Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by kamex, Dec 22, 2016.
Baffling, aggravating, frustrating -- all those and more.
Because reasons, that's why.
In all honesty though, it's likely some pin-headed project manager with an MBA specializing in "how to fleece customers" calling the shots and cracking the whip on the devs.
ROI and such. Fix the low hanging fruit (easy bugs) and ignore the harder stuff (AI, diplomacy) because MONEY NAO. If these companies weren't so bloated in the first place, whey wouldn't have to cut so many corners delivering the actual product they claim to produce. How many people did it take to make Metroid? Like, what, 10 people? Shipped bug free and was so awesome I still pull it out and play it to this day. Now we have ARMIES of human beings developing cutting edge games and get .. this?
It's not as easy as you claim it to be. In games with this many moving parts there are always going to be bugs, glitches and pieces that don't mesh with each other as intended. It's not always possible to just change a number and everything is hunky dory. Changing one thing can alter another, which alters another and fixing that small bug actually causes bigger issues down the line. If you change too much at once the chances of problems increases exponentially. So developers will work out the bug lists (and they will be reading what people are saying) and prioritise it all. They will then address them in the best order they can. Some are a piece of cake, shown by the ones they have addressed. Others will be ironed out in the works. Especially if they have plans of adding things in the future, it may mean spending a bunch of time to fix a small bug on a feature that is going to be overhauled in an expansion would be a waste of time.
Having been involved in a bunch of Alphas and Betas, in my experience, companies find it hard to communicate after release. The crowd on forums etc can become so venomous that it is oft too much trouble to deal with them. I've seen games have GREAT communication and it was taken advantage of so much that the companies banned employees from communicating. Any comment made is blurted out as iron clad promises. That seems to be why fewer and fewer companies are maintaining that type of service.
These types of comments are so ignorant. Gaming companies have one of the poorest profit/investment ratios. You are paying as much now for a game as you were 20 years ago. Yet the cost of making those games has skyrocketed, the complexity is out of this world in comparison. Yet gamers demand near perfection. Most gaming companies put their existence on the line with each release, and a poor game can spell the end of even a seemingly established developer. Notice the number of gaming companies going bankrupt over recent years because of one flop?
That is why so many bugs are in games these days, as there just isn't the money to delay the project long enough to fix them all. That is also why DLC is so important, as it help alleviate some of the financial issues that developers face. Saying that Ed Beach needs to work in a mine when you clearly have no idea about how his business operates is beyond ignorant and is the type of attitude that makes game development so hard to do. Notice how games are becoming far "safer"? Developers are terrified of taking risks to try something new because people like you will lambaste them if it isn't perfect, refuse to pay more than bare minimum price, screams at the idea of DLC, all without any clue of what is actually going on behind the scenes or what it takes to make a game.
EDIT: Metroid was a completely simple to make side scroller that didn't have to focus on anything like balance or have any kind of complexity to it. It's a simple ass game (fun, don't get me wrong) that you paid the same for as Civ6 (probably more!).
It's really hard to have a discussion where everyone is coming from a different angle, waaaay different angle, so i'll try again to explain what i perceive as a problem and why that possible facts annoy me. The thread is why didn't patches addressed some of the basic and obvious and well documented bugs... so on that note, let me add some more text.
Ok, so game is fresh, it went live and million players started to stretch it high and wide. Game that we all know 100% didn't go through massive beta testing is a game that needs to have a decent team of programmers that will address everything that community finds as a problem, at least reasonable and fixable problems. They produce 2 patches that fix some stuff, but are completely underwhelming in their scope and it feels like it wasn't produced with a lot of resources and manpower but just enough amount to produce something that looks like a patch. And we get 2 dlcs? Why??? Why would they add anything to the game, and this comes from someone who bought the dreaded deluxe version, before they polish the base game? It doesn't make any sense whatsoever - at lest for me - who cares about scenario and new civilization if there are bugs that can be fixed with 5 lines of code that community documented perfectly good and long time ago and Firaxis don't know about them or don't wont to be bothered because they are making grand DLCs 5 buck a pop. LOL.
I was a part of starcraft community for a number of years and i will never forget just how insignificant and trivial annoyance i reported and to my surprise in the next patch notes there it was - added into the main game! Nobody in community said a peep about this, it was just me who find it kinda annoying and there it was - the team just made note and fixed it, really simple.
For me there is no doubt what is priority for any game that is just released - that's polishing and fixing stuff that can be fixed and nobody can convince me that a company this big can't repair numbers or logical bugs if they actually want to do it. But that's the problem - the way i see it they don't prioritize polishing the game but just continue to cruise in their little bubble and produce new content, work on expansion, or whatever while i can't get my god damn ESCaping from citizen screen back into game and not into game menu. Trade routes anyone? Reports? Last build? Kongo bug? Update stuff next turn? Refresh yields after pop grow because it won't set it right? etc...
I realize they fixed a lot of it but in my book every single thing that's fixable and was addressed by the community that didn't get into patch is a disgrace for this company. Yea we got 2 DLCs, beautiful, it's such a great add on to the game. The DLCs should come after the game is perfected and community gets kinda bored with it and then you throw us a bone, what good is to add something to far from polished game?
I kinda like civ vi, a lot of good stuff about it, but after release support, one word after wall of text - horrible.
All I can say to those developers is, "man up!" They are the ones who released this as a finished product. I hear all sorts of excuses for the programmers and how complex it is to fix the trivial issues -- if this is the case, why do the modders have no problem fixing them? So, it must not be an "ability" issue, it must be a one of "caring or not caring." Actions speak louder than words.
Our comments for "perfection" are ignorant. Well, I don't think anyone expected perfection, but thanks for the insult. How about this. We are paying the same as 20 years ago -- yet I have this tiny feeling that there are a whole lot more customers than 20 years ago. Are you claiming that because the price is the same that the revenues earned are the same?
Interesting, I think there are lots of people on these boards who actually do have a clue of what it takes to make a game, and have worked in corporate america enough to have a pretty good idea as to what is going on behind the scenes. I know for myself that I know the business angle quite well, and the programming angle enough to know that, since the last item built doesn't affect anything else in the code forward, that it's a pretty easy fix with no other consequences (and that if there are forward consequences, that this game is horribly programmed, so I'm assuming the former, not the latter).
I guess I will give up on voicing any frustration. Voicing our frustration gives the developers a chance to fix the problems before losing customers. Yet if frustrations cannot be voiced without those voicing them being called (directly or implied) "ignorant" then that's fine, I'll play the old games. But to say that this game is near perfection, and then to make excuses as to why it's not quite perfection, is not helping to solve the problems. And quite frankly, I don't know 100% what happened behind the scenes, true. But neither do you.
And you say you have an idea of how things work from a programmatic angle?
Ability is not the only constraint on output. Time is another. Anyone who's worked in software development knows this.
We have different opinions, mine is that devs have no clue on how program an AI and they are paid really a lot for doing nothing usefull in civ vi.
85% of forumers could do better for free, you are not among them of course
Because the game has to justify it's cost of development. The risk of development. Imagine being a company or investor that literally puts its existence on the line for a project that will give relatively small returns. You could invest that money in sooooo many other things that have much less risk and a much greater profit. That is why it is almost a requirement that DLC is being worked on at the same time, or as priority over, fixing issues within the existing game. If you can't justify the cost then a business will often not do it. It's ****, but it's the way the market works.
I agree that it needs to be fixed, my issue is with the attitude that is presented. There are MANY people who voice their concerns in a very productive manner and move on. But there is such a bitter and self-entitled side as well. And it would be brilliant if games could be smoothed out and released as intended. Developers want to do it, and it's not hard to find interviews and articles with and about developers who lament their position of not being able to release the game they envisioned. But when you are stuck with deadlines and budgets that is what happens. And it's easy to say OMG GREEDY CORPORATIONS but it's not that simple. There is a distinct lack of understanding from many consumers about what and how things are done. And you are correct that revenues are up. But there is a big difference, in that revenue comes with a far greater investment and a far greater risk. It's not easy to just lump out tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to make a big game.
Modders also use lots of existing programming and modify it slightly, which works great for now. But if Firaxis makes changes behind the scenes then all those bugs come straight back. Yes, they could fix them like a modder does. But then that is time and money wasted every time they alter the programming and need to do it all again.
No don't give up voicing frustrations. Communication is a very important part of any community, and gaming is one where it is actually extra important. However, there is a reason that gaming communities are known for being one of the hardest to please and hardest to deal with.
It's not about knowing 100% what goes on, it's an understanding of how a business operates in its market. Major development companies are on the decline and were are seeing the rise of two really big developer/publishers for that reason. EA and Activision are dominating the market, eating up the genuinely brilliant developers and we, as a gaming community, are playing into their hands with it.
And a lot of those old games are hilariously broken, unbalanced and/or bugged but we were (and still are) totally fine with that.
Do you want to whine, or do you want to communicate your opinion to the people who make decisions about the game (including, btw, the managers who determine whether or not the developers are _ALLOWED_ to fix the bugs -- it has nothing to do with whether or not the devs want to fix them)?
If it's the former, post here and on the 2K forums, and continue to be ignored.
If it's the latter, there's a very easy way to do it. Buy this and read it cover to cover: https://www.amazon.com/Shocked-Appalled-Dismayed-Letters-Complaint/dp/0375701206
Then follow her advice. It really does work.
If even a few _hundred_ people did that, I think we'd be very surprised by the results. It takes no effort to post on a forum; writing an actual letter is a lot more work. Of course, if you aren't willing to put in any effort, then you really don't care, and while I'd never tell you to shut up... put up or shut up.
Back in 1998, people still read letters. That probably helped her cause....
"Hard because planning fallacy and project management failure" falls on deaf ears. There is obvious, overwhelming disparate standards in release quality and optimization serving as counter-evidence. I'd love to see a self-consistent logical argument about why the UI in this game is so terrible that you're conditioned to distrust it outright. Somehow, other AAA titles and indie games alike manage to avoid that issue, and manage the prioritization on core gameplay much better.
DLC arguments are nonsense wrt bugfixes. DLC pays for more DLC development. Fixing/improving the base game is a distance 2nd place. At least Firaxis isn't patching the game to require the DLC like Paradox yet, but I still find the notion that Firaxis would develop DLC as a priority over a competent UI to be a *gross* misalignment of priority. They do indeed need competition from someone in the genre who knows how to let players play instead of fighting against the controls to play it as it lies to them about what will happen.
I am bitter, because I expected a game that holds itself to equal or higher standard than games 10-20 years older. Civ 5 and 6 do not hold themselves to that standard. I don't care how big the $$$ numbers are in the budget. Throwing $$$ into an incinerator does not create an excuse for poor performance. It just makes you more poor. Civ 5 and 6 fail at basic controls and information presentation, to say nothing of the less-trivial optimization issues and lack of care in that regard too.
You want to talk low-hanging fruit? UI should be right up there, yet they manage to show us across multiple patches that they don't care about UI/controls.
Speaking of terrible UI, does anybody else find the Great Works screen highly confusing? There appears to be no sorting of any kind by default, no buttons to allow the user to sort either, not even by city or by building type.
It's not only the Great Works screen. The civic policies screen is also laid out similarly in the sense of using more or less unsorted tiles. Not to mention other parts of the interface which are arranged like a spreadsheet (with tabs no less in the city screen) or a text file. And then there's the use of plain text menus when the better option would have been a properly laid out and visualised panel (with icons) - such as the unit list. This is not a very good example of visualising all the units a player has. Not only is it buried away in a menu that can only be accessed when actually clicking on a unit (i.e. you must find a unit in order to find other units), but a plain text menu consisting of exactly the same entries (a dozen Warriors, a dozen Archers etc) is about as boring as it gets and does not give the player sufficient information about those units. There should be a panel that lays out (in pictorial form) all the units on that tile as well as one that lays out all the units in your empire with information about the condition of each unit etc (the Unit Report Screen mod does this fairly well).
You are totally right. My point isn't that criticism isn't valid (no game deserves to have zero criticism) it's that it is often directed at the wrong area. UI is a basic and fundamental component of any game, but it is especially key to good strategy games, particularly 4X games. There is no defence for the ****** UI that was released.
That said, when you actually think about it the majority of games (at least, a very large portion) suffer from poor UI (usually it is fixed up along the way) and I don't get why. I suspect it has something to do with not getting external testers in. Those involved with a game's production are prone to overlooking such things because they are so used to looking at it.
As to bug fixing and DLC, they are usually being done simultaneously by different groups (or individuals). Yes DLC begets DLC, but that is also important to getting other fixes and developments. If a game is not deemed profitable they just won't get the attention they deserve. It sucks, but it is the way of the economy. Especially with a developer as small as Firaxis, who is virtually one financial-flop away from catastrophe at all times. But we are in 100% agreement that doing it over fixing the basics like a UI is incorrect prioritisation. There absolutely needs to be balance.
Paradox I would defend though, but this isn't the place for a drawn out discussion so I will limit it to saying their "long tail" model is actual very good for both gamers and developers, and probably should be emulated more.
Paradox's model has some merit, it's just the patching the game in a way where you functionally need DLC to keep the same experience when using the patches that I call out, and EU IV at least absolutely has done that, multiple times over. Firaxis has not yet, to my knowledge.
The reason I'm pretty disappointed with civ 6's UI issues is that they're carryovers of problems from previous iterations that were never fixed in earlier civs, with a few new crippling problems.
I know it's not easy, and I know it's impossible to make everyone happy. The AI will never match a human without bonuses without some serious computer hardware and programming breakthroughs globally. I don't have that expectation, because evidence suggests its naive. However, Civ titles for a long time now have lacked in areas many AAA titles (and lower budget, lower graphic setups) have accomplished routinely, and those areas are core to gameplay (interesting choices presented, choices/time, UI/controls, optimization for performance, MP options). I feel strongly, because I had many hours in civ 4 and like it despite its flaws. The concepts in civ 6 could make it good, but the project management has dumped some core facets of gameplay that, if we're being honest, should be trivial in cost compared to just voicing and animating the leaders, let alone making the AI amazing or something.
Rather than call out their competence directly, I call out the priority set, and have yet to see what market research evidence goes against putting priority on the direct gameplay experiences per above. Most players still can't beat deity, and most don't use some of the patched-out "exploits". However, EVERYONE inputs 2-3x as many times as necessary to do basic tasks. How is that not even seen as a priority issue? It's perplexing. I can't imagine a breakdown of WW or culture victory would be harder to add than a few dozen things actually patched for example.
I think that in part this is because it would introduce a split in the codebase that would be annoying to maintain. (For this reason, any code changes necessary for a DLC are usually patched into the main DLLs files through a general patch.) The DLC then just contains other asset files that make use of the code.
Seeing and reading all the huge and fundamental mistakes that Civ VI devs did, I propose to let the community have the source code, this way the super skilled modders would fix everything in a perfect way in a matter of 2-3 weeks, drinking a soda meanwhile.
All the remaining members could act as betatesters and the skilled modders can fix the AI teaching those devs a logic and tech lesson they will remember for their whole life.
What do you think ? Ok that's a utopia but that's the only solution, sigh
I've never played the EU series so wouldn't know. Both Stellaris and CK2 are fine without the DLC. In fact they patched them to allow for playing without the DLC. Forcing people into it is total BS.
A fundamental stage of project development should be "how can I do this as quickly and easily as possible" but it's a step that seems to have been overlooked by the devs. Which is strange considering the whole concept of streamlining things like the map with the idea of making it quick and easy to get information. So they did it in one area and not others? Weird.
I think simply playing the game and getting input from external play testers would be enough to get an idea of the areas that need improving (this is essentially what all the customers have done). Re: the map, I don't think this is streamlined at all. The map is significantly more complicated than previous Civs - it is extraordinarily busy with the unstacking of cities, wonders, improvements and units all crammed into separate tiles. Later in the game, every single tile has something on it that bears little resemblance to what is next to it. In previous Civs, we had extensive patches of farmland, forests etc only broken up by the occasional mine, windmill, city. But in Civ6, it's a hodgepodge with so many different elements to decipher together with the brown parchment fog of war, unappealing look of national borders, overbearing nature of various lenses - it's much harder on the eyes. Without the unit icons, I wouldn't have a clue where units are on the map (despite them being strewn all over it due to 1UPT) - the problem here is that I'm finding I'm relying on looking at the icons themselves rather than the unit graphics (which shouldn't be the case).
The Kongo Reliquary bug should be simple though. Like, people say that it's not a common thing, but if you're playing as Kongo you're probably actively trying to get as much out of your Relics as possible, so Reliquaries and seeking out further methods of acquiring Relics is a natural instinct. And they messed up what ought to be simple maths that's causing each relic to provide double the faith as the last, leading to a situation in which you begin to attain an utterly game-breaking 1000+ faith per turn. If this happens, things like the Great People system are completely broken - Kongo can just buy them all up and nobody else can compete.
It seems like such a simple fix. Someone somewhere put a multiply where they should've put an addition. It can't take more than like half an hour to isolate and repair. But somehow it hasn't been fixed, even though a number of people have documented it, including MadDjinn, someone noted to have connections with the developers, and he found it pretty much immediately, live on camera, for everyone to see.
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