Weekendkiller VI Debuts
October 20, 2016 7:55 PM   Subscribe

The sixth official installment in the Civilization computer game series drops any minute now, and the anticipation is at its usual fever pitch.

The series, started in 1991 by Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley (who went on to have a major role in developing the Age of Empires series), is the most famous example of the "4X" strategy game (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate), wherein a player takes command of an empire and seeks to dominate the world (or universe, or whatever). The Civ series uses real historical empires, leaders, units, and great projects to allow players to "recreate" history.

Meier is the face of the franchise, with all of the games being called "Sid Meier's Civilization", but his involvement has waxed and waned over the years. Brian Reynolds was the lead designer of Civ II, saying that Meier was involved in name only. The first sequel is seen by many as being the true pinnacle of the series, with IGN calling it the #3 game of all time (behind only Tetris and Super Mario Bros.) and saying, "Sid Meier's Civilization II took an amazingly balanced strategy game and somehow, despite all odds, made it bigger and better." One person played Civ II for more than a decade, producing "a hellish nightmare of suffering and devastation", which spawned its own subreddit (go ahead, make the joke).

After Civ II, publisher MicroProse was sold, and Meier, Reynolds, and others keft to form Firaxis Games. Because they no longer had the Civilization franchise rights, Meier and Reynolds produced Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. SMAC was essentially another Civ game, albeit on a planet orbiting the nearest star and with more of a sci-fi plotline involving alien intelligences. Despite selling fewer copies than any "proper" Civ game, SMAC is remembered fondly.

The next true Civ game was Civ III, released in 2001. Many considered it a letdown compared to SMAC, but it won several Game of the Year awards.

Civ IV has been called the apotheosis of the series by no less an authority than Time magazine, which placed it at #11 in the greatest video games of all time. It introduced more detailed religious play and Great People.

Civ V made perhaps the most controversial change in the series ever, altering the map tiles from squares to hexagons. It also differentiated religions for the first time (giving each one different customizable effects) and eliminated the "army stack" by restricting each hex to be able to hold only one military unit at a time, greatly changing war strategy from earlier editions.

Civ V was followed by Beyond Earth, which added a few new features to what was essentially a reboot of SMAC in the official Civ universe, as players seek to colonize an extraterrestrial planet in the face of hostile aliens and other human factions.

Civ VI, of course, makes a number of changes, including a more sprawling city system than the old one-tile approach, a civics tree intended to lend more depth to government styles, and civilization bonuses based on how you're playing the game (e.g., settle on the coast, discover aquatic technologies quicker).

Just watch out for Gandhi.
posted by Etrigan (117 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
 
No. No it doesn't. Not when I have a PhD to finish.
posted by prismatic7 at 8:00 PM on October 20, 2016 [15 favorites]


I know of three people that I probably won't hear from for months once this drops.
posted by hippybear at 8:27 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


I hope they get rid of barbarian encampments eventually, or at least have some way of portraying them as a nomadic civilization rather than just auto-chaotic evil trash mobs. I remember one game I was sending a bunch of cavalry to hunt down and exterminate the barbarian units that had spawned on a landmass I was planning to settle and suddenly thinking "hey... uh... this has some unfortunate implications."
posted by Grimgrin at 8:31 PM on October 20, 2016 [23 favorites]


I still play Civ II. It really is the greatest.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:33 PM on October 20, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm pretty sure my first Civ session was an all-nighter, on my friend's PS/2. I still miss the top-down square tiles of the DOS version.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:35 PM on October 20, 2016


A big Stellaris patch dropped today. Between that, a weak Canadian dollar making this an $80 CDN game, and the fact that I've been let down by the past 3(?) Firaxis games means that I'm going to pump the brakes on this one and wait for some patches and a Steam sale before I get it.
posted by thecjm at 8:42 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?
posted by corb at 8:52 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


FIVE MORE MINUTES
posted by asperity at 8:55 PM on October 20, 2016 [10 favorites]


Okay, sure, we should all wait for at least a couple rounds of patches, a Steam sale, some reviews from serious civ players, linux support, some of the new features they'll be adding, mods to fix the UI, mods to fix the game balance.

Anyone got more? I need more reasons. Preferably within the next five minutes.
posted by sfenders at 8:57 PM on October 20, 2016 [14 favorites]


This seems as good a place to ask as any:

I've always been a bit confused by the leader aspect - Ghandi etc. Is it a conceit that you have an immortal leader of your civilization from antiquity through to the end game?

I realise I could answer this myself by playing any civilization game but I suck at strategy.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 8:57 PM on October 20, 2016


Is it a conceit that you have an immortal leader of your civilization from antiquity through to the end game?

More or less. I wouldn't think too hard about that part. Also I promise you don't need to be very good at strategy to play the hell out of Civ, or else I'd have spent the last quarter-century very differently.

ALSO WHAT THE HELL STEAM WHY IS IT NOT UNLOCKED YET
posted by asperity at 9:05 PM on October 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


For me, the answer is easy - my computer won't be able to handle the requirements for Civ VI and upgrades are not in the budget at all.

I do suspect I'll be checking out some Let's Plays, though, and wishing.
posted by nubs at 9:06 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ahhhh I'm so excited. Except I have a Mac so who knows when my pre-order will become activated on Steam.....
posted by FireFountain at 9:06 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have tomorrow off work. Sheer coincidence. The sheerest, I say.

One more turn.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 9:06 PM on October 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


Steam's going all Windows File Copy Dialog on me.. 2 min 40 s, no 3 min 5, no 2 min 55...
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 9:07 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've downloaded the game and it's unlocked for me... and I'm going to wait until tomorrow to play it. I either have the patience of a deity, or I'm just getting too old to start a brand-new Civ game at 9pm.
posted by tclark at 9:08 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ready to launch in approximately: [random number generator]
posted by asperity at 9:09 PM on October 20, 2016


I am enjoying this live blogging WAY more than the debates. If one of you makes Donald Trump your custom Civ Leader, I will definitely give you a favorite on here or Twitter.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:10 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm just getting too old to start a brand-new Civ game at 9pm.

Dude, do you know how many dances I go to that are literally spinning the first DJ at that time? MAN UP!
posted by hippybear at 9:11 PM on October 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm too old for karaoke that doesn't start until 9pm, but Civ that doesn't start until after 10pm is A-OK. IF ONLY IT WOULD FINISH LOADING ARGH
posted by asperity at 9:12 PM on October 20, 2016


IT BEGINS.

Uh, catch y'all after the election, maybe?
posted by asperity at 9:14 PM on October 20, 2016


I've played Civ I, II, III and IV (with expansion packs). I own V, but only played it once and it felt much more like totally relearning how to play than any of the others did. I've heard it is good, just haven't put the time into it. I'll probably play it and this one at some point.

That said, I find a lot of the same pleasure from playing Endless Legend, if anyone is looking for a fix at a lower cost/set of system requirements.

I've got mixed feeling about the barbarian tribes. On one hand, yes problematic. On the other hand, I suspect that it isn't very far from how the Romans felt about them when they were invading. I've read Taticus's Germania, but it was a while ago, and I don't remember it that well. It was fairly in the 'look at the pure and untained by modern life people' if I recall correctly, so you know, the more things change....
posted by Canageek at 9:15 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Uh, catch y'all after the election, maybe?

OMG! What if the election IS rigged... by releasing this just now!!!
posted by hippybear at 9:16 PM on October 20, 2016


Oh, holy shit. I spoke too soon. My rig meets the minimum requirements.

Still don't have the cash for this - the exchange rate is killer...but I can dream now. I can dream.
posted by nubs at 9:16 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Civ IV was the best but I'm ok with V. Once I showed a boyfriend how to play it and he eventually stood up and was like, "yeah, that was a cool 2 hours but I don't get why you like it so much." "Uh, dude. You were playing for EIGHT hours." "Oh."

Then my dad called me out of the blue one day and said he finally checked out that game I like. He said he hardly slept in 36 hours and he deleted it and is never going back again.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 9:23 PM on October 20, 2016 [33 favorites]


Civilization: Call to Power, which has nothing to do with Sid Meier (well, even less than every over game after Civ 1) and was made around the fall of Microprose when the rights to the game were floating around, is a weird one. I always forget that it wasn't a "real" Civ game and doesn't get mentioned in the list of Civ history when I half-recall one of it's weird play mechanics - things like slavers and muslim partisans and orbital colonies.
posted by thecjm at 9:33 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


When I was in grad school a friend gave me his Civ IV disk because he needed to pass his quals. I had to give it back to him because I needed to work on my dissertation. He finally just uninstalled the game and broke the disk into pieces to keep from playing it.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:34 PM on October 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


I suspect that it isn't very far from how the Romans felt about them when they were invading.

However the ancient Romans felt about things, the barbarians they had were quite often a lot more civilization-like than the ones in civ. I don't object to having always-hostile barbarians in the game, but it might be a nice idea to have more sophisticated ones that don't just immediately launch a desperate doomed attack at the first opportunity. Since the game is so city-based, some of them could be always-hostile "city states". One or another of the Civ V mods I installed made the barbarians capable of conquering cities, so I did actually have a couple of barbarian city-states in one game. It was fun.
posted by sfenders at 9:36 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


I told my SO that this was coming out. I also promised to wait until Sunday to purchase it. And I'm out of vacation days and sick days until December. I predict a serious drop in quality of work due to sleep deprivation.
posted by Hactar at 9:50 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


And I've been doing so well in school this semester...

Still miffed they got rid of Venice though.
posted by clorox at 10:22 PM on October 20, 2016


I finally played Starships not too long ago. I've got to say, it wasn't horrible. As a quick drop-in and be done in 40 minutes game, it's good. I would honestly be interested in playing a more fleshed-out version of it for more than the 8 hours it took for me to get all the achievements and say "yeah, I'm bored now."

I also think BE is underrated, but I'm just weird like that. SMAC doesn't hold up as well as I thought it did.
posted by miguelcervantes at 10:46 PM on October 20, 2016


The fact that the two truly excellent games in the SID MEIER franchise--Civ II and SMAC--were made by Brian Reynolds left me with a negative opinion of Sid Meier. Until I read an interview with him earlier this year and he came off as charmingly embarrassed that he's so connected and quite willing to give credit to others.

Just bought the game and started the download. I'm now remembering I haven't like the pre-expansion versions of any of he last three games but whatever, if I was a real gamer still I wouldn't have needed a reminder that Civ VI was dropping from a MeFi FPP. I'll go for the brand name.

BTW, nice post. Didn't know about the Gandhi "feature". :)
posted by mark k at 10:51 PM on October 20, 2016


Is it still the one unit per hex? Because fuck that, Civ IV 4ever.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:03 PM on October 20, 2016


As I remember it, Call to Power also failed to implement randomness in combat. You take 5 attackers against 5 defenders with the same values and you get 5 identical health values after combat. CtP was weird in so many ways. I think the only missile you could have as well was nuclear; no such thing as a conventional missile strike apparently.
posted by Lykosidae at 11:04 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


BE has some problems, but it also has some really interesting things going on (the satellite layer is great). I think the biggest knock against it is that it was marketed as a full, stand-alone AAA game, when it felt more like a full-conversion expansion pack.
posted by clorox at 11:06 PM on October 20, 2016


No. No it doesn't. Not when I have a PhD to finish.

It me! (THERE IS NO CIV VI. There will not be a Civ VI until I submit this paper and start turning papers into dissertation chapters. Although admittedly it might be a more uplifting distraction than the election...)
posted by ubersturm at 11:17 PM on October 20, 2016


It's tweaked 1unit per tile, units like siege weapons occupy the same spaces as armies, and you can upgrade multiple unit ts to armies with the right tech. And the AI is better so it uses them better, or so I've heard.

Incidentally using a VPN to unlock games early is generally viewed as safe and effective, Valve bans for doing it to get lower prices but not for that.
posted by Sebmojo at 11:26 PM on October 20, 2016


After loading it up and going through the tutorial game (Just to make sure I haven't missed something important)... I'm very reluctantly not starting a full match at 11:52pm, and that's mostly because everybody at work would know why I didn't show up the next day and there's a concert after...
But this weekend, I may not come back up for air.
posted by CrystalDave at 11:53 PM on October 20, 2016


Ugh. Steam just helpfully emailed me and told me that The Witcher 3 was on sale, and now this? It just so happens that I bought a new fairly powerful gaming PC just two weeks ago (for paying the bills and surfing the web, you see...)
posted by Harald74 at 11:54 PM on October 20, 2016


I actually liked one unit per hex. Stacking limits are a staple of strategy games and add a lot to the setup--you shouldn't just be able to concentrate infinite forces at a single point of attack.

Now, if the Civ 5 AI had a clue how to use them they would actually have added something to the game. Watching the enemy hopelessly shuffle around their massive invasion force while I sniped at them, instead of overwhelming my city with its one defender, was a little embarrassing.
posted by mark k at 11:55 PM on October 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


Does asshole Gandhi still exist in number six? That's one of the funniest unintended features I've ever heard about in a game.

Also, how close is the youtube preview to gameplay? I was big into Age of Empires so long ago, and I'm thinking of getting back into gaming to replace one addiction with another that's easier on the liver.
posted by iffthen at 11:56 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Endless games are waaaaaay better, and cheaper too.
posted by Brocktoon at 1:26 AM on October 21, 2016


As a filthy kiwi i have this unlocked and it owwwwns. Definitely some Endless Legend in the DNA, but basically it's III::IV V::VI
posted by Sebmojo at 1:29 AM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'll probably wait for a sale on it, I just don't have time right now in my life.
posted by octothorpe at 3:42 AM on October 21, 2016


My favourite civ game by far is still Call to Power. It was amongst the most innovative of the series -- the first to introduce unit stacks, Public Works (i.e. no building a worker in 3000BC and using it until modern times), it featured slavery and the Tech tree went way beyond the modern era to space cities. There were so many more ways to wage a "cold" war - not just spies, it had slavers, clerics (and their upgrade televangelists), corporate branches, lawyers, ecoterrorists, infectors, and a few more. It also had tipping points - that is, when you are good at the game, there are various cliffs that you can easily fall off when trying to go too quickly -- build too many cities for your government type to handle, research something that obsoletes a wonder that was the only reason why you're keeping going, pollution and global warming, and a whole bunch more. It's not without its flaws, but I'd love to see the proxy-war stuff and public works come into a modern civ game. Civ V felt overly simplistic so I'm hoping Civ VI will be better in that regard.
posted by BigCalm at 3:54 AM on October 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


Work is conveniently an early release day today. Otherwise there was no way I wild have gone in. So excited
.
posted by lownote at 4:37 AM on October 21, 2016


I probably lose about 20 minutes a day due to my shitty dell laptop being shitty. Now I will get all that time back as its too shitty to run Civ VI.
posted by biffa at 4:41 AM on October 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


Don't worry people with things to do. You can finish your dissertation during the load screen.
posted by srboisvert at 5:19 AM on October 21, 2016 [16 favorites]


A couple weeks ago (in 2016), my father ran into this ridiculous Civilization 5 bug (dating back to 2010). Our multiplayer game with my daughter is currently ridiculous because of a bug like this. The latter bug I can't even search for properly, because there are simply too many unique bugs crippling Civ 5 multiplayer for me to find the specific incarnation affecting us.

I would say "wait for at least a couple rounds of patches" is the very least you should do with upcoming Firaxis games. After a couple rounds of patches, check through forums to make sure that the patches actually fixed everything, don't just assume that the game publisher has demonstrated enough belated competence to deserve your money.
posted by roystgnr at 6:16 AM on October 21, 2016


I've always waited about six months after release before I buy Civ games. Well Civ IV I bought and played once and then gave up for six months until they straightened out the performance issues.
posted by octothorpe at 6:24 AM on October 21, 2016


Why would you ever subject yourself to Multiplayer Civilization?

Single player already has the OMG just one more turn problem adding more players to that just accentuates that risk rather than reducing it.
posted by vuron at 6:25 AM on October 21, 2016


So I broke the tutorial last night by building a library too soon. Then started another game (quick play on a duel map, I'm not completely without willpower) and made increasingly poor decisions until I went to bed at a nearly reasonable hour.

Quitting my job to play Civ would be foolish and I should not do that.
posted by asperity at 6:35 AM on October 21, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm still really upset there is no Linux port on launch like they originally announced, and that there might not be one at all. On the other hand, it does mean I have a few more months of normal life.
posted by destrius at 7:32 AM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, for all my "Don't reward those bug-pushing jerks with more money!" attitude above, if they come out with both a relatively bug-free Linux client and Linux PitBoss server for VI then all will be forgiven.
Why would you ever subject yourself to Multiplayer Civilization?
Even when something is already really, really fun to do by yourself, so fun in fact that you worry about whether you're doing it too much, you should not neglect the possibility that doing that thing with carefully selected other people might be exponentially more fun, while somehow also being more fulfilling and more easy to integrate into a well-rounded life.
posted by roystgnr at 7:47 AM on October 21, 2016 [3 favorites]


I've always waited about six months after release before I buy Civ games. Well Civ IV I bought and played once and then gave up for six months until they straightened out the performance issues.

In all honesty, this is the approach I've taken with pretty much all new games/bits of software I want. Lots of titles seem to go out with bugs present.
posted by nubs at 8:20 AM on October 21, 2016


Oh, enough with the hand-wringing and secpnd-guessing. What Civ are you playing first? Which ones are you planning to try? I played France in Civ V because I hated getting Napoleon as an enemy and wanted the culture spiffs, but I haven't decided which one to choose now.
posted by briank at 9:08 AM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


First game: Started with Japan on King. Got rolled in the early Classical era by Gilgamesh.

Second game: Started with France on Prince. Got rolled in the early Classical era by Harold.

I was fairly decent at Civ 5 — like, I could reliably win on Emperor, even though Deity gave me problems, so getting crushed on Prince was a pleasant shock. My normal strategy of turtling through the early game with one teched-up unit per city doesn't seem viable anymore.

Weren't people complaining that in the preview stream the AI looked too passive? What happened to that? As far as I can tell it's super-aggro, especially if you run afoul of their agenda or whatever it's called. I think Harold murdered me because I didn't have enough boats?

This game is gonna be so good
posted by a mirror and an encyclopedia at 9:40 AM on October 21, 2016 [8 favorites]


Why would you ever subject yourself to Multiplayer Civilization?

It requires a lot of pieces to fall into place (living under the same roof as the other player(s) helps a lot), but if you get a good multiplayer game going, it dwarfs anything the single player version can do. When AI Montezuma is massing catapults on your border, you know exactly what's coming. When your buddy across the room is doing the same thing, maybe it's just because he's planning on signing open borders with you and using your road network to get to the Spanish. And maybe he's spent a few minutes reassuring you, in exactly the right kind of calming, dismissive, gaslighting tones, that of course that's what he's doing. And then maybe he waits for you to move your horse archers to the opposite border to execute a designed pincer-attack, before rolling his legions to attack your soft, undefended southern flank, and a great shout goes up as you try and fail to exact revenge by paying off your mutual foes to declare war on the backstabbing son-of-a-bitch, but he's already buttered up the Khans with some sweet, sweet technological largesse, and then by the time you get your horse archers back to defend the southern flank it's too late and your capital has fallen.

And maybe I am your buddy, and multiplayer scratches the same itch as a good backstabbing game of Diplomacy does, but with SO MUCH MORE opportunity for you to be a complete and utter shit and sorry-not-sorry Bill, you should have never trusted me
posted by Mayor West at 10:01 AM on October 21, 2016 [15 favorites]


Oh, enough with the hand-wringing and secpnd-guessing. What Civ are you playing first? Which ones are you planning to try? I played France in Civ V because I hated getting Napoleon as an enemy and wanted the culture spiffs, but I haven't decided which one to choose now.

I don't have it yet. Will be buying a dedicated PC gaming laptop for this purpose a few weeks down the road. But I know that my first game is either as Catherine to go full-on Cersei Lannister using my spy network to start wars between opponents, or else Mvembe just because I can't wait to try out Kongo.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:03 AM on October 21, 2016


ONE MORE TURN

.
posted by radicalawyer at 10:26 AM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


WHEN DOES THE MAC VERSION COME OUT???

*ahem*


I mean...perhaps I might be interested in this game when the Mac version comes out.
posted by darkstar at 10:31 AM on October 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm with you darkstar. We bought the preorder and realized too late it wouldn't be for Mac just yet. I'm so anxious to play!!! I hope the Mac version comes soon because I'm so friggin excited.

Also, I'm surprised some folks don't like multiplayer. It's better in a lot of ways than single player because humans don't make the same stupid mistakes as the AI and makes for a more challenging and interesting game. It is helpful that I live with my husband who plays with me. Definitely more challenging to bring in friends that aren't in the same house or even the same time zone (but for the record this is totally possible. Once had a game going with someone on the opposite coast hah).
posted by FireFountain at 10:40 AM on October 21, 2016


The Mac release is any hour/day now, see Aspyr's Twitter or the Steam forums. In the past Aspyr has done good work porting to the Mac, but there's always this risk of a small delay after the Windows version drops.

I spent 90 minutes trying to make Windows fucking work last night to install the game and failed, went to sleep. So bad. I did get it working today and played for an hour or two. Very much like the game so far. Designing cities is now a whole new challenge, laying out districts. I think it will be interesting. Also love the changes to roads and workers; much less micromanagement, I hope.
posted by Nelson at 11:31 AM on October 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


Played for about an hour and a half last night after I got home from work. I am loving the new look and the change. Still not sure about how the district management is going to change my style of play. I tend to favour RELIGION/SCIENCE wins. There are a lot of game mechanics at work here that I'm not familiar with and while I'm happy it gives me something new to learn, it is going to take some while to get a handle on everything here.

Oh, enough with the hand-wringing and secpnd-guessing. What Civ are you playing first? Which ones are you planning to try? I played France in Civ V because I hated getting Napoleon as an enemy and wanted the culture spiffs, but I haven't decided which one to choose now.

I started with Gandhi. Because of course I start with Gandhi and all his treacherousness. I'm looking at Roosevelt for my next play and then Queen Victoria.

Say goodbye to productivity for the next few months.

Just one more turn.
posted by Fizz at 12:29 PM on October 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


Does asshole Gandhi still exist in number six? That's one of the funniest unintended features I've ever heard about in a game.

I've always referred to him as 'treacherous Gandhi'. You would do well to respect him, to not do so is to sign your defeat. He is not to be fucked with.
posted by Fizz at 12:43 PM on October 21, 2016


Unfortunately my computer picked now to basically declare the dedicated graphics card to be off limits (after about twenty minutes of use it just shuts down, as I found out trying to play Civ V). Fortunately it's still under warranty. Unfortunately I now live in a different country from the place which I bought it. Fortunately I have a manuscript deadline next week so I can now not think about Civ VI all the time everyday. Unfortunately I was planning on rewarding myself by buying Civ VI when I was done.
posted by Kattullus at 12:46 PM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


SO MUCH MORE opportunity for you to be a complete and utter shit
No! Take the high road!

For instance, when I was in 2nd place, in a 5 player game, and the losing 3 players wanted to unfairly gang up 4-on-1 against the 1st place player, who had never done anything dishonest or even violent to another player throughout the game, did I agree to that?

Well, okay, I did.

But then I told the 1st place player about our agreement, in time for his massive secret military buildup to keep up with our own. The 3rd place player was dumbfounded when, right after he launched his surprise attack into surprisingly well-defended player 1 territory, my army refused to reinforce his now-bogged-down forces and crossed into his territory instead.

Was this a strategically better move? Well, probably; I can't see where "everybody should sneak-attack the leading player" was supposed to end up if not at "and then you'll be the leading player, who we'll hope isn't good at inductive reasoning!"

But more importantly, it was the morally better move, and there's no fury like morally justified, self-righteous fury.

Genghis Khan said, "I am the punishment of God ... If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you." But he could only assume a just world; whereas I knew my enemies' sin. When waves of your tanks are mowing down their scattered challengers, when your retreating foes beg for mercy and are granted nothing but steel and lead, I promise you that it tastes all the sweeter knowing that they asked for this war, and you are simply the instrument of divine justice who has given it to them.
posted by roystgnr at 12:47 PM on October 21, 2016 [14 favorites]


my computer picked now to basically declare the dedicated graphics card to be off limits (after about twenty minutes of use it just shuts down

I don't really know from computers, but that sounds like an overheating issue to me. Perhaps go to a local store and buy a small fan you can put in your computer to cool the graphics card? Might be a quick fix for something rather than getting involved with cross-border repairs.
posted by hippybear at 12:49 PM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm most intrigued about how districts are going to play out with this version of the game. Apparently the geography of each specific tile influences the long game in many ways as well, so planning ahead later developments and improvements is more important than ever. I have several hundreds upon hundreds of hours in Civ V. I cannot express how excited I am about this game. Ugh, is it 11 pm yet, still stuck here at work and all I want to do is go home and play. Just one more turn.
posted by Fizz at 1:28 PM on October 21, 2016


hippybear: I don't really know from computers, but that sounds like an overheating issue to me.

It probably is, but it's like malfunctioning part number four. By this point I just want a new computer.
posted by Kattullus at 1:32 PM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


If my grubhub account goes silent, send for a well-check.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:45 PM on October 21, 2016


By this point I just want a new computer.

Do it, build yourself a new computer so that you can play CIV VI. Join us...ONE OF US....ONE OF US....
posted by Fizz at 2:16 PM on October 21, 2016


Eurogamer comparison of Civ V and VI.

Mainly posting it for the subheading, 'hexual ceiling'.

Marinate on that until you get it.

Awwww, yisssss.
posted by Sebmojo at 2:17 PM on October 21, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'm so amused at the number of people trying hard to not buy it until the dissertation is finished.. I'm in exactly the same boat. I thought, maybe I can just buy it and play through one game on the weekend and THEN get back to work....

Just.. maybe just one more turn and then I'll go back to writing.






OK one more.


Shit.
posted by MaximumTaco at 2:24 PM on October 21, 2016


I'm so amused at the number of people trying hard to not buy it until the dissertation is finished..

This is why my desktop is linux.
posted by Zalzidrax at 2:45 PM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's one thing that has pissed me off to no end since my laptop dedicated card melted down. Not being able to play CIV IV.

I love SMAC(K), but sometimes I just want to piss Gandhi off. By culturally absorbing his border cities.
posted by lmfsilva at 3:04 PM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sebmojo, thanks for sharing that Eurogamer article. I've both hesitant and super interested at the same time in reading these kinds of articles and comparisons. I want information in order to play a better game, and yet I also want to stay kind of blind because it'll make the game more unpredictable and exciting. There's a lot to unpack and this is a very different game, with just enough that is familiar from Civ V that a player who is experienced with that game can still figure things out. But still....I do feel out of my element playing this game....that means I can play longer, right?
posted by Fizz at 3:19 PM on October 21, 2016


I used to uninstall Civ 4 after every time I played it, so I knew I would have to wait several hours the next time I got tempted to fire it up. I'm not sure this helped in any way.

Was on the fence about 6 (so disappointed about my soldiers turning into boats in 5), but this thread has pretty much convinced me to get it.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 3:37 PM on October 21, 2016


Is there no "next unit" shortcut? How do I tab through my units with no next/previous unit shortcuts? I HATE AND FEAR CHANGE.
posted by Justinian at 4:06 PM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


(For people who still have Civ IV - I highly recommend the Fall from Heaven and Fall Further mods which add in Religious variations to Civ IV as well as remaking the game into a fantasy world fighting between good and evil. It adds a few more female leaders, but the part of me that hates sleep is already considering making a woman's only mod after starting my recent woman's only game which cut the number of cultures involved from 21 to 14.)
posted by Deoridhe at 4:15 PM on October 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


Zalzidrax: "I'm so amused at the number of people trying hard to not buy it until the dissertation is finished..

This is why my desktop is linux.
"

I had copies of Call To Power and SMAC for linux many years ago ported by the late lamented Loki Software.
posted by octothorpe at 4:38 PM on October 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


So far my impressions are that this is a better game than Civ IV or Civ V were pre-expansion packs. Which bodes very well for how it will end up. The interface is very annoying, however, with many basic keyboard functions not working properly.

Thankfully interface issues are the easiest patched or modded.
posted by Justinian at 6:57 PM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just had a look at the content of the Civ VI folder in steamapps. It's all SQL + XML for data + Lua, with everything in plain text.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 8:18 AM on October 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


sfenders: “Okay, sure, we should all wait for at least a couple rounds of patches, a Steam sale, some reviews from serious civ players, linux support, some of the new features they'll be adding, mods to fix the UI, mods to fix the game balance.

Anyone got more? I need more reasons. Preferably within the next five minutes.”
I really wanted to hold out, but I surrendered after reading a preview. They even sold me a Steam Controller.

I looked for this post Thursday evening during the agonizing wait for midnight. Once midnight came… Well, I haven't done much beyond checking Recent Activity since then so I didn't find it until just now. (In fact, I only found it because it was mentioned in the new Election Thread.)

The game really defied expectations for me. Unlike the last two, this game is very good right out of the box. It even looks great on minimum settings so that I don't cook my laptop.

P.S. I'm loving the Steam Controller. If you're computing from your couch, you should seriously look into it.

P.P.S. Justinian: “Is there no "next unit" shortcut?” The Enter key is the keyboard shortcut for "handle the next task," which includes unmoved units.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:54 AM on October 22, 2016


A question: does it require a constant uplink to play in single player mode? Or once I download it, can I play purely offline?

I'm asking for a ...friend... who might like to play it while visiting my ...er, his... Internet-free relatives this holiday season.
posted by darkstar at 10:10 AM on October 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


They were going to get my money eventually anyway, and I didn't really need to do anything else today, a 24-hour delay was enough really, so I've been playing VI for the past ten hours. It is good, though far from perfect.

It runs way more smoothly and loads more quickly than V on my old Windows laptop. It looks great. King level difficulty seems more challenging than I expected. There are some little glitches. Sometimes the "skip turn" button doesn't show up (and space bar doesn't work either). There doesn't seem to be any "alert". City and empire-wide stats sometimes don't update when it seems like they should. It's much easier to not realize there's a hill in the way and your unit isn't going to move where you clicked. The auto-cycle next unit can be turned off in user_options.txt, and if you don't, you'll probably move the wrong unit the first time you're trying to move any two units that are next to each other in the same direction.

I love the look of the art style, except for the lack of readability and clarity. There's a city state nearby with label text that's a sort of pinkish-purple on dark grey background. It's right next to a civilization that's purplish-pink on a dark grey background. Hope I never have to fight a war against the one while allied with the other. They should have kept the two-color schemes of V. The tech tree is so spread out horizontally when you view it that you very often can't fit the tech you're looking at and the next one it leads to on the screen at the same time. The mini map is so cluttered it's pretty much useless.

The AI still sucks at war, no matter how aggressive it is. Gorgo came after me with an army three times the size of my own. I saw it coming, and managed to have at least a couple of swordsman units and some archers to fend off their first wave, which consisted of four hoplites and one warrior. The hoplites split up into groups of two, one going left and the other to the right around the tiny mountain range they needed to pass to get to my capital. I used the rivers and hills, and shot them down before they got close. There was time to set up a decent defence before the rest of their army arrived. Once I got near her capital, Gorgo threw away about a dozen heavy chariots by sending them one or two at a time against my slowly advancing front line. So then I took Sparta. It's not as good as a UI that can actually fight on an even basis, but I guess if fights where they massively outnumber you are more common at lower difficulties that's fun too.

Having made peace, it was time to explore and settle some of the vast tracts of land still left vacant right next door. There never seemed to be any vacant land in Civ V, but maybe that's because I was playing on higher difficulty. Anyway, Sparta still had two cities and got a settler out ten turns before mine was going to get to the area. I blocked off its path with a few military units, and it got confused and stuck. In Civ V you could sometimes move one of your own units back and forth, opening up and then blocking off the path the enemy settler wants to take so it goes back and forth as well and goes nowhere. In VI I somehow managed to set it up so I didn't even need to move my units. I blocked the settler's path twice, then it got stuck and confused, moving back and forth on two tiles without my having to do anything else. It only broke out of the loop when I founded a city where it was trying to get to. So there's a bug, though it's probably not going to happen unless you're trying to exploit it.

So far the main gameplay change I don't like is the "boosts" which cut in half the time to research each technology. If you could get them all, you'd double your speed of advance. It's too good not to go out of your way to try and boost nearly every one of them. Instead of going off in whatever direction down the tech tree has been serendipitously boosted, I'm running around doing stupid little errands to try and get my next hit of boost. Meanwhile when I run out of boosted things to research, I go for the one I'm least likely to get a boost in, so I can have time to boost the others by building two crossbows, running off to find a barbarian to kill with my first knight, or whatever. I dunno, maybe I'll get used to it.

I love the districts and civics though, at least for the first game they do seem to live up to what all the glowing reviews say, and overall it's totally playable and fun. Most importantly, the soundtrack is once again excellent.
posted by sfenders at 1:05 PM on October 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


can I play purely offline?

Yeah, seems fine with Steam in offline mode and no net connection. It warns me that "my2k features my not be available"; I guess that's multi-player.
posted by sfenders at 1:19 PM on October 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


The good news is I'm resisting the temptation to buy this game. The bad news is I just reinstalled freeciv.
posted by double block and bleed at 2:18 PM on October 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Been having a lot of fun with Sparta, I think it's a great civ to start with. The bonus culture for killing an enemy unit is useful throughout the whole game, and since it applies to barbarians you can still play peacefully. And the extra wildcard policy slot is also useful throughout the game, and it's an easy enough bonus to make use of even if you're not super familiar with how everything works yet.

I think the UI needs a lot of work, there's some AI wonkiness, and there are some general balance issues that I feel need to be addressed, but as said above, it's a much more complete game right away than 4 or 5 were.

can I play purely offline?
From the system requirements: "Initial installation requires one-time Internet connection for Steam authentication"
posted by clorox at 6:52 PM on October 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jesus MFing Christ how do I zoom the view? No mouse wheel.
posted by Etrigan at 7:50 PM on October 22, 2016


Etrigan: “Jesus MFing Christ how do I zoom the view? No mouse wheel.”
Scroll Up and Scroll Down are the keybindings that control the zoom level.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:38 AM on October 23, 2016


Thanks a LOT, metafilter. There go my discretionary funds for the month. Also my discretionary time. And my indiscreet time.

Last night I played part of the tutorial, got a little irritated because the keys weren't the same, so I switched back to IV, where everything works properly. As god intended.

Today though....today it's snowing and sleeting outside and I will be forced to spend the day getting to know VI.

Thanks a LOT.

(no really, I mean it. I had no idea they were even making a new one. So yippee!)

(and thanks to Etrigan for the excellent post!)
posted by merelyglib at 9:13 AM on October 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ugh. Steam just helpfully emailed me and told me that The Witcher 3 was on sale, and now this? It just so happens that I bought a new fairly powerful gaming PC just two weeks ago (for paying the bills and surfing the web, you see...)

Having just finished the last expansion (moment of silence for the end of Witcher), I heartily recommend you get the expansion packs too. They are well worth the asking price.

Unfortunately, Civ never clicked for me even though I love strategy games. On the one hand I'm thankful for the free time, but on the other hand, I feel my condition is equivalent to having no sense of smell or taste. Happy gaming y'all.
posted by ersatz at 10:12 AM on October 23, 2016


I know that few people here have gotten to the endgame yet, but one thing that no Civ game has done right, except for the original, is making nukes meaningful. How are the nukes in Civ VI?

My theory, incidentally, is that the original Civ was the only one designed during a time of when most everyone was scared shitless of nuclear war. Nukes were absolutely terrifying in the original Civ, partly because the game's logic often meant that you had to get into an apocalyptic conflagration or lose. After the end of the Cold War, nukes receded in the public imagination. I don't ever remember having to use nukes in any of the later Civs. They seem largely to be there because they are just part of the series tradition. Also, Civ Gandhi wouldn't be Civ Gandhi without nukes. Which is why he always must be crushed before the end of the industrial era.

I think that the endgames of later Civs suffered for the lack of focus on nuclear weapons (admittedly for other reasons too) while the original Civ, for its many, many flaws, stayed gripping to the bitter end.
posted by Kattullus at 11:17 AM on October 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Planet Buster or GTFO.
posted by Etrigan at 11:27 AM on October 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


How Endless-Legendy is the new city expansion/district system?

I really did not like EL and looking at some Civ6 video reviews, I'm experiencing a strong reminiscence and revulsion. I want a 4x game (including expansion) not a half-baked citybuilder or an adjacency bonus puzzler and trading simulation (I really don't like the Anno series, for instance).

How does city site selection work when tile resources/improvements are presumably lost to districts? How does city radius and border expansion work now?

That workers are consumed after four uses doesn't look very encouraging either.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:51 AM on October 24, 2016


City radius and border expansion is similar to Civ 5. Districts are pretty similar to Endless Legend and the adjacency bonus puzzle is complex. My assumption is they were directly inspired by it. I think it's one of the best new features in the game. Many reviews agree, particularly the way it locates cities deeper in the map. (I particularly like the ability to build a harbor and boats in non-coastal cities.)

Given your use of words like "revulsion" and "half-baked" perhaps it's not the game for you.
posted by Nelson at 6:59 AM on October 24, 2016


Yeah. Which is making me pretty sad, as otherwise it seems like a solid improvement on Civ5. Oh well.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:00 AM on October 24, 2016


It's not the spatial aspects of the district system that I think represent the biggest change in formula, actually — it's the way it affects build order. Almost every type of building has a district as a prerequisite. You can't build a bank until you've built a commercial district to put it in, you can't build a library without a campus, and so forth. And districts can cost more production to construct than some of the buildings that go in them.

So this means that cities are more specialized, they require individual long-term planning, and getting it wrong can be unforgiving: The relatively high up-front cost of the district (which scales up as the game progresses) means that sometimes there's no such thing as a minor course correction.
posted by a mirror and an encyclopedia at 9:02 AM on October 24, 2016


It does feel like it takes a lot longer to build up districts and buildings. I'm enjoying the location stuff (and it's new to me as I haven't played Endless Legend yet), but I could really use an easily-accessible reference for what sorts of wonders go where with which districts, so that I could plan district placement better (and I did not realize it's possible to build a coastal city without actually putting it on the coast. My current game's suffering for my ignorance on that one.)

Anyway. If your game's got the Hattusa city-state, suzerain that fast. You get one of any strategic resource you've revealed but don't have access to. Combine that with the Resource Management policy from the Conservation civic and you can build anything you want regardless of where you're located. I'm not sure it's precisely game-breaking, but it pretty much eliminates having to think about strategic resources, so it comes close.

It also seems like it takes bloody forever for units to move even across populated territory with roads (modern ones, even!). I found myself purchasing a fresh builder at the city that needed it rather than sending one from its current not-that-far-away location on the same continent since it was going to take ten turns in transit.

Also, the quotes are ridiculous. At this point in the series, I guess they're just going for comedy on those.
posted by asperity at 10:06 AM on October 24, 2016


So after saying that I'd wait six months, I went ahead and bought it Saturday morning and then "wasted" the rest of the day playing. I like it so far, it seems like a much fuller game than either IV or V did at their initial releases. Still hitting a few glitches and there are a few ugly UI issues but nothing like the probably that previous releases had.
posted by octothorpe at 10:11 AM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also, the quotes are ridiculous. At this point in the series, I guess they're just going for comedy on those.

My spouse (who doesn't play) has asked me exactly two questions about VI while we sit on the couch:
"So, how is this different from the last one?"
"Was that a Lorne Michaels quote?"
posted by Etrigan at 10:13 AM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


About religion: if you fail to start your own religion before all the Great Prophets are gone, as far as I can tell there's no way to do anything at all with any faith stuff, with one exception: you can purchase great people with faith. I can't even get the other civs to spread their religion to me reliably. Sometimes missionaries show up and convert my citizens, but there's no mechanism I can find to adopt their religions. I can neither ask the other leaders to spread their religion nor ask them not to. *shrug*
posted by asperity at 10:27 AM on October 24, 2016


I'm currently 200 turns into a game. I'm playing as Peter (Russia) and I'm waging a religious war against Saladin. I've converted several of his cities and he is not a fan of my newly invented faith (Chromatism). Using apostles to spread my faith has been working well but I'm struggling to understand how to use my inquisitors properly. If anyone has any decent guides on how to win with Faith, I'd love some links. The stuff I'm find online seems mostly superficial, I'm looking for something in depth that really explores this dynamic of the game as I'm intrigued and want to try to win in this way. Loving the hell out of this game.
posted by Fizz at 2:37 PM on October 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


The combat AI seems even worse than in V. Norway declared war on me and then sent two whole units against me who I immediately killed and then nothing until about twenty turns later when he asked for a peace treaty.
posted by octothorpe at 4:08 PM on October 24, 2016


Speaking of the quotes....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:01 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


The Mac version is out! The port seems pretty solid.
posted by Nelson at 8:12 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've modded my game to make WASD scroll the map, R toggles display of resources, and y toggles yield. So much more playable.

Still trying to figure out how to make numpad move units and, hopefully, map one or two other things like toggling the strategic view.
posted by Justinian at 2:23 AM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, I went ahead because enough of my old friends told me I'd like it.

And I do, mostly. The adjacency game isn't quite as persnickety as I feared, not as bad as EL and definitely not as bad as Anno, although I haven't amped up the difficulty enough to really put the hurt on resources. But I don't really care for the higher difficulties anyway, given the way the AI tends to cheat. I'd rather just set my own unrealistic goals in-game.

Expansion in the basic sense is, if anything, easier due to the demise of civ-wide happiness. As is basic city growth. But city progression does bog down due to district-building bottlenecks. City placement is definitely different, but I think I'm OK with it. I like the ability to build harbors for inland cities, although I think there should be additional bonuses patched in for coastal cities (rather than nerfing harbors).

Water access also needs tweaking. I tend to think Aqueducts should take up a tile next to the water source and then snake around hex borders for up to a few tiles to the city center , as long as within the city radius, instead of having to be adjacent to the city center and the water source, and the cost should be a multiple of the number of hexes crossed.

Combat mechanics have improved from a player perspective, but the AI really does fail to make the most of it.

Religion is working strangely in my game, my founding holy city reverted to my starting pantheon, but it might just be a fluke due to the strange way the religious capitals ended up on each others doorsteps in my current map.

Trade is important--only the first copy of any tradable resource is used domestically, the rest is for trading -- and the UI really falls down there. I can't tell what the hell is going on or how to optimize my trade routes, or how they interact with trading resources through the diplomacy screen.

I mostly like the new card-based civic system and the way it interacts with the other systems. Although it does get a little fidgety.

So far, so good.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:03 PM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Tiniest of nitpicks (which in no way affects the game) from me is that the complete lack of art direction on the cards is totally amateur hour. Like they were placeholders for the real thing and they completely forgot to put in the real art. "Let's just put a translucent grey square on the card and write the effect in as regular white text".
posted by Justinian at 11:14 PM on October 25, 2016 [3 favorites]




"Let's just put a translucent grey square on the card and write the effect in as regular white text"

At the very least, it'd be nice if there were more sorting/filtering options for the cards. The trade routes filtering is decent in that you can filter by destination civ or production/gold/etc, but the cards are only filterable by type of card. And that's clearly color-coded anyway. I'd like a quicker way to skim cards that affect production, or gold, or whatever.

Art would be good too. But if there's anything Civ 6 needs to work on, it's visual clarity.
posted by asperity at 10:50 AM on November 1, 2016


It would be nice if the cards were organized at all. You can't even tell which one is the new one that you just researched.
posted by octothorpe at 11:00 AM on November 1, 2016


There's a little indicator at the top right of the new cards. I think it's a white circle with an exclamation mark? (I'm away from my home computer.)
posted by Etrigan at 11:02 AM on November 1, 2016


I'll have to check for that. It wasn't obvious enough that I noticed it before. To their credit, this is the most bug free Civ on release that I've ever seen.
posted by octothorpe at 11:08 AM on November 1, 2016


I've been playing with this CQUI mod and it's pretty good for improving the user interface. I believe it only works with a new game such that it won't apply to an in-progress saved game. I've seen one bug with a un-closable display of city information, but I think it might be a conflict with some changes I made earlier.
posted by exogenous at 12:39 PM on November 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Finally got a science win. You really just have to single-mindedly just research every science tech to be able to get there, it seems much harder than in V.
posted by octothorpe at 8:55 AM on November 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


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