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Why no PBEM now isn't the biggest problem in the world

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  • Why no PBEM now isn't the biggest problem in the world

    ...but will be if it doesn't happen eventually.

    To my mind its not essential to have PBEM now, since you won't know how the game is put together, and how strategies and so on work, that you'd use in multiplayer for a good while. There is a new city resource model, for one thing.

    Ultimately, the scores in the game magazines will be based on Single player mode, since theres no-one else to PBEM with, and it takes too long to learn the nuances of a civ game anyway, for the review process, except if you release a review months after its out.

    Good intial review scores are definitely what CtP2 'needs'.

    I can understand why Activision released 'now'; no Christmas sales and they'd have missed the boat. The 'Civ' genre isn't big enough to guarantee sales the way that a FPS is. Call to Power isn't a big name, in the same way that Diablo or Quake is.

    What I get isn't a development team trying to screw the fans over, but an honest attempt to give us what we want, in a commercially viable way.

    I do expect to see patches. I have confidence that Activisions given this game a good shot. I am not entirely sure its going to be a 'perfect' civ game, but I do feel sure its a step forward.

    BTW... the lack of feedback from Firaxis looks disheartening. They've not even been talking about Dinosaur seriously, which was supposedly going to take priority over CivIII.
    [This message has been edited by TheLimey (edited November 11, 2000).]

  • #2
    Your comment is right, but there is one problem!
    Who can guarantee to me that if I buy the game now without PBEM Activision will make a patch afterwards?

    Of course there is some time needed before someone learns the game enough to play PBEM, so I wouldn’t have a problem to buy the game now and have PBEM available after a month or so. The only trouble is Activision said that they are not sure whether they will try to fix the bag that made them leave that feature out now!

    Thus I am NOT buying the game now.

    The message is: Activision MAKE PBEM AVAILABLE......this way you get more money...........!!!
    One Life One Game...

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    • #3
      hmmmm, what does pbem stand for? Play by email? If so, then no, there will be no pbem. A MP game can take 10+ hours, I would hate to play by email. There is MP, and it is a lot of fun. Does that help?
      [This message has been edited by DarkOrder (edited November 11, 2000).]

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      • #4
        Tilemacho> Agreed. If PBEM is that important to you, then you shouldn't get it. Activision during the chat, and in particular StSwithin and MrOgre were very confident about PBEM in a future patch or release. Perhaps it will be soon...

        Dark Order> Play by Email is definitely the best form of multiplayer for a game of this type.

        Although there were some problems with the implementation on CtP1, I think its safe to say that people would welcome its introduction in CtP2.

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        • #5
          If pbem isn't working I would prefer that they leave it out. If they find a way to get it working, then it is a plus, but right now it is not a part of the game. This is not a problem for me. I have always found pbem and hotseat(in all games) more trouble than they were worth. For CTP2 why not just set a MP game with 30 second speed turns and play like that?

          [This message has been edited by DarkOrder (edited November 11, 2000).]

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          • #6
            PBEM was reportedly dropped early, due to the change in the simultaneous actions possible (I.E. Mutually Assured Destruction), I believe.

            Why do you think that Activision won't do somthing about this? They've not been as reticent on the patch issue as Firaxis. They've actually been above standard for the industry, I'd say. If the core game was gone enough, got good enough reviews, and consistent continuing income, then there'd be no reason Activision wouldn't extend the functionality of the game in ways that players desire. In fact, its desirable commercially to do so.

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            • #7
              TheLimey,
              I couldn't aggree more

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              • #8
                My first reaction to the 'no pbem' feature was shock.

                But I do feel that I will be able to enjoy the single-player game, because even if the game isn't up to standards, there will be more than enough people onsite that will address these imbalances. I look at it this way. CTP1 was a flawed game with a lot of potential. Due to the efforts of CD, Nordicus and Wes, the game is very good now. With CTP2 out, I am guessing that the 'fix time' for imbalances will be a lot quicker (if needed), because of the work done in CTP1.

                Granted, there are players who refuse to buy CTP2 because of a perception of Activision rushing the game out. Some even refused to play CTP1, because they are not willing to try the mods that have been created. More power to them - however, they have limited themselves from a much better playing experience.

                I can look at any game and find flaws in them concerning the AI, interface, inbalances and so forth. I can also see that in those games, fans have created their own adjustments to fix these problems. The fact is, it is very difficult to create a game that will make everyone totally happy and be totally balanced in ALL situations. Many of us have great ideas for what we want in a game, but to balance those ideas with everything else that takes place in a game is VERY hard - we may have justifiable criticism for the companies, but sit down and try to do it yourself sometime, and you begin to realize that its not so easy. Just look at how long it took Wes and others to get MedMod to the point it is now.

                Gripe all you want about Activision, (and I confess that I have done so) but the game has been modifiable, and it looks like CTP2 will be too. I do give Activision credit to make some radical changes from CIVII, taking a chance to do so, and my hope is that they will be able to push the envelope further. If I was nothing more than a glorified beta tester for the past 2 years for CTP1, I have mostly enjoyed it.

                And I do hope that the PBEM and Hotseat feature is patched in, but I will not lose any sleep over it.
                Yes, let's be optimistic until we have reason to be otherwise...No, let's be pessimistic until we are forced to do otherwise...Maybe, let's be balanced until we are convinced to do otherwise. -- DrSpike, Skanky Burns, Shogun Gunner
                ...aisdhieort...dticcok...

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                • #9
                  just thought of this, perhaps i'm an idiot, but please answer: how long will it take to play a bpem game of 500(not to say the full thing: 800) turns for just 2 people? 3 people?

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                  • #10
                    You're right Markos...

                    I guess we'll have to develop a 'short mod' for PBEM, if it is an apparent problem. Most MP games, though, tend to be resolved before the end, so it might not be an issue. As so many things, I guess its a 'wait and see' issue.

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                    • #11
                      EDIT... Doublepost
                      [This message has been edited by TheLimey (edited November 11, 2000).]

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                      • #12
                        I agree with you whole heartily, although I have never played a PBEM game of civ and, most likely, never will. We must remember that the software business is in fact a business. Sure it would be nice for companies to put every fans opinion in to a game and produce the ultimate package, but that is just not viable. I too believe that, if sales are sufficient, then patches to impliment additional multiplayer functions will be forth coming. But then again, i am just a fan of the genre and not a game desiner or corporate CEO.

                        P.S. I wonder what is shaking down a Firaxis as well, what happened to the ambiguous Dino Diarys?

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                        • #13
                          Mark and others:

                          Those of us, who loves playing PBEM, do very well know it would take at least 1˝-2˝ year for one game (if no-one finish the game as absolute winner before).

                          But the PBEM game gives us something, what no else game type can do:

                          1: Challange - it would never (I hope not) be possible for gamedesigners to make an AI, that thinks long-term strategic like a human (can do). On-line can, I know.

                          2: The diplomatic ping-pong on the forum. On-line can.

                          3: Take your turn when you have time - and your turn has arrived, of course (though most games has a 24 hour rule) Singleplayer games also gives this. On-line does not. You are not "forced" to be online 3-5-8 hours for a game. I simply can't allow myself to play that long time (I have flat-rate ISDN so the economic issue is not the reason).

                          Therefore: PBEM is a must. Not now - a couple of months or so will be ok (then we have time to finish some of our games on CTP).


                          [This message has been edited by TheBirdMan (edited November 12, 2000).]
                          First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.

                          Gandhi

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                          • #14
                            quote:

                            Originally posted by TheLimey on 11-11-2000 03:24 PM
                            PBEM was reportedly dropped early, due to the change in the simultaneous actions possible (I.E. Mutually Assured Destruction), I believe.

                            Why do you think that Activision won't do somthing about this? They've not been as reticent on the patch issue as Firaxis. They've actually been above standard for the industry, I'd say. If the core game was gone enough, got good enough reviews, and consistent continuing income, then there'd be no reason Activision wouldn't extend the functionality of the game in ways that players desire. In fact, its desirable commercially to do so.


                            Um, then why didn't they do so for C:CTP?

                            ------------------
                            Big Dave

                            Fool me once, shame on you.
                            Fool me twice, shame on me!
                            Any flames in this message are solely in the mind of the reader.

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                            • #15
                              Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that Activision provided a patch for CTP. This is more than Firaxis has done for Civ. Granted the patch didn't fix everything, but it did fix some things. As others have said before, Activision is a company in the business of making money and at some point they need to put their people to work on new games so they can stay in business. I would like them to try and put together a patch for hotseat and PBEM as well as any glaring errors that pop up. It seems that most of the other modifications are a matter of taste and can be modified by players. Yes its free work for Activision, but its better than nothing.

                              ------------------
                              “The American people have now spoken, but it’s going to take a little while to determine exactly what
                              they said.” — President Clinton
                              “The American people have now spoken, but it’s going to take a little while to determine exactly what
                              they said.” — President Clinton

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