Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

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Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Vaniver » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:16 pm UTC

Trailer here, article here, article here.

My first thought, of course was Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, and the third link above discusses that similarity. However, it looks like they're making a bunch of improvements on the basic gameplay (as well as some choices I think are potentially silly, but may work out well).

Probable improvements:
  • More early-game customization. It looks like you select a funding nationality, and then colonists, and so on. It's not clear whether this will be "give me Korea's cultural ability and Siam's unique building and the Maya's unique building" or more like the religion system in Civ V or "I want to start with a settler, a library once I build, and a scout."
  • 'Barbarians' which are intended to be meaningful over the course of the entire game
  • Combination of tech and ideology. It makes sense for the Human Purity types to not get, say, mind machine interfaces. I don't quite buy that it will actually be a 'web'- that is, say, a level 3 purity tech unlocks level 2 techs linked to it- and so expect it to be multiple, potentially combined trees, like in, say, Endless Space.
  • Satellite layer. Will probably be an improvement over SMAC's satellites- which just made ICS a better plan- and will hopefully have civilian as well as military uses.

Not as sure about:
  • Separating colonies by nationality. Having an ideological split from the get-go was one of my favorite things about SMAC; replacing that with "we're funded by NASA" and "we're funded by CNSA" seems less gripping. But perhaps the nationality will just be names and color, and so entirely cosmetic.
  • Balance. One of the things that made SMAC a great simulation, if a worse game, was that the factions were inherently imbalanced. Turns out, being a fundamentalist theist is not good preparation for the future! Who would have guessed. Civ V had huge balance problems on launch, and I don't think those were intentional- so we'll see how this launch goes.
  • No mention yet of terraforming, one of the huge draws of SMAC over Civ. My guess is that it won't make it in.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby ChronosDragon » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:17 pm UTC

I'm not much of a Civ player, only played a couple games and nothing online, but this looks super neat. I love space games.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby firechicago » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:27 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:Probable improvements:
  • More early-game customization. It looks like you select a funding nationality, and then colonists, and so on. It's not clear whether this will be "give me Korea's cultural ability and Siam's unique building and the Maya's unique building" or more like the religion system in Civ V or "I want to start with a settler, a library once I build, and a scout."

Not as sure about:
  • Separating colonies by nationality. Having an ideological split from the get-go was one of my favorite things about SMAC; replacing that with "we're funded by NASA" and "we're funded by CNSA" seems less gripping. But perhaps the nationality will just be names and color, and so entirely cosmetic.

I'm not sure where you're getting this nationality stuff. Everything I've read (especially this PC Gamer article) indicates that the choice of affinity (Harmony, Supremacy or Purity) will be far and away the most important choice in terms of defining your faction.

Anyway. as a long-time SMAC and SMAX fan, I'm really excited about this. And short of dragging Brian Reynolds out of whatever mobile free-to-play hellhole he's crawled into, Firaxis are the only ones I trust to do it justice.

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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Xanthir » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:50 am UTC

Reading all the articles, this sounds exciting and intriguing. I'm surprised they're so close to completion, targeting a launch date of fall this year - I haven't heard any peeps of this so far.

I'll definitely be picking it up when it comes out. I've been waiting for a new SMAC for so long.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby bigglesworth » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:38 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:[list][*]Separating colonies by nationality. Having an ideological split from the get-go was one of my favorite things about SMAC; replacing that with "we're funded by NASA" and "we're funded by CNSA" seems less gripping. But perhaps the nationality will just be names and color, and so entirely cosmetic.
Apparently there will still be some ideological differences - Brazilia will be militaristic and the US one is called a corporation.
Vaniver wrote:No mention yet of terraforming, one of the huge draws of SMAC over Civ. My guess is that it won't make it in.
This PC Gamer interview mentions terraforming.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Vaniver » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:48 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:This PC Gamer interview mentions terraforming.
Thanks! Also more details on the orbital layer.

Having satellites as geostationary and "only one can fit in this area" seems possibly silly- where are my great circle spy satellites- but good as a game mechanic: do I want to clear the miasma, or get a bonus on defense, or so on.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Diadem » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:00 pm UTC

I loved SMAC and Civ4, but Civ5 was a horrible abomination of a game (a laggy, buggy resource hog, utterly imbalanced and with the dumbest ever AI. Also it always crashed after a few hours, and became so slow the entire end-game was unplayable).

So yeah, I'm interested, but not optimistic. The only way this can become a good game is if they fired pretty much everybody responsible for Civ5.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:15 pm UTC

Your opinion is objectively wrong.

Admittedly the AI was mostly insufficient for a good game - it's clear that they didn't give it good enough unit placement decision making. But I'm guessing you didn't play it on a PC with the recommended capabilities.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Xanthir » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:03 pm UTC

Agreed re: objectively wrong. ^_^

That said, vanilla Civ 5 isn't balanced great. G&K rejiggered things to make it a lot better, and BNW did better still.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Vaniver » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:28 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:I loved SMAC and Civ4, but Civ5 was a horrible abomination of a game (a laggy, buggy resource hog, utterly imbalanced and with the dumbest ever AI. Also it always crashed after a few hours, and became so slow the entire end-game was unplayable).
Civ V immediately after launch was terrible. Two expansions and over three years of patches later, it's alright. I don't think it's as good at Civ IV, but it's close. In theory, they've learned from their mistakes. (Remember that the guy in charge of Civ V did 'leave voluntarily.')
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Diadem » Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:34 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Your opinion is objectively wrong.

Admittedly the AI was mostly insufficient for a good game - it's clear that they didn't give it good enough unit placement decision making. But I'm guessing you didn't play it on a PC with the recommended capabilities.

Right. Did you play the game after launch? It was objectively buggy, the internet completely overflowed with people for whom the game was unplayable, and there were many other issues too. It was a huge resource hog, the game ran terribly slow even on high-end computers. Even on the 2D map. It got better wit later patches, with most bugs squashed, but it was still slow. I later tried it with a state-of-the-art computer from 2013 and it was still slow. The game balance was a complete joke. This is also objectively true. The game play was much less rich than CivIV, with a few obviously superior strategies. And the AI was universally agreed to be terrible.

You managed to be wrong in 3 different ways in a 5 word sentence. One, opinions can't be wrong. Two, what I said is not an opinion, but fact. Three, it was not wrong but correct.


I never played the 2nd expansion, but I did play the first expansion. Like I said, the game was a lot less buggy then, and a bit faster (but still slow). The balance was better also, though still nowhere near what it was in CivIV.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby bigglesworth » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:30 pm UTC

I don't think it's fair to judge a game based on what it's like on release. I was joking about the opinion thing, and you rightly picked me up on that.

It's honestly been too long since I played Civ IV for me to compare the two holistically. But (AI aside), moving to hexes and 1UPT were improvements. Warfare in Civ IV was boring - and weird, with cannons being used to charge in first before the cavalry walked in at the end. I wasn't a fan of the precise chop/slavery/turn counting build orders that were optimal either.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Adacore » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:49 am UTC

I think Civ5 with both expansions is an improvement on Civ4, and I'm also hopeful about this new possibly-SMAC-sequel-in-spirit. Despite the fact I never played SMAC, I've heard so many people raving about it over the years, it would be good to see a modern remake, so long as it's well done. Colour me cautiously optimistic.

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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Diadem » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:12 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:I don't think it's fair to judge a game based on what it's like on release.

Eh, then what should it be judged on?
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:20 am UTC

What it's like today, with all its expansions and DLC and patches (or at least the option of using those expansions and DLC). I'm not saying to forgive everything of a newly released game a few days after release. But when judging a game, say SMAC or Civ IV, today you should take those into account.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:09 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:What it's like today, with all its expansions and DLC and patches (or at least the option of using those expansions and DLC). I'm not saying to forgive everything of a newly released game a few days after release. But when judging a game, say SMAC or Civ IV, today you should take those into account.


I think it's entirely fair to judge a game based on its state when the publishers say "This game is ready. Give us your money."

Of course, if free patches and/or DLC are subsequently released, then it's fair to take them into account when judging the game at a later date, but I don't think it's unfair to take the publishers at their word when they say the game is done.

Paid DLC is another matter - the ability to expand a game is relevant, but it's not unreasonable or unfair to judge what you get when you pay for the game separately from what you get when you pay more for a different game (which happens to be the original game plus paid additional content)

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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:20 pm UTC

Nope - I get the point that paid DLC costs more. But I say that should be just one factor into your analysis of the final game. A $20 game with $40 of DLC should be compared to a $60 game without any DLC. But in the case of Civ V that's not a bad thing either, the whole thing can be bought at a reasonable price when Steam sales come around, and it'll always go on sale or be on offer in some way in the future. You can judge the original title without DLC. But I say it's an irrelevant and pointless review once all the DLC is out.

Now, not all DLC is necessary for every game. But it's not unreasonable to include it when it makes it a better and more fleshed out game, like it does for Civ V. There's nothing sacred about a work of art based on when it's first sold under its title, as opposed to when things have been added to it.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Diadem » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:09 pm UTC

If I have to judge games by today's standards I'd also have to conclude, for example, that Doom is a terrible game. The graphics are horribly out-of-date, it's not even truly 3D, and it doesn't even run on windows. How can anyone think that acceptable?

I admit, that's a bit of a reductio ad absurdum. But I do think the most relevant time to judge a game is when you pay for it. If I were to buy Civ5 today I would of course look at its current state, with expansions and patches. But if I were to buy it today, I would also compare it with other games that are available today.

Later improvements made to a game matter, but the state of a game at release certainly matters as well.

I bought Civ5 the day it was released, and was horribly disappointed. The game was barely playable, it was ridiculously slow, crashed every few hours, and suffered from many other bugs and glitches too. I did manage to complete a few games, and found the AI to be weak and predictable, the gameplay quite limited. I grew bored with the game after a few days. My conclusion that the game was terrible was entirely valid.

Did I try the game again much later, when there had been many patches and an expansion? As a matter of fact i did. But it turns out, you can't undo a first impression. The game was better, I admit that, but by that time it was also old. You can't undo time, you can't recapture the fun and excitement of discovering a brand new game for the first time.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:15 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Nope - I get the point that paid DLC costs more. But I say that should be just one factor into your analysis of the final game. A $20 game with $40 of DLC should be compared to a $60 game without any DLC. But in the case of Civ V that's not a bad thing either, the whole thing can be bought at a reasonable price when Steam sales come around, and it'll always go on sale or be on offer in some way in the future. You can judge the original title without DLC. But I say it's an irrelevant and pointless review once all the DLC is out.

Now, not all DLC is necessary for every game. But it's not unreasonable to include it when it makes it a better and more fleshed out game, like it does for Civ V. There's nothing sacred about a work of art based on when it's first sold under its title, as opposed to when things have been added to it.


So are you saying that if someone buys the $20 version of the game based on reviews of the $60 version of game-plus-expansions that don't mention that they're taking account of the DLC, they shouldn't be upset that they didn't get the game they were expecting? Or just that everyone should pretend that the $20 version doesn't exist (except as a paid demo for the "full" version) and people should consider purchasing the game as an "all-or-nothing" $60 game?

Either way, the point stands that the publishers are selling the $20 product as a complete game, and if someone only wants to spend $20, a review of the $20 game is highly relevant, while a review of the $60 game is pretty pointless...

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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:29 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:But if I were to buy it today, I would also compare it with other games that are available today.
And that's absolutely fair, IMO.
Diadem wrote:You can't undo time, you can't recapture the fun and excitement of discovering a brand new game for the first time.
Mmm, I do see what you mean. Especially with games where the story is more important.
rmsgrey wrote:So are you saying that if someone buys the $20 version of the game based on reviews of the $60 version of game-plus-expansions that don't mention that they're taking account of the DLC, they shouldn't be upset that they didn't get the game they were expecting?
Kinda? Buying expansions and DLC is certainly my expectation.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Vaniver » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:47 pm UTC

Adacore wrote:I think Civ5 with both expansions is an improvement on Civ4, and I'm also hopeful about this new possibly-SMAC-sequel-in-spirit. Despite the fact I never played SMAC, I've heard so many people raving about it over the years, it would be good to see a modern remake, so long as it's well done. Colour me cautiously optimistic.
That is cheap to remedy. The single-player experience is still worthwhile now, though multiplayer has some pretty ancient code and it shows.

rmsgrey wrote:So are you saying that if someone buys the $20 version of the game based on reviews of the $60 version of game-plus-expansions that don't mention that they're taking account of the DLC, they shouldn't be upset that they didn't get the game they were expecting?
The issue is more that if you paid full price for Civ V in 2010 on launch day (like I did), you won't get your money's worth until ~2012, after you sink a comparable amount on DLCs.

And so if Beyond Earth is also the sort of thing where they're going to release it in 2014 but it won't be good until 2016, then...
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:10 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:The issue is more that if you paid full price for Civ V in 2010 on launch day (like I did), you won't get your money's worth until ~2012, after you sink a comparable amount on DLCs.

And so if Beyond Earth is also the sort of thing where they're going to release it in 2014 but it won't be good until 2016, then...


It gets worse - some companies will only bother to release the redeeming expansions if the original game sells well, so you only get the good game in 2016 if enough people buy the crappy one in 2014...

I've got nothing against paid betas, but I prefer them to be labelled as such...

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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:14 pm UTC

Well personally I definitely did get my money's worth with every iteration of Civ V as it was expanded.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Xanthir » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:14 am UTC

Agreed. I had plenty of fun with vanilla Civ 5. I just had *more* fun with the expansions.

(I also tired of Civ4 quickly, because I hated the way unit balance and doomstacks worked. By the time I got around to Civ4, FFH2 was already out and expanded to hell and back, and I played that almost exclusively.)
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby ArgonV » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:24 pm UTC

I do hope they keep in the 1 unit per square/hex mechanic. Or at least a limited amount of units. Civ4/AC's stacks of doom were very annoying. I'm also very partial to a sci-fi setting (or sci-fi/fantasy, Endless Legend seems very interesting as well), so I'm having high hopes for this. Reading through the interviews, I'm thinking purity will be among my least played options, as autocracy is now

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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Koa » Sat Apr 19, 2014 6:59 am UTC

I like limited stacks. Maybe 3 units/hex. 1 unit/hex constrains tactical options a little too much. Maybe they will drop the whole one unit fighting one unit mano-a-mano system since close quarters combat is more of a staple of the past. War does change with technology, the Fallout guy lied to you. Or... will there be lightsabers? They at least seem to be interested in more than just remaking Civ5 with a futuristic theme. A digressing point though I suppose, it all has to do representation.

I think it would be interesting if the 3 units in a hex could attack the other 1-3 units in another hex, such that the combination of units in the hex would have different effects on the outcome.

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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby infernovia » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:00 pm UTC

I really dislike the 1 upt rule. It forces the game to move so slowly and bores me to death. Its also made a lot of ridiculous scenario happen in civ v like archers that could shoot 10 -100 miles away

Rather, what they should do, is have a "general" system where you can add units to a general's army as long he has the logistics and ability to control them. The most annoying thing about stacks was micromanaging everything, and this would kindly remove it.

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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Vaniver » Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:43 pm UTC

Alpha Centauri is on sale for $2.39, so it is even cheaper than normal.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby ArgonV » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:52 pm UTC

infernovia wrote:I really dislike the 1 upt rule. It forces the game to move so slowly and bores me to death. Its also made a lot of ridiculous scenario happen in civ v like archers that could shoot 10 -100 miles away

Rather, what they should do, is have a "general" system where you can add units to a general's army as long he has the logistics and ability to control them. The most annoying thing about stacks was micromanaging everything, and this would kindly remove it.


So kind of like Galactic Civilizations or Endless Space. You could join up individual ships to form larger fleets, up to a limit which could be expanded by research. Although you could still have lots of individual fleets per square. If they go this route, then tactics would be nice as well - ability to place meatshields in front, glass cannons in back for example. I've also read they're keeping in a form of the unit customization from Alpha Centauri, which is excellent. It's the one thing I'm really missing in Civ (V).

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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Vaniver » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:24 am UTC

ArgonV wrote:I've also read they're keeping in a form of the unit customization from Alpha Centauri, which is excellent. It's the one thing I'm really missing in Civ (V).
So, if you do one unit per tile, Alpha Centauri's style of unit customization isn't very useful, since it makes sense to do Civ's 'one strength value' instead of separate offense and defense values. The various special abilities all seem better as promotions, and that's basically all there is to the unit customization.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby infernovia » Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:45 am UTC

ArgonV wrote:
infernovia wrote:I really dislike the 1 upt rule. It forces the game to move so slowly and bores me to death. Its also made a lot of ridiculous scenario happen in civ v like archers that could shoot 10 -100 miles away

Rather, what they should do, is have a "general" system where you can add units to a general's army as long he has the logistics and ability to control them. The most annoying thing about stacks was micromanaging everything, and this would kindly remove it.


So kind of like Galactic Civilizations or Endless Space. You could join up individual ships to form larger fleets, up to a limit which could be expanded by research. Although you could still have lots of individual fleets per square. If they go this route, then tactics would be nice as well - ability to place meatshields in front, glass cannons in back for example. I've also read they're keeping in a form of the unit customization from Alpha Centauri, which is excellent. It's the one thing I'm really missing in Civ (V).

I am not a big fan of the whole "glass cannons in the back" mentality in Civ. It should feel like you are creating a 1000-10000-100000 man army, not playing around with archer ranges as if it's Fire Emblem. That said, this is one of the times that a sci-fi setting could make the range thing sensible.

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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:21 pm UTC

They could have unlimited stacks, but only if artillery get to hit EVERYTHING in a stack, what with future artillery having antimatter missiles and all. Plus a combat penalty or something unless you have good leadership.

As for SMAC, I always found that the fundamentalists tended to be overpowered (by the computer anyway), not under. The Spartans were underpowered unless you knew how to use them right. The hippies were the only truly broken faction, what with mind worms right at the beginning. In the expansion, the drones were broken, while the environuts were just pathetic.

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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby ArgonV » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:11 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:As for SMAC, I always found that the fundamentalists tended to be overpowered (by the computer anyway), not under. The Spartans were underpowered unless you knew how to use them right. The hippies were the only truly broken faction, what with mind worms right at the beginning. In the expansion, the drones were broken, while the environuts were just pathetic.


Really? I find the Believers to be most annoying, but not the most powerful faction. Their research tends to be bad, so if you survive the first 70-80 turns while having them as a neighbour, you'll probably outtech them and survive. Then again, I always thought their Fundamentalism was very annoying as well. My favorite faction was the University, especially if you can grab the Hunter-Seeker algorithm, so you can deploy Knowledge without the probe penalty.

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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:38 pm UTC

Like the university ever didn't get the hunter seeker, what with the tech advantage granting access so much sooner.

Supply crawlers were beyond broken though. Create a bunch of boreholes outside your cities and use crawlers for massive minerals, produce anything in 1 turn.

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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Vaniver » Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:11 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:They could have unlimited stacks, but only if artillery get to hit EVERYTHING in a stack
Wasn't this how artillery worked in Civ 4? And in SMAC, if you won a battle, everyone in the defending stack took collateral damage, which was a pretty good inducement to not stack too high.

CorruptUser wrote:As for SMAC, I always found that the fundamentalists tended to be overpowered (by the computer anyway), not under. The Spartans were underpowered unless you knew how to use them right. The hippies were the only truly broken faction, what with mind worms right at the beginning. In the expansion, the drones were broken, while the environuts were just pathetic.
The Believers are basically locked in to going for the Conquest victory, and will be underteched pretty quickly. Yes, you have the bonus when attacking and nicer probe teams, but both of those can be counteracted.

CorruptUser wrote:Supply crawlers were beyond broken though. Create a bunch of boreholes outside your cities and use crawlers for massive minerals, produce anything in 1 turn.
Well, if the supply crawlers all go to the same base, you run into pollution issues. Boreholes are also nicer for actually using yourself, since they get both minerals and energy. The real nice thing about supply crawlers is binding your bases together- four bases building supply crawlers can supply the HQ that's actually making the Secret Project- and making the most of the Merchant Exchange. (Unfortunately, each city can only produce one breakthrough a turn, so if you want to be getting multiple techs per turn you can't do the single city strategy, which is weird and I suspect a bug.)
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby BlackSails » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:13 pm UTC

ArgonV wrote:I do hope they keep in the 1 unit per square/hex mechanic. Or at least a limited amount of units. Civ4/AC's stacks of doom were very annoying. I'm also very partial to a sci-fi setting (or sci-fi/fantasy, Endless Legend seems very interesting as well), so I'm having high hopes for this. Reading through the interviews, I'm thinking purity will be among my least played options, as autocracy is now


The 1 unit/hex mechanic is pretty broken unless the map is gigantic. There is just not much room for maneuver, and the computer is not capable of handling it at all.

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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby setzer777 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:08 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:They could have unlimited stacks, but only if artillery get to hit EVERYTHING in a stack
Wasn't this how artillery worked in Civ 4? And in SMAC, if you won a battle, everyone in the defending stack took collateral damage, which was a pretty good inducement to not stack too high.


SMAC also had the inducement of making you watch each artillery unity individually bombard each stack unit with a ~1 second animation.
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby EMTP » Tue May 13, 2014 6:58 am UTC

ArgonV wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:As for SMAC, I always found that the fundamentalists tended to be overpowered (by the computer anyway), not under. The Spartans were underpowered unless you knew how to use them right. The hippies were the only truly broken faction, what with mind worms right at the beginning. In the expansion, the drones were broken, while the environuts were just pathetic.


Really? I find the Believers to be most annoying, but not the most powerful faction. Their research tends to be bad, so if you survive the first 70-80 turns while having them as a neighbour, you'll probably outtech them and survive. Then again, I always thought their Fundamentalism was very annoying as well. My favorite faction was the University, especially if you can grab the Hunter-Seeker algorithm, so you can deploy Knowledge without the probe penalty.


All of the combat-oriented factions tend to do better in the computer's hands, because the AI does not really know how to get a Builder faction humming.

The Believers are weak in research, but that's really an early-game problem (for a human player), because they are well-placed to probe you to death for tech, and their support bonus makes hunting Alien Artifacts a breeze.

Before you have the tech to go out and find a research-heavy victim, Believers are a challenge to play. But once you get Doc: Flex and probe teams as Miriam, your enemies had better watch out.

The Gaians have worms going for them in the early game, but they can't use Market which, although it is a pain in the ass, is a tremendously powerful Social Engineering choice. Not that that is a fatal flaw or anything, but there are three critical SE choices you want your faction to be able to execute (Market for +1 energy per square, Dem and Planned for easy population booms) and anyone who cannot execute on all three (Gaians, Hive, Morgan) has a big disadvantage to overcome. (Which they can; the original seven factions are pretty well balanced, IMO.)
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Re: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

Postby Diadem » Tue May 13, 2014 8:00 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:They could have unlimited stacks, but only if artillery get to hit EVERYTHING in a stack
Wasn't this how artillery worked in Civ 4?

It was indeed. I never understood why they changed it, because the combat mechanics of Civ4 worked quite well, especially in multiplayer. You moved around with large stacks, but not too large because a very large stack becomes vulnerable. Meanwhile you had individual units, or small groups of units, running around as scouts or raiding parties, or guarding hills, and sometimes you could try to sneak a large group of fast units into an unprotected spots. It all felt quite realistic.

The AI of course wasn't the smartest when it came to dealing with large stacks. But the AI is even more terrible in dealing with the one-unit-per-square rules, so that's not much of an argument against stacking.
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