Civilization V and the Disappointment

Last night I broke down and bought Civilization 5. It was a buy in anger. I had just logged onto WAR to run as fast as I could to the gate for the city attack. While in the city we were faced against a band of scrubs for a defense. Stage 1 was played as if there was no opposition at all. So we capture everything and setup our force at the gate to defend our Lord of Change. I get up to take a piss, 2 minutes maybe, to come back to the gates of Reikwald.

Really?!?

So, now I am 10K less of the renown I most surely would have received, I’m also down 3 Royal crest and … and I can’t do shit for 15 minutes. I can’t queue, I can go back into another instance, I can phap maybe? Overwhelming nerd rage overtook me. To the point that I even took the time for a CSR report. Obviously feedback isn’t enough. No response. So, knowing that my mood was going to be foul, I turned down a ToVL run. I just knew frustrating PvE was not the thing to do while I was steaming. So I bought and downloaded Civ 5.

Surprisingly the game downloaded and installed in no time. I mean, it was to the degree that I thought something went wrong. It was way to fast.

Now, to start, I am an old Civilization player. Like I started playing Civ 2 and went and bought Civ 1 after the better game just to see it, I was so in love. Civilization III owned me for 2 years and Civ IV’s box set is sitting on my shelf. It’s just tin, that’s just how much I love that game. And now, I go and read the reviews and I’m sad I missed the reviews from my fellow Civilization lovers before buying this game. This is not Civilization, this is not my Civilization at all.

You begin the game, and as a veteran Civilization player you roll your mouse over everything. Trying to learn the statistics, trying to see the notes. There is none. So then you go into settings trying to find how to turn back on those key OCD loved enablers of our beloved Civ III and IV features. To no avail. Okay, maybe they wanted a less cluttered screen. Can I right-click and pull up a Civlopedia to tell me every little detail? NO you fucking can’t. It does have a Civilopedia, it’s just mind-numbingly fucking stupid, it makes you want to blow the balls/ovaries off the designers so that they can’t reproduce future morons of game designs.

It shows you almost nothing. It’s not detailed at all. For instance, I’m playing as Alexander of the Greeks, and my little Warrior pack goes on a tribal village and upgrades my Warriors to Hoplite. Interesting I thought on 2 points, villages can now also upgrade your troops. But more so, as in past Civilizations, Warriors and Spearman were always on different upgrade trees. Warriors go to Axeman then to Macemen then to Machinegunners (Attack Based). Where Spearmen got to Pike then to Riflemen (Defense Based). I wanna see what changed. Go to Civilopedia, look up Warriors and …. yes in fact Warriors do in fact exist in the game. Thank you Civilopedia, your outstanding helpfulness was overwhelming in the amount of knowledge you spewed. For Sid’s sake, even Civ Revolution had a detailed Civilopedia.

So now it’s time for some combat. How much strategy and risk is there in combat? As long as you can understand colors, none what so effing ever. It clearly tells you exactly how its going to play out before you attack. What risk or big gain is there? None. 

Looking at reviews of game reviewers, Civilization V is being praised. Except 1UP.com, who earned giant respects from me for standing up and saying exactly what this game is. It’s a sad compromise to less involvment and thought to hopefully get them to play Civ. Which is a mind fuck in itself. You built a franchise that was on the complete basis for making a complex world. And now you want to meet them half way?

You clearly removed Religions due to political correctness so that you didn’t offend. It’s just like when you removed Tobacco from Civ III, you have no backbone. Religion has and in some ways, continues to be the main feature of everything in history. Go kill this, the Pope says so. Go claim this, I hate Taoism. What happened to the learning experience of Civilization. The quotes, the back history, the explanation. In this, I don’t get moments where I go, “Oh, I never knew Socrates said that.” Or, “Impies beat Italian tank divisions in northern Africa? Pansies.” Don’t sacrifice cool ass quotes and tidbits and then game play because, some Catholic Girl is going to get offended that Christianity was founded by the Chinese. It’s a fucking game, fuck her. She’ll repent, it’s all good.

Songhai, really? Really? That’s the big civilization for Africa? Mud huts? Spain, who practically came close to owning most the world didn’t even make it. But, we can’t forget Songhai.

It’s like they took the one game that actually had complexity and ruined it. Each Civ is supposed to get more and more complex, to the point the only thing holding back the games are the capabilities of the computers at the time. Civ III was light years in complexity from Civ II. And the 3 expansions just each add to that complexity. Then Civ IV comes, and we are blown away at the capabilities and just the depth of what we wanted out of Civilization. And then the expansions just take that depth and dig a new hole to China feeding our hearts content at having density and a bottomless pit of situations to tryout and manage. I and I’m sure my fellow Civ lovers were expecting Civ V to deliver the end all of real strategy and awesomeness. At the very worse, basically Civ IV with updated graphics and some new features.

That’s not what this is at all. Yeah, the graphics are better, but as for depth, new complexity, new things to learn, harder situations to manage. Ummmmmm … I didn’t see that. Am I supposed to have to wait till the industrial revolution to flex a brain cell to play this. I feel like I’m playing Civ Revolution on my PC. On my PEE CEE. The difference is it doesn’t take 5 minutes to save on my iPhone. As well, it doesn’t crash to desktop every other animation. This game is filled with bugs. Which makes no sense, there is nothing to it.

I was back on my DoK by 10 PM, needless to say. A shameless disappointment. Civilization V: Was IV too complicated, well come try V.

Post Edit: Some strong nouns like dumb and stupid offended some people and apparently was taken too personal. The post has been edited. Basically I just edited out those words. Almost same sentence. If you find yourself offended by Mr. Meh, thank you for taking me seriously, but in the future, I wouldn’t.

Bottom Line:

If you loved Civ IV, I can’t express to you the ungodly hate you will probably have for Civ V. The heavens will open and you will cry tears of blood.

If you hated Civ IV, you might have a shot at liking Civ V, many are happy as hell. Go try it out. There’s a free trial on Steam. Take minutes to download.

Super Lag!!!

I’m going to be straight forward vague and off the wall guessing here. I don’t know what, but something has greatly sent lag into play all over since the last big patch.

I run on a pretty decent setup on FIOS and all of 10 miles from the servers. You basically couldn’t ask for a better connection and setup for the game. I can’t escape it lately. I mean, I don’t remember a time when the lag was this bad. It’s in everything. Scenarios, city, ORvR. You just can’t escape it. I had a city instance on Sunday night that was only comparable to the old Fortress battles we had before the pop levels were added in. That whole 1 frame per minute, hit an ability and hope for the best. 24 vs 24 was causing that kind of lag? What is the instances for Gorfang City played on the Badlands Server for Praag ORvR?

And now that’s all I hear in vent. Lag, Lag, and Fucking Lag.

I don’t know what happened. I find it hard to believe the patch did this. I’m wondering what kind of server downgrades or consolidation took place recently.  I think a fast fix is need before many of us find something else to do. I know I was heavily considering it after a very very frustrating city experience.

Warhammer Online: Suggestion: More Enviroment in the City

Though I am a big fan of the update to the city, it still has an all too similar problem. And that is, at some point you are going to get RvE.

The push to the city is going to give the population skew to the attackers. In many respects, you are going to have an empty instance. 30 minutes for 20K renown and some easy crest. Now granted it is still an upgrade from the previous city, which was an argument of trying to speed up the timers. But that’s just the hunger for purple numbers.

Further more, due to the 5 minute timer that allows players to enter and exit at will, some instances have a difficult time establishing a stable 24 man. In many cases, as groups and individual PuGs enter, they struggle to accumulate even 18 people to put up even a half a chance against the full WB waiting for them ends up resulting in frustration for those that don’t just enter and leave at will.

There is a missing element to the city instance. And that’s having a PvE type challenge when the opposing Player base is lacking.

The suggestion is to add in Champ waves to objectives to replace missing players. For each missing player will grant a champ. For each missing group will grant a Hero and 5 Champs. For attackers, these champs will move to attack the Objectives (stage 1), Lords (stage 2) or King (stage 3). Though not intelligent or tactical, these NPC will serve as a form of challenge against the Empty Instance. As well as serve as bodies for attacking Objectives when one side is just plain outnumbered.

My thought is, if we are going to have to encounter RvE or being outnumbered, then we might as well add something that can help stop the Waithammer.

Warhammer Online: Out of Group Renown Whoring

It’s kind of sad. To think that purple is so important, that we the community of players consistently are willing to gamble on success to achieve just a little more. Please do. I mean, this isn’t a group PvP game or anything. RvR doesn’t stand for Realm versus Realm or nothing of the sort. We don’t have group buffs and group heals either.

Why are you even in an MMO if you want to play solo? Go play Farmville or Mafia Wars or something stupid. GTFO my game.

My point is, your desperate rush for purple and giving yourself a RR80 is doing what for you? When you achieve that 80, what are you going to do? You clearly don’t have any friends. And it’s not like a giant fireworks show is going to appear, commemorating your name in the stars for all time when you get there. You are just some other jackass with an 80 with no friends and no idea how to play, short of knowing how to HoT lots of other people. Because we all know HoTs totally make and break the game.

In some ways I hated the 6v6 Scenarios. It basically was either a quick and dirty newb stomping, or it was a pointless standoff between Premades. Let’s face it. Currently, the deciding factor in the win or loss in a Scenario is who’s group of PuGs is better. Now short of neither side having a premade or worse, one side has 2 premades, the decision factor is going to be your PuGs. So when my premade enters a scenario and I see 2 solo WEs and a solo DoK in the other group, I cry.

I don’t actually cry. I look at the names on Order and hope they have 4 fucktards compared to our 3. Most of the time, yes, they have the same amount of greedy dipshits as we do. Generally resulting in a win, hopefully. But worse, resulting in that solo DoK soaking up all the renown for basically doing nothing. Your only advantage is group heals and a passive buff, and you are forgoing it?

Am I jealous? Not one fucking bit. My haul to RR80 might be twice as long as your haul, but the difference is, when I get there it will be announced and /cheer and congrats will come from all over with /tells saying “About time man” and “congrats” and members will cry pleading that I not play alts as they need my heals. When you turned 80, you shouted at /t4, cause you control your own sad little guild, and you got one response from someone telling you to “STFU”.

The Drive to 80

I want an 80. I have neglected it long enough.

I’m hammering down and focusing on my DoK. Thanks to the double renown weekend, he is that much closer. Went from the end of 69 to RR 72 in 3 days. And I believe I have that nice bonus still tonight too. The server, Gorfang, may have some population issues, but if it gets that bad, I’ll just respec Deeps and go roaming for renown. There is nothing that will stop me from getting at least 1 RR80.

My only issue is the guild is having more and more members make 80s, and in turn they roll new toons. I get tempted to work on alts as well as they more and more want to run Dungeons.

Must not deviate …. from plan …. most not work on alts …. aaahhhhhh.

 

Civilization 5 and Steamy Piles

I was all geared up for September 21st. It is the release date of the next installment of a game that made me the nerd I am today. I have played every single generation of Civilization and every expansion. I actually started to play when Civ 2, hit. I would only later go back and find version of 1, just to see them. The 21st of this month was supposed to be holy. How in the flying hell I missed this one, I don’t know. But, here is yet another game that is using the Steam client to run the game. Not an option, you need Steam to play the game, despite however you purchase it. This isn’t blind fear. I made an oath to never buy through Steam again. I had my nightmare with them 4 months ago, and I just had an updated one this weekend.

My first game bought through Steam was actually the 3rd expansion to Civilization III, no doubt. These were the days without the full client it was today. Your login/password was only to access the download files. Once you downloaded, it was yours on your hard drive.

I would buy more games this way as I loved the idea of not needing to insert the disk anymore, not mention the ease of downloading and installing when format time came. I bought all my versions of Dawn of War and Medieval Wars though the old Steam. Then one day they went to the ‘Client’. An actual running program that links you to the Steam community and validates everything you were doing.

I didn’t have a problem with it at the time. I kept buying games. More expansions, some MMOs, some RPGs. Then one day about 4 months ago I encountered a problem. I just bought and installed Batman AA. 3 days in, my client keeps telling me, “my login and password are not valid.” Interesting, seeing that it has been auto-logging me on for the past couple of years now. Even more interesting that my login name is still clearly saved in the spot you are saying it’s not valid. I e-mail tech support. Oh, and when you deal with tech support, you need to create a new login and password completely separate from your Steam account. Makes sense, right?

2 days later from and email and a followup more angery one. ‘Your password must be wrong. Change it. Here are instructions.’

I did and do again. Same issue. I’m capable of reading do-it-yourself troubleshoots. I Email tech support back.

 Takes another day, ‘Your account must have been hacked.’

Hacked in such a way that I can then change the password back and still not be able to get into it? Please explain how? And even so, why on earth do I need to sign in for games I purchased that are on my hard drive. 

‘Steam will allow you to run in off-line mode, but you still need to validate your information. You’ll need to delete all your games and Steam, and then re-install them.’

That really sounds like a plan D at best. Maybe, we should figure out why I can’t log-in first before coming up with reasons to never buy from Steam again.

‘That’s all it can be. Your client is corrupted.’

So if my client gets corrupted, I lose Gigabytes of information, instead of just needing a new client?
Well, I want to play those games again, so why not. I now have nothing better to do.

I do all that, and re-install the client. Same error. Email back tech-support.

2 days later. ‘It’s your firewall.’

Interesting hypothesis, professor. If only it was higher on the troubleshooting list you’re reading off of. Of course, that occurred to me, and no, it’s not the firewall. But hey, for shits and giggles, since I already basically deleted all my hard-drive, I’m going just go ahead and format and install Windows 7 finally. I’ll get back with you.

“Oh, you are on Vista. That’s the problem.”

You sir, are a bag of guesses ready to explode your thoughts like a teanage boy just seeing breast for the first time.

I installed my new OS, and promptly went to the forums, like I fucking should have in the first place. I was apparently 1 of many hundreds who were experiencing the same exact issue. Described to the T. The solution: Other wild guesses that I go off and try to no resolve.

I gave up on Steam and downloaded my incredibly large Warhammer Online package again. A day later I was back in my long-standing MMO. About 3 weeks go by, and I notice my steam client starts downloading a new version, and then promptly signs me back in with no problems all on its own.

Interesting, oh look, I can finally finish Batman. Cool. I do, unwilling to stop playing or take break, due the fact I might lose this chance to ever play it again.

So months go by, I get home late Friday. It was a good night, I wake up at the crack ass of Noon, go to my computer with my Tea and Oatmeal, look over at my router, no internet. It will take till Sunday night for Verizon to fix the issue. The issue; someone was messing with cables at the street corner.

Anyways, no internet, let’s see how Steam Off-line works. Holy shit it worked. I played COD4:MW2 single player. I then played some Dawn of War 2. And then I got trapped into Medieval War 2. But then … but then … I go for a run. I proceed to turn off my computer for the duration.

I come back, I load up, I click my Medieval War 2 button and … “You can only run 1 Steam Client at a time.”

Have you ever errupted in so much anger, that fluid just explodes from your head onto the monitor and it can only be described as brain matter? I think I had that moment.

Alright, Steam. I’ll play your game. I like to think of it as I’m Adam West Batman and Steam is the Riddler. He’s not really a super villain, more like a fairy you just want to beat the living fuck out of with some brass knuckles, just so long as you can catch him, and not just chase him around a circle as he prances about in green tights. 

Riddle me this, Mr. Computer Nerd. What has thousands of upset vocal customer, but yet is a flying success?

Steam wins, I couldn’t find him. Hours of frustration go by, restarting, shutting down unknown CPU processes, searching program files. Eventually I find a file labelled ‘Settings’. It tries to open; it tries; 10 minutes go by; and then I’m told, “my login and password are not valid.”

I think I had one of those moments of such complete anger, I think if I put on a mood ring, the color would be Satan’s Stool. When you look at the chart of mood colors, right under black would be a steaming pile of shit with devil horns growing out of it.

So … to buy or not to buy Civ 5? I so want to, but I don’t think I could handle any more Steam stress.

Warhammer Online: The T2 New Player Guide

So you kind of liked T1. Your trial went well. You built 10 different toons and want to experience a bit more. So today you decided to part with $15 to see it.

Here are some things you should know:

Flying:

There is really no reason for Mythic to not allow trial users to fly to the other 4 zones while in T1. That way you get used to the travel and dispersed combat between zones. So the first thing you need to realize is: There is a flight master in each warcamp. This flight master can take you where you need to go. However, you need to realize where you want to go.

For instance, T2 Empire/Chaos pairings have the RVR lake in between Ostland and Troll Country. But the Order WC is in Troll Country, where Destro’s is in Ostland. If you are Order, you can certainly fly to Ostland, but you won’t land anywhere near the RvR lake.

Dwarf areas are completely different. There is a small pocket of RvR in each area. There isn’t one big RvR zone spread between the 2 major zones.

Objectives:

You may have or may never have taken a BO, but the RvR lakes have Objectives in them. They have flags to capture. There were 3 of them in T1. Now that you are in T2, each zone pairing has 2 Keeps and 4 BOs. Unlike T1 Objectives, the T2 NPCs are still setup the original way, with 4 Champs and a Hero. You can not solo the BO yourself. You need a group to take them.

Keeps are your first introduction into grand scale battles. Like Objectives, they need capturing. However, you must first take down the door, then kill the Hero. No flag capture. The major difference here is, it’s much easier for the enemy to defend these objectives.

Things you want to avoid; wasting money on buying wood to repair doors. It’s actually just easier and more advantageous to let the enemy take the keep, then take it back. Or, rather just keep defending the keep with open doors. That’s way more fun. As well, don’t stand in the oil. The major defense mechanism to the keep is burning oil. If you aren’t a tank with a shield, you will die to it. Stand back. I know you want to hit something, but need to stand back and do something else to help. Running in and dyeing to the oil, doesn’t help anyone.

Trainers:

Whatever genius that comes up with fantastic ideas at Mythic, came up with a very interestingly stupid and well farted hair scheme. As you can tell from my tone, I, nor can anyone else figure out what possessed Mythic to move the career trainers to the cities only. Maybe they desired more lag, or maybe they thought we would all meet up at Sigmar’s Temple and start a Cyber Orgy that they could watch; or maybe the idea guy at Mythic should be shot in the face with a brick gun; either way it’s retarded, but this is how it is now.

There are no Trainers in the zones, not in the chapters, nor can you go fly back to the T1 trainer, it’s not in your menu; you have to fly to either Altdorf or Inevitable City and go to the trainer area. I’m sorry.

If you are Order, you will land go out into the cluster fuck of a Market Square, maybe catch the play about Sigmar at the top of the hour, then you need to take a 2 minute stroll West to Temple of Sigmar, that’s where your trainers are. Enjoy that run, you’ll be doing it a lot.

If you are Destro, fly to IC, watch you step. Go down the ramp take a sharp right (West on the Map) and look for a giant pyramid with electricity holding a block above it. Ponder the idea and the physics for a bit, watch your brain explode on the screen, then run underneath to find a circle jerk of zealots, with trainers along the outside rim.

Training:

Once you hit rank 11, you now get to learn how training and career mastery really works. It’s not as simple as simply getting a new skill every rank you gain. When you were rolling through 10 you probably picked up each new ability joyfully and maybe, just maybe, you figured out the Renown trainer allows you to boost certain abilities.

You have abilities, then you have tactics. Tactics are simply passive abilities that are always on so long as you have it slotted in your tactics bar. You’ll get your first one when you hit rank 11. There are 3 types of tactics, Green passive ones, that you get as you level or from mastery purchases; Red renown based ones that are only purchasable from the renown trainer; and Blue tome tactics that aren’t really worth explaining in T2. You’ll get an additional Green passive ability tactic each 10 ranks. So you’ll get a second one at rank 20, a third at 30 and your fourth at 40. Renown will only ever increase to 2 slots at Renown Rank 20. Until you are Rank 40, it is probably in your best interest to slot Combat Awareness (cost 2 renown).

As well as buying new abilities and tactics, you also will get points use in your masteries. Each class gets three branches of combat type. You’ll notice most of your abilities say “Path of …” That means that ability belongs under a particular mastery. Buying points in that mastery will increase the damage or effect of those mastery abilities. As well, every 3 slots of the mastery are purchasable abilities and tactics, and even a Moral 4 ability. You’ll want to read carefully, don’t just buy it cause you can, it might be a completely useless ability and/or tactic. In T2, you get a mastery point every odd rank. When you get to T3 it steadily increases, and buy T4 it feels as though you are getting too much Mastery. By the time you hit 40 you will have enough Mastery points to basically fully spec in one tree with abilities, tactics and all with some left over to go a tiny bit up another tree. In some classes cases, purchasing abilities and tactics are kind of useless, so some people can spread their points to almost fully fill 2 trees of mastery. I have never heard of someone distributing within all 3. Don’t do that.

Remember to manage your Morals and Tactics as you earn them. Somethings are ungodly better than other things.

Mounts:

You are a newb, but those around you are probably not. They are a combination of veteran players ranking up a crafting alt, making a new alt, or are re-rolling. In many cases they have a cash cow to grant them Money when they need it. First thing they did: Bought a mount at rank 11 before going into the RvR Lakes. You can only technically use a mount if you are rank 20, but in the lakes you get a rank bolster to 21. Hopefully you saved up big time in T1 and didn’t get tempted at the auction house.

Ass-Hats:

T2 is filled with them. Those veterans that should be leading won’t. They just want to run SCs and run about solo or in small groups. If you are joining on Warbands and PuG groups, you are going to encounter all types. Not that they don’t exist in T4, but they are prominent in T2 and T3. Basically, those leading are those that don’t know better. Eventually the Nerd Rage will take them over, or they’ll lead a zerg and get too full of themselves. It doesn’t help that you have people like me, that help ensue nerd rage, but that’s besides the story.

Point is, if someone’s being stupid, ignore them or do something else. You can’t fight the zerg. If 24 people want to attack a fully defended upgraded keep knowing that they are outnumbered, let them. You can’t reason nor can you divert them. There is always something else to do.

T2 is a learning experience. As long as you know when to do something else, you won’t get the rage. Learn from it, and then you will be well versed to go and enjoy my favorite tier, T3.