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Why do you stick to Civ2 and its exp packs?

Discussion in 'Civ2 - General Discussions' started by Swein Forkbeard, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. MissAthena

    MissAthena Chieftain

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    There is beauty in simplicity! For example, I find that espionage makes so much more sense in Civ 2 as opposed to the complex system in civ 4. The combat system, although slightly less realistic (the proverbial tank loosing against the phalanx), is straightforward, as opposed to the complexity of the promotions in civ 4.

    Also Civ 3 really depressed me with their lack of wonder movies :p.
     
  2. Prof. Garfield

    Prof. Garfield Deity Supporter

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    I find the combat system in civ 2 to be quite good. The multiple rounds of combat and adittional hit points and fire power of modern units makes phalanxes beating tanks a near impossibility. Possibly the only "unrealistic" combat situation is musketeers behind walls against tanks.
     
  3. rrhal

    rrhal Warlord

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    I think the game theory aspects of Civ 2 are awesome. I own both Civ 3 and Civ 4 but Civ 2 keeps bringing me back.
     
  4. Colonel

    Colonel Sandbox

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    Quite possibly the best game ever made. Easily moddable, easily create scenerios, maps, etc. T3H B3ZT GAM3 3V3R!!!!!! only kidding with that last part but it is an amazing game.
     
  5. trada

    trada civ1 mod Retired Moderator

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    Just popping over from the civ1 forum. One thing that has kept me from playing Civ2 is the AI. In Civ1 it is brilliant. Not terribly brilliant but good enough to keep you on your toes to the end game and beyond. Yes it cheats to an extent but both its overall empire management and unit-by-unit tactical play is sound. Does Civ2 pose the same challenge in terms of AI self determinism? With all these reports that it's AI is slack, whats the point?
    (Not 'dissin'' Civ2, I know its got something.. but what?
     
  6. Catfish

    Catfish Emperor

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    I think I've played two Civ2 scenarios in the last three years and that includes play-testing my own. I've spent more time modifying the game than playing it. Looking at my saved games I see that the last time I played the standard game was early 2005. I've never played Civ3. No interest. I've played a bit of Civ4 recently, especially the Fall From Heaven 2 mod - some late nights there. Civ2 is a classic, but it's too familiar to me now and no longer has the appeal it once did. As a scenario designer I've pushed that engine just about as far as it'll go.
     
  7. yoshi

    yoshi Emperor

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    As everyone knows, people play Civ2 for the player content (i.e. scenarios). The scenarios that ship with the games/XPs pale in comparison to the player-designed stuff.

    I've messed around with Civ3 scenarios--still do--but it's lack of events makes scenario design a real chore, particularly where 'helping' the AI is concerned (fortunately the Civ3 AI is a bit more competent than the Civ2 AI). Civ4 is insanely moddable but is also very complex and requires programming knowledge, thus alienating non-programmers and people without massive wads of time to dedicate to it.

    The other advantage to using Civ2 is that any system built within the last decade can run it without any significant performance issues (not to mention that you can easily switch between Windows applications while playing it--you know, like when you switch between Civ2 and that work that you're supposed to be doing).

    The only downside to Civ2 is that like so many older programs, it doesn't always run on newer versions of Windows.

    My one major beef with Civ2 gameplay is that like Civ1, it only has 7 playable civs.

    As far as player-designed content is concerned, there still hasn't been an epic Earth scenario released that I know of (the 7-civ limit probably has something to do with that). There's also a lot of historical ground that hasn't been covered (most of the scenarios out there tend to concentrate on similar areas).

    Based on the Civ2 scenarios I've played (or at least looked over), I'd say that there's still plenty of more stuff that can be done with regards to events at least--especially so in the case of ToT. A lot of design potential there IMO.

    Speaking of ToT, there isn't a single scenario that uses animated unit sprites AFAIK. Using a combination of FLICster and Mercator's CivSprite, it's really just a matter of copying/pasting frames from existing Civ3 content (of which there is a colossal amount).

    If Civ2 is to live on, more people need to get Test of Time though.
     
  8. Swein Forkbeard

    Swein Forkbeard Nintendo Fan

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    Hello, Sir!
  9. Banach

    Banach Warlord

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    I concur. I own ToT and have never gotten into it. Civ II classic is what I like. I occasionally play scenarios, but it takes a long time to re-learn tech trees (unless they're scenarios like WWII where no learning is required).
     
  10. Catfish

    Catfish Emperor

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    There are very few scenario designers who have a solid grasp of the extra features in ToT: events, sprites, multiple maps and technology restrictions.
    Almost certainly. In summary, that guy's beef was that he had to fork out US$40 for Civ2 (which he already owned) plus 4 mediocre mods/scenarios. Fair gripe. At that price I'd give it a poor review as well, but nobody's paying $40 for ToT these days. Someone gave me ToT (back in 2000); otherwise I'd probably never have played it. One thing I was surprised he didn't mention was the graphics, which IMO are damned awful. Thankfully, these can be replaced easily enough. From a scenario designer's POV it's the most capable of all the incarnations of Civ2. That plus the higher colour depth (and therefore potentially better graphics) are why I preferred it to the earlier versions of Civ2.

    I never switched to Civ3 because, like ToT, it received poor reviews - and it has no scripting language. That means you can't make real scenarios, only mods. I like Civ4, but I'm banning myself from getting into scenario design with that engine; I've spent far too much time fiddling with computer games.
     
  11. yoshi

    yoshi Emperor

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    Of course, if you play only what ships with the game then the fantasy/sci-fi games are hardly a reason to buy it--at any price IMO--if you already have Civ2.

    (...Forty bucks?! I can see why the guy's pissed.)

    If you design scenarios on the other hand, then ToT is definitely the way to go. It makes possible scenarios that wouldn't have been so using MGE.

    So basically you're suggesting that you'd play it more if you had an enhanced epic game for ToT right?

    Hmmm...maybe I could put something together. I'm not one for mods because I don't like the idea of overwriting the original game files (even with Modmanager), but an epic scenario incorporating all the new functionality of ToT shouldn't be too hard.

    If I get some time, I'll see if any of the design guys around here and at Poly are interested.


    I was think what people need is a single reference file that explains everything in Civ2/ToT. It gets tedious searching around for answers. The info on your site is probably among the best out there, and even then there are a number of things that I haven't found anywhere.

    I've worked with the Civ3 Editor and find that you can make reasonably intelligent scenarios without scripting. For instance, the feature introduced in Conquests (C3C) allows city improvements to produce units at specific intervals (essentially the equivalent of a Civ2 unit-spawning event--probably among the most used event in scenarios). There are other things like having a certain resources appear when a certain tech is researched to, for example, drastically increase the output of a historical production centre. The increased functionality of improvements and units, as well as the fact that you can play with 31 civs makes up for the lack of scripting to a certain degree.

    I know what you mean; I play it occasionally but I just find the workload involved in even minor changes to be overwhelming.

    ...It'll be a sad day when you leave the civ community man, but I certainly understand.
     
  12. Catfish

    Catfish Emperor

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    I won't be writing any more guides to help fill those gaps. A few years ago I planned to write a full tutorial on how to make a multi-map ToT scenario. Then I discovered, from posting in Apolyton's Scenario League forum (where they make the odd ToT scenario), that nobody reads them anyway. I'd be a waste of time and I'm no longer interested. If you've got any questions about ToT scenario design, post them in the Scenario Creation subforum. If I see the same question crop up often enough, it may get added to the FAQ page.
    I still drop in occasionally to do a bit of Civ2 engine tech support. I've retired from Apolyton, though.
     
  13. yoshi

    yoshi Emperor

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    Sorry to hear that. I for one have read virtually everything on Civ2 scenario design that I know of at one point or another (have a copy of almost all reference files on my hard drive).

    At some point in the past I created my own reference file that I have thus far been using to organize my notes (i.e. mainly game mechanics oddities and some design tips). Was thinking of maybe just compiling everything everyone has ever written on the subject into a single file--with the help of anyone who's willing--and having all Civ2-related sites host it.

    I think if it's comprehensive enough, you'd probably see an improvement in scenario design and increased interest in ToT.

    Ok because if I do finally get some work done around here, your advice will be greatly appreciated.
     
  14. Catfish

    Catfish Emperor

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    People still won't read it. Don't waste your time, mate. If someone asks a question that's answered by an on-line guide, give them the link. Leave it at that. IIRC, quite a few of the older ToT guides contain glaring errors anyway.

    There are people making ToT scenarios. All of the on-line development is in the Scenario League forum at Apolyton. It's a bit of an old boys' club, though. Almost none of the regulars there will offer any help to people in this forum, but many bemoan the fact that the Civ2 community is fading. CFC gets more traffic than Apolyton. Go figure.

    Here you can find some of the more recent ToT scenarios:
    http://sleague.apolyton.net/index.php?title=Category:Civ2_TOT_Scenarios
    http://www.tecumseh.150m.com/
     
  15. yoshi

    yoshi Emperor

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    The only reason I contemplated doing it was to give both beginners and vets alike a common source of complete and accurate information. It would also save people having to ask/answer the same questions over and over.

    But if you think it won't make a difference, then to hell with the idea (I'm not eager to do all that testing).

    (I have to admit it was partially for my own good so that wouldn't have to go looking for stuff that I'd forgotten...or never knew to begin with.)

    It's gotten that bad huh? Unfortunate. Well I plan on being around here more often so maybe between the few guys who post here, we can do something to increase interest.

    Thanks for the links. Been there. Done that. Not much there.

    Personally, I've got a lot of ideas for scenario features I'd like to see tried out. I'm familiar enough with Civ2 now that I could probably put together some pretty cool stuff but there's just not enough bloody time.

    As far as the decrease in player interest is concerned, I understand perfectly: people need to be impressed.

    Designers need to start using sprites for one. I mean, Civ4's got players zooming in from the clouds to close-ups of 3D battles between individual soldiers in multi-units! One can't expect today's gamers to get into a game watching health bars slowly get depleted while two units just sit there facing each other (ToT doesn't even support the combat 'explosion' animation of the original).

    Then there's the events: an Event file that is 90% made up of different variations--clever though they may be--on spawning units just doesn't cut it: people want to see everything the marco has to offer...in spades. Doing everything possible to make the AI into a challenging opponent (or at least making it appear to be) is definitely a place to start.

    One thing I focus on is completely re-doing the Tutorial text. It adds to the user-friendliness of the scen like you cannot imagine (nothing like having gameplay changes and tips explained to you as you play). That and the Civilopedia--I can't believe people frequently leave descriptions blank (yes I know it's boring).

    IMO, if people see that designers really care about the full experience of those who play their scens, then people will be more interested in playing Civ2 content.
     
  16. Catfish

    Catfish Emperor

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    Save yourself the trouble. These webpages cover just about every design guide specifically written for ToT:
    http://coc.apolyton.net/guides/index.shtml
    http://users.tpg.com.au/jpwbeest/jp_guides.htm
    http://users.tpg.com.au/jpwbeest/jp_faq.htm

    I've found that many ToT designers in the SL haven't even read the macro.txt document that ships with the game. You don't want to be putting more effort into helping people than they are willing to put into helping themselves.
    That's a bit harsh. I'd have to say that Boco's El Aurens 2 and my own War of the Ring scenario (although not included in those links) are probably amongst the most sophisticated ToT scenarios around. I'd say both are somewhat esoteric and more suited to advanced players, so neither will be everyone's cup of tea. A few people said my WotR scenario was too hard. I did tone it down considerably, although I haven't play-tested the latest version.
    That's a lot of work, even if you're importing from Civ3, let alone creating them from scratch. There simply isn't enough man-power in Civ2.
    I agree, the events in most ToT scenarios are very simplistic, despite the expanded scripting language. Again, take a look at the two scenarios mentioned above.
     
  17. yoshi

    yoshi Emperor

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    I didn't mean to be harsh; I just meant that there isn't that much ToT material.

    That said, I'm not into fantasy (sorry) but I have tried both your scens and of course they are quite good. I use your events work as inspiration (among other aspects of the scens).

    About the sprites: I've tried them on attack and movement animations and they look pretty good (unfortunately you can't get bombers to fly over targets but they can still bombard the edge of the tile). As for workload: if you just use a couple of frames for movement, none for fidget and as few frames as possible for attack and death. If you really want to cut workload just have movement be static for all but 'legged' units and only two frames for them, then skip the death animation altogether.

    By the way, something I think people don't realize is that you can use any unit sprite file for any unit slot just by renaming it to the corresponding number. That is, the sprites aren't fixed to any particular unit slot. For modders, it means that even though you can't add/remove frames, you can use the best suited existing sprite for any and every unit you want.

    Sure it's a lot of work (that's why I haven't completed any), but once you get a number of generic units done, people will just use those for their scens. After all, it's really just cutting and pasting.

    If existing Civ3 units aren't good enough, you can always DL Civ3FlcEdit and change them or create whole new ones.

    Just a note to anyone who does create srpites: use one of the shorter animations. It saves workload and will reduce the size of the DL (which will of course be much larger than any Civ2 scen to date because of the sprites).
     
  18. Russia4Life

    Russia4Life Chieftain

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    I thought Civ 3 sucked and I never felt like buying civ 4, that's why I stuck to civ 2
     
  19. Catfish

    Catfish Emperor

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    El Aurens is by Boco, not me.
     
  20. flygon

    flygon Chieftain

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    The other games, quite honestly, never interested me.

    So I just stuck to Civilization II, and when I still had the disk, SMAX.
     

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