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Victories aren't competitive

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by Tinker, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. Tinker

    Tinker Prince

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    A lot of the complaints about the relative ease of BE and the lack of interesting AI can be reduced down to this: the victories don't have you go up against the AI, unless a race counts. You can just bunker down and create your thingymadoodle that gives you your victory in four out of five victories. Compare that to Civ V, where even if you weren't doing domination, you were very regularly involved with the other AI: for Diplomacy you needed to outbid them on city-states and influencing them for votes, Culture required you to go up against their culture with their tourism and be fast with your archaeologists and wonders, and even Science allowed you to spy and have Research Agreements. But in BE, you don't really need AI at all - they might as well not be there.

    To add to that, most victories are just looking at an arbitrary number tick over (Transcendence especially is horrible at this), which then suddenly turns into a "You won" screen - that's incredibly unsatisfying. BE could really benefit in some ending movies or the like to really drive that victory home, because unlike in V there's very little satisfaction gotten before the victory itself (i.e. "we're wearing your blue jeans" or watching that space ship go). It's frustrating to end the game at the point where you really want to see what happens next.
     
  2. HandyVac

    HandyVac Gentleman

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    Even before you start working on a victory there's not much reason to compete against other factions... except in a race to maximise the yields of your cities the fastest.

    No need to fight over land because the health system actively punishes you for founding too many cities and the advanced tile improvements make any sort of terrain as productive as any other (or almost so).

    No need to fight over strategic resources because they aren't needed for most units/buildings, and because 2 out of 3 of the affinity-specific ones will be of no use to you except to trade in deals to get the resource you do want.
     
  3. Lucius_

    Lucius_ King

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    Depends on skill and difficulty level. My last game, I had to DoW KP to kill her mindflower. Then I had to do the same with Fraco-Iberia. I had to completely change course from domination to Promised Land and I won. Kp wasn't a threat but FI would have won if I had just ignored her. All of which was my own fault though by screwing around with domination.

    My current game, I'm dealing with an expansive Brasilia who thinks my cities belong to him.

    If you play it as a race, then that is what it will be. It's not much different than BNW science win.
     
  4. GenEngineer1

    GenEngineer1 Chieftain

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    The problem is the AI doesn't respond to other peoples attempts to win, except in the case of domination. If you start settling Earthlings, the AI will not even consider attacking you to try and stop or slow down the process. Same goes with how AI's react to each other. If the AI's were more active in stopping other players from winning, a lot of complaints about how easy the higher difficulties are might go away.
     
  5. MasterDinadan

    MasterDinadan Warlord

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    In my last game, I had three DoW the turn after I placed my first Earthling. I managed to get 12 of them placed by the time the others started taking them down. I ended up losing, but it was very exciting.
     
  6. iardis

    iardis Chieftain

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    This is my experience so far, too. I still wish the AI would be able to group together to bring down a stronger foe (in contrast to what it actually does: grouping together to kill a weaker foe more easily ;) ).

    This would make the endgame so much more interesting and probably more difficult, too.
     
  7. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

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    I think the biggest problem is that there isn't enough signalling. The victories, in principle, are pretty good design: multiple stages, involving various game subsystems, several techs and take time.

    The Civ4 mod Planetfall did something similar with their transcendence, there was a "flowering counter" that counted the amount of transcendence-related buildings, tile improvements and fungus tiles, slowly pushing it to victory and forcing DoWs. That made for tense final rounds.

    On paper, it's all there. If there was something like a big "Transcendence Counter" or "Contact Imminent!" display with messages beforehand (and appropriate AI reactions), that would start ramping up the tension. Perhaps have some unique effects as well, Harmony could have sudden miasma spreads around the planet, Purity the reverse and faster pop growth, Supremacy gets more and more satellite range - just to drive home the effects.
     
  8. Tinker

    Tinker Prince

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    I've been playing on Apollo only and didn't have any of that. The AI does tend to declare war once you're getting close to a victory, but then it takes forever for them to actually move their army and there has never been an occasion where my victory units were remotely in any danger. :mischief:
     
  9. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Deity

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    Interestingly, I had some games where the AI did try to stop me and other games where it did not. In my first game, I was close to the supremacy victory and Hutama who was Purity DoW me immediately and did succeed at beating me. Another game, PAC DoW me and we were the same affinity but then made peace with me and let me win the Contact victory.
     
  10. Darvon

    Darvon Chieftain

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    Absolutely disagree. My first (only) game was an Apollo Domination. I'd meant to go for one of the science victories but I was so crushingly ahead there was no reason not to roll over everything around me.

    Being able to ignore the AI is a symptom of it being boring and ineffective, not the other way around.
     
  11. Biz_

    Biz_ Prince

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    a race definitely counts. the entire point of the series is to race

    look at civ4's info screens which illustrate the race playing out in graphical form.

    that's basically the cleanest game in the series at illustrating what civ is about

    you race towards one victory condition while denying other players from reaching their finish lines (other victory conditions)

    if they cannot design an AI that can race, they should stop calling it a civilization game.
     
  12. Tinker

    Tinker Prince

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    Obviously "four out of five victories" being non-competitive has the odd one out being domination, yes.
     
  13. Tinker

    Tinker Prince

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    Point is, in other Civ games it wasn't just a race. It got adjusted to exactly what the AI was doing - like tourism overcoming the opponent's culture, or your UN votes being higher than anyone else. There were other players actively involved in that that you had to beat. In BE, you might often as well be playing a game on the world completely alone, get the victory, and then check it against the time of the AI.
     
  14. Biz_

    Biz_ Prince

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    the only active involvement needed was people taking land/resources away from you

    the core decision in civ is about expansion vs. research vs. military
    everything else is basically non-competitive.

    of course you can get a diplo/culture victory, but only if you manage not to wiped out by people who are actually playing the game. you still have to spend the vast majority of your resources in those 3 areas in order to defend
     
  15. Tinker

    Tinker Prince

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    But that feels completely ineffectual in BE - there might as well be a counter of soldiers that you need to have before you get auto-invaded and lose the game, because that's the only interaction you're ever going to have unless you go domination. If expansion vs. research vs. military was the crux of Civilization, previous games sure didn't exactly feel like that, especially as they are often combinable.

    Going up against the other players is just fun and it's part of what makes the games interesting. Sitting in your base twiddling your thumbs until the mandatory number ticks over to a win is not. Let me send those troops into enemy territory for Supremacy, or launch terraforming satellites over enemies' heads for Purity, or something like that.
     
  16. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Warlord

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    I don't think it helps that the only way to contest is DoW and crush them, for ALL OF THEM. Granted that was sorta the case in Civ 5, but culture and diplomacy(econ) could technically be fought without just murdering every city they have until they're no longer in the game(even if they've still got cities left).
     
  17. Biz_

    Biz_ Prince

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    sorry to disappoint you, but civilization is a very boring game series if you take a superficial look at what players are actually doing.

    I agree there should be a game that makes interacting with other players fun, but that has never been the heart of the Civ series.

    the decisions - both big and small - are what's supposed to be interesting in Civ


    if we're both peacefully twiddling our thumbs, then which wonder should I go for?
    which technology should I research?
    can I afford to spend less on defense and more on expansion?
    should I accelerate my short-term current project or aim for something that'll provide greater long-term benefit?


    at higher levels of play, 99% of civ is about those types of questions. it's about math and risk/reward or cost/benefit analysis.

    for a lot of players it's not appealing, and the designers have tried to introduce more interaction over the years. But the reality is that it has always taken a backseat to the triangle between expansion / research / military, at least when it comes to competitive play.


    here's an example:
    for a lot of people, the cottage system in civ4 is basically the best thing to ever come out of the series. it's not fancy. it's not interactive. it's even dull in many ways.
    but there's strategic depth to it and it results in extremely interesting risk/reward decisions.

    I would caution against using civ5 expansions as some representation of what civ is about.

    Twiddling your thumbs as the turns go by is boring, but there's no other way to resolve these hard questions. You don't know whether going for the short-term or the long-term benefit was the right decision. the only way to find out is to see what happens in 200 turns. It's about seeing whether your plan for victory survives the test of time.
     
  18. Tinker

    Tinker Prince

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    You're right of course - what I'm saying is that the strategy, the cost/benefit decisions, all that, always included the AI. The majority of the victories always involved some sort of gameplay element that included them - that's not the case in BE.

    Now, that's not to say that's not something that can be improved upon - Civ 5 victories were generally pretty dull at the start, too, but as it stands now, it feels like I might as well just set my own turn limit to win at and either beat that or don't to win or lose.
     
  19. Optimizer

    Optimizer Sthlm, SWE

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    As said, city-states played a major part in some Civ 5 victories.

    Stations should be useful for victory in BE. That would make them good for something.
     
  20. AriochIV

    AriochIV Colonial Ninja

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    The four non-Domination victory types are each "build this thing and then defend it", which sounds great, but the "and defend it" bit is only interesting if the AI is willing to attack the thing. Which it doesn't seem to be. So yeah, it just becomes a race to "build this thing," which is less compelling.

    So once again it boils down again to the capabilities of the AI. Though I think some kind of different (maybe diplomatic, maybe cultural) victory option could have helped, instead of four more or less similar "build this thing and defend it" flavors. But if they had a Civ V city-state victory, we'd probably just be complaining that the AI doesn't seem to compete for the city-states. Et cetera.
     

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