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Author Topic: Civillization IV Impressions  (Read 8026 times)
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Orgull
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« on: October 25, 2005, 01:34:28 AM »

Just getting the thread started so we can get to page two and some real impressions tomorrow.  :roll:
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2005, 02:32:26 AM »

This is the first order I've put in with GameStop.com.  It's currently listed as 'Processing' which, considering the fact that I was hoping to receive it tomorrow, seems like a bad sign.  Is this normal, or have other pre-orderers gotten their shipping confirmation?

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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2005, 02:53:22 AM »

It probably just ships tomorrow.
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Orgull
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2005, 03:05:41 AM »

Today (24th) is it's "ship" date according to EB Games. Tomorrow (25th) is it's release date in U.S. according to Firaxis.
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olaf
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2005, 09:00:55 AM »

Most of the Gamestops and EBs should have the game by Tuesday afternoon, at least for preorders.  At least that is what I was told by the retailers near me, 24th ship date, 25th shelf date.

olaf
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2005, 01:10:43 PM »

I ordered mine from Amazon with the free shipping.I should get it around Xmas.The first patch should be out by then I figure. :?
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2005, 01:46:06 PM »

It looks like GameStop and Electronics Boutique have both updated their webpages to say that today, 10/25, is the ship date, suggesting that their copies won't be on the shelves until tomorrow.  I hope someone will post if they find out this isn't the case.

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2005, 02:36:00 PM »

GameStop has consistently said today ship, tomorrow in the store.  I think EB's web site was mistaken.
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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2005, 03:47:22 PM »

I just happened to be at Best Buy the other day (for completely un-game related reasons) and they had a little sign in their software section that said that though Civ IV is released today, they wouldn't have it until tomorrow...
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« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2005, 06:38:57 PM »

Quote from: "Autistic Angel"
It looks like GameStop and Electronics Boutique have both updated their webpages to say that today, 10/25, is the ship date, suggesting that their copies won't be on the shelves until tomorrow.  I hope someone will post if they find out this isn't the case.

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olaf
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« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2005, 10:15:19 PM »

Quote from: "olaf"
Most of the Gamestops and EBs should have the game by Tuesday afternoon, at least for preorders.  At least that is what I was told by the retailers near me, 24th ship date, 25th shelf date.

Yeah not in any stores around me either.  Blearg.

olaf
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Orgull
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« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2005, 10:19:50 PM »

My thread mirroring this one over at OO seems to be turning into a minor flame skirmish.

Seriously WTH? I thought the game would be out by now... argh.
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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2005, 11:58:47 PM »

Well, noone will ever say the OO forums aren't entertaining!    :wink:  

I'm not sure I will be able to drive home fast enough after work on Wednesday!  But for now I am off to prepare for what I hope is NOT a 3-0 deficit for my poor Astros.

LD  :?
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2005, 12:50:29 AM »

IN!
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2005, 08:37:32 PM »

I'm sad that the day has come where turn-based strategy games run like shit on my laptop.  I have a very difficult time believing that Civ IV couldn't have been optimized more than it was.  My laptop system is above the minimum sys requirements for the game.  It takes about 5 minutes to start a new game, there's incredible lag zooming in and out, animations are jerky, units pop around when they move, and it's generally unpleasant.
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« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2005, 08:48:24 PM »

Quote from: "Clay"
I'm sad that the day has come where turn-based strategy games run like shit on my laptop.  I have a very difficult time believing that Civ IV couldn't have been optimized more than it was.  My laptop system is above the minimum sys requirements for the game.  It takes about 5 minutes to start a new game, there's incredible lag zooming in and out, animations are jerky, units pop around when they move, and it's generally unpleasant.
Give us your laptop specs!
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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2005, 10:40:12 PM »

Laptops aren't exactly the best when it comes to crunching polygons.
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« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2005, 12:17:47 AM »

You know, I would really like to be playing this game now, but seeing as neither the Fry's or Best Buy near my house has it< :evil: .

How frickin tough is it to be able to put a box on a shelf in a certain time frame?  Combined with the fact they admitted is was rushed, a red flag is starting to warm up.  I also see LE's thread about ATI owners possibly being screwed for the time being, and this whole thing is seeming FUBAR.  Well, back to playing one of the four other games I picked up in the last five days.
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« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2005, 01:17:25 AM »

Reports are rising about ATI users being A-OK with the game too, Jake.  So it's not a guarentee that Civ4 will die if you have an ATI -- just, there aren't any problems reported with nVidia cards, so it does seem to be an ATI-related problem.
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« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2005, 02:15:49 AM »

I think the reason why we aren't seeing impressions yet is that everyone so busy playing the game.  slywink

I've just read page 2 of the write up, and I have to say this guy really knows his Civ games, he's strategizing about things I've never even thought of in my Civ games.
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Sarkus
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« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2005, 03:54:27 AM »

I suspect demand for the game exceeds supply at this point.  Really, it's a consequence of two factors:

1) EB/GameStop are shifting away from PC so they generally don't order as many.

2) EB/GameStop rely on reservation numbers to indicate demand.  Reservations exploded on the title only yesterday, too late to impact ship quantities.

The result is that EB/GameStop didn't order enough product to meet first day demand.  Other game retailers didn't rush it out so it will show up on their shelves over the next few days.

Anyway, I got mine though I ended up with the French version tech tree poster.  LOL.
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« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2005, 04:10:57 AM »

The EB near me got a few and sold them all immediately. I think it's going to be difficult to find for a while.
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« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2005, 05:06:50 AM »

Gamespots Civ 4 review

9.4 Sounds very very good. Makes me consider getting it.
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« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2005, 05:10:10 AM »

I got it from Fry's, it's good.

I was never a big Civ player, but I really enjoyed the first two games.  Didn't play Civ 3 much.

Civ 4 feels very refreshing though.  A lot of things they changed make sense and all in all, it just feels right.

Edit:  Interesting, those rivers you see on the map now work like roads that connect resources and cities.  This is actually good for my first game, since I'm right next to a very long river with plenty of resources along it.
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« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2005, 05:41:59 AM »

The game is excellent.  Its fresh and new - yet the same old Civ we love.  Sid did a fantastic job re-working this game.  Bringing in the new with old.  I am exceptionally happy with it.
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« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2005, 11:32:58 AM »

Civ IV – Ridiculously early Impressions

Got home from work last night and played until the Astros came on. (ugh!).  Got in about 3 hours playtime, which included the tutorial and messin’ around with the Civilopedia.  My initial thoughts are very positive.

Graphics & Interface:  Honestly outstanding for a TBS game like Civ.  My first taste of this was the intro. video which is great.  Followed by the Civilopedia which lets you move the camera around your unit or building graphic that it shows you.  Followed by the tutorial (Sid’s picture is funny and disturbing at the same time).  The interface is explained (at least 50% or so) in the tutorial, although most old-time Civ players will probably not really need it.  The buttons are laid out fantastic, and the amount of sub-screens have been seriously reduced.  You will spend a lot of time on the main screen.  And yet, with all the information on the main screen, it does not feel cluttered to me at all.  Options to turn on the grid, the resources per tile, the icons for all units off-screen, etc, are all simple to use.  Turn them on/off with a button click.  Excellent.  Also, the advisors icons are all on the top of the screen and very small and unobtrusive.  One click and your in.  Some of the screens have sub-screen tabs, but that is about as deep as you need to dig for anything!  Amazing how well done and streamlined it seems to be.  Animations and scenery are fantastic.  The unit graphics remind me alot of Kohan II – if you played that game (a tad better though).  Zooming out and in is done with the mousewheel and seems just about perfect.  I am a BIG stickler with camera stuff, so if I’m pleased, I’m sure most others will be also.  Once you have uncovered enough of the map, your “globe view” will let you zoom out all the way, and rotate the planet.  Way cool.  Unit fighting animations are surprisingly fun to watch.  “Will my 3 warriors beat those 3 lions?”  Mini-drama with every battle!  Little mini-videos are shown when you discover a wonder.  I always liked those.  At the end of the video, it shows a picture of the wonder with large text displaying the bonuses erecting it will give your civilization.

Music and Voice:  Fantastic.  Either you like Civ type music or you don’t.  This music is typical (although a bit tribal perhaps) Civ style, and it is fantastic.  In the tutorial you play the Romans, and get appropriate “Roman” music?  In my first game, I took the Chinese (cho-ku-nu’s baby!).  The music has an asian sound to it.  Also, my units respond to me in Chinese (I’m assuming) and not the same language as the Roman units.  Mr. Spock reads the little quotes when you discover a new technology.  People are making a big deal out of this, and I have no idea why.  It’s cool, but not a big deal imho.  Units make sounds while on the world map.  Lions will roar, cows will moo, warriors will bang their clubs against their hands.  Rivers will run, oceans will give the harbor/seagull sounds, wind will blow in the plains.  The city view will give you a sound of a bustling city.  All minor ambiance stuff that just adds to the immersion of the game… and all great.

Diplomacy, Research, Religion, Combat, A.I., Civics, and Pics all still to come...
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« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2005, 01:49:52 PM »

Hey, gents.  Anyone have the link to Sulla's walkthrough?  Back when OO was up, there was a thread there with the link.

(Oh, and hello again!)

Edit: nevermind, I'm officially an idiot.  Who the hell invited this guy?
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« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2005, 01:57:59 PM »

Well, I was up 'till 1 AM playing, so that's a good sign.  There's still a lot I'm learning.  A lot of the tedium has been taken out and the game seems to favor the playstyle I like to use - a fair handful of really big cities.  Thank God pollution is gone.  

There's lots of AI options, but I haven't really needed to use them as I started this game at the 2nd lowest AI level and I'm sleepwalking through it.  I really like the unit upgrades - it adds a slight RPG touch to your units - and helps specialize their uses.

There are a lot of "visual" clues that I'm still learning in Civ - these things used to be in sub-menus, now they're onscreen.  So there's a lot of info out there on the main world screen - sometimes it's tough recognizing it all.  I found the tutorial helpful, even though I've been playing Civ since Civ 1.  

The endgame units still require certain key resources, but they seemed more readily available in my game last night.  I hope I just didn't get lucky as this was THE #1 thing that destroyed Civ 3 for me.  But the units look a bit more balanced this time anyway.  Ships move across the world much faster now, so it's easier to Blitzkreig your opponents.  But you'll need good artillery to capture cities, much more so than in the other games.

I really like religion.  This is a pretty cool aspect of the game.  I'm not sure it's totally fleshed out properly, but it's not bad.  I'm not sure why all of the different religions get established at at various points throughout the game rather than all at once.  It seems to me that the later religions won't be used as much.  The new government types are pretty neat too.  There's elements of SMAC in the governmental choices.  However, a couple of later ones are a bit overpowered and there will be little reason to use any of the previous ones.  A bit more balance here would have been good.

I haven't gotten through the whole game, but I'm almost done.  I'm starting to build my spaceship.

All in all, it looks pretty good.  I'm using an ATI 9600 card...I guess I'm lucky it works.  The game takes forever to load on my AMD 3200...a full minute or two.  I'm wondering if the copy protection is bogging it down.  It runs fine on my machine once loaded though.
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« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2005, 03:06:34 PM »

Crosspost with my thoughts from BC:

I believe I am a rare breed of person who has not been completely satisfied with the Civ series since Civilization 1, but you know what good brothers? My itch has finally been scratched. I've enjoyed the other games to be sure, but they never seemed to have that same magic that the first game had, or been as hard for me to put down as the first Civ. Civ 4 for me has been extremely fun so far. It great to get a game again after this TBS drought that gives me the need to play just one more turn.

Now that my ridiculous fanboi gushing is out of the way, on to a few thoughts.

My favorite new addition to the game so far? The great people. I was playing last night as the Incas and I was fenced in. I got stuck on a small strip of land barely big enough for 2 cities and the noose was getting tight. On a whim I adjusted my capital to free up some workers to be specialist and a few turns later I was rewarded with a great artist. So I saw he could create a work of art (+4000 culture) so I ran him up to my northern city that was being pressed upon badly by Egyptian culture. Now I know why it's called a culture bomb.  In one swift move I secured a rice field from the Egyptians and an iron mine from the Chinese. All the great people so far have been terribly fun to use.

As for a few quibbles:
I've also noticed some asshattery with the tool tips. From time to time they won't work right and it's a little frustrating. Combat is still something of an enigma as well. The animations are neat and all, but I haven't been able to get my mind around the mechanics yet.

s
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« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2005, 03:22:24 PM »

I love it so far, that Civ magic seems to be back.  I don't like the new Wonder videos though, I think they were better back in Civ 2.  Religon is a great addition, and I enjoy the new 'hard' borders.  Expanding your borders really means something in this game now, to keep the other Civs from coming into your land to found cities, and sending other annoying units.

The great people are also fun, when combined with other culture buildings.  I was able to steal three cities using culture to grab them, and strategic use of the great people and the culture bombs.  Its very satisfying to take opponent cities this way.

So far, this is far better then Civ 3 was.
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« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2005, 03:50:55 PM »

I'm totally discovering the game still, but I put in probably four hours last night and want to get back to the game, so that's a good sign.

Things I don't like so far.  The world being needlessly 3D which is causing my "lower end system" to bog down.  The game itself plays fine but starting and stopping it and Alt-Tabbing around it are just painful.  My other complaint is the that the huge world seems tiny.  I'm assuming you can tweak this setting, but I have no idea how or how it will affect the game if I learn.
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« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2005, 04:33:52 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Quote from: "Clay"
I'm sad that the day has come where turn-based strategy games run like shit on my laptop.  I have a very difficult time believing that Civ IV couldn't have been optimized more than it was.  My laptop system is above the minimum sys requirements for the game.  It takes about 5 minutes to start a new game, there's incredible lag zooming in and out, animations are jerky, units pop around when they move, and it's generally unpleasant.
Give us your laptop specs!


It's a Toshiba Satellite 525-S705
2.4 GHz P4m
64 mb NVidia GeForce FX Go (probably the limiting factor)
512 mb RAM
15" screen native res of 1600 x 1200
XP Media Center Edition 2005

So, while it doesn't have the best graphics card in the world, the game should run A LOT better than it does, especially when I put the graphics options into 'Low' mode, turn off all animations, etc...

Recently, I played 1/2 of Dungeon Siege II with the graphics options between medium and high without any framerate problems or other issues.  Children of the Nile runs fine at similar settings.  Rollercoaster Tycoon III runs fine will the graphics all the way up.  The Sims 2 runs fine.  Those are just a few of the games that I haven't had trouble with that are somewhat new and use 3D acceleration.
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« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2005, 06:04:30 PM »

Quote
The world being needlessly 3D which is causing my "lower end system" to bog down.

I love the world being 3d, and zooming in and out.  It adds to the game for me.  I'm happy that finally a Civ game has somewhat modern graphics to enjoy, and doesn't look like and behave like a board game.  The game slowed down towards the end for me, though it seemed more like a memory leak then anything else.
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« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2005, 06:19:00 PM »

I'd just like to have the game so I can try it for myself. Can't find a copy here in Ontario, Canada at all.  :cry:  Argh...
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« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2005, 06:33:43 PM »

I spent some time with the game last night and had a blast, even though I was on the verge of annihilation from both the Japanese and the Chinese. (Bastards were tag teaming me, and this was only on Warlord level!) It wasn't all a bed of roses, though; because it did take a little tech work to get things running smoothly, skip down to the end for the short version:

P4 2.8
1024 PC3200
GeForce FX 5900 128MB AGP 8X /w Nvidia Forceware 81.85

When I first installed the game it prompted me to also install DirectX 9.0c. I had JUST installed this from another game a day or two earlier, so I told it No and just went ahead with the rest of the installation. The intro ran okay, got to the main menu just fine, set my gfx options to 1280x1024 with all options on High, then started a Custom game on a Huge world with everything at the defaults. As soon as I started scrolling around the map I noticed that the frame rate was pretty low, so I tried switching my res to 1024x768 but it did not seem to make any difference. I turned AA to 2X, then 4X and it as well didn't make much of a difference. The frame rate was bad, but not unplayable so I decided to play anyway.

For the first few turns, everything worked pretty well. The frame rate only dipped when I tried to scroll around the map, or so I thought. As soon as I bumped into my first AI Civ and their leader head popped up, it took a major nosedive right through the floor. Everything went from playable, to sluggish as hell. The mouse was so bad that it was difficult to even select different diplomacy options. I thought again that it could be my machine just can't handle it, so I ignored it and said "Farewell" to the AI in hopes that things would get back to normal. It didn't. From that point on the entire game was unplayable, so I exited out and decided maybe skipping the DX install wasn't such a great idea. I went back and ran the installer; it finished pretty quickly and didn't even prompt me for a reboot so I got right back into the game. Same problem, everything a little slow but playable until meeting an AI civ. Exited out, rebooted, same problem. Now I was starting to get desperate, so I decided to roll my video drivers back to 78.01. Uninstalled the new ones, rebooted, reinstalled 78.01, rebooted, set my refresh rates to where I liked them but left everything else on default. I got back into the game and started again, this time the frame rate was much better. I played until I bumped into another Civ, leader head popped up and the frame rate still stayed nice and smooth. I played for a good 3-4 hours after that and the only problems I noticed were a couple of unit graphics "disappearing" during combat and the music cutting in and out during one of the wonder videos. No crashes or lockups thankfully.

The short version: So it would seem that rolling back my Nvidia drivers to 78.01 fixed my problem. I also left the AF, AA, and VSync options on "Application controlled" whereas before I had them all manually set. (AA was off, AF at 8X, and VSync forced on)

Hopefully this helps someone out. Great game! Kudos to Soren, Sid, and Firaxis! Now I just have to get through the rest of the day, then parent-teacher conferences for my daughters, then a quick 30-45 mins on the weight bench, and THEN I can start again and hopefully this time make it past the mid 1200s.

glyc
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« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2005, 06:52:33 PM »

CANADIANS NEAR TORONTO!!!

I copied this from a civfanatics post that just went up a minute ago...

"CONFIRMED!!!! i JUST SPOKE TO THE GUY IN THE STORE HE SAYS HE HAS ALOT OF COPIES. And since he was nice enough to put one aside for me... this is the store....

Gameshack at Atrium on the Bay...416-351-7065
If you don't know where that is... it's the very small mall north of Eaton Center. The entrance is exactly accross the street where the construction site is. The entrance is next to the GAP or where the Pickel Barrel used to be.
From dundas station there's an entrance on the southbound exit next to the stairs that go down to the northbound side."

EDIT: CONFIRMED... he has 30 copies, I'm on my way.

I'm going to call now and check it out.
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« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2005, 06:55:23 PM »

Quote from: "Glycerine"
I just have to get through the rest of the day, then parent-teacher conferences for my daughters, then a quick 30-45 mins on the weight bench, and THEN I can start again and hopefully this time make it past the mid 1200s.

 :lol:  I know exactly how you feel.  I got the game yesterday, but won't touch it till this weekend!  I have to get through work today, seeing my kids tonight, work tomorrow, workout at the gym after work, shower, and THEN CIVILIZATION IV and other gaming ALL WEEKEND LONG!!!  Just me, some Foster's, games and nobody else! biggrin  I'm 40 yrs old, divorced, and I'm excited about an entire weekend of gaming with nobody around?  Man, what is my problem! :shock: :wink:
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« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2005, 09:02:59 PM »

My copies out somewhere in Kentucky, so I probably won't be playing until next week. frown  Sometimes I regret pre-ordering.
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« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2005, 01:37:01 AM »

I could kick puppies I'm so mad. I asked the manager to set one aside under my name and he said "don't worry, there'll be one when you get here." Well when I got there he had left and there were only four copies left, with other peoples names on them. The clerk said he couldn't give me one. I drove from Hamilton to Toronto and back during rush hour and I never got the game.

AAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
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« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2005, 02:37:39 AM »

Orgull - I feel really bad for you.  I have had that happen to me.  Expectation like that and then... BAM!

It will make it all the sweeter when you finally do get it though!  Trust me, it is a fantastic game!  You are in for a treat.

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"Let your enemies fear, for a harlequin of the Laughing God dances at your side."
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