1. We have added the ability to collapse/expand forum categories and widgets on forum home.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. All Civ avatars are brought back and available for selection in the Avatar Gallery! There are 945 avatars total.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. To make the site more secure, we have installed SSL certificates and enabled HTTPS for both the main site and forums.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Civ6 is released! Order now! (Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR)
    Dismiss Notice
  5. Dismiss Notice
  6. Forum account upgrades are available for ad-free browsing.
    Dismiss Notice

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

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

  1. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    5,599
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QC, Canada
    Well it's your right to not view them as good or bad but only as options from a roleplaying PoV. But then you have to use that same PoV when trying to discuss if whether or not the game mechanics interract well or not together or whether they are balanced. And this is where the communication isn't possible. If I explain why an option is better than another or why a design is good or bad I'll try to use game arguments and maths while your argument is about how each option fit your roleplay or how fun they seem (feel).

    We apparently clearly do not share the same idea over how a strategy game should be designed.
    You have the right to view it like this and enjoy it but I'll continue to just disregard that kind of argument because in holds no weight for me on how I think a good strategy game should be made. Also there is nothing to discuss about it since it's about your feelings rather than more concrete stuff that you can debate over.

    To me you're playing on words to say the exact same thing than I.
    I have said it way earlier, the problem is how affinities are linked to the tree. You can even view a post about this in my LP thread back from november :lol:

    Whether you want to call it a problem with the tree or a problem with affinities I don't really care, the result is the same: We agree that there is a problem with how techs are researched, where beelining affinities one after the other come turn 100ish is the only thing that is strategically sound.

    And yes if someone had asked me how I'd fix the problem I would also remove the affinity from the tree and find a better way to make you level in it. In my first post in this argument I have clearly stated that I think that in itself the web is a good idea. But then they decided to powder affinity techs through it and this is how a good idea gets ruined.

    And hell when it comes to BE I'm far from an expert so if with my limited experience I can see these glaring issues I can't help but wonder how better players feel about the game.
     
  2. keldaur

    keldaur Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Tenerife
    I only read a few bits on your discussion with Kutuzov, so i may have slipped on my part with what you were implying, apologies.

    From what i gathered, you were putting blame on the tech web being poorly designed instead of the Victory conditions and how they were tied to the tech web. You remove affinity from the game, and the tech web would feel wonderful with the affinity units being the "military" upgrades and being able to focus on a lot of different techs (that doesn't mean that the game would be perfect).

    But i see we agree on this, i just wanted to clear out why Kutuzov may find the tech web well designed, because fundamentally in my opinion it is, and if you don't put yourself in the spot where you need to compete with the AI/Players for VCs, you can have some interesting interactions with it.

    So while Beelining techs is the sympton, the illness is not the techweb itself, it is the affinity and VCs.

    Just for the record, i surely don't have as many hours as others, i only have 100 hours, most of them on apollo tho, but i think i can see from where kutuzov is coming from.
     
  3. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    5,599
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QC, Canada
    The fundamental disagreement is that I think 2 options should be designed in order to be both approximately as good strategically and that the way to achieve this is to look at it from a min-max perspective. On the other hand Kutuzov thinks the 2 options are fine as long as they look fun or provide enough roleplay.
    While we probably both agree that these are not mutually exclusive options there is clearly a divergence over which one should be the priority for good design in a TBS (I precise because for example in a RPG I would agree with his views).

    This is an irreconcilable divergence of opinion.
     
  4. Minor Annoyance

    Minor Annoyance Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    2,247
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    If affinity victories are too linear because they require specific technology, why not remove that restriction? Still have the communication satellite, but have building the gates just be based on affinity level. Also change affinity value of technologies so the tech that is farther away from the most commonly gotten technologies give the most points. I've tried this myself without the removing of the tech requirements for the gates and it did take longer to get to the higher affinity levels. I'd keep high harmony levels on Nanorobotics, Alien Hybridization (via Transgenics), and Swarm Intelligence though to mimic the previous harmony quest tech path, as those techs do seem like things that would be the most logically necessary to bond with the planet, while the tech for the gates seems slightly arbitrary.

    Another idea, in addition to expanding the quest system as an affinity source, I'd have all affinity XP draw from the same pool of points. Have the affinity points required to get max level of one (370 points) distributed on the tech web, but whenever you get affinity XP from any source including quests and virtues, subtract that amount from what is available on the tech web. The way it was pre-patch and now if you use the mod that restores all the quests, you can get some levels form quests and the a few from tech and then you're done having only needed a small part of the tech web to get them. If doing quests for affinity subtracts from the XP available on the web then the more quests you do the less value affinity techs give you, requiring you do get through more of the tech web to get the same amount.
    Taken to an extreme example, if you managed to get 17 levels of affinity from quests and only researched 3 affinity tech, then there would be 30 points left on the web and those 10 remaining techs would be worth 3 points each.
    Also it would even things out for the AI since they are not able to get much affinity from quests, the tech web would be more lucrative for them.
    Lastly if would allow for many more potential sources for affinity XP because the way it is now, every time you add a new source, you increase the total XP available. Each source just makes the game shorter. If there is only a specific amount available then you can have many sources and not have to worry that there will be too much XP available.
     
  5. Kutuzov

    Kutuzov Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Messages:
    362
    Guys. I'm insanely busy right now and don't have time to make a proper response.

    cheers
     
  6. Kutuzov

    Kutuzov Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Messages:
    362
    Fun is the most important factor when assessing the value of a game. if I were to ask folks to name their top 10 games of all-time, you'd probably be surprised at what some folks picked because you might think that these particular games were flawed. When asked why they picked game X or Y, people will confess that they knew that the game wasn't perfect but that they had an absolute blast while playing it. I doubt many folks would pick a game because of the elegance of its design but was not fun to play.

    No games are perfect. Nobody claims that they are so that means that pretty much every game any of us have played and enjoyed are flawed in some way and yet we manage to get past these flaws and enjoy the game anyway. The flaws only become a problem when they get in the way of our enjoyment of the game. And we all enjoy different things in a game.

    I'm aware that I am on thin ice posting about fun on these boards since so many of you do not appear to find Civ BE fun to play but I do find it fun. You have your reasons for not liking it and they are what is stopping you from liking the game.

    Let's take a quick step back in time to when Civ V was released and a poster, Sulla, pointed out the flaws in the 1UPT system. He had a lot of people convinced with his argument and you'll still find folks posting links to his critique on Steam. Yet, in spite of the design flaw that 1UPT was, most of us were able to play and enjoy the game regardless because the extreme situation that he presented to support his case was not representative of the average gamer's experience.

    Beelining techs that are needed for your chosen victory type on the tech tree is standard fair for a lot of 4x games even when several of those victory conditions are not directly dependent on the tech tree. Like Civ V's original cultural victory where you needed to fill five trees and build the Utopia wonder. In spite of the trees being separate from the tech tree, you still needed to beeline certain techs to get the culture necessary for the win.

    The only tech victory that is not really dependent on the human player's progress on the tech tree is Civ V BNW's Diplomatic victory where all you need is for the AI to fulfill the conditions for activating the UN and then bribe the city states to vote for you as world leader.

    Yes, they could have separated affinities from the tech tree but what are the realistic alternatives? The players actions in the game? Many actions in the game are binary. Kill the Aliens or leave them alone? Leave them alone earns you Harmony affinity points? Good. But does killing them give you Supremacy or Purity affinity points?

    City improvements? I unlock these via the tech tree, don't I? Still the same problem. Beelining these techs will still be essential to winning on the highest difficulty levels.

    Tile Improvements? If I build cities where worked improvement tiles generate affinity points, I can switch my workforce between improvements from turn to turn to generate the affinity points I need to get the needed affinity bonus and then switch them around to get the next in a different affinity which gives my explorer immunity to attack from aliens. And where do these tile improvements come from? The tech tree. I have to beeline the techs that unlock these improvements.

    The problem is that it is easier to beeline the necessary techs on the tech web. Max efficiency players will find it even easier to get to the necessary techs. Perhaps they should have stuck with a tech tree.

    No-one has put forward something clearly better. Sulla made the egregious mistake of showing us how he would have designed the game and pretty much everyone hated it. Criticising absolutely anything with the benefit of hindsight is just cheap talk. Every decision made in history was made without the benefit of hindsight. Designing something that appeals to the majority is really, really hard.

    Games are not designed with the expert player base in mind, (at least not at release) because their experience of the game is unrepresentative of the majority of players. I've already said all I need to say about there being more choice when you play on lesser difficulty. If this game gets an expansion, there is a much greater chance of them reworking the game to provide more challenge for the experts. they already did so in the first patch.

    Sorry. I had to dash that off and my points are not very well linked together.
     
  7. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    5,599
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QC, Canada
    You should probably make your point clearer because it's either not very clear. Here are the 3 points I got out of your post:

    => You keep talking about how having fun or not changes your view on the subject of the tech web. Please talk with Ryika about that then and have that conversation with him to see if it really changes something. He's white knighting the game on steam but at least he recognizes there is a problem in the design here. He's even trying to fix it through his mod I think. Same is true with me on Civ5, I actually agree with Sullla on some points. But I like Civ5.
    Why is that ? Probably because I and Ryika have a more analytic mind capable of putting aside our feelings of enjoyment and look at the faults something may have. To bring awareness on a possible issue. We'll even provide clear reasons why there may be a problem while you keep bringing fun in the equation.

    Whether I like the game overall or not is irrelevant to the criticism currently being discussed. If you think beelining affinity techs as the best strategy is fun, at which point it's just a divergence of opinion while we would still agree over the problem (you wouldn't see it as a problem though). I'd be very curious what you think is cool about it though.

    => I fail to see where you're going with this apology of how the developer somehow couldn't make a better job. If you truly believe there is no other idea and we're stuck with this system I'm a bit speechless. And no, criticizing in hindsight is not cheap otherwise you could not criticize much in video games...

    Took me one day to recognize this problem, one game. You could say that this is not a problem to begin with but please do not bring forth the fact that there's somehow no improvement possible. Or please Ryika stop working on your mod !

    => You seem to confuse beelining affinity techs 1 by 1 in the last half of a CivBE game (which you may recall happens at turn 100) to having to reach the Internet or SS parts in Civ5 to win culture or science. If you can't see the difference you clearly do not understand the problem to begin with and the critic raised. In which case it's no wonder that you wouldn't see the problem.

    If we keep the affinities in the trees, due to our lack of imagination I guess, a better way for the tree to work would have been if players were incited to do: Some neutral techs, Affinity, Some neutral techs, Affinity, Some neutral techs, Some neutral techs, affinity etc. These techs should also provide some usefulness and not be only on the path to the affinity.

    But yes designing such a tree is a lot more work. And when I look at many techs in the trees, the wonders they give and the layout of the tree... Yes WAY more work than what went into the current version that currently provides 10ish important tech and then a ton of trash tech that you queue up to get the affinity leafs (and the rest that you ignore). If you want me to do a Civ5 analogy that would be as if I was done in the medieval era and then queued up the different SS technologies. And it's even more aggravating in CivBE where there is little content so far, once you don't really look at the techweb it seriously cut down a lot of your work, at which point if you're not warmongering you'll probably just spam next turn for 50-75 turns going from affinity 4 to affinity 13, spend 15turns building the project and then another 20 turns of waiting.
    Finally it's not like I believe Civ5 is perfect either. It has its lot of obligatory techs that could use a nerf to help different path to emerge.

    Hell if you came forward and just say you like the tech web as is despite this (or that you actually like that "feature") that's fine I'd agree to disagree but you seem to be trying to say it's the same as Civ5 or that there wasn't a better solution. Something I really can't agree with.

    Just for clarity because I think this back and forth creates confusion and some unnecessary tangents creating these walls of texts, so let's focus a little more and make positions clear:
    1. I do not think you are wrong to like the game so there really is no need to keep repeating you like the game because you have fun.
    2. The problem being discussed, the proposition, is how the current design of the tree makes the optimal strategy a beeline for affinity leafs too early in the game and therefore limits the strategical aspect of the system
    3. From that you have 2 points to adress:
    3.a.: Do you agree or not that's the case ? If not please explain why.
    3.b.: Do you like this situation or not ? There's no need to justify either way of course.
    I obviously agree with the statement and do not like that situation due to reasons already explained.

    By the way I'm currently making my post patch let's play of BE. I'll talk about this problem in it, if your perception of it is a little abstract because you don't really encounter the problem, it may show you exactly what the problem is.
     
  8. CraigMak

    CraigMak The Borg

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,058
    Well, I gave BE a fair shot and didn't touch Civ 5 for about 3 months. I played BE exclusively since its launch and played it enough to probably be one of the best players on BE. Then I played a game of Civ 5 and realized how bad BE is. I have barely played BE since....


    It's pretty bad guys. Like, really hollow and 1 dimensional.
     
  9. Breezin

    Breezin Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    Glorgville
    Your story is very similar to mine with the exception of me being a great player ;).

    I know there are people who love the game but certainly for me the game is very lacking.

    People can say that Civ V was crappy as a vanilla and it was rough around the edges but I still had tons of fun playing it even in that state. I think I logged 250 hours before the big patch. I've left BE at 45 or so and likely won't make too many returns to the game unless an expansion somehow turns it into the second coming of SMAC.
     
  10. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Messages:
    8,621
    Location:
    Missouri
    Moderator Action: Merged "I gave this game a fair shot" into the main "Game is too ..." thread.
     
  11. CraigMak

    CraigMak The Borg

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,058
    Yeah, you hear a lot of people complaining about how bad BE is but you can usually just write them off as people who didn't hardly play the game.

    I played it a ton for 3 months. I played mainly MP and crushed in almost every game I played. So, this is coming from some one who understands the game and has enough experience to actually judge it.

    I completely abandoned Civ 5 for 3 months to give BE a good try. BE is really nothing but a laser rush or tacnet hub spam to counter a laser rush. Defense is way way too easy making it a simcity fest unless you can hit some one with lasers before they have any defenses against them.

    If you think BNW is a simcity fest BE takes the cake. Cities get so strong so easily and once people have lasers backing up their already absurdly strong cities, forget about it, attacking does nothing until you have top tier units.
     
  12. Adjuvant

    Adjuvant Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,474
    Cheap money-grab game, costly mod, reskin, displaying a fraction of talent from earlier releases. Just throw the ip in the toilet, don't take your playerbase through it.
     
  13. GAGA Extrem

    GAGA Extrem Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,567
    Gender:
    Male
    Despite the lacking result I wouldn't presume malicious intend on Firaxis' side.

    To me this seems more like a "passion project" were some of the devs just didn't have the experience (there were some junior designers involved, iirc?) to create a product that lives up to BNW standards.
    But yeah, the 50€/$ price tag is... urgh...
     
  14. Kutuzov

    Kutuzov Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Messages:
    362
    I guess I'm a little sensitive about the connections some people (Not you) seem to make between 'playing for fun' and 'casual player'. I am most certainly NOT a casual player and I have squande... er, spent thousands of hours of my life playing Civ games since Civ 2. I'm not going to play a game like this against a human opponent and therefore, the AI opponent is the whole game for me. I actively AVOID searching for the optimal method for playing most of my games because playing optimally means that the game is pretty much finished for me. There's nowhere left to go. "I can beat Apollo. Now what?" Answer. More Apollo... forever. There's a guy over on the Endless Legend forum who says that he finds playing that game at Endless level (Diety/Apollo) is not fun. I sympathise with that because there is no room to get what you want. You always have to go with what you need and that's not my idea of fun.

    Buried somethwhere in one of my previous walls of text, I said that it doesn't matter what kind of victory you're going for in any 4x game, you are going to have to beeline techs on the tech tree/web to achieve this. Look at Civ BNW's cultural victory, one of the most ingenious victory conditions I've seen so far. You need to beeline certain techs to really power up your Tourism and once you have researched them, you build the necessary city improvements, Hotels, Airport, etc.

    I have already said, and therefore I would agree that it is easier to beeline techs more efficiently with the tech web. However, the key phrase here is:
    To win at Diety/Apollo, you HAVE to play optimally. You have absolutely no choice, unless you like to lose. It is obvious that once you have divined the optimal path to fulfill victory in your game that it would make the other options redundant, a 'bad' decisions as you said earlier.

    I would also agree that it is rather obvious that beelining the Affinity techs is the optimal path to victory. However, I suspect many folks won't do this because the other 'trash techs' as you put it, are actually quite attractive and offer interesting choices which are more suitable for the strategy they are pursuing in their own game. They are strategising at a different level, a level which is more meaningful and fun for them. But they ARE strategising. They are not choosing these techs because they are 'stupid' or playing the game badly.

    Yes, I do 'like' it, at least as far as it does not spoil my enjoyment of the game to date.
     
  15. Kutuzov

    Kutuzov Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Messages:
    362
    A quick addendum to that: I'm not aware of any tech web that could be better for this game without it becoming a tech tree. Endless Space is the only other game I play that has a tech web and it really is nothing more than four separate tech trees.

    Since this was the designers' first real game, a tech web with so much 'hanging on it' was quite ambitious. I notice that nobody has come forward with a 'better' suggestion yet. At the moment, all we're really seeing is negative and sometimes outright insulting criticism pointed at the designers. It's not constructive criticism which can actually be helpful and is often appreciated when it is given. Were more to be offered in this vein, we might even hear a bit more from the designers and their intentions for this game's future. (Yes, I am an optimist :D )
     
  16. liv

    liv Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,375
    Having thought about this discussion on the tech web is it reasonable to conclude that a tech web can never be satisfactory to optimal players. There will always be just one way to play optimally and once that has been mapped out, there will always be complaints that they are missing out on so much of the game. The only options are either a tree with a science victory at the end as in previous civs or maybe a decision on branching as in BNW.
    So if we want civ 6 maybe that is the feedback we want to give developers?
     
  17. Dux1

    Dux1 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    116
    This has been an interesting discussion to peruse. I think both sides of the debate going on here make valid points. I would only add this:

    You can min/max any single player game into a single, optimal strategy. If you are the kind of player driven by the desire to beat the game most decisively at the highest challenge level, you will eventually find this strategy, and then every other option will seem superfluous. It seems to me that the only real difference between a well-designed strategy game and a poorly-designed one (at least within the context of the debate going on in this thread) is the ease with which this ultimate strategy can be determined. At the end of the day, though, all single player games work this way; they all share this flaw.
     
  18. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    5,599
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QC, Canada
    I'll address all 3 quotes because they essentially talk about the same thing.

    First I want to bring back my own earlier point when it comes to comparing with Civ5. There is a huge difference between the 2 issues. Civ5 has its lot of beeline, I won't argue there, however I sincerely believe the situation isn't as bad as CivBE.

    Once again I want to illustrate that if CivBE's situation was in Civ5 it would mean that by the end of the medieval era (around T125) you were to simply queue up a bunch of random techs for victory. This is not how Civ5 is played at the moment.
    The problem is not that you need certain techs to win in CivBE, like you do for Archeology and Internet in Civ5. It's that this is ALL you need, you don't need to get the science key techs, the production ones and maybe the millitary ones like you do in 5. All you need are the first ring + cognition.
    I find it a real problem when a tech web allows for less creativity than a more linear tech tree like Civ5.

    There will always be an optimal path. But I'll agree with one of the poster that it becomes an issue when this path is as self evident than in CivBE. Also I don't agree that you cannot make the optimal path varry from game to game.
    For example CivBE has a lot of great ideas when it comes to make the techs interract with terrain (get +X per copper etc.). If you increase the amount by which your techs are dependant from the outside situation you will make the tech path varry from one game to the next.
     
  19. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artist

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2013
    Messages:
    9,238
    Yes, it's interesting how they pretty much missed on that opportunity, especially when considering that the tech web is basically the PERFECT tool to give us real optional tech choices that can be used to fit tech web and terrain together. From the mod that will never be finished (will probably be renamed once it's finished):

    Spoiler :

    (Yes, I know, those names are very unimaginative. Consider them unofficial placeholders. 8))
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Socratatus

    Socratatus Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Messages:
    1,636
    The Let`s Play told me all I needed to know. No matter how much the Player tried to make it look great- I could see it was the Emperor`s New clothes, so held off from buying.

    Glad I did.
     

Share This Page

Ebates: Get Paid to Shop