Category Archives: computers

Civilization VI First Thoughts

So I’ve put in a few hours of Civilization VI now. My initial thoughts on it… It is similar to previous entries but different in its own way.

Let’s get the negatives out of the way first.

Builders/Workers. These guys only do three improvements and then vanish. The upside on this is that it only takes one turn for them to make this improvement. There are policies and such to increase the number of improvements they can make prior to disappearing. But the days of Build-a-worker-and-let-him-go are gone.

Pacing. I do prefer longer games. Speed runs, etc. hold no interest for me. However, with the game on Standard speed, it seems almost too slow.

These are the only things that stand out as negatives for me at the moment.

Now on to the positives.

Policies. As you play, you research your technology (Pottery, Nuclear Fission, etc.) and Civic Policies. The Civic Policies can lead to a new government type, or to policies that you can implement, such as “Increased production for <insert era here> melee and ranged troops.” These are divided into Military, Diplomatic, Economic, and Wildcard. The wildcard slot will hold a policy of any type. And you are limited in the number of policies you can have implemented at any one time.

Cassus Belli. Everyone knows that when you spank a civ for encroaching on your territory, you get a warmongering penalty when you decide to chastise them. Now you can reduce these penalties by declaring war for a cause. Has someone spread his Zoroastrianism to your city? Now you can declare a holy war on him and the penalty for warmongering is reduced. I’ve also run across another method of reducing the warmongering penalty by liberating a city-state that has been previously taken over by another civilization.

Roads. I’m mixed on this one. Your workers don’t build them anymore, which is good given their limited lifespan. They are now produced by trade missions. The caravan will automatically create a road (which gets upgraded as you progress through the ages) between the two end points of the route. Military engineers can also create new roads, but I’ve not played with them yet.

Traders/Caravans. Again, I am mixed on this one. I don’t normally send out a lot of caravans. But with them being the only early game method of road creation, it is a must. Trade routes last only a few turns. At the end of the mission, a trading post is established in both end cities. Trade routes going through one of these trading posts later increase the value of the route. This gives you more incentive to send them out. And keep them busy.

Corps/Armies. You can create a stronger formation by combining two units into a corps. While I’ve not done it yet, I expect creating an army is similar, two corps to make an army. The upgraded unit is stronger than the single unit and gives you the ability (sort of) to stack troops.

Combat. Leading in from corps and armies, battles. They are pretty much the same as before. Troops battle, troops get experience, troops level up. Now the differences start to show. Each unit is a certain type; melee, ranged, cavalry, support, etc. The units have an upgrade path. Two choices at each level, one mainly for offense, the other for defense. This is capped by a seventh ability, which seems to be movement related (for the units I’ve seen). Support units, like a battering ram or a siege tower, allow the attacking unit to bypass or damage defenses during the attack. Normally, the attacker must beat down the defenses, and then the health of the city to capture it. A battering ram allows the attacker to damage both at the same time, while a siege tower allows the attacker to bypass the defense entirely and hit the health.

In all, I do enjoy this game. It has a few quirks that need to be gotten used to, but overall I like it.

Why are Dungeons & Dragons CRPGs so simplistic?

While driving home from dinner, I was contemplating the latest entry into the D&D computer RPG arena, Sword Coast Legends. It does have pretty graphics, there is a lot of voice over work and the quests seem well-written. The DM tools appear to be pretty good too, though I’ve not delved too deeply into them yet. The biggest issue I have are the character classes.
Continue reading Why are Dungeons & Dragons CRPGs so simplistic?

Lotro Session – Oredan

After a quick ride via goat from the 21st Hall to the Silvertine Lodes, it was time to delve deeper in search of Sweina. It was a quick jaunt to Thalfar’s camp. A brief conversation with him told me Sweina was deeper, near the Water Works. I reached Sweina just in time to aid him when he was ambushed by foul goblins. Sweina was determined to remain, so all I could do was return to Bosi and inform him. Bosi had read more of the Book of Mazarbul and wished Lord Brogur to hear of what he had found. So it was once again back to the 21st Hall to Brogur.

Brogur tells me that Bori has a plan to strike at the orcs. Bori wants me to gather some dwarfs to aid him, collect weapons and armor, and to scout the area of attack. Sigthorn is too busy to help us. Skygni feels a head-on attack is best. Wethur feels the raid is unwise, as does Sebbi. Stilling volunteered to aid us, as does Wili. Bori is a bit disappointed with the number of volunteers, but presses on with his plan.

Figuring to kill two goblins with one stone, I hitch a ride to the Orc Watch to see Avar. After talking to a number of dwarfs, Isolf charges me with cleaning up the droppings of goats left behind. With a surly growl, I acquiesce to his plan. After picking up an inordiate amount of goat droppings, I come upon Roarr and Ingifast’s camp. Ingifast has me deposit the material on a pile, claiming a goat was feeling unwell. Roarr and Ingifast want me to defeat some orcs, collect ore from them, and defeat a raiding party. I set out into the Redhorn Lodes proper.

After much slaughtering of orcs, I find most of what Bori needs for his plans. I return to Roarr and Ingifast who ask me to remove the leaders of the two camps, as well as find another expedition. Much killing ensues. I remove the leaders, find the rest of Bori’s gear, kill some forge masters, and find a locket. I also come across another piece of Helgi Goblinbane’s statue. I discover where Knakk has camped. He listens to my report and asks me to kill some spiders. I head towards the Foundations of Stone to find the spiders. The air is filled with noxious fumes, but I press on, killing many spiders. I return again to Knakk to report my successes.

He sends me back to where I found the spiders to destroy fungal growths that are producing the noxious gasses. I destroy a number of fungi and head back to Knakk. He asks me to return and find what is cultivating these fungi, and defeat the leaders of the spiders and orcs in the area. I find the cultivator, a nameless horror from the Foundations of Stone. I dispose of the leaders, and return to Knakk. While I was out slaughtering orcs, spiders and other disgusting beasties, Knakk managed to open Kafli’s locket. He asks me to bring it to his cousin Kuli.

I borrow Knakk’s goat and ride to Auti’s camp where Kuli is staying. Kuli asks me to drink to Kafli’s memory throughout various encampments in Moria. I begin my drinking and toasting in the Redhorn Lodes. I don’t recall much after the 5th drink, but I somehow ended back up with Auti and Kuli. My head hurts. Auti and Kuli speak of a nearby infestation of gredbyg that may hold some clue as to the location of an ancient mining deposit.

After much slaying of bugs and noting concentrations of them on my map, I return to Kuli and Auti. Kuli mentions a garrison, Nud-heden that I should seek out. I set forth once again.  I find and enter the garrison, to find it infested with gredbyg. While exploring Nud-heden, I find an old nursery now used by the bugs. I destroy a number of larval sacks. In the old mess hall I find a grodbog queen! I set forth to slay the foul progenitor of the bugs. The queen is no more and I return to Auti and Kuli.

Auti asks me to seek out the source of heat supplying the hive. I delve deeper into the hive, following the heat. Soon I find a passage into the Flaming Deeps! This is where the heat is coming from. As I enter, I hear sounds of battle. I head towards the sounds. I come upon an injured dwarf, Bensi. He tells me of a battle and seek any survivors. As I approach Hadad-Mezer, the sounds of battle abruptly stop. I fear the worst. My fears are soon confirmed as I find a dead dwarf. He bears a message for Hysing in Anazarmekhem. That is my next desitination.

Hysing directs me towards Anghumu-ru. On my way out, I spy a placard with a riddle on it.

Weight in my belly,

Trees are my back,

Nails in my ribs,

Feet do I lack

I pause to ponder the riddle.