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Playing the map

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by RedFury_au, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. RedFury_au

    RedFury_au Chieftain

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    Hi everyone,

    This post is based on something I read on another thread about how, in a preview, the guy said that the designer (Shafer) had "memorized the best starting strategy, regardless of circumstances." - or something like that. Now this got me quite concerned, and I'll freely admit that my concern may be unfounded because I can't even find the source material (the preview/video) for the quote. It may have been

    a) Misquoted
    b) Taken out of context or
    c) Misinterpretted by myself.

    But I thought I would check up on how others are feeling about the issue of "playing the map" and the non-existance of a "universal build-list" in general.

    One of the things I loved the most about Civ IV was the need to really adapt your playstyle to the map that got generated. Other than perhaps "worker first" (and there were even situations where that could be broken), there was no generally accepted "build order" that was required to succeed. You needed to analyze the map, your starting techs, your leader strengths and formulate appropriate moves based on all of the above. For me, this was one of the games big strengths.

    For me, not having read *everything* about Civ 5, I'm a little concerned about this aspect. I understand different starting techs may have been removed and I'm yet to analyze the tech tree in any great detail to see what variations exist.

    So I guess my question is aimed at people who have been absorbing game information at a faster rate than I have - are you worried at all that Civ 5 wil have starting strategies and techs that are "best" in say 90% + cases, or do you think it will have the same level of dyanmic diversity as Civ IV.
     
  2. grant2004

    grant2004 Citizen

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    I think I remember that quote, but don't have the link either. I think he was claiming that he had memorized a 'best' starting strategy in Civ IV, but that in Civ V that wouldn't be the case.

    I would expect that there will be a lot different in Civ V, scouting sounds like it will have a larger impact and may be competitive with worker first strategies. I also remember them saying early on that there would be a few big things to rush towards in the early game. In Civ IV I always went for the Oracle, so a little diversity on what I wanted to rush for would be nice.
     
  3. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Shafer should know better than that ... if he actually said that, my consideration for him dropped quite a bit, since that is as false as snake oil ...
     
  4. IdleEnergy

    IdleEnergy Chieftain

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    It wasn't a quote. It was part of an introduction paragraph written by somebody else.

    And to answer your question: NO, I'm not worried in the slightest. I think the point the author was making was that Shafer has fairly deep insight into the game mechanics because... um... he designed a lot of them. If you spend YEARS thinking about putting a project together, possible synergies, trying to out-think possible exploits that would make the game less fun, you probably understand the game at a pretty deep level.

    Stop reading so literally.
     
  5. Schuesseled

    Schuesseled Deity

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    Well there aren't starting techs anymore, so basically when you start you can go economic, build a worker, go military build some warriors, or go cultural build a monument, thats it.
     
  6. kozzer

    kozzer Liberated Autocrat

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    "regardless of circumstances" could mean that he knows how to adjust his starting strategy to any circumstances, not that you can use the same strategy every time.
     
  7. RedFury_au

    RedFury_au Chieftain

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    Yes. If the claim that Shafer said this is indeed true, that's what I was thinking/hoping he actually meant also.
     
  8. RedFury_au

    RedFury_au Chieftain

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    I see what you're getting at, but don't neccessarily agree. Being good at designing game mechanics doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be whiz at playing them out in-game. In fact they can be more seperate than you probably think.

    I used to be a programmer in the games industry and worked for a guy I would consider one of the greatest game designers I've seen. Yet he would regularly get thumped in office games because he just wasn't that good at utilizing his own mechanics. Not saying that Shafer would ever be in this category, but the fact he designed it doesn't automatically make him a god at playing it either. I'd imagine he'd have a very deep handle on the game mechancis, but so do many deity level players that have played Civ IV for 5 years now and those guys still regularly disagree on the appropriate starting strategy for a given map.

    Oh, and I wasn't reading literally. I wrote in my initial post that I wasn't sure because I couldn't even find the related article - it was just a concern of mine. That's why I was *asking* people who may have more knowledge than me.
     
  9. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    In fact Shafer sometimes says stuff that seem a little off when you think on how Civ IV actually works ... it seems that he spent more time designing the game than actually playing it :lol: That is pretty ok, but when you use flawed knowledge of agame to justify the inclusion/removal of features in the next instalement of the series ... not so ok.

    On topic: there is no known better strategy for civ IV. In fact I would welcome one, but given that the world still doesn't know what is the better strategy for chess, that has centuries of study on top, a far bigger allocation of resources and far lower complexity than any civ game ( I made a back of the envelope estimate some time ago and in t0 civ IV has a dozen or more orders of magnitude of complexity than chess in t0 ...and it only get's worse with time, because you get more units in civ IV with the passing of the game, but not in chess, just for starters ), I would not hold my breath on that someone, even if it is a person highly involved in the designing it, knows of it.
     
  10. ShaqFu

    ShaqFu Requires Nanotechnology

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    I have difficulty taking level-of-complexity calculations seriously if we're discussing humans, since they don't really reflect how humans work. A computer might consider, even for a nanosecond, disbanding the Settlers as its first move, but that (and any decision trees coming from it) are rejected without analysis by any human.

    I don't think it's possible to "solve" Civ, just due to the sheer number of non-deterministic factors going on. You'd have to put together something that would keep you alive until the next turn against invasions (e.g., build units/walls), keep you growing to stay competitive through the era (build Granaries/Settlers), and eventually win the game (build Libraries/invade). Chess, comparatively, is closer to solving a large 1upt battle, where moving pieces is the only real mechanic going on, and the goal is to simply win in the (comparative) short term.
     
  11. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    I didn't considered disbands in my calcs :p Just stuff like where to settle in t0, where to move the warrior and stuff like that ... in all the possible map starts :D Even with that pruned decision tree things are far above the 400 possible plays in t0 of chess....

    But you are right, solving civ IV will not be done anytime soon if at all. There is too much of feedback inside the game ... a thing that makes the statement quoted by the OP hubristic as best .
     
  12. 12agnar0k

    12agnar0k Emperor

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    Shafer didn't say it, infact it was a multiplayer previewier, and the previewer didn't say Shafer said it either. He just said "shafer has perfected his opening strategy regardless of circumstance" (or something to that effect), this was the previewers perception of shafer, i.e "I don't know what I'm doing, Shafer on the other hand is an expert", is what he could have said instead. Their won't be one strategy that always beats all other strategies, it can't, because of circumstance, say for example, in Civ4BTS the Prae rush is arguably one of if not the best strategy to win early, but what if you don't start with an Iron resource, no strategy can be perfect because of circumstance.
    Going by the whole "once you rule out the impossible, whatevers left no matter how improbbable is correct" way of thinking, obviously the previewer meant simply "Shafer knows what hes doing," and thus can perfect his strategy no matter his circumstance, starting on pure desert tiles all around is no problem for Shafer, he knows just what to do.

    It is something that all veteran Civ Players will also share after a while once they get playing.
     
  13. Ogrelord

    Ogrelord Prince

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    In a video interview, I think from Gamescon, the Firaxis team would gang up on Shafer on MP games. Sometimes Shafer would win. I don't know if I can find the thread this forum.
     
  14. Schuesseled

    Schuesseled Deity

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    i remember reading that.
     

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