Hex-tras: Civ V Balance Patch Incoming

Hexagonal fog you can be my late valentine.

Wow, just looking at the above screenshot has bumped a cache of memories up into my conscious mind, memories containing lovely sound effects and tense wars. Is Civ V still installed? I need to hear that button-click sound effect again. “Bink,” it would say. “That’s a good idea, menu button,” I would reply. “I should exerminate the infidels.”

Anyway, Gamer’s Hell has noticed a post over on the 2K forums detailing the upcoming February patch for Civ V. “Significant balance adjustments” are coming designed to make both thinly-spread and highly condensed Empires viable styles of play. Full, monster patch notes after the jump.

There she is! Fear not. I’ve bolded the importants bits, for your pleasure.


* Significant turn time improvements.
* Invisible Rivers now display correctly. This caused many issues because the player could not see some rivers, like fresh water showing up in strange places, unit movement suddenly shortened, etc.. Basically, there were certain rivers that did not display where forks occurred, etc.


* Add combat summary when a city bombards a unit
* Add a new diplomatic status “Denouncing” that displays on the turn that an AI civ is denouncing the player
* Embarked units no longer look like they have 500 strength
* User warned if about to declare war on a city state that is under protection of a major power


* Taper off benefit of excess food when building settlers
* City-States now recognize when a road is connected for their road-connection quest.
* Golden Ages now provide +20% production per city rather than +1 hammer per tile


* Prevent AI from building too many AA units
* Don’t allow CSs to build Manhattan Project
* AI calculation of enemy military might are tweaked based on size of enemy gold reserve
* AI calculation of enemy power now takes into account promotions


* Avoid cascades of denunciations against a single player. AI now uses its own current friendliness level with a given power to determine how much weight to place on a denunciation against that power.
* Denunciations expire after 50 turns
* Declarations of Friendship expire after 50 turns


* Added support for policies that provide culture from kills
* Added support for policies that provide extra culture from cultural improvements
* Added support for policies that provide extra embarked movement
* Added support for policies that provide free Great People
* Online Panel now displays TOTAL downloads for a mod and not just the downloads for that specific version.
* When you click on a mod in the online browser, you may now use a dropdown to select a previous version.
* Added Line Control for modders to use when creating graphs, etc.


* Can now use DLC civilizations in multiplayer
* Added Ring, Skirmish and Ancient Lake maps to MP.


* Clear up cases where diplomatic status could show as “Friendly” even after that AI power has denounced the player.
* Fix situations where AI demeanor and verbiage didn’t match friendliness level shown in diplomatic status string.
* Additional bug fixes and tweaks.


Game Rules

* Cities must now have three or more tiles in between them (1 more tile than before), unless separated by a sea/coast tile.
* Cities now only get 1 free production and 0 free gold (1 less in both cases)
* Trade routes get bonus gold based on population of capital; formula changed a bit so minimal gold received for hooking up very small cities
* Bonus production from excess food (used when building settlers) tapers off if excess is 3 or more.
* Allied maritime city states provide 3 food per turn to the capital, not 4
* Balance pass on production and maintenance costs throughout the game.


* Aqueduct added (entirely new building). 40% of Food is carried over after a new Citizen is born.
* Palace boosted to 3 gold and 3 production
* Granary gives bonus 1 food for Wheat/Banana Deer; cost reduced
* Market and Bazaar provide 2 gold (as well as +25%)
* Workshop provides 2 production (bonus reduced to +15% but affects ALL production); cost increased
* Windmill now has a +15% production modifier (for buildings only) and provides 2 production
* Stable gives bonus 1 production for Sheep/Cattle/Horse and can be built with Sheep or Cattle; cost reduced
* Lighthouse gives bonus 1 food for Fish; cost reduced
* Ironworks dropped to 8 production (but earlier in tech tree now)
* Factory requires Workshop; add 3 production but boost now just 25%; has 1 more specialist slot (now 2)
* Nuclear and Solar Plants now require Factory but increase to production is now 35% and provide 4 production themselves; these two now mutually exclusive
* Hospital adds 5 food (but no longer retains food), requires Aqueduct
* Forge adds +1 production to each source of Iron
* Reduced Armory maintenance to 2 gold
* Reduced Colosseum happiness to 3, and reduced maintenance to 2 gold
* Reduced Theatre happiness to 4
* Reduced Monastery maintenance to 0 gold
* Reduced Garden maintenance to 1 gold
* Reduced Observatory maintenance to 0 gold
* Reduced Opera House culture to 4, and reduced maintenance to 2 gold
* Removed the Great Person Point from Public School

Specialist Adjustments

* Temple -1 Artist
* Mud Pyramid Mosque -1 Artist
* Opera House +1 Artist
* Bank -1 Merchant
* Satraps Court -1 Merchant
* Stock Exchange +1 Merchant
* Observatory -1 Scientist
* University +1 Scientist
* Garden -1 Artist
* Laboratory -1 Scientist
* Public School +1 Scientist


* Production bonus from Railroads reduced to 25%
* Removed 1 extra gold from Mine on Gems, Gold, Silver, Marble.
* Fishing Boats give 1 food, not gold.
* Fishing Boats give 1 gold with Compass.
* Camps on Deer give production instead of food .
* Remove 1 extra food from Sugar plantations.
* Trading Post gold reduced from 2 to 1 (increases back to 2 when hit Economics).
* Trading Post & Camp gold increases by 1 with Economics.
* Lumbermill production increases by 1 with Scientific Theory (moved up from Steam Power).
* Mine & Quarry production increases by 1 with Chemistry.
* Plantation & Pasture food increases by 1 with Fertilizer.
* Well & Offshore Platform boosted to 3 production (from 1).
* Academy increased to 6 Science.
* Landmark increased to 6 Culture.
* Manufactory increased to 4 Production.


* Tradition: Culture border expansion discount in cities placed on Tradition branch opener. Discount increases over the course of the game. Also grants +3 Culture in the capital.
* Aristocracy: Wonder bonus reduced by 5% to 20%.
* Legalism: Provides a free Culture building in your first 4 cities.
* Oligarchy: Garrisoned units cost no maintenance, and cities with a garrison gain +100% ranged combat strength.
* Landed Elite: +15% Growth, and +2 Food per city.
* Monarchy: +1 Gold and -1 Unhappiness for every 2 Citizens in your capital.
* Liberty: +1 culture per turn in every city.
* Collective Rule: Settler production increased by 50%, and a free Settler appears near the capital.
* Citizenship: Worker construction rate increased by 25%, and a free Worker appears near the capital.
* Representation: Each city you found will increase the Culture cost of Policies by 33% less than normal. Also starts a Golden Age.
* Order: Reduce Order production bonus to 15%.
* Meritocracy: +0.5 Happiness for each city connected to the capital, and a free Great Person of your choice appears near the capital.


* Fish reduced to 1 food (but can be boosted back to 2 with Lighthouse)
* Marble boosts wonder production by 20%, down from 25%


* Scaled up tech costs throughout the game (slight change for early eras; close to double for Modern)
* Move Lumbermills up to Construction
* Move Bridge Building back to Engineering
* Move Ironworks to Machinery


* Workboat cost increased
* Settler cost increased by 25%


* Colossus no longer goes obsolete
* Angkor Wat now provides a 25% discount for the costs (both culture and gold) to gain plots empire-wide.

Civ Unique Bonuses

* Reduce Chu-ko-nu from 10 to 9 ranged strength
* Doubled culture from kills for Aztecs
* Krepost now provides a 25% discount for the costs (both culture and gold) to gain plots in the city.
* Paper Maker only provides 2 gold but no longer requires any building maintenance

Map Generation Changes

* Increased Oil quantity per resource.
* Minimum Uranium is now 2.
* Cut Deer Appearance in Arctic regions.
* Adjusted Sheep placement so it is more spread out.
* Decreased Wheat appearance in Plains.
* Increases Cow appearance overall, including adding up to 2 Cow tiles to heavy grass start positions.


  1. Duffin says:

    Is this already released?


    Ah, according to the OP anytime in February.

  2. SirKicksalot says:

    20 Euros on Green Man Gaming today: link to greenmangaming.com

    It’s a Steamworks game.

  3. Zeyl says:

    I’ll probably dive back in once this patch goes live, especially since I prefer to play ‘taller’ empires.

    It’s also good to see them continually improving the game. Civ V was a major departure, and I don’t mind that it wasn’t released in perfect shape. What does matter is that they’re continuing to support and improve the game, and seem to be planning on continuing to do so.

  4. El_MUERkO says:

    I uninstalled CIV5 just the other week to make room for Men of War: Assault squad (damn SSD making me choose), it wasn’t too tough, I haven’t played it since December. I’ll let the dust settle on this patch before I go back to it.

  5. Kakrafoon says:

    Yes, please. Nice-looking patch. Some minor thing: I didn’t see anything about fixing the Stealth Bomber? The last time I played (December or so), that plane couldn’t get any promotions, unlike other aircraft.
    Things like that just bug me – I mean late-game stuff that isn’t sufficiently tested to erase glaring mistakes. Otherwise, the game is okay – or should be, if they continue supporting it.

  6. Emil.BB says:

    I’m not buying that game before the re-introduce Hot Seat mode like ALL OTHER Civ games before this had. Cheap bastards.

  7. jti says:

    I hope they’ll patch it for a long time still… And they’ll make the multiplayer worth while. Still, single player is the definite priority. The problem being, they are taking too much time.

  8. Lord Byte says:

    Did they finally fix the citizen advisor? Does it still freakin’ starve your city if you change it to production or gold focus on a non-all-grass city?

  9. DarkNoghri says:

    “Invisible Rivers now display correctly.”

    Wait, what?

    *determinedly ignoring full explanation up above*

  10. LegendaryTeeth says:

    Can you play mods in multiplayer yet? That’s all I want. Mods can fix everything else, but I only play Civ games co-op with friends now, and with no mods Civ5 isn’t going to be where I want.

    • madAzrael says:

      DLC will now work in multiplayer. This is at least a step in the right direction.
      I really hope, they enable mods in multiplayer. This will fix so many things… (read: the community is able to fix everthing itself)

      i’m disappointed, that there is still no fix for the IMHO incredible broken lobby-system.

    • Stromko says:

      I second the wish that they would just fix the multiplayer. I tried to play Civ V with a friend, but we never got past turn 80. We would get randomly dropped, and then it wouldn’t allow us to reload the game and keep going half the time (it would always break connection). Then, Firaxis’ servers went down for 5 hours and we couldn’t connect, period. Even Hamachi couldn’t fix it, since everything has to go through Firaxis’ servers.

  11. Mark says:

    My favourite is: “* Don’t allow CSs to build Manhattan Project”

    I kind of WTF’d at that one.

  12. Fwiffo says:

    I haven’t played a Civ game since, er, Alpha Centauri. Both Civ IV and V are on sale on Steam.
    IV is £3.75 with all expansions, and my friends tell me is the more solid and easier to play game.
    V is £17.99 on its own but is whizz bang shiny new and better for the non-violent type of player like myself apparently.
    I would’ve just bought the lot but cash is tight. I’d be happer saving cash, but if V is a better game I suppose I’ll shell out for it. Any suggestions?

    • Kid_A says:

      IV is more solid and has all the expansions, making it pretty much complete, whereas V is missing some stuff that presumably will be expanded into it later on. IV Complete at £3.75 = a steal.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I consider IV a far, far better game. The V demo did not sell me at all.

      Also if you go for V you will be missing out on Leonard Nimoy voicing all the technologies. (Beep. Beep. Beep.)

    • Oak says:

      Civ 4 is a sure thing. Do not skip it, especially not for Civ 5.

    • Hattered says:

      Don’t forget, Civ IV has mods like Fall from Heaven II, Planetfall, and Dune Wars.

    • Vinraith says:

      Actually the Steam ad for Civ 5 says it all: “The best looking turn based strategy game ever made.”

      Yeah, that’s the quote they’re advertising it with. Need I say more?

    • MashPotato says:

      I personally like Civ V more, but if you’re not sure you can’t go wrong with IV at that price.

    • Psychopomp says:

      V has a better combat model, I think. Very Advance Wars-y.

      That’s about all I can think of that it has going for it.

    • Nick says:

      4. Always 4.
      Also best looking my arse, it looks terrible.

    • Gepetto says:

      Also, with the Civ IV bundle, you get the Colonization remake-o-thon thrown in as well. Practically daylight robbery for £3.75

    • BobsLawnService says:

      IV is actually better than V for non-violent types for two reasons :

      1. City flipping through culture has been removed from V making it just about impossible to expand and take over cities in the late game once the AI has settled every single pixel. (The AI pumps out settlers and builds cities everywhere whether it is a sound decision or not.)

      2. By removing Gigantic Stacs of Doom they’ve made warfare fun. Warfare in IV is so annoying and such a chore that you generally avoid it.

    • Fwiffo says:

      Okie doke. I’ll plump for the full IV for now and see about V in the future.

    • Kryopsis says:

      Personally, Civilization IV is my least favourite Sid Meier game (Alpha Centauri being his best). I like Civilization V more than the other games of the series. It has less ridiculous features and actually decent combat for once.

  13. Severian says:

    Color me excited. I played nearly 75 hours when I first got Civ V – then put it aside – then put in another 50 when they released the last big patch – and I expect to put in another 50 after this one. I stand by my initial claim that this may be the best Civ yet – IF they can fix the AI.

    Not seeing much in these patch notes about an improved AI…

    • alseT says:

      I wholeheartedly agree. Civ 5 is the slickest, most fun civ yet.

  14. MattM says:

    Cities must now have three or more tiles in between them (1 more tile than before), unless separated by a sea/coast tile.
    Aww, I loved hitting 3 AI cities with one nuke.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Are nukes finally worthwhile in V?

      I’d say I miss Singularity Planet Busters, except Alpha Centauri still runs. You know it’s a real WMD when it leaves a great big crater lake where a whole county used to be…

    • MattM says:

      They are expensive, but very powerful. 2 Nukes can eliminate 3 cities and all the units in the 2-radius area. Late game, a nuke/air power/ground power mix is far more effective than pure air/ground armies.

  15. Pijama says:

    Civ V is a massive regress. I honestly don’t know how or why they (Firaxis) managed to believe that it is a superior product in comparison to IV.

    • mrjackspade says:

      Completely a matter of opinion. I loved Civ IV, but Civ V is more accessible, much much much better combat, slightly simplified but it means several of my friends who’ve never picked up a civ game are now joining in. Epic fun.

  16. Xiyng says:

    Maybe I’ll get this one day after all… But not right now, my budget’s a little too tight (as is my time) :-/

  17. sirdorius says:

    This might actually make the game playable after 5 months

  18. mrjackspade says:

    They need to fix the monster 60s per turn lag that occurs on late game huge mp maps with loads of ai. Makes the last bit of games unplayable when you’re cooping with a few friends.

    Also, they need to patch in the promised mod and custom map support for mp.

  19. Chris says:

    Civ 5 is a dumbed down, vapid insult to the Civ series. If it were patched to perfection, all you would have is a balanced, bug free, dumbed down, vapid insult to the Civ series.

    Civ 5 demonstrates the adage, that if you polish shit, all you’ve got is shiny shit.

  20. Theory says:

    Aqueduct added (entirely new building). 40% of Food is carried over after a new Citizen is born.

    How is that supposed to work, exactly?

    On 4 vs 5: Civ5 is the first to have combat that isn’t terrible. It could be a horrible mess everywhere else and still be superior for that reason alone.

    • Om says:

      I’d imagine in the same way that granaries did in previous games. Which reminds me that I must reinstall Civ II

    • Theory says:

      I meant literally. Aqueducts are not traditionally used to store food.

    • Oak says:

      Well, Civ is all about rewriting history.

    • Nick says:

      Really? I thought the combat was pretty fucking awful as well.

  21. jalf says:

    How is that supposed to work, exactly?

    there are already several buildings that work the same way. They do exactly what it says on the box. When your city grows, its food stockpile is normally reset to 0. If you have an aqueduct, it isn’t set to 0, you’re basically given 40% of the food you had before the city grew. And it stacks with other buildings of the same type (In one game I managed to get 90% food carried over, iirc. Needless to say, my city grew *very* fast)

    Civ5 is the first to have combat that isn’t terrible

    Eh, it’s the first to have combat mechanics that are actually complex enough to be interesting. But combat as a whole is still pretty terrible because the AI isn’t able to understand the new system very well. And the game *is* a mess in most areas.

    A mess with some interesting underlying ideas, and which could turn into an excellent game over time, if they keep patching it (and maybe with an expansion or two)

  22. Daniel Klein says:

    Still no mods or non-simultaneous turns in MP. Sad panda.

  23. wastelanderone says:

    This would be released just as I swear off Civ 5 for a month or two after playing it constantly for a week. The bit I’m most excited about it that apparently everyone won’t denounce me at once which was getting me frustrated, especially when I was previously friendly with that civ.

  24. Coillscath says:

    * Prevent AI from building too many AA units

    I’m very happy to see this. It’d be nice if the enemy’s troop deployment was more balanced in the early eras too. In my experience there’s just no point training cavalry because the enemy AI just spams spearmen.

    • MD says:

      Man, my brain somehow convinced me that you wrote “the enemy AI just spams seamen”, and I was all set to think up a hilarious pun, which I’ll now have to keep to myself. Your loss, RPS!

    • Coillscath says:

      I almost wish I had made that typo just to make you feel better. Sorry ’bout that man.

    • Froibo says:

      Time to mass air strikes.

  25. Outsider says:

    The patch looks good, but until they add back animations to mp, this game will continue collecting dust.

  26. A-Scale says:

    People still on the fence about Civ 5-

    I love my RTS and TBS, but I found Civ 4 a bit obtuse, I found the combat lame and unintuitive, and the graphics ugly.

    Civ 5 is MUCH more streamlined, the combat is much easier to get a grasp on, more tactical (no unit stack of doom) and more fair. The graphics are also beautiful. The game does seem like it could use a bit of additional depth, which I am sure are forthcoming in expansions, but even as it stands now it is a very fun game that I heartily recommend to fans and detractors of Civ 4.