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Is "Beyond the Sword" dead?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by toft, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. toft

    toft King

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    The lack of information is hardly a bug. And some of the bugs Ive encountered, I have posted about. But I got tired of doing so, when we dont get any feedback - and even when patch 3.03 kinda messed more up...

    We all want the same... a great game - and its damn close. I think this thread has served its purpose, and i hope that some with authority have read it. Then it wouldnt be a complete waste...
     
  2. Woerkilt

    Woerkilt Chieftain

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    Right off the bat I love this expansion and it isn't dead to me either--but it is injured. Not that I am upset--I understand the nature of things. I'm just concerned that people don't know about this stuff.

    In fact, I'm suprised that so many posters in this thread deny the large number and severity of the bugs. Because I've certainly experienced plenty, and the bug report forums describe more. In fact, I have been unable to complete a single session of the Epic game in the month that I've been playing.

    Game Breakers! More Than Meets the Eye!

    The OP is not exaggerating the gamebreaking bugs. There are at least three:

    1. The Colony Crash
    2. The Infinite Loop Bug
    3. The Late Game Crash

    All of these are gamebreaking because they prevent progress. I am fortunate never to have suffered the infinite loop. Solver's hard work seems to have alleviated the Colony Crash. But the third bug has ground my game to a halt; I'm getting CTD's as often as every single turn, usually when the AI is attempting to contact me. This begins when I reach the Industrial Age.

    Application Corrodes

    Aside from the confirmed gamebreakers, I have suffered major application failures:

    1. At least three BSOD's.
    2. At least one dozen Memory Allocation Failures when attempting to load a saved game.
    3. Three or four hangs, in the middle of a turn.

    These are more annoying than anything, forcing me to reload the game. But you know, I don't consider multiple Blue Screens of Death to be a healthy sign.

    It's the Little Stuff That Kills Ya

    Gosh, there's a whole list of minor, moderate, and miscellaneous stuff. Off the top of my head: we gots the animation bugs, graphical corruptions, the whole poison/forment unhappiness thingy, the unstable Marathon Man mode, enemy stack idles, duplicate civ colonies, and on and on.

    That the unofficial patch fixes much of this stuff is a relief. And I can think of some issues on my end: I run Vista; I play marathon; and I play Giant maps, which haven't been offically supported since the original version of the Vanilla game. I'm mainly just pissed about the constant CTDs every time I hit the late game.

    Otherwise, BTS really opens up CIV 4. It runs pretty fast and furious on my rig, even on the Giant Maps with max number of Civs. Of course, I have a dual core CPU, 3 gigs of RAM, and a 512MB video card ;).

    But oh yes... there are bugs :borg:. Don't you deny it--resistence is futile. Become a believer, I wouldn't decieve her if I tried--oh sorry.
     
  3. Spearthrower

    Spearthrower Thrower of spears

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    Yep Woerkilt, I feel sorry for that minority of people who have some wierd conflicts between their systems and the software....

    but most people don't.


    The wonderful thing is that Firaxis (and most software companies) will bend over backwards to try to help all of those people, even when the majority dont have those problems. I've played through.... I would guess..... 30 - 40 games of BtS and only had crashes when loading a game from in game...... as I say - please don't think I am in any way belittling the problems others have, but let's have a little perspective on this - if the majority dont have a problem, then describing something as broken is unfair.
     
  4. jdurg

    jdurg Warlord

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    Also, everyone needs to remember that Civ4 puts a LOT of stress on your CPU and your RAM. If you have even ONE bad piece of RAM and a critical calculation requires data stored in that RAM, you can get the random crash. While it's always good to have plenty of RAM, the more of it that you have the greater the chance that you can have a faulty chip. Nearly any time you have "random crashes" it can be attributed to problems with RAM or your CPU. Perhaps you have a CPU running faster than it should? (I'm not saying that everyone who has crashes is an overclocker, but even CPUs designed to run at one speed may not actually be capable of doing that extensively for a longer period of time).

    This is a VERY difficult game on your hardware because it relies on so many calculations and so many calls for data. Any flaw in your hardware could create the problems you see such as crashing and BSODs. Reproduceable bugs that people post here and give step-by-step instructions on how to produce them are the most useful bug reports. Those mean that it is indeed caused by bad code.

    Random bugs that happen some of the time, or bugs that occurr more often in late stages would imply to me that there is a hardware fault that is just being exploited by the heavy calcualtions and data moving by the game.
     
  5. lobster

    lobster Warlord

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    Hmm about hardware and Civ 4 I always wonder...

    What is the biggest bottleneck for Civ 4, CPU, RAM or Video card?

    I have a computer with decent CPU and RAM, but only on board vid, and one with a crappy CPU and little RAM but a half decent vid card (it was able to play standard Warlords maps), I wonder which one I should run BtS on.
     
  6. Lurking Liu

    Lurking Liu Prince

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    No one's saying that there aren't bugs, Woerkilt, we're saying that the bugs aren't so major and gamebreaking that BTS is unplayable. There are bugs, yes, but the game is still enjoyable.
     
  7. gettingfat

    gettingfat Emperor

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    I personally have not encountered any bugs. I don't even call the "poisoning the water" a bug as it reminds me to increase the espionage expenditure a bit once in a while (esp. when in war) and this incidence happens much less often (which is the way supposed to be: you want to do 100% research while the AI are spending 20% on espionage and you get away from that?)

    I anticipate a game like this to see some problems at some less tested conditions (e.g. marathon, tell me how many marathon games they can practically test?). But overall, BtS is a good product with acceptable number of bugs from what I heard (I played Neverwinter Nights and couldn't even run the game until they've patched it twice, that's called buggy, and I still played the game). Sometimes you have to look at the big picture: Is this a fun game to play overall? I say yes.

    ** Bug free games are almost impossible any more nowadays. How many software-hardware combinations the testers can meaningfully tested? But I agree Firaxis official website sux big time, no excuse.
     
  8. unikey

    unikey Chieftain

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    Partly because they have to they have been paid for a product that doesn't work if it was physical goods it would be theft and a criminal offence because its IP its a civil offence and not worth the users time or money to claim in most cases.
    and how else would you describe a piece of software that refuses to run at all other than broken
    as to assuming they are working on the issues thats fine but there is very little evidence that they are, Still haven't had a reply to any emails i've sent them


    Simon
     
  9. Armorydave

    Armorydave Prince

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    Not that it matters but in the *vast* majority of cases related to defective physical products this is simply untrue. It could never be true of a software product unless it was beaming radiation into your skull and the manufacturer knew about it before the product hit the market (or some similarly ridiculous example).

    Otherwise, strong agreement with Spearthrower and Jdurg's recent posts.
     
  10. Molon Labe

    Molon Labe I committed the faux pas.

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    That's a bit extreme, don't you think? You're having problems with your game and you're likening it to a criminal offence?

    The game works fine for me and I don't think I'm in the minority here. Of the tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of games that have been sold, they seem to work well. I'm running mine on a MacPro that I have given a Windows partition to and it runs like a champ. I have never had any kind of problem. My Mac Warlords crashed occasionally when loading from within the game, but BtS has never even hiccuped.

    There are some flaws, and little niggling bugs such as not being able to access all of the active spy missions I should or not getting hammers for religious buildings with the AP, but that's hardly broken.

    I don't want to sound callous, and I hope you get your problem resolved, but I have a feeling that the problem is on your end rather than Firaxis.
     
  11. toft

    toft King

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    It shouldnt be compared to a criminal offence :rolleyes: You have gotten a product that contains the same software as everyone else. The base software is working as intended.

    Kinda reminds me of my sister buying a tip-of-sword game for her son, eg. the game is brand new. The game obviously requires a somewhat monsterlike pc... but her son had a Pentium 3 at the time. She didnt know better, and was furrious. As she says; A computer is a computer, whats the difference?

    Anyway back to the subject... I think its a problem with your config.
     
  12. unikey

    unikey Chieftain

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    Its perfectly true for physical product If i sell you a mobile phone you pay me for it and when it arrives it wont turn on once you bring it back to me i refuse to refund it any replacement will have the same problem and the manufacturer refuses to even talk to you its fraud/theft and in the UK the police will prosecute (several hundred ebayers a year at present)
     
  13. unikey

    unikey Chieftain

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    It is extreme that doesnt make it untrue in the same way that a cartoon can be defamatory

    are all bugs the please insert correct cdrom is a conflict between the copy protection and disk subsystem its a known problem but they choose to use it and choose not to tell their customers until you have unwrapped it at which point you cant return it and firaxis so far have refused to communicate in any way at all

    So to sum up I have paid the money for the product and it doesnt work they have refused to refund it or relace with a working copy if it was a big issue for me i'm guaranteed to win a small claims case but its not worth the time and money to pursue it (but i'm sure if i had pirates "stolen" civ from firaxis they would have no hesitation suing)

    If they had bothered to respond i wouldnt be so pi****d at them for it
     
  14. unikey

    unikey Chieftain

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    which is not as theres a known issue with securerom and anyone with a similar setup will have the same problem as i said earlier on the same hardware it runs ok (i see some of the other bugs that have been discussed on here) if i use xp64 insted of vista although the mini image is still more stable
    Firaxis are aware of the problem but refuse to acknowledge it so once again I have paid for a product that doesnt work and manufacturer/publisher/developer knew and intended it to be like that what else would you call it other than theft

    Simon
     
  15. Molon Labe

    Molon Labe I committed the faux pas.

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    At this point: Melodrama.
     
  16. Willem

    Willem Deity

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    He's talking about the lag he gets when the diplomatic/trade screen of a civ's pops up. That is a graphic thing. A slower card will take longer to process and display the file the game is using. While it's doing it's thing you end up waiting until it's done, then the screen will show up. I had some horrendous problems with that when I was using the 9550, sometimes to the point of my game crashing. But it disappeared after I upgraded my video card. Unfortunately, I'm seeing it again with BtS.
     
  17. Willem

    Willem Deity

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    That's for sure. Everytime a new game or expansion comes out, there's always some malcontent thread with people complaining that the game didn't quite live up to their expectations.

    Like it or not people, it takes time to work on a patch for this game. I know this first hand because I was a beta-tester for both the Vanilla and Warlords patches. A fair number of us would try out many, many different versions of each of those patches, and everytime it was a reject because some other problem reared it head, quite ofeten caused by the previous fixes, and forced Firaxis to go back to the drawing board. The game has barely been out a month now, you can't expect it to get fixed that quickly. There's still new things, usually minor, that keep cropping up from time to time, so they're only just wrapping up finding out what actually needs to get fixed. I'll be pleased if the patch is ready 2 months from, but it might take even longer.

    But don't think for a moment that Firaxis has dropped the ball and are willing to let the game die. That's definitely not going to happen! Just try to exercise a bit of patience and it will all work out eventually.
     
  18. Woerkilt

    Woerkilt Chieftain

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    Quite the contrary, I recall several posts from several different people who dispute the existence of bugs, and on my machine they do indeed make the game unplayable--at least on both my native and my prefered settings, both game and PC.

    From my perspective, my description is quite fair. I acknowledged the possiblity of error on my end, for example. At the same time, I do not believe that all of the bugs are in the minority of user's cases, or due to the user's devices.

    Stuff like the Colony crash was confimed as a code problem, not a machine problem. It wasn't a random crash either--but rather a specific conflict in which the AI attempted to create a colony during it's Industrial Era. If the AI had not researched Assembly Line before it research Rocketry, then when the colony attempted to draft military units there would be a reproducible crash. Solver's patch fixed this issue on my rig, but the point here is that it sounds to me like a problem that could occur to everybody out of the box.

    The story is true for the Infinite Loop bug, as far as I know. It is reproducible on other peoples' machines, according to the thread, which again suggests that many players could load the affected save and experience the problem, regardless of their own hardware and software configurations.

    Finally, people on this very thread self-admit that Marathon is unstable in BTS. As that is a bundled component of the program, which I prefer to play, then from my preference the gameplay is broken.

    But again, I understand this. So I am not complaining. Well, except about one thing... I am normally the fellow in the clear, enjoying the smooth gaming experience while somebody else complains about the same title being unplayable. That's why I posted here in the first place: I am confounded I have these issues when others run well. The roles are supposed to be reversed! :lol:

    As I do not doubt there are system errors on my side too, my report may be helpful to those who share similar errors. To repeat myself:

    ->I play Giant Maps, which I know are not officially supported,
    ->on Marathon Mode which I have been told is buggy.
    ->My machine is fast and powerful and I am not experiencing RAM instabilities thus far with other titles, such as GCII Dark Avatar--but I know that Vista itself has some hardware and software conflicts.
    ->I have already cranked my graphics options down, but I can't say graphics are related to the majority of my crashes, freezes, and BSOD's anyways.
    ->--but just in case, I do report that I have an overclocked GPU. My CPU is a Core 2 Duo E6600, not overclocked.

    It is this set which may be related to my late game CTDs. So I'm going to run an Epic-timed game on a Giant map, followed by a Huge Map. I'll also reduce the number of Civs, since Lt. Bob reports there is a built-in limitation on the total number of character strings per Leader Name per game. I've been experimenting with >18 Civs, which I also don't doubt leads to problems.

    For I agree wholeheartedly that BTS is enjoyable. I'm glad it came out, and I am not impatient for the next patch. I just want to share my experience for the education of the civ community.

     
  19. Spearthrower

    Spearthrower Thrower of spears

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    I'd describe it as hardware conflicts.... and having worked in pc building, I would make a stiff bet that that is exactly the problem.

    I could be wrong though.... it could also be software conflicts.

    Oh yes, please please do try to take this case to court, it would be thrown out not because it's not worth it but because you have no proof.

    You are running under the evidence of one person (yourself) while Firaxis could provide hundreds of thousands of users who do not have your problem.... who would the judge believe?

    People have very simplistic expectations when it comes to PC games and really, for those people, I respectfully suggest that they look to console gaming..... if the game doesnt work when you are using a console, then you do indeed have something to complain about.
     
  20. Raider62

    Raider62 Warlord

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    I get MAF errors still. Very frustrating...

    Vista

    AMD Dual core 5000+

    3 gig ram

    Nvidia 7600
     

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