[BTS] Need to get caught up after several years of not playing

LEMD

Chieftain
Joined
Apr 14, 2022
Messages
17
All,

Please excuse me if my questions have been asked 1000 times already (I'm certain they have since I did read some of the Questions asked 1000 times thread) but I have some questions that haven't been as easy to find by just lurking so I finally broke down and created an account to ask the experts. I know there are several of you here from lurking for the last month since I finally started playing the game again after putting it away in 2011 and was searching for strategies and such.

First, I keep hearing about how Modding has made Civilization IV better than any other civ. Why I'm asking the question here is because when I first started researching it all of the usual suspects pop up. They all sound great. However, they all change the game significantly and I'm not sure that I would like that. I may, I don't know but I already love the game and don't really think it needs to be wholesale changed. But, if these mods are what took Civ IV to a completely different level then maybe I should consider them. Like I said several look outstanding but in reality they are not even the same game. Is that worth it? Or is it better to just get the mods that make the game more user friendly but keep it intact for the most part? Just for a side note I haven't even played any of the mods that came with the version I bought because they are different than the original. i.e. Road to War and such. I know I would love Road to War but every time I load the game I look at the icons and the units and everything and it just puts me off and I quit to main menu and start a normal custom game.

Second, I have been reading threads here and getting used to actually playing the game and not using WB ever or changing it to Huge/Marathon Earth 18 civ every time. This has been the absolute best thing ever for my experience. It has made me want to learn the game better. So I will have more threads if that is ok specifically about chopping and whipping. I can do them but I highly doubt I do them efficiently. I currently play custom game random leader and civ with standard size normal speed fractal no random events or huts and no tech brokering. Should I nix the tech brokering? How much does it change the game?

I will have more specific questions regarding chopping and whipping but I'll place them in the strategy section where it belongs. I feel my first post was general enough to be put here considering that I'm new and not really asking about strategies or mods specifically but a general question about the game.

LEMD
 

s.bernbaum

Mostly lurking
Joined
Dec 2, 2006
Messages
2,847
Location
The wilds of Montana
All,

First, I keep hearing about how Modding has made Civilization IV better than any other civ. Why I'm asking the question here is because when I first started researching it all of the usual suspects pop up. They all sound great. However, they all change the game significantly and I'm not sure that I would like that.

LEMD

Regarding Mods: I mainly play, like you, Custom games. However, the one Mod that I use all the time is BUG Mod. BUG stands for BTS Unmodified Game. That is what it is. All that it does is provide you the same information that you can find in the unmodified game in an organized and easily accessible format. It makes no change in game play but makes the game so much smoother to play that I can't imagine going back to playing without it. It is fully customizable, so you can implement or not any of the features and set up how they appear on screen.
You can install it in CustomAssets, so it launches every time that you play without you doing anythig else but is not included in the saves, which lets you send those to other people, if you like. If you prefer you can install it as a Mod and only launch it when you choose to do so. I use it in CustomAssets and highly recommend that approach.

BULL is a modification of BUG that does make minor changes in game play, such as letting you set forest chops to stop one turn before completion, for future single chop use. Personally, I don't care for it and only use BUG.
 
Last edited:

lymond

Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!)
Moderator
Hall of Fame Staff
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
23,944
But, if these mods are what took Civ IV to a completely different level then maybe I should consider them.

There's some great mods and the modding community here has been outstanding for many years. However, I don't classify mods as taking the game to another level. BTS did that.

As sb said above, I highly recommend BUG + BULL, BAT and BUFFY (for HOF games and GAmes of the Month). Basic UI mods. BAT has some add graphic enhancements. Also, Blue Marble is nice to have for terrain water. These are very commonly used mods here. (and no, BULL does not change game play. Stopping chops is not changing gameplay. BULL is a great addition to BUG and actually has a coupla of features that I value highest among the bug/bull additions.

I don't use no tech brokering. I just use no huts/events. Tech brokering slows the tech pace down a bit.
 

Snowygerry

Emperor
Joined
Dec 7, 2016
Messages
1,764
Location
Gent - Belgium.
I suspect Mods extend the longevity of the game if the basic game becomes repetitive.

My version of the game included several mods on the disc, RFC and a few fantasy mods iirc,

maybe try those first to get a feel for it, you can always easily return to the original :)
 

5tephen

Warlord
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
248
@lymond doesn't BULL allow excess hammer overflow to be converted to overflow gold rather than lost as it would be in unmodified BTS 3.19?

Definitely recommend BUG. I've used BULL as part of BUFFY and the stopping chopping turn before completion is really useful but I don't routinely use BULL as I was under the impression it does alter gameplay.
 

lymond

Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!)
Moderator
Hall of Fame Staff
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
23,944
@lymond doesn't BULL allow excess hammer overflow to be converted to overflow gold rather than lost as it would be in unmodified BTS 3.19?
.
I guess so. BUFFY and BAT have it too. But is it really changing gameplay. They put it in, they take it out, that put it back. Some may think that it should be there.

maybe @WastinTime and @Kaitzilla can add their thoughts here
 

LEMD

Chieftain
Joined
Apr 14, 2022
Messages
17
Thanks everyone for the replies! So I understand what BUG is now and will definitely get it. It seems it's in every video that I watched to learn strategies. So far I have mainly just watched AbsoluteZero's videos just to get an idea of game starts.
I'm still not certain what BULL or BUFFY are. I read somewhere that BAT was BUG+BULL but now I'm doubting that. Anyway, I really appreciate the responses from each of you. I wasn't sure if anyone would respond.

LEMD
 

lymond

Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!)
Moderator
Hall of Fame Staff
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
23,944
I'm still not certain what BULL or BUFFY are. I read somewhere that BAT was BUG+BULL but now I'm doubting that. Anyway, I really appreciate the responses from each of you. I wasn't sure if anyone would respond.

LEMD
BAT is BUG+BULL+Graphic Stuff

BUFFY is BUG+BULL+HOF Mod

(above mods are stand-alone, i..e, the mods must be loaded)

BAT is actually what I use most for my own casual games. BUG+BULL in Custom Assets (SP Mode/Mod is not loaded) is really good for forum and shadow games. BUFFY is nice to have installed if you want to play some HOF or GOTM games here. Some folks actually use BUFFY regularly.
 

Kaitzilla

Lord Croissant
Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
11,682
Location
America!
I guess so. BUFFY and BAT have it too. But is it really changing gameplay. They put it in, they take it out, that put it back. Some may think that it should be there.

maybe @WastinTime and @Kaitzilla can add their thoughts here

The brain trust addressed this issue 13 years ago when patch 3.19 came out.
Civ4 BTS v3.19 Patch | Page 10 | CivFanatics Forums


The consensus was that Firaxis made an "oopsie" based off the patch notes for patch 3.19 not mentioning the change.
They probably didn't mean to nerf excess :hammers: -> :gold: into the ground.

I say that because Alexman appeared to be part of Firaxis and help make patches such as 3.17 and 3.19? :hmm:
question for Alexman | CivFanatics Forums

UP stands for The Unofficial Patch that people were making to fix the game when Firaxis seemed to be done doing so.
Firaxis then lazily heroically copied a lot of UP code to make 3.19 the final patch I think.

I'm just trying to understand how serious this issue is. It sounds like a pretty minor change, except in rare circumstances. Correct?

People seem to be implying that this change is an error. From what it sounds like, maybe it's an intentional change to prevent abuses getting easy gold.

From the code, it looks like the change is intended, not an accident.

It is definitely a bug, although the effect on game play is minor. Sorry about that.

I imagine this exchange is most of the reason the BUFFY people felt it safe enough to re-instate excess :hammers: into :gold: even though it irritates purists who want unaltered gameplay.
 
Last edited:

PPQ_Purple

Purple Cube
Joined
Oct 11, 2008
Messages
5,075
Personally I dislike it when games do any sort of balance changes in patches. Patches should fix bugs and not change how the game plays. But in the case of failgold I actually like it nerfed. The mechanic is supposed to be a small compensation for loosing out on a wonder you really wanted. But people abuse the hell out of it by deliberately building wonders to almost completion and than letting them lapse as a way to earn lots of gold to the point that it's become an accepted strategy. And that just feels scummy to me. It's like a lawyer who breaks the spirit of the law by finding loopholes to get his way. So having that nerfed into the ground is in my opinion a good thing.
 

Lennier

Emperor
Joined
Mar 10, 2013
Messages
1,404
Location
Orange County, NY
They didn't nerf fail-gold to the ground. They nerfed overflow-gold to the ground.
 

Ricci

Prince
Joined
Jun 17, 2007
Messages
556
UP stands for The Unofficial Patch that people were making to fix the game when Firaxis seemed to be done doing so.
Firaxis then lazily heroically copied a lot of UP code to make 3.19 the final patch I think.
Jeje, it was indeed heroic, a nice acknowledgment to its hard audience..


I imagine this exchange is most of the reason the BUFFY people felt it safe enough to re-instate excess :hammers: into :gold: even though it irritates purists who want unaltered gameplay.

Well, it indeed created a cult based on the newly allowed BLOOD into GOLD strategy!
Had to lay my hands on in a couple of hiperexpansive games into the ancient era.
 

Ricci

Prince
Joined
Jun 17, 2007
Messages
556
LEMD, ASAP BAT 4.1. It remains practically identical in gameplay and adds every feature cited above (except the HoF package), exceptionally better&diverse graphics, and the better AI mod, no less.

By the way, I found bliss the day I stepped into 'No tech Trading'
 

lymond

Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!)
Moderator
Hall of Fame Staff
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
23,944
LEMD, ASAP BAT 4.1. It remains practically identical in gameplay and adds every feature cited above (except the HoF package), exceptionally better&diverse graphics, and the better AI mod, no less.
The better AI mod is not in standard BAT. It's a separate BAT mod.
 

Lexicus

Deity
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
28,498
Location
Sovereign State of the Have-Nots
Second, I have been reading threads here and getting used to actually playing the game and not using WB ever or changing it to Huge/Marathon Earth 18 civ every time. This has been the absolute best thing ever for my experience. It has made me want to learn the game better. So I will have more threads if that is ok specifically about chopping and whipping. I can do them but I highly doubt I do them efficiently. I currently play custom game random leader and civ with standard size normal speed fractal no random events or huts and no tech brokering. Should I nix the tech brokering? How much does it change the game?

I will have more specific questions regarding chopping and whipping but I'll place them in the strategy section where it belongs. I feel my first post was general enough to be put here considering that I'm new and not really asking about strategies or mods specifically but a general question about the game.

Since most of the replies thus far seem to have focused on mods, I will say that what you should do to learn the game basics is start a game with screenshots (and perhaps save file) in the Strategy & Tips thread, and people will talk you through the early turns and you'll learn quite a lot that way.

I play without tech brokering - as lymond mentioned it slows the overall pace of teching in the game down, but I also feel that it also makes the game a bit more controllable and limits the wild swings that can happen from tech trades.
I find it is often helpful for me to know that when I trade a tech to an AI they won't trade it to every other AI as soon as I hit end turn.

However "standard" play is with tech brokering enabled and there are certainly situations where tech brokering can be very helpful to the human player.

I also play with other weird settings, like Unrestricted Leaders, Choose Religion, Aggressive AI, and I usually uncheck Time and Cultural victories and sometimes Diplomatic too when I get too annoyed by the UN.
 

LEMD

Chieftain
Joined
Apr 14, 2022
Messages
17
Thanks again to all the people that replied. It is nice to get the information. I was going to ask about the Better AI mod and if it was used as well and what difference it made. @Lexicus I was thinking of starting a shadow game soon once I downloaded the mods. I thought I read somewhere that Better BAT AI was most of the mods that were mentioned all in one. Also, I have watched some of Lain's videos. I'm not sure how much watching Deity games helps me though since they have to play a specific way due to the difficulty. It will be a long time before I reach Deity if ever at all.
 

Lexicus

Deity
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
28,498
Location
Sovereign State of the Have-Nots
I don't play on Deity fwiw, I have enough fun & challenge on Emperor.

I don't know what difficulty you're comfortable at now, but if you want to play at high difficulties you could do worse than starting on Monarch, as the difficulties below that are easy enough that you can get by on them quite easily while not knowing the basics of the game at all. Monarch is very forgiving as long as you have the basics right.
 

lymond

Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!)
Moderator
Hall of Fame Staff
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
23,944
Thanks again to all the people that replied. It is nice to get the information. I was going to ask about the Better AI mod and if it was used as well and what difference it made. @Lexicus I was thinking of starting a shadow game soon once I downloaded the mods. I thought I read somewhere that Better BAT AI was most of the mods that were mentioned all in one. Also, I have watched some of Lain's videos. I'm not sure how much watching Deity games helps me though since they have to play a specific way due to the difficulty. It will be a long time before I reach Deity if ever at all.

Well, BAT, as mentioned earlier, is BUG + BULL and also Blue Marble graphics and some other special graphic mods added in. So good stuff just with basic BAT. I think Better BAT AI added in one of the Better AI mods some years ago. I think I tried it out at one point, probably for testing purposes. However, I think the current version of Better BAT AI is older than the last release of BAT...not sure...but it has been some time since Better BAT AI was updated.

I get much enjoyment just from the base game with BAT, and moving up difficulty will prove challenging enough without jacking up the AI.

Lain's videos can still be useful. Yes, Deity requires some special considerations, but you can still pick up some basic and certainly some of the more meticulous ways advanced players play.
 

LEMD

Chieftain
Joined
Apr 14, 2022
Messages
17
Thanks @lymond that makes it an easier decision for me. Seems BAT is a great choice for what I'm looking for. The Blue Marble graphics on a video I watched seem like a big plus. I was reading through one of the shadow games that you and others were helping in. It seems to be very beneficial to read through those. I found a link to a video posted by Henrik that seems promising. It is on Immortal level which is still a bit above my pay grade but it seems more applicable to what I need in comparison to a Deity game. @Lexicus I currently play on Prince or Noble with an occasional Monarch. The Noble games are obviously easy and don't require me to focus. I tend to play these when I'm just wanting to play a game that I don't really have to put much effort in and just want to play CIV and mess around with proxy wars and such. The Prince games are the ones where I focus more but I still end up running away with them in the end and never get into a situation that puts the game at risk. I'm still able to mess around a bit at that level. This would be my comfort level. I'm still able to try new strategies here and not have to do everything a certain way in order to win. Monarch games I feel are pretty challenging but still enjoyable. I do have to focus and pay attention to almost everything or I'll get in some trouble. This is the level that I could lose a game if I get off track early or mess around. It's not to the point that I can't have fun and experiment I don't think but honestly I've never tried to experiment there because I'm worried about losing the game. I have never went above it because I feel it would be out of my comfort zone and I do not think I'm good enough to play there. I'm not knowledgeable enough about everything in order to handle different situations to move past it yet. This is due to lack of diversity in the time that I have played the game since 2007. I think I will start a Monarch game today and see what happens. I ran away with my last two Prince games after reading here and learning new strategies. Mainly the early turn strategies and things. I had completely been doing the first 50 turns or so wrong. Just the different starting strategies have improved my game and made the Noble and Prince levels much easier and pretty much non competitive. I believe Monarch is the good start for me for here on out.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom