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What has Beyond Earth ever done for us?

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by Mount Suribachi, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. Mount Suribachi

    Mount Suribachi Chieftain

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    So, inspired by this thread
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=568765

    which seemed to resemble this scene


    Link to video.

    And the soundtrack. You've got to admit that's pretty epic.

    So I ask you, apart from the Civfanatics forum skin, the leader designs and the epic soundtrack - what has Beyond Earth ever done for us??????
     
  2. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Made us appreciate Alpha Centauri more? :D
     
  3. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    This is the answer you guys are probably looking for:

    "It gave Ed and his team more time to develop Civ 6." :undecide:

    - - - - - - - -

    Though, for me, it simply gave me a chance to enjoy a franchise that I've always loved in a much more preferable setting that I really love. That pretty much sums it up.

    Sure, it's tough to play the unmodded game once things become very familiar and you're scrutinizing everything -- the flaws and bugs really float to the surface. But, the period of time when things were still being discovered and everything was fresh and new were very good times for me, especially with Rising Tide. Unfortunately, that doesn't last very long, especially if you're a Civ veteran.

    The gameplay may fall flat, overall, but it was still inspirational to me with some of the new, smarter mechanics brought to the franchise -- there are a lot of great designs if you rummage through it. And most importantly, the lore behind everything; leaders, buildings, wonders, victories, etc; was most inspirational and really pulled me into the game.

    That immersive, unbound lore also really helps your imagination take off when you think of new content for the game or when modifying things. Which is why it's most unfortunate the game never had a chance to redeem itself with a final expansion which could've solidified the gameplay overall (especially improving the later half of the game), completed things better (like hybrids, paltry tech content, and stronger affinity representation), and fixed all of the horrible imbalances and bugs (some of which were carried over from earlier builds of Civ 5). It also could've pushed things further with more fantastic sci fi: air/orbital fleets, psionics, sentient aliens, more elaborate terraforming, more content for the orbital layer, etc. These forums alone have created a lot of rough, interesting ideas that maybe could've worked well in the game if developed further and refined -- or at the very least, they could've inspired other ideas.
     
  4. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Temporary Pattern...still recognizably human...

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    It entertained me for a few weeks until the novelty wore off and the balance issues became obvious.
    It inspired me to try my hand at modding, although I abandoned that when the wonder patch made the few useful wonders pointless.

    And yes, the music is very good.
     
  5. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    It sure is; I believe the same people (Griffin, maybe Geoff...) may be creating all new music for Civ 6 too! It'll definitely be another soundtrack to add to my collection.
     
  6. Mount Suribachi

    Mount Suribachi Chieftain

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    So, apart from the Civfanatics forum skin, the leader designs, the epic soundtrack, giving Firaxis more time to develop Civ 6, making us appreciate Alpha Centauri more, and inspiring GoodSamaritan to try his hand at modding - what has Beyond Earth ever done for us??????
     
  7. Packherd2

    Packherd2 Chieftain

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    I'll tell you what, BE is why I haven't gotten X-COM 2 yet. It was clear pretty soon after release that that game had some buggy graphics and that few reviewers were willing to mention it or weight it significantly. I've noticed that reviewers seem to discount graphicis bugs as unimportant to the quality of the game or as nuisances that work themselves out. All I know is that no one outside CivFanatics has commented on BE's disappearing animations problem even tho it seems to have been evident and widespread since the beginning. With X-COM 2 some reviewers seemed almost apologetic to even suggest that graphics bugs should be counted against a game and I wonder if some simply ignored the disappearing animations glitch as beneath the dignity of critique or a problem so petty it would obviously be resolved.

    It wasn't. Now it never will be. And given the snafu with X-COM 2's roll out, I wonder if it's something the matter with Firaxis. (Starships hasn't bred much confidence either.) This experience has also taught me a little bit more about why I play games. I play narratively. I like building a little story out of each experience. BE even inspired me to try writing some fanfic! The lore and the music and the art in BE really are stunning, and to the creators who made that happen, if you read this, thank you. (I listen to those soundtracks almost every week during my commute.) But those fantastic, engrossing, immersive creations crap out after two turns on my $3,000 i7 laptop. Not cool.

    So thanks, BE, for teaching me more about my love of games and boo, BE, for showing me the limits of that love.
     
  8. GenyaArikado

    GenyaArikado Black Queen

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    Oh BE also made me almost get an interview with Taylor Fischer. Sadly the staff of the site took it over without telling me. And to top it off, it was crap. Taylor was lovely tho, follow her tumblrs.
     
  9. Galgus

    Galgus Chieftain

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    Beyond Earth gave a beautiful setting and a lot of good ideas mechanically, but tragically most of its strongest themes and best ideas are underutilized in the gameplay.
     
  10. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    I've played more BE than CiV, and I enjoy both games. I just consider BE superior in various ways, combined with my personal bias for sci-fi settings.

    Certainly if I wanted to play a competitive head-to-head game, CiV probably has better balance there, but I don't, so that argument's mostly irrelevant.

    Topic is flawed anyhow. BE does different things for different people, like all games do. The problems set in when we start calling one another inferior for liking X instead of Y :)
     
  11. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Warlord

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    Well, I played a total of 226 hours of Beyond Earth (including Rising Tide). So I would say it gave me a decent amount of entertainment where I got to play a civ type game in an cool scifi setting.
     
  12. aguliondew

    aguliondew Chieftain

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    I almost forgot my forum name :p. Well I spend a lot of time in Civ:BE its nice it just lacks the high end difficult that some of the players want. Also it limited ways to gain a victory(science>all). Still it was worth the money after all of that.
     
  13. Mount Suribachi

    Mount Suribachi Chieftain

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    I think some of you guys don't get the point of this thread :spear: I mean, I agree with a lot of your points but....

    Go watch the Monty Python clip again. Then come up with a pithy one liner saying something good about BE.

    Well, the tech quotes were pretty good. I mean, "All previous versions of humanity will no longer be supported as of this update" is as cool and chilling as any of the tech quotes in SMAC.

    Alright, alright. I'll give you the tech quotes. But apart from the Civfanatics forum skin, the leader designs, the epic soundtrack, giving Firaxis more time to develop Civ 6, making us appreciate Alpha Centauri more, inspiring GoodSamaritan to try his hand at modding, inspiring Packherd to try his hand at fanfic, giving us lots of good ideas mechanically, still being worth the money, and having great tech quotes - what has Beyond Earth ever done for us??????
     
  14. Plus Ultra

    Plus Ultra Conquistador

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    There is not one of us who would not gladly suffer death to rid the Civilization franchise of Beyond Earth once and for all.
     
  15. Bandobras Took

    Bandobras Took Chieftain

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    Well . . . one of us.
     
  16. Midnight-Blue766

    Midnight-Blue766 The filidh that cam frae Skye

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    Beyond Earth poisoned our water supply, burned our crops, and delivered a plague unto our houses!


    Link to video.
     
  17. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    It's not fruitful to name-call in general. However, some frustration is understandable. The market is not holding some game genres to standards and the product quality sags as a result of that. Players lost months of viable MP experience in Civ V.

    Then you see posters on a forum saying "well the MP community is smaller" or "I don't really care about MP so it's fine", and I do feel some annoyance towards those kinds of comments. When advertised features don't work, that is not something the community should be okay with. It's irrational and damaging to the quality of that title and future titles.

    BERT wasn't as bad in that regard. In terms of design and balance, it's not ideal, neither is vanilla civ 5. It did not fail to deliver advertised features on release as far as I recall though. UI is the usual Firaxis struggle to attain mediocrity over the past decade of TBS, far below their ability as designers otherwise :(. BERT really suffered for that, with the lifted city restriction and initial trade route spam. When you have more cities, more units, more trade routes, more everything the UI flaws push to the fore even more so and the game itself gets in your way of playing it.

    And yet some the market is okay, or even voices that they like it, despite that it lacks UI convention good games managed ~15-20 years ago, or even the basic control design of Civ IV, which itself wasn't great in UI.

    Name calling people for that isn't constructive, but it's still frustrating to see the community accept things that aren't finished/done well, because it leads to more products that aren't finished or done well. Nothing I or others post can move the needle much either.
     
  18. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    In general, it's a video game. I'd rather accept failings in any video game than getting fruitlessly bitter, because that bitterness trends to further non-constructive snipings that usually ends in a ban of some kind. I've seen the pattern play out across numerous communities in my time.

    I mean, I'm not excusing or defending the state of MP connectivity here (as you said, in BE / RT it was less of an issue - certainly less than it was for most of CiV's lifecycle). But when it comes to deciding on what the game did for me, as an extension of what it did for us . . . my subjective like or dislike of an MP component is a valid opinion. If people are allowed to prefer MP, and subjectively prioritise the issues that affected that game mode more, others are allowed to like SP, and subjectively prioritise the issues that affected that game mode more.

    Which for high-level players would probably be the Starships loadouts (a cool idea, but quite restrictive unless you did some tinkering with the game files) and a lack of a challenging AI. Among other things, I'm sure, but I honestly think regardless of other failings if the AI had been able to handle the gameplay better, and you could unlock the Starships stuff easier some months after that game was released (and thus primary sales acquired, as the drop-off in games is typically within the first month, trending down to the first 3 - 6 months in total), the perception would've been greatly improved.

    The whole AI component is less of an issue for competitive MP folks, you see. So each segment of the playerbase has something they care about less. And the people that play or enjoy both, suffer the most, because they play two divergent scenes each with unique (and overlapping) problems.
     
  19. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Yes, but this gets away from the point I was making, namely that advertised features need to work and no community should be okay with advertised features not working in principle.

    Everyone has their own priorities. I get that. But the developers have some features they choose to put on the virtual box. If they say: "this product does x", it needs to do x, and I can't accept an opinion that it's okay when the product doesn't do x as credible. It doesn't matter what x is. If civ promised dinosaur gameplay on its feature list then it should have dinosaur gameplay, even if I think that would be a really weird direction to take and probably wouldn't use it.

    When I try to do something in the game, that's fine according to the game rules, and the game doesn't let me do it because the UI is bugging out/lying/randomly input buffering only some commands/forcing me to wait (all things encountered in Civ V and BE at different points, some still remain), that's not ok.

    I don't care how many people claim it's okay for the UI to lie to the player in a strategy title, or claim it's not a big deal to them. They're wrong. The market's acceptance of those reinforces shoddy standard that damage the gameplay in an objective sense. As a consumer I suffer for that outcome.

    It's not like this is a problem in all game genres. If you do this crap in a shooter you burn in a fire of brutal out-competition...if you don't have responsive controls as CoD, you can bet Halo or someone else is going to have them and then you're screwed. If you have egregiously wrong information or delayed controls in a fighting game, your product is smoked. RTS, MOBA, there are many genres where failing to meet advertised standards is punitive, and the common denominator there is decent competition upholding some minimum standards, with the community managing in those cases to differentiate when standards aren't met.

    I do agree getting bitter or worked up over it is pointless, but at the same time I'm not going to just pretend there's nothing wrong with the situation. TBS/grand strategy are utterly pathetic at MP and UI and have been for a decade. Good as some of Civ's design decisions have been, the UI is a laughingstock that can't keep up and we still haven't had a title where playing on the largest map settings with the "up to" number of players on the box is viable.

    What has BE done for us? Presented some neat concepts while failing to match the design balance of other titles, and in particular failing to meet basic standards that half a dozen other game genres manage routinely. Objective standards, such as "does this product work as advertised for the settings it allows".

    Whether it's competition or community that needs to step up on the standards is somewhat chicken/egg. If people won't buy it, there's incentive to improve quality, same with competition threatening the product.
     
  20. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    I'd never argue against people choosing to not buy the game for reasons relating to product stability, enjoyment, you name it . . . but the problem with your analysis is that it rides an awful lot on both blaming of people for choosing to enjoy the game, as well as assuming that in an ideal world the lifecycle of video games development allows for magical fixes to be applied.

    (also, there are a lot of FPS games that don't play exactly like Halo. Do you not remember the Quake / Doom wars of the 90s? Ostensibly very similar FPS games where the fanbase completely ran over their competitors product for incredibly pedantic reasons. Plenty of games diverge on what seem to be minor issues, but are classed as major issues by the fans of the series. Like you're doing, here. I'd never downplay the legitimacy of said issues without first debating them)

    People not buying a game shows that that product doesn't sell. That product not selling in this day and age - where the barriers to putting out games is less, but the high-end / AAA profit margins required being higher than ever for companies to stay in business - simply means no more product. It doesn't mean that the product will be fixed. That's an idealist's view, and I'd love for that to be the case. But high-end games development is a business, and all business with those kinds of stakes is cutthroat. It's rarely a reflection on the developers themselves; they're routinely assigned budget and deadlines ahead of time, and these budgets are rarely increased or the deadlines extended. It's frequently the reverse.

    I'm not asking you to pretend nothing is wrong with any game. But that's an absolute either / or there, and not exactly a fair proposition. You can agree that getting bitter is pointless while criticising what you think is wrong with your position. A lot of people do that.

    As for UI, yes, the genre in general can struggle with it. I don't think it's as bad as you make out, but I'd reserve that for a dedicated UI discussion (which as a developer myself I'd love to debate about. I have specific experience in frontend UI and data presentation as well as a fair amount of experience on the backend in specific languages, too).
     

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