Tobold's Blog
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Civilized pricing

I bought and played pretty much every version of Civilization there is, from the very first to Civ 5, including spin-offs like Colonization or Alpha Centauri, and even Civilization Revolution. So of course I was considering buying Civilization: Beyond Earth as well. But I haven't. After looking at both written and video reviews of Beyond Earth, I can't see a compelling reason to buy it. Most of the engine is still Civ 5, the Sci-Fi scenario seems to be less interesting than the historical one, and the new game appears to be suffering from feature overload and unnecessary complications.

Now in cases like this I tend to get price sensitive. There are games where I have doubts (e.g. Civilization: Beyond Earth or Shadow of Mordor) which make me unwilling to pay full price for the game, but I put them on my Steam wishlist anyway. If at the next holiday sale I can get the game for half price or less, I'll reconsider.

In this specific case I also had another idea: I only played Civilization 5 when it came out, and haven't touched it since. So I never bought the two expansions of the game. And I hear that Civ 5 with the expansion is much better than the new Beyond Earth, so that might well be worth trying. But as I was still in price sensitive mode, I was somewhat shocked to find out that each expansion on Steam costs 30 Euro. Hey, I'm not saving 50 Euro on buying Beyond Earth just to spend 60 Euro on two expansions for the older game. If I wanted *all* DLC for Civ 5, I would even have to pay 100 Euro! But only if I bought them individually. Curiously enough I can't buy a bundle of all DLCs for a better price. But I *can* buy Civilization 5 a second time in the "complete edition" and that will get me all DLCs. And that would only cost me 40 Euros.

I haven't made a final decision yet, but if I feel the urge to play a Civilization game, I would probably buy the complete edition. Somehow it annoys me that this means I will have to buy a second copy of the original game. I have a sneaking suspicion that Steam won't even show me owning the game twice, they would just quietly take my money and only put the new DLCs in my library, and not a second copy of Civ 5. After all, there is no way to use two digital copies of the same game on a Steam account. It would be a lot nicer if I had the option for example to gift the second copy to somebody.

[PS.: Following a reader's advice I bought the complete edition for 15 Euro from a key reseller site.]

Did you try the demo? It's 100 turns for free. That's a good way to taste the game, if you're curious about it.
Have you looked at key sellers, like They often have decent prices on games which have previously been in sales like Civ V.
The complete edition of Civ 5 was reduced to $17 on Steam a little bit ago. The deal has expired, but you can expect it to come around again.

I bought Beyond Earth for $38 on GMG about 2 months before it came out. It's definitely easier than ever to be price sensitive. Only problem is that you may still end up feeling like you threw money away, as I do.
I can recommend this Tobold, as I have recently done the exact thing you describe. I shilled out 40 euro for the complete set, even though I already had the base game.
I'm on a Mac so I don't have the option to get Beyond Earth yet so this was my way to get a fix of Civ.

I haven't regretted the purchase and I'm looking forward to this weekend when I can play some more. The game is radically different from the base game what with the introduction of religions and spies and things like great works of art (books/paintings etc) you can hang in your buildings to generate culture.
Have you looked into Endless Legends? Maybe not as refined, but definately worth a look for 4x fans, with enough similarities to CIV to recognize it, but enough innovations to make it fun.

Also, the fantasy athmosphere is very well done.

I played about 100 hours, which makes it a good deal for €22.
There's a new game out called Pandora which might be an alternative. However it also has a space theme, so if you're not crazy about that it won't help.
There's a review of Endless Legend here

It does look interesting.
My own review of BE:

TL;DR -- it's a stripped down Civ5 in spaaaaaaaace. For me, that's a good thing becuz I really like Civ5. But Civ5 is the better game of the 2.

That said.... 1...more.....turn.... is still in full force.
Have you looked at key sellers, like

Thank you for the advice. Got the complete edition for 15 Euro there.
To track Steam sales around the internet, this site is priceless:

It imports your wishlist from Steam, then emails you when a sale pops up.
The thing about Civ5 is that winning is always so anti-climatic. By the time you actually "win" you've been solidly in control of your win for hours. In other words, no dramatic or sudden "victories".

I think that's what I enjoyed about Banished. A minor error, even when you think you are "in control", can result in the utter collapse of your entire colony.
I'm in the same boat. Played maybe a half dozen games of Civ5, so it was a decent investment. Really love space stuff, so was disappointed to watch videos for Beyond Earth and see what basically looks like a mod reskin of Civ5.

With all these games, it's best to wait for a sale unless it's just coming out. Steam gives massive discounts at times.
I bought it for full price just to encourage the creation of similar games in the future.

Civ 5 is certainly the better game. But BE is still absolutely good enough to be worth some 50€.
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