Civilization VI overhauls cities, trade routes and diplomatic scheming

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Civilization VI is already calling my name. I can feel it in my bones that I will lose many, many hours to the game. And I will do so happily. However, each iteration in the franchise has changed things, and from what I’ve heard in a recent Q&A session, this might just become my favorite Civilization game.

You can watch the Q&A session here, if you want, but to be honest it’s not very visually interesting and the sound quality isn’t too great because it was from a live stream. However, if you’re really interested in more details, it’s worthwhile. My favorite aspects that they touched upon were changes to cities, trade routes and diplomacy.

Cities

Civ vi screen 1

Rejoice culture players, you can now build more cities without suffering for it! You can specialize your cities in new ways thanks to districts, but even more than that, happiness has changed in Civilization VI and you won’t have to panic about expansion if you’re also looking to spread your culture far and wide.

Speaking of far and wide, cities have a similar tile limit as they used to, but more interestingly there are changes to population. There’s no population cap in cities, but you will need to provide certain things for your citizens. Housing is obviously a main concern, and various buildings will produce housing – barracks are an obvious one, but universities also add housing to a city, just great for all those students to work hard and play hard. But you will also need to ensure that your population has access to other amenities, or your city simply won’t grow.

Districts and their specific buildings are visible when your units come into view of the city, just like in real life. This means that you don’t even need to send spies to find out if a nearby city is focusing on science or culture – just check out their buildings and you’ll have the visual cues you need to learn about their civilization already. That also applies to going to war – gone are the days of simply targeting a city until it falls. Now you can destroy the science district or the production district, effectively incapacitating a city as you lay siege.

I’m curious how it will work with wonders as they will take up an entire tile in your city. Does this mean that cities will have a limited number of wonders available? I suppose we’ll have to wait and find out.

Trade Routes

Civ vi screen 2

If you played Civilization V: Brave New World, you’ll know about the changes to trade routes that were already put in place. You build specific units and then send them off to trade with your cities or distant cities. These routes last for a set amount of time, bringing goods backwards and forwards. However, that has become even better in Civ VI.

Yes, you still need to build the units, but now those units actually build the roads between cities. So, built a new city in your Civilization? Send a trade route there and your cities will be connected. Plus, the closer your cities are, the shorter the duration of the trade route – it isn’t just a standard 30 turns anymore.

Additionally, there’s more nuance to what is traded across the routes. If you connect with a city that’s big on science or religion, you can expect your traders to pick some of that up on their journeys. It’s much more realistic, and is making me excited to become an absolute trading mogul.

Diplomatic Scheming

Teddy civ vi

I often get irritated with diplomacy in Civ games. There I am, playing a happy culture game, being peaceful, when suddenly Spain declares war on me. CURSE YOU SPAIN! But really, war seems to come from nothing in some Civilization games and it can get quite frustrating. This time, you can actually understand the other civilizations way better, and use them to your advantage.

An example given in the Q&A is that Teddy Roosevelt just wants peace on his continent. So, if you share a continent with him, and you’re just peacefully building up your culture, he won’t get upset. However, you can use this to your advantage. Let’s say another civilization gets mad at you for building all the wonders that they wanted to build, and they come to hassle you with troops. Teddy will see those troops and his relationship with that civilization will deteriorate to the point of declaring war on them. Then, you can chime in and help, not earning any war mongering points because you were just the innocent victim here, and you might even capture a couple cities from that rival wonder-building civilization. Winning!

I am interested to see just how easy those types of machinations will be in the game, and curious how diplomacy will evolve over time. In any event, I’m just excited for October 21st to hurry up and get here so that I can start playing.

Last Updated: June 17, 2016

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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