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I’ve founded religions, spied on my neighbours and sent a spaceship in search of a new home on a distant star. The promise of a Brave New World was enough to bring me crashing back down to Earth though, and I’ve been making new friends, meeting old enemies and creating great works of art. This latest expansion takes on the greatest challenge of all – injecting some meaningful activity into Civilization’s end-game. I’ve spent a week uncovering its charms and chores, and here’s wot I think.>
Almost three years after launch, Civilization V's promised Pitboss multiplayer mode is finally arriving today in a new patch. The update also brings an observer mode, support for custom maps in multiplayer, AI tweaks, new terrain art, bug fixes, and more, making everything spick-and-span for the launch of the Brave New World expansion next week.
Pitboss is, in the words of the patch notes, a mode "which allows players to connect, take their turn, disconnect, and come back later. Email notifications and steam notifications are built into the system." A more laid-back mode for people who don't want to sit and play a round for several hours straight, see.
At first Pitboss will require someone to act as server, but developer Firaxis plans to release a standalone server that doesn't require a Steam account, "once the system has received a healthy amount of feedback from the community"--ie it's ironed out bugs and niggles.
The patch brings loads of other fine changes, especially to multiplayer, so do check the notes. It's due out later today, and should update automatically through Steam.
Civ V brings out the worst in me and Brave New World may be the expansion that changes all of that. I was approaching the industrial age in a recent multiplayer game when I realised what a terrible ruler I was – ‘terrible’ not because I was a failure but because I was too much of a success. I was the coal-devouring, smoke-belching face of global domination, like a nightmarish Punch cartoon come to life, the leader of a people who saw foreign nations as obstacles to be removed. Civ V is a strategy game that encourages the drive toward victory rather than the establishment of a culture with character. Brave New World may change that when it is released on July 12th. Here’s an early launch trailer.