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Have they killed the fun for warmongers

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by ThERat, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. ThERat

    ThERat Chieftain

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    You just need to take a look at my signature to know that I am a fan of AW (always war) games and warmongering in general.
    Having played Civ4 for a while I have found quite a few features that make that kind of experience less enjoyable. Now, don't get me wrong, I have been playing since Civ1 and are a hardcore addict of the game. However, somehow this latest version seems to be suited to other players' styles rather than mine.

    What are the elements that seem to make the game less enjoyable.

    1. Leaders
    In Civ3 the MGL concept was new and very refreshing (good thing they took out the wonder rush in C3C). It added an element of chance and kick. The mere reason why people complained about it was the fact, that the AI was incapable to use it. In my mind, MGL's should have never gone and instead, the AI should have been spiced up to make use of them as well.
    Yes, early MGL's and armies could make or break a game, but the mere presence added a whole lot of fun and surprise.
    The new Great people concept is refreshing at first, but too predicatable and easy to plan after a while. And no armies can be formed with them.

    2. Game speed
    Units move 2 tiles for the longer part of the game, making it very draggy. This combined with forced slow expansion and limited worker action to start with makes the start of the game extremely slow and after a while pretty dull. Once the excitment about religions is gone (what good is it to have 3 religions anyway), the start of the game has little more to offer, but to try and balance economy and expansion.
    The additional restriction on galley movement slow the game even more. Once you have a continent to yourself, it's absolutely eventless unless you consider fighting barbs as the ultimate kick.

    3. Fighting the enemy
    Having crippled artillery, a whole great concept has gone. People who knew how to use catapults/cannons etc could put up a great fight with stronger Civs by merely autosmarting the enemy. In my games so far in Civ4, it turned out that the AI is hiding in cities (hardly ever have I encountered battles in the open). Pillaging gives money, but if you want to use those conquered towns, you would be foolish to pillage that land. Fights seem to be a bit static right now: roll your units in front of the town, use cats to reduce defense to 0% and then hope that suicide cats survive doing collateral damage. Then throw your units against stronger defense. This can be done with much greater number of units. Yes, promotions are nice, but the battles feel stereotypical after a while and with the slow speed of units + mimimal transport capacity, it goes very slow. This applies mainly for mid-game wars onwards

    4. Units
    The concept of defense/offense values were great in my opinion. I will never understand why it was taken out and the new concept seems overly complicated with certain bonuses. It isn't really intuitive to have a system where you try and get promotions for certain purposes with the multitude that is offered. Promotions make units very precious, but losses are inevitable due to the previously described suicide missions at cities.

    5. Late game
    The late game is downright rushed (in terms of programming). There is no balance of research versus builds. In fact, the late game forces you to focus on UN or AC and put every resource into it since the AI reseaches pretty fast at higher levels. In C3C we could have some great battles in the modern age and the AI using bombers could cripple even the best players. So far, I can't see that immersion at that stage in Civ4.

    6. Diplomacy
    It is said that diplomacy has greatly improved. This might be true for certain game styles. However, if you start the warmonger path, pretty fast you find yourself isolated and even your friends will refuse to trade techs with you. I find the options also pretty limited, techs versus techs but not versus resources and vice versa.

    7. Prebuilds
    yes, it might have been unrealistic (but c'mon how realistic is a Civ game), but the correct use of prebuilds could have meant victory or defeat. With the option disabled, late wonders are almost useless and once you are lagging in techs, it will be very difficult to catch those wonders since you can't prepare via prebuilds.

    8. Civics
    There is no equivalent to no WW governments such as communism or monarchy. The only civic to reduce WW by 50% is police state. This will hamper prolonged war efforts a lot, not even metnioning AW games

    9. Spies
    Spies were used to catch up on the stronger AI's at higher difficulty levels especially Sid. The spies now are no use, if they are used that way, might as well not have that game element.


    Remark: Keep in mind that this is written from the perspective of a warmonger game, not the peaceful strategy.
     
  2. Aeson

    Aeson orangesoda Retired Moderator

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    In response to the title, definitely not in my view. War is much more interesting in CIV than it was in any previous version. Civ SP until now has always been about "how quick can I conquer the world vs the highest difficulty AI". I'm glad that on many maps that's no longer the case, and on some conquest may not even be possible with all the victory conditions enabled.

    1. I agree, military leaders of some sort should be in. (But I think it should work in line with other great people.)

    2. Which game speed are you playing? Epic, and even Standard,seems to allow too much unit movement for my taste. Quick is more enjoyable for me, as it really is difficult to conquer large landmasses quick enough given the turns:movement ratios. It's not too difficult to mod the game speeds to get a good fit in that regard if one of the 3 speeds doesn't suit you.

    3. I'm not sure why you say artillery is crippled, then detail how artillery is absolutely vital for your conquests. Balanced seems a better term than crippled.

    It's possible to go quickly at times in conquest. It costs a lot more, but time is money.

    4. A/d is something I wish had been kept. You answer your own question as to why it was taken out though, as with a/d and the new concepts it would be that much more complicated.

    The risk of losing hard to get high XP units is a great tradeoff to their added power IMO. I've had Chariots survive to be Gunships with 50+ XP, so it's possible to keep them around if you're picky about where you attack with them. But often it's better not to be too picky.

    5. The tech rate can get going too fast late in games. In large part it depends on the map and what you've been doing over the course of the game. I like the "race" aspect between Spaceship and Domination/Conquest though. I find in CIV if I've consistantly been hammering on the tech leaders throughout the game it's possible to keep the tech rate slow enough to have rather drawn out fighting in the industrial and modern age. I can understand how it doesn't work out that way for games which have been peaceful up until then though. Trying slower gamespeeds (even if you have to mod it) should help a lot.

    Comparing CIV SP to C3C SP in this regard is a winner for CIV hands down though... I almost never was in a position where the game wasn't won militarily before the Modern age even hit in Civ III once I figured out how to play the game, then only on bad Deity starts or Sid. Even getting to Industrial without the game already in hand was rather rare.

    6. Per turn for up-front trading is gone because the AI would never handle it well without upsetting players with their actions. (ie. often defaulting on payments by declaring war, self-pillaging, ect, as the player can do.) Even then it would be a pain to balance right.

    An AI which identifies an over-aggressive player and doesn't feed the warmonger tech to kill it with later would be a step in the right direction. I don't think this is what is happening though. Either you are indirectly hurting your relationships, or the AI isn't trading with you for other reasons, monopoly techs most likely, which become more common when you're eliminating their competition. I haven't seen a "you're too aggressive" reason from the AI for not trading yet.
     
  3. Pyrion

    Pyrion Liquid Metal Nanomorph

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    Whaddya mean "forced slow expansion"? If you know where you're going to expand, send workers to build roads there in advance.
     
  4. ThERat

    ThERat Chieftain

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    It's a feature that was put in on purpose, try and settle a continent that solely belongs to you fast and you are bankrupted due to city maintenance. Though it might be good to slow anyone settling at every available spot, it slows the game. I am not refering to unit speed here.
    That reminds me of another funny feature. The settler has move 2 when the accompanying unit has move 1. Try sending out your settler alone and you are in for a nasty barb surprise (or maybe brother bear east him). So, you are forced to follow this pattern.
    Build warrior and send it out to the designated spot. Then ask the settler to go there.

    well, I am not that great that this happened in every single game
     
  5. Endureth

    Endureth Chieftain

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    1. Leaders

    The new Great people concept is good but the game shouoldn't show you your progress towards one in the city screen. If the player didn't know when they were going to get one it would be more exciting. It's okay to leave the 'emphasize great people' button on the city screen but we shouldn't see the actual progress bar nor should we see exactly how many poinst we get per turn towards one.

    2. Game speed

    The idea of religion is to make it easier to maintain good relations with some civs and harder to do it with others. Obviously you're a warmonger so religion won't mean squat to you. In your case you just need to adopt one and build the temples in all your cities to recieve the benefits.

    But for other players, who tend more towards peace, it can be a challenge to send your religion's missionaries to other civs to sway them to your way of thinking. By doing so, you can make trade relations more in your favor and build a larger group of friends who will assist you in war time. Religion could be used by a warmonger by picking a distant civ and taking the steps to sway them to your religion and have them hit those too distant civs to keep them modest when it comes to thier tech progression. If they're at war, thier rate of tech discoveries will slow. Bottom line is religions main purpose is to get and keep friends.

    And I don't think there is a problem with movement speeds at all. You become more mobile as the game progresses.

    3. Fighting the enemy

    I don't understand your complaint here? With inflation having too many cities can be a little counter-productive right? Why not just pillage them, get the gold, destroy the city get the gold, let your culture creep into the new lands and then occupy the next town?

    And I fight a lot of battles in the open. I don't understand how you don't. Sounds to me, the way you use artillery you just mass a butt-load of units and overpower the other civs. If I was against a player like you I would probably turtle in my cities too. After all, it is the best defensive terrain around.

    It's a shame the computer isn't that great at breaking seiges. I mean if the AI sees 30 troops outside one of his cites he's got to assume that it's the brunt of your force and should lessen the defenses in his other cities to help defend just that one. Instead the AI just leaves the same amount of troops in every city and won't leave them if he's being attacked. Sure he's got his fast units out trying to pillage your lands but once they're dead, he becomes pretty placid.

    4. Units

    I like the combined value of attack/defense to just one number. It just makes so much more sense. And promotions are what is suppose to encourage you not to commit troops to suicide missions at the gates of enemy cities. You can take cities with a lot less casualties with just a little prior planning and upgrade.

    Don't assign the promotions until you see what you're going to need for a given situation. They can really help prolong the life of your troops. Combining flanking with medics is well, just awesome for softening up a city while minimizing casualties.

    5. Late game

    Starting around mid-game, research points for new techs needs to be increased while the game clock (the amount of years that pass in a single turn) needs to be decreased. That would totally fix this. You can actually do this yourself by editing some game files.

    But you're right, I do feel rushed once I get past mid game. Usually by the time I have all the troops I'll need for the next battle, I just discover the next line of troops and of course the AI will upgrade everything once you declare war. It's too easy for him with his decreased upgrade costs. This is probably the most frustrating part of waging mid/late-game wars.

    6. Diplomacy

    If you start down the warmonger path, do you expect people to trade with you? Come on, seriously man. I'm not about to give someone techs who is just using them to kill everyone when I know I'm next on the list. I'd rather just let the guy burn himself out so that when he finally does get to me, I'm higher up on the tech tree. This complaint isn't about the game really, it's just about how your own playstyle hinders you.

    7. Prebuilds

    No idea what you're talking about. :)

    -E
     
  6. Royal

    Royal Chieftain

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    In Civ3, if you wanted a wonder (say Pyramids), what you could do is start building the Great Lighthouse, but once you get the tech for Pyramids, you switch production to pyramids, and any production used on the GL goes automadically to the Pyramids, thus you have a big lead in the race.
     
  7. Endureth

    Endureth Chieftain

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    Oh, okay. I never did like that anyway.

    -E
     
  8. The Last Conformist

    The Last Conformist Irresistibly Attractive

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    Some comments:

    1. I always thought armies were a bad idea, and so am happy they're gone. It's a tad odd there are no military Great People, however.

    2. The first three-move unit in CivIII was the cavalry at the end of the second era. I don't see any big difference here.

    3. Once you hit on the concept, crushing the CivIII AI with a big stack of artillery took no skill at all. With C3C bombers, you could conquer empires without you ground unit ever firing a shot. I'm quite happy artillery was toned down.

    4. I never liked the A/D split.

    5. Not played the modern era in CIV enough to have much of an opinion.

    6. Why on earth shouldn't you get isolated if you're a warmonger?

    7. I like that prebuilds are gone. Makes wonder construction so much more of a gamble, as well as eliminating the instant spaceship.
     
  9. ThERat

    ThERat Chieftain

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    thanks guys for those comments, though I kenw most would flame me :mischief:
    will eduit my first post to add some stuff

    Well, agree that after fighting quite a few guys, the rest should be wary. But I can see that the first thing to go is tech trading.

    One more thing, the problem for a warmonger is also that there is no equivalent to monarchy or communism any longer in terms of WW. Sullla has replied to me telling me that only the police state civic influences it by reducing WW by 50%. That is a major setback for a warmonger, not even mentioning AW games. I mean they even made this an option to select.
     
  10. The Last Conformist

    The Last Conformist Irresistibly Attractive

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    Well, Republic was my prefered warmonger gov't in CivIII.
     
  11. Psyringe

    Psyringe Scout

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    Hi :)

    First, thanks a lot for voicing your criticism in a thoughtful, fact-oriented, non-aggressive manner. I just realized how much I long for a discussion of the game instead of the flame wars taking place in the vicinity. :)

    I see what you mean, but I don't miss MGLs much myself. In Civ3, they always felt like an exploit for me. I rarely built armies because I don't want to use features that the AI can't. I also thought that their presence tipped the scales a little unfairly towards the warmongers, even with scientific great leaders introduced in C3C. (I like to mix and change my playing styles a lot.) Another reason why I don't really miss them is that their role is partly filled by unit promotions now.

    I agree that MGLs added an element of chance and kick, and although I don't really miss them, they wouldn't hurt either, as long as the AI can deal with them. Perhaps it's a topic for an expansion pack, or for a mod. It might be nice to give high-level units a chance to spawn military leaders. which have access to special promotions.


    Yes, if you're alone on your continent, then the early game can get a little dull, because you need a lot of tech to be able to cross oceans and meet other civs. However, I didn't like the Civ3 way either, where you knew the whole world very early. I like that there are new worlds to explore even when I'm in the medieval ages. I guess the possibility to have a dull early game when you draw an isolated start is the price I have to pay for that. However, I find it also a fun strategical challenge to win the game from an isolated start.


    Hmm, I'm undecided on the artillery issue. The suicide artillery of Civ4 feels a little strange. Although I realize that Civ is a game and not simulation of real warfare, suicide artillery may be a little too far off. Lacking realism of a game feature is not a problem for me if it adds to the gameplay, but I'm not so sure whether the kamikaze catapults or cannons really do this. For me, it's not at all keeping me from having loads of fun with the game, but I wonder whether there may have been a better way to incorporate artillery.

    Gameplay-wise, I had similar feelings about Civ3 artillery though. It seemed overpowered. They AI would send you its stack of doom, your artillery brings its units down to 1 hp, then you mop up ... wasn't really more challenging or diverse as Civ4 is imho.

    Here I disagree. I think the promotion system is a great addition, it gives you so much more flexibility when building your army. There are less pre-defined roles now. I have to make lots of choices, and that's what strategy gaming is all about - making choices, preferably good ones. ;)

    Whether the system is intuitive ... hmmm. For me it is, whereas I never found it especially intuitive that units have fixed offense and defense values and that in a battle of legionaries one has vastly better chances to win because he happened to make the first strike. Perhaps we're just more used to the former system.


    I'm reluctant to call it rushed, since imho the game shows very good balancing, way better than any previous Civ game, and you don't get that in rushed games. However I agree that the endgame often flies by too fast. This won't be too difficult to patch or mod though.

    In my experience, the diplomatical isolation only happens if you are either neglecting diplomacy (i.e. not spending enough to keep friends), or when you are a very *successful* warmonger - and then it makes sense that even your friends are reluctant to trade with you, because you just grow too strong. When I was no threat to them, I had them offering me gunpowder for free despite me playing this game as a warmonger (Monarch difficulty).

    "Tech vs. resource" trades are an exploit (offer resource, get tech, declare war). Imho it's good that they limited it.


    Here I strongly disagree. I'm really happy that prebuilds are finally made impossible. I felt always forced to micromanage my cities in order to get the best out of the prebuilds. You could get an advantage by the change&buy-exploit (start building something for 10 shields, buy it, now immediately change to build something for 20 shields, buy it, etc.) - but that wasn't fun, it was tedious. Yes, you may run into difficulties if you lag in techs and want to build many wonders, but that just means you cannot have every wonder now while still being rather backwards. You can still get crucial wonders if you beeline for them - it's a tough decision and a great risk, but that's were the challenge lies. At least it does for me. :)
     
  12. ThERat

    ThERat Chieftain

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    we all loved the republic for fast and decisive strikes. Try doing that on a higher difficulty setting here (I am currently playing a archipelago on monarch) The problem is that the AI upgrades units so fast, by the time your forces are in position to strike, they are so much stronger, it's pretty hard to take those towns. So, you need a prolonged war with pillaging and slowly grinding down the enemy, but WW will hit you so hard.

    Sure, I could win the game on AC, but I am tired of that victory condition because it means endless spacebar hits, not fun for me. I would like to win via conquest. It's pretty tough to break a Civ that has only a few cities here, since they keep something like 5-10 units in their towns and they are constantly upgraded. Since good military needs some investments, tech wise you are starting to fall behind even with much more cities.

    I think the game was designed to discourage warmongering, that's waht I am trying to establish here
     
  13. ThERat

    ThERat Chieftain

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    Thanks, this is exactly why I started this thread. I also want to get more input form others, maybe I can learn about my own mistakes. It's always a good thing to have 'friendly' discussions with different opinions :)
     
  14. Reg Pither

    Reg Pither Chieftain

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    Yes, I agree that it has been designed like that. Although I would really put it the other way round and say rather that it is encouraging the other ways to win the game. Definitely an improvement in my book. :)
     
  15. haard

    haard Chieftain

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    Really, about catapult/cannon/artillery - I rarely lose those at all. I mostly use them with City Raider II for collateral, and never use the accuracy upgraded ones for direct attack.

    That being said, one thing that really bugs me is the all too late introduction of cannons, so I run modded so that they come with metal casting+gunpowder instead. That works for me, more fun and more 'realistic'. Without that mod, I find it hard to use siege for direct attacks between gunpowder and steel.

    Over all, I tend to train and nurture my units now, allowing inexperienced units to take the easy fights against wounded units to level them up, something not many people here seem to do. And of course, as soon as I have the appropiate civics, I never train a unit without two promotions ('cept for garrisons, perhaps).
     
  16. Sorceresss

    Sorceresss Witch

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    [removed : out of focus]
     
  17. remconius

    remconius Chieftain

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    More on war weariness:

    Adopt police state (-50%).
    Build national wonder mt. Rushmore (-25%)
    Jail in your cities (-25%).
     
  18. Panda

    Panda Metal head

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    1. Leaders
    Make or break a game exactly, or having ivory to build the Statue of Zeus. I don't miss armies even though I loved them in Civ 3, but hope for a military great person in an upcoming expansion.

    2. Game speed
    Depends on what game speed you play. If you play on epic your units move relatively fast, but on fast you move relatively slowly. ;)

    3. Fighting the enemy
    I find the current system a lot more enjoyable over red-lining stacks of doom turn after turn.

    4. Units
    Well, it was odd to begin with, true enough. I just look upon it as a new aspect to master. I haven't decided yet whether it's better than the old system but it ain't a mess, IMO.

    5. Late game
    No opinion as of yet.

    6. Diplomacy
    "W" invaded Afganistan and Iraq and now nobody likes him. :mischief:

    It's odd though that you can't demand tech/resources for tribute unless they would be willing to trade for them.

    7. Prebuilds
    But instead we can rush wonders with gold, force labour and tree chopping. Not that many trees will be around to rush the Manhattan Project.

    8. Civics
    Jails and Mount Rushmore help, allthough they don't completely remove WW.

    9. Spies
    Yes, they seem pretty useless. :(
     
  19. Martinus

    Martinus Emperor

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    Learn to play the game. It's easier to win once you do.
     
  20. karadoc

    karadoc AI programmer

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    I agree. I really like the great people, except that the game announces to you exactly how long you have to wait before a great person is born. I'd much prefer it if the game just displayed the total birthrate, but not the progress bar.
     

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