Mods and Ends: Civilization V NiGHTS

By Adam Smith on September 9th, 2011 at 7:45 pm.

So very civilised

Sometimes the work that goes into a mod is breathtaking. Civilisation V NiGHTS is such a thing, born perhaps equally out of admiration and frustration. The team, led by Markus Beutel, have looked at Civilisation V, stripped it down and rebuilt it from the ground up. They describe the mod as a total conversion but that doesn’t mean it gives you fantasy units, adds magic or allows the use of Achron-style time travel (which I now want, mod community). Instead, this is a remake of the game Firaxis released. A game that is conveniently 75% on Steam this very weekend. The mod has been available and actively updating for almost a year now by my reckoning and it is currently the only way I play Civ V. And I play Civ V a lot.

A brief and personal history of Civilisation. I’ve been a fan of the series since I first saw a screenshot of a newspaper saying “The Zulus have invented gunpowder.” It feels like that was around 1842 (the screenshot, not the invention) but careful research tells me it was 1991. I’m not sure if I remember the details of that screenshot exactly but I do know it was the first time I became aware of the game and all the mad possibilities locked inside it. Rather than being a simple strategy game, it seemed to be an alternate history creating device. I’ve since discovered better ways to indulge those particular urges but I’ve never stopped playing Civ.

I still remember my first game. I played on the Earth map, because I wanted to warp our reality not a random one, and I was the Romans. I tried to be just like the real Romans but with a twist. In my world, we were pacifists. More than that. We were cowards. It’s a template that I took with me through the series. I build a few glorious cities and I watch those lovely beakers full of science stretch across bars until I discover yet more glorious things to put in my glorious cities. When culture came along in Civ III, it was one more bar I was happy to fill up. It soon became my favourite. Even better than science.

Civilisation V was the first game in the series to really make the military appealing to me. I’d always thought I was just a benign ruler who didn’t want to be responsible for bloodshed. I imagined my citizens were paragons of virtue, living in a utopia built upon respect for all nations and people. They were artists, not warriors. Judging by how fast my cities were growing, they were lovers as well. They built cathedrals but they were not dedicated to a vengeful God but to beauty and the power of the human spirit. I had raised my people to be the benevolent and meek inheritors of the Earth. Then Civ V happened and I realised none of that was true. I just didn’t like unit stacking very much.

That’s not to say I’m always the leader of a bloodthirsty gang of militant murderers in Civ V, but I do enjoy building and deploying armies now. If that leads to the occasional destruction of an entire way of life, so be it. For a game in such a long-running series to alter my playstyle so dramatically is quite impressive and I do love Civ V but I also accept its faults. It giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other. And then there’s another hand stuffed full of DLC. I’ve mostly ignored that one because of its uncanny nature.

Here’s three of the things I loved: hexes, the removal of unit stacking and policies. Hexes because they feel more natural and contribute to the beauty of the maps, the unit stacking for the reasons mentioned above, and policies because they lent an RPG-like personality to my civ. Yes, they may just be toggles to adjust numbers but, stripped down, everything is.

Here’s three things I didn’t like. The AI, the computer opponents and the AI. The perceptive among you will notice what I’ve done there. I’ve effectively repeated the same thing three times. It’s very clever. Twice I actually used the exact same term. Read it again if you don’t believe me.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say, as many have, that the AI is broken. I’ve played many games to completion and even though dominance is often far easier than I’d like my main problem is that games tend to play out the same way over and over again. There’s not enough unpredictability and sometimes the AI doesn’t seem to understand all the rules it’s playing with. Other times there’s a distinct impression that it doesn’t actually want to win, or perhaps no one told it how.

Thankfully, the modding scene for Civ V has become something rather special. It’s at the point where I can keep all the things I love and see massive improvements in the things I didn’t like. That doesn’t just mean turning Civ V into Civ IV. It was already possible to do that by uninstalling Civ V and reinstalling Civ IV. I’d even argue that the games played so differently, it was worth having them both installed. My favourite Civ V mods are the ones that expand on what was unique and worthwhile in the game. The things that make it different to its predecessors.

It would be bold and incorrect to say that Civilisation NiGHTS eliminates all the problems with the AI but it does a damn good job. While there are still issues, over an entire game I find opponents to be more unpredictable, more difficult to box in and more believable. That’s a very good thing and tackles my three major complaints but it’s the parts that I didn’t want to change that impress me the most.

I said earlier that I loved policies. Now I adore them. There are seven branches now and over a 100 policies to choose from. Although you have to start from the bottom of each branch, they’re all open and picking one will never lock off another. This means a civilisation can change more dramatically over time, adapting to its new place as the political situation evolves. Crucially, players don’t need to decide which victory type they’re aiming for quite so early on in proceedings. There’s more.

“Each tree unlocks 2-3 Governments at various points, and as you get further down each tree, they unlock special synergy abilities that boost a variety of buildings from the Renaissance Era onwards. This is to ensure that as you progress through the game, buildings in later eras feel powerful compared to their early era counterparts. These bonuses are also listed in the tool-tips for the buildings themselves.”

Not only is that a lot of new stuff but it’s been added with a high degree of polish. The tool-tips are accurate, and the policy screen looks professional while fitting the graphical style of the game. What’s more, whenever DLC or patches are added to the game, Civilisation NiGHTS is made to fit them, not just so that it doesn’t crash but so that anything new that requires tuning is integrated.

I haven’t even touched on the biggest difference, which overhauls the way that Civ V plays completely. That’s the way the mod deals with happiness. In Civ V, citizens generate unhappiness. It’s a view I find myself in agreement with. The more of us there are, the more miserable we become. It’s why I escape the concrete confines of the city whenever the chance presents itself. NiGHTS doesn’t agree with me though. In the mod, citizens actually generate happiness. Expansion and militarisation take it away again. It changes the balance of the game to the extent that you’ll have to relearn a lot of things but it’s all implemented so well, with much much more than I’ve described going on both above and beneath the hood, that the learning process feels natural. At first it’s not quite clear how much has changed but almost everything has.

You can read all the details over at Civ Fanatics, including the installation instructions. If you’ve been frustrated by Civ V, this may be your way back in. And if you’re enjoying the base game already, give this a try and you may well find you never want to go back to vanilla.

It’s not the only big mod for Civ V out there but it’s the one that I’ve stuck with. There was another update a short while ago and, alongside the constant balancing and responses to feedback, there are plans for the implementation of more detail in areas such as the handling of religion.

I shall take this opportunity to remind you once last time that Civ V is 75% off on Steam this weekend.

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89 Comments »

  1. nimzy says:

    I think the most important question is, how do I turn Civ5 into Alpha Centauri?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Purchase Alpha Centauri from GOG, uninstall civ 5, install SMAC and enjoy!

    • Lugg says:

      Isn’t there an Alpha Centauri mod as well? I’m pretty sure I saw one somewhere out there in the vast nothingness of space, somewhere far away in space and time, gleaming upwards at the stars in the obsidian sky.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      Was that the mod where you were marooned on a small island in an endless sea, confined to a tiny spit of sand, unable to escape?

    • CMaster says:

      No mod can ever turn the other Civs into SMAC. Too much of what made SMAC special requires dedicated systems.

    • Kryopsis says:

      But tonight, it’s heavy stuff.

    • Thelordofpi says:

      Is this base really strung-up?

    • vitalyb says:

      Actually. I tried Alpha Centauri just a few weeks ago and it is still as great as I remember it.

      There a few issues however:
      1) It was quite complex to install on Windows 7 (64bit) required various official and unofficial updates.
      2) I truly missed the inability to stack units. Stacks of doom are just so annoying!
      3) After a long and especially intensive game, Alpha Centauri crashed and it would continue crashing every time on that turn. From what I read there is some memory corruption that happens with Alpha Centauri after X number of turns. That REALLY bummed me.

      I was just thinking about trying Civ 4 or 5 and seeing this post, I guess I will give 5 another go.

    • CMaster says:

      Stacks of doom aren’t anything like as effective in SMAC as in CivIV. Attacking a stack gives you pretty huge collateral damage. 2-3 successful attacks will normally wipe the stack. It still isn’t a great combat system, but not as stupid as Civ IV’s.

    • Lykurgos says:

      @ Lugg, yes, there is a mod for Civ IV named Planetfall that is somewhat close to being an Alpha Centauri.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      @vitalyb – yeah I know, but that’s why I bought the GOG version – they’ve done all the hard work for you and it’s just a regular install. Works perfectly on my 64bit win 7 system, worth every penny in saved hours of trial and error and late game crashes.

      Can’t prevent stacking though!

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Yeah, I’ve been enjoying the SMAC from GOG in small doses, and it works fine for me on win 7 64 bit. Been holding off to see if the expansion is released before really tearing back into it.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Yeah, I heard that it’s a matter of time before Alien Crossfire comes out and there’s a very good chance it will be sold combined with SMAC, as half the files are already in the game we bought and if that happens GOG will give it to us as a patch

    • LionsPhil says:

      I suspect you’d never get the terrain system in. That’d be a huge change for a mod.

      Unit designing may be another sticking point.

    • Daniel Klein says:

      Obligatory SMAC mod:

      http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=395463

      It’s not entirely there yet, but remember: Firaxis has still not released the SDK. There’s a lot to come in modding Civ5.

    • TheXand says:

      There’s a brilliant mod for Civ IV called Planetfall that recreates Alpha Centauri in a more palatable game engine.

  2. jalf says:

    No, the most important question is, how is this related to the real NiGHTS game?

  3. Sheng-ji says:

    Have they solved the “Can’t load a saved game” bug yet? Because that was quite literally the game breaker for me.

    • Lack26 says:

      Saving using the Steam Cloud setting seems to work for most, it’s certainly the only way I can load my save games. I don’t really know why such a major bug continually recurs (despite every other patch seeming to claim to solve it).

    • Sheng-ji says:

      I was pretty sure I had tried this, but I’ll definitely give it another go!

  4. Xercies says:

    Damn Why do you tempt me with these things, I absolutly hated Civ 4 because of the really dull stack combat and loved the thought of Civ V but was wary of all the negative things that people said. This Mod shows me that they maybe have improved, the sale is cheap enough. No Money Though :(

  5. DavidHewlett says:

    You’re all wrong, the absolutely, positively, undeniably most important question is without a doubt:

    Have they fixed the 5 minute turns on Huge maps?

    • Maktaka says:

      Turn times were dramatically improved in one of the patches that came out in the spring.

  6. Abundant_Suede says:

    I wish I could chalk up the deficient A.I. as being the only reason Civ 5 didn’t jive with me after my long love affair with the series, but really, that was just the stake through the heart. There were just too many things across the board that suffered from The Dumbening, in my humble opinion, and from this article alone, the mod doesn’t sound like it’s worked any great miracles that would change my mind.

    Appreciate the heads up, though.

    [P.S] Your Crusader Kings reference did inspire me to reinstall that game, though!

    • phobic says:

      Dumbening? How ironic.

    • FiveO says:

      Indeed. Everyone knows it’s spelled ‘endumbening.’

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      The Dumbening is the great blight of our time. Not to be confused with Dumbification, Dumbsizing, Dumbitis, or El Diumblo.

  7. Theory says:

    Now I’ve only gone and bought it. :(

    Edit: I really hate it when modders make one fansite the exclusive download source for their work. It reduces exposure, it results in popularity making the whole mod inaccessible, and many such sites demand registration before you can download. Use ModDB as well!

    Edit 2: Turns out there is a mod browser and downloader built right into the main menu! Awesome!

    • Cerzi says:

      To be fair CivFanatics is *the* fansite for all things civ, it’s not like it’s just “a fansite”.

    • Goncyn says:

      Did anyone manage to download version 10? civfanatics is completely down right now, and I want the new version :(

  8. Xiyng says:

    Sorry, -75% off is still not enough when the game’s full price is 50€ a year after its release, especially if the game is somewhat broken.

    • Puppetmast0r says:

      Came here to post this.

      It’s easy to go “75% OFF!!!” if you still dramatically overvalue your game the other 51 weeks of the year.

    • zbeeblebrox says:

      Still…ten bucks. I’ve been crappier games for more.

    • Tams80 says:

      £9.49 on Amazon. For that you get the boxed copy and if you have an internet cap, don’t waste part of your limit. The price probably won’t change by Monday either.

      This is why I almost never by from DD sites anymore. Damn Steam for playing to my laziness and absent mindedness!

      Tip: with sales always check sites that sell retail copies before buying. They’re usually cheaper.

    • Baka says:

      7,50£ are NOT 12,50€.
      Yes, it’s cheap, but I am too annoyed to buy it now.

    • sebmojo says:

      $20 in New Zealand even on sale, durnit. At that price, having tried the demo and with all the net grumbling in mind, nope.

      The Firaxians really really must hate us – you can’t get Civ Rev for iOS, either. No reason, it’s just not there.

    • Xiyng says:

      @Tams80: Yeah, £9,49 + VAT (23% in Finland) (last time I ordered, I think the prices didn’t include VAT) + postage (last I checked, it was about £4 to Finland). That’ll be some £15.50 so not OK… But I agree, retail is still often a lot cheaper.

    • Tams80 says:

      @ Xiyng

      Yeah, sorry it is cheaper on Steam, but:

      You have to use Steam. DRM is DRM (assuming the retail version doesn’t have DRM).
      You get a physical copy, which matters to some people (guess who).
      I was talking about the UK price; sorry if I didn’t make that clear. Plus it probably won’t be £7.50 equivalent in Finland anyway, what with the stupid EU Steam prices.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      I’m not sure about other versions, but at least in North America, the retail copy is Steamworks enabled, so you end up using Steam either way.

  9. Jumwa says:

    Hmm, interesting. Though seeing our games crawl so much and slow down later in the game for our beefy PCs with online has really turned my partner and I off the game more than anything.

    All the same, might as well give it a shot, I suppose. The game as is gets little play from me, even despite my love for all the new additions they’ve made.

  10. MrWolf says:

    What is this “Civilisation” game of which you speak?

  11. vodkarn says:

    “Civilisation V was the first game in the series to really make the military appealing to me.”

    Well you’re in luck because I’ll be damned if I can win any other way.

    • Archonsod says:

      I’ve only ever managed a conquest once. Tech or culture/policy victories on the other hand …

  12. Undermind_Mike says:

    The mod I always wanted for Civ (this would work better in unmodded 4 than 5) was a mode for single-player where your success would be quantified by your INFLUENCE on the world.

    No country in today’s world can ever win a “domination” victory, but what many of them try to do through military action, diplomacy, economics etc. is to spread their values around the world.

    For example: if you believe the reasons they gave, the US has invaded / fought in various countries in the last 10 years to (amongst other things) spread “democracy.”

    So you could play a campaign where your goal was to make the world as democratic as possible (through any means you deemed justifiable!)

    The same could apply for “as environmentally sustainable”, “as peaceful” or even simpler just “as happy” as possible.

    I know Civ is designed to be playable as a competitive game where someone wins, but I play it as a simulation, and I’d enjoy the above option much more. I feel like that is what leaders and governments do today with their foreign policy, and it would provide a way to play the game that wasn’t either “win through war” or “win through a fairly-to-very arbitrary definition of ‘win’ included for the sake of making it a competitive multiplayer game”

    • LionsPhil says:

      Civ IV’s culture victory is pretty much that. Pile everything you can into getting three cities up to Legendary status. Doing so requires a robust economy.

      It’d perhaps fit a little better if it also depending on spreading things to other countries, like religion and corporations, but those mechanics do at least generate revenue and peace, important lubrication for the gears of art.

    • megalomania says:

      That sounds a bit like the unique historical victories in Rhye’s and Fall of Civilization.

    • Napalm Sushi says:

      I’d love a game like this myself, but I don’t really see Civ as the most suitable basis for it. Civ is, and always has been, unapologetically “gamey”, the historical facade being entirely aesthetic. To name just a few of its concessions:

      >All of the nations (and rulers) present in the modern age will have endured since the Neolithic.
      >Balkanisation is completely unknown.
      >Private enterprise is non-existant with nothing being done unless sanctioned by the supreme ruler himself.
      >A sprawling bronze age civ can directly border a sprawling industrial one without any technological cross-pollination taking place.
      >The United States starts the game as stone age nomads.

      A historical simulation it really ain’t. What you’re describing actually sounds more like Fate Of The World, with a historical rather than speculative bent, over a longer timescale and with well defined factions.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      There was an amazing mod for civ 4 where if you suffered too much unhappines for too long, your civ could erupt into civil war – often it was the other leader for your civ but also it could be a similar culture (by which I mean the Koreans could spawn chinese rebels, but couldn’t spawn english, unless all their named rebels were already in game. You could start the game with 8 players and end it with two versions of every civ.

      Also barbs could settle and form a new civ after time and oversea’s colonies could be granted some measure of independence, so they became a new civ, but capitulated to you.

      I could never play civ 4 without that mod, that was how dynamic and dare I say “realistic” they made the game (You could choose to support the rebels and rise up against the civ you yourself have built too, so you could choose to be the chinese rebels, capture loads of Korea, who you started the game as and effectively have switched civs.

      I used to start the game with 4 or 5 of the really ancient civs and watch the modern world unfold!

      EDIT: I’m 99% sure it was this http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=171127

    • LionsPhil says:

      Beyond the Sword (the last official Civ4 expansion) really, uh, “meddled with” overseas (as defined by capital location) colonies such that they got unhappy and started demanding independence, at which point you could split into a civil war or have them become some kind of vassal-like quasi-independent arrangement. I’ve not had it happen to me, just seen the AI suffer from it, so don’t know how well it works. BtS rules are kind of…iffy.

    • Baka says:

      The supermod “Rise of Mankind” had insane behaviour in that regard. If you didn’t place your second city right next to your first one, they declared independence and got gifted six of the most advanced units plus General.
      That was… fun.

  13. nuh uh no way says:

    the mod i play: Thal’s Civ V Unofficial Patch & Extended Vanilla

    Balances the hell out of things and fixes up the AI. It’s the only way I play. Never heard of NiGHTS but now I’ll have to check it out!

  14. Stamford says:

    1 Year on and Multiplayer is still utterly unplayable. I wouldnt recommend this game even at 75% off.

    • madAzrael says:

      It is indeed impossible to play any mod or custom map in multiplayer. What a shame!

      I played some multiplayer matches with friends and … well it works :p
      The lobby was totally broken, but last patch fixed that at least a bit. You can now change Gamesettings after creating the game and the sync-errors are gone, and you can set the number of AI (well there is still a maximum dependend on mapsize)
      I have to repeat that: You could not change any setting once the game(lobby) was created. Forgot to enable an option? want to play a bigger/smaller map? Go back to main menu and create a new one! Not all players ready? Not true, all confirm they clicked ready and have green bars.,But the host cannot start the game. … The list of issues was long but some things are fixed now.

      I only play with friends while being on teamspeak. The voicechat is nearly the most fun. I dont recommend paying versus silent strangers on the web ;)

      hf

    • The Colonel says:

      YOU CAN’T PLAY MULTIPLAYER WITH MODS!? WTF!!!!? This is a disgrace. I’ve spent 15 minutes trawling the net to find out how you enable NiGHTS in MP!!!

    • Vinraith says:

      No mods in MP. Wow, there goes my anticipated bargain-bin purchase, then. I’m so glad I never picked this one up.

    • Daniel Klein says:

      You cannot play MP with mods, and you are forced to play MP with simultaneous turns on; this means whoever clicks faster and whoever’s PC recovers most quickly from end-of-turn has an advantage in war as they can choose which battles to fight as attacker or defender. This is retarded, if you will forgive my Internet-language. Civ4 had sim-turns as an option (and they were fun for coop vs AI or for less serious games), but you cannot possibly play competitive multiplayer with sim turns. And yet, still no option to turn them off for Civ5. This makes me very sad.

    • DrazharLn says:

      I was going to buy before finding this out. Another lost purchase there, Firaxis.

  15. shagen454 says:

    I agree. Nothing else matters unless we get an Alpha Centauri with Reynolds at the helm.

    • shagen454 says:

      I’d like to repeat that no other game would matter besides this game. Diablo 3 could lick my balls, Skyrim could lick my balls, Looking Glass Tech could get back together & make their survival/stealth/simulation of future society that has been unparalleled until it was made, Black Isle could reform and make Planescape 2 with an even better story & graphics – those games can lick my balls as well. All in favor of Alpha Centauri Relaunch. Fuck Civ.

    • LionsPhil says:

      What if Looking Glass got back together and joined Reynolds in making genre-defying Centauri Shock, eh? What then, when the Self-Aware Colony has started installing man-machine interfaces in the d-d-drrrooones under the pretense of fighting off the hordes of shambling colonists with mindworms hanging from their scalps, pleading for you to kill them?

      Charging from sensor post to sensor post in your recon rover, trying to get to UN Headquarters in the hope you can convince Lal to build a planet buster before it’s too late to stop her by showing him how to reallocate his formers to solve his food crisis?

  16. MythArcana says:

    “Civilisation” V? Stripped it down? Isn’t that what they did with IV and how we ended up with Civ V in the first place? : P

    • LionsPhil says:

      I believe IV has more gameplay complexity than III, although I admit to loathing the latter so much that I barely played it. It’s a success story of “streamlining” the UI actually being UI improvement, rather than cutting gameplay depth.

    • Bhazor says:

      Civ is definitely streamlining done right. Each game adds complexity (adding culture, completely reworking maintanence) and breadth (adding units/techs) yet each game is easier to actually play with reworked UI and in game tutoring. Up until Civ 3 (yes that includes the sainted AC) you could basically win by just spamming settlers and setting your hundreds of cities to research.

  17. KingJason13 says:

    I can’t believe anyone can stand Civ 5! Period.

  18. Severian says:

    Thank you for updating us on this mod. I personally really enjoy Civ V and have played over 120 hours of it already. Each successive patch has seemed to improve gameplay noticeably. However, I always keep an eye on the modding scene just in case something incredible comes up.

    My issue with Civ mods has always been: can the AI use the NEW rules that the modder has created? I mean, the AI already has trouble playing the game that the developers made for it – and now we’re gonna change things up even more? Can the AI really take advantage of the new depth of options in Civ NIGHTS?

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  20. wu wei says:

    (reply fail)

  21. Bhazor says:

    I’m still waiting for the unofficial Fall From Heaven 3 mod. Partly because it would officially be an unofficial tribute of a sequel of a mod to a sequel on a sequel.

    That pleases me.

  22. Daniel Klein says:

    I’d like to quickly mention that Firaxis have not yet released the SDK that will allow you to do C-level changes to the game (as they have for Civ IV and announced they will again for 5). All this is just incredibly clever modders sticking things to the chassis. Wait until they get to muck around in the engine.

    (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?)

    And yes, NiGHTS is amazing.

  23. Olivaw says:

    Here’s my big problem with Civ V: diplomacy does not exist.

    Diplomacy in Civ V is either a) retaking conquered capitals and giving them back to their civ, or b) paying off city-states with gold to vote for you. Now maybe you could make the joke that “ha ha this is how diplomacy works in the real world too!” Well that’s dumb. I don’t want my Civilization games reflecting real world history and events! That ain’t what these games are about!

    I mean, the simple fact that there is no long-term alliance with another civ in Civ V, because all the civs know that they are in a game and the object is to win, is absurd to me. There are no “joint victories” in Civ V, so the AI will always turn on you. ALWAYS. Which renders diplomacy into a simple short-term activity that has no real meaning, and the “diplomatic victory” into a goddamn joke.

    This as opposed to Civ IV, where the AI was unaware it was a game, and would eventually become so friendly with you that you would have to actively work to make them angry. I LOVED this. I wanted to be the guy who got everyone to get along, and anyone who made trouble would face our combined might. I wanted to be a uniter, not a divide and conquerer!

    I can’t do that in Civ V, and for all my searching I’ve yet to find a mod that makes the AI into something I’m more comfortable with. I don’t want them to not try to win, I just want them to not see me as a constant enemy.

    • Jnx says:

      Now that you said it, yes, this is a “killer” for me too. I like to take a diplomatic, war avoiding, route after all. Nevertheless I liked what Civ5 did with the franchise but it was a bit of a mess on release. All this talk about it though makes me want to go back about right now. Maybe try the mods too.

    • The Colonel says:

      They desperately need an antidote to the sudden declarations of war without ANY kind of precursor. There’s not even an advisor message saying “Scouts report that Oda Nobunaga [Let's face it, it's always that fucker] is increasing his military activities and may be seeking to start expanding his empire”. If this popped up 25 turns or so before war was declared you’d have a chance to get ready (of course running the risk that you’d plough all your resources into defence only to find that Oda had changed his mind and you were now lagging behind in culture and research). At least CivIV had a reasonably long list of grievances and appelations which gave you a clue as to how others feel about you.

  24. Atrak says:

    Damn i hate Steam pricing.

    $1 AUS dollar is currently equal to $1.04 US

    Civ 5 in the US is $12.50

    Civ 5 in AUS is $20.

    grrrr

    even more amusing is that yesterday when i first checked on the sale, civ 5 was $15 however jumped to $20 when I checked an hour later.

    yay steam, or is it.. yay Australia, one of the many countries still shafted by pricing in this ‘borderless’ digital world.

  25. mjig says:

    The thing I dislike most about Civ5 is the culture.

    I loved watching my cities slowly consume the kingdom of my neighbor without even firing a shot.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Oh yes, this – and I loved how your map in civ 4 divided itself into regions which actually looked like countries with no real stretches of no-mans-land, unlike the snaky isolated blobs you end up with in civ 5. I know humans claiming every scrap of land is a relatively modern phenomenon and civ 5 is probably a bit more “realistic” but it’s far less satisfying.

  26. Vexing Vision says:

    I didn’t have issues with the tech tree. Or the happiness. Or the diplomacy, even.

    My gripe with Civ 5, why I only played four games and have no interest at all to return is the Tech Tree.

    The policies you describe seem to go out of their way to make the civilizations more unique again, but the dumbed down tech tree where every civ ends up knowing everything before halfway through the game really killed it for me.

    Any mods out there for THAT?

    • Yosharian says:

      What.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      There are a couple of tech stagnation type mods – I wrote my own, as I didn’t like their solutions – just ask if you want me to explain it, it’s quite simple but not available to download anywhere – mainly because I can’t play the game thanks to the stupid bugs and I lost interest in developing a mod for a game I can’t play.

  27. loGi says:

    The big question is: Does it do anything to fix the multiplayer?

    • Daniel Klein says:

      Since you cannot play mods in multiplayer, the answer is sadly no.

  28. hjarg says:

    Ehhh, sod it, Take Two. Civ V is just not allowed in my region.

  29. pazmacats says:

    advertisment doesn’t bring a corpse back to life.

  30. roy7 says:

    I went ahead and got Civ 5 during the sale. I’ve played a lot of Civ 4. So my question is, should I install NiGHTS and not even bother with the basic game right from the start?

  31. mbnlin says:

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