My Civ V Impressions
Here are my impressions of Civilization V in a massive wall of text. It's a combination of suggestions, commentary, and rants that covers my 45 hours of play-time thus far.
Playing on my laptop, I'm forced to use tactical mode (or whatever it's called). My laptop can run Civ IV just fine, but Civ V is virtually unplayable even on the lowest video settings. Tactical mode however, which makes Civ II look like eye candy, runs fine. This is a very minor issue for me since I don't give a rat's ass about graphics, but it does present two problems:
Key interface mechanics behave differently in tactical vs regular mode. For example, enemies warp from tile to tile during their turns in tactical mode. Thus caravels appear and disappear, and I have no idea where they came from or where they went. Also I'm unable to click on stacked units in towns (e.g. one combat unit and one worker). I have to switch out of tactical mode, activate a unit, and switch back before my computer explodes.
Second, why in the world are roads/railroads recolors of each other? As someone who's color blind, the subtle color change is annoying. Even Civ II got it right...
The city state concept is awesome - something I'd really been looking forward to after learning about the game. Unfortunately, thanks to the combination of 1) every city state wanting you to wipe out some other city state (plenty of excuses) and 2) the puppet state concept, there's no real reason not to steamroll the city states one by one. The one real exception that I've found: maritime city state allies benefit your whole empire in a huge way. Cultural ones don't provide enough culture to make alliances worth-while. Militaristic city states seem to serve me best as puppets. Case in point: a militaristic city-state ally decided to gift me a unit. I'm rolling out mech infantries and they give me a lancer. Awesome.
Speaking of which, why is my production list full of obsolete units? Why am I even presented with the option of building a lancer when I can build tanks and death robots?
I love how you can't trade techs. In Civ IV, I always turn off tech trading because IMHO it greatly improves the game's pace. Turning off tech trading allows you to spend a few years in a "tech era" before everything becomes obsolete. If you get chemistry and declare war against someone with only gunpowder, you can actually reach their cities before they trade for assembly line and spam-upgrade their units. However, in Civ 5, science progresses so quickly that, even though tech trading has been removed, the pace still seems way too fast (perhaps as a means of compensating?). Science progresses so fast that by the time you've actually built a unit, you've already learned 2-3 additional techs. "Building" a modern army in most cases seems like a colossal waste of time and resources when you can buy a cheap, soon-to-be obsolete unit and upgrade it, preferably in a city with an armory, barracks, etc. etc.
Tech choices seem much less critical from a strategic standpoint than in Civ IV. I often find myself not even reading the research options in Civ V and just clicking one with an adviser logo next to it. Tech advances occur so quickly that picking one over another doesn't make much of a difference in most cases. In Civ IV, my thought process went something like this... "Do I invest the time to learn Theology and build the Hagia Sophia before someone "great engineers" me, or do I try to boost production by learning another tech first?" Since all techs require roughly the same investment and hardly any give you a passive bonus effect, this strategic aspect seems to have been lost in Civ V after about the Bronze Age. True I haven't played an epic game, but research and production times scale, so this will hold true in any case. In contrast, any given set of research times in Civ IV could vary by up to a factor of 10. Here, I'm just not seeing the same level of variation.
Worker AI needs to be improved. Instead of building roads between towns and moving quickly along the roads to build improvements, the workers waste turns moving over rough terrain to build farms and less critical improvements. Once I've learned Railroad, the workers begin building railroads next to my existing roads, effectively tripling the gold required to maintain my roads (rather than replacing the roads that were already there).
I really like the hexagonal tile setup, and limiting one unit per tile is a welcome departure from Stacks of Death, but at present the AI has no idea how to handle this configuration. Bumping up the difficulty doesn't help since this only seems to give the player less of a handicap. The AI behaves just as incompetently on King as it does on Settler. King SHOULD have had me crying in a corner from difficulty/unfairness, but I managed to out-produce and out-score all of the other AIs on a large map. Those that attacked me (should say, suicided against me) lost dozens of superior units to my puny army due to the AI's improper unit management. In my previous game on Prince setting, 6 mediocre units completely steamrolled the massive German empire and its dozens of superior-yet-completely-ineffective units.
The AI can't handle its ranged units at all. Why are artillery units parading in front of my cities where I can pick them off? Why are naval units parked outside of my road-connected puppet cities and not firing, pillaging, or doing anything useful? The AI has absolutely no chance against even a moderately-skilled player. If you haven't figured this out on your own already, you can demolish city after city with 1-2 artillery units and a fast “cap” unit such as a cavalry unit or knight. Then, if it looks like the enemy is going to retaliate, simply abandon the city (which immediately regains a significant amount of “health”, over-powered if you ask me) and watch the AI suicide against its own undefended city. Rinse and repeat.
Given that ranged units are so devastating against AI, I've become a fan of garrisoned archers/crossbowmen since they can be activated to fire on nearby enemies without leaving town. They can even fend off enemy ships. Why is there no equivalent cheap, moderate-damage, ranged unit in the industrial/modern era? The fact that crossbowmen upgrade to riflemen (short-range, longsword upgrade) doesn't make any sense to me. Am I expected to replace my crossbowmen manually with cannons? How about adding a marksman unit or the equivalent?
Unfortunately, the diplomacy system needs a lot of work. In my King game, England was warning me to remove units from near their territory; my closest unit was half a screen away and my “army” was nowhere near their borders. Songhai was telling me that I needed to stop hoarding wonders of the world. I had built a total of 2 up to that point (about 1700 AD) while other AIs had 5 or more, and I get a threatening message? I was warned that I was building cities too close to yet another rival, whose nearest city was on the other side of the map? Multiple previously-not-hostile civs declared war on me simultaneously (not that this was a problem due to the AI issues) out of the blue.
Speaking of nonsense diplomacy, while I was steamrolling Germany in the Prince game, Bismark kept offering me peace deals. "Give me all of your resources and all of your cities for peace." Is this a joke? Were the programmers just hoping you'd click the wrong button on accident? In Civ IV I could always extort a little bit of gold in exchange for peace. Even if the AI wouldn't give you all of its gold, you could drop the amount by 50%, ask again, and eventually they'd say “ok” (usually around 200-300 gold). In Civ V, the AI won't budge the tiniest bit. Here's a dramatic rendition of my peace talks with Bismark... me: "I won't destroy your civilization if you give me 1 gold." Bismark: "f&%# you! give me all your cities and strategic resources! lolololo11one" So I took a few more cities and asked again. Even when he finally started offering a “fair” deal, peace-for-peace, he'd refuse if I asked for just a single additional gold.
My final complaint is that, since I'm unable to control commerce in any meaningful way (no science/gold/culture slider), there is zero room for error. In my last game, I was besieged and my empire's gold output dropped from +12 to -45 from one turn to the next. Enemy ships had blocked access to a critical harbor and it took a few turns to wipe them out. In the mean time, my gold reserves had dropped to zero. The vast majority of upkeep was from buildings. No problem, I'll demolish some buildings... What!? I'm stuck with all of the buildings? I can't delete any of them, and instead my units are deleted one by one? THAT is a ☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺ game mechanic. Even if I can't sell my buildings (Civ II), I should at least be able to destroy them if upkeep is so critical. To compensate for the lost income, I changed the production of ALL of my cities (~14 total) to Wealth and still couldn't overcome the deficit. (Wealth is now completely useless since it gives 2-3 gold per city (10% of production).) I survived by sacrificing my great generals for 3-turn golden ages.
Civilization V is certainly a decent game, but it has a lot of issues, more than I've ever seen in a production-quality game that cost $60. I've never bought a downloadable game before, so maybe things are different now-a-days; games don't have to be as polished when they are released if they can be patched on the fly.
I'm enjoying most of the departures from earlier civ games, and I'm looking forward to the day when all of the "problems" (bugs and gameplay issues) in the current version have been fixed, and especially for the day when the AI can provide a decent challenge.
Indeed on most
I havent even gone through one game yet.
I wanted to get a feel for Civ V. Before this i spent most of my time with Civ IV: Colonization and BTS.
I set game to Marathon, Huge map, Settler Difficulty and Max Civ's competing.
Now, i did this to make sure i wont have bickering neighbours causing a hassle while i get a feel and learn manage my empire.
Sadly, managing the empire isnt much of managing at all. Everything is downseized compared to Civ 4. I dont find anything to change, manage etc.
What i did find however, is that Marathon = Same unit movement speed, huge increase in Build/Reseach/Improvement time. Basicly i spend 16 turns for a tech in Modern Era = 16 years. Thats alot of time in modern days.
To build a farm on a Tile of jungle/marsh is 32 turns. 6 tiles around a new city = 192 years of improvement work total. That means while i build my farms my aztec neighbour fly to the moon and back and bring back ET.. me, im building my farms as he returns.
Civ 5 in a box, it's a console game. It's unintelligent and for the young. No micromanagement, no worries. Everything is nationwide and 4 numbers to keep an eye on up top.
Combat is ok with no stacking, but only because on Marathon, wich i like best it takes you 30+ turns for a decent production city to pop a unit.
So, when i want to go to war, i need to spend about a century to get a decent seized army, and i would never even bother.. because i cant stack my army anyway. Basicly IF i built 2 troops in all my towns (I have 16 cities now).. thats 32 units.. there be no room for me to utilize my army.
It was fun the firt 20 hours. Now i play 2-3 turns, save and quit. Same dravel, no managing, just a walk in the tar waiting for my workers 32 turns to go through in modenr times. Building a wonder starting 1899 and done mid 1950's. Build a hospital or a factory.. Takes 20-40 years. Civ V is a waste of Your time, and the People in your Civ's time.
You do realise that the game is based on buying units rather than producing right? Most of your units and building should be bought with gold, not made with hammers.
Originally Posted by CarroM
you even said at the start you played it on settler derp, it's not a console game you're factually wrong obviously
if you play on higher difficulties then it's far more strategic (obviously) since you have to manage city numbers/population, gold income, happiness and building only what you absolutely need instead of building pretty much everything in CIV4
And there's the rub. It was an option (OPTION) in Civ IV to use it or not use it, it allowed the player to decide how they wish to play.
Originally Posted by Gakumerasara
It seems to me the developers have lost sight of giving the players options and instead want to cram their way of playing down our throats if we want to play the game at all.
They seriously need to go back to letting us decide how we wish to play.
Nice impressions, a lot of it I agree with, some not so much, overall nicely written.