Bringing new eyes to Old World

Yeah, I can see specifics kind of have to be the starting point. I’ll toss a few more out:

-Despite a fair amount of in-game text about this, I have no idea what ‘being influenced by my leader’ on a character actually means, unless maybe they also lead a nation. It’s extra confusing because there is a specific tutorial event that offers me the chance to influence someone that I don’t even think was even on my list of characters (probably in a foreign nation somewhere?), and I wouldn’t even know how to find that person afterwards.

-What are the basic factors for how long it takes to create an improvement, and any additional costs? I have seen it go up and down a lot and I assume at the least hill/not-hill impacts both, probably in some cases lushness too, rivers, maybe other stuff?

-Unless I totally missed there is no explanation at all of how attacking a city’s key hex works, it seems to split damage with a unit in some way if one is there? I’m also not sure if there is a specific mechanic that blocks the city repairing itself (like, can it still do that if enemy units are standing next to it, or on other urban tiles?).

-It would be nice to know exactly how long it takes for a resource to be reharvestable or a forest to regrow. That could actually be conveyed with tooltips instead, actually.

-Everything about traversing water hexes, really. I seem to be able to cross them (but not stay on them) if I own them, but not in all cases?

OK, I’ll play.

If I have the option of selecting something that will impact the Whoever Civilization’s feelings about me by “negative 40” or whatever, is that a big deal? Is 40 a lot? A little? Will I have more opportunities to boost it in the future, or if I impact it by negative 40 now does that mean they hate me forever? Should I care if they hate me forever? Maybe I shouldn’t? Maybe it’s okay if they hate me, as long as I make plans right now to go to war with them and wipe them off the map quickly. Okay, so war and combat then. How would I build up my army to do that? Am I located near resources that will help me go to war? Hinder me? Did I pick a Leader that isn’t good at war and I didn’t already know that? Or is my Leader a war-ninja and I should be fighting with everybody?

If this was a board game and Tom was teaching me how to play, I wouldn’t need to think of these questions, because I would have faith and trust in Tom’s ability to teach me the game.

But when you let me loose in your sandbox where it seems like I have to teach myself, then I’m responsible for asking the questions. And those are the first few questions I’ll come up with. Like, that might be 0.1% of the questions.

Good luck.

To be fair @justaguy2 i don’t know of any strategy game that explains its bonuses and maluses that way. Every strategy game that tells you gives you quantified diplomacy feedback is basically impossible to figure out without having played the game in the abstract. Total War games give -15 or +15 bonuses all the time - on paper, what does this possibly mean? Civ V piles on the numbers, but where’s some kind of threshold? The Endless games do the same thing.

Maybe there’s some subtle differentiation here but it’s not a unique problem to OW. Diplomacy is usually the most opaque because if you don’t know what you want to do minus any other competitor you can hardly figure out how Diplomacy fits into the larger context of the game. I still agree that numbers without context are super annoying but i’m probably them most understanding and generous about diplomacy’s lack of readability of all possible catagories.

Very much this. Because each family displays it’s stats as a traditional tooltip (that disappears once the cursor movess off the icon), you can’t move the mouse to check what all of the “glowy potential tool tip bits” are.

You can hold shift and do that, but you won’t know this starting a game for the first time/until you get and remember the in game tutorial bit explaining that you can mouse over tooltip individual things by holding SHIFT or L-Shift (can’t recall if it’s specific to left).

Some of that data is probably too much detail to properly absorb on a first game, which is fine. But e.g. knowing specifically what a family seat is (which you can only check by knowing a magic UI trick) seems useful.

I’m thinking more of a general summary of what the family choice means in plain language. “Here, you will choose a family seat which will determine your blah blah blah. The [family name] prefers to present a [warrior/scholarly/pious/etc] aspect to others, and will give your civilization bonuses to [combat/farming/research/etc] but will have a harder time with blah blah blah due to their prejudices against blah blah blah. As your civilization grows, you may have the opportunity to expand your reach with other families via blah blah blah.”

The tooltip suggestion is a good thing too. I just think that a brand new player isn’t going to want to start rummaging through tips and 'pedia entries right off the bat. At least, I didn’t.

Edit: One of the big issues I had with Old World isn’t just that it’s a new game, it’s that it’s juuuuuuussst close enough to looking and seeming like Civilization 5/6 on first plays that these differences really tripped me up. You think you know how growth works, because, oh, there’s food and farms so that must work like it did in the other game, but nope. Tooltips wouldn’t help with that kind of player thinking. I think you need plain language explanations that guide you through the experience.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Old World: Post your gameplay questions here! And your answers!

Oh I agree completely. There needs to be an on screen display of something. Like I said a lot of the stats the tooltip came up won’t mean anything.

The tooltip is “better than nothing”, but you can’t even get to the actual value it provides first game unless you guess the UI trick. The only worse situation is no information at all. But better still is a more coherent, high level informational display.

Is this on Steam yet?

It is not.

This portentous wording brought to you by Discourse and its silly five character requirement.

“While you were going to parties, I studied the blade.”

From PC Gamer’s otherwise positive review:

If only the UI did a good job of keeping track of this stuff. It can be jarring to go from the flavourful event text to the abstract, soulless numbers that the UI boils them down to. It’s overwhelming, and it’s just not that informative. Every interaction is made a little worse because it necessitates faffing around in discrete, counterintuitive menus that drag you all over the screen. Even after winning my first campaign, I still found myself getting occasionally lost, and I still don’t know how to find crucial information on things like the spread of religion. The tutorial and encyclopaedia are also little help, choosing brevity and vagueness over clear instructions. There’s so much more context and clarity in the event text, so I wish Old World’s writers were a bit more involved in designing the interface, which could definitely benefit from their skills.

Do we know why?

I’m guessing they are pretty busy right now with the launch. If I was them, I’d want to take the feedback and make improvements and then put the best foot forward when launching on a different platform.

I’m looking forward to future diary entries. These strategy write-ups and the narratives they describe are my favorite things on the site.

“the bit of information lack[s] necessary context”

Apparently the Civ manuals do /s

Great article, as always, Tom. I could say much regarding documentation (I write software documentation in my day job) and agree with your sentiments, but I’m not sure it would add value.

I will point out a specific for Soren, though. To start, I think Old World is great and I’ve been following its development closely throughout the last year. In my current game, I’m in year 37. The whole object of the game and victory condition of winning points has not been described. I have 5 points and I do not know how I got them. I do not know what I need to get more. Did I miss it somehow? All rules booklets start by stating the object of the game.

There’s a tutorial event about Victory that explains that you win with ten ambitions - I’ll double check that it is still firing? In next week’s update, all of the tutorials (including the ones with videos) will be in the Encyclopedia.

Mouse over all the scores in the upper left hand corner you’ll see where they are coming from. VPs come from developing cities, building wonders (and shrines? not sure about that one), and achieving ambitions. I wouldn’t be surprised if some events generate them as well.

I don’t think that’s right, @Sonoftgb. You only get victory points from cities and wonders. There might be some source of victory points later in the game, but you definitely don’t get victory points from shrines (they’re mainly to boost culture and paganism). And you definitely don’t get victory points from ambitions. Ambitions are a separate track to victory. And I’ve never seen events that give you victory points.

But I’m perfectly happy to be corrected if I’m wrong about any of this!


Ambitions and VPs are totally separate. There have been some requests for ambitions to feed into VPs, but I think the game is better not mixing the streams, so to speak. (Players have won ambition victories with one city, which is a very low VP path.)

The only other source of VPs besides culture and wonders is the three repeatable Reform techs at the end of the tree.