Non-Flash Links At Bottom Of Page

Malik (8/16/10)

After watching a good part of the first Seahawks preseason game of the Pete Carroll dynasty, I feel good. I mean I feel as good as one can after a preseason (read: worthless) game. I mean Whitehurst had a brilliant flash in the 2nd quarter on the first Seahawks TD of the game. He saw the blitz coming, called a great audible, lobbed the ball to Williams, and after a nice fake, it just took a 50 yard run for Williams and Whitehurst both showed why they deserve to be on the field.

The only thing that left me feeling a bit weird was Carroll, who looks too damned enthusiastic. It's nice, or at least a little cute, when the team is up. I'm afraid to see where it goes when the team starts to flop. Maybe, if fate is with the 'Hawks this season, I will not have to see this "what if" scenario. That would be nice, but I think that remains up to the O-line.

I've spent more time reading up on Civilization 5, especially after seeing the insanity that is the system requirements. I am now feeling a bit less certain about my participation in the future of Civ. It's one thing to add cosmetic touches which require far too much graphic processing power than expected, but it's another when you start to hear about the other supposed changes. If the message boards I've read are spot on, there are some huge changes coming. Unit stacking is gone, as it technology trading, and even transport ships.

The ship thing is goofy. While it could get to be tiresome to want to move a single unit across a single square of water to a nearby island, and then to kill two extra turns loading and unloading the unit, the new style sounds far worse. It sounds like ground units will now automatically be able to generate a transport boat of the current technology whenever they want by simply walking onto water. There was a problem or two with transport before, but having unlimited ships in this style is just goofy. It removes a huge level of realism. I mean this allows instant building of huge ocean going ships without any sense of planning or unit manufacturing.

The unit stacking only makes it worse. While I am glad to see no city with be able to have 20+ units in it (which made a siege into one of the most boring messes possible), we are talking about a civilization simulator, but a battle simulator. A single square (or hex, now) on the map is giant. To say that a unit of catapults (which should be equal to, maybe, a half dozen individual catapults at most) takes up the same space as an entire major city is insane. I mean that's what this must be saying if you cannot have a catapult unit and a unit of axmen in the same space at the same time. While this would make sense for battle simulations, like the Total War series, this makes no sense for Civ. How is it that only 8 units can attack a city the size of Moscow at a time? I guess it may be more (or less...depending on how it's done) with the hex system instead of square grid spaces, but it's still goofy.

I mean why would a group of settlers ever travel without an escort when facing the wilderness? Yes, you can have a unit in a neighboring space, but if you take scope of the map into account, this could mean the escort is tens to hundreds of miles away!

The only part I could really understand in these changes is the technology trading. However, this is the wrong solution to one of my long standing problems with Civ 4. In Civ 4, an AI civilization could demand you give them a technology, and if you dared to say no (which is reasonable) or to negotiate a trade (also reasonable), they would lose friendship towards you. While you could boost friendship with some actions, these penalties remained forever. So, when you don't give your knowledge of the compass in 1000BC, you may get hosed by these bad vibes in the year 2000ACE. The real change needed would be for relationships to be more malleable. If you make bad waves with a neighbor in the past, it should be allowed to be forgiven over time. It's more realistic. I mean does the US and UK still have major bad blood because "You declared war on us -4" and "you brought an ally to war against us -4"? No.

Plus, trading of technology is a real proposition in the actual world. Did every civilization have to discover gunpowder from scratch? Did we all have to discover gunpowder together? No. True, some nations had to find out the secret due to unfriendly methods, but some also learned past technologies by sharing knowledge after one country already found the original discovery.

Anyway, if I was to imagine a real upgrade to the almost ideal system of Civ 4, it would be a lot different than where Civ 5 is heading. I would allow past transgressions to be forgiven over time. While some wounds linger for generations, many are erased with the passage of time. I would also limit units in a single space, but not eliminate stacking entirely. These are big spaces with small groups (or platoons). If only a single militia can be in a single city, then these would be unimaginably large militia battalions. I'd also either eliminate or lower the odds of a single civilization demanding a gift of technology versus negotiating a trade.

As for one other change; I'd make the percentage chance to win a battle make some damned sense. I have been playing Civ 4 again and it just infuriates me when a 70-80% change of victory leads to more chance of a loss than a 50% chance of victory. More so, when you have a 99.9% chance of victory, why do you tend to get more unit damage on yourself than in a 80% chance of victory?

Anyway, I'll give the Civ 5 demo a shot when it arrives. However, I think it's safe to say that unless the demo really blows me away and shows some definite good uses of the changes, I'll just load up Civ 4 and stick with "the good old days" of Civ.


Malik (8/18/10)

Some problems never go away. I mean there's bad games that keep coming back in sequels and expansions. There's the Mariner's season, which will not end. There's the always recurring talk of getting the NBA back in Seattle and it just always fizzles out.

The most annoying problem that never leaves, at least to me, is the drama queen style celebrity. In particular, the drama queen sports star. Saying that, it should be obvious what problematic drama queen I'm talking about.

Here's a hint or two. He can cry like a little bitch after the end of each season. He doesn't know how to quit (including when he has quit). He also has angered the town which he brought a world championship to like only a true jackass could.

After speculation that the obvious would happen, Bret Favre is back. All I can say is this; Bret, go f#@$ yourself and go the f#@$ away. I look forward to your next annual un-retirement a year from now...the same way I look forward to my mortgage payment each month.


For Those Who Don't Have Flash Plug-Ins...

Rested XP    News    Reviews    Videos    Features    Forums    Archives    Search This Site    Links    Contact Us    Disclaimer

Non-Flash Links At Bottom Of Page