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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. Kutuzov

    Kutuzov Chieftain

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    And you don't play the game for fun? Of course you do. It's just that the fun for you is in maxxing out your strategy and the tech web doesn't enhance the Civ BE experience for you. I get that you're trying to belittle his opinion by insinuating that he is playing the game in an inferior manner, ie. 'you play for fun' = you're just a casual player therefore your opinion is inferior to mine. <slow hand clap> But it's ALL about having fun. I play first and foremost to have fun and to win second. If I lose the game but I have fun, that was still a 'win'.

    My own play-style with this series, and any other 4x game played against a computer opponent is role-play. Is this superior to your max-efficiency style of play? Of course it isn't and neither is yours although you will get more kudos/cred/respect on these boards if you are an Apollo/Endless/whatever level player. There are different ways to enjoy these games.

    I read this in your response to Gorb: So, in your opinion, I am allowed to do 'bad' things because I play on lower difficulty levels? :D I argue that I can do more fun things in my game. I am having fun playing Civ BE and you're not. Which one of us is spending their time doing something 'less than optimal'? :D

    Like so many features in this game, the tech web is far from perfect and if this game gets some extra loving from the developers, I expect it will see some improvements, especially along the lines that will increase the challenge and choices available to the max-efficiency Apollo player. As you have pointed out, it clearly fails to present the max-efficiency players with interesting choices because of the bonuses the AI gets but then, most players are not max-efficiency players and so it is not a fail for us.
     
  2. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    Kutuzov you're coming at this as if "playing for fun" is supposed to be an argument for sloppy design in a strategy game. That is a recurring argument in gaming, especially on these boards for civ5 or civbe, that has never made sense.

    Whatever you want to call it, players that are just "playing for fun" are by definition not interested in getting the most of their strategic options. No problem there. But when discussing the validity and ingenuity of strategic options designed in a game how can you construct an argument around it ? Around something that do not care about that point of view ?

    What you say can almost be resumed as: "I recognize that maybe it's not well designed, but I don't care because I have fun". And there is absolutely no problem with that statement. However when someone criticize the system from a strategic point of view it holds no weight because by definition it is not based from a strategic point of view.

    I put "playing for fun" in "" because it should be instead renamed: "playing without min/maxing" or something. Everybody plays for fun as you have underlined.
     
  3. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    No, I'm not belittling his opinion, in fact I enjoy being a "casual" in many games (pretty much ANYTHING that's not an tbs) and I have absolutely no problem with other people choosing to do the same thing. And of course I'm also playing the game for fun, yet there's a difference between "just having fun while playing" and "having fun because you learn to get better at a game", that's the difference I'm referring to when I say that someone is "playing for fun". But yeah, Acken is probably right, my wording might be misleading and badly chosen - a part of that is probably the fact that English is not my native language and that I'm not yet as "well-spoken" as I'd like to be - In German "play for fun" ("Zum SpaƟ spielen") strongly indicates that a person is fine with not trying to become good and just plays for the direct enjoyment (or even prefers being "clueless" because one doesn't feel as restricted - that's how I play ARPGs. ;)

    But yes, when you're "playing without min/maxing" and at the same time taking part in a discussion that is about advanced strategies and problems with these, then that will usually mean that your opinion is not as informed as the opinion of someone who plays the game in a way that constantly brings him into situations where he clearly sees these problems. So yes, I do actually think that my opinion is probably more valid when it comes to seeing the problems that gameplay has when a player is trying to min/max, especially when other people who play the game in a similar way seem to agree with me on many points (though not always on the details).

    If I didn't have fun I wouldn't be playing the game. :D In the steam forums I'm actually rather "well known" for defending the game and being a white knight. :> A natural thing to do with all the completely over-the-top hate that some people spew. ;) But that doesn't mean that I don't talk about the problems the game has from my point of view. Because again: That's what this thread is for, right? I'm not trying to throw the game under the bus, I'm just trying to get across what needs fixing in my opinion - to ultimately make it a better game (for me - how selfish!), not to hate on the game for some nefarious reason.
     
  4. Kutuzov

    Kutuzov Chieftain

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    Please do not put words in my mouth.

    I am not saying and never will say I am happy with sloppy design in a game. IMO, not perfect =/= sloppy. That's all. If you don't like the game, of course you are going to focus on what you don't like about it because it gets in the way of your fun. It does not with mine.

    I am not saying that criticisms of systems from a strategic point of view carry no weight either. I do care about my strategic options. I have plenty of choices to make when playing Civ BE at lower difficulty levels. A max-efficiency type player doesn't seem to feel s/he has the same number of interesting strategic choices to make while playing. No argument there from me there so please don't belittle my opinion.

    And as for this:
    Likewise is restating what I said to suit you. That's a strawman on your part. I read your posts and I know you're no slouch. You should know better than to resort to this kind of argumentation. I would like to know why you are doing so here.
     
  5. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    That's how your intervention came out as sorry.

    So you're not defending the tech web and agree it's not well designed
    or
    do you think it's fine because you have fun with the game without trying to play it efficiently
    or else ?

    If it's the first option then no problem since we would agree. If it's the later then I'm sorry but that is exactly what I'm talking about, it's not an argument. If you want to defend it based on another argument than "it's fun at low difficulties" then I'm all ears and will discuss the game rather than these pointless arguments about the arguments themselves. If it's none of these please clarify.

    Although I'm not really trying to say that you don't care about your options, I'm saying that someone "just playing for fun" would not care about getting the most out of his options or how they are balanced. That is a pretty big difference.

    I think you misunderstood me because I have no idea what you're talking about here. There is 0 argumentation in what you quoted, only an attempt to make it clear what we're talking about, "playing for fun" is a stupid way of calling it (as you underlined earlier). If you want to use another definition than "playing without min/maxing" you are free to do so. This is just to not make it as if the other people are not having fun or something. We could call it a Timmy for all I care, a casual player, or keep using "those that play for fun".
     
  6. Kutuzov

    Kutuzov Chieftain

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    Black or white? No thanks, I'm going to choose grey: that it is not perfectly designed, that in my mind, not perfect =/= bad design. I stated in my earlier post that I thought it could do with improvement.

    I already did. Not perfect =/= sloppy (bad) design

    I do care about getting the most out of my options and how they are balanced. Playing on lower difficulty levels allows me to do that and they feel balanced to me. Playing on the highest obviously does not. I can accept that so why can't you accept my experience? I agree that the tech tree is not optimally* designed for the max-efficiency players. But it works very well for those that don't want to play the game this way because we're not under so much pressure to be 'efficient' and therefore, we do not feel that it is a fail. I'd prefer to think of it as a work in progress. It's not easy to get right so that everyone, new players and advanced players alike, can have get the best out of it.

    * Please note that I say 'not optimally' instead of 'badly'. Badly seems to imply some contempt for the design, a view which I do not share.
     
  7. tedeviatings

    tedeviatings Chieftain

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    If you care about getting the most out of your options you are a min-maxing optimizer per definition. Which, of course, does not mean you enjoy Apollo-difficulty gameplay. Maybe you enjoy optimizing for soyuz victory more than for apollo victory. Which is a closely related but not identical optimization problem.

    There is such a thing as balancing for different settings and difficulties. Intuition proposes two different solutions: You can try and make your game balanced for high level of "skill" - or you can try and make your game balanced for the level of play most people are at. Things can be said against both balancing strategies. And usually they are sort of mutually exclusive. But in CivBE SP setting I'm not sure they are.

    It is of course only my personal opinion, but I think if you make it so there are 5 major strategies to approach (e.g.) affinity victory on apollo, those will also work on all difficulties below. Additionally there might be some sub-optimal strategies that don't work reliably on apollo but are good enough to beat the AI on other difficulties. Worst case of making another strategy viable for apollo seems to be "It was viable on other difficulties before so nothing was gained for everyone else". Best case is "This strategy is now viable for apollo games and also for all difficulties below, where it also was not viable before". And if this is right then it seems to make sense to balance for apollo.
    And when you've established that it makes sense to balance for apollo - then balanced should be talked on this level as well. Not to shut anyone out, one can have perfectly good arguments and ideas no matter what level they play at. It's just that these arguments then need to apply to apollo gameplay.
     
  8. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    It seems to me Kutuzov you illustrate exactly what I was saying actually.

    You use the fact that making detours in the tech tree works fine at low levels to make it an argument about why the tech tree is not so bad (or "not perfect but not bad"). So like I said you use a point of view based on how the game is fun in a discussion centered around a strategic point of view.

    That is 100% what I said in my earlier post, this is an argument that doesn't make sense. Why ? Because for example making a detour in the tree in lower levels is not a more strategically sound option than at higher level. It's as much a bad/not-optimal play than at higher levels. You just can get away with a bad move at lower levels.
    I do agree that you can have fun that way. But I'm sorry I cannot agree it's a valid argument when defending the design of the thing.

    I'll recenter the debate. The main critic raised against the tech web is that past the first few techs, due to affinity leafs, you're pigeonholed into beelining one affinity tech after another. Detours are only a distraction. Therefore linearizing the tech web, which is rather against the design philosophy of the thing. You also end up ignoring most of it.
    If you are really caring about getting the most out of your options and how they are balanced then please discuss how the above is (sometimes) not true and how the tech web allows for a lot of creative strategies. You could also just say that you like this limitation, that's okay (afterall whether or not the critic raised is an issue or not is an opinion). In that case we'll just have to agree to disagree over what is good design since this is one of my major grip with Civ:BE.

    This is not even a Gemini vs Apollo discussion here. It's not that the tree works on Gemini and the designers were struggling to find a balance between the two level of difficulties, in which case your argument would make a lot more sense. But no, here the tree present the same problems in all difficulties. The only difference is that the problem become apparent more glaringly on Apollo. If I were to go down to Gemini level I would not suddenly make less optimal choices in the game. Unless I wanted to just "play for fun" and play around with the toys.

    It's exactly like talking about the Honor tree in Civ5. I can give arguments why the tree is badly designed and should be revamped. Someone that come into the discussion saying he can win with the tree and find it fun on Prince is not an argument over whether or not the tree is well designed or balanced. On the other hand if someone show me when the tree performs really well and can be the superior option then it's a counter argument. It doesn't matter that I can use Honor and have fun with it, the tree is inferior to a liberty/tradition strategy even on Prince. (Note that this is only an example and I'm aware that Honor actually has niche uses, no need to start a parallel debate around that)
     
  9. GAGA Extrem

    GAGA Extrem Chieftain

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    It is nice that aliens have some sort of extended basic behaviour, but it is ultimately the same mechanic.

    Plus there is a problem:
    These changes have made the aliens less dangerous than barbs in CIV5. They do not threaten you, they do never pillage your improvements and unless their nest is on a spot where you absolutely want to go you fall back to one simple strategy: Ignore them (either forever or until you can stomp them with your affinity 1 Marines).

    It is an interesting twist on the barbarian mechanic, but ultimately not nearly as fleshed out as it seemed from the dev video.
     
  10. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    Would have been cool if Aliens got stronger as game progress and started to be more and more agressive toward non harmony players.
     
  11. Kutuzov

    Kutuzov Chieftain

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    I've already said that I can understand why it is not optimally designed for the highest level players. I'm not dismissing your concerns. But you are dismissing my point that the design works better when you play at lower levels. That it does so seems fairly obvious if you ask me.

    Games are not designed and balanced for the players who want to play at the highest skill levels, at least not on release. Just like those folks who want to play on Epic or Marathon speeds will find the balance is askew as well. The game is balanced for the average player and its design merits should be assessed with the average in mind and not only with the highest level player in mind. The average gets the priority of the limited development time. The tech tree will be optimised for advanced players in a later patch or expansion, if we get one.

    You really are not pigeon-holed into beelining one affinity tech after another at lower levels. They are not a distraction, they are a legitimate choice. You can pursue different strategies in your game because you have some time, not a lot, to explore them on the lower levels. At the highest level, you unquestionably are pigeon-holed. Absolutely no disagreement from me there. Playing on these levels presents different challenges to the player. Just like reality is different at different levels of existence so it is in a game ;)

    It must be really tough trying to design a new tech tree that will satisfy the needs of every level of player. I know you don't play Endless Legend but I happen to like their tech eras where you are free to pick any tech from that era or an earlier one with the cost of each subsequent tech increasing as a result. For us medium level players and lower, there's absolutely oodles of choice to be made and it's fun. But I've read criticisms on their boards from advanced level players who claim that there is absolutely no choice to be made when you are playing at higher difficulty levels. Higher level players have different needs than the average. That they are not easily met by tech trees does not mean that a game is badly designed.
     
  12. a space oddity

    a space oddity Chieftain GOTM Staff

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    That would be cool indeed, especially the latter. This could also be done at a steeper rate at the higher levels.

    It would also be cool if there was a way to spawn aliens on harmony player's terrain, making the presence of aliens possible at the later stages of the game when all the land is taken, something like a proper "alien preserve" with permeable fences... ;)
     
  13. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    This is where your argument totally crumbles for me. I have no doubt that I won't convince you but I'll just reiterate and let observers decide even though I feel I'm just repeating myself at this point.

    You're justifying once again detours as a legitimate choice at low levels because you have more time. However the only thing it does justify is that the choice was between a good one and a bad one. Between the right decision and the distraction.
    You are not defending the bad choice by any in-game argument over other possibilities. Why would you not get those affinity techs as fast as possible ?
    Being able to get away with bad choices certainly can be fun. But then you try to use it as an argument for how the system is balanced or well designed. This is where your argument does not make sense (to me at least hey).

    This is not an Apollo vs Gemini discussion here, this is truly your misconception of the problem. Apollo players only see more clearly issues already present on Gemini. If I were playing at your level while still being aware of what choice is better than the other my complain would be exactly the same. For the same reason I think Rationalism is a must have in Civ5, the fact that I can get away with not picking it, is absolutely not an argument over Rationalism being a well thought out tree.
    There are some design problems that suffer from a low vs high level dichotomy, but the tech web is not one of them.
     
  14. Kutuzov

    Kutuzov Chieftain

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    I just do not see this in the same way as you do and that's our problem. You are looking at tech tree choices and evaluating them as good and bad, the right decision or the distraction. You evaluate them in this fashion because you know that choosing certain techs will be very bad if you are going for, let's say Supremacy because you will lose the game if you don't pick the optimal path through the tech tree to get the win. You don't have the luxury of making different choices when playing under the pressure you're under playing at max difficulty. The AI bonuses are insane and so you have to make the best choice or 'die'. This is your strategy. When playing like this, the tech tree is not optimally designed to give you interesting choices.

    Me? It's not 'good' or 'bad' for me at all. There are no 'distractions' as I don't have to worry too much about being so precise and can chose techs which best fit with my chosen strategy for that game. I'm role playing and so am more fascinated by seeing what will happen in my game if I do A and B. I want to watch my empire evolve as a result of my decisions in what is still an interactive, highly competitive, and very dangerous environment. That is my strategy. I still really want to win but as long as I have fun while doing so, I am happy.

    For example, just now I'm playing as PAC. I chose to bring engineers to add to my strength and I've been chosing from the Industry tree for my first few virtues. This would be an insane choice if I were playing Apollo because I'd most likely have to go Prosperity to get the free settler and worker.
     
  15. Kutuzov

    Kutuzov Chieftain

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    I'm not going to discuss this with you any further. :rolleyes:
     
  16. GAGA Extrem

    GAGA Extrem Chieftain

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    Fair enough. I think we both made our points.

    But you see our point.
    If they'd fix the tech web <-> VC problem either nothing changes for your playstile or you get new/more opportunities. Meanwhile our playstile would receive more valid options and equal opportunities.
    I see no reason to not to make this part of the game better (or: even better) in future.

    Here is an idea: Allow Workers to "build" an "Alien Nest" (or: "Alien Preserve") on Xenomass tiles with... dunno... Harmony 5. Supremacy gets the "Computer Core" for Firaxite and Purity the "LEV Mine" for floatstone.

    And speaking of scaling aliens: Would be cool if the Mindflower would not only trigger alien aggression, but also unleash a new wave of aliens. Either by creating new nests or by uncovering the new "ressource" "Siege Worm Caverns". :D
     
  17. keldaur

    keldaur Chieftain

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    Acken while i agree with the sentiment against the beelining featuring on BE's research paths, the linealization of the tech web is not due the tech web being poorly designed, but victory conditions and the affinity system being poorly designed and tied to it.

    It may seems like the same thing, but they are not. And hence why at lower difficulties, Kutuzov is probably having a lot of fun with how the tech web is designed, since he is not really on a rush propelled by how easy and efficient it is to just beeline to VC and affinity tiers to compete.

    The problem is how to adjust the Victory conditions with the affinity system to not reward beelining the tech web. In my opinion, Affinity shouldn't be tied AT ALL at the tech web, but your actions to aliens and the ecosystem, "rewarding" you with how much you invest into terraforming and purging the aliens with purity XP for example, which should always go in detriment of other affinities, to force interaction between them instead of the full tech wins we have right now.
     
  18. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Good points, keldaur.
     
  19. 4N4C0ND4

    4N4C0ND4 King

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    I think this is where you are wrong Kutuzov, no offence intended.

    If you want to speak about balance then it force you to play at a high level, because it's only when you play under pressure that you are forced to see what really works and what doesn't. When you play at high difficulties, it's obvious that the free settlers is the best approach 99% of games, that academies are OP and that trade roads needed/need a balance. If also helps that persons playing on higher difficulties tends to be the people who play the more, hence helping finding balance designs & flaws from experience.

    I don't like min/maxing much, I prefer role playing in CIV, but you have to agree that if a game has flaws, then it's this kind of persons who have the most logical chance to outline them.

    Something that hasn't been mentioned about the tech tree and that I definitely love is that you can finish the game w/o a big chunk of the tech not researched; I love that after my 5th game, I still have techs that I have never researched yet, it brings a bit of re playability imo.

    I also wouldn't say that you have to research your affinity non stop after the inner ring; sometimes the economy or the threat of war pushes you to get non affinity techs; vertical farming, missile batteries, the miasma worker immunity thing, etc... It's not as linear as some people are saying.
     
  20. Victus75

    Victus75 Chieftain

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    It seems like a good analogy of the disagreement would be:

    Person 1: "Hey, this sports car I bought has a flaw! If I go over 100mph, there is a knocking sound coming from the engine."

    Person 2: "Well, I like to drive less than 100mph, and since I don't hear knocking, it's not an issue for me".

    I think the disconnect is the words used to describe how much of an impact it is for a particular player. You can say that the sports car isn't meant to be driven over 100mph and therefore is not a flaw. Or you can say since it's a sports car, you should be able to push the limit and if there is a problem doing so, then it's an issue. You can both be right.

    Now, back to BE, I probably fall more into the "less extreme" type of player, but I will try my hand at Apollo difficulty (working my way up the ladder) and try and find a comfortable medium. If something should be improved at Apollo to not have such a linear path to victory, then I agree having more options ("fixing it") would be a good thing.
     

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