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Should I purchase Beyond the Sword or Civ V (Vanilla)?

Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by TheRealMaestro, May 31, 2014.

  1. TheRealMaestro

    TheRealMaestro Chieftain

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    I have played every game in Sid Meier's series up to Civ IV Vanilla
    to know that I love the series. I still play Civ IV regularly and I
    often use Civ II for simple war scenarios or even go back to the
    original for nostalgia's sake.

    In 2010, shortly after it came out, I also purchased Civ V Vanilla.
    I only played it once and only to the Middle Ages (? Foggy memory.)
    as my computer back then was barely able to handle the processing
    power required. Since then, I have changed computers to a better
    one, but I have also changed e-mail addresses and thus set up a
    new Steam account.

    I'm not sure as to whether I would rather purchase Beyond the Sword
    for Civ IV, or the vanilla version of Civ V, given they both cost the
    same amount. My computer can run Civ IV without lag and, though
    I would need to look into it, I think it will be able to handle V without
    problems.

    Given that I know what Civ IV is like, but not Civ V, I'm not sure what
    to do and so I turn to the Civ community for advice. Here are some
    facts about how I play Civ, if it helps:

    • I always prefer to play Civ IV at Noble, for the reason that (I think)
      it puts the player and the A.I. at the same level, with no special bonuses
      or handicaps and is so the most "realistic".
    • I am not the best at waging war (except in Civ Rev) and am not
      very good at necessarily winning the game, although without fighting
      I can build a prosperous civilisation.
    • There are various mods that I would want to make to customise
      the game, regardless of which version I get. These would include
      adding and removing certain civilisations, a complete overhaul of the
      modern era, & cetera. I have an entire laundry list.
    • I enjoy playing historical scenarios that use the default units; think
      of the "1000 AD" scenario of Civ IV, or the WWII/Rise of Rome scenarios
      from Civ II.
    • I do not play any multi-player games.

    Factors pushing me towards Beyond the Sword/away from Civ V:
    • Simple familiarity - I know what it is like to play the vanilla version,
      while concepts in Civ V (esp. social policies vs. civics) are unknown to me.
      Of course this would fade once I play Civ V, if I choose to get it.
    • I like the idea of having multiple potential leaders for a single country.
    • Civ IV drew a lot of its √¶sthetics, especially the music, from the original
      Civilisation. Many countries' background music are re-mastered
      versions of Civ I's music for them. I've been told, on the contrary,
      that Civ V is radically different than the previous iterations in terms
      of game experience.
    • I have heard that Civ IV is more easily modified and generally open
      than Civ V is, though I obviously cannot confirm/deny this. If Civ V
      is easily moddable, consider this problem gone.
    • I am not sure yet as to whether my current computer can handle
      Civ V; I would need to look at the requirements.

    Factors pushing me towards Civ V:
    • City-states sound like a fun game concept.
    • I'm curious to try the new game in Civ, counter-balancing my fear
      of the unknown.
    • The graphics of Civ V from screenshots I've seen are beautiful;
      it looks even nicer than Civ IV.

    Having weighed the advantages and disadvantages, I'm leaning
    somewhat to Beyond the Sword but am still quite ambivalent.
    The obvious solution of "just buy both" is not an option for
    financial reasons. Does the Civ community have any advice as
    to further benefits/drawbacks to each of the games? Answers
    to my questions about moddability and game experience would
    also be helpful in making my choice. I look forward to your
    suggestions.

    (Given that this could conceivably fit in either the Civ IV or the
    Civ V forums, but those would for obvious reasons probably get
    responses strongly in favour of one of the two, I thought that
    this would be a more suitable place to post. If I would get more
    responses elsewhere [or in a pair of cross-posts to the Civ IV
    and V forums, if that's allowed?], please tell me.)
     
  2. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    If you're only looking for a purchase at that specific cost, it makes most sense to go for Civ IV, simply because the most economical way to buy Civ V is in the Game of the Year edition that contains its expansions and the separate DLC civs, maps and scenarios (the latter, other than the expansions, generally not being worth the asking price as individual DLCs), and as and when you buy Civ V you don't want to be paying twice for the base game.

    Incidentally, Civ IV Beyond the Sword as sold on Steam contains the base Civ IV and the Warlords expansion as well, hence the price point similar to Civ V's.

    On to your particular points:

    1. Prince is the equivalent level in Civ V, however the game is often easier at a given difficulty compared with Civ IV, so a higher level that gives the AI some bonuses is probably a better way to play Civ V.

    2. This is one area Civ V differs markedly depending on whether you play vanilla or the 'full' game. Civ V's AI is somewhat capable at waging war, but Civ V uses a new combat system which is much easier for players to exploit. Play balanced armies and you'll have a reasonable challenge; play player-standard armies with a predominance of ranged units, and you'll have a decided advantage. The AI also became substantially better with the patches tied to later expansions. But the major reason for the difference is that Civ V's final expansion is designed around mechanics that work best with peaceful play, and the AI has been recoded to play more peacefully as a result (with the exception of certain civs).

    3. Civ V is mod-friendly and, as one of Steam's most popular games for several years running, it has extensive mod support in the Steam Workshop. However, I've heard from people who know about the inner workings of mods that it's not as mod-friendly as Civ IV, and the possible mods that can be made are less exhaustive. Certainly mods add new civs, units, buildings, techs, and in a number of cases new mechanics, but all the ones I've seen are recognisably built on the base game, and don't remove pre-existing features or mechanics. Also, the more substantial changes I have seen (such as a mod adding plague) tend to be handled very badly by the AI, perhaps because modding isn't able to change AI behaviour substantially.

    4. Civ V has a disappointingly small number of scenarios, nearly all of them based on direct historical events or periods (the exceptions being Empire of the Smokey Skies and the only very loosely historical Wonders of the Ancient World); most were released as part of DLC before the first expansion, and use now somewhat outdated mechanics. The expansions each added a small number of much more extensive scenarios, some very well-received (particularly Scramble for Africa), though most that I've tried lack replayability. I don't know which of Civ IV's extensive list of scenarios are linked to Beyond the Sword, or how much they differ from anything a modder could put together.
     
  3. civvver

    civvver Deity

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    Wait til steam summer sale and get both, they'll be 75% off at some point.
     
  4. grandad1982

    grandad1982 Deity

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    Surely if you already brought 5 then you should be able to access it regardless of an email change.
     
  5. TheRealMaestro

    TheRealMaestro Chieftain

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    Thank you for your assistance; I know what I am doing now.
    I have decided to order Beyond the Sword to-day; I shall
    wait for the Summer Sale to purchase Civilisation V.

    I have only one question remaining; when is the Summer Sale
    for CiV? I have a Steam account but have opted out of any sort
    of newsletter e-mail.
     
  6. CivCube

    CivCube Feelin' defiant.

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    It's usually around mid-July. I would start keeping an eye on it around mid-June, though. Valve doesn't announce their sales until they start so that they can get customers more excited.
     
  7. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Steam doesn't have fixed dates for sales of specific games; while it has seasonal sales for a whole batch of games, these rarely offer more than a 50% across-the-board discount. Instead they rotate a selected set of 'special deals' on a daily basis, when selected games on sale get a bigger discount. While Civ V is almost invariably included in these sales, there's no shortcut to identifying when beyond checking the Steam home page (where, during sales, the Featured Items page shows 'today's deals' prominently).

    I'm in the habit of checking Steam's front page daily in any case, as outside sale season they have usually two 'weekend deals' (Thursday through Sunday) and two 'midweek deals' (Tuesday and Wednesday) every week, and occasionally also a larger set of 'weeklong deals' advertised on Mondays. These usually offer comparable discounts to the best sale prices (for instance, Europa Universalis IV, a newer game than Civ V, is on 75% sale this weekend as one of the weekend deals). There's quite a good chance a Civ V sale will come up before the summer sale season.
     
  8. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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  9. FriendlyFire

    FriendlyFire Codex WMDicanious

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    I have copy of CIV V for trade.
    Willing to settle for $5 usd, steam wallet or trade you for some game worth $5 trading price. (e.g RAGE is being traded for $5 which is its sale price value) I also have a few other random games for trade if you have a higher value game.
     
  10. TheRealMaestro

    TheRealMaestro Chieftain

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    I may take you on that offer, FriendlyFire. I am unfamiliar to the
    process of using the Steam Wallet, so I will need probably less
    than 20 minutes to figure out how to transfer 5$ from my PayPal
    account onto there.
    Thank you; now I get the best of both worlds.

    Edit: Apparently, I can only move money from PayPal to
    my Steam Wallet via a debit or credit card, of which I have neither.
    Do you, FriendlyFire, perchance have a PayPal account I count send
    you five dollars to?
     
  11. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Can't you just tie your steam account to the new email address? Why lose all the games you had purchased under the old account, when you don't have to?

    I'm curious but maybe I'm misunderstanding what exactly you're doing..
     
  12. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    Yeah you have been able to change the email address associated with your account for years. If it was just the one game on there though that isn't a big deal, but still an odd thing to do.
     
  13. civvver

    civvver Deity

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    Steam has an android and ios app too so it's quite easy to check their sales. My guess is sometime this summer civ5 gold or complete or whatever they are calling civ5 plus expansions and dlc will be on sale for $15-20 and civ4 complete will be $5 at some point.
     
  14. TheRealMaestro

    TheRealMaestro Chieftain

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    I only created my original Steam account in 2010 to play Civ V.
    When the game was impossible to play on the computer which I owned
    then, I never used Civ V or Steam again. Over time, I forgot the
    password. Then, around two years ago, I changed e-mail addresses
    to my current e-mail account. Since the one game I had on Steam did
    not work with my computer, I saw little reason to update the e-mail
    address. Since then, I have purchased a new computer which (I think)
    has the capacity to handle Civ V lag-free.

    It doesn't really matter now, but I hope that satisfies your curiosity.
    The point is that, for all intents and purposes, my old Steam account
    no longer exists and if I want to play Civ V again, I will need to re-
    purchase it.
     
  15. FriendlyFire

    FriendlyFire Codex WMDicanious

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    :O Hold on

    1) When people trade games for steam wallet they mean they will ask you to buy a game form your steam wallet to trade. e.g I have Civ5 and want you to buy X game worth X amount to trade as steam wallet cannot be transferred

    2) I trade with you no worries, Friend me I will trade you Civ5 steam game for $5 to my paypal, Australia time zone so we have to do it on the weekend. I 'll give you the game and you can Paypal me.

    3) My Steam name WMD

    4) I traded $5 steam wallet for CiV5 game, but later GOG had a promotion for CiV5 which I got thats how I got an extra copy of CiV5. :lol:
     
  16. calad

    calad Emperor

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    CivV mod friendly? Then where are all the mods? Number of mods on civV is disappointing small when comparing civIV.
     
  17. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Entering the Steam Workshop's Civ V page, the figure at the top says "Displaying 1-30 of 3,113 entries" as of today. Sure, some of those are just fan-created map packs, but most are mods of some kind. That may or may not be 'vanishingly small' compared with Civ IV, but it's obviously inane to claim that a game with over 3,000 mods is anything other than mod-friendly. It's on the high side for Steam games generally, I suspect. It may have fewer popular mods, and as I noted its mods are likely less exhaustive than some of the more extensive Civ IV ones, but the former at least has nothing to do with how mod-friendly the game is.
     
  18. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    It does! I just wouldn't want you to lose out on a game, if there was any sort of misunderstanding there in terms of how to transfer an account to a new email. That sucks that the old account is a goner..
     
  19. TheRealMaestro

    TheRealMaestro Chieftain

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    Thank you, your words are very kind, but the "damage" was all done
    two years ago. Fortunately FriendlyFire is letting me buy the game
    from him, so it all works out well in the end. You don't need to feel bad.
    I didn't even use my old account except the one time I tried
    to play Civ V and turned my previous computer into a toaster.
     
  20. civvver

    civvver Deity

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