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Daily Impressions: MarkG


  • Daily Impressions: MarkG

    MarkG's Day One

    Imagine this: it's 9 in the morning and the door bell rings. "What the $#%@" you think as you open the door to see that your beta copy of C:CTP is finally here!

    Anyway, Day One Impressions:

    Well, I didn't have the time to play it much, and I'm not going to start writing my part of the preview right here, but generally I would like to say that the game looks wonderful. Stack combat seems to be the most important thing in the first stages.

    Notable changes:

    • When you choose an advance to research, each advance requires different number of turns
    • You can change what you're researching in the middle of the research(!)
    • Units belong to the whole civ not to a city
    • Forget most of your civ2 strategies: my first game was in prince(the names and number of the levels of difficulty are exactly the same as in civ2) and I gave it up to start on chieftain! I play civ2 on deity
    • Customisability: Lots of lots of text files to look into All graphics(including the monument screen ones as well as leader graphics) are in tga format, with the exception of units which are in some spr format(but there is a uniticons.txt along with the other text files with reference to some tga files, so this could be used somehow, I can't tell now)

    More in the following days (or weeks if we forget to stop playing)

    MarkG's Day Two

    • Not much free time again, so not many things to note here (Actually from Day One) During installation instead of seeing in game screens or your units walking by you see some of the original sketches for units and city improvements
    • In multiplayer games you can choose your start and limit ages, and you can also leave out any unit, advance or wonder you want!
    • Wonder movies play on full screen, and this make a difference from seeing at normal size. You have the option to see them in window size too.
    • The AI is ruthless, if it gets the chance(and you have been a bad him to in the past) it will brake your peace agreement instantly
    • Simple peace agreements last 10 turns, alliances don't. This is handy because you can start a war easier(I haven't searched very much what goes on with your reputation, remember these are impressions!) You can see how many turns are left before the agreement is over. In the same list you also see your past demands to a certain civ. Demands also have a time period(which doesn't mean that you can't demand the same thing before this time is over, but it gives you a rule on how often you can demand things)
    MarkG's Day Three

    More stuff I've found interesting while playing CTP ...

    • In my build the CD is not required. Of course this can change easily, and it has been said that it will be a last minute decision. I urge Activision to keep it this way it is awfully nice to...
    • Listen to other musical CDs during the game. My build will play without hesitation any audio CD. If you change the CD the game will simply start playing it with no problems.
    • This doesn't mean that CTP's songs are bad. Quite the opposite(I'm actually listening to the 8 songs while writing this page )
    • There are 42 civs to choose from as you may already know from our page about it. The definitions are set into a single text file. A comment in that files says that up to 64 civs can be defined. You can define you own leader pictures as they are simple .tga files and you have space for 30 city names.
    • PBEM (play be e-mail) is not supported on my build, but Lt John says it will be eventually, either in the final product, or as a free download.
    • The current multiplayer options (on my build always) are Internet, LAN and IPX. The Internet options presents you with a list of Activision's server around the world showing how many people are on each server and how fast your speed is with each server.
    • Up to 1050 AD, each turn is 50 years. After that each turn is 5 years. I haven't go far enough to see when it change to 1 year/turn.
    • In the Ranking screen when you see the five best cities, if you click on one of the cities it will tell you when it was built and how many turns the city is old. Interesting idea ...

    An example of the scoring screen. Obviously, this image is the combination of two screenshots in order to show everything that is into the score formula.

    MarkG's Day Four

    More playing, more notes ...

    • On each square you can have up to 9 units. This means a lot: a) Stacks can have up to 9 units. You can built a "super stack" with 20 units and take over the world with it. b) Each city can have up to 9 units in it. This means that if you have many units inside and outside a town and you're facing a big attack, you should be careful on what you have inside and what outside. c) You can move a unit to a square with 9 units. Sometimes, you'll have to build a couple extra roads to avoid "traffic jams"
    • While you're on battle view(it is really nice to sit back and watch the battle) the units appear as usual but with a small shadow too
    • There is no "Go To" command since practically all movement orders with the mouse are what the go to command was in civ2. You just click on the map and the units goes there. I still miss a "go to city X" command
    • There are lots of keyboard shortcuts and you can re-assign them all the time, but so far I find myself using the mouse all the time
    • You probably know that all units have walk animations. What is nice about it, is that while a unit moves, you can do something else at the same time(see another part of the map, see one of the screens, change the production of a city, etc)

    The initial Diplomacy screen. I guess you can understand what is what.

    The Attitude tab of the Intelligence screen. You can see which are the attitudes of each civ towards the others ...

    MarkG's Day Five

    Well, a bit more like "Days Five, Six and Seven" but here goes...

    • The "auto cycle turns" option in CTP is like the "don't wait at end of turn" one in civ1/2, with the addition that if nothing is built and there is nothing you can move(either because all units are fortified or they have orders to go somewhere) the turns ends automatically. This is VERY handy in the first part of the game where 7-8 turns pass with you needing to do anything ...
    • When you capture a city, it's architecture style changes to yours. Unlike SMAC (in which the change doesn't happen only after a few turns and not always-somebody explain me how that works, I haven't figured it out) the change happens instantly.
    • If you have a Slaver unit in your stack and you win a battle, it capture soldiers from the defeated and you gain a slave citizen in the nearest city. VERY handy to get lots of slaves, but be careful for the Abolitionists in later in the game.
    • Alliances are not that strong in CTP as in Civ2. You don't need to go through diplomacy to brake it, you can just attack the now enemy civ. However, your reputation is terribly damaged, you loose your trade routes with that civ, as well as your embassy.
    • Almost (if not all) units have voices. They don't speak always, and they don't have something to say in all occasions. For example, the legion we selected may say "For the Empire!". You can turn voices off ...
    • Each government type has an "empire size limit". This means that if you built for example over 30 cities under Republic, you will start to have unhappiness problems. It will be time to change government ...

    You know what that big drop in my powergraph is? It is when my AI Entity revolted! (For those who wonder I'm continuing a game I have already won back in 1954 just to see the future stuff)

    Having a Forcefield Shield in your city is a great thing to secure it. Having it in all of your cities is simply marvelous.

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