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
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.
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.
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.