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Why don't you like Orbis

Discussion in 'Orbis Modmod' started by Ahwaric, Feb 15, 2010.

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Why don't you like Orbis?

Poll closed Apr 1, 2010.
  1. It is just too weird (changed FfH basics too much)

    13 vote(s)
    16.5%
  2. Not unique enough

    2 vote(s)
    2.5%
  3. Not enough features

    4 vote(s)
    5.1%
  4. Too many crashes

    14 vote(s)
    17.7%
  5. The economy is not balanced

    15 vote(s)
    19.0%
  6. AI is weak

    26 vote(s)
    32.9%
  7. The guilds are too powerful

    12 vote(s)
    15.2%
  8. OOS and other issues that break multiplayer

    13 vote(s)
    16.5%
  9. Ahwaric, take this pie and a break from modding...

    2 vote(s)
    2.5%
  10. Other (explained below)

    17 vote(s)
    21.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,217
    Location:
    Kraków, Poland
    Ok, Orbis got only 4 votes compared to 12 for RifE & 16 for Wild Mana in recent poll regarding the most liked mod. Plus not many people are active in the forum.
    So here is my question – why you do not (or perhaps do) like Orbis.
    I thought of posting this after 0.30 is out, but as I can get some feedback right now, and use it to refine 0.30.
    Orbis takes a lot of my time (ask my girlfriend... I have been coding new guild mechanics half of the Valentine's Day), and I want to know if my time is spend the good way. I did not have time to play recently (but I plan to someday...).
    The main drive is to provide the mod people enjoy. So, I want to know what should I change (or maybe not change) to keep you interested & having fun. Or should I drop the whole modding thing – perhaps joining another team, or for good.
    If you have opinion that does not fit any above options, please post it in this thread
    The poll allows multiple choices, plus is anonymus, so feel free to vote :) Even if you do not play Orbis. Or maybe the more in that case (of course, if you at least tried it).

    EdiT: I do not want to sound disappointed, just want to know if there is something that I should improve to increase the fun factor - both for the players and the modder ;)
     
  2. Imuratep

    Imuratep Cultist of the Old Ones

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Messages:
    722
    Location:
    Germany
    I consider Orbis the best modmod for FFH. The changes to the tech tree make a lot of sense and a lot of civs are a lot of more interesting than in base FFH. But as I prefer playing with my friends the big amount of OOS always prevent us from playing it. And as we know the cool features added to Orbis we don't really want to switch as the other mods seem a bit boring compared to Orbis.
    When I first installed the mod I was overstrained and thus went back to FF. But when I really tried to understand the mechanics I began to love it.
     
  3. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,217
    Location:
    Kraków, Poland
    I had impression that Orbis is quite stable now - the crashes people report are caused by broken install (i.e. wrong FfH base) or old version, without recent fixes. Both should be fixed by 0.30 as it is stand alone and will contain the fixes from the start.

    Regarding OOS, I know of two casues - ranged attacks (I am going to use wildmana code and hope that helps) and expanded mercenaries (rewriting the whole system now).

    I hope that will help. But as the poll is about current Orbis version, please vote based on your experience.

    Thanks. :) And thanks for explanation what should be improved.
     
  4. esvath

    esvath Apprentice of Erebus

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,403
    Well, I have never played Orbis. I used to play FF and FF + (before RiFE). Now, I mostly play my own modmodded FfH. :p

    I was curious about Orbis but reading the forum (I stalk a lot :D) I found that there were (are) too many changes from base FfH. Too many, so that I was very much confused what to do. Personally I prefer "tweaking FfH" rather than "adding many new things." It is not that what you did in Orbis bad, on the contrary, they were amazing. But, some were too un-FfH, IMHO. I am very much a conservative person, :lol:

    Also, I think it would be very helpful for new players (or would-be players) if you write a thread, illustrating changes in Orbis. Kind of a changelog, but structured by Civs, or Civics, or religion (I do like your new OO concept and wish it would be implemented in main FfH :goodjob: ).

    And the last thing : it would help Orbis popularity if you also write in main FfH thread frequently :)
     
  5. UNIT 666

    UNIT 666 One of Many

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    Classified.
    Well, I haven't played any FFH or its mods in a while, as I'm currently waiting for all the big, shiny new versions of Orbis and RifE, as well as Magister's mythical modmod, so I'll just give my observations.

    When I played Orbis it, at the time, seemed mildly unpolished and unstable. It is probably more my perception than anything, though, as everything is very different from base FFH - FF and RifE seem like extensions of FFH, where Orbis is more like a re-imagining of it. This gives it much much more of a hurdle to overcome, as far as the amount of players is concerned. People play FFH because they're interested in it, and the more the basic idea is changed, the more difficult it will be for players to get into.


    Keep in mind that there are more players than there are active community members.


    Just keep doing what you're doing. Don't let polls, negative nancies, etc. bother you.

    Orbis has, and will continue to, attract an audience.


    Edit: Whoops, forgot to say why I never got into Orbis. It's just so different from FFH. It sound silly, I know. But, for me, that's why I never got into it back when I first tried it. Now, though, I don't think that would bother me. Note: I'm not saying you should make it more like base FFH or anything. Orbis should walk its own path.
     
  6. JujZe

    JujZe Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    Finland
    Sorry my english is bad but i try to explain.
    It's just so hard to play as evil, I alvays get beaten up by AI and everybody is at war agaist me.
    (I alvays play as evil civ)
    It's so lonely to be only evil player.
     
  7. Wauthan

    Wauthan Inaniloquent Nihiliarian

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2005
    Messages:
    310
    Location:
    Sweden
    Heh, guess the reason why I like Orbis might very well be a reason why others don't. I really like TBS, but I really hate the core setting of Civilization. Civ 2 was so boring that I only played it twice.

    Civ 3 was equally dull until I, by sheer coincidence, noticed the Warhammer mod. So I bought the game to get the mod and, as far as I'm concerned, it was one of the best games I ever bought.

    Bought Civ 4 in the hopes that a new Warhammer mod might appear. Still in slow progress. Noticed FFH and tried it. Very balanced, a tremendous amount of work put into it, and overall worth playing couple times. Sadly they changed too many things from the core Civ 4. And the setting, while incredibly polished, doesn't interest me. The armageddon concept feels misplaced and clunky. Good versus evil is not all that relevant when the core idea is the progress of civilizations. A generic fantasy setting would have been preferred so I could build my own history. The FFH story works best in scenarios.

    Enter Orbis. Puts back concepts from core Civ 4. Downplays the setting by focusing on economics. Adds unbalance and randomness. Increases variety but remains "serious mod", unlike Rife which occasionally comes across a bit zany. I like Rife, I just like Orbis better.

    So that's my issue with Orbis. It's still FFH, just less of it, and a lot of the inherit basic concepts are stuff I would like to do without. Other people probably think the other way around. That it's not enough like FFH anymore. So what to do? Ahwaric obviously likes FFH, and the setting, but wants to do his own take on it. Starting over in a new forum as a new mod doesn't make any sense. The core setting is still FFH. People who don't like FFH won't discover Orbis because they don't visit these forums. People who like FFH won't discover Orbis because they don't use total conversion mods. Civ 4 itself is aging and bleeding off players to new games.

    More documentation is a good idea. Trouble is that there's no solid documentation on FFH, so merely mentioning what's different won't do much good. I only played FFH a few times before switching to Orbis, so I have no idea what the "vanilla" mod is like anymore. Standing in the shadow of a giant is a problem on it's own. There's simply no tradition on these forums of marketing modmods outside the main forum of a mod.

    One idea is to wait for 0.30 of Orbis. Rename it 1.00. Launch as play tested "final" version. Add screenshots of new features, and to show the different units graphics used. Invite reviewers. Write down core concept of modmod (reason behind all this work). Don't know how else to push.
     
  8. readercolin

    readercolin Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    604
    Orbis is nice enough, and I like putting it in my rotation of FFH games. Previously, I had found it fairly unstable, and as such, had stopped playing it (Multiplayer). The latest patch seems to have fixed most of this however.

    As for the features of orbis, some of the features are quite neat. I like the 3 food idea as something different (though its not something that I would want to play with everytime). The dovollio are actually interesting to play as now. Most of the civs actually play significantly differently (on that note, while I can stomp the AI into putty as the Khazid and a few other civs, I recently discovered, much to my dismay, that I can't effectively play as the elves... wtf?).

    However, there are a number of issues that I dislike about orbis:

    The first and biggest on my list is guilds. I have been trying to avoid using them, simply because when I do, an otherwise fairly even game turns into a complete disaster for the AI. On top of this, of the past 5 games or so that I've had in orbis that lasted to about turn 300ish (normal speed), only once was a guild actually founded by the AI (stonefire guild).

    A second issue is the Economy. In every other FFH derivative (except RIFE, but there is a reason why I don't play that), I can very easily understand where all my commerce is coming from and how to get more of it. In orbis however, I rarely can manage this. The lack of food generally means (since I don't play the elves), that I can't use a cottage economy (if you want, I can run the numbers for you... take special note of difference between a plains start and a grassland start). The shear number of resources generally means I end up running mostly on resources, which is a rather unstable system that I HATE relying on to win a game (leaves victory too much up to the random number generator). The specialist economy is still by far the best, IMO, if only simply because I find it so easy to spam farms (hey, I need em anyways), and then just grab specialists to keep my population under the happy limit. Though on the note of resources... it really shouldn't be so difficult to get rid of haunted lands, considering how excessively widespread they are, how easily they spread, and how having just one nearby at the beginning of the game can quickly lead to it spreading and choking off your starting city's growth. They are really a major annoyance factor, and I hate having to restart a game simply because the damn haunted lands showed up and started causing problems.

    My third issue is warfare. Namely, it is pretty much impossible in the early game. Why? The first catapults that you can get are at... mathematics?!? And you have to wait till priesthood/sorcery for any other sort of collateral damage. This means that in order to try to pull off an attack against an enemy capital city, you have to build up a positively massive force of archers (that or a massive stack of swordsmen to waste at excessively low odds), no way to reduce units strength except through archers, no way to bombard city defenses, and no way to cause collateral damage. Basically, unless you have a start that is so OP that the game is a throwaway anyways, there is no real way that you can attack before priesthood, sorcery, or mathematics. Note, each of these is over 2000 beakers on normal, meaning that if you have an annoying neighbor, you might get lucky and be able to smash a few of his outer cities, but there is no way you'll be able to take him out of the picture until waaaay too late for it to really matter. Please correct me if I'm wrong about any of this, but I really don't see what I'm missing...

    Lastly, there is the AI. I understand it is difficult to mod the AI, but there are a few things that really do bug me. One is how in my last game, I was beating up the scions, had a stack of more than 20 units outside their city (of course, the swordsmen with city raider 2 had only a 5% chance of victory... after the 10 archers had bombarded half their number of honored bands etc... but I went over that above). Now, typically in a situation like this, as a human I would build units to try to fend off my attackers, which I assume is a reasonable action. The AI built the great lighthouse... in their only city... while it was under seige... wtf? There are a few other things that I don't like about the AI, but this one in particular stuck out like a sore thumb when it happened to me. The AI is also the big part of why I generally prefer wild mana to any of the other mods, but thankfully, most of its fixes drift out into the others eventually.

    I think that is pretty much it for now. There is a lot that I do like about this mod, but you asked for what I didn't like.

    -Colin
     
  9. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,217
    Location:
    Kraków, Poland
    Yeah, I need to advertise, true. I just do not like to.

    Regarding differences & simmilarities between FfH & Orbis, it is complicated, but I will give some backgroung.

    I started modding civ with a prersonal mod to standard warlords (and later BtS) to enhance religions and especially medieval era. I feel like the designers knew nothing of the real tech advancements, warfre & economy of medieval states. Well, I know mostly of europe & steppes, but ask me about southern africa and I will know much much less...
    Also, I am bored by napoleonic and later eras. Simply bored. So I usually stop my games after renaissance.

    Then I discovered FfH 1 - and loved it... So when FfH 2 came I moved my mod to ffH, and eventually released it.
    But still, I did not like FfH medieval economy... Warfare was (is?) lacking too.
    So I try to include real world medieval economy into fanatasy world.
    Also, while I find FfH setting interesting, there are certain concepts I do not like.
    Also, I like more diversity.
    So, Orbis is not just expansion - and I will change it even more. I thought of moving outisde FfH forums, but Orbis is and will be based on FfH - just changed.
    Also, I include things from different settings - you might already noticed I like Warhammer. I really like warhammer... just not enough to start anew with warhammer mod.

    Realeasing next version as 1.0 is a good idea I think. It gets stand-alone installer, many things should get fixed & expanded. Will work on some PR campaign then.
    I want Orbis to be a bit of community project - you may noticed that I ask for feedback & ideas a lot. There is only some ideas one can get on their own... and then code them ;)

    This thread is for me to get directions what next. I like how the mod develops, and not going to abandon it soon. 0.24i has 3400 downloads at the moment, so it is not bad :). But Civ IV is aging, true, so we will see.

    EDIT: yes, I want to constructive criticism, and that is what you provided. Not everything I agree, and some of the issues are general FfH ones, but it still helps.
     
  10. Andvare

    Andvare Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Messages:
    788
    I like Orbis, I just prefer RifE.
    My primary beef with Orbis is the food. While I can see the problem, a 50% increase in food requirements is way too much.
    Granted, it has been awhile since I tried Orbis, but what I would prefer was to have it scaled, with the amount of food granted to rise as technology advances.
     
  11. mahazel

    mahazel Chieftain

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    Location:
    Kraków
    Too many crashes - can't play more than 200-250 turns on epic speed. I only played 3 games, and all of them were ended by every-turn crash :/ It's sad, because I really like your changes to FFH.
     
  12. Alchemistor

    Alchemistor Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Messages:
    21
    Orbis is now my most favorite ffh modmod, so please keep at it and don't get discouraged that other modmods seem more popular.

    I just like the changes made in Orbis better than FF or Rife - such as how generals work, three food production, animal promotions for recon units, etc. My playstyle tend to be a builder, so that probably affects my preferences.
     
  13. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

    Joined:
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    First off... Obviously, I love Orbis. Or rather, most of Orbis. :lol: Like some people have posted, the major hangup I always had with actually PLAYING it is the tech tree; I don't have too much time to play, so having to relearn the entire tree is rather bothersome. :lol: A good idea may be to put together a composite image of it, so people can look at that and get a general idea of where things are outside of a game.

    But given how many things I've 'borrowed' from Orbis (Animal promotions are a new one, but technically Vermicious did that, not me. :mischief:)... I think you're doing great. :goodjob:

    If the 'zany' you mean is the animals... That's changing.

    Would love to hear the reason. ;)

    I think releasing as 1.00 would be a good idea; Sounds more 'complete', and may get more players. Advertising is also good.... :blush: Feel free to advertise on the RifE forum :lol:.
     
  14. moshi

    moshi Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    52
    I like orbis a lot and haven't had a single crash on the most recent version. I do agree with the previous poster who suggested that it's much harder to play as an evil civ that any other alignment, this is due partly to the built in diplomacy penalties for necro magics that many evil civs start with, and partly due to the power imbalance between basium and hyborem.

    Personally what bothers me most is that on the highest difficulty levels, the AI still can't seem to convert its significant bonuses into military strength. Sure, it can leave the human player far behind in the tech race, but it simply cant figure out even the basics of a sound military strategy. Part of this is due to a lack of aggression early on, it's rare to see any wars (either AI vs AI or AI vs human) at all in the first 150-200 years, a time when the power differential between the AI and the human player is at it's absolute greatest. Further more, the AI's general strategy is to build one moderately powerful stack, have it get bogged down and picked to shreds, than act extremely confused about what to do next. Any subsequent stacks it sends into enemy territory are without fail negligible, and once the tide has turned the AI simply turtles the rest of the war losing city after city. I don't expect the AI to attack with a comprehensive strategy in mind, yet even with it's free promotions and vast production bonuses, the AI can't compete against a severely handicapped human opponent. Also, for the love of god, AI, stop protecting your slaves and workers with powerful defensive units when a nearby city is about to fall! :mad: Grrr angry.

    I don't feel my skills are those of an immortal player, yet if I survive the harrowing first 100 turns and get a few cities up, I can win on that level 75% of the time because the AI mistimes and mismanages military campaigns so badly. What ultimately prevents me from winning the other 25% of the time has nothing to do with AI military superiority either, inevitably sometimes I end up on the wrong side of a holy war (often with Basium in the fray) or end up with a single Civ that's managed to expand much larger than everyone else and goes on a rampage (Illians I'm looking at you)...


    Also Hyborem is a total joke.
     
  15. readercolin

    readercolin Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
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    There are a number of reasons why I don't like RIFE.

    The first, and probably most major one, is that it isn't multiplayer compatible. I've tried it many times, but rarely is it possible to go the first 100 turns without an OOS, and once they start, there doesn't appear to be any way to get rid of them.

    The second, it can sometimes be unstable. You may have changed this recently, but I always seemed to have a problem eventually, that was only sometimes avoidable with a reload (CtD, WoC, etc.).

    My third problem is your economy setup. I'm sorry, but I HATED it when you changed it to allow plantations anywhere, fishing boats on empty water, etc. I know why you did it, but I disagree with that reasoning. Probably my biggest gripe with this however is there was that one game where I finished the entire tech tree by turn 250... on normal speed. Yeah, its not usual, but it is FAR more likely to happen in RIFE than any other modmod (with the exception of the magister modmod, but I already made my point in that thread).

    My fourth problem is the way that you go about adding new things. Yes, new things are cool, but it always seems as though a new idea comes in through RIFE, then other people borrow it and make it actually work. In all honesty, I think your team needs to sit down, create a list of things that you want, and then work on them in order until each one actually works and fits in. At the moment, it seems more like you have your list, and are trying to work on everything on it at once, and releasing the unfinished product. Now, I do like many of the things that first got released through RIFE (the expanded animals, the grigori adventurer counter, and a number of others that I can't remember off the top of my head). But I don't see them when I play RIFE - I see the animals playing wild mana, the adventurer counter playing Orbis, the malakim changes playing pretty much everything other than base FFH (except the sits... I don't really like the sits...), and once again, there are probably a great many more that I just don't remember off the top of my head. The problem isn't that they're getting stolen, I like that - the problem is that many of these are taking an unfinished, unpolished idea that your team came up with, and then THEY actually make that work.

    Aside from those issues, most everything else is just minor little things that I can for the most part ignore. I could probably come up with more (no, I don't hate everything about it, and there are many parts that I really like, but you didn't ask about that), but I haven't played RIFE in a couple of weeks, so I don't remember everything.

    -Colin
     
  16. A Golden Dragon

    A Golden Dragon Golden Dragon

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    Dec 20, 2008
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    if i had known there was a voting competion you would have had my vote :p

    serioulsy i think it is the best mod to the game, by far :) stopped playing a while ago, but plan on restarting at 0.30 :)

    EDIT: just wanted to say it would be terrible loss for the modding community if you stopped (or took a break), and i think we do not give people like you enough credit for their amazing work :)
     
  17. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    Crestview FL
    Will only respond in this thread once; Don't want to completely take over Ahwaric's thread. :p

    The main thing there is, I have NEVER played multi. I am unable to test it as a result... Though the main issues are resolved by playing a team game, as it's the same Ranged attack issue in FF and Orbis. Other issues are with civs with non-standard workable radius; There are more in RifE, so it's more noticeable.

    We've fixed quite a few (or at least, our testers haven't mentioned getting them). That version isn't released yet, though; LOTS of work being done.

    The issue with doing otherwise is, why can you build a farm without a farmable resource but not a plantation?

    As it is, I've gone through and adjusted all the improvements so they have a clear use (Food, or Food/Production, Food/Commerce; Hybrids are weaker), give just 2 yield, with one from a mid game tech. Mills now require a tech to build, unlike the others, and give a total of 5 yield. Good late game improvements. Also thinking about blocking fishing boats from non-resource tiles. I've also decreased the chance to discover a resource from 1/1000 to 1/1750... Should be more difficult, but you'll still get a few.

    I agree, some things have been added too fast; Which is what this patch is all about. We aren't ADDING anything aside from the new Minor/Emergent mechanics; Instead, we're going through and updating civs to take into account new mechanics (Doviello and Archos now spawn the correct animals, for one), and cleaning things up. Good example is the barbs; Current version, they're too much. In the next version, we're taking Cultural Control (from Orbis) and a new leash mechanic (edited from Cyther's in Rise of Darkness, but I've done a LOT of work there) to create an actual 'Wild Lands' mechanic.

    Also... Only things I'm aware of that have been merged from RifE that were changed are the Wild Mana options (though arguably Sephi based it on an earlier mod, had I not done the same thing first it might not have been done) and the Animals, though Sephi could have gotten that idea independently; Both started about the same time. The Grigori counter is near identical, as are my Malakim changes in FF. Though it's possible more things have been stolen than I'm aware of. :lol:

    Constructive criticism is always good. I only become offended when it's the 'You suck, your mod sucks, and your ideas are wrong' type criticism, as popularized by a certain forum member. :p
     
  18. AvataroftheAnge

    AvataroftheAnge Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
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    i too feel like this is the best done, most thought out, and stable modmod for FFH2. However i only ever play with my cousin... and we cant atm b/c of OOS

    also i did not know there was a voting competition... you would have had my vote hands down
     
  19. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Chieftain

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    I've been playing Selphi's mod lately solely because of the attention he's giving to AI. It really provides more challenging and more interesting opponents. On most other fronts, I prefer Orbis.
     
  20. arkham4269

    arkham4269 Court Writer - Orbis Mod

    Joined:
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    I haven't played RIFE so I can't comment but with so many mods, I have to draw a line somewhere. I mean I still have to schedule time for Planetfall, Dune Wars and the occasional LoR since my machine doesn't have the watts to play RoM.

    I've been playing Orbis for awhile and FF and FfH for a long time. It is what I played the most while deployed in Afghanistan back in 2006.

    My biggest complaint is that the AI seems to be getting more and more ******** at each iteration. The AI keeps building improvements on mana nodes and often spams certain units. I really hate how totally dumb the AI is regarding ships. I've played too many games when the AI is building ship after ship...as I grind through their empire via land. Why the AI builds so many ships when it can't actually use it's navy. Seen way to many times when there is an island with an archer, a settler...and they just sit there.

    Plus (insert sound of broken record here) I miss the Rebellion mod from FF if only because while I didn't like the rebellion part (set too high) I really liked barbarian cities becoming minor civs after a time.

    Beyond that, Orbis is one of the primary reason I think people never play vanilla Civ.
     

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