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Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gold Edition

Show posts for all products, not just Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gold Edition
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Steam Time Analysis tool compares friend data, tells you how much you’ve spent in Steam">Steam Time Analysis







Lambent Stew's free, web-based Steam Time Analysis tool laid bare my backlog of shame by breaking down time spent (or not spent) on each of my library's games like some sort of cold, ruthless PowerPoint presentation. The breadth of information provided is quite impressive. Over email, Stew told us the new build includes a few new features that further visualize users' habits.



You're now be able to compare your profile with those on your friends list for games owned, how many were played, and total hours played. (Our own Executive Editor Evan Lahti only played around 16 percent of his over 1300-game stable, the lazy bum.)



Similar to another homebrewed utility, a new worth calculator also provides combined figures for minimum, maximum, and current game prices in your library. Locating your own profile should be easier with improved search: just type in your Steam profile ID, and the tool should easily zero in on your data.



Check out the tool for yourself on Lambent Stew's website. How do you rank against your friends? What's your most-played game?
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Steam logs over 6 million concurrent users during Thanksgiving weekend">Steam concurrent users graph







Combating Thanksgiving food comas with the awe-inspiring power of the gaming binge, over 6 million gamers logged into Valve's digi-hub over the weekend after enduring the motions of spending "time" with "family." Undoubtedly spurred on by the Autumn Sale and its many wallet puns, the surge also rode the waves of numerous major releases such as PlanetSide 2, Assassin's Creed 3, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.



The ballooned player count peaked around 11:00 a.m. PST Sunday with 6,045,912 users logged on, Kotaku noticed. Notice that's concurrent logins, not active game sessions—while games define the vanguard of Steam's excellence, the chart gathers numbers from simply having the program launched and running. That's where the always-handy Steam Graph service steps in with more numbers for your numbers.







Plugging in a few top releases into Steam Graph for the Thanksgiving weekend shows a fair spread across PC gaming's most popular genres. Dota 2's un-beta boasted a little over 170,000 simultaneous players on late Saturday, while soccer-sim Football Manager 2013's surprising strength topped at around 60,000. On Sunday night Black Ops 2 spiked at 51,000 soldiers, and PlanetSide 2's fight for Auraxia swelled to 30,000 Steam conscripts last night. Lastly, as many as 15,000 stone-faced killers were concurrently shoving sharp metal objects into various people in Assassin's Creed 3.



Conclusion? I'm really tired of turkey sandwiches, but Steam's powerful presence on the PC only increases with each passing year.
Product Update - Valve
Hot-Fix Patch Notes

[CRASH]
- DX9 Range-strike crash. A city-strike or ranged unit could cause the game to crash when playing in the DX9 version, mainly in full-screen, but could occur in windowed mode as well.
- DX9 Cascading graphics failure crash. On certain video cards, after playing for a short amount of time (or across a number of short games), the game could exhibit strange graphical behavior (rapidly blinking graphics, terrain unloading, etc.), which could eventually lead to a driver failure or hang.
- DX9 multiple start crash. Fixed an issue where the DX9 version of the game could become unstable or crash if started multiple times in the same session.

[BUG]
- Auto-Annex, no pop-ups bug. Fixed an issue that was causing the pop-up queue to stop displaying in-game pop-ups until the game was reloaded. NOTE: The cause of this could also exist in existing mods. Please see our note at the bottom of the change-list on how modders can correct this.
- Mod constant reload. Fixed an issue causing mods to constantly reload each time the user visited the mods area. Could also cause modded saves to be corrupted or crash on load.
- Denmark Trait not working. Fixed an issue causing Denmark’s trait (allows disembarked units to have an extra move after landing) to not function correctly.
- Inefficient Pathfinder issue. Fixed multiple issues with the pathfinder that was causing units to exhibit inefficient movement choices.
- Exploding workboat graphic. Fixed an issue where the Workboat model exhibited graphical corruption.
- Grey terrain/checker-boarding. Fixed an issue on slower video cards where terrain displayed in large quantities, or with rapid draws (like clicking rapidly around the mini-map), could cause the game to unload the terrain system, resulting in large amounts of checkerboards.

[OPTIMIZATION]
- Multiple Terrain optimizations.

[MODDING NOTE]

Modders need to ensure they are calling the SerialEventGameMessagePopupProcessed event immediately with pop-ups. Here's an example from the ReligionOverview.lua, changes are in red.

function ShowHideHandler( bIsHide, bInitState )
if( not bInitState ) then
if( not bIsHide ) then
UI.incTurnTimerSemaphore();
Events.SerialEventGameMessagePopupShown(g_PopupInfo);
TabSelect(g_CurrentTab);
else
if(g_PopupType ~= nil) then
Events.SerialEventGameMessagePopupProcessed.CallImmediate(g_PopupInfo.Type, 0);
end
UI.decTurnTimerSemaphore();
end
end
end
ContextPtr:SetShowHideHandler( ShowHideHandler );

PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Civilization 5 aims to restore the balance, via giant ‘Fall’ patch">Civilization 5







Civilization V's 'Fall' patch has been a long time coming, but it's crept onto Steam just in time to see the country sacked by the barbarian invader known as 'Jack Frost'. As updates go, it's less of a patch and more of a plaster cast, attempting to perfect the balance of the game with a frankly enormous number of bug fixes, balance tweaks and general spit-and-polish. You'll find the full list here, but we've plucked out a few gems after the break.



Bug fixes include the news that "resurrecting a player will have both sides forget any denouncing that happened before resurrected", while "if you intentionally starve your city by reassigning all your citizens to be unemployed, you won't end up with more citizens than you have population." Which makes sense. Balance-wise, you'll now get 25HP for pillaging tiles, and you'll receive less "espionage notification spam". Additionally, Ultrabook users have been granted touch/gesture support, with a new gesture menu that lets you control the game by tapping and dragging on the screen. Again, that's just the tip of the iceberg - ginormo list of changes available here.
Product Update - Valve
Change list – Civ V Balance Patch
Updated: November 1
10.0.2.13

FIXED BUGS
- Mod Browser - The "Get Mods" button is now hidden if the user has disabled the steam overlay.
Civilizations and Traits
- Ottoman naval upkeep is now fixed. Save games that were started before the fix will not be corrected.
- German UA and Oligarchy social policy now work together correctly.
City States
- Mercantile CS now only get a unique luxury for their first city (and not the cities they conquer). Unique luxury is removed upon capture (players can no longer get it by taking over a CS). Unique luxury is given back upon liberation.
- Prevent double counting of resources when an improvement is gifted to a minor civ, then the minor civ techs up to activate the improvement.
Diplomacy
- Research Agreement code was previously giving double-credit to research "overflows" (i.e. when you finished a tech and the extra research was being applied to the following tech). Now the credit toward a RA will be based on Science earned that turn.
- Corrected an issue that caused the AI to attempt coups too often, when chances of success were too low. Also implemented a new factor: Attempting a coup in a location where there is no defending spy (the current ally does not have a spy there) is >=2x as likely to work as it would if there was a spy there.
- Resurrecting a player will have both sides forget any denouncing that happened before resurrected.
- Don't treat player as a deal breaker just for going to war with a player again.
Exploits
- Do not let a player earn the 2 free techs from the Rationalism Finisher twice. Also removed the +1 Science from Libraries from that finisher.
- If you intentionally starve your city by reassigning all your citizens to be unemployed, you won't end up with more citizens than you have population.
Religion
- Fix Found Religion screen so you can't find out about civs you haven't met by mousing over the religion icons.
- Correct "Peace Loving" belief so it doesn't negate other happiness benefits from religion.
- Rebuild religious pressure in case it was corrupted in older save games.
- Clarify Interfaith Dialog so it mentions that Prophets earn you science too (not just missionaries).
Scenarios
- Removed notifications that appear at the beginning of the Fall of Rome and Mongol scenarios about lacking the proper strategic resources.
AI
- Dutch now will build farms before polders are available.
- Do not allow Carthaginian units to spawn on mountains.
- Do not allow Carthaginian Workers to end turns on mountains.
- AI will now build more workboats and will improve oil plots in the water.
- Automated workers that don't have anything to do will not consume all their movement.
- Allow rush built units to trigger the operation they were built for to proceed into Gather Units phase.
- Fixed an issue where automated workers evaluated danger incorrectly and consequently behaved incorrectly.
- Fixed an issue where citizen management focus on Production (and possibly others) could lead to starvation.
- Clicking on an unemployed citizen to set them back to work does not "unlock" locked citizen assignment.
- The logic to recommend Artist improvement placement now does not count plots where improvements can't be placed, e.g. oases.
- Add additional sanity checks for deceptive attacks. Previously, if an AI was choosing to deceptively attack, they would not check to determine if it was a good idea or not the moment before launching, which could result in “dumb” attacks.
Units
- Fix unit de-selection so the mini-map indicator clears.
- Better “Next Unit” selection. Previously, the camera would jump great distances to select the next unit that needs orders, when a closer unit was available.
- Unit cycling improvement: when a unit is promoted, do NOT cycle immediately off that unit.
- Change minimum area size for all naval units to 10 (from 20). That allows them to be built in the same cities as harbors, seaports (and great admirals) -- i.e. on any body of water not considered to be a "lake"
- Fix advanced promotions for melee naval ships.
- Restore missing Cover 2 promotion entries so it is available to units again.
- Fix a hang if a (melee) unit advanced across the world wrap seam after a combat.
- Correct Great Admiral AI placement bug that prevented it from selecting a valid coastal city of yours.
- Unit list now re-sorts itself correctly when a unit is promoted.
- Subs are no longer visible (all the time) in Hot Seat mode.
- Don't give GG points from Barbarian ranged attacks.
- Helicopters now take damage when ending their turn over mountains.
- Interception promotions now help the right unit (had previously been reversed).
- Evasion promotion helps the right unit (had previously been reversed).
- Two top-of-screen messages added to explain what is going on with intercepts (one for if the attacking air unit is eliminated, and another if he is just damaged).
- Fixed a unit movement issue that broke melee attacking from more than one hex away.
- Janissary heals 50 instead of 100 when killing enemy units.
- Supply promotion now heals 15 HP outside friendly territory; matching text (was 25 HP).
- Added a check to make sure that after a city is disbanded (ex. razed), the units remaining on the plot are allowed to be there. If not (ex. naval units), then they are moved to the nearest valid plot.
- Fix for barbarians that would not move the turn after they spawned.
- Have Great Engineer pick both the wonder and the city it needs to be built in (the bug was that the AI could repeatedly try to build a wonder in a city that it couldn't).
- Make sure Caravels and Destroyers always have the Withdraw before Melee promotion, even if you don't own DLC02.
- Barbarians should now spawn in their camp if it is empty of combat units instead of beside it.
Optimization
- Many performance improvements, particularly in the renderer.
- Pathfinder fixes and optimization.
Text Bugs
- Fixed several text bugs.
Misc
- Fixed rare crashes that could occur depending on hardware.
- Only the “alive” civilization capitals are tested for majority religion in "We are family" achievement.
- Added missing Polish Dawn of Man audio.
- Advisors: Messages concerning your people being unhappy/livid now display correctly (a bug was causing this to fire at the wrong time).
- Economic Overview: Don't list diplomacy values as an expense and an income at the same time.
- Fix auto-scrolling between turns. If a user was scrolling when a turn ended, or when combat ended, it would occasionally get “stuck” and continue scrolling.
- Fix unit de-selection so the mini-map indicator clears.
BALANCE
- Reduced Happiness a bit from Mercantile City States. You no longer get +1 bonus happiness going from Friends to Allies (since you already get the luxuries then). And eliminated the +1 Happiness entering Industrial era.
- Ballistics now requires Railroads. This will force the AI to get railroads before getting too deep in the tree.
- Pillaging tiles now awards +25 hit points to the pillaging unit.
- Tweaks to culture border growth:
o Should get coastal resource tiles a bit sooner.
o Should mildly steer towards tiles that are near unclaimed resources.
o Should get resource tiles in rings 4 and 5 a bit sooner.
- Austrian UA balance changes:
o Increase the cost of a City-State by at least the amount of gold you will get from scrapping their units.
o Must be ally for 5 turns before you can undergo a diplomatic marriage with a City-State.
o "Yoink!" achievement is now: "As Austria, acquire a City-State with 15 or more units through Diplomatic Marriage."
Religion
- Pilgrimage belief now gives +2 Faith per foreign city following this religion.
- Follower and Pantheon beliefs provide Local Happiness; Founder beliefs provide Global Happiness
- Faith output per city is now listed in the economic overview - general information panel. Note: Faith output per city is hidden if religion is disabled.
- AI: Buy Missionaries in city with Great Mosque as TOP priority (even over Holy City if different).
- Tall/Wide Religion Balance Change: Add Grand Temple (National Wonder).
Diplomacy & Espionage
- New peace deals. Now 9 AI levels instead of the previous 5 (so one new level added between each of the earlier ones). Peace levels are now:
o 0: White Peace (give up nothing)
o 1: Armistice (1/2 gold, 1/2 of max GPT)
o 2: Settlement (all gold, max GPT)
o 3: Back-down (all luxuries, all gold, max GPT, open borders)
o 4: Submission (all resources, all gold, max GPT, open borders)
o 5: Surrender (one city)
o 6: Cession (1/4 city value, 1/2 gold)
o 7: Capitulation (1/3 city value, all gold)
o 8: Unconditional Surrender (all but capital, all gold)
- Peace deal code now prioritizes both cities that are close to winner's capital AND cities that were originally built by winning player (previously it was distance only).
- Reduced espionage notification spam. Will only be notified of election and coup activities if you have met them and (have a spy in the city or are friends with them or have a relationship with them that is above the resting point.)
- Added ability to liberate cities that are not owned by their founders or originally owned by the player. The player will receive a diplomacy bonus with the liberated player for liberating up to three cities. This liberation is not part of the "recalled to life" resurrection of a once annihilated civ. This functionality only runs if the city liberated is owned by a player that is alive. There are two ways to lose the diplomatic liberation bonus are:
1. Declare war on someone you have liberated cities for. You have to be the first player declaring war. This does not count defensive pacts or someone you liberated declaring war on you.
2. Capturing a city from someone you liberated. This case comes into play if A liberated a city of C's, then A & B have a defensive pact, C declares war on A & B, then A captures a city of C's. C will forget that A liberated any of their cities.
- The AI will now liberate cities and resurrect players. There are notifications when the AI resurrects players and cities. An AI will resurrect another (non-human) player when they are trying to win a diplomatic victory. An AI will return a city if the original owner of the city has a defensive pact with the player and they are both at war with the previous owner of the city, or, the AI and the original owner have a declaration of friendship and the AI is going for a diplomatic victory.
- Diplomacy: Peace treaty duration scales with game speed.
o Quick: 10 turns
o Normal: 10 turns
o Epic: 15 turns
o Marathon: 30 turns
- Diplomacy: Declaration of Friendships/Denouncements now scale with game speed.
o Quick: 50
o Normal: 50
o Epic: 75
o Marathon: 150
- Changed diplomatic globals:
o The opinion thresholds (unforgivable/enemy/competitor/favorable/friend/ally) have been pushed farther apart. They were initally 50/30/10, now 80/40/15.
o Diplomatic intrigue bonuses have been lowered by 1/2, from 20 to 10.
o "Asked Stop Spying" penalty dropped from 20 to 10.
o There are a number of changes to the duration of city-state interaction penalties, greatly reducing their duration.
- Diplomacy overview improvements. Now displays "your open borders/embassy", "their open borders/embassy", "shared open borders/embassy"
- With making deals, AIs will notify you when they're not willing to give enough on their side to make the deal work. This addresses some issues where you ask an AI to propose a deal and they say "we can't make a deal" and then you propose a lop-sided deal and they accept it. They will say "we aren't willing to give you enough to make this a fair trade."
- Other civs won't warn about expansion unless the player has founded a city in the last 10 turns.
- "We attacked your protected City-State" statements are now triggered by damage done (ex. killing a unit) rather than simply being at war. As a result, the statement should no longer be triggered by a quick succession of DoWs (such as those done automatically by a CS changing allies).
- The AI will no longer ask other players to join in a war when they are already involved in at least one.
Units
- Unit Balance Changes:
o Drop Ironclad to 45 combat strength (from 50).
o Remove +33% vs. Cities from Battleships.
o Drop Gatling Guns to 30 Combat and Ranged Strength.
o Make sure Air Ambush 2 and Air Targeting 2 work for fighters and bombers.
o Carriers now get naval melee promotions instead of naval ranged.
o Prize Ships Balance Change: 50% chance of converting ships with equal intrinsic combat strengths. Scales up and down (between 28% and 80%) based on relative intrinsic combat strengths of the two ships. Conversion chance if you do sink the opponent is shown in blue text on combat preview window.
o AI attackers will now pillage.
- Promotion balance change: make the +200% vs. Cities promotion go away on upgrade.
- Promotions: Push back Air Logistics promotion for Fighters and Bombers so it requires Bombardment 3 (not 2) or Air Siege 3 (not 2).
AI
- If the AI is able to build the UN, but would not win based on the current vote breakdown, have the AI refrain from constructing it unless conditions change.
- AI adjustments to Wonder build priorities.
- Tactical AI Improvement: Spend more gold on defense. AI will now spend gold at their cities where tactical dominance is EVEN (before it had to be enemy-dominated). AI will now also spend money on naval and air units for defense in such cites (before it was only land units and defensive buildings).
- Changes to AI settling:
o Expand the ring search.
o Flatten the value of rings a bit so that tiles in the further rings are worth a bit more.
o Make the default preferred spacing further for players not going for extreme expansion.
o Lower the value of tiles a bit so that the AI is a bit pickier about settlements.
o AI will try to reclaim lost settlers and builders.
o AI will no longer wait forever for a settler escort.
o Minor tweak to settlement location.
o More aggressive offshore expansion.
- Do not give priority to bonus resources in rings 4 and 5 when deciding next tile to grow towards.
- Tweak to AI settle to reduce bonus of tiles in rings 4 and 5 if already owned.
- Small change to make Haile Selassie less keen to expand wide.
- AI will now consider annexing cities it has conquered.
- The AI will not consider annexing if it is trying to win a culture victory or their empire is currently unhappy.
- Increased happiness flavor for circus to match Colosseum.
- Tactical/Homeland AI Improvement: Do not heal if under enemy ranged fire (that is making you lose more HP per turn than you can heal).
- Allow AI to capture civilians more than 4 hexes from their cities.
- Have AI build its units for sneak attack at a slightly higher priority if at high difficulty levels.
- Have AI weight Biology a bit stronger especially if liking tanks and airplanes (unlocks oil).
- AI tweaks to help coastal based civs:
o Change to settlement (cities beyond the first also prefer coast).
o Buildings that help coastal Civs have flavors adjusted (they didn't take some rules changes into account).
o Do not force high Naval civs to build a large navy (15+ ships) in the first 100 turns.
o Make Dido deceptive (as historical).
- Tweaks to allow cities to make better use of extra tiles from previous change:
o On average on extra worker or two will be built.
o Slightly less prioritization of connecting up luxuries (still the highest priority).
o Allow one tile islands to be settled (if they have a resource on them).
o Slightly more prioritization of production tiles.
o Builders will emphasize the capital so that it will always be a nicely developed city.
- City Governor AI:
o Prevent focused city AIs from starving as much.
o Make a wonder that has already been started in this city a higher priority.
o Lower the value of food for the governor when you have a large surplus.
POLISH
- UI
- Add in a UI overlay that shows which AI is processing its turn.
- In the detailed view of a mod in the mods browser, additional required mods will display their title if it has been provided instead of the ID of the mod.
- Add an “Exit to Main Menu” button to the player change screen in Hotseat.
- Added "Restart Game" option to game menu. This option lets you restart the game and generate a new map using your current pregame settings. It's only available at Turn 0.
- Advanced settings are now persisted across multiple single player games.
o NOTE: This feature can be disabled by setting "PersistAdvancedSettings = 0" in Config.ini
- The top panel now displays the month of the year if the game speed is so slow that it actually matters.
- Messages about a player losing their capital and regaining it are now included in the replay log.
- Messages about a player being resurrected are now included in the replay log.
- Fixed an issue causing the replay graphs to be corrupted when a player was resurrected.
- Display currently active mods in the single player screen.
- Add a separate graphics option for enabling/disabling the GPU texture decode.
- Fractal added to the map short list and random map types.
- Garrison ring properly disappears when unit moves out of city.
- Resource icon stacking. At lower resolutions, the resource icons clip into the date display along the top. We now hide the part of the list that clips if it’s too long, and instead, the player can mouse-over the list to see all the resources.
- Better timing for pop-ups (finding ruins, etc.).
- Auto unit selection improvements:
o On load, only cycle to the next unit if the currently selected unit is not ready for selection.
o Swap the direction that the CycleRight and CycleLeft buttons move the selection in the cycle list.
o When closing the city screen. Re-select the last unit that was selected.
o If the player has auto-unit-cycling off, don't auto-select the unit that is blocking the end turn.
- Further refinement to pop-up reordering. Pop-ups should now "feel" correct each turn (in the right order, at the right time).
- Don't prompt the player when removing fallout. Just do it. The prompt incorrectly referred to the action as removing an “improvement”.
- Switch a number of Great Merchants to Great Admirals. Add Great General: Hannibal and Great Merchant: Jakob Fugger.
- Optimized overlay system (culture borders, etc.). This system is now making half the draw calls that it did before.
- Flavored all the civs for anti-air and air-carrier.
- Add a combat weapon parameter that allows for a projectile that is not going to do any damage to have a "miss" radius. The helps spread out projectiles when there are a lot of attackers, but only one or two targets.
- Modding: Fix the hard-coded length of the promotions boolean array.
- Modding: Provide a way for Lua to query if the UI is in "Touch Screen" mode UI.IsTouchScreenEnabled().
WIN8 AND ULTRABOOK
- Many performance optimizations specifically targeted to Ultrabooks with Intel Core processors with HD Graphics.
- New launcher button for Windows 8 Intel touch-enabled version.
- Touch/Gesture Support:
o New “gesture” menu button on main menu, and when you bring up the main menu in-game.
o New sliders to control zoom and momentum speed in Options menu.
o Single finger tap for all UI buttons.
o Single finger drag for scroll bars or two fingers together swiping to scroll menus by gesture.
o Single-finger touch and drag to see tool-tips (terrain, UI, etc.).
o Pinch and expand finger for camera zoom.
o Two fingers dragging together moves map.
o Three finger tap is “escape” (from other menus, or to bring up Main Menu).
o Unit Control:
+ Single-finger tap to select unit, and then drag to issue a movement order, or...
+ Double-tap to enter “movement mode”.
+ Once in movement mode, single-tap on destination to issue an order, or touch and drag to preview movement path.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Civilization Online in development “for the Asian market”">Civilization V Gods and Kings review







Take Two have dropped word that a 100-strong team of developers in South Korea are building a dedicated online version of Civilization. It's being built for release in Asia, but if it does super-well there's always a chance it'll travel. The XLGames team is headed up by ex-Lineage designer, Jake Song. "A genius? That would be nice to hear, but I'd rather be called a craftsman," he says on XL's comically po-faced front page.



XLGames' last project was a CryEngine 2 powered MMO called ArcheAge. The size of the current team and the studio's knack for turning out pretty environments suggests that Civ Online will likely be a presentable, polished experience (the header image is of Civ 5, not Online incidentally), but will they be able to retain the depth of the Civilization series without becoming a Lineage-esque grindhouse? The Facebook game, Civilization World, was the last attempt to take Civilization online, and ended up being a bit of a disappointment to Civ fans.



But what does Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick think? “Making our intellectual property available to delight consumers wherever they are is an important component of our long-term growth strategy,” he says. “Our online and mobile social projects in Asia are enabling Take-Two to further broaden its global footprint and-" okay that's enough of that. More importantly, what do YOU think of the idea of Civilization Online?
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The Strategy Chronicles, collected edition">Strategy-Chronicles







For the past 16 weeks, I've been chronicling the rise and fall of tribes, kingdoms, and great heroes in historical strategy games. It all started in Civilization V with The Celtic Chronicle, and has made its way to the currently running Crusader Kings Chronicle. The feature is taking a week off, so between now and next Wednesday is the perfect time to go back and get caught up, or just reminisce about all of the epic moments of ages past. You'll find links to every entry ever, with clip show-esque highlights, below.



Civilization V: The Celtic Chronicle

I attempt to lead the new Celtic civilization in Civilization V: Gods and Kings to world dominance against all odds.



In Part 1, the Celtic tribes go to war with the French, besiege Paris, and found the greatest religion ever. Highlights include that awkward moment when everyone shows up to claim the same ruin and that time we marched a whole crapton of Picts out of the forest and the French were like, "Whaaaaaaa?"



In Part 2, we become a republic and begin spreading PC Elitism to the ancient world. Highlights include that time we thrashed the English in a major historical reversal, and these badasses. Highlights do not include this horrible political chart I made at the last second in about two-and-a-half minutes.



In Part 3, the Middle Ages go... slightly pear-shaped. Highlights include that time city guards completely cut off from reinforcements took out the entire German army, and that one battle that actually made me stand up from my computer and pump my fists in the air like a guy in a joint pain medication commercial.



Civilization V: The Swedish Saga

Taking what I learned about Gods and Kings from the Celtic Chronicle, I make a much longer go of things as the Swedes.



In Part 1, things are off to a great start. Highlights include Game of Thrones references and more Game of Thrones references.



In Part 2, we gallop right through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Highlights include that time we founded a religion based on awesomeness and even more Game of Thrones references.



In Part 3, some actually interesting battles finally happen. Highlights include that time we had guns and Denmark didn't and that time Denmark had guns finally, but we already had better guns.



In Part 4, Sweden and Denmark are united under the new, socialist government of the Norse Democratic Union. Highlights include that time Denmark had guns that were as good as our guns, but we won anyway and that moment when everyone finally realized how dangerous Greece was.



In Part 5, WORLD WAR! Highlights include PEW PEW PEW! and KABOOM!



In Part 6, it's a race to the finish line, where the finish line is outer space. Highlights include SCIENCE! and one last Game of Thrones reference.



The Crusader Kings Chronicle

After two epic games, I put down Civ V for Paradox's Crusader Kings II, where my quest is still ongoing to raise my noble house to glory in 11th Century Europe. Here's your chance to get caught up so you can jump in with next week's fresh entry!



In the Prologue, I introduce the cast and explain how the game works. Yes, that requires a whole entry. Highlights include me misreading "Bishop of Killaloe" as "Bishop of Killahoe," and making a poor holy man seem way more gangsta than he actually is.



In Part 1, I unite the Duchy of Munster and start down the path to becoming High King of Ireland. Highlights include that time we won our first war and the moment when any semblance of following actual history flew out the window.



In Part 2, I take a head wound in battle and take over playing as my son. Highlights include that time I conquered more territory and that time I charged after a bunch of retreating barbarians even though they outnumbered me five to one.



In Part 3, there are a lot of rebellions. Highlights include that time I crushed all of those rebellions.



In Part 4, some serious epicness ensues. Highlights include that time I became a Crusader and that time I became a... well, I won't spoil it.



So there's your Saturday morning clip show for the week. More Crusader Kings goodness will arrive next Wednesday, so check back and witness glory!
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Steam “Top Sellers” list now counts to 100, read our feeble attempt at deconstructing the data">steam top sellers





Valve did a sneaky, small-but-significant thing recently: it expanded its "Top Sellers" list on Steam to include one hundred games. The sales leaderboard doesn't tell us exactly how many copies a game sold, but it gives us a vague idea of how well certain games are doing on Steam in a given moment.



It's an inherently misleading metric—take that as a disclaimer. Still, as we sit in the shadow of some of 2012's biggest releases, I'd like to take a crack at gleaning what we can from this moment in time.



2K's having a great end of the year.

The $50 pre-sale of XCOM is outselling everything but Borderlands 2 on Steam. We might be able to chalk that up to fairly generous pre-purchase incentives (which could include a free copy of Civ 5 if enough people pre-buy it). It might be mild evidence that demos still work, too. Borderlands 2's high concurrent user count over the past few days (reaching 123,758 last weekend) is also evidence that 2K will win the weeks connecting September and October on Steam.



Digital pre-orders are a thing.

XCOM isn't the only thing-you-can-buy-but-can't-play-yet doing well. Joining the unreleased are Dishonored at #7, War of the Roses at #12, Football Manager 2013 at #17, Company of Heroes 2 at #29, and Hitman Absolution at #51. Even though there's no chance of a game going out of stock, Steam users don't seem to mind putting money down in advance, especially if they're rewarded with bonus content or a small discount for doing so.



Where are the MMOs? Oh, right.

Zero MMOs appear in today's top 100. I might consider that unsurprising—we wouldn't expect too many people to be picking up competitors while Guild Wars 2 and Pandaria are drawing the attention, and neither are available on Steam. Still, it's a little surprising not to see RIFT ($10) or EVE Online: Inferno ($20) popping up anywhere.



Call of Duty remains a PC fixture.

The sense that Call of Duty remains a fixture for PC gamers is supported by SteamGraph data. Some form of Call of Duty make up 10 whole entries of the Steam's top 100. Many of those are map packs, but the performance of Call of Duty: Black Ops - Mac Edition (#41) is interesting to me. It released yesterday, September 27, and it's outperforming stuff like Civ V: GOTY and Natural Selection 2. Modern Warfare 3 is 50% off until October 1, and it's sitting comfortably at #5.



DayZ continues to have a long tail.

I don't think Arma 2: Combined Operations (what you need to play DayZ) has left the top ten of Steam's Top Sellers since it caught on in May and June. It seems to be outperforming other games that released in May and June like Sins: Rebellion (#56), Max Payne 3 (#76), Civ 5: Gods & Kings (#20), and Spec Ops: The Line (unlisted).







Below: the data, captured at 6:05 PM PDT. Ctrl + Fing encouraged.







Top Ten

Borderlands 2

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Total War Master Collection

Torchlight II

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Carrier Command: Gaea Mission

Dishonored

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Arma 2: Combined Operations

Empire: Total War







#11-25

Castle Crashers

War of the Roses

Borderlands 2 Season Pass

FTL: Faster Than Light

Cortex Command

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Football Manager 2013

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dawnguard

Garry's Mod

Sid Meier's Civilization V - Gods 'n Kings

Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition

The Binding of Isaac

Half Minute Hero: Super Mega Neo Climax Ultimate Boy

Left 4 Dead 2

Hell Year! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit







#26-50

F1 2012

Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour

Rome: Total War - Gold

Company of Heroes 2

Total War Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai

Sid Meier's Civilization V

Counter-Strike: Source

Borderlands: Game of the Year

Worms Revolution

Total War Mega Pack

Terraria

The Walking Dead

Rocksmith

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Collection 3: Chaos Pack

Call of Duty: Black Ops - Mac Edition

Binding of Isaac: Wrath of the Lamb

Portal 2

McPixel

Sid Meier's Civilization V: Game of the Year

Total War: SHOGUN 2

The Sims 3

Counter-Strike Complete

Hearts of Iron 3 Collection

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition







#51-100

Hitman: Absolution

Borderlands

Train Simulator 2013

The Testament of Sherlock Holmes

Medieval II Gold

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion

Orcs Must Die! 2 - Family Ties Booster Pack

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

The Amazing Spider-Man

Orcs Must Die! 2

Saints Row: The Third

Dead Island: GOTY

Natural Selection 2

Orcs Must Die! 2 - Complete Pack

Half-Life 2

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Rome: Total War - Complete

The Orange Box

Borderlands 2 + Official Brady Guide

Batman: Arkham City GOTY

Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead

Grand Theft Auto IV

Endless Space

Killing Floor

Call of Duty: World at War

Max Payne 3

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

SPORE

I Am Alive

Fallout 3: GOTY

Fallen Enchantress

Valve Complete Pack

Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition

Mount & Blade: Warband

New Star Soccer 5

Portal Bundle

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Collection 2

Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 Expansion

Counter-Strike

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare® 3 Collection 1

Arma 2

Might & Magic Heroes VI - Danse Macabre Adventure Pack

Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD

STAR WARS: Knights of the Old Republic II

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Planets Under Attack

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Age of Empires III: Complete Collection



Reiterating: We don't know what formula or data drives Steam's Top Sellers rankings. It's probably safest to consider them a representation of what games are selling well in one moment of time on Steam.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to XCOM: Enemy Unknown system specs, Steam pre-purchase rewards detailed">XCOM: Enemy Unknown







Today, 2K Games revealed XCOM: Enemy Unknown's system specs and a peculiarly designed pre-order deal on Steam. All of the pre-order rewards, which include a free copy of Civilization V, are not guaranteed: in a post yesterday, 2K said three tiers of incentives unlock as more pre-orders roll in, with purchasers receiving the accrued spoils on XCOM's October 9 release.



The first tier, the Elite Soldier pack, gussies up your squad with "several aesthetic upgrades to armor suits" using "a variety of colors and tints." You'll also nab a soldier sporting the classic flattop hairdo from the original XCOM.



Tier 2 inflates your overflowing Team Fortress 2 item backpack with a flattop hair-helmet (sans appropriate theme music, sadly), an "Area 451" Sectoid head-over, and a giant Vigilant pin.



The last tier keeps it simple: a free copy of Civilization V, which is giftable for those who already own it. As I write, the progress bar is at around 80 percent into the first tier.



2K has also revealed XCOM's system specs. In addition to packing in more tasty tactical treats for the PC version, XCOM's development team gratified the PC's "superior hardware" with increased detail depth and graphics power, but the below system requirements show support for a wide range of setups:



Minimum Requirements

OS: Windows Vista

Software: Steam Client

Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core

Memory: 2 GB RAM

Hard Drive: 20 GB free

Video Memory: 256 MB

Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT/ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT or greater

Sound Card: DirectX Compatible



Recommended Requirements

OS: Windows 7

Processor: 2 GHz Dual Core (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or Athlon X2 2.7 GHz)

Memory: 4 GB RAM

Hard Drive: 20 GB free

Video Memory: 512+ MB

Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 9000 series/ATI Radeon HD 3000 series or greater

Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Ever keen to experiment with digital distribution, Steam is trying something unusual on XCOM: Enemy Unknown pre-orders with publisher 2K. Rather than offering fixed bonuses, Steam will unlock increasingly fancy goodies as more people pre-order, including extra character customisation options, Team Fortress 2 hats, and a free copy of Civilization V.

Everyone who pre-orders through Steam will help the "reward" drive, which seems to hope it'll inspire a little of that Kickstarter feeling. Customers are fast approaching the first unlock, a pack of cosmetic XCOM pretties including shiny new armour, paints for armour, and a recruit with the classic X-COM: UFO Defense flattop haircut.

The flattop also features, in the second tier, a pack of TF2 goods. This offers that good old flattop for the Soldier, a creepy sort of alien head for the Pyro, and a very swanky medal. Lastly, if loads and loads of people pre-order, everyone will also get a free copy of Civ V, or a gift copy if they already own it.

Of course, Steam's charging the full $50 for XCOM, so you might instead fancy buying it from somewhere that simply knocks a few dollars off the price instead. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is coming to PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 9.

...

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