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4X Old World - historical 4X strategy by Civ 4 designer (formerly 10 Crowns)

DakaSha

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Dec 4, 2010
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I'd def turn off ambition victories. I stopped playing with them almost right away
 

Eyestabber

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Little update on my review:

- replaced the Civ 4 screenshot for a more appropriate, higher quality one
- corrected wrong info about water tiles being dead. You can build a limited amount of harbors on them

I'd def turn off ambition victories. I stopped playing with them almost right away

Sure, but I was two points shy from a "regular" victory and the game was almost unplayable at that point. Terribly long turns.
 
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Gaslov

Novice
Joined
May 23, 2022
Messages
8
So far I do like the game. The events get pretty annoying and tedious. I think this is a game I will get tired of quickly.
 
Self-Ejected

Atlet

Self-Ejected
Vatnik
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Nov 11, 2017
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So, is this very good? Worth getting? Is it historically accurate, like, can you learn a bit about history while playing it? Is it more or less deep mechanically-wise? Is it finished? Or just another game that will need fuck tons of patches to be playable?

I'm feeling like playing this or Fields of Glory 2/Empires.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2013
Messages
651
Very good? Ehh.. It's definitely worth a pirate I'd say, burn like 20-30 hours on it then realize it's somewhat shallow and repetitive. I can't give input on the multiplayer experience though.
Is it historically accurate, can you learn a bit about history while playing it
Not quite. It has been pointed out already that there are many inconsistencies made to conform to modern gynocentric liberal views. Flavor is highly lacking, aside from several events which directly reference some past event like the roman slave revolt.
Is it more or less deep mechanically-wise?
It's uhh.. tedious is what it is. There's not much depth to it when you understand how the systems interact with one another, that civics and legitimacy are king in everything and then it boils down to countless microscopic optimizations. It's definitely a feature complete game however and the AI is decent overall.
 

Eyestabber

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Finished another game, this time as Greece. Turn 150, with everything except pike researched. Same deal, game was laggy, did ambition. Yes, ambition victory is a shortcut, but the alternative was dealing with a 30+ cities Rome. In a STANDARD map, no less. Protip: dont pick "extra desert", it results in a 95% landmass map. I couldnt compete for lighthouse/colossus due to having zero coastline.

Anyway, this is the first 4x that ever got me to care about espionage. The benefits are substantial and the management involved is very light. Your spymaster can steal a ton of beakers, agents work as "reverse governors" and can make capturing a capital substantially easier. Much different than the usual "spend resources to (maybe) delay production in 1/50 cities".

Another thing I enjoy is noticing there is solid math behind the game's decisions. No chatacter class is useless, ALL improvements are worth getting and (almost) all laws have ideal situations for/against. Nothing sticks out as "this is useless", even if I have my favorite strategies. And world religions (something I messed with last game) add a lot of depht to your overall strategy. Again, no theology stuck out as useless.

I will take a break for the weekend, but might go for another game next week. Need revenge for my loss as Egypt. Lastly, I'll say enjoying the city building aspect is a must, since thats what youll be doing for 80% of the game.
 
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Standard map size and above is definitely a trap. AI tends to go ridiculously wide so if you plan on doing a full on domination, you better let your dreams and hopes die in a gutter because that shit ain't happening with 50 cities and 500 units on the map. I've found that I enjoy duel size with 4 opponents. It's small, compact and much more meaningful in the grand scale of things. Your diplomacy will matter all the more as well because you'll likely be bordering anyone in one way or another.
 

Eyestabber

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You might be right, the "recommended players" is total nonsense. Standard map is fucking gigantic and can easily fit 6 civs + tribes. The sad thing is my game was super fun when I ended it. Rome had blobbed into like 60% of the map, but I had hopes of beating them. I was curb stomping hatti + carthage and had a huge tech lead. Rome, despite its size, had just one wonder and was "naive" tech wise. Carthage and Hatti OTOH had wonders and religious holy sites and legendary cities near my borders. I could cash in my conquests and turn on Rome, but the performance was bad enough.

My only worry with playing duel is getting boxed in by 3 AIs. That means certain doom in OW, you need nearby tribes to expand.
 
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Starwars

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Jan 31, 2007
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2,829
Location
Sweden
I'm sure it depends on your particular difficulty settings, but it's easy to think that being surrounded by tribes will be easy mode in this game but it can definitely backfire. If you are surrounded by tribes and you don't manage to conquer them (can be hard to keep up in early game) then it's likely they will grow into a very big problem with raiders constantly drawing attention and resources. As well as threat of all out war with them and invasions. It's easy to get into a situations where the tribes and their raiders sort of keep you in a "struggling for air" situation if there are many of them around.
Whereas dealing with other nations usually has many more options for diplomacy, even if it means bending over at first.
Again, depending a bit on difficulty settings.

Of course, if you manage to get into an alliance with a nearby tribe you can get a lot of territory that way if they happen to occupy many city sites.
 

covr

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They could. On a larger maps + during mid-end game + on a mid tier PC with SSD this could easily surpass a minute or more.
 

Axioms

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Developer
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Jul 11, 2019
Messages
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They could. On a larger maps + during mid-end game + on a mid tier PC with SSD this could easily surpass a minute or more.

I don't understand how a game that is so simple mechanically with an AI that is barely better than Civ AIs could spend a whole minute. I guess every single part of the AI is singlthreaded and they do lots of string comparisons or something. Wish it was open source like Civ code eventually becomes so we could figure out what the hell they are doing with all that time.

From what I understand without seeing the CiV source myself they use Lua and not in a particularly performant way.
 

Eyestabber

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The issue isnt the AI, but the GFX being unoptimized garbage. If you switch to simple animations + single unit the performance improves drastically. Otoh reducing quality to mid or low does barely anything for performance.
 

3 others

Scholar
Joined
Aug 11, 2015
Messages
184
Yeah, I'm getting 1 minute end turn times at peacetime on smallest (Duel) map size around turn 100-110. Installing the game on SSD instead of HDD didn't seem to make any difference. I know nothing about game optimization or AI programming but Old World seems to be in a league of its own among recent turn-based 4X games with its lackluster game performance. I mean, you can empty a dishwasher halfway while waiting for the next turn to begin. And besides turn ending times, the UI responsiveness takes a hit as the game progresses. I'm running in downscaled 1280x720 exclusive fullscreen with anti-aliasing off and generally low detail level, and button click times still range from instant to 2 second delay once I hit the midgame phase. Considering this has been out for a year or so, I don't anticipate Mohawk devs pulling any performance-enhancing rabbits out of their hats at this point.

Unity has a reputation for sluggish performance, and games made with it always seem to require more from PC hardware than they 'should' on first sight (Shadow Tactics, La Mulana 2...). But it shouldn't be THIS bad. The whole reason I 1-day purchased this was because it had been out for a year in Ebin Megastore and I assumed any post-release performance hickups had already been sorted out but it doesn't appear to be the case. Civ 4 was notoriously slow at its release but they sorted its issues out over the next few months.

Such a frustrating game. You can clearly see the building blocks of an era-defining 4X in here but Mohawk dropped the ball badly with shoddy optimization and their ideological adherence to modern sexual politics that I bitched about in the last page. The latter might be fixable with modding tools, the former probably not. As for Old World source code, the GOG release at least has a Reference/Source subdirectory full of C# files, which is in line with Soren Johnson's vocal support for releasing game sources.
 

Axioms

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Unity is garbage collected. That is why the UI is a shitshow. The turn times could be because of stupid animations or some other issue, hard to say without a ton of playtime which I'm not interested in.

Looking at GameAI.cs it claims the game is multithreaded, though the degree isn't clear. The code is also a bit impenetrable. It seems like they are using enums and ints and stuff and not dealing with strings at all either.

A cursory examination suggests that animations and such might be the real issue.
 
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man-erg

Novice
Joined
Dec 18, 2015
Messages
42
So, is this very good? Worth getting? Is it historically accurate, like, can you learn a bit about history while playing it? Is it more or less deep mechanically-wise? Is it finished? Or just another game that will need fuck tons of patches to be playable?

I'm feeling like playing this or Fields of Glory 2/Empires.

Historically accurate? Not in the slightest. It's about as historically accurate as chess. Or poker, with the playing card suits renamed to "Carthage, Rome, Egypt, Sumer" and you win with a Full House of Rome and Sumer. Just about every historical and sociological aspect of the era is flattened under a 20 lane motorway of Civ 5 and Civ 6 game features. You surely heard about the armies with loads of female generals? Believe me, this is the *least* egregious historical inaccuracy! We all know Total War takes historical liberties, but TW at least makes an attempt and is light years ahead of OW. OW is a generic 4X game overlayed with an ancient history skin done by search 'n' replace on the text strings.

Having tried OW and CK again for a couple of hours to compare, realised a crucial difference is that CK ties the people to the land holdings and titles. Dukes/Counts/Barons etc have real power through the land they hold - which makes sense for feudal times. This just isn't there in OW. There are no real land holdings, so the "characters" are just a bundle of stat modifiers, which doesn't have the depth of interest that CK provides. And one small example of how OW fails as historical strategy. Though some may like it as a generic 4X, of course.

Fields of Glory: Empires is a bit slow and dry, but is both a far better strategy game and at least attempts to represents the history of the time.
 

Axioms

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Total War, especially the war part, is about as unaccurate as you can get. Literally everything about the combat system is fake news. CK characters are all just stat modifiers. Sure they have a hold or w/e but character relations famously don't matter, just the right value in the stat for the task you want to assign. Of course Old World is not a simulation but a board game so it isn't "accurate" in any sense, but your two examples are just so bad in this context.
 

man-erg

Novice
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Dec 18, 2015
Messages
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Total War, especially the war part, is about as unaccurate as you can get. Literally everything about the combat system is fake news. CK characters are all just stat modifiers. Sure they have a hold or w/e but character relations famously don't matter, just the right value in the stat for the task you want to assign. Of course Old World is not a simulation but a board game so it isn't "accurate" in any sense, but your two examples are just so bad in this context.

Yes, agree on Total War. But Old World is still even less historically accurate. In every part. Squint your eyes and the Total War and Paradox games at least are vaguely trying to portray their historical time periods. Though far from perfect, both have been used to teach history. But no way could OW be used similarly. TW is silly on many levels, but it never puts the Danes in the Middle East next to Egypt. And Field of Glory: Empires is far ahead, both in terms of having states in roughly the correct places and in the military units used.

OW is just a 4X game, it is as historically accurate as Civ with Gandhi building nukes, Cleopatra looking just like in the game and the Polynesian civilisation reaching Alph Centauri on their rafts. It should not be called a "Historical 4X", that breaks the trades description act. "Iron Age " or "Ancient" 4X much more fitting. If historical accuracy is what you are looking for, this game is going to disappoint, and that was the original question.
 

Axioms

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Unity is garbage collected. That is why the UI is a shitshow. The turn times could be because of stupid animations or some other issue, hard to say without a ton of playtime which I'm not interested in.

What's wrong with Garbage Collection? AFAIK it just automatizes getting rid of useless shit in your memory allocation, instead of having to put things in and out of memory like they had to.

Garbage Collection has to do a lot more work to clean up memory during runtime compared to manual memory management.
 

Axioms

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Unity is garbage collected. That is why the UI is a shitshow. The turn times could be because of stupid animations or some other issue, hard to say without a ton of playtime which I'm not interested in.

What's wrong with Garbage Collection? AFAIK it just automatizes getting rid of useless shit in your memory allocation, instead of having to put things in and out of memory like they had to.

Garbage Collection has to do a lot more work to clean up memory during runtime compared to manual memory management.

But why? Can't it be made more efficient?

GC is like a scripting language for memory management. You just can't be as fast as the more difficult to handle compiled version.
 

Axioms

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Also a lot of people play Old World so wrong. The most important thing in the game is a bullshit OP court. Fuck cities. That's just how the math works.
 

Jaedar

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Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
Unity is garbage collected. That is why the UI is a shitshow. The turn times could be because of stupid animations or some other issue, hard to say without a ton of playtime which I'm not interested in.

What's wrong with Garbage Collection? AFAIK it just automatizes getting rid of useless shit in your memory allocation, instead of having to put things in and out of memory like they had to.

Garbage Collection has to do a lot more work to clean up memory during runtime compared to manual memory management.

But why? Can't it be made more efficient?
The problem is that you have to figure out what memory is garbage, and which is still in use, and when your program has 6 Gigs of memory to sift through this is not an instant process, and not all of this memory can be sifted through while the program is running, so sometimes the collector just goes "ok, full stop for 300ms while I deal with this". A 300ms stop is nothing if you're just calculating something asynchronously, but in a video game it's going to feel really bad.

Modern garbage collectors are usually pretty fast, and usually try pretty hard to minimize the full stops, but they still happen. And of course, while the garbage collector is running it is consuming cpu power, which can make your cpu consumption very unpredictable, which is itself bad for maintaining a stable 60fps.

I don't think unity HAS to be garbage collected in a bad way (Outer wilds is made in unity and I never noticed hitches while playing it) though.
 
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