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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
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    What are people's thoughts on Civ V these days?

    I bought Civ V when it was released-rare for me-but was disappointed when it was released. I could tell that there was potential in there, certainly; It was more intuitive to CIV initiates like myself, it was attractive, the Panzer General style combat adding a pleasing tactical element and there a sufficiently friendly learning curve with plenty of depth below, just the sort of thing I was looking for.

    It was ruined for me though by an AI which didn’t understand the rules of the game and a general disposition towards warmongering and militarism which sort of defeats the point of playing Civ instead of something like Total War or Warlock, Age of Wonders etc. I want to play V for the cultural elements as well, for the ability to choose my own path, rather than just stomping over everyone. Power politics seemed the only viable strategy if you wanted to win as opposed to just one of many.

    I still played it for about 40 hours and very much found myself in the throes of one more turn syndrome, but it was in the hope that I would be able to see that the computer had been playing a cleverer game than I first surmised. As soon as I realised this wasn’t the case I gave up. There was also a terrible amount of slowdown which seemed the sort you encounter with memory leaks.

    Anyway I was wondering if any fellow RPSer’s have any experience of playing CIV V since, whether the patches have sorted the above etc? Does anyone knows of any good Let’s Play’s which exhibit the strengths of the game, or has anyone had a positive experience with Civ V away from the military stuff?

  2. #2
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    Briefly, the AI still can't fight, the performance is better and they will still eye up your cities the instant the enforced peace ends.

    Normally I play Civ on the largest maps with the highest player count. On release my games would become unbearably slow in the mid-late game and eventually would crash every 2-3 turns without fail. I don't think I actually finished a game to my satisfaction because of the regular crashes. Playing recently. the game survives late game sprawls and manages to keep up the framerate a little more than before. It's not great at all times but I'm willing to accept that when playing on the largest settings.

    The AI seems unchanged. It still can't wage an effective war without massive numerical/technological advantages and some nations seem pre-programmed to favour war over any kind of long term diplomacy. That doesn't bother me too much as it couldn't fight in previous Civ games either, it just sent a monster stack at you. I don't miss the giant stack warfare and I can't go back to Civ 4 now largely because of the combat. Civ 5 might not know how to fight but at least I'm not watching stacks of 80 tanks race around railroads all the time.

    The one thing I do miss are the expansions. Civ 4's expansions added a lot to the game and it's hard to go back to basics in Civ 5. Hopefully the one coming this week will restore some of that. The only reason I stopped playing was so I could play some other unloved games; if the expansions aren't complete washouts I'll be back for many more hours. Just as soon as I finish this game of Crusader Kings 2.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonson View Post
    It was ruined for me though by an AI which didn’t understand the rules of the game and a general disposition towards warmongering and militarism
    That depends on who you're playing against. If you're next to Gandhi he'll usually leave you alone, Genghis Khan not so much. Difficult level feeds into this, albeit a bit quirky - the AI aggression is toned down on the lower difficulties but boosted on the higher, with the result even peaceful civs can become a bit like pissed Glaswegians on a derby day (i.e. they'll attempt to declare war despite you outnumbering them a few hundred to one).
    You'd probably be better off playing it yourself to see if the patches have changed stuff. The AI has certainly been altered, though I can't say I've ever had a problem with being able to win via a non-military route (even the Bollywood achievement). To be honest I usually have the opposite problem - I tend to hit the cultural victory conditions long before anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goateh View Post
    The AI seems unchanged. It still can't wage an effective war without massive numerical/technological advantages and some nations seem pre-programmed to favour war over any kind of long term diplomacy.
    That's because they are. Each civ has an aggressiveness value hardcoded. They don't evaluate their options and decide. Their reactions feel arbitrary because they are.

    Civ simply doesn't "do" AI in any appreciable form.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Cooper's Avatar
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    The civs make a vast difference to the Ai experience. Firaxis went for "character"; the AIs actually use their civilization's bonuses. i.e. Alex will just try to conquer everything and make friends with city states whilst Ghandi will go for a tiny but massive empire. Batolemaeus is s sourpuss - these are not "arbitrary", they have reasoning behind them. It's just that the reasoning is not because of the situation on the map in any given game, the reasoning for decisions sits outside of the context of th game. This is not arbitrary, but it is limiting.

    As such, sometimes this "character" will cause the AI to make decisions in opposition to what makes sense on the map as it is. It is for this reason that war-like civs tend to dominate maps unless you intervene.

    Overall the unit movement and placement Ai is much better a few patches in. AIs remain absolutely shit at colonising unihabited continents though. Diplomacy remains a massive problem. There's a total lack of reasoning exhibited behind so many decisions.

    The god awful "denoucnement" mechanic makes -no- sense. At least not without it being tagged with reasoning.
    Quote Originally Posted by CROCONOUGHTKEY
    KING GEORGE IS A FROG
    le BANG~__-MICHEAL FUCK OFF~~__-INTERPOL KNOW YOU WELLBIENG~—
    OFF
    NOT RUSHMORE MOUNTAIN
    KILL WESTON KILL MUST KILLTHEWESTERNINMYHEADDOESN’TEXSIST
    TEXASISDEADINPARISHEWASAMAN..BINGBING.TETTOHEAD.SP ACEOK,TIMEDEADANDSTOPPED1920HOKKAIDO.UNDERSTOODAT1 ONE.
    UNDERSTANDTHISANDFUCKOFFPIRATEBAY.TIMEDOESNTEXSIST FORMEASIMPATEKPHILLPE.
    BANG

  6. #6
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    I just had a nice, enjoyable campaign a month ago that saw an epic world battle against the Mongolians, who had set about conquering the other hemisphere. I had loads of fun playing out my overall strategies, but as previous posters have mentioned, the AI doesn't know how to play the game. I made it a priority to have naval superiority, which tipped the scales significantly in my favor. I never saw more than one or two enemy ships in opposition, and I won several wars because I was able to wipe out the other side's land force while it sat embarked off the coast.

    While it was fun it was disappointing, knowing that I had a sure win because I had naval and air dominance on my side and that the AI would never have anything approaching that. I think I saw three enemy fighters in a 200 year span.

    Overall, though, I would say Civ V is a very enjoyable game, especially if you can lend your own narrative to it.

  7. #7
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Well I bought it all, the base game and the new expansion, and I seriously hope the AI improves, though I have to admit, I didnt notice much of any of this when I played it some time ago.
    - Tom De Roeck.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooper View Post
    Batolemaeus is s sourpuss - these are not "arbitrary", they have reasoning behind them. It's just that the reasoning is not because of the situation on the map in any given game, the reasoning for decisions sits outside of the context of th game. This is not arbitrary, but it is limiting.
    That is the definition of arbitrary. What the AI does has nothing to do with the context of the game being played but was decided beforehand. The AI does not behave reasonably but rather acts to a script some dev conjured up in some remote office, and to the uninitiated will seem random and illogical.

    I'm sorry if this upsets you, but this isn't limiting, this is textbook arbitrary. Genghis will go to war with you even if your army and empire is twice his size and includes a few +1 range, indirect fire, double attack archers. Not because it makes sense for his survival, for his conquest or to win, but because he is hardcoded to do so. He isn't just predisposed towards war, he is locked down to that path.
    Last edited by Batolemaeus; 18-06-2012 at 04:05 PM.

  9. #9
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    I've played every Civ since the first one for DOS, but only superficially on low difficulties. I haven't played for a while but I loved Civ 5. I appreciated Adam Smith's article this morning because he identified intricacies I wouldn't have noticed about long term play and military standoffs.

    I too love the non-stacking hex board, and I really like Civ 5's minimalistic UI and streamlined commands. I think it was a move in the right direction since the micromanagement of 3 and 4.

    I'm definitely not Civ's core audience but I never miss a new version. Expansions, however, I wouldn't mind missing.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batolemaeus View Post
    That is the definition of arbitrary. What the AI does has nothing to do with the context of the game being played but was decided beforehand. The AI does not behave reasonably but rather acts to a script some dev conjured up in some remote office, and to the uninitiated will seem random and illogical.

    I'm sorry if this upsets you, but this isn't limiting, this is textbook arbitrary. Genghis will go to war with you even if your army and empire is twice his size and includes a few +1 range, indirect fire, double attack archers. Not because it makes sense for his survival, for his conquest or to win, but because he is hardcoded to do so. He isn't just predisposed towards war, he is locked down to that path.
    This happens in real life too.

  11. #11
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    The last thing we want is for AI in strategy games to behave like irrational people. They already play strategy games badly enough that they don't need to be handicapped any further.

    Anyway, my father is up to 1044 hoursof Civ 5 now, so it can't be too bad.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirKicksalot View Post
    This happens in real life too.
    This is not real life.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooper View Post
    The god awful "denoucnement" mechanic makes -no- sense. At least not without it being tagged with reasoning.
    I tend to find it pretty obvious why they're doing it tbh. Usually it's either because you've done something to piss them off (i.e. settled near their borders), or you're way ahead of them. If you're leading the game you then get the chain denouncements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Batolemaeus View Post
    I'm sorry if this upsets you, but this isn't limiting, this is textbook arbitrary. Genghis will go to war with you even if your army and empire is twice his size and includes a few +1 range, indirect fire, double attack archers. Not because it makes sense for his survival, for his conquest or to win, but because he is hardcoded to do so. He isn't just predisposed towards war, he is locked down to that path.
    He won't, not in that situation :P The AI does do a comparison between your military and it's own prior to declaring war (how much disparity it'll tolerate is affected by the difficulty). If your military is too large it won't declare war. Although the warmongers like Genghis are pre-scripted to favour the military route.
    The problem is the AI doesn't seem to understand the relative qualities of units, only quantity. So if Genghis mass produces enough spearmen that his military is a similar size, he'll happily declare war even if you're fielding tanks. By the same token if you build a bunch of scouts in the early game you can expect to see neighbouring civs 'afraid' of your military, despite the fact your only real combat unit is the initial warriors you start with.
    Although that said I'm not sure exactly why it's a problem. Most of the warlike states are pretty much geared up from the get-go for military conquest; if they didn't go down the military route they're at a huge disadvantage, especially if there's another civ in play that specialises in whatever route they do try and go down.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    I think it's going to be awesome to play on the Microsoft Surface.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archonsod View Post
    I tend to find it pretty obvious why they're doing it tbh. Usually it's either because you've done something to piss them off (i.e. settled near their borders), or you're way ahead of them. If you're leading the game you then get the chain denouncements.


    He won't, not in that situation :P The AI does do a comparison between your military and it's own prior to declaring war (how much disparity it'll tolerate is affected by the difficulty). If your military is too large it won't declare war. Although the warmongers like Genghis are pre-scripted to favour the military route.
    The problem is the AI doesn't seem to understand the relative qualities of units, only quantity. So if Genghis mass produces enough spearmen that his military is a similar size, he'll happily declare war even if you're fielding tanks. By the same token if you build a bunch of scouts in the early game you can expect to see neighbouring civs 'afraid' of your military, despite the fact your only real combat unit is the initial warriors you start with.
    Although that said I'm not sure exactly why it's a problem. Most of the warlike states are pretty much geared up from the get-go for military conquest; if they didn't go down the military route they're at a huge disadvantage, especially if there's another civ in play that specialises in whatever route they do try and go down.
    I forget whether they simply know your troop levels at all times, or whether they extrapolate from what they can see. At one point I had an empire where I simply had one zhugenu per city and abjectly refused to accept any open borders, and everybody was deathly afraid of me. They never denounced me and in fact always showed up with big smiling faces no matter what I did or didn't do. Of course, I had a lot of cities, but still.
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  16. #16
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    I bought Civ V and a bunch of addons for it on some sale.

    Then I promptly got severely sucked into CK2 and never touched Civ V.

    I'm the perfect steam customer, the kind of idiot who buys a game and doesn't play it

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Have you tried the game C-Evo ?
    http://www.c-evo.org/text.html

    C-evo is a freeware empire building game for Windows.
    With a time scope of several thousand years, it covers aspects of exploration and expansion, industry and agriculture, warfare and diplomacy, science and administration. C-evo follows the spirit of popular turn-based strategy games from the mid 90s, but with more emphasis on powerful AI and careful design of the rules, resulting in a true challenge.

    The game is based on Microprose's famous Sid Meier's Civilization and has many basic ideas in common with it. Actually, this project has arised from the wish to correct annoying design mistakes and AI weaknesses of Civ II. The priorities of the C-evo project are considerably different from big commercial games. While those are focused on easy entertainment and mainly compete for the most realistic and exciting up-to-date multimedia, this one aims at ageless challenge. There are six design principles, see below.

    The project does not have a team in the classic meaning. I'm doing the main programming alone and I put my work to the public domain, while the game graphics are supplied by the Civ community. Since a clever AI is essential for a strategy game, C-evo has an open AI interface implemented. So everyone who feels called to can code his personal AI engine and let it compete against others. Some alternative AIs are already available from the files section.

    Principle 1: Low Risk. The basic idea is correction, not revolution. The playing experience with Civ II is used to overcome its design problems. New and overturning ideas will hardly be implemented, because this would only lead to another unbalanced game.

    Principle 2: Fun by Challenge.
    Computer games get to bore after a while - that's a fact. The reason is that they remain the same - that's a common assumption, resulting in a stream of new games and massively extended sequels, each trying to temporarily suppress the boredom again. Call it fun by novelty. This project is based on a completely different assumption, induced by a few old games outside the computer world, which never change but are usually played for a lifetime. The problem of computer games might not be that they don't change but that they are bad - bad design, poor AI, false priorities set, constructs of perfect style and overwhelming size but not of intelligence. The challenge declines rapidly after a winning strategy is recognized. One wins every game with much to work and little to think. Doing this better should be possible.

    Principle 3: AI Liberation.
    Empire building games are typically asymmetric. They are built around the human player as their center, with some pseudo-AI mainly having the job to keep him amused and to make the whole thing a realistic simulation. C-evo, in contrast, is a competition of equals. AI has no jobs, because that would reduce its strength. AI just has a goal, which is the same as the player's goal: to win. All are playing by the same symmetric rules, no matter if human or AI. Frequently made suggestions show that many players do not fully realize the consequences of this principle (which is forgivable because the games they're used to are far away from it.) Particularly, there is no way to direct the behavior of the AI - the AI is as free as the player is. Rules and AI are strictly separated. Some examples for ideas that are not compatible with this principle:


    • A wonder that improves other nations' attitude towards the owning nation. As hardly as a human player would ever change his opinion about another player because a rule tells him to do, as hardly would true AI.
    • Democratic and fundamentalistic states being more aggressive against each other than two states usually are. Same thing - AI is not under the game's command!
    • Use of certain methods or weapons (like nuclears) resulting in international contempt. Same thing again.
    • A diplomatic option for the human player to ask AI allies for support in his war campaign, expecting true effort. AI to subordinate to the player's plans is as ridiculous as the player to give up his strategy and instead help one AI fight the other.


    Principle 4: Focus on Strategy.
    It's the nature of a Civ-style game to be a simulation and a strategy game at the same time. This double-ambition causes serious conflicts in game design and the need for compromise. While Civ I and Civ II chose a middle course, newer Civ sequels are clearly directed towards simulation. C-evo gives priority to strategy, which means:


    • The game is played by the players, not by itself. Everything happening is happening because one of the players does it or caused it, not because the game decides it's time for a surprise.
    • You can't win the game by hitting Enter a hundred times and accepting everything that some advisors are advising. C-evo is a game, not a movie.
    • Elements that are irrelevant for the game's end are out of place.
    • Rules of the game that represent a mathematical effect are specified as a formula, not using nebulous phrases ("more", "less", "better").
    • Main goals are maximum challenge and minimum boring busywork. Realism is welcome but does not take precedence over these two aspects.
    • Poor players will not be helped in order to keep the balance of power. (Yes, this means most games are decided before they end formally, but that's natural and common to almost all good games.)
    • The fun you'll have playing the game without reading the manual is comparable to the fun it is to move pieces on a chessboard without knowing the rules of chess.


    Principle 5: Compact Rule Set.
    A bigger game is not necessarily a better game. Additional elements can damage a game just as much as they can contribute to it. C-evo tries to keep its rule set small. Rules that would make the game more ornate but not bring new aspects of strategy will not be implemented, even if they'd add to realism.

    Principle 6: Balance of Strategy and Micro Management. The game should remain small enough so that micro management can still be an important part of it. C-evo does not try to split into several levels where the lower ones are so boring that it takes automatics to keep the game bearable. The goal is to make the micro management interesting - or to remove it. To hide it away from the player with the help of macro management is the worst solution (though sometimes necessary).
    pass

  18. #18
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    This review made me instantly love the new expansion for civ, even though I still have to wait for a couple more days.

    http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=364628
    - Tom De Roeck.

    monochrom & verse publications

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sonson's Avatar
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    Thanks to all those who have replied. It certainly sounds as though it's worth another go when I get the time. I get the impression that it helps to think of it as a board game against people who want you to lose as opposed to a simulation in which everyone has their own agenda. As much as I'd always hoped Civ V would be the latter the former can be fun in it's own way I suppose.

  20. #20
    Lesser Hivemind Node apricotsoup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    This review made me instantly love the new expansion for civ, even though I still have to wait for a couple more days.

    http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=364628
    This fills me with more hope, had the expansion bought for my birthday and now just waiting for the internet ocean to open it for me.

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