Civilizations IV and V

| Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Apparently my Civ V crash problem was not fixed by my RAM switch. It must have just been coincidence that it seemed to be better. Maybe my world was a little bit smaller that game. In light of this, I decided I'd jump back to Civ IV. Being what I am, I decided to compare them, not in a vague sense of which was better, but actually seeing how each felt moment by moment. Having played Civ V for a few months, what is Civ IV like?

As might be expected, my first reactions were negative. It's an uglier game. Whether the UI was better or worse in any approximately objective sense, it was confusing for a player used to a newer game. Way to not have backwardforward compatibility! Beyond that, I was just generally confused. What was good anymore? I remembered rivers were good to build on, but my cities wouldn't have a watermill building. Is there a best first tech? In V I go for pottery so my second construction is a granary. I went with pottery because I had some wheat nearby and it made about as much sense as anything else.

There are a lot of inconvenient aspects. Just about everything is a special tradeable resource that you want connected to your cities, so I was building more roads. Thankfully they were free. Also thankfully, the bear was just a little bit too slow and my settler did not get eaten. But that reminded me that cities are helpless and need units sitting in them or else barbarians wander in and take over everything. Now I absolutely must have a spare warrior built. I don't have a Liberty social policy tree, so I need to make my own workers, which stops city growth. Now I'm at needing a worker for any improvements, a warrior for my next city, and the settler for that next city, which is going to be pretty slow.

I can't find the happiness count. Oh, it's all city-based.

I'll have more later as I play more, but for now, I'll end with this idea: Civilization V is about civilizations, while Civilization IV is about cities.


Gankalicious said...

At least in Civ IV you can stack a warrior on that settler to keep him safe from the barbarian..... Civ V was such a radical departure from the theme/UI of the series I gave up after a few hours :(

A common complaint from 'die hard civ fans' I know, but I had to throw it out there...again.

Klepsacovic said...

In V you can stack a warrior or other unit. It had two layers: military units and civilian units and one of each can be in a tile.

It is a strange new world.

Injera said...

" I'll end with this idea: Civilization V is about civilizations, while Civilization IV is about cities."

I mostly agree with this, and it actually leads to my biggest gripe about Civ 5: because of the empire-wide happiness/social policy costs, adding a potentially productive city to your civilization can be counterproductive as it hurts the value of your other cities. In Civ 4, as long as a city can eventuall pay for itself it's worth adding (and sometimes even if it can't.)

Another way to think about Civ 4 is about that, beyond the cities, it's actually mostly about the tiles. The cities require attention, but their real purpose, along with the workers, is to reap the bounties of the grid.

Klepsacovic said...

It is a shame that "colony" cities are less viable. Maybe there could be a mechanic to found puppet cities rather than needing to conquer them.

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