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Tips needed on improving the Beyond the Sword game

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Sid's Sushit, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. Sid's Sushit

    Sid's Sushit Chieftain

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    Firaxis' moderators said to me that I must give tips otherwise they threaten to close my messages. All right then I'll give four tips today. More will follow later.

    Tip one: get rid of the espionage slider or at least ensure that the AI knows how to use it. The AI falls behind in technologies because it spends too much on espionage at the expense of beakers. Those basic things need to be balanced or the whole game is going to be ruined!

    Tip two: get rid of corporations. They are sorta of late game religions and people say that more than seven religions are unbalanced. But now the game has seven religions plus seven pseudo-religions called corporations! The tip is to get rid either of religions or corporations or both for the sake of game balance.

    Tip three: more historically accurate scenarios please. Those scenarios seems to be made by amateurs. Why doesn’t Firaxis hire real historians? I mean people who really knows about world war II and the like can give that unique historical feel to the leaders and the units. The leaders of neutral countries in the World War II scenario all look like Napoleon! Hello, Firaxis? Napoleon was long since dead when World War II broke out!

    Tip four: GET RID OF THE BUGS! GET THE BASICS RIGHT FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE! PLAY TEST MORE BEFORE REALEASING!
     
  2. TheLastOne36

    TheLastOne36 Deity

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    they had a deadline...
     
  3. Seras

    Seras BuildingMonger

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    i really don't see how corporations unbalance religions....afaik no one gets relationship bonus/penalties based on which corporations they share...do they?


    as for the scenarios, they WERE made by amateurs....and they're extremely good when viewed as such. as for their historical accuracy....it's a <b>game</b>, without any deviation from history it wouldn't be a game it would be like watching a documentary animated with the civ4 engine.(which, i guess, could be kewl....but that's not the goal of the scenarios).


    as for the AI's use of the espionage slider....it could definitely need some tweeking. then again that doesn't imply the whole espionage system is broken(let alone the whole expansion)....it just means a few values need a nudge left or right.
     
  4. Sid's Sushit

    Sid's Sushit Chieftain

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    The deadline is not set in stone. Firaxis needs to understand that if you don't meet the standards you may have to postpone the release date. My tip to Firaxis is to do more play testing even if this may mean delaying the release.
     
  5. Quantumf8

    Quantumf8 Warlord

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    actually with examples such as road to war, firaxis put a limit on what they could do in the mods, you can download more realistic patches in the RTW subforum. But the point is to save disk space firaxis didn't allow the RTW people to have as many unique graphics, final frontier took up too much space I guess.
     
  6. Grimus

    Grimus I

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    1: The AI also focuses on military and other things as well, which is for the better. Actually, I think it depends on the unique personality of the leaderhead also. In a lot of my games where I don't even devote any percentage to espionage, I still come up on top of the AI civs... so how can they be spending too much in it?

    2: Yes, adding even more religions would be overkill and somewhat unbalanced since either EVERY civ could found their own religion OR a few civs could found many religions easier. But corporations are NOT more religions, they're somewhat similar, but not the same. I also personally enjoy this type of "late-game religion" to spread to other civs. In real life, corporations really are like religious cults anyway. :)

    3: I really don't have much to say about this one, I guess it's just a matter of personal taste and opinion. I don't play the scenarios as often, but when I do... I'm usually impressed by them and enjoy them because it's something different from the original game to "mess around" with.

    4: I'm not a computer programmer or anything, but I feel that every program and game is going to have bugs in it, especially when "under the knife" and trying to meet deadlines, which is a reality in the workplace. Be thankful that Firaxis provides us with free patches and listens to their players.
     
  7. Chiyochan

    Chiyochan King

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    now THIS i agree with. :goodjob:
     
  8. Grimus

    Grimus I

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    ^^ That sounds like Blizzard Entertainments approach.

    I bet Starcraft II will be pushed back at least twice before it's released... and it will STILL have bugs in it.
     
  9. Magic Cat

    Magic Cat Chieftain

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    I've been developing software for years (not games - I do mostly telecoms, military or industrial stuff) so I'll stick my oar in here with a perspective from our side. Often design issues & bugs only become apparent when applications are in the field. With complex highly configurable software running on a broad range of systems (such as this game), it is simply not possible to test every permutation exhaustively - nothing would ever be released! Sometimes what appears to the user as an issue that might require a small fix is nothing of the sort & may involve weeks of redesign, implentation & testing. Therefore companies will release software that they regard as in an acceptable form after weighing up the risks that something too unreliable will backfire on them whilst supporting it with ongoing maintenance. At the same time, software firms will have an agreement to release x-amount of functionality on a certain date with extra stuff & fixes to follow or they lose money. Personally I find BTS to be a great expansion. I've had no CTD's & the games I've played to be good fun - I can cope with the odd bit of strange behaviour. I'm glad they released it when they did & we're not having to wait 6 months for them to iron out every single little issue - it'll be sorted much quicker with the game in the field being playtested by us.
     
  10. dozenlong

    dozenlong Warlord

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    Sid's Su****, no offense but you are demonstrating a clear lack of understanding of business reality. Firaxis is not driven by people with an ideological desire to see perfect games; Firaxis is run and financed by people who expect profit. This means schedules and deadlines.

    Since you're complaining about it, you've likely already purchased the product and thus provided the major part of the business stakeholders' requirements. Like it or not, the model in PC gaming of fast release/patch it later has proven profitable as gamers have not stopped buying popular franchise games in any significant way simply because they weren't as polished as they could be.

    With a game as complex as Civ, I thought BTS is well done. What Firaxis will hopefully do is continue to patch and fix and address the issues. Do I like it? No...but I am still buying the game when it comes out and rewarding the behavior. If you'd like to change the corporate model for computer game release and development you are as free as any to exert your resources towards that end. Stop buying the game. Create incentive. Unfortunately, you don't have enough publicity or public appeal that simply your words are going to have any noticeable effect. If you were a big celebrity, perhaps you could leverage that.


    Mindless complaining without understanding reality can be entertaining, but I imagine after the first few posts at Firxais it became old; I can't say that I blame them.
     
  11. Sir Janus

    Sir Janus Warlord

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    Sorry, I don't understand :confused: If you wanted to wait for a more bug free version then what was stopping you! Nobody forced you to buy it now - you could have waited until the third or fourth patch (and possibly got it cheaper by then).

    Having many thousands of people playing it is the best, possibly only, way to complete play testing.
     
  12. UERD

    UERD Chieftain

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    I agree, BTS sucks totally. For the next expansion, Firaxis should hire people dressed in period costumes to act out your moves for you in real time. And they should make it free.

    Please read (taken from the post right before you asked that question):

     
  13. greggbert

    greggbert Warlord

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    I think there will be some "fixes" for corporations soon, and I think that the esionage is working just about right for the games I've played. I have found that the AI uses espionage very effectively. In one of my games, mansa musa was falling behind me a little in tech and I was laughing at him, but then he declared war on me, and destroyed 5 of my airports in the same turn. My economy collapsed and I was unable to upgrade my troops. Then he poisoned the water supply in my unit factory. I don't think he was dumb for slowing down research if he could pull that off.

    I don't agree that adding corporations was like adding more religions, they work completely differently.

    It's OK not to like the expansion pack, I didn't like warlords so I didn't buy it! But seriously, what empire building game is better than this one? Medieval II total war? GalCiv II? Heroes of Might and Magic 5 (choke)? Many would argue that those games' flaws are worse.
     
  14. Dale

    Dale Deity

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    Tell me how to "fix" it then? It's easy to point the finger, but I see no suggestions here.

    BTW while we're at it, aside from others comments above, the add-on pack I'm developing fixes a lot of things and brings my original vision for the mod back. You should try it.
     
  15. p dandy

    p dandy Prince

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    Deadlines usually get pushed back only because of very bad bugs like system crashes, things that make the game not even work. The bugs that I've seen in BTS are not even close. Big companies rarely push a release back due to low magnitude bugs especially when there is an update mechanism in place.
     
  16. SantaX

    SantaX Chieftain

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    Well for me the beauty of games like Civ IV (an fantasy empire building game for me, but for you it could be a war-sim) is the numerous ways we have to play the game. We can not expect the nice folks at FireAxis to bring a perfectly balanced game. Hell, even tic-tac-toe is not balanced as you can always win when you have the first move. Let alone something as complex as this. My favorite game, Hearts of Iron, has been around for many many years now. And every week some smart player finds a new way to exploit the engine. Even after a zillion patches. With complexity come (unforseen) problems. I think fireaxis has given us a great game, and a great expansion. I still would like to see the civ 3 graphics back though, the 3d stuf just gets in the way of gameplay for me. But then again, ask the next fellow and he will say 'i love the 3d stuf'

    Deadlines are certainly not set in stone. They often are set in handwriting on the contract with the publisher though. But this expansion.... rushed? I'm sorry, I can not call it rushed. Windows Vista, that is rushed (can you believe it?) and I fear for the day when we finally will be able to play duke nukem forever. I fear that is going to be rushed too lol. But calling Civ rushed is (to me) an insult to the team.

    That was my personal rant, now let's get back to your questions.

    The AI falling behind in tech... Well, it may sound simple, but try winning on deity/emperor. Something tells me the AI won't be so far behind you on those levels.

    Get rid of coorp... I think what you have there is an oppinion. For me it is an enhancement of the gameplay. So we have differents oppinions. Both are fair.

    Third tip, you want historically acuracy? Don't play a fantasy game. Play Hearts of Iron 1 or 2, totally different game. But accurate it is. And a great game too btw, seeing the complains you have about Civ, I would not be suprised if you would love HOI2. I for certain do, it is very complex, very hard, but also very rewarding. Steeper learning curve (for me at least) than Civ had though.

    Anyway, I hope you can overcome the 'flaws'/issues you have raised, cause at the end of the day, this is a bloody great game :)
     
  17. vilemerchant

    vilemerchant Prince

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    Sure, but I was noticing things that weren't right within an hour or two. I really think it was either barely playtested at all or the testers themselves are very casual players who have little understanding of the mechanics of the game. Some of these bugs were so bleedingly obvious it's impossible that they would have been missed if the testers had the slightest idea what they were doing.
     
  18. Methos

    Methos HoF Quattromaster Super Moderator Hall of Fame Staff

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    Moderator Action: Drop the flaming and keep it on topic.
     
  19. kazapp

    kazapp Emperor

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    Regarding the espionage slider I find it, and the "just set it at 10% and forget about it" advice to be less satisfying.

    I mean, if every Civ sets it at 10% there's little point in having it, is there?

    (Yes, I know you can risk spying missions by setting it lower, or play a spy game by having it higher)

    But in general I have found it to be an intrusive and unwanted addition to the game. In general, the main effect of this BtS feature is that I now have 10 percentage units less to use for what I really need: gold and beakers.

    It's the same with culture, although the pain is somewhat lessened simply because the game came with it. I am sure I would have disliked the culture slider too if it was added in an expansion.

    So, yes, I can (mostly) ignore the tedious micromanagement of Spys by setting the slider at 10% and then forgetting about it.

    But I'd much rather have a custom game option allowing me to disable the spy game altogether: "if you don't sabotage my civ, I won't sabotage yours".

    End result - no civ wastes any resources on spy missions, I don't need to bother with micromanaging (or even building) spies, and I can get back to enjoying my game!

    You could even include some of the spy benefits even with the slider disabled - just assume everyone sets it at 10% and give spying benefits to the richer civs.

    Do note I'm not saying "remove the spy features" - I understand some of you like them, and wouldn't dream of ruining your fun.

    But an option to disable the slider (and tripling the cost of a spy unit as an added bonus, so noone would feel forced to build them and have to endure the tedious micromanagement that follows) would be most welcome!!
     

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