Jeff Morris, Associate Producer, Firaxis Games
Which Wonders have been removed, which remain and why?
Jeff: We altered the effect of some wonders to ensure the spirit of the wonder took advantage of the new rules we added to the game. The Lighthouse is a good example of that, since we now have 3 types of ocean. Galleys still can travel the coasts safely and are at risk on seas (the second water type), but now Caravels can travel coasts and seas safely and are at risk on oceans(the third type). The Lighthouse now bumps up their safety net. So the Galleys are only in danger on Oceans, and Caravels can travel unhindered. Another thing we did was break up some of the major wonders into small wonders. The Manhattan Project is one such wonder. Instead of one civilization doing all the hard work for everyone, each civilization now would need to develop the small wonder independently to use nukes.
Describe the role of the worker in Civ III. Are they still the all-purpose infrastructure unit?
Jeff: Actually workers are new to Civ III. Settlers are solely used for creating cities, with their terrain improvement responsibilities handed off to the worker unit. These guys not only irrigate et al, they can also create colonies (for exploitation of goods outside your territory) as well as be traded in diplomacy. Increasingly I think of workers as mobile population points.
Which units return from CIV, CIV II? Any inspiration from AlphaCentauri?
Jeff: Most of Civ II’s units make a return appearance, though early it was decided to look at each one and make sure they served a purpose in the game. With the introduction of eras, each era tends to have a superlative defender, attacker and assaulter. In the ancient era for instance, that would be the Spearman, Swordsman, and Horsemen. We've also added civilization specific units that allow a player to enjoy a certain edge at specific periods of time.
Which do NOT return? For what reasons? Describe the coolest new unit in CIV III in your opinion.
Jeff: Ones that didn't return we felt weren't used by the players, or were better served by a similar unit that was made available near the same time. For the most part, we didn't remove many units.
Has air and naval battle been expanded?
Jeff: Air combat has seen the greatest change. These units no longer move around the map akin to a ground unit. Rather, they have operational ranges within which they can execute air missions. The primary bonus of this is that air units no longer function like super fast ground units. Things like interception still take place, and with the inclusion of city improvements with combat values (like the SAM Battery), we feel the system much more closely models the impact of aircraft on warfare throughout history.
Describe the role of armies and how they function.
Jeff: Armies function similarly to transports, except that units 'loaded' into them are capable of relieving each other. Created by leaders or the Military Academy small wonder, they are dominating entities on the battlefield. In order to eliminate a unit in an army you need to defeat ALL it's member units, and they can be very tough opponents. In a real sense, there is an 'Army' race at the beginning of the game, where the winner can enjoy a significant military advantage. If you don't catch up (by constructing your own army), you better be on good terms with those who do.
Describe the role of heroes.
Jeff: We have leaders in the game, which function as focal points of 'will and leadership'. They are created from elite level units who get promoted in battle, and can be used to create armies and complete city production projects (specifically useful for wonders). We quickly learned however that leaders can really dominate the game, so currently you're restricted in the number you can have.
It's been mentioned that individual civilizations will have various strengths, such as heroes. Name some other culture specific elements, such as units, structures or Wonders?
Jeff: Each Civilization has civilization specific units (one per civ) as well as cultural benefits. A military civilization for instance, produces higher quality units throughout, where as a science civilization enjoys cheaper construction costs on light bulb generating structures. While we don't have civilization specific improvements or wonders, a player could construct them through our editing suite.
How will different governments govern trade - are trade alliances between similar ideologies easier to maintain?
Jeff: To a certain degree. Culture has a far bigger impact though, where culturally similar civilizations are more likely to make gracious agreements. Also, if your culture is far better than theirs, they will be more flexible in what kinds of arrangements they'd find acceptable.