The biggest, deepest space 4X just got bigger and deeper!
Ludicrous update to Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade has arrived!
The best-selling space 4X series of all time recently got its biggest expansion pack ever: Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade. Today, Stardock has released the first major update to it that adds a new map size, fixes bugs, improves balance and adds some new features.
Plymouth, Michigan. May 14.
Owners of the Crusade expansion pack to Stardock's best-selling space 4X strategy game, Galactic Civilizations III are receiving a major update today.
Dubbed, the "Ludicrous" update, the new version replaces the largest sized galaxy option with a new one called "Ludicrous" which doubles the maximum size over the previous biggest map size ("insane size") and includes a host of quality of life improvements, balance updates, bug fixes and much more.
"Galactic Civilizations III already supported very large maps," said Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock Entertainment. "But among the many improvements the new Crusade expansion pack brings is a multi-core game AI which allows for much bigger galaxies to play thanks to the drastically reduced turn-times."
In early May, Stardock released the critically acclaimed (87 metacritic) expansion that introduced citizens, spies, diplomats, privateers, interactive invasions, commanders, the civilization builder, three new civilizations and much more. Fan response has been tremendous which Stardock has channeled into this update filled with not just bigger map sizes but dozens of important improvements across the game.
"The best way to describe Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade is that it is the answer to the mid to late game grind that 4X strategy games have struggled with for years," said Wardell. "With Crusade, we answer this with both features such as the new citizen system that allows players to execute powerful actions late game as well as taking full advantage of the new, 64-bit, multi-core custom game engine that was made exclusively to make space 4X games."
To that end, Crusade includes the first core-neutral AI engine for the genre.
"What core-neutral AI means is that the game will use all the CPU cores you have no matter how few or how many are on your PC," said Wardell. We found that a large percentage of our players have at least 4 CPU cores and many have 6 or more. This meant we could, literally, cut down turn times by a factor of 8 to 12 depending on the CPU. This matters because anyone who plays these types of games know that the late game can slow to a halt. It also allowed us to develop a substantially more intelligent series of computer opponents as well as create a more life-like background simulation that the players tap into."
Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade has quickly become popular with YouTube streamers partially because of its combination of fast turn times and the Civilization Builder.
"YouTube has become an unexpected phenomenon for Crusade," said Wardell. "Because players can design their own ships and civilizations and share them via Steam workshop, streamers can literally set up games where they are playing against a random mix of their favorite Sci-Fi races. The fast turn times means that the streamers don't see their games bog down late game and makes for a really good Let's Play viewing experience."
Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade is available as a package for only $39.99 (or $19.99 if you already have Galactic Civilizations III).
New ludicrous map size. Look for the tiny red dot on the mini map to get an idea of the immensity. Trillions of inhabitants, tens of thousands of ships, up to 100 players actively engaging you and each other (not counting minor civilizations).
Recruit citizens and train them in a variety of powerful ways
Design your own ships to play with or against, share them with others.
Create civilizations and assign what ships they use for different roles with ships you've designed or downloaded from Steam Workshop
The new interactive invasion system is simple but strategically decisive.
The new AI system makes AI negotiations more interesting as the AI now looks at what it thinks you want as well as what it wants and creates deals based on that.
Espionage allows players to steal technology, sabotage planets, destroy economies.
Trade value bar makes negotiating with aliens easier than ever! Moreover, the underlying dialog AI chooses what the aliens say to you based on their traits, your traits and the state of the galaxy.
Play as one of the official GalCiv civilizations or any of the thousands of player created civilizations online (and against them).
Quite literally, not only is each game different, each game is very different.
www.galciv3.com/crusade Join the crusade to save/destroy/enslave/salvage/acquire/inspire/convert your galaxy.
Full Change log:
We are pleased to unveil the first major update to Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade (Crusade being based on version 2.1 of the base game, we now unveil version 2.2).
== Map Size changes ==
- Tiny: from 18 to 20 (20x20) hex sectors
- Small: 32 to 36 hex sectors
- Medium: 40 to 50 hex sectors
- Large: 75 to 90 hex sectors
- Huge: 95 to 120 hex sectors
- Immense: 240 to 250 hex sectors
- Excessive: 290 to 300 hex sectors
- Insane renamed to Ludicrous
- Ludicrous: 500! (500 x 500 tiles)
== AI ==
- The AI will have harder time stealing techs from you if you have counter agents (e.g. unassigned agents).
- The AI no longer tries to bribe you to pick on minor factions.
- AI now fully uses the new Crusade multicore engine in pathfinding, diplomacy, ship movement, tactical analysis, economic planning, planetary invasions, citizen assignments, etc. are all broken up into tiny jobs and sent out to your CPU cores drastically reducing turn times.
- AI is much, MUCH smarter in what ships to build when (thanks to the GalCiv Discord community for rapid strategy testing responses) and how.
- Substantial improvement in the general feel of AI intelligence when dealing with other civilizations diplomatically.
- Improvements to AI trade intelligence based on the new multi-turn need analysis system.
- AI more savvy on how to use spies as it now takes the consequences of retaliation into account before targeting someone.
- Lots of new alien dialog based on more background data (what the galactic situation is).
== Gameplay ==
- Ported more of the GalCiv III base game tech tree elements to the new Trait based system. Crusade replaces the monolithic tech tree system with one that is procedural generated based on what traits you have for your civilization.
- First internal pass on getting ready to let players submit their own tech tree parts via Steamworks (i.e. create a bunch of techs, tie them to player traits, and have them just work).
- Anomalies and Events from other DLC have had their rarity adjusted to be in line with Crusade's new rarities (basically, other DLC stuff was relatively rare).
== Multiplayer ==
- General multiplayer performance improvements.
- Reduced multiplayer Checksum fragility to only deal with differences that are material.
- First pass at networking layer upgrade to pave the way for fully customized civs playing each other (i.e. you play as your favorite sci fi civ vs. someone else's sci fi civ). The main challenge here is bandwidth on sharing what amounts to some pretty big assets.
== User Experience ==
- Adjusted the Espionage screen to clarify that unassigned agents lower the chance the AI can steal techs from you.
- Resource upgrades improvements are no longer flagged as one per planet.
- You can now select a fleet even if there's a non-selectable ship on the same tile.
- Decommissioned ships refund their administration points and legions.
- Improved up the commander information on the citizen summary screen
- Removed access debug error messages. This matters because modders could find themselves with a lot of debug output which on non SSD drives could slow framerate.
- Reduced the number of event log entries displayed
== Balance ==
- Xenophobes get twice the research and social construction but only half the military construction.
- Beam weapon space usage reduced from 5% to 3%
- Kinetic weapons cost reduced substantially.
- Entrepreneurs now provide a trade route to their civ as well
- General comes with Xeno Combat techniques
- Colonizer Ability changed such that every time they colonize a planet, they get their administrative point back. This will need a tooltip tweak for the admin resource tooltip.
- Xeno Combat Techniques now unlocks the General. Combined with Station Garrison, player can protect planets without having to research invasion.
- Port of Call tourism improvement moved to only require Universal translator
- Capital city now allows up to 16 population
- Computer Core cost reduced from 35 to 16 so that players that don't want to rush it don't wait too long
- Port of Call cost decreased from 150 to 32
- Port of Call benefit changed from a 10% tourism income boost to a flat 3 with each level adding another 1
- Starport now military production increased from 1 to 2
- Space Elevator general production decreased from 2 to 1
- City population cap increased from 8 to 16
- Silicon city population cap increased from 8 to 9
- Military Academy improvement now requires planetary invasion to eliminate confusion in which players thought they had to train legions to invade.
- Station Garrison cost reduced from 75 to 50
- AI is more chatty
- Easy AI no longer rushes defensive units
- Easy AI is no longer capable of rushing colony ships
- AI no longer tries to reinforce planets with individual defender units if they are far away (this is the cause of lone ships streaming to their death in far off places)
- Influence specialization now provides a flat 1 influence to every colony instead of a 10% boost.
- Majesty Tech now quires the diplomatic ability
- Master Trade now requires the entrepreneur ability
- Other high-level biz/trade techs now require entrepreneur race ability
- Robots can't have cruise lines
- Improved AI conquest strategies
- Slight balance tweak to opposing culture affect.
- Mild balance pass on the weightings of faction power.
- AI is even more chatty
- Hot Springs moved to require Planetology (for frog races)
- Hot Springs benefit changed from 3 to 2.
- Increased AI's guts by 25%. Basically, AIs tend to be a bit too careful in when to attack. This is partially because players think AIs are "dumb" if they make suicide attacks. But there is a time and place to use suicide attacks to wear down an opponent. Cracking a turtler requires sacrifice.
- The AI will have a harder time stealing techs from you if you have counter agents (e.g. unassigned agents).
- The AI no longer tries to bribe you to pick on minor factions.
- New ship design method that lets us see how many ship designs are in the library.
- AI will no longer trade ships away on the cheap
- General increase in late game tech costs.
- Defenses now use less space but cost more
- Carrier modules cost more but use less room
- Eyes of Universe now requires Interstellar Travel instead of Interstellar Survey
- Farming no longer requires Xeno adaptation but comes sooner with Planetology
- Cities now require planetology (or torian planetology)
- Slight increase in cost for later improvements
- Minor balance updates
- Xenophobic tripled benefits.
- Set default faction to Terran Alliance
- Nerfed Renaissance event's research bonus
== Performance ==
- Continued improvement to turn times thanks to Crusade multicore
- Improvement to speed of clearing out an old game so you can get back to the main menu.
- Optimization of fog of war edges
- Optimization of battle viewer weaponry
== Bug Fixing ==
- On the starbase list, the "upgrade" icon isn't always enabled.
- Fix Virtual World improvement, now requires Promethean instead of Promethean Stones (which are no longer in the game)
- Stuck turn fixes. This issue is caused by the very delicate balance between turn speed and the difficulty of resyncronizing the threads quickly.
- Various crash bugs fixed.
- Fixed the Scientist Coerced Promotion which was giving 10x points
- Fixed a bug where if food was ever >0 but then later became 0 that it would never update again.
- Fixed strange bug that was causing pirates to not get to take a turn because the game thought they were dead. They're not dead!
- Fixed bug where asteroids from dead players would become owned by pirates and unkillable. Mining bases are now autodestroyed when a player dies.
- Fixed edge case bug where the player somehow allies with an event race which in turn causes a strange diplomacy flag to show up.
- Fixed minor bug where planned destination of a virtual fleet wasn't being copied from the source fleet. This would sometimes cause the AI not to attack targets of opportunity.
- Typo fixes. English isn't our first language. Our first language is Drengin which doesn't have vowels.
- Graph power buttons now toggle properly
- Updated the Entrepreneur Citizen text to better reflect its ability.
- Ship designer window: removed a duplicate resource bar