Here’s what’s new in Civilization VI: Gathering Storm

Last week, Firaxis announced the second expansion for Civilization VI, called Gathering Storm. The cinematic trailer can be viewed below:

Coming February 14, Firaxis has called Gathering Storm “the largest expansion ever developed for the series”. Here are some features being added in the expansion.

What to expect for Civilization VI: Gathering Storm

Mother Nature strikes back!

Gathering Storm’s primary gameplay addition is the fleshed out environmental system. Natural disasters are now a possible threat to your civilization, as your cities will now be plagued by floods, volcanos, earthquakes, and more.

Firaxis has acknowledged that random events that punish the player can be frustrating, so natural disasters in Civ 6 are only somewhat random. Disasters occur within a timer, and as that timer approaches its end, the disaster is more and more likely to occur, giving the player time to prepare with special buildings such as dams. In addition to dams, players gain other new ways to shape their environment, including bridges, tunnels, railways, and after years of fan requests, canals.

Once the world reaches the Industrial Era and coal factories choke the skies with smog, the player will have to start worrying about climate change. Climate change has a variety of negative effects on the world, including a rising sea level that swallows up land, desertification, and increased chances of natural disasters. Coal is an early and powerful source of power (a new mechanic that provides powerful industrial benefits to cities), but produces a lot of pollution that leads to climate change. Players can choose to revamp their cities with cleaner, renewable sources of energy such as solar power in order to save the environment.

Devious players can even purposefully cause the world to heat up in order to cause rival civilizations’ coastal cities to sink into the sea. Such catastrophic natural disasters quickly become emergencies, forcing players to work together and make compromises. Speaking of which…

Politicians rejoice: the World Congress is back

For those who like to destroy their oppenents through cunning alliances and petty politics rather than war, the World Congress and diplomatic victory is finally back.

Many of the same features from Civ V return, like banning luxuries and hosting the International Games, but the politics themselves play out quite differently. Instead of bribing city states and building special wonders to win over the World Congress, players must now obtain a new resource called favor. Players can gain favor by adhering to promises they made to others, giving it in trades, or by staying the suzerain of a city-state.

Players will be forced to acknowledge other civilizations, either by going to war with them or allying themselves with them, as emergencies pop up. Emergencies, retained from the previous expansion Rise and Fall, are now tied into the World Congress, triggering when a variety of manmade or natural disasters happen.

Instead of having one massive vote for world leader every so often, the game now has more frequent smaller “favor checks”. If a player passes a certain threshold of favor, they are crowned world leader.

Sid Meier's Civilization VI Download and Conquer

The Future is Now

To highlight the expansion’s theme of climate change, Firaxis is adding the new Future era to the late-game. The Future era reaches past the game’s current limit and reaches to at least 2050, bringing with it additional tech. New techs seen include carbon dioxide recapture, which can be used to try and salvage the environment, and sea cities, which can be used to relocate a scattered population.

An interesting part of the Future tech tree is that it is randomized, giving a different experience for every playthrough. This was done because of current uncertainty as to what path technology will follow. Science and culture victories have also been rebalanced around the expanded timeline, and new experimental and hypothetical government types (which Firaxis have not revealed) are being added, too.

Are you hyped for this expansion? What’s your favorite feature? Let us know!


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