Was there anything GOOD about streamlining?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Haig, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. zonk

    zonk Prince

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    I don't know about that.

    Without checking receipts, I'd be willing to bet I've spent $150 on EU3 between vanilla and all the expansions.

    I'll grant it would never be a blockbuster - and everyone wants blockbusters (I guess so marketing can get paid to run enormous advert campaigns) - but I'd be willing to bet that such a game would be profitable.

    I'd certainly be willing to drop 3 figures on a game that was a lot more RoM/AND and a lot less CiV.
     
  2. lschnarch

    lschnarch Emperor

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    Do you mind to explain where this "more depth" might be hidden?
    Unfortunately, I've not found it yet, but I would be eager to learn.
     
  3. sketch162000

    sketch162000 Warlord

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    Okay, but that doesn't answer my question. What causes you to believe that the dev team shares your definition of streamlining. Why exactly do you believe that the game was streamlined only to conserve resources? What evidence do you have that the dev team wasn't just playing whack-a-mole with Civ IV's issues?

    For my part, I'm no longer willing to give Firaxis the benefit of the doubt.

    I agree that 1upt takes a lot of work. If we go by your logic, however, they ignored several features to save development work and STILL came out with a clunky, poorly implemented combat system that the AI can't use and that was missing obvious features at release. What was the point? Where did all that development go?

    Regardless, it's clear that the dev team's priorities were screwed. A lot of people dislike Civ V's gameplay, but the graphics are improved. The graphics are improved but the game is a resource hog. The game is a resource hog, but the AI bumbles tactics. So on and so on...
     
  4. Smote

    Smote Emperor

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    1. End product doesn't have a plethora of extra features
    2. This is how businesses usually operate. Its improbable that Firaxis is an exception.
    3. I think every game that exists tries to fix the issues of previous games.
     
  5. Celevin

    Celevin King

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    That question's unanswerable, nor did I post that I believe the dev team shares what I believe. I only told you the main reason things are streamlined in games. The actual outcome on missing mechanics from Civ4 could be attributed to numerous things, but they all require resources to implement. Everything requires resources to implement.

    Maybe in the creation of religion (there was evidence that Shafer wanted to implement it), they realized it wasn't a good fit. They had two options: either spend more resources than expected trying to make it fit, or move onto other things that needed to be done.

    For 1upt, I have a feeling they were overambitious. It was used to market Civ5 from the first time we heard about it, so there was no going back. I'm guessing over halfway through the development cycle they realized "hey, 1upt AI tactics are really hard to implement in a strategy game". What do you do then? Put more resources towards it, and hope that it's done before release (corporate games have strict release dates). Obviously it's *way* too ambitious, as they're still not nearly done working on the AI for it.

    Finally, this game is a sequel, but it's not Civ 4.5. Corruption didn't make it into Civ4 from Civ3, for example. It isn't just a matter of copying and pasting old code, it's a brand new game which requires re-writing a lot of old game mechanics. You want everything to fit together nicely and not feel patchwork, so some stuff doesn't make it unless it's really well integrated.

    Alright, then we're done. If you don't accept that the dev team wanted to make a good game, then everything falls apart and there's no point in arguing.


    This post turned out a lot longer than intended. Sorry for getting off topic.
     
  6. sketch162000

    sketch162000 Warlord

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    Good post. Thanks.
     
  7. jacyp

    jacyp Winter Lover

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    LOL

    What's the matter with you people that come to a thread without reading what's it about?

    WE DON'T WANT THE GAME TO BE QUICKER, WE WANT THE GAME TO PROVIDE US WITH WHAT TO DO BESIDES JUST CLICK END TURN FOREVER TO ACOMPLISH SOMETHING.

    Geez, are you literate at all?
     
  8. lschnarch

    lschnarch Emperor

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    Nonsense.

    Mr. Shafer told us that the working on Civ5 started almost immediately after the release of BtS.
    Civ 5 was announced in February 2010. Given the state of the combat AI of TODAY, they either haven't done anything between February 2010 and release date, or it must have been in an even more awful state by that time.

    The point is, when the game was announced, they already knew that they were not able to provide it with a decent AI.
    Nevertheless, they've chosen to use "1upt" as marketing instrument. They just didn't care about the AI. And there is next to no indication at all that they would care now.

    I am pretty sure they have a big grin on their faces when they read all the defending here. Releasing rubbish and being praised and defended for this - a developer's wet dream.
     
  9. jacyp

    jacyp Winter Lover

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    Agreed entirely.

    Besides, if they encountered difficulties with hexagonal 1UPT AI implementations, they could have asked for help to any people with expertise on this kind of tactics implementation. I don't think everybody that worked in the "Panzer General" series are dead. Even if they are, there's some remakes done by fans that tweaked the AI to further improve what was already good, so those guys could help too. If you don't want to ask help from people who messed with the original programming of a game without knowing if they had the permission to do so or not, you could still resort to people that did the new "Elven Legacy" series and the 2007's "Fantasy Wars" game, they are both games that deal with hexagonal 1UPT tactics in the same way "Panzer General", Jon Shafer's inspiration for the Civ 5 combat system, did.

    So it's really a matter of sheer incompetence, one way or another, imho. After all, you can't demand something from someone who doesn't know how to do it, but if you demand it, you're the incompetent one.
     
  10. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Beyond the Sword was released in late July 2007 IIRC.

    So, February 2010 is only around 2 1/2 years of development time.

    How the heck can they think they could make a passable game in that time frame is beyond me. Unless greedy 2K Games pushed to get the game released early.

    Yeah...2K Games and Firaxis must crack a smile whenever they see this game defended on these forums so voraciously. Lol.
    They know what they did...
     
  11. Celevin

    Celevin King

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    Buddy, you've never developed or designed anything if you think it's a wet dream for being praised for making something you think is crap. Neither have I on the scale of Civ, but I'm pretty sure I'd feel guilty as all hell.

    Secondly I don't think I'm defending Civ5 at all. I'm saying they were over-ambitious, and I mean that in a bad way. In fact, most of my posts are very critical of Civ5. It's become a total viper's pit on the forums lately, and I'm getting constantly called out for being both a whiner and a defender which makes no sense. What happened to middle ground?

    It has nothing to do with hexes. It has to do with trying to implement tactics in a strategy game with a million other elements that are interrelated. In most tactical games, it's a closed system, like Panzer General. In Civ5 it's getting many interactions from outside a small tactical grid.
     
  12. lschnarch

    lschnarch Emperor

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    My dear friend, unless you are sitting more often than me with the developers to have a glass of beer, all the two of us (as anybody else) can do is to take into consideration what we have been presented so far.

    Let me just give a short update:
    We have been presented with a combat AI which isn't worth the money (and I won't mention the diplomacy, the screwed-up UI, the hardware utilization for nothing, the almost completely dysfunctional MP [although providing only basic features AND using Steam], the so-called "Civilopedia" and other things).

    It was said that the combat system of Panzer General was some kind of "inspiration" for Civ5's combat system. Well, anybody having played both games knows that except for hexes and (sometimes) only one unit per hex both have almost nothing in common. Where PG's combat system works, Civ5's combat system fails.

    As I've said already, not only the combat AI does not work except for moving units around without a plan, but it hasn't improved much since release.
    How awful must it have been back in February, with six months to go until release?

    Anybody with a clear mind would have used the emergency brake then.
    What did Mr. Shafer and his gang do? They happily advertised it as THE ONE big new feature.
    Now, marketing and advertising is not exactly about telling the whole truth. But they plainly lied at each and every occasion. Look at "famous quotes from Firaxis" to have some examples. Look at the "civilopedia"-thread here on the first page.

    They went much beyond advertising. They were lying. At each and every occasion they've lied. And they lied while knowing better.

    Such characters I assume to have quite some fun now to see how people desperately try to find excuses for their incompetence.
    They haven't delivered, they knew they wouldn't be able to deliver and still they charged for the full price. And they advertised as hard as they could to make people buy.

    I don't care about some 2_K members popping up here and spreading their marketing talk. Anybody with a clear sense knows immediately that all they are doing is to try to convince people into purchasing.
    But when the developers themselves are issuing wrong, false, untruthful statements in each and every interview, we are entering a different dimension.
    Mr. Shafer even boldly announced he would give "some design-related" advises in his new job. He is just fine with what he has done.

    Yes, for him and the rest of his gang (including quite some of the testers, if you're asking me) it is absolutely ok what has happened.

    Being over-ambitious is one thing. Realising that the ambitions cannot even approximately be realized and still advertising as if everything would be fine is a different thing.
    They weren't only "just" over-ambitious.
    They have adopted the company spirit: Tell them (the customers) some nice stories before release and don't care about it later on.

    And once again: the evidence can be found here in the respective threads. The interviews are still to be found in the internet.
    They didn't just not deliver. They knew, and they lied. And the head of this crew of incompetence now is running around indicating he might be the guy to give "design-advices".

    I just can't eat as much as I would like to vomit when reading this.
     
  13. jacyp

    jacyp Winter Lover

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    It has everything to do with hexes, because there's nothing else than hexes and their "content" (what is occupying it) and "status" (what the hexagon represent) influencing strategic combat, just like Panzer General. Civ 5 has many other elements, but they don't influence anything in combat, except for bonuses and penalties.

    And what sucks most about Civ 5? It's a TBS with wargame mentality whose AI can't handle combat in a smart way, or at all.

    Sorry, this aspect of the game is indefensible.
     
  14. Hail

    Hail Satan's minion

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    exactly! :goodjob:
    civ5 is a subpar builder game combined with a wargame whose rules the AI simply does not understand.

    i just don't get it.
    the dev team streamlined the game(read removed features without adding anything in return) to the point that the only fun thing to do in civ5 is to fight wars. but the AI plain sucks at combat and the MP part of the game leaves a lot to be desired.

    so the devs did not deliver a competent AI and failed to make MP decently playable. who is going to provide challenge for the player? that's an epic fail in my book.
     
  15. pazmacats

    pazmacats Warlord

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    I just don't understand how Shafner got hired by stardock..?

    I will not buy anything connected to firaxis or Shafner ever again (much like ATARI products). Civ5 is a perfect example of the modern marketing machine candy game. It's all lies and 50 people doing the marketing and nobody actually doing the game design (or programming).

    So, Shafner should become famous for Civ5. Because if you read the interviews Civ5 is basically fraud. False advertisment. Non-working game. I'm pretty sure the AI was thrown together in one afternoon (IF-THEN-syle). The design can be done in a week or two.

    What's new? City states.
    What's copied? 1UPT and hexes.
    The details have been discussed.

    The entire design is in the same state as the AI. It is non-existant. Everybody was busy giving interviews or buying a new suit and hyping themselves.

    So Civ5 is just the product of lazyness.
     
  16. sketch162000

    sketch162000 Warlord

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    :agree:
     
  17. Saarud

    Saarud Warlord

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    I understand that it's hard to see since AI really is bad and there are still alot of balance issues with the game. Civ 5 is really designed in a way that balance is everything. If the balance in or between different features doesn't work then the game doesn't work either. Civ 4 was much more forgiving this way since there are more fluff around that is entertainment just by itself.

    In Civ 5 everything is connected to the economy. If you can get a good economy then you can also afford more happiness buildings and build an even larger empire, which should bring you more population and also more science. However you could also instead of happiness buildings instead chose to build research buildings and get the same tech rate as a larger empire. Other aspects that come into the decision makings are that the larger empire you have the larger military force you need and military is expensive as hell. Also what type of army do you need to handle the situations you will get in? Another thing comes to how your empire evolves culturally. If you really want to have a small nation focusing on your capital then Tradition is a good thing to waste you cultural points in however if you desire to be a large and happy empire then piety is better and so on. There is alot of decision there that can affect the game until the end.

    However none of this is good if the AI can't handle it or if the balance are bad. Balance must work in Civ 5 so that you can't always do OCS or whatever. The more patches and mods that come out will balance this better I am sure. The AI must also be able to handle both the grand strategy the immediate strategy and ofcourse also the tactics.

    I think Civ 5s design are genious but I understand that it requires alot from the developers and they weren't able to deleiver it. I'd say the development was rushed and to make it atleast acceptable they would have need anything from 6-12 months more just to finetune the balance and to make a better AI.
     
  18. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    There were actually some people who disliked it, as far as I can remember. Those who preferred Civ3 thought that it is bad, because "micromanagement is builder tactics".
     
  19. OKScientist

    OKScientist Chieftain

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    Interesting discussion. My opinion is that you people are comparing a spaceship (Civ4) to a bicycle (Civ5). These two are just no games of the same caliber. I bet my right hand that the developers know this themselves.

    I began to fear about what Civ5 was going to be like when I heard about the layoffs. Civilipedia was then the proof that the developers were both undermanned and in a hurry. Also, they were led by an inexperienced developer, probably due to financial reasons as well.

    Whoever has ever been part of a team that has tried to create such a complex product as Civ, or even a product of less complexity, could see beforehand that Civ5 was not going to be anywhere near Civ4's quality, even if the developers meant to create an experience as deep as Civ4.

    I am not talking about fun. I am talking about quality. People may have fun playing Tetris or Farmville, but this is not what I am talking about. I am talking about human effort and passion channeled into creating a quality experience for the gamer. Civ5 had no chance.

    In my view, it is laughable to even try to argue in favor of Civ5, in terms of quality. As I said, it is not even in the same league as Civ4. It 's like comparing an average Hollywood movie to Space Odyssey or Stalker.

    My problem is that it is very hard to understand what the devs were trying to do, as they clearly failed to do it. So, when the development of Civ5 started, I guess the devs had a number of ideas of how to make Civ5 different and better than Civ4. Would these ideas make indeed for a better game? I dunno. They clearly never made that game. Was it going to be shallower or deeper? Again, I dunno. There is no way to tell.

    Here is hoping that Firaxis is going to devote themselves to creating a deep and quality game, when they have all the needed resources available.
     
  20. KahunaGod

    KahunaGod Warlord

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    This.
     

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