Civilization V: Gods & Kings preview

One of the biggest strategy games around is about to get even bigger with the upcoming Gods & Kings expansion for Civilization V. We recently had the chance to meet with Lead UI Designer Ed Beach and Lead Producer Dennis Shirk for an early look at the expansion. “Being a Civilization expansion, we tried to make it chock-full of as much new content as possible,” says Dennis Shirk. Expect new civilizations, leaders, wonders, and units when the expansion sets sail later this year.

Earning faith can be as easy as discovering an ancient ruins with a scout. But you can also earn faith through unique abilities. The new Celts civilization, for example, will earn faith from forest tiles near your city. Certain units may also have special faith-related abilities, like the Pictish Warriors, which earn faith for you when defeat an enemy unit in combat. “So it’s a viable strategy to do early game rushes, which will really help you earn faith,” explains Shirk.

Once you’ve accumulated ten points of faith, you’ll be able to found a Pantheon of the Gods. “Pantheons are basically a collection of beliefs, as is everything with religion. Religion is basically composed of beliefs that you choose to customize your religion for your religion,” explains Shirk. Unlike religion in previous Civilization titles, the new system is much more flexible, allowing players to pick and choose beliefs to tailor their religion for their immediate or end-game strategic goals.

Shirk points to a camp tile near his city and highlights the Goddess of the Hunt belief, which grants bonuses based on camp tiles near your city. The Goddess of Protection belief might also be a good choice, which will give your cities a 30% increase to ranged strength. Instead, Shirk goes with the Ancestor Worship belief, which gives you plus one culture points for shrines. “I’m a builder. I’m a culture player,” explains Shirk. “So I want to choose something that’s going to help me down that path for a culture victory.”

It’s important to keep in mind that once you pick a belief, you prevent other players from choosing the same one. With a limited number of beliefs for players to choose from, how you spend your turns early on becomes more critical, especially if there’s a certain belief you want to grab for your long term strategy.

From now on every new city you found will adopt the first belief you choose. With your Pantheon of the Gods in place, your next goal will be to earn more faith in order to produce a Great Prophet. Once you have one, you’ll be able to formerly found your new religion and will be prompted to choose two new beliefs to further customize that religion. Founder beliefs will benefit you when your religion spreads, while follower beliefs relate to cities that follow your religion.

But religion represents more than just a new set of bonuses for your own civilization. It will also affect how you deal with neighbors. If the majority of your city follows a religion, it can influence cities up to ten tiles away. If that city has no religion, its citizens will begin to following your religion. You can also spend your faith on religious units like Missionaries and Inquisitors to help spread your religion and deter the spreading of foreign religions respectively.

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