Firaxis have announced the second expansion pack for their life-destroying 4X strategy Civilization V. Brave New World not only increases the number of leaders, scenarios and wonders for budding empire builders to play with, but looks set to drastically overhaul two key areas of the game: Culture and Diplomacy. This is particularly great news for anyone who's spent hours attempting to cajole Civ V's fickle rulers.
A World Congress will let you create and vote on resolutions - imposing trade sanctions on rogue nations, capping resource usage, electing a host for the "World Games", and setting rules for the use of nuclear weapons. Of course, ideology will only be a small part of a nation's decision: vote trading and intrigue are both required for a successful resolution. Firaxis say this will also provide a new path to the Diplomatic Victory.
Speaking of victory conditions, there's a new one: Culture Victory. It sounds like a more active prospect than the Cultural Victory path. Here you must spread your culture far and wide, using Great Writers, Artists and Musicians to create masterpieces that will prove your dominance in the arts. You'll also have access to archaeologists to investigate ancient battle grounds and ruined cities for rare artifacts.
The other big change is the introduction of international trade routes, letting you spread your cities' produce by land and sea. Not only can you send goods to other civilisations, but also to other cities within your own empire - sending aid to cities that are lacking the raw resources. And trade routes expand into other areas of the game, with science, religion and culture also taking a trip on your caravans.
In addition to all that, Brave New World will bring nine new leaders, eight world wonders, new Industrial Age ideologies, and scenarios covering the American Civil War and the colonial push into Africa.
In the hope of gleaning some state secrets, Evan sat down for a peace accord with Firaxis' Lead Designer Ed Beach and Senior Producer Dennis Shirk.
PCG: What's a new Civilization that contributes a new playing style? Can you describe this playing style?
Firaxis: Poland's trait is called Solidarity, and they receive a free Social Policy when they advance into each new era. Poland gave us the opportunity design a Civ with extremely strong mounted units in the Medieval-Renaissance era. When you see the bonus for the Winged Hussar, it should give players a lot of flexibility in terms of changing the way a battle unfolds tactically. Since their Civ trait is extremely flexible, I think Poland is an effective Civ for a wide variety of victories.
How are International Trade Routes formed?
Firaxis: Trade Routes are established between two cities of different civilizations using trade route units like the Caravan or Cargo Ship. Although both parties gain gold from the route, the civilization that the trade route originates from gets a larger sum of gold than the destination civilization. Additionally, other systems hitch a ride on trade routes, like religious pressure, science (science can be gained from more advanced civilization this way), Tourism bonuses, and more.
Trade routes can also be created between two cities of the same civilization. Once the origin city has a Granary, it can send food to the destination city, and once it has a Workshop it can send production. This can be powerful if you have a new city that needs to be “pumped up”, or a city that's constructing a Wonder that could use a production bump.
Will masterpieces created by Great People be named? e.g., Will you be able to create the Mona Lisa?
Firaxis: Yes they will! We'll be talking more about those soon.
Does the World Congress vote by majority? When are measures voted upon?
Firaxis: A resolution doesn't always have to receive majority support. Sometimes a resolution can pass with a single delegate supporting it, as long as there are no delegates voting “no”. The way the process works is the Congress is founded, typically in the Renaissance, by the first player that has discovered all other civilizations. The founding civilization becomes the Congress's host and receives special benefits, like the ability to propose resolutions.
After the first resolutions are proposed, there's a countdown until the Congress convenes, which will give you time to get allies on your side before the Congress votes on the proposed resolutions. The process then begins again, with the proposal of resolutions. There are quite a few resolutions that can be voted on. You can vote to outlaw the trade of certain luxury resources, sanction rogue nations economically, start a worldwide project like the World's Fair, and much more. You can use it to slow down a Civ who is running away to victory, or really put a major rival at a disadvantage.
Civilization V is due out this Summer for a suggested price of $29.99