Civilization V’s lead designer Ed Beach told Joystiq that the upcoming Gods & Kings expansion is being made around three of the fans’ biggest issues with the game. Firstly, the AI has been improved to not hold grudges for hundreds of years (which isn’t a hyperbole when it comes to Civilization), thus giving one less reason for the AI to invade two millenia after your Warrior killed its Scout with stone clubs inside a cave.
Religion, diplomacy and espionage also make a return to the game to address complaints of gameplay that was too streamlined and toned down. Each of the three added an extra layer in relations between civilizations in Civilization IV so it’s really a mystery why they were removed in the first place. Espionage is handled differently this time, only using one screen and with no actual units on the field.
Lastly, the tech tree for combat technologies is more unified with less dead ends so you won’t be stuck with crossbowmen in your machine gun infantry line anymore. Another change is a melee functionality to naval units to allow for naval invasions of coastal cities for the first time.
Outside of these main changes, unit stacking has undergone a bit of a change. There’s no detail as to what but only that there is “more flexibility” now. Perhaps this means that smaller infantry units can stack a few at a time on a tile now instead of taking up the same amount of space as a battalion of tanks.
And, of course, the expansion comes with 27 new units, 13 new buildings and nine new Wonders. No mention of the previously confirmed nine civilizations in the Joystiq article, though. Let’s hope they just forgot and didn’t remove them.
The pack is expected to release in late spring.