Galactic Civilizations 2 gets surprise massive patch

Galactic Civilizations 2

Galactic Civilizations II is one of the best 4X games I've played—and I've played two 4X games, the other being the equally excellent Civ IV. But, regardless, it is magnificent, as Tom Francis' gripping War Diaries attest. Out of the blue, a giant new patch has appeared for the decade-old game, made with the help of the presumably-still-thriving community. The patch actually arrived a couple of weeks ago, but you might have been too full of chocolates and booze to care or notice at the time—I know I was.

Version 2.20 makes a frack-ton of changes to the sci-fi strategy game, many of which have been suggested, or already implemented in mods by the community. Stardock's CEO Brad Wardell says that it "was awesome being able to work with the fans to integrate years of their own mods and tweaks into the base game. They also gave me a long list of areas where they thought I could improve the AI, which I used to dig into the now 10 year old AI source code base to implement".

You can download the new patch from the 'My Downloads' section of the Stardock site, or if you own GalCiv2 on Steam, it should already have been updated, providing you have it installed.

Here are the full patch notes:

Gameplay

  • General
    • The Capital now increases Morale to 35 (up from 25) and Economy to 25 (up from 10)
    • Advanced Hulls is now unlocked from Basic Logistics
    • Life Support is now unlocked from Advanced Hulls
    • Several techs moved to improve AI use
    • Mind Control Center moved to Concept of Malice
    • Shrine of the Mithrillar now gives a 10% population growth bonus civ-wide
    • Shrine of Tandis now gives a 10% morale bonus civ-wide
    • Information Warfare tech now requires Advanced Diplomacy (instead of Planetary Invasion)
    • Temporal Mechanics cost increased from 10 to 30
    • Hyperion Packages cost increased from 10 to 30
    • Entertainment Center now requires Innovative History
    • Slave Pits, Slave Labs, Collectives and Maintenance Grid have had their costs adjusted
    • Research Matrix bonus decreased from 12 to 10
    • School maintenance increased from 1 to 2
    • University maintenance increased from 2 to 3
    • Space Weapons no longer grants a Military bonus
    • Economic Direction Unit bonus reduced from 50 to 25
    • Ultra Spices now requires Extreme Entertainment instead of Xeno Cultural Trends
    • Merchant Trade Complexes cost increased from 800 to 1100
    • Buffed Tier 1/2 starbase attack modules and battlestations 4; removed Singularity Armor
    • Neutrality Learning Center cost increased from 500 to 1000
    • Cultural Enlightenment no longer has a pre-req; moved to Pure Research
    • Healing Pools now requires Planetary Improvements; cost decreased from 300 to 100
    • Nano Materials now requires Basic Space Construction
    • Advanced Philosophy now requires University
    • Enhanced Adaptation cost increased to 150/450/600
    • Robust Hull Construction now provides 15 HP (up from 10)
    • Precursor Library cost decreased from 400 to 100
    • Miniaturization techs bonuses updated to be better
    • Empathic Tactical Center now grants a defense bonus of 25% instead of an attack bonus of 20%
    • Various weapons rebalancing
    • Plus much much more adjustments. See the Progressive Changelog for more.
  • Terran Alliance
    • Changed default alignment from 50 to 75
    • Now start as Mercantile political party
    • Starts with +10 Economics, -10 Social Production, +25 Trade and 12 Logistics (up from 6)
    • Starting techs changed to: HyperDrive, Industrial Revolution, Fusion Reactors, Traditional Research, Innovative History, Capitalism and Basic Space Construction
    • Terrains gain a 10% bonus to propulsion and diplomacy research
  • Drengin Empire
    • Now starts game as War Party political party
    • Starts with: +10 Military Production, -30 Diplomacy (increased from -25), 20 Loyalty (up from 0) and 14 Logistics (up from 7)
    • Starting techs changed to: Fusion Reactors, Ruthless History, HyperDrive, Stellar Cartography, Specialized Research, Capitalism and Traditional Slavery.
    • Propaganda Machine is now a special project
    • New invasion tactic added (version of Information Warfare)
    • Drengin suffer a 50% penalty to trade techs; and a 100% penalty to diplomatic techs
  • Altarian Resistance
    • Now starts game as Pacifists political party
    • Starts with: +10 Luck (up from 0), 10 Logistics (up from 5)
    • Starting techs changed to: HyperDrive, Industrial Revolution, Fusion Reactors, Traditional Research, A History of Benevolence, Stellar Cartography, Capitalism and Basic Space Construction.
    • Social Matrix is now a special project
    • Altarians gain a 20% bonus in Labs research
  • Arcean Empire
    • Now starts game as War Party political party
    • Starts with: +10 Economics, +10 Morale, +20 Military Production, +30 Ship HP (up from +20), +20 Soldiering (up from +10), +25 Courage, +20 Loyalty and 20 Logistics (up from 8).
    • Starting techs changed to: Glorious History, Fusion Reactors, HyperDrive, Industrial Revolution, Stellar Cartography, Traditional Research, Capitalism and Basic Space Construction.
    • Stellar Forge and Cathedral of Valor are now special projects
    • Arceans now gain a 20% bonus to Hull and Logistics research
    • Arceans now gain:
      • 15 HP from Superior Hulls (up from 10)
      • 20 HP from Master Hull Building (up from 15)
      • 15 HP from Reinforced Hull Design (up from 10)
      • 15 HP from Hardened Hull Design (up from 10)
  • Torian Confederation
    • Now starts as the Populists political party
    • Starts with: +30 Loyalty, 16 Logistics (up from 8)
    • Starting techs changed to: Torian History, Fusion Reactors, HyperDrive, Stellar Cartography, Inherited Technology, Capitalism and Basic Space Construction.
    • Can now research Advanced Aquatic World Colonization cheaper
    • Aquatic Transport Station is now a special project
    • Torians now suffer a 20% penalty to Hull research
    • Changed Advanced Computing requirement to University (from Scientific Method Implementation)
    • Changed Planetary Improvements and Enhanced Adaptation to require Basic Space Construction
    • Added Basic Space Construction with cost 75
    • Xeno Communications now requires Cultural Enlightenment
  • Yor Collective
    • Now starts game as the Industrialist political party
    • Starts with: -30 to Diplomacy and 12 Logistics (up from 6)
    • Maintenance Grid and Distributed Energy Matrix are now special projects
    • New invasion tactic: Terror Drones (Cost 250, 20% bonus to attack, 25% improvement damage)
    • Yor now can a 20% advantage in Labs research
  • Dominion of Korx
    • Now starts as the Mercantile political party
    • Starts with: +15 Economics, +10 Diplomacy and 12 Logistics (up from 6)
    • Starting techs changed to: A History of Mercantilism, HyperDrive, Stellar Cartography, Industrial Revolution, Fusion Reactors, Traditional Research, Capitalism and Basic Space Construction.
    • Festival of Capitalism, Mercenary Academy and Freighter Command are now special projects
    • Korx gain a 20% bonus to economic research
  • Drath Legion
    • Changed default alignment from 75 to 50
    • Now starts as the Populists political party
    • Starts with: +25 Espionage (up from 0) and 16 Logistics (up from 8)
    • Starting techs changed to: Way of the Drath, Industrial Revolution, Basic Space Construction, HyperDrive, Fusion Reactors, Traditional Research, Stellar Cartography and Capitalism.
    • Drath gain a 20% bonus to diplomatic research
  • Thalan Empire
    • Now starts as the Technologists political party
    • Starts with: -50 Population Growth (increased from -30), +40 Loyalty and 12 Logistics (up from 6)
    • Starting techs changed to: Fusion Reactors, HyperDrive, Stellar Cartography, New Propulsion, Artificial Gravity, Xeno Biology, Xeno Medicine, Xeno Engineering, Hyperion Packages, Temporal Mechanics and Interstellar Construction.
    • Gaia Vortex and Church of Valor are now special projects
    • New invasion tactic: Mechanized Warriors (Cost 250, 50%/90% min/max bonus to attack, 100% improvement damage)
    • Thalan suffer a 50% penalty to trade and diplomatic research
  • Iconian Refuge
    • Now starts as the Federalists political party
    • Starts with: +10 Morale (decreased from 20), +20 Research, 0 Espionage (decreased from 100), -5 Soldiering (decreased from 0) and 16 Logistics (up from 10)
    • Precursor Library is now a special project
    • Expert Engineering is now unlocked after Advanced Hulls
    • Soil Enhancement, Xeno Biology and Space Mining moved to the Enhanced Adaptation tree
    • Iconians gain a 20% bonus to terraforming research
  • Korath Clan
    • Now starts game as War Party political party
    • Starts with: -30 Diplomacy (decreased from 0), +10 HP (decreased from 20), +30 Soldiering (increased from 10) and 14 Logistics (increased from 7)
    • Starting techs changed to: Fusion Reactors, Ruthless History, HyperDrive, Stellar Cartography, Specialized Research, Traditional Slavery and Black Market.
    • Graft of Ages is now a special project
    • New invasion tactic added (version of Information Warfare)
    • Korath suffer a 50% penalty to trade techs and a 200% penalty to diplomacy research
  • Krynn Consulate
    • Now starts as the Universalists political party
    • Starts with: -15 Research (decreased from 0) and 12 Logistics (increased from 6)
    • Starting techs changed to: HyperDrive, Industrial Revolution, Basic Space Construction, Fusion Reactors, Traditional Research, The Path, Stellar Cartography, and Capitalism.
    • Super Spy Training Center, Temple of Espionage, and Oracle of Krynn are now special projects.
    • Krynn suffer a 20% penalty to labs research but gain a 20% bonus to government research
  • Minor Races
    • Changes to various minor races that play more into their background lore. Watch out for the Snathi!

Graphics

  • Updated race colors for Iconian Refuge and Krynn Consulate
  • Improved Rally Point indicator
  • Various UI tweaks

AI

  • Each race's AI has been tuned to better match their background lore and relative strengths
  • All AI opponents will now use the maximum amount of CPU possible
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