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My take on why Civ 6 will be a bad game, a 3 pt. podcast

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Bibor, Aug 15, 2016.

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  1. isau

    isau Deity

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    This is a tautology, and actually not a correct tautology. Obviously the game only ends when it ends. But, to use another tautology, you win by not losing. If you get killed on turn 50, you can't win. And the players who remain after knocking you out increase their odds of being the winner. Thus to say "victory is only checked at the end of the game" is like saying "There is no Mushroom Kingdom--victory is checked when you run past Bowser." A whole huge part of the game is not dying prior to that point, not just the timer ticking down.

    If it were true that victory is only "checked" at the end of the game, the follwing would be true: "With each turn that passes you don't actually get any closer to victory." This is obviously not true. You win by stacking up all the things you did in the previous turns, and win faster by stacking them better. You lose if you get killed or someone gets to any of the various goals faster.
     
  2. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    To have "risk management" you must be aware that there is a risk. An unknown is just something you haven't discovered yet because you haven't devoted resources towards discovering it, rather than something truly unknowable. And thus the event is no longer totally "random", because you have forewarning, or the possibility of forewarning. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and I'd never say that Civilization should have no randomness whatsoever. But I've never really seen a random events system in a strategy game that was particularly interesting or engaging. Certainly not in any of the Civilization titles. Paradox's also tend to be more than a bit bland in terms of strategy (they serve their purpose as roleplaying or whatever, I guess, if you're into that kind of thing).
     
  3. ThomasClark

    ThomasClark Warlord

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    I have an 1h30 commute, so I sucked it up and listened to the 45 or 50 minutes of videos. The OP talked for a while about game from the '90s, then how Civ wasn't a button-mashing game (which I found to be strange and wasted dialogue), then how decisions in Civ weren't meaningful and interesting.

    If he was only talking about Civ 5, I would give some credence to this. We all know 4-city NC Tradition-Rationalism etc was a dominant strategy. But he cited things like deciding when to build a granary as meaningless or the fact that all of Civ 6's bonuses are positives as part of his argument. He put a lot of weight on seeing immediate impact from decisions, and seems to declare long-range consequences as an abomination in game design.

    In this I'm led to think the OP doesn't necessarily enjoy or appreciate opportunity costs or the time value of yields. Deciding between two positive things is and will be a meaningful analysis in Civ VI. Building a granary instead of a settler has bigger ramifications than you might think.

    We've seen a number of changes made for Civ VI that go in the direction of more meaningful choices and varied gameplay. Workers to instant builders is an obvious example of a streamlined mechanic where some important decisions have to be made and "click-fest" has been greatly reduced. So too will armies in the late game reduce some of the army management. The OP totally dismisses the addition of harbors, enabling building a city off the coast, as an insignificant change, and I was amazed by this.

    Speaking for me personally, part of my joy in Civ is the sheer possible complexity. I love chess, and I see Civ as chess^3 if it's done right. In many respects Civ V wasn't that terribly complex due to the presence of clearly dominant strategies, but Civ VI seems pretty intentional about a different direction.

    I'm not seeing a coherent take from the OP and found the videos to be mostly self-indulgent rambling, with a glimmer of truth about excessive clicking in Civ V. Anyways, I think Civ VI is going to be amazing and I'm really looking forward to stable multiplayer competition.
     
  4. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    That is exactly what the community does not need, IMHO. The community does not need a groupthink, hive mind type atmosphere.

    The Op in this thread has been well mannered and accommodating. He has gone out of his way to explain his points. Even if you don't agree with him, there is a place for different opinions on these forums.
     
  5. Haggbart

    Haggbart King

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    I think most people agree that a certain degree of randomness is okay. The randomness to the map (which is certainly completely different to say a game of chess), to which AI are nearby etc. Those are the type of randoms that you plan your game around and has always been part of Civ. Also the smaller random stuff that goes on, like how many barbarians are around, and what you find when you send your scout it one random direction etc.

    Also in cIV you had total random events presented as such during the game, but those were of pretty low amplitude, like you would lose a building, get some bonus from a tile or similar (and some could even be countered by paying some money), citizens would riot or you could get some intel or have your relationship with one of the AI improved/deteriorate.

    But there is a point where the level of randomness is so high that it would be huge part in deciding the outcome of the game with no skill involved one way or another. My favourite example of this is Spain's natural wonder bonus in CiV, on the chance that you get one of the best NWs close to one of your first cities. I'm all for unique abilities for civs (and natural wonders, but some were just crazy), but there should at least be some skill and planning involved to take advantage of them.

    So yeah, randomness and skill can coexist up to a certain degree of amplitude and predictability.
     
  6. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    Yes, I agree to a large extent. But I find that a lot of the old "random" mechanics worked better when converted to actual game rules. For example, settling near flood plains in Civ III would randomly damage/kill off units or population due to "disease". This was terrible and could cost you dearly if it happened at an inconvenient time, but there was little way to avoid it if the land near you just happened to have a flood plains or two (flood plains being quite good tiles being beside the point). In Civ IV, flood plains instead just added to the unhealthiness of a city. It has the same purpose in both representing the "unhealthiness" of a flood plain and adding a drawback to a strong tile, but in a far more logical and controllable manner.
     
  7. Haggbart

    Haggbart King

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    Agreed. The nuclear plant meltdown mechanics wasn't great game design either.
     
  8. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Deity

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    The game only ends when it ends is not what I meant, if you read the rest of what I wrote.

    My point is that Civ has one moment at which it checks who is winnING, and the game ends there. That means that the only purpose of winnING before then is to get ahead so that you're winnING at the end.

    This forces the game to be about snowball, because if there were anything other than snowball (decay or catch-up mechanics) then there would be no point in trying to get ahead now, in a few turns, or really at any point before the end of the game.

    You are correct that each turn has "not losing" as a small victory, but this is also a problem. Because if the only game states are: winning and going to win, not losing but has a shot at winning, not losing but has no shot at winning, and dead, then that means the only real conditions are: winning, and still could win. If you can't win, you might as well quit. And in a multiplayer game, this removes a lot of players. In a single player game, it means that you will almost win every game, because otherwise you will stop playing.

    In Mario, every moment you haven't yet died is still a moment you could win, except those moments when the timer hasn't run out but is low enough you can't physically make it to the end.


    Obviously we simply disagree on what "random" means. And I agree that I have seen few good random systems in strategy games.

    Basically, we agree on principles, we just disagreed on how to word it.

    This is basically what I have gathered from the discussion. Thank you for listening to the whole thing, summarizing it for us, and then properly debating it.
     
  9. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Yes, yes, as I thought, most people here can't think outside the box.

    Maybe it is hard to me to nail down exactly what I want to say. It might be so. And you are probably right to nail me to a cross for it. But I'm allowing myself to partly rely on my gut feeling after thousands of hours in Sid Meier's games alone. I remember vividly... watching Shafer introduce Civ5 to us. That silly single artillery piece in Egypt, holding off some invasion.

    But when the chips are down, game fired up, new map generated, new game mechanics revealed, learned, understood, loved, hated... when the glittery cloud of fine gold dust disperses, you will find yourselves in the same old grey room.

    The universe itself, games included, is about repetition and variation on a theme. Patterns are not just everywhere, they are the essence of everything.

    Time, however, is a different kind of animal. Time is limited, time is finite. How much fat are you ready to eat to get to the meat? Judging by most comments in this thread, Civ trained you well. You can twist words as much as you'd like. "Fat is healthy", "this is not fat". If relativity of terms is the name of the game, we can play it forever.

    Comments in this thread go from "go back to civ 1" over "you clearly hate civ" to "paradox fanboi". Is that the maximum level of discussion we can have here? Are we the same funny, smart civ fanatics I learned to love?

    Even if I'm unable to put into words exactly what I want to say, reflect on your own gameplay experience.

    Aren't you frustrated by how long the turns take? How little you can do in 5 minutes of game time? How lazy your brain becomes, conditioned to think less and "experience" more? How you are not allowed to be clever and devise new, brilliant diplomatic, economic, military plans? How playing on larger maps or higher difficulty level is not about intellectual conditioning but sheer stamina to spend so many hours in front of the screen?

    If not, then yes, there's nothing wrong with Civilization 6.
     
  10. Nick31

    Nick31 Prince

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    You're a brave, magnificent man, Thomas Clark :). Thanks for taking that plunge/bullet for the rest of u.
     
  11. rastak

    rastak Emperor

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    I won't, I'll be in the same sunny room I've inhabited for the last 6 years.

    YOU on the other hand will indeed likely be in that same dusty old grey room.

    I sounds like a terrible place to be honest.
     
  12. isau

    isau Deity

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    I'm tickled that you're asking this after posting 45 minutes of motionless video for us to sit through.
     
  13. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    That's a lot of words for an elitism-tinged "you guys disagree with me, screw you guys, I'm right and you're wrong, I just can't explain why".

    I thought this was about whether or not the game was "bad", not whether or not we liked it.

    I'm hardly the biggest fan of V (lots of decisions I disagree with), I'm just speaking up because these videos (a) don't actually do a very good job at explaining the problems with V and (b) are obstinately about Civ VI yet barely discuss Civ VI and its design at all aside from sweeping generalizations that it's going to be the same as V.

    Criticism of the game and such discussion should be welcomed, but you gotta do better than this.
     
  14. j51

    j51 Blue Star Cadet

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    Oooooh. How portentous! You sir are hilarious. :lol::goodjob:

    Through all of this bloviating, all you have managed to say is the opposite taunt of "you clearly hate civ," or "paradox fanboi."

    Are you trying to make your point by using prose that deliberately makes our own brains lazier and drains us of mental stamina? Are you running us through a jungle of obfuscating language to illustrate the tedium you decry? Do you want us to listen to your podcast just so that we may tell from your tone that you are being sarcastic? Please tell me in plain language Dr. Heidegger.
     
  15. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    So imagine for us how hard it is to get anything out of that pompous drivel.
     
  16. Red Pearl

    Red Pearl Warlord

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    You enjoyed Civ V for over 1,000 hours.
    A game might be created that you will enjoy for 5,000+ hours.
    But at the end of the day it will not be able to satisfy your deepest craving.
     
  17. True_Candyman

    True_Candyman Emperor

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    I'm confused, was this supposed to be a troll thread? Where was the funny bit, besides the crazy breakdown of repetitive posts by OP?

    I feel like this thread is heading for a closing at this rate, which saddens me because it's threads like this that really make you think about what matters most to you in a civ game
     
  18. sukritact

    sukritact Artist and Modder

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    This is just erudite-sounding and verbose ad hominem.

    I am baffled by this. Isn't this EXACTLY what civ 6 is doing? Do I settle next to the coast and get that Sailing Eureka? Or do the extra land tiles for wonders benefit me more long term? Should I build a mine here for the extra production so I can produce an army faster? Or a farm so my city grows faster? You honestly haven't really changed anything: you've changed the theme of the decisions, but not the underlying mechanics themselves. It's still terrain based decisions for the sake of better numbers. What is the difference?

    And it doesn't matter. That scenario you've given makes absolutely no difference to the grander 'will this help me win the game' issue you've mentioned. This hasn't solved snowballing; you assert this is more meaningful somehow; you claim this is somehow easier for the AI to understand without ever really saying how.
     
  19. m15a

    m15a Emperor

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    Friendship?
     
  20. sonicmyst

    sonicmyst Emperor

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    We agree to disagree. Each player may find the game "fun" or "boring" and we cannot change that. If the purpose of the OP is to mention how can Civ VI be a better game, then it should be welcomed. But if the OP just states that Civ VI is a bad game even before release, then I personally think it is just hate.
     
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