Print Story When old addictions are new again...
By haplopeart (Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:13:35 AM EST) (all tags)
This past week held a seminal event in the world of PC Games.  Well at least in my life, for this past week the world was blessed with the latest incarnation of Civilisation.  CIV 4...

argh!---when the hell do I get to sleep again....

The addiction extends back to my college days.  Civ 1 and the original SimCity were fairly new on the in the gaming world.  These two games provided many an hour of escape from Physics, Pascal, AutoCad, Calc2,1,3 (passed in that order btw)...and many other things I probably should have been paying far more attention too at the time.  At least I didn't miss any exams like my buddy Mike.

My addition was absolute, I frequently uttered to myself or anyone in ear shot "JUST ONE MORE TURN", before taking 43 more turns and blowing several more hours of needed sleep.

The addition continued with the release of SimCity 2000, and CIV 2, UGH!  More lost sleep, more visions of world domination flowing through my head.  Left Simcity behind with its third incarnation it had move too far away from the game that I knew and loved.  CIV 2 continued on, being among the first thing installed on any new machine or OS load.  Several derivatives appeared over time but the core CIV2 game remained the best.  I started playing on line, delighting in crushing enemies near and far.  I enjoyed the comments of horror and "OK, I'm screwed" from other players when they found my cities at levels over 17 or 18 and surrounded with nuclear Missiles at the ready.  They approached in wooden ships powered by the wind, I attacked with jets and submarines, it was only 1641ad!

When I won on deity level in CIV 2 I packed it in that mountain had been summit-ed.  I occasionally returned, but it just wasn't the same...I tried to slake my thirt with other games, Ultima Online and Diablo1,2 did for a time I played with my friend for nights on end the social aspect being the winner there, but even those faded.  UO died a lingering death after it left its Beta period, the PK'ers and general A-Holes ruining that game experience.  Diablo just couldn't really hold me for more than a single play through the game.

Sid gave me something to think about for a time with Alpha Centuri...however after a couple plays it just felt like Civ 2 in space with a little spiffing up.  I enjoyed it, but it didn't slake the thirst.  I tried Warcarft, and Star Craft and Command and Conquer, Dungeon Keeper 1,2 those were fun for a time...the scenario basis for those games wore on me after a bit, I wanted my building and goals to be more free form.  Sure they kept me up late nights, but they didn't have the Power of CIV...

Then it came the release of CIV 3 ahhhhh, finally a new challenge, finally a return to the root of addiction.  I bought it I tore into it, I played it, I slept!  Others opinions may differ but it just felt like they took some of the stuff from Alpha Centuri, added a few new twists thru a new coat of paint on the whole thing, gave the AI a vicious jerk and bend to mess with the CIV old timers heads (proven strategies that had always worked died a painful death, and new strategies were elusive).  It was a good game it wasn't the CIV I knew loved and forsaked sleep for in the past.   I continued to play CIV 3 on and off over the last couple years, however its rampant cheating and violating of its own rules, never allowed me to take the game to heart.

About a year ago a new hope appeared, I caught wind.  A new CIV was in the works.  They were re-evaluating everything.  Some of the greatest players were actively involved in the games specs, tuning and play testing.   I watched I read I monitored, I hoped, a week go I read it was out there, I went to Best Buy I purchased, I played.  I'm Tired!

Its good, everything that was right about CIV 1,2,3(there were a couple good things) is there.  The game balance is excellent so far (I'm up to 1860ad as of 3:30am this morning), consulting with the CIV players groups and such seems to have brought back the game I knew and loved.  It also seems to have added all new things for me to love in the game. 

Warning If You Wish to find out about new game play on your own stop reading here

The best of the new innovations is the new focus on religion.  It used to be pretty much limited the building of Temples, and Churches.  Now its so much more.  The ability to discover religions, and then have your citizens adopt them...Most of my Americans are Buddhists, a few have taken up Confucianism.  This seems to be keeping me at relative peace with the Jewish and Muslim people that appear to make up the other civilisations I have encountered.  So far I have played this game without attacking or being attacked by any other Civilisation.  My only battles have been with Barbarians.  They nearly took out one of my cities in the late B.C. years.  I had gotten over confident and left one of the cities on the interior of my home continent undefended.  Luckily I was able to locate a unit I had fortified and forgotten about and thanks to my excellent roads system get them their in time before the city was attacked (although much of the country side was pillaged)....

There is a great new focus on the diplomacy aspect of the game.  All other Civilisations I have encountered are currently trading partners with me.  They sometimes approach me annoyed that I continue to trade with other CI Vs.  However I stand as Neutral on these matters I refuse to break off ties with the other CI Vs just to appease them.  I generally accept any trade deal they approach me with, except when the offer is "Open Borders" I don't remember this one for earlier games, but its nice as not having open borders seems to keep them from encroaching on my land and building cities there. One of the things that great annoyed me in CIV3 was that other CIVs seemed to be able to wander in at will when you had peace with them and build a city practically on top of your own.  Not accepting open borders seems to have stopped that thus far.

The Games presentation is one of the highlights of the new version.  The music thus far isn't even getting annoying.  In-fact the African Tribal Music that makes up the opening, and setup menus is truly incredible.  The Game has also shifted to a 3D zoom-able(Mouse wheel) prospective that lets you look at your growing empire from as near or far as you like.  The only draw back being if you pull back to far you can't see individual units and a stray click can send the active unit someplace you didn't intend.  Zooming to far in takes away the ability to see where you are going and/or conveniently pan to said location.  Neither is a big deal since the game really is best played from the mid zoom perspective.  Speaking of zooming in...when you zoom on a city you see the things you built there in all their 3d glory!  Very cool.  The city management screen is greatly simpled, although with one exception everything a CIV player is used to having still seems to be there...The one exception.  I can't seem to find the command to hurry the production of a unit (always useful when the barbarian horde is approaching)...used to be able to trade cash for production had get that unit quicker.  Ah well I suppose actually cracking the instruction manual might be a good idea at some point.

So far the game is great I am looking forward to more sleepless nights.

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When old addictions are new again... | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Stop, stop by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:32:28 AM EST
I just started playing Civ II, and you're going to spoil the ending for me.

Trinity Dies! by thenick (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:03:12 AM EST


"'Vengence is Mine', quoth Alvis. And then he shot the guy, right in the freaking face!"

[ Parent ]
Only if Han shoots first! [nt] by debacle (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 06:15:09 AM EST


[ Parent ]
Funny (at least to me) by joh3n (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:33:18 AM EST
In astrophysics, we often refer to atoms by their ionization state, i.e., how neutral the atom is.  As such, a neutral atom gets the designation I, one electron missong, II, two missing, III, etc.

A very common ion observed in distant intergalactic gas is triply ionized carbon, a.k.a. CIV.

I was a Civ II addict and an easily distracted graduate student.  Every damn time I would fit a CIV line in the data, I would say 'the gods have commanded me to play Civ again.  Oh darn.'


Dammit by jayhawk88 (2.00 / 0) #3 Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:56:52 AM EST
So far I've avoided getting this game, as I have absolutely no time to play it, but you people are making it damn hard.

last night by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:59:08 AM EST
The Japanese declared war on me, and after some light skirmishes in my territory, they offered up a peace treaty. So I took it and built a gigantic army (with tech that was 1 - 2 generations ahead of theirs) and amassed the troops at the border. I declared war then ANNIHILATED HIS ENTIRE CIVILIZATION WITH MY NAZI STORM TROOPERS. It was a thing of beauty. Tonight I will kill my neighbors who I have been friends with for almost 6000 years.

Yes, I need a life.

Face it: by thenick (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:16:30 AM EST
You may hate the Bush Administration and their current foreign policy, but deep down inside you long to be part of a government that attacks foreign countries on a whim with no regard for the monetary or political consequences.

Good luck with that invasion, though. In my game the Indians are about to get their comeuppins tonight by the mighty Ohioans. Let's see companies move their call centers to New Delhi when all that's left is a crater.


"'Vengence is Mine', quoth Alvis. And then he shot the guy, right in the freaking face!"

[ Parent ]
video games like this by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:25:15 AM EST
are a good way to channel my violent racist side. Which is the opposite of the video game censors' worldview, but whatever. The Russians might get it first tonight...their leader is a flip-flopper who demands tribute a bit too often.

[ Parent ]
Give him the tribute by joh3n (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 11:19:04 AM EST


[ Parent ]
oh yeah. by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #12 Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 11:23:35 AM EST
He's going to get some hot Panzer action...right up his ass.

[ Parent ]
Hurrying Production by ks1178 (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:14:09 AM EST
Like Most things in CIV IV, you don't get it automatically anymore. You need to learn the proper Techs, and adopt the proper civic to accomplish it.

With the slavery civic you can kill 1 population point to hurry something.

I'm not sure of the civic off the top of my head that let's you spend gold to hurry things, I haven't gotten to it in one of my games yet.

AH! Thanks for the TIP by haplopeart (2.00 / 0) #9 Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:28:26 AM EST
I'll have to take a look at it...

[ Parent ]
also by MillMan (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:36:06 AM EST
this may vary with difficultly level, but open borders haven't been an issue for me. Someone did build a city in my territory, but since the land it was built on was already under my cultural influence, it rebelled after not too long and joined my civilization.

Exactly by LinDze (2.00 / 0) #14 Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 12:01:50 PM EST
Im a big fan of Open Borders with my neighbors because it can give +3 to diplomacy. Ive also never seen anyone build inside my territory. Usually I expand quick enough that my neighbors just use Open Borders to get settlers to other corners of the continent. As far as I know building a city in anothers territory should cause war.

As MillMan mentioned, culture effectivly nuetralizes any little  cities built right on your border. If you look at their population makeup (78% German) you can track how dominant one civ is, and how close the city is to "flipping". In my experience cities will start to flip around 50%. Ive had garrisoned cities survive down to 30% native. Oh, another important thing is that cities must revolt at least two times before joining the dominate civ.

-Lin Dze
Arbeit Macht Frei

[ Parent ]
I'm waiting for the patch. by dr k (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 11:45:47 AM EST
The game does not run well on my '1337 b0x. But from what I saw, it looks like the Civ 3 additions (resources, culture) are much better in the new version.

:| :| :| :| :|

When old addictions are new again... | 15 comments (15 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback