History Fixed As Civ V Balance Patch Arrives

By Quintin Smith on March 2nd, 2011 at 12:05 pm.

Civ V, you may be my hex-girlfriend

Big Download note that the patch that makes significant balance changes to Civ V (as well as adding a range of bugfixes and a new building, the Aquaduct) has landed just in time for the Polynesia pack hitting this Thursday, and dutiful Steam might just have updated your game already. You can read the full patch notes here.

Guess what I’ve got waiting for you beneath the jump. That’s right! It’s a twenty five minute video review of the new patch by an Eastern European man. Enjoy!

I managed to get a whopping 3 minutes and 7 seconds in before I had to make him stop. I reckon I’m happy with that. Let’s see if any of you guys can make it through the whole thing.

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37 Comments »

  1. idiotapocs says:

    Thumbs up for the an Eastern European man!

  2. Bhazor says:

    Audio wasn’t great on that review.
    He phoned that one in.

  3. MrThingy says:

    Now I remember why I stopped playing Civ V. It really is phenomenally dull to play.
    The previous Civs weren’t and I wish I could pinpoint exactly why that is.

    [edit - I still miss fanatics in Civ II... I want my brainwashed fundie zombie free-supportie army back! ]

    • Hematite says:

      I found the same thing; as near as I can make out it’s because the ruleset has been simplified enough that my mighty brain can encompass my whole simulated civilisation at once.

      In civ4 there were enough minor systems like managing the spread of religions and more complicated balancing of building bonuses versus maintenance costs, that I could be surprised or inconvenienced by some consequence of a system I hadn’t been paying enough attention to lately. It was kind of like gardening – my civ would trundle along on its own while I tweaked things here and there and watched my plans come to fruition.

      In civ5 on the other hand, my civilisation is a streamlined engine of win production. I improve tiles to increase their win output, build buildings to give my city win production bonuses, and use my armies to crush my opponents’ win. It’s soulless in comparison.

    • oatish says:

      @Hemalite

      this person knows – I agree with your sentiments

    • UncleLou says:

      I could be wrong, but is it possible that you (somewhat unfairly) compare Civ V to Civ IV+addons? Personally, I am finding Civ V a better game than vanilla Civ IV ever was, especially after the recent patches, and certainly not more streamlined.

      Now CiV IV: BtS is more complex, I agree.

      I also don’t think Civ V is “soulless”, quite on the contrary actually, but that’s a different story. :)

    • Oak says:

      What’s unfair about that?

      Different strokes, but vanilla Civ 4 is great. Beyond the Sword just made it greater. And it’s certainly better than Civ 5, if only (but not only) because the AI knows how to play it.

  4. CMaster says:

    All those changes sound sensible, although with only 2 games of it played I can’t say for sure – just that it seems to have buffed the things that seemed useless.
    Problem is, I don’t see anything short of massive, sweeping changes to the game making it A) interesting and B) clear. So much of what the game is doing is very, very opaque – in Civ 4, mousing over something would tell you all about why it was happening – where production was coming from, why Montezuma hated you, why your people were happy etc. Civ 5 launched with nonsense like “Pact of Secrecy/friendship that were explained nowhere. They’ve got rid of those particular offenders, but I still frequently struggle to see why things are happening.

    @Jkjoker at least at lower difficulty levels, they’ve toned down the random warmongering.

    • Mark says:

      They’ve made it easier to decipher the AI’s attitudes towards you, but it’s still not as good as Civ IV in that respect. And unless it’s just rose-tinted glasses, Civ IV’s diplomacy wasn’t as good as Alpha Centauri’s.

      Anyway, will give this a spin this weekend, since I’m a bit bored of Bulletstorm and Dead Space 2.

    • CMaster says:

      SMAC’s diplomacy suffered from the same problem as all the other Civ games up to that point – the AI was able to make offers and do deals with other AIs that weren’t available to you. They’d also refuse certain offers by you before making the same thing back – Civ IVs – “table” diplomacy system was much better.

      SMAC had the brilliant thing though that the factions had ideologies, rather than personalities. So your relations were effected to a large extent by what you did, allowing you to tune them somewhat. The downside to that was that while it worked, most of the factions were so wrapped up in their inital likes/dislikes that altering that path was hard. Uni/Believers, Gaia/Morgan Hive/Anyone else were never going to get on.

      I always think it’s sad that while Civ IV was in many ways a better game, SMAC still did more to try and move the genre/series forward than any of the following games.

    • Rob Hale says:

      As of a few patches ago the AI would show their state (Friendly, Neutral, Guarded, Hostile) on the diplomacy screen. If you talk to them and mouseover that state it shows a list of all the things affecting that result.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I think the diplomacy is much improved in Civ5. For a start Civs will make mutually beneficial pacts etc which I have never seen any ai do in the previous games. Last game I had Gandhi pretty much begging me to not destroy him. So he teamed up with me and we wiped out the french. However, the previously allied and friendly Germans took this opportunity to invade everyone in their weakened states.

      The ai now feels like it has a personality to me, rather than just culture, science or aggression. I’ve found they now understand how to use their armies too, on the harder difficulties it can be quite tricky to keep up with the more aggressive military nations. They also don’t seem to fail any more. They no longer attack my cities over and over in senseless attacks. Cities only get attacked when they have at least a decent chance of winning, if not certain.

  5. Mr_Hands says:

    I’ve been playing a game with my girlfriend since last Saturday. Last night we booted up the game, and in between bribing Siam to fight all the people on the planet and surprise-sexing Greece, I built an Aqueduct.

    Then I made a 25 minute video about my love of Aqueducts

  6. andtriage says:

    lmao @ this guy. what the FUCK.

  7. battles_atlas says:

    I came back to it recently, before this patch, and it was much improved. The AI uses its military units in a reasonably sensible manner down, attacking in numbers rather than just chucking lone archers at you. That said, the French attack on my undefended cities was rather pathetic, with only two units bothering to actually attack, the rest just loitering nonchalantly whilst my cities bombarded them. Maybe that was a just a French thing though.

    They did put up a better defence though.

  8. Emphursis1 says:

    I must say I enjoyed Chopin’s Ballade in G Minor at the start.

  9. mrjackspade says:

    Spent a month solid on CIV V when it came out.

    Now I’m’ not touching it until they do two things: (1) Multiplayer custom map/mod support (2) Fix the huge lag in late epic multiplayer games where it takes a minute or more to generate a single turn. Bear in mind my friends and I are running i7s clocked at 4GHz.

    • Rob Hale says:

      This patch is supposed to have helped with the immense turn times so you may want to give it another go. I think DLC is supported in multiplayer now but not sure about mods.

  10. Grey_Ghost says:

    I watched the whole thing, do I win the internetz?

  11. oddshrub says:

    Well that’s good news. But where are the vikings, aside from the trailer? TSK!

  12. nuh uh no way says:

    Did they fix the multiplayer bug where the fog of war will just stop getting revealed, causing you to lose track of your units and the inability to give them commands to do things in the fog of war they’re hidden in? No? Okay!

    Did they fix the multiplayer synching issues that have been CARRIED OVER from Civ IV? No? Okay!

    Do I have the option to choose however many AIs I want in multiplayer? No? I have to stick with the default amount or less for the given map size? Okay!

    So what you’re telling me Firaxis, is that there is still no point in playing multiplayer, the very reason why myself and girlfriend each bought the game late last year.

    Cool! Thanks.

    • Highstorm says:

      Also still no option to turn animations on.

      But I found Fall From Heaven for Civ IV and it is just so much a better game than this rubbish.

    • nuh uh no way says:

      I must say that my only problem with the game is how they’ve treated multiplayer. That’s it. I enjoy single player immensely and cannot go back to Civ IV.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Agreed. I find playing Civ 4 painful after playing this one. Civ 5 does miss a few of the features I liked from the previous game. But the combat is so vastly improved I won’t ever be able to play the older Civs again.

  13. bascule42 says:

    41 seconds…one more second and it could’ve been my namesake. But alas…could not do.

  14. Warth0g says:

    I rather like Civ V but my issue with it is that the late game gets bogged down, performance wise. I don’t mean the amount of time to generate a new turn, although that’s annoying, but rather that it gets jerky when scrolling around the map. That’;s the kind of thing that sucks the pleasure out of playing the game for me… Has that been fixed, anyone know? Or is it just me.. my machine’s no slouch so I don’t thin it’s that….

    • DrGonzo says:

      The game gets bogged down as you say, for me too. Although Civ 4 does too to an extent, it’s not as bad as Civ 5 is. I would be interested to hear if any one here is able to play it smoothly at end game and what your specs are. Between this and Black Prophecy I think I need to upgrade to 64 bit and get a serious RAM upgrade.

  15. MCM says:

    What’s still missing is a functional SDK. The current state of modding is rather abysmal as, from what I understand, it’s far more difficult / impossible to add custom sounds and custom graphics to Civ 5. Further, the modding tools themselves are simply not good. A lot of good mods want .dll access, which Firaxis hasn’t provided yet, to say nothing of the AI changes that modders need to do in quite a few mods.

    A mod like Fall from Heaven 2 is pretty much impossible right now. Any significant changes to gameplay will have to wait a long time until more useful modding tools are released.

    I also hear the multiplayer people are quite unhappy with the state of multiplayer. I really wish Firaxis would focus on something other than mucking about with new civilizations of their own. They simply can’t make everything that the players could make, if they’d simply open up the tools to the players, as they did in Civ 4.

    What Firaxis can do is fix multiplayer. That, and releasing the tools, should be their focus. Not balance patches or free DLC.

  16. Huw_Dawson says:

    I watched the entire video and found it very interesting and informative. :P

  17. rayne117 says:

    I am real conflicted in all of this talk of Civ IV. I bought the complete collection of it on Steam. Then I heard Civ V just came out too. Got it through the grapevine and finally started playing it with no patches a few days ago. Very, very fun.

    When I played Civ IV a few months back, I found it hard to understand (I am more of an FPS guy) but Civ V seemed to eradicate that confusion pretty easily.

    Here is where the confliction comes in: I don’t know if I should go and play IV first before I continue on Civ V.

    Any thoughts?

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