You might want to read again what I wrote. I never said Dom "sucked by itself". I said it's not balanced. YOU translate it as "not balanced = sucks". Diplomacy is not metagame when playing MP. IT's one of the funniest things in MP. And ins trategy, diplomacy is key too. YMMV. Why Dominions? Because it's got more features inside than any other game and is way more fun than Risk.
Yes, I translate it as "not balanced = sucks".
Diplomacy is obviously a metagame in most MP games. wiki: Metagame
Metagaming is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game.
In simple terms, using out-of-game information, or resources, to affect one's in-game decisions.
You quote Wesnoth farther. But then it's worth talking about a game only when it suits you I suppose.
Exactly. I quoted Wesnoth farther. Unless you claim to have a precognitive abilities to know that i'll quote Wesnoth later in my posts, you can't use it to validate your first objection to my post about micro where i talked about 4X TBS.
You fail to see that not everyone likes the same thing in a game. Start in civ has you have zero neighbours and is not much strategic, but just build-up. You think the warmongering part is not interesting, and seem to think what you've got at the start is all that matters. Not so. You make choices and adapt based on your neighbours, which is not just what you have, but others have. Yet again, you are making bold assumptions about me not liking a part of a game when I jsut say the game is too long. You might want to explain how you came to such a weird conclusion?
I think the start of the game continues until starting borders are finalized. That may include some fighting as well. It takes significantly more resources to change borders after that stage of the game so that part of the game is the most important one, at least in non-FFA games. Warmongering part is fine too, but it's not well-developed in Civ4.
Weird conclusion? It's called a "straw man argument". Since i saw stupid claims like "starcraft is not a strategy game", "you only need to babysit everything if you don't know what you're doing in Col2." or "Civ4 sucks as a MP game because it is too slow to be played in a single session", i switched to a semi-flaming posting mode (that is, a mix of an arguments and flaming).
Duh. You know what PBEM is? You know chess is played in PBEM? Sims is Real Time to begin with, Starcraft is more like The Sims than Dom could ever be. How do you learn? Well, you do! When you're attacked using certain tactics, when you have to develop a new strategy to just survive, you learn fast or the game doesn't last a year, you're toast very fast. How you invent strategies? You can test them in SP, and then try them IRL against humans. For instance, when I was attacked by giants, I decided to try to teleport my pretender (=avatar), use some spells to take out string enemy commanders, and teleport back. I tested in against an ai, saw that it worked and then used it extensively against my real opponent. Lengthy games give you time to test strategies and change your plans. You become more skilled because humans are thousands of times more dangerous than AIs and no matter how well you micromanage, you'll lose without a good strategy. That's not an illusion of a strategy. I suppose you never played the game. You don't play and then the opponent plays for isntance. Turns are simultaneous (kind of like Civ4 but more like Diplomacy board game: everyone gives orders, then they are solved). The fight of minds is there: You don't know what your opponent will do. You plan, and try to guess where he will move his troops, which army you are going to face, how many of them, how he will position his troops, whether he'll use the same battle tactics as previous turn, whether he'll resist the spells you cast or cast some spells of his own.
ROFLMAO. So you test strategies on AI and then apply them to a human game. And after that you claim that "you become more skilled because humans are thousands of times more dangerous than AIs". Well, it's true, but that's why people play a REAL MP games where you're testing strategies against players, not against AI. You know, like Starcraft or Civ 4
Anyway, what i really wanted to say is that in such game a game community skill progression is non-existant because games finish too slow. It will take months until you'll be able to use the knowledge from one game in the next game. While Dominions community is crawling up the skill ladder, every competitive MP community is "teleporting" further ahead compared to it. That's why i said Dominions is like Sims, it's more like a simulator - you do something and then observe the results. In competitive MP games, you're on a continuous path of a self-improvement and competition with other players.
And returning to the first part of your responce, yes, Dominions has a lot of features but how many valid MP strategies does it have? Noone really knows as it's not a competitive MP game. But given that game balance sucks, probably not many. MP survives only because of it's tiny community, a long learning / information spreading time and i suppose because of FFA only games (in a duel all imbalances become obvious much-much faster). It's all kid's play, not a real strategy game like Starcraft where hundreds of progamers play a game 8+ hours a day for 10 years and it still doesn't degrade to "who uses the best race/build order".
P.S. I played Dominions 3 in singleplayer a little. A seemly complex game but underlying base mechanics is lacking complexity IMHO. And AI is awful. Since i'll not play a year-long game for sure (heck, i played Civ 4 MP for that long, about 700 games i think), MP was not an option and it's boring to play against non-existant AI.