Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Leathaface, Jul 27, 2018.
Now that’s a bit too far. What about AP?
That's badly designed, but the issues with it are more of a matter of oversights in execution rather than it being fundamentally a bad idea. It's really only an issue in the case of deliberate exploiting or sometimes bad luck.
I include execution as part of the design. And in this case, autolosing 1%-2% of your games by 1300AD without any reasonable way to have prevented it is certainly worse than a lot of things.
I used to think it was just silly and I turned off diplo victories, but now i don't just to make things different. It's just another random element that makes you think about it. So I don't hate it any more. If I don't win every game, it's not that important
But in terms of execution, it's only a factor in a very small amount of games on some specific settings. I mean it's up there, but I just think when a basic function of the game makes my life miserable every game, it's going to bother me much more. I mean, there are some map situations like the enemy showing up with a stack in 1000 BC that is pretty much auto-loss/waste of time too.
I'm not defending the AP. But the game penalizing you like that for building a road, it's way up there. It's one of the things that makes me look at the game and makes me go "geez, I'm not playing this"
Wait, I guess peacevassaling trounces both. Damn, that's just jogging up the incompetence in this franchise.
I find the AP only annoying in games like sgotm,
where too many scenarios had it included..boring for competitive play imo, too "easy".
In games just for fun i actually like that little bit of trouble it can bring.
My most common problem with IV would be the endgame,
much less creative than early where every tech and decision counts.
Later i get bored by many techs, and also by..hmm..just an overall lack of discovering something exciting.
Nukes are an example of what could be done for a little bit of wow factor,
if less destructive and overpowered.
random (not nuke caused) global warming...I got rid of this in the xml a LONG time ago
The trifecta of big annoyances in Civ4
This is what Civ 5 reminds of every time I've ever seen somebody playing it past the early game lol:
This is 60 pieces for 72 eligible spaces. Talk about a long jam. Now imagine that you can continually put new pieces on empty spaces, or replace jumped pieces every turn until you fill the board.
I can't really answer this thread because while I bought civ V, I never played it enough to give a good explanation. I just find it really boring. It feels like way too little micromanagement, meaning most of the strategy part becomes automated. On the other hand logistics have lost their automation. There is constant traffic jams, meaning time is spend moving units around rather than looking into the interesting details. Moving land troops across water is also poorly implemented. Water isn't the strategic defense it is in civ IV. At least that's my impression.
Another issue with civ V is not as much an issue with civ V as it is awesomeness with civ IV. We have the source code for the civ IV DLL file. We can mod more or less everything we want if we have the time and skills to do so. As a result, civ IV might be the best game ever released when it comes to the ability to make total conversion mods. Just look at what I'm working on for Colonization modding. It's essentially taking the source code for one mod, opening it up to xml freedom, which in turn can be used as a base for other mods. Think creating a new vanilla for other mods to start from. The thing is the (planned and very realistic) goal is to allow greater diversity between the mods than civ V has between mods. The fact that it's even possible to make a mod, which can step in and act like a base game by itself tells something about how modding friendly the civ IV engine is.
Not long ago we had an issue with network games going out of sync all the time. Not all, but one game did nearly every turn. Nobody had a clue to why. I ended up writing a tool to aid comparing contents of variables from memory to pinpoint what went out of sync. This tool exist in the DLL (game code) and uses network communication to sync the data gathering. It learned that it was a bug related to culture spread and the ingame event triggering the desync was an AI not spreading identically on both computers. Since it was in undiscovered land, I have no clue to how we should ever have figured out that cause without the semi automated desync data investigation. My point is that the game is modding friendly enough to add a tool in the game to do something like that despite Firaxis apparently never considering this feature. We can add new complex features from scratch. After this bug was fixed, no game has desynced as far as I'm aware.
Which bug are you talking about. I can think of 3 issues, none of them game breaking.
lots of files in a mod makes it start slower
when zoomed out completely, the top of the map will be black if the map is too big
the game crashes if you use more than 2 GB of memory
1 is just waiting and mods can actually do something to fight the slowdown. Annoying, but not a major issue.
2 seems to be a limitation in the graphics engine where it can only place texture on a certain amount of plots. A bit annoying, but it's graphical only and only applies when zoomed out max.
3 can be annoying, but it's not really a civ 4 issue, more like a 32 bit application issue. The thing is back in the 80s we had 8 bit CPUs with 16 bit address space. This allowed 64 kB of memory. Motorola released their 68000 CPU (often called 68k), which had 24 bit address space and 32 bit registers. It actually had 32 bit addresses internally, but the chip didn't have enough pins for that. This grew into 32 bit CPUs, with 32 bit addresses, each address accessing 32 bit data. Fast forward and 2 GB for an application and 4 GB for the entire system was no longer enough. The solution to this is the 64 bit CPU, complete with 64 bit address space. Once again we have a new system, which seems like it has unlimited capacity for addressing memory.
The problem is that Civ IV is from before the 64 bit CPUs and is compiled for 32 bit only. This mean even if we go crazy and give our system 128 GB of memory (that's not even close to the max of a 64 bit CPU), the civ IV exe will put the CPU in 32 bit mode, which results in the 32 bit RAM limitations. Windows for some reason only allowed 3.5 GB of memory. To prevent the entire system from crashing due to out of memory, an application in 32 bit windows is limited to 2 GB. It's not a civ IV specific problem. It's a problem for all applications compiled in 32 bit mode. Another well known 32 bit game is Civ V, meaning it has the same limitations.
You can use some advanced tricks to increase the 2 GB limits, but it's still restricted by the 4 GB total and it has to have the windows API within that limit, meaning you can get a 32 bit application to use a theoretical max of 3-3.5 GB. I would however say if a mod hits the 2 GB limit, maybe the mod should try to reduce memory usage. Even if more memory is possible, it will slow down the game due to constant memory I/O bottlenecks, which will be there with that amount of memory.
As for actual memory leaks, I'm not sure there are many. I did however find one today in Civ4Col and it's likely in all civ4 versions. When I change the language, it leaks around 35 MB (likely increased by the mod). Looks like it's leaked in the exe, hence vanilla. However how often do we change language while playing? It's not great, but memory leaks, which aren't triggered doesn't really matter.
You can relieve the memory issue by loading the entire game to a RAM disk. This permits me to play through the late game on 20 000 tile maps with 34 civs and ~30 sec turn loads. The only things I care about when buying a new computer is single thread CPU performance and RAM clock frequency.
This doesn't sound right to me. The game can have a slow startup time when modded (a RAM disk might help here), but once loaded it has everything in RAM except wonder movies and similar rarely used GUI/audio stuff.
The "load" between turns is actually the CPU calculating what the AI is doing. This means it's 100% CPU load on a single core and all the data it accesses is already in the RAM. This means it's throttled by single CPU core performance and memory latency, not disk access.
RAM clock frequency doesn't really help as frequency determines how many GB the CPU can read each second. Throughput isn't a bottleneck for the civ4 engine. Like most other turn based games, it's actually memory latency. The game figures out that it needs something from the memory, requests it and then the CPU is idle until the data arrives. This means you really want low latency (ping) between CPU and RAM. Civ4 does a really bad job at keeping memory organized for fast memory access. Sadly low latency memory is a rather complex issue.
In addition to low latency RAM and fast single core performance, you want CPU cache and lots of it. Level 3 is shared while level 1 and 2 is per core (usually). This means counter intuitive that adding cores will make single core performance better if each core performs equally well because more cores usually means more level 3 cache.
Wouldn't disk read/write be the bottleneck as soon as the artificial 3.5 GB RAM limit is blown?
The 2/3.5/4 GB memory limit is in virtual memory. Each application exist in a virtual memory space where it can read/write/allocate memory. The virtual memory manager in Windows is then responsible for placing the contents of virtual memory in physical memory. It will do so in the hardware RAM modules if possible. If not, it will find some memory and copy it to the HD to make space in the hardware RAM. The application itself will only access the virtual memory, hence virtual memory addresses. It will not know if the data is in RAM or the HD.
The virtual memory manager is 64 bit on 64 bit windows. This means you can have 10 applications running, each being a 32 bit application with 1 GB of memory allocated. It can all be in memory because while the virtual memory only consist of 32 bit addresses, the virtual memory manager can easily put the memory in 64 bit memory addresses.
So when is civ4 placed on the HD? That is when other applications takes up the hardware RAM. You might be running something, which can be really memory intensive like a browser with lots of open tabs or a RAM disk. In fact running a RAM disk will increase the risk that running applications will page memory to the HD.
A RAM disk can be a good thing in some cases, but civ4 doesn't appear to be one such case.
Leader art too. It's loaded on demand from disk, not into memory at launch. That's why modded leaders should never be packed it into an FPK.
I think leaders falls into "rarely used GUI stuff", but yeah we can be more specific about it. The background for the loading screen is also read from the disk each time it's used.
However precisely what is and isn't loaded from the disk during the game doesn't really matter in this context. The question is if the game will be faster when loaded from a RAM disk and the fact remain that the most important part to get fast (AI as in next turn wait) will not care for disk access speed. This means using a RAM disk is very unlikely to result in a better gaming experience.
Now that I think about it, the files loaded from disk during the game are all media files. This means it's very likely that they will not be read using the main thread. Since you will only be able to tell delays in the main thread, disk access time really shouldn't matter. Besides even on a mechanical HD, you should be able to get data within 4-6 ms. For comparison at 60 Hz refresh rate, each frame is displayed for 16.667 ms. We might call mechanical HDs slow when compared to SSD, but compared to the needs of civ4, the read speed during the game is instant.
If read speed during the game is an issue, then you fragmented your HD and disabled window's ability to defrag periodically. If that's the case, then it's user error, not a game issue
Just played a civ6 game (not civ5) and I really wanted to like it, but it seems so fundamentally broken.
The UI is HORRIBLE (I installed a "Reports" mod, which fixed some parts of it), but the building screen alone makes me want to throw up in my mouth (selecting to build a unit takes a LOT of mousescrolling). The city screen is really bad in general, especially if you dont want to use the default citizen assignment. The map is chaotic to look at when a few units is gathered in the same place, and the icons for units fill up the screen, so its impossible to see the actual units. The improvements are so small and detailed that, unless its a farm, its almost impossible to see what kind of improvement it is.
Now, I did play on a 42'' TV. Maybe its better on a normal monitor, but I could easily write a list of 100 things that is wrong with the graphics and UI
Up until late eras (modern) I still only had less than 15 units on a huge map. Most of these units were bought/build in the stone age, as I didn't loose a single unit (playing King difficulty). This was only my second civ6 game. The first (on the difficulty below Prince) was abandoned because I was so far ahead, there was clearly no competition.
I thought King difficulty would be a challenge, as I didnt have any experience playing either civ5 or civ6, but boy, was I wrong...
It starts out ok'ish, then suddenly (around 3500BC) there is 2 barb warriors and a barb slinger standing next to my city just as I had just trained my first builder. Being unable to do anything about them until I got a warrior and attacked, attacked, attacked, healed, attacked, attacked, attacked, healed (because attacking only does around 30% damage. You get the point), well the barbs were just standing there doing nothing, so it was more than an annoyance than an actual threat.
Not long after (maybe around 2800BC) I had Ghengis declaring war on my. He came over with 5 warriors which could easily have taken out my capital, but again, the units didnt attack or anything. They just stood there.
That was the last war I was in for a looooong time, and it ended, after I had killed the 5 warriors, by him suggesting peace and giving me quite a lot of money (I never actually posed a threat to him, nor did I get close to his lands).
The reason for the long peace, was because the AI didn't want to expand. With quite a lot of citystates around me (default for Huge map is 18!) The AI saw them as a natural border, so I expanded, and expanded, and expanded. I dont think there is an actual limiter of any sorts (corruption/maintenance/etc), and the concepts of Districts (which I liked in the beginning) just became an annoyance, and all the cities became very similar looking. Maybe there is some part that makes it better to specialize the cities, but I didnt find any. The improvements are boring, with almost only 1 type per terrain type (no hamlets, workshops etc).
Now, all of these things I can (kinda) live with. The BIG no go for me was when I declared my first war. Or should I say "war", because there was NO opposition. The AI I declared on had 2 allies who declared on me. I didnt see ANY of their units, nor did I see ANY of the AI's unit I had declared on. I simply walked into his land (around the "Forts"), and bombarded his cities. One after another, until the AI was dead.
He didnt even try to build units. When I was done, I sailed across the sea (the units didnt need ships, they just converted when I sent them into the ocean. In fact the first naval unit I trained was a Nuclear Submarine).
When I arrived on the second continent I was greeted by 2 cavalry, and that was all I saw of AI#2. When he was dead I continued to AI#3, which again didnt have any units.
The attacks were boring: Moving a rifleman/infantry close to the city while the bombards/artillery was standing in the background rangestriking. Then taking the city with the infantry, and on to the next city.
There was no strategy, tactic or any planning. Bombard, walk into city, bombard, walk into city. The same for AI#4, AI#5, AI#6, AI#7 etc etc. Boring as hell, and only using those 10-15 units, never getting any resistance.
And even though I only had a few units (my cities was always building buildings), it was still a PITA to move those units. One. at. a. time.
There are a ton of modifiers: Governors, Districts, Buildings, Traderoutes, Improvements, Civics, wonders , Great Persons, but everything seemed so pointless and bland somehow.
Governors: Attach to city to get small bonus (maybe +20% production of A, B, and C is fulfilled) and it takes 5 turns for them to settle. Useless
Districts: Gets a tiny bonus if placed in a good spot, but then cannot use the tile, and since no food, they are not really used (setting citizen manually is a PITA). Also, there is a limit of district based on citysize, so you might get a Science district to build a library, but then you cannot build a Workshop (industry district), theatre(Culture district), marketplace(Commerce district) etc etc.Also the AI DOES NOT know how to use these.
Buildings: Almost all of them has to be placed into districts. See above. Buildings pretty boring.
Traderoutes: Oh god, dont get me started there. The only way to build roads is making a traderoute between two cities. Sounds simple? It becomes a mess real quick. The GUI made it even worse. The bonuses from traderoutes were, as almost all the other, minimal. (In my game I have room for over 60 traderoutes by now, but only use 4).
Improvements: There is not much of a choice when choosing what improvement goes for a tile. There are no improvements that "grows". Building improvement is "instant-build" but cost one charge of the builder, which usually starts with 3 charges.
Civics/Governments: The civic tree I thought, in the beginning, was a nice feature, though the civics earned is used to build the governments, and is the same, so each government seemed like the other (with minor bonuses to differentiate them) Same same but different. Each time a civic was researched, it was possible to change the government for free (no anarchy or anything), and the civic tree was almost as big as the tech tree.
Wonders: Yawn. Let me put an example: Broadway 1 free random Atomic Era civic Boost. (a 20'ish% boost to a random tech). Using a city to build a wonder that would take up to 30-40 turns on normal speed, to get a minor bonus? Nah. Most of these wonders were, once again, minor bonuses. Oh, and no national wonders. I guess they wanted to use governors for that, though instead of a +100% building for military units, it was more like a +20% to naval units.
Great Persons: They seem like a good idea, but most time it was some minor bonus (maybe they should have called it: Civilization 6- Minor Bonus edition). I got some great generals. They can either level up a single unit or be attached to a unit and give +1 movement and a minor attack bonus. But even if attached, if I skip turn on the unit, I also had to skip turn on the general. Minor annoyance, but still.
I also got a Great Admiral. He spend most of the time sleeping, and when I finally got my first ship: The Nuclear Submarine, he gave it a +1 to movement BUT... and this is true story bro, because the admiral only had 5 in movement, the now 6 movement submarine could only move 5. It still had one move left though, so I had to skip turn. Every. turn.
I had two games of civ6. Not one nor three, but two. Two is the number, not 5 or 6, but 2. And 2 is the number of times I'm ever going to play Civilization 6.
Was fun reading your rant,
games like VI would have been impossible back then (no quality control, but still selling lots and getting shady reviews).
Now in times of constant blabla and advertising on the net, even such money grabs sell really well.
When i look at VI forums, it's really more like a social media chatting project..boring.
Have you been over to /r/civ? Basically taken over by VI memes now. "DAE canalz???", "look at my THICC YIELDS", and "haHA the AI is so STUPID" are pretty much the main posts, and about as much effort goes into them as you might expect.
Well, one thing VI might be doing right: they're bringing back cuirs!
For all its faults, IV still gives me that one-more-turn vibe, whereas V gives me that having-carnal-knowledge-of-a-dead-sheep vibe. Don't get me started on VI.
Thanks vincentz for that through review.
It just goes to show that just because something is newer, it doesn't make it better.
It sounds like the devs are so used to modders creating better versions of what they make, that they just produce a simple version to accommodate those that can't handle the complexity immediately, expecting the modders to do the rest later for free.
If they were smart about it, some mods that are radically different, could have been created and sold to us as expansion packs, such as the Fall from Heaven mod, rather than selling an over priced initial version such as CivVI.
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