate. There is nothing you can do to speed that up.
  15. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

    Sep 2, 2006
    So this was the problem. I need to figure out where the victory screen is.
  16. milk steak

    milk steak Warlord

    Sep 17, 2010
    I've completed 3 games so far (Contact, Harmony, Domination) on Apollo and here's my thoughts:

    • Excellent atmosphere, especially the audio. I absolutely love the soundtrack and sound effects.
    • I'm not a fan of the UI. I prefer function over form (ideally would want both!) and some of the UI elements feel like they're working against you. The monochrome sponsor palette & icons aren't my style and I get a bit fatigued with it mid/late-game.
    • Lots of balancing issues but these will be addressed I'm sure. Most disappointing is the difficulty or lack thereof.

    That said, I'm woefully addicted.
  17. s0nny80y

    s0nny80y Emperor

    Mar 16, 2011
    From what I've heard about Civ V's vanilla release, I think it's safe to say BE is a much more enjoyable experience.

    If I hadn't gone to war at all during my first few Apollo games, I would have won them. The AI, in particular, is not worth getting involved with diplomatically.

    The Sci Fi experience is immersive and I do like to role play with the lore. If only there were an intergalactic DLC release, sorta like Beyond the Sword's Final Frontier by Jon Shafer...
  18. bladex

    bladex Emperor

    Oct 29, 2010
    diplomacy is pretty much dead in this most of the time the ai will offer you a favor for resources which you don't accept. trying to get anything from the AI is like getting blood from a stone. nearly every map all the ai will hate you for either attacking the aliens, having a different affinity than them or bullying other AI when they get too close to your borders. and talk about stupid the ai will condemn you 1 turn than later ask you to attack another civ or offer you a favor! gone are the day like in civ5 when half the ai will join you and all hate 1 or 2 civs on the map now it's pretty much we all hate/or will hate you no matter what you do.
  19. LilBudyWizer

    LilBudyWizer Chieftain

    Nov 11, 2014
    This isn't a rant. I've played over 150 hours. I got my money's worth. I have nearly 3K hours with Civ V though. This game just doesn't pull me in like Civ V though. Yeah, sure playthrough, but replay is a bit off. I find the same thing keeps nagging at me, the map. Specifically the resource distribution.

    I think they have a serious oversight. They handled nearly every aspect of removing luxury resources except the map generation. Luxury resources are generated by region in Civ V. That gives a region character. We may both have empires built on the high plains, but here cotton is king and you all are just a bunch of drunken monks. Well, they're just happiness. No, they take a variety of improvements. You can't build a farm on marble, you have to build a quarry. So, to me, the distinctive flavor they give regions is was an important aspect that was overlooked.

    They treat float stone, xenomass and firaxite as though they are strategic resources in Civ V, everyone needs them. Well, here some need them far more than others. I don't favor the all or nothing of Civ V. It shouldn't be you can only do firaxite because that's all that's in this region. Rather there should be primary, secondary and tertiary for each region. One is abundant, one is standard and one is rare. So you can do any affinity in any region, but some are going to be a whole lot harder than others.

    I think there should be four versions of basic resources. A version aligned with each of the affinities and then a common one. Common is equally useful to all affinities, or equally worthless. The affinity aligned ones are workable by all affinities, but of particular value to particular affinities. Your buildings with affinity requirements enhance those specific versions so they are of particular value for an affinity.

    I think it's best if the affinity flavor of a region in terms of strategic and basic resources is independent. Firaxite could be abundant, but silica is scarce. You'll do fine as supremacy, but it won't be legendary. If you get lucky and get primary on supremacy on both strategic and basic resources it might well turn out to be a legendary game.

    I think the replay value would increase dramatically. They do actually promise this. That where you are plays a big role in how you play. No, how I play is pretty arbitrary and has little to do with the terrain. Unless how I play is where I place my cities and not what I do with them. Largely if I'm going to choose an affinity based off the map it's going to be Harmony nearly every time. I'm largely a glutton for punishment because I prefer supremacy.

    So why the mod forum? Because it's modable. So one is sounding board. Does it sound reasonable? It isn't here is definitely the problem. It's more just a nagging feeling something is wrong with map. This is what I come up with as just what is wrong with it. It's the placement of the resources. It's the sameness of map after map. It also for guidance from those more familiar with the actual map generation. Maybe some insight into how to make sense of that other than brute force stare at it until it makes sense.
    Moderator Action: The Modding Help forum is not the appropriate place for your criticisms of CivBE. If you want to request a specific change you can post in the Requests & Ideas subforum under General Modding Discussions. Since this thread is mainly a discussion of what you don't like about the game I have moved it to CivBE General Discussions.
  20. gamemaster3000

    gamemaster3000 Warlord

    Dec 6, 2005
    The Great:
    --The game overall is super fun, and I'm really enjoying watching cool futuristic units battle it out!
    --The affinity system is really cool and I can't wait to splatter my buddy's hippy peace-loving aliens with my mechanized firaxite army.
    --One of the oldest problems in every Civ game is whipping through the late-game tech tree with a huge empire so fast that you can't build all the cool buildings. With trade routes (despite being broken, see below), I have a reasonable way to trade beakers for hammers.
    --The music is very epic, and ORIGINAL. I like classical music but after playing the Renaissance era in Civ 5 I want to set off firecrackers next to my ears when the songs they took from Bach come on NPR.
    --There's a large number of tile improvements, and the significant energy cost of some of them makes them interesting choices. The fact that they're powerful also adds a good element of strategy to what techs you want to research, as tile improvements are frequently not on the affinity-bonus techs.

    The Good:
    --Happiness is gone, and health will be a good replacement after a few tweaks (the penalties for massive unhealthiness aren't severe enough yet, but I'd also like to see a few more early ways of getting more health).
    --The starting bonuses are really nice, and they're all valuable enough that it's a tough decision to choose. Seeing the coastline definitely helps with scouting.
    --The good ol' land grab is back, but unlike Civ 1-4 it's not a given that the AI will attack you as soon as you do.
    --The aliens being difficult to deal with is fun, and the worms and krakens make for some interesting play.
    --The counter-intrigue system is good.
    --Barracks are gone and good riddance. Now I can build units to crush my enemies instead of building buildings to slowly prepare them instead.
    --No nukes. They were rarely a factor in the style of games I normally play, but I didn't really like them.
    --Work barges are so much better than fishing boats. The whole embarkation thing is one of the best additions to Civ 5 in general, transports were so tedious.
    --The orbital layer is a good addition
    --No camel archers or keshiks. (And if there's a longbowman unit I haven't found it yet?)
    --Stations don't have a culture border, which is kind of nice. They do block city placement, but at least you can kinda work around that.
    --The game seems difficult...I got whomped on Hardest minus one difficulty, and when I knocked it down to hardest minus two the computer still managed to repulse one of my early attacks. Although it remains to be seen how I'll do now that I'm past the learning curve.
    --Outposts unfolding is good, you have a chance to crush a puny annoying city before it gets out of control.
    --So far I like what I see about the synergy bonuses from culture.

    The Bad:
    --The city UI. The worked tile icon is too large for one.
    --Gimme back Avoid Growth!
    --The combat upgrade (there's only one!) is boring. Although it's good they baked the really powerful ones (+1 shooting range, moving after attacking) into the affinity system, upgrades like rough terrain/open terrain/cover/attacking a specific unit type would have been better.
    --I want to be able to do cool things with my forests, but I guess colonists hate trees! This was a missed opportunity to do something imaginative with what an alien forest would look like.
    --The pendulum has swung a little too far to the "wide" side of wide v tall. Although I'm really glad that the +50% science from National College is gone, I think if libraries (labs?) gave +5-10% science instead of a flat +3 that would help. Although I do like the Beyond Earth system better than the 4 mega city BNW system. Ideally playing wide, medium, and tall should all be viable, and I think in BE only wide and medium are realistic (until trade routes get their nerf anyway).
    --I'm curious if the games will end before all the cool end units come into play. I'm hoping I don't have to make every game domination if I want to see the best units on the field.
    --I shouldn't have to chat with everyone to see their beakers per turn, throw it back into the demographics tab.
    --Some of the wonders are underwhelming.
    --The relic system...I think it adds more complexity than fun. I feel it's more of a thing to not screw up than a real bonus to my civilization.
    --The upgrade that makes aliens not attack your convoys is OP. Having to build a navy to defend my trade vessels would be pretty cool, but it's not needed after that.
    --I want SAM missile launchers or some other mobile way of dealing with aircraft. (Like soldier/gunner upgrades.)
    --The number of stations should be configurable.
    --Faction bonuses could use some tweaking, they don't seem to give a whole lot of flavor to how I'm going to try to win.
    --Better trade UI is needed..."previous route" should be on top, and I should be able to find the route with the most beakers by sorting.
    --I would have liked to have "the wonder city", "the military city", and "the energy city" like I did in Civ 4. Like I said above, although I'm glad the massive +50% beakers bonuses are gone, I would like to able to specialize my cities more.
    --Buying multiple buildings per turn may be broken. I saved up 5000 energy from my massive trade routes and basically built a new capital the first turn after the outpost finished.
    --Free technologies are extremely powerful given the way the unit upgrades and affinity system work. Fortunately there's only a few ways to get them, though.
    --The game would be better if there were more steps on the affinity ladder with more gradual differences in the units as you went up. For example, if the winnning wonder was unlocked at 25 affinity (instead of 13) and then 10-12 more techs in the web gave affinity. Then adding additional unit upgrades that would be in the range of 25-50% stronger than the previous version instead of the 75-150% stronger than they are now.

    The Ugly:
    --No throne room!
    --No wonder videos!
    --Trade routes are broken, but people are raging so hard they'll be fixed soon. I personally would like to see a solution where the size of the sending city is much more of a factor in what trade routes give. Or something that scales down the rewards for multiple trade routes going to the same place (i.e. once the megacity has trade routes from cities with xenomoss, firaxite, silica, chitin, etc. there's no benefit to making new trade routes to the megacity). Also, I think trade routes could be well balanced if they provided food OR hammers and beakers OR energy. Separating beakers and energy in particular would add a lot more depth to what tile improvements you could pay for. And beakers are definitely good enough to justify a trade route for them by itself.
    --My workers forgetting how to build roads once they get maglev is pretty stupid.
    --Instant upgrades for free makes it possible to fight an evenly matched oppon....oh wait I'm now 50% stronger because I researched one tech!

    --Do stations disappear if I don't trade with them, or is it because a worm killed them?
    --What all do I earn affinity from? I seem to be getting a little progress (shown on the top bar) when I don't finish techs or choose quest rewards.
    --What determines what you get from trade routes?
    --How many decent tiles should an area have before you decide to build there? I'm thinking 6 tiles is the magic number in this game, which is much much smaller than BNW.

    Random observations, neither good or bad:
    --Firaxite/Floatrock/Xenomoss spawning near you may be critically important, but I want to play a little more first.
    --Base tile yields aren't as powerful as in Civ 5 because there are more ways to modify them. I guess I'd like to see them be a little more important, particularly through the nerfing of trade routes.
    --So far all victories seem viable, although I want to play more to see. I always felt the culture victory was kind of pointless in Civ5.
    --The decision to make artillery extremely low health is kind of interesting. I'm still on the fence about this, but I think they should be able to take an attack from a heavily wounded tank and live...not sure if they can right now.
    --There aren't a whole lot of units you can build, which is definitely a massive difference from the completely customizable units from Alpha Centauri. Although I like the Starcraft design mentality (if you can build 5 units but 2 of them are better than the other three, then you really only have 2 choices), I think there are ways they could have made more units than warrior/archer/horseman/catapult.
    --I'm looking forward to diplomacy coming back in a future expansion.

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