Left blank on reflection.
Many times as I have voiced my complaints about Civ3 some people have posted that I am just unhappy that my petty Civ2/SMAC strategies do not work in Civ3, and that I am just a poor player who can't measure up to the demands of the marvelous Civ3 AI. When I complain about the lack of depth in Civ3 they scoff and tell me I am not capable of understanding the subtlties of the game.
I ran across this following post by MoSe today. I would like to challenge any and all members of the Civ3 choir to write a piece about your beloved game that reflects the depth that MoSe reveals here about SMAC.
None will be able to do it of course, because Civ3 is so ...uhmm...shallow.
The following was originally posted by MoSe (MariOne) in one of the deleted 'poly threads. Luckily I had it copied to my notepad for easy reference. While out of context, I think you can still get the spirit. Someone (maybe eventually me) should write this up for the academy.
Originally posted by MoSe at 'poly about a year ago.
sorry Dim, but I have to nitpick on you, just a little.
IMHO, a SC-12t-2*4 Grav, is a sign of poor designing skills.
Both per se, and towards the purpose of upgrading crawlers to be cashed in.
This regardless the real utility of the unit, I'm talking about cost-effectiveness.
First, the unit above costs 9 rows.
This is more precise than stating the minerals, because the mineral value may vary depending on the Industry SE setting you have.
Besides, upgrade costs only take *rows* into account, and NOT the actual minerals.
Regarding the unit per se (forget for now the upgrade part):
The SAME unit, with a Hover (or Rover) chassis, would cost THE SAME 9 rows.
This means that if you really find the unit useful on the field, you're wasting the possibility of a *better* chassis for FREE.
The SAME unit with a Quantum Reactor costs only 8 rows. True you lose 10 hitpoints this way, you lose more than you spare. But you know that in PSI combat the Singularity Engine is disadvantaged (IIRC this has never been fixed). You praise this unit qualities against worms. It's indeed against worms that the unit would be better with a Quantum Chamber. It could have sense with *4 Reactor if you make it ECM against rovers.
Let's now come to the upgrade part.
You might have a point to keep the Infantry chassis, if you have lots of basic crawlers to upgrade, as we know that you can't change chassis.
- for *upgrade to cash* purposes, you have far more cost-effective designs with Infantry chassis
- if by the time you get to Transcendence you still have basic crawlers, then you might revise you management. After Fusion, you can have SC-1-2*2 Fusion Speeder Crawlers at the same cost of a basic one. You should thus cash in the older ones when you have the occasion.
When you upgrade from a basic SC-1-1 to your "Cargo 99" (do you always run at -1 Industry to put that 99 in the name?), you spend your ec to *transform* something you already have.
You HAVE a basic crawler, worth 3 rows. After the upgrade you have a 9 rows unit you intend to cash in. What did you pay your ec for? You paid them to gain 6 extra rows, not 9. You already had 3, without needing to pay anything more.
In your example you cite the NanoFactory. You're right, but unless you play against the AI, only one of the players will have the NF, and that might be not you. So, for generality let's consider it an optional and compare the figures without.
Then, the upgrade from the basic cralwer to your Cargo99 will cost 200 ec to get 6 extra mineral rows. Thus each added mineral row costed you 33.33ec (NF 16.66). With Industry +2 it would have costed less directly rushing the project!
With Infantry chassis, consider a SC^-3t-1, a DropTrance Plasma *fission* crawler. It cost 14 rows. It means that to upgrade up to it you pay 160 ec to get 11 extra row. You pay 14.54ec per added row (7.27 with NF!).
Using the settings of your example (-1 industry & NF) this means 80ec to add 121 extra minerals, instead of your 100ec to add 66.
If you really need to have armor 12, using a purposeless ability lets you have a local optimum in upgrade effectiveness: a Drop Clean (!) crawler will cost 34 rows. You'd pay 450 for the extra 31 rows, at the cost of 14.516 each (NF 7.258). 225ec for 341 added minerals in your settings.
If you really have to stick to Infantry chassis, you can be even more effective, but you'll have to produce on purpose some armored Fusion Crawler to be upgraded. You can get down to 13.63 per added row (and 13.33 if you accept to spend 4 rows instead of 3 to produce each one).
But once you decide to produce new crawlers after Fusion, you might prefer to get Speeders, which are not armored but offer greater mobility and flexibility, and far greater upgrade opportunities.
Look at this:
You build a SC-1-2*2
Upgrade to a SC^-2t-2*1 DropTrance (23 rows)
pay 240ec for the added 20 rows at 12ec each.
Upgrade to a SC^-4t-2*1 (32 rows)
pay 350ec for the added 29 rows at 12.069ec each
Fusion Hover Supplies are almost as upgrade effective, but they cost one more row to produce, and it may not be worth if you keep them long on the field before before you cash them in.
It is also interesting to start with an armored Quantum Rover (or Hover):
a SC-4-2*3 costs 5 initial rows
upgrade to a SC^-4t-2*1 (32 rows)
That is, leave the armor as it is, add DropTrance, and remove the reactor
pay 320ec for the 27 added rows at 11.852 each!
the same with a SC-3-3*3 to a SC^-3t-3*1
(in both this cases, adding also armor 12 will yeld 63-67 extra rows for less than 12.1ec each!)
Then there's a final scoop!
If you have AntiGrav you also have Gravships (and with Jets or Copter it's the same anyway).
Build a SC-1-8*3 initial cost 5 rows.
For some reason, above armor 4, air supplies are MORE expensive with Fusion and Quantum reactors!
So, if you upgrade it to a SC-12-8*3, Clean & Secure (with air chassis you have less abilities to pick from!) its value will skyrocket to...
Yes, the same cost of the Ascent.
You'd add the extra 195 rows at a cost of 2110ec (1055 NF), for 10.821each (5.41 NF!!!).
You need to have quantum reactor for that, but then starting with a single air supply you can buy yourself the Ascent with mere 2110ec.
Note, using Fusion Speeders, you can obtain the same with 4 synth and 4 plasma and 2120ec (1060 NF). But you'd need to start with 8 crawlers, and the added rows would be just 176.
Or, lacking Quantum, you can use a Clean Secure Fusion Stasis Copter Supply yielding 188 total rows (+183rows per 1990ec at 10.874 each), and esaily provide the missing 12.
Compare all this with your proposal where you needed double the money (4400ec, 2200 WITH NF) and *22 starting basic crawlers* (!).
Some final considerations.
You have to know whether your design is to be really used on the field, or if it is just a shell for upgrading and cashing in.
If it has to be kept on the field, of course you want to keep it as cheapest as possible but able to defend itself.
If it's a shell to be cashed in, you instead want it to be worth the most nminerals possible, without using too much armor, because of the nature of the upgrade costs.
I showed you that in both cases there were better options for your design.
You might have a point in the sense that your design was a *compromise* between the two goals. Well, as a cashable unit, it was a pretty LAME use of your ec in all sense anyway.
And anyway let's consider also the timeframe when it becomes available.
You need Temporal Mechanics for Armor 12.
You need Graviton Theory for AntiGrav, which means you also got the Quantum Reactor. You also researched Singularity Mechanics to have the Engine.
Then you say that the Cargo99 can defend from worms, and then be used to build the Ascent.
Well, TempMech is usually the LAST tech youget before Threshold! If it's not so, you're unlucky or you have to revise your research path.
So, strictly speaking, the Cargo99 is NOT supposed to be around more than 3-4 turns (you yourself said a couple of turns)! This makes it to my eyes a design made with the MAIN purpose of getting cashed into the Voice and the Ascent. And we saw that there can be *MUCH* better in that sense.
If your goal is the Ascent as you say, then you DON'T NEED to research the SingReactor, NOR the Quantum one, and even less AntiGrav & Gravships. All these techs are in a branch that doesn't lead to transcendence, and which you actually need to research only if your goal is a Conquest Victory...
Left blank on reflection.
Alot of depth, deep BS that is.
jt nobody cares
Sorry....nothing to say!
I care. I am DARING anyone to post something about Civ3 that is comparable in depth to this. I mean, its a great game right. Lots of gameplay depth. Lets have a little discussion.
I've also said it so many times. Civ3 MP will be a lot less 'deep' than civ2 MP. In civ2 MP there were SO MANY legitimate choices of tech paths at the start, so many ways of playing out the early stages, hell even explorers were useful for taking cities in certain circumstances. Diplos could be used to steal tech or sabotage wonders if you thought you were behind. Even a few players sent caravans to their opponents for the cash and tech boost. Forts could even be used to protect attacking units before they assaulted a city. There were so many ways of alternative warfare in civ2, so much richness... the ages system, the 4 turn tech cap, the uselessness or removal of many units, these have all taken these choices out the game. The worst thing is, THERE IS NO REASON FOR THAT TO BE SO. Why are forts almost useless now? Why the tech cap? God, why the ages system??? All civ3 war is now is: build a BIG stack of units, go send them to the enemy and kill! If your enemy doesn't have the same number of units to take them out, he is doomed. No mass kills like in civ2 either, so you can just waltz up to the city however you feel like, your invulnerable either way.
I ask again: Why was it designed like this? But I know the answer. To make the AI appear stronger, and to cripple the human (for example in civ2 it was famous how the AI would stack their ships or units... this was a major failing which humans could think to avoid in their attacks... of course there is no need to think anymore).
Hey jt -
I'm finding that warrior rushes are fairly effective on Monarch. Does that count???
Waiting for 1.18
I was probably whinging about the strategic depth factor before JT had even thought of it... I was worried as soon as I saw HP were gone, and horrified when I saw the ages system was in. Either way, people DO care. Just most of the people who really care have given up now and left, because the faults are irreparable.Originally posted by ACooper
jt nobody cares
Yeah what he said.
And another thing .....
I think that about covers it.
"Just puttin on the foil" - Jeff Hanson
“In a democracy, I realize you don’t need to talk to the top leader to know how the country feels. When I go to a dictatorship, I only have to talk to one person and that’s the dictator, because he speaks for all the people.” - Jimmy Carter
Hey, jt... only the most hardcore of the hardcore strategy players are able to write things like that (/bows respectfully in front of MariOne/). Who do you think plays Civ3 right now?
Almost all of the folks that I know as hardcore gamers consider Civ3 to be, at best, not worth talking about.
I agree the game was a grave disappointment.
Seems to me to have been basically dumbed down. I believe there has been some idea that mass appeal depends on making it easily accessible, which unfortunately ended up just giving you fewer choices. So we end up with with something like age of empires in longer turnbased version. Well maybe thats pushing it - but there is no doubt that they hoped to attract some of the real time crowd by giving them a game that would not require a lot of rethinking.
Of course the easiest way to save programmer time and the time needed in testing and tuning the balance of various features is to simply omit them.
Adding a bit more diplomacy is nice, culture is fine too, but it is really simplistically implemented. How about some real new features: Like a bit of depth in the Government types or a thought through combat system.
Instead a lot has been removed - especially compared to SMAC but also compared to civ2.
Automated trade routes & centralized spying is all very nice but please one should then have some other choices to make instead instead. It is just not a serious strategy game. There is simply to little to know about it and too many factors are random.
Take strategic resources: The way it is implemented there is no way in the world you will know if you get them, nothing you can really do to ensure it and you are severely handicapped if you don't. This point alone can turn the outcome of a game and depends largely on luck. I for one am not going to spend 5 months on a pbem building up a solid lead to then have to say too bad - I did not get coal so I lost.
It is just not serious.
The combat system is a huge disappointment too, taking away ZOC without in other ways creating some way to actually have a possibility to set up a defence (like making it necessary for the units to receive support from a nearby city or such) will mean that you will get a lot of running after each others units al over the place and that millitary campaigns in CIV 3 will require about the level of sofistication of a Red Alert tank rush. (Make 10 units and send them to run all over your opponents territory before he sends 10 to yours).
It will be just about impossible to defend as they can just go everywhere and you cannot make 10 defenders in every city. It will be rush him before he rushes you. Hardly exiting.
I could go on - but basicaly I agree with Jimmytrick. The game is shallow. I really tried to like it - I tried again after the patches - I will probably try again when MP comes out - but unless they at the same do a major overhaul on the game - I have little hope.
Honestly my feeling is that Firaxis got into a squeeze when Reynolds left. Having to meet a contract and a new set of programmers needed. This is why MP was omitted and this is why it lacks depth. It is just quicker not to make it and hell the new graphics are nice.
'It will be just about impossible to defend as they can just go everywhere and you cannot make 10 defenders in every city. It will be rush him before he rushes you. Hardly exiting.'
Exactly, if someone shows up with 10 swordsmen outside your empire you are doomed, unless you have 10 of your own, because of the lack of stack kills, the poor defence of even mountains, and the lack of ZOC.
Buster and jt have said it all between them.
People do care. That's why there are so many threads on this very topic. I don't think that only hardcore gamers care about these issues...that it's all just a matter of taste. I only buy about 5 games a year and am not hardcore to the degree of the SMAC quote above. I just want to have fun...Civ 3 isn't fun for me. I have to admit I wonder about these people who say the game is good and it's fun. Civ 3 was a huge disappoint for many people...such a disappointment that even though I don't play the game anymore I still come here hoping to find out that a fix has been found. The example above on the 10 Swordsman is right on the money. No ZOC and lack of killing stackable units means the strategy to winning is who has the most units. You call that strategy? Invading another country without far superior weapons technology should be suicidal and costly like in Civ 2. Civ3 makes it look like Hitler just didn't have enough soldiers and wasted German resources on technology. All Hitler needed to take over the world is to get the 3rd Reich to have a big baby boom then his spearmen will take over the world. Who needs technology? Has anyone tried a strategy of just cranking out zillions of swordsmen when let's say infantry are available? With enough swordsmen, you could conquer the world. That is just plain stupid.
Despite my gripe, I still harbor hope that Firaxis will fix the game with some future patches. I just don't understand how the same studio that put out a masterpiece like SMAC can release such a disappointing follow up.
Brother Locus of the Peacekeepers
I'll tell you why - the game was brought out for the mass market. SMAC is a hardcore strategy game, it didn't sell particularly well. Civ3, OTOH, is for the mass market, has a decent AI, but isn't much of a game. Which is great, if that's what you want....and it sells. SMAC didn't sell a lot, whereas Civ3 has the name 'Civilization' on the front - people are going to buy it, think they've got a decent game, and have it gathering dust for the rest of the year. The magazines will play it for half an hour and give it 5/5 - but for hardcore gamers, it just isn't there. This was Firaxis's intention all along - they've snubbed the hardcore gamers in favour of .
Civ2 was a pretty deep game and I think that was aimed at the mass market too... though maybe not as much as civ3. But it just shows you can have a long lasting, complex, and yet popular game. Civ3 was just designed around the AI and it's limitations.
One thing that has always spoken volumes to me about SMAC/X is the social engineering settings. I have yet to find a game that can match that.
Oh yeah, you have governments, you can switch them... But for pity's sake, no two governments are the same! You can compare communism in two different countries, like the Old Soviet Union and China... and their systems are widely different.
In the Civ-based game genre, with the exception of Smac/x, when two or more countries are running the same type of government, they function the same. No variances whatsoever, outside of allocation rates. Not so in SMAC/X. I mean, you can run Police State/Free Market/Wealth... and be successful after a fashion. Whoever heard of a communist-based government with a wild economy and rampant capitalism? In the Civ series, such a thing would be next to impossible, unless it was custom made. In Smac/x... anything is possible.
Yes, each game has it's strong and weak points... but to me, Smac/x just has more strong points and endless replayability. Endless strategies. Endless just about everything. It's a thinking man's game... and the majority of gamers are unable to think for themselves, so no wonder they like the mindless pablum of Civ3.
Folks say that the diplomacy in Civ3 is advanced. To be honest, I find it a bit irritating at times. It's not as advanced as it could be. FurXs said that you can put anything on the table. Untrue! I could ask them for a year's supply of chocolate... and I don't get it! Sheeze.
I give up on Civ3. It's unplayable as it is. Even the some of the modmakers, like Plutarck have given up on it. It's vapid, shallow and more. I have to agree with JimmyTrick, Buster and Mark13 entirely. Civ3 is basically RTS set to TBS. Stupid.
North Swordsman says it well and succinctly. I couldn't agree more. Whatever happened to the strategy in strategy games? I hope the TBS game isn't dead. Do we really need anymore RTS games? It seems like there's one coming out every week. If anyone has any suggestions on thinking games, please post them.
Brother Locus of the Peacekeepers
hmmm... how about setting RTS to TBS?
I think alot of that RTS stuff has to do with the general lack of patience on folk's parts these days. Everyone wants everything action, action, action, now, now, now! Hay, us old folks like to take things slow. Right, Mark13?
Oi! Speak for yourself
Civ2 was released almost six years ago. Six years! What happened since then? PC games experienced a boom, sure, but console games experienced a greater boom. TBS games are encroached on a niche. They tend to be slower, deeper and have a steeper learning curve when compared to console games.
Now we have a whole generation of gamers who don't have a clue about what was Civ2. Strategy games, for them, are anything that resembles Age of Empires. But they really like to play Grand Theft Auto 3 and State of Emergency. As NorthSwordsman said: "action, action, action, now, now, now!".
How can you introduce these new gamers to the wonderful TBS world? Dumbing it down. You could play Civ3 for 20 hours and never see your city screen, except when founding a new city. You could even automate your city production. You could do this on all of your cities. Come on, faster, move this unit, faster, oh here is your wonder of the world, faster, histographic victory, replay... ahh, it was good, was not?
Hardcore gamers will complain, Firaxis will make some money, the sun will come up tomorrow and I'll have to wash my car. Oh life.