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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » The Town Square » Is Pharaoh really harder than Emperor?
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Topic Subject:Is Pharaoh really harder than Emperor?
Anuovis
Pleb
posted 05-22-11 05:41 ET (US)         
It would seem that a lot of players around here talk about Caesar as being the hardest, then followed by Pharaoh and only then by Emperor. Zeus always comes last.

By "harder" I mean building and maintaining a prosperous city - building industries, evolve housing, balancing finances, taking care of gods and military matters.

By "harder" I also don't mean "better". People have different tastes and after all, games should be fun. I also think that difficulty levels can make all the difference within the same game.

Caesar and Zeus are probably deserving their places in this ranking. I played the two only very briefly and never really got into either. Among other reasons, Caesar seemed challenging only because it didn't give me enough tools to deal with problems (I played it after Pharaoh) and Zeus was a bit too boring with very few resources and easy house evolution.

However, when it comes to Pharaoh and Emperor, I am not that sure any more. Building Chinese cities seemed simple at a glance but I would often find myself struggling with numerous problems, much like in Pharaoh. I play both at Very Hard.

I am a rather casual player and have been playing both of these games on and off. Also, never really got into later campaigns so have no idea if things get much harder then.

I find Emperor challenging if I go for the perfect Feng Shui, then I really need to plan every square of the map which is not that different from Pharaoh. Also feeding enough people to fill all the workings posts for the city. Worker shortages is always a big problem, even with the flexible wage rate/labor supply.

Trading is very tricky since your partners can get angry and close the critical routes. Every city also trades only up to 3 goods and usually for 12 or 24 loads per year compared to tons of goods for 20-40 loads in Egypt where also cities are friendly. This forces to open 2 or 3 export industries rather early and maintain several trading routes.

Military is limited by the luxurious housing and that means almost any city can invade or extort goods earlier in the game. Diplomacy is really important if you want to survive and cities seem to be rather aggressive on Very Hard.


Not sure if I'm alone feeling like this but I was rather surprised when I found Emperor to be as hard as Pharaoh. When you look at the tables, it really doesn't seem that way.

Or am I missing something here?

[This message has been edited by Anuovis (edited 05-22-2011 @ 11:13 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
Eswen
Pleb
posted 05-23-11 17:42 ET (US)     1 / 7       
By difficulty I'd say Caesar leads, followed by Pharaoh, Emperor and then Zeus. But bear in mind, every game has it's aspects and problems to solve. I occasionally revisit Pharaoh or Emperor, very rarely Zeus, but my passion lies with Caesar, so maybe I'm biased.
Afterburner
Pleb
posted 06-05-11 21:14 ET (US)     2 / 7       
I find Pharaoh to be the hardest of the four games, due simply to what I call the "Cruel and Unusual Geography" factor. With Pharaoh, you've got all manner of obnoxious terrain to deal with. Cramped spaces, arid maps with resources far from the water, necessary resources on both sides of the Nile, etc etc.

Caesar, by comparison, almost always has plenty of wide-open space to build your city.
GovernorSimulus
Pleb
posted 06-06-11 00:09 ET (US)     3 / 7       
Afterburner: I am playing On/Heliopolis right now and so know what you mean.
CycloneGU
Pleb
posted 06-11-11 00:43 ET (US)     4 / 7       
Pharaoh is very difficult for one primary reason; despite being the first game to introduce the Roadblock (I don't think C3 has it, but I may be mistaken), it also uses that roadblock as an impedement to a newly placed building looking for new workers; the dude heads up to the roadblock, turns around, and heads in the other direction. You could go a while before going back and noticing it's still not staffed.

Emperor I like, but I found the one scenario challenging when the one city closed its trade route. What a prick. After finally beating that, I pottered about with the next one and found a new interest for a while. Then C4 came along, I originally found it tough (in 3D) from the start and put it down, and recently played it again and am finding that walkers actually have brains in that game; it makes it in fact easier. The reservoir and aqueduct finagling and the three levels of housing, however, are a bit over the top.

Zeus was my favourite, and it's also on my list of games to revisit. I downloaded a lot of Nightwolf scenarios exclusively and once even created sound files for the first in his Dedication series; I never released them and they're on a PC in storage ATM.

Cyclone

[This message has been edited by CycloneGU (edited 06-11-2011 @ 00:45 AM).]

Brugle
HG Alumnus
posted 06-11-11 14:45 ET (US)     5 / 7       
Hi CycloneGU.
Pharaoh is very difficult for one primary reason; despite being the first game to introduce the Roadblock (I don't think C3 has it, but I may be mistaken), it also uses that roadblock as an impedement to a newly placed building looking for new workers
Roadblocks don't make Pharaoh more difficult, since they are not required. If you find playing with roadblocks harder than without them, don't build them. Roadblocks are one of several changes that make Pharaoh easier than C3. (Roadblocks with options may make later games even easier, but that's a different issue.)
the dude heads up to the roadblock, turns around, and heads in the other direction. You could go a while before going back and noticing it's still not staffed.
Some players do make that mistake, one or more times, but most eventually learn how to use Pharaoh roadblocks effectively. (Buildings that automatically have access to labor make later games considerably easier, but that's another different issue.)

[This message has been edited by Brugle (edited 06-11-2011 @ 03:19 PM).]

CycloneGU
Pleb
posted 06-11-11 16:00 ET (US)     6 / 7       
Yeah, you don't have to use roadblocks, but I like using them to keep my water, market, religion, etc. walkers inside the neighbourhood where they are needed; I don't need my bazaar lady walking off to the industry ward offering pottery to a gold mine. I shouldn't say that roadblocks makes it harder; it does make it easier. The way they can screw up other things, like buildings seeking workers, makes their use in this game more difficult. In Emperor, I don't think this would be an issue, and even Zeus I don't think does that (correct if wrong).

Cyclone
Eswen
Pleb
posted 06-11-11 17:10 ET (US)     7 / 7       
For me what makes Zeus and Emperor easier is just the lack of citizens roaming around seeking labor. I'm currently (but not too intensely) revising Emperor, which is somewhat relaxing, since I find that game to be really easy at "hard". I have a solid block devised for the workers, holding around 2200 people at "Ornate apartment" level ... and taxing them + one export industry is usually enough to keep up with money.

Pharaoh is a different kind of fish, there I find challenges more often than not, and I'd say that even if I find it a bit easier (because of the roadblock had been introduced) I still enjoy a game. Still I find Caesar 3 to be the hardest, for many reasons, one of which is (again) the citizens. They are stupid little fellows always wandering around looking for workers, and since as a rule I won't use a gatehouse outside of the city walls, this makes it challenging and fun.

[This message has been edited by Eswen (edited 06-11-2011 @ 05:11 PM).]

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