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Civilization World Review
Introduction to CivWorld
Civilization World, or CivWorld for short, is a new Facebook game developed by Sid Meier and Firaxis. It combines familiar elements of Civilization games like Food, Production, Science, and Great People, with MMO gaming and the social aspects of FB. The game runs on Flash and requires a Facebook account to play.
In this review I'll explain how civilizations and cities work, the different ways to get resources, the minigames to keep you occupied, and how to win a CivWorld game. Please keep in mind that I wrote this when CivWorld was still in beta, so some things might have changed since then.
Civilizations and Working Together
The first thing that fans of the series should know is that Civilization World is quite different from Civilization IV or V. Instead of controlling an entire civilization like in stand-alone Civ games, the player only controls a single city. Civilizations in this game are groups of individuals who pool their resources together to fight battles, research new technologies, and build wonders.
You can, of course, play alone; however, I recommend joining a civ as soon as possible, as it opens up a lot more possibilities. All members of Civilization will work towards researching a technology or building a wonder, and once it's finished, every member will enjoy the benefits. In games with lots of competitive nations, communication between civ members is very important! Naturally, the game has a separate chat channel where the members of your civ can talk among themselves.
Implementing Civics and starting Battles requires a majority of votes from your comrades. If your nation is invading another, or being attacked itself, your friends will be able to contribute their units for the battle. In CivWord, battles use a card system of sorts, where you place stacks of units on the battlefield and give them orders to assume stances like Heroic (more power, higher losses) or Fortified (less damage, lower losses). Battles have an advance warning of approximately 10 hours, and you will be able to log in and place your units during this entire time.
Managing Your City in CivWorld
Now you know that in Civilization World, you are "demoted" from ruling an entire nation to managing only a single city. Don't worry though, there's still a lot of things you need to do in order to make your city prosper and bring you glory and riches.
The first thing you need to know is that the way you build your city determines your resource income. Similarly to other Civ games, CivWorld has five basic resources: Food, Production (hammers), Science (beakers), Gold, and Culture. In your city, you can build Houses and assign the worker inside to produce any of said resources (Farmers make food, Scientists generate science, Merchants gain gold, etc).
Positioning your buildings correctly is very important. Not only you have to place your workers as close to the resource as possible (Farmers close to farms, Workers near Wood/Stone/Iron, and so on) you also have to keep them happy. Your citizens will be the happiest if they have a forest, a lake, another citizen with the same occupation, or the edge of the map on the squares adjacent to their house. Both happiness and distance from the resource and the drop-off point (depending on the worker type: Granary, Forge, etc) determine how effective your workers will be and how much resources will they produce.
As you can imagine, creating an optimal layout can be a pretty hard task. Thankfully, CivWorld allows you to move most of your existing buildings (except upgraded ones) without any cost. This way you can tinker with your building placement until you maximize the efficiency of your workers, and only then upgrade your drop-off and benefit buildings like Granaries and Universities.
Example of Optimal Building Placement
In the example above, the efficiency of two Iron miners is maximized because they're:
- Surrounded by water and forests on 3 sides, which makes them happy.
- Close to a fully upgraded Iron Forge where they drop off their resources.
- Close to Iron nodes, connected with a Road to increase their productivity.
Do note that there are two ways of getting resources: Harvests and Trickle Income. Let's start with trickle income first. You will automatically gain all kinds of resources from your population. The higher your population, the higher the trickle income. You have no control over it, and even more importantly, making your workers more effective won't affect your trickle income at all.
The second one is Harvests. Every hour, you will gain one "Harvest" which you can use immediately or at a later time. When you do that, you immediately gain resources from your workers, depending on what job they're assigned to do. Harvests depend on your workers' efficiency directly. For example, 10 Farmers with 30 efficiency each will give you 300 Food per harvest.
There is also a third way - however, it requires watching the game actively, and isn't that profitable. From time to time, your citizens will produce a "resource bubble" above their heads (the type of the resource depends on what job they're assigned to). If you move your mouse over the bubble, it will pop and give you a very small amount of the resource. It might be some help in the early stages of the game, but I wouldn't bother with it in the later Eras.
Resource gathering is explored in greater detail in this forum thread on CivFanatics.
Tips and Tricks to Get You Started
I'm not going to write a full CivWorld tutorial - however, this short guide might come in handy to jumpstart your city and give you an advantage against newbie players. The first thing you should know is that in the beginning, the game is usually quite slow, and it will take you a few days to grow your population enough to do some of the more interesting things in the game. Which is why you should concentrate on creating as much Food as possible in order to grow your population fast!
Assign all your citizens as Farmers, taking care to maximize their output (you'll probably use Corn Fields in the early stages of the game, and switch to Pastures after they become available - unless you have some good spots to plant an Orchard). As soon as you get a new citizen, put it to farming again. Do this until you reach at least a population of 6. Your trickle income should take care of your needs for other resources in the meantime. If you happen to be in need of hammers for new buildings, you can always sell some food on the Market.
Do not create Merchants. Gold is usually the cheapest resource on the Market. In other words, it's more profitable to produce Food, or perhaps Production (hammers) and sell it for gold, than produce gold and buy other resources. Culture is usually very cheap as well (so do not create any Artists, either). At least, that has been my experience in the beta - it might change in the future, with Firaxis giving merchants a boost.
Speaking of Market, you can make lots of gold simply by buying low and selling high. The resource prices fluctuate depending on what other players are buying and selling. You can also buy and sell combat units and commodities (luxury resources). The latter, as far as I can tell, do not serve any other function besides being a moneymaker for the smart trader. If you have the time, you can definitely become rich in CivWorld this way.
Contests and Mini Games
Waiting for hours to acquire enough resources to be able to do something is boring. That's exactly why Firaxis came up several different mini-games. These award you with a small amount of a certain resource upon completion. There currently are three minigames in CivWorld: the Technology Maze, the Great Art Puzzle, and the Caravan. (Popping bonus resource bubbles from your workers could also be considered a mini game of sorts).
Minigames are often tied in to the Contests. For example, there is a contest of "Most technology mazes completed" and it awards a Fame point to the person who completes most Maze mini-games in an hour. Contests are announced in your Market screen.
CivWord Technology Maze Mini-Game
This minigame will award the players extra science once they reach the center of the maze. There are bonus beakers to be picked up along the way that give you extra moves!
CivWord Great Art Puzzle Mini-Game
Swap the pieces of the puzzle to complete the picture. Each successful swap gives you culture, with double swaps earning you extra.
CivWord Caravan Mini-Game
Build a road connecting all the villages and the town to win gold. Every road piece you use costs an increasing amount of gold which is deducted from your prize.
How to Win a CivWorld Game
CivWorld is divided into different games that have 21 Eras each, from Ancient to Galactic. To move from one Era to the next, a civilization has to achieve certain goals, such as building a number of Wonders, winning a battle against another civ, or acquiring a specific sum of gold. In other words, there are four different approaches to achieve Era victories: scientific, economical, cultural, and military. After the game runs its course, the winners are announced, and you may join another one. When you finish your first game, you will be able to participate in up to 3 games simultaneously!
That is all fine, but how do you win the game? In CivWorld, you do that by acquiring Fame points. These points are gained when you accomplish certain feats. If your civilization wins an Era victory, every member gets a Fame point. You can also get them by winning contests (such as gathering the most bonus resources, or finishing the most Technology Maze mini-games).
Probably the biggest source of Fame points is getting Medals. There are six sorts of them: Economic, Military, Science, Culture, Construction, and Population. Once again, you have a choice in how you want to play the game. Be the first to amass a certain sum of gold in your civ, or contribute the most Science to a technology research, and you will gain Fame points for that.
When the game ends, the players are ranked by their Fame points, and the top player is declared the winner. If you join another game, you will start from the very beginning again. However, your achievements and scores are recorded, and you also have a persistent Throne Room that you can decorate to your liking.
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Resources and Links
Here are some useful websites to know for a CivWorld player:
- The official CivWorld forums are the place to talk about the game, ask questions, report bugs or let your other concerns be known to the devs.
- CivFanatics forums are an alternative place to hang out and talk about the game. CivFanatics is one of the biggest and best sites about everything Civilization related.