Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Fraser Brown)

korea

Today, Firaxis has been shining a spotlight on Korea, one of the new civs coming to Civilization 6 with the launch of the Rise and Fall expansion, due out in February. Korea s led by Queen Seondeok, who by all accounts was a pretty great ruler, heralding a renaissance in the historical kingdom of Silla. She did have to contend with dumb blokes who were scared of women rulers, however. Take a look at the first look video below.

(more…)

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI

Korea is coming to Civilization 6, led by the formidable Queen Seondeok, the first Queen of Silla, which along with Baekje and Goguryeo made up the Three Kingdoms of Korea. As described by Wikipedia, Queen Seondeok's reign was not without its problems, including wars with with Baekje and Goguryeo and an uprising led by men who believed that women aren't fit to rule. But she reigned for 15 years, during which she put welfare policies into place, invested heavily in education, and is credited with encouraging "a renaissance in thought, literature, and the arts." 

Korea's unique district in Civ 6 is the Seowon, an upgrade to the Campus, which provides a fixed yield of science. That yield is reduced by districts built next to it, but Korea's unique ability, Three Kingdoms, grants bonus science to mines, and bonus food to farms, that are built adjacent to Seowon—an interesting (and worthwhile) tradeoff.   

The Hwacha unique unit is a mobile ballista mounted on a two-wheeled cart that's capable of rapidly launching 100 rocket arrows, or 200 Chongtong bullets, against distant targets. It's "much more powerful than its Renaissance-era counterparts," and enabled a small number of Korean defenders to repel an invading Japanese force of nearly ten times its size in the Battle of Haengju in 1593. 

The in-game queen reflects her real-life counterpart with the Hwarang unique ability, which grants bonuses to science and culture in all cities with an established governor. 

Details about the coming Korean civ are up at civilization.com. Korea will be added to Civilization 6 in the big Rise and Fall expansion that's coming on February 8. Here's everything we know about it so far.   

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - 2kschug


Long before Seondeok was crowned Queen of Silla (now Korea), legends tell of her being incredibly clever. That insightfulness made her a diplomat to be respected and a strategist to be feared.

With no male successors, Seondeok became the rightful heir after King Jinpyeong’s death in 632. This lead to infighting and some outright rebellions – the notion of having a Queen instead of a King didn’t sit well with some factions.

One revolt leader claimed that a falling star signaled Seondeok wasn’t fit to lead. That it was a sign of the end of her reign. The Queen’s solution: Fly a burning kite high in the night sky to signal that the star is back in its place.   

All the while, she still set about major projects to improve the lives of the Sillan people. Welfare policies were put in place to help the most impoverished citizens. She invested heavily in education, allowing knowledge in the arts and sciences to flourish during her rule. Seondeok commissioned the Cheomseongdae, an astronomical observatory to be built in Silla’s capital. It’s no wonder that Seondeok’s big in-game bonus is for science. And while Buddhism was already the state’s religion, she integrated it further into society, refurbished old temples and broke ground on many new ones.

The Queen did all this during her 15-year reign while also fending off neighboring kingdoms. It was through her ability to balance shrewd diplomacy with threats of force when needed that she even accomplished what some would think impossible: Forging an unlikely alliance with Tang Dynasty China.

Seondeok not only managed to get China to support Silla militarily, she also rejected stepping down for them to rule in her stead. While she didn’t live to see it, Seondeok put pieces in motion to let Silla thrive by pitting neighboring kingdoms against each other…and getting one step closer to a united Korea.



UNIQUE DISTRICT: SEOWON
Replacing the Campus district, the Seowon is home to many academic endeavors. Built into the hills, they functioned as both Confucian shrines and scenic preparatory schools in 16th Century Korea. Seonbi (intellectual aristocracy during the Joseon Dynasty) sympathized with the commoners’ plights and this philosophy found its way into the Seowons – attended largely by aristocratic children. These academies became ideal places to discuss politics and explore new ideas regarding Neo-Confucianism, Korea’s contemporary culture and government.



UNIQUE UNIT: HWACHA
The hwacha is an unassuming two-wheeled cart, but this mobile ballista was deadly in the defense of Korea. A hwacha could launch a hundred rocket arrows against distant targets in seconds. Or, with a changeable module, fire off 200 Chongtong bullets.

Hwachas are considered to have turned the tide of the Imjin War. From 1592 – 1598, hwacha were widely used to aid in repelling Japanese invasions – roughly 50 units deployed in Hanseong (modern day Seoul) and another 80 along the northern borders. The most telling victory came during the Battle of Haengju where Korean soldiers beat back a force ten times its size thanks to 40 hwachas.

UNIQUE CIV ABILITY: THREE KINGDOMS
Korea’s unique ability is called “Three Kingdoms” and to make the most of it, be sure to build mines and farms adjacent to a Seowon. Mines receive bonus science and farms will yield bonus food from this placement.

UNIQUE LEADER ABILITY: HWARANG
Seondeok improved the lives of her subjects through education. Take advantage of that with Hwarang. It grants players a bonus to both science and culture in all cities with an established governor.

Seondeok is one of the nine new leaders coming with Civilization VI: Rise and Fall when the expansion releases in early 2018.

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The tail-end of Steam’s Autumnal sale sees a few old favourites lingering with the usual suspects in the charts this week. The discounts that got them here are all gone now, but it’s only a couple of weeks now before everything goes completely bonkers for the Winter Sale, and you can expect to see all the same names deeply discounted once more. (more…)

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Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI

It’s been over a year since the release of Civilization 6 and Firaxis has finally revealed the first expansion, Rise and Fall. The theme, as you might have guessed, is the tendency of civilizations to have some good days and some not so good ones. “Instead of just a march through history, straight progress all game, maybe with a few speed bumps, but always forward,” producer Andrew Frederiksen told me, “[what] we’re trying to capture here is the ups and downs, sort of riding the waves through history that is so paramount when you look back at our own world.”

This excites me. I’ve written more than once about how constant good fortune carrying you to the head of the most powerful and unassailable empire imaginable is… actually pretty boring compared to the stories we latch onto in real history. From the rise and fall of Rome to the ascension and collapse of various imperial dynasties in China, we are compelled by narratives that have dramatic pacing. And to have that, your moments of peril are arguably just as important, if not more so, than your moments of triumph. 

The designers at Firaxis have put together a hefty set of new features to explore these themes, which Fredericksen assured have been integrated with Civ 6’s existing systems “as much as possible,” rather than sitting on top of them as optional extras. We’ll take them one-by-one, because it’s a lot to absorb.

Great Ages

In previous Civ games, which Era you were in (Classical, Medieval, Modern, etc.) was defined by how far you progressed down the tech tree. While that will still exist on a per-civ basis, the game itself will now progress through global Eras, triggered by any civ fulfilling their start conditions. At the dawn of each new Era, every civ is evaluated on how well they did in the previous one and can qualify for a Golden Age, a Dark Age, or neither.

Civs that can endure a Dark Age will be rewarded.

Which type of Age you get is partly based on where you are, relative to the Era, in the tech and civics trees. These contribute to your Era Score, which can also be influenced by Historic Moments. The latter, Frederiksen referred to as “mini-achievements,” not unlike the smaller objectives you can pursue in vanilla Civ 6 to gain enlightenment bonuses on certain civics and technologies. Some examples given were being the first civ to circumnavigate the globe, the first to discover a natural wonder, or the first to found a religion.

Civs in a Golden Age are living the good life. For the entirety of that global Era, they get bonuses to Loyalty (more on that later) in all of their cities. In a Dark Age, things are not so rosy. You’ll instead get penalties to Loyalty across the board. But it’s not purely punitive. Civs that can endure a Dark Age will be rewarded. For one, Dark Ages unlock Dark Policies that can be slotted into your government, which offer a trade-off of some kind. Most will come with a powerful buff to help some aspect of your civilization carry on through the hard times, paired with a debuff that will make things even worse for a different aspect. “We might be deciding to tighten up our borders,” Frederiksen gave as an example. “[We’re] not going do as much with trade or diplomacy or something, but in turn, our internal production—our food, or whatever the case may be—is going to be stronger.”

The grand prize for overcoming a Dark Age, however, is a Heroic Age. These trigger when you emerge from a Dark Age with enough Era Score to qualify for a Golden Age, in spite of everyone and everything. They’re basically a Golden Age on steroids, with even more powerful buffs to spur your civ on to victory. The whole system is based around these risk/reward trade-offs. Frederiksen was clear that Dark Ages aren’t meant to just suck. The gloomier chapters of the story of your civilization need to be as fun to play as the shining ones, and pursuing a strategy of timing a Dark into Heroic transition for a key moment will be viable. They didn’t want to create a system where you “never want a Dark Age.”

Dedications

At the dawn of each new Era, your civilization will get to make a Dedication. Frederiksen described this a player-selected goal of, “This is what we are going to be about as a civilization for the next Era.” If you’re going into a Dark Age or a Normal Age, your Dedication will give you a new way to earn Era Score—which should help prevent a Dark Age spiral where you’re stumbling from one disaster to the next. In a Golden or a Heroic Age, your Dedication grants you an extra buff on top of the Loyalty bonus you’re already getting, such as increased movement or combat ability for units. While these buffs are nice, they don’t contribute to Era Score, making it difficult to chain together Golden Ages.

Loyalty and Free Cities

All cities now have Loyalty ratings.  As Frederiksen put it, these measure “how people feel about you and your leadership.” It’s affected by things like amenities and what type of Age you are in. It can also be bolstered by your own actions and eroded by actions of neighboring civs. It’s almost like a new health bar. When Loyalty reaches zero, the city will secede from your civ and become an independent Free City.

Free cities have militaries and will defend themselves, but will not expand or engage in diplomacy like a full civ. They also don’t have the special interactions available for the city-states in vanilla Civ 6 like missions and suzerainty. The essentially exist as an “up for grabs” morsel to be taken. The most straightforward way to take control of one is military conquest, but nearby civs can also exert Loyalty pressure on them. If your opponents build up a Free City’s Loyalty high enough, it will be peacefully annexed into their civ. This makes 'flipping' cities like in Civ games past possible again, with the caveat that they will exist in a neutral Free City state during the process, giving their original owner a chance to reconquer them or peacefully restore Loyalty.

Loyal cities will reinforce the Loyalty of other cities close to them, meaning Loyalty will be less of a problem near the core of your empire and shakier on the far-flung frontiers. Sprawling empires will thus have to focus more on good governance, or else have armies ready to go on their fringes to retake cities that try to break away. Frederiksen said they will be looking at balancing with civs like England that are encouraged to settle far away to make sure they aren’t disproportionately screwed by this. He also pointed out that a civ in a Golden Age bordering one that is in a Dark Age creates an interesting and potentially explosive dynamic, where the Dark Age civ’s cities will be ready to defect to the Golden Age civ with only a slight nudge.

You’ll also be able to annex vanilla city-states using Loyalty, though you will lose their suzerain bonus as if you had conquered them militarily.

Governors

Emergencies will bring a taste of this to Civ 6, with certain actions being taken by an aggressor civ triggering a sort of common mission to be pursued by their adversaries.

Governors are new characters that exist somewhere between Great People and Leaders. They aren’t physically present on the map, but are assigned to a city somewhat like spies. One of their main jobs is bolstering Loyalty, but each of the seven types of governor (you can only have one of each) also has a theme like military, economy, or religion, and an entire promotion tree that will allow them to grant powerful bonuses to that area of focus in the city where they are assigned.

The resources to level up and recruit governors all come from a common pool, so there will always be a trade-off between having a wider stable of less powerful governors or focusing on a couple to make them as potent as they can be. “One of my favorites is we have this governor that if you get her to the top tier,” Frederiksen says, “and if you have her in a city, you can just straight up buy a district with gold.” Another he called out allowed building units that normally require a strategic resource without that resource, a potential balm to those extremely frustrating games where you put all your eggs in the military basket and somehow never get access to iron.

Alliance changes

Alliances will now be available in a variety of different flavors. A scientific alliance is similar to the old research agreements, where the shared knowledge of two civs can benefit both. An economic alliance is more focused on mutually-beneficial trade. And of course, the old school military alliance, which has you stand back-to-back with another world leader to fight off the forces of everyone who doesn’t like everything being your map color, isn’t going anywhere. They can also level up and give stronger benefits if they remain stable for a long time. Frederiksen confirmed that AI civs will be less likely to break an alliance that has been around a long time and accumulated lots of benefits than one that was just started a few turns ago.

Emergencies

From The Crusades to World War 2, history is full of moments when several great powers unified to take action. Emergencies will bring a taste of this to Civ 6, with certain actions being taken by an aggressor civ triggering a sort of common mission to be pursued by their adversaries. One prominent trigger is the first time any civ uses nuclear weapons, which will serve as a wake-up call to the rest of the world that maybe they need to be paying more attention to this whole “physics” thing. Another example Frederiksen gave was a holy city for an established religion being conquered or converted by a follower of a different religion, in which case any civs following the holy city’s original religion might be invited to take it back.

“It can sound like they’re something to stop the person who’s ahead,” Frederiksen noted. “And it can do that, but it’s not a kind of thing where you hamstring the winner just to make the game longer. It’s very much a flavorful thing that can shift the power dynamic—cause something that’s great to fall, or something that’s not so great to rise.”

Each emergency will have a winner, whether that be the alliance of volunteers fulfilling the victory condition or the civ that triggered the emergency holding them off and making sure that objective stays un-ticked. In either case, the winning side receives a buff for the rest of the game. So while every emergency will have a sort of 'bad guy' that’s getting ganged up on, there will be a reward for choosing to be that guy and standing firm in spite of the odds.

New units 

The team at Firaxis is keeping the new civs and leaders close to their chest at the moment, but they were able to talk about four non-unique units coming to the tech tree for anyone to unlock. Pike and Shot is a new anti-cavalry unit bridging the long, awkward gap between Pikemen and Anti-Tank. Three more units have been added to the late game to cap off lines that previously ended too soon: The Supply Convoy (an upgraded version of the Medic that can increase the movement speed of units it shares a tile with in addition to restoring HP), Spec Ops (a “Navy SEAL-inspired” unit that caps off the line for the humble Scout, gaining the ability to para-drop forward without the use of aircraft), and the Drone (an upgraded version of the Observation Balloon).

New Districts

The most prominent of the new districts being added (and the one we were allowed to hear about) is the Government District. There can be only one of these in your entire civ, and it interacts directly with the updated government system. Based on your current government type, you will be able to build a number of new buildings in your government district, each of which unlocks policy cards.

New civs 

We asked Frederiksen if he could hint at all what part of the world any of the new civs might be coming for, to which he responded: “The Land.” So sorry to disappoint everyone who had their fingers crossed for Atlantis. Still, all of the above is plenty to chew on for now. Civilization VI: Rise and Fall will be out on February 8, 2018.

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI

It’s been over a year since the release of Civilization 6 and Firaxis has finally revealed the first expansion, Rise and Fall. The theme, as you might have guessed, is the tendency of civilizations to have some good days and some not so good ones. “Instead of just a march through history, straight progress all game, maybe with a few speed bumps, but always forward,” producer Andrew Frederiksen told me, “[what] we’re trying to capture here is the ups and downs, sort of riding the waves through history that is so paramount when you look back at our own world.”

This excites me. I’ve written more than once about how constant good fortune carrying you to the head of the most powerful and unassailable empire imaginable is… actually pretty boring compared to the stories we latch onto in real history. From the rise and fall of Rome to the ascension and collapse of various imperial dynasties in China, we are compelled by narratives that have dramatic pacing. And to have that, your moments of peril are arguably just as important, if not more so, than your moments of triumph. 

The designers at Firaxis have put together a hefty set of new features to explore these themes, which Fredericksen assured have been integrated with Civ 6’s existing systems “as much as possible,” rather than sitting on top of them as optional extras. We’ll take them one-by-one, because it’s a lot to absorb.

Great Ages

In previous Civ games, which Era you were in (Classical, Medieval, Modern, etc.) was defined by how far you progressed down the tech tree. While that will still exist on a per-civ basis, the game itself will now progress through global Eras, triggered by any civ fulfilling their start conditions. At the dawn of each new Era, every civ is evaluated on how well they did in the previous one and can qualify for a Golden Age, a Dark Age, or neither.

Civs that can endure a Dark Age will be rewarded.

Which type of Age you get is partly based on where you are, relative to the Era, in the tech and civics trees. These contribute to your Era Score, which can also be influenced by Historic Moments. The latter, Frederiksen referred to as “mini-achievements,” not unlike the smaller objectives you can pursue in vanilla Civ 6 to gain enlightenment bonuses on certain civics and technologies. Some examples given were being the first civ to circumnavigate the globe, the first to discover a natural wonder, or the first to found a religion.

Civs in a Golden Age are living the good life. For the entirety of that global Era, they get bonuses to Loyalty (more on that later) in all of their cities. In a Dark Age, things are not so rosy. You’ll instead get penalties to Loyalty across the board. But it’s not purely punitive. Civs that can endure a Dark Age will be rewarded. For one, Dark Ages unlock Dark Policies that can be slotted into your government, which offer a trade-off of some kind. Most will come with a powerful buff to help some aspect of your civilization carry on through the hard times, paired with a debuff that will make things even worse for a different aspect. “We might be deciding to tighten up our borders,” Frederiksen gave as an example. “[We’re] not going do as much with trade or diplomacy or something, but in turn, our internal production—our food, or whatever the case may be—is going to be stronger.”

The grand prize for overcoming a Dark Age, however, is a Heroic Age. These trigger when you emerge from a Dark Age with enough Era Score to qualify for a Golden Age, in spite of everyone and everything. They’re basically a Golden Age on steroids, with even more powerful buffs to spur your civ on to victory. The whole system is based around these risk/reward trade-offs. Frederiksen was clear that Dark Ages aren’t meant to just suck. The gloomier chapters of the story of your civilization need to be as fun to play as the shining ones, and pursuing a strategy of timing a Dark into Heroic transition for a key moment will be viable. They didn’t want to create a system where you “never want a Dark Age.”

Dedications

At the dawn of each new Era, your civilization will get to make a Dedication. Frederiksen described this a player-selected goal of, “This is what we are going to be about as a civilization for the next Era.” If you’re going into a Dark Age or a Normal Age, your Dedication will give you a new way to earn Era Score—which should help prevent a Dark Age spiral where you’re stumbling from one disaster to the next. In a Golden or a Heroic Age, your Dedication grants you an extra buff on top of the Loyalty bonus you’re already getting, such as increased movement or combat ability for units. While these buffs are nice, they don’t contribute to Era Score, making it difficult to chain together Golden Ages.

Loyalty and Free Cities

All cities now have Loyalty ratings.  As Frederiksen put it, these measure “how people feel about you and your leadership.” It’s affected by things like amenities and what type of Age you are in. It can also be bolstered by your own actions and eroded by actions of neighboring civs. It’s almost like a new health bar. When Loyalty reaches zero, the city will secede from your civ and become an independent Free City.

Free cities have militaries and will defend themselves, but will not expand or engage in diplomacy like a full civ. They also don’t have the special interactions available for the city-states in vanilla Civ 6 like missions and suzerainty. The essentially exist as an “up for grabs” morsel to be taken. The most straightforward way to take control of one is military conquest, but nearby civs can also exert Loyalty pressure on them. If your opponents build up a Free City’s Loyalty high enough, it will be peacefully annexed into their civ. This makes 'flipping' cities like in Civ games past possible again, with the caveat that they will exist in a neutral Free City state during the process, giving their original owner a chance to reconquer them or peacefully restore Loyalty.

Loyal cities will reinforce the Loyalty of other cities close to them, meaning Loyalty will be less of a problem near the core of your empire and shakier on the far-flung frontiers. Sprawling empires will thus have to focus more on good governance, or else have armies ready to go on their fringes to retake cities that try to break away. Frederiksen said they will be looking at balancing with civs like England that are encouraged to settle far away to make sure they aren’t disproportionately screwed by this. He also pointed out that a civ in a Golden Age bordering one that is in a Dark Age creates an interesting and potentially explosive dynamic, where the Dark Age civ’s cities will be ready to defect to the Golden Age civ with only a slight nudge.

You’ll also be able to annex vanilla city-states using Loyalty, though you will lose their suzerain bonus as if you had conquered them militarily.

Governors

Emergencies will bring a taste of this to Civ 6, with certain actions being taken by an aggressor civ triggering a sort of common mission to be pursued by their adversaries.

Governors are new characters that exist somewhere between Great People and Leaders. They aren’t physically present on the map, but are assigned to a city somewhat like spies. One of their main jobs is bolstering Loyalty, but each of the seven types of governor (you can only have one of each) also has a theme like military, economy, or religion, and an entire promotion tree that will allow them to grant powerful bonuses to that area of focus in the city where they are assigned.

The resources to level up and recruit governors all come from a common pool, so there will always be a trade-off between having a wider stable of less powerful governors or focusing on a couple to make them as potent as they can be. “One of my favorites is we have this governor that if you get her to the top tier,” Frederiksen says, “and if you have her in a city, you can just straight up buy a district with gold.” Another he called out allowed building units that normally require a strategic resource without that resource, a potential balm to those extremely frustrating games where you put all your eggs in the military basket and somehow never get access to iron.

Alliance changes

Alliances will now be available in a variety of different flavors. A scientific alliance is similar to the old research agreements, where the shared knowledge of two civs can benefit both. An economic alliance is more focused on mutually-beneficial trade. And of course, the old school military alliance, which has you stand back-to-back with another world leader to fight off the forces of everyone who doesn’t like everything being your map color, isn’t going anywhere. They can also level up and give stronger benefits if they remain stable for a long time. Frederiksen confirmed that AI civs will be less likely to break an alliance that has been around a long time and accumulated lots of benefits than one that was just started a few turns ago.

Emergencies

From The Crusades to World War 2, history is full of moments when several great powers unified to take action. Emergencies will bring a taste of this to Civ 6, with certain actions being taken by an aggressor civ triggering a sort of common mission to be pursued by their adversaries. One prominent trigger is the first time any civ uses nuclear weapons, which will serve as a wake-up call to the rest of the world that maybe they need to be paying more attention to this whole “physics” thing. Another example Frederiksen gave was a holy city for an established religion being conquered or converted by a follower of a different religion, in which case any civs following the holy city’s original religion might be invited to take it back.

“It can sound like they’re something to stop the person who’s ahead,” Frederiksen noted. “And it can do that, but it’s not a kind of thing where you hamstring the winner just to make the game longer. It’s very much a flavorful thing that can shift the power dynamic—cause something that’s great to fall, or something that’s not so great to rise.”

Each emergency will have a winner, whether that be the alliance of volunteers fulfilling the victory condition or the civ that triggered the emergency holding them off and making sure that objective stays un-ticked. In either case, the winning side receives a buff for the rest of the game. So while every emergency will have a sort of 'bad guy' that’s getting ganged up on, there will be a reward for choosing to be that guy and standing firm in spite of the odds.

New units 

The team at Firaxis is keeping the new civs and leaders close to their chest at the moment, but they were able to talk about four non-unique units coming to the tech tree for anyone to unlock. Pike and Shot is a new anti-cavalry unit bridging the long, awkward gap between Pikemen and Anti-Tank. Three more units have been added to the late game to cap off lines that previously ended too soon: The Supply Convoy (an upgraded version of the Medic that can increase the movement speed of units it shares a tile with in addition to restoring HP), Spec Ops (a “Navy SEAL-inspired” unit that caps off the line for the humble Scout, gaining the ability to para-drop forward without the use of aircraft), and the Drone (an upgraded version of the Observation Balloon).

New Districts

The most prominent of the new districts being added (and the one we were allowed to hear about) is the Government District. There can be only one of these in your entire civ, and it interacts directly with the updated government system. Based on your current government type, you will be able to build a number of new buildings in your government district, each of which unlocks policy cards.

New civs 

We asked Frederiksen if he could hint at all what part of the world any of the new civs might be coming for, to which he responded: “The Land.” So sorry to disappoint everyone who had their fingers crossed for Atlantis. Still, all of the above is plenty to chew on for now. Civilization VI: Rise and Fall will be out on February 8, 2018.

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI

Since launch last year, Civilization 6 has drip fed us incremental updates by way of new race DLC, Steam Workshop and mod tools, and a free demo. Now, it's unveiled its Rise and Fall expansion—billed as the "deepest Civilization experience to date".

Due on February 8, 2018, players are tasked with guiding their civ of choice through the ages wherein 'Great Ages' see civilizations entering 'Dark' and 'Golden' periods, depending on your in-game actions. "Rise triumphantly from a Dark Age," says publisher 2K, "and your next Golden Age will be even stronger – a Heroic Age."

A new city loyalty system means cities now have individual loyalty to player leadership, wherein low yields, politics and revolts are a constant threat. Rise and Fall also brings with it nine new leaders, eight civilizations, a number of new units, wonders, districts, buildings—and perhaps you should have a gander at the expansion's announcement trailer:

"With the new Great Ages system in Sid Meier’s Civilization 6: Rise and Fall, players can experience the ebb and flow of building empires amidst the challenges of history, either to lasting greatness or the dust of antiquity," says developer Firaxis' Anton Strenger. "With this expansion’s new features, players will be both challenged and rewarded in ways never seen before in the 26 years of the Civilization franchise."

Civilization 6: Rise and Fall is due February 8, 2018. 

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

civ6riseandfall1

Civilization VI is getting its first expansion on February 8th 2018 and it sounds like it might be shake things up significantly. Going by the name Rise and Fall, it applies changes across the whole span of history and rather than introducing one big new system, it seems to focus on the actual rhythm and flow of the game.

There are new rules for Great Ages, city loyalty, governors, emergencies, and loads of additions in the form of civs, leaders, buildings, wonders and government policies, but it’s the overall sense that Firaxis are adding a sprinkling of grand strategy to the series that has me most excited.

(more…)

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - 2kschug


Civilizations are not set in stone. You can’t just do all the hard work in the beginning then expect your culture to stand the test of time, unchallenged. It’s not like that in the real world – or in Civilization games. The expansion we’re announcing today, Civilization VI: Rise and Fall, adds new dynamic layers onto the game you’ve already been enjoying. On February 8th 2018, you will lead nations to golden ages. You will watch others buckle under their own weight. You will earn – or lose – the loyalty of your people. The question is, “How will you be remembered?”

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I’m Anton Strenger, Lead Designer for Civilization VI: Rise and Fall, and today we’re revealing some of the big changes coming with this huge Civilization VI expansion. The biggest, over-arching goal: dynamic empires. Civilizations will rise and fall through the course of the game (as you probably figured out from the title). Borders will ebb and flow. Cities will change their loyalties.

As a secondary goal, Civilization VI: Rise and Fall includes more storytelling elements – Historic Moments – that highlight the interesting turning points in your civilizations. These events happen every time you play, making playthroughs unique, while also giving them meaning in the mechanics.

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GOLDEN – AND DARK – AGES ARE COMING
Golden and Dark Ages are among the new events that can shift the course of your game’s history. They are significant, but temporary, changes to a civilization that last for an Era. They will open up new opportunities for players to change their strategies, and change the state of the game between the player and their rivals. Having a Golden Age affords huge bonuses to Loyalty and other game systems, but makes earning future Golden Ages slightly more difficult.

Having a Dark Age hurts Loyalty in your cities and makes you vulnerable, but gives you an opportunity to earn a future Golden Age more easily. It also allows the use of special Dark Age policies and opens the door for an even more powerful Heroic Age. Think of it this way: While a Golden Age provides one Dedication bonus (a powerful Golden Age effect), being in a Heroic Age lets the player earn three Dedication bonuses (making it sort of a “triple” Golden Age).

In the Civilization VI base game, we have the idea of a “player era” – how far a player has advanced on their tech or civics tree. In this expansion, systems are very much tied to the idea of the “game era,” which is determined by individual player advancement and a few other behind-the-scenes adjustments. Think of these game eras like chapters in a book. Each has its own arc, and its own small ending, but leaves you wanting to discover the rest of the story by continuing to the next chapter. When you enter a new game era you may earn a Golden Age or a Dark Age. Which one you get is determined by your Era Score in the previous game era, a score that is increased by fulfilling certain objectives.

So while your neighbor may have been in a Golden Age last era, they may enter a Dark Age this era, opening up an opportunity for you to change your strategy. The key effect of Golden and Dark Ages: they change the Loyalty of a player’s cities. As Ages change and weak spots are exposed in empires, cities can declare independence and even change hands to new owners.



EARNING LOYALTY
The stakes of the new Loyalty system are huge because, at the extremes, it can flip control of entire cities to different players without military force. Low Loyalty in a city puts it at risk of rebelling and becoming a Free City. That, in turn, makes it a juicy target for other players looking to expand their own empire. Keeping your cities loyal not only keeps it on your side, but also emanates its Loyalty as a kind of “peer pressure” to other cities nearby. You could even sway cities from other civilizations to join you.

In previous Civilization games, there were ways to “Culture Flip” another player’s city without military intervention. We felt it was time to reexamine this non-militaristic way to change borders, and expand territory.

Loyalty also changes the landscape and strategy around the map as the game continues. What could have been an unchanging border between two civilizations in the base game becomes a contentious battleground of loyalties in the expansion, especially when Golden Ages or Dark Ages are involved.

Golden Ages and Dark Ages are a kind of loyalty bomb. In the best-case scenarios, triggering a Golden Age makes all of your citizens a little bit more loyal. Also, other cities nearby see the appeal of that civilization and may waver in their Loyalty to their current owner. The quickest and most direct way to boost Loyalty, though, is to send a Governor to the city.

GOVERNORS RULE
In previous versions of Civilization, “governor” often referred to the AI behavior you could set for a city to act on your behalf. In this expansion, though, they are the opposite. Sending a Governor to a city is a way for the player to make an active decision about the development of one of their cities, and grow in a specific direction. Much like how districts operate in the base game, Governors are a way to specialize your cities. The difference: Governors have their own set of unique powerful bonuses and can move between controlled cities.

During a game, players can earn up to seven Governors. Each Governor has a different skill tree of promotions. We bent a lot of existing game rules to give them the power to make a difference in your cities.

Here’s how it works: You earn points (Governor Titles) through gameplay. Then you must choose whether to spend those points on appointing a new Governor or promoting an existing one. How you choose to manage your Governors will impact your overall strategy. Go wide by covering more cities, or go tall by promoting only a few powerful governors.

As for the Governors themselves, they have unique personalities – even before you start choosing which ones to upgrade. Some thrive in taking an already established city to the next level, building Wonders and powering up trade routes. Others are more suited to new cities that are constructing their first districts and claiming their first bits of land. One can be a savior during a city siege, and can make or break a city’s defense against a powerful attacking army. Though normally Governors can only work in your own cities, there is one that can be assigned to city-states, affecting the Envoys you have there. That said, none of the Governors are easily distilled into a single function.



ENHANCING YOUR ALLIANCES
Alliances within Civilization VI already offered a lot, but this expansion adds more nuance. Alliances in the base game often boiled down to a sort of guarantee that the other player would not interfere with your strategy by attacking you, but only rarely did it offer tangible benefits. So for Civilization: Rise and Fall we added more tangible incentives to Alliances. We’re encouraging players to band together for mutual benefit rather than merely non-interference. We’re also giving players more active and flavorful choices to make. Alliances now have a type – Research, Military, Economic, Cultural, or Religious – that determines their benefits. Moreover, as the Alliance continues, the Alliance itself levels up and unlocks more powerful bonuses. This encourages players to think in the long term and to invest in diplomacy.

Let me give you an example of how an Alliance can evolve over time, specifically a Research Alliance. At Level 1, both allies receive Science bonuses to their Trade Routes. But as the Alliance develops, powerful and unique effects come into play. At Level 2, both allies still receive their Science bonuses, but also receive 1 Tech Boost at a regular interval. Level 3 is all of the above, plus bonus Science when researching the same Technology, or a Technology your ally had already researched. These alliances are powerful enough that players are restricted to just one Alliance of each type at a time. But you and your Alliance partner can agree to change the type of your Alliance later in the game.

EMERGENCY SITUATIONS
Emergencies are new with Civilization VI: Rise and Fall. Most Emergencies get triggered when one player gets a significant lead or advantage in an area. Converting a Holy City to a different religion, or using a nuclear weapon, for example. When triggered, the game determines which other players can join in an Emergency against the target and each player can choose to join or pass. Joining can give permanent benefits, but only if the players are able to complete an Emergency-specific objective against the target in time, otherwise the target gets a benefit instead.

They are a sort of checks-and-balances system. You see, there is a delicate balance to strike – making the game more dynamic and also ensuring it stays fair for players who have developed a strong lead. We’re adding challenges to players who’d get so far ahead of others that the game stagnated towards victory for them. We also did not want to artificially rubberband them down. Emergencies become a great way to attack this game-pacing problem. It also reveals the dynamic world stage for players that have more isolationist play styles. As Emergencies come up, they can be involved with them one way or another.

RETELLING YOUR HISTORY
Fans of Civilization know that each game plays out in its own way, with its own unique story. With Civilization VI: Rise and Fall, we are bringing that story into the spotlight by adding more ways to track the progress of a player’s civilization than ever before.

So as players progress in Civilization: Rise and Fall, they earn Historic Moments. These are mini-achievements for doing cool things in the world (and there are over 100 of them in the game right now). They include things like circumnavigating the world, training your unique unit, founding a religion, and building districts with high adjacency bonuses. Many grant an even bigger bonus if you’re the “world’s first” civilization to make the achievement. These Historic Moments, taken together, form a story for your game with unique details tailored to your empire.

Historic Moments are represented two ways. First, they increase your Era Score, helping you achieve a Golden Age. Second, they are added to your Timeline, which is a place in the UI that displays all your accomplishments in a game. This Timeline has tons of custom illustrations for each different moment, and is a very cool representation of your empire’s history during your unique game. On a more practical note, it is also a useful way to remind yourself of what you have been up to if you return to a saved game after a few days away. Ultimately, the Timeline is a way to illustrate your story.



NEW CIVILIZATIONS, NEW LEADERS
People often ask how we select new leaders and civilizations to include in expansions – and we have nine new leaders and eight new civilizations which will be revealed over the coming weeks with Civilization: Rise and Fall. Well, it is a collaborative process that involves the whole team from art and design to production and even our legal department. We also ask ourselves some core questions as we select potential leaders:

“Is this region of the world represented?”
“Is this time in history represented?”
“Is this represented/revered in previous Civilization games or totally new?”

We strive to have a diverse and varied selection of leaders, and it is also very important to us to include female leaders. Women are often underrepresented in traditional historical accounts, and recent scholarship has revealed more and more the fascinating and powerful women that lived between the lines of history textbooks. We also look for leaders whose history makes them particularly well-suited for a bonus related to new expansion systems.

As for balancing and trying to minimize power creep among those new leaders, we take a holistic look at the state of the game and how our leaders, new and old, stack up in it. Our QA department regularly gives us their evaluations of who is on top and who is on bottom, in their estimations of strength. We look at fan evaluations and rankings in this process, as well. We are not afraid to go back to leaders we have already finalized and rework their bonus entirely – so keep telling us what you think about leaders. We are always listening.

This is just the start of what’s coming in Civilization VI: Rise and Fall. We have lots more to share before this expansion releases on February 8, 2018 that we can’t wait to tell you about – starting with all the new leaders and civilizations you’ll get to rule.

Follow the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #OneMoreTurn, and be sure to follow the Civilization franchise on social media to keep up to date with the latest news and information on Sid Meier’s Civilization VI.

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