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Civilization VI

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Re: Civilization VI
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2016, 10:37:21 AM »
 

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Maybe I can supply a few of those :-D

Well, I started again but I'm not really feeling the love, yet. Three things are putting dents in it for me: The user interface, the AI, and the new fog-of-war system. Actually there are a few other things I'm not crazy about, but these three are the biggies.

The user interface in Civ V was a classic example of everything a good UI should be in a deep strategy game - clean and uncluttered, intuitive, with all info easy to find. With just a click or two I could find out how many units I had and of what types, check my Diplomatic status with the other Leaders, review my economic situation, track my technological development, and much, much else. One or two clicks and it's there - clear, easy to digest and well organized. The UI in VI is a terribly cluttered affair, with info often being difficult to locate (it's around somewhere, you just need to learn where to dig to unearth it) and often confusingly presented when you do find it. It all looks nice, if a little gaudy and busy, but it's just not very user-friendly. "Clunky" would be a good word for it. It's cumbersome, unintuitive and unnecessarily fiddly.

The AI is pretty terrible at this stage (come on updates). Another Civ declared war on me and sent about 7 units to attack me. I defeated them all easily because when they arrived in my land, they essentially just wandered around admiring the scenery while they waited their turn to be eliminated. I took them all out with just two units, who barely broke a sweat. No sense of triumph at all. Then the Leader responsible started grovelling and pleading for peace, the wimp, leading to thoughts of "What was the point of all that then, you dope?" The AI doesn't play the game very well at all, it's a bit of a simpleton. Must have flunked out of Civ school.

I've been reading user reviews on Steam, which tell a slightly different story to the "professional" reviews. The ratio of like/dislike is about 5:1, and everybody who isn't crazy about the game says the same thing - the AI is bad (and the UI sucks). Even some of those who gave it a thumbs-up admit that the AI needs w@&k - a lot of w@&k - and the UI isn't quite up to par, to put it generously.

Try as I may, I just can't bring myself to like this "old map style" fog of war. In my first game it was OK as I started in a land-locked position, where the FOW was acceptable. But when you start sending ships out into the map, any sea spaces that have been revealed but are currently out of a ship's visual range turn into that same sepia old-map style as the land, which makes it a bit difficult to tell what is land and what is sea, and requires too much study to see what's what. I don't like it at all. In fact I'm starting to dislike it intensely. It's also slow to reveal.

Here's what I mean. These first two shots are a couple of turns apart. In the first one, you can see a naval unit of mine at far left (zoomed out to the max here). It looks like it's in a lake, but it's not. Nearly all of those "dimmed-out" spaces are actually sea hexes, but you have to look closely to see that they have waves "printed" on them and are not actually land. The second shot shows where the naval unit moved to. Note how some of the sea spaces that were visible around the unit's first position have gone into old-sepia-map rendering now that they're outside the unit's visual range. The land still shows up OK (see the bit of land at the extreme left) but the out-of-sight, "sepia-mapped" sea hexes around my city also look like land at first glance. It's off-putting.



Now compare with Civ V's elegantly simple fog of war system. The big cloudy patch near the middle is unexplored. All spaces left of centre have been explored but are currently out of visual range, and thus dimmed-down. You can see at a glance which spaces are sea and which are land within the out-of-sight areas.


As the old adage says, if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.

I'll persevere with it though. Civ V started like this - a bit wonky and unbalanced at first, then refined through updates. Hopefully that will be the case with VI, although I'll still have to learn to live with that FOW system regardless. So far though, the game lacks that "X Factor" that made V such an addictive and immersive game. This one just doesn't have the same easy-to-get-to-know feel to it. I hope the devs can smooth out some of the clunkiness. There are gameplay balance issues as well, but once again, V had those too in the early days before the devs rectified them and streamlined things.

I hate to sound like a whiner, but so far I simply haven't come across anything particularly outstanding about the game, nothing to make me jump up and rave. It's yet to out-Civ number V for me. I might change my tune when I plumb the depths a bit more, which, truth be told, I'm a little bit wary about doing in case I discover that the bottom is actually not very far down.
 

Re: Civilization VI
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2016, 05:03:54 AM »
 

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Well, it's beginning to look official - I don't like Civ VI. I've tried to like it, Lord knows I have, but it ain't grabbing me. It's not a case of just having to get used to it, I don't like the look of it nor what they've done with it. To name just a few things:

The map looks cluttered once you start building stuff, even with the simplified graphics (and I HATE that Fog Of War system);
The minimap looks like scrambled eggs and is next to useless;
The UI is cumbersome, fiddly and unfriendly;
The government/social policies are dull and uninteresting;
There's this overall sense of not having much control over things;
The AI is patchy and inconsistent;
The gameplay is slow and plodding, and it feels unbalanced;
It's just not very much fun. Everything feels like a chore.

That's for starters. Mainly though, the game just lacks character and charm. The devs have tried too hard to be clever and made too many flashy changes to the core game elements, so that everything that was fun about Civ V and its predecessors has been turned into grinding make-w@&k. There's a trap that makers - or in this case, remakers - of strategy games can fall into: over-complication under the guise of "deepening" the game, and that's what's happened here. A point comes where too many changes can be introduced which pushes the game over the line between sophistication and convolution. It starts to feel less like you're developing good planning and management strategies to achieve perceivable goals and more like you're taking a series of unpredictable stabs in the dark while blindfolded on a merry-go-round. In Civ V, you can devise strategies and make plans which will actually w@&k and come to fruition, if you do everything right. Planning in Civ VI is more akin to taking a punt on a lottery.

And the more I play, the more convinced I become that the AI actually CHEATS, or gets unfair boosts. When an AI opponent suddenly has eight combat units in a time-frame where despite your most ardent efforts you can only manage to produce one or two, I say something stinks in Denmark. It is simply not possible for you to produce that many units in that amount of time. And this happens on the easiest difficulty settings. It's a cheap and dirty way of making the game "challenging".

If I had to provide one word to describe this game, I'd say "dense". Not in the sense of stupid, but in the sense that you feel like you're using a blunt machete to hack your way through an overgrown pitfall-ridden jungle with no clear direction of where you're headed.

It's a dull yet exasperating slog and I believe I'll be going back to Civ V very soon. That game never disappoints and it still has years of life left in it. A true classic.

Here's a comparison between the minimaps in Civ V and Civ VI. Both show partially explored worlds, but you can see how Civ V's minimap is clear as a bell (dots are player cities with surrounding colour-coded territories, coloured dots within the small black areas are City-States and their territories). You can see everything you need to see at a glance, including land and sea areas. Civ VI's minimap looks like a messy jumble. The cities and territories show up OK, but can you tell which is land or sea without squinting, or which parts of the map are explored and which are not? Which City-States are which?


I keep thinking that I should give VI more of a chance, and I'll fire it up determined to do so, but I'll get jack of it after about ten minutes. I think it will soon be gathering dust on my virtual gaming bookshelf alongside No Man's Sky under the category of "Major Letdowns, 2016".
 

Re: Civilization VI
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2016, 06:08:40 AM »
 

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Well, shame, yet at least you've still got CivV and a lot of fun with it, most likely.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

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Re: Civilization VI
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2016, 03:08:47 PM »
 

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Indeed  :-X

Shame that No Man's Sky was also a bust
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Re: Civilization VI
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2016, 05:54:12 PM »
 

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Being a bit shocked by your review, I went for a quick search on other forums where I tend to check for reviews and mostly ppl are positive. Steam shows an overall positive review stat, but if you read the latest, most of them are negative.
What I see more ppl complain about is the difficulty of the AI. The devs even admitted that they chose a simple, cheating AI above a more intelligent one that challenges players' strategy more. It's said to be more appreciated by the average gamer to have a cheating fool rather than an intelligent creature in front of him. Strange.

Anyway, I think the hardcore civ players will wait longer with their reviews, especially when they feel mixed or disappointed by it. I think the hardcore civ player is like that. Take your time, thoroughly investigate and then blow your opinion on the net. So likely the game will get more negative reviews overtime. Curious though.

Oh, and sad to hear that it's a let down for you fragger, this must feel like a loss :(

Well, time to get back to Africa then? ;)

I might do so as well. Having that feeling for a while already, actually ^-^
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Re: Civilization VI
« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2016, 12:36:09 AM »
 

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Yeah, it's a pity. But after getting burned by NMS I didn't get my hopes up too high for Civ VI. Once bitten and all that.

@Binnatics, that's interesting. You're probably right about hardcore Civvers. I'm sort of working my way through it bit by bit to see if any "wow" moments happen, but it never takes very long before I get bored or frustrated with it. Admittedly the game isn't a total wreck, there are some cool innovations and some things that I really like about it, such as the introduction of Districts. That was a neat idea.

It's certainly not a terrible game, nor is it badly broken - it just has a lot of cracks. Plus the game lacks personality. Maybe people who are new to Civ will enjoy it more, with fewer expectations than the veteran crowd. Overall though, I feel that for every good idea the devs have had, they've come up with two not-so-good ones.

Such as what they've done with the Worker units. In all earlier Civs, you can build Worker units, which you then use to improve the land around a city by building Farms, Mines, Roads, etc. Once you build a Worker, you have them forever unless you disband them or they get killed or captured by enemies. Not in Civ VI. Now, when you build a Worker (called a "Builder" in this game) they can only do three tasks before they disappear and you have to build another one, which of course takes time which could be better spent building more important things. Apparently there are ways to improve upon that later in the game so that the Builders can do four or five tasks before they vanish, but it's still a pain in the butt. The game has many of these silly ideas which seem deliberately designed to exasperate the player.

I've noticed that the game is getting mostly positive reviews. Maybe I'm just hard to please :-() But I think there are enough negative reviews to indicate that I'm certainly not the only one who isn't happy with the game. Seems to be about one in six who don't like it, at least on Steam. Outside of Steam I've only looked at the professional reviews, which all seem to rave about it.

I don't know about other players, but I'd rather face an intelligent AI than one which cheats. Where's the sense of achievement in defeating a dumbed-down AI which doesn't play fair?

Anyway, if I can ever be arsed to persevere throughout an entire game, I might be in more of a position to fully evaluate, but I can't see anything changing significantly.

Right, then. Where's my machete? Time to go and sort out that Jackal person.
 

Re: Civilization VI
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2016, 04:33:38 PM »
 

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 :laugh: :-X
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Re: Civilization VI
« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2016, 06:49:52 PM »
 

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 ^-^

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

What doesn't kill us, makes us weirder.