Details about Rising Tide, the first expansion for Civilization: Beyond Earth, are slowly trickling out of the developers at Firaxis, with the latest video showing off a new environment, factions, and a focus on the political aspects of the game.
New Places, New People
Whereas the game's previous teaser video presented the Primordial volcanic biome, the opposite end of the spectrum has been revealed, showing off another barren, yet freezing tundra biome. The cold landscape doesn't offer much in terms of resources, but if players can overcome the odds and build a thriving empire, they will be able to find vast artifacts and other rewards.
In keeping with the game's story of civilization leaving Earth's uninhabitable environment due to The Great Mistake, the new factions are the latest arrivals to these alien worlds, and as such are already used to life on the high seas (because of Earth's rising tides).
These include the North Sea Alliance, led by the Scotsman Duncan Hughes, which arrives with colony ships that can establish settlements on either land or sea. Another faction, the German-based political party INTEGR, led by Lena Ebner, focuses on sustainability and the diversity of resources to survive. Her people focus more on the necessary resources at hand, rather than living the extravagant lifestyle that led to the demise of their home world.
The Negotiation Table
War is usually unavoidable in any game of Civilization, but that doesn't mean there's no additional room for politics. The latter half of the latest teaser focused on the diplomatic side, displaying new improvements when dealing with internal affairs or meeting with the other superpower on your planet.
Traits can now be chosen for your leader that will suit your playstyle. If you want to win by force and need heavy production, your leader can have the Ambitious trait, increasing the production speed of units. If impressing others with Culture is a better route, a leader can have the Enlightened trait, which adds a boost of Culture points with each structure. Additionally, traits can also be provided to your economy, infrastructure and military, giving each part a potential boost against other nations in the area.
Agreements are now part of negotiations, allowing nations to provide their services in exchange for another civilization's services or resources, which would otherwise be unavailable. If you so happen to be the top dog amongst your peers, that can be used against other leaders during deals, as they have a growing Fear of your power. With Fear, you have an easier time getting the most out of trades and other Agreements. However, abusing that power can lead to other nations conspiring against you, potentially leading to all-out war.
On the other hand, that same power can be used to create Respect. Negotiating terms that play into the other leaders' traits won't be rewarding in the short term, but it can lead to a more friendly relationship down the road, opening the way for better trade negotiations.
Not Over Yet
Many players still haven't made the jump from Civilization V to Beyond Earth, and so Firaxis made the game free-to-play on Steam starting on August 13 at 1 pm EDT and ending at 1 pm EDT on Monday, August 17.
There's more to learn from the latest expansion of Civilization: Beyond Earth, with another video on the way soon. For now, you can test drive the game before buying it this weekend and see if it's attractive enough to warrant a purchase of Rising Tide when it comes out October 9.
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Many players made the jump, then jumped back to Civilization V.
As a newer player I have to tell you that Civ V is so much easier to pick up and learn, although I can see it lacks the depth that IV has.
It was one of the biggest improvements civ V brought imo.