GUIDE TO CIVILIZATION V MULTIPLAYER The CIV V MP scene is growing. There are players who have dedicated a lot of time playing single player games and would like to try out multiplayer as well as players who just bought a copy of CIV V and wants to get started playing multiplayer right away. The new player of course has a lot of questions, both general game related ones as well as for multiplayer in particular but even for the experienced single player a lot of things are new and different in multiplayer. Because of that, I feel a guide that answers the most commonly asked questions about CIV V multiplayer and gives some info on how and where to get started might be of help. The aim of this guide is to be impartial and rather give information regarding how things work and where to find stuff then trying to sort out what is better or worse. If you have any input/objection/suggestion regarding the content please PM me or post a reply and I will look into it. The goal is simply to help players new to CIV V MP Get the most out of their game experience regardless of game style and preferences. I have divided this guide into different sections: CONTENT 1. INTRODUCTION Background and overview of the guide content. 2. PUBLIC LOBBY & STEAM Description of the public lobby and how it works (the built in lobby) and how steam friendlist, groups and some steam settings work. 3. CIV V MP groups A guide to some of the bigger CIV V multiplayer communities and steam groups. 4. COMMON CIV V MP Game types Description of different game setups commonly played in the CIV V MP community. 5. MULTIPLAYER TOOLS Tools that might be useful to get the most out of your multiplayer experience. 6. GENERAL ADVICE Tips and hints both for multiplayer in particular but also for CIV in general. 7. FAQ Well, frequently asked questions… 8. LINKS External resources that might be of help and/or interest for people playing CIV V MP. 9. ARTICLE INDEX Links to threads regarding Multiplayer strategy, technical issues specific to multiplayer etc. 10. CREDITS 1 INTRODUCTION After having started CIV V and choseing multiplayer the game lobby might be empty of games or have very few games to choose from. The reason for this is that CIV V only shows games in the area of the chosen server in downloads and cloud in the steam settings. Therefore you might see only a fraction of the games hosted depending on what server you have chosen in the steam settings. When hosting a game there is also a checkbox for private games. Those games will not show up in the public lobby and the players in them often join through the steam friendlist or steam group chatrooms. Therefore in section two of this guide, PUBLIC LOBBY & STEAM, I will cover how steam works together with CIV V and how steam works around some of the stability and server issues when playing CIV V multiplayer. In the third section of the guide, CIV V MP Groups, I will cover a bit about the CIV V MP community from where most of the previously mentioned private games are played and in the fourth section, COMMON CIV V MP Game types, I will describe the most commonly played settings and game types within those groups. In the fifth section, MULTIPLAYER TOOLS, there is a short list of useful programs that might aid you when playing and finally in the sixth and seventh section there are some hints and tips and a FAQ. 2 PUBLIC LOBBY & STEAM As mentioned in the introduction, the public lobby will only show you but a fraction of the multiplayer games actually hosted and played. But it is here that most beginners will start out. Currently there are some stability issues with CIV V in multiplayer even though several improvements have been made over time with patches. It is not uncommon for the game to crash or for one or more players to unwillingly be dropped from the game. If you are hosting a game, it’s highly recommended that you set the CIV V game options to autosave every turn and save the maximum number of saves allowed (100). This will make sure you have a autosave for each turn so you can reload any turn state that may be needed to rehost after a problem or crash. Simply go back to the lobby, host a game and choose ‘load saved game’ and ‘autosaves’. Then choose the desired turn to reload autosaved prior to the crash or drop. When the players join again they will get the civilization they had previously and you can launch back into the game. This however requires that players actually join your hosted saved game. Since there is no built in chatroom in the CIV V lobby and there is no real incentive to get back into a game if you have not done too well there are the problems of coordinating games, getting all players back into a game after a crash or drop, as well as actually playing a game from start to finish without some players quitting during the game. Steam however solves a lot of those problems. There is a steam friendlist from where you can invite players to a new game or the rehost of a game that crashed as well as steam groups with chatrooms where games can be coordinated. From both the chat room belonging to a steam group or your friendlist you can select and invite players directly into a hosted or rehosted game. You can also invite a player if he or she drops or lost connection into an ongoing game (All though this still has some stability issues). Players not in a steam group can add each other as ‘friends’ to facilitate rejoining games as finding the player again is otherwise difficult. As a last resort you can search for the screenname of a player and attempt to send a message, though you will find screennames aren’t always unique. The steam groups are managed by dedicated CIV V players and also provide some rules as incentive to stay in a game and a community where you can meet other CIV V multiplayer’s that can aid you with advice on how to improve your game play and that you can have fun and rewarding games with. In the following section (CIV V MP groups) there is some info on the two biggest CIV V communities and how and where to join them. HINT: If the game is very unstable in multiplayer it might help to run it in DX9 insted of DX11. 3 CIV V MP groups Civplayers: For this one you will need to register at the website. Easy and takes only a few minutes. They have a ranking system so most of the games played with the group will affect a score on the webpage. Here you can find good duels, 2vs2, 3vs3 and something called CTON (named after a legendary civilization player) CTON is basically a game with several players involved with very strict rules that are meant to make ffa's suitable for competitive gaming. You can find them here: www.civplayers.com http://steamcommunity.com/groups/civplayers http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198021954438 Civplayers Steam Chat steam://friends/joinchat/103582791431089902 The NQ group (NO quitters) This group is like the name hint, a group for players who are tired of people quitting all the time. This is the place to find good ffa-games (free for all games, that is all victory conditions, possibility to make alliances etc) without the risk of people quitting on you. You can find them here: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/NO_QUITTERS NQ Steam chat steam://friends/joinchat/103582791431636523 HINT: A good way to find good games of your choice is to enter both civleague and NQ chat room when you start steam and look for games there. After joining both groups you will have a two separate lists on your steam friendlist. One called friends and one called groups. Enter groups, right click and choose enter group chat. The players in those chartrooms will help you, answer your questions, and help you to get the most out of your civ5 MP experience. 4 COMMON CIV V MP Game types FFA (free for all) Common settings Map type: usually Pangaea, but also continents, fractal etc. are used All victory conditions allowed Turn timer enabled City states barbarians and ruins are sometimes used and sometimes not, depending on host and what the players agree upon. When playing ffa with the NQ group you are not allowed to quit unless your capital is lost. Politics are often allowed as well as trade. You are allowed to form alliances etc. This is the most time consuming form of the game and you should count on dedicating 6-8 hours winning or losing. DUEL Common Settings: Map type: usually skirmish or other types of mirror maps No barbarians No ancient ruins Turn timer enabled No city states The reason for not having barbarians, ruins or city states is both to eliminate the element of luck/bad luck, and to get less lag. It is also quite common to rehost and start over if a player get India or finds Eldorado early. You will have to confirm this with your opponent before starting the game thought. The reason for this is once more to eliminate luck and that India is a huge disadvantage to play in a duel with the current patch. 2vs2, 3vs3 Common settings Usually like duel CTON A slimmed version of FFA. The difference between FFA and CTON is that CTON has no trade allowed nor alliances and always war. Also the elements of luck are cut down by not using barbarians, city states or ruins. CTON are usually without turn limits but might have a maximum number of turns. This makes the CTON take less time, usually 2-4 hours. It also works well for competitive gaming. For more info on CTON go to the civplayer website. 5 MULTIPLAYER TOOLS For tournaments and duels people might ask if you have the mirror maps installed. You can find information about you can find them and learn how to install them: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=443993 A lot of multiplayer’s use voice communication especially with playing in teams. For most part a program called teamspeak (ts) is used. You can download it here: http://www.teamspeak.com/?page=downloads CP league also got a TS-server running: civplayers.servegame.com 6 GENERAL ADVICE CHECK demographics every turn. -to know the military strength of the opponents. That is size of your army compared to the other players. -to get a hint of what the other players are researching and their tech level compared to yours. For example if a player has tech level 0 that means that they have not discovered writing yet and therefore you know that they have not gone down that tech tree. A good guess would be that they have gone for ironworking then early workshops or try to get the hanging gardens. It also helps you decide if to go for a certain wonder. If someone for example discovers writing before you it is probably bad decision to go for the great library. -to get a hint of your production level compared to the other players. Etc. CHECK global diplomacy -To know what policies the other players have taken. You can answer questions like will he get his great person from liberty finisher soon. If he has discovered writing early plus will soon finish liberty he might for example get Hagia Sophia very soon. CHECK trade with player even if at war. To know how much strategic resources he got left over and how many cities he got and how big they are. If he has 8 spare iron trying to pillage a 6 iron tile from him won’t help you much. If he has 0 it might make a big difference even if you only can keep him away from it a few turns. It also gives a hint on what strategy he is going for. If he has many 1 size cities a bit into the game he is likely to be ICS (infinite city sprawl) strategy with heavy production. He will be less likely to go for wonders like the Hagia Sophia and more likely to go for military technologies early on as well as put trying to attack you early. If he has few bigger cities he is more likely to get wonders as well as aim for a bit longer game and get ahead of you in technology and get some key wonders. FAST MOVE Simultaneous turns mean all players move at the same turn. In war that means you will have to be fast. This means it is good to plan your movements for the beginning of the next turn before ending the turn so that you can execute them as fast as possible. There is also a little trick called shift + click. During a turn you can hold down shift and execute movement orders or attack orders for several units. The units will not move right away but will instead be moved at the very end of the turn by the computer. Another good hot-key is F. Select a unit and hit F to fortify. Try to select and hit F on units in danger of getting attacked at the beginning of the turn to add defence bonus. SETTINGS Remove auto selection of units in the game settings: It helps a lot for fast move in the beginning of turns. 7 FAQ GENERAL QUESTIONS • How does the game play differ from SP Games? What types of victory conditions do people generally go for? Most people chose ‘quick’ not ‘standard’. Gold is harder to come by, the other players won't trade any to you. If you don't have an adequate army you could be conquered before move 40 because players look at the demographics screen to see who is weak. Regarding victory conditions: In DUELS and 2vs2, 3vs3 etc. 99% Domination or until one player or team concede. In CTON Turn limited. Highest score by the decided turn when game finish. In CTON no Turn limit. Usually domination or until it is clear what the end result will be and the players agree on who the first, second, third etc player will be. In. FFA. Usually Domination, but also in some cases science. • How considerate are existing players to newbie’s? They generally won't know you are a newbie unless you tell them. However, calling others ‘noob’ as an insult is common, there are players with 1000 hours logged on calling each other ‘noob’ all the time! In general very considerate but some might not be. If you play them in a duel or cton/ffa and follow the rules stated for the group you play with people will be considerate and even give you advice when you loose. As with all communities there are a lot of helpful and respectful people as well as a few that isn’t. • How long does a game take? I gather than one of the issues is that many newbie’s quit. I won't, but I want to know I am getting in for in advance. Less than 100 turns if there is a good aggressive player on Pangaea and the rest are unprepared. Over 8 hours if continents and players know how to tech/defend. Duel takes all between half an hour to 4-5 hours depending on how equal you are in skill/map etc. Same with 2vs2, 3vs3. Also look at my post in the beginning of the thread regarding game types. • Do I need to play faster? After 25 years of playing on my own, usually with a beer in hand, I suspect I have a slow style. How quickly do MP players play? Turn timer does its job well. For high level game play you do need to play faster when it comes to war and moving units. The reason is not because the turn timer isn’t long enough but because it might be very important in some cases to move before our opponent at the beginning of the turn. • Are existing players more welcoming of players who favor particular styles? Are warmongers/culturalists more or less sought after, or does it make a difference? Cultural victories are very uncommon in multiplayer. Most MP games, at least on higher levels will require you to be a ‘warmonger’ or at least have a big defensive army. If you do not have defense people will attack you. You could say that Culturalists are not more or less sought after than warmongers. They just won’t survive very long. • It seems from what I read that the best way to move forward is to apprentice yourself out. Sounds like a great idea. Are training games common? What are they like? Just play, and when somebody is winning be polite about it and then and ask them how they are doing it. A lot of players will give advice if it is asked for from people they are beating. Mostly it’s learning the hard way. Playing against more experienced players and when you lose ask them politely what you did wrong and what you can improve and then practice the advice. • At what equivalent SP level are existing players in the community. I'd feel more comfortable knowing whether I am facing into a gang of Deities or settlers. Some games will say ‘expert only’ others say ‘beginners’. Host your own game and call it ‘beginners’. If you look at the community all in all you got everything in between settler and deity. If you look at the top playera, beating deity is easier then facing them but then there’s a lot of more average players around as well as some beginners. • If you're a complete newbie looking for a game, where do you go. I think KM answered this well. Did he? Hope so. At least this is the goal of this thread ;o) • It would also be useful to have a little narrative from an experienced MP player on their own transition and what struck them as being different. I played very little SP in civ 5 but a lot in civ 4. I think the biggest change when making the transition is that you can get a bit lazy in SP. That is you find a way to play that works up to some level, even up to beating deity. And then you do the same thing over and over. Maybe you change tactic a little just to try to get the points up but that is about it. • Finally, is there a way I can take my existing SP results to see how I would fare in an MP game. A deity player knows the game mechanics and will most probably adapt way faster to MP then say a prince level player. Also FFA on continents, fractal maps and even Pangaea tend to be a bit more similar to SP play then a duel or 2vs2. For building economy and development the results in SP might aid the player and if not else give him or her a very steep learning curve. War however will be very different and take some time to adapt to. TECHNICAL QUESTONS • when i play a multiplayer match that's private with my friends then save it to continue to another day when i start that match up its not private anymore how do i make it private? Before loading a mp game, check the private button. • So are animations enabled for multiplayer yet? It will be in Gods & Kings expansion. • Is an advantage to host? Some say you will move a bit faster when hosting all though this is debatable. However it seems you get an advantage when building wonders. If two players finish a wonder the same turn it seems like the host gets the wonder. Also it seems that when using the shift + click (described in the section ‘general advice’ the host moves are executed first. • Can I turn the chat off in multiplayer? you can hide the chat, not disable it. if you cklick on the ‘microphone’ button below the chat window you hide it. But that only means that you wont be able to see what people are writing. 8 LINKS Let’s play videos by Builder FTW on youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/CivBuilderFTW?feature=mhee Videos of high level CIV V MP. If you are new to MP watching the videos and listening to the commentaries will give you a good insight into how higher level CIV MP is played. https://www.AwesoMeCiv.com A CIV V MP Resource page. Here you will find Information about tournaments, interviews with some of the profiles of the CIV V MP Community etc. 9 ARTICLE INDEX Understanding how MP works (technical) http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=458780 Egypt ancient start strategy http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=452943 General Ancient start strategy http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=454118 Synchronize growth micromanagement http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=448297 10 CREDITS Special thanks to KiffeLesBiffles, Silverfuturist, Kyp Durron, Grumalg and many more for help with information to put this guide together. Much of the info in the tips and hints section as well as in FAQ is put together from replys of these players. I would also like to thank CanuckSoldier and Donhenriko and all the other that keep the communities and CIV V MP groups alive and kicking. Builder FTW for putting effort into Let’s play videos for MP that I am sure make more people want to try it out as well as Awesome for putting together his resource page and sponsoring CIV V MP tournaments. Also a special thanks to R-done and Fredodo who I feel have tought me so much and helped me improve my game play and all the fun MP games. I have most probably forgot not just some but many here that are the core of the CIV V MP community. Without those dedicated players CIV V MP would not be what it is today.