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'We should have been more audacious' - A Civilization: Beyond Earth retrospective

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by Ari Rahikkala, Mar 6, 2015.

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  1. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    I think the fact that I remember threads of people in the Beyond Earth Steam forums complaining that they won on Apollo and that they normally play on Emperor in Civ 5 is a good signal that most people who care about difficulty found it too easy.
     
  2. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Sure, but that's what percentage of the overall playerbase? How all the other difficulties scale down by comparison is also a factor here.

    Comparisons to CiV fall flat because CiV had more difficulty levels: eight to BE's six. We don't know if Apollo was intended as a Deity comparison or not.

    (also can I just state that the CivFanatics site has much, much less information on BE compared to CiV; three subforum redirects compared to an entire Info Centre, unless I'm missing something)
     
  3. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Who cares about that? Nobody is arguing that there's an objectively "perfect" level of difficulty that must be found. People who had a challange in Civ 5 didn't have a challenge in BE -> thus it's too easy for them. Easy as that. It's a subjective opinion that most people (who care about a decent challenge and getting better) seem to share. So from that we can conclude that Firaxis missed the mark.

    I don't even know what you're arguing for here. It's a work of minutes to add more difficulties and even if they intentionally cut the highest difficulties (for whatever nefarious reasons that would be), that doesn't change anything about the fact that the game was too easy for anyone who expected to get a challenge similar to Civ 5.
     
  4. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    I'm confused though. We were originally talking about Apollo (well, I was, to someone else entirely, but I guess that's aside the point).

    We were talking about Apollo being challenging or not, and you came in with your comparison to Emperor which is completely flawed because the difficulty levels aren't equal, nor can we infer intent from the developers.

    Thanks for the tangent I guess?
     
  5. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Yes, it's still about Apollo. (This sounds as if you don't want other people to join or comment on your discussion - maybe you shouldn't use a public forum for that then.)

    The games are rather similar and if a person struggles with a mid-range difficulty in one game but easily manages to win on the highest difficulty of the other game, then that's quite a good sign that the other game is missing a challenging difficulty. That's why I mentioned Emperor.

    And no, intention was not inferred.
     
  6. JokerJace

    JokerJace Prince

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    I have to agree with Ryika here, I never understand what Gorb is trying to accomplish by his kind of 'argumentation'. You always pick out some arbitrary point and fixate on it. Obviously the highest difficulties in both games can be compared to each other by how challanging they are. What convoluted nonsense would you have to come up with to argue against this. Who cares whether firaxis intended them to be compared. That reminds me of how you always argue semantics to disguise that you actually don't have anything to say. I remember you speaking out against my critique that wonders in this game are not awe inspiring, because

    Arguing semantics AGAIN... :cringe: Now even Will Miller used that same exact word to describe a 'missed opportunity' considering wonders.

    Moderator Action: Please do not criticize the posting style of other posters; focus your remarks on substance.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  7. liv

    liv Emperor

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    I don't think "being too easy" is necessarily just linked to difficulty or to skill of player. The decisions you make in the game often do not matter that much so you cannot really fail. There are no shortages of anything or penalties that matters for much so you do not have to manipulate the different game elements in any way.

    I am not an optimal player but even I finish researching the whole web only after 300 and some turns and all the whole virtue trees a bit later than that. It should not be like that.
     
  8. Joch

    Joch Warlord

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    Interesting article. Of course, the discussion seems very much like monday morning quarterbacking. Of course, BE was going to be similar to Civ5, when you have a formula that worked, you try to replicate it.

    Big problem I see is whether this is the end of the franchise if BE does not work out. It does not sound like 2k gave them much of a budget if they were only using their regular staff. I doubt BE sold more than 500-600k units. Meanwhile NBA2k15 which came out at the same time sold 5.5 million units.

    I don't see 2k giving Firaxis a couple of million dollars to create a brand new, different Civ in the hopes that it may work, more likely they will put them to work on Grand Theft Auto VI, NBA2k16, Borderlands 3, etc.
     
  9. GAGA Extrem

    GAGA Extrem Emperor

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    Which was exactly my experience.

    I usually play CIV5 on Emperor because it is the last difficulty level where I can play a relaxing game without a completely changed strategy or abusing mechanics. When I played CIV:BE I noticed that the medium difficulty level was way too easy for me, so I went for Soyuz. After I won two more games there rather easily I switched to Apollo for my 4th game - and had beaten it on the first try. And that was at a point where I played a Prosperity/Knowledge strategy that revolved around Terrascapes with turn 320+ wintimers.

    Thankfully the patch has improved things quite a bit. I am now playing on Soyuz again - because it is the last difficulty level where I can play a relaxing game without a completely changed strategy or abusing mechanics. I suppose I'd still have a good win ratio on Apollo, but all these tedious wars are way too boring for me. ;)

    Meh, I still think CIV:BE can be fixed. All it needs is one expansion that improves the lore aspect of the game and fixes the current problem with affinity victory conditions. Bonus points if they can get rid of Academy spam at the same time. I'd even argue that some of the lore stuff could be done via patches (I'd say the upcoming wonder changes are sort of a swing in that direction).

    And regarding the interview: I completely agree with him. They should have taken a few more steps to differentiate the game from CIV5.
    Although I'd argue that CIV:BE does actually have two major problems:
    (1) The lore/immersion aspect (boring leaders, lore as wall o' text in the pedia, only one voice actor)
    (2) The gameplay aspect (academy spam, affinity rushing, too little mid-game/too fast win timers)
     
  10. tedeviatings

    tedeviatings Warlord

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    To come back to what was originally your question (before the mud slinging began again and I started looking for a blacklist in a forum for the first time ever):

    That's a really hard question in general. And not something I'd answer in absolute numbers. Rather I'd say that everyone who has the patience and time to invest a lot of his free time to playing and studying Civ BE should reach Apollo eventually. If you have "talent" or transferable knowledge this will be faster than if you don't of course. Also ideally Apollo should be a challenge for all but the most experienced and knowledgeable players.
    That would be my answer and if I had to give a percentage I'd say around 10% doesn't sound to bad for 6 difficulties... But that's basically no more than a number I just made up.

    On a side note I think pre-patch Apollo doesn't meet this criteria since many people had an easy time on Apollo from the very first game on - myself included and it's not cause I'm a good player.
     
  11. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    See that's the kind of answer I wanted (obviously not the only answer, but a good starting point). It is a hard question, which means finding the answer is a difficult process.

    1. Public forums doesn't mean I have to reply to every person jumping on my existing posts. As I doubt I will from now on.

    2. Emperor isn't a "mid-range" difficulty unless you count the middle four out of eight difficulties in CiV "mid-range". Which is a personal definition of "mid-range" you've made up, god knows why I always get attacked for using "semantics" when everyone else does the same thing :rolleyes:

    If we're talking about Apollo, then the amount of people playing Apollo matters. Not the pedigree of the three top players in the game, unless they're a majority representation of everyone playing Apollo and thus the playerbase in general.

    Try finding answers, instead of assuming that because you think I'm defending the developers (I'm not, FYI) that you have to criticise me for some reason. Apollo isn't satisfying, that is a problem. How to make Apollo satisfying? That's a much harder question to answer.
     
  12. GAGA Extrem

    GAGA Extrem Emperor

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    If you want answers, you should open your own threads instead of derailing existing topics.

    Maybe a mod could be so kind and just split off the whole difficulty debate here into a seperate thread, so that we can return to the initial issue at hand.
     
  13. tedeviatings

    tedeviatings Warlord

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    To me the first couple of difficulties are more like the tutorial than a real difficulty level. I'd assume that most players play here if they're very new to the game and move on after they learn the very basics. Most people I know started around prince and were fine enough. Including people that didn't play any Civ game before.
    Therefore I feel it's justified calling Emperor the hardest mid-range difficulty. Maybe the easiest hard difficulty would be justified as well.

    As for you getting attacked for semantics... You know there are a couple of people one just shouldn't bother arguing with. And consequently shouldn't feel bad if they attack you.
     
  14. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    Don't do that it's tiring. You know there is no way to quantify it about how it should be so don't ask such a question.

    Just state your point that we dont know what the developers intended and that there aren't a high percentage of players that beat apollo blablabla. No need to make people jump through hoops so that you can give your response.

    You know as well as I do that it's an opinion (whether or not it's too easy). There is no objective and quantifiable way to answer the question.

    It's a forum. It shouldn't be required for everyone to put "this is my opinion" at the start of their every post. But just for your sake I will in this one:

    This is my opinion:

    Apollo was too easy, in my opinion. In my opinion Apollo shouldn't be beatten on the first try while having no idea what you're doing. There are some people that share this opinion and the developers have raised the bar since then to make it more in line with what I'd expect.
    The developers have increased AI bonuses to make it more of a challenge. I wouldn't say it's there yet but the game has to have mre depth before increasing the AI strength. Of course we could all benefit from a better AI too.


    This is CivBE forums in a nutshell, a lot of irrelevant arguing and very little game talk. If you want to have a discussion over what kind of stuff has to change for the game to be more challenging then you're welcome and I'll have that conversation but I'll stop there if it's just to argue whether or not the game is objectively challenging.
     
  15. JokerJace

    JokerJace Prince

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    No, you are making it into an argument right now. Also the porblem is not 'using' semantics. :rolleyes: Obviously you have to use semantics when communicating. Arguing semantics is the problem because it is redundant. It also distracts from the topic at hand.

    Wrong. If we're talking about a difficulty level, then the people matter that think the easier one is too easy and the more difficult one is too difficult. (if the respective one exists) Because the goal is to provide every player with a difficulty level that maximises the quality of his experience in regard to the amount of the challange he seeks. And since apollo is the hardest difficulty level, it shouldn't be too easy for a significant amount of people. How in the world can you make this about anything else? If there is a small pedigree of people that likes a harder challange than 99.99% of the other players, then you can still add another difficulty. But this is not the case. We already have a very good idea of the difficulty of apollo and how it's perceived by good players. So why make this a hypothetical question and construct artificial controversy where there is none?

    I guess you too mean 'arguing semantics'. In that case the ignored people should include those people that defend other people for doing such a thing.
     
  16. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Don't do what? I'm asking questions that need to be asked because otherwise they're not getting discussed. If you actually discussed the point I was making in the first place, I wouldn't need to make it.

    The whole point was me trying to start a bit of discussion beyond "Apollo is easy". Get an idea of what people mean by that, because it generates more useful feedback for both us as forumites, potential mod-makers and in the vague case they lurk here - Firaxis devs themselves. I'm way too familiar with wading through pages of crap in an attempt to pick out something useful (not on here, to be clear, not with this game) and developers routinely struggle with this as well as actually reading more of their community's input than they're granted credit for (traditionally).

    This whole thread has been about the design of the game, the developer commitment at GDC and potential design issues around BE. I wasn't the one who brought up Apollo. I'm just trying to get more out of it than one-liners.

    I mean, what do I do? Try and counter some of the points you've raised just for you to complain that I'm arguing irrelevant points? I'm not trying to "win" anything. I do want to argue about what kind of stuff has to change. But I also want to be allowed to debate with you (and others) without my counterarguments being dismissed as irrelevant. Countering your points is relevant. You're aware that your opinion is your own, cool, most people are. But yet you can't separate you being too good at Apollo from Apollo being too easy - when discussing potential buffs to the AI system you need to bear this in mind otherwise you end up with a difficulty level that you and a few others may find personally challenging, but no-one else will find it attemptable.

    Hence, metrics, hence, percentage of userbase, hence all this stuff I'm writing. So yah, either give me a chance or don't. Debate with me, I love debate. Just stop putting me down for the sake of dismissing my posts as irrelevant. Either they are and you can put me on ignore, or they're not and they're actually valid counterarguments.
     
  17. JokerJace

    JokerJace Prince

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    Moderator Action: Video removed, please cease the trolling and let's get back to the topic.
    Acken is right, "pages of crap". Can we at least keep one thread going and interesting without all the personal stuff?

    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  18. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    Then let's erase these "pages of crap" and make your case (or restate it).
     
  19. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    I made it in that post, above. If you don't have the time to engage with longer posts, just put me on ignore and be done with it. I'm tired of this cat-and-mouse rubbish.
     
  20. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    By that logic, if Firaxis decides to make Apollo/Deity feel like Settler in the next game that's perfectly fine as long as at least 50% of the players enjoy that.

    It's just a nonsensical argument, because again: There's absolutely NOTHING stopping Firaxis from introducing new difficulties. They don't have to take away anything from the people who enjoy the existing difficulties and it does certainly give those who enjoyed playing on Deity in BNW something to do. Because again, the difficulties should be scaled in a way that as many groups as possible have a pleasant experience. Not having a difficulty that is strong enough to please the "needs" of those who have a lot of experience with that type of game.

    I don't even see how discussion is needed on that topic. Difficulty settings are not scaled by gameplay, but instead by numbers - so "It's too easy, increase the numbers!" is really all there is. Well, WAS, before you got into that "Maybe it's supposed to be that way!" and "Emporer is not mid-range, it's upper-medi-semi-high-mid-range!"-stuff that shouldn't even be part of the discussion. That's why people dismissed what you said - so much additional nonsense that isn't part of the discussion but instead just derailing the discussion and pulling it away from the topics that people actually were discussing. When people say: "Who cares about that?" then that usually translates into (at least in my case): "omg, stay on topic".

    @JokerFace: Nice to see that we finally found something we agree upon. :D Sorry you got an infraction for that.
     
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