Is Civilization 4 best game ever?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Nicol.Bolas, Feb 18, 2011.

?

Your actual and all-time best game ever!

  1. actual: civ4, alltime: civ4

    72 vote(s)
    55.4%
  2. actual: civ4, alltime: civ1-3

    2 vote(s)
    1.5%
  3. actual: civ4, alltime: civ5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. actual: civ4, alltime: other

    21 vote(s)
    16.2%
  5. actual: civ1-3, alltime: civ4

    1 vote(s)
    0.8%
  6. actual: civ5, alltime: civ4

    1 vote(s)
    0.8%
  7. actual: other, alltime: civ4

    2 vote(s)
    1.5%
  8. actual: civ1-3, alltime: civ5

    2 vote(s)
    1.5%
  9. actual: civ5, alltime: civ1-3

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. actual: other, alltime: civ1-3

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. actual: other, alltime: civ5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. actual: civ1-3, alltime: other

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  13. actual: civ5, alltime: other

    2 vote(s)
    1.5%
  14. actual: other, alltime: other (shame on you)

    27 vote(s)
    20.8%
  1. Mechanicalsalvation

    Mechanicalsalvation -

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    Sorry to add more of the "opinions" and feelings:
    This is just getting ridiculous...I am simply brushed off with high level elitism.:eek:
    Once more I beg to be excused. THX in advace.
     
  2. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    Well I'm still waiting for TMIT's verdict on NetHack if he thinks civIV is unfair ;)

    I had a go for old times sake the other day, got quite far but died when I didn't realise I was fainting in a throne room :lol: I also ate too many poisonous monsters trying to get poison immunity.

    EDIT: I also stupidly ate a cat (tut tut). That aggravates monsters.
     
  3. babar

    babar King

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    As I understand it, lot of the problems with the Civ IV AI are due to programming shortcuts being taken for economic reasons, rather than due to role-playing being given precedence over competitiveness. The AI is programmed equally poorly for role-playing or playing to win.

    I don't understand how an under-expanding AI is "cheating". A player can theoretically take advantage of it as well as another AI. On higher difficulties it may be more difficult or even impossible due to maintenance costs, but I think the resulting handicap for the player is due to an unfortunate congruence of factors rather than intentional "fake difficulty".

    Imbalanced map spawns are much more marked on fractal than on many other maps. Since fractal seems to be the most popular map, I wonder if people enjoy (or perhaps even rely on) wildly imbalanced maps.
     
  4. Ataxerxes

    Ataxerxes Deity

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    I enjoy CivIV more than any other game, so on a purely personal level I vote it best. Admitting it has several flaws. I actually dislike the diplo lying more than anything else, but that's me.

    An under-expanding AI next to some REX king or Shaka is going to lead to a very powerful AI that the player cannot defeat. It is true the human gets the benefit of this as well, but the AI maintenance is less and they can take more advantage of it. When playing this feels like cheating in favor of the AI. Whether it is or not depends on how narrowly one defines the term.

    I agree that fake difficulty isn't intentional. It is often more role-playing than playing to win, although I have seen Shaka go after Domination in what often seems a calculated effort to get the victory. And role playing/playing to win eventually is going to conflict with each other. Some of the role-playing AI's really give themselves no chance to win. Wang Kon and Toku are two who seem determined to lose.

    That's a very good point about Fractal. It's probably the most imbalanced map script that's more likely to either hand you an easy win or early death. If you like maximum unpredictability the games will often be unfair one way or the other.
     
  5. babar

    babar King

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    We all agree that it is lame I'm sure, but to me it feels more like bad luck than cheating. I really don't see Monty and Mansa working together from the beginning to thwart me - those guys hate each other! There are other map spawns/combos that make things difficult too of course.


    I think this is a long way off though. Role playing is after all a matter of giving human-like personalities to AI, which of course we manage ok with. At the moment I think the AI is inadequately programmed rather than role-playing to the detriment of competitiveness.
     
  6. Demon Rob

    Demon Rob Chieftain

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    well of the Civ games Civ4 is the best since it was the last Civ game produced. There was some experimental thing after it I think, but it obviously doesn't count.
    But best game ever? That has to be Speedball 2 on the Amiga.
    Actually, I think that probably closes this discussion, nothing more to be added!
     
  7. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Funny, because up until this point you've been supporting that the AI should *not* consistently expand at a decent pace or defend itself militarily. Your arguments in favor of civ IV trash have explicitly supported an AI that only does what you describe a small portion of the time.

    1. Personal choice/preference isn't relevant to a discussion about what should be in the game.
    2. You are once again defeating yourself anyway. Here again you are advocating 34259084375908347908 bonuses over an AI that simply researches the proper technology and builds the ship intelligently.

    Of course, reliance on bonuses to counter sheer idiocy doesn't matter to people who don't actually play the levels where this hits the hardest. Did you ever consider that, to compete on the highest difficulties, players have to do things that many rookies/ignorant players consider exploitative? Why do high level players do these things? Because the bonus based crap idiot AI pigeon holes those strategies as necessary for success/optimization. You're basically telling us (over and over) that you'd rather a game use tons of brute force bonuses that require canned milking strategies to defeat over one that actually encourages the player to be dynamic on high difficulties. Attempting to defend your point is ludicrous as a result and it's why you're struggling to come up with worthwhile arguments.

    You're advertising somewhat strongly here that you don't understand the game. How can you make valid points if you don't understand how to play the game at a high level?

    To bad this VC isn't even remotely challenging in SP, especially with the un-tested joke AP. The fact that the AP made it into BTS w/o serious testing, and that it has never been patched is picture perfect proof of why civ IV can never be "best game" in its current form; they have deliberately left something that is objectively broken in the game for years. Not just something that distorts the SP metagame a little bit...no. The AP is fundamentally broken in its design and in all of those patches nerfing esoteric things they haven't lifted a FINGER to patch it. Flush and "quality control" arguments about this game down the toilet right there, instantly.

    The argument is both garbage *and* crap because the AI you describe is not the AI in reality, and it has nothing to do with my original complaint about its behavior (self defeating implosion behavior) leading to chancy outcomes. Not only that, my complaint is that it does not do some of the very things you suggested. It does not consistently protect itself (from humans or other AI). It does not consistently attempt any space ship parts. It does virtually nothing to protect itself when going culture. It doesn't even know how to call basic resolutions, let alone win diplo, and it sure as :(:(:(:( doesn't fight well...and yet what is your argument? That a "sandbox" AI should be doing all of these things.

    News flash: It doesn't. You've managed to completely ignore why the "sandbox" argument is crap in the first place, then paint a picture of a dream AI that doesn't exist, and finally complain about me calling you out on a crap argument. A stronger argument would counter the previous points made.

    I can say I'm not convinced all day too. Do you care/dare to actually put forth an argument? I'm still waiting on a legit argument from this "sandbox" crowd as to why some of the AI should just implode like little sucky babies at random from game to game. They seem to come up with all this theory and dance around the reality without addressing it. Maybe you can do better? Not so far though.

    I don't know, making a post for the sheer purpose of calling others out because they don't behave as you expect without contributing to the discussion is...somewhat ridiculous on its own.

    Nobody can play everything. I just caved under peer pressure to trying out magicka...

    If you really want, you can call it "unintentional fake difficulty". However, when you're playing a standard map with 7 civs and you have an implosion AI, the human is not the odds-on candidate to benefit. You can't take advantage of underexpansion halfway across the world; and yet this is precisely the kind of arbitrary chance difficulty/easiness that I'm complaining about. The "cheating" part comes into play when the AI starts abusing PAssals like permanent alliances and tag-teaming the player (again whether this happens is sheer chance :sad:). Of course, other things I listed are *actual* cheating.

    You say that, but I doubt you have any statistical evidence to back it up. I've seen one AI make 25% land pre-astro on a big and small map where the average should be 14%. I have seen COMPLETELY LUDICROUS things on tectonics, especially 60%. The boudica let's play I had on terra was one of the most amazing screw-jobs ever put on a player and also had a super AI or two. Even continents will sometimes arbitrarily assign a continent with one AI on the edge and another in the middle insta-blocking it for 2/3 to 3/4 of that land mass (and then proceed to stuff civs on a different landmass). Fractal might have imbalanced starts, but I'm calling BS that it is materially worse than most other map scripts (aside from ones specifically designed for same-terrain like mirror).

    That's putting it mildly. However, some of the patch priorities over the past 7+ years really demonstrate how dedicated firaxis really is to screwing things up. Whatever the programming errors might be, they made decisions like us NEEDING 4x more barb galleys but the AP (which they ADMITTED to not playtesting properly) is JUST FINE. Their civ V conduct (DLC before fixing some completely SHATTERED elements of play like literally un-playable MP) was the final straw in my mind: that company is sick and likely beyond repair. It's been almost half a year since release, and MP still isn't playable. By design. They'd rather leave us with exhaustively long turn timers and OPENLY ENCOURAGE double-moving beyond logic. Oh, but we need another civ...yep. Priorities. I should have realized firaxis sunk based on their patch priorities in IV, but V took any doubt, shoved it in a gauntlet the size of Russia, and slapped the entire fanbase in the face a couple hundred times.

    That's certainly another way to look at it, and the AI is bad enough that I can't really disagree with it. Part of the (probable) reason for multiple VC in the first place was to support different "flavors" of play for human players. It would only make sense that AI modeled with human personalities would work towards differing goals. If you want to say that the reason for the crappy luck-based AI is sheer incompetence instead of a design flaw, I have no evidence to counter that point. In fact, I have evidence to support it, sadly: virtually all of firaxis civ IV/V patch philosophy is a glaring safety-pin-to-the-eye example.

    I think you're referring to civ V, which is leaving alpha stages soon :lol:.
     
  8. Civ4Brains

    Civ4Brains imperfectus

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    sandboxes can be random
     
  9. Tlalynet

    Tlalynet Emperor

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    I agree with a lot of what TMIT is saying, but I'd like to point out that when playing against 4-5 other humans there is normally a couple that demonstrates "self defeating implosion behavior" that throws the balance of the game too. Perhaps not when a game is set up around a site like this, but when my friends get together and the game to play is Civ IV its a safe bet a few of them will expand poorly and wind up trying to help someone else to victory by becoming a vassal (and thus win a kind of moral victory).

    Perhaps AI's "self defeating implosion behavior" was an attempt to emulate players of different skill levels playing on the same map.
     
  10. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    Shame on you for such an unfair claim, they're obviously deep in beta: No features to be added, but functionality may be removed in chunks when fixing a problem properly would be too much work.
    Of course they shouldn't even be in alpha yet, but that's a different matter...
     
  11. babar

    babar King

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    Not only do I not have any statistical evidence, I don't even have any presentable anecdotal evidence. Moreover, I have only really played 4 maps (fractal, pangaea, big and small, and archipelago) more than a few times. However, counting only the above mentioned maps (and the symmetrical maps if necessary), I maintain fractal is more likely to be imbalanced than most. From memory Tectonics is the most ludicrous though, and I have seen some pretty bad Continents. Big and small is fairer with "islands mixed in" and a high sea level in my experience.

    I wonder if it is a little unfair to go on about firaxis' gross incompetence. I prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt and imagine they are only moderately incompetent, and operating with an insufficient budget. You know more about them than me though, so perhaps I am deluded...
     
  12. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I think the changes necessary to make it a GOOD, balanced game would merit my claim personally ;).

    Fortunately that isn't on topic for this thread, because I'm frankly tired of dealing with that crap game, explaining to my viewers why I won't play it, or even pretending there's hope it will actually be good in the foreseen future.
     
  13. kiwitt

    kiwitt Road to War Modder

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    I have played many strategy games; -

    Based on number of hours played my top 5 are
    1) Civilization IV + Expansions + Mods (Still playing and still modding it) -
    2) Medieval:Total War + Expansions + Mods
    3)= Caesar III
    3)= Civilization III + Expansions
    3)= Civilization II + Test of Time Expansion
    4)= Age Of Empires II: Age of kings
    4)= Star War: Galactic Battlegrounds (AoEII:AoK game engine + Star Wars Races and Graphics)
    5)= SimCity 2000
    5)= SimCity 4 + Rush Hour

    Also played; AoE, CloseCombat Series, Comand&Conquer Series and many others
     
  14. Ataxerxes

    Ataxerxes Deity

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    I also like CivIII - very different from IV.

    Age of Empires II I also liked.

    One thing they had in common. Their successor games (CivV and AoE III) weren't as good. AoE II (when I played it) was the first game I really loved.
     
  15. Civ4Brains

    Civ4Brains imperfectus

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  16. Mechanicalsalvation

    Mechanicalsalvation -

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    well maybe not the best game ever but nobody can whine about anything there; its just perfect :rockon:
     
  17. AFS

    AFS Warlord

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    Oh, that game is awesome, I played it a lot, both offline and online. It had some awful gameplay errors though, like archers being overpowered (in my opinion). Huge group of archers + some Stonethrowers = unstoppable -> Victory.

    I loved the campaign, though. It wasn't very accurate but it was very fun indeed, with very different missions and cool narration between them. The campaigns of this game are my favorites of all RTS all day.

    AOE 3 is another story: I liked the gameplay but I hated the campaign.

    I remember when I first picked up Civ IV hopping it had some awesome historical campaign like AOE II but I got heavily dissapointed :lol:
     
  18. JP1

    JP1 Warlord

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    Although the thread has meandered a whole lot as time has gone on, I thought I'd jump in with another vote for Civ4 not being the best game ever. (The idea is almost ludicrous) It's hard to expound on the exact reasons without repeating what TMIT has already said, but we're talking about a game that has massive balance issues and has AIs which don't even try to win most victory conditions, many years after its release.

    Even saying that Civ4 is the best turn-based strategy game ever is really debateable, saying it's the best strategy game or best (anything) game ever is right out.
     
  19. Ataxerxes

    Ataxerxes Deity

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    I think your opinion of AoEII is good regarding archers. Their campaigns are also my favorite and it is my favorite RTS.

    A good historical campaign in Civ IV would be RFC. None of the other historical campaigns in IV were that good, although Earth1000 can be a nice break.
     
  20. Tlalynet

    Tlalynet Emperor

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    Scorpions where much worse and not very much more expensive. They had higher attack power, area effect damage, more HP, and very high Perice armor, plus they didn't have the skirmisher vulnerability. Under the Celts they got even more HP and where fast too boot. Scorpions where just often overlooked while most people knew about archers.

    Both those spams could be cost effectively taken care of by the even more overlooked light cavalry spam, but the light cavalry lines base stats look so bad not a lot of people made use of them.
     

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