Civilization Beyond Earth Rising Tide revamping diplomacy, going beyond Alpha Centauri

4 min read

Civilization: Beyond Earth was a cool game, but didn’t quite go as far as fans were hoping. Rising Tide has promised a whole bunch of new elements that make it more akin to the space (and Civilization) game that we’ve been hoping for. I got to chat to Will Miller all about how this game is different, and if fans of Alpha Centauri will be happy.

First up, here’s the interview itself for your viewing pleasure:

As he explains, the biomes available in the game are all new and actually have a deeper impact on the gameplay. While he couldn’t go into detail on exactly how the biomes will affect gameplay, he did explain that it will impact alien behavior as well as some other feature that is being teased for the future.

Expeditions have also been expanded. Unlike before where artifacts would lead to possible quests, now you can actually see the artifacts that you’ve excavated. These can then be used immediately for instant rewards, or combined into a set of three for greater specific rewards. Diplomacy has also gotten a bit of an overhaul:

There’s a lot here. One of the things that we found out was that diplomacy didn’t really work in Beyond Earth because those historical personalities that you were used to seeing weren’t there. And that novelty is what really drives historic Civs’ diplomacy. So we took it out. […]


There were three things that this does. The first is that it makes building your personality, the personality of your leader and your civilization something that you do actively. it’s a game now. So you start off with one personality trait that your leader always has and this would be as a bonus in base BE that is now contextualized as a trait in Rising Tide; then you can add three more traits to your civ as the game progresses. And these traits can also be upgraded, and this is transparent. So I can see the personalities of the AI characters of the game or the player characters.

CivBE RT Screenshot Announce 1

The second element relates to how civilizations feel about each other, in particular with AI. There are two numbers modeled here: fear and respect. Miller admits this is a bit Machiavellian in nature, but it helps add some understanding of how civilizations feel about you and others – are they afraid of you? Do they respect you? Could this number indicate that they’d be willing to go to war against another civilization alongside you? All the math that has previously been under the surface has been brought to light in a whole new way of adding some real diplomacy and human interaction (even with AI) to the diplomacy system.

Finally, the new system lets you trade power using Diplomatic Capital. You can make use of your traits and exert influence in a whole new way that sounds really exciting. I’m so glad that they’re overhauling the diplomacy system – it’s always a part of gameplay that I like to fiddle with but it just wasn’t as rewarding as I’d hoped in the base Beyond Earth game.

CivBE RT Screenshot Announce 2

I like that Miller distances the game from Alpha Centauri. It is a whole new franchise that they’ve built, and the new expansion is looking to add a new dimension to the experience. It’s still a bit soon to tell, but in the same way that Brave New World added a whole new perspective on the historical Civilization V, I think that Rising Tide could attract a bunch of new players to Civilization: Beyond Earth thanks to some exciting new gameplay that will mix things up in the strategy. Now to just make every civilization on a new alien planet fear and respect me.

Last Updated: June 25, 2015

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