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My totally unbiased and definitely not paid for by 2k review

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Afforess, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

    May 19, 2006
    Lisbon, Portugal
    I know, but his last appearances were in civ IV. The fun thing is that he actually sometimes says something sensible :D
  2. Kietharr

    Kietharr Prince

    Nov 5, 2004
    The problem with grading on an unweighted good verses bad point system is some aspects of the game are so bad that they ruin the potential good that could come of the improvements. For example 1UPT and hexes were great changes to military, AI being on par with vanilla civ3 negates that. The AI will just build tons of spearmen and archers, throw them all away at better melee units and then get trashed. This makes the fact that we have a more strategic combat system irrelevant. Removal of unit stacking crippled the AI's ability to defend itself, the emphasis on strategic use of small numbers of units basically negated any production advantage you could possibly give an AI. The fact that the AI pillages is a detriment rather than a benefit to their ability to win wars because they send unsupported single units deep into dangerous areas to do so. Burning my farm will not win you the war, losing 2 archers and a horseman to do so will lose you the war in civ5.

    I'm not joking when I say the AI feels like vanilla civ3 either. I remember an old civ3 strategy was to leave a city way in the back of your empire undefended and the AI would send all of their units in small stacks to take it because it was vulnerable. The only difference now is they send their units in small stacks to die horribly for no reason instead of going for the low hanging fruit on the other side of the river full of crocodiles.

    Also, I feel that the military in this game is pretty unbalanced, especially towards the starting eras. There is almost NO way to defend against resource units if you've got no resources. It was difficult in civ4, but the good no resource defense units like archers and especially long/crossbows went a LONG way in keeping the AI alive. In civ5 you have no resources the best thing you're footing against swords is spearmen/archers.

    I think this could be offset by greatly increasing the power of walls verses melee unit attacks, and greatly reducing or removing archer damage vs cities. Ideally, if the enemy has walls you should need catapults, trebs, or overwhelming numbers to get in. As it is, I've been winning the game prior to gunpowder on Emperor. I couldn't even win on Emperor in civ5, and most of my Monarch games were fairly competitive until at least rifles. This feels cornier than the B.C. era diplomatic wins from BTS.
  3. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

    Jun 8, 2008
    Washington, DC
    I agree with some of this, disagree with some.

    The AI definitely needs a lot of combat work.
    It shouldn't be that hard to have it evaluate local unit strength, and adopt defensive posture when its outgunned.
    Or to have it look at enemy ranged bombardment, and figure out what local unit strength will be during the next turn after the other players get to fire on it.
    Or to have it not pick on a city state unless it has the troops to actually take the city.
    Or to have it retreat heavily damaged units to heal them.

    There are many ways to make unhappiness more serious (gold income penalty anyone?) without needing to add a complex system like immigration.

    Its ridiculous and insulting to say things like "no one on the design team thought of this". More likely, they brainstormed and thought of all kinds of suggestions, and then focused on a simple, implementable core to put into the game.

    Agree that Wonder balance is poor. Some are great, some weak.

    On the suggestions:
    Confusingly non-transparent to most users. How many users do you think understand logarithms?

    Doing this too much risks overwhelming the AI. Many Civ4 mods did this, and the AI suffered. More barbs normally favors the player, particularly when the player is better at combat.
    Only way to do this is if you give the AI a bigger boost vs barbs at higher difficulty.

    Seems fine.

    THis isn't the issue. Unit by unit costs are all the same (worker is the same as knight same as Modern armor), its the total number of units that matters.
    The issue is that the per-unit cost increases over time in an unclear manner, and only every second unit counts, and in the late game maintenance gets insanely high.

    Risks exploits with getting City States to make huge empires with gifted units, and the player can easily stay allied with them.

    Sure, but the main benefit from giftnig units is in them getting the unit to defend themself, and letting you fight proxy wars.

    Agreed, but even more than this is needed. It also needs to learn how to stop throwing meatgrinder into a deathtrap with no hope of overwhelming. It needs to be much more careful about sending units into zones where they can be bombarded.
    Yes, give the AI line of sight cheat if you need to.

    Sure, though they do ok.

    Fine, but minor issue.

    Fine, but the problem is that this varies by game turn, not by unit. So it might say 8 gold when you start building it, but be 9 gold by the time it finishes building.

    Eh. No biggie..

    Gameplay > realism. Its good to have some strategic tradeoff between units. Iron is a classical/medieval resource, longswordsman vs trebuchet should be an interesting tradeoff.
    The main problem with strategic resources is that they're too widely available.
    Given how high maintenance costs are, you can never have that big an army, and so strategic resource limits are almost never binding, so this is a boring mechanic.
    I'd reduce each resource down to 2, instead of 2/4/6. And make horses less common.
    Make the Russian ability useful, and make it actually worth trading for resources, and settling near resources useful, and a second resource copy worth having.
    So we get real strategic tradeoffs between elite/normal units.

    Haven't noticed this.

    Yes please.


    But I think these don't get at a lot of the core problems; like favoring empire size, and expansion through conquest.

    I would give puppet states say a flat -25% gold, hammer, and science penalty [And make them stop building useless buildings.] Its too easy to power your culture/gold economy on puppets, there need to be more incentives to annex. And reduce courthouse cost (hammer cost and maintenance cost).

    I would reduce the amount of food needed for population sizes above ~14. Its too hard to get a big city, so you're much better off with lots of moderate size cities.

    I would increase tech costs slightly by increasing the marginal increment at each stage.
    I dislike how fast research is compared to unit/building build times.

    I would make capturing a city more serious; add an extra temporary unhappiness hit when you capture a city, even making it a puppet.
  4. Abremms

    Abremms Prince

    Mar 5, 2010
    I was wrong, checked my steam thinger, I'm at 62 hours. that's more than a couple games. frankly, i enjoy it more now than i did at the start. There are actually very few games that I have put 60+ hours into, especially in a single week. Its a sad comentary on my personal life more than anything lol.

    the point is, my subjective opinion is that despite its flaws (and you hit all of them well in your review) the whole package comes together to become something that is more than the sum of its parts for me, and i suspect, for a lot of players.
  5. cephalo

    cephalo Deity

    Jul 26, 2007
    Missouri, USA
    Read the whole review. Agree 100%
  6. leo.

    leo. Monkey Monster

    Aug 2, 2007
    Yeah man you say it. No need to explain very much further in detail would be a waste of time respective already done.

    i'm still playing rom & co from time to time and it's really, besides some other mods here among the best 'games' i know today, i also tried a ton of other different new released games. Of course the whole game industry can never compete vs some reasonable code and fun ideas from a normal thinking game mod hacker in a great game community (from a former excellent game which has been released years ago)! good ideas are totally overlooked and not implemented because of the long time (commercial?) experience of the game designers. of course not everyone likes the same idea, but still you can say if something is fun or not. Obviously the game design process is something completely different. I have seen things from the craziest modders even more fun. Didn't expect much from civ5 but it i must say it is far worse than i ever imagined.

    Well in fact they would even dare bring out a game that is a total impudence (who cares people buy the biggest crap too, if just the name is correct) but they did not, it is just a normal impudence, nothing uncommon these days, seen worse, and that what you naturally have to expect if you hear some remake of a game is coming out. in fact colonization2 announced the fall of civ already. if i weren't so curious i wouldn't even try remakes of old games. 1/100 is good but for the rest, it's a waste of time, like digging into garbage, sometime you find something still useful like chewing gum, but most is not even worth to be called trash.

    It doesn't look like civ5 will be ever repairable because of its conceptional gameplay fail and rigidity. the game decides for the player what or how to play, freedom is gone, creativity and imagination, dead :confused: i can even have more fun playing chess, seriously. the estimated number of possible positions in chess is about 2.28 · 10^46, doubtless far more than the 'standard situations' in civ5

    I'm still dreaming that one day a perfect civ will come but i doubt mankind will ever be able to manage it, it's like a tech you don't need to tech to come further.

    what is a perfect civ game?
    if you imagine what you heard when civ5 came out mixed up with all the outstanding ideas you have it already. it is really easy like that. why not trying to make a game the people really want? i predict it would be a great success in any way. I know or understand some the ideas behind this game and the background of them. But it is a fact, that the game concept itsself is only working to a certain point and not even medium-term fun.

    Of course civ5 has also some 'neat' things. but hit me i have to point you out only the worst things, i must!


    i am not specialised in guis nor design. but even i know the major rules of some basic usability.
    the guys who realized the interface... have you no shame? if that is not backwards, what do i have to expect with a possible future release of civ? obviously there are no experiences from civ4 that came into the game. and the civ4 interface was ugly like hell already. and after all, you have never managed to realize a good interface in any of your products, perhaps that is acutally a task. we are humans! only a computer itself would be able to use that interface properly in a game flow.
    no way that is easier or better than it was in civ4. still the civ4 interface sucks a lot too. i must say the civ4 interfaces modded into the game are also not quite well but there were a very few making things much easier and even better to understand or easier to use and crucial for a civ game. instead you, the civ5 designers, wasted months to produce waste, still it is something new but that can by no meaning be the way to go, not for civ, not for any game no matter what platform.
    i don't have to suggest ideas for an interface, thats your job!
    and if you have no time to make a really good or lets say, at least mature game, why don't you mind implement some interface that even a first-time-gamer has a small chance to understand. big failure. i have built some program interfaces too and i still cant manage to use it properly and i have played civ you could say for 20 years. and that after hours playing. perhaps its me... would it help if i say: try to make the interface more complex? perhaps that had the effect i wish but i doubt you are able to understand


    on the one side they are better than they were in civ4, no doubt. on the other side not. if you dont see that you must have eye cancer (and im not talking about that river thing). it does not look nice or functional, it's just garbage. i knew total noobs in this being able to produce partially better results. no idea guys...


    even babies would be able to finish a first time game in deity. no challange. a game without challenge, pure entertainment is like sitting in front of daily tv - boring. even for noobs


    probably the worst after the interface fail. didnt you listen to the civ community? they said for years they wanted extended unit management and what did you? you messed it up even more. that would have been the no.1 implementation a civ game with units needed badly


    the game tells me how to play. the possiblities/ways i have for my civ do not nearly match the possibilities i had in civ3 or civ4. i would even go so far to say every game is pretty the same. because of the determined gaming concept i don't expect this game will ever have a chance to be something like average. at least there is something like a gaming concept, but it wasnt fully worked out, it is not finished. civ4 vanilla was finished.


    Civ2 had more contents than this. How dare you selling a civ. If that is politically correct ;) i dont know... better dont try selling Afghanistan. the game is not reality. But i am pleased to learn something about history while i play. That is what i always liked on civ. I stick into wikipedia, so...

    last but not least the poor civanons dont need to drive to their club anymore (guess they spent rest of their money on civ5) although there's nothing really addictive out there anymore (dont show them civ4 mod section) :cool:
  7. zonk

    zonk Prince

    Oct 30, 2005
    One thing I really wish Firaxis would do ---

    License the entirety of the old Civ IV engine out to modders -- similar to what Paradox did with the old Europa engine when they moved from EU2/HOI2 to the new Clausewitz engine for EU3/HOI3.

    Even with the bugs - I'm happier with Hoi3 (vanilla and SF) vs. Hoi2:ARM than I am Civ V vs. Civ IV -- but I still bought Arsenal of Democracy (a modder created and sold - for $5 - 'expansion' to Hoi2 ARM).

    I was thinking about this --

    And that's it, really... Others have said they got it -- one more turn syndrome -- but I really haven't yet.

    It was just 3 or 4 months ago that I had a really great AND game -- suddenly looked at the clock, and found it was 3 AM (and I usually get up for work around 5:30.. yeah - I had a doc's appointment I "forgot" about in a few hours).

    Even with vanilla IV -- I had that experience. I just don't in V - and not sure I've felt it coming.

    The only "one more turns" are usually few and far between instances... maybe the occasional "I'm about to pop a Social Policy, so I guess I'll see what that does" -- but it's anti-climatic... if you're not at war, it's just another dozen "next" clicks until something else strikes.

    I started a game on a huge map, marathon speed Sunday just before lunch... By the time Family Guy was half over, I was already in the late industrial age, and it was pretty much just a matter of "how would I prefer to win". That's just wrong.... a Civ game on the slowest possible speed shouldn't let me get that far in the space of ~10 hours.

    Conversely, my current AND game -- which I'm probably going to go back to tonight rather than more V -- I've already invested 40+ hours in. I'm still a century away from the BC/AD flip. It feels like I've already had 4 mini-games -- a period in ancient where I was fighting for wonders (and yeah, going back to save points to figure out how I could squeeze a few more hammers rather than lose the Pyramids by 4 measly turns), another epic war with the Aztecs that was evenly matched until I coaxed the English into attacking Montezuma's flank. Then - got hit by a revolution because war weariness + conquered Aztec cities, took a while to put out those flames. Now - I've just entered the point where I'm able to explore my own hemisphere - and possibly start colonizing close-in/coast accessible landmasses.... and I still haven't met more than half the other AIs!

    Civ IV always felt like multiple games were played in a single "real" game -- V just feels like one game.

    Maybe it's not "dumbing down" Civ -- maybe it's just over-streamlining... and maybe it's only a minority of the community that likes looonnnngggg, complicated games.

    I expect a marathon game to take weeks to complete.

    Call it sad or troubling -- but there would be oh so many nights, even with Vanilla IV (I actually went back loaded up some of the Vanilla IV games I saved to remember how they "felt") - where I would go to bed literally exhausted... exhausted from desperately trying to squeeze out a few more hammers for that wonder I wanted, while at the same time trying to build enough libraries to finish a quest (yes, I know events were BTS-only), while at the same time -- fighting off an AI that thought I was easy pickings, while STILL at the same time, begging other AIs to help stop these Mongol hordes.

    I would replay the last few turns in my mind... should I have used that engineer to finish that wonder rather than saving him for a corporation? should I have given up 3 techs in order to get the French to give Elizabeth someone else to shoot at? should I have stuck with Judaism which spread to me, rather than spending the effort spreading Christianity that I founded?

    I would map out what I needed to do next as I drifted off to sleep... time to finally deal with that massive jungle in my southern provinces, which is crimping the growth of a whole empire region. Then - I need to start building some knights, because my military is woefully out of date.

    In the end, there's just not enough to do in V -- unless you go to war, it's really a lot of waiting for culture to accumulate or waiting for a certain tech.
  8. hewhoknowsall

    hewhoknowsall Warlord

    Nov 30, 2009
    Some points:

    1. Civ 4 Ai DID raze improvements. In fact, that's one of the reasons why I had so much trouble with war; I was hard pressed to stop some huge stack that the ai somehow got from pillaging so many improvements that, even if I win the war, I get set back quite a bit.

    2. 1UPT makes for tactical combat...on a strategic scale map. Oh, and halfway through the tech tree at gunpowder they change it back to strategic combat. Therefore, you'd have tactical combat and strategic combat coexisting on the same scale.

    3. Suspension of disbelief is going too far with this game. Archers shooting across mountains and outranging tanks?

    I'm not trying to judge the game right now, I'm making a few points. ;)
  9. Danwood

    Danwood Warlord

    Mar 21, 2008
    This is the best review i've ever read, Afforess should actually work as reviewer (but i'm glad he's a modder :p)
  10. Sonereal

    Sonereal ♫We got the guillotine♫ Supporter

    Mar 31, 2008
    It felt so weird to go from AND 1.75 Beta 3 to Civ5 because of the vast difference in AI competence.

    That's the only thing ruining the game for me. The AI is simply a push over in war.
  11. ilikepies

    ilikepies Warlord

    Feb 19, 2007
    I agree.
  12. Sentinal 6

    Sentinal 6 Chieftain

    Sep 28, 2010
    Me too. Going back to IV+ROM+AND
  13. CivFanMUC

    CivFanMUC Chieftain

    May 7, 2010
    I wasn't going to debate Steam. I criticise the point of enforced Steam. Like I said: Optional Steam for those who want MP/DLCs - +1
  14. VeatWorld

    VeatWorld Chieftain

    Feb 14, 2002
    i absolutely hate civ 5 right now. thinking back the time when i was pre-ordering it, thinking back how i was waiting for the package to arrive, thinking how it sucked playing the super-unintersting world of "civ" 5...did those guys not see that their game sucks ?
  15. Arrorn

    Arrorn Chieftain

    Jan 9, 2010
    Michigan, USA
    @pawelS: I wasn't speaking to anyone in particular. I was just creating a defensive position before being attacked by someone saying Wikipedia is inaccurate and use the commonly misused "anyone can edit it" quote.
  16. MadMaligor

    MadMaligor Chieftain

    Nov 23, 2005
    I am more of a lurker than a poster, but I jumped in to add my two shineys and agree that the review is pretty spot on.

    Some minor points, and forgive me if they have been made already (read most but not all of the replies) -

    1. A Great Person improving a tile permanently at the very least should not offset any current bonus from improvement, but rather augment only. I think a one point bump across the board for each type would help as well since you have to actually work the tile. Remove cultural bombs for Great Artists and replace it with an additional policy choice. Great General citidels are nice but lack a side benefit worthly of the sacrifice, so much so that after three games not once did I even consider the choice (even with some very strategic defensive locations in my empires). Possibly add a trade or cultural bump for a linked citadel.

    2. Workers should be able to occupy the same tile as a friendly or allied city state military unit and central city tile (possibly a bug, not sure). Not being able to road link a city state because a military unit is stubbornly defending the only in-road tile is drove me nuts (I sat a worker hovering nearby ready to move in and build for over 30 turns before giving up).

    3. Puppet cities maintenance cost and happiness consumption needs to be tweaked slightly, either reduced or considerate of current player income/happiness status.

    4. City states and capitals should be able to be razed (again, possibly a bug).

    5. Gifting units to a friendly/allied city state is completely imbalanced for the cost, and should have an even bigger impact on the relationship (especially for militiristic ones).

    6. Earth map without natural starting points (mentioned before), was a huge wtf for me when I started a current game (easily modded though).

    I will say that I disagree with you a bit on the city state benefits. I am currently playing a marathon earth and decided to see just how beneficial going city state friendly/allied could be. Huge Earth Map Marathon Egypt start near Italy put me close to four city states that I worked hard at keeping allies using most of my gold, always paying attention to requests, and a huge boost from a Great Merchant. Even when I managed to piss-off all eleven other civs and put myself smack dab into the middle of an all out world war against me, the buffer zones the four provided were amazing. My military was incredibly small (6 total units but well developed from barb hunting) but managed to hold off all incursions from a number of 4-6 unit armies being sent against me. Even with a spread out empire of 6 cities the city state help was incalculable, and one even decimated the German empire into dust.
  17. beholder2

    beholder2 Chieftain

    Sep 27, 2010
    Paris - France
    I agree with you but it would open a major unbalanced issue : You should be able to be perma-allied with a military CS without spending any gold but just giving as a gift every single unit they offer you... A bit broken system :-/
  18. Mustakrakish

    Mustakrakish In 'Node' We Trust

    Sep 2, 2009
    Grainvillage, Finland
    Great review Afforess! All in all without being picky agree with everything... :goodjob:

    PS. City-States actually conquer other cities??? Well that's new to me :)
    They've been completely useless in my games, barely being able to protect themselves (despite devs and reviews saying they're hard to take down). Always get steamrolled... by the same civ too. :lol: Did they intentionally made Russia CS killer? :lol: Not that I have any problems with that...
  19. Mustakrakish

    Mustakrakish In 'Node' We Trust

    Sep 2, 2009
    Grainvillage, Finland
    That would make them military City-States even more useless than they are, wouldn't it? :D Conveniently solving the said "major unbalanced issue". :D
  20. Flay

    Flay Prince

    Apr 9, 2009
    I read the entire review but cam ea bit late to this thread so I didn't read all the answer so sorry if it has been post before.

    But as I play CIV most in MP, do YOU think Afforess that it will be possible to fix the very slow reaction time in the game when moving units ? and this including animations ?

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