Civilization VI launches summer update, Nubian DLC

Summer is certainly upon us, and Civilization VI [official site] is celebrating this joyous season by encouraging you to stay indoors for just one more turn. Civ 6 launched its ‘Summer 2017 Update’ last night, packed full of balance changes, AI improvements, and bug fixes. As requested, it also added a ‘Restart’ button to regenerate a map and start over, and the ability to save game setup configurations for future games is in too.

If you want to pay money, a new DLC pack is out, adding the Nubian civilisation led by the queen Amanitore. The base game is on sale now and all.

As Civ 6’s AI has been the subject of many complaints, I’ll dump the whole section about this latest round of improvements:

  • Improved AI ability to move great works around to get theming
  • AI will now better handle air attacks
  • – Bombers will attack Districts, Improvements, and then Units in that preference
    – Fighters will prefer to attack other air units

  • Improved desire to pillage cities
  • Improved city planning with regard to adjacency bonuses
  • During city attacks, concentrate unit attacks on more threatening units rather than spreading out
  • Fixed a bug that resulted in the AI overestimating the value of demand tribute
  • Adjust AI acceptance of embassies to be a bit more like what they already do for delegations
  • Specifically, they probably will reject it if they’re unfriendly, will accept at neutral unless they have any other reason against it (close balance) and will generally accept it at friendly unless they have a strong reason against.
  • In evaluating deals, the AI will mark elements that are unacceptable at any price, and expose that to the player
  • Improve ability to utilize city-states, beyond just suzerainty
  • As a player approaches victory, AI will become less friendly and more aggressive

Balance changes including reducing the costs of spies and districts, increasing the cost of most districting buildings, making anti-air stronger, and buffing Norway and Spain.

Hit the patch notes for full details on everything.

Civ 6 is on sale this weekend. The regular edition has a 30% discount making it £33.49/40,19€/$40.19 on Steam. The Digital Deluxe Edition, which includes several DLC packs, has a 40% discount bringing it to £41.99/47,99€/$47.99.

As for the Nubians, they bring their own pyramids and master archers, and add a new Wonder in faith-o-rama Jebel Barkal. They’ve got a new Scenario too. The DLC costs £4.49/4,99€/$4.99 or is included with the Digital Deluxe Edition, since 2K decided to expand that to offer better value.

17 Comments

  1. Zorgulon says:

    I’ve been playing the new scenario and it’s really fun. Nice attention to detail, new techs, units and buildings exclusive to the scenario, and beautiful Egyptian-style architecture.

    In fact all the Civ VI DLC scenarios have been pretty high quality.

  2. fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

    I certainly can’t argue with the gameplay-mechanics reasons for “As a player approaches victory, AI will become less friendly and more aggressive”; but it just seems so overtly metagaming; especially if you are heading toward cultural or diplomatic victories, which are ‘victories’ because everyone loves you/your consumer goods/your statesmanship/etc.

    I can’t argue with it as a practical mechanism, if there is a ruleset-defined ‘win’, a good AI adversary shouldn’t just ignore you approaching it; but it feels like a bit of a hack compared to the different behaviors required to achieve the various victories having their own, situationally appropriate, blowback.

    A domination victory has pretty obvious implications for foreign sentiment, “you are a psycho warmongering imperialist, of course we hate you even when we fear you; and watch out if we can scrape together enough allies that we don’t fear you.” Something like a culture win, though, shouldn’t get you “your culture is amazing and we love your art and stuff; you horrible bastard!” That’s just kind of weird. However(as we’ve seen in real life, mostly unpleasantly, increasing cultural dominance can definitely create a backlash, both reactionaries in your own society and purists in others): someone heading toward a culture, religion, or diplomatic win might continue to have super chummy relations with foreign elites and rulers; but face fundamentalist, nativist, etc. insurgencies under every rock at home and abroad.

    I don’t know how you would really work this into the Civ rules(where ‘culture’ and ‘faith’ are both largely homogeneous resources that pile up the same way ‘science'(now divided between a hard tech and a culture tech tree; but still otherwise fungible) and ‘production’ do.

    Is just having people hate you more for being close to winning the best available option, or can anyone think of a better way to reflect the mixture of admiration and resentment that cultural and religious choices can have?

    By way of historical example: consider Rome during the invasion by Carthage. Hannibal’s plan was pretty solid: got an army into Italy, inflicted some serious defeats on the main Roman force; but then all those neighboring states that the Romans had conquered didn’t rebel and join him to finish them off; because the assimilation policy had actually been quite effective and they weren’t being kept in line primarily by fear and force. How would a Civ or Civ-like provide mechanics for distingushing between cultural and religious policies that cause resentment; ones that are initially wildly unpopular(like some of the Europa Universalis options that eventually change a province’s culture or religion; but basically make everyone hate you for decades) but end up producing very convenient homogeneity; and hands-off ones that are low friction; but leave you with pockets of unassimilated culture and/or religion even centuries later?

    Doable? Too hard? Theoretically doable but too clunky to be worth the effort?

    • Dogahn says:

      That would be cool to see, but I think it might come too close to the culture expanding borders of Civ3 or was it 2? Where you could overtake & capture foreign cities by culture difference alone.

  3. Azhrarn says:

    I tried the new update last night, and I’m currently considering wiping my game to do a create a clean install, because I think some of my mods (CQUI mainly) are messing things up. Pop-ups don’t work, notification icons don’t respond, that sort of thing. They appear to have changed a fair bit under the hood, given how closely tied to the UI CQUI is.

    • Joriath says:

      I haven’t started the game up since the update but I believe CQUI is indeed causing a few problems. Not particularly surprising, and I’d rather wait a few days till that’s working properly than revert to the vanilla UI.

    • Zorgulon says:

      Mods are often messed up by patches and CQUI is producing serious issues. But you shouldn’t need to do a clean install. You can disable installed mods under Additional Content in the main menu.

      • Azhrarn says:

        well I did that after first launching (because almost nothing UI related worked at first), with CQUI disabled I still can’t open the research screens from the end turn button and some notifications can’t be clicked still, hence me pondering doing a clean install right now.

        • lysander says:

          I had to unsubscribe to the mods in Steam so even with them disabled it causes issues they have to be uninstalled completely. Which I dont mind as its nice to see the vanilla changes and the UI improvements are very nice, so much so I’ll probably stay vanilla now

  4. zulnam says:

    Over the past 8 years every Civilization game patch ever has been about one thing: improving AI.

    Looking over how previous games still have an AI that seems to drool over itself, I take it it won’t be the last such patch.

    Looking how every reviewer seems to give them a pass for this every time a Civ games comes out I also take it won’t be the last of their games plagued by this.

    • Zorgulon says:

      Regardless of what reviewers say (FWIW RPS have been critical of Civ VI’s AI from the beginning), I don’t think Civ games are ever going to have a decent AI, if by decent we mean able to compete with a human player without unfair bonuses.

      That’s not to say there aren’t several changes still to be made to Civ VI’s AI to make it serviceable. But given how consistently they’ve been improving the AI, I think it’s safe to assume the fixes aren’t that straightforward.

      But the focus of this patch is more on balance changes than the AI, in my view. Alice just quoted the AI-specific stuff in the article, but it’s quite a way down the full patch notes.

      • Mezelf says:

        Look up the video “Playing to Lose: AI and “Civilization” (Soren Johnson)” or just type “ai civ 4” on youtube.
        I’ll give you a TL;DR in case you don’t feel like watching a 1 hour presentation by the AI programmer from Civ 3 and 4 (although I do recommend watching it):

        Making ‘good AI’ is possible, however it’s never been the goal of the Civilization series. It’s been about ‘fun AI’ for atleast a decade. Fun AI has to be dumber than a human, so it is given some bonuses to keep up with the human player. Difficulty modes are not possible with good AI. Leaders feeling and acting different from eachother but as expected by the player is not possible with good AI.
        If Civ had good AI, it would not be a relaxing game. It would feel more like an esport game like Starcraft.

    • Dogahn says:

      You realize how impossible “good” ai is? Let alone programming the ruleset for one involving the scope of a game like Civ. “But [insert favorite gaming example] did it”, did they though? Or, perhaps they could do a better job hiding its failings from you.

      People wanting stuff while hating on the stuff they got is probably older than free time to hate on stuff.

  5. Rinox says:

    Looks like Civ VI is on some brand Nubian shit! (shamelessly stolen from Notorious B.I.G., I admit)

  6. punkass says:

    As one of the few readers (I presume!) who’ve actually been to see that new, Nubian wonder, I just thought I’d mention that they have toned down the reason it was so famous in the ancient world.

    There’s a lovely, womb-like chamber behind that temple opening, and the standing pillar of rock on the right, if viewed from just the right angle… um… looks very much like a… snake. A hooded snake. The guidebooks were very clear it was definitely a snake and anything else it might look like was just naughtiness in your mind you terrible person.

    They have not captured that particular angle in the image above but if they had I can only imagine it would cause certain anguish amongst the religious right.

    Another little known fact – there are more pyramids in Sudan than in Egypt.

    • thischarmingman says:

      Thanks for the trivia. Can you find a picture of said pillar? I’ve tried my googleskills to no avail.

  7. thischarmingman says:

    Have they done any improvements on the UI since release? Especially tooltips and what buttons actually do. I won the game here on RPS (yay!), but certain aspects of the game seem kind of opaque to a newcomer to the series like me.

    • Kyuss says:

      I use CQUI mod but it doen’s work well with the latest patch, I hope they fix it soon, it’s very good.