Let's Talk About CivWorld and how You Abandoned my Roman Empire

Illustration for article titled Let's Talk About CivWorld and how You Abandoned my Roman Empire

Welcome back everyone! As you may have guessed, we're here for round two of the Kotaku Game Club's discussion of Sid Meier's CivWorld.


Well, I thought that I'd know more about CivWorld after last week but, frankly, I think I'm more confused than I was before.

Despite increasing my face-time with the game, repositioning my houses into more productive locations and adjusting my output to the needs of my civ, the once-mighty Romans, both my group and I seemed to be doing worse and worse over the course of the week. My confusion led to doubt: What more could I do? It's true I've maintained a balanced town with almost every type of worker: I know it isn't necessarily the best tactic, but I never seemed to be online with more than one of my teammates at the same time so I couldn't strategize…

Then I figured it out. My civilization had been abandoned.

Once populated by a robust group of players, fluctuating in and out of maximum capacity, my civilization is faltering. It seems that, over the last week, many of my countrymen had switched allegiances to more "trendy" (read: successful) communities like the Americans and Spanish. As of last night, there were only nine Romans left. What happened guys?

Honestly, I can't blame them for leaving. By design, the further along in the game we get, the larger a group needs to be in order have a real chance at completing each era's increasingly demanding objectives. Once people start dropping out of your group, it's only a matter of time before everyone else follows suit.

The goal of this game is to win. At end of the day, it doesn't matter which side comes out on top, so long as you're on it. If there wasn't a player cap for each group, I'm sure that one side (looking at the standings now, I'd say the Spanish) would've achieved world domination by now.


Still, I can't help but feel a little guilty about the prospect of throwing out my toga. I mean I've been Roman for over a thousand years! (Ok so it's really been a week, but it's been a long week, you know?) At the outset of the game, I thought that everyone would break up into teams early on and that would be it.

Clearly I'm stuck in the past. Just as the name implies, CivWorld is a game that is more representative of a global society. Your obligation to make sure that your city thrives, not to building some larger community. Sure, those two things are connected, but without any reason to stay connect to your civ outside of the benefits it provides, the bond between man and country is weak.


That may be the game's Achilles' heel. Frankly speaking, while I do feel a drive to successful in the game, I don't have anywhere to displace that competitive drive. I don't have a palpable rival to push me into working harder. Despite the ranking system, I don't feel particularly motivated to beat any other individual in particular. Mike versus John sounds ok, but Rome versus America reflects the epic scope of what we've come here to do. Diminishing that connection, in turn, diminishes the immense scale that has always been one of the series' hallmarks.

We'll be discussing CivWorld again at the same time next week. That's Thursday, August 18th, at 4pm Eastern. As it turns out, our game ended just as our meeting began. Congratulations to the Spanish on utterly dominating in the end.


That said, our discussions will continue as planned. I have jumped into public game 2808 (Adam's Game). If any of you would like to join me I'd love to play with you some more. I have also contacted 2K to see if they'd be able to either reset our last game or create a new one with everyone's info. Should that occur, I will inform you via both through Kotaku and Facebook.


Mike Epstein

Here's what I'd like to know:

People who switched Civs more than once; what were the signs that told you it was time to move on? Was it just that you saw someone else leave, or was it because a particular group was getting bigger? Maybe there's another reason?