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The Everyone's Guide to Getting Advice!

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by VoiceOfUnreason, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    A collaborative article.

    Overview



    How can you get people to help you get better at CIV IV?

    This guide collects suggestions from a number of CFC contributors, who have seen enough questions on the discussion boards to notice which posts get a lot of action, and which die on the vine, and to recommend those habits which are more likely to get a favorable response from the audience.

    Contributors



    • [post=8609562]CornPlanter[/post]
    • [post=6093851]DaveMcW[/post]
    • [post=6093365]KMadCandy[/post]
    • [post=6102223]madscientist[/post]
    • [post=6092984]VoiceOfUnreason[/post]

    Mechanics



    OK, guys, here's how I think this works. I plan to keep a subscription to the thread, and when there have been contributions, I'll endeavor to get a link into the table of contents. You get to manage the contents of your post(s).

    So each of us gets to write our own chapter on what's important to us, individually. Consensus? Bah Humbug. We all have our own interests, peeves, and Pavlovian responses.

    Feel free to thump me by pm if you think I haven't noticed your contribution. This is intended to be open collaboration, after all.

    If we get enough Q&A to warrant it, I'll add a section to the TOC.
     
  2. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Chieftain

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    Effort is very important; if the question isn't worth a reasonable investment of your time, the answer certainly isn't worth an investment of my time. In particular, questions that give away the fact that you have read Sisiutil's Strategy Guide or Sulla's walkthru are more likely to be answered.

    Similarly for those questions that show that you used the forum search function.

    Questions on specific aspects of game play are hit or miss. If it happens to be a topic that caught my own attention, then I may chime in, either with an answer of my own, or a link to some previous article on the topic. Those areas that touch on planning, synergy, and optimization are more likely to get my attention than those on war and diplomacy. I'm a lot more likely to contribute to discussions of building, and recovering from building, than I am on war mongering (why is it that there are no recovering war mongers).

    I'll avoid questions on multiplayer (I'm totally ignorant), alternative scenarios, advanced starts

    Game posts "What should I do now?" rarely get my attention if now is later than 1000BC.

    However, I do think that for "Why can't I beat level X", game posts are the best answer, with certain elements worth highlighting.

    You don't need to tell the story - role playing has its place (Stories and Tales), and its fans, but I rarely find it worth the effort to work through the cute to get to the question.

    Likewise, you don't need to include pictures of every event. We all know the faces of the leaders by now, and the splash screens, and the wonder movies, and what a spear man defeating a tank looks like.

    But we don't know what your MAP looks like. Make sure you have the gridlines and resource bubbles on; for extra bonus points crop the picture, add annotations (either with the Alt-S sign tool, or a paint program), and remove the interface (Alt-I, I believe). Attaching the picture as a thumbnail is second best to including it inline. (I'm wishy washy on spoiler tags, the effort invested is good, the extra click is a minus, and if the spoiler sections aren't clearly labeled, I have to open them all anyway. shrug).

    Making a saved game available as an attachment is a good investment, as it allows players to look at parts of the game that you didn't realize were important. But that's a bonus; from what I've seen it is less important than good pictures.

    If you really want to blow me away, write about what you are thinking, both in terms of how you got into the position, and what you expect is going to happen in the future.
     
  3. KMadCandy

    KMadCandy giggling permanoob

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    cropped pictures are great in lots of cases, as VoU mentioned. if you include overview map pictures, for dotmapping, or to give perspective on where other civs are, etc., please make the clouds go away :). that option needs to be set in the .ini file, you can't do it inside the game. add the lines:

    ; Allow Camera Flying
    AllowFlying = 1

    the first line is actually just a comment, not needed, but i added both so that i'd know what it was. anyway, the ingame command once you've done that is alt + ctrl + f. caution: it makes the camera zoom around quickly. it's so hyper that it makes me dizzy. i find that it's best to set up the angle i want, hit alt+ctrl+f, then take my hands off the mouse, and hit prtscrn pronto. this poster is not responsible if using camera flying makes your head spin! cloudless pictures will make it much easier to see the map if you're showing large-ish overview shots. thank you!
     
  4. DaveMcW

    DaveMcW Chieftain

    Joined:
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    6,489
    Map screenshots need more detail than you normally play with. 2 popular settings are:

    Ctrl+R Ctrl+Y (resources and terrain yield)

    Ctrl+R Ctrl+T Ctrl+B (resources, tiles, and no fog)
     
  5. shyuhe

    shyuhe Chieftain

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    Gone fishing for the summer
    great idea for a thread. Subscribing :D
     
  6. MrFelony

    MrFelony Chieftain

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    Chicago
    definitely. I am usually too lazy to open saves unless i have something vested in the game. screen shots of the game (and ones with easy to read details) are very helpful and will generally elicit a response from me
     
  7. Nishdog

    Nishdog Isolationist Bastard

    Joined:
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    in isolation
    I read that Ctrl-B = no-fog thing and I got all excited because for a second I thought you meant no white fog in the world view, but then I realized you meant fog of war...not to thread-jack (well, actually, yes to thread-jack a little...maybe thread-tangent?), anybody know how to get rid of the white fog in the world view?
     
  8. KMadCandy

    KMadCandy giggling permanoob

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    Nishdog ... maybe this would help you, if i'm understanding what you're looking for that is. i use it for non-HoF games, i love it. lets me zoom out farther without the clouds showing up. some folks use CivScale but i never looked that up.
     
  9. Nishdog

    Nishdog Isolationist Bastard

    Joined:
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    in isolation
    Thanks. I fiddled around with CivScale as it downloaded along with the BlueMarble mod when I got it a week or so ago. I didn't know what that was about until you mentioned it...the utility took about 30 seconds (maybe less) to install, and about 1 minute to figure out. There are 10 sliders with graphics options you can change. I took 3 of those options and moved the slider down to zero: CloudStrength, CloudTop, and CloudBottom. Works great. Thanks!

    End of tangent. Please continue with your regularly scheduled discussions :)
     
  10. madscientist

    madscientist RPC Supergenius

    Joined:
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    SOme ideas

    1) Post screenshots that are easily readable. Get an account from photobucket, they work very well. I am older (45yo) and more reluctant than most to explore trying newerthing on the internet and computer, if I can do it anyone can.
    2) Try starting a thread with a general question that you think will help your game, such as "Do I need to build every building in every city", "Is the Ballista War elephant the worse in the game", or "How can I leverage the Great Wall". Asking a question like "What's everyone's favorite wonder" generally does not get answers that help much.
    3) Do not post a saved game and ask, what do I do noext. My experience is alot of people answer this forum from work/school where they do not have access to the game (at least I do).
    4) If you want to post a game so to get input from others on how to proceed, use screenshots and saved games. Follow the game though in a timely fashion, and do not drop it. Leave adequate time to get a response.
    5) Posting a game that has a little different angle helps get attention and interest. Example, the 2 RPCs I posted seam to get more attention and response than something like "My first emperor game, how do I start?"
    6) If you posted a question about a specific game that started alot of response, followup on the post once you finished the game and let others know how it went (for better or worse).
    7) Remain curtious, you will get better responses.
    8) ASk questions in threads you did not start but have an interest in. Example: "I never thought of spamming settlers early, how do you keep the economy solvent" rather than "that's too many settlers". The are no stupid questions, just stupid answers (which are easily forgiven and forgotten on this Forum).

    EDIT:

    9) If you want advice and describe a game, include the details at the beginning of the post: GAme (Vanilla, warlords, BTS), difficulty, speed, map size, agressive AI on/off, map type. These will avoid alot of questions people will ask. Being in the first sentence tells thse of us right away what you are playing, especially the ones who do not read the origional post until the end.
     
  11. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    I really appreciate the effort done by these veteran CFCs, and if I can be of any assistance, I'd be glad to help if I can.
     
  12. MrFelony

    MrFelony Chieftain

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    quoted for reiteration. I don't keep any screen shots on my hard drive. photobucket lets you host almost an unlimited amount of SS's accessible from any computer with internet access.
     
  13. JammerUno

    JammerUno Chieftain

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    Generally no sceens mean no answer. Downloading a savefile, starting up the game, opening it, then writing down comments is a ton of work, work that should really be done by the one asking the questions. Very much along the lines of VoU's opening comment in the second post.

    Another one is being specific. Asking 'What should I do to be a better player' when you're playing midlevel difficulty isn't going to net you good advice. At that stage, most things can be improved. 'How to keep up with the AI in tech/production in this specific situation?' with some screens will generally net far better results.
     
  14. nbcman

    nbcman Chieftain

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    Before asking a question, please examine the War Academy for answers. Many times the answers to game mechanics questions can be found there.
     
  15. troytheface

    troytheface Chieftain

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    "Good players write guides and talk about cottages- great players play games and have someome else transcribe-"
    Attacko - 2007
     
  16. CornPlanter

    CornPlanter Chieftain

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    I'm not the most active contributor, but I have been reading this forum for quite a time now. My two cents:
    Ask particular questions, showing that you are capable of making decisions yourself and its only information you lack.

    Wrong way: "omg Khublai just declared on me and his 2349835 units are about to take my holy cities (all three of them) and my capital with 8 Wonders, oh no, what to do?"

    Good way: "Khublai just declared on me and his 2349835 units are <...>. I am going to whip spearmen like crazy to stand a chance. Just wanted to ask if it's worth it, if losing so much population woun't hurt my eco beyond any hopes of recovery. If yes, I'm gonna start anew, in that case please tell me what did I do wrong and how can I avoid situations like this".

    Maybe your "particular" question miss the point completely. Example:

    "It's 33 A.D., my army is kinda non existing and all the suddenly neighboor Napoleon declared on me. I wasnt expecting this, so I didnt build Chichen Itza and now I dont stand a chance. I could have built it instead of one of the other 9 Wonders I did build, please tell me which one is the best to skip in favor of Chichen Itza?"

    Its OK. Whats important, you are trying to think and find your mistakes. People appreciate this. And, besides, its the (only) way to improve. Yes, there are many people here who would gladly answer even the most lazy question "I cannot win. Please tell me how to win". Duh, they can even play for you and win for you. But thats not the way to getting better. If you are not going to use your head, its still OK. Good luck with your Chieftain level and yes, Monty is overpowered, sorry, nothing can be done about that, just reload.
     
  17. dylanmeditates

    dylanmeditates Chieftain

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    I am tempted to post numerous strategy-related questions relevant to the current game I am playing very often, sometimes 5-10x a week. Would this get annoying/what should I expect? I have been keeping it to only about 2 threads a week simply because I don't want to hog too much attention. Thank you all for your fantastic help while I am learning to play this game!
     
  18. BornInCantaloup

    BornInCantaloup A Shadow for the Warrior

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    I don't think it can go wrong, as long as you post meaningful questions ;)
    So... keep your priorities in order (what question(s) is/are most important to you? What would be a good question?). Categorize, hierarchize (does that even exist?).
    Strategy threads often are the most interesting, provided the question or topic at hand is meaningful. Wrong questions are very easy to come by. Answers need time and experience to be digested: if you get 10 answers over 10 topics in a week, chances are you'll find it difficult to assimilate them all. Put otherwise, abstract answers seek their application in a game. There are tons of areas in the game, so... maybe focus on a select few at a time. Best way to walk is putting one foot before the other.
    Doing a little digging in the forums can never go wrong either. Treasures, there are.

    However,
    Very true, as always :goodjob: Perfect example of how some "best" answers are one-liners that one has to decipher.
     
  19. VoiceOfUnreason

    VoiceOfUnreason Chieftain

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    I don't think anyone keeps track of how many good questions you ask at a time.

    My personal preference is to have one question per topic; it prevents answers from being lost in the noise of other questions, and it makes it easier to come back to re-use those answers later.

    Tachywaxon tried dumping all of his questions into a single place. You can take a look at that and decide how well it worked out for him.
     
  20. Manco Capac

    Manco Capac Friday,13 June,I Collapse

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    I see GpStage quoting his researches about AI available gold for trade in his signature. I strongly egg him on to quote it in that thread VoU linked. That thread purpose is to gather once for all all game mechanics.
     

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