Civilization VI has only been out for a few months, but 2K has already released a comprehensive update that, among other things, includes some substantial AI tuning. Although the patch notes don’t discuss much in detail, it’s worth taking a closer look at the updates to get a feeling for how the game is growing and improving. Civilization games of the past, particularly IV and V, grew significantly through their various expansions, and this first major update shows that Civilization VI will probably follow the same path.
The first note states that the update offers “improved AI deal negotiations and analysis.” If you’ve played any Civilization VI yet, you’ve probably had some wonky interactions with the AI leaders. My personal favorite experience so far involved being denounced for warmonger penalties, then praised for being a warmonger, then denounced for both not having a powerful navy and being denounced for trying to reduce my warmonger status. I was denounced by every AI leader by turn 150! In addition to those strange interactions, it’s clear from personal experiences and from a look through the steam reviews page that it’s difficult to ever negotiate with the AI. Hopefully this change will fix a lot of these issues.
Although the aim of the hexagonal tile system in Civilization VI is designed to provide more tactical variation, the AI almost never seem to take advantage of it. One of the changes in the patch notes, “improved tactical handling of Great Admirals and Great Generals”, looks like a step in the right direction. Playing against an AI that intelligently uses their units would make the game far deeper and more challenging.
Similarly, the winter update patch notes state that the AI now grabs resources more intelligently in the late game. Many players notice that AI stop collecting resources and even stop producing many units in the late phases of the game, so hopefully this change will make the end game far more dynamic.
Many of the other patch notes are more subtle and may or may not have a massive effect on the game as a whole, but as Civ games run long and tend to be varied, it will take some time before the results of this patch truly show themselves. Civilization VI is young and will continue to grow, but what are your experiences with the new patch?
The patch notes can be viewed in full here.