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Monday, February 20, 2006

Getting More Out Of Civ IV

The great thing about the internet is the ability to upgrade, fix, and modify those expensive games you bought!
Official Sites:
Firaxis Civ IV: get the patch (v. 1.52) and you can download a fankit that contains Civ IV images and more. The 1.52 patch is supposed to improve gameplay on lower-end computers, but be sure to read the details. The previous patch on 11/25/2005 fixed numerous gameplay problems. If you didn't get a patch yet, you haven't really played this game!
2K Civ IV (flash required, to download the new flash and install it will require you to close your browser)
Other Links:
Overview of Civ IV on Wikipedia
CivFanatics.com has tons of articles, references, mods, maps, etc!

Modifications on CivFanatics:
Many great mods for Civ IV can be found on the CivFanatics site (link to the archive). I tried several mods prior to the 1.52 patch, but since then I’ve only tried MPME, the Multiplayer Movie Enabler, which makes multiplayer games as interesting as the single-player. This is a great mod! In general, I’m most interested in mods that don’t make radical changes to the game play. Most of all, I’d like to see a new tech tree – one that actually makes sense and has a number of new techs added in. Some fans have created major modifications that sound interesting should they ever be completed. For example, one group is working on a Star Wars mod that will set the game in the Star Wars universe. Another group is creating a Moon Colonization mod that sets the game on the Moon. And another group is creating a fantasy-themed mod (Fall from Heaven).
I just downloaded a few mods from the CivFanatics archives and will be trying them out soon. Of special interest are: the Real UN Resolutions mod, which changes the UN resolutions in game to match actual UN resolutions, and the Actual Quotes for Diplomatic Leaders mod (v. 1.21), which promises to change the diplomacy text for each leader to match what their real-life counterpart might say. Both of these are simply added to the game by installing the files to the \CustomAssest\XML\text\ folder. Other mods that have great potential to make the game more dynamic and variable will make changes to the Leader Traits (such as Seafaring = +1 Naval Movement bonus), or give you other special abilities depending on your civ’s starting locale, units, buildings, or other choices. The endless combination of special abilities and units in Rise of Nations is what I think makes that game so great. If something similar can be achieved for Civ IV, I’d never stop playing it! I’d also like to see a dynamic map, such as new landforms generated randomly, natural disasters, etc. Rumors of an Alpha Centauri mod make me hope that they will keep the random natural events and the ability to terraform up and down. Lastly, I am also looking forward to the addition of more playable civs to Civ IV, especially the ones that were removed since Civ III: Babylonians, Assyrians, Inca, Mayans, etc.

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