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Old March 24, 2001, 23:43   #1
Wiglaf
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SMAC on Trial
SMAC, as a standalone game, is excellent. Most of the hardcores (the casual audience was totally missed by Firaxis) would rank it above the majority if not all of it's fellow strat and/or turn based games. And that's probably true. No wait, it is.

But then the stunning reality sets in - SMAC really is civ version 2, and we all know that. And while a good deal of people would say an improved version is better than the original simply because it's improved (after all, why play a worse version of the same thing), it is reasonable to wonder exactly why the AC community now boycotts civilization. When I look at the pros of SMAC, I see (and many of you have pointed this out to me) that it pioneered the empire border system, unique faction attributes, and 3D terrain. But, let's face it, that's asthetic.

Here come the cons. But first, I'll attempt to address the pros first. As for the border system, I can say that this is an intelligent system that, although not perfect, does represent innovation. But it goes downhill from there. The faction attributes, IMO, take away from the gameplay. I mean, after a while, Sister Miriam becomes pretty much worthless and easy to wipe out. As for the rest, it's simply ridiculous to have to run their system of government or face war. The superpowers of today are varied. They are not hurling nukes at each other (ok, so civ has that too ). And 3D terrain? Nice, but it's not a make or break thing. And SMAC's solo play seems to have gotten easier (or have I gotten better )

Now the biggie: how, in comparison to civ2, would you rate SMAC? Come on, boot it up and play a game of the classic. Something about the Carthaginians raiding Rome with chariots and later with warheads leaves a better taste in my mouth than using a Vorpal Dog to laser a pathetic Morganite (SMAC's a wargame, what's he doing with economics ?)

I don't mean to attack the game (how many times in the past have I said this?), but I get a bit put off when people bad mouth civ because of its age. And that's really what this is about: the newer has more of an appeal than the old. In ten years, graphics and processors will improve, and that causes gameplay and development houses to do the opposite. I really wrote this to give fair recognition to the game that began it all. And don't think I'm anti-alpha centauri. Just glance at the name .

Soo, On a scale of one to ten, how'd you rate SMAC/civ? Is the setting a deciding factor (Chrion vs. Earth), or is it the multiplayer that overrules all of the above gameplay issues? I'd probably give SMAC an 8 and civ an 8.5. No doubt SMAC is a standalone better game (and that's what probably counts), but I figured a good look into the heart of it would be a nice break from the everyday discussion.
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Old March 24, 2001, 23:55   #2
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hmmm...many good points. I love SMAC...but I love Civ also. I still get a thrill when I think of the classic. I was six years old when I began the game...I still remember when I showed my Granfather some new victory...

SMAC gave me the same "feel". I was on a quest, finding out about a new and alien world. Civ instilled in me a love of history. SMAC got me started into SiFi.

I like them both, but I'll say Smac at 9/Civ at 9.5.
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Old March 25, 2001, 01:37   #3
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SMAC is very definitely a wargame. It seems that just as soon as I get through in a fight with one faction, another starts up with another faction simply because I made peice with the first faction!!! And, of course, this drastic cycle of violence continues on and on and on. . . And the funny think is, the computer always provokes me, and always loses!!! You would think that after a while the computer would take a hint!!!
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Old March 25, 2001, 01:56   #4
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I've always wondered exactly why fans of either game would dislike the other. Is it the sci-fi versus conventional issue? If fans of these games could have both free, would they change their minds about the other one? I often hear Civ fans bemoan SMAC because it's just a new veneer over an old game, they say. But most of those reviews were written at a time when you had to pay full retail to buy the game. How would they feel now that they can buy SMAC for less than $10? I love discussions like this, because it helps me to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of a game. Thanks for starting the thread.
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Old March 25, 2001, 06:31   #5
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For me, I think that it's the story behind SMAC that makes me stick more to it than to Civ. To me it just feels more like i'm inside the story, while in Civ it's 'just' history.

It's not because it's newer and looks nicer and things like that though. I almost like Civ more than Civ2.. At least I've played the first one much more than I did with the second.

There's something about SMAC that wakes some old dream about getting to travel to another star I guess. The games are pretty much alike, but the story/world of SMAC just feels much more, *searches for words* Uhm, hmm, I guess I'd rather be a leader of one of the factions in SMAC than the leader of one of the empires in Civ.

I would like to see a movie that takes place in the SMAC world too. Just love SMAC.

Nah, time to stop rambling.. Hope I got some of my thoughts through tho..
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Old March 25, 2001, 12:10   #6
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No prob, rwprice. I don't think I've ever heard anyone bring up the cost issue and its effect on the immediate originality factor of a game, certainly a good idea and point. I think that, in my specific case, I ignore price unless it's something ridiculous when judging gameplay, but I may have done it without knowing it.

quote:

I've always wondered exactly why fans of either game would dislike the other. Is it the sci-fi versus conventional issue?


In many ways yes, it is. It's more of a kick to use a musket to bring down a mammoth elephant than to use a laser on a cyber tank, at least for some people (or in my beautiful example, a Vorpal Dog on a pathetic Morganite). Edit: I noticed you said fans of either game dislike the other - that's not always the case. I love SMAC and civ, like most other people on these forums. But there is a mild war going on between the Civ and AC sections, no doubt there.

quote:

For me, I think that it's the story behind SMAC that makes me stick more to it than to Civ. To me it just feels more like i'm inside the story


That's the thing: to me, in civ, you make the story, wheras in SMAC you must follow one. (example, meet a mindworm, get a note - instead of having a mini-missile crisis, a nuclear war over a spacerace, etc)

quote:

SMAC gave me the same "feel". I was on a quest, finding out about a new and alien world. Civ instilled in me a love of history. SMAC got me started into SiFi.


You're lucky - normally if you weren't into scifi at the time you bought the game you'd be in for a scare, especially if you loved civ2.

I'm interested in knowing how the unique faction abilities changed some of your games in ways civ2's identical factions never good, for better or for worse. It's both made my gaming experiance more enjoyable and less enjoyable at times (those aliens and the aforementioned Miriam's constant tech stag).
[This message has been edited by SMACed (edited March 25, 2001).]
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Old March 25, 2001, 15:16   #7
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But you're missing the big picture. While SMAC does incorporate features that make it, probably, better than civ2, they are asthetic. No major changes to gameplay were made, only minor switches to help little tasks such as build queues and horrific governors (no real switch from civ2). If you honestly pick SMAC over civ because of the queues, then you'll pick civ3 over SMAC because it has better graphics.

I'm not contending that civilization stands up to and defeats AC - it doesn't. But it's a very close race and building queues just don't cut it as a wide margin of victory. Here are SMAC's improvements:

Change/ Impact on Gameplay

Queues Time Saver
Council Little; if anything it is too easy to manipulate
Borders Considerable, nothing classic-making however
3D Terrain Asthetic, helps strategy a bit
Diplomacy Little. First, there was no change in the engine. Second, it's far too easy to convince the AI to trade a poor base or tech
Easier Trade Makes MUCH easier, takes away skill
Crawlers Makes MUCH easier, takes away skill
Different Faction Styles Easy to exploit over time, some factions are a complete waste, takes away some skill
More Victory Options Makes MUCH easier; the AI can't even do some.
Aliens Annoying, takes away lots and lots of skill

That makes a 4.5/10. (+'s for Queues, Borders, Terrain, and Diplomacy, if you want the Planetary Council) Don't tell me that's all it's got going for it to put the game so far and away better than civ2, especially because some of the negative features overrule the positive ones!
[This message has been edited by SMACed (edited March 26, 2001).]
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Old March 25, 2001, 16:23   #8
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SMACed, I think you should change your name into SMACdead (to offence intended)

I LOVE SMAC/X. When I played SMAC/X over a long period of time, I took a Civ:Call To Power demo (I ain't got the game) and I was bored easily. I am not saying that the game is rubbish but it's just my style. I like SF and those kinda things. I do not think that SMAC is purely a wargame. It isn't. It's the way you play it. If you play in 'ideologically' as you may call it (taking it with your own ambitions and ideologies) it's an amazing experience. That is why a so called SMAC2 is needed, with many less mestakes of the previous: too many bugs to fix and there wasn't much care taken of the whole thing. I feel that SMAX was done 'on the quicky' and unfinished, as if they just did it in a week and said: 'OK this should please the fans for a time'.

I'll soon post a thread on this. Sorry to offend anyone, SMACed .
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Old March 25, 2001, 17:19   #9
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Interesting question. Coming from a civ/civ2 heavy background I think civ2 perfected a great game system. Then Reynolds et al used it to make a great game.

Sure, the value of some changes is debatable and things like crawlers seriously affect balance. So? They are available to everyone except the artificial idiot.


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Old March 25, 2001, 18:06   #10
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quote:

SMACed, I think you should change your name into SMACdead


Two things about that:

1) It makes no sense at all.
2) It is quite possible to make an arguement to point out and/or bring out a game's weaknesses in comparison to an older classic without attacking the game itself. I believe you forgot that in your suggested name change that I still don't understand - I'm presuming it was some kind of AC-biased insult.

I'm still curious as to whether or not there are still many people on these forums with an open mind. SMAC is a great game, but Cybergod, you send a message that in order to show support for a game you must show 100% hatred for those who evaluate it and bring fair criticism. I'm sorry if I offended you.

I am interested if anyone agrees with some of the things I said
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Old March 25, 2001, 18:31   #11
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Here comes an opinion from someone who hasn't really got a right to say something in this thread, since I'VE NEVER PLAYED CIV!

But if it's true that Civ doesn't have a Multiplayer mode then here's the one big advantage SMAC has over Civ (not knowing, as I pointed out, anything about other possible advantages of one or the other).
IMO, all turn-based strat games will tend to get *very* boring (albeit still *very* addictive) when you've played them hundreds of times, in fact, the only thing that keeps me playing SMAC is the MP game.

That said, it is clear I won't bother to buy civ3, unless they will give it an MP mode, in which case, I'm probably in on it.

As far as the discussion historic setting against SciFi, I think both are very attractive, it's more the game mechanics and the strategic and tactical possibilties that will decide which game I like better.


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Old March 25, 2001, 18:44   #12
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all,


just to put myself into the discussion I woould like to share my experience with both civ and smac. I am one of the rare ones that played smac before any version of civ. Although both games obviously are alike in many aspects there is some huge differences still. many of them mentioned above by others in this thread. The problems that seem to arise with smac factions being to "story-bound" actually occurs also in civ, and I would say that it's even worse than smac. Why? If you can't imagine miriam being "the great research mind" how can even try to pretend that the romans ever could fire off a nuke, or the chinese being the first with automobile? Anyway both games have there pro and cons, with civ being the first and the original while smac is the next generation and the future.

For the record: I bought smac seven month ago and got my hands on civ II resently.

I probably have more to say but I can't remember what right now. I get back to you.
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Old March 25, 2001, 18:52   #13
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There are other differences in SMAC that really change the gameplay in subtle ways. The first is the increase in number of drones when the number of bases exceeds certain limits. The second is the loss of efficiency due to distance from the home base remains present regardless of SE choices, while in Civ, choice Democracy, for example, would totally eliminate waist regardless of distance from home base. The combination makes the normal CIV strategy of very large empires somewhat counterproductive. In SMAC, one has to learn how to play with fewer number of cities.

However, this latter point does have its own benefit. One of the problems in CIV (or in SMAC) is the shear tedium of managing a large number of cities. Making do with fewer makes the game more fun.

But, on the other hand, SMAC has two features which really screw the game up in SP: PODS and the Crawler upgrade "bug." Pods enable the human player to find and retrieve artifacts which are critical to staying even with AI in research. Fortunately, there is an option to turn this off, making the game that much harder.

Second, the ability to upgrade crawlers at a much lower cost than the cost of minerals for an SP makes it incredibly easy for the human player to beat the AI to any SP, given an equal start. I believe there is a consensus in this community that this is one bug that has to be fixed to make the game more balanced.
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Old March 25, 2001, 19:39   #14
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quote:

But if it's true that Civ doesn't have a Multiplayer mode then here's the one big advantage SMAC has over Civ


While civ does not have a multiplayer game in its oringinal form, it does have one in its Gold edition, so that concern is rested. Even so, I think that the oringinal civ version has the best single player of all modes of all games (civ1, gold, smac), except for ac multi.

quote:

Why? If you can't imagine miriam being "the great research mind" how can even try to pretend that the romans ever could fire off a nuke, or the chinese being the first with automobile?


Oh, but the thrill of recreating history is awesome. Its that very novelty (romans with nukes, etc) that make the game so fun and interesting.

quote:

The first is the increase in number of drones when the number of bases exceeds certain limits. The second is the loss of efficiency due to distance from the home base remains present regardless of SE choices


Ah, but that is a very minor change that has little to do with designer talent. I think those things can be edited in civ's data files, so I wouldn't make a final descision on it based on that.

quote:

Second, the ability to upgrade crawlers at a much lower cost than the cost of minerals for an SP makes it incredibly easy for the human player to beat the AI to any SP, given an equal start.


Yes, but if you beat an AI to an SP it can switch to another while keeping the previous research. Or it could simply cancel the whole thing in favor of a scout patrol. Nevermind, I see what you mean

I think it was mentioned that smac was the "new" and civ was the "old". And you could argue Tetris is the new and Chess was the old, but that wouldn't be correct. Because computer games are known to be disposable, a game that comes only a few years after the classic is known as ancient.

edit- paragraph added and quotes shortened
[This message has been edited by SMACed (edited March 25, 2001).]
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Old March 25, 2001, 19:48   #15
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SMACed -- I think your arguement has veered from its original course. First, you claimed that the differences in SMAC vs. Civ were only aesthetic, but your arguement is really driving at the idea that what SMAC has implimented has made the game easier, or in your words "takes away skill".

Now, if you want to argue about which game is easier to beat I would probably agree that it is SMAC (against the AI), but the reason for this is because the game has added more features to manipulate that the AI can handle. Perhaps you haven't played multiplayer games or maybe just not enough to realize the skill involved in manipulating some of the features you've classified as "Makes MUCH easier, takes away skill".

I'm also baffled on how a feature that isn't even in CIV2 can detract from a "skill" when originally there was no such feature. Certainly there are features that weren't supposed to be available, such as the trading of a small base for a huge AI base, and are ridiculous to even included in the catagories you've mentioned.

I'm also confused about how some factions are "a complete waste" and are easy to exploit over time. I disagree, the unique faction attributes are not simply asthetic. If that were the case every faction would be played exactly the same which if you had played it you would recognize is not true. As I'm sure you know some factions can't choose certain SE choices which drastically changes their play style and window of opportunity. For instance, some factions can't pop boom or require golden ages to do so, which hinders their growth drastically.

I tend to disagree with you about SMAC being a straight war game as well. In fact I believe the game to be based far more on efficent economics that straight war. Try not building net nodes or energy banks and see what kind of army you can muster and how fast. Try not building formers or expanding your amount of bases. Try not changing any SE choices or manipulating your economy percentages. Try no crawlers. These are all economic aspects that factor into your ability to wage war.

Again, I can agree that I've had an easier time beating the AI in SMAC, that I did in Civ2, but this wasn't your agruement. You claimed the features added didn't amount to different game play. Now, if your waiting for the perfect game that will challenge you like a human can you should look into some of the chess programs available, and even these fall short. On the other hand, you might also want to consider multiplayer play be email games of SMAC or even hot seat with a friend. SMAC isn't on trial here, the AI is, and we've all read posts about what the SMAC AI leaves us desiring.
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Old March 25, 2001, 20:46   #16
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quote:

Originally posted by SMACed on 03-24-2001 10:43 PM
The superpowers of today are varied.


Actually, the superpowers of today are all basically free market democracies(US + EU), or shifting towards such(China). When one of the super powers had police state (USSR), they very nearly came to hurling nukes, and the democratic powers have fairly strained relations with China.

And Yes, I realize this is mostly irrelevant.

-Sir Rale Hawkeye

Edt: Spelling
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Old March 25, 2001, 21:13   #17
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WE, I want to preface my reply with a little note. I'm very sorry I offended you, it appears I've angered you. I don't think that your tone is justified, especially since it's only a game and it's only a post, but your opinion is your opinion and mine is mine. The last thing I want is a flame war. Onward...

quote:

Now, if you want to argue about which game is easier to beat I would probably agree that it is SMAC (against the AI), but the reason for this is because the game has added more features to manipulate that the AI can handle. Perhaps you haven't played multiplayer games or maybe just not enough to realize the skill involved in manipulating some of the features you've classified as "Makes MUCH easier, takes away skill".


Well, the reason doesn't really matter. If the game's easy, it's easy, I dont care if it's because it's autographed by Ben Franklin. And multiplay is indeed quite good. But it opens up its own flaws (see below).

quote:

I'm also baffled on how a feature that isn't even in CIV2 can detract from a "skill" when originally there was no such feature. Certainly there are features that weren't supposed to be available, such as the trading of a small base for a huge AI base, and are ridiculous to even included in the catagories you've mentioned.


I don't understand. Normally, I'd agree that even if a feature's bad, it's better than none at all. But not when that feature harms gameplay.

quote:

I'm also confused about how some factions are "a complete waste" and are easy to exploit over time. I disagree, the unique faction attributes are not simply asthetic. If that were the case every faction would be played exactly the same which if you had played it you would recognize is not true. As I'm sure you know some factions can't choose certain SE choices which drastically changes their play style and window of opportunity. For instance, some factions can't pop boom or require golden ages to do so, which hinders their growth drastically.


Yes, but it's my belief that Miriam is so tech-stagged its awful, Lal is so overpowered politically he could blow up the moon, and Zak has a tech bonus that can dominate both militarily and diplomatically, overriding Lal and Miriam. That's just the way my games play out . And in multi, it appears that certain factions are do's and some are don't's.

quote:

I tend to disagree with you about SMAC being a straight war game as well. In fact I believe the game to be based far more on efficent economics that straight war. Try not building net nodes or energy banks and see what kind of army you can muster and how fast. Try not building formers or expanding your amount of bases. Try not changing any SE choices or manipulating your economy percentages. Try no crawlers. These are all economic aspects that factor into your ability to wage war.


Good point. But if crawlers are needed to wage war, that seems like a war game to me.

quote:

SMAC isn't on trial here, the AI is, and we've all read posts about what the SMAC AI leaves us desiring.


Oh no. The whole design is. From the diplomacy, to the SE. Very little about the AI, really.

And Sir Hawkeye, that's a perfectly good point. But China's communist and they aren't calling up the U.S. or Britain demanding they become communist (nevermind ).
[This message has been edited by SMACed (edited March 25, 2001).]
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Old March 25, 2001, 22:13   #18
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Offended??? Flame war??? Tone??? Angry???

My point was you began talking about the aesthetic additions of SMAC and how they didn't really change much and then you veered of into space (pardon the pun) about how easy the game is which has precious little to do with whether the features added were merely asthetic or not. And, as of yet, you still haven't provided any of us with evidence that: yes, in fact, this feature added to the game was just asthetic. You seem to be convinced the game hasn't added anything since Civ2, which I believe is biased by your obvious preference to historical gaming, and have only based this on the premise that the AI is easier to conquer.

I think several additions to this game has altered game play beyond what was possible in Civ2 making the game far more complex and rich. Certainly I struggled with the Civ2 AI more that with the SMAC AI, but what that DOES NOT prove is that the features added to SMAC are purely aesthetic.

Even the seperation of colony pod and terraformer add a new dimension to the game that goes beyond aesthetics. The 3 dimensional aspect of the map also allows you to raise or sink land, an option that wasn't available in Civ2 -- your little island doesn't have to stay a little island. The idea of a unit chassis and a design workshop is a leap beyond Civ2. Even the diplomacy gives several more options that weren't available in Civ such as the submissive pact and levels of hostility. And by no means does the use of a crawler for the purpose of war make this a war game. There are several options you have after producing a crawler besides dumping it in a prototype or farming minerals. In fact, you don't even have to go to war if you don't want to, and why isn't Civ2 a war game?
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Old March 25, 2001, 22:33   #19
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quote:

Offended??? Flame war??? Tone??? Angry???


Yeah, your message seemed to provoke a bit.

quote:

that DOES NOT prove is that the features added to SMAC are purely aesthetic.


I think you're taking this aesthetic thing a bit too far. I believe the only thing I called aesthetic was the 3D terrain. And I said that the features also harm gameplay, just like the completely ruined SP.

quote:

You seem to be convinced the game hasn't added anything since Civ2, which I believe is biased by your obvious preference to historical gaming, and have only based this on the premise that the AI is easier to conquer.


There you go. That's an unbased attack calling me biased although I've shown no tendancy of it. I've said many prefer history over scifi and that it is a deciding factor in the marketplace. And I've said the game did add a lot (read the beginning of the first post!). That's what I mean. You've taken the offensive and made some pretty pointless attacks. Try to keep that to a min. I'm curious as to whether or not you prefer scifi to history, however.

Looks like this forum really, really supports SMAC relentlessly. It's a shame to see fanboys taking over the place without regard to the quality of the product they bought in relation to its prequel. I'm just trying to bring up a small topic about whether or not civ is, in its heart, a more oringinal, satisfying experiance.

But I'd still like to know if anyone agrees with me
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Old March 25, 2001, 22:36   #20
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An evil double post.

[This message has been edited by SMACed (edited March 25, 2001).]
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Old March 25, 2001, 22:37   #21
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If we are "putting SMAC on trial", what are the charges?

SMAC is by no means perfect, of course, it has its flaws. But, I think that SMAC did advance the civ genre a lot compared to civ2. the new features are more than just aesthetic. They do improve the game in a way that I believe makes it more enjoyable than civ2.
I enjoy the historical aspect of civ2 too, but that alone does not make civ2 better than SMAC. The truth is that civ2 is "old" compared to SMAC because of the SUM of the new features in SMAC. Personally, I can't get myself to play civ2 anymore because I prefer the features of SMAC. I can't see myself playing a game without borders, without build queues or without SE now that I know what the game is like with them.

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Old March 25, 2001, 23:31   #22
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quote:

I enjoy the historical aspect of civ2 too, but that alone does not make civ2 better than SMAC.


Oh no, I'm not saying that. I'm saying SMAC is better when directly compared, but a good hard look at civ and smac will show that civ has strong multi and much stronger single player ( the sp part is already agreed upon), and as such shouldn't be boycotted like it is now. That's what I'm saying. I'm saying that civ shouldn't be considered old because a game came along that does nothing to change the engine but instead adds some nice little things that were missing from civ. In ten years, will smac or civ be a classic? Surely SMAC won't be known as a classic because it has borders and better graphics. Pound for gameplay pound, I'd have to say civ delivers the simple, direct goods without the forced plot, aliens, and conversions of civ units.

I guess my point is that Civ2 pioneered the engine. SMAC merely reuses it. Now I'm not a smac hater. I'm upset that you guys are civ haters.
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Old March 25, 2001, 23:53   #23
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SMACed -- Here's what you said:

"But then the stunning reality sets in - SMAC really is civ version 2, and we all know that. And while a good deal of people would say an improved version is better than the original simply because it's improved (after all, why play a worse version of the same thing), it is reasonable to wonder exactly why the AC community now boycotts civilization. When I look at the pros of SMAC, I see (and many of you have pointed this out to me) that it pioneered the empire border system, unique faction attributes, and 3D terrain. But, let's face it, that's asthetic."

Now, to me you've just stated that all the pro's are simply asthetic. I'm not sure this could be interpreted any other way, and appears to be the thesis of your arguement.

You also stated this:

"Something about the Carthaginians raiding Rome with chariots and later with warheads leaves a better taste in my mouth than using a Vorpal Dog to laser a pathetic Morganite."

So, my comment about your bias towards historically gaming, in fact, does have a basis, and wasn't just pulled out of the sky. Here, you clearly state that you enjoy historical gaming over sci-fi. I don't think this could be interpretted into anything else. I hardly think this is a "pointless attack". What I'm suggesting here is that you are biased toward historically gaming, that's not an attack it's an observation.

It's not that I relentlessly support SMAC. It's the fact that your making claims without supporting evidence other that the AI is easier to beat. Of course their going to use stuff from Civ, but they've taken it to another level and you haven't been able to refute that.

I'm not a civ hater either. I think that SMAC has more to offer and have decided to play it versus Civ2. Now if you think I'm attacking you, you underestimate me. What most people call this exchange of words is an "arguement". If I intended to attack you I would and have. Instead I choose to attack your words. In order for you to "win" this arguement, thereby convincing me that: yes, Civ2 has so much more to offer or that the additions made to SMAC are purely asethetic; you need to demonstrate that the pro's you mentioned earlier are simply asethetic which you orginally claimed with supporting evidence. Otherwise I'm forced to believe you are either confused or simply biased toward historical gaming.

As a side note, I actually prefer WWII era gaming or fantasy.
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Old March 26, 2001, 01:26   #24
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how did a "Smac on Trial" turn into "smac vs civ2 contest" with WE on one side and SMACed (confusing choice of name by way .... )on the other?


beside I also would like to know what "charges" Smac is confronted with.
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Old March 26, 2001, 01:37   #25
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Well, I prefer SMAC over civ2 precisely because it is vastly improved over civ2. Like you said: SMAC pioneered a border system, better diplomacy, Social Engineering, Unit Workshop, unique factions, city governors, build queues and the list goes on.
When I play civ2, I really miss the improvements that SMAC introduced. As a result, civ2 really does feel old now. No Build queues! Just that makes civ2 really antiquated. How can I play a game without build queues now that I know how great they are?

It is like: why would you watch a show on a small black and white tv set when you have a HDTV big screen?

It is true that I like the history aspect of civ2. But civ3 is coming with the history part of civ AND the improvements of SMAC and beyond!

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Old March 26, 2001, 02:54   #26
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quote:

I guess my point is that Civ2 pioneered the engine. SMAC merely reuses it. Now I'm not a smac hater. I'm upset that you guys are civ haters.


I'm not a Civ hater. Not at all. Civ's a great game, but all the new featuresc combined makes SMAC more fun to me.

And maybe it's just me, but I like the 'forced' story. Don't know, but it kind of makes SMAC feel more, hmm, special. Something like that.

One big thing that probably makes me like SMAC more than Civ is that I actually haven't gotten tired of SMAC SP yet.

Hmm, I want to play Civ again actually. (Not Civ2) Maybe I should give it a try when I come home tonight.
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Old March 26, 2001, 12:34   #27
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I love SMAC/X and Civ II. I think we need to clarify to people who are not familiar with all the Civ games that we are talking about the original Civ and Civ II and it's enhanced version in Civ II MPG. We are NOT talking about any freakin' Call to Power garbage. Anyone whose experience with Civ is limited to Call to Power games should understand that that is not Civ.

My "two cents" is: I play SMAC/X more than I played Civ II because of all the improvements in gameplay. SMAC/X also allows you to pull-off military conquests very early in the game. Conquering in Civ II before artillery is very costly and you may lose to another nation with advanced tech. SMAC/X just gives you more options on what kind of game you want to play...builder or conqueror, etc. However, I am very excited about Civ III since I am a history buff. Although I enjoy SMAC/X very much, it just doesn't give me the rush I got in Civ II. Capturing a city with the "Ascetic Virtues" just is not as thrilling as capturing the Pyramids or the Statue of Liberty. I am really looking forward to a game that gives me the gameplay and diplomacy options of SMAC/X but on Earth. I guess I am just not as visionary as a lot of you about space colonization. I look backward with mankind to find our future. Just my opinion.

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Old March 26, 2001, 14:10   #28
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OK guys, stop arguing, this world is full of it.

Any suggestions about the game and what you want more of in smac or any possibly related civ game please post to my new thread, esp. Lotus, your sugestion about a game based on Earth, that's kinda what my idea's like, but I won't reveal anything....

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Old March 26, 2001, 15:11   #29
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BTW, just discovered I got upgraded to Chieftain
*screams out loud: "Yes! Yes! Yes!"*

Sorry for sarcasm :lol
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Old March 26, 2001, 16:50   #30
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By way of returning to something adjacent to the original issues of this thread, I'd llike to bring up a few things I found to be significant improvements as well (as departures from) CIV:

Native life
The Design Workshop.

I imagine that there are numerous other (subtle or not) differences, but having skipped from Original Civ to SMAC (I passed on CIVII at least partly due to feeling ripped off by several intervening (not) upgrades), I can only infer what was in CIVII from what I read in places like this.

IMO, the Native life - the fungus, worms etc. - and its associated psi combat, capture rules and linkage with the player's planet rating are all new features and I enjoy messing with them (perhaps using native life more than good game play would indicate). The native units apparently occupy the slot of the Barbarians in Civ, but unless they were substantially revised in CivII, they are way different.

I didn't necessarily like the design workshop at first, but wierd and buggy behavior of the automation kind of forced me to micromanage the units and once I started to make novel designs, I really got to like it. It't too bad that they seem to have decided to drop that feature in CivIII. I wonder if it was the daunting tasks involved with cleaning up the loose ends (bugs and dubious AI utilization, etc) or some idea of historical accuracy which lead to that decision.

Having had a significant vacation from Civ, I found that I reexperienced a lot of the initial fun of Civ when I first started with SMAC and also appreciated a lot of additional features and greater degrees of control than I recall with CIVI. It was definitely true for me that the initial buzz I got from the Techs and Wonders in Civ was deeper than I got from the Techs and SP's in SMAC, eventually they just became game features in Civ, just as they are in SMAC. The SP's and the Wonders are each forced to some degree requiring some of that willling suspension of disbelief; the original notion of their power as source of inspirational to the people seems to have gotten lost along the way.
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