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  • Civ 6 review

    TLDR conclusion on Civ 6 is that it is fun, ads some interesting new concepts to the game, but has some serious problems and irksome features. However, so far the good more than outweighs the bad and makes it for a great civilization experience with a lot of potential.

    Hereís my review of the game as of the end of October 2016. It may get better or worse with updates, DLC, and tweaks. I havenít used any mods as of now or tested the multiplayer. If you can afford it, I would recommend getting it. If money or your time is tight, you may be better served by holding off until the game of the year edition is out if youíre not interested in multiplayer, in which case the online community is probably always strongest in the first year or so of a game's life with some exceptions.

    My history with civilization goes back a long way. I played Civ I, Colonization and eventually Civ II in the mid 1990ís on my friendís computer. He thankfully let me have some epic gaming sessions on all three games. It wasnít until I finally had my own computer that I bought both Civ II in 1998 and SMAC in 1999. SMAC blew me away, and in some ways, its system of Social Engineering, setting, themes, political philosophies, interaction with enemy leaders, and diplomacy havenít been fully eclipsed. Itís AI, some of the art design (map and units), were subpar at the time. I preferred SMAC to SMAX thematically, and thought it was a mixed bag on gameplay improvements. I never played either of the Civ call to power games, or Civ rev. Civ 3 in my final assessment was a subpar game, with some great concepts. Civ 3 introduced culture as a follow on to SMACís borders, which has constantly improved. Civ 3 also had one mode, called regicide, or possibly it was a variant of regicide, but you had like 4 or five units on the map, and when they all died, your game was over. They were useful to use in the early stages of the game, and I have always wanted that feature to come back. Civ 4, occupied almost as much of my time as SMAC, and while it wasnít perfect, up to this point, it is the best incarnation of the civ series.

    When I found out that Civ 5 was based around one unit per tile, it severely dampened my enthusiasm for the game. It came out right before I deployed to Afghanistan for a year, and I didnít get to play it. By the time I got back in October of 2011 and settled back into life, my main games for a long while were Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim. By the time I completely finished with both of them, and purchased a new desktop gaming computer to replace my now dying laptop, it was 2014. I played Civ: Beyond Earth before Civ 5. I had hoped it would be a spiritual successor to SMAC, and while it was, it didnít capture my interest. It was an OK game, but made it was because of my busy schedule or whatever, but I never fully finished a game of BE. I had even preordered it, but it didnít take hold of me the way previous civilization games had. I was about to completely skip Civ 5, until I saw my first gameplay videos of Civ 6, and it motivated me to try out Civ 5. My biggest problem with that game was it constantly crashed and was in general very unstable, and again I have yet to fully finish a game of Civ 5 and I probably wonít go back, because Civ 6 seems like it does everything Civ 5 does, except it does them nearly as well or even better. I may go back and finish a game of BE at some point, just because of the futuristic setting. So that is my civilization series pedigree.

    Now on to Civ 6.

    After four long game sessions, the first on the night of Civ 6ís release, then later that weekend, and then one on this past Saturday night and basically all day on Sunday, I completed my first game of Civ 6. Playing as America, I won around turn 465, which is the late 2030ís in my game. I played on prince difficulty, on a standard sized map, using standard speed. Unlike BE, Civ 6 captured me almost out of the gate, and I had the one more turn feeling throughout the game. I never had that with BE, and every time I started feeling that last month with Civ 5, the game would crash and I would lose it. As far as technical problems go, the only crashes I experienced with Civ 6 were after trying to save and quit the game. I noticed some slowdowns in the later turns, and loading times are especially long, but I currently have it on my D: Drive, which is a HDD, since it wonít currently fit on my SSD 120GB boot/OS/app drive. I have windows 10 (upgraded last year from windows 8.1), an i-5 4590, 16Gb of Ram, an AMD Radeon 270 GPU with 3GB VRAM, and a single 1080p monitor. My computer is two years old now, and while I purchased the best parts I could, while keeping it close to 1,000 dollars, it wasnít top of the line in 2014, but it is more than enough to play Civ 6 very smoothly for the most part.

    My world had three continents. I started in the southeast portion of the largest continent, with the Sumerians to the northwest, Scythians to the west, and Russians to the southwest. The Russians were hemmed in by the Scythians directly above them, and barbicans to their west. Tons of barbicans that it seemed like they werenít about to effectively clear.

    To my east was a large island, very small continent, that had some barbicans on it and apparently nobody settled it until around the early 1900ís when I claimed it. To the east of that was the next largest continent that had the Japanese, Germans, and English. To the far east or far west depending on your point of view, was the last continent, which had the Indians and the Japanese had managed to claim a foothold on it. I started with several city-states around me, especially to my north and northeast and throughout the game I protected the city-states and worked to maintain my hegemony over them. My first war started because Hammurabi conquered the scientific city-state to my northwest. Up until that point we were on good terms. He even liked me. After he seized the city state, I denounced him, then declared formal war and before long I had conquered him, because I had just discovered knights. That war seemed to permanently damage my relationships with all of the other civs, except Japan, who was I was able to get on cordial terms later in the game, but wasnít even close to becoming their ally.

    After building tons of knights, I was able to relatively easily conquer the Sumerians and the Scythians who eventually declared war on me. After winning, I hadnít researched any of the sea techs, because of the Eureka system was rewarding me for other areas of the tech tree. This kept me bottled up on my home continent. I probably should have taken over Russia, but I didnít. I was just trying to build a strong, but peaceful nation. Indian declared war on me then, and without naval power, I wasnít able to retaliate and I just killed their troops as they landed on my shores. If I had of had better knowledge of the gameís mechanics, I could have conquered Russian and probably won a domination victory before 1500 or 1600. However, I didnít push, but instead I built a big tech lead, developed a strong religion, and left everybody alone, until Russia stopped liking the cut of my jib and declared war on me. I had tanks by then (not modern armor) and took them down relatively easily. Later, after I had spread throughout my continent, I would seize the large island/small continent, to stop religious incursions from them, as well as Germany had settled a city on my continent in the empty spaces. I focused on building up my cities, expanding to claim strategic and luxury resources, researching technology for the scientific win, and expanding my religion throughout my continent.

    In the mid 1930ís which I would assume is about 100 turns before I won the game, I completed the tech tree and civics tree. It would still take me many turns to complete the game, and I must have researched future tech along with social media/globalization 20 times or more. So this is one of the first big flaws of the game. It could easily use 20 or 30 more techs as well as 20 or 30 more civics. I wasnít even focused on culture. I didnít trade for techs or a tech boost, and I didnít use spies to steal anything related to tech and I know neither my city builds, nor tech path, nor anything about my strategy was optimal. A great player, with more experience, could handily beat me in the tech race. It may be possible that by 1400-1500 a player could research all of the techs. If you were trying to run up the score, it may be possible to research Future Tech 100 times or more by 2050, same goes for civics. I think this is a problem.

    In about 1980 before I had even launched the satellite, I looked and saw that while I had been on future tech and though I had a comfortable lead, the Germans had already launched completed the Apollo project, well before they had finished the tech tree. I was like WTF? Then I noticed they had mechanized infantry. I stepped up my nuke production and shortly before I launched the Apollo project, I four thermonuclear devices and Germany received a three in my first strike and Japan received one. While England and India both chided me over this nothing happened. My diplomatic relations with those two were rocky and stayed that way, but war didnít break out. I seized one of the nuked cities, but didnít quite have the military strength for an overwhelming follow on, and most of the conventional war was fought on my continent. I had eventually turned all of the knights into modern armor, but against fortified mechanized infantry in a city, without supporting unit I wasnít able to take the city, but I killed the Germans forces outside of the city trying to relieve their city. I was about to press my war, when Germany basically offered me all of their resources and gold and ceded their city to me for a peace treaty. I accepted. Japan followed suit, giving me all of their great works and everything, except at the bottom they wanted 900 gold per turn. I said yes because I thought they were capitulating. A few turns later after I finished the Apollo project I managed to get Warner Von Braun and Carl Sagan. I suddenly had a big lead in the race to Mars, but at this point a conquest, a religious, or a domination victory would have all been simple to achieve. I couldnít declare war on Japan because of the bad treaty, but they denounced me a turn later and I had an opportunity to declare war in the menu. I then nuked them twice more, but our status never changed to war and I couldnít enter their territory with my units, and I had to keep on paying them. It was very, very glitchy.

    So I finally won the game with my final Mars launch. Out of the four launches, two of them only two of the wonder movies showed the rocket launching, the other two were of the ground.

    I do still stand behind the title of my other thread that this is the best Civilization experience Iíve had since playing SMAC for the first time back in 1999. Itís that sense of wonder, immersion, discovery and new things. Civ IV in its prime was probably a better game, because the mechanics were solid, the AI was decent and the mods (Kaelís FFH2 mod Iím looking at you) than Civ 6 is now. But it was a far more mundane experience for me. In time Iím hoping that Civ 6 received a number of positive changes and becomes the best civilization game ever without any caveats. Right now it may be the best, but it has a huge list of caveats.

    Here are my thoughts on some of the systems in the game.

    Districts: I donít even think the civ6 team realizes what they have on their hands here. They have created the best way for city specialization and interesting city choices so far. However, they have just scratched the surface. Some districts are very boring, like neighborhoods and aqueducts. The one that I hope serves as the model for future updates is the encampment district. It has three tiers of buildings with at least one tier that has a mutually exclusive choice. If every district had at between 2-4 tiers and between 3-8 possible buildings with at least one mutually exclusive choice, but preferably several mutually exclusive choices, the game would be better than it is now. Using districts you could have a factory that takes the strategic resources iron and coal and have it make a new strategic resource steel. You could have another district take oil and turn it into plastics and synthetic rubber. Then you could have another district take those strategic resources and turn them into cars. In addition to being a luxury resource, cars could be a requirement for a suburb building in the neighborhood district. You could have an industrial district that has a computer factory and make it a strategic resource. You could have a commercial district unlocked by social media that turns computers into luxury resources. There are so many possibilities. If anyone is interested in collaborating on a mod like that, let me know.

    Religion: It starts off very interesting, and becomes less and less so over the course of the game. By the end of the game I was generating 350-400 faith per turn, had half the world converted, and had inquisitors everywhere, but mostly by holy site, just sleeping waiting to be attacked and occasionally used to wipe out a religion. AI Inquisitors act like honey to draw in other religionís apostles. Throughout 99% of the game it would be piecemeal attacks that would result in the apostle dying without doing much. In the closing turns Japan arrived with three inquisitors and attacked a single inquisitor and killed him and then occupied the holy site. They did the same next turn. But I just made more and sent their way. I had like 18,000 faith points accumulated by the end of the game and literally on my last turn I realized you could use faith to buy great people. By the renaissance religion is as good as it gets. From then on there is nothing new and it is kind of boring. When I would attack I would send in apostles with the ability to remove religions from cities they occupy and this looks like a strategy the AI cannot stop.

    Military: The early ground and naval game works pretty well. Strong embarked units are a pain, they can be much stronger than the naval units attacking them and basically unsinkable. Air units are much weaker than ground based bombard units, and so bombers unless you are dropping nukes arenít much help against ground units. The AI is decent at this. On higher levels with bonuses so they can have large armies would probably be hellish.

    Diplomacy: The addition of casus belli is a good idea. It comes fairly late though and there should be more of them. The AI seems unfriendly and its trade proposals are so unbalanced itís infuriating. England for example offered me a single diamonds (or is it gems) luxury resource and wanted like 4 strategic resources, 3 luxury resources, open borders and some gold from me to make it work. There were no moves at making alliances with me or even trying to improve relations with me. I generally found it of little use except to occasional discuss peace terms after I had defeated a civ.

    Espionage: Currently it is probably the worst system in the game. Itís not fun, doesnít seem to be that powerful, has an awful UI that requires me to basically click the first part twice, and it want me to do this with each spy every 4-8 turns.

    Trade: Is another half-baked system. It has its moments early on in the game when you are using it to establish roads and build the trading network. After the start, it becomes very tedious, asking you to continually update your trade route. Also, I canít tell if when a trade route says 8 gold if that is a one-time payment when you complete the route or it is every turn.

    Governments: A really fun system. I think it is better than Civ 3, Civ 4, and Civ 5ís government system and either tied or just barely behind with SMACís social engineering. It makes sense, and is flexible.

    Eureka quests: These are great. It really helps to make each game a little bit different. It is a good example of using a carrot to make players do different things and not always beeline for the best techs.

    Tech and civic trees: Iím glad they split it up, it makes the game more fun. I would like to see more techs and more civics added to the trees. I would also like to see things like you canít get some of the more advanced techs without researching things that make sense that comes before them. I could also see a military tech tree (name it something like Tactics) where you research military units. So you discover combustion on the tech tree, but until you research armored warfare on the tactics tree you canít build tanks.

    Great people: Beside the UI setup, this is wonderful. Itís the strongest the mechanic has been in any civ game, because you have a wide variety of leaders, they are all slightly different, there are numerous ways of getting them, and each leader does either something useful or has multiple ways of doing something.

    Leaders: The animations are well done, and the agendas are useful ways of making them different and giving them personality. If diplomacy as a whole was better, then I think leaders would shine even more than they currently do.

    Workers: I think the new worker system is great, especially with the automation of road building. My only problem with roads is that they do not seem to provide much of a speed advantage, even when fully upgraded in the information era. Nothing with the power of railroads from previous versions exists.

    Base game play: Iím not sure if unit and district cost inflation is tech based, or if each time you build a unit or district or certain buildings the cost goes up. However, that and luxuries working so that each one only provides happiness to four cities is not an effective check on infinite city span. While it might not be as overwhelming as in in Civ 2 and SMAC, ICS is back. In order to fight against barbarians and secure ALL of the resources you need cities everywhere. I had 30 or so when I finished the game. I was also playing on a standard sized map could have built more cities and only controlled half the world. On a huge map you could easily have 100 cities. Currently the game combats late game tedium by making everything so expensive it takes 30 or more turns or more to build basic units in many of my cities. You could still have hundreds of religious units, but real military units are harder to come by. Sewers also seem to be the most ineffective building in the game. My game only started to slow down after turn 400 and it the turn time was still less than a minute.

    UI: The UI could use some massive improvements currently. There are glitches, like where itís hard to implement a city bombard because of a garrisoned units. The reports are a mess, and not a good way of keeping tabs on your empire. Unlike in other civ games, there is little information about what you built, or when the enemy starts to build a wonder or even a project to win the game. There isnít a way to recall a trader, nor a way to manage (or at least an easy to find way to manage) existing trade routes. There is no way to rename cities (or at least not an obvious way). There is no way to cancel a district once you start it, while it is still under construction. I here there are ICBM silos in the game. I didnít see a way to build them. It should be possible to zoom out further at least in the strategic view. The main map has information cluttered around it. The animations are great, but some like the jet bomber bombing runs take several second, but quick moves shows too little of what the AI is doing. The great people screen would be much better if it was a vertical scroll instead of horizontal and it automatically put great leader slots that are empty at the bottom of the list. Experience and unit ranks on units are tiny. Civ 5 did a better job of telling how much damage each unit suffered after a battle. There is no easy way of seeing unit upgrade paths. I could go on but if espionageís UI is considered good enough for the game at release, there are things seriously amiss here.

    Despite being way too long, Iím sure there are many areas Iíve overlooked or not provided enough details about. Anyways, let me know what you think.
    Last edited by korn469; October 31, 2016, 17:19.

  • #2
    Hello Korn. Would you name the your first 10 Tech and the first 3 or 4 Civic to research? I have found out that the AI can research faster than the Human player can.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by korn469 View Post
      Districts: I donít even think the civ6 team realizes what they have on their hands here. They have created the best way for city specialization and interesting city choices so far. However, they have just scratched the surface. Some districts are very boring, like neighborhoods and aqueducts. The one that I hope serves as the model for future updates is the encampment district. It has three tiers of buildings with at least one tier that has a mutually exclusive choice. If every district had at between 2-4 tiers and between 3-8 possible buildings with at least one mutually exclusive choice, but preferably several mutually exclusive choices, the game would be better than it is now. Using districts you could have a factory that takes the strategic resources iron and coal and have it make a new strategic resource steel. You could have another district take oil and turn it into plastics and synthetic rubber. Then you could have another district take those strategic resources and turn them into cars. In addition to being a luxury resource, cars could be a requirement for a suburb building in the neighborhood district. You could have an industrial district that has a computer factory and make it a strategic resource. You could have a commercial district unlocked by social media that turns computers into luxury resources. There are so many possibilities. If anyone is interested in collaborating on a mod like that, let me know.
      This seems actually quite a great idea, and would make strategic warfare a much more interesting choice.
      Instead of focusing on attacking cities, you'd want to attack factories so the enemy can't process raw resources to produce new planes/tanks.

      Religion: It starts off very interesting, and becomes less and less so over the course of the game. By the end of the game I was generating 350-400 faith per turn, had half the world converted, and had inquisitors everywhere, but mostly by holy site, just sleeping waiting to be attacked and occasionally used to wipe out a religion. AI Inquisitors act like honey to draw in other religionís apostles. Throughout 99% of the game it would be piecemeal attacks that would result in the apostle dying without doing much. In the closing turns Japan arrived with three inquisitors and attacked a single inquisitor and killed him and then occupied the holy site. They did the same next turn. But I just made more and sent their way. I had like 18,000 faith points accumulated by the end of the game and literally on my last turn I realized you could use faith to buy great people. By the renaissance religion is as good as it gets. From then on there is nothing new and it is kind of boring. When I would attack I would send in apostles with the ability to remove religions from cities they occupy and this looks like a strategy the AI cannot stop.
      This does seem half baked.
      What would you change?

      I also don't understand why are religious units not transparent to military units, like settlers/builders are. From what I've seen religious units of a 3rd party can actually prevent one from attacking an enemy in war making a wall.

      Military: The early ground and naval game works pretty well. Strong embarked units are a pain, they can be much stronger than the naval units attacking them and basically unsinkable. Air units are much weaker than ground based bombard units, and so bombers unless you are dropping nukes arenít much help against ground units. The AI is decent at this. On higher levels with bonuses so they can have large armies would probably be hellish.
      Are naval units really unsinkable? This makes the seas cluttered since there's no strategic thought, and really makes naval units redundant.
      Possibly this was done for the dumb AI's sake?

      Trade: Is another half-baked system. It has its moments early on in the game when you are using it to establish roads and build the trading network. After the start, it becomes very tedious, asking you to continually update your trade route. Also, I canít tell if when a trade route says 8 gold if that is a one-time payment when you complete the route or it is every turn.
      I'm not sure why is trade randomly 1-sided.
      Why don't both cities gain the bonuses from trade, as is actual for trade? (at least until globalization/corporations arrive in expansion)

      Tech and civic trees: Iím glad they split it up, it makes the game more fun. I would like to see more techs and more civics added to the trees. I would also like to see things like you canít get some of the more advanced techs without researching things that make sense that comes before them. I could also see a military tech tree (name it something like Tactics) where you research military units. So you discover combustion on the tech tree, but until you research armored warfare on the tactics tree you canít build tanks.
      I think human players are conditioned to over-emphasise science (at least compared to how firaxis thought people would play).

      Great people: Beside the UI setup, this is wonderful. Itís the strongest the mechanic has been in any civ game, because you have a wide variety of leaders, they are all slightly different, there are numerous ways of getting them, and each leader does either something useful or has multiple ways of doing something.
      I'm kinda meh on the bonuses of some of them. I'd love to see great artists ability to culture bomb like in previous games.

      Workers: I think the new worker system is great, especially with the automation of road building. My only problem with roads is that they do not seem to provide much of a speed advantage, even when fully upgraded in the information era. Nothing with the power of railroads from previous versions exists.
      I think they should be able to build roads, only it should cost the same as any other improvement, so you'd generally have roads generated by trade, and builders used for 'strategic' roads.
      I agree that roads seem underpowered in modern time.


      What do you think about the current cultural victory? I don't really get the 'tourisms' mechanic. It's mysterious and underwhelming. I also feel that collecting relics and building 3 different kinds of museums is tediously boring.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Joseph View Post
        Hello Korn. Would you name the your first 10 Tech and the first 3 or 4 Civic to research? I have found out that the AI can research faster than the Human player can.
        Joseph,

        Because of the Eureka system giving players, and I assume AI as well, tech boosts, there isn't going to be a firm build order. In Civ 6, one of the good things is that the game is somewhat dependent on where you start at, and how you play the game.

        Comment


        • #5
          Siro,

          1) Like I said, I am very willing to collaborate on a mod, where we fully exploit the district system. There could be all kinds of interesting things we could do with it. Like if you have a commercial hub built adjacent to wheat or rice and water you could build a brewery, which would add like +1 gold and +2 amenities in any cities within 3 hexes. When you discover aluminum, you could use it like a strategic resource, or turn it into the canned beer luxury resource. Each worker turns one aluminum resource input into 2 canned beer resources and gains an extra 5 gold per turn or something.

          2) I would put religious units on a separate layer in the game. If you are of a different religion, you could pillage religious units with your military units. If you were the same religion you couldn't interact with them. The only exception would be fanatical military units, which also have a religious strength. Then they would have the option of engaging in religious warfare. There should be religious leaders, wonders, buildings, and perhaps even national projects far later in the game. At some point science and religion should be antagonistic to each other, at least with certain civic choices.

          3) Naval units aren't unsinkable, but strong embarked units are hard as hell to kill. I had a single nuclear submarine that encountered a mechanized infantry corps or army. I'm not completely sure. Even though it just sat there, and I attacked it on four or five different sequential turns with both torpedoes and cruise missiles (melee/ranged attacks)from the nuclear sub, the embarked unit was in the green. My attacks weren't effective at all. In other eras when I had like a caravel versus a warrior or a galley, I could sink them.

          4)I can't answer your trade questions. I'm at a loss.

          5)I would still like to see more tech and civics.It should take constant, concerted efforts coupled with an effective strategy to reach the future techs.

          6) I wouldn't mind seeing that either. Great engineers seems to be the most interesting great people as of now.

          7) I like that idea. I also think that railroads should come back. Maybe they could make a permanent trade route and greatly increase travel speed.

          8) I'm not sure if I really understand cultural victory enough to comment as of yet. I may force myself to play for the cultural win next game.
          Last edited by self biased; November 6, 2016, 17:41. Reason: Made it readable

          Comment


          • #6
            What about the AI and how long do you think you can play the game before you get bored?
            I got 91 hours before shelving it.
            The gameplay is very good but the UI is very poor.
            The AI is total garbage.
            The diplomacy is a bit silly with everyone denouncing everyone for waging a war. Do you want to help me attack XXX? Yes? I hate you for being a warmonger.
            These things can be fixed, though, which would make wa for a really great game, but right now it's still a beta imo.
            Clash of Civilization team member
            (a civ-like game whose goal is low micromanagement and good AI)
            web site http://clash.apolyton.net/frame/index.shtml and forum here on apolyton)

            Comment

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