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So you call me a 'fanboi'

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Dale, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    A game with a crap GUI *IS* a :sad::sad: game. And i've already made my point that the horrid controls are a REAL hindrance on immersion. A "good game with a crap GUI" is actually just a "joke". Good games don't have crap GUIs. This isn't the 8 bit era.

    Don't get me wrong, there are some design issues that really need help in this game (RA spam, intricate super-micro intensive luxury resource trading that requires trivial thought but a lot of execution, warmonger VC vs peaceful VC balance, etc). Controls first. Controls back in alpha. Hell, controls back in the PREVIOUS GAME.

    You can't seriously argue that 30-60 minutes of wasted time doesn't kill immersion. Your original argument actually talked about little sub-things to do; having 100's fewer clicks between these things would not give immersion by itself, but it would help.

    On top of that, control hotkeys/schemes are likely some of the easiest things to fix. Maths requires intricate game knowledge and a sense of fine balance, compensating for multiple unique civs and potential strategies. Fixing the controls includes...mapping some hotkeys and slightly altering how the city screen opens.

    And you can't POSSIBLY argue that units performing actions different from what they are ordered to do is OK on ANY level of play. That's a losing argument position, but ignoring it is silly.

    I agree that accessibility to features should be more intuitive; it would allow casual players to actually learn the hotkeys w/o effort ideally, but allow the same thing to be executed graphically regardless (note that what you're saying oddly resembles the approach in say, starcraft 2). However, the lack of hotkeys does not come anywhere near explaining the gobs of extra actions required. Hotkeys would certainly cut into them, but that's not the only story.

    Take, for example, trades in each game. Clicking or hotkeys, V makes you do it more often. Same thing with unit orders, telling cities what to build (you can no longer do this from the main screen and then simply click off), etc. Don't even get me started on waypoints and workers being interrupted by barbs that CANT POSSIBLY REACH THEM.

    Okay, shortcuts are somewhat more for hardcore players (isn't that a kind of decent chunk in their audience to be neglecting something so trivial but useful though?). #clicks and slowness affect everyone though, and civ V LOVES it some #clicks.

    I still don't get how more casual players never learned the shortcuts in civ IV though. If you're going to spend 200 hours on a game, memorizing 4-5 keys can't be that hard! Certainly, though, that is partially a failing of civ IV's UI:

    - It was not intuitively obvious about using shift/control/click as hotkeys, let alone making production queues memorized etc.
    - Waypointing was dangerous because of the non-interrupts despite enemy units being VISIBLE before moving
    - The game had bugged alt-clicking on units, and would pretend like you're always holding alt. This could lead you to declare war, without prompt, when attempting a simple trade. Firaxis knew about that bug for years...but chose to attempt to "fix" overflow wall whips, barb galley spawn rate, and "spread culture" missions in the last few patches of BTS, COMPLETELY ignoring the massive control flaws they'd had present since vanilla. To add insult to injury, two of those supposedly higher priority "patch" decisions introduced bugs, and only one has been fixed.

    It's not "good game first then controls". There is no such thing as a good game w/o good controls. Fighting the controls is not a game, or if it is, it sure as :( :( :( :( isn't "turn-based strategy". If people want to play "i wanna be the guy" or "kaizo mario", they should go play those...although ironically even those games designed around fake difficulty have better controls!!!! Even a game that JUST HIT BETA like MINECRAFT has better controls than civ V. This is a disgrace, and to see so many IGNORING it is both frustrating and not conducive to a good final civ product. Given the firaxis historical behavior when it comes to making streamlined controls (IE avoid having a streamlined GUI at all costs), I'm not holding my breath here, but I DO hope it gets addressed.
     
  2. Dale

    Dale Deity

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    Do something positive about it then instead of being all negative on it. Post your solution at Franky like the rest of us do. Make a mod for how you want it and post it at Franky like the rest of us do.

    I highly disagree with your assertion that GUI is more important than MP that works. I disagree that GUI is more important the an AI that can use the features of Civ 5 even to a basic level. I disagree that GUI is more important than fundamental maths errors. And I also disagree that GUI is more important than the fact this game is boring and lacks immersion on almost every level.

    A good game with crap GUI still gets played (see Civ 4). A crap game does not.
     
  3. Txurce

    Txurce Deity

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    Just about every poll taken on what's wrong with Civ 5 supports the gist of what you're saying here. I've played as much Civ 5 as just about anyone, and having to click less often is the very last thing I would want improved.
     
  4. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    I've read the whole wall of text after it has been quoted so often, nice writeup @all.

    I have to disagree. Neither is the GUI in 4 crap, nor get good games with a crap gui always played.
    Most actions in 4 are relatively obvious after some time and you can do them easily without many clicks (TMIT wrote it down). Can't see what could be done better (but that's probably because most people are used to it).

    At the other hand, i tried several games, which i didn't even try to play because of the crappy GUI. In one game the controls where so sensitive, that changing the view on the map made me sea sick, in another game i could never click at the right point, and in the third game the mouse controls where incredibly slow...i have no idea if these games where good games, i could not play them due to their GUI.
     
  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Careful of certain ground treaded. Some "features" of civ IV GUI present in 3.19:

    - You can declare war w/o prompt because the game "thinks you are pressing alt"
    - Units will forcibly move at turn start, next to barbs or enemy units, based on previous turns orders, EVEN IF THE ENEMY UNIT IS ALREADY IN VIEW.
    - The GUI lies to the player about diplo disposition when it comes to the player owning vassals.
    - If you alt-click a stack, clicking to select individual units or control clicking to select individual groups doesn't work. It will just keep selecting all units.
    - The governor will work absolutely dismally stupid tiles if you order it to build wealth
    - Lots of streamlined improvements were still available; many are seen in BUG mod, even more are out there like air-patrol loop missions and waypointed produced units auto-airlift under certain conditions.

    Civ IV UI is definitely better than V, but some of the above is pretty bad. Declaring war w/o prompt can (usually will) lose an XOTM game instantly when it comes to competing against other players for example.
     
  6. NBAfan

    NBAfan boss

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    I have never seen these happen in 50 games of unmodded Civ 4 with 3.19.
     
  7. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Only 50 :p?

    ;)

    Bugs in a GUI doesn't make the design itself bad, it only shows problems in the engineering behind it. Whereas your description of the Civ5 GUI mainly points to the design problems and not to the engineering.
    Good ideas bad implemented doesn't make the idea itself bad.
    But if the idea itself is bad...like the hidden building queue...then even proper programming behind it will not save the idea.
     
  8. jpinard

    jpinard Martian

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    Themeinteam - yes I fully agree with the fact that whoever decided how this GUI would work needs to have their head examined... if they can't see the forest from the trees. It's just like the design of the mod window - being unable to stretch the window to accomodate more than 6 items at a time. Who the heck designs a window with such tiny proportions? We're not playing at 800x600 resolutions anymore. We're not in the age of DOS where you programming a "stretch window" takes more than a 100 lines of code. It's quite ludicrous honestly and that entire philosophy goes to the interface. Sadly, the interface got so much positive attention in the early reviews that the people who made it may be plugging their ears to current criticsms and saying we're the ones full of crap.

    And that's what worries me. Firaxis has some of the nicest and best people on the planet doing development. Why can't anyone there talk about anything like Soren did? Why was the Frankenstein group ignored so much? Why were so many basic tenants of the game completely lost?

    Is it possible Take2 has that much control that they have annoying middle-managers overseeing Firaxis development and tellling them how to do their jobs? That would make us complainers extremely rotten people for not understanding the political climate at the company. But since Firaxis won't talk to anyone we don't know and can't make exceptions.
     
  9. Dale

    Dale Deity

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    It's really just a matter of different priorities for different people. For instance, I can live with the GUI, but I can't live with the lack of immersion and maths issues. TMIT is obviously different. :)
     
  10. JLoZeppeli

    JLoZeppeli Prince

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    I can live too, but it is a pain in the ass as well... Sometimes we need to compromise with ourself and make a choice on priorities....
     
  11. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    That's a good point and part of the reason top notch games are so rare; you need a lot of people doing things together with very little error.

    Yes, we obviously disagree there. Although IMO the maths part is a lot easier to fix than immersion because it is less subjective.

    Part of the reason I emphasize controls is that they *are* 101 stuff and compared to completely reworking gameplay features, balancing options for 18+ civs, etc easier to deal with while remaining a SERIOUS problem. I also stand by the assertion that they will block immersion themselves, assuming a source actually exists, by gumming up the amount of time it takes between doing things that bring immersion.

    The trouble with arguing from my side of things is that it's hard for people to straight up quantify how much the sloppy GUI hinders their experience. A lot of people (even after I pointed it out) have mentioned that it really isn't a big deal to them. However, they're still losing that hour+. Even if it's perceived somewhat differently, that time sink exists and is part of the "general gameplay experience", some thing that many players find bad. If players stopped to think about how much time they spent playing vs fighting the UI and broke it down, I suspect we'd have many many more angry about it. As it stands, the GUI time wasting is more of a "hidden cost" of playing civ V. However, that hidden cost is tremendous to the point of being a complete outlier in a game of civ's stature.

    Fortunately, the changes we want aren't mutually exclusive.
     
  12. tripedius

    tripedius Chieftain

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    Shame I wasn't a beta tester, than I would have known not to buy this game :). In the end no matter what arguments you bring across or what flaws you discover in a game, its all about fun and immersion. Civ I was total crap compared to games nowadays but it was also a whole lot of fun. People didnt complain about the cheese (war totally random, wonder being build without the AI actually building them) cause it was fun. Civ V could have been a crap game and I would have put up with it if it was fun. But it isnt (or it was, but for a very short periode).

    One thing I would like to point out though, be it that someone is a fanboi or a critic, in the end we all have the same goal: a good and enjoyable civ game. The critics are so fanatical cause the love the concept and are truly disappointed (like me) that this isnt the game for them.
     
  13. Dale

    Dale Deity

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    I think for me the GUI doesn't bug me as much, because my game time is so interrupted anyways (wife and 3 kids). I wouldn't notice an extra 10 minutes of clicking cuz I just spent the last 20 minutes reading a story to one of the boys.
     
  14. Trias

    Trias Donkey with three behinds

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    I sure hope that the people that invested their time in beta testing, at least got a free game out of it, and would not be required to buy the game after release.
     
  15. Stilgar08

    Stilgar08 Emperor

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    Beta-testing usually doesn't work like that! :p I'm sure they didn't...
     
  16. Trias

    Trias Donkey with three behinds

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    Beta testers usually aren't called in at the alpha stage of the game.
     
  17. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    No lol, generally beta testers are actually testing the beta, not alpha :p.
     
  18. Eskel

    Eskel Warlord

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    GUI is just one of many irks that Civ5 has.
    Because there is so many of them, it really doesn't matter which is more important - making up just 1 thing won't help the entire experience. Every time i try to play Civ 5, I instatntly meet a roadblock, nerf, penalty - whatever, that makes me want to leave the game within 5 minutes from beginning. Quite opposite to "one more turn" feeling... Sad.
    There would be great, however, if devs decided to rework them all one by one. As this would bring many changes to gameplay and possible inputs anyway, I think that polishing up GUI, which should include all new options added meanwhile, could be the last stage of their effort.

    Going back to GUI and streamlining.
    There is a lot of possible improvements, both to Civ 4 and Civ 5.
    I would gladly welcome:
    - add or insert position to queue by clicking just once above, below or between assigned tasks; needed buttons could appear just on mouse hover (easier to casual players, reducing keyboard input)
    - add sorting by "turns to produce" and defined by player city class to city list
    - maintain sorting order after assigning task in city list
    = select cities in city list by mouse with selection window
    - what about city governors? Anyone remembers those big lists with all suboptions: often/rarely build buildings/naval/land units? Casual players won't need them but they could make life easier for those who love huge maps and marathon game speed
    - for Civ 5: bring back Civ 4 style communication panel... I hate all the warnings and news that simply dont interest me. In Civ 4 I could just ignore them (do nothing), in Civ 5 I have to manually dsimiss them (usually 7+, sometimes about 20+ clicks)

    Thats just few off the top of my head.
     
  19. Cornhog

    Cornhog Warlord

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    Civ5 has a VERY efficient user interface. Most turns go like this:

    End Turn -- 1 click.

    The problem isn't too much clicking, it's not enough. On most turns I have nothing interesting to do. If it were fun, I'd click my ass off. See Diablo.
     
  20. UERD

    UERD Chieftain

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    I have to agree with the UI complaints. Civ V's UI is pretty close to unusable :(.

    Regarding the UI, one of my biggest gripes (besides the fact that you had to switch between two modes to change production and add items to the production queue) was the fact that there wasn't any way to move a settler/military unit stack together. Click once to move the settler, click again to move the escort unit. God forbid you accidentally moved the settler too far. (This also applies to units like great generals.)

    Did they fix that yet?
     

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