Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by Krajzen, Oct 24, 2014.
The depth of field effect? I quite like that, though it doesn't serve a very obvious function.
Both the style and generic icons make it look as though they stole the interface from Endless Space (though ES doesn't have a real tech web, just four unrelated branches that are depicted radiating from a central hub). This is not a good thing.
Glad it's not my eyesight.
I presume that was deliberate - Alpha Centauri did the same thing.
If I had to use one word to describe the game I've played so far, it would have to be "rushed".
The AI looks to be completely unchanged from Vanilla Civ V, despite the glaring deficiencies that AI had. Much of the text in the game is carried over verbatim from Civ V, such as diplomacy and alien alerts, with just words like "gold" substituted for their BE equivalent. Voice acting is extremely limited; take for example the AI condemning you. Now, I can understand that Civ V didn't have voice acting for that at release, since it wasn't in the game. But BE has no excuse. Or how about the tech quotes from the various leaders? SMAC had them voiced by the actual faction leaders, which helped flesh out their personality, but instead it's just the same base voice.
Despite all this I am enjoying the game and having a good time. It just really feels like it could have used a lot more development. Perhaps the inevitable expansions will help. It's just distressing to see the same cycle that Civ V went through repeated in BE.
Civ: Beyond Earthas well as CivV is a Dragon Age 2 of straegies
Curiously, the voice acting seems to have very little relation to what's actually being said in the dialogue, being restricted to a few stock phrases. I had the Kavithan Protectorate tell me something like "The truth will prevail", which doesn't obviously have anything to do with the open borders agreement we were discussing.
Another point I'd make is the superfluousness of a culture system in this game. Virtues, like quests, seem mostly to be free bonuses you get to choose every few turns more to disguise the fact that you aren't doing anything else but click 'end turn' and movement orders than to actually progress the game. Civ V's policies thematically reflected government types and in practice worked to promote different styles of play. Science boosts vs. production boosts don't promote any difference in broad strategy, and don't have any particular conceptual basis that draws you into the game world - an arbitrary name like "virtues" hardly helps, either.
As for border expansion, they could readily represent that with some kind of terraforming quotient, where the area around the settlement progressively becomes more hospitable to settlement, rather than by culture (which is an odd enough fit for border expansion in Civ).
First impressions, after a couple hours of playing.
It kinda reminds me of the recent Batman movies - I liked Batman Begins a lot, LOVED Dark Knight, and I really wanted to love the third movie (which, seriously, I just had to Google to remember what the hell it was called). Someone asked me later that day if it was good, and I really struggled to say anything good about it. I so wanted it to not be a boring, overdone film, but the best I could say about it was that it worked within the contexts of the other superior movies.
Same situation here. I like Civ4, love CiV, and still really want to love BE. And all I can summon right now is a sort of meh. There's the start of something great there, I can almost see it, but today it seems to be mostly CiV reskinned to look/play like Pandora: First Contact. (And yes, I know that P:FC heavily ripped off SMAC, but most regular players won't care. Anyone who played a lot of P:FC last year won't split hairs about it.)
I'm back to CiV. I'll play BE again, a bit here and there, mostly waiting to see what the mod community is able to do with it. But right now I have a tough time recommending it when BNW is still doing brisk business.
The game is quite fun, I enjoyed the first game, especially since i am burned out on Civ 5 anyways.
The game does seem a tad tiny (8 civs.. really? oh well), and I think they should've made an effort to include some sort of "World Council/Planetary Council"-esque feature.
But at least we get good espionage (yay.).
The tech tree is fun, the ambience is also nice. But the victory conditions don't ... really seem that exciting.
Great post, covers exactly my experience too... Highlighted the most important ones inmho. I don't get ur number 7 though... To me the stations seem extremely lame compared to internal/other civ trade routes past midgame... They should be the powerful ones, also hate that there is no diplo option to ask someone to stop attacking ur station... Only defense is unit shield :-(
Basically: web is the best new concept, trade routes OP and sucky interface, interface needs improvement overall, endgame to me feels really tedious: disconnecting you from the actual civ experience of feeling all of your planned puzzle pieces fall into place, into just clicking, clicking, clicking.
So yeah, its the same again, release, get the cash and then start polishing to make the game that we actually want to play... God you hate how it always goes like that nowadays huh?
Ow yeah one more peeve: so humanity had just destroyed it's home planet, the people arriving on the new planet can instantly communicate and yet there is no brotherhood of fighting a common enemy or anything, the AI will just declare war without further ado... I really feel that this is a major story point that was missed, to either include some council that might later break up over differences in philosophy, or just more of a joint condemnation in response to early aggression... To me it really breaks the suspension of disbelief of such a setting...
Like the game a lot of replay value. Did not expect one of the quest to destroy my biggest city for a colonist and lose the edge of resources. One of the quest have no goal(find the signal)? Seems like having 6 difficult level makes the highest difficult comparable to emperor. Love the tech tree a lot of variation in what you can do.
So far the game basically reinforces my impression that it has the same overall issues Civ 5 had, and that were not really fixed for the most part until expansion packs. very poor combat AI, numerous balance issues, failure to fix 1UPT issues, ability to slingshot/ics/trade route to victory easily at any level, along with quite a few bugs relating to many aspects of the game. The quest issues are the most annoying ones to me, where you have to build buildings in a specific city, that require a resource that city does not have etc.
Given Firaxis record, i expect it will improve with time, like Civ 5 did, but its a shame the game is not in a better state, and does not resolve long term problems with the current civ format.
These are my impressions after beating one game.
The first few turns of exploring are great. The world truly feels hostile with all these powerful aliens and toxic miasma everywhere. You feel like you need to prepare before venturing outside your borders, and settling new cities. However, I quickly discovered that the aliens will mostly leave you alone if you don't get in their way too much (i.e. removing their nests). I've killed a handfull of aliens in only 2 or 3 turns a bunch of times during my game, and they never became hostile. Even clearing nests doesn't seem to phase 'em much at some point.
The Civilizations feel stripped down. In older games everyone had their own charismatic leader with complementary music theme, their own buildings, units and/or tile improvements... They specialized in certain skills or eras. Not much of that here. Any Civ has access to every unit, building and improvement. It all comes down to affinities, which are fun, but there's only three, and they don't bring as much flavour as a wide variety of Civs does. I know nothing about my opponents, except for what they look like and their faction name. They change their look according to their affinity, but not by much. I can hardly tell what they're supposed to belong to. Maybe they wanted to go for a more realistic tone, but I'd prefered if Supremacy players just got robot arms and stuff, and Harmony players turned into green alien men. In Civ V there was an introduction for each Civ that got you pumped. Nothing but the silence of space in BE.
I never felt like I was making huge progress either.
Sci-fi mumbo jumbo techs pass by and only leave buildings and tile improvements with slightly different yields behind.
Units never progress much. They change their look and get some basic perks (Which function a lot like promotions did in Civ V, only more limited), but I never felt like my army got upgraded a huge bunch. There's hardly specialization either. I didn't have units that fought better in rough terrain, or could defend better while embarked. If a unit gains enough XP, they simply get +10% strength. There's no feeling of accomplishment similair to getting access to horsemen, gunpowder units or aircraft.
In Civ V, settling cities could get annoying due to luxury resources and all that, but in BE the location of your cities hardly matters. Even if the location is crap, you can offset the unhealth by building biowells, and the trade routes will give you enough cash flow. No luxuries also means less trade. The only time I ever traded in my 380 turn game, was when a specific Wonder required some resource. City management seems to come down to building the best possible tile improvements as you research them. Depending on your affinity, some of them can turn obsolete.
I did like the one victory type I achieved for Purity, though. You build a gate through which you can summon an earthling settler once per turn. You can build one-tile cities with these settlers, and you need to settle multiple cities and grow their population by sending even more settlers to those locations. These units can only move 1 tile per turn, the settlements are weak to enemies and need to be properly spaced apart like real cities, so it requires a lot of planning and preparation to build a sizeable army and sufficient infrastructure to complete this task quickly.
I didn't comment on the trade routes or UI since a lot of people have talked about that already. They are a hassle though. Wonders are also disappointing, as is their 'artwork' when you complete them. Even if they weren't animated clips, at least we got some nice paintings in Civ V.
So yeah, kinda mixed. Perhaps I'll find more enjoyment when I know what I'm doing, and develop actual strategies. I'm happy this game exists, and I don't regret purchasing it, but this game doesn't feel like a step forward in the Civ series to me. It feels like a side step, a diversion, which is enjoyable in its own way.
First impression; the one thing that sticks out is that the game is map driven so much more than CiV.
After a few games under my belt, my thoughts:
1) I like the concepts put into the game. I like affinities, explorers, miasma, and aliens. I like the general design of each of them.
2) The graphics are pretty good, though certain effects need some polishing. Miasma is the new Civ 5 vanilla rivers...very hard to see in some cases.
3) I agree with many that Trade Routes are distinctly OP right now, and that is the number 1 issue in the game I think from a gameplay standpoint. It drives so much of the game play, that the buildings, techs, and terraforming take a back seat when it comes to improving my cities.
4) I really really really miss my percentage buildings. I'm a builder type, I don't care a lick about war in most games, I am perfectly happy to sit back and make my super empire. And that's the problem...I can't make super cities.
A few +X bonus buildings are fine, but at some point I want to take the numbers up a notch! I enjoy civ by looking at my ridiculous city science in a city and laughing maniacally at my awesomeness. And its hard to feel that way when every building gives you just a few more points...that removes a lot of the excitement of building in the first place.
5) Sea Combat is broken right now, plain and simple. Ships should not use their melee strength for defense against most things. As such, ships one shot each other, cities one shot ships.
6) The tech web is interesting. It will take several more games to really figure out, so I can't comment too much on it. From some of the LPs I've seen, the biggest fear I have are tech slingshots.
7) I like the virtues overall. It will need another balance pass, but I like the bonuses for staying in the same area, or the same tier. I also appreciate that the military tree isn't purely military, but focusing on giving bonuses as well. This was a problem with Civ5's honor tree, that I think they have done well to solve.
8) Ultimately...right now I'm a bit bored. The game is not hooking me as a good CiV game does. Part of it is that its slow, turn times take too long, probably the usual vanilla unoptimized code. I've always said that the best way to keep me hooked is to keep the game pace moving. I can't feel engaged if I'm waiting 20 seconds every time I click next turn.
But beyond that, buildings are lackluster, the AI isn't competitive, mainly I get those Trade Routes set up and I've got most of the power the game is going to offer me. And that's not enough.
I will put in a few more games, but this might be one I have to wait on an expansion to truly embrace.
My capital is so covered in miasma I want to rename it Boatmurdered.
I usually look at what the middle of the road reviewers say rather than the haters and fanboy reviewers. Gamespot - middle of the pack - gave the game a warmish 8/10 which I think is a little generous.
Diplomacy is horrid and the game really does feel like a freshskinned mod of Civ V.
All it not lost as I think the game needs more balancing. I'm surprised the game hasn't really changed much at all since I played it at Firaxicon - must have been a lot of under-the-hood stuff they tweaked.
If I have one wish is they really give Diplomacy a heavy overhaul. What the heck am I going to trade a resource for a stupid favor for? They never give you anything for those favors in the end anyway! Give diplomacy some flavor like it had in AC.
Also, many of the reviewers mentioned the leaders are bland. I totally agree. They all seem the same. This is a huge mistake. It's a total 180 from the great job they did in Civ V - all those leaders had personality and were distinctive. I don't know how the same team or parts of the team that worked on Civ V could put out such a bland product.
That being said, it is firaxis and they have a good record of fixing things.
I don't get where a lot of these complaints are coming from, granted I'm not a 'hardcore' civ player but honestly.. complaints about the tech tree (up is essentially straight bioscience, right is exoscience, down is computer science, and left is robotics) this is the future guys, gotta think like it.
Trade routes: annoying to have to refresh? serious? it's a trade route. since the beginning of goods being transferred between two different people a trade route always has to be 'maintained' or refreshed. You don't make a deal and have it continue indefinitely.. no strategy in that right?
I'll be the first to admit that I'm no Civ expert... but damn... not even 24hrs into release and already nitpicking about relatively minor . did any of you buy D3 on release? that pile of dog crap is still going pretty strong despite the rocky start..
I see good things happening in the expansions with this game.
Game is bland, the AI is still crappy as ever, and clearly Firaxis has no intentions or the capability to fix it. But it's selling well, so who cares right?
I'm having a lot of fun. Lots of cool new concepts while keeping the civ feel. I love how they did the game setup (map, leader, sponsor, etc) which is something that hasn't changed in forever and feels fresh and exciting. I also really like the new approach to Tile Improvements and definitely can see a ton of strategies developing from that, with a lot of tradeoffs to consider. New unit upgrade concept is really cool too, and the affinity tree.
Biggest complaints are with the interface so far. This might just be the civ vet in me, but I really prefer function over form here. The main thing that gets me is the single colour scheme. While it does look cool from a distance, a lot of things do not stand out enough. City info (ie growth, next production) needs to be more obvious at a glance from the map. The tech web needs drastically improved visibility. The monotone "web 2.0" style icons are incredibly tough to differentiate between different techs, buildings, etc. Some map visuals like Miasma and Ruins also need to be more prominent, or give us an option to display them like resources.
Balance may not be perfect, but if you've ever played a previous civ game at release you'll know they were ALL horribly unbalanced/unpolished to begin with. This one actually doesn't feel too bad, especially considering Civ4/5 both took multiple expansions to get it right. I'm going to reserve judgment a bit until people have more chance to play and we see what the true powerful strats are. Right now a lot of people are judging the game while playing at the equivalent of "Prince" difficulty, which is not a good judge of anything for an experienced civ player
Gamespot gave it a 7/10 - which also feels generous imo. First impression 5 minutes in, sloppy, rushed, and designed by people that were never hardcore Civ players. Map is a mess, too hard to tell what's what, and that effect is mimicked on the tech tree, which despite its innovate design, is a cluttered mess.
Overall, the game seems to lack that AAA quality - it feels a lot like Civ IV's Colonization - a halfbaked remake of an old gem with rushed production values, building upon its predecessor to ensure sales.
Just my opinion though, and I am only 5 minutes in But modding can change all that...
i am so happy that I decided to wait. Seriously guys, look at The launches of Civ 4 and 5. Exactly the same. Let's hope history will repeat and Firaxis will repair this game to build another masterpiece.
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