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Imperialism 2 is hard.

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  • #16
    no screen shots yet because i keep restarting everytime i play for some reason or another. i do remeber why i quit playing imp2 though - the ai cheats really piss me off. coupled with the practically on rails gameplay for a 4x game i get too frustrated playing this.

    most annoying ai cheat i've seen yet is the ai attacking natives and taking the province i want the turn before i attack or offer defensive pact. it's even more annoying when they don't even have a boat next to the province... has anyone ever beat this on the hardest difficulty? i'm too scared to even try.
    Eschewing obfuscation and transcending conformity since 1982. Embrace the flux.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by pg
      no screen shots yet because i keep restarting everytime i play for some reason or another. i do remeber why i quit playing imp2 though - the ai cheats really piss me off. coupled with the practically on rails gameplay for a 4x game i get too frustrated playing this.
      Interesting you should say that, as there are few events to put things on rails. The on rails quality seems inherent in the gameplay, which while it may limit player freedom, is at least interesting from the view of game design.

      By on rails, im thinking you mean the steady movement from conquering tribes, to minor, to majors.

      Cant you alter that to some degree by playing with war against tribes and minors difficulty levels?
      "A person cannot approach the divine by reaching beyond the human. To become human, is what this individual person, has been created for. Martin Buber

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      • #18
        I get a slightly claustrophobic feeling while playing for some reason(!?) - sort of if i dont do the right things to get a good start then im just going to get my but kicked later. Which is a shame as the game does lots of other things well.
        Still for a TBS game it can get me as worked up as an online RTS. If i just play it and try to ignore the AI then i have a good time
        'The very basis of the liberal idea the belief of individual freedom is what causes the chaos' - William Kristol, son of the founder of neo-conservitivism, talking about neo-con ideology and its agenda for you.info here. prove me wrong.

        Bush's Republican=Neo-con for all intent and purpose. be afraid.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by lord of the mark


          Interesting you should say that, as there are few events to put things on rails. The on rails quality seems inherent in the gameplay, which while it may limit player freedom, is at least interesting from the view of game design.

          By on rails, im thinking you mean the steady movement from conquering tribes, to minor, to majors.

          Cant you alter that to some degree by playing with war against tribes and minors difficulty levels?
          it is interesting gameplay but it seems like there's always an optimal decision to be made and either you make it and move on to the next optimal decision or you screw up and regret it later. it's not like eu2 where i have choices to make(which i much prefer).

          not sure if i understand your question entirely - i generally play with the default settings. i suppose i could alter the power settings for natives/minors but that wouldn't inherently change the gameplay. it'd still be on rails you'd just go about things differently. what i'd really want is more dynamics to imp2.
          Eschewing obfuscation and transcending conformity since 1982. Embrace the flux.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by child of Thor
            I get a slightly claustrophobic feeling while playing for some reason(!?) - sort of if i dont do the right things to get a good start then im just going to get my but kicked later.
            I know what you mean. I like to call that feeling power-gaming or 'gamey'. I feel the same way about Imperialism 2. Civ 3 aswell, especially on higher difficulties.
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            • #21
              Originally posted by General Ludd


              I know what you mean. I like to call that feeling power-gaming or 'gamey'. I feel the same way about Imperialism 2. Civ 3 aswell, especially on higher difficulties.
              But isnt that to some degree the point of higher levels?
              I mean theres always going to be some difference in effectiveness between two choices, whenever a decision is available. And if the weaker of the two choices still makes it possible to win, than the stronger of the two will make it possible to win more easily. And then there will be complaints about how easy it is to win. Such as aflict Civ2, SMAC, etc. Yet when the game is made harder that narrows the possible paths to victory, doesnt it.


              At some point the gamer who is interested in a less "gamey" experience has to simply go back to levels less than the hardest. (just dont tell people here )


              Of course theres also the issue of outcomes other than victory.

              In actual history it WAS very hard to dominate Europe. Of the powers in Imp2, none managed it in the time period under consideration - although I suppose France did hold the majority of provinces, if only briefly. And Spain (seen as representative of all Hapsburg dominions), came close on at least two or three occasions. So it SHOULD be really hard to win Imp2, and there shouldnt be too many alternative ways of doing it. OTOH survival should be easy - there should be a very high probability of an outcome between victory on the one hand, and lossing, or even losing all new world provinces, on the other. Of course Im not sure if that would be satisfying from the game play point of view. It may work in EU, but thats a much less abstract game, IIUC.
              "A person cannot approach the divine by reaching beyond the human. To become human, is what this individual person, has been created for. Martin Buber

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              • #22
                Well i like Imp2 just fine(maybe more than the first one which seemed too cumbersome somehow?), i really like the way it plays its resources. And i like the old power/new power angle.

                It doesn't grab me as much as civ - but partly that is because Civ is the ultimate game at making you feel like you decide how you play it(even if you do the same thing each time!)?
                Imp2 is a fine game, one of the better historic 4x games - Civ is near perfection

                [I'm talking about Civ1, but it might imply to Civ2,probably not Civ3? ]
                'The very basis of the liberal idea the belief of individual freedom is what causes the chaos' - William Kristol, son of the founder of neo-conservitivism, talking about neo-con ideology and its agenda for you.info here. prove me wrong.

                Bush's Republican=Neo-con for all intent and purpose. be afraid.

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                • #23
                  imp2 would be better if the ai didn't cheat so much and there were many more nations(like eu2). right now generally the balance of power is very close and with the computer you can never tell what is going to happen. on the human side of the game it is a game but on the computer players side of things stuff just doesn't add up. the rules of cause and effect bend when applied the to computer.

                  generally when i play i choose the best starting country that has 15+/15+ grain/open range along with a good amount of other resources. yet, in game i'm just as likely to have a hard time fighting an ai with almost no resources it seems as one with them. it just seems like the only things that can hurt ai players are taking out their merchant fleet or taking over their home territories. even then they seem to put up superhuman(probably cheating) preformances - my favorite being when they have barely no merchant fleet yet seem play as if nothing happened.

                  the struggle in your economy is great but the interaction between nations seems terribly wrong especially at the higher difficulty levels. i mean even when you playing at the easier difficulty levels with insane advantages(supposedly anyways) the ai still manages to keep up more or less. something is broken has to be broken or i'm just clueless when it comes to playing imp2.
                  Eschewing obfuscation and transcending conformity since 1982. Embrace the flux.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by lord of the mark


                    But isnt that to some degree the point of higher levels?
                    High difficulties should offer more challange, not frustration. I want an AI that does it's best, not cheats to get a wonder built (or a province captured) one turn before you do, and crap like that.

                    And I don't want the game to sacrifice gameplay for game mechanics. I want an element of roleplaying in there and not just an overblown calculator game where you have to follow a strict and efficient building plan without wavering.

                    Civ3 didn't do this. You aren't building an empire, you're just juggling numbers in an attempt to keep up with the computer (who has a dozen hands to juggle with). There has to be some room for error or it stops being a game and starts becoming an equation.
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                    Do It Ourselves

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by General Ludd


                      High difficulties should offer more challange, not frustration. I want an AI that does it's best, not cheats to get a wonder built (or a province captured) one turn before you do, and crap like that.

                      And I don't want the game to sacrifice gameplay for game mechanics. I want an element of roleplaying in there and not just an overblown calculator game where you have to follow a strict and efficient building plan without wavering.

                      Civ3 didn't do this. You aren't building an empire, you're just juggling numbers in an attempt to keep up with the computer (who has a dozen hands to juggle with). There has to be some room for error or it stops being a game and starts becoming an equation.
                      1. Better AI vs cheats. Yeah, of course the better way to make a game difficult is to make the AI better. Buts as folk have said again and again, making a strong AI for a complex game is VERY DIFFICULT and costly, and the game market doesnt make it worthwhile - lots of casual gamers will never get that far, and the hardcore will go for MP.

                      2. Gameplay vs game mechanics - yup, but you can always do that (at least in Civ2 and Imp2) by playing on a more foregiving level. I havent played Civ3 yet, and so cant comment. I still dont see a way around the concept that as the game gets harder the paths to victory narrow. This seems almost a mathematical law.
                      for a given set of rules, at a given difficulty level, assume strategies A, B, C, D and E all work. At a higher difficulty level at least one strategy will no longer work.

                      If a good chess player is playing against a novice, almost any opening can lead to victory. Against a grandmaster relatively few openings can lead to victory.


                      Now that example would seem to argue against me - even grandmaster vs grandmaster, there are many openings that will work. But chess has no "eternal china syndrome" problem. IE its not an empire builder - the whole concept of which is that winning, by providing resources leads to more winning.

                      Now everyone knows that there are limits to this, which is why world historical conquest hasnt been achieved.
                      Civ3 attempts to model this, but in ways that seem unsatisfactory to many, though by no means all. EU presumably does so in more complex ways. But is unsatisfactory to many in terms of micromanagement, and a complexity that, IIUC, seriously handicaps the AI - Ive heard too many stories of minor nations going on to conquer the world in EU.

                      The real difficulty, again lays with the AI. In the real world a would be conquerer faces two problems - 1. Balance of Power Diplomacy - Civ2 never quite got that right, Imp2 doesnt get that right, its doesnt seem Civ3 or EU quite gets it - you need an AI smart enough to gang up on a would be hegemon, but not on a status quo number one. 2. He faces opponents, abroad and at home, who are as smart as he is.
                      "A person cannot approach the divine by reaching beyond the human. To become human, is what this individual person, has been created for. Martin Buber

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by lord of the mark

                        2. Gameplay vs game mechanics - yup, but you can always do that (at least in Civ2 and Imp2) by playing on a more foregiving level. I havent played Civ3 yet, and so cant comment. I still dont see a way around the concept that as the game gets harder the paths to victory narrow. This seems almost a mathematical law.
                        for a given set of rules, at a given difficulty level, assume strategies A, B, C, D and E all work. At a higher difficulty level at least one strategy will no longer work.

                        If a good chess player is playing against a novice, almost any opening can lead to victory. Against a grandmaster relatively few openings can lead to victory.

                        Now that example would seem to argue against me - even grandmaster vs grandmaster, there are many openings that will work. But chess has no "eternal china syndrome" problem. IE its not an empire builder - the whole concept of which is that winning, by providing resources leads to more winning.

                        That's sort of what I'm saying, actually. Chess is a pretty 'gamey' game in the first place. It has a simple premise of manouvering your pieces to win. Civ, on the other hand, is an empire builder - meaning that part of the game is building an empire, playing diplomacy, and roleplaying. But civ3 completely loses this aspect and turns it into a giant game of chess where there is no meaningfull (or reasonable) dipomacy and the empire building is simply a competition of building the biggest sprawl the quickest.

                        There are a few ways this could be prevented in civ3, I think. One is making the computer not so much of a powergamer and get it to behave more like a country instead of a chess player. Or another is to provide more then a single 'path to victory' where every country doesn't have to do the exact same thing (ie. don't make city sprawl neccisary) so that every aproach to the game has some amount of value or potential to it.
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                        • #27
                          But I think EU does get it right. The main differnces that sets it apart from Civ3 are:

                          1. There is no early land rush. There is colonial land to compete for, but it is something that's available for the majority of the game and is not eaten up right away. Even minor powers can usually get a chance to make some colonial grabs. But it is not such a concrete investment, anyways. It costs alot of money, and won't neccisarily pay you back - if it does, it takes a long time to do so. It is also offset by having alternative investment choices like technology and infrastructure.

                          2. Power is not absolute. Unlike in civ3 where every gain you make assures you become more powerful, EU has a more relative structure. A small empire can easily maintain a high stability and does not have to deal with many foreign cultures or religions. But a large empire has a harder time maintaining stability, and is likely to have many different cultures or even religions to appease so it becomes much more vulnerable and prone to rebellion. It also has to pay more for technological development. Basically, the costs of investment increase with the relative strength of the country so that a strategy of making quick gains and living off the ensuing exponential growth is not feasible (where as in Civ3 it is the only strategy that is).
                          Rethink Refuse Reduce Reuse

                          Do It Ourselves

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by lord of the mark
                            Ive heard too many stories of minor nations going on to conquer the world in EU.
                            that's one of the best parts of eu2! just think how exploitive and lucky you'd have to be in civ/imp2 to go from one province to conquering the world. in eu2 it might still be possible to do it without super abusive strategies(i say might because eu2 is a lot harder now, and more power gamey, v 1.05 you didn't have to play like that). the main point here is that in eu2 you can just play for fun and still manage to have a huge empire and with tough ai competition. sure it's not super realistic for one province minors to form empires but it does happen in real life, and even the ai can do it in eu2(i'd love to see something similar happen in imp2/civ with the ai). eu2 is much more dynamic and less math like general ludd mentioned.

                            you need an AI smart enough to gang up on a would be hegemon, but not on a status quo number one. 2. He faces opponents, abroad and at home, who are as smart as he is.
                            eu2 does this especially at harder levels once your bad boy reaches a certain point. i've even had mini-bad boy wars happened on normal difficulty. it seems to happen a lot when i play russia and end up fighting sweden+allies along with many eastern european powers and possibility the ottomans/steppe mongols).

                            eu2 > imp2/civ3
                            Eschewing obfuscation and transcending conformity since 1982. Embrace the flux.

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