Raving reviews but poor feedback on Civfanatics?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Danielos, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. CyberTyrant

    CyberTyrant Emperor

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    I already posted it in this thread - terrible AI, running an empire is boring.

    I'm not alone when I say Civ5 suffers these exact same problems. Hasn't everyone been complaining about how bad the AI is around here? Yeah, that's what I thought. So, I'll ask again, how come this was never mentioned during their review of Civ5?
     
  2. CharlieM

    CharlieM Creative, Spiritual

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    This thread is full of people with WAY too much free time.

    Lordy, lordy, folks, it's just games and people reviewing games.

    Some of you act like the fate of the universe is at stake, and only You have the Truth. Get over it.

    Moderator Action: Please discuss the topic of the thread, not users. Thanks.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  3. Blackadar

    Blackadar Chieftain

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    The AI in Civ V is incompetent - something with which most of us agree. The AI in Elemental was virtually non-existent. It's worse than incompetent - it pursues things that are directly contrary to winning. Characterizing them as being "exactly equal" isn't really fair or accurate. In addition, AI problems were mentioned in the review.

    And the "boring-ness" of running an empire is entirely subjective. Many people aren't bored with running the empire in Civ V. It's not an omission, but something the reviewer obviously doesn't feel or believe given his summation of the review.

    Come on now...trying to equate Elemental with Civ V by posting inaccurate statements? You lose credibility when you do that.
     
  4. automator

    automator King

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    That seems about right.

    In all previous Civs, I really hated war. But war in Civ 5 is great.
     
  5. CyberTyrant

    CyberTyrant Emperor

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    You don't read these forums much do you?
     
  6. Blackadar

    Blackadar Chieftain

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    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=382765

    Just because you are bored doesn't in any way invalidate the opinion of those of us who aren't bored. Obviously the reviewer feels the same way as the (*ahem* majority *ahem*) of the members of this board.
     
  7. lschnarch

    lschnarch Emperor

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    You try to back up your opinion with a poll pointing out that 41% of the players are not satisfied with the game? :rolleyes:
     
  8. ohioastronomy

    ohioastronomy King

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    Thanks Blackadr: I'm a scientist by training, so I try to avoid selection effects when looking at samples to the extent that I can. It's one reason why I take claims of some silent majority behind forum posts so skeptically: you have no idea how the vocal people compare to the underlying population. You can compare the same thing (e.g. user reviews from Amazon of 2 different products) to try and at least make a relative comparison. The samples for Civ 4 and 5 are pretty similar in size, for what it's worth, and the reasons for the one star ratings are not the same (bugs vs. steam.)

    What you can already see on Amazon is that Civ 5 will get worse, not better, reviews as it ages.
    And that brings me to my main point:

    Civ 5 is getting heavily criticized here because people maintain that it's badly designed and executed. And I think that these claims are very, very solidly based. Attempts to shout it down on grounds of popularity cannot substitute for what you can do in discussions, which is to present and critique ideas.

    I find it unforgivable that professional reviewers didn't heavily mark down the scores for the poor diplomacy and combat performance. I also am shocked that there was so little acknowledgement of roughness- for example, that you had no end of game movies/summaries, or that the scoring system was bizarre, or that you couldn't tell where a unit was moving when you clicked on it, and so on. These were things that slapped me in the face in my first game.

    More to the point, you only need a little experience in the logic of games to realize some basic problems with the Civ 5 approach. Take happiness, for example. You have a flat cap (which will obviously not act the same on different size maps) and flat per city bonuses. So it's pretty obvious that you can spam small cities indefinitely. Yet the game is clearly set up to discourage adding cities the "normal way" and you can drive yourself into the dirt with annexation. Puppets you can't control can drive you into debt, and inexperienced players won't even know why. Workers cost the same as battleships, again not explained, and these costs balloon late in the game.

    There is also the clunky impact of the combat system on movement; the ways in which the game doesn't play well at many size/speed combinations, etc. This game should have been dinged and dinged hard as incomplete on release and shallow on replay. Maybe not at the Elemental level, but it deserves the treatment it's getting here as far as I'm concerned.

    If a game will only become good after extensive patches and redesign then the reviewers should say so. This game is a Black & White level reviewing failure as far as I'm concerned.
     
  9. Blackadar

    Blackadar Chieftain

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    No, I pointed out a poll that showed 3 out of 4 are. We've already been over the "mehs" - they don't count as positive or negative. That's two pages back.
     
  10. lschnarch

    lschnarch Emperor

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    So you agree with me, that 41% are not positive about the game?
     
  11. Blackadar

    Blackadar Chieftain

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    I'm with you until the last statement. If anything, history shows that there should be a positive bias trend, not a negative one, for future (post patch, post expansion) reviews. Civ 4 started with bad Amazon reviews, got worse and then ended up fine. Why wouldn't the same pattern hold for Civ V as long as it's properly patched? So how do you get from a positive trend to a negative one?

    Note: I have zero faith in Amazon reviews anyway. But I am curious how you can make that statement.

    Let's face it - most ideas have already been critiqued and discussed extensively. Yet I've done no such thing in terms of "shouting down" opinions on Civ V that disagree with my own. I've merely presented the facts that the majority - and a sizable one - have a positive impression of the game. And those are facts, not ideas.

    Most of what you mentioned is entirely subjective of whether or not a game is good. The endgame movie matters to you, but it's not a big deal to me. I've not noticed any bizarre scoring. If it's a problem, obviously it didn't come to my attention as being important. And I had no problem telling where my units were going.

    So if I'm reviewing Civ V, none of these factors are going to be mentioned in my review. And I used to get paid to review games, so I have a fairly critical eye. The point is, what you mentioned above isn't really important in looking at gaming systems, graphics, music, AI, etc. - the important stuff that goes into reviewing a game as objectively as possible (note: all reviews are subjective by nature, but you use the same criteria trying to make the process objective).

    Most reviewers (and players) of Civ V are playing the game at the most normal settings. So you're right, the game doesn't play especially well at some size/speed combo due to a lack of balance. But no reviewer is going to try to play through many of those combinations before reviewing the game. You're going to play the game on the most normal settings - repeatedly, one would hope - before you write the review. That's going to happen whether the game is Civ V or Rise of Nations or the latest first person shooter.

    For example, a reviewer isn't likely to play Fallout 3: New Vegas on the hardest setting with odd squads just to see if the game is too hard/easy at that level. They're going to select a normal difficulty level and play through the game. Because that's what the public is generally going to do. So if someone wants to complain that FO3:NV is too easy because they found some particular set of unbalanced game play elements, that may be a complaint with some legitimacy. It just probably has no bearing on a review score because that's not the way the game is going to be played by the vast majority of the gaming public.

    So yeah, you can run yourself into bankruptcy on a huge map with every civ and every city-state by puppeting many of them. But that's not a scenario that a reviewer should uncover. That's not what they're looking for. They're looking to see how the game plays on normal settings. Frankly, the game plays pretty damn well on normal settings.

    Whether there are backdoor tricks to winning the game cheaply will only come up in a review if those are readily apparent. For example, spamming the same move in a combat game and winning every time. But if you're talking about advanced strategies and hidden tricks...no. The reviewer isn't there to dissect the game for the top 1% of players; they're there to provide an honest assessment to the masses.

    (ok, I'm starting to belabor the point. I think that horse is glue now)

    Besides, some of the things you think the game should be dinged for are just personal opinions. I have zero problem with the unit movement and since it's not been mentioned in many (any?) reviews, it's not been a bit deal among reviewers either.

    We're really into YMMV territory here. You're certainly within your rights to think that the reviews of Civ V have been a monumental failure. Note that the reception here and elsewhere has been for the most part positive. You hold a minority opinion and one that isn't shared by most. It doesn't mean that your opinion is invalid, but you have to realize that if the majority view is positive, then the reviews should also naturally be positive. That's just a basic fact. As such, the reviewers generally got it right when it comes to Civ V.
     
  12. Blackadar

    Blackadar Chieftain

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    So long as you agree that 81% aren't negative about the game. ;)
     
  13. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    You've got that backwards. Long time fans of the series are statistically the most likely group to be disappointed with the new game and rate it negatively. Don't you think this is at least partly evident from the disparity between the major review websites ratings and the civfanatics members' ratings?

    People who aren't prejudiced by the pleasure of previous civ games will tend to look on civ5 more favourably because they are not bringing so high expectations.
     
  14. HeavyTwenty

    HeavyTwenty Chieftain

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    Pretty sure Bungie could put dog feces on a HD-DVD and still sell it to Halo fanbois, just saying.
     
  15. ohioastronomy

    ohioastronomy King

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    And you just lost me with your unjustified claim that mine is some sort of minority view. You picked, what, a single ambiguous online poll to support this statement?

    Neither of us has *any* idea of how the majority of people who bought the game feel about it. What you can say with certainty is that this game now has major, major negative word of mouth. If I went to buy it online I'd notice the awful user reviews. If I went to the official or fan forums I'd see a wave of criticism, frequently well argued. I think the game is getting panned because it's bad, and that it wears out quickly compared to any of the precursors. I thus think it'll get rated lower and lower as more people get familiar with it. And I also think that the fundamental problems with the design are so deep that they will not be fixed with patches. We'll see.

    As far as the problems i mentioned are concerned, the odd thing is that the reviewers *did* notice them. The people who talked about combat at all noted how easy it was. People talked about how hard it was to move units around in constricted terrain, the odd AI diplomacy, and the slow pacing at the start of the game. For some odd reason these things just didn't seem to show up in the scores: e.g. that Civ 5 emphasized war but was terrible at it is very, very, very relevant.
     
  16. Blackadar

    Blackadar Chieftain

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    Repeated polls here, QT3 and various other websites reflect what the general public thinks. Given the sample sizes in the polls, the possible margin of error that these don't reflect the gaming public as a whole is almost statistically impossible. It's possible I suppose...just not very likely.

    As for the word of mouth, it all depends on what websites you visit. Actually, it's worse here than anywhere I've visited elsewhere on the web. I think you're seeing what you want to see. The only real outlier is the Amazon score, but even it's only middling and it had many, many negative reviews pre-release simply due to it being a Steamworks game that greatly influenced the numbers. Even then, it's very close to the initial Amazon reviews of Civ IV that you touted earlier. But elsewhere...the word of mouth isn't that negative at all.

    Yes, if you're that negative about the game, then I can see where you'd think that. I've been gaming for a long time - since Zork and Pong - and my own sense tells me that there are no fundamentally broken systems in Civ V. As such, patches to balance things are not only possible, but probable. In the meanwhile, the core game is rather enjoyable.

    Time will tell, I suppose. And not everyone will ever like a game. I remember getting hate mail because I wrote positive reviews of Rollercoaster Tycoon and SMAC.

    I.e., those factors weren't enough to detract the reviewer from giving the game a good score. That tells you those factors weren't that important to most reviewers in the grand scheme of things. Obviously, you'd disagree.
     
  17. Murky

    Murky Deity

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    Game reviews, for the most part, have become another method of advertising.

    For instance, in a copy of Wired I own, there is a review for the game Borderlands. If you compare it with other ads in the magazine you can tell little difference. Most of the review is about why you should buy the game.
     
  18. Andvare

    Andvare King

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  19. zonk

    zonk Prince

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    But I don't think there's anything wrong with high expectations, is there?

    I've been a pretty hardcore PC gamer going waaayyy back to my old Apple II and huge floppies. I've played games I love and games I've hated -- and I've stuck with series that have worked and even given shops a 'pass' on truly awful releases (I'm looking at you, Paradox, for the original Vicky).

    Still - Civilization was always at the top of the mountain... I'd sometimes spend months with Hearts of Iron or Out of the Park baseball - but always, always - it was Civilization... whatever the current release happened to be. No other series has blessed/cursed me with so many hours of entertainment.

    Heck - as much as I hate (and yeah, I've truly tried to give it a chance - but it's become hate) Civilization V, I wouldn't even dreaming of asking for a refund on the $100 special edition I bought... For one thing, it's buyer beware when it comes to gameplay for me --- but even beyond that, well... I figure on a dollars per entertainment hour basis -- I'm still in the fractions of a cent range.

    Still-

    Either you're the top of the heap or you're not.

    Either you've got the crown, the championship belt - and you strangle it like grim death, utterly refusing to be dethroned, or you're not.

    Either you're the standard everyone else gets measured against - or you're just part of the rabble, trying to get noticed.

    I think V is inferior - by a fair margin - to IV vanilla... but that's besides the point.

    If you're the best, that means you keep getting better -- so I think a fully patched BTS ought to be inferior to vanilla V. I'm not talking about bugs - bugs are to be expected in the modern age, where we've got so many different hardware configurations, different OS's, etc.

    If you're not the king anymore, you either abdicate or the masses are going to do it for you.

    Right now - to me - this is fair to good title compared to the 4X pool. I think - if it had a decent AI - it's probably somewhere in the GalcivII range, which certainly isn't half bad... even somewhere in the good range.

    But - this isn't just another 4X title. It's the latest release of Civilization - the granddaddy and gold-standard of the entire genre. The game that every other pretender gets compared against.
     
  20. da_Vinci

    da_Vinci Gypsy Prince

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    Oh that's right, Civ IV was Game of the Year ... they have 10 weeks to patch up Civilemon V or it will be the Joke of the Year.

    People have been talking a lot here about one poll ... let's look as some others.

    List of polls:

    http://forums.2kgames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94311

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=382765

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=381961

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=390297

    The "up down meh" poll is actually ambiguous about what meh is to mean. Some may interpret it to be the "I don't know" for a dichotomous variable of "Up or Down". Or it might be the middle value among "good, mediocre, bad" (or even "Good, Bad, Ugly" :lol:) Seems at best that 60% can muster entusiasm for the game ... not even that many in the infamous "dumbed down" poll. And in my poll, only 3% like the game as is.

    Having 51% or more voting that they like the game does not make all of the issues go away. I think that polls showing 40% or more disappointed or lukewarm about the game is bad news for the game. And you would think that a game getting that kind of an initial reaspone would have had some more caution in the reviews.

    dV
     

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