The eagerly anticipated “fall patch” (version 188.8.131.52) for Civilization V has just been released, packing an enormous amount of changes into a surprisingly small download. The big new feature is touch screen support for Windows 8, activated through a new launcher option. Here’s a rundown of the new input facilities as listed in the patch notes:
- New gesture button in Main menu, new zoom & momentum sliders in Options menu.
- Three-finger tap escapes from menus, or brings up the Main menu.
- Scrolling: Single-finger drag for scroll bars, two-finger swipe for menus.
- Tool Tips: Single-finger touch & drag, both on the map and in the UI.
- Map Control: Two-finger pinch for zoom, two-finger drag for scrolling.
- Unit Movement: Single-finger tap on unit, then drag to destination. Alternatively, double-tap to enter movement mode, then single-tap on destination or touch & drag to preview path.
Note: Civ5 is still a traditional Windows desktop program, so you’ll need an Intel-based Windows 8 tablet to enjoy the new touch screen support. The recently released Microsoft Surface RT or other ARM-based Windows RT tablets are not sufficient!
The new patch also contains tons of bug fixes, balance tweaks, and improvements to user interface and AI players. Here are some of my personal highlights, with the caveat that I have yet to try the new version to see if everything works as advertised:
- Improved unit cycling, so the map won’t jump around wildly after every action.
- The AI should finally attempt to rescue its captured civilians from barbarians…
- Advanced settings are finally saved between games, though still not all of them.
- Cities founded by a player who does not currently own them can be “liberated,” just like city states. Even the AI will do so, if it has a Defensive Pact with the former owner and both fight the current owner.
One notable feature that was announced but still appears to be missing is the DLL source code for modders. Let’s hope this last item can soon be checked off, too.
(Updated Civilization V Manual Addenda with notes on touch screen support, and updated consolidated patch notes for version 184.108.40.206. See Local Happiness for an explanation of that concept which is mentioned in the new patch notes.)