Not happy with battles or playbalance
About to finish my first full playthrough, game 186. If I sound like a rant, it is from frustration at the game, not the players.
I do not like the promotion system, battle system, and people can change teams on a whim.
The battle system is nothing but an arm wrestling match. He with bigger numbers wins. The last game I played, the opposing horde used the call to arms wonder right before attacking us, therefor blocking it's use(smart move yes). They then used secret weapon 2 times during the battle. When the battle was over, call to arms came available. WHAT? Before they used the first secret weapon, the armies were about 40/60 to 45/55 of each others strength, and that shifted with weather, after it was about 20/80, and the battle was a route.
Additionally, when the strength numbers were 50k strength to 10k, I watched their side get back to back attacks, which is beyond... odd. There is no tactical ability for a side in battle, especially if the general is not online, even that is minimal. It is even worse when the title is handed out by some background magic system. There is no flanking, no taking defensive high ground, using range.. it feels like just an arm wrestling match. Big turn off to the armchair general in me.
Add that to the battlefield slot system. Players from other countries can put 1-2 units in defending slots, I would assume that could block players who log in later with 40-50 units? Currently there is about to be the game ending battle, 2 players on the team (America) have 4-5 groups on the field with less than 5 units, it is going to be a bloodbath, I was blocked from using a 24 unit Battleship group and 45 unit Tank group. Without any penalty to changing countries, was this sabotage or just some rookies who joined late putting in their few guys?
Unless there are genuine tactics involved, I will not be happy with the finished product. I want tactics, and I want some sort of exodus penalty(time and or resources). In Civ PC games, turning a city into a group of settlers and moving across the map takes time. This game has a magic teleporter. I like being able to balance teams on the fly, but not all players take that in good nature. I witnessed players, well the most experienced players, shift from 1st team to second team to third team as these teams started doing better, speeding up the balance of power faster with them. Some players wanted to win, or be on the big team, more than stick it out with their first set of teammates. Again, it is not the players I am worried about, but the game allowing this.
So, being a beta tester, that is what I saw and why I didn't like it.
It is the norm for players to put crappy unit stacks in important battle slots like mobile and naval. I am of the opinion that this is normally the action of enthusiastic but clueless n00bs, not intentional sabotage. The defense minister has the authority to retreat any stack on his side, regardless of ownership. I am almost always defense minister so I use this ability liberally. Without this ability, or with a defense minister that does not bother to log in during key battles, battles would probably be hopeless and prone to sabotage.
One simple change they could make to prevent trolling your own team with size 1 stacks would be to always allow you to replace another player's small stack with your larger one. Trolling would still be possible, but you'd need a big army to do it.
Allowing the combat Wonder Events before a battle starts just makes the game less casual because you really, really need to be online at the battle's start now. If you put your units on the field 10 hours ahead of time, they will surely get Wonder Evented to death.
Well, at least you are able to get some battles going... In my game we are listed as a strongest nation, but all we can do is watch other nations fighting each other because we cannot get any vote to go through due to big number of inactive members. And the political minister, even active, can't seem to be able to do anything.
One of the smallest nations attacked us two days ago capturing our wonders with a sneaky move following our earlier battle and we are unable to retaliate.
It is intentional that one of the big disadvantages of large civs is that it can be a lot harder to pass votes. One recourse you have is to enact the policy that kicks out inactive players.
Originally Posted by sparek
Greg, while your feedback appears useful on first pass, I have a couple annotations. First of all, each civic is unique in that once one nation has it, the others cannot. The exception being closed borders. So only one nation gets to use meritocracy. The largest nation (the one that needs it the most) is the least likely to be able to pass a vote to get this civic. This may be why I almost never see a large nation with it. For that matter, I almost never see a large nation pass any vote after the first day in under 24 hours.
I and others have suggested passionately that ALL nations should have meritocracy automatically. Meaning that ANY inactive player in ANY nation should be dropped from their nation. Casual players tend to dogpile into large nations and large nations very quickly become graveyards for inactive players. Please note that the current conditions for domination victories require super sized nations be in existence, so any remedy here will probably make domination victories even more unlikely than they already are. As I have mentioned elsewhere, there is no logical reason to link domination victories to target nation size. Target nation power is much more relevant though this opens up an entire new set of exploits.
I'd like to see players randomly assigned to civs at the start, and then have Meritocracy automatically implemented. Random assignment to civs would probably help with the balance issues, and integrate newer players into the game in ways they might not be otherwise. The number of independent nations in each game is ridiculous, and I'm not sure if that's just inactive players and newbies, or people giving up.
Dkk: since players can change nations at will currently, where you put them at first will only affect those that don't know how to change nations (the newest players).
I do agree with the annoyingness of small stacks, particularly when the defense minister is either absent or doesn't exist yet. When 3 out of 5 slots for melee and ranged are taken up with 1 and 5 stacks, well, um, it can be frustrating to say the least. I would love to trade the 1-stack of archers with a 30-stack, but I can't, and it'd be nice if there was a way besides the defense minister to have that work out (particularly in a civ where you don't have/can't get meritocracy).
I totally disagree with the random assignment of players to civs, as Sarcerok said it's only a matter of changing civs again. Also I'd like to be able to play with my friends if we want to. That is the best feature of the game and it will be a shame to lose it. If I have to play with totally random people all the time I might as well play Civ IV. That does not mean that I don't want to play with new people, of course I do, but I'd like to have a say on the matter.
Originally Posted by dkk
2 days is a very weak definition of inactive player. They could miss four battles in that time. Half the game's era victories could pass in that time.
Originally Posted by 2K Greg
Well not everyone can log in once each day. Some days people are busy, or travelling, or having some real-life obligation that prevents them from logging in for one day. 2 days allow some less active players or normally active players who have some special day to still have a role in a Civ.
But think Meritocracy should be allowed for any civ with more than 15 or so players, not just one civ.
Meritocracy only boots you after 48 hours offline. In a game that lasts about a week, that's really an eternity to not log on for even 5 minutes. Any responsible player that plans to be off anything close to that long should go independent. Realize that meritocracy doesn't boot you from the game, just a nation. You can usually join again IF you ever do decide to log in again.
I think that part of the problem is that some aspects of the game take too long while others go too fast, so the whole concept of logging in 2-3 times a day for 20 mins it's not working too well. The randomness of miniwonders does not help either. I like the 10 hrs setup time for wars as I really like to sleep
Originally Posted by NickV
I do not care much for the battle system either, granted it is very confusing to me but I think I get the gist of it. There just doesn't seem to be any "fun" factor in that part of the game, for me anyway. Of course, I am more of the diplomat and super-builder when it comes to Civ games. I usually only would war either VERY early on and then / or / not again until very late on, unless drawn into war or a super-ideal situation comes along.
I also do not like how one person can be engaged in a battle, with it almost ready to begin AND have the bulk of the Civ's troops in the battle, then leave the Civ and join either another, taking all the troops with him, leaving moments before the battle begins. Then another time, a player did the similar with the bulk of troops, left and made a new civ, which seemingly instantly had almost all the techs researched, declared war on us, put in piddly troops up until the very end of the battle countdown to begin and then ninja swaped them, decimating our forces.
There needs to be a penalty for leaving a civ, especially when you're engaged in a battle.
I also would love to have different victory conditions on a wider range of available games. Such as one with only Culture Victory, another for Science and so on. I have never liked playing Civ games with multiple victory conditions. I like to have one set goal in mind and work towards that, not worry about tons of other factors for the various other victories.
I'd also like to see persistant civ world games with no victory conditions. Build, Buy, Sell, Customize, Learn, Experiment, and so on are just a few reasons why I'd love to have a constant world to play on. Other players may enjoy other factors as well that such a world would bring. I love building my cities up and seeing the best possible outcomes for my set-ups of the city. I love rearanging and getting it just right as well as the visual aesthetic of it also. It seems just when my cities are getting to the point where I can really do something cool and fun with them, the game is won and over.
Last edited by Smedeley; 06-16-2011 at 09:41 PM.
I'm also confused as to how to tell which side will attack next, I've seen battles where one troop on one side will go then the other side and now my archer is attacking for the 3rd time in a row. Makes no sense to me.
That's somewhat of a catch 22, though.
Originally Posted by 2K Greg
Last edited by Trias; 06-17-2011 at 01:51 AM.
Reason: missing quote
I noticed all the games I play have a rabbit and dollar icon. I imagine this is to speed up the game and money. Games go pretty fast, especially the first 5-10 eras. Maybe non-beta will have a slower pace, and 3 days is appropriate. Having inactive players for a day can be a big disadvantage now, let alone 3.
Originally Posted by Mega-Dolphin
Game 207, Germany - small civ (or rather one person RodneyD) attacks Arabia (large civ). At first glance Arabia has got superior army and should get an easy win. RodneyD has got one big stack of knights and two single units (archer and spearman). His archer and spearman get killed quite often, but during the same round he adds another single unit, still occupying the slot with medal (as the fight goes for very long) and the stack of knights destroys Arabian forces.
Fair? Not at all, in my opinion. I hope this gets fixed as the above is an obvious abuse. There should be bigger delay before you can add new units during the fight. At least 5 rounds maybe?
Ah, I forgot to mention the unlimited number attacks of his knights... not giving other units a chance to do anything.
Last edited by sparek; 06-17-2011 at 04:13 PM.
I had more strength in my knights, with stance normal, than their whole army did, when heroiced. You are surprised that I won?
You missed the point of my post.
How many nations have you destroyed using the very same stack of units, losing hardly anything from it in the process (using the above tactic)?
And no, I am not blaming you, just pointing out a flaw in battle balance. Why on earth an army of, lets say, 40 cavalry units, would chase 1 spearman on the battlefield instead of trying to stop much bigger threat which was in this case 200 knights? Especially if the side battling you had more stacks of mobile units and if the game allowed them to react accordingly (work together) they probably would inflict quite solid damage to your single stack.
As it stands we only watched your knights take them down one by one and one, allowing their whole army to attack maybe once every 10 rounds; and you had only 3 slots occupied)
Last edited by sparek; 06-18-2011 at 12:09 AM.