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    by Published on August 4, 2007 20:38

    The second expansion to Civilization IV, Beyond the Sword, has been released. In this article, Solver, a long-time Apolyton staff member, reviews the game.
    You can buy Beyond the Sword from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

    Beyond Civ4

    Civ4: Beyond the Sword is finally about to be released worldwide, to the excitement of the Civ community. I have had the pleasure of contributing to this expansion and will now give my thoughts on the finished project.

    Before saying anything else, it’s important to say that Beyond the Sword is easily the most ambitious expansion the Civ series has ever seen. It does not limit itself to the addition of new civilizations and some big feature. There are numerous new features with a significant gameplay impact, and then there’s a really high amount of minor tweaks and additions. BtS is very much unlike the Warlords expansion. Playing Warlords felt just like Civ4 with a bunch of new civilizations and some smaller stuff thrown in. Playing BtS is really different from playing Civ4 or Warlords, and player strategies will also reflect that.

    Still, no matter how many features there are, new civilizations are the most visible addition to many players. This time, we’re given ten whole new civilizations to enjoy playing with, and they’re really a mixed bag. Personally, I’m very glad to see the Mayans and Ethiopians make it, as well as the first ever Southeast Asian representatives, the Khmer. The lineup is not perfect, and on the more disappointing side there is the generic Native American civilization and the Holy Roman Empire, for which it’s fairly doubtful whether they were a civilization. Don’t forget that you can easily rename the latter into Franks, for example.

    BtS does not include any new civilization traits, and is probably the better for it. Including even one new trait would create a large number of unused trait combinations – now, on the contrary, almost all trait combinations are filled. With Boudica having Aggressive/Charismatic, bright red hair and a mean look, who would want to cross her?

    My own favorite new civ is probably the Khmer Empire. They strike me as the best civ for expansion and growth. Suryavarman is Expansive for cheaper Workers and Granaries, and also Creative. It means that you can probably get your second city up quicker (assuming you build a Worker before your Settler, so the Worker completes quicker) and you can immediately build a cheap Granary in the new city, without needing to spend time on a Monument for cultural expansion. The Baray, replacing Aqueduct, adds +1 food to the city. It may not seem like much, but while your cities are still small, that will be a useful boost to their growth.

    ...
    by Published on August 3, 2006 18:30

    Civilization IV: Warlords Review by Solver

    Warlords, the first expansion pack for the highly-successful Civilization IV has just been released. I am going to take a look at how the gameplay has changed with the expansion's release, and at how the new major features blend in.


    Civer, Meet Warlords!

    Most of you probably already know what's new in Warlords at a glance. Other than six new scenarios, the expansion pack offers six new civs and a total of ten new leaders. These would be the Ottomans (led by Mehmed II), the Koreans (Wang Kon), the Celts (Brennus), the Vikings (Ragnar), the Carthaginians (Hannibal) and the Zulus (Shaka). Additionally, some of the old civs received new leaders – Ramesses II, Stalin, Winston Churchill and Augustus Caesar.

    More interesting than the leaders themselves are the new traits. There's whole three of them, not two, as had been originally said. They are:

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    by Published on July 30, 2006 16:17

    Part One: 1206-1213AD

    By Joe "snoopy369" Matise
    July 29, 2006

    Welcome to Part One of my "Genghis Khan Walkthrough". In this feature I'm going to be showing you the Genghis Khan scenario, one of the most interesting scenarios available with Civilization IV: Warlords.

    The basics to the scenario are fairly simple. You control the Mongolian Hordes in thirteenth century Asia. Your mission is to put the fear of the Mongols into the hearts of the people of Asia. You may do this peacefully, by building up a civilization to rival any other, or (perhaps more fun...) by razing cities, gaining capitulating vassals, and pillaging square after square of Asia and Europe. The victory condition is fairly simple: 3000 points. You earn points for pillaging squares (1pt per pillage), conquering cities, razing cities, and for controlling territory. 3000 doesn't sound too hard... except for the fact that you lose a certain amount of points each turn, and lose if you hit zero. You have to move quickly in this scenario, or you'll find yourself at the cellar of the point standing, with no way out... I'll be playing at Emperor level, which is two levels above where I typically would play a game of 'vanilla' Civ. Difficulty levels in this scenario affect the number of points you lose per turn, and the size of the armies you're going to face (although not as much as it would in the regular game). I suggest trying this scenario out on a somewhat harder difficulty level than you typically play at; for a first game, most people will probably want to play on prince or monarch level.

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    by Published on April 18, 2006 17:53

    Why not get back to CTP2-modding just to enjoy the luxury of syntax highliting in EditPlus?
    • for SLIC (Locutus' SLIC-definitions file updated for CTP2 AE)
    • for CTP2 AE database
    ...
    by Published on December 22, 2005 16:06

    Official Civ4 Patch 1.52 Readme

    README
    Last updated 22 - December - 2005
    v152
    v1.52 is a major upgrade to Civ IV and includes numerous optimizations for memory usage that should help performance on all machines but are tailored to especially improve performance on machines at or near the minimum specification.

    Major changes include:
    -Shared low-level graphics buffers
    -Removed many unused fonts and reduced interface memory usgae
    -Paged out units which are not visible
    -Reduced terrain data size and overhead
    -Reduced route data size
    -Created a set of low-res movies for machines without dynamic texture support (this is a separate download)

    These changes not only reduced the amount of system memory required, but lowered video memory usage extensively. Also, the rate at which the game consumes memory in the late-game has decreased, which is extremely important.
    In addition, a new config file (ini) option called 'MemorySaver' has been added for further memory reduction, at the cost of alt-tabbing support. If you set MemorySaver=1 in the config file, you can lower your system memory usage by 70% of video memory. So if you have a 128MB video card, you can save an additional ~90MB of system memory. MemorySaver defaults to off, and is not officially recommended since it doesn't handle alt-tabbing and other cases of graphics device loss at this time. However, we recognize that ...
    by Published on December 20, 2005 18:36

    CivIV According to Yin

    Finally we come to the most subjective part of the review wherein I share with you bits of some games that I found interesting. The first is a large Pangaea map, and I'm playing a Kublai Khan, who is aggressive and creative. I chose him because for this game, I was trying to focus on FEWER cities to see if I could still win, and his creative rating helps push out my borders (though really there are much better options for the “fewer cities strategy” than Kublai Khan, but I like the guy). I also turned off space race and timed victories.

    GAME 1: "No Real Focus"


    As you can see, I started off with the most vital resource in life: wine (which I also include to mean beer or any other intoxicating drink). No matter what, my people's outlook on my rule will be helped by having them too sloshed to care.

    ...
    by Published on December 13, 2005 18:29

    CivIV According to Soren

    Another rarely used method of reviewing a game is to judge it against the developer's stated goals. Perhaps this is hard in many cases because developer's goals aren't always there in anything more than marketing hype. Soren, however, wrote one of the best Afterwords I have read in a gaming manual, and I think his view of CivIV deserves some discussion. First, he acknowledges that “there are a thousand ways to make a great game about all of civilization – we only get to make one of them.” What does he think he made with CivIV, and what do I, Mr. Random Reviewer, think of the results?

    NOTE: The “dialogue” here is made up. I'm sure the real Soren would say things far more brilliantly.


    1. SOREN: Sticking with turn-based allows for “a series of overlapping mini-goals".

    ...
    by Published on December 7, 2005 18:17

    NOTE: I basically agree with this general statement except to say that at higher difficulty levels I found myself rethinking ...

    by Published on December 1, 2005 17:41

    PART 2: After Several Days of Non-Stop Playing... (Page 1/3)

    The only way to write a review worth reading is to play the hell out of the game in question, so that's what I've been doing for the last several days.

    I've played quick, standard, epic, and accelerated start games, some through to completion and a whole bunch of "mini-games" to test certain theories out, attempt to stress or break the game, and experiment in general. Let me break it down for you.

    CivIV is divided into six basic areas that require player input and management at the city level. These areas are:

    • Population Growth (food production)
    • Productivity (hammer production, formerly shields)
    • Money (to be used to either line your pockets or pay for research)

    Nothing new there....that's standard fare 4X [(eXploration, eXpansion, eXploitation, and eXtermination)] stuff. Now add the following:

    • Health (unhealthy cities are less productive cities)
    • Happiness (unhappy cities are less productive cities)
    • G-Man Rate (The rate at which your city generates "Great People" of different types)

    NOTE: None of these three are early game concerns....they are introduced gradually, as cities grow, and as technological research continues to develop.

    With the inclusion of these three areas, now we're starting to get somewhere! Now we're starting to get some interesting choices and tradeoffs! Ahhh, but there's more.

    In addition to these six basic areas, which are entirely "city centric," there are six additional areas that overlay the basic city-oriented structure of Civ IV, and tie it all together into a cohesive (Imperial) whole, and these ...

    by Published on November 24, 2005 17:34

    Review by Chris "Velociryx" Hartpence

    The fourth direct incarnation of the Civilization series in hand, this Civer wants to believe in a brighter future for the franchise after what he calls the disaster that was Civilization III.

    This is his detailed report. (ACS)


    PART 1: First Impressions (Page 1/2)

    First impressions are important in most things, and computer games are no exception. Make a solid first impression on me, and I'm vastly more inclined to overlook weak spots or contradictions in your design.

    Give me choices, and make them mean something (or at least have the good graces to make me feel like they do), and it'll do a lot to soothe the savage beast that tends to rear his evil head when there's just something wonky or rediculous woven into the fabric of the game. Give me attention to detail and don't skimp on the small stuff, and I'll be far less likely to bite your head off when the game engine does something absurdly unexpected.

    I, with my less-than-optimal desktop rig, dodged a great many of the initial setup bullets I've read in the "horror stories" section of the Apolyton CivIV forums (much to my relief!). The installation ran smoothly, and the game started without a hitch, upon the completion of the customary system restart, so we ...

    by Published on November 2, 2005 17:27

    Thankfully, there are no "super traits" in CIV, so you'll find all the leaders are somewhat playable. As always, if you find your own thoughts differ, please feel free to post here - a good discussion about a leader will benefit us all!

    ...
    by Published on October 30, 2005 16:17

    Please note: Cards MUST HAVE 64MB VIDEO RAM, and this should be assumed for every card listed; I will only mention it for cards that typically may have less than 64mb ram.

    This table also does NOT necessarily reflect actual functionality, but instead theoretical functionality. I will update it periodically with information on specific cards that may have trouble more often than others. The list is roughly sorted in order of least performance on top, but not precisely (more in age order really). Remember that updated drivers are a must for running ANY game, and that other system-specific factors such as motherboard and motherboard drivers, system RAM, DirectX, and installed software.

    These results have not been tested thoroughly, and the author and Apolyton do not take any responsibility for inaccuracies as posted. This is a collation of information from other sites (see top post) and should be treated as such.

    ...
    by Published on October 28, 2005 22:18

    Map Index

    Warning to Single Players!

    All of the maps can be played in single or multi player, at your discretion. However, some maps are specifically aimed at the multiplayer side of the game.

    Balanced

    This script guarantees the key strategic resources are near all civs, knocking out the "risk" to certain civs who require resources for their Unique Units.

    Mirror

    This script is aimed at 1v1 or two-teams play. It's a wild thing to play in single player!

    Hub, Ring, and Wheel

    These scripts are completely artificial, intended to supply balanced environments for MP action.

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    by Published on October 21, 2005 19:15

    The following are a series of questions and answers razed in the forums since the initial posting the preview. I hope it helps answering some very specific (but critical) issues.

    Click on the screenshot to enlarge

    Issues answered on the forums

    A city's health is as important as how much you care about it's growth. for each ...

    by Published on October 16, 2005 18:25

    What Do You Want to Build Today?

    At least, not in online games. CivIV allows you to pit your skills against other human opponents in a variety of multiplayer modes. Under the Quick Game mode with simultaneous turn, it is quite possible to play a multiplayer game in one sitting. Multiplayer in CivIV is fun - I am a single player person ...

    by Published on October 13, 2005 18:19

    And then there are promotions, an entirely new concept in CivIV. This is indeed, I believe, the work of a genius. The idea is very simple: as your units earn points through battle, they can choose a promotion which improves them. The implementation of this is just awesome, as promotions bring a new element to the gameplay and make it more tactically engaging and more fun.

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    by Published on October 11, 2005 16:57

    We have wonder movies. We have a cool intro movie that escapes the classic 'history of the world in 40 seconds' concept. We have a throne room. We have voice-overs when a new technology is discovered. We have pigs and cows moving around on the map. We have hundreds of MBs of music of varying genres to listen to, including classical. We have end-of-game replay with a full log of events that you can also watch after the game is over. Oh yes, we also have the whole world in full 3D and we can see our (conquered) world spinning...

    I guess the only thing missing is Elvis arguing with the hot diplomacy advisor. Expansion pack, Sid?

    I want to MOD the world!

    A ...

    by Published on August 14, 2005 16:41

    1. Make sure your OS is fully updated. This means if you run Windows XP, you should be at SP2. Windows 2000 should be at SP4. This is important because sometimes updated drivers don't work (well) with older versions of Windows.

    2. Make sure your Video Card drivers are updated. Both ATI and nVidia are polite enough to provide simple to use drivers that are 'generic', ie work on most or all cards of their brand. ATI drivers and nVidia drivers Omega: Some ATI cards (and even nVidia cards) have reported greater success rates with the Omega drivers. These are THIRD PARTY DRIVERS that are NOT guaranteed to work with any particular card, and may reduce performance. Back your system up (or set a system restore point) BEFORE installing them. You also should consider un-installing old video drivers before installing new ones (especially Omega); ATI uninstaller will help with ATI; nVidia suggests you simply use the add/remove programs control panel (which should work for ATI as well). This thread discusses the drivers for ATI and the Omega drivers.

    3. Update ...
    by Published on August 14, 2005 15:56

    Click on the images to start downloading the videos.

    Official trailer

    Official Civ4 Trailer (with Martin Sheen on the voiceover!)

    Format: 640x360 WMV
    Size: 13 MB (zipped)
    ALTERNATIVE : Quicktime format (18MB)

    CivAnon trailer

    Can a PC game be too addictive? (Funny)

    Format: 480x360 MPEG
    Duration: 2:57m
    Size: 32 MB (zipped)

    ...
    by Published on August 9, 2005 16:21

    Civilization IV was originally scheduled to be released in November 2005, but that was pushed forward to October 25, 2005. Civilization IV: Warlords will be released in the Summer of 2006.

    The System Requirements for Civilization IV are the following:

    Minimum System Requirements:
    Operating System: Windows® 2000/XP
    Processor: 1.2 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon processor or equivalent
    Memory: 256 MB RAM (Windows 2000) / 512 MB RAM (Windows XP)
    Hard Disk Space: 1.7 GB Free
    CD-ROM Drive : 4X Speed
    Video: DirectX 9.0c-compatible 64 MB video card with Hardware T&L support ( GeForce 2/Radeon 7500 or better)
    Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card
    DirectX®: DirectX® version 9.0c (included) or higher

    Recommended System Requirements:
    Operating System: Windows® 2000/XP
    Processor: 1.8 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon processor or equivalent
    Memory: 512 MB RAM
    Hard Disk Space: 1.7 GB Free
    CD-ROM Drive: 4X Speed
    Video: 128 MB Video Card w/ DirectX 8 support (pixel & vertex shaders)
    Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card
    DirectX®: DirectX® version 9.0c (included) or higher

    Supported Operating Systems:
    Windows 2000: Service Pack 1 or higher WITH Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher
    Windows XP: Home or Professional w/ Service Pack 1 or higher

    ...

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