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  • Civilization 4: Gameplay Concepts Introduction

    Civilization 4: Gameplay Concepts Introduction

    The basic gameplay concept of Civilization IV is the same as that in all other Civ-like games: you take charge as the leader of a band of wandering people and set out to found an an empire of cities, armies and scientists with as goal to eventually rule the world. Compared to Civ3, Civilization IV will introduce some new concepts, such as Religion and Great People, change some existing ones, such as combat and technology, and leave others pretty much the same, such as diplomacy and Wonders. Civlization IV...

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  • Civilization 4: Overall Design

    Civilization 4: Overall Design

    Civilization IV is part of the Civilization franchise, and a franchise can usually only be successful if it makes conservatively changes between iterations. So Civ4 is not extremely different from Civ3 -- it will be a conservative sequel. According to Soren Johnson, a good rule of thumb for a franchise is "1/3 old, 1/3 improved, 1/3 new". He believes that the best way to improve on Civ3 is to choose a focus and really improve the game in only a single (or a few) area(s), rather than trying to change a little bit of everything. That doesn't mean that Civ4 will play the same as Civ3, while the essence of previous games has remained, many details have changed and the step from Civ3 to Civ4 is the biggest and most ambitious one the series has made to date.

    ...
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  • Civilization 4: Combat

    Civilization 4: Combat

    Barry Caudill, Civilization IV Senior Producer on Promotions In Civ III, unit promotions involved rising in level from green to veteran to elite and each level added a hit point and a small combat bonus. For Civ IV, we decided to build on this system and make promotions much more intricate and customizable by allowing players to choose from over 20 different bonus types (many with multiple levels, for a total of over 40 available promotions). The numbers and types of available bonuses differ per unit type and only land and sea military units can acquire them (air units are different). Here’s how it works: Units can gain experience points in several ways. Successful combat is the primary means (note: you get more points from attacking than you do from defending) and the units must be victorious in a unit-to-unit combat, therefore there are no XPs (experience points) from bombarding fortifications or if the opposing unit withdraws. Units can also gain experience from a Barracks (land units), a Drydock (sea units) or a goody hut. In addition, some wonders, civic choices, and leader traits can give units extra experience or even certain promotions. As you might expect, the first promotion comes rather quickly, while each subsequent promotion requires more XP. The promotions take on many different forms. Some are simple like Combat (5 levels), which gives progressive strength bonuses with some extra healing at the top levels, or City Raider/City Garrison which gives the unit bonuses only when attacking/defending a city. Others give bonuses against a certain type of unit. F...
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  • Civilization 4: Diplomacy and Espionage

    Civilization 4: Diplomacy and Espionage

    Diplomacy The final type of global activity that takes place in Civilization IV is diplomacy: as leader of your empire, you can sit down with the leaders of other empires and exchange technologies, trade resources or sign treaties. Diplomacy works pretty much the same as in Civ3: When you first encounter a civ, its leader is added to the list of known contacts (visible in the bottom-right of the screen). At this point you can always contact him/her for one of three actions: negotiate a new deal, declare war, or view (and renegotiate) existing deals [see image on the right]. When negotiating a new deal, or renegotiating an old one, you're taken to a negotation table [see image below]. There you can negotiate a composite deal that is as complex as you'd like: you can offer Gold for an Advance, a City for a World Map, two Resources and an Advance. You can exchange a Resource for an amount of Gold per turn, sign an Open Borders treaty so your Units can pass through each other's territory, demand a City lest you declare war, etc. You can ask a player to declare war wi...
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  • Civilization 4: Technology

    Civilization 4: Technology

    Besides sliders and Civics, research is another thing that happens on a global level in Civilization IV. All the Research Points, or Beakers, that every City collects are put together and used to research Advances. These Advances enable new options for the player, such as new Units, Buildings, Civics, Religions, etc and also open the way to new Advances. As such they move game forwards, from Stone Age to Space Age: the technology tree, which determines the relationships between the Advances and what new options each Advance enables, forms the backbone of the entire game. Once the whole tech tree has been researched, a player still has so-called Future Technologies to pursue: each of these gives a bonus to both Health and Happiness.

    ...
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  • Civilization 4: Civics & Global Policies

    Civilization 4: Civics & Global Policies

    Barry Caudill, Civilization IV Senior Producer on Civics Choosing your government has been an interesting part of playing Civilization since the original. In Civ IV, our team at Firaxis has really ramped up this feature and given players many more choices, which bring with them a whole new set of interesting decisions to make and strategies to employ. The new Civics system will allow players to customize their government to fit their current situation and style of play. In the game, when you first open the Civics page you will see 25 options divided into 5 categories. The categories are: government, legal, labor, economy, and religion. Initially, you will be limited to the lowest levels for each (making you a barbaric, decentralized despotism with tribal labor and practicing paganism), but you will unlock more of the choices based on your research. Changing to new Civic forms will have a dramatic effect on the character and success of your civilization. You’ll be able to boost or cut productivity, wealth, and happiness, make ch...
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  • Civilization 4: Terrain and Resources

    Civilization 4: Terrain and Resources

    Terrain

    A Worker working next to a Fresh Water lakeTerrain in Civilization IV works largely the same as in Civ3: every tile has a base (immutable) terrain type (Grassland, Plains, Desert, Tundra, Hills, Mountains, Ice, Coast, Ocean) and on top of that Jungle or Forest may exist. Rivers flow between tiles (and not through them, as in Civ2, SMAC and the CtP series) and give any bonuses they may give to all tiles that border on it (but they do not give movement bonuses as in aforementioned games). Attacking across a river gives the defender a bonus. Civilization IV also features single-tile fresh water lakes [see image]. Proximity to fresh water (lake or river) gives cities a Health bonus. Certain terrain types give a bonus to defense or offense (Forest, Jungle, Hills) though not as many as in Civ3 and as in all Civ-like games the speed of Unit movement is affected by terrain as well. Spread throughout the map are 31 different types of Resources (Civilization IV: Warlords will add a few more), from Wheat to Iron and from Incense to Whales -- these have a major impact on gameplay [see below]. How these Resources are distributed over the map has been improved compared to Civ3, it's more balanced this time.

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  • Civilization 4: Religion

    Civilization 4: Religion

    Barry Caudill, Civilization IV Senior Producer on Religion Religion has always played a critical part in human history. Through religion, man has sought to make sense of the universe around him and to determine his place in it. Religion has inspired, enlightened and ennobled man; in its name men have erected beautiful buildings, written books of great wisdom, and made music of surpassing beauty. In its name men have also murdered and enslaved their fellows. Given the importance of religion throughout history, it seemed fitting that we should try to address it in Civilization IV. Through our tests, it was determined that the optimal number of religions for gameplay purposes was seven (a number that seems to come up quite often when designing versions of Civilization). We then set about making a list of seven important and recognizable religions. After a lot of deliberation and more testing, we narrowed the list down to these: Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Taoism. If you are the first to discover the technology associated with a religion, the religion is founded in one of your cities. Religion can spread passively throughout your cities and even into neighboring cities belonging to your opponents. Establishing trade routes can help spread your religion faster and farther. Certain religious buildings can also help this passive spread but if you want to move the process along, you will want to create missionaries. Missionaries are units that you can move to another city (your own or an opponent’s) and attempt to directly convert that city to your religion. In addition, having cities that have converted to your state religion can give you monetary and happiness bonuses. You can also get some line of sight benefits, and provide yet another interesting decision in a game already filled with interesting decisions. A completely new feature in Civilization IV compared to previous Civ games is Religion. Religions spread through the world on their own, but of course there are ways in which players can influence this. Religions offer players a myriad of bonuses and tools to control their people. Note that different Religions don't have unique bonuses, they are all generic in ability. The game is about having Religions, it do...
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  • Civilization 4: Great People

    Civilization 4: Great People

    Barry Caudill, Civilization IV Senior Producer on Great People Throughout history, men and women have emerged to perform great deeds, thus having profound and lasting effects on the world around them. They are people whose genius, vision, and perseverance set them apart from the rest. The development team at Firaxis wanted to recognize the integral role these visionaries have played throughout history, so we added a new feature in Civilization IV called "Great People". There are five types of Great People in the game: Artists, Engineers, Merchants, Prophets, and Scientists. Each can have a profound impact on your Civilization, just as in real life. Great People are created at the city level, as each city can generate "great people points" based on conditions and structures in the city. You can affect the amount of people points generated in several ways. One very dramatic way is through the creation of a great wonder. For instance, building the Pyramids will make it more likely the city will generate a Great Engineer, while building Stonehenge will make the city more likely to generate a Great Prophet. You can also generate more great people points by taking city population away from working the land and turning them into specialists. Certain Civics choices can work to make your specialists more productive and that can also have a positive effect on your great people point production. All Great People share certain common abilities that differ somewhat based on the type of great person. All can be used to immediately research a new technology with the type of technology determined by the great person – Prophets would give you a religion technology like Priesthood, Artists may give you a technology like Literature, and Merchants would perhaps give Banking. All Great People can also settle in a city for a period of time and give a constant boost to that city’s production, based on their type. Finally, all Great People can be used to trigger extra golden ages for your Civilization, with each subsequent golden age requiring more Great People. Each use of a great person consumes that unit and it is removed from the game. In addition to their common abilities, all Great People can also do one "really big thing," for lack of a better term. Each Great Person type has a specific ability and their effects can make an indelible impact on the game. Great Artists can make a great work of art that automatically gives that city a huge culture boost. Great Engineers can "hurry" the production in a city, giving you the ability to build a Great Wonder in one turn perhaps. Great Merchants can conduct a trade mission to a far away city and give you a quick and sizeable boost to your treasury. Great Prophets can create a religious shrine, but only in the city in which the religion was founded. Finally, Great Scientists can construct an Academy, a building which boosts a city’s scientific research and culture. When Great People show up in the game, they are represented by a unit that is only visible to the player. For all but one (Great Prophet), there will be an ancient and a modern representation of the unit. To add flavor, each Great Person will be named after a great person of that type from history. So you may find yourself with the likes of: Shakespeare, Nichola Tesla, Leonardo da Vinci, Marco Polo, Marie Cur...
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  • Civilization 4: Culture

    Civilization 4: Culture

    Besides Food, Production and Gold, your Cities can collect something else: Culture. Culture in Civilization IV is generated somewhat differently than in the game's predecessor: the Culture tax slider and the number of Artists in a City determine the base amount of Culture that it generates. Some Wonders add to it as well, but some other Buildings, Wonders (e.g. National Epic) and Civics (e.g. Nationhood) act as multipliers for this base value. Great People can also boost the culture value of a City. Culture has three main effects on gameplay. The most straightforward is that it helps you to accomplish a Cultural Victory: if you manage to get three Cities over 100,000 Culture, you win the game.

    Cultural borders right up to the gates of AgadeAnother advantage that comes with Culture is Borders. Without Culture, the Borders of your empire extend only one tile around each City. But when the Culture value of a City reaches a certain threshold, the Borders expand. When they reach the next threshold, they expand again. Rinse and repeat, eventually connecting all your Cities into one large empire. This has a number of advantages: it allows your Units to move freely and it blocks all enemy Units (including Settlers and Missionaries) from moving near your Cities (unless they declare war or sign an Open Borders treaty) or at least slows them down (when at war). When used near chokepoints, this can be used to cut opponents off from entire subcontinents. Resources also need to fall inside your borders in order for you to be able to claim them, as do the tiles that a City can work.

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  • Civilization 4: Gameplay Concepts Introduction
    Martin Gühmann

    The basic gameplay concept of Civilization IV is the same as that in all other Civ-like games: you take charge as the leader of a band of wandering people and set out to found an an empire of cities, armies and scientists with as goal to eventually rule the world. Compared to Civ3, Civilization IV will introduce some new concepts, such as Religion and Great People, change some existing ones, such as combat and technology, and leave others pretty much the same, such as diplomacy and Wonders. Civlization IV...

    August 9, 2012, 15:54
  • Civilization 4: Overall Design
    Martin Gühmann

    Civilization IV is part of the Civilization franchise, and a franchise can usually only be successful if it makes conservatively changes between iterations. So Civ4 is not extremely different from Civ3 -- it will be a conservative sequel. According to Soren Johnson, a good rule of thumb for a franchise is "1/3 old, 1/3 improved, 1/3 new". He believes that the best way to improve on Civ3 is to choose a focus and really improve the game in only a single (or a few) area(s), rather than trying to change a little bit of everything. That doesn't mean that Civ4 will play the same as Civ3, while the essence of previous games has remained, many details have changed and the step from Civ3 to Civ4 is the biggest and most ambitious one the series has made to date.

    ...
    August 9, 2012, 15:51
  • Civilization 4: Combat
    Martin Gühmann
    Barry Caudill, Civilization IV Senior Producer on Promotions In Civ III, unit promotions involved rising in level from green to veteran to elite and each level added a hit point and a small combat bonus. For Civ IV, we decided to build on this system and make promotions much more intricate and customizable by allowing players to choose from over 20 different bonus types (many with multiple levels, for a total of over 40 available promotions). The numbers and types of available bonuses differ per unit type and only land and sea military units can acquire them (air units are different). Here’s how it works: Units can gain experience points in several ways. Successful combat is the primary means (note: you get more points from attacking than you do from defending) and the units must be victorious in a unit-to-unit combat, therefore there are no XPs (experience points) from bombarding fortifications or if the opposing unit withdraws. Units can also gain experience from a Barracks (land units), a Drydock (sea units) or a goody hut. In addition, some wonders, civic choices, and leader traits can give units extra experience or even certain promotions. As you might expect, the first promotion comes rather quickly, while each subsequent promotion requires more XP. The promotions take on many different forms. Some are simple like Combat (5 levels), which gives progressive strength bonuses with some extra healing at the top levels, or City Raider/City Garrison which gives the unit bonuses only when attacking/defending a city. Others give bonuses against a certain type of unit. F...
    August 9, 2012, 15:49
  • Civilization 4: Diplomacy and Espionage
    Martin Gühmann
    Diplomacy The final type of global activity that takes place in Civilization IV is diplomacy: as leader of your empire, you can sit down with the leaders of other empires and exchange technologies, trade resources or sign treaties. Diplomacy works pretty much the same as in Civ3: When you first encounter a civ, its leader is added to the list of known contacts (visible in the bottom-right of the screen). At this point you can always contact him/her for one of three actions: negotiate a new deal, declare war, or view (and renegotiate) existing deals [see image on the right]. When negotiating a new deal, or renegotiating an old one, you're taken to a negotation table [see image below]. There you can negotiate a composite deal that is as complex as you'd like: you can offer Gold for an Advance, a City for a World Map, two Resources and an Advance. You can exchange a Resource for an amount of Gold per turn, sign an Open Borders treaty so your Units can pass through each other's territory, demand a City lest you declare war, etc. You can ask a player to declare war wi...
    August 9, 2012, 15:48
  • Civilization 4: Technology
    Martin Gühmann

    Besides sliders and Civics, research is another thing that happens on a global level in Civilization IV. All the Research Points, or Beakers, that every City collects are put together and used to research Advances. These Advances enable new options for the player, such as new Units, Buildings, Civics, Religions, etc and also open the way to new Advances. As such they move game forwards, from Stone Age to Space Age: the technology tree, which determines the relationships between the Advances and what new options each Advance enables, forms the backbone of the entire game. Once the whole tech tree has been researched, a player still has so-called Future Technologies to pursue: each of these gives a bonus to both Health and Happiness.

    ...
    August 9, 2012, 15:46
  • Civilization 4: Civics & Global Policies
    Martin Gühmann
    Barry Caudill, Civilization IV Senior Producer on Civics Choosing your government has been an interesting part of playing Civilization since the original. In Civ IV, our team at Firaxis has really ramped up this feature and given players many more choices, which bring with them a whole new set of interesting decisions to make and strategies to employ. The new Civics system will allow players to customize their government to fit their current situation and style of play. In the game, when you first open the Civics page you will see 25 options divided into 5 categories. The categories are: government, legal, labor, economy, and religion. Initially, you will be limited to the lowest levels for each (making you a barbaric, decentralized despotism with tribal labor and practicing paganism), but you will unlock more of the choices based on your research. Changing to new Civic forms will have a dramatic effect on the character and success of your civilization. You’ll be able to boost or cut productivity, wealth, and happiness, make ch...
    August 9, 2012, 15:44
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