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PolyCast Episode 230: "Working As Intended"

Discussion in 'News Updates' started by DanQ, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. DanQ

    DanQ Chieftain

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    Knowing it to be true. The two-hundred-and-thirtieth episode of PolyCast, "Working As Intended", features regular co-hosts Daniel "DanQ" Quick, "Makahlua", Philip "TheMeInTeam" Bellew and "MadDjinn" with first-time guest co-host Carl "Carl5872" Blankschaen. It carries a runtime of 59m59s.

    The summary of topics is as follows:

    - 01m16s | Forum Talk
    What's with the Artificial Intelligence (AI) settling cities so close to yours in Civilziation V, followed closly by what's with their demand insistence (07m45s); then, answering gameplay religion questions (12m24s), how to tell where a Wonder of the World is built (17m50s) and reviewing some "interesting" statistics about the game's players (20m19s).
    - 28m02s | Miscellaneous
    Springboarding from the last topic in the previous segment, taking to task claims about higher level difficulty play in CivV.
    - 32m57s | Research Lab
    Making the concept of refugees and, more generally, immigration could be less abstractly and more purposefully reflected in in the Civilization series (recorded for Episode 226).
    - 38m51s | Open Mic
    Taking in and responding to feedback for Episode 229.
    - 45m28s | News
    Expressions of hope, reservations and wondering following the announcement of the first expansion pack for Civilization Beyond Earth, Rising Tide (recorded for Episode 229).

    - Intro/Outro | Miscellaneous
    Predictable set up, vegetable smack down and being abrupt.

    Recording live before a listening audience every other Saturday, PolyCast is a bi-weekly audio production in an ongoing effort to give the Civ community an interactive voice on game strategy; listeners are encouraged to follow the show on Twitter, and check out the YouTube channel for caption capability. Sibling show RevCast focuses on Civilization: Revolution, ModCast on Civ modding, SCivCast on Civ social gaming and TurnCast on Civ multiplay.
     
  2. legalizefreedom

    legalizefreedom Inefficiency Expert

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    Enjoyed the show as always.

    However, the Beyond Earth negativity is wearing on me. I'd be the first to admit the game's flaws, but IMO it is still a great game (and obviously will get better as mechanics and content are added).

    I see far too much "forumthink" as it is and enjoy Polycast to get some rational arguments for and against strategies, mechanics, etc. Now I hear the game being insulted on this show as well and I can't see how that adds to the discussion.

    The guest (developer) seemed to be trying to bring the conversation around and his input was a nice break (albeit a bit TOO positive at times). I'm not suggesting a sugar-coated show, but insults are too much. I can always count on Phil for a rational response...

    The one topic I would like to see explored a little more is the difference between "optimal" and "role playing" play styles and their relationship with difficulty level. Just an observation, but it seems like the role playing (and likely mid-difficulty level) crowd is enjoying the game much more than Apollo players looking to reduce their win times.

    Thanks for the effort of producing this show!
     
  3. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    That means a lot to me. There have been times in the past where it was not true (and I have a ways to go to be more consistently rational :p) and I have moments even since I've joined the show which I'm not proud of, so it's encouraging to see a comment along this line because it provides some external point of reference wrt progress!

    This distinction is difficult to make in a lot of cases because rather than a black/white trade between "power gamers" and "role players", you have people who are "more black than white" or "more white than black". A lot of players in the middle difficulties don't seek to play optimally, but nevertheless attempt to win and are upset when they lose. Are they role playing? Sometimes.

    On the flip side, you will see Maddjinn in his LPs or Acken or someone deliberately restrict themselves from a beneficial action on the game's highest difficulty. This is not optimal; it is a strict and deliberate suboptimal choice as a changeup. Is this role playing? In a sense, you could claim it is more so than the middle difficulty player, if the latter is not making suboptimal choices deliberately based on some theme or goal.

    I feel differentiating players on the "role play" vs "optimal" distinction can be useful, but can also create an unnecessary categorical schism. At the end of the day, most people playing it are still seeking to attain one of the game's defined victory conditions (or a defined VC of their own), regardless of whether they're adding or removing implicit/explicit rules. The degree of effort expended to that end is a matter of preference.

    As for the game's enjoyment, what is the source of enjoyment in the first place? What engages a player in the game? My perception is that the source is meaningful (aka it can improve or worsen your position towards reaching that goal) choices towards reaching a game-defined or player-defined goal, and the act of executing them (if the act is skillful and using that skill is fun to the player). I do not have an enormous degree of confidence in that perception, but that's the best I can come up with at the moment. If a game lacks many of these on a per-time invested basis, or if the choices become pattern-recognition over time as opposed to requiring thought, then the game can lose its appeal pretty quickly.

    How many decisions do you make, and how many matter? How many still require thought after hundreds of hours of play? I feel this question to be relevant regardless of whether you're talking about civ citizen micromanagement, whether to engage your lane opponent in a MOBA, or where you go next in a shooter. I will posit that in its current state (similar to Civ V vanilla), to players on the higher end of the difficulty spectrum there is a bad ratio of pattern-recognition versus thought and a lot of choices that are made instantly and/or are irrelevant.
     
  4. DanQ

    DanQ Chieftain

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    :)

    In the past, we as a regular panel -- and a number of guests -- have discussed our concerns about Civilization: Beyond Earth which included mechanics, strategies and the like. Here, concerns were raised about what we know of the Rising Tide expansion pack and that was the focus, but so too were hopes and wonderings: they tie back to parts of what we said in the past about BE, and areas of concern tend to get more discussion points than hopes or even wonderings.

    That said, the segment of the show you're refering to is a continuation of what was recorded for, and included on, Episode 229 of the show. As such the balance of conversation about Rising Tide is spread across two episodes, as opposed to one, and without a doubt there was more concern as opposed to hope or wonderings in the portion included here on Episode 230. I can also understand someone not favoring the pointedness of the articulation at times, though personally I don't believe any insults were delt. If the degree of that pointedness came across so as insulting, know that was not the intention.

    :king: -- thank you for listening and the feedback you've provided.
     
  5. legalizefreedom

    legalizefreedom Inefficiency Expert

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    @TheMeInTeam

    See, that's what I'm talking about... Thank you for your detailed and thoughtful response.

    No one would expect you to be rational 100% of the time. That probably doesn't sell tickets. But I do think you hold down that aspect of the show well.

    Right, those are the extremes. There are many ways to play Civ, but we see the highest contrast at the extremes. I find it interesting to hear that x number of cities is optimal for example, when in my last game, I had over 70 cities (I'm a builder/grower/expander by nature who sees the VCs as something to be prevented until I'm ready for the game to be over). Point is, these types of things are interesting to me because it's almost like we're playing different games.

    I strive to do things different every game and play the game as the creators intended. I prefer to enjoy the content, ALL the content if possible which would seem to be at odds with an optimal playthough.

    I think you hit on an interesting point. Those who strive for the optimal path to victory inevitably find they are doing the same thing every game and get bored much quicker.

    There is no doubt BE could be much more engaging, which in turn would increase replayability across all play styles. Certainly, if the optimal players got the game that made them happy, then everyone else would have a better game as well.

    @DanQ
    I did listen to that segment as an extension of the previous episode. What I mean by insult is implying the game is dead or is not a good game. That may be some folks' opinion, but I have come to expect optimism alongside the understandable cynicism from Polycast. I generally find Polycast to be above that kind of name calling. Can't we go every other place on the internet to find that? That was my observation.

    It could also be that since I have finished listening to all of the relevant Polycast episodes (back since G&K was released) I'm grumbly at waiting 2 weeks for new ones.:p

    Great show at any rate. Let's just say I enjoy strategy focus more than developer bashing.
     
  6. DanQ

    DanQ Chieftain

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    I appreciate the clarification. All of us on the panel spoke of, or to, disappointment with Civilization Beyond Earth between this and the last episode certainly. Not all of the show's panelists came to the conclusion that Beyond Earth is "dead" or "not a good game" as a result of that disappointment though: speaking for myself at least, I believe I came across as having hope for the Rising Tide expansion to address parts of BE's falterings while also looking to temper some of the pre-expansion-release criticism within the Civ community.

    :D, and :think: with respect to what you mean by "relevant" and the release of the Gods & Kings expansion for Civilization V in the context of Beyond Earth[.

    Are you looking for finding, connecting analogies between the first CivV expansion and this first for BE or..?

    :king:
     
  7. legalizefreedom

    legalizefreedom Inefficiency Expert

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    Relevant in the sense that the info would still be useful when playing today. I'm guessing the G&K info would still be valid, but probably not much of the vanilla. That said, I suppose I can continue backwards in time to get my fix.

    That particular comment wasn't related to BE (since it's the time frame before BE existed), just the show in general.
     
  8. DanQ

    DanQ Chieftain

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    Absolutely. :goodjob:

    There are also PolyCast's sibling shows, the two most related -- and presently still in production also -- being ModCast and TurnCast.
     
  9. MadDjinn

    MadDjinn Chieftain

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    Ehh.. If this is about that weekend at bernies reference, I still blame Maki for it. And it was a joke.
     
  10. Sal

    Sal Chieftain

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    Hi, is there an rss feed for the show? I can only get it on youtube as it doesn't show up in my podcast search and can't find a direct link. Might be missing something but I've checked the website.

    Thanks
     
  11. DanQ

    DanQ Chieftain

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    Hi Sal -- yes, there is. :)

    The RSS feed is accessible from the show's website and uses an orange RSS icon. The direct link for the RSS feed for PolyCast only is: http://civcomm.civfanatics.com/polycast/PolyCastOnly.xml

    Thank you for being apart of the show's audience.
     

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