In an unreleased podcast, my offsider, popculturereference and I had a huge rant regarding simultaneous turns in Civ5. Coming from a turn-based background, having to furiously click and move units to safety at the start a shared turn with your opponent induces rage of truly epic proportions. Then, like a shot from the blue, a pre expansion update included a few new multiplayer options, hybrid and sequential turns.
PRAISE BE, we thought. The hybrid mode lets players take their non-warring turns simultaneously but then reverts to a turn-based format when players finally go to war. It was the exact same idea that we had posited in our rant several months earlier. It was as if Sid Meier himself had descended from on high and plucked the idea from our minds.
It’s just a pity our idea was so shit.
I can just imagine the people in the Firaxis offices now. “We brought those people out of the wilderness” they would say “-we gave them back their lives. Don’t they remember how long games of Civ used to take?”
We had surely forgotten.
No matter how frustrating the simultaneous warring turns had been before, having to wait at least double the amount of time for a new turn in Civ 5 is game-breakingly frustrating. To make matters worse, we had forgotten all of our coping mechanisms. At first we just tried to sit there and patiently wait for the other players to finish their turns. Then we tried conversation, but all these attempts were just hollow gestures of denial. We were fucking bored, and when Hughberticus brought out his DS and started playing Pokemon, I knew something was really, really wrong.
The truth is, you never know what you have until it’s gone. The ability to finish a game of Civ in just a few sessions is something that we had come to take for granted. Even having your aircraft carrier, loaded with nukes, taken out by a submarine after you’ve moved all your units is nothing compared to the forgotten frustration of waiting for your damn turn.
Maybe it’s time to take a break from Civ. Maybe it’s time to go out into the world and see those wonders that we so covet in game. Perhaps that’s what Sid Meier was trying to say, that if you want to live life then you have to do your turns simultaneously.
Well that’s it, I quit Civ forever, there’s nothing left for me here.
God damn it.