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My thoughts on CIV V so far

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1 My thoughts on CIV V so far on Mon Sep 21, 2015 1:24 pm

So, as some of you may know, I bought the Civlilization V Complete Edition on Saturday. It's my first ever 4x style game. I was a bit wary at first, because I'm generally not a strategy game player. RTS games for example tend to be way too stressful for me. Even though I love the StarCraft universe, I just can't get into it for anything other than the campaign. And it even that is bothersome to play most of the time. But I figured that maybe a turn-based game could be good for relaxation and just killing time. And it looks like I was right on the money, at least with Civ V. I've already spent 13 hours with it and had a lot of fun so far.

There's a lot to like here. First of all, the interface. To be honest, it took me quite a while to figure things out, but that's mostly because this genre in general is quite complex by nature. Considering that hough, Civ V does a wonderful job of making things accessible. There were moments when I didn't know how to do specific tasks, but then found out about it within a minute. How to display the hexagonal grid, for example, and how to reassign population to different places. It's just very intuitively designed. This is something trivial perhaps, but I also like how the game looks and sounds. There's just this wonderfully layed-back and relaxed atmosphere. I love that they hired people to voice the different languages, even if it's not many lines. And they all sound like native speakers too, well, at least to the untrained ear with most of those languages. But I just like the whole concept of the game as a whole. There are so many choices you can make in a single game, there are so many options that you have. Just the fact that there are five different win conditions alone says a lot. During my first two games I didn't even know what I was doing at first, and I didn't finish them. But I got an idea of how you're supposed to play the game by the end of that, and since then I've done two full games. During the first I played Russia and went for a domination victory. The most recent one was a Science victory as Rome. Granted, I played on the lowest and second to lowest difficulty respectively, but like I said, I'm completely new to the genre. I will probably try going for a culture victory on a higher setting next. And maybe I'll change up the map type as well, I've only done continents so far.

All that being said, there are a couple of issues I have with the game. If you're going for a domination victory, or if you're just moving around a lot of military units, the game can become a bit tedious. Due to how the game is designed, you have to move every unit individually. If you plan to cover a lot of distance with a lot of units, it can be a bit of a pain. You can, of course, set a destination and have the units move automatically over however many turns it takes to get there, which is a nice compromise. But sometimes they don't move across the tarrain the way you want them to. I believe there is a more detailed waypoint option, but I haven't used it yet. At that point, you might as well move the units yourself each turn. I reckon it boils down to approximately the same amount of work. I guess it depends on the situation, though. Anyway, my second issue is just that the game is designed in a way where a lot of times, all you want to do is skip rounds to wait until your research or production is finished, and not do anything else in the meantime, because builders are already building or not needed and because military units are already positioned the way you want them to. The lack of an "skip x amount of rounds" option can be bothersome to me sometimes, but I do understand why there is none. Oh yeah, also, it's a bit of a shame that many buildings are basically just menu points. I would appreciate if there was more of a visual representation of them in the game somehow.

Well, that's my report after 13 hours of playing Civilization V. I'm intrigued to check out more of the genre. I'm not sure if I would enjoy Galactic Civilizations III or Master of Orion as much, since they're set in space and well, this may sound stupid, but, there's less to look at. But I do science-fiction and Alpha Centauri looks very interesting, but it's currently not on Steam, and I don't want to get it form GoG. Maybe I will check out Endless Legend of Civilization: Beyond Earth next, but it'll be a while anyway. I still want to tackle Civ V a couple more times. Honestly, it seems like this is the perfect game to play every once in a while for years to come, and just wind down, which is exactly what I wanted.

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2 Re: My thoughts on CIV V so far on Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:33 pm

If you want a bit of variety in your Civ 5 experience I can't recommend the Faerun mod enough, especially for D&D fans. It's almost a complete rebuild of the standard Civ 5 experience at this point.

Mostly accurate maps of Faerun: Check.
Lots of different nations in their historic locations (the Underdark part of the Faerun + Underdark scenario is an exception to this rule as it is set up to be interesting, not accurate): Check.
Heroes that can quest: Check.
New victory conditions appropriate to D&D: Check.
An upscale on the look of the game tiles: Check.
Unique mechanics for the mod including city health, empire health, racial variance for your units, heroes, new buildings, a new way of doing tech, a new way of building cities, etc.: Check.

It also does a few things I wish the base game did like being able to build certain luxury items. For example, say you are playing the gnomes of Lantan and you notice the fish just off the coast of your capital. In standard Civ 5 you'd build a fishing fleet and a lighthouse and call it a day. Not so in the Faerun mod. You build a fisherman's hut for the +1 food on worked sea resources. That opens up the fishmonger's hut which, when built, makes sea resources generate health (a new mechanic for the mod) and the luxury resource fish-spice paste. It's really cool once you get the hang of it.

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3 Re: My thoughts on CIV V so far on Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:36 am

With your second issue, that is mostly because you are going toward a singular victory, the more you vary your victory the more you will find yourself doing. I often have wars raging, spies sabotaging, researchers flitting about laboratories, explorers accompanying settlers, and setting up diplomatic relations with other city states that i'm not trying to kill, all at the same time. I find myself never bored when I play have a session going on. In fact, I take every turn with a serious look as sometimes if I lose a battle I might as well have lost the game. So, I would say, do not go simply for a science, or cultural victory, do both!

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4 Re: My thoughts on CIV V so far on Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:08 am

@Kolson Wezrae: Nice, I hadn't heard of that mod before. I'm not a big fan of D&D, but what you're describing sounds very interesting. I may take a look at it.

@Deutschekind: I see where you're coming from. But my guess is that if you don't focus on a single victory condition, you're less effective, aren't you? If you're going for both culture and science, doesn't it take you longer to achieve either victory than if you were to just focus everything on one of the two?

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5 Re: My thoughts on CIV V so far on Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:14 am

Actually, no, in Civ V you are not at all less effective if you focus equally on the two tasks. Doing something for each side every turn, or whenever you can, makes it so that which ever victory happens first, in my case it is usually a science or domination victory as I really like spies(they are both useful in science and domination, and even cultural victories - these are your go to units for awesome). The more you play the game the more you will find yourself able to do without limiting your choices. Plus, going into other victories helps you achieve whichever you're going for. i.e. if you never go beyond catapults in your sciencing, your domination is hard as balls. Similarly if you're going for a science victory going down the spy route helps immensely with stealing technologies and sabotaging the research of enemies. It's very important to do more than one as limiting yourself is like putting the game on stupid hardcore.

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6 Re: My thoughts on CIV V so far on Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:47 am

Alright, I'll try culture and science next then. Domination wasn't too much fun, because of all the micro-management required. I'd rather just have a couple of units, preferably more advanced than the opponents, and have them stand by idle just in case. Very Happy

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7 Re: My thoughts on CIV V so far on Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:35 pm

ZGoten wrote:@Kolson Wezrae: Nice, I hadn't heard of that mod before. I'm not a big fan of D&D, but what you're describing sounds very interesting. I may take a look at it.

I hope you do. If you want any advice or anything feel free to ask. I'm always up for helping a fellow game enthusiast find their feet in a game.

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