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

Gaslov

Novice
Joined
May 23, 2022
Messages
8
Jenkem has been playing it since steam release hour one, loving every second of it, and is incredibly frustrated that he cant tell you how amazing it is because that would mean agreeing with great-taste-daka

cope. I was looking at reviews and even the most positive seem to be rather middling, and apparently it is filled with woke shit infesting various parts of the game like even loading screen tips will tell you about how X historical person really liked it up the ass and/or wore women's clothing.

seems about on par for a game recommended by your ilk.

Lol, game is opposite of woke. If you don't like some of the characters you can just kill them. Or imprison. Game might even reward you for doing that.

And everyone knows that Greeks liked to take it in the ass from time to time, it is called historical correctness.

Many of those claims were propaganda against Greece, which sort of indicates that it wasn't exactly accepted behavior and likely wasn't common.

How practical is playing multiplayer in this game? Is it a friends only kind of game or can it be done within 8 hours?
 

Eyestabber

Arcane
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HUEland
PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
FUN UPDATE:

Romulus died 2 turns after the screenshot, aged 83. If you paid attention, you noticed his heir was Princess Rhea, BUT I said I wanted to play as her brother. So I chose him, and thus began the enlightened rule of King Servius, the Scholar. For twelve glorious years King Servius passed legal reforms, improved relations with foreign leaders, modernized Rome's army and was beloved by everyone. Well, ALMOST everyone...

w2QNtX6.png


Yeah...his sister never did let go of the whole "getting passed over for promotion" thing. The poor guy never wanted the throne, he tried to leave court and become an Ascetic (in-game event), but his grandfather Romulus ordered him dragged back to Court. I guess the lesson here is "don't half-ass your usurpation", I should've tossed Rhea in prison the moment Romulus croaked.

5qyJpqV.png


*sigh*

Good night, sweet prince. I guess he and his childhood friend (whom he couldn't marry cuz grandpa is a dick) are ditching school together in heaven now, while Rome braces itself for the dark days ahead. So it begins the rule of the fratricidal, insane, 38 y/o Zealot Queen Rhea. Jupiter help us...
 

DakaSha

Arcane
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
4,792
How do you guys play this without naming your characters "FetidAnalStench", or similarly, Jenkem or Crispy
 

Starwars

Arcane
Joined
Jan 31, 2007
Messages
2,829
Location
Sweden
Oldest character I had in the game was 97.
I'm actually not sure what mechanics (if any) affect how old the characters get. Romulus seems to get pretty old a lot of the times. And I think if a character gets the "Blessed" trait, they live longer. And conversely, if they're "Doomed" they're faster to die.

And yes, as far as the UI goes, I love the middle-clicking of tooltips. And the undo button is just so nice to have.
 

Jaedar

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
9,866
Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
Yeah, the various positive impressions and not a single screed about how it is doom and decline is making it seem like this game might be good.
 

man-erg

Novice
Joined
Dec 18, 2015
Messages
41
Yeah, the various positive impressions and not a single screed about how it is doom and decline is making it seem like this game might be good.

Well, you asked!

Give it 25 hours...once the initial interest wears off, it gets boring fast. Found it disappointing in the end. It's 70% Civ 5 with 30% CK bolted on the top. The problem is that it misses the best parts of those. The empire building falls short of Civ. Can't build a city anywhere, only set sites. Only handful of Civs. The rest is an unoriginal rehash of everything we already know. Workers to build farms, roads, mines, food for pop increase, yawn. The awful 1UPT is implemented even worse than Civ 5 & 6. Never got the point of allowing only 1 squad in 20 square miles. But Nu Civ does it, so it's faitfully copied here.

And the CK-like "dynasties". It's so lite, it just isn't there. The characters have no character (actually, the game has no character, it matches the turgid brown of the UI). Just a name and modifiers. A few turns in, your screen is filled with these random nonenties with dozens of modifiers that add up to nothing. The events are a bad joke. Clearly just random text. Eventually, every turn is just "Event Happened..blah blah blah. Choose a) lose 30 food b) lose 20 gold. 20 years ago that was leading edge, today it is same-old same-old. They are so random, don't expect anything coherent. Example, a 10 year old child "is now an alcoholic". The shy timid courtier now complains that they want to lead an army. Your hated enemies pop up telling you how great you are. And the game gets bonus points for ripping off the "7 deadly sins and 7 virtues" from CK. Only, as with everything else in the game, implementing them worse. All get a bonus for people with the same sin. So Greedy people like greedy people. Envious people like envious people. WTF is that about? Sums up what an incoherent mess this game is.

Don't be fooled for one second the hype that "Old World is the NEW GENERATION of 4X!!!!". It's a routine, just about competent but uninspiring rehash of features and tropes seen in every 4X since the dawn of time. It adds nothing to the genre. Late game grind. Snowballing always wins. It's all there. Did I mention modifiers? It's like they've just been invented, thousands of them filling the screen so one wrong mouse move and your screen is filled with lists like an actuareis spreadsheet. if you're going to blatantly copy, at least improve it, polish it, don't make it worse. It looks like the design was a list of "Features that are popular with the masses" cobbled together. Religion? "I know, +10 to those with same religion, -10 for those with different religion." Because Christians always get along with other Christians? As everything else in this game, it's a lazy, uninspiring rehash. Just takes a few hours in to see it, though.

The historical flavour is minimal when it's not absurd. States that didn't exist at the same time, all thrown together in a way that could only appear "historical" to those who know less than nothing of history. By doing a search and replace on the game text, it could be a Medieval game. Or a Sci-fi game...what's the betting they do this next? I thought Humankind was a failure, but in contrast, Humankind deserve way more credit than Old World because at least Humankind genuinely tries new ideas and has innovations. Old World plays like a Civ 5 Mod. Civ 5 with some dumb random events added in - and all the fun bits modded out. BTW For Ancient era historical TBS with genuine innovative game mechanics that capture the feel of the historical era, Field of Glory: Empires wipes the floor with Old World, get that instead.

I loved Civ 4, was expecting more from Soren Johnsen, but this looks a cash-in thinking that awkwardly bolting 2 big sellers together would hit the jackpot. As if because curry is popular and everybody loves ice-cream, hey "Curried Ice-Cream will make us rich, I tell you". Old World is curried ice-cream, it's even the same colour!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 25, 2013
Messages
651
5c10tur.png


I had a game where Remus pulled a reverse uno on Romulus in like fourth semester or something which didn't turn out all that bad because as a Schemer leader you can trade in legitimacy for move orders once per year/semester. Anyway, he dies a great fucking ruler, his pic related son succeeds him at like 12 and old ass Alexander declares war in a near instant lol. It was a fun moment, the AI literally took the opportunity when I was at my weakest (I'm playing on the Strong difficulty for reference), wiped off like 8 of my units in the east with a spectacular ambush because I was busy with Vandals and Scythians. By some miracle though I managed to muster like 5-6 longbowmen due to being ahead in tech, bulk them down around Aquileia and BARELY hold like two waves before Greece sent peace and a tribute.
That was one thing I was pleasantly surprised with - the AI, despite the fact that he still had a stronger military force overall, correctly gauged that throwing his units against my frontline in the north would've been suicidal and too risky. He didn't go the Civ 6 route of tossing one by one until I inevitably win. It helped that I had somewhat of a naval superiority with 4-5 Biremes which kept Capua safe whilst also raiding Greek coast.
Anyway, I'd want to pull a Carthago delenda est at some point or another but holy shit they have so many troops. Maybe when I am able to actually make Legions I'll give it a hand.
 

man-erg

Novice
Joined
Dec 18, 2015
Messages
41
I think I've asked this before, but did not get an answer: what differentiates this game from nu-civ? Cause taking a peek at the surface, it sure looks like one. Not asking about the CK-layer btw, just the actual 4X part.

Very little. Its the 4x part with what fun was left in Civ 5 taken out. Only 5 Civs. Only 200 years. 1UPT. Nothing to explore. No empire to build. Modifier hell. It's Civ with the Civ taken out and replaced with a "click for next bland random event" button.

The much touted orders system. Because limiting what you can do in 1 year makes sense? "You can only move 6 units in a year sir, the rest have to stand still, can't be done". It actually has no effect on the game. In 20 hours, couldn't remember one moment where the limited orders made for an "interesting decision".

And if you were asking about the CK layer, that's even worse.

It is a 4X for hardcore addicts. If choosing what to build in a city, moving units across a map and clicking end turn is your idea of gaming heaven, yes, you may well like it. Like how hardcore junkies will take anything to ease their withdrawal, desperation means they lose all sense of taste and discernment. Old World may work the same. The vast majority will just realise that instead of Civ cut and CK diluted, they may as well play the original games instead of this copy, instead.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 25, 2013
Messages
651
It's the "Old World" premade map which features the mediterranean + middle east and all the nations in the game. You can change the passage of time from years to semesters and If I got it right it basically impacts just the longevity of characters, nothing else. There's also a realistic mortality option that I'm also using here which as I understand it makes extremely old age less likely to occur and also increases youth mortality rate.
 

covr

Prophet
Patron
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
1,319
Location
Warszawa
Yeah, the various positive impressions and not a single screed about how it is doom and decline is making it seem like this game might be good.

It's a brilliant and a well-thought game. Definitely best 4X we had in years, possibly best 4X since Endless Legend. I can't wait to see how it evolves with some expansions.
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
2,938
Yeah, the various positive impressions and not a single screed about how it is doom and decline is making it seem like this game might be good.

Well, you asked!

Give it 25 hours...once the initial interest wears off, it gets boring fast. Found it disappointing in the end. It's 70% Civ 5 with 30% CK bolted on the top. The problem is that it misses the best parts of those. The empire building falls short of Civ. Can't build a city anywhere, only set sites. Only handful of Civs. The rest is an unoriginal rehash of everything we already know. Workers to build farms, roads, mines, food for pop increase, yawn. The awful 1UPT is implemented even worse than Civ 5 & 6. Never got the point of allowing only 1 squad in 20 square miles. But Nu Civ does it, so it's faitfully copied here.

And the CK-like "dynasties". It's so lite, it just isn't there. The characters have no character (actually, the game has no character, it matches the turgid brown of the UI). Just a name and modifiers. A few turns in, your screen is filled with these random nonenties with dozens of modifiers that add up to nothing. The events are a bad joke. Clearly just random text. Eventually, every turn is just "Event Happened..blah blah blah. Choose a) lose 30 food b) lose 20 gold. 20 years ago that was leading edge, today it is same-old same-old. They are so random, don't expect anything coherent. Example, a 10 year old child "is now an alcoholic". The shy timid courtier now complains that they want to lead an army. Your hated enemies pop up telling you how great you are. And the game gets bonus points for ripping off the "7 deadly sins and 7 virtues" from CK. Only, as with everything else in the game, implementing them worse. All get a bonus for people with the same sin. So Greedy people like greedy people. Envious people like envious people. WTF is that about? Sums up what an incoherent mess this game is.

Don't be fooled for one second the hype that "Old World is the NEW GENERATION of 4X!!!!". It's a routine, just about competent but uninspiring rehash of features and tropes seen in every 4X since the dawn of time. It adds nothing to the genre. Late game grind. Snowballing always wins. It's all there. Did I mention modifiers? It's like they've just been invented, thousands of them filling the screen so one wrong mouse move and your screen is filled with lists like an actuareis spreadsheet. if you're going to blatantly copy, at least improve it, polish it, don't make it worse. It looks like the design was a list of "Features that are popular with the masses" cobbled together. Religion? "I know, +10 to those with same religion, -10 for those with different religion." Because Christians always get along with other Christians? As everything else in this game, it's a lazy, uninspiring rehash. Just takes a few hours in to see it, though.

The historical flavour is minimal when it's not absurd. States that didn't exist at the same time, all thrown together in a way that could only appear "historical" to those who know less than nothing of history. By doing a search and replace on the game text, it could be a Medieval game. Or a Sci-fi game...what's the betting they do this next? I thought Humankind was a failure, but in contrast, Humankind deserve way more credit than Old World because at least Humankind genuinely tries new ideas and has innovations. Old World plays like a Civ 5 Mod. Civ 5 with some dumb random events added in - and all the fun bits modded out. BTW For Ancient era historical TBS with genuine innovative game mechanics that capture the feel of the historical era, Field of Glory: Empires wipes the floor with Old World, get that instead.

I loved Civ 4, was expecting more from Soren Johnsen, but this looks a cash-in thinking that awkwardly bolting 2 big sellers together would hit the jackpot. As if because curry is popular and everybody loves ice-cream, hey "Curried Ice-Cream will make us rich, I tell you". Old World is curried ice-cream, it's even the same colour!


jenis-ice-cream.jpeg
 

covr

Prophet
Patron
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
1,319
Location
Warszawa
One important thing for any new players - always set up your difficulty using 'advanced setup' button. I believe that some challenging options are turned on by default e.g. initial enemy development level. By default it is set to 'fledgling' or something similar. This means that on turn 1, once you settle your first city, all enemies would have 2 or 3 cities. It makes huge difference. For first gameplay I would recommend turning this off.

However, there's also 'ruthless AI' option, turned off by default, I would advise to always enable it. The AI would try to fuck you up when you are close to winning the game. You could expect some nasty surprises by the strongest rival close to the end game, which is a nice touch.
 

3 others

Scholar
Joined
Aug 11, 2015
Messages
151
Whoever said its not woke is incorrect. Wiman generals, leaders, etc. I guess it didnt go out of its way to rub your face in it last I played other than letting women do anything men can do. Which is bad enough.
I'm finding this design decision surprisingly annoying, it's sticking out like a sore thumb. Is the bar so low these days that when a game has no lesbian haircuts in character portraits, us content-starved gaymers can't help but call it wholesome, while everyone is missing this gigantic anachronism at the core of the game? Old World considers all characters completely interchangeable in contemporary crossdressing fashion. Generals are 50/50 male/female, as are councillors, grand viziers, religious leaders and everyone else. And there won't be an easy way to mod this out since you can only have a marriage between two actually existing characters in the game world, so if all statesmen and generals are men, how are marriages and dynasties supposed to be formed? As it is now, everything is modeled after the androgynous power couple dynamic of the 21st century.

Such an frustrating own goal. In that podcast I linked on the last page, Leyla Johnson describes the design decision behind this as 'amplifying' the role of the few extraordinary women in history. I think the reasoning went like "We know that a few women show up as military leaders in the historical records, so we're just taking an existing thing, and expanding it to fill more of the story". I have a somewhat solid grasp of Eurasian written history, and my understanding is that woman soldiers are overwhelmingly stuff of legend (Brünhilde, Ishtar, Athene, valkyries, amazons) or such exaggerated accounts of folk heroism that even Wikipedia admits the story is just fantasy:
This (anonymous) account mentioned in the next paragraph how the people of Haarlem stood on these earthworks and threw burning tar wreaths around the necks of the enemy, and described how one Spanish soldier jumped into the river Spaarne to douse the flames only to drown from the weight of his armor. Somehow the story arose that it was Kenau who threw these 'tar wreaths'. Kenau’s role as an earth carrier was soon glorified into a full-fledged soldier who was honored at the centennial celebrations of independence from Spain in 1673 and again during the bicentenary in 1773. By the 19th century she had led an army of 300 women against the Spanish, which had even been commemorated in a romantic painting by Barent Wijnveld and J.H. Egenberger.

Sure, every game of this kind starts with a fantastical setup where demigods like Romulus and Dido duke it out with Ashurbanipal and Hatsepsut, who should be separated by 1000 years of history, but I'm still annoyed that they went for idealized modern sexual politics instead of developing a more historically coherent design. Political marriages, empresses as regents, events, hostage exchange, Vestal virgins... there could have been a whole alternative event-focused ecosystem for the fairer sex.

Also, this is the first game that performs badly on my i7/GeForce 980M laptop. UI starts getting laggy around turn 40 even on the smallest map size and low graphics quality. Turn wait times are around 30 seconds. Not sure if I can ever finish a game, which is a dang shame because this is an excellent game.
 

Starwars

Arcane
Joined
Jan 31, 2007
Messages
2,829
Location
Sweden
The performance is still one of the worst things about the game unfortunately. I usually stop playing at around turn 120 or so, unless it's a very interesting game, because it gets so sluggish.
 

DakaSha

Arcane
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
4,792
The bs female general crap is indeed annoying. Performance is crap (though I'm lucky my system can handle it)

What I'm hoping for is something like a dune total conversion. Then we don't have to worry about the ahistoric shit, and can focus on what makes the game, the game.
 

3 others

Scholar
Joined
Aug 11, 2015
Messages
151
I think I've asked this before, but did not get an answer: what differentiates this game from nu-civ? Cause taking a peek at the surface, it sure looks like one. Not asking about the CK-layer btw, just the actual 4X part.
Haven't played any Civs after IV but I'm gonna try to answer this recurring question with a list based on a weekend's worth of playtime:

* More gains to be had with micromanagement. It's comparable to Fall From Heaven in that sense, but nowhere near Alpha Centauri and its crawler spam. Martially-inclined characters can be assigned as Generals to an unit. Scouts can forage stuff from the map. You can select a tutor for your child, etc. The UI doesn't quite convey every pending decision to me but it isn't bad by any stretch.
* Limited city sites. They have some urban hexes around them but city placement decisions are very restricted overall.
* Limited orders per turn. You're not an omnipresent demigod. You're a mortal ruler whose decrees and whims are bounded by your capacity to order your subjects around. The more legitimacy you have, the more you can get done. Moving units 'costs' orders. Appointing a new governor costs orders. Sending a diplomatic envoy costs orders. Most influence / negotiation decisions take multiple turns and have some randomness in them generally. Your ambassador might perform a total faux pas in your rival's court. It all makes the game very dynamic. By early midgame, you have much more things you'd want to get done that you have orders.
* You can undo your actions or complete turns.
* Your character is a manifestation of his traits and impulses. If you're Insane, your character might seek to take quicksilver to cure his illness and die. If you're Wanton, you can't choose to not boink that tribal princess who's been strutting around in your court.
* Your realm is much more chaotic and decentralized. The leading families' disposition towards you brings some benefits or hindrances: armies from cities owned by pleased families fight better and come cheaper. If they're furious with you, they might even start a civil war.
* There's a empire-wide stockpile of stuff your cities produce. The goods can be bought/sold on a marketplace so if you're out of wood for a while, you can still continue building mines (which require wood).
* City growth and production is a bit opaque and might be easier to understand if you never had played any Civ-style 4Xs before. Food is a commodity like all other yields, and cities grow by producing specific Growth yields. Some units are produced with food, others with Military Capacity, others with Civics. It's all a bit abstract and I don't really grok it yet. Number of productive tiles around a city is not tied to the city population. If your swarm of 10 workers builds a new fishing village full of lumber mills, it will start producing wood from all of them. The catch with population is that you can assign citizens as specialists to improved tiles, which will then generate highly improved yields. If you've created a Barracks, it will generate 2 Military Capacity points per turn. If you assign a citizen there as an officer, it will generate more points, and usually something else as well. Once placed, you can't detach these specialists. What's more, they drive your border expansion as well so you have full control over your border shape.
* Laws (comparable to Civics in earlier Civs, I think) are discovered as pairs and you have to select one of them. Polytheism or Monotheism? Slavery or Freedom? Can't have both.
 

Mr. Pink

Travelling Gourmand, Crab Specialist
Joined
Jan 9, 2015
Messages
3,044
PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
My view of 4x games is that none of them are going to be what I want, so what matters the most to me is how good of a platform the game is for mods. Civ V and VI were disappointing in that aspect because they had so many stupid design decisions baked in. There are a lot of things that annoy me about Old World but they seem pretty easy to fix, and the core gameplay is fun.

My main issue with Old World so far is that I'm not sold on the character mechanic. The idea is good, to allow for more compelling internal management and make running an empire harder than just blobbing and controlling happiness points. The execution smells too much like Paradox games, where characters feel like intangible sets of stat bonuses rather than actual agents that exist in the game world.

I dislike being bothered constantly by the same events over and over again that don't do anything but make you choose the most obvious option for a +1 to some stat. Micromanagement decision events like this are as annoying as they are in Crusader Kings. It would be more fun if players made fewer and more impactful decisions like setting an overall policy and allowing characters to make decisions for themselves based on their previous state. Raising a perfect heir by picking all the obviously right options gets super old after the first dozen times.

I think I'm going to start a game with characters off and see how that feels. There are a lot of great aspects in the 4x part of Old World, I just don't really care about micromanaging what these randomly generated portraits eat for breakfast (Sausage: +1 wisdom, your wife disapproves vs Eggs: gains patient trait).
 

Eyestabber

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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
Fwv4drg.png


PHEW! Am I the first to actually finish an entire game? Anyway, a couple days ago I said I would post "first impressions", but I never did because the game kept me hooked until now. It's the first game in a very long time to bring back the feeling of "just...one more...turn", so I won't make a secret of the fact that I very much enjoyed Old World. I'll post my bullet point pseudo review now, but the gist of it is "buy it if you're itching for a 4x and (very important) you have a capable computer. Wait for sales/patches/DLC otherwise". First I'm gonna list the BAD things about the game, the reasons for you to save your money, then I'm gonna go over the many qualities of OW and lastly I'm gonna point some...debatable design decisions I'm ambivalent about. Let's get started!

Reasons for :keepmymoney::
  • I'll start with the elephant in the room: wahmen warriors the crippling PERFORMANCE issues. You can tell how many hours a person has put into OW based on how strongly they complain about performance. Everything runs smoothly until turn 100 or so, when it starts to become sluggish. By turn 150 it gets REALLY painful and on turn 174 I was glad I wouldn't have to fight the big war I was preparing, because it would probably result in half an hour per turn. Old World doesn't run on old hardware, plain an simple. Readability is a chief concern in strategy games and sadly OW went for a form over function approach in that regard, which in turn aggravates the performance issues. Because everything looks so similar, I have to play with the resource layout on at all times and for whatever reason that makes the performance even worse. Big cities filled with improvements take a couple seconds to load every time and the horribly laggy UI makes microing workers in the late game extremely painful. Sadly, I don't think OW will ever break into the "4x Hall of Fame" unless these issues are somehow addressed.
  • Old World fails as a historical game due to its anachronism and complete lack of flavor. The issue of wahmen pretending to be men has been addressed here so I won't bother repeating the same points. That is not, however, the only issue. In a game like this I would expect the Civilopedia to be full of paintings, quotes by people like Aristotle, Plato, Cicero etc, discussions on ancient warfare, poems, Greek and Egyptian writings, but NAH. What you get when you press F1 is a sterile wikia with only the bare minimum information. There is nothing like this:
    4kPr9TG.png
    Not even the wonders have any flavor text, this is what you get:
    YyPdF5h.png
    Wonders just blend in with your regular buildings and are forgotten, much like the bonuses they provide. And last but not least, I'm no historian, BUT I'm pretty sure the longbow, windmills and pike squares are all medieval inventions, so seeing them in the game made me raise an eyebrow. Foreigners ruling cities and vagina pope are the icing on the cake.
  • City sites are :decline: and yes, I read the dev diary and it didn't change my mind. Knowing when and where to settle was one of the greatest puzzles of Civ and that has been sacrificed for the sake of solving a non-issue. Oh noes, people are building cities too close to each other, QUICK let's demolish a fundamental concept of 4x and replace it with a brainlet solution. This system makes Endless Legend's regions look clever by comparison. Things are made worse by the fact that there is not much of a solution to the issue of "this city site sucks, I wanna skip it". You end up with massive distances between cities AND if a hostile AI decides to take the site you can't raze the city. So you're stuck with a shitty city with no valuable resources and no room for proper building layout, much like this:
    xaZ0Zry.png
    No resources and no room to build decent urban improvements, this city is a prime candidate for razing. But for some retarded reason I can't do that. :roll:
Reasons for :takemymoney::
  • Turns are very dense and filled with meaningful (and some meaningless) decisions, especially early on. Improvements and city layout bring a puzzle of their own and there are plenty of nuances to managing your cities. It never reaches the point where you max out everything, there's always something you wish you had more, whether it's a particular resource you're being forced to buy, a specific kind of troop or even workers in general. The game does an excellent job in ensuring you're always looking forward to a new building, a new law, an upgrade to existing units, a new luxury, border expansions or a new wonder. Most importantly, OW is one of the few 4X with an actually interesting late game that doesn't feel like an extended victory lap.
  • The AI is quite competent at the game and will fuck you up if you're not careful. Unlike most 4x, OW's AI isn't psychotic or hardcoded into attacking you. It feels like you're dealing with real nations and you have to pick your friends and foes carefully, unless a war on two fronts spells your doom. In my game the Greeks took advantage of my war with Persia and attacked me in the west while my army was east, which forced me to peace out with Persia instead of finishing them off. I had to sacrifice a couple units and a city to buy time for my army to move. The diplomacy in OW is quite rich, with the added possibility of "resetting" relations after the death of a monarch. The guy whose father I assassinated, whose lands I conquered and whose armies I destroyed will never feel anything other than burning hatred for us but his son or grandson might be willing to patch things up. Relations are much more reliable and investing resources into buying some friends does pay off, unlike in TW games where "friendly" neighbors attack you just because.
  • Warfare is also a selling point for Old World, IMO. Unit effectiveness is heavily influenced by terrain, positioning is extremely important and the order limit forces you to balance combat moves, reinforcements, workers back home and the various administrative tasks. There's also a lot of work involved in preparation for a war, such as assigning generals, scouting enemy forces (and promoting your units accordingly) and trying to anticipate the reaction of other leaders to your imminent conflict. Between the AI surprising you with a flank maneuver and some asshole tribe deciding now is the perfect time to raid your lands, warfare in OW rarely goes according to plan.
  • Although the event system does feature some repetitive and boring choices, I think the "major" events are usually interesting and lead to some fun stories like the one I posted. While the vast majority of characters are indeed just a collection of modifiers, your monarch(s) and a few others stand out as protagonists of your game's "story". I also enjoy cultural and festival events, as they tell the story of your cities and present opportunities for further specialization. Speaking of which...
  • I like the family system since it's a way to nudge your cities in a particular direction from the very moment they are founded. Some family abilities are game changing, like being able to buy tiles and enacting decrees from a non-capital, some are nice to have, like being able to rush projects with gold and having all units start with the anti-tribe promotion. Overall I think the system is interesting, decently balanced and allows for different strategies to work within the same faction.
  • Luxury management is also a thing now and it provides an entire new layer of decisions that impact your research priorities, worker placements, diplomacy AND city management. Luxuries are no longer a matter of "find shiny rock -> profit", but rather "do I go straight for Land Consolidation?", "can I spare a citizen right now or do I have a military unit/project that takes priority?", "do I use it home or abroad?", "where is the closest worker?" and so on. That also ties with the order system, meaning that sometimes luxuries will remain unassigned because the ruler has more pressing concerns.
  • The resource management layer is also a strong point in OW. While early on you just need a handful of quarries and mines to get going, as the game progresses so will your demand for stones/iron/wood/food and you're forced to choose between more advanced specialists like philosophers, scribes, priests and doctors AND their "basic" counterparts like stonecutters, miners, farmers etc. Specialists are never replaced and you will always have to consider "do I want to maximize my city's production OR do I need some extra raw materials as well?". The management puzzle is always interesting, it never reaches the point where you no longer care about your next improvement because you already have everything.
Things I'm ambivalent about:
  • Unrest feels very gamey, with every "unrest level" adding a "-5% everything" to your cities and the player being unable to do much about it until much later on. In civ you had a pretty clear indicator of unrest: in a size 12 city, 2 workers won't work, you can see their angry faces on the city screen and usually you can deal with that problem immediately. In OW you see a progress bar and think "I need to unlock some countermeasures before things get too bad". It doesn't feel very proactive, it's more about crossing fingers and hoping your chancellor will get to that city before everyone explodes in :butthurt:. Unrest is a slow burn, unlike in Civ where a big war could quickly lead to drafting + war weariness tanking your economy in merely a handful of turns.
  • I think units move a little bit too much? It's like Soren was trying to make up for all the jokes people made about Civ 4 armies taking LITERAL CENTURIES to get from point A to point B. In OW only siege weapons remain painfully slow. With enough orders and training you can move entire legions from one front to another in less than three turns, and cavalry can be almost omnipresent. On one hand it's interesting because you can reproduce Gallienus' cavalry-centered reforms in game, and it makes perfect sense to do so, but OTOH this excessive freedom can sometimes lead to nonsensical gamey situations where a brand new Legionary fresh out of the academy in Rome reaches the front 30+ tiles away on the same turn. Sure, that's a nice reward for players who had been banking orders and training, but...:roll:
  • Barbarians are a mixed bag. I like that the game is very transparent with its barbarians, no longer do they materialize out of thin air, they come from encampments or tribal villages. However, I'm not sold with city sites magically reverting back to barbarians, forcing you to either colonize ASAP or sacrifice a military unit to guard them for the rest of the game.
  • I hope different forms of government are implemented soon. Playing Rome as a kingdom feels weird, there are very few reliable historical sources on the so called "kings of Rome", the Republican period is much better documented and known. I wish some transition was possible, maybe a particularly twisted king could trigger the rape of Lucretia, in turn triggering the deposition of Tarquinius Superbus? Later on, as the relations between families reach an all time low it could trigger civil war, followed by the Principate? Just thinking out loud...
  • I'm not really sold on water tiles being "dead" as far as city output is concerned, I think the game should allow something to be built there. Even sand terrain can be used for quarries and history is filled with "seafaring" peoples, which leads me to believe the ocean has been treated unfairly in Old World. EDIT: this is not accurate, Harbors are built on coastal water.
  • Religion is much more complex than it was in Civ 4, with Theologies and levels of tolerance spicing things up. However in my game I ignored it entirely and just stuck with "Tolerance" simply because I couldn't be bothered to choose one of the big four and develop them properly. The game had enough going on that I felt like Religion wasn't really my concern. Some of my monarchs were roman pagans, others were Christians and there wasn't much difference between either tbh.
Anyway, I guess that's it for now. Maybe I'll start a new campaign or maybe I'll try the other non-tutorial scenarios, but I am far from being done with the game.
 
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Malakal

Arcane
Glory to Ukraine
Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Messages
10,272
Location
Poland
Ye got to agree, also have mixed feelings. I like developing my characters, events and some mechanics but not being able to pick where you settle and increasing micro hell is a bit off putting.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2013
Messages
651
That's a pretty decent summary and there's little else to add honestly. I'll just remark that the game has done little to fix the problem of those mid to end game moments of Civ, where you'll end up pigeonholing yourself into spamming certain generic city projects (Inquiry, Decree, Festivals...) to give you that lighting speed boost to the finish line. This is especially damning for ambition victory because 1. AI can't pursue it. 2. It can be heavily scientific oriented meaning about 15-20 turns of archive and inquiry spam + a scholar governor or two will bring it home easily, much in the way you'd blitz towards endgame techs in civ 6 via campus research.
On that note, might be just me personally but I highly dislike the generic nature of city projects. Forum I II III IV, Treasury I II III IV, all that shit could've been separated into something more unique and meaningful other than the "burn civics for a few turns to get some other mana to burn". It doesn't help immersion and feels gamey as fuck, all the more thanks to the fact that no events seem to be tied to these projects whatsoever.

PS: Don't automate workers and scouts. It's performance heavy as fuck and will just add time to your end turn period.
 
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