Let’s get the important thing out of the way first: YES, YOU CAN NOW RENAME YOUR CITIES. Thank whichever god is at the head of your current pantheon for that.
There are loads of things that I’d like to see changed in Civilization 6 [official site], even though I think it’s a fantastic game, and a new patch looks like it addresses at least some of my quibbles, including clearer tracking of amenities. The full changelist is here, and I’ve picked out some highlights below.
Sadly, these patch notes are quite serious. There’s nothing about cities occupied by enemy forces no longer being able to kill their own nephew, or plagues now killing people even if they have beards. You have to go elsewhere for that sort of thing. The closest you’ll get to a laugh here is “Adjusted AI understanding of declared friendship” because it sounds like precisely the sort of thing a scientist would say right before taking his new Terminator to a dinner party.
The changes come in several categories and since we’re already on AI, here’s the full list of changes in that department:
• Adjusted AI victory condition focus to increase their competitiveness in Science and Tourism.
• Adjusted AI understanding of declared friendship.
• Adjusted the AI approach to beginning and ending a war based on potential gain and loss.
• Increased AI competitiveness in building a more advanced military.
• Increased AI usage of Inquisitors. Especially Phillip.
• Increased AI value of upgrading units.
• Increased AI use of Settler escorts.
• Tuned AI usage of units that cannot move and shoot, like Catapults.
• Tuned AI city and unit build planning.
• Improved the ability of city-states to maintain a strong military.
With this kind of patch, it’s impossible to know how the game will be improved by the changes without playing for another forty hours. I’m happy to do that but I haven’t done it yet – I’m reporting what Firaxis have done rather than applauding the results.
It all sounds good though; one of those patches that is a response to the issues people have been raising rather than the kind that seems to have been created in a vacuum. As well as the UI and AI changes, there’s support for DirectX 12, a new scenario and two new map types.
Today you’re also able to play a whole new scenario called “Cavalry and Cannonades,” and settle on two new map types, “Four-Leaf Clover” and “Six-Armed Snowflake.” These maps are playable both online and off, and were designed to encourage more conflict by forcing players to move toward the center. For the full list of what’s in this latest update, please see below.
Our look at Civ 6 multiplayer suggested that strong scenarios might be the key to its future, so hopefully Cavalry and Cannonades is a good addition. And perhaps modding tools will be part of the next major update, so the creation of new scenarios and conversions can begin in earnest.