Hexagonal Tiles have lost their flare

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by esemjay, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. esemjay

    esemjay Prince

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    I realized today that, for me, Hex Tiles have lost their flare. While they were a neat innovation, I feel that the problem I have with them is two fold:

    1. They are Space-Inefficient. I'm sure I'm not the only person that has noticed that the hexes are gargantuan when compared to the squares. It just seems as if there are fewer "hexes per map" (HPM) than a comparable map comprised of squares. Not just a couple hexes smaller, but it seems to be a significant amount of space is lost by moving towards hexes. This is compounded by my second point.
    2. They actually limit more moves than they provide. The "squares" in the previous civilizations are, in practice, octagons. With Hexes and with Squares, you can move to any adjacent tile. While this sounds like the hexes are adjacent to 6, and squares are adjacent to 4; one must remember that on a square grid, you are also adjacent through the corners- leaving 8 possible options for movement. While the hexagonal tiles make more sense at a glance, they feel flawed for this reason above all others.
    3. Hexes are mapped poorly for keyboard movement. If you really wanted to, you could move a unit with absolute precision by use of the keyboard. The keys were arranged:

      [7][8][9]
      [4][5][6]
      [1][2][3]

      Five is where the unit IS, and 1-4,6-9 provided an intuitive method to control units. While the mouse is just as functional in this situation, the point is that it's easy to grasp. I figured it out in Civ2, with a crappy mouse and an accidental button press, that 9 will move a unit "Up and Right." I was so new to the game, I did not know that I could move diagonally. In hexagonal tiles, I am afraid to push these buttons, because I have no idea what will happen. However, I know that I will not move "diagonally" to a hex I did not know I could access. The only "Intuitive" interface I could see would be:

      [W][E]
      [A][D]
      [Z][X]

      where is the unit location, and W,E,A,D,Z & X are movement keys. This would limit shortcuts for the player, but would be the only logical placement on the keyboard. Most players who use those keys for movement will automatically understand it due to the widespread use of the WASD movement convention.


    The only advantages to the hexagonal tiles that I could think of were that Hexagonal Tiles made landscape rendering more fluid. An improvement that I'm sure many players will find marginal, at best. (I actually tried to think of two, but the second bullet I was going to use was "Easier to understand at a glance", which is actually just not true. Hexagonal Tiles are harder to understand than the Square (Pseudo-Octagonal) Tiles.
     
  2. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    You can still use the NumPad to move your units. It's annoying that so many things require mouse clicks or I'd play most of the game with the keyboard to save my right wrist a little wear and tear. <Insert inappropriate joke here> At least, I would if I was still playing. :lol:

    7= up and left
    9 = up and right
    4= left
    6= right
    1= down and left
    3= down and right

    I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with your post, just pointing this out.
     
  3. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    A comparable map composed of squares has an identical number of tiles. I'm not seeing your point at all.

    Moving towards hexes? Lost space? Are you trying to get across that pathfinding seems inadequate/inefficient?

    This has been discussed quite a lot in several older threads. While hexes are as you say more limiting in movement options, they make up in how they make all movement directions symmetric. A board composed of 8-sided square tiles has two types of movement - diagonal and cardinal. This problem does not exist on hex boards.

    The hex-like layout of the typical keyboard would work well for the movement shortcut keys but the numpad does the job well enough anyway if you only use 6 of the 9 number keys (instead of the square board's 8 of 9).

    On what basis do you say that hexagonal tiles are harder to understand?

    One counter point to that claim is that civ4 (and I'm pretty sure the three previous games too) had to have two different metrics for working out distances between tiles - step distance and plot distance. Step distance was for things like unit movement while plot distance was for things like city maintenance calculations, city radius shapes and bomber ranges. As far as I know, civ5 does not require there to be two distinct metrics anymore.

    In summary, I'm really not seeing the problem that you have.:dunno: At the start of your post you mentioned hexes were a neat innovation. Why did you call them that?
     
  4. Airey

    Airey Prince

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    Like others have said, it's the same number of tiles. They just feel smaller because units can navigate the same size map more efficiently/quickly, thus it "feels" smaller. Having units moving around the map rapidly was actually one of the goal for improvement over civ iV.

    uh? am I remembering it wrong? In Civ IV I don't remember you can move units diagonally in 1 single turn. 4 possible movement on turn 1, 4 more on turn 2. Needs 2 movements to move units diagonally. If nothing else, Hex has more options.

    Civ V isn't that time pressed game that you need to use keyboard. I use my mouse to play just fine.
    It's just personal preference, I get it. But it's not a -'ve on hex map...
     
  5. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    Yes, you can move diagonally in Civ 4 for the same movement points as moving "up," "down," left, or right. In all versions, it was never changed.
     
  6. Airey

    Airey Prince

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    Oh I see...it's been awhile for me :blush::lol:
     
  7. pi-r8

    pi-r8 Luddite

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    Hexes feel more cramped to me when I'm trying to attack a particular tile. It's especially a problem when trying to concentrate force against a city- you can only attack with a max of 6 units per turn, and usually no more than 3.

    Also, with hexes it's easy to form a solid defensive line in any direction, especially with the ZOC rules. With squares it's almost impossible to have a defensive line along a diagonal.
     
  8. MkLh

    MkLh King

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    I don't like hexes either and can't quite understand why they get so much praise. To me they just make maps more confusing as you can't directly move to all cardinal directions. They should have either stayed in tiles or used octagons. Hexes aren't nearly the worst thing in V though.
     
  9. moscaverde

    moscaverde Prince

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    Hexes makes forts, defensive lines and choke points way more meaningful than squares, also all directions have the same distance (around the hex).
     
  10. Poke

    Poke Warlord

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    octagons don't tessellate. They'd leave gaps, and would function the same as square tiles
     
  11. Fizpez2

    Fizpez2 Chieftain

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    The hexes are the one thing I hope they don't ever change away from - equal movement in all directions is a HUGE improvement over the squares.
     
  12. eris

    eris King

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    I tried going back to Civ 4 the other day. The first thing that hit me was "These are squares!." I had forgotten how much I had hated square tiles ever since I picked up Civ 2. The AI is not well programmed for them in Civ 5, and the crowding feel is made worse by ICS of the cities, (enforce minimum spacing of 4 to 5 tiles and that would be fixed. But they are still the very best advancement in Civ 5 in my aesthetics and strategical opinion. (For what that's worth.)

    This is a strong if not strident vote of support for hexes and making them better.
     
  13. Nares

    Nares Emperor

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    You can't diagonal move through mountains with hexes.

    Realism both last and gained on that one.

    Maybe mountians should act as ZoC. That might really spice them up.
     
  14. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    ZoC, at least as I understand it... is supposed to represent an enemy unit having the opportunity to ambush you if you try to move by it without keeping an orderly marching formation, which is by nature slower than marching at full speed, at least for foot units.

    I.e., moving slower in a battle marching formation that is guarding its flanks as it moves ahead, rather than moving faster in a less disciplined, looser, and therefore more easily attackable formation. For the same reason, Charge orders in real battles were often given when an enemy had broken ranks.

    What would mountain ZoC represent? The mountain shooting at or charging at you?
     
  15. Nares

    Nares Emperor

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    Rough terrain.
     
  16. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    Hills, Marsh, Forest, River crossings, and such already represent this. Mountains represent impassable terrain. So what would adding ZoC to them do that isn't already done by other methods? Methods that actually kind of make sense... :lol:
     
  17. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    The hexes seem "bigger", I will say, but it might just be map scale vs unit scale issues.

    The numpad has worked quite well for me in hexes. I was worried about it at first, but I'm not running into any issues. Definitely for me, they're one of the big improvements.
     
  18. Bad Brett

    Bad Brett King

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    While I dislike Civ V, I must say that hexes have a lot of potential. The "city ring" makes more sense than the "fat cross", they remove the issue with the land/water crossings and you don't have to zig zag while exploring. And of course, they look a lot better.

    However, combined with 1upt and road maintainance, it doesn't work very well.
     
  19. Zyxpsilon

    Zyxpsilon Running Spider

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    If it were only me, moving would be allowed in all 12 directions just for kicks and to resolve 1upT AI_clugs partly.

    OP, i guess the legendary but slick isometric perspective has got into you somehow over time. Too late, we're all heading into a different dimension!
    The whole rational Known Universe (Hawking's) is 360o wide anyway no matter how you look at or try representing it with.
    Warped at the SoL & purposely squared into energy by Mass.
     
  20. Poke

    Poke Warlord

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    Radically, screw tiles completely for units. Take the diameter of a tile and have that as a unit of measurement. Every turn a unit can move that distance in any direction (or double if it has 2 tile movement etc). Throw in some cheap collision/proximity detection against a tile for when you want to pillage or fight and for a ZOC AOE..
     

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