Old World: Civ IV combined with Crusader Kings and...Offworld Trading Company??

Me: I don't know if I have room for another epic strategy game in my life.

Soren Johnson: *AHEM* Hello

Me: MAKING ROOM

RockPaperShotgun has a preview up.

But by the end of my first turn, I realised Old World was not a Civilization game at all, despite its looks. Which left a pretty major question: what was it? Scratching my head over the next hour, I saw elements of Crusader Kings-style “grand roleplaying”, resource-based cost/benefit calculations familiar from economic strategy games, and choice-based narrative elements familiar from interactive fiction games, all built onto a familiar 4X structure. In the end, after a few more hours of “one more turn” (it’s taken that much from Civ, at least), I could only conclude that Old World is entirely its own thing. And I like it very much.

I was super excited until I saw the Offworld Trading Company similarities. I realize I’m in the minority on that one, but I bounced hard off it. I like all the other references though, and will definitely follow along. If anything, it’s good to hear that it’s potentially genre-breaking and unique.

After they decided to charge people for the tools to mod Offworld Trading Company, I put that company on my 'buy never' list. Mods are important to many games, and putting access to the tools behind a paywall inevitably means that there will be fewer mods. This means that they're monetizing the game to both my detriment and theirs, and I'm not interested in dealing with a company that thinks that way.

edit: charging people that want to work for free on your behalf is not a real good idea.

I ctrl + F'd for 10 Crowns in the RPS article, and immediately got my answer.

I dug the idea of Offworld Trading Company, but RTS has never quite been my thing. That said, this does look interesting. I thought Civ 6 was taking some of the more dynamism of the grand strategy games and trying to implement into the Civ model, to varying success. This seems like it's also taking that shot, and I'll be interested to see how it pans out.

Well with this and that new XCOM announcement earlier, today has complete lifted the slightly despondent mood today's work had left me in.

It looks really interesting.

I found Offworld Trading Company (got it free on Epic Store) a truly fascinating and well-designed game, and that I even played it for more than a few hours is telling. Because I really suck at RTS games, and because in the end they all come down to learning a few build orders and executing them as fast as possible (the S stands for Speed, not Strategy). That's not my idea of fun.

As this is turn-based, and as it looks fantastic, and as it seems far more accessible than CKII while retaining the RPG-like elements, I'm really really intrigued.

Picked this up on sale yesterday after watching most of Quill18 and PotatoMcWhiskey’s streams.

I’m really liking it so far, however it’s still early access and I hit a game-ending bug after a few hours. Up to that point the only problems I’d noticed were errors about missing event text.

I’ll probably put it down for a while and come back after it’s baked a little more but I’m looking forward to it.

$29.99 was good enough for me to grab after seeing a few streams of the game. Now I just need to finish fixing my computer so that I can actually play it.

The Mohawk Games crew seems to be pretty active on their Discord server, responding to comments, bug reports, etc., which is nice to see.

Sulla did a stream of it as well. I remember reading his guides back in the day and he has worked with Soren in the past, including as a consultant and tester of Old World. I am really enjoying it so far. A lot of intelligent thought and love has gone into this.

I'm very much looking forward to this, once I've cleared out my current backlog of games. I've delved into several lets plays of the early access and it's all looking really good.

Oh did not know that early access is out for this. Guess I'm buying this.

Tempted... sorely tempted.

For people who have been playing, any comments on how much of the CK2 itch might it scratch?

Malor wrote:

After they decided to charge people for the tools to mod Offworld Trading Company, I put that company on my 'buy never' list. Mods are important to many games, and putting access to the tools behind a paywall inevitably means that there will be fewer mods. This means that they're monetizing the game to both my detriment and theirs, and I'm not interested in dealing with a company that thinks that way.

edit: charging people that want to work for free on your behalf is not a real good idea.

I believe that was a Stardock thing. They did similar crap with Gal Civ 3. Hopefully Mohawk won't do that again, especially since they took Epic money this time.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Tempted... sorely tempted.

For people who have been playing, any comments on how much of the CK2 itch might it scratch?

I am a few hours in. So far, I think the best way to think about it is this is Civ with some (very) light dynastic/relationship management elements thrown in and occasional events. Perhaps that gets more complex as the game goes along.

It is an interesting take on the Civ formula but it is not really an interesting take on the CK2 formula. At least not yet.

garion333 wrote:
Malor wrote:

After they decided to charge people for the tools to mod Offworld Trading Company, I put that company on my 'buy never' list. Mods are important to many games, and putting access to the tools behind a paywall inevitably means that there will be fewer mods. This means that they're monetizing the game to both my detriment and theirs, and I'm not interested in dealing with a company that thinks that way.

edit: charging people that want to work for free on your behalf is not a real good idea.

I believe that was a Stardock thing. They did similar crap with Gal Civ 3. Hopefully Mohawk won't do that again, especially since they took Epic money this time.

There are apparently some early mod tools (for events) included with the early access release, and Soren has always been a big proponent of modding, so I'm optimistic.

tboon wrote:
Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Tempted... sorely tempted.

For people who have been playing, any comments on how much of the CK2 itch might it scratch?

I am a few hours in. So far, I think the best way to think about it is this is Civ with some (very) light dynastic/relationship management elements thrown in and occasional events. Perhaps that gets more complex as the game goes along.

It is an interesting take on the Civ formula but it is not really an interesting take on the CK2 formula. At least not yet.

Thanks! I'm going to keep watching for the moment, although I'm sorely tempted. Still so many games in the pile/half done. Must. Stay. Focused.

It's already trapped me in the "just one more turn" mindset so there's my endorsement. The family/dynasty elements have definitely added some fun flavor but I'm already seeing a lot of repetition in events. I imagine that'll change as this progresses through early access.

The first time I had a 17 year old child die suddenly from drinking, after I'd already had several events occur where I'd been grooming him to be my successor, I was like, oh, so it's that type of game is it.

Kehama wrote:

It's already trapped me in the "just one more turn" mindset so there's my endorsement. The family/dynasty elements have definitely added some fun flavor but I'm already seeing a lot of repetition in events. I imagine that'll change as this progresses through early access.

The first time I had a 17 year old child die suddenly from drinking, after I'd already had several events occur where I'd been grooming him to be my successor, I was like, oh, so it's that type of game is it.

Agreed. The thing with the event system (around 1,000 currently), is that it seems that it is very easy for them to add new ones or remove old ones. The family dynamic for the cities is interesting, in a good way. I haven't gotten much into the religious part, though from a couple streams it sounds like an area that is currently underdeveloped.

I think Soren has said that it will stay in Early Access for quite a while longer yet as they learn and add things to the game. Even in its current state, I would rather pick this up for one more turn than Civ6. While I am not thrilled that it is an Epic excusing, given that Epic basically rescued the game and kept Mohawk from falling apart financially, I am really happy that this game is out and will continue to develop.

Happy to hear the mostly positive reviews for this! It's Epic only right now, right?

Budo wrote:

Happy to hear the mostly positive reviews for this! It's Epic only right now, right?

Yeah.

Is there a tutorial with the early access?

garion333 wrote:
Malor wrote:

After they decided to charge people for the tools to mod Offworld Trading Company, I put that company on my 'buy never' list. Mods are important to many games, and putting access to the tools behind a paywall inevitably means that there will be fewer mods. This means that they're monetizing the game to both my detriment and theirs, and I'm not interested in dealing with a company that thinks that way.

edit: charging people that want to work for free on your behalf is not a real good idea.

I believe that was a Stardock thing. They did similar crap with Gal Civ 3. Hopefully Mohawk won't do that again, especially since they took Epic money this time.

If they've changed that stance, I'll probably pick it up once I can get it without dealing with Epic.

Malor wrote:
garion333 wrote:
Malor wrote:

After they decided to charge people for the tools to mod Offworld Trading Company, I put that company on my 'buy never' list. Mods are important to many games, and putting access to the tools behind a paywall inevitably means that there will be fewer mods. This means that they're monetizing the game to both my detriment and theirs, and I'm not interested in dealing with a company that thinks that way.

edit: charging people that want to work for free on your behalf is not a real good idea.

I believe that was a Stardock thing. They did similar crap with Gal Civ 3. Hopefully Mohawk won't do that again, especially since they took Epic money this time.

If they've changed that stance, I'll probably pick it up once I can get it without dealing with Epic.

I think Soren and/or Layla mentioned that they were excited to see what the public would create and do with their game. From that, I assume it will be open. I am largely with you on Epic. In this situation, however, when Mohawk's publisher went bankrupt (or did Starbreeze just start liquidating assets?), Epic came in, basically saved a bunch of jobs at Mohawk, and allowed the game to continue, so I have made an exception based on Soren's track record.

Balthezor wrote:

Is there a tutorial with the early access?

Kinda? Sorta? Not really? There are pop up tutorial options that can be turned off, but not a tutorial, per se.

I just picked it up, but I'm going to hold off on playing it for a bit. Too many good games right now that I'm playing through.

I already do a fresh, dedicated Windows install to run the Origin client (only), and there's no way I'm doing that again to deal with Epic's spyware too. If you read their EULA, it's bad.

I bought this after hearing the podcast, and have been really enjoying it so far. It's in Early Access but it's a very polished Early Access -- what I've played so far feels like a complete product.

Similar to what Sean described on the podcast, I started a game, then abandoned it as I learned a little about the mechanics, then started a second game, got a little bit farther, and learned a little more. In my most recent game (this morning), I discovered it's a bad idea to ignore quarries. I was thinking like in Civ, where quarries are just one way of getting hammers. But here, as I built roads to connect my cities, I quickly ran out of stone. It also took me a while to figure out what I needed to do to actually assign my ruler as governor of my capital (build a certain structure on the map, as it turns out), and so I realize that Babylon could have been even more glorious with Nebuchadnezzar there to oversee construction.

I love the aspiration system and the way that relationships with characters get built up over time. This just feels so much more organic, and the emergent narrative so much more interesting, than almost any other 4X game I've played.

I just picked it up too while it is on sale. It has a good one more turn vibe for me. So far, the movement Orders works well keep the unit choices meaningful. I like being able to, for example, pay a little more to keep a scout going since that is what is meaningful right now.

I liked the various events so far. Like Kehama experienced, having an heir suddenly die caught me off guard. How do these type of random events compare with CK2? It was a little shocking to see an assassination in my court without any apparent precautions that I could have taken to prevent it.

Overall, good game though. I'm still feeling out how to balance the foreign relations. I'll be checking out the diplomacy and war options today.

LastSurprise wrote:

I love the aspiration system and the way that relationships with characters get built up over time. This just feels so much more organic, and the emergent narrative so much more interesting, than almost any other 4X game I've played.

Another part of decision making is that, when interacting with foreign leaders, you have to weigh their age when negotiating. It may be better to insult the ruling parent if they are 60+ and praise the son/daughter who is next in line rather than the other way around, as you get a partial reset in relations with a new leader upon the death of the old.

bhchrist wrote:
LastSurprise wrote:

I love the aspiration system and the way that relationships with characters get built up over time. This just feels so much more organic, and the emergent narrative so much more interesting, than almost any other 4X game I've played.

Another part of decision making is that, when interacting with foreign leaders, you have to weigh their age when negotiating. It may be better to insult the ruling parent if they are 60+ and praise the son/daughter who is next in line rather than the other way around, as you get a partial reset in relations with a new leader upon the death of the old.

Oh nice, I hadn't considered that.

Is there a way to highlight a nation on the mini-map I was asked to declare war on a nation, and it took longer than I'd like to admit searching where they were relative to me.

I really liked that the UI allows closing a decision without making a choice. It's nice to evaluate options or make choices in different order.

thyarcher wrote:

Is there a way to highlight a nation on the mini-map I was asked to declare war on a nation, and it took longer than I'd like to admit searching where they were relative to me.

I really liked that the UI allows closing a decision without making a choice. It's nice to evaluate options or make choices in different order.

Me too, regarding option evaluation. As for the mini map mode with various overlays, it feels like a WIP, along with religion. With how intuitive a number of things are, those that are not easy to find stand out even more.

I have also been declared war on a couple times that I was unaware of until a turn or two later. It just wasn't super obvious.

After 6 or so restarts as Egypt (on difficulty 6/8 I think), I finally feel I have enough of an idea what I am doing and currently lead with 17/32 towards victory, but only 4/10 personal goals. The tech tree focus and how to use religion is still pretty uncertain. I am cranking out Wonders (count towards the march to 32) and culture in my 3-4 early cities, but I am pretty sure I will need to focus wars against civs and cities with wonders to get a two for one capture bonus. I lost one city in the surprise war when my horses and Elephants were in the process of finishing of the Danes.

Having the administrative positions filled is a huge option to have in your back pocket to trade luxuries for greater relationships or to negotiate your way out of a war. Have not done a lot with the spy yet, but looks interesting. I kinda like that I can load it up, play a few turns and feel like I have made some meaningful decisions without having to spend hours of one more turn (though, I did that for the first 30 years or so!).