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Firaxis announces Civilization VI: Gathering Storm, largest ever expansion by the studio

Following a 24 hour mysterious livestream by Firaxis Games that showed a cityscape under blue skies turning to tornadoes and lightning storms, Sid Meier himself appeared on stream to announce the latest expansion heading to Civilization VI, Gathering Storm.

The expansion will be the studio's biggest endeavor ever made for a Civilization game, and the massive number of incoming features that are currently announced does make that clear.

Environmental effects such as climate change that's caused by players, as well as volcanoes, storms, floods, and droughts that can actually affect tiles and cities around them are incoming. For example, cutting down too many tree tiles can lead to a drought. Players will be able to build new special improvements to negate these effects as well.

There is also a new era in the expansion that deepens the Technology and Civics trees to have futuristic technologies that help with rising seas and carbon dioxide levels.

Most fans will be ecstatic to know that World Congress is coming back with the expansion, hand in hand with the new Diplomatic Victory type. The annoying Warmonger score has been changed up as well, where counter-attacking an enemy civilization won't make other leaders look at you that badly.

Eight new civilizations and nine new leaders are also a part of the expansion, but we didn't get any name drops today. A massive blog post by the developer explaining various details on the expansion can be found here. Here's a summary of all of the new features and changes incoming with the expansion:

  • ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS: Volcanoes, storms (blizzards, sand storms, tornados, hurricanes), climate change, floods, and droughts.
  • POWER AND CONSUMABLE RESOURCES: Strategic resources play an additional role in Gathering Storm. These resources are now consumed in power plants to generate electricity for your cities. Initially you’ll be powering your most advanced buildings by burning carbon-based resources like Coal and Oil, but renewable energy sources also unlock as you progress to current-day technologies. Your choices about resource usage will directly affect the world’s temperature and can cause melting ice caps and rising sea levels.
  • ENGINEERING PROJECTS: Shape the world around your empire to overcome unfavorable land conditions by making improvements like canals, dams, tunnels and railroads. When settling cities, consider the flood risk to coastal lowland areas, but keep in mind that in the late-game, new technologies like Flood Barriers can be used to protect these tiles.
  • WORLD CONGRESS: Make your voice heard among the other leaders of the world. Earn Diplomatic Favor through Alliances, influencing city-states, competing in World Games, and more. Use Diplomatic Favor to extract promises from other leaders, vote on Resolutions, call a Special Session to address an emergency, and increase the weight of your votes in your quest to achieve the new Diplomatic Victory.
  • 21st CENTURY TECHNOLOGIES & CIVICS: A new era has been added to the Technology and Civics trees. Combat new environmental effects with speculative ideas such as relocating your population out to seasteads and developing technologies to recapture carbon emissions.
  • NEW LEADERS AND CIVS: Nine new leaders from eight new civilizations are introduced. Each brings unique bonuses and gameplay, as well as a total of nine unique units, four unique buildings, three unique improvements, two unique districts and one unique governor.
    • The Black Death
    • War Machine
    • The Black Death
  • War Machine: At the outset of WWI, the German Imperial Army had a daring plan: invade neutral Belgium and then rush the French heartland before they could mobilize to resist. If successful, the German forces would capture Paris within a month and end their resistance forever. In counter, the French command prepared Plan 17, an all-out onslaught designed to meet and stop a German offensive. When war was declared, both armies swung into motion and set up one of the most incredible and shocking military campaigns in world history. In this scenario, players take the side of one of these two great powers at this same precipice. As Germany, your task is to capture Paris. As France, your task is to prevent its capture. The clock is ticking, and the enemy is moving. Advance!
  • MORE NEW CONTENT: Seven new world wonders, seven natural wonders, 18 new units, 15 new improvements, 9 new buildings, 5 new districts, 2 new city sets, 9 new techs and 10 new civics have been added.
  • IMPROVED GAMEPLAY SYSTEMS: The Espionage system has been enhanced with new options, the Culture and Science Victories have been updated, new Historic Moments have been added, and additional improvements have been made to other existing systems.

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm will be landing on February 14, 2019, almost exactly a year after Rise and Fall's release.

For now, Gathering Storm is only announced for the PC version of Civilization VI. While the expansion could also be heading to iOS and the new Nintendo Switch version, it might take a while, considering they are yet to receive even the first expansion.

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