Saturday, May 19, 2012

Civilization V, pt1

            Probably my favorite video game ever is "Civilization V".  At time of writing I have logged 1211 hours according to the online track keeping on the part of the Steam network.  I actually avoided buying the thing for a very long time because I knew, both from the advertising (which flat out stated that it would be the most addictive game ever made) and my own knowledge of my likes.  ("Age of Empires" anyone?)

Kind of a bland logo really.

            The game is turn based strategy, which means you get to move and use all of the pieces you control on a board at any given time then the other 'players' act one after another.  You are a historical ruler of a living or dead civilization, be it George Washington, Napoleon, or Otto Von Bismarck.  Over the course of a game you go from the dawn of civilization in which your whole world is a city and some club wielding warriors.  Eventually constructing fantastic monuments from through history, Big Ben, the Colossus of Rhodes, or the Great Wall.  You research bronze working, theology, and eventually space travel.  You can go to war.  Or you can become a mercantile leader of lesser nations.  You can win the game in a half dozen ways, most often for me this involves colonizing other planets.

            Soon an expansion to this game will hit the market and I will be buying it day of release because it will change the game in significant ways, it will increase the number of different world leaders by a third, will add in new systems for spying, make Naval units relevant (which might be the biggest problem mechanically with the unaltered original), and will most importantly allow the player to create religion as part of the game mechanics instead of religion just being something that gets researched as if it were a new type of mill or factory.

            I already know that they are changing combat significantly, like the previous mentioned Navies becoming relevant they are making it so all units have 100 Hit Points.  Currently each unit has 10 HP, and any attack action takes a minimum of one HP to do.  So you will sometimes be in a situation where an archer from the stone age is dealing damage to an Giant Death Robot from the year 2040.  With 100HP, the archers will still be able to deal 1 HP of damage but it won't be 10% of the robot's whole life.  In this regard I really don't have anything to complain about, this adds a lot of flexibility to how units work and I am really glad they added it.

Kind of an Ed-209 type thing, but with Uranium.
             If I were to add something to the combat units it would be to change some advancement.  Currently there is a unit called a Scout, it doesn't advance like other units it just looks around.  So in the late game you might have a half dozen scouts, who wouldn't put up much of a fight against Spearmen, but you are currently fighting Riflemen.  Why not have the Scout upgrade to an Archer?  This problem happens again later.  Archers turn into Crossbowmen, and they are both ranged units, able to fire over a space and not get hurt, but then they upgrade again into a melee unit, so they can't shoot over spaces again.  Why?  Why not have them turn into a new unit: Snipers?  They still shoot over spaces and continue to serve the same strategic function they always have.  Then in the even later game they could turn into Commandos which do the same but are Stealthy (a new ability that means a unit can't be seen until an enemy unit moves onto its space).  It is a hole in how things are that I think needs fixing.

One of the new societies.

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