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Civilization V


These are, in my opinion, upgrades/changes I would like to see in the turn-based strategy game, Civilization V.

I originally posted the following on Kevik's Civilization V forum post: Anything and Everything We Can Add to Civ V

Comments for this post have been closed. If you wish to comment, do so at the original forum topic: Anything and Everything We Can Add to Civ V

Victory Conditions

  • Allow for "joint victories". This is absolutely essential since AIs are playing to win rather than just to provide a challenge. In order for diplomacy to really be meaningful, there has to be a way for players to win in tandem. This does NOT have to take the form of "Permanent Alliances" as they worked in Civ IV.
  • Add "Runner Up" values for players who are NOT the winner(s). Players that meat certain criteria could be labeled as "runners up" if another player wins. Examples of runners up could be: Any Civ who has completed 5 social policy trees but does not win the game could be a "Cultural Runner Up". Any Civ that has built X number of space ship parts could be a "Science Runner Up". Any Civ that contorls more than 2/3 of the capitals of other Civs could be a "Conquest Runner Up". Any Civ whose score is greater than the player who ends up actually winning at the time of the other player's victory could be "Score Runner Up".


  • Add an "Escort" command that allows a military unit on the same tile as a civilian unit to automatically follow that civillian unit, fortify whenever that civilian does not move, and unfortify and follow when the civilian starts moving again. Since we can't move units in stacks, this would help reduce the tedium of manually making military units follow settlers and workers (especially in the early game).
  • Add a "Wait for X Turns" command that allows the player to enter a numeric value, and the unit will fortify/wait on that tile for that number of turns before automatically waking up. This has several uses: leaving a worker inactive until a completing a new research project allows him to build an improvement; camping a military unit until new research allows him to be upgraded; parking a Great Person at a location, waiting for the right time to use one of their abilities; etc.
  • Add a Queued/Automatic Moves Pending Notification that, when pressed, causes all queued movements and actions to occur, so you don't have to wait until the end of your turn or accidentally interfere with a unit's queued actions.
  • Add an "Enemy Unit Sighted" notification for any time an enemy unit enters your line of sight. Currently, the game only provides notifications for when enemy units are within your borders (at which point it is often too late).
  • Show "Turn Remaining" for resources in the top window bar for resources that are part of diplomatic trade deals. i.e rolling over the resource bar at Iron would display: Iron 9 (4)
    • 5 Iron available from cities
    • 2 Iron available from deals
      • 1 Iron from India (10 turns)
      • 1 Iron from China (4 turns)
    • 2 Iron available from City-States
      • 2 Iron from Bucharest (20 turns)
  • Similarly to the ^ above, show "Turns Remaining" for Luxuries. Highlighting over the Happiness on the top bar will list which resources are coming from Diplomatic deals and City-States and how many turns are left before the deal ends.
  • Ability to Queue up which order you want tiles to be automatically annexed so you're not dependent on the AI's randomly making choices.

Natural Wonders

  • Grand Canyon (two tiles): 0 food, 2 Commerce, 1 Science, + 1 Happiness from working tile
  • Mt. Everest: 0 food, 2 Production, 3 Commerce
  • Matterhorn: 1 food, 3 Production, 1 Commerce
  • Galapagos Islands: 0 food, 0 Production, 3Commerce, 2 Science

Natural Disasters

  • Hurricane (affects coastal squares only): destruction of any fishing boats, loss of food and gold from a small number of tiles on or adjacent to the coast for the turn the storm hits.
  • Earthquake (usually near mountain ranges or oceans): improvements become "pillaged", loss of production, commerce from any tiles affected on that turn.
  • Volcano (from a specific volcano terrain, or a mountain could become a volcano): "pillage" adjacent improvements, loss of food, production, commerce from affected tiles for that turn.
  • Tornado (affects plain, grassland areas): improvements become "pillaged", loss of food, production, commerce in tiles affected for that turn.
  • Blizzard (affects tundra, ice): these areas are bad enough already, this only causes loss of production and commerce from affected tiles for that turn.
  • Sandstorm (affects deserts): again, these areas are usually bad enough, this only causes loss of production and commerce from affected tiles for that turn.
  • Add new techs relating to these Disasters:
    • Geology (Renaissance): reduces damage from Volcano and Earthquake Disasters.
    • Climatology (Industrial/Modern): reduces damage from Hurricanes, Tornado, Blizzard, and Sandstorm Disasters.

Tile Improvements

  • Modify roads and railroads so that they can run parallel to one another on the same tile (railroads no longer overwrite roads). A unit stationed in a "node" (i.e. city) that has railroad access can travel to ANY "node" connected to that railroad network, but units can only enter and exit the railroad at "nodes". This way, roads are still useful.
  • Railroad Station improvement (req "Railroad" tech, must be built on top of a railroad): +1 Production, +2 Commerce. Acts as a "Node" on the railroad network, allowing units to enter/exit railroad for transport. This improvement may need restrictions on how close together they can be built or how many can be built on one stretch of rail in order to avoid spam abuse.
  • Toll Booth (req "Construction", must be built on top of a road): +2 Commerce, +1 Commerce everytime a rival unit enters that tile (once per turn, per toll booth). + 2 additional Commerce once "Combustion" is researched. This improvement is also probably prone to spam abuse, but its just an idea.
  • Nature Preserve (req "Biology", must be built on forest, jungle, or desert): + 1 Commerce, + 1 Science.
  • Airfield (req "Flight", cannot be built on hills): air units can land on airfields in friendly and unoccupied territory that do not already have another Civ's air units on them. Max 3 units.
  • Anchorage (req "Compass", must be built adjacent to coast): allows naval units to enter that tile and heal (even if in enemy or unclaimed territory and the unit does not have the "Heal outside friendly territory promotion"). Naval units cannot enter this improvement if another Nation's unit is stationed on the tile (i.e. you can block an enemy from using your Anchorages by stationing a land unit on it).
  • Canal (req "Engineering", cannot be built on hills, must be built adjacent to Ocean or another Canal): 0 Food, +1 Production, +2 Commerce. Allows Naval units to enter tile, and can be used to connect two bodies of water. First Canal tile costs 1 Maintenance, and each new Canal tile built adds +1 to the maintenance cost for all Canals. Harbors add +1 Commerce to all Canal tiles in the city boundaries.
  • Watchtower (req "Construction"): Free line of sight for 3 tiles in every direction (is blocked by terrain). Costs 1 Maintenance.
  • Pillbox (req "Assembly Line"): automatically attacks any enemy unit adjacent to or on the Pillbox and does 2 HP of damage. Units stationed in the Pillbox receive NO combat modifiers. Has Zone of Control. Costs 2 Maintenance.
  • Modify Harbors to allow units to embark and disembark on that city tile without ending their turn.
  • Modify Forts to cost 2 Maintenance. Fort Maintenance goes down by one if they have a military unit garrisoned inside, and go down by one if they are connected to your Trade Network. Forts outside your borders cost +1 Maintenance.
  • Bring back Cottages. Improvements that grow over time from being worked by a city add value to older cities and reduce the rewards for building new cities instead of developing/growing your existing cities.

Misc. New Buildings and Wonders

  • Change the "Coliseum" building to be called "Arena". Add a new World Wonder called "The Coliseum" (req "Construction"): + 1 Happiness per city connected to your Trade Network, + x culture, + 2 Great Engineer point.
  • new National Wonder "Interstate Highway" (req "Combustion"): + 2 movement along roads. + 25% Trade income yield from land-based trade routes. This wonder only makes sense if the suggested change to Railroads from my first post is implemented (since railroads no longer provide the basic movement increase).
  • Change the name of the "Great Lighthouse" to "The Pharos".
  • New building, "Patent Office" (req "Economics"): + 15% Great Person Generation in this city, + 1 Science from all Specialists in thit city. This may be too powerful, so it may need to be a National Wonder.

Trade and Economics

These are all modular features that can be optionally added or changed unless otherwise noted.

  • Change resources so that a resource-collecting improvement within a city's boundaries ONLY provides that resource to your Civilization IF that city is connected to your trade network. Otherwise, only the city that the resource is within the boundaries of will have access to the resource (this should be able to work within the framework of the game, because Marble only provides its bonus to the city within range).
  • Change the Trade Route mechanic so that there are three types of Domestic trade routes that can stack with one another: Land, Sea, and Air
    • Land Trade Routes: Cities that are connected to your capital via roads/railroads are considered connected via a "Land Route" and receive trade income. The road/railroad line must be UNBROKEN (i.e. a city on another continent cannot be connected via a land route, and cities that are connected via a road that runs through enemy territory is not considered connected, but roads that run through friendly territory are considered connected). Indicate a land trade route with a Brown or Green trade arrow icon.
    • Sea Trade Routes: After researching "Sailing", cities that have a river or unbroken visible coast line with your capital are considered connected via a sea trade route automatically (as in Civ IV). This allows sea-focused empires to skip roads altogether if they want (but having a road connection as well would add an additional trade route and more income, so it would still be beneficial). The value of sea trade routes should start off fairly small, but Harbors increase the value of the route. Sea routes can be indicated by a blue trade arrow icon.
    • Air Trade Routes: A new "Airport" Building is available with "Flight" technology. Building an Airport in a city connects that city to your capital (assuming the capital also has an Airport). The airport can also increase the stacking limit of planes within a city and provide bonus exp to all air units that are constructed. Air Trade Routes can be indicated with a White trade arrow icon.
  • When cities are connected via a trade route, remove the happiness cap that applies to buildings in that city (since people can now travel from city to city and enjoy the effects of other cities' luxuries).
  • International Trade routes: Add a new subsection to the Economic Overview for "Foreign Trade Routes".
    • If your capital has a connection to any other Civilization via either a road, railroad, harbor (should be required for international sea trade), or airport, AND you have an Open Borders agreement with that Civilization, then you are considered to have a "Foreign Trade Route" with that Civilization. A foreign Trade route with another Civilization can be indicated with the current yellow trade arrow icon next to your capital city's name on the map as well as another yellow trade arrow icon next to the name of the capital of the other Civ that you have the trade route with. Furthermore, the value of the trade route could be increased if you have more than one type of connection to the capital (land, sea, or air).
    • If your capital has a connection (land, sea, or air) to any City State that you are currently Friends or Allies with, then you will be considered to have a "Foreign Trade Route" with that City State. Trade routes with City States provide a very small amount of trade income, but will also slow the degradation of relations with that City State by a small amount. Trade routes with City States can be indicated with a grey trade arrow icon on your capital and on any City States that you have trade routes with.
  • Piracy: When at war with another Civilization or City State, you may Fortify a military land unit on a road or railroad tile that connects that Civilization or City State to a trade partner to "Seize" 50% of the value from that trade route for each turn that you are fortified. fortifying a naval military unit near a city with a Harbor will allow you to "Seize" 50% of their sea-based trade income for each turn that you are fortified. Both actions will decrease the value of the trade route by 50% each turn until it gets to a minimum of 2, at which point one Gold goes to you, and one Gold goes to the Civilization who you are Seizing the trade from. This is to prevent players from basing their entire economy around starting wars just to pirate gold from other players' trade routes.
  • Tax Rate Slider in the Social Policies screen (unlocks with "Currency"). Increasing the Tax Rate will decrease the cumulative Maintenance Cost of buildings, units, and improvements, but will cause unhappiness within the population.
    • The Courthouse building could be changed to be able to be built in all cities, and its effects would be: Reduces Unhappiness from conquered cities, and reduces unhappiness from Taxation.
    • New building: Tax Collector's Office (req "Currency"): + 25% gold from taxation within the city, - 1 Happiness, no maintenance, 1 Merchant specialist slot.
    • The Piety Social Tree could also have a "Tithes" policy added: -50% unhappiness from taxation.
  • Units garrisoned in a city with a Barracks have 25% less upgrade cost.

"Social Unrest" / "Civil War" Happiness Mechanic

Make happiness city-based. Culture can already be accumulated in both cities and empire-wide, I don't know why Happiness shouldn't be...

  • Happiness effects from buildings apply to that city (unless otherwise specified, i.e. wonders).
    • For each point of Unhappiness within a city, one citizen goes on strike (refuses to work) (similar to Civ IV).
    • If City Unhappiness > Half the population of the city (rounded down), the city goes into revolt and all output from that city is lost.
    • In order quell the revolt, you must station a military unit in that city and perform a new unit action "Martial Law". Each turn of Martial Law decreases Unhappiness in the city by 1 for X turns (determined by game length, i.e. 10 turns for standard game) up to a maximum of (floor(city population / 2) (bringing Happiness back up to zero). The unit cannot move or take other actions while in "Martial Law" or else it will cancel the "Martial Law" action. Units do not contribute to a city's combat strength when in "Martial Law". Since the duration of the happiness from Martial Law only lasts for a set number of turns, you will have to take action to increase the city's happiness or else it will fall back into revolt again eventually.
  • The average of all your cities' Happiness becomes your National Happiness.
    • When Nation is Happy, add excess happiness to Golden Age counter (as is already being done).
    • Each turn that the Nation is unhappy, add the unhappiness total to an "Anarchy Counter" (similar to Golden Age counter, but opposite).
    • When the Anarcy Counter becomes full (certain social policies and wonders can increase the amount required to fill the counter), the Nation goes into Anarcy, and the top X (depending on game length and map size) cities (except the capital) seceed and form an offshoot nation controlled by AI that is automatically at war with the former owner and any of his/her allies. Each seceeding city will automatically "draft" one modern infantry unit on the turn that the secession occurs (unit does not get to act until next turn), and any of the former owner's military units (or allied units) still stationed in the city automatically move to an adjacent available tile (if no tile is available, the unit is killed).
    • The most populous of the seceding cities becomes the new offshoot nation's capital. The former player can subdue the rebellion and reclaim the former cities by capturing the offshoot nation's capital through military conquest. NOTE: At this point, the former owner is allowed to raze any of the cities now belonging to the offshoot empire (except the capital), but doing so will result in -1 National Happiness for each population point killed during the razing ("You have massacred our brothers and sisters!").

This feature is designed to address the complaints that many people have on the forums stating that the AIs and military-focused empires seem to be able to ignore happiness and happiness is not a real check to expansion. This modified ruleset would add very real and potent penalties for not maintaining happiness in your cities. In order for this mechanic to work, AIs would need to have many of their Happiness buffs removed in order to be susceptible to this mechanic, and would need to be programmed to take action to prevent unhappiness from getting out of control.


  • Be able to click on another Civ's (or City State's) unit and be given the option to either "ask" or "demand" that the owning player move that unit so that your unit(s) may pass. If you have Open Borders with a nation, and you "ask" nicely, they should be more than happy to oblige, but may move the unit back to that location within a few turns. Nations you are unfriendly with may refuse if you use the "ask" option. If you "Demand" they move the unit, it will incur diplomatic penalties (similar to other Diplomatic Demands) whether you are on friendly terms or not. If they do not fear you, they may refuse your demand.
  • Bring back city/national demographics so that each population point could have a "nationality" (i.e. which civ/city state he/she was born to). When you capture a city, its population retains its original nationality but any new population points have a percentage chance of being "nationalized" (meaning they are considered to be the new owner's nationality). Cities that are in close proximity to foreign cities and which have open borders and a trade route will have a percentage chance that newly-spawned citizens will belong to the neighboring city's nationality. Population points belonging to other Nationalities should become unhappy if war is declared on their nation or if you denounce their nation. Having Protection Pacts and alliances with their parent nations may also lead these national citizens to become extra happy that we are on good terms with their homeland.
  • Bring back the Pact of Secrecy. It was probably the coolest addition to diplomacy aside form the "give us 10 turns to prepare for war" option.
  • When in a military alliance with another Civ or City State against a third party, you should be able to ask the player you are aligned with to support your military in certain ways:
    • Help defend my cities: if the allied nation believes they can spare the manpower, they will accept and will move some spare units into your borders to defend your cities (this is helpful if you are a cultural or scientific civ with little or no military, or if you are devoting most of your forces to an offensive action).
    • I will defend your cities: you may make a promise to send your units to defend your ally's cities. This will free up their army to go no the offensive.
    • Support my attack: asks your ally to spare some units to help support your offensive army. You can ask for specific types of units as well (infanty, anti-mounted/armor, mounted/armor, ranged, seige, naval, air, anti-air) so if you are lacking a specific type of unit that they have in abundance, they will use that type of unit to support you and will follow your army and attack units based on what your army attacks. For example, if you know your enemy has lots of mounted units, but you only have infanty and seige weapons, you can ask them to use their Spearmen or Pikemen to help defend your army. Alternatively, if you are trying to take a city, and you lack seige weapons, you can ask for seige or air support and the ally will send some of that type of unit to bomb whatever city you are beseiging.
    • Share Maps: you can ask to exchange line-of-sight with your ally for X turns (dependent on game length), so that you can see what they see.
    • Attack target: you can ask them to focus their attacks on specific cities. You should also be able to specify whether you want them to actually capture the target, or just soften it up for you.
  • See the "International Trade" bullets of the "Trade and Economics" section!
  • Be able to bribe City-States that you are allies with into joining your empire, or City States that you have been allies with for a very long time should be able to ask to join your empire.
  • You should be able to make gold and resource demands of City states (similar to demands to other Civs). Doing so will damage your relations with them as well as any other nations that are friends or allies with them.
  • Should be able to manually withdraw Denouncements, Pacts of Friendship, and Pacts of Secrecy.
  • When a leader denounces a player or declares war on a player, they should Give a specific reason for the denouncement or declaration of war!. They should say "We are declaring war because we want your resources" or "We have denounced you because you declared war on our friend". They should remember the reasons they gave for the denouncement or declaration of war, and if you give in to that request, they should withdraw the denouncement or declare peace. For example, if an AI declares war on you with the message "We need more Iron, so we are taking yours!", if you go into the "Negotiate Peace" screen and offer them your Iron, they should be more willing to accept the peace treaty.
  • With the Joint Victory Conditions listed above, friendly/allied relations should be able to be maintained with AIs for the whole game if both empires could potentially achieve victory. This will decrease the frequency of late-game back-stabs or unprovoked invasions when you get close to a victory condition.
  • Add actual translations of what the leaders are saying.


  • Allow players to continue to take actions once they have clicked End Turn, but once every player has clicked End Turn, the turn ends (even if someone was still trying to do something).
  • Show unit animations.
  • Add a notification on the right of the screen for when another Civilization has been met (since we don't get the leader screen in multiplayer).
  • Change the message saying what we got from a Goody Hut into a Notification on the right of the screen. Highlight the location of the Goody Hut when we click on the notification.
  • Give us a notification when an enemy unit enters line of sight! This goes double for Multiplayer!
  • Let us save multiplayer games.


  • Forts should act as Airbases and Naval Harbors (unless the Airfield and Anchorage improvements are added, as this would be redundant).
  • I would like to see Triremes, Caravels, and Ironclads somehow be able to move uprivers. Not sure how that would work though.
  • AA Guns should have a zone of control that applies to Helicopters and should be able to auto-intercept Gunships that pass w/in one tile (doing a small amount of damage).
  • Mark Barbarian encampments on the map (a black or grey dot).
  • Bring back the "Drawing Mode" from Civ IV in which players could draw lines and put labels on the map. This would be especially useful with the game's tactical combat emphasis and would give the player a reminder of what he/she was doing if they haven't played a save game for a while.

Comments for this post have been closed. If you wish to comment, do so at the original forum topic: Anything and Everything We Can Add to Civ V

[Added 07/25/2011] Continue to Upgrades for Civ V Part II

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