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Historical Immersion Factor

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by polypheus, Oct 10, 2010.

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How important is the "historical immersion" factor in enjoying a Civ game?

  1. Extremely important

    341 vote(s)
    56.3%
  2. Somewhat important

    214 vote(s)
    35.3%
  3. Not very important

    51 vote(s)
    8.4%
  1. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    Have to point out that luxury resources in Civ V don't all do the same thing. Whales and Fishes can, with Seaport, turn out +2 base hammers each. Mints give +3 base gold to Silver and Gold tiles, and Wine and Incense give out +2 base Culture with Monasteries. These are all considerable because they are tile-based additions, so get multiplied with city multipliers.
     
  2. Derax

    Derax Chieftain

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    You're absolutely right!For me it began (only an example 'cause ger was the first tribe I played) with realising Germany's special attribute of capturing barabrians and so on:

    The developers have a bigger interest in balancing and strategy but that isn't doing it for me anymore.
     
  3. polypheus

    polypheus Prince

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    Civ5's global happiness vs Civ4 local happiness of course leads to very different choices and effects and the overall flow of the game. To say that one is simply a streamlined version of the other is completely wrong.

    Here are a couple of threads that I participated in that talk about the issues in detail:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=387987
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=395220

    If you want to discuss in detail about happiness, please continue on one of the above thread.

    You may say that Civ4's model is also flawed but the point of many of us is that Civ5's model is a lot more flawed and makes less sense than Civ4 model as far as happiness mechanics go and this reduces immersion simply because Civ5's implementation makes a lot less sense and feels a lot more gamey compared to Civ4. Thus overall effects and decisions that come about from Civ5 global happiness vs Civ4 happiness is not the same!

    Lots of people think so but again if you feel that Civ5's model is just as good as Civ4 in terms of making sense and having no less historical immersion then all I can say is that we have provided lots of reasons why we feel so and if you can't be convinced then there's nothing more to say.
     
  4. polypheus

    polypheus Prince

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    You are asking for something that simply doesn't exist. As I have myself said many times, it is completely subjective so no it can't be provided. But the feeling many with regard to Civ5 is that many of the changes reduce the feeling of immersion not increased it. OTOH, you seem to feel that all Civs are ultimately all gamey and none is really more or less immersive than any other.

    Again, I ask you this question. Would you say that Civ4 is more "historically immersive" than Civ1 or even RISK? If your answer is that they are all equally flawed and equally immersive or un-immersive, then we really have no common point of understanding. I would guess that most people would say that Civ4 is far more historically immersive than Civ1 or obviously RISK. This is despite that Civ4 also has many elements that are flawed or overly simplistic. Because its not about the individual mechanics taken in isolation but rather the overall feeling you get when you play the game as a whole and the historical narrative that you can spin from start to finish of your imagined Civ world. Flaws aside, all the elements of Civ4 taken together as a whole makes the history of my Civ4 world "feel" more alive and "real" than RISK or Civ1 which felt a lot more gamey.

    Its not really possible to go point by point because its about the WHOLE PICTURE of how everything comes together. It isn't a question of this detail vs that detail which is what you are trying to imply. But its how the game as a whole plays out from start to finish. And from how games play out overall in Civ5, it just feel a lot more gamey to me than Civ4. But again if you feel like Civ4 is no more immersive than any other Civ such as Civ1 or RISK, then I can never explain it to you. Every Civ from 1 going to 4 have already increase historical immersion for me. Civ5 for me and many others is the first time I have felt it decreased it.
     
  5. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    polypheus:

    My perception of what TheMeInTeam is trying to say is that what you choose to ignore in Civ 4 and Civ 5 is your own business, and is largely responsible for your perceived disparity in historical immersion. Certainly, I see no immediate reason for why having Gold in the empire would directly boost birth rates - and this would be true in both games, though one is local and the other not.

    The argument for Colosseums in small cities allowing growth in central cities goes both ways. Why can't I make a city just for the purpose of entertaining my people? Don't they know how to go anywhere but their own cities?
     
  6. Vordeo

    Vordeo King

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    Hahaha, I stand corrected.
     
  7. Vordeo

    Vordeo King

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    Come to think of it, I know alot of people played with them off, but I kinda wish random events were still in the game. Now those certainly helped 'immersion' for me.
     
  8. SalmonSoil

    SalmonSoil Prince

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    I was mainly dissapointed by the lack of end game summary. I loved those because they really tied together the historical narrative of the game.
     
  9. TheBlackAdderBG

    TheBlackAdderBG Chieftain

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    Location:
    Back in Bulgaria
    I'm sorry to jump in your conversation,but you miss the point.Just open the Civilopedia(Civ IV) and look and mine,camp,plantation and so.Every resource give different things ,then open CiV Help and look there: resources all of them +1:c5production: ,food all of them +1:c5food:(fish got +2 :confused:),luxuries all of them +2:c5gold:(gems are +3 again without any reason,and wheals +1 food and +1 gold).All resources give 6 different bonuses,in IV only the resources worked on mines give the same amount of variety.The silk is different from sugar ,gold from silver and so on..this in CiV in gone,why they got gold and silver ,they give the same!
    I think that was what joyous_gard have in mind and not only the happy resources.
    Also in IV you got "Forest Preserve" ;)
     
  10. D_Toccs

    D_Toccs Chieftain

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    For me it's more then just resources outputs that add more immersion to Civ 4.

    There are so many factors going in the game that shape the narrative. I know that people like or hate me based on religion (which is not a magic auto-ally feature I don't care what anybody says). I can see that someone hates me because I cut off his expansion leaving him with a small pennisula and no resources, I've spent the last 100 years waging a large scale espionage war against my neighbour in an effort to soften him up for an invasion.
    I guess it comes down to two things : information and variables.
    In Civ 4 there are many variables that effect geopolitical activity, and it is presented in such a way that I am aware of what is going on and can understand why empires are friends or enemies with each other.

    In Civ 5, there are noticeably less variables and even less insight into what is going on. So Edinburgh wants me to destroy Sidon . . . I don't know why, they don't seem to be attacking each other, Edinburgh isn't going to expand into that territory for those resources. The only logical reason I can extrapolate is that Edinburgh randonly generated a war mission, that is immersion breaking.
    With the loss of things like religon and espionage, relations with ai empires has little to no narrative. I'm not waging a grand crusade with my allies to convert the heathens or building up strong bonds of friendship with my nieghbour. I am simply eliminating the ai because they are the opposition.

    This is all of course my opinion and purely subjective. I'm happy for those that like this game, there are a lot of games out there that I don't like but many people do and I'm not so arrogant as to think my opinion is the only one.
    But I can happily play Civ 4 in sandbox mode because I feel as though I'm shaping an alternate world. Whereas Civ 5, I'm just playing a game.
     
  11. inetd82

    inetd82 Chieftain

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    I agree with the thread starter. If Civ 1 had been set in a science fiction world, I probably would have never started playing Civ at all. On the other hand, I once played Europa Universalis which claims to be historically accurate, but it was just too complex and the gameplay too slow. For my taste, the Civilization series got this Gameplay-Realism (FPS gamers know what I'm talking about :D) aspect just right, but in Civ 5 it somehow took some the realism feeling without adding to the gameplay.
     
  12. Jediron

    Jediron Prince

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    As it should be, since you are playing on a STRATEGICAL LEVEL. While it seems more tactical now, it inludies alot of drawbacks too. There are so many flaws in the current 1upt battle-mechanism; it ain't funny and i don't feel the need to point them all out to you. If you don't see them, the flaws, that can mean a few things:
    a) You are ignorant
    b) You don't have a clue what real warfare is about

    Making a tactical game ala PG on a CIV-MAP scale is terrible. Not only due to a bad AI, but also for the wrong mechanics at the wrong place. You may call that "a opinion", i call it a fact. Why ?
    Because tactical warfare on a turn based level is nothing more then a handicaped solution. A "gamey" solution.
    If you can't see that, you obviously fall under category B :crazyeye:

    It's a problem, yes. And yes, it's also unrealistic; instant full fledged city states, throw in a coin and you have a friend for life.
     
  13. Vordeo

    Vordeo King

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    A.) Arrogant much?
    B.) Unless you're actually a military commander in real life, neither do you.
    C.) "I don't feel the need to point them all out to you" is a brilliant way to argue. Let me try it! There are several reasons that you are wrong, but I don't feel the need to point them all out to you. It works so well!!!
    D.) I've never claimed the game is perfect, I've simply said that combat is more realistic than it was in CivIV.

    Oh wait, you do name examples. Examples that don't make sense, but ok, let's try and address these.

    The first bit is an opinion unless you have objective data backing that up. I'm talking academic journals, or something that at least claims to be objective. The opinion of a random person on a message board doesn't work.

    As to your point, how exactly is it a 'handicaped solution'? Is it because you get to move before the other side does? That flaw applies to all Civilizations, and is thus pretty irrelevant to the point I made.

    So much wrong with that.

    A.) What's wrong with instant full fledged city states? They're simply cities that are settled on turn one, same as normal civs. Now you could argue that everyone settling at the same time is unrealistic, but it's a video game, and it;'s how Civ has worked since CivI.
    B.) Throw in a coin? There are other ways to influence CS.
    C.) A friend for life? Have you even played the game? Influence degrades at a pretty steep rate.
    D.) Historically there have been several ways great powers have allied with city states, are you seriously arguing that throughout history alliances with city states have never been bought?
     
  14. anti_strunt

    anti_strunt Warlord

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    I think I'm actually supporting your position. :) My point was that the sheer quantity of stuff (or at least peoples' impression of quantity) in final version BTS made people forget or ignore how poorly some of that stuff was implemented.

    Yup.

    I partially agree. As far as the Civ 5 AI is "playing to win", it's doing a very poor job at it! I do believe extra artificial randomness has been deliberately put into the system to fake "unpredictability". ("It will sign a Research Agreement and then attack you the next turn!")
    I will also agree that the AI in Civ 4 was more conductive to roleplaying or sandbox games. For many players this probably facilitated immersion. For many others, who saw the AI as too dumb and easily manipulated, it actively broke immersion.
     
  15. lschnarch

    lschnarch Emperor

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    Yes, there are, but the "insert coin" is the easiest way to go. Especially considering that you may not be near that barb camp they want to have exterminated, or that you are not adjacent to that other civ attacking them. The other ways (looking for GP_XYZ, looking for luxury_ABC, looking for nation_DEF, and so on are working only *after* you have made good relationships with them.
    BS.
    There isn't any problem in maintaining allied status with 6 CS at the same time. All you have to do is to insert a coin every now and then again.
    Ah... talking about history...
    How often has a "City State" provided a whole empire with food, even better, while not having any connection to said empire?
    In Civ5, they magically "beam" 24 food (assumed: allied status and 10 cities next to your capital) into your empire.

    This concept is even more ridiculous than the GDR.
     
  16. anti_strunt

    anti_strunt Warlord

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    I can see your point about buildings in 4, but I don't really see how they're improved in 5?

    Well, the extra yields are generally lower and identical for most resouces (+2 :commerce: ), and you can't put in non-resource improvements...

    One problem is that there is considerably less decision tension when choosing your very first techs, partly tied to the lower yields from special tiles. Getting or starting with Fishing/Mining made a world of difference when starting with Fish/Gold etc. I'm no high level player, but I always felt that the order of those first choices could be vital in securing a good early position. There is nothing comparable in Civ 5, the early pressure feels lower.

    Isn't that a universal malady at the core of every Civ and most other 4X/Strategy games?

    In either case, have you ever felt a danger of the AI wiping you out in Civ 5? How often, compared with the wars of Civ 4?
     
  17. Vordeo

    Vordeo King

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    Gold's the easiest way to attain influence, but it's not the only way was the point. Do I think there should be more? Yes, but that doesn't mean his argument makes no sense.

    You sure about the bolded bit? I seem to recall randomly getting some of those in the past.

    'Throw in a coin and you have a friend for life' still isn't accurate.

    Well, first I'm going to point out that this is a tangent to the point I was making. I'm talking about relations with CS, not what they actually gave in return.

    But fine. Just going by the name, they're maritime states, so they're supposed to supply you with food (presumably fish and such?) via boat shipments.

    Now is it unrealistic that maritime states occasionally spawn away from any water, and that you don't need to have coastal cities to receive them? Yes, but gameplay and balance wise I can see why they made the decision. Like I said earlier, for me historical accuracy is important, but not as important as gameplay.
     
  18. GenericPlayer

    GenericPlayer Warlord

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    I just saw this thread. The OP makes a very good point and articulates many things that have been on my mind since Civ 5 came out.

    For me, the point where I realized the immersion was gone was when the ranking lists came up. Instead of "Herodotus has completed his great work...." it said "People who like the shiny things most" or "People who like to smile the most..."
     
  19. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    IV is more immersive than previous titles that are that dated simply based on its offering more and different kinds of decisions. However, when comparing reasonably modern games, it is VERY difficult to sort out what is just "they changed it now it sucks" vs legit immersion factor if one had started one or the other game without knowledge of the other. V offers things that previous titles do not; for people who REALLY like the tactical level, 1upt could overpower the flaws entirely. I do not suggest all games are equal, but I definitely do suggest that it is difficult, maybe impossible, to make a strong case that civ V is actually less immersive than previous titles in the series...ESPECIALLY the older ones which have less depth. The biggest problems with V are not with historical immersion, they are with how the game plays. That can certainly inhibit immersion of any kind though...but again these flaws are NOT new to V for the most part, clouding the comparison.

    By the way, this "gamey" crap is beyond belief. People overuse it and draw the line at really awkward places. Ultimately, they *are* all "games", and doing things that optimize winning chances makes sense. If you are saying that you want the "gamey" aspects of the game to be hidden behind rules you don't know, pretty pictures, and inadequate understanding of mechanics (many of which have inadequate or non-existent data about them provided by the designers), then you can say IV has less "gamey" aspects than V. It's a really weak argument though. Basically, you are saying a game is more immersive because it does a better job of hiding its rules, flaws, and major problems from you. I'm not buying that argument. If ANYTHING in V feels more "gamey" to you than the Apostolic Palace, you've some things to learn before you start judging what is "gamey" to begin with anyway.

    That's largely correct. I also seek to emphasize that comparing happiness in IV and V is inappropriate. Anyone who understands both games should be comparing maintenance in IV to happiness in V and corruption/waste in III, because those are the game mechanics that share functionality. This thread has very very little people complaining or even considering the immersion factor of maintenance, which was a ridiculous mechanic also. Why is that? Either people aren't understanding the games, or they're not really considering the issues objectively and are confusing themselves.

    AIs are inadequate in both games. I'd like V's to be a lot better and hope for improvements in that department. While IV's could arguably allow "roleplaying", understanding how they really work hurts that a LOT. Gandhi and Shaka/Ragnar/Mehmed/Nappy, opposites in unitprob, are only a few number changes away from playing identically...very simple, formulaic number changes. Combined with the tendency for high-level RNG screw, I hesitate to accept IV's AIs or diplo model as "more immersive" from anyone who doesn't know just how cookie cutter and terrible they really were.

    You have slightly more complexity due to the maintenance consideration, but ultimately buildings have the same tradeoffs (with different ROI) in all civ games. I'm not trying to make the case that V's are materially better than IVs, just that IVs aren't all that, either.

    Yields were globally dropped in V. That the disparity between resources is less is an obvious conclusion. However, variant yields could be argued to break immersion in previous titles; starting in certain regions was strictly advantageous to others! When you start re-rolling starts to get one you like because the difference is just that large (IE imbalanced spawns, where IV is the worst offender in the series to date), which one is immersive and which one is "gamey"? Is re-rolling starts immersive now? Do you see how hard it is to make any reasonable objective case against V if you're only comparing previous titles? You can argue they're all bad; I won't stop you or even disagree, but the basis for saying one thing is good and a similar-quality thing is bad screams of personal preference, being set in one's ways, etc...definitely NOT a fair way to evaluate a game when there are MANY objective reasons to criticize civ V.

    More pitfalls. WHY does it feel lower? There are still decisions to be made, and they still can mean a snowball effect for how rapidly your empire develops. Again; play an XOTM format game where you are trying to beat the very best by a few turns in terms of finish date, and tell me you don't feel "pressure" early game, or that it doesn't matter. Tell me that after you beat those players. Against the AI, which is still awful, you can get away with flawed play. Is that the fault of the tiles or the AI? And if the AI played more like I advocate it should (play to win), would you still not feel pressure if knowing that being behind 5, 10, or even 30 turns could mean a loss? I doubt it.

    Yes it is. It doesn't have to be, but it is because the balance required to make other strategies viable in a competitive setting is difficult. Unlike other companies, this one lacked the development resources time, and probably even experience to make a balanced game from a victory condition standpoint...quite annoying when you advertise multiple ways though.

    It can. Play a high level and spawn next to monty or napoleon or something, and try not spamming units and see what happens. IV was largely the same, except that AI bonuses meshed better with unit stacking and you could get flat-out overwhelmed a lot more easily (not to mention having multiple AI not try to win to prop up a super AI, which was worse in IV but apparently ignants like that for some reason).

    Looks like their attempt at humor based on how long-time players called these demographics backfired. Now, if only such efforts had gone into the UI instead......
     
  20. anti_strunt

    anti_strunt Warlord

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    I'm pretty sure the AIs in 5 are also just "numbers away" from each other... More different numbers possibly, but isn't that just a matter of experience? Won't people go "Ah, Harun's a 5 in Expansion, of course he was gonna do that" once they get the hang of the new system? It's still based on numbers and can still probably be gamed, if less obviously...

    Oh, I thought you were claiming that buildings were less of a "sucker's choice" in 5 than in 4, when the combination of maintenance and generally less impressive effects seems to have made them even less viable as a competative choice compared to more settlers and units, even more so when trying to keep up with the unit-blanket AI on higher levels?

    All very true. Who was it that said that starting with flood plains was like dropping a level in difficulty? However, I'm still not trying to build a "case" against 5. I find the points interesting to argue, but I don't see it as some relative thing were one game must always be better than the other. I don't really see myself going back to 4, so I'm trying to understand the game I'm stuck with, for better or worse...

    And forcing the player to always build resource-related improvements is a direct reduction in available choice, although maybe that was covered earlier?

    Any series of decisions towards a goal can be optimized... That remains the same (the point) for every game ever made, so what's to compare?

    I should've reduced my point to yields and early worker techs rather than mentioning the "early game" in general which wasn't really my point. In 4 you certainly couldn't pop extra population (or Riflemen!) from huts, making early scouting more tense. Picking your first SPs is certainly long-term, but that's really something you should plan beforehand...

    So why does the pressure feel lower? Because it does, somehow... No religions to found, and less powerful early wonders (no Oracle slingshot)? Though I've understood early wonders and religions were impossible to get at higher levels anyway, so... Maybe it's just me? I'm not sure. I'll try my hand at Immortal a few times; check the quality of choice.

    Though here's something: barbarians have been nerfed! Can't take cities, always courteous enough to keep captured workers/settlers well fed for when you feel like taking them back, pillaged improvements don't need to be fully rebuilt, no need for a coherent network of roads to get you your resources...

    Has any strategy game succeeded, to your mind?

    In 4 you could always get that random event that spawned half a dozen barbarian archers a few turns into the game. I should've prefaced my question with "throughout most of the game". How easy is it to avoid military defeat, including but transcending early rushes; compared with 4, especially on the higher levels?
     

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