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Why I chose Elemental over Civ 5

By on September 5, 2010 8:34:01 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

GaelicVigil

Join Date 08/2010
+5

Money has been tight lately, as most of you can probably understand in our current economic climate.  Having always been a TBS fan, I had to make a decision as to which game I would buy this fall.  I've been anticipating Civilization 5 and Elemental for quite some time, but I had to go with the latter, and I still don't regret it.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm getting pretty tired of the Civilization series.  It's starting to remind me of Madden: Release the same game, add a few features, and call it the best thing since sliced bread.  I've played every one of them, and every spin off since Civ 1 and the whole tour through history bit is getting a bit long in the tooth for me.

So I'm left with Elemental, which kind of feels like the old pick-up truck your dad gave you.  It doesn't exactly run all that great, needs a new set of...well, everything, and doesn't impress your friends all that much.  So would I rather take the old pick-up truck that can potentially take me to places I've never been before, or do I stick with Civilization, my shiny ten-speed that's always been safe and reliable my whole life?

I've read all the reviews, seen all the crap hit the fan, and even felt a bit of disappointment in the past few weeks.  However, there's something about this game that just gets me excited, something unique, and something I don't feel very often with games.  Even with all of the bugs and problems this game has, it has something special that I can't quite explain.  With Stardock's commitment to improve things, I am giddy with anticipation as to where we will be led in the next few months and years.  It's expecting the unexpected with Elemental that is holding my interest.  It's hoping that perhaps one day Elemental will defy it's launch in a way that we have never seen before.

I'm sure that Civilization 5 will get reviewed really well, I'm sure it will be everything that everyone has hoped it would be.  I'm sure it will be polished, stable, and relatively bug-free.  I'm sure, at the core of it all, it will still feel like the Civilization we've grown to love.  Unfortunately, this is where I become bored.  I'll take the old pickup-truck, but I'm not sure why.

Perhaps Trinity had the answer: Because you have been down there Neo, you know that road, you know exactly where it ends. And I know that's not where you want to be.

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September 5, 2010 8:37:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Nicely said.

I'm looking forward to Civ V as well but I've resigned myself to the fact that it probably won't run very well on my computer.  So I'm trying not to get too excited about it.  I could have bought a new computer but spent the money on my wife's new laptop for school.  So might be awhile.

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September 5, 2010 8:42:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think I will prefer Civ5 over Elemental, mostly because of the 1-unit-per-hex rule, which will remove the "stack of doom" problem from the Civ series (so it won't be just another Civ game, it will be significantly different), and because IMO Elemental lacks depth, diversity and excitement in its current state.

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September 5, 2010 8:43:38 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

cuz hex maps, AAA level polish and working multiplayer out of the box suck amirite?

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September 5, 2010 8:47:09 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting _PawelS_,
I think I will prefer Civ5 over Elemental, mostly because of the 1-unit-per-hex rule, which will remove the "stack of doom" problem from the Civ series (so it won't be just another Civ game, it will be significantly different), and because IMO Elemental lacks depth, diversity and excitement in its current state.

 

I'm hoping so as well. BTW I haven't thanked you and the 1.4 team for all the AoW I been playing. Great work, awesome game

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September 5, 2010 8:50:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting wynams,
cuz hex maps, AAA level polish and working multiplayer out of the box suck amirite?
OH didn't know you had your copy already. So glad you were here to inform us that the game is in perfect order and the multiplayer works outta the box. Now since you are clearly a time traveler mind sharing who wins the super bowl this season? I would like to place a bet and your aid would be appreciated.

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September 5, 2010 8:50:28 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

my face

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September 5, 2010 8:58:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting wynams,
cuz hex maps, AAA level polish and working multiplayer out of the box suck amirite?

Enough "wynams". You don't have Civ V and I suspect you don't have Elemental.

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September 5, 2010 9:04:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That's how I felt about Civ4, for the most part, and I think that sentiment is "left over" from Civ3 -> Civ4, where not a lot changed and I wasn't crazy about some of the changes. 

If you have followed Civ5 much, there are several significant changes that should make it feel very fresh - I think they have broken out of the "Madden Cycle", so to speak.  Those changes may be positive for some and negative for others, but either way Civ5 will almost definitely not feel too much like Civ4.

 

Civ3 was awesome compared to Civ2, and for me at least, I think Civ5 is going to be awesome compared to Civ4.

 

The other thing is that other than being turn-based empire builders, they don't have a lot in common.  Fantasy vs. Historical, the appeal is different to different people.  I think Elemental has a lot of potential and will be a good game one day, but I'm afraid the release is a crippling blow to the game in the grand scheme of things, in terms of its popularity and sales.

 

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September 5, 2010 9:04:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Good post. I think what is causing a lot of people like you and I to choose this game over "ol'reliable" Civ V is how much potential Elemental has. To be honest, I don't think Brad realizes just how ambitious Elemental really is. If SD can make questing, city building, and strategic combat actually work then Elemental will be game of the decade.

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September 5, 2010 9:29:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've also been playing Civ since day one.  Civ 3 was my favorite.  4 never worked all that well for me, and that is with all the patching and expansions.  I do not cheat or use cheats, yet my game would randomly lock up or my cities would stop growing completely.  Civ 4 was a huge disappointment to me.  Civ 5 would require of me to spend money on a new computer.  No thank you. 

 

What I want from Elemental is the variety that Civ has.  I already like a lot of the gameplay and original ideas of Elemental.  Just more of everything.  Resources, monster, spells, variety and each faction be unique from their buildings to their tech and such.  The dynasty aspect of the game is a blast, and I would love to see more depth to it with the many factions already in the game.  Kinda like the final version of GC2 where everyone and everything was unique and worked well.

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September 5, 2010 9:34:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting fatindian,

Nice, now Stardock employees are disclosing what is and isn't registered on your Impulse account.

Smart business move, imo.

C'mon, who here really cares? I don't. "Business move"? Lets just harass Stardock when they're down on the ground, shall we? That guy asked for it.

 

Anyways, I'm saving up for Civ V because... I have a degree in Political Science and Civilization got me there, lol. I'm still going to play Elemental because it offers something truely unique and I think they'll get right what FFH Mod missed. So many games these days get caught up in linear and "narrative gameplay" that they miss allowing the player to tell their own story. Look at Deus Ex 3, look at Dragon Age 2, and look at the new GTA. They have all be carefully constructed with no real in-depth character customization options (or mod-ability) so that the player is stuck with one character and their story. This way they can focus their efforts to this one story, character, and all the assets it might need.

Civilization is a great game that, unfortunately, follows this trend in a number of ways. You can play only as one of the pre-constructed civilizations and leaders, you don't create your own units or design them, everything is done for you. This is fantastic for developers and balancing but they miss out of some excellent opportunities. Elemental is unique in this way as they allow you to create you leader, your faction, your heroes, your units, and design your cities. While none of these elements are truly perfected or incredible they immediately offer a great value that things like Civilization completely miss in favor of other things.

I enjoy being connected to my game and my story and being able to determine the direction that it heads. Games like Elemental empower the player and allow them greater input into the game environment. Imagine if Civilization V allowed you to create your own nation or leaders or units... they did it in Alpha Centauri, why have they stopped? Why can't I create my own heroes or civilizations in Fall From Heaven? Why must if follow the lore and constructed design so heavily despite me playing my own unique gameworld. I think that developers far too often miss the opportunity to allow the player greater control because they have a direction they want to see their game and don't want to give up that control. Perhaps this happened initially with Elemental as we had to beg/demand for the faction creator, however, Stardock made the right choice.

This is what Civilization V is going to miss and this is why I'll be sticking with Elemental for some time.

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September 5, 2010 9:36:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Istari,



Quoting wynams,
reply 3
cuz hex maps, AAA level polish and working multiplayer out of the box suck amirite?


Enough "wynams". You don't have Civ V and I suspect you don't have Elemental.

 

Yeah he played 100 hours of elemental, got bored and asked for a refund which he got then cam back to the frums to cause shit....(this from another board minus the shit part.)

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September 5, 2010 9:38:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting dragoaskani,

Quoting wynams, reply 3cuz hex maps, AAA level polish and working multiplayer out of the box suck amirite?OH didn't know you had your copy already. So glad you were here to inform us that the game is in perfect order and the multiplayer works outta the box. Now since you are clearly a time traveler mind sharing who wins the super bowl this season? I would like to place a bet and your aid would be appreciated.

 

Well, I for once have the same trust in Firaxis that I once had in Stardock. Let's see if I get disappointed twice this year... but somehow I doubt it.

But sort of back to topic, I still own Elemental (though I thought about getting a refund for a minute there) but I guess I'll stick with it. Stardock does have post release fixing credit in my book, so let's just see where they take this thing.

 

Still looking forward to Civ V though. Like a little kid waiting for christmas I tells ya.

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September 5, 2010 9:43:18 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting James009D,

Quoting fatindian, reply 10
Nice, now Stardock employees are disclosing what is and isn't registered on your Impulse account.

Smart business move, imo.

C'mon, who here really cares? I don't. "Business move"? Lets just harass Stardock when they're down on the ground, shall we? That guy asked for it.

 

 

You don't care if a company starts disclosing their users' purchases and history on a public forum? Are you seriously defending that? Just because a company's game has seen an unsuccessful launch doesn't mean it somehow becomes okay for them to do that. 

Anyway, clearly it was a faux-pas because my post was deleted and the post I was quoting has now been edited by the employee, and that happened like 15 minutes ago, I don't even know how and why you are quoting it.

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September 5, 2010 9:45:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, Elemental vs. Civ5 is definitely a question of "new and innovative" vs. "reliable but predictable sequel," and it is unfortunate that the average player unhesitatingly goes for the sequel, us lovers of innovation are few. But to be fair, Civ5 is shaking things up a little bit - the one-unit-per-tile thing will make combat quite different, the 'policies' sound like an interesting evolution over Civ4's civics even if they're not radically different, and the neutral cities are a nice touch. I'm just saying I wouldn't put Civ5 and Madden in the same category, that's cruel to the good folks at Firaxis - their philosophy is 33% new stuff, which is about 32% more than Madden, give or take 1%

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September 5, 2010 9:45:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Answulf,
That's how I felt about Civ4, for the most part, and I think that sentiment is "left over" from Civ3 -> Civ4, where not a lot changed and I wasn't crazy about some of the changes.

 

I find it intriguing that you feel not much changed between Civ3 and Civ4.

To my feel Civ3 was a worse 'game' than Civ2 because it actively tried to squeeze all the fun out of the things I liked about Civ. There was nothing to be gained by finding islands or whole empty continents to colonise, or even building a big connected empire because the massive corruption thumped you in the head any time you tried anything interesting. Settle an exposed settlement on the other side of an enemy to grab a nice clump of resources, fine you can have the resources but don't expect that settlement to ever do anything, you'll be lucky if it ever has 2 production, etc.

I know why Civ3 did this, they were trying to balance things and remove some supposed exploits that had been in Civ2 but in the process they destroyed the game for me. Civ4 rethought all this and came up with much more fun and balance mechanics to achieve the same goals without destroying the fun.

All IMO of course!

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September 5, 2010 9:46:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Chose?  As in past tense?  Sounds like you never intended to give Civ 5 a chance.  Sorry, but that kinda makes me doubt your credibility and sincerity and simply screams fanboy. 

 

I think with the exception of Civ3 (and even that one to some extent), each game in the franchise has brought something new and exciting to the table.  And since FFH is one of the best mods for any game ever made IMHO, it's hard to not feel excited about what the future might hold.

 

But I for one will wait until I actually see the game before passing it off as old hat.

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September 5, 2010 10:07:56 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The problem with Elemental right now for me is, even once the major stability and AI are fixed, it's just... too.. simple. For a 4x game it lacks strategic depth. There isn't much to do as a builder - city building is very simplistic and shallow, as is the economic model. It's very rare that you have to make choices or trade offs, because it's fairly obvious what the best thing to do is. After playing one or two games, you can figure out the best strategy to follow, then it's just a matter of optimisation with each attempt.

As for Civ V, it remains to be seen what it adds to the series. If it's just a dumbed down version of Civ IV I'd give it miss. But Civ IV was so good and added so much to the gameplay, I have some faith that Firaxis are doing more than just "polishing the previous one a bit and slapping on a new number". We'll have to wait and see.

Once 1.1 comes out, I bet Stardock will add a lot more strategic complexity to make the game interesting and have replay value. But until then, I'd be passing the time with games that have more depth.

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September 5, 2010 10:10:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Rune_74,
Yeah he played 100 hours of elemental, got bored and asked for a refund which he got then cam back to the frums to cause shit....(this from another board minus the shit part.)
I'm imagining you, right now, sitting at your computer desk and flipping through the "dossiers" you have created on all of the "Elemental haters" you are tracking over the internet. I bet every time another one gets banned for stinking up one of Brad's pity threads, you have a special red marker that you use to put a big "X" over their picture (and associated internet biography). Surely, your tireless efforts to right wrongs and punish messageboard evildoers are being appreciated, um, somewhere.

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September 5, 2010 10:13:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting surlybob,



Quoting Rune_74,
reply 12
Yeah he played 100 hours of elemental, got bored and asked for a refund which he got then cam back to the frums to cause shit....(this from another board minus the shit part.)I'm imagining you, right now, sitting at your computer desk and flipping through the "dossiers" you have created on all of the "Elemental haters" you are tracking over the internet. I bet every time another one gets banned for stinking up one of Brad's pity threads, you have a special red marker that you use to put a big "X" over their picture (and associated internet biography). Surely, your tireless efforts to right wrongs and punish messageboard evildoers are being appreciated, um, somewhere.

 

I Was so hoping you were gone, guess not yet. 

 

You add nothing so are basically nothing, have a great life.

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September 5, 2010 10:16:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Rune_74,
I Was so hoping you were gone, guess not yet. 

You add nothing so are basically nothing, have a great life.
Aww, how sweet! I love you too!

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September 5, 2010 10:16:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting fatindian,

You don't care if a company starts disclosing their users' purchases and history on a public forum? Are you seriously defending that? Just because a company's game has seen an unsuccessful launch doesn't mean it somehow becomes okay for them to do that. 

Anyway, clearly it was a faux-pas because my post was deleted and the post I was quoting has now been edited by the employee, and that happened like 15 minutes ago, I don't even know how and why you are quoting it.

Yeah, I am. Especially if you come back and start trashing the company's product on their own forums. Stardock can do whatever they want here and I've seen companies do worse when it was required.

Look, I've seen gaming communities fall apart because of people bitching and posting stuff. Stardock has every right to moderate and reveal if someone, in fact, doesn't currently own the game.

There is certainly a line that I wouldn't cross in defending that but it's not a black and white issues. What Stardock did is acceptable.

If you want to be a shit disturber, go elseware. Plain and simple.

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September 5, 2010 10:19:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I will own both. I preordered Civ5 once I heard that combat is going to be more like panzer general. I played so much Civ2 that I couldn't stand to play much of Civ3 or 4, even though I own both once they went on sale for very cheap.

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September 5, 2010 10:22:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I haven't even got through all the content for Civ IV yet. That's why I bought Elemental. Civ V will be there when I'm ready  for it. Besides, I have all of the other Stardock developed games. I wanted this one too. Just didn't want it in the condition it came in. I did ask for a refund but changed my mind. I'm going to hang on and see how this plays out. In the meantime I'll keep playing Civ IV and DDO. Somebody let me know when this game is finished.

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September 5, 2010 10:30:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm really looking forward to the whole one unit per tile thing too, and having actual battle lines that stretch accross the map with archers behind infantry rather then the "stack of doom". The way city defence works sounds really cool too. One of my big complaints in Civ 4 was how your enemy could just hide a massive army in a single space in one part of the map and it was hard to gtet a realistic sense of any kind of army build up. Combat not being autmotically lethal will be nice for keeping veteran units alive too, as well as for any mods that contain heroes and the like. But in the end we will have to see how everything plays out in practice. Major complex changes to the combat mechanics require an AI that can handle it all too.

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