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Has 1UPT Completely Destroyed this Franchise?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by CD7, Jan 13, 2017.

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  1. FurballRocker

    FurballRocker Chieftain

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    Concentrating on the issue of improving the game it would seem that the majority of people want to revert to stacking because of poor AI and/or movement issues.
    So to improve the game experience we need to look at fixing those two issues.

    People seem to be under the impression that the poor AI is a symptom of 1Upt but if we look at the core AI issue we find that they generally boil down to.
    1) Not placing or using districts properly
    2) Not upgrading units properly
    3) Not attacking with units properly
    4) Not building certain units
    5) Not making reasonable deals in diplomacy
    6) Not expanding enough

    None of these issues have anything to do with if units can stack or not.
    1) Has nothing to do with units. AI needs to be given plans for how to use districts, even just which districts are best for which victory condition and the ability to forward plan or at least be able to buy tiles to place districts.
    2) Even if units could stack tha. t wouldn't solve them not being upgraded. This is kind of tied to (6) in the sense that resources are too rare for the current design so even with enough gold to upgrade and the tech the AI is prevented from doing so. There is a nice mod which fixed this were having a resource gave a bonus to units but wasn't an actual requirement for building them.
    3) A stack of a million units that won't actually attack an undefended city is still useless. Again there is a mod to help with this which allows the AI ranged units to move and fire by default but that doesn't help melee and doesn't really solve the core issues where a swarm of AI units will dance around a city not attacking it so if all those units were putinto a single stack then that single stack would then dance around the city not attacking it.
    4) If you don't build them in the first place it doesn't matter if they stack or not. This seems to be tied to (1) and (6) in the sense that the AI doesn't seem to build airports or have the resources to build aircraft most of the time even if they do.
    5) Just has nothing to do with units and i am not sure why it is so hard to do some basic calculations for deals.
    6) The AI seems to build 3-5 cities and then sits there with vast open spaces left over for most of the game. They don't build the settlers or have the aggressive expansionism programmed in.

    Therefore poor AI is actually a symptom of poor programming and design.

    Now for the second part, movement issues, which could be seen as a symptom of 1Upt but really isn't and for the most part can be easily solved.e.g. builders should be on their own layer so they can pass through none enemy units which don't belong to you. Religious units should also be on their own layer for the same reason and that would solve most of the core issues and adding a 'transport stacking' feature would help a lot also where units could stack to move but couldn't fight while stacked like troops in a truck convoy or on a train. I feel the movement rules in general could do with a tweak and sort of like the concept of the new movement rules for simplicity reasons i think the old rules were better.

    A case which i feel needs talking about by itself is the difficulty it provides in moving large forces. Now some people find it annoying to have restrictions but the restrictions it gives provide a reasonable (note i haven't said realistic) representation of the issues military commanders have to face when moving larges numbers of troops over variable terrain and that is one of the best parts of 1Upt as it gives you another puzzle to solve while allowing for much greater scope of interesting decisions such as being able to block, surround, funnel and slow down an enemy effectively where it seems the issue for most people is when they encounter these limitations themselves and are on the receiving end of them. "A good mountain choke point is fun unless your on the receiving end of it" which really means some people don't like to be challenged.

    I said movement issues aren't really a symptom of 1Upt because they are another symptom or poor programming and design coupled by the fact that some people don't like the challenge it provides where as a lot of people do like the challenge it provides. With that in mind i feel a lot of people who are anti 1Upt likely wouldn't be so anti 1Upt if the obvious design and programming issue were fixed.
     
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  2. rschissler

    rschissler King

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    And when that AI stack arrives at your doorstep, and you don't have a corresponding stack of catapults, cavalry, and tanks, what then?
     
  3. TehJumpingJawa

    TehJumpingJawa Warlord

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    You've glossed over a number of other issues:

    1upt congestion necessitates lower unit counts
    -> to achieve this, production costs are higher
    -> entire economic model of the game is compromised. (civ6 districts compound this problem, but it's a problem in civ5 too).

    1upt lower unit counts
    -> 'critical mass' army more easily obtainable without economic development
    -> early game hard, mid/late game easy
    -> entire economic model of the game is compromised.

    1upt manoeuvring is more involved
    -> maps are made smaller to offset this micromanagement burden
    -> scale of the entire game is reduced (smaller maps, fewer cities, fewer civilizations)

    1upt is intrinsically more computationally expensive
    -> much longer turn times
    -> necessitates reduced scale to compensate (smaller maps, fewer cities, fewer civilizations)

    1upt requires units be largely self-sufficient stand-alone combat units
    -> limits unit diversity
    -> loss of an interesting rock/paper/scissors unit selection strategic choice

    Your evaluation of the AI problems is also overly selective, ignoring every AI issue that IS related to 1upt.


    I think it's also important to note that tactical manoeuvring (flanking, etc), while being a nice feature is in no way related to 1upt; you could happily have it alongside limited stacking.


    Personally I think soft stack limits via attrition is the best approach to solving the problem.
    • tile terrain type
    • distance to friendly territory
    • techs
    • tile development/improvements
    • unit type
    They're all factors that could be used to determine the number of units any given tile could support. Go above that limit and all units on the tile would have their combat strength reduced (further above -> greater reduction).

    It'd fix the UI & AI pathing issues while enhancing the tactical decision making that civ5 & 6 have attempted to bring us. (making terrain matter more than ever)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017
  4. FurballRocker

    FurballRocker Chieftain

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    How is the economic model compromised exactly?
    It may be balanced differently but that in of itself is not a game breaking feature as long as the overall balance of the game is designed around it. At the moment the balance of the game is off and that is not caused by 1Upt it is caused by poor testing and balancing before release of the game.

    Early game hard, late game easy has always been the case with almost every game, it has nothing specific to do with 1Upt.
    Again how is the economic model compromised exactly? It being too easy to obtain a critical mass army is again down to a poor balance issue but then again this has always been true of the franchise. Once you got over the initial hard part and started to take over the AI the mid/late game became increasingly easy.

    Actually it would be the opposite which should be true as you need more space to move all those individual units. The scale of the game being reduced has been an ongoing theme starting at civ 2 which is much more of a consequence of people wanting shiny graphics that anything to do with 1Upt.

    Possibly, although i have noticed very little difference in overall turn times as the franchise has progressed with the biggest performance impact always seeming to come from the graphics card i am using.

    If we compare...stack of doom, defending stack always chooses best counter which effectively negates any rock, paper, scissors unit selection strategy.
    1Upt allows you to target specific units with specific units so you can target a unit with it's specific counter and avoid targeting it with a unit it will be strong against.
    With stacking i used to end up just building one unit type, the strongest overall unit type.e.g. late game i just used to spam tanks as they were faster than everything else and had the highest attack and defense (usually only matched by infantry defending in heavy terrain which was only good on defense). Now i try to build a balanced army to fulfill different rolls.

    Feel free to mention any AI issues specific to 1Upt and not simply amplified by 1Upt.


    I have played many games with an attrition/support mechanic and find the concept interesting from a strategic side as there is the possibility to do things like cut supply lines etc but quite frankly they can be unintuitive, cumbersome, restrictive and annoying to actually play with with excess micromanagement involved which means once you get past a small empire it becomes more of a chore than an interesting feature.

    This is exactly what the solution to the issue is. 1Upt is not the problem, the problem is the civ 6 hasn't been adequately programmed and balanced to implement it. civ 5 showed it has great potential and while it wasn't perfect it was an extremely good base line but for some reason they decided to ignore all the good work from civ 5 and start afresh with civ 6 and over the lifespan of civ 5 we took 10 steps forward and then 7-8 steps back with civ 6.
     
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  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Once the controls, optimization, and UI come out of alpha we can start to make an evaluation of the viability of 1UPT.

    Unfortunately the kickstarter for that failed in civ 5, and so far civ 6 looks pretty bad in that regard too.
     
  6. rezaf

    rezaf Warlord

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    TehJumpingJawa explained it quite well, really. If every unit blocks 1 tile of the map, you can't allow the player to build as many units, otherwise the map fills up and there'll be a lot of traffic jams. It's easy to see in Civ6, which scaled back on some of the limitations that were built into Civ5 for this very purpose.
    One important part of the equasion is to make production slower/harder.
    You say it ain't game breaking as long as the balance of the game is designed around it. That was the whole point, right there. 1UPT requires the entirety of the games economy to be adjusted accordingly - this is what Jawa called compromising.

    A prominent reason why people criticize stacking is how - especially on large maps, in the late game, on higher difficulties - the AI would come a knocking with some ridiculous stacks of dozens of units. If you weren't properly prepared, this was bound to at the very least cost you a couple of cities - it could very well spell your doom (hence the name stack of doom). A good player usually reached a point where how the game was going to play out was a foregone conclusion, that's true, but compared to Civ6, this point came to be a lot, a LOT later. The only real danger in Civ6 is very early on (especially on high difficulties), when you are underprepared for one of the early carpets. If the AI was more agressive in taking cities, this would be the end of many a game. Once this phase has been survived, the game becomes quite easy, because there's no way for the AI to make use of it's numerical advantage. Units have a very very limited capacity to support each other and will instead just block each other out, so a significantly smaller force has little issue holding them back. A suicidal AI might make this quite a bit harder, but the basic problem is inherent to 1UPT.

    Again, you ignored the actual point. The scale of the game must be limited so the player doesn't end up having to attend to even more units each turn. It's bad enough as it is in Civ6, but if maps were larger, in a scale more in line with 1UPT ... take a look at some screenshots of the game "War in the East". That one has stacking, btw., but you'll see what I mean anyways.

    Seriously? Go play one of the early Civs. It can be played as a coffee break game these days, that's how fast it plays. Civ6's turn times make me want to start a side business of assembling ballpens so I have something to do while waiting.

    I agree that this is one of the inherent advantages of 1UPT - except it doesn't really come into play in Civ6. You build only a very small number of units, and if you really try to be efficient, you can get by with even less.
    Take a look at the pikemen. Anti-cav isn't needed in Civ6, as it's far too situational. Another insightful thing is how they allowed Cav to benefit from defensive bonuses. Games like the old Panzer General or the more recent Warlock have a much better implementatio of 1UPT - mainly because of much larger ranges, both for movement and attack. This is an important ingredient neccessary to allow 1UPT to shine.

    That's the thing though. Civ6 just doesn't have the right scope for 1UPT. It makes no sense. To have it anyways, everything else in the game must be rebuilt/rebalanced, just to allow this feature to exist.
     
  7. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Rock/paper/scissors after the ancient era is a pretty amusing notion. Civ 4 stack combat had flaws, but that's an absurd criticism.

    The person entering enemy territory after the ancient era in civ 4 needed the element of surprise to avoid being at a tremendous disadvantage. Civ 4 combat was about collateral initiative, unit positioning, and :hammers: efficiency trades. The AI stacking up so much made it extremely vulnerable to collateral initiative.
     
  8. Biz_

    Biz_ Prince

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    it's not dead. it's just hypercasualized

    poor game design killed the quality. 1UPT just made firaxis trip over themselves faster than they would otherwise
     
  9. Art Morte

    Art Morte Prince

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    Definitely would not go back to unit stacking.

    Although I despair about the AI's poor use of its units as much as the next guy, I simply like 1UPT as a concept much much more than huge stacks of units. It just feels more real that armies actually take up space on the map, plus I really enjoy how you need to use terrain, especially now that they made movement "more difficult" in Civ6, which I think was a positive change.

    However, to have the issues with 1UPT still this bad is inexcusable. I kinda forgave the developers for it being an issue in Civ5, because it was their first go at it, but to have so-little-to-no progress between Civ5 and 6 should be unacceptable.

    I was disappointed in the (military) AI in Civ5, but I was never in any doubt that I'd buy Civ6. Now, seeing how weak the AI still is in Civ6, I know that some years down the line when Civ7 eventually is published, that one I won't buy unless I'm first convinced by online commentators that the AI in that one is in a different class.
     
  10. kamex

    kamex Emperor

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    Agree that terrain adds an extra dimension of interest but broken line of sight is rather annoying. What bugs me most is the sense of scale, you say "Armies that take up space", well on an Earth map where the UK is 6 tiles or something stupid, it means you can fit 1 Horseman, 3 Archers and two Swordsman in the entire country. Rather ridiculous if you ask me. If the maps were truly enormous, like 20x bigger than huge, then yeah maybe but until then.
     
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  11. FurballRocker

    FurballRocker Chieftain

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    I will start out of order with this one as it stuck out so much.
    If you play them both on a modern PC. On equivalent hardware not much has changed turn time wise.

    You effectively made my general point there that 1Upt isn't the problem, the problem is the broken implementation they have of it in civ 6.
    The economy is only compromised (broken) if it isn't balanced properly. You don't need to break the economy for 1Upt to work you just need to rebalance it and as i just said 1Upt isn't the problem, the implementation of the economy in civ 6 is the problem because for example they decided to do things like scale back some of the needed limitations which were put into civ 5.

    And now we have the term carpet of doom which equates to the same situation. I remember one prominent example in civ 5 when playing a huge map with two main continents. Russia had claimed one continent and i had claimed the other and when i went to scout them out the whole continent was full off (modern) troops and aircraft and the seas around it were 3-4 tiles deep with ships.
    I remember another instance in the mid-late game, just before aircraft arrived where i DoW'd Egypt, i took a couple of their cities before they bribed two other civs to DoW me so i ended up fighting a war on 3 fronts and had to sacrifice a number of my outlying cities as well as a number of units so i could stem the tide while i concentrated my main forces to deal with each civ one by one.
    So in the mid and late game the AI could certainly be a major military threat but this doesn't really happen in civ 6 as the AI just doesn't expand enough to be able to build significant military forces, it doesn't upgrade what it does have properly and doesn't actually attack your units even when it does get in a war with you.
    Even in civ 6 there were times (in the beginning) that i felt significant danger in the mid and late game as the AI mustered a significant attack force, declared a joint war against me and multiple large, well balanced and organised armies were sent against me and got to the point of completely surrounding my cities when i thought i was in serious trouble and in for a very difficult conflict only to realise there was no real danger as even with my cities surrounded by armies of units multiple tiles deep the AI never actually attacks the city even though they could likely take it in a single turn.
    In a similar situation there would have been a significant chance of losing the game in civ 5 or at least having to deal with multiple cities being captured and a long war where i had to use every tool available to me to survive into a probable stalemate peace.
    So again this is a civ 6 specific problem, not a 1Upt problem

    In a restricted field of battle large numbers are negated while small numbers are often amplified which is represented in 1Upt or to a lesser degree in limited but not in unlimited stacking.
    On more open ground large numbers can weigh heavily against a smaller force because they can surround and attack from multiple sides as well as cut off retreat to ensure full destruction which is again well represented in 1Upt and to a lesser degree in limited stacking but not in unlimited stacking.
    So with 1Upt or limited stacking both a large and smaller force can shine in the right situation but in unlimited stacking the larger force always wins so the difference and what makes 1Upt in particular but also to a lesser degree limited stacking more interesting and rewarding is that it is no longer simply a question of numbers but how you use them.
    Now it is more difficult to make a proficient AI to handle 1Upt but a reasonable job was made of it in civ 5 (including mods) but all that hard work has been thrown away in civ 6 so again the problem is again the inadequate design and implementation of civ 6 not 1Upt itself.


    Again you make my point which is that the design and implementation of civ 6 is the problem not 1Upt.

    Again this is exactly my point. Civ 6 design and implementation is the core problem not 1Upt.


    The problem with civ 6 is the mess they made of it. 1Upt exacerbates that mess much more than unlimited stacking would do, but even with stacking it would still be a mess.
    Stacking endless units but still not giving them the command to attack will still leave them as useless, stacking units will not allow the AI to build districts more efficiently, stacking units will not make the AI expand more aggressively, stacking units will not allow the AI to build units it doesn't have the resources to build or to upgrade units properly with resources it doesn't own, stacking units will not fix bugs and imbalanced in the values for trades so diplomacy no longer swings from one extreme of being easy to exploit the AI to the other extreme of not being able to secure a simple deal which is good for both parties.

    People focus too much on 1Upt because they don't like it for whatever reason and want to blame it for everything yet the simple fact is there are much deeper issues with civ 6 that impact the enjoyment and challenge of it which need fixing and solving or in some cases just reverting back to civ 5.
     
  12. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    It could be done, if they made full use of a 64 bit environment, quit rendering crap offscreen (to whose benefit is that?), and altered controls to allow this to actually progress sometime this year.

    I find it vexing that people constantly imply that 1UPT *added* terrain as a consideration. That's asinine. If you didn't mind terrain back in the stack days against someone who knew what they were doing, you could lose the game on that alone. What did 1UPT add to terrain consideration that has more weight than "screw this up and you lose", exactly?

    Two machines ago, I could roll over a huge map turn in civ 4 faster than the current machine (still on/above recommended specs) can roll over a turn in civ 5 or civ 6 on standard map size.

    Civ 5 and 6 added so much UI incompetency that player turns are necessarily longer too.

    In practice, a domination game (which had stricter requirements than now) on a standard map could be completed in 2-4 hours in civ 4 if you were fast. In the newer games this is not possible to do. The game itself blocks you from attaining that, through both shoddy controls and longer IBT.

    You are right, however, to point out that even for this the majority of the problem is not 1UPT. It's hard for many people to separate it out in civ though, since their complete disregard for competent UI design unfortunately happened to coincide with the switch to 1UPT, so 1 UPT gets blamed for the game "feeling" slower, even if the "triple inputs to accomplish the same thing" would remain an issue if you allowed stacking.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  13. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    I intermittently play Civ IV on the same machine as Civ V and VI, and can confirm this. I can be well into the medieval period (date wise) in an evening in Civ IV, a Civ VI session is an entire weekend. Though turn times seem faster in Civ VI than Civ V, somehow the games seem rather longer - though this could easily be a perception artefact because there's so much less to do in Civ VI in most turns especially in the late game, with slowed production times, fewer (and more quickly-resolved) wars and little to no interactive diplomacy. Most of the difference is performance-related rather than an issue with 1UPT movement, though.

    Though in fairness part of the reason for Civ IV's greater turn speed is similarly that there's often less to do - as much as I like Civ V's approach to diplomacy (if not the implementation) it was more intrusive than Civ IV's, in which the vast majority of relationship modifiers accumulated passively over time. I see this as a downside to the Civ IV system overall, but given that you can ignore diplomacy screens for much of the game when you don't need to trade anything in Civ IV, it is at least quicker.

    And this doesn't help either.
     
  14. rezaf

    rezaf Warlord

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    Heh, here we go again, two different viewpoints, you claim I disregard your point, I claim you disregard mine. It's not like we're going to agree at some point.

    I do grant however that you could say 1UPT isn't the problem per se. As you wrote, I admitted that citing Warlock or Panzer General. However, Warlock clearly distances itself from any semblance of realism, which is what the Civ series would have to do as well. It's quite possible, but also a drastic departure from the Civ legacy.
    Which, once again, is the point. That's the compromising Jawa referred to. A design choice was made that has far reaching consequences in many many other parts of the game, some of which are seemingly unrelated at first glance.
    To implement it properly all those other systems must be changed. And often to be totally different. This is why 1UPT has "destroyed the franchise" for some players. As I've often said, I like 1UPT, just not in Civ.
    And so far, they weren't even successful to "implement it properly". After what, six years?

    But you guys have won the war and all that's left for us old stack combat affictionado veterans is mourn the passing of an era gone by. And hope that, some day, a new civ might bring about change again. Not back to stacks, neccessarily, but away from 1UPT as seen today. One can always dream.
     
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  15. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Is it really? Civ has always been at least faintly absurd in its treatment of military units relative to the scale of the game. It has multiple discrete unit types in archers, spearmen, swordsmen (one incarnation even drew a fine distinction between swordsmen and axemen that doesn't have a clear real-world precedent) rather than army-scale formations of the sort found in traditional wargames that cover much smaller spatial and temporal scales. The more insistent the fanbase is on detail the more preposterous these fine distinctions have become, to the point that Civ IV onwards have multiple unique units representing minor to nonexistent differences between everything from early-period tribesmen, to early modern lancers with or without wings strapped to their backs, to specific models of 20th Century tanks or planes. When you consider that even games like Axis and Allies - explicitly focused on the WWII period - don't discriminate between a "Tank" and a "Panzer", it shows how far divorced from realism Civ is in this regard (never mind inconsistent given the differences as great or greater between different models of both non-German and German tanks than between US and German counterparts).

    Once you get past basic functional differences - cavalry formations are faster and more manoeuvrable, artillery has some kind of bombardment capability, aircraft and missiles work functionally differently from anything preceding them - none of these distinctions has even a plausible veneer of realism. How said units are organised on the map doesn't sufficiently add to or detract from this fundamental absurdity to meaningfully claim either 1UPT or stacking is more 'realistic'.

    And once again, bear in mind that while stacking was possible in Civs I and II the games were designed to be played as essentially 1UPT in combat - stacking was mostly for convenience of movement (and frankly re-implementing the Civ I/II approach seems more satisfactory than either the Civ III/IV or the Civ V/VI one).
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
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  16. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    They haven't implemented the city screen, or "attack = attack" properly in six years either (IE when a ranged unit shows attacking stats, then moves into danger w/o attacking). You used to be able to micromanage what each individual city (or select a group and change builds at the same time!) much more rapidly, now you can't.

    That doesn't mean implementing the ability to attack with a unit is broken, and it doesn't mean that the ability to build things in cities is broken. The implementations of these are markedly worse than in a previous civ and disobey conventions of games that put any work into their UI, but that's a different matter than "this design choice was necessarily flawed in a vacuum".

    Civ, since civ 1, has flagrantly distanced itself from realism in order to enhance gameplay. The baseline scale of unit movement, research rate, and means of generating yields/economy have always been awkward if you wanted to pretend you're playing reality, same with diplomatic interactions.

    I prefer civ 4 combat, because you had to think more. That's not due to 1UPT vs stacking, but because civ 4 had a better tradeoff setup. The later civs in their current form are a travesty and that has very little to do with 1 UPT. If you can't make a UI, then stacking won't save you. Civ 5 and 6 teams have, to this point, demonstrated that they can't make a UI.
     
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  17. Sobornost

    Sobornost Chieftain

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    I'm a little mystified that Civ has gone towards mechanic simplification in many areas, but the overall game has gotten much longer to play.

    Does that just mean that the net result is a lot more micromanagement?
     
  18. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Micromanagement and waiting on the game itself, yes. In a game where the key vision of the original creator was "a series of interesting choices", these games have bizarrely reduced choices that require thought while increasing the time between them.

    It isn't just 1 UPT. Compare the evaluation process of founding 3 more cities in civ 4, 5, and 6. Compare the frequency of variant utility to early wars where the player wins the rush. Each action in diplomacy had to be considered, but you got spammed less. Look at the promotion system between the games (I find it pretty comical when people imply terrain is more meaningful now).

    Simply put, you had more decisions to make that 1) mattered to the outcome and 2) could vary by context. There was necessarily less time between those decisions. There are ways to make 1UPT and limited stacking work. Firaxis chose not to use them, along with choosing to disregard the emphasis on "strategy" in their strategy game. Lots of people still buy and play these games, so how much they "ruined" it is debatable. However, if anything ruined it, its their de-emphasis on strategy (I will lump the AI into the strategy consideration) and competent controls, not a single decision like social tech tree or 1 UPT.
     
  19. Japper007

    Japper007 Prince

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    Then you must not have played a lot of strategy games... I always keep an army ready, no matter what game I'm playing. Might be because I come from a RTS background (used to be a pretty decent AoE/AoM and Rise of Nations player), where rushing is the only real way to win. But really who plays civ and doesn't build military units, it's the entire point of production isn't it?:confused:
     
  20. Noble Zarkon

    Noble Zarkon Elite Quattromaster - Emperor (BTS) Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Many of us are builders and prefer to build as few units as possible - many of my most enjoyable games have been OCC where my entire military for the whole game was the starting warrior ....
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
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