Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Civ V: Brutal Trading Bug

I read about a trading bug in Civ V multiplayers games a while ago but didn't give it much thought. It's incredibly abusive if you want to cheat but I figured no one I'm playing with now would be abusing it. And I guess if they were and got caught we'd just stop playing with them. But then earlier today I got hit by a side effect of the bug in a game with Robb. He wasn't trying to be abusive or anything and it only cost me a turn of scouting but it was still annoying and it now makes me think everyone should know about the bug so we don't get hit by any side effects.

The bug is pretty simple. When player A proposes a trade to player B it pops up on B's next turn. B can accept the trade, reject the trade, or modify the trade. The first two work fine but the third one has the bug. You'd think that modifying the trade would be a way to send a counter-proposal to the other player and that's exactly what Robb tried to do in our game. I was trying to bribe him with 15 gold and some horses to get open borders between us so I could go meet a city state behind his borders. He didn't want my horses and wanted more gold instead so he modified the trade to be open borders each way with me throwing in 30 gold. That was fine by me, but when it got to my turn I couldn't accept the trade. You see, the trade was modified by Robb but it was still my trade and that means Robb is the one that needs to accept it.

He doesn't even need me to see the modified trade. He can modify the trade and then accept it.



He could have, for example, modified the trade so I got nothing and he got my 3 cities and all of my gold.



Yeah, that's not cool.

Modifying trades is actually a way to speed things up with outside game communication. If Robb had asked me about it in Skype instead of just sending the offer then we could have haggled over the gold amount, he could have modified it, and then accepted it and we'd both be happy.

But outside of that edge case you really shouldn't ever modify a trade. Reject and send a new one of your own if you want. Talk about it on a message thread. But don't modify a trade and expect the other guy to be able to accept it. He can't, because of the bug.

And obviously don't modify a trade and accept it without talking to the other person. There is a log of completed trades so it's pretty easy to check if someone is abusing the bug. Certainly if you steal a city this way we just roll the turn back, kick you out, and move on with our lives.

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