Discussion in 'Civ3 - General Discussions' started by chickenx4, Apr 22, 2017.
3 has the best forum posts.
First post ever here:
When I was a kid, I loved to try to trade all of my enemy's technology advances and enemy cities for 1 gold, and I'd spam the "Will you accept this offer, _________?" button and watch the AI player get angrier and angrier.
I love that Civ III is much simpler than these newer games. Not that I've played 5 or 6, but they sound very complex. I do own Civ IV, and I find it to be too complex. In Civ III your units have an Attack, Defend and Mobility value, and maybe a bombard value as well. In the newer games you have to worry about how certain types of units match up against other types, having weaknesses vs some, and strengths vs others. No thanks! I also like the ability to build all city improvements in every city. I have enough to worry about each turn, I don't have patience for needing to "specialize" my cities, by building only certain improvements in one city, and then different improvements in another. I don't understand how people can micromanage 20+ cities like that, or why they would enjoy doing so. Civ 3 was about as complex as I want a strategy game to be, which is far less complex than today's games.
Maybe I'm one of the few who is bothered by this, but I have found that games have become unnecessarily complex over time! My first game console was an Atari 2600, and to play I used a joystick with just one button! Then I had a Sega Master System with 2 buttons, and then a Genesis with 3. I was okay with the 6 button pads on the Genesis and SNES, but was annoyed with 8+ buttons on the Playstation controller. How was it that people could lose hours, days and weeks out of their lives playing games that required only 2-3 buttons, yet now you need 8+ buttons to keep yourself entertained? And it's not that I dislike micromanagement. I actually found micromanagement to be very enjoyable in Civ I, II and III. However, it seems to me that game companies like Firaxis would rather make games more difficult by making them more complex, when what they really ought to be doing is making the AI more challenging. What I would prefer is a better, more life-like AI, instead of more and more complexity!
Nailed it right on the head.
Although the AI could use improvement, it's pretty good.
3 is still the champ for many reasons.
The newer stuff has some significant improvements graphics aside, like liberation, rezzing, and districts, but none, to me, play as well as 3.
And isn't that what it comes down to?
Speaking of complexity: in addition to the "unit and counter-unit" concept in Civ4, they also overdid it a bit with the unit promotion system. So many specialized promotions that you really had to think about which unit to use for what job... They still have promotions in Civ5 and Civ6, but much more stream-lined. I actually like that part of the combat system of Civ5&6 quite a lot. (Or in fact: I like the entire combat System of Civ5&6. It eliminates one annoying problem in Civ3, the well-known and much-discussed "tank vs spearman problem" ... )
Regarding a better AI: I'm afraid what we currently have is going to be as good as it gets... AI programming is really hard. It took several decades and the hard work and research of dozens or even hundreds of very bright minds, before the first chess program was able to beat the first human chess grandmaster. A commercial gaming company is probably not going to put that much effort and resources into it, if the majority of "casual gamers" is satisfied with the "very basic" AI we currently have...
And in my experience, the AI, or at least the part that conducts the military operations, got even weaker from Civ3 to Civ5/6. In Civ3 on the harder difficulty levels, the AI was at least capable of overwhelming the human player with superior numbers... In Civ5 and Civ6 the AI seems to be completely incompetent in warfare. Even with an army two or three times the size of mine, they just get their units killed one after the other until I get the upper hand. Seems like the AI simply cannot handle the "one unit per tile" constraint in Civ5&6.
I know the AI will be a pain when I fall back in techs - and sure there are tricks to catch up in the tech tree, but the AI trades a lot themselves too.
In my mod I made the opportunity to build No-Nationality Pirate ships - the AI is great at using these, so naval warfare has become really a thing to account for. You can't just go to another island and land your troops - you have to get naval superiority first.
With diabling Map Trading I managed to delay the human exploits in this regard (exploration)...
I'm looking for other ways to 'help' out the AI.
+1 to @Licentia's comments on complexity.
I think the goal was to make it easier to play on a higher level using your gut rather than deep understanding of mechanics, but the increasing complexity of later installments really makes it hard to understand what impact my actions will have. I played civ 5 for 5 games and still don't understand how the production system works. Don't even get me started on restricting empire size through global happiness. What's the point?
What I love about civ 3 is that every decision is a tradeoff between at least 10 variables, and that together those tradeoffs create incredibly complexity to game decisions. Yet I still can understand every single factor influencing that decision. I still know "do X, get Y" and I could logically justify literally any in game decision in less than 1 minute. I love struggling to understand the right decision, and 3 strikes the perfect balance - complex enough to force me to think, clear enough to find the right answer.
I'm with you here. I've been an on-and-off player of Civ 3 for about 10 years now (work and family often pull me away for months at a time, then I binge for a few months). I dabbled a bit in Civ 4 and found it enjoyable, but also complex. The civics and religions that would kind of randomly form on their own left me feeling a bit out of control in the game, and I couldn't quite get into it like Civ 3. Then I tried Civ 5, and couldn't stomach that game for more than a few hours. It didn't feel like a Civilization game. It felt like a completely different game, with Civilization in the title to push sales.
I agree with you about game simplicity. Maybe when I was in my 20s and single and had nothing but free time a complex game was manageable, because I had nothing to do besides go to work a few days per week. Now, with a family and other life commitments, I can't invest a huge amount of time into learning all of the fine details about a game. I guess that's a reason I go back to Civ 3- if it gets too easy, I can just play a more challenging level, or attempt a challenge you can find online. Or a different map. The variations in the scenarios, maps, and difficulty levels make this game inifinitely replayable, while the platform still remains the same.
Miraculously routing a far superior invasion force.
Large-scale Battle fleet action.
Snatching all single tile and one city islands around the world to begin my global dominance.
I like the perfect balance that CIV 3 strikes between complexity and enjoyment.
I love being able to create various historical scenarios.
I've probably played Civ 3 more than all the other games combined.
chickenx4, here you started a good thread. I gave you a like in post one of this thread.
Ease and enjoyment of Modding, including the challenges to do so.
The challenge of creating something that others will enjoy.
Preferable Graphics that provide more with less, activating the mind and imagination of the player that firmly places one in the game.
Game Play that provides not only fun challenges with complexities but allows a variety of playing styles within easy to understand parameters.
That intense "just one more turn" excitement to see what happens.
The Thrill of Victory when faced with the possible Agony of Defeat.
The seemingly infinite games and graphics that can be created.
Great Games that one can play alone and truly have Fun.
The Civ III/Conquests Forums where we share information and creations.
I like exploring at the beginning and building stacks of horseman or finding ivory and getting ancient cavalry.
Compared to other civs:
The graphics. Earlier games didn't have high enough resolution. Later games went to 3D and all the units are tiny unless you zoom way in you can't tell who's what. It's not good to try to make everything to scale. Ideally a swordsman is a giant picture of 1 guy with a sword, so that when you glance at the map you instantly know this is a swordsman.
Moving units. No dumb restrictions like zone of control, or you already have a worker there so you can't go there...
I'm really having trouble playing Civ6, as the map is so confusing. I have to stare at the map and squint my eyes in order to recognize, which tiles already have an improvement (mine, farm, etc.) and which ones don't... And if I would not get a pop-up notifying me when I find a goody hut, I would miss most of them...
You mean the "one unit per tile rule", I assume? "Zone of control" is something else. In fact that concept already exists in Civ3: Armies and some of the fast units like Cavalry, Cossacks, Sipahi, Tanks etc. have ZoC.
I bought and played Civ1 to death, then Civ2 and then Civ3 and never looked back...or forward it seems. I have 4, 5 and 6 but cannot seem to get enthused about them at all. Still play 3 at work in the quiet times. What do I like most in 3? Panzers!
Never knew about forests on cattle either!! Well I'll be.
I readily admit I'm approaching 2.5k hours on vi. I love it.
But I keep feeling the pull back to iii.
As far as ai... I am not a coder, at all, but I am positive I could write a decent ai in 4-7 days, using the NWN toolkit (the only code I'm practiced in), but for civ vi.
The chess example is flawed. The computer was taking on the best chess player in the world. So not only did it have to (simply) be a good chess program, it had to be better than the best.
I played battlechess back in the early 90s, and that was competitive enough.
But one thing everyone seems to forget is that no matter how challenging the ai gets, the 'challenge' will flip to easy mode the moment you figure it out. iii is not 'challenging.' But it does at least have the appearance of making a serious effort to conquer you - it means business. So it has the illusion of being challenging - like any good fiction it requires the suspension of disbelief. But vi has ai behavior that is so goody it is prohibitive of the suspension of disbelief, and observers say, "that is horrible ai, easy mode."
In NWN, as a modder, you put in behaviors that mimic intelligent decision-making, and put in checks that prohibit goofiness, which, while not really making the game more challenging, makes a suspension of disbelief more attainable, and fosters the illusion that the ai is a crafty bugger.
And that's what I look for. Ai behavior that at least pretends to know which way is up.
If I had to guess, I'd say the vi ai folks haven't played the game much. In iii, I feel like the ai team had a real passion for the game.
edit: but i should add my urges to play more iii are not war related, but expansion related.
I disagree that it isn't challenging. I'm no Civ rookie, and I still struggle on Demigod, Deity, and forget about Sid! That being said, I used to think Monarch was impossible, but through practice and refinement I now play more regularly on Emperor and higher. However, it seems like the low hanging fruit has been obtained- improvement in play seems to be getting more and more difficult. Now I know there are some legends that easily beat Sid, but I think for most people, those levels are nearly impossible.
The challenge there that people struggle with comes from the bonuses the ai gets, not from the ai 'thinking.' Don't confuse the two.
But I don't want to derail this nice thread. The point was, there is a clear difference in how the ai handles combat between iii and vi, and iii, to me, is better.
How is it that I haven't posted in this thread yet?
Probably all in all, the fact that I can come back to it even 14 years after I started playing it, and still get into the game, and get some of that one-more-turn feeling that I got the first summer I played it. That every so often I still find myself debating which direction I should expand next as I fall asleep, and I look forward to resuming my in-progress game.
It also hits the elements of scale and pace just right for me. There are enough cities in a Civ3 empire that something is always happening, yet unless you go overboard on the map size, it's still small enough to keep track of and quick enough that I stay engrossed in the game. Civ4 can get this, but it takes longer into the game to get there. I've never got into Civ5 in the same way as III, I think in large part because the empires are smaller and I lose that sense of having a large realm, and the reward of something being built almost every turn.
Of course much of what others have said applies too. The AI being good enough that despite knowing its tendencies, it can still keep me engaged and occasionally get the better of me. Striking the right balance on the graphics. The mod and scenario collection that, particularly among historical scenarios, is second to none. But if I had to choose my favorite thing, it'd be what I wrote above.
Separate names with a comma.