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Thinking of trying civ 5 again.

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by cman2010, May 6, 2011.

  1. Polycrates

    Polycrates Emperor

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    The game is in a much better state than it was at release, to the point where it's really starting to reach its potential.

    The thing that I've noticed the most is that the balance is just leagues better than it used to be (thanks in no small part to a bunch of ideas lifted from mods); tall vs wide empires are a meaningful choice, as is warfare vs building, gold vs production vs food, culture is a worthwhile investment for its own sake (not just for a culture victory), most of the buildings are worthwhile, etc etc. It's a bunch of fairly subtle changes that add up to a much much better balance and flow. It's a huge difference.

    The AI is much improved for the most part; they settle pretty sensibly, improve pretty sensibly and build pretty sensibly. They fight wars as sensibly as could be expected and tend to try and keep fragile troops out of harm's way, while being pretty ruthless at targeting your weak troops. They're capable of quite good "dagger" sneak backstabs with massed combined arms forces when your troops are off elsewhere, which I think is fantastic.

    The diplomatic AI isn't broken, but I wouldn't say it's better than serviceable. It's sort of at the level you'd probably expect from an initial release; not a highlight, but by no means a game-killer. Primarily, I think it just isn't given enough parameters with which to make judgements, and could use more friendship and enmity modifiers (e.g friendship for trades, a couple of scaled levels for warmonger hate, enmity for razing and nuking etc etc). As far as warmonger hatred for taking cities when you're attacked - of course people are going to get upset if you start taking heaps of cities in a "defensive" war. Civ V is far from alone in this either. EU3 for example (perhaps the game with the most nuanced and complete diplomatic system around) still gives you plenty of badboy infamy if you take a bunch of territory that you don't have a claim to, even if you didn't start the war.

    Honestly, I think the major problem the game has now is selling luxury resources to the ai for gold, and the zero-sum foreign trade game more generally. Other than that, even the vanilla unmodded game is now really very good.
     
  2. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    sell resource to the ai is part of the game. yes firaxis changed things but it's not enough to be a good game yet. diplo still does nonsense based on xml design might be hard to tweak it at least for mods but firaxis can probably do it but not when focused on dlc haha.

    diplo def broken LOL you can get 1000's of gold for pillage own resource with barbs and ai hate you for silly things like helping at war.
     
  3. Polycrates

    Polycrates Emperor

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    Yeah the game of course needs a sink for excess luxuries (above just trading it for other civs' excess luxuries), but they offer so much money for them (when they mostly don't need them anyway) that it's now one of the few remaining "dominant strategies" at the higher levels. It's also a bit silly that foreign trade (which is pretty much entirely represented by trading luxuries for each other or for gold) is both such a zero-sum game and also so heavily favours larger empires rather than smaller, developed empires. Some better trading diplo options (eg some sort of "trade agreement" vaguely along the lines of the research agreement) would seem to me like a better way of giving trade benefits to those who cultivate good diplomatic relations.

    Anyway, they did do a pretty major reworking of the diplomatic system in one of the first patches, so and they've made significant changes to other game systems in other patches, so I'm not entirely without hope.
     
  4. DaveShack

    DaveShack Inventor Retired Moderator

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    Broken is still a subjective term. In my case, I only consider software to be broken if it doesn't work at all, for most purposes, or for most people.

    Software that malfunctions occasionally under limited conditions is buggy, not broken.

    If it does not suit the purpose of some users, it is unsuitable for those users, not broken. And suitability is not a measurable thing all the time. Some people just don't like it, other people do. It is, in the end, completely opinion. Any given person may be able to enumerate things they like or things they don't like, and those lists would be comparable if available and stated in like terms. But it is perfectly valid to not like it, for no particular reason, just because there is something about it that is not appealing. It's also perfectly valid to like it, for no particular reason, because on the whole it is appealing.

    In the end, whether someone plays or doesn't play Civ 5 is a personal decision.
     
  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    certainly whether one likes the game or not is up to the person and either preference valid, however it's not accurate to say someone is wrong for using a term when it applies by definition just because others don't like the word in that context.
     
  6. ohioastronomy

    ohioastronomy King

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    The problem is in some extremely bad core design decisions pushed through by an inexperienced and incompetent lead designer. The bad effects of a lack of stacking on numerous game aspects has been pretty exhaustively discussed here, but the single biggest impact it has is making it quite difficult to develop a competent AI.

    Another is that the lead designer really only wanted a wargame, so he removed core components which balanced the usage of war. The problem in Civ games has always been that war is much, much too effective relative to alternatives. To put some meat on these bones I give a couple of ideas below of design decisions which would have led to a very different game.

    Civ 5 amplified this dramatically by removing foreign trade (for income), removing war weariness (an important, and historically accurate, way of penalizing endless combat), and designing a series of one-shot diplomatic initiatives. It would be less exploitable, for instance, if research agreements accelerated your research rather than giving you random bonus techs.

    Civ would be a much better game if you derived a lot of your cash (and had research bonuses) from developing peaceful trade networks - which would also give other players a way to clip your wings without fighting if you get too far ahead. War weariness is needed to allow for wars with limited goals. Make maintenance very high during wars but also accelerate military unit development and freeze/slow nonmilitary units. Replace stacking limits with limits on the number of military units based on empire size (to avoid the endless unit problem). Have intelligent diplomacy designed to isolate warmongers - the lack of the trade above will make them poor and backwards. Allow defensive alliances rather than winner-take-all wars.

    Ideas like these would let the AIs compete in the "peaceful" victory conditions, allow real and logical penalties for warmongers, and add interesting strategic layers. The reason why Civ 5 is so weak is that the designer equated "AI tries to win" with "tries to win means military attack".
     
  7. r_rolo1

    r_rolo1 King of myself

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    Just hold your horses in there, atleast in the comparison with EU III . In there you get badboy for defensive wars if you gobble a lot of land, true ...but the badboy declines and there are legit ways inside the game to increase the rate of badboy burnout ( hiring the right advisor ;) ) . It is not a conquer a city, be a badboy forever system like certain other games :p .... or , using realistical terms, are you still upset with France for their taking of Avignon from the Pope during the French revolution ? or even with the Russian takeout of Kalinigrad ( ex-Konigsberg ) in WW II ? :D
     
  8. V. Soma

    V. Soma long time civ fan

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    I think after next part of this big patch the game will be what it should have been at release...
    That is, in July...

    Well, it is kind of positive, if we want to look at that way :)
     
  9. King Patrick

    King Patrick Warlord

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    Exactly. No computer game ever produced appeals equally to everyone; that doesn't make them all broken.
     
  10. salaminizer

    salaminizer Colorado Internacional

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    no one said it, but after the lastest patch the performance is much better. I too had stopped playing CiV because I just couldn't stand the time between turns. an early turn used to take what a late FFH2 takes, now it's much more playable.
     
  11. budweiser

    budweiser King of the Beers

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    I completed 2 games over the weekend, trying to finish a win with each leader for the achievements. First game was China, continents and that was an easy 4 city cultural win on Emperor even though I was rusty and was nuked 6 times by Egypt.

    Second game was Arabs (Nappy, China, Ottomans, Germany, Egypt, Songhai, Aztec) (I already had a win with them but forgot). After 2 or 3 false starts, I drew a nice location that allowed for 5 cities and settled in for another cultural run, but the CPT never materialized. So, I went capital sniping, otherwize I would have lost. I didnt do any RAs like I did in the first game and research stalled right before renaissance. Nappy was the superpower and when the show down came his forces were superior: mobile artillery, modern armor and jets vs my wheeled arty and inf with no air cover. So, I bought every bordering city state and they absorbed a lot of his combat power. I ended up taking Paris in 1999 and this time it was me that used a nuke, but just one.

    I'd say combat vs Nappy seemed better than before. He had a decent mix of units and used airpower effectively, until I built counters. But in the end, it was my "skillful" use of city states that tipped the scales on both games. In the China game Egypt declared twice. In the first war I bought 3 CS allies and he sued for peace the very next turn.
     
  12. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Broken:

    We have reasonable evidence based on Firaxis patch history for the game to fit this definition when used in this context.

    There are definitely parts of the game that are out of order! For example, right now you can build oxford in multiple cities, multiplayer actively encourages double moving, people drop from MP, and the game glitches in MP making it impossible to end turns. The game also has a tendency to hang people if they try to play very large maps with ~recommended specs, despite those specs being recommended (!).

    There are subjective portions as well; many dislike that liberated AI hates you or that the AI does stupid things in general. I can not make the case that such things are objectively broken however using broken in that context isn't wrong usage of the word, but rather an opinion that you disagree with (in essence, you're not arguing about it being broken, but that you feel these things are not important). However, multiplayer, SP switch bugs, and game performance on recommended specs are pretty objective!

    A lot of people are hating on the AI aggression and unwillingness to concede mass stuff in war; possibly it's been improved quite a bit then even though its tactical use of 1upt is still...iffy :p.
     
  13. King Patrick

    King Patrick Warlord

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    And in my opinion, Civ V is not incomplete, in disarray, or non-functional. The glitches that remain are not game-breaking and, in the case of exploiting the AI, easily solved by not exploiting the AI. Of course, that's only my opinion, just as it's only your opinion that the dictionary definition applies to the game. As for the patch history, A) All games are patched, often extensively, these days and B) I'm talking about the game as it is now, because that's the game I'm playing now. I'm not interested in debating earlier versions that I never played in the first place and are no longer relevant to anyone but computer-game historians anyway.
     
  14. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    That patch history is relevant because it is continuing (IE they've not patched everything yet and have kind of said so!), and civ V has an outlier degree of things needing patches.

    MP is a core aspect of the game, and there isn't much subjectivity in saying it's broken; doing things like ending turn or playing the game without it crashing/losing connection (current problems) are pretty paramount to play in a TBS title.
     
  15. logintime

    logintime Warlord

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    My previous post tried to say something similar, but this is much more eloquently stated. I fully agree: the core design of the game is flawed, both with a 1UPT rule that messed up a large portion of the game and an emphasis on warfare that denigrated every other major aspect of the game.

    I read a lot of people who say that the game just needs more patching so it can realize it's full potential... and I have to disagree. Short of a major overhaul on many of the issues stated above and in other threads on this forum, Civ 5 has limited potential at best, and there's only so much the designers can do to work around the flaws. What we're left with is a game that will never be truly good, but can eventually become passable when one is absolutely bored with all else.
     
  16. Misterboy

    Misterboy Modern Major General

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    I thought I'd chime in as I am someone who played the game a lot at release and left it in December. I heard some good buzz about the latest patch, so I thought I would get back into the game. Here are my thoughts... keeping in mind that I was generally bullish about the game to begin with... that is, I don't have any inherent bias against 1UPT and some of the other "Core" changes in the game:

    -The game seems MUCH more balanced than when I last played, so I am enjoying it more.

    -The AI is FAR more competent when it comes to moving it's troops which makes combat MUCH funner. As some have noted, it protects artillery, and critically, it targets your troops much better.

    -The AI seems far better at running it's empire/economy.

    -There appears to be better reasons for it's diplomatic actions, and diplomacy is far more transparent. I had Pachacouti (sp?) sneak attack me, but I *KNEW* it was a sneak attack and not some random AI bugginess. He did go back to being "Friendly" immediately, which I thought was odd, but no harm no foul, and he never really attacked me once he realized I was in a position to threaten him. I could be "roleplaying" the game to compensate for questionable Dip AI, but in general I've always felt that this game's AI's Diplo plays more like a human would, and frankly I think a LOT of people were too accustomed to manipulating Civ IV's questionable Diplo AI.

    -The game is far from perfect, but the changes I've seen make the game more fun and more playable. If you're interested in coming back to it, I'd say it's well worth playing a game or two. I am now very interested in the upcoming patch and hope that it irons out more of the game's problems.

    -All of the above is based on a single game played at the level just above Prince (Monarch? King? Can't remember). I rolled Monty randomly, was initially aggressive and now am dominating with my economy... so I'll move up a difficulty level for my next game which is where I would normally have started to begin with. The core cause of my dominance is my large territory giving me access to a lot of luxury resources, allowing me a large population and a lot of gold by trading with the AI. The luxury AI trading might need to be addressed in future patches?

    -Edited this post to include another observation I think is important. Capturing cities is MUCH MUCH harder now. The AI seems to have a lot of trouble with it too. I worry that the second continent's AI's fell behind by fighting off an aggressive Germany that "spun his wheels" with wars with little outcome. Once I arrived, I saw him go after several Civs with a much weaker military than him, and still not be able to take a city. Though he did get at least one from Babylon before I arrived.

    I hope my observations help move the discussion forward. Oh, and as for the definition of "broken": I've been playing games a LONG time and Civ V is by no means "broken" in the sense that this word is used in regards to software. Not even close. If you don't like it, don't play it, I guess :)
     
  17. Civ4Brains

    Civ4Brains imperfectus

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    Quite honestly, I don't think I've ever played a game that didn't contain "broken" elements. With regards to CiV I've never suffered any of the serious issues that people have cited, such as the crashes and inability to run on recommended specs (my comp ain't fantastic), but in terms of gameplay yes the AI has done some odd things here and there, but I can honestly say most of the time it's decisions seem to make sense.

    I've figured out how diplo works now, pretty much - I kind of get the various motivations (and no I didn't need to use the XML info to guide me). As such, considering my style of play, what I understand of how the AI generally behaves, diplomacy ends up being one of the more enjoyable aspects of the game.

    I believe Firaxis has made good progress here because they seem to be making diplomacy actually feel organic, not like I'm abusing exploit after exploit. In this sense I think there is grounds to argue that some aspects of this "broken by definition" is an objectivity still ultimately derived from a subjective position.

    Additionally, I think the idea that no other AAA title could be this badly designed is not accurate - I point you towards CoD: Black Ops. Huge title, horrible net code, rendering the game unplayable for many PC and PS3 users.
     
  18. teks

    teks Prince

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    Ok I'm back again after playing a bit now.

    haha, lets drop the 'broken' discussion please. My game was broken, then I upgraded directX now it works. It's all irrelevent to the topic of this thread.

    I think misterboy summed it all up really really good. I noticed the exact same things he did. Good job misterboy.

    I played as the greeks, and planned for a strong early rush. My hoplites, and companion cavalry were battling warriors, but england managed to keep a stalemate. Cities are so much stronger now! Anyway we agreed on peace for York, and I resumed the war 20 turns later. I had the most pwoerful army in the game, but I couldnt break his defenses. The longbow men were especially terrifying. IT took 4 catapults, 4 hoplites, and 3 companion cavalry to finally break one town...I fear maybe thats a little too extreme... Oh well.

    All the game-breaking bugs are gone. I can sell buildings, view puppet states(and sell their buildings) cancel agreements. The AI isn't so xenophobic. When they declare war their units are removed from my borders. Not one crash yet! Research agreements work. The AI has a better grasp on reletive military power (england gave up York to end a war they would have lost, and they came back with a powerful army of longbowmen. I had too many allies however)

    HOWEVER!
    It is painfully obvious that the lead designer wanted a war game. Take away the combat, and the game is just plain lame. Developing my cities is terribly boring. The idea of civilization is ' just one more turn' because so many things can happen in just one turn. I really wish there was more going on to keep me interested... sounds like a job for expansion packs

    Ironically, I love Civ 5, but I had to stop playing because I was getting too into a game of Master of Orion on my netbook. Oh the classics!
     
  19. Misterboy

    Misterboy Modern Major General

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    Glad my rant made sense teks :)

    I wanted to agree about your statement regarding CiV being a war game. I've played since Civ II and have never been a warmonger. I was always a "builder". Mostly that was because the combat was always so terrible.

    With Civ 5, I found that suddenly, a whole aspect of the series which I mostly ignored, became really fun and interesting. Combat is a lot of fun. But it is true that the non-combat side of the game isn't as compelling as previous entries in the series. I enjoy it early on, but towards the mid to late game it just lacks the depth of Civ 4 in particular. Like you, I hope coming expansions will flesh out the non-combat side of things. I'm not saying it's terrible, just that it isn't as good as previous efforts.

    Maybe it's my background with the series that has me enjoying Civ 5 so much. I seem to be happy making the transition from being a builder to an occasional war-gamer. So for me, I guess Civ 5 makes appropriate trade-offs, and I can hope that it becomes as deep as Civ 4 eventually (or at least deeper than it is now).
     
  20. MrSmith

    MrSmith Chieftain

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    1.absolutely yes
    2. i dont know how bad it was before, but its pretty braindead now.
     

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