Clear your schedule in advance of Civilization VI’s October 21 launch

Firaxis has announced Civilization VI. I'm going to let that fact sink in, along with its implications for all your spare time. Polygon published an interview with Firaxis' lead designer Ed Beach, detailing all the wondrous new ways in which you'll forego the company of your family and friends for months on end.

If you're wondering what all the fuss is about: Civilization is a long-running series of turn-based strategy games where players evolve a civilization from its prehistoric days to the far future, in the hopes of dominating the world by military force, diplomacy, or cultural achievements. Created by Sid Meier, the series of games is only rivaled by Facebook when it comes to mankind's collective waste of productivity.

Let's talk about the changes in the the new title. Back when it was released, Civilization V made a drastic change to its predecessor's gameplay style: military units could no longer be stacked. That forced players to actually think about their tactics instead of just showing up at the enemy's doorstep with a ton of units. Firaxis' Beach told Polygon that while this change was a positive one, it also had its problems. Maps became a little too busy with units, and players often had to build many copies of the same unit type. Those changes are now being rolled back a bit. Same-type units can now be joined together to make what Firaxis calls "corps" or "armies," and support units can be grouped with a main unit type, making for potentially interesting combinations.

Civilization VI's other big change affects the cities themselves. In previous games, players would build city improvements that would magically remain within the confines of a single map tile – even wonders like Machu Picchu or the Great Pyramids. In Civilization VI, city expansions actually take up tiles around the city center. Firaxis tells Polygon that there are 12 different district types available, and each of those will allow the construction of different building types. Building placement will become a strategic consideration, and the surrounding terrain will make an even greater difference. Firaxis hopes this change will force players to adjust their playstyle as the game goes on, as it believes most people just settled on a given city strategy and stuck with it in past games.

It's no secret that Civilization's AI was always a bit lacking in the consistency department. Although the AI players collectively posed enough of a challenge, their personalities sometimes swung in ways that weren't necessarily consistent with what one might expect. One day Ghandi would be flowery and peaceful, for example, and the next day he'd ship you a few nukes by air with "from India with love" written on the nose cone. Firaxis hopes the redesigned AI will make individual leaders' personalities stand out more, in accordance to their historical dispositions.

Last but not least, research in Civ VI ought to make players be a little more proactive with their choices. In the new title, Polygon's interview suggests exploring map areas and having access to certain resources will boost certain parts of the tech tree. For example, having access to the coast and its characteristics may net you a bonus on seafaring technologies. This change should dovetail nicely with the city expansion, too, making careful tile selection and defense considerations more important than ever.

Civilization VI is already up for preorder on Steam for $60, and it will be available October 21.

Comments closed
    • blitzy
    • 4 years ago

    I always find the civ games get too bogged down with micro management late game which detracts from the enjoyment of managing a civ at a high level. IMO at least.

    • odizzido
    • 4 years ago

    Sounds like they’re taking army stuff from realism invictus and city stuff from fallen enchantress? Well that’s good. Both of those things work very well. I’d love it if they had troop customisation like in FELH as well.

    As to the AI I’ve never felt like trying to get along with people works. It always seems like they will declare war on you at any moment even if it’s a terrible idea.

    Anyways civ5 was kinda bad…..it had some stuff I liked but it felt very dumbed down and restricted. Perhaps I am just used to realism invictus now though which is my go to civ ATM.

    • EndlessWaves
    • 4 years ago

    Is this another steam-only release like Civ5 was?

      • sweatshopking
      • 4 years ago

      I hope not. wanna see that badboy in the UWP STORE

        • EndlessWaves
        • 4 years ago

        And gog, origin and everywhere else that offers an alternative gameplay experience. The more diversity the better.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 4 years ago

      I’m pretty sure Firaxis is a Steamworks shop, so probably.

    • Krogoth
    • 4 years ago

    Civilization II was the apex of the series. Alpha Centauri took it to the next level. It has never been the same since.

    War and Nuke happy Gandhi is a requirement.

      • 223 Fan
      • 4 years ago

      If I didn’t know better I would think you were unimpressed by the announcement of Civ VI.

      • sweatshopking
      • 4 years ago

      civ 2 sucked. civ v is the high mark with the expansions.

        • Krogoth
        • 4 years ago

        Civilization 5 is very good, but it is plagued by stupid rules that just bog down the gameplay. It certainly not as bad as Civilization 3.

        None of them have match the brilliance of Alpha Centauri as far as 4X games are concerned.

          • sweatshopking
          • 4 years ago

          I never cared for AC. Idky

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 4 years ago

      Civ4 was great man.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 4 years ago

    I first heard about this from SSK. I didn’t believe him.

    • Vivaldi
    • 4 years ago

    $60? No thanks.

    You’ll have to pry Civ 3 and Alpha Centauri from my cold, dead hands.

      • sweatshopking
      • 4 years ago

      I don’t thinkanyone would bother….

      • Nike
      • 4 years ago

      [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cp0I9qLE0VA[/url<]

    • Bensam123
    • 4 years ago

    Civ 6 trailer is up on Youtube too… Surprised it wasn’t in the announcement here.

    [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvBf6WBatk0[/url<]

      • bandannaman
      • 4 years ago

      Thanks for the link, but since it’s gameplay-free (just marketing stuff) I’m not surprised at the omission.

        • Bensam123
        • 4 years ago

        Cinematics set the tone and feel for a game. It doesn’t need to be gameplay to be relevant anymore then the colorful text in the summary expressing his interest in the game was.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 4 years ago

    Why should I clear my schedule? Is this the end of Civilization as we know it? ;->

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 4 years ago

      The game is releasing. It’s the beginning.

    • sweatshopking
    • 4 years ago

    I play and win on deity, and V was a masterpiece. People complain about the AI, but you want it to run on your computer, and so there isn’t much they can do besides give them advantages. you’re smarter than your CPU. Looking forward to this one.

      • 223 Fan
      • 4 years ago

      V as EVENTUALLY a masterpiece. After BNW and G&K.

        • morphine
        • 4 years ago

        This. Although I absolutely love Civ V, I’ll be the first to say took about a year’s worth of patches to get it to run okay.

      • morphine
      • 4 years ago

      I don’t have as much of a problem with giving the AI advantages as I have with the fact that:

      a) they’re bipolar and will attack you with barely any reason, which makes diplomacy almost useless outside of the BNW expansion.
      b) they’re dumb as rocks when it comes to combat, so they rely on the bonuses to give you a challenge. Just doesn’t feel too “real”.

      Here’s to hoping they actually improve on this front in Civ6.

        • sweatshopking
        • 4 years ago

        Sounds like real diplomacy. Too be honest I don’t usually bother much with diplomacy. I’ve always found it the weakest part. I just kill everyone, so its usually not much good anyway.
        I agree, and hope for improvements too, but many people often just get mad they build stuff faster.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 4 years ago

      Civ5 deity is about as hard as prince on Civ4

    • September
    • 4 years ago

    The graphics seems considerably more cartoonish…any word on GPU requirements?

      • Demetri
      • 4 years ago

      Yeah, I’m really not liking these new graphics. Looks like a major step backward.

      • Nike
      • 4 years ago

      That was my first reaction, as well. Civilization VI: Clash of the Clans.

    • drfish
    • 4 years ago

    Seems like the have a good plan. I just really, really, REALLY, hope they make an AI that can keep up with the new mechanics and oh, by the way, master some of the old ones too.

    • 223 Fan
    • 4 years ago

    After my experience pre-ordering Beyond Earth I think I will wait for the Steam Christmas sale on this one.

      • sweatshopking
      • 4 years ago

      beyond earth was trash.

        • 223 Fan
        • 4 years ago

        The tech tree was innovative. Too bad they chained it to affinities.

      • DPete27
      • 4 years ago

      I agree, I REALLY enjoyed Civ5, but CBE was incredibly difficult to play. When someone who’s played civilization before can’t figure out how to play, you’ve done something wrong.

      I gave it a good 3 hours and I had hit a wall where I didn’t know what to do to make my city better or progress in the game. Not to mention the hundred choices you have to make before you even start a match (Which seemed to have little effect on my progress). Too complex.

        • sweatshopking
        • 4 years ago

        it just sucked in every regard.

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