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Random events and huts.

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by rah, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    I'm sure there have been lots of threads discussing this but there's always room for more.

    WHY THE HATE?????

    I always play with events on and huts (except before we figured out how to stop the OOS errors in our MP games)

    They help make each game a little different. (except for the early game ending barb stack)

    Starting with a scout vs warrior is an advantage when huts are in play. So having a civ that starts with a scout an advantage. Why is this any different than a civ with better traits or a better UU and UB. It's just another factor in the equation.

    Yes, events can be good or bad. But so can early combats. Sometimes losing that 98% combat early on costs you a city, and 3 of them could costs you a war. **** happens.

    Do people hate them because they can mess up their strats? The game is fluid and is really all about adapting. For me it's interesting to see someone's who strat usually includes the mids not get it in one of our MP games because he suffered a slave revolt which costs a few critical turns. (I really see no difference between this and any other random event) I've never seen anyone whine about how unfair slave revolts are.

    Yes I realize that at the upper levels, you're can be on the edge of success/failure quite a bit. But if you win every time, what's the challenge?

    To me the addition of a few more random things makes the game more enjoyable.

    A lot of the objection I see is from the good players who's posts I usually respect quite a bit. The usually just say that the extra randomness is an abomination without really explaining why.

    I'd love to hear what your objections are and why are these any different than all the other random factors in the game.
     
  2. King Pluto

    King Pluto Emperor

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    A lot of the "good" players you refer to are those who play the game for the strategy elements, not the sandbox empire elements. While events and huts may add to the variety and keep the game new for the empire builders, they don't positively impact the strategy side.

    I don't play with huts and events anymore because I like testing my strategical know-how at higher levels. If I'm isolated and relying on coastal cities with trade routes and coast tiles for commerce, and this involves me beelining the Colossus for the extra commerce, the securing of this wonder may be critical to my success, and I plan accordingly. Nothing is more frustrating than strategizing and micro-managing to get the wonder early, only to have my Forge burn down before I finish and I lose the wonder.

    A common argument for huts and events is that they test the strategical know-how of the players. That may be true, but it's not really what these players want. I want to know that if I play my cards right, the outcome I gunned for will happen. A Forge burning and ruining my build, my carefully nurtured Towns being destroyed by a volcano, or my carefully maintained diplo relations with the psycho next door being trashed by a wedding are NOT conducive to my enjoyment of the strategy.

    Yes, the game is about adapting, but players see the adaptations in two lights. I accept adapting to my neighbors, my land, my combat rolls, etc. I don't really accept adapting to random events that were clearly thrown in for flavor. If I build Towns, I accept that an AI might DoW me and pillage them. I can in turn counteract that by having defensive troops. The same can be said for destroying my Forge with a Spy: I can focus Espionage and try to prevent it. I might lose a 98% battle, but those odds are inherent and accepted outright, and I can almost always bring extra troops. I can't do anything about an event, and if I can't effect it, it isn't strategy to me.
     
  3. fathertuck

    fathertuck Warlord

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    The more randomness there is in a game, the less strategic it becomes. And let's face it, CIV is a strategy game.
     
  4. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    Your strat cannot survive a random event? Boo hoo.

    Was Patton any less of a general because he had to deal with the randomness of the weather?

    Real life is about random occurrences. Why should a strategy game be any less.

    Not using them to me means you're only good when you can predict everything. That is not the real world. Strategy games should reflect the real world, not some mathematically defined sand box. It's not like it happens every turn.

    On huts you have the choice to aggressively seek them or not. Weigh the benefits vs the cost.

    And no, I'm not saying which way is correct and am not trying to say those that don't are any less of a man or gamer. I just respect a lot of the posters here and am really interested in their opinions on the manner. I'm just happy that there is the option to choose. But by using them, I don't think that makes me any less of a strategy gamer. I'm quite competitive in that regard which is evidenced by the amount I play against other humans.
     
  5. King Pluto

    King Pluto Emperor

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    You're entitled to your opinion, but you don't need to mock those who don't like events. I'm not playing real life, I'm playing Civ4. Heaven forbid some people enjoy a mathematically defined sandbox like Chess or something. Chess has no random events, does that mean it isn't a real strategy game? Or is unpopular?

    The argument that real life has random events, so Civ4 should too is bogus anyway. See, watch: Real life leaders don't live for 6000 years, so you should lose control of the Civ after a few turns. Real life armies can march more than a tile length in a year, so the Civ movement system is stupid. Real life Civs can tech more than 1 thing at once, so the technology system sucks. The Apollo Program didn't happen until the 1960s, so reaching it early is stupid too.

    The actual fact is that strategy games should be engaging and interesting for the players. Any opinion on how this happens shouldn't be used as a pedestal to judge or mock those who disagree. You want real-life events, I want predictable strategy. As you said, it's an option for a reason.

    No, it doesn't make you less of a strategy gamer, and for the most part no one says that it does. People interpret the fact that a lot of the high-profile, high level players don't like events as a condemnation on the people who do. That's not what I think it is. A lot of the players who devote the time needed to be good at the highest levels are the types who gravitate towards the mathematical games (I bet lots love Chess!), because that's who we are. I like the sandbox type of game, but I love the challenges of micro-management and optimization that involve the mathematical elements of the game.

    But really, there just needs to be an end to the superiority/inferiority complexes. Most of us who don't use events don't care what you like and don't judge you for it, so stop telling me to suck it up and stop crying, it's just like the weather. You might as well turn this topic into a "Who plays Civ4 for the math-like strategy game?" and "Who plays for the empire-building strategy game?" That's where the difference is, not in the level of the player. That difference probably manifests itself most heavily in the fact that Civ4 is a very good math-strat game, so those of us who want that stick around long enough to become good.

    E: It also might be worth pointing out that the majority of players who are anti-event are regulars on the Strategy & Tips forum, lending some support to the theory that there's a tie between those who crave the mathematical-type strategy aspects (as opposed to the random ones) and those who are anti-event.
     
  6. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    I guess this is where I disagree. I don't play it as an empire-building game that you seem to infer. I play it as a math-like strategy game in MP. Math include randomness. We're just arguing about the level.

    I got thinking about this when I saw a post from Zx Zero Zx saying he thought that random events was the biggest abomination ever included in CIV. I have been reading his posts for the last few weeks and really agreed with a lot of the things he thinks. And was surprised that I we didn't on this.

    No, again I'm not trying to say which is right. (i guess that Boo hoo was probably inappropriate) but I got the feeling reading posts here that those that don't like them were looking down their noses at those that do. I just wonder why people will accept all the randomness that is part of the game but draw the line where they do. I don't buy the PURITY arguement.
     
  7. King Pluto

    King Pluto Emperor

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    I think that's mostly based on what one can plan for. I can plan for (within reason) losing a low-odds battle, a bad war roll by an AI, or something like that. I can adapt if I need more troops, I can plan my diplo, I can choose my spots with war and know the risks and benefits.

    I can't do that with events. I never know what I'm going to get, and planning for them can be too burdensome (or downright impossible). If I feel like I can effect it or change it, I don't mind the randomness (and maybe that's a whole different argument on effecting the random). But you know what I mean. If I feel like it's thrust upon me, I don't like it as much.

    And the purity argument shouldn't be allowed anyway. Events are default, aren't they? ;)
     
  8. dr_s

    dr_s Prince

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    I played with huts and events on for many years, but recently turned them off. Off is better (IMO, obviously).

    The problem is not the randomness, it's that events don't add any strategic value to the game. If you make a list of events that are strategically interesting, I think that you'll find the list is quite short. The problem is that the few interesting events are drowned in the sea of forge explosions, global warming desert, theater fires, hurricane damage, etc.
     
  9. 7721

    7721 Chieftain

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    Just glad there's an option to choose. I personally like random events, probably because they seem to be fairly evenly distributed to each civ so the AI has neither a bonus or penalty. Also, the events seem like they are not hugely game-changing either way and easily recovered from if it's negative. However, I play with the huts turned off though because the AI seems to have a major advantage with them on the higher difficulty levels.
     
  10. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    That's why they're called random events.
    Yes, sometimes they're drowned in a sea of forge explosions, but guess what, forge explosions where quite common in the old days. But I figure you can't just have all good events so there have to be some bad ones.

    I think any event that can ruin a plan impacts strategy in terms on how you respond to it. What do I have to do now that I've been denied Colossus due to a forge explosion. Which I see no different as a slave revolt that loses you mids. The "I choose slavery so take that risk" isn't much of argument to me since whipping is so critical to so many people's strats.
    Whats the difference between getting an event that builds a pasture or a forest generating. Or a resource appearing and an event that reveals a new resource.
     
  11. AutomatedTeller

    AutomatedTeller Frequent poster

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    I think huts and events have no place in competitive play, like GOTM or Multi-player. Some events are very unbalancing in multiplayer and popping metal casting from a hut can be game-breaking. Or "all your melee get cover" - that's brutal.

    it would be cool if there was a "flavor" type of events (stuff like prairie dogs) that could be turned on for MP, cause that's kind of fun.

    I'm fine with people disliking events and huts - I like 'em, myself - I think they add something to the game.

    Most of the anger comes towards one specific event, as far as I can tell, which is the Vedic Aryans (4 archers show up on your doorstep and attack your city)

    On levels where the AI starts with archer (Monarch and above, right? or is it prince?), this can occur as soon as someone founds hinduism.

    There is no defense against this unless you have something better than warriors. Well, 4 warriors can probably defend your cap. Since basically no one goes archery, this has become the "you lose" event, since, generally, you won't have the ability to build chariots or axes or spears by the time this event can happen (if it happens very early)

    That is a serious problem with the event, btw. Even if you do go archery fast, it's quite possible for polytheism to come before you have it or can build an archer (one archer can defeat 4 barb archers - 2 are pretty much guaranteed to)

    The problem is that the beginning of the game is just too safe for the human player. Even insane warmongers don't attack for awhile and wandering barbs don't show up in the numbers necessary to force the human to build a really strong defense early, so the farmers gambit is a valid choice.
     
  12. goldys_lackey

    goldys_lackey Hitler

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    Yeah that is annoying. So are the other (negative) events. Its the same principle.
     
  13. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    There is at least one event that is a killshot-- plain and simple-- Vedic Aryans. Ok so it rarely happens, but it's extremely hard to argue that events were balanced for standard play.

    The real reason people look down on events and huts is that it makes forum games difficult to compare, especially when used for comparison. If I download someone who wants to learn's save file, pop HBR early on wipe out 2 AIs in an impossible timing, then what am I gonna teach other people on what I did? "Get better luck at popping huts"

    It's particularly harmful to learning Noble players because at that level you should be popping huts as much as possible. You have free wins vs barbs, so they are just free exp!

    Yes, there are other sources of randomness, and I'd even advocate turning barbarians off if it didn't make the game so much easier. However, most randomness in the game does not have such a large deciding factor. For example, aside from the beginning of the game, rarely do combat rolls screw you over too much due to the large amount of combats that is happening, and thanks to collateral damage you can guarantee 90% combat odds-- I've lost a number of battles at 99% odds yet they didn't really impact my game.

    The low probability of events also creates high variance. Say there is a 20% I lose my warrior to a panther. There's a 1/5 chance this will happen, and sometimes that's a large enough risk to avoid this risk.

    Events? Well, if you prepare for those, the probability is too low. It's pretty much the equivalent of not wanting to leave your house because lightning might hit you (well, maybe not that absurd). There's really less interesting strategy involved here. Other random factors can be manipulated. Like I said, collateral pretty much guarantees sure combat odds, barbs an be spawn busted, etc. What does having your forge burn down building the colossus do, besides making these wonders unnecessarily risky? And no, having my forge burn down vs even several consecutive revolts building Pyramids is different because the former STOPS construction entirely vs slowing it down.

    And certainly the amount of chance in games of chance like say poker does not include matters of haphazard chance. In poker, the better hand doesn't always win, but the better decisions have a higher expected value. The only thing that can effect this is how the cards fall; it's always consistent and expected even if the untrained observer doesn't believe it-- your average "impossible bad beat" happens at 2:1-4:1 odds. Having a random dice roll to instantly make you lose in the game would be considered absurd in a random event, even though the better players would still win out in the long run.

    You can't justify something because it is random and the game contains random element; Yes I know the better player wins in the long run. Stuff like the Bermuda triangle and Vedic Aryans convince me that events are sufficiently imbalanced to avoid bothering with them.

    Oh and yes I think scout vs warrior starts are BS, and if I had my way, everyone would start with a warrior.
     
  14. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    Ahh, these are the types of thoughts I wanted to see, Thanks all.

    Having probably played at least as many MP game as anyone here I disagree. (averaging 2-3 games a week since MP was available) It does depend on what you're looking for in an MP game. If you're just doing it to keep "SCORE" on some type of ladder, then I have to somewhat agree. (even though over enough time, things would even out) But If you playing with a similar group of guys and aren't as concerned about the score but about the competition, then huts and events just add another level that you have to deal with. You can still have a good game after some negative events. (we will usually allow a restart in MP games if someone is eliminated by the Vedic barbs).
    The assumption that everything has to be equal for it to be a true competition isn't necessarily true. How many of you play Avalon Hill games when you were growing up? With the exception of Tactic II, every game was slanted by it's historical nature.
     
  15. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    Well, in general, you should play whatever settings you guys agree on. For example, when I play with my friends against AIs, I let them pretty much reload infinitely even though it gets tedious and all those reload purists are going to be on me. :3

    The first purpose of a game is fun. If you're not doing it for comparison purposes, anything goes as long as you all agree beforehand.

    IMO, huts and events are best for Earth and Earthlike maps, because those weren't designed to be balanced anyways and is aiming towards being like... well... creating your own version of history. I usually do have them on there.
     
  16. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    100% agree

    Fun doesn't necessarily mean not competitive. Unless it is competitive, it's not fun. In our games if one person gets a really titty start and the others a really bad start, we'll restart usually.
    But any event, short of the vedic, doesn't unbalance the game that much.

    And again, we're not trying to create our own version of history, we're just trying to have fun playing a competitive game realizing that it isn't always exactly even.
     
  17. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    Well, everything obviously falls in between. :p Someone HAS to win the game after all. I'm just separating casual play vs more cutthroat play against random strangers online or those in a contest.
     
  18. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    I've never really been a contest type of guy. A leftover from the CIVII days where there was the constant vigil over the cheating. I got tired of examining saves after a game to determine if someone was cheating. We ended up just playing with the same group of guys that we could trust. That has pretty much carried over to IV. We don't need a scorecard to tell us who's good and who's bad. We know. And I really don't need to trash talk people I don't even know. At least with our group we made an effort to meet IRL.
     
  19. MilesBeyond

    MilesBeyond Prince

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    Hey, the civs who have Hunting as a starting tech need at least something going for them. I'd much rather start with a combination of Agriculture, Mining or The Wheel than a free scout.

    Quickly exploring the map is nice. Being able to immediately start improving the tiles around you with an early worker is nicer. Being able to research key techs like Pottery and BW right off the bat is nicest of all.
     
  20. Archon_Wing

    Archon_Wing Vote for me or die

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    I agree that hunting is a crappy starting tech. But a scout can make things worse!

    Yea, a scout can help you by scouting faster, but it's marred anytime there's lots of rough terrain-- and normally your initial units have to stick to those to survive early attacks. Early game tends to have tons of forests and jungle; and in these cases a scout doesn't help too much. They really should ignore terrain. When it comes to moving through large patches of jungle, a warrior is no worse than a scout.
    A scout cannot steal workers, and while a starting warrior at least can stand a chance when human barbarians appear, scouts can't. A warrior can be used to garrison for happiness. A scout doesn't.

    In most cases, I'd gladly trade in my "free" scout for a warrior.
     

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