The long awaited CivCraft 18 update is on it’s way and will be ready (hopefully) this weekend. There is a small chance it may be delayed until next week pending balancing changes.
So what’s in the update? Glad you asked! So much!
Features have been kind of slow to come out the last couple of months. The reason for this is that this particular group of features, IMHO, need to be released together for the best effect. Adding one of these features without the others seemed incomplete to me, as each one greatly effects the outcome how of the game will be played from now on.
This update introduces the concept of tile improvements to CivCraft. Tile improvements are like structures except they take up an entire chunk and can be built within your town’s culture instead of just your town’s city-limits. This update contains the following Tile Improvements:
- Trade Outposts: A replacement for rail outposts. They mine trade goods but do not require a railway to connect to them.
- Farms: A chunk that experiences growth. Based on your town’s growth rate, this may grow slower or faster than the vanilla Minecraft growth rate.
- Mines: Take redstone as a fuel and increase your town’s hammer-rate. The hammer rate determines how fast structures build. This is important for Wonders.
- Walls: Walls prevent enemy towns from digging underneath them during a war. This will help towns secure areas and forces enemies to attack walls and turrets
Tile improvements are going to make a couple of very important changes to the way money is generated from trade and cottages. Specific Balance changes are:
- Rail Outposts are deprecated and will be removed. Protected rail and Rail Stations will remain for those who wish to use it for fast travel. But it will not be required to connect trade goods.
- Growth will be disabled for all crops EXCEPT on the new farm tile improvements. While this change may be controversial it allows us to do two things. First, it allows CivCraft greater control over the growth rates. Allowing us to go over 100%. And second, reduces lag on the server since growth is now restricted to specific chunks. More detailed info in this forum post.
- Trade income will be dramatically changed. You should now expect to get more coins from having more of the same good, and piracy can effect the total bonus you get from trade goods.
Soon you’ll be able to attempt to best other nations by being the first to complete a wonder. Wonders offer unique and powerful benefits to a town and it’s members and each wonder may only be constructed once. Starting a wonder will cost a significant amount of cash and will take a significant amount of time to build.
But beware! Your town’s attempt to build the wonder will be announced globally, as well as its progress (every 10% complete). Once you’ve started constructing a wonder, other towns have a chance to catch up and beat you to it by starting the wonder themselves and building more mines and feeding them more redstone to increase the hammer rate at which it builds. You may also find your town a target for espionage and war since both of these have the potential to delay the wonder you’re building and give them a chance to catch up.
In addition to the chunks that your town has claimed using coins, your town will now also lay claim to the surrounding chunks as part of your “civilization”. These “culture chunks” do not have protection like regular towny chunks, but instead serve to tell others where your borders lie. In addition to being displayed on the dynmap and looking really cool, these borders will serve a purpose during war and for espionage. When an enemy or neutral player enters your borders your town will be notified. If they are within the range of a scout tower, their location will also be given so you can dispose of them quickly before they reach your city. All spy missions need to be conducted within the cultural borders of a town, and certain structures may be built not just within the city limits, but also within the cultural borders. Allowing your town to truly take advantage of the surrounding area.
Like in Civ, the number of blocks you can claim under culture will be dependent on how much culture your town is generating. Which can be effected by buildings, wonders, and government types. There are two new buildings that effect culture:
- Monument – This building simply adds to your town’s total cultural output. Build this if you want to compete with surrounding towns for cultural space.
- Temple – This building increases your total cultural output by a percentage, as well as allows you to perform sacrifices to boost your cultural output through work and organization.
Diplomacy will act as a contract between towns, by allowing towns to send diplomatic messages that can read and replied to even when the town’s residents are offline. For this release, diplomacy is simple and minimal, allowing you to declare war, make peace and or cease fire agreements, declare independence from your master town as well as a surrender from a war.
My personal favorite new feature, the espionage game mechanic will allow towns to train spies which can be used defensively or offensively against other towns. When a town trains a spy, it picks a resident to be the actual spy. Once the resident is a spy he can perform espionage when inside enemy borders. Spies can do simple information gathering, poison food supplies, pirate trade outposts, subvert governments, sabotage structures/wonder production and get the names of enemy spies. Defensively spies can infiltrate enemy territory and attempt to get a list of enemy spy names. The player that has this list of names will be able to PvP any enemy spy within their own borders, even when PvP is normally off.
When a spy dies, it must be retrained, so knowing who a spy is will allow you to keep them out of your town.
Every time a spy performs a mission, a report is generated in the form of a book which can be found on the body of a spy. Additionally spies will level up depending on how many successful missions they have completed. Having a higher level spy will increase the chances of success for missions. The success rate for missions depends not only the spy’s level, but can also be effected by the presence of nearby scout towers, whether or not an enemy spy is online, and if the enemy spy is within range when the mission is performed.
This feature is going to cause a lot of drama and will hopefully give smaller towns a recourse against larger towns other than war. If your town surrenders or loses a war and is a vassal state, you can perform spy missions against the master town, but the master town cannot perform spy missions back.
Every Saturday at 8am PST the server enters a “war-time” which allows structures to be damaged. To win a war, a town must destroy the enemy town’s town hall. Once a war is won, that town will remain conquered until a independence fee is paid to the winning town, or 3 months have passed. Certain structures will have hit points, and a new set of defensive structures have been added. During war, enemy towns can break any block in your town but the items for the blocks will not drop. This prevents players from looting decorative blocks such as diamonds. Enemies will also not be able to break chests, signs, furnaces or dispensers so they will not be able to loot those for items either. Enemies will be able to place blocks also, but not water or lava blocks since they can cause havoc/difficulty when restoring. Every server reboot, all blocks broken and placed by enemies will be restored. Therefore if you want to make progress on an enemies defenses, start early, since the server reboot will reset them. Blocks can only be placed/added during war-time.
Taking down a town (even an undefended one) is a large task similar to that of taking on a raid boss in an MMO. Your town will need to be well organized to accomplish it. All structures have a health regeneration rate which in most cases should prevent a single player from destroying it on his own. Additionally, watch towers and cannon towers will fire upon enemy players making a town that invests in some defense, very difficult to capture. While you can only win or damage structures during war-time, the war ranges on during the week. PvP remains on between towns at war during the week and towers will continue to fire upon enemies. Towns will also continue to pay additional upkeep for being at war. Any town can surrender and end the war at any time by sending a surrender message to the enemy town.
The website will now sport an event log that logs all global messages that are displayed on the server. This is particularly useful to players since they will no longer have to be online in order to keep up with what other town’s are doing. This is important for knowing when wonders are started, wars declared, and spy missions performed. This is an on-going feature that will require work outside of CivCraft and may experience updates on its own.
Well, that about covers the major features. There are quite a few bug fixes and balance changes coming in as well. So stay tuned for a full changelist when the update is released.