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The Three Main Problems With Civ5

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by krasny, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. krasny

    krasny Prince

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    The three main problems with Civ5 are:

    1. Crappy tactical AI. One unit per tile was a great idea, but you have to back it up with an AI capable of using it. The actual AI is incapable of both attacking and defending.

    2. Long turn times, especially towards the end of the game. By end of the game I mean 1900 onwards, in terms of playing time this starts around 20% in to the game. In other words the last 150 years takes up 80% of playing time, turning what should be a thrilling game into a drudge.

    3. Diplomacy. Diplomacy in Civ5 is a joke. Friendly nations suddenly declare pointless wars on you, then agree to peace, then go back to being friendly. Diplomacy in Civ4 was superb, quite why they had mess it up so badly in Civ5 I do not know. I still don’t know what Denouncing does, and I don’t really care. And what moron dreamt up the mechanic of voiding deals after 30 turns?

    Hopefully they won’t mess up Civ6 like they did Civ5.

    We need a leader of Firaxis who cares about Civ, not his silly vanity project du jour. And a lead designer who’s contribution to Civ4 was the espionage system, that was horrible, clicky, busy work.

    Moderator Action: You have the right to bring up your issues with civ, but not to say things in an uncivil or demeaning way. "silly vanity project du jour" is a bit over the top.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  2. MerchantCo

    MerchantCo Merchant

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    If you don't like Civilization 5, move down to Civilization 4. We're enjoying it - if you aren't, just leave and cut the QQ.
     
  3. krasny

    krasny Prince

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    I care about Civ.

    Also which of my three points is wrong?
     
  4. plokoon9619

    plokoon9619 Warlord

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    Really the main problem with civilization is the community itself. Its the same issue with Total War. The community that plays the game mostly sucks so the AI in turn is balanced around their skill level.
     
  5. Civking5

    Civking5 Prince

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    1) play higher levels so Ai can provide enough challenge for you. 2) you need a better rig, unfortunately civ5 is demanding. 3) here we have a big difference of opinion, civ5 diplomacy is human like and a lot better than the phony, gamy one in civ4.

    Anyway, thanks for coming by. Now, learn to deal with changes or go back to your cave in civ4 forum.

    I really hate it, when every now and then one of these self entitled civ4 fan boys shows up in civ5 forum, and lecture us why the game that we like is not good.

    Moderator Action: Please stop using fanboys as it is a personal attack and, thus trolling. If you do not like the content of a thread, just report it and pass it by. As long as this thread remains civil, he has a right to bring up legitimate issues in Civ5. And, btw, he did not bring up Civ4, you did.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  6. Strategist83

    Strategist83 King

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    None. You are perfectly correct. Although I don't take issue with #2 at all. 1 & 3 are indeed the biggest problems with the game, however.

    I'd replace #2 with

    2: General lack of post-release support and polish: Dysfunctional multiplayer, oversights and problems with the game consistently being ignored and not patched (example: the "Get over it" vs "Very well" responses in diplomacy apparently having no effect and yet being present everywhere in diplomacy). Though the game has gotten a lot better with the expansions, it took another 60€ and three years to get there, which isn't terribly impressive for a game having sold copies in the millions.

    silly vanity project du jour

    That was really unnecessary.
     
  7. Socratatus

    Socratatus Emperor

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    Valid points.

    1. The AI is ok at times, but yea, i`ve seen it make some really dumb moves, especially if I have a lake near any city.

    2. Turn times are getting long, especially with BNW. I find myself getting up and doing something else, reading a book or falling asleep. Last time I realised i`d spent 3 hours just waiting for about 5 turns to be done, so quit and had a play of Xcom. maybe i`ll start a new game of Skyrim... something where i`m not falling asleep!

    3. Diplomacy could be a LOT better.

    I also agree that compared to other Civs, CIv5 does feel like some project given to some kid from the boss. Some things feel just thrown together without any real adult thought to it. You get quite authentic Leaders, some realistic stuff, but then 70% of it devolves to kiddiness.
     
  8. leif erikson

    leif erikson Game of the Month Fanatic Administrator Supporter GOTM Staff

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  9. wcbarney

    wcbarney Know-it-all

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    OOoooooo-Kay. So sometimes I play Civ; in your opinion does that mean I totally suck? Or do I just suck sometimes?
     
  10. Jaymax

    Jaymax Chieftain

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    I disagree with point 2, that's probably just your computer.
    I kinda agree with point 1, the AI could be a bit better with managing it's units, but it's far from always making stupid moves. (Although it does make stupid moves sometimes)
    Point 3 I agree, the diplomacy could be a lot better.
     
  11. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Point 1 isn't wrong (the aggressive AI is a lot better following the expansions, however the AI is still terrible at defence), but then it's equally true of Civs I-IV. People who think Civ IV's AI could use stacks are conveniently forgetting its tendency to do such things as send three-catapult-only stacks into your cavalry-led stack. Once you hit the critical "stack of doom" an AI simply overwhelms with numbers despite the fact that the stack's contents are poorly-selected, its use of terrain is woeful and so on and so forth. An AI critical mass "carpet of doom" in Civ V is the same. Civ V's AI is better at using its individual units together than Civ IV's is at using its stack elements together, but people have pointed out that it makes less difference in Civ IV because brute force works more easily in that game.

    Point 3. Mostly on the basis that, whatever you think of Civ V's diplomacy, Civ IV's was far from "superb". The 'friendly', 'guarded' etc. status in Civ V is irrelevant - the Civ V leaders act in accordance with the modifiers shown in the tooltips, in a very similar way to Civ IV's. If you haven't got the hang of such things as the denouncement system you probably don't know the diplomacy system well enough to be able to comment meaningfully on it. Once you know what the system's doing AI behaviour generally makes a fair bit of sense.

    Yes, they're very bad when it comes to working out when to accept peace and when to go to war, but then this was equally true of Civ IV and prior games. Those games got around the problem to some degree by making war the endpoint of a "sliding scale" - a civ would only declare war if it hated you enough; however if it hated you enough it would still go to war whether that was in its interests or not. Civ V wars tend to start over specific objectives (mainly "I want that land") and a civ can loathe you without going to war if it knows it can't achieve that objective.

    Unfortunately, it's not very good at estimating its ability to achieve its goals or realising when they can't be met.
     
  12. MerchantCo

    MerchantCo Merchant

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    Civilization 5 is an excellent game, so I wouldn't say that Firaxis "messed up" Civ5. Personally, I enjoy Civilization 5 much more than Civilization 4. It's up to you, of course, but that doesn't mean that Civ5 is terrible, which is what you seem to be implying.

    The AI isn't perfect, but you obviously don't know how hard it is to program a good AI. An AI that can use the terrain to its own advantage? An AI that can tell, simply from strategic positioning, that it shall lose a military confrontation? An AI that knows when backstabbing is or isn't worth it? It's not easy, even for experienced programmers. Think of the AI as a robot - it has no feelings, it's not as smart as human, and it sometimes breaks down. Stop trying to think of the AI as a human, because it's not.

    A smart person finds a way to solve a problem. However, you would rather complain that the problem is too difficult - that's the difference between you and a smart person. The AI declares war on you early on in the game? Build a stronger military, or don't expand near that person. The AI backstabs you mid-game? Pfft, you should have placed a spy in that civilization's capital so you would have been warned. The AI becomes powerful very quickly? Choose different building/units to build in your cities, or try a different civilization.

    This QQ is unnecessary and annoying. Either state it in a calmer manner, or leave and play Call of Duty.
     
  13. krasny

    krasny Prince

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    I'm not saying Civ5 is terrible. Far from it, I actually like Civ5, and bought BNW against my better judgement.

    But it is deeply flawed.

    As to the denouncement system. It seems to be just as borked as the diplomacy system in general. Friendly country denounces you, denouncement expires, they're friendly again. Denouncements don't seem to have any impact on gameplay that I can see, other than irking me into declaring war on the denouncee. Maybe there's some subtle impact in terms of diplomacy, but diplomacy in Civ5 is largely irrelevant, so meh.

    Just what monster rig do you need to run endgame Civ5 at a non-glacial pace? I have 8 cores running at 3.14Mhz, 8 gigabytes of memory, and a Geforce 450 video card.

    In my original post I never ceased to be calm. With at least three major flaws extant after two expansions, I think mess is a pretty apposite description.

    I could not have put it better my self. Even worse the boss was developing a Facebook game and not supervising development of Civ5.

    Welcome to my world!
     
  14. ilik

    ilik Chieftain

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    If you noticed, a civ that denounces you is more likely to declare war, deals that worked in the past may be changed to disfavor you, it's virtually impossible to make an agreement to declare war or a pact of secrecy, and utterly impossible to make a pact of cooperation. It's meant to bring you down.
     
  15. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    Again, the 'friendly' tag is often misleading (though less so than in earlier versions) - this is a problem, but it's fundamentally a UI issue, not an issue with the system (i.e. diplomacy is working, the game just does a poor job interpreting the behind-the-scenes modifiers when telling you what a civ's attitude is).

    The impact's not that subtle, and will be seen by checking the tooltips. Civ V diplomacy is fundamentally multipartite - the point of denunciation isn't to have an effect on that civ's relations with you, it's (as the in-game text "I've told the other leaders about you" indicates) to affect the way third parties see you. If you've been denounced, you're much more likely to be denounced or attacked by that civ's friends, or by neutral civs - and by lowering other civs' opinion of you the denouncer is more likely to get positive responses to their requests to declare war on you (conversely, civs that are influenced by the denunciation will favour you less in deals and are unlikely to declare war on your behalf). Though I'm seeing denunciations a lot less in BNW than previously - it's not just the greater passivity of the war AI, since in my past few games I've been attacked multiple times, usually with no prior denunciation and generally by alliances rather than single civs.

    I'm not sure how you've reached the conclusion that diplomacy is largely irrelevant in Civ V, however.
     
  16. gps

    gps King

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    Not quite sure what should be wrong with the earlier versions - however even the Civ V lead designer Jon Shafer himself admitted AI attitude has design flaws that can't be solved completely, which makes it appear erratic at times. A "friendly" civ in Civ IV is a friendly civ - with the exception of Cathy an friendly civ in Civ IV will never start plotting war against you. There's nothing misleading about it. So if you're trying to discredit the earlier version, please at least try to stick with facts and don't make up fantasy arguments. Thanks!
     
  17. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    I meant earlier versions of Civ V, where backstabbing was more common and the status itself appeared to be more erratic. I already described in an earlier post how Civ IV handles diplomacy (although as a counterexample I've had "friendly" Montezuma in Civ IV declare war on me, while having more positives than genuinely friendly Joao, so the claim that it's only Catherine who disregards the status label is itself in error).

    As I noted, however, the status shown is not a civ's "real" attitude - its real attitude falls along a scale dictated by the various hidden modifiers, and the UI simply displays that as one of four coarse categories (not counting War, Denouncing or Afraid, which are statuses triggered by specific game events).

    There do appear to be errors in the way the system assigns certain levels of modifier to specific UI-displayed categories, but it's important not to confuse this with what the diplomacy system itself is doing.

    To briefly anthromorphise the AI, the AI doesn't see its relationship status with you (any more than you see your relationship status with it - you see how it feels about you, but only you know if you're coveting its lands, if it's built wonders you coveted etc.), so doesn't "know" you see it as friendly, guarded or whatever. It just knows that you've performed actions that it likes or dislikes, and it weights those actions against one another. Imagine if there were an analogous system that applied a named category to your opinion of an AI, and an AI rival saw that as "Friendly". If you plan to go to war with that AI because you covet its lands or want a Wonder it's built (or are just after domination), does that demonstrate that "the human is crazy", or merely that the system got the category wrong in describing you as friendly?
     
  18. gps

    gps King

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    But as Jon Shafer himself pointed out, it does not matter how well something is intended or how brilliant the internal mechanics are designed or programmed. What matters is how the player preceives what the AI does. And if that does not make sense, it's a bad feature nevertheless...

    But that's something different than what we have in Civ V. I have no problem to imagine an AI that plays friendly on the outside but has a grudge nevertheless and plots in secret against you (Cathy-style). No big deal programming something like that - and this sure would add some spice to the game. I also have no problems imagining an AI that takes precautions and says: OK, the player seems friendly - but those guys are usually SOBs so let's keep some extra troops in a spot where he can't see it. Or how about a secret defensiv alliance? But that's not what we have in Civ V. From Civ IV we went from rational, rely-, predict- and exploitable to irrational, erratic, autistic - and still exploitable. Not sure what makes more sense in a game of strategy...
     
  19. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Deity

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    That's a fair point, however in criticising it what's important is to identify what it's getting wrong and where the problem lies. We've all seen cases with the Civ V AI where you'll see the 'Friendly' category applied despite the fact that most or all the modifiers shown are negative. That's not the AI's fault - Monty doesn't know the system's telling you he's friendly, all he knows is that he hates you because of all the various negatives described in the tooltip.

    It's purely a classification problem - the AI is using the 'Friendly' tag for a civ that is not friendly towards you, and isn't even pretending to be friendly if you look at the modifiers. Often civs with those modifiers will actually behave generally in an unfriendly manner - they'll refuse like-for-like trades, they might have denounced you a couple of turns ago etc. If you pay more attention to the actions a civ likes/dislikes, you'll find that these are a much more consistent guide to predicting their behaviour than whether or not the system tells you they're "Friendly".

    That's not what I'm describing, and it's taking anthropomorphising the AI a little far to boot. The AI doesn't even know you think it's being friendly - that's a label you see that the AI doesn't. I'm considering a situation where you might have done nothing to give the AI the impression that you're being friendly, but imagining that a tag is attached to the AI's diplomacy view describing you as "Friendly" - this is the equivalent of what you see with an unfriendly AI that's given the wrong label by the system.

    I've rarely if ever seen AIs use defensive alliances - maybe once or twice in G&K, but I've never attacked someone in BNW only to have someone else enter the war on their side. But that could partly be my generally non-aggressive playstyle.

    I'm not sure how you're intending "autistic" here since it's a characteristic of the condition that behaviour is often overly rational, not to mention highly stereotyped and so predictable. But that aside, I find that I can very reliably predict what an AI will do in Civ V, based both on civ identity, my actions and the various relationships in the game as a whole. In my last completed game, for instance, war declarations against me followed my settling choice territory or marrying a city-state adjacent to the offended civ's cities.

    If I was attacked by an "unusual suspect" it was generally a joint declaration with a known enemy who I imagine as being the instigator, and I can see why the civ would be willing to join. Such as Darius, who I'd repeatedly stolen technology from and just married Cahokia, adjacent to Persepolis, and who already thought I was expanding too aggressively. Is it any wonder he refused to renew a DoF and joined Assyria's war against me shortly afterwards? Possibly Ashurbanipal approached Darius in part because Harun was out of the picture - he'd been involved in the first war against me, but when I allowed him to have peace instead of taking Damascus, he was ready to sign a Declaration of Friendship. Harun is not a backstabber, so he probably wouldn't have been willing to attack (quite apart from then having the game's weakest military).

    As for Ashurbanipal himself, he needs to conquer to use his UA and Assyrian units were milling suspiciously around the edges of Colombo even before I married it - his behaviour as a result was entirely expected, and consistent with his pre-existing objective (he wanted Colombo, so if I was in control he'd have to go through me).

    Then there was Montezuma in the same game. Monty remained steadfastly neutral towards me despite mostly positive modifiers. He was, surprisingly enough, the only one of the game's other five civs never to be involved in a war against me. But when I needed an ally he was my go-to hired thug - when Darius wanted several of my unique luxuries to take on Carthage I asked Monty instead, who responded "You got any spare horses?". He thought I was a warmonger for taking Nimrud at the conclusion of my first war, but tolerates warmongers. A war later, he now has negatives with Dido and a positive with me for fighting a common enemy, so when Dido next declares war on me I bring him in again, and again get a good deal (by that point we all three have the same ideology, but Monty clearly has more reason to like me) - that war lasts the rest of the game even after I secure peace with Carthage.

    In that game I never had any trouble either predicting or understanding the other civs' behaviour, to the extent that I could manipulate Montezuma into fighting my wars for me in a way I couldn't with civs I'd treated less well (such as Persia). I got an unexpected war declaration from Dido the first time she attacked, but that was the only time I was caught unaware and her target was Gratz - a city she'd complained about me settling much earlier in the game and that it made sense for her to want. She tried halfheartedly to press on for Salzburg, but offered peace immediately after that failed having achieved her primary objective (naturally I didn't accept since I wanted Gratz back - and she was much more accommodating after that). Civs were even - without exception - willing to take a no-strings-attached peace deal when their attacks failed, when I was encroaching on their territory, and/or they were under pressure from another civ.
     
  20. MerchantCo

    MerchantCo Merchant

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    I'm using a four year-old Mac and Civ5 still runs very smoothly. Monster rig? It's just a normal computer, without any add-ons!

    Oh please, I could smell the rage in your post from a mile away. Did you just lose a game or something? Did Shaka rustle your jimmies? And no, it's certainly not a mess. I could list three major flaws in Civ4, but does that make it a mess? According to your logic, yes!

    Moderator Action: Your last bit is about the poster and not the topic. You are assigning things to him you cannot know, this is trolling. Please stop, as it seems you are the one who is angry with him.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     

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