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What changes (if any) would you like to see in Civ4 GOTMs?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Game of the Month' started by DynamicSpirit, Oct 29, 2015.

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What changes (if any) would you like to see in Civ4 GOTMs?

Poll closed Nov 30, 2015.
  1. YES: 2 BtS games a month, vanilla and Warlords much less often

    17 vote(s)
    43.6%
  2. NO: 2 BtS games a month, vanilla and Warlords much less often

    9 vote(s)
    23.1%
  3. YES: Only do BtS games (2/month)

    17 vote(s)
    43.6%
  4. NO: Only do BtS games (2/month)

    9 vote(s)
    23.1%
  5. YES: Longer submission deadlines (5 or 6 weeks)

    12 vote(s)
    30.8%
  6. NO: Longer submission deadlines (5 or 6 weeks)

    15 vote(s)
    38.5%
  7. YES: Games that are quicker to play (eg. quick speed, small maps)

    15 vote(s)
    38.5%
  8. NO: Games that are quicker to play (eg. quick speed, small maps)

    8 vote(s)
    20.5%
  9. YES: Different or better presentation of results/changes to awards

    7 vote(s)
    17.9%
  10. NO: Different or better presentation of results/changes to awards

    13 vote(s)
    33.3%
  11. YES: Allow submission of non-competition games after competition closes

    18 vote(s)
    46.2%
  12. NO: Allow submission of non-competition games after competition closes

    8 vote(s)
    20.5%
  13. YES: Competition for partial games (eg. achieve some goal by 0AD)

    13 vote(s)
    33.3%
  14. NO: Competition for partial games (eg. achieve some goal by 0AD)

    8 vote(s)
    20.5%
  15. YES: Remove most challenger/adventurer games (will save some staff time)

    23 vote(s)
    59.0%
  16. NO: Remove most challenger/adventurer games

    5 vote(s)
    12.8%
  17. YES: More 'unusual' games with non-standard starts

    17 vote(s)
    43.6%
  18. NO: More 'unusual' games with non-standard starts

    6 vote(s)
    15.4%
  19. YES: Changes to GOTM website to ease submission or make things clearer

    6 vote(s)
    15.4%
  20. NO: Changes to GOTM website - I like it as it is

    15 vote(s)
    38.5%
  21. YES: Better publicity for games

    21 vote(s)
    53.8%
  22. NO: Better publicity for games

    4 vote(s)
    10.3%
  23. YES: Make it easier to set up computers to play games

    9 vote(s)
    23.1%
  24. NO: Make it easier to set up computers to play games

    5 vote(s)
    12.8%
  25. NO-CHANGE: I like the games as they are, please don't change anything

    1 vote(s)
    2.6%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Fear him of the pink tie Moderator GOTM Staff

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    Please read before you vote:

    This poll is to assess how GOTM players wish GOTMs to evolve in the future. It has been prompted in part by our concern over the trend in numbers participating, so we want to see what if any changes we could make to improve participation.

    For most possible changes, there are YES and NO options. Obviously, vote YES if you'd like to see the change made, NO if you don't want us to make that change, or leave both options blank if you don't feel strongly either way.

    Some of the options are deliberately a bit vague (such as 'changes to awards' and 'changes to GOTM website') - those options are really to gauge if there is any significant dissatisfaction with current arrangements, and - in the event of a high YES vote for those options - would require more discussion to clarify what kinds of changes people would like.

    Feel free to use this thread to make any comments or ask any questions about the poll.

    Bear in mind that the inclusion of any option on this list is not a promise that we'll do it. Any change requires effort and time on the part of the volunteers who run the game. But obviously, the more YES votes and the fewer NO votes any change gets, the more likely we are to prioritize trying to do that change.
     
  2. Minou

    Minou Prince

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    Hats off to the folks who create these games. I had pretty much stopped plying Civ IV and then was thrilled to stumble upon this site and find all types of new challenges. I especially enjoy the "unusual" games like the Beffudlov artillery adventure, the one where we started with two Settlers on different continents, and the wacky always peace "culture crush" challenge.

    One thing I feel strongly about that might not be fully included in the poll is that I only play normal speed games (which includes most GOTM). I already have a hard time remembering the subtle differences between expansions, and trying to deal with the different game speeds is too complicated.
     
  3. Jenarie

    Jenarie Prince

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    This is the only one I felt strongly enough either way to place a vote and my side is really losing but I'm surprised.

    Saving staff time is important for sure and depending how much time would be saved maybe is enough to warrant discontinuing these but the whole point of the poll was to find ways to have more players and it seems that limiting the amount of people who can handle (or wouldn't be bored by) the difficulty setting would be the opposite of that.

    I rarely bother to download anything over monarch level unless it has an adventurer save and I'm sure some of the better players would be bored playing something that would fit my level so I always thought having those saves was one of the best things about the competition.
     
  4. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    Hey Jena - I think that would be balanced by the fact that if staff provides more games per month there would at least be a lower level game going on in that timeframe - possibly even two. Ofc, 2 games a month adds more staff time..so something has to give somewhere...that's just my thinking on the matter.

    ...and it still doesn't hurt to try to improve above monarch level.. A little time in S&T and you should have no problems.

    ...with that said though, your point has merit.

    (ha..i'm curious as to why folks would vote no for "better publicity for games"...can't think of the logic there)
     
  5. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Fear him of the pink tie Moderator GOTM Staff

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    There actually isn't much new to remember about different game speeds. On epic, for example, all that happens is that almost everything takes 1.5 times as long to do. A tech that requires 60 beakers to research on normal speed requires 90 on epic speed. Workers take 6 turns instead of 4 to build mines and so on. So it ends up being almost exactly the same game but you get to hit end-of-turn and manage your cities etc. more often (in game-years). There's no significant difference in the 'rules' of the game. The only real difference is in the style of play: Because units can still move every turn, it means that you can explore faster, and wars tend to happen quicker, relative to how fast techs are being researched. In the early days we ran quite a few games on epic speed because we got quite a bit of feedback that people preferred that, but that seems to have gradually changed, and now a lot of people are telling us they prefer faster games.

    Your first words give exactly the rationale for this question. Providing adventurer/challenger saves means that creating games takes longer to do - but then we find that in most games, hardly anyone submits games played with the adventurer or challenger saves. So maybe the time we spent creating them could have been spent doing something else that would have a bigger effect in attracting more people or allow people to enjoy the games more. So it's a bit of an 'opportunity cost' argument. That's why I included the question - to try to gauge how many people feel that adventurer and challenger saves are important to them. Obviously, in that context, your feedback is welcome :)

    Without being able to see into people's minds, I would guess the most likely logic would be something like 'I'm personally happy with the level of publicity. I'd rather the staff spent their time doing something else on the games'. That's the reason why I included the 'no' option for that question. Again, it's an opportunity cost thing. The time available to spend managing the games is finite, and we almost certainly can't do everything suggested in the poll. So what's the best use of that time? Is it on publicity or is it on something else?
     
  6. MarleysGh0st

    MarleysGh0st Prince

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    Pretty much like DynamicSpirit said, I voted against "better publicity" because I thought it was fine now, at least for the people who read the GOTM forum. Finding other people still interested in playing this 10-year-old game against others might be problematic.

    I also voted against "Make it easier to set up computers to play games", not because I thought it was a bad idea, but because I thought it was too much to expect from the GOTM staff, when it's Microsoft that decided to disable the encryption software that Firaxis chose for their anti-copying security, all those years ago.
     
  7. Minou

    Minou Prince

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    It might be interesting to see a few games with advanced starts. Building tanks and mechanized infantry is fun, but I have almost never build units beyond cavalry simply because the game is either won or lost already by that point.
     
  8. MarleysGh0st

    MarleysGh0st Prince

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    Easy solution for the first problem--don't play so well! :p
     
  9. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Fear him of the pink tie Moderator GOTM Staff

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    So, the vote is now closed.

    Putting the various ideas in order of decreasing popularity, the votes look like this:

    Code:
    [B][COLOR="Blue"]Idea                            Support Interest[/COLOR][/B]
    Better publicity                   84%     64%
    Remove challenger/adventurer games 82%     72%
    More unusual games                 74%     59%
    Non-competition submissions        69%     67%
    2 BtS/month, some vanilla/WL       65%     67%
    2 btS/month only                   65%     67%
    Quicker games                      65%     59%
    Easier setup for games             64%     36%
    Partial game competitions          62%     54%
    Longer deadlines                   44%     69%
    Changes to presentation of results 35%     51%
    Make submitting easier             29%     54%
    Interest = % of people who voted either yes or no to an idea
    Support = % of interested people who voted yes.

    On the GOTM staff we are aware of discussing what changes to make to the games - bearing in mind not only the results of this vote, but also the various comments that people have made in the two threads about this topic, and also the practicalities of making any particular change. We will also be monitoring submission rates to see what kinds of games attract more participation. In response to the discussion and vote so far, you'll have noticed that we are releasing more games on smaller maps - that does seem to be attracting more submissions, so that's likely to continue ;).

    We are attempting to publicise games more - including making more effort to post games on the Civfanatics home page and on Twitter and Facebook - although doing this is sadly labour intensive so I'm not yet sure how sustainable it is. Publicity is hampered by the problem that civfanatics no longer sends notification emails - an issue that is out of our control.

    Starting in January, there will be changes to the schedule. Details are still being finalized, but it is almost certain that from January onwards, there will be more BtS games, but there will still be some vanilla and Warlords games.
     
  10. Seraiel

    Seraiel Deity

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    MODERATOR ACTION: This post and several following posts moved from the BOTM 97 Results thread - DS

    We need to advertise playing GOTM more on this site, I think most players aren't aware, that there are currently that few GOTM players, that almost every 2nd one gets an award. I also think, that the frequence in which GOTM games get published is too high and that it hurts the quality of the games and the competition. All GOTM players should be made aware, that there's also the HoF and that they could play HoF games when they have finished the current GOTM, they should belong together imo. . We are the players that seek competition and the advantage of there being only 1 GOTM / month + heavy advertising to get more players + sharing the players of the HoF and the GOTM aswell are there for everyone of us. I write this because I don't accept, that a congratiulations-thread has only 7 posts, that's less than the players that got awards. If I'd be allowed to make decisions on my own, I'd i. e. force everybody to at least post a short writeup of his round if he is given an award, because learning in a way of playing is one of the strongest motivations to get more players, and none of us can be happy that we are so few, that certain victories would have been available for free because noone went for them. The HoF also is much closer towards GOTM than many players may think and it has the advantage, that one can compete at every time one wants. In the HoF, every player may start with a start he selects himself, but as everybody does that and as there's a tool to generate the maps, the competition is still the same. It may not be the same map, but everybody has the same chances.

    I want to see at least 30-40 GOTM participants from within 3 months from now, does anybody think that this is possible and who'd be willing to support this? I offered one idea and one possibility to achieve this, we need more though imo. , and I can't do any of this alone or it will be futile.
     
  11. Seraiel

    Seraiel Deity

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    There are several more possibilities and Dynamic Spirit, who's reading this thread, should pass them on towards the staff. I. e. we could:

    • Put up a rule, that someone who wins the Ephtalon needs to write a guide. Many players find CFC because they seek information on how to play CIV, those go 1st in the War Academy. That's horrible, the War Academy is completely outdated and the good guides are in the Strategy subsection of the S&T forum, this should have changed long ago already and Leif Erickson and Kossin wanted to put work in it. I'd be willing to invest work in it and I think many players would be aswell, but this can't mean that we players need to have a staff position for this. These are two things: 1. The communication between the staff and the players has to become a lot better and 2. Players should i. e. see that they have an Ephtalon because they learned from others, so they should give back and again teach others about what they learned. The Ephtalon would be worth much more if it weren't only a picture on the GOTM page but i. e. a title like a staff title, a title that is achieved by playing and it needs to be like this so that newbies directly see or can inform themselves like "ah, he has done this and this, he has published this and that, he's "a leader" (or contributor) , I may choose to follow him and will get better by myself. "
      Plz don't let me explain every detail of this, it's just an idea, but it's a good one and we can either choose CIV to die or create a system that will thrive it :) .
    • GOTMs (when having more players) could be given a general question. There's so much demand to learn and there are questions that have never been answered, like i. e. "which approach is "the best" " . In HoF, we lately had the question whether a Cottage Emancipation approach is superior towards a Workshop approach in a Spacerace. Noone can find this out on his own, but it's the players who are the ones that can find out. The staff needs to create such questions for us, like i. e. with a rule that states, that players that go for either approach are ranked differently or i. e. create a community-award for the players that generate the most "research" .
    • Gathering experience is a big goal of every player. How if a decision is taken off us and if we're offered with a specific rule, like "you need to go for a Chariot-rush" or "we give you Copper and Horses and you decide yourself on how to rush the 1st civ" or "this map is the standard scenario on <mapscript> " or "this time we've decided to make you practice on heavy food starts, next time you'll get a :commerce: resource and again next time you'll get a riverside capital and play a FIN civ" .

    The idea is to see the demand on this site and to really improve it together. Currently, CIV has become a niche game as it seems, because it's 10y old already, but we all know that it's actually the best TBS ever developed which is why we keep playing it and we also do so, because CFC has offers that exist in no games like an extraordinary community and more knowledge than there exists about any game. These areas need to be worked on, and seeing all the goodwill the players are showing, this shouldn't too difficult actually. There's also always the motivation of fame as you see that could also be used, but needs to be directed more towards community and knowledge again imo. . Personally I don't understand, why there are so many difficultires on this on CFC. The admins of this site benefit from this site being active and having a good community, we all benefit from keeping CIV alive until there comes a new Civilization that is as good as CIV but that is much newer and offers better graphics. How can people just accept how things are and tell themselves "well, this is just how it is" and why do I even need to write all of this? I'm not competing for a staff position, I do what I do because I feel it's good or right and I don't need more rights, I need someone with a brain that listens to these things and hope that others will jump in when they realize that there's an opportunity developing. We all love CIV and do so much of all of these things already, look at Lymond with his 17k of posts who's giving advice on every single newbie that enters S&T or the general forum, everybody has his own quality and his own motivation for it, but we all have CIV in common and could simply do the same things and all that's needed is a little directing and rewarding and we could take the same resources and simply make more out of them. :|
     
  12. Xcalibrator

    Xcalibrator Ultraviolet Catastrophe

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    Seraiel, it's great that you're playing GOTMs and bringing new energy and enthusiasm to the series. I've really been enjoying the in-depth discussions that you've inspired and will try to contribute more. I think it's worth pointing out, however, that some of your suggestions have a component of criticism. This is unavoidable and I don't think anyone's rational side takes real offense but there is that lizard-brain gut reaction part, too, so I'm going to offer a friendly somewhat tongue-in-cheek defense of The Way Things Are. Virtually all your suggestions have been used in the past. The Civ 4 Strategy Articles Forum was a hotbed of detailed discussions and guides for many years, quite a few of the older xOTMs were specifically designed to emphasize and explore different game mechanics and approaches, and game spoilers were full of comparisons and novella narratives. There was also the relatively recent major achievement of assembling the Civ Illustrated compendium. And the purely voluntary staff has supported us the whole time, doing it all for the love of the game and a selfless desire to make other people happy. :thanx:

    Ah, the good old days! :old: Our goal should be to bring back the heady excitement of the days of yore, but it won't ever be the same. The inevitable pattern of life is that (if they're lucky) civilizations rise, vigorously expand, enjoy a long period of stability and prosperity (a Golden Age), then eventually decline, often interrupted by one or two periods of renewal and reform. So let it be with Civ. We're now in a renewal/reform period, with BOTMs recently split into easy and hard versions, sort of the like the West/East split of the Roman empire. And, if you like, you can think of yourself as the greatest of the rejuvenators, Justinian. ;) My personal feeling is that the best approach is to lead by inspiring and encouraging rather than to impose new obligations and rules.
     
  13. Jastrow

    Jastrow Deity

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    Agreed with Xcalibrator. Encouraging discussion is fine, and I am very much enjoying the extra discussions that have (in great part driven by Seraiel) appeared in the last couple of games, but trying to make participation in such an obligation as opposed to a choice, will only drive people away, which is the exact opposite that you/we want to achieve.
     
  14. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    17K posts! Someone shut that lymond guy up!

    I agree that GOTMs could be advertised better across the forum to attract players. Otherwise, the GOTM staff just went through a process to refine GOTMs and have already gained consensus through public vote for these changes. I disagree about the frequency, as part of the process reduced the number of GOTM games. I think the current system is just fine.

    Like others have mentioned, your enthusiasm is indeed appreciated.

    Some of your other points, while good, aren't necessarily germane to GOTM and might be best voiced directly to CFC staff.
     
  15. Seraiel

    Seraiel Deity

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    You don't have to forget that those are all only ideas / proposals. I didn't knew about the recent rework of the GOTMs, but personally, I find 3 GOTMs / month way too many. GM-137, the biggest Gauntlet of all times went 3-4 months and that was part of why it was so extremely good. The SGOTMs also go several months. Publishing less GOTMs could mean a higher quality of the games of every player, it could mean more participants because there's a longer time to join and complete the game and it could also mean even better designed maps (all no critique) . The same work, the GOTM staff puts into creating a map could be done on thinking of an interesting question to test out different approaches and by that let us gain invaluable knowledge about CIV, which you all say is what you like and which also is what many other players are seeking for. We could have twice as many participants or maybe three times as much, if GOTM wouldn't only be competetive, but a unique source of learning, like S&T and partly also the Gauntlets, the HoF or personal friendships are. GOTM could be seen as a way to become friends with players that play CIV for a decade already.

    I'm also flattered by especially mentioning the CIV Illustrated series, but I'm the one that brought the players together and initiated them to work, and though I needed to pause during the developement of issue #1, because that one was more work than anybody can imagine, I was the one that wrote the issues #2 to #4. What I'm seeing is just, that we have a common interest and are doing things anyhow. I understand, that forcing rules upon players might thrive people away, but if there's a choice like with the question on testing out two approaches, that's imo. no force and I suppose it would do the opposite. Lime helps every newbie in this forum and makes them post games in S&T, why not make them participate in GOTM. And you Jastro like the discussion, why not make the discussion more interesting and more easy by the proposed question? And how much more would an Ephtalon be worth, if it were not only a screen on the GOTM page, but if it would give something a Golden Ephtalon for the player that competes the challenge and writes an article about some of the knowledge he gathered?

    Also, plz say something towards if you think about the possibility to play HoF games to make up for the less GOTMs. I didn't realize this at first, which is why I played 5y exclusively for HoF, but HoF and GOTM are actually really very similar, which you can see from the results of some HoF players like Pangaea, WastinTime or also me. Basically, the diversion is really amazing. GOTM made me try out other difficulties than Deity and by that unlocked the path towards Quattromaster for me, HoF however was a great way of learning the game because I got in contact with players like WastinTime there, and it leveled the way towards learning how to achieve a certain type of victory, which is one of the most important skills a CIV player has.

    I btw. don't know what a lizard-brain gut-feeling is, but I'd like you to really say something towards these ideas or also come up with your own ones. As written, this is no critique, all of this are suggestions / proposals. Some players may just need a little more guidance, others need an interesting offer and I don't wanna do this by force, I actually morely would like that somebody thinks about his qualities and what he likes. You can count on me to try to create a more interesting discussion and as long as I play CIV I'll write guides, because it actually makes fun to hand knowledge towards other players. Every one of you has something like that, something he does without force because he likes it, why not create an enviroment that's more interesting and that promotes contribution? One thing someone said to me about the CIV Illustrated series was, that it was so great, because it could create a new league of high level players. Let's offer a learning experience that is for everyone, than people will also compete when they don't see a chance to gain a reward.

    I btw. win my games with a chain of GAs that lasts until the launch of the Spaceship ^^ . Maybe CIV has only just dropped out of the last Golden Age, because a whole bunch of high level players couldn't find interest in CIV anymore because there was almost nothing less to be learned but only things to calculate (and others simply couldn't adapt to S&T and HoF conducting peace :D ^^ ) . We're GPs, so let's GE-rush the MoM, start the next GA and win instead of culture bombing every city once or settling for almost no benefit ^^ .

    I just saw that list of GOTM #1 with 100 competitors and thought of what a great competition that must have been. GOTM won't 100 competitors again, but having 5-10 players that contribute heavily would already be enough to draw in 15-20 others if Lime advertises, and if we educate those players and don't lose them because they realize what we understand (that CIV is the greatest game ever) , then 20-30 of those 150 guests that are all non-registered, so have interest but have no reason to write anything will register and get educated by the then 5-40 other players.

    Let's also simply agree on that nobody goes for the same victory condition like I do and is better until I got that Golden Ephtalon :joke: .
     
  16. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Fear him of the pink tie Moderator GOTM Staff

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    The problem with having fewer games is that not everyone likes playing every game. Some people only enjoy easier games, some people only enjoy harder games, some people only play BtS, some people prefer vanilla Civ, etc. If we ran fewer games, more people would experience long periods when there is no game that they reasonably are likely to want to play.

    Lack of advertising is a fair point, however, promoting GOTMs is a time consuming process and the GOTM staff only have so many hours... :(
     
  17. Seraiel

    Seraiel Deity

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    Again, plz consider the HoF. A higher quality competition also is an advantage, and the HoF can offer high quality competition at all times. Just seeing this as an interesting option, because it seems that the HoF'ers are currently joining on GOTM. I'm sure that it could work the other way around aswell, and that GOTM players could have a lot fun playing HoF games, should they already have finished the current GOTM. Starting with 2 Golds is actually a lot of fun, and it changes the game, the competition is the same, because everybody starts with them (though there are also lots of games with only 1 Gold or even without any, but therefore i. e. BFC-Horses) .

    Thx for moving the thread btw. :thumbsup: .
     
  18. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    I understand the strain on time. I recommend doing what HOF staff does in this case. Just create a canned message for GOTM over in your staff forum, then copy over to S&T and General and the bulletin, I guess even the HOF. It can be a pretty simple announcement, with all that needs changing is the #. Should not take more than a minute.

    Cereal..thanks for the props. Note that I've kinda advertised GOTM for years now, while not even being staff..same for HOF...in my sig. I do sometimes recommend GOTM to new players or new members of CFC. It's something we can all be a part of.

    As for frequency of games, I think DS said it best. I appreciate your desire.. at least..for "perceived" quality. However, as DS mentioned, there are many types of players participating in GOTMs, and the staff rightly caters to all types. Not everyone is going to be perfectly pleased with the system, but there has to be a compromise and balance, which I think the GOTM staff has already done of fine job of attainment. As for SGOTM, it is a completely different animal to the GOTMs..not much comparison there.

    It's great having you and others playing some GOTMs now. I think it is good to promote more participation, as well in other regards - better documentation on CFC, but I think changing GOTM for now is better left alone since it just went through major changes.

    Now, someone get guys like Gumbolt and Izuul playing GOTMs
     
  19. Pangaea

    Pangaea Rock N Roller

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    Think this was well said, and same with Lymond. Personally I really like that there are more games now, particularly BtS games (because I've never played the other versions). Dropping the two 'modes' was a good move; it was a bit confusing and strange.

    It was a little disheartening to see so many names on the list of GOTM 1, but we must keep in mind that the game was fairly new then, and now it's a decade old. It's only natural that interest dwindles, and I don't think there is a great deal that can be done about it. The site is still vibrant, although with fewer users than in its Golden Age, but as long as very dedicated and knowledgeable people frequent the site, and there are competitions to be had, there is a future :)

    That said, some advertising would probably help. Perhaps the HoF and GOTM pages should be better integrated into the site itself too (if doable), particularly from the forum side.

    One thing I dislike about this subforum is that there are a lot of sticky threads. Wouldn't it be possible to reduce this a bit?
     
  20. Seraiel

    Seraiel Deity

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    Yes, all the GOTM discussion and spoiler threads don't need to be sticky. A congratiulations thread imo. can be sticky, but it needs to be made non-sticky when the next congratiulations thread is made sticky at latest. That's already at least 10 less sticky threads :) .
     

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