Wot I Think: Civ V – Gods And Kings

By Adam Smith on June 18th, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

It was only midway through the proposal to his patrons that he realised he'd forgotten to put his trousers on that morning.

Civilization V makes people angry. I’ve seen it first hand; perusing the shelves of a local boardgame emporium I was moved to express an opinion about hexes and how much I enjoyed their use in the game. Upwards of twenty furious men immediately formed a stack of doom and pummelled me into submission. “But perhaps the Gods and Kings expansion will make the game more like Civ IV?” one of them asided to his neighbour even as they afflicted my face with blows. “It won’t!” cried future-me from another dimension, at which point my assailants redoubled their efforts to maim me. Thanks future-me. Here’s wot he thinks.

I’ve never actually been physically assaulted for enjoying Civ V but the internet has told me how stupid, ignorant and irresponsible I am on many occasions. Yes, irresponsible, because liking this iteration of the series apparently encourages dumbing down. I’m rewarding their failures, it seems, like bestowing a meaty treat on a dog that has just dumped a pile of compost on grandma’s favourite rug. That thing really tied the parlour together.

The thing is, despite a host of problems, I’ve spent a great deal of time with Civ V, the majority of which I’ve greatly enjoyed. It’s not Civ IV, which is fine because Civ IV still exists, but nor is it Civ IV + 1, which the V does suggest if that’s the way you choose to read it. Beyond the Sword, the spiffiest expansion pack of all, was Civ IV + 1 though. Rather than that, Civ V is a new take on the model of map-conquering, settler-spawning, race-to-the-finish strategy that the series has been since its inception.

I’ll move on to the expansion in a moment, but here’s a quick summary of what I do and don’t like about the base game. It’s important to know this because whether or not Gods and Kings is for you will depend largely on whether Civ V was for you or not. Despite all the missionaries in the world being added, there’s nothing here that’s going to win over non-believers.

Here we are then. I like, no love, the hexes and the removal of unit stacking. It makes it hard to go back to any of the previous games because it was always the thing that broke me in the end, the pressure to keep a pile of armies ready for any contingency, an entire nation’s inability to mobilise a force of sufficient size to defend itself without an enormous window of time. Civ V makes moving armies more tactical, increasing the importance of terrain and positioning, and allows the construction and demeanour of a military to be much more flexible.

So that was good.

Then it did a lot of things not quite so well, most notably, from my point of view at least, diplomacy, AI and a tech tree that funnels into linear progression too soon in every era. There has been hope that the re-emergence of religion and espionage will change the game significantly, bringing back some of Civ IV’s complexity, but that isn’t the case. Gods and Kings is more Civ V with additions and tweaks along the lines already drawn rather than bold new directions.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, although if you were waiting for the game to be salvaged this will do nothing to change your mind and is more likely to make you think it’s unsalvageable. Religion is similar to the culture mechanic, although this time around the policies are global, so once a belief has been selected by one player it’s gone for good. While that means civs that want to build their strength through faith have to specialise more, it’s problematic because my time with the expansion suggests the advantages of a strong religion are nowhere near as effective as focusing on science, culture or the amassing of gigantic armies.

There are only a handful of buffs available, selected from a large pool, for even the most pious of peoples and they are often geographically appropriate rather than mood-changing. What that means is you’ll end up worshipping stone circles if you have plenty of quarries in the vicinity of your capital because it provides an advantage, rather than opting for human sacrifice because it fits with the character of your God-Emperor or allows you to radically alter your strategy. Religion makes you better at what you already are rather than allowing you to become something else entirely.

There is a restrained return to the glorious cultural takeover with religion, although it’s a little undercooked. Every city has a number of followers, at first of a civ’s chosen pantheon and later of the religion they found (of which a limited number in each game, so late developers must go without). The city only gains the advantages of a religion’s belief system, which expand as faith grows, if a majority of the population are believers and those believers exert pressure on nearby cities, pushing their faith on them.

Win over enough believers in a City State or enemy civ’s city and you’ll inflict your selected follower belief on them, which detracts from their productivity or protection in some way. There are missionaries to drop faith-bombs for immediate influence and inquisitors to defend against the blighters, but only time will tell if this is game changing or not. My feeling is that unless you opt for one of the new faith-focused civilisations, like the rather splendid Celts who gain faith from every nearby forest tile, it’ll be hard to benefit greatly from liturgical larceny of this sort.

The other much-touted addition is espionage, which aims to complicate diplomacy and allows for the stealing of tech. Unfortunately, again, it’s not as massive an addition as I’d hoped. Reach the Renaissance and you receive a spy and accrue a few more as time progresses. They’re not actual units, existing only in menus, and when they’re attached to a city they gather information about the civilization it belongs to. Eventually they’ll tell you whether there’s any advanced knowledge worth stealing and if so you can set the to do that. If not they can either move on to a new job or stick around and try to steal state secrets, which means they work out a nation’s intent – say, England is planning to invade Greece – and that knowledge can then be used to turn leaders against one another.

That would be fun except I still struggle to work out the intent of the AI, if indeed it has any beyond “let’s repeatedly and inexplicably tell everyone that Adam is a bastard”. To be fair I’ve just won a great victory, helped by the whole world falling in line and singing my praises, but I’m not quite sure why they did. I was powerful, intimidating and had brutally conquered every City State on my starting continent, but this time around no one seemed to care. They thought I was great.

City States, one of my favourite additions to the Civ formula, have been fleshed out a fair bit. They can be intimidated now, simply by being massively more advanced and well-armed than them or by surrounding them with men holding large swords and whistling nonchalantly. Once they fear you, why not demand some tribute? It’ll make them hate you but it’s tribute, for crying out loud, it’s exactly what you deserve! If another civ has pledged to protect them things become problematic and you can also defend your favourite states by letting the world know they’ll have to go through you to pick on them. There are new types too: mercantile states make folk happy by providing luxury goods and religious fellows boost faith.

But if the expansion doesn’t dramatically increase complexity then what is it for? It’s for improved AI, although it’d take weeks to see just how much improved. In terms of handling the hexes it seems better than my memories of the base game, although diplomacy is still problematic. The expansion is also for new stuff, of which there’s a fairly large smattering, including buildings, wonders, units, resources and civs. Some of it isn’t directly related to religion or espionage either, so as well as police stations that help to sniff out spies there are bomb shelters to protect against nuclear attack.

There’s something else though. I think Gods and Kings zeroes in on one of the fundamental changes that Civ V made, which is that rather than being a game of development that leaned toward aspects of a simulated world, as exemplified in the ten-year game, Civ V is more board-like, focused on specialisation and domination. The existence of religion pushes each civilisation more rapidly toward a concentrated regime, with faith acting as both a currency for purchasing religious buildings and a tally of points toward over-arching improvement.

More than ever, with Gods and Kings I felt like I was reliant on the seed of a map, my location and the unique qualities of my people combining to set my path for the next six thousand years or so. The former assertion put me in mind of Guns, Germs and Steel, providing a sort of theoretical backbone to the game, but also made me fret that my choices and actions, if I wanted to succeed, were more predetermined than previously. The way that religious expansion is more viable in the early game, becoming more expensive as enlightenment creeps across the globe, is just one example of the way that methods and goals shift with the passing of eras, dissecting the structure into a more recognisable series of phases: the phase of expansion, the phase of conflict (religious and military), the phase of espionage and diplomacy, the phase of consolidation.

Gods and Kings has required me to spend a great deal of time playing Civ V in the past few days. It’s also made me remember how much I enjoy the game, although not without also drawing my mind more to its differences from previous entries and its flaws. As an expansion it delivers lots of content but doesn’t have the killer addition that elevates the game beyond its base. It also suggests that Firaxis are well aware that their game is not and never will be equivalent to Civ IV because they’ve made it a moderately better version of what it already was rather than what so many people hoped it could become.

Gods and Kings is out tomorrow in the US but must await the advent of navigation to cross oceans and reach international shores on the 22nd.

, , , , , .

191 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. Yargh says:

    My name is Yargh and I liked Civ V’s hexes and non-stacked armies. (bursts into tears and rushes out)

    • Premium User Badge

      c-Row says:

      Hello Yargh.

      *pats back*

    • Batolemaeus says:

      I actually think this is what people can/should mostly agree on. Hexes are the way forward and 1upt is preferable. The problem is how CIV V completely botched the AI.

      • Docslapper says:

        agree. I played a game over the weekend and ended up just completely ignoring diplomacy (again) after my first attempt to create an ally resulting in them attacking me out of the blue for no reason. The rest of the game is fine, and the non-stacking means those mountain passes become really important

        • Premium User Badge

          Big Murray says:

          I think that really was the main issue … that loyalty meant nothing to the AI. At some point, no matter how chummy and friendly you’ve been, they’re most likely going to attack you. If they sense weakness, anyway.

      • MordeaniisChaos says:

        When was the AI ever all that good though? If you want intelligent civs, play with people. It’s what I do.

        • Highstorm says:

          I’ve been trying to do this since the patch, but we start experiencing intermittent disconnects around turn 35-50. Then between 80-100, it’s disconnecting every turn and, thus, unplayable.

          Tried 3 games now, same thing every time.

          • Memph says:

            I was having such an issue, but it seems to be fixed now. Currently on turn 350ish of a 3p game and can load and resume fine.

    • Neurotic says:

      I agree m8, I agree. And really, why should there be any shame in it? Civ V has been, for me, every bit as enjoyable as all the previous Civs, and I’ve played all of them (including the CTPs) on several different formats. So :P to all de haters.

      • MFToast says:

        It seems like a lot of the people who are foaming at the mouth have based their whole opinion of it on two games they played right at release. It wasn’t “Civilization IV 2″, so they threw a fit and haven’t stopped since.

    • Machinations says:

      I liked one unit per tile and hexes as well; the series probably should have moved in that direction long ago.

      However, they did everything else wrong. Do they have animations in multiplayer yet? I remember actually being shocked – and it takes a good bit to shock me – that a game released in 2010 doesn’t have animations in multiplayer. Quality development, that.

      Anyway, I primarily made this post to point out Firaxis are insane for asking 30$ for this. INSANE.

      Also, for those saying not having to manage boats is a good thing – we are playing a strategy game, perhaps one of the most recognizable strategy franchises in the history of PC gaming. I fail to understand how dumbing the game down to the point that a tank just becomes a transport vessel when it touches water is a good thing. There is no need for a navy in many circumstances as a result; I am trying to imagine EU3 or any previous Civ iteration including SMAC without transport vessels.

      Basically it comes down to two camps; those who see simplifcation and the removal of complexity as good things, and old grognards like myself who want to *think* not just fling a bunch of units around a map against a incompetent AI.

      Firaxis can appeal to one of the other but not both. Maybe they should go for a Zynga business model, like ‘SimCity’ – the latest trailer made me laugh seeing the greaseball project manager throwing buzzwords around while showing off a tech demo of the Farmvill-I mean Sim City sequel.

      • The Godzilla Hunter says:

        While animations should be included in multiplayer, anyone that actually uses animations in multiplayer is a jerk that makes everyone else wait on them.

        • x1501 says:

          Yes, the ability to observe unit movements—especially when you’re playing the game co-op with one or two of your closest friends or family members—is what makes the multiplayer absolutely unbearable. I wonder, what’s the going excuse about the lack of mod support in multiplayer? Multiplayer mods would ruin the original vision for the game?

          • BadgerAttackSquad says:

            This^ I really don’t get the lack of mod support for MP. I play the game almost exclusively with my brother and we both generally prefer the game modified. (There were some really fun MP mods in Civ IV)

        • Memph says:

          They are. The host just has to enable them in the options. However, the downside is that it yanks the camera over to the action whenever someone attacks something, which can lead to misclicks if you’re in the middle of directing units.

      • Flamekin42 says:

        Just a quick note here – without army stacking, putting several armies on one vessel would be quite a pain while transporting them one at a time is just silly.

      • Arclight says:

        Actually, they do have animation in MP now.

        • Highstorm says:

          Unfortunately they split the toggle options into “Disable Movement” and “Disable Combat” animations. Civ IV had it split to disable Attacking or Defending animations independently of each other. This was best because you could disable Attacks to speed up your turn, but leave Defending animations on so that you would have time to see what happened to your units, when they were engaged outside of your control.

          Of course, happy as I am that animations are finally working, now the game isn’t even playable in MP for me, as stated above. Is anyone else having issues keeping connected?

    • Bhazor says:

      Did *any* Civ fan actually complain about the hexes or getting rid of the Stacks of Doom?
      Because I honestly didn’t see anyone complaining about it.

      • x1501 says:

        There were numerous 1UPT criticisms, but they were linked to actual gameplay problems, like, say, the infamous Carpet of Doom phenomenon pictured here:

        http://img251.imageshack.us/img251/2976/carpetofdoom.jpg

        • Batolemaeus says:

          Oh, yes, that thingy.

          The AI does apparently not need to do upkeep realistically. In long games, especially for isolated Civs, you can see their gpt go down into the negatives after a while because they don’t stop building. Eventually their continent will be completely full of useless units.

          Other civs aren’t coded for peace it seems. The concept is entirely alien to the AI.

        • Maniacal says:

          Civ really needs to do away with individual units covering the map and just let you build actual armies. I absolutely hated the stacks of doom in Civ4 (one of a number of major flaws and annoyances I had with it) but how spread out your armies are in Civ5 isn’t much better.

        • d34thm0nk3y says:

          In what situation does that carpet of doom happen because I’ve never seen that many units :S

      • Premium User Badge

        Thermal Ions says:

        It must have happened, probably that morning I slept in for an extra hour, or else all those gaming journalists / bloggers forecasting the revolution led by Civ fans would have been wrong.

      • Kresh says:

        Just because you didn’t see it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I like the hexes and didn’t like the removal of unit stacking.

        I didn’t “complain” because I wanted to judge the game on it’s merits and not how I thought the game should be like it’s predecessor. My conclusion; they’ve made a board game out of the Civilization series and put it on the PC. They over-simplified the game and shackled the AI with less behavioral memory than a goldfish. They took away the tensions caused by different religion. They took away my grand wars. They took away culture as more than a border. It was a different game and it wasn’t my cup of tea.

        So I went back to Civ 4 and didn’t complain. Because it wasn’t going to change anything. So, I’ll wait until Civ 6 comes out to see if they make a game that will pull me away from Civ 4. Until then, they don’t get any more of my money.

        I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who thinks this way.

        • Strangerator says:

          You’re not the only one my friend. My problem with Civ V was that the military aspects seemed to have taken center stage, and I didn’t like the “feel” of that change. Starting up Civ IV you are treated to an Emmy winning song that inspires actual hope and wonderment. Civ V just plops down the menu screen with bland music and proceeds to make you feel like the course of history was a series of tepid wars. Civ V just has this flat feel about it.

          Absolutely hated the hex + no unit stacks. It’s a problem of scale, and the fact that you have to cover a whole continent with units if you want an “army”. So the game visually looked more like a wargame, and also played more like a wargame.

          I do LIKE wargames, and I thought Warlock: Master of the Arcane has properly used the Panzer General style hex maps. Totally inappropriate for Civ in my opinion.

          Also, just for parity, if you like Civ V you are a bad person. :P

          (Or, it is possible you just like different types of games, but I don’t feel that is an internet appropriate comment)

          • zaprowsdower says:

            These are the exact problems that I have with Civ V. The only feasible and worthwhile option in this game is through military victory and intimidation. Especially when the bipolar AI is constantly building up a military (the AI doesn’t seem to be encumbered by the gold economy) and harassing you for no apparent reason. I’ve tried working towards a cultural or scientific victory but it just ends up becoming tedious and I’m unable to defend myself. As far as stacking, they should made some sort of compromise between the two, such as being able to stack up to five units instead of an unlimited number. Not being able to stack makes the map much too crowded and movement too cumbersome.

      • NukesRus says:

        The A.I. in my game must be edited a bit. I play on Diety, and they do not have carpets of doom in their borders. No where near their borders. They ALL PUT THEM IN MY BORDERS. Lawl it is soo frustrating. It is also a bit funny to see 5 different empire flustering around trying to fit all their unites in my borders. I am currently in a game with 6 different empires (including me) I am allied with them all, and they have not had a single war. Instead, they are trying to suffocate my units with too much company. I miss details a lot, and am very forgetful. “Why not just not let open borders?” My thoughts exactly. Until I realize I had just accepted them for another 25 turns because I forgot x.x

        Btw I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t need a carpet of doom to defend my borders.. During times of peace I have about 5 units. When I am declared war on, I usually have a cash reserve to buy an instant 1-2 units, and I move the rest to my assailant’s army. If you are attacked, you don’t need an army sized enough to conquer the enemy cities, just enough to kill their invading force. Once I get to the nuclear area, they better not have spent their years constantly building troops. Or else they are going to be a little disapointed when 15+ unites are killed with 1 push of a button.

        I have been beaten many times by scientific and diplomatic victory. This is not simply a war game.

    • Arglebargle says:

      The one unit per hex change just doesn’t mesh well with the scale of the maps. Solves one problem, adds another. Fixing the AI to use the new set up would certainly help.

      • Therax says:

        A thousand times this. Trying to do unit-scale tactical movement on a strategic scale map really strains my suspension of disbelief.

        In Civ V, apparently I can’t fix a front with infantry and then flank with cavalry if I’m fighting down a 1-hex wide isthmus. There’s no room, even though that very same hex could hold a city with a population in the millions later in the game.

        The follow-on effects are even stranger when you add units with ranged attacks. In Civ V land, apparently longbowmen standing in London can hit a defender in Paris. Who needs a Battle of Britain when a wooden catapult can send boulders across the Channel?

        Civ V can’t even be consistent with itself in this regard. There’s something seriously wrong when I’m reluctant to upgrade crossbowmen to riflemen, because the crossbowmen have longer range. How big is a hex? 1 mile across? 10? 100? In Civ V, the answer is “it depends,” and that all derives from 1 unit per tile.

        I’ve gone back to Civ IV, using the Rise of Mankind mod to limit stacking to 8 units per tile. The Stack of Doom may be a problem for Civ IV, but going all the way down to 1UPT is by no means the optimal solution.

      • gwathdring says:

        I don’t think scale is the issue. They’re abstractions of large forces, so it’s ok if they’re proportionately big and clunky moving about. The problem of being defenseless without them has been fixed by cities having inherent defense and attack abilities, so now the idea of units as whole armies meshes better with the mechanics.

        • Therax says:

          Civ V doesn’t have “units as whole armies,” if you mean a balanced group capable of acting independently. They are abstractions of large homogenous forces. A Catapult unit is an abstraction of a nearly defenseless siege formation. A Spearman unit is an abstraction of a defensive anti-cavalry formation. Combined arms dictates that you use the latter to defend the latter, but 1 UPT requires that they occupy different physical spaces. That combines with the scale issue; there simply isn’t that much space to go around. If I want my siege “behind” my infantry, the next space “behind” is 100s of miles, by the map’s scale. Similarly with my infantry/cavalry example, if I want them to attack on a common front, that front needs to be at least 2 hexes wide, which is again hundreds of miles because of the scale problem.

          The Total War series and numerous other 4X games use separate scales for strategic and tactical maneuvering to deal with the problem. Every Civ game other than V uses unit stacking, and abstracts away the tactical maneuvering component.

          If Civ V is intent on avoiding stacking, the alternative is to treat every unit as an abstract army with no distinct strengths or weaknesses. Not only would that be bland from a pure combat gameplay perspective, it would also wreak havoc on the relationship between military and technological advancement that’s core to the long term Civ experience. Part of the drama of Civ is when you see the enemy’s new Knight and realize that you have no countering pikes available, and vice versa. If the discovery of Horseback Riding or Iron Working just gave a +1 to all of your indistinguishable armies, that would be lost.

          • Strangerator says:

            The funny thing is, Civ IV already had a solution to “stacks of doom”… it just wasn’t effective enough. Artillery could damage everything on a single tile, maybe the solution is to just make artillery able to take the percentage down a little further? Or perhaps you should give that ability to city defenders or other ranged units?

            Really, as long as you make more things that can damage everything on a tile, you will always have ways to counter the “uber-stack”. I just think combat made more sense when it was more strategic than tactical.

  2. Soulstrider says:

    I really liked Civ V, I admit it is not as good as CiV IV but it has plenty of new great ideas (hexes,city states, 1 unit per tile) , I think it was good they tried to make something new instead of CiV IV 2.0.
    I never understood the rage this title provoked, I at least played Civ’s since III and although V didn’t quite live up to my expectations I still thought it was a great game.

    • neonordnance says:

      I skipped civ iii, as i was going through an awkward teenage “fps phase,” but i played ii and iv avidly, and loved them both. But lets be fair here; civ iv was deep, but there was so much to it that it approached being bloated. Turns take far too long, and there are a huge number of areas that require tweaking every single turn. Stacked units take the fun out of combat, which is disappointing given the great unit variety.

      Yes, civ v removed some of the things i enjoyed about civ iv. But it also brought back the grand game, allowing players to focus on overall strategy without being bogged down in the minutiae. That is an impressive achievement, and it directly reminds me of civ ii.

      So yes, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Civ iv still exists, is still great, and is not going away. But just like civ ii started with a base upon which civ iii and civ iv expanded, i expect the inevitable civ vi and vii to build on civ v. But this time, with hexes, cleaner mechanics and great presentation, that foundation will be stronger.

      Until then, i’m going to play the hell out of civ v. Already bought gods and kings, it’s a no-brainer for me.

      One question though, Adam. Did you get a chance to play the steampunk scenario? Wot do you think? It looks cool.

      • Adam Smith says:

        Didn’t try out the scenarios yet – they’ve never really been a draw for me, but when I’ve tried multiplayer and post about that I’ll put in some thoughts on those as well.

        • neonordnance says:

          Brilliant, thanks for the quick response. I’m in the US so i will post my thoughts after i get to play it tomorrow. Maybe a comment on your followup post?

        • neonordnance says:

          After having played for a few hours, I think you’re absolutely right. This isn’t a sequel; it’s a collection of relatively small additions. It expands the gameplay, and fixes a few problems, but for the most part, the single, fundamental problem of Civ V– that it is just too shallow– does not get fixed.

          To put it simply, this expansion pack is more Brood War than Warpaths campaign. They’re both great expansions, but Brood War only opened up more possibilities within the same ruleset, while Warpaths (from E:TW, in case anyone missed it– it’s fab) forces you to completely re-evaluate your tactics. You’re playing from a totally different perspective, and it’s one that fixes a lot of the problems with the original E:TW campaign.

          I will concur that espionage is disappointing, however I do really enjoy religion. It has a bit more meat on it than I feared, and although the bonuses aren’t that great by themselves, I imagine there is space for some brutal, brutal combos, especially when playing as the Byzantines. The upgrades made to ranged combat is also a very nice addition, and it shows that real thought was put into the base game’s weakness.

          Basically, if you liked Civ V, well worth it. And if you didn’t, well we’re all waiting for Civ VI, aren’t we? Let’s just hope it puts back some of the depth they’ve taken out.

          /essay

  3. IshtarGate says:

    I agree that hexes and no-stacking are invaluable additions to Civ, but what turned me off from Civ V was that the game lacked personality. Diplomacy was blind and unrealistic, AI players played like humans instead of ‘keeping it real’, history-wise. The social policies dictate that your civilization remains fixed in character throughout history – which would imply that France and Russia should still be monarchies and Japan economically isolated.

    The appeal of Civ IV for me was watching a new history unfold and playing a part in it. Civ V, by comparison, is just too ‘gamey’ by that respect.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I agree with it’s lack of personality. Wonders in my mind felt particularly lacking. They didn’t have nearly the fanfare or the cool abilities that they did in Civ 4.

      • LionsPhil says:

        No ending videos, either.

        • Highstorm says:

          Rather disappointing to invest tens of hours into a game, just to get a little screenshot and a brief voice over. Sure it’s about the journey, but at least a little effort could have been made.

  4. AngoraFish says:

    Since I played CivV I can’t go back to IV. Eliminating unit staking could be the single biggest improvement ever in Civ history… that and eliminating the need to load units onto transports. I have over 150 hours invested in CivV and counting. Religion was almost the only thing I miss about IV, but your review nearly leaves me regretting my preorder. Sigh… I guess I’ll have my personal verdict one way or another this weekend. Until then, back to Endless Space!

  5. Hunchback says:

    I tried Civ V, it was uber heavy and crashing, especially for a game of the type it actually is.
    After an hour or so of play it would eat up all my ram. Sad.

    Oh and their money-hunger made it no-hotseat, if i remember well? That was the biggest bullshit one could ever do with a Civ game, which are usually MADE to be played Hotseat. I mean, there’s only one game that can compare to the fun of spending whole days and nights with your friends, drinking beer and eating junkfod and playing the game till you dumb-down and forget what you are actually doing – and that’s Heroes of Might and Magic (3). *sigh*

  6. Commander Gun says:

    The big question for me is:
    Is Multiplayer viable?

    I used to try and play it with a friend, but then we found out that often, the person who clicked the fastest could take another unit before it could move away, effectively making mp Civ V an action game instead of a strategic turn-based game.

    • Adam Smith says:

      Haven’t had a chance at multi yet since it isn’t out but I’ll be giving it a go and hopefully will have some thoughts for you as and when!

  7. aepervius says:

    I really liked civ V at first, but at some point it felt hollow. I can’t exactly put it where, combat was better, hex is better, no stacking is better…. Maybe the tech tree felt being too linear, more like a tech “pole” ? I can’t tell. I still like it better than civ IV.

    *run away from torch and pitchfork*

  8. Tanner says:

    I loved multiplayer Civ V.

    But last time i played it there was a huge problem with fairness and concurent turns.
    It was easy to snatch certain units from the enemy – bypassing most of his defences – by just moving first.

    We had some scenarios where one player lost his generals because of rapid enemy movements that couldn’t be defended against in time. Don’t get me wrong, i love the synchronous turns. But i also don’t want to play a deep strategy focused game where actual mouse actions per minute has such a great impact on the outcome of battle.

    Did they adress any of the synchronous turns issues?

    • Highstorm says:

      While it doesn’t address the problem directly, the option to play combat animations may give you the time to react to someone’s attack and retreat what units you can. At least you shouldn’t lose units off-screen anymore.

  9. Njordsk says:

    Escuse me if I missed something with my poor english reading skill, but has IA been improved?

    Played 200h of CIV V at vanilla and the diplomatic IA pissed me off. Don’t feel like playing the same if this has not been improved.

    “You’re my best friend”
    press next turn
    “THIS IS WAR PREPARE TO BURN IN hELL §”

    • neonordnance says:

      I believe you are asking about the AI, not the IA.

      When’s the last time you played? The various patches firaxis have released have greatly improved the AI, although it’s not quite where it needs to be.

      • Premium User Badge

        Morlock says:

        He probably speaks a romance language.

      • Njordsk says:

        Yeah AI my bad. IA being the french version.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          It seems you were mistakenly bang on correct!

          AI stands for artificial intelligence and is very rare it is used in games because it is so processor intensive. Black and White used proper AI, for example.

          IA stands for Intrinsic Algorithm, it describes the pseudo-Intellegent like behaviour created by specific programmed behaviours for certain situations.

          For example, in Civ V, there may be an algorithm which checks the computer players neighbours army size and increases production if it’s own armies if they are bigger.

          That is not intelligence and should not be referred to as AI really, though as if anyone not on the pendant bus gives a poo.

          • Wildcard says:

            Whoa, you just blew my mind man. I’m a person that’s computer literate enough to install / play games but I never actually knew the term IA nor the difference between IA and AI. To me, the computer opponent is an AI and that’s that. Do most strategy games simply use this system of check and balance? Are there any other strategy games with actual AI (like black and white)?

          • NathanH says:

            Do people who get on the pendant bus get free jewellery?

          • Therax says:

            That depends* on whether they get on the pendant bus or the pedant bus.

            http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pedant

            And yes, I’m aware that I’m exposing myself to the exact same criticism.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            *Pendant bus was a reference to someone who is well known in these comments as being very pedantic started a pedantic rant with the immortal phrase “I don’t want to jump on the pendant bus” Cue much mocking!

            Most AI’s are actually IA’s, the process of creating a neural network (Our current best way of creating something which approaches actual intelligence) is expensive and time consuming, the programming is complicated, the pitfalls are difficult to avoid and the end users experience can vary to wildly for a game – you end up with an AI who wants to eat it’s own poo all day, for example.

            IA’s actually outperform AI’s at the moment in terms of fooling people into believing there is an intelligence guiding the reactions. A good way to think of it is the chinese room experiment:

            You have a two rooms, and linking the two are two letter boxes, marked in and out. In the first room is a stack of cards, each with a phrase or saying written on them. If you post any of these cards through a letterbox, a moment later, a card is posted through the out box. On this card is written in perfect Mandarin your phrase. It seems that the entity in the room understands both English and Chinese, as every card gets properly translated every time.

            However in the other room is a Hungarian man, who neither understands English or Chinese. He has a lookup reference table which tells him what to write on the card for each card posted in. So as each card comes in, he matches the sequence of English words to one on his lookup table, copies the corresponding Chinese onto a blank card and posts it back out.

            Without insulting the Hungarian Nation, this man is not acting with any intelligence, he is just looking up and copying. Yet from the outside, it seems like he is acting with intelligence.

            (As an aside, I did one of my dissertations on the subject that our brains use similar systems, so it can be argued that humans don’t actually have intelligence either)

            Of course you can introduce a bug to the system by giving him a card that isn’t on his lookup table.

            And similarly, I’m sure you have all experienced times when the games AI (or IA) does something unintelligent, in strategy games when you can predict the AI’s actions, knowing exactly where it will attack for example. Once you can predict it’s actions, you can exploit the weakness. A proper AI would adapt to your predictions and adjust its neural network to allow it to change it’s game.

            Black and white is the only game I know of that uses a proper AI and then it’s only for your creature, but I’m sure other games have dabbled

    • IAmUnaware says:

      What exactly do you mean by “improved”? The situation you describe is one example of the AI working very well: it knows it can’t win the game without beating you, and it has no problem playing nice while quietly building an army and marching it over near the border. If you have vision in the enemy empire (because of open borders and well-placed scouts, for example) you can often see the AI gearing up to double-cross you several turns in advance.

      • LionsPhil says:

        The whole playing-to-win thing is very disappointingly gameist, though. I know that seems an odd complaint to have of a game, but I much prefer how in IV the AI seemed much more interested in growing for themselves, rather than being aware of some arbitrary win threshold they had to pip you to, or even just delay you reaching so that you can lose to some other AI player—who might be their mortal enemy. It’s far more rational, relatable behaviour for the fiction of the game.

        If it turned out that America were going to launch for Alpha Centauri in ten years, we wouldn’t nuke them in the hope that we’d distract them long enough that the French might finish the job, or we might happen to get just enough modern art accumulated in London while they’re recoiling and warming up the silos. Human advancement isn’t zero sum.

        • Giaddon says:

          No, but the game is!

          • LionsPhil says:

            …hence “disappointingly gameist”?

          • Xardas Kane says:

            That particular diplo modifier has been removed. We have yet to see what an impact it will have on the game, but yes, it was a definite immersion breaker.

          • Adam Smith says:

            Yeah, the ‘chasing the same victory condition’ modifier is apparently gone. Instead, civs apparently look at your religion in the early game and then in the post-renaissance they look at your industrial era social policies.

            I like the idea of civs with more in common getting along more easily, leading to ideological conflict, but actual diplomatic interaction doesn’t provide enough feedback or possibilities to see how effective it is. If at all. It’s amazing how much the whole system could be improved by adding more feedback actually as the underlying systems just seem opaque and unpredictable at the moment.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Please oh please, elaborate further on that, PLEASE. A tweaked Diplomacy is exactly what I was looking forward to, but you don’t really go into detail in the article. In what way is is not transparent? Is it that there are no numerical values associated with diplomacy modifiers, and so you have no idea about how much an AI Civ cares for religion, or is it that religion actually doesn’t really have much of an impact at all?

      • Njordsk says:

        I’m fine with a faction being nice and stabing me while I don’t look on their side.
        I’m less fine with leaders changing their minds about me every two turns. You can’t build propre diplomacy in that game.

        I’ve had some game where I thought I had real friend, they were at war with 2 factions, I helped them, we traded, had developpement deals, but then they suddenly turned on me for no reasons.

        • Strangerator says:

          I think this problem could be fixed with a new system where leaders of nations had to actually worry about their OWN people liking or hating them. Really the whole experience of Civ is a lesson in why dictatorships are so damned violent. You’re just an immortal, ageless dictator with no moral limitations (since you aren’t killing real people!) Too often in these games it’s just a matter of, “well, we’ve got all these tanks lying around, let’s put them to use.”

          Declaring random wars and kicking allies in the shins for no discernible reason tends to piss off your people. Now the IRL punishment for this is losing re-election (which is about to happen here in the states). In game, it’d have to be some kind of PR meter (or possibly you’d even be able to lose the game by getting recalled). The less liked you are by your people, the less you’d be able to tax them, or perform other unpopular actions. This would make “likeability” a resource that needs to be managed and one that is very flexible in its uses. If a well-loved leader’s civ is attacked for example, you could use your PR rating to convert industry for war, making the cost of producing units decline dramatically. Maybe you’d have citizen-volunteer forces, who’d just take up arms and provide for themselves (no upkeep).

          It would also introduce whole new layers of strategy, and stop the random war thing. Perhaps you want to take over another Civ, because it is conveniently located near a resource you need? Maybe you could find a way to have them declare war first, to save yourself the PR hit? Perhaps you’d use espionage to create a false flag… make it appear as though they attacked you to reduce the PR damage of declaring war? OR, if you just want to use your militarily defensively, you’d wind up doing pretty well because the people would love that you never declare war!

          In the case that your nation is attacked without warning, your successful prosecution of a war could add a huge boost to your PR score. The concept of popular vs. unpopular wars would be a nice addition.

          Not to mention all manner of leader bonuses could tie into this system…
          Genghis Khan – No PR penalty for declaring war for any reason
          Ghandi – +50% PR bonus until first declaration of war (thus to really undermine Ghandi, you’d want to force him to declare war. Mwahaha)

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Such an idea was toyed around with in Civ 2 when ruling a democracy. To keep it short – having the game override your decisions isn’t fun.

          • sophof says:

            This sounds like a really nice addition and the perfect way to make games ‘sane’ both in single and multiplayer, bravo :)
            This way you can let the AI play to win and still have the simulation aspect of the game.

          • Strangerator says:

            “Such an idea was toyed around with in Civ 2 when ruling a democracy. To keep it short – having the game override your decisions isn’t fun.”

            Override, no. But being given freedom with limitations is what games are all about. “waah, I want to build 1000 tanks but the game’s economic system keeps overriding my decisions!!!” Certain actions should have more consequence, and declarations of war shouldn’t be a dime a dozen. This system would make war a “big deal”, and give it more weight. It would also be a huge step towards making a better simulation.

  10. Zanchito says:

    ” …the advantages of a strong religion are nowhere near as effective as focusing on science, culture or the amassing of gigantic armies. ”

    So it’s just like the real world, then.

    • AngoraFish says:

      touché

    • Gormongous says:

      This in particular is disappointing. However you feel about the real-world systems they represent, introducing a mechanic that yields sub-optimal results and therefore can be effectively ignored is a death sentence on any given expansion pack, in my opinion.

  11. kaoswielder says:

    “Guns, Germs and Steel” is an awesome read. I recommend it for anyone who likes Anthropology, World history or…….Oh just shut up and read it :D

    • Devrey says:

      All of Jared Diamonds works are worthwhile. Especially ‘Collapse’.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      They are decent books, but he rather over sells his hypothesis.

  12. StingingVelvet says:

    The combat improvements alone made Civ5 my favorite, but I am assuming people with other focuses could be more disappointed. Not enough content here for $30 though, IMO.

    • dongsweep says:

      Agreed. Look at the content being added to Crusader Kings 2 for $10, it makes this look like a robbery.

    • iucounu says:

      Wait, wait, what – $30? *checks* SEVENTEEN NINETY-NINE? And that’s discounted? Are they having a laugh?

      • Dubbill says:

        £12.99 on Amazon, if you don’t mind 2nd class post. £15ish with guaranteed delivery by Friday.

  13. Hypernetic says:

    This sounds like something I’d pick up on a steam sale for less than $5. I didn’t hate CIV 5, but it definitely felt like it was missing something compared with 4.

  14. dashboardjeebus says:

    I just need to know: have they changed the AI so that the turns dont take obscenely long later in the game? I’d really like to start playing on the larger map sizes with a full panel of opponents…

  15. MistyMike says:

    Can you explain something to me? A community of hardcore strategy enthusiasts complaining about the addition of hexes to a strategy game? Hexes being the iconic emblem of advanced turn-based strategy games since times immemorial? Theres’s something weird here.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone complain about the hexes. Even the stacking is usually a concession as something that V did better, or tried to do better. The problem is that in the process they broke everything else.

    • ancienttoaster says:

      I’ve not really heard anyone complain about hexes qua hexes. Indeed, most people seem to be either neutral or positive about the change to hexes. The real objection is to One Unit Per Tile.

      1UPT should play better in theory, but doesn’t because the greater tactical challenge is too much for the AI. Flinging stacks of doom at the player’s head isn’t that great a puzzle for the AI, but intelligently layering forces with flanks and front and rear lines and so on is too much for it.

      That said, I much prefer 1UPT and hexes to the stacks of doom. It’s far more fun, and far more elegant. It’s just a pity they can’t get the AI right.

      • Batolemaeus says:

        I’d say the worst crime with the AI is its complete inability to recognize and avoid chokepoints and strike against weak points. I had games where my tiny army held off entire invasion forces that could’ve just sidestepped my entrenched forces..

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Hexes were a great idea, but diehards will focus on anything that is different than the original as an object of rage if they don’t enjoy a sequel.

  16. The First Door says:

    I’ve never been that deep a Civ player, but I’ve still managed to find myself in the same sort of situation as you say, Adam. I much prefer Civ V over Civ IV because it feels more focused, more board game like than Civ IV. Civ IV had too many competing mechanics which didn’t add much and the game felt slow to me because of it. Apparently quite a few of my friends don’t agree with that though.

  17. Premium User Badge

    MonkeyMonster says:

    I remember hating the stacked units when without you realising a humongous AI army had appeared near the border but had a bazillion units stack and the shittest unit on display then proceed to eat you voraciously.
    SOunds like with hex maps and no stacking i will allow myself to wander once more into the 2 am, just one more turn zone.

    • Therax says:

      In Civ IV stacks always displayed the unit that would defend the stack against your currently selected unit. If you had a Horse Archer selected, then the enemy stack would display his Spearman, because the Spearman had the best chance to defend against the Horse Archer. This might be the “shittest unit” if the stack was otherwise full of Catapults.

      I agree that Civ IV could have done a better job visually differentiating a giant stack from a lone scout wandering around.

  18. UncleLou says:

    I really like Civ V as well, a lot, and there’s no way I can go back to stacks of doom.

    I am at the same time a Civ veteran and a much too lousy player to notice most of the complaints (let alone the exploits), but did Civ IV really have better AI and more predictable diplomacy? Both were seen as major issues and led to a famous Civ IV modder being hired for Civ V no?

    All I ever noticed in the higher difficulty levels of any Civ is that the AI “cheats” (well, it’s not like they make a secre out of it), but nothing very clever.

    • LionsPhil says:

      IV’s AI is pleasantly level-headed, which is pretty stand-out for the series. If you are rolling around in tanks, they won’t decide to try to threaten you with their chariots. If you’ve been buddies for a few hundred years, they probably won’t wake up your morning and hate your guts. Having the positive/negative influence breakdown might have pulled back the curtain a bit too much for some people, but did at least give you some feel for how you’re doing diplomatically and made their actions feel much more justified and much less “if player_is_doing_too_well then ai->throw_spanner_in_works()”.

      In IV, you can actually build up a peaceful alliance. (SMAC, too, come to think of it, without quite so much curtain-pulling.)

      Speaking of cheating, I discovered the other day that at any difficulty level, the AI in Civ 1 never spends a single shield on wonders—it’s just randomly awarded them. Bastard.

    • ancienttoaster says:

      NOTE: I’m also a lousy player, so much of this is just what I hear from people who are competent at Civ.

      The issue with tactical AI is simply that putting together a big ol’ stupid stack ‘ doom and flinging it at the player is a pretty simple tactical challenge for the AI. Especially since the AI cheats, it can simply stack together a bunch of known powerful units and have them walk into the nearest threat/city/improvement, until everything is dead. By comparison, 1UPT requires the AI to master more complex challenges. Protecting ranged units in a rear line. Maneuvering great generals to best effect. Setting up supply lines such that fresh units can quickly move in to replace exhausted ones. These are much more complex, and much harder to cheat.

      As for diplomatic AI, the issue I have is simply that you cannot form real friendships with leaders. There’s no “realistic” give and take like that of Civ IV, where sharing a religion or an enemy can cement an alliance for hundreds of turns. Civ V’s AI always wants you dead, and is almost never willing to deal. The leaders also have less personality, at least in my estimation. I miss Isabella the crazy bigot. :-(

    • Batolemaeus says:

      The AI in Civ IV behaves differently in that it has a memory of past events, will hold grudges and, and this is a big one, is able to win with you.

      This is actually significant. The alliance victory is missing vom Civ V. In Civ IV, it’s possible to form an alliance in late game that allows both civs to win. It’s a complete game changer in terms of diplomacy, since being nice to other civs allows you to win through diplomacy without the shoehorned in “diplomacy victory”.

      Without the option of a cooperative victory Civ just becomes a game of conquest, and that’s exactly what Civ V is.

    • UncleLou says:

      Cheers all three of you, you make an awful lot of sense. :)

  19. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    I’ve had a bit of a Civ V binge recently.
    I actually played a full, marathon length game of Civ IV before trying Civ V again, and you know what?
    I came out of this back-to-back experience preferring Civ V.
    I just find the combat so much more gratifying, thanks to hexes and 1-unit-per-hex. Plus, as mentioned, the ability for any unit to embark. And instead of becoming a tedious chore as in previous Civ games, I really enjoy having barbarians around in Civ V.
    I think the main problems with Civ V, for me at least, were mostly performance related. When it came out, it required a beast of a machine to play, and marathon length games were out of the question as eventually the game would freeze to a halt just before the Renaissance.
    But now I have a nice machine a couple of years after release, it flies (well, to a point; late game turns can get a bit sluggish).
    I will agree that the tech tree seems a bit flat though. But I think all Civ games have this problem to a point, particularly late game.
    Having a GeeDubya quote as the “Future Tech” quote really wasn’t a good idea mind you.
    And while the guy narrating the tech tree did a sterling job (William Morgan Sheppard), well, he isn’t Leonard Nimoy, is he?

    Still, looking forward to Gods & Kings, although from this review, my fears that it’s less an expansion and more a hodge-podge collection of interesting features seem to have been confirmed.

  20. Kleppy says:

    I would unironically buy this game if they’d get Leonard Nemoy to do the narration again. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed voicework as much as I did in Civ4.

  21. Flappybat says:

    So does it address any of this?

    http://www.garath.net/Sullla/Civ5/whatwentwrong.html

    • Xardas Kane says:

      Not really, because a lot of that is biased or was ironed out a full year ago. And I would kindly ask you to stop waving that blog post around as if it’s the Holy Bible of Civilization. I can point out tons of things that are self-contradictory or come down to taste, but he still states them as facts. Sulla is incredibly biased toward Civ 5 to the point where he hates on the intro of the game, and his proposed Civ VI is a pathetic mash-up of Civ IV with Masters of Orion that would be so stupefyingly convoluted and complex for the sake of being complex that I just can’t take that guy seriously.

      So please, enough with Sulla. He’s just some random ranting internet guy. Nothing makes him any different than the next raging internet blogger.

      • googoogjoob says:

        What makes him different is that he was one of the top Civ players consulted with during the making of Civ IV.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          Yes, it makes him different. It makes him even that much more biased. In other words, no credibility at all. And, to repeat myself again, that he was a beta-tester for Civ IV hardly qualifies him as someone who actually knows how to make a good game. Point in case – his version of Civ VI, I already discussed that here.

      • x1501 says:

        Please don’t even start with the bias crap. I, for one, would refer to Sulla’s articles because, even though I had absolutely no negative bias and I really wanted to enjoy Civ V when it came out, I disliked most of the cutbacks and design decisions immensely and I found that most of Sulla’s criticisms resonated with my personal view of the game. It’s that simple.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          Oh yes, the game is bland and generic because of bad mutiplayer support, right? Still waiting for that explanation from you.

          Do you really want me to list all the self-contradictions in that article? How he complains about something and then complains about a patch fixing the exact same thing? How he says Civ V encourages ICS to a fault, but then goes on to whine about big empires having drawbacks compared to small ones (NCs and SPs)? The list goes on, this is anything but an unbiased article.

          • x1501 says:

            I would tell you about what what makes the game bland and low grade once again, but instead of having an actual discussion, you seem to be bent on engaging in crusades against imaginary straw men and irrelevant ad hominems. Of course, if you’re actually being unintentionally daft about our previous exchange, I suggest you to a) to take up some reading comprehension classes; and b) get familiarized with the concept of sarcasm. You’ll thank me later, ‘Hawking’.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            I like it how you beat around the bush and don’t come up with a single argument against the precious few (because I wasn’t in the mood, there are more contradictions in Sulla’s article) I outlined in my post.

          • x1501 says:

            Wow, actually you don’t even begin to realize the absurdness of your request. For the third time, since I haven’t been able to access viable multiplayer co-op at all, and since I haven’t been able force myself to like and to continue trying to play the game in singleplayer, I’m not quite sure what kind of a deep, in-depth analysis of the game’s shortcomings you want me to produce. What else do you do with your time? Jump a Nobel Prize winner and ask him to come up with a list of specific criticisms directed at the plot of the latest Transformers movie?

            But fine, let’s go with it. Let me name a few things off the top of my head, without even pretending that I can recall the exact details of all of the game’s mechanics. The change from a complex empire-building simulation to a rather simplistic tactical board game. The many problems with the basic gameplay. The virtual lack of multiplayer. The broken diplomacy. The god-awful AI. The ugly rivers. The static splash panels. The small and linear tech tree. The lack of endgame report. The combat-oriented gameplay. The lack of religion, espionage, random events, challenge, wonder movies, different government types. The smaller number of terrain types, unit types, building types, resource types, luxury types. The… Oh, wait, did you actually want to go on or you just went after what you thought was the weakest link in my line of argument?

            What exactly makes Civilization V a disappointing game in my eyes? As you can see, a lot of things. All, and many more of them being much more eloquently discussed elsewhere, including the aging Sulla article linked earlier. As I said before, a lot of the elements that gave the previous games their flavor are either gone or dumbed down, and the game didn’t really offer anything new and exciting to replace them. The game is bland not because its multiplayer sucks. It’s not bland because its river animations blow, either. It’s bland because it’s completely forgettable, because it’s full of cutbacks and really bad design decisions, and because it’s just an inferior sequel to its far more visionary predecessors. In short, I find it bland because it bored me and failed to capture my imagination. So, here you go.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            And this further shows how little you know about Civ V. Most of what you said is as dubious as it could get. How is it not an empire building game? Especially since the last patch it most certainly feels like one to me. What many problems with the basic gameplay? Are you aware that random events were added in an expansion and a lot of people hated them to death (I know I did)? They hardly brought any depth to the game. I like the Splash Screens, more than the wonder movies in Civ IV in fact, because I love art in games. You complain about that twice, did you run out of arguments? There is a Replay function and an end-game report. There are if I believe correctly 38 buildings in Civ V, excluding the unique ones. Pretty much the same number in Civ IV, might have been slightly lower. Unit-wise things aren’t that different. There are 28 vs 32 resources (35 if we count the hit singles/movies/musicals), hardly a difference that’s noticeable. Additional 8 have been added with the DLCs and the expansion bringing them up to a total of 36. There are 17 terrain types in Civ IV, 16 in Civ V. One that’s missing is Fallout, hardly a difference. The mutiplayer IS working, I HAVE played games in mutiplayer. It most certainly could be better, but there is no virtual lack of it. Animations have just been added.

            Then there are some elements you list as removed, but choose to ignore that they were merely replaced by something else, like Social Policies and civics, or that Civ 5 added new things to the table as well. No, it didn’t have religion at launch. Neither did Civ IV have City States.

            The only complaints that to me have actual merit are the bad AI (although it has never been that good, in V it took a definite step-back) and that the tech tree is more linear. Is it so linear that you can’t get any enjoyment out of it and there is not tactic involved in navigating it? No, definitely not, but it could use some work, and it has in the expansion. I can argue that the diplo system itself is the best I’ve seen in a Civ game to date, it’s the AI that’s bad, not to system. Being able to give different answers to the AI, telling them not to settle cities, having Pacts of Cooperation and Secrecy, DOFs and Denouncements, those were all great ideas. The Ai didn’t handle them quite well, but I have seen it do some pretty cool things with it. Once for instance France denounced me and obviously wanted to conquer me. Then Spain, who I was friends with, DOWed them from the other side of the map, crushed their army and immediately made peace, all this done seemingly just to protect me. Nothing like that has happened in Civ IV. I also have had games in Civ V where the only wars I fight are those I started in the first place, and even full games where I don’t fight a single war. Combat oriented gameplay? Only if you want to.

            So basically most of your arguments are in fact non-existent. Thanks for proving my point.

          • x1501 says:

            So, basically, this is TL;DR version of our 3-article-spanning dialogue.

            —I didn’t enjoy the game at all. I felt like it was a poor sequel, regretted the purchase, uninstalled it almost a year and a half ago, and forgot about it almost rather quickly.
            —The game is great. All you critics are the same and all your criticisms don’t hold water. What exactly is so bad about the game and why?
            —Umm, I can name a few things, but it’s been so long since I played it…Here’s some that made the game completely unplayable and rather useless for me: non-functioning multiplayer, simplified gameplay, omitted key features, and horrible AI. Why, here’s an old article I recall being rather pertinent to my views about the whole thing.
            —The guy who wrote it is a bigot. Some of his criticisms are weak, therefore all of them are completely invalid. He hates puppies too. What else?
            —Umm, I can name some of my things I remember […] but honestly, if you want a step-by-step discussion of the game’s minutia, you’re barking up the wrong tree. I told you I found the sequel bland and forgettable in my very first post, and I fully admitted that I might not be able to defend my criticisms as clearly as I could almost two years ago, when I actually bothered to play it.
            —None of you haters can back up your two-year-old “negative” opinions with detailed reasoning. The diplomacy system is the best. The fact that you couldn’t play multiplayer for 2 years since the game’s release…Let’s skip that one and go to the easier targets. The game has almost as many features as its 5-year-old prequel, which clearly is what sequels are supposed to bring to the table. True, they removed things, but not all. They replaced a thing or two with…other things, you know. And did you know that you can buy some of the removed features again, for only $29.99? Since feature A was added to the prequel in an expansion, it just made no sense to include it into the sequel from the get-go. It’s not like they had access to the prequel’s source code or anything. Anyway, thanks for proving my point— namely, that you actually enjoyed the game and thought that it was great.

            Einstein 0 – Hawking 2, I guess.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Is every sequel supposed to add things until the whole thing collapses? No, absolutely not, I don’t want another Masters of Orion 3 or Empire: Total War. You know why Shogun 2 is so much praised? Because it REMOVED things. Neither do I want a Civ 4.5, I already said in another comment that I love how the two games complement each other. That guy you keep quoting, Sulla? He himself said Civ V is just as complex and NOT dumbed down, just that it had balance issues at launch. Yes, he said it despite his bias. I still disregard most of his posts, but if you take his word for gold, why don’t you take that one as well?

            The rest, well, you came up with 2 arguments – AI and mutiplayer. The whole dumbing down, the missing systems, the huge lack of units and buildings, all of that I proved to be false by stating cold, hard facts.

            And yes, your whole opinion is based on the state of the game 2 years ago, and an inaccurate one at that. I have rarely seen a game supported this much by a studio, with tons of patches and additional content. But, of course, you can ignore all that, and whine and bitch about multiplayer because you can’t come up with anything else compelling enough to whine about. Have fun with that.

            EDIT: The Espionage and Religion systems in Gods and Kings have virtually nothing to do with those in Civ IV. You are basically trolling now. Didn’t think you’d sink so far.

      • formivore says:

        Agreed, I am tired of seeing that Sulla post. If you read it with a critical eye, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that Sulla just doesn’t understand the tradeoffs necessary in game design.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          Yeah the bottom line in that post is that Sulla thinks Firaxis should be focused on making a game he likes rather than one which will make money. Kind of foolish of him.

          Certainly Civ 5 has its flaws, and he hit on some of the main ones, but he also hit of 15 different things that are not flaws, and are just matters of taste and/or things he cannot see clearly because of his rage.

  22. Jason Moyer says:

    Superpopular contrarian opinion here: Civ IV is the only game in the series I don’t like. I played the hell out of 1, 2, Test Of Time, Alpha Centauri, and III, and enjoyed them all immensely. I ended up buying IV and all 3 expansions but just could never get into it. The interface seemed like it was intentionally trying to keep me from doing what I wanted to do, the AI never really seemed interested in trying to win, the micromanaging was as bad as it can be without having to play whack-a-mole with pollution in the endgame. Just never fully clicked for me. Civ V on the other hand….yummy. Although I wish they’d bring back the screen from Civ III that shows you the known relationships between every civ.

    • Machinations says:

      A contrarian riposte; was it hard to select a unit and select automate pollution cleanup? Your worker bees then swarm all over the map handling pollution for you.

      • cuc says:

        I think Jason Moyer is saying that Civ4 micromanagement is almost as bad as Civ3, which is where whack-a-mole pollution comes from, not Civ4 has that particular problem.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      And I hated Civ 3. I felt it was convoluted, unintuitive, full of exploits, corruption was a terrible mechanic, and the AI was pretty bad and exploitable. To each his own I guess.

      I really like Civ 5 and I am going to pick up this expansion, even though I still think 4 is the best one. I play 4 when I feel I want a complex and multi-layered game, and I go for Civ 5 when I’m looking for something slimmer, more stream-lined, customizable and focused. In that way I feel the two games actually complement each other superbly, although Civ V being the first Civ sequel that didn’t completely dominate my lust for empire building is a bit worrisome. I still think it’s a great game though, and don’t regret purchasing it.

      • LionsPhil says:

        It’d be interesting to see what’d have happened if they’d ported Revolutions to PC. From what I can see it’s a pretty slick attempt at streamlined Civ, and without the “V” monkier it might have been better accepted as a tangental release.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          Nope, it’s pathetic. The gaping hole between them in terms of complexity is like Europa Universalis 3 compared to WarCraft 1. Only 16 civs, 6 types of governments that barely make a difference, 31 technologies (!!!!?), barely any micro-management at all, and the best part is diplomacy. Basically every now and then a leader pops up and demands a tribute, most often a technology. You say yes, he goes away, you say no, he DOWs you. That’s it. And don’t get me started on the tiny maps, the ugly in my opinion visual design, or how everyone in the game is rocking that The Sims language gibberish. It’s god-awful.

          • LionsPhil says:

            But isn’t that the point? Complaining it has less of everything is like complaining that your Diet Coke doesn’t have any sugar in it. It’s more a question of it you can have a fun Civ-itch-scratching experience without having to dedicate a weekend to it. (Killing micromanaging workers, which city tiles get worked, and the like would be a huge part of that.)

          • Xardas Kane says:

            The PC crowd isn’t interested in a game this simple. There is a reason why even the Civ 1 sub-forum on CivFanatics is more lively than the Revolution one. It’s a fun little diversion, but not really a Civ game to begin with.

  23. googoogjoob says:

    I don’t get why so many people come out in favor of one-unit-per-tile- it does make the early game combat better, but by the mid-to-late game, it becomes a horrific carpet of doom (cf http://www.garath.net/Sullla/Civ5/Lastgame/carpetofdoom.jpg ).

    • LionsPhil says:

      Probably because that’s more indicative of the rest of the game being broken. Maintaining an army of that size shouldn’t be practical.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      “Carpet of doom” is a myth. That screenshot was made using a production mod in unpatched vanilla Civ5. I have literally never come across such a thing in my Civ 5 games.

      Actually this is another argument that shows how biased Sulla is. He complains about a modded version of the game.

      • formivore says:

        It’s not a myth. If you play on deity, it is pretty much inevitable by the later ages of the game. You can still win wars against the AI when they have this though.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          Not tot that extent! Sure they happen every now and then on a much smaller scale than what’s shown at the screenshot! And to be honest, and I am probably going to be flamed for this, I like it this way. Seeing a giant army pop-up on screen makes it that much more interesting and engaging than a single unit that turns out to be a huge stack when I mouse over it. And I repeat, a carpet of doom of that magnitude, is something that simply doesn’t happen. To me at least it hasn’t, maybe I’m lucky.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      That is a screenshot from a modded game, the poster eventually admitted that after much fighting on the Civ Fanatics forums.

    • googoogjoob says:

      I don’t think whether that particular screenshot is from a modded game is relevant. My point was that 1UPT strongly discourages large armies and encourages small-scale skirmishes between expensive units, and that if you’re trying to win by conquering the world, large armies are necessary.

  24. MythArcana says:

    They should have simply called the game SteamCiv – maybe then nobody would have expected anything much.

    The kiddies get their $9 game, vALVE gets $9 million, the devs get 40% of that, and we all get screwed. Sorry, kids, but I prefer the way things used to be; damned close to perfection.

    • Unaco says:

      Things used to be ‘damned close to perfection’? That has to be the funniest thing you’ve said Myth, and you’ve said some pretty f*ckin funny stuff. Please don’t stop… you’re too much of a laugh.

    • Brun says:

      40% of $9 million is $3.6 million. Most devs would probably be ecstatic to see that kind of money.

      Also, I assume “the way things used to be” means having to go to a store and buy a box with a game in it. Unfortunately, that was “the way” before the internet happened. Times have changed, and now retail is holding the industry back.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Dear God. I’m expecting you to start white-knighting Ubisoft at any moment.

  25. MFToast says:

    How do you make a sequel to a game without changing anything at all? Is that even a sequel? Yes, I kind of wish they’d have kept religion and espionage in the first place, but otherwise I feel that Civ V offered a far more tactical experience than previous titles. I danced naked through the streets when upon downloading and playing Civ V for the first time, I noticed they had removed unit stacking. I don’t miss 100-deep stacks of tanks, that’s just silly and slows the game down to the decay rate of uranium.

    The AI did have some really crazy psychotic behavior initially, but it’s been patched all to hell since then anyhow. They’ll still stab you in the back at the first opportunity, but this is a game where each nation is vying for global domination, not to see who has the biggest friends list. That means monopolizing lux/strat resources and basically forming alliances at the tip of a sword. History shows that’s not too far from reality.

    BOUDICA!

  26. Abraxis says:

    In IV I could start a game and just sort of play around, have some fun, poke different things and see the reaction, it was a sandbox game that kind of took on almost a role playing diplomatic aspect to it. It was like playing with a little kid, letting your imagination dictate the fun.

    In V, this kid hit puberty, and rather than wanting to have fun, turned into a little brat and started competing and challenging you for everything, which would be fine if he weren’t 15 years younger, emotionally and intellectually retarded and scrawny as hell. I keep trying to play with him again, but he get’s all hormon-y and tries to fight, no matter how many times I put him down in the most embarrassing way. He simply cannot compete on that level. The civ series went from an imaginative nephew wanting to play cowboys and Indians to an awkward ankle biter that really just pisses you off.

    • zionad says:

      Well said.
      Can’t we just go ahead and call Civ5 “Civ4: Call of Duty edition” and set to work on a real sequel to this great franchise?

  27. SkittleDiddler says:

    I was hoping Gods And Kings would finally shut the whiny butthurt Civ IV freaks up, but it looks like that is not to be.

  28. ScorpionWasp says:

    There is a problem in Civ 5 that renders everything else a moot point, which is the AI. The AI doesn’t know how to play the freaking game. Even if all the other mechanics were perfect and flawless (they aren’t, not by a long shot), the game would still be impossible to enjoy, much like playing Chess against a 10 years old can’t be an enjoyable experience (unless you’re a moron! :D ). Have you ever lost a game of Civ V? Not even in my very first game, playing in normal difficulty, without a clue about the game, have I been able to accomplish this feat. What’s the point of playing a game without a lose condition?

    But even though it’s moot, I want to address the tech tree in Civ V. Every time I had to choose a new technology, I was paralyzed for several minutes in the tech screen, because there were no techs that seemed beneficial at all! Pretty much all “advantages” obtained from techs are the ability to build some building that costs you a shitload of money every turn in exchange for modest gains in the production of other resources. Even roads cost money. Whereas in Civ 4 my workers were always doing SOMETHING, I more often than not chose to keep mine idle in Civ 5, because there was just nothing beneficial for them to do. The mechanics of Civ 5 encourage inaction and apathy.

    And about diplomacy. Now they added the option to say No “politely” or “rudely”. Awesome, that’s just what we needed, a sissy AI that now (theoretically) cares whether you’re being courteous or not, rather than about the practical, tangible effects of what you do.

    This game is a clusterfuck of bad ideas, and it honestly baffles me that there are people willing to defend it out there.

  29. MFToast says:

    Trolls crossing.

  30. Joshua Northey says:

    The funniest thing about Civ 5 is the combinations of the complaints that the combat AI is no good, and that the “diplomatic AI is terrible”. The combat AI IS terrible, but the diplomatic AI is the single best in a TBS ever.

    The AI actually plays like a human. You certainly don’t let a history of good relations or trade deals stop you from attacking someone if that is what makes sense for you. You often treat people as best friends right up until the moment you slide the knife between their ribs. Now the AI does it too and the players scream bloody murder. It is hilarious. A bunch of hypocrites.

    They don’t actually want a challenging AI, they want an easily manipulated and carefully choreograph “win buddy” who will provide a minor obstacle, offers some trading opportunities and not pose any real obstacle in the game.

    It is not hard to keep the AI from attacking you, if you know, you build an army and make some sacrifices to keep the peace. Do you normally let civilizations live when they have no army? I doubt it.

    • nanowired says:

      Because it’s perfectly natural for England to be mad at the united states for starting a new city within the United State’s borders.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        I think you are just not understanding what the game developers are trying to do with the diplomatic AI at all. They are not trying to emulate reality, they are trying to emulate how HUMANS play the game.

        And players certainly do get hostile if one player is expanding near their lands or too quickly.

  31. Universal Quitter says:

    Maybe I’m just part of the problem, but I thinks it’s best to enjoy the game you have, instead of endlessly pining for the game we all know that they’ll never make. When has rage and blind argument over a video game ever accomplished anything, aside from further pollution of our internet?

  32. greydt says:

    Does Mr. Smith have any impressions on the “Empires of the Smoky Skies” Steampunk scenario? It’s probably the main aspect of this expansion that interests me the most.

  33. zionad says:

    I’m one of those raging civ fans that is upset about Civ 5. Ive played since Civ1 on the Amiga and loved every minute of the complexity of the games since then. Civ 5 is a very telling example of the changing times.
    To be fair though, its probably just because they didn’t have Nimoy narrating.

  34. x1501 says:

    Some preview mentioned that espionage couldn’t be used AT ALL in multiplayer games. Is it true? And if it is, wtf?

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Well if the main function of espionage is to give you hints what the AI is thinking how would that work in MP? Would you force you human opponent to talk about their plans? “Your computer will self destruct in 10 seconds unless you post your plans in the chat!!!!!!!!”

      • x1501 says:

        First, I only play Civ multiplayer in co-op, so I would like to keep the option of using spies against AI bots. Second, they may not be able to predict that your human rival is plotting a sneak attack in 5 turns, but they could still provide basic city surveillance, steal enemy technologies, counter enemy spies, sabotage construction, spread propaganda, and so on. Programming this super advanced stuff in may sound like a technological and financial impossibility for you, but rest assured, it can be done!

  35. nanowired says:

    Do you want to know why civ 5 makes me angry?

    Because of this thread:
    http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread.php?88710-Generic-GPU-CPU-Over-heating/page7

    Civ 5 has some severe performance problems, and it melted a lot of cards when it came out. 2k game’s stance is “Well you should of set your fans up better.”

    Irresponsible at best, especially when the game has such severe late game performance.

  36. The13thRonin says:

    “Unfortunately, again, it’s not as massive an addition as I’d hoped.”

    And there goes the argument of the people singing the praises of this poor excuse for an expansion pack which costs as much as a full new game.

    Adam I am not sad that CIV 5 is not CIV 4. What I am sad about is that the focus for the developers has no longer become ‘how can we improve this franchise? How can we add more depth?’ to ‘what is the quickest and easiest way to tack something on so we can milk our customers dry?’

    CIV 5 might be a ‘good game’ in your eyes, and no-one can take that away from you. But it is still a betrayal of what the past games have established the civilization franchise to be.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Adding more depth is frequently code for adding more features and game elements. And to that extent it is not always a good thing. Frankly Civ 4 was a bloated mess in addition to a fantastic game. The last thing the franchise needed was more things bloated on and badly balanced.

  37. cjvannette says:

    I suppose if I mention that I’m new to the franchise — hell, the genre — and absolutely love Civ5, I’ll just serve as more evidence that the game was for stupid newbies and casual bads. So be it. I love it. The AI has always been irritatingly dumb, of course, but despite that, the number of hours I have logged in the game is very, very high. I debated back and forth about the expansion, and whether or not it was worth the money, but if I get even ten hours of entertainment out of the new civs and new mechanics, that’s a good expenditure as far as I’m concerned. And I’m sure it will be more like 50-100 hours.

  38. MFToast says:

    Imagine if Sid Meier himself heard all 10 of you moaning and went ahead with “Sid Meier’s Civilization IV 2″. More of the same! Because that’s what you wanted, right?

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      …Yes, actually.

      • Premium User Badge

        distantlurker says:

        I’d put a £100 into the kickstarter.

        Major civ fan, played ‘em all including all the spin offs now I come to think of it. I have well over a thousand steam hours logged in Civ IV and BTS (IV+1 ^^) and 200+ hours in Civ V and there’s just no comparison in which is the better game.

        CIV IV + 2. Would be on my list of dream games along with System Shock 3 &TIE fighter 2.

        One day.. maybe ^^

    • x1501 says:

      Beats “Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Less of Everything!”

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Beats Civ IV: too much of everything. Hell until BtS the AI didn’t even know how to use air units. Yet people talk like Civ 4 was some perfectly balanced game with a great AI.

        It was a poorly balanced game with too many features that didn’t hang together very well, and an AI that barely understood half of them.

        Don’t get me wrong it was a great game, but there is just so much revisionist history when it comes to Civ, and the game design philosophy of MORE = BETTER is just so wrongheaded.

        • x1501 says:

          Oh, I see. So to address these problems, the sequel embraced the much more revolutionary LESS = BETTER approach. Now it’s a poorly balanced game with just enough features that don’t hang together very well, and an AI that still barely understands half of them. Touché.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Comes from the guy who hasn’t played the game in over an year. Yet you know how well balanced it is, amusing.

            Keep on trolling.

          • x1501 says:

            I took another look at the game yesterday. To be fair, I could only play for less than an hour (I plan a lengthier masochism session for tonight), but I didn’t see anything that made me change my opinion of it. Looks like the AI is still mediocre at best, and there’s still no AI interaction and no mods in multiplayer. Your definition of “troll” apparently includes everyone who doesn’t agree with your mindless fanaticism.

  39. sophof says:

    The only real problem for me is that the AI clearly plays by different rules and these rules are not clear. It looks like they offset the dumbness of the AI by giving them ridiculous, hidden advantages. In the end the AI is playing by a completely different set of rules and you still easily beat him, but only if you abuse its stupidity.

    I understand AI is hard to code, but this AI is just ludicrous :(
    For the record, I think I like civ V actually better then IV in terms of gameplay, but the AI cripples the entire game. Still have sunk a lot of hours into it, but it could be so much more.

    You can not tell me it is hard to code some behaviour so that the AI doesn’t throw units in the meat grinder willingly, or make a sensible diplomatic decision that is not just based on a random number generator.

    It should feel like you are playing humans (with endless patience and time when I have time) with certain tendencies. Agressive, empire building, culture focussed, whatever. Now I’m just playing a bipolar moron.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      You realize this AI has fewer bonuses than every previous iteration of the game? GalCiv 2 AI (which everyone loves for some reason), has exactly the same bonuses. You are complaining about something that every single TBS AI has. Civ 5 has a GOOD AI, it is just solving a very ahrd problem so it performs poorly.

      Other worse AIs have performed better because they were playing simpler games (from an AI coding perspective).

      • DigitalParadox says:

        GalCiv 2 also, if I recall correctly, lets you individually adjust the intelligence of the AI in a game and any additional advantages bestowed upon them, and the AI in that game is pretty damn clever for a 4X AI to begin with.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          Actually you don’t. But that is fine just make stuff up. In Gal Cvi2 the bonuses are hiden in the racial creation stats. So if you turn up the levl instea dof a race having +10 weapons +10 defense +10 pq +10 tax, they will have +40 tax, +40 offense, +30 defense, +20pq. It is the same bonuses that are in every game just hidden as larger racial bonuses. As far as movement the AI is no better than that in any other TBS.

          Gal Civ 2 did a better job of hiding its bonuses, nothing less nothing more.

  40. Premium User Badge

    Erithtotl says:

    Consider me another fan of Civ V. If they have improved the schitzo diplomatic AI a bit then I’ll be happy. The other additions look fun so to the three ‘scenarios’.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      Actually Adam Smith doesn’t do the expansion justice. Understandable, since many changes would be noticed only by the hardcore, but Firaxis have tweaked the game subtly, but A LOT. The tech tree is completely revised and presents a lot more interesting choices; Social Policies now have awesome finisher bonuses and have been reworked again for the better; City States and the whole mumbo-jumbo around them is infinitely better than vanilla; Great People have been completely revised, and GSs have been significantly nerfed; the RAs have been practically dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up, and are no longer exploitable, the AI Is better, even if not perfect. It actually handles its troops well now, attacks units on low health, keeps archers away from your swordsmen, and generally make it a lot tougher for you to win a war. There are still some rought edges here and there, and every now and then they do something stupid, but the improvement is surprisingly big. The revamped combat system makes fighting more tactical, definitely a step-up from vanilla.

      The diplomacy system just might be the best one in any Civ game to date. So far I haven’t encountered any psycho civs (‘cept Monty I mean), they all act in a much more coherent and reliable manner. It is perfectly possible to form long-lasting relationships, in fact it just might feel too easy at times. But what I like the most is the concept of promises. Say a civ asks you to stop settling cities near their borders. You can tell them to shove it or you can promise them it won’t happen again. If you do give that promise and keep it, after a while you will get a pretty nice buff out of it. If you break it, they will hate your guts. Such promises can also be made for a variety of things, from spreading religion to spying on civs. It really makes the AI empires feel more alive than ever before.

      Religion in itself is a more complex than the system in Civ IV, and presents a lot more interesting choices than before, if you choose to pursue it. It really brings some flavour into the early game, and may shape it up considerably (e.g. if you pick God of the Sea you will want to make as many coastal cities as possible). It doesn’t seem to be a direct cause of war however, rather it can give you a nice bonus to civs you convert, it plays a big role in your relationships with the CSs, and can be shaped up to satisfy your needs. A Civ following another religion won’t hate you outright, however if you start spreading your religion in their cities, other civs will be mightily pissed off.

      Espionage is in my opinion better than in Civ IV, but still restrictive, it feels like they are testing the water with it. As of now there are some balance issues with it as well, with coups in CSs being too damn easy, but nothing a small patch can’t handle. The system has great potential, and I hope it’s just a stepping stone to something better. As it is though, it’s underwhelming.

      Overall, a great expansion pack. A big kudos to everyone at Firaxis, especially Ed Beach. G+K finally makes Civ V a game worthy of the Civ name.
      EDIT: Check this out for a full overview from the hardcore fans over at CivFanatics: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=464730

      And even they admit the changes are so numerous, subtle, but affect gameplay in a positive way, that they haven’t listed them all.

      Like Adam said, this isn’t an expansion that overhauls Civ V, but it most definitely improves it in numerous ways. If you like Civ V, definitely pick it up, I know I will never be going back to vanilla.

      • x1501 says:

        Good god, you are a Firaxis Games employee after all.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          Yeah, keep trolling. Or maybe go to CivFanatics and take a look at the reactions over there, so far everyone is extremely pleased with the expansion.

          Then again, you are a pitiful troll. Even if it was the best expansion in history you would still hate it. To keep it short – you are pathetic.

          • x1501 says:

            Well it’s because all you currently have there is rabid fanboys who bought the game at full price one minute after midnight. Most people who got burned on the original are skeptical of the expansion and are waiting for a sale to get ourselves a copy. Even the “professional” reviewers who rushed to rate core game with 90/100 without even playing it properly, seem to sing a different tune now. The expansion is currently rated 79/100 (based on 19 reviews) on Metacritic. Hardly an appropriate score for a true gem.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            It’s even more pathetic how you ignore reviews when they don’t support what you are stating, and yet give them as an argument when the do. It’s also pathetic how you choose to ignore that I believe vanilla V is not as good as vanilla IV. I stated so on numerous occasions, but that doesn’t stop me from acknowledging the improvements introduced in the expansion.

            In other words, you ignore what you don’t like, you judge the expansion for a game you haven’t played in two years, you can’t come up with a single argument to support your claim that Civ V is dumbed down, so now you resort to trolling.

            I thought RPS was a place for intelligent gamers. I guess not entirely. I am honestly stunned at how idiotic and paltry your behaviour is. It’s kind of sad.

            But what would you expect from a guy who has such trouble to form a coherent and meaningful argument, that he calls a game that has always been primarily a single-player experience generic and bland because of its mutiplayer.

          • x1501 says:

            “Troll”, “pitiful”, “pathetic”, “idiotic”, “paltry”, “sad”, “biased”… Yeah, I’m the intolerant offender here.

            Basically, what we have here is a standoff. On one hand, we have your “Espionage is in my opinion better than in Civ IV”, “The diplomacy system just might be the best one in any Civ game to date”, and “G+K finally makes Civ V a game worthy of the Civ name”. On the other hand, we have, say, Eurogamer’s “Espionage is a menu”, “The AI’s still cringingly terrible at using the tactical combat”, and “once you know the reworked espionage, diplomacy and AI all disappoint, Gods & Kings’ feature list starts to look a lot thinner…That’s a bit of a shame for Civilization and civilization alike.” (http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-06-18-civilization-5-gods-and-kings-review)

            So let’s just call it a day and agree to disagree. You’ll keep thinking that I subconsciously believe that Civilization V was a fantastic sequel, and I’ll keep seeing you as a slightly single-minded turd polisher who may or may not work for the company in question. Deal?

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Eurogamer, really? The same site that reviewed a MMO after THREE HOURS OF PLAY? You are going to quote THEM? But if you are, how’s about this from the same review: ” On the first day I installed it, my three meals were toast, a sandwich in the afternoon and a sandwich at midnight. There’s your capsule review.”

            Here is another quote that perfectly sums up the expansion from the much more respectable Polygon: “Gods & Kings feels like what Civilization V wanted to be all along. It doesn’t so much “expand” the game as evolve it. Strategic combat finally feels strategic, and the diplomatic game, enhanced by religion, espionage and a few new tweaks, finally matters.”

            “Gods and Kings is one of the best DLCs ever released for a strategy game.” GamingXP

            “Civilization V: Gods & Kings, is an extremely interesting expansion pack, and mostly neccesary. It corrects one of the biggest mistakes within the original game: Trying to understand the development of civilizations while ignoring the importance of religion in its early years. Espionage and faith fit perfectly with the other contents included in the game as if they had always been there. But while religions play a very important role in it, intrigue seems too simple and has very limited options. No lover of Civilization V should fail to install this first and hopefully not last expansion.”

            Another good quote. Like I said, Espionage could use some tweaking, but otherwise it’s an amasing expansion. And again, THIS: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=464846&page=7

            Or maybe this: http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/sid-meiers-civilization-v-gods-kings/user-reviews?user_review_id=2482737&sort-by=date#user_review_2482737 specifically the review by crushilista, which is very detailed and well put.

            Don’t trust me? Don’t trust reviews? Then trust the consumers. Not that you will, since you are a pathetic troll

          • x1501 says:

            You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            It means a person who hates for the sake of hating. It does so in my book. And that’s what you are. What now, are you going to ignore everything else I said in my alst comment because I proved you yet again wrong? Gonna beat around the bush some more or just ignore it, like when I disproved your claims that there are less resources, buildings and units?

            Just quit it and ignore anything Civ V related if you hate the game so much. Constantly whining in the comment section of every article that has something even remotely to do with the game, and doing so without coming up with any arguments to support that whatsoever, is in fact trolling. Ignoring all the positive buzz on the biggest Civ-related forum is in fact trolling. Ignoring the fact that many members of said forum were testers for the expansion is in fact trolling. At its worst.

          • x1501 says:

            Boy, you’re relentless. Aside from the fact that it’s not actually what the word means, I do not hate “anything Civ V related”. I dislike the way the developers botched up the sequel and I expressed my opinion in my comments, just as I expressed my hope for this expansion with “I’m rather skeptical about it, but I really hope [Civ 5 will now become a worthy successor to 4] too” without yet knowing its now too obvious limitations.

            As for calling you a Firaxis stooge, I just find curious that a person who loves the new expansion SO SO MUCH, chooses to spend hours of his time furiously spreading the word about its alleged qualities, instead of, you know, getting some enjoyment from the oh-so-great product that was released less than 24 hours ago. What’s with the missionary work, brother Sid?

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Because I don’t play games 24/7. Because I finished a game just a couple of hours ago, and I never start a new one right off the bat. Because someone asked if the diplo has been improved, and, unlike you, I wanted to help out. FYI it has been.

            Is the expansion amazing? No, but it’s surpsingly good and well executed. It fills in some very glaring blanks in Civ 5’s design, and with a more fleshed out Espionage system and a new health system it could have been the TBS of Civ V.

            I gave you links to the community threads, I gave you quotes, I bashed all your arguments to dust. You just keep beating around the bush, as I said in my previous comment.

            Is G+K going to make the game better than Civ IV BTS? No, but it’s on the right track, and a second expansion just might do it in my eyes. But of course none of that will matter to you, since the game is so generic and bland.

            Like I said, get out of the comment section of Civ V related articles. Don’t tell me you have expressed hope, you haven’t. You have been hating the game repeatedly, bashing it based on experience you had 2 years ago, giving reasons that were for the most part not true. If you were in any way interested in Civ V, if you were “hopeful”, you would have actually tried it after the patch they came up with last summer. You haven’t. You are not hopeful. You just hate.

          • x1501 says:

            Well, if inserting my actual quote is not enough evidence for you, I really have nothing else to add. The only reason I started replying to you in the first place is because I just don’t like pushy door-to-door salesmen who have the audacity to scream at me that the crappy product I just bought with my own money is not only working as intended, but I should be thankful for it as well.

            I’m putting a stop to this foolish nonsense here and now. If you stop stalking my comments, completely misrepresenting my views (“laggy multiplayer makes the game bland”, when I said absolutely nothing about the lag; “haven’t played the game for 2 years”, when I just said I played it yesterday; and so forth), I’ll be thankful.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Forgive me for stating my opinion. It’s wrong and I will never do it again, anyone with an opinion different than yours is obviously stupid. Anyone who likes a game that you don’t is a “fanboy” or a “(insert dev studio here) employee”. It all makes perfect sense to me now, thanks for helping me out of my predicament.

            I’m fine with you not liking Civ V. Come out and say “I prefer Civ IV”. Don’t wave around pretentious statements about how it was dumbed down without ever saying what exactly was so dumbed down, how it’s bland and generic. I don’t remember if you linked that Sulla post, but I do know Sulla never said the game is dumbed down, he stated the opposite in fact. Civ V has been in the top 10 most played games on Steam for 20 months now, obviously not everyone agrees with you. Accept that.

            I gave my honest opinion of the expansion to a person who LIKES Civ V and was wondering if the diplo has been changed. I do think that while the expansion doesn’t revamp the game, it adds more than enough to make the game feel more fleshed out and interesting, while fixing many old issues. You started bashing me for it even though my comment has nothing to do with you. Do you understand how pathetic that looks? How hateful and troll-like? How you are hating on the game under every related article? I’m guessing not, since you are still singing the same old tired tune. If you can’t get over a game for 2 years, some professional help might be needed to be honest.

            “I bet that no one will even consider spending that much time with the generic pile of dumbed down crap that is Civilization V.”

            That was your first comment. It’s trolling. It’s hating a game in the comment section of an article that is NOT about said game.

  41. Lowesy13 says:

    I love Civ 5 and I Admit there are some problems with it however am I the only person who thinks that Civ hasn’t progressed since Civ 3, Civ three actually took time to play and had you thinking about balancing building in cities and building units to defend your country.
    One point I would fight for in Civ 5 is resources, in Civ 4 and Civ 3 you could grab one resource and that was it until it became obsolete, however in Civ 5 you are limited by resources you have and you look at where you can get more resources for your army

  42. amisylili says:

    Food packing machine
    Food packing machine series includes teabag packaging machine, automatic powder packaging machine, automatic liquid packaging machine and double chamber vacuum packaging machine.

  43. Bweahns says:

    I just gave this game another burl and it is just so bland and watered down. I love the new hex based combat so much more than stacks but that is the only thing I like about Civ5 over Civ4.