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Finally, a new SMAC game

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  • 1 month later...

If this remake of Alpha Centauri and sequel to Civilization 5 is anything like the vanilla version of Civ 5, it will be masochistic. :whip:

I will give it a shot... AFTER they are done releasing expansions for it, and there are good mods to fill in the blanks. And it will only be played ONCE and never again.


My advice to you, if you still want to play Beyond Earth, do your research on the game, mod out the flaws, then play it.



OK, short synopsis over. You can stop reading.

Now for the rant of crazy... :butcher:


Before this trailer post I have never played a Civilization game in my life. After finally beating one long game, my opinions on the series is mixed to negative.


Don’t get me wrong, I played turnbased strategies before. My favorites are Ascendancy (1995) and Liberation day (1998). So I finally decided to give this series a shot over a month ago. “Latest installment. Should be good” I thought. Got the Civilization 5 vanilla version... :twitch:


All I wanted was to start in Ancient Era on Earth as the Egyptian Empire on the Nile river, build the Pyramids, and win the game trough making friends and exterminating enemies. No time, tech or culture victory. Maximum number of AIs, maximum number of city states.


The graphics were good, the mechanics were OK, the world map was laughably poor, and the vanilla version diplomacy was disgusting. Sid Meier (I hate you now) had the bright idea of sprucing up diplomacy by not giving any feedback on your interactions - if another nation was upset, for the life of me, I could not tell why. Neighbors constantly gave me mean looks, then invaded for no apparent reasons.


The diplomacy was so awful that I called the in game Bismarck caricature “Surprise bu** r*** Bismarck”, wrote a satirical poem about my experience, drew a picture of it (which made at least one random dude laugh), all while reloading the game. (More on reloading in a bit)




SBRBismarck violated me twice in vanilla. :sob: The vanilla diplomacy was so stupid that the developers quickly patched it out.


Another major vanilla fail - the game likes to use leader names only. And it has 22 AI slots, but only 18 leaders - good luck guessing which Catherin the Great you are going to war with.




Overall I had a terrible experience playing the game.

But that’s not the end of the story. No, not by a long shot.




I wasn’t going to give up so easily and let my title of “veteran strategy gamer” be taken away by this game – I went and got the gold version (expansions and all). In comparison, the vanilla version now felt more half finished than a full standalone game.


Some problems didn’t change.

Just getting started was a PAIN. To set up a game you need 1-3 minutes, to reload the game you need 35 seconds. You can only reroll the map on the start turn, else go back to setting it from scratch. So if you want to start in a specific area without neighbors hogging it, it may take from 30 minutes of reloading to 2 hours. I had to go read a book with halfminute breaks to kill the time.


The technology tree was really lacking in the futuristic department. It only had XCOM and a Giant Death Robot. No RC drones, airships or flying StarCraft battlecruisers. No chemical or biological weapons. No androids, reconnaissance satellites or orbital bombardment WMDs. No conversion of production to food, culture, faith or endless parties to boost happiness. And no way to turn off the final research quote from G.W.Bush.


Then there is the faith mechanic. You would think when you found your first city, you would have the option to select a belief at the start.


No! You collect faith points to start a pantheon, then quickly collect even more faith to start one of the 8 world religions, and hope nobody cheats by selecting a “+1 faith per every forest tile” while starting in a forest. And to make the race for religion even more painful, the great prophet “has a chance to appear” when you accumulated enough faith. It was practically mandatory to find 2 ruins with faith bonuses to get a religion started.


If you managed to beat the other AI to it, the religion selection is just 13 icons, of which most are AD religions. You would think they would at least try and put corresponding civilizations religions in. Had to mod in the Egyptian Pesedjet.


Another painful flaw – no warnings that mods in savegames fail if loaded without activating the moding. Lost a day of gameplay this way.


Also, there are no AI improvements. The game difficulty above Normal is plain out cheating – they literally cripple your production, and give massive discounts to the AI.




At least the diplomacy and backstabbing got more reasonable. Don’t have the biggest army – expect an invasion. But having to constantly build troops interfered with my historical reenactments. Not to mention Korea, stationed in Morocco, always went backstaby first.




The AI economy was always poor in the second half of the game. They constantly built useless armadas, ran around in circles, ruining their budget into -1000 gold per turn. When I discovered that it was a lot cheaper to buy “declarations of war” between other players than go to war myself, the game got boring.




When we started building atom bombs, the blood went rushing as did the fear. I didn’t know how powerful the nukes were. Then the leading AI quickly passed the no building nukes law, leaving me with 10 bombs, and them all with 5 total. I only used 3 out of my stockpile, and never got nuked myself. Sadly, the fallout was poorly represented and was easily removed without consequences.




Here are some other of my gripes with the game:

Defeated civilization armies don't become barbarians, they just disappear in this version. If you turn on the "Complete kills", hunting rouge units is impossible and the AI still has all his votes in UN.

If you last over 300 turns the game slows down to 2-3 turns per hour.

The civilization happiness goes up when cities fall.

The ideology is limited to 3 generic systems.

AI takes forever to calculate 3 front war.

The Earth world map was too small and ugly – Italy was 2 tiles big.

Some obvious one-hit kills don’t work




The roads don’t have crossroads, and building a railroad in parallel gives an ugly result of circles.




Submarines shoot torpedoes through land.



It was fun to see how geography shaped the world we live in, but overall the game lacked in many features. And by the Gods, don’t play the Vanilla version – it will traumatize you.


My advice to you, if you still want to play Beyond Earth, do your research on the game, mod out the flaws, then play it.


P.S At least this wasn’t as bad as my Mafia 1 experience.

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Thanks for this, I was close to getting this game til I read this. That's bogus that the same sucked so badly for you, but the comic strip is a laugh riot. I've played Civilization and a lot of clones. One of them dealt with trying to reach space first, can't for the life of me remember what it was. Anyway, I've played a lot of games like this: build an empire, then decide whether you're going to use diplomacy, science, or war to be the top society/reach space/etc. I always try to use science and diplomacy. I always try to be a firm yet fair ruler and a peaceful neighbor, adopting a "don't start crap and there won"t BE crap" philosophy. I try my best to do the "make love not war, what would Jesus do, etc" thing, you get the picture. But it in the end, it always turns to "BOMB THEM SUNSA BEACHES!". So I've come to one of two conclusions: either A) I have a violently morbid streak or B) we as a human race as a whole have destructive tendencies. Either way, these games always end with my war machines rolling through the smoking remains of conquered races, with one or two people left weeping on their knees with their hands stretching to the heavens, sobbing "Why? You Sunsa beaches, WHY? It didn't have to be like this!"

Edited by Gilberticus
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