Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Noobilator, May 3, 2008.
Really have to agree, even as I do it...
The moral implications tell us a bit, don't they? lol
This is provably false. Choosing the worst leader/map/barbs/etc (whichever that may be) is worse for the player despite the information gained, instead of random leaders. People often choose intentionally underpowered options for a challenge.
Information does sometimes produce an advantage. But it is not the only way to gain an advantage. And Boudica of the Romans on a Pangaea doesn't miraculously become hard if it is a surprise, right? So sometimes the actual settings trump knowing about them.
Even worse, information can't be kept out. Once I see one goody hut, I gain an advantage because I know that means they are set to 'on.' The terrain will instantly help me narrow down map options. An intimate familiarity with the settings possible might make the randomness moot. I think it would be a great experiment to have many excellent civ players play games on random settings and determine how many turns on average it takes to deduce the settings. Anyone claiming that randomness is the holy grail should know that number. Perhaps to truly test Civ skill, one might need hybrid or fluctuating settings?
I understand your point about Civ 'bragging' under cherry-picked conditions and with regenerated maps. Seems like a valid complaint. The AI doesn't get to regenerate.
But the GW cheating accusation requires much stronger support. No one seems to offer an explanation of why the AI shouldn't be designed to know about the game settings. Does anyone really believe that isn't the solution? Fill in the blank: it is good the AI is blind here because ____________.
PS: Remember when the AI didn't know about any victory conditions besides space? Empirics suggest the devs may be fallible in their decisions in this area.
I find the idea of having experienced players play blind and see how long it takes them to determine the settings to be interesting. How long would it take such a player to determine the level of barbarian activity? Would it be soon enough to make an efficient decision regarding the Great Wall? It won't be turn 1, whereas setting raging barbs on means the player has that information at turn 1.
Nah, I can win at Prince with random everything that can be random, not all games, for sure, but noble is a bit too easy for people who have played all the versions of civ, especially with the extra fine tuning you can do (what with civics, traits , wonder combos, all the economies/sliders, unique units/buildings etc) in Civ 4.
Where in New Zealand are you located? Beautiful country! I moved there in 2006 but couldn't afford the cost of living on any job I could find there so I moved back to the USA.
I see, my misunderstanding then. I think your statement is very true, I always play on fractal random climate + sealevel. But I choose my leader and map size because I never play on small maps and I dislike certain civs (this one is a bit on the unfair side since I like to use OP civs such as Romans/Persians). I sometime restart for a better starting location which is cheating (I know), but I never reload. I used to reload to beat monarch but then I feel no sense of accomplishment when I have beaten them.
I play raging barbs all the time on Monarch, it's a good reminder not to forget my military.
If I'm Protective, I get Archery and await the horde.
If I'm Aggressive, I build Barracks and work with whatever unit I can get.
If I'm Sitting Bull or Toku or Huyana, I send out special buses to bring 'em in.
The objective in all of these is to build a core of Strength 10 troops to be upgraded later in the game.
Without those traits, if I'm Industrious or have Stone, I'll go for the Great Wall.
Otherwise, I focus on getting fogbusters out. Warriors on forest/jungle hills will do fine until there's a better unit. What they cost in maintenance is saved by being able to go about my business relatively unmolested. Charoiots are great until the Spearmen show up.
One good thing about raging barbs is that it's very rare for an AI to do an early rush, so you can usually ignore that for a while. On the other hand, I've had early rushes of my own spoiled by the barbs, who will always attack me in preference to the AI.
I'm disappointed at how few cities raging barbs build when they have a landmass to themselves--eg on Terra Small/Standard, about half a dozen cities seems to be it. And then typically only 3-4 Longbow defenders--I very rarely see a city with around 8 defenders. Strong barb development could make the mid game more interesting on multi-landmass maps.
The "revolution mod" might solve this. Lots of new spawning barb cities that develop to be small empires over time.
Besides: new to the "revolution mod", I thought raging barbs? great: the great wall will help me stay unmolested... so, when I saw a few barb cities spawning around me, I was smiling.... then, when they got to be own city state civs with 5 attacking units, I realized those troops were able to cross my great wall... A massive warrior-(quecha, actually my best unit then)rush was needed to hold off the axemen... the game was lost nevertheless cause my cities and ecnomy was crippled - the next game I anticipated the new city states attacks then and was able to win easily...
However: the revolution mod equalizes the benefits of the great wall whilst having raging barbs on - try it! (monarch difficulty with these settings is quite a challenge for me)
A fair point. It is reasonable to assume that it would not be soon enough, since the desired 'exploit' is to turn away the barbs that the blind expert would still be gathering information from their arrival/frequency. Maaaaaaybe the animals and earliest barbs could be enough data, allowing a quick run at Masonry. (I assume early Mining is desired already (worker tech that is a prereq for BW)). BUT: If you think that Masonry is a great early tech (or if you start near stone/marble), then I would go the other way, and say I would wager the blind expert who likes to research Masonry early could attain a large part of the benefit that someone who clicks the box before the game starts gets.
Also, funny thought: it is very possible that even under pure random (a blind newb playing this time) that the existence of the chance of Raging Barbs as the actual setting might be enough to make the GW gambit attractive. The GW is not a bad wonder, just the chance of Raging might tip the scales. If you personally add it up that way, is it then cheating to build it under the random setting?!
Also, I feel like this accusation involves the fallacy of reification. It conflates the person who chooses the check box and the person who is deciding on building the GW. I am not checking the box thinking "heh, this will really screw the AI cause I am getting the GW, baby." I am checking the box based on what kind of game I would enjoy... I think Raging might be the best challenge. My GW gambit decision comes much later, and is on the gameboard. Yes, I have information, I don't know how to block that out and I seriously propose the remedy is to share that info with the AI.
Quite a complex issue, I would be much more delighted if many of these details were addressed before the accusations of cheating start flying.
The Great Wall is not the be-all-end-all. Even if you finish it "early" enough it covers what... 3, 4 MAYBE 5 cities. Leaving all the rest of your empire exposed as the game progresses. So yeah its helpful, IF you can finish it first. If not you get a pocketful of gold and are otherwise behind in any number of areas, likely sparse units.
I really hate the conversion to gold mechanic when you lose out on building a wonder. There should be some percentage returned to the city as Hammers. Especially if you look at all the other Strategy guides that show how easy it is to convert excess hammers to gold - and at a huge rate 2,3 or 4 gold to 1 hammer, in later stages.
Something like 50% of the hammers to COMMERCE, 50% to GOLD, and 25% returned as Hammers to build something else with. The values might need to be tweaked. But the current 1 Hammer = 1 Gold is nothing short of a big lemon.
This implies that the GW covers only cities built at the time the wonder was built, which of course is not true. The graphics will not change as you build new cities, but barbarians cannot enter your borders anyway.
I used to think that also, and wait too long to build it. The Great Wall's effects expand with your culture borders, so if you build it really early, when you have two cities, it will protect you as you expand.
Saying the GW stacks the deck is like saying, that Playing this civ or that leader is stacking the deck. It's the same as saying, using a particular unit over another is stacking the deck. It's in the game it's legal, it's strategy, use it. Most wonders offer something that no one accept the builder can have, so is Playing with wonders stacking the deck too?
Even when I don't play with raging barbs, or even no barbs at all, I still try to build the GW. It offers me a nice bonus to Great Generals.
The AI is programmed to perform well under standard settings. It does not change its behavior for special options, like raging barbs. One might think that's a shortcoming, but that's the way it is.
So if you pick the non-standard option raging barbs (adding a greater threat to everyone) and then rush the GW (eliminate that threat alltogether for just you), yes, of course that's cheating.
Also I'm sure 95% of players who do this always start over if they happen to miss the GW...
(Same is true for special maps like Terra, btw. The AI doesn't know about the Race to the New World so the player has an advantage if he prioritizes Astronomy and sets up colonies quickly.)
It's not cheating; it's setting up the game in a way you enjoy. Cheating is something you do if you play with others, or try to fool others into thinking you achieved something you didn't.
It isn't CHEATING, it's merely setting the game so that it's easier. There's a difference, and I'd advise the players crying foul on this GW raging barbs nonsense to realize that difference.
I kind of hate players that accuse me of cheating. It's much more of an issue online in madden (where apparently using a speed weapon to burn man coverage or calling lots of audibles is cheating?), but I see complaints in Civ 4 a lot too. Now, things that break the game rules outright (for example hacking the game so you could use worldbuilder in multiplayer, or disconnect glitching people in madden) are cheating. Abusing mechanics in the game that were set up and well within the rules is NOT cheating. Yes, it lowers the challenge to use them, but they're viable tactics.
You run a slippery slope this way too. If great wall with raging barbs is cheating, what about praetorians on a pangaea? That's a huge advantage to the human. What about immortals? War bribes? Religion swaps solely for diplomacy? Bulbing to Liberalism to rush a nasty military tech and conquer?
Any of those things make the game easier. Some of them, such as pangaea or playing rome, are ALSO set up even before the game starts. Balanced resources etc etc.
These sort of cheating arguments are nonsense. If the AI doesn't recognize that going for the Great Wall should be prioritized in this scenario then that is a failure on Firaxis part - they need to make a smarter AI. (Despite what I just said I'm not criticizing Firaxis because if you compare the AI in Civ to the AI in other games it is awesome) If you can take advantage of that then great. Do so! If that technique enables you to easily win games on a skill level then go up a skill level when using those strategies so you are challenged. I have, in the past, played difficult scenarios on Noble and easier scenarios on Prince.
In the end, I only get to play 5 or so games of Civ a month. This means that when I pick each game I am going to setup the scenario so that it is the most fun for me. Not to satisfy some overly restrictive set of rules proposed by others. And yes, that means I may or may not regenerate my map a few times looking for a particularly fun setup. Just because I am capable of fighting through and winning a really bad start on Noble doesn't mean I want to. If I'm playing BOTM or some other tournament then I will, of course, abide by those rules but for my own games, anything is fair play.
Okay, sorry for the rant. It just bugs me when people accuse other people of cheating because they don't follow their home made rules
Despite what I said above, my last 4 or 5 games I have played on Noble with everything completely random. I'm testing myself to see if I am ready for the permanent move to Prince. It doesn't appear to me that all of those custom settings really get randomized from a random game. I've never seen raging barbarians in one of my random games. I have to turn it on myself from a custom game. I've not noticed random personalities. I've not noticed Aggresive AI being flipped on for me. Do you guys have a custom way of starting a random game or have my random games, by coincidence, not been to random?
Well, call it what you like. If you look for a way to get unlimited ammo or health in a single-player shooter you have to search for "cheats" on google, even though you only "set up the game for you"
So if you prefer, call it "cheesy way to exploit the game mechanics". Cheesy because (as I said) the AI isn't programmed to counter it and because this happens at the very start of the game... no planning required. If you fail to get the GW, you can just start over without having wasted time and effort. It's like a special option "barbarians attack only AI players".
... a few posts later...
Hmmm, what was the "of course" part again?
I would gladly compromise to calling it a "cheesy shortcut" - under one condition. You have to agree to be less reckless with your future cheating accusations. If you don't see a big difference between "cheating" and "cheesy short-cut" this condition should be a no-brainer for you, right? Just agree to call everything "cheesy short-cut" instead and then you feel just the same, right? If they are interchangeable, why not agree to interchange them?
We can all do without the drama of reckless accusations.
No, because "cheating" was and is no accusation. Everybody is free to cheat himself/the computer. I didn't imply any cheating of other players.
I cheat the AI in almost every game by attacking them although they have been friendly to me
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