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RE Getting 'into' character. Civ4 is the least RP friendly Civ.

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by AU_Armageddon, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. minger

    minger Warlord

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    With the exception of the GP and the Flight complaint (I find Flight incredibly useful for getting a HUGE advantage and not having to move my seige weapons an inch at a time and quickly taking over cities), I pretty much agree with everything.

    In sum, it seems like they sacrificed a lot of the "immersion" element (honestly, I forget what nationality I am sometimes when i'm playing) for huge gains in gameplay.
     
  2. Polarballs

    Polarballs Chieftain

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    I really like this post and agree with most of the points. For the critics, how boring would it be if everyone here felt the exact same way you did? Let everyone voice their opinion, good or bad.
    Most points have already been replied too, but I had to mention the Civ II wonder movies. I had actually forgotten how cool it was to get those. Maybe it's because there are so many more wonders now that each one is less impactful, but I remember the cool little piece of Bach they played when you built his cathedral, the imposing hoover dam piece, the weird pan flute crap that played during the oracle, etc. I haven't played that game in 6 years or so and still remember those movies and the excitement I'd feel knowing I was about to get one.
     
  3. oldStatesman

    oldStatesman Cybernaut

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    Other things that for me have led to a loss of immersion:

    - Lack of 'real' advisors. Civ2 advisors rocked. Civ3 were fun - it was neat to see your Domestic advisor tell you sleep was for the weak at 1 AM in the morning. Now we have sterile Advisory screens - tools without character. Immersion sacrificed for utility. Why not both?

    - Leaderheads are static - it really sucks to meet Mr. Roosevelt in 3800 BC...dressed in 1930's clothes. Brings you right out of the role play. The leaderheads in civ3 were fun - it was a kick to see what they would look like in different ages.

    - Lack of info in the Civilopedia. Civ 3 had taken the Civilopedia to new heights. Civ 4 dumbs it back down. When you discovered a tech in Civ 3, or met a new civ, you could simply right click on the leader and be taken to the extensive Civilopedia entry...with lots of Hyperlinks. now, when you discover a tech you get a one liner from Mr. Spock. No ability to open up the Civilopedia, and read about it in depth.

    Gameplay is very good - but so is gameplay in a lot of games. It was the little things that lent atmosphere to Civ that kept it in a class of it's own. For whatever reason, a lot of those things have been left behind...and IMHO, Civ 4 is worse for that. It is like it was designed by engineers, not artists. Utilitarian, workable, great mechanics, it is fun, but no sizzle.

    JMHO :)
     
  4. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    1) Diplomacy, well yeah, but any AI diplomacy is going to be cheesy/anti RP somewhat

    2) City Siege See #5 (and #4 somewhat)

    3) Nukes, VERY strong Agreement. in trying to balance nukes they forgot the way to balance nukes is through MAD rather than SDI... make it easier for everyone to get nukes after someone has built MP, (perhaps make MP one tech level higher than the tech for nukes...or make it more expensive and give some additional benefits, like + to nuke construction)

    4) Navy, Overall agree, although this is partially depndent on map size. Perhaps returning some minimal unit damage shore bombardment like Air units..but weaker.

    5) Air, Air is the late game siege unit, that doesn't suicide. (see #2)

    6) GP/Wonders, well yeah, a game element without some cheese is required to prevent a complete history replay... the culture bombs are the Cheesy name given to the great work... and Definite agree on Wonder movies

    7) Continents, try Terra map if you want an Earth Approximation

    8) Spies tend to agree, some ways better than 3 but worse in many others.


    There are definite things that hurt the immersion, but others that definitely improve it.
     
  5. jerry247

    jerry247 Warlord

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    thats awesome, i nuked in my first game on chiefton (2nd level?) after I won; just a few more turns, to nuke someone! not unless im backed against the wall. i liked it better in alpha centari after level 5 nukes!
     
  6. Dun Malg

    Dun Malg Chieftain

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    Gimme a break. What an asinine position. It's like saying "If your job sucks, why don't you just kill yourself instead of complaining?" If you can't make a meaningful contribution to the thread, why post?
     
  7. DemonDeLuxe

    DemonDeLuxe Warlord

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    I agree with most of what the OP saidbut for airplanes, wich I feel are, quite the opposite, a bit overpowered in the late game,even more so since the AI obviously has no clue about how to swarm an enemy city with bombers before going in with artillery and armor.

    What I miss most in CIV4 is ATMOSPHERE. For me, CIV4 has lost it's "you are the leader of an empire" feeling and is just one mor - if quite good - strategy game. Firaxis tried to maximize user-friendliness and managed to do so in some obvious aspects, but totally neglected other parts (like more or less ALL advisor screens, which are basically nothing but spreadsheets now). True, some aspects of former CIV games where a pain in the butt - but, hey, they gave you the feeling you had worked hard for you victory. What would be the next step into this direction? A military gouvernor that builds units automatically and conducts the wars for you?

    In their attempt to balance all and everything, Firaxis forgot that the real world is NOT balanced and that a game system that actually manages to get "balanced" simply gets sterile.

    One interesting example are the tile improvements. Many are overjoyed that there are now more of them. But you know what? That's bad. Because the way it is now, it basically doesn't really matter what you build and what tiles there are (excemptions, of course, desert & mountains). Since it is all balanced, it in the end hardly matters. CIV4 has the overall feel of an image that has been treated with a softness filter: Yes, you eliminate some of the scratches and the dirt from the original scan, but also you lose much of the inherent appeal of the original photograph, it loses character, it's getting boring. It is *SO* balanced that "all religions are equal". Wow, great! VERY fair from a gameplay point of view, but makes religions generic, uninteresting, just a bonus factory.
     
  8. Shivam

    Shivam Chieftain

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    agree 100 percent about wonder vids. I still have some of them on my hard drive and watch them on occasion (marco polo, anyone? that, and the hanging gardens, js bach's, and a few others.) I was so excited when i heard that they were coming back, only to have crushing pain when i saw what they ended up being. still havent watched one all the way through in civ 4.
     
  9. ACEofHeart

    ACEofHeart Warlord

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    I agreed with every original point.. but also like he stated ,,Civ 4 is still fun to play.. To those that tell him to shut up etc,, you are just looking like frightened children and someone is trying to take your toys away :D
    Hopefully modders can either improve or eliminate a lot of the game's lesser points.. Until then... its ONE more turn !!!
     
  10. calyth

    calyth /bin/sh of a man

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    1) good point. But I generally have more problem with games that seriously lacks balance more than games that are too balanced. YMMV.
    2) I found that in many games, putting the wrong improvement can screw me around big time. I'm still pretty much a noob, and I found out that chopping out the forest right next to my city usually isn't a particularly good thing, especially if they're all grass, there isn't a river nearby, and I'm force to choose between letting the tile keep the 2 bread and suck on the production, or risk starvation when the city expands and give it more production in early game. Having lumbermills help with cities that isn't particularly close to hills, and have enough food to go around, just not production. Same for the watermill for close to the river but low on hammers.
    3) Actually they didn't made it equal specifically for making things fair. They made it equal so that religion can still simulate the effect of not having the same religion with rival leaders, but without the problems of having the fans arguing about the religious stuff. They said specifically in the manual that "they're game designers, not theologicians". IMO it still makes dealing with the AI interesting.
     
  11. R3dKnight

    R3dKnight Warlord

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    i still dislike the AI nonsensical demands when trading.

    having friendly rep with the fella and a whole lots of + + + rep doesn't make saladin want to trade his tech way for something i have.

    it's like this:
    Saladin's tech worth 1000 research
    My Tech 950 research

    I have 2300 gold in my coffers.

    My straight trade didn't work out, I asked him, Saladin, what's it gonna take then?

    Oh not much, just 2230 gold + your tech will suffice.
    After that I just ignored him for the rest of the game. It makes no sense. Peter came up with a better offer next turn. Just 2000 GP and tech. Complete BS IMO.
     
  12. zafyro

    zafyro Warlord

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    CHEESE 1)Diplomacy - cheese factory. Forget about it. You can have Civ X on the ropes, d-day army at their capital's gates, and they won't give you a single tech unless they are the ones to offer it first (like 50 games of Monarchy later and I can say that is 100% true). They won't give you an inch with anything. The RED system to protect people from ruining their game by exploiting seemed okay at first, but I've since come to the conclusion it is so illogical that it dumps you right out of any possible immersion.


    ---------- I believe that the Ai now works like you would do. You wont do most of the trades you´re asking them to do. When the things go bad and they are defeated, they do not give up anything as they have no trust in you stopping to hit them if they give up. In my experience a beaten up AI concedes some things if they are not totally beaten. [it´s better if it´s a war they started and turned bad for them]. They even convert to your religion if managed properly.

    CHEESE 2) The whole city siege scenario. It is well balanced. Granted. Full points to Firaxis. Kudos. The best balanced set up I can think of from any of these numerous types of games including CTP/AC/etc. But charging my siege, age after age, on the front line as suicide bombers in an eternal Al Quida stategy is another immersion killer.

    ---------- I do not know if it´s just me but my catapults/ cannons have a high percentage of survival. Anyway it´s not granted to be so realistic but game balanced.

    CHEESE 3) Nukes. Yeah nice one. I fired my first Nuke a couple days ago. Was a tight game and I seriously had to sacrifice my lead and much else to put it all into place to fire a Nuke at key capital before SDI and air shelters would be around. Even sent merchant 43 turn trip to get me the cash just to buy that Nuke instantly upon Manhattan Project completion. Was so pumped and fizzle. It did nothing. Direct hit on city centre - didn't kill a single one of the many units in THE tile it hit, didn't destory any buildings, didn't even leave any fall out, didn't cripple the population. My own forces - stupidly waiting out of city radius because they expected a NUKE, were slaughtered because by the time they got into city the entirely unkilled forces were fully healed of their minimal suntans anyway. Nukes in Civ 4 are not Nukes. They are not fun. They are not balanced. They are not realistic in any remote sense. And they are thus cheesed immersion killers that will suck every time you fire one. (Has anyone seen a picture of Hiroshima afterwards? That wasn't even an ICBM like Civ4).

    ------------ Again in my experience in a very tied game I used nukes the way you´re doing, Nuke city, invade city. I have also aerial power so that helped a lot but the nuke destroyed some units, wounded the rest and damaged the units stacked near the city. In the same round I proceeded to bombard and attack by land and got near to 0 resistance. Nuking also slows greatly a city as it does produces a lot of waste creating starvation. Your seems a unlucky nuke.

    CHEESE 4) Sea sucks arse. You can't do crap with it. It's only purpose is to protect fishing boats. Cheaper to just make a lot of fishing boats and keep them in storage than make any navy. IT DOESN'T DO ANYTHING.

    ---------- Well i´d like more power of bombardment to sea units [able to destroy improvements or something] and the possibility to block trade routes, that´s right but try a trans oceanic invasion or defense Without naval power. Also sea resources are important [lots of health and a possible source of oil] Of course in some maps the navy is a must not.

    CHEESE 5) Air. Sucks arse as well. I realised recently that I don't even bother researching flight anymore. It's more hassle than it's worth, and the main point, ENTIRELY REDUNDANT.

    --------- completely disagree. Air strikes can leave unit defenders at a 50% of strength, there´s a HUGE diference in the outcome, bombers can also destroy resources at a great distance… air defense and attack is vital to me in my games.

    CHEESE 6) GP. Actually great people are a lot of fun. But they have many cheesy elements. Culture Bombs? Gimme a break. All the strats that you should do to win are CHEESEY. Save em up for strategic deployment. That's exactly what artists are known for historically. Save up your engineers too. Bam bam bam, 3 wonders out the door. It's cool, its fun, its stupid.

    ------------- It´s not stupid at all, at least to me. You can base your gameplay on GP to greatly improve your cities or to be able to build some wonders and beat that industrious civilization or just to time your golden age. It´s a fantastic adition, you can perfectly play without GP but your game will improve if you learn to manage them.


    CHEESE 8) Spies. They are cheesy for same reason air and sea is cheesey. They are redudant. The points you spend building Scotland Yard and spies, any time you spend at all - is all more cost effective to invest into military or anything else instead. They are limited beyond all other civ & civ-like games, are not actually fun, and do not add any sense of feeling to the user.

    ---------------- Ok that´s real I feel they will be more usefull in close PvP games where knowing where the enemy units are of disabling some vital resource is important.

    I think anyway that we have played two different games lol
     
  13. Piece of Cake

    Piece of Cake Chieftain

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    Are you serious? The theory behind MAD depends upon two things: (i) both participating parties knowing that MAD is the inevitable outcome; and (ii) both parties being rational actors. It's the ultimate psychological showdown. But in this case, we are talking about a computer. And not just a computer, but an AI that hardly seems to grasp what is in its best interests, even when basic survival choices (such as trading techs or surrendering) would seem obvious. Bottom line, you can't rely solely on MAD when playing against AI that has no "real" stake in the game. (The fact that my computer has invested 60+ hours in creating a civilization means nothing to it.) Therefore, you need other defenses, such as SDI.

    As for the playability of the nukes themselves, all of the Civ games feature nuclear war that is a pale shade of what a real nuclear war would be like. I think the developers have even acknowledged (in the older games) that nukes aren't going to destroy cities (and civilizations) the way they would in real life.
     
  14. Instant_Cereal

    Instant_Cereal Warlord

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    I mostly agree with the OP. Civ2 and Civ4 are about equal in my book. Civ4 made steps forward, and steps backward.

    By the way, I REALLY understand his comments about the map generator. If you choose a continents world, all you'll get are like 2 or 3 big land masses and tons and tons of water. Sure, one might argue that continents are land masses, but the Earth doesn't look so damn dull and one dimensional. The continents have no life to them and there virtually no lesser land masses and islands..... it's just... continents and meaningless water. You can play a game and never once need to build a ship. Also, I've found the custom map selection to be just as he describes it: almost tic-tac-toe-like land masses. There's a northwest island, northnorth, northeast, southeast, southsouth, center, etc..
     
  15. Eagle_Seven

    Eagle_Seven Chieftain

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    I do agree about tone. The first time I played the game, I was quite displeased when Mao wasn't wearing a bone necklace. And where's my military advisor with his eyeballs popping out when I want to declare war? And my population heads? Anyone see my population heads? I have numbers living in my houses, not people! Circles are working my fields and numbers are reproducing. For that matter, where's that nice screen with all the dead ai insulting me after my space race victory?

    At the modern age of Civ 3, I felt as though I had ushered a people to a higher level of ascendence, or at least to the television screen.

    In Civ 4, when I reach the modern age, I see that my city and military numbers are adequate, and my sliders are on target. I'm a glorified accountant!

    People! The most important part of any civilization are the people! With no people, there can't BE a civilization! Even Civilization I had people in the city display. Not to mention riot parades!
     
  16. oldStatesman

    oldStatesman Cybernaut

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    You have said in a few words what I have tried to say in many...great writing! :goodjob:
     
  17. DemonDeLuxe

    DemonDeLuxe Warlord

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    Boah, thank you, I had totally forgotten about those - and that in spite of the fact that only a couple of months ago, I read that one excellent strategy guide on CIV1, just for the fun of it (haven't played CIV1 for over a decade now).

    Another tiny detail that shows that either there's simply a lack of love of the designers towards their game or they really rushed it out of the door way before it was finished:

    That table where your final score is presented and you are compared to famous and notorious leaders. It's just a table and that's about it. I don't remember EXACTLY how it looked in CIV1 and CIV2, but I remember that in COLONIZARION, you had landmarks named after you (with picture), in SMAC some book was writen (with a rather abstract illustration), and in CIV3 you could at least see that animation of the barbarian swinging his hammer and lighting the bulbs. In all those games, something creative illustrated your efforts.

    And now we have - a table. Thank you very much, that's the perfect way of immersion... for a mathematician. Maybe.
     
  18. R3dKnight

    R3dKnight Warlord

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    Hhahaha the scoring makes no sense either. I just did something like Protoss Zealot rush with Romans in a small Noble difficulty map and got higher score than a monarch diplo victory that took 5 x longer.

    ^^ it's got flaws in it. but if i turn off a lot of the features i disliek (tech trade etc) I find i'm enjoying just fine.
     
  19. screwtype

    screwtype Warlord

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    I very much agree with all of that. For me, the game just lacks character. The techs lack character, the wonders lack character, the units lack character, the advisor screens - practically everything. The only bit that doesn't lack character for me are the leaderheads, I think their animations are neat, although there aren't enough of them. But the fact that they never change clothers - yeah again, it's lack of character.

    Like so many games of this era, the designers have tried to dumb down the gameplay so any clown can understand it, but the end result is that the game lacks personality. The only thing that would make this game playable again for me would be if I sat down and modded just about every aspect to make it just the way I want, but that is a big project requiring lots of time and energy and I'm not sure I like the underlying game enough to go to the trouble.

    Maybe when the game editor comes out...
     
  20. screwtype

    screwtype Warlord

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    Again, excellent points here, DemonDeluxe.
     

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