Civilization V Is Getting A Hot Seat Mode

RPS must get around to commissioning that statue of The Unknown Tiny Soldier.

Wow! It’s a good day for passable games getting additional modes. Civilization V, which Alec and I both saw eye to eye about, will be getting updated with a hot seat mode within the next couple of months (hotseat being a multiplayer mode where several players take turns taking… uh, turns on the same PC). Which might seem like a long time to wait for a feature that appeared in Sid Meier’s Civnet way back in 1995, but presumably the technology behind it is now so old and irrelevant that nobody understands it anymore, like the tech behind the Apollo space program or the recipe for Greek Fire. Is that likely? I think so.


  1. mrjackspade says:

    Booo. Give us the promised multiplayer custom maps and mods or no dice.

    • TheWanaB says:

      But there’re custom maps and mods…

    • MCM says:

      Saying there are “mods for Civ 5” is a bit misleading. The modding tools are far weaker than those of Civ 4, and there are many things that simply cannot be done modding Civ 5 until they release better tools, which they don’t really seem interested in doing. Maybe in a couple years. Until then, a mod like Fall from Heaven 2 is flat-out impossible.

    • TheWanaB says:

      That may be true – but the person I was responding to simply said mods – and there’re mods for the game…

  2. Qark says:

    Have we entered the Dark Age of Technology already?

  3. DanPryce says:

    Did they improve the AI at all? I haven’t played since release

    • Tomm says:

      There’ve been several huge patches each of which made major changes to the AI. As someone who exclusively plays with AI, but only got the game recently, I’d say it’s fairly good.

    • MiniMatt says:

      AI getting much better with patches. Not long after release I had reliable Deity wins. With the latest patch of about a week or so ago I’ve yet to get there again. Unit positioning is a biggy, AI is now much better at not doing silly things like sticking archers in front of melee units and leaving land units embarked off your coast to be hoovered up by caravels etc.

  4. airtekh says:

    Oh my, CivNet.

    That game came free with the very first PC I owned. Coincidentally, that was also the summer I learned that nuclear fallout can melt the polar icecaps. Who knew?

  5. Alexander Norris says:

    Quinns, you slanderous scoundrel. S8: Prejudice is actually much better than “passable.”

  6. Jubaal says:

    I’m still waiting for them to patch in Play-by-email

  7. arioch says:

    The game is still a long way off Civ 4, but at least it’s heading in the right direction now.

    The AI are no longer deranged socio-paths and there are nowhere near as many crashes as there used to be. All we need now are some performance enhancements so it doesn’t run like a dog on any map larger than standard, naval combat to be tweaked so that island maps are a little harder to win on, and some options for saving multiplayer games that dont rely on autosave.

    Anyone who hasn’t played civ5 in a while should probably revisit it – its actually a pleasure to play now. The no stacking combat system is really fantastic for tactical warfare, and the endgame is really good (although cultural victory is rather easy to achieve.) I also prefer global happiness and the social policy system makes sense. Would love to see religion readded in some form or another though.

    • Njordsk says:

      SOLD !

      PLayed 100H+ of vanilla, but got bored of horrible combat AI and diplomatic IA changing it’s mind in a blink of an eye.

      Will give it a new go

    • CMaster says:

      Eh, island maps have always been easy mode in Civ. (Well, they were at least in Civ 2 and Civ 4)

    • Fierce says:

      You can save a multiplayer game at anytime by using Ctrl-S and calling it whatever you want. Presumably you can then load this file and send an invite to your co-players via Steam for them to join the lobby at which point you’ll load into the game proper.

      I say presumably because I’ve never been the lobby host for a Civ5 multiplayer game (though I have as the “client” player saved my own copy via Ctrl-S just in case) and I can attest to this method working 100% as I loaded into a saved game successfully about 9~10 hours ago, returning to an AI stomp with a buddy.

      If it doesn’t work for you, I can ask my friend what steps he precisely did as the host, but I know for a fact he googled the save method and you will probably find what he learned if you do it too.

    • arioch says:

      Yeah that works in single player.. but for some reason the only way to save in MP is to set your autosave to every turn and just quit… :]

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      gritz says:

      I still don’t see how the social policy system makes sense. Policies are supposed to represent the dynamism of society, not the slow accumulation of permanent traits (aka a second technology tree).

      The pendulum of society swings between free thinking and narrowmindedness, between freedom and control, between peace and war. Making these things permanent really takes away from my feeling of “playing history”.

    • Fierce says:


      Nope, it works in MP. Try it.

      I’ve seen it done and work. I’ve performed it successfully. 24 hours have not passed since I successfully saved and loaded into a MP game with a friend using Ctrl-S and have typed out this post for you to read.

      It really does work. Put away your autosave and give it a shot. Again, full details via my friend who hosted the lobby are available if you need them, just ask. It is entirely possible he did something I don’t know about, but I guarantee whatever he did, it WORKED.

  8. The Sombrero Kid says:

    It was a few month off at launch so nothings changed then.

  9. Outsider says:

    Aw, still no multiplayer animations? This game sits on my virtual shelf collecting virtual dust until this very simple feature is added. Without the option to have animations, and with so much sheared out of the mp experience with no option to turn it back on, it makes me not even want to play it. If they added the options for mp animations back in, I’d actually buy the DLCs from them too.

    That said, I’m surprised by hotseat mode. Is it common that groups of people all mill about one computer all taking actual turns sitting at the computer commanding their own units? Seems easier to just play an actual multiplayer game?

    • Outsider says:

      I’m not being negative about it, I’m just ignorant to its popularity and usage. I had never considered that option to play a game since nowadays pretty much everyone has a computer, therefore when you have and option to play together at the same time and the option to play one at a time separately on one machine, it just seems odd and slightly antiquated.

      If it is getting negativity in other venues though, it could be that there are several major and legitimate complaints about the multiplayer aspect of Civ 5, so adding Hotseat mode seems like something not particularly useful in addressing them.

    • Highstorm says:

      I’m in the same boat. My friends and I played the stuffing out of Civ IV multiplayer, and all bought Civ V without a second thought. We tried to play one game after it came out and after an hour or two of frustrations with getting the game started, let alone keeping it stable between turns, we were dismayed to find a complete lack of animations. It might sound like a purely visual thing, but it was actually disrupting play as units would be attacked off-screen, die, and I’d have no time to see what attacked them, or what I should do about it. Combine that with the inane lack of a proper save function and we swore the game off.

      I’ve been watching the updates that’ve come out since, each time hoping they would add an option to turn animations on (like Civ IV had, hello?). Sadly, nothing. I honestly wouldn’t have bought the game if I’d known ahead of time, but none of the reviews I read even touched on it. Oh well, maybe it will be playable in another year or so.

    • Outsider says:


      Exactly my thoughts and problems. I’m just going back every month or two now, seeing if they’ve rectified anything, which they haven’t. I would not have purchased this if I knew ahead of time how MP was going to be.

  10. Reapy says:

    Do they have post game stats yet? I finished my first game and for some reason that drove me insane that I couldn’t watch a play by play of my global conquest along with bar graphs out the wazoo. I haven’t picked it up since, I guess it’s a pretty stupid reason to not want to play, but that after game report has always been the big payoff for me at the end of a game like civ, to find it missing just seemed like a big slap in the face.

  11. mR.Waffles says:

    Wow they add hot seat while online multi-player is still completely unplayable. That’s high class.

    I like where the priorities are.

  12. frameset says:

    I really wish they’d add in the Pitboss servers like Civ 4 had.

  13. snv says:

    Instead of adding pointless stuff they should fix the features they have.
    Having promised super modability and still they fall short. If they only delivered there, the community could do the rest (of adding fun).

    All the while i am waiting for full working mods in multiplayer and they bring out DLCs and this crap.
    Thats why i usually don’t buy games on release date (or even earlier) and i wish i hadn’t either with Civ5.

    • Zeewolf says:

      Hotseat isn’t pointless!

      I was SO disappointed when I learned that there would be no hotseat mode in Civ V at launch. It’s my favourite multiplayer mode in turn-based strategy games, and I’ve spent tons of hours playing Civ IV hotseat with a friend of mine.

      So, for me this is great news. I couldn’t care less if they’ve “fixed” internet multiplayer or not, I just want hotseat. And they promised it ages ago.

    • Outsider says:

      It is 100% pointless in addressing the grievous issues this game has. Hotseat seems like a niche interest whereas a working and enjoyable game is rather important to almost everyone. We’re going on 8 months after release here, people are understandably frustrated.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      “Pointless” is in the eye of the beholder. What you call pointless I call “pure gold!”.

      And the fact this is 2011 and someone, somewhere out there is still providing an AAA title with an Hot Seat mode fills me with hope that the world is not that bad after all. But I do agree that a better mod engine is on the wish list of many people. It’s just that this announced feature has nothing to do with that. So your desire for a mod engine that actually works is YOUR priority.

      Now, if you were complaining about the fact the game still has multiplayer issues and yet they may be adding a new feature before addressing those issues… I’d agree.

  14. vash47 says:

    Wow I might actually start playing this again!

  15. MythArcana says:

    Too bad there’s no DIPLOMACY screen yet to see how other cultures feel about yours! I went about loading up a game in Civ V just last night, but stopped after launching it ’cause there’s just no point in playing this when cities will trade with you during the day and then raze your crops at night with no reasoning or explanation.

    They can include hotseat all they want, but the the game is cold as ice here until I see advanced diplomacy reports and options like **the other Civ versions offer**.

  16. BobsLawnService says:

    I wish they would come out with a proper large expansion which adds new more complex gameplay mechanics already. I’m not saying it is a bad game but after four playthroughs I have no desire to fire up another game. It’s a bit thin.

  17. rocketman71 says:

    Good, but they promised PBEM and we’re still waiting. The fact that they launched the game without PBEM support shows just how fucked up this instance of Civ was. Glad Shafer is out.