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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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    So what exactly takes them 1 hour that I can just edit into the game files in 5 Minutes? It's literally the same process. So no, presuming an hour just to be able to continue the argument is nonsensical.

    So you're basically arguing that not having difficulties for experienced players may be justified because there would be some people who, even if they never wanted to play on these difficulties, may complain about missing achievements? Not sure if you're playing devil's advocate here, but that argument doesn't work either way.

    Sure, but that there's a "professional scene" in Civ 5, even though it's not super-big, is a fact. And that there are a lot of people who play to actually become good enough to beat the real challenges is also a fact. You can see it in forums, when people discuss strategies, write guides, open threads how they're happy they finally managed to beat deity, etc. - and you can see it on youtube, where people like MadDjinn, Morbazir or whoever you want to name play on these difficulties and a ton of people watch their videos, comment how they help them become better, ask why certain decisions were made, etc. etc. - while only a small fraction of all players ever manages to beat these highest difficulties, they're still a goal to reach for many people.

    Yes, you mentioned things that can easily be avoided. Don't want them to rush players capital? Well, give them growth bonuses instead of additional starting units, d'oh. Don't want them to crush aliens? Don't give them an insane attack modifier against aliens. Yes, you're making arguments, but your arguments are just so paper-thin that they seem rather ridiculous to me. Again, it takes 5 Minutes to create a new difficulty by copy-pasting code that is already there and then using some higher values wherever it seems reasonable. If they have a basic understanding of the "flow" of their own game, then that should really not be that hard.

    Anyway - letting me have the last word here is very nice of you. I feel really good now. Thanks - and have a nice day!
     
  2. Joch

    Joch Warlord

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    that sounds a bit harsh...it would not take long before no one is left here.

    :hatsoff:
     
  3. whyidie

    whyidie Emperor

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    Having eaten my fair share of spiders, I feel confident in saying...we are in the age of the super consumer!

    Software can do anything! Its a 5 minute fix!

    Businesses are stupid, they should sell less of more!

    Which is fun if we weren't so vocal and self assured of our authority on a subject we are not terribly familiar with.

    Case in point, this article from this thread.


    I love speculation and critique, hyperbole and false confidence not so much.
     
  4. Stalker0

    Stalker0 Baller Magnus

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    For the hardest difficulty level they should absolutely be the target audience.
     
  5. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Nah, it should be done by percentage of game population. Skill is generally found in two exponential curves with a plateau around the middle (massive generalisation, but matches up with:

    | hard to learn initial gameplay > fast curve to average competence > delay at mid-level while handling exponential AI increase in proficiency > exponential curve once winning strategies and AI exploits are discovered |

    Depending on the gap between difficulty levels, there can either be a second plateau reaching the very top difficulty (or just before), or a continuation of the curve because what works on one-below-hardest also works on hardest, just to a lesser degree. By dint of the nature of both the plateau at the average difficulties, combined with the exponential curve once figuring out advanced game knowledge, you have an incredible minority of the game playing at the highest levels. And some of those players will always be able to exploit both AI weaknesses and optimal game strategies to defeat any game-level AI (as these are by necessity not top-level / research-directed AI implementations). You don't design the highest difficulty for these players, because you don't want a part of the game locked behind something so technical only 5 players out of 5,000 can beat.
     
  6. liv

    liv Emperor

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    Maybe you do not but I do. Even if I never actually reach that level of expertise.

    However, I do not think difficulty level has anything to do with creating a game with depth (which is the main reason BE this is easy) or audacity though. Even if there were 10 more difficulty levels on top of Apollo, BE would still be "easy" in this sense.
     
  7. JokerJace

    JokerJace Prince

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    But we knew from the getgo that these numbers are totally off for the concrete context of BE. So let me repeat my initial question before pages of useless discussion about hypothetical questions: What precisely was achieved by constructing this artificial controversy that coudn't have been derived of the awareness of the fact that a significant amount of people think that apollo is way too easy?

    Since you're going for argumentum ad verecundiam, may I ask what your level of qualification as a software developer is?
     
  8. Velasti

    Velasti Warlord

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    Please check what I wrote about humans being biased. The developers aren't going to believe that they are average players, or worse than average players.
     
  9. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    I think difficulty levels is one of the problem areas, and something Firaxis could improve on. It's not as big an issue as some are making out; even by adding in new ones, you won't completely solve the problems that put people like Acken off of the game. But it's something.

    And you might consider that important, but that doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what I specifically want either. From both a marketing perspective and one of user engagement, artificially inflating the game's worth with impossible difficulty levels provides little-to-no benefit to those who play the game. Nor does it help new people buy / get into the game, or help them progress through the earlier difficulties. Games development is a business, and needs to be analysed as much from that perspective as well as purely a design and balance standpoint.

    Why are the numbers off? What about the numbers is off? What is wrong with the principle argument that you shouldn't seek to add new difficulty levels just to cater to less than 1% of the active userbase (considering BE's already-low userbase by comparison to CiV. The difficulty levels are not the key problem in increasing player retention. But you keep pretending that it is :)).

    Are you fluent in Latin? Is there any purpose in you not simply saying "argument from authority" (or appeal to authority, however you like phrasing it). Does it benefit the debate at all especially when trying to silly trick of forcing credentials from another poster?

    I'm not making an argument from authority. Criticising someone elses' lack of understanding and thus my unwillingness to debate isn't the same as telling them to accept my analysis because I'm obviously right / have credentials in the field. Classic rookie mistake for someone who relies on claims of fallacy to discredit posters, though. Peace out!
     
  10. liv

    liv Emperor

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    I think you are just making this up

    There are serious strategy games that has really difficult levels currently available are at least 5 times more played than BE. Strategy players like challenges.

    To me it looks like most people are making the argument it is too easy. Obviously making it easy has not really improved the game playing time. You seem to think it should have.

    So logic and facts are both in short supply in your argument.
     
  11. Velasti

    Velasti Warlord

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    There's no problem with referring to technical terms. I'm not fluent in Latin, but I still refer to the human species as homo sapiens, to distinguish it from the other species of humans which have existed from time to time.
    The implied meaning of the quoted portion was "since you don't understand the industry, and the developers do"

    Can you look at how you come across? You're basically saying "You're stupid, you're ignorant, don't waste my time".

    It's pretentious and unpleasant (and take it from me - not a successful strategy for discussion)

    As an aside: It's not actually Ad Verecundiam - Ad Verecundiam is saying that Obama believes that the moon is made of cheese, and this must be true because Obama said it.

    Is Obama an authority? Yes. Is he an expert on lunar landscapes, or a professor of geology? No.

    It comes across as an attempt to discredit him by saying he doesn't understand software development. He does, however, understand the software, he is a user and the developers have made changes to the system being discussed. The question then becomes about whether the developers should have prioritised the system more than they did, that it was one of the first areas to be patched probably highlights that very well.
     
  12. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    I'm making things up? You're making things up. We're all making things up. That's a pointless accusation because you basically just don't want to believe what I say. That's fine, that's entirely your choice.

    I never said making the game easy has improved retention. I said adding additional difficulties is not something that would necessarily improve the situation. The two are related, but separate.

    I'd advise against calling me out on facts and logic unless you can actually back it up - especially when you make horrendous logical faults also (see: middle paragraph).

    Where did I say there was a problem? I asked what it contributed to, and how useful it was. If you want to go down that route, then, in daily language, how often do you use homo sapiens in regular conversation? This is a forum, not a technical overview for submission to a client or doctorate.

    The implied meaning was to state that he didn't understand software development. Nowhere did I call him stupid, and not arguing with him prevents us both wasting our collective time. That makes three things you've now made up to attack me and defend him (for some off-topic reason).

    I offered reasons related to software development about the development of a product. He rejected them for reasons unrelated to software development. It doesn't matter how well he understands the software. We'd debated that part of the problem in the previous few pages. I spoke specifically from a project management perspective. If you'd read the discussion thoroughly, you'd have realised that instead of trying to condescendingly rebuke me for apparent condescension.

    This is the last of the off-topic from me. If you continue with your personal agenda, I'll just report. I'm always open to PMs, though.
     
  13. Velasti

    Velasti Warlord

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    I think part of what made Civ V a slower game (and a "harder game") was that we don't start with technologies like mines and so on. In BE you can charge straight into the game, research the science techs, build the buildings faster, and get off to a faster start which snowballs pretty quickly. It takes an upper average level of competence (I don't min-max)

    I feel because of those changes to the underlying mechanics, what needed to change in BE was smarter AI. I mean you could slow down the game in other ways, but that's just slowing down the game, it's not making it better.
     
  14. JokerJace

    JokerJace Prince

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    Are you saying that 5 / 5000 players or less find apollo too easy?

    Generally, nothing. But I never agreed to have this strictly hypothetical discussion. And even if it were 1% (or 0.1%), difficulty in BE is mostly defined by just a few values. So what's the big deal about changing them and adding a piece of text to the UI?

    They are a problem, that's for sure.

    Not a single time.

    Have you considered that people whose first language is not english are more familiar with the latin term? Either way, does your douchy attitude ever get you anywhere?

    That's why I didn't say you were. With that comment, you implied that you have a better understanding of it, though. So you were clearly trying to strengthen your position against his by elevating your status. Even though you did in indirectly. Or what other reason would you have to discredit him? Humour me with an answer to this rhetorical question, I beg you. And why do you critizise me for using claims of fallacy when you did it yourself just a few posts ago?
     
  15. Velasti

    Velasti Warlord

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    I do not have a personal agenda.

    If it's not a problem, why are you asking about it? If you're having a technical discussion with someone, you use the correct terminology. If you're talking about human evolution, then every time you mean modern humans. Why would you be talking about human evolution in regular conversation?

    This is a forum, and we are having a technical discussion, not catching up on how our weekends were.

    No, that's the explicit meaning. It's what you stated.

    The implicit meaning is exactly as stated, it's what you didn't say. Why don't I understand software development?

    From a project management perspective, your argument is fallacious. (Hey - I've got experience with real life project management and business. Do you?)

    Time is put into aspects of the project which will achieve the given objective while giving the most bang for buck. The objective is to sell a game.

    The most efficient marketing is done by word of mouth. The existing fanbase are the ones that need to be impressed. So they will enthusiastically sell the game to their friends. So prospective buyers come to the forums and read reviews and so on and find lots of people from the existing fanbase who are impressed with how great the game is.

    The existing fanbase are going to be able to see right through historical civ dressed up as science fiction civ. To make the game impressive, you have to make the underlying mechanics of the game as good or better than historical civ.

    And one of those underlying mechanics are the difficulty levels.

    And existing players think the game is mediocre or not impressive (look at the Steam Reviews)

    It's my time to waste, I will debate with whoever I choose :)
     
  16. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Your implications are your own, and I won't waste any time with them. I still have no idea why you're speaking in defense of Ryika after the subject was dealt with, but I guess I'll just roll with it.

    Word of mouth is inapplicable here because we're not debating the game at release anymore. The sales peak has come and gone. The Steam Reviews already exist and nobody tends to revoke or redo them based on patches made to the game. Generally, only expansions do that by dint of having a separate Steam listing. General impressions of the game within this specific community are mixed, with a negative slant. Every change Firaxis make that is perceived as bad will be shouted from the rooftops (see: Wonder thread) and anything that is decent will be met with a "should've been in from the start" (see: nobody talking about the rest of the patch, or the improvements it brings). Don't talk about fallacies and then demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of the context of the thread.

    The objective is, indeed to sell the game. Adding difficulty levels doesn't equate to new sales. The onus is on you, if you support such a change, to prove that it doesn't. You can't be asked to prove a negative (more potential fallacies if invoked, additionally).

    I don't care about your experience, and I don't see the need to bring my own. If you think I'm displaying a lack of understanding, show that. That said, good job invoking the same fallacy that you were accusing me of, by the by. I mean seriously, what's the point? You think you're going to wind me up? :p Prove the points I'm making are wrong. Simply saying my argument is fallacious doesn't prove anything.
     
  17. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    It actually does. Not so much for the current game (though there will still be some people who come later, see that people complain about the lack of a challenge, then decide to not buy the game because of that), but certainly for the games to come as a franchise that is known to not offer any challenge will be avoided by players who actually want a challenge - such as me for example. If I know what I'm going to get from Civ 6+ is comparable to Emperor Civ 5, then I'd probably be rather inclined to skip these games.

    Now, the amount of players who really want that challenge may not be that big, but again... new difficulty settings are added quite easily and quickly. It seems to be quite good in terms of cost-efficiency.
     
  18. JokerJace

    JokerJace Prince

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    If you challange someone's credentials, be prepared to be asked for your own. OBVIOUSLY.

    Anyway, every time someone calls you out you just straight up 'straw man' the hell out of everything. Talking to you is a spectacular waste of time.
    /ignored

    Please feel free to do the same.
     
  19. Acken

    Acken Deity

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    Challenge creates retention. It's not really the biggest issue that CivBE faces with its customers so in that special case it's doubtful that making Apollo+ would have a benefit.

    However if say the game had a very positive reaction ? Then yes I believe you should provide a necessary challenge to complement it. Your most dedicated fanbase is often also the most vocal, creating videos, streaming and being invested into the game long after the initial "rush of casuals". It probably helps growing future releases and DLCs.

    Adding bonuses is very easy. The hard thing for a better challenge would be to make a better AI. But that improvement would not satisfy only Deity players but players from all levels as this is a very common complaint no matter what level people play.
    It's impossible to say if it's worth it or not from a financial perspective. I doubt Firaxis even know. But since it's unknown I've decided to at least take the side of supporting it :) I'd even pay for an expansion which biggest feature was a good AI, let it be known.

    You'd think poor reception would be a wake up call if that's the case.
     
  20. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    It actually doesn't in any way that can be measured right now. That said, we get back to the point JokerJace repeatedly told me was irrelevant - the % of players threatening to not play the next sequel if condition X isn't met.

    Do you think Firaxis are going to listen if 20 people stamp their feet and say they won't play Civ 6 because of it wasn't hard enough? 40 people? What about the 50% of the playerbase that don't go beyond Vostok (estimation, I could check Steam stats if I wanted, as could you)? Relying on threats at this stage in the game is incredibly foolish.

    You're right in that they can be easily-added, but we get back to the argument we both gave up on, earlier. No point rehashing that. You can't speculate on cost-efficiency. You don't know that it is cost-efficient. All we know is what Firaxis haven't done.

    EDIT@Acken:

    Good analysis, I agree. Heck, as I said earlier I even agree with more levels. I just got sidetracked with the business case, etc. And, as ever, I'm going off of the state of BE as it is now, and not back at release (as well as the potential playerbase, etc).
     
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