Greetings! So we have been working on GalCiv IV 2.2 which we are tentatively calling Ethnologies. What’s an ethnology? It’s a branch of anthropology that focuses on the uniqueness of different peoples or even species. And thanks to the overwhelming support we’ve received on the Expansion Pass for GalCiv IV we were able to bring on more people to work on 2.2 and the results, we think, will make players pretty happy.
One criticism of GalCiv has always been that the different races in the game aren’t distinct enough. Nothing shows just how ridiculous that is than the fact that whether you’re playing the humans or a race of sentient trees, you start out building a factory or a mainframe.
Let’s recap. Previously, when you started a game you would almost certainly get the same starting improvements as the Terran Alliance.
Specifically, the Terran Alliance got these two starting improvements.
For the Ethnologies (v2.2) we went back and gave most of the main canon civilizations their own starting improvements that go along with their civilization much better. More importantly, we tied these to their starting abilities and not the specific race. Therefore, your custom faction will be able to mix, match and probably create some interesting combinations.
For this article, we’re going to go through some of the civilizations and the starting improvements they get that replace the Capital Mainframe and Industrial Center.
These guys are the most similar to the Terran Alliance so we tried to give them something similar but also more in line with the characteristics of a civilization that had to set up a home world with some haste.
One recurring theme in these improvements will be that many of them will focus on boosting the stats of the citizens. This is partially because we want some races to prosper if they don’t colony rush. I’m pretty against the idea that colony rushing in a 4X game should be universally punished. Instead, we’d like to give players more tools to play how they want.
Similarly, the communications array makes the intelligence of the population higher and, as a result, makes the planet really do well if they are choosing to slow the colony rush.
The Navigators are a mysterious race that has been forbidden from interacting with other civilizations to any significant degree. But they are pretty amazing at interstellar travel.
Another recurring theme you will see is that many of the new improvements work by spawning destructible (usually) mini improvements on tiles. Many times they’ll also spawn more tiles as well. These mini improvements aren’t particular powerful but by getting them instantly the player gets a big early boost and can still transition to something more later.
The cute fluffy Mimots win by out reproducing everyone. Now they will get some interesting improvements that lend themselves to that strategy and tries to make up for the fact that they’re…well pretty dumb.
The beautiful space criminals have one of the most powerful but more challenging improvements to use.
The Enforcer Den, when built, gives a new attribute to the population called Enforcer. It only does it to the population on the planet at the time it is completed. Enforcers citizens get huge bonuses and can be kept on world or sent to other worlds to beef up those planets.
The Enforcer Den itself is still pretty decent and gives control based on the amount of time on the planet.
This improvement is tricky too. That’s because it starts out wimpy and gets better over time. The amount of research it brings in grows as there is more tech out there to steal.
The Arceans are fairly conventional but like the Resistance, they get some improvements that buff their citizens.
Unlike improvements that give a % boost to the citizen stats, the Neural Link provides a raw amount of intelligence and social skills to the citizens.
The Altarians, being an ancient race, get access to Precursor tech.
We had a lot of fun with the robotic Yor. We felt that the synthetic species should be pretty distinct from the fleshlings out there.
The Durantium scanner helps the Yor in particular. That’s because Synthetic civs need Durantium to build more of themselves. Upon building this two interesting things happen:
First, the sensor range of the planet grows a lot. Look at that per level boost.
Second, these destructible Durantium deposits get spawned. They provide some production and of course Durantium.
Next, they get a Precursor Relic scanner. This has the effect of discovering up to 3 Precursor relics on the planet:
These relics can do different things. In this case, one does influence and another research and the other manufacturing. They can be destroyed to make room later.
For the Torians, they have a really pretty water world. To that end we decided to take a different approach.
The Drath are pretty similar to the Altarians actually but they also get an Arms Expo which helps get them well liked early on (and rich).
The galactic capitalists and entrepreneurs of the Centauron quadrant of the milky way galaxy take the view that no one should invade their planets because they’ll be utterly ruined by the time they’re done with them anyway.
Upon building the Central Mine, a bunch of Mining operations are spawned along with some new tiles. Unlike other mini improvements, these are indestructible, and they pollute. Luckily, the Iridians don’t care about pollution.
But if you’re playing a custom race that happens to care about pollution, we give you this rather expensive Air Purifier.
And no entrepreneur would be complete with a patent office.
No civ made us feel more ashamed of ourselves than the Baratak. Here’s a race of tree people. Now go build a factory.
The Baratak will continue to get more love but in the meantime, they don’t even get a capital city. Instead, they get the Father Tree.
These roots help boost the planet’s research by a great deal.
A close second in the “Shame on Stardock!” camp are the Crystaline Luxar. Ooh, a beautiful crystal species. Go build a factory.
Now, they start with no capital either (no building). Instead, they deal with crystals.
It should be noted that a lot of their buildings get distributed across the tech tree.
The Korath aren’t PG villains. The Drengin are your pretty standard PG villains. The Korath are monsters.
The first DLC, Tales of Centauron, adds a Korath campaign mission and you get a good idea what a species that truly sees the rest of us as vermin would do.
The ruined Torians can be sent out. But because they’ve been castrated, they won’t really reproduce. So keep that mind. On the bright side, they are always “happy”.
We hope that these changes will make games feel a lot more unique. Of course, 2.2 also adds a bunch of unique events as well (and the DLC contains a lot more).
Let us know in the comments what you think!