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  • Love CII/PtW--Want a new game--SMAC the answer?

    Last edited by Aramis; March 27, 2003, 22:47.
    "We may be in a hallucination here, but that's no excuse for being delusional!." K.S. Robinson, 'The Years Of Rice And Salt.'

  • #2
    Last edited by Aramis; March 25, 2003, 15:20.
    "We may be in a hallucination here, but that's no excuse for being delusional!." K.S. Robinson, 'The Years Of Rice And Salt.'

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    • #3
      Last edited by Aramis; March 25, 2003, 15:19.
      "We may be in a hallucination here, but that's no excuse for being delusional!." K.S. Robinson, 'The Years Of Rice And Salt.'

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      • #4
        spam

        Comment


        • #5
          Rob,

          I don't know if you are actually interested in the best TBS game made to date, but if so perhaps a bit of patience.

          Vel doesn't come by here very often any more.

          I've done Civ3 but not PTW, I personally feel the game mechanics whilst sound are pale in comparison to those of the earlier SMAC and Alien Crossfire.

          I will not play CIV3 anymore as it is not an enjoyable experience as I found SMAC to be muchmore rewarding in almost every aspect save the AI. I give the nod to CIV3 in that instance but IMHO only because they stripped the game to its barest essentials in order to allow the AI to compete.

          IN any event this has been hashed over adnauseum when CIV3 came out. SMAC is a niche game with some die hard supporters, unfortunately it didn't carry the Civilization moniker so it may be overlooked. Don't let that fool you, SMAC is still IMHO the best of the CIV like games.

          If you want a gme with features galore SMAC is it. To my mind a much more complete gaming expereince with much more replayability.

          But OTOH if all you want to do is spam, have at 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

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Love CII/PtW--Want a new game--SMAC the answer?

            Originally posted by Rob_S
            I'm in my forties, with more time on my hands than I ever expected or dreamed. I have hobbies, love to travel--and love CIII/PtW. Played those wonderful Avalon Hill Strategy&Tactics board games when I was a kid. Pre-PC age. (If you can imagine such a time)
            The issue is settled. SMAC holds no candle to CivIII/Ptw. It has no overt supporters.

            I must look for another game.

            --had yer chance, Rob.
            LOL, those two bits pretty much clash against each other, don't you think?
            Even to the most unprejudiced reader, *taken together* they have written PHONY all in between their lines

            If you really have so much time on your hands, you might want to profile the time distribution of the posts in this forum over the 24/7, and realise that 42 minutes are maybe a bit narrow timewindow to "settle an issue"...

            Anyway, granting you the benefit of the doubt, because albeit not being fools nobody might say that we're not respectful & openminded, I'll have to second most of what Ogie said.
            I hope I'm not just biting to a troll-flame bait.
            I prefer to risk wasting a bit of my time to praise a game I still love, rather than to leave an eventually honestly interested gamer disappointed.
            *In case* you're not the latter, you'll be welcome to revel in you "success", you'd only have shown us something about your nature...
            ___
            I'm a bit similar to your profile, except that I have a bit of time on my hands but not too much, that I DON'T love CivIII (and don't even have PTW because of a FRAUD perpetrated by IG in the italian distribution), and that I loveed to travel and have by now dropped almost all the hobbies I had in the past youth years.
            I do remember pre-PC times very well indeed, although they were mostly Risk, 2 or 3 Diplomacy attempts and one AH boardgame with Rommel against the Allies in the north-african desert & mediterranean played for about a year before we lost the necessary # of interested players...

            You'll find that the opinion of *most* us hard-core SMACers regarding CivIII is pretty much the same.
            Despite adding some new features and options to the game, which could have bored some potential, it was the *design* that ultimately led the game to lack that undefinable appeal to make it a good game.
            The main goal of the franchise had been that to produce an acceptable AI. To that purpose, the ganeplay has been heavily streamlined. There is pretty much one way to play, and THAT allowed the AI to keep match. Even some of the first patching decisions were clearly supporting this slant: they *first* took out some options that human players had immediately learned to exploit and had put their so much self-praised AI in utter ridicule.

            With your gaming profile, I figure you don't care much for graphics.
            SMAC graphics have been many times bashed, although I actually like them better than CivIII's, for instance. Who cares anyway, let's talk about serious things.

            SMAC has BUGS.
            Even after 3 patchings (or "enchantments", insiders joke ), v2, v3 & v4, many of them remained.
            They then issued an eXpansion (smaX), in which, after a further patch (Xv2), *some* of those bugs had been fixed (while introducing a couple X-specific ones), and mind, the fixes were included only in the expansion exe-cutable (at a full-game retail price!), and not ported back to the basic version exe....
            Two or three of the remaining bugs are still somehw annoying, but oiver the time serious players have learned to live with them and play around them. You can go at CivGamingNet too see a survey in the Academy section, and a couple mainstream workarounds in the articles there.

            DESPITE all of the above, we LOVE the game. This should mean something.
            The *depth* and *richness* of the available game strategies are so varied and interesting, that the game stands out nevertheless.

            My *personal* review is heavily biased towards PBEM, which is wonderful.

            I have to report that the AI is not much of a match in single players, for the opposite reasons as those mentioned above for CivIII. It's not a bad AI in itself: it was just too difficult to write one that could hack its way in the jungle of possibilities the game offers.
            In singleplayer games, you'll soon find out that you'll need to A)put heavy restrains on your faction and the options you allow yourself and B) significantly beef-up the AI factions, in order to find a challenge.
            As I said, getting to match yourself against fellow humans in PBEM games is the way to go. Nowadays there are little players left who can still commit to a sub24h turnaround time, after 4 years they're around , so don't expect to play more than a cople turns per week. With the time you have on your hands, you could fill up your schedule as you see fit by starting a few pbems in parallel.

            I have mentioned above faction customisation.
            One of the features you'll find mcuh more powerful than in CivII, is the embedded *customisability* of factions.
            Each individual faction is indeed *individual*, they stand much more apart intheir feature than Civ Civilisations do.
            This can be further *customised* in an easy (to me at least) way via txt files. I heard that CivIII offers instead much more in the way of MODding the Civilisation.
            On this subject, I'm not the best to enter into details, fos inasmuch I LOVE in-game embedded *customisability*, I HATE *modding* in itself altogether.

            Just to name some of the features that you'll find more diverse and varied to hande in the gameplay, there are
            - superior terraforming: you can truly ALTER the planet to fit your needs, and not just irrigate/mine... in its extreme this can lead to outright "terraforming warfare"
            - UNITS DESIGN from component parts! You are not limited to PRESET units, you have a countless number of combinations to design your own unique units, and still now someone comes out with new totally personal designs (see Ogies Land-based troop ptransports, or my "seals" (drop-marine units to take out coastal bases))
            - Social Engineering. How many governments you had in CivIII? Here you have up to 256 combinations of 16 different Social/Political/Economic/Values models with mixed impact on a dozen separate game Factors to be combined with your initial factional-intrinsic strengths and weaks.

            Research is much more meaningful here, unlike CivIII almost every tech is an achievement opening up to you new possibilities, albeit all of it is forcibly SciFi based and thus lacks the "immersive history walkthru" factor (???).

            Diplomacy was allegedly one of the improved fields in CivIII, but frankly I find SMAC's one perfectly functional and up to its task and purpose.

            That said, if you're really interested, I wish you can enjoy it as we all did in these 4 years, and find out by yourself all what this game has to offer you.
            Perusing this forum and the multiplaying one, you'll see that still now there is a moderate but steady stream of new members and SMAC players, coming to ask and reash the game quirks that had been debated inthe past in so much length, and we're happy to help them by directing them to the FAQ or scooping up the old threads when they're still there to be found.
            I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it (Holden Caulfield)

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            • #7
              Have patience Rob, we don't rush things in this forum, like over in Civ3.

              You won't get an unbiased report in this forum, so check out this thread where people were voting for their best games:

              http://apolyton.net/forums/showthrea...threadid=79444

              And see how popular SMAC is.

              -Jam
              1) The crappy metaspam is an affront to the true manner of the artform. - Dauphin
              That's like trying to overninja a ninja when you aren't a mammal. CAN'T BE DONE. - Kassi on doublecrossing Ljube-ljcvetko
              Check out the ALL NEW Galactic Overlord Website for v2.0 and the Napoleonic Overlord Website or even the Galactic Captians Website Thanks Geocities!
              Taht 'ventisular link be woo to clyck.

              Comment


              • #8
                I find that Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire is the finest turn-based game I have ever played, both on the computer and off. Will you like it? I couldn't say. I can't stand Civ3, I couldn't be bothered to pay for PTW after seeing the emaciated half-game that Civ3 had been reduced to. If you're after deeper gameplay with more possibilities for creating your global empire, you'll like SMAC/X a lot. If you're not looking for something more complicated than CivIII, perhaps your time would be better spent elsewhere.

                One thing worth mentioning is that you may not be _able_ to obtain a copy of Alien Crossfire, I paid $70 for mine with shipping, its out of print, and those few copies left are marked up considerably.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by War of Art You won't get an unbiased report in this forum
                  not even an unbiased *link*, I figure
                  I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it (Holden Caulfield)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    SMAC is definitely worth it. If you can get a hold on SMAX (you need SMAC before you can play SMAX though) go for it.

                    SMAC(X) is/are the best TBS-game(s) I've ever played.

                    If I had to pay double the amount I payed to get it (when i got it), I'd say it would surely be worth it.

                    The hard part in my Quest for SMAX was to get SMAX, bought it online somewhere, not ebay.

                    But if you are really desperate to get smax you can also try the underdogs and download a ripped version.

                    Good luck

                    EDIT: Removed link to underdogs
                    Last edited by Major Guz; March 25, 2003, 10:20.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MariOne
                      not even an unbiased *link*, I figure
                      Hell no, I'm as biased as can be conceived. This guy Rob should be convinced pretty soon, non?

                      -Jam
                      1) The crappy metaspam is an affront to the true manner of the artform. - Dauphin
                      That's like trying to overninja a ninja when you aren't a mammal. CAN'T BE DONE. - Kassi on doublecrossing Ljube-ljcvetko
                      Check out the ALL NEW Galactic Overlord Website for v2.0 and the Napoleonic Overlord Website or even the Galactic Captians Website Thanks Geocities!
                      Taht 'ventisular link be woo to clyck.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, SMAC is the best. Lots of personality, lots of options, an interesting tech tree (albeit Sci-Fi -- but I love Sci-fi! ) and a diplomacy that even now, 4 years after the game was released, can match any other TBS around. You'll be amazed at how much replayability you can squeeze out of a game with only 7 factions (or 14, if you count SMAX, but the factions in SMAX are more or less deviations from the original ones).

                        I'd say go for it. If you liked the empire-building style in Civ3, you'll love SMAC even more.
                        I watched you fall. I think I pushed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For the sake of correctness.

                          Here's a compendium of how APOLYTON MEMBERS *who cared to cast a vote*, voted on "games".

                          ADG's All-Time Titles (expansions merged)
                          Code:
                          Position	Game				POINTS	# Votes	Average
                          1		Civilization 2			291	22	13.2
                          
                          
                          2		SMAC/X				159	14	11.4
                          
                          
                          3		Call to Power 2			155	9	17.2
                          
                          4		Civilization 1			128	13	9.8
                          
                          5		Civilization 3			108	11	9.8
                          
                          6		Call to Power			101	9	11.2
                          
                          7		Championship Manager 97/98	65	4	16.3
                          7		Doom 2				65	6	10.8
                          
                          9		Europa Universalis II		57	6	9.5
                          
                          10		Deus Ex				48	3	16.0
                          
                          11		SimCity 3000			41	4	10.3
                          
                          12		Diablo 2			38	4	9.5
                          
                          13		Homeworld			35	4	8.8
                          13		UFO - Enemy Unknown		35	3	11.7
                          
                          15		Baldur's Gate 2			34	5	6.8
                          15		Doom				34	6	5.7
                          17		Chrono Trigger			33	3	11.0
                          18		Final Fantasy 6			32	3	10.7
                          18		Shining Force 2			32	2	16.0
                          18		SimCity 2000			32	4	8.0
                          18		U.F.O.				32	2	16.0

                          Then 3 Skanky Burn's polls.

                          (muxec-started) All-Time Series
                          Code:
                          Rank	Game / Series						Total Points
                          
                          1	Civilization - 						611
                          
                          2	Call to Power -						312
                          
                          3	SMAC(X) -				254
                          
                          4	Final Fantasy -                                       	95
                          
                          5	Master of Orion -					94
                          
                          6	HoMM -                                        		86
                          
                          7	Sim City -                                         	83
                          
                          8	Age of Kings -                                   	77
                          
                          9	Command and Conquer -                                	60
                          9	Mario -                      				60
                          
                          11	Fallout -                            			57
                          
                          12	Championship Manager -                  		52
                          
                          13	StarCraft -                        			49
                          
                          14	Baldur's Gate -                       			45
                          
                          15	Diablo -                       				44
                          15	Europa Universalis -                    		44
                          
                          17	Railroad Tycoon -                  			43
                          
                          18	Master of Magic -                			40
                          
                          19	Deus Ex -               				35
                          
                          20	Warcraft -                 				37
                          2001/2002 Titles (expansion releases standalone)

                          Code:
                          Rank	Game / Series						Total Points
                          
                          1	Morrowind						148
                          
                          2	Civilization III					128
                          
                          3	Grand Theft Auto III					120
                          
                          4	Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction				118
                          
                          5	Europa Universalis II					116
                          
                          6	WarCraft III						91
                          
                          7	Deus Ex: GotY Edition					80
                          
                          8	Age of Mythology					73
                          
                          9	Age of Wonders II					60
                          
                          10	Freedom Force						51
                          {at poll time I didn't acquire SE IV Gold yet, or I'd have given it few points to move it in 10th}

                          1998/2000 Titles (expansion releases standalone)
                          Code:
                          Rank	Game / Series						Total Points
                          
                          1	SMAC							285
                          
                          2	Civilization: Call to Power				110
                          
                          3	Fallout II						100
                          
                          4	Deus Ex							90
                          
                          5	Age of Wonders						85
                          
                          6	Starcraft						80
                          
                          7	SMACX							75
                          
                          8	Worms Armageddon					65
                          
                          9	Unreal Tournament					61
                          
                          10	Heros of Might & Magic III				52
                          
                          11	Quake III						50
                          For what it's worth
                          This might tell more about the composition of the different Apolyton forums/subcommunites, than about the games themselves...
                          I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it (Holden Caulfield)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            For what a TBS Site members opinions are worth, you can see that:

                            - in Titles, SMAC (+its expansion SMAX) is only 2nd to CivII, edges with CtP2, and it's better appreciated that CivI, significantly moreso than CivIII (/PTW) or CtP1.
                            The rest being far behind, on a whole different scale.

                            - As series, of course the combined audience of the Civs, and maybe a bit surprisingly (and marginally) even of the CtPs, had the better of SMAC/X

                            - for 2001/02 boxes, you see that the Civ-like representative for that time interval (CivIII itself) was beaten on its "home ground" ("CIV" SITE!) by an RPG (?) like Morrowind, and marginally edged a racing game!

                            - for 1998-2000 boxes, you see that SMAC alone had THRICE the votes of other "respectable" games, including a fellow (?) civ-like as CtP1.
                            Note how SMAX box alone suffered from its lower diffusion.
                            I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it (Holden Caulfield)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I lost my CtP CD. Kinda sad; I have fond memories of attacking Ireland with Leviathans when they still only had tanks...

                              Not-so-fond memories of the stupid AI Wonder always making my cities revolt when I recaptured it...

                              SMAC, though... Loved it to death. Still do. Wish I had the SMAX CD, so I could watch the SP movies, but just playing SMAX [even if it's just the rip] is great.

                              Die, foolish Gaians! Mwahahahaha!

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