A new Civilization 5 expansion: a wishlist

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Civ5+WashingtonIf you’re a big fan of the Civilization franchise of games, you’ve probably seen the news that a new expansion pack for Civilization V, tentatively titled One World, is possibly on the way.  If this turns out to be true, fans will soon be treated to a whole new batch of fresh content for the award-winning strategy game.  But what features will this new expansion have?  With nothing coming out of the tight-lipped team at Fireaxis, I decided to come up with a wishlist of features I’d personally love to see added to the game.

Better Diplomacy
Topping my list of hoped-for features in One World is a more detailed, dynamic, enhanced, and all-around better diplomacy system.  As it stands, diplomacy in Civ5 is pretty dull and uninspired.  The game offers few indications as to what your standing with foreign leaders is, burying what little information they do offer in a sub-menu that’s far too out-of-the-way for such a critical element of gameplay.  This is probably because diplomacy in Civ5 is dry, basic, and genuinely lackluster.  I’d love to see One World introduce a plethora of new diplomatic features; colonialism, the vassal system from Civ4, United Nations voting with more options and usefulness (think of all the stuff the UN does!), tons of new dialog options, an intricate loan system between friends/ allies, stronger terms of surrender than simple trade arrangements, embargoes, sanctions, humanitarian aid, military allegiances akin to NATO… there’s so much that can be done with diplomacy, and it would be a shame not to improve on it at least a bit.

Better Trade
Players should be able to trade every resource, including fish, wheat… even food in general, a handy resource to sell when your civ has an abundance, or sell when your people are starving.  Trade prices shouldn’t be based on friendship, either, but dynamically fluctuate with global events.

A Custom Civilization
Civ5_ScreenMy three favorite units in the game are the Roman Legion, the Japanese Samurai, and the American Minuteman.  In fact, I almost always play as one of those three nations, purely because I love those units (and Japan has a pretty fantastic soundtrack, too).  I’d love to see a new “civ customizer” feature, which lets you pick any combination of three units and/ or buildings from other civs, then pick your own civ perks/ bonuses.  You could name your civ, create original city names through a simple dialog, design your own custom flag, pick music from other civs, and there you go, a custom civ!  How no one has made a mod like this is well beyond me, actually.  The game could even let you save multiple custom civs, and feature a randomizer, giving you a seemingly endless array of new civs to play with.

New “Continuous” Mode
The Civ community was stunned when a Reddit poster shared how he played one game of Civ2 for ten years.  Don’t lie… after you first heard about it, you wanted to try it, am I right?  But Civ5 is anti-conductive to this sort of gameplay.  You either wipe out all of your enemies and find yourself waiting around for them to catch up to the point where a game like this would be possible, or you’re blown to shreds by your enemies too quickly for this to work.  But through the addition of a dynamic AI system that fluctuates with the player, and with several new features added to diplomacy, the economy, etc., it could be possible to create a continuous game mode, designed to stay interesting and with fresh challenges through the year 5000 AD.  A domination wouldn’t end the game early, though, because the game could present new challenges, like civil wars, militant uprisings, alien invasions, and more.  Speaking of civil wars…

Politics & Civil Wars
I never understood why politics weren’t more of an important element in the Civ franchise.  I get that you’re an immortal world leader, but why not have a number of political parties that you need to keep appeased, and if one or more of those parties get too angry, your nation is faced with a factional civil war as leaders of those parties oppose your rule?  Those party leaders may even create new city states, or whole new nations, when you buckle and make peace.  Of course, when you keep the leaders happy, they offer perks and buffs to your capital, your military, production, etc.

Gods & Kings introduced a brilliant idea for upgrading pre-industrial ranged units… almost.  They stripped down the units’ range, making them into machineguns.  That’s all well and good, but when you have a powerful archer unit that you’ve built up with extended range, it really, truly sucks to upgrade that unit and see their range drastically reduced as a result.  These units should be snipers instead, and keep their range.

it really sucks to circle the globe in your caravel, only to be stopped by a few tiny hexes of ice.  An icebreaker unit could be introduced later in the game, with the ability to park on ice and dissolve it after some reasonable number of turns.

This one pretty much speaks for itself: terror cells can infest themselves in your cities, causing all sorts of carnage.  You can assign spies to fighting terrorism, directing them to roam from city to city seeking out cells and destroying them.  Your government might even strike deals with terror cells, selling them weapons or granting them safehavens, with bonuses for doing so (but tremendous pressure from foreign nations to cut it out).

Natural Disasters
Tornadoes, floods, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, eathquakes, blizzards/ nor’easters, tsunamis… mother nature has played a pretty significant role in shaping our planet’s history.  natural disasters should occasionally spring up in random locations around the world, presenting the player with new challenges.  When it’s you whose affected, other nations can send you aid… or strike while the iron is hot.  When it’s them, you get to decide how to react to the disaster, sending aid, not sending aid, hitting them while they’re weak, etc.

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