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Game is too superficial, too boring, too onesided, too imbalanced

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by Qbix, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    I think most of the problems come down to 2 major problems: The design decision(?) to keep things as vague and superficial as possible... and that the devs apparently don't really have any clue about making the game appeal to "experienced players".

    The fall patch fixed some of the major issues, but I don't know of many people who actually thought BE was a "bad game" before the fall patch and then started liking it when the patch came out. It was mostly a fix for the people who already liked the general design and it did a somewhat good job in that regards, but unfortunately at the same time they just "fixed" all the "small" things that players issued, while not changing anything about the big problems - like the fact that the game still ends when the empire just starts to really grow and that the scope of the techweb just is SO much bigger than the actual game.
     
  2. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    The scope of the tech web is only really beyond the reach of a Duel or one-sized-larger map. Playing extended games on larger maps bumps up the turns required to assert dominance significantly, especially if you don't mathematically plan the optimal route to rush a particular Victory strat.

    A lot of the game is designed to be played, and not to be min-maxed to see how fast people can complete an Apollo Victory. Such players are a miniscule portion of the playerbase and it makes no financial sense to cater towards them.

    The issues in the eyes of the casual playerbase is most likely the perceived overlap with CiV, which in itself is quite a hard issue to fix - especially as half the userbase are expecting Civ 6, and the other half were expecting a more SMAC-like experience than BE provided.

    Don't tell me what to do, please. I'm allowed to defend a game I enjoy as much as you're allowed to attack it.

    Aliens are much more than Space Barbarians. The fact that you have to manage Xenomass tiles and Miasma (as combinations create Nests) in addition to Aliens not being units at your tech level or an era or two behind (it's always fun having Great War Infantry when all the Barbarians have are Longswordsmen). The issue is with the relative scaling of the Aliens by comparison, as their units don't tech up like Barbarians do. Perhaps that's intentional!

    Everything else you listed is incredibly subjective and worthy of debate in threads of their own. You simply saying all of those things doesn't make any of them true.
     
  3. Kutuzov

    Kutuzov Prince

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    You are simply pointing out what you do not like with the game and nothing more. When you really dislike something, you will find fault with pretty much everything. I like Civ BE and don't share your negative evaluation of the game at all.

    Some folks hated the Civ V artwork instead of the wonder videos that Civ IV and earlier had. I liked the artwork in Civ V and didn't miss the videos at all. I like Civ BEs schematics too.

    I really like Civ BE's leaders, and I mean REALLY like them. They have ample personality and are very engaging to me. Kozlov is the leader I most fear in this game. Of course, the factions are not as distinctly different as are say Endless Legends factions but they are very customisable inasmuch as you can choose your colony ship's load-out to make the PAC a different experience every time for a long time at least. Is there enough difference? I guess there is for me but not for some..

    The tech web is not pointless. If you liked the rest of the game, you'd probably be stoked with it.

    As for atmosphere, this game has it in spades. :cool: IMO, it is easily the most beautiful Civ game ever, aurally as well as visually. The soundtrack for this game sends shivers up and down my spine when I'm playing. It is absolutely AWESOME! The sound effects, alerts etc are very atmospheric too. And the level of detail on the animations is incredible too. Those little chitins seem to square off with each other from time to time and the worker animations are fantastic too.

    The aliens are absolutely NOT space barbarians. In my current game I sent a colonist and a marine together right into the midst of a swarm of aliens to get to a fantastic location. The aliens hadn't attacked me yet and so I gritted my teeth and made my way through them. They left me alone and I grew the outpost into a city. Barbarians would NEVER have done that.

    I could go on too. I LOVE this game and I don't care what other people here think or how much of a minority I'm in in stating that. For me, it's better than Civ V. (Not by much, mind, but it's what I prefer) It's certainly far from perfect and I appreciate its flaws too but I love the game and enjoy playing it regardless. If I weren't I would be playing something else and not moping around these boards complaining about it.:lol:

    And on an unrelated point, FWIW, there are more positive reviews of Civ BE on Steam than negative.
     
  4. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    The size of the map has little to no impact on how long games last. Even a huge map with 12 AIs will not last longer than ~240-250 turns on Apollo because the AI on the other side of the continent will just win if you didn't win yourself until that point.

    I'm surely not the min-maxing kind of player, but even as a normal player who will do stuff that doesn't make sense just to find other ways of playing the game I basically have the choice of playing "somewhat efficiently" and thus give up on 80% of the tech web or going down a few difficulties (until the game basically doesn't offer any challenge anymore) - or just disabling all victories except for domination.

    Why would they need to cater to those players? The victory conditions just trigger WAY too early no matter what kind of player you are. The fact that military strength and victory progress are basically the same is also something that is just bad design and should have been avoided completely.
     
  5. a space oddity

    a space oddity Deity GOTM Staff

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    I think they did this for the people complaining that the endgame of a Civ game is (can be) tedious. The big techweb is brilliant for people who want to play around a bit, not persueing the fastest win per se. I guess it is really hard to please everybody, even within a relative small group of people like Civ fanatics. ;)
     
  6. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Well, the Endgame in BE is just as bad when it comes to that. ;) I see what they tried to do and I'm actually okay with the general idea, but they didn't really reach that goal, instead they took away much of the part that I (and probably most people?) find enjoyable and just made the boring "waiting time" at the end of the game come much earlier. They should have made the endgame more enjoyable (or just remove the endgame instead of the later midgame), but instead they managed to make it even less interesting or, in the case of purity, much more tedious.
     
  7. a space oddity

    a space oddity Deity GOTM Staff

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    I agree.
     
  8. Kutuzov

    Kutuzov Prince

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    The first time you go for a Purity win, you might experience some frustration but the next time you go for it, you'll plan for it much, much better and so it shouldn't be so 'tedious'. It wasn't tedious for me my first time. I just stuck with it like I did when I went for the new Cultural victory Venice for the first time in CiV BNW. And, IMO, nothing much compares to the tedium of going for Domination.

    All 4x games run out of steam towards the end. If there's one that consistently stays challenging right up to the end, please tell me as I'd like to try that.
     
  9. a space oddity

    a space oddity Deity GOTM Staff

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    Don't get me wrong, I don't think the endgame is tedious, I actually like taking care of the empire even when it is obvious I have won, but I know that there are people who feel differently. Those people now still have to 'wait' for the victory, even though it is after fewer turns. I think the game could do with a longer mid-game, making it even better.
     
  10. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Waiting for a wonder to finish, then waiting for for 1-move units to reach their destination while there's really nothing else to do anymore except for making sure that no AI settler somehow sneaks by is not needlessly tedious in your opinion? Even with pre-built magrails and a full-production capital that is not too far off the area that has enough space for the settlements it's just "waiting to be declared the winner" when you actually already know that nothing will stop you at that point. Can't see the gameplay-value of that.
     
  11. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    1. The size of a map has a moderate impact, as does the selection of Victories available. 250 turns is a damn sight larger than a 120 turn Domination Victory, for example. 250 turns can be extended itself due to resource placement - I once played a game where nobody (not even the AI) could progress due to a complete lack of Titanium for anyone on the map. About 300 turns in eventually one of the AI just beat me to a Titanium plot, I got another nearby and there was a frantic rush to the finish (the AI won in the end, though barely).

    2. 80% (even as an exaggeration) of the tech web is only locked out considering the following restrictions:

    a) you're against a competent enemy / significantly difficult AI (in terms of tier, I'd say probably Gemini or above due to the bonuses they receive).

    b) you've only upticked, or have upticked, Affinity / Contact Victories, as these are the easiest to achieve by streamlining your acquisition of Victory-related technologies.​

    The game is designed for player who don't play these Victory types, as well as the ones that do. That said, it is rather difficult to balance the game for all of these game types given that all variant types share the same game balance and mechanical code.

    3. You cater to all players. You cater to players the most depending on their financial impact on your success and their likelihood to re-invest in future products. To be blunt, the majority of vocally-disappointed people on this forum keep talking about how Civ4 is the superior game. Firaxis aren't going to aim to please them with Civ 6. They're going to build on what they started with CiV, and possibly what they achieved with BE as well.

    How does military strength equate to Victory progress? I thought it was more Science-related myself (like all Civ games are Science is King. No exceptions. Even moreso in BE given that Science dominance ensures Affinity dominance that ensures military dominance).
     
  12. Kutuzov

    Kutuzov Prince

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    No, really it was not tedious for me at all and I'm frankly surprised that you would question it. I don't doubt it was tedious for you and if it were tedious for me, I would admit that it was as there's nothing for me to 'gain' here.

    As for waiting to be declared the winner, there's almost no 4x game I've ever played that wasn't 'finished' before I finally won. I usually know I've won long before it happens.

    The only game I've played where this didn't happen was EU2/3/4 and that's only because I stopped playing when the fun went out of the game. there's no Hall of Fame in Paradox games which means that I can't even play on to better my previous score.
     
  13. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    The size of the map has an impact on the quick victories, but not on the top end. Restricting the resources doesn't make the game more interesting, it just creates an artificial barrier that will only benefit the player.

    80% is not an exaggeration, that's about the amount of techs that you don't get before the "final waiting session" during a "rush to victory"-type of game, of course varying a bit by the affinity, strategy and sometimes the area you go for..

    But yes, you're right - those are the scenarios in which the game ends too soon. Sure, if you just play the game as a sandbox and do whatever the hell you feel like without even trying to pursue a victory -> yeah, then that's an entirely different scenario. But what exactly is the argument? Are you saying the devs did the right thing by not making the game as much fun as possible for as many players as possible? After all, making the game fun for players who play for efficiency or at least like to pretend to do so, does not by default make it less fun for the "play for fun"-side. I rather think the Devs didn't really understand the critic that Civ5 got and misinterpreted it.

    I don't think that's true. The "endgame" for example is boring for both player types and a few changes would make it more interesting for both. Let's take Purity as an example: How about making the human settlements a rather early part of the victory and then make it part of the victory to help these settles develop, which would require late-game tech. That way, tech would always stay relevant, if they placed those tech-requirements on non-affinity-branches of the tech tree balancing military progress and victory progress would become a thing, more parts of the tech web would be used and the player would have a "weak spot" to defend. Combine that with a mechanism that makes the AI progressively more aggressive the closer you come to achieving your victory, regulate that by difficulty so that on lowest difficulties it's practically non-existing - and voila. In less then 2 minutes I came up with a victory condition that I'd say is - although I didn't really change that much - already SO much more interesting and that actually ends with a big bang when playing against capable AIs instead of a waiting-session.

    3. You cater to all players. You cater to players the most depending on their financial impact on your success and their likelihood to re-invest in future products. To be blunt, the majority of vocally-disappointed people on this forum keep talking about how Civ4 is the superior game. Firaxis aren't going to aim to please them with Civ 6. They're going to build on what they started with CiV, and possibly what they achieved with BE as well.

    You need affinity for both, military progress and victory progress. While going for affinity13 and the victory wonder your units are automatically upgraded. If they detatched the two, then keeping up in military and pushing to victory would be a way more volatile and strategic thing. Can I get away with not upgrading my units? Will I win before the AI is too strong if I skip a few military techs? Could be easily done by implementing a fourth resource on the tech web - military might or something, that lies on other techs than the actual affinities.

    The main reason I was asking was because I wasn't really sure if you really meant that you're okay with the waiting and the anti-climatic ending, or if you just didn't find managing the units and clicking the portal etc. tedious. Sure, if that's your opinion, then that's fair game, although I have to say that I strongly disagree about the "That's how 4x are, we have to accept that."-part. Just because people have been lazy about that for some time now doesn't mean that it has to be that way.
     
  14. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Sorry, I didn't mean that artificially-limited resources was the way to go. It just turned out that way in a game or two I played. Really was quite funny observing the deadlock and the AI's incessant (if actually clever) requests for strategic resources.

    ------------​

    With regards to the developers understanding the criticism of CiV, I'll admit I'm completely lost there as I wasn't around for the criticism, nor did I get that into CiV analysis (I got the hang of slingshot strategies easily enough though, and saw the flaws in a linear tech tree that allowed for this). CiV was my first re-entry into the series since I played Civ 1 and SMAC when I was (a lot) younger :p

    That said, it's entirely possible the developers misinterpreted the criticism CiV received. Or decided to go about fixing it in a way that didn't end up making sense. I don't get the repeated complaint of "boring" - all 4x games are "boring" to a certain extent. They're passive, slow-paced games. There is little margin for making a mistake considering turn times are relatively long / virtually unlimited. I don't get the complaints of "boring / just clicking every turn" because that's how I view Civilisation games full-stop.

    To be clear, I like them for that. I enjoy the pacing, the world-building, the empire management . . . no other game really comes close (barring SotS, but gawd that game has a horrific UI and I haven't got the sequel yet despite it being playable these days).

    As a further comparison, SotS has the real-time battle layer that adds a bit of excitement into the mix. As do the Total War games (even if they're predictable and very easy to manage). I dunno, it's a very subjective measure.

    ------------​

    The issue you're describing with military units is a problem, but I disagree with your solution. That said, implementing a "military" resource is possibly one of the cleaner ways of addressing the issue.

    Firaxis looked at this by nerfing the viability of early Affinity units causing the winning player to dominate with an almost-untouchable military. People complain that they're "too nerfed" now but I disagree on that score I think the new early Affinity units are in a great place, timing and cost-wise. You actually have to decide between Affinity units and regular Affinity-upgraded units depending on resource constraints.

    Back to the Victory reasoning, the core that powers both Affinity and military strength is still Science. If you dominate on Science, you have the requisite techs to either win a military or Affinity Victory. The issue isn't military strength, that's merely a symptom of Science is King. Which has been an issue throughout the series, and I haven't seen any solid suggestions on how to address that.
     
  15. GAGA Extrem

    GAGA Extrem Emperor

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    I see no real way to defend the current state of the tech web. Its design fails due to the way the Victory Conditions interact with it. It would need a lot of extra tech effects and a complete redesign the Victory conditions to make it work properly.

    I'd argue that a good amount of the techs are just there to have a button in the tech web - because gameplay wise their effects are either neglectible or they come way too late to have any impact on a game. Some are Affinity techs, so there is sometimes a reason to research them, but that's actually it. If you disregard Affinity techs for victories, I'd argue you could remove almost half of the tech web at this point.

    As for the tedious late game, I am pretty sure it was done to balance MP games. It creates a "final stand" situation each time somebody is close to winning. That by itself is not a bad idea, but in that case the AI should at least act appropriately. Maybe they should add some special events every few rounds, so that the player has some choise during the waiting time. Instead of just clicking "next turn", add some challenge that makes this period more interesting and interactive.

    ...but hey, at least I can always go Harmony to pick the least tedious VC. All those who want to spend three to four times as much time to micro their Purity settlers shall do so. I, for one, will invest that time saved to do something else (like playing another match :p).
     
  16. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    How does it fail? What is wrong with defending something that I see as useful? Throwing out statements such as "I see no real way to do X" doesn't actually help the discussion, all you're doing is trying to discredit the action of defense itself.

    Which is unfair, because you're allowed to attack the state of the tech web, no? You need to explain how something fails, and not just give a vague reason like "the way X interacts with it".

    How do the Victory conditions interact with the tech web? How much of this is due to Science is King? How do we solve Science is King in Civilisation games?

    And while managing your Earthling Settlers may be annoying, I don't see it as taking that much time. There's also a mod that automates a bit of the clicking. It's definitely the most micro-intensive of the Victories, but arguably that's because it's the best-designed one. The Emancipation Gate is the worst-designed because it promotes a snowballing Victory, and the Mind Flower is in the middle. It'd be on a par / better than the Exodus Gate if the actual effects (Alien hostility / going berserk) actually had a noticeable impact on gameplay.
     
  17. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Yes, I also enjoy that 4x specific kind of "boring", but that's not really what I mean when I'm talking about the boring endgame. What I mean by that is the fact that, as soon as you unlock the victory wonder:
    - Science becomes useless
    - Further City-Development becomes useless
    - Policies become useless
    etc. etc. - you basically start clicking "next turn", wait for the game to process and then click "next turn" again. That's just completely unnecessary and could be solved with some easy changes - or do you disagree that my purity-example would make the actual progress more interesting by just cutting that end sequence and instead introduce a system where most mechanics stay active 'till very shortly before the victory and science really matters until the very last turn?

    It's not so much about balance and yes, the core mechanic will always be science, but the problem is the automatic progression of both, military and victory by getting the same techs. Imagine if in Civ 5 all military upgrades were actually on the same techs as the science buildings. That's pretty much how it works in Beyond Earth... you basically get military progress for free without really having to find a balance between military and "progression"-techs, because Affinity is both, Military progress through unit upgrades and direct victory progress because you need them to build the affinity-specific wonders.
     
  18. Socratatus

    Socratatus Emperor

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    The more I read up on people`s experience of this game, the more I`m convinced that this game is bland, bland, bland. Their previous version of this which I still have, is way better. Firaxis are gonna have to work hard before I even think of purchasing this.
     
  19. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    The same issues are present in CiV - the Science Victory in particular because at that stage of the game you both have Nuclear / Solar Plants and Aluminium deposits (and the Spacecraft production building). Every turn-based game at one point or another devolves to just clicking "next turn".

    Could the Victories be improved upon? Certainly. I hope that Firaxis do, and not just in an expansion pack but realistically that seems like the most likely option (programmer resources, etc). However, ultimately, this doesn't make-or-break the gameplay. Most people that find the game not worth their time probably give up a long time before that.

    As an example, 12.7% of the game population have won on Mercury. Even less than that (8.2%) have won on the easier (easiest) difficulty, Sputnik. The Victories being analogous to military strength isn't a problem with the game that will help these people play the game more. It might help you, it might help me (modding the Affinity progression and Victories is something I'm going to look at if I ever have free time again; still haven't been able to finish work on my Explorer mod) . . . but it won't solve the core problem that I was discussing which is why do people not find the game as interesting.

    2.1% of players have won an (unmodded) Multiplayer game. That really contradict's this forum's experience of bashing the AI and claiming MP balance is the most important.

    You played the demo?
     
  20. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Yes, ECACTLY. :) That's probably one of the main criticisms Civ 5 got. That "the game drags on too long". And it seems like the developers transcribed that into "The game is too long, let's cut a big part of the the midgame to make it shorter!" - and took away part of the fun, while leaving the problematic part almost untouched.

    But you're right:
    This isn't one of the issues that many people who "left the game" had, that's the main issue I have with the game, as someone who likes the game overall. By itself reworking that problem will not make the game more attractive for the people who chose not to continue playing very early on, but combined with addressing the other main issues (mainly the things the op mentioned) it will make it a so much more pleasing experience.

    Again, I never said this the reason why people left the game. I just said that it's one of the core issues I personally have with the game.

    Well, if it's the same as Civ 5 then "winnig a multiplayer game" is relatively hard because the game doesn't count victories when people leave instead of playing the game out. ^^ But I've actually not made that experience. To be honest I've seen very, very few threads that mentioned multiplayer at all. ^^


    You played the demo?[/QUOTE]
     

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