Tantalization V Continues

By Alec Meer on September 19th, 2010 at 1:30 pm.

First the absurdly long walkthrough video, and now the whole bally manual for next week’s Civ V. If you want to get a head start on what path up the tech tree you need to take to build helicopter gunships and exactly how the no unit stacking combat thinger works, have a read on this. It’s got a complete unit breakdown for warlike types and buildings and wonders for the more constructively minded, but sadly the entire tech tree chart isn’t in there, nor is there any designer commentary. Should give you a decent sense of how the game does and doesn’t differ from its predecessors, though. All being well (i.e. if the build I’ve got starts behaving itself again) we’ll have Words O’Judgement for you on Tuesday.

25MB PDF here. Full colour, as they used to say when such things were rare. Download rather than open in a browser tab, unless you want long waits.

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101 Comments »

  1. Fridge says:

    Pre-loading of Civ V is now possible on Steam.

  2. Commander Gun says:

    Maybe this manual download is the final argument i need to buy this from steam rather than buying it on DVD in the shops. I’ve been doubting this whole weekend about buying this from Steam or not, no idea why i am so hesistant as so far i did not have any problems with games on steam. It’s probably the whole ‘must be online’ thing that puts me off…

    • MuscleHorse says:

      Except Steam doesn’t have to be online for your games to work – the offline mode woes of the past are a thing of the… past.

    • MaXimillion says:

      The game will use Steam even if you buy it from stores.

    • kupocake says:

      The only reason to be hesitant is that the pricing on Steam isn’t actually that competitive. £25 at Amazon and Game, £27 at Play. Steam is £30

      Can’t speak for international prices though.

    • Archonsod says:

      Direct2Drive are offering it for the same price as Steam, plus you get Civ III complete and the first DLC for Civ 5 free.

    • Frodo says:

      Yes, Steam is probably the worst option price-wise, even if it the game is requiring Steamworks. I’m getting mine at retail.

      And the offline woes are definitely NOT a thing of the past. If you don’t have the foresight to know when your Internet will go down, you are screwed — Steam won’t start unless you’ve previously set it to be offline. Meaning… it’s a useless feature.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      “Steam won’t start unless you’ve previously set it to be offline.”

      It will, you just can’t install games (unless you’ve had them backed up) or update them.

    • Emphursis says:

      If you try and start Steam while you don’t have an active internet connection, you get the option to start in offline mode.
      From there, you can play any game you have started whilst in online mode.

      It’s not difficult! I really don’t know why/how people have so many misconceptions about offline mode…

    • Frodo says:

      “I really don’t know why/how people have so many misconceptions about offline mode…”

      Because it doesn’t work. Every time I’ve tried to start up Steam during an Internet outage, it just hangs and doesn’t actually start up. I’ve never seen Steam give bring up the message you’re referring to.

    • Frodo says:

      Ok, so I just pulled my Internet cable and tried booting up Steam to confirm. It freezes on the box that says “Updating Steam…” and never gives me an option to boot into offline mode.

      I would definitely say that it doesn’t work.

    • MWoody says:

      I’ll confirm that myself from multiple recent experiences:

      If your Internet connection suddenly dies, STEAM WILL NOT START. Offline mode ONLY works if you know in advance that you’re going to be losing connection, and even then, some specific games won’t work if you didn’t start them at least once in online mode.

      I like Steam, but it gets too easy of a ride lately for my tastes. I’ve frequently seen people claim you shouldn’t buy product X because “if you lose your Internet connection, you can’t install or play the game; use Steam instead, it has an offline mode!” This is bullshit, and it needs to be pointed out as such frequently and loudly. The vast majority of my connection interruptions are unexpected, and having the majority of my game library suddenly unavailable in those situations is frustrating as all hell.

    • Barman1942 says:

      @Frodo

      It’s just you. When Steam can’t connect to the server, it tells you and gives you the option for offline mode.

    • Frodo says:

      Um, it’s not just me. Did you even bother to read the comment above yours? Plus how would you know anyway… you’re just one gamer among many. Just because Steam works for you doesn’t mean it works for everyone.

      Duh.

    • Emphursis says:

      Did you try re-booting your PC? Because if I were to turn off my router and turn on my PC (or even just remove the cable), I can guarantee that I get that message.
      In fact, try it yourself…

    • Grape Flavor says:

      Yeah, forget the digital download. It’s the same price in the store, around here anyways, and works on Steam either way. You’re just ripping yourself off by not buying the version with the nice paper manual.

      And IMO all this pre-order stuff is crap, too. Maps shaped like the real world? Um, no thanks, part of Civ gameplay is exploring the unknown and if you already know what it looks like you kinda just ruined that.

  3. m_s0 says:

    This was the single most anticipated game of the year to me, until I learned about Steamworks. If it ever gets removed, which I naturally doubt, I’ll buy Civ V. If not, tough luck, it’s not as if IV suddenly becomes unplayable after V is out.

    • m_s0 says:

      If the Steamworks integration gets removed, I meant. The game itself looks astonishing, probably the most promising Civ so far.

    • IAMJETHRO says:

      Unless you have bad internet(which I had until 4 years ago), there’s no reason to have Steam. Care to enlighten the hate for Steam?

    • Rich says:

      If you’ll pardon the meme, “Haters gotta hate”.

      To be fair, connecting to the net once to activate a game and then letting Steam run in the background offline is such a chore. Also, I hate having patches delivered in totally resumable fast downloads.

    • Senethro says:

      I guess its not surprising that the civ series is one of the last holdouts for grumpy old men who still want codewheels and looking up the 17th word on page 42 of the manual.

    • Archonsod says:

      Well excuse us for not wanting Valve to be collecting data from our systems and insisting on running a totally unnecessary client so we can play the game they’re renting to us.

    • LionsPhil says:

      “grumpy old men who still want codewheels and looking up the 17th word on page 42 of the manual.”

      hurr durr facts have no place in internet arguments

      Civ IV is now officially no-CD patched. Before that it was a straight disc check.

    • Wowza says:

      @Archnosod: You mean the optional data collection made public for developers to determine system requirements and for gamers to help make upgrading decisions, the client that handles multiplayer, quick automatic updates, community features and cloud game saves, and the subscriber agreement that’s basically the same as any EULA?

    • Frodo says:

      @Archonsod
      Agreed, you hit the nail on the head. It is a completely unnecessary client. Especially for this game.

    • Archonsod says:

      “@Archnosod: You mean the optional data collection made public for developers to determine system requirements and for gamers to help make upgrading decisions, the client that handles multiplayer, quick automatic updates, community features and cloud game saves, and the subscriber agreement that’s basically the same as any EULA?”

      Crap that doesn’t assist me in the slightest? Hell yeah. If Valve want me to do their market research, they can pay me for it or piss off.

    • Senethro says:

      Why “especially for this game”? Given the extra features that Steam adds and that Valve are currently encouraging publishers to adopt Steamworks by offering it to them for free, why bother getting another DRM system for extra cost?

      The street date was broken on Civ5 today by some Walmart. If they were using a disc check/cd-key then that would mean Civ5 would be on the torrent sites tonight. (indeed, there are some reports the encrypted files already are)

    • Frodo says:

      @Barman1942

      Yet his statement also lacked substance and wasn’t even an argument. And you targeted me instead of him. Hm…

    • Wowza says:

      “Crap that doesn’t assist me in the slightest? Hell yeah. If Valve want me to do their market research, they can pay me for it or piss off.”

      Um, like I said before, Steam doesn’t collect information unless it asks you to. And I’m pretty sure Fireaxis is using Steamworks for a better patch distribution method.

    • Fergus says:

      “Crap that doesn’t assist me in the slightest? Hell yeah. If Valve want me to do their market research, they can pay me for it or piss off.”

      So your intellectually informed argument against Steam is “They asked me if I’d like to take a completely optional survey with publicly open results, therefore they are crap and I hate them and will never buy anything from them ever”?

      Not really seeing the rationale here, sorry.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      haha well sucks to be you then! You’re depriving yourself of an awesome game, and Firaxis loses 1 sale? I think you got the short end of the stick there.

      If you think you’re the vanguard of some vast anti-Steam movement you’re delusional, so I hope you enjoy punishing yourself.

  4. Bowlby says:

    The more I hear about the combat, the more I get tempted to buy this at release. Also, I was very pleased to hear how they’ve taken inspiration from Revolution in simplifying the game mechanics

    I’m still not totally convinced that the UI is an improvement, however. Although, I think this is likely just a case of me not being familiar with it.

    I’m eager to try out the demo. :)

  5. Lars BR says:

    Luddites. I for one welcome our Valve overlords.

    I just wish they’d change the “don’t be logged in to the same account twice” to “don’t play the same game with the same account more than once”, but otherwise I could barely imagine how they’d make it better. Except for the launch-prices compared to physical media.

    If you don’t want to buy a Steamworks-using game, I predict you’ll live a very boring life down the road.

    • Duoae says:

      What about being able to download updates in the background and install them at your convenience so that you don’t have to sit waiting to play a single player game because you just booted up steam and you forgot to flag the game as “do not update” which actually translates to “I don’t want to update this game when i want to play it but i still want the improvements that patches bring!”

    • Lars BR says:

      Right. Also, I hate that steam can’t download stuff for other games while you’re playing a single-player game (or multi, it’s not like a round of BC2 eats all of my 8Mbit).

    • Nick says:

      Yeah, it used to be possible to download whilst you were playing another game but they helpfully “fixed” that.

      Bastards.

    • Kamisama says:

      Alt Tab => resume download.

      Congratz, you can now download updates for a game while playing another.

    • Frodo says:

      “If you don’t want to buy a Steamworks-using game, I predict you’ll live a very boring life down the road.”

      Hardly. I can live without mindless run-of-the-mill shooters and buggy Total War games, thank you.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Use of the word “luddites” really should just be an automatic permaban on these comment threads. Along with “casual”, “dumbed down”, and “Oblivion with”.

    • Vinraith says:

      If you don’t want to buy a Steamworks-using game, I predict you’ll live a very boring life down the road.

      And that, in a sentence, is what’s wrong with Steam. If you’re not concerned about the closing of an open platform, I have to wonder why you’re a PC gamer in the first place. If want you really want is a quasi-open system governed entirely by a single company, I believe there’s already an app for that.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      If you’re not concerned about the closing of an open platform

      Wait, Valve are preventing people from developing software like GfWL or Impulse::Reactor? I was not informed of this.

    • Vinraith says:

      @pkt

      You don’t want to have this conversation with me on the day GOG closed, trust me.

    • Barman1942 says:

      @Frodo

      Nice bullshit argument you have there. Yes, Steam carries FPS games and the Total War series, what about it?

    • Barman1942 says:

      @Vinraith

      So you blame GOG closing down on Valve and Steam?

    • Vinraith says:

      @Barman

      No, but I see one fewer alternative.

    • Lars BR says:

      I am intrigued about your proposed permaban of people who can’t spell causal.

      Anyway, back to the subject: It will bug me EVERY SINGLE TIME I PLAY IT that inventing Horseback Riding depends on inventing The Wheel. Wait, what.

    • Frodo says:

      @Barman1942
      Yes and he made a bullshit statement. Why so touchy?

    • Barman1942 says:

      @Frodo

      Because your statement added nothing and did not counter his argument. You simply stated that you do not like FPS’s and Total War games, and from the sound of it, you made it seem like that is somehow the fault of Steam.

      @Vinraith
      There are still other digital download sites out there. Buy from them, be a customer if you don’t want them to go out of business as well.

    • Frodo says:

      @Barman1942

      Yet his statement also lacked substance and wasn’t even an argument. And you targeted me instead of him. Hm…

    • Barman1942 says:

      @Frodo

      So why did you even reply to it then?

  6. [21CW] 2000AD says:

    I’ve got a feeling I’ll be practicing my psychic punching powers on m mates in America who are getting the game 3 days ahead of the rest of us. Staggered releases are really annoying.

  7. Azradesh says:

    I heard that there is no printed manual with the store bought copy. This makes me very sad.

    I bought Civ4 for the manual, (HOLY CRAP A GAME WITH A MANUAL!) and stayed for the game.

    • Archonsod says:

      I’d hope there is, considering the installation instructions :

      “If prompted for your Product Code (for disc-based installations), please note it is located on
      the back of the manual cover.”

  8. pingualot says:

    Ehh you do know that you can very easily fix this by alt-tabbing out of the game and pressing the resume button twice to resume the download?

    Try looking for answers before you complain.

    • Nick says:

      Yeah and what if the game crashes when you alt tab? Its hardly a feature, more a workaround and as they seem to actively try to prevent you from doing it for whatever reason (like fixing the old workaround) I think complaining is perfectly acceptable.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yes, and although my car explodes every time I shift into fourth, it’s entirely my fault for not realising that when I want to use fourth key I have to hum a bar of “Ode to Joy” first! This is entirely reasonable and the whole exploding thing is clearly a non-issue because of it.

    • pistolhamster says:

      clearly exploding cars and alt-tabbing out of a game are equals. If I had to choose I’d be hard pushed to decide whether I wanted my vehicle to asplode or to spend 20 seconds doing the alt-tab thing in the few times per month that I am actually trying to play a steam game and updating a game at the same time.

      Cam’an guys, really.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      Do games alt-tab nicely these days? Last time I tried alt-tabbing a game was Beyond Good & Evil and I got a nice friendly BSOD to show for it…

  9. bitkari says:

    I heard that there is no printed manual with the store bought copy. This makes me very sad.

    Oh noes! I bought a retail copy specifically for a nice printed manual, and I was hoping, a lovely foldout tech tree just like in the olden days!

    Perhaps the deluxe/mega/special/limited/whatever edition should have had a nice fat manual, with charts and trees instead of a pewter spearman?

  10. airtekh says:

    I started downloading this just to look at the tech tree, then I re-read Alec’s post.

    I am sad. :(

  11. MadTinkerer says:

    This is what your local Staples [or insert the name of your nearest office supply store] is for. Want a nice printed [insert name of PDF file here]? Go to Staples [or whatever].

    Nothing is truly out of print anymore.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Gah! That was meant to be in reply to the guy who wanted a printed manual. FINE I’LL LOG INTO THE COMMENT THINGY FROM NOW ON.

  12. Demidyad says:

    the entire tech tree has been known for a while, see here:
    http://well-of-souls.com/civ/images/tech_tree3.jpg

  13. Diabolico says:

    I was scanning through the pages and was overwhelmed by how huge this game is. :)

    I hope the sales will be really good.

  14. Dav says:

    Found under Uranium:
    Units requiring this resource: Giant Death Robot, Atomic Bomb, Nuclear Missile

    …interesting.

  15. Vandelay says:

    Quick glance of that manual and it looks like it is much better then the one you got with Civ 4. I also like the way they seem to be really trying to make a digital manual have benefits over the physical thing, with them having images that can be enlarged and to be able to jump to specific pages.

    But I still would much rather a real manual. One that I can quickly reference whilst playing. That seems essential for a game like Civ and constantly having to alt-tab out of the game (hoping it doesn’t crash,) is not the ideal when you just want a quick recap of how something works.

    • Dav says:

      I assume they still have the Civilopedia for that. I used the in-game help a lot more than the manual in Civ IV; it was more up-too-date than the printed version, for one thing.

    • Oddtwang says:

      Judging by the walkthrough videos, the in-game manual looks pretty damn excellent.

  16. hansg says:

    meeeh… 256 MB NVIDIA 7900 GS :S i only got a 7600…

  17. Worrisome says:

    The game seems really streamlined. Hope it’s not the dumbed down kind.

  18. kwyjibo says:

    Won’t be getting this game as it doesn’t run on my laptop.

    I mean, what, the 3d graphics of Civ IV weren’t enough for you?

    Games like WOW purposely keep specifications low to reach as many people as possible. For a game that’s all about strategy, and not about graphics, why are the specs so damn high?

  19. unclelou says:

    I mean, what, the 3d graphics of Civ IV weren’t enough for you?

    Games like WOW purposely keep specifications low to reach as many people as possible. For a game that’s all about strategy, and not about graphics, why are the specs so damn high?

    I don’t see why strategy and graphics need to be mutually exclusive. And the same complaints were heard when Civ IV was released. And probably when Civ Ii and III were released, too.

    That said, can’t you play the game completely from the abstract 2D overview map? That should at lease lower the GPU requirement significally.

    • kwyjibo says:

      Yes, but Civ IV was released when everyone still had desktops.

      In 2008, laptop sales eclipsed that of desktops. The PC hits nowadays aren’t the ones that shout about graphics, I’d have thought this would have played into Civ’s hand – it hasn’t.

    • unclelou says:

      @kwyjibo

      I’d argue that most people who play games still have desktops, though. And that most modern Laptops will be more than good enough to play Civ V. Making it look like it’s already 5 or more years old to keep the requirements lower might have cost them a lot more sales.

  20. pipman3000 says:

    oh no not my stategies :(

  21. Steampunk'd says:

    @Frodo
    It’s wonky, and the procedure is arcane, but offline mode does work for me. You either had to have your games all fully updated and manually enter offline mode at least once or something or other for it to automatically go into it later on? Failing that, hop on one leg five times, drink the urine of a virginal frog, and warble Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” in the key of D.

    If you can’t trust random internet posters, who can you trust? (Offline mode really does work for me, though for what it’s worth).

  22. Edgar the Peaceful says:

    I’m hoping that when the game comes out the discussion here will be about Civ V rather than Steam. I guess there’s too little to go on at the moment.

    Without having investigated the changed mechanics too deeply, all I can say is that the Art Deco design looks gorgeous, plus the promise of tactical combat and less micromanagement generally appeals very much.

    The staggered release date is a pisser, however. Can’t wait.

  23. Frodo says:

    Um, it’s not just me. Did you even bother to read the comment above yours? Plus how would you know anyway… you’re just one gamer among many. Just because Steam works for you doesn’t mean it works for everyone.

    Duh.

    • Frodo says:

      Ugh, reply button fail.

    • Barman1942 says:

      And just because it doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for everyone.

    • Senethro says:

      lollin

      My guess is that you haven’t saved your credentials, the usual step people miss when they say they can’t activate Offline Mode whenever.

    • Frodo says:

      I never said it didn’t work for everyone. If it doesn’t work for one or more people, however, it’s not completely functional. Simply put, the reason Steam gets a bad rap for the offline mode is because (1) you have to go out of your way to set it up beforehand (it’s a hassle) and (2) it just doesn’t work in every situation.

    • Barman1942 says:

      @Frodo

      Clicking a check box at start-up is out of the way and a hassle? Steam is bad because it’s not a perfect piece of programming?

    • Frodo says:

      Now that you mention it, yes I would say it’s not a good piece of programming, considering how often it freezes on me. And offline mode is more than a simple check box — you have to set it up EVERY time you want to go offline, and that’s assuming you know you’re going to be offline in the first place. It’s an unnecessary hassle and I get the feeling Steam doesn’t want you to go offline in the first place. They sure don’t advertise their offline mode much.

    • Senethro says:

      No, it really is as simple as ticking the save credentials box. If you’re entering your user/pass into Steam every time you load it up then you’re not prepared for Offline mode.

    • MWoody says:

      Seriously, folks, this isn’t hard to test. Try it right now. Close Steam, pull the plug on your router, start Steam. Watch it fail.

      Even Valve’s own FAQ pages say you need to go into offline mode while still online.

    • Senethro says:

      Test report: Logged into Steam, made sure my user/pass were set to save, exited steam, pulled ethernet plug, started Steam, window comes up asking me if I want to retry connection or go offline, clicked Go Offline, Offline mode worked.

      It really is as easy as ticking the little box that saves your username and password.

  24. PeteC says:

    I’d assume you could play it in windowed mode just like in Civ IV so no alt-tabbing needed.

  25. PeteC says:

    Gah. Meant to reply to Vanderley.

  26. Javaguy says:

    If Steam offline doesn’t work for you then make sure you’re on “disconnected” rather than “limited or no connectivity”. Things like Hamachi break it too as it tries to update through them. Hence freeze on “updating

    /written on my phone due to me currently having no internet.

    • Frodo says:

      I have Hamachi so that could be my problem. Valve/Steam is not fond of LAN games (Hamachi doesn’t seem to work with Source engine LAN games) so I’m not surprised they don’t bother to fix it to be compatible with their client. Really, though, it’s just plain annoying that I have to start Steam to start my games at all. Why can’t they just go the Impulse route? Use the client once to download/activate; then you could even uninstall Impulse if you really wanted. There’s really no reason at all to require a client to be running unless you are doing a DRM check — and the option of offline mode in Steam means a DRM check isn’t the reason.

  27. Biz says:

    forgive me if I go off topic and don’t talk about DRM systems…

    but the AI seems to be just as poor as ever. the non-cheating AI is in the middle… i know that doesn’t mean anything in and of itself, but based on past history it seems we’ll only get a challenge from cheating AI’s

    • Edgar the Peaceful says:

      That is a bit disappointing. Hopefully the ‘vanilla’ AI on Prince will prove more of a challange.

      For me, a large part of Civ’s charm comes from its ‘bonzai’ appeal – carefully pruning and shaping your empire – rather than having to ruthlessly compete. Of course, it shouldn’t be a pushover though..

  28. foop says:

    Steam worked fine for me offline when my network connection died. However, it does give the appearance of hanging when you launch it and it tries to connect to the servers. On one occasion it took at least five minutes before letting me play offline. But it did let me play.

  29. fmilk says:

    So, any news of demo yet?

  30. SuperBladesman says:

    The demo is out; I’m downloading it now :)

    steam://install/65900

  31. SuperBladesman says:

    The ‘streamlined’ interface is nice, but is leaving me a little underwhelmed if I’m honest. It looks a bit too basic, though when you dig the depth is still there.

    Still, I’m largely amazed that it runs on this machine, since it’s nowhere near the minimum spec (only a 6600!). It’s Civ, what more can I say… Maybe more, when I’ve played for longer than 10 minutes.