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News: Game of the month for Civ V - feedback appreciated

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Game Of The Month' started by Erkon, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Keath

    Keath Chieftain

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    I think the GOTM should have an award category for those who play without world builder trials, without using spreadsheets and without using game code.

    I suggest that once the game is started, the game is played with only paper and pencil for making notes and the Civilopedia as the only reference.
     
  2. kcd_swede

    kcd_swede Chieftain GOTM Staff

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    As above^
    Maybe provide an award for the Fastest Victory in Real-Time... without any pauses (1-session). Not sure the HoF/Buffy mods can detect game pauses, but it shouldn't be too hard to include a clock-check.

    Are there any other Blazing Speed Civver's out there? ;)
     
  3. srad

    srad Chieftain

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    I'm happy that civ is not a RTS game ;)
     
  4. shyuhe

    shyuhe Chieftain

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    Regarding the challenger save, how about just leaving the challenger save at deity (or whatever the highest difficulty is) for every XOTM? Then the whole jig-saw difficulty becomes unnecessary since players looking for a challenge can always play the game on deity and other players can play the default difficulty. I like the ability to choose a harder game difficulty in the current XOTMs but prince vs. monarch isn't that big of a difference in most cases.
     
  5. toller pretzl

    toller pretzl A 1000 years of broccoli

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    Let's not all invent a category that we would win :king: :trophy: :rolleyes: :nono: :lol:
     
  6. Erkon

    Erkon Chieftain Retired Moderator GOTM Staff

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    Hi all,

    Thanks for all your feedback. Keep posting, the staff is reading everything, and we're trying to predict the consequences of all suggestions (ranging from big changes to no changes) to find out how to handle the Game of the Month competition for Civ 5. We don't want to present any conclusions yet to allow everyone to voice their opinion. Keep in mind that you don't have to come up with new ideas. Just by agreeing with someone else is enough.
     
  7. ArcadicGamer

    ArcadicGamer Chieftain

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    I think two things could improve the competition among all tiers of players.
    1. Put a larger gap between the difficulty of the games, making two tiers. It doesn't add much more work, and awards can be handed out to each tier. This could encourage newer players to play the lower difficulty save with chances at winning while encouraging the elites to play at the higher difficulties they enjoy. The Heptathon could be divided as well, providing two divisions. The biggest issue with this is that the elites saves will not be able to teach as much as the normal saves would in the current enviroment. You could also have people "playing down" to get a win, and thats a problem that no easy solution can be had.

    2. Encouragement of spoilers. Others have touched on this, but having the spoiler threads open day 1 of the game would help. I would also encourage a bonus award or 2 for exceptional spoiler writing. Spoiler writing is more important as the game is newer as well, because of the newer game.

    I don't think directing gameplay towards 1 VC is the best way to go. If you want to give a map a desired VC, don't bar the other VCs. It does seem that this issue may be less of an issue with only 4 VCs in 5 over the now 6 VCs in 4.
     
  8. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! Hall of Fame Staff

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    I don't like the idea of tiers in the GOTM. The bottom line is that there are great players in CIV4, but it always gives players something to strive for. Creating tiers or essentially two leagues (or variations thereof that have been discussed in this thread) provides too much separation among the players that will inhibit collaboration, comparison, the learning experience, feedback and overall benchmarks for achievement. CIV5 may redefine who is good or not - I'm not sure - code-divers and math whizzes seem to excel.

    With that said, honestly, I've never really like the idea of Adventurer and Challenger saves. I think the rotating degrees of difficulty and game types are enough to make the game accessible for all. I think I've played an Adventurer save once and then the regular save from then on. I'm not a deity player but I always try the deity saves anyway and actually won a deity GOTM not long ago. What's the point really of having Challenger saves if people just complain about them and no one plays them anyway. Let's just keep everything on the same level and let newer players rise to the challenge. No one can say that was unfair. (At the very most, you could provide just an "Adventurer" type save for new players and a player can only play an Adventure save one time (as sort of an indoctrination) and then must play regular saves from the on. I know I failed GOTMs at first but I just kept plugging away at it and I think that's how it should be.

    As folks have mentioned, awards or announcements that recognize the achievements of less experience players like a) announcing new players b) most improved player, seem like a logical enticement for those who are unlikely to win for quite some time.
     
  9. Keath

    Keath Chieftain

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    Many elite players use ‘code-diving’ along with world builder trials and spreadsheets to improve their chances. I think these tactics are outside the spirit of the game. Imagine if Kasparov, in his 1997 chess match against Deep Blue had access to the IBM code and was able to use his own computer to ‘try out some moves’. I think the outcome would have been quite different. But not so - not only did Kasparov have to play the computer without any aids but he also had to compete on time as well -- complete 40 turns in 2 hours of game time.

    The Kasparov-Deep Blue match is an excellent precedent and I'd like to know what people think about a fresh start with Civ V - no 'code-diving', no world builder trials and no spreadsheets, just you against the machine, à la Kasparov.
     
  10. Keath

    Keath Chieftain

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    I don’t know if this is possible but could the challenger handicap have a time restriction built in? Say you would have 2 hours of game time to reach a certain date in the game. Your first session would then last 2 hours, a reasonable time I would think.

    It should be easy enough to have the ‘challenger’ players submit their 2 hour limit game at the prescribed date then make a final submission later. They could include a writeup from their notes from the game. It seems that the spoiler writeups are well read and the weaker players learn from these submissions just as the 1000 bc QSC did in earlier GOTMs. Also, the writeups are even more to the point of helping the contender players because they’d play exactly the same game, albeit at a slower pace. The adventurer players could still have additional advantages.
     
  11. neilmeister

    neilmeister Lentils have feelings too GOTM Staff

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    I disagree that this is a reasonable comparison. Kasparov had played chess from a very young age. Yes he did not play Big Blue before, but he knew how to play chess really well. It doesn;t matter how much you look at the code or use spreadsheets, you cannot predict exactly how the AI will behave. That is what the RNG is for. Otherwise, all of the top games would be nearly identical.

    Trying to stop world builder trials is not going to happen. If you really think about what you are suggesting, you are saying 'no practice or learning allowed'.
    The fact is that people learn what is a good move through experience. Some people take that really far and determine what is best mathematically, either through spreadsheets and/or code diving, but this is no different to someone playing lots and learning.

    Oh, and it is completely undetectable, so why even try. It would be the same as trying to ban left-handed people from playing.
     
  12. kcd_swede

    kcd_swede Chieftain GOTM Staff

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    One possibility is to invent a handicapping system, and include the handicap when determining who gets what award. You could use the same normalized to 100 score and speed formulas as exist today... your handicap is say 80% the difference between yours and the best, and for score is added to but for speed subtracted from your result for this month. Of course, if would be wild and whacky the first few months until handicaps get established... maybe you need 3 victories submitted before your handicap is activated. It would give everyone incentive to just get better. Even top players would have to play well since they'd face real competition for medals from just about everyone.

    For global rankings, the folks with the lowest handicap are at the top. Its easy to gain pleasure seeing your own progress in reducing your own handicap, even if you remain static in the actual rankings since everyone else is improving as well. But it won't be just the top list in the rankings who are bringing home the awards. You could of course show the unhandicapped results as well, just as is done now.

    Just a crazy idea... maybe too complicated to make it appealing. But we play civ, we shouldn't be too afraid of complicated things. :lol:
     
  13. whb

    whb Chieftain

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    Unfortunately not that great an analogy -- Kasparov and his team weren't given access to Deep Blue's logs (they did ask for them) but certainly were analysing what they thought about its playing style between games. Perhaps more important to the result though, IBM were tweaking and altering Deep Blue's code between games to better counter Kasparov's playing style. (For instance, ensuring it didn't fall into a trap in a later game that it fell into twice in early games.)
     
  14. Fluroscent

    Fluroscent Chieftain

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    Simpler is always preferable. Complicated systems need to be really well justified and thought through, or it will be a mess. (Example: the challenge series - in my opinion of course)

    I question what a tier system, or handicapping or whatever would accomplish that would warrant such a change. In particular, I am strongly opposed to any system where everyone does not play the same save. I also dislike any adventurer/challenger changes that has any strategic implications on how the game unfolds.

    The best games played should win the awards, and the next best ones should rank just below them, and the system should be simple enough that the scores and rankings will be meaningful. Lastly the spoilers must be encouraged so that players can use the GOTM to really benchmark their own effort and learn from discussing, and studying the better players.
     
  15. whb

    whb Chieftain

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    I tend to prefer the games that support a variety of play-styles. Including the diversity of victory condition. While there might not be much "achievement" in getting a prize that nobody else was going for, there is some entrepreneurial fun in it.

    Some of the talk of strengthening the competition by constraining what everyone's aiming for sounds like stripping away the fun.

    As a personal example, I don't play the Deity games. Not some "fear of stepping up" but just because the path to (in-game) victory is so constrained that it feels more like work than a game, and all losses look pretty much indistinguishable from one another in the results chart. At Monarch, there's more freedom to play a less-optimal but more-fun strategy. For instance, I tend to ignore whipping completely and usually automate a lot of the workers after about the first five cities, and can still sometimes place in the 25-35 range of BOTMs. Yup, I'll never win a medal that way, but in a Monarch game I can see where I place (date of victory), whereas in a Deity game we're all in the pile of losses with very little score.
     
  16. Ribannah

    Ribannah Fighter Druid

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    I agree that the savefile should be the same for everyone. Otherwise, the games cannot be compared and the new players will learn nothing from the experienced players.

    Instead, we could consider allowing novices to read and post in the spoiler threads before and while they are playing.

    (And yes, deity Civ4 games are ugly and have nothing to do with playing Civilization, but are about exploiting AI weaknesses.)
     
  17. Deckhand

    Deckhand Not so nice GOTM Staff

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    I concur. Eliminate the whole "what save will I play?" decision.

    But wait, I also thought it was a good idea to once you won a victory condition, you had to take the harder save to repeat it.

    We should start with only one save and then reopen this discussion once we know what ciV is like and what tweaks would make sense.
     
  18. karmina

    karmina Chieftain

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    Me too.
    However, it might be fun to have a special "challenger" or "hard-mode" award for a special VC combined with some extra craziness, like winning the game without ever discovering the wheel :lol:

    I'm absolutely against any kind of real-/playing-time awards or restrictions. Not being an RTS game is probably the most important part of the civ experience.

    I hope we can dismiss some of the rather stupid awards, especially the cow. I also hope that the land-requirements for domination will be much smaller. Its pretty stupid and annoying having to micromanage 5 more hours when you already have 5 times the land and military and score of everyone else and know you've won.
     
  19. srad

    srad Chieftain

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    Me too! Make games comparable. So everyone who is interested can learn a lot. Even if there is no spoiler for a game you can have a look in the replay tool and/or download the save.
    So you can see the settling, the tech path and the war declarations (and some more infos). Finally you can ask the player if he could provide some infos about his game (either in the result thread or via PM).


    On the discussion about handicaps for 'elite' player (or whatever you want to call the award, medal winners):
    I don't like the idea. If someone invests the time to do spreadsheet calculations and can read code it is ok. As always in a competition the people who spend time on preparation (and are skilled) will appear on the podium. That is fine. Reward the effort.
    Additionally handicaps will deny comparison.
     
  20. kcd_swede

    kcd_swede Chieftain GOTM Staff

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    I'll play them when I can no matter what system is devised. I'm guessing that most of the people posting here will do the same. Not sure I've read anything yet that would have a likely impact on GOTM particpation levels, either. Just have fun.
     

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