Civilization 6 gets big update while Civ 3 is briefly free

Today’s the big day in Civland, or the world as it’s commonly known. The highlight: Civilization VI has launched its big Fall 2017 Update, which chiefly expands religious combat and makes AI opponents a little smarter. Also out today is new DLC for Civ VI adding Indonesia and the Khmer Empire.

Or if you believe that everything old is better and we should shun the new: 1) Civilization III is free for the next two days; 2) But Civ’s whole ‘inevitable march of progress’ sort of thing seems contrary to your ethos?

So! The Fall Update’s main focus is overhauling religion. New beliefs are in, the Warrior Monk unit has arrived to fight, the Guru is here to heal religious units, religious combat is expanded with flank and support bonuses for units as making them exert zone of control, religious pressure is on both ends of trade routes, some leaders are now less driven to found religions so we have more of a shot, and so on.

The update also improves a few UI elements, improves how the AI handles everything from naval action to district placement, tweaks balance, and fixes bugs.

Check out the patch notes for more details on everything.

As for Indonesia and the Khmer, £9/€9/$9 (a brutal exchange rate!) on Steam gets you the two civs together with new unique buildings, units, and abilities. The DLC also includes new wonders (say hello again, Angkor Wat), a new map, and a new scenario.

And finally, for Civ 3, swing by the Humble Store (now owned by IGN, in case you missed the news) and grab a Steam key. That’s the Complete edition which includes expansions. It usually costs £3/$5 so free isn’t half-bad. One for an old laptop, maybe? You’ve got until 6pm on Saturday (10am Pacific) to grab that.

What are Indonesia like in Civ? See some devs play in this recent livestream:


  1. Nauallis says:

    Hmm, already possible to heal religious units if they are moved to a holy site district. Being able to heal them without a holy site nearby sounds a bit OP.

  2. jeremyalexander says:

    I wouldn’t say older is better, but I can say that Civ 6 is a bad game. It introduced poorly thought out mechanics that the AI still can’t handle, the AI can’t plan an effective defense or offense, the pace of the game vs tech development is still off and many units never see the field because by the time they can be deployed in a serious manner they are outdated, I still can’t build a unit and a city improvement at the same time for no reason that makes any sense, and the list goes on. I hate blind nostalgia, but I’m not going to say something is better just because it’s newer. I still think Civ 5 is a superior title in every imaginable way and these updates have done nothing to change that. This along with their laughable DLC prices mean that Civ 5 will likely be on my hard drive far longer than Civ 6. That isn’t nostalgia, it’s simply a better game.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I know I should just buy it during a sale to form my own opinion, but this is what I keep hearing about Civ 6. Especially regarding the AI. It usually takes a while in Civ games for the AI to get patched so it can handle new mechanics, but it doesn’t seem to be happening this time around.

      So I guess I’ll stick with Civ 5 when I need a Civ fix. There is also the difference in aesthetics. I prefer the softer, semi-realistic look of Civ5 to the more garish graphic design in Civ 6. It has a design-for-mobile look. But I could get over it if the game was significantly better.

      • syndrome says:

        I concur.

        The trouble with the sixth installment is in the way of how much the actual mechanics resemble reality, but hardly relate to it when you think about it. And then everything unfolds in relation to this boardgame fashion, which is so gamified and absurd, and ultimately very spammy and boring. I liked the way Civ V appeared and feeled as a boardgame, but still came across as a zoomed-out planet Earth. I think this was very important.

        Take districts for example, they’re absurd. It’s a minigame that has nothing to do with a scale of the world as presented. It breaks the continuity in our imagination, it requires us to fiddle with a completely unnecessary topology of the cities themselves, building +1 adjacency bonuses as if that’s a thing in the real world.

        Stellaris did something similarly with their Pops and planetary buildings, and nobody likes it, and frankly I’m not sure why is that even a trend (perhaps because it’s easier to make an AI for it?). That’s something that makes sense in a tight space of a true boardgame, as this is typically what makes the staple operative mechanic. It’s usually the main activity that you try to balance against the odds and playing with other humans is also important in that sense, as people overcommit, overspeculate, gamble, and/or simply underestimate the opponent’s moves. This is where the gameplay lies.

        When you make a game of >this< scale on a computer, though, districts are a nonsense. Just compare this feature to Civ V, which had no such things, and tell me what you feel. If I had a complaint, it was that the cities could've been made much more engaging, detailed, and unique (compared to other cities) without resorting to disrupting features such as districts. My main issue with the cities was that each city felt as a clone of the other. Once you discover an amphitheater EVERY other city had to have one, it was just a matter of time. Also things like aquaducts could've evolved into modern waterworks over time, while still having aquaducts in modern times could've had a serious impact on tourism for example.

        What we really needed were "district-alike" systems that are strategic, like having energy production (dams, thermal and nuclear power), airports, military bases, separated from the cities. Without the bullshit +1 adjacencies, but allowing for much more nuanced strategic options.

        I have written a huge post on Steam several years ago, related to what Civ V could've been, broken down in easy-to-read points, and once Civ VI got out, it was gone. Deleted. I am 98% sure this has to do with the fact that they borrowed some things from it, and I don't care really, but they haven't understood a word of what I said.

        Seriously, fuck Firaxis. They're doing the same thing as Maxis. If they cared about their future, they'd keep their last designer onboard (Jon Shafer I presume).

    • Mister_Donut says:

      It’s telling that FilthyRobot, one of the better Civ V streamers/Youtubers, hasn’t posted any Civ VI content in months. To be sure, both Civ IV and Civ V took two expansions to become the highly regarded games they are today, but it seems like they should have learned a little from that and accelerated the pace of improvements, given their experience with those games. Instead we’re left again losing faith in the series.

      • syndrome says:

        … Also Marbozir has returned to modded Civ V. Just check his yt playlists page for an informed opinion on Civ VI.

        I don’t think he’s going back to Civ VI, unless Firaxis releases a substantial patch worth checking out.

    • indigochill says:

      For my money, Civ 4 is the best Civ game. But that has more to do with the overhaul mods than the core game.

  3. Michael Fogg says:

    I wonder if the free Civ III is worth it if you’re a Civ newbie and want to check out the series?

    • Mister_Donut says:

      Civ III is generally considered a low point in the series. I didn’t play that much of it, especially compared to the hundreds I’ve put into every other game but VI, but it always felt like a bunch of random ideas that never really synced up. If you want to get into the game, just wishlist V on Steam and watch /r/gamedeals until you can get it for like $5. You can usually get deals that will give you all or most of the DLC as well.

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        Big Dunc says:

        Perversely, Civ III is probably the Civ game that I have played and enjoyed the most. For some reason IV never really clicked for me, and V was a bit of a mess on launch and I never managed to go back to it after the problems were fixed.

      • RuySan says:

        I’ve played all of the series except VI and for me III is also a low point.

        IV was an huge improvement that made III obsolete. V has many different mechanics so it can coexist with IV.

        I have an unpopular view that V’s expansions actually made the game worse in some ways. Trade routes, espionage and religion are boring mechanics that just add bloat and micromanagement. I liked tourism and archaeology though.

    • revan says:

      I would go with IV or V if you were a Civ newbie. People swear IV is the best, but I prefer V for the hex combat and no stacks of doom.

      For older Civ feel, I would recommend ALpha Centauri, which is still my favorite 4X game. Can be had cheap on GOG.

    • teije says:

      Generally agree with the sentiments expressed here. Both IV and V are very good, and also play quite differently. Prefer IV myself, to me it defines the “Civ experience”. Or if you want old-school Civ experience, SMAC can’t be beat.

  4. EwokThisWay says:

    “This update makes AI opponents a little smarter.”

    4X games devellopers have been selling that BS for years and people keep buying it, it’s amazing.

  5. Hunchback says:

    So, is this worth it?

    • Dogahn says:

      A little bit of both from what I keep reading. The features I hear everyone complaining about are not the major changes that were made from V -> VI. YMMV