A storm is coming
There have been some rumblings lately of a second expansion to be released for Civilization VI, despite the previous expansion, Rise and Fall, having been released as recent as February. Today we received confirmation that Civilization VI: Gathering Storm will be released on February 14, 2019 and it's going to be the biggest Civilization expansion ever.
As the name suggests, one of the highlights of Gathering Storm is the awakening of mother nature. Yes, dear friends, Civilization will finally add natural disasters to its arsenal of tricks.
First up is an update to floodplain tiles. These tiles are said to hold higher yields but will also come with the risk of floods which could damage nearby cities and districts. This feature also prompted the inclusion of a new district, the dam.
Perhaps more exciting is the inclusion of active volcanoes. Like floodplain tiles, volcanoes will offer higher yields due to the volcanic ash left in its wake but obviously, an erupting volcano is not a safe place to be around.
Next, we arrive at the various storms and weather phenomenon. Along with droughts, you will also be able to experience the wrath that comes with intense storms of various kinds. Hurricanes, dust storms, tornadoes and blizzards will all be included to keep you on your toes but will also be able to add some form of reward for those who endure them.
Even the gaming world cannot escape global warming it seems. In the later part of the game your actions will have an adverse effect on the environment which could be devastating to you. Along with the power to cause the melting of the polar ice caps, you will also be provided with ways to prevent it like investing in eco-friendly energy like wind and solar farms.
This feature has Ed Beach written all over it. For those who don't know, Ed Beach is the lead game designer on Civilization VI and is the man responsible for many of the fantastic features this game offers. Ed's passion for history and knowledge of the world has been reflected in several features in Civilization and the latest to be added is naming natural features after the discovering empire.
Any natural features like rivers or mountains will thus be named after a famous river or mountain found in the territory of the discovering civilization. For example, should Egypt be the first to discover a river it would be named the Nile. However, if the Netherlands discover a volcano, that volcano will be named after a civilization not currently in the game since no volcanos are found in the Netherlands.
Not only will this be a great way to expand your own general knowledge, but if you're clued up on the names of certain natural features, you'll also know which civilizations have territories nearby.
When Civilization VI was first launched we were shocked to see the diplomatic victory condition replaced with the new religious victory, but diplomacy is making a comeback along with the world congress.
From the details revealed it seems these features will function much like in Civilization V in that you have to be diplomatic with your neighboring civilizations and city-states to gain favor which could help you win votes at the world congress which could help swing things your way. However, they will be enhancing this feature somewhat from previous iterations by replacing the warmongering penalty with grievances and having this play a role in the world congress. It will be interesting to see how this affects bloodthirsty players.
No Civilization expansion would be complete without adding a few more playable civilizations. Gathering Storm promises 9 new leaders from 8 new civilizations, some of whom you may recognize from the past and some who are brand new to the series. It is also said that some of these civilizations have been picked because they tie in well with the new features, it should then be safe to assume we can expect civilizations that had some famous natural disaster occur in their lands, Pompeii perhaps?
Furthermore, the tech tree will be enhanced with 9 new technologies as well as another era, the 21st century. The press release from Firaxis also lists the following to look forward to, 7 new world wonders and natural wonders, 18 new units, 15 new improvements, 9 new buildings, 5 new districts, 2 new city sets, and 10 new civics.
Obviously, they are rather stingy as to the specifics of these enhancements but here's what they were willing to divulge. Along with the dam district mentioned earlier, there will also be a canal district and the Panama Canal wonder. Travel will be made easier in later eras with the ability to tunnel through mountains and the return of railroads.
The final items mentioned were rather nonspecific but we have been promised updates to the current culture, science and domination victory conditions. What those are is anyone's guess but I am definitely excited to find out.
are you ready for the storm?
Which of these features are you most excited about? Are there any others you would have loved to see? Which new civilizations and leaders are you hoping for?
Every bit of information provided just stirs up new questions in my mind, which just comes to show how enticing this game series is. I know what I want for Valentine's day.