Gods And Kings To Fight Over Civilization in June

By Nathan Grayson on April 6th, 2012 at 10:00 am.

What a weird coincidence! I have the exact same outfit.
And in the game etc, etc. Anyway, while I do desperately hope for an apocalyptic clash of the divines to shake up the dull summer months, I imagine I’ll have to settle for an expansion to the latest entry in that most revered of strategy, an expansion that addresses a god-ton of player concerns: Civilization V: Gods and Kings is headed to the US on June 19 and everywhere else on June 22 – because apparently even deities and demi-deities aren’t more powerful than arbitrary limits from the mighty game-publishing Powers That Be. At any rate, you can read all about the new features – including religion, espionage, and a special “Victorian science-fiction” scenario (!) – here.

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29 Comments »

  1. fionny says:

    sweet looking forward to this, can get my civ5 nights going again!

  2. Om says:

    One of CivII’s expansions had a Jules Verne scenario that included storming secret Himalayan fortresses, fighting the Kraken and the likes. Was completely unbalanced, IIRC, but massive fun

    • Grygus says:

      We stand astride the world like a colossus, noble leader! Let us go forth!

  3. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    Crushing Augustus with Boudica will be fun. Fuuunnn.

  4. Kollega says:

    Using the new “Faith” resource, you’ll be able to found your own religion and grow it from a simple Pantheon of the Gods to a world-spanning fully-customized religion.

    Yo dawg, i heard you like flatscreen TVs and neon highlights, so we put flatscreen TVs and neon highlights in yo religion so yo can look totally awesome while yo pray!

  5. Vorphalack says:

    While I like the look of all the features listed, I think i’ll still hold out for the inevitable second expansion pack and get the complete edition next year.

    • mmalove says:

      Seconded. When civ 5 released and immediately began spouting DLC all over the place, I made that choice. The removal of religion and spying from the core game as we went from 4 to 5 now looks like a blatant DLC/expansion moneygrab.

      • Meusli says:

        I got so bored of Civ 5 vanilla that they got no more money out of me, not half the game Civ 4 was/is.

        • Gaytard Fondue says:

          You do remember vanilla Civ 4, right? The game that was half the game Civ 5 is. The game that only got relatively bug free after 2 years and 2 expansions.

          • Vorphalack says:

            Exactly, i’m not gonna condem what Civ 5 could become based on what it was at launch. Didn’t buy Civ 4 at launch either, only got it about 6 months ago with Warlords and Beyond the Sword. It was definatly worth the price tag by then, Civ 5 could still redeem itself.

    • MaXimillion says:

      I’m not sure it’ll be worth it even when “complete”, firaxis don’t seem to be interested in balancing some of the most broken parts of the game, such as great scientists.

      4 was and is a much better game than 5, and has several amazing mods to extend it’s lifecycle even further, so I see no reason to buy 5.

      • Drinking with Skeletons says:

        I understand they’re going to make it so you can’t make research agreements unless you are allied with/declaration of friendship with the other faction. That should drastically slow the long-term tech progress for the player, and make the GS at least a little less OP.

        I think one of the problems is that it seems to be much easier to get a GS versus other Great People. I always seem to struggle to get Great Engineers, for example, and I never go out of my way to try to get a GS, but they still end up being my most common GP . If they re-balance existing wonders and add appropriate new ones in, it might be a little tougher to crank them out and/or more attractive to focus on other GP.

        Not that any of that will happen, but it’s possible.

        • formivore says:

          But research agreements and great scientists are substitute goods.Even if research agreements are removed entirely, you can substitute a slightly wider empire and great scientists to finish with the same ridiculously early finish times. It’s been tested. Both would have to be nerfed for base research to have any meaning. But I doubt Firaxis understands this.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Yeah the funny thing about these games is it doesn’t seem like they have actually had a game designer look at them in a long time. The great people have never really worked in the framework of the game, yet still they persist. Moving to 1upt and hexes was a good idea, but they didn’t then devote the additional AI programming required to make it work in a mainly SP game.

        GS are a joke. Add almost nothing worthwhile to the game and make it much too easy.

  6. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    I love the sound of this expansion. Religion sounds like it will actually be unique and contribute to more than just diplomacy, while espionage sounds simplified enough for me to be cautiously optimistic.

    And when I say “simplified,” I don’t mean “dumbed-down.” Civ IV’s system was absurdly byzantine for a system that amounted to just waiting for points to accumulate and hoping you prioritized the right targets. Give me systems like Master of Orion 2 or Crusader Kings 2 have: I make a simple choice about what I want my spies/spymaster to do and success depends on a battle of stats, all happening in the background. I’m rewarded for evaluating the situation and making the correct choice, and I don’t have to fiddle with sliders and progress bars to get there.

    • gritz says:

      Civ 4 is “absurdly byzantine” but Crusader Kings 2 somehow isn’t? Awesome.

      • Drinking with Skeletons says:

        The espionage in CK2 is basically just dropping your Spymaster somewhere and hope he/she gets some results. I guess you could count the plots, but they aren’t all that complicated; just asking people to help you out, basically.

        Civ IV’s espionage involved prioritizing targets, accumulating espionage points, constructing buildings to increase espionage point production, building spies to carry out missions, ordering the spies to move to specific cities, and often some experimentation to find out where the spy can do the most damage. It’s very time-consuming and slow, and it demands a lot of your attention to work well. And the less said about how useful it might be, the better.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          CIv4s espionage was never well balanced either, all your choices either sucked or were way too strong. There wasn’t much middle ground.

          Not to mention the fact that even having espionage in a game of this level of abstraction wildly over-inflates the importance of espionage historically. It just wasn’t a force on the scale of science, culture, military force, religion.

        • gritz says:

          You managed to summarize an “absurdly byzantine” system in a single sentence. Please do the same for CK2′s army reinforcement mechanics.

          • Grygus says:

            Sometimes, you get more dudes.

          • Answermancer says:

            Even though Grygus’s response was spot on, I’ll bite.

            Levies in CK2 refill over time whenever they are not full, but if the levy is raised, you must dismiss and re-raise it to get the new dudes.

            It’s really a pretty straightforward system.

  7. brokentyro says:

    The only features I care about:

    -Better AI
    -The ability to use mods in multiplayer

    Why not just make mods work in multiplayer and let the community fix the many horribly broken components of the game?

    • Joshua Northey says:

      I agree 100%. These are the only two things I would actually pay for. The game doesn’t need more elements, it needs better balance elements and a better AI. In some ways I think it could use fewer elements. There are already units/buildings/techs that it is smart to ignore.

  8. gritz says:

    Even if they fixed the myriad things wrong or broken about Civ 5, I still wouldn’t be able to get into it for one reason: the social policies system. Whereas Civ 4′s civics represented the ways a society dynamically changes throughout the years, Civ 5′s social policies lock your society into rigid definitions until death.

    In Civ 4, it made sense to run a police state only in times of war (or preparing for them) – following the real world model of societies becoming more reactionary during wartime. In civ 5, once you choose to become a police state, you are always a police state.

    In Civ 4, switching between state property and free market economics was a dynamic decision based on several factors. In civ 5, free market either doesn’t exist or is considered the default economic system, and anything that goes communist stays communist, as if the fall of communist Russia didn’t happen in our lifetime.

    It’s just so stupid, and yet the social policies are considered one of the game’s great innovations, when really it just boils down to having a second tech tree. It doesn’t feel like “playing history”.

    • mr_merriweather says:

      ever heard of path dependency?

      • gritz says:

        Path dependence has its place in a civilization game, for sure (just as in any strategy game), but I don’t think it should require a society’s traits to be forever etched in stone. That’s just not the way human civilization has worked.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Meh, in real life you also have countries that have disadvantages because of their traditions, but you have none of that in 4. It became a little too max-min for my taste. Oh lets toggle back and forth between these two setups as the situation requires. Few countries do that.

  9. cata says:

    Do you ever wonder what the deal is, that Firaxis can make the same sort of game with graphical updates and some mechanics changes three times, and they never make any progress technologically? Nevermind the balance and AI problems at the moment. Consider these things:

    - They keep releasing games with the same category of multiplayer synchronization and rejoining problems that plague multiplayer after release
    - Civ 4 mods, super popular, lots of people playing them in MP; Civ 5 mods, you can’t play MP with them at all
    - Hardware keeps getting faster and faster, but the processing and AI component of turns in Civ 2, Civ 3, Civ 4, Civ 5 gets progressively slower and slower

    Do no programmers work there for more than two years at a go? Can’t they learn from their work and figure out how to do Civilization right from a simple technical standpoint?

  10. pistolhamster says:

    You can preorder Gods and Kings from today. It’s around 22 £ with 10% discount on GamersGate and Steam. However, the disc-y version is a real bargain on Amazon.co.uk at a mere 13 £. It will be delivered later than the download of course. But that is the crazy price of keeping physical goods alive in a download world.