Civilization VI


Quarter to Three!


The only reason Steam forums aren’t the absolute worst is because Youtube comments exist, and some days it’s debatable.


Let’s not forget reddit and 4chan, now.


I like the combined arms idea - this will hopefully strike a nice balance. I do worry that perhaps that might lead to less “character” in the variation on units (less rock/paper/scissors and more papered rock-like scissors battling against each other) and the diminishment of the importance of unique units, but time will tell.


Depending on the subreddit, at least the tools exist to downvote the stupid into oblivion. That goes completely out the window on the larger (especially default) subs, though.


For me it’s a definitely a Civ-specific problem. (I loved, say, AOW3.)

Part of it is that I already know what 80% of a new Civ is going to be in advance - yes, we’re going to be researching pottery; yes, gunpowder will be an important technology, etc.

The other part is that after 25 years and 5 versions, the chances that I’ll love the 20% they do change is fairly low. Which isn’t to say they’re doing it wrong - it’s just that when you’re starting with a highly refined design the chances are low that any innovation you make will both be successful in terms of game design and also happen to appeal to the personal tastes of a given fan.

Edit: Elemental/Fallen Enchantress did the expanding the city tiles thing before Endless Legend. Credit where it’s due and all that.


True, true. And I do use reddit…it’s just got its limitations, shall we say.


On topic:

Matt Peckham at TIME actually got some good info out of Beach on the engine and AI:

“The number one thing to know is that Civilization VI is not built on the previous engine,” says Beach in response to a question about critiques of Civilization V‘s ability to play the game on its own terms. “All of the gameplay systems have been entirely rewritten and re-architected. We’ve specifically set it up to be very modifiable. And we’ve rewritten the A.I. from the ground up, learning all the lessons that we had from Civilization V, so we know how best to solve some of these problems in military combat and so forth.”


Reading the PC Gamer chat with Ed Beach, the way cities are handled now reminds me of Clash of Cultures (the boardgame). That’s a good thing, in my opinion.

Edit: and yes, Elemental did that expanding city/tile thing, too. Warlock featured buildings added to the map. It’s not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination, but I figure the success of Endless Legend must not have gone unnoticed over at Firaxis (especially since they use the term “districts”, too).


I won’t even pretend that there is a chance I won’t get this. Hopefully it will be good. The changes listed above sounds like they may add enough change to feel different enough. I’ll believe the AI is decent when I see it. Sounds like we are coming full circle with combined arms and being able to create Corps since Civ 3 let the player create armies.


Well, they are pretty wonderful actually… :)

Reading further below it looks like they are trying to address the problem so I am hopeful.

I just don’t understand why a huge companies like this cannot devote time to create a proper AI, when modder’s can do it by themselves.


Firaxis is in last chance mode for me, as is the 4X genre in general.

I really hope they can keep me, the Civ series was pretty important to me through the years.

BTW is it going to be a 64-bit engine?


Maybe because modders can do it themselves huge companies don’t have to devote time to create a proper AI?

Not saying it’s a good thing but…

— Alan


Absolutely! If anything, they should take ideas from the game that made Civ obsolete for me.


My understanding of one of the main issues is that a moving target (changing rules/systems/content while a game is in development) makes it extremely challenging to create a robust AI.

There’s also the fact that everything I’ve seen leads me to believe that AI development is very much one of those disciplines (if it’s even considered a discipline at all!) that isn’t really solveable by throwing money/resources at the problem past a certain point. If your art department is behind, you can contract out whatever you need or even buy off-the-shelf stuff that may be relatively easy to plug into your game. Not so much with AI.

It’s very likely that a part-time/hobbyist commitment to a stable, well-explored and -documented game over a long period of time (years in this case) is an environment much better suited to the creation of “good” (which can mean very different things depending on who you ask) AI than the actual development cycle of a game is.

I dunno. It’s an interesting question.


Civilization has always been a Day One purchase for me. That is until Beyond Dearth which is probably the most disappointing game I have purchased in a decade or so. What a gigantic turd that game turned out to be. I loved the remake of XCOM and played it for hundreds of hours. I pre-purchased XCOM 2 and have not bothered to complete it.

I can not pretend that there is not a good chance that I give in to the hype and buy this one on release. But there is also a solid chance I wait until the reviews are out because I have been quite disappointed in the products from Firaxis lately.


Really excited to see that Ed Beach is design lead on this game. I thought the Civ V expansions added a lot to the game, and Beach is responsible for some of my favorite board games (the excellent Here I Stand and Virgin Queen). Firaxis seems to work with a lot of board game talent (Ananda Gupta of Twilight Struggle fame was lead on the XCOM expansion), and I hope they continue to do so. I’d love to see a PC game designed by Volko Rhunke, the designer of the COIN system games that GMT produces.

But, with respect to Civ VI, I’m hopeful that the AI will be better able to handle the limited stacking than it was the 1 unit per tile approach of Civ V.


I think you are onto something here. It must be hard to develop while the game is still changing and I totally agree that doing it on a stable platform that has been patched up is going to make the task easier.

But even then, why doesn’t the developer do it post launch if needed?

I really think its about return on investment. The time and cost to “FIX” the AI is probably too high for the number of people who care about it.

I think that the majority of players that make up the sales do not care about the AI and very few care about it cheating except the die hards.

I have a bunch of friends that play CIV and when I told them about the AI update MOD, they looked at me like I had 3 heads. They said, they cant even beat it at Emperor, so I explained how it gets bonuses etc and then lost them completely.

The only dev’s that really seem to care about AI so far that I have seen are Paradox and Stardock…?


My body is ready.



When I was in game journalism, I’d ask developers (primarily of war/strategy games) exactly this question, about why don’t they develop more robust AI. The answer was always the same. As noted above, it’s just not worth it. The number of sales gained by having a better AI would not justify the cost of developing that AI, at the expense of other things the money/time could be used for, that would generate more sales. At least, that’s what the developers felt.