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    Activision sent us the following statement in response to the various discussions here.

    <center><table width=80%><tr><td><font color=000080 face="Verdana" size=2><font size="1">quote:
    <img src="/images/blue1.gif" width=100% height=1>
    </font>There are a lot of questions and speculation on the Apolyton message boards about Call to Power II, so we have decided to issue the following statement to clear some of them up.

    When we began the design process on Call to Power II, we spent a good deal of time querying our Call to Power owners about what changes or additions they wanted to see in a sequel. Of course, there were thousands of suggestions from formal research surveys, informal message board posts, and one-on-one chats with gamers. But the majority of the requests centered around the following areas: diplomacy, combat, interface, customizability, and empire management. Our team set out to make a sequel that would address all of these features, yet would still remain true to the gameplay from the first game. We intentionally kept the graphics engine mostly the same because we felt that our graphics were, and still are, the best offered in a turn-based empire building game. We kept the setting the same because we felt that an actual historical basis would have more appeal than a fantastic or science-fiction setting. Many of the programming changes to Call to Power II may not be readily visible to the user, but in reality, most of the major engines were rewritten to accept the changes to the diplomatic, combat and empire management systems. Opening up the extensive customizability options required a level of complex code changes as well. As in all software development projects, some features from Call to Power were dropped or cut as the project unfolded, including PBEM and Hot Seat.

    We have been reviewing the posts by various forum members calling for additional patches to make the AI more challenging for them, to add PBEM and Hotseat back in, and various other requests. These requests, which sound simple, are actually long, complex feature additions that would require up to 3-4 months of programming and testing time. This is not feasible, as the Call to Power II team is moving on to other projects. So there will be no additional patches, enhancements or scenarios coming from Activision. Additionally, there are no immediate plans to make an expansion or sequel.

    None of these decisions were taken lightly, however, we feel that in the end, we have delivered a game that met the design goals of the project: an empire-building game that delivers new diplomatic features, more realistic combat, better empire management options, a new interface, and a customizable gaming engine to extend the life of the game. We thank all of you for your dedicated support and enthusiasm over the last four years. We look forward to seeing the results of the various mods and scenarios that the community is working on.

    <img src="/images/blue1.gif" width=100% height=1></font></td></tr></table></center>

    I guess this means goodbye.
    I would personally like to thank the CTP1/2 team members for their cooperation and help over the last years, from the last days of TFGC2S(and the first of Apolyton) until today.

    Markos, Apolyton Civilization Site

  • #2
    Well, I am dissapointed but not surprised. This game still has some major bugs left which are were hard if not impossible for us gamers to solve. It is sad because this game has so much potential but the bugs just ruin the experience. Hopefully people on this forum will keep on improving the game. I already enjoy the game much more now than when I first got it.



    • #3
      Well, I am not surprised at all and yes, I do understand that products are made and put on market for profit, not for the consumer's pleasure or convenience. After all, money is what really matters in business. Fine. I can live with that. Only the very last sentence of the statement "We look forward to seeing the results of the various mods and scenarios that the community is working on." is a pure slap on the face. Or was it said with good intensions to be polite?
      ...anything else would be unCivilized...


      • #4
        Man, this is utter B.S. Not providing PBEM and Hot Seat, while lame, is at least understandable. Not every game can have everything, and some people will be disappointed. But to not even fix the most obvious and debilitating bugs is completely reprehensible and inexplicable. And the way it is justified, pretending as if the game doesn't have crippling bugs, just makes it worse.

        I don't own a lot of computer games, but this surely must represent some new kind of low in terms of post-release support. Activision didn't really even release one patch, but more like half a patch. Their first patch was billed as a rush job to take care of some serious multiplayer problems only, with a more complete patch to come later.

        The sad thing is, the game has so much going for it, with its virtually unlimited potential to change and add things to the game. I think once Wes is done with his mod, and other people finish mods and scenarios, this game is going to blow away any civ-type game that's come before (Wes is doing the work Activision should have done in the first place, BTW). But such mods will always be hobbled by serious bugs in the game that no amount of text file editing can ever fix, cos we can't go there.

        If Activision is too cheap to properly follow through on this game, they should at least have the balls to release some or all of the coding to allow others to make the fixes they should have done. Even without having any inside clues, someone already had to make an unoffical patch to fix some things Activision should have done in CTP1. If Activision were to do this, it could only boost sales, since eventually a working game could be made out of this. If not, then its just adding insult to insult.

        I'm actually not so pissed off as I should be, cos I've had a good lead that this was coming for some time now, from someone inside Activision. And from all the changes I've been making to my Alexander scenario, I get more and more excited, as I start to realize the potential this game provides to those who take the time to make the changes. So I'm not just gonna walk away from the game at this point anyways, like I'm sure many are (Civ3 is still a long time off, unfortunately). But I can completely understand those who do. Maybe I'm just a sucker or a glutton for punishment.


        PS- Its true computer games are all about money for the companies that make them, but Activision could have made SO much more money if they spent more time to make a good game. Look at the Age of Empires series as a cash cow for a company that follows through properly (too bad for me I don't like RTS). Obviously sales for CTP2 were disappointing (thus leading to this announcement), because people were burned already by the poor follow through and incomplete nature of CTP1. Duh. I guess Activsion is a shoot em up type company that doesn't understand this genre.

        One last thought: Wes is going to release the beta version of his mod in a few days I believe, and I have high confidence in it. I find playing it really fun, despite the bugs. The AI is definitely fixable- someone has already made an AI that's completely unbeatable, even. But by the time these mods like Wes's are finished in a few months, there may be no one left to play them, since most everyone will leave after this announcement from Activsion. So there will be this really great game, best of the civ-genre, that hardly anyone will know about or play. Very ironic and sad.

        [This message has been edited by Harlan (edited January 20, 2001).]


        • #5
          Quick summary:

          "We politely thank you for giving us your money. We believe we've made a high quality product for all to enjoy. We'll leave the rest to you, we're outta here!"

          If this statement wasn't meant to be serious it would be hilarious....
          Skeptics should forego any thought of convincing the unconvinced that we hold the torch of truth illuminating the darkness. A more modest, realistic, and achievable goal is to encourage the idea that one may be mistaken. Doubt is humbling and constructive; it leads to rational thought in weighing alternatives and fully reexamining options, and it opens unlimited vistas.

          Elie A. Shneour Skeptical Inquirer


          • #6
            Yeah, pretty disappointed. To think of all the times I stuck up for them...

            This is a real opportunity lost.

            - MKL ... "And a sun that doesn't set but settles" - Augie March
            Shameless Plug: ............. All welcome.
            [This message has been edited by MidKnight Lament (edited January 28, 2001).]
            - mkl


            • #7
              Mark, are you going to be able to get an interview with anyone on the Ctp2 team to help us with any of the bugs and/or instability still in the game, or at least to shed more light on them?
              My question would concern the instability of user-created scenarios. At least if we could be told what we had to do to make them stable.


              • #8
                "We politely thank you for giving us your money. We believe we've made a high quality product for all to enjoy. We'll leave the rest to you, we're outta here!"

                I must agree with this and feel sad...

                I hope Firaxis does not make the same mistake and I'll wait for them to make a good game...

                Maybe some mods will help but I feel Activision abandonned us after we bought the game and I for one will never buy any more civ games coming from them!

                This is a very sad day for Civ fans !
                Live long and prosper !


                • #9
                  The next Activision title will have unprecedented sales. Not! If Activision can't support games they've already released, who do they think is going to buy the next one?

                  I've been pretty satisfied with CTP2. Few bugs in the regular game, probably the most stable game I have (SMAC may have that title, I haven't played it in a while), though CTP2 is very slow on the larger maps after a certain number of turns, capability to make more changes than I will ever have time for. The Alex scenario was great but as released had a lot of problems. The others could have been much better in my opinion.

                  I've only found a few bugs with the regular game though I haven't played as much as I would like to so I'm probably not aware of all of them. True bugs should be fixed. It's just the right thing to do, even if it costs them some money. When I buy software, I expect it to work properly. Okay, you can stop laughing now. I know things can slip though, but if you're aware of bugs, you fix them. Design issues are another matter. A design change that pleases me may not please the next person. So I can live with no future design changes. To say they won't fix the bugs really makes me angry.

                  I finally got my saved scenario games to load. I'm not even sure how. There are many who still cannot load saved scenarios. There goes their ability to customize the game through scenarios or play scenarios others have created unless they leave CTP2 running for a few days.

                  I hope they will at least provide someone to answer questions and help us help ourselves.

                  If this is the final word from Activision (meaning no help, period), they can count me out as a paying customer if they ever decide to make an expansion or sequel.


                  • #10
                    This is utter PR talk!

                    They believe that they made a quality game: well, from all the work that the mod community is doing, I would have to say that they didn't!

                    They say they met their design goals: They don't mention AI so I guess it was never a design goal in the first place! Second, it is true that the diplomacy has more options so they did meet that goal however since the AI never uses diplomacy, it is an absolute failure.

                    The only redeeming aspect is that they did indeed make a great interface, and they did implement some cool empire management features. But one huge flaw remains: the AI never uses diplomacy and doesn't fight wars!!!

                    I have one thing to say:

                    Ctp'ers, come over to the civ3 side. It won't dissapoint you.

                    No permanent enemies, no permanent friends.
                    'There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities, it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender. The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.'"
                    G'Kar - from Babylon 5 episode "Z'ha'dum"


                    • #11
                      I agree.
                      Kudos to the Activision people for listening and adding much of what we asked for, including the customizability.
                      Deep disappointment with the management of Activision for releasing a game that looks to be unfinished.
                      I have a hard time believing a better AI would take several months......
                      Those of us with access to Apolyton will, I expect,get a great deal of enjoyment out of the game through the work of some dedicated fans. Unfortunately many other players may simply get turned off without realizing the potential.
                      "This war had such promise."(G.Trudeau)

                      [This message has been edited by Changmai Beagle (edited January 20, 2001).]
                      Many are cold, but few are frozen.No more durrian, please. On On!


                      • #12
                        I am not surprised by this response, nor have I ever asked for anything concerning nasic design concepts of the game. However, the patch they did release did not fix the multiplayer problems and I believe this was well reported.

                        Shame on them for washing their hands of us like this. Design issues are one thing, but they're not even addressing bugs anymore.
                        "Nature abhors a moron." -- H. L. Mencken


                        • #13
                          A pity.

                          I'm running CTP II under Virtual PC 4.0 on a Mac PowerBook G3 400. VPC simulates an Intel Pentium II running on the Triton chipset with an MR BIOS. The major limitations are that the simulated machine runs at about 200-250 MHz, and the simulated video card is the S3 Trio 32/64 PCI video card with 4 MB of emulated VRAM. In other words, minimalistic but vanilla-flavored. CTP II with the 1.11 patch still crashes frequently, apparently due to memory management problems. I have autosave turned on, but still...

                          Remember the Victory at Sea fiasco, where the game was released with limited testing and then orphaned? It looks like Activision is repeating that.


                          Harry Erwin



                          • #14

                            I knew CTP2 was a sick puppy the moment i heard about the save game bug and the dozen of other issues. That's why i waited until now to make my decision about buying this game. No need to tell you my final decision right?

                            All in all, Activision had really two basic choices, treat this sick puppy (many patches) or kill it. I guess in both choices the puppy is no longer sick

                            Still this kinda reminds me of the Birth of the Federation fiasco (yet another game with great potential) about a year and a couple of months ago. It's a pity that too many gaming companies view this kind of decisions as a fair business practice. I can't seem to get the "fair" part in it, on the paying customer side anyway.

                            So i guess our hopes and dreams fall on CivIII shoulders now. I hope this one succeeds.

                            [This message has been edited by Nazgul (edited January 20, 2001).]


                            • #15
                              Hmmm ... I guess there's no more reason to be visiting this forum. I was really hoping that Activision would somehow fix all (or any) of this.

                              Well ... to those who like the game ... enjoy! To the rest of you folks ... see ya in the Civ 3 forum!