Location: United States

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Immediate Random Musings about Civ 4

I installed the patch, liberating me from zero-terrain hell. However, there's other, ahem, features of the game that I'm having to adjust in the Civ III(edit: THREE, dammit.)-to-Civ IV-as-primary-Civ-game-migration, that I'm not sure I like.

1) Lack of centering on units while moving. I liked the old snap-to design, though it didn't work often. Now, it doesn't seem to work at all. Rather than plot out moves in advance, I might go back to manual control on all. It's just odd to have everything move and THEN be able to try to undo things.

2) Forced Perspective. In single and hotseat, the game seems to switch back to ass-level perspective on the units. Please, I need an overview. And, why change from the diamond-centric map to squares? Civ-Net, anyone? (Yes, I know you can change to a 45 Deg perspective, but see the beginning of this musing. It snaps back. After you go off that map. Not fun to reset it all the time.)

3) Worker Strikes in 3000 BC. Or, How the interface change screwed my capital city. Now I know what that little plus/minus next to the workers does. At some point I probably accidentally clicked that, looking for the on-screen "Leave City Display" button (which doesn't seem to exist. Hey, guy, whatswiththat?) I spent the next thousand-plus game-years assiging the little bastard to work (in the mines!) only to have him sitting his electronic ass at home next game-turn. Each. And. Every. Turn.

4) Non-invading without a formal declaration of invading. Ok, so I find an enemy city. What happened to the "Dammit, you're in my territory, get out!" diplomacy that used to happen? I mean, it was a great way to get on the opposing Civs nerves (even the AI ones) and have them declare war first (only to get stomped). Now, I can't even enter the cultural zone without a "Yes, I declare war on you, you scum" first. What happened to sneak attacks? It kind of gives it away if I can't "accidentally-on-purpose" stumble all them troops across your border if I have to give a statement of intent on crossing the frontier.

The learning curve between Civ III and Civ IV seems to be greater than it was in Civ II to Civ III. What has yet to be seen is whether Civ IV cheats like II or III. II was a notorious cheater. (Planes have range. A fighter can't fly over the entire bloody map without crashing - unless it's Civ II and it's an AI controlled Fighter.)

I'm not sure how this will eventually stack up; Since the Worker Strike didn't help anything at the beginning, my usual game plan is off bigtime. That' and having to find a replacement for the Carthaginians didn't help. At least I got to "found" Judaism, so many bonus points there.