Mastering Civilization IV – Starting the Game - Part V – Difficulty Levels (A)
It is widely known that Sid Meier's Civilization had become THE game when it was introduced. The "Civilization" had 7 editions, the latest PC playable version being Civilization IV. In this article we continue the pre-game selection overview, discussing the Difficulty Levels.
It is widely known and recognized that Sid Meier's Civilization had become THE computer game when it was introduced. It was first real turn-based strategy ever. The latest PC playable version of Civilization is "Civilization IV", launched in October 2005. For a computer game 3 years is an eternity - but not for Civilization series game – it is very playable and enjoyable today. With game victory options described in “Civilization IV – Part I" article, and several the pre-game selections (choosing the map, the climate and sea level) covered, we wil now overview the effects of difficulty level.
The developers of the game have done a serious job in challenging the advanced players. There are 9 difficulty levels in Civilization IV - much more than in the previous versions:
The difficulty level you choose has a number of subtle but important effects on play – in almost every aspect of the game. Those effects are described below, categorized. Overall, the "Noble" level is a "fair" one - the AI and you play under same conditions. In the lower levels you receive "bonuses" over the computer and on the higher ones - the computer has advantages over the human. Survival on "Deity" level is almost impossible - but if you are really good - you can even win!
On the lower difficulties, your units enjoy substantial advantages in combat against barbarian animals and units. As the difficulty increases, these combat bonuses decrease until they disappear entirely. Barbarians appear more often and are more numerous on the higher difficulties as well – and they start appearing sooner too.
The results that you get from entering tribal villages also scale by difficulty. In other words, you are more likely to get something really good on the lower difficulties. Only on the 3 lower levels (Settler, Chieftain. Warlold) you have a chance of getting a Settler or a Worker from a village and the "The villagers are hostile" message will happen more often on the higher levels - especially when not using a scout to visit villages.
Techs are cheaper to research on the lower difficulty levels and more expensive on the higher ones. The computer always has the same "cost" for every technology - making it a faster "learner" on the higher levels.
More to come
Beware, there are more effects of the playing level - which will be discussed in the next article!