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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. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Deity

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    The reaction difference is only because of the timing IMO.
    You posted that after the release of Civ V, when most people were already very disappointed with the new game and looked for the reasons what went wrong.
    On the other hand, right now most people here are full of anticipation and optimism (hope?) about Civ VI.
    I share most of your concerns though, and convinced Civ IV will remain the best title until they do another paradigm shift, back in the direction of IV's basic design choices.
    Hopefully it will happen for VII.
     
  2. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Deity

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    I didn't watched the videos, obviously, but I've read the post. I'm sorry, but the content of the post don't deserve answering. Some assumptions of it do, however:

    1. Civ6 game designers design games for more than 10 years, some of them - for more than 20. Assuming what they lack theoretical knowledge in game design immediately makes the whole post value zero.

    2. In addition to theory, the game designers have a lot of practice. It's important. Jon Shafer is brilliant game designer, it's lack of practice which lead to some failures of Civ5 vanilla. If you don't have such practice and ignore the fact what game designers have it, the post value is zero too.

    3. It was easy to speak from your high tower in 2010 after release of Civ5. It was far away from people expectations, so any critics went well. Doesn't work this time? Looks logical to me.
     
  3. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    We will know in two months.
     
  4. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Deity

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    No, we'll not. Even if we'll get mostly negative reaction for Civ6 on release, it will not be any prove to the things you're saying.
     
  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Civ 5 brought down the number of game-relevant choices per real-life time compared to 4. It did this both by running more slowly/poor UI and via fewer non-false choices that make an impact total.

    Civ 5 did improve the early game RNG aspect. It's also good to have agents try to win in a game with rules and win conditions.

    A lot of civ's core gameplay used to be micromanagement, and choices there were influential to the outcome. In stripping those, they have yet to fully replace it. I don't miss heavy micro, but no decisions in place of micro decisions doesn't make the situation better.

    Logical fallacy. Time spent doesn't give relative knowledge. Even if Bibor is mistaken, he is using past track record (IE civ 5 post vanilla) as a basis for his conclusion.

    I have seen designers with more experience than that make demonstrably false claims about what a mechanic does (and when shown evidence of how it plays out in practice, still not altering it despite it obviously working against stated design intention, which means either the stated intention was dishonest or they didn't care about a significant mistake enough to fix it over the next 7 patches). Stating your point from #1 again in #2 doesn't change the reality.

    No, it was not easy. Posters on this forum accused many of the dissenters as maladaptive and "crying", despite an objectively broken (due to its non-MP) game with rather poor SP elements trivializing playing it. Criticism is easier now, after seeing the results of civ 5 vanilla and beyond earth.
     
  6. Alphons Rodulfo

    Alphons Rodulfo weakling

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    I think I share your concerns. Having to make many meaningful decisions makes a game more interesting, and the smoke and mirrors will cease to be interesting soon. And I do recognize that gameplay in civ 5 is sort of a drudge, especially once you know the patterns. It must be a relief that Civ 6's developers acknowledge this and that they are trying to do something about it. But how can you be sure that they are not doing enough to solve the problem? How can you be sure that the two design pillars mentioned are not sufficient?

    I wonder if it is possible to give advise or examples how the game could be made more interesting, and have much more meaningful decisions. Could it be as easy as just exaggerating the numbers? For instance, have empire improvements have higher costs and bigger and more different bonuses (so you can't have all and have to decide on a certain path)? Or change the stats of a military unit from say 5 defense, 7 attack to say 2 defense and 10 attack (making the choice of unit more meaningful)?

    Or are there more specific things that could make the gameplay more interesting from map to map? Huge raging barbarian hordes (or other disasters) causing massive migration? Really devastating nuclear war? Sneaky and wel executed naval invasions by the AI?

    I think the developers are probably aware that players in general do not like too much randomness and prefer bonuses over penalties. Perhaps that limits the options...
     
  7. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    Well, the reaction is also different because that post is very different in tone and content than the podcast videos. The podcast videos have terrible suggestions for change (no, building an army shouldn't mean letting havoc reign in the city) and meaningless examples/analogies. And the videos are supposed to be about Civ VI, yet he barely talks about VI. Except to say it's going to be the same as V (er, right, buddy). I mean, they're both related to meaningful decision-making so superficially they resemble each other, but the devil's in the details, as they say.

    It's not even all that accurate anymore... in IV, the most I'd be "punished" for performing badly is going into budget deficit from over-expanding. But even in V, you can get hit hard by a happiness penalty for over-expansion (at the time of that post, I assume early post-launch V, the unhappiness penalty was less, so it was more accurate then than it is now).

    I love IV as much as the next guy, but come on. You're going to need to be more reasonable here. IV didn't make you salt the earth just to build an army--though you certainly could utilize Slavery to do it, that was not mandatory. I think the Slavery civic from IV is a good example of active decision-making that involves a cost, though its implementation ended up being too powerful.



    Now see, this is a valid point. It actually names something from Civ V and gives a reasonable argument for why decision-making has less impact. It makes sense. As opposed to the videos, where such ridiculous examples are made as "picking the end tech and letting it run" as showing you have no meaningful decisions along the way.
     
  8. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Well, he's obviously not a troll, only somebody who makes videos but has never actually learned how to structure a video rant in a way that it's enjoyable. Which I think is understandable, given that his usual content are let's play videos that require a very different type of commentary than trying to formulate criticism in a format that is entertaining.

    Anyway. I skipped through his videos and find that a more fitting title would probably be "Why Civ VI is not for me". Some of the criticism - the whole part about time-constraints for example - seem to assume that what other genres do must also work for this genre, and that because certain other genres are successful because of certain things, these things would also automatically make this genre better. I don't think that logic is sound.
     
  9. Balkans

    Balkans Warlord

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    Really good watch - for everyone. Even if you adore civ 5, this is fair opinion of what really happened with civ in the new era of gaming, and what hard core, old school strategy gamers fear when it comes to new civ titles.
     
  10. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Some of you are asking me how can I know the things I'm talking about. I can't know, but I can deduct.

    If you are asking for my steam of thought, here it is.

    So, mountain areas now enable science buildings.
    And what about archipelago maps? Or any map type or areas where there are no mountains?

    Eureka moments. They sound great. And what if I cannot kill a unit with a slinger because I have no access to barbarian units? Or turned barbarians off?

    They "unstacked" cities, moved out buildings to the map. Are they aware that this will create "carpeting" strategies where you build a few frontline units and have a sizeable number of cheapest units possible just to carpet-raze enemy lands? And what about paratroopers in later game? Just land and pillage? So end-game will be bombers, fighters and paratroopers? There was a gameplay reason why cities held most of the infrastructure.

    And what about rushes, so dreaded in games like Starcraft 2? Create one unit to pester the AI? Abuse its weaker decision making to wreak havoc with a single fast-moving unit?

    They removed the ability to build roads. And what if I plant a city 3 tiles into the jungle, without having a trade route? How will I be able to reinforce my city then? It will take 3 or more turns just to cross the jungle. And what's worse, it will be a nightmare for the AI, not so much for the human player. Will this force us to chop down jungles and forests, "just to make sure" we can reinforce a city, "until much later in the game when military engineers will be able to build roads"? Can the AI be taught to do this? Or will any city built by the AI in an "un-optimal reinforcement location" be easy pickings for even a newbie player?

    For every new feature they announced, my list of questions just grows.


    Screenshots, interviews and videos show us what the developers want us to see.
    We take that, combine it with what we want to see.
    And then there's all that what they decided not to show us.

    Super-zoomed-in gameplay screenshots make for some pretty images. This is how they sold Civ5 as well. We rarely, if ever, play at that zoom level. In Civ5's case this was deliberate, because once in-game, we realized the new maps felt (much) smaller.
     
  11. isau

    isau Deity

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    It's almost like the Civ games are moddable and if these ideas have so much vision, after six years someone would have implemented them into a working game.

    I do have to give props though for the maddening twists of logic by the OP. The game is secretly bad. It just takes 1000 hours of play to see how bad it is.
     
  12. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    See my previous post :) Certain ways of thinking do require 1000 hours of gameplay.
     
  13. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Then you don't get the science boost.

    Then you don't get the Eureka.

    No, the devs have never thought about this very obvious potential problem. :rolleyes: The real question is: Have they got sufficient limitations to prevent this.

    Rather easy to prevent by just giving them three times as many units again.


    "Why does this game want me to make decisions and find solutions instead of just presenting me with an ideal outcome?"


    Yeah, that's the nature of things that are just presented, and not fully explained in a 20-hour monologue until every detail and potential situation has been addressed.


    Marketing. How does it work?
     
  14. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    There ARE a few things other genres do that would automatically make civ better:

    - Honest list of working features
    - A UI that minimizes the number of rote inputs to do basic tasks
    - Passing effort at optimizing for game performance
    - UI you can trust to do what it represents will happen (serious, game-altering issue in civ 5 vanilla, but was also in 4 to lesser degree)
    - Avoidance of fake difficulty (IE do *not* join the I wanna be the guy genre), particularly hiding gameplay rules or obscuring information that is nevertheless still available. Some of 4's events, quite a bit of 5's AI interactions and UI fall into this category.
    - Limiting mundane tasks with little or no thought.
    - Matching player incentive structures with the implemented win conditions.

    Civ 6 might be a very good game, it might even surpass 4. However track record gives me no reason to trust. Even 4 had some of the above problems, including nonsense like the game "thinking" you're pressing alt when you're not causing insta-declaration of war and forced unit selection...the latter finding its way into 5 too.

    No civ game needs that garbage, and removing it would make the series better, strictly better.
     
  15. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    I don't think anyone would disagree that a more responsive UI and better performance would make for a better game :lol:
     
  16. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    ^ TMIT summed it up better than I ever could.
     
  17. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    True, but these things are good because they're good, not because they work in other genres. My criticism is that he did not really point out why Civ needs them, that's why I particularly mentioned the "Other games put you against the clock!"-argument. I don't see why it would make Civ better, and for me personally it would do the opposite. I like the relaxing nature of the game, even when I put a lot of thought in my strategies I never feel "stressed", and I think that's a good thing for this particular game.


    One should never trust a company, no matter their track record. :D
    I just don't think that particular argument of his was sound.
     
  18. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    I don't understand how you came to this conclusion. I mentioned multiple times that Civ is a turn-based game void of any time related stress. This isn't a fault, its by design. I just emphasized this because it makes game design harder. Many games feature no time constraints.

    I did, but TMIT summed it up better: removing the bulk of mundane tasks and introducing a honest list of working features, (in)directly leading to reduction in fake difficulty and cheating AI.
     
  19. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Haha, indeed. The way I skipped through that video made it seem like you were saying that, but now that I rewatched that part as a whole it's very clear that you're not. Sorry for the confusion.
     
  20. Haig

    Haig Deity

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    "They "unstacked" cities, moved out buildings to the map. Are they aware that this will create "carpeting" strategies where you build a few frontline units and have a sizeable number of cheapest units possible just to carpet-raze enemy lands? And what about paratroopers in later game? Just land and pillage? So end-game will be bombers, fighters and paratroopers? There was a gameplay reason why cities held most of the infrastructure."

    New strategies to destroy enemy infrastructure, like strategic bomber campaigns of WW2? Sounds good!

    I think new Madden will be a bad game (for me) as I don't like American Football, but it's just not for me. Game might be great for fans.

    Some of so called problems are also in Civ 4 like having to move armies for a long time before entering combat (what's wrong with that anyway?) or being able to beeline techs in techtree by clicking, say, Iron Working and waiting tech tree to calculate the path. Again, what's the problem?

    I don't think Civ games are just for you, if you would have free hand as a game designer would majority like that game more than the current one? Don't think so.
     
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