Praise Be: Civ V – Gods And Kings Demo

By Adam Smith on July 2nd, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

SACRIFACE

How often do you find yourself looking at Civilization V and thinking, ‘all this science and culture is fine, but there simply aren’t enough deities knocking about the place’. If the answer is ‘very often’ you might already have bought the Gods and Kings expansion. If not you could read my thoughts on what it does for the game or you could even try it for yourself. There’s a demo on Steam and, brilliantly, it’s standalone; you won’t need the base game to try it. Handy that, for those who held off buying in the hope that an expansion might make the whole thing more appealing. Embarrassingly, I’m not actually sure how much the demo contains but I’d bet fifty pence that it sets a limit on how many turns you can play for.

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37 Comments »

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  1. Njordsk says:

    I’m so disapointed with the expansion.

    Way too lazy. Religion is okay but nothing more, well integrated within the game though. Spying is bad at best.

    And the HUGES civ V problems are still there, mainly the diplomatic AI, which I can’t stand anymore.

    Already uninstalled sadly.

    • mr.ioes says:

      I’m so happy with the expansion.

      They improved and fixed a lot of things whilst keeping the core game as it is. Religion is easily gamebreaking (have a city surrounded with desert? Take desert/faith perk and build petra and voila, the city is OP), well integrated within the game indeed. Spying is a nice addition that thankfully is implemented without the use of ingame units. It can help a handful of times in your average game or not, depends on how actively (and smart) you want to use it (looking into cityscreens of opponents is too tedious for me atm to actively use it. It may get used to it over time.

      And the HUGES civ V problems are thankfully fixed, mainly the diplomatic AI, which never ever declares war on you anymore without a reason. It is finally possible for me to maintain friendships from start to finish. Only thing I need to do is not to piss off my friends.

      Demanding still doesn’t work though.

      Still finding new ways of playing. It’s a valid expansionpack well worth its price.

      Opinions can be so different -.-

      • Njordsk says:

        Maintain friendship from start to finish? I’d like to see that.

        Do you send him 20 gold each turn or something?

        • mr.ioes says:

          I just offer them one of my cities every 10 rounds or so. After that I declare war on one of their opponents and attack with all scouts I have. That usually keeps me friendly with one civ.

          Obviously.

          • brkl says:

            But that’s crazy. To maintain peace you have to act like no nation has ever acted.

          • mr.ioes says:

            Immortal difficulty. Everyone is an ally except for mayas, whom’s main city I already captured. I need to be careful with going to war with Mayas again, as they are allied with austria now, which is allied with everyone.

            To me this pretty much works like it should now. If I had gone straight to war with no particular reason in Vanilla Civ V, they all would have declared war on me -.-

        • Dana says:

          Embassies, open borders, trading luxuries, science agreements etc. From 4 civs im directly bordering with, with only one I’ve been at war, all the time actually. And with one I’ve been at peace all the time, hell, they ask for renewing defensive pacts themselves when they end.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          Staying friendly is easy if you be friendly. That means not putting cities closer to their capital than yours, not screwing with their city states, not being friends with their enemies, not killing several other civs. The Diplo AI is actually great, it just plays like a player and that is why people hate it (ironic I know). Instead they want paper tigers who make deals that are not in their interest and are irrationally nice to the player.

          If you want to be friends with someone you don’t need to bribe them. You just need to be nice and have a large army. If you have some tiny army 1/2 the size of the AIs army (which humans frequently do), the AI will see you are weak and come get you.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          I have had absolutely no problems. If anything, it is in fact TOO EASY TO MAKE FRIENDS: http://img98.imageshack.us/img98/1849/2012062900001.jpg

  2. Flukie says:

    I really enjoyed Civ 5, waiting for a price drop to pick this one up but I am excited.

  3. AngoraFish says:

    I’ve been playing this obsessively since it came out. I was initially scared about what I might find because of RPS ambivalence, but for my money religion, and to a much lesser extent spies, increases the Civ experience 100%. For what it’s worth, I’m not a spreadsheet/optimization kind of player, nor do I give a toss about multiplayer. I play on normal difficulty and play intuitively rather than through any particular desire to learn or game the underlying mathematics. Mostly I win, sometimes I don’t. Religion introduces a meta-game that makes the world seem more real and alive with minimal additional complexity. Spies was the one improvement I was most tentative about, but it’s actually not in any way tedious or game breaking – no walking spies around the map as if they were units. Eliminating the golden-age great person popping option is a huge improvement. Tech-trading/research agreements is/are nerfed. Diplomacy AI seems marginally more astute. New civilizations, wonders and city states add flavor. I can’t think of a single addition in this expansion that doesn’t hit the sweet spot for me in creating a real-feeling world without any particular additional micro-management. The only downside is that there does seem to be a resource hit towards the later ages as processing between turns seems to drag on longer than in vanilla Civ. There are also a couple of odd but hardly game-breaking glitches that seem to have snuck in, like the screen occasionally dragging itself off into fog of war between turns for no explicable reason. I’ve been playing Civ since the original and this is undeniably the best iteration of the series yet, with religion adding back in my only major complaint about the upgrade from IV to V. This expansion gets an enthusiastic two thumbs up from me. With around 250 hours played on vanilla I can now comfortably see another 250 coming up.

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      Tom De Roeck says:

      +1, my experience exactly. The city states have been improved, and the enemy civs feel very alive.

    • mr.ioes says:

      A lot of true words I can very much relate to. They really did a great job adding new content and fixing previously annoying little things without going overboard with it.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      I agree. The expansion finally made me stop playing CIV. CiV finally feels like a complete and immersive game.

  4. mr.ioes says:

    Random link that people might be interested in: http://www.reddit.com/r/civ/
    Source of a lot of civ amusement but also serious discussions :)

  5. McDan says:

    Little known fact: the sacrificial face of war… is a tank! Crazy right?

  6. Dana says:

    Don’t listen to haters. It’s great exp pack. You can read up on the new features here.

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=464730

    • LionsPhil says:

      “Don’t listen to fanboys. It’s an awful exp pack.”

      Being obnoxiously dismissive is not a discussion.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        Take a look at the CFC forums, the Amazon reviews, whatever. The reaction to the expansion has been almost universally positive.

    • Stromko says:

      I have 200 hours logged playing Civ 5, so I don’t think you could call me a hater, but the expansion pack isn’t that special for 30$. I haven’t been motivated to play more than a few hours since I got it. I always end up after a couple hours with a sigh, a ‘meh’, and then quit.

      I think what this says is that this isn’t a transformative expansion that will make up for fatigue with the base game. If you don’t want to play a lot more Civ 5, this probably isn’t worth your 30$-or-equivalent.

      • Xardas Kane says:

        I wonder what you did during those 200 hours. Did you somehow miss the giant redesign of the tech tree with a whole new Era? The changed combat system? The better and more transparent diplomacy? The redesign of all Great people except for Great Merchants? The new CS mechanics? How they fixed numerous beelines, exploits, etc?

        Honestly those are the things that make the expansion great. While religion is pretty cool, and Espionage is at least not as annoying as in 4, exactly those subtle changes and tweaks make a great expansion out of G+K.

  7. Fierce says:

    Just so everybody knows, here are a few facts about the demo:

    – The demo only allows you to play as the Celts, a new Civ. In fact, when you launch the demo, all you can click on are your UI/Graphical/Audio Options and “Play Now”.
    – The demo only allows you to play on a Tiny Map with Plentiful resources, and only up to Turn 150 before it stops you dead, congratulates you for playing and asks you to decide between buying or returning to Main Menu. None of which really matters because…
    THE DEMO DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO SAVE. NOT ONE SAVE. NOT EVEN AUTOSAVES.

    To be PERFECTLY CLEAR, the Demo expects you to play all 150 turns in one sitting. While that’s no problem for some, I had to leave my game on overnight in order to finish so it may be a problem for others such as myself.

    It does not Autosave. It does not let you Quicksave. It does not recognize Quicksave keyboard keys. And -someone correct me if I’m wrong- this is a functional departure from the vanilla Civ5 demo functionality, as I seem to remember happily continuing my saved demo game with Alexander/Greeks after purchase. This has been denied for this demo.

    Also disappointing is the demo only showcases Religion. While that’s an unavoidable limitation due to the 150 turn length, I would’ve loved having 2 scenarios available to try, one of which showcased Espionage. Not being able to see Espionage in action literally stopped me from purchasing the expansion upon demo completion as I felt uninformed for artificial reasons. And I have 700+ hours logged in Vanilla.

    Enjoy the demo and so forth, but run a Google search for a save mod occasionally and forget about seeing Espionage in action.

    • mr.ioes says:

      I don’t know. Something tells me you are ungrateful for the demo. It provides 2+ hours of content but is still limiting you for various reasons. My guess is, that espionage wasn’t shown in order to not reveal every content the expansion has to offer, something I wholeheartly agree on. Espionage is well done as you can read everywhere (reviews or userpostings), everything else you can find out ingame.

      Not being able to save, purchase & continue playing though is not nice. I totally agree on that, they shouldn’t have done that.

      • Fierce says:

        Just providing the facts. As I said, I have 700+ hours in Vanilla and demos are the oft-neglected double edged sword of the industry and are used precisely because reading about something and playing it are such different experiences. Can’t fault me it cut the wrong way with its harsh changes from the vanilla demo.

        Can’t change “here are facts about the demo” into “you’re ungrateful for the demo” using nothing other than your intuition either, but of course you’re welcome to feel how you feel. Just try the demo (I know you already own the expansion) and thus become able to compare your already owned experience with that of someone outside and looking in. The demo might surprise you.

        • caddyB says:

          If I played a game for over 700 hours I’d probably jump at the chance to buy an expansion.

          • Fierce says:

            Marketers and Activision love that kind of thinking.

            Just because you enjoyed something, regardless of how much or for how long, is no reason to turn off your brain when they trot out New & Improved v2.0. If there is a good reason to ever turn off your brain, I would certainly like to hear it.

            My point, that the demo unnecessarily stressed my experience with it and made me hesitate to decide favorably for it as a value proposition due to only briefly glimpsing its major additions (and that demo installers with an adult level of responsibilities should be wary), continues to stand.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            This is probably the first time I have seen the release of a demo for an expansion that is NOT stand-alone. What’s better, it’s about 1/3 longer than the demo for vanilla. You don’t get to save, big deal, I really don’t have any complaints.

    • LionsPhil says:

      The savegame limitation is absolutely barking given the nature of the game and the fact the demo is already fundamentally more limited against being a substitute for the game proper by the turn cap.

  8. caddyB says:

    I like the ideas for the expansion, but too expensive for what it brings to the table, I think. Will pick it up at like 20$ later on definitely though.

  9. Yosharian says:

    So do people actually use City States again now, because I started disabling them in my maps a long time ago due to them causing slowdown

    • mr.ioes says:

      They have more than double the quests now (or tripple?), it’s easier to be allied with them now, especially in early game. They are definitly useful.

      For example they may reward you for advancing the fastest in tech in the course of 30 rounds, or reward you for finding a wonder. Both quite easy tasks and they both give you ally status (okay, at least the tech one does. not sure bout wonder).

      • Yosharian says:

        I’m more concerned about their impact on turn delay than how useful they are

        • AngoraFish says:

          The only downside I have found from the new expansion is that it increases downtime between turns, very noticeably so towards the end-game. I always play with city states on, but it isn’t hard to imagine that city states have something to do with this. Certainly city state AI now appears more complex, which presumably has a resource hit associated with it. Ultimately, however, I suspect that the slowdown is more a factor of the number of cities needing to be processed each turn. By default, city states triple the number of active cities in the game from turn one. For what it’s worth, my solution to slowdown is to stick to smaller maps and to use the abstract hex map towards the end of the game, rather than turning off city states. I suspect that by the end of the game, once the map has filled up, the presence or absence of city states won’t make as noticeable a difference.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            That’s not the expansion, it’s actually the stupid last patch they released right before the expansion. It doesn’t cause slowdowns for everyone, but many people do complain about that. it will probably be fixed soon though.