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  • Newbie guide to CtP2

    GUIDE TO CTP2 for newbies and (potential) buyers



    Welcome to the CtP2 community on Apolyton, the only active CtP2 community on the Web!
    (Feel free to prove us wrong, we'd love to know if we missed anything)


    This thread is to be a collection of information (or links to information) for potential/new/inexperienced players. A lot of the threads in the CtP2-General are about the same subjects: should I buy this game? Why is it good? What mods are there? Can you give me some hints on how to play this game? This thread will hopefully serve as a starting point for answering such questions. It can never be complete and answer every question anyone could possibly ever have, but hopefully it will reduce some of the repetitiveness that can be found in the current discussions in the General forum. This thread is a constant work in progress, so feel free to suggest additions/changes/updates/corrections/etc...

    Contents
    Why would I like CtP2? What are the differences with Civ3?
    Which files must I have if I want to play CtP2 and what other must-have info is there?
    What mods are there and which one(s) should I try first?
    What ways are there to play?
    How should I play this game? (Strategy info)



    Why would I like CtP2? What are the differences with Civ3?

    For a comparison with Civ3, Solver wrote an excellent guide titled CtP2 vs. Civ3 - a guide. This guide, as well as the discussion that follows it, should answer most questions for Civ3 players interested in finding out if CtP2 is a game for them.



    In addition to that, I would like to explain why I think there is so much hatred against CtP2 among old-timers (who can mostly be found in the Apolyton Off-Topic and Other Games forum, and to a lesser extend in the Civ3 section and on other websites such as CivFanatics). This widespread hatred has made many potential players (consciously or subconsciously) hesistant towards trying CtP2, so hopefully an explanation for this might easy some minds:

    Originally posted here
    Oddly enough, many of the people who critize the CtP series have barely given it a decent chance (if they've played it at all), and usually, the more they hate it, the less they actually know/understand about the game. Much of this hatred probably comes from the fact that CtP1 was one of the first TBS games released in what I call the 'Internet era' of computer gaming, where you can't play a game properly without installing a few patches. This idea was pretty new back than and the fact that the unpatched game was rather buggy and unbalanced generated a lot of resentment. Today it's unfortunately industry standard and most people don't seem to mind nearly as much (how many patches did Civ3 have up 'til now? 4, 5, 6? ).
    CtP2 is a sequel of CtP1 so people who feel Activision 'betrayed' them with CtP1 are equally p*ssed with CtP2. It's true that Activision didn't learn it's lesson and that CtP2 was just as poor as CtP1 (if not worse), but many of the critics don't even know about this as they've never bothered to try the sequel. The fact that CtP1 was so bad is enough for them to hate CtP2 as well. Those who did try CtP2 are at least as pissed because they 'got screwed' by Activision twice. Many people who never tried either game hear all these rumours about how poor the CtP series is and become very hesistant to try it, which has done the CtP community much harm over the years

    That was not the only reason why some people hate the game though, another reason has to do with has Activision marketed the game:

    Originally posted here
    [W]hen CtP1 came out, many exactly expected it to be like Civ2, only better; especially since it carried the Civilization name in the title (the exact same thing happened with Civ3). But for a lot of these people, Civ2 is already near-perfection. If anything, all that game needs for them is another patch or two to fix the most blatant bugs and exploits and maybe an update for the AI and the graphics engine. Any other change is almost by definition a bad thing. And CtP makes quite a few changes; as Iíve pointed out, itís a very different game. So how dare these Activision people who are not Sid Meier touch our Sacred Game?! Some people went as far as to launch crusades against the names of specific unitsÖ

    One could argue that it might have been better if Activision hadnít marketed the game quite as prominently as a sequel to Civ2, but you can hardly blame them for wanting to ensure the gameís commercial success. And Iím not sure if I should feel sorry for someone whoís disappointed the game he bought isnít what he expected it to be, when he bought it on the name only.
    Last edited by Locutus; April 19, 2004, 10:52.
    Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery

  • #2
    Which files must I have if I want to play CtP2 and what other must-have info is there?
    (by Locutus)

    Every CtP2 player should download and install 2 or 3 files, regardless of how you play the game or what mods you want:

    (1) The official Activision patch (v1.11, sometimes referred to as v1.1). This fixes some bugs and makes your savegames compatible with everybody else's, it makes it possible to play with mods, etc. The advantages are numerous, these days playing any commercial videogame without the latest patches is a no-no, so this should be a no-brainer. Should for some reason the installer of the patch not work for you (a known problem, particularly (but not exclusively) on WinNT, Win2k and WinXP), you can also download the 'manual patch' that Maquiladora made from the Directory (no direct link provided as what file you need depends on what language version of the game you have).

    (2) ModSwapper (v1.12, sometimes referred to as v1.5). Note that there is also a Civ3 tool with the same name that does the same thing for Civ3 'mods' (), so make sure you get the correct version (the link provided here is the correct version). ModSwapper makes it possible to switch between mods for CtP2, so you can play with as many mods as you like (as well sa the original game) without having to make changes to the text files. ModSwapper is a tool which you run instead of ctp2.exe. When started, it gives you a dialog window in which you can choose with which mod you wish to play this session and then let's you launch the game with that mod. Important note: you can't swap mod mid-game: once you started a game with one mod, you normally can't just start your savegame with a different mod and continue to play with that other mod. You'll have to either finish that game with the mod you started it with or start another game with that other mod. Having different savegames that work with different mods is okay, but you'll have to quit and restart CtP2 and switch mods if you want to play a savegame that works with a different mod.

    (3) If you plan on playing MP, you will need a recent copy of servers.dat:
    The servers.dat file is used by both CTP and CTP2 to connect to the game servers ariound the world. They are the IP addresses of the game servers. When you connect to the server system using the game, it picks up a listing of current good servers and adds new ones to the dat file. The problem with the servers.dat file included on the game CD is that the two servers listed, activision.us1 and activision.uk, are no longer active or do not respond with updated server listings. The game will keep looking for those servers and will not update until it connects to a server listed in the dat. So, players who want to play online must get a server.dat file from a player who has connected recently so that there is at least one active server in the dat file. This file is an one such file of this and will be kept up-to-date.
    Once you have these files, you should be good to go. However, it would be advisable to read the CtP2 Forum FAQ, which answers many common questions on gameplay/bugs/mods/etc, some of which you'll never know you even wanted answers to until you read them. If you're into MP, you'll also want to sign up for the CtP2 MP CivGroup, as well as the MP Registry.

    One final comment: some people think that CtP2 is completely unplayable and a horrible game in it's original form, and that it only becomes playable after you've installed some mods. Others think a little higher of the game and think it *is* playable without mods, just a little buggy and unbalanced. Either way, everyone, from the worst critics to the greatest fanboys, agrees that the mods make huge improvements to the game and are well worth the download. So you haven't really played CtP2 if you haven't tried the mods See the next section for more info on this subject.



    In addition to these files, there is now the CtP2 Source Code Project, where new patches and versions of the game are being developed that may well prove to be must-have in the future. For now it's still a bit too early for that, but the results are already quite impressive. You can check them out in the Source Code Project Forum. See the Source Code Project FAQ for details.
    Last edited by Locutus; April 19, 2004, 10:34.
    Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery

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    • #3
      What mods are there and which one(s) should I try first?

      What is a mod, you ask? A mod is a set of gamefiles altered by the fans, they can be installed next to the existing game and with the ModSwapper tool (see above), you can switch between different mods. These mods change the way the game is played, they can change and/or add units, buildings, wonders, tile improvements, etc, change and improve game concepts such as the AI, diplomacy, user interface, etc and even add new features through a scripting language. For more discussion on mods and how to make them, see the Modification section, the CtP2 Files section of the Directory and the CtP2-Creation Forum (particularly the Links to important mods & scenarios and Resources for modmakers threads). This section will focus on the most common questions on mods: what mods are out there and which ones are most worth playing. It will review and compare the differences between the most important mods and maybe some scenarios. The predecessor of this section, the mod wrapup (which, although aging, might still be an intertesting read), can be found here.

      [TBD]
      Mods (features/comparison):
      * Apolyton
      * MedMod
      * Cradle
      * World at War
      * Goodmod
      * (others?)
      scenarios
      Last edited by Locutus; November 13, 2002, 17:59.
      Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery

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      • #4
        What ways are there to play?
        (by SMIFFGIG and Locutus)

        Regular Game
        Normal single player game. You can play the out-of-the-box-game, install some mods and play the modded game, play with the in-game scenarios, or download new ones from Apolyton and play with those. See the Apolyton Directory for downloading files.

        SP Tournaments
        Similar to regular game only you download a specific random map in which many other people also download. You start off as you would in a regular game and from then on in the game is the same. The difference is you compete against the other people who have decided to take part in the Tournament too and have to submit you saved game by the date in which the Tournament ends, after which a scoreboard will be made. The best Tournament players even enter the Tournament Hall of Fame. More info and downloads of present and past Tournament games can be found at the CtP2 Tournaments Section.

        Hotseat
        Where 2 or more players take it in turns to play on the same map with each other and AI if they wish using the same computer. Player1 takes there turn the screen goes blank then Player2 may start there turn and so on. It's basically a multiplayer game that can be played on a single PC, without requiring any kind of network. It's also a good way to play if you want to play on your own (with only 1 player) but while you choose your own opponents. If you want to play with the Romans against the Greeks, Persians, Egyptians and Carthaginians, in the normal game you can't do this, but the Hotseat feature allows you to set your opponents, even if you only play with 1 player. See the FAQ on how to enable the Hotseat feature in CtP2.

        PBEM
        Or Play By E-Mail. This is where 2 or more players play against each other indirectly. Player 1 will play his/her turn then send the savegame to Player 2 via E-mail and so on. Other than that it's identical to Hotseat. Email games tend to take a long time to finish (sometimes more than a year), as you usually play only 1 turn a day (several turns a day is possible if you're fast but it's often impractical). See the FAQ on how to enable the PBEM feature in CtP2.

        MP Games
        Multiplayer/Internet play. Direct Human to Human playing. Exactly like regular game only more than one human may play against one another and AI is also allowed. This requires either a LAN (=local) network or that at least one of the players has an at least somewhat fast and reliable Internet connection. If you've never done this before, you probably need to replace your out-of-date servers.dat file. See the FAQ and the Apolyton Directory for details and download.

        MP Tournaments
        Exactly the same as above only played in a Tournament fasion like SP Tournaments. The players within the game have a certain amount of time to complete the Tournament and submit the scores. See this thread for details on the first Apolyton CtP2 Tournament, the Lemur Trophy.

        Succession Games
        Succession Games are are crossover between PBEM and Democracy Games (see below). They are regular single-player games except that several people play them: every player plays 10-20 turns and then passes the savegame on to the next player, who then plays another 10-20 and then passes it on to the next guy/gal in line, etc. Everyone plays with the same civilization, as in a SP game, not with different civs as in PBEM or other MP games. See here and here for examples of recent CtP2 Succession Games.

        Democracy Games
        This is the newest in the CtP2 line of playing, although some maybe familiar with it from other Civ game like Civ2, SMAC and Civ3. It is also a game where several people play one game but here players don't play in turn but all together. Decisions are made democratically and only the elected President actually plays the game and follows the orders he gets from his Ministers and other people. For more details see the FAQ in the CtP2-Democracy Game forum.

        If you want to play any kind of game that requires several players (MP, PBEM, Succession, Democracy, Tournaments) and you don't know any/enough people to play with/against, feel free to post threads in this forum to ask people to play (or join one of the existing games here on Apolyton, if possible). In most cases, there will be enough people here willing to play with you.



        How should I play this game?
        (by HuangShang and Maquiladora)

        Heres some easy to find links to various strategy and tactics musings on CtP2. You can find similar and more links here and you may also want to check out Maquiladora's Strategy Website.

        General Strategy
        Strategy observations for a Newbie, FROM a Newbie

        Expansion
        Early Game Expansion

        Cities
        City Placement
        Strategy - Farms Under Cities
        Strategically Losing Cities

        Armies & Units
        Air Force Composition
        Army Composition
        Navy Composition
        Mounted Units and Mountains
        Armies and their uses (Ancient to pre-Industrial)

        Stealth Units
        Finding Enemy Stealth Units
        Spotting Stealth Units Before They Attack
        Slavers
        Overpowered Slavers

        Empire
        Growing your economy to Imperial Proportions
        Public Works Notes
        Economics, Call To Power Style (Econo 101 Course Notes, Courtesy, The School of Hard Knocks!)
        Economics 102 - How to make your economy do the things you want it to do, more effectively
        Economics 103 Ė Public Works
        PW Priorities - Post Trade (assumes peace)


        Research and Technology
        Technological Research and Innovation

        Barbarians
        Barbarian Spawning

        Bugs & Exploits
        "Crossed Swords Bug"
        Disband City Exploit

        Mod Specific Strategies

        Cradle
        Differences Cradle Makes
        Last edited by Locutus; April 19, 2004, 10:38.
        Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery

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        • #5
          (reserved for future use)
          Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery

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          • #6
            WoW... i guess there has to be a whole grip of n00bs if we needed this... some errors........

            Comment


            • #7
              I suggest two additions to the list of features of interest:
              -AI (which is rather a contra argument as far as warfare is concerned, though diplomacy is OK), I don't know how effective modded AI is.
              -Modern and Postmodern gameplay
              Whereas the civ series ends around "now", and, a contrario, CtP1 ended in the future, CtP2 ends in 2300 with a few future techs, in particular a few additional units, governments and undersea cities. That affects atmosphere, but also gameplay, as:
              Pro - it gives you something to achieve after you have reached modern times. Sea cities add new strategic dimensions when they appear as you can ferry land units through unexpected places, and are generally lots of fun.
              Contra - It makes for an awful lot of 1year-turns, making the end game a bit slow, and the ancient/medieval times last less than they feel to last in Civ.

              A minor gripe of mine, too, though it is easily modded, but which shows needs for mods: Max empire size without unhappiness isn't dependent on map size.
              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


              • #8
                Good points, LDICesare, I will add them.
                Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery

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                • #9
                  Nice thread, Locutus, I think that when it is finished (well, not finished, but more full of things ) it will be an invaluable source of info for newbies.

                  I need to reinstall CTP2.
                  I watched you fall. I think I pushed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    what the hell?? i didnt even see this thread

                    Good work Locutus


                    a small point
                    What ways are there to play?
                    I think there should be a description next to all the different ways
                    Oxygen should be considered a drug
                    Tiberian Sun Retro
                    My Mod for Tiberian Sun Webmaster of
                    http://www.tiberiumsun.com

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                    • #11
                      Thanks

                      Originally posted by SMIFFGIG
                      I think there should be a description next to all the different ways
                      That's why it says 'TBD' at the top of that section and 'in the making' at the top of the thread

                      If you want to help out, you could provide those descriptions yourself
                      Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery

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                      • #12
                        regular game = Normal single player game

                        SP Tournaments = Similar to regular game only you download a specific random map in which many other people also download. You start off as you would in a regular game and from then on in the game is the same. The difference is you compete against the other people who have decided to take part in the tournament too and have to submit you saved game by the date in which the tournament ends

                        hotseat = Where 2 players (or more i think) take it in turns to play on the same map with each other and AI if they wish using the same computer. Player1 takes there turn the screen goes blank then Player2 may start there turn and so on
                        PBEM = (Play By E-Mail) This is where 2 players play against each other in directly. Player1 will take there turn then send the game to Player2 via E-mail and so on

                        MP = Direct Human to Human playing. Exactly like regular game only more than one human may play against one another and AI is also allowed

                        MP Tournaments = Exactly the same as above only played in a tournament fasion like SP Tornaments. The players within the game have a certain amount of time to complete the tournament and submit the scores

                        Succession Games = err i used to kinda know

                        Democracy Games = THIS everyone is the newest in the CtP2 line of playing, although some maybe familiar with it from other Civ game like Civ2, SMAC and Civ3. For more details see Click
                        here

                        There is most probably many mistakes in this so edit as you wish
                        Oxygen should be considered a drug
                        Tiberian Sun Retro
                        My Mod for Tiberian Sun Webmaster of
                        http://www.tiberiumsun.com

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                        • #13
                          Excellent
                          I've made a few changes (mostly added more detail) and used it as basis for that question. If more stuff comes up in the future I'll add it, but this is pretty good as it stands. Thanks a lot, SMIFFGIG
                          Administrator of WePlayCiv -- Civ5 Info Centre | Forum | Gallery

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                          • #14
                            Do we need a write up on the PBEM and Hotseat issue? Because PBEM only can be played in hotseat mode and both options dont have human to human diplomacy, that kind of thing?
                            Call to Power 2: Apolyton Edition - download the latest version (12th June 2011)
                            CtP2 AE Wiki & Modding Reference
                            One way to compile the CtP2 Source Code.

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                            • #15
                              You should also mention the MP directory in the MP section.

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