Why are you playing civ 3 after all these years?

AspiringScholar

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Cool to see that the community for this game not only still exists, but appears to be thriving! I began playing Civ with III when I was a kid, but being that age, while I can relate to the nostalgia from the imagery, sounds and music, the strategic aspect of the game was way over my head at 8-10 years old, though I still had a lot of fun and experienced a lot of immersion. I got IV when it came out and have played it off and on ever since, at some point along the way getting fairly deep into the strategy. (This past year, I've begun extensively playing its Realism Invictus mod, which is superb in so many ways, probably the most polished, balanced, beautiful, expansive and rewardingly challenging game of my entire life - I highly recommend checking it out!)

One thing I find curious about many of your answers, though, is the tone of ambivalence in the comparison between III and IV, since IV is at the core a very similar game. Aside from a couple of small things (and I do have to disagree with the poster above, personally, that impassible mountains is more than a small thing, and probably should be represented with some kind of severe movement restriction), IV added the combat promotion system and specialists (both adding plenty of depth for being inherently simple implementations) as major mechanical additions, but besides that it is essentially the same game with a UI overall which, while I understand might be less aesthetically desirable to those used to and endeared towards III's 2D menus, was really a lot better at cleanly displaying game information and making it usable, in my opinion. I played hundreds of hours of III and plenty of other PC games from its time (Impressions city building games come to mind) so I am used to and also nostalgic for that sort of interface, but I see it is a lot clunkier than IV's by a long shot and wouldn't enjoy having to do extensive micromanagement with it if playing seriously.

So would any of you mind elaborating on that difference between the games that makes you prefer III? It's far from my intention to rob any of you of your fun or try to change your preference, but as someone pretty familiar with III and very much so with IV, I'm curious what you longtime vets of this game have to say. :D
 

Green172

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The game is fun, a great time sinker like all civ games, and I had a few problems with 4 that I couldn't get over so I didn't move on.
 

Civinator

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So would any of you mind elaborating on that difference between the games that makes you prefer III? It's far from my intention to rob any of you of your fun or try to change your preference, but as someone pretty familiar with III and very much so with IV, I'm curious what you longtime vets of this game have to say. :D
I simply have no fun when playing Civ 4 - Civ 6.

Each year I make at least one try, if now I could have fun with those versions of the Civ series, for Civ 4, that you are asking about, mostly with the Realism Invictus mod, that you have advertised in your post. I was asking myself, why for me there is still no fun in playing Civ 4- 6, while other civers seem to like these versions a lot. These were the answers I found for me:

1. I don´t like the graphical presentation of Civ 4 -6.

a) The table top presentation starting with Civ 4 with units and cities lying in different directions all over the map in my eyes is like looking on a toilet brush. For a strategy game (as I consider the games of the civ series) I think a graphical presentation as it is done with Civ 3 (or Civ 2) is much more pleasing for my eyes.
Spoiler :

TabletopPresentation.jpg


b) I don´t like the so-called 3D-graphics, especially those "3D" unit graphics. Despite these graphics in no case are "3D", but only provide (mostly very mediocre) different images of that unit from different perspectives, those images are frequently remembering me on tanks that I made out of paper as a 5-year-old child: Very flat papers with painted wheels on them and then clued together. Additionally these graphics in Civ 4 for me are looking mostly "very unhealthy" with nearly every second pixel of the unit thinned out ( at least this was the stand at the start of Civ 4). Some mediocre images of a unit in my eyes in the result are not making a good appearance of that unit in the game.

The "2D" unit graphics of Civ 3 for me are appearing much better in the game, so an additional zoom-in level for C3C would be a nice feature to be added to C3C in the future.

2. I don´t like the flood of, in my eyes, unnecessary additional micromanagement, that was introduced to the franchise in Civ 4-6 with all these not needed superfluous secondary techtrees.

Sid Meier worked very hard to eliminate such secondary techtrees in the past and I think he knew why he did it. Here is a statement of Sid Meier about this in his troy-goodfellow-interview, attached to the Civ Chronicles Compilation:



Unfortunately this flood of unnecessary additional secondary techtrees was started with Civ 4 and in my eyes became even worse with Civ 5 and 6 Civ. Sid Meier´s original idea of "streamlining" the civ games became obsoleted by the new doctrin " You asked for more, you get more". The easiest way to do this and to show results, was splitting up working existing concepts into many different concepts, of course resulting in more and more additional micromanagement of a civ game, but not creating "more fun" for me. To use a term of the Civ 4 manual: They are "unfun" for me.
Floods of civics and even more and more "undercivics" and now playing cards seem to become even a problem for many fans of Civ 4, too, as some of them post at every possibility, that Civ 4 is the best of the complete Civ series, forgetting that this "unfun" flood of "secondary techtrees" started with Civ 4.

One of those "secondary techtrees" is the combat promotion system introduced with Civ 4. In my eyes it is ridiculous in an epic game with its scale of hundreds and thousands of years, if two warriors are located at the same tile for some hundreds of years and one of these warriors has not learnt from the other, how to defend that tile a little bit better. May be this setting can make some sense in scenarios and in fantasy games with special heroes, but not in the epic civ game. Additionally this system in my eyes is a catastrophe in "cleanly displaying game information and making it usable".

Here are two screenshots of the battleship Bismarck in the C3C mod CCM 2.50 and in the Civ 4 mod Realism Invictus:

CCM 2.50:

Bismarck Civ 3.jpg


Civ 4:

Bismarck Civ 4.jpg


Do you really think, the Civ 4 information about the battleship Bismarck in that Civ 4 mod is "a lot better at cleanly displaying game information and making it usable" ? I don´t think so, but of course de gustibus (non) est disputandum.

BTW, when looking at those screenshots, in my eyes the Civ 4 Bismarck looks like a "masked Iowa", but not like the battleship Bismarck. C3C has several very good unit graphics of the battleship Bismarck, Civ 4 at least has this one (with hoovering artillery towers over the ship), but, as far as I know, Civ 5 and Civ 6 are lacking completely of this battleship. This brings me to the next point: Modability.

3. With C3C even modders, who are no programmers like me, can achieve good results.

There is a big base of modding work available for modding Civ 3. When looking into the download database of CFC for animated units the following numbers can be found:

Civ 3: 10 K
Civ 4: 3 K
Civ 5: 0,6 K
Civ 6: 0,39 K

I am aware, that the civ 5 and 6 unit downloads hold some files with many units (in one case of Civ 6 when remembering well, over 200 units), but it should be taken into account that also many of the Civ 3 unit downloads are holding many units and I am sure, that if somebody would really count all these units for the individual civ games, the distance between the number of the available animated units between Civ 3 and the other civ games would even be much bigger.

Now I have to stop that post as I must visit my sports training. Please don´t think I am a "Civ 4 hater". I will add the second part of this post about the good sides of Civ 4 and how to integrate them into Civ 3 when I have the time for it.
 
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AspiringScholar

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I simply have no fun when playing Civ 4 - Civ 6.

Each year I make at least one try, if now I could have fun with those versions of the Civ series, for Civ 4, that you are asking about, mostly with the Realism Invictus mod, that you have advertised in your post. I was asking myself, why for me there is still no fun in playing Civ 4- 6, while other civers seem to like these versions a lot. These were the answers I found for me:

1. I don´t like the graphical presentation of Civ 4 -6.

a) The table top presentation starting with Civ 4 with units and cities lying in different directions all over the map in my eyes is like looking on a toilet brush. For a strategy game (as I consider the games of the civ series) I think a graphical presentation as it is done with Civ 3 (or Civ 2) is much more pleasing for my eyes.

b) I don´t like the so-called 3D-graphics, especially those "3D" unit graphics. Despite these graphics in no case are "3D", but only provide (mostly very mediocre) different images of that unit from different perspectives, those images are frequently remembering me on tanks that I made out of paper as a 5-year-old child: Very flat papers with painted wheels on them and then clued together. Additionally these graphics in Civ 4 for me are looking mostly "very unhealthy" with nearly every second pixel of the unit thinned out ( at least this was the stand at the start of Civ 4). Some mediocre images of a unit in my eyes in the result are not making a good appearance of that unit in the game.

The "2D" unit graphics of Civ 3 for me are appearing much better in the game, so an additional zoom-in level for C3C would be a nice feature to be added to C3C in the future.

2. I don´t like the flood of, in my eyes, unnecessary additional micromanagement, that was introduced to the franchise in Civ 4-6 with all these not needed superfluous secondary techtrees.

Sid Meier worked very hard to eliminate such secondary techtrees in the past and I think he knew why he did it. Here is a statement of Sid Meier about this in his troy-goodfellow-interview, attached to the Civ Chronicles Compilation:



Unfortunately this flood of unnecessary additional secondary techtrees was started with Civ 4 and in my eyes became even worse with Civ 5 and 6 Civ. Sid Meier´s original idea of "streamlining" the civ games became obsoleted by the new doctrin " You asked for more, you get more". The easiest way to do this and to show results, was splitting up working existing concepts into many different concepts, of course resulting in more and more additional micromanagement of a civ game, but not creating "more fun" for me. To use a term of the Civ 4 manual: They are "unfun" for me.
Floods of civics and even more and more "undercivics" and now playing cards seem to become even a problem for many fans of Civ 4, too, as some of them post at every possibility, that Civ 4 is the best of the complete Civ series, forgetting that this "unfun" flood of "secondary techtrees" started with Civ 4.

One of those "secondary techtrees" is the combat promotion system introduced with Civ 4. In my eyes it is ridiculous in an epic game with its scale of hundreds and thousands of years, if two warriors are located at the same tile for some hundreds of years and one of these warriors has not learnt from the other, how to defend that tile a little bit better. May be this setting can make some sense in scenarios and in fantasy games with special heroes, but not in the epic civ game. Additionally this system in my eyes is a catastrophe in "cleanly displaying game information and making it usable".

Here are two screenshots of the battleship Bismarck in the C3C mod CCM 2.50 and in the Civ 4 mod Realism Invictus:

CCM 2.50:

View attachment 635328

Civ 4:

View attachment 635329

Do you really think, the Civ 4 information about the battleship Bismarck in that Civ 4 mod is "a lot better at cleanly displaying game information and making it usable" ? I don´t think so, but of course de gustibus (non) est disputandum.

BTW, when looking at those screenshots, in my eyes the Civ 4 Bismarck looks like a "masked Iowa", but not like the battleship Bismarck. C3C has several very good unit graphics of the battleship Bismarck, Civ 4 at least has this one (with hoovering artillery towers over the ship), but, as far as I know, Civ 5 and Civ 6 are lacking completely of this battleship. This brings me to the next point: Modability.

3. With C3C even modders, who are no programmers like me, can achieve good results.

There is a big base of modding work available for modding Civ 3. When looking into the download database of CFC for animated units the following numbers can be found:

Civ 3: 10 K
Civ 4: 3 K
Civ 5: 0,6 K
Civ 6: 0,39 K

I am aware, that the civ 5 and 6 unit downloads hold some files with many units (in one case of Civ 6 when remembering well, over 200 units), but it should be taken into account that also many of the Civ 3 unit downloads are holding many units and I am sure, that if somebody would really count all these units for the individual civ games, the distance between the number of the available animated units between Civ 3 and the other civ games would even be much bigger.

Now I have to stop that post as I must visit my sports training. Please don´t think I am a "Civ 4 hater". I will add the second part of this post about the good sides of Civ 4 and how to integrate them into Civ 3 when I have the time for it.

Cool, I look forward to the rest of your post. Once again, my point was certainly not to assert that Civ 4 is better in some objective way that everyone should recognize or that people who prefer 3 should change their mind, but to appreciate 3 more by understanding why it is regarded as the best.

All aesthetics of the UI aside (and I can see your point about preferring the "2D" look, which has a certain draw to me as well even though I find the polygonal UI of 4 much easier to navigate quickly and efficiently, particularly unit selection and build queues, to be specific, as I did like the game encyclopedia in 3), the only thing I'm confused about is why your main criticism of 4 seems to be added complexity of things like promotions, specialists, etc., robbing the latent fun of the game somehow, but yet one of your points in favor of 3 was the greater unit roster of 3 from mods in 3 than any other game. Those two points seem at odds with each other, but maybe I'm misunderstanding you.

In particular, I'm curious why things like specialists and unit promotions are considered "unfun." I'll certainly grant you that unit promotions aren't "realistic" in any kind of actually simulative way, but then so are continuous standing units at all, in the first place, alongside many of the core features of this game. That said, some kind of faithfulness to realism of the "it's easy to pretend" sort should be kept in mind and could be easily departed from, but religion, specialists and unit promotions easily fit that glove in my mind, and really do add a lot of fun which makes the game feel rather plain in their absence. (For the record, I really disliked the "policy tree" thing that Civ5 did, as opposed to meaningful, plain civics with their own advantages and disadvantages, and the opportunity costs associated with choosing one over the other, and also atrocious mechanics like global happiness and one unit per tile.)

Things that I miss from Civ3 (if I'm remembering them right), were the diplomacy being more fun with formal alliances (and were there also conditional ones? That would be really, really fun if they continued it), and then little things like workers being able to leave cities at the expense of population or found colonies by consuming the unit, ships running a risk of sinking in the ocean, modern-era pollution being a problem, and then flavor aspects like the personified advisors and the awesome music (much of which was carried into 4, by the way) and the in-game scenarios like that Japanese one, Napoleonic and Age of Discovery, were really enjoyable! But aside from that, it feels somewhat like a pure wargame (probably still the most important and fun aspect), and things like ICS weren't really contained in such a way (pardon my ignorance as a rusty novice who hasn't touched it in a long time) as to make alternative strategies as interesting as they could be.

However, if for sheer nostalgia if nothing else, I might fire it up again soon. :)

Spoiler :
Und wenn ich die Frage stellen darf, sind Sie ein Deutscher? Ich bemerke ein paar Dinge mit der Grammatik, die Sie benutzen, was mich zu dieser Frage bringt. Obwohl es mir keine Muttersprache ist, lerne ich es gerne (Nebenfach bei meinem Abschluss).
 

Civinator

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So now I have first to reply to your post instead of posting about the good things in Civ 4 and their integration into C3C. I am yet not familiar with the new site tools to citate and reply to every point in your last post as quick as I would have done this with the old site tools.

I simply try to answer your question in your first post of this thread and don´t try to convince you or anybody else to "convert" to C3C. The tastes of civers are different and what some of them consider to be fun for other civers is "unfun". Every version of the civ series created their fans, who had fun with that version.

a) "the only thing I'm confused about is why your main criticism of 4 seems to be added complexity of things like promotions, specialists, etc., robbing the latent fun of the game somehow, but yet one of your points in favor of 3 was the greater unit roster of 3 from mods in 3 than any other game. Those two points seem at odds with each other, but maybe I'm misunderstanding you."

I think here you are misunderstanding me. First point is, that I had never written something about specialists in my former post. To clearify this: "Specialists" are a concept of C3C and not an invention of Civ 4. Civ 4 only enlarged the existing Civ 3 concept and inplanted it in a different way as it was done in C3C. Here you can see the C3C specialist "Great Artist" of the C3C mod CCM 2.50, providing a city with 4000 culture (doesn´t this sound somewhat familiar to a Civ 4 player?):







I agree that these specialists can provide a lot of fun, especially the "culture-bombing" by monks and later great artists. Different in C3C (mod CCM 2.50) compared to Civ 4 is the way how to gain such great artists. In that C3C mod you need a holy man to convert a unit to a monk and later a lawyer to enslave "sign a contract" with a foreign unit. Trespassers of the borders of your civ in C3C are very welcome by the priests, missionaries, druids, prophets and so on and later by the lawyers of your civ. For me the way to gain Great Artists in CCM 2.50 is much more fun compared to Civ 4. Of course the taste of different civers here can be different, too. Great Engineers that can rush most buildings and some of them even Great Wonders in my eyes can be done more interesting as it is done by the military and scientific leaders in C3C.

Unnecessary micromanagement (or as you call it more "complexity") and to have a much bigger pool of nice units, are two complete different chapters in modding and game play. Unnecessary micromanagement is time in a game, that the player considers as unfun and in the worst cases as a waste. If you can give the Brits in a game battleships of the George V. class, the US battleships of the Iowa class, the Germans battleships of the Bismarck class (and so on) this doesn´t trigger any additional "unfun" time when playing a game, but adds a lot of flavor to that game. Of course your advertised Civ 4 mod Realism Invictus and many other Civ 4 mods are doing the same (and this is one reason why I use Realism Invictus when trying to have fun with Civ 4), but the pool for high quality animated units in Civ 3 is much bigger than it is in Civ 4 and other games of the civ series.

b) "...but religion, specialists and unit promotions easily fit that glove in my mind, and really do add a lot of fun which makes the game feel rather plain in their absence".

Religion as a system is no special part in Civ 3, but as the mod CCM 2.50 demonstrates, can be easily implanted into C3C with much better results as it is done at least in standard Civ 4. A minor aspect about religions in Civ 4 is, that this "yoodling" sounds, when a civ has researched a (mostly not fitting) new religion, is annoying me (as always, here other civers can see this different).

About unit promotions I have posted my very different view. I think they are misplaced at least in the standard epic game and show that they are not really fitting in the epic standard game by the "sabotaged" information in the Civ 4 Bismarck class screenshot. I, as a casual Civ 4 player, did not receive the proper short and clear information about the performance of that ship in the game. Upgrading a unit to a unit with a better value in my eyes is the proper way to handle this problem in the epic game.

My view about specialists is posted above.

c) "...things like ICS weren't really contained in such a way"

The mod CCM 2.50 in my eyes has a much better way to deal with the ICS strategy. In that mod this strategy simply can not exist. In my eyes the connection of settlers to the production of cities is a general error in the concept of the complete civ series.

d) "Und wenn ich die Frage stellen darf, sind Sie ein Deutscher?" (can I ask you if you are a German ?)

Yes, I am - and in Germany, Firaxis themselves offered the interesting answer that many civers want to know: What is the best version of the complete Civ series ? Here is the expert opinion by Firaxis, signed by Sid Meier himself:



Civ 3 ist das beste Civ aller Zeiten ! In the eyes of Firaxis, Civ 3 is the best Civ of all times. As "of all times" also includes future times, of course they stated, that it is also better than Civ 4-6. :D I follow that expert opinion.

As in Germany now it is deep in the night, the part about the good sites of Civ 4 still has to wait.
 
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vorlon_mi

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I do have fun playing Civ IV, but I don't play it as often as I do Civ III. I admire Civ IV for the expansion of the role of religion; in Civ III, religious buildings are a way to increase culture and local happiness. I like having additional decisions to make about which religion to spread, how many religions to have in my empire, and the impact it has on my diplomacy. I wish that Civ III had vassal states, so that I could avoid wiping out other tribes entirely. I like the actual zooming in/out that is possible in Civ IV and wish that were possible in Civ III. I love the extra choices for civics and the idea of changing them to gain an advantage. I love that a different set of civics is best for late game space victories than for mid game warring. Promotions are cool, and I can get a bunch of them by settling Great Generals.

So why don't I play more Civ IV? After playing a lot of Civ III, I have developed certain habits and instincts. I have the tech tree memorized for III much better than I do for IV. My pace of REXing (Rapid EXpansion) in the early game for Civ III is way too fast for Civ IV, so I keep crashing my economy. I keep seeing prime city sites and want to plop a city there before the AI... not realizing that I can just conquer it later. I've had several games (even at Prince) where a Civ IV AI starts running away, getting better units than I have, and I don't have the skills to cut them down to size. I love spaceship victories, so I am always playing into the later stages. Yes, I'm reasonably good at combined arms and suicide catapults. My stacks include 3-4 siege units that get the bombardment promotions, so they are not sacrificed.
Civ III has just the right number of knobs to turn, for my tastes. Two sliders, not three. One happiness metric, rather than happiness and health. Similar assignments of citizens in a city and use of specialists. In Civ III, I can leave my cities ungarrisoned if I need to. I understand how to manage war weariness in a Republic. I can ignore spying and pay gold to investigate cities when I need to. I prefer Palace pre-builds to fail gold. Yes, I like being able to cross mountains, or even build a fortress there. I love bombarding cities with Civ III artillery from a distance, instead of next to the city.
 

Civinator

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4. Features I like in Civ 4- 6 and (if possible) want to add to C3C:

When playing Civ 4 - Civ 6 I frequently wondered, what parts of the game I would like so much, that I would add them to C3C.

For Civ 5 and Civ 6 the answer is very easy: In my eyes there is nothing to add from each of both games of the civ series to C3C.

a) Possible candidats from Civ 5 could be the hex-tiles and 1 unit per tile.

- Hextiles in computer games still were existing when Civ 1 was released and I think if wanted, Sid Meier would have been able to release even Civ 1 with those hextiles. A possible advantage of hextiles is, that diagonal moves now need a movement over two tiles, while in Civ 3 (and 4) this movement can happen over one tile. On the other side, hextiles reduce the movement options in a civ game drastically. Located in a hextile, a 1-MV unit has six movement options, while in the current version of C3C (and Civ 4) a 1-MV unit has 8 movement options.

I really see no need to reduce the tactical movement options for units in a civ game and therefore the hex tiles of Civ 5 (and 6) have no place in my individual wishlist to be added to C3C.

- Another possible candidate from Civ 5 could be the concept of 1-unit-per-tile.

I am a great fan of Panzer General and Panzer Corps, where this concept is used successfully, but Firaxis forgot, that those games are "scenario games", dealing only with a different scale in time and place compared to a worldwide epic game of the civ series. To handle such a concept, a civ game in my eyes would need a much, much bigger map and even with this needed massive new place, archers firing their arrows over dozends of kilometers, in my eyes would really be a very strange feature. So the 1-U-p-t-concept has no place in my wishlist for additions to C3C.

b) A possible candidate from Civ 6 could be the concept of districts.

In short: Planning up to 6000 years ahead, if this would be a good place for an airport or spaceport district and so on (taking into account inventions and technologies that are only existing in the far future) in my eyes are massively colliding with the great concept of history, that made the civ series such a success. No place for it to add it to my wishlist for C3C. Players who want to play Tetris should play Tetris and not Civilization.

c) Completely different in my eyes is the situation about adding concepts from Civ 4 to C3C:

There are many concepts existing in Civ 4 that I want to add to C3C - and this addition to C3C in most cases can be achieved easily. This is proofed in the C3C mod CCM 2.50. Here Soren Johnson´s skillful analysis of Civ III gaming elements at the end of the manual of Civ IV (pp 159ff of the German manual), dividing Civ 3 game elements in "fun" and "unfun" elements, was a very precious help, but the biggest help comes from Flintlock and his fascinating Flintlock mod for C3C. This mod in my eyes is a "must have" for every player of C3C.

- Setting the MV of workers in Civ 4 to 2 is a genial idea to avoid tons of micromanagement in C3C, as now a worker job after moving into a new tile can be started by workers in the same turn and don´t need an additional activation in the next turn. The integration of this great idea into C3C was done by a simple click in the editor. I will never miss this great setting now when playing a C3C game. The ingenious is usually simple.

- The elimination of pollution as an "unfun" element of the game and replacing it by additional unhappiness:
Throwing out that element as most as possible in C3C was also very convincing for me. This was done for C3C in CCM 2.50 for population- and building pollution simply with the C3C editor. Nuclear fallout and volcano pollution are still possible. Now even population pollution can be completely eliminated by the settings in the Flintlock mod.

- Corruption was cut out in Civ 4: Without doubt, this is the most critisized concept of Civ 3. This unfun element in CCM 2.50 is massively reduced by additional buildings, that can reduce corruption cumulatively. Now with the Flintlock mod, corruption in C3C can be completely cut out, as the setting "OFF" in the Quintillus editor now is working as it should be.

- If wanted, with the Flintlock mod, railroads can be set to perform as in Civ 4.

- The newest version of the Flintlock mod allows to set up to ten buildings as additional prerequisites for producing a unit.

- The newest version of the Flintlock mod also allows to create "artificial resources" by buildings and it can be chosen, if this resource should become a part of the tradenet or be only available in the city where that building is located.

- Fight against the ICS tactics: The problem was recognized by Firaxis, but in my eyes there is no proper solution in the complete civ series.

Unfortunately Firaxis never recognized, that connecting new settlers to the normal production of cities is a big failure in the concept and in most cases also had no equivalent to founding new cities in history. CCM 2.50 in my eyes has a much better solution for this situation: The palace produces new settlers in constant intervals and the individual civs can receive additional settlers by Great Wonders. An additional normal production of settlers can only be started in era 3 of the game.

As can be seen in many well documented Civ 3 succession games, this setting still allows very interesting early games and races for the best locations of cities, but now the normal production in cities is not hampered by the production of settlers or the unnatural stopping of growth in the cities when producing settlers, as it is in Civ 4.

- The wrong AI routine for land artillery in Civ 3 was fixed by Flintlock for C3C (something Firaxis was not able to achieve in 20 years!). The normal suicide artillery in Civ 4 (without battle promotions) is far inferior to the current options for artillery in C3C.


Features, that are possible in Civ 4, but still are not possible in C3C:

- Civics:

I don´t need them, as I want the focus of a civ game happen "on the map" and not "behind the map" in some additional obscure lists. Permanent fiddling around with these civics for me is unnecessary micromanagement. For me the "streamlined" governments are sufficient and playing with these governments is no request concert.

On the other side I am aware, that creating convincing additional governments in Civ 3 is one of the most difficult modding tasks in Civ 3 and even in this thread there are civers who prefer C3C over Civ 4, but like those civics. These "microgameparts" can not be substituted well with the current C3C tools.

- Events:

I don´t miss them in the epic standard game, but they could be very helpful in scenarios. Per example in the C3C WW2 scenario SOE, I had to sacrifice the complete C3C techtree to achieve an event-like structure for that scenario.

The events I was confronted in my Civ 4 epic games were always somewhat silly, like my civ has breeded some small dogs and therefore receives a small amount of money, or that a storm has devastated parts of the harvest of my civ. I am wondering, if there are Civ 4 mods that achieved some really great things in the epic game by events, like giving a civ several different leaders during the game and changing the focus of the game for the player from identifying with an immortal leader, who in nearly all cases was a bloody mass murderer, to the focus from the sight of a civ, that had several different leaders during its history.

In CCM 2.50 the civs at least have 4 different leaders during the gameplay, but at present, the power to give them different personalities in the game for C3C is lacking.

- Multiplayer:

I have no experience with multiplayer computer games. When we are several people to play a game, we are playing board games and are not sitting behind laptops or in front of monitors. So here I don´t give any comment.


5. Conclusion:

In my eyes, at least for civers, who don´t like the tabletop presentation and the so-called "3D graphics", C3C is the most modern and best way to play a civ game. Therefore in my eyes the question about the graphics is the real border in the development of the Civ series.

With the great work of Flintlock and may be later with the great project C7 to create a new civgame, based on Civ 3, Civ 3 and C3C have a great potential of growth, at least when compared to Civ 4. C3C now is receiving new options, while it seems Civ 4 is in its final stages.

Civ 4 here always will be in the defense, as all new civ versions created by Firaxis will try to be better than Civ 4, as long as they are using those - by me unloved - so-called 3D graphics. Civ 3 in my eyes is in a much better position, as it holds the best graphics, that are not 3D (but in many cases are looking much more "3D" than these so-called 3D graphics). Trying to unite the different positions in the future would mean, to give a possible Civ 7 additionally to those so-called 3D graphics an alternative graphics outfit, that is at least as attractive as the current best graphics available for C3C. In other words: To add C3C to the next versions of the civ series should be an interesting option.
 
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Quintillus

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I definitely can't answer more comprehensively than Civinator! The only thing he might have left out is that it's not just units where there are plenty for Civ3, but historical scenarios as well. There are definitely great Civ4 mods, especially on the epic game side, and if you are a programmer, Civ4 modding is more powerful (but if you aren't, it's more limited). But as far as I can tell, Civ3 wins out for sheer variety of historical mods, many of them very good. I think a fair amount of the reason for that is Firaxis making it easy for non-programmers to create mods. Thus a lot of people who were historians, for example, made Civ3 mods, but may not have had the technical know-how to make Civ4 mods.

The Downloads Database doesn't support this statistically, but it didn't debut until 2006, which means most older Civ3 scenarios have forum threads but not Downloads Database entries. And even if Civ4 wound up having a slight advantage when all was counted, there are still plenty of candidates for "favorite scenario" for long-time players.

I'll also second what vorlon_mi mentioned about artillery. That was a big negative change for me in Civ4. It changed a bit for Beyond the Sword, but I still find the Civ3 model to be preferable. The "suicide catapult" never really made a lot of sense, and IIRC was worse in Vanilla Civ4, although collateral damage, and thus artillery discouraging large stacks, was sensible (and a much better soft approach to stacks of doom than 1 UPT in Civ V).

Civ3 also tends to play at a slightly higher level than Civ4, in part due to having slightly fewer systems (health, civics, promotions, an earlier version of specialists than Civ4, although you can still make specialist farms in Civ3). In my current Civ3 game, where it's late in the game and my enemy and I have dozens of units lined up against each other, basically in a stalemate, would it be any better with promotions? No, it would be one more thing to assign to each unit, and if anything it would be even more of a stalemate because some units would have defensive promotions. And Civ3 still provides plenty of options. I could try landing somewhere else, or using strategic bombing to hurt the enemy's economy. I could make peace and try to catch up with my opponent some other way. Or I could research newer technology to have new units that try to break the stalemate. A Drill IV Machine Gun or a Retreat II Cavalry? It's kind of fun assigning promotions in Civ IV, and occasionally it's useful (enemy with no copper or iron but with horses? forget Axemen, it's time to build lots of Spearmen!). But there are a lot of cases, especially where both sides have mixed arms and a decent number of troops, where Civ3's simpler system works well and lets the focus be on the other mechanics.

A lot of it is subjective. I was literally thinking of Civinator's toilet brush analogy for Civ4's graphics (especially forests, IIRC) earlier today, prior to seeing this post. Personally, Civ4's graphics don't really bother me. There are plenty of other games from the early 2000s where the early 3D graphics are not so great, but IMO Firaxis was sensible to stick with 2D for Civ3 in 2001, and wait until 2005 before going 3D. Civ4 isn't quite as stunning as Age of Empires III (also released in 2005), but it's a whole lot better than most 3D games from, say, 2003. But there's definitely a charm to Civ3's advanced 2D graphics. I think they also contribute to there being a relatively low barrier to graphics modding compared to later versions, which contributes to the prolific library that scenario creators have to choose from.

Similarly, while Civinator isn't a fan of Civ4 civics, I like them. Civ3's options - at least in the default epic game - are simpler, but IMO too simple. Civ3 is basically Monarchy if you plan to always be at war, Republic otherwise. Or you can be an oddball like me in my current game and go with Communism for its corruption model. But it's basically 2.5 choices. Civ VI definitely swings way too far in the other direction with 40 million policies, but I found Civ4's five choices across five categories to be reasonable in that regard, and the Anarchy model less obnoxious than Civ3's long anarchies, and didn't even particularly dislike Civ5's civics-like system (though I disliked most other changes in Civ V).

Things like that are subjective, there's probably a decent amount of items where you could find at least 20% of Civ3 players who prefer the Civ4 equivalent, but less than 50%.

I think many (but surely not all!) of us would agree there are aspects of later Civ games, particularly Civ IV, that we would like to have at least the option of playing with in a Civ3-like environment. Which aspects those are, however, varies by person. If the C7 project keeps going, I suspect that long term (late 2020s), in addition to the traditional Civ3 options that are its priority and goal, some optional components from later Civ games may be added to address that. Maybe religion, or health, or a wider variety of specialists. Quite possibly some of the improvements later games have with regards to how information is presented. And that reflects that even though there's a fair number of use still playing III, most of us have at least a few things we'd tweak, just not so many that we've stopped playing it.
 
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AspiringScholar

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Thank you both for the extensive and thoughtful responses! I enjoy this kind of discussion quite a bit. Now I have purchased a digital copy of C3C for myself! :D (Who knows where my CD is and if it even still works after all of these years.) If nothing else, I want to take a look at some of the old scenarios I used to enjoy playing and also have it for reference in comparison to 4. But I can see myself playing an entire game in the near future casually and just for fun, too.

Personally, I'm still not totally sure where the line is drawn in balance between complexity and maintaining this epic feel of leading a nation through history. There is certainly something to be said about the beauty of simplicity here, but for a game like Civilization, intentionally being too simple feels (to me) disingenuous to the aim of making a game out of approximating leading a nation through history, and I couldn't see why things like promotions are not valued on that basis, but to each their own.

Certainly agreed that suicide artillery (not only fighting on the front lines, essentially, but having ~60% of your stack supposed to be artillery for this purpose) was a major flaw in the 4th game, probably its single biggest. It made warfare much more of a question of timing and having the capacity to field such a force than about the tactics of using it. Realism Invictus has an excellent approach to correcting this, one which I'm completely satisfied with: first of all, catapults are now no longer the earliest available siege weapon, but rather rams. These are defense-only and very low strength, but able to bring down city defenses early in the game (and there is a decent gap in time between walls and catapults), then catapults do this same task but better, and provide siege aid to units in the same stack but do not cause collateral damage, same with trebuchets, and then with gunpowder artillery (first bombards, then the equivalent "cannon" unit), collateral damage begins to apply, albeit limited modestly and slowly increasing until late game artillery, where it is properly devastating (while charge cavalry inflicts this in melee warfare eras). Gunpowder artillery also attacks adjacent squares with a ranged attack instead of engaging in direct combat (unless it's defending!). I find this to be an excellent solution to what was admittedly a pretty big flaw of the game. Also, the whole stack aid system is combined with logistics penalties that get successively worse as you overstack units, but this ceiling raises (for both cities and in the field) separately as bonuses from certain technologies. This is just one aspect of RI, but it enriches warfare so much in my humble opinion, and I have trouble seeing why someone wouldn't appreciate the tactics that compels the player to use, instead of just lumping together a huge stack of units which happen to be more advanced and attacking en masse.

Also, the "rock paper scissors" aspect of combat, I don't think was in Civ3, but I may be remembering wrong (spearmen beating cavalry, axemen beating other melee, archers defending cities well, etc.). RI extends this sensibly too, with things like cavalry and skirmishers (a new unit class) having a considerable penalty when attacking cities, for instance. I think that is quite sensible and in Civ 3 (and vanilla 4), your ability to directly assault cities with cavalry does feel kind of cheap, personally.

Anyway, these are just my thoughts, and I do appreciate hearing what you guys have had to say.

One further question on the aesthetic side of things, however. I can understand why the Civ4 graphics of the units and the map (which do look a little cartoonish and sort of "poofy" if that makes sense, though not nearly to the extent that Civ6 did this), but what do you think about the menus and icons? I do rather like the aesthetic there. That bright hued, color pencil sketch style (like the Bronze Working tech icon in my avatar), and I'm curious how those of you who prefer 3's art style think of this. Plus, you've got to agree that the Nimoy voice acting was a point in favor for the game, right? :)
 
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Civinator

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Civ3's long anarchies
I know I have forgotten something when writing my post deep in the night:

I agree, most civers - including me - share that opinion, that the phase of anarchy, especially when leaving the first era of the game, are much too long,
In CCM 2.50 this was corrected by giving all civs the religious trait, limiting the phase of anarchy to two turns in every phase of the game. Astonishingly in the CCM succession games a change of governments was not practised as frequently as I thought this would be. The players also had a big respect about the loss in population when changing governments.

Now with the Flintlock mod, the duration of the phase of anarchy can be reduced by settings in this mod. Therefore in the next version of CCM, the religious trait can be assigned back only to the civs, that had this trait in the original C3C and I hope I can find a setting, that the phase of anarchy will be limited to max. 4 turns.

"historical scenarios" (I still don´t have the knowledge to answer point for point to parts of a post with the new forum tools, so I insert this topic in this way):

The reason why I left out scenarios when writing about Civ 3-6 is, that here another version of the civ series in my eyes "holds the crown":

Civ 2, especially now Civ 2 ToT with TOTPP, in my eyes has the best scenario designers of the complete civ series and holds a cornucopia of very good scenarios. There were times, when I considered heavily to change to Civ 2TOTPP and I started modding with Civ 2 ToT. Especially the possibility, that most animated Civ 3 units can be transferred to Civ 2 ToT sprites was challenging. But Civ 2 ToT, even with TOTPP, holds some significant flaws and it seems they will not be fixed in the future:

a) Only the attacking unit is animated. The defending unit stands without any animation in the battle until either the attacking or the defending unit dies.
b) Even worse: There is only a clack, clack sound available for the movement of all kinds of units. This can be changed to one different sound, per example marching infantry - but hearing marching infantry sound when moving jet planes or battleships is very anoying, too. An "enmovement" trigger is missing even in the LUA-programming of TOTPP. Here Civ 2 ToT, even with TOTPP, feels very outdated.

Nevertheless there are many Civ 2 features that would stand on my wishlist for adding them to C3C:

1. Civ 2 helicopters: In my eyes they had the best settings how helicopters should perform in a civ game. I never understood, why these settings were taken out in later versions of the civ series.

2. The "ignore-city-walls"-flag: Even with the setting of artillery units in Civ 3, this flag still can be very useful.

3. The animated Civ 2 advisors are wonderful.

4. The diplomat- and spy units, matched up by a scaleable power of their actions, so they cannot be too dominating in the epic game as it was in Civ 2.

5. Multiple maps used in the same game (Civ 2 ToT).

6. Submarines in contrary to other Civ 2 ships didn´t have the ability to attack land units. I would wish, this option could be set up for the bombardment of land units by Civ 3 submarines that only had torpedoes, too.

7. The caravan units of Civ 2 in my eyes could harmonize very well with the settings of C3C.

8. And of course the easy events system, that allowed to create all these wonderful scenarios and now the LUA-programming added by TOTPP.
 
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Quintillus

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I have trouble seeing why someone wouldn't appreciate the tactics that compels the player to use

To me, Civ is about the strategy. I play Civ and Europa Universalis for strategy, I can play Age of Empires or Panzer General for tactics. Not that I want 100% strategy, or 100% tactics. But Civ is at its best when it focuses on strategy. In Civ3, there are some tactical elements - use of terrain and building forts, for example. But even in combat, most decisions are strategic. Will you go with fast Horsemen, or slower but more powerful Swordsmen? Will you focus on City A or City B if you invade Egypt? Is it even worth invading Egypt, or should you trade for Silks instead?

Civ4 moves a little bit more towards tactics. Civ5 dives into tactics with 1 UPT. To me, it doesn't add to the game. I want to play as the King or Emperor or Prime Minister, not as a second lieutenant managing tactics. There's a place for that in games, of course, but I don't find that it meshes with what I like about Civ.

I don't know if it was Realism Invictus, but I did play one of the Civ4 mods that has stack penalties beyond 6 or so units. It's okay? It's better than 1 UPT in Civ5. But does Civ need a logistics system? And what is the problem it's trying to solve? That you can blitz-attack cities right after declaring war? That in modern warfare, armies engage across broad fronts? The former is true, and infinite-movement railroads in III made it exploitable, but you can always counterattack and do the same thing to your adversary on your turn. The latter wasn't the case for most of history; countries would have a small number of concentrated armies, and some garrisons, and be much more stacks of doom than carpets of doom. And even in modern times, armies can be quite concentrated. The Allies very much went with the stack of doom approach in Normandy at D-Day, even while the Soviets had armies spread out from the Baltic to the Black. Civ3 and Civ4 (by default) abstract away the logistics side and gives you the benefit of the doubt that you can support it.

I don't doubt some people do like the logistics side, and it's certainly important in actual combat, but it's not what I like about Civ.

Also, the "rock paper scissors" aspect of combat, I don't think was in Civ3

It wasn't, in the same way at lest. I have mixed feelings on it. It makes sense for Pikemen to be better against cavalry. But is the game as a whole better? Civ3 does have offense/defense stats for units, so you could say it has rock/paper but without scissors. And there are some oddities, why are Archers better at offense for example? I guess so that if you have a Spearman and Archer defending a tile, so that the Spearman defends first. Overall though, I often find mixed arms it the approach to go for in Civ4, and stack-on-stack combat always favors the defense because the defender always gets the "counter" unit to whoever is attacking. Which doesn't make a lot of sense, either - if I attack with a Knight and the enemy has 1/10th Pikemen, my Knight should do its best to attack someone who isn't carrying a pike, and being faster than the Pikeman will most likely be able to do so, unless perhaps there's terrain involved. And if we start differentiating based on that, I might just as well go play some Total War where the in-game battles are meant to cover that sort of mechanic.

More broadly in gaming, I feel like "rock paper scissors" is kind of boring. If there are three units and one counters each of the others in a loop, where's the depth in that? Scouting out what your enemy has, perhaps? Civ4 combat isn't that simple, it has more layers than that, but whenever I see a game hawking "rock paper scissors combat", I think "how boring."

C3C does still have tradeoffs. Build Knights that cost 1.75 times as much for 4 attack, 3 defense, 2 movement? Build Medieval Infantry with 4 attack, 2 defense? Or Longbows with 4 attack, 1 defense, but with a defensive bombard that helps if there's someone else to do the main defense? Knights are generally considered the strongest (in part due to the movement, in part because of their later upgrade), but there are benefits to all the options.

what do you think about the menus and icons? I do rather like the aesthetic there. That bright hued, color pencil sketch style (like the Bronze Working tech icon in my avatar), and I'm curious how those of you who prefer 3's art style think of this. Plus, you've got to agree that the Nimoy voice acting was a point in favor for the game, right?

Civ4 has the best main menu (including music) in the series.

In terms of interface and tech graphics, I like both III and IV. They're different but I like both. There are some really nice custom interface graphics for III, such as what Balthasar made (link, link, link, among others), that I haven't seen an equivalent of for IV, although perhaps I just haven't seen them. For that matter, I like Civ V's interface style as well, but I'm a fan of art deco. Is the UX as good, I don't know, but the interface style I like.

IV is the only one of the later games where I thought the voice-acted quotes added to the game. I didn't actually know who Leonard Nimoy was prior to Civ IV (I guess I'm still young in that regard, and obviously not a Trekkie), but the delivery was great, and the quotes themselves were well-chosen, too. Civ VI has such lackluster choice of quotes that even if Nimoy were the narrator, they probably wouldn't land half as well as the Civ IV ones.

Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it, He who takes the sword will perish by the sword, A man doesn't have himself killed for a half pence a day, or for a petty distinction. You must speak to the soul in order to electrify him. They really added some flavor to the game.

I feel sorry for the guy who did the Beyond the Sword tech quotes. He's not bad, but the three or so quotes he did for BTS stick out next to what Nimoy did for Vanilla. Still, at least Firaxis chose quotes of a similar style to the Vanilla ones.

-----

tl;dr: Civ III is more purely about strategy versus tactics even on the military front, Civ4 is still in a part of that continuum that I quite enjoy, Civ V and VI go much to far towards tactics (and without the AI to make it challenging tactics).

One could also ask about Age of Empires II versus Age of Empires III (or their respective definitive editions), and that would also be a case where I'd answer I like both, they're different, but both good. I also happen to play the less popular one more there (III being less popular than II), but AoE II and Civ IV are still both really good games.
 

Civinator

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what do you think about the menus and icons? I do rather like the aesthetic there. That bright hued, color pencil sketch style (like the Bronze Working tech icon in my avatar), and I'm curious how those of you who prefer 3's art style think of this. Plus, you've got to agree that the Nimoy voice acting was a point in favor for the game, right? :)
These kind of icons for techs (in Civ 3 called techchooser) exist in Civ 3, too. Without any problems your avatar could be a techchooser icon in Civ 3, too, and there exist similar techchooser icons looking like your avatar for the tech bronce working in the Civ 3 techchooser library. Techchooser icons in Civ 3 exist in the small size 32 x 32 and in a large size 128 x 128. Here I attache a screenshot about the techtree in era 1 of the CCM mod, showing small techchoosers (32 x 32):

CCM-Era1.jpg


I find the polygonal UI of 4 much easier to navigate quickly and efficiently, particularly unit selection and build queues
All in all I have no complaints with the Civ 3 UI, with two small exceptions. In my eyes the information about the governments of other detected civs in the military advisor screen is not at the correct place and I would like to have more zoom sizes in C3C (as it is possible in the C3C editor). As far as I know, the UI never was a big topic in Civ 3. It became a topic starting with Civ 4 and even more with Civ 5 and Civ 6 and the need to show informations about all these additional, in my eyes "unnecessary secondary-techtree" features (it is always the same reason for those problems). This need is not existing in Civ 3.

With the six buttons in the screenshot above you can receive detailed informations about your empire, trade, military, foreign policy, cultural and scientific situation.

Please explain, what is so extraordinary about the quick and efficient unit selection in Civ 4, as I have not noticed here something special in my Civ 4 games.

Here I only can explain the unit selection and quick selection of different features in C3C (here CCM 2.50) besides the normal activation of units on the map:

Interface1.jpg


Above the box with the clock (that allows to finish the turn with a click on it) you can see an icon for quick circling through the cities of your empire by clicking on the arrows at the left or the right side of this icon. If you click directly on that icon, the symbol of that icon is changing and now shows all revolting cities in your empire. Now with both arrows you can circle through all revolting cities of your empire. If you use the Flintlock mod you receive an automatic message before trying to end a turn, that one (or more) of your cities is in revolt and you are "teleported" to that city in the game.

The next button over that box allows to move all units in a tile together. The following button allows to move only the same group of units in a tile to move together (p.e. all your infantry units in that tile) and the last button lets you jump to the next tile with units of your civ in it.

The round yellow buttons in the screenshot are used to give direct commands to the activated unit and to rename that unit.

The box at the left side of the screenshot shows a minimap of the discovered terrain in your game and allows to "teleport" to the regions shown in that minimap.

If you click on a tile on the normal map, you receive the informations about that tile (here the grassland tile) and when using the Flintlock mod, even the exact coordinates of that tile and if a forest tile was chopped in the past and therefore is reforested.

Edited: I forget to answer to the Nimoy voice acting: I don´t think the German localisation is spoken by him and I don´t have the patience to listen always to the same "swollen" texts. For me these sermons are wasted time and an "unfun" element. I want to decide what to research next and what to do with the new tech instead of wasting my time with listening to sermons about things that I know. May be here my barbaric temperament is breaking through. :D
 
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Quintillus

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Some further thoughts on Promotions, having played some more of my Civ4 game.

Along with the "rock paper scissors countering", they rather encourage stacking. A lone Horse Archer is vulnerable to Pikes. A lone Pike is vulnerable to Macemen. A lone Maceman is vulnerable to a Maceman with the Shock promotion. The remedy? Always stack your units.

This could be part of why Firaxis went to the opposite extreme in Civ V. You can carpet-siege in Civ3; in some cases it's an effective strategy, you just typically build more defensive units to form the siege force. I did that in my current Civ3 game after an offensive stalled out against a strong city. I'm trying to think of a game of Civ 4 where I've carpet-sieged. There are two problems, one being that it's too easy to pick off units that are part of the siege force if they aren't in stacks, the other being that the siege doesn't really hurt the city defenses at all (whereas in Civ3 it eventually does, albeit indirectly by reducing the pop-size bonus to defense).

On the other hand, I prefer Civ4's approach of naval sieges. They almost never happen in a Civ3 epic game, because it requires enough ships and provides so little benefit, it almost never is worth it unless there's a bottleneck. But with the wider siege range of Civ4 ships, you can really inflict some economic pain without having spend your entire economy building ships. Is the radius unrealistically wide? Perhaps, but it works in-game better than Civ3's naval siege option.

Today I've played both Civ3 and Civ4. I think that's a pretty good option, too! :D
 

CorvusFortis

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Not that I didn't have any fun playing 4-6, but after a couple of games, I simply hadn't any wish to return. Except 5. I enjoy 5 quite a lot. But it feels very "gamey" to me. I don't like how few cities I have in 5, it just doesn't feel like a great empire I could build in 3.

Combat system while not very deep in 3, is simple to get into. Commading thousands of units, while can end up embarrassing in late game, creates this feeling of epic scale, which I also miss in 5.

But first and foremost is, of course, modding. Nothing to add here - all is said above. Actually, I didn't particualry enjoy original game and it wasn't even my first version. I started with RAR mod, and it had so much stuff compared to vanilla game.

Whatever you don't like in civ3, you can almost always fix it with modding. It is very simple and flexible, even a child could understand it. Civ3 has huge database of graphics and it is not too hard to learn how to make your own (only units needs something more than simple graphics editing program). You can make a scenario/epic mod about any historical period or sci-fi/fantasy universe if you have enough dedication.

If civ3's core mechanincs are far from perfect and many aspects could see some improvement, nothing is compared to how much fun one may have from playing with customization.
 

AspiringScholar

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I'm not sure how to quote part of a post on the new forum format, as that would be helpful here...

Quintillus said: "To me, Civ is about the strategy. I play Civ and Europa Universalis for strategy, I can play Age of Empires or Panzer General for tactics. Not that I want 100% strategy, or 100% tactics. But Civ is at its best when it focuses on strategy ..."

This is an interesting angle to take, because I'm not sure that there is such a clear difference in the 4X format. Europa Universalis (and I'm assuming you mean III, I never got deeply into IV) is an excellent example of a game where that distinction is more pronounced IMO, because there are literally no tactics, strictly speaking, and things like choosing national ideas and policy slider directions are macroscopic, defining things which usually entail some kind of glacial change over the course of the game. In military terms, "battles" effectively represent entire minor campaigns within that province, and you the player only decide which province to move into with what size of an army (well, I guess there were tactics in the vanilla game like turbo-annexing, where sieging a line through the enemy reduced the warscore cost of provinces by half, but that was promptly addressed. :) ), whereas in Civ, you do actually determine which individual units to fight with against other individual units.

If we take the difference between tactics and strategy to be inherently one of scale rather than a fundamental difference between the kinds of decisions being made and whether or not their implications are immediate or gradual, one could argue that it is either in a civ game; to my mind it is kind of both. I'm curious how you would distinguish "tactics" from strategy here (and how the tactical implications, if they are in fact that, of unit promotions, etc., don't meaningfully affect and enrich the strategic side of the game), but in any case I found this point interesting.

I of course also agree that if we try to turn Civilization into Hearts of Iron III with supply chains, morale, organization regain, etc., it would be conceptually dissonant with what Civilization is and probably a lot less fun, notwithstanding how that would be virtually impossible to approximate for something outside of a game based around one concise era of war.

"Which doesn't make a lot of sense, either - if I attack with a Knight and the enemy has 1/10th Pikemen, my Knight should do its best to attack someone who isn't carrying a pike, and being faster than the Pikeman will most likely be able to do so, unless perhaps there's terrain involved."


There is of course some level of abstraction here, but don't forget that there is a first-strike mechanic at play as well. Not all units are eligible for the promotion, but even though the defender does get the advantage of having its best counter in the stack fight (with small exception), some units have a first strike ability natively in addition to eligibility for promotion, and inflict their damage (whether by chance of or actual first-strikes) before the other unit gets to fight, this time with reduced strength from having been hit first. (In RI, this is further reworked with stack bonuses for combined arms, so that units are implicitly fighting "behind" the featured combat by providing 1, 2, or 3 tiers of aid bonus for their category based upon their relative strength within the stack, and also many promotions are not available until a relevant and appropriate technology is researched.)

I guess what I'm missing also is how the lack of this (even if you find it "unfun" for being needlessly complex) adds to any depth of strategy, inherently?

"Civ4 has the best main menu (including music) in the series.

In terms of interface and tech graphics, I like both III and IV. They're different but I like both. There are some really nice custom interface graphics for III, such as what Balthasar made (link, link, link, among others), that I haven't seen an equivalent of for IV, although perhaps I just haven't seen them. For that matter, I like Civ V's interface style as well, but I'm a fan of art deco. Is the UX as good, I don't know, but the interface style I like."


Wow, those interface mods are beautiful! Also, the scale of some of those scenarios... I have to say, were it not for my points above, I would be totally sold on playing some of those tailored war maps... Each of the advisor comments were quite funny read from the American perspective in Vietnam lol. Unfortunately, my purchase of Civ3 does not work on my laptop, or else I in fact would at least toy around in these.

"IV is the only one of the later games where I thought the voice-acted quotes added to the game. I didn't actually know who Leonard Nimoy was prior to Civ IV (I guess I'm still young in that regard, and obviously not a Trekkie), but the delivery was great, and the quotes themselves were well-chosen, too. Civ VI has such lackluster choice of quotes that even if Nimoy were the narrator, they probably wouldn't land half as well as the Civ IV ones.

Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it, He who takes the sword will perish by the sword, A man doesn't have himself killed for a half pence a day, or for a petty distinction. You must speak to the soul in order to electrify him. They really added some flavor to the game."


Couldn't agree more. They add something spiritual and philosophically satisfying, even, despite the atmosphere itself. As I began playing the game at 9 years old and memorized those tech quotes, it gave me a lot of food for thought and influenced my thinking as I grew up.

"I feel sorry for the guy who did the Beyond the Sword tech quotes. He's not bad, but the three or so quotes he did for BTS stick out next to what Nimoy did for Vanilla. Still, at least Firaxis chose quotes of a similar style to the Vanilla ones."

Yeah, that would be Sid Meier... :lol:

"Some further thoughts on Promotions, having played some more of my Civ4 game.

Along with the "rock paper scissors countering", they rather encourage stacking. A lone Horse Archer is vulnerable to Pikes. A lone Pike is vulnerable to Macemen. A lone Maceman is vulnerable to a Maceman with the Shock promotion. The remedy? Always stack your units."


Well, first of all, that's not always true! There are situations where you can waltz around with a lone unit with impunity, say, if you have a strategic resource in the early game and your opponent does not, there's precious little they can do to stop you from worker-stealing or pillaging all of their improvements, those being sometimes very effective gambits. But beyond that, why is that a bad thing? You say that rock-paper-scissors mechanics signal boredom to you, but I guess spamming one of the same kind of unit and it having no unique advantage or disadvantage relative to other units is inherently fun somehow? Once again, to each their own, but I really just don't get how this is more exciting or engaging in play.

Civinator said: "Please explain, what is so extraordinary about the quick and efficient unit selection in Civ 4, as I have not noticed here something special in my Civ 4 games."

Touche, and I had forgotten how similar the menus themselves are. I do think the interface in Civ 4 is still a little more clean and easy to click around on, but that might just be my own conditioning from having used it more. One big difference though, is that your units do not show as individual icons and their strength (IIRC) is only visible from a text list that you have to click on separately. Especially when apprising the strength of enemy forces, that's pretty cumbersome.

"Edited: I forget to answer to the Nimoy voice acting: I don´t think the German localisation is spoken by him and I don´t have the patience to listen always to the same "swollen" texts. For me these sermons are wasted time and an "unfun" element. I want to decide what to research next and what to do with the new tech instead of wasting my time with listening to sermons about things that I know. May be here my barbaric temperament is breaking through. :D"

I actually installed the game most recently in German and apparently when you do this, it only creates the speech files in the language you chose when installing the game, so I had to rip them from another install to get the English back, as I eventually began to miss the Nimoy quotes. The German guy is certainly different.

Und ja, als ich das gelesen habe, bemerkte ich diese Qualität sofort. :)
 

Civinator

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One big difference though, is that your units do not show as individual icons and their strength (IIRC) is only visible from a text list that you have to click on separately. Especially when apprising the strength of enemy forces, that's pretty cumbersome.

:confused: The units of the human player in C3C are shown with the most important informations about their status on the map. If the human player is klicking on a unit on the map, the informations about that unit are shown with a bigger image in the box at the right side of the map and additionally in a textfield in the neighbourhood of that unit.

Unitinfo.jpg


In the big box you can see, that the active unit Kradschuetze has 9 A, 4 D and all 3 of its 3 movement points and has the veteran status. In the image of the unit itself the healthbar shows, that the unit is damaged and has only 3 of its normally 4 hitpoints. The same can be seen in the text field, that is automatically opened when clicking on that unit.

One could criticize, that the information about the unit stats is shown twice, when clicking on a unit, but not, that the units are not shown with individual images (that mostly are better than icons) and that for information about the stats of that unit a special text field separately must be opened.

The same is true for the active unit in a stack of units in the same tile, here shown by the example of the units of the human player inside the city of Nanking. The active unit of that stack (here the flak) is shown with its most important stats in the box of the right side. If another unit in that stack should be shown, this can be done by simply clicking on that unit in the text field that is automatically opened when dealing with a unit of that stack.

Units in a tile.jpg


And it is also not true, that it is pretty cumbersome to apprise the strength of enemy forces in C3C, at least not when those enemy forces are met in the open field. Here you can see a screenshot when meeting a stack of an AI civ with a lot of artillery in it. The most powerful defender is shown at the top of that AI stack and the detailed information is in the text field that must not be separately opened.



The situation is different when the human player attacks an AI city. Here the most capable defender is shown with its health bar and unit stats, but for additional information about other defending units some stealth attack land units (that is different from stealth aircraft) must be used or some spying actions. If the best AI defender is damaged or killed, the next-best defender is shown for the AI city.
 

Civinator

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I am just trying to have a closer look at the Civ 4 interface as it is presented in the Realism Invictus mod. To compare the chaotically interfering letters in the standard Civ 4 interface with C3C would be as unfair as looking at the corruption settings of standard C3C.

Civ 4 interface in the Realism Invictus mod:

UI-Civ4.jpg


C3C Interface (here mod CCM 2.50):

Civ 3-Interface.jpg


The Civ 4 interface shows the information about units not only twice but three times. The big box about the most important unit stats here are on the left side, they can be activated by clicking on the unit or by hoovering with the cursor over the unit or over the icon that is shown at the bottom of the map (AspiringScholar, may be this is the icon you did mean).

The unit information in C3C is shown when clicking on that unit. This means in the Civ 4 interface the information about the unit can be received with one click less, but the Civ 4 information also obstructs the map when hoovering with the cursor over a unit when the player don´t needs any information about that unit. I like the setting in C3C better (like always a matter of taste).

More important is the information that is provided with the interface.

Here the big difference is, that most information in C3C is simply shown with the appearance of the unit on the map, while in Civ 4 with its, for an epic game (in my eyes) not fitting, system of battle promotions it is not enough to see the image of the unit on the map. The same looking unit in Civ 4 can have very different values, while in C3C the value of that unit appearing as an image on the map is valid, even for experience, damage and fortification bonuses. Experience, damage and normal fortification in C3C are visible by the length and colour of the healthbar shown next to the unit (for fortification the colour in the healthbar is shown in a little bit lighter colours, in the screenshot a lighter green compared to the green of the activated unit).

The screenshot of the Civ 4 interface, showing a simple archer, demonstrates the flood of additional micromanagement that is triggered in Civ 4 alone with that battle promotion system if that unit should be offensively optimal operated. As Quintillus pointed out, it is no wonder that in Civ 4 many players always see the best tactics to throw all units together in a monster stack, in the result capitulating for that additional micromanagement that is triggered here by Civ 4.

On the other side, one could argument, that in the C3C interface not always all information about a unit is shown completely. Per example units can be invisible, detect invisible units, can treat all terrain as road or have blitz attack, all not shown in the info boxes - but in C3C this information normally is integrated in the image of the unit: A submarine is a submarine that is invisible for most units and a tank is a tank, that normally has blitz attack. As in mods and scenarios - mostly taking into account some special historical situations - it can happen, that per example a special tank has no blitz attack setting. Here in my eyes the Civ 4 interface has a small plus, as for the complete information of this unit an additional click on the civilopedia entry of this unit is necessary.

Of course the interface holds many more features then to show units. Per example in C3C you have to push a special button to reach the advisor menue and to select there between the different advisors for science, trade, foreign affairs and so on. In Civ 4 this selection can be done directly from the map. On the other side these selecting icons directly on the map are obstructing the map, as they always are visible, when no information from those advisors is needed (and if there should be a feature to disable those permanent icons, the very small advantage of one or two clicks less is gone).

All in all, the civ 4 interface in my eyes has mostly to deal with the additional micromanagement that is triggered by the "secondary techtree" of battlefield promotions, that was introduced with Civ 4, as in Civ 4 the image of a unit on the map is no longer representing the real values of that unit in the game. Civ 3 doesn´t need such an interface, as it doesn´t have this problem.

The Civ 4 interface only shows the problems that were introduced with the additional micromanagement in Civ 4. Besides showing the information about tons of additional micromanagement, those battlefield promotions in my eyes are not suited to make the civ game "more historically". For me it is an instrument, that is needed to deal with (for me) "unfun" features in Civ 4 and therefore is "unfun" itself.

I have more fun by playing a civ game without all these in my eyes unnecessary "secondary techtrees" in Civ 4, that also opened the "box of the Pandora" in splitting up working concepts in a multitude of secondary concepts. It seems now many fans of Civ 4 in Civ 5 and 6 are also complaining about this situation, where even more and more of those "secondary techtrees" were introduced. As I wrote in a post in this thread: Sid Meier knew why he tried to eliminate those secondary techtrees where possible. Now we have the contrary situation and many civers have the "Dreck im Schachterl" (here I don´t know the proper translation into English; dirt in the box ??) with new versions of the civ series.

With my posts in this thread I only tried to answer the question, why I prefer still playing Civ 3 (instead of Civ 4). Of course for other civers this answer can be very different.
 
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AspiringScholar

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Your replies are quite thorough, and replete with relevant pictures, even! :D

Regarding the unit interface, the biggest problem for me with Civ3 is appraising the strength of an enemy stack. Those tiny white lines indicating numbers are not easy to count, whereas in Civ4 the list of units (to me at least) appearing instantly when you hover the cursor over them is much easier to read (as well as their unit models being mixed into the stack on the same tile). The fact that information about the unit appears in 3 different places is a plus, to me. The row of icons above the command bar makes individual grouping and selections much easier to manage, while the box on the left details the strength and promotions of the unit, while the list above that shows you text information about them within the whole group. Furthermore, those lists are also transparent and so don't block the map much at all, I find.

On another matter, your preference for the simplicity of 3 making the UI representation of 4's greater complexity superfluous isn't quite a problem with the interface, to my mind, but rather of your opinion on the core game. If Civ4 did not have a well-functioning interface for these "secondary tech trees" as you call them, but they still existed and were part of the game, it would be a terrible user interface. The fact that those features are part of the game makes doing this necessary, and Civ4 does it very well, so a criticism of the game itself shouldn't reflect poorly on the interface needed to present that information and make it interactable.

As you say, it is a matter of taste. I can't personally understand why (aside from flavor content and nostalgia) someone would prefer 3 over 4 as a higher quality gaming experience, but it is a game after all, so if someone is having fun, that's what's important and it wouldn't do any good to try and take that away from someone.
 

Civinator

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a) As shown in a screenshot above, civ 3 gives very detailed information about enemy stacks confronting a human player in the open field, when clicked on the stack.

b) Civ 4 needs such an interface, but Civ 3 doesn´t need it and therefore such an interface from the perspective of a C3C player is no plus.

c) "Secondary techtree" is shorter than the term Sid Meier used for not needed "additional minor technology techtrees, that should be cut out for a better game play", as the same amount of fun can be achieved without that additional micromanagement. I post Sid Meier´s statement here again, as it seems, that the remembrance about the first posting in this thread seems to be very short. Sid Meier took those minor techtree structures out of the game, but in Civ 4 - 6 more and more of them were added to the game.

 
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