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PolyCast Episode 235: "All Sorts of Consternation"

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by DanQ, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. DanQ

    DanQ Chieftain

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    Being prepared. The two-hundred-and-thirty-fifth episode of PolyCast, "All Sorts of Consternation", features regular co-hosts Daniel "DanQ" Quick, "Makahlua", Philip "TheMeInTeam" Bellew and "MadDjinn" with first-time guest co-host Markus "GAGA Extrem" Grebe. It carries a runtime of 59m59s.

    The summary of topics is as follows:

    - 02m00s | Open Mic
    Details matter as comes about through comments from Episode 234.
    - 08m34s | News
    The good, the bad and the ugly about Civilization publisher 2K Games noting compatibility of recent titles for Windows 10 and with the announcement of Firaxicon 2015, let the comparing and contrasting begin (13m10s).
    - 22m17s | Forum Talk
    Staggered investigation of diplomacy in Civilization Beyond Earth: Rising Tide from shifting Strategic Resource trading to trade routes, applying a War Score Mechanic to open conflicts (36m21s) to just where is it in general (48m56s).

    - Intro/Outro | Miscellaneous
    Livestream blockedstream and harmonic fallout.

    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. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    That German Co-Host was awesome! Such insight, so much knowledge. Wow!

    Anyway. :p

    Don't understand people who complain that you guys are talking about the negative aspects of things. I for one am thankful for what always seem to be direct and honest opinions, white-washing stuff doesn't help anyone. Especially in a phase where feedback can - in theory - still influence what Rising Tide looks like at release.

    That's especially true for the part about the new Diplomacy in the current episode. :p I hope the devs listen and believe understand, then hopefully consider reconsidering some things.
     
  3. Westwall

    Westwall Chieftain

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    Kudos for you guys for not shying away from providing very necessary critique or being skeptical where it's due.

    I would be far less interested in a cast consisting entirely of fanboys and fangirls toeing the line and cheerleading every new feature being announced for BERT. Firaxis already has a marketing team, it doesn't need more volunteers on that front. Right now, more than ever, we need solid voices of dissent and caution. There needs to be people asking questions and making sure more is being done to help this game meet its potential.

    This isn't just for us, Firaxis itself benefits from being able to put out the best expansion possible in order to bring players back who'd previously been disillusioned. I'm one of those players and I'd be back in a heartbeat if I knew definitively that BE finally (1) fixed automation and (2) had a more challenging AI that actually posed an existential threat to my empire. Diplomacy and water-based cities are a nice addition, but it'll all be for naught if the above two issues still aren't addressed.

    Right now, the thing that's going to bring the most people back to BE is positive word-of-mouth. That's really it. More than any announcement or demo video, if people hear from their friends and other Civ veterans like the people from Yogscast (who at the moment write off BE as boring) saying they're playing it again, word will spread and others will slowly come back.

    Yes, there are fans of BE. Staunch and dedicated fans. These aren't the people Firaxis should be courting right now. They need to bring back all those people who bought BE on release and immediately went back to Civ 5 after being disappointed and regretting their purchase.
     
  4. DanQ

    DanQ Chieftain

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    Thank you for the encouraging and reflective words of support Ryika, Westwall. :)

    The two passages of yours above are interconnected: where constructive criticism is raised, received and acted upon positive word-of-mouth is apt to follow.

    In the spirit of singing, authorized by Maki on this episode no less :D, I'm reminded of and refer to "Word of Mouth" by Mike and the Mechanics.
     
  5. Westwall

    Westwall Chieftain

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    And that's really the million dollar question here - we don't know how much critique is really being received and acted upon. For example, you guys mentioned with optimism that it's possible the actual "diplomatic" aspects of the new diplomatic system have yet to be seen.

    I'm a little more wary myself, just because the expansion seems far enough along now that if we still haven't seen things like bribery come into play or demands being made outside of war score screens, it's questionable whether we'll ever see them.

    There's also another topic that's been raised time and again in these forums so it'd be neat if we could get your thoughts on it, either in this thread or in a future podcast - namely having to do with the AI. Obviously some tweaking is going to have to be made in terms of adapting the AI to ocean colonization, but how far they're overhauling it we still don't know. If automated workers in BE vanilla are any indication, the AI functionality is kind of a mess at the moment.

    So how are AI opponents going to handle things like players who pose an existential threat to their empire? For example, let's say Rejinaldo really respects big armies. What happens when you build your big army and he builds his, and the two of you become best buds? How will the other factions react? Instead of two major military factions being rivals who balance each other out, you instead have them on good terms while potentially steamrolling everyone else.
     
  6. Acken

    Acken Chieftain

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    Always a perfect time to do laundry when a new episode is released :goodjob:

    Good points on this episode. Also helps me to follow CivBE as I'm not really paying attention to it.

    Regarding the discussion on AI ressource trade I agree with you regarding strategics but when it comes to luxuries in Civ5 it is good to be allowed to trade gold for it. It allows to then buy a luxury for gold, increasing the liquidity of ressource exchanges rather than rely on 1:1 bartering. However yes the AI shouldn't want a luxury at full price when it has +30 happiness. But that is more an AI problem than a mechanic problem. And I'll even add that to make the AI devalue luxuries when it doesn't want them based on its happiness is a very easy thing to code. If I can do it as an amateur, Professionals at Firaxis could do it. It's a bit harder for strategics because there is not only happiness to consider but even then it could be improved to consider something else than just the number of cities the AI has.

    For me the frustrating part is that I know I'll never know until I test myself and play a couple games. It's not with snail speed discovery let's plays that I can get a good idea. So meanwhile skepticism will remain.
     
  7. Carl5872

    Carl5872 Prince

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    Honestly I think you guys take some of the unfounded criticism to heart needlessly.

    I love your show and think it is informative, entertaining and a useful analysis of both the game and its future developments.

    I am certain that the developers use the views on this show or those that it inspires through the forums when deciding how to make future games.

    Yes you have negative things to say, but they are done constructively. To say diplomacy is broken {period}, doesn't help anyone. To say diplomacy needs work by assigning numerical values to peace offerings tosses out a viable solution. I like it, but even if I didn't, it may inspire me to improve upon it to advance the game.

    What sets your show apart from the plethora of trolling opinions on the internet is that your show focus on improving rather than blasting with generic negatives.

    Keep up the great work!
     
  8. DanQ

    DanQ Chieftain

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    This was discussed on the recording of Episode 236 yesterday. :)

    :D

    Glad to have assisted in getting you caught up on CivBERT developments.

    Thanks kindly, Carl. :king:
     
  9. Gilleous

    Gilleous Chieftain

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    I do agree, I do like mechanics in the new diplomacy but where is the diplomacy? As in what people normally consider to be diplomacy.

    Also, I did like the German fellow, at first you were just being bias but he seemed to know his stuff.

    Lastly, wouldn't mind seeing (well hearing) you as a guest on that podcast.
     
  10. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Especially when there's so much room for stuff to add. I think even if we take away trading (which I personally am fine with as it was blatant AI-exploitation without much depth anyway), then what's left are still very important diplomatic interactions, such as "Don't settle near me!" or "Do you want to declare war on X...?". I feel like if all of that is reduced to positive and negative modifiers that can only be gained by a system that is not even influenced by how well you work with them, but instead on how similiar your empire is to their empire... then that runs the risk of leaving you with no direct option to tell them that you want or don't want them to do X and would cause a lot of problems.

    Or - and my imagination is probably taking stuff far here :crazyeye: - they could even take the dialog-diplomacy further and make it it's own minigame. Imagine Telltale-ish like dialog that starts with "We must ask you not to settle near us." and ends with either a friendly agreement or a declaration of war against you depending on how good you read and interpret the AIs flavors. :king:

    Man, the more I think about the possibilities of such a system, the more I think that I'd absolutely enjoy it while everyone else would probably be like: "That doesn't fit into a 4X." :D Well, I just invented the 5x genre then. 'explore', 'expand', 'exploit', 'exterminate' and 'exchange.... wonky, pre-written dialog lines'!.

    Never would I be biased, I'm like... the most neutral person in the world. I swear. :shake: He just did a great job.

    Well, sociel anxiety + the fact that my spoken English isn't very good don't mix very well. ;)
     
  11. Westwall

    Westwall Chieftain

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    I doubt anyone would say this, since infusing dialogue or at least attempts at doing so have been diplomatic mainstays of the genre for quite some time now.

    If BE does end up chucking diplomacy entirely in favor of this resource/trade-based system without any option to conduct diplomacy-diplomacy, that would actually make it the odd one out.
     
  12. legalizefreedom

    legalizefreedom Inefficiency Expert

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    As someone who enjoys the show and has commented on the negativity in the past, I'll attempt to "articulate my position" a little better.

    I think everyone agrees saying things like BE is broken is not helpful. Even something more specific like Trade Routes are broken doesn't help. Criticism needs substance for it to be appreciated properly. I think you guys do a pretty good job of giving your criticism substance (the vast majority of the time).

    If I had my wish, the show would make more of a deliberate effort to touch on "Here's how this feature could go right" then "Here's how this feature could go wrong". It doesn't need to be balanced per say, just deliberately address both fear and hope.

    A disconnect that I have at times is hearing absolute statements. "That's wrong." "That won't work". There are so many ways to play these games, hearing those kinds of things is just weird.

    Minor quibbles I think...

    Thanks again for everyone's effort to produce this show!
     
  13. Westwall

    Westwall Chieftain

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    Can't wait to listen to it.

    It does seem very limiting. One thing SMAC did very simply but effectively was give you the option to tell other factions to move their units away from your border.

    And it was suspenseful because they could either comply or ignore your request, or they could just declare all-out war. Civ 5 oddly enough removed this feature, only giving you the option to ask them to stop stealing tech, spreading their religion or settling near you, and of course vanilla BE continued this trend.

    And while the new system does seem to make increased interaction with other factions inevitable, it nevertheless leaves a lot of people scratching their heads wondering if and how the actual diplomacy is going to come into play.
     
  14. stormtrooper412

    stormtrooper412 Peacemongering Turtlesaur

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    That's an excellent point. Looking forward to the panel's view on this
     

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