Civilization V

Has anyone played the Vox Populi Community Balance patch for Civ 5? A friend and I have been playing it multiplayer and it has really reinvigorated the game. It completely reworks the entire game, pretty much, and attempts to rebalance everything. It also vastly improves the AI. We’ve been having a ton of fun with it, and it really makes you think about your strategy.

Yep, we had quite a bit of discussion about it upthread. There’s a search function around here somewhere.

Yeah, is salvaged Civ5 from the garbage heap for me. It’s a great mod.

Arise! Time for a report on the latest release of Vox Populi (released 1/29/18).

I just finished a babymode (King I think, or maybe even a tiny baby Prince setting) military victory. The game is substantially the same, but there’s some good and bad since last I played.

Good:

The tactical AI is the best it’s ever been. I mean, I still won my wars because there isn’t a tactical AI on the planet that can survive a competent human who has a strategic advantage. But it made me play carefully, forced the kills it could, threatened to counter and almost successfully did so a couple times, and generally didn’t piss itself while drooling in the corner. The only time a ranged unit charged my lines was to secure a kill of some relatively high-value target, and I didn’t see any naked Generals or anything.

Happiness is less of a pain in the ass. You still have the “build everything everywhere” thing going on because of the way local (un)happiness works with the different “needs” that need fulfilling, but it’s been tuned down so that you don’t actually have to build everything everywhere. In fact, if you can get ahead of the tech curve and build most things, you get happiness out the ass.

Puppets finally feel like they do what they should. -80% faith/sci/culture/gold production and you don’t control them, but the governors are less awful and critically you don’t get much unhappiness and they don’t scale policy or tech costs. So controlling a bunch of lower-value puppets from conquests is totally legit. Then you get the Imperialism policy that changes the yield mod from -80% to -50% and things get nuts. Which brings me to…

Policies aren’t massively different, but different enough. I love that the later trees are much more powerful (seriously, Imperialism was nuuuuts for me) so it feels like you’re actually getting something out of your culture investment rather than another minor bonus that doesn’t make much difference in the industrial+ eras. The Lebensraum tenet of Autocracy does some other things that don’t matter and also increases Citadel (the GG improvement) land-grabbing radius by a tile. So plopping a Citadel grabs a massive chunk of land for I dunno getting your wave of artillery actually in place before the heat death of the universe. Good times.

Combat balance remains much better through the ages than vanilla. Seriously, if nothing else the unit rebalancing and placement on the tree is a huge boon to the game.

Bad:

Random events as they currently exist are crap. The system is fine – get an event and sometimes choose a response, and the responses available depend on game state like paying a big lump sum of gold to take advantage of the “Windmills getting decrepit!” event and give them a permanent production boost. But in practice it’s hurricane after hurricane, flooded fields after flooded fields, and market day after market day. This needs serious tuning and more content; right now it’s just annoying, particularly midgame+.

Build everything everywhere is still a thing. It doesn’t feel quite as brutal as it seems costs have been tuned down and hammers slightly up, but you still have a gajillion buildings, about 2/3 of which you pretty much want everywhere. I like the idea of specializing cities, and IMO there’s work to be done here.


Overall, positive steps for sure! I will totally play some more, particularly if I can figure out how to un-fuck or maybe just disable the random events.

Whenever someone mentioned playing a Civilization game in Co-op, especially hotseat co-op, my reaction was always “are you crazy? Do you know how long that would take?”

Well, I always wondered. Here’s one possible answer I enjoyed reading about.

I haven’t played Civ V in ages and after playing AoW Planetfall I wanted to play a 4X with more building in it.So I installed Vox Populi and started a game on a large map at epic pace. It didn’t take that long before turn times started to get annoying. I like the features of a 4X like Civ, but damn, I’m actually playing the game such a small percentage of the time. If I’m not in war, I usually do one or two things in a turn and hit next turn and wait.

Vox Populi seems like it adds a ton of stuff. So much so that it is a little overwhelming so I just pick what looks like the best choice for research and city development and move on. There are a ton of buildings.

The Civ V leaders still have very long memories when it comes to warmongering. Pretty much everyone is attacking me. I make peace and another attacks me for warmongering. I’m like, “hey I stopped attacking people ages ago but you guys keep trying to kill me”.

Vox populi is much better. Be prepared to sit down and think if you pick “epic” lol

Bad as Civ V was, I still like it better than VI.

+1 I couldn’t agree with you more.

Man 6 out of the 9 civs have declared war on me. It’s been a long time since I initiated any war and they are hell bent to seeing my destruction. They also passed a resolution that no one can trade with me, but there really aren’t many civs left to trade with since I’m at war with them all.

Holy crap the AI will never ever forget a little warmongering. I don’t think I’ve attacked anyone in 100s of turns and they still constantly denounce me and every single civ has been at war with me. They pretty much take turns, about half of them at a time.

Is that because of your warmongering or does the AI detect that you’re too weak militarily or too likely to win? I’ve found having a peaceful game is about just sort of walking down a line – too far either way and you’re fighting.

Get more armies.

You can’t just turtle forever. You need to have actual armies.

They’ve been bitching about my past transgressions the whole time and not that I’m weak. I keep repelling their attacks.

Yeah, it is a significant flaw with Civ V. I do not think there is any warmonger decay. If you want to play warmonger, you have to do it early and often and win by domination. Otherwise your turns will be interrupted by diplomacy screens denouncing you.

It was actually fun to play this again after a multiyear layoff. I played on the ‘even’ difficulty level, prince I think, since it has been a while. I got off to a slow start and didn’t make use of Greece’s city state bonus because I didn’t remember how to use diplomats, or Vox Populi changed it. But I eventually got rolling and got 3 vassals. I was ahead in the leader board by points, and I didn’t think anyone would get the other victories on time so I was just biding my time. Then Babylon crept up in the last 10 turns and passed me by around 10 points on the final turn.

Turn times got horrendous. I was playing on a large map with default civs and city states. Not sure if Vox populi affects that or vanilla Civ V is that slow too, but it was painful.

That’s always been a problem for me in every iteration of Civ. Get into the modern age, and each turn takes minutes to run the AI turns. I remember playing Star Realms in between every turn!

Turn unit animations off. Aircraft take forever and a day to do anything.

This. Once I hit flight, taking off unit animations solves the turn times problem.