Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Brau, Dec 26, 2010.
At the very least it's refreshing to read some criticism that is constructive.
I read Sulla's article last night, and I think it is very succinct and well written.
I played a couple games, beat deity. and stopped playing, (never made it past Immortal in IV) but I wanted to wait until the recent patch was released until I made up my mind.
What I saw was a giant laundry list of things Firaxis beat with the nerf stick to make up for their serious design flaws. Of course, this means there is now even LESS to do, less decisions to make, less interesting strategies discover. Sulla is absolutely correct, this design philosophy of creating a game that punishes each and every choice is BORING and INSANE. A shame to the series.
I hoped for a patch that would rebalance certain features to reward players for making decisions other than ICS, what I got was a patch that just further punished the player for competing with that strategy. And it's STILL the best strategy. The devs just don't get it. They can nerf the good strategies into the ground, but it won't make their game any more fun.
I also don't understand what was wrong with maintenance from CivIV and why Gobal Happiness either makes any sense or is an improvement on that system. This game is a disappointment because in almost every meaningful aspect the game is inferior to its predecessor. I can't even praise Firaxis for the hex grid or 1UPT, because the way it is designed 1UPT can quickly become even more tedious than stack warfare in IV.
I guess those who enjoyed the game before will appreciate the patch, but clearly Firaxis is not catering to the fans they disappointed from day1. There is nothing substantially new in this patch to explore, only a million more obstacles thrown in the way to the optimal strategy. Not impressed.
If it's different in that it's unfun, what's the point? His critique holds, and comparison with other versions of Civ don't matter much there:
-Global (un)happiness is broken. CtP had neat happiness mechanics with a global effect when you got too many cities for your government, so some kind of global happiness can work, but the current system is flawed. It's possible tohave a working global happiness system, but in Civ V it is broken.
-Lots of penalties: Conquering a city means you have to choose the lesser of 3 evil and is not fun. There's no comparing with earlier games when he states this.
-Meaningless diplomacy: It's actually worse than Civ 2 only because it was advertised as being an important focus for Civ V.
-MP: If they didn't want it in, they shouldn't have used Steamworks and forced Steam upon players in the first place. At least Civ III didn't pretend it had MP in on release, did it?
-1 UPT: I would like to highlight alexman's remark to this: He said (but I can't find the link at this hour) that he was surprised by Firaxis decision to go with 1upt because he couldn't see how the ai could handle it. Sure, it makes Civ V different from IV, and that wouldn't be necessarily bad. The issue is that in order to tackle the challenge this change represented, design decisions were made that make the game unfun, and the ai still has to be coded.
I didn't dispute that, read my comment. I said that Civ 5 is not BtS v2, which from all of his writings on Civ 5 is exactly what he wanted. He canes Civ 5 for NOT being BtS v2, which is unfair. Yes, Civ 5 has it's own share of problems, but not being BtS v2 is not one of them.
What's the point of calling a game Civilization V if it's a totally different game to it's predecessor? is'nt it reasonable to expect a similar game to the previous one? otherwise what the point of a series?
Might as well have no sequels and just make new games with new names, unless of course the point is to show that it was built on the strengths of the previous one, which would make no sense at all if it's a "totally different game".
Not exactly... he is angry that the developers didn't take what they learned from Civ4, threw that all out the window, and created something new. As bold as that was for Fraxis, it just didn't work that well and Sulla does not enjoy it partly because there were things in Civ4 that were great, but they have been ignored in this version.
In Sulla's opinion it is important for game companies to take what they learned from previous games and titles and expand upon them instead of taking it out all together.
I dont care whoever whatever thinks about Civs 1-5. I have played them all, and while I enjoyed 1-4 (without pointing which is better or worse, as I found all of them satisfying), the 5th incarnation of the series is just terrible (details all quite well described in Sulla's article or other posts in forum, so I fail to see any need to list them once again)
I played it few times, in vain hope of finding anything of interest. However, I didnt find such a thing. Maybe one of these games was at least slightly interesting... others werent.
I dont want to waste more time to discuss wheter Civ5 has potential or not. It is just mediocre game. In current state it doesnt give player what it promises. I have shown already some amount of interest and patience, lurking throughout this forum to find news about Civ5 (has it become any better?), but I havent found any signs of positive changes.
As it is already few months after game release, so I think It is highest time to abandon hope, stop annoying fanboys and farewell all on this forum, Dont think I will show myself here any soon.
Sulla was 100% right. Bye.
PS. I am just a customer. I dont have any obligations towards Civ franchise, 2K nor Firaxis, so I dont think it is my duty to explain myself about my disappontment, nor try to fix faulty product through any kind of modding activity. BTW, it is developers duty; I have paid for this basing on his former reputation. All I can say is I was naive to buy it despite demo and logical inconsistencies in so och-ach superb reviews.
How many of his criticisms wouldn't fit if this was the first Civ game?
When he brings up Civ4 he's simply pointing out mechanics that work since it is the obvious example to use. Still, you can remove the comparisons and the argument against the current game mechanics would still stand.
Sulla lashes Civ V for being "unfun" (as someone above said), not for not being Civ IV BtS. I think you're reading in that writeup (if you have even read it????) what you imagine in your own head.
Yes, thanks for articulating this for me so nicely.
Are you claiming Civ V is totally different or just raising the question? As far as I'm concerned Civ V shares the same basic theme as all previous Civ games and is thus very much part of the series. The fact that a number of mechanics, some fairly core to the game-play, have been revised doesn't change that. It's not uncommon in sequels and series for this to happen, they invariably present an opportunity to start afresh.
Directly from Toynbee's "Manifest of how to cover the truth"?
What's next? "Stay tuned for great news which I cannot reveal right now. But be invited to buy some more DLC in the meantime."
I think what Sullla expected was what everybody expected (well, except for those who took part in the development, in which function and how closely ever - and for which reward ever):
it is called "improvement".
Nobody was asking for a Civ4 version 2 with lesser graphics from a more demanding engine.
That is the strawman, which certain people always get out of their suitcase.
Some weaks ago, it was "you just have to play the game as intended". Now, after so many patches and changes, you have to change your line of argumentation?
Now it is "Oh, you wanted Civ4.5"
As others have stated already, the flaws and faults of Shafer_5 are more than just visible, whether there was a Civilization IV or not.
See my posting above.
There is no value in doing changes just to have changes.
A change should be an improvement. It is just that simple.
If you cannot improve, then there isn't any need for change. Actually, then there isnt't any need for a new game at all. Not for the fans.
I never wanted BTS pt2 before playing Civ5, but now I would strongly prefer exactly that.
The old saying "If it isn't broke, don't fix it." Well, Firaxis went and broke everything that was right with the previous Civ games and combined them into the product we know as Civilization 5. It is impossible to not draw comparisons to previous games when they are in the same franchise and are flat out BETTER, CivIV without even adjusting for how old they are which is just sad.
Nevermind about gameplay (or not being Civ IV BtS v.2), from a technical standpoint, it's already enough to make me feel unimpressed with this product.
1) Bugs; full of them, CTDs, crashes, freezes and sudden disabling of functions, not very uncommon in this game. Granted, previous Civs suffered similar problems too, but to think they never improve their game stability at launch after all these years is really unimpressive.
2) Poor optimization; Honestly, the animations in this game are few and far between, yet I do not understand why this game would tax my system more than Crysis would. Massive slowdowns by late-game are so prevalent that one might think it's part of the game.
3) Non-functional MP Platform; Steam, hotly debated in its use and I don't want to further ignite the debate, but one advantage Steam was supposed to give is a standardized game setup for all players of the game, so why can't I use Mongolia in MP, since it was released for free and everyone online was forced to update to obtain it?
Babylon, Spain and Inca DLC was advertised with the "Multiplayer" tag in the Store but it can't be used? This is fraudulent advertising and Steam and/or Firaxis should be held accountable over this.
Speaking of patching...
4) Botched patching process; latest hotfix produces more CTDs than previous versions and it outright deletes the "CivilizationV.exe", a genuine first in the Civ-series, no wonder it got nominated for GotY in another thread...
One persons improvement is another's unnecessary change or backwards step. I see both 1UPT and religion as example of this. Who'd want to be a game developer.
Although I think some of Sulla's points are a bit overwrought (I see nothing wrong with paying for roads for instance), the overall point is well taken. Civ V is just not holding my interest; there is little "one more turn" impetus. I've tried multiple times to start games since the patch and have not yet succeeded in completing one of them. I just lose interest and never go back to the game. To me the game represents a poorly implemented attempt to stuff a tactical warfare game into the skin of Civilization and it did not work. Empire building is virtually dead (and unfun). In fact, the game incentivizes not building your own empire and burning down the rest of the planet. Most of my games end with me having a handfull of cities and the rest of the world a complete wasteland of burned down cities. Going for a cultural victory just turns into a click-next-turn fest with little to hold my interest and ultimately I end up going to war (against vastly larger civilizations) just to end the tedium and achieve domination long before I can ever achieve cultural victory. (I've yet to win a cultural victory). The UN victory conditions are just ludicrous in my opinion. The space victory, which I've achieved a few times, is just as good and well implemented as any other civilization game except for the lack of a video reward at the end (which admittedly I would get tired of after a few times). The biggest problem with the space victory is all of the boring gameplay it takes to get there. In most instances I will just start attacking my neighbors because the game becomes mind numbing. If I don't attack, it is almost inevitable they will attack me anyway. I recognize that others will differ (that's fine), but it is the basic mechanics of the game that cause me to come to the inevitable conclusion that there is not a lot that can be done with the base game to make it interesting to me and thus I will probably stop playing entirely.
Did civ I really try to limit the size of empires? Did anyone think of/take ICS seriously until the game had come out? This isn't easy to discern.
There does exist corruption in civ II. But, it's not the only mechanic limiting the number cities in your empire. Global unhappiness does exist in civ II (or at least the Test of Time version) in that if you found enough cities on Deity you eventually start with a citizen who is not content (red face). After a certain point the citizen becomes "angry" (black face), and not even a military police unit would make it content, you need something like the Hanging Gardens. But, the "angry" faces still didn't do enough and the global unhappiness didn't limit the power of ICS. I haven't played Civ V, but Sulla's comment later on reads thus:
More cities is NOT always better without fail in civ III, except in a 100k game. Corruption does hurt enough to dissuade one from going ICS, and the civ III XOTMs, succesion games, war academy, and HoF all attest to this. In civ I-III ICS is almost always a CxC spacing. That said, corruption in civ III doesn't persuade one to space cities widely and ultimately leads to something between a CxxC and CxxxC as optimal for almost all games. This does mean significantly more cities than the AIs, and expanding into new territory pretty much always makes sense, but does mean that "more cities is better without fail" is simply not true for civ III. You might say that civ III does lend itself to "infinite empire sprawl", but it simply doesn't lend itself to building as many cities as you can, as civ II and civ I did.
Sulla's comments on 1upt and the Carpet of Doom phenomenon interest me. Island block comes as a well-known tactic among civ III players which has something similar going on. I suspect the Funnel of Doom from civ III also has something similar, though that's really just a guess.
Its really a shame that multiplayer is so bad and undercooked, because that's just the kind of thing that shoots the game in the foot. Civ will always be a singleplayer game, but with the 1upt and other tactical changes in battles, those are the kinds of things that would be of special interest to players, and players would find that playing against each other would be a bit more interesting with more tactical options.
Instead, they didnt leverage their strengths and left the multiplayer a mess.
Very well written and (sadly) very true
I don't even know who "Toynbee" is, so your point is meaningless to me. And I've never advocated DLC. In fact, you'll find posts of mine scathing the base price (for Australia) and DLC.
Some people find Civ 5 an improvement, some people don't. Isn't personal opinion fantastic?
All of my remarks regarding Sullla's comments have always been that he's wanted BtS v2 (or BtS with prettier graphics). With a little research you'll find that fact.
Didn't I actually say that?
Separate names with a comma.