Viewing the Game in Reverse

vorlon_mi

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I bought the game in 2019, both the base game and the RT expansion at the same time, on a Steam sale.

I started playing BERT, not the original BE game. I learned the game with BERT assumptions.

I wanted to get the "Fearful Symmetry" achievement, to win on a Skirmish map. But I couldn't find a way to select such a map in BERT. So, last night, I went into the DLC option and turned off the RT expansion. I started a game on a Skirmish map as Brasil, and dug in to crush my opponent.

Wow. So much changed, switching back to "vanilla" BE. I was struck by how much it resembled Civ 5, especially the diplomacy. So many conventional agreement options. I was able to build Trade Convoys for a city that had not yet grown enough population to be eligible for its second trade route; in BERT, that option is greyed out.

At a higher level, I can see a bit why BERT is not nearly as popular as Civ 5. For people who were fans of Civ 5, giving BE vanilla try felt familiar. Affinities would be new, as would the side quests, but combat would be similar; culture & virtues would resemble culture & social policies; energy replaced gold; stations replaced city states. Stations were actually simplified city states, since one could only trade with them not become friends or allies with them.

Now, imagine that the BE fans see all the changes that happened in RT, especially the changes that make me enjoy BERT so much. Diplomatic capital is a separate currency, allowing greater flexibility in rush-buying or rush-building units or buildings. All the familiar deal options from other games in the franchise are replaced by eclectic deal options that vary from game to game, depending on what traits you choose and what traits the AI choose.

I can certainly see that some fans of vanilla BE would stop playing. Fans of Civ 4, who love large stacks, would stay away from BERT just as they are staying away from Civ 5. Fans of Civ 5 who like the new features available through the expansion packs would stay with that game, and not give the new BERT a try.

After I get this achievement, I'm going back to playing with the RT expansion. It's a different game in key respects, and a better game in my opinion.
 

Navelgazer

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Rising Tide brings so much that it's almost unfair to really compare the two, and had Beyond Earth gotten the second expansion that it clearly needed, then it would have been unfair to compare RT to that. Diplomatic Favor, and the revamped diplomatic system as a whole, are just so cool, so well-implemented, and the sort of thing with just a lot of room to play in for future expansions that never happened (though we did get to see Modders have a lot of fun in that space, especially as it's the one place where there's real differentiation between sponsors.)

That said, RT brought the focus to the water so much that it seems a little silly to me, and I'm a longtime Civ player who basically just wants naval civs. This, again, wouldn't have been an issue with a second expansion (it could have gone in any number of directions, but playing with the sky - orbitals and air units, etc.) would have been one place to go). Additionally, some Sponsors got hit with straight-up bad design decisions, where they worked more or less fine in Vanilla BE. (Not just getting Nerfhammerred, either! Polystralia absolutely didn't need the boost they got in RT! But that's all been discussed to death already.)

But those are the only real complaints I can make. Everything else is just... better. And nobody played it. Discovering this recently has been like discovering an awesome new room in my home, and that's rad, but I just really, really wish this had gotten the attention it deserved at the time that could have gotten it truly completed. As it is, I'm going to have to start diving into the mods soon for that.
 

vorlon_mi

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Rising Tide brings so much that it's almost unfair to really compare the two, and had Beyond Earth gotten the second expansion that it clearly needed, then it would have been unfair to compare RT to that.

This, again, wouldn't have been an issue with a second expansion (it could have gone in any number of directions, but playing with the sky - orbitals and air units, etc.) would have been one place to go).

The underlined portion -- yes, yes, fully agree. The air unit (only one, a bomber that didn't have much of a fighter role) and the orbital units needed some TLC.

I understand the complaints about the backstory/lore/writing. But honestly, I don't really roleplay myself as any of the leaders in the traditional Civ franchise. How would Gilgamesh act, or Catherine, or Victoria, or Roosevelt, in a new land with new neighbors? I've been playing since Civ 2, and I play the *traits* not the backstory. I very much enjoy the funky, eclectic quotes that are included with each new technology. It appears that I'm in the minority.
 

legalizefreedom

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Agree with all that has been said. I'm glad to see people still discovering this game. Actually trying it and appreciating what it does right... which is almost everything.

I have said it many times, but in case this group has missed it, I play with only one mod, the Awesome Pods and Ruins mod. It fixes many of the broken quests, provides more variety in what you find and found bonuses properly go to the nearest city (instead of all to the capital). It also puts the most powerful dig sites behind a quest wall, which is nice. Not a hard quest, mind you, but it feels more like progression.

I'm sure there is a case for other mods, but that's the only one I've tried that feels like it is required. It fixes stuff that was intended. Not really changing anything per se.
 

vorlon_mi

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Epilog: Finishing that game on a "Skirmish" map gave me the two achievements I was looking for, "Fearful Symmetry" and "United Federation of Planets."
 

Tiberiu

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Civ Be Vanilla is clearly the better game, by a big margin. Rising Tide lacks an AI that can play the game. I managed to get 16 in all affinities while the maximum an AI had was 7.... on Apollo, on my first playthrough with Chengsu (the most overpowered of the factions along with ARC)

I suspect AI in Rising Tide doesn't even use artifacts, does not dig on the new expedition sites, and can't do anything with their Diplomatical Capital. Rising Tide is a rip off, it is unplayable in its current state. However in Civ Be vanilla you can actually lose games if you make mistakes or get too sloppy. The only good thing in Civ Be RT is the music.

And don't even get me started on how getting bonuses from all affinities and affinity combinations leads to colonies always having positive health and absurdly high bonuses, while in Vanilla you actually have to work if you want positive health.

Also, Diplomacy is just brain dead broken in Civ Be RT. AIs lack any and all common sense when it comes to diplomacy. It is clear the game development was abandoned and they rushed the release. AIs do not have even the slightest idea of how to use the diplomacy system and you can abuse them heavily. AIs on Apollo get smacked by aliens for crying out loud.

They never sign good agreements, they most probably make a few randomly without even understanding what the agreement does. It's an insult and a joke to call this a good game. There is a reason nobody plays CivBe RT, it's just a bad game.
 
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vorlon_mi

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Your observation that BERT "lacks an AI that can play the game" seems to be common across multiple iterations in this franchise. The developers write the AI code for the base game, are rushed to deploy the expansion packs, and thus the AI has difficulty using the new features. Over in the Civ6 forums, many people note that the AI can't / don't / won't use new features that were introduced during the New Frontier Pass (NFP) iterations. Getting a better AI was a main motivation for the Civ5 community to develop the Vox Populi and CPP mods.

I have noticed that the BERT AI tend to move their aquatic cities for no good reason; they rarely use aircraft well. I have seen AI explorers conduct expeditions on sites that I wanted in the early game. I think that the AI kill each other's explorers in their early wars, so they don't rebuild them. Given the huge revision in the scope and style of diplomacy between vanilla BE (closer to Civ5) and BERT, I guess that I'm not surprised that the AI doesn't make good agreements. It would have required a *lot* of revision to the code.
 

Makenshi

Ahoy, ye salty dogs!
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The only good thing in Civ Be RT is the music.

Unfair. The upgraded aesthetics of the ocean and coastal tikes, with reefs, plus the new aquatic resources, where a huge plus for me. I hated aquatic cities, tho'... mainly because the dispute for land became a non issue.

But most of your critic in accurate. Personally, I also abhor the way the "axed" the Civ 5/vanillaBe dialogues with the AI leaders, and consequently the trading of resources via trade routes (which led to infinite resources) instead of a barter screen.
 

Protok St

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and can't do anything with their Diplomatical Capital.
Why it can't? In my games BERT AI buys a traits and makes agreements. Sometimes it's even rebuy new traits after has 4 completed slots. Also full of good agreements when not in war with the owners.

...getting bonuses from all affinities and affinity combinations leads to colonies always having positive health and absurdly high bonuses...
I feel the kind a same. What Affinity means if you will have bonuses from them all?!

AIs on Apollo get smacked by aliens for crying out loud.
In my games AI's usually makes a full scale genocide on aliens to the 70-90 turn. I need to be hurry to get benefits from wiping them first.

Rising Tide lacks an AI that can play the game.
Rising Tide is a rip off, it is unplayable.
Diplomacy is just brain dead broken in Civ Be RT.
AIs lack any and all common sense when it comes to diplomacy.
It's an insult and a joke to call this a good game.
There is a reason nobody plays CivBe RT, it's just a bad game.
"Ohh, what a mess is this BERT! :crazyeye:" :devil:

Every opinion is important. And nobody can tell is the game is good or bad for you, except your own experience.
By the way, there is steam community and subreddit that is still playing.
Also twitch never empty for last few month as I can see:
https://www.twitch.tv/directory/game/Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth/videos/all

I can recommend this start options to try for an interesring experience.
Map size: any smaller then standard
Map type: Atlantis
Difficulty: Apollo
Speed/Pace: High
Faction: Random Faction
Ofcource started same turn with player.


Past my 3 games with this setup I was losing. There was 7 players and AI's pronouncing a vendetta on me one by one, right after I defend from previous one. On 4-5th attack usually I'm losing all my cities except Capital. But only if it has not water tiles in bound.

I had also several interesting Multiplayer games. Which is a huge contest if AI experience is lack.
 
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Tiberiu

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Hey, I admit it. I was frustrated when I wrote my post because I want to LOVE this game just like I want to love CIV 5 and I played both games for many hours of my life. I just HATE the fact that AI is completely unable to pose a challange even on the maximum difficulty setting. In truth, there exists the possibility of modifying the game files in order to increase the difficulty of the game in an artificial manner. For example, by increasing AIs bonuses on Apollo/Deity even further.

But I would have loved for it to be possible for us to have an AI that is difficult to play against...

Yes, maybe they use their diplomatical capital, but my point is they do not understand what they do... I bet they're random and if they use the agreement it's basically by accident. They don't seem to be able to tech efficiently despite having huge reduction costs in the Techs+Policy costs and everything else.

In combat, AIs are useless, they lose units very easily. Ok even in Civ 5 they were losing them easily but here the problem seems even worse. I have NEVER had one of my air units intercepted, apparently they don't use this ability.
It is true that a casual player could have trouble with the AI on Apollo/Deity but any decent strategy gamer finds no challange in it.
The war system is so powerful in that you can just stay at war just for the sake of getting free goodies from the AIs, there is an incentive to leave them alive for them to tech for you and simply kill their units, then steal their techs.

So yes, it COULD have been a masterpiece of a game, only the AI is missing. I just can't accept that the existing one deserves to be called AI at all.
 

legalizefreedom

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I see BERT as more of an introspective game. One where you city / world build and write a story. The other sponsors aren't a definitive part of your story, well, they may be sometimes, but it's primarily focused on the player.

Certainly if you strictly want to play a war game, you will find BERT (and Civ in general) lacking.
 
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