Over An Hour Of Civilization: Beyond Earth – Rising Tide

In our initial preview of Beyond Earth’s Rising Tide expansion [official site], Firaxis were keen to make it clear that the expansion would have a heavier sci-fi focus than the base game. They also spoke about the new diplomacy system, in which you interact with the leaders of opposing factions in hopefully more realistic ways. That’s what has been detailed in not only a new trailer but a full, hour-long livestream that took place yesterday, heralding a free weekend for the base game. Both videos and all the details are below.

Here’s the trailer, which dashes through a lot of the new delicious alien content:

The diplomacy system is certainly the most interesting element for me, mechanically. It’s essentially a system of new resources: political capital, fear, and respect. Fear and respect are different in relation to each opposing leader, as they will have their own opinions on your military might, how you’ve treated them in the past, and your diplomatic status with their own allies and enemies. Political capital is more global and is pays for “agreements” – trades that buff one civilization while they’re active, but they pay for it every turn with capital.

Which agreements you can offer other civilizations, and the ones you can accept from them, are governed by a new set of traits that specialise each leader. Those agreements then rank up if you have a friendlier relationship with that civilization. So you’re governing your empire in such a way as to gain fear and respect, which lets you have ‘friendlier’ relationships. Those relationships let you have stronger agreements with those civs, gaining you more science or industry bang for your political buck.

This is all piled on top of a series of new units, biomes, leaders and the like. One of those new factions is INTEGR who were detailed with an in-universe post last night. They also took centre stage for this week’s livestream, which went over a lot of new Rising Tide features in more detail. Here’s the VOD:

Pre-orders are up on Steam at a bit of a discount. If you cashed in for the base game the expansion will set you back £22.49 at 10% off, while you can get both parts plus the custom map pack for £39.00 at 17% off. This deal is running through the free weekend that’s currently going for Beyond Earth and ends Monday evening, Brit-time, though keep in mind that we’ve no idea how good the expansion will be or whether it’s worth buying at any price. We’re still a month and a half away from the release of Rising Tide on October 9th.

23 Comments

  1. Cryptoshrimp says:

    I’m conflicted about this – it sounds like a good expansion, but the base game was unusually lacklustre, even for Firaxis. I don’t really fancy paying this much to spice up an otherwise dull game.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      Yeah, I have a bit of a feeling that free weekend might backfire. Expansion looks good, but it only took me a single game of base BE to get bored of it.

      • Thurgret says:

        You don’t say. I gave the base game a go last night, what with it being free and all, and I’d switched it off again within about half an hour, largely spent mashing the next turn button and waiting for something that didn’t look like a (slightly) modded Civ 5.

    • Arathorn says:

      The Civ games always need two expansions to become good anyway. I haven’t been following Beyond Earth, but isn’t this the first expansion? In that case we’ll have to wait a bit more. It still looks a bit bland to me, though now it’s just blue and bland instead of brown and bland.

      By the way, now that RPS has a bigger font, would you consider making the the site a little wider? Lines have become really short (especially in nested comments) and a big chunk of the screen is grey background anyway.

      • Ben Barrett says:

        This is the first expansion, yeah, but it certainly feels bigger than the ones for Civ 5, for example. Not sure if that’s accurate or just a dodgy memory.

      • vlonk says:

        The Civ 5 base game without the addons is a horrible mess even today. Compared to Civ4 it brought many advancements for the series in UI, graphics, hex, non-stacking units, etc. Those where good design decisions in my book. Civ:BE has what to offer exactly? Mostly missions and the tech-web. Those systems better get iterated into something resembling fun and balanced. There is a reason why the competitive MP Civ streamers avoid Civ:BE like the plague.

        • Ben Barrett says:

          Is that a particularly large community? It must take fucking hours.

          • vlonk says:

            They play 6way free for all with simultaneous turns. Still it is hilarious how long the matches run, at average 5-8 hours I would say. The first hour of a recorded match is probably worth watching. This is where almost all important decisions unfold, the important part of the map is unveiled, neighbors are found and the course is set for your empire (do you go high or wide, do you plan early rush of a neighbor, do you plan for pushing with crossbows, artillery or do you aim for the endgame shenanigans with a-bombs, bombers, x-com). After those decisions are made comes an endless strategic drag with micro managing your empire in which for an observer only alliances, wars and some tech choices/wonders are of real importance. Fast forward time. The run for the finish can be quite exciting. For a good library of these games look at the YT Channel “Filthyrobot”. He also has several excellent instructional videos about strategy in MP Civ.

      • FuzzyPuffin says:

        They are releasing a combo pack called “Beyond Earth: The Collection,” which leads me to believe that they might not be planning a second expansion. It looks like whenever I will get the “Civ in space” itch I will still return to Alpha Centauri. But truthfully, I doubt another expansion would solve the problems. The atmosphere just isn’t there.

        • Xocrates says:

          I bought Civ V “Game of the Year” edition on sale because I thought there wouldn’t be any more expansions. BNW was only announced some time after that, so don’t take the fact that there’s a bundle as evidence that they won’t make more.

          That said, if your problem is that the game is too systemic, I doubt any number of expansions will solve that.

  2. JiminyJickers says:

    I like the base game, sometimes I feel like the only one. But the price on this expansion is nearly the same I bought the original for. So I will have to wait for the price to come down significantly.

  3. atowncalledbastard says:

    Political capital, fear, and respect does not sound a million miles away from the Endless Legend diplomacy system.

    • Ben Barrett says:

      I expect the future of 4X is a lot of things that are not a million miles away from systems that were in Endless Legend.

  4. Girfuy says:

    I bought CIV:BE on release day, but I haven’t thought about it since a week after release. Was very disappointed with the lack of personality and option the game had.

    I’m sure i’ll get this expansion eventually, but won’t be buying it until it hits the Steam sales.

    • crowleyhammer says:

      Same!

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Ditto. I thought some people were perhaps piling on just because people like to pick on big things, it is the hipster thing to do. But the game was ultimately not interesting enough to be worth more than a couple games, which is not at all true of AC or the other Civ games.

      • Xocrates says:

        I actually played BE far more that Civ V prior to Brave New World, though I suspect the game was especially suited to my playstyle so your mileage may vary.

  5. datom says:

    Is there anything about the AI? I completed a ‘gate’ victory in my first game completely unmolested by any of my neighbours – as in, not one attack was made on me when I spent 30+ turns sending units through. Only one enemy declared war on me through the entire game, and they insisted on sending individual soldiers across one at a time to be munched by my city guns.

    I don’t mind a cheating AI, I do mind a completely passive one. It was completely unclear to me that any of the other eight nations were making an attempt at achieving any of the victory conditions.

  6. Zenicetus says:

    So they’re going to charge that kind of money to improve diplomatic interaction, when that’s the kind of thing that’s normally just part of the ongoing patching process for 4X games?

    The addition of movement and building on the water seems like yelling “squirrel” to distract from the core design flaws — the boring leaders, unimaginative tech tree, and aliens that act like re-skinned barbarians.

    I’ll read the reviews after it comes out, but I have a feeling it will take a lot more than this to get me interested in the game again. There’s just too much lack of imagination across the board. I wish they’d just start over with a new “Civ: Beyond Earth 2” and do a better job. Hire a good sci-fi writer, for a start.

  7. raiders says:

    I’s rather pay more money on Blood Bowl 2 just for the free race alone.

  8. TheTourist314 says:

    Whatever happened to that major update they were going to bring to the game that would “fix all the boringness”?

  9. Gustave says:

    At least they will know what not to do for Civ6.