Firaxis decision to leave "large games" broken for a full month

So this is The Final Frontier of Civ games?

I was told by an official Take2 employee to “shut up about that, as those were planned from Day 1”. With his Fortitude and Irritation at +10, I let that go figuring it must be true.

And I can totally understand that. Especially if it factored into all the others changes they’re making. It would make waiting a whole lot easier if they just said that.

Don’t patches also require the approval of the publisher before release?

If I remember correctly, that was the case with the final ever patch for Civ IV BTS where it essentially came down to financing and approval - 2K were only going to allow one final update to the game, and Firaxis were keen to make it as less broken as possible. Of course, this is hazy information which I got from the CFC forums a long time ago now.

If Civ V is really that horrible for a person to stomach, then shelve it for a while. It is not hard. Games, just like other media, will have the odd “flop” that will never appeal to the masses of people which exist. At least games (unlike books, movies, music) have the potential to improve once released.

Patches don’t have to pass the publisher before release; it all depends on the developer-publisher relationship. If the publisher doesn’t have central QA for instance than it really has no one to pass with. Or if they are not used in the post-release patching process. Or if they don’t care. From the outside it’s impossible to know for sure, though there could be any number of incredibly legit and/or heinous reasons why it happened the way it did.

As for the layoffs, I’ve never heard of a company that pre-planned layoffs to take place months ahead of a product release. Afterwards, sure.

— Alan

When I stopped playing Sins Of A Solar Empire (more than a year ago), I was running into a bug where games played on the largest map size with max players/fleet sizes would cause the game to run out of memory. As far as I know that’s never been fixed.

There are plenty of other games that have been broken in far more serious ways and for far longer than Civ5. Saying you “can’t think of another PC game from the past 10 years that’s done this kind of thing to the player” is disingenuous at best.

EDIT: Serendipidously enough, just two days ago the SoaSE team posted about fixing this problem:

Firaxis always take forever to fix stuff but at least the patches are coming. I’m playing other games while waiting for the AI fixes. Also, from a modding perspective, mega-patches are easier to manage since if Firaxis change the core files and your mod also changes the same core files you have to rewrite your changes into the new file (less of a chore if the patches are coming out every few months rather than every few weeks).

But would you want to?

I stopped playing the second day, once I realized they created a game the AI couldn’t play.

I stopped playing the day before it was released, once I realized that my sense of entitlement had far outstripped any reasonable understanding of what the game was supposed to be.

Also, completely unrelated to the point at hand, the list of fixes for the next patch includes the save game bug, which would be nice for those of us that would like to quicksave again.

Whoa… Civ3 flashbacks.


Jeff, it seems like every Civ 5 problem you come across you blow way out of proportion and declare the sky is falling, while drawing weird conclusions about how Firaxis operates that are nonsense. You are literally making stuff up.

Civ 5 is a mere two months old. It has issues now and it will always have issues, just like Civ 4. Hopefully it has less issues a few months from now than it does today.

You want to write a letter to Take 2’s board? Really? I don’t want to come off mean, but your posts reek of unreasonable entitlement.

I want to staple this to CivFanatics’ foreheads.

I really wish developers would rush out patches without much testing so they could patch their patches more often, because that’s what we’re really entitled to, right? Fast solutions to complex problems.

Why would anyone spend a week or two or three testing a mere patch? Clearly there’s a simple solution to this problem, because Civilization V is an extremely simple game, right? Its test matrix is probably incredibly simple too. And they’re just sitting on it because they hate their fans!

Some combination of what everyone else is saying:
You’re complaining because they’re making a massive megapatch to not only fix some tech issues, but a ton of balance and gameplay issues? I mean seriously, this patch should completely change the game for the better. You come off as an ungrateful child, complaining that your patch isn’t coming fast enough while ignoring the sheer depth of the fixes.

Pile on is fun?

What a bizarre set of responses. I don’t what might have been said in other threads, but in this thread all he is saying is that there is a technical bug (as opposed to a game system bug) which results in large games being impossible to complete and furthermore, that this bug was issued post release. No one is saying they don’t like the game, in fact, wanting to play a large game without losing it implies to me that they like the game quite a bit.

I have no idea if this claim is true or not, but given that it is, it is entirely reasonable to expect such a bug to be addressed quickly and not lumped into a mega patch with a umpteen minor bug fixes and game play enhancements and balances. It is not an issue of not liking a feature or thinking that some gameplay system is unbalanced. The claim is that he gets a broken, unplayable game after spending potentially dozens of hours getting to that point. This is a classic ‘hot fix’ type of issue.

Apologizing for Firaxis based on the complexity of the game or financial/business details which are slowing them down is missing the point. None of these things matter to a paying customer who just played for 12 hours only to find his game broken. That is not the kind of experience a company wants a player to have. Furthermore, if they are so thorough with their testing then why did they release a patch with this bug in the first place? Or the game itself with fundamental issues for that matter?

I haven’t trusted Firaxis since they sold out and changed their vortex of blood logo:

into a frilly swirl:

That’s not a frilly swirl, that’s Sid’s combover!

Then you haven’t been paying attention, meaning that your statement does not reflect the scope of jpinard’s desire to rehash this issue periodically or the chorus that sings along with him. It’s kind of like how the NMA thing stopped being funny around the twelve millionth time you heard somebody stagger in and moan about fallout canon or the importance of isometric perspective. In this case, it really is about a sense of entitlement in hoping to be personally addressed by one of the devs for an issue everyone faces, they are clearly aware of, and will deal with as soon as they can just as they have been throughout the post-release cycle.

I have no idea if this claim is true or not, but given that it is, it is entirely reasonable to expect such a bug to be addressed quickly and not lumped into a mega patch with a umpteen minor bug fixes and game play enhancements and balances.

That’s not the way this works. You don’t get to lump in the factually true part (the game has bugs and some design issues) with a series of dictated demands about how it should be addressed, other than within a reasonable timeframe. Most importantly, you don’t get to do it again and again and again and again as if it is necessary to rattle the chains of your agony in the faces of people who have absolutely no control over the situation, because it stops making it a point of casual agreement and turns into dealing with deranged fanboy entitlement.

The AI and gameplay tweaks are vital to the other 9/10 of people still playing CIV who simply adapted to the gameplay slowdown issues and simply play on slightly smaller maps and/or with fewer city stats. It makes sense to issue patches in one well tested batch at a time, given that they’ve experienced how a patch that has been rushed to meet fan demand can end up causing new problems as big as whatever they tried to fix. That’s not apologizing for them, that’s substituting normal human motivations for malice which it makes no sense to attribute to Firaxis. Setting the tone of the conversation around such an allegation is inevitably going to make it a partisan fanboy whine thread, which is what people like myself are reacting to rather than any particular desire to “defend” a company per se.

Glad to know the tradition continued with your remarks below too!

“Doc, it hurts when I lift my arm this way”
“Don’t lift your arm that way”

WAH. I’d get the constant teeth gnashing if Firaxis pulled a Creative Assembly and broke the game outrightin a patch to where you couldn’t play at all, promised a hotfix that was never delivered, released DLC packs and didn’t bother to fix the bug for close to 3 months. Oh, that’s right, you couldn’t think of another example in 10 years…

But that’s not the situation here. So you can’t play on a mega-map for a month. Adjust and learn to live with it. You can play the game on pretty much any other setting, so it’s not a game breaking bug. You know it’s slated to be fixed with the next large patch. This is akin to a broken side quest in a RPG and not a OMG FIRE!!!?! issue.

So thanks for the melodrama!