Why are you playing civ 3 after all these years?

CrONoS_QC

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Québec City
I have played the civilization series since I got my first PC in 1995. My interest for this series peaked with civ 3 and 4. I was even an active member on Apolyton between 2001-2008. When Civ 5 and Civ 6 got out, I played these games a bit, but never got really hooked. I felt like something was missing, maybe it's the lack of unit stacking or something that I can't point the finger at. For this reason, I replayed Civ 2, Civ 3 and Civ 4 since the beginning of the pandemic. But, playing these games, I remembered why Civ 5 and 6 didn't hooked me :
  • Civ 1,2,3 & 4 feels like an epic journey from a settler to an empire;
  • I don't know if I'm right but Civ 3 & 4 are strategically simpler; no district; no religious war (like in 6); no city quest, etc. This translates into the feeling that I have more control over my empire and it is easier to see the outcomes of my choice.
  • The feeling of successfully building a Great Wonder is better in 1,2 3 and 4 ;
  • Civ 3 & 4 feel more like you drive an imperialistic civilization.
I am particularly attached to Civ 3. Even if Civ 2 is great, I find Civ 3 to integrate things (like the cultural border) that I can't play without now. And, compared to Civ 4, I always got more enjoyment from Civ 3, even if there is things in Civ 4 that are better than Civ 3.

I was playing Civ 3 last week, I was surprised to see an active community of Civ 3 on Civfanatics and also a great youtuber (suedeciviii). I was sure that I was alone with the feeling that Civ 3 was worth my time in 2022.

So, it's your turn to speak, I have two questions:
  • Why are you playing Civ 3 ?
  • And why are you not playing Civ 4, since many people seem to find it even better?
Edit:
I am playing Civ 3 with this mod : https://forums.civfanatics.com/resources/c3x.28759/n
 
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dark_pretender

Warlord
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May 20, 2006
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My first contact with the franchise was Back then in 2001 I guess, I used to download videogames from p2p programs, Back then I was so hooked in age of empires, then I found a file calle age of empires something, by the size of the file, it clearly was a fake, but anyway I downloaded the thing, for my surprise it was a game with "very uggly" graphics, and very hard to understand. Sometimes my game lasted more than others, other times I had to finish the game due to "forced retirement" to be honest I had no idea how to play this uggly game, but somehow I was hooked. It was civ 1.

For some reason I passed this game to one of my friends and surprisingly he could understand how to play the game, the concepts about 2 food per each citizen, shields for production etc. But even better he passed me a "newer and better versión" civ 3.

Got instantly hooked, and started my journey, until responsabilities, job, Girlfriend, etc leaded me to "forced retirement" from videogames.

Like two years ago I installed civ1 on my android using an emulator, its great to kill some time, and its a lot better than civ revolutions for android. One year ago I bought a gaming computer, and the first game y played was civ 3.

Back then years ago, my pc couldnt run civ4 so many years later with my new pc, I tried civ4, but couldnt finish a game, simply not hooked, tried civ6 same, civ5 I almost finished a game. But I have not ínterest in it.

In civ 3 I have already finished many games, after finishing a game, I play other things, mostly games from that same period of time, but few weeks after I see myself starting a new game of civ 3.

In regards to your questions.

Because I really like this game.

Becase I dont feel interested in it.

Edit.

Im also using the great C3X mod. I also use CAII (Cant imagine playing without it) and a mod called National popheads or something like that (to id easily the mod of my citizens)
 
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livinginaz

Seven Ages of Man
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There are a few reasons I love CivIII more than the majority of games, but the main two that really spring to mind when not regarding the other Civ games are the Conquests scenarios and the aesthetic and audiovisual experience of the game. I find CivIII to be charming, it comes off as very positive, bright and happy to me. It just feels like something that came out of an industrious, prosperous society. The music, UI, bright map colors, unit and Civilopedia graphics all add up to make the game very enjoyable to me.

As for the other Civ games, I find III superior to II, even that II is certainly wonderful in its own right, it just isn’t as expansive or robust as CivIII. They struck just the right balance with III, not too complicated but great innovations from the predecessor. IV is a very good game, but the style doesn’t strike me in the same way (although I like it in a different way) and the included scenarios pale in comparison to Conquests. I felt that IV was best in the mid game period, I got really bogged down in late game. CivIII feels good in all eras, the ancient era is exciting and the modern era feels much more upbeat than the John Adams depressionscape of IV. Some things in IV were definitely nice, expanded diplomacy is one of the sticking points for me. Decimates the randomness of later games diplomacy. IV is also noticeably easier on comparable difficulty than III for better or worse.

V I only did a few games, I did not really care for any part of the experience. I found it devoid of the spirit of earlier titles and leaning into mechanics I did not enjoy. VI bends deeper into these, and I suspect it will never be like the old games ever again. Gaming has changed. But CivIII survives and I hope it will have a place in my life for as long as I live.
 

Dr Cox

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Messages
1
I completely share this feeling. I think its a combination of nostalgia and the visual style and soundtrack that combine to make it feel like "my Civ". I know later versions add better graphics and more features, but these always just seem to bloat the gameplay and detract from the sense that you are growing and developing your own empire.

CivIII was the first strategy game I ever played, after getting it for my 13th birthday. Prior to that I'd only played N64 games and didn't even know game mechanics could get more complicated than "Hold A to go fast, B to brake and Z to fire a red shell".

The jump in complexity was incredible. Obviously I was absolutely terrible at the game initially. I read the Civlopedia and it taught me more than school history lessons. I loved exploring the worlds, building wonders, going to war. And I loved how unforgiving the game was. If you founded your first city in the wrong tile, it would have implications for centuries. If you attempted to archer rush your neighbour, and fail, it would change how the world ends up looking in the modern age.

Without realising it, the game taught me about compound interest. I'd lose games and watch the end game summary, pinpointing the critical mistake I'd made. I saw my mistakes and successes build over time. That you can't do anything without the basics. You can't build an empire without workers. You can't achieve anything without putting the work in early. And the benefits often don't come til much later. Genuinely, it contributed to my work ethic in later life. If I'm tired at the gym or want to give up on a work project, I'll just think "one more turn" to keep me going!

The only other game which hooked me in a similar way was Call To Power 2. Thinking about it, this game also had a great soundtrack and some serious balance issues and gameplay flaws. But they both had an innocence and charm that later games simply cannot reproduce.

20 years on, as free time shrinks with work and family responsibilities, I still love starting a new save and playing through the Ancient era, popping huts and rushing capitals. I don't have time for huge maps or protracted wars. But loading up a new game with decent starting tiles, a new map to explore, heading the music kicks in, and I'm 13 again.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk
 

tjs282

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Although I remember seeing sixth-form friends playing a (likely pirated) copy of CivDOS in 1991, I didn't play/buy it myself until 2003, after I'd already owned my first laptop for over a year (and was getting bored with SimCity 2000).

So I was late to the Civ-party, but made up for that by playing CivDOS almost daily (despite its many bugs/flaws/cheats) until I bought a Civ3 CD from Amazon in 2009. This turned out to be the vanilla v.1.07 version, which I patched to v.1.29, and then (after first getting ripped off for a dodgy Thai CD-copy) upgraded to a download-version of Conquests in 2013.

After reading (mostly on CFC!) that they were/are good games (and better than Civ 3 and Civ 1+2, respectively), I did also buy Civ4 and re-bought SMACX (my CD-version was SecuROM'd, so stopped being usable in 2015) when they first showed up on GOG (along with yet another copy of Civ3!), but I never found them as instantly absorbing/intuitive as I did Civ3 — and Civ3 has so many fantastic mods, that I'm still not bored with it.

So I've been playing Civ3 for the past 13 years, give or take — though admittedly fewer games per year these days than previously (and I'm still some way from beating Demigod reliably on my preferred settings of Random-everything-except-world-size; especially now that I'm also using @Flintlock's patch).

As for Civs 5 + 6, I have no interest in giving Steam any (more) of my money, so those will remain forever unplayed.
 
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livinginaz

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As for Civs 5 + 6, I have no interest in giving Steam any (more) of my money, so those will remain forever unplayed.
What's ironic about this is that in the case of Civ VI, the consoles actually have a more free version of it. Game comes on a disc or cart that can be played without fees or extended internet connection like Steam. I often am in situations where the connection can be compromised for days, and Steam loves to log me out randomly. Although playing Civ with a controller sounds suboptimal at best. I will probably be buying CK3 on Xbox the moment it's for sale just to see how they did it for myself.

The ultimate version of Civ seems to be the CivIII + IV complete DVD set, released only to Euro markets in about 2011. I know for a fact that the IV parts are completely DRM free and can be copied straight from machine to machine and played without any issue. III I am unsure of, but it does seem to me a DRM free version of Complete. I do not know if it has PTW exe still, which I like to fire up from time to time. Another thing I love about CivIII is its light system resource requirements, I still play it either on an old PowerMac or my XP desktop that are both offline. The computers are of a similar vintage to the game but I see no issues in late game or large maps on these upgraded machines. I have played it on a 350MHz G3 and a 500MHz AMD machine as well though the Conquests expansion is too much for these.
 

vorlon_mi

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Why I Play Civ III the Most: I'm very comfortable with this level of complexity and planning. I've played all the tribes through once and am making my way through playing them all again. The economic management is just rich enough to make me feel like I am controlling my empire, while still having fun and not working too hard. I started playing consistently in 2012, after some fits and starts in the late 200x. Civ IV is a challenge, expanding on Civ III in several key aspects. It's harder to sit back and relax in IV. I don't yet have the comfort level with the tech tree in IV that I have with III; knowing what I should do next without rechecking my notes taken from the forums here.

I also love Civ BERT for some of the same reasons. Yes, it has the Civ V engine and 1UPT mechanics. But the complexity feels less than IV, plus they changed the painful global happiness mechanic that crippled empire growth for me in V. In BERT, it is possible to grow an empire to get oneself out of a hole. Killing aliens is fun; building cities on the ocean is fun; plotting a path across the tech web is fun.

History: I saw a classmate playing Civ I on a PC at university, so I went looking for the game when I graduated, got a job, and had some free time. I found Civ II in the discount bin back in 2002 or so for $10. Best investment of $10 I ever made. My work friend had already moved onto Civ III, so I switched around 2005 or so. I stopped playing Civ II when I couldn't easily run it on a version of Windows after XP -- and I needed to retire my old XP computer. I have rebought Civ III a couple times when the CD stopped working, finally rebuying it on Steam along with Civ IV BTS to work on my current Windows 10 laptop. I have also bought Civ V, BERT, and VI for the new laptop. I got all the Civ VI expansions (but not New Frontier Pass) on sale. That game keeps changing with various patches, so need to get back to it sometime.
 

bbrady413

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I first found Civ after #1 came out in the early 90s. My dad got it for Christmas, but he never played it. I started, and enjoyed it. I liked reading about the various advancements and wonders when I got them. Learned quite a bit. But I was addicted to the game. I’d only play on the first two difficulty levels which was insanely easy. I’d typically only build one or two cities, then produce everything through then, and just steamroll the computer.

Same thing with Civ 2 & 3. Played very basic on the easiest levels. The highest i would jump up to would be monarch, and I’d get crushed usually. I dabbled in Civ 4 and found it ok, but still gravitated back to 3. I tried Civ 5 briefly, and had no interest. No unit stacking and the whole city-state concept was just too weird and un-Civ like.

So back around 2014, I discovered Civfanatics. When I started reading more in depth about strategy and tactics, and reading game play throughs where people actually beat Sid level (!!!!!!!!), I was intrigued. I started applying the advanced strategy concepts, most notably rapid city expansion, and it started a Civ renaissance for me.

i come back to Civ 3 because I find it the perfect balance of fun and playable, with just the right level of complexity. The graphics are good, but not the central focus of the game. The soundtrack is awesome. It is infinitely replayable. You never beat the game- you just beat A game. The ultimate game of chess. Heavy on the steak with just enough sizzle.

I haven’t played as much in recent years due to having three kids (they cut into my Civ time), but still fire it up every few months. Playing the GOTM makes it fun too. Best game ever made in my opinion, and I’ll probably play it as long as it loads up on the computer.
 

Chalito

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Mar 26, 2022
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139
I hadn’t played Civ 3 in over 10 years, but the Russia-Ukraine war rekindled my interest as it reminded of so many war scenarios I’d seen on there. The Russians attacking all throughout, then realizing they needed to concentrate their force. The Right of Passage with Belarus. The narrow gap north of Crimea that the Ukrainians completely left with no defense, still makes no sense to me. We just need unit gifting in Civ 3 for the NATO countries.
 

justanick

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Somehow i doubt that Civ3 is a better war simulation than what is available to every important involved party in the current war.
 

vmxa

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I still play C3C for the same reason I still play a number of games, some older than Civ. I only really liked Civ2 and Civ3. Civ4 I will play on a rare occasion. Civ5 not since the first month. Civ6 I was playing, till the last couple of DLC's made it too crazy for me. I am very concerned about what VII will be for me. I am sure it will be successful, not sure I will be a fan.
 

PPQ_Purple

Purple Cube
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Oct 11, 2008
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5,160
Why do I still play CIV3 and CIV4 to this day? Well frankly why not?

I mean, we can sit here waxing philosophically about the merits of one of these games over the other or how they are better than anything on the market today until the end of the universe. But at the end of the day all that will accomplish is eating into the time we have to play them. And it won't ever say as much good about them as the mere fact that there are in fact so many of us still playing them to this day.

Bottom line is they simply are, were and will be good games. :)
 

Buttercup

King
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Oct 20, 2011
Messages
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For me, the wonderful thing about Civ III is the sheer number of different ways you can approach the game.

It was the first civ game to really expand the Victory Conditions, and for each VC to be completely unique in it's playstyle.

As such, someone like me, who likes really big, watery, maps, but absolutely loathes the combat in Civ III, can still have a vast array of options in how to play the game from a building, diplomatic and exploration perspective.

On top of this, the game is even secretly designed to allow for a single city playstyle, if you are so inclined.

I don't finish too many games, about one in 10, which is still quite a lot, but the adventure of starting a new map and just exploring through the Ancient Age is a never ceasing pleasure that can provide for many hours of happy gaming and provides the perfect gaming fix when there's nothing else to do.
 

Lord_Hill

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The ultimate version of Civ seems to be the CivIII + IV complete DVD set, released only to Euro markets in about 2011. I know for a fact that the IV parts are completely DRM free and can be copied straight from machine to machine and played without any issue. III I am unsure of, but it does seem to me a DRM free version of Complete. I do not know if it has PTW exe still, which I like to fire up from time to time. Another thing I love about CivIII is its light system resource requirements, I still play it either on an old PowerMac or my XP desktop that are both offline. The computers are of a similar vintage to the game but I see no issues in late game or large maps on these upgraded machines. I have played it on a 350MHz G3 and a 500MHz AMD machine as well though the Conquests expansion is too much for these.
I realise it isn't the focus of the discussion but I'm pretty sure it's been established that the Civ III in that set still contains the dreaded safedisc protection. The only known retail version that doesn't have it is the German green pepper release of Civ III Complete (which I have), and also apparently the Chronicles set (though I don't have that so can't prove it).

I and III are still my favourite Civ games. I for being the first and allowing very fast games (particularly if you run the windows version in winevdm) and III because I like that it's complex but not too complex and I love the visuals. I'm probably revealing that I'm a grumpy old man but I much prefer strategy games that use 2d visuals rather than 3d polygonal visuals as for whatever reason I find it easier to process everything that's going on. I do wish some of the features from Civ IV could be ported over though :D
 

need my speed

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I fully agree; I think Civilization III's graphics are the best of the entire series. It's the perfect combination of crisp, clear, colourful, easy to see everything at a glance (although I would like to use Civilization IV's view of the food/production/commerce output on a tile). The game is simple at a glance (compared to IV) but complex, the AI is simple at a glance (compared to IV) but deeper if you look for it, with AIs that can be surprisingly powerful and form genuine threats, but also be loyal friends - and so on. There is something beautiful about the apparent simplicity of III. And the scale; III feels grander (the maps are larger, and you are more zoomed out). Maybe related, I care about losing an individual unit more in IV than in III.
 

BadAtUsernames

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A bunch of reasons, and I'm currently going through a bit of a Civ3 re-discovery at the moment, so I'd love to tell everyone about it :lol:

I love the early 2000's art style, for one. Even though I started with Civ4, I still have crazy nostalgia for the game just based on how it looks and sounds.

Another reason is because of the little game mechanics that other civ games don't have. Like turning workers into colonies for resources, the ability to abandon cities, the population cap until you have either fresh water or an aqueduct, etc...

I feel like the new civ games, while I still enjoy them, seem to be both simplified and needlessly complex at the same time, if that makes sense. I feel like when I play Civ6, there are so many buffs and multipliers and numbers everywhere that if I'm not min-maxing everything, I'm wasting opportunities and I'm behind. With Civ3, I feel like I can just have fun with it and not really worry too much. As for being simplified, I mean like how in Civ5 and 6 your entire empire's science is in one pool, and in Civ 5 your entire empire's happiness and culture are in one pool. I kind of like the tedious balance in Civ3, and the system in 4 I don't mind at all.

Edit: Realized I cut myself off mid-sentence :crazyeye:
 
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jarred!

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I feel like the new civ games, while I still enjoy them, seem to be both simplified and needlessly complex at the same time, if that makes sense. I feel like when I play Civ6, there are so many buffs and multipliers and numbers everywhere that if I'm not min-maxing everything, I'm wasting opportunities and I'm behind. With Civ3, I feel like I can just have fun with it and not really worry too much. As for being simplified, I mean like how in Civ5 and 6

Unfortunately that makes sense. :crazyeye:
Civ3 is more focussed an the aspects that make up a good game.

I find this to be true with other franchises/developers like Spiderweb Software when I compare their older games like Avernum to their newer games like Queen's Wish which seem to be created with tablet players in mind. The newer games feel like I'm being given a sugar cube every few minutes to keep me interested. In CivIII, it could be 100+ hours before I'm deemed 'Magnificent'
 

Quintillus

Archiving Civ3 Content
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The newer games feel like I'm being given a sugar cube every few minutes to keep me interested
And yet... if you play just one more turn you can research the next technology! One more turn after that, you can afford to plant a spy! Another turn after that and you'll have enough Cavalry to try to take the next city!

CivIII still has sugar cubes, or perhaps dopamine triggers more accurately. They just emerge naturally from the gameplay mechanics.

-----

I've been playing Civ3 more this year than for many of the past five years. Fundamentally, it's because interesting in-game stories and challenges can emerge. In Civ V and Civ VI, the AI isn't competent enough to offer a challenge. But in my current Civ III game, even though I've expanded successfully, so has another AI, and at one point I was seriously concerned they might win. Now I'm not quite as concerned, but am still not quite out of the woods. We each have about 60 cities on a Standard size map, strong militaries, less powerful but still relevant allies, some of whom might not always stay on the same side. We're like the British and the French in the 1700s, colossuses with empires spanning the globe, trying to stay one step ahead of the other through diplomacy, trade, conquest, and showdowns on the high seas.

I've got an old game that I may yet revisit someday where it's even more bleak, not a near-run thing but an already-running thing, because of a runaway AI who's now intent on my destruction. There's tension. And sure, I gave the AI some bonuses in the scenario setup, but I had no idea I was creating a monster!

Civ IV is the only other iteration that can hold a candle, IMO. It also has that 50,000-foot-view-commanding-an-empire feel, although it doesn't scale quite as well to large maps. I still play it from time to time, and some years I've played it more than III. I was scrambling in my most recent game when one of the AIs invaded while most of my troops were on the other side of the empire. I think I had one guy left defending a hill that if they had broken through, the empire would have descended into chaos.

The gameplay mechanics make them timeless, in a way.
 

RobS

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I bought the gorgeous tin can edition of Civ III when it first came out, and have been playing the GoG complete version now for a couple of years.

I come back to this game from time to time, frequently after long periods of not playing it, but it stays installed. As far as "Why" I still play it, I suppose the biggest reason is that I tried Civ IV a couple of years ago, and while I loved it overall, it had one thing that broke the game for me, namely, the fact that mountains are impassable for the duration of the game. To me, this is grossly unrealistic and a complete game breaker. (I've discussed this elsewhere and don't intend to discuss it again here.) I've also found out that Civ V and Civ VI have that same "feature", so that's why I'm not playing those either.
So that explains why I haven't "progressed" past Civ III and also answers the two questions.

I'm also not as much of a computer game player as I once was.
 
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