Dropping 32bit support was a huge change for Galactic Civilizations. On the one hand we know that it means that there is a percentage of potential customers that won't be able to play the game. On the other, we are able to do things we could never do before, such as play a game with 100 players, which is exactly what I did this week. The following is the results.
*** Disclaimer ***
The following if from a super early version of the Beta 2 build. You will see some bugs and partially added features. The most noticeable bug is that the font text looks a little wonky and isn't showing special characters. This is because we are rewriting the font code, some players had issues using DirectWrite (the old solution), and performance was pretty bad. The new font code fixes all of that, but you will see missing character and font alignment issues in the following screenshots.
*** Disclaimer #2 ***
I am a modder and I did this as a mod which required 3 new xml files. One to add all the new factions, one to add names for the factions and one to add new colors for the factions. I didn't go as far as giving the factions all unique planet names, icons, etc. Which would have been cool, but this is really just to put the engine to the test.
Marches are a new type of subject that can be created from existing vassals. By designating your vassal as a March, you are giving that vassal greatly expanded autonomy in exchange for greater military service. A March does not pay taxes to its Overlord and cannot be diplomatically annexed. However, they get a 25% bonus to manpower, a 30% bonus to force limits and have 20% better fort defense, making them useful as military buffers against enemy states, or when you simply need additional soldiers more than you need the income from those territories. March status can be retracted, but doing so results in a stability hit and a very large opinion penalty with the vassal whose autonomy you just revoked.
Unrest & Rebels
The old system of revolt risk, with a chance of rebels spawning in a province by random chance every month has gone the way of the dodo. It was a system that has served us well through many versions of Europa Universalis, but we think we have something better.
The new concept reflecting unhappy subjects is called unrest. Unrest in a province will affect how quickly regiments and ships can be recruited there, but it has no direct impact on your economy, since we've introduced Local Autonomy to cover that side of the ledger.
Every province is aligned with one possible rebel faction. Each month, every province has a chance (depending on its unrest level) to see an increase in the progress of an uprising from the local rebels. When the progress reaches 100%, the faction rises up in revolt with as many stacks it has support for, and the unrest is reduced in those provinces - they have expressed their anger through arms and it's up to you to put them down.
Because unrest can happen anywhere, building courthouses and employing theologians is now a good strategy to reduce general unrest, not to mention adopting a few policies to placate the masses. The old tyrannical standby of Harsh Treatment now targets rebel factions instead of provinces and reduces the progress towards an uprising from that faction at a cost in MIL points, scaled to the size of this particular rebel faction. This change means we should get less micromanagement and more direct control of popular satisfaction in the hands of the player.
There is also no longer a distinction between accepted and enforced demands from successful rebellions. A rebel faction's demands are always the same.
In a more positive change, any Rebels that are friendly to you, either through culture or support will lift Fog of War for you.
It also goes into detail about how they're going to improve certain regions of the world. In this case, Caucasus, Persia, and Afghanistan. These all have new provinces and new nations, both starting and emergent.
Clockwork Empires is now in Earliest Access, which is basically just buying access for the game a month before it hits Steam Early Access. For Earliest Access you pay $29.99 and you will receive a Steam key for use on Early Access.
Firaxis' Civilization: Beyond Earth's product page has been updated with a release date: October 24th.
In case you've forgot what it's all about, Beyond Earth will be a standalone Civilization game set in space. Kind of like Alpha Centauri, I assume and hope.
Sid Meier's Civilization®: Beyond Earth™ is a new science-fiction-themed entry into the award-winning Civilization series. Set in the future, global events have destabilized the world leading to a collapse of modern society, a new world order and an uncertain future for humanity. As the human race struggles to recover, the re-developed nations focus their resources on deep space travel to chart a new beginning for mankind.
As part of an expedition sent to find a home beyond Earth, you will write the next chapter for humanity as you lead your people into a new frontier and create a new civilization in space. Explore and colonize an alien planet, research new technologies, amass mighty armies, build incredible Wonders and shape the face of your new world. As you embark on your journey you must make critical decisions. From your choice of sponsor and the make-up of your colony, to the ultimate path you choose for your civilization, every decision opens up new possibilities.
"Return of the Messari features a brand new alien faction that will play a main role in the later stage of the game. This ancient civilization that disappeared from the Pandora planet ages ago, comes back to its birthplace to recover its property. Therefore not only the players will have to fight their way to survive on the hostile Pandora’s environment but also deal with another aggressive enemy who comes with powerful units like gigantic mechs and motherships."
"The Messari will target the stronger factions as a priority which will probably confuse the issue and change the balance of power on Pandora. As a result the players will have to take into account this new gameplay element to take advantage from this fearsome alien invasion."
Anyone who pre-purchases Pandora on Steam will receive the expansion for free. Matrix Games will also be releasing Steam keys to everyone who bought any previous version of the game.
"We are thrilled to finally give Stronghold players a release date for the game. Fans of the Crusader series have high hopes for Crusader 2 and although many want to get their hands on a copy as soon as possible, it was never our intent to rush the development process. Since the beginning of the project we have maintained that Crusader 2 will pop its head above the parapet only when we are happy that it is truly ready for battle," said Bradbury.
"Well now we think it is almost there, we are about to go into final testing and have recently been confident enough to demo our baby at public events such as EGX London, Rezzed and PAX East. We will have a sequel worthy of the Crusader name come September 2nd.”
The Mars RTS by Soren Johnson has been finally officially announced. Offworld Trading Company is now available for pre-order, with two ordering options on their site, a normal copy for $34.99 (5 dollars off the release price) and the Founder's Elite Edition which will allow you access to prototypes, even before Steam Early Access; and you'll have access to private feedback forums.
The first prototype should be released this Fall, but the actual game's release date is undetermined.
Paradox has released two developer diaries for Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations, one in text and the other in video form. Both talk about some of the new features.
For example, Policies are going to be introduced as a free feature for everyone, which are special, permanent Decisions that can only be activated if you max out two specific idea groups.
For example the Weapon Quality Standards, that gives 5% discipline, requires Economic and Quality ideas and cost Adm points while the Anti Smuggler Act, that gives +10% Trade Efficiency, costs Mil points and requires Offensive and Trade Ideas.
Along with that, there will be modifications to existing Idea Groups, some balancing modifications, and you have the ability to form Courland now, sweet.