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Tom Chick's take on Civ 6

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by footslogger, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. Lord Shadow

    Lord Shadow General

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    Frequently randomizing tile yields would reduce micromanagement? Not at all. Quite the opposite: players who value efficiency would be forced to micromanage citizen assignments on every city every time the "season" changes and the yields change. No problem for the AI, but hell for the player.

    As for randomizing Eurekas, it's an example of a realistic stance taken for realism's sake, without any consideration for actual fun. Eurekas are an interesting mechanic that give players mini-objectives in order to get a reward. All that would be lost if they simply became random. Sure, the AI wouldn't have trouble with them, but randomness won't reasonably solve AI problems. Might as well make combat damage random and load the dice in the AI's favour: boom, 1UPT "solved".
     
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  2. smartcanuck1988

    smartcanuck1988 Warlord

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    Agreed and what I suggested earlier somewhere else too.

    I know the review is a bit harsh but I completely agree with the points raised. I'm not at all against 1upt but it definitely requires more love to be given to the AI to learn how to handle it well. Reading his point of view, I can totally justify the score.

    What he says about how the development process went sounds similar to how I think: many ideas, but they are all disjointed. Nobody seems to have sat down and considered how they all fit with one another. I've been hating on religion enough so I'll spare you the example. Another I can use is the warmonger penalties being so weirdly weighted, and how it doesn't fit the fast progression of technology. This truly feels like they got a bunch of ideas and went ahead and added them and not once someone said "No, wait, this will cause a problem." They left it to us to play the game and find out. I'm hoping that they are listening and will sort many of these things, but I'm disappointed that it looks like little foresight went into the design.
     
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  3. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    he makes some decent points (yeah missionary spam is annoying) but hardly worth a 2 star rating. 1upt is not an "unmitigated disaster". That's just his opinion. I would NEVER want to back to stacks of death and suicide catapults.

    And he says it "whiffs on espionage" without any explanation for that claim. Is it me or is espionage awesome in civ6?? I feel like they did espionage way better than any previous civ game.
     
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  4. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    It's kinda funny, "the problem" in civ4 was, that you could march your pile of units on one way towards an enemy city and take it. It was a game of numbers (oversimplifying here obviously). So they introduced 1upt to make the map matter in civ5. In civ6, "destacking cities" means that the map matters in and itself. Targeting districts or resources seems powerful in war to warrant not directly going for the city center or avoiding chokepoints (wonders should be a similar target...). But doesn't that mean they could've gone back to (limited) stacking now in order to ease the pressure on the AI?

    I do find his review refreshing as it doesn't shy away from the obvious criticisms, i.e. missionary spam, erratic AI and a lot of UI issues which are mostly due to the fact that the game simply isn't polished.

    EDIT: Espionage is better than in any previous civ game, but it still feels kinda tacked on. Spies cost a lot of production and so I sometimes don't get around to building them. It's a tacked on system, that you can only mildly manipulate, f.e. there are no static defense buildings and there's the economy of having only a few spies you have to circle around. But the system looks more complex than it really is and it may be more of a distraction than an asset. Lastly, there are the UI-issues, i.e. having to assign the same spy to counter-espionage over and over again.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
  5. smartcanuck1988

    smartcanuck1988 Warlord

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    Chazzycat, I have to disagree about espionage. Civ6 espionage is hardly interesting to me. The random boosts make little sense or use. I at least liked the election rigging in V.
     
  6. Magil

    Magil Monarch

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    I personally think espionage is a neat little side system that thankfully doesn't take up too much of the game. It'd be a solid feature for me if it wasn't for counterspies needing to be reassigned every 4 turns or whatever.
     
  7. chazzycat

    chazzycat Deity

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    what about the other options though? stealing great works is awesome, we've never been able to use spies for culture victory before.

    the counterspy thing is kind of annoying but easily changed in the game files.
     
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  8. ExemplarVoss

    ExemplarVoss Prince

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    I find espionage to be really poor (which admittedly is pretty in keeping with espionage in civ expansions). Its both amazingly dull, yields very little, and defensively, it's a micromanagement hell, where every couple turns you mysteriously must confirm that yes, indeed, you want the spy where you placed it, and yes, indeed, you want it to perform counterespionage in the place you put it.

    Bluntly, I have no idea why it uses the trader interface instead of a dedicated pane that can manage all espionage simultaneously. They really don't need to be units at all, and don't grant any benefits or drawbacks from being a pseudo-unit.
     
  9. smartcanuck1988

    smartcanuck1988 Warlord

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    I do like the idea of stealing great works. But in practice I personally don't find much use for it because as we have discussed in other threads, the limiting factor in great works is the available slots not the works themselves.

    This to me personally is the theme in many aspects of the game. Interesting ideas but all together they are rather dysfunctional at the moment. Or at least, not functioning as each idea sounds separately on paper. Further adding to what the review in OP says about the devs always saying "wouldn't it be cool if.." and nobody is saying "no".
     
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  10. Dux1

    Dux1 Warlord

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    TL;DR: Tom Chick doesn't like 1UPT.
     
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  11. Big J Money

    Big J Money Emperor

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    Not to derail but I'm not impressed with espionage either. It feels more like busywork than anything else. Rigging elections in Civ V at least felt more strategic to me. I don't know exactly why, but it did.
     
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  12. CaiusDrewart

    CaiusDrewart King

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    I've felt that espionage is a pointless distraction in every Civ game, and Civ VI is no exception. I'd be happy if the designers of Civ VII just didn't bother with it.
     
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  13. smartcanuck1988

    smartcanuck1988 Warlord

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    In V city states didn't add that much yet election rigging felt interesting and strategic, and in VI with the unique and sometimes powerful suzerain bonuses, I'd imagine election rigging would have been even more important and exciting. Yet the devs chose not to include it for some reason.
     
  14. orasis

    orasis Prince

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    I agree with him on the tile blocking. I've exploited this to my advantage in early and late games. Want a nuke? Never! My builder will stand here until the end of time (while I nuke your entire civilization).

    I also agree and suggested same. The tech tree 'Eureka's' should be randomized for the player (and AI if possible!) ... Because after a few games it does become formula, you just start ticking off boxes.

    As for his rage against 1UPT... I disagree. Stacks of doom were boring and too easy to abuse.

    I still, for the life of me, do not understand why Firaxis did not hire the AI guys from Galatic Civ 2. It was basically the same thing and yet GC2's AI was pretty damn good, sometimes it felt like you were playing an actual human being who knew how to play the game.

    What is it? Money or Non-disclosure contracts???
     
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  15. orasis

    orasis Prince

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    Destroying an industrial district is pointless?

    At least when successful that's what I think it does. --- Another thing he was right on is a lack of info.
     
  16. orasis

    orasis Prince

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    Because it became a game of 'fill the bucket' ... Same with science in V.

    Do not get me wrong, I enjoyed BNW a lot .. but once you understood the mechanics it was basically... fill food buckets until you cannot anymore and then fill science buckets non-stop. You win.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  17. DocRock

    DocRock Prince

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    It's a much better review than the glorification of the other sites, but 2/5 is too low. I'd go. with a 3-3.5/5. And 1Upt is a good thing, if they can get the AI to deal with it.
     
  18. Europa Victrix

    Europa Victrix Chieftain

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    What's the point of espionage on an AI that doesn't need to bother with science or gold or really anything?
    It's just another means for the player to grow their numbers but it doesn't hinder the AI in the slightest.

    And that design philosophy permeates the entire game. It's not about interactions between various civilizations, it's about the player alone. The AIs are just the necessary window dressing to create the illusion of playing against something.
     
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  19. Zhahz

    Zhahz PC Gamer

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    Well, that's only if you consider 1upt a mistake, which I do not, because I think stacks are utter cheese and tactically pathetic, and 1upt is vastly superior, which is why it's used in most table top and otherwise good strategy games. Could Firaxis put more effort into the combat AI? Perhaps. But I usually don't condemn a design principle that's proven to be completely successful over time due to how its implemented in one game.

    If that's the foundation of his criticism then I can't imagine the rest is any better. We all have opinions and publishing yours online doesn't take a whole lot of effort - nor does it make it more valid than anybody else's opinion.

    What I think a lot of armchair wannabe devs/designers/AI programming prodigies and critics fail to realize is that Civ is a very complicated game and it's amazingly unlikely that any given player is going to 100% love every little piece of it. This iteration out of the box is more complex than most since they packed so much into it vs doling it out over xpacs (which I think is pretty awesome).

    If the game has already sold 1m and if it's #5 most played on steam at the moment and in the top 10 pretty much full time (Civ V was still top 10 every day when VI hit, so apparently it was an ok game, to be top 5 years after release), that somewhat implies that a lot of people like the game despite what the naysayers spew. And even as popular and awesome as this site and ones like it are for some of us, it's still a small fraction of the total player base for a game like this (consider Civ 5 sold 6+m copies, how many of those folks to you imagine ever came here, or Apolyton, or civ reddit? 5% or less?).

    So on top of the fact that designing and coding a game as huge as Civ is very complicated, they also have to factor in trying to appease the hard core fans (the minority and impossibly demanding) and the larger number of "regular players" that also includes extremely casual players who still bought the game and deserve to enjoy it.

    I think they did a pretty good job. I don't think the game is perfect and I'm looking forward to some patch action (and wish Firaxis wasn't notoriously slow with patching and next to invisible with communication, but that's how they've always been). But I think the game is fun as is and will only get better with time, which isn't a whole lot different from previous iterations and/or pretty much any other good 4X.

    And of course, for the extreme minority that can never be happy, I'm sure you'll eventually get mods to let you mutilate the game to your liking.
     
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  20. Roxlimn

    Roxlimn Deity

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    The AI guy for Gal Civ 2 was primarily Wardell, who is CEO and owner of Stardock which made Gal Civ 2. I figure he's not too keen on improving the AI of his competitors for an employees' payslip. The reason GC2's AI was good was because the entire game was created around it. In other games, they create the game system, and then create the AI to play it. In GC2, they made the AI first, and then created a game system it can play. The vanilla game was so bland you're actually doing a disservice to vanilla by calling the game vanilla.
     

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