Sid Meier’s Civilization is just around the corner! October 21 is almost upon us (actually it’s more than a month away) but I can barely contain the hype (probably would have if only Final Fantasy XV wasn’t delayed). Firaxis has showered us with tons of information, through First Look videos and gameplay videos from well known civ YouTubers, and I thought I’d make a list of ten new features I’m excited for in Civilization 6.
1. Unpacked Cities
Cities in Civ 6 are no longer one tile monstrosities where every single wonder is packed into it. They have taken some pointers from Endless Legends and cities have now been opened up. Districts can be built within the borders of a city. Placement of both city and districts will be crucial to maximize point gains like science or culture. Districts will also have up to three buildings within them. For example an encampment can have barracks which will help your army gain experience as they are recruited. The number of districts is limited by your population count, so we’ll have to choose wisely on which ones to get first.
This aside, wonders also take up a tile now, which also means that each city can only build a limited number of them so you’ll have to pick wisely or go for a wide empire. Plus wonders have terrain requirements now, i.e. Oracle must be built on a hill, Pyramid on flat desert tiles and Stonehenge on flat land next to stone quarries. This means that there’s an additional thing to consider when settling cities.
2. Multiple Leaders
Though no announced civilization has two leaders, Firaxis has suggested that it is a possibility. That along with a recent leak on their livestream suggests that Greece will have two leaders – Pericles and Gorgo. More will likely follow in DLCs or Expansions.
Alternate leaders will have different leader ability and agendas. Agendas are basically what dictates the AI goal, for example Queen Victoria’s Sun Never Sets agenda makes her want to settle a city on every continent. It would be interesting to see how different leaders would do with different civs. For example, Qin Shi Huang and Sun Yat-sen would have drastically different agendas for China.
3. Civic Tree
The social policy tree from Civ 5 has been expanded a lot in Civ 6 and is now called the Civic Tree. To go along with this is the Government system. Once you’ve researched a certain government type, i.e. democracy or oligarchy, you can choose different social policies to enact. There are four types of social policies – Military, Economy, Diplomacy and Wildcard (it might be called Great Person card now, not sure about this). What government type you have will limit the total number of social policies you can enact and how many of each type, for example an autocracy would be more military focused while a republic would be more economic focused.
4. Invading Barbarians
Barbarians in Civ 6 will be a force to reckon with! Barbarians will send out scouts to look for cities to attack and when they find one, they will return to camp and a barbarian force will come rushing towards you. Players will have to kill the scouts when they see them or destroy the camps before the barbarians have a chance to marshal their forces. Overall this would mean that players will have to start maintaining an army early in the game, especially now that cities are defenseless before a wall is build.
5. Justified War (Casus Belli)
Wars can now be justified! In Civilization 5, you would incur the warmongering penalty for being in a war (even a defensive one) and taking cities which would greatly affect your ability to trade with other civilizations. Now with proper justification, you can battle your enemies without worrying about this. Would be interesting to see what sort of justifications are in play, I’ve seen a few floating around such as religions battles and reconquering cities that once belonged to you. Who knows? Maybe we could see a Reconquista type scenario.
This aside, it would seem like prior to the Renaissance, wars incur little to no warmongering penalty. Which would increase early conflicts. This makes it doubly important to keep an early standing army coupled with marauding barbarians in the area.
One last thing about the Justified Wars, there seems to be peace conference now at the end of wars. In which you can confirm your control of conquered territories or cede them back to their original owners. I would think that targeted Casus Belli will reduce warmongering penalty while cities taken with no Casus Belli will dramatically increase warmongering penalty.
6. Great Person
Great Persons point are now generated across the world and you’ll have to race other civilizations to recruit Great Persons. You can also pay gold or spend faith to recruit them through patronage. This is important as now each individual Great Person will have their own unique abilities. For example, Themistocles can be used to provide combat strength to Classical and Medieval Era naval units or to instantly create a quadrireme unit. Therefore it will be crucial to keep an eye on the “market” and grab the best Great Person for your civilization before someone else snatch them out from under you.
Espionage makes a return to the game, but spies are not the only wants to gather information. By trading and interacting often with another civilization, you will soon get little snippets of information about the other civilization through gossip. Spies on the other hand are now units who can do missions ala James Bond, like doing heists to steal another civilization’s great work.
Happiness are now city based instead of an empire. Happiness is now known as amenities and is based on the rating that your city has, which is basically the appeal of your city. For example, having natural wonders or coasts can boost the amenity level of your city. The amount of amenities is affected by the population you have.
Since happiness is now localized, this would seem like the barrier to a wide empire is easier than in Civilization 5. Allowing you to better manage your expansion without worrying about how it would affect your current cities. Alongside that, it is possible that we might see some cities revolt based on their happiness, in which case it would also be interesting to see if they directly join another civilization, like Civilization 5 or become a separate entity like a new city state.
9. Victory Types
A new victory condition has been announced, which is the Religious Victory. Some information has been given about it, but at this point we are not sure what it means. Screenshots suggest that a religion has to be the predominant religion in all major and minor civilizations where predominant means more than 50% of the cities in each civilization. Question remains over what exactly minor civilizations mean. I would have assumed it meant city states, but an interview with a developer suggest that city states do not have to be converted. I can see it going several ways. a.) the developer/description messed up. b.) minor civilizations means something new. In which case, does minor civilization means that some AI civilization can be minor civilizations which can’t grow pass a certain limit. Or it simply means that as the game progresses, powerful civilizations are considered major while lesser ones are considered minor. Or does minor civilization mean something created through a dynamic event, i.e. a splinter from a starting civilization. I would love it if it was the last one. Anyway, I’ve ranted long enough.
The other victory conditions are also reworked, for example the Science Victory is now a three step process of launching a satellite, landing on the moon and colonizing Mars. I hope that they are more than just milestone objectives and have some function to it. For example, it would be cool to launch a satellite in order to get the whole map revealed and landing on the moon gives you certain extra benefits, like envoys with city states.
10. City States and Envoys
Last but not least, I’m excited that the city state system has been massively overhauled. Instead of dropping bribes to maintain your relationship with the city states, you now have envoys. Envoys sent to city states help you maintain bonuses with them. And once you have at least 3 envoys in a single city state and has the most out of all the civilizations currently there, you become the city state’s suzerain. As a suzerain, you have a unique bonus from city state and can pay them some gold to levy their army. Unique bonuses also differ from each city state, for example Zanzibar gives you two luxury resources, while Jerusalem becomes an extra holy city for your religion. Encountering city states automatically gives you one envoy with them while being the first to meet them gives you two. Outside of that, envoys seem to be earned through research and completing quests for city states.
Those are ten things that I’m looking forward to in Civ 6. That’s not all, of course, I’m also excited for other things like builders, the Eureka moments, fog of war design and cliffs, but I decided to limit myself to ten, otherwise this would just be a list of every new feature that Civ 6 has.
Which new feature in Civ 6 are you most excited for? Let me know in the comments down below.