In the next month: B&W 2, civ4. Why should I care?

I liked Civ a lot. Infact I loved it. Civ 2 was good too. However, Civ 3 was just a prettited up civ 2 and more of the same. I played quite a few games of this, but could never get into it.

So Civ 4 is comming out. Why should I care? What are the big new featues that I should care about?

Black and White 2 is also suppoed to come out very soon. I was very exicted about the fist one, but when it turned into tree collecting simulator 1.0, I really took a dislike to it. I came close to, but didn’t quite finish the single player game.

So what does B&W 2 offer? Does it claim to fix any of the horrable game-play problems from the first game. Is multi-player now more about playing the game, then send my critter to beat up your critter and towns people?

It’s not a matter of “should”. This isn’t a moral imperative.

Lots of Civ4 previews out there, so you can look there if you want to find reasons to buy it the first day. If Civ3 left you cold, you’re probably better off waiting for reviews from people you trust.

Which is what I plan on doing with B&W 2. Most of the gaming media got egg on its face from the first B&W when the initial glowing reviews didn’t jibe with what everyone else was seeing. They’ll likely be more cautious this time.


I know rehashes of the same old, same old gets, well, old. But some games are good enough to warrant new versions every few years as technology improves and allows for significantly better sound, graphics, interface, etc. I think Civilization is definitely one of these games.

Amen brother. The Civ formula is a winning one and it doesn’t need radical modification. It’s the kind of game that can be re-released every few years with slicker graphics, improved interface, and maybe a few minor new features and be just perfect.

From what I’ve read they’ve taken the game more in the direction of a traditional RTS. More conquering, killing, etc. You still get to use your creature as a bad ass general or a genial lover of people, but with a little more of an effort at keeping people interested beyond hour 4.

As mentioned, the hype machine is in full flight in the usual places, but this is what I personally am looking forward to:

  • Religion as an actual game mechanic, as opposed to just a set of techs that everyone gets. Different population members will have different religions. You can choose how religiously tolerant your civ is - if you have theocratic leanings, population members that aren’t of your religion will be unhappy.

  • Government type as a set of factors rather than n rigid types. Always wanted to have a govt that struck a balance between the high trade + war weariness of Republic and the low trade + war weariness of Monarchy? Now you can.

  • Modability built into the engine as a key design feature. The AI SDK (coming ‘next Spring’ promises us the ability to create our own AIs. Finally a way to to tell people who continually carp about ‘bad’ AI - “Go make your own. {time passes} See, it IS hard!”

  • Shiny new 3d graphics engine that not only brings back the more-than-two levels of zoom that Civ2 had, but enables you to actually see the world as a globe.

  • A sort of meta-point: lots of people have been playing what is essentially Release Candidate code for months, so in theory the release-and-patch game should be minimal.

Re: Civ 4

  • no more corruption
  • no more pollution
  • AI MUST respect borders
  • modibility with Python, XML, SDK
  • “pitboss” multiplayer server
  • lots more…

Already preordered. 8)

No more corruption or pollution? AI respects borders? w00t

Corruption I could live with, but pollution pissed me off because the AI never cleaned up after itself. And don’t even get me started on the borders thing.

Borders? What borders? There were borders in Civ3? Wow… I never knew that. :)

as a civ vet, my personal favorite: 2 move workers. It’s a very small thing but moving your unit and telling it what to build on the same turn means half as much unit cycling.

That’s pretty good, are they like that from the start or do they just start doing it past a certain age, or what?

they start that way… not exactly a back-of-the-box feature, I know, but in a games like Civ, the details make a pretty big difference.

And will they take an extra turn to finish work, or is this an upgrade beyond being a user experience feature?

Well we’ll see about all these supposed improvements. My guess is if you quantify your expectations, divide by two and take the square root, and you’ll get how things will really turn out.

I like pretty much everything I’ve heard about so far, and they’ve definitely gone further from the formula than I thought they would, so I’ve started to hope they might address my biggest Civ complaint:

Is there anything to address the explosive exponential growth that resulted in such micromanagement hell in the end game? Hopefully getting rid of corruption doesn’t forbode a step in the other direction…

Word is that they tilted the balance toward the RTS side, with the creature as a kind of optional side theme rather than an important part of gameplay. If you’ve played Fable and think of how distant and irrelevant the “personality siumalator” is to the body of gameplay, maybe that’s what they’ve gone for.

I remember disliking B&W because the creature side of the game wasn’t what it was cracked up to be, not because it was insufficiently like RTS genre pabulum.

I’m really looking forward to Civ 4. C3 didn’t do it for me super much but I really like all the changes they are making for C4, and they seem to understand what they didn’t get right in C3. Also simultaneous-turn multiplayer seems like it could be a lot of fun.

B&W2 hasn’t been getting the best of reviews so far here in Europe, seems to averaging around the 75% or 7 out of 10 mark. Not actually read any of them yet, but it’s certainly not getting the over-inflated scores the original received.

re: Civ4

Oh, did I happen to mention the Spy unit is back? :twisted:

And that the AI doesn’t magically know where all your units are anymore?

And that you can set rally points for newy built units now?

Weren’t all these features in Alpha Centauri? Maybe not the rally points, but I’m sure the first two were.