Some gameplay thoughts


Aug 23, 2005
This is more of a stream of consciousness than a well through out essay on Civ V. The short version is that it feels like the game was released too early. The engine is done (and looks great), but the gameplay itself feels incomplete and/or imbalanced. I suspect a number of content patches and/or an expansion is going to be required to fix up the gameplay.

I'll start out by saying there are definately some new things I like and I'd like to see more of.

  • Cultural choices with meaningful, significant gameplay bonuses. More please.
  • Tactical combat; I like the mechanic, not sure about the details. How about a stacked army that zoomed into a tactical mode to fight?

With that said, here's where I think some work should be spent:


  • Buildings cost too much, disincenting a builder type game.
  • Resource bonuses feel too small to me and resources are too common
  • Money is a non resource since its too plentiful, especially with lots of golden ages
  • Golden ages have no diminishing return.
  • Great people buildings are very weak and consume a tile.
  • Great people are only used for golden ages or science discovery
  • City states ... some like maritime are imbalancing on large empires, others are just there. Either way though they don't add anything fundamentally interesting to the game, they're just another mechanic similar to civ iv corporations to generate per-city bonuses.

  • No modern ranged units except artillery means that medieval archery units en-mass are by far the most effective unit composition in the game
  • Virtually all combat is either ranged or infantry vs city ... rather negates the value of cavalry which is only marginally faster than infantry
  • Healing is free which means combat is all about unit kill rather than wounding. Kills are best achieved with ranged units (see point #1), which, again skews the deployment toward ranged units (plus you can get twice as many shooters engaged as you can shock troops)
  • Since when is a trimerene a ranged unit? It was a ram with oars

  • Inter-turn pause is very, very long in mid-late game even on normal sized maps.
  • Need more hotkeys. I'm going to get carpal tunnel by constantly having to drag my mouse to the "attention" button on bottom right. I am not playing on a console and I can type.
  • No visual display of worked tiles means I have to drill into the city to see what its doing.
  • Automated workers love to sit in my capital. I cannot move a spaceship part into my capital if there's an automated worker there. I should not have to turn off automation on 25+ workers just to build my spaceship.
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