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The Final Analysis?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Brau, Dec 26, 2010.

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  1. Dale

    Dale Deity

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    I pose this question to you, why would you want to make a CoD when 3 swords, 2 archers, 1 cat and 2 horse is all you need to take out all AIs? It's just taking things to an extreme, doing something to simply prove a point rather than the logical response.

    But regardless, the comparison of PG's good combat AI and Civ 5's bad combat AI is still applicable when you strip out the extra stuff Civ 5 has and compare the two combat models.
     
  2. Horizons

    Horizons Needing fed again!

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    If 1UPT is the driving force behind stupidly long building times then how do you explain Civ4:Col? (Other than that it was a spectacularly badly-designed game :D )
     
  3. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    The comparison of the COMBAT is still valid, of course. The parts of the game that SUPPORT or DEFINE that combat (tile yields, production times, unit mobility, and relative tile size compared to the world) are the concern. In theory it's an improvement, in practice it's a house of cards.

    Improvements to any part of this house would topple another part. Any attempt to balance one part will conceivably unbalance another part. It's a true catch-22.
     
  4. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    Never played that version Horizons, but your question seems to be deliberate tunnel vision. Being obscured by your question is the entire array of issues that are propagated by 1UPT. Long building times are only one of those problems.

    There are multitudes, and these multitudes together combine to make an unstable (figuratively and literally) concept, at least in the way that Civ implements it.

    This is entirely apart from the AI, which could certainly be improved. Yet even if the AI was a God of War, the mechanics of 1UPT just don't work well with Civ.
     
  5. trueblue

    trueblue Prince

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    aye, exactly.


    im sorry, i call sour grapes on his reviewer.

    i have read the whole thing, and i believe i read some of his work on Civ III, back in the day. but it is Civ4 that is the problem here. i got the distinct impression that the reviewer has/had a real presonal investement in Civ 4, much more than I have ever had from merely playing the games to death. (note i never actually played 4).

    someone took his ball and changed the game completely. its understandable for him to be hurt.
     
  6. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    I may not want to do it, but the AI might, especially if given enough bonuses. I haven't played Civ V in a long time, so I can't say for sure, but perhaps even the human player could have a benefit from CoD, for defensive purposes? Not sure.
     
  7. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    nonsense. weak argument. Try something more meaningful.
     
  8. SuperJay

    SuperJay Bending Space and Time

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    If Sullla is purely writing his opinions because of hurt feelings, it should be easy to destroy his observations with a closely-reasoned rebuttal of your own. Why don't you respond to the points he made and provide some constructive rebuttal?

    I eagerly await your own analysis. Thank you.
     
  9. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    Yeah... Civ4:Colonization is.... suicide-inducing. If someone enjoys THAT, I would like to meet him/her in person and have a good look at that phenomenon. I want to see that person micromanage for hours and enjoy it. Until such time, I think Civ4:Col made everybody very sad.
     
  10. JohnnyW

    JohnnyW Gave up on this game

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    Let me ask you this: 16 years of AI and programmer evolution couldn't have helped counter those things, or at least prepare for the consequences?

    Major developer failure. No way around it.
     
  11. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    As stated several times, the comparisons he drew to previous games were to highlight the differences between Civ 5 and the mechanics in those games that worked properly. It's the easiest comparison to make, because many of the things that Civ 5 struggles with have been implemented before in a better way.

    Changing something just to change it has no merit. Those changes need to be an improvement. At the very least, those changes should not re-introduce problems that were solved in 4 previous games over 19 years, AND create entirely new ones to boot.

    This whole argument of wanting Civ 4.5 seeks to avoid the confrontation of the concept changes in Civ 5, and their relative merit... vs what those changes replaced/removed.
     
  12. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    Bah, you're not even trying. This post is the intellectual equivalent of a "Yo momma.." comeback, but without the funeee.
     
  13. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I agree with a lot of the details in this, but I strongly disagree with the point on roads.
    I really like the road mechanic, it works really well. It makes pillaging a road meaningful, it means that there are still limits to how fast you can move a large army across terrain, and it means there are some interesting decisions about where to build roads: do I want the cheapest network, or one that has some duplication but allows for faster/more flexible unit response? I genuinely don't understand how anyone could prefer just roading every tile. 2-3 turns of worker build time is a nonsense opportunity cost past the early game, when workers are cheap and unit maintenance low.

    I similarly don't see any fundamental problem with building maintenance. I didn't like it when I first read about it, but in practice it seems fine.

    It also strikes me as wrong to say that there is no reason not to spam as many cities as possible, but then to complain that you're punished for expansion with social policy costs, or that its harder to build national wonders in a scattered empire.
    I think the national wonder mechanic works really well.

    I agree completely about the diplomacy system, and I was yelling this stuff at the top of my lungs as soon as I heard that they were going to hide details from us, but most people here just said "no, we don't need to know what the AI is doing or how your decisions affect it, trust is, it'll be more fun that way."
    Ermm.... no.

    And with the patch, its sometimes worse, because we know that some things matter, but we don't know about others.
    Simple design principle: if any act I take is going to have diplomatic consequences (razing a city, declaring war on X, capturing lots of cities, settling on tile Y, etc.) I need to know that, ideally before I have to take the decision.
    [Eg: mouseover for raze city: "This will harm diplomatic relations with all civs with whom we do not have a pact of friendship". Or whatever.]

    I honestly don't care about multiplayer, with the exception that multiplayer is a great crucible for stress-testing the engine to find exploits.

    And I disagree that 1upt is an insoluble problem. And it makes combat sufficiently more fun that its worth keeping. Though I agree that its massively dependent on AI that we've seen no sign of existing any time soon.
     
  14. builer680

    builer680 eats too much Taco Bell

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    Your post is well put, though I don't agree with you. Well I agree combat is more fun this way (especially if the AI could be made good), it's the resultant mess created by the mechanic that makes it not worth keeping in my opinion. It kills the entire rest of the game. The quoted part in particular... If you believe it's worth keeping and not insoluble, how would you alter it from its current state?

    Assume you had a genius AI, how would you solve the relative sizes of tiles vs armies vs world, the production times that these tile sizes imply in order to keep army sizes small (and the unbalanced relationship this creates between large and small city outputs in all categories), and the traffic jam nature of combat in a battlefield represented by tiles this large in relation to the rest of the world?

    I can't think of any solution that doesn't break something else.
     
  15. trueblue

    trueblue Prince

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    i like the game. i play the game. ill play it do death, no doubt, like the rest. it has some short commings, all games do.

    however, this fanatic can stand back, it is only a game. and I have Modern Warfare: Black Ops to play too.

    let him write, let them all write. his points about many of the mechanics are easy to see for anyone who plays the game. and he is so much more eloquent than ill ever be. i enjoyed the read.

    but for a man who had a personal involvement in the development of Civ4.... Too often he compares Civ5 directly to Civ4 (its a fair comparision yes, one is the succesor of the other) however it is too direct a comparision for something that was never meant to take off directly from where the other left. the article reads very bitterly for me.

    the game needs more analysis from a stand alone perspective.
     
  16. NKVD1938

    NKVD1938 Chieftain

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    And people point to how PG had more hexes with which to work and that somehow this made things EASIER to program its AI?

    I don't necessarily follow that. With far more potential hexes to consider, wouldn't it have been more of a challenge for the PG devs to teach the AI how to put its melee units between its ranged units and the enemy?

    And not to mention the fact that PG combat was a good bit more complex than CiV in terms of how various types of units performed against one another. PGs 1994 AI seemed to be able to take THOSE issues into account a hell of a lot better than what we see in CiV.

    Defenders of CiV say PG had well-defined objectives. And CiV does not? It would seem to me that if the AI is at war with me it would not be incredibly hard to teach it to regard my cities or resources in the way that PG regarded those victory point hexes.

    I will be the first to admit that I am not a programmer and have never tried to craft a tactical AI. But I do not see ANY reason (other than lack of skill and/or experience on the part of the programmers) why CiV should be so utterly and completely inferior to PG from a tactical standpoint.

    In my last game I had innumerable opportunities to wipe out unscreened siege units as they wandered aimlessly about while purporting to "invade" me. Including one occasion where the AI decided to mount an invasion consisting of three artillery units and exactly nothing else. What exactly was that supposed to accomplish? Lots of hexes, fewer hexes, defined objectives or not - that is just plain stupid, ridiculous, and immersion-breaking.

    Defending the CiV tactical AI is kind of like defending the US college football BCS system. I guess you can do it, and you will see some people try. But the arguments they use are never particularly logical and never completely make sense.
     
  17. SuperJay

    SuperJay Bending Space and Time

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    Okay, theoretically let's strip Civilization out of all this. No Civ5, no comparisons to 4, nothing Civ related at all.

    Let's pretend we're playing a brand-new empire-building strategy game called Eternal Empires. It's a fresh new game on the strategy scene.

    Go back and read Sullla's writeup and subsitute "Eternal Empires" for "Civilization." Skip the paragraphs with comparisons to Civ 4, if that helps.

    It's still a game with severe design flaws. It doesn't matter what you call it, it doesn't matter which iteration of the franchise it is, whether it's the first or the fortieth. Nobody is saying you can't or shouldn't enjoy it - but to claim that any criticism is just "hurt feelings" because "someone took your ball away" and repeating the same tired old 'you just wanted Civ4 BTS version 2' nonsense is an insulting and pointless response to some thoughtful critique.
     
  18. blind biker

    blind biker King

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    I hope you are aware of the fact that I am not a Civ V apologist, but a huge Civ V detractor!? And so is Sulla, and he is saying that the 1UpT could not work in an empire building strategy game, even though it works fine in PG, PacG, DG etc. I happen to agree with that view, and am def. not a Civ V supporter.
     
  19. cf_nz

    cf_nz Prince

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    That's my perspective as well.
     
  20. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    A fair question.
    I honestly have no problem with the relative sizes of armies vs the world.
    I have no problem fighting my way up an Italian peninsula that is 5 tiles across, or shooting across a lake. Its a game, with abstractions to get flavor. So I think this is a non-issue.
    Why should this size abstraction be worse than any other in the game?
    Its not like there are really only 4 cities in France, or that all population lives in cities, or that it takes a year to cross an ocean, or that wars can last a century, or any of the other abstractions that we're just fine with normally.

    I think the solution with large/small city combinations is basically to increase the production capability of larger cities relative to small cities, while increasing production costs for units at higher techs (and upgrade costs), while ensuring that higher tech units massively dominate lower tech units, which Civ5 already does a better job of than any previous Civ.
    This is achieved somewhat in some of Thaliscus's Balance mods, which basically doubles the bonus of the workshop, forge, and windmill buildings.

    I don't have a problem with a "traffic jam" nature of battlefield in the sense of congestion making a meaningful impact. It should be harder to advance an army through a narrow gap, you should be able to use terrain chokes so a small army can resist a large one. Not every
    I think playing Battle for Wesnoth gives a great feel of how restrictive spacing can matter.
    If you have a massive army, don't try pushing it all through a choke, go use your navy to open another front somewhere else.

    I would say though that with a genius-enough tactical AI, then we can tone down the happiness bonuses and unit production bonuses at the high end AIs while remaining competitive, so they won't need to outnumber the human 3:1 to have any kind of chance, so you won't see a sea of enemies so much.

    It all rests on the tactical AI though. Without that, its not really going to work.

    * * *
    Also, I really object to Sulla's "you're a fool if you think that Civ4 combat is just building a big stack and throwing it at the enemy".
    Guess what, for most players (and the AI), that is exactly what they did.
    And the reason it worked ok was that the advantage from doing anything more sophisticated than that was very small relative to the advantage from doing exactly that.

    For the vast majority of players, combat in Civ4 was really boring.
     
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