[quote=“Scott_Lufkin, post:3180, topic:78555”]
I always have so much fun in the first 2-3 hours of a new game
[/quote] I agree. I don’t think it would be hyperbole to say that the early stages of this game, with the Rise and Fall expansion, provides the best gaming experience I have every had.
And luckily for me, I have an extremely low drive to completion. If I like a movie or a book or a sporting match, and then I lose interest, I feel zero compunction about walking away. And that’s how it is for me with this game. I’ve had several incredibly good games, but I finished only the first one, and that was to check out the theory that the late game is much better now. Once I get to the point where it doesn’t matter what I build in this city, where I send my trader… I hit escape, go to the main menu, and decide which civ to play as next. On these terms, I am finding the game more addictive than crack cocaine.
[quote=“Scott_Lufkin, post:3175, topic:78555”]
Just look at these numbers, there is no good reason being presented to me the player to explain why civs I have been friends and allies with in the past would suddenly just declare war.
[/quote] I know what you mean, and I have certainly scratched my head at some AI decisions. But anyone who knows history knows that real life is loaded with crazy decisions.
In real life, a lot of stuff happens because of religion or political system or internal politics or alliance blocs or “we are strong enough to do it” – and so often, one of those, for whatever reason, trumps everything else including the rest of the list. “You did us a huge favor a hundred years ago” counts a lot, except when it doesn’t.
I think that one of Civ’s big mistakes is presenting that diplomacy screen with all the factors quantified, because quantification encourages the notion that it can all be toted up in some exact way. This probably goes too far in other aspects of the game as well, but at least in those areas it isn’t false advertising, next turn’s technological progress really will be the sum total of those beakers. But with diplomacy, not so much. I suspect that “allied with enemy” counts a ton more than -3… which has some claims to realism.
Actually, my biggest complaint with Civ diplomacy is not that it leads to irrational AI civs, but rather that it continues a gaming fiction that diplomacy is mostly about horse trading, when, in truth, it is mostly about communication. You want me to promise not to settle near you, but you aren’t saying what “near you” means? You want me to commit to addressing an emergency by taking “certain cities” from the Aztecs, but you aren’t going to tell me until after I have committed which cities those are? Although my neighbor can tell me that it matters to him that I get units away from his border, but I cannot tell him that it matters that he get his units away from mine?
Real life diplomacy is first and foremost about communication, such that each nation knows the others’ core interests, and thus avoid inadvertent disaster. Civ makes sure that such communication cannot happen, and I believe that is because, behind the curtain, the goal is to prevent real life diplomacy, because in truth they are instigating trouble, because that is what is entertaining.
Of course, the other thing, the elephant in the room, is that a game where “you” and these other leaders remain in place for thousands of years, through entirely different government types and philosophical eras… this makes realistic international relations impossible. Not to mention that some big international events are remembered for centuries while others are forgotten in a decade.