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Lack of updates and acting civilized

June 19th, 2005 by Troy Goodfellow · No Comments · Uncategorized

I’ve spent the last few days working on my book and finishing up a review for CGM, so I haven’t been updating here. I notice people keep coming to read, so I feel kind of guilty every time that there isn’t anything new.

What gaming I have been doing has been returning to a comfortable old friend.

What is it about Civilization that keeps me coming back? If you spend a lot of time on message boards (and I do), you would get the impression that Civ 3 was disaster of epic proportions – it has cheating AI, ridiculous resource requirements, broken diplomacy and a predictable path every game out.

All of this is true, but it works anyway. The Conquests expansion is probably one of the most remarkably excellent expansion packs in recent memory and makes a very good game nearly perfect – in spite of all the obvious criticisms.

I tend to play on Warlord or Regent level – not the higher levels – because the AI cheating is less noticeable and I can enjoy the game at its best. Civ is about the exploration and the conquest. Finding new resources, building the perfect city, making all quake before you. Though I can win on the higher levels, they are less fun – largely because the AI shuts me out of the diplomatic horse-trading. And when an entire aspect of the game design is closed to you, there isn’t a lot of incentive to keep going.

With the Conquests expansion, you can play one of the historic scenarios they have or you can play an ordinary Civ game with one of the custom unit sets for the game. The new cultures are OK and the new units aren’t great (though I love the Numidian Mercenary unit), but the new wonders and automation shortcuts improve things noticeably.

Civilization IV is still many months off, and you can find a lot of news about it on your favorite gaming sites. I don’t like the look of it very much, though the design ideas seem to be going in the right direction. With Civ3 still entertaining me, I can wait.


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