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General impression of BERT so far.

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by ZTZaorish, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. Westwall

    Westwall Emperor

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    It is kind of jarring to see that new diplomacy screen with the cool suited up Al Farah leader... followed by the dull, drably dressed leaders from vanilla BE.
     
  2. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

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    I think four more sponsors (total 12) is, in itself, enough, provided they have enough depth to them.

    At the moment, the only leaders with some interesting personality are Arshia Kishk and Kavitha Thakur, mostly because they are the only ones with some sort of backstory (generation ship and "immortal" messiah figure) - and that's out-of-game material.

    I really hope the sponsor selection screen actually gets updated to show the face of the leader and give some background, a short biography, age, qualifications, place of birth - a little dossier. That would already go a long way towards giving a first impression.
     
  3. poom3619

    poom3619 Ping Pang Poom!

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    I would prefer AI leader become *far* more extreme and flashy in their playing, or each AI-controlled faction get additional UA for higher difficulty instead of lump bonus. Just to give them more character without years of familiarization that IMO we don't need it.

    Ex. Instead of generic AI behaviour, at Sputnik and Apollo-level, Samatar can intentionally settle city to yours as close as he can while calling you friend with straight face, with a bonus settler he got somewhere in early-mid game. Daoming would seriously consider invade you when she field few vastly stronger unit than yours that she snowballed from early bonus tech. Elodie can be overzealous to her affinity and gain bonus aff. point as she adopt new virtue. Al Falah would have no reason to sign open border or declaration of friendship if the deal isn't in her favor to offset her internal trade route, and you wonder why Reginaldo or Kozlov having few cities that sound awfully like stations' name...

    I think it could spice the game to the new level, I would like it can be turn off in case someone don't like it.
     
  4. Westwall

    Westwall Emperor

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    Or hell, here's an idea... when you're actually close to achieving a victory via Contact or Promised Land or whatever... how about the AI actually tries to stop you?

    Dude, I'm like so close now to contacting the Progenitors and that's totally going to bum the rest of you people out for some reason... so I dunno, maybe you should attack me and try to stop my beacon from being built? Maybe? No?

    Oh well okay I guess I'll just finishing building it, decoding the signal and winning while the rest of you drips continue trying to avoid pissing off the native wildlife.

    Thanks, mad props.
     
  5. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    "what makes sense" is a very personal thing, and the impression I'm getting is that you have a very specific set of personable things that Firaxis might not be able to meet.

    SMAC had an entirely different design base. Using SMAC for comparisons here is incredibly silly, because it's mostly irrelevant for both design reasons as well as the fact they legally can't touch the franchise.
     
  6. Westwall

    Westwall Emperor

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    That's missing the point though. You said wonders like "The Great Wall" had several iterations for the developers to get it right. I'm telling you SMAC got their wonder analogues (secret projects) almost perfect from the beginning.

    That's why I feel your excuses for why BE's wonders are all over the place don't really add up.

    And you can say "making sense" is a subjective criterion, sure, but the reality is that the Gene Vault going from "+growth" to "free worker" seems like a wholly arbitrary decision that wasn't backed by the lore at all, thereby making the lore itself seem more and more like an afterthought, which is rather disappointing.
     
  7. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Hahahaha, no.

    SMAC was horrendously-balanced. I'm not missing any point at all, if that's the basis of your comparison. Sorry if I misunderstood you.

    Also, Workers provide economic stimuli that translates to growth. Both are bonuses that grow your Cities. Personally, I find Workers the more interesting of the two.
     
  8. Westwall

    Westwall Emperor

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    I'm not sure what you mean by saying their wonders were "horrendously-balanced".

    Could you elaborate?
     
  9. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Literally what I meant. Thanks for the name though (Secret Projects), I knew they weren't called Wonders and it's been bugging me for a while, haha. Haven't been at my gaming PC in a good few months now (RL drama).

    They're horrendously-balanced. They're either moderately useless or absolutely crazily-good. Example: that one that makes you immune to Drone teams. In what universe is this not a mandatory pickup, granting a significant advantage to the one faction that rushes that first given appropriate tech paths / non-blind tech settings?

    Do I love their videos? Yup. Their flavour text? Yup. Do I still play SMAC (barring RL drama)? Yup.

    But they are not in any fashion a design goal for me, as someone who does games design in my spare time, to aspire towards?

    No thanks. Others may have different opinions, but I'd much rather start from scratch there, nomatter how much more work it takes me.
     
  10. Westwall

    Westwall Emperor

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    That's exactly it. You wanted to get it. It offered you a significant advantage (and even then you only got what one faction - the Believers - already had).

    I don't really want to get any of the wonders in BE. They're all just whatever, which doesn't help when their names are so forgettable/interchangeable.

    I remember just about every project in SMAC - the one that gave every base a free perimeter defense, the one that turned all xenofungus into roads for your units, the one that gave you increased psi defense/attack and so on.
     
  11. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    Civ BE wonders could certainly use more unique traits, though none should feel mandatory.

    I tend to use a huge amount of Wonder mods in Civ 5, and the wonders I like most are the ones that do something very unique.

    Things like Production for great works housed in the city, or perhaps giving a yield boost to a specific tile like Mountains or Atolls.

    I like to feel like the empire or the city is specializing when a Wonder is built, not just getting a slightly better version of some generic building.
     
  12. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Conversely, I don't remember most of them. I remember the Dream Twister and the anti-Probe one by function, and not by name.

    This is why it's important to separate out personal preference from what is and isn't good design. SMAC was a great game, but incredibly flawed on a number of levels. I wouldn't want a game made in 2015 to make similar mistakes. And Projects weren't perfect there.
     
  13. Westwall

    Westwall Emperor

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    Well I think whatever it is you see as making SMAC great should carry over into BE. They're already bringing back aquatic cities while trying to incorporate more of the lore into the game proper so I think that's a step in the right direction.

    That said, I really think they need to find a way to encourage players to actually read the lore, both by making it more compelling and by making it more interwoven with the gameplay.

    Players shouldn't just want to look straight at the benefits while skipping all the text. This is what I mean by having the benefits actually sync with the fluff so it makes sense.

    Quests should also be more about taking action instead of choosing between two overly simplistic options of +growth or +work speed. Those aren't quests. Those are threadbare customization choices.
     
  14. poom3619

    poom3619 Ping Pang Poom!

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    I'm sorry, but if we can't bring personal preference in a... discussion. Why do we even bother having one? Sure, SMAC is far from perfect by today's gaming standard. But I for one think that having SMAC leaders playing Civ5 BNW is better than what CivBE got now.
     
  15. Jyrgunkarrd

    Jyrgunkarrd Chieftain

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    I like how Firaxis promised that it was not just carving-up content to sell to us later when their PR folks discussed the lack of aquatic play in BE, citing technical & fundamental gameplay concerns regarding ocean cities.

    I guess the engine can do it afterall, so long as they get to nail us $30 or whatever for the privilege. :|
     
  16. Westwall

    Westwall Emperor

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    It's actually a little more boldfaced than that. They said in an early interview that there was literally nothing in the engine preventing them from implementing aquatic play, but that they "just weren't at liberty to discuss future development plans" or something to that effect.

    In essence, if you paid for BE, you were at best paying to participate in an early beta test. I can't tell you how hard I cringed hearing the lead designers joke about how aliens early on were able to capture workers because they were still running off barbarian scripts from Civ 5.
     
  17. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    That isn't how games development works, guys. Just because something was impossible a year ago, that was a year ago. Things change in that time.

    I said it's important to separate out personal preference from good games design. Let's not make arguments I didn't make, thanks.

    You're free to think whatever you want. I'm free to disagree. But at least address my points instead of whatever tedious semantic 'I'll look smart by linking the dictionary because making the other guy appear not capable of understanding basic English is sure to improve the direction of this thread' :p

    And Westwall, I completely agree that Quests need to be less binary. And other things need improvement. But Quests have no comparison to SMAC.
     
  18. Westwall

    Westwall Emperor

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    No, but SMAC did have narrative. Good narrative I might add.

    But obviously my argument with quests isn't to say SMAC did it better. My point on quests is the same as everything else - if you're going to do implement something you felt was worth mentioning, don't half-ass it. Simple.

    So yes, less binary and more having to do with taking a course of action. One need only look at Endless Legend and even Civ 5 to see what might have been. The former had minor factions, the latter had city-states. Each had quests, although of course they were more essential in EL.

    BE meanwhile has stations. Small, simplistic, lifeless things that do nothing other than offer a slight resource boost via trade route, with the exception of those occasions when you're asked to wipe one of them out (bizarrely earning you the eternal ire of the other factions if you decide to follow through_.

    Then you have a quest system so flat and blatant in the simplicity of its mechanics and execution - most often having you choose between incremental upgrades - that it hardly even deserves to be called a quest system

    I'd prefer to hear these sorts of issues being addressed sooner rather than later.
     
  19. Airswimmer

    Airswimmer Chieftain

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    No one ever said the engine was incapable of having ocean cities as a gameplay mechanic.
    In fact, it was said before release that it was entirely possible, and when one interviewer pushed the question, "Could we possibly see water cities in the future?" the interviewee basically gave a typical "No comment" response while specifically saying the engine was capable.

    It's fine and dandy to be upset when a company actually deceives you, but that simply wasn't the case for BE.
     
  20. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Deity

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    SMAC style terraforming, where you can raise or lower the terrain, is what the devs said the civ5/BE engine cannot do right now.
     

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