Sid Meier’s Civilization V has received a big new patch in preparation for the upcoming second expansion, Brave New World. The full change list for version 188.8.131.52 has already been posted on the 2K Games Forums, and I’ve updated my consolidated patch notes accordingly.
Theoretically, the big news in this patch is the introduction of Pitboss for Civ5 – but it’s a preliminary version that requires one full Civ5 installation permanently running as the server. Firaxis promises a proper standalone Pitboss server once the current implementation has been thoroughly debugged with the help of enthusiasts. Meanwhile, Giant Multiplayer Robot remains the better option for most people.
For those who can schedule the time to play synchronously, there are new multiplayer modes that enforce sequential rather than simultaneous player turns, either always or only during wars. Otherwise the patch focuses mostly on improved performance, multiplayer stability, and bug fixes. Here’s a selection of other welcome minor changes:
- Civilian units in the modern era now have distinct icons to match their on-map appearance, e.g. Great Artists with film cameras.
- Those teeny tiny arrows that let you reorder items in a city’s build queue have finally been enlarged so you can comfortably click on them.
- Workers no longer stop working every single turn because of some remote enemy soldiers that cannot possibly threaten them.
On an unrelated note, if your Civ5 map doesn’t scroll when you move the mouse cursor to the edge of the screen you might be running as “Windows 8 – Touch Enabled.” The launch dialog “recommends” this choice for every Windows 8 system, but enabling touch functionality disables some mouse functionality and so should be used only when you actually have a touch screen. Mouse users should always choose one of the other options, even on Windows 8. I added a note to that effect to the Civ5 Manual Addenda.
2013-07-14: Brave New World has been released, and I wrote another post with more information and my first impressions of the new expansion.